June 29, 2012

kiwi avocado energy smoothie + friday link round-up


This busy week has flown by, and we're keeping up the pace today with an early-morning meeting. I'm packing a superpowered smoothie to take along, featuring sweet, juicy kiwis for quick energy and essential-fatty-acid-packed almonds, avocado, and chia seeds to sustain.

Avocado and chia create a smooth and creamy texture sans-banana, and soaking the almonds overnight helps them blend more thoroughly and improves their digestibility. I sprinkled in a couple of nature's best multivitamins, too: spirulina and bee pollen.


I'm also toting a batch of fresh-made maple and olive oil granola and raw cacao-hemp-goji truffles (a new creation) for my comrades to munch on. Hopefully that will keep us all in good spirits.

Wishing you a weekend filled with inspiration and enjoyment ~ scroll on down for the recipe and links du jour!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

kiwi avocado energy smoothie
Makes a large (~20 ounce) smoothie

1/4 cup raw almonds, soaked for 8 hours in filtered water and drained (I left skins on)
1 pitted date
1/2 avocado
2 kiwis (rather than peeling them, I halved the kiwis lengthwise and scooped out the flesh with a spoon)
1/2 small lemon or lime, skin removed
1/2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon spirulina
1/2 teaspoon bee pollen
10 ounces filtered water, nut milk, or coconut water
ice (optional)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. This makes a very thick smoothie; add more liquid and/or ice to thin it out if you prefer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A new round of tasty Friday links -- welcome fare for a steamy, heading-into-July weekend.

Green quinoa.

 Vanilla balsamic vinaigrette.

Got summer squash?

Hiking food.

A no-bake chocolatey treat.

June 26, 2012

raw chocolate mango parfait with goji berries + cacao nibs


Hi there :) A busy week has begun, not much time for cooking or recipe writing, but I wanted to share with you a ridiculously easy and delicious dessert that I made over the weekend. I woke up on Saturday morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (don't you just love days like that?), and while the coffee was brewing I was already gathering ingredients for this chocolate and mango parfait.

The chocolate mousse layers are raw and made without eggs or dairy, a simple combination of avocado, banana, cacao powder, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. (I got the idea for the chocolate avocado mousse here and have been looking forward to trying it for ages.) Creamy, rich and chocolately, I would happily eat the mousse solo -- and I'm not kidding when I say nobody would ever guess there is avocado in there!

The layers of luscious, earthy, and bittersweet mousse contrast perfectly with chunks of juicy, sweet mango, with chewy goji berries and crunchy cacao nibs for pops of textural contrast. This is THE chocolate dessert for those summer days when you're in the mood for something light and fruity with a decadent twist. And it's so nutritious you could even eat it for breakfast (I admit to nothing).

raw chocolate mango parfait with goji berries + cacao nibs
serves 2

1 ripe large avocado
1/2 banana
2-3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup, raw honey or coconut nectar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of fine-grained Himalayan salt
1/2 cup diced mango
2 to 3 tablespoons dried goji berries
2 to 3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs

In a food processor combine the avocado, banana, cacao powder, sweetener of choice, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt. Process until completely smooth. (Alternately, mash the ingredients with a fork until combined well.)

To serve, sprinkle about a tablespoon of mango, 1/2 teaspoon of goji berries, and 1/2 teaspoon of cacao nibs in the bottom of a glass or small bowl. Spoon some of the chocolate mousse on top. Add another layer of fruit and nibs, then another layer of mousse, ending with a layer of mango, goji, and nibs.

Serve immediately, or chill for 30 to 60 minutes before serving. Best on the day it is prepared.

June 22, 2012

keeping it raw {five for friday 6/22/12}


Barely twenty-four hours after I posted that cozy and warming miso soup earlier this week, temperatures started rising here in nyc. We're now in the midst of a near-100-degree heat wave and might turn into The Baked Apple before things cool off. Thus my attentions have, quite appropriately, turned toward foods of the chilled, crisp, crunchy, and cooling varieties. For the foreseeable future we'll be eating in the raw.

I've been surfing around for hot-weather recipes to try this weekend. Some recent favorites are linked below, following a quick recipe for a summer smoothie that I've been enjoying as a light and energizing breakfast the last few sweltering mornings.

Stay cool and have a glorious weekend!

