sunshine power bowl + turmeric citrus dressing 

january 13, 2016

homesweet

It's been a crazy long time since I've posted on here, but it's been a wonderfully full and happy month away as well. I spent the holidays back home in California, and it was just what I needed. There was a whole lot of family time, days spent away from my computer, and some...tons, of seriously good tacos. ** Dear Boston, up your taco game now por favor! The salty air, sunshine, and fresh-squeezed orange juice (thanks Dad!) re-energized me, while fireside chats with family and long beach walks with friends centered me. 2015 was brought to a sweet close, and 2016 started with some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places on earth, and I was feeling all sorts of grateful for the slow and easy days.

Now back in Boston, I've been settling in as another winter settles into the city. I've been in serious nesting mode, gettin' cozy for the chilly and gray days ahead. I'm determined to fill my space and my body with as much warmth and light as possible this season, and for me that all starts with food. The sun can hide for weeks at a time around this time of year, so I try to stay active and brighten my days with colorful and nourishing foods. This bowl is one of my go-to's in the winter months, and is so simple to throw together. It makes you feel good from the inside out and can be modified and mixed up however you please! Assemble one of these power bowls to warm your bones and to lift your spirits.

So, light a candle, wrap yourself up in a big blanket, and tuck into some color. You'll feel cozy to the core.   

sunshine power bowl + turmeric citrus dressing 

ingredients - 

  • 1 large handful spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water 
  • 1 avocado, sliced lengthwise 
  • fresh feta cheese, crumbled 
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, skinned and diced 
  • roasted walnuts, handful 
  • olive oil 
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

turmeric citrus dressing

  • 2-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and diced
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, more or less to taste 
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp greek yogurt - Fage 2% is my go-to 
  • 2 tsp honey 
  • 2 tsp all natural, unsalted peanut butter 
  • dash of cayenne pepper 
  • black pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Evenly spread sweet potato pieces out on the baking sheet. Drizzle with a healthy amount of good olive oil, tossing each piece to coat evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.

Next, bring rice and water with a pinch of salt to a boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Once boiling, cover, reduce to a simmer, and let cook for 35 minutes or until most all water has been absorbed. 

While the potatoes and rice are cooking, prep your other ingredients. 

For the turmeric citrus dressing - Combine the turmeric, garlic, lime juice, greek yogurt, honey, peanut butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil using a blender or food processor. At this point, this mixture will be thick. Once combined, continue to add olive oil in small amounts until desired consistency is reached (~4 Tbsp olive oil total.) Taste, and season with a dash or two of cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. You may need to adjust the amount of lime juice to your liking. Blend until smooth and set aside. 

Once the rice and potatoes are done it's time to assemble your power bowl! Place a big handful of spinach in a bowl, and top with desired amount of roasted sweet potatoes, feta cheese, walnuts, black rice, chickpeas, and sliced avocado. *You'll have plenty of left over potato wedges, chickpeas, and rice for your next power bowl. Next, drizzle with turmeric-citrus dressing and dig in! 

Happy eating :)

cheddar apple ale soup + sage toasts

october 20th, 2015

homesweet-soup

It's been awhile since I've had a weekend wide open to relax and catch up. While I love weekend road trips and exploring new corners of New England, there sure is a whole lot to be said for waking up slow on a Saturday morning, long riverside runs, and taking the time to re-energize and simply be. A change in season always helps to remind me to slow down and savor the simpler things.

When the temps outside begin to drop, I tend to seek comfort and coziness. The down comforter is broken out, wool socks are donned, and hearty food is roasted and warmed. The fall colors this year have got me like woah, and I decided to make something to match the golden leaves on the trees outside my window. This soup is creamy and decadent and warms you up from your fingertips to your toes. Enjoy a big bowl of this cheddar apple ale soup with crispy sage toasts to dunk and crunch on. 

Eat, drink, and be cozy :)

cheddar apple ale soup - 

serves 4

ingredients - 

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup pale ale of choice 
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp worchestershire sause 
  • 1 1/2 cups light cream 
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated (cabot seriously sharp is my favorite)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • sage leaves
  • flakey salt 
  • 1 loaf fresh crusty bread

In a large dutch oven melt butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the pot. Cover and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes, add diced apples, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Stir in the flour for a few minutes, then add the ale and stir. Next mix in the light cream, worchestershire sauce, and vegetable broth. Turn up heat to medium-high to bring soup to a simmer. Once simmering, cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 - 12 minutes. 

