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  • Heather Crosby's Pantry To Plate + Hearty Chickpea Stew

    Heather Crosby's Pantry To Plate + Hearty Chickpea Stew

    I did a little happy dance when I heard Heather Crosby had a new book coming out! 

    Heather, creator of the beautiful online space (and book by the same name!) known as YumUniverse, is a fellow plant-lover, graduate of T. Colin Campbell's Plant-Based Nutrition course, and believer in bio-individuality. 

    She also calls West Virginia (wild and wonderful) home these days, which, in my mind, kind of makes us part-time neighbors. (Go with it, people!)

    Her latest cookbook Pantry To Plate: Improvise Meals You Love - from What You Have is a one-of-a-kind, plant-based, gluten-free recipe playbook for the home chef!

    The concept here is "choose-your-own-adventure", and Heather's 30 mix-and-match templates are just what you need to get your creative juices flowing.

    Follow the recipes exactly as they're presented, or go ahead and mix things up. The possibilities are endless! 

    Here are just a few of the lick-your-fingers (and plate!?) delicious recipes you'll find here: 


    HEARTY CHICKPEA STEW
    Serves 8+

    Now I know it's starting to warm up outside, but don't count this one out! It's the perfect meal for those slightly cooler days and evenings (thinking this'll be a good one for Sleepy Creek with the fam) and definitely warming, grounding, and nourishing for colder nights.

    As I write this, it's in the upper seventies in Baltimore, and it was really the perfect lunch today! (I had seconds and I'm already looking forward to dinner.) 

    Ingredients:
    1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
    1 yellow onion, diced
    3 stalks celery, diced
    2 carrots, diced
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme
    1 cup (15 g) lightly packed stemmed, chopped kale
    ¼ cup (60 ml) dry white wine (optional)
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    1 bay leaf
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon ground coriander I used 2 drops of my doTERRA Coriander, since I didn't have any ground on hand. 
    ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
    ¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest
    ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    5 cups (1.2 L) low-sodium vegetable stock
    3 cups (495 g) cooked chickpeas (roughly 1 cup/200 g dry; see page 11)
    1 cup (165 g) cooked wild rice, cooked (roughly 1⁄2 cup/80 g dry; see page 11)
    1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

    Fresh-cracked black pepper

    How To:

    • In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the oil and sauté the onion, celery, carrots, and thyme for 7 to 10 minutes, until softened and browning.
    • Add the kale; sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the wine (if using), lemon juice, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, zest, and cinnamon; stir for 2 minutes, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Fold in the chickpeas and wild rice—cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the salt and then transfer 2 cups (480 ml) of soup (make sure the bay leaf stays in the soup pot and not in the measuring cup) to a blender and purée until smooth. Return the purée to the soup to add bulk, and stir. Reduce the heat to low and season with more salt if you like and generous pepper.
    • Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes to infuse flavor even more—serve warm and enjoy how the flavors develop every day if you have any leftovers.

    And few photos from my fun in the kitchen:

    Credits:
    Recipe from YumUniverse Pantry to Plate © Heather Crosby, 2017. 
    Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment.
    Available wherever books are sold.
    theexperimentpublishing.com

  • Butternut Kale Salad

    Butternut Kale Salad

    I've been spending a lot of time on the couch in my office this weekend. Something's hit me - and it's hanging on tight.

    The good news: I've got everything I need to tackle this thing, and I'm loading up! Garlic and raw honey. Ginger + echinacea tea. My turmeric powerhouse concoction. Miso soup. My oils. And rest!

    The bad news? I've been spending a lot of time on the couch in my office this weekend.
    Wallowing a bit, if I'm being honest.

    I can't smell.
    And I can only partially breathe (through my mouth).

    And I figure maybe if I do basically nothing, my body will have the energy to heal and recover faster.

    But it's getting boring.
    And a little frustrating.
    And: You'd think my aim would've improved by now. But, sadly, you'd be wrong.
    I guess I'm mainly just sort of throwing things in "that general direction" at this point.

    Eddie's away at his annual Alumni Soccer Game (they won!) day-long extravaganza, and our housemates are out, so it's just me here. And as much as I'd love for someone (Mom?) to come take care of me, it's just not gonna happen. 

