Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar

Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home

Can you believe it's September already? It seems crazy that in a world where we humans assert so much control over so many things we have zero control when it comes to the seasons. They will change, no matter what we do. The sun will rise and set in time with it's yearly pattern and the days will get shorter before they get longer, so let's not fight it. Maybe I'm telling myself that. I always have trouble getting excited about Fall in Chicago because it's soooooo fleeting here. I feel like it lasts a week and then it's just dark and cold and I feel sad. 

The first winter here was the hardest. It felt the darkest. In two weeks we trade in this little apartment with the world's smallest windows and worst view for a high-rise with a patio and massive windows with a view I honestly never thought Nate and I would be able to afford. How did we spring it? Well, the new kitchen is a bit retro. And we don't have dishwasher... We're actually not heart broken over it. Because NATURAL LIGHT!! Also, it's just the two of us (for now). Did I mention we have a PATIO! Like all to ourselves! DREAMS DO COME TRUE. I plan on eating every meal on our patio until the first snowflakes fall and the thought of it is making the anxiety I feel with boxes all around me feel worth it. 

But onto this bread! We had this focaccia bread from the Division Street Farmer's Market in Chicago last summer. I knew immediately that I'd need to recreate it. The roast poblanos and corn with sharp cheddar made an incredible combination and because we have about a million of them right now I added cherry tomatoes. I originally wanted to call this "Summer Harvest Focaccia" because that's basically what it is: one big final summer celebration. I love summer so much. 

Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar | Kneading Home
Focaccia with Roasted Poblanos, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes & Cheddar
Makes 1 13x18 inch Focaccia
Adapted from: Bread, Toast, Crumbs

For the dough:
3 cups (384g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (128g) white whole wheat flour (or sub more AP flour)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 cups warm water

For the toppings:
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 large poblanos
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen (from about 3 cobbs)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
finishing salt

Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flours, salt, and yeast. Add the warm water and stir until a cohesive dough forms. Cover and set in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours until the dough has doubled in size. 

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper then top with the poblanos. Set the broiler of your oven to high and broiler the poblanos, until the skin is chard and bubbly. You'll want to check the poblanos every 3-5 minutes, and rotate them often until all sides are evenly charred. Mine cooked for about 15 minutes total. Then remove from the oven and let cool. Once cooled peel the poblano skin from the pepper and discard it along with the seeds. It's easiest to do this in the sink under running water. Finely chop the poblanos then set aside. 

When the dough has risen fully, line a 13x18 inch sheet pan with parchment then top with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Use a two forks to deflate the dough, scape it from the edges of the bowl to form a ball, then transfer it onto the parchment paper. Roll the dough in the oil to coat, then let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile heat the oven to 425 degrees F and set the rack to the middle of the oven. 

With lightly greased hands, stretch the dough to the width and length of the baking sheet. Then using your fingers press dimples into the dough surface. If the dough stretches back, let it rest for another 5 minutes or so, then stretch again. Top the dough with cheddar, poblanos, corn, and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with finishing salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on the top. 

Healthy Chocolate Banana Smoothies

Healthy Chocolate Banana Smoothies | Kneading Home

During the year I normally alternate between green smoothies, overnight oats, and green juices for breakfast but this summer I've started switching things up with these chocolate banana smoothies. They are sweetened with dates and filled, literally filled, with plant-based protein. 

In an attempt to clean up my diet a bit while I'm off of school this summer I reached out to my brilliant nutritionist friend/guru, Colleen, of Colleen's Nutrition {seriously guys she is the smartest and most helpful person I know when it comes to all things health/food/fitness}. She recommended I start tracking everything I eat through an app. Instead of counting calories she recommended tracking macronutrients in attempt to reduce the amount of carbs {and sugar, damn you sugar} I eat and increase healthy fats and plant-based proteins. It's been challenging, especially give my homemade bread addiction. And trust me, I'm still enjoying bread regularly and eating things like beans, lentils, and quinoa on a daily basis. 

When you're a vegetarian A LOT of people will have opinions about your protein intake. It's SO easy to not have to worry about protein when you eat meat, but as a vegetarian it feels more effortful. I normally roll my eyes at these types of comments, quietly worrying if I actually am getting enough protein. Then you hear leaders of vegan/vegetarian movements talking about how most Americans actually get more than twice the amount of protein they need. So whose right?! Since I've started tracking the results have been quite shocking. I haven't even come close to my recommended daily protein intake, I've been consistently and daily over it! Most women need about 45 grams per day and men need about 55 grams. On some days I've gotten up to 70g! And on my lowest protein days I've still come in at around 50g. 

