My Cookbook + a Bonus Pack of Recipes

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Dear friends!

It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks my cookbook, My New Roots: Inspired Plant Based Recipes for Every Season will be landing in stores, your homes and hands. Bah! Pretty exciting stuff. I know the wait has been long, but we’re nearly there. Your support and unabashed enthusiasm for this project has filled me up and fueled me these past months while I waited with knots in my stomach just to see it, and I can say with great relief and pride that I am thrilled with how it’s turned out. Now I have my fingers crossed (and toes and arms and legs and eyes) that you feel the same way.

Here is a trailer for the book – and clips from the year that I made it.

bookspread

So to tell you a little more without giving too much away…
The book opens with the techniques and processes I use in my kitchen every day, which form the foundation of all plant-based cooking: how to cook beans and grains and how to make nut and seed butters are just a few examples. With detailed yet easy to follow, step-by-step instructions, you’ll master these simple methods in no time and be well-equipped to cook the recipes from the book as well as have the confidence to be creative on your own.

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The recipes follow, with 100 all-new, never-before-seen recipes with a couple of your favourites from the blog, just because I thought you’d appreciate them in print. Some of my favourite recipes are Savoury Spring Hand Pies, Raw Cashew Yogurt with Maple and Blackberry, Grain-Free Hemp Tabbouleh, Sparkling Mint Melonade, Apricot Rhubarb Clafoutis, Sunflower Sesame Seed Brittle, Trippy Tie-Dye Soup, Vanilla Rose Apple Cider, Chunky Banana Bread Granola, and Raw Mint Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. All of the recipes are vegetarian, most of them vegan, and many of them gluten-free. I have some stellar raw recipes that go beyond just salad, hearty breakfasts, meals to take to school, the office, and road trips. Beautiful drinks to quench your thirst, soups and dips and sandwiches. Simple family fare, and meals to impress your best guests.

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The book is laid out in seasons, five in fact, which you will learn more about once you read it. I wrote the recipes and photographed in “real time”, as the weeks rolled through the year, inspired by what was around me, growing in the garden, available at the market, and the dishes reflect this. When I look through the pages, the photographs pull me back to the places I was, the slant of daylight, temperature of the air, who I was with in the kitchen. It is, very much like the blog, a diary of sorts: a collection of more than just food, but moods and memories.

As we are counting down to the book’s launch, I’ve put together a bonus pack of six exclusive recipes not in the cookbook (plus two that are, for fun) for all of you who want to preorder to the book, and also for those that already have. It’s easy: pre-order the book from your retailer of choice, here, and then go to this page, insert your purchase order (PO number), personal information and you can download the Bonus Pack PDF immediately. No matter where you live in the world or where you are buying / have bought the book, you can get the bonus pack!

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This book represents so many things for me. After eight and half years (!!!) of blogging, it seems like the natural next step to become three-dimensional, to enter the world as a published author. I am very proud of my journey, and this book is a culmination of that. I truly never imagined that I would be sitting here, cradling this collection of recipes from my heart, holding it out for you to take. But it feels right. And now is the time. Thank you for making this possible and for taking this journey with me.

Now let’s go cook.

In love and gratitude,
Sarah B.

 #MNRcookbook

PREORDER and BONUS PACK QUESTIONS ANSWERED
1. You can download the bonus pack from anywhere in the world that you ordered the book from. Here is the link: http://app.snapapp.com/MyNewRoots

2. You can download the bonus pack anytime. That means  if you ordered the book five weeks ago, or five minutes ago. There is no time limit, the offer will not expire until the book is officially released on March 31st. Here is the link: http://app.snapapp.com/MyNewRoots

3. If you live in Australia or New Zealand you can order the book from here:
https://www.dymocks.com.au/
http://www.bookworld.com.au/
http://www.booktopia.com.au/
http://www.readings.com.au/

4. If you are in any other country not listed, check your country’s online book vendors and you will also be able to download the bonus pack.

5. The bonus pack is a PDF (a digital file). It is NOT an extra book that will be sent to you in the mail. If you want a hard copy of the recipes, simply download the bonus pack and print the document.


