Fennel Fronds Pesto

I received my Imperfect Produce delivery over the weekend, which is always like Christmas for me. Among other great fruits and vegetables in my delivery box it had fennel. Two of them! I personally love fennel. It can be enjoyed raw, sliced thin and tossed in salads or quartered and oven roasted. I usually only eat the bulb of the fennel and toss the stalks and fronds in my vegetable broth for extra flavor. This week I was feeling the need to try something new. So I added the stalks to my vegetable broth bag like usual, only this time tearing off and setting aside the fronds as I went. I am thinking If I can make a pesto out of carrot tops I can certainly make a pesto out of my fennel fronds, right? So that is what I did! The fennel pesto was so vibrant and flavorful. This was my first time making it and certainly will not be my last. I prepared roasted potatoes for dinner and served them with the pesto right over the top. This recipe will also be awesome used as a spread for wraps and sandwiches or as a marinade for wild salmon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fennel fronds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to your food processor or blender (I used a food processor) blend until your desired consistency.
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Roasted Delicata Squash With Maple Tahini Sauce

This dish is just screaming FALL! And who doesn’t love Fall? Boots, scarfs, leaves and squash. Out of all the squash in season at the moment Delicata is one of my favorites (along side spaghetti squash) due to it’s amazing flavor and easy preparation. The skin on this squash is edible so no need for peeling or scraping.  Just rinse, roast and enjoy. This recipe makes the perfect side dish or can be served over quinoa or raw spinach to make a bowl or salad.

Roasted Delicata Squash With Maple Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 3 delicata squash (I cook for 3 people so I prepared 1 per person)
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut or avocado oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • Pinch of pink salt

Maple tahini sauce

  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 fresh garlic clove diced or 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup
  • 3 table spoons of warm water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Rinse squash, cut lengthwise, remove seeds cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  3. Toss with oil and spices and lay out on parchment lined baking sheet
  4. Roast in your oven for 30-35 minutes (until fork tender)
  5. While your squash is roasting, combine all ingredients together for your sauce and whisk until pourable
  6. Remove squash and drizzle with tahini sauc

Cilantro Lime Hummus 

I made a batch of tahini just the other day so you know I had to follow up with hummus! It is the perfect dip for crackers, chips, raw vegetables, or spread for your toast in the morning. You can even add it to salads, there are no limits. Cilantro lime is one of my favorite flavors because it pairs so well with Mexican cuisine and who doesn’t like Mexican food?

I love making fresh hummus rather than store bought to avoid the plastic container, preservatives, and price tag. It is so much cheaper to make your own rather than buy, especially if you take advantage of dried beans in your bulk section. I personally prefer to use dried beans over canned to avoid BPA lining and It is said that dried beans are at the very least half to two-thirds the price of canned. Not to mention how easy it is to make hummus all you do is blend the ingredients in your blender or food processor and voila!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup of dried chickpeas (makes 1 1/2 cups) or 1 can
  • 1 tablespoon of tahini
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Juice from half of a lime
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro

Instructions

  1. Toss all ingredients in blender or food processor and run on high for about 45 seconds.
  2. Scrape side of container and stir mixture, run on high until desired creaminess.
  3. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days.

Easy Tahini

1 ingredient 2 steps, TAHINI! Simple, cost efficient, fresh, and delicious! I have been obsessed with tahini lately. It can be added to hummus, used it as a base to make sauces and dressings or you can dip your veggies in it for a power snack. This recipe calls for just one ingredient, sesame seeds. These little seeds pack a punch! They are flavorful and full of health benefits. Tahini requires 2 simple steps, Roast and blend. That’s it! I purchase my organic sesame seeds in the bulk section of grocery store at $2.79/Lb. (A pound is a little over 3 cups). After I blended the 3 cups it made just about 14oz of organic tahini. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spread sesame seeds out on baking sheet.
  3. Roast seeds for 10 minutes.
  4. Let seeds cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Blend until you reach your desired creamy consistency.

Naturally Brighten Your Beautiful Smile 

4 ingredients, 1 jar, and a toothbrush is all you need to accomplish this! Coconut oil, baking soda, activated charcoal, and peppermint essential oil, that’s all. Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, putting BLACK charcoal on your teeth to WHITEN them!? Activated charcoal works through absorption. Absorbing any plaque in your mouth or on your teeth that might cause staining. It also helps prevent cavities, bad breath, and gum disease by changing the PH and absorbing toxins in your mouth.

This recipe is so simple, you just toss all the ingredients together and mix well. Then, just store in an airtight container. I am all about reusing jars but I’ll tell ya what, do not use an old minced garlic jar! Yeah, I accidentally did that my first time making this toothpaste and my mouth tasted like garlic all day. So, any jar but an old garlic jar will work. Also, this toothpaste is coconut oil based, we all know that consistency depends on the weather with coconut oil.  When it is cool outside the paste is thicker and easier to handle. When it’s hot, the toothpaste is a little looser. just take a spoon and pour it onto your brush unless you would like to keep it in your refrigerator.