Remove soup from heat and puree contents in batches or with an immersion blender until smooth. Place the soup over medium-low heat and add the grated cheddar cheese to the pot in handfuls. Stir constantly to evenly melt throughout soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover until ready to serve. 

toasts - 

Heat oven to broil, drizzle bread with olive oil, and place in the oven for 5 minutes. These will crisp up quick so keep an eye on them! While the toasts are crisping, pour a generous amount of olive oil into a small skillet. Once oil is hot, add sage leaves. The oil should pop and bubble when the sage leaves are added. Heat for 2-3 minutes and remove from the skillet. Take the toasts out of the oven, sprinkle with crispy sage and flakey salt, and serve on top of or on the side of soup.

Be sure to follow @homesweet_mary on instagram and tag #HSrecipes when you try out a recipe!

harvest barley bowl + maple cider dressing

september 22nd, 2015

homesweet

On Monday I woke up cold. It was 5:30 am and this wonderful, crisp, breeze was blowing through my window. I burrowed under my down comforter and snoozed for another hour before hopping out of bed to warm up with a cup of tea. Slow and cozy mornings like this are my favorite, and they're downright rare on a Monday. It's September 21st, and a year ago today I moved into my little Beacon Hill apartment. 

Time flies. It really does. This year has gone miles a minute at moments and crawled by at others. A year. How is it possible that a year ago I was driving up the gravel road on the farm, teary eyed and feeling so so heavy-hearted after a difficult goodbye. The chill in the air yesterday took me right back to those moments, and I felt all sorts of nostalgic. Seasons seem to have a way of doing that. The length of the days, the way the air feels, and the produce popping up in farmers' markets brings about new routines in the day to day. 

It wasn't until I moved to the Northeast that I truly learned what cooking and eating seasonally meant, and I soon fell in love with the rich flavors and warm colors fall brought about in the market and in my kitchen each year. This weekend I moseyed through the Boston Public Market, a Sunday pastime that has quickly become part of my weekly routine. I ate a cider donut because it was finally below 70 outside (and because why not), munched on some Vermont cheeses, scooped up a small bouquet of dahlias, and found myself obsessing over all of the colorful winter squash varieties that have popped up overnight. I had at least 5 different kinds in my arms before I zeroed in on these adorable "sweet squash," a miniature version of the butternut squash.  Promising to be a gorgeous orange hue and just sweet enough, I grabbed a few and went on my way. 

Eager to test out the texture of these babies, I decided to roast them simply and mix them in with a few favorites. This warm barley bowl is bursting with color, tasting and smelling warm and spicy as well. It boasts baby kale and dried cherries, hints of thyme and cider vinegar, and is topped off with a poached egg and parmesan for creaminess. It warms you up from the inside out, and is the perfect dish to welcome the new season. 

Happy Equinox friends :)

harvest barley bowl + maple cider dressing

serves 3-4 

ingredients - 

  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 1/2 cups water 
  • 2 "sweet squash" or 1 small butternut squash, peeled, roasted, & diced
  • generous drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch or two of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 handfuls baby kale
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • handful pepitas
  • 3 - 4 eggs (dependent on serving size), poached
  • a bit of parmesan cheese, shaved

dressing - 

  • 1/3 cup really good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup, the real stuff
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt & pepper to taste 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Bring barley and water to a boil in a medium pot and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the water has been absorbed completely, 35 - 45 minutes. *Check every 10 minutes or so to be sure you don't overcook. 

Place your whole squash on a cookie sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. This will soften the tough skin, making it easier to cut into chunks to roast. Remove and let cool. Careful not to burn your fingers, cut the squash in half length wise and peel. Remove the seeds and cut into bite size pieces. Spread the squash out on your cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and toss with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Top with thyme sprigs, and roast in the oven for another 30 minutes, until a bit browned and tender. 

While the squash cooks whisk together the dressing ingredients and season with salt and pepper. 

