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Your Guide to Ultherapy

As we age, the skin loses its natural elasticity and shine as the cells die out through a degenerative process. Though there are a lot of skin products that help in making the skin retain its smoothness and softness, most are still a temporary solution and in the long run become a hefty cost. Surgery can also be done but the pain and the costs often make people shy away from taking the option. Now here comes Ultherapy, a new alternative that gives you healthier and younger-looking skin.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a skin treatment that doesn’t involve going under the knife or getting wheeled into a surgery room. This uses ultrasound waves to make the skin more loose and then lifting it without the need for surgery. Ultherapy stimulates the deep layers of the skin that are often addressed in skin surgery, but this therapy works without the need of injuring the tissues at all. Because of ultrasound, healthcare professionals are capable of visualizing the skin and just the right amount of energy is applied to the specific area of the skin to be treated.

How Does it Work?

Ultherapy makes use of ultrasound waves to stimulate the tissues beneath the skin, even reaching several layers up to the muscles. This makes the skin grow tighter, close pores, and make the skin look smoother. Regarded as safe by the medical community worldwide for over 50 years, Ultherapy eliminates the need for one to undergo surgery or other invasive procedures in order to make the skin look healthier and younger.

Contributed By:

Skin Tightening Clinic Singapore
Blk 125 Bt Merah Lane 1, #01-174, Singapore 150125

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish Bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing | The Full Helping

I know it’s a bit of a cliche to talk about simple food after a holiday week, but it can be such a relief to get back to basics after even a few days of nonstop cooking, eating out, or travel. I didn’t cook a Thanksgiving meal this year, but I did do a lot of cooking in general the week prior. I’m very happy to have all of the ingredients I need to make these wholesome roasted vegetable & kale puff nourish bowls with creamy hemp herb dressing tonight.

Nutrition clients often ask me about strategies for getting back into a grounded, steady cooking and food routine after the holidays. Every person is different, of course, but my strategies have always included the following:

  • Rely on leftovers. If I did any holiday cooking, I’ve usually got some leftover mashed potatoes lying around, a container of roasted veggies, or even some leftover salad that needs to be eaten quickly. Simple bowls are a great way to combine them all.
  • When I’m out of leftovers, I rely on my favorite store-bought staples till I’m back in the groove. The last time I prepared Thanksgiving, three of us impressively polished off just about everything. The days after were a great time for frozen veggie burgers, vegan meats, batch cooked (or pre-cooked) beans and grains, and ready-to-eat vegan meals—all great resources to depend on as I got back into my usual cooking routine.
  • Bring it all together with a sauce. The simplest bowl or plate of leftovers can be transformed into something new and surprising with the help of a really great dressing or sauce.

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing | The Full Helping

These nourish bowls are a combination of all three approaches. They feature two vegetables—sweet potatoes and cauliflower—that you may have roasted up for a holiday feast, or which you might be making a lot of during the early winter season, anyway. And you can definitely swap out the roasted veggies you’ve got if you don’t happen to have or care for either vegetable.

They’re also enriched with the use of Dr. Praeger’s kale puffs, which are basically a more wholesome and (I think) flavorful spin on traditional tater tots. They’re made with skin-on red bliss potatoes and flecked with kale; the first time I tried them I was surprised how much of the potato was visible in the texture of the puffs, in spite of the fact that they’re super light and crisp. They’d be a perfect addition to a brunch plate, or as a means of encouraging picky eaters to eat kale. But they’re also a great bowl component: comforting and starchy, but not heavy or greasy, and very easy to crisp up in the oven.

Finally, the bowls feature a bright-tasting and bright green dressing that I’m already planning to make again. I used to make hemp based dressings all the time, and I’ve gotten out of the habit for no particular reason (except maybe my addiction to tahini?).

Hemp seeds are great sources of protein and essential fatty acids, and they blend up easily in a powerful blender without any need to pre-soak, which makes them ideal for last minute, nutrient-dense, creamy dressings and sauces. This one keeps to the spirit of the bowl in its simplicity: just herbs, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and a pitted date for mild sweetness. It would be lovely on a simple green salad, mixed together with rice and beans (or quinoa and beans), and its tangy notes are a great contrast to all of the other earthy flavors in the bowl.

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing | The Full Helping

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish Bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing

Recipe type: main dish, quick & easy
Cuisine: gluten free, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 servings
For the bowls:
  • 2 cups roasted cauliflower florets (you could substitute broccoli or Brussels sprouts, too)
  • 2 cups roasted sweet potato (or winter squash, or another root vegetable)
  • 1 container Dr. Praeger’s Kale Puffs (about 42 puffs), warmed according to package instructions
  • 4-6 heaping cups spring mix or leafy greens of choice
For the creamy hemp herb dressing:
  • ½ cup shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 large or 2 small pitted dates
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup packed parsley leaves
  • ½ cup packed cilantro
  • ¾ cup water
  1. To prepare the dressing, blend all ingredients together in a powerful blender for about a minute, or until the dressing is creamy and smooth. Makes about 1¼ cups.
  2. Divide bowl ingredients into four serving bowls and dressing generously with the hemp dressing. Enjoy.
Dressing will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing | The Full Helping

I loved all of the textures in these bowls, from the crisped-up kale puffs to the tender sweet potatoes and fresh greens. It’s an almost-instant meal that’s a pleasure to eat and feels totally nourishing. Not much of a formal recipe, I know, but hope it sparks some bowl inspiration for you! And if you give the dressing a try, I hope you like it.

It’s been an interesting couple days here. Yesterday brought up tremendous gratitude along with some complex emotions, which I think is a common experience during the holidays. I’m reflecting on it (I’ll probably have more clarity by the time I sit down to think about my weekend reading post) but for now I want to express again my gratitude and peaceful wishes to all of you. Happy Friday.


This post is sponsored by Dr. Praeger’s Purely Sensible Foods. All opinions are my own, and I’m a huge fan of this brand’s easy vegan offerings. Thanks for your support!

The post Roasted Vegetable & Kale Puff Nourish Bowls with Creamy Hemp Herb Dressing appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Tofu Red Lentil Shakshuka

Tofu Red Lentil Shakshuka | The Full Helping

I started incorporating more savory breakfasts into my routine a couple years ago. At first, it was just a handy way to use up leftovers more quickly. Over time, I started to really enjoy the variety that savory breakfasts afforded me—so many new options to try, a welcome change of pace from my usual routine of oatmeal or toast.

Savory breakfasts have stuck around, and I find that it’s especially easy to love them as the weather gets cooler. Leftover soup and bread is pretty great fortification for a frigid, windy morning. So is any time of dal, or chana masala with homemade chapati. If I’ve got random odds and ends of meals, like the last cup of a bean dish and some leftover cooked grains, it’s easy enough to throw them into a whole grain tortilla with a few avocado slices. These meals keep me full for hours.