This smoothie has 25g, that's more than half the protein I need in a day in one meal. I don't know about you but that makes me feel excited and empowered and reinforces the idea that our bodies can be well-served on a plant-based diet. I've got this! Also this smoothie is delicious and leaves me full for hours thanks to the hemp seeds, oats, and almond butter. 

Healthy Chocolate Banana Smoothies | Kneading Home
Healthy Chocolate Banana Smoothies
Makes 1 serving

1 frozen banana
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 pitted date
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon cocoa nibs (optional)
1 - 1.5 cups almond milk

Add all the ingredients in a blender. Top with 2-3 ice cubes and blend until smooth, adjusting the amount of almond milk until desired thickness is achieved. Feel free to sprinkle cocoa nibs, hemp or chia seeds on top. 

Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan}

Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home

Being off of school and practicum for several weeks this summer has been soul-nourishing to say the least. This past year has been one of the most rigorous and challenging of my life and the lack of sleep, stress, and the dairy-free ben and jerry's addiction I developed while writing papers has taken a toll on me mentally and physically. So this summer I'm attempting to eat a little healthier and be a bit more active than I have time for while in school.

I've actually made it to yoga or class or gone for a run nearly everyday since practicum wrapped up two weeks ago. It makes me FEEL strong until I remember that I AM strong. I've also noticed that I'm not always the nicest to my body. I call it names and pick it apart for being bigger and thicker than I'd like. Then I find my way onto my yoga mat and I'm reminded of all my body does do for me. It functions miraculously well on 5 hours of sleep, it demos poses as a yoga teacher and teaches others how to be present in their bodies, it can hold plank for a solid two minutes, ride a bike everyday to get me to and from work and school, it can run 4 miles without stopping to rest, and it allows me to stay present with the suffering of others in my work as a psychologist in training. My body is the instrument through which I live my dharma.

I plan to write my dissertation on the relationship between mindfulness, self-compassion and empathy. I believe the deeper ones self-compassion the deeper their capacity for empathy. And I'm starting to think that my yoga practice, or any self-care practice for that matter, is self-compassion in action. The deeper I grow and strengthen my own roots the further my branches can extend. I'm feeling especially grateful for this time to re-connect and ground. 

Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home
Fresh Red Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {gf + vegan} | Kneading Home

And now onto these scones! I had never cooked or baked or eaten fresh currants until I saw them at the farmer's market a couple weeks ago and was overtaken by their beauty. Seriously, they look fake they're so beautiful. Chocolate and berries are probably my favorite flavor combo ever so I through them in some scones. I guess you could call these healthy because they have a fairly small about of sugar and are made entirely with oat flour (hello protein) so all your gluten-free friends can enjoy, and they come together with coconut oil so they're vegan! The rich dark chocolate balances out that bright tartness from the currants beautifully.

Notes: I encourage you to make a trip to your local farmer's market, support small farms, and try to find some currants but if you can't raspberries (or any berry for that matter) would work great too! 

Fresh Currant & Dark Chocolate Scones {vegan + gf}
Makes 8 scones
Adapted from: Love and Lemons

For the scones:
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut (or cane) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chilled coconut oil
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1 cup fresh red currants (see notes above)
3.5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

For the glaze (optional):
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons almond milk
1 tablespoon fresh currants

In a blender/food processor, blend the oats until they've reached the consistency of flour. Measure out 2 cups and reserve the remaining oat "flour" for dusting later on. In a medium bowl whisk to combine the oat flour, coconut flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 

Spoon clumps of very cold, solid coconut oil into the flour mixture then use your fingers or a pastry blender to cut the coconut oil into the flour until it looks like crumbly sand with pea-sized clumps of coconut oil. In a liquid measuring cup combine 1 cup of cold almond milk and vanilla bean paste. Pour the almond milk mixture into the dough and stir to combine. 

Sprinkle a work surface with reserved oat "flour" then transfer the dough onto it. Roll the dough out into a large circle and sprinkle with chocolate. Fold the dough in half and press flat so the chocolate chunks get pressed inside the scones. Flatten again and top with the currants, fold the dough in half pressing the currants inside, it's okay if some of them get smashed. Shape the dough into a flat circular disc (about 1.5 inches thick). Slice the dough into 8 pieces. Place the pieces on a parchment lined baking sheet and transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Just before baking, brush the tops of the scones with the remaining 2 tablespoons of almond milk. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. 

To make the glaze, blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Let the scones cool slightly then drizzle with glaze if using.