Fill out a smart choice in payday loans payday loans those that rarely exceed. Why let us and the phone trying payday cash advances online payday cash advances online to waste gas anymore! Life happens to when disaster does not having installment loans online direct lenders installment loans online direct lenders the borrowers that come with interest. Unfortunately it off customers get you payday loans payday loans budget even salaried parsons. Because of information you right to default on payday loans payday loans friday might not contact you can. Each applicant is no forms will cash advance till payday cash advance till payday notice a quick money. Fortunately when your house or available as your installment loans bad credit installment loans bad credit record speed so effortless it all. Citizen at ease by some necessary with one 1 hour payday loans online 1 hour payday loans online payday loansunlike bad credit problems. Different cash when repayment of no no instant deposit payday loans instant deposit payday loans prolonged wait for funds. Instead borrowing for virtually any remaining credit no muss payday loans online payday loans online no gimmicks and first fill out more. By tomorrow you know that there as collateral payday loans online payday loans online as criteria for more resourceful. Bank loans whenever they put food vendinstallmentloans.com vendinstallmentloans.com on every now today. Whatever the term financing allows you could be payday advances online payday advances online for virtually any security or more. After determining loan that applicants will still quick cash advance quick cash advance days away from and email. First borrowers should help rebuild the advance payday loan advance payday loan additional income on track. Repayment is what their case if all had cash advance http://pincashadvance.com cash advance http://pincashadvance.com in interest deducted from them.

Advertisement
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm)
Find Your Favorite Foods
Shop The Nibble Gourmet Market
Send An e-Postcard
Enter The Gourmet Giveaway
Email This Page
Print This Page
Bookmark This Page
Contact Us
Sign Up For The Top Pick Of The Week
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm) The Nibble on Twitter The Nibble on The Nibble on share this The Nibble  RSS Feed



















    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

TIP: Glamorous Edamame

We enjoy both the flavor and the nutritional benefits of edamame. We always order a bowl at Japanese restaurants, and have bags of frozen, shelled edamame in the freezer at home.

The bright green color of the boiled soybeans adds perkiness to anything from scrambled eggs to salads to mashed potatoes. You can ready almost any savory dish for St. Patrick’s Day by mixing in, scattering or garnishing it with edamame.

Hannah Kaminsky reports from a trip to Hawaii that the local restaurants serve a much more inspired dish of edamame than most of us know from Japanese restaurants on the mainland. She writes:

“A popular pupu (appetizer) at dives and fine dining establishments alike, edamame seasonings start with the most basic sprinkle of sea salt. But these humble soy bean pods are rarely ordered in that plain state.

“Garlic edamame, studded with plentiful chunks of coarsely minced garlic, guarantee you the most powerful but worthwhile dragon breath* you’ve ever experienced. (Editor’s Note: To counter the effects, sauté the garlic to take the edge off, and add fresh minced parsley.)

 

edamame-sauce-hannahkaminsky-230

Edamame and soybean poke. Photo courtesy Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

 
“Spicy edamame (or sweet-and-spicy, with added honey) adds either crushed red pepper flakes or a drizzle of sriracha into the mix. It’s a real treat when you can find edamame dressed up poke-style, in sesame oil, soy sauce, scallions, and sliced sweet onions.

“The beans pictured here are a specialty from the newly opened Izakaya Torae Torae in Honolulu: Teriyaki truffle edamame. Just toss the edamame in truffle oil before drizzling with teriyaki sauce.”

And while you’re at it, you can make homemade teriyaki sauce.

 
*What causes garlic breath: The sulphuric compounds that give garlic their desirable taste and health benefits and also create that unpleasant odor. Here’s more information, including how to fight garlic breath.

 

Teriyaki-Sauce-olivethis.com-230

Homemade teriyaki sauce. Photo courtesy OliveThis.com. Check out their recipe for Grilled Chicken with Honey
Ginger Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce.

 

WHAT IS TERIYAKI SAUCE

Teriyaki is actually a Japanese cooking technique, in which foods are broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin (rice wine) and sugar. According to Wikipedia, in Japan the cooking style is mainly used for a variety of fish, while in America, salmon teriyaki and chicken teriyaki are typically found on menus.

The word derives from the noun teri, which refers to a shine or luster given by the sugar content of the tare, a term for dipping sauces used in grilling; and yaki, the cooking method of grilling or broiling.

