Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli

Have you ever started a book and felt an immediate sense of kinship with the author?

This was my experience within the first few pages of Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons. I just adore Megan Gordon‘s writing, and her recipes are so up my alley. I’ve been cooking from the book for a few months now, so it’s time I tell you about it! I’m also going to share one of the recipes that I’ve been enjoying from the book: Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli.

muesli | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Whole-Grain Mornings is chock full of health-promoting, seasonally inspired recipes. Megan is a whiz with granola (she actually owns a company called Marge: it’s seriously the best granola I’ve ever tasted) and you’ll be happy to know she shares a few takes on granola in this book. But the book goes way beyond granola: Megan also shares recipes for things like nut milks, yogurt, fried rice, and numerous condiments and egg dishes. And while it is a breakfast cookbook, I don’t really think there’s a reason to limit the recipes to morning consumption only.

I have made the Smoked Salmon Crème Fraîche Tart, the Whole-Grain Pancake Mix, and the Whole-Grain Gingerbread (I photographed them all because I wasn’t quite sure which recipe I would end up posting here). They were all delicious…

Whole-Grain Mornings | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

…as was this Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli.

muesli | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Muesli isn’t something I make very often…I usually do go for granola instead. But this muesli is briefly toasted, so it’s actually similar to granola (though with far less oil, and with very little added sweetener). I was drawn to this recipe because of the coconut and dried mango…these lend a tropical “vibe” that’s more than welcome this time of year! It’s been so snowy and cold this winter: if I can’t be on the beach, I am going to fantasize about being on the beach, and the ingredients in this muesli help a lot.

Muesli is usually soaked for a short while or overnight (in milk, nut milk, juice or another liquid). Soaking grains does have some potential benefits which Megan mentions in her book (and which I discuss in my book, as well), but soaking doesn’t work that well in this case due to the toasted nature of this muesli. As for serving it, Megan likes to eat her muesli with thinned yogurt; I prefer mine with (raw) milk.

muesli | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

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Vegan Banana Muffins

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

I am really particular about my bananas. I love snacking on ones that are just on the verge of ripeness, but once they hit that ripe to slightly overripe phase? Blech: they kind of gross me out. So most of the bananas I buy end up being frozen to put into smoothies, or I let them blacken. Then I make banana bread or muffins.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

I have been eyeing a recipe for Coconut Cocoa Banana Muffins over on the lovely blog Food Loves Writing for a while now. Yesterday I was going to make those muffins but then I realized I was out of eggs (yes, even those of us with chickens find ourselves without eggs sometimes!). So I decided to change up the muffins a bit and make them vegan, and to leave out the cocoa and coconut since my family really prefers simple to embellished when it comes to baked goods.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

These vegan banana muffins really are exceedingly simple to make, and they are delicious! They have wonderful banana flavor and a dense texture I really like. I used Florida Crystals Demerara Cane Sugar to sweeten them, but you can use any type of granulated sugar, including organic cane sugar or coconut sugar, in yours. I tossed bittersweet, fair-trade chocolate chips into 1/3 of the batter, but accept my apologies for not measuring exactly how much I used (I am a terrible food blogger sometimes!) If you prefer to make these with an egg and butter, they won’t be vegan (but they will be yummy). We’ve been enjoying them with a smear of organic peanut butter on top.

Vegan Banana Muffins | Healthy Green Kitchen

Be sure to check out all of Shanna’s recipes. I frequently drool over her food and her writing! Speaking of her writing, she wrote one of the most beautiful ebooks I have read: it’s called Written Together: A Story of Beginnings, in the Kitchen and Beyond. I read it a few months ago and absolutely loved it…you will love it, too!

