açaí bowls

My husband has been on a serious açaí bowl kick lately, and to be honest, I'm not complaining! They're refreshing, delicious, and packed full of healthy ingredients like açaí (duh!), nuts, seeds, and other fruit! The options are pretty endless, but a good place to start is with some high quality, unsweetened açaí, either puréed and frozen or freeze-dried and powdered. The recipe for our go-to version is listed below, but feel free to play around with your favorite superfoods! We love including chia seeds, matcha powder, coconut flakes, and almond butter for a healthy, yet satisfying treat. While artfully arranging the toppings over your smoothie is not necessary, it sure does make for a pretty darn beautiful breakfast or snack! PS- Make sure you go follow my husband's catering company, Beck & Call, as well as his soon-to-be casual eatery Scratch BK, for more delicious eats!

Açaí Bowls:

  • 2 packs açaí purée, frozen
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 cup mixed berries, frozen
  • 2 cups milk of choice (we like coconut or almond)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • honey or agave nectar, to taste
  • toppings: fresh raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, bananas, coconut flakes, granola, almond butter, matcha powder, chia seeds, hemp hearts, flax seeds, etc.

Blend everything together in a high-powered blender, like a Vitamix. You're going for a thick smoothie consistency, so that it can be eaten with a spoon. Scatter desired toppings across the bowl. Enjoy! Makes two bowls.

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honey hi

that grain bowl // breakfast bowl

For a cute little brunch or lunch spot in Echo Park, you really can't beat Honey Hi. Their focus on nutritional integrity and sustainability really comes through in each fresh and vibrant dish. Just look at those colors! I love that they value collaborations with local farmers and artisans (organic and locally-sourced produce is used whenever possible), and the menu changes with what's available seasonally at the farmers markets. While the entire menu is inherently gluten-free, they believe in "radical inclusivity", meaning it is not vegan, vegetarian, or any one thing in particular. Honey Hi serves organic, humanely-raised animals and eggs from local farms, but you won't find any refined sugars, GMO's, or vegetable oils in any of their dishes. Basically, you can feel really good about eating here, and your body will definitely thank you for nourishing it with such high quality, delicious eats. There's truly something for everyone here, but so far I definitely recommend "that grain bowl" (I die for the cinnamon roasted sweet potatoes, za'atar tahini sauce & cashew buckwheat dukkah!), and I know my husband would go nuts for the "lambwich" (with grilled halloumi, turmeric pickled onions & date tamarind chutney). Yum! There are tons of tasty drinks here too- from pitaya smoothies to bone broth to medicinal 'shroom coffee, the options are endless. Don't skip out on the grain-free chocolate chip cookie for the perfect sweet ending!  


black rice & winter vegetable salad

I know the majority of recipes I post here are sweets, but I promise I do actually eat healthy things too! A lot of them, to be honest! While my husband is obviously the better chef in the family, I love to cook as well, just on a much simpler scale. My go-to savory dishes are easy and nutritious, and I typically prepare a lot of the components ahead of time, and make extra, so that I can just throw everything into a bowl and dig in! These bowls usually involve seasonal vegetables (roasted, shaved, etc.), whole grains of some sort (homemade bread or quinoa), a protein (likely chicken or legumes), and a good dressing (tahini or avocado-based). Various textural components, like nuts or sees, add a nice crunch as well. This one was being served as a side dish to meat and other dishes, so I kept this vegan and gluten free! There are a million ways to mix it up, so feel free to use whatever tastes good and is available to you!

Black Rice & Roasted Winter Vegetable Salad:

  • 2 cups black rice, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 4 sprigs thyme, separated
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  • 3 cups Brussels Sprouts, rooted & halved
  • 1 celery root, peeled & cubed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 blood orange, segmented

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp honey (or agave syrup)
  • 1 tsp blood orange zest
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Topping:

  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 blood orange, segmented
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup micro-greens

Preheat oven to 450 F. Cook rice according to package instructions, seasoning the cooking liquid with salt, pepper, bay leaves and 2 sprigs thyme, until just al dente. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems. Spread out on sheet tray to cool completely, topping with chives and seasoning with salt & pepper to taste.

Drizzle sweet potatoes, 2 cups of Brussels sprouts (reserving one cup), and celery root with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Shave remaining cup of Brussels sprouts on a mandolin, and add to the rice. Add bell pepper, pumpkin seeds, blood orange segments, and the cooled roasted veggies to the rice mixture.

Whisk together all dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add to rice mixture, and stir to combine. Top with extra pumpkin seeds, blood orange segments, chives, and micro-greens. Enjoy!


chocolate beet cake with pistachio brittle

I love pretty much anything and everything involving chocolate. I also love beets. Now, I know what you're thinking: Beets in a dessert? Really!? But trust me on this one. The beet purée gives this cake a super moist crumb and rich texture, while the flavor remains über chocolatey. It's seriously decadent and oh-so indulgent, making it the perfect dessert for Valentine's Day, or any other date night! To top off this tasty cake, I add some sweet and crunchy pistachio brittle. I make mine with honey, so it's more like a cross between candied pistachio and brittle, but without the hassle of corn syrup or a candy thermometer! Add a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche, and you have yourself a seriously delicious dessert! Bonus points for sneaking in a vegetable too! Keep in mind, you can also make this cake ahead of time, as it tastes even better (if that's possible!?) the next day once it's had a chance to fully set. Enjoy!

