a new experience

I recently had the wonderful experience of catering a yoga retreat. Overall it was a lot of recipe testing, shopping, prepping and of course, cooking. I’m so grateful to my friend Erin, who asked me to collaborate with her retreat. I proved to myself that I could pull it off, and in the process, I met some lovely ladies.

The lodge that I called home for three days.

My goal was to create an unforgettable food experience. I wanted to complement my friend’s nurturing and thoughtful yoga practice with food that brought people together while sharing meals.

I challenged myself to create meals, that would:

  • Be full of flavor
  • Include vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free and vegan options
  • Be simple, light and reflect the season.

Whether you’re meaty, vegetarian, vegan, or are simply on the lookout for some delicious food, I encourage you to give one, or all of these recipes a try.

Sikil Pak 

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 1/2 pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon of habanero pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a dry skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds by stirring frequently over medium low heat until golden brown.
  3. Add tomatoes, onion, garlic and habanero pepper to a roasting pan. Roast in oven until they start to brown, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the toasted pumpkin seeds, roasted vegetables and all remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  5. Serve with raw vegetables, crackers or tortilla chips.

Radicchio Salad 

I previously posted the radicchio salad recipe here.  

Chocolate-Tahini Brownies 

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons tahini, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon light agave syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8×8″ baking dish with 2 overlapping pieces of parchment paper, leaving at least a 3″ overhang on 2 sides.
  2. Whisk cornstarch and cocoa powder in a medium bowl until no lumps remain. Heat chocolate, oil, and 1 Tbsp. tahini in a small saucepan over low, stirring, until melted and smooth.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until light, smooth, and doubled in volume, 3–4 minutes. Beat in salt and vanilla to combine, then beat in chocolate mixture, scraping down sides as needed, until incorporated. Beat in cornstarch mixture, then increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is thick and holds its shape, about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir agave syrup and remaining 3 Tbsp. tahini in a small bowl. Scrape batter into prepared baking dish and smooth top. Dollop agave mixture over and swirl into top of batter with a skewer or toothpick.
  5. Bake brownies until sides are puffed, top is browned, and a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 22–26 minutes. Let cool before removing from pan and cutting.

Morning Glory Muffins 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup shredded carrot (2 medium carrots)
  • ½ cup shredded apple (1 medium apple)
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
  • ¾ cup raisins or dried cherries 
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil

Directions 

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together milk, dark brown sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir carrot, apple, coconut, 1/2 cup of the walnuts and 1/2 cup of the raisins into the wet mixture. Stir in the melted coconut oil.
  3. With a large rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cups. Sprinkle the remaining walnuts and raisins evenly over the tops of the muffins.
  4. Bake until puffed and set and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer the muffins, in the tin, to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the muffins from the tin and let cool completely on the rack.
  5. Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Pesto Egg Muffins 

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • 1 red pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons pesto (I make my own, but store bought is ok too)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup feta, crumbled

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Set aside 12 muffin tins (either lined or lightly greased).
  2. Chop onions, mushrooms and red pepper.
  3. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Once hot, add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add mushrooms and red pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, for 5 minutes or until softened.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, pesto, salt and pepper. Stir in crumbled feta.
  5. Evenly distribute the cooked vegetables into the 12 muffin tins. Pour the egg mixture on top to fill up each cup.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the eggs are set in the center. Let cool in the tin. Remove once cool and refrigerate extras in the fridge.

Kara’s Granola 

  • 1 cup walnuts, broken into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds, halved
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup raisins

Directions 

  1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Mix first 6 ingredients together in large bowl.
  3. Heat maple syrup and honey together with oil in small saucepan, whisking occasionally until warm. Pour mixture over dry ingredients; stir with spatula until mixture is thoroughly coated.
  4. Turn mixture onto an 11-by-7-inch jelly roll pan, spreading mixture in an even layer.
  5. Bake, stirring and respreading mixture into an even layer every 5 minutes, until granola is light golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  6. Immediately turn granola onto another jelly roll pan to stop cooking process.
  7. Stir in raisins, then spread granola evenly in pan; set on a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Loosen dried granola with a spatula; store in airtight container.

Thai Peanut Dip 

  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2+ tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey or agave syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoon ice water
  • 1 handful salted peanuts roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Lime zest and juice

Directions 

  1. Add chickpeas, peanut butter, Sriracha, ginger, garlic, honey/agave, salt and pepper into a food processor. Process until broken up. Scrape the sides with a spatula as needed.
  2. With the motor running, drizzle in olive oil and ice water. This will help the mixture come together.
  3. Once the dip is processed to your desired texture, taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  4. By hand, mix in peanuts, green onions, cilantro and lime with a spatula.
  5. Serve with raw veggies, tortilla chips or crackers.

Asian Cucumber Salad 

  • About 2 pounds Persian or English cucumbers 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for cucumbers
  • tablespoon granulated sugar, plus more for cucumbers
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
  • Small handful whole cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions

  1. Rinse cucumbers and pat dry. Cut crosswise into pieces about 4 inches long. Cut each piece in half lengthwise.
  2. On a work surface, place a piece of cucumber (or several). With a rolling pin, smash down lightly on the cucumbers. The skin will begin to crack, the flesh will break down and the seeds will separate. Repeat until the whole piece is smashed. Break or slice diagonally into bite-size pieces, leaving the seeds behind.
  3. Place the cucumber pieces in a strainer and toss with a big pinch of salt and a big pinch of sugar.  Place the strainer over a bowl. Let drain 15 to 30 minutes on the counter, or in the refrigerator, up to 4 hours.
  4. Make the dressing: In a small bowl, combine salt, sugar and rice vinegar. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in sesame oil and soy sauce.
  5. When ready to serve, shake cucumbers well to drain off any remaining liquid and transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with grapeseed or olive oil and toss. Add half the dressing, half the garlic and the red pepper flakes to taste, and toss. Keep adding dressing until cucumbers are well coated but not drowned. Taste and add more pepper flakes and garlic if needed. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.

New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies 

I previously posted the cookie recipe here. 

Mango Chia Pudding 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I previously posted the chia pudding recipe here.

Sweet Potato Hash

  • 2 pounds yellow onions
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound uncooked Italian sausage or veggie sausage (I use Gimme Lean brand)
  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 6 large cloves garlic
  • 2 long fresh rosemary stems
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 450°F. Peel the onions and cut them in half lengthwise, then cut them into thin half-moons. Cut the half-moons in half.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it foams up, add the onions and sprinkle lightly with salt. (Don’t worry if they are crammed into the pan; they will rapidly cook down.) Lower the heat slightly and cook, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat further if they seem to be burning, until they are very dark brown and caramelized, about 30 minutes.
  3. Place the sausage in another skillet and brown over medium-high heat, chopping it up into fine crumbles with a spatula. Cook the sausage until browned and beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain away any excess fat.
  4. While the onions and sausage are cooking, chop the unpeeled sweet potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Finely mince the garlic and rosemary leaves, and them to the bowl of sweet potatoes, and toss to combine. Add the olive oil, kosher salt and a generous helping of black pepper, and toss to combine.
  5. Add the onions and sausage to the sweet potatoes and stir to combine. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, transfer the sweet potato mixture onto it, and spread it out evenly. Roast until the sweet potatoes are soft and browned, 30 to 45 minutes (roasting time depends on the size and uniformity of the sweet potato chunks, as well as the variety of sweet potato you buy).
  6. Serve immediately.

 

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