TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM


If you've never made your own jam, it is a must do! It's so simple to make and better than any jam I've ever eaten. I can eat it right out of the jar! It's a great way to use those fresh or frozen berries you have on hand. I seem to always have a mix of fresh berries on hand these days to add to my muesli mix, top over ice cream or blend into smoothies of all flavors. I felt it was time to try something new with my berries and ventured out to make a berry chia jam. My first try was a success! You really can't go wrong here at all. The ingredients are minimal and the instructions simple making this an easy staple to make and have on hand. Originally I wanted to make this a 'simply fruit' chia jam but ultimately added a very small amount of pure maple syrup. I love that you have control of what sweetener you use, if you need any at all. My blackberries were so sweet and delicious, which is why they are the main berry here, that I probably would've been fine without any sweetener but added some for good measure. Use the berries in any arrangement you like, even adding strawberries if you like. You could just as easily use one type of berry. This is just a template to use as a guide for whatever berry chia jam you desire. I encourage you to try making a batch for yourself. I've given you 2 ways to make this, either stove-top or raw. Both ways are delicious! Get ready to be amazed at just how wonderful making your own jam can be!

Spread on your favorite toast or a slice of this banana bread. Make a PB & J sandwich using this raw almond butter recipe. Add a dollop to oatmealpancakes or waffles. You can even treat yourself to these oat jam thumbprint cookiesThere are many ways to use this lip smackin berry chia jam!

TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAMTRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM

This jam is loaded with powerful antioxidants! Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are all rich in polyphenols, essential vitamins and trace elements. Alone these berries are amazing but together they promote optimal antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer benefits. I highly recommend seeking out organic berries as an added measure of heart smart eating. If you decide to make the stove-top method in this recipe, you can be sure that most of the polyphenols will still be intact.

The chia seeds are also considered a superfood. Although they are used sparingly they will add some omegas while adding textural thickness to the jam.

Recently I watched this TED talk entitled, Can We Eat To Starve Cancer, by Dr. William Li. In a word...YES we can! This has been my food philosophy. I believe prevention is key. The food we eat directly affects every part of our being. Your body is an amazing eco-system and has the ability to ward off and prevent many diseases by simply eating whole foods. In this video Dr. Li will discuss what he has learned about the connection between cancer and angiogenesis. He'll also discuss how foods, and the combining of certain foods, can create an even more powerful healing effect. If you get a moment, it's a pretty informative talk lasting about 24 minutes.

'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food'. - Hippocrates

TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM

TRIPLE BERRY CHIA JAM

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup blackberries (about 6 oz.)
  • 1/2 heaping cup raspberries (about 3 oz.)
  • 1/2 heaping cup blueberries (about 3 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Stove-top: Add berries to a small saucepan, heat over medium stirring occasionally until softened. Using the back of a slotted spoon or fork, mash the berries along the side (or bottom) of the pan. Let mixture come to a gentle boil. The entire cooking time will be from 4 - 6 minutes. Once boiling occurs, remove from heat, add sweetener if needed and slowly add in chia seeds while stirring to combine.

Fill jar and let cool a few minutes. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Will last up to 2 - 3 weeks (I've never had it longer than a week, it may even last up to a month).

Raw: Place berries and chia seeds in blender/food processor and pulse until well combined. Add sweetener if desired, mix as needed.

Fill jar, cover and place in refrigerator to set for at least an hour. Keep stored in fridge and use your raw chia jam within 1 week. 

Makes about 1 cup (8 oz.).

Notes: 

Use any berries you prefer equalling approx. 12 oz. If using strawberries be sure to chop them up before measuring.

If using frozen berries, be sure to let them thaw before measuring.



I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista


TOASTED AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS

AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS

It's no secret I love my sandwiches! You could say that's pretty apparent by the chickpea salad sandwiches I've shared over the years along with a few other sandwiches that are amazing in their own way. The 'Sandwich & Wrap' section is growing nicely giving us sandwich lovers plenty of vegan options. What I have today isn't anything new but I have layered it up with some caramelized onions and various mustards. It's an absolute lovely combination in my book and I'm super excited to share my version of this delicious sandwich with you!

