Suruchi is the recipe-sharer and food lover behind This Brown Kitchen, a site where she shares the recipes and habits that fuel a happy and healthy lifestyle. Between daily yoga practice and reading up on the latest wellness trends, you can find her in the kitchen trying new flavor combinations - combining the traditional Indian flavors of her upbringing with new modern twists. When she's not cooking up dishes or styling scenes for a shoot, you'll find her perusing the craft stores for new project ideas or out traveling to neighboring cities looking for inspiration and tasty treats!
This time of year I’m all about the festive flavors.
I love filling the house with warm spices and hearty foods that make me feel all cozy while wrapped under a big blanket.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve taken the chance to think about how to incorporate lighter fare into my meals while still using the ingredients that are so prominent during these holidays.
Having taken the last year or so to really focus on my health and incorporating wellness into even more aspects of my life, I’ve discovered those staple ingredients that I always have on hand. Sweet potatoes are one of those vegetables that is so easy to cook up into a healthy and filling meal, and while I eat them year-round, they taste even better during these months. Roasting them low and slow in the oven really gives them the chance to get nice and sweet while caramelizing the sugars they have. You could easily stuff these guys with any of your favorite toppings :: greens, rice, lentils, etc. I made this lentil and quinoa stuffing that is the perfect savory pairing. I really wanted to celebrate the season, so I added a handful of cranberries to the mix and they end up like these sweet little gems in the mix.
Just because this is the season of indulgence, doesn’t mean you can’t have those rich flavors – I like using holidays like this as a chance to play around with these classic flavors and use them in ways that are a little better so that when it does come time to indulge, you can! Give these potatoes a shot and let me know what stuffing combos you love!
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lentil and Quinoa Stuffing
3 Sweet Potatoes
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red chili powder (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper
salt to taste
3/4 cup cooked lentils
2/3 cup cooked quinoa
handful of greens of your choice
3 tbsp of dried cranberries
for topping – lemon juice, dressing of your choice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Rinse the sweet potatoes and place directly onto oven rack. Bake for 45 – 60 minutes until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Set aside.
3. In a stove top pan, add the ghee and bring up to a medium heat. Add the spices to the ghee and heat for about a minute.
4. Add the lentils and quinoa and toast for about 5 minutes until warmed through. Add the greens and toss with the quinoa and lentils until they are slightly wilted.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the cranberries.
6. Cut the sweet potatoes down the middle and add the lentil stuffing into the potato.
7. Drizzle with lemon juice and top with your favorite dressing (I like an herby tahini sauce on mine.)
Fill Your Bowl to the Brim with Gilt Free Veggies and Grains…
I spend a lot of time researching recipes and modern lifestyle trends as they relate to “wellness”. A lot of that research takes place on social media as we truly are living in a time when the internet is brimming with ideas and pictures of the latest foodie trends and people living their healthiest lives. But sometimes with that comes the notion that in order to keep up, you also need to be spending exorbitant amounts on that trendy workout or pay the $10 for a juice and order all the latest potions and healing tonics that will make you your best self. I’m not saying that you should completely pass up on these treats, I mean hey, I’m all for treating myself to a spin class and fancy salad every week or so, but these things make up only a part of what it takes to be your most wellness-focused self.
While there are new trends coming up all the time in the health-food world, I’ve come to really appreciate the basics and find that the more I return to the everyday goods, the more special those treats become when I do have them.
Enter the Buddha bowl.
You’re probably no stranger to the idea of a bowl for meals, but throughout my wellness journey, I’ve continually come back to bowls as a way ground and nourish myself.
I think there are some people who scoff at health-forward food because they think these dishes require extra special ingredients and/or extra cooking time, which, in this consistently busy world, can be hard to find. So if you haven’t already, the bowl-life is here to change your perspective.
Something I so love about having bowls for my meals is how easy they are to assemble. If I’m being honest, most of the time my bowls are purely leftovers from the week that I pair up with some fresh ingredients. My favorite combo? Roasted broccoli, sweet potato, avocado, and greens with some kind of grain. It’s basic, but when you’re in a crunch and just need some fuel for the day, it comes through. So what’s my go-to formula for a Buddha Bowl?
a base of greens
veggies (roasted or fresh)
avocado slices for some healthy fats
a thick dressing of some kind (hummus, herb dip, etc.)
lemon or lime juice
It really isn’t a formula, but I try to tick off everything on the list to put together both a nourishing and flavorful bowl that gets me excited about eating my veggies. The other part that I love about the flexibility of bowls is how you can swap out ingredients based on what’s in season. Eating in-season means you’re getting the most nutritious and tasty version of that veggie and it brings the whole bowl together. In case you’re in need of some combo ideas – these have been some of my favorites ::
Smoothie bowls are my favorite morning go to. Fruit is an amazing food for us humans – we are 97% like monkeys and hey, they live off of it! Fruit’s also is the smartest natural food – it falls when it’s ready to be eaten and holds perfectly filtered water. Fruit is one of the best ways to stay hydrated!
Blend your favorite fruits and veggies together for your smoothie bowl! A frozen banana is the key to a creamy consistency that tastes like ICE CREAM! Top with your favorite nuts, seeds and natural goodies!
Green Smoothie Bowl Recipe (blend together, preferably with a Vitamix!)
1 handful of greens
1 cup cauliflower
1 cup zucchini
1.5 frozen banana
1 tablespoon maca powder
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup almond milk
top with blueberries, coconut flakes, almonds, cacao nibs, cherries, kiwi and peaches
Easter is right around the corner! I’ve always looked forward to setting a beautiful spring table with pastel colors, fresh flowers and deserts to die for! This year we’re sharing one of our favorite plant based Cheeze Cake recipes packed with vegan and gluten free ingredients – one that you won’t feel guilty devouring!
For the crust::
Blend 2 lemon @larabar’s, 1/4 cup shredded coconut, and 1/2 cup chopped brazil nuts in a food processor and press into a parchment lined cake pan.
For the plain filling::
Add 1 cup of cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours, then drained and rinsed, juice of 1 lemon and zest of 1/2 lemon, 1 tablespoon @manukadr honey, and 1 tablespoon @consciouscoconut melted coconut oil to a high power blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the crust layer.
For the raspberry filling::
Add 1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 4 hours, then drained and rinsed, juice of 1/2 lemonand zest of 1/2 lemon, 1/2 cup raspberries, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil to a high power blender and blend until smooth. Pour over the plain layer.
Let the cake set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Top with fresh berries and mint leaves!