Pistachio, Rose and Coconut Tart

 

A few weeks ago, I prepared this incredible Pistachio, Rose and Coconut Tart for a pop-up yoga brunch I co-hosted, and it was received with so much love and enthusiasm that I just had to share it with you all here. Though free of refined sugar, dairy, and gluten (what most people deem "the good stuff"), it's quite possibly the most delicious dessert I have ever tasted. Creamy and decadent, yet light and bright in flavor, with floral notes and an undeniably whimsical feel. It's also surprisingly easy to assemble, requiring no bake time, and satisfies even the sweetest tooth (in an exceptionally wholesome way, I may add).

I, however, cannot take any credit for this dreamy recipe's inception. Kudos and much gratitude to the wildly-inspiring Alison Wu for dreaming up this swoony creation, and to my sweet and talented friend Allison Walton for her intuitive adjustments to the original recipe (just when you thought it couldn't get any better) and blessing to recreate and share this little slice of heaven. 

Because it's so simple to throw together and keeps incredibly well in the freezer for prolonged periods, this tart makes a carefree yet impressive dessert to keep on hand for whatever impromptu summer gatherings may be in your future. I, for one, find it a delightful and nourishing afternoon and post-dinner snack, and have made it a habit to reach for a small slice daily. With it's medley of healing, harmonizing, and mood-boosting ingredients, it's a true treat for the body, mind, and sol


PISTACHIO, ROSE AND COCONUT TART

Makes a 10" round tart | Recipe adapted from Allison's Rosewater Pistachio & Schisandra Tart

Ingredients: Pistachio Crust

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios, unsalted (and raw, if you can find them)
  • 6 medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened

Ingredients: Coconut Filling

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 BPA-free can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp raw unfiltered honey
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • 2 large spoonfuls of tocos
  • 5-6 tsp culinary rosewater
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Dash of pink himalayan salt

To Garnish:

  • Dried rose petals
  • Dried lavender 
  • Crushed pistachios 

TO MAKE | In a food processor, process your pistachios into a course powder. Add in coconut oil and 3 of the dates, and continue blending until well combined. Add in the remaining dates, almond meal, and shredded coconut, and process until a well combined dough-like mixture forms.

In a 10" round tart pan, use your hands to firmly press in the mixture. The entire bottom of the pan should be evenly lined. Place the pan into the freezer to chill as you assemble the filling.

Using a high-speed blender, combine the drained cashews with the remaining filling ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. 

Gently pour the filling into the tart pan, and spread evenly with a spoon. If desired, garnish with dried flowers and crushed pistachios. Allow tart to set for 1-2 hours in the freezer before serving. 

If storing for more than a few hours, be sure to wrap and cover the tart. If kept in the freezer, it will keep for quite a while. If frozen, just be sure to allow 30 minutes for tart to thaw at room temperature before serving. 

 

Summer Skin Guide: The Essentials

 

Earlier this year, I shared my holistically-inspired skin regime, and was thrilled to hear how many of you felt inclined to clean-up your self-care products as a result! While my routine generally remains the same no matter the time of year or life circumstance, I do shift focuses and incorporate new products and practices during the summer season.

The excessive external - and resulting internal - heat can have an incredibly irritating, congesting, and inflammatory effect on the skin, which is truly just a mirror for the state of our overall health. Many of us also travel more frequently during the sunnier months, which of course only serves to exacerbate a less-than-ideal skin situation. But fear not, for there are some beautifully-effective natural products and practices that work overtime to keep you looking and feeling glowy and confident, even when it's 1000 degrees and humid out. Below, find my tried-and-true essentials for happy, radiant, and lustrous summer skin. 


BEAUTY DUST | Because as annoying as it sounds, beautiful, glowing skin truly does begin on the inside. The blend of adaptogenic pearl, goji berry, schisandra, and rehmannia is designed to boost the clarity and radiance of the skin (as well as hair and nails) and reduce breakout-causing stress from the digestive system outward. I carry the travel-friendly sachets when abroad to add into teas and smoothies. 

TATA HARPER PURIFYING CLEANSER | The ultimate cleanser for removing surface impurities (hello, sweat rolling down my face 24/7) and environmental stressors from the skin. It leaves my skin feeling cool and clean, yet still hydrated and dewy. I oil-cleanse in the am, and cleanse with this post-workout and/or in the evening to wash off the day. 