GRILLED TOFU & AVOCADO SANDWICH

This sandwich came about as my version of an avocado-egg sandwich. Tofu reminds me a great deal of cooked egg whites. If you enjoy egg whites, you should take to tofu with not trouble at all. Plain cooked tofu and egg whites resemble each other in both texture and flavor. I can completely appreciate all of tofu's qualities and nuances. Here I've left the tofu as simple as possible because that's what you would generally do with egg whites. I only added mineral salt and garlic powder while cooking to give a slight flavor. And frankly, once the sandwich is complete that's all it needs. Cooking the tofu on a hot griddle/skillet will sear and give the tofu a nice golden color. To add even more flavor I've added some caramelized onions. I have a thing for them lately and they never disappoint! If you're not a fan of onions, feel free to leave them out. Adding tomato slices will add some good flavor and juices too. I've also added mustard to mine but vegan mayo would work too. I love all the spicy flavored mustard's I'm seeing lately and used a combo of dijon and habanero mustard...it was so good!

This sandwich is loaded with protein not only from the tofu but also from the bread I used. At the moment I'm loving Dave's Killer Bread. Make great bread and they will come! Two slices of this bread gives me 10 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber. That's pretty amazing in itself. The tofu will add another 15 grams boosting the protein content of this sandwich to 25 grams. That's slightly more than half of the day's recommended amount for the average adult female and slightly less for males. Not too shabby at all and it's a killer sandwich!

I'd also like to mention that I'm so happy to see tofu has been given a good seal of approval from World's Healthiest Foods. I value their opinion and use their information all the time when researching. They are an unbiased group with the health of the consumer in mind.

GRILLED TOFU & AVOCADO SANDWICH

Once you've layered your sandwich with all the desired ingredients, slice in half and serve.

My apologies for the following in your face picture. Lol My only wish is that you could taste this amazingly simple, yet flavorful, sandwich! For all those tofu nay-sayers out there, give this one a try you may just fall in love!

GRILLED TOFU & AVOCADO SANDWICH

AVOCADO-TOFU SANDWICH + CARAMELIZED ONIONS


Ingredients
  • 1 block organic extra firm or firm tofu, about 14 - 16 oz.
  • 2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil, divided
  • garlic powder
  • mineral salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced, optional
  • 1 - 2 medium avocados
  • 6 slices bread of choice
  • leafy greens of choice
  • favorite mustard or vegan mayo, to spread

Slice and press tofu: Remove tofu from package, turn on it's side and carefully slice into 3 slabs. Place slabs between 2 clean dish cloths or towels, lay a heavy object over top to press out excess moisture. I used my large cutting board but a heavy cookbook will do the job too. Let set under pressure for about 10 minutes. 

Saute onions: Peel and cut the ends off the onion, lay onion cut side down and cut in half. Slice onion into thin strips, about 1/8 - 1/4 inch. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet or medium size pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden and browned on the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. If you happen to leave your onions in the pan take note that they may continue cooking from the heat of the pan, pay close attention so they don't burn too much.

Pan-fry tofu: Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or pan. Add tofu and cook without touching for about 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder after the first flip.

Prepare bread & avocado: Toast your bread, or not, and slice your avocado. You may even prefer to mash your avocado right in its shell with the back of a fork and spread like butter. I find I use the latter method most often.

Assemble: Layer your sandwich as you like. I layered mine from bottom to top with mustard (dijon and habenaro mix), leafy greens, tofu, sauteed onions, salt & pepper, avocado and more mustard. Every bite was so delicious!

Serves 3.

Notes:

I suggest using only non-gmo, pref. organic, tofu. Tofu is very inexpensive and non-gmo/organic tofu is only a few cents more. Make the splurge!

