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Whole Wheat Spinach Banana Muffins

I’ve become one of those moms who hides vegetables in my kid’s food.

I never thought I’d see the day, let alone see it so soon. (Mind you, my daughter is just 15 months old.) Of course I thought my kid was going to happily devour all the homemade organic delights I placed in front of her! She wasn’t going to be one of those picky eaters. Wrong.

Sure, there are days when she’ll happily eat the healthy and wholesome meals I make for her. And then there are the days where she literally won’t try a bite of anything I set in front of her. Those buckwheat soba noodles she devoured last night? Today, she acts offended by their mere existence.

She’ll eat applesauce from a squeeze pouch, but she won’t eat it from a spoon. She likes frozen blueberries, but won’t eat fresh ones. And if I can hide it in a quesadilla, she’ll eat it.

Babies, man. They are so cute. But they are SO crazy.

And that, my friends, is how I found myself blending spinach and bananas into muffins. I’m one of those moms now, and I don’t mind it one bit. If it gets my kid to happily devour vegetables, I’m all for it. (Whatever works, right?!)

There are plenty of other healthy toddler-friendly recipes out there, but I thought I’d share my adaptation of this recipe for spinach banana muffins as they’ve been a big hit in our household. You can toss in other fresh fruits or veggies or substitute other greens (chard, kale, etc) for the spinach. If you want to make a double or triple batch, they also freeze nicely.

These Whole Wheat Spinach Banana Muffins are quick, easy, and are generally well-received by tiny little crazy people. ;)

whole wheat spinach banana muffins (perfect for picky toddlers!) | rosemarried.com

Spinach Banana Muffins

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease a muffin tin.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine banana, spinach, applesauce, egg, honey, oil, and vanilla. Blend until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir til just combined. The mixture will be thick and dense. (If too thick, add a bit of water or milk. You will not be able to pour the mix.)
  5. Spoon into prepared muffin tin. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until tops of the muffins are beginning to brown and the muffins are set.

Notes

Adapted from Tribe Magazine

http://rosemarried.com/2016/01/26/whole-wheat-spinach-and-banana-muffins/

 

Bake Sale for Refugees

 

A few weeks ago, I got this crazy idea to throw a bake sale to benefit Syrian refugees.

I was watching the news and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed by the gravity of it all. I was haunted by images of mothers clutching their babies as they fled for their lives. Families boarding flimsy rafts, hoping to sail off to safety.

I felt lost and helpless and had no idea what to do.

The next day, I attended a service at Imago Dei Community and I was floored by their Advent initiative to work with refugees. I started thinking about what I could do in light of the current refugee crisis, and literally googled “how to help Syrian refugees“. I ended up on a site that rates charity organizations and they had very good things to say about the Migrant Offshore Aid Station. MOAS is an organization dedicated to saving lives at sea, by sending out professional search and rescue teams. They are “passionate about the plight of those who are desperate enough to put themselves and their families in danger as they flee violence, persecution and oppression by setting off on the world’s most deadly maritime migration routes.”

I was inspired by the incredible (and dangerous) work that MOAS does, and decided to do the one thing I know how to do: bring people together under the banner of delicious food (in hopes to raise money for an awesome cause).

So, I sent off a bunch of emails and texts and within 24 hours I had a free space, beer/wine/coffee sponsors, raffle prize donations from countless local restaurants and bakers, and an overwhelming amount of people who volunteered to bake goods for the sale.  (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: PORTLAND IS RAD. The generosity of this community astounds me.)

bake sale for refugees

All that to say, I’m hosting a bake sale to benefit refugees at Pip’s Original Doughnuts on Saturday 12/19 from 6-9PM. There will be complimentary beverages from Rogue Ales, Union Wine Co., and Water Avenue Coffee.

We’ll have baked goods from some of the city’s best bloggers, bakers, and restaurants (Lauretta Jean’s, Farina Bakery, New American, and more!). There will be pies, cakes, brownies, cookies, scones, bread, caramels, chocolates, and SO MUCH MORE.

In addition, there will be a raffle with prizes from Water Avenue Coffee, Owen Roe WineryBUNK SandwichesParcelMarshall’s Haute Sauce, Pip’s Original,  Jacobsen Salt Co. and more!

100% of the proceeds from the #BakeSaleForRefugees will be donated to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station. Come one and all. I hope to see you at Pip’s on Saturday night!

If you are interested in donating baked goods or raffle prizes, please contact me. We’re gladly accepting donations. 

My Favorite Lentil Salad

Lentils are a funny little legume. They’re teeny tiny little bits of awesome. They aren’t particularly pretty or glamorous, but lentils are affordable and nourishing. Bonus: lentils are also super delicious.