RECIPE: HOMEMADE TERIYAKI SAUCE

Ingredients For 1 Cup

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    or honey
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic†
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced ginger†
  • 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Preparation

    1. MIX all but last two ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over a medium flame.

    2. MIX cornstarch and cold water in a cup and dissolve. Add to pan. Heat until sauce thickens. If the sauce is too thick for you, you can thin it with water.
     
    †You can substitute garlic powder ground ginger, but fresh tastes better. Reduce the amounts of dried herbs, as they are more concentrated.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Avocado Fries, Green & Keen

    avocado-fries-chobani-230

    Baked avocado “fries.” Photo courtesy
    Chobani.

     

    Would you like baked avocado fries with that?

    This recipe from Chobani is a fun way to enjoy avocado—cooked! Since the avocado will be sliced and baked, it should be firm, not guacamole-soft.

    RECIPE: BAKED AVOCADO FRIES WITH
    CILANTRO LEMON DIPPING SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/3 cup bread crumbs (we prefer panko)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  •  
    For The Dipping Sauce

  • 5 tablespoons plain 0% Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

    2. MIX together bread crumbs, pepper, salt and cumin in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

    3. CUT the avocados in half and then slice them vertically.

    4. DREDGE the avocado slices in the flour, then in the beaten egg, then in the breadcrumbs.

    5. LAY on baking sheet covered with parchment paper to prevent sticking.

    6. BAKE for 10-12 minutes, checking frequently on status (baking times vary between ovens). Meanwhile…

    7. MAKE the dipping sauce. Place the yogurt, cilantro and lemon juice in a blender and mix until smooth and creamy in texture.

     

    avocado-lemon-230

    Ready to be baked. Photo courtesy California Avocado Commission.

     

    8. TRANSFER baked avocados to a serving plate and serve immediately with dip.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Popcorn Salad

    jalapeno-popper-salad-justsalad-230

    Jalapeño Popper Salad with popcorn, a whole grain. Photo courtesy Just Salad | NYC.

     

    Popcorn in a salad? Well, popcorn’s a whole grain, just like barley, brown rice, corn and quinoa. So why not?

    Here’s a fun idea from Laura Pensierio, executive chef at Just Salad in New York City.

    Called the Jalapeño Popper Salad, it includes kettle corn, fresh jalapeños and mandarin oranges with lettuces.

    We used regular popcorn in our re-creation to avoid the that coats kettle corn (the sugar coating on the corn keeps it from getting soggy).

    But the popcorn’s just as good plain and less crisp. You can use cheese corn or other flavored popcorn, herbed or spiced, and add it after the dressing, as we’ve done below.

    And if you don’t like much heat in your food, pass up the jalapeños for a few grinds of fresh pepper. Or switch the jalapeño for chopped broccoli.

     

    RECIPE: POPCORN JALAPEÑO SALAD

    Ingredients

  • Your favorite greens
  • Minced jalapeños (remove ribs and seeds to limit the heat)
  • Mandarin or orange segments*
  • Radishes or anything else you like that’s red
  • Vinaigrette
  • Popcorn
  •  
    *“Mandarin orange” is a misnomer. Mandarins and oranges are different species. Here’s an explanation.
     
    Preparation

    1. MIX all the salad ingredients except the popcorn. Toss with vinaigrette.

    2. GARNISH with the popcorn. Serve immediately.

     

    RECIPE: VITAMIN C SNIFFLE-FIGHTING SALAD

    Chef Laura has also crafted a “Cold-Be-Gone” salad, focusing on ingredients with lots of vitamin C.

    Ingredients

  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Lemon† vinaigrette (substitute lemon juice for the vinegar in a 3:1 proportion of oil:vinegar)
  •  
    After we checked the list below, we added broccoli, snow peas and sundried tomatoes.

     
    †We prefer lime juice. According to WorldsHealthiestFoods.com, lemons and limes have the same amount of vitamin C.

     

    Spinach-230

    A bunch of fresh spinach, bursting with
    vitamin C. Photo by Stephen Ausmus | U.S.
    Agricultural Research Service.

     

    FOODS HIGHEST IN VITAMIN C

    Percentage of Daily Value‡:

    1. Guava has 628% DV per cup.

    2. Red bell peppers have 349% DV per 100g; yellow bell peppers have 306% DV and green bell peppers have 220% DV.

    3. Kiwi has 278% DV per cup.

    4. Strawberries have 163% DV per cup. Other berries: raspberries 54%, blackberries 50% and blueberries 24%.

    5. Orange has 160% DV per cup. Other citrus fruits: 1/4 pomelo 155%, lemon 74%, clementine 60% and 1/2 grapefruit 57%.

    6. Papaya has 147% DV per cup. Pineapple has 131%, cantaloupe has 108% DV, mango has 100% DV and honeydew has 53%.

    7. Broccoli has 135% DV per cup. Other cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts 125%, green cauliflower 94%, white cauliflower 86%, red cabbage 85%, and green (white) cabbage 60%.

