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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.

 

Pan-Sauted Corn

15 Aug

Have I mentioned yet what a huge fan I am of fresh summer corn? It’s true.

I went to visit family down in Delaware this weekend and came back laden down with corn, tomatoes (real Southern tomatoes! The very best!), and cherries.  And some gluten-free cheese biscuits to freeze and enjoy later.

I’ve been busy making good use of my produce. Dinner last night included an abundance of sliced tomatoes, with only salt and pepper to spruce them up. Tonight’s dinner included corn sauted in a bit of butter and finished off with smoked paprika. The sweetness of the corn is a lovely contract to the tartness of the paprika. Yum.

PAN-SAUTED CORN
Serves 2

2 cobs of corn, cut off the cob
1 tsp butter (could also use olive oil)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
salt to taste

In a saucepan, bring water to boil and add corn. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain with a fine mesh strainer. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Melt butter and add cor. Stir around to coat with butter and then create one single layer of corn. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir again and then create one layer. Cook another 2-3 minutes until the corn starts ‘popping’. (Not like pop corn, but you’ll see/hear it!). Cut off the heat and sprinkle the paprika over the corn. Stir and cook for one minutes ot release the flavor.

Serve hot or warm, as a side dish.

Corn Pudding Redux

10 Aug


I’ve made many corn puddings in my life, but none as delicious as this. For those of you who aren’t from the South, corn pudding is classic comfort food. It’s like creamed corn and a quiche got married and had a baby. It’s filling, but light. Tasty, but not over the top. The perfect summer food. Best of all, it’s super easy to make (and only has four ingredients).

I like to serve it on hot nights as the main dish with an array of veggies — this time with steamed asparagus and sliced tomatoes.

Why is this particular recipe so good? Well, I doubled the amount of corn and added some cheese. And not just any cheese, but Trader Joe’s blend of smoked cheeses. Which sounds weird, but it’s oh so good. The result was creamy and cheesy — almost mac and cheese-esque.

I failed to get a great picture of it, but hopefully you get the gist and will be inspired to try it too!

THE BEST-EVER CORN PUDDING
(gluten-free and vegetarian)
serves 4

5 organic eggs
2 cups milk (2% or whole)
5 ears of corn, cut off the cob
3/4 c shredded cheese (smoked gouda or sharp cheddar are best)
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Whisk in milk until blended. Add corn and stir. Pour into a baking pan (6×6? 6×7? Basically, half the size of a regular casserole dish). Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle cheese on top. Bake for another 20 minutes, until top is bubbly and slightly browned. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Back-To-School for Your Body

8 Aug

Here’s the thing about summer:  It’s waaay easier to fit fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet — sometimes, without really trying.  But it’s also way easier to fit in more BBQs, cook-outs, picnics, after-work cocktails, etc. So for many of us, by the end of the summer, our bodies need a break.

Sound familiar?

Enter the Spark! Wellness Reboot, a 5-day detox designed with YOU in mind.  Well, to be fair, it was originally designed by me and fellow health coach Andrea Moss so that we could gently detox a few times a year. But it worked so well that we decided to make it available to all. (Good thing, cause it was named one of the top three cleanses in NYC!)

When I said “detox,” I don’t mean one of those crazy diets where you have nothing but lemon juice and cayenne pepper or are hungry all the time. Au contraire. I, along with everyone else I know, really enjoy eating. So for this detox, that’s what we do: eat lots of whole, healthy foods. Your body (and your skinny jeans) will say thank you.

Don’t want to take my word for it?

“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.” - Spring 2011 Reboot Participant

So here’s the deal:

September 12 – 16

RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE

Never Rebooted with us before? Here’s what you can expect:

Our 5-day Reboot is a a gentle, guided 5-day cleanse. Benefits of a Reboot include:

    • Reducing inflammation in the body caused by hidden food allergies or sensitivities
    • Taking a break from addictive and toxic foods that are difficult to digest
    • Boosting your energy and taking your metabolism to the next level
    • Shedding unwanted “fluff” weight

Your 5-day Reboot includes:

  •  5 days of step-by-step instructions and online group support
  • A detailed Reboot packet that includes menus, grocery lists, and delicious, simple recipes
  • Ongoing expert support, so you’re never alone through your Reboot experience

PLUS NEW BONUSES:

  • “Food That Boost Your Mood” and “How to Ditch the Diet Mentality” teleclasses ($50 value)
  • Healthy Desserts recipe booklet for after the Reboot

RATE: Regularly $79

Your Price: $68 early bird special — if you book by August 29!

Former cleansers or former clients: $58 — if you book by August 29!

RESERVE YOUR SPOT HERE

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