THE NIBBLE BLOG Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.



Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: 21 Ways To Use Beets

beets-purple-orange-caroletopalian-ediblemadison-230r

chioggia-half-sliced-goodeggsNY-230

TOP: Beets are most familiar in a reddish-purple hue, but are also available in different shades of red, orange, white, yellow, even red with a red and white bullseye pattern inside (chioggia beets). Photo © Carole Topalian Photography | Edible Madison. BOTTOM: Chioggia beets. Photo courtesy Good Eggs.

 

Beets are one of those ‘em or hate ‘em foods. But they’re so delicious, we can’t understand the haters.

We enjoy beets year-round. We eat the edible roots, but the greens are also delicious—just sauté them. And for fall, the colors are perfect.

The availability of fresh, cooked, and canned beets makes it easy to incorporate beets into any meal. And unlike many canned or precooked vegetables, the flavor and texture are pretty close to fresh-cooked beets.

Today’s tip comes from Oldways, a not-for-profit whose mission is “to guide people to good health through heritage”: healthy eating and healthy foods that “have the power to improve the health and well-being of all of us.”

Along that line, beet roots deliver fiber, folate, manganese, and potassium; the beet greens pack vitamins A, C and K.

BEETS FOR BREAKFAST

While it’s not a conventional breakfast ingredient, beets add vivid color, flavor and nutrition to:

  • Avocado toast: add sliced beets.
  • Bagel: with smoked salmon, cream cheese and sliced or julienned/matchstick beets. Add fresh dill for perfection!
  • Omelet: with diced or julienned beets.
  • Vegetarian “Eggs Benedict”: substitute a beet slice for the Canadian bacon.
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese: top with a small dice or blend with beets and fresh dill.
  •  

    BEETS FOR LUNCH

  • Salad: add to side salads and luncheon salads (our favorite: beets, goat cheese and toasted walnuts on arugula or mesclun, and “purple potato salad”—the beets impart a swirl of color).
  • Sandwich: sliced plain or pickled beets on the sandwich, in a wrap or as a side.
  • Sandwich spread and more: blend horseradish and cooked grated beets into Greek yogurt to create a spicy sandwich spread, dip, or sauce for fish and meats.
  • Soup: hot or cold borscht.
  •  
    BEETS FOR DINNER

  • First course: sliced oranges and beets on a bed of lettuce with vinaigrette or a drizzle of basil olive oil, or this beautiful galette.
  • Salad: grate over a green salad with finely sliced red onion and a red wine vinaigrette, add to a fall salad with roasted squash and fennel (recipe).
  • Garnish: add sliced, diced or in matchsticks, beets add pizzazz.
  • Beet mashed potatoes: recipe.
  • Grains: stir chopped roasted beets, crumbled feta and finely chopped beet greens into cooked farro, quinoa or brown rice; drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
  • Roast vegetables: beets with carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, turnips, with fresh rosemary, crushed garlic, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Sautéed beet greens: cook in olive oil with sliced onions, crushed garlic, red pepper and a pinch of chili flakes and salt.
  • Braised: cook sliced beets, sliced red cabbage and beet greens with a bit of apple cider vinegar and caraway seeds.
  • Cheese plate: pickled beets as a cheese condiment
  •  
    You can add beets to breakfast bars, brownies, energy bars, sangria, smoothies. You can even make beet ice cream and a vegan beet “cheesecake.” See beautiful recipes at LoveBeets.com.

     

    BEET HORS D’OEUVRE & SNACKS

  • Bruschetta: layer sliced beets on sliced baguette, top with Brie or other cheese, heat to slightly melt the cheese, garnish with fresh herbs.
  • Dip: blend beets into mayonnaise, plain yogurt or sour cream, with fresh dill;* or this beet dip and spread, or blend into white bean dip.
  • Beet hummus: recipe with pepper and recipe with ginger.
  •  
    *Or stir grated cooked beets, garlic, fresh dill or thyme, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice into Greek yogurt.
     
    THE HISTORY OF BEETS

    The modern beet (its botanical name is Beta vulgaris) evolved from wild sea beet, which grew wild in places as wide-ranging as Britain and India to Britain. The wild sea beet was first cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East—although only the leaves were eaten! (Even today, beet greens are delicious. Don’t throw them away: Sauté them.) In early times, the medicinal properties of the root (the red bulb) led that portion to be used to treat a range of ailments from constipation, fevers, skin problems and wounds.

