Skip to content

Coconut Chia Pudding

April 24, 2013

DSC_0017

Coconut Chia Pudding

Serves 4

This is a decadent pudding that is also surprisingly sweet. It’s filled with nutrient dense ingredients and is a cinch to make.

Ingredients

1/3 cup chia seeds (I used already ground)

4 brazil nuts

1 can coconut milk (organic and unsweetened)

2 dates

splash vanilla extract

sprinkle of: cardamom, cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg & sea salt

 

Instructions

Combine all ingredients in food processor (I used my Vitamix). Blend on high speed until blended smooth. Eat right away (slightly warmed from the blender) or cover and chill in the fridge for later.

DSC_0019

A Clip from the Kitchen

March 22, 2013

 

Efficient in the kitchen? Yes. Tech savvy? Not so much. Though it has taken me months to upload this video, I thought it would be fun to share with you all. It’s a clip from a promo reel I participated in last spring. I’m not aware that anything has become of it, but it’s a nice little demo for my personal reel. The recipe I make is also described in this post. Have a great weekend!

10 Simple Tips For The Perfect Roast Chicken

February 19, 2013

IMG_2254

10 Simple Tips For The Perfect Roast Chicken:

  • Buy a pasture-raised bird; the flavor is so worth the price.
  • Season with salt, pepper and dried chives. Dried chives give the skin a caramelized effect, just like caramelized onions.
  • Leave bird out, and seasoned for 1 hour before cooking. This allows the salt to penetrate and dry the skin, resulting in a golden brown, crispy crust.
  • Cook bird at least 20 minutes per pound (at 400 degrees).
  • Baste, baste, baste! After the bird has been in for 30 minutes, baste every additional 10 until it is cooked through.
  • Let the bird sit for at least 10 minutes before carving. This allows the natural juices to be re-absorbed, meaning they’ll be in the meat, not running out all over your cutting board.

IMG_2253

What Not To Worry About:

  • Trussing the bird. Letting the legs hang freely, as opposed to tying them together against the cavity of the bird, allow them to cook through and crisp.
  • Roasting the bird on a rack. Just not necessary. I like the way chicken turns out better when put directly into a large baking dish (do make sure the sides of the cooking vessel come at least 1/3rd of the way up the bird.
  • Flipping the bird (hehe), just put it in breast up and leave it alone.
  • Stuffing the bird. Yes carrot, celery, herbs, lemon and garlic are great flavor enhancers, but I think they interfere and lengthen cooking time. The more moisture put into the bird, the less the skin will crisp on the outside.

IMG_2250

Your Next Dinner Party

February 15, 2013

DSC_0732

Last night’s Valentine’s dinner was a huge success. Bon Appetite’s recipe for short ribs is foolproof and better then any short ribs you’ve ever had in a restaurant. The rich and tender, fall-off-the-bone meat pairs perfectly with the tangy potato and celery root mash. The only change to this recipe that I made was swapping crème fraiche for sour cream. For greens, I simply steamed some chicory and watercress. Chicory is a new favorite green of mine, which has the heartiness of kale, yet is tenderer to the tooth, like bok choy or escarole. Our decadent meal called for a decadent bottle of wine, to which we opened a 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape. The bottle to the right (three photos down), is what I used for the short ribs, a reasonably priced ($12.00), dry Multipulciano, recommended to me by the wine folks at Eataly. After about an hour of preparation, this meal is largely unattended, which is why it is the perfect menu to serve to and wow your guests.

IMG_2280

IMG_2283

IMG_2289

DSC_0721

DSC_0722

DSC_0730

DSC_0733

DSC_0747

IMG_2286

This chocolate cake is ridiculous. Its texture floats somewhere between soufflé and mousse, but with sharp flavor. It is essentially melted semi-sweet chocolate, butter and eggs, with the addition of one tablespoon each of flour and sugar. I whipped up some fresh heavy cream, with a tiny splash of vanilla, bourbon and the lightest dusting of cinnamon. From here on out, I’m calling this dessert, Light’s Out Chocolate cake, because after I finished it, along with my last sip of wine, that was it…food coma…goodnight indeed.

Valentine’s Dinner – with little help from moi

February 14, 2013

healthy valentines heartToday I played pre-Valentine’s Day prep chef for Amanda, a first time client, who now has all the elements to whip up a fabulous meal for her and her boyfriend to enjoy at home. In case you didn’t hit up Open Table exactly 30 days ago for a coveted two-top, rest assure, cooking at home is so much more romantic than sitting next to strangers. For tomorrow night, Amanda and her man will…

Nibble On

  • Marcona Almonds
  • Chorizo
  • Roasted Red Peppers
  • Manchego

All of these items were purchased at Eli’s (any specialty food store will have them). Tomorrow, she’ll arrange on her favorite serving platter and serve at room temperature. Perhaps with a tequila cocktail to start?

Eat

  • Hanger Steak (marinated overnight in tequila, olive oil, cumin, coriander, pimenton, Mexican oregano, salt and pepper). Seared and served over a bed of Southwestern Black Bean and Veggie Confetti Salad.
  • Mache and Watercress Salad, tossed with avocado, radish, toasted pepitas and citrus vinaigrette.

This meal will pair beautifully with a red Tempranillo or Rioja

And for Dessert

Sounds like a pleasant evening, huh? Made with love, shared together, nothing can be better.

