Saturday, May 17, 2014

KID APPROVED Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips

GAH I love those Food Should Taste Good Chips. I call them fancy chips because when I eat them, I imagine myself sitting in a hammock surrounded by a beautiful container garden (I try not to dream too big). I overbought on sweet potatoes and yams last week and I wanted to use the beautiful rosemary plant that my brother-in-law gave me for mother's day, so I came up with this beautiful chip that I actually love more than its FSTG counterpart. I didn't peel them either, which gave them a nice crispy edge...I also hate cutting out fiber when I can leave it in like I've done here (go me).

Here's the skinny:

2 yams 
1 sweet potato
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
olive oil 

1. I scrubbed two sweet potatoes and one yam until they shined like the top of the chrysler building. Then I mandolin'd the crap out of them (I set my mandy to the thinnest cut) into a mixing bowl to which I had added olive oil (not much...1-2 Tbsp or as much as it takes to lightly coat each slice), sprinkled with rosemary and added salt to taste and then mixed everything with my hands until everything was good and coated.
2. Spread the sweet potatoes and yams out on two cookie sheets, trying your best not to overlap them.
3. Sprinkle with about a tsp of salt,l or more if you're into it.
4. Put these in a cold oven and then set it at 375. et them bake for 15 minutes, checking regularly, flip them with a spatula, and bake for another 15 minutes. CHECK ON THESE BABIES...they love to burn.

These were gone in a flash. You're welcome.


Bean Soaking...But Why?

In the past few months, we've decided to go off of our addiction to canned beans. Convenience is the grand poohba of motherhood, but the risks of consuming BPA is totally not worth it in this case. Yes, I know, there are BPA-free cans now...I'm getting to it. DRY BEANS ARE DELICIOUS. Soaking and cooking dry beans means you'll get a wonderful bite and an awesome (salt and other preservative-free) taste.

So how does it work? I rate it a 2 on the annoying scale. Save your tomato sauce jars for this one. Also, it's important to mention that I don't have the patience to tend to the needs of each bean species so instead I use this very method for all beans.

1. Fill a clean jar 1/4 of the way with desired bean. 
2. Fill to the jar neck with water. Cap it. Let it sit overnight or more. 
3. Once the beans have had a nice sit, drain and rinse until the water runs clear. Pick out the gross dark ones and compost 'em. Put rinsed beans in a pot with a few cups of water (it doesn't really matter how much water as long as the beans are covered liberally) 
4. Place on a cold stove, ramp the heat up to high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour or so. Boom. And I don't mean flatulence. 

I like to taste test along the way until I get the texture I'm after. So as not to be caught off guard, I soak all of my beans at the beginning of the week (I pick out all of my recipes and shop for them during

the weekend...more on that later).

I love beans and I think they get a lousy rap. Maybe because of all of the farting. But farting can be fun?

Happy Week!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My FAVArite-Lemony Spinach and Fava Beans

I know I know...what a lame title. Whatever. To thine own self be true. I recently discovered fava beans (broad beans if you're a less exciting person) at a Mediterranean restaurant owned by my dear friends and there's just no goin' back. I'm going to go ahead and admit here that this recipe is thoroughly and utterly inspired by the fava beans in the hummus supreme that I always order there and subsequently about which I have mega food dreams. Instead of atop their super kicky hummus, I made these favas into a nutrient-dense spinach side dish (p.s. fava beans are awesome for you. Like, weekend at the spa where someone mistakes you for Jennifer Lawrence awesome). Here goes:

(Lebanese-inspired) Lemony Spinach and Fava Beans

1 tbsp coconut oil (I use non-virgin because I can't stand the taste of the other stuff)
1c minced yellow onion (I used 1/2 of a Godzilla onion I had)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh dill (you can use dried dill, just cut the amount in half...unless you like dill like me, in which case...double it)
1 tsp dried thyme
1c steamed fava beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 heaping tbsp tahini
salt to taste

1. Heat pan on medium and add coconut oil. Once melted, add onion and garlic and saute until onion is clear. Add herbs and saute for 1 minute. 
2. Add the beans, lemon juice and tahini to the pan and stirring constantly until the tahini is "melted". Okay, you can stop stirring now...once combined, turn stove to low and let simmer for three minutes. Taste, add salt or more lemon, taste, add more if need be...
3. Serve warm, maybe with a dollop of your fave hummus. 

I knew this was a good'n when Dan went back to the pan to see if he could scare up another fava. I hope you have the same results.


P.S. In writing this, I've discovered that spell check doesn't know the words tahini or fava. Sad, spell check, very sad.

A Happy Plate on the Run-Sweet Potato Chickpea Cakes

Hi. I'm Jes, last winter my family started out on a crazy nutritarian journey that turned out to be one of the greatest decisions we've ever made...well, aside from getting hitched and dividing cells and learning to play the ukulele. Nutritarianism has made us happy, but it isn't always easy, especially with a two-year-old who screams, literally screams, at anything leafy and green in her personal space bubble (more about that later). But I digress...we make it work, some days better than others. Like yesterday when THIS happened:
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For Dan I made a chickpea sweet potato cake while Mim got some regular kid fare (Ezekiel cashew butter sandwich with a little touch of maple syrup to curb her Herculean sweet tooth) that they ate on their way to Mim's gym class. I realize there is nothing extraordinary about either of these (although the chickpea cake was, but they ate each bowl in its entirety and I felt a little more awesome for nourishing my a boss. Here's the rundown:

Chickpea sweet potato cakes

1-2 tbsp coconut oil divided
1 yellow onion, chopped (I like a bit of onion so I cut it in a rustic manner)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2c grated sweet potato (raw)
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp lime juice
1 "flegg"  (flax egg : 1 tbsp flax meal in 3 tbsp warm water and left to rest 15m before using)
1  1/2 c whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
2 cups chickpeas (I used dry that I soaked and cooked for an hour but canned will so)
Several hits of hot sauce to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven 400. Heat a pan on medium. Once heated add coconut oil and shift the pan to coat. Add onion and a dash of salt. Stir for one minute and turn heat to low,. Caramelize for 20-30 minutes until browned and sweet (for ease you can skip this  caramelizing step and simply proceed with step 2 once onions are translucent...although I highly recommend the former)
2.  Turn up heat to medium. Add garlic  and red pepper to pan and cook for 3 minutes.. Add chickpeas and sweet potatoes and cook for five minutes or until sweet potatoes start to brown.
3. Throw it all into a food processor with your breadcrumbs, lime juice, flegg, hot sauce and salt/pepper. Pulse until it forms a nice dough. There should still be some solid bits for texture. 
4. Heat pan on medium heat...once hot add 1 tbsp oil to pan and tilt to coat. Form dough into 4 patties. Cook on each side for 2 minutes or until brown. Put patties on a cookie sheet and cook in oven for 10 minutes.
5. Yum. 
6. Double Yum.

The rest of the roll call: Mim has diced firm tofu, mushrooms sauteed in coconut oil with a pinch of salt, steamed carrots and Ezekiel bread with cashew butter mixed with a touch of maple syrup. Dan gets the chickpea patty in half a whole wheat pita with sliced Jersey tomato (if it isn't from Jersey and isn't in season it has no business in the pita) and raw broccoli with store-bought (stop it with the smh) garlic hummus.

While a bit tedious, we enjoyed these cakes for two dinners. Gosh I just love a chickpea. Swoon.