    The Romans cultivated beets; early recipes included cooking beets with honey and wine (that’s still a good recipe today). Apicius, the renowned Roman gourmet, included a beet broth recipe in his cookbook as well as beet salad with a dressing of mustard, oil and vinegar.

    The original beet roots were long and thin like carrots. The rounded root shape of today was developed in the 16th century and by the 18th century was widely cultivated in Central and Eastern Europe. Many classic beet dishes originated in this region, including borscht.

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/roasted orange beets salmon silkroadtavern 230

    roasted-beet-salad-orange-goat-cheese-ws-230

    TOP: Roasted salmon on a bed of beets. Photo courtesy Silk Road Tavern | NYC. BOTTOM: Roasted red and yellow beets with goat cheese. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

     
    In 19th century England, beets’ dramatic color was popular to brighten up salads and soups. The high sugar content made it a popular ingredient in cakes and puddings.

    Today there are many varieties of beets sizes large and small, including candy-striped (with red and white concentric circles), orange, white and yellow. Look for these specialty beets in farmers markets.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Use The Leaves As Dishes

    What’s the beautiful dish in the photo? Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, nested in a leaf from the stalk on which they grow. In French this presentation is called “en feuille” (pronounced “on FUY”–think of a very shortened “phooey”). The English translation is “in the leaf” or “in its leaf.”

    The Brussels sprouts in this photo were grown at The Chef’s Garden in Huron, Ohio. But you can look for stalks with leaves at your local farmers market. If the leaves have already been removed, ask the farmer to bring stalks with the leaves intact next time.

    In our house, buying a handsome stalk of Brussels sprouts from the farmers market is a rite of fall. But even if you buy the sprouts already trimmed from the supermarket, you can make the delicious Balsamic Brussels Sprouts recipe below.

    Using the leaves of cruciferous vegetables for presentation is a free way to add interest to food. Beyond serving as a bowl or plate, the leaves can be torn into a salad not dissimilar to the now-ubiquitous kale (which is also cruciferous), julienned and stir-fried and otherwise cooked.

    And of course, you can use the leaves to hold other foods.

    Even the stalk of the plant has culinary uses. Use Brussels sprouts stalks as you would use broccoli stalks.
     

     

    brussels-sprouts-in-jumbo-leaf-thechefsgarden-ps-230

    Balsamic Brussels sprouts in a Brussels sprouts leaf. (You should put a plate under yours.) Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden.

     
    Some people get it into their heads that they should only eat the florets, but the stalks are just as delicious. If you feed those who won’t eat the stalks, slice them into rounds and steam them or sauté them with garlic.
     
    RECIPE: ROASTED BALSAMIC BRUSSELS SPROUTS

    Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta, 1/4-inch-diced (substitute turkey bacon)
  • Sea salt/kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1/4 cup pine nuts, chopped pecans, dried cranberries, raisins; 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Trim the cores of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half vertically. Save any loose leaves that fall off and cook them as well.

    2. TOSS the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl with the pancetta, olive oil, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, place in the oven and roast until deep golden brown (30 to 35 minutes), tossing once during roasting.

    3. REMOVE from the oven and toss with the optional ingredients. Transfer to a serving plate and serve hot.

     

    brussels-sprouts-on-stalk-caroletopalian-ediblemadison-230

    Brussels sprouts on the stalk. Photo © Carole Topalian | Edible Madison. All rights reserved.

     

    ABOUT BRUSSELS SPROUTS

    The Brussels sprouts plant (Brassica oleracea) is a beauty: A stalk that grows to about four feet tall, crowned with large, wide graceful leaves. The sprouts, edible buds which resemble tiny heads of cabbage, grow from the bottom of the stalk to the top, in an charming progression from smallest to largest.

    If Brussels sprouts look like tiny cabbages, it’s because both are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables. Other members include arugula, bok choy, broccoli and broccoli rabe, cabbage, cauliflower, cress, daikon/radish, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips.

    While they are thought of as a cool weather crop, Brussels sprouts can be found in markets year-round. The peak season is September through February.

