This Thanksgiving, TGBK would like to sincerely thank our amazing followers for all of your support and enthusiasm for our recipes. It truly has been an honor cooking for you over the last nine months. We've prepared a special holiday meal this week with three savory and satisfying veggie recipes. If this is your first "bird free" Thanksgiving we know that you won't be disappointed. With this combination of unique and seasonal foods and flavors we bet that you won't even miss the standard stuffing and gravy. Traditions aside, get your shopping list together, tie on your apron, and get creative with us in the kitchen this Thanksgiving!
Braised White Beans and Leeks with Massaged Kale
Adapted from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook
PREP TIME: 20 mins (+ 24 hour soaking time)
TOTAL TIME: 2.5-3 hours (+ 24 hour soaking time)
1 pound dried white navy beans (*canned beans do not work for this recipe)
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic or 2 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp grass fed ghee
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2-1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbs herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1 bunch of organic lacinato kale
Sprinkle of sea salt
Drizzle of olive oil
In a large bowl soak beans in water for 24 hrs. Once beans are tender rinse and set aside. Preheat oven to 300°. Slice leeks down the middle and rinse thoroughly to remove any trapped dirt. Dice leeks into half circles and set aside. Rinse celery and roughly chop. Mince garlic and set aside. Place a large Dutch oven on the stove top and set to medium high heat. Add ghee, allow to fully melt, and add chopped leeks, celery, and garlic to the Dutch oven. Cook vegetables until soft, ~5 to 7 minutes. Add beans, vegetable stock, 1/2 cup water, herbs, pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Take off the heat, cover with a lid or tin foil, and place in preheated oven. Cook beans for 2 1/2-3 hours or until beans are tender (not falling apart and mushy). About 1 hour into cooking, add 1/2-1 cup water as needed if beans appear dry. Once beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, cover the top of beans with grated cheeses. Place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Wash and roughly chop kale making sure to remove middle rough stem. Sprinkle kale with sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil and lightly massage until kale has reduced in size by at least 1/3. Serve warm beans over a bed of messaged kale.
Honey Sweetened Chia Seed Corn Muffins
PREP TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
Servings: 12 muffins
1 cup yellow organic cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour (spelt would also work)
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp chia seed
3 Tbsp warm water
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven 350°. Line muffin tin with parchment liners or coat with a thin amount of coconut oil or butter to prevent the muffins from sticking. Sift corn meal, flour, baking powder, one tablespoon chia seed, and salt into a bowl and set aside. Shake coconut milk well prior to opening can to help disperse the fat. Measure out one cup coconut milk and add one tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Allow mixture to sit without stirring for 5-10 minutes. Whisk one tablespoon of the chia seed and three tablespoons warm water in a small bowl and let sit until mixture becomes thick and gelatinous. In a separate bowl melt the butter. Combine melted butter, chia seed and water mixture, and coconut milk. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until fully combined, making sure to not over mix the batter. Evenly disperse mixture into 12 muffin tins. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 mins or until toothpick come out clean and muffins are golden. Optional to add a small drizzle (~2 teaspoons total) of honey over the top of warm muffins. Serve warm or room temperature.
Fennel and Apple Slaw
PREP TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 15 mins
2 medium honey crisp apples (sweet tango or pink lady apples would also work well)
1 medium fennel bulb
1 celery stalk
1 Tbsp chopped celery leaves
1 tsp chopped fennel leaves
2 Tbsp dark pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp fresh ginger juice (or minced fresh ginger)
1/8 tsp sea salt
Remove the outer layer of the fennel and discard. To make the salad, thinly slice apple, celery, and inner fennel bulb on a mandolin or by using a sharp chefs knife and place in a large bowl. The key is to make uniform thin slices for the optimal texture. We preferred thin apple slices, diced celery and matchsticks of fennel but any thin shape will do. Chop fresh celery leaves and fennel leaves and add to bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, ginger juice, and salt then stir until fully incorporated. Pour dressing over salad and place in the fridge to cool.
*Optional to garnish plates with orange segments sprinkled with cinnamon for extra color and sweetness
Such a beautiful and satisfying holiday feast! This bean dish is so savory that you won't even believe it's vegetarian, the cornbread so sweet and crumbly, and the apple and fennel slaw a perfect, fresh crunch to round out the meal. Enjoy with good company and a thankful spirit. Good, nourishing food is definitely something to be thankful for!
Jess and Cecelia
P.S. We will be taking a break from posting next week to spend time with friends and family. See you in December!
An all time favorite snack food of ours has got to be a big bowl of homemade popcorn. It just fits all the requirements for a good snack; crunchy, salty, savory, finger food, and so much more! A huge reason we love homemade popcorn as a snack food is that it can be flavored in so many different ways, because let's face it, plain popcorn just doesn't satisfy our snacky cravings. So first let's find out why homemade, stove-top popcorn is the ONLY option before we get to our must have recipe.
