Easy Power Lunch Bowls

IMG_2017_02_03_09437-2.jpg
I suppose this is an easy lunch, but we eat this about once a week for an easy, lemony dinner. We have always substituted falafel for the kale and quinoa bites, and a regular, boring beet does the trick for the watermelon radish. We both find this incredibly hearty for such a good-for-you dish. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • 1 small sweet potato, cubed
  • 8 Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites
  • ¾ cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 to 10 lacinato kale leaves, chopped
  • 6 paper-thin slices from 1 Chioggia beet or watermelon radish
  • ½ avocado, diced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds (we use chia)
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons runny tahini (thin with warm water if necessary)**
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the sweet potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes. Halfway through add the Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites to the baking sheet.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, Dijon mustard and pinches of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, massage the kale with a drizzle of olive oil, ½ tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. We’re seasoning every layer here to make sure all of the vegetables are flavorful.
  4. Assemble two large individual serving bowls with the kale, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, Yves Kale & Quinoa Bites, beet or radish slices and avocado, if using. Sprinkle with the hemp seeds and red pepper flakes, if using. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and another big squeeze of lemon, if desired. Serve with lemon wedges.
Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Chewy Granola Bars (sweetened with dates)

I’ve been on the search for healthy bars that don’t cost $4 a piece, and when I do find bars with key ingredients, like chia, they always have some sort of syrup coagulator or preservative. So I decided to try making my own – and I think I’ve found something nearly perfect.

These come from a girl who was once a professional granola bar-maker, a calling she found because she was frustrated with the long list of ingredients in bars, even in stores like Whole Foods. These bars are straightforward, use simple ingredients, and call for no refined sugar or added syrup. There is a small, optional addition of chocolate that I love and Derek is indifferent to. It’s about two squares of chocolate for the entire batch of bars.

I found this recipe to be very precise, and my results were just as she described. This is simple, so I hope you find a moment to try! They freeze well and are fine right out of the freezer, too.

Nut+++Oat+Chewy+Granola+Bars+(sweetened+with+dates!)+-+edibleperspective
HER TIPS

1. Dates are key. No substitutions. And medjool dates are best.
2. If you don’t have hemp seeds you could add well chopped sunflower seeds or chia seeds (my favorite).
3. It’s important that the nuts are well chopped before adding to the food processor, or the grinding will be too uneven (you’ll get flour too quickly while still having some un-chopped nuts).
4. If you don’t want to add the chocolate, you can simply leave it out and replace with 3-4 tablespoons of nuts (be sure to chop and process them as specified below).
5. Instead of coconut, you can sub another 1/4 cup of hemp seeds and 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds instead.

INGREDIENTS

1 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup well-chopped raw nuts (a mixture works well – almonds/walnuts/pecans)
12-15 medjool dates, pitted (may need a few more; err on the side of chewy)
3 tablespoons softened unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon thick nut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup finely chopped dark chocolate
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

OTHER

9×9 baking pan
Parchment paper

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat your oven to 300° F.

2. Place oats in your food processor and process for 5-10 seconds until ground into a course meal. You still want some whole oats to remain. Transfer to baking sheet.

3. Place chopped nuts in your food processor and turn on until finely chopped. You want about 1/2 course meal and 1/2 small bits. Place on a baking sheet with oats and toast for 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until lightly toasted. Remove both and let cool for at least 10 minutes.

4. Increase oven to 350° F and line a 9×9 cake pan with parchment paper.

5. While toasting the oats and nuts, wipe out your food processor. Place the pitted dates in your processor and turn on until a smooth paste forms. This takes about 30 seconds – 1 minute. They’ll go from chopped, to a large ball, and finally smooth out into a smooth paste. You’ll end up with 1/2 heaping cup. Scrape sides as needed. You may want to start off with 15 pitted dates to make sure you have enough for binding. Date size and plumpness can vary, so it will be best to have a little extra. (Because of the size of dates available to me, I needed 18 of them.)

6. Transfer the date paste to a large mixing bowl. Stir/mash in the coconut oil, nut butter, and vanilla until well combined. Add the cooled oats, nuts, coconut, chocolate, hemp, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together with your hands until fully incorporated. The mixture will look crumbly but should hold together when squeezed. If it feels *very* soft and gooey add 1/4 cup more oats.

7. Empty mixture into your lined pan and spread evenly to the edges and corners. Place a piece of parchment over top and firmly press down with your palms until well-compacted and fully smooth from edge to edge. Be sure the corners well packed. It helps to get above the pan and put your weight into it. Press as firmly as you can. Bake for 8 minutes.

8. Remove and let cool for 1 hour. Place the pan in the fridge and let chill for at least 2 hours. Carefully lift one edge of parchment and slide the bars and parchment from the pan to a cutting board (support the bottom with your hand or flat spatula). Chop into bars with a long, sharp knife. Keep tightly covered in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Chewy Granola Bars (sweetened with dates)

Arugula and Pear Salad

arugula pear
This is a great addition to a main course, specifically for lunch or brunch. We enjoy it as a side to eggs or a half sandwich. It’s so simple and one of my favorites.