////////////////////////////////

{ tropical breakfast smoothie }
~20 ounces: 2 small (or 1 large) smoothies

1/2 ripe banana
1/4 avocado, peeled
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup diced watermelon
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons coconut butter
1/2 teaspoon bee pollen (optional)
pinch Himalayan sea salt
3-4 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth, adding a splash of water for a thinner texture, if you prefer.

////////////////////////////////

{ the five }

On a steamy day, nothing hits the spot quite like a chilled bowl of gazpacho.

A clever recipe for raw dolmades with umeboshi-pomegranate sauce.

An ideal warm weather breakfast: overnight bircher muesli with spiced strawberries.

Never can have too many slaw recipes at the ready.

Mr. Bittman does it again. A green tea granita with honey and ginger.

Pssst - have you tried the kalegarita yet? Once you've mixed up a few of these ultra-refreshing green cocktails, there's no going back to the average margarita!


June 19, 2012

egg drop miso soup with asparagus + sugar snaps


Colds and other minor illnesses tend to surface when the body's internal balance has gone off-kilter, and they offer an opportunity to clear out the system and reset our equilibrium. What better time to flush the body with teas and soups packed with detoxifying and alkalizing foods, herbs, and spices: lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, raw honey, miso, and greens.

It feels odd to be writing about soup in the middle of June, but I cooked up a big pot last week when I started coming down with a cold, ate it for 2 days straight (the weather was cool, which made soup-slurping feel not so out of synch with the season) and was cured! A cross between miso and egg drop soup, it's lemony, light, and soothing, with a healthy dose of probiotics from the raw miso and high-quality, easy to digest protein from the egg.

Satisfying yet easy on the digestive system, it's a perfect comfort food when you're under the weather, or a light meal any time of year. Keep it seasonal by adding whatever vegetables are available -- crisp asparagus, greens, and peas in spring and summer, starchy vegetables like sweet potato and squash in the colder months. Add lots of red chile flakes - and even some chopped fresh jalapeno - if you're really craving a kick of heat.

egg drop miso soup with asparagus + sugar snaps
makes about 2 quarts of soup

4 cups (1 quart) broth or stock of your choice (or water, in which case I would add 2 more tablespoons of miso at the end, to boost the flavor of the soup)
1 head spring garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (or 3-4 cloves aged garlic, which is more potent)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
3 small carrots, sliced into coins
pinch of ground turmeric
red chile flakes (to taste)
3 or 4 large asparagus spears, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into thirds
2 large pastured eggs, beaten with a fork
2 heaping tablespoons miso paste (I used chickpea miso)
juice of 2 small lemons
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large pot combine broth, garlic, shallot, ginger, carrot, turmeric, pinch of chile flakes, pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until carrots are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add asparagus and snap peas and simmer until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes more.

Turn off heat and whisk in beaten eggs (they will cook instantly in the hot soup). Whisk in miso paste and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and black pepper.

Leftover soup can be reheated by gently simmering over a low flame for several minutes (boiling will kill the good bacteria in the miso). 

June 15, 2012

five for friday {6 / 15 / 2012}


Happy Friday!

It's been a busy week, including an inaugural trip to the Manhattan DMV* for my first-ever NY driver's license; now, after living here for six years, I finally feel like a real New Yorker :)

A couple of greenmarkets (summer squash have arrived in full force).


Yesterday brought a case of the sniffles (warm-weather colds are weird, aren't they?), so I've been on my usual immunity-boosting regimen: lemon-ginger tea, lightly cooked veggies, soups galore (including a delicious new concoction I'll share soon), plenty of rest, and some vitamin D-boosting sunshine time. Seems to be working, which is a good thing, because --

Today's my birthday, and the yogi and I have a date at one of our favorite restaurants. No way I'm out of commission for that!

Here are some links I've been loving this week. Play, relax, enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A late-spring saute with nettles.

Sprouting mustard seeds - gotta try this.

Mmmmmmm, spicy cherry chutney.

Twist on a classic: Mussels in red wine instead of the usual white.

Ode to parchment paper.


And, because you know I can't resist a bonus ~

The 10 types of foodies and how to handle them.


