Posts in Snack
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

I could basically survive off of bread and cheese ( or some other form of wheat and dairy combination ) but we all know that’s rather unsustainable and can quickly become quite boring. Well, that is, if you’re only exploring the basics. Thankfully this recipe is quite a few steps beyond good old cheddar on crackers, but it remains in the same realm of quick, satisfying and delightful.

You can have this herbed yogourt + crackers on its own, but also keep it in your arsenal for the next time you have friends over. This recipe would make a great addition to a charcuterie board or as part of a tapas spread. Also, given that they have a similar acidity to plain yogourt, you could easily experiment with goat cheese or labneh for the base of this recipe if you’re craving something a little bit more spreadable.

 
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

A little bit about fennel

Fennel is one of those vegetables that people seem to either love or hate. The bulb has a slight anise-like flavor which I personally find quite refreshing when it’s eaten shaved and raw. It becomes milder as it cooks, so if you’re on the fence about trying fennel, I’d say start with a recipe where it’s cooked like this one or this one.

The fronds on the other hand can be quite stringy and tough, like a celery stick but denser, so I prefer cutting it against the grain whenever possible. The wispy fronds also hold a bit of licorice-like flavor, but in a somewhat subdued form which is perfect for today’s recipe.

 
 
Fennel Fronds + Herbs Yogourt - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

THE RECIPE


MAKES 2 CUPs

1 C fennel fronds, minced
6-8 large basil leaves
10-12 mint leaves
Small bunch of parsley
½-¾ C plain yogourt
Salt

30 ROAST + 10 min PREP

  1. Cut all your herbs, place them in a bowl

  2. Mix in yogourt + a good pinch of salt

  3. Cover and let sit in the fridge at least 15 minutes.

  4. Taste and adjust salt before serving with your favorite crackers or as part of a charcuterie board


more fennel recipes

Kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE Sponsored by riverbend Gardens


 

Bowls are quite fashionable right now. If you look at any foodie’s Instagram feed long enough (mine included) you will begin to see little pops of bowls everywhere. Breakfast bowls. Lunch bowls. Dinner bowls. Poke bowls. Bowls bowls bowls.

So, why am I trying to get you on the bus with me on this one? So we can be fashionable friends together? While that seems like an alluring proposition, and I’m all for fashionable friends, there’s more to it than that. Bowls to me are an easy way to get a variety of foods onto the table with very little effort. Laziness, my friend, is at the root of this one. You can call it strategic or even cleaver, but between you and I, I don’t have a million hours a week to put food on the table (and neither do you I assume). I’m also not willing to compromise on a simple principle. I want fresh food fast, not fast food.

 
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

How to build a bowl

My approach to bowls is a simple one. Start with what’s available right now. Sure we can get whatever we want from big box stores (or small local grocers) these days, but I like to start at the farmer’s market and look around to what’s available. Right now, there’s a myriad of produce available, because it’s the end of july, so you can easily pick a handful of produce that inspires you.

I try to aim for at least one green thing and then I add as many colors as I can.

From there I make sure there is a good source of protein & some fat so that I’m not hungry 5 minutes after I’m done eating. That could mean cheese, eggs, beans or leftovers from last night’s rotisserie chicken. Easy enough right?

It’s all in the dressing

One of the key ways to make a bowl taste divine, is to make sure that you have a tasty dressing. I suggest keeping on hand a couple of dressings (perhaps one oil-and-vinegar and one creamy style) that you really enjoy to make bowl making a breeze.

For this particular bowl I went with an Asian-inspired dressing made from sesame oil, tamari, and rice vinegar. it's one of the combinations that you find often in my cuisine (it’s the base for my ginger beef and sunomono salad) and it has all of the flavors that I enjoy. It's slightly salty, perfectly acidic and a good amount of umami.