For best results use this toothpaste 2-3 times a week. I personally switch off between this and oil pulling.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal
  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Brush your teeth.
  3. Rinse your sink very well after brushing, if charcoal is left in the sink it can cause staining.

Coconutty Chocolate Almond Bites

chocolate, coconutty, almond bites
chocolate, coconutty, almond bites

Today is the last day of summer and I am going out with a bang! I was sitting on my balcony enjoying the warmth from the sun on a cool day and thought, the only way this could get better is if I had a snack. So I made one, I was craving something healthy, yet chocolaty and gluten free so it can second as a school snack for my son. I am so thankful I had all the ingredients on hand to make date bites. Between the coconut, almonds and cocoa powder they taste just like an almond joy and the best part is how simple this recipe is. Just three steps, blend, roll, and enjoy. no baking necessary. They are friendly to any diet imaginable being vegan, gluten free, and paleo. If you don’t like chocolate (but who doesn’t like chocolate?) or almonds, maybe you will like these coconut cashew bites.

 

Ingredients **makes about 10**

  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1/2 cup of almonds
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of  sea salt

Instructions

  1. Pulse the almonds to into smaller pieces in a food processor or blender
  2. Add all other ingredients and run on low speed until everything is broken down and your mixture looks more rollable. almost like a thick, sticky paste.
  3. Roll into balls, about  1 to 1 1/2 inches in size or your desired size, this size make 10 bites.
  4. I left half of the batch naked and rolled the other half in shredded coconut. They are good both ways so either mix it up, leave them all naked or if you are a coconut lover roll them all in coconut.

Carrot Top Pesto

Carrots are the most commonly used vegetable in my home. They are tasty, affordable, and palate approved by my eight year old son. Aside from all that, I love that I can use the entire carrot. Skin, leaves, stems…Everything! If you skin your carrot, clean, season, and roast those skins up to make root vegetable chips or toss them in a bag with the stems and other vegetable scraps to make broth. Carrot leaves are also edible, delicious, and contain high amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals. Carrot leaves can be used in place of parsley in recipes or can be added to salads and dishes for extra flavor. I also enjoy making sauces like chimicurri or pesto out of carrot leaves. Making the most of your food is also making the most of your money, all while reducing food waste.

Just last week I made a batch of pesto. The recipe is creamy and flavorful. It’s also vegan, but If you are not and would like to add cheese to your pesto, cut the amount of salt in the recipe in half and cut out the nutritional yeast. This recipe makes enough to fill an 8oz. mason jar which gave me 2 meals. One meal was pesto tossed with zucchini noodles, diced tomatoes, and a side of carrots. The other with pasta, but you can serve this pesto over potatoes, pizza, with spaghetti squash.. the options are endless.

Notes: I like my Pesto a prefer my on the creamy side. If you don’t, cut the pine nut measurements down to 1/4 cup.

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  • Half of a lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups of carrot leaves
  • 1 – 2 springs of basil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes (double if you like a little spice)
  • 1/8 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup of evoo

Instructions

  1. Toss all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until your desired consistency.

DIY Eyeliner

I am so excited to share this 4 ingredient all natural DIY eyeliner with all of you! When I was younger (late teens early twenties) I was obsessed with make up. Imagine big make up cases with hundreds of dollars worth of MAC makeup kind of obsessed. Yeah, that was me. I always loved that time before going out or getting ready for work when I sat in front of my mirror, jammed to my music and applied away without a second thought. As I got older I started learning about negative effects toxins and chemicals from the make up have on your body and how everything you apply in your skin ends up in your body through absorption. In addition, learning about brands that test on animals and it being all the brands I was using, I felt horrible, these are things that did not even cross my mind in my younger years. So I quit cold turkey… I quit buying and wearing make up with the exception of the occasional wedding or holiday party. Years have gone by with no make up but lately I have been missing that me time in front of the mirror where I can be in my own girly world listening to music and dressing myself up for date night or special occasion. So I decided to make my own beauty products. I am having tons of fun with it and I know exactly what goes into my product and onto my face and into my body.

I recently purchased a 1/2 oz reusable container from the herb store but any small container with a lid will do. You will also need activated charcoal, beeswax, coconut oil, water and an eyeliner brush to apply. This recipe is quick and easy but I must say if you are not careful it could get messy and activated charcoal can stain. I highly recommend laying a junky rag down at your work station beforehand. If you have a double boiler that will work, I don’t, so I added all my ingredients to a glass mixing bowl and put it in a hot water until all ingredients were melted and well mixed. As soon as everything is melted and mixed pour the eyeliner mixture into the container and then quickly run your bowl under hot water to clean right away. The beeswax in this recipe can firm up quickly and once it gets hard it is a bit harder to clean. Let your eyeliner sit for about 20 minutes, then it should be ready for use.