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Candied Pumpkin Seeds

candied pumpkin seeds

Last night, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to sign up for National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo). NaBloPoMo is an annual blogging event that takes place each November: participants commit to posting on their blogs each day of the month. This means you’ll be hearing from me more frequently over the next four weeks…I hope that’s ok with you :)

To keep my goal of posting every day in November an attainable one, my posts will most likely be shorter than usual. There will be recipes, of course, but not every day…some days may just be brief musings on topics related to general health or nutrition. I have a few giveaways planned, too :)

Today, I have an easy, tasty recipe for candied pumpkin seeds for you.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds | Healthy Green Kitchen

I made this recipe with the seeds I took out of the pumpkin I used to bake this Pumpkin Stuffed with Cheese, Sausage, and Pasta. Whenever you “play with” pumpkins, you always end up with a sloppy mess of pumpkin seeds, right? Don’t dump them in the compost (or worse yet, the garbage)…use them to make a healthy snack instead! (I am being more conscious about my food waste than ever these days, since I am participating in this program.

Seeds (and nuts and grains and some other foods) naturally contain something called enzyme inhibitors. To increase the amount of nutrients available to your body when you eat these foods (and to make them more digestible), it’s good to give them “a good soaking”. This is why I recommend soaking your pumpkin seeds in salted water before roasting them (doing this also simplifies removing all of the pulp that may stick to the seeds upon removal from the pumpkin).

These fiber and zinc-rich goodies are perfect for topping salads and side dishes. They are also wonderful eaten on their own.

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Gina’s Coconut Roasted Carrot Salad

Roasted Carrot Salad from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Over the past few months, I’ve been able to have lunch a few times with my new buddy Gina of the fabulous blog Running to the Kitchen. I am very lucky Gina lives near me, and that she generously offered to guest post for me while I am away. Please welcome her and this gorgeous Coconut Roasted Carrot Salad to Healthy Green Kitchen!

Gina's Carrot Salad at www.healthygreenkitchen.com

This is a post I’m writing for Winnie with clenched teeth and a bit of a sneer on my face. Jealous doesn’t even do justice for how I feel about her little rendezvous in Peru right now. After reading the book “Three Weeks with My Brother” by Nicholas Sparks (the only one in his collection worth actually reading) where he and, well, his brother (shocker) travel around the world including Peru, I’ve had this fierce desire to hike every square inch of Machu Picchu. I tried to finagle my way into her suitcase with the bribe of my (almost 10 yr. old) Spanish degree but somehow it didn’t work. My verb conjugation isn’t what it used to be. So I’ll just curse her under my breath, live vicariously through her until my time comes and talk about carrot salad with you guys instead. Deal?

Roasted Carrot Salad from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

This is actually a salad I made exactly 2.5 weeks into my blog “career” (it’s totally not my career, but what else do you call it?). It’s a delicious recipe hiding behind some hideous pre-DSLR, pre-I sorta know what I’m doing with my camera pictures. Don’t believe me? Go see for yourself. Woah, right? I know…

So I felt bad for it and decided to give it a second chance. I mean who the heck is going to pin something that looks like that? And to be un-pinworthy these days is probably the highest offense in the world of food photos. Poor thing.

There’s a bunch of stuff going on in this salad…the sweetness from the roasted carrots, the crunch of the coconut flakes and the brightness of the mint to name a few. In the original recipe there’s feta too but I live with a man who takes his Greek heritage quite seriously and polishes off a BJ’s sized container of feta in about 2 days flat. So it’s scarce commodity around here and didn’t make it into this rendition. Regardless, this salad makes my mouth happy.

And now my eyes can be too, not having to look at underexposed close-ups of mush. Hope you guys enjoy!

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Homemade Sriracha

diy sriracha from Healthy Green Kitchen

Yes, I am aware that it’s Valentine’s Day, and that today I am “supposed to” post about cookies, or something chocolate-related, or maybe a romantic dish you could cook for your sweetheart. The thing is, I figured you can find all that good stuff on a bazillion other blogs, so I decided to share something non V-Day related (but totally rad if you love hot sauce): Homemade Sriracha!

Homemade sriracha from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

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