Monday, November 21, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting is an amazing way to transform vegetables. I could never be convinced to eat cauliflower as a kid (it just looked like sad, albino broccoli), but slowly roasting cauliflower turns it into something marvelously delicious. Now, I can't get enough!

Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
1 Tbs olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Cut cauliflower into florettes. Place cauliflower in a shallow-lipped baking sheet (I find it helpful to line the pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up). Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and the salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower begins to brown. Remove from oven and add Parm while the cauliflower is still hot. Gently toss to combine. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Applesauce is one of my favorite ways to celebrate the fall - especially after a productive trip to the you-pick apple orchard. This works with just about any variety - a sweeter apple yields a sweeter sauce. Mix types of apple for a nice blend of slightly different flavors and consistencies.

Homemade Applesauce

8 apples (any variety), peeled, cored and sliced into small pieces
1/4 c water
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan. Cook over med-low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. There should be a small amount of water on the bottom of the pot, simmering. If needed, add more water - a Tbs at a time to keep apples from getting too hot. When apples are tender and begin breaking down, remove from heat. Use immersion blender to puree to desired consistency or allow to cool completely and blend in a food processor. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Glazed Carrots

Today was the last day of our local farmers market. It's always a bittersweet day, the last day we get to enjoy the 3 block stroll to the market on Saturday mornings, exploring and collecting the best gems and jewels of the locally produced in season foods. It's also a mark of the beginning of the holiday season, and the chance to embrace the change in the seasons. Though we collected a great deal of goodies, these petite, golden carrots caught my eye. Wanting to use them to their full potential, I kept them whole and cooked them up quickly on the stove top with a sweet, tangy and savory glaze.

Glazed Carrots
adapted from the
Healthy Hedonist by Myra Kornfeld

1 small bunch petite carrots, trimmed and peeled

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp mirin

pinch of salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

pinch of coriander, ground

Place all ingredients in small saute pan over med-low heat. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, or until carrots begin to become tender. Uncover and cook an additional 4 minutes, until carrots begin to caramelize slightly. Remove from heat and enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Take on the 'Super Charged' Cookie

I've seen the recipe many places, but every time I see it, I've been seduced by its relative simplicity, healthfulness and the likely hood that all of the ingredients are currently in my pantry. Finally, I whipped up a batch for myself and I'm pretty pleased. I'll admit, this is indeed a 'healthy' cookie - not to be confused with some of the other more buttery decadent things you may have seen here. But for right now, this hits the spot just right.

Super Charged Cookie
adapted from Dreena's Blog and a Foodie Stays Fit

1 cup old fashioned oats
2/3 cup spelt flour
1/4 tsp (rounded) kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbs of mixed dried currants and cranberries
2 Tbs chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup pulverized chia seeds (I used my coffee grinder - you can also use flax meal, but I find it's flavor a little overpowering sometimes in baked goods and chia is a nice neutral flavor)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp peanut butter (can use any nut, seed butter)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp olive oil (can also use canola - it's just what I had on hand)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut, raisins, carob or chocolate chips, and baking powder, and stir until well combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pulverized chia, syrup, almond butter, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in oil.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry, and stir until just well combined (do not overmix).
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or grease with oil or spray). Scoop onto try (I have a handy disher that works great for this)
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes ( I bake with convection - 2-3 more minutes if you're using a regular oven). Do not overbake or they will dry out.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Comforting Carrot, Orange, Ginger Soup

There's nothing like kicking off the new year by getting sick. Ugh. When there is nothing you'd rather do than pull the covers over your head and will your airways free of congestion, you might want to consider mustering up the energy to make this simple, comforting soup. With hits of sweet carrot, tangy citrus and spicy ginger, this was the perfect comfort-me food when I'm on the down and out. Even it's bright orange hue can enliven an otherwise dreary sick day.

Carrot, Orange and Ginger Soup
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories

2 cloves garlic (chopped)

2 onion (chopped)
5 carrot (grated)
2-3 Tbs fresh ginger (grated on a micro plane)
Juice of 2 oranges
Zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp olive oil
3 c vegetable broth (I had homemade on hand, but any good broth or reconstituted bullion will work)
kosher salt & pepper to taste

Add olive oil to a pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic. Let cook until onion is just starting to become translucent or about 5 mins. Add carrots and ginger and let it sweat for a couple of minutes. Try not to let anything brown. Add the broth, thyme and orange juice and let it boil for 10-15 minutes. Use a hand blender to puree the soup, but don’t blend it all if you like your soup chunky. Add the orange zest, salt and pepper and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peasant Soup

This is one of those soups that was made for me in my childhood, but I have not had in a long time. It was also one of Emily's favorites - and it's nice to feel a little closer to her memory some days. While in the past, I've made vegetarian versions, this is the first time I've made it with the pork it calls for. I have to say, I'm pretty blown away. The perfect hearty soup for a cold, blustery wintry day.

Peasant Soup
from The Silver Palate

1 1/2 c beans (canned or cooked dry beans)
4 Tbs bacon fat (or butter)
1 c finely chopped yellow onions
3 leeks, white part only, thoroughly cleaned and thinly sliced
2 celery ribs, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 tsp dry thyme
1 bay leaf
8 c chicken stock
3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
1 ham hock
1/2 small white cabbage, shredded
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1.2 c chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Melt bacon fat in large heavy soup pot (our cast-iron dutch oven was great for this). Add onion, leeks, celery and carrots and cook, covered over low heat until the vegetables are tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the thyme bay leaf and a grinding of black pepper, and pour in the stock. Add parsnips and ham hock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 40 minutes.Remove ham hock and allow to cool slightly. Cut the meat off the bone into chunks and return meat to the pot.

Add cabbage, garlic and parsley and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Taste, correct seasoning and serve immediately.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Brussel Sprouts and Whole Grain Crostini

I don't recall ever being offered Brussels sprouts as a vegetable option as a kid. I'm not sure if my parents refused to even try to wage a PR campaign against the sadly maligned vegetable, or if they themselves were victims of poorly prepared Brussels sprouts. This ain't your momma's Brussels sprouts. Or if they were, I'd like to shake your mom's hand. I was introduced to the transformative power of bacon on Brussels sprouts at DC's Central restaurant where we and our friends thought the sprouts were so delicious, we literally ordered another serving. Here, Mr. P has called on Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" (a great cookbook to have on hand, by the way) to recreate some of that magic, and his attempt was a great success! Cut the sprouts as small as you are able without them disintegrating for maximum deliciousness. Someday, I'd like to try this roasted or braised with whole sprouts, but this makes for a tasty and surprisingly quick side of vege. Mr. P had the brilliant notion of toasting some whole grain baguette under the broiler with a bit of olive oil and salt to accompany this. So simple, so delicious!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

3-5 slices of uncooked bacon, chopped
1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into quarters
1/4 c of water
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the bacon in a large skillet until crisp over med-high heat. Add the sprouts and a 1/4 c of water to the skillet. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes until sprouts soften. Raise heat, and cook off the remaining water - cooking for another 5-10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and serve.

Whole Grain Crostini

1 whole grain baguette
Few Tbs of good-quality olive oil

Preheat Broiler. Slice baguette into thin slices. Brush with olive oil and dust with sea (or other) salt. Broil for 1-2 minutes (be sure to keep an eye on them as they burn quickly!) until they reach a nice golden brown. You can jazz this up with cheese, herbs or garlic also, if desired.