SHAVED BROCCOLI STEM SALAD WITH LEMON & PECORINO

Root-to-leaf cooking has long been an obsession of mine. There's nothing I love more than using as many parts of my produce possible & finding the most delicious ways to use them.   I have a lot of "fridge anxiety" where I'm constantly worried about what is about to go bad at every minute.  It's a first world problem, but I'm very in tune with my fridge and what's happening inside it.  (I even have a fridge list I update weekly, I know.) As much as I love it, I’m always in the mood. I can't promise you I always keep my zucchini tops or radish greens to "braise", but there are a few tried and true waste-not ideas I can’t live without.

One of my favorites is by far broccoli stems.  They are such a versatile vegetable that most people throw away entirely.  (Such a shame!)  This salad feels like a victory.  Like an amazing meal out of the random things left in your fridge. Not to mention, a 2-for-1 bargain that you’ll want to tell everyone about. 

This Winter salad is perfect for the colder months when you crave something heartier than a delicate spring green.  It’s so simple, and I promise you’ll start craving broccoli stems.  Life-changing salads is not a phrase I’d use often, but this one truly is.

Radish/Turnip Greens = sauté with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. top with shaved parmesan.

Fennel Fronds = add raw fronds to salads, avocado toast, etc! Also amazing in tuna or potato salad.

Cauliflower hearts = perfect for soups, or seared with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Almond Pulp (from making almond milk) = Granola! 

Celery Leaves = Homemade celery salt

Beet Greens = braised or sautéed with garlic, olive oil or with balsamic reduction

Mushroom Stems = perfect for vegetable stocks or soup!

Broccoli Stem Salad with Lemon & Pecorino (Serves 2-4) Gluten-free, grain-free

  • 4 stalks broccoli
  • 2 oz. pecorino romano, shaved
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4-1/3 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

To prep the broccoli stems:  shave the knobby, waxed skin from the sides with a peeler.  Then, using a mandolin, shave the broccoli stems thin into a serving bowl.  Continue until all stalks are shaved.  Set aside.

To make dressing:  add garlic clove, lemon, vinegar, salt and pepper to a small bowl.  Mix together well, then add olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified.

Toss the broccoli stems with dressing and mix until well coated.  Shave the pecorino atop & season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve immediately, but this salad will last in the fridge (covered) for about a day or two.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH MARJORAM, PINE NUTS, LEEKS & LEMON

Cauliflower is Broccoli's forgotten cousin.  Only lately have people begin to bat an eye at this cruciferous vegetable.  Besides being delicious, cauliflower has some magical properties that allow it to become grain-free pizza crust and "rice" to name a few.  This recipe, however, uses no gimmicks - just pure cauliflower goodness.  

This is my new favorite Winter recipe that adds a little brightness to an otherwise cold & dreary season.  If you can find some colored cauliflower, all the better ;)

 

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH MARJORAM, PINE NUTS, GOLDEN RAISINS & LEMON (SERVES 4) Gluten-free

  • 2.5 lbs. cauliflower, de-stemmed & chopped into 1 in. pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lemon, juice + zest
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 leek, halved & thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Add cauliflower to a large baking sheet with olive oil, marjoram, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Roast for 25-30 minutes or until browned and tender. Add to serving bowl & set aside.

Add butter to a cast iron or sauté pan over medium low heat.  Add the zest of one lemon.  Sauté until zest is fragrant, then add garlic and leeks.  Stir often over low heat until leeks are softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Add golden raisins until warm, then remove mixture and add to serving bowl.  

Using the same pan, turn the heat up to medium and add pine nuts.  Stir often for about 1-2 minutes or until pine nuts are browned and toasted.  Remove from heat and add to serving bowl.  Toss everything together with the juice of one lemon.  Top with chopped parsley and season to taste.  Serve immediately!

CHAI-INFUSED FRENCH TOAST

The holidays are the perfect time for indulgences, as we all know we only have the allotted time to really let loose.  By the time January roll around, no one wants to look at holiday cookies or turkey dinner.  Luckily, we're right in the thick of it & I'm taking every opportunity to be festive.  This chai-infused french toast is the perfect wintry breakfast to share with a crowd (perfect for Christmas morning).  Hope you all have the happiest of holidays! XO

CHAI INFUSED FRENCH TOAST (Gluten-free) Serves 4-6

  • 8 slices gluten-free bread, cut diagonally (I used UDI's)
  • About 3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup Dona Chai chai concentrate 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Maple syrup, for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Arrange sliced bread on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Spread each slice with a bit of coconut oil.  In a small bowl, mix together sugar, almond meal, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and a pinch of sea salt using your fingers.  Sprinkle about half the mixture atop each slice.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until bread is browned and caramelized.  Let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together almond milk, chai concentrate, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt.  Reduce oven temperature to 375.

In a greased 9x9 baking dish, arrange toasts in two even layers.  Pour egg mixture over top and let soak for 15 minutes, pressing down to make sure all bread is being submerged.  Top with the remaining spiced sugar mixture and sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until topping is browned and caramelized.  Serve warm with a drizzle of maple syrup.

SALT-CRUSTED POTATOES

Potatoes and salt are a true match made in heaven.  They're are one of those old-school staples (like rice, bread) that I think we forget about when there’s now quinoa, millet, amaranth, etc.  There’s a million starches to choose from, but potatoes & root vegetables will always be beloved in my household.

