sunshine power bowl + turmeric citrus dressing 

january 13, 2016

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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 :)

cheesy pesto grilled sammie + white peaches & arugula

august 23rd, 2015

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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!

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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!

 

roasted tomato soup + cheesy crostini 

june 5th, 2015

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The other day I found myself with a whole lot of big ruby red tomatoes, and I just could not wait to make a beautiful panzanella salad. It's June! And I planned to celebrate accordingly with a meal featuring some bright, summertime fare. Mother Nature, however, had other plans in mind. I woke up to rain, wind, and gray the next day, 46 degrees and dropping. It's June, I thought to myself. What the heck?!

I really shouldn't be surprised by the crazy weather patterns of the Northeast at this point. I've experienced April in Vermont, sunny and 65 one day with a snow squall the next. But, true to my roots, the San Diegan in me is consistently surprised by anything other than sunshine. While I'll never turn my nose up at a nice day, there's always been something about a chilly and gray day that I've loved. They're so rare back home, and my mom would sometimes fill them with homemade chicken soup, my dad baking up his sourdough bread to enjoy as well. So, with a bunch of big, beautiful tomatoes and a fresh loaf of grainy bread on my kitchen counter, the answer felt obvious. I was craving some coziness, and wanted to make something simple and satisfying, something that would warm me up from the inside out. This soup is all of those things and much more. It's got just the right amount of acidity and texture, and can easily be made even richer with a splash of cream. Within minutes I felt warmed up and happy as a clam, enjoying this roasted tomato soup with one of my favorite humans. 

Enjoy :)

roasted tomato soup - 

serves 2 generously 

  • 1.25 lbs ripe tomatoes (~4 large tomatoes), quartered - *use local tomatoes if possible, I promise they're tastier!
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • fresh basil for garnish
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
  • fresh multigrain or french bread, thickly sliced
  • sharp cheddar or mozzarella cheese, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the tomatoes and onion into wedges. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, lots of pepper, and chopped sage. Gently toss the tomatoes and onion with your hands to coat evenly. A trick I recently learned - tuck the garlic cloves into the tomato wedges so they soften but don't burn (thanks Sprouted Kitchen!) Roast for roughly 30 minutes or until the tomatoes have blistered, broken down, and reduced to about half their size. Remove and let cool for just a few minutes. 

Warm the broth in a large pot, stirring in the tomato paste until dissolved. Add your roasted ingredients to the pot and let simmer for 5 - 10 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup, or blend in batches using a food processor or blender. The soup should be smooth but textured. Return it back to the pot, and if desired, add the cream to taste. To be honest, I didn't use any cream in this batch and it tasted plenty rich and satisfying. The cheesy crostini felt decadent and delicious in it's place. Add salt and/or pepper to taste. 

Enjoy with a crispy grilled cheese sandwich, some toasted bread, or broil a few slices with a piece of sharp cheddar or mozzarella on top. Finish with fresh chopped basil and be well :).

 

chili lime fish tacos + grilled mangos and red cabbage slaw

may 2, 2015 

April absolutely flew by. I cannot believe it's nearly been a month since I've shared on this space, and although a part of me feels a bit guilty about this, it was nice to disconnect a bit and spend my free time offline. I spent a wonderful weekend in Vermont with my girls from my college days, and then jet to my home state of California to celebrate a beautiful friend tying the knot, spending some much needed time with family in the sunshine. 

While home, I took total advantage of the southern Californian cuisine, filling my plate with vibrant fruits and veggies, enjoying spicy mexican dishes daily, and consuming a nearly unbelievable number of tacos.  Though it is quite impossible for me to pick a favorite, this trip I had some downright incredible Ono fish tacos from Point Loma Seafood, one of the best fish markets in all of San Diego in my opinion. Their fish is fresh and their staff is extremely knowledgable, always willing to chat with you more about the catch brought in that day. 

After a week of sunshine, salt water swims, family, and tacos (of course) it was time to head back to the east coast, and I must say, it was hard to leave. Once back in Boston, I felt homesick for the familiar, and found myself looking for ways to bring some of my hometown into my little apartment. While most might have felt totally taco'd out, I felt just the opposite. Saturday afternoon was spent making these flavorful and bright fish tacos, bursting with grilled mango, red cabbage slaw, and avocado slices. These simple and tasty tacos are topped with a chili lime greek yogurt sauce and cilantro, giving your taste buds a zing. Enjoy these in the sunshine with a beverage in hand :).

Happy eating and happy spring!

grilled fish tacos -

makes 4 tacos

  • 4 corn tortillas
  • 12 oz Hake, use what is fresh/local for you
  • salt, pepper, and chili powder
  • 1 lime, zest and juice 
  • 1 lime, juice
  • 1 small red cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 honey mango, sliced
  • handful of fresh cilantro 

chili lime yogurt sauce - 

  • 1 cup greek yogurt, I use 2% Fage
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • juice of 1 lime 
  • pinch of salt 

Heat your grill or stove top grill to medium/high.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and chili powder on both sides of the fish. Rub the zest and juice of one lime into the fish, and place in a bowl to marinate. 

Slice up your red cabbage and place in a bowl, cover with the juice of 1 lime and a pinch of salt and toss. Set aside. Slice up the avocado and mango. 

Grill the fish (on an extra clean grill grate to keep from sticking) or oiled grill pan. Place your mango slices on your grill top as well and leave for about 6 minutes. Flip the fish and mangos and grill for about another 4 minutes (time can vary depending on thickness of fish). While your fish and mango slices are grilling you can make your yogurt sauce. Simply combine the greek yogurt, chili powder, lime juice and salt and then set aside.

Warm up your tortillas on your grill or on a stove top, and you're ready to assemble your tacos: fish, mango, red cabbage slaw, sauce and a generous amount of cilantro. 

Find some sunshine and enjoy!