Easy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchenEasy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchenEasy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

– Roald Dahl

Easy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchenEasy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchenEasy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchenEasy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchenEasy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Easy Olive + Herb Grilled Flatbreads

I feel like a bit of a cheat right now. I’m about to tell you to put baking powder in a bread recipe, to use canned chickpea water to make hummus and use the leftover oil from store bought marinated olives to coat your grilled vegetables. These may not be top chef tricks but they sure to help things here in my kitchen. This flatbread recipe is so easy and delicious, you can make it in 20 minutes total. That’s it. And while the grill is hot why not throw some vegetables on there too! This is really simple bbq fare for summer entertaining or easy date nights. 

I like to serve the flatbreads with dips and vegetables and a big green salad from the garden and let everyone take what they want. Fresh tomatoes and marinated olives add nice color and texture. Use whatever dips and vegetables you like. This is my favorite combination – warm flatbreads, grilled zucchini and peppers, no-brainer hummus, juicy cherry tomatoes and marinated mixed olives. Some marinated feta would be nice as well. Get the recipes below. You guys, these are the summer meals I live for. 

Flatbreads

Makes 6 large breads. Adapted from Jamie Oliver.

Ingredients

  • 2 + 1/2 cups light spelt flour*
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 + 1/3 cup all natural yogurt of choice (plant based or other, as long as it’s natural + unsweetened)
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Flaky sea salt to finish

*Light spelt flour is my go-to all purpose flour. It’s definitely processed and not as nutritious as wholegrain flour, but it really does the trick when you are looking for a specific texture. I will use it when making breads or buns. I tried using whole grain spelt here but it just, well – fell flat. If you can’t find light spelt flour I would imagine that unbleached all purpose flour will work just as well! Let me know!

What to do

Preheat your bbq or grill to medium-high (400°F / 200°C)

Combine flour, sea salt, thyme and oregano in a large mixing bowl, for things like this I always use my hands. Add in yogurt and olives, and mix until the dough comes togethers, picking up any flour bits on the bottom. Continue kneading the dough in the bowl for about a minute, then cover with a plate or dish towel and set aside to rest. Lightly flour a large cutting board and set aside. Gather other equipment – rolling pin, small knife, olive oil + brush, flaky sea salt, tongs or spatula for the bbq.

Tip the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide in half. Divide each half into three equals pieces. Lightly flour your hands, grab a piece of dough and form into a ball. Roll the ball in flour and set aside. Repeat for remaining dough. Now flour your work surface and the rolling pin, and roll each ball out into an oval shape. Place on floured cutting board and repeat for remaining dough. Don’t be scared to throw some extra flour on there if things get sticky. Using a small knife, make cut 3-4 small lines into the center of each flatbread, leaving lots of room around the edges.

Place flatbreads on hot grill or bbq. Transferring quickly and as efficiently as you can. Then close the lid and cook for 2 minutes, flip using tongs or spatula, and cook for another 2 minutes. Flatbreads should be a little charred and puffed up. Remove from grill, brush with olive and sprinkle with sea salt. Best when served right away, but can be reheated the following day or frozen for later. Serve with grilled vegetables and your favorite dips.

No Brainer Hummus

The hummus scene here is a little lack luster. If there is one thing I miss about living in the big city it would have the be the fantastic selection of specialty grocery stores. When we lived in Montreal we were just a quick walk away from a great middle eastern grocer with some of the best hummus in town. This quick and easy recipe is as close as I have come to that particular taste and texture, luckily for everyone it takes less than 5 minutes to make.

I don’t use olive oil, I find it really affects the smooth texture of the hummus once set in the fridge. Instead I use chickpea cooking water, or aquafaba as it is famously known these days. It gives the hummus and nice, light consistency and really helps build flavor. You can cook your own chickpeas or use canned ones. To save time I used canned ones, organic if possible, since I use the liquid as well. Read the ingredients and make sure there is nothing you don’t recognize on the label. Chickpeas and water. Sometimes salt or I’ve seen kombu seaweed in some organic brands. Just strain the chickpeas and reserve the liquid. Adjust salt levels as needed, I always add it in at the very end since some aquafaba’s can be saltier than others.

Ingredients

  • 1 + 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup chickpea cooking water (aquafaba)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

What to do

Place garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini and cracked black pepper. With the motor running add in the aquafaba. Mix until smooth. Taste and adjust for salt. Add an extra tablespoon or two of water or aqua faba is needed. Keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 days.

 

Grilled Vegetables

I love olives. Sometimes I marinate my own, but most of the time I just buy them at the store. We are lucky to have a great little gourmet foods shop here in town with some really delicious, quality olives. I always use the olive marinade for something – don’t let that salty goodness go the waste! Here I used it on the grilled vegetables, but if you don’t like olives just follow the ingredients below and adjust to your liking.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary, etc.)
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

What to do

Thinly slice zucchini into long strips. Slice pepper into 4 large pieces. I try to keep the pepper in bigger pieces so they don’t fall through the cracks or the grill, then I slice a little thinner afterwards. Toss sliced vegetables in olive oil and herbs and season. Place on hot grill and cook for 6-8 minutes, then flip and grill for another 5 minutes. Cooking time will depend on size of vegetables, but you want them to be soft and bar marked but not falling apart. Pepper might take a little longer than zucchini. Keep the grill hot for your flatbreads!

Make a big platter and your favorite green salad and let people dig in!

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Summer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

I tend to overthink things. Sometimes there are so many things going on in my head it’s hard to pick out what really matters. Everyday I have new ideas for recipes, careers, adventures, and the like. I suppose this isn’t really a bad thing but I am putting effort into keeping things simple these days. Living with intention, you know? I think there is something to be said about feeling connected to our food, blog posts, goals + dreams. Often the ones that feel most authentic are the ones that come to me naturally. The ones that sort of present themselves without being forced or obliged.

I’m leading a workshop at the end of the month about what it means to eat local and why it’s important (wanna come?). We’ve been putting together a list of all the things available here in town that come from within a small radius. The list is long you guys. It’s incredible. It’s been the absolute best way for me to feel a part of our new community. It seemed almost too good to be true that the fresh people over at GRAIN graciously sent me a box of canadian produced grains + legumes. Knowing your farmer is easy when his face is on the box! So there’s canadian grains in my pantry and a bounty of fresh veggies showing up at the farmer’s market. The ideas were quickly piling up in my head. This salad has been a daily meal for the past few weeks. Sometimes it looks like this, other times it looks like this. The idea is the same and the dressing always wins but the composition varies. Yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes, wild rice or quinoa. Simple, with-ease, authentic. It’s the everyday connection I’m striving for these days.

Summer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchenSummer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Summer Wheat Berry Salad with Everyday Dressing

Bowls like this make summer eating simple and easy. Having cooked grains in the fridge and a few seasonal veggies in your crisper is the key no fuss free meals. This dressing has been my go-to lately, it goes on just about everything and turns everyday salads into something much more exciting. The salad amounts are just a suggestion, proportion things to your liking. Lentils + chickpeas would make a nice gluten free option here. The dressing tends to thicken up in the fridge, so if you remember to bring it to room temperature before serving it will help. If not a quick stir will get things moving. Keep dressing in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Vegan. Serves 2-4 + lots of dressing.

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 cup water, or more as needed

Salad

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3/4 cup cooked chickpeas or lentils
  • 1 larged tomato, diced
  • 1 english cucumber, ribboned or diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • Fresh herbs – chives or flat leaf parsley – to garnish
  • Extra black pepper

 

What to do

Cook your wheat berries. I like to soak mine in the morning, I find it helps in digestion and reduces cooking time a bit. Drain and rinse the berries, then place in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Toast the berries in the dry pot for a few minutes, until dry and fragrant. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until the berries are tender but firm. I like mine with a bit of bite. Strain any excess water.

While the wheat berries are cooking make your dressing. Place all ingredients except the oil into a small blender, begin to blend and add in oil with the motor running. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add extra water to thin until desired consistency.

Assemble the salad. Place wheat berries, chickpeas, and chopped vegetables in a large bowl. Add few spoonfuls of dressing and toss to coat. Divide into bowls. Garnish with hemp hearts, cracker black pepper and fresh herbs. Serve with extra dressing.

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Raspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRaspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRaspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRaspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Summer is here you guys. It comes in waves but it’s definitely here. We’re slowly settling into a routine. It feels good. normal. We’ve got this little patch of grass that we turned into a garden. I’ve got high hopes that it will bear lots of fruit this season but there’s constant work to be done. I do most of the weeding and Matt waters it after the sun sets. I don’t like to wear gardening gloves, something about digging my hands into the soil makes me feel more connected to what’s going on there. I’m no seasoned gardener but the watching and learning keeps me coming back for more. Slow, steady growth in every way. There have been a few hikes lately, plus some bonfires, lake swims and ice cream cones scattered in between. It’s enough to make me feel spoiled at times.

You can read everywhere that practicing gratitude is the key to a happy life. It’s something I’ve been mindful of lately. I understand why they call it a practice because you consciously have to bring yourself there. Stop yourself in the moment. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘we’re not there yet’ plans, the go go go and the everyday race to catch up with life. Maybe it’s the summer heat too but things feel slower and simpler when you remind yourself that this moment is enough. No, we’re not there yet, but this time of growth is definetly something too. Love + berries in abundance.

Raspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRaspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRaspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchenRaspberry + Oat Scones ⎮ happy hearted kitchen

Raspberry + Oat Scones

A hearty, whole grain summer treat. Use whatever berries are in season and close by. I love this combination of the nutty spelt flour paired with the sweet raspberries. The oats add nice texture and bring the scone into breakfast mode. It’s a really simple and easy scone recipe that’s just a sunnier version from way back here.  Here’s to slow sunny days + secret gardens xo

Makes 6 scones. Vegan. 

Ingredients

  • 1 + 3/4 cup spelt flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 + 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Glaze

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon almond milk

 

What to do

Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment

In a large bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder and salt. Add olive oil and mix in with your fingertips until the mixture looks crumbly and there are oil/flour dots about the size of a pea. Make a small hole in the center and add in the milk, honey, lemon juice and salt. Stir together with a wooden spoon once or twice, then add the raspberries. Stir until just combined. A lumpy dough is ok.

Flour the surface of a small cutting board (or pan lined with parchment – something that fits in the freezer). Tip out dough onto floured surface and bring together with your hands. Form dough into a circle without working it too much and gently even out the surface. Place everything in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Mix together the honey and milk for the glaze.

Clean up your work area or take a break.

Remove dough from freezer. Slice dough into 6 equal parts and transfer to a baking sheet using a spatula. Brush the tops with glaze and bake in the oven until just starting to brown – about 20 – 25 minutes.

Let cool before serving. Best when fresh but scones will keep for a day or two or easily freeze for later.

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