My New Roots

Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge + Everyday Detox Cookbook

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My friend and fellow blogger, Megan Gilmore, from the popular blog Detoxinista just launched her first cookbook this week, Everyday Detox: 100 Easy Recipes to Remove Toxins, Promote Gut Health, and Lose Weight Naturally. I was lucky to be able to review this cookbook before it went to print and I’ve been eagerly anticipating the hard copy on my doorstep. Just like on her blog, the recipes in her debut cookbook are unfussy, whole foods based, and feature short ingredient lists. I’ve been a fan of Megan’s for years and I’ve always admired her ability to take a handful of simple, whole foods ingredients and turn them into something practical for everyday life. While Megan doesn’t ascribe to any particular dietary label, she creates many vegan, paleo, vegetarian, and gluten-free recipes. About 75% of the recipes in Everyday Detox are vegan or can be made vegan by swapping out the sweetener or leaving out the cheese. All of the recipes are gluten-free. There are around 50 gorgeous photos shot by Nicole Franzen.

The book’s chapters include: 1) An easy approach to detoxing; 2) stocking your detox-friendly kitchen; 3) liquid nourishment; 4) morning favorites; 5) salads, dressings & sides; 6) soups, sandwiches & wraps; 7) casseroles & comfort foods; 8) sweet treats; and 9) back to basics.                                                                                                                                                       

Detox-based cookbooks tend to make me think of hard-core fad diets and cleanses, but thankfully Megan’s approach is much less drastic. She encourages you to practice daily healthy habits and believes in eating whole foods (ie., unprocessed, refined-sugar free, chemical additive free) on a day to day basis – making a lifestyle change – rather than teetering on the extremes and cyclic nature of dieting. Megan doesn’t believe in calorie counting because she says it “doesn’t take into account the quality of foods we’re consuming nor the body’s ability to digest natural foods versus processed ones.” Instead of looking at the calorie count on a label, she says to ask yourself a few questions: Where does the food come from? Is it in its natural state? How many ingredients does it contain and do you recognize those ingredients? Better yet, she says, select foods with no label at all. I love that last tip. The recipes in Everyday Detox are also based on the principles of food-combining and how food-combining can impact digestion (which is something I admit that I’m not overly motivated to follow), but whether you want to learn more about food-combining or not, the recipes can be enjoyed simply because they are healthful and delicious.

Today, I’m happy to share a recipe from her cookbook for all of the almond butter lovers out there! I couldn’t help myself and added a homemade chocolate topping and Maldon sea salt flakes. It was a hit with our friends!

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Salted Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, no bake/raw, refined sugar-free, soy-free

This almond butter fudge is lightly adapted and shared with permission from Everyday Detox (2015) by Megan Gilmore. I also threw on a homemade chocolate coating for a snappy burst of chocolate in each piece, and a garnish of flaked sea salt. Be sure to keep this fudge in the freezer because it melts at room temperature.

Yield
21 pieces
Freeze time
1.5 hours
Prep Time
15 Minutes
Cook time
0 Minutes
Total Time
15 Minutes

Ingredients:

For the freezer fudge (lightly adapted from Everyday Detox):
  • 1 1/2 cups raw smooth almond butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt, to taste
For the chocolate topping:
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt or other fine sea salt
  • Maldon sea salt or other flaked sea salt, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Lightly grease a standard size loaf pan (9″x5″) and line with a piece of parchment paper cut to fit the length of the pan.
  2. For the fudge: Spoon the almond butter into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small pot, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and salt (only the fudge ingredients here). Heat over low, until the oil is melted. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the bowl with the almond butter, stirring as you go. Stir until completely smooth and combined. It’ll be quite runny at this stage.
  4. With a spatula, spoon the almond butter mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth out. Place the pan, uncovered, on a flat surface in the freezer. Freeze for around 1 hour, or until the fudge is solid.
  5. For the chocolate topping: In a small pot, add the oil and melt the oil over low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in the maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. I like to place the chocolate sauce in the fridge for several minutes until thickened slightly.
  6. Slice the frozen slab of fudge into about 21 (1-inch) squares and place on a large plate lined with parchment paper, about a half-inch between each piece. Spoon the chocolate sauce on top of each square (a scant 1 teaspoon per square). Place back in the freezer until the chocolate is solid. Sprinkle on some flaked sea salt, if desired.
  7. Break apart the squares of fudge (if the chocolate pooled at the bottom) and enjoy immediately. Return leftovers to the freezer.