Chocolate Beet Cake with Pistachio Brittle:

Cake:

  • 2 large beets, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso or coffee
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut meal/flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 1 cup coconut sugar

Brittle:

  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 cup raw pistachios
  • flaky salt, to taste

Toppings:

  • confectioner's sugar
  • ground pistachios
  • pistachio brittle
  • whipped cream or crème fraîche

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter (or use non-stick spray) an 8 1/2 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter the paper as well.

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add two large beets and cook for about 45 minutes until tender. Run under cold water, and remove the skin with your hands. Process beets in food processor until smooth. You will need 1 cup of purée.

In a large bowl set over a sauce pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate. Once it’s almost all melted, turn off the heat, but leave the bowl over the warm water. Pour in the espresso and vanilla extract, stirring once, then add the butter and coconut oil. Leave bowl over hot water, and allow mixture to soften without stirring.

Sift together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Remove the bowl of chocolate from the heat and stir until everything is incorporated. Let sit a few minutes to cool, then whisk egg yolks into the melted chocolate mixture. Stir in the beet purée.

Add coconut sugar to a clean food processor, and pulse a few times until sugar is very fine. In a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until stiff. Gradually fold the sugar into the whipped egg whites with a spatula, then fold this into the melted chocolate mixture. Last, fold in the dry ingredients. Careful not to overmix!

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and reduce the heat of the oven to 325ºF. Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until the sides are just set but the center looks a bit underdone. Do not overbake! Let cake cool completely, then remove it from the pan.

While the cake bakes, make the pistachio brittle. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and honey. Let cook until sugar is dissolved. Add pistachios and stir to combine. Turn the heat up to medium high, and cook for another couple of minutes until the syrup evenly coats the pistachios and has thickened. Pour pistachios onto a parchment-lined sheet tray, spreading into an even layer. Top with flaky sea salt. Let cool completely until it hardens (about 1 hour), then break into pieces. You may make the brittle ahead of time, and store in an airtight container once fully cooled and hardened. 

To serve, dust confectioner's sugar and ground pistachios over the entire cake and top with big pieces of pistachio brittle. Slice and serve each piece with a dollop of whipped cream. Enjoy!


*Adapted from "Extremely Moist Chocolate Beet Cake" from Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater.

**Check out Britt and her recipe featured on Garance Doré. Photos by Pia Moore.

**Substitutions: To make this cake dairy-free, substitute the butter for more coconut oil. This cake is gluten-free as written, and you may choose to use all hazelnut meal or all coconut flour if desired, however the texture may be slightly different. You may also substitute all-purpose flour for both flours listed if preferred. You can use granulated sugar in place of coconut sugar as well. My choices are based on personal taste and flavor preference.

 
 

whip it good

 
 

Everyone knows I'm a sugar addict, and while I don't really restrict my sweet tooth (for the most part), I do love finding slightly healthier ways to indulge it from time to time. Let's be real, endless desserts full of processed sugar, flour, and butter do not make you feel great, and are not great for your waistline. I was super pumped to find this gem of a place while vacationing in Sydney, Australia. Whip It Good is a vegan ice cream bar in the heart of Bondi Beach, serving some seriously tasty coconut-based soft serve. Their ice cream and toppings are free of gluten, grains, lactose, and dairy, and most are kosher as well! I know some of you may be thinking- So, what does that leave? How could it still taste creamy and delicious? Trust me when I say both the standard Plain Jane coconut soft serve as well as the seasonally-rotating option are worth your time (and calories)! I fell in love with the turmeric soft serve- the deeply spiced and earthy flavor may not be for everyone, but it was definitely right up my alley. Both my husband and I went for the Banoffee Ya Face sundaes, complete with soft serve (I went turmeric base, while he went with the traditional coconut), toasted banana bread, and caramelized bananas. Oh. My. Gosh. It was literally heaven in a bowl, and I wish I could eat it again right now! Some of their other offerings were just as tempting- think chocolate donuts, caramel sauce, and toasted nuts! Yum! Here's hoping that Whip It Good opens a location stateside soon!

superfood balls

 

If you ever need something sweet, but don't want to indulge in a full-on dessert, these are a tasty, but healthy alternative. Whether it's an afternoon pick-me-up or an after dinner treat, there are great to have on hand and contain many superfoods like maca, chia seeds & cacao! Even better, they're super easy to make- just throw everything in the food processor, and that's it! Enjoy!

Superfood Balls:

  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 10)
  • 1/4 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Pulse all ingredients together in food processor until well combined. Roll into balls. Coat in extra coconut or cacao, if desired. Makes about 2 dozen balls. These store well in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days, or in the regrigerator for 7-10 days.