Monday, September 29, 2014
Here is an easy way to have a nice low-fat and protein filled dinner, loaded with plenty of flavor. The ginger adds a nice kick.
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into one inch pieces
2 tablespoons Sesame or Olive Oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 bunch of scallions, diced
1 half white onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons mirin (sweetened Asian wine)
1 knob of grated fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups red & green bell peppers, sliced or cubed
A handful of snow peas, trimmed
A handful of snow peas, trimmed
1 cup chunks of fresh (or canned) pineapple
1. Combine soy sauce, wine vinegar, mirin, ginger, garlic and cornstarch into a medium sized bowl; stir or whisk well.
2. Heat oil in a large iron skillet or pan, and stir-fry the chicken until it is brown and cooked through, approximately 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and put aside on a platter. Add onions, scallions, peppers and pineapple to the pan and heat through, stirring occasionally. Pour in the sauce and stir until the ingredients are coated and the sauce has thickened. Return the chicken to the pan, get it nice and hot....e voila! You have a delicious meal. Serve with steamed white or brown rice.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Saturday, September 27, 2014
Even for those who think they don't care for Kale must try this Kale Salad recipe, it will knock your socks off.
1 head Kale, leaves torn off
1 large handful Cilantro, chopped
1 large handful Basil, chopped
1 large handful Parsley, chopped
2-3 Lemons, juiced
1 clove garlic pressed or grated
2 handfuls cooked edamame beans
2 tablespoons Garbanzo Beans (optional)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Seeds (optional)
2-3 tablespoons Brags Amino Acid or low Sodium Soy Sauce
Fresh ground pepper
Tear the leaves off the stalks of one bunch of Kale. Then grab a handful of the leaves and roll them up, and then slice the kale into nice thin strips. I think the thinner the better.
Chop all the fresh herbs and mix together into a bowl with the nice pile of sliced Kale.
In a small bowl juice the lemons, then add the olive oil, soy sauce and garlic and whisk it all up. Toss the kale in the dressing for a minute or two and let it all get nice and coated. Feel free to add more dressing if it needs it.
I sometimes like to add goat cheese or Parmesan on top at the very end. Either way it is scrumptious.
Serve and enjoy!
Friday, September 26, 2014
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
There is nothing quite like the taste of freshly made pesto sauce. It's amazing with penne pasta, but you can also spread it on fish and grilled meats...pesto is very flexible.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup Pine nuts
3 large bunches Basil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
Combine basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic into a food processor or blender. Pulse often to get things finely diced. Add Parmesan cheese and salt, pulse until smooth. If using for pasta, save one cup of the boiled starchy pasta water and add that into the pesto sauce - mix into the pasta pot to create a lovely creamy sauce. Buon Appetito!
This deliciously simple dish speaks for itself. All that is required are the freshest ingredients: Basil, tomatoes, plus buffalo mozzarella...and use good quality extra virgin olive oil. Of course don't forget to use fresh ground pepper and Mediterranean Sea salt to get the full experience. Buon Appetito!
Monday, September 22, 2014
Tonight I witnessed live salsa music and salsa dancing in the streets that brought tears to my eyes. Toddlers and elders alike, dancing together in the middle of the street on a Sunday night. I am happy.
Here is a small taste:
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Those closest to me know my absolute number one favorite place in the whole United States to dine is Sobaya, located in the heart of the East Village in Manhattan, NY. In the 12 years that I lived there, at least once a week I would treat myself to a "solo date" and have dinner at the bar with a book and a nice sake. This food is like magic, there are so many good vitamins in handmade Buckwheat noodles, and the flavors are so fresh and vibrant. Here is the one place in New York City where they make their own Buckwheat Soba noodles right in front of you with flour from Kyoto, Japan. Service is very friendly, and the atmosphere is simple, clean, and very authentic. Any time I get back to New York this is always my first stop.
Here is my cousin Sally and her daughter's fabulous recipe for Pumpkin Cream Cheese Scones. They are served and baked fresh for the lucky locals at at the Coffee Cottage in Newburg, Oregon, coffeecottage..net
PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE SCONES
- Recipe makes 16 large SconesTake 8 oz oz cream cheese, cut it into little squares, and freeze it on a tray or plate while preparing the rest of the recipe.
The topping (optional): Mix these items together and set aside. 1 3/8 c brown sugar ¾ c white sugar 5/8 c flour 1 T cinnamon 5/8 c butter, melted
Mix these dry ingredients together: 6 c flour 1 c sugar 1 tsp salt 1 T baking powder
Cut in to the above: 1 c butter
Mix these (mainly) wet ingredients together: 5 eggs 1 ¼ c milk ¾ c pumpkin (canned) Dash allspice (opt) ¼ tsp cloves ¾ tsp nutmeg 1 ¼ tsp cinnamon, Cream Cheese Chunks
Pour the wet into the dry and stir it with a large spoon, only enough to moisten it all—do not over-mix.
Make the dough into a large ball. Cut the ball in half. Flour the cutting surface, put a dough half on it, and press it into a circle that is roughly 1 ¼’ high all around—like a really thick dinner plate. Now, do the other half. Next brush the tops with egg, then press half the cinnamon topping onto each disc. Time to cut the circles into 8 wedges each.
At the Coffee Cottage, we separate the scones, put them on trays, and freeze them. The next day we bake them in our commercial convection oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. At home I would probably just pop them into my preheated 425 degree oven right away and check them after 15 minutes. Just bake until an inserted toothpick is pretty clean.