    I decided it was time for a change of pace.
    (1) I was craving kale (need those healing greens!), and
    (2) it looked gorgeous out. (Figures.)
    Sunshine and fresh air and...kale. All good things.
    And it was up to me to make it happen.

    So I did. 
    I got dressed.
    I tied my hair up in a knot on top of my head.
    And I savored the walk (in the sunshine and the fresh air) to the market.
    It was lovely!

    And then I came home - to make a kale salad.
    I was hoping someone would bring me this one or make me this one.
    But since I never actually communicated that to anyone...
    And since it's just me here...
    I decided to throw something else together.
    And here's what I got:

    It's a winner! So I'm sharing it with you:

    BUTTERNUT KALE SALAD
    Serves 2

    Ingredients 
    4 cups baby kale, roughly chopped
    1 apple, diced small
    1 small-ish butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and diced small
    1 tablespoon olive oil + a drizzle for the diced squash
    2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I like Grade B.)
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon hemp hearts
    2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

    How-To

    • Toss diced squash in a light drizzle of olive oil (about a tablespoon) and bake at 350F for about 25 mins, until just soft.
    • While the squash bakes, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing: Olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
    • In a large bowl, combine kale, apple, baked squash, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, and dressing. Toss well to combine.

    Grab a fork and enjoy!

  • Miso Soup For The Soul

    Miso Soup For The Soul

    Who needs chicken soup when you've got miso?

    This satisfying concoction is ridiculously easy and soothingly delicious.

    But first, let's talk miso. What's so great about it?

    Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and the fungus Aspergillus oryzae, known in Japanese as kōjikin, and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. 

    Because it's fermented, miso is a natural probiotic, which is super healthy for the gut

    The World's Healthiest Foods recommends choosing certified organic soy miso, since 90% of U.S. soybeans are genetically modified (GM) these days. The "certified organic" seal offers a lower risk of unwanted contaminants. No need to mess with the bad stuff.

    Ok, ready to get cooking? 

    Ingredients:
    2 teaspoons coconut oil
    1/2 onion, sliced thinly
    2 carrots, sliced thinly
    3 cups water
    2-3 tablespoons miso
    2 portabella mushrooms, halved and sliced thinly

    1 broccoli crown, chopped into bite-size pieces
    2 sheets nori, torn into bite-size pieces
    1 avocado, sliced
    sesame seeds, to taste


    Instructions:

    • In a medium-sized pot, heat oil over low-medium heat.
    • Add onions and sauté until just translucent.
    • Add carrots and sauté until just tender.
    • Add water, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
    • Add miso, mushrooms, and broccoli, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
    • Remove from heat. Stir in nori.
    • Add avocado, to taste.
    • Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

    Enjoy!

  • Avocado Pesto Pasta

    Avocado Pesto Pasta

    This Fourth Of July was lovely!

    Skipped the fireworks and booze and parties to enjoy a peaceful, beautiful day spent with some of my best friends + a homemade meal that satisfied the belly and the soul. All set to a backdrop of motown hits and an open appreciation for the stuff that really matters in life.

    Friendship. Love. Taking care of ourselves. And taking care of others.

    The star of the dinner table was this Avocado Pesto Pasta, the ultimate in summer comfort food. It was inspired by a longing for a pesto I made while at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition last year. Soooo good! Here's a little variation on the original recipe from my mentor Meghan Telpner. 

    Ingredients:
    1 package gluten-free pasta This one's my favorite!
    1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
    1 teaspoon EVOO
    1 bunch basil leaves
    1/2 tablespoon tamari
    1/3 cup sunflower seeds
    1/3 cup olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 avocado
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 1/2 cups tomatoes, sliced
    Sea salt and pepper, to taste

    Instructions:

    • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
    • Sauté mushrooms in 1 teaspoon EVOO, until tender. Set aside.
    • Place basil, tamari, sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup olive oil, minced garlic, avocado, and lemon juice in blender. Blend until smooth.
    • Drain and transfer pasta to a large bowl. 
    • Mix in mushrooms, tomatoes, and pesto until pasta is coated and all ingredients are evenly combined.
    • Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
    • Enjoy!

    So what was YOUR favorite Fourth Of July moment? I'd love to know! I hope you had some time to rest and soak up all the love around you.