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I also tried out the Strawberry Basil Blast smoothie a few times. I change it up a bit using half the avocado and lemon juice. It’s also good without the fresh basil (I don’t always have it handy because I love to kill me a basil plant), but I do recommend trying the basil version first. I’ve made a cherry-basil combo in the past and it really is awesome in a smoothie! This smoothie will be on heavy rotation throughout the summer.

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Some other recipes on my must-try list include: Raw Falafel Wraps, Enchilada Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and “Beef” and Broccoli.

Thanks to Megan for letting me share this almond butter fudge recipe today. Be sure to check out Everyday Detox which is hot off the press this week!

Oh She Glows

T-fal E93808 Professional Total Nonstick Oven Safe Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan / Saute Pan Dishwasher Safe Cookware, 12-Inch, Black Review

T-fal E93808 Professional Total Nonstick Oven Safe Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan / Saute Pan Dishwasher Safe Cookware, 12-Inch, Black

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T-fal E9380884 Professional Total Nonstick Oven Safe Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator 12.5-Inch Fry Pan / Saute Pan Dishwasher Safe Cookware, Black

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Winter Rainbow Panzanella

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Dear colour. I miss you. Please come back soon.
Your pal,
Sarah B

I’ve joked before about the oh-so dark, single-toned, and super grey city Copenhagen becomes in the winter. After months upon months of this, I feel as if my eyes have turned into little slits, and only capable of seeing in black and white. Needing some kind of sign that I wasn’t turning into a subterranean mammal, I cycled down to the central market of Copenhagen last week to find some inspiration in the form of light and colour. I was pretty shocked when I arrived to see a plethora of vibrant veggies, all lined up and waiting for me take them home. I guess I’d gotten into such a routine with my shopping that I had failed to remember that winter does in fact offer a lot of brightly hued food, and that I am, undoubtedly, a human.

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Excited and hungry, I hurried home with a whack-load of produce and a plan brewing in my brain. Oh the colours! Oh the possibilities! Oh what a nerd I am! With some stale sourdough rye sitting on the counter and a knob of ginger in the fridge, a hearty, satisfying salad began to take shape in my mind, a rainbow swathe of vegetables stretched out before me like a beacon in a stubborn steel grey sky.

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Super Cool Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi is a mysterious and intimidating vegetable, don’t you agree? I’ve gotten a lot of questions about this prehistoric looking creature, as many of you out there seem to be quite scared of even taking it home!

Well fear not. Kohlrabi is not going to take off a finger or worse if you approach it with a knife. It is a rather gentle and yielding brassica, a cross between a cabbage and a turnip that can be enjoyed cooked or raw. Its pleasantly crisp texture is perfect julienned in salads, but it’s also a tender treat roasted in the oven in slices or batons. The flavour is somewhere near to broccoli but a tad milder and sweeter. I really like it in soups as well, blended up with white beans or chickpeas. The leaves are also edible and very delicious in salad or stir-fried with garlic like collards or Swiss chard.

Key nutrients in kohlrabi include vitamin C, for fighting infection, vitamin E for preventing arterial plaque build-up, and a range of B-vitamins for combating stress. The potassium in kohlrabi helps the body maintain proper fluid balance, while the calcium manages the acid/alkaline balance of our blood. Other minerals in kohlrabi include iron, magnesium and zinc.

When buying kohlrabi, look for bulbs that are firm, smooth and free of holes or cracks. Typically this part of the vegetable is pale green, but you can also find purple varieties like the one pictured above. The younger ones can be eaten with the skin on, but as their season (late fall to early spring) stretches, you’ll find peeling the more mature bulbs is a tastier choice. The leaves should be taut and unblemished. To prolong the kohlrabi’s shelf life, remove the leaves and wrap them in a damp towel, place them in a plastic bag in the fridge for up four days. The root bulb can be stored separately in the crisper as well, and will keep well for couple weeks.

