18 April 2014

grain-free banana cake with almonds & chocolate chunks.

This moist banana cake has been a really big hit in my house as of late. The sweet & comforting flavors lure the morning sleepers to rise out of bed, satiates afternoon cravings, &, with a dollop of creme fraiche, fulfills the vacancy of an after dinner dessert. This recipe can easily be doubled to make a layer cake with your favorite frosting (or homemade whipped cream! or try this paleo version!) or halved to make a mini-loaf for a picnic. 

coconut flour & almond flour banana cake with almonds & chocolate chunks. 
inspired by Comfy Belly

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup olive oil
4 eggs
3 very ripe bananas
1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds 
1/2 cup dark chocolate, chopped (I like Green & Black's 70%) or dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Add all the dry ingredients together & pass through a sieve.
  3. In a stand up mixer, add the wet ingredients together, blend well, and then mix them into the dry ingredients-- folding in the nuts & chocolate last.
  4. Grease a baking pan (I used a 9" spring form pan) with olive oil or coconut oil. Add the batter to the baking dish.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.
  6. Cool almost completely and slice. Store sealed at room temperature for a few days, in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or freeze for a few months.
happy eatings & cheers!

16 April 2014

roasted carrot & ginger soup.

I can hardly believe there has been months & so many happenings since the last time I shared a recipe, a photo, or even my thoughts here on we eat. happy. Mostly, though, it has been a long winter here in Portland. I feel so much joy in the snow melting away to reveal purple & white crocuses emerging from the earth & small pale green buds adorning stark branches. The birds have returned, chirping towards the bright mornings & reveling in the warmth of the sun. Needless to say, this revival is inspiring.

Over the past months, I have continued to eat minimally processed foods (sticking with grain-free & sugar-free foods), & have been delighted with the overall results. Now that I have experimented a bit cooking this way, I feel prepared to share my everyday meals as well as the special dishes with everyone here. My beliefs have certainly not changed though. Cooking & preparing foods that are in season (when you can) allow for the best flavor and the ingredients on your plate to really shine. 

Everything about this roasted carrot & ginger soup is simple: from its character to the preparation.  Just because this dish is minimal, does not mean the flavors are--in fact, they are comforting, refreshing, & satisfying. This is a lovely lunch as well as perfect starter for the main course. This version is vegan, but if you are looking for a rich accent, a dollop of creme fraiche or sheep's milk yogurt definitely wouldn't hurt!

roasted carrot & ginger soup.
serves 2 as a meal or serves 4 as a side

6-8 carrots, peeled & chopped
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt & cracked pepper
2 shallots, peeled & diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger root, peeled & grated
3 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock (homemade always elevates the flavor, but whatever you have on hand!)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the chopped carrots with about a TBL of extra virgin olive oil, & a pinch of sea salt & cracked pepper in a roasting pan. Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and begin to get caramelized around the edges. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom stock pot, drizzle another TBL or two of olive oil & bring to a medium heat. Add the onions. Cook until the onions are tender & translucent. Add the garlic & grated ginger, & saute for another minute. Add the broth or stock & bring to a boil. 
  3. Take the carrots out of the oven & add them to the broth. Simmer for about 15 minutes. 
  4. At this point, carefully blend the soup until smooth with an immersion blender or in a regular blender.
  5. Pass the soup through a fine mesh sieve for a more refined texture, or leave it pureed for a heartier texture. Season to taste with sea salt & cracked pepper. 
happy eatings & cheers!

04 November 2013

our new nest & an autumn salad.

4 November 2013

Apologies for the long intermission between posts, and what seems like a cooking strike. September & October were a whirlwind, I can't believe how the time flies & the seasons change.  After what felt like a long stint of living out of bags and working out of stacks, Jediah & I finally moved into our new nest in the city. We unpacked with haste, riffled through the cluttered, purged & reorganized. In the quieter moments, we have been exploring the nooks-and-crannies of our neighborhood: discovering the best brunch spot, where to get a delicious sip of coffee, & of course, searching for what will be our go-to bar.

This move recalls my favorite childhood book, The Best Nest by P.D. Eastman. In the book, Mr. & Mrs. Bird are on the quest to find the perfect nest. They try many, but there are flaws in each one: whether it is the noise of a ringing bell tower or the menacing ferocity of a house cat. In the end, after all the searching & frustration, Mrs. Bird realizes that her home was with the ever constant Mr. Bird along. It was never about the place, but the one that you share it with. Although I am thrilled for a new nest my self, I know my home is always where my love & my heart is.

Now that I have my kitchen, my pots, pans, wooden spoons, & all the gadgets that make me quite content, I have been feeling inspired--& positively excited to cook again. I am delighted to partake in laughter, conversation, & meals with my friends, family, & the visitors that stop by here. Today I share with you a simple salad that sings the flavors of the harvest. Since the ingredients are hearty, this is a great one to pack for a lunch as it can stand up to being put together a early & eaten later. Enjoy!

an autumn salad: red kale, roasted beet, apple, red onion, & roasted honey-walnuts
serves 2-4

1 bunch of red kale, leaves torn & stems discarded
4-6 small beets (your choice), roasted, peeled, & sliced
1 small apple (I used a local honey crisp), sliced or diced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 cup roasted honey-walnuts (recipe below)

  1. In a large bowl or platter, either toss the ingredients together or arrange them "decoratively."
  2. Serve with the house dressing. 

roasted honey-walnuts
1 cup raw walnuts
1 TBL olive oil
1 TBL raw honey
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together the oil & honey. Thoroughly fold in the walnuts.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, & evenly lay out the walnuts. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 10 minutes. Keep your eyes on them--you don't want them to burn. Let them cool a few minutes before you start snacking on them.

house dressing
makes 1 cup

1/3 good balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 TBL raw honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of sea salt & cracked pepper

  1. Whisk vinegar, honey, mustard, & seasoning. Slowly add the oil until the dressing is thoroughly combined.

happy eatings & cheers!