Although fries are my true weakness, potatoes don’t have to unhealthy to be good. This salt-crusted potato recipe is the perfect holiday side that has a little more interest than your average sweet potato mash.  The skin is not only the most nutritional part of the potato, but in this recipe, gets perfectly crusted with salted texture.  Once you cook potatoes this way, you'll never go back.

SALT-CRUSTED POTATOES WITH ROSEMARY, FENNEL & GARLIC (Serves 2-4) Gluten-free, Vegan

  • 2lbs. yukon gold or fingerling potatoes
  • 3 heaping tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 small bunch of rosemary
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zest and a squeeze of juice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

In a large, wide saucepan, add potatoes in an even layer. Add enough water just to cover potatoes fully.  Stir in sea salt, rosemary and 3 whole garlic cloves.  Bring mixture to a boil, then continue to cook at a roiling boil until all water absorbs.

While potatoes are cooking, make the dressing: add 3 minced garlic cloves, lemon zest, fennel fronds and olive oil to a small mixing bowl.  Stir until well combined & set aside.

Once all water has evaporated, let potatoes cool for 10 minutes.  Rinse potatoes and pat dry, or just rub off any excess salt.  Add to a large serving platter and drizzle dressing over top.  Season with freshly ground pepper & serve immediately.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2015 & A GIVEAWAY!

The holidays are about giving (and endless edible indulgences, obviously).  I have many people to shop for every year given my large, blended family, so I'm always on the hunt for cute, creative gift ideas (especially ones that are beautiful).  I've shared some of my favorites below as well as two amazing giveaways from Zwilling JA Henckels and Hatchery!  Details below ;)


A HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY!


Hatchery is an amazing online marketplace & monthly subscription service featuring all the small & wonderful artisanal brands across the country.  Each month you can receive samples of everything ranging from cardamom almond butter to homemade sriracha and smoked sea salt (all great).  They are giving away this SWEETS Holiday Bundle to one lucky reader.  

TO ENTER: Please follow @sassykitchen & @hatchery on instagram & comment below to win this gift!  You can also receive your first tasting box for $10 if you use the code SASSYKITCHEN (!) 

Winners will be picked on December 9th!  Giveaways are limited to US & Canadian residents only.

 

My first "big purchase" chefs knife was the 8-in from Zwilling and it still feels the best and most comfortable in my hand.  Now, I have probably about 15 of their knives (at least, scary) and love them all equally.  The best thing about Zwilling is they make SO many different knives and each has its own amazing qualities. Like this one, which has weirdly become one of my most used knives.  I love the length and the serrated is super sharp and allowing for some real precision.  

TO ENTER:  Please follow @sassykitchen & @zwilling_usa on instagram & comment below to win this impeccable knife!

Winners will be picked on December 9th!  Giveaways are limited to US & Canadian residents only.


*GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!*

WINNERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN & CONTACTED.  

THANK YOU FOR ENTERING & HAPPY HOLIDAYS ;) XO


HENRY STREET STUDIO | WINTER SALE

I've written about Henry Street Studio before, and have been a huge fan of their work for years.  Aliza Simons and I have collaborated creatively countless times, which I never ever tire of.  Besides being a friend, Aliza is an incredibly talented artist on all fronts.  Her complete dedication to making the most beautiful things leaves me in constant awe.  I’ve seen her hundreds of glaze tests organized neatly in her small, but perfect studio space.  She spends countless hours in the studio (precisely) building these pieces with her bare hands.  Before Aliza, I knew and loved ceramics well, but only after seeing behind the scenes have I grown to really appreciate the craft. 

She is having a huge in-person sale this Friday & Saturday at Prop Workshop.  There will be tons of beautiful ceramics there for purchase - for gifts, the home, to enjoy.  Please consider stopping by ;)  Details below!

 *If you're outside of NYC, they will be having an online sale NOVEMBER 8th!  Stay tuned via their Instagram.

LAST MINUTE THANKSGIVING IDEAS!

In certain situations, I’m definitely a planner, but for the most part I do things miraculously well last minute.  If you’re like me, you haven’t had a minute to think twice about what you’re making and/or bringing to Thanksgiving dinner.  If you need some inspiration, ideas, recipes -  I’ve included all my recipes that could be deemed appropriate for Thanksgiving dinner.  Hope you all have a lovely holiday ;) XO

MAPLE BANANA BREAD WITH HEMPSEEDS

I was raised in California, and the closest it gets to cold, wintry weather is dropping below 75 degrees in December.  It's not the most festive place in the world for the holiday months, but we had other ways of making it special.  I always associate banana bread with the changing of seasons, as a seasonal (but not too wintry) way to celebrate Fall.  We always had it in the house during this time & it's the most nourishing snack to have on hand (especially for busy days).  This one is healthier than my family recipe, but you won't notice.   It's the perfect breakfast for the colder months when you need something a little heartier.  

Maple Banana Bread with Hempseeds (gluten-free, dairy-free)

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted & cooled
  • 2 very ripe large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons hempseeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together first nine ingredients until well mixed.  In a separate bowl, add mashed banana, coconut oil, maple, vanilla, almond milk & large eggs.  Beat mixture until well-combined, then mix wet ingredients into the dry.  Using a spatula, mix ingredients until batter resembles heavy cream.

Grease a 8 or 9 inch loaf pan lined with parchment (for easy removal).  Pour batter into loaf pan evenly, then sprinkle hempseeds evenly over top.  Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: I highly suggest serving warm with a drizzle of warm coconut oil or maple syrup. Game changer!

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