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To the panzanella! Traditionally, this is a salad made with stale white bread and tomatoes, a popular dish in Tuscany. My version is a far, Nordic cry from the classic, but it’s a meal in itself and a very satisfying one at that, since there is just so. much. going. on.

The key to building this dish, or any dish for that matter is layers and balance; flavours, textures and of course, colours. Taking into consideration that the base of this dish would be hearty winter greens I knew that I needed something creamy and yielding, like roast veggies, and something dense and crusty, like the Garlic Sourdough Rye Bread Croutons to contrast and compliment. From a flavour perspective, especially in salads, balancing tastes is very important for success. Because the roast vegetables are so sweet, it’s important to have an acidic hit to add brightness. I made some very tasty Ginger-Pickled Carrots in advance, but capers would also be a nice touch if you are pressed for time. The point is to step back and look at your dish as a whole, then adjust all the levels of salt, sugar, and acid as needed tipping the scales until everything is just right.

And just a special note about these croutons, because they are so darn delish. I first came up with these in the good ol’ days when I was cooking at a very small café here in Copenhagen, inventing new dishes every day and being creative with what I had available. The odd time we had any leftover rye bread, I would make these garlic croutons, few of which actually made it onto any finished dishes because I would typically eat them all up before service with my kitchen mates. They are addictive. The kind of thing you wouldn’t necessarily think of as a terrific little snack, but wow, are they ever hard to stop eating! There is a high amount of garlic-to-bread ratio, but because Danish rye is so rich and flavourful, you’ll need that amount of garlic to be heard. If you’re using a lighter bread, a spelt loaf for instance, you can scale back just a touch unless you really love your garlic and/or not planning on making out with anyone for a couple days.

This dish may seem component-heavy, but most of these elements can be made in advance so the whole thing comes together when you’re ready. The only thing you need to do before serving in fact, is massaging the kale and kohlrabi leaves.

Now excuse me as I dive face first into this bowl of rainbow ecstasy! Okay, good-byyyyyyeeee!

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*   *   *   *   *   *

Hey guys! I have some very exciting news…I’m going on tour with my cookbook! Although we are still working out some of the hard details, I wanted to let you know when and where I’ll be so you can make a note of it. It would be so rad to meet you, and I hope that you can come out and celebrate! I will update this page and post the events on my Events page and Facebook as they are finalized. Looking forward to it, more than you know!

My New Roots - Inspired Plant-Based Recipes for Every SeasonTORONTO
April 9 – 14

VANCOUVER
April 15 – 17

LOS ANGELES
April 18 – 20

NEW YORK
April 22 + 23

I hope that everyone who has pre-ordered the book is enjoying the Bonus Pack of recipes! Thanks for all of your very positive feedback so far. There is still time to get yours if you’re interested…click here!


My New Roots

Berries and Peaches with Mint Syrup

Berries and Peaches with Mint Syrup | A Couple CooksBerries and Peaches with Mint Syrup | A Couple CooksBerries and Peaches with Mint Syrup | A Couple CooksBerries and Peaches with Mint Syrup | A Couple CooksBerries and Peaches with Mint Syrup | A Couple CooksWhy should we all use our creative power…? Because there is nothing that makes people so generous, joyful, lively, bold and compassionate, so indifferent to fighting and the accumulation of objects and money. ~Brenda Ueland

Some people ooze creativity, but I would contend after my 33 years on this earth that we are all born with a creative spirit. Maybe it’s not easily visible in some people, but instead of singing or dancing perhaps it’s creative problem solving skills. Or, I’ve met engineers who are closet painters or sculptors. And I’ve learned from teaching cooking that once people have the tools of how to create a meal, they are creative and inventive beyond what they thought possible.

I identify as a creative: I was a writer and played classical piano and French horn throughout my childhood, then ended up majoring in music and journalism in college. Since I chose a career in the business world (I’m part owner of a technical writing firm), I’ve had to determine how to balance an intense creative passion with a demanding career. How’s that for a challenge? I’d imagine many of you reading this have had similar experiences. Cooking became that creative outlet for me, and along with that this blog.

