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I roasted my first artichoke! For mine I cut the leaf tips with shears, trimmed the stem an inch, then sliced the artichoke in half. I then removed the “choke” or the spiky flower in the center. I poured a little melted butter on the inside and between the leaves and flipped it upside down to roast for 45 minutes at 375 on a foil-covered baking sheet. When it’s all done, flip the artichoke back open and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Blueberry Quinoa Breakfast Bake

INGREDIENTS

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup of blueberries
2 eggs
2 cups vanilla soy milk (can substitute regular milk)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup almonds, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 7-by-11-inch baking dish (an 8-by-8 works too).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the uncooked quinoa with the spices. Pour into greased dish.
  3. Sprinkle blueberries on top (you can substitute in any fruit or raisins here). 
  4. In that same small bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the soy milk and maple syrup.
  5. Pour the egg-and-milk mixture over the top of the fruit and quinoa. Lightly stir to partially submerge the fruit. Sprinkle the chopped almonds on top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or until the casserole is mostly set with only a small amount of liquid left.
  7. Allow to cool, and then cover and refrigerate. In the morning, cut a square, microwave it on a plate, and enjoy alone or with a few dollops of Greek yogurt.

Adapted from: Fit Sugar

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I crafted my own Tomato Basil Soup recipe from scratch and I have to say it turned out AMAZING! The cannelini beans add a ton of great flavor.

Ingredients:
I 16oz can of peeled plum tomatoes
1 can cannelini beans
1 tablespoon low fat butter
1/2 cup lowfat milk
5-7 torn Basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Drizzle a stockpot with a bit of olive oil. Sauté garlic and onions for about a minute. Combine all other ingredients in the pot and heat over medium for 5 minutes or so. Next, use an immersion blender to emulsify the soup until smooth. Cook on low for an hour or so, which will thicken up the soup even more. Serve with crispy bread!

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Recently I had a wonderful side salad at Mockingbird here in Oakland. When I asked the chef what went into it, he listed only 5 ingredients, so I thought I could pull it off. Colorful and hearty, this is the perfect summer slaw!

Ingredients:
1 head of shredded red cabbage
2 cups of shredded carrots
1 orange
1 lime
Salt and pepper

Directions:
Just combine the cabbage and carrots (I got lazy and only had baby carrots and things still turned out lovely) in a large bowl and squeeze the juice from the lime and from the orange. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Add some pistachios if you so desire!

Walnut & Rosemary Five Minute Artisan Bread

Ingredients:
2-¾ cups hot water
1-½ tablespoon granulated yeast
1 ¼ tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped walnuts
6-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg white wash – 1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions:

1. Use some type of large (6-quart) bowl for mixing and storing dough in the fridge.
Place the water directly into the bowl or other large container. Add the oil, yeast, sugar, salt, rosemary and walnuts and stir to combine.
2. Add the dry ingredients to the water and mix until well incorporated and there are no dry spots; the texture of the dough should be fairly soft and shaggy looking. You can do this with a large, sturdy wooden spoon or with your stand mixer. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and begins to collapse (or flatten on top), approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is a little easier to handle when cold. If not using right away, refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 4-5 days.
4. To bake baguettes; scoop as many pieces of dough as you want – If you want a large, traditional baguette scoop up a scant 1 pound pieces of dough (about ¼ of the batch). Place on a generously floured work surface and turn over to coat both sides of the dough with flour then pat and shape into a rough, slightly flattened oval.
Alternately, you can separate the dough into two round loaves.
5. Cover and allow the baguette(s) to rise till very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450°F.
6. When the bread is puffy and doubled in size, slash the baguette several times on the diagonal with a very sharp knife. (Or the round loaves with an X). Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with walnuts and sea salt.
7. With a spray bottle spritz the baguette generously with warm water, (this will make the crust super crisp and crackly) and bake until a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (Round loaves will take 30 to 40). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes 
Makes 4 approximately baguettes. Walnut & Rosemary Five Minute Artisan Bread

Ingredients:
2-¾ cups hot water
1-½ tablespoon granulated yeast
1 ¼ tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped walnuts
6-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg white wash – 1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions:

1. Use some type of large (6-quart) bowl for mixing and storing dough in the fridge.
Place the water directly into the bowl or other large container. Add the oil, yeast, sugar, salt, rosemary and walnuts and stir to combine.
2. Add the dry ingredients to the water and mix until well incorporated and there are no dry spots; the texture of the dough should be fairly soft and shaggy looking. You can do this with a large, sturdy wooden spoon or with your stand mixer. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and begins to collapse (or flatten on top), approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is a little easier to handle when cold. If not using right away, refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 4-5 days.
4. To bake baguettes; scoop as many pieces of dough as you want – If you want a large, traditional baguette scoop up a scant 1 pound pieces of dough (about ¼ of the batch). Place on a generously floured work surface and turn over to coat both sides of the dough with flour then pat and shape into a rough, slightly flattened oval.
Alternately, you can separate the dough into two round loaves.
5. Cover and allow the baguette(s) to rise till very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450°F.
6. When the bread is puffy and doubled in size, slash the baguette several times on the diagonal with a very sharp knife. (Or the round loaves with an X). Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with walnuts and sea salt.
7. With a spray bottle spritz the baguette generously with warm water, (this will make the crust super crisp and crackly) and bake until a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (Round loaves will take 30 to 40). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes 
Makes 4 approximately baguettes.

Walnut & Rosemary Five Minute Artisan Bread

Ingredients:
2-¾ cups hot water
1-½ tablespoon granulated yeast
1 ¼ tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup chopped walnuts
6-½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg white wash – 1 large egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water

Directions:

1. Use some type of large (6-quart) bowl for mixing and storing dough in the fridge.
Place the water directly into the bowl or other large container. Add the oil, yeast, sugar, salt, rosemary and walnuts and stir to combine.
2. Add the dry ingredients to the water and mix until well incorporated and there are no dry spots; the texture of the dough should be fairly soft and shaggy looking. You can do this with a large, sturdy wooden spoon or with your stand mixer. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and begins to collapse (or flatten on top), approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is a little easier to handle when cold. If not using right away, refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 4-5 days.
4. To bake baguettes; scoop as many pieces of dough as you want – If you want a large, traditional baguette scoop up a scant 1 pound pieces of dough (about ¼ of the batch). Place on a generously floured work surface and turn over to coat both sides of the dough with flour then pat and shape into a rough, slightly flattened oval.
Alternately, you can separate the dough into two round loaves.
5. Cover and allow the baguette(s) to rise till very puffy, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450°F.
6. When the bread is puffy and doubled in size, slash the baguette several times on the diagonal with a very sharp knife. (Or the round loaves with an X). Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle with walnuts and sea salt.
7. With a spray bottle spritz the baguette generously with warm water, (this will make the crust super crisp and crackly) and bake until a very deep golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. (Round loaves will take 30 to 40). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
Makes 4 approximately baguettes.

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