roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

carrot bunch
carrots on parchment paper
roasted carrots, orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

The coffee was lukewarm, making my stomach feel slightly oceanic. It was comfortable inside, the smell of books filling the air. I looked out the window - fog hanging low, branches bare; the field in the distance stripped of its vibrant green. December always makes my heart ache a little. 

The cafe was busy, so I opted for a big, comfortable chair. I turned back to the reason I was there in the first place and opened to the winter section. It was the book I was desperately trying to at least partly devour during my short visit to the book store. 

When I first laid eyes on it, my heart skipped a beat. Photograph upon photograph of beautiful food, landscapes, quiet and slow living. Then I read her writing. She spoke like I felt. Her appreciation for food, wine and life gave me pause. A much needed pause in my generally harried days. 

Coffee long abandoned, I read, I imagined, I filled myself up with as much as I could. It was a sweet hour. For only a short while, I was teleported to the sleepy town of Medoc, where people spoke of mussels, wine and weather. 

Mimi Thorrison is my favorite blogger, turned author. Her love and appreciation for cooking seasonal food from scratch has provided much influence over the years. And granted that she cooks French food with lots of cream, butter and flour, her approach has nonetheless inspired me to look to the seasons when I cook and use what’s available. Her cooking philosophy and approach much match mine by keeping things simple and letting ingredients shine through in all their glory.

So this is exactly how I approached this roasted carrot recipe. I just took what I had recently purchased at the market and made it work. Carrots, pomegranate and citrus are all in season right now and a quick tahini sauce, marries all the flavors beautifully. Since winter is cold and grey, these bright orange carrots and shiny red pomegranate seeds provide some much needed warmth and color.

roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate
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roasted carrots with orange tahini dressing and pomegranate

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roasted carrots with orange tahini sauce and pomegranate

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • roasting time: 20 minutes

  • yields: 4 servings


Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches thin carrots, greens trimmed and cut in half

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp runny tahini

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 1/4 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro


Equipment:

  • 2 baking sheets

  • medium mixing bowl

  • optional: use blender

  • whisk

  • parchment paper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide carrots between 2 sheets and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Line them up face down.

Roast for 10 minutes, flip carrots to face up, and switch oven racks so both sheets of carrots cook roast evenly. Roast for another 10-15 minutes until desired softness. (I like mine to still have a bit of a bite)

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl or blender, combine remaining ingredients aside from pomegranate seeds and cilantro to create tahini sauce.

Once carrots are finished roasting, lay carrots on serving platter, pour over tahini sauce, chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds.


Take roasted carrots to a new level with this flavorful, creamy tahini sauce, topped with finely chopped cilantro and pomegranate seeds. They’re a feast for the eyes and the taste buds! Bonus, they’re vegan, paleo and whole 30 approved! #calmeats #paleo #whole30 #vegansides #paleosides #vegansides #whole30sides #roastedcarrots #carrots #realfood #glutenfreesides #dairyfreesides #tahini #pomegranate



sweet potato fries with chipotle lime mayo

sweet potato fries, mayo and herbs
sweet potato fries in parchment paper
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I shared on Instagram last week that I was making some changes to the blog. Not drastic but just scaling back a bit on my wellness posts to every other week. Since the blog's inception, I've done my very best to put out a wellness post every week along with 2 recipes but I realized it became a bit intense. While rewarding in every way, I found myself stretched thin with my face perpetually in my laptop. 

But admitting that I couldn't cotninue doing the thing I set out to felt shameful in a way and very disappointing. I felt uncomfortable until I realized that who really cares and why does it matter? Those who are interested in the content I put out will stick with me and those who aren't won't and that's just fine. Being okay with things just as they are felt liberating. 

So once I moved past the unease, I decided to carry on with the day. A trip to the museum and a simple recipe were going to be enough for a little reset. 

Art museums have always been special as art has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. Perhaps it was my father's artistic inclination or my touching a single brush stroke of Van Gogh's Sunflowers that sparked it but museums allow me a strange returning to myself. It doesn't matter what kind of chaos is happening on the outside, once I step foot inside a museum, things shift. The beating of my heart rhythmic and even...walking, admiring, appreciating.

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Recharged, inspired and also very hungry, I decided to whip up a favorite of mine. Sweet potato fries with a chipotle lime mayo. I won't lie, I have a weakness for chocolate but nothing makes me lose my self control like sweet potatoes dipped in this addicting mayo.

While I've had the jarred chipotle mayo, I decided to just make my own and see what happens. Let's just say that I'm likely going to be sticking with my version. It's absurdly easy to make with only a few ingredients. 

While I can appreciate a good home made mayo, I do like shortcuts and since Primal Kitchen makes a fantastic mayo, I thought this may save me a lot of time. All I use is mayo, chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, garlic powder, lime zest and lime juice. And oh my god, I can eat it by the spoonful. 

