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27 November 2014

Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil

Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

We're jumping into a pretty busy time of year, my social media is blowing up with holiday build up and recipes and I'm finding myself a little overwhelmed. Uninspired really, feeling a need to withdrawal and turn it all off. I don't want this winter to slip away from me, before I know it it will be march and well into the new year. We've got some pretty exciting plans for this summer, it would be easy to wish time away and jump forward a few months. But I'm consciously reminding myself that there is so much happening in the here and now, it's important to remain present. Last night we split a bottle of wine and listened to a very old ipod on shuffle. We're guilty of coming home, making dinner and watching tv more often than we should, so it felt good to have everything turned off, and just chat, dance and laugh. In a world that thrives for perfection,  I've realized that perfect moments can never be created or planned, they just create themselves.

It is a season where everything is on the quest for perfection; perfect pie crust, perfect photographs, the perfect gift, it is exhausting. I'm not perfect, and trying to be is simply boring. I want to drink half a bottle of wine on a wednesday night and get a little tipsy dancing to the counting crows in my living room. I want to eat more than my fair share of this loaf and feel good about it. I want to own my mistakes, to leave a few crumbs on the floor and to embrace life in all its real and sometimes messy glory.  Join me?

Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


Spiced Molasses Bread with Dates, Walnuts + Olive Oil

A seasonal loaf with warm spices, gooey dates and sexy molasses. I love the rich dark flavor of blackstrap molasses, so try to get your hands on the good stuff. The addition of rice flour here makes for a nice crumbly texture that I love. If you are gluten intolerant, I imagine your favorite gluten-free flour blend would work instead of the spelt flour, if you try it let me know. 

Vegan. Makes 1 Loaf.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons ground flax + 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 + 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used homemade, unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup organic black cane sugar molasses (blackstrap)
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar

What to do
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 C / 350 F and line a loaf pan with parchment and/or olive oil
  2. Mix flax with water in a small bowl and set aside
  3. Mix together flours, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In a seperate bowl, combine milk, oil, molasses and vanilla. Whisk until combined. You might need to use a little elbow grease to mix in that sticky molasses. Whisk in flax+water mixture, then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently to combine.
  5. Fold in walnuts and dates, then stir in apple cider vinegar.
  6. Poor into prepared load pan, smooth out the top and bake for about 40 minutes, or until lightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Let cool completely before slicing - so hard!
  8. Enjoy fresh for a day or two, if it gets a little dry, toast and spread with almond butter.

20 November 2014

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

"I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with the roughest of courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frost-work, but rather the solidest thing we know."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


Roasted Cauliflower and Quinoa Salad with Sumac, Lemon + Tahini

I could probably eat my way through an entire head of roasted cauliflower in one sitting. If you ask me, it's the best way to cook it. It brings out a toasty-sweet caramelized flavor that's pretty addicting. I like to roast it until just tender, not too soft, so it can hold its own in this salad. The addition of lemon + sumac make for a fresh, zesty salad bursting with flavor. Enjoy!

Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 handful each fresh flat leaf parsley + mint
  • Rocket, baby spinach or greens of choice, optional

  • 1/ 4 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon
  • Water, as needed
  • Sea salt, to taste

What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C
  2. Place cauliflower florets in a baking dish or rimmed tray. Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil and sea salt. Squeeze over the juice of one lemon and add sumac, toss together to coat. Roast in the oven until cauliflower is slightly golden and tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Rinse the quinoa under cold water in a metal sieve for about 30 secs. Add rinsed quinoa and 3/4 water to a pot and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes,  until quinoa has increased in sized and absorbed most of the water. Remove from heat and let sit with the lid on for another 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  4. To make the dressing, add tahini and the juice of one lemon to a bowl and whisk together with a fork, add enough water to get a runny consistency, season with salt to taste.
  5. Toss quinoa and roasted cauliflower together in a large bowl,  add greens and herbs and a drizzle over a bit of dressing. Top with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, serve with extra dressing on the side. Sprinkle with a touch of sumac.
  6. Keep any leftovers in the fridge for the next day.

