sparkle_logo

Real Food Recipes. Sustainable Living. Shining Health.

Sauces

Apple-Beet Chutney

Apple-Beet Chutney

Throughout the fall/winter I’m partnering with Local Roots NYC to create locally inspired eats. Many of the ingredients used in this recipe are sourced from local farms included in their community supported agriculture (CSA) program. Check out their Fall CSA that provides a weekly pick-up through December 6th! Apple-Beet Chutney Make 4 servings. 1 cup beets - roasted, peeled and chopped 1 ½ cups apple - chopped 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice - about 2 oranges  1 tablespoon orang[...]
Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus

Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus

Roasted Garlic Pumpkin Hummus Makes 4 servings. 2 cups pumpkin puree 1 16oz can of chickpeas, water drained 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon roasted garlic 3 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoon lemon juice ¾ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon paprika plus more for dusting Combine all ingredients in a 12 cup food processor or high speed blender. Blend for 3 to 5 minutes until chickpeas are fully pureed. If you want an even smoother hummus, peel the skins off each chickpea before adding it to the processor.[...]
Corn Fritter Salad Stack with Tomato & Zucchini

Corn Fritter Salad Stack with Tomato & Zucchini

Ever get your CSA share, take a look inside and have no idea how you're going to make the ingredients into a meal? Well that was my challenge this week. Local Roots NYC gifted me a lovely array of fresh vegetables for their Local Roots Cooking Challenge. I joined several food bloggers and photographers in an attempt to turn the ingredients below into a tasty dish. Ingredient included: 2 ears of corn 2 zucchini 2 tomatoes 1 bunch of savory herb 1 bunch of green leaf kale My recipe crea[...]
Spicy Green Goddess Salad

Spicy Green Goddess Salad

Makes 4 servings. 6 cups mixed salad greens 1 red onion - thinly sliced DRESSING Makes 1 cup. ½ cup fresh arugula ½ cup fresh spinach 1 tsp anchovy paste ½ cup plain coconut yogurt ¼ avocado 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp garlic - minced ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp black pepper Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor. Pulse for three minutes until thoroughly combined. Toss the dressing with the greens and onion. Serve immediately. Enjoy! [...]
Summer Fruit Spring Rolls

Summer Fruit Spring Rolls

SPRING ROLLS 1 papaya - sliced 1 pineapple - sliced 1 jicama - sliced 1 bunch fresh cilantro 1 bunch fresh mint rice paper GINGER DIPPING SAUCE 1 two-inch piece fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped 2 tbsp honey 1 tsp Sriracha sauce 1 tbsp water To make the sauce, place all ingredients except the honey in a food processor. Pulse for one to two minutes. The honey will incorporate into the sauce better when it’s slightly warm. Place it in a small bowl and heat in the microwave f[...]
Roasted Lamb Riblets with Chimichurri Sauce

Roasted Lamb Riblets with Chimichurri Sauce

Have you noticed the new no food waste trend? It is now en vogue to eat every single part of a food, including the stems, the roots, the flowers, the bark, the seeds, right down to the ears and tail of an animal. I do my best to lead a no waste life. “Never use anything once,” is one of my mottos. When I roast a chicken I save the carcass for broth, when I steam kale, I reserve the stems for sautéing, and my egg shells are composted to create rich soil. So naturally I rejoice in the no food [...]
Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Cranberry Applesauce with Fresh Ginger

Grocery shopping is a communal experience at my local food coop. The place is notorious for lines that wrap around the store, mad rushes to get the last heirloom tomato and also new friendships. Recently as I’m perusing the apple selection, an elderly women asks for my assistance. "Would you help this old shorty and reach that bag for me?" Of course. I grab what she needs and then she says, “Enjoy your youth. I used to look like Vivian Lee but now I'm just gone with the wind." Ha! What a char[...]
Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

Roasted Cauliflower Gratin - Dairy-Free/Paleo/Vegan

The November recipe for the Local Eats Project is here! I really thought there would be less variety to work with this month but I sure was wrong. The Northeast is still showing gorgeous colors at the farmers market. The unseasonably warm weather is helping things out too. If you’re new to the Local Eats Project you can find all the rules to play along here.  But basically, once per month I’m making one meal made entirely from local foods. With this project I always want to challenge my[...]
2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