I cook with lentils often. And by often, I mean I make the same two lentil recipes over and over and over again: this Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Cilantro and Bacon and this crazy delicious Lentil Salad. I’m sorry to all other lentil salads out there, but this is my favorite lentil salad. It’s just so unexpected and awesome. The lentils are mixed with dried cranberries, capers, goat cheese, greens, and a phenomenal dressing that uses every spice in the cabinet. (If you think I’m kidding, look at the recipe. So. Many. Spices.)

I don’t know what else to say about this lentil salad. It’s wonderful and delicious and I make it all the time. I love it, my husband loves it, even the baby loves it. Just give it a try, and I bet this will quickly become your favorite lentil salad. Just make sure your spice pantry is well-stocked before you attempt to make the dressing because it uses a LOT of spices. (I noticed that this recipe really taps into “The C Spices”: cardamom, cayenne, cloves, coriander, cumin, cinnamon. So if you find yourself making this salad without a recipe, just toss in all the c spices and a few others and you’ll be fine!)

Oh, one last note! The original recipe calls for dried lentils (which then have to be cooked), but I’m lazy and I skip that step and just buy the pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s and thus this salad is the easiest EVER. No cooking required. Thank goodness for the magic of TJ’s. 

 

my favorite lentil salad with goat cheese, cranberries, capers and spinach | rosemarried.com

 

My Favorite Lentil Salad

Ingredients

  • Salad:
  • 1 pound cooked lentils
  • 1 shallot, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup capers
  • 1/3 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • A few handfuls of arugula or spinach
  • Optional add ins: fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped pecans or almonds, green onions.
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place all dressing ingredients in a small mason jar and give it a good shake until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked lentils, dried cranberries, capers, and sliced shallots. Toss with the dressing. Gently fold in the greens and half of the crumbled goat cheese, stir to coat. Before serving, crumble the rest of the goat cheese atop the salad. Serve at room temperature.
  3. This salad keeps well in the fridge for a few days.

Notes

Adapted from My New Roots

http://rosemarried.com/2015/10/05/favorite-lentil-salad/

 

 

 

 

 

Heat Wave Eats: Thai Quinoa Peanut Salad and Other Recipes for Hot Days

 

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile.

I took a much needed break from blogging, and it was really good for my soul. I’ve cooked with a strange sense of freedom for the past few months. I haven’t had to worry about whether or not a dish will photograph well. I’ve been able to go back and cook a lot of my old favorites, because I wasn’t worried about coming up with blog content. I haven’t had to think about lighting or composition or SEO or any of that stuff. Nope, I just cooked whatever I felt like cooking. I’ve made an effort to use what I have on hand. To waste less, and utilize my pantry and garden more. It’s been incredibly refreshing.

But, I’ve missed blogging. I’m itching to write, to get in the kitchen and try new things. To experiment and daydream and tinker. I’m still figuring out how to balance work and life and motherhood and blogging. It’s a challenge, but I’m getting there. Baby steps.

So, here I am. I decided to jump back into blogging, right in the middle of the craziest heat wave Portland has ever seen in June. The weather is gross. But, for whatever reason, I’ve felt inspired and creative and I’ve been in the kitchen a lot. Granted, I haven’t been “cooking”, per se. No, I’ve been assembling and arranging delicious meals with a minimum of cooking with any sort of heat. I refuse to turn on my oven.

For my grand return to blogging, I thought I’d share with you a few of the recipes that have been my saving grace during this crazy heat wave. Below, I’ll share my recipe for my new favorite summer salad – Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad – as well as links to a whole bunch of other recipes that are perfect for hot summer nights. These recipes all require little or no cooking (or a slow cooker!) and are some of my all-time favorites for summertime eatin’.

First the links (recipe for Thai Peanut Quinoa Salad to follow!):

heat wave recipe roundup (my favorite dishes that require little or no cooking) | rosemarried.com

 

THE BEST LENTIL SALAD, EVER (from My New Roots) – This salad is true to its name. It is the best lentil salad, ever. The dressing requires a lot of spices (be sure you’re stocked up), but other than that it’s super easy to make. And I make it with pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe’s so no cooking is required!

PAD THAI SPRING ROLLS WITH RED CURRY PEANUT SAUCE (from With Food and Love) – I haven’t actually made THIS recipe yet, but I make a lot of spring rolls this time of year. Throw some greens, protein, rice noodles and pickled veg into a rice paper wrapper and call it good. And here’s my favorite peanut sauce recipe, for dipping!

GARDEN GAZPACHO (from the blog archives) – classic summertime fare. This version includes a few fire roasted tomatoes (which won’t heat up your house, I promise) and a whole jalapeno, for good measure.

BUCKWHEAT SOBA SALAD WITH SNOW PEAS AND RADISHES (From my blog archives) – I could eat soba salads every day and be happy. I make a lot of different variations of cold soba salads, but this one might be my favorite. It’s simple, easy, and tasty.

