SIMPLY BEING

Tag: healthy (page 1 of 3)

Quinoa with stir-fry vegetables

A quick weeknight dinner that comes together in minutes, if you have quinoa and vegetables on hand.

Cook quinoa (I use one part to two parts water) as per instructions. Do a quick sauté of vegetables (I used baby bok choy and asparagus) and tofu (optional) in oil of your choice. Keep the veggies crunchy and bright. DO NOT OVERCOOK.

Optional seasonings: Bragg’s liquid aminos, toasted sesame oil, ginger oil, shallot oil.

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Stir-fry Vegetables

An easy-peasy recipe that involves roasting a spaghetti squash in the oven (400 F, 40-45-50 minutes), a quick sauté of chopped vegetables (onion, asparagus, red pepper) and tofu, seasoned with Bragg’s liquid aminos.

Can add bok choy, spinach, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, zucchini… as you can see, the options are nearly endless.

Voila!

Flower Child

I started hearing about Flower Child from friends and acquaintances. My first thought was, it’s such a pretty name. “Flower Child” harkens back to the days of hippie freedom, organic living, love for Mother Earth, and so on. It is a fitting name for this restaurant, I think, because the food has a youthful flair to it. It is piquant and playful, full of flavor and texture contrasts… Definitely more hip than hippy, I think.

I sent a note to the restaurant asking if I could come in for a chef’s tasting. I got a prompt response: an invitation to lunch.

It was a cool spring morning in March when I showed up at Flower Child, Sandy Springs. I instantly fell in love with the high, airy interiors, tall industrial lamp fixtures, houseplants and knickknacks decorating the windows, casual seating, cheerful waitstaff. I introduced myself to the girl at the counter. She went and spoke with the manager Mark who came over right away and welcomed me.

I skimmed through the menu and ordered a mango-pineapple fresh juice (no sugar added), a small plate of Grilled Asparagus, and the Glow Bowl. I am not one for consuming liquids with meals (save warm herbal tea, sometimes) but I was unable to resist this fresh juice combination of two of my favorite fruits, yum. The juice was tangy and delicious. What it lacked for in sugary sweetness, it made up with freshness and flavor. I loved the juice but I was sorely disappointed to see that the glass was made from thin plastic (Grade 1, non-recyclable). I wish they’d used a glass tumbler instead. It would have been simple, elegant, eco-friendly, and sustainable.

The food arrived quick. The asparagus spears were crunchy and delicious, grill marks included. It was served with farro, barley and red quinoa, flavored with ginger miso. The dish had a gentle heat, and I enjoyed the combination of crisp asparagus and chewy ancient grains. In contrast, the Glow Bowl was a delicious Pad Thai-style preparation of sweet potato noodles in coconut milk, sunflower butter, bok choy, zucchini, onion, and shiitake mushrooms, spiced with jalapeños. It was comforting and delicious, and I marveled at the light texture of the sweet potato noodles. Worth replicating at home, I think!

I alternated between one dish and the other, taking a good long time to chew thoroughly and savor the flavors.

Mark came over to ask if I was enjoying the food. I could only nod, mouth full, happy smile on face. He mentioned that they served a vegan, gluten-free chocolate pudding made from coconut cream, cocoa powder and dark chocolate, flavored with vanilla paste, served with shaved coconut and sprouted almonds. How could I say no to that? The pudding was smooth and creamy, lightly sweetened, and absolutely delicious. I was sorely tempted to eat it all but I decided to be a good spouse who shared freely with her partner. I ate a little, and saved the rest to take home to my husband. (He loved it, although he wished it was less sweet). Alas, this pudding also came in a plastic, non-recyclable container, sigh.

I loved visiting Flower Child and eating there. I found the food light and playful, delicious, and full of flavor. I adored the cheerful, sun-lit space, large windows, and the wood-marble seating. I’d love to see if/how their menu changes seasonally, and if they will incorporate local ingredients and recipes into their menu.

Wondering when I can make another trip!

Flower Child
6400 Bluestone Rd #170
Sandy Springs GA 30328

470-481-7850
www.iamaflowerchild.com

Buckwheat Spelt Cookies with Cashews and Sesame Seeds

Sounds so tantalizing, hmmm?

This was a good batch of cookies, and surprisingly, they turned out well when I made them the second time too! I have experienced beginner’s luck many times, so I am fairly cautious when it comes to singing paeans of any recipe too loud.

The original recipe came from Desert Candy, a favorite food blog I read almost every day. I made a few minor substitutions (check notes below the recipe).

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup of sesame seeds and chopped cashews
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup of spelt flour

Method

  • Cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add in the salt and vanilla. Add both the flours to the bowl and the seeds and stir until just mixed in, do not overbeat.
  • Form the dough into a rectangular/circular log, wrap the log in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, until chilled and firm.
  • Preheat oven to 325F. Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 16-18 minutes, until edges are just barely golden (do not let cookies brown).
  • Let cool on a rack.

Notes

  • These are light, crumbly cookies. They look like biscotti when baked and ready.
  • I used a dark variety of buckwheat flour, so my cookies had a dark grey hue to them.
  • I used vegan Earth Balance in place of butter.
  • I didn’t bother much with the proportions of sesame seeds v/s cashews. I simply made sure that the volume of cashews and sesame seeds together added to 1/4 cup.
  • The original recipe called for 1/4 teaspoon of salt but I found that too salty for my taste, and used only a pinch in the second batch.

These are addictive cookies! I baked the second batch for P to take to work, and they vanished – POOF!