The addition of sliced tomato on the sandwich is delicious but here I chose to eat them separately. 


I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista


CRISP APPLE & COCONUT BACON SALAD + GINGER PEANUT DRESSING


As a salad lover, I'm always looking for new ways to dress them up and simplicity is always a plus. I threw this salad together quite a while ago when I put together the Coconut Bacon recipe in the archives (it's also in the The Archives eBook!). I shared it on Instagram but it never made it to the recipe collection. I've finally come back to this one and it was as good as I remember. Maybe even a bit more so! Today, I gladly share with you this simple and delicious salad to keep your saladspiration alive! There's so much to love here. You can't go too wrong with fresh, crisp apple, flavorful coconut bacon and a creamy ginger peanut dressing. I do think you'll love it too! 

APPLE + COCONUT BACON SALADAPPLE + COCONUT BACON SALAD 50/50 SPRING MIXGinger Peanut Dressing

Feel free to use your favorite apples. Mine happen to be Fuji but you may prefer tart green apples or other red varieties. I added some currents and slivered almonds to my dish. You can surely use raisins or dried blueberries instead. The addition of the peanut dressing will give you a good dose of protein (about 8 grams) and some delicious creaminess at the same time. I used ginger powder since it's what was on hand but fresh grated ginger is ideal for maximum ginger flavor. Use your favorite leafy greens. I chose a 50/50 spring mix but arugula, spinach, baby kale, oak lettuce or any mix of these would be great.

Grab whatever ingredients make you happiest, or have hand, and give it a go. Happy repeat salad days ahead!

APPLE & COCONUT BACON SALAD

CRISP APPLE & COCONUT BACON SALAD 

Ingredients
  • 1 Fuji apple (use your favorite apple), cored and diced
  • coconut bacon
  • currents or raisins
  • slivered almonds (pumpkin, sunflower seeds or hemp hearts would be great too)
  • favorite salad mix

Ginger Peanut Dressing
  • 2 rounded tablespoons natural peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider or rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder or 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • water as needed to thin

In a small bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add water, a teaspoon or two at a time, as needed to create desired consistency. Taste for flavor adjusting as needed. If dressing becomes to thin, add a bit more peanut butter to thicken. Set aside. 

Create your salad by adding a few large handfuls of salad mix to your serving bowl. Top with diced apple, handful of coconut bacon, currents and slivered almonds. Drizzle ginger peanut dressing over top and enjoy.

Serves one. 

Notes:

For the dressing I used raw almond butter, if using other nut butters containing salts and sugars you may not need as much maple syrup or pinch of salt. Just something to consider.

Don't feel like making coconut bacon, you can purchase some already prepared from Phoney Baloney's. It's delicious! Look for it at your local grocery store or order online from participating retailers.

If you have nut allergies, try using tahini in place of the nut butter. 


I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista


CINNAMON APPLESAUCE PANCAKES

 Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes

Hello again!

It's been a very busy month with life in general, all is good and I hope everyone is doing well! Things should be back to normal and I hope to post a new recipe at least once a week from now on. Today I share with you a very easy pancake recipe to add to your pancake repertoire. As the title suggests, these are filled with the goodness of apples and cinnamon. I used an organic jarred unsweetened applesauce here but you can make your own pretty easily following this recipe from Food 52. I did some of the pancakes with apple slices cooked in and some without, feel free to do the same or any way you prefer. I personally loved the ones with the apple slices, they cook up soft and tender while adding a bit of texture. So good! Mix up the spices and flours to suit your taste and/or needs. For this recipe I've used cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. You may opt to replace the nutmeg with cardamom or allspice, or keep it simple with just cinnamon. For the flour, spelt is my absolute favorite but of course you can sub in your favorite flour or flour blend. These pancakes are every bit as good as they sound. Tender and fluffy, I'm pretty sure you'll be whipping these up often! If you happen to have leftovers, they store well in the refrigerator or freezer and heat up nicely when ready to eat. Enjoy! 

