Category Archives: Uncategorized

Farmer’s Market Kale Salad

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Every ingredient in this salad came from our Sunday farmer’s market, except for the dressing.   This salad radiates summer.   The yellow tomatoes have the perfect sweetness.  I am not usually big on tomatoes but I was popping these into my mouth like candy.  We tried to tell the kids they were nature’s version of a skittle in hopes that they would try one.   They were having nothing of it.   Big surprise.

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I could eat this salad everyday.   You can’t help but feel healthy after a salad like this.

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I am sure the Farmer’s Markets in California are going to blow me away.    In two weeks we leave Crested Butte with a little heaviness in our hearts for our year in Northern California.   We are ready.   I love change and it’s definitely something I got from my dad.  Even though it makes me a little uneasy, the new experience is always worth it.   I can’t think of a more fitting place to study natural and holistic cooking.    I look forward to writing about our adventures in California and teaching you what I learn along the way.

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My blog is getting a makeover and hopefully by my next post you will see a new and improved Greens and Sweet Things.

Enjoy!

Farmer’s Market Kale Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients
    • 5-6 Large Kale Leaves
    • 5-6 leaves of basil, chiffonade
    • 1 cup of green beans
    • 1 cup of  yellow grape tomatoes
    • 1/4 cucumber, sliced and quartered
    • 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
Dressing
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Good Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions-

Steam the green beans for 2-3 minutes and then place in a bowl with ice water.

Cut off the thick stem of the kale. Layer the leaves on top of each other and roll them up. Thinly slice the leaves.

Place the kale in a medium bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, green beans and basil.

Add the dressing and toss.

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

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These are slightly addictive.  A  two thumbs up kind of bar, according to  my son, Max, which says a lot.    He calls them the best granola bars.  And yes,  that makes me a happy mama.

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It took a few tries because his skeptical mind wouldn’t allow him to like them on the first try.  He started with one thumb slightly tilted downwards and my heart sank slightly.   I have been working this this recipe for a couple weeks and it was really only his opinion that mattered.   But I asked him to try it again and he gave it a thumbs 3/4 of the way up.  And then he asked me for bar.   And then another bar and then…he have them 2 thumbs up.     It’s not that I want Max to eat granola bars all the time, but when he does I would prefer that he eats the one’s I make, where I can pronounce all the ingredients and know what exactly is in them.

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He is my picky eater.   Not just healthy food picky.   He is equally picky about his treats. Or just about trying new things.   We are working on having an open mind about things.  To go into a situation thinking you might possible like it, otherwise nothing stands a chance.    It’s a hard concept to grasp, even for adults.

But it is his lunch that I have to pack, his soccer practice snacks, his opinion that matters most.   Of course, I sincerely hope you all enjoy them too.   And I am happy that my husband, Eric, has taken such a liking to them.    There is currently one granola bar left in the jar in the refrigerator.    I wonder which of them will get to it first.

With this recipe,  I may forever be done buying store bought granola bars. Read the rest of this entry

Tuna and Kalamata Olive Salad

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It’s been a while.   It is really nice to be back on the blog.   I  hope you are all enjoying Spring wherever you are.   I just returned from 2 amazing weeks at the beach and feel so refreshed and ready to go.   Early morning walks on the beach are one of my favorite ways to start the day.  I am going to miss that fine white sand on my toes.

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Spring at 9,000 feet is always interesting.  It was nice to see almost of all the snow melted from our driveway when we got home and a warmish sunny day to greet us.   The kids were a little disappointed that their sledding hill disappeared while we were away but they got over it pretty quick as we played soccer outside and played at the park.

So some of you might be surprised to see a recipe for tuna and wonder if you are on the right blog.  Well, you are.   Aside from being busy this winter in my ceramic studio and with the kids,  I also starting eating meat again.   I have been eating wild salmon for a while but expanded to other fish and meat.   I can’t really explain all the reasons except that I was listening to my body and well,  apparently it was craving chicken.   I was cooking chicken for Eric and the kids one night using salt, pepper and coconut oil on the stove and as I was cutting it up for the kids, I popped a piece in my mouth.   It was good,   Before I knew it,  I ate a whole piece!   And then slowly I starting eating it here and there.   We were driving to Denver one day and stopped for lunch and I was craving a tuna fish sandwich.   I hadn’t had one in several years but the craving was really intense.   So I decided to listen to my body and go for it.    That’s really how it came about.     Some of you may be surprised it wasn’t bacon that turned me.   Well,   I have enjoyed some of that too.

This blog will still be a mainly vegetarian food blog as that is what I mostly eat and cook but who knows where life and food will take me…

I am very conscious of where my meat comes from, just as I am about where my eggs come from and my vegetables and other food.   I look for non-GMO labels on food packages and I usually stick with vegetarian food when I eat out in order to avoid factory farmed meats.   I order a lot of our vegetables and meat from a nearby farmer so I know the source of my food and how the animals were raised.   I am still adamantly opposed to factory farming and think it is truly important to be aware of where our food comes from.

