Friday, January 29, 2016

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili with Poached Eggs

As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I shared this recipe, I've been on a bit of a poached egg kick lately. In the next few months, I'm going to be working on a series of recipes that I'm calling "Poach Bowls," in which I'll be exploring all kinds of new ways to consume poached eggs. It will include recipes of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner variety, so if you're into eggs, you will want to stay tuned!

As the first official recipe of the series, I offer you this slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and totally satisfying vegetarian sweet potato chili poach bowl. 

    • Ingredients:
    • For Chili

    • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped (I buy canned La Costena chipotle peppers at Walmart or Giant)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 T olive oil, divided
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
    • 1 T ground cumin
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 C water
    • 1 additional tsp salt, or to taste
    • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (I used an Indian chili powder from the local Indian food market, which is slightly spicier than what you'll find in the grocery store)
    • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
    • ground black pepper

For Poached Egg

    • 4 eggs (1 per serving)
    • 1 to 2 T distilled white vinegar

For Chili

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cubed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and toss with chopped chipotle pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 T. olive oil. Once sweet potatoes are coated, spread onto the lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes. The potatoes should be slightly crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside. Set aside to cool.

Heat remaining olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, and add onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes and water to the pot and let the mixture come to a simmer. Add 1 tsp. salt and cocoa powder, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add beans and sweet potatoes. Add a little more water if the consistency is too thick for your liking. Simmer another 15 minutes until beans and potatoes are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with cilantro.

For Poached Eggs

Fill a saucepan with 3-4 inches of water, add vinegar, and bring to a very low simmer. If the water is barely simmering, there are fewer bubbles that will agitate the eggs. While the water is simmering, crack your eggs into small ramekins. When the water is ready, place eggs, one at a time in a fine mesh sieve, allowing any excess white to separate into another bowl. Then slowly lower the egg into the water and let it slide out of the sieve slowly (I've found that the trick is to let it sit for a second in the sieve under the water before sliding it out. This allows it to solidify a bit). After all the eggs are in the water, set a timer for 3 minutes. Watch the water carefully to make sure it doesn't begin to simmer too much. When the 3 minutes is up, use a slotted wooden spoon to gently scoop the eggs out of the water. Place on a paper towel and pat off excess water. Then transfer one egg to each bowl of chili. 

(Disclaimer- If you already have a working method of making these, stick with that. If you've never made poached eggs, or you've had trouble in the past, I've found that the following approach works well. However, I am by no means an expert at cooking poached eggs. You can also use poach pods, which work great).

P.S. This could be a fantastic replacement dish for regular chili for that party on Super Bowl Sunday! Just add classic guacamole and you can't go wrong. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Cashew Butter Cups

Lately I've been cutting back on eating peanut butter. It's one of those foods that I could literally eat an entire jar of in less than a week (I know I'm not the only one!). The other day I went to an event that required everyone to bring snacks, and all I could think of (read: all I was in the mood for) was peanut butter cups.

Cue cashew butter.

This stuff may just be more addicting than peanut butter. The creaminess is unreal, and I realized it would be delicious if consumed in cup form. And that's the story of how these little treats were born.

(Makes about 25 cups)

2 cups whole dates, pitted
1/2 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup desiccated coconut flakes, plus extra for coating the cupcake tins
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons coconut milk (or any non-dairy milk)
1 Jar of cashew butter (you won't use the whole jar, the amount all depends on how full you want your cups to be)
coconut oil


Grease 2 small cupcake pans with coconut oil. Then coat the insides of the molds with desiccated coconut flakes. Make sure that the molds are well coated with coconut flakes -- this helps the cups slide out of the tin easily.

Add almonds to a food processor and pulse until chopped fairly well (not quite fine). Add dates and coconut and pulse until combined. Test the mixture with your finger to see if it holds together well. Add salt, vanilla, and coconut milk. The texture should be a bit chunky and will be quite sticky. Roll the mixture into balls (about 1-1.5 inches wide) and press into greased (coconut oil) and coated (coconut flakes) cupcake molds and form into cups. Take the cups out and place on a tray or plate. You may need to use a small butter knife to help lift them out. Then spoon the cashew butter into the cups, and keep in a cookie tin or sealed container.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Poached Egg Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

Well, I can't believe that it's been almost 12 months since I last posted anything. This last year has been incredibly busy, including all kinds of chaos that comes with being a full-time student, part-time employee, and studying abroad in Australia for the past four months. Consequently, it's been a little difficult to keep up with any kind of consistent blogging. Not necessarily an adequate excuse, but there you have it.

