Avocado and Beet Salad + Core Bamboo

07/08/2014

beets-avocado-salad

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avocado-beet-salad

avocado-beet-salad

Hi friends! Long time no see! This has been such a hectic time in my life, let me tell ya. If you follow along on Instagram (@saltedcrown) I made a brief mention that we have been in the process of building a house and moving!! It’s been an incredibly exciting/crazy/busy/stressful/fun time for us. On top of that, I recently had my very best friend visiting for a couple of weeks and then my family came to visit for a few weeks after that. I decided to take some time off from the blog so that I could spend some quality time with them since I only see them 1-2 times a year. Hope y’all understand. ;) Anway, I’m BACK and ready to roll!

First of all this salad…oh mercy. It’s fantastic. Are you a beet lover? I feel like you either love them or hate them. I used to be on the side of the fence that thought they were slimy, weird, and something only old people ate (not sure where I got that notion but just go with it). I’ve since experimented with them and found out they’re pretty darn tasty! I’m telling you, it’s amazing how many things you can end up liking if it’s prepared the right way. When in a salad and paired with the right ingredients, they add such wonderful flavor and texture, not to mention all the nutritional benefits that beets have to offer. They’re rich in antioxidants and fiber and also have anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits as well.  This salad is seriously one of the easiest ones I’ve ever made and it’s so delicious. It’s definitely one you’ll want to keep handy for quick meals or simply to impress dinner guests with your culinary skills. We’ll just keep it our little secret how simple it really is to make. ;)

I also recently had the privilege to team up with Core Bamboo. They have such amazing products to offer and it’s all so well made. After using their products, it’s clear that I’ll be a big supporter of them for a loooonog time. Not only do the products photograph beautifully, they are so well made! They’re simplistic yet chic and I simply cannot get enough of them. Click on the links below to check out all the products they offer!

1/2 c. cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado, cubed
3 small beets, roasted until fork tender
spring mix
1/4 red onion, sliced
cilantro, for topping (optional)

For Dressing:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt
juice of 1/2 small lemon

Peel and slice beets.
Slice onion according to size preference.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and lemon juice.
In a large bowl, add the spring mix (thoroughly washed) and cooked quinoa.
Top with avocado cubes, sliced onion, and sliced beets.
Toss salad in dressing.
Top with cilantro.
Enjoy!

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avocado-beet-salad

avocado-beet-salad

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bamboo plate – gift from my dear brother – similar here | c/o Core Bamboo - salad servers | bowl | salt + pepper shakers | mortar + pestle |
shirt – JCrew – similar here


Chocolate Chia Cookies

05/12/2014

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chocolate-chia-cookies

chocolate-chia-cookies

Would it be wrong to say that I could eat cookies for every meal of every day for the rest of forever? Cookies are the way to my heart (aka my stomach). If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right. I would love to wake up every single morning to a plate of freshly baked cookies without the guilt of all the sugar and calories that eating 342087495 cookies would do. A couple of cookies for breakfast, about 4 for lunch, and 3 or 4 for supper would do me just fine. Let’s be real though. Cookies unfortunately are not known for having fantastic nutritional value. I would love to say I have a cookie here that would fill all your nutritional needs throughout the day (who WOULDN’T want that?!), but I have something that would make you feel quite a bit less guilty about eating more than one at a time. Not only does the recipe contain ingredients that are super good for you, they taste amazinggggggg.

I had a handwritten recipe laying around for forever it seems and I put my own twist on it. Instead of adding an egg, I used a chia “egg”. If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s a dairy free substitution that works just like an egg would (directions for making them in the ingredient list below)! Also, the batter for the cookies is so good that you might want to use it for a fruit dip or you just grab a spoon and go to town, which is my preferred option. These cookies are so good and so satisfying, you’re guaranteed to run out of them REALLY quick. ;)

