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New Year Reboot

7 Dec

Are you already run down from the holiday craze?  After Thanksgiving and a week of travel, I am.  And after the (many) inevitable holiday treats, I know come January I’ll be ready to hit the reset button.

Want to join me?  On January 6th, I’ll be leading a 5- and 10-day detox. All natural foods. All healthy choices. All online.

I created the Reboot with my fellow health counselor, Andrea Moss, several years ago as a way to encourage people from all over to carve out a dedicated time to eat cleanly and “reboot” their bodies. Since then, we’ve led over a dozen Reboots with fabulous results.  Last year, Well + Good selected the Reboot as one of the top three detoxes in NYC.

The Reboot includes:

  • 5 or 10 days of step-by-step instructions and online group support
  • A detailed Reboot cleanse packet that includes all of your menus, grocery lists, and delicious, simple-to-prepare recipes. The cleanse is both vegetarian and carnivore-friendly, and can be adapted to most any diet.
  • Expert support by myself and Andrea, so you’re never alone throughout your Reboot experience

So what can you expect from the Reboot?  More energy.  Less “fluff” weight.  Reduced inflammation from hidden food allergies. Increased mental clarity. And much more!

Don’t believe me? Check out what some former participants have said:

“The Reboot is a great way to restart your healthier eating patterns. It reminds me how well my body does with extra vegetables and less sugar and caffeine. I feel satisfied because there are three meals that involve real foods, not just juices. By the end of the Reboot I’d lost 5 lbs.”

“I fit into a dress I haven’t been able to wear for a year.”
 
“This is a great way to restart your healthier eating patterns.”

Interested in learning more? Details here. I hope you’ll join us!

 

Savory Tart with Leeks, Goat Cheese and Crispy Proscuitto

31 Jan

Tarte!
I got my oven and I conquered my first (almost) from scratch recipe!  Last weekend, I went to one of my favorite restaurants in our neighborhood–aptly named Le Cafe–and had a tarte salee, which is sort of like a quiche, but lighter. 

Empowered by my new oven, I decided to try to re-create the tarte.  It was super simple and didn’t take long at all — the filling nothing but leeks, eggs, milk, cream, and mustard. 

Here’s the tart before I poured the egg and cream mixture on top:  

Before cooking...

You may be wondering how I made the delicious-looking, lightly browned crust you see. Well, I’ll admit it, I didn’t.  I’m still building up my kitchen so don’t have a rolling pin (or flour, for that matter), so I bought some pate brisee dough from our local market. Next time, though, I’m going to try this recipe for an olive oil tart crust.

Lastly, I sliced a piece of crottin cheese to put on top of the uncooked tart.  Crottin is a goat cheese, but it is tangier and a bit more firm than the typical goat cheeses you find in the U.S. 

Crottin

 

Image

Lastly, while this was baking I took about 1/2 piece of proscuitto, cut it in little pieces and crisped it up in a skillet. This went on top of the cooked tart.

The final result was glorious. It was hearty but not too heavy. A nice texture, with rich flavors. Perfect served alongside a big green salad.  It is easily re-heated and it just as wonderful (maybe even better?) the next day.

 

SAVORY TART WITH LEEKS, GOAT CHEESE AND CRISPY PROSCUITTO
Serves 4 

1 recipe pate brisee
1 leek, cleaned well and sliced thinly
3 eggs
2 oz goat cheese (go for a tangier cheese, like a crottin; you could also do manchego, grated)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper 
1/2 piece proscuitto, diced

Pre-heat oven to 425.  Roll out pate brisee and line pie plate with it. Poke a few holes in the dough with a fork and cook for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven.

In the meantime, mix the eggs, milk, cream, mustard, salt and garlic in a bowl.  Layer the leeks on the crust and pour the eggs mixture over it.

Slice the cheese (or, if a softer goat cheese, crumble) and  lay on top. Sprinkle pepper on the top and bake for 35-40 minutes at 400.

While the tart bakes, put the proscuitto in a (dry) skillet and saute over medium for approx 5 minutes, until crispy. Remove from heat.

Remove the tart and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the proscuitto on top and serve. Bon Appetit!

Cooking in Paris

30 Jan

Bonjour!

So, it has indeed been a while.  But, much like my disappearance this fall, the culprit is once again Paris.  For those of you who don’t know, I’ve relocated to be with my fiance, who got a three-year position here.

We have an adorable apartment in a charming neighborhood.  Before I arrived, I daydreamed about all the cooking I would do, how I would do my grocery shopping each day and go from little shop to little shop to find the perfect produce. I had heard that most French people don’t cook a lot — and I never really understood, since there is so much good food here to be cooked.

And then I arrived and saw the kitchen. Now, to be fair, it’s a very nice kitchen for a Parisan apartment.  We looked at many whose “kitchen” was a hot plate and a can opener. Ours has four (four! unheard of!) burners on the stove, decent prep space, and a nice big sink in which to wash dishes.

