I happen to work in a place where I am surrounded by creative people who are just as excited about health and food as I am. One of the many benefits to working in a marketing agency full of designers, writers and artists.
Yesterday, my friend Melissa stopped by my desk looking for a little inspiration for her latest dish – a vegan tartlet. With dreams of one day owning her own food truck, Melissa started a vegan lunch program within the office. Simply sign up with her, and you’ve got a pre-made, nicely packaged vegan lunch every day of the week at a reasonable $12/day.
Melissa is what I would call an Inspiration-Maker. She enters the kitchen with a curious mind and a laid back attitude. Her thought process goes something like this:
I want to make a tartlet and fill it with something creamy. What is creamy? How about potatoes and carrots – pureed? No, too wintery. Ohhh, I have some cantaloupe. If I mix cantaloupe with garbanzo beans, and let it cool overnight on a toasted bed of almonds and rosemary, would it come together? Hmmmm. I must try it!
I talked over with her what flavors would or wouldn’t be good in this hair-brained creation of hers. My immediate reaction was to start looking up cantaloupe and garbanzo beans recipes and see if it had already been done. The answer was no, I couldn’t find it in the first three results pages of Google search. But I couldn’t help but be inspired by her inventiveness. I admired her free-spirited attitude towards her recipes. It also made it all the more apparent what a by-the-book cook I am.
My weekends are often spent recipe-Googling and cook-book-scanning. I am the girl in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store, frantically searching through my recipe box on my Whole Foods app to find the perfect salad recipe. In other words, I am a Recipe Follower. I do not trust my skills, cooking experience and grocery shopping to come up with something on-the-fly fantastic. I must rely on somebody else; even if that means a stranger on the internet who may never have made the dish she claims is “To die for.”
What’s holding me back? I’m not sure. Fear of wasting food and money on a horrible dish? Maybe. But if I truly aspire to be a healthy, but amazing cook, I’ll need to be inventive. Is it possible to make a healthy macaroni and cheese? How can I incorporate chia seeds into dinner tonight? How can I make this tilapia as flavorful as possible without using salt? It’s time get inspired…
RECIPE ON MY MIND
Vegan Savory Yet Refreshing Cantaloupe Tartlets
- 1 can of garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cantaloupe
- 1 tsp Grapeseed oil
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 TBSP of water
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and rosemary. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Press the dough into a 9-inch tart pan or 5 mini tartlet pans
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Then place tarts (still in the pans) in the fridge for 30 minutes…getting them cold will aid in removing them from their pans.
- Remove the tarts from the fridge. Flip each one upside down, hold it in your hand and tap the bottom with a spoon or knife and the tart should slide right out. If it doesnt keep tapping and gently squeeze the tart pans.
- Puree garbanzo beans, cantaloupe and grapeseed oil in a food processor
- Place tomatoes and zucchini onto a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast at 350F for about 20-30 minutes
- Set roasted veggies in the bottom of the tartlet
- Pour pureed garbanzo mixture over the top
- Put in refrigerator and set overnight