2 Ingredient Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

I’ve wanted to make my own yogurt for years. In my dairy-eating days I would eat it every day for the probiotics. The super thick Greek-style yogurt was my staple. And I miss that tangy goodness. If you’ve tried any of the non-dairy yogurt options you know they are pathetic. Most often jello-y globs that plop out of the container. Eww. There are only two brands of coconut milk yogurt that I enjoy, Anita’s and CO YO. Both are fabulous, yet crazy expensive and hard to find in stores. Option B:[...]
Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

Roasted Tomatoes with Balsamic Reduction

Always take advantage of tomato season. Summer rule number one. In Tennessee we call them home-grown tomatoes. Although I never understood that term. We didn’t grow tomatoes. They were purchased from road-side stands or the grocery store. But even the advertising signs said home-grown so I accepted it as a type of tomato. Home-grown has come to mean seasonal and locally grown. The nutrient-rich soil transfers all it’s goodness to the tomatoes, producing a complexity of flavors. I found golde[...]
Mango Avocado Salad with Fresh Ginger Dressing

Mango Avocado Salad with Fresh Ginger Dressing

Mango and avocado are like peanut butter and jelly, meant to be together. Their flavors compliment each other so well. I also view mango as the goddess of all fruit. Every other fruit is in awe of it’s seductive power. Little food carts around the city offer mango slices and mango on a stick. You’d think they were selling donuts by the way crowds line up for it. It is irresistibly, refreshingly satisfying. Give me mango over ice cream any day. Keep in mind though, mango is high in sugar conten[...]
Honey Lime Hot Wings

Honey Lime Hot Wings

Skip the flour, skip the deep fryer. Go straight to the oven with these tasty hot wings. It’s a misnomer that chicken wings are unhealthy. Traditionally they are dredged in flour and dunked into a deep fryer to make the crispiest chicken. That’s just not required. Baking at a high temperature achieves the same effect. A trifecta of honey, lime and garlic infuses these wings as they bake. The chicken stays tender and you could even skip the sauce entirely. Marinate the chicken overnight for[...]
Red Curry Green Beans

Red Curry Green Beans

Thai restaurants line the blocks of New York. I have the old take-out containers to prove it. In our lazy cooking days, my husband and I would eat Thai at least once a week. It was always filled with colorful vegetables and we considered it a healthy meal. But you can never be too sure of those sauces. Soy sauce with traces of gluten, unhealthy cooking oils and sugar are hidden in between the garlic and ginger. Thankfully restaurant quality curry is super easy to make at home. All you need is [...]
Apple Fennel Salad

Apple Fennel Salad

Potlucks are one of the great community builders. Never underestimate the power of food in drawing people together. This past Sunday the owners of my yoga studio hosted a potluck for all the volunteers. We sat around a long wood table in candlelight sharing stories, yoga experiences and food. Some of us had never met, yet by the end of the evening we were all good friends. There was a certain welcoming energy in the space that made everyone feel at ease. The act of full participation, of the g[...]
Chocolate Mole over Crispy Chicken Thighs

Chocolate Mole over Crispy Chicken Thighs

They say sauce is the test of a great chef. Master a complex sauce and you can cook anything. Moles are intricate layers of chilies, fruits, garlic, onions, nuts and fragrant spices. Traditionally they are cooked over several hours, allowing the flavors to simmer and infuse together. Well I wanted to make a great sauce but who has time for that? My mole musings resulted in an abbreviated version of No Gluten, No Problem’s 90 Minute Mole recipe. I shortened it a bit and altered the ing[...]
Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

1 minute. Honestly. It will take you longer to watch this video than to make this recipe. Condiments overflow my fridge. Right now, ten kinds of hot sauce, five specialty mustards and three types of salsa line the inside doors. The shelves are sparse though. The Hubs and I share food control issues. If it's there, we eat it. Keeping food in our house is hazardous to our health. So instead we indulge in condiments. Our fridge was missing out on mayo for years though. I could never fin[...]
28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