Tofu Red Lentil Shakshuka | The Full Helping

This tofu red lentil shakshuka is my latest favorite savory breakfast or brunch. It’s a very simple and plainly non-traditional spin on shakshuka, a popular Northern African and Middle Eastern breakfast that usually features eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce.

My version is mild, which is my preference first thing in the morning, but you could certainly give the dish more heat by finishing it with crushed red pepper flakes or adding a couple finely chopped jalapeno peppers with the onions (traditionally, both onions and peppers are used to start the sauce). I added seasoning to the dish in the form of garlic, coriander and cumin, as well as a generous handful of chopped fresh parsley leaves at the end.

Tofu Red Lentil Shakshuka | The Full Helping

To prepare the sauce, I used organic, strained tomatoes from Pomi, which are some of the freshest and most flavorful I’ve tried. The strained tomatoes have a smooth texture, like sauce, so if you can’t find the product itself, you can replace it with a 28-ounce can (or three cups) of your favorite, store-bought tomato sauce. I added red lentils to the sauce to give it extra protein and fiber, and I loved the texture they added.

The tofu slices—a vegan spin on the traditional poached eggs—are prepared simply, just sliced and seared. If you’d like to create a super authentic, egg-y flavor, you can use the suggested kala namak, or black salt. It’s a type of salt that has high sulfur content, which gives it a pungent smell and a flavor that’s reminiscent of eggs. It’s a handy “secret weapon” ingredient for vegan scrambles or breakfast sandwiches! I get mine on Amazon, but you can also find it through online spice retailers or in specialty food stores.

Tofu Red Lentil Shakshuka | The Full Helping

I love the staying powder of this protein-rich morning meal, and I’ve been enjoying it either with cooked whole grain couscous, as you can see, or (now that I’m out of cooked couscous) pita wedges. It would be great over toast, too. I’ve also been topping it with a little sprinkle of za’atar.

You can find the recipe today on the Pomi website. If you try it, I hope it keeps you warm and nourished and satisfied as you go about your day. In the meantime, I’m wishing you all a promising start to the week and continued good holiday wishes to those celebrating Thanksgiving on Thursday. I’ll be circling back with a simple, veggie-forward winter bowl recipe on Friday. Till then, be well.


This post is sponsored by Pomi. All opinions are my own, and I love the quality and freshness of these tomatoes. Thanks for your support!

The post Tofu Red Lentil Shakshuka appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Weekend Reading, 11.19.20

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

A couple weeks ago, a reader passed along Carrie Arnold’s insightful article into treatment of chronic, adult anorexia. It’s been a long time since any reading material about EDs has brought up so much emotion for me.

One reason may be that much of what I read about anorexia is focused on teens and young adults. I was eleven when I became anorexic for the first time, which means that the disease and its relapses shaped my adolescence and early adulthood. With each passing year, it all feels farther away, and I suspect that part of this is because I’m growing older as I move further into recovery. I remember self-starvation less vividly, but I also remember being twenty less vividly, and in my case those memories are linked.

This article is different: it describes the ongoing challenges that face adults who have had anorexia for a long time. Habits are all the more difficult to change simply because they’re so established. One physician is quoted saying, “The longer you have anorexia, the more anorexia creates physiological changes in the body and the brain that then create a self-sustaining cycle. You do it today because you did it yesterday, no longer because you decided to go on the Atkins diet when you were 15 or because you broke up with a boyfriend and you decided to lose weight. It’s no longer about that.”

I was already deeply habituated to my ED by the time I truly wanted to get better, and the work of changing habits was enormous. Sometimes I felt as though I was battling myself and every impulse I had from the time I woke up till the time I went to bed. It’s hard to say what recovery would have looked like if it had found me just a few years later, with my compulsions more entrenched. How much longer might the process have taken? Would I have been able to do it? Obviously, there’s no way for me to know.

I identify as fully recovered, but I’ve borrowed a friend’s expression in saying that I work actively to “protect my recovery.” When I say this, I don’t mean that relapse feels proximate; it really doesn’t. If nothing else, I don’t think I could ever again muster up the energy that anorexia demands. It’s so exhausting. And I’m pretty certain that I couldn’t do without food at this point. Even if I wanted to, even if I tried. I always loved it, even when I was sick, but I love it now in a way that feels completely fundamental to my identity and experience of life.

But could I imagine being tempted, during a bad spell of anxiety or isolation, to seek out comfort in regimented behaviors or ancient compulsions? Do habit and routine always exert a hold on me when I’m adrift? Do I sometimes wish I had the energy to deny myself food again, because without my ED I’ve lost the reward that I used to access whenever life felt overwhelming?


That’s probably why the article hit home. It affirmed what I already believe, which is that a full recovery is possible, and the tendencies that fueled anorexia in the first place will probably never dissapear. We can, with great support, self-care, mindfulness, therapy, and/or medicine, learn to quiet them, manage them, and live lives in which they no longer hold us hostage.

As the article makes clear, there’s also also a growing body of evidence to substantiate neurobiological contributors to the disease. It may be that those who develop anorexia have unusually high levels of serotonin, which can enhance anxiety and irritability; serotonin is synthesized from tryptophan, an amino acid that we all obtain from food. The less you eat, the less tryptophan you consume, and this may have the effect of lowering serotonin. It’s one of many possible reasons why anorexics tend to feel better when they’re hungry, rather than worse.

As I was reading, I remembered how many years it took me to be at peace with the sensation of fullness; this also meant letting go of my attachment to the power and energy I felt when I was empty. It was one of the slowest pieces of recovery. Nowadays fullness makes me feel grounded and calm, while hunger tends to make me a little anxious. I’m not sure when the switch happened, but it was such a relief when it finally did.

The article is hopeful in that it highlights a new treatment option that places focus on neurobiology, compulsion, and family therapy all at once. It’s called Neurobiologically Enhanced with Family/Friends Eating Disorder Trait Response (NEW FED-TR), and its goal is not only to treat, but also to help those with EDs to release guilt and shame surrounding the disease(s).

One of the most poignant moments of reading, for me, was a description of a treatment provider playing an audio recording of what a former patient reported as the thoughts that hounded her while she was trying to eat: “I can’t eat this. I’m going to get fat. I’m ugly. I’m disgusting. I’m weak. I hate myself. I can’t do this. I’m so pathetic, just pathetic, a weak pig.”

I thought back to my own internal monologue once upon a time, both during anorexia and during recovery. I don’t remember all of it, but I remember how often words like “pathetic” or “disgusting” or “filthy” came up.

The author notes that most parents had begun treatment with anger toward their children for seemingly refusing to eat. “When they heard the recording and the sheer amount of ‘noise’ that their children endured,” she writes, “their anger dissipated.” I suspect that, if more people could hear the relentless, intrusive thoughts that plague an anorexic as he or she is trying to eat or make a decision about food, empathy and understanding would be so much deeper and more widespread.

