leeves and berries

7

Every year I can hardly wait until peach season comes around. There is nothing quite like a cold and ripe southern peach. While you can buy a bounty of these fruits at the farmers markets and from random stands along the side of the road, we chose to make a trip to pick our own at a local orchard this year. We drove down windy country roads with the Cranberries blasting and peaches on our mind. After roaming row after row of peach trees we had harvested more peaches than our buckets could carry and were already discussing what we were going to create with our gatherings. 

Having seen hand-pies all over the place lately I knew I wanted to make a gluten and dairy free version. I finally found a recipe that creates a delicious and crispy crust which, albeit it may not be as “pretty” as a traditional crust, it is certainly gentler on the body. Warm peaches infused with vanilla and honey all enveloped in a golden almond flour based crust- what more could you want from a summer treat? Except of course to be topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Peaches, Vanilla and Honey Hand Pies

Ingredients: Makes about 6 hand pies

For the crust: 

  • ½ cup of almond flour
  • ½ cup of tapioca flour
  • 1 cup of full fat coconut milk, from a bpa free can
  • coconut oil or pastured butter for cooking

For the peach filling:

  • 2 cups of ripe diced peaches (for me that was 6 peaches)
  • scant ¼ cup of local honey
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped 
  • ¼ tsp of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • juice from ¼ of a lemon
  • 1 tbsp of tapioca flour
  • 2 tbsp of roughly chopped fresh basil (optional) 

Method:

For the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  2. Stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour and coconut milk. Give it a good whisk to smooth out the lumps, its okay if there are a few. 
  3.  Heat a dab of coconut oil/butter in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. 
  4. Ladle ¼ a cup of batter on the pan into a small circle resembling a pancake. Allow to cook until the bottom of the batter is firm and golden brown then flip and allow to cook until the other side is firm.  Remove from the skillet and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. 
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until all the batter is gone. 

For the peach filling:

  1. Stir all of the peach filling ingredients together except the tapioca flour. 
  2. Allow peach mixture to macerate for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Pour off roughly 2 tbsp of juice from peach mixture into a small bowl, stir in the tapioca flour until smooth, then stir the tapioca flour/juice mixture back into the peaches. 
  4. Spoon about 2 tbsp of peach mixture onto the middle of each hand pie then fold the top of each hand pie over the peaches and pinch closed. (Optionally, you can sprinkle the tops of the hand pies with can sugar to give it some extra sweetness and texture)
  5. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the tops of the hand pies are crispy and golden. 
  6. Serve right away, preferably with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream.
10

San Francisco to Seattle

I love road trips for a number of reasons. My family took at least one a year when we were younger and the sound of the road passing beneath and the sight of trees whipping by makes me feel at home. Reading makes me sick in the car and my phone bores me after a few minutes so I often find my self sitting silently and *gasp* actually thinking deeply. I’ll even have the time to sit for a few hours and listen to the music that I’d forgotten existed but at one time made me feel alive. But what I love about them most is the people sitting in the car with me.

There is something about being stuck in a car with someone for 7 days that makes you love them more then you did in the first place. Sure, the term “I want to punch you in the face right now”, may fly around a few times but you always come back around to laughing about it. It’s like a greenhouse for relationships. 

I once went on a month long road trip with eight very different human beings. We drove each other insane. But we also laughed, forgave and learned to love each other in spite of all of our differences. It may sound a bit profound but in that month I honestly felt like I got a glimpse of what it looks like to love one another unconditionally. 

But that’s getting a little too lofty for what this blog post is really about. My husband and I got to drive from San Francisco to Seattle with our two very best married friends a few weeks back and had an insanely good time. If your married then you know how hard it is to find a “couple friend” that both you and your spouse can stand (like seriously almost impossible) but Hunter and I lucked out big time with our friends Tyler and Jill. 

We started out in San Francisco and took three days to camp along the California and Oregon coast. We then spent four days split between Portland and Seattle. There was so much to love about every place we went and such a variety of experiences but there was one place that I wanted to put up a tent and stay forever. The Seattle Public Library. Weird, I know. But if you’ve been in there then you probably know what I am talking about. The light, the books, the shadows, the quiet, it was my happy place. 

This being a blog about food I can’t really not talk about where we ate. Which is good because we ate, like, a lot. A lot, a lot.

So to finish off here was our top ten favorite eateries in no particular order: 

  1. Quinn’s (Seattle) 
  2. Olympic Provisions (Portland)
  3. Blue Star Doughnuts (Portland)
  4. Blue Bottle (Seattle )
  5. Lola (Seattle)
  6. Salt & Straw (Portland)
  7. Bi-Rite Creamery(San Francisco) 
  8. Lola (Seattle) 
  9. Tasty N Alder (Portland) 
  10. Stumptown Coffee Roasters (Portland) 

 

5

Do you have a food that you are obsessed with? That you could eat everyday for the rest of your life and never grow tired of eating it? For me, that food is kale. I know, I know, an exaggerated eye roll worthy of Lucille Bluth. But I just can’t help it, it’s the number one thing I crave on a weekly basis. Though to be fair chocolate is a very close runner up. I tend to run on the anemic side and with kales bounty of iron I think my body just tends to crave it whenever my energy is running on low. 

