Hi friends! While creating this recipe it reminded us how little time breakfast is sometimes given in the midst of hectic schedules. This bowl is beautiful but not always practical during the mid-week rush. Though a solid breakfast meal with combined complex and simple carbohydrates, protein, and fat is so important to get your day started right and to fuel you until the next meal or snack. For those days, this recipe can stay right in the jar it was made in overnight - add some toppings right in and take the jar with you on your morning commute. And with prep the night before, it doesn't get much easier than that. This breakfast is a balanced combination to keep up with your ever busy life. If you need a reminder about how great chia is before the recipe, check out this original TGBK post.
Chia and Pear Pudding
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours
6 oz fresh pear juice
6 oz plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt
4 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 sliced pear
1/4 cup chopped raw unsalted cashews
Cinnamon sprinkle on top
In two 10-12 oz mason jars, combine half of the ingredients in each - 3 oz pear juice, 3 oz yogurt, 2 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1 Tbsp maple syrup. Screw on a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until all ingredients are combined. Allow pudding to rest and gel up in the refrigerator for at least 4 hrs, or overnight. Once the pudding has set, add sliced pears, chopped cashews, and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top of each jar. Enjoy this flavor packed, nutrient dense breakfast on the go! Chia pudding will keep in the fridge for 4 days, so why not make a double recipe for the work week? Enjoy!
Are we right? Chia pudding is a great and versatile options for an easy and satisfying breakfast. We love this variation for the addition of pear juice which adds a subtle sweetness and seasonal flavor. Once you get started with chia pudding, you may never stop!
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Cupboard
With your new chia pudding addiction you'll definitely be needing a steady supply of chia. It is easy to find and buy in bulk:
One of our all time favorite ingredients has got to be miso paste, especially miso made from alternative ingredients other than soybean like this chickpea miso from South River (here). Though soybean is the most popular miso paste found in stores, we love the complexity of flavors in the different varieties of miso we've tried. Miso is a fermented food so it is slightly sour and tangy and also very salty as it is traditionally used as a base for soups and broth. We also love it as an ingredient for sauces, dressings, and even on popcorn (remember this recipe?)! This time around we opted for a hearty and bright bowl because when you're really hungry nothing is more satisfying than a dose of grains + protein slathered in salty goodness, or at least we think so. Join us!
PREP TIME: 50 mins
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut flakes
2 cups shelled edamame
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp chili paste
Quick Pickled Radishes
1 large radish, we used a large watermelon radish
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp fresh ginger juice
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
3/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp miso paste, we used our favorite chickpea miso from South River Miso Co
4 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Begin by making the quick pickled radishes. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to thinly slice radish into uniform circles. Place sliced radishes, apple cider vinegar, water, ginger juice, chopped cilantro, and salt in a bowl and toss to coat. Allow radishes to marinate in the brine for at least 15 minutes or longer while you prepare the rest of the dish.
Cook rice according to package then fluff with a fork and set aside. In a medium pan set to low heat, add coconut flakes and toast until light golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove toasted coconut from the heat and add to the fluffed rice.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan set to medium heat add edamame, sesame seeds, sesame oil and chili paste and cook until mixture is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make the dressing, combine the miso paste, water, and lemon juice and whisk until fully combined.
This dish can be served family style on a larger platter or in individual bowls. Place toasted coconut rice on a platter and top with edamame and radishes (without the brine). Sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with a drizzle of miso dressing. Serve warm or cold. If you do not plan to serve this all at once, keep each element of the dish separate and prepare just prior to eating. Left overs will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
This dish is as stunning as it is satisfying with a pop of bright colors perfect for the coming spring season. Though while the nights stay cold, we hope these hearty flavors topped with salty miso dressing will be the soul warming you need.
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Cupboard
Did you notice the gorgeous mini porcelain pitcher we used for our miso dressing? Because hey, presentation is everything! If you want something similar for your kitchen, head to Anthropologie --> Kitchen & Dining. Happy shopping :)
Soup's on! We had so much fun creating this soup this week. Back in the fall we used peanut in a pureed soup (recipe here) and loved it so much that we just had to do it again with a stew. One thing that really stands out when looking at the pictures of this recipe is, you got it, the colors! What a vibrant and beautiful way to brighten these dark winter days. Also more colors (natural of course) = more variety of nutrients. How much better can food really get?
Mixed Vegetable Peanut Stew
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 cups cubed sweet potato
2 medium carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 medium red onion, chopped
1-2 inch fresh jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and minced
3 Tbsp ginger root, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
32 oz low sodium vegetable stock
2 roasted red peppers blended with 2 cups water
6 oz tomato paste
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 bunch of kale or 3 large leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp hot sauce, we used sriracha
1, 15.5 oz package sprouted organic tofu
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 bunch fresh cilantro
Wash and peel sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion. Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2" x 1/2" cubes then set aside. Cut carrots into 2" long matchsticks and dice the onion then set aside.
