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 =)
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.
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
Soak wrapper in hot water until it becomes pliable and bendy.
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.
To roll it up, first fold up the lower half, keeping everything tightly together
Then fold in either side
And roll it up the rest of the way
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
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.
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 400F
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.
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.
There’s not much that can beat the flavor of creamy ricotta cheese slathered over a slice of fresh baguette – except maybe the flavor of homemade ricotta slathered over a slice of fresh baguette. Make your own cheese? That sounds way too hard. But that’s the wonderful thing about ricotta. It is the easiest cheese to make, and doesn’t take forever. Once you’ve whipped up a batch, you can use it for just about anything. For today, I like the idea of serving it on fresh French or Italian bread as an hors d’oeuvre for guests. Sprinkle it with balsamic, figs, and walnuts for an extra tempting snack ;)
To make about 2 cups, you’ll need:
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth. Then, pour the milk and cream into a pot to boil. Stir occasionally as it heats up, adding in salt as you go. Once it has reached a boil, turn off the flame and stir in the vinegar.
2. Allow the mixture to stand and curdle for about 1 min. Then, pour the mixture into a cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl for 20 to 25 minutes. You may have to occasionally pour out the liquid that collects in the bowl.
3. When cheese is almost finished straining, chop up all of your fresh herb ingredients. Transfer strained cheese to a new bowl, and stir in.
Every day in our cafeteria here at Free People they offer the most interesting soups. Since it’s been summer they’ll usually do one chilled option. I’m always intrigued, but never actually like the sample enough to get it for lunch…until the other day. They made this pineapple gazpacho – sounds weird – but I LOVED its mixture of sweet and spicy so much that I ended up devouring it down for lunch. At home I later tried to replicate the dish and found it’s beyond easy. The only thing is, you’ll need a bit of planning ahead since the dish tastes better chilled in the fridge over night.
For the Gazpacho You’ll Need:
1 Yellow Pepper
½ Sweet Onion
5 Sprigs Cilantro (stems included)
2 tsp Rice Vinegar
½ tsp Spicy Sriracha Sauce
¼ tsp White Pepper
For The Garnish:
¼ Red Pepper
2 Sprigs Cilantro (leaves only)
1. Core & Peel Pineapple. Then cut pineapple, yellow pepper, cucumber, and onion into medium pieces.
2. Throw all gazpacho ingredients into a blender or bowl if you have a hand blender like I do. Puree until texture is smooth.
There are many highlights to summer, but one of my favorites is fresh fruit! It’s probably the easiest thing to prepare, tastes amazing, and can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, and dessert. =)
2 Large mangoes
1 ½ tsp Sugar
Peel & dice mangoes. * Mangoes have a tough center, like with pineapple, which you’ll want to cut around.
Dice strawberries & slice banana.
Cut lime in half & squeeze juice from entire thing onto the salad.
Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour.
You can eat the salad plain, or mix it into Greek yogurt like I did for breakfast one morning. There are so many ways to go about serving it – get creative!
we had a little fourth of july celebration at the office and everyone brought such amazing stuff! if you’re having, or going to, a party this weekend – here’s some tasty inspiration for things to serve or bring :)
and this last one, we didn’t have at our party, but i had to include it:
remember our rainbow tie-dyed cupcakes? follow the same instructions using just red and blue dye, and then add some sprinkles on top!
Brooklyn is such a perfect little hub of culture and beauty. Most people come to New York to see Manhattan, but we think that Brooklyn is where NY’s true beauty is. All of the Free People Brooklyn girls live and work in Brooklyn! We want to take you on a little tour of one of our neighborhood’s prized possessions, Prospect Park!
Prospect Park is 585 acres of gorgeous grass, pond, trees, and sights that touches a handful of neighborhoods that surround it. Summer is when Prospect Park shines; Brooklynites all around the borough come to relax and plant their toes in the grass and enjoy all the events the park hosts.
The Green Market is one of my favorite parts of spring/summer in Prospect Park. It’s a beautiful farmers market that brings produce, dairy, meats and treats from upstate to Grand Army Plaza…
The Green market offers vast varieties of vendors! Anything you can imagine you’ll find at the Green Market; fruits, fish, product, meats, herbs, plants, and delicious treats!
If you are in New York and are looking for a way to treat yourself to amazing foods, stop by the Green Market!
And, I took a different path on my way to the Brooklyn Free People after leaving the Green Market and I came across the most beautiful mosaic house around the corner from our store. It pays off taking a different route every once and awhile :)
As promised, this week’s recipe is one of the many delicious meals from my recent camping trip in the Adirondack Mountains. The bare essentials and need for practicality reminded me how good simple foods like a plain sandwich can be. Even though I got a bit fancier than that for this dinner, there is still a quality of simplicity to the meal that I really like. The challenge of cooking with limited resources was fun and allowed me to get creative. This recipe can be prepared over an open fire or using a grill – I’ll show you how to do it both ways.
