Tag Archives: spicy

Top 13 in 2013

2 Jan My 5 Favorite Posts of 2013- Go Running, Mama!

This blog has been a new adventure for me and, even though it only covered the second half of the year, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at my 13 most popular posts of 2013.

It’s been a lot of fun sharing, and I’m excited about another year with y’all!

Top 13 posts in 2013- Go Running, Mama!

13. Exhaustion, Smoothie Pick Me Ups, and a Virtual Half Marathon Comedy of Errors (September)- Forgetting water during a high altitude half marathon, finding out I had mono, and the smoothies that got me through the ordeal!

12. Carrot Top Tacos (July)- Spiced carrots and beans with carrot top chimichurri.  Never, ever waste your carrot tops again.

11. Maple Bacon Biscuits (September)-  Maple.  Bacon. Biscuit.  Trifecta.

10. Gifts from the Heart: Apple Cinnamon Ornaments (December)- An ultra non-toxic clay that makes heavenly scented ornaments or an amazing material for sensory play.

9.  #FirstontheFirst Spiced Pumpkin Cake with Penuche Frosting (October)- We were supposed to make candy, but I cheated and frosted a very yummy cake with this praline-esque frosting.

8. #FirstontheFirst Gateau Larsson (September)- My Scandinavian twist on a traditional Basque dessert.

7.  Gifts from the Heart: Baking Soda Clay Ornaments (December)- These smooth ornaments are an inexpensive (and toddler friendly) alternative to a trip to a ceramics studio.

6. Creamy Garlic Kefir Pasta (July)- A probiotic packed easy meal.

5. Cinnamon Quinoa Lunchbox Bars (August)- Lunchbox snacks don’t get much healthier.

4. Meeska… Mooska… Mouseka Cakes: Zucchini Quinoa Lunchbox Patties (August)- Healthy food tastes even better in Mickey Mouse form.

3. #FirstontheFirst Candy Canes for Cheaters (December)- Once again, we were supposed to make candy.  And I didn’t.  But I think you’ll forgive me when you taste these cookies.

2. Frosty the Cheese Man: Snowman Cheese Ball with Hand Cut Tortilla Chips (December)- The most adorable, toddler friendly appetizer you’ll ever bring to a gathering.

1. Gifts from the Heart: Homemade Ornaments– Salt dough ornaments are a classic go-to holiday activity.

Looking for even more fun?  Here are my five favorite posts you may have missed this year…

My 5 Favorite Posts of 2013- Go Running, Mama!

Roasted Green Pepper Harissa

16 Jul Go Running Mama- Roasted Green Pepper Harissa

There are few things in the world that can excite my toddler like the delivery of our summer CSA boxes- the colors, textures, varieties, and aromas provide enough introspective stimulation to magically end even the most earth shattering of temper tantrum.  She loves to carefully handle each item and describe it to the fullest extent that her limited vocabulary will allow:

“Oooh, nice cold green pepper.  It’s slippery and smooth!”  She beams with particular pride when she is able to call the item by name.

And- I’m not going to lie- I beam with pride each time she can correctly name a vegetable.  And I’m well within my right to do so- the more time she spends knee deep in the shredded newspaper lining our box, bonding with with the purslane and peaches the more likely she is to eat each item when it arrives at the table and she can recall the lovely bounty she lovingly arranged in our refrigerator and pantry.  I go to great lengths to ensure none of our CSA produce goes to waste, but every season provides us with its own wave of bumper crop that starts to stump me… and bore me.

Last week, I listened to my sweet girl ramble on about “green HOT pepper” twelve separate times (“Watch ooooout… it make your fingers spicy!”) and this week I got to giggle at “yellow fernanner pepper” no less than 16 times.  Folks, thats a whole lotta of pepper to deal with at one time in a family of three!

When we woke up this morning to our second day of rainy dreariness, I felt like our breakfast routine needed a jolt of brightness and heat- a little artificial sunshine, if you will- to get us going.  A quick glance in the fridge reminded me that my cache of peppers could be a great candidate.  I’d already settled on scrambled eggs this morning instead of our normal smoothie/juice, and I desperately wanted a freshly made condiment in place of my standard Sriracha. That’s when it hit me- HARISSA!

I turned on the broiler, pulled out the banana peppers, a few hot peppers, and a green bell pepper and got to roasting.  Twenty minutes later we had some very happy scrambled eggs, and now I have a beautiful jar of fresh spiciness in my fridge (and not nearly as many peppers!).