Once the barley and squash are done, combine in a large bowl with baby kale, dried cherries, pepitas, and dressing. Top off this grain salad with a perfect poached egg and some sharp parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

cheesy pesto grilled sammie + white peaches & arugula

august 23rd, 2015

home_sweet.mary

I'm all about simplicity in the summer. I want food I can eat with my hands and fresh food that tastes like the season. Farmers markets have been bursting with produce, and I've been having a blast mixing a bunch of colors and textures for every meal. 

This morning I walked on over to the Boston Public Market for the first time, and let me tell you, it will not be my last. It's a year-round, indoor market full of fresh and locally sourced foods from New England, the only of it's kind in the United States :). I bounced from farm stand to flower shop to bakery for the better part of my Sunday morning and could not have been happier. I left with a new tote bag full of hot cider donuts (yum), a big ol' bag of arugula and white peaches from Siena Farms, and a crusty loaf of bread baked right over in Cambridge, MA.

This cheesy grilled sammy is a product of today's market haul. It's simple but feels decadent, and strikes a tasty balance between sweet and savory. It will definitely be one of my go-tos for the rest of peach season. Enjoy this sandwich in good company, bon appetit!

peach_arugula_panini

cheesy pesto grilled sandwich + white peaches & arugula - 

  • 1 organic peach, sliced - local will taste best :)
  • handful of arugula
  • sharp white cheddar cheese, sliced - i'm partial to cabot!
  • 2 large slices of your favorite crusty bread - i love Iggy's Bread Francese loaf

lemony arugula pesto -

  • 2 cups arugula, packed
  • ~ 1 cup really good extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • fresh ground pepper to taste 
  • salt to taste 

For the pesto - 

Throw the arugula, parmesan cheese, walnuts, lemon juice and garlic in a blender or food processor. Pulse, and add olive oil to the mix until it reaches desired consistency, you may not use the full cup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

For the sandwich - 

Preheat grill pan to medium-high heat, coat with a thin layer of olive oil.

Spread pesto on both slices of bread, a little goes a long way! Assemble the sandwiches by layering the cheese, peach slices and arugula on one side, topping with fresh ground pepper and then with the remaining piece of bread. 

Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until bread is browned and cheese is melted. Remove from heat, cut in half and enjoy warm. 

Note - you can easily use a barbecue in place of a grill pan.

 

 

no frills kale salad + crispy chickpeas 

august 18th, 2015

Summer days are flying by in a blur and sometimes I just feel like I can't keep up! Work has been busy, weekends packed with roadtrips and friends, and then suddenly you blink and it's mid-August. I recently spent a long weekend on Nantucket with some good friends and absolutely fell in love with the island. We spent our days biking miles and miles, laying on the beach, and enjoying classic New England summertime fare. There were late night BBQ's, outdoor showers, hours spent in the waves, and the best shrimp cocktail I've ever had. Ever. 

My diet mainly consisted of burgers, hot dogs, fish tacos, and daily picks from the raw bar, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. When in Rome right? However, after some long summer days spent in the little slice of heaven that is Nantucket, I felt the need to reboot and re-energize before a long day at work. I wanted to make something quick and satisfying, something flavorful and refreshing. Balance is key in my book, and this kale salad has a crunch and a zing to it that I enjoy any day. It's a snap to whip up and will convert kale skeptics into kale lovers (tolerators at the very least). Dig into a big bowl for lunch or serve as a side for dinner. Be well, and let me know how you enjoy this simple salad :).

no frills kale salad + crispy chickpeas - 

  • 1 bunch curly kale

garlicky green goddess dressing - 

  • 1 1/2 cup parsley leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon 
  • 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup really good olive oil, more if needed
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • a couple dashes fresh ground pepper
  • a couple dashes red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

crispy chickpeas - 

recipe from the wonderful Minimalist Baker

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Tandoori spice blend* 
    •  Can be found at Whole Foods, or made at home by blending the following ingredients/ratios - 3 Tbsp cumin, 2 Tbsp paprika, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 2 tsp coriander, 3 tsp ginger, 2 tsp cardamom. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and cover evenly with olive oil and spices. Spread out on a cookie sheet and place in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until chickpeas are golden brown and slightly crispy. Set aside.

Place all dressing ingredients except the parmesan in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Fold in the parmesan cheese. 