1 chia “egg” (1 tbsp. chia seeds + 2.5 tbsp. water; mix & let set for 5 minutes to activate)
1 c. blonde coconut sugar
1 c. White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips (for vegan cookies, use cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips)
1 tsp. ground flaxseeds
splash of vanilla coconut milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, make your chia “egg” and let it set.
In a mixer, add the coconut sugar, peanut butter, flaxseeds, baking soda, and chia “egg”.
Mix well.
If mixture is too dry, add a splash of coconut milk or your preferred milk and mix well.
Add in the chocolate chips and mix until combined well.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place scoopfuls of batter onto it.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Enjoy! :)

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chocolate-chia-cookies

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Stand Mixer - Kitchenaid | Measuring Cups – West Elm | Measuring Spoons – World Market | Ball Jars – Amazon | Shirt – J Crew


Kitchen Wishlist

04/23/2014

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Happy Wednesday! I hope y’all had a blessed Easter weekend. Our weekend was incredibly busy! It came and went so fast. I wish it could have lasted a while longer, though. Our church had a massive Easter egg hunt  that had close to 100,000 eggs and sky-diving Easter bunnies! The rest of the weekend was full of amazing church services and quality time spent with family.  It was incredible!

I keep gravitating back to kitchen things that I feel like I NEED in the kitchen. We’re in the process of building a new house and when you get a new house, in my opinion, you need new things for the kitchen. Obviously. Here are a  few more things I’ve had my eye on lately that would be a perfect addition to my kitchen collection.

Walnut & Maple Serving Boards – Sunny Afternoon | Oil & Vinegar Pitcher – Still House | Spotted Bowl – More & Co. | Tea Towel – Sunny Afternoon


Currently Loving

04/09/2014

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I’ve spent my time lately browsing on the internet for new things for our kitchen. How amazing are these items I’ve found?! I mean the spice grinders are to die for. They could look amazing in almost any kitchen! The mug is perfect for morning coffee and you can’t have coffee without an adorable wooden coffee  scoop.  It just wouldn’t taste as good I wouldn’t imagine. It’s a match made in Salted Crown heaven. Also, I’ll take one of each cutting board please. That is all…..for now!

Spice Grinders – House and Hold | Enamelware Mugs – West Elm | Coffee Scoop – Herriott Grace | Cutting Boards – Herriott Grace


Banana Bread

04/03/2014

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

This is my husband’s weakness. Fix him a loaf of banana bread and he’ll be one happy camper, that is, until it’s gone. If it were up to him, we’d always have a fresh loaf around at all times. I would love to make that happen more often but we can’t seem to keep bananas around the house long enough for them to turn really ripe. Sigh. I did manage to hide some bananas from him and once they start getting too speckle-y and brown, he won’t touch them. That, my friends, is how I finally managed to get a loaf made! If you follow me on Instagram (@saltedcrown), you would have seen the photo I posted of the fresh banana bread I had made to surprise my hubby with last night. He had to work late so I wanted to make something special for him while he was out. To win brownie points, I cleaned the kitchen, did the laundry, AND made banana bread for him. Score one for the wifey. I hadn’t originally planned on posting this recipe quite yet, but after such good feedback and comments from some of my sweet followers, I decided to go ahead and share it on the blog. This is a recipe that my sweet grandmother, better known as Meme, mailed to me when I moved away. She has always made the absolute best banana bread (I believe that woman can do no wrong in a kitchen) and I was so excited to finally get my hands on her recipe. I had been toying around with the idea of making a healthier, gluten free version and last night’s attempt was a complete success! I substituted quinoa flour for plain flour which gave it a more nutty flavor. I also substituted regular sugar for coconut sugar because, well, it’s coconut sugar. How could you not?

