Tag Archives: avocado

Buttermilk Oat Soda Bread

24 Nov

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There was an abundance of buttermilk hanging out in my refrigerator this weekend (I used some to make pie crusts for Thanksgiving!), and I wanted to use it up. I thought about making buttermilk ice cream, but it sounded too cold. Scones or a quick bread sounded tasty, but I’ve been there, done that. Then I stumbled upon Heidi Swanson’s soda bread.

A bread that requires no yeast? Shoot, let’s give it a go. Continue reading

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Breakfast at Bartavelle in Berkeley, CA

28 May

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This place is a real treat. If you are looking for a good coffee and a bite to eat in Berkeley, Bartavelle is not to be missed.

I am almost always in the mood for a thick slice of avocado toast (sprinkled with olive oil, lemon, sea salt, and marash pepper), especially when paired with a soft boiled egg. The Persian breakfast was very light and fresh and included organic lebneh, feta, cucumbers, fresh herbs, za’atar and seasonal cherry jam, served with Acme pizza bianca.

Bartavelle is located where Cafe Fanny used to be, right next to Acme Bread on San Pablo Ave. and Cedar St.

While I am nostalgic for Cafe Fanny’s poached eggs and cafe au lait in a bowl, Bartavelle is quickly filling that ache.

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Summer Salad Round-Up!

24 May

Summer is about to hit us in full force, and I want us to be prepared for the potlucks, barbecues, picnics, and shenanigans to come. Pretty soon I will transition from roasting all of my veggies to shaving them into ribbons and enjoying them raw, preparing grain-based salads, bouncy pastas, light sautés, and brothy soups. It will simply be too dang hot turn on the oven.

Here are some ideas for no-cook (or very-little cook…) hearty salads to ring in the sunshine and keep us lookin’ nice and cool. Variations and substitutions are encouraged. Have fun and experiment.

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Potato Salad with Pickled Red Onion. Can you say 4th of July party?! This salad is salty, crunchy, acidic, herby, and creamy all-in-one. Heck yes.

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Get your fix of beans with this 3 Bean Summer Salad with Corn, Tomato, Avocado & Lime. Colorful and bright, this salad is great on its own or even used as a taco filling or chip dip.

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Radishes are taking over the farmer’s marktes in NY right now. Snag a bunch, slice them thin, and add them to this Israeli Couscous Salad. You could also try making a variation of this salad with a Miso Dressing.

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This Sweet and Savory Quinoa Salad is an old-time favorite. If it’s too hot to roast cauliflower, feel free to use whatever vegetable is easy to prepare and catches your eye. The dried fruit and Mediterranean spices remind me of summer fun.

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You better get your hands on asparagus NOW, before it goes out of season! Enjoy it in a Farro Salad. I recently made a variation of the potato salad above and added asparagus to it.

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No Cook Summer Fruit Salad. I like to use a mix of fresh fruit and dried fruit, with some fresh herbs and cinnamon to pack a punch. It is hard not to eat the whole bowl in one sitting.

Miso Soup

7 Dec

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Miso soup goes from appetizer to dinner with the addition of noodles, larger tofu cubes, broccoli, and avocado.

The broth is made with just 2 ingredients: water and miso paste. The rest is up to you: noodles or rice, tofu, egg, seasonal vegetables, chili flakes or oil, scallions, herbs, garlic…Heidi Swanson, who inspired this soup, even suggests using tea instead of water.

I’ve gabbed about my love for miso paste before, and once you have a tub of it hanging out in the fridge, you know that you can always make some soup when you’re in a dinner pinch.

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Miso Soup

adapted from 101 cookbooks

serves 2-3

**NOTE: You may need to add some salt to the soup. Taste and add as necessary. Sometimes I like to add a splash of soy sauce for a deeper, saltier flavor, too.

