Kale Salad with Carrot, Radish, Quinoa and Raisin

Tonight we enjoyed this melange of health to prepare for a weekend of Shake Shack burgers and Nathan’s dogs (I may hit my crinkle-cut fry quota for the season).

The kale and radish hail from this week’s Bartel-Pritchard Square Greenmarket, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn.

Happy grilling out/barbecuing/cooking out or however you enjoy your holiday weekend eating!

Kale Salad with Carrot, Radish, Quinoa and Raisin

For dressing:

  • 1/4 C nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 T agave nectar
  • 1/4 C Extra-virgin olive oil
  • generous pinch of salt

For salad:

  • 1/2 lb. kale leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 4 large radish, halved and thinly sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, finely grated
  • 1/2 C raw almond, chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 of a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 C cooked quinoa (I used tricolor, any type is fine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Small can smoked trout, drained and flaked, optional
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients to combine; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the kale, raisins, radish, carrots, almonds, red onion and quinoa. Pour the dressing over and toss with tongs until evenly coated. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.
  3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours for flavors to blend. Top with smoked trout if desired.
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Alce Nero Yogurt & Honey Cookies

You’re going to want an organic Yogurt & Honey Cookie from Italian company Alce Nero:

http://www.amazon.com/Alce-Nero-Organic-Cookies-350-Gram/dp/B004E92UDI/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1326304555&sr=1-1

I know parents can be cautious about introducing cookies & other sweets to their toddler, but I think I’ve found one parent & tot can share together. I grab these crunchy Italian versions of shortbread from our neighborhood Italian shop, Brancaccio’s. The ingredient list is short, identifiable & organic: wheat flour, brown sugar, extra virgin olive oil, yogurt, honey, baking soda/powder, salt.

One cookie has just over 1g (1/4 tsp) of sugar, equivalent to a child’s serving of Cheerios (here kid, have a snack that won’t spill all over the floor, stroller, Mom’s bag…). The label describes them as “delicious and light, ideal for a healthy breakfast.” Cookies for breakfast, I love the Italians.

Alce Nero also makes a whole grain Farro and a Kamut chocolate chip cookie that I’ll try next, when available. Seriously, good luck finding these. I included a link for purchase on Amazon, but they are on short supply. Apparently, Mario Batali sells this brand at his palatial food court, Eataly; but, word has it that his large orders leave a scant amount for smaller city shops. If anyone spots these in the borough of Brooklyn, give me a shout!

I'll take that cookie now!

Peach Cobbler with Local Jersey Peaches (sorry Georgia)

It has been seven (!) weeks since we received our very special delivery. Weighing in at 7# 13oz, our beautiful daughter Georgia arrived on June 19th. And just as I hoped, she came out hungry.

Thanks to our family and friends, we received weeks of home-cooked and dropped-off meals. It was absolutely priceless to spend time tending to our newborn rather than a stove. A brilliant website, Meal Train (www.mealtrain.com), helped make it possible. The site goes so far to ask about the recipients food likes/dislikes and allergies. Kind of amazing to be tended to in this way…a personal chef’s little fantasy.

So week 7 of motherhood! I’m probably sleeping just enough to not cut all my fingers off, so I went ahead and commemorated our sweet daughter Georgia with a peach cobbler (sans blueberries–http://www.cookinglight.com/food/in-season/peach-recipes-00412000067611/page6.html). And cooked us a meal while I was messing up the kitchen anyway–my favorite Swiss chard and black bean salad–with the seasonal addition of sweet corn, raw and crunchy like I like it!

Ingredients: Bananas

Strawberry and Fresh Mint

38 weeks into pregnancy and the ice cream cravings have finally hit hard. Vanilla Haagen Dazs with smashed Chocolate-Vanilla “Trader” Joe-Joe’s followed a solid week of Dr. Pepper floats.

My birthday dinner at Purple Yam (Ditmas Park, Brooklyn) concluded with Halo-Halo, a Philippine iced desert with sweet beans, palm seed, cocogel, agar agar, coconut sport and jackfruit topped with flan and purple yam ice cream. Wowzers. Forget about 8-ingredient desserts at home. I whipped up the following (pictured) in 5-10 minutes from 1-2 ingredients.

