Wednesday, January 28

Super Bowl Recipes

Favorite snacks and treats for the big game

Super Bowl Party Recipes

The Super Bowl is this weekend and we'll be hosting a small viewing party as usual. This is the fifth year that my husband and I have been together for the Super Bowl (our first time ever entertaining together was for a Super Bowl party at his old apartment in 2010) and we've picked up some tips over the years. We keep the guest list small so that everyone has a comfortable spot to watch the game, serve everything on paper plates for easy clean up, and make food that can be prepared in advance so we're not stuck in the kitchen during the party. For the menu, we like to serve a bunch of different foods buffet-style so that people can help themselves throughout the day. It's important to not serve anything too messy or difficult to eat (two bites is ideal) and choose things that can be eaten at room temperature or kept warm over low heat on the stove.

Here are some great recipes for snacks and treats for easy entertaining on Super Bowl Sunday. If you want more inspiration, check out my Pinterest page or last year's post.

Super Bowl Party Recipes:

Tuesday, January 27

Couscous with Zucchini & Feta

A versatile dish that can work as a side or stand alone meal

Sprouted Kitchen Couscous with Zucchini and Feta

I know that the other side of the country is experiencing a blizzard right now, but it's been sunny and summery on the west coast. The weather really controls what I feel like cooking and eating, and  the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time over the stove on a warm weekend day. This couscous from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook is a fresh and quick-cooking dish that can act as either an all-in-one side dish to any grilled or roasted meat or as a complete meal for a light lunch. Zucchini is technically in season during the summer, but I can find it at my farmers' market year round. It adds a hearty vegetable component to the couscous, which I love because it takes care of serving both a starch and vegetable. This recipe is very forgiving and can be served hot, room temperature, and even after a few days of sitting in the fridge as leftovers.

Note: I recently discovered French sheep's milk feta at my local Whole Foods and have become obsessed with it. Compared to other feta cheese, especially cow feta, it has a creamier texture and a much more complex (almost nutty) flavor. Look for it at your supermarket and prepare to be amazed.

Related Recipes:
- Couscous with Pine Nuts & Preserved Lemons
- Grilled Swordfish & Zucchini Skewers
- Grilled Zucchini Salad

Couscous with Zucchini & Feta:
- 1 box (10 oz.) couscous, preferably whole wheat
- 3 large zucchini, diced small
- 1/3 c. feta,* diced small
- 1/4 c. chopped basil
- 1/4 c. chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. red chile flake
- kosher salt
- black pepper

  • Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until almost smoking.
  • Add in the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, or until browned and tender.
  • Meanwhile, bring 2 c. water to a boil in a saucepan, stir in the couscous, cover with a lid, and turn off the heat. Let the couscous sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  • Transfer the couscous and zucchini to a large bowl and let cool a bit.
  • Stir in the herbs, vinegar, remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, red chile flakes, and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Gently stir in the feta and taste for seasoning.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves six (side dish)
*Preferably water-packed sheep's milk feta.

Monday, January 26

Scrambled Eggs Florentine

Start your morning with a protein-packed egg and spinach scramble

Scrambled Eggs Florentine

One of the things we've been trying to do to be more health-concious is to eat more nutritious breakfasts. It's not that difficult during the weekdays (although I did get into a pretty serious croissant phase over the holidays), but the weekends are tough. We generally go out a lot and usually pick up bagels before heading out to do whatever activities we have planned for the day. It's quick, it's cheap, and it gives me a break from cooking, but it's certainly not the healthiest option. These scrambled eggs are a much better alternative and are still a quick and easy breakfast option. It takes less than ten minutes to make them and only dirties one pan in the process, so it's even doable for a workday. Serve with a piece of whole wheat toast or an English muffin.