Tear kale into bite size pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Toss with the dressing 30 minutes before serving, allowing the kale to soften and absorb all flavors. Top with spiced chickpeas and a pinch of flaky salt if desired. This salad is best fresh, but will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Serve and enjoy!

 

summertime tomato salad 

july 20, 2015 

As summer flies by and temps rise my meals have grown increasingly simple. Work days end with picnics and walks on the Charles and weekends are filled with sun-drenched adventures on the beach and on the road. I've been living on big colorful salads, veggie sandwiches, overnight oats, and many other tasty meals with cooling effects. It's hot out, and while I'm wonderfully thawed out after this winter, I'm avoiding my oven and stove every chance I get. Lucky for me, there's a fantastic farmer's market just a quick walk away, and lately I've been enjoying (maybe hoarding) more of these summertime jewels than most may know what to do with. 

I love tomatoes, especially the ones that come straight from the vine and have that earth-meets-summer-meets-woodsy smell about them. It's just the best, and it's a flavor I crave all winter long. While these beauties can be dressed up - I prefer to eat them simply. Fresh is best when it comes to this easy recipe, it won't be nearly as enjoyable and deeelicious once the season has passed, so hop to it! This dish should be enjoyed outside in the sunshine. Enjoy!

summer tomato salad - 

inspired & adapted by The Canal House ladies 

serves 2 generously 

  • 4 large heirloom tomatoes, cored and sliced into wedges
  • 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • really good extra-virgin olive oil
  • chives, finely chopped
  • fresh ground pepper
  • flaky salt, Maldon is my go-to
  • spoonful of mayonnaise 

Prep for this simple and seasonal meal is no fuss. Arrange prepared tomatoes on two plates, spoon a bit of mayonnaise on the side, drizzle with a healthy amount of olive oil, a sprinkle of chopped chives, fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of Maldon salt on top. Enjoy alfresco in good company :).

 

farro & greens salad + lemony tahini dressing

june 27th, 2015

I've been on a farro kick. It's satisfying, just the right texture, and is so delicious both hot and cold. Weekday meals tend to be a mix of leftovers and fresh veggies with some sort of dressing mixed up quick and drizzled on top. These meals are always enjoyed in a big bowl and filled with greens, especially now that my little herb garden is thriving on my windowsill! I use whichever ingredients I have on hand, letting myself unwind from the work day with some creativity in the kitchen. No two creations are ever quite the same, but I have to say that this farro bowl has been one of my favorites so far.

Farro has a similar texture to brown rice, though a bit chewier and more tender in texture. It's an awesome alternative for those who don't like the nutty flavor of quinoa, and somehow feels a bit more substantial than the latter. I was feelin' the need for lots of green goodness when I whipped this up, and I am very happy with how it turned out. There's a little bit of everything in this bowl - baby kale, charred asparagus, edamame, lemon thyme, and a rich lemony tahini dressing to bring it all together. This farro salad is simple, satisfying, and could easily be adapted to your taste. This morning I heated up some left overs and threw a poached egg on top with a dash of cayenne pepper. So good and so easy. Whip this dish up and let me know how you mix it up! Enjoy :)

farro & greens salad + lemony tahini dressing - 

serves 2

farro salad - 

  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 generous handfuls baby kale
  • 1 cup shelled edamame, pan roasted
  • 6-8 spears asparagus, charred and chopped into bite size pieces 
  • lemon thyme
  • olive oil

tahini dressing - 

  • 1/2 cup tahini 
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste 

Bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup farro to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer until the water has been absorbed, roughly 20 - 25minutes. As your farro is cooking, heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pour a dollop of olive oil into the skillet and coat evenly. Add the asparagus and cook until just blackened. If you prefer your asparagus to have more of a crunch, cook until bright green and remove from heat. Add the edamame to the pan and cook for 3 - 5 minutes, as you want the edamame tender but not overcooked. 

Making the dressing is simple. Throw the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper into a food processor or blender and pulse until evenly combined. A quick tip - add the olive oil slowly and as needed until you reach your desired consistency. The dressing should have body but be thin enough to easily drizzle over your salad. Once your dressing is ready, combine the farro, asparagus, edamame and baby kale in a large bowl. Toss with desired amount of tahini dressing and plate. Sprinkle with lemon thyme leaves and salt and ground pepper to taste.