Tag Archives: lemon

Root Vegetable Roast 2 Ways ~*Recipe ReDux*~

22 Mar

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This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is “cook once, eat twice,” or in my case, it is “roast once, eat twice.” Even though spring is in the air, root vegetables still dominate the markets here in New York City. I combined all of the root vegetables I had at home onto one baking sheet and roasted them.

I then tossed the roasted roots into a kale salad for a colorful, hearty and balanced lunch. Thanks for the inspiration, Miranda!

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Leftover salad can be used as a topping for a slab galette. I used the Food52 Cornmeal Galette Dough recipe, substituting white whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, and a fine arepa cornmeal instead of regular cornmeal because that was what I had on-hand. I added some grated Gruyere cheese on top of the vegetables.

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Don’t have the patience to make your own slab galette crust? Just find a

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I made hummus and you should, too

10 Feb

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I made hummus this weekend. Classic chickpea-tahini-lemon-garlic hummus. I even went so far as to soak dried chickpeas the night before and I took the outer skins off the chickpeas before blending. All of those extra little steps lead me to the most sublime, or as Deb Perelman says, ethereally smooth, hummus. Continue reading

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

26 Mar

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Do I really need another banana bread recipe? No.

But, when I had some extra lemons on hand from last week’s Earl Grey Spiced Fruit Compote workshop, and when an “accidental” two bunches of bananas were sprawled on the counter that needed to be immediately eaten, frozen, or baked with, my wheels started turning.

Currently, my top three go-to banana bread recipes include Smitten Kitchen’s Jacked-Up Banana Bread, Cookie and Kate’s Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread, and my Peanut Butter Banana Bread.

My rule of thumb? Always better with chocolate chips/chunks. And, just saying, a little whole wheat flour makes chocolate-studded banana bread okay to eat for breakfast, too. Finally, don’t mash to oblivion; just lightly mush the bananas with a fork so you have some puree and some small pieces.

IMG_2245Classic Figs In My Belly Loaf Shot

I bookmarked Heidi Swanson’s version of Melissa Clark’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread a while ago, and this was the perfect opportunity to try a new spin on my obsession with banana bread, and quick breads in general.

The taste is classic banana bread, with a subtle hint of lemon zest and a little zing of olive oil at the end. I love it.

There is an optional glaze that you can whisk up (Swanson uses a mix of confectioners’ and brown sugar [I found the granules of the brown sugar too “crunchy” for my taste] and Clark just uses confectioners’ sugar), but I tried it and found that when it comes to banana bread, I prefer mine naked and de-glazed.

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This Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread is definitely going on my list of favorite go-to banana-breads.

Oh boy, do I love a good loaf.

Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread

recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks, Originally adapted from Melissa Clark’s Cook This Now

1 cup / 125g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 140g whole wheat flour
3/4 cup /125 g  dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup / 4 oz / 115 g coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (leave some bigger chunks!)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups / 340 g mashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used 2% low-fat yogurt)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Grease a 9- by 5- inch loaf pan, or equivalent.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate pieces and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, zest, and vanilla. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Swanson says, “You want to get that beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don’t want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you’re in that zone, pull it. Erring on the side of under-baking versus over.”

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.

Earl Grey Spiced Fruit Compote + A Fun Compost Workshop With Seniors

22 Mar

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After months of planning and a handful of snow-day cancellations, this morning I helped Project Director Chris Pawelski, Ed.D conduct a “composting and healthy snacks” session for seniors with mild memory loss in conjunction with The Memory Tree Program, Teachers College, and the Morningside Gardens Co-op.

The Memory Tree is New York City’s first program devoted to people with mild memory loss, and their family and caregivers.

This morning’s session was the beginning of a series of “Going Greener” workshops, continuing a previous project about nutrition, cooking and farmer’s markets. “Going Greener” came about as a way to learn how to keep the world healthy, seeking out composting operations in the community.