During the age of convenience foods, microwave popcorn became a huge hit. Being that it is fast, easy, and cheap we can definitely see why. BUT since learning more about potential carcinogens in foods we think that microwave popcorn has really lost all of it's appeal. Microwave popcorn is definitely a no-go for us because a majority of popcorn brands in the grocery store contain terribly unhealthy ingredients. Lets start with the bag itself; most microwave popcorn bags are coated with a layer of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has labeled as a carcinogen (gross!). On many microwave popcorn ingredient lists you will find partially hydrogenated oil, pro-inflammatory genetically modified oils, artificial flavoring, and tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), a food preservative made from butane which is a toxic gas (double gross!). But don't worry! When made at home from whole corn kernels popcorn can be a healthy snack. Popcorn is considered a whole grain and good source of fiber with 3 grams of fiber per 3 cup serving. If air popped and lightly sprinkled with salt, popcorn can be a low calorie snack food. But since we focus more on quality than quantity (of portion sizes or calories) we went for a stove-top, savory flavored version. This recipe will quickly become a crowd favorite so let's get popping!
Savory Miso Popcorn
PREP TIME: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 10 mins
Servings: 12 Cups
3 oz organic popcorn kernels (about 1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp grass fed ghee
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp raw miso paste (we used chickpea, brand featured here)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
In a small bowl mix miso with olive oil until combined then set aside. In a dutch oven or deep cast iron skillet add 3 Tbsp ghee and sea salt. Turn stove top on to medium-high heat and allow ghee to melt. Add one popcorn kernel to melted oil and wait a few minutes until the kernel pops (this is how you know the oil is ready). Add 3 oz of kernels to the pan and cover with a lid. Bring the temperature down to a medium heat. While wearing oven mits, gently shake the pan back and forth to allow kernels to evenly pop. Continue doing this until you no longer hear popping. You may also lift the lid to take a peak, just be careful! While the popcorn is still hot, pour miso olive oil mixture over the top and stir to combine. We found that using your hands to gently massage the miso mixture into the popcorn worked well. Pour prepared popcorn into a large bowl and start snacking!
Well, how good was that? The miso topping really takes this popcorn to a new level adding a whole other layer of flavor and savoriness that only fermented foods like miso can provide. This popcorn really will be hard to stop eating so we suggest sharing with a friend (or many!) and pairing with a favorite movie.
Jess and Cecelia
Okay.....we know.....this is a natural food blog BUT a delicious cocktail made with seasonal, natural foods should also fit into that category, right? Or at least we think so! And you won't be finding any pre-made drink mixes in this kitchen and won't need any in yours after this recipe. Coming to you just in time as the days get shorter and the nights get colder, this drink is the perfect fit for these fall nights and upcoming holidays!
First we want to remind you that it is still apple season and there are plenty of creative ways to use the abundance! We kicked this apple juice up a notch by infusing with rosemary and vanilla bean but can think of so many more tasty possibilities. As for the spirit in this drink, gin seemed the perfect fit and lends itself well to festive fall beverages because of it's unique flavor. As many spirits, gin is distilled from grain and flavored with botanicals (or plant derived flavoring ingredients). Common to all gin is the flavor addition of juniper berries which give gin it's signature "piney" flavor so perfect for holiday drinks. Though gin is one of the broadest categories of spirits and can greatly differ in flavor profile based on the botanicals added in the distilling process. Some common botanicals added are citrus peels, licorice, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon and anise. Okay, so gin is natural and flavored with some of our favorite spices - definitely fits the bill for this food blog and many drinks to come this fall. So let's get mixing!
Rosemary Vanilla Apple Juice and Gin Cocktail
PREP TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 25 mins
Servings: 4, 5 oz cocktails
6 small or 4 large apples
2 sprigs rosemary
2" fresh vanilla bean (sliced down the center to allow the seeds to come out)
16 oz infused apple juice (above)
4 oz gin
4 tsp pure dark maple syrup
4 tsp lemon juice
4 springs rosemary
4 lemon rind twists
Splash sparkling water/plain seltzer
Using a high speed juicer, juice enough apples to make about two cups of juice. In a small saucepan add juice, rosemary, and vanilla bean. Simmer for 15 minutes until fragrant. Carefully remove rosemary and vanilla bean and place juice in the fridge to completely cool. Add ice, 4 oz infused juice, 1 oz gin, 1 tsp maple syrup, and 1 tsp lemon juice to a drink shaker or a glass jar fitted with a tight lid. Shake well and pour into a glass. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary, lemon rind twist, and top with a splash of sparkling water. Repeat until you have made four deliciously beautiful fall inspired cocktails.
Ahhhhhh.....now how good is that? The savory rosemary combines with the sweet vanilla bean and tangy apple juice to create a drink that is well, perfect. And not to mention how this infused juice allows the subtly flavored gin to really shine and create a festive fall cocktail. We suggest that you make one (or a few!) and cozy up on these fall nights. Or better yet, share this recipe with friends and family this holiday season and wow them all with your mixology skills. What can't you do now, really!?
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.