Spring Sugar Snap Pea Salad |Cultivated Wellbeing

I’ve had a very busy week running around 4 work sites and propagating health and wellness information to the masses of employees at my day-job. It’s wellness fair season, which means I’m halfway through two weeks of back-to-back events.

Cra-zy.

This time of year might be the most exciting but it’s also the most stressful, which means that eating well and sleeping as much as possible are the objectives to meet for my life outside of work. (I successfully slept 10 hours a night all three nights of this long weekend, by the way. I’d call that a SUCCESS!) I will not be getting sick or wearing myself thin. Not while I’m telling everyone else how to be healthy all day. This week’s recipe is one of sheer joy for me to share with you, and it hits the spot where “eating well” is concerned — especially if your definition of “eating well” involves a delicious requirement just as much as a healthy requirement. Both are equally important. sugar snap pea recipe

I’ve recently started listening to an NPR show called Splendid Table, which alluded to a variation upon what I’m about to share, and (like always), I encourage you to be creatively inspired to make this recipe your own. I’ll give you some suggestions at the end to spark your imagination. I served this dish at a backyard BBQ last weekend, and even guests who weren’t all that into sugar snap peas went back for seconds and thirds. We had zero leftovers, much to my disappointment. (I LOVE leftovers!) It really is mind-blowingly good.

Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs snap peas
  • 2 lbs red grapes
  • 1 large red shallot sliced
  • 1/4 medium sweet yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 to 6 chopped green onions
  • 6 to 10 sprigs of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/3-1/5 lb pecorino romano, coarsely grated
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds
  • Dressing: 1/3 cup EVO and 1 tbs raw apple cider vinegar mixed well
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Snap off the tough ends of the sugar snaps where necessary. I just use scissors and do a few at a time. It saves time and prevents accidental pea mutilation.
  2. Rinse the peas and grapes and drain very thoroughly. I let them sit in a colander for a few minutes and then toss a few paper towels into it to soak up the extra.
  3. In a large bowl with room to toss, add all ingredients (dressing last) and toss

This dish is absolutely fabulous, because it marries the natural sweetness of the peas and grapes with the salty umami of the pecorino romano. And the fresh herbs give a boost of not only flavor complexity but trace minerals and antioxidants too! Healthy and delicious — it’s heaven in your mouth! Seriously. sugar snap pea recipe

Sugar Snap Pea Recipe Variations

A few variations I can’t wait to try that might help get your juices flowing in your own kitchen:

  • swapping peaches, nectarines, or a berry combo for the grapes (UPDATE! Just did this with white nectarines for another BBQ this weekend and the whole salad was gone before the last guest arrived!)
  • swapping out other potent hard cheeses for the romano like parmesan or asiago
  • trying a Mexican cheese, lime, and a TON of cilantro with the peas only, or maybe even with peas and mandarin oranges
  • adding garlic to the onion mix or swapping it for the shallots
  • trading chopped pecans for the slivered almonds

The possibilities are endless here! I encourage you to choose your own adventure with this sugar snap pea recipe — and then share your results with me below! I’d love to hear about it!

Gluten-Free Pancakes – Lemon Poppy Seed

Toot toot toot! Do you hear that? it’s me tooting my own horn for the unapologetically sweet, rich healthy gluten-free pancakes I invented. I have kept my promise to continue experimenting with grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, high-protein pancakes, and today I present to you a gluten-free lemon poppy seed pancake recipe that will knock your socks off.

 

I’m not one to gloat (well, I might be), but I impressed myself with these little goodies.

gluten-free pancakes

The back story: Loren and I went to brunch a few weekends ago at a new little spot in Oakland, and on the menu were lemon pancakes. We saw them on the table next to us, and I was mesmerized. Of course they weren’t gluten-free, but I had to try a bite of Loren’s short stack anyway. I just couldn’t pass it up, plus I had an ulterior motive: I was determined to make my own version at home that I could enjoy in all its glory, and I needed a point of reference. They were indeed superb pancakes. Not too dense, not too mushy, not to thick, not too chewy — just right (said Goldilocks).

gluten-free pancakes

To be perfectly honest, lemon isn’t usually my flavor of choice for sweet foods. In something like a custard or cake, I much prefer rich flavors like caramel, chocolate, or coffee and tend to shy away from fruity, and especially citrus-y, flavors. But these pancakes (and yes, I consider pancakes a sweet food, even if I’m eating them for breakfast) stuck out to me. They reminded me of the one lemon-flavored treat that I absolutely love: the lemon poppy seed muffin.

gluten-free pancakes

After this brunch, I was determined to create the perfect grain-free lemon poppy seed pancake. Following some of the guidelines I’d found to be successful in my first grain-free pancake experiment, I went to it, first with just the lemon, then with the poppy seeds and almond extract. Both were delicious, so it’s up to you which way you go.