DIY Eyeliner

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated beeswax
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 water

Method

  1. Add all ingredients to double boiler or glass mixing bowl dipped in hot water
  2. Wait until all ingredients are melted and mix well
  3. Add your eyeliner mixture to reusable container
  4. Wash your pan or bowl right away in hot water to avoid the excess mixture from hardening in the pan.
  5. Wait 20 minutes for eyeliner to firm

Roasted Sesame Cauliflower

I can’t think of another vegetable as versatile as cauliflower, can you? It’s one of my favorites.  One of those veggies I never get sick of because it can be dressed so many different ways and compliments every flavor imaginable. My flavor of the week is sesame!

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.  It’s also a great source for vitamin C and K. Unfortunately, vitamin K deficiency is becoming more and more common these days, so eat up! No, really, you can eat up because cauliflower is known to be low in calories as well. But who is counting anyway?

This recipe is made to be flexible.  It can be served over rice, quinoa, or served by itself. Since cauliflower is high in filling fibers I prepared my cauliflower by itself as a main dish using 1/2 of a cauliflower per person.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  While your oven is heating up, cut the cauliflower into florets.  Dice the garlic and onion and chop up your pepper. Mix the garlic, onion, pepper, and cauliflower together with just a touch of coconut or avocado oil to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop in the oven.  My favorite way to roast anything is in a cast iron.  If you don’t own a cast iron, a sheet pan will do. Bake for about 20 minutes. While your cauliflower is roasting, it’s time to whip up our sesame sauce. Whisk all your wet ingredients together and pour over your cauliflower.  Toss lightly and bake for another 7-10 minutes. The timeframe can vary with the size of your florets. The bigger you cut them, the longer they will take to roast. Once your cauliflower is finished roasting, take out of the oven and top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, red, yellow, or orange
  • Green onions
  • Sesame seeds

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of liquid or coconut aminos
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • Dash of salt and pepper

** If you want to make your sauce thick, more like a glaze add 2 teaspoons of arrowroot or non gmo cornstarch  **

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400
  2. Toss your cauliflower, garlic, onion and pepper in a touch of coconut or avocado oil, just enough to coat your veggies
  3. Roast in cast iron or baking sheet for 20 minutes
  4. Drizzle the sauce over your veggies, mix around
  5. Roast for another 7-10 minutes
  6. Remove from the oven and top with green onions and sesame seeds
  7. Serve with quinoa, rice or by itself.

Labor Day Matcha Mocktail

Matcha Mocktail
Matcha Mocktail

I am just going to come out and say it. I don’t like the flavor of matcha green tea very much. I see so many people out there enjoying their cute, green matcha lattes and I tried but, I just don’t. It has such a distinct green flavor to it, almost like wheatgrass. I’ll tell ya what I do like though… Matcha’s teas benefits! But lets talk about what Matcha is really quick before getting into all that. This is the highest quality, concentrated and finely ground green tea that has been traditionally used and produced in Japan for centuries. It is shade grown for the last couple weeks before harvest which makes it chlorophyll rich and really gives it that bright green color. There is a big difference in the way regular green tea and Matcha is ingested. When green tea is prepared the tea leaves get steeped to infuse your warm water and the leaves get tossed out. With matcha you actually end up ingesting the leaves that have been ground up into a fine powder. Now let’s go back to Matcha green tea’s health benefits I mentioned earlier.

  • Antioxidant powerhouse
  • Energy booster and increases endurance
  • Promotes weight loss by boosting metabolism
  • Chlorophyll rich, helps detoxify the body
  • Cancer fighter
  • Aids memory and concentration
  • Immune support with high levels of potassium, vitamin A & C, Iron, protein and calcium

During my matcha journey in trying different drinks and preparations I discovered I might not be a matcha latte kind of chick but I love it cold! It is so refreshing. The weather is going to be very warm this Labor Day weekend in the Bay Area so I cannot wait to make and share this tasty 3 ingredient drink with you. All you need is matcha, pineapple juice, and sparkling water.

Ingredients (makes one high ball on the rocks)

  • 1 tsp Matcha
  • 1 1/2 cup Pineapple juice
  • Sparkling water

Instructions

  1. Prepare your highball glass with ice
  2. Mix together the matcha and pineapple juice. I find when adding the powder the cold pineapple juice it tends to clump up so I always add both to my blender and blend for just a couple of seconds to make sure it is mixed well.
  3. Pour the juice and matcha mixture over your ice and top with sparkling water & enjoy!