Chickpea Dill Salad

IMG_5519Chickpeas are a fabulous legume used in all sorts of recipes. Used in vegetarian burgers, soups, dips, and salads, chickpeas could win an award for their versatility and nutrients. Chickpeas are high in fiber and a great source of plant-based protein. Incorporating fiber and protein-rich foods like chickpeas into your diet is a great way to give your body the nutrients it needs. Your body will feel the difference.

This chickpea-dill salad recipe is awesome because it is a more affordable and nutritious version of chicken salad. Substituting plant-based proteins like beans for animal proteins like chicken, is a great way to lower the cost without altering the nutrition. Fresh cucumber, onion, and dill give a cool refreshment to every bite.

The combination of lemon-dill dressing with cucumber and chickpeas mixes for a really special salad recipe.

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas (15oz.)
1 large cucumber, diced
¼ c. fresh dill, chopped
½ small red onion, diced

Lemon-Dill Dressing
¼ c. tahini
¼ c. water
1 tsp. black pepper
¼ c. fresh dill
2 tbsps. parsley
½ lemon, squeezed & zested (OR about 2.5 tbsps. of lemon juice)
2 large garlic cloves, minced (OR about 1.5 tbsp. garlic powder)
Pinch of salt and crushed red pepper

Combine chickpeas, diced cucumber, diced onion, and fresh dill in a large bowl. In a large food processor blend the dressing ingredients until smooth and saucy. Taste as you add ingredients, and add more of what you think the dressing needs. I liked the flavors of extra lemon and dill in this dressing. Add the lemon-dill dressing from the food processor to the chickpea mixture, and stir to combine with a large spoon.

I found that this chickpea salad is amazing stuffed in pita pockets with freshly diced tomatoes. It tastes great served in lettuce wraps too.

Happy Cooking!

 

Madeleine Wirth

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg

Chocolate Smoothie Bowl (Vegan)

Chocolate Smoothie BowlBy Tiffany Wu– Makes 1 Serving
On a hot summer day, this rich and creamy chocolate smoothie bowl is the perfect treat to cool down with. With only three wholesome ingredients, you can enjoy this smoothie for a healthy breakfast, snack, or dessert. I have found that using frozen bananas is the key to achieving a smooth and creamy ice cream like consistency. Cacao powder transforms this smoothie into a chocolate lover’s dream and unlike cocoa powder; cacao powder has been treated with low heat so most of its nutrients remain intact. One quarter cup of Cacao powder is loaded with magnesium, iron, antioxidants, 4 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.

Ingredients:

3 frozen Bananas
¼ cup Cacao Powder
½ cup Almond Milk

Toppings (Optional):

Granola
Cereal
Sliced Bananas
Sliced Strawberries

Directions:

  1. Place cacao powder, frozen bananas, and almond milk in a blender and blend until you get a thick smoothie consistency. Depending on how strong your blender is, you may need to add more almond milk to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer chocolate smoothie mixture into a bowl and place your favorite toppings on top.

 

By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

Veggie Pasta

IMG_5437.croppedWith garden surpluses and beautiful vegetable picks at the Food Co-op, produce is abundant in late summer. Veggie Pasta is a resourceful way to make a highly nutritious meal using some of the sweetest vegetables out there.

I picked up a few vegetables of different colors for this recipe: green zucchini, purple onion, and red, orange, and dark crimson tomatoes. Depending on what you have available in your refrigerator, this recipe can incorporate a combination of different veggies like yellow squash, green zucchini, green peas, or sweet peppers! With a few simple herbs and rich creamy cheese, this meal is high in vitamins, fiber, and protein.

Ingredients
1 cup parmesan, grated
5.3 oz. Basil & Olive Oil Asiago cheese, grated (available at the coop)
1 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 small purple onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 handful fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 T. red pepper flakes, crushed
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. whole wheat pasta (farfalle, penne or rotini)

Boil pasta for approx. 11 minutes or until al dente. In a large sauté pan, sauté zucchini for about 3 minutes before adding onion, basil, pepper, salt, and parsley. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Turn heat to low, and add diced tomatoes. Allow tomatoes to absorb flavor for about 2 minutes, then turn stove off. Avoid simmering the tomatoes too long (tomatoes will turn soupy if cooked too long). Add the vegetables to the pot of pasta, but avoid adding much tomato juice to the pasta. Toss pasta with grated cheese and red pepper flakes.