    Few foods are more unpleasant than overcooked Brussels sprouts. The same is true with other cruciferous members: Excessive heat releases an unpleasant-smelling and -tasting chemical compound. But cook them lightly, and they are bites of pleasure.

     
    Similarly line: Don’t store raw Brussels sprouts for more than a few days. The flavor gets stronger.
     
    BRUSSELS SPROUTS NUTRITION

    Brussels sprouts are exceptionally rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including glucosinolate, a phytochemical and an important cancer-fighting phytonutrient. All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, but Brussels sprouts are especially loaded.

    They are also cholesterol-fighters. Steamed Brussels sprouts actually have a have better cholesterol-lowering effect than raw brussels sprouts. The plant fibers do a better job of binding when they’ve been steamed.

    Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C; one cup provides more than your daily requirement. Vitamin C, along with vitamins A and E, also found in the sprouts, protect the body by trapping harmful free radicals. Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources for vitamin K, which strengthens bones and helps to prevent, or at least, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Is there a better reason to eat them often?

     
    MORE BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPES

    As strange as “Brussels sprouts pizza” sounds, it is delicious. Other cruciferous members, like broccoli and arugula, often find themselves topping a pizza. Consider adding some fresh goat cheese in addition to the mozzarella and tomato sauce.

    Or, try these:

  • Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
  • Brussels Sprouts Potato Salad
  • Buffalo Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese Sandwich
  • Roasted Beets & Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
  •  
    TIPS

  • Bigger is not better. The most tender sprouts, with the sweetest flavor, are 1 to 1-1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Choose sprouts of similar size so they’ll cook evenly.
  • When cooking whole sprouts, make a shallow “X” on the bottom. This allows the heat to penetrate more effectively and cook them evenly.
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fall Salad

    We were inspired by this Pear and Endive Salad from Barrel & Ashes in Studio City, California. It’s garnished with goat cheese, walnuts, and a maple balsamic vinaigrette.

    That’s a perfect salad recipe in our book. But how else can you make a fall-inspired salad? Start with your favorite lettuces. Then, add two or more selections from the fall produce list.

    Aim for fall colors: a bit of orange,

    FALL FRUITS

    Use them diced or sliced, raw or cooked:

  • Apples, skin on
  • Asian pear or American pear varieties, skin on
  • Huckleberries
  • Kumquats
  • Muscadine grapes
  • Orange slices or mandarin segments
  • Passionfruit
  • Persimmons
  • Pomegranate arils
  •  
    FALL VEGETABLES

  • Acorn, buttercup and butternut squash
  • Beets, red and yellow
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cardoon (an artichoke relative, worth seeking out)
  • Carrot
  • Cherry tomatoes, ideally red and yellow mixed or heirloom shades
  • Cauliflower
  • Daikon radish
  • Endive
  • Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke)
  • Kohlrabi (a cabbage relative)
  • Mushroom
  • Pumpkin
  • Radicchio
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Red onion
  • Red, yellow and orange bell peppers
  • Sweet potato
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  •  

    You can get lots of inspiration just by strolling up and down the produce aisles, looking for appealing colors and flavors.

       

    Fall Salad

    beet & orange salad

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/broccoli salad souplantation 230r

    TOP: Fall salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette. Be sure to add at least one fall color (deep yellow, orange, red). Photo courtesy Barrel and Ashes | Studio City. MIDDLE: Beets and oranges scream fall. Photo courtesy Socarrat Paella Bar | NYC. BOTTOM: Broccoli and cashew salad on pinto beans with red onion and red bell pepper. Photo courtesy Souplantation.

     

    Yellow Beet Salad

    Raw yellow beets, cooked red beets and long strips of carrot add fall colors to a green salad. Photo courtesy Tender Lettuce.

     

    SALAD BASE

    Before you add the greens, fill the salad bowl with cooked beans, greens or legumes.

  • Beans
  • Legumes: black-eyed peas, lentils, split peas
  • Rice
  • Whole grains (barley, brown rice, bulghur, quinoa, wild rice, etc.)
  •  
    SALAD GARNISHES

  • Bacon strips or lardons
  • Cheese, especially in harvest colors (Aged Gouda, Cheddar, Gjetost, Shropshire Blue and these);, cubed, julienned or shredded
  • Corn kernels
  • Chickpeas (garbanzos)
  • Dried apple or pear slices
  • Dried cranberries
  • Nuts: almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans and walnuts; candied, raw or toasted
  • Seeds: pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds
  •  

    FALL SALAD DRESSING RECIPE: MAPLE VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup balsamic or cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic, 1 shallot finely diced
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon sage or thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE all ingredients. We like to emulsify it in the blender to prevent separation.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Cherry Tomato Pasta Sauce

    October is National Pasta Month, and we’ll be sharing different takes on pasta. We start with tomato sauce.

