Unleavened Almond Bread

I apparently don’t read directions well, which is why my stash of unleavened bread ended up molding with a few days to go (fridge, schmridge). So Sabbath morning I needed to make something to take me through the last few Days of Unleavened Bread.

Unleaved Almond Bread

I considered just making the same soft unleavened sandwich bread that I’d made a few days earlier, but decided something a little sweeter was in order. My Aunt Paula had sent me this recipe, one of their favorites, so I gave it a try.

Unleaved Almond Bread with Honey

I’m a sucker for almond flavor to begin with, and this was super simple to whip up. I took the sugar amount down a little, but it’s up to you how sweet you want it. I also used a combination of white flour, whole wheat flour, and almond meal, which gave it an awesome texture. All-in-all, this one’s a keeper! [Read more...]

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Soft Unleavened Sandwich Bread

My family has one—and only one—unleavened bread recipe (not counting desserts).  That’s cottage cheese rolls, and they’re awesome. But they’re a little labor-intensive for me most of the time, and we needed a second kind of bread for the Night to Be Much Observed.

Soft Unleavened Sandwich Bread

I had to throw something together quickly but none of the recipes I found were really exciting me—either too much work, too many ingredients, or too much time. Then I found this one, and decided to give it a try. It was super easy and fast, good flavor, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I’ll definitely be re-visiting this one later this week!

soft unleavened sandwich bread ingredients [Read more...]

Kale & Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta

As I mentioned in my last post, last weekend I made a few healthy additions to my lifestyle, things I felt like I could manage. The first was guzzling a full glass of water before getting up every morning, and the second was making sure I ate a healthy breakfast every day. I also started to make sure I took vitamins every day.

This meal was about the last one—trying to eat more raw foods.

Kale & Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta

Cooking foods can make them more delicious, but can also destroy valuable nutrients and enzymes. That’s not to say you should never eat anything cooked, but adding more raw foods to your diet (such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts) can significantly up the amount of benefits you’re getting from your food.

Kale & Walnut Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta & Flax

Of course, the best way to really get the most out of your food is to make sure you’re buying local and organic, since the longer since a food has been harvested, the more it loses. That’s not always feasible—either financially or availability-wise—but I am trying to get certain things organic, such as apples and carrots (two of the worst pesticide-contaminated foods).

This dino kale was in my CSA box, so it’s both local and organic. Rather than sauteeing it up like I normally do, I decided to puree it with some raw walnuts, garlic, salt, olive oil, and a little ground flaxseed for a different take on pesto. Toss with some curly whole wheat pasta, and you get the best of both worlds—cooked whole grains with a potent creamy raw sauce. [Read more...]

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Last weekend I decided to make a few changes. Little changes. Healthy changes.

Oatmeal Flaxseed Chocolate Chip Muffin

By and large I lead a fairly healthy life—I eat well, exercise a lot, take care of myself (except the working too much and lack of sleep). But I’ve slipped into some bad habits (*coughtoobusyforbreakfastcough*) and feel like my body isn’t quite firing on all cylinders. But since I’m pretty overwhelmed with life right now, I knew I couldn’t do anything that required too much thought or effort.

oatmeal flaxseed chocolate chip muffin chooclate chips

So I made a list last weekend of a few things I was going to work on during the week. The first has turned out to be somewhat life-changing. It’s simple—before I go to bed I fill up a big glass with water and put it by my bed, and the minute I wake up, I down it. I’m not allowed to get out of bed until that glass of water is gone. And boy, is it crazy what that will do to purify and rev your system!

Oatmeal Flaxseed Chocolate Chip Muffins

The second is pretty simple, too, and is something I used to be good about. I made sure I had a quality breakfast every single day at work. Some mornings this was a smoothie with fruit and greens and yogurt, and other days it was these delicious, high-fiber muffins. [Read more...]

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Kale

The CSA box I got a couple weeks ago was—much like the rest of us here in Georgia—stuck between summer and winter. There were some delightful strawberries and spring-y butter lettuce, but a couple of sweet potatoes as well. I don’t give sweet potatoes much thought, generally, but the timing seemed perfect since I’d just pinned this recipe.

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Kale

I’ve been really trying to focus on cooking and eating healthy when I’m at home (minus a few Chinese food-palooza Satuday nights), particularly since I’ve had a rash of delicious but indulgent lunches and dinners for work.

This recipe seemed to balance my need for comfort food that (especially chilly) day, but the presence of whole wheat pasta and adding creamy sweet potato to the sauce upped the healthy quotient.

creamy sweet potato pasta with crispy kale shallot garlic

Shallots, amirite?!

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta with Crispy Kale finished

The sauce also has deeeelicious sauteed garlic and shallots to make a super flavorful base. I had a little trouble with the crispy kale (left it in the oven too long…yikes!) but overall this was simple and awesome and totally satisfying. [Read more...]

Grandma’s Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

I don’t like banana bread.

There—I said it.

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Cue the shock and hand-wringing and exclamations of my lack of humanity. I’ve heard it all. But I still don’t like banana bread.

grandma's chocolate chip banana bread chocolate chips walnuts

THIS banana bread, however, is pretty freaking awesome.

Grandma's Chocolate Chip Banana Bread sliced

I got the chance to fly out to eastern Washington in late January with my dad to visit my Grandma and some other family on his side. I see most of them maaayyybe every decade, often longer, so it was a great chance to catch up and reconnect. My grandma had based some banana bread that I ended up snacking on all weekend. It was dense and moist, like a flat little cake, and studded with chocolate chips. I loved it.