I love this recipe. I prepare a big bowl of it, and pack up for lunch during the week! This dish is also great for potluck parties.

Happy cooking!

 

Madeleine Wirth

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg!

Asian Peanut Noodles (vegan and gluten-free)

Asian Peanut NoodlesBy Tiffany Wu–  Makes 4-6 Servings
Growing up, my mom always used to make her delicious peanut butter noodles when the weather got warmer. The creamy peanut sauce combined with crisp veggies always made for a satisfying meal. This dish reminds me of my childhood and is so simple and easy to make.

Bragg’s liquid aminos are a natural alternative to soy sauce and is gluten free with no added preservatives. If you’ve never tried liquid aminos before, I recommend trying them in this recipe. To give the noodles an additional protein boost, I added in some shelled edamame from Friendly City that is non-gmo and grown in the US.

 

Sauce Ingredients:

3/4 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
2 tbsp. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1 tsp. salt
1 cup Water

Other Ingredients:

16 oz Brown Rice Spaghetti
1 ½ cups shredded Cucumber
¾ cup shredded Carrots
1 cup Fresh Spinach
¾ cup frozen, shelled Edamame, thawed

 

Directions:

  1. Place all sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon until combined. The sauce consistency should be slightly thick. Set aside
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add in your brown rice spaghetti
  3. While the pasta is boiling, shred your cucumber and carrots
  4. When the pasta is done, combine all ingredients and make sure to coat the pasta and veggies evenly with sauce

 

 

By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

Peach and Kale Salad

IMG_4757Peaches are absolutely lovely fruits. As a child, I was always a little weirded out by the fuzzy skin, but the sweet juiciness of ripe peaches always persuaded me to nibble on them. Peaches are ripened by the heat of the sun, and their peak season is now. Friendly City has several crates waiting to meet you in the produce section. Peach cobbler with a dollop of vanilla ice cream or peach preserves over a slice of toast are delicious ways to enjoy peaches. In the hot summertime, nothing is as irresistible as a ripe peach!

For that reason, I am so happy to share this awesome recipe! My mom made a delicious Peach-Kale Salad for our family, and I must give her all the credit for such a brilliant idea. (Moms rock, right?) We all loved it, and I attribute that to the sweetness of the ripe peaches.

Ingredients
2 bunches kale
2 large peaches, sliced
¼ cup nuts, chopped

for vinaigrette
¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. apple cider vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
2 T. honey
1 lemon, juiced
1 T. ground Dijon mustard

First, prepare the vinaigrette by mixing the ingredients in a small bowl. Wisk lightly or mix gently with a spoon. Second, slice peaches thinly for arrangement. It is best to prepare the vinaigrette and peaches before cooking the kale because the greens will cook very quickly. Next, pick the kale leaves from the stems. Heat a large sauté pan with olive oil, enough to cover most of the pan surface. Add kale leaves to the pan on medium heat. Stir and flip the kale as it cooks. After about 2 minutes, the kale will be slightly wilted. This is the perfect for your salad! Place the wilted kale in a large serving bowl, and toss with the chopped nuts. The nuts give the salad a good crunch. I chose sliced almonds, but I believe that other nuts would taste great too. Add as much vinaigrette you like to your salad. I pour a few tablespoons overtop of the kale, and save the rest for other dishes and salads later in the week. The dressing goes great over raw salads, couscous, quinoa, and roasted veggies. Lastly, arrange the peaches over the kale. The final dish will be beautifully bright and so tasty.

Best of luck! I hope that you enjoy this wonderful summer salad!

 

Madeleine Wirth

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg!

Bruschetta

IMG_4719Bruschetta is a light diced tomato topping served over cuts of bread grilled with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. This signature Italian appetizer combines a variety of authentic flavors that are absolutely heavenly. With a prep time of less than 20 minutes, preparing your own Bruschetta may be the easiest way to impress family and friends with a delicious and nutritious appetizer.

Bruschetta is the perfect way to serve up the fresh tomatoes available now at the Co-op, or in your home garden. Tomatoes are in peak season and the colorful varieties of heirloom tomatoes make for a bright and beautiful presentation. I picked up three large heirloom tomatoes that were crimson, yellow, and bright red.