    Some people use fresh summer tomatoes to make their sauce, freezing batches to last through the year. Others used canned tomatoes year-round. Less often, cherry tomatoes are employed.

    For us, since lush summer tomatoes have drifted into memory until next year, cherry tomatoes are the go-to for homemade sauce.

    While cherry tomatoes can be puréed into a conventional smooth sauce, first up is a version that roasts the cherry tomatoes and uses them whole, rather than cooking them on the stove top and pureeing in a conventional sauce.

    Essentially, your sauce is seasoned whole roasted cherry tomatoes in olive oil; and beyond pasta, it can accompany rice and grains, polenta, eggs, grilled cheese, burgers and sandwiches, even savory waffles.

    Since the cherry tomatoes keep their shape, this is especially beautiful when made with mixed-color heirloom cherry tomatoes, or a combination of red and gold.

       

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/ravioli cherry tomato saucedelfinarestaurant 230

    Colorful cherry tomatoes are a beautiful accent to beige pasta. Photo courtesy Delfina Restaurant | San Francisco.

     
    You can simply sauté cherry tomatoes in olive oil with seasonings. Or, here are two recipes that impart a bit more complexity.

    RECIPE: ROASTED CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, washed and patted dry
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Optional: chopped or sliced, pitted olives (2 tablespoons); drained capers (1 tablespoon); lemon zest (1 tablespoon); minced, seeded jalapeño (1-2 tablespoons) or crushed red pepper (1/2-1 tablespoon)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 325°F. Place the tomatoes in a nonreactive* 9-by-13-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the garlic. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, thyme, brown sugar, salt and optional ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over the tomatoes.

    2. BAKE for about 1 hour, until the tomatoes are softened and caramelized. Serve warm or at room temperature.
     
    *Reactive vs. Non-Reactive Cookware: Aluminum, cast iron and copper are popular for cookware because of their superior heat-conducting properties. However, these metals can react with acids in a recipe (citrus, tomato, vinegar, etc.), imparting a metallic taste and discoloration of light-colored foods. This is also true with mixing bowls and utensils. Non-reactive materials include enameled metal, glass, plastic and stainless steel.

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/Spaghetti chunky tomato sauce ps 230r

    Here, 1 pint of the cherry tomatoes have been quartered instead of pulsed, for a chunky sauce. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    RECIPE: CHUNKY CHERRY TOMATO SAUCE

    In this recipe, the tomatoes are pulsed in the food processor so do not maintain their shape, as in the recipe above. The reason to use them is because of superior flavor in the off season, and/or to take advantage of good prices.

    Ingredients For 4 Cups

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium onion, large dice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pints cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: chopped or sliced, pitted olives (2 tablespoons); drained capers (1 tablespoon); lemon zest (1 tablespoon); minced, seeded jalapeño (1-2 tablespoons) or crushed red pepper (1/2-1 tablespoon)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PURÉE the garlic in a food processor. Add the onion and pulse 3-4 times, until finely chopped.

    2. HEAT the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 5 minutes.

    3. CLEAN the food processor bowl, add 1 pint of the cherry tomatoes and pulse 3-4 times, until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat to process the remaining 2 pints of tomatoes.

    4. ADD the chopped tomatoes to the skillet. Simmer, stirring frequently, until they turn into sauce (about 15-20 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Moroccan Quinoa & Roasted Carrots

    October 1st is World Vegetarian Day, the annual kickoff to Vegetarian Awareness Month.

    Vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, are kind to animals and help to preserve the Earth (meat production is a major source of greenhouse gas and deforestation).

    According to ProCon.org, some prominent vegetarians include/have included: Lord Byron, Bill Clinton, Leonardo da Vinci, Ellen DeGeneres, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Dick Gregory, Steve Jobs, Carl Lewis, Franz Kafka, Paul McCartney, Martina Navratilova, Pythagoras, Voltaire and Leo Tolstoy.

