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23 October 2014

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen

We had our first snow fall yesterday. It came all of a sudden. The weather turned overnight and when we woke up the mountains were covered. We haven't turned the heating on yet in the house and the sun is back today, but the season has definitely shifted up here. It's cold. The mornings are frosty and the nights carry a different chill. Winter is on its way, you can feel it. We pulled down an extra blanket from the closet and added a few more layers to our around the house sweat pant attire, it's a welcomed change.

There have been a few lazy afternoons with many cups of hot tea. I bought a mug and plate set for 40 cents at the local good will a few days ago and I have been putting it to good use. It's light blue and brown and really tacky but I love it. It holds well and keeps my hands warm with my morning coffee. Since there is the matching plate I figured that needed a little something too, so I have been doing a bit more baking than I normally do. I told Matt that I could design an entire kitchen around my new mug set. He thinks I'm totally out to lunch, but for 40 cents he'll stick around. I suppose one day it might make its photo debut here, but for now it's sitting beside me as I write, filled with hot vanilla rooibos and one of these mini tarts. The sun's reflection off the snowy peak in front of the house is almost blinding as it shines through the window. It's just a perfect, simple moment in my day today. I hope you have one of those too. 

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen
Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust ⎮happy hearted kitchen

Ginger + Coconut Squash Tarts with a Pecan Oat Crust

A spicier twist on your classic pumpkin pie. Ginger, coconut and a crumbly pecan crust. Cozy up with a hot cup of tea and a little treat. It is fall after all.

Vegan + Gluten Free. Makes 9 tarts.

Crust
  • 1 + 1/2 cup oats (gluten free if possible)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

Filling
  • 1 cup squash puree (I used red kuri squash, see note* or use canned pumpkin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground nutmeg and cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 2 + 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or organic non-GMO cornstarch)

Coconut Whipped Cream or Coconut Cashew Cream (recipe below) for serving, optional


What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 175 C / 350 F
  2. Make the crust, place oats and pecans in a food processor and pulse to combine until well mixed and finely ground. Add dates and maple syrup and blend to combine. With the motor running, poor in the coconut oil. Continue to blend until the everything is well combined and the mixture starts to stick to the sides of the blender.
  3. Prep a muffin tin by greasing with coconut oil. (tip: cut out strips of parchment to place across the muffin forms so that once the tarts are done you can easily pull them out by pulling on the parchment like tabs.)
  4. Press golf ball sized amount of dough into each form, then using your fingers work to dough up the sides and around until it forms a shell for the tarts. This is definitely the most labor intensive part of making the tarts, sorry, but it's worth it! Use any extra dough to fill in the holes or thin areas.
  5. Make the filling, place squash puree, vanilla, grated ginger, spices, sea salt and maple syrup in a large bowl. In a small sauce pan over low heat, melt the coconut oil and coconut milk together, whisk to combine. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in arrowroot powder. Whisk the coconut milk mixture into the squash puree and mix until well combine. 
  6. Fill each crust with the squash filling up to the rim, then bake for 30-35mins until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from tin. Run a knife around the edge of the crust, then pull on the parchment tabs to remove the tarts from the tin. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  7. Serve at room temperature or out of the fridge with a dollop of cream of your choice. Will keep for a few days in a sealed container in the fridge.
*Squash puree is easy and simple to make at home. Place chopped, peeled squash chunks into a double boiler and steam until tender, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool, then blend in a food processor until smooth. I used one whole red kuri squash, which left me with almost 2 cups of puree. Extra puree can be used in granola, smoothies, oatmeal or baked goods!

Coconut Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/4 - 1/3 coconut milk
  • 2 + 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • Pinch cinnamon

What to do
  1. Rinse and drain the cashews, then place in a small blender with the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Add 1/4 cup of coconut oil and blend. Add more milk until desired creaminess. Taste and adjust sweetness if necessary. Will keep in the fridge for a few days.