Cinnamon Applesauce PancakesCinnamon Applesauce Pancakes Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes

Simple, wholesome and delicious!

Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes

CINNAMON APPLESAUCE PANCAKES


Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour, or flour of choice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or organic pure cane sugar 
  • 2 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of mineral salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (divided), for greasing

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Place a baking sheet on the middle rack while oven is heating.

Heat griddle as per instructions or if using a large skillet heat over medium to medium-high heat.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, mix well. Next, add in the applesauce, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract, mix until just combined, do not over mix. Your mixture may seem to swell up a bit due to the baking powder, this is normal.

Clean and quarter an apple, remove the core. Cut into thin slices about 1/8 - 1/4 inch. 

Place 1 teaspoon of oil on the griddle/skillet and spread evenly over the cooking area (I use a silicon brush). Lay two sliced apples next to each other on the griddle. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop batter and place over top apples, gently helping the batter to cover the apples and form a circle. Cook until bubbles form on the top and edges start to look dry, about 2 1/2 - 3 minutes per side, or until golden. Repeat until batter is gone.

If not adding apple slices, scoop batter as noted above and place on griddle. You won't need to help the batter without the apples, it will do its magic on its own. Continue as directed above.

As pancakes become done (I get four at a time), place them in the oven on the warm cookie sheet to keep warm until all pancakes are ready.

Serve with pure maple syrup. A few fresh apple slices would also be great to serve.

Makes 9 pancakes, serving 3. Store leftover pancakes in an air tight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Reheat your pancakes using one of these methods from eHow.

Notes:

Make a vegan buttermilk by adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or juice of 1/2 small lemon to the milk 10 minutes before using.

I used Fuji apples, they are my favorite. Use your favorite apple.

Vary up your spices with cardamom, allspice or cloves in place of the nutmeg.

For maximum fluffiness, once you place the batter on the griddle, do not flatten out the top to try to spread the pancake unless you're adding apple slices underneath. I learned this from experience, my pancakes weren't bad but just not as fluffy as they could've been.

For thicker pancakes use less milk, for thinner use more.


I'd love to see your re-creations!
#thesimpleveganista

DIY MUESLI MIX

DIY MUESLI MIX

Muesli is one of my favorite cold cereals. It's been one of my go-to breakfasts for the last few months, next to this Vanilla Chia Pudding with fruit. With the cooler months ahead it's a perfect time to introduce a more cold and summer like oat breakfast leaving the hot oatmeal, like this Everyday Oatmeal, for cooler seasons. It's a no-fuss, gluten free muesli mix that's so easy to throw together. I used a large 1/2 gallon ball jar like these in a batch or this one from Target which are perfect for your large batch muesli mix and even have cup lines on the side so you can measure without having to use measuring cups. Once you've made your muesli, it's pretty enough to keep on the kitchen counter or store in the pantry if you prefer. Now you've got yourself a ready-made healthy breakfast or lunch if you will. I love the addition of fresh berries and dried mulberries if I have them on hand for extra flavor and freshness. If you feel you need to sweeten your cereal a bit, add a teaspoon or so of maple syrup or coconut nectar over top before serving. For even more flavor add a dash of cinnamon over top too, its delicious! Change up the ingredients by using shredded or flaked coconut, cranberries, chopped dates, cherries or apricots, slivered almonds, pistachios, etc. You get the idea. Use whatever flavor combination works for you using the suggested ratio I have in the notes. I hope this inspires you to make a batch of this wholesome goodness and enjoy often, it's a perfect way to start the day!  

DIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIX

I use only rolled oats in my muesli making it easily accessible, economical and gluten free. I'll add in goji berries, currants and dried blueberries for my fruits. It's preferable to use unsweetened fruits but if one of your choices is sweetened, like my dried organic blueberriesif you, I think we'll be fine! You can also use raisins, cranberries, chopped dates, cherries, apricots, etc.