    But you don’t need to have particular beliefs to enjoy this delicious vegetarian (actually vegan) side or main course. The quinoa supplies excellent nutrition, and the Moroccan spices are irresistible.

    The recipe is from Good Eggs, a San Francisco purveyor of artisan foods.

    RECIPE: MOROCCAN QUINOA & ROASTED CARROTS

    The addition of allspice, cinnamon and raisins impart a wonderful North African flavor profile and fragrance to this simple dish.
     
    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

  • 2 bunches carrots, tops cut off, halved lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1 handful* parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/4 cup of raisins
  • Squeeze of lemon†
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: plain or seasoned yogurt‡
  •    

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/roasted carrots quinoa goodeggs 230

    Delicious, nutritious and good-looking: quinoa and carrot salad with Moroccan seasonings. Photo courtesy Good Eggs.

     

    *What is a “handful” of parsley? It’s an indefinite amount; please don’t write recipes like this! The size of “a bunch” varies widely by retailer. Try this: For “a bunch,” use one cup loosely packed herbs and 1/2 cup for “a handful.”

    †What’s a “squeeze” of lemon? Is it a squeezed half lemon or a wedge of lemon? A medium lemon has 2-3 tablespoons of juice, a large lemon can have 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup). For a “squeeze,” try 1-2 teaspoons. Take notes and adjust both parsley and lemon measurements next time, as needed.

    ‡Give plain yogurt some savory flavor by stirring in one or more of the following: roasted garlic, chopped fresh parsley, minced chives or thin-sliced green onions (scallions). You can also use the zest from the lemon.

     

    Raw White Quinoa

    Uncooked white quinoa. Photo | Wikimedia.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Soak the quinoa in water for 15 minutes.

    2. PLACE the carrots on a baking sheet and toss with some olive oil. Roast for 20-30 minutes.

    3. STRAIN the quinoa and add it to a pot with the water. Turn the flame to high and bring to a boil, uncovered. As soon as it boils, reduce the flame to a simmer and cover the pot.

    4. CHECK after 15-20 minutes. When all of the water has been absorbed and the grains are still slightly opaque in the center, turn off the heat and let the quinoa steam with the cover on for 5 minutes.

    5. PLACE the quinoa in a bowl with the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon each of allspice and cinnamon, the raisins and lemon juice. Add a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Adjust the salt and spices to taste and add pepper to taste.

     
    6. REMOVE the carrots when they begin to caramelize and crisp up. Toss them gently with a pinch of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of allspice and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. To serve, spoon the quinoa onto a serving plate or individual plates and top with the carrots. Pass the optional yogurt as a condiment.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Harvest Cobb Salad

    Harvest Cobb Salad

    Grilled squash and corn replace tomatoes and cheese in this Harvest Cobb Salad. Photo courtesy TheBakerChick.com.

     

    Today’s tip comes from Audra Fullerton, The Baker Chick, one of our favorite food bloggers (and food photographers).

    She created a Cobb Salad with fall ingredients, that serves as the inspiration to many other fall salads to come.

    Since tomatoes are now entering the sub-optimal period, she uses grilled squash in her Cobb Salad. She doesn’t use cheese, but if you want to, make it a deep orange or gold color*.

    As another shout-out to the fall season, there’s maple vinaigrette.

    Audra does it all in a little New York City apartment with a tiny kitchen and no grill. She says, “The chicken and corn are fabulous on the grill. I used my large cast iron skillet to cook pretty much everything—squash, corn, bacon and chicken. Either way works.”

    Salads are very adaptable, and you can add your favorite mix-ins, from dried cranberries to toasted pecans.

    Our own signature fall salad is modeled after Thanksgiving dinner:

     
    It’s a mesclun mix topped with cubed turkey and sweet potatoes, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts; the vinaigrette is mixed with a tablespoon of chunky cranberry sauce. Sometimes we add a scoop of stove top stuffing, since it’s easy to make and croutons just don’t equate.
     