As I said, it’s been a long time since anything hit so close to home or evoked so much feeling and memory. I’m grateful to Carrie Arnold for writing this piece, and to all of the individuals whose brave recovery efforts are highlighted.

I’m grateful, too, for a belly full from breakfast this morning, and the peace I feel with that sensation.

Hope you enjoy this week’s articles and yummy, Thanksgiving-friendly food links.


I like all of the things in Marly’s crisp, savory sweet, seasonal vegan harvest salad, including roasted chickpeas and sweet potatoes. But I’m especially excited about her creamy pumpkin ranch dressing!

If you happen to be doing a Middle Eastern inspired feast for Thanksgiving (or the idea intrigues you), this would be an awesome side: pomegranate cilantro tabbouleh. I’ve experimented with lots of different grains in tabbouleh salads, but never cilantro in place of or with the parsley. Really intrigued to try it.

This week Shelly posted the pumpkin baked ziti from Veganomicon (which just got a snazzy new, 10th anniversary reissue). I have the new edition, and I’m being reminded of how awesome this recipe is. It’ll be my next major comfort food fix for sure.

For a super seasonal appetizer option this week, check out Amanda’s fully loaded winter squash hummus.

A perfect, nourishing bowl of autumn vegan goodness from Alexandra, who was kind enough to adapt my turmeric rice for the recipe. I so appreciate her sharing her truth about her experience with depression in the post, too.


1. First, Carrie Arnold on the difficulties and promising breakthroughs in treating adult, longterm anorexia.

2. A mother’s thoughtful consideration of the fact that her daughter won’t be able to remember much of her early childhood years as she gets older.

3. An interesting article about training our minds to be more open-minded. There are reasons why it’s so difficult for most of us to accommodate world views or ideas that are foreign to us. According to the article, open-mindedness can be cultivated like other skills, with mindfulness and mental exercise.

4. An important read on why girls shouldn’t be forced to dispense hugs or any other type of touch, even to family members, during the holidays. This one definitely hit home: I grew up in a Greek American culture in which hugging and cheek pinching were commonplace. I remember how uncomfortable having my cheeks pinched used to make me, and I wish I’d been given permission to have firmer physical boundaries at that age.

5. Saline—a most basic medical supply—is running short since manufacturing facilities were damaged by Hurricane Maria. A reminder of how greatly we depend on certain medical staples and how quickly they can become precarious.

I’ll be checking in throughout the coming week with some new recipes, but I want to take a moment to wish anyone and everyone who’ll be traveling or busy for the holiday a wonderful Thanksgiving. Peace to you all, and see you soon.


The post Weekend Reading, 11.19.20 appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Corn Chowder

I mentioned last week that it’s a quiet Thanksgiving season for me. I keep meaning to test a new pie or make stuffed squash or mash potatoes or do something else that feels seasonally appropriate, but I’ve had my hands full with work and school lately, and in the down time I’ve been prioritizing life outside the kitchen. I may catch up on festive cooking by the time Christmas rolls around, but for now, it feels alright to be taking it easy.

Still, the upcoming holiday is on my mind. This week I got to thinking past Thanksgivings, and about how I’ve always overshot with my cooking, no matter how hard I try not to. During our first year in NYC together, Steven and I had my mom over for Thanksgiving dinner at our place. While I was delighted to take charge of the meal (I’d never really been able to do that before), I overextended myself so much that by the time we all sat down I could barely keep my eyes open. I don’t even remember what I made.

I’ve learned a lot about cooking for friends since then, and I like to think that if I do a Friendsgiving next year I’ll be able to avoid holiday meal-prep burnout. It’s taken me a long time to realize that guests are usually happy—maybe even relieved—to eat simple food, especially if it means that their hostess is relaxed and able to have a good time.

This creamy vegan cauliflower corn chowder is exactly the sort of thing I’d whip up if I were having people over or cooking for a gathering this year. It’s filling, so in theory it could be paired with sides and salads to make a complete Thanksgiving meal, without the need for a fancy entree. It’s savory and creamy with a hint of sweetness from the corn. And, since it features a mix of cauliflower and potato, it’s hearty without being heavy.

Does this really qualify as chowder? Maybe not. It isn’t thickened with roux or crackers, and there’s no seafood, so I really don’t know. But I tend to name recipes with the spirit of the meal in mind, and for me, this one evokes the experience of eating traditional New England soup and potato chowders as a kid.

I think cornbread is an ideal accompaniment (I’ve been eating it with my simple, whole grain vegan cornbread), but regular toast would be nice for scooping up the bottom of the bowl, too. The soup can be made into more of a whole meal by adding greens, tempeh bacon (or another vegan bacon), smoked tofu, or roasted chickpeas, and it makes plenty of leftovers for freezing and reusing.

Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Corn Chowder

Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 8 servings
  • ½ cup (about 2 ounces) raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours and drained*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium or large head cauliflower (about 1½ lbs), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 2 large or 3 medium sized russet or yukon gold potatoes (about 1½ – 1¼ lbs), peeled and diced
  • 3 ears corn or 2 cups frozen and thawed corn kernels
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or 6 cups water + 1 vegan bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional accompaniments: vegan cornbread, toast, chopped chives or green onion tops, vegan bacon, smoked tofu, roasted chickpeas
  1. Place the cashews into a powerful blender with ⅔ cup water. Blend for 1-2 minutes, or until you have a rich cashew cream. Set the cream aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes, or until the carrots are getting soft and the onion is clear.
  3. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, 1 cup of the corn, broth or water, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and bay leaves to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and cauliflower are completely tender.
  4. Turn the heat off and remove the bay leaves. Puree about half of the soup with an immersion blender (or transfer half to a standing blender and puree, being careful to avoid spattering). The soup should be creamy, but some pieces of cauliflower, potato, and corn should be visible. Taste the soup and add extra salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Add the remaining cup corn to the soup, along with the cashew cream (or coconut milk). Bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Serve, with any accompaniments you like.
*In place of cashew cream, you can use 1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk.

Leftover soup will keep up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. Soup can be frozen for up to two months.


Putting the whole Thanksgiving thing aside for a minute, this is such a satisfying and dependable fall or winter soup to have around. I’ve been enjoying it with greens and some chopped, smoked tofu for lunch this week, and I’m excited to serve it up with a couple of hearty dinner salads over the weekend. Whether you consider it for a holiday table or not, I hope it might give you the same comfort and pleasure it’s given me.

I’ll be back for the usual roundup this weekend. No major holiday recipes next week, but I do have a protein-rich, savory breakfast that I’m excited to be getting on the blog (it’s a favorite around here), and also a simple, nourishing vegan bowl recipe to help ground you as you move into the busy month of December. See you soon.


The post Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Corn Chowder appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Weekend Reading, 11.12.17

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Early this week, I was flipping through Yoga Journal and found an article from the magazine’s archives, written by Keith Kachtick, about impermanence. It was written in 2008; in it, Kachtick recalls being on a trip to Miami, shell-shocked by the realization that his marriage was ending. Ambling through South Beach by himself, he stumbled on an exhibition of Tibetan art and culture that featured six Buddhist lamas completing a sand mandala in public.