CALENDULA EYE BALM | For eyes, lips, and cuticles. A blend of calendula oil, mango seed butter, and lavender, this multi-tasking miracle balm plumps the skin, softens fine lines, quells inflammation, and diminishes dark undereye circles. A must for those of you frequenting air-travel this season. 

SURF MUD SPF | The cleanest, dreamiest option in way of sun protection. I sun worship all summer long, so a solid waterproof spf is a necessity. Conventional sunscreen is full of endocrine-disrupters and cancer-causing carcinogens, so make this the summer you switch to something natural. Containing coconut for hydration, zinc for protection, and chocolate for antioxidant-support, this blend is entirely swoon-worthy (and effective). 

BULGARIAN ROSE WATER | I add a splash of this in my water and tea daily for calm, cool, clear skin from the inside out. I also swear by rose water for less anxiety and greater internal equilibrium. And for external use, this is still the best product out there and forever my hydrosol of choice. 

BLUE TANSY RESURFACING MASK | A longtime favorite that just can't be beat. This mask is clarifying and cooling, resurfacing the skin with natural BHAs and AHAs to gently shed the top layer of skin. As powerful as it is, the formula is gentle enough to be used multiple times each week, and always leaves my sensitive, easily-irritated skin feeling refreshed and with a glow. 

TATA HARPER CLARIFYING MASK | Tata's newly-released mask that has already topped my list. Super clarifying and calming for my breakout- and redness-prone skin, yet ultra gentle and nourishing. It has an enzymatic peel effect to resurface and decongest the skin, contains quartz sand crystals for a gentle exfoliation, and draws upon chlorella to impart a hydrated glow. Another must-have travel companion. 

CELLULAR REPAIR SERUM, CLEAROil-based serums are of upmost importance during the summer to ensure skin doesn't overproduce breakout-causing sebum, and to impart a natural dewy glow. True Botanicals is a force of nature - the whole line has captivated me, as it's ultra clean and totally natural, yet scientifically-developed to work exceptionally well. This serum in particular keeps skin clear and decongested, yet hydrates on a cellular level to prevent oxidation and aging.   

CITRINE BODY OIL | A heavenly blend of ultra nourishing orange blossom, rosehip, and neroli oils. I use this daily post-shower and end up with the most divine glow (and scent) for the rest of the day. 

COLD SHOWERS | Especially important during the warmer months to temper internal heat. Equally as beneficial for the skin as for the nervous system. 

 

SOL SISTER | Jules Aron

 

Thrilled to be introducing my sweet, talented, endlessly creative friend today, Jules Aron. Many of you may already be familiar with her books, Zen and Tonic (the ultimate guide in way of healthy cocktail crafting) and (newly-released and my current favorite kitchen companion) Vegan Cheese. Jules is a force. A NYC-bartender turned health coach turned best-selling author, by whom I find myself infinitely inspired. I know you'll too be soon swooning over her divine creations and ample lifestyle wisdom. 

True to form, Jules was generous enough to gift me copies of each of her books to giveaway (!) to one of you. Head over to my Instagram here to enter. The winner will be chosen at random Monday evening (6/26).


Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Jules Aron, and I’m a holistic wellness coach and the author of Zen and Tonic: Fresh and Savory Cocktails for the Enlightened Drinker and the newly released Vegan Cheese: Simple, Delicious Plant-Based Recipes.

Walk us through your journey that led you in wellness and writing, and ultimately the creation of your brand and business?

For years, I struggled to discover my path. I explored many professional avenues without success. Drawn to ancient healing modalities, I began studying yoga, ayurveda, martial arts, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and holistic nutrition. As I began transforming my physical and emotional wellbeing, I found more clarity in all aspects of my life. My struggles with depression and hormonal imbalances subsided and evolved into a transformative life journey and career.

What is the intention behind your work and creation?

As a certified holistic health coach, I’m deeply passionate about a wholesome lifestyle that includes delicious, nutritious foods that fuel the body, mind and spirit. My commitment to help others manifest change comes from my own personal awakening to the healing force of natural foods and conscious living.

I strongly believe that we all have the intuitive power to make the diet and lifestyle choices that serve us best. My passion is to inspire others to take small, courageous steps towards their most vibrant lives, one delicious bite at a time.

How do you embrace the elusive concept of 'balance' in your day-to-day?

