You could pour this over cockroaches, it would still taste divine; you could dip your mother-in-law in it, and you’d be begging for month-long visits. No need to know how long it’ll last in the refrigerator, because the crack juice won’t last that long!
Carrot Ginger Dressing (otherwise referred to as crack)
This recipe is straight from Gwynnie’s website goop.
- 1 large carrot, peeled, roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot, peeled, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons Ginger, again, chop it.
- 1 tablespoon sweet white miso
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed oil
- 1/4 cup grape seed oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped.
- Add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil, blend again. (I’m of course partial to the Vitamix)
- While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grape seed oil and the water.
Seriously, you could pour this over anything, fish, veggies, your LOVAH… Today I had a salmon salad with cucumbers, radishes, pumpkin seeds, and avocado, over arugula and my head nearly exploded. And it took me all of 5 minutes to whip this up. DELISH!
Shameless Plug: Now I would like to ask something of you, my fine friendly blog-readers. I’ve been certified as a health and nutrition coach, and I am LOVING my new career. Won’t you please “like” my facebook page, One Healthy Mother, if indeed you are a facebooking kind of person? Thanks for your support, and hopefully by doing so, you’ll enjoy things like informative health tips, delicious recipes, cutting edge articles, a few laughs, and perhaps even A VITAMIX GIVEAWAY in the future!!! (jeez, I sound like a politician…)
One Healthy Mother
Well, as it happens, the amazing couple staying at this beach house were not renters, like we expected, but the actual owners, Gail and Bruce Kissell, and they had a FULL house, with their grown kids and most of their grandkids, so yes, indeed, they would be needing their beach chairs, but so nice to meet you anyway! We knew immediately we’d be getting along very well. And Henry was oh-so-happy, play dates for two weeks! I did NOT get the beach chairs I wanted, although Bruce did hand over a couple of “crappy-ass” ones, his words, not mine…but we ended up getting a whole lot more.
|Henry’s new bud, Finn, the smile says it all.|
Everyday, Henry would run over to Finn’s, or Finn and his sister, or cousins, or any of the numerous relatives really, would come over to our place, or we’d convene on the beach. We would give the kids lunch, or Henry would make sure he was over there when Gail was handing out yummy popsicles, or even better, a full meal. The Kissells were so incredibly generous, (except where beach chairs were concerned, of course), always inviting Henry to stay over for dinner, and just as steadfastly, sending him on his way when it was time to bring the long summer day to a close. (Henry thought he was VERY grown up, walking the 20 yards home on the beach by himself, as the sun was setting.)
One morning, sweet Bruce dropped off a bucket of Quahogs, a shellfish abundantly found in the warmer coves of Cape Cod.
Bruce said, “The family went clammin’, and these were the leftovers.” He had a way of loving you and slapping you at the same time, it was very endearing. This is the cove they got the Quahogs from, just out our front door, not bad, huh?
|Note: No warning signs….yet|
No biggie that in the next day or so there was a sign posted about the bacteria levels in the cove, “NO CLAMMING!” but we chose to ignore that, and, well, none of us got sick…plus, I didn’t want Bruce and Gail to think I was a wuss.
‘Course being from Detroit, I had no idea how to stuff a Quahog, so in typical (we were old friends at this point) Bruce-fashion, he appeared on our porch with a lemon and some homemade spicy cocktail sauce. The timing was perfect, I had just steamed the Quahogs, following Bruce’s directions exactly, only letting them open a touch to ensure their tenderness, and pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees.
|Steamed to a tee|
Being a novice, I needed some lessons on shucking. That’s when we got busy. And when I say “we,” I mean Bruce. He cracked these babies open like a pro, and I, well, watched. Then I scraped and pulled all the meat out of the shells and cleaned ’em up for proper stuffing, removing as much grit and slimy stuff as possible.
It’s the Vineyard, clothing is often frowned upon.
I sautéed some garlic and onions, threw those in the Cuisinart, along with the steamed Quahog meat, lemon juice, cocktail sauce, herbed bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Chopped it all up together, placed the clean shells on a baking sheet, and spooned the stuffing into the shells.
I baked these for about 15 minutes, until they were nice and brown. Squirted a little lemon juice on top, with a splash of Tobasco sauce, and we could NOT stop eating these, until they were nice ‘n gone.
|A Vineyard delicacy|
I could not have done this without my new pal, Bruce, and could not have had NEARLY as much fun on this vacation if we had planned it with our closest friends. To all the Kissells, all gazillion of you, thank you for the best two weeks ever, and here’s to next summer!
I received my box from Farm Fresh To You today, had a look, liked what I saw, and proceeded to make no plans for dinner. My hubby’s been out of town a lot these days, so it’s been Henry and I for dinner, which is pretty easy preparation in comparison, so my planning brain has been on a mini vacation.