She gave me her recipe and I played with it a little, including using all whole wheat flour, leaving out the coconut (partly because I forgot), and using dark chocolate chips. I also baked it in two shallow dishes instead of making a regular-size loaf, which I think actually was the best thing I could have done for even cooking and keeping everything moist. [Read more...]

Black Bean Brownies with Honey – The Runner-Up

Last week, I shared my perfected black bean brownies recipe. They’ve got amazing texture, taste great, have more protein and fiber than regular brownies, and aren’t packed with sugar (like most black bean brownie recipes are). You’d never even know they have beans in them and are gluten-free.

Black Bean Brownies made with honey

But I wanted to share the runner-up in my weeks-long search as well. These brownies are great in their own right, though they’ve got a different texture than the others. They’re very moist and light, very fudge-y. The big difference? These are made with honey instead of sugar.

Black Bean Brownies with honey

The reason these couldn’t win the top spot is that the honey does change the texture a little. Specifically, it’s white sugar that gives the tops of the brownies that crisp, slightly crackly look, and you just can’t replicate that with honey.

Black Bean Brownies with honey baked

But if you’re trying not to use white sugar, this recipe is a great alternative. 

Black Bean Brownies with honey done

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8×8 pan. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into the pan, sprinkle with the chocolate and peanut butter chips, and bake for 43-47 minutes.

Black Bean Brownies made with honey bite

The brownies should be solid, shouldn’t really wiggle at all when shaken. Let come to room temperature before cutting and serving.

Black Bean Brownies (made with honey)

Makes 8×8 pan; for 9×13, double everything

  • 1 can of black beans (drained, well-rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of instant espresso or coffee powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of honey
  • Optional:  dark chocolate chips & peanut butter chips for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pour all ingredients. Process until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan and sprinkle wiht the chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Bake for 43-47 minutes. Cooked brownies will be solid, fragrant, and dark, and will not jiggle when the pan is shaken. Allow brownies to cool to room temperature before cutting.

Original recipe here

Perfect Black Bean Brownies

So, I have been on the hunt for the perfect black bean brownie recipe. Why, you ask? Honestly, I’m not sure. I got it into my head a couple months ago after I tried out my healthy deep-dish chocolate chip cookie pie, which is also chock-full of fiber and gluten-free. Having friends who are gluten-sensitive, I’m always on the lookout for dessert recipes for dinner parties.

Perfect Black Bean Brownies

I’d seen people pin different black bean brownie recipes, but every time I checked out the ingredients I was shocked at how much sugar they called for—I guess to compensate for the lack of other unhealthy things. So I started browsing through all sorts of recipes and trying several of them find one that was still fairly healthy without compromising on taste or texture.

AND I HAVE FOUND IT.

Perfect Black Bean Brownies baked

These brownies are perfect. They’re fudge-y and rich but light and not too sweet, and just as good days later as they were fresh out of the oven. My co-workers were shocked when I told them that they were gluten-free and made of beans. You also blend all the ingredients in a food processor, so there are no bowls to clean, no stirring—just blend, pour, and bake.

FAQs (because I can hear you asking):  Do these brownies taste like beans? No. Do they have a weird texture? No. Will anyone be able to tell they have beans in them? No. Will they make me toot? Possibly…that’s really between you and your intestines.

[Read more...]

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Salmon

It feels like spring! I think the weather is finally turning for good, and this weekend was truly glorious. I was tempted to pull out my grill, but instead went for a meal that was bright and happy—salmon and okra. If that doesn’t say “spring in the South” to you, I don’t know what does.

Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Salmon

Bright red wild-caught sockeye salmon from Alaska is dusted with freshly-ground salt and pepper, then packed with minced fresh garlic and rosemary (from my own herb garden!) and roasted for a few minutes to bring all the flavors together. Fast, easy, and healthy. Add a side of roasted okra, and that’s a happy Sunday night.

rosemary & garlic roasted salmon garlic rosemary whole

rosemary & garlic roasted salmon garlic minced

rosemary & garlic roasted salmon rosemary minced

Peel and finely mince the garlic, then strip the rosemary leaves and mince them as well.

rosemary & garlic roasted salmon assembled

It’s good to leave your salmon out of the fridge for 20 minutes or so, to let it come to room temperature. Place in a pan or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the salmon, then add the rosemary and garlic (press down a little to keep it from falling off). [Read more...]

Coq au Riesling

Having family stay with me always means I’m going to try something special in the kitchen. This one had been at the top of the list for quite a while. But while it seems kind of fancy (it’s a little like the chicken version of boeuf bourguignon), it’s actually not that difficult or time consuming. And it tastes awesome.

Coq au Riesling with Mashed Potatoes

This dish’s flavor combination is so rich and layered—you build a base of the bacon and onions and garlic sauteed in butter and oil, simmer for a while with some sweet white wine, then finish the whole thing with some cream. It’s rich, but not overly so—the mushrooms and chicken keep it from becoming too much.

coq au riesling garlic

You can serve as you see fit, over rice or pasta or mashed potatoes. While I’m not really a mashed potato person, my garlic mashed potatoes were the perfect foil for the sauce (which is fairly runny). You probably do need to serve it over something, though, or the sauce will be hard to corral. [Read more...]

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