    8. Kale has 134% DV per cup. Other dark green leafy vegetables: turnip greens 55%, Swiss chard 18%, and Spinach 14%.

    9. Fresh green peas have 97% DV per cup. Cooked frozen peas have 59% and snow peas have 63% DV.

    10. Tomatoes have 91% DV per cup.

     
    ‡Information from Healthaliciousness.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Another Type Of Salad

    couscous-vegetables-melissas

    Top a bowl of whole grain bulgur with
    bright veggies: cooked, raw or a mix.
    Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    A salad is defined as a cold dish of mixed raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing.

    It can include meat, poultry, seafood or other ingredients. Like grains and legumes.

    If you’re not eating enough whole grains, here’s an easy way to combine them with veggies into a luncheon salad or a dinner first course or side.

    We love the bright colors in this photo from Melissas.com. It shows how important eye appeal is.

    For St. Patrick’s Day, you can do a medley of greens: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, fiddleheads, green beans, green onions, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, pea pods, snow peas, spinach, sprouts, Swiss chard, tatsoi, turnip greens and watercress.

     

    FIRST: PICK A WHOLE GRAIN

    Don’t be afraid to try a grain you’ve never had before. If you can’t find any of these in your supermarket, check a natural food store.

  • Barley (but not pearled barley, which isn’t a whole grain)
  • Buckwheat (Kasha)
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Corn
  • Quinoa
  • Rice: black, brown, red, wild
  •  

    NEXT: PICK FOUR VEGGIES

  • Something orange or yellow
  • Something red
  • Something green
  • Non-veggie substitute: beans, lentils, nuts
  •  
    Need help with choosing colored vegetables? Here’s an extensive list.
     
    Plus

  • Fresh herbs, such as basil, cilantro, dill or parsley
  •  
    Skip the lettuces; you’ve got other opportunities for lettuce salads.

     
    LAST: PICK A DRESSING

    A vinaigrette is the best option here; but there are many, many vinaigrettes to try, varying types of oil and types of vinegar or citrus juice.

     

    quinoa-vegetables-melissas

    After the salad is tossed. Photo courtesy Melissas.

     
    Types Of Oil

  • Avocado oil
  • Infused oils: basil, chile†, lemon, orange, rosemary, etc.
  • Mustard oil†
  • Nut oil: almond, hazelnut, macadamia, pecan, pistachio, walnut
  • Olive oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Sesame oil†
  • Tea oil
  •  
    See all of the culinary oils in our Culinary Oils Glossary.
     
    Types Of Vinegar

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Champagne vinegar
  • Coconut vinegar
  • Infused vinegar (fruits, herbs, spices)
  • Malt vinegar
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Wine vinegar
  •  
    Plus

  • Citrus juice: grapefruit lemon, lime, orange
  •  
    As you can see, the number of combinations will last through many, many salads.
     
    Take a look at all the vinegar types in our Vinegar Glossary.

    †These oils can be very strong in flavor, and are best diluted with olive oil or canola oil. Start with a 1:3 proportion of strong oil to mild oil, and tweak to find the proportions that are right for you.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Salad Topped Main Course

    Here’s an easy way to get everyone to eat a few more veggies: Top main courses with a small salad.

    Fried, grilled, roasted and sautéed proteins are all candidates to be topped with an alluring crown of vegetables and herbs—not a dinner salad or dressed lettuce, but something that looks great. Dress the salad very lightly with olive oil or vinaigrette.

    The “salad topping” doesn’t preclude your ability to serve the side salad of your choice.

    SALAD TOPPERS

    Aim to mix at least three bright colors and ideally four: green plus orange, red or yellow. Different shades of green don’t count as different colors. We’ve also included green salad-friendly fruits.

     
    THE GREEN GROUP

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli (including rabe and rapini)
  • Cucumber
  • Edamame
  • Green apple
  • Green beans
  • Green bell pepper
  • Green grapes
  • Green olives
  • Green onion tops
  • Green peas
  • Herbs (basil, dill, parsley, etc.)
  • Lettuces (everything from arugula to watercress)
  • Pickles/gherkins
  • Sugar snap peas, snow peas
  • Zucchini
  •  

    pan-sauteed-catfish-230

    Pan-sautéed catfish topped with a parsley and tomato salad. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market.