Friday, September 19, 2014
When you're in need of a good dose of health, there's nothing like green juice to make you feel great. For this you will want organic ingredients. Here's what you need for two good sized cups of juice:
Thursday, September 18, 2014
This is a light yet satisfying dish that serves 4-6. I love it because you get the refreshing end of summer veggies plus a heartier pasta and cheese.
1 pound thin dried egg fettuccine or pappardelle
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, extra for drizzling3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Multi-Colored Cherry Tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 ears corn, shucked
1 pound medium zucchini, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler
1/3 cup diced chives
1 cup basil
1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan
Bring large stock pot full of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, mince garlic and mix together in a bowl with 2 teaspoons salt, adding vinegar, oil, and tomatoes. Stir gently and set aside.
Boil corn until tender, about 5 minutes, and let cool.
Peel lengthwise ribbons from 1 side of a zucchini with vegetable peeler into another bowl, stopping when you get to seedy core. Turn zucchini a quarter-turn, then peel more ribbons, stopping at core. Repeat on remaining 2 sides of zucchini. Reserve cores for another use (soup for example).
Cut the corn away from the cobs into a bowl, and add tomatoes.
Cook pasta until al dente (follow the package directions). Just before the pasta is done add the zucchini ribbons to the pot and cook about 15 seconds. Drain, and put back into the pot with tomato mix, onion, and fresh herbs. Toss and serve into shallow bowls with shaved Parmesan and olive oil on top. Buon Appetito!
This was a $4.00 surprise...I rarely eat hot dogs in general, but I was ravenous so I ordered what was readily available at this casual seasonal outdoor cafe named Riverwalk Cafe & Bar, located right on the Chicago river...and it was amazing.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Chili is such a comfort as the fall weather starts to settle in. Here is my own simple vegetarian home recipe:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
2 cans 15 oz bpa free black beans
2 cans 15 oz bpa free pinto beans
1 jar store bought salsa
2 cups low sodium Chicken Broth
2 Tablespoons Cumin
2 Tablespoons Dried Oregano
1 Pinch of Red Pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves minced
1 Diced Jalepeno, Seeds removed
1 large red onion diced (put aside a handful for serving at the end if desired)
3 Roma tomatoes diced
1 avocado diced
1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar, grated
Salt & Pepper
Dash of Hot Sauce (I like Cholula)
Xochitl Tortilla Chips (optional)
1 pint Greek yogurt (optional)
In a large stock pot on medium heat add oil, onion and garlic...sauté until onions are soft.
Add beans, salsa, broth, jalapeño, spices, and season to taste. Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until liquid is lessened by half, about 15-25 minutes.
Spoon into bowls piping hot, top with grated cheese, extra raw onion (if desired), tomatoes, avocado and a dollop of Greek yogurt as a topper to cool the spice. Line the bowl with tortilla chips for dipping.
I've always appreciated getting little tips and culinary inspiration from movies...and this is a fun article about just that. They didn't include some of my epicurean favorites, so in case you want to add to their already solid list, here are a few of mine:
Like Water For Chocolate, Julie & Julia, Tampopo, and last but certainly not least, Babette's Feast.
Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year...the cool crisp air, sweaters and boots, the promising feeling of a new season...and of course, the marvelous options to choose from as far as cooking and baking. Naturally, the glorious bounty of apples take center stage. Here is a great article to help you choose the right apple for your fall recipes. Enjoy :)
...and here's the link!
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Need to use up all those beautiful end of summer tomatoes you have? Here's a simple delicious recipe:
2 pints cherry tomatoes
3 plus tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves
1 pound spaghetti
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded or shaved Parmesan
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, reserving a half cup of pasta water (put aside.) Drain and return to pot.
While pasta is cooking, in a large pan, combine oil, garlic, tomatoes and herbs. Cook at a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomato skins have burst, about 15 minutes or less.
Add tomato mix to pasta; toss and pour a bit of pasta water in...season to taste with more salt & pepper. Serve hot with a good two pinches of Parmesan on top. I like to dollop a tiny bit of olive oil at the end, optional of course. Buon Appetito!
Monday, September 15, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Friday, September 12, 2014
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Rub a halved garlic clove on crusty bread slices. Set broiler on high. Toast bread until golden brown. Chop heirloom tomatoes and a handful of Basil. Place tomatoes in a bowl with 2 glugs of good Olive oil and a solid pinch of salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto toasts. Buon Appetito!
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
12 oz Linguine
Two Bunches of Fresh Basil Sprigs
12 oz cherry or grape tomatoes
5 Cloves Garlic very thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 Onion thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan
Put pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, Basil, red-pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, and 4 1/2 cups water into a large pan. Bring to a boil, stirring pasta with tongs frequently. Once pasta is al dente, season with salt & pepper to taste and sprinkle with Parmesan, Basil and a glug of Olive oil. Enjoy!
When I'm in need of some greens, this is a kitchen favorite:
Placed on top of a bed of farmers market greens: Minced Turkey Bacon, par boiled Baby Red Potatoes, Minced Deli Turkey, Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes, Hard Boiled Eggs, Chickpeas, Minced Carrots, Quinoa....and I made a dressing with Blue Cheese Crumbles, Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt, Pepper, a dash of Cholula Hot Sauce & Parsley.