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Sweet + Spicy Brussels Sprouts

I’m an olive oil/salt/pepper savory roasted veggie type of gal, but I wanted to come up with something a little different with some special “treat yo’ self” vibes as the holiday season is approaching. This recipe couldn’t be easier and the combination of salty, sweet and heat with the pecans bringing the texture is amazing. These Brussels sprouts are going to be especially welcome on the Thanksgiving table to bring a pop of green amongst the delicious but bland in color sea of traditional Thanksgiving foods!

Sweet + Spice Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: ~30 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:
~1 Lb Brussels Sprouts
1/4 – 1/2 Cup Pecan Halves
2 Tsp Hot Sauce (I used Syrachacuse Syracuse Style Hot Sauce from our new brick + mortar neighbors, Syrachacuse!)
2.5 Tbsp Real Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Garlic Powder

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425. Wash and trim the ends of Brussels Sprouts, making sure to remove any damaged leaves. Slice in half length wise.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place pecans on baking sheet. When the oven is up to temperature, place the baking sheet with the pecans in the oven in a middle rack for 3 minutes.

3. While the pecans cook, make the sauce for the Brussels Sprouts by combining the hot sauce, maple syrup, liquid aminos, olive oil and garlic powder.

4. Pour the sauce over the Brussels Sprouts and stir well.

5. Remove the pecans and set aside.

6. Using the same baking sheet/parchment paper, pour out Brussels Sprouts and all of the sauce onto the baking sheet (it may look like a bit of a runny mess, but that is okay)!

Look at how the sauce is soaked up by the Brussels and caramelizes! YUM.


7. Bake for 30 minutes at 425, stirring once half way through. Remove from the oven and combine with the pecans. I broke my pecans up into smaller pieces. Serve warm or room temperature!

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Simple + Healthy Blueberry Pancakes – Gluten Free

In our house, Sunday mornings are for slow starts, good coffee and hearty breakfasts. I like to stay in comfy clothes, make something a little more special to eat and plot out the coming week. These Simple + Healthy Blueberry Pancakes are definitely Sunday morning worthy, but they are really simple enough to make any day of the week and you could double or triple this recipe to have leftovers for easy weekday breakfasts. These pancakes are packed with calcium, vitamin A, protein and fiber. Aside from being the perfect addition to these pancakes, Blueberries are also a good source of fiber and micronutrients like vitamins C and K.

Simple + Healthy Blueberry Pancakes – Gluten Free

Serves 2 (3 pancake servings)
Prep Time: 2 Minutes
Cook Time: ~8 Minutes

Ingredients:

½ Cup of Instant Oatmeal (Woodstock Organic is my favorite!)
1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
1 Ripe Banana
1 Tsp Baking Powder
Optional: 1 Tsp Vanilla
1 Cup Blueberries

Instructions:

1. Place all ingredients besides the blueberries in a blender. Blend for roughly 30 seconds or until smooth.

2. Spray or lightly oil a nonstick pan over high heat.

3. Pour the pancake mixture into the pan into three or six equal sized portions. If you can only fit three in your pan, you will need to do a second batch!

4. Cook for four minutes. Using a spatula, lift the edge to check for doneness. If the pancake is cooked through on the bottom, flip the pancake over and continue to cook on the other side for another four minutes.

5. When pancakes are done, top with some real maple syrup, yogurt, honey, more fresh berries, nut butter, or whatever you are in the mood for! These can be made ahead, stored in the fridge and microwaved for a quick weekday breakfast, too.

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Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Nothing says summer like having copious amounts of Zucchini (and tomatoes and peppers)! To keep from getting sick of having such a bounty, it is important to switch it up and try using this item in new ways. This zucchini ribbon salad utilizes raw green and yellow zucchini, picked while still small and tender and before the seeds get huge and out of control. This is the perfect addition to any meal or also great for lunch!