DIY MUESLI MIX

For the seeds, I like pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and raw sunflower seeds. Feel free to use slivered/chopped almonds or any nuts and seeds you prefer. I tend to stay away from the smaller ingredients in a large batch like this just because they most likely will end up on the bottom of the jar. Try to stick with ingredients that are about the same size to help keep them evenly distributed. If you want to add smaller ingredients like hemp or chia seeds, just sprinkle some on top before eating. 

DIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIX

Once you've made your batch of muesli, you're ready to pour and serve with or without toppings.

Prepare your muesli one of two ways:

DIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIXDIY MUESLI MIX

Above is overnight muesli. It's easy to prepare. Simply fill your jar, cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to eat, at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. Makes for a great take along breakfast, snack or lunch!

Below is pour and serve, eating after 5 minutes or so of letting the milk soak into the oats softening them just a bit. 

Both ways are terrific and have their place in your healthy habit meal routine!

I use unsweetened almond milk and add fresh berries along with a few dried mulberries. I sometimes add a drizzle of maple syrup if I want a little sweetness. And if I remember, I'll add a dash of cinnamon or ground vanilla bean for a little extra flavor. I love all the flavors combined and suggest trying it for yourself. I think you'll love it too!

DIY MUESLI MIX

DIY MUESLI MIX

Ingredients
  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants
  • 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/3 cup goji berries

Place ingredients in your large jar, attach the lid and shake, twist and roll until evenly distributed. If using a large bowl, stir mixture and add to container of choice.

When ready to serve, add 1/2 - 3/4 cup of muesli to your bowl, add enough milk to cover and let set for about 5 minutes or so until the oats soften a bit. Add a little sweetener of choice (I use a drizzle of maple syrup) and some fresh berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. Sliced strawberries and/or bananas would also be great. If you have some dried mulberries on hand, throw some in they taste great! When ready to eat, add a little extra milk as you like. Once you've made this a few times, you'll find your perfect way.

To make overnight muesli, add about 3/4 cup muesli to a jar/bowl, top with fruits of choice if you like and cover with milk. Seal or cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight or up to 3 days (make a few so they're ready to grab and enjoy or take along). Mix before eating, add a little extra milk as needed (if at all).

Makes about 7 cups serving approx. 9 - 14.

Notes: 

Feel free to add 1/2 cup of flaked or shredded coconut. You can change up the dried fruit by adding dried cranberries, chopped dates, cherries or apricots etc. Add any nuts and seeds you prefer. Slivered almonds are great in the mix. Mix and match as you like making this your own!

If you're not going to top with any fresh fruit, feel free to add in another 1/2 cup or so of dried fruit of choice.

Suggested ratio:
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup mixed nuts & seeds
1 cup mixed dried fruit (pref. unsweetened varieties)


I'd love to see your masterpieces!
#thesimpleveganista


VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

CHIA PUDDING

Let's talk chia pudding! It's been my little obsession lately. I love it as breakfast, snack or lunch. When paired with an assortment of fruits it's so fresh, light and surprisingly filling. Add a little granola for even more texture and flavor. It's also extremely easy to make, just chia seeds & plant milk plus a little sweetener or spice if you like. Add them all together, place in your trusty fridge, shake/mix every few hours and within six hours or so you'll have yourself a perfect 'super food' pudding. If you make your own plant milk, you'll have a super food raw pudding! Texture wise this pudding is not too seedy or crunchy at all, these amazing little seeds will absorb the milk making them mostly gelatinous. There is much to love about this quick and easy treat. If you haven't tried chia pudding yet, I suggest you do so asap! 