1 c. quinoa flour
2 eggs
1/2 c. Mazola oil
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. raw coconut sugar
1 tsp. organic vanilla
1/2 c. pecan pieces (I was out of pecans so I replaced it with slivered almonds)
3 really ripe organic bananas

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat eggs until they’re fluffy. Then add sugar, oil, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt with a fork.
Once well mixed, add to egg mixture.
Mash bananas with a fork until creamy and fold into mixture along with the pecans.
Bake in a loaf pan that has been greased and floured.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
Be careful not to overcook – Lower temperature in oven if it begins to get too brown.
(I baked mine for 30 minutes at 350 degrees then lowered the temp. to 325 and baked 5 more minutes.)
Enjoy! :)

Plate – Anthropologie | Gold Utensils – West Elm | Pot Holder – West Elm


White Peach and Chia Seed Spread

04/01/2014

 White Peach and Chia Seed Spread

White Peach and Chia Seed Spread

White Peach and Chia Seed Spread

I’ve done it again, y’all. I feel like I should change the blog name from “Salted Crown” to “Happy Accidents” with the way things have been going lately. I was piddling around in the kitchen thinking I was making a peach jam and I was so stinkin’ excited about it. I just knew deep down in my soul that it was going to be so amazing that everyone would fall in love with it. People all over the world would hear about how magnificent this jam was. I would be contacted by the owners of Smuckers and they would say,”Hey, you totally have this jam making stuff down, girl. You make it way better than we do so why don’t you come run our company for us?” Obviously I would take them up on that and we’d all live happily ever after. Well, okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but hey, I was just trying to be optimistic. It’s time I get back to what actually happened. I’m making the jam, it’s smelling amazing, it’s tasting amazing, but something’s a little…off. The consistency wasn’t nearly what I had imagined. When I think of jam, I think of a thinner, more runny consistency that just drips off of toast and makes a mess in the best way possible. I had never had a jam like this, that’s for sure…and it turned out to be a good thing! I would not consider this a jam but more of a spread. My initial name for this was going to be “White Peach and Chia Seed ‘Applesauce’ Jam” but I thought that was borderline ridiculous because no one can remember a name that long. It does describe this perfectly, though. It’s great on an English muffin, toast, or a warm, fluffy biscuit. When eaten alone, it has an applesauce consistency which makes for a fantastic snack (my recommendation). I’m eating it straight out of the jar as I type this and I can’t seem to stop. SO GOOD!

5 white peaches
2 tbsp. maple syrup (or agave)
3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

Cut white peaches and remove pits.
Place cut peaches into a food processor or blender and pulse until you reach your desired consistency.
Transfer peach mixture into a pan and mix in maple syrup, sugar, and chia seeds.
Cook over medium/high heat until it begins to simmer. Lower heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Let cool before storing.
Enjoy however you wish! :)

White Peach and Chia Seed Spread

White Peach and Chia Seed Spread

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Flourless Fudge Brownie

03/17/2014

Flourless Fudge Brownie

Flourless Fudge Brownie

Flourless Fudge Brownie

I would consider this recipe a “happy accident” if you will. My original plan was to make flourless chocolate cookies. Sounds rather simple, right? Well obviously I made it much harder than it needed to be. I got all the ingredients out and started the process. The batter looked amazing, tasted amazing, and the kitchen SMELLED amazing while the cookies were were baking. Unfortunately, they turned out absolutely ridiculous. I debated on getting our neighbor to play frisbee with me with one of the cookies. It was that bad. I had a bowl of leftover batter and it just seemed waaaay too good to just throw out and give up. Now I don’t give up on a recipe easily so I knew that I had to salvage this batter and make something delicious out of it. I mean, while the cookies were baking, I heard my husband from the living room say several times,”dang babe! That smells INCREDIBLE! I can’t wait to try it!” I just simply answered,”yep…uh, it should be good…” while in my head frantically trying to come up with a way to keep this situation from turning into a total disaster. Please tell me I’m not the only one here who’s been in this kind of predicament. Oh, you too? Good, I don’t feel so alone now. Anyway, I got the bright idea to just pour the batter into dish and make one big cookie/brownie/frisbee and just see what would come of it. About thirty minutes later, out of the oven came one of the most magnificent desserts I’ve ever indulged in. I don’t know if there are even words to describe how fantastically fantastic that tasted. It turned out so stinkin’ good that I honestly could not believe that it came out of my oven! What?! I mean, it took all the self control I had in my body not to do a total face plant into the dish. OH. MY. WORD. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops how delightful this dessert was! The top was glossy and slightly cracked. Under that was the most warm, gooey, fudgy, brownie goodness that has ever hit my tastebuds. I couldn’t stop myself. I could talk about it for dayssssss……