17 October 2014

Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing

Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

During the past few months, Matt and I have spent a couple nights here and there looking up real estate in western Canada. We are by no means ready to buy anything soon, nor do we even live in the country, but it helps feed the dream that we will one day be back in the rocky mountains.

In our dreams there is a small wood cabin on a large plot of land, preferably with a landscape view of snowy peaks. There is enough space for a dog, maybe a few little people running around and a room for visiting friends and family. For Matt there is a river or a lake, a fire stove, and ski hill near by. He sees lots of kayaking, fresh powder, adventures in the north and a few bears he can try to hug. There is small town close by to get what we need, with a cozy little coffee shop and some friendly faces. Perhaps a quaint pub to grab a pint après ski. 

For me, there's a small eclectic kitchen with a big window over an old clay sink. There's a heavy wooden table with place settings that probably don't match. Outside there's a garden, a really big one. It has all the usual suspects; garlic, potatoes, and onions to get us through the winter, carrots, radishes and beets for some color. There are also all kinds of greens, different types of kale, chard and collards. I'll have to gift away zucchini and cucumber because there are always too many, but the neighbors are happy. We'll have big red, juicy tomatoes if the summer has been good and an apple tree if we are lucky. There's a place nearby to eat outside on warm nights, and an outdoor wood oven for making pizza and breads.

I imagine that we will have jobs or work of some sort, but time will tell what they will be. For now this is the dream. It's humble and quiet, a place to build a life. One day. We'll see you there.

Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Kale Salad with Tamari Toasted Seeds + Fresh Pear Vinaigrette

A simple and quick autumn kale salad for the season. Double or triple quantities to feed a crowd. 
Giving the kale a quick massage before making the salad gives the leaves a much nicer texture when eating them raw. Click here for some great massaging tips and techniques :)

Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 2.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups kale, I used a mix of lacinato and curly purple kale (all home grown!), ribbed and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 1 ripe pear, halved and pitted
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cold pressed sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup of honey
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Good pinch sea salt

What to do
  1. Place the thinly sliced kale leaves in a large bowl, sprinkle over a touch of sea salt and massage the leaves with your fingertips. Work the kale until the leaves darken in color and begin to soften. Set aside.
  2. Place all the seeds in a dry shallow pan over medium heat. Toast for a minute or two, until the seeds become fragrant and begin to 'pop'. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the tamari, then return the pan over low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the seeds are dry. Scrape off any bits of tamari stuck to the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Peel one half of the pear, then chop it and place in a small blender. Add in the apple cider, olive oil, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Blend everything together until smooth and thick. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Dress the kale with half of the dressing, toss to coat, then top with toasted seeds. Thinly slice the remaining half of pear and add to the salad. Serve immediately with remaining dressing on the side, or place in fridge to rest. Salad will keep for a day in the fridge, longer without the dressing. Dressing will keep in the few for a few days in a sealed jar.

10 October 2014

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Matt and I haven't celebrated a real christmas in three years. He is usually working up at the hill, so I take the time to enjoy a little sleep in and then try to sneak in a few runs before the family crowds arrive. It's always a quiet day, a nice change of pace for me in an otherwise hectic 2 weeks. Living in a mountain town can have a pretty big impact your family traditions. So you adapt. You make new ones. And slowly you begin create your own. Skiing, making holiday chili and watching a movie seem to be ours.

Thanksgiving, however, is a holiday that I really miss living far away from home. The smells, the colors, the family. The familiarity of it all and the change in seasons. Here there are no pumpkin stands, no sales on turkeys and no place can ever stand up to the autumn colors back home. But still, so much to be thankful for. We have Sunday off, the weather forecast looks good, so there is hike in the plans for this weekend. I made this moroccan stew, a harvest-like dessert and bought a nice bottle of wine. I'm sure there will be some cozy socks and a movie too. Hopefully a lazy weekend breakfast, maybe pancakes. Quiet, calm, different yet familiar all the same, looking forward to it.