One of the many things that I delightfully discovered while in the land down under was the common occurrence of poached eggs. I'd had them plenty of times in the States in eggs Benedict, but never in any other form or context. In Australia, cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants everywhere offered poached eggs on toast with an array of trimmings available. Well, I fell in love with these little guys, and as soon as I arrived on United States soil, I tried my hand at making them.

At first, the result of my attempts was a bit ugly. But after lots of research and dedication, I figured out how to get them right. Now that I know I can make them without yolks and whites getting all over the pan, myself, or the floor,  I've been putting poached eggs in just about everything I can. 

One way that a lot of people consume poached eggs in Australia is in salads (this probably takes place in North America all the time too, but my former self was clearly ignorant of all things poached). 

The recipe I have for you today is a very simple salad with one of the easiest, most refreshing dressings you've ever had, and topped off with as many poached eggs as it will take to make your heart happy. I hope you enjoy it!


(I made this as a single serving, but you could easily increase the ingredients to serve a large family)

1 cup baby spinach
1 cup baby arugula
1 large carrot, chopped
2 poached eggs (make last)
soft goat cheese
dried herbs for garnish

Poached Eggs:
(Disclaimer- If you already have a working method of making these, stick with that. If you've never made poached eggs, or you've had trouble in the past, I've found that the following approach works well. However, I am by no means an expert at cooking poached eggs. You can also use poach pods, which work great).


2 eggs
1-2 T distilled white vinegar


Fill a saucepan with 3-4 inches of water, add vinegar, and bring to a very low simmer. If the water is barely simmering, there are fewer bubbles that will agitate the eggs. While the water is simmering, crack your eggs into small ramekins. When the water is ready, first place the egg in a fine mesh sieve, allowing any excess white to separate into another bowl. Then slowly lower the egg into the water and let it slide out of the sieve slowly (I've found that the trick is to let it sit for a second in the sieve under the water before sliding it out. This allows it to solidify a bit). Do this with the second egg and place a timer for 3 minutes. Watch the water carefully to make sure it doesn't begin to simmer too much. When the 3 minutes is up, use a slotted wooden spoon to gently scoop the eggs out of the water. Place on a paper towel and pat off excess water. 

After combining the carrot with the greens in a small bowl, place the eggs on top. Crumble a little goat cheese over the salad and garnish with dried herbs of your choice. Drizzle with your favorite fresh dressing or use the recipe below for my lemon basil dressing. 

Lemon Basil Dressing
(Makes about 2 cups)


4 cloves garlic
salt, to taste
4-6 anchovies
1 cup fresh basil, torn
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
ground black pepper, to taste


Smash garlic with a wide knife and ground together with salt in a pestle and mortar (If you don't have a pestle and mortar, you can use a food processor instead). Add anchovies and basil, pounding to a paste. Add olive oil and lemon juice intermittently. Season with pepper and add to your favorite salad. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Easy Greek Frittata

Hello and Happy New Year everyone!

I hope your transition into 2015 has been delightful and full of celebrating in anticipation of what this coming year has in store. I rung in the new year with some of the most wonderful people that I know, playing taboo, watching What If, and of course eating some delectable food.  

I've been relishing all the free time I've had to pursue more creative activities while on break. I'm going back to school tomorrow, but with the time I've had I was able to whip up this easy and delicious Greek Frittata (with my sister's help) and a gluten free onion tart (coming soon).

On that note, I have some exciting news to share! My sister (Joanie) and I have just launched a Youtube channel called The Birds of Passage. So far we have a few videos up, including my citrus kale smoothie recipe and video where Joanie talks about a few of the musicians we've been enjoying lately. We're hoping to continue to upload recipe videos, share our favorite musical artists, and film any other adventures we happen to be a part of. Go check them out if you feel so inclined! We are also really new at the Youtube thing so we'd appreciate any kind of constructive feedback!

Now that you know about that, let's move on to the good stuff!

This recipe was inspired by Guy of Bondi Harvest. You should check him out on Youtube!


1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh arugula
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup kalamata olives
5 eggs
about 3 fresh sage leaves
about 1/4 cup of goat cheese or to taste (I probably used a bit more)
1 T of coconut oil for the pan


Chop the spinach, arugula, tomatoes and olives and set aside in a medium sized bowl. Grind the sage and 1-2 tsp of salt together in a mortar and pestle. (Alternatively, you could simply crush the sage with your hands and sprinkle it over the eggs, but I thought it added a nice touch to grind them together.) Add half of the salt mixture to the chopped vegetables and toss lightly. Crack the eggs and whisk them with the other half of the mixture in a medium bowl. 

Heat a medium cast iron skillet on medium low while the coconut oil melts in the pan. Pour the eggs in and keep an eye on the pan's temperature. Let the eggs cook in the pan for about 30 seconds until the base is cooked. At this point you may want to turn the temperature down to low. Place the chopped greens and vegetables onto the eggs and crumble the goat cheese on top. 