“[I]t was the first moment of genuine ease I’d had since first learning from my wife that she was considering a divorce,” Kachtick writes. “For months I’d been holding tight to broken promises and spending so much energy wishing things were different that I felt as though I’d forgotten how to breathe.”

Kachtick goes on to talk about the principle of sunyata, often translated from Sanskrit as “emptiness.” It is a fundamental principle of yoga, he says, the suggestion that everything is destined to fall apart and become something else:

Though it sounds paradoxical, sunyata is the core of what yoga and Buddhism generally affirm is a coreless reality. To fully understand yoga and Buddhism, you must not only recognize but also be OK with the fact that everything—every thing—is a sandcastle, and that material stuff, any compounded phenomenon, sooner or later falls apart and washes away with the tide. This magazine is a sandcastle. My marriage is a sandcastle. So too are the yoga studio I own, the bike that gets me there, the century-old pecan tree in my backyard—even my achy but faithful body. I find this a sobering and empowering truth, and it leads to some compelling questions: Who am I really? What am I? And what, if anything, actually dies?

Thinking about sunyata helped Kachtick to find some peace as he processed the loss of his marriage:

In Miami I began to more fully appreciate that moving toward enlightenment means, in large part, knowing that the wisest way to hold something (or someone) is with an open palm…[t]he challenge—and it’s a challenge that can separate enlightened behavior from unenlightened—is to love the sandcastle no less for its transitory nature. To treat each precious moment as if it’s the most important thing in the universe, while also knowing that it’s no more important than the moment that comes next.

Kachtick’s words reminded me of a very old blog post, in which I wondered aloud about how to reconcile the idea of aparigraha, or non-grasping, with the urge to love and hold things passionately. A reader commented that she often thinks about this with the image of the Buddha’s hands in her mind, holding lightly. It’s the same idea as Kachtick’s open palm.

I think I’ve become more adept at holding lightly the things I don’t need or want around in my life: perfectionism, rigid goals and objectives, resentment, undigested anger or repressed feelings. But I still tend to cling to the things I want and love, fearing what will happen if and when I let go.

In the last few months especially, I’ve been tasting happiness and connection in ways I haven’t for a long time. I’ve reclaimed parts of myself that have been dormant in recent years, including my capacity for laughter, my openness and desire to give and receive love, my self-assurance. I don’t question why these qualities went quiet for a while; I know that there are other, much more vulnerable parts of my personhood that needed to be given space. But it’s nice to feel as though I’m reintegrating the pieces.

The challenge I’m coming up against is, of course, my tendency to scheme about how I can sustain the happiness that’s growing. The memory of last year’s depression and anxiety is so close, and so vivid; I’m in a very different place now, but a part of me fears that it’s only a matter of time before I revisit that landscape.

I find it helpful to recognize that I’ve put supports into place that will help me through future trying times: steady therapy, a newfound capacity to ask for help, a work-life balance that finally allows me to avoid burnout.

But it’s equally, if not more important to exercise some faith in life, to trust that I’m where I need to be. I’ve never really been able to do this; I’ve always problematized suffering and greeted happiness with equal parts gratitude and fear of loss. Kachtick’s words remind me to embrace, or at least accept what lies in my palm, whether it’s painful or joyous, and be ready to let it pass, knowing that I’ll be lightly holding other things in good time.

I hope the article, which is one of my reads this week, might give you some feelings of contentment or peace, especially as we enter this busy (and sometimes overwhelming) time of year. And I hope you enjoy the recipe links, as always!


I can’t think of an easier or more healthy, all-purpose side than this bowl of spinach and white beans.

How beautiful is Ania’s masala dosa? Any one of the components (wrap, filling, chutney) looks like a keeper.

Shannon’s parsnip fries would be a cool, nontraditional appetizer or finger food for any Thanksgiving gathering! I’m loving the sriracha-spiked dipping sauce.

At this time of year my slow cooker starts getting a lot more use, and I’m bookmarking Jessica’s awesome, hearty, nutritious quinoa enchilada casserole as my next recipe.

An adorably single-serve-sized vegan lentil mushroom loaf!


1. First, Keith Kachtick on how to practice sunyata.

2. I really loved this article on how vaudeville performers are helping hospital patients with dementia.

3. Good information on why it’s difficult for doctors to get the education and information they need about transgender health issues.

4. A pretty fascinating article on how much the benefits of angioplasty are mitigated by the placebo effect.

5. The New York Times reports that “the era of biomedical research on chimpanzees in the United States is effectively over.” As the article makes clear, moving chimps to sanctuaries will take a long time, but there’s been a massive shift in thinking about the ethics of experimentation on these animals, and the detailed coverage alone is, I think, a step forward.

I hope you enjoy the picks this week, and I’ll be back in a couple days with an easy, Thanksgiving-friendly soup recipe for you! Happy Sunday.



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Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde

Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde | The Full Helping

My mom and I haven’t quite finalized our Thanksgiving plans this year, but we know it’ll be relaxed, intimate, and it likely won’t involve any cooking. Usually I’d be sort of sad not to be taking charge of some holiday meal prep, but I’ve had enough on my plate this month that it’ll be nice to have a quiet celebration.

I’ve also come to realize that Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be celebrated on the day of: all of November can be an excuse to go wild with festive vegan entrées and fixings and sides. I’m not attempting anything super ambitious this month, but I am playing around with a few Thanksgiving-themed dishes. This earthy plate of farro & roasted vegetables with Italian salsa verde is just right: flavorful enough to be welcome at any holiday table, but really low-key and easy to make.

Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde | The Full Helping

The inspiration for this recipe started with my friend Alison Cayne’s cookbook, The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School, which is full of intuitive, user-friendly guidance for aspiring and experienced home cooks alike. Alison has a recipe for vegetables and farro with tahini sauce, which is a perfect potluck dish for cooler weather. I was inspired by the combination, but I kept the farro plain (hers is cooked with white wine, sort of like the start of a risotto), and I decided to brighten the plate with something green and herbaceous.

The book is also full of sauce recipes, which provided me with ample inspiration. I was thinking about a pesto, but I decided to go with something a little more wintery instead: a vegan Italian salsa verde.

Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde | The Full Helping

Salsa verde can take a lot of different forms, but the Italian version, I’ve learned, is usually made with parsley, capers, and anchovies. I veganized mine by substituting some nutritional yeast for the anchovies, to provide umami. It’s not a perfect swap, but it works, and it makes the salsa verde ever-so-slightly pesto-ish.

You’ll need to wait a bit for your vegetables to roast, but otherwise, this all comes together in a snap. I typically use pearled farro, because it’s ready in about 20-25 minutes; if you’re using hulled, it’ll take closer to 35-40, depending on the brand. Play around with different autumnal vegetables, featuring yours or your family’s favorites!

Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde | The Full Helping

Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde

Recipe type: Main dish, side dish, holidays
Cuisine: vegan, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
Inspired by The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School
  • 1 cup farro (pearled or hulled)
  • 6 cups raw autumn vegetables of choice, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used a combination of fennel, carrots, red onion, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and delicata squash)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
For the Italian Salsa Verde:
  • 1½ cups tightly packed, flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon course salt
  • Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  1. Preheat your oven to 425F. Line one or two baking sheets with parchment or foil. Toss your vegetables with the olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on the sheets. Sprinkle with salt and a few turns of black pepper. Roast the vegetables for 25-35 minutes, or until tender and browning (the time may vary based on what type and proportion of veggies you use).
  2. While the vegetables roast, cook the farro according to package instructions.
  3. To make the salsa verde, place the parsley, garlic, salt, red pepper, and capers in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Pulse to break down the ingredients, then keep the motor running while you pour in the oil in a thin stream. Pulse in the nutritional yeast and vinegar, taste the salsa, and then adjust the seasonings as you like.
  4. When the vegetables are ready, fold them together with the farro and about ¼-1/3 cup of the salsa verde, reserving the rest of it for drizzling at the table. Serve.

Farro & Roasted Vegetables with Italian Salsa Verde | The Full Helping

I’m pretty sure that my holiday recipes for the blog are getting simpler by the year (last year’s stuffing was my most streamlined yet), which is either a sign of my getting older or my becoming a little more comfortable as a cook (and uninterested in fussy or showy holiday food). I still enjoy challenging myself with a showstopper dish now and then, but for now, I’m looking forward to a holiday season full of simple, good things in my home.

More of them soon. For now, happy almost-weekend, and see you for weekend reading!


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Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

Each year, I work hard to mete out my excitement about holiday recipes and holiday cooking. The food, I think, is a lot like any other part of observing the season—putting up decorations, listening to holiday music. Too late is too late. But there’s such a thing as too early, also, and it’s important not to overdo it. This wholesome sweet cherry upside down cake is my first Thanksgiving/holiday recipe of the season, and it’s a great one to start with.

A couple of years ago, I fell in love with Laurie Colwin. I  gobbled up Home Cooking and More Home Cooking, then moved on to her fiction and loved it, too. Colwin likes simple food in general, and especially simple desserts; she has no patience for fussy pastries or decorative confections. The desserts she does love are homey, satisfying, and easy to make. Gingerbread is a particular favorite of hers.

These are my kinds of desserts, too. The homier and more rustic, the better. Cakes and quickbreads, mostly. “I like a cake that takes about four seconds to put together and gives an ambrosial result,” Colwin says in a chapter of More Home Cooking titled “Waiting for Dessert.” I agree.

In that chapter, Colwin mentions something called a Nantucket Cranberry Pie. It is not, as she notes, “a pie, but a cake, and was served to me in the country by my friend Ann Gold…it is a snap, and, last but not least, it is truly good. If you wanted to do some lily-gilding, you might put some vanilla ice cream (or crème fraîche, or, if you have tons of time, custard) on the side, but Ann Gold serves it straight, which is, I feel, the best way.”

To make the cake, you layer cranberries and walnuts and sugar in the bottom of a springform cake pan, then pour cake batter over them. The pie comparison is because the cranberries constitute a kind of fruit filling, the cake a kind of metaphorical crust. The whole thing is essentially an upside down upside down cake.

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

This will be a year of simple Thanksgiving food, prepared mostly by me for me, since I won’t be cooking on the actual holiday. A four second cake has never sounded better. Last week, I finally tried my hand at the famous pie cake, but I made two key changes. After baking, I decided to invert the cake and make it more of a traditional upside down cake. To be clear, it’s equally delicious whether you invert it or not. But allowing the fruit layer to be visible is a little more festive looking.

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

Second key change: I used frozen cherries instead of cranberries. I love sweet cherries, and although they have a short season in my part of the country, I use the frozen ones to add sweetness and nutrition to recipes year-round.

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

Cherries are packed with health offerings: they’re a good source of potassium, they’ve got anti-inflammatory properties, and they’re rich in antioxidants that can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cancer and gout. They’re full of fiber, which aids in digestive and cardiac health. Cherries also contain melatonin, which may help to reinforce healthy sleep patterns.

All this, and cherries are also delightfully sweet, which makes them a perfect addition to dessert. Rainier and sweet cherries can create natural sweetness in desserts without the need for too much added sugar. The sugar added to the fruit filling in Colwin’s Nantucket cranberry pie recipe is a quarter cup, because cranberries are so tart. A single tablespoon works in this recipe, and even that could be optional if you preferred.

There are other reasons why the cake is a more wholesome alternative to some of the rich desserts on offer at this time of year. I made it with light spelt flour, for whole grain goodness and nutty flavor. It’s got barely any refined sugar, thanks to maple syrup as a sweetener. The cake is moist enough (and the cherries add enough extra moisture) to only need a quarter cup of oil for the whole recipe, so it’s relatively low in fat (for cake). And the delicious cherry walnut layer means that it’s rich in antioxidants and also boasts some Omega-3 fatty acids.

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

Not bad, for dessert.

My version isn’t quite as simple as Colwin’s, but it still might be the most low maintenance holiday dessert you make this year. You can use fresh, canned, or frozen cherries, and you can make it a day in advance of serving. It’s my new favorite, healthful, fruit-inspired Thanksgiving dessert, and I can’t wait to start sharing it (so far, I’ve been keeping it all to myself).

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake

Recipe type: dessert, holidays, snack
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free option, soy free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 50 mins
Serves: 10-12 servings
  • 2 cups fresh, frozen, or canned Rainier or sweet cherries, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon brown or coconut sugar (optional)
  • 1¾ cups light spelt, whole wheat pastry, or all unbleached, all-purpose flour*
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform cake pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the sides.
  2. Place the cherries, walnuts, and sugar in the bottom of the cake pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the oil, water, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until they’re just combined (a few clumps is OK). Pour the cake batter over the cherries and walnuts.
  4. Transfer the cake pan to the oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the top is firm and set. Allow the cake to cool for an hour before releasing it from the springform pan and using a plate or platter to invert it. Slice and serve.
*In place of wheat flour, you can substitute a trusted, GF all purpose flour blend.

This post is sponsored by the Northwest Cherry Growers, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness and consumption of regionally-grown stone fruits. It promotes and educates about stone fruits from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Montana orchards, and its website is packed with information about cherries, including varieties, growing season, and health benefits (this infographic is especially informative, and it includes a cherry pie recipe that you can make with your favorite vegan crust).