STRAWBERRY CAPRESE WITH PISTACHIO PESTO (from How Sweet Eats) – Such an interesting twist on a traditional caprese. Simple, seasonal, and stunning.

SLOW COOKER KOREAN SHORT RIB TACOS (from Tasty Kitchen) – I make a version of this recipe a couple times a month and then use the meat in tacos, lettuce wraps, salads, burritos, etc. I’ve been keeping a container of shredded napa cabbage in the fridge, and I just toss the korean short rib meat with the cabbage, a sesame vinaigrette, and kimchi. It’s the best lunch.

STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE (From my blog archives) – Fresh strawberries, piled atop a mascarpone and cream cheese filling and a ginger snap crust. Doesn’t get much better than this. Pro tip: use any fresh berries that are in season, it’ll be just as delicious.

And now for a new recipe! This salad is so darn addictive, I’ve made it a zillion times over the past few weeks. Each time I make it, I change it up a little bit. Sometimes I include cherry tomatoes, other times I’ll throw in a red bell pepper. Sometimes I make it spicy, and other times, I leave it light and fresh and simple. Really, there’s a lot of ways you can go with it. Just make it. Eat it. Enjoy it. And stay cool!

thai peanut quinoa salad | rosemarried

 

Thai Quinoa Peanut Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeds removed and sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 carrots, julienned
  • 1/2 a cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1.5 cups of shredded red cabbage
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • The juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • Handful of chopped Thai basil

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, honey, oils, and spices.
  3. Toss together the vegetables and quinoa. Pour dressing over the mixture, and stir to coat. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed. When ready to serve, sprinkle the cilantro, Thai basil, and peanuts over the salad before serving.

Notes

I used red quinoa for this recipe, but regular brown quinoa would also work.

(Recipe adapted from Foodie Crush)

http://rosemarried.com/2015/06/29/thai-peanut-quinoa-salad/

 

Warm Curried Cauliflower Salad with Dried Cranberries, Cilantro, and Almonds

The other day I confessed to my husband that the blog is stressing me out. I know that I’ve neglected the blog recently, and that my posts are spotty and infrequent. I just feel so guilty about it. It sucks. But you know what else sucks? Feeling guilty about my blog. Frankly, it’s just stupid. I started this blog because I was working at a job I didn’t like and I desperately needed a creative outlet. I found so much joy in cooking and I wanted to share that joy with others. So, I cooked and I wrote and I found so much freedom in the process.

But here I am, nearly 5 years later and my life has changed drastically. I quit my job and started my own freelance marketing business. I started working for a farmer’s market. I had a baby.

In addition, blogging has changed. It’s become much more of a business. It feels much less like a community, and more like a competition. It’s become about imagery and props and styling, not about content. To be honest, I’m a little tired of it. I’ve been mulling over these thoughts for awhile, and then I read a recent post by Michelle at Hummingbird High and it really resonated with me. She spoke honestly about her thoughts on blogging, and it was refreshing to read someone speak openly and honestly about the current state of the blog world.

When I started this blog, I was working a 9-5 desk job. Blogging was strangely easier in those days, as I would come home after work and would work out the frustrations of the day in the kitchen. It was the best kind of therapy. These days, I don’t have set work hours. I’m a stay-at-home mom, sort of. I’m also a working professional, and I love my work. I’m juggling a lot. I have eight hours of childcare a week. Eight.

The reality is, I just don’t have a lot of time to devote to the blog right now and I feel I need to take a little time and reassess my priorities. I want to write and post for the right reasons, not out of stress or obligation. I started this blog because it was really good for me. It brought me a lot of joy and satisfaction. (It certainly wasn’t a source of stress!) I need to get back to that place.

Lest you panic, I’m not shutting down the blog. I promise, I’m not going anywhere. I’ll still post recipes, but I’ll post when I feel it makes sense. I’ll post when I feel inspired. I’ll post when I find a little spare time. I’ll post when my kid starts napping regularly and gives me a few hours to myself. ;)

I’m still here, I just need a little reboot.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for understanding. Chances are, I’ll post more frequently now that I’ve gotten this off my chest.

I feel better already.

 

warm curried cauliflower salad | rosemarried.com

 

WARM CURRIED CAULIFLOWER SALAD WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES, CILANTRO, AND ALMONDS

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

1/4 cup slivered almonds

4 green onions, sliced thinly

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil or Silpat.

Trim the cauliflower into small (half inch or inch) florets.

Mix together the olive oil, spices, and minced garlic. Toss cauliflower florets with oil and spice mixture, making sure that cauliflower is well coated.

Place cauliflower on lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping once, or until fork tender and browning along the edges.

Remove cauliflower from oven and allow to cool slightly. Toss with dried cranberries, almonds, cilantro, and green onions. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve warm. (Note: I squeezed a little lime juice over the top of the salad before serving and it was delicious!)