Let the frittata continue to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the eggs are thoroughly cooked and firm.

And there you are! This is such a nice breakfast for the winter time when you want something a little sturdier than cereal or fruit to start off your day. 


Monday, December 22, 2014

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

It's been a little while since I've been in a real kitchen. Reading and writing has been my focus for the last few months, and the only "cooking" I've done has been reheating a pork chop. 

Now that Christmas break has arrived, I'll hopefully have the time to immerse myself in experimenting with some new recipes. 

One of the first meals I ate when I got home was this simple brussel sprout recipe. 

Never in my life did I think I'd be promoting brussel sprouts. Clearly they're extremely healthy, and I've always wanted to like them, but until this year, I've never been able to stand their taste. Every time I had them I thought they were so bitter and horrible, and I'd given up on ever being able to enjoy them. 

That is, until my mom urged me to try them at Thanksgiving dinner this year. I hesitated of course, but once I tried them I was amazed. They were not remotely bitter. 

I've found that roasting vegetables of any kind always results in a wonderful depth of flavor, and I think the roasting process is exactly what removes the bitterness from the brussel sprouts in this recipe. 

Making this recipe was so simple it's almost silly. Enjoy this healthy dish as an easy side to virtually any meal. 


2 lbs brussel sprouts
3 T extra virgin olive oil (I used lard, but you could use coconut oil as well)
3/4 tsp celtic sea salt
1/2 to 1 tsp freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, for a bit of heat)


Preheat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit, with oven rack on highest setting. 

Cut of brown ends and pull off any yellow outer leaves from the sprouts. If using lard, place on a cookie sheet in the oven while it's preheating. When the oven is ready and the lard has melted, pour the lard into the bowl with the sprouts. Combine the sprouts, lard or olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Spread onto a cookie sheet and roast in oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan a few times while in the oven so that the sprouts brown evenly. 

Serve warm. Add salt and pepper to taste. These are also delicious sprinkled with some goat cheese. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

Garlicky Broccoli


I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

I grew up disliking most vegetables (sadly potatoes don't count as veggies). Brussel sprouts, gag. Green beans, gross. Asparagus, you couldn't even bribe me with hollandaise sauce. But broccoli was something I was always happy to eat. 

Thankfully my taste buds have matured a bit  a lot, and I'm much more adventurous with my veggies. (I still have a hard time with the asparagus, despite my desire to like them). 

What I've found with vegetables is that it's all in the preparation. I've been forced to try foods that I thought I hated, but if it's cooked the right way, anything can be delicious. 

While this broccoli dish is simple, it's totally fool proof. It works great as a side dish, although I admit sometimes I'll eat just a big bowl of it for lunch. It's that good. After one bite, you want to eat all of it. 

If you have leftovers (doubtful), it works great cold as a flavorful addition to a tossed salad. 


1 head of broccoli
5 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of one lemon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Meanwhile, chop broccoli into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Add minced garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and toss until broccoli is coated. Lay broccoli out on a cookie sheet in a thin layer. Roast in oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy. When the broccoli is done, place in a serving bowl or tray and toss with lemon juice and zest. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Key Lime Pie in a Glass

I know it sounds too good to be true, but I promise you it's not. This drink literally tastes like a glass of creamy, limey dessert. This is the second green smoothie I've made that I've fallen in love with. I found the original recipe from the wonderful Sarah of My New Roots. (By the way, you should totally go check out her site. Every single thing she makes looks amazing!) I modified her recipe a bit to fit my own tastes, and I think it turned out fantastically.

This is a great breakfast smoothie to share with someone, especially since it's got a whole avocado as well as a cup of coconut milk and is quite filling. On the other hand, this is something I'd be completely happy to drink for dessert. I even shared this smoothie with a friend who has an extreme dislike for avocados, and she loved it anyway. So that's good news for those of you who may not particularly enjoy avocados. You can't taste them at all, they just help to make a rich and creamy drink.

Not only does this smoothie taste like a tropical island vacation, it also has such a lovely color. My brother keeps telling me I need to vary the color on my site and stop making so much green food, but I just can't help it!

I'll do my best to try to make something orange or purple or red next time!


1 avocado
2 limes, zest and juice
1-2 medium chunks of fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup coconut milk
3-5 leaves of fresh kale
2 frozen bananas
handful of ice cubes (optional)


Blend avocado, lime, ginger and coconut milk in food processor or blender until smooth (I use a Vitamix). Add kale and blend until combined. Add bananas and blend until smooth. If you prefer your smoothies to be a bit icier, add a few ice cubes until you reach the desired consistency. Pour into a pretty glass and drink your dessert.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Burgers with Guacamole and Red Beet Salad

It's been a long winter and a very cool spring so far this year, but it feels like the weather might finally be warming up. Eating outside during the summer is one of my favorite things to do, and I'm so excited to be making fresh meals to enjoy out on the patio again.

