Category Archives: food and gather

Meal Prep vol 2

Meal Prep | Vol. 2

When it comes to meal prepping, I’m learning that this post serves as an anchor point and sign post for the adulting ways of life. If I fail to meal prep, life is at a crazed pace to the point of missing meals for lengths of time. Yesterday I went from meeting to meeting and emails, finally realizing I had survived through a simple principle of fasting. (Not a great option.) This morning I woke up at 6 AM solely knowing it was time to prep. This week’s prep started mid-week using the leftover items in my refrigerator. I can’t tell you how much I love this meal plan for that very reason. It’s a rare skill to know how to eat down your pantry and create a week’s worth of meals from leftover groceries. The weather around here has turned cold and I’m looking forward to the healthier versions of the comfort food this week’s menu provides.

Keep reading for this week’s menu after the jump!

Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Sausage Meatballs by Against All Grain

stuffed acorn squash Stuffed Acorn Squash with Apple Sausage Quinoa 

Filled with delicious apple, chicken sausage, and quinoa, it truly tastes like thanksgiving in a quick bite. (Not to mention that stuffing is my favorite part of Thanksgiving and I love this lighted up take for a weekday option.)

Sausage Kale Power Bowls From The Healthy Foodie

By replacing these with chicken sausage, adding baby kale, some sweet potatoes, and quinoa makes it perfect for lunch. Keep the kale out and add an egg white for a yummy lean breakfast hash packed with protein.

Lentil Falafel from A Pinch of Yum (for Lunches in Bowls and Wraps)

One Skillet Lemon Butter Chicken and Orzo from Half Baked Harvest

Sweet potato fries & paleo buffalo chicken with ranch (all the ranch and buffalo from Against All Grain‘s Celebrations, on Kindle for 2.99!)

Cost: Leftover and pantry items from last week (Free!!)

What are you eating this week?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

coffee setup

Our Coffee Setup

There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning. It’s a skill that takes a bit of time and investment, but can save $1000s a year over going to a coffee shop. Last weekend, I shared a few Instagram stories about an at-home coffee setup. Today I thought I’d share the details full post. These items are a bit of an investment, but you’ll get great espresso without spending investing in a $600 machine. A true win.

For the coffee lover, keep reading for the best setup after the jump!

Bonavita Variable Temperature Gooseneck Kettle: When it comes to sourcing a kettle, our choice was simple. I wanted a gooseneck kettle that could hold a specific temperature for up to an hour. This allows coffees and teas to properly bloom rather than being scorched by boiling water. (Based on the coffee roast you’re using, the temperature will vary slightly.)

Aeropress Coffee and Espresso Maker: We can’t recommend the Aeropress enough. It’s portable, compact, and makes delicious espresso. By pairing with the Prismo below, it creates a phenomenal vacuum and pressure, lending itself to the head and foam you get on a typical shot. If espresso isn’t your thing, this can also make Americanos and delicious cups of coffee as well.

Manual Conical Burr Mill: The grind and freshness of coffee is just as important as the coffee itself. By using a burr mill you’ll be able to calibrate your grind for your specific application. We love this one due to it’s portable nature and how quiet it is to use. (No worrying about waking up little ones or roommates here!)

Prismo by Fellow Products: When your Aeropress finds it’s forever friend. The Prismo attachment from Fellow products is truly phenomenal. With a metal filter, you’re able to say farewell to the paper filters used typically by an Aeropress and instead find the best espresso your press has ever yielded. At $20, we can’t recommend making this investment enough.

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gooseneck-kettle Aeropress
Grinder prismo

Looking for more coffee inspiration? Get started with the recipes below.
Lavender Cold Brew
Honey Lavender Latte
Holiday Spice Cold Brew
Meet the Coffee Soda
How to Make the Perfect Pour Over
Iced Lavender Dirty Chai

How do you make coffee at home? Any tips or tricks?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

meal prep vol 1

Introducing Meal Prep

Over the past month, we’ve been brainstorming ways to breathe new life back into content. With the new year came new resolutions, goals, and moving forward. One of these was simply to meal prep food every weekend for the week ahead. Over the past two weeks, Sunday nights have been spent adulting, catching up on laundry and meal prepping for the week ahead.

I live in the tension of creating inspirational content and the practical. Here’s the honest truth. For the past two years, if it weren’t for the salad section at Trader Joe’s I might have starved. Outside of recipe testing and planning gatherings for the blog, I eat simple foods that are on the go. This column will serve as menus that are practical and highlight some of our favorite healthy recipes from other food bloggers as well.

Find the full plan after the jump!

Meal Prep: Vol 1

winter kale soup Soups
Winter Kale Soup

Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili by What’s Gaby Cookin
(We froze this one in individual servings to stretch the food.)

Salads
Modern Greek Mediterranean Salad
Cook ahead chicken for salads with lemon, olive oil, garlic (Cook extra for lentils and carrots). Sear in skillet. Meanwhile, rough chop, red pepper, cucumber, and place kalamata olives. Add chicken, kale and sundried tomatoes to containers. Before eating add dressing and goat cheese.

