Post image for Chilled Lentil Salad

Most people do not eat many lentils, but they’re a great food to try and incorporate into your diet more often. Technically legumes, they are high in protein (especially great for vegetarians), and have a multitude of vitamins like magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin B.  They’re also good to lower cholesterol, but perhaps the best part is that these little guys are extremely filling which isn’t always the case with healthy foods.

I’ve been trying to eat lentils more often, and this week’s recipe is my first stab at a chilled lentil salad. I used to think that lentils were hard to cook, and generally stayed away from them. After reading up a bit, I realized I was wrong – they’re just about as easy to cook as rice. Some might think lentils can get a bit bland, but that’s why I’ve added some kick with Serrano peppers for this recipe. The onions throughout help to add a bit of crunch, and the spinach is just plain tasty. This is a great to-go lunch or side dish for dinner.

photo incorporates tomatoes which aren’t in this recipe, but feel free to add them in! (via the grub daily)

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Dried Green Lentils

6 Cups of Hot Water

5 Cups of Spinach

3 Serrano Peppers

1 Red Onion

½ Tbsp Cumin Seeds

½ Tbsp Minced Ginger

2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil

Directions:

Pour dried lentils into a strainer and pick over for any bad looking bits.

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Rinse a few times, mixing around with your hand to be sure every piece gets rinsed well.

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Throw into a pot, with 6 cups of hot water, and let cook for about 25-30 minutes.

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Slice onion and peppers, mince ginger, and throw into a saucepan with grapeseed oil to sauté.

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While that is sautéing mix cumin seeds into your lentils, and then begin to stir in spinach. You’ll have to stir it in bit by bit as bulky spinach moistens and wilts, creating space to add more.

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Once onions begin to appear transparent, mix everything in the sauce pan into your lentils. Let sit until they reach room temperature, and then stick them in the fridge to chill overnight.

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Okay, it’s not the prettiest food out there, but it sure is delicious – and good for you!

chelsea -Oct 13, 2011, 1:33PM
this looks super yummy - especially on a cold winter night
-Oct 04, 2011, 9:38PM
its in the fridge as we speak! i wish i didnt have to wait overnight to try it!! im so impatient!

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Post image for Superfood Sushi Salad Bowl

This week’s recipe is part 2 of my coverage on Julie Morris’s recipe book, Superfood Cuisine.   This time around as a big sushi lover, I decided to replicate her Sushi Salad Bowl.  I’d never thought of putting a salad like this together before, but with the first bite, I quickly fell in love. I think what makes it so delicious is a combination between the Nori sheets and ginger dressing (I’m a huge love of ginger dressing). These two ingredients combined, I just couldn’t get enough. Dare I say, I might even like it more than sushi. I paired the salad with a side of edamame, put my new Hong Kong-purchased chopsticks to use, and had a wonderful dinner. It was simple to throw together, and I can’t wait to share this guilt-free dinner with friends.

Ingredients:

3 ½ Cups of cooked brown or wild rice (about 1 ¼ cups uncooked)

3 Cups of Sunflower Sprouts (or any other sprouts you’d like to use – I used an alfalfa blend)

1 Handful onion sprouts (or scallions)

4 Nori Sheets

1 Carrot

Ginger or Shoyu dressing to taste

Directions:

Throw sprouts into a large bowl. Grate carrot, (if you’re using scallions) chop scallions, and throw them into the bowl along with sprouts.

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Cut 4 Nori sheets in half.

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Make one pile, and cut in half again.

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Make one pile, and now cut them going the other way to make lots of small strips.

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Scatter the Nori sheets around. Once you add the dressing they will clump together if they’re all in one place.

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Make sure rice is room temperature, and add it to the mixture.

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Mix it all up.

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Add dressing & mix again.

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Serve!

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-Sep 29, 2011, 2:12PM
Just prepared this for lunch. IT. IS. DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for the recipe. This will definitely become a staple.
karen -Sep 25, 2011, 11:06PM
Good! Will try this weekend! Thank you!

