To kick off November I am sharing a tasty snack recipe that I like making a variation of at least once a month. These date based energy bites are relatively quick to make and the spicy ginger and molasses flavours are fitting for the wintery season we’re edging in to.
Am going to keep the chatter on this post short but I do want to let you know that you should totally make these and bring them to your next pot-luck event or office as a surprise treat for your co-workers (those that I work with may be getting a taste of these soon... just sayin').
Gingerbread Energy Bites Recipe
250 g soaked dates (at least an hour or more if they are quite dry)
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp each cloves, nutmeg & salt
1 tbsp molasses
⅓ C each sprouted raw pumpkin seeds, chopped cashews, buckwheat groats, and rolled oats
Blend all in food processor (scraping down the sides however many time you need to get this texture). Makes about 18 small rounds.
Since we're in the middle of summer here there's a lot more grilling and picnic time. One of my favourite things to make when I have a BBQ to use is packet potatoes with rosemary and garlic. They're so simple and so good that I like to make extra for snacks later or to be incorporated in a breakfast hash of some sort. However, my latest leftover packet potatoes were mixed with some boiled eggs and hummus with a tablespoon of miso mixed in for extra flavour for a new-to-me take on a summer salad that is so delicious I had to make it again to share with you!
This recipe requires a bit more preparation if you make all the components but it's totally worth it! However, perhaps you already have some leftover roasted potatoes and looking for a new way to use them. Or, do you have half a container of hummus in the fridge that is need of a different vehicle to your mouth than chips or veggie sticks? Do you pre-boil eggs for the week for quick add-ons for lunch or ramen but want to try something different? This is for you!
The best way to tackle making all the parts of this recipe is to prep the potatoes and get those grilling. While the potatoes are cooking get the eggs boiling and make the hummus between the times the potato packet needs to be turned over on the BBQ. All in this recipe could take about 30-45 minutes from start to finish - but again if you already have one or more parts of this recipe then you could be enjoying this much sooner! So the first recipe below is if you have all the parts already to go... followed by another recipe with steps to make everything in one go. Either way I know I'll for sure be making this again and hope you try it out too!!
Potato & Egg Salad with a Miso Twist
1 cup roasted potatoes
2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped/mashed with fork (see image below)
1/4 cup hummus
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
2 handfuls of baby spinach
Sliced veggies like sweet peppers, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, etc.
1 - In a smallish bowl, combine all the ingredients except the chives.
2 - Divide the salad mixture between two plates with a handful of spinach each
3 - Add sliced veggies to the side and top the potato and egg salad with chopped chives.
4 - Enjoy!
See below if you want to make all the components for this recipe in one go!
Rosemary & Garlic Packet Potatoes
*with hard boiled eggs and hummus making steps too!
~2 cups potato, cut in to small dice size
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped (depending on your love for garlic)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, roughly chopped keeping the stem
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
Salt & pepper
1 - Preheat BBQ to ~400F
2 - In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients until everything is coated well.
3 - Pour all the oil covered potatoes on to a prepared sheet of aluminum foil and wrap in to a packet.
4 - Place in BBQ on top shelf for 10 minutes.
5 - In a medium saucepan, place 4 eggs and fill with water until covered by 1". Place lid on saucepan and bring to boil. Once boiling set timer for 10 minutes and reduce heat to medium-high to maintain steady boil. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water and ice cubes for the eggs too cool in when they're done cooking.
6 - Turn potato packet over and BBQ for another 10 minutes.
7 - The timer for the eggs is likely nearly done and the cooked eggs can be moved in to the ice bath. It's also time to make the hummus - I use the simple recipe from Jamie Oliver but I drain the chickpeas, reserving the aquafaba liquid, and add in 2-3 tablespoons instead.
8 - Turn potato packet over one more time and BBQ for last 10 minutes.
9 - Clean up the mess you've made.
10 - Remove potato packet from BBQ, open and let cool for about 10 minutes.
11 - While the potatoes cool, peel all 4 eggs and put in a medium bowl and use a fork to mash them (see image above for example)
12 - In a small bowl, take a 1/2 cup of the hummus and mix in 1-2 tablespoon miso.
13 - Remove and discard the rosemary stem from the packet potatoes and add in to medium bowl with the mashed eggs. Also add in the hummus miso mixture.
14 - Stir all the ingredients together to combine and you have yourself a tasty potato and egg salad to serve on spinach (like above), in a sandwich or with pita wedges!
So that's it! I hope you try this alternate option from the standard mayo or sour cream based potato and egg salads. There's just so much more flavour!!
Let me know what you think in the comments below :)
Last week I sent out a poll through Instagram and Facebook asking which food people were most resistant to try from these options: Kimchi, Miso, Seitan and Kombucha. All four I've experimented with over the years and like to rotate them in my diet on a regular basis. The poll received mixed results from folks who were keen on them all to those that either were generally wigged out by fermented foods or knew very little about some or all of the choices. As you may have guessed by the title of this post; Miso tallied the most votes so that's where we will start to demystify and share some easy to incorporate recipes for all you lovelies out there!
To begin - What is miso? Basically it's a fermented paste that is most commonly made from soy beans but can also be made from other legumes as well as barley and/or rice. There are also many varieties in colour of miso including white, yellow, brown, red and black. Some can be quite salty while others are sweeter in flavour. Miso is not the most attractive looking product as a lumpy paste with a slightly funky smell. So it makes sense that it's a scary food. Where the hell do you start?!?