 
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
kohlrabi, kale & carrot summer bowl - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

THE RECIPE


MAKES 2 bowls

2 eggs
2 medium carrots
1 baseball size kholrabi
1 bunch kale
3-4 garlic scapes
(or garlic cloves)
2 t butter
1 t sesame oil
1 t toasted sesame seeds
1 t black sesame seeds
 

Dressing

1/2 C labneh
1 T fresh mint, chopped
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 t himalayan salt
1 T avocado oil

15 min PREP

  1. Remove greens from kohlrabi and chop them in ribbons along with the kale (stems included)

  2. In a pan over medium heat, add half the butter.

  3. Chop the garlic scapes, add them to the pan. Stir until the scapes becomes fragrant.

  4. Then add the greens & 1 t sesame oil, stir and remove from heat.

  5. Peel and julienne the kohlrabi. Grate the carrots and place both in your bowls.

  6. Give one last stir to the greens and remove them from the pan into the bowls.

  7. Add the remaining butter and fry your egg to your desired doneness (scrambled worked well too).

  8. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl with a fork, then drizzle over your bowl.

  9. Top with egg & sesame seeds and enjoy!


more kohlrabi recipes

Roasted Beet + Berry Hummus
beet and haskap hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

The first time I had homemade hummus was in Montreal, standing in a friend’s kitchen as his mother began preparing the evening meal.

It was one of the first times in my life that I had experienced family life in a multi-generational home. There was tension, for sure, as everyone was grown up, had their own opinions and schedules. Yet, among all of these fine lines that needn't be crossed and unspoken rules, there was a sort of balance I had never felt before. A sense of deeply rooted belonging that permeated every word, every action and every dish.

Daily meals were prepared for twice as many people than there were sitting down at the table. It was understood and expected that a friend or family member might pop in, unannounced, to share the meal. There was always more than enough food to go around, and in the very unlikely occasion that food should run out, there was always a full pantry and capable hands ready to make more.

To me, this level of hospitality is heart expanding. It is one of the underlying notions of how I run my own kitchen today. In our home we jokingly say to our friends “It’s simple enough to add another stone to the soup. You are always welcome here”.

So, back to hummus.

Her’s was a traditional recipe, made of chickpeas, lemon, tahini & olive oil. She had been making this recipe long enough that her grandchildren, who were now adults were eating it. I couldn't help but think that part of the reason why her hummus was as bright as sunshine in the early morn', was that her hands were steeped in lemon from years and years of pressing.

 
haskap hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
beet hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

This recipe is something else altogether. While it still contains some of the soul and simplicity of the dip I tasted in my friend’s kitchen, it is vibrant in ways unrelated to the juice of those sun-kissed citruses. It celebrates the coming of summer with the season’s very first roasted beets and the end of the cold season with the last of their pickled companions.

The acidity comes from vinegar in the pickles and the color, oh the color, comes in part from the beets and in part from this little northern berry that ripens on the summer winds. Fresh haskap berries bring a lovely acidity of their own to the mix. Their flavor is akin to raspberry meets tart green apple, and they round out the earthiness of the beets just perfectly.

If you cannot find haskaps, don’t fret, this recipe will be delicious without them. But if you can find them fresh, add them in and you won’t be sorry.

 
 
beet hummus - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

THE RECIPE


MAKES 2.5 CUPS

1 C cooked and drained chickpeas
½ C roasted beets
½ C pickled beets
½ haskap berries
2 T olive oil (more if needed
½ t salt

30 ROAST + 10 min PREP

  1. Remove greens from 4-5 small beets if there are any.

  2. Place on a baking tray at 400 for 30 minutes

  3. Once cooled add everything in a food processor & blend until smooth.


more beet recipes

Zucchini Cornbread
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

The thing about seriously good baking is this. It's more like the horizon "forever receeding" than a goal. Or as Tom would put it "the more you know, the more you know you don't know"

I inevitably become painfully aware of my shortcomings as my skills develop and then it becomes a matter of chasing the dragon so to speak.

I find myself akin to some back alley addict looking for the next high. The exception being that my particular form of high comes in the form of an expertly executed dish.

 
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
zucchini cornbread - the nomadic wife - riverbend gardens
 

Whether that be Appalachian hillbilly chicken and dumplings or a single bite from a molecular pastry chef at the edge of his game makes no difference. If the dish sings to me.. it usually results in a hedonistic memory I can never shake.

My path into baking has been one of dragon chasing. Where I would eat savory and sweet baked goods crafted by other peoples talented hands and be left with a longing to recreate it in the kitchen. I would then return home with high hopes and no real plan, because I knew deep down that I can't bake. Until now.

