I’ve been abundantly blessed to live in not only one but two places where dates are grown and harvested: first in California, where I was born and currently live, and then in Morocco, where I spent three years teaching English. Dates have been experiencing a sort of renaissance lately, what with paleo-ites desperately looking for dessert that meets the stringent requirements of a caveman’s diet. I’m pretty sure a caveman might be especially tempted by dates, especially if he stuffed a tablespoon of tahini and a single roasted almond inside. Continue reading “Tahini + almond stuffed dates”
I am not a creature of habit. I have one eating ritual every day, and that is drinking a hot coffee when I wake up. And the rest, I leave up to the routine of the day: what produce is in season, how my body feels, and what’s available at the tasting station at Trader Joe’s. One day I might eat an herb-filled omelette for breakfast, the next day half a gluten-free brownie. I thrive on the unexpected. And this week, what I craved was a big bowl of roasted winter citrus fruit, simple and clean with that slight salty/sweet bite you get from pulverizing citrus rind with heat and a little olive oil in the oven. Continue reading “Roasted winter citrus fruit”
‘Tis the season for all things starchy, sweet and dripping in butter, but I wanted to at least keep my Christmas-y cooking and baking binge in line with clean eating. Thankfully, that’s not too difficult with a little bit of creativity with winter tubers, natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and maple syrup, and a healthy belief that butter is in fact, good for you (I trust all things Dr. Josh Axe). Continue reading “Caramelized + whipped white sweet potatoes with maple syrup & butter”
I’m on a squash kick lately. It’s the season for pumpkin, butternut squash, spaghetti squash and acorn squash, and since moving back to California, I’m happy to see that we have plenty in the produce aisle, despite a Mediterranean climate and July temperatures in November. I’m throwing it into curries, pureeing it into soups and dreaming of ways to make squash-style sweets. But my favorite way to prepare winter gourds is easy: throw them cubed into a hot pan with olive oil and onions. The result is rich, sweet and so much more than the sum of its parts. Continue reading “Warm winter squash + olive-oil fried chickpeas”
When I lived overseas, I noticed that cafés served tiny cups of coffee that would barely qualify as kid-size in the U.S. At first, it was a bit infuriating- where’s my half-gallon latte? But then I realized that, duh, just like super-size fries and giant plates of pasta at Cheesecake Factory, we overestimate portion size in America. So I became accustomed to having a tiny, strongly flavored drink in the afternoon, around 3 or 4 p.m. Continue reading “Coffee with almond-coconut cream & cardamom”
Since I stick to a gluten-free and mostly paleo diet, sweet potatoes are my sweet, starchy saving grace in the midst of crisp green veggies and meat. Technically, I could eat them all year round, but something feels wrong about sinking my teeth into a hot, just-barely caramelized fire-orange potato mid-summer (the one exception being sweet potato fries, which are always a good idea). So when the skies cloud over and temperatures dip just a little bit, I rejoice because it’s that time again- time to haul a big, heavy bag home of these tubers that take on spice, butter and maple syrup so well, but are also super-duper delicious all on their own.
Continue reading “Chipotle-spiced sweet potato soup (vegan)”
A couple weeks ago, I posted a summer-to-fall transition recipe: a warm bowl of quinoa and spiced eggplant with sweet, just barely caramelized onions. And since it’s the end of October and we’re still getting some warm weather waves down here in sunny Southern California, I have another summer-to-fall bowl for you. This satisfies that strange combo of craving festive, spicy flavors while dealing with July-style weather. Cool, creamy overnight oats with pears pan-fried in butter and sugar, topped with toasty pecans: it tastes like fall, but it’s still cool enough for breakfast on warmer mornings.
Continue reading “Overnight oats with buttery cardamom- spiced pears & toasted pecans”
Before moving to Morocco in 2012, I had one major fear. I didn’t fear loneliness, or being far from my home country, or not being able to communicate with those outside of my culture and native language. I wasn’t afraid of not finding a job, or even of the possibility of terrorist attacks (although there had been a major attack in Marrakesh in 2011). This one thing crossed my mind again and again while packing and preparing: the fear of gaining weight. Continue reading “What I learned about staying healthy while living overseas (it’s surprising)”
When I was a little girl, I woke up every morning looking forward to a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Cheerios. Or Frosted Mini Wheats. Or- if I was on vacation, Mom’s rule- Lucky Charms. Things have changed. I’m not looking to jumpstart my day with a crash-and-burn sugar and carb fest. I’m looking for an easy way to pack in nutrients and superfood ingredients so that I can feel great the rest of the morning and make sure my body gets what it needs right away. Enter the green smoothie. Hate it or love it, it’s here to stay. Continue reading “Spinach + kale smoothie with aloe and coconut oil”
Here in southern California, it still mostly feels like mid-July; beaches are peppered with people every weekend, I’m in shorts daily and well, it’s 85 degrees outside. But still, it’s October. Pumpkin spice lattes are here, department stores are gearing up for Christmas and I’m eyeing bomber jackets. It may feel like summer, but everything in me says fall. So, I’m going to behave accordingly.
Enter summer-to-fall transition dishes, like this eggplant & sweet onion spiced in curry powder and sauteed in coconut oil, served with a side of quinoa and toasted pinenuts. I followed the rules: I used farmer’s market produce (they’re still stocked with eggplant, tomatoes and peaches), but I also used sweet spices and rich coconut oil to make this dish feel just a little warm and festive. Continue reading “Curried eggplant & sweet onion with quinoa”