Oh Joy

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays... 10 Dec 2016

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Our friends at Botanica are known for their veggie plateaus—a multicolored jumble of gorgeous seasonal vegetables, prepared every which way, with flavors and textures and dips galore. It’s a tower of savory treats designed to be set at the center of a table and be utterly (and communally) devoured. It’s a constant at their parties and I'm in awe every time I see one. So, I asked them to share their tips on how to make one just in time for holiday entertaining!

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

The plateau is inspired by two of the world’s more delicious things: fresh vegetables and aioli. The key is to have a variety of shapes, textures and flavors.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 1: Hit the market and pick up the loveliest vegetables you can find. You’ll want a mix of things you can eat raw, poached (or steamed or blanched), roasted, grilled and/or fried.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 2: Pick your dips. The goal is variety! We consider some type of aioli a must (roasted garlic or smoked paprika are favorites), plus something green and herby (salsa verde, perhaps?), something bright and sweet (beet muhammara or squash hummus), something oily (like dukkah, olive oil and lots of lemon zest), something creamy (garlicky labne!)…really, whatever you want to dip things in over and over will work.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 3: Prep your veggies. Partially cook whatever needs it before hitting the grill (tiny potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, beets); blanch whatever’s getting blanched (haricot vert, asparagus); slice what’s getting roasted, and so on.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 4: This one’s the key to it all: Season EVERYTHING. The only things that should hit the dish plain are the most basic crudité (fennel, cucumbers, radishes). Everything else should be seasoned — with olive oil and sea salt, at the very least — so that it tastes lovely even if you pop it in your mouth naked, without a lick of dip.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 5: Roast, grill, season, etc. Spoon the dips into little bowls and garnish them as needed. Stagger them on a platter, a board, tiered plateau, or whatever vessel you’re using to hold this array of earthy delights. Place the prepared vegetables around the dips in a semi-random fashion. (There’s no beauty in perfect order here! Delicious vegetable mayhem is the visual goal.) Tuck fennel fronds, carrot greens, rosemary sprigs or edible flowers here and there to make it extra pretty.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 6: Place on a table and prepare for “ooooooooh!”s. We view this as a use-your-hands-and-triple-dip situation, but we understand that sometimes plates and serving spoons have their place.

Enjoy! To see more about Botanica, visit their Kickstarter right here!

{Photos and recipes by Botanica

a hearty fall salad for brunch! 13 Sep 2016

Fall Brunch

I love brunch. Like I love brunch more than a lot of things. But you know what brunch usually doesn't have? Salad! And as much as I'd love to eat only eggs and carbs for brunch, sometimes you need some of those greens for your growing bones, too. So today, we're sharing a recipe we created for a hearty fall salad that's perfect for brunch (or lunch or dinner, too ;). Here's how to make it...

Fall Brunch Salad

You'll need:

For the salad:

- 16 oz kale

- 1/2 cup thinly sliced brussels sprouts

- 1/3 cup thinly sliced beets

- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

- 1 cup micro greens

- 2/3 cup feta cheese

- 1/2 cup julienned heirloom carrots

- 1/3 cup pistachios

- 2 cups cubed, roasted butternut squash

- 3 tbs honey

- salt & pepper 

For the dressing:

- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

- 3 tbs maple syrup

- 1/4 cup olive oil

- salt & pepper, to taste

Fall Brunch Salad

Here's how:

1. Preheat over to 375 F. Toss diced butternut squash with honey, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

2. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring half way through to evenly brown. The squash should be slightly tender and lightly browned.

3. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients—kale, brussels sprouts, beets, pomegranate seeds, micro greens, feta, carrots, and pistachios. Allow for butternut squash to cool for 15 minutes before adding to the salad. 

4. Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients. 

5. Add butternut squash and mix in dressing. Salt & pepper to taste.

Fall Brunch Salad

Add the salad to your other dishes, and you'll feel much better having this dose of green!

Fall brunch table runner

And, to spruce up your brunch table quickly and easily, we added in a faux leaf garland and mixed in some real eucalyptus and flowers. It made for a centerpiece that lasts longer and costs a lot less since you can use the garland over and over again.

{Photos by Casey Brodleystyling by Julia Wester, crafting by Jess Hong. Tabletop items: Pehr runner, Target flatware, 1882 Ltd Plates, Pehr napkins, vintage glasses.}

summer berry tart! 28 Jul 2016

summer berry tart by sweet laurel

Few things are more refreshing then a berry tart on a summer day. Today, our friends Claire and Laurel from Sweet Laurel are sharing this beautiful dessert with us that takes only 15-20 minutes to make! And what's even better, for those of you have food allergies, this tart is gluten, grain, dairy, refined sugar free! Here's how... 

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the most beautiful açai bowls... 5 May 2016

Frozen Açaí Bowls

Even though I live in Los Angeles (the land of the super healthy), I can't say I live that gluten-free, macrobiotic, eat-some-oxygen-for-breakfast kind of life. I like being healthy when I can, but I also love things that taste good (hello donuts and fried chicken). And the combo of those two things can be hard to find.