Zucchini Ribbon Salad
Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Rest Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:
3 Small Zucchini/Squash (I used 2 green and 1 yellow, any combination is fine!)
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp Onion Powder
A small dab of honey
Ground Black Pepper
Salt
2-3 Tbsp Chopped Walnuts
1 Oz Goat Cheese, crumbled
Scallions or Chives

Instructions:

1. Wash and dry the zucchini. Chop off both ends. Using a good, sharp vegetable peeler or a mandolin, cut thin ribbons lengthwise down the zucchini, discarding the first piece that is all skin. When you reach the seeds, flip the zucchini over and start the same process on the other side. (I have found that the green variety tend to have fewer seeds). Once the piece of zucchini gets too thin to create ribbons or you have reached seeds, discard or better yet, set aside to use in a different recipe, like this amazing zucchini bread from Cookie + Kate!

2. Place the ribbons in a colander and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Give the zucchini ribbons a stir to distribute the salt. Let sit for 20 minutes to drain out some of the excess water. During this time, you can prep your dressing by combing the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, onion powder and honey. Set aside. You can also toast your walnuts if you’d like. I recommend toasting them as it really brings out the flavor!

3. Using a lint free dish towel (a tea towel) or paper towels, gently pat the zucchini ribbons to remove any excess moisture. Transfer the ribbons to a bowl.

4. Pour the dressing onto the ribbons and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with goat cheese, walnuts and some chopped chives or scallions!

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Summery Peach Tomato Salad

Some foods simply taste like summer! Every year the thought f more and more food items that I am able to buy being grown locally as the summer progresses excites me. Locally grown tomatoes, peaches and fresh picked herbs are some of my favorites. This super simple summer salad is a little unexpected and a lot delicious!

Summery Peach Tomato Salad
Makes 4 Servings
Time: 10 Minutes

2 Peaches, pit removed and sliced into 1/4 inch thick wedges
2 Tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick wedges
1/4 of a red onion, sliced thinky
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Small Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, thinly sliced
Salt + Pepper To Taste
Optional: Crumbled Blue Cheese

Instructions:
1. Add peaches, tomatoes and red onion to a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining ingredients to make a dressing.
2. Pour the dressing over the peach, tomato, red onion mixture. Serve with crumbled blue cheese on the side if you’d like!

If you have leftovers, try it over a bed of arugula for lunch the next day!

 

 

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Favorite Vegetable Soup

Growing up, both of my parents made awesome versions of tomato based soups. My mom’s version was packed with veggies and had mini pasta in it and my dad’s version was more rich with oxtail in it. Quick side note – I always wondered about the origins of this soup since my Dad was born and raised in Shanghai and the soup seemed like something you’d find in the US…I stumbled upon this recipe from my favorite Chinese food blog that details the origins of the recipe my dad would make and the western influences on the recipe…if you eat meat, it’s definitely worth giving a try! Since I don’t eat meat and I have a gluten sensitivity, I have been on a quest through the dreary winter months to create an awesome tomato based vegetable soup packed with both flavor and nutrients. This super simple recipe came to be after reading a ton of different classic vegetable soup and minestrone soup recipes. I love making a big batch because it tastes even better the next day and is one of my favorite lunches!

Nutrient Packed Favorite Vegetable Soup

Makes 8 Servings

One sweet onion, chopped
Two carrots, peeled and chopped
Two stalks of celery, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
28 oz can diced tomatoes
32 oz container (4 cups) of veggie broth
2 cups of water
1 large potatoes, diced
1 15 oz can cannellini/garbanzo/kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium zucchini, diced
1 12 oz bag of frozen mixed veggies (about 2 1/4 cup)
2 large handfuls of chopped kale
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
Salt + pepper to taste

1. Cook the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil for five minutes over high heat, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.

2. Add in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook on medium heat for ~3 minutes.

3. Add in the canned tomatoes with their juice, the vegetable broth, the water and the potatoes. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Let boil for five minutes, covered.

4. Add in the zucchini, beans and frozen vegetables. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add in the kale. Stir. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Top with Parmesan if you want!