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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10 Health Foods We’re All Saying the Wrong Way (Kefir, Anyone?)

by in Healthy Tips, August 18, 2014

kefir

It’s a cruel fact: Many of the foods that are potentially good for us also have names seemingly designed to trip us up. Who among us did not have the red-in-the-face moment of learning that quinoa wasn’t pronounced “kee-noah”? To spare us all future embarrassment in the aisles of the Health Food Hut, here’s a guide to several food words known to cause verbal stumbles.

Acai
What it is: This dark purple berry is now ubiquitous in health-food store products everywhere, thanks to its reputed superfood powers. It’s a storehouse of antioxidants and may help support the immune system.
How to say it: You’ll sound like a pro at the smoothie shack when you ask to have “ah-sah-EE” added to the mix.

Agar (also, Agar-Agar)
What it is: This gelatinous substance is derived from red algae and used as a thickener and gelling agent in foods like puddings, jelly candies, soups and sauces. Because it comes from a plant (unlike gelatin, which is derived from animals), it’s popular with vegetarians and vegans who can’t resist a good pudding.
How to say it: It’s pronounced “AH-ger,” which, beer lovers will note, rhymes with lager.

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5 Next-Level Gazpachos

by in Healthy Recipes, August 17, 2014

charred tomato gazpacho
No need to pigeonhole a perfectly good chilled tomato soup to its classic definition. Instead, let go of your preconceived concepts and you’ll see gazpacho was just waiting to break loose.

Charred Tomato Gazpacho (above, from Food Network Magazine)
Smoky grilled tomatoes take the chill off this otherwise cold gazpacho. But the sultry cumin-coriander oil really makes it sizzle.

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When It Comes to Healthier Grilling, How to Tame the Flames and More

by in Healthy Tips, August 16, 2014

grilled chicken
With the middle of August somehow already here, fans of open-flame cooking are right to embrace the last stretch of grilling season with as much fervor as possible. But is it possible to fire up the grill without flaring up the health risks?

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Put Up Your Cukes: Umpteen Things to Make with Cucumbers

by in Healthy Recipes, August 15, 2014

glazed cucumbers

With all that summer has to offer in the way of showy vegetables (squash blossoms, anyone?) and fleeting stars (get your heirloom tomatoes while they’re here!), cucumbers can easily be overlooked. But not anymore.

Glazed Cucumbers
Never cooked a cucumber before? Now’s your big chance. Simmer slices in a little butter and water until tender, season them with dill and salt — and then pile atop pumpernickel bread.

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When Cravings Call, What Are They Saying?

by in Diets & Weight Loss, August 14, 2014

http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2014/08/14/when-cravings-call-what-are-they-saying/

We all get cravings, but when they come in the form of high-sugar and calorie-dense foods, it’s our waistlines that suffer the consequences. But understanding the messages behind cravings can make it easier to resist the siren call of certain foods.

Why We Crave
One theory as to why we crave specific foods so intensely is that the body is deficient in a nutrient that food contains. For example, we desperately crave potato chips because our body is in need of salt. This theory, unfortunately, lacks scientific evidence to back it up.

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The Chef’s Take: Chickpea Crepes from Ryan Angulo

by in Chefs and Restaurants, August 13, 2014

socca
When Doug Crowell opened Buttermilk Channel in Brooklyn in 2008, the crowds were lured by chef Ryan Angulo’s hearty Americana fare: buttermilk fried chicken and cheddar waffles with savoy cabbage slaw, duck meatloaf with corn pudding and blackberry gastrique and St. Louis ribs with new potato salad and mustard glaze.

But Crowell and his chef knew their audience included almost as many vegivores as carnivores. Instead of cobbling together an array of vegetable sides to satisfy these guests, they created a separate vegetarian menu that included a house-made mushroom-barley burger, a warm mozzarella and romaine salad with a soft poached egg and roasted cauliflower, grilled flatbread with snap peas and ricotta, and locally made Caputo’s linguine with summer squash, tomatoes and basil. “There is such demand here for vegetarian dishes and recipes that are just a little lighter,” Angulo says. “So many people are eating that way. They don’t want steak frites every night. We wanted to give them a menu that included as much variety and thoughtfulness as the regular menu.”

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Salad of the Month: Tomato with Sesame Dressing

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, August 12, 2014

tomato salad
This time of year, a bowl of sliced fresh tomatoes and a simple dressing can become a delicious meal in itself. Once you’ve had your fill of tomatoes dressed with the classic olive oil and balsamic or red-wine vinegar, try this recipe for a change of pace.

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Testing the Waters (the Maple Waters Trend, That Is)

by in Trends, August 11, 2014

maple water
There is certainly no shortage of trendy ways to hydrate yourself on a hot summer day: smoothies, energy drinks, kombucha teas, vitamin-infused waters and, lest we forget, the ubiquitous coconut waters. Not to mention the boring old plain water that comes out of your tap — free. But if you’re thirsty for yet another option, you’re in luck. The latest beverage to show up at the grocery store is maple water.

Not to be confused with sweet, sticky maple syrup, maple water is basically the thin (supposedly not sticky) sap that is tapped directly out of the tree. “It takes 40 gallons of maple water to boil down to one gallon of syrup,” explains Kate Weiler, Co-Founder of Drink Maple. “People think maple water is going to overly sweet but are pleasantly surprised by its refreshing quality.”

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