14 November 2014

Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric

Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

'From the second that you're in this world, 
They tell you what is "fair", 
The questions you're allowed to ask, 
And the ones you wouldn't dare,
Placed on the path they've paved for you, 
Life pushes you along, 
Without the chance to stop and think, 
If it's right where you belong,
But beyond your pathway's edges, 
Is where living really starts, 
A land of risk and danger, 
A land of broken hearts,
They'll tell you you should fear this land, 
That there's no good there at all, 
As they live their lives as they've been taught, 
Behind expectation's wall,
But the best people you will ever meet, 
Have wandered off their track, 
Found themselves along the way, 
And have no need to wander back,
So forget about life's road map, 
Follow your heart at any cost, 
For you'll never truly find yourself,
If you're too scared to get lost.'


Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


Cozy Autumn Lentil Bowl with Garam Masala + Turmeric


A one pot wonder meal to keep you warm and cozy as the weather turns. I used whole blond lentils here for more of a hearty, stew-y vibe, but split lentils also work. Cooking times will vary so follow package instructions.

Our local health food store has a continuous stock of fresh turmeric, and I always have a bag of it in my fridge. It's a great addition to soups and curries, or even to use for fresh juices and teas. Beware, it stains everything (I mean every-thang!) neon yellow, so don't say I didn't warn you! If you can't find fresh turmeric root, use the ground spice here instead.

Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • Knob coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)
  • 3 cups squash or pumkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup lentils, soaked for 30 mins to an hour, or overnight
  • 1 + 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 4-5 cups organic vegetable stock
  • Salt + Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh cilantro, lemon wedges + nigella seeds, to serve


What to do

  1. Melt coconut oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric and sautée until soft. Add a touch of water if it gets too dry. Add in pumpkin and spices and stir to combine.
  2. Drain and rinse the lentils, then add to the pot and stir to coat. Add coconut milk and enough vegetable stock to cover, stir to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover until lentils are soft, about 35-40 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, if it's too thick add a bit more stock until desired consistency. Keep as is, or blend partially using a immersion blender, you're choice! I like the texture somewhere in between so I don't blend until smooth, but rather leave it chunky. Season to taste.
  3. Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and fresh cilantro.

31 October 2014

Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots

Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

The amount of pasta that Matt can eat astounds me. Really. He always says how lucky he is to love it so much; it's cheap, easy to make and he never gets bored of it. On weekends, after a hike or a run, we usually come home in time to make a late lunch. It's getting pretty predictable. For me, there's a greens + grains salad with whatever veg we have in the fridge, an avocado if I'm lucky and never without hummus. For Matt, there's a big bowl (he has a specific one) with pasta, probably bow tie, grated gruyère, olive oil and maybe some nutritional yeast. Every other night of the week we share the same meal, but weekend lunches end up being an every man for himself kind of deal, and our his and hers go-tos keep us pretty pleased.

I love pasta too, so while I can't quite argue that spaghetti squash rivals the real deal, I will say it puts up a good fight. It welcomes any sauce, isn't afraid of herbs or spices or even a little heat, and piles up nicely in a big bowl. Hell, it would probably taste great with a little nutritional yeast and some grated cheese. Maybe next weekend. Like all pasta dishes, this one is best served with a good glass of wine and a little Paolo. It's november, let's get cozy. Via con me.

Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots ⎮ happy hearted kitchen


Herby Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Garlic, Kale, Fennel + Shallots

A november market fresh meal to kick start the month. If you can't get your hands on tuscan kale, curly kale will do just fine. This dish can be topped of with whatever you like or have on hand; toasty pine nuts or hazelnuts, a little drizzle of chili oil or red pepper flakes, or even a handful of sundried tomatoes. Go wild.

Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side.

