“Everyone I know is looking for solace, hope and a tasty snack.”
Just the quickest of hellos today. It’s very true, as it may be for many of you, that this winter is beginning to drag and gnaw a bit. Life is somehow still faster and fuller than ever, so inventive snacks have been popping up more often than the well-planned meals with creative side dishes and desserts that require a speck of forethought. So it goes. I find splurging on some of the more exotic bits of produce helps to brighten up the sometimes too vast-seeming bleakness of the chill in the fields ’round here. A pesky cold finally managed to grab me this season (after I spent a whole week bragging to almost anyone how miraculous my immunity had been–womp womp), so these snacks have vitamins, spice, sharpness and other superpowers lurking within. There’s a roasted pineapple shake with turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon, simply filled out with almond milk and ice. Another sweet is the coconut vanilla whipped chia mousse with smushed raspberries at the base and a happy sprinkle of bee pollen on top. There’s a butter lettuce wrap with cumin-y roasted chickpeas and eggplant, all livened up with a mango jicama tangle and some cool mint. Lastly there’s a segmented orange that feels savoury once plated with a swipe of yogurt, some toasted pine nuts, olive oil and za’atar. Sending warmth and a little extra hope for spring this week :) xo
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 tsp neutral oil
1 tsp + 1 tbsp maple syrup, divided
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
splash of vanilla extract
big handful of ice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheetpan with parchment paper. Toss the pineapple with the oil, 1 tsp of the maple syrup, a tiny bit of salt and nutmeg. Roast the fruit until slightly caramelized and soft, about 20 minutes. Allow pineapple to cool.
Once cool, blend the pineapple on high with the almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla and ice. Pour into two glasses and enjoy immediately.
2. coconut vanilla whipped chia mousse w/ smashed raspberries
notes: I just thaw frozen raspberries from the summertime and use them as a tart foil to the lusciousness of the mousse. I imagine plenty of things would be nice with this though, like cacao nibs, chopped almonds, slices of mango, spice roasted apples etc.
1 can full fat coconut milk, stirred
1/4 cup chia seeds (white or black)
2 tbsp maple syrup
seeds scraped from half a vanilla bean (or a hearty splash of extract)
2 tbsp coconut butter
salt to taste
splash of almond or other milk (optional)
thawed frozen raspberries
bee pollen (optional)
Whisk together the coconut milk and chia seeds and let them sit for about 15 minutes or until they’ve noticeably thickened. Once thickened, scrape the coconut milk and chia seeds into a blender and add all of the other ingredients except for the raspberries and bee pollen. Blend on high until you have a creamy and smooth consistency, adding splashes of almond milk to thin out if necessary. Scrape mousse into a bowl and cover with cling film, pressing the film onto the surface of the mousse. Chill the mousse thoroughly.
Once ready to serve, smash up some thawed frozen raspberries in the bottom of your serving vessels. Divide the coconut vanilla chia mousse amongst the servings. Sprinkle the tops with bee pollen if you like and serve.
3. cumin-roasted chickpea + eggplant lettuce wraps with minted mango jicama slaw
notes: Any lettuce for wrapping is fine here, I just like the sturdy richness of butter/Boston/bibb lettuce. Also, if you can’t find jicama, shred up any other crunchy and lightly sweet fruit/vegetable you like. Carrots, apples, celery root, radishes etc.
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 small eggplant, small dice
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp ground cumin
salt + pepper
1 head butter lettuce, leaves separated
1 mango, peeled + finely shredded
1/2 small jicama, peeled + finely shredded
juice of 1 lime
fresh mint leaves
chipotle powder (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the chickpeas, eggplant, oil, cumin, salt and pepper together and spread them out evenly on the baking sheet. Roast the mixture until the chickpeas are crispy and the eggplant is browned, flipping them about here and there, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the shredded mango and jicama in a medium bowl with the juice of the lime. Season the mix with salt, pepper, and chipotle powder if you like. Serve the slaw with butter lettuce leaves, roasted chickpeas + eggplant, mint leaves and more chipotle powder. Assemble all components together within butter lettuce leaves. Eat immediately.
4. a simple sorta savoury orange w/ yogurt, olive oil, za’atar + pine nuts
notes: I used a cara cara orange here, but any kind of orange would be fine–maybe even a segmented grapefruit could be nice.
1 orange, peeled + segmented
3 tbsp – 1/4 cup plain yogurt of your choosing (goat, sheep, cow, almond, coconut etc)
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp za’atar
little handful fully toasted pine nuts
Place the orange segments on a plate. Spoon the yogurt onto the side of the plate and drizzle the olive oil on top of it. Sprinkle the yogurt with za’atar and top the whole thing with the toasted pine nuts and a little pinch of salt. Eat immediately.
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