In short, we kicked off the first session with the idea that if everyone could start saving just one thing, it would help reduce waste and contribute to the idea of composting and giving back to the earth. After watching a video of how a local family organizes their food waste, we were inspired to designate a special bin where everyone could drop their used tea bags. Throughout the next few weeks, we will document how many tea bags we collect altogether.

Sometimes just starting with one small change makes a big difference.

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I prepared a snack for the group to complement our “save your tea bags” theme: Ellie Krieger’s Earl Grey Spiced Fruit Compote. The recipe involves heating water with tea and honey, and adding in dried fruit, cinnamon, and a squeeze of lemon. A very simple recipe that requires little effort–just measure, dump, and simmer (need a knife just to cut a lemon wedge).

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Throughout the “Going Greener” journey, we will encourage the seniors to share and document their experiences through picture-taking and media, so we provided digital cameras today for them to take pictures of the recipe ingredients, the finished recipe, and each other! Can’t wait to upload all of their pictures, but for now I am sharing my pictures.

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Each participant received their own easy-to-follow copy of the recipe so they could see how it was made, and maybe even make it themselves at home.

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Who knew dried fruit could be so gorgeous?! Even though it is technically spring now, the New York fruit season is not quite ready. The markets are still heaping with end-of-season apples and there is not a berry in sight yet. Until the spring fruit arrives, this spiced fruit compote is a great way to pack it in.

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During today’s session, we served the compote with plain Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of granola. Water with lemon wedges for a refreshing beverage. I was impressed that everyone gobbled down the compote, and there were even requests for seconds!

Leftover compote is excellent atop pancakes, stirred into oatmeal, or spooned over a simple cake. Feel free to mix up the dried fruit, and add nuts or a splash of alcohol (rum, bourbon…) for a little kick.

Thanks again to Ellie Krieger for a great recipe.

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Krieger says, “Tea and dried fruits rank among the most powerful of beauty foods. They contain concentrated amounts of compounds that protect the skin from sun damage, and they are linked with less skin wrinkling as we age.”

Earl Grey Spiced Fruit Compote

adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders

serves 4

3 tablespoons honey

1 Earl Grey tea bag

1/2 cup dried apricots

1/2 cup pitted prunes

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 large lemon

1 cinnamon stick

optional: 4 whole cloves

Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the honey, then immerse the tea bag in the water. Add the apricots, prunes, raisins, the juice from the lemon, the cinnamon stick, and if using, the cloves. Return to a boil.

Lower the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 4 minutes. Remove the tea bag, then continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens to a loose syrup, about 8 minutes more. Remove the cinnamon and cloves and discard (or compost!). Allow the compote to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Serve with toppings. I like a dollop of yogurt and granola, or instead of syrup atop pancakes!

The compote will keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Nutrition per 1/3 cup serving (without toppings):

Calories 190; Total Fat 0g (Sat Fat 0g, Mono Fat 0.0g, Poly Fat 0.1g); Protein 2g; Carb 52g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 10mg

Good source of: Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K

Ellie Krieger’s Warm Bulgur Salad with Grapes and Feta

3 Feb

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Even though I enjoy cooking, life is busy and sometimes, I just want a big (healthy!) plate of food in front me me without having to work too hard for it.

I’ve talked about grain-based salads before, but I always come back to them because they are an everything-in-one meal. More on them later…

Last week, I went to a book talk for Ellie Krieger’s latest cookbook, Weeknight Wonders: Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less. Krieger, who is very much a pragmatist, focuses on quick meals that can be prepared from chopping to eating in less than 30 minutes. During the recipe development process for the book, she even purposefully cut the onion slowly to be sure that the recipes would be within her time limit.

In the book, instead of listing “1 onion, chopped” in the ingredient list, she lists “1 onion,” and then later in the methods section, she gives directions to chop the onion. Things get prepared in the little pockets of time during the course of the recipes because that is how most people cook.

Krieger is a nutrition educator at heart, and that is what drives her personally and professionally. She sees a recipe as the perfect nutrition education tool. People want food that tastes good, and tasty food is a powerful motivator. Recipes can also bridge cultural gaps because everyone eats, and often times many cultures have similar foods prepared only slightly different (i.e. we all have some kind of taco-like dish…). Furthermore, recipes can create self-efficacy, or confidence in people when they try the recipe, they feel they can do it and they share it with friends.