So there you have it.   And now for the recipe.

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This is quick and easy with lots of healthy ingredients.   I made some version of this several days while we were on the beach.  It’s great for a picnic lunch!  Parsley is not just a garnish in this recipe.  Parsley is packed with Vitamins C and B, it is great for inflammation, cleansing, and it packed with folates and anti-oxidants.   I have started to throw a handful of parsley in my morning smoothies.    The Kalamata Olives and Capers add a nice bite to this salad while the Currants and a touch of sweetness.

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Tuna and Kalamata Olive Salad (serves 2)

 5 oz. Can Wild Tuna in water

1/4 Cup Kalamata Olives (pitted and roughly chopped)

2 tsp Capers

1-2 TBSP Dried Currants ( or Raisins)

1/4 Cup Parsley (chopped)

1 Celery Stick (finely chopped)

1 TBSP Organic Mayonnaise

1/2 tsp Mustard

pinch of salt and pepper

Lettuce or crackers

To make: Add tuna and celery to a bowl and mix together.  Add mayo and mustard, salt and pepper and mix.  Add olives, capers, currants and parsley and mix well.

Enjoy over lettuce, in a sandwich or with crackers.

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Red Pepper Soup

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Has any one else had the beach on their mind lately?   Let me tell you it has been co-old around here.   Last week around 11am the thermostat in my car read -6 degrees and I thought, “wow, it’s warmed up 20 degrees already.”    This week is considerably warmer but I have our beach vacation all booked for April.    Until then,  I will enjoy the snow and the beautiful blue sky days.

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We are deep in soup season.    And the upside of the cold weather is spending time inside a warm house, cooking.    I made some vegetable broth last week, which I try to do every few weeks or so – it is really so easy.  And it is a good way to use up any vegetables that might be on their way out.   I chop up an onion, a couple carrots and a couple stalks of celery and roast them in a baking sheet with a little oil for about 20 minutes.   Then I put them in a big pot filled with boiling water and cook the broth over medium heat for about 45 minutes with some salt and pepper.    Strain and pour into containers to freeze or use in the next few days.   It was just what I needed for this soup.

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Years ago I used to buy boxed organic red pepper soup that was pretty tasty.  I don’t buy canned or boxed soup anymore, especially not when they are so easy to make.    I saw a great recipe on EatingWell.com that inspired me.  This soup is better than the boxed soup, of course, and doesn’t take more than 30 minuted to make.    The jalapeno adds a nice spice but if you don’t like spice, or are making this for your kids you might want to leave that out.

As for spices,  fresh is always best.   If you have spices in your cabinet that have been there for years, they probably aren’t good anymore.   Buying spices in the bulk section of the market is great because you reduce waste.   Just buy a little bit so the container of cumin, for example, isn’t still in your cabinet 5 years later.  If you are so inclined, you could experiment with nutmeg.   But a fresh, whoole nutmeg and with a cheese grater or zester, grind the nutmeg and compare the smell to the container that has been in your cabinet for a while.   I took a cooking class once and the chef said he doesn’t keep spices for more than a year and goes to his mothers house every year and throws out all her old spices.   I am not going that far, but it’s  good to take notice of your spice cabinet.  For this recipe I used whole cardamon pods and ground the seeds in a coffee grinder.   It added really great flavor to this soup.   And the smell was wonderful.

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If you have a nut allergy, try replacing the pistachios with sunflower seeds or raw pumpkin seeds.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is shelling the pistachios.   I find it meditative though.  It’s also something older kids can do!

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Red Pepper Soup  (serves 2-4) –takes about 30-40 minutes

(adapted from eatingwell.com)

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 small onion, diced

2 large red bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 jalapeno, de-seeded and diced

2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tablespoons heavy cream,  mascarpone, or creme fraiche

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or basil

To Make:

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell peppers and jalapeno. Cook until the onion is lightly brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionaly. Add paprika, salt and cardamom and cook, stirring, until the spices are very fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add pistachios and broth (or water). Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat; let cool 5 minutes.

Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Be careful when pureeing hot liquids.) Return the soup to the pot.

When serving, add a dollop of cream to each bowl of soup and sprinkle with cilantro and a few chopped pistachios.

Orange Dark Chocolate Almond Flour Scones

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This is what I plan on enjoying Christmas morning as I watch my kids tear open wrapping paper in a mad fury.  I can dip these scones in a cup of tea or coffee and read the paper…wait what?   I mean I can show my excitement for what Santa brought as I bite into this chocolate orange deliciousness.