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Post image for Superfood Watermelon Chia Fresca

One of our amazing readers, Julie Morris, is an employee for Navitas Naturals and just came out with her very own recipe book, Superfood Cuisine. She kindly sent me a copy of the recently published book, and I have to say, it’s amazing. The whole concept is cooking delicious cuisine with high-energy, nutrient-rich ingredients – superfoods. She defines superfoods as natural food with an exceptionally high nutrient density (nutrient:calories). They are ingredients that help to rejuvenate the body and keep the mind sharp. The funny thing is that most of these ingredients (mostly fruits, roots, seeds, plants, and berries) were discovered long ago by ancient cultures, but have since lost their popularity. The book is packed with info on superfoods. If you’re interested in learning more on why they’re so good to incorporate into your diet, I suggest picking up a copy.

I decided to recreate one of the many delicious looking recipes in Julie’s book for this week’s recipe. Watermelon Chia Fresca is made using the superfood chia seeds. These tiny seeds were originally used by the Aztec, Incas, and Mayans to increase stamina on a long journey. They are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber (1tbsp = ¼ daily fiber needs), and important minerals like calcium and iron. Another fun fact about Chia seeds is that they can absorb 9x their own weight in water which means that once in the stomach they will expand and increase your feeling of being full. Check out this delicious fresh beverage using the powerful superfood, and stay tuned next week for another of Julie’s recipes.

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Water

2 Teaspoons of Chia Seeds

2 ½ Cups of Chopped Watermelon Flesh

1 ½ Tablespoons Fresh Lime Juice

Stevia or Agave Nectar to taste (I used Agave)

Directions:

Combine water and chia seeds. Stir.

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Place into the fridge for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, take out and stir. Then place back into the fridge for another 10 minutes. This allows the chia seeds to plump up.

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Place chia mixture and remaining ingredients into a blender and blend.

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Chill and then serve.

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sharron -Jun 08, 2013, 7:01PM
Yummy. I didn't think it needed a sweetener
Jordan -Sep 22, 2011, 2:06PM
This was so light and yummy! Even my 12 and 13 year old brothers had some :) I would definitely make this again. I think it would be a perfect punch for a party.

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Post image for Homemade Tomato Sauce

As requested, a recipe for delicious, fresh, homemade tomato sauce.

If there’s one thing an Italian child is raised on, it’s tomatoes. Italians are obsessed with tomatoes. I’ve even seen it go as far as a dinner conversation centered around the different kinds of tomatoes and their individuals uses – for a whole hour! Anyways, their obsession led to tomato sauce, which is something I think many of us could not live without. They’ve perfected it into one of the world’s best comfort foods, and it’s also pretty easy to make. I’ve taken tips from various individuals and come up with my own personal recipe. There’s nothing like homemade tomato sauce, so enjoy :)

Ingredients:

1 – 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 – 6oz Can of Tomato Paste

2 Extra Large Garlic Cloves (minced)

Approx 10 Basil Leaves (ripped into thirds)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

10 Cherry Tomatoes

½ Cup 2% Milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Directions:

Place olive oil, garlic, and half of your basil into a sauce pan to sauté

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Once your garlic is browned, lower the heat as low as it will go, add in tomato paste and whole peeled tomatoes (it’s important to lower the heat A LOT so that it doesn’t explode all over you when you pour in the peeled tomatoes). Sprinkle with oregano, add remaining basil, and stir.

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Turn the heat up to about a medium flame. Once it starts boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5-10minutes.

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While the tomato sauce is thickening you’ll want to peel the skins off of your cherry tomatoes. After you’ve peeled them, quarter each one.

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Once the sauce is almost to the desired consistency, put water on to boil for your pasta. As you do this, add the cherry tomatoes into the mixture so they have about 5-10 minutes of simmer time. Once you’re ready to throw in the pasta, turn off the sauce’s burner, and slowly stir in milk. Let sit until pasta is ready.

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Drizzle over or mix into pasta.

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kaleigh -Sep 13, 2011, 3:25PM
i made this tonight with organic whole wheat pasta, absolutly delicious! thank you for sharing :}
Corina -Sep 12, 2011, 4:32PM
This looks amazing. It's very similar to a recipe one of my aunts gave me (sans milk). There's nothing like homemade pasta sauce. :)

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Post image for DIY Inspiration

Hey guys! I’m not quite ready to share the results of my natural dye experimentation just yet… i need a little more time, so check back for that next week! To hold you over, here’s a lovely little idea from Liz of Late Afternoon:

Spice up ice water (or any beverage for that matter!) by putting berries and flowers in your ice cubes! Just drop them in the ice cube trays before freezing :)  This would be such a sweet touch for a party!