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sweet potato fries with chipotle lime mayo

  • prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • cooking time: 25-30 minutes

  • makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

For sweet potato fries

  • 2 large sweet potatoes or 3-4 medium

  • 1-2 tbsp avocado oil

  • 1/2 tsp salt

For mayo

  • 1/2 cup mayo of your choice (I use this. For vegan option try this)

  • zest of one lime

  • 2 tsp lime juice

  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

  • 2 tsp adobo sauce (these can be found in most grocery stores)

  • 1-2 chipotle peppers (reserve the rest for another time)

Whole 30 mayo chipotle lime mayo option: check out this recipe

Equipment

  • food processor

  • baking sheet

  • parchment paper

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes well. No need to peel. Cut into thin strips and lay on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Toss with oil and salt and bake for 25-30 minutes stirring them half way through. For crispier potatoes bake an additional 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for sauce in food processor and puree until fully incorporated. 

When sweet potatoes are finished sprinkle with additional salt if you wish and serve with mayo. 


Sweet potato fries with home made chipotle lime mayo is a favorite of mine. With only a few ingredients needed, you can whip this up in no time! #sweetpotatofries, #chipoltlelimemayo, #sides, #lunch, #dinner, #fries #paleo, #whole30, #vegan, #grainfree, #glutenfree, #dairyfree

roasted root vegetables

roasted root vegetables

Not long ago, it dawned on me that some of my favorite holidays happen to be in the fall. Maybe it's that growing up, we didn't have as many holidays as we do here or maybe it's the whole getting two days off work for Turkey day thing or maybe it's the beautiful season itself. Either way, fall holidays, yeah!

Thanksgiving was the second holiday I celebrated upon moving to the US (after Halloween). I was clueless what it actually represented and only knew that there was a whole lot of eating involved. Big feasts were not uncommon, since my family gathered nearly every Sunday for a big meal. But unclear of the details, since I spoke little to no english, I distinctly recall eating a funny looking round vegetable that looked like a shrunken cabbage.

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how to meal prep veggies

how to meal prep veggies

When people ask me how I've changed my diet and am able to consistently stick to eating fresh, whole food, the answer is always the same: "by planning". It's the deciding factor between making it long term and giving up after one or two weeks. I've made my decision to change my lifestyle and diet well over 6 months ago and never looked back. 

The reality is, you have to be organized and think about your next meal and plan accordingly. It doesn't have to be overwhelming or extensive but it does have to be consistent. The trap many people fall into is simply saying that it's too hard and they don't know where to start or what to do. 

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avocado and egg salad cups

When I think about my style of cooking and eating, it's generally uncomplicated. Too many steps and ingredients and I can quickly abandon a recipe. Don't get me wrong, from time to time, it's extremely rewarding tackling a complicated meal, but for the most part, I enjoy the simplicity of good ingredients. 

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egg boats (2 of 2).jpg

Most of my ideas come to me when I'm not searching for them and am absorbed in something entirely different, such as playing pirate ship with my son. (Yes, I do that from time to time). Since I make a variation of avocado and egg nearly every day this was a natural to me. Put egg in avocado. Perfect. Since I've abandoned bread and the egg salad sandwich is out of the question, an avocado boat is a very nice alternative. I will take this any day over a slice of bread.

I always have hard boiled eggs on hand as well as avocado.  The only thing that may be a little time consuming is if you don't have hard boiled eggs on hand. But I'll provide the instructions below. 


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avocado and egg salad cups

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • Cooking time 15 minutes

  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chopped hard boiled eggs

  • 2 tbsp good mayo (I use this brand)

  • 1/2 tsp dry dill or fresh if you have it on hand (fresh always tastes better)

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped home made pickle or store bought

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (I like this brand)

  • pinch salt

  • dash pepper

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 2 avocados

Equipment:

  • sauce pan

  • medium bowl

  • optional: egg slicer

Directions

Easy to peel eggs: Bring water to boil, add eggs gently with a strainer or something other than your bare hand. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Place under cold, running water for a minute. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel under cold water and set aside to further cool. This method will give you easy to peel eggs every time!

In a medium bowl, combine, mayo, mustard, dill, chopped pickle, salt, pepper and turmeric. 

If you haven't chopped your eggs yet, do so and add them to the bowl and incorporate well with the mayo mixture. 

Cut your avocado in half and using a knife carefully remove the pit. Using a spoon, gently scoop the avocado flesh out and set on a plate. (Tip: To ensure that your avocado stays nice and green, feel free to use a few drops of lemon and gently rub over the avocado) 

To assemble, scoop some of the egg salad on the avocado. You can serve it over greens or with fresh tomatoes. 


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