Cranberry Apple Salad with Pepitas and Apple Cider Vinaigrette
+ BEETxBEET GIVEAWAY!
I love the vegan clothing and awareness company BEETxBEET and that they stand up for our animal friends, but I love owner, activist and girl boss Jacky Wasserman even more. We've been friends for a few years now after meeting at a vegan Oktoberfest and interviewing her about her company back where she first started. She works her ass off saving animals and making rad clothing, which has expanded from a few humble t-shirts to hats, notebooks and sometimes even customized cup cozies! She's had some great new, clever shirts come out lately so we decided to team up and create a recipe based on each of her most popular styles - and pair them each with a giveaway of the t-shirt itself! We made some great meals we think you guys are going to love - and then got to eat them ALL. Haha, but only to make sure they tasted perfectly before we shared them. Promise. (Ahh, the life of a food blogger. It's rarely glamorous, but it is full of taste-tests!)
The first shirt we're repping is one of my personal faves, the 'In Plants We Trust' shirt. It is available in Men's + Women's styles, but I especially love this crop-top cut version. We paired it with a Cranberry Apple Salad with Pepitas + Apple Cider Vinaigrette because it is the perfect fall meal - and it's packed with plants! The tart apples and tangy dressing help balance out the sweet of the cranberries, and the pepitas make a great crunch at the end. This salad is packed with good-for-you ingredients and is a great starter before a meal or as a meal in itself.
You can get the recipe by scrolling down a bit. To enter the giveaway to WIN your very own 'In Plants We Trust' tee, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page and fill out the widget. We'll let the widget randomly choose one winner and we'll email that person directly for size information + gender preference. GOOD LUCK!
INGREDIENTS Apple Cider Vinaigrette: 1/2 cup olive oil 1 clove garlic 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon each salt + pepper
4 cups mixed greens
2 green apples, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pepitas
DIRECTIONS In a blender combine online oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If you don't have a blender or would prefer more of an oil + vinegar style dressing, simply mince garlic and whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl toss together the mixed greens, thinly sliced apples, cranberries + pepitas. Drizzle with dressing and serve!
NOTES Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.
These PB + J Energy Balls are the bee's knees my friends! I made them by accident the other day while trying to make a healthy, satisfying, sweetish treat while cleaning out my cabinets. I didn't want to get the blender or food processor involved because they're a pain to clean, so these little cuties are stuck together using my favorite sticky ingredient: peanut butter! And because they're packed with PB, chia and flax they're packed with protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids, too. Which makes these perfect for bringing along on a hike, picnic at the beach, or on your next road trip. Because we used freeze-dried strawberries here instead of fresh strawberries they last longer out of the fridge and are a little less messy that they would be normally. I passed some along to my sports trainer friend who LOVED them and said he'd love them as an after workout boost. Best of all? They're a 1-bowl recipe and take just minutes to make, so you'll be snacking in no time. So let's eat!
INGREDIENTS 1 cup oats 2/3 cup freeze dried strawberries, roughly chopped 1/3 cup ground flax seed 1/3 cup chia seeds 1/2 cup peanut butter 1/3 cup maple syrup or agave nectar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS In a medium bowl combine the oats, strawberries, flax and chia. Add in the peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir until thoroughly mixed. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to roll the mixture into 1" balls. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Enjoy!
This simple salad was originally something I though might make it into my upcoming cookbook, Homestyle Vegan, but didn't make the cut. It's delicious and one of my favorite ways to get my greens in, but wasn't quite the caliber of comfort food I wanted in the book, so I'm serving it up here instead! I know what you’re thinking - so many GREENS! But I promise, this salad is a game changer. It’s incredibly simple to make but packs a ton of good-for-you ingredients and tastes incredible. We dress it in a light, tangy champagne vinaigrette that’ll leave you craving more.
INGREDIENTS Salad: 5 ounces (135 g) lacinato kale, rolled and thinly sliced 5 ounces (150 g) brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded 3/4 cup (50 g) green onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup (70 g) pine nuts
Champagne Vinaigrette: 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil 1 small garlic clove 2 tablespoons (30 ml) champagne vinegar 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) lemon juice 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard pinch each of salt + pepper DIRECTIONS Place prepared kale, brussels, green onions and pine nuts in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Prepare the dressing by blending olive oil, garlic, champagne vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a high-speed blender or food processor until creamy.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Enjoy immediately! NOTES Don’t have any champagne vinegar? Use whatever vinegar you have on hand, instead!