It’s true! Sometimes, I am afraid to try a new recipe because it looks intimidating on the surface or I fear the new. Once I try it, though, I often like it, and then I share it with all of YOU.

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Besides being full of ideas and knowledge, Krieger is so down-to-earth and personable, and she truly loves food.

After the way she described this Warm Bulgur Salad with Grapes and Feta at the book talk, I knew I had to make it right away. The warm grain delicately wilts the spinach, and the burst of sweet grapes complement the slightly melted and salty feta cheese. What a lovely, simple salad.

Bulgur is a quick-cooking whole wheat that is often the basis for a Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad. Did you know that bulgur has twice the fiber of brown rice?! We reap different benefits and flavor profiles from different grains, so keep mixing it up! But as I always say, if you want to use another grain that you have on-hand, go for it.

Note that you can buy pre-washed spinach for this recipe. I used to think that I needed to do most of the work in the kitchen from scratch (which is I nice ideal), but sometimes “healthy shortcuts” like pre-washed greens, quick-cooking whole grains, and frozen fruits and vegetables, can make the difference between preparing dinner at home versus ordering in.

Krieger says, combining grain and vegetable in this dish does double duty as a side that pairs well with simply grilled or roasted meat or poultry. Or tossed with some walnuts, this would be a great vegetarian entree.

I know what I’m eating for lunch the next few days!

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Warm Bulgur Salad with Grapes and Feta

recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger’s Weeknight Wonders

makes 6 servings

1 cup quick-cooking or fine bulgur wheat

2 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves

1 shallot (or 1/4 large red onion)

a few sprigs of fennel fronds or dill fronds (I used fresh fennel fronds and dried dill)

1 cup seedless red grapes

3 ounces feta cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 large lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Cook the bulgur according to the directions on the package.

While the bulgur is cooking, chop the spinach, finely dice the shallot, and chop the fennel fronds. Place them into a large bowl. Cut the grapes into quarters, and crumble the feta cheese.

When the bulgur is done, fluff it with a fork, then add it to the bowl with the spinach and herbs. Toss well until combined, then let sit until the spinach is slightly wilted and the grain is no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add the oil, lemon juice, and the salt and pepper and toss until well coated. Add the grapes and feta and toss to combine.

Co-op Food + Lemon Ginger Molasses Pinwheel Cookies

1 Mar


I come home from a good sweaty yoga sesh only to find myself munching on a frosted chocolate cake. Oh, living in a co-op. Food is EVERYWHERE at every hour of the day. I come home to a huge hotel pan of chocolate cake, to the smell of homemade granola just out of the oven, to waffles wafting throughout the house, to cookies and flan and pie.

Aside from all of the sweet stuff, I come home to dinner every night at 7pm. Salads and roasted veggies and grains and beans and meats and cheese. To something new and exciting. To soups, stews, and casseroles. Comfort food, health food, vegan food, ethnic food.

Fresh baked bread. Fresh baked bread made with wheat gluten instead of flour: an accidental miracle. Snack shift. Oh, snack shift. Brownies, salsa, midnight madness.

Here is a photo of a typical co-op meal made by moi:


Mini grilled cheese bites (with a rosemary butter), balsamic roasted asparagus with sautéed chard, couscous salad with chickpeas, roasted bell peppers, olives, onion, and peas, and a spring mix salad with citrus (blood oranges, cara cara oranges, and grapefruit), cranberries, and feta cheese. Oh yes, and lemon ginger molasses pinwheel cookies as well as vegan sugar cookies for the vegans.
And here is a picture of a strawberry streusel coffee cake that I made last week (recipe from JoytheBaker):

Buttermilk Biscuit Bonanza:

A Whole Lotta Breaded n’ Baked Chicken:

With the gargantuan amount of food that a cook makes for the house (I live with 60 people, some other co-ops have only 20 people, and some 160 people), it can be difficult to take nice photos because everything is made in large, industrial pots and pans, and I am usually rushing to finish cooking so I do not have a moment to photograph in nice lighting before someone devours the food.