Many times, the stress of running two businesses while trying to be a loving boss / wife / daughter / friend / sister / aunt / niece / etc. has left me on less than a full tank. A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to be approached by a dear friend to try out a book called The Artist’s Way that focuses on creative renewal. One of the challenges in the book was to take an “artist’s date” each week, where you do something to indulge your inner artist. For me, it was playing a Chopin waltz I hadn’t touched in years. It felt so good, I cried (ha!). Creative healing central, here. If any of you readers are creatives or wanting to tap into more creative potential, I’d highly recommend the book.

And now, the food. To me, a simple recipe that highlights interesting flavors with minimal effort is #1 in creativity in my book (at least, in the home cooking realm!). A dear friend made this for a picnic and I couldn’t get over the simple beauty of vibrant, ripe fruit against the minty sweetness of a light drizzle of syrup. Our variation with this local fruit from our farmer’s market was beyond stellar. Like eating the best kind of candy possible.  And if you struggle with work / life balance as I do, it’s also a super simple dessert for a summer evening. Whip up a bit of the syrup (which mainly involves hands off wait time) and store it in the refrigerator for the next occasion.

We’d love to hear in the comments below if any of you have thoughts on creativity, creative renewal, work / life balance, etc. Hope your summer is going well! 

Mint Syrup
 
by:
Serves: 1½ cups

What You Need
  • Large handful of mint stems
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar

What To Do
  1. Remove the leaves from the mint and reserve for a garnish. Roughly cut the mint stems so they fit in a medium saucepan. In the saucepan, add 1 cup water and 2 cups sugar Bring to a simmer and simmer for a few minutes until thickened.
  2. Remove from the heat and cool for about 1 hour while the mint seeps. When cool, strain into an airtight container. (Makes 1½ cups syrup; store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.)

Berries and Peaches with Mint Syrup
 
by:
Serves: 4

What You Need
  • ½ pint blackberries
  • ½ pint raspberries
  • 2 peaches
  • Mint leaves
  • Mint syrup (above)

What To Do
  1. Slice the peaches. Place the berries and peaches on a plate and drizzle syrup over fruit. Garnish with mint leaves.

 

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Cuisinart 622-30G Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover Review

Cuisinart 622-30G Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 12-Inch Skillet with Glass Cover

  • Hard anodized is harder than stainless steel and is dense, nonporous and highly wear-resistant for extra durability and professional performance
  • Quantanium nonstick interior is reinforced with titanium and provides lasting food release, healthily nonfat cooking option, and easy clean up
  • Cool grip handles are solid stainless steel riveted stick handles that stay cool on the stove top and provide a safe a solid grip
  • Oven safe to 500 degrees F, with tapered drip free rim
  • Limited lifetime warranty
Inspired by the French kitchens, Cuisinart began making professional cookware over 30 years ago. Constructed of the finest materials available to perfectly perform all of the classic cooking techniques, Cuisinart continues its commitment to superior quality and innovation. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Non-Stick Hard Anodized skillets have sloped sides and wide flat bottoms for frying, sautéing, or browning. An extremely durable exterior with a smooth, hard anodized finish creates a look of professi

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Utopia Kitchen Lodge Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet Cookware Frying Pan 10.25"

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Beet & Greens Tart

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When I tell my friends that I like to watch tv-series on my phone and movies on my computer – simultaneously – they often give me that ”you-are-weird” look. It doesn’t matter that I try to explain that it can be very stressful to be the father of two kids, run a family business and have a blog, so watching tv-series and movies is a nice way to de-stress. And since I don’t have much time to myself, I try to make the most of it, hence the double screens. For many years, I just fast-forwarded through movies (don’t judge) but I have realised that this is a much better way. When I fast-forwarded I often missed essential parts of the plot so I had to rewind several times, and that kind of defeated the purpose. I of course realise that one of the points of movies and tv series is to relax, but in some upside-down way I just feel like I get twice as much relaxation done. Imagine how effective I could be if I learned to multitask while sleeping! (I have already tried watching movies while sleeping and unfortunately it’s just not my thing, even if I’m a fan of the idea.)