More Ways to Eat Spinach:
- Sautéed Spinach with Feta & Pine Nuts
- Mini Spinach & Onion Frittatas
- Green Smoothie

Scrambled Eggs Florentine:
- 5 eggs
- 3 c. loosely-packed baby spinach
- 1 scallion, thinly sliced
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- red chile flakes

  • Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add in the baby spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until wilted.
  • Remove the spinach to a bowl and wipe out the skillet with a paper towel. 
  • Let the spinach cool slightly, then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Roughly chop the spinach and set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, a large pinch of salt and pepper, and a pinch of red chile flakes until light yellow in color.
  • Heat the skillet over medium high heat and melt butter in it, swirling the pan to coat the entire bottom and sides with the butter.
  • Pour the eggs into the pan and gently stir until the eggs are mostly set but still a little runny.
  • Stir in the spinach, scallion and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with goat cheese.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves two

Thursday, January 22

Cheddar & Herb Biscuits

Savory biscuits flavored with three types of herbs and cheddar cheese

Cheddar Herb Biscuits

There are many perks to living in Southern California, and not having to deal with a cold winter is one of the best ones. We had beautiful spring-like weather over the weekend, which was a great excuse to host brunch in our backyard with a few friends. I ended up serving a bunch of different foods to cater to guests with different tastes - a mix of sweet and savory, naughty and virtuous, hearty and light. These cheddar herb biscuits (from the Huckleberry cookbook) were eaten by all, either as a sandwich with scrambled eggs and sautéed greens or on their own with butter and honey.

The biscuits are very simple to make and no special tools or ingredients are required, but you have to have a little faith. The dough is quite crumbly and a little tough to come together, but freezing the biscuits before baking helps to keep them intact. Don't over mix and you'll be left with super flakey and light biscuits that can be pulled apart into buttery layers.

Related Recipes:
- Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- Buttermilk Cornbread
- No-Knead Bread

Cheddar & Herb Biscuits:
- 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese
- 1/3 c. buttermilk, cold
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. parsley, minced
- 2 tbsp. chives, minced
- 1 tbsp. dill, minced
- 1 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- fleur de sel

  • Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  • Add in the butter and quickly work it into the flour with your fingertips until the butter is pea-sized.
  • Add in the buttermilk, cheddar, herbs, and parmesan and stir to combine.
  • Quickly dump onto a clean surface and use your hands to flatten it out and then mound it together in a ball a couple times only - do not overwork the dough.
  • Pat the dough into a 1" thick rectangle and cut out the dough into biscuits. Pat the scraps back together to cut out the remaining biscuits.
  • Place the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for at least two hours.*
  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Take the biscuits out of the oven and put on an unlined baking sheet.
  • Whisk the egg together with a splash of water (or cream, if you have it) and brush on the top of the biscuits. Immediately sprinkle the tops with fleur de sel.
  • Bake the biscuits for 25-30 minutes, or until browned.
  • Let cool slightly, then serve.

Makes eight biscuits

*At this point, you can wrap the biscuits tightly in plastic wrap and keep in your freezer for up to one month.

Wednesday, January 21

Beetnik Salad

Mixed greens, roasted beets, candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and goat cheese

Beetnik Salad Recipe

I love making beet salads, especially in the winter when their bright colors and sweet flavor are a welcome alternative to the bitter greens and pale starches of other in-season produce. Roasted beets are quite filling and can make a vegetarian salad that's hearty enough for a full meal, especially when paired with other tasty ingredients like candied walnuts, dried cranberries, and fresh goat cheese. This recipe is based off of a dish of the same name that we had at Papa Lennon's in Ojai this summer, and it was memorable enough that I'm making it at home six months later. The salad is a great mix of textures, flavors, and colors, and would be lovely as a side dish at a party or as a stand-alone lunch. Make sure to plan ahead as the beets take some time to roast, but you can do that step up to a couple days in advance.

Note: Don't throw away those beet greens! Save the tops and use them like you would kale or chard, or make this recipe.