What a rewarding experience it is to cook here. I get everything delivered (no grocery shopping necessary) and I get to cook with a variety of ingredients that come in seasonally. I can experiment and people will eat my experiments and compliment me, yay!

We even bought and entire cow to be more “green” and to save money for the house. We also recently switched to having all-organic Straus milk and yogurt in the house. Our eggs are organic, too.

While cooking for and living with 60 college students can be tough at times, it is nice to have a “family” to eat dinner with every night.

Oh, and here is the recipe for the Lemon Ginger Molasses Pinwheel Cookies. These cookies require a bit of time just because the dough has to be refrigerated a few times and rolled out and rolled up and cut. Worth it. I taste real ingredients and I taste something sweet, satisfying, and soothing for my body.

Alice in Wonderland, the movie, is coming out next weekend, and these cookies would be great to make if you are hosting a “mad hatter” themed party in honor of Alice. They’ve got that Treshire Cat vibe going on.

Lemon Ginger Molasses Pinwheel Cookies
From CookingLightyield: 40 cookies, serving size: 1 cookie

Ingredients

  • Ginger dough:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Dash of ground allspice
  • Lemon dough:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

1. To prepare ginger dough, place 1/4 cup butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined (about 3 minutes). Add molasses and egg yolk; beat until well blended. Weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6 ounces flour, ginger, and next 4 ingredients (through allspice); stir with a whisk. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

2. To prepare lemon dough, place 5 tablespoons butter and granulated sugar in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended (about 3 minutes). Add egg white; beat until blended. Beat in rind and vanilla. Weigh or lightly spoon 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 6 ounces flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap; chill 30 minutes.

3. Unwrap ginger dough. Roll ginger dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 8 1/2–inch rectangle (3/16 inch thick); chill 10 minutes. Unwrap lemon dough. Roll lemon dough between sheets of plastic wrap into a 13 x 9–inch rectangle (3/16 inch thick); chill 10 minutes. Carefully stack ginger dough on top of lemon dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one long edge. Starting with the long side without a border, roll up dough, jelly-roll fashion. Seal edges (do not seal ends of roll). Cover with plastic wrap; freeze 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

5. Unwrap dough. Cut with a sharp knife into 40 slices (about 1/4 inch thick). Reshape rounds, if necessary. Arrange slices 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake, 1 batch at a time, at 350° for 8 to 9 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 81
Fat: 2.8g (sat 1.7g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.2g)
Protein: 1.1g
Carbohydrate: 13.1g
Fiber: 0.3g
Cholesterol: 12mg
Iron: 0.6mg
Sodium: 33mg
Calcium: 9mg

Lemon Cornmeal Biscotti with Cranberries and Walnuts

28 Dec

These cookies are addicting. No matter how hard you try, you simply cannot just have one. I think it is impossible.

I call them biscotti but they are softer and chewier than the typical hard and crumbly biscotti. Whatever the name, these little guys are so so so so so darn good! I believe that this may be my favorite type of cookie batter to lick the bowl with. Mmm, so buttery and lemony and comforting!


And using my new KitchenAid mixer makes everything so much easier; I can just plop my ingredients in the mixer and it does all the work for me.

This recipe makes a LOT of biscotti, I was overwhelmed and froze half of the cookies for my family to eat when I go back at school.

Here is a link to an interesting article about twice-baked cookies, mandelbrot vs. biscotti.

With a twice-baked cookie, you first make your dough, roll it out into several long logs, bake, slice, and bake again.


I chose to add lemon zest, walnuts, and cranberries (I added golden raisins and dried blueberries, too!), but feel free to add in whatever you like: chocolate chips, pistachios, hazelnuts…

I also really like the texture that the cornmeal lends to the cookie. Soft, chewy, with a little added cornmeal crunch! Very nice.

Lemon Cornmeal Biscotti