For the Love of Vegetables: Recipes That Celebrate Produce, Year-Round

by in Cookbooks, May 19, 2014

beekman vegetable cookbook

The journey of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge from New York City executives to country farmers has been well-chronicled — on the reality TV show The Fabulous Beekman Boys and in their best-selling cookbook The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook (both named after their historic home in upstate New York, Beekman 1802). Combining their business savvy with their love of the land and what it can produce, the duo have become well-known for turning a struggling goat farm into a thriving enterprise, producing goat’s milk soap, artisanal cheese and a cornucopia of vegetables.

Their latest book, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage Recipes from the Farm and Garden, is year-round celebration of what they grow, and delicious ways in which home cooks can share in the bounty.

What’s a good way to expand your vegetable palate beyond the basics?
When in doubt, roast. Nearly any vegetable can be tossed in olive oil and salt — and red pepper flakes if you like them — and roasted in a 375 to 400 degree oven until browned and softened. It works with everything from the hardest winter squashes to delicate hearts of romaine lettuce. If there’s anything you’re curious about, buy it, roast it, and chances are, you’ll love it.

Read more

5 Recipes That Prove Oatmeal Has Amazing Secret Talents

by in Healthy Recipes, May 18, 2014

oat smoothie
So you thought you and your oats were pretty close. After all those mornings waking up together, you knew everything about each other … right? Turns out, your old friend has been leading a secret life. A surprising life. A savory life. Curious? Check out these five recipes that will have you thinking outside the oatmeal bowl.

Tropical Oatmeal Smoothie (above)
Make your smoothie more satisfying by grinding oats to a fine powder in the blender before adding all that nutrient-rich fruit. It amps up a standard sip with fiber and and adds a hearty texture. You may even want to break out your spoon for this one.

Read more

A Salad and a Meal, All In One: Wheat Berries and Brussels Sprouts

by in The Grain Attraction, May 17, 2014

wheat berry salad

I don’t know about you, but if I’m eating a salad as a meal, I want it to have some heft. I can’t last until my next meal on mixed greens alone. Enter wheat berries and Brussels sprouts. Together with some nuts and cheese, they make tasty a salad filled with protein and fiber, which does wonders for satiety.

Read more

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

by in Food News, May 16, 2014

pickles

In this week’s news: A buzzkill study related to red wine emerges; a documentary suggests not all calories are created equal; and food dyes appear in unexpected places (et tu, pickles?).

Glass Half Empty, But Cheers Anyway
In 2006, Harvard scientists won the hearts of red wine and chocolate lovers everywhere by reporting that obese mice that were fed huge amounts of resveratrol — a polyphenol antioxidant found in those two foods — tended to live longer and stay healthier. Fast-forward eight years: Resveratrol supplements are a $30 million dollar industry, Dr. Oz enlisted the antioxidant for his “Ultimate Anti-Aging Checklist” and we’ve all been happily drenching ourselves in wine and chocolate. In light of this, a new Johns Hopkins study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine was, well, a bit of a downer. Researchers who studied a group of 783 elderly people in Tuscany’s Chianti region found no association between lifespan and the amounts of reseveratrol these individuals had consumed (presumably mostly through wine). That said, there’s still plenty of reason to raise a glass, says David Sinclair, the lead scientist behind the 2006 study. While it would take 100 to 1,000 times the amount of resveratrol you’d get from imbibing to have the kind of health impact he saw in mice, he points out that there are over three dozen other polyphenols in wine, many with similar and complementary sorts of benefits.

Read more

5 Must-Haves for a Healthy Summer Fridge

by in Healthy Tips, May 15, 2014

5 Must-Haves for a Healthy Summer FridgeI know the 4th of July will be here in what feels like minutes. What better time, then, to “summer-ize” my fridge? I want to keep things lean, light and healthier in the summer, and by stocking my fridge (and freezer!) now, I’ll be ready for the season well before Memorial Day.

You probably do your own version of spring-cleaning in your fridge, making it healthy and appealing: chopping veggies to store in chilled water, peeling and slicing fruit into bowls for a fresh healthy dessert, or making a few batches of refreshing spa water to keep you hydrated now that the weather is warmer (see my post on that topic).