Currently I am using Amano brand Shiro Miso - which is white rice and soy beans fermented. It's lighter in colour and not too salty so I find it quite versatile. I also really like chickpea miso and I'll feature that in another upcoming post. Either way - as you can see below the paste isn't all that much to look at but I tell ya the flavour it brings to a variety of dishes is full of that je ne sais quoi umami flavour that is also great for your health!
Secondly - Miso (and all fermented products, really) is alive with microorganisms! That may freak a few people out but stay with me here, k?! It's really good for you (I promise!) and you really don't need much to start making a very positive difference in your gut health. There are many sources on the internet that you can Google for further details. One significant detail to know though is that all those tiny microorganisms in miso (and all fermented products) are not fans of too much heat. Therefore, it's best to add miso straight in to salad dressings and dips or added to dishes near the end of cooking to reap all the health benefits. There are many recipes out there where miso is cooked throughout the process as the umami flavour that miso adds is kick-ass and it works well for many dishes. But really the health benefits are toasted when fully cooking with any fermented product.
Lastly - The Japanese culture have been using miso in their diets for centuries and they have a lot of centenarians where the standard Western diet has not completely infiltrated their traditional foods. I take that information as a good enough reason for miso to be included in my diet too to get in on that longevity. Miso soup is the most common form that Japanese folks consume miso (I'm assuming this... if anyone out there knows for sure or otherwise feel free to comment below) and is likely how most Westerners have tried miso as well. Miso soup is really great but perhaps is a big leap for many to try as it looks and tastes quite different than your standard vegetable or cream soup. So with that in mind we are going to forego any soups here and incorporate miso in to recipes that could already be in your rotation but are in need to be changed up!
For today's Miso recipe we tried a simple and delicious miso glaze on a garden fresh picked zucchini! I've only tried this glaze on zucchini but I can guarantee that I will be using this on other grilled veggies this summer. I happen to be house/dog-sitting as I'm writing this and my friends' house has a great south facing backyard and a wonderful garden. Since they're gone for nearly two weeks there's been a bunch of growth and I'm enjoying the benefits of fresh zucchini today!
While enjoying a brilliant sunny day I figured I'd do all the prep and cooking outside! Minimal ingredients and took all of 10 minutes to prep and cook once I had everything all set and the BBQ heating up. Since I was only cooking for myself I only prepped
So without further ado here's the recipe!
Miso glazed grilled zucchini
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (or safflower oil)
1 zucchini, cut in to wedges (as shown above)
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp maple syrup (honey or agave would do well here too)
2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
splash of water to thin the glaze
1 - Heat grill to medium-low heat
2 - Brush all sides of zucchini wedges with coconut oil
3 - Grill wedges for 2-3 minutes per side
4 - While zucchini is grilling prepare the glaze
5 - Whisk to combine miso paste, tahini, maple syrup and Worchestershire sauce in a bowl. Add a splash of water to thin out the glaze to your desired consistency.
6 - Once zucchini wedges have been grilled on all sides remove from grill and brush with glaze. Reserving some for dipping as well.
7 - Eat and enjoy!
Now this amount of glaze was plenty for these six wedges with extra for a side dipping sauce. However, since the ratios are so simple this recipe would be really easy to make in a larger batch.
So - do you think you'll try this? Is there a way you've heard of miso being used before that you'd like some help with? Let me know in the comments :)
Until recently I never thought of how chickpeas were grown let alone if they could be eaten fresh. When I shared some sour apricots that I found at a nearby Middle Eastern grocer with a co-worker who is originally from Lebanon a few weeks ago (which, by the way were a unique and tasty treat) she told me about all the delicious fruits and vegetables from her home that she missed. One of them was fresh chickpeas! Now most people have had chickpeas in some form such has hummus, in salads or soups, and of course one of my ultimate favs: falafels! So to learn that these little legumes could be eaten fresh was brand new information to me.
Cut to yesterday when I'm back at the nearby Middle Eastern grocer where I found bags of fresh chickpeas in their produce section! Obviously I had to buy a bag to try them out and what a treat they are.
They are grown in little pods with one or two chickpeas inside each pod. I removed the chickpeas and found that they tasted very slightly like the canned or dried/rehydrated/cooked chickpeas I've eaten in the past but with an added fresh green pea flavour too.
Since I have a 1lb bag of these to eat I need some other ideas on how to eat them other than just one their own or added to a salad (which is what I did for last night's dinner). Anyone out there with some unique uses/recipes for these fresh legumes? Share in the comments!
It's been a while since I posted a recipe so why not share my latest favourite smoothie concoction - Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric! A combination that may be strange to some but I suspect that once you try it you might actually dig this delicious treat.
Carrot, Ginger & Turmeric Smoothie
Serves 1 and easily duplicates
Inspired by: Minimalist Baker
1 smaller carrot, grated (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
1 frozen banana (pre-peeled/sliced/frozen)
1/4 frozen cantaloupe* (pre-peeled/sliced/frozen)
1 knob of ginger, microplaned or finely grated (about 2-3 tsp depending on how much you love ginger)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric**
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
few turns of fresh cracked pepper***
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp flax seed oil
water, as needed
1 - Place all ingredients in to a large wide mouth mason jar if using an immersion blender or in to a standard blender.
2 - Blend until all ingredients are well conbined. Add water to thin the mixture if it is too thick.
3 - Stick a straw in that and enjoy!
*Cantaloupe could easily be switched to mangos or pineapple.
**I happen to have two kinds of turmeric so used a bit of both
***Yes, pepper is needed so the health benefits of the turmeric can be absorbed by our bodies most effectively.
So there you have it! Will you try it?