Luise isn’t very understanding either, I have explained to her that Sherlock Holmes (the one living in New York with Lucy Liu as an assistant) can watch 10 different televisions at the same time, but she told me that I am being ridiculous (I still don’t understand if she means that I’m ridiculous for making Sherlock Holmes references or because Sherlock Holmes is a pretty awesome guy and I’m ridiculous for even trying to compare myself with him?).

Anyway, today’s recipe is a beet tart. It’s not very complicated to make and it’s really delicious. Perfect for a lunch or a picnic. You can probably make it while watching Sherlock Holmes, but I wouldn’t recommend to simultaneously watch another movie. It’s a one-screen kind of recipe. Mostly because you need to grate beets and I have had enough accidents with the box grater to know that two screens and a box grater is more than even I can handle. I am sure Sherlock could pull it off though.

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The tart crust is gluten free and really easy to handle, in fact, it might be our best tart crust ever. I usually just press the dough into a case without using a rolling pin, but this time I rolled it out between two sheets of baking paper and it came out real pretty and easy to handle. However, you need 3 different types of flour and if you think that’s too much, feel free to replace it with your own favourite tart crust recipe.

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Given that I’ve been talking about beetroots and Sherlock Holmes, I could easily make some references to blood stains in our kitchen, but I’m going to talk about the flavour and method instead. We went classic with the beet pairings. The idea is to fill up the bottom of the tart with raw grated beetroots, then we top it with sautéed onion and beet greens that are mixed with beaten egg, plant milk, crumbled goat’s cheese, mint and walnuts. And right before we eat it, we usually drizzle some raw honey on top because the sweetness is really nice together with the goat’s cheese. Sherlock has bee hives on his roof so I’m sure he would appreciate the use of honey.

Enough with Sherlock. Now, let’s get cooking.

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Beet, Goat’s Cheese & Walnut Tart
8 servings  (Loosely inspired from this recipe)

If you find beetroots with fresh and good looking greens, go ahead and use them. They are usually pretty easy to find during the spring and summer. If not, just use the beetroots and replace the beet greens with spinach, chard or kale instead.

Tart crust
1 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz rolled oats (or 3/4 cup / 200 ml oat flour), choose certified gluten free if you are intolerant
1/3 cup / 50 g rice flour

1/3 cup/ 50 g almond flour
2 tbsp linseeds (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
75 g / 5 tbsp cold butter or coconut oil, cut into dices

4 tbsp ice-cold water

Filling
2-3 beetroots (approx 1 lb/450 g), 

1 red onion, peeled
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh or dried thyme
salt & pepper

2 large bunches beet greens (or spinach)
1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)

3 large eggs
1/2 cup / 140 ml milk of choice, we used rice
3.5 oz / 100 g goat’s cheese / chèvre
10 fresh mint leaves

10 walnuts, lightly crushed

2 tbsp honey

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Add rolled oats, almond flour, rice flour, linseeds and sea salt to a food processor and pulse until the oats have been mixed into flour. Add the diced butter and pulse a few times until you get really small pieces of butter evenly distributed in the flour. (These steps can also be made by hand.) Add the water, pulse until everything comes together. Try to form a ball with your hands. If it feels crumbly, add 1-2 tbsp extra water. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes.

When done, place the dough between two baking papers and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until you got a rough circle, about 1/8 inch / 5 mm thick. Carefully transfer it to a 10 inch / 27 cm tart pan. Trim off any excess dough then use a fork to prick it a few times. Blind-bake for 10 minutes to prevent the crust from getting soggy.

Peel the beetroots and grate them coarsely on a box grater or in a food processor.

Cut the onion thinly. Place a large frying pan on medium heat. Add a slab of coconut oil or butter and, when melted, spread out the onion slices evenly in the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes and then shake the pan and fry them on the other side. Add garlic and thyme and fry for about 30 seconds before adding half of the beet greens (or spinach) together with apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. When the greens have wilted down, add the rest, stir around and then take the pan off the heat. Beat the eggs together with the milk and then crumble in the goat’s cheese finely. Add sautéed vegetables and mint leaves and stir around.