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add cubed sweet potato, carrots, onion, and jalapeno to the pot and cook stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent and the sweet potato and carrots soften, about 10-12 minutes.
Next, add the ginger, garlic, and salt to the pot and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the vegetable stock, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a high speed blender add roasted red peppers with 2 cups water, tomato paste, and peanut butter and blend on high until smooth. Add blender contents to the soup pot and stir to combine.
Add the chopped kale and tofu cubes to the pot and continue to cook for an additional 5-10 minutes on low heat.
Serve soup with chopped peanuts and cilantro on top. Any left over soup will keep well in the fridge in an air tight container for 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat soup simply allow soup to thaw and place in a pot on the stove top set to medium heat and cook until warmed through.
We hope you love the flavors of this stew as much as we do. Bold, bright and earthy all at once with a kick of spice from the jalapeno and hot sauce and a depth of savory flavor from the peanut butter. The bright colors and flavors are our survival gift to you for these winter months.
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Pantry
Less than $20 for 54 ounces of unrefined, cold-pressed, organic coconut oil. Yes please!
Hi friends! How are things going with well intended New Year's resolutions set over a week ago now? Success rates can definitely be variable, but don't be hard on yourself! Resolutions are intentions to do something differently but shouldn't be a reason to feel discouraged if you aren't always reaching (sometimes lofty) goals. Jess had a resolution last year, for example, that she is still working on this year. She wanted to make more foods homemade and use less pre-made foods. Seems like something she already does a great job at as a recipe blogger, but hey, there is always room for improvement! Last year she started making homemade bread weekly instead of buying pre-made loaves. This year she is tackling snack foods - like this week's recipe. Pre-made snack bars are abundant in stores but don't always contain ideal ingredients. Like other pre-made snacks, snack bars can contain fillers and preservatives that won't be necessary if making homemade. With homemade snacks you can completely control the quality and quantity of ingredients used and are free to use any variety of your favorite foods. These snack bars we loaded with our favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, and just the right amount of sugar ingredient to hold together. The result inspired us to keep on Jess's (and now our) homemade food journey this year. Does this sound like a resolution you might want to make (or swap for another you had)? Join us!
Also a quick note on an interesting ingredient we used this week - poppy seeds. We love poppy seeds for obvious seed reasons (plant protein, dietary fiber, etc.) but also for their unique nutty flavor and crunch. A delicious and unique addition to baked goods and homemade bars like these. This ingredient is also intriguing for the drama it can cause (yes, drama!). Because poppy seeds come from the same plant - the opium poppy - used to make heroin and opiates, poppy seeds contain trace amounts of opiate. This amount of opiate is not enough to have a narcotic affect when consumed in dietary amounts but can confuse results of drug testing. After consuming poppy seeds a drug test may test positive for opiate, which can't be distinguished from poppy seed vs opioid medication source (see, drama). Also notable, the sap from the opium poppy plant is what's used to make drugs NOT the seeds though it can be illegal to grow the poppy plant. We recommend buying (instead of producing) your poppy seeds juuust to be safe. We like and use Bob's Red Mill brand (you can get it legally here).
Chewy Poppy Seed Bars
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes
Servings: 12-14 bars
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup poppy seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup prunes, chopped
Sprinkle of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper that is cut to the exact shape of the bottom of pan with a 1-2" overhang on both edges then lightly coat the parchment paper on the bottom and sides of the pan with coconut oil and set aside. This step is important in making sure the bars come out of the pan easily.
In the prepared pan, add the nuts, seeds, and chopped prunes and stir mixture to uniformly combine then set aside.
In a medium sauce pan, add the honey, coconut sugar, and coconut oil and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly. Continue to boil the mixture for 3-4 minutes then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Avoid boiling over 4 minutes given you may burn the honey and the longer you boil the mixture, the harder the bars will be.
Carefully pour the hot honey mixture over the nut, seed, and dried fruit mix and stir until evenly combined. Level the top of the mixture with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with sea salt then place in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow bars to fully cool, about 45-60 minutes or overnight before cutting into them. Store bars individually wrapped in parchment paper in an air tight container for up to 7 days. Note bars will hold together better if refrigerated.
These bars are chewy but crunchy, sweet and salty, and completely satisfying from the mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, and simple sugars. If you keep the ratios similar, feel free to replace the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit with your favorites and share your variations. Here's to a year of homemade food experiments in 2018!
Jess and Cecelia
In Our Pantry
You may be stocked with many of these seeds but if not here are some easy links. Remember, buying in bulk always saves money!
