SEATTLE — Diet fads come and go, but maintaining a healthy relationship with food and a body-positive mindset are values that will benefit you throughout life. Maggie Battista struggled to accept her body and her eating habits, even when she was trying out diet plans - but now she has created a book full of recipes that encourage a healthier lifestyle without having to succumb to restrictions that dieting often encourages.

A New Way to Food hopes to guide you to better health and acceptance, and offers dairy-free, plant-based, and refined-sugar free recipes that even helped Battista say goodbye to chronic pain. She's sharing a sample of those recipes so you can test drive them at home. 

A Conversation and Book Signing with Maggie Battista

Maggie Battista will be in conversation with author and food stylist Aran Goyoaga, as well as signing copies of A New Way to Food, on June 6th from 6:30PM - 8:00 PM. The event is free to all at Seattle's Book Larder.

The Book Larder

4252 Fremont Ave. N.

Seattle, WA 98103

Corn, Radish, Tomato, and Tortilla Chip Salad

From A New Way to Food by Maggie Battista © 2019 by Maggie Battista. Photographs by Kristin Teig. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. 

This is a fork and knife kind of salad, as it has all sizes of vegetables that need cutting or scooping up into your mouth. It’s a summer salad, no doubt, but one that’s hefty enough to be a lunch time main when made with large in-season tomatoes. That said, I actually developed this on a summer morning when traditional eggs or pancakes just sounded so heavy. I chopped and stirred the ingredients together and hand-crushed tortilla chips on top. It satisfied beautifully alongside an iced coffee. 

Add a whole lot more tortilla chips, if that’s your thing. Or remove the chips altogether and serve the salad on top of garlic rubbed toast. As for the cobs, I reserve them and simmer a big batch of corn stock for the freezer because it makes all sorts of chowders incredibly flavorful. 

Serves 4 to 6

Frequency: Once per week

Food preferences: DF, GF, NF, RSF, V

Hands-on time: 25 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

  • 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced 
  • 1 pound (454 g) large ripe heirloom tomatoes 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 10 twists freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups fresh corn (sliced from about 4 ears) 
  • 2 small radish bunches (about 16 radishes), cleaned and julienned
  • About 10 salted tortilla chips, crushed

1. Soak the scallions in cold water for 20 minutes to crisp them up. Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Slice the tomatoes into medium-size wedges. Dust them will a heavy pinch of sea salt and let them sit for 10 minutes to further bring out their flavor.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the salt, vinegar, oil, and black pepper. Add the tomatoes, corn, radishes, and half the scallions, and toss gently with clean hands to coat each veg well. Taste and season to taste with more salt and pepper, but don’t add too much salt as the tortilla chips are also salty.

4. Gently arrange the veg on a large platter to create a pretty presentation. Sprinkle the tortilla chips and remaining scallions atop the dish and serve immediately.

Cauliflower and Plantain Tacos with Lemony Pesto Dressing

From A New Way to Food by Maggie Battista © 2019 by Maggie Battista. Photographs by Kristin Teig. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.

The magic of this weeknight meal is the mix of sweet plantain with savory cauliflower—it’s a fabulous combination. With the creamy avocado and bright, tangy pesto dressing, the entire taco is a real winner. Don’t let the fact that I use two baking sheets to roast the veg stop you from giving this recipe a try. If you want, use one very large sheet and keep the vegetables separated so you can scoop either one off the sheet easily the moment it’s ready.

Instead of cauliflower, you may opt for broccoli or even thickly sliced cabbage wedges—just slice the core of the cabbage out after it roasts and before you assemble the tacos. Plantains are starchy and slightly sweet, which I likely adore because they were the early morning breakfast candy of my childhood. But if you don’t want to mess with them for any reason, a white yam works beautifully too. It delivers the same texture and taste sensation.

Buy an avocado about two days in advance so it ripens in time. If you opt to buy versus make your tortillas, please scrutinize the ingredients on your tortilla packaging. Most tortillas sold everywhere (even at the natural grocers) contain sugar. Search for an all-natural version that only uses corn, water, and lime. Save your sugar for dessert.

Serves 2

Frequency: Almost every day

Food preferences: DF, GF, NF, RSF, V

Hands-on time: 20 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets 
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 large ripe plantain or 1 small white yam, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 4 Tortillas, homemade or any natural, sugar-free corn tortillas
  • ¾ cup Lemony Pesto Dressing (recipe follows)
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch cilantro (about 10 sprigs), stems cut and discarded (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. On one baking sheet, toss the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the smoked paprika, and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. On the other baking sheet, toss the plantain with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Make sure everything is well coated. Roast both baking sheets for about 20 minutes, until the veg is fork tender and begins to pick up a little golden color.

3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side. Store within a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.

4. To serve, divide the veg between the tortillas. Drizzle 1 or 2 tablespoons of dressing on each pile of veg and garnish with avocado and cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days, assembling meals as needed. 

Lemony Pesto Dressing

This dressing is incredibly versatile, so much so that I often double it to use all week. Pour it over everything—a bowl of beans, a pile of pasta, a slab of roasted squash or fish. And if you add a bit more oil and water, it loosens up into a lovely salad dressing. 

Makes about ¾ cup

  • 1 small bunch cilantro (about 8 sprigs), stems cut and discarded, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 large bunch basil (about 12 sprigs), stems cut and discarded
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 2 medium lemons)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt

Add the cilantro leaves, basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, water, oil, and salt to a powerful blender. Blend until pureed, vivid green, tasty, and bright. Adjust the salt to your taste. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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