Wholesome Sweet Cherry Upside Down Cake | The Full Helping

There will be a lot more holiday cooking to savor in the coming weeks, but I’m pretty happy to be starting with dessert. A dessert that doesn’t stress me out now, and wouldn’t stress me out even if I had a giant feast to prepare, or were operating under a time crunch. I have a feeling this one might come to my rescue often during the holiday season—and the fact that it’s packed with healthful fruit will make me feel good about its arrival.

I’ve got another stress-free Thanksgiving option (this one on the savory spectrum) coming your way later this week.


This post is sponsored by the Northwest Cherry Growers. All opinions are my own, and I love filling my dessert plate with the goodness sweet cherries! Thanks for your support.


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Weekend Reading, 11.5.17

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Just yesterday afternoon, I stumbled on this piece of photojournalism. It describes what refugee families in the Diffa region of Niger are eating with the few food staples they can obtain. Buzzfeed reports,

Nearly one in five people are victims of food insecurity in landlocked Niger, one of the poorest in the world. The reasons are both man-made and natural. The vast, largely agrarian country experiences a rainy season for only two months each year — and, with climate change causing havoc in weather patterns, even that is no longer a guarantee. Irregular and sporadic rainfall has led to four severe food crises in the last two decades.
Now the food crises have taken an even more menacing form, aggravated by the ongoing conflict inside the country as well as in three of its neighbors — Nigeria, Chad and Mali.

What follows is a series of images of meals made by families in camps and settlements, including some descriptions of how the ingredients were obtained, and at what cost. Meals include frittered bean cakes, simple flour dumplings/pasta, mixed noodles with sauce, and rice and chili soup.

The article offers little editorializing, which I think is part of its power. It uses images to capture meals that are sustaining people at a moment of grave suffering and uncertainty. The topic is food insecurity in crisis, but the images are so intimate and humanizing; the little details of the meals speak to our impulse to cook and feed each other, no matter the circumstances.

To say any more would be to distract from Andrew Esiebo’s photography. But I hope you’ll check the article, which is one of my reading picks this week, out. It gave me a lot to think about and feel grateful for yesterday.

In a spirit of gratitude for sustenance, some recipes and reads for the week.


I think I’ve met my new favorite fall lunch: an autumnal burrito with roasted veggies, thyme rice, and homemade cashew mayo.

Healthful dinner in a pinch: a simple kale, oyster mushroom, and wild rice sauté from Brian of A Thought for Food.

Speaking of easy dinners, I’m just loving Lisa’s pot of curried chickpeas with mint and cilantro chutney! Tons of sweet tart flavor, and it’s a nourishing, fast meal.

A bit of comfort food heaven: Amanda’s vegan eggplant involtini with sweet onion ricotta. The next time I need to seriously impress someone, I’m making this dish.

There are still tomatoes in the markets near me (!), and I plan to take advantage until the very last one is gone. I think my parting recipe of the season will be Jodi’s wonderfully smoky roasted tomato, black bean, and polenta soup.


1. First, Buzzfeed reports on meals in a time of struggle and scarcity.

2. Neuroscientist Gregory Berns has started performing MRIs on dogs—with as little stress or compulsion as is possible—in order to better understand how they think and feel. I had mixed feelings about the article (and hesitated to share it) because it seemed to me that there’s no way to ensure that the animals are willing participants in the study.

Still, the findings are pretty remarkable, and they might do a great deal to help human beings better understand and respect animal sentience. They might also be used to help traumatized animals in shelters, which would be a really important step forward in learning to reach that population.

3. More exploration of why and how nature heals.

4. Last week, in writing about my sourdough adventures, I forgot to mention a crucial detail: my starter’s name! I learned that bread makers often name their starters; it makes the process feel a lot more intimate. Emilie’s is Dylan, and it’s the offspring of a starter named Priscilla. Mine is Gwen (short for Gwendolyn).

My distraction with starters makes this article, about the human impulse to anthropomorphize things, all the more fun to read—though of course it’s worth countering that starters are already very much alive, whether we name them or not!

5. I don’t usually find myself relating to roundups of wisdom by the decade, but a lot of the points made in this article did speak to me.

That’s it for this morning. Tomorrow morning, I’m circling back with my Thanksgiving dessert recipe for 2017. It’s sweet, wholesome, and ridiculously easy, and I hope you’ll check it out.



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Emilie Raffa’s Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip

Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip | The Full Helping

I haven’t consciously marked many milestones in my life as a home cook. My learning curve has unfurled slowly and gradually: a day comes when something I used to struggle with suddenly feels like habit, or I realize that a process I used to dread is no longer a big deal. Many of these moments have had to do with baking, simply because it’s more technical and less intuitive (for me) than cooking always has been.

2017 has been the year of bread. I started making my own bread regularly for the first time in my life, inspired by Alexandra Stafford’s amazing Bread, Toast, Crumbs, and then spurred on by The New Laurel’s Kitchen (which is full of good instruction). I’d feared homemade bread-baking for years, intimidated by overly technical advice and anxieties about whether I’d have the right sense of timing and intuition.

This year, I’ve learned that, to quote Julia Turshen, “yeast is just an ingredient,” and there’s nothing so scary about kneading or shaping dough. I’ve come to love the feel of dough in my hands. I love sitting back and watching it do its thing: resting, rising, and turning a deep golden shade in the oven.

Bread baking found me at the right time. I started cooking from Ali’s book just as I was processing the loss of a long-term relationship. I was bereft, and baking kept me company. It gave me something to do, and it presented me with a constant series of new challenges, each satisfying yet incremental enough enough to be manageable.

Most of all, it gave me bread. Loaf after tender, fragrant loaf. I can’t think of too many things that I cam as consistently happy to eat than bread or toast, and all of the things you can serve with them (dip, soup, etc.).

Through all of this, I’ve told myself that yeasted breads are within my reach, but sourdough isn’t for me. Sourdough is for serious bread bakers, those who know the ins and outs of autolysing and levains and scoring and hydration. I follow countless sourdough Instagrammers, but to some extent that has only made me more intimidated, rather than less.

Still, I haven’t been able to shake the itch to give sourdough a whirl, and the work of many women—Cheri Litchfield and Sarah C. Owens among them—has given me the ongoing encouragement I need. It was Cheri who reminded me that, no matter how technical sourdough-making can be, it’s also a time-honored method that home cooks have been practicing for hundreds of years.

I’ve known this for a while, but I needed someone to walk me through it—a warm, friendly, accessible guide. Enter Emilie Raffa.

Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip | The Full Helping

You might know Emilie as the author of the Clever Carrot blog, where she shares wholesome and hearty comfort food recipes. She’s also an accomplished bread maker, and her new book, Artisan Sourdough Made Simple, is a loving tribute to the ins and outs of bread making. It is the most accessible, down-to-earth resource I’ve ever seen about sourdough (having purchased and left dormant a number of much more technical books).

Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip | The Full Helping

I have Emilie to thank for the fact that, as of last week, I’ve been baking fresh sourdough every other morning, tearing it into hunks and dipping it in soup, using it for toast, slicing it up for sandwiches, and sharing gleefully it with my neighbors and friends.