Happy New Year friends! As you may be able to tell from the pictures, this recipe was intended for Christmas morning. However, time got away from us at the holidays and we are finally getting to share today, as our first post in 2018. Better late than never, are we right? Same goes for any resolution or intention you set for the New Year, or that you set last year and may still need some work on (wink, wink). If there is something you want to do, a recipe you want to make, a place you want to visit (etc) that you've been putting off, the time is now! Better late than never so set your mind to it for this year. Maybe start with making this special cake and see where it leads, you never know...
Christmas Coffee Cake
PREP TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 16 Slices
1 1/2 + 1/6 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 cup cane sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup cooked carrot puree (pureed pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potato would also work)
1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (or nut of your choice)
Dusting of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9" x 13" baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan with coconut oil then set aside. Wash, peel, and chop carrots then place in a steaming basket set in a pan with water over medium heat and steam carrots until tender, about 12-15 minutes. Remove carrots from the steaming basket and place in a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth then set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon and stir to combine. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: cane sugar, melted coconut oil, carrot puree, eggs, water, and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until evenly combined, avoid over mixing. Stir in the coconut flakes, chocolate chips, and walnuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow cake to cool for about 15 minutes then sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and cut into desired shape (we chose diamonds - see above). Serve cake warm or room temperature. Store leftovers in an air tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
This cake is light and fluffy though decadent with subtle sweet and spicy flavors. A treat to enjoy at holidays or anytime a treat is in order. We wish for you all a happy and healthy New Year and send a gentle nudge toward anything you may have been putting off in 2017 that it is time to just do!
Jess and Cecelia
Hi friends! We hope you had a great holiday last week and enjoyed some great eats like we did. With it being that time of year when it starts to get colder and darker, we've noticed a shift in our recipes to some "cozier" foods. Rich flavors, warm dishes, and hearty meals are just what we are craving during this transition in seasons. This recipe for example includes hearty fall greens and starchy beans with a rich but still bright white wine sauce. Let's get to it.
Hearty Greens N' Beans
PREP TIME: 10 minutes (plus 8 hours to soak beans)
TOTAL TIME: 60-90 minutes, includes cooking beans* (plus 8 hours to soak beans)
2/3 cup dried beans, ~2 cups cooked (we used a variety of heirloom beans, however any dried bean would work)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 small red onions, diced
2 large or 4 small cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp stone ground mustard
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 large bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
3 small endive, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Shaved Parmesan to taste (~2 oz or 1/2 oz per dish)
Pre-soak beans in room temperature water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse beans, cover with water in a large pot, and gently boil for at least one hour* or until soft. In a medium sauté pan set to medium heat, add olive oil and chopped onion and sauté until translucent and golden on the edges, ~10 minutes. Add minced garlic and mustard to the pan and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add wine to de-glaze the pan, then add the vegetable stock and turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the cooked beans, chopped kale and endive, and salt and pepper then simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the greens are somewhat wilted and bright green in color. Remove from the heat, add chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan and serve immediately. This dish is best eaten the same day it is cooked.
*Cooking times will vary depending on the beans used and may take 1-3 hours to fully cook
Well there you have it, a warming and cozy but still completely nutritious dish. Though containing mostly greens and beans, this dish feels extra hearty and rich from the flavorful herb and wine sauce. If you're looking to make this meal extra cozy, serve over pasta or with fresh bread. Go on, get cozy!
Jess and Cecelia
It is apple picking season and you know what that means, an abundance of apples! If you're like us there is no such thing as self control when there are so many varieties of fresh from the tree, local apples to choose from. With that being said, we have to get creative in ways to use all these apples. Apple slices with nut butter will always be a favorite but we love finding new and exciting ways to enjoy this fabulous fall fruit. It's also interesting how different varieties lend themselves to different types of recipes depending on their flavor profile. For this recipe (which is also a unique use of oatmeal might we add), a tart apple variety worked perfect for the bottom of the bake and a sweeter apple for the raw slices on top. So pick your favorites and let's get to it!
Baked Apple Oatmeal
PREP TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 90 minutes
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened toasted shaved coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flax seeds mixed with 4 Tbsp water + 2 Tbsp ginger juice)
1 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk (or milk alternative of your choice)
1/2 cup no sugar added apple sauce
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil + 1 tsp to oil the pan
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large tart apples, chopped into 1"x 1" pieces (~3 cups)
1 small sweet apple, sliced thin (optional topping)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9"X9" glass pan with coconut oil. Wash and chop apples into 1"x1" squares and place in the bottom of the prepared pan.
In a large bowl combine oats, toasted coconut, chopped walnuts, ground cinnamon, and baking powder then mix well until combined.