You can prepare the veggies and dressing separately ahead and dress as needed.
If you're into football you're probably getting ready for the big game next weekend! The Super Bowl, at least for my family, was always more about the food than the football. The focus was always on creating delicious, snack-able dishes to enjoy with our guests, but always included a TON of fried food. Ick.
Now that we're adults and can watch the game at our own place, we're more interested in making delicious dips and snacks that don't make us feel crummy or guilty about eating wayyyy too much. Because I inevitably will eat way too much. Luckily, we're gearing up some super delicious, healthier-for-you, gameday recipes to share with you all week...starting with our recipe for the BEST guacamole!
This guacamole is our absolute favorite. We''ve been making this version for a few years, and it's pretty similar to Chipotle's style, if you're familiar. There are a million different ways to make this green gold, but we like ours full of fresh lime juice, red onion and cilantro. We serve it up at every taco night, take it to parties, and munch it on gameday, too! It's going to become your NEW favorite guacamole. Let's get dippin'!
4 medium, ripe avocados
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapéno pepper, seeded and finely diced OR 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spiciness)
Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, tossing the seed and scooping the green innards into a large mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher until it reaches your desired consistency; my recommendation is to keep it a little chunky.
Pour in the red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and peppers, if using. Stir to combine. Serve immediately with chips or as an accompaniment to tacos or fajitas!
Serves about 4.
DON'T go squeezing (and ruining for everyone else) all the avocados at the store! If it has a little give and the stem doesn't just fall off, you're good. If it is overly softened or the stem falls off easily, revealing a dark or black area underneath, skip it.
The best way I've found to save leftover guac without it turning too brown is to cover it with plastic wrap, but push the plastic wrap against the guac in the bowl, so no air can stay trapped between the two. Alternately, you can try one of the million tricks found on the internet. Again though, the plastic wrap trick works pretty well. So does scraping off the brown layer and eating the perfectly good guac underneath.
When I stayed in Jackson Hole for Thanksgiving this year, I had a hard time finding meals that were vegan-friendly. While I was there I ate a lot of salad, french fries, and avocado toast from room service. The avocado toast was a tiny, beautiful portion covered in baby radishes and pink pickled onions. I'd need like four of said portions to actually fill me up, but the onions were just SO good on top - I knew I'd have to recreate them at home. After that, I sort of forgot about them for awhile. Lately, I've gotten back into my avocado toast obsession and craved a little extra snap on top, so I decided it was time I make my own. Their flavor is so much lighter and sweeter than a typical onion, but these pickled onions still have a great crunch. They're perfect on burgers, tacos, sandwiches, salads, or - you guessed it - avocado toast! If you follow us on instagram, you might've seen the recent picture (shown below) featuring them. I'm totally addicted! I even like them straight from the jar. The best part? They really couldn't be easier to make. A little chop and pour is really all you need to do! They last about a couple weeks in the fridge, and they're so easy to whip up this'll become one of your new favorite 'condiments'. I promise. Let's eat!
INGREDIENTS 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced 1 medium clove garlic, quartered (optional) 3/4 cup apple cider OR rice vinegar 3/4 cup warm water 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon salt
DIRECTIONS Place the sliced onion and garlic, if using, in a jar capable of holding at least 20 ounces. We used a round weck jar, but any kind that closes will do.
Whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Pour the mixture over the onions and garlic and let sit at room temperature for at least 1-4 hours. Cover the jar with a lid and place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 day to pickle. The longer it pickles, the sweeter and softer the onions will be.
Use the pickles on whatever you like! Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in their jar in the refrigerator.