Taylor -Sep 08, 2011, 10:32AM
Ashley- There is a very similar color nailpolish at urban outfitters! http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=18986992&itemdescription=true&navAction=jump&color=049&selectedProductSize=false
Ashley -Sep 08, 2011, 7:31AM
Can I ask whar nail polish you are wearing in this pic?

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Post image for Breakfast of Champions

I’ve been waking up really early, and rather than lay there tossing and turning trying to fall back asleep, I’ve decided to put my mornings to good use. Like a crazy person I’ve been getting up and putting in early morning workouts. It’s great to get it out of the way, but it definitely leaves you wanting a good recharge with breakfast.  As a solution, I’ve put together a great post-workout morning meal that is full of healthy energy and protein. The combination of nuts, seeds, and fruit helps rebuild those muscles, and gets you set to conquer the day.

Ingredients:

2 Slices of Flax Seed Bread

½ Banana

Almond Butter

Honey

Flax Seeds

Directions:

Spread almond butter on one slice of bread

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Cut banana lengthwise into three slices and lay them on top of the almond butter.

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Place both halves into a toaster oven (or regular oven) until both slices of bread are toasted.

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Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with flax seeds

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Place seconds slice on top, cut in half, and eat!

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-Sep 07, 2011, 10:04PM
This looks delicious for any meal! Sarah Jane is right about the flax seeds though. Also try Chia seeds. They are nutritional powerhouse(s?) and nice to sprinkle on yogurt.
-Sep 06, 2011, 9:15AM
That looks yummy

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Post image for Tiger in a Jar’s Beet Cake

Fp Naomi, our resident chef, is away in Hong Kong right now so for today’s recipe I thought I’d share this video I came across recently. The recipe is for a cake made with beets, and although yes that does sound interesting and potentially delicious, what I love about it is the beauty of this video – it’s magically done, focusing on the physical act of making something as an art form. I couldn’t take my eyes away!

beet cake from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Check out their blog, Tiger in a Jar – I’m in love with pretty much everything they do.

tallie -Sep 03, 2011, 1:59PM
I accidentally made an extra cup of beet puree. I cut the recipe in half and put just one chocolate square in. The batter was a beautiful light pink. I used it to make cupcakes instead of cake and they were divine!
Bryer -Aug 30, 2011, 9:38PM
What a perfect way to sneak beets into your diet! I love beets and eat them daily as I have low iron. Unfortunately, my bf does not share my love of beets. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I now have a way of making sure that he eats his beets too! bcoram.blogspot.com

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Post image for Fiery Sweet Potato Gnocchi

In reference to our Venetian theme this month, this week’s recipe is another of my favorite Italian-inspired recipes. Growing up my family made traditional potato gnocchi. It was always a huge production. My father and I would spend hours, rolling out hundreds of little gnocchi, preparing three different sauces, and, in the end, having a gnocchi fest with family and friends. Every person had to try the gnocchi with each sauce, falling in love anew with every bite. In the end, everyone was stuffed and happy…or uncomfortable from overeating – but – still happy…

Now that I’ve grown older and expanded my cooking experimentations, I’ve started making gnocchi with sweet potatoes. They’re a variation on the traditional version – a little healthier, and a little spicier. I don’t make hundreds, so it’s a bit less time consuming, but it still takes a while to make them. The following recipe will yield enough for 4-5 people – depending on how much you can eat. I made a homemade tomato sauce to go with them (I’ll can give you all this recipe another week if you’re interested), but they’re also good with butter & sage or any tomato/diavolo sauce you have.

Ingredients:

2 Large Sweet Potatoes

1 Baking Potato

1 Egg

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

½ Tsp Dried Oregano

Pinch of salt

All Purpose Flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375˚F

Peel and dice sweet potatoes, then mix with olive oil, red pepper, and oregano in a roasting dish.

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Cover dish with tinfoil, and then place in the oven to cook until potatoes are extremely tender (approx. 1/2hr)

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Place baking potato to boil until it is also extremely tender (approx. 1/2hr)

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Let both potatoes cool. Once the baking potato is cool enough to handle, peel and dice it. Then throw both the sweet potatoes and the baking potato together into a large mixing bowl.