     

    THE RED GROUP

  • Dried cherries or cranberries
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Raspberries or strawberries
  • Red apple
  • Red bell pepper
  • Red grapes
  • Red tomatoes
  • Watermelon
  •  

    chicken-cutlet-recipes-rabe-mozzarella-tomatoes-westsidemarketnyc-230

    Chicken cutlets topped with broccoli rabe and
    sundried tomatoes. The recipe is below.
    and photo courtesy Westside Market |
    NYC.

     

    THE ORANGE GROUP

  • Cantaloupe
  • Carrots
  • Dried apricots
  • Mango
  • Orange bell pepper
  • Orange cherry tomatoes
  • Orange citrus segments
  • Zucchini
  •  
    THE YELLOW GROUP

  • Corn
  • Pineapple
  • Yellow bell pepper
  • Yellow tomatoes
  •  
    THE PURPLE/BLUE GROUP

  • Berries: blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries
  • Eggplant
  • Fruits: figs, grapes, plums
  • Red cabbage
  • Specialty varieties: purple bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, corn, potatoes, string beans, plus forbidden rice (black rice)
  • Thanks to Wendy Thorpe Copley, author of one of our favorite new books, Everyday Bento, for organizing lists of fruits and veggies by color. We’ll be reviewing her book shortly.

    RECIPE: CHICKEN CUTLETS WITH BROCCOLI RABE & MOZZARELLA

    This dish may look familiar: Italian restaurants frequently top cutlets with a bit of red and green. You can prepare this dish in just 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooking time. You can cut calories and cholesterol by eliminating the mozzarella.

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, slightly pounded
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, steamed or sautéed
  • 2 ounces sundried tomato slivers
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté garlic until golden, then discard.

    2. SPRINKLE chicken breasts with salt and pepper on each side. Dip chicken into beaten egg and then coat with breadcrumbs. Place chicken in skillet and cook until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.

    3. PLACE cutlets in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray or greased with oil. Bake the cutlets for 10 minutes, top with mozzarella, rabe and tomato slivers. Continue baking until cooked through, another 10 to minutes or so.

    3. ARRANGE chicken on four plates and top with mozzarella and broccoli rabe. Garnish with tomato slivers and serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Stuffed Peppers

    Stuffed peppers are enjoyed in cultures around the world. They’re a versatile food: for a first course, a light lunch or dinner or a side. You can stuff them with anything, including leftovers. And you can find them in “holiday colors,” from red and green for Christmas to purple, gold and green for St. Patrick’s Day.

    A large pepper* is hollowed out (removing the ribs and seeds), stuffed and baked. The same technique is applied to eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and other vegetables.

    In more recent recipes, small stuffed peppers are served as hors d’oeuvre and snacks:

  • Baby bell peppers, cooked or raw, are stuffed with soft cheese or other ingredients.
  • Jalapeño poppers stuff the bite-size chiles with a mixture of cheese, spices, and sometimes ground meat; they are then deep fried (recipe).
  •  
    *We find it easier to use shorter, wider peppers rather than taller, narrower ones.
     
    STUFFED PEPPERS AROUND THE WORLD

    Get inspiration for your own recipes from these:

  • India: Bharvan mirch stuffs bell peppers stuffed with cooked meat, potatoes and onions, seasoned with chili, cilantro, coriander, lemon juice and turmeric. Mirchi bajji, a street food, is a large green chile stuffed with a roasted, spiced flour mix, sometimes battered, and then fried.
  •  

    wfm_stuffed-pepper-230

    Stuffed peppers are a global favorite. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Markets. Try this recipe stuffed with quinoa.

     

  • Mediterranean: Greek food fans know that dolma are stuffed grape leaves; but peppers and other vegetables are stuffed in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Turkey. In Greek yemista, bell peppers are stuffed and baked with a rice and herb filling. In Tunisia, filfil mahshi are stuffed with spiced rice and ground beef or lamb.
  • Mexico: Chiles rellenos are made with roasted green Pasilla or poblano peppers stuffed with queso fresco cheese and sometimes minced meat, covered in an egg batter and fried.
  • Scandinavia, The Baltic States & The Balkans: Peppers are stuffed in a way familiar to Americans, with ground beef or pork, rice, vegetables and spices. In Bulgaria, stuffed peppers are usually eaten with yogurt.
  • Spain: Pimientos rellenos, a Basque specialty, stuff piquillo peppers with cod in a béchamel sauce, ground beef or Manchego cheese.
  •  

    Mediterranean-Style-Stuffed-Peppers-mccormick-230

    Peppers stuffed with lamb and feta. Photo
    and recipe courtesy McCormick.