In walks Amazebowls, a company I came across at a recent event and fell in love with their açaí bowls. If you're not familiar with açaí, it's a berry from South America that has been coveted for its health benefits. And, it actually tastes good (like blueberries mixed with a touch of chocolate). So we asked Amazebowls to share a recipe for Açaí Bowls with us so we can all recreate this deliciousness at home. This was the best and most beautiful breakfast ever (I ate two the day we did this shoot)...and makes for a great snack or pick-me-up pretty much any time of day...

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family meal: chinese chicken salad... 31 Mar 2016

Chinese Chicken Salad recipe

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about how we do something called "family meal" at the Oh Joy office where each of us is assigned one day each week to make lunch for the whole team. That way, we only have to worry about bringing lunch one day a week and it gives us a mid-day break where we all sit down to lunch and enjoy a meal together. Last time, I shared our crafting assistant, Jessica's, Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich and today, we're sharing this Chinese Chicken Salad that our Creative Producer and Stylist, Julia Wester, makes...that I LOVE so much! It combines so many textures and flavors and is one of my favorites for lunch.

Chinese Chicken Salad recipe

You'll need (serves 4):

- 2 cups romaine

- 2 cups of shredded/pulled chicken breast

- 1 cup shredded carrots

- 1 cup shredded cabbage

- 1/2 cup chopped green onions

- 1 cup fuscilli pasta (pre-cooked)

- 1/4 cup sliced almonds 

- 1/2 cup crispy chow mein noodles

Chinese chicken salad dressing

Chinese Chicken Salad recipe

All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and toss with dressing! Now, we are fully aware that Chinese Chicken Salad is not rooted in anything actually from China. It's an Americanized version of a salad that has become a staple at cafes and restaurants. For me, it combines lots of great textures and flavors and with the addition of pasta, makes a salad that actually leaves me feeling full! It's so easy to make and SO good!

{Photos by Casey Brodley, styling and recipe by Julia Wester}

a snack kit! 16 Mar 2016

How to Make a (Good for You) Snack Kit

During the week, the days are often go, go, go! I am so consumed with getting everyone else fed, dressed and off to school/work, and then busy with a million things at work. I often find myself needing a snack throughout the day to keep my energy level up. But in an effort to make sure I have a healthy snack (and not whatever random, greasy snacks are at the convenience store down the street) I recently discovered new Curate Snacks bars. Made from wholesome fruit, nuts, and grains, the bars come in six fun combinations like Indulgent Dark Chocolate & Hazelnuts or Harmonious Blend Marcona Almonds & Apricots. They have the texture of a bar you’d make in your own kitchen!

Today, I’ve partnered with Curate to show you how to make a snack kit that we created inspired by these fun and brilliant combinations. I like to make a snack kit on Sundays to bring to the office on Monday so that throughout the week, I can grab a morning or afternoon pick me up from it.

Here’s how to make these super cute snack kits...

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the cutest kid's cookbook ever... 14 Mar 2016

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth

We see a lot of books come through this office, and this one—The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth—is one of the most well-done books I have ever seen. Through colorful photos and amazing illustrations, it gives a ton of ideas for plant-based snacks and meals that kids can help make in the kitchen. I am not even vegetarian or vegan, and it seriously makes me want to make these recipes for (and with) my kids.

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth

The Help Yourself Cookbook for Kids by Ruby Roth

I mean, it's ridiculously cute, right?!? I've really been trying to eat more vegetables lately myself and this book inspires me to get more veggies into my body as well! Congrats to Ruby Roth on her beautiful new book! It goes on sale in a few weeks and you can pre-order it right here and see the adorable trailer here.

{Photos of the book here by Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester}

a roasted sweet potato sandwich... 10 Mar 2016

roasted sweet potato sandwich

At the Oh Joy Office, we do something called "family meal" where each of us is assigned one day each week to make lunch for the whole team (I bring lunch on Fridays). It makes it easy to only have to worry about bringing lunch one day a week and then the other days you get to enjoy a surprise lunch that someone else put together. It's a fun way for us all to think of recipes that are easy to reheat or make in the office with just a microwave and toaster oven! But more than anything, now we all sit down to lunch at the same time everyday and enjoy a meal together. Before this, we'd all eat at random times, pay way too much on takeout, and I'd often be eating at my desk or forgetting to eat...which is never good!

Our new crafting assistant, Jessica, made this sweet potato sandwich the other day for family meal, and we all loved it so much, I had to share the super easy recipe with you here today! I'm not even vegetarian, and I found this to be so good and so filling, too...

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currently snacking on... 13 Aug 2013

Witch Finger grapes | photo by Oh Joy

Witch Finger grapes | photo by Oh Joy

When I come across unique versions of fruit (like golden raspberries), I get really excited. I found these Witch Finger grapes at the grocery store the other day. They're shaped like chili peppers yet taste just like red seedless grapes. They're sweet, juicy, and super fun to eat..almost like eating candy in grape form...

{Photos by Oh Joy}

my favorite summer salad... 1 Jul 2013

Oh Joy | Farro, Feta, Edamame Salad

Oh Joy | Farro, Feta, Edamame Salad

In last week's summer picnic giveaway with Terrain, I shared a peek at my new favorite summer salad. Today I'm sharing the recipe with you because it really is just so good (I've been eating it for lunch a lot lately!), and it's perfect for the upcoming July 4th holiday. It's so easy and such a great alternative to the pasta and potato salads normally served at summer barbecues. Here's how to make it...

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