As a highly sensitive empath, I tend to give much of my own energy away as well as take on others’ energies, which can bring me out of balance quite quickly. To maintain equilibrium, I limit my interactions to meaningful time with good friends and a lot of time alone, in silence. We are simply no good to others if we don’t take valuable time for ourselves.

Can you share a few of your personal favorite rituals and ceremonies for alignment and wellness?

I start and end the day with simple, meaningful rituals. In the morning I get up, stretch and have a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice, which I usually follow up with an herbal tea tonic. I love the ritual of having this nourishing warm beverage each morning while I practice stream of consciousness writing, in the form of morning pages. This writing practice helps me stay clear on how I feel from day to day and helps me make supportive adjustments that facilitate my growth and expansion.

I also make sure to do something physical each day, which can involve a practice of qigong, yoga or a brisk walk in nature. 

I enjoy ending the day by unwinding with a pot of herbal tea and a hot, steamy bath soak with mineral salts and essential oils. These simple rituals help me stay grounded in my day-to-day.

Are there specific mindset practices that help you to feel more centered, in-tune, and inspired?

I like to practice Kapalabhati breath any time I need a pick-me-up. This deep diaphragmatic breathing brings increased amounts of oxygen into the body and helps me feel instantly energized. To practice, simply use your abdominal muscles to pull the belly in, and then force the air out through the nose in repeated short exhalations. 

Five things you can't live without:

  1. Tea: I love tea. Every kind of tea. Nothing beats a warm cup of cozy.
  2. Salt Water: Whether it’s a dip in the ocean or an mineral bath soak, there’s simply no better cure.
  3. Sunshine: A delicious vitamin D sunbath is everything.
  4. Raw Cacao: Nourishing on every level.
  5. Love and Connection: The deep, soulful bond that makes life worth living.

Your food philosophy:

What works for one person might not work for another and what works for you today, might not work for you tomorrow. It’s important to stay flexible in your food and lifestyle choices and develop an intuitive understanding of how foods and practices make you feel.  

A simple plant-based, whole foods diet, a mindful and intentional lifestyle, a grateful outlook and 8 hours of beauty sleep work best for me.

What is a standout piece of advice you received that helped shape who you are as a female entrepreneur? 

Getting very clear about what you want in life and being mindful of self-sabotaging thoughts and habits that might stand in your way. With the right focus and energy on what you want and love, you’ll be unstoppable.

All photos credited to Francesca Coviello.


You can connect with Jules on her site and Instagram, and shop her books here and here. And be sure to enter our giveaway of Jules' must-have book collection here.

 

Cauliflower Tacos with Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde

 

It's official: I can’t shake the magic feeling that is summer. Leisurely afternoons spent in the sunshine, moving mealtime al fresco, the days seamlessly folding into nights before your eyes. Bundles of fresh, peak-of-season produce. Always spontaneously hosting or being hosted. It’s the stuff my fantasies are made of. I’m quite fortunate in that much of my childhood summers were spent in this way. Of course, summer means something entirely different when you’re an “adult” (whatever that means) and you have a job (that for some reason doesn't permit you June-August off). But it’s all good, because I’ve found that even Tuesday evening dinners at home can be elevated to embody a bit of that elusive summer magic. Truly!

I’m a total type A workaholic perfectionist with horrible boundaries, and would work all night if left to my own devices. This, as you can imagine, makes relaxing for dinner particularly difficult. But something about this time of years makes me pause, embrace a slightly slower pace, and enjoy even the tiniest of simple pleasures. The watercolored pinks and purples and oranges of the sunset view from our back patio. A 20-minute trip to the beach just to get my toes sandy. A few peaceful moments spent reading in the hammock. Waking up to watch the sunrise over the ocean, just for fun. The perfection of a ripe peach. The sweetness of a night spent eating tacos with friends under the stars. 

This meal suits quiet weeknights in as much as it does entertaining a crowd. Much of it can be prepped ahead of time - which truly is the key to success for both of the above endeavors. I oftentimes prepare the tortillas, salsa, and taco-filling in advance for easy grab-and-go assemblage throughout the week, or if surprise guests pop in. 

The cauliflower tortillas are a recipe I first crafted last year, and are something I still cannot get enough of. They’re a true SOLFUL staple. The tortillas were created to be paleo-friendly, dairy-free, gluten-free, corn-free, and 4-ingredient-simple. Ultra nourishing and very delicious. Though if you’re short on time, I’m a fan of Siete's grain-free almond flour tortillas as well.