Friends, I must reiterate something here now, something I haven’t stated in a while, but still boggles my mind: 7 YEARS AGO I COULD NOT COOK! I don’t mean I couldn’t braise pork properly, I mean I couldn’t BOIL AN EGG! So the fact that at the last minute, after said hubby landed at LAX, I was able to create such a delicious dinner, is somewhat remarkable to me (and those who know me well). I swung by Lindy & Grundy, my amazing neighborhood butchers, who only carry local, pastured and organic meats, (not cheap!), and got us some boneless chicken thighs, (which I marinated in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon juice, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper), had cooked up a big pot of pinto beans earlier, quickly made some quinoa, and then created this side dish: ROASTED SWEET PEPPERS. Your head will explode, they’re THAT delicious. (And so easy, of course, my mantra) I swiped this recipe from my CSA who supplies my farm box full of veggies and fruits.
6-7 sweet peppers, cored and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons of thyme (or your favorite herb)
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (optional, but recommended!)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Toss peppers, garlic, herb and olive oil together. Season peppers with salt and pepper. Spread peppers on a baking sheet and cook for about 5 minutes. (peppers will be soft, not charred)
|I feel like you can smell these from this picture...|
Can’t. Stop. Eating. This.
- Organic dried cranberries
- Chopped walnuts
- Diced red onion
- Chopped parsley
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Then my husband took a bite and said, “This is like crack.”
I love a nice, steamed artichoke, luuuuuurv, in fact. But after I’m into artichoke season for a while, I start to wonder, “What else can I do with this thing?” Well, I was talking with my new, fabulous Health Counseling client, (yup, launched my new business: One Healthy Mother, more on that soon), about a large portion of her life she spent living in Italy, (hence, the fabulous!), and truth be told, we were going over some no-no foods for her initial health goals, and with a sniffle she began revealing different Italian dishes she’ll miss dreadfully. (She ADORES a good, fresh Italian pasta dish, who doesn’t!?) And she told me about this sauce they just throw together in Italy on any given day during artichoke season. I MUST go there!
Me: HOW DO WE LIKE OUR RECIPES?
Me: WHEN DO WE LIKE THEM SIMPLE?
This is so simple, fresh, and delicious that I must share it with you. My client tells me to just scrape the meat from the leaves of a steamed artichoke:
|M’fingers got tired…|
|Pile ‘O scraped leaves|
Sautée some garlic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan on medium heat, add the artichoke scrapings, then mix in the pasta of your choice. Mine is quinoa pasta. Sprinkle of cheese and TA-DA! A yummy, fresh, artichoke-infused pasta dish. lovely. Henry ate it very, very fast.
|It’s ALL raw|
At a meal where succulent grass-fed filet mignon, which barely needs to graze the grill to cook, and makes your mouth water from 9 feet away, takes second place, tonight RAW BALLS comes out the clear winner. Ladies and Gentlemen….RAW BALLS!!! (Yes, I just like to say raw balls.)
My brand spankin’ new sister-in-law, Lisa–
|The nuptials in Aspen. Best. Wedding. Ever.|
sent me this recipe, informing me that it was super yummy but in need of a new name. RAW BALLS just wasn’t appetizing, but she’s a southern lady. Well this mutha thinks it’s perfect. “After dinner, I’ll be serving Raw Balls.” “Did you enjoy the Raw Balls?” “Have you tasted Leslie’s Raw Balls??!” Come on, how could you rename these little guys?
Makes 12 – 16 balls
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raw cacao (the recipe called for raw carob or cocoa powder, but I used cacao because of all it’s nutrients as a superfood)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup whole almonds
1-2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
Place walnuts in a food processor and process until coarsely ground. Add the dates and pulse until well combined with the nuts.
Add the cacao powder, syrup, almond butter, vanilla and salt. Process until the mixture is thick and smooth.
These balls are DIVINE! All raw ingredients, never cooked, just chopped, mixed, rolled, and frozen. They’re addictive and perfect. I did have a little problem with my food processor, to be perfectly honest. When I added the cacao, syrup and almond butter, she just stopped. Wouldn’t budge. I’m not sure why this was, as it didn’t happen to Lisa, and I thought my Cuisinart could move through mortar, but that wasn’t the case. In the future, I would probably stir it manually at that stage, and chop the almonds beforehand. The almonds ended up whole in my recipe because of this, and it still worked great, but I might futz around with it a little next time, and OOOOOOH there WILL be a next time!
|“What’s in that?”|
Have a look. You know you want it.
|Henry likes Jen a little bit|
|On the face.|
|Chock Full o’ Goodness|
- Sliced, Fresh Ginger
- Cucumber (peeled)
- Lemon (peeled)
- Banana (peeled)
- Frozen Pineapple
|Ain’t she a beaut?|
|“Won’t you please help my mommy make a living?”|
Not my proudest photographic achievement, but no matter, it was DELISH! Just to prove something to my alma mater, School of Visual Arts, here is my turkey from Thanksgiving. I BBQ’d this beast and it was quite nice. Okay, they’re not exactly Henri Cartier-Bresson photographs, but they’re better than the ones of my squash!