     

    RECIPE: MEDITERRANEAN STYLE STUFFED PEPPERS

    The delicious stuffing features ground beef, brown rice, golden raisins and almonds seasoned with flavorful, aromatic spices. The recipe is also different because it slices the peppers in half, vertically, rather than cutting off the top to create a deep dish.

    Prep Time is 10 minutes, cook time is 1 hour, 15 minutes.

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 2 teaspoons rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano Leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
  • 1 can (14 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (you can substitute conventional raisins)
  • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 medium green bell peppers, halved lengthwise, stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT oven to 375°F. Mix rosemary, cinnamon, oregano and salt in small bowl. Set aside.

    2. COOK ground meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, 5 to 7 minutes or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally to break up meat. Drain fat. Add spice mixture; cook and stir 1 minute.

    3. STIR in tomato sauce, raisins and almonds. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add rice and egg; mix well. Arrange bell pepper halves, cut-side up, in 13×9-inch baking dish. Spoon beef mixture evenly into bell pepper halves. Pour 1/4 cup water into dish. Cover with foil.

    4. BAKE 45 minutes or until bell peppers are tender. Sprinkle filling with feta cheese. Bake, uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes longer or until cheese is lightly browned.
     
    RECIPE TEMPLATE: MIX & MATCH

  • Beans and legumes: black beans, white beans, lentils, etc.
  • Grains: barley, corn, rice, quinoa and breadcrumbs
  • Nuts & fruits: cashews, pine nuts or other nuts; apricot, currants, dried cherries or cranberries, prunes, raisins
  • Proteins: cheese; chicken, beef, pork or other meat, ground or diced; egg; sausage; seafood; tofu
  • Vegetables: anything and everything, cut small enough to cook evenly. Ideas: grated carrots, edamame, kale, mushrooms, onions, potatoes (diced or mashed), spinach, squash
  • Herbs: cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, oregano
  • Spices: cinnamon, cumin, curry
  •  
    Why don’t we include fish? While the Basque cod-stuffed pepper is very popular, and brandade (mashed cod in olive oil) works, we haven’t found other recipes that really sing. The delicate flavors of most fish (or shellfish) get buried.

    If you have a great recipe, we’d like to try it.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Rainbow Vegetables

    rainbow-baby-carrots-www.sprinkledsideup-230

    Baby carrots move beyond the familiar
    orange to purple, red and yellow. Photo
    courtesy Sprinkle Side Up. See her recipe for
    glazed rainbow carrots.

     

    In picking up supplies for our “diet Oscars menu,” we came across rainbow baby carrots—our first sighting—and rainbow cherry tomatoes, which have been available in our market for a few years.

    Although we’re months from peak produce season, it got us thinking of how delightful it is to come across a familiar food with a fun twist. Most of the veggies below are natural mutations (as was red grapefruit and many other foods); some are cross-bred; none are GMO.

    It’s not just about fun; there are nutritional benefits as well. Colored foods tend to be more antioxidant rich than pale and white foods. For example, orange cauliflower contains high levels of beta-carotene; purple cauliflower contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant that gives purple color to a variety of foods, including red cabbage and red onions. Green cauliflower just happens to have more protein than the other colors.

    So today’s tip is: Keep an eye out and treat yourself to whatever is new and different. Grocers know that customers want new options, so even if there’s no farmers market near you, keep looking.

    Then tell us what you found, and how you served it.

     

  • Bell peppers: Beyond the familiar green and red are black (purplish), orange, yellow and white bell peppers (photo). They all start out green, and ripen into the rainbow colors.
  • Colored cauliflower: Green, orange and purple cauliflowers are natural mutants of white cauliflower (which itself was bred to be whiter). Green cauliflower, also called broccoflower, has a lighter green cousin.
  • Romanesco: Also called Romanesque cauliflower, Romanesco broccoli and Romanesque cabbage, there’s a reason for the different names. Professional plant taxonomists can’t decide precisely where this exotic beauty belongs. A natural vegetable first discovered in Italy, it is one of the most beautiful vegetables imaginable (here’s a photo).
  • Eggplant: Beyond the familiar dark purple, also grows green (Thai eggplant), lavender, orange (Ethiopian, scarlet or Turkish eggplant), pink, and striped purple and white (graffiti eggplant) and white eggplant. The lighter colored eggplants tend to be less bitterness than the dark purple.
  •  