Shredded Brussels Sprout Caesar with Bacon

The first time I made this Brussels sprout Caesar salad was for Thanksgiving dinner. I posted a photo of the salad on my Instagram feed, and a couple of people asked if I’d be sharing the recipe. I responded with a resounding yes, and let them know that I’d be posting the recipe the following week.

That was 3 months ago. (But who’s counting?!?)

As I’ve said time and time again, this business of having a baby is time consuming. It’s completely awesome, but it takes every spare ounce of energy that I can muster. And when I do finally get a few moments to myself, I have to use that time very wisely (i.e. working on projects for my clients, taking a shower, doing laundry, etc.) The ole blog tends gets left in the dust.

But, I am determined to get back in the saddle. I’ve been cooking a lot lately, and it feels great. I’m still trying to find the time and energy to photograph and write about food, but I’m getting there. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. (Please tell me you’re reading this in Bill Murray’s voice. What About Bob? is the best.)

So, it took me 3 months to get around to posting this Brussels sprout Caesar salad recipe. This salad is worth the wait, I promise. It’s all of the best things, tossed together into one tasty salad: Brussels sprouts seared in bacon fat, mixed with a tangy yogurt Caesar dressing, parmesan cheese, and crispy bacon.

Folks, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Brussels Sprout Caesar with Bacon | Rosemarried.com

 

Shredded Brussels Sprout Caesar with Bacon

A warm Caesar salad, made with shredded Brussels sprouts, crispy bacon, and a tangy yogurt Caesar dressing. Adapted from howsweeteats.com.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 anchovies, minced
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. First, cook the bacon. (I’m more of a stovetop bacon kind of girl, but feel free to cook the bacon to your liking!) Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat, flipping once, until the fat renders and the bacon is good and crispy. When ready, remove the bacon from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the pan, and pour off the rest of the grease.
  2. Next, make the dressing. In a food processor or blender pulse together the greek yogurt, anchovies, garlic, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
  3. Heat skillet with reserved bacon grease over medium heat. Toss shredded Brussels sprouts in the pan, making sure to evenly coat with bacon grease. Cook the sprouts for 4-6 minutes, until warm and browning along the edges.
  4. Remove sprouts from the skillet and toss with a few spoonfuls of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with grated parmesan cheese and crumble bacon over the top of the salad. Serve warm, with an extra dusting of freshly grated black pepper.

http://rosemarried.com/2015/02/28/shredded-brussels-sprout-caesar-bacon/

Friday Favorites: Family Photos + Nursery Decor

Hello, friends!

For this edition of Friday Favorites, I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite photos from a family photo shoot we did a while back with the lovely Linnea Paulina. She took these photos of us when the babe was just 3 weeks old.

Looking back at these photos, it’s amazing how quickly everything changes. I no longer have a tiny sleepy baby, rather, I suddenly find myself with a very aware baby who coos and giggles, squirms and wiggles, rolls over and makes crazy baby dinosaur noises. She’s pretty darn adorable.

With that said, I am so glad that we got these photos taken. I know I normally share recipes and food photos here, but I couldn’t help but share a few photos of our nursery and family, as captured by Linnea. They’re just stunning! Linnea is an incredibly talented photographer (she shoots all in film!) and I love how she captured this crazy and wonderful time in our lives.

Also, if you’re curious, I’ve also included a few links below with info on where we got our nursery decor. Most of the nursery is a hodge-podge collection of thrifted items and hand-me-downs, but there are a few things I purchased specifically for the room. I had a lot of fun putting the nursery together, and am rather proud of how it turned out!

(Also, the nursery was this clean and pretty for a very short period of time. Now, it’s an explosion of baby clothes, diapers, bouncy seats, Bumbos, etc. It was nice while it lasted..)

www.linneapaulina.com

www.linneapaulina.com

www.linneapaulina.com

www.linneapaulina.com

www.linneapaulina.com

black & white nursery | rosemarried.com

www.linneapaulina.com www.linneapaulina.com

www.linneapaulina.com

Crib sheetThe Buttercup Boutique (Etsy Shop)

Black & white Rug: IKEA

Black & white throw pillows: IKEA

Swan MobileFlensted (via Amazon)

Framed bunny & owl prints: A thoughtful gift from a family friend, drawings by the talented Bethany Gosvener.

Wall decalsDecalVenue on Amazon (only $12!)

Poang “rocking” chair: IKEA (via craigslist! boom!)

Harry Potter Print: Dollar Print Shop on Etsy

Throw blanket (on rocker): Pendleton Woolen Mills (another extremely thoughtful gift from a friend!).

 

That’s all for now.

Happy Friday, friends! I’ll be back next week with recipes and food photos to boot. :)