It's the hottest time of the year just about everywhere right now, and Southern California is no exception. In fact, most Angelinos will tell you that the past month has included some weird very june-gloom-esque weather. Lots of cloudy, humid mornings leading to sunny, hot afternoons. Basically, every afternoon becomes an excuse for me to run to the grocery store and pick up a pint of DF Mavens Mint Chip (my latest obsession) Ice Cream and then come home and eat it all, justifying that without it, I would be a puddle! The problem? I still kind of puddle out around 3 pm when the heat reaches its peak, but I've also eaten 600 calories worth of ice cream and my daily allotment of sugar. Whoops! This week I'm giving up the ice cream and packed the freezer with these sweet, low sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Squares. They're just the right amount of sweet on top of a chewy date-oat-nut crust, and make the perfect afternoon cool-down treat or late-night snack. They're packed full of good fats from the nuts and coconut milk, and are a nice break from a traditional round cheesecake. Easier to serve + share! Plus, when it's as hot as it has been here lately, you only want to have to pull out a piece at a time because, you know, MELTING. As you can see as proof above (well, and below), things got a bit melty under photography lights in the hot hot afternoon, but it still tastes amazing. If its that hot, keep them in the freezer until ready to serve. Otherwise, you can soften them a bit in the fridge, but since coconut milk/cream is so melty, the cooler the better for these babies. Let's eat!
4 heaping cups strawberries, green tops removed
1 - 14 oz. can coconut cream OR 2 cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight + liquid drained
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup melted coconut oil
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup OR agave nectar
Soak cashews in warm water for at least one hour. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or high speed blender. Grease or line a 9x9 inch glass baking dish. Press date & nut mixture into the bottom of the baking dish. Refrigerate or freeze to set coconut oil, about one hour.
Blend strawberries, coconut cream, vanilla, coconut oil and maple syrup in a high speed blender until completely combined. Remove crust-filled baking dish from the fridge and fill evenly with the cheesecake mixture. Cover + place in the freezer or fridge to set for at least 3 hours or overnight. When ready, remove from the fridge, cut with a large knife into 12 even squares, and plate. Sprinkle with crushed cashews, fresh strawberries, and a bit of coconut whipped cream, if you like. Since coconut cream can get melty in the heat (like in some of the photos above!), this dessert is best left in the fridge or freezer until you are ready to eat it. It lasts indefinitely covered in the freezer, and makes 12 medium-sized or 15 small cheesecake squares. Enjoy!
Its been a great week for us. We spent the last week vacationing in Maine, where Amber originally grew up. While there we hiked to the top of Maine's tallest mountain, Mt. Katahdin (about 4,000+ft elevation), successfully rafted Class V rapids on the Penobscot river, and spent time catching up with friends and family. We'll have a post coming up all about that trip and the amazing food we ate, but for now, we're just happy to get back to our regular routine. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed after a week of air mattresses and futons! We were able to find plenty of fresh fruits and veggies in season and farmers markets being held in Maine, which means it if OFFICIALLY summer. To celebrate, and to get our bodies back on track after a week of travel and extreme workouts, we're munching this easy-to-whip-up summer salad with quick-pickled cukes, crunchy English peas, spicy shallots, and a bunch of fresh dill to kick it up a notch (you know, Emeril-style). It's a great recipe for eating up garden-grown goodies and for feeling a little reset after a week of treatin' yo'self, like we did. Let's eat!
-2 large cucumbers, peeled, deseeded, and sliced (about 3 cups)
-1 large shallot, thinly sliced
-1½ tablespoons sea salt
-1½ tablespoons champagne vinegar OR apple cider vinegar
-1 teaspoon organic sugar
-2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
-1 cup uncooked english peas
-¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Wash and peel cucumbers. Remove ends and cut lengthwise, using a spoon to scoop out the seeds from the middle so you have two boat-like halves. Slice the halves thinly into little crescent moon shapes. Place into a medium sized colander. Thinly slice the shallot and add to colander. Toss shallots and cucumbers in the salt and let sit about 20 minutes. Once ready, squeeze the veggies to drain excess liquid and rinse the veggies well under cool water. Place drained + rinsed veggies into a medium mixing bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar with sugar and stir well. Toss into cucumber + shallot mixture and stir in dill, peas, and pepper. Toss to combine, and serve immediately with an extra sprig of fresh dill. Leftover can be refrigerated up to 3 days. Enjoy!