Okay, so maybe it’s not truly harissa in the purest sense since there are no dried peppers and not a single red pepper to boot, but it’s bright, beautiful, and the perfect balance of heat and complexity so it pays homage to its namesake well.

Go Running Mama- Roasted Green Pepper Harissa

Roasted Green Pepper Harissa

  • green bell pepper; halved, stemmed, and seeded
  • 5 hot green peppers of your choosing
  • 14 medium-large sweet banana peppers
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of half a lemon (to taste)

To roast peppers:

Set oven to broil.  Spread peppers on a baking sheet, positioning the cut half of the bell pepper downward.  Place baking sheet in oven, positioning 6-10 inches from heating element. Roast peppers until skin is blistered, turning frequently with tongs.  Remove blistered peppers to a brown paper bag as they finish and allow to cool.  Once cool to the touch, peel peppers. Stem the peppers, fully seed the banana peppers, and seed the hot peppers dependent upon level of spice desired.

Assemble harissa:

Roughly chop peppers.  Add peppers and all ingredients except olive oil to food processor and pulse to combine.  Add olive oil and puree to desired consistency. Store in fridge in an airtight jar, covering the surface of the harissa with a layer of olive oil to preserve freshness.

Carrot Top Tacos

11 Jul Go Running Mama- Carrot Top Tacos

I’m greens obsessed.  I’ve come to live for farmer’s market or CSA delivery days when I know I’ll discover an enticing mound of weedy little shoots or a  cache of seasonal yumminess with their green tops still intact.  It makes me simply giddy!

If time allows, which it normally does, I love experimenting and discovering new applications for seasonal greens but when time is of the essence and I’m afraid I wont make it to my precious, delicate greens in time my tried and true strategy is to either make pesto or chimichurri with them that I can either use soon thereafter or freeze in an ice cube tray to use later (or to eat it with a spoon, which I totally suggest if you ever whip up pesto with kale, spinach, sweet chard, and pecans- trust me on this).

Go Running Mama- Carrot Top Tacos

The one dissenter from my “save the greens” mentality has always been carrot tops.  I feel like whole carrots get wilty the very second they enter my home with their tops on, so I’ve always just chopped and discarded them immediately instead of allowing them to join the pile of beet greens and turnip greens neatly cropped and awaiting their creative use.  Several months ago, I ran across an interesting recipe for roasted carrot tacos dressed with carrot green chimichurri that piqued my interest in the possibility that carrot tops can be more than just compost fodder, so when my Greenling box arrived with green bell peppers, hot peppers, a sweet onion, and carrots with their tops intact this week I knew exactly how I wanted to adapt that recipe to encompass the goodness in my box- roasted carrot and green bell pepper tacos with black beans, caramelized onions, and carrot green chimichurri.

This was a very good meal indeed.  Carrot greens are redeemed.

Go Running Mama- Carrot Top Taco Recipe

Carrot Top Tacos

Ingredients for Carrot Green Chimichurri

  • greens from one bunch of carrots
  • one hot pepper, stems and seeds removed
  • two cloves of garlic
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for Tacos

  • about 3 cups of carrots sliced into 1/2 inch coins
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil plus more for pan
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • pinch of cayenne
  • one can of black beans (Eden Organic uses BPA free cans)
  • tortillas
  • lime wedges

To make the chimichurri:

Rinse and pick over the carrot greens and remove and tough or woody portions of stem.  Roughly chop the remaining greens to keep stems from getting wound in the food processor.  Add greens and remaining ingredients (olive oil last) to the food processor and pulse until well combined and desired consistency is reached.

To make tacos:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

While oven is preheating, coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat pan to medium/medium-high.  Add onions and season with 1/2 tsp salt.  Throughout preparation cook onions, stirring occasionally.  Once onions begin to brown, reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown.

Drain and rinse beans.

Toss carrots and bell peppers with 1 tbsp olive oil and spices (1/2 tsp salt reserved for onions).  Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven when veggies are fork tender.

As veggies roast, heat black beans on the stove in a small pan.

Using a skillet or dry saute pan toast each side of tortillas, using tongs to flip between sides.  Keep warm wrapped in a kitchen towel.

Assemble taco ingredients within a toasted tortilla and serve with a lime wedge.

Serves: 4 adults and 1 toddler

Adapted from Rosemarried: Roasted Carrot Tacos with Carrot Green Chimichurri