Wishing you all grateful hearts and full bellies this weekend, where ever you are. Happy thanksgiving fellow Canadians! x

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin + Chickpea Stew

Just the type of meal you want to be digging into this time of year, it's cozy, lightly spicy, with big chunks of vegetables. Pure comfort. Feeling grateful for big spoons and warm bowls. Happy thanksgiving!


Vegan + Gluten Free. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • I large knob coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 knob fresh ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 cups fresh cubed pumpkin or squash
  • 2 cups thick sliced carrots
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 x 400g can, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground coriander and paprika
  • Pinch ground saffron
  • 1 x 800ml can whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup water or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup dried currants, or raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons harissa*
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • Large handful fresh cilantro leaves

  • Millet, couscous, rice or other grain of choice, to serve

What to do

  1. Add coconut oil to a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. As it starts to melt, add in diced onion,  garlic and ginger. Turn up the heat and sautée together until soft and the onions are tender. Add a touch of water or stock if the pot gets dry, which will make it all stew-y like and smelling delicious. Add in the sliced carrots and cubed pumpkin, season with salt and pepper, stir to coat the vegetables in oil and cook for a few minutes, stirring often. Add in the spices and cooked chickpeas and again stir well so everything is well coated in spices. 
  2. Next add the tomatoes and stock, stir everything together and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add in currants, apricots and harissa. Let simmer until vegetables are tender and easily pierced through with a fork. About 20-25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, spices and heat as needed.
  3. Top with toasted slivered almonds and fresh cilantro. Serve with grain/rice of choice and extra harissa on the side.
*Harissa is a Tunisian paste made from chili peppers and usually contains spices such as coriander and cumin seeds. It is a staple in my fridge, I love adding it to soups and stews. It can be found in most supermarkets or health food stores, usually in a tube or in a jar. I like to look for harissa in a jar, something that resembles an oily red pesto. Different brands will pack different heats, so if you are using it for the first time here start with small amounts and taste and add as go.

1 October 2014

Soft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

Soft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSoft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Soft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

I have this very serious, very ridiculous fear of leaving the house without snacks. Hangry is real you guys, and it ain't pretty. On any given day you can probably find an apple, some nuts or a few medjool dates tucked away in various pockets of my bag. On long travel days, it's something closer to a 5 course meal, because trail mix qualifies as an appetizer, ya? 

I made these cookies as a sort of clean-out-the-pantry-before-I-leave-for-Canada snack. I brought them to the airport with me for my second breakfast (also known as a elevenses, and also a very legit meal.) They are not overly sweet, and the texture is more that of a baked oatmeal rather than a cookie, but they have just enough 'treat' to them to brighten up a long day of work or travel. And with all that banana-y goodness in there let's agree to call them breakfast, first or second. The dough is really sticky, don't be alarmed, just plop it on a baking sheet and then use your fingers to spread it out a bit. The recipe can make 2 very large cookies (we're talking the size of your head, meal replacing cookies), or 4-6 smaller snack size ones.

Here's to the humble cookie, fighting the good fight against the every day hangry.

Soft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Soft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Soft Baked Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Sesame + Peanut Butter Breakfast Cookies

The perfect treat for a grab and go breakfast, especially for long travel days. It's a pretty forgiving recipe, use another nut butter instead of peanut butter if you don't have any. I imagine the buckwheat flour can be replaced by another gluten free flour, brown rice flour should work well. Use what you have, make them your own. Let cool completely, I actually prefer the taste and texture of these cookies the following day.

Makes 4-6 smaller or 2 very large cookies. You be the judge. (go big). Double or triple the recipe if needed. Vegan + Gluten Free.