28 Uses for Coconut Milk: The Ultimate Dairy Alternative

Coconut is a dairy-free girl’s best friend. It’s that huge sigh of relief when you realize creamy ice cream can still be a part of your life. I did a little dance the first time I tasted coconut whipped cream. I wanted to shout, “Yay! My tastebuds are no longer deprived!” Coconut makes a delicious alternative that’s rich in key nutrients. High in magnesium, 1 cup of coconut milk contains 88.8mg and this combined with it’s content of calcium keeps muscles and nerves functioning properly. It is [...]
Pesto Change-o! Nut Free & Dairy Free Basil Pesto

Pesto Change-o! Nut Free & Dairy Free Basil Pesto

This pesto is nut free, seed free and dairy free. When you remove these elements, does it still taste like pesto? Yes, very much so. Garlic and basil always star in this recipe so leaving out the cheese and pine nuts does not change much. I must warn you. The garlic is potent. Best to enjoy in the company of fellow garlic lovers!   [...]
Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce

Spicy Spanish Tomato Sauce

Back in my college days, I’d buy those gallon sized pasta sauce jars and packages of tortellini for quick meals. It was all about convenience and it never occurred to me that I could actually make a tomato sauce. The concept was unapproachable. Today there are very few jarred sauces that fall into my good foods list so I have to make my own. A homemade tomato sauce is about the easiest thing to create. Throw all the vegetables into a pan and let it simmer for a bit and you’re done. This sauce w[...]
Nourishing Benefits of Fish Broth

Nourishing Benefits of Fish Broth

Fish broth has been on my to-do list for months. The medicinal and nutritional properties blow all the other broths out of the water. Not only does it help build strong bones like the others, it also contains iodine, thyroid-strengthening substances and fat-soluble vitamins. For fish broth you use the whole head and carcass of any non-oily fish. Most white fish are non-oily, like red snapper, sole, rock fish or halibut. The oil from fish like salmon or tuna are susceptible to rancidity. Omega[...]
Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo

This week I brought home the spaghetti squash to feed a village. The thing was at least 12 pounds! Check out the photo is you don’t believe me. It would be a big, blue ribbon winner in any county fair. Needless to say, I needed some recipes to use up all that squash. First I made Brittany Angell’s Bacon Carbonara sauce with chicken. So delicious! The coconut milk is the perfect substitute for cream and I didn’t even miss the cheese. Now that’s a huge game changer. I thought creamy pasta sauce[...]
Real Texas Beef Chili

Real Texas Beef Chili

I didn’t have my first real bowl of chili until I was 28. And it’s a damn shame too. Years of filling my recipes with tomatoes, beans, lentils, corn and ground turkey. I apologize to my stomach for this wrong doing. Texas does it right, focusing on the chilies and the meat to get the most flavor out of one bowl. The recipe calls for making your own chili paste and I recommend giving it a shot. It’s a few extra steps but I was so proud when I scooped out that beautiful red blend. Since this r[...]
Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

Cherry Orange Cranberry Sauce

My mom always had canned cranberry sauce in our pantry. You know the one I’m talking about. A cylindrical, molded block that slid perfectly out of the can and plopped onto the plate with no intention of ever losing it’s structure. We had it year round because it was one of my favorite after school snacks. Every 10 year old eats that right? I had a strange food palate. I’d eat it in slices while watching early 90s reruns of 90210. SO addictive. The show and the sauce. That canned stuff is t[...]
Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Meaty Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Now that fall is here, my weekends are getting shorter and I have less time to cook. Maybe it's the shorter days or it could be my ambitious nature with a tendency to over commit myself. It's definitely the later. I just want to squeeze all the energy out of a day and be as productive as possible. Every weekend I have an incredibly long, detailed list of projects to complete and events to attend. Last weekend I saw friends every night, went hiking and apple/pumpkin picking on Sunday, finishe[...]
Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Dairy Free & Nut Free Cheese

Cheese and I had a special bond for many years. It was my go-to quick afternoon snack that kept me going until dinner. At some point I'd even read an article that influenced me to eat a piece of cheese before dining out at a restaurant. That one piece was supposed to prevent me from over-eating. I stuck to this rule for years and I think all it did was make me constipated. I gave up most dairy in 2007 and felt incredible. Until that year, my body had been inundated with lactose, which I d[...]
Bone Broth: Why & How To