It’s hard for me to say how gratifying it has been—not just the amazement I felt when I realized that I could do it, but also the sensation of empowerment that baking one’s own bread can bestow. It’s so gratifying to create a staple food from nothing but flour, water, and salt. I see more than ever why the process becomes so intoxicating over time. And I see that sourdough isn’t a project for master bakers. It really can be simple, intuitive, and fun.

I’ll be sharing Emilie’s foundational recipe for everyday sourdough in this post, along with a tasty dip to dunk your slices into. But I want to emphasize that the whole book is invaluable, especially if you’re new to sourdough. Emilie walks you through every step of the process, including creation of a starter, with simple instructions and useful cues. If you want to start baking regularly, you’ll want to read everything she has to say.

And reading it won’t overwhelm you. This book is neither dense nor dry. Emilie is happy to leave out certain techniques or terms, assuring readers that they don’t need to know everything about sourdough in order to get started. She gives you exactly as much information as is necessary for beginners. I don’t doubt that I’ll keep wanting to learn about this process, but as a novice I felt so grateful that Emilie was able to help me separate the essentials from the graduate level stuff.

Along with the book, Emilie shared with me a package of her dried starter, which is named Dylan, after her son. Dylan is the offspring of Priscilla, a robust starter that Emilie’s friend Celia shipped to her all the way from Australia years ago. Starter, she says, is meant to be shared. Using Emilie’s dried starter means that I didn’t need to grow my own from scratch; within 3 days, I had a jar that was well-fed, bubbly and ready to go.

At the end of today’s post, after the recipe, I’ll be offering a chance for a US reader to win a copy of the book and a package of Emilie’s dried starter. Together, they’re everything you need to get started with your own loaves. For now, though, I want to share Emilie’s incredible, practically no-knead everyday sourdough recipe, along with her zippy, garlicky, oh-so-simple recipe for white bean arugula dip!

Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip | The Full Helping

Emilie Raffa’s Everyday Sourdough
5.0 from 2 reviews

Recipe type: side
Cuisine: vegan, no oil, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Emilie Raffa
Serves: 1 loaf
Every baker needs an all-purpose, go-to loaf in their repertoire. And if you’re new to sourdough, this is the perfect place to start. Simply make the dough, let it rise overnight, and bake in the morning. It requires very little effort with big reward. The crust is golden and crunchy, and the velvety crumb is perfect for sandwiches and toast. Try a few thick-cut slices with creamy avocado and tomato or the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich you will ever sink your teeth into. This is my family’s favorite loaf.
Baker’s Schedule:
  • Thursday–Saturday: Feed your starter until bubbly and active.
  • Saturday Evening: Make the dough, and let rise overnight.
  • Sunday Morning: Shape the dough, let rise again, score, and bake.
  • 50 g (1⁄4 cup) bubbly, active starter
  • 350 g (11⁄3 cups plus 2 tbsp) warm water
  • 500 g (4 cups plus 2 tbsp) bread flour 9 g (11⁄2 tsp) fine sea salt
  1. Make the Dough: In the evening, whisk the starter and water together in a large bowl with a fork. Add the flour and salt. Combine until a stiff dough forms, then finish mixing by hand to fully incorporate the flour. The dough will feel dense and shaggy, and it will stick to your fingers as you go. Scrape off as much as you can. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, and store according to preference.
  2. After the dough has rested, work the mass into a fairly smooth ball. To do this, grab a portion of the dough and fold it over, pressing your fingertips into the center. Repeat, working your way around the dough until it begins to tighten, about 15 seconds.
  3. Bulk rise: Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise overnight at room temperature. This will take about 8 to 10 hours at 70°F (21°C). The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size.
  4. Shape: In the morning, coax the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. To shape it into a round, start at the top and fold the dough over toward the center. Turn the dough slightly and fold over the next section of dough. Repeat until you have come full circle. Flip the dough over and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, line an 8-inch (20-cm) bowl with a towel and dust with flour. With floured hands, gently cup the dough and pull it toward you in a circular motion to tighten its shape. Using a bench scraper, place the dough into the bowl, seam side up.
  5. Second rise: Cover the bowl and let rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour. The dough is ready when it looks puffy and has risen slightly but has not yet doubled in size.
  6. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit the size of your baking pot, leaving enough excess around the sides to remove the bread.
  7. Score: Place the parchment over the dough and invert the bowl to release. Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Using the tip of a small, serrated knife or a razor blade, score the dough with the cross-cut pattern on page 195, or any way you’d like. Use the parchment to transfer the dough to the baking pot.
  8. Bake: Bake the dough on the center rack for 20 minutes, covered. Remove the lid, and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Then, carefully remove the loaf from the pot and bake directly on the oven rack for the last 10 minutes to crisp the crust. When finished, transfer to a wire rack. Cool for 1 hour before slicing.
  9. Sourdough is best consumed on the same day it is baked. To maximize freshness, cool completely and store at room temperature in a plastic bag for up to 1 day.
About the Dough: Because this dough rises while you’re asleep, you won’t be tempted to rush the process or check on it every five seconds to see if it’s ready. Have a look at the baker’s schedule, then make adjustments to suit your own schedule. The overnight method can be applied to most of the recipes in this book.

Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip | The Full Helping

Emilie Raffa’s Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip
5.0 from 2 reviews

Recipe type: dip, spread, starter
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, tree nut free
Author: Emilie Raffa
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 10 mins
Serves: 2 cups
This creamy white bean dip with baby arugula is the perfect destination for a slice of artisan sourdough. It’s not only healthy, but it’s incredibly simple to make—just pulse a few times in the blender and you’re done.
  • 11⁄2 cups (375 g) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small handful of baby arugula
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1⁄2 garlic clove, chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Zest of 1 lemon, juice reserved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Add the beans, arugula, olive oil, garlic, red pepper, zest, and juice of half the lemon to a blender. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pulse a few times to combine. The texture should be creamy and rustic. Taste the dip and adjust with more lemon juice or salt and pepper if needed.
  2. Transfer the dip to a small bowl and drizzle with extra olive oil and red pepper flakes. Arrange your sourdough slices on the side, to serve for dipping.
You can also use fresh parsley or cilantro leaves in place of the arugula.

Clearly, I’m over the moon about Emilie’s bread—not just the signature Everyday Sourdough, but the many other incredible loaves in this book, including Seeded Pumpkin Cranberry, Roasted Garlic and Rosemary, and Danish Rye Bread.

But it’s worth saying how awesome this dip is, too. It’s the kind of thing you can whip up in mere minutes if you’ve got a can of beans and a handful of bitter greens or herbs, certain that your friends or whoever’s coming over will polish it off. The creaminess of the beans and olive oil are offset by the bite of garlic and pepper, and the dip is so much more complex than its simple preparation would suggest.