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Chia seeds have been around a long time and are finally making it into the mainstream. They are no longer just seen in health food stores and are easily accessible. I see them at Target and all my local grocery stores. They are mostly found dark colored like the ones you see above but you can find white chia seeds online. In the world of vegan food, chia seeds act as a binder to replace eggs and also as a thickener, like for this pudding. When not making chia pudding, you can sprinkle them on smoothies, oatmeal, salads and make chia fresca (a drink). Chia seeds are small but nutritious and should be included in your heart healthy habits! Per 1 ounce serving (2 tablespoons) of chia seeds you'll get 138 calories, 9 grams of fat (I strive for 3 grams per 100 calories but this is healthy fat), 10 grams of fiber (amazing!), 4.7 grams of protein (not too shabby). They contain a concentrated amount of the essential omega-3 fatty acid, although they don't contain all the essential omegas like EPA or DHA, you'll still get a good dose of the others at 5 grams. All their fiber will help aid in digestion and elimination. 

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Above you'll see the difference of before and after. The top jar has just been mixed together and the bottom jar is what it will thicken up to look like after six hours or so. I used mason jars to make my chia pudding. The mason jars work great, all you have to do is shake the jar every few hours until it sets. They also make it easy to travel with. Fill your pint size jars half way using half the recipe, once set, fill the other half with fruit. Its a perfect take along lunch or snack!

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWLVANILLA CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWL

My favorite way to eat chia pudding is with a mix of seasonal fruits. I call this the CHIA PUDDING RAINBOWL. Adding a little granola over top will add some extra texture. It's good to eat the rainbow! :)

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

VANILLA CHIA PUDDING

Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (use your favorite)
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder or seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or cocount, turbinado or organic pure cane sugar, optional

Place ingredients in container or bowl and mix well. Place covered in the refrigerator and mix every 1-2 hours until set. Mixing is important since the seeds will fall to the bottom of the container, if not shakin or stirred every now and then it won't set properly. Keep refrigerated, will last up to 5-6 days.

Serve as you like.

Serves 2-4.

Notes:

I usually eat about 1/3 with a bunch of fruit. Use mandarins oranges, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, pineapple, mango, banana, apples, peaches, granola, nuts, seeds, etc. Mix and match your favorite fruits, nuts & seeds!

I use mason jars to prepare the pudding. This way you can shake the jar to mix instead of mixing with a utensil. Mason jars are also great for travelling.

I don't add sugar to my chia pudding but the option is there if you prefer a little sweetness.

Add a sprinkle of cinnamon, cardamom or other dessert type spices for a change of pace. I like simple vanilla and used Williams-Sonoma Ground Tahitian Vanilla Bean for this recipe, about 1/2-1 teaspoon. I love it and the jar goes a long way!

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

Hello again! 

It's been two weeks since I've been here and I'm so happy to be back. Today I've brought with me a salad that I think you'll love as much as I do. As a food blogger, I tend to skip around a lot but I've made this a few times over the last few weeks which means it must be pretty darn good. It's one of those salads I find myself craving. I'm totally in love with sweet potatoes at the moment (and forever more) and they are great in salads. The crispy shallots take it to another level. Truth is crispy shallots equal awesomeness! And the simple lemon tahini dressing adds a creaminess making this a salad dream come true. At least for me anyway, I love creamy dressings! There's nothing wimpy about this salad either. It's a perfect warm salad to keep you cozy and happy. I've also got plans for another sweet potato salad coming your way soon...it'll have a Thai peanut dressing. Oh yes, and its soooo good! But in the meantime, I urge you to pick up everything you need for this salad and get on it, pronto!

Follow my kitchen on Instagram. It's where I share most of my daily meals and inspiration with a sprinkle of randomness thrown in. I'd love to have you join me! 

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTSSWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTSSWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTSSWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

SWEET POTATO & CHICKPEA SALAD + CRISPY SHALLOTS

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • garlic powder
  • chili, chipotle or smoked paprika powder
  • pink salt
  • leafy greens of choice (I used baby kale)
  • pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Simple Lemon Tahini Dressing
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons water, + more as needed
  • pink salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Roast: Place sweet potato and chickpeas on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a silpat, parchment paper or lighlty greased. Drizzle with oil, toss to coat. Sprinkle a few dashes of salt, garlic and chili powder of choice over top. Place in oven and roast for about 25 - 30 min, stirring once half way through, potatoes will be ready when they are fork tender. Ovens vary so your cooking time may be more or less.