3 ounces dried noodles, soba or spaghetti
2 – 4 tablespoons white miso paste (to taste)
2 – 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
2 handfuls of chopped broccoli florets (or spinach)
Additional toppings: a pinch of red pepper flakes, avocado cubes

Cook the noodles in salted water. Add the broccoli during the last minute of cooking. Drain, run cold water over the noodles/broccoli to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water, and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Put the miso paste in a small bowl and pour a bit of the hot water over the miso, whisking so it thins out a bit (this is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.

Split the noodles/broccoli between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

5 Days of Simple Breakfasts…

31 Aug

Just a little post to show you what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately. It’s easy to get in a breakfast rut, and I’m here to offer you five small simple breakfast ideas that will help get your day started.

I like to exercise in the late morning, and these are all great pre-(or post) workout options for breakfast or a snack. I try to think: carb + a little protein. And it never hurts to keep in mind color and appearance. Even if it’s just a mini-meal, your belly will feel more satisfied if your eyes are entertained as well.

Toast with avocado and low-fat cottage cheese. Lots of fresh ground pepper. I never liked cottage cheese as a kid because I didn’t like the texture. Once I discovered that I could spread it on a crunchy piece of toast or crackers, there was no turning back. I can’t get enough of the stuff now! AND you get 15 grams of protein per serving of cottage cheese.

Almond butter schmeared on toast. With a squeeze of honey (or banana). I recently tried sunflower seed butter, which is another great alternative to add to the peanut/almond butter rotation.

Oatmeal. I like making rolled oats on the stove top. This time around my toppers included: cinnamon, coconut chips, a combo of walnuts/macadamias, frozen berries, plain yogurt, and honey. (you can just barely see the steam coming from my coffee…!!!)

Baby berry smoothie: 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Whir it up in the blender. Add a frozen banana if you want to bulk this up a bit (I had some whole wheat crackers with nut butter shortly after this to complement the smallness of the smoothie). Pour into an old jam jar and enjoy.

A layered yogurt parfait. Plain yogurt, granola, more yogurt, melon (or whatever fruit you want), finished with more granola. You could even take something like this on the go in a small tupperware container (or a clean container from a previous yogurt).

Note that most of the ingredients for these breakfasts you can always have on hand. Frozen fruit, rolled oats, nut butters, bread (you can even put bread in the freezer and toast off as needed). Even yogurt stays fresh for a long time in the fridge. So much easier to whip up a quick healthy breakfast when your pantry and refrigerator/freezer are stocked with these simple breakfast staples.

3 Bean Summer Salad With Corn, Tomato, Avocado, & Lime

28 May

A colorful healthy salad to ring in the summer. This salad was inspired by Cooking Light’s Summer Salad  slide show. I don’t own a grill, so I adapted the recipe to accommodate my NYC apartment lifestyle.

A delight on its own with some fresh ground pepper.

Perfect with feta (or cotija) stuffed into lightly fried corn tortilla tacos. Or simply pair the salad with tortilla chips for a crunchy appetizer or snack.

This also makes a nice little side dish to accompany some heart-healthy salmon (I purchased my salmon already grilled and cooked at Whole Foods).

3 Bean Summer Salad With Corn, Tomato, Avocado, & Lime

from CookingLight

makes 12 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

If you have a grill, you can grill your onion, corn, and jalepeno (click on the link to the Cooking Light recipe). If you do not have a grill, follow my directions below

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 jalapeno, minced

1/2 of a large onion

3 ears of corn, shucked from the cob

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup lime juice

1 can pinto beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed

2 avocados, peeled and diced

olive oil, for sauteeing

Place the sliced tomato halves in a large bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, mix, and let this sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.

In a large saute pan, heat some olive oil. Add the onion and saute for about 5-7 minutes. Add the jalapeno and corn and saute for another 5-7 minutes.

Add  the corn mixture to the bowl of tomatoes and toss with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the beans, cilantro, lime juice, and avocado. Grind some fresh pepper over the top and enjoy.