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Using a hand blender or rice mill blend both together until fairly creamy

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Using a wooden spoon, mix in egg & a pinch of salt.

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Still using a wooden spoon and working quickly, mix in flour until mixture reaches a doughy consistency. Towards the end I usually ditch the spoon and work it with my hands. It should still stick to your fingers a bit, but be thick enough to roll out once you’ve reached the right texture. It’s important to work fast so that you don’t have to add too much flour which will result in heavy gnocchi.

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You’re now ready to roll out the gnocchi. Set yourself up on a table, or with enough counter space. You’ll need flour and a fork. Pour some flour on the surface, and cover your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick.

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To roll out the gnocchi you first toll the dough into little logs about ½” thick. Then, using the fork, cut them into approx. 1” segments. Once you’ve done so, press the fork lightly on top to make little ridges. This is a little trick passed down through my family to help them cook just right, and it also makes them pretty.

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After you’ve rolled them out, you’ll want to place the finished pieces on a towel until you are ready to cook them.

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To cook the gnocchi you’ll want to set a pot of water to boil. Once it has reached a boil, drop in about 8 gnocchi at a time. Once they are cooked they will start to float, and you can scoop them out with a spatula or something with holes to let the water through.

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Each serving is about 15 pieces. Drizzle with your desired sauce, garnish, and serve!

Buon Appetito!

fp naomi -Sep 06, 2011, 4:21PM
melissa - keep an eye out this sunday!
Melissa -Sep 06, 2011, 11:44AM
When is the sauce recipe coming? :)

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Gelato al Bacio

Post image for Gelato al Bacio

With this month’s catalog shot in Venice, I thought I’d give you all a recipe for one of my favorite Italian foods – gelato. This is a recipe that my grandma or aunt will whip up almost every time I visit them in Italy. I never really make it at home, so it’s earned a spot in my heart as one of those special treats I get whenever I visit my favorite place in the whole world. It’s made with hazelnuts and chocolate, like the Italian candy, Baci, from which it gets its name. More familiarly, it has a nutella-like flavoring, but whatever you relate it to, it’s a dream that melts in your mouth. Now that I have a vat of it in my fridge, it’s been really hard to stay away.

Try it out for yourself if you dare =P

Ingredients:

1 Egg

1 1/3 Cups Whole Milk

100 Grams of Dark Chocolate

¾ (generous) Cup of sugar

¾ Cups of ground hazelnuts

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

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Directions:

Beat egg, 1 cup of milk, and vanilla extract together in a large bowl.

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Place sugar, chocolate, 1/3 cup of milk, ¼ cup of hazelnuts into a pot, and place over a low flame. Keep stirring until chocolate is fully melted and sugar is dissolved.

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Pour melted chocolate mixture into milk/egg mixture, add remaining hazelnuts, and stir vigorously until fully blended together.

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Pour into a bread pan, and let cool for a bit. Once it has reached room temperature, stick the whole thing in the fridge over night.

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After a night in the fridge to freeze, it should be ready to serve nde

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Katharina -Aug 16, 2011, 9:47PM
This sounds so delicious! I'm a serious food lover :D And Newman's Own makes awesome dark chocolate. Have you tried their orange dark chocolate? XOXO!
Sandy -Aug 16, 2011, 2:01PM
That looks absolutely divine! I could totally go for some authentic Italian gelato. It's been years since I've been there but I can remember that on my shoe-string budget, gelato meals were about all I could afford!

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Post image for Kombucha Sangria

This recipe idea came to me one day when I was out for drinks with a couple friends sipping on sangria. The restaurant we were at made a carbonated sangria. Sipping it down, I had a stroke of genius right then and there. I wondered what it would be like to use Kombucha instead of whatever club soda/sprite type thing they used (Kombucha is a fermented drink said to bolster immunity and be good for one’s health). So a week later I tried it out. It still had that fruity flavor with a kick of bubbles like the one at the restaurant, and the Kombucha served as a nice contribution to keep it from getting too sweet. It was also extremely easy to make. Needless to say, it’s delicious, and I stand by my statement that the idea was truly a stroke of genius. Let me know if you agree =)

Ingredients:

3 Cups Fruit Juice (I used cranberry/rassberry)

6oz Pineapple Juice

16oz Kombucha

2 Cups red wine or non alcoholic wine

2 Cups Sliced Strawberries

2 Cups Sliced Pineapple

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Directions:

Pour it all into a pitcher, mix, and chill!

