Posts Tagged ‘Light snack’

It’s been ages since either my sister or I posted a recipe, and there’s nothing like spending a week in the springtime on a hops farm to inspire fresh and new creations. A vegetable that, for reasons unknown, always fails to grab my attention when I’m deciding what to prepare is the carrot. I grow them in my garden and end up eating them raw right from the dirt (washed, of course), and yet when I think of dishes, they only ever make it into a medley of roasted veg. So here’s a fresh idea for summer picnics and gatherings, or to accompany other salads in a crudité-style plate. This recipe takes no time at all to put together. I didn’t time it, but maybe 10-15 minutes…



4 large carrots, shredded (roughly 4 C)

Juice from 1/2 large lemon (lime might also be nice)

1-2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 bunch cilantro (or parsley)

Salt and Pepper to taste



  1. Grate the carrots with a box grater or Salad Master. You want about a medium grate – not too small, not too large.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, lemon juice, oil, cilantro (or parsley), salt, and pepper.
  3. Enjoy.

Inspiration for your Memorial Day Weekend: Memorial Day Munchies

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Kale!  It’s so good.  I pretty much love it in everything, but this is probably the best thing done with kale, ever.  You get the crunchy, toasted flavor of a snack food, but the glorious nutrition of a dark leafy green.  When I made these this afternoon, I intended to wait and have them as part of my dinner, but alas… they lasted for approximately 47 seconds after I took them out of the oven.


1 bunch kale

1 TBS olive oil

1/4 teaspoon spicy curry powder (optional)

salt to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Rinse kale and remove center stem.  Thoroughly dry the leaves (best to use a salad spinner), and tear into segments about 2 inches wide.

3.  Throw the kale on to the cookie sheet and massage it with the olive oil.  Sprinkle with curry powder, if using.

4.   Spread the pieces evenly over the cookie sheet, trying not to overlap.  You will probably need two sheets, or can cook them in two batches, depending on the size of the batch.

5.  Bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes. I know that’s a big range, but it really varies quite a bit depending on densely packed they are. Until you get to know your oven/cookie sheet/kale bunch size, it’s best to start at 12 minutes, and then continue to check every two minutes.  Chips should be very crispy, but still a vibrant green color.

6.  Salt to taste, and serve!

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Another hiatus, for which I sincerely apologize! On the bright side our new yoga studio, Cherry Blossom Yoga, is doing really well..so there’s good reason for the hiatus. 🙂 And while I can’t promise when the next post will be, I can assure you that the inspiration that follows will be most pleasing to the palate. The ingredients are the same as the veggie sushi from days gone by. Though, I did add in some additional veg which you may like, that’s not normally found in traditional rolled veggie sushi. And with that in mind, any veg that you think you might enjoy raw would be a delightful addition! This dish feeds as many as you’d like..depending on how much rice you cook and veg you cut. But it makes a perfect, refreshing and raw (aside from toasting the nori), summertime salad chock full of vitamins (including B’s, thank you weed of the sea) and minerals without the need to roll sushi. 😉 This salad also gives you the freedom to include veg that may not be the easiest to get into a rolled sushi format. And if you can locate the right Shoyu or Tamari Sauce..a gluten- and/or wheat-free dish as well 😀


Sushi Rice
Carrots, julienned
Cucumber, julienned
Fresh Red Bell Pepper, julienned
Green Onions, diced
Sliced Avocado (if one is so inclined, I’m not a fan..but Mother enjoyed it)
Raw Sesame Seeds
Pickled Ginger
Shoyu or Tamari soy Sauce (look for one that is wheat- and/or gluten-free if need be, regular soy sauce is NOT)
Toasted Nori, roughly chopped (not an easy task, but worth it..and by rough, I mean as good as you can get it.)


