Ever since her childhood in rural Australia, Amy Chaplin’s diet has revolved around whole foods. After 20 years of cooking around the globe, the New York-based private chef, teacher, recipe developer and writer — her work appears on this very blog every week — is sharing this nurturing lifestyle in her first book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well (Roost Books). Through more than 150 recipes — and a slew of striking minimalist photos—for soulful vegetarian and vegan dishes like cherry coconut granola with extra virgin olive oil, millet cauliflower mash and roasted acorn and Delicata squash salad strewn with wheat berries and bitter greens, the former chef of the celebrated East Village vegan restaurant, Angelica Kitchen, illuminates the simplicity and creativity of eating healthy. Read more
Alaskan Coho salmon burgers and roasted monkfish steaks are mainstays of power lunches at Oceana, the upscale, marble-bedecked New York seafood shrine adjacent to iconic Rockefeller Center. Since 2006, executive chef Ben Pollinger has lured in diners with his refined cooking. He’s held on to a coveted Michelin star, successfully transitioned Oceana into new, mammoth-sized digs, and now the ambitious New Jersey native has just released the informative School of Fish (Gallery Books) with Stephanie Lyness. Through more than 100 recipes, ranging from a baked dorade filet emblazoned with potato scales and paired with Swiss chard, to roasted lobster with basil-garlic butter accompanied by olive oil crushed potatoes, Pollinger squashes the myth for kitchen newbies and skilled home cooks alike that preparing seafood always makes for mystifying, grueling work. Read more
What does skinny taste like? Just ask Gina Homolka. For six years, low-fat foodie Gina Homolka has been satisfying the tastebuds of a loyal following with her Skinnytaste blog. Her recipes reflect her own eating philosophy — delicious, healthy, seasonal dishes that also just so happen to be low in calories and fat. This month she debuts The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor.
The Fat Radish, which opened in 2010, is one of those perfect New York City restaurants. The uncomplicated, slightly British, vegetable-focused menu traces the seasons with local as its mantra. The design is that effortless combination of reclaimed barnyard and weathered industrial chic. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. And the folks in the seats all look as though they might have just walked off the set of Girls. All the pieces come together courtesy of owners Ben Towill and Phil Winser, self-taught cooks who are passionate about good ingredients, great design, and feeding guests well.
Sustainable. Gorgeous. Rich in nutrients. These are three ways The Nourished Kitchen captures the fresh and simple elegance of food. In her new cookbook, blogger and real-food proponent Jennifer McGruther – who favors the likes of bone-enriched broths and fermented goods — entices readers to once again get their hands dirty in the kitchen.
What are you growing in your garden this year?
This time of the year, we’re just starting our garden, as mountain living means that snow can linger into June and arrive again in September. This year, my family is planning to plant lettuce, hearty greens, radishes, carrots and a wide variety of mints. Chocolate mint and mountain mint are always favorites.
Do you have a favorite seasonal food or dish, something you look forward to every cooking year?
Every season brings something I cherish, some recipe my family looks forward to all year. In summer, it’s true sour pickles, seasoned with dill, garlic and spice. Pickling cucumbers enjoy such a short season. I buy them by the case, pack them into stoneware crocks and ferment them with a spiced brine until they come out sharp, salty and sour. Fall brings quince, and I like to pair it with apples and pears in a simple sauce, or to poach the quince and drop them into flaky pie crusts. In winter, I lean on savory winter squash pies and stews of root vegetables, grass-fed beef and broth. In springtime, it’s lovage soup — all clean and bright in flavor, but still warm enough to take the edge off the cold evenings of spring.
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.
Cookbook author Toby Amidor is a registered dietitian, a mother of three and a regular contributor to Healthy Eats – which might just be some kind of nutrition intelligence trifecta. She has long been a fan of Greek yogurt, not only for the flavor but also for the numerous dietary benefits it bestows. Her passion for the tangy ingredient inspired a compilation of over 130 delectable recipes, The Greek Yogurt Kitchen, out this week. Here, she talks about why Greek yogurt has a range that exceeds the usual parfaits and smoothies — although those, of course, are always great too.
At both branches of Buvette, Jody Williams’s restaurants in New York City and Paris, sumptuous small plates are served throughout the day from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. in cramped spaces that ooze French-country charm. In the morning, croissants and steamed eggs are on the menu, and at night, pâtés and French-leaning tapas appear.
Whatever the time of day, Williams has considered how to make every morsel served feel extra-special. “We cook with a certain sense of purity and emphasize whole, natural foods. I put a lot of thought into what’s coming into my restaurant and what’s going into my pots and pans,” she explains. “Certainly soupe au pistou,” says Williams of the classic vegetable soup with pesto, “is flush with health and nutrients.”
A longtime filmmaker and environmental activist (she produced the Academy Award–winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth), Laurie David is now on a crusade to change the way America eats. A lofty goal, for sure, but after revamping the way her own family approached food, she’s primed to share her practical yet sly spin on healthier home cooking (sample recipe: Roasted Cauliflower “Popcorn”). A few years back, she coauthored The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids One Meal at a Time, cookbook that combined recipes with advice on how to establish a regular and semi-sane dinner routine. She’s now followed that up with her new book, The Family Cooks: 100+ Recipes to Get Your Family Craving Food That’s Simple, Tasty, and Incredibly Good for You, out this week. David also tackles the issue of childhood obesity in her new documentary, Fed Up, co-produced with Katie Couric and slated for release on May 9th.
Good (and healthy) things do come in small packages. Get a taste for the yummy creations from Cupcake Wars champ Hollis Wilder, author of the new cookbook, Savory Bites: Meals You Can Make in Your Cupcake Pan.
Not Your Typical Cupcake
Meals you can make in a cupcake pan? You might be able to envision a quiche neatly tucked into cupcake tin but how about French toast, risotto and lasagna?
While this book doesn’t outwardly aim to be “healthy” the author is mindful of using fresh ingredients, trimming excess fat and calories when possible, and creating fun kid-friendly recipes. Cupcake-sized servings also help with portion control.
Cupcake Pan and the Family Meal
Can a baking pan help bring your family together in the kitchen? Hollis thinks so. She encourages bringing the little ones into the kitchen and letting them pick and chose the ingredients for their savory cupcake creations. I must say, my kids love anything that comes out of a cupcake pan.