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Jul 29, 2015
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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Meatless Monday: Fruit and Gorgonzola Flatbread

Monday, April 27th, 2015

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Make fruit the star of the show tonight with a flatbread topped with pears, dried cherries and creamy Gorgonzola. An Anjou pear and dried cherries are soaked in a mixture of white balsamic and agave, then scattered over homemade flatbread dough (No time? Pick up your favorite pizza dough at the grocery and save an hour.) Add pungent Gorgonzola and grill the flatbread over open flame for a smoky base. Serve as a vegetarian starter or slice like a pizza for a delicious Meatless Monday main. Get the recipe here.

-photo by Kristi Schiffman

By the Book: Sara Forte’s Spring Noodles with Artichokes, Pecorino and Charred Lemons

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

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Over the years, I have occasionally visited Sara Forte’s blog, Sprouted Kitchen, but I always wrote it off as one of those blogs. You know, the ones so obsessed with making everything wholesome, nutrient-packed and healthy that I assumed recipes like Deconstructed Beet Stacks and Shiitake Mushroom and Lentil Asian Tacos would never mesh with my love for cheese and meat. I thought the same when Forte’s cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon, crossed my desk. I was wrong.

To be fair, many of the recipes in Forte’s cookbook are focused on healthful eating. They’re mostly vegetarian with only a few lean animal proteins like salmon and ground turkey tossed into a few of the heartier recipes. What did hook me, though, was the book’s concept: Every dish is meant to be served in a bowl. I love assembling bowls for any meal – breakfast hash with a sunny egg, lentils or rice with roasted vegetables and shrimp, a gooey helping of mac-n-cheese or a big scoop of meaty chili. Everything is better in a bowl.

 

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The nearly 100 recipes in The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon, which range from side dishes to desserts, are all meant to be served in my favorite eating vessel. And while some recipes sounded entirely too hippie for me (there actually is a recipe for a Hippie Bowl), others like Turkey Meatballs in Tomato Sauce and Creamy Mushroom Pasta with Frizzled Leeks appealed to my shared love of Midwestern comfort food and fresh vegetables.

Forte’s bowl of Spring Noodles with Artichokes, Pecorino and Charred Lemons bowl delivered a powerful punch of spring produce – endive, artichokes and great heaping handfuls of peppery arugula – all wrapped in a luxurious cream sauce. Yes, cream sauce, made with a whopping half-cup of creme fraiche, a half-stick of butter and an unholy amount of grated cheese.

 

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What really makes this dish sing, though, is the hit of charred lemon. Unable to find Meyer lemons at my local supermarket, I opted for two small organic lemons instead. I made quick work of them in my cast-iron skillet, then chopped them up and tossed them into the sauce while the pasta cooked. A word of advice: taste your lemons first. Forte prescribed two teaspoons sugar to sweeten them, but they were still a bit too bitter. Another half teaspoon will do the trick next time.

 

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And there will be a next time. While my gluttonous side indulged in the rich sauce, I still felt slightly virtuous thanks to the plethora of vegetables swimming around my pasta shells. I may never add flaxseed meal to my falafel and my chili will always contain meat, but if this dish is any indication, plenty of Forte’s recipes will hit the balance of satisfying and healthy – especially when served in a bowl.

 

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Spring Noodles with Artichokes, Pecorino and Charred Lemons
4 servings

2 small Meyer lemons
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. natural cane sugar
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
2 endives, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 oz.) can, 1 (12 oz.) frozen package, or 3 large, fresh steamed artichoke hearts, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. creme fraiche
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. dried Italian herbs
12 oz. (¾ lb.) fusilli or shell pasta
1 egg, at room temperature
1¼ cups coarsely grated pecorino cheese
2 to 3 cups arugula
Fresh parsley, for garnish
Fresh dill, for garnish