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt + pepper
  • 4 shallots, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 large bulb fennel, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 1 bunch tuscan kale, aka lacinato kale, dino kale or cavolo nero
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • Large handful flat leaf parsley

What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F / 190 C
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle, then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment. Place garlic cloves under the squash halves (inside the dome). 
  3. After 30 minutes, remove the garlic from the under the squash and return squash to oven for another 30 minutes or so, until the flesh is soft and tender. Remove and let cool, then using a fork scrape the flesh into strands, place in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Peel the garlic, then smash and squish the roasted cloves with the flat edge of a knife to make a paste.
  5. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a sauce pan over medium heat and add the garlic paste and thinly sliced shallots. Half the fennel, remove the core then slice lengthwise, add to the pan with the shallots. Sautée together, until the fennel is soft and tender, season with salt + pepper.
  6. Remove the tough stalks from the kale and slice into long strands. Add to pan and stir until just wilted, then stir in the squash. Remove from heat and add lots of fresh parsley, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Squeeze over lemon juice, and a little zest if desired. Garnish with additional parsley and reserved fennel fronds.

23 October 2014

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen

We had our first snow fall yesterday. It came all of a sudden. The weather turned overnight and when we woke up the mountains were covered. We haven't turned the heating on yet in the house and the sun is back today, but the season has definitely shifted up here. It's cold. The mornings are frosty and the nights carry a different chill. Winter is on its way, you can feel it. We pulled down an extra blanket from the closet and added a few more layers to our around the house sweat pant attire, it's a welcomed change.

There have been a few lazy afternoons with many cups of hot tea. I bought a mug and plate set for 40 cents at the local good will a few days ago and I have been putting it to good use. It's light blue and brown and really tacky but I love it. It holds well and keeps my hands warm with my morning coffee. Since there is the matching plate I figured that needed a little something too, so I have been doing a bit more baking than I normally do. I told Matt that I could design an entire kitchen around my new mug set. He thinks I'm totally out to lunch, but for 40 cents he'll stick around. I suppose one day it might make its photo debut here, but for now it's sitting beside me as I write, filled with hot vanilla rooibos and one of these mini tarts. The sun's reflection off the snowy peak in front of the house is almost blinding as it shines through the window. It's just a perfect, simple moment in my day today. I hope you have one of those too. 

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust

A spicier twist on your classic pumpkin pie. Ginger, coconut and a crumbly pecan crust. Cozy up with a hot cup of tea and a little treat. It is fall after all.

Vegan + Gluten Free. Makes 9 tarts.

Crust
  • 1 + 1/2 cup oats (gluten free if possible)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Filling
  • 1 cup squash puree (I used red kuri squash, see note* or use canned pumpkin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 + 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or organic non-GMO cornstarch)

Coconut Whipped Cream or Coconut Cashew Cream (recipe below) for serving, optional


What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 175 C / 350 F
  2. Make the crust, place oats and pecans in a food processor and pulse to combine until well mixed and finely ground. Add dates and maple syrup and blend to combine. With the motor running, poor in the coconut oil. Continue to blend until the everything is well combined and the mixture starts to stick to the sides of the blender.
  3. Prep a muffin tin by greasing with coconut oil. (tip: cut out strips of parchment to place across the muffin forms so that once the tarts are done you can easily pull them out by pulling on the parchment like tabs.)
  4. Press golf ball sized amount of dough into each form, then using your fingers work to dough up the sides and around until it forms a shell for the tarts. This is definitely the most labor intensive part of making the tarts, sorry, but it's worth it! Use any extra dough to fill in the holes or thin areas.
  5. Make the filling, place squash puree, vanilla, grated ginger, spices, sea salt and maple syrup in a large bowl. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the coconut oil and coconut milk together, whisk to combine. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in arrowroot powder. Whisk the coconut milk mixture into the squash puree and mix until well combine. 
  6. Fill each crust with the squash filling up to the rim, then bake for 30-35mins until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from tin. Run a knife around the edge of the crust, then pull on the parchment tabs to remove the tarts from the tin. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. Serve at room temperature or out of the fridge with a dollop of cream of your choice. Will keep for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge.
*Squash puree is easy and simple to make at home. Place chopped, peeled squash chunks into a double boiler and steam until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool, then blend in a food processor until smooth. I used one whole red kuri squash, which left me with almost 2 cups of puree. Extra puree can be used in granola, smoothies, oatmeal or baked goods!

Coconut Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 - 1/3 coconut milk
  • 2 + 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • Pinch cinnamon

What to do
  1. Rinse and drain the cashews, then place in a small blender with the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk and blend. Add more milk until desired creaminess. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Will keep in the fridge for a few days.