½ Red Pepper
1 Small Carton of Whole Baby Portabella Mushrooms
1 Small Sweet Onion
½ Lb. Bay Scallops
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1Tbsp. Fisherman’s Wharf All Natural Seafood Seasoning
Wooden or Metal Kabob Skewers
½ Loaf of Pesto Seasoned Bread
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Fisherman’s Wharf All Natural Seafood Seasoning
We bought all of the ingredients from local mom and pops stores. If you do the same, your kabobs and bruschetta could turn out completely different, but you can still follow the same process.
Slice Lemon in half. Mix together squeeze juice from one half and mix with with olive oil & seasoning for the kabobs. Set aside.
Break off 2 ft. piece of tinfoil. Fold over each edge.
Fold in each corner.
Fold up each side making a wall – pinch together at corners.
Fold over the corners so that they will not leak.
Slice red pepper, onion, and zucchini into fairly large wedge-shaped pieces.
Slide ingredients onto skewers in random order until all are used up. As you finish skewers lay them onto the tinfoil.
Baste skewers using entire lemon/oil/seasoning mixture.
Slice desired amount of bread for bruschetta.
Make anther – smaller – tinfoil boat to place the bread slices into. Mix together bruschetta olive oil, seasoning, and juice from remaining lemon. Baste both slides of each bread slice with the mixture.
To cook over the open fire, cover tinfoil boats with another piece of tinfoil.
You want to separate logs and create a nice spot over hot coals to place the food.
Let cook for about 15-20 min, depending on how hot your coals are. Use a fire mitt when checking to see if they’re cooked or removing them from the fire. Once scallops are cooked, they won’t have that cloudy/clear look they have when they’re raw.
You can also cook everything on the grill. Put the kabobs on first. After about 10minutes add the bruschetta and let grill for another 5-10 minutes.
I don’t personally follow a gluten-free diet, but I have friends who do, so I like to mess around with recipes once in a while. This nut bread is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Normally, the thought of making bread kind of scares me a little. I feel like you need skills I’ve never tried out before, but with this bread it turned out the toughest part was gathering all of the obscure ingredients I needed to make it gluten-free. Once I finally got around to making it, it turned out to be nutty and delicious. It works great for toast in the morning with a little bit of jam =)
1 ½ cups almond flour
¾ cup arrowroot powder
¼ cup flax seed meal
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoonapple cider vinegar
¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
Chop up all nuts that need to be coarsely chopped, and mix all seeds/nuts in a small bowl.
Combine almond flour, arrowroot powder, flaxseed meal, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl, beat eggs well. Then add agave nectar and apple cider vinegar.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet.
Stir in nut/seed mixture
Pour into a well-greased 7.5” x 3.5” bread pan
Bake for about 35 minutes. (You should be able to stick a toothpick/knife into the center and pull it out cleanly.)
Because I escaped the city for this past holiday weekend, I never made it to pick up ingredients for this week’s recipe post. My fridge and food cabinets are something of a vacant wasteland at the moment. In replacement, I thought I’d share one of my favorite vegan recipe blogs, Post Punk Kitchen. The author is a down-to-earth vegan with one good hand in the kitchen. I love her point of view on food, and I often check out her blog for ideas. Here are some of her recipes I’m thinking I must try at home this month:
Creamy Avocado Salad: I’m not huge on mayonnaise-y potato salad because it’s so bad for you, but I’ve never thought of using avocado instead. Oh does this sound delicious.
Spinach Linguine with Edamame Pesto: Edamame is popping up everywhere these days. Just the other day I had a sandwich made with edamame hummus. Who knew? I’m all into exploring its many uses.
Perfect Grilled Portabellas: One of the best parts of summer is grilling. Just because this is traditionally a carnivorous pastime doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing veggie options as well. This recipe gives great tips on how to grill the perfect portabella. It’s also super healthy!
Omg Oven Baked Onion Rings: These onion rings look perfect for entertaining. I’m also thinking they’d go great with those aforementioned bello burgers.
Raw Strawberry Cheesecake: I have to admit, although I rarely eat it, I’m an enormous cheesecake lover. I’ve never thought of making a vegan cheesecake, let alone a completely raw one. I want to try this one out just to see how well it stands up against the real thing.
There are two kinds of people in this world: sweet and salty. I unfortunately, am one of those with a huge sweet tooth. I’m always trying to come up with healthy options that can still satisfy my craving. This berry smoothie is one of my favorites. It’s made with almond milk which gives it the perfect creaminess, and I also throw in a few mint leaves to make it refreshing. The best part? Almost anyone can eat it! It is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. =)
-1 cup frozen strawberries
-1 cup frozen blueberries
-almond milk (approx 1 cup)
-1tbsp mint leaves
You will need either a blender or a hand blender (shown in this example)
Fill measuring cup with berries and mint leaves
Fill with almond milk until just a few berries are poking out on top
Hand blend (or blend) ingredients
Once ingredients have a purplish/pink color you can pour it into a glass or bowl and eat with a spoon.
**now that you’ve made this recipe feel free to experiment with any fruit combination you’d like. I like to stick to frozen fruit because they give it a nice cold iciness!
Fuel your taste buds with new recipes and knowledgeable cooking tips. Healthy food makes for a good heart and great well being. We want to share our love and exploration of food with you in hopes that you pick up something new.