More Salad Recipes:
- Burrata, Beet, Tangerine, & Arugula Salad
- Mixed Greens with Pomegranate, Butternut Squash, & Feta
- Beet & Blue Cheese Salad

Beetnik Salad:
Honey & Herb Vinaigrette Ingredients
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, and chives
- 1 1/2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. honey
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper

Salad Ingredients
- 1 bunch of beets
- 6-8 c. mixed greens, loosely packed
- 2-3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 c. candied walnuts
- 1/4 c. dried cranberries

For Dressing
  • Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, honey, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper.
  • Slowly whisk in the olive oil until emulsified, then whisk in the herbs. Set aside.
For Salad
  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Cut the stems off the beets and wrap each one individually in foil. Roast the beets in the oven for 35-55 minutes, depending on size, or until fork tender.
  • Let the beets cool, then unwrap, rub off the skins, and cut into bite-size pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine the beets, mixed greens, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and dried cranberries.
  • Toss with the dressing and taste for seasoning, adding salt or pepper if needed.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves four - six (side dish)

Tuesday, January 20

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Mocha Frosting

A fudgy chocolate cake with a rich mocha frosting

If you haven't guessed by the picture above, our healthy eating cleanse is over. We broke it over dinner at our friends' house on Thursday night, and to celebrate, I brought over this decadent chocolate cake from the newest Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I had been craving sweets, the richer and more chocolatey, the better, and this cake certainly delivered. It's a sheet cake, so it's fairly low maintenance to make and assemble. The cake is moist and makes a perfect canvas for the thick layer of rich mocha frosting. As a bonus, you can bake and frost the entire cake a day in advance because the frosting acts as a barrier to the tender cake beneath and keeps it from drying out. One cake is enough to feed a dozen people and is perfect for birthday parties or other special occasions.

Related Recipes:
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Banana Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Sheet Cake with Mocha Frosting:
Cake Ingredients
- 12 tbsp. unsalted room temperature butter
- 2 c. sugar
- 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 c. very hot tap water
- 2/3 c. half and half
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder

Frosting Ingredients
- 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. Kahlua
- 2 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract

For Cake
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Grease a 9"x13"x2" pan, line it with parchment paper, then grease and flour the parchment.
  • Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer on high speed for about 5 minutes, or until very fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just combined, and add in the vanilla.
  • In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • In another bowl, stir together the hot water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder.
  • Put the mixer on low and alternate adding in the flour and chocolate mixtures in thirds until combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pan, then transfer to a serving plate and frost.
For Frosting & Assembly
  • Heat the cream in a saucepan until simmering.
  • Combine the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate mixture and stir until melted and smooth. Add in the vanilla and Kahlua.
  • Refrigerate for about thirty minutes, or until cool but not cold.
  • Beat the mixture on high for another 20 seconds only, or until the mixture forms soft peaks.
  • Immediately spread the frosting onto the cake.

Serves twelve

Thursday, January 15

Beef and Broccoli

Make the Chinese take-out favorite at home in less time than you can order delivery

We finished a week of our healthy eating cleanse and are slowly incorporating some other foods back in our diet, including a little more meat. Our friends told us about this beef and broccoli recipe from Brown Eyed Baker, which I lightly adapted and made for dinner this week. It goes heavy on the broccoli, which, alongside the lean flank steak, makes for a pretty healthy dish. I served it with some quinoa to add bulk and help absorb some of the extra sauce. Like pretty much all stir-fries, this recipe is super quick to make and it's important to have all the ingredients prepped in advance because the actual cooking process takes just a few minutes. It's an easy, inexpensive, and healthier way to enjoy a favorite Chinese dish at home

More Quick & Healthy Asian Recipes:
- Orange Chicken Stir-Fry
- Peanut Noodles with Seared Beef
- Lemongrass Pork Meatball & Quinoa Bowl

Chinese Beef & Broccoli:
- 1 1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 lb. flank steak, sliced thinly against the grain
- 2" piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated or minced*
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3/4 c. water
- 1/4 c. oyster sauce
- 5 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. sesame oil, divided

  • Combine the beef, rice vinegar, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp. sesame oil in a large resealable bag and use you hands to rub the marinade into the meat. Let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring 1" water to a boil in a large pot, add in the broccoli, and cover with a lid. Cook the broccoli for 2-3 minutes, then drain.
  • In a bowl, combine the 3/4 c. water, oyster sauce, remaining 1/4 c. soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, and remaining 1/2 tsp. sesame oil and set the sauce aside.
  • In a wok or large skillet, heat the canola oil over high heat.
  • Add in the beef and sear for 30 seconds, then flip and add in the garlic and ginger. Stir and cook until the beef is no longer pink, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Remove the beef with slotted spoon and in the sauce. Let the sauce come to a boil, then lower to a simmer and add in the beef and broccoli.
  • Stir everything together and let cook until hot, about a minute.
  • Serve with rice or quinoa.