It does not have, however, an oven. Or a proper refrigerator. The fridge is dorm room-size and has an itty bitty ice box on top which, when I run the washer/dryer that is located right next to it, melts–leaving me with a puddle of water in the bottom of the fridge.

So now I get it:  French people don’t cook often because they don’t have the space to do so.  Or the time/wherewithall to go shopping every single day, which you have to if you’re buying perishables… since more than that won’t fit into the fridge!

But — I will prevail.  I’ve been here a week and, I admit, haven’t been cooking nearly as much as I did in New York. I’ve done lots of re-heating and lots of cooking partially prepared items.  But this week, I will conquer my fear of making a recipe here. I’ll figure out the conversions, find a makeshift cutting board and, most importantly, buy an oven.

Stay tuned!

 

 

Fall Slump

18 Oct

So… I’ve been really bad about blogging.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s that I’ve been cooking the same few dishes over and over and over. I’m in a food slump.

This happens each year (each season, in fact) — but it catches me off guard every time. So, in honor of my fall transition cooking, a few favorites of late: 

- “Cheese” sauce from OhSheGlows — I’ve tried both the pumpkin and butternut squash version. Both are amazing. I’ve had it two ways:  with brown rice and broccoli, and with brown rice pasta and kale. It’s like the perfect comfort food, only it’s good for you.

- Sweet potato and black bean chili from Eating Well.  This is my stand-by dish as soon as it gets cold — it’s yummy and perfect to take to work for lunch. I’ve played around with a gazillion versions of the recipe and can offer two tips:  1. add some chopped kale and 2. use Muir Glen fire-roasted chopped tomatoes.

- To satisfy my occasional sweet tooth, I’ve been enjoying the gluten-free, flourless chocolate cookies from O Cafe on 12th Street in the West Village. Nomnomnomnomnom.

But — I’ve gotta get out of my rut.  So, some recipes I’m looking forward to trying:

- Broccoli-basic mac and cheese from 101 Cookbooks

- Mushroom stroganoff from Choosing Raw

- and definitely something with tempeh. I miss tempeh.

 

Aux Champs Elysees

19 Sep

 


I know I’ve been absent for a bit, but I have a good excuse:  I’ve been in Paris.  (And preparing to go to Paris.  And slowly re-adjusting to EST time and a lack of croissants after returning).

I’m usually terrible about writing down / remembering the great places I go when I travel.  But this time is different.  I’ve vowed to blog about the amazing restaurants, etc. we tried while we were there.  Some were the recommendations of friends, some of my boyfriend, and a few from blogs by food writers (notably Heidi Swanson and David Leobowitz).

My favorite new find was Rose Bakery, the brainchild of a British-French married couple. Rose has two locations:  the original in Montmartre, and the newest location in the Marais.  I visited the latter — twice.  The first time I went, I had the assiette des legume (vegetable plate), which was a giant spread of 5-6 dishes of the day. (Surprisingly, given the name of the dish, it was more grains-based).  My favorite component of the plate was a bulgur salad with currants, toasted almonds and fresh mint. It was served with freshly baked bread and a huge slab of salted butter. Yum.

I was pretty full when I left, but still managed to find room for a huge plum tart, which was incredible. In fact, my first bite was so good that I had to sit down on a corner bench to savor the rest of it.  The crust was buttery and rich, and the inner custard was light and not too sweet. It was, hands-down, the single best thing I tasted during the trip. I went back a few days later and got a raspberry tart, which was good, but not quite as good. But the bar was high.

Rose is a must for anyone who a) loves baked goods; b) is vegetarian; and/or c) is looking for amazingly delicious food that isn’t as rich and decadent as your traditional French fare.

Other places we visited that we loved:

- Le Cafe.  After Rose, this was my favorite place. I went there no less than four times. We initially went because we were told they had the best croque madames in Paris.  (I don’t know if they were the best in all of Paris, but they were damn good). I happened to walk past it a few days later, so went in for a croissant and coffee–both were excellent…. so I dragged my boyfriend back the next morning. And then we happened to be in the neighborhood the next night, so we went there for a late dinner. I don’t usually return again and again to the same places while traveling, but I really enjoyed the fact that it was a) all locals. I was the only American there each time; b) really chill and the waitress was super-friendly; and c) everything I had there was reliably good and reasonably priced.

- La Briciola, a little Italian pizzeria in the Marais.  It was super home-y and very un-touristy. The food was amazing and plentiful.

- Le Relais d’Entrecote, where you can get the best steak frites in Paris. You have to wait in line (it’s not just of tourists–there were quite a few Frenchies there too) and when you finally get a seat, the only question the server asks is:  how would you like it cooked?  You then get a salad, an amazing steak cooked to perfection and smothered in their famous sauce, and crispy fries.  We ordered a bottle of their private label red wine, which was great.  (Note:  We went to the location off the Champs Elysees.  While I generally don’t like eating anywhere in that vicinity, I’ve heard that’s the best out of the several they have around Paris).