Bone Broth: Why & How To

It's getting back to the philosophy of using the whole animal. No part is wasted. Making broth from bones is steeped in as much tradition as it is in nutrition. Broth serves as the base for key cultural dishes the world over, from French Onion Soup to Shoyu Ramen. My only memory of any sort of broth making was with the turkey carcasses post Thanksgiving. My grandmother is of the farming generation that lived on the land and knew the importance of using every animal part. She would simmer [...]
Hollandaise Sauce and Cracking the Code on Eggs

Hollandaise Sauce and Cracking the Code on Eggs

Rich, creamy hollandaise sauce. Pour it over any dish and you have something decadent. The sauce harmonizes the flavors and ties every ingredient together. But really, who am I kidding? I just want the sauce. The egg, salmon and vegetables are simply vehicles for the main attraction. Hollandaise sauce has a secret weapon, it’s all in the quality of the eggs. Quality will always trump quantity in my book. When it comes to food, the source matters. And it matters most when you’ll be consuming [...]
Bacon Guacamole Burgers

Bacon Guacamole Burgers

I can't believe this is the first time I'm posting a recipe with bacon. Bacon is a love affair to last a life time. Even when I was vegan, bacon was the exception. Because come on, its BACON! These burgers were out of this world good. Bacon. Guacamole. Grass fed beef. It took some extreme willpower to snap photos of this before devouring every last bite. The meal was inspired by Ben Hulet's #sundaynightguacburgers. If you want to see some drool worthy meals, hop on over and check it out. Make[...]
Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Roasted Heirloom Tomato Salsa

Pick up a tomato and bite right into it. If the juices drip down to your elbows then you know you have a good one. I once passed a road side farm stand in Arkansas that read, "elbow licking good!" I pulled over and bought two bags. Now that I'm in Brooklyn, I'm tasting the bounty of the Northeast. And I must say the tomatoes up here are just as flavor-packed as the Southern ones. The colorful heirloom variety are my favorite and I tend to get overzealous when I see beautiful produce. That[...]
Egg Custard with Fresh Plum Sauce

Egg Custard with Fresh Plum Sauce

When I was 11 I made creme brûlée for the first time. It was my absolute favorite dessert and I wanted to prepare it exactly as they did in restaurants. Caramelized sugar and all. As the custard baked, the entire house filled with its sweet aroma.  I proudly served the beautiful creme brûlée to each family member. Then they took their first bite. Silence fell over the room. Yuck! My heart sank. I had switched the salt and sugar proportions. Oops! My family will never let me live this down[...]
Broccoli Avocado Soup

Broccoli Avocado Soup

Texas really did a number on me. Beef barbecue, beef burger and hearty tex-mex meals left me feeling heavy. Don't get me wrong now, it was AH-mazing and I enjoyed every bite of that southern goodness. I can verify that every meal is definitely bigger in Texas. And some of that bigness came back with me. So this week, I'm cooking up extra vegetables and laying off the beef. It's time for the reemergence of my favorite summer soup. I adapted this recipe after a soup in Gwyneth Paltrow's&nb[...]
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Nutella is too good to be true. Fact. Perfect straight out of the jar. Fact. Entire jar does not equal one serving. Fact. (Unfortunately.) Highly addictive. Fact. It is for all these reasons that I had to create a healthy version of this delectable treat. Makes one small jar. 1 cup roasted hazelnuts - thin casing removed. 1/4 cup raw cacao powder 1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan sea salt 2 tbsp raw honey Dash of ground cloves (optional) 4 tbsp boiling water 1/2 tsp coconut oil [...]
Strawberry Coconut Butter

Strawberry Coconut Butter

It's strawberry season! Summer came a bit late to the northeast this year so we are just now enjoying the first crop of sweet strawberries. It is impossible to pass by this fruit without snatching up at least two cartons so I end up with more than my stomach can handle. I raided my kitchen last night to what I could possibly create. And since it was 10pm, I wanted to make something quick. I grabbed the food processor, some coconut flakes, strawberries and sea salt. Five minutes later I had t[...]

Leave A Comment