Serves four
*I like to use a microplane to finely grate the ginger.

Wednesday, January 14

Lamb Bolognese

This rustic bolognese features hearty pieces of vegetables and ground lamb

Spaghetti with Lamb Bolognese Sauce

It's January and many of us are trying to be healthy, but it's also full-on winter and the cold weather mandates some warm and comforting meals. This hearty bolognese is full of chunky vegetables and meaty pieces of pancetta and ground lamb - it's actually more of a ragu than a sauce. After some initial prep work and browning, the bolognese simmers on the stove to develop and concentrate deep meaty flavor. It's actually even better if it's made ahead, and you can easily make up a batch for dinners later in the week or to freeze. I include directions for serving the bolognese with spaghetti, but if you're looking for a healthier option, it would be just as good over polenta.

Note: I love the flavor of the lamb in this bolognese, but you could substitute it with ground beef for a more traditional sauce.

More Bolognese Recipes:
- The Ultimate Bolognese
- Traditional Bolognese
- Weeknight Bolognese

Spaghetti with Lamb Bolognese:
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1 lb. dried spaghetti
- 1 c. canned crushed tomatoes
- 3/4 c. beef stock
- 3/4 c. half and half
- 1/4 c. red wine
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 portobello mushrooms, diced
- 3 oz. pancetta, diced
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- fresh nutmeg
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper
- grated parmesan, for serving

  • Melt the butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat.
  • Add in the pancetta and cook for 5 minutes, or until the fat starts to render.
  • Add in the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms and cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables soften.
  • Turn up the heat to high, add in the ground lamb, and break up into pieces with a wooden spoon. Season with a couple large pinches of salt and pepper.
  • Leave the lamb to brown for a few minutes without stirring, then stir and let it continue to brown until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Add in the red wine, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add in the tomatoes and beef stock and another pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Bring the sauce to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for at least an hour. Stir occasionally and make sure it doesn't get too dry (add more stock if needed).
  • Remove the lid, stir in the half and half, and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust as needed.
  • At this point, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and a cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 c. pasta cooking water.
  • Toss the pasta, pasta water, and sauce together and serve with grated parmesan.

Serves four-six

Tuesday, January 13

Sweet Miso-Glazed Salmon

Quick enough for a weeknight and special enough for a dinner party

Sweet Miso Glazed Salmon

I test out new recipes all the time, but it's rare to find one that becomes an instant addition to our weekly table. This salmon recipe is our new favorite and we've been having it weekly for about a month. It takes less than five minutes to prep and only another ten to cook, all the ingredients for the marinade are in my fridge or pantry (chances are you won't have the miso, but it will keep forever after you buy it), and it works for so many different occasions. We've served it to friends, we made it for a mini Christmas celebration, and we had it again over the weekend for a healthy lunch. The glaze forms a sweet-salty-sticky layer on the outside of the fish and the salmon roasts until it's perfectly cooked. It's pictured here with quinoa, sautéed boy choy, and microgreens, but it would be lovely over any type of rice or veggies or even soba noodles.

Note: Try substituting salmon for another type of fish or even some chicken breasts. This glaze would make anything taste good!

Related Recipes:
- Miso Black Cod
- Pesto-Dijon Salmon
- Miso-Marinated Salmon Steaks

Sweet Miso-Glazed Salmon:
- 2 salmon fillets, 6 oz. each, pin bones removed
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. miso paste
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. hot water
- a pinch of red chile flakes

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Combine the miso, brown sugar, soy sauce, water, and chile flakes together in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
  • Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place the salmon on it. Spoon or brush on the miso glaze. Let the glazed salmon sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
  • Roast the salmon for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.

