The 10 Best Comeback Foods (and the Chefs Who Love Them)

by in Chefs and Restaurants, Trends, August 28, 2014

brussels sprout
They used to be the stuff that fueled childhood nightmares: forkfuls of overcooked broccoli or endless orbs of bitter Brussels sprouts that had to be endured in order to tackle, finally, the chocolate ice cream. But today’s renditions of green vegetables don’t require nose-holding or the camouflage of cheese in order to win over legions of fans. From the once-maligned spinach that only Popeye fancied to the leafy kale that went on to wildly successful oversaturation, here’s a passel of formerly shunned vegetables (and a few equally undesirable fruits) that chefs have helped give miraculous makeovers. Read more

The Chef’s Take: Grilled Sirloin Tips with Avocado from Tony Maws

by in Chefs and Restaurants, August 27, 2014

grilled sirloin with avocado
It’s 5:30 a.m., and chef Tony Maws is running. Actually, he’s not just running. He’s sprinting up and down the stairs at Harvard Stadium. And he’s not alone. He’s one of 300 this morning, all part of The November Project, a free fitness movement that was originally born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement motivates and encourages people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. And Maws is moving.

At 44, he has a six-year-old son and two of the Boston area’s most popular restaurants, one fine dining, Craigie on Main, and one casual, The Kirkland Tap & Trotter. Known for his rustic farm-to-table style, Maws continually earns recognition as one of the country’s best chefs.

At Kirkland Tap & Trotter, local ingredients are the foundation of a menu that’s mostly cooked on a wood-fired grill, the centerpiece of the restaurant. While Maws knows that most of his guests come to toss back pints of craft beer and get their hands on his slow-roasted pork belly and beer-battered ocean perch, he also understands that Kirkland is a place regulars come to several times a week. “I want this to be a place you can eat at regularly, so there have to be dishes that are not all heavy,” Maws says. To that end, he offers a grilled dayboat swordfish, a Persian-spiced vegetable stew and his killer grilled brochette, a steak skewer perfect for summertime grilling. “It’s simple, but we’re not looking for innovation, we’re looking food delicious. And it’s delicious.” Read more

Breakfast of the Month: Coconut Pancakes with Cherry Compote

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 26, 2014

pancakes with cherry compote

Although these whole-grain pancakes are free of gluten and dairy, they are still decadent in the best way and definitely worthy of a special weekend breakfast. The batter is made up of four different forms of coconut: coconut flour, coconut milk, coconut oil and dried coconut. Since coconut has a naturally sweet flavor, you don’t need much in the way of additional sweeteners for a delicious pancake. Plus, the dried coconut flakes, added to the batter as they cook, result in a delightfully crunchy top. A cherry compote offers a quick and easy way to dress the pancakes up, but they are just a good with lots of fresh berries, summer fruit or even just a smear of jam. Read more

In Search of the Healthiest Dish on the Menu? Help Is on the Way.

by in Food News, August 25, 2014

chalkboard menu

You’re feeling hungry and hankering for some comfort food, so you slip into your local diner and scan the menu, looking for healthy options. You know they’re in there, hidden among the burgers and fries, shakes and floats, waffles and three-egg omelets loaded with cheese. A spinach salad? A fresh fruit plate? A low-cal veggie soup, not too heavy on the sodium? The trick is to find them.

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6 Ways to Celebrate Tomato Time

by in In Season, Tomatoes, August 24, 2014

tomato salad
Plump and juicy tomatoes aren’t just a summertime seduction, they’ve got nutrition credentials as well. They’re low and calories and high in vital nutrients, including choline, fiber and folic acid. They also feature cell-protecting antioxidants lycopene, vitamins A and C, and lutein. (Interestingly, a 2013 study found that organic tomatoes contain more antioxidants than their conventionally grown counterparts.)  But whichever type you buy – and however you prepare tomatoes – just remember not to refrigerate them.

Spicy Green Tomato-Avocado Salad (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Green tomatoes are firmer and less sweet than their red equivalents and downright delish. Pair wedges with heart-healthy avocado and a handful of greens, then add a kick from fresh jalapeno. Read more

Sweet Corn, Three Delicious Ways

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 23, 2014

corn
Along with tomatoes, sweet corn is one of the top favorite foods of summer. When it’s good, it’s sweet, juicy and totally irresistible. Here are two easy and flavorful recipes to make while corn is at its peak, plus one surprising way to enjoy it on the cob (hint: It may have you thinking twice about the need for butter!). Read more

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, August 22, 2014

cupcake
In this week’s news: Cravings could be a gut thing (if not a good thing); the outdated BMI system gets a checkup; and the “all-natural” label is, well, kinda fake.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Microbiome
Don’t blame yourself if you can’t resist that cupcake. Blame your gut bacteria. A new study, published in the journal BioEssays, has found that the bacteria living within us, which are 100 times more numerous than our own cells, may affect the foods we crave as well as our moods. The tiny bacterial overlords, the theory goes, compel us to eat the foods they live best on — perhaps fat or sugar — overriding our healthy eating efforts and propelling us toward obesity. “Bacteria within the gut are manipulative,” says study co-author Carlo Maley, PhD. “There is a diversity of interests represented in the microbiome, some aligned with our own dietary goals, and others not.” Read more

Adding the Yum Factor to Gluten-Free Cooking

by in Cookbooks, August 21, 2014

quinoa

Six years ago, Erin Scott was the happy, food-loving owner of a lifestyle boutique in Oakland, Calif., when she discovered she had celiac disease. The diagnosis transformed her life — not just her eating habits but her career. Instead of wallowing in the downsides of a newfound gluten-free existence, she launched the (now-popular) blog Yummy Supper, spending her days tinkering in the kitchen and taking vibrant photos of the concoctions she made for her family, which includes two gluten-intolerant children.

That passion for creative cooking, and her determination to make “flavorful, seasonal, food that just tastes good,” has spawned the just-arrived Yummy Supper: 100 Fresh, Luscious & Honest Recipes from a {Gluten-Free} Omnivore, with dishes like quinoa tabbouleh (recipe below) and zucchini ribbon “pasta” — not to mention sweets such as pluot parfaits with sunflower seeds.

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The Chef’s Take: Green Olive Tapenade from David Lebovitz

by in Chefs and Restaurants, August 20, 2014

olive tapenade
“When you cook at home, you know exactly what is going into the food you’re eating,” says David Lebovitz, who has been cooking and baking for most of his life — much of it in restaurants. He spent nearly thirteen years at Chez Panisse, working with Alice Waters and pastry chef Lindsey Shere, who became his mentor. He left the famed Berkeley restaurant in 1999 to coincide with the release of his first book, Room for Dessert. And five years later, he moved to Paris with little more than a cast-iron skillet and one French phrase: pain au chocolat.

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Dessert of the Month: Nectarine-Raspberry Crisp with Quinoa Topping

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 19, 2014

nectarine-raspberry crisp
Crisps are one of the best summer desserts. They come together in minutes and can then be left alone to bake — no need to be exact about the timing, just bake until fragrant, golden and bubbling. With crisps, you get everything a pie has to offer in much less time and without any risk of a soggy crust.

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