And here’s my first carving endeavor:
|A good day for me and my guests, not so good for Mr. Turkey|
|New haircut, Moe-like bangs, no?|
and my neighbor liked it a whole lot. My hubby doesn’t care much for butternut squash, so my vegetarian neighbor WINS!
Enjoy your winter vegetables, friends, ’tis the season. Speaking of which, happy holidays to one and all, spread peace and love, that would be cool.
I started receiving a weekly box of veggies and fruit from a delicious, organic farm in Capay Valley, CA, Farm Fresh To You. They deliver once a week, or once every two weeks, and so on; you can choose the size of box you want, if you’d like mostly fruit, mostly veggies, a mix, you name it, they have an array of choices. It’s 100% certified organic, you get news about the farm, recipes, a list of produce you’ve received, and you can also, of course, “friend” them on Facebook, and get lots of recipe ideas. Oh, and the best idea in terms of customer satisfaction, you get a free box for every friend you refer. (Insert “Leslie Burns” as your friend here.) It’s genius. Please support them.
|No big deal, just an amazing box of produce on your doorstep|
I’ve been doing it for about a month now, and first of all, I love that I’m able to be a part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), something I’ve wanted to get involved in for a while; it allows my family to not only eat organically, but ensures that I’m buying local, seasonal food, directly from a farmer. I like to think I own shares in a farm, and those shares are delivered directly to me every week. I’m a farmer! Okay, I’m a farmer’s assistant! ALRIGHT! I’m an urban-dwelling mom who doesn’t often visit a farm, doesn’t know how to operate a hoe, but does enjoy practicing being one!!! (does own a pair of overalls….)
The most enjoyable part for me, though, “hoe-ing” aside, is getting produce I would never buy and figuring out what to make with it. Turns out persimmons are lovely in a quinoa/spinach salad, (thanks to Sophia for showing me when they’re ripe, much tastier), spaghetti squash does indeed replace actual pasta quite well, a delectable substitute, and aaaaaaaaaah, the ultimate tasteless vegetable, zucchini. I had six of them, and I didn’t know what to do with ’em. Sure, I could fry ’em up, nothing tastes bad fried, but that’s not the healthiest option, we don’t fry in this house, and sure they’re okay in the summer, grilled on the bbq, but to be honest, they’re not my favorite veggie. Until…..
Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread from the gluten-free goddess!
|NOT the gluten-free goddess|
This was so damn good, I made two back-to-back. The family couldn’t keep their hands off of ’em, they only lasted a day or so. They’re great gifts, in fact, now I understand why bakers are always bringing their stuff over, it’s so fun to give this shit away. People really enjoy it.
Now, I’ve never baked a thing in my life. Hell, I just started occupying a kitchen, (no wall street pun intended), 7 years ago, but I’ve been missing out, this stuff rules, it’s fun to make, easy, and there’s NO CHOPPING!
You can make this with or without eggs, and it’s dairy-free. Also, I substituted organic agave instead of brown sugar.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (I set mine at 325 degrees because, once again, Sophia saved my ass and informed me that when using agave, you decrease your oven temp by 25 degrees, and increase your baking time by about 10 minutes, because agave can burn.) Google THAT!
Line the bottom of your 9 or 10″ loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly oil it. (Didn’t do this the first time, DID do it the second. I recommend it, made life a little easier, I didn’t have to shake it and bang it…I’m learning people.)
1 cup peeled, and grated zukes (I used a little more the second time, and it was better)
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca startch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup agave (or 1 cup brown sugar)
1/3 cup light olive oil or coconut oil (I used coconut)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2 free-range organic egg whites, beaten, or egg replacer (1/4 cup liquid)
1/4 cup coconut milk
Option: (which I happily took, the walnut route)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I even went with a little more than 1/3 cup, but I’m nutty! These are the jokes, people.)
Press the zucchini in between paper towel to soak up as much moisture as you can, then fluff with a fork.
In a large mixing bowl, mix up the sorghum flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, sea salt, and cinnamon. Add in the agave (or brown sugar).
Add the oil, lemon juice, egg whites, and the coconut milk. Beat on medium-high until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Add in almost all of the zucchini, leaving out some shreds to bake on top for decoration. Stir by hand to combine. If you’re adding nuts, stir them in now.
Scoop, pour, scrape, get it all into that prepared loaf pan and even out the top.
Add shreds of zucchini on top.
Bake in the center of your preheated oven until the top is golden brown and firm, yet gives a bit when lightly touched. It should feel springy. Could take anywhere from 50 to 60 minutes, mine took 65 with the agave. Test with a thin knife, it should emerge with no crumbs or batter on it.
*A good tip about gluten-free baking: You want your batter to be room temperature, not cold from the fridge.
And there it is. Toast that stuff up in the morning, throw a little butter or jam on it, and fuhgeddaboudit! Do that again in the afternoon, repeat before bed, and you’ll see very quickly how fast this zucchini bread disappears. Scrumptious.
|I’m a baker now!|