Serves two

Monday, January 12

Green Smoothie

You won't even taste the greens in this quick and healthy smoothie

Green Smoothie Recipe

There are healthy juice and smoothie places all over L.A. and occasionally I'll get a fancy green juice on a weekend morning when I feel like being healthy. I've tried juicing at home before and the results weren't pretty, but this green smoothie recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook really hits the spot and is so much cheaper than buying one somewhere else. If you're weary of putting greens in a fruit smoothie, you should really give this recipe a try as you can't taste the kale or spinach at all. The most important thing is using sweet ripe fruit, but I occasionally add in a bit of honey because I like my smoothies on the sweet side. This recipe will serve two people for a snack or one person for a larger breakfast. It only takes a few minutes to make and is a healthy and filling way to start your day or refuel after a workout.

Related Recipes:
- Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade
- Pineapple-Mango Rum Slushie

Green Smoothie:
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 banana, peeled, chopped, and frozen*
- 1 c. unsweetened almond or coconut milk
- 2 kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
- handful of baby spinach
- handful of crushed ice
- squirt of honey (optional)

  • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Serves two
*Ideally plan ahead and freeze a ripe banana before making this. However, you can use a fresh ripe banana and add a little more ice.

Thursday, January 8

Stuffed Kabocha Squash with Turkey & Quinoa

Roasted winter squash turns into an edible bowl for turkey, quinoa, and veggies

Stuffed Kabocha Squash with Turkey and Quinoa

This stuffed squash makes a super healthy and filling meal that's easy for a family dinner and special enough for guests. First, hollowed out squash halves get roasted in the oven to form edible "bowls" to place the filling. I chose a mixture of cooked quinoa, ground turkey, leeks, and spinach, but you could play around with different options. Make it vegetarian by omitting the turkey and bulking up the vegetables or play around with the different spices. Some melted cheese would be really nice on top, but I left it out for our cleanse week. To serve, all you need to do is transfer each squash to a plate and dig in with a fork and knife - it's a complete meal all on its own.

Note: If you can't find kabocha squash, try substituting it with acorn or even delicata varieties.

More Stuffed Vegetable Recipes:
- Turkey & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Chicken & Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes
- Quinoa Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed Kabocha Squash with Turkey & Quinoa:
- 1 kabocha squash
- 1 1/2 c. cooked quinoa
- 3/4 lb. ground turkey, preferably dark meat
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced
- 3 large handfuls of baby spinach
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- a large pinch of cayenne pepper
- kosher salt
- ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425F.
  • Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and trim the bottoms so the two halves can rest upright like little bowls. Rub each halve with 1 tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Roast the squash for 35-40 minutes, or until the squash is very tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat another 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add in the ground turkey and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up into pieces with the back of a wooden spoon, until the turkey is no longer pink.
  • Scrape out the turkey and add another tbsp. olive oil to the pan. Add in the leeks and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add in the spinach and cook for another 30 seconds, or until wilted.
  • Toss the leeks, spinach, turkey, quinoa, cumin, cayenne, and more salt and pepper together. Spoon the mixture into the cooked squash.
  • Lower the oven to 350F.
  • Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the top is crispy.

Serves two

Wednesday, January 7

Homemade Hummus

Homemade hummus is world's better than the store-bought stuff

Homemade Hummus

When it comes to eating, there seems to be two kinds of people: those who eat a few big meals a day and those who love to snack. I generally fall into the first category, mainly because I can't keep good snacks around the house without my husband secretly eating them all, but the cleanse we're on makes healthy snacks very necessary. I created a big batch of homemade hummus over the weekend and we've been bringing some to work with crudités everyday to munch on. Making hummus at home couldn't be easier, as all you really need to do is dump all the ingredients into the food processor and blend it up. It tastes so much fresher than the store-bought stuff and it gives you control on exactly what you put in it. I'm looking forward to experimenting with other flavors soon, as the possibilities are really endless.  Serve it as a dip or on a sandwich for a healthy and flavorful snack or spread.