I've equipped myself with a scale & some delicious flours. I'm starting at the bottom of the hill with the lowly but divinely delicious zucchini cornbread.

I've gone ahead and adjusted it to remove white flour & processed sugar and called it good. Perhaps my inability to follow a strict recipe is to blame for the flop of my more complex baking projects.. but this one is truly difficult to mess up.

So if you're like me, longing for a homemade treat but convinced your hands cannot produce such a thing, don't fret friend. I've got you. You've got this.

 
DSC_7140.jpg

THE RECIPE


INGREDIENTS

MAKES 6-8 PORTIONS

2 T coconut oil
1/4 C red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t pimenton paprika
1 t fresh thyme
1 C grated zuccini
3/4 C cornmeal
1 T whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
2 t honey
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C plain yogourt
1/2 t salt

DIRECTIONS

15 MINS PREP + 30 MINS BAKING

  1. Grease an 8 inch cast iron skillet with coconut oil & place it in the oven while it preheats to 400.

  2. In a medium bowl, mix together your cornmeal, flour, salt, thyme, pimenton paprika & baking powder.

  3. Beat the yogurt, honey & egg together, then incorporate it to the cornmeal mixture.

  4. Once there are no more clumps, squeeze the zucchini to remove as much water as possible then add it, the garlic and the red onion to the batter.

  5. Remove the skillet from the oven & pour in the batter.

  6. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.


more zucchini recipes

Cranberry Bliss Balls
 

Oh, the glory days of one-handed snacks. Who doesn't love them?

If you don't love them my dear, well I am sorry to announce we can no longer be friends.
I'm just kidding! Sort of. Haha.

Over the past few years these date balls / bliss ball / energy balls really have become quite mainstream. There are even some companies who sell them in pretty little cellophane packets for a few bucks a pop, however, they are much more cost effective to make at home. You'll also be creating a lot less waste with these than the individually packed variety. Just sayin'.

Sure these little balls can take a bit of time to roll up but you can put whatever you want in them, so there's that. I pack them into airtight containers in the fridge, with wax paper in between (which you can reuse for the next batch). I grab one or two when I'm starting to feel my energy dwindle and I'm on my merry way before you can say energy ball.

In case you were still on the fence, and I didn't have you at "these are sweet but you can totally still have them", well let me tell you a little secret. Before I knew about these rolled up bits of goodness, I used to make this recipe, I just didn't roll it up. I would make the mix, squish it into the bottom of a square container & score squares into it with a knife. Then I would pop it in the fridge and pull out a square whenever I was craving a little something sweet (hello there, mid-morning coffee!).

So now that you know you that you don't even have to roll them up & you can totally have these to nourish you without any hassle.. I'm sure we can again be friends.

Big love mama! You got this.


 

wheat free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, vegan


Makes 25 ish

1/2 C cashews
1/2 C almonds
1/2 C oats
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C chopped Medjool dates
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t coconut oil
Pinch of salt

10 mins prep + 20 mins refrigerate 

Soak the dates in warm water while you mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. 
Add cashews & almonds to a mixer and pulse until a rough flour / crumbly dough forms.
In a large bowl, add the pulsed nuts, salt, cranberries, oats and mix well together.
Grab a mortar & pestle ( a bowl and fork will do if you don't have one ) and add in the dates.
Mash up the dates, coconut oil & vanilla until you get a sticky paste with no large chunks remaining.
Add this to your dry ingredients and mix well. You can use your hands here, it makes it much easier.
Form into balls & refrigerate for 20 minutes before eating!

 
Nutty Granola
 

When it comes to "on the go" snacks, granola is pretty much the king of the jungle. It can be turned into bliss balls, sprinkled on parfait or added to salads. It can even be eaten by the handful straight out of the jar! Especially if you add chocolate chips in there. Just sayin'. 

 

 

Ingredients

Makes 8 portions

1 C oats
1/2 C almonds
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C shredded coconut
1/2 C hemp hearts
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1 t salt

Drizzle of olive oil & honey

Directions

5 mins prep + 20 mins bake

Add all your grains, salt, nuts & seeds to a large bowl
Drizzle olive oil & honey on top
Mix well so that everything is coated
Pop everything on to a baking sheet & into the oven at 350 for 20 mins
Stir halfway through to make sure nothing burns
It's ready when it's golden! 