    RECIPE: HARVEST COBB SALAD WITH MAPLE VINAIGRETTE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

    For The Salad

  • 10 cups of salad greens
  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 10 strips of bacon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 1 avocado
  •  
    For The Vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few dashes of paprika
  • Option: beets, diced or crumbled cheese*, roasted or raw apples, pecans for added crunch
  •  
    *For a deep harvest orange or gold cheese, check out Basiron Pesto Rosso, Cahill’s Farm Flavored Irish Cheddar, English Cheddar With Harissa, Extra Triple Aged Gouda, Huntsman Cheese, Mimolette, Pecorino With Chile Flakes and Saxonshire Cheese.
     

    Preparation

    Audra notes: “The ingredients for the salad can be prepped in any fashion/order you choose, but I have laid out the process which found to be pretty efficient, both in terms of time and dishes used.”

     

    1. PREPARE the squash: Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the squash into 1-inch strips. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the skin and scoop out the seeds.

    2. HEAT a cast-iron skillet to medium high. Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the pan; when hot, add the squash rings in one layer. Add 2 tablespoons of water and cover the skillet—you want to create steam. Steam for 3-5 minutes; flip and repeat. When the squash is browned and tender, transfer to a cutting board. When cool, cut into chunks.

    3. WIPE the pan and reheat to medium high. Add another drizzle of olive oil. Place the ear of corn in the center of the pan and let it cook without flipping for 3-5 minutes; rotate slightly and repeat. (Letting it sit on the heat for a few minutes is what makes it char.) Keep flipping the corn until it is golden and a bit charred. Remove from the heat and transfer to the cutting board. When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to remove the kernels from the cob. Set aside

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/cobb salad beets calpizzakitchen 230

    California Pizza Kitchen creates a Cobb Salad with beets and blue cheese. Photo courtesy KPC.

     
    4. COOK the bacon. Wipe the pan and cook the strips on medium heat, using tongs to flip until evenly cooked and crispy. (You may need to do this in 2 batches.) Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop or crumble. Pour out the bacon grease (you can reserve it to cook eggs, potatoes, whatever) and wipe out the skillet about 75% of the way; you want a little of the bacon grease and fond (the crisp tiny bit) to cook the chicken in.

    5. COOK the chicken. Season the breasts with salt and pepper and a bit of paprika for color (you can add other spices if you wish). Cook on medium heat, adding a touch of olive oil if pan seems dry. Flip each breast after 3-5 minutes depending on thickness. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-size pieces.

    6. COOK the eggs. This part can be done while some of the other ingredients are cooking. Place 3 eggs in a small pot of water and turn the heat to high. Once boiling, cook for 5 minutes. Drain the hot water and immediately submerge the eggs in cold water for a few minutes. Peel and slice the eggs.

    7. MAKE the dressing. Whisk together the maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil, tasting to see if you’d like it sweeter or more vinegary. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    8. ASSEMBLE the salad. Top the greens with all the prepared ingredients except the avocado and bacon. Halve, cube and add the avocado right before serving. Drizzle the dressing over the top. Add the bacon at the table (or immediately before bringing the dishes to table) so it acquire moisture from the salad and lose its crunch.
     
    COBB SALAD HISTORY

    Cobb Salad was invented in Hollywood. Late one evening in 1937, Bob Cobb, owner of The Brown Derby restaurant, was scrounging in the kitchen’s refrigerator for a snack. He grabbed a mix of ingredients: a head of iceberg lettuce, an avocado, some romaine, watercress, tomatoes, a cold breast of chicken, a hard-boiled egg, chives, cheese and some old-fashioned French dressing.

    He then took some crisp bacon from a chef’s station and started chopping. He shared the snack with his friend Sid Grauman of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, who came back and asked for a “Cobb Salad” the next day. It was put on the menu and became an overnight sensation. Movie mogul Jack Warner regularly dispatched his chauffeur to pick one up.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Carrot Pasta

    While we’re enjoying the warmth of Indian Summer, Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog suggests these raw, vegetable-based noodles made from carrots.

    Inspired by classic cold sesame noodles, delicate strands of carrots and cucumbers mingle together in crisp tangles of “pasta,” as vibrant as they are flavorful.

    Instead of peanut sauce based on peanut butter, Hannah substitutes cashew butter for a different take on the nutty, lightly spiced sauce.

    “Deceptively simple in composition,” says Hannah, “it doesn’t sound like anything particularly special on paper, but one taste and you’ll be hooked on the creamy cashew elixir. Lavish it over everything from salads to grilled tofu and beyond. Although you may end up with more than you need for this particular dish, trust me: It won’t be a struggle to polish off the excess in short order.”