Related Recipes:
- Garlic Whole Wheat Pita Chips
- Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Preserved Lemons

Basic Homemade Hummus:
  • Drain a 15 oz. can of chickpeas and place them in a food processor or heavy-duty blender.
  • Puree the chickpeas for about a minute, or until they are finely ground. Scrape down the side with a spatula if necessary.
  • Add in 1/2 c. tahini,* 2 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, and a few dashes of hot sauce.
  • Blend until combined, then slowly add in 1/4 c. water until the hummus is a smooth and desired consistency. Check for seasoning.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  • Optional: drizzle with olive oil and season with a touch of smoked paprika before serving.

Makes approx. two and a half cups
*Sesame seed paste. Often found by the nut butters in grocery stores or in the ethnic foods aisle.

Tuesday, January 6

Curried Split Pea Soup

A gorgeous soup that looks and tastes amazing ... and it's vegan!

Curried Split Pea Soup with Coconut Milk

This soup has been on my mind ever since I saw it on Sprouted Kitchen a few weeks ago. It's not an ordinary split pea soup by any means. The curry spices, coconut milk, and orange juice add a ton of exotic flavor, sweetness, and creaminess. A roasted sweet potato helps to naturally thicken the soup and add body, which is a trick that I can't wait to try with other soup recipes in the future. It's the perfect healthy recipe for the cleanse this week (and it also happens to be vegan), because it's rich and satisfying and will keep you full for a long time. I leave the soup a bit chunky and garnish with sesame seeds and microgreens for some extra texture that stops me from craving a piece of crusty bread to go with it. However, if you're not on a diet, bread and soup are always a good pairing.

Related Recipes:
- Curry Coconut Lentil Soup
- Winter Vegetable Minestrone
- Broccoli, Lemon, & Parmesan Soup

Curried Split Pea Soup:
- 6 c. low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 1/2 c. split peas
- 1 c. light coconut milk, plus more to garnish
- 3/4 c. cooked, peeled sweet potato (bake in a 400F oven for 40 minutes, or until tender)
- 1/3 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1" thumb of ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- pinch of cayenne
- microgreens, black sesame seeds, cilantro (for garnish)

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Add in the onion, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until soft.
  • Stir in the curry powder, cumin, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute.
  • Add in the split peas and broth, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover with a lid.
  • Cook for 45-60 minutes, or until the split peas are very soft.
  • Let cool slightly, then use a blender or food processor to carefully puree until mostly smooth.
  • Return the soup to pot and stir in the coconut milk, orange juice, and cayenne. Taste for seasoning.
  • Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with a splash more coconut milk, sesame, cilantro, and microgreens.

Serves four-six

Monday, January 5

KSD Anniversary & The Food Cleanse

Blogversary & The Annual Healthy Food Cleanse

Kitchen Sink Diaries Healthy Food Cleanse

Happy New Year! This time of year always signals two things at Kitchen Sink Diaries: the anniversary of this blog and our healthy food cleanse. As far as anniversaries go, I just celebrated my fourth year of blogging for KSD over the weekend. A lot changes in four years, and it's fun to look back at the old posts from my early twenties, when I had just moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) in our first apartment together. This blog has seen me through three jobs, an engagement and marriage, a move, and a whole lot of cooking. I now have over 800 recipes on here and have grown so much as a cook and blogger. It's not always easy to devote the time and energy to making my posts, but I just love hearing from people that have cooked my food and are hungry for more.

This time also marks the beginning of our annual healthy eating "cleanse", which my husband and I have done for three years. The concept has grown more popular, but the idea is to reset our bodies from the holidays with a vegetable-heavy diet that's free of dairy, gluten, processed sugars, and fatty meats. It's nice to start the year off on a healthy note and my husband always seems to lose a few pounds from it. This year, we're only doing the cleanse for a week and then are going to slowly incorporate the dairy, etc. back in our diet. This is a compromise we made so we don't get too crazy immediately after the cleanse and binge on chocolate cake and cheeseburgers like we did last year.

I'll be sharing more of cleanse recipes this week, but you can get check out posts from the previous years here, here, and here. In the meantime, here are some of my favorite healthy recipes from the KSD archives.

Healthy Recipe Favorites: