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Sides, Stepped Up

       

A day devoted to giving thanks and sharing a meal with those we hold dear, Thanksgiving is our kind of holiday. And on this day, as on all days, we look to Mother Nature's bounty to inspire our menu. This year, let the foods you prepare give health, elevate the vibration and say thanks to the power of plants. A great meal is the sum of all of its parts, so we decided to share a selection of our favorite sides. Let them grace your table. Let them take your meal a little higher.

Twice As Nice Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8 

4 small to medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1/2 cup spreadable nut or seed cheese such as Dr. Cow or Kite Hill

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 teaspoon Pink Mountain Salt 

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Toppings

Chopped black olives (We love Sunfood's Botija Olives!)

Sauerkraut

Chopped Chives 

Sprouted sunflower seeds or Moon Juice Turmeric Coconut Lime Pepitas

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Clean the sweet potatoes and puncture the skin a few times with a fork. Wrap individually in foil, and bake for 35 minutes, or until the potatoes feel soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let stand until just cool enough to handle.

Unwrap and cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, reserving the skins, and add to a large mixing bowl along with the oil, nut cheese, yeast, chives, salt and pepper. Whisk or beat vigorously with a fork until combined. Lay the skins out on a cookie sheet and stuff each with the sweet potato mixture. Broil until the tops are lightly browned. Top with any and all of the toppings.

Note: you can stuff the potatoes up to a day ahead and refrigerate until ready to serve. Bake the stuffed potatoes to warm them through before setting them under the broiler.

Bittersweet Roast

Serves  4

1 large bunch purple grapes

1 red onion, sliced into thick half-moons

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, washed

Splash of olive oil 

Pink Mountain Salt 

Black pepper

2 big bunches of broccoli rabe or other bitter greens, cleaned and trimmed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash the grapes, remove them from the vine and add them to the bottom of a roasting dish (we love a French porcelain baker for this). Add the onion, whole artichokes, oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper, to taste. Then toss to coat everything. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once halfway through. You will know the dish is ready when a knife can be easily inserted in the Jerusalem artichokes and the grapes are caramelized.

About 5 minutes before the artichokes are ready, steam the greens in a steamer pot. Place them on a platter and top with the roasted grapes and artichokes, allowing the cooking juices to dress the greens.

This Little Figgy Crumb Pudding

Serves 6 to 8

1/2 cup coconut oil, plus more for greasing the pan

8 to 10 fresh figs, halved

1 cup The Coconut Butter

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Pink Mountain Salt

1/2 cup Aquafaba from canned chickpeas or home cooked (recipe below)

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Grease both the parchment and the sides of the pan with the reserved coconut oil. Place the figs, cut-side down, on the bottom of the pan and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Place the aquafaba and sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add in the vanilla and coconut oil and whip for 2 additional minutes. Working in stages, add in the flour mixture until just combined. Pour the batter over the figs. Place the pan on a baking sheet to prevent any spills and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool. Remove from the pan and gently flip, using a serving plate to assist you.

Aquafaba*

1 cup dried chickpeas

Filtered water

Rinse the chickpeas, removing any stones or debris. Place in a large bowl and cover with a few inches of water. Remove any chickpeas that float. Refrigerate and soak for at least 12 hours.

Strain the chickpeas and rinse. Place in a medium pot and cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 112 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender. Carefully strain the chickpeas and reserve the cooking liquid. Store the chickpeas for another use. Allow the liquid to cool, and then refrigerate. Store in an airtight container.

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