What am I whipping up for my Valentine you ask? I thought I’d take Bon Appetite’s lead and prepare: Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Potato and Celery Root Mash. That, with a big, fabulous bottle of red and Evelyn Sharpe’s French Chocolate Cake for dessert. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Overnight Pear Pecan Muesli

February 6, 2013

DSC_0713

It has been far too long since my last post, so to start things off in 2013, I share with you what I eat for breakfast, in some variation or another, 3 to 4 times a week. This is a wholesome take on the standard cereal with milk, filled with whole grains, yogurt, fruit and nuts. And the best part of all, no cooking; only assembly required.

Overnight Pear Pecan Muesli

Serves One

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Bob’s Red Mill Muesli
  • ¼ cup whole rolled oats
  • 1 cup organic, whole-milk yogurt (thinned with water if necessary) or kefir
  • 2 tablespoons raw wheat germ
  • 1 to 2 drops almond extract and or vanilla extract
  • Sprinkle cinnamon
  • 12 (approx. ¼) cup pecans, toasted
  • ½ ripe pear (red or green D’Anjou), cut into bite-sized pieces

Procedure

Combine all ingredients through cinnamon in a cereal bowl, cover with cellophane and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, toast the pecans, cut up the pear and add both to the soaked muesli. Enjoy.

DSC_0712

A few more things

  1. During cold winter months, I take the bowl of muesli out of the fridge first thing, while I get ready in the morning. This way it’s at room temperature when its time to eat.
  2. For the best pecans you will ever taste, buy online from: www.sunnylandfarms.com
  3. I like the “Extra Fancy Junior Pecan Halves” – store in the fridge or freezer
  4. Play around with other fruit and nut combinations like: apple & walnuts, apricots & almonds, cherries & hazelnuts. For a wheat free version, swap out flax meal or chia seeds for the wheat germ.

DSC_0717

Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

December 16, 2012

DSC_0003

After reading my friend and fellow culinary nutritionist’s blog, The Healthy Apple, by Amie Valpone, I was inspired to make her Homemade Dairy-Free Holiday Fudge. Now I am not generally a fudge girl. I don’t like the overwhelming feel of sugar on my teeth when you take a bite. But, after reading Amie’s ingredient list, I knew this “fudge” was going to be a real winner. I tweaked her original recipe, swapping almond for peanut butter and whole dates for agave. It turned out beautifully and tasted great. This is an incredibly quick, decadent yet not too sweet, HFR approved dessert! Store in the fridge and eat as is or dust with cinnamon to present to your guests.

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6

Ingredients

◦   1/4 cup coconut butter

◦   1/4 cup peanut butter

◦   1 small ripe banana

◦   1/4 cup cocoa powder

◦   4 dates

◦   1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

◦   1/4 tsp. cinnamon

◦   pinch sea salt

DSC_0007

Procedure

In a food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly blended. Transfer mixture to a square mold. I used a 4×4 square cutter, placed on top of a piece of parchment paper (or cellophane) and lightly greased the corners with coconut oil. With a spatula, make sure the fudge is filled into the corners and flat on top. Cover with parchment paper or cellophane and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or the fridge for one hour to firm up before slicing.

Remove from freezer, slice into 1/2 inch pieces.

Serve.

DSC_0013

DSC_0016

Smokin’ Kabocha Squash Soup

December 5, 2012

DSC_0039

Smokin’ Kabocha Squash Soup Recipe

I know we’re a couple weeks out from Thanksgiving, but I hope you aren’t too sick of squash yet. This soup is made with Kabocha; a squat, round, green-skinned squash that is a great alternative to Butternut. Kabocha has a velvety smooth consistency and you can eat both the flesh and skin. I made this soup the other night as a first course for my Southwestern Chicken Salad. It reheats beautifully and can be eaten with millet and greens for a simple, healthy lunch.

Ingredients

1 tbs olive oil

1 tsp whole cumin seeds

1 small onion, quartered

1/4 cup pepitas

1 tsp pimenton (smoked paprika)

1 tsp coriander

2 tsp salt

1 large kabocha squash, clean out seeds and cut into chunks (no need to peel)

5.5 cups turkey stock (chicken or vegetable broth are also fine)

2 tbs apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Procedure

Put a large stock pot on the stove, over a medium-high flame. Add cumin seeds and cook, making sure oil does not smoke, until seeds are fragrant. Add onion and pepitas and allow to brown. Season with remaining spices and salt. Add squash and stir to incorporate with onions and spices. Deglaze pan by slowing adding the stock and stir, loosening any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cover, turn heat down to low and cook for 45 minutes, allowing squash to soften. Stir in vinegar and liquid smoke, taste. Season with more sea salt and pepper if needed. Puree soup in blender in batches until smooth and creamy. Garnish with scallions, toasted pepitas and chopped cilantro.

DSC_0037

Potato, Kielbasa and Kraut Casserole

November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

November 26, 2012

Obviously any holiday centered around preparing and enjoying a meal is a favorite of mine. Though always delicious, this years feast was particularly scrumptious. Everyone agreed to my proposed kale salad (yay!), which was a new addition to our usual rotation. We experimented with a new cranberry sauce recipe that I now will be sure to make again. Our bird was juicy like you couldn’t believe and the mushroom giblet gravy was divine. Here are a few photos and recipes for you to tuck away and perhaps make part of your Thanksgiving next year.

THANKSGIVING MENU 2012

To Start:
Homemade Gravlax Salmon with Lemon, Dill and Crackers

Main Courses:
Lacinato Kale Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
Peas with Pearl Onions
Roasted Brussels with Maple Brown Butter, Sage and Cider
Mashed Turnips and Potatoes
Venison Sausage and Mushroom Stuffing
Apple Orange Cranberry Sauce
Rich Giblet Gravy

Desserts:
Ginger Pumpkin Pie with Graham Cracker Crust
Pecan Pie with Coffee Ice Cream