The Banana Ice Cream recipe has been floating around the blogosphere and I was psyched to puree something in the food processor other than my usual hummus. Strawberry and Fresh Mint Pops were an excuse to play with the Zoku Pop maker and experiment with homemade mint simple syrup. Not to mention, you can find teeming quarts of Jersey strawberries, 2 for $10, at most farmer’s markets in the area. And they are just about perfect.

Banana Ice Cream (sans cream)

  • 3-4 very ripe bananas, sliced and frozen in a single layer
  • A food processor
  1. While still frozen, add banana slices to the food processor. Pulse until the bananas clump; using spoon, scrape banana clumps evenly around blade and continue to process until smooth.
  2. Magically, the clumps turn into a creamy, soft-serve-textured icy treat. Scoop and serve.

Strawberry and Fresh Mint Pops

  • 2 cups chilled, or frozen and thawed ripe strawberries
  • 1/4 cup mint simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water
  1. In a blender, add strawberries and syrup and puree. Add water and puree until the mixture is thin enough to be poured into any ice pop molds.
  2. Pour into molds and freeze. Pops frozen in the Zoku are ready to eat in 10 minutes.

Fresh Mint Simple Syrup

(Good for a month in the fridge. Add to iced tea, bourbons, rums, melons and berries with tasty results.)

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch mint–fresh from the farmer’s market is best–rinsed well
  1. Mix sugar and water in small saucepan (2 qt) and heat over med-low while stirring until dissolved. Syrup is ready when it goes from cloudy to clear. Remove from heat.
  2. Rub mint leaves between hands for a few seconds to release minty oils. Add a large handful of mint leaves to the pan of syrup; submerge leaves with spoon and let steep 30-60 minutes.
  3. Remove mint leaves. Transfer syrup to a glass Pyrex measuring cup and let cool. Store in an airtight glass bottle in refrigerator.

Grapefruit Gets Saucy

March 4, 2010

Wild Coho with Grapefruit Teriyaki sauce

This winter I’ve taken refuge in citrus. While piles of snow and gloom are being dumped on Brooklyn, I’m cozying up to clementines, tangelos and navels on my sofa. Just counting my days of apartment captivity in orange peels, waiting for spring to arrive!

So perhaps the best thing about citrus season is once you get bored with the peel & eat varieties, some clever grocer puts grapefruit on sale. Grapefruit, while notoriously bitter, is the most gorgeous citrus in my opinion (someday I will walk into a Benjamin Moore with a halved pink grapefruit asking for a color match). Usually all it takes is a special serrated knife and a drizzle of honey to get around the pith and much of the bitterness. Grapefruit takes kindly to heat and a little broiling or boiling can also bring out its sweetness. I adapted the following recipe from Kyle Shadix’s Grapefruit Teriyaki Glaze that appeared in the winter ADA Times magazine.

Reducing the Grapefruit Teriyaki Sauce

Grapefruit Teriyaki Sauce

  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • Zest and juice of half an orange
  • Juice of 1 grapefruit, preferably pink grapefruit (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp canola or olive oil
  • 2 (4 oz) Wild Coho salmon fillets, skinned
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, saute onions and ginger until soft. Add orange zest and juice, grapefruit juice, soy sauce and sugar; bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Add oil to the sauce. Blend mixture until smooth.

    Couscous soaking up the glaze

    Couscous soaking up the sauce, mmm.

  4. Place salmon fillets on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Brush the salmon with the warm sauce until well-coated. Bake 5 minutes, brush on more sauce and then bake another 4-5 minutes. Serve over rice or couscous, and spoon over additional sauce if desired.

A Frozen Fillet a Day…

December 10, 2009

Catch of the Freezer

Growing up in lovely land-locked Oklahoma, fish “previously frozen” was par for the course at the local grocery and ultimately what ended up on our dinner plates. Mom mostly avoided the fish sticks and opted for “nice Orange Roughy filets” (only recently did I discover this fish is incredibly unsustainable and we probably contributed a tiny bit to wiping out a species–they didn’t tell you ANYTHING in the 80’s).