Ingredients


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon flax meal
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • 3 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Place banana, dates and coconut oil in the bowl of a small food processor and blend to combine. Add peanut butter, tahini, maple syrup and flax meal and blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add sesame seeds, flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix gently to combine.
  4. Grab a dollop of dough with a spatula and drop it onto the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Wet the tips of your fingers with a touch of water and pat down the dough into the shape/size you want. Cookies don't spread much in the oven so make sure to get the size you want before baking.
  5. Bake in the oven until firm to the touch, slightly risen and starting to brown, 10-12 minutes for smaller cookies, and little longer for bigger ones.

24 September 2014

Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing

Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted ktichen

A few things about me:
  1. I need space. Time alone, preferably outdoors. It's the only thing to quiet my thoughts and ground my feet.
  2. I think hummus should be its own food group.
  3. I've learned that it is a strange but wonderful feeling transitioning from wanting your parents to be proud of you, to being proud of them.
  4. I have very few great friendships. But they will last a lifetime.
  5. My sister will always be the coolest person I know.
  6. Every new season is my favorite season. I will never be a Margaritaville local. Fall, I love you.
  7. I feel 28 is so young. I still have so much to learn. Bring it on, life.
  8. I cry. Like, a lot. The smallest thing can bring tears to my eyes. A commercial, a vegetable, a chipmunk on the side of the road. 
  9. I get the greatest sense of satisfaction cleaning out and organizing a fridge. And I don't stop at my own.
  10. I can probably thank my Dad for 8 and 9.
  11. Being vulnerable is hard. But I believe it is also so courageous. I am continuously inspired by those who dare greatly in their lives. By openly sharing who they are or personal struggles. We are never alone.
  12. I secretly love Matt's sense of fashion. crocs + socks forever and always.
  13. I believe a good hug and a warm cup of tea can turn your day around.
  14. I have realized that I call 'home' a place where I never plan to live again, but it always reminds me of who I am and where I came from. And that where ever I may go, I need to bring a piece of it with me.
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen
Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Collard Wraps with Wild Rice Salad + Orange Tahini Dressing

I am always on the look out for new ways to transport salad; on planes, on hikes, or just for picnics. Collard greens are a salad lover's dream come true, wrap up all your dressed grains in a big leaf and you'll never have to eat a soggy salad or sandwich again! Collards in the carry-on, y'all!

A few tips: try to avoid overstuffing, or you could end up being a messy passenger. If I am traveling with these, I like to secure them in plastic wrap or even a mason jar to ensure they don't fall apart in my bag.

Also, wild rice can be on the pricey side, so feel free to substitute half for brown rice.

Vegan + Gluten Free. Makes 6 large wraps.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice
  • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup shelled, cooked organic edamame beans
  • 3/4 cup red grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • A few drops (1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon) cold pressed extra virgin sesame oil
  • Good pinch sea salt

  • 6 large collard leaves
  • Sprouts, of choice (alfalfa, radish, broccoli, ect.)

What to do
  1. Give the wild rice a good rinse in cold water and then shake to drain. Place rice in a saucepan and add 4 cups of water plus a good pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and keep at a steady simmer for 40 minutes. Check the rice, it should be tender and some grains burst open. If it's not done continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes. Drain, rinse and let cool.
  2. Mix tahini, orange juice, sesame oil and a good pinch of salt in small blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Mix cooled wild rice, grated carrots, edamame, grapes and toasted seeds in a salad bowl, then pour over half of the dressing and toss to coat. Reserve extra dressing for later.
  4. To prep the collards, place on a cutting board and cut of any white part of the stem that has no leaf attached to it. Then, using a sharp knife shave down the dense stalk until its thin and pliable, ideally the same thickness of the leaf. This is important in order to wrap the leaves without breaking or snapping.
  5. Place a few spoonfuls of the salad into the middle of the wrap, then add on some sprouts and drizzle over a little extra dressing. (Adding a little water to the dressing helps thin in out and ensures every bite has extra tahini orange goodness!). Fold the long edge closest to you over the filling, tuck in under a bit, fold in the two sides and roll tightly. Voila! Repeat steps to make all 6 wraps or save for later.