- Candelaria – If you’re in Paris and you’re sick of French food, check out this place.  It’s a speak-easy-style bar — in the front there’s an itty bitty taqueria with maybe six seats. Walk through the back door and you enter a lovely lounge where you can order fun cocktails (and order in food from the front, if you’re hungry). I adore Mexican food–and have never once had anything remotely good in Europe–but was quite impressed by their tacos.

…and then we ran out of time / space in our stomachs and had to start compiling our list for next time.  At the top of the list:  Les Papilles, Spring, and–again–Rose Bakery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gena’s Fig Bars

23 Aug

 

The above picture in NO way conveys the delicious of the fig bars I made this weekend. I made them in a hurry, on my way to a BBQ in New Jersey–so there wasn’t a lot of time for a photoshoot. Instead, you get to see them all piled up in a Tupperware ready for transport.

I saw this recipe a few weeks ago on my friend Gena’s blog, Choosing Raw. It looked amazing — and perfect for a family-friendly BBQ. ‘Cause who doesn’t like figs!?

Well, okay, I’m not a big fan of figs. That it, I wasn’t a big fan of figs before making these. I’ve now been converted.

The first step to making them it to make the fig jam — which is a (easy) recipe in itself. You could easily stop here and happily eat the fig jam for weeks to come.


But THEN you get to make this super-simple oat dough, put it all in the oven and in 30 minutes you have yourself a feast. Despite this being a vegan recipe, as the bars were cooking, I swear it smelled like butter. ‘Cause this recipe is a keeper.

I followed the recipe almost to a T, which is a huge compliment to Gena’s baking skills cause I usually always change a few things. The only change I  made–and this was pure necessity because I was out of cinnamon–is that I swapped it for nutmeg. I loved the results, but it also tasted a little Christmas-y. I’d recommend sticking with the original cinnamon.

FIG BARS
Gena Hamshaw, ChoosingRaw.com
reprinted with permissio
vegan and can be gluten-free

For the fig filling:

About 12 large dried figs
6 pitted medjool dates
2 tbsp agave syrup or maple syrup [I used agave]
2 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice of 1 large lemon)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp brandy (if desired) [I skipped this]

For the oat dough:

1 1/4 cup oat flour (GF if following a GF diet)
1 cup rolled oats (see above)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sucanat or natural brown sugar [I used brown sugar]
*2 tbsp vanilla flavored brown rice protein powder (totally optional, but a nice way to amp up the protein if you want these bars to be a part of your breakfast) [I skipped this]
Dash salt
2 tsps cinnamon [I used nutmeg, see above]
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (or safflower oil) [I used coconut oil]

1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8 inch square baking pan and dust it with oat flour.

2) Place figs in a small pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer; simmer for about five minutes. Remove figs from the pot, drain them, and place them in your food processor along with dates, lemon juice, agave or syrup, cinnamon, and brandy if using. Process until the mixture resembles a smooth fig jam.

4) Mix oats, oat flour, cinnamon, salt, protein powder if using, baking powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.

5) Whisk together almond milk, applesauce, vanilla and oil.

6) Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix till just combined.

7) Layer half of the oat mixture into your baking pan. Using an inverted spatula or regular spatula, spread all of the fig paste on top.

8  ) Spread remaining oat mixture on top of the fig paste.

9) Bake for about 35 minutes, or until top is golden.

10) Let cool, and cut into 9 squares.

 

CTBM Salad

22 Aug

This weekend I was finally able to order some produce from Holton Farms, a CSA in Vermont. I’ve tried CSAs before, but a) I always forgot to pick it up and b) I was always left with 18 lbs or chard (or tatsoi. or whatever.) that there was absolutely no way I’d be able to eat.

The great thing about Holton is that you can order what you want:  they have an online store where you can go to buy your organic, freshly-picked produce. You don’t have to order every week; you can order what you want, when you want.  And the best part is, they bring it to a neighborhood near you.

I thought it was all genius and eagerly signed up — but wasn’t around enough this summer to actually eat all the produce the $25 minimum would get me.

Until this week, when I committed to eating all of the yummy produce I got (corn, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. All beautiful).

The result of which was the Corn Tomato Basil and Mozarella (CTBM) Salad. Light, crunchy, creamy, yummy. It takes under 10 minutes from start to finish and is certain to satisfy everyone.

CTBM SALAD
(serves 4, as a generous side dish)

2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
about 1.5 cups tomatoes,  roughly chopped
1/4 c basil, chopped
1/4 c fresh mozarella
glug of olive oil
salt to taste

Combine everything and stir. Let sit for 2-3 minutes. Eat. Enjoy.

As a side note, I’m very proud to report that my recipe for corn risotto was featured in the Liberty Lake Farmers Market newsletter.  I hope everyone enjoys it! I know I have, again and again and again.

 

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