Choosing healthy, sustainable seafood with low carbon footprints and few contaminants can be one of the most daunting endeavors at today’s market.  The link above is to a piece in the NY Times about a responsible approach to eating fish. It involves a little defrost, but not much compromise on taste or cost. Also, when shopping look for the Marine Stewardship Council’s label (above), which means the fish has been certified sustainable. Definitely forgo the Orange Roughy and try some of these sustainable seafood options, low in mercury and PCBs, and safe to eat at least once a week*:

  • Wild Alaskan salmon (NOT farmed Atlantic salmon)
  • Rainbow trout (farmed)
  • U.S and Canadian Albacore tuna
  • Black Seabass
  • Clams
  • Anchovies
  • Dungeness, King (U.S), and snow crab
  • Crawfish
  • U.S and Canadian Herring
  • Farmed oysters
  • Alaskan pollock
  • Canned salmon
  • Canned light tuna
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • U.S and Canadian shrimp
  • U.S and Latin American tilapia

*For adults 18-75 years old. Children are advised to eat these less often, 2-4 times a month depending on the species. For more information on the above, click on: Environmental Defense Fund

Top Ten Food Gifts

December 3, 2008

Thought I’d recommend some of my favorite local spots for food gifting. Sweets and meats included. Nothing like a Larchmont, NY salami in your stocking!

10. Levain Bakery http://www.levainbakery.com

A fantastic cookie, definitely good enough to gift. The aroma from this basement bakery hits you at the corner of 74th & Amsterdam (head east). I used to frequent a little too often, so relieved my clients moved off this block. But I miss the Chocolate Chip Walnut.

9. Donut Plant http://www.doughnutplant.com

This Lower East Side sugar factory does not have mail-order (yet); however, if your office just forfeited bonuses and could use some holiday cheer, pick up a dozen of these gems. Seasonal flavors include Roasted Chestnut and Peanut Butter-Glazed Cranberry Jelly. So much better than a jelly-of-the-month membership!

8. Brewery Ommegang http://www.ommegang.com

A Belgian brewery in Cooperstown, NY, this one ships their Belgian Sampler within NY. I had a chance to tour and taste here this summer and everything is bottled on site. Recommend the Three Philosophers (quadrupel) and the Ommegeddon (made with wild yeast).

7. Moore Brothers Wine http://www.moorebrothersblogs.com

Matt and I love this wine store. They know their producers personally, are extremely helpful, and pack bottles oh so nicely. Most wines hail from France, Italy and Germany, and they ship to 37 states.

6. John and Kira’s Jubilee Chocolates http://www.johnandkiras.com

I first tasted these chocolates at a Slow Food Harvest event in ’03, and have ordered them as gifts ever since. This husband and wife team uses fresh ingredients grown on small family farms. Flavors include schoolyard mint (from a local school garden), lavender honey, and coffee whiskey. Beautiful packaging to boot.

5. Heritage Foods USA http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com

This company promotes “independent family farms, humane production, genetic diversity and traceability.” So if you’re looking for the ultimate Christmas ham, look no further. They sell anything from pork, turkey and bison to hazelnuts and honey. Many of the farms are concentrated in Kansas and the Great Plains.

4. Rick’s Picks http://www.rickspicksnyc.com

These pickled goods include cucumbers (Kool Gherks), green beans (Mean Beans), beets (Phat Beets) and okra (Smokra), all sporting a fashionably-clean label. Gift ideas include a pregnancy, BBQ, and sampler pack. I enjoyed an out-of-this-world Bloody Mary at The Farm on Adderley, garnished with the spicy mean beans. Also an excellent gift for cocktail connoisseurs.

3. Russ and Daughters http://www.russanddaughters.com

Know a homesick New Yorker? This shop sells smoked and cured fish, caviar, bagels, cream cheese and sweets. Many gift packs to choose from. Would make an amazing New Years Day spread.

2. Murray’s Real Salami http://www.murrayscheese.com/real_salami

This meat showroom recently opened at Grand Central and carries products from “small, traditionally-minded producers in the United States.” You can find cooked meats, cured meats and pates to serve alongside the cheese from #1…

1. Murray’s Cheese http://www.Murrayscheese.com

There’s a reason this shop is #1 on my list. They have a cheese cave, for starters. And quite possibly a different cheese for each day of the year. The website offers gift packs arranged by type of milk, country, or region of the U.S. And a cheese-of-the-month option, great for friends or family who like to entertain.