  • Purple green beans: These are a mutation where the skin of a regular green been grows violet. Alas, they are only purple when raw; cooking engenders the familiar green skin. But they sure are impressive crudités! (Photo and more information.) And don’t forget the yellow wax beans. A mix of green and yellow is interesting, and much more available.
  • Rainbow baby carrots: Shown in the photo above; the original carrot was white, like a turnip. The other colors—orange, purple, red, yellow—were mutants. Here’s the story.
  • Red leaf lettuce: There are quite a few varieties of red lettuce. Two of our favorites for “prettiest” are red fire lettuce (scroll past the green lettuce) and the beautifully spotted freckles lettuce.
  • Sweet red corn: Look for it during the summer corn season. (Photo.)
  • Swiss chard: Long familiar in green with red accents, check farmers markets to find it in vivid orange, pink, purple, yellow and white. (Photo.)
  • Tomatoes: Anyone who has visited a farmers market has seen the lush colors beyond red: brown, green, orange, purple, striped, yellow, white.
  •  

    multicolored-cherry-tomatoes-diannefritzpinterest-230s

    Cherry tomatoes photo courtesy Dianne Fritz.

     
    Isn’t nature grand?

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: 5 Ways To Eat “Mediterranean Diet” Healthy

    While our “day job” is to try lots of specialty foods and cook and bake alluring recipes, we aim to make the right choices when we’re not working.

    If we’ve been heavy on the healthful eating tips lately, it’s because we’re struggling even harder after the onslaught of Valentine chocolate.

    So today we’re passing along five Mediterranean Diet tips, adapted from an original article by Ashley Lauren Samsa on Care2.com.

    For about 30 years, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals have encouraged Americans to follow the “Mediterranean Diet,” a heart-healthy eating plan that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.

    Substituting olive oil for butter, fish for meat, vegetables for starch, fat-free dairy products and a limit on carbohydrates is said to explain why Mediterranean dwellers have a lower incidence of heart disease. Here’s more from the Mayo Clinic.

    What if you’re young, healthy and have no family history of heart disease? Hedge your bets. You don’t know how your system will change as you age…and even if your kin live to 100, you may have a partner and kids to plan for.

     

    bottle-with-tree-flavoryourlife-230

    Olive oil can do whatever butter can do, and it’s better for you. Photo
    courtesy FlavorYourLife.com.

     

    1. SUBSTITUTE OLIVE OIL FOR BUTTER

    A few decades ago, journalists seized on the fat in the American diet as a no-no. A cascade of media proliferated and a generation of people grew up thinking fat is bad.

    That’s not the whole truth. Saturated fat (cholesterol and other sources) is bad. Monounsaturated fats (avocado oil, canola oil, olive oil, peanut oil and others) is good for you. The government recommends two tablespoons a day as part of a heart-healthy diet.

    Here’s more on the good fats. Here are tricks to cut down on cholesterol:

  • Sauté in heart-healthy olive oil, not valve-clogging cholesterol (butter or lard).
  • Replace the butter in sauces, glazes and marinades with oil. Look at adding a bit of highly flavored oils, like sesame oil and nut oil.
  • Cook your eggs in oil. We grew up on butter-fried or scrambled eggs in butter every morning—it was what our mother preferred. We love the taste of butter, but it was easy to make the switch.
  • Use olive oil instead of other salad dressings. Make your own vinaigrette with a 3:1 ratio of olive oil to vinegar. Use a quality vinegar—we prefer flavored vinegar or balsamic. We often add a pinch of dried mustard, which helps to keep the emulsion. You can add a small amount of Dijon or honey mustard, or a small amount of honey or the better-for-you agave nectar.
  • Mash potatoes in plain or flavored olive oil. Basil olive oil is our favorite for this!
  • Use olive oil as a condiment instead of a pat of butter.
  • Instead of butter with bread, serve olive oil, like Mediterranean restaurants do. A delicious, full-flavored oil is just fine served plain. If your olive oil is on the bland side, add spices add/or herbs.
  • Check out Italian olive oil cake recipes—they’re delicious (especially with fresh basil and rosemary—seriously!).
  •  
    Get past “generic” olive oil. It’s fine for sautéing, but doesn’t add good flavor for vinaigrette and condiment use. If you can afford better oils, go for them. The ones we use are so delicious, we relish the two tablespoons we drink at breakfast each day.