• Slice the lemons crosswise into ¼-inch rings and remove the seeds with a small knife. Toss the slices with the olive oil and sugar. Grill or broil the slices, flipping halfway through, until char marks appear on the lemons and they begin to soften. Set aside.
• Bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil.
• In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt 2 Tbsp. of the butter. Slice the endive lengthwise, discarding the tough core, and then into ½-inch half moons. Add the garlic and endives to the warm butter and saute for 1 minute, just until softened. Add the artichoke hearts and a few pinches salt and sauté until warmed. Stir in the remaining butter, white balsamic, crème fraiche, nutmeg, cayenne and dried herbs. Chop the lemons into small pieces and add them to the pan as well. Keep the heat on low and cover.
• Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with ½ cup of the cheese and ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water. Into the vegetable mixture, add the noodles and egg mixture and toss until everything is coated and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the arugula and a few more pinches salt and pepper to taste. Toss to mix, adding pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.
• Serve each bowl warm with a generous sprinkle of cheese and the fresh herbs.

Reprinted with permission from 10 Speed Press

What is your favorite food blog and why? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon.

Meatless Monday: Crispy Shaved Asparagus

Monday, April 20th, 2015

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Make one of the earliest spring vegetables even better with a swim in the fryer. Use a potato peeler to shred a pound of trimmed asparagus into a mountain of thin strips, then flash-fry them in a pot of hot vegetable oil. Toss them with your favorite salad for an unexpectedly delightful crunch. Need inspiration? We have a hundred or so to get you started. Get the recipe for Crispy Shaved Asparagus here.

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

Meatless Monday: Leeks Vinaigrette with Eggs

Monday, April 13th, 2015

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Odds are, you still have a hardboiled egg or two lingering in your fridge after Easter. Make quick work of them with a quick, healthy Meatless Monday meal that requires just five ingredients. Slice and boil a few leeks until just tender, then shock them in cold water to preserve their vibrant color. Whisk together a classic vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard, then drizzle it over the leeks and top with chopped egg and fresh tarragon. Get the recipe for this speedy vegetarian meal here.

 

 

By the Book: A New Eggs Benedict from ‘A Modern Way to Eat’

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

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Sometimes I look at a cookbook like A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones and think, “God, who eats like this on a regular basis?” (No, hipster rooftop-gardening vegans who make nut milk on the weekends don’t count.) I’m talking super healthy options like cashew and chestnut sausages; cilantro and orange-scented buckwheat; or mint, pistachio and zucchini balls. I’ve tried my fair share of “good-for-you” recipes, and I always feel baited. They tell me it tastes good, but more often than not, those recipes fall flat.

However, I’ve recently tried to focus on my fitness, so I figured I probably should eat clean – at least until I can’t stand it any longer. A Modern Way to Eat has lots of pretty pictures of food, and though you don’t see any faces, I can just imagine how fabulously young and dewy their faces look from all the greens they’re eating.

 

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I have a thing for brunch, particularly eggs Benedict, so I decided to try Jones’ version. Her New Eggs Benedict swaps a sweet potato for the English muffin and an avocado-cashew sauce for luscious buttery hollandaise. At least I got to keep the poached egg.

 

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I admit, this was actually pretty delicious. The sweet potato rounds, roasted with oil, salt and pepper, were a nice base, and the sauteed onions gave a necessary savory burst. The greens added an earthy bite, but the hollandaise was the most surprising finish. I thinned it with quite a bit of water in order to pour it, but the cashews and avocado still provided that buttery richness necessary on a Benedict. It’s hard to make healthy food both crave-able and filling, but this dish was indeed satisfying and, as promised, I felt amazing after eating it.