Pesto Caprese Quinoa Salad by What’s Gaby Cookin

Kale Tahini Caesar by Loveleaf Co

Entrees
Green Chicken Curry with Cauliflower Rice
We saved a bit of time and stretched a jarred sauce from Trader Joes with this one. Adding sweet potatoes, diced tomatoes, green beans, chicken, and red pepper, this dish is hearty and filling. Serve over fresh sauteed cauliflower rice.

roasted carrots and lentils
Roasted Carrots and Lentils with Chicken

Sauces
Dairy Free Pesto by Loveleaf Co

Additional prep

Cook extra quinoa to add to salads and place everything in glass containers to go.

Total budget (for mostly organic ingredients): $62.97
Total meal prep time: 3 hours with cleanup

Looking for more Meal Prep Inspiration? Follow our board on Pinterest.

Do you do meal prep for the week ahead? Any favorite recipes you’d like to share?

We’d love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

no knead rosemary sea salt bread

No Knead Rosemary Sea Salt Bread

Aaah. The year 30. When one comes of this age, there’s always the certain things that come with the territory. Recently a friend sent me a simple Buzzfeed article where the headline simply read “30 Things to Do Before You’re 30.” On the list, I found many items that I had already accomplished and yet there were others to check off the list. One of the items was to own a dutch oven. Initially, it felt odd. Why was owning a dutch oven a thing, seen as a rite of passage? However after owning one, now I fully understand. From braising and slow cooking meats to stews and soups, it’s the one kitchen appliance that’s been on repeat on a weekly basis. Recently I stumbled upon a recipe for dutch oven bread. I must admit,  I was initially skeptical.  With a bit of testing, during meal prep last week, I opted to make a loaf of rosemary sea salt bread. It came out perfectly and was so easy to make. With a bit of planning ahead, this no-knead recipe is fool proof. If you’re finding yourself stuck inside with cold and snowy days, make sure to try this recipe.

Keep reading for the full recipe after the jump!

Rosemary Sea Salt Bread

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a large bowl, sift together flour, sea salt, rosemary, and yeast together. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Attach a dough hook to the mixer. Add water, mix until the dough is combined. After mixing for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and see that the dough is combined. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let sit on the counter overnight.

The following day, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. While oven is preheating, place the dutch oven inside. Meanwhile, on a flat surface, flour the dough and form into a round. Place dough into the bottom of the dutch oven. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove lid and bake for 15 min until loaf is golden brown. Remove from oven. Allow to cool and place on cooling rack. Serve alongside soups, stews, or our favorite, a slice of irish buttered toast with a latte macchiato.

Looking for additional recipes for your dutch oven? Find inspiration below.

Turkey Breast with Burnt Citrus and Herbs
Braised Lamb Shank with Cauliflower Puree
WInter Kale Soup
Braised Chicken with Lemon, Shallots, and Thyme

Gluten Free Chocolate Buttercream Cake

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

When it comes to gluten free cake, it takes the right mixture of ingredients to get the proportions and baking just right. With any chocolate cake the importance of a good and moist cake is found in the proper moisture in addition to the cocoa powder. With a touch of espresso and healthy substitutions of applesauce in the place of oil, this cake is delicious and the perfect dessert for any winter occasion.

Keep reading for the full post after the jump!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

Serves 8, 2 layers

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 1/2 C King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 C dark cocoa
  • 2 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t xanthan gum
  • 2/3 c applesauce
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 C coffee, extra for moistening cake prior to frosting
  • 2 t organic vanilla extract

For the vanilla buttercream:

  • 1/3 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T unsweetened almond milk

For decoration:

    • 1 pt organic blueberries
    • 2 sprigs rosemary buttercream
    • powdered sugar, extra


Directions.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 8″ round pans and line the bottom with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. Place eggs, coffee, vanilla, and applesauce into mixing bowl. Beat well. Blend in the dry ingredients 1 C at a time, beating for one minute and scraping the bottom and the side of the bowl after each addition. Once all ingredients have been added, beat on medium-high for 2 minutes to make an extra smooth batter. Pour batter into pans. Bake the cakes for 30 to 33 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, prior to turning out of the pan to cool completely on a rack.

While cakes are cooling, mix together frosting. Begin by creaming butter and adding powdered sugar. Add salt, vanilla extract and almond milk. Mix on medium high until a thick consistency for icing.

To assemble cake, remove parchment from each round. Using a serrated knife, trim the top of your first round so it is level rather than doomed in the center. Place round on large plate, cake plate, or a wooden round. (With winter themed decorations, we used a thick wooden round slab.) Using a pastry brush, brush on coffee to add any needed moisture to the cake. Spoon on buttercream icing and spread with flat rounded spatula. Add the second round of cake. Brush on additional coffee and allow to soak in for 10 minutes. Spoon icing on top and spread with an even layer. Using the excess icing, complete a skim coat of buttercream on the sides allowing the chocolate cake to peek through, offering the perfect naked cake appearance. Top with three rounds of blueberries in a thin crescent and sprigs of rosemary. Using a mesh tea ball, dust with powdered sugar giving this winter cake the perfect flocked look.