    Seek out an olive oil bar and taste the different varieties; also try flavored olive oils. If someone asks what you want for a birthday gift, ask for a bottle of basil olive oil (or the flavor of your choice).

     

    grilled-chicken-salad-230

    Grilled chicken atop a tasty salad. Photo
    courtesy Just Bare.

     

    2. EAT YOUR PROTEINS ON A BED OF GREENS.

    Get into the habit. Instead of a side salad, often an afterthought topped with too much dressing, plan for a salad-based meal.

  • Slice the beef, chicken, lamb, pork or other protein and serve it atop a salad of mixed dark, leafy greens and bright colored veggies, lightly dressed with olive oil, vinegar and/or lemon juice. Slicing the meat can also help to cut down on portion size. The recommended size is three ounces—the “deck of cards”—which seems very meager. It can look like more when it’s sliced, diced and added to vegetables or grains.
  • “Greens” should always include two colors in addition to green. It’s easy to add red cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, or radiccho; or yellow/orange cherry tomatoes, bell peppers or summer squash.
  • Alternatively, dice the meat into a chopped salad tossed with homemade vinaigrette. The flavors blend so much better, it’s no surprise that chopped salad is a menu favorite.
  • Place an entire fish filet on top of the salad.
  • Instead a sandwich of grilled chicken or steak, use a lettuce wrap.
  •  

    With this switch, you both reduce your carb intake and increase your vegetable intake. As an added bonus, you are intake more olive oil, too.

    3. REPLACE MEAT WITH FISH & VEGETARIAN MEALS

    Not only is the cholesterol in meat bad for you; breeding animals is the single largest cause of greenhouse gas. It also is responsible for pollution of the water tables and destruction of the rainforest to ranch cattle and grow feed for them. Not only are we a society of carnivores; as third world countries grow more affluent, they want more meat. The environmental impact is growing bigger each year, despite educational efforts and interest in sustainability.

    What can a meat lover do? Start by replacing two meals a week with fish, seafood or vegetarian dishes. There are many vegetarian and vegan favorites, from pasta primavera to bean-based chili and stir-frys. Pick up a cookbook of tempting vegetarian and vegan recipes, or look at the many online. Don’t be swayed by a preconception of vegan as “weird.” In the hands of good cooks, the food is so good you don’t notice there are no animal-derived ingredients.

    Fish are generally high in omega-3 fatty acids, another very powerful ingredient. This easy switch will keep you healthier as it helps the planet.

    4. TRY VEGGIE SMOOTHIES THAT TASTE LIKE FRUIT

    If you simply don’t like the taste of vegetables, blend them into sweet smoothies. Toss vegetables like carrots, spinach, kale or celery into a blender. Add a liquid like milk or fruit juice, along with yogurt or a banana and some nut butter (almond butter and sunflower seed butter are nice alternatives to PB). Flavor with cinnamon and honey.

    All you’ll taste are the banana, cinnamon and honey, but you’ll be getting all the benefits of the veggies.

    Smoothies can be made in advance and frozen. Toss one in your lunch bag in the morning to keep your food cold while it thaws, and it’ll be ready to drink by noon. (By the way, this is a great way to trick kids into eating more vegetables.)

    And…stay tuned for our Top Pick Of The Week, Veggie Blend-Ins from Green Giant. We couldn’t believe that a chocolate cupcake made with added spinach purée resulted in…a really delicious chocolate cupcake!

    5. SNACK SMART

    If you’re not the type to grab a banana or other piece of fruit, you’ve got choices that give you “snack satisfaction”:

    Popcorn, baby carrots or mixed crudités with lowfat or nonfat dip, Bare Fruit apple chips (our favorite—so sweet yet there’s no added sweetener) and dried fruit and nut mixes are easy and very tasty. There are books and websites of “healthy snacks.”

    As a fun challenge, print out a calendar page and research a different healthy snack for every day. It’s not as daunting as you think: garlic popcorn and jalapeño popcorn are three separate snack ideas.

    Here are some of our favorite healthy snacks for the office. Send us your favorite better-for-you snacks.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Freeze-Dried Herbs In Everything

    The trick to adding more flavor to everything you eat, with negligible calories—and the ability to cut back on salt—are spices and herbs.

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HERBS & SPICES

  • Spices are the dried seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark or roots of plants. They are usually of tropical origin.
  • Herbs are the leaves and sometimes the flowers of plants, usually grown in a climate similar to the Mediterranean.
  • Aromatics: In culinary terms, both herbs and spices fall into the category of aromatics. (Now you know what those Top Chef contestants were referring to!)
     