Ingredients
1/2 cup walnut halves
5 to 6 cups arugula, cleaned and dried
1 Bosc or Anjou pear, thinly sliced
1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Gorgonzola (get a piece that will crumble easily for you) or blue cheese crumbles

Directions
Toast nuts in small pan over medium heat until fragrant. Cool.
Combine arugula and pear in a salad bowl, add nuts then dress the salad with lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper. Top salad with lots of blue cheese crumbles.

Arugula and Pear Salad

Shaved Fennel Salad

shaved_fennel_salad

Derek and I are trying to be healthier. You know, lots of sweaty workouts, less alcohol, more greens. I’m even drinking water. I’ll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, this salad is pretty amazing, and it’s simple. We serve it as a large-portioned, single-dish dinner and have been satisfied, even after intense evening cardio. Enjoy!

If you’re using a knife to prep here, do your best to slice things very, very thinly – not quite see through thin, but close. Slicing on a mandoline will save you time (and you can pick up one for nearly nothing, if you need one.)

1 medium-large zucchini, sliced into paper thin coins
2 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and shaved paper-thin
2/3 cup loosely chopped fresh dill
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
fine grain sea salt
4 or 5 generous handfuls arugula
Honey, if needed (use it!)
1/2 cup  pine nuts, toasted (I used almonds)
1/3 cup  feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the zucchini, fennel and dill in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Set aside and marinate for 20 minutes, or up to an hour.

When you are ready to serve the salad, put the arugula in a large bowl. Scoop all of the zucchini and fennel onto the arugula, and pour most of the lemon juice dressing on top of that. Toss gently but thoroughly. Taste and adjust with more of the dressing, olive oil, lemon juice, or salt if needed. If the lemons were particularly tart, you may need to counter the pucker-factor by adding a tiny drizzle of honey into the salad at this point. Let your taste buds guide you. Serve topped with pine nuts and feta.

Serves 4 to 6 (for small portions; we serve for 2 and have a little left over. The marinated veggies keep fine in the fridge for a few days.)
Prep time: 10 min

Shaved Fennel Salad

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Posted by Annie.

I like to serve these with Corrie’s Brussel Sprouts. This is quick and easy – and a comfort food, even if you’re in a hurry. I use the butter pretty sparingly because the bread tends to soak it up quickly in the pan. Enjoy!

What you need
2-3 slices of high-quality turkey lunch meat, I used Boar’s Head
1 slice cheddar cheese
2 slices of bread. I use gluten-free, but your preference will work
mayo (optional)
poultry seasoning
salt and pepper
butter for the skillet

Instructions
1. Saute turkey, small pad of butter and seasonings in a skillet over medium for about two minutes, until then the turkey slightly browns.
2. Take out of pan, build sandwich (turkey, mayo and cheese)
3. Place back in pan and heat through until cheese is melted. Keep an eye on it so the bread doesn’t burn! (unless you’re into that kinda thing)

Grown-Up Grilled Cheese

Individual Proscuitto, Spinach, and Egg Pies – Easy

Two pies at brunch. Don't mind the iphone photography!

HELLOW these are easy and amazingly delicious! I’m always looking for simple, delicious recipes, and these individual servings are easy to take along for a snack or to serve for brunch. Also, the recipe easily reduces to only one or two servings (alternately, you could make a giant batch for a party). They’re pretty, make your kitchen smell like heaven, are simple to put together, and Danny loves them – Enjoy!

Ingredients
Olive oil for greasing the muffin tins
6 thin slices prosciutto
6 large eggs
1 cup loosely packed spinach, roughly chopped
1 ounce Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup) – just about any cheese can be substituted
12 grape tomatoes or small cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (I find that salt is unnecessary because the prosciutto is plenty salty)

Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a 6-cup muffin tin with olive oil.

2. Line the muffin cups with the prosciutto slices, pressing the prosciutto into the bottom and sides of each cup. (The prosciutto slices will overlap each other on top of the tin.) Crack 1 egg into each cup. Sprinkle the spinach over the eggs, then the Cheddar cheese, dividing them evenly. Top each serving with four tomato halves, season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the egg whites are firm and the yolks are starting to set but are still soft in the center. Set them aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

3. Run a knife around the edges of each cup to loosen, then lift the pies out of the tin. Serve the pies warm or at room temperature.

Individual Proscuitto, Spinach, and Egg Pies – Easy

African Peanut Soup

I first tasted a variation of this at a personal favorite Austin spot, Austin Java. Since then, I’ve tried several recipes, and this is a simple, delicious one. It has a distinctive flavor and is a great vegetarian option. I often add a bit of curry, as well, but I don’t worry about garnishing. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6
Hands-On Time: 10m
Total Time: 30m

Ingredients
1 tablespoon peanut oil (can substitute olive oil or butter)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup white rice
6 scallions, chopped (optional for garnish)
1/4 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped (optional for garnish)

Directions
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, peanut butter, broth, vinegar, cayenne, and salt and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with the scallions and peanuts.

African Peanut Soup