Crispy shallots: Heat remaining oil in a small/medium pan over medium heat, add shallots and cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently. Lower heat to medium low and cook the shallots until nicely browned, about another 5 - 10 minutes. Once browned to your liking, remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel lined plate (if you leave them in the pan to cool, they may cook a bit more (possibly overcook) since the pan will still be hot). Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper if you like.

Dressing: Place the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, mix well and add a more water as needed to thin. Set aside. 

To serve, add leafy greens to serving dish/plate, top with 1/2 of the roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas along with 1/2 of the crispy shallots. Add a sprinkle of pepitas over top and drizzle with 1/2 of the dressing. Add a squeeze of the remaining lemon half over to if you like!

Serves 2. 

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

Here I am again with another recipe for the Soups, Stews & Chilis collection (I just can't help myself!). This recipe has been in the works since December and I'm finally getting around to adding it to the collection. The poblanos and tomatillos have been sitting in my refrigerator for long enough (not since December though lol). So without further ado, I share with you my recipe for Quinoa Chili Verde. It's a hearty and brightly flavored chili. The tomatillos are what brighten this chili with their citrus notes. I've added just enough herbs and spices to be noticed, I didn't want to overpower it, but you can add more if you like. I used a flavorful vegetable broth so if using water you'll most likely want to up the amounts to suit your taste. My first attempt at this I added tempeh but for this recipe I've left it out. It wouldn't hurt to add a package when combining everything while crumbling it between your fingers. Tempeh will make it that much heartier (and its an excellent soy product for most!). I also added some corn which adds color and a nice sweetness. For the beans, you can use any mix. I would stick with any mix of cannellini, kidney, pinto or black. This chili is a one pot wonder and will be ready in under an hour from start to finish. You can be sure this green quinoa chili is going to be a nice departure from the usual chili routine. Round up your ingredients and give it a try!  

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

I know tomatillos and poblanos are in season and abundant during the summer months, but here in California we have them year round tempting me every time I see them to take them home and make something wonderful. Corn is the only ingredient in the recipe that isn't fresh year round so I used 1 cup frozen. Hopefully you can find all the produce in the winter months with ease or you'll have to wait for the warmer season.

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

The only thing you have to chop and dice are the onion, peppers and tomatillos. I left my tomatillos on the chunky side, they will soften and fall apart, but you can dice them up as small as you like. 

Get ready, gather your ingredients and start cooking!

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

QUINOA CHILI VERDE

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 3 tablespoons water 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 12 oz tomatillos, diced or quartered or 1 can (15oz) crushed
  • 2 poblano or Anaheim peppers, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 corn off the cob or 1 cup frozen or canned sweet corn
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt to taste

optional garnish

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil/water over medium heat and sautee onions until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic powder, oregano, cumin and chili powder, cook for 1 minute more stirring frequently, or just until spices and herbs become fragrant. Add tomatillos, poblanos, corn, beans, quinoa and vegetable broth, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Serve in individual bowls topped with garnish of choice. Pairs well with corn bread too, either on the side or broken up in your chili!

Serves 4 - 6.

Notes:

Add in a package of organic tempeh for added hardiness. This Three Grain Tempeh is my favorite flavorwise.

You can rinse your quinoa if you like. I honestly usually skip this step but if you prefer you can run the quinoa under cool running water using a fine mesh seive.

Adjust the spices to your taste. If using broth you may like it as is, if using water you may like to add more.

This can also be made in the crock pot/slow cooker, add all the ingredients, cover with the vegetable broth and cook on medium or medium-low for 4 hours.