In a separate bowl whisk flax seeds with water and ginger juice and let sit for about 5 minutes or until gelatinous. Add soy milk, apple sauce, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract to the flax seed eggs and whisk until combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. Spread oatmeal mixture over the chopped apples making sure they are fully covered. Place pan in preheated oven and bake for 60 minutes. Remove oatmeal from the oven, allow to set and slightly cool for ~5 minutes. Layer top with apple slices if desired and enjoy!
Oatmeal is great by itself, on top of yogurt or ice cream, or in a bowl with additional milk. Leftover oatmeal can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge and reheated in the microwave for 60 seconds or placed back in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Oatmeal will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Though this recipe may look unassuming, it tastes SO good. The warm baked apples meld perfectly with the hearty oatmeal and finish with a fresh crunch of sweet apple topping. Can be enjoyed for breakfast/brunch though may be best enjoyed over vanilla ice cream for dessert (wink, wink).
Any way you choose - enjoy,
Jess and Cecelia
A whole new season of recipes is upon us here in Chicago and we can barely contain our excitement. And why should we!? The abundance of fall produce has sparked our creativity as we dream up hearty and festive ways to utilize the new ingredients. One of our ultimate fall favorites, squash. With so many varieties to choose from the recipe ideas are almost endless. We decided to start with something simple and familiar. A recipe that lends itself to your favorite squash variety. We used butternut for our hummus but know that the recipe would be just as great with acorn squash or pumpkin. We look forward to a fun filled fall with you!
Spicy Squash Hummus
PREP TIME: 35-40 mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins
1 can organic chick peas
1 cup cooked squash (we used butternut squash)
1/4 cup tahini paste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 tsp drizzled on top
1 Tbsp sriracha sauce + 1 tsp drizzled on top
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half, lengthwise then place on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until inside is soft. Scoop out the inside of the squash and place in a bowl to the side to cool to room temperature. Combine chick peas, 1 cup cooled squash, tahini, olive oil, sriracha, garlic, cumin, and salt in a blender and process on high until a smooth hummus is formed. Scoop out hummus into a bowl or platter and drizzle with additional olive oil and sriracha. Hummus can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge in an air tight container. Any left overs can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
The squash addition makes this hummus SO creamy and provides a stunning pop of color. Though the flavor is mild and similar to traditional hummus, exactly why we decided to mix it up with a spicy ingredient. And don't forget about the extra nutrients (specifically vitamin A - more on that coming in another post this season) that you'll get by adding this simple, seasonal ingredient.
Jess and Cecelia
The school year is back in full swing which means, for many, a change in schedules very different from the lazy days of summer. For those of you finding the adjustment difficult - this recipe is for you! A delicious breakfast drink combining protein, natural sugar, and your morning dose of caffeine. Perfect for the hectic days where time is too precious to be making separate breakfast and coffee (we get it).
Sweet and Creamy Cold Brew Smoothie
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 5 minutes
Servings: one 8 oz smoothie
6 oz unflavored cold brew coffee, homemade or store bought
1 Tbsp cashew butter
2 medjool dates
1/4 vanilla bean or 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
In a high speed blender combine cold brew, cashew butter, dates, and vanilla and blend on high speed for 30-60 seconds. Add blender contents to a drink shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously to chill the smoothie then pour
through a strainer into a glass. Sip chilled smoothie and enjoy!
We hope this recipe makes your busy days just a little bit easier. The creamy texture combined with sweet coffee flavor may make this a recipe you enjoy on more that just your busy days - it's that good.
Jess and Cecelia
We got to counting the other day and realized that TGBK now features almost 150 recipes on our site! Not to boast (well maybe a little), but we've got tons of great recipe options of all different varieties and skill levels. Some of our recipe preparations are complex and call for lesser known ingredients though we love the simplicity of one step, few ingredient recipes too. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best because they allow the featured ingredient to really shine - this week, zucchini. Their abundance in home gardens or at farmers markets this time of year can lead to the inevitable question, what to do with all this zucchini? This recipe was born of just that question and with simplicity in mind. Similar but a unique alternative to the popular zucchini noodles.
Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2-4 servings
4 medium zucchini
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon, ~2 tsp
1 tsp green curry powder (red curry powder will also work)
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Use a vegetable peeler or mandolin set on 1/8" setting to peel or slice zucchini into ribbons. Combine zucchini ribbons in a bowl with lemon juice, curry powder, and salt and pepper. Enjoy immediately at room temperature or this salad can be saved in the fridge for up to one day.
Zucchini prepared this way is just so good! The texture is soft but with a fresh crunch, the flavor light and bright, and the presentation is well, gorgeous. The seasoning can be adjusted to whatever you have or like as zucchini is mild and takes to flavor well. Swap out the curry powder for basil and oregano and you've got an Italian take on this zucchini salad. Zucchini is the perfect late summer food "canvas" for your flavor creations and the possibilities are endless.
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.