    Note that this recipe comes together very quickly but needs to be eaten as soon as it’s made. The recipe makes 2-3 main dish servings or 4-5 side servings.

       

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/carrot pasta kaminsky 230

    Cut the carbs and add the protein: carrot “pasta” in cashew sauce. Photo courtesy Hannah Kaminsky.

     

    RECIPE: CARROT CASHEW NOODLES

    Ingredients For The Cashew Sauce

  • 6 tablespoons smooth cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons light agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, finely minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon sriracha (or other hot sauce)
  •  
    For The Carrot Pasta

  • 5 Large carrots, peeled and shredded with a julienne peeler or spiral grater
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and shredded with a julienne peeler or spiral grater
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted cashews, roughly chopped
  •  

    spiral grater

    A spiral grater, also called a spiralizer. Photo
    courtesy Microplane.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREPARE the sauce. This can be done up to 2 weeks in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. Place the cashew butter in a medium bowl and slowly add the vegetable broth, stirring constantly to loosen and smooth out the thick paste. Add the remaining ingredients, whisk thoroughly until homogeneous and set aside.

    2. MAKE the carrot and cucumber “noodles.” Toss them together with half of the sauce; for easier mixing, use your hands. Add more sauce as needed, toss in the scallions and move to a serving plate.

    3. TOP with chopped cashews and serve.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fall Fruits & Vegetables

    Have you seen a huckleberry up close and personal? The photo shows the fruit that gave Huckleberry Finn his nickname.

    It’s a fall fruit, a good choice for today, the first day of fall. As summer fades, so does the large assortment of fruits and vegetables. Rather than pay more for imported produce that is picked early for better travel (if not better flavor), look for the fruits and vegetables harvested in fall (the list is below).

    On a related note, October 6, 2015 marks the first National Fruit at Work Day, a celebration of the importance of healthy snacking in the workplace. In fact, more than 50% of one’s daily food intake is consumed at the office—and there’s too much temptation from foods that aren’t on the “good for you” list.

    This new annual holiday, observed on the first Tuesday in October, is devoted to honoring the food that successfully fuels a busy workday: fruit.

    The holiday was established by The FruitGuys, America’s first office fruit provider and part of the employee wellness movement since 1998. They use a large network of small local farmers to provide farm fresh fruit to workplaces nationwide.
     
    FALL PRODUCE

    Here’s what’s in season for fall. Not everything may be available in your area, but what is there should be domestic—not imported from overseas.

       

    huckleberries-wisegeek-230

    The huckleberry is in the same botanical family (Ericaceae) as blueberries and cranberries, and look similar appearance to blueberries. Their color may range instead from deep crimson to eggplant purple. Photo courtesy WiseGeek.com.

     
    Some of the items are harvested for only a few weeks; others are around for a while.

    So peruse the list, note what you don’t want to miss out on, and add it to your shopping list. To find the more exotic varieties, check international markets that specialize in Chinese, Latin American and other regional specialties. You can also look for online purveyors like Melissas.com.

    The produce list was created by Produce for Better Health Foundation. Take a look at their website, FruitsAndVeggiesMoreMatters.org, for tips on better meal planning with fresh produce.

    We’ve also featured their spring produce and summer produce recommendations, with the winter list coming in December.
     
    FALL FRUITS

  • Acerola/Barbados cherries
  • Asian pear
  • Black crowberries
  • Cactus pear (a.k.a. nopal, prickly pear, sabra)
  • Cape gooseberries
  • Crabapples
  • Cranberries
  • Date plum (a.k.a. Caucasian persimmon and lilac persimmon)
  • Feijoa (a.k.a. acca or pineapple guavas)
  • Huckleberries
  • Jujube (a.k.a. Chinese date, Indian date, Korean date or red date—see photo below)
  •  

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/jujubes FrankCMuller wiki 230r

    cardoons-turmericsaffron.blogspot-230

    TOP: In the U.S. Jujubes are a brand of hard gummy candies. In Australia and India the word is generic for a variety of confections. Here’s the real deal, cultivated in China for more than 4,000 years—and often eaten dried and candied. They may look like tiny dates, but are from an entirely difficult botanical family*. Photo by Frank C. Muller | Wikimedia. BOTTOM: Cardoons are wild artichokes. They look like celery, but with leaves that look like tarragon. Photo courtesy TurmericSaffronBlogspot.com.