2 1/2 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 c. organic light brown sugar
2 pinches sea salt
4 large egg whites
1 tbsp. organic vanilla extract
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. milk chocolate bar, chopped
3/4 c. cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and salt.
Stir in vanilla and egg whites and whisk until the batter is moist.
Add in chopped chocolate.
Grease a brownie pan/dish.
Pour batter into dish and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until top is glossy and lightly cracked and the center is gooey.
Enjoy! (and trust me, you will enjoy!!)

Flourless Fudge Brownie

Flourless Fudge Brownie

Flourless Fudge Brownie

Pot Holder – IKEA | Spoon – West Elm | Whisk – West Elm


Banana Lemon Tart

03/05/2014

Banana Lemon Tart

Banana Lemon Tart

Banana Lemon Tart

Sometimes I like to be boring. I’m a self-proclaimed creature of habit actually. I know what I like and how I like it. Instead of venturing out of my little “food comfort zone”, I like to eat the same things in different ways (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you though. You’ve probably picked up on that already.) If I like something, I stick with it. I’m loyal to my favorites. I can’t help myself. Sometimes, though, I have rare moments of bravery where I venture out into the unknown. This time, I went for something that’s popular (and quite frankly, I’m somewhat afraid of) –VEGAN COOKING. Let’s all take a moment to let that soak in. Yep, it happened. Am I now vegan? No way, Jose. I couldn’t do that to myself. I have a hard time of letting go to my beloved foods such a dairy, meat, and all things non-vegan. For all those who are, you ROCK! It takes a lot of will power to give up those certain types of foods so y’all have my utmost respect!  For real. This was an attempt to create a tart, and honestly, I think it turned out pretty darn good! At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to call it. My husband tried it and he agreed that a tart would be the most accurate description of it. Hope y’all like it! 

 Now, since this is my first go at this type of recipe, be gentle. I’m still learning! :)

3/4 c. tapioca flour
3/4 c. raw cane sugar
1/4 c. coconut oil, softened
1/4 tsp. salt
2 small bananas, mashed
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 grapefruit

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix together coconut oil and sugar.
Add in mashed bananas and mix well.
Mix in grapefruit juice and lemon zest.
Mix in flour and salt.
Pour into a greased or lined 8×8 brownie pan (or something similar) and bake for about 25 minutes.
**Optional: can make a crust for the tart (I didn’t get that adventurous) and can add ice cream or “nice cream” of choice :)
Enjoy!

Banana Lemon Tart

Banana Lemon Tart

Banana Lemon Tart

 

Mortar and Pestal – West Elm | Glass Beaker – West Elm | Ceramic Plate – Target


Baked Egg with Polenta and Prosciutto

03/02/2014

Baked Egg with Polenta and Proscuitto

Baked Egg with Polenta and Prosciutto

Baked Egg with Polenta and Prosciutto

Doesn’t that name just sound all fancy? Saying it makes me feel all sophisticated and what not. I feel like I should be in some elegant dining room admiring fine china on display while a guy in a cute little tux and an accent is serving this meal to guests on a silver platter. Okay, maybe not quite that fancy, but you catch my drift. Maybe it’s the prosciutto that gives it that fancy feeling. Who knows. Maybe I’m just being a weirdo who gets over excited about experimenting with new ingredients. That’s probably a little more accurate. Either way, the recipe is doggone delicious. The combination of ingredients is out of this world. It’s so good, in fact, that you might even catch yourself singing,”Glory, glory HALLELUJAH!” after taking bite number one. It could happen… You’d actually be surprised at just how easy it is to make, which you know is the way I roll around here. You will also notice that I didn’t go too specific with measurements of ingredients because honestly, I didn’t measure much. I fit as much of each ingredient in my ramekins as I would want to eat. For example, I LOVE cheese. Therefore, I made sure I had plenty of extra room for more cheese. Hopefully that makes sense.