1. Prepare the sushi rice.
2. While the rice is cooling off (I like to stick it in the freeze while chopping), roughly chop the toasted nori and place on serving plates (like the bed of a salad).
3. Julienne the carrots, cucumber, bell pepper; dice the green onions; set aside.
4. When the rice is cooled, wet hands and form a giant snowball of rice. Place ball o’ rice on top of chopped nori. Top with julienned veg and diced green onions. And if one is so inclined, top with pickled ginger, sliced avocado and sprinkle with sesame seeds and shoyu sauce. Utilize your awesome skills with chopsticks and ENJOY!

Happy Eating!

On This Day in History: Blueberry Bran Mini Loaves


Veggie Sushi

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Tex-Mex meets New-Mex Fiesta

Here’s a menu I created for Jo’s post-dissertation defense (“Dark Matter”) party Spring 2008. It was a huge hit for both the vegans and omni’s alike. It served about 40 people buffet-style, with plenty for morning-after leftovers. I used about 3 doz tamales and made about 2 dry C of the quinoa. I didn’t scale up any of the recipes (except for the quinoa and the margaritas). It was BYOB, and we had a house Sangria for the guests, but naturally some wanted my wonderful margaritas. So we went through about 2-3 full pitchers, which used a total of a full bottle of tequila and about 1.5 bottles of triple sec.

This menu would also serve nicely as a buffet at a big Super Bowl Party this coming February! 🙂

Main Munchers:

Basic Roasted Vegetables (Roasted Red Bell, Corn, Zucchini, Red Onion) served with tortilla chips
Black Bean tamales with Tomatillo Salsa and Pico de Gallo
New Mexican Veg & Quinoa (with Tomatillos, Green Chilies, Black Beans, Corn, and Spinach)
Spicy nuts and seeds
Jo’s Favorite Roasted Potatoes
Zucchini fritters – my secret recipe, sorry folks – maybe I’ll let it go one day when we put out a Primate cookbook 😉
Fresh fruit salad

Dessert and Drinks:

Sugar Cookies (in drop form, not specially shaped)
House Sangria
Margaritas (Pitcher)

Happy Hosting!

On This Day In History: Classic 3-Bean Salad


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By now, regular readers are probably aware of my chai obsession (chai, chai shortbread cookies).  Today as I was deciding what flavor granola I want to have for breakfast this week, it suddenly hit me:  chai spice granola!


4 TBSP Earth Balance vegan butter

1/2 C oat flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 C vegan granulated or turbinado sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/8 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

3 C thick-cut oats

1/4 C brown rice syrup

2 TBSP agave nectar

1/2 C whole almonds

1/2 C pecan halves


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a large baking pan, or line with parchment paper.

2.  Add the Earth Balance, baking soda, sugar and spices to your food processor.  Blend until the mixture clumps, about 10 seconds.

3.  In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until well blended.

4.  Spread into prepared baking pan.  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until toasty brown, stirring every 10 or 15 minutes.

5.  Remove from oven and let thoroughly cool.  Granola will crisp up nicely as it cools down.  Enjoy!



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I’ve been really infatuated with bean purees lately.  You can spread it on sandwiches, use it as dip for carrots and chips, or just serve it along side some rice and veggies for dinner.  Earlier this fall, during the few short weeks that I could find them at the farmer’s market, I made the most wonderful puree out of bird egg beans.  I first discovered bird egg beans last fall, when I moved to the DC area.  They are so delicious!  But if you can’t get them at your farmer’s market, use any hearty bean instead, such as Roman, large Lima or Italian white bean.


2 C shelled bird egg beans

1 TBS dried herbs – rosemary and oregano

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

0.5 – 1.5 tsp salt (to taste)

2-4 C water for simmering the beans


1.  If using fresh beans, shell, rinse and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender.  If you using dried bean, soak overnight, rinse and simmer for 1 hour, or until tender.

2.  Drain the beans, but save the cooking water.

3.  Puree the beans, herbs, olive oil and salt in a food processor, along with a 1/4 C of the beans’ cooking water.  Add small amounts of water, until desired thickness is reached.