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These are made with Almond Flour which is very nutritious and full of protein and fiber.   It is not a flour that can easily be substituted in other recipes though.   This recipe is from elanaspantry.com which is a recipe blog focused on baking with almond flour and other grain free recipes.    As someone who loves to bake but has been trying to move away from wheat flours and even gluten-free blends which are not very nutritious, this is the best news!   I just bought her cookbook Read the rest of this entry

Artichoke Soup with Polenta Croutons

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I have decided to let go of my goal to exercise in the early morning before the kids wake up.    I am tired of being disappointed in myself before I have even stepped out of bed.   Who am I kidding?     It’s hard enough for me to get up at 5:30 or 6am with a good night sleep so it’s highly unlikely when I have been up with my daughter half the night.

About a month ago, we stopped letting Cecilia crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night and instead I bring her back into her room, half asleep, bumping into furniture and mumbling things I shouldn’t be.    She used to climb into our bed and we would hardly realize she was there but then she developed a kicking, whining 3 year old habit that just wasn’t working for us.   So the rules changed.  Now it feels like we have a newborn and sleepless nights make mommy very unproductive and forgetful and not as sweet as I want to be.    I think my kids slept better as babies than they do now.   Last night (for maybe the first time) I was in bed last night at 7:55pm and asleep by about 8:05 which meant that I got a solid 4 hours of sleep before my daughter woke me up for the first of 3 times starting at midnight.   And that is why I am able to write today 🙂

Cecilia says things like, “Mommy, I’m little.  I’m not a big girl.  I can’t sleep in my room all night,” and  typical things like “I scared” and  “Just lay with me a little bit and sing one song.”   But her excuses are becoming more creative.   She has decals of little pigs and birds in her room and her latest reason for not being able to sleep in her room is that the animals on her wall are talking too much.   I moved one of the pig decals away from the head of  her bed so the pig wouldn’t be so loud.   She’s a funny one!

I think (desperately hope) things are going to start to look up.   Mostly thanks to a clock.  The clock and my constant talks with her throughout the day about sleeping, plus a little bribing and a sleep chart with fun stickers and a trip to the toy store if she sleeps in her room for 7 nights in a row.   Oh my goodness.  I told Cecilia that a  nightlight clock was coming in the mail for her and it would help her sleep.   I thought the clock would arrive the next day but it took a whole week.   So everyday she would ask if her clock was here and said “Mommy, when the clock gets here I can sleep in my room alllllll night.”  But that meant that since the clock wasn’t here yet, she wouldn’t be sleeping in her room all night.  It was a long week anticipating that clock.   And now we have had the clock for about a week and I have thankfully seen some improvements.   But it’s baby steps.     She earned a couple stickers on that chart but let me tell you, she did not like it when I put an X on the chart.   Although I like how early my kids are going to bed now with daylight savings, my five year old, Max now wakes up at about 5:30 every morning.   Oh boy.   The 8pm bedtime for Mom might become regular.

It’s been a while since I have written and now you probably know why.  Here is an Artichoke Soup that I hope you enjoy!

And if you have any tips for me regarding kids sleep I am all ears!

It’s pretty easy and quick to make.

Artichoke Soup with Polenta Croutons- 4-6 servings

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

2 TBSP Coconut Oil

2 Celery Stalks – chopped

1 medium onion – chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

3 Cups Vegetable Broth

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk

12 oz. package of frozen artichoke hearts (or use canned artichoke in water)

1 Cup Kale or Spinach -chopped

2-3 garlic cloves -minced (only if you like garlic!)

For the Soup- Heat Coconut Oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the celery, onions, salt and pepper and cook for about 4-5 minutes until soft.  Add the Broth, Coconut Milk, and Artichokes and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes.   Pour the soup into a blender one cup at a time and puree.  Add the chopped kale or spinach last and pulse a few times.   Return Soup to the saucepan and add addition broth if it’s too thick.   In a small saucepan with a 1/4 tsp of Coconut oil, saute the garlic for several minutes.  Add to the pureed soup.   Serve with Polenta Croutons.

Polenta Croutons

1 Cup Polenta

3 Cups Water

1 tsp Salt

Prepare polenta according to package- 1 cups of Polenta in 3 cups of boiling water (or broth), stirring continuously until cooked.

Spread prepared polenta onto a greased baking sheet so it’s about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick.   Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, until it is golden and crispy.  Cut with a pizza cutter and put a few pieces in each bowl.

Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Beets and Apples

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I remember walking around Soho with some friends about 10 years ago looking for a place to eat dinner.  We checked out the menu at this tiny restaurant, saw that it was a vegan eatery and kept walking.  I thought to myself, “Why would anyone ever be vegan and what in the world would you eat?”  I couldn’t imagine not eating chicken or cheese, eggs or bacon.  Fast forward 8 years and my thought became- “Wow.  Being  vegan makes so much sense to me.  Why isn’t everyone vegan?   It’s better for our bodies and better for our environment.”   And if you are a family member (and probably some close friends too), I certainly talked a lot you a lot about why you should be vegan.  While I still think eating a Plant Based Diet can be a very healthy eating model, I understand that it might not be the best diet for everyone.

Here are some common questions vegans are asked- Read the rest of this entry