Pistachio Pesto Flatbread

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What it is: Pistachio Pesto Flatbread

Where is it: Garces Trading Company, Philadelphia, PA

Price: $10

What’s in it: Thin cracker-y flatbread with pistachio pesto and mozzarella, topped with arugula and (who would have guessed?) horseradish

Why you need it: you can choose between vegetarian pizza dough or dough made with duck fat. The vegetarian dough is perhaps too matzo-like but the toppings are what made this delicious. A hint of zing! from the horseradish sealed the deal.

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Vegan Quinoa Chili

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This vegan quinoa chili has become a common dinner – easy to pull together, and makes great leftovers [plus 17 grams of protein per serving]- it’s hard not to love it. My meat-eating boyfriend devours this, apparently not missing the meat. Head on over to DailyBurn for the recipe.

Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted here–life took over for a bit. Don’t worry, I’ve still been cooking. In fact, I’ve written a few pieces for Daily Burn including my favorite White Bean and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini [recipe]:

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But for today, I’ll leave you with a fantastic muffin recipe that will knock your socks off. Thanks to my co-worker for the recipe suggestion, I made these Greek Yogurt Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins in an attempt to use up overripe bananas sitting in the freezer. Damn are these satisfying. The yogurt is a great binding ingredient, replacing much of the oil but retaining the moisture. I added some chocolate chips, because, well…everything is better with chocolate. You only live once, right?

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Makes 20 muffins, or 40 mini-muffins

Adapted from Averie Cooks

3 medium ripe bananas [frozen bananas work well, just make sure you let them thaw]

1 large egg

1 5.3oz container banana Greek yogurt

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

pinch salt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pans. 

In a large bowl, mash banana. Add egg, yogurt, oil, sugar, vanilla and spices. Whisk well. Add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin tins until three-quarters full. Bake for 20-22 minutes (10-11 minutes for mini muffins). A toothpick should come out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan.

San Francisco

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I just returned from San Francisco, a city that makes it very easy to gain five pounds from eating delicious foods and then torturously makes you burn it off by walking its steep hills. One such delicious food is Bi-Rite‘s ice cream. But that’s an obvious answer.

A turn off of busy, food-laden Valencia Street will bring you to Esperpento, a cozy tapas place.

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The Gambas Al Ajillo are tasty, full of garlic and white wine. But, surprisingly, my favorite dish was the Asparagus A La Plancha. With just a sprinkle of sea salt and a squirt of lemon juice, this simple dish stole the show.

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Other things I learned on my trip:

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Dining al fresco is the best kind of dining, particularly when wine, cheese, and local blueberries are involved ;

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Earth Balance Coconut and Peanut Spread is dangerously good (and even better when spread on slices of banana);

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The Mill, a new venture formed by Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread which was recently mentioned in Food+Wine, is fabulously simple with its thick slices of bread topped with favorite spreads like butter and cinnamon sugar.

If I can say anything at all, I know I ate well while in San Francisco.

Mom’s Greek Salad

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This past month has been one of the most tumultuous months of my life, from a terrifyingly close call at the Boston Marathon to my graduation from *gasp* college. The vast number of uncertainties and changes in my life is daunting. One thing that will always be a constant in my life is this Greek Salad with Hardboiled Eggs and Homemade Croutons.

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Greek Salad with Hardboiled Eggs and Homemade Croutons

Salad

4 cups romaine or butter lettuce

1 bunch scallions, chopped

4 cherry tomatoes, chopped

3 button mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 hardboiled eggs, sliced

Black pepper, to taste

Dressing

2 tbs fresh lemon juice

1.5 tbs neutral oil

Croutons

Stale bread, such as ciabatta or French baguette

Olive oil

Sea salt

Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice and cut bread into cubes. Place in a large Ziploc bag and drizzle olive oil over the bread. Close bag and shake croutons. Place bread onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic powder. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

For Salad, place vegetables in large salad bowl. Spoon feta on top, and then add hardboiled eggs and croutons. Grind black pepper on top. 

In a small dish or salad dressing container, mix lemon juice and oil. Pour over salad.

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Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup

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Today is Easter and today I am not posting about cute bunny desserts or baskets stuffed with chocolate eggs. Instead, I offer you a lighter, yet still hearty, Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup recipe–the perfect way to recharge after over-indulging.

Being a college student with an ill-equipped kitchen (I’m looking at you, mixing bowl that’s actually a Tupperware container), I took the liberty to make some shortcuts. For instance, the original recipe called for pureeing the soup, which I avoided by using one can of black beans and one can of vegetarian refried beans. To easily boost flavor, I used vegetable broth instead of water. Ultimately taste was not sacrificed and this soup now goes on my roster of favorite soups.

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Vegan Spicy Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Eating Well

Makes approximately 5 cups

1 tbs olive oil

1 white onion, chopped

1 tbs Mexican chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15oz. can vegetarian refried beans

3 cups vegetable broth

1/2 cup prepared salsa [I used Newman’s Own, Medium heat]

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbs lime juice

Cilantro, chopped

Heat olive oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and stir for 2-3 minutes, just until softened. Stir in chili powder and cumin, mix for 1 more minute. Add vegetable broth, beans, salsa and salt. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Serve with chopped cilantro as a garnish.

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Nicaragua

I spent last week in beautiful Nicaragua.

I witnessed mind-blowing sunsets every night,

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ate my weight in rice, beans and the occasional scrambled eggs,

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felt like an ant on the widest beach I have ever seen,

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ate fresh fish tacos,

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took a catamaran trip to an untouched beach, returning to town just as the sun was setting,

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rode a horse through the mountains, ending the trek with a refreshing bottle of Coca-Cola at the ranch,

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saw rugged coastline upon rugged coastline,

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lived the hard life,

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and of course, ate some more tacos.

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