Here in Southern California, the growing season starts earlier than most places. Thanks to our high temps and sunny days, our garden started growing back in March and hasn't stopped since. In other words, our parsley plant is bigger than most peoples large dog. We have SO MUCH parsely- we're overrun! And there's only so much garnishing you can do with parsley before you're sick of it. A better way to use up mass amounts of fresh, fragrant parsley? This simple Parsley Pesto recipe! It whips up quickly and taste great spread on everything! I'm loving pairing it with sweet cherry tomatoes on crackers and crusty bread and mixing it into pasta dishes like this Caprese Pasta Salad. I was hesitant when I started messing around with this stuff- what if I didn't like it as much as my traditional Hemp Seed Basil Pesto? What if it just didn't taste right? Well, SURPRISE! It tastes AMAZING! Adding the green onions and extra garlic give it a ton of flavor and take away from the bitterness of having too much parsley, and the nuts keep it smooth and mellow. It's green gold! And it saves well in the fridge for up to a week, so you can enjoy fresh, flavorful pesto all week long. Lets eat!
INGREDIENTS: 3 packed cups fresh parsley, stems removed
1 cup almonds or cashews
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a high speed blender (we used our Vitamix) or a food processor, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth, or until your desired texture- you can leave it chunkier if you like! [If you don't have a great blender to work with, try soaking your nuts in warm water for at least an hour before blending them, it'll help break them down much more easily.] Spread it on everything from bread and crackers to pizza dough and rice cakes. Saves well in an airtight container for about a week, or until pesto begins to brown. Enjoy!
I love a good chia pudding. When I first went vegan the idea sort of repulsed me, but after 6 years chia seeds and the strangely gelatinous pudding they can create has become a favorite. I don't make it as often as I should, but when I do I tend to get a little binge-y on it. Its so good! And chia seeds are so good for you and packed with omegas- there's no guilt in this pudding. Plus its vegan, gluten-free, AND raw! This time around, we added oats to both thicken it up and add a little texture and fiber to the pudding. Since figs have just made their spring arrival in grocery stores around here we decided to incorporate some of those, too. The sweet, earthy flavor of ripe figs just contrasts so nicely with the flavor of almond and the crunch of fresh almonds sprinkled on top. And this sweet little recipe whips up in just 5 minutes! Make it the night before and enjoy it as an on-the-go breakfast or take the time to make a small batch for a hike. Its the perfect workout fuel...or late-night snack. Let's eat!
3 tablespoons chia seeds
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave (optional)
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 4-6 figs, roughly chopped
sliced almonds, for garnish
In a medium sized bowl mix chia seeds, rolled oats, milk, sweetener, and extracts. Set aside to coagulate for 15-20 mins. Top with figs and sliced almonds and enjoy! Leftovers last in the fridge up to a week.
The weather has given us a very early summer growing season here in Southern California, and I've been on a real fruit kick. There's just something magical and so right about eating ripe, juicy fruit when the weather is warm! Whipped into smoothies, pressed into juice, sliced on top of my oatmeal- I'll eat it all, friends. And sometimes though, you realize that something you've been buying all along can be made in your own kitchen more cheaply and easily than running to the juice bar to get it! Combine my love for fresh summer fruit with my sheer laziness about driving across town to the juice bar, and you get this sweet gem. This is a copycat recipe I came up with of Nekter's PB Bowl, a little more balanced and without the added agave. It is way cheaper to make at home (like WAY cheaper), and allows you some portion control if wanted and a freezer to keep it in if you have leftovers. And the best part? It tastes like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich- but you know, in spoon form! I like to top it with lots of extra berries, granola, nuts, and chia seeds, but we'll offer some other fun ideas below. And really, these bowls are super easy to tweak to your preferences, so have fun experimenting with different flavors. I also really like throwing in some pineapple, peach, or mango to sweeten it up a bit. Whichever way you do it, it's bound to be delicious. Let's eat!
1 acai smoothie pack (we use 100g Sambazon packs + can find them in most grocery store freezer sections)
8 ounces coconut water OR dairy-free milk
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries (OR you can sub 1 banana for 1/2 cup of berries here if you like!)
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any other nut butter)
fresh fruit + granola, for topping
Blend up all your ingredients in a high speed blender until thick and well combined. Scoop mixture into a bowl and top with fresh fruit, granola, and any other delicious toppings you'd like! Enjoy immediately and freeze leftovers. Makes 1 large smoothie bowl.