Do you ever use your steamer? My $10 bamboo steamer is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I love how quick the steaming process is – generally much faster than roasting or even sautéing in some cases. I also really like how steaming imparts moisture onto ingredients, so they come out hydrated and silky smooth. Some people think steamed veg is boring because there’s no oil or seasoning, but you can liberally oil and salt your steamed goods after they are done.
This little meal mostly comes together in the steamer. You steam the sweet potatoes until they are soft and custardy, throw in the broccoli and kale in the last few minutes of cooking the potatoes, and serve everything with a liberal slather of our cucumber tahini ranch and crispy chickpeas. We have a tahini tzatziki recipe in our cookbook, and this ranch is sort of reminiscent of that. It’s an addictive sauce that’s amazing on pretty much everything. We made this whole meal on our Instagram Stories if you’d like to see the process (look for it later today).
Below you’ll find some links for things we’ve been into lately. Wishing you a great weekend :)
Mama Eats Plants E-Cookbook – We love everything that Amanda does, and have been so excited for her ebook to come out. It’s everything we ever wanted and more: delicious, cozy plant-based recipes, low waste organization tips, beautiful writing and photos. Highly recommended if you’re in need of some inspiration in the kitchen and beyond.
Bon Appetit Youtube Channel – Speaking of cooking videos, we love watching Bon Appetit’s test kitchen videos. The editing is perfect, the hosts are full of charm, and the videos are always packed with little tricks and tips that will most definitely improve your cooking. This one of Brad Leone and Samin Nosrat making focaccia is solid gold.
How I Built This – We’ve been binge-listening to this entrepreneur-centred NPR podcast. It’s fun to hear how some now giant companies got started out of thin air. Some favorite episodes include: Alice Waters, Yvon Chouinard.
Our Planet on Netflix – As heart-breaking as it is awe-inspiring, this is a nature documentary that really stops you in your tracks and gets you to reconsider your impact, beyond your day to day life. I definitely cried through the whole first episode.
Asparagus Fries on YumUnviverse – Plant-based cooking goddess Heather made the asparagus fries from our cookbook and shot the most beautiful video of the process. Can’t wait to make these with the first of the asparagus soon.
- ¼ cup tahini
- zest from 1 large lemon, divided
- juice from 1 large lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-inch piece of cucumber - shredded
- 3-4 sprigs of dill - chopped
- 2 scallions - sliced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- apple cider vinegar and water - for thinning
- 2 medium sweet potatoes - halved
- olive oil
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas or 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
- sea salt
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 stalks of broccoli - cut into florets
- 4-5 leaves Lacinato kale - stemmed and torn
- lemon zest (reserved from the ranch)
- red pepper flakes
- In a medium bowl, combine the tahini, half of the lemon zest (reserve the rest for later), lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, mustard, nutritional yeast, and garlic powder, and mix until you have a smooth paste. Add the cucumber, dill, scallions, salt and black pepper to taste, mixing everything in. Your ranch will be pretty thick at this point, so thin it out with splashes of apple cider vinegar and water, until you have a glossy, creamy sauce. Taste for acidity, salt, and pepper, and adjust if needed. This ranch will last refrigerated in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
- Set a tiered bamboo steamer or steaming basked over a pot with boiling water. Place the sweet potatoes into the steamer, cover, and steam for 35-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender and custardy.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the crispy chickpeas. Drain and dry off your chickpeas really well with a kitchen towel, lightly rubbing them to get as many as you can out of their skins. This will prevent the chickpeas from popping in the pan. Warm a generous pour of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chickpeas and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, until golden and crispy. Transfer the chickpeas to a bowl and mix in some salt to taste, as well as the nutritional yeast and smoked paprika. Do not wash the pan, but wipe it off if there's any burnt bits.
- In the last 5 minutes of the sweet potato steaming time, add the broccoli and kale to the same steaming basket or add another tier to your bamboo steamer and add the green vegetables to that. Cover and steam for 5 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green and the kale is slightly softened.
- While the broccoli and kale are steaming, warm a bit more olive oil in the same pan you used for the chickpeas, over medium low heat. Add the reserved lemon zest (from the ranch recipe) and a pinch of red pepper flakes and let the oil infuse until the vegetables are done. Once the vegetables are done steaming, add the broccoli and kale to the pan with the infused oil, add a pinch of salt, and toss to coat.
- Serve the steamed sweet potatoes with a pinch of salt, a good slather of the ranch, topped with the green vegetables and chickpeas, and liberally drenched in more ranch. Enjoy!
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