Emilie Raffa's Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip | The Full Helping

If you’ve thought about sourdough but haven’t known where to begin, this is the book for you. And even if you’ve never made bread before, it’ll give you all the tools you need to understand the process. What Emilie teaches you will serve you with any type of bread-making, and her assortment of recipes (which span not only breads, but also crackers, rolls, desserts, and savory meals) will give you plenty of ideas about what to do with all of the marvelous loaves you’re making.

Enter below to win a copy for yourself. I’ll pick a winner two weeks from today!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

As I said, bread making has found me at the right time, and I’m so excited to continue learning and sharing about the process. Perhaps Emilie’s work will inspire you to consider making sourdough at home, as it has inspired me—and if not, I hope it’ll encourage you to pick up a loaf of bread from your local baker and slathering it with some creamy white bean dip.

Enjoy the recipes, and see you this weekend for the roundup!


The post Emilie Raffa’s Everyday Sourdough & Spicy White Bean Arugula Dip appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Weekend Reading, 10.29.17

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Earlier this week, I mentioned that I’d been a little out of sorts. “Crabby” is actually the word I used to describe it to a friend, which in this case meant irritable, negative, and a little judgy.

I’ve learned that these qualities tend to gather around me when I’m actually feeling more vulnerable things at the core: insecurity, perhaps, or vulnerability, or worry. I retreat to a bulwark of negativity to help defend myself against uncertainty and self-doubt. Not the best strategy.

I think that’s what was up on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I’m a little burnt out on graduate school, in part because of the sheer duration of the process and also because this is simultaneously one of my less captivating and more demanding semesters. I was feeling “stuck” with a couple of work projects, unsure of which direction to take and not at all confident I was qualified to take any of them. There were interpersonal things, too, moments that had made me doubt myself and my instincts.

Enter crabbiness.

I’m so glad I found Judith Lasater’s wise and lovely meditation on santosha. Santosha is generally translated as contentment, or satisfaction. It’s one of the niyamas in Patanjali’s yoga sutra; these are presented as approaches or attitudes that help to cultivate happiness (or at least that’s how they were taught to me).

“Contentment is a paradox,” Lasater writes. “If we seek it, it evades us. If we give up on it, it evades us. It is like a shy cat that hides under the bed. If we try to catch it, we never will. But if we sit still and wait in patience, the cat will come to us.”

I smiled as I read these words, recognizing how much time I’ve spent seeking and trying to cultivate more contentment in my life, when of course by definition to be content is simply to accept things as they are.

At the same time, Patanjali doesn’t simply enjoin us to be content. He compassionately encourages us to cultivate contentment through mindfulness. By his telling, contentment is “presented as a practice to be undertaken—Patanjali exhorts us not to just be content, but rather to practice contentment,” Lasater writes. “We are to live it.”

How to do that? I have to imagine it’s like any other practice, big or small, in that it takes patience and a willingness to keep showing up. But I think much of it has to do with suspending that negativity and judgment and itchy dissatisfaction that I was feeling earlier this week. Lasater seems to agree. She writes,

Mind you, contentment is not the same as happiness. Contentment is being willing to accept both your happiness and your lack of it at any given moment. Sometimes we are asked to actively remain present with our discontent—to see it as simply what is arising within us, and to look at it with a sense of nonjudgment. This is not a practice for cowards. Santosha is a fierce practice that calls upon our dedication and surrender, in each moment of our lives—not just on the yoga mat. Can we be radically present with ourselves, whether we get what we want or not? I ask myself this question almost daily, and I’m regularly amazed by how little it takes for me to lose my apparently fragile sense of contentment.

Fierce indeed. I hear so much about how much more energy it demands to be negative than positive, loving rather than guarded or closed. But I have to wonder if the opposite is also, or equally true, because sometimes it feels so much easier to slip into crabbiness and judgment than to practice acceptance.

No matter what, Lasater’s humane words have been a reminder for me to keep softening and settling into things, checking my tendency to evaluate, label, or judge. They encourage me to show up honestly, professionally and personally, cognizant of the fact that I’m doing the best I can. We all are.

I’m wishing you all presence and softness as you greet the week ahead. Here are some of my favorite bits of reading material and food gazing from the last few days.


Sylvia’s roasted cauliflower pasta makes for a beautiful dinner with simple, everyday ingredients. Use your favorite homemade or store-bought vegan parm, and swirl away with your fork.

I love this brightly colored, hearty lentil stew from fellow Food52-er EmilyC. It’s got tons of smoky flavor, and it’s topped with green swirls of a piquant almond and parsley piccata.

Adding this one to my holiday recipe list! Thomas’ creamy carrot and parsnip bake is beautiful to look at and would be such a pretty addition to any Thanksgiving table, but it’s really easy to make.

Few things make me happier than toast for dinner, and I’m just loving this garlicky, buttery, tomato-y medley from Beth over at Budget Bytes. Again, use a favorite vegan parm, or try dollops of my go-to cashew cheese instead.

Leave it to Abby to create the perfect vegan pumpkin doughnut for fall, enriched with some whole grain flour and topped with a simple glaze.


1. Judith Hansen Lasater on cultivating santosha in everyday life.

2. The milkweed plant can be a bane for farmers, but a few Canadian clothing companies are thinking of ways to take it off their hands and put it to use in insulation for parkas and outerwear. They just so happen to be creating a plant-based alternative to down! I was excited to read about yet another vegan-friendly fashion material in this article, which Maria sent my way. The Quartz coat mentioned is super pricey, but hopefully if the insulation technology becomes commonplace, it’ll become a bit more accessible, too.

3. An unusual perspective on the idea of a sixth extinction, as articulated by biologist Chris Thomas of the University of York, in England. Thomas’ perspective is not to deny that many species have entered into extinction as a result of climate change and the imprint of human beings on the environment; rather, he suggests that humans have also enabled many new species to flourish, too, thanks to travel and transportation.

As I went through the interview, I felt no less worried for the many species now facing extinction, but I did find it hopeful to think that evolution is ticking along in spite of the dangers now facing the planet. An interesting read.

4. Major kudos, gratitude, and love to Andrea Jarrell for having the guts to speak honestly and plainly about the lingering attachment to eating disorders and their shadows through every phase of life, and especially when we come up against stress or anxiety. Her essay, “My Eating Disorder at 55,” is so raw, at once a testament to the very human experience of flirting with old compulsions and also the possibility of learning to resist them.

5. Some nice news in my hometown: 15 schools in Brooklyn will now be participating in Meatless Mondays, as part of an effort to incite more public consciousness about the link between diet and health and also the impact of meat-eating on the environment. Inviting kids to be more thoughtful about their meals is a great place to start.

As always, thanks for stopping by this Sunday. This week, I have exciting news to share about what I think will be a whole new chapter in my life as a passionate home baker—and a book giveaway and recipe to go with it! Till then, be well.


The post Weekend Reading, 10.29.17 appeared first on The Full Helping.

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