Bruschetta recipes may vary in flavor profiles, however this recipe highlights the tomatoes with fresh basil and parsley. A crisp baguette is the perfect complementary vehicle for the delicious Bruschetta!

Ingredients

1 French Baguette
2 tbsps. Olive oil
2 t. Black Pepper
1 t. Salt
1/4 c. fresh parsley
1/4 c. fresh basil
2 lbs. fresh heirloom tomatoes, diced
4 oz. goat cheese, mozzarella, or your choice

IMG_4722Cut baguette into 3/4″ wide slices. Arrange on a cookie sheet, and baste with olive oil. Top each bread slice with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Broil the bread until slightly toasted or golden, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Finely dice tomatoes, and add to a large bowl. Chop fresh parsley and basil. Combine herbs with tomatoes and toss with olive oil, black pepper, and salt. Stir mixture to combine the flavorings.

To the toasted baguettes, add a layer of cheese. I chose goat cheese and mozzarella as the middle layer between the bread and bruschetta; both were delicious! Top each baguette with a spoonful of your bruschetta. Pop in the oven for about 30 seconds to melt up the cheese.

Serve this Bruschetta as an appetizer, snack, side dish, or a vegetarian entrée. My family and I enjoyed our Bruschetta outdoors, with a bottle of red wine – a relaxing way to enjoy the summer.

Happy cooking!

 

By Madeleine Wirth / Guest Blogger

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg.

Blueberry Coconut Muffins

By Tiffany Wu – Makes 12 muffins

Friendly City Muffins Post-Oven 3These blueberry coconut muffins take full advantage of blueberry season and are bursting with flavor. The shredded coconut complements the blueberries nicely and adds a tropical twist to the muffins. In place of eggs, I used ground flax seed dissolved in hot water. The flax seed and water mixture is commonly used in vegan baking and binds the muffin batter nicely. I also made my own flour by blending oats on high speed for 30 seconds. You could easily make this recipe gluten free by using gluten free oats.

 

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. ground flax seed dissolved in 5 tbsp. hot water

½ cup almond milk

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

1 cup applesauce

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 ½ cups oat flour

½ cup shredded coconut, plus more for topping

1 ¼ cup blueberries (can use fresh or frozen)

Coconut Oil Spray

Friendly City Muffin Batter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place ground flax seed into a small bowl and mix with 5 tbsp. hot water.

Mixture should thicken after 5-10 minutes and have a gel like consistency.

  1. Blend oats in a blender until they turn into flour.
  2. Add melted coconut oil to a large bowl. Next, add in applesauce, brown sugar, and flax seed mixture. Mix thoroughly to combine all ingredients. Next, add oat flour, baking soda, shredded coconut, and almond milk and mix all ingredients together.
  3. Gently fold blueberries into the muffin batter.
  4. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners and spray each liner with a touch of coconut oil. Divide batter between the twelve muffin liners. Top each muffin with a bit more shredded coconut. Bake for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  5. Once muffins are done baking, let them cool for 15 minutes before enjoying!

 

 

By Tiffany Wu / Guest Blogger

Tiffany is a student at JMU, majoring in dietetics. Her family owned a Chinese restaurant when she was growing up, so her passion for food and cooking began at an early age. She especially likes creating delicious and healthy plant-based recipes.

Peach/Plum/Havarti Plate

image1 (3)Summertime is the perfect season to enjoy fresh fruits in their purest form. The weather is much too hot for lengthy baking. Simple and refreshing recipes for the hot afternoon always catch my eye.

Friendly City has fresh plums and peaches this week. When I walked inside the store, the sweet fruits immediately caught my attention. I couldn’t help but smiling because plums and peaches are infinitely sweeter and tastier in-season.

A great way to serve fresh fruit is to pair it with a sharply flavored cheese. The acidity of the fruit complements the heaviness of the cheese. Friendly City has an amazing variety of locally-sourced cheeses such as feta, sharp white cheddar, muenster, mozzarella, and pepper jack. Just like with fresh fruit, local cheeses have an equally unique taste compared to commercial cheeses. This can be explained due to local weather and soil conditions that affect the cow’s feed quality and thus the taste of the cheese.

I arranged a beautiful plate of soft Havarti cheese, fresh basil, and ripe plums and peaches. Like a Caprese salad that includes mozzarella, fresh basil, and sliced tomatoes, the combination of fruit and cheese includes similar flavors that complement each other perfectly! I served this as an appetizer, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I will definitely be serving this recipe to friends and families again this summer.