Arrange the grated beets at the bottom of the tart, reserve some for the top. Pour the egg and greens mixture over the center, make sure that the cheese is somewhat evenly distributed. We usually leave about an inch / 2 cm of beetroot untouched towards the edges (just because it’s pretty) but it’s not necessary. Make sure the filling is all moist from the liquid. Tuck in walnut pieces here and there at the top and drizzle over the remaining beetroot shreds. You can drizzle some honey on top before baking if you prefer a bit of caramelised top, or just save it for after it’s baked (or do both if you prefer ir a bit sweeter). Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden and firm. Serve with a dollop of Turkish yogurt and some drizzled honey on top.

Beet_tart_06

*************
Oh, one other thing, completely unrelated to Sherlock Holmes and Beet Tarts. We’re going to Milan next week to talk about the Italian edition of our (first) book. We will be talking, cooking a recipe and have a book signing at Corriere della Sera’s food event Cibo a regola d’arte on Thursday 21st May at 5.30pm. The event is free and will take place in Triennale – salone d’Onore. Hope to see some of you there!

Green Kitchen Stories

Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta- Simply Ancient Grains

Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta- Simply Ancient Grains

I have a pile of cookbooks sitting on my side table that I’ve been wanting to share with you. This year has been a big year for books by people I admire (and the fall is showing no sign of a slow down). It feels like such a wonderful time for fresh, seasonal cooking in terms of books. This is exciting and slightly bad- I’m going to need a bigger book shelf (because I’m still a physical book lover- none of these ‘ebooks’!)

The book I wanted to share with you today is by one of my favorite authors. I first learned about Maria from her first cookbook. My mom had picked it up and sometimes when I’m at her house, I raid her cookbook collection (and by raid, I mean borrow for an extended period of time).  I had just started my path down whole grains when I picked up Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. I fell in love with Maria’s creative use of grains and she is one of the biggest proponents of ancient grains.

Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta- Simply Ancient Grains

Her newest book, Simply Ancient Grains, is a wonderful follow-up to her first book. The cookbook spans breakfast through mains and to desserts. It’s a good sign when I flip through a cookbook and want to make nearly every recipe. I started with the giant spelt pancake with squash blossoms (not only creative but beautiful too) and followed it up with this summer couscous. Fruit and grains has been a theme for me this summer (starting with this cherry and quinoa salad). The salad is light, refreshing, and perfect for any picnic or cookout.

If you’re a grain lover like myself, I highly recommend checking out both Maria’s books. They are both a wonderful inspiration to really dive into the world of Ancient grains!
See the Recipe.

The post Minted Summer Couscous with Watermelon and Feta- Simply Ancient Grains appeared first on Naturally Ella.

Naturally Ella

Hamilton Beach 70730 Bowl Scraper Food Processor Review

Hamilton Beach 70730 Bowl Scraper Food Processor

  • Scrapes Sides of Bowl - No Spatula Needed
  • 10-Cup Capacity Built-in Scraper Works While Processor is On or Off
  • 2-Speeds Plus Pulse Chopping Blade and Slicing / Shredding Disc
  • Large Feed Chute S-Blade for Chopping, Mixing & Pureeing Dishwasher Safe Bowl, Lid & Blades Scraper Attachment
  • 450 Watts of power
Cooking is an action sport and kitchen gadgets do their best to make prep simpler. Hamilton Beach Bowl Scraper Food Processor 70730 has a convenient built in (blade proof) speed feature. The simple contraption rests on top of the central blade shaft and features three arms that slide along the inside of the bowl, scraping away foods that like to hide from the two-speed (plus pulse) spinning blades. Save time and prep food like a pro with the Hamilton Beach Bowl Scraper 70730 10-Cup Food Processo

List Price: $ 59.99 Price: $ 34.15

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz SLB9K 6M 1333 Socket 775 CPU Processor

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Intel Core i5 650 3.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor 4 MB Cache Socket LGA1156 H CPU
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Making Fitness Work for You: How to Exercise at Home

Making FItness Work for You...How to Exercise Without A Gym | A Couple Cooks

As passionate as we are about food and health, we know simply eating a whole foods diet is only one piece of the puzzle. Staying fit and leading an active lifestyle is just as important to overall wellness. Here’s the secret we’ve found to fitting in regular exercise: making it work in your lifestyle and with your personality. In this next post in our Healthy + Whole series, here’s a bit about where we’ve come, and what our fitness routine looks like now. 