One of the easiest and most delicious summery meals is ham burgers with homemade guacamole, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, and a fresh salad. Lately I've become a bit obsessed with avocados because they are so versatile. They can be used in smoothies, ice cream, mousses, egg salads, deviled eggs, cakes and most importantly, guacamole.

My mom has been using these burger and guacamole recipes ever since I can remember, and I'm not exaggerating when I say they are the best versions I've ever had.

My favorite part of this meal is definitely the guac. I could eat it at any time of the day, even for breakfast. The way I make it is a bit spicy, but if you're not into that kind of thing, just scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before mixing it in. I also make mine without tomatoes because my brother can't eat them, but they are definitely a delicious addition. Throw in 3 cubed plum tomatoes if you so desire, and they will add a nice little burst of flavor and color.

I hope you enjoy this wonderfully simple (yet so unimaginably mouthwatering) meal!


(makes 6-8 servings)

2 pounds of grass fed beef
4-5 large cloves of garlic
~11/2-2 tsp kosher salt
~1 tsp ground pepper
1-2 T fresh (or dried) herbs, I use a combination of thyme, oregano and rosemary


1 large onion
1 package of button mushrooms
pure maple syrup (if desired)
coconut oil


Place all ingredients in a very large bowl and mix with hands until fully combined. Make into patties approximately 30 minutes before grilling. Grill (or pan fry) over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning over once after 4 or 5 minutes. Place a tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and sauté mushrooms for 10-15 minutes. Set aside. Add more coconut oil to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium high. Place onions in pan and drizzle about a teaspoon of pure maple syrup over them, cook until caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.

Adding the mushrooms and onions may take a bit of time, but they add so much flavor to the burgers that it's completely worth the extra effort.


5 ripe avocados
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeño, finely minced (take out seeds for a less spicy version)
3-4 large garlic cloves
11/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped


Halve avocados and remove the pits. Use a knife to score the flesh and scoop out with a spoon into a large bowl. Add the lime and lemon juice, onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro, and still until fully combined. Add salt and pepper, and add more to taste if necessary.

Fresh Salad with Red Beets:

fresh greens (spinach, romaine, etc.)
2-3 medium red beets, roasted in the oven for 40-50 minutes, peeled and sliced
goat cheese
fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano)
green or black olives


Toss and serve!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Citrus Kale Smoothie

I found this recipe a couple of days ago on thisrawsomeveganlife and switched it up a bit according to what ingredients I had on hand. I've made it every day since.

I've had green smoothies before that I wasn't too fond of, so I was unsure how this would turn out. I was pleased to find that this drink blows away all other green smoothies I've had.

It's packed with nutrients from fresh oranges, lemons and kale, and a nice little kick from a bit of ginger.


1 lemon, peeled
2 oranges, peeled
2 1/2 cups fresh kale
1 to 2 frozen bananas (depending on how sweet you want it to be)
chunk of fresh, peeled ginger (or a dash of ground ginger if you don't have any on hand)


Put the citrus fruit in a Vitamix or other powerful blender. It's important to use a high-powered blender, otherwise the kale will not be blended enough and you'll end up with little green pieces. Blend the fruit until it becomes juice. Add the kale and blend until completely incorporated, slowly moving up to high speed. Once completely combined, add the bananas and ginger and blend until combined. Add ice until you reach your desired consistency. I usually use about 2 cups.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Carrot Orange Juice

This morning I woke up in need of an energy (and immune system) boost. This juice was the perfect remedy. It's incredibly refreshing and is full of vitamins A and C. It's also good for your hair, skin and of course, your eyes.

I snapped this with my phone after already consuming
half of it, but next time I'll take better pictures!

This recipe makes more than enough for 2 people, depending on how much you plan to drink. I used a very large glass for myself with enough left over for two more normal servings. One thing I love about this drink is that it not only gets you started on a helping of vegetables and fruit, but it fills you up too! 

I use a Vitamix for juicing, so all the fiber isn't lost. 


4-5 large oranges, peeled and separated
3 medium carrots, chopped into chunks
1 tsp lemon juice
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup water


Place the orange pieces into the Vitamix, a couple at a time, and slowly turn the machine to high until the oranges become liquified. Add in the chunks of carrot, again, a couple at a time, until completely incorporated. Next, add the lemon juice, cinnamon and water and blend for a few seconds. Depending on how thick you want your juice to be, you may want to add another 1/4 cup of water or so. 

That's all there is to it, folks! This is the kind of juice you could make daily because of its simplicity and tastiness.