Ingredients

Fresh peaches
Fresh plums
Havarti
Fresh Basil
Sea Salt
Ground Pepper
Olive Oil

Slice ripe peaches and plums. Arrange with sliced soft Havarti cheese and fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil, and top with a sprinkle of sea salt and a few turns of ground black pepper.

 

Good Luck, and Happy Cooking!

 

By Madeleine Wirth / Guest Blogger

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg!

 

Wheat Bran Cranberry Bread

IMG_4430Whether you eat vegan, gluten-free, or simply want to eat nutritiously, there are many varieties of high-quality flours and grains available at Friendly City Food Co-op. The co-op carries an assortment of “Bob’s Mill” products which are a brand famous for pure, unprocessed flours, cereals, grains, and meals. You can find garbanzo bean, almond, and coconut flours as well as xanthum gum (used as a binder in many baking recipes). All of these highly nutritious ingredients are longing for someone to pick them up and explore new recipes!

I baked a delicious cranberry bread using whole wheat flour and wheat bran. Baking with whole grains is an easy way to add fiber and protein to your recipes. Swapping high-quality grains for processed, refined grains nourishes your body and is always a good idea!

Ingredients (Yield 1 loaf)

1 c. wheat bran
1 c. whole wheat flour
½ c. unbleached white flour
½ tsp. salt
1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1 c. dried cranberries
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ c. dark brown sugar
1 egg
½ c. milk
1 c. orange juice
Preheat oven to 375°. Mix egg, milk, and orange juice in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients including flours, bran, salt, baking powder, baking soda, pecans, and cranberries. Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and combine thoroughly. Grease a loaf pan, and pour mixture into pan. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Check doneness by wiggling the pan and sticking the loaf with a toothpick.

This recipe yields a dense and grainy bread that is best enjoyed topped with a pad of salted butter and a cold glass of orange juice. The bread is perfectly sweet, with the cranberries contributing just the right amount of sweetness to balance the dense grain texture.

Serve this cranberry-bran bread as a dessert or a sweet treat. With nutritious ingredients that are high in fiber and low in sugar, this is exactly the kind of baking a health-conscious eater should explore.

Good luck, and happy baking!

 

By Madeleine Wirth / Guest Blogger 

Madeleine is a senior at James Madison University, studying to be a registered dietitian. She loves exploring recipes with fresh and nutritious ingredients. As a native to the Shenandoah Valley, she passionately supports the local food economy in Harrisonburg.

 

Summertime produce makes for a great Mango Chutney

FullSizeRender (10)Attention: summer is beginning to show itself in the produce section!

I recently picked up some mangoes that were on sale, and they looked absolutely amazing. Mangoes go great as a sweet balance to spicy foods, and they are usually found in mild/sweet salsas or guacamoles. I definitely recommend picking up a mango for your next taco night. The sweet mango sugar balances and can even highlights the hotter flavors.

Although I love spicy food, I decided to make a sweet tropical chutney with the mangoes I bought. Chutneys are common to Indian cuisine and usually include spicy flavors, but I wanted to keep this recipe light and refreshing. I also love tropical flavors, and I think something about citrus just sends me to a beach in paradise. Nothing beats citrus flavors on a hot afternoon.

This recipe is so simple, and I love that I was able to include fresh strawberries as well. Strawberries are still in season, so be sure to make the most of the fresh fruits while you can.

Ingredients (makes about 3.5 cups)
2 large mangoes, diced
Approx. ¼ of purple onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
½ lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest (approx. ½ lemon)
½ cup strawberries diced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ tsp. salt

IMG_4220

Dice produce and combine in medium-sized bowl. Squeeze lemon juice of half fresh lemon into the bowl. Add chopped parsley, lemon zest, and salt. Taste, and adjust seasonings until desirable.

The sweet mango and strawberries paired perfectly with the fresh parsley. I served my family this chutney over some grilled salmon, and I imagine other fish like tilapia, mahi-mahi, or trout would also taste delicious topped with this perfectly light relish. Another option I recommend is mixing this mango chutney with couscous or quinoa for a refreshing salad!

The ingredients do all the work to make this chutney incredible. You can even serve this as a dip with pita chips.

 

Good luck, and happy cooking!