Like many Americans, my life is non-stop. Weekdays are packed minute-by-minute between running a business, running a blog, running to social commitments…ironically leaving little to no time for actual physical running! Until about 10 years ago, regular fitness often took a back seat in my life to professional or artistic pursuits, socializing, or, well, anything to give me a good excuse.

I must confess: I’ve never been a gym person. I don’t feel inspired around exercise equipment and mirrors and big muscles. Instead, I feel inspired when I’m in my home, walking in my neighborhood, dancing, or hiking up a mountain. After some ill-fated attempts at becoming a gym regular, I realized a gym membership was not the answer.

Instead, several years ago as an experiment, I started using some Pilates DVDs. To my surprise, within a few months I started to slim down and build muscle without even having to leave my home, which was perfect for my busy schedule. A tradition of waking up early before work to do Pilates began. While I didn’t look forward to the early mornings, I felt great and it left my evenings free. After we got married, Alex encouraged me to start some new videos, partly because I could recite Denise Austin by heart but mostly to start working some new muscle groups. We decided it was time for some cardio as well, and purchased elliptical machine for our home. I started alternating cardio (while listening to my favorite podcast) with strength training workouts on weekday mornings, but left the weekend free for “rest” from my weekday workouts. 7 days a week sounded burdensome, but 5 weekdays: that was doable.

What started as an experiment turned into a tradition of exercise that Alex has now joined me on. He’s pushed to prioritize strength training, so we’ve moved to using You Tube videos in our attic workout space. And for cardio, we’ve started jump rope (surprisingly difficult), and just purchased a stationary bike to replace our elliptical, since it’s smaller and can provide an even more targeted workout. And when he doesn’t want to get up, we carve out some time in the evening.

Overall, we’ve found that creating a fitness plan in our home has worked surprising well. We’re able to exercise doing what we want, when we want — and even better, it’s working! Our new strength training regimen has allowed us to build some serious muscle while enjoying some time together.

Below are a few tips on how to start a workout routine in your home, as well as a plan of what we do and some links to equipment we use. We’d love to hear your thoughts on exercise, how you’ve made it work for you, or where you’re looking to grow!

1. Embrace your identity. Before I became interested in cooking, I had a very strong identity about who I as not. “I’m not a cook. I’m not a crunchy granola hippie who loves health food and wears yoga pants.” In the same way, I had the same prejudices about being into fitness. “I’m not a body builder. I’m not a runner. I don’t wear spandex and sports bras.” But guess what? You don’t need to change your identity or your personality to start integrating fitness into your life. Same with cooking healthy foods. You can still be you, even if your habits might start to look different.

2. If it doesn’t work, ditch the gym. With the craziness that is my life, there’s just not enough time in the day to drive to a gym, exercise, shower, and drive home. To make working out work for me, I get up 30 minutes early before work to exercise in my home. This saves the time of taking a trip to the gym, and I have my evenings free to catch up at the office or go for a walk with a friend. I started out with just an exercise mat, and have since purchased some free weights to go along with our exercise videos.

3. Work out, then rest. Making a goal of working out 7 days per week for the indefinite future is daunting. We’ve found that aiming to work out every weekday works for us, since we’re able to be more naturally active on the weekends, especially in the summer. This also gives your muscles a break and a chance to rebuild.

4. Give yourself grace. Lots of it. Working out regularly is hard work, and it takes diligence to build up a routine and find what works for you. If you have some rough patches and stop/starts, it’s ok! Give yourself the grace to move forward, and try not to guilt-trip yourself into giving it up altogether. (We’ve been there.)

What We Do: In-Home Workouts

  • Daily: Walk as much as possible during the day (I use a Fitbit to track my steps and shoot for 8,000 to 10,000)
  • Weekly (~30 minutes total on weekdays):
    Strength training + light cardio You Tube videos, 20-30 minutes / 4-5 times per week
    Cardio on elliptical or stationary bike, ~20 minutes / 3 times per week (to keep your interest, try listening to podcasts!)
  • Weekend: 
    Bike rides
    Walking dates with friends
    Dancing! (I love it, he hates it)

What We Use

 

 

 

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