Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Penne with Arugula, Peas and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts

This recipe came about as I was trying to come up with a vegan alternative to chopped bacon. Something savory, sweet, salty and crunchy all in one bite. That I could sprinkle on rice and salads or just snack on with a piece of fruit.

I actually like pasta salad that combines leafy greens and some cooked pasta. There has been some difficulty in finding a gluten free pasta that eats well at any temperature. I prefer the Tru Roots mixed grain penne.
This pasta salad is served warm but can be eaten cold the next day.
A nice bowl of green to welcome spring. Who else is excited about spring showers and growing flowers?
Penne with Arugula, Peas, and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts
1 cup peas (I used organic frozen but fresh is even better - no need to cook fresh)
2 cups gluten-free penne
4 cups arugula
2 cups walnuts, chopped or whole
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil
2 TB maple syrup
1-2 cloves garlic
1. In a small to medium size saucepan,  add walnuts, vinegar, oil and garlic. Turn to medium high heat. As soon as bubbles form, turn down to low, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes or until sauce has thickened and walnuts are toasted.
2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package, adding the frozen peas when you add the noodles. Drain and add a small glug of olive oil.
3. Add handfuls of arugula to bowls, top with pasta and then walnuts and sauce.
Skip the peas and arugula. Before you drain noodles,  add fresh spinach to the bottom of the colander. The hot water from pasta will quick steam spinach. Add the special walnuts and chopped fresh or sundried tomatoes.
When the king smiles, there is life;
his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
Proverbs 16:15
Gentle words are a tree of life.
Proverbs 15:4

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sweet Potato Ginger Smoothie

This is for my neighbor Pattie who is always graciously facebooking me healthy recipes. This recipe below was inspired by a juicer recipe she sent me. For lack of juicer, I make smoothies. Plus it's extra fiber which I appreciate and is good for the wee ones.
This drink has a nice dose of beta carotene and Vitamin C. A quick zing of ginger, a powerful healing spice.

You can easily substitute or add cinnamon for the ginger. Its great idea to add herbs or spices to your smoothies because they are nutritional powerhouses. Also try my Golden Smoothie (uses turmeric), Immunity Strengthening Smoothie, Chamomile Cantaloupe Smoothie, and Blueberry Basil Smoothie.

Sweet Potato Ginger Smoothie
1 steamed sweet potato, cooled
1 large carrot
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chopped pineapple, frozen (or add ice if fresh)
1" chunk fresh ginger
2-3 dates or 4-6 drops vanilla stevia (I buy NuNaturals on amazon or I make my own with this recipe)
1. Blend ingredients in a high speed blender.
2. Enjoy!
Serves 2-3

There are really two season during the year. Blender soup season and smoothie season. Vitamix hot or Vitamix cold. It's smoothie season again! YAY!

What is your favorite smoothie combination?


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pizza Hummus

Hummus is a staple in this household. We just love it! It works great to spread on quesadillas or sandwiches. Makes a great dip for veggies or chips. Add oil and lemon juice for a thick salad dressing. Dress up deviled eggs. Eat simply on crackers.
There are a couple recipes out there for pizza hummus but I found them lacking. A good strong balsamic vinegar changes all that. It adds a little tang and a depth that others don't.
The nutritional yeast is a great addition, making it taste velvety and delicious. It's a great dose of B Vitamins and can be beneficial for breastfeeding moms.

Making your own hummus is a boon on the wallet. Plus this makes plenty to share!

Pizza Hummus
2 cups dried garbanzo beans
2 tsp basil
3/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 oz organic tomato paste or 1/3 cup packed sundried tomatoes (soaked)
3 cloves garlic
1. Soak the garbanzo beans overnight or at least 12 hours (we like to soak 24 hours). Rinse the beans and cover with atleast two inches of water. Boil beans until cooked. Drain, reserving some liquid.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender (like this smart stick on amazon). Add reserved garbanzo bean liquid to thin if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shamrock Shake with Peppermint Herb aka Peppermint Chocolate Shake

Skip the extracts and go straight to the herb source. Peppermint!  As much as I'd like to use fresh, that is not possible in the beginning of March (I seriously need a green house). So instead we used dried. I buy my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs.

I used cut & sifted peppermint. If using ground peppermint herb, start with 1 tsp. If using fresh peppermint leaf, try a handful fresh and move up from there.
Usually associated with candy canes and toothpaste, peppermint has a lot of wonderful herbal properties. The smell alone can enhance alertness and memory. The peppermint herb can help with stomach upset, gas, colic, nausea, and headaches. Rosemary Gladstar calls peppermint "a blast of pure green energy" in her book Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health (page 356). Also Demetria Clark, another Master Herbalist, writes in her book Herbal Healing for Children that peppermint is gentle enough for most children's conditions. It's a gentle energy! Just like a walk in nature.
Peppermint is a staple in my herbal apothecary. I like to add it to my mineral-rich herbal teas for better flavor. We drink an infusion of peppermint with thyme and honey for sore throats. I drink an infusion for headaches particularly one from eating dairy or nasal congestion. If heading to bed, I like to add valerian to the infusion. For a delectable treat like tea, I brew the infusion with dried vanilla bean pods and add honey or stevia.
Peppermint is a great choice for a container garden as some of likened the herb to a weed - it's growth is more easily managed if planted in a pot.