 

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A New Eggs Benedict
4 servings

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into 3/8-inch rounds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive or grapeseed oil
2 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced
6 handfuls spinach, with any big stalks removed
4 organic or free-range eggs

For the quick hollandaise:
A small handful cashew nuts, soaked* in water
½ an avocado
A small bunch fresh tarragon or dill, leaves picked
Juice of ½ a lime

• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
• Lay the sweet potato slices on a couple of baking trays, season with salt and pepper, drizzle lightly with oil, and roast for 20 minutes until soft throughout and crisping at the edges.
• Now on to the onions. Put a pan over medium heat, add a little oil, and then add the onions and a pinch of salt. Fry for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onions are soft and sweet and starting to brown. Scoop them into a bowl and set aside, keeping the pan to use later.
• To make your hollandaise, grind the drained cashews in a food processor until you have a crumbly paste. Add the avocado and most of the tarragon or dill with the lime juice and a good pinch of salt and pepper and blend again. If you need to, thin the sauce with a little water until it is thick but pourable.
• Heat the pan you cooked the onions in over medium heat. Add the spinach and a drop of olive oil and cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to wilt but is still vivid green.
• Next, poach the eggs. Heat a pan of water until boiling – I use a frying pan, but use whatever pan is most comfortable for you for poaching eggs. Turn the heat down until the water is barely bubbling, then crack in the eggs and leave them to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towels.
• To serve, lay some of the sweet potatoes in the middle of each plate. Top with the onions and wilted spinach, then add the egg and a spoonful of hollandaise. Scatter over the rest of the tarragon or dill, season with salt and pepper, and dig in.

* Soak the cashew nuts in water overnight, but if you forget, half an hour’s soaking will do.

Other ways to use your quick avocado hollandaise:
Spoon over grilled asparagus.
On top of a green spring risotto.
Next to a simple poached egg on toast.
In sandwiches in place of mayonnaise.

Reprinted with permission from 10 Speed Press

Eggs Benedict has come a long way from the traditional English muffin, ham, egg and hollandaise. The variations on this brunch classic are endless. What’s your go-to nontraditional Benedict and why? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of A Modern Way to Eat.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to include the correct amount of avocado in the recipe. 

 

Meatless Monday: Crispy Grain Salad with Spiced Yogurt

Monday, April 6th, 2015

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We’ve stuffed ourselves all weekend with Passover brisket, Easter ham and all the chocolate bunnies we could get our hands on. Time to hit the bulk food section on your way home and stock up on healthy grains, crunchy seeds and bright herbs with this Crispy Grain and Seed Salad with Spiced Yogurt Dressing from Josh Charles of Elaia and Olio. Sorghum, kamut and freekeh are cooked and then crisped in grapeseed oil, followed by sunflower seeds, pepitas, chia seeds and sesame seeds. Toss it all together with preserved lemons, apple cider vinegar and olive oil, then serve over a dollop of ras al-hanout-spiced yogurt and garnish with fresh herbs. This filling yet healthy supper is just the thing after a weekend of heavy holiday feasting. Get the recipe here.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Just Five: Citrus Salad

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

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Behold: another dish that blew my marginal expectations out of the water. I love it when a simple preparation is a home run, especially when it’s this beautiful to boot. This salad is ideal for brunch or a dinner party. Use whatever citrus is available, but don’t skip the blood oranges with their enticing ruby color. Cara Cara navel oranges work nicely, as do clementines, mandarins or even a little grapefruit. If you don’t use all the syrup, mix it with some gin, lemon and soda water for a perfect cocktail pairing.

 

Citrus Salad
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
4 servings

¼ cup sugar
½ cup fresh tarragon leaves, divided
¼ cup hot water
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 blood oranges, peel and pith removed
2 tangerines, peel and pith removed
2 navel oranges, peel and pith removed

• Muddle together the sugar and ¼ cup tarragon in a jar, add the hot (not boiling) water and pepper, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
• Using a serrated knife, slice the blood oranges crosswise into about 4 ½-inch slices each. Repeat with the tangerines and the navel oranges. Arrange the fruit a serving dish and scatter the remaining ¼ cup tarragon over the citrus. Set aside.
• Strain the tarragon syrup through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the solids. Drizzle the orange segments with the syrup as desired. Serve at room temperature.