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Kevin -Oct 27, 2011, 8:27PM
I made it with my very own kombucha it was great I ordered my kombucha from www.royalkombucha.com Thanks for the tip.
Planet Blue -Aug 09, 2011, 5:05PM
GENIUS!!!!! Definitely going to try this before summer is over. xoxo, PB

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Post image for Summer Spring Rolls

I love spring rolls, but when they’re fried, I can’t really eat them without feeling some guilt. That’s why these rice paper spring rolls are great. Fill them up with fruit and veggies, and you have a guilt free, fresh, summer hors d’oeuvre. You can find the rice paper wrappers at any Asian market, or I usually buy mine from our local Whole Foods. Messing around with combinations for filling is half the fun, but this combo has proven to be a favorite amongst my friends. It’s also one of my own favorites – easy, no cook, and so utterly fresh tasting.

You’ll Need:

1 avocado cut into slices

1 mango, peeled and sliced into strips

½ cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 carrot, shredded

4 leaves of red leaf lettuce, torn up into pieces

2 sprigs of cilantro

9 rice paper wrappers

Basin filled with hot water to soak wrappers in

Directions:

Soak wrapper in hot water until it becomes pliable and bendy.

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Take the rice paper out, and lay it out on a kitchen towel to absorb some of the excess water. Pile on a bit of each ingredient right in the center of the wrapper.

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To roll it up, first fold up the lower half, keeping everything tightly together

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Then fold in either side

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And roll it up the rest of the way

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Do the same for each spring roll. Serve with any dipping sauce you would like. Chili dipping sauce or soy sauce are two that taste great

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-Aug 02, 2011, 11:27AM
These look amazing!! Guess I'm stopping at the Asian market today...
Alexandra -Aug 02, 2011, 10:00AM
Yum! I have been making these for the past few summers, they are one of my favorites! I am going to try it with the mangoes, that sounds delicious. I usually make a dipping sauce with peanut butter, hoisin sauce, hot sauce and hot chilli flakes. xox

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Post image for Teriyaki Cod with Broccoli Rabe and Brown Rice

This week’s recipe is more of an entire meal, and, I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit more difficult than the recipes I usually post. This is one to pull out when you have a good amount of time to cook, and you want to impress a group of friends (or whoever) with an entire delicious meal.

The coolest part of this Asian-inspired meal is that you’ll be able to tell everyone you made your own teriyaki sauce. Who does that, right? It’s easier than you’d think. It’s all about letting it boil down to the right consistency which can take a while. The broccoli rabe is the perfect light accompaniment to go along with the flavorful fish. Top the plate off with simple brown rice, to fill your guests up.

Recipe makes enough for 3

Image via here

Fish Ingredients:

1.5lbs of Cod

1tsp Ginger

¾ Cup Orange Juice

¼ Cup Mirin

½ Cup Soy Sauce

1 Garlic

1 Scallion stem

Broccoli Rabe Ingredients:

15 Stems of full, leafy broccoli Rabe

1tbsp Grapeseed Oil

2 Garlic Cloves cut into quarters

1 Cup Water

Brown Rice Ingredients:

1 Cup Brown Rice

2.5 Cups Water

3 Scallion Stems

1tbsp Butter or oil

Instructions:

  1. Place orange juice, mirin, soy sauce, and ginger into a large sauce pan at high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower the heat and let simmer until it reaches a thicker consistency. Approx 30-40min.
  2. When teriyaki sauce is half way done, place butter and scallions in a small pot to sauté for about 2 minutes. Add brown rice & water. Cover pot until water has evaporated and rice is cooked. Turn off flame, and let sit, coved, until rest of meal is ready.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F
  4. Cook the cod in the sauce pan with the teriyaki sauce for about 4 minutes. Then place it in a flat, oven-safe pan. Pour left-over teriyaki sauce over the fish & add chopped scallions. Cook in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  5. Using the same sauce pan, add grapeseed oil and garlic for broccoli rabe. Once garlic is sautéed, add broccoli rabe and water to cook for about 5 minutes. Once it is fully wilted, like cooked spinach almost, it will be done. You may have to pour out excess water.
DM -Jul 25, 2011, 11:44AM
That looks delicous! Thanks.. will have to try this.

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