     
  • Key limes
  • Kumquats
  • Muscadine grapes
  • Passionfruit
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate
  • Quince
  • Sapote
  • Sharon fruit (a variety of persimmon)
  • Sugar apple (a.k.a. sugar apple or sweetsop)
  •  
    FALL VEGETABLES

  • Acorn squash
  • Black salsify
  • Belgian endive
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butter lettuce
  • Buttercup squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Cardoon
  • Cauliflower
  • Chayote squash
  • Chinese long beans
  • Delicata squash
  • Daikon radish
  • Endive
  • Garlic
  • Hearts of palm
  • Jalapeño chiles
  • Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Ong choy water spinach
  • Pumpkins
  • Radicchio
  • Sunflower kernels
  • Sweet dumpling squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips
  •  

    *Jujube, Ziziphus jujuba, is a member of the buckthorn family, Rhamnaceae. Dates, Phoenix dactylifera, are a member of the palm tree family, Arecaceae.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Mac & Cheese Potato Skins

    The fun thing about mash-ups is that the combinations are endless. But we didn’t have to go too far to find this great combo: mac and cheese potato skins.

    We sighted them on Tony Roma’s Facebook page and promptly made some macaroni and cheese so we could then whip up a batch of potato skins.

    RECIPE: MAC & CHEESE POTATO SKINS

    Ingredients

  • 8 russet potatoes (about 3 inches long, total weight 2-1/4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (about 4 ounces) shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • Mac and cheese
  • Garnishes: crumbled crisp bacon, minced chives
  •    

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/mac and cheese potato skins tonyromasFB 230sq1

    Mac and cheese potato skins. Photo courtesy Tony Roma’s.

     

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/russet norkotah 2 230r

    Russet potatoes. Photo courtesy Burpee.

     

    Preparation

    1. SCRUB and thoroughly dry the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle.

    2. PIERCE each potato several times with a fork or the point of a sharp knife. Place the potatoes directly on the middle rack and bake until the skins are crisp and a knife easily pierces the potatoes, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. While the potatoes bake and cool…

    3. MAKE the macaroni and cheese.

    4. SLICE each baked potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch layer of potato on the inside of the skin. Reserve the scooped potato; you can use it for gnocchi, mashed potatoes, potato cakes or potato soup.

     

    5. BRUSH the insides of the potatoes with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Then do the same with the skin sides. Set the oven to broil.

    6. SPACE the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning). Then flip and broil until the top edges just begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

    7. FILL each skin with macaroni and cheese and crumbled bacon. Garnish with bacon and chives and serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Mac & Cheese Potato Skins

    Many people enjoy crunchy potato skins filled with with cheddar cheese, bacon, sour cream and green onions.

    But at Tony Roma’s, they switch out the cheddar and sour cream for macaroni and cheese. You can make the mac and cheese from scratch, or use leftover mac and cheese.

    RECIPE: MAC & CHEESE POTATO SKINS

    Ingredients

  • Small baking potatoes
  • Melted butter
  • Mac and cheese
  • Garnishes: crisp diced bacon, minced chives or
    thinly-sliced green onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Beer!
  •  
    Preparation

     

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/mac and cheese potato skins tonyromasFB 230sq

    Mac & cheese potato skins. Photo courtesy Tony Roma’s.

     
    1. PLACE the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F.

    2. PIERCE each potato several times with a fork or the tip of a sharp knife and place on the oven rack. Bake until the skins are crisp and easily pierced with a knife or cake tester, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool about 10 minutes.

    3. SET the oven to broil. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh around the skins. Reserve the scooped flesh for another use (e.g. mashed potatoes).

    4. BRUSH the insides of the potatoes with melted butter; season with salt and pepper. Flip the skins and repeat.

    5. SPACE the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes, watching so they don’t burn. Flip the skins over and broil until the top edges begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

    6. REMOVE from the oven and fill each skin with mac and cheese and bacon. Place under the broiler and broil until the cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and top each skin with chives or green onion. Serve immediately.

      

    Comments

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


    © Copyright 2005-2016 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.