*I was absolutely dreading my trip to the DMV, but the experience wasn't bad at all - no drama, and much easier/quicker than my last license renewal in NJ. The hardest part was finding the building, since scaffolding along that stretch of Broadway obscured address numbers and signs. For those in the NYC area who might be headed to a DMV soon, here are some survival tips to make your trip go smoothly:

(1) Print and fill out the application form in advance; (2) figure out which pieces of ID you need to bring (info is on the DMV website. Valid US passport + social security card + current driver's license seems to be a fail-safe combination; I also brought a utility bill since my address has changed, but didn't need it). (3) Go mid-month and mid-week to avoid crowds. (4) Go early in the day, before the lines form. (5) If you're trading in an out of state for a NY license (in NYC at least), you must go to the full-service DMV on Broadway (not the DMV Express - this location is for NY renewals only).

Well there you go - random DMV info from a food blog... But hey, why not pass it on :) xoxo

June 8, 2012

five for friday {6 / 8 / 12}


Hello there and Happy Friday! Whatcha got planned this weekend?

I'm looking forward to checking out a couple of the local greenmarkets and stopping into my favorite coffee spot for a cortado. The apartment's going to be smelling extra good, since I'll be baking up a couple of batches of my favorite cinnamon orange granola. A friend has asked me to be his Granola Supplier, and he's ordered a batch for himself, plus a few smaller containers to give as gifts. (And I'll make some extra for me and the yogi.)

I'm loving these Friday links  --  the process is helping me keep better track of the interesting recipes, articles, etc, I come across during the week so I can find them again later (whereas bookmarking never seems to work for me - I forget to check the bookmarks menu).


Be well, eat well, and enjoy!

--Sensible and easy-to-pack travel eats. (Justin's nut butter packets are a favorite; I also keep a stash in the office for quick snacks.)

--Keeping this recipe close at hand for the happy day when local corn-on-the-cob arrives (it's got two of my favorites - coconut milk and dry-roasted chilies - double yummm!). I'll start it with coconut oil (instead of veg oil), though.

--Creative, healthy smoothie recipes from Martha Rose Shulman in this week's New York Times. And should you blend up more smoothie than you can drink, here are some fun ideas for the leftovers (two words: fruit leather!).

--Homemade date-sweetened raw chocolate bars sound like a great weekend project (and a good gift idea).

--Fascinating mini-med school presentation about the importance of traditional foods by UCSF integrative physician, Dr. Daphne Miller.


June 2, 2012

pear ginger granola smoothie


I've done a lot of things with granola and with smoothies, but this is the first time I've put them together. A granola smoothie makes for a nice breakfast that's lighter than a bowl of granola, and more satisfying than the usual smoothie; a tasty hybrid.

Pears aren't in season here right now, but when I popped into the local grocery last night to pick up a few staples, a fragrant crate of ripe, golden Bartletts beckoned to me, so there you have it. I blended half the granola into the smoothie for textural oomph, and sprinkled the rest on top for crunch. Gently sweet from the pear and spiced up with fresh ginger and cinnamon, this was a great way to start the morning.

It's going to be a day of lighter eating, to balance things out after our Eataly extravaganza yesterday; I'm already thinking cod baked with herbs and white wine and lots of veggies for dinner.

Have a fun weekend!

////////////////////////////////////////

pear ginger granola smoothie
makes one ~16 ounce smoothie

1 medium ripe pear, cored and diced
1 cup kefir or plain yogurt
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground flax seed
4 tablespoons granola, divided
ice cubes (optional)

Combine pear, kefir or yogurt, ginger, cinnamon, flax, 2 tablespoons granola, and an ice cube or two, if you like, in a blender container. (You can add a little water if you're using very thick yogurt.) Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds, and top with remaining granola.

June 1, 2012

five for friday


This weekend I'm looking forward to staying up past my bedtime, sleeping in, doing some yoga, and of course, playing in the kitchen.

Later today the Yogi and I are off to explore the Batali-Bastianich extravaganza that is Eataly (finally! - can't believe it's taken me nearly 2 years, when my office is a mere 20 blocks away). I'm especially looking forward to checking out the vegetable butcher and rooftop Birreria, and coming home with a nice selection of gianduja treats.

To celebrate the arrival of another wondrous Spring weekend, I thought it would be fun to share some food-related links I've been admiring lately -- five in honor of Friday. Once I started compiling the list, unsurprisingly, I found it nearly impossible to control myself. So much great stuff out there. I was well on my way to creating a Fifteen for Friday, but I reeled myself in and kept it to (about) five.

Here we go (accompanied by some pics taken along my walk home last evening)...