Now whip out your best foreign accent and get out your silver platter because this is a recipe you’re going to want to serve to folks.

sliced prepared polenta, about 1/2 in. thick (or substitute with prepared grits-either way is magnificent)
thinly sliced prosciutto
shredded cheese (I used a four cheese blend – Asiago, Fontina, Parmesan, and Provolone)
organic purple kale, shredded
sea salt
pepper
organic brown eggs
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lightly spray ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
Place two polenta slices in each ramekin.
Next add some kale on top.
Take one slice of prosciutto per ramekin and layer on top of the kale.
Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese.
Crack an egg on top.
Season with sea salt and pepper.
Top with more cheese.
To stabilize ramekins while cooking, place on baking sheet and cook for about 18 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.
Let cool slightly before eating.
Enjoy!

Baked Egg with Polenta and Prosciutto

Baked Egg with Polenta and Prosciutto

Baked Egg with Polenta an Prosciutto

 

Ramekins – Bobby Flay | Measuring Cups – West Elm - similar here | Cutting Board – IKEA


Kale & Pesto Flatbread

01/23/2014

Kale & Pesto Flatbread

Kale & Pesto Flatbread

Ever had one of those days where the LAST thing you feel like doing when you get home is to cook? I definitely fall victim to that on occasion/once a week. It often would be so much easier just to go grab some takeout, put your feet up, and call it a day. The times I have fallen captive to this situation are always followed by a tummy ache, regret, and mourning over the loss of leftovers in the refrigerator. It never ends good. Next time you feel like that could be your evening, just say no to that greasy pizza. It’ll make you really fat anyway (totally just kidding. It helps me say no when I tell myself that. Whatever works, ya know?) Your new quick and easy dinner option: flatbread! It’s so pizza-like it’s not even funny. Also, this one comes grease free and you never have to leave the house. WIN.

The other night, I was unsure of what I wanted to make for supper. As I began my usual,”I forgot to meal plan. What the heck am I going to cook tonight?!”, I just decided to get creative. It’s so much fun to use what you have at home and end up with something better than you expected! I happened to have flatbread pitas that I had originally purchased for fajitas, some leftover pesto, and some frozen fire roasted corn. Put it all together and boom, new favorite recipe! And I know, I know, I’m back at that kale stuff again.Starting to see a pattern here? I mean obviously I can’t seem to deviate from recipes without it lately or so it seems. I just can’t stay away. It’s a good problem though, right? I mean, it definitely could be worse. I could be obsessively stuffing my face with white chocolate chips while no one is looking (which may or may not have happened also, but that’s neither here nor there). This time I’m using it as a flatbread topping. Oh yes, it’s just as good as it sounds. This flatbread will knock your socks off it’s so good. The corn and sauteed onions give it a slightly sweeter taste which is never a bad thing if you ask me. It’s way better than that ole greasy takeout pizza anyway. :)

Whole wheat flat bread pita
Parmesan & Romano cheese blend, shredded
Asaigo cheese, grated
1/4 of a sweet onion, chopped
1 c. fire roasted corn (I found this in the freezer section at Whole Foods)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing onto flatbread
1/2 c. kale, chopped
basil pesto

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet, add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Saute chopped onion until golden brown.
Add in frozen corn and cook until corn softens.
Brush some olive oil onto flatbread.
Brush pesto onto flatbread.
Top with cheeses.
Add sauteed onions and roasted corn.
Finish with adding kale to top.
Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until flatbread is a golden brown and kale is slightly crisp.
Enjoy!

*side note: if you need to alter amounts of ingredients, totally go for it. I made enough for 2 pitas so if you make more, add more of the toppings!*

Kale & Pesto Flatbread

Kale & Pesto Flatbread

Kale & Pesto Flatbread

 

Cheese Grater Box – West Elm – similar here & here | Basting Brush – West Elm | Cutting Board - IKEA