Note: You can keep fresh granola up to two weeks in mason jars so don't be afraid to make a double batch!

 

 

 

Granola Laden Recipes

Green Chickpea Hummus

In my humble opinion, hummus should be a food group. No, really. It's awesome with veggies or cheese cubes, but it's also got a million other uses. I use this stuff as the dressing in a sandwich, or as the filler in the sandwich. It's also yummy as a side or as protein in a salad.

Hummus ev-ery-thing.

Now, I know not everyone loves hummus to the moon and back the way I do, but maybe this recipe will change your mind. It features tender green chickpeas instead of the regular canned or dehydrated type. This makes for a slightly more mellow flavour, which in my book is just a reason to add more spices. All excuses are good right? Right. 

That being said, I've also swapped out one of the quintessential ingredients (tahini) for sunflower seed paste. It's more protein dense and creamy than tahini, which is awesome. It also has a slightly less nutty flavor, which again is just a reason for more spices. Bonus. 

Throw in some olive oil, lemon, salt & garlic and we're on our way to a show stopping hummus. Now, if you have middle eastern friends, this is a great way to get a heated debate started. Consider yourself warned! ;) 


Ingredients

makes 4 portions

1 1/2 C green chickpeas, thawed and rinsed
1/4 C sunflower seeds
1 lemons, juiced
1/4 C olive oil
1/2 C water/vegetable stock (use up to 1/2 C of water to get a smooth blend)
2 cloves garlic
pinch of salt

Directions

10 mins

Place everything in a food processor & blend until smooth

No Cook Date Bliss Balls

You'll find recipes for these types of snacks all over the internet under different names like "energy balls" or "date truffles". They come in many colors & combinations but most of all they are typically packed with good fats, little sugar & tons of flavor which inherently makes them a wonderful power up snack.

I'll happily admit I've also had these alongside a cup of tea or coffee and called it breakfast! Depending on what you put in there, they can be really satiating and carry you over to an early lunch without a problem.

Keep in mind that if you have any nut allergies, these can be made with seeds. Always be conscious of what your body tells you!


 

wheat free, egg free, dairy free, soy free, vegan


Ingredients

18 bliss balls (6 portions)

1/2 C ground oats
1/2 C hemp hearts
1/4 C chia seeds
1/4 C flax seeds
1/4 C pumpkin seeds
1/4 C ground almonds
1/4 C shredded coconut
1/4 C maple syrup
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 t vanilla extract
8 Medjool dates, soaked

Note: You can substitute any of the dry ingredients for your favorite nuts / seeds. Feel free to experiment!

Directions

10 mins prep + 20 mins refirgerate 

Soak the dates in warm water while you mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. 
Make sure everything is well mixed then add the olive oil, maple syrup, vanilla & stir well. 
Grab a mortar & pestle ( a bowl and fork will do if you don't have one ) and add in the dates.
Mash up the dates until you get a sticky paste with no large chunks remaining.
Add this to your mixture and mix well. You can use your hands here, it makes it much easier.
Form into balls & refrigerate for 20 minutes before eating! 

 
Veggies & Dip

If your momma was anything like my momma, she told you more than once to eat your veggies. The thing with my ma' is that she would cook the living lights out of our veggies, which left them in a pile of mush on our plates. Not super inspiring. 

That being said, as an adult I make a point to eat my veggies as close to raw as possible. Not only do they pack a considerably more nutrients this way, they also have a much more pleasant texture!! No one likes eating goop.


Ingredients

Makes 4 Servings

4 large carrots
8 celery stalks
1/2 L french beans
1 quart cherry tomato

Tzatziki

1 C Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 pinch of salt

Note: You can double the tzatziki and keep some for the tzatziki bowls!

Directions

10 Mins Prep

First, make your tzatziki by grating your cucumber & gently pressing out the water with a clean kitchen towel
Add the cucumber to a bowl, along with the yoghurt, garlic & salt. 
Then chop up your veggies into sticks & separate them into four servings.
An easy way to pack these ahead of time is to put 1/4 of the tzatziki at the bottom of a 1 C mason jar and then "stand up" your veggie sticks in them, seal them and you're good to go!