Here are my top five food items to add to your healthy and lean fridge this summer:

1. Low-Cal Condiments: I keep my fridge stocked with low-calorie condiments. I reach for these as dips or to add flavor to foods. My favorites are: Dijon mustard, hot sauce (such as Frank’s) and the less-known Slawsa. Here are some ideas for using them:

  • Dijon Mustard: Use it as a base for salad dressing. It will help emulsify a water-heavy vinaigrette, so you can make a dressing out of 1 part vinegar, 2 parts water and 1 part olive oil if you start with a hefty spoonful of mustard. Or mix Dijon mustard with some chopped herbs and use it to coat chicken or pork before cooking for added moisture and flavor. Finally, try whisking it into sauces at the end of cooking for a creamy texture for almost no fat or calories.
  • Hot Sauce: Mix a few tablespoons of hot sauce with a spoonful of water and a tiny knob of melted butter, then toss with grilled chicken or fish for a healthy Buffalo-style appetizer. Or pour it over an egg white omelet tucked into a corn tortilla for a perfect breakfast or lunch soft taco.
  • Slawsa: This is a low-cal condiment of cabbage and a tangy sweet mustard. It has 15 calories per serving, and it can go on anything from sandwiches to roasted or grilled fish or chicken. It’s also great for topping a plate of eggs or loading up some baked whole-wheat pita chips. My grandmother always said her health secret was to eat cabbage every time she had a chance, so I love honoring her with my favorite condiment. Note that there is some sugar in Slawsa, which is only significant if you start eating it out of the jar by the spoonful. (I say that completely hypothetically, of course.)

Read more

The Chef’s Take: Vegetarian Meatballs from Daniel Holzman

by in Chefs and Restaurants, May 14, 2014

veggie balls

“Vegetarians want the vegetarian option not to feel like an afterthought,” says Daniel Holzman. “And so the question was how can we celebrate vegetables and make something really delicious.” This question was particularly perplexing to chef Holzman, who, in 2010, along with his partner Michael Chernow, opened a restaurant called The Meatball Shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The plan, as you can imagine, was to specialize in meatballs. “We wanted to include a vegetarian meatball to be as inclusive as possible,” Holzman explains.

Their solution to the vegetarian meatball conundrum came in the form of this recipe, a green lentil meatball, which Holzman is partial to serving with a basil-spinach pesto, one of five sauces guests can choose from at each of the Meatball Shop locations (a sixth shop is opening this summer on New York City’s Upper West Side).

Read more

Salad of the Month: Quinoa, Fava Beans and Peas

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, May 13, 2014

quinoa and fava salad
Packed with fava beans, fresh herbs and peas, this salad will bring spring to the table in an instant. Mint, dill and scallions complement the ever-so-slightly-sweet flavor of the brown-rice vinegar seasoning, creating a bright and refreshing marinade for the salad. Quinoa provides the ideal texture and background, with plenty of protein and nutrients, making this salad a complete meal. Other spring vegetables can easily be added to the mix: Try blanched asparagus, radishes or sugar snap peas. Read more

7 Vegan Recipes That Change Everything

by in Healthy Recipes, May 12, 2014

lentil burger
No meat, no cheese — no problem! Whether you’re aiming to eat a little bit cleaner or just want to be more like Beyoncé (who completed a 22-day vegan challenge last year), there’s really no wrong reason to add these vegan recipes to your repertoire.

Vegan Lentil Burgers (above)
Admit it: You’re pretty sure even the most serious vegans miss burgers from time to time. These hearty lentil burgers are packed with other wholesome ingredients, like spinach and walnuts, and get their flavor from a punchy trio of garlic, black pepper and cumin that will make you forget all about their beefy brethren.

Vegan Tofu and Spinach Scramble
For those in the “Vegan Before Six” club, we’d like to introduce you to your new egg-breakfast substitute. The tofu is spiced up with turmeric, pepper and cayenne; it may actually be better than your standard scramble. Read more

Millet, the Little Grain with Big Potential

by in Amy's Whole Food Cooking, May 11, 2014

millet

Millet is a small, round, gluten-free grain that cooks up light and fluffy in just 20 minutes. When cooked fresh, it has an earthy flavor and almost creamy mouthfeel. With its mild flavor and lovely sunny color, millet is an ideal grain for sweet and savory recipes.

Read more

The Secret to Great Gluten-Free Pizza? You’d Be Surprised.

by in Gluten-Free, May 10, 2014

meatball pizza

This Jimmy Kimmel video made the rounds this week when his show stumped a few civilians on the street by asking them to explain what gluten is. But Kimmel’s best line just might have been: “People are very anti-gluten, which bothers me because I’m very pro-pizza — and you can’t be pro-pizza and anti-gluten.”

Well, it turns out you actually can be — once you have a great gluten-free pizza dough. At Food Network Kitchen, we ate A LOT of gluten-free pizzas for research purposes before we developed our own gluten-free dough. From frozen to pizzeria-fresh, we tried everything we could get our hands on. Truth be told, most were disappointingly tough and gummy. Where was that chewy pull from the crust? After lots of conversation (and chewing), we realized that we were unfairly comparing gluten-free pizza dough to regular pizza dough. They are like apples and oranges. So we adjusted our expectations and found a few gluten-free pizzas that were good — and even some that were more than good.

Read more