Meatless Monday: Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad

Monday, March 30th, 2015

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Meet the recipe that will convert even the most virulent sprouts hater. Cup after cupful of quartered Brussels sprouts are skillet-fried to golden perfection, then tossed with toasted garlic, sweet pears, Bibb lettuce and creamy garlic aioli. Then gild the lily with an unearthly burnt honey dressing, made by boiling the golden liquid multiple times until it takes on a dark amber luster. Just try to tell us you hate Brussels sprouts after this Meatless Monday meal. Get the recipe for the Fried Brussels Sprouts Salad here and the Burnt Honey dressing here.

 

photo by Jonathan Gayman

By the Book: Warm Pear Crumble

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

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I love cooking seasonally. I refuse to buy zucchinis and tomatoes in winter, and I question the logic behind serving butternut squash risotto in June. But about this time each year, I find my resolve weakening. I’m desperate for something green and raw, and the thought of roasting one more carrot or sweet potato is enough to send me into fits. Are supermarket summer squashes imported from South America really so bad?

So when Veronica Bosgraaf’s Pure Food: Eat Clean with Seasonal, Plant-Based Recipes crossed my desk, I immediately flipped to her March recipes. Bosgraaf, who rose to fame with her line of organic snack bars, penned this cookbook to make simple, season-driven vegetarian meals using whole, unprocessed ingredients. Each chapter is dedicated to a month of produce, and as a fellow Midwesterner (she lives in Michigan), I imagine Bosgraaf can relate to my longing for springtime seasonality.

 

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Recipes for March still include those winter ingredients (oranges, carrots, cabbage, potatoes) and while she isn’t breaking any new ground with her dishes (curried carrot soup, pickled vegetables) they are definitely welcome respite from roasted everything. I chose to test Warm Pear Crumble, arguing that if we must eat winter produce, I wanted it paired with ice cream.

 

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Sauce intern Tori Sgarro had no trouble following Bosgraaf’s clear, simple instructions, though the recipe took nearly two hours after all the prep work and baking time. As with all crumble recipes, Team Sauce agreed that we wanted double the buttery, almond-oat topping. Admittedly that cuts down the health factor, but isn’t the buttery crust the real reason people make crumbles in the first place? The pear filling, while plentiful, fell flat; a pinch of salt did wonders to enhance the fruit flavor, and next time I’ll add depth with a bit of cinnamon or grated nutmeg. We served our crumble with a scoop of Serendipity’s Big O Ginger ice cream, which played nicely with the fresh ginger and added necessary richness.

 

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Warm Pear Crumble
4 to 6 servings

¼ cup (½ stick) plus 2 tsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¾ tsp. grated fresh ginger
6 firm, ripe Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup almond meal
2 Tbsp. organic cane sugar
1/8 tsp. sea salt

• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish with 2 teaspoons of the butter and set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the honey, tapioca starch, lemon juic, and ginger. Add the pears and toss to coat. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover loosely with foil. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
• Meanwhile, put the oats in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the almond meal, sugar and salt. Add the remaining ¼ cup butter and, using a fork, blend in the butter until the mixture is crumbly.
• Remove the foil from the baking dish and sprinkle the crumble topping over the pears. Return the pan to the oven and cook until the top is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
• Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Reprinted with permission from Clarkson Potter Publishers

How do you get creative with winter produce in the last days before spring vegetables finally arrive? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a copy of Pure Food.

Meatless Monday: Pasta with Zesty Horseradish-Tomato Sauce

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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We know, this recipe’s title seems a little weird; horseradish and pasta shouldn’t be a killer combo. But hear us out: we all like a good dollop of the spicy root in our bloody marys, right? The same idea applies here, when  a bowl of your favorite pasta is dressed up with a simple homemade tomato sauce (swap canned for fresh in these early spring months) and a handful of crunch toasted breadcrumbs and walnuts. Add as much or a little horseradish as you desire, then toss it all together and enjoy the subtle interplay of bright, spicy and crunchy. You just might start placing the jar of horseradish next the Parmesan every time you serve pasta. Get the recipe here.

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