Honestly though, in this particular juice my favorite ingredient is the cilantro. It pairs really well with the mango and makes me feel like I’m drinking some exotic cocktail rather than a raw juice. Plus cilantro is a fantastic detoxifier and anti inflammatory propionate. Go cilantro!  And to think, an actual hate page for cilantro exists. What has the world come to?

Tropical Green Juice for Two

Ingredients: While I always encourage the use of organic produce and vegetables I especially encourage it when juicing.  You don’t want any chemicals or pesticides ending up in your morning glass of juice!

  • 1 mango, peeled, de-pitted and cut into slices
  • ½ bunch of kale
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 apple, cut from the core
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ a lime

Method:

  1. Wash and prepare all of your fruits and veggies for the juicer. 
  2. Following the directions for your juicer, put the mango, apple, kale, cilantro and carrot through the juicer. 
  3. Give the glass of juice a good stir then squeeze in the lemon and lime. Feel free to do more or less lemon and lime depending on how tart you like your juice to be. 
  4. Drink up!
3

This granola is a fantastic way to pack in some quick energy in the morning without loading up on grains and sugar. The pumpkin seeds are a great source of manganese, zinc, iron, omega-3 and magnesium alongside adding a nice crunch and flavor to the granola. The magnesium is a huge seller of pumpkin seeds for me as it is an important mineral that a lot of us are deficient in. You can read some more about that here, if you’d like.

This granola is also incredibly filling so whether you sprinkle it over some yogurt, mix it in with some trail mix or eat it by the spoonful with ice cold milk, I suggest your serving size to be between ¼-½ cup. 

Pumpkin Seed & Coconut Granola (Gluten & Dairy Free) 

Ingredients: Makes roughly 2 ¼ cup

  • 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup of chia seeds
  • ¼ cup of pecans
  • 1 cup of shredded coconut 
  • 1 Tbsp of coconut oil or pastured butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp of honey or maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp of pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp of sea salt
  • raisins or dried fruit of your choice (apricots, mission figs, etc)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F and prepare a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  2. Place pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, pecans and shredded coconut in a food processor and pulse a few times until mixture is chopped into small chunks. 
  3. Transfer seed mixture to another bowl and stir in spices and sea salt. 
  4. Next, thoroughly stir in melted butter/oil and honey. 
  5. Evenly spread granola over the parchment lined baking sheet and place in the oven. 
  6. Roast for 20 minutes, stirring half way through. Keep a very close eye on it while it roasts as it will burn easily. Remove the moment it begins to look golden in color. 
  7. Serve with chilled milk of your choice and store extra in a large mason jar. 
6

It may seem a bit early for spring rolls to some but here in Texas it feels as if Spring has made an early entrance. As much as I love a good nip of winter I can’t say that I am not enjoying these 70 degree days and long hours of sunshine. I only wish that I had a bit more time to get out and enjoy it. 

My husband and I are entering a short season of complete chaos with our schedules so I am trying to stock up on some easy recipes that are not only a breeze to make but will also be good for lunch on the go. These spring rolls have been some of my favorite. They offer a nice burst of freshness, flavor and energy when the day starts to take its wear. 

Black Bean & Mango Spring Rolls + Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 8-10 rice paper spring roll wrappers, ( I found mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 cups of carrots, shredded
  • ½ cup of cilantro, washed and de stemmed 
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked black beans
  •  1 ½ tbsp of peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 tsp of sriracha 
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • ½ tbsp of toasted sesame oil
  • a pinch of salt to taste

Method:

  1.  In a small saucepan over low heat, stir together the peanut butter, sriracha, honey and sesame oil until uniform.  Adjust sweetness and spiciness to your liking. Add a pinch or two of salt to taste. 
  2. Stir black beans into the peanut sauce then set aside until spring roll assembly.
  3. Prepare your workstation by laying out all of your ingredients, a damp dish towel, and a large bowl filled with warm water. 
  4. To assemble spring rolls: Working with one roll at a time, place one rice paper into the bowl of warm water, not allowing it to curl up on itself and hold it there for about 30 sec-1 minute or until it is soft. 
  5. Carefully lay the soft rice paper out on a damp dish towel. 
  6.  Layer a few pinches of cilantro down the middle of the rice paper. Next layer a small handful of carrots on top of that then 2-3tbsp of the bean mixture. Top off with with some diced mango. 
  7. Fold the top and bottom ends over the filling, tuck the right flap over towards the left side then snuggly roll and secure the left flap on top of the right flap. ( pictured above)
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 until you are out of ingredients.
  9. Store in an air tight container if needed. Enjoy!