4.  Serve as a snack, appetizer, or as part of your meal, and enjoy!


On this Day in History: Chickpea Chili Flatbread.  I had totally forgotten about this recipe, but wow, it looks tasty!

chickpea chili flatbread12


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Freshly roasted pumpkin seeds are a wonderful (but addictive) snack.  If you’re slicing a pumpkin for carving, or cooking, don’t thrown the seeds away, roast them!


fresh pumpkin seeds

dash olive oil

dash salt


1.  Preheat oven to 350°F degrees.  Cut pumpkin in half.  Spoon out pulp and seeds, and put in a medium bowl.  You can use the pumpkin flesh for soup or pie.


2.  Add enough water to the bowl to cover the seeds and pulp.  Pull out the larger pulp sections, pull the seeds off, and discard the pulp.  After you get the large pieces of pulp out, the seeds will be floating in the water, with some smaller pulp bits underneath.  Skim the seeds off the top and put in a strainer.  After you have all of the seeds, give them a quick rinse and drain.

3.  In a small bowl, add a dash of salt and olive oil to the seeds.  Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

4.  Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F degrees.  Toss the seeds around to redistribute and bake another 10 minutes.  Allow to cool and enjoy!


On This Day In History: Fruehstuck



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A fresh Italian salsa, which is similar to a bruschetta but not quite the same – what could be more refreshing?! This salsa works well on tortilla chips, but toasted baguette slices lightly brushed with some olive oil or Earth Balance would be phenomenal! This makes a small “appetizer for 4” size portion, so if you’re in the noshing mood feel free to scale up the recipe.

Salsa Fresca ItalianoIngredients:

12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 red onion, diced
fresh basil, chopped-
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste


1. In a medium bowl, combine halved cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, chopped fresh basil, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Stir to combine.
2. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and let marinade in the fridge at least 1 hour. Stir to refreshen and enjoy!

Salsa Fresca Italiano2

Happy Chopping!

On This Day In History: Red Beans and Rice

red beans and rice3


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Who doesn’t like potato chips?  Nobody!  But I’m sure many of us don’t eat a lot of them since they’re so oily.  Luckily, you can make chips at home and control the oil and salt levels.  Since they’re baked, not fried, I just toss them with a little bit of olive oil.  Of course, it’s easiest if you have a mandolin to slice the taters quickly and easily.  Otherwise, a cheese slicer leftover from your pregan days can work.  Or, you can just practice your knife work. 🙂  For the best chips, you’ll want a starchy russet or yukon golds.  Blue potatoes definitely add some interesting color, but they crisp up unevenly.



olive oil

salt and pepper – to taste


1.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees (aka hotter than the sun).

2.  Slice potatoes with a mandolin, as thick or thin as you like.

3.  In  a large bowl, toss potato slices with olive oil.

4.  Spread in a single layer (not overlapping) on a cookie sheet.  Bake thin slices for 20 minutes, or thick slices for up to 40.  Check every 10 minutes and remove any chips that have browned, then let the rest keep cooking.

5.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and enjoy!


On This Day in History:  Summer Rolls


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Heirloom Tomato Salad2This heirloom tomato salad is definitely for the lovers of tomatoes! It’s so simple, yet so delicious. It makes a perfect light dinner, or appetizer, served alongside some crusty vegan-buttered bread – at least it did for me.. I got it straight from the newest Food & Wine magazine (Aug 2009), and only had to make two changes – no cheese grated on top, and I included some fresh thyme. So keeping in line with simplicity, I’ll just go straight to the recipe!


2 pounds heirloom tomatoes – cored and sliced 1/4-inch thickness
salt, to taste – I used a blend of sea salt and mineral salt
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
2 TBSP minced chives
2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
1 TBSP fresh thyme
*optional: some fresh ground black pepper, if you roll like me


Arrange tomato slices on a platter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper (if using) and drizzle with oil. Scatter the chives, basil, and thyme. And enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Happy Slicing!


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