The beauty in these flap jacks is that they’re full of fiber, protein, healthy fat, and phytonutrients from the lemon zest. And in the entire recipe there’s only 1 tbs maple syrup, so they are low in sugar too! Of course, how much syrup you add to your stack of jacks could dramatically increase the sugar load, so be careful if you’re concerned about such things — which we all should be.

These can be dairy-free or you can use butter or ghee in the pan as I did, totally up to you.gluten-free pancakes

 

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes – enough for 2 or 3 people

Dry Ingredients

*I like this gelatin because:

  1. it’s from grass-fed cows
  2. it’s easy to digest
  3. it’s great for muscle growth, bone health, and immune function
  4. it won’t gel and make your pancakes weird

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut milk (CWB Favorite Pick)
  • 4 pastured whole eggs
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp almond extract (CWB Favorite Pick)
  • 1.5 tsp extra virgin coconut oil, melted (plus extra for the pan, or butter/ghee)
  • Zest from 1 lemon (about 2 tsp)
  • OPTIONAL: have an extra lemon ready for zest topping at the end
  • Juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tbs)

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, warm 1.5 tsp of coconut oil in microwave until melted (about 20 seconds)
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add all wet ingredients, and then slowly whisk in coconut oil
  4. Once all wet ingredients are mixed, whisk dry into wet
  5. Heat a skillet on medium heat and add coconut oil or ghee to the pan
  6. Use a spoon to scoop the mix into the pan (about two spoonfuls per cake) and let cook for a few minutes on each side
  7. OPTIONAL: Sprinkle a little extra zest on the top of the stack before adding pure maple syrup

gluten-free pancakes


FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. All opinions are my own.

 

Grain-free Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie

Editor’s note: I’ve since rewritten this recipe and also created a Maple Bourbon Pecan pie too. Check out the updated Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe here.


 

As avid rock climbers who take every opportunity to get out to climbing destinations, we have basically resigned to rarely having Thanksgiving ON Thanksgiving Day ever again — this year, the plan is to head out to Bishop for some sport climbing and bouldering — so I figured I might as well make a pecan pie now. I mean, what’s a fall season without a pecan pie? (I’m from Texas, by the way. The answer is “no fall at all.” I also make one around Christmas time 🙂 ). I made this pie the same night I made the Spaghetti Squash Bacon Quiche — pie crust night!

Grain-Free Pie Crust:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs palm shortening like this (affiliate link)
  • a few pinches salt

Mix almond flour and salt first in a food processor, then add egg and palm shortening. Mix until it forms a dough. Form crust in an 8 inch pie dish and set aside.

For the filling: This recipe is pretty sugar-tastic, so I won’t pretend that this pie is the most healthy dessert there is to eat — it’s not. It’s a treat for a couple of times a year. I will say though, that we’re using maple syrup and coconut sugar instead of corn syrup and brown or white sugar like most pecan pie recipes call for. It’s still sugar, don’t get me wrong. But it’s non-GMO, it’s lower-glycemic (at least the coconut sugar is), and both are less processed than the traditional sugars called for in pecan pie. I opted for topping half the pie with chocolate chips, because I wanted to satisfy every craving I could imagine having. And let’s be honest, two people are eating this pie, and one of them is me, so I might as well do exactly what I want to do.

coconut sugar takes some major stirring to dissolve, so make sure it’s all liquified before you pour your mixture into the pie crust

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbs melted ghee
  • 1 1/4 cups pecan pieces or halves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs soy-free, non-GMO mini chocolate chips (If you want to skip the chocolate, add in another 1/2 cup coconut sugar)

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (rack should be low in the oven)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, adding in the maple syrup, coconut sugar, ghee, and vanilla
  3. Stir in pecans
  4. Pour into raw pie crust
  5. Cover the exposed crust with foil to make sure it doesn’t burn
  6. Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes, based on your oven

It’s a personal goal of mine to try to make a pecan pie as good as my grandmother Josie using more ideal ingredients (like the sugars I listed above). I’d say that this one is pretty darn close.

 

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