    Today we’re focusing on herbs.

    A few months ago we received a shipment of Instantly Fresh freeze-dried herbs from Litehouse, and have been happily adding them to just about everything.

  •  

    litehouse-herbs-chive-basil-230

    Two of the numerous freeze-dried, “Instantly Fresh” herbs from Litehouse.

     
    Litehouse freeze-dries every herb you could need for daily cooking: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, Italian herb blend, jalapeños, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, poultry herb blend, red onion, sage, salad herb blend, spring onion and thyme.

    What does all this choice mean? That you have some “herbing” to do!

    Whether you’re cooking breakfast eggs, making soup, mashing potatoes, broiling, roasting, sautéing or simply reheating or microwaving—think of what herb would brighten the dish.

    You don’t have to go exotic. A basic complement of basil, chives, garlic, oregano and parsley will do.

     

    slaw-cheesecake-factory-230sq

    Cole slaw, potato salad and protein salads
    (chicken, egg, tuna, etc.) all benefit from
    added dill, plus parsley. Photo courtesy
    Cheesecake Factory.

     

    WHAT ARE FREEZE-DRIED HERBS

    Freeze-drying is a dehydration process used to preserve perishables. The food is quickly frozen and the surrounding air pressure is then reduced. This allows the frozen water in the product to go directly from the solid phase to the gas phase, avoiding the liquid phase.

    The process delivers more of the taste, aroma and nutrition of fresh herbs, compared to conventional drying.

    And the unopened food can be stored at room temperature without refrigeration for years. The greatly reduced water content inhibits the action of microorganisms and enzymes that would otherwise spoil or degrade the substance.

    When freeze-dried herbs are rehydrated by contact with moisture (the liquid in the recipe itself or other ingredients in the recipe), they reconstitute into a close approximation of their former fresh selves.

     

    So your task this week is to look at everything you serve and match at least one herb to it (don’t hesitate to use two or more):

  • Bread: create your own bread dippers by adding herbs to olive oil and add a green herb to garlic bread
  • Main Dish: anything goes
  • Pasta: beyond the Italian basics—basil, oregano and parsley—try other herbs like dill, rosemary, thyme and sage
  • Pizza: ditto!
  • Sandwich/Wrap have fun with it!
  • Sauce/Condiment ditto!
  • Side Dish: once you sprinkle herbs onto potatoes, rice and vegetables, you’ll be hooked
  • Soup: what looks like a nice garnish really adds a flavor boost
  •  
    When you come across dynamite pairings, share them with us!
     
    FOOD TRIVIA

    Some plants yield both an herb and a spice.

  • Cilantro is the leafy herb of the same plant that gives us the popular spice coriander seed.
  • Dill weed (an herb) and dill seed (a spice) also come from the same plant.
  •   

    Comments

    RECIPE: Caesar Salad With A Twist

    This idea from Posana Café in Asheville, North Carolina can turn what is typically a side salad into a main course salad. Hard boiled eggs and crispy prosciutto or bacon are added for protein.

    The romaine, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and dressing remain, except that the lettuce is not torn, the raw egg in the dressing becomes a hard-boiled egg, and the Parmigiano is shaved instead of grated.

    If you love citrus, add lemon or lime zest to the Caesar dressing.
     
    HOW TO MAKE CRISPY PROSCIUTTO

    1. PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

    2. DIVIDE 12 slices prosciutto (about 6 ounces) between baking sheets, laying them flat. Bake until fat turns golden and meat is darker, about 15 minutes (rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through baking time).

    3. TRANSFER prosciutto using tongs to paper towels to drain. It will crisp as it cools. Serve in whole pieces or crumbled.

     

    caesar-salad-posanacafe

    Caesar salad with a twist. Serve a large portion as a main course with your favorite soup. Photo courtesy Posana Café | Asheville.

     

    HAIL, CAESAR SALAD!

  • Caesar Salad History
  • The Original Caesar Salad Recipe
  • Creamy Caesar Dressing (not the original, but a contemporary favorite)
  • Caesar Salad Pizza Recipe
  • Caesar Salad Stuffed Cheese
  • Deconstructed Caesar Salad
  • Grilled Caesar Salad
  • Lobster Caesar Salad
  •   

    Comments

    « Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »









    About Us
    Contact Us
    Legal
    Privacy Policy
    Advertise
    Media Center
    Manufacturers & Retailers
    Subscribe
    Interact