I hope you enjoy this delectable and refreshing milkshake-like treat.

And Happy Saint Patrick's Day! What delicious green-inspired recipes will you be making? Three years ago, we made Egg in a Clover. And last year, we made 2-Ingredient Green Ice Cream.

Peppermint Chocolate Shake aka Shamrock Shake with Peppermint Herb
4-6 tsp peppermint,  dried, cut & sifted*
Seeds from 1/3 Vanilla Bean**
2 cups coconut milk
2 frozen bananas
1 oz dark chocolate
Large handful fresh spinach or kale

Blend all ingredients in blender. Serves 2-3.
* Peppermint from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Purveyors of fine herbal products
**I buy really juicy and plump Premium Bourbon-Madagascar Vanilla Beans from Amazon (link here).
This post contains affiliate links. Buying through these links may help to support Sweet Roots! I thank all my sweet readers for your support!
And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history. Always research!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 Free Downloadable PDF Eguides

I'm proud to announce I'm now a Craftsy Affiliate!

Craftsy Logo
So excited for this opportunity and look forward to sharing the classes!

Check out this amazing free e-guides that are currently free (normally a $4.99 value)! There is also a bonus offer within the eguide if you are looking to take a class from Craftsy.

eGuide: Success With Container Gardening
Created by expert gardener Meredith Skyer, Success With Container Gardening is a free PDF eGuide available exclusively on Craftsy, features 17 pages packed with tutorials, tips and tricks. I'm really interested in this one. Sunshine and 50 degrees in February has been wonderful. Spring feels so close!

eGuide: 6+ Stash-Busting Paper Craft Projects
Big Blue Eyes will really like this one. She's into anything paper craft.

eGuide: Beginner's Guide to the World of Watercolor
I'm really excited about this one as well. I'd really love to develop my watercolor painting skills.

Some others that might interest you:
eGuide: Understanding Exposure for Better Photos Now: Beginner Photography Tutorials
eGuide: Drawing the Human Face: A Primer
eGuide: Woodturning Basics for Beginners

Which one(s) will you be downloading? I'm looking forward to all of them!

This post contains affiliate links. Buying through these links may help to support Sweet Roots! I thank all my sweet readers for your support!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Week of Love : Paleo Mini Plum Clafouti for 2

While growing up, my mother introduced us to a wide range of foods. We still had the typical macaroni and cheese, but sushi and clafouti were my favorites.

This is a paleo version using coconut flour. We always served our clafouti with powdered sugar and lemon juice to squirt. On our paleo version, we sprinkled with Nutiva Coconut Sugar and served with organic orange wedges on the side.

Clafouti is traditionally made with non-pitted cherries. My favorite clafouti stars plums from the tree in front of the log cabin I grew up in. Here we use Italian plums (smaller and oval-shape) to replicate. Feel free to use whatever frozen fruit you prefer.

Paleo Plum Clafouti
4 farm-fresh eggs
3 TB local honey
3 TB coconut oil, melted + 2 TB more
2 TB coconut flour (I subscribe to Nutiva Organic Coconut Flour on amazon)
1/4 tsp sea salt
2-3 cups frozen fruit (enough to make a layer on the bottom of the dish.

1. In large ovenproof ramekins or small casserole dishes (I used All-Clad Stainless Steel 7-Inch Oval-Shaped Baker Specialty Cookware), put the additional two tablespoons coconut oil. Put in oven and heat to 375.
2. In bowl, mix eggs, honey, sea salt and melted coconut oil. Add coconut oil
3. Remove dishes from oven. While wearing over mitts, swish the hot coconut oil around to grease the whole dish.
4. Line bottom with frozen fruit. Pour the batter over top. Bake 25-30 or until middle is set.

Enjoy, sweet readers!


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Week of Love: Vegan Cherry Coconut Millet Pudding

And we end the Week of Love with two breakfast recipes. This one vegan and the following recipe will be Paleo Plum Clafouti. I hope you have enjoyed our little recipe adventure!

The Arrowhead Mills Whole Millet packaging inspired this recipe. My sister gave me two packages of millet when I was visiting her one day. Having run out a while back while making mixed grain blender waffles,  I was more than delighted. I was ready to create!

Millet is supposed to be all the rage in 2015. Being gluten-free makes it highly appealing. It also doesn't need to be grown overseas (unlike quinoa) and it has a low water footprint compared to most grains. Millet retains alkaline properties after cooking making it an even easier grain to digest. Millet is starting to sound more and more appealing!

This baked pudding has great flavor and texture. Soaking the millet grain helps with digestion and creating less crunch. We want to enjoy our pudding. Not chip a tooth.

There is a lightened version featured below. The first version I found very scrumptious and more decadent. Great for breakfast or even dessert. The lighter version is more appropriate for breakfast.

Coconut Cherry Millet Pudding
1 cup whole millet grain, soaked overnight
2 cans coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup local honey
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup coconut shredded, unsweetened
1 TB vanilla
1 tsp sea salt
1. Soak millet in 2 cups water overnight. Drain and rinse well.
2. Boil coconut milk and water. Add all ingredients. Stir for one minute.
3. Pour into casserole dish greased with coconut oil. Cook 1 hour at 350.

Lighter Variation:
Use only one can coconut milk, 1 1/2 cup apple juice, and 1 cup water for liquid. No honey. The apple juice and dried cherries will be our sweetener in this lighter version.

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