The recipe for the taco filling is less of a recipe and more of a loose framework for what might work well here. I tend to eat mostly seafood in way of animal protein, but feel free to substitute in your favorite protein (plant-based or otherwise). And sautéd sweet peppers and caramelized onions, always. Dusted with a bit of za’atar. 

The list of possible accoutrements is long and varied, but here’s a fool-proof list I always tend to follow: avocado, fresh cilantro, scallion greens, grass-fed shredded cheese (optional), lime wedges, and at least two variations of salsa. Preferably this charred tomatillo salsa verde, because it’s just the right about of spicy and zesty. Seriously. This stuff stole the show, and I’ve been putting it on probably too much stuff since I made it (avocado and salsa toast, anyone?). It's sure to become one of your summertime meal staples, and is an easy way to add intrigue to casual, low-key gatherings. 

I hope this dish inspires a more serendipitous, magical few moments within your day, whatever that looks like for you. Happy start to summer to you all!


CAULIFLOWER, LIME + CILANTRO TORTILLAS

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice and zest from 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

TO MAKE | Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spray/coat with coconut, avocado, or olive oil (to keep tortillas from sticking).

Cut 1 head of cauliflower into small pieces, and pulse in a food processor or blender until you get a rice-like consistency. It’s best to work in batches, depending on the size of your processor/blender. At this point, you’ll have about 4 cups of tightly-packed cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower in a saucepan and start to warm over medium heat, stirring and tossing every few minutes. Do this for about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow cauliflower to cool slightly. Place the cauliflower in a piece of fine cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or a thin cotton dishtowel and begin to squeeze out excess liquid. It will be hot, so rubber gloves are super helpful here. Discard liquid, and set cauliflower aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add in the cauliflower, cilantro, lime juice and zest, and a bit of salt and pepper. Mix until well combined. If you notice the mixture is dry, you can whisk in another egg.

Using your hands, begin to shape tortillas on the parchment paper. The batter will not expand much in the oven, so size them accordingly. You will probably have to work in batches here, or use multiple sheet pans. Bake for 10 minutes, carefully flip each tortilla, and cook for another 5-7 minutes (or until lightly golden brown).

Allow tortillas to cool. Enjoy immediately, or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, simply warm over medium heat in a stovetop skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Makes about 8 medium-sized tortillas.


CHARRED TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE

  • 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, quartered 
  • 1-4 fresh jalapeños 
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 cup broth (vegetable or otherwise)
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
  • Salt, to taste

TO MAKE | The tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chiles are going to charr first - this can be done either on a grill or in your oven under the broiler. Keep everything whole, except for the onion, and keep the garlic unpeeled. Allow everything to grill/broil until everything is charred with dark brown spots on all sides - about 5 minutes for the garlic, 7 minutes for the tomatillos and chiles, and 10 minutes for the onion. 

Peel the garlic, trim the onion, and stem the chiles. Depending on how spicy you want the salsa, you can choose to keep the chile seeds or discard them. I'm a baby and only used one jalapeño but kept the seeds and found the salsa to be perfectly mild for my taste. Transfer all the charred vegetables to a blender, along with the cilantro and coconut sugar. Puree until smooth. Season with a bit of salt, to taste.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, and carefully pour in the tomatillo mixture. Stir until slightly thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add broth and lime juice, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed (salt, lime juice, sugar). 

Salsa will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes about 2 cups.


EASY SUMMER TACOS 

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 2 tbsp za'atar seasoning 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 dozen shrimp, peeled and deveined

TO MAKE | Like I said, this is less of a recipe and more of a loose framework for what I typically prepare in way of tacos. Feel free to substitute in and/or omit anything you choose. I encourage you to draw inspiration from the flavors of the season - peruse your local farmer's market for fresh produce. 

In a large cast iron pan, heat your oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, and allow to caramelize slightly (about 15-20 minutes - stirring frequently). Add in the bell peppers and za'atar, and cook another 5-10 minutes, continuing to stir. Lastly, add the shrimp, cooking until done. Serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 


I love seeing what you create and getting your feedback on recipes! Leave any questions + comments below, and be sure to follow along on Instagram and tag your photos with #SOLFULhealth so I can see! xx