I love soba salads, and I make many variations on this. Sometimes I make sesame noodles with soba, sometimes I add chicken meatballs, and sometimes I make a more salad-heavy version like this. It’s healthy and fiber-filled, plus the greens are hearty and the sesame seeds give it a nice crunch. Read more
If you’re looking for a less traditional Thanksgiving side dish to change things up this year, this is your sweet potato. If you really want to take them to the next level, sprinkle with some bacon bits or better yet, crispy prosciutto bits. Piping the filling into the shells is surprisingly easy, and your guests will leave asking for the recipe. Mine did. Read more
When it starts to get cold, there’s nothing like a hearty weekend breakfast. Nine times out of ten, I want salty, eggy breakfast instead of sweet, which means I do a lot of cheesy eggs. This is one of my favorites because I can make it decadent with a lot of cheese and bacon, or I can make it a little healthier without the cheese and using turkey bacon. For anyone not familiar with polenta, it’s similar to southern grits but it’s milled finer. You can make it creamy, or if you use less water, you can make a more solid version for sauteing until crisp. This is a creamy version that blends with the oozing egg yolk and crisp bits of bacon. Try it this weekend. Read more
The great thing about making your own hummus is that you can personalize it any way you want, and it couldn’t be easier. I love to add lemon and paprika to mine, but you can add whatever you want. Once you’ve tried making your own, you’ll be hooked. Read more
These make a great healthy appetizer for parties or just for weeknight dinner. Surprisingly, the goat cheese and tahini is a really yummy combination, but I certainly wasn’t sure before I started. A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts adds crunch, and a smattering of fresh herbs gives it some green garnish and fresh flavor. These will become a staple of my healthy party snacks. Read more
This is the standard classic grilled cheese with one big change- it has a crispy outer cheesy layer. A sprinkle of parmesan on the outside crisps up and adds another layer of flavor to a classic grilled cheese. Embellished with a slice of peach or apple, or add some fresh tomato sauce on the side like I have and you’re ready to go. You can add a side salad, if you’re feeling virtuous. Read more
It’s been a little while since my last post, I’ve been up to a lot though. Between our trip, starting a new job, and finding a new apartment, I’ve had my hands full. I have a challenge over the next few weeks though, because I want to use up as much from the pantry as possible before we move. So this means that there will be some baking, and it starts with these yummy strawberry muffins.
Decent strawberries are now available all year long, but these are best with fresh, local summer strawberries. There’s nothing like a hot muffin just out of the oven, and these are a great thing to reheat quickly before running out the door during the week.
1 cup diced strawberries
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 stick of butter (melted)
Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature to make light and fluffy muffins. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the melted butter, milk, and egg. Stir to combine, but don’t overwork the batter. Some lumps are ok, they will absorb before you bake the muffins. Carefully fold in the strawberry pieces.
Line 2 muffin tins with wrappers and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spoon the batter into the pans, filling almost to the top. This will make about 12 regular muffins, probably about half that if you make jumbo size muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center and the tops start to brown.
This broth (or brodetto in Italian cuisine) is so amazing, you will want to soak up every drop or at least save it for later. (It’s great to flavor stews, risottos, soups, just about anything.) It may look like a long list of ingredients, but the process is very simple and you could use just one or two herbs if you wish. This is based on a Mario Batali recipe, and it’s going into the favorites column because it’s just that good.
Clams in Spicy Brodetto with Garlic Bread
2 pounds Littleneck clams
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
3 tablespoons chopped scallion
3 tablespoons chopped oregano
3 tablespoons chopped chives
3 tablespoons chopped basil
3 tablespoons red wine
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
4 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a deep pan and add the onion with a pinch of salt. Allow to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, scallion, chili flakes, and tomato paste. Allow the tomato paste to rust for a few minutes. Add the white wine and the clams. Cover and cook until the clams open.
Meanwhile, slice the baguette lengthwise. Brush with the red wine and the olive oil. Grate the garlic cloves over it with a microplane. Sprinkle the thyme over the bread and season with a little salt. Close the bread and cook in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining herbs to the clams and stir together. Serve with pieces of the garlic bread.
The quinoa in these puddings makes them a healthy version of tapioca pudding. You could use any flavorings you want, but it was rhubarb season so I wanted to use the last of my rhubarb for this. They make a great breakfast too, if you’re in the mood for a treat.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pudding
1 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 cups quartered strawberries
1 cup chopped rhubarb
1/3 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
Whisk a quarter cup of water with the cornstarch until it dissolves. Combine the rest of the water with the orange juice, quinoa, cinnamon, salt, sugar, rhubarb, and strawberries in a small saucepan. Cook for 20 minutes covered or until the quinoa puffs up. Add the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook for another minute until thick. Remove from heat and divide into ramekins. Refrigerate a couple hours or until cold and set.
These are a new go-to recipe for Meatless Monday. Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest foods out there, and when you combine it with delicious goat cheese and some other flavorings, they make great tacos. Have these with your favorite salsa (homemade or store-bought), and they are great all year round.
Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Tacos
1 sweet potato, medium diced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (your favorite kind)
1 cup kale, chopped finely
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
6-8 corn tortillas
Saute the sweet potato in a couple tablespoons olive oil for 5-8 minutes (seasoned with salt and pepper), until they start to soften and a knife goes in fairly easily. Add the spices and the corn, and stir to combine. Add the kale and allow to wilt, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the tortillas either in a saute pan for about 30 seconds on each side or in the microwave between two damp paper towels. Serve with the filling, goat cheese to sprinkle on top, and a lime wedge or two. Optional are some salsa (I like green tomatillo salsa, personally), shredded cabbage, guacamole, or any other favorite toppings.