Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dark Chocolate Brownies- gluten-free

Are you looking for a delicious, better-for-you, gluten free treat to make this weekend? Look no further then this gooey brownie recipe I reviewed for Easy Eats magazine. Simplicity and chocolate at their best! This post is shared with the Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Platter and Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Giveaway! Blackbird Bakery Gluten-Free cookbook!

Hello lovely readers, I've been busy living life and have mostly been keeping up with my food musings on Facebook but I have something exciting to announce today and thought I'd share it here, too. Karen Morgan, the proprietor of Blackbird Bakery has offered a copy of her book, shipping paid, to one of my readers. Please go to my Facebook page for your chance to win!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Almond Thumbprint Cookies for a Sweet New Year

Tonight marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year. I love the wonderful food traditions of my heritage. My friends always ask to be invited to holiday celebrations at my family's home because the food is so delicious. Who doesn't love matzo ball chicken soup, tsimmis, or latkas with sour cream and applesauce?.

One culinary custom for this night is to serve apples dipped in honey and a decadently sweet honey cake, representing our yearnings for a happy year to come. In honor of this holiday I made thumbprint cookies, which can be made without dairy if you are avoiding it or keeping Kosher. Shanah Tova!

Almond Thumbprint Cookies- gluten-free and dairy free

makes about 24 cookies

2 cups blanched, slivered almonds
3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup coconut oil (or mix of coconut oil and butter) melted
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 T maple syrup
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
a few tablespoons all fruit preserves (I like Bionaturae fruit spread)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, grind almonds to a fine meal, then add the rest of the ingredients, one by one, except the fruit preserves. Grease a cookies sheet with a small dab of coconut oil. Roll the dough into small balls and place on the cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 5 minutes, then take the cookies out and using your thumb, press an indentation into the middle of each cookie. Turn oven up to 375 degrees. Fill with about a teaspoon of fruit preserves and return to the oven, baking about 15 more minutes, until cookies are brown on the edges. Allow cookies to cool at least 20 minutes before enjoying.

These cookies are best enjoyed with a sweet toddler who asks "Cookies ready?" many times before they pop out of the oven!

I'm sharing this post with Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

20$ gets you... a bunch of real food!

For twenty dollars and a quick jaunt to my nearest farmer's market I came home with all this!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

How to Pack a Lunch Your Kid (might) Actually Eat!

I've come to the daring realization as a parent (perhaps a bit late), that when your child brings a homemade lunch to school, compromises must be made. Kids like packaged food because it's everywhere, and it's made to appeal to them. Chances are good that many of their friends have cheerfully packaged food in their lunch box, and they want to feel like part of a group. It is possible, with some careful label reading, to find nutritious, real foods that are pre-packaged and taste good.

All the lunch fare pictured above are made with actual food ingredients and each has less then 10 grams of sugar (most is naturally occurring). Natural foods stores and co-ops have many healthful options to put in a lunch box. I picked up French applesauce squeezers, unsweetened Cinnamon applesauce cups, and mini packs of trail mix at Trader Joes, and unsweetened fruit cups at Whole Foods.

Cheese sticks are a great snack that my kids like, and have plenty of protein and calcium. I choose regular cheddar cheese, or cheese wedges like Laughing Cow Original Creamy Swiss cheese, because they're not low-fat, as most pre-packaged string cheese is. I choose non-skim cheese for a number of reasons one being that skim milk has actually been found to make children more overweight, while whole-milk has not. Essentially I try to feed my family food that is whole and as close to it's original nature as possible.

For dessert, which isn't required, but is much coveted by young connoisseurs, I try to find treats that are delicious and not too sugar-filled. Lindt truffles have only 5 grams of sugar in each one and are very satisfying. My kids also like fruit leathers or Simply Fruit Roll Ups, both of which have no added sugars.

What healthy snacks and treats are you packing for lunch?

This post is shared with Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beef Brisket from the Garden of Eating

My dad introduced me the beauty of a good brisket, an essential part of his diet as a child, growing up in an Eastern European Jewish family. I think my first attempt at cooking brisket would make Dad proud (and come back for seconds). Hilltop Pastures Family Farms had 100% grass-fed brisket on sale for $2.99/lb at the Midtown Farmer's Market last weekend, but I neglected to buy it because I wasn't sure how easy it would be to cook. I leafed through my cookbook collection when I got home, and found a super simple recipe, it's as easy as making a pot roast. So I picked up a mini 2 lb brisket from the Wedge Co-op, which was tasty but unfortunately not grass-fed.

The recipe I used for barbecued beef brisket is from the The Garden Of Eating: A Produce-dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz. I also made the Better Barbecue Sauce from here and it was perfectly tangy, subtly sweetened with a bit of honey, and deliciously thick. I added a few dashes of cinnamon, a pinch of cardamom, and a splash of red wine just for some extra zing.

The Garden of Eating Cookbook is completely worth buying, for the brisket recipe and many more of my new favorites, but is pretty expensive on Amazon. I have seen it at the Seward Co-op in Minneapolis for it's suggested retail price, or you may buy it directly from the author's website.

I'm sharing this with Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Mess of Greens

I live in the heart of a big city, filled with good grocery stores, yet I take so much pleasure in growing and picking some of my food from our backyard. Today I harvested three different kinds of kale, Red Russian, Lacinato (or Dino kale), and Green Curly varieties. My favorite way to enjoy kale's robust, earthy flavor is gently sauteed in butter with lots of garlic, a dash of balsamic vinegar, and if I'm feeling extravagant (or extra hungry), crumbled bacon on top.

The rest of our little garden is coming along nicely as well;

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Local Spring Chicken

Young pasture-raised chickens, stuffed with fresh tarragon

Local Spring Chickens with Fresh Herbs
serves 4

2 young, pastured chickens (less then 3 lbs each)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 large bunch fresh tarragon, ends chopped off, large stems removed
1 small head purple garlic, cloves peeled and finely chopped, or pressed
1 T dried rosemary
sea salt
1/4 cup cream

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix chopped or pressed garlic with olive oil or butter.
3. Lay chickens, breast up, in a roasting pan. Stuff each chicken with a 1/2 bunch tarragon. Massage the chicken skin all over with the garlic oil. Sprinkle on the dried rosemary and season with real sea salt.
4. Bake chicken for about 1.5 hours at 350 degrees, then an additional 15 minutes at 425 degrees, depending on the size of the birds. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh. When chickens have cooked through, remove from the oven and transfer them to a serving platter. Place the roasting pan over medium heat on the stove top (do not do this if your pan is glass!) and pour the juices from the chickens into the roasting pan, deglazing the pan by stirring with a whisk. Add in a 1/4 cup cream and continue stirring until incorporated. Now you have a rich gravy to serve on top of the chicken.

I served these chickens with cumin and paprika-crusted roast cauliflower and sweet potatos, local pickling cucumbers, and rice.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Strawberry Lime Pie

I'm of the belief that a summer party needs pie to truly let everyone know there's something to celebrate. My most coveted seasonal food is without a doubt local strawberries. I highly recommend picking them yourself for the complete, blissful experience. Sam Kedem Orchards located in Hastings, MN, begins U-Pick organic strawberries next week.

The delicious strawberry lime pie I made for our Memorial Day picnic makes me want to head strait for the strawberry patch. The pie was made with inspiration from two recipes (key lime pie and strawberry cake) from a raw vegan dessert cookbook, Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts.

This "un-cook" book is really worth owning even if you aren't vegan or "raw". All the recipes are gluten and grain-free, and rely on whole foods. I generally use about 1/3 the sweetener called for in these recipes and still find them to be very nicely sweetened. I also skip the agave syrup called for, as from what I can tell it's similar nutritionally to corn syrup, but successfully marketed to health food loving folks.

Everyone at the party we went to loved this pie, and I heard from a couple guests who guiltily admitted to having seconds. If you're curious about raw vegan fare and want someone else to do the "un-cooking" for you, check out the Ecopolitan Restaurant in Minneapolis. The food is beautiful and yummy, much of the produce is locally sourced, and the wine list is usually pretty good too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pad Thai with Bay Scallops and Marlin

Easy homemade pad Thai with seafood.

I enjoyed homemade pad Thai with Bay scallops and wild-caught marlin from Coastal Seafoods, adapted from a recipe by Kasma Loha-unchit, author of It Rains Fishes: Legends, Traditions and the Joys of Thai Cooking.

Pad Thai is one of those dishes I had mistakenly thought you could only really get at a restaurant. Yet it's a very simple meal to make at home if you have a decent cast-iron wok (which I don't, so I borrowed my dad's 30 year old, much loved one).

Beautiful, sustainably produred fish makes all the difference in creating this meal.

Shredded red cabbage, finely chopped lacinato kale, and thinly sliced bell pepper were used in lieu of the bean sprouts, as that's what I had. Nor did I have dried shrimp waiting around in my cupboard, though I do like them as a snack, and you can find them locally at United Noodles (look for the kind with no artificial coloring or msg added). I chopped up roasted cashews in place of the peanuts just because I love cashews. One important part of making this recipe to not over cook the seafood, especially the scallops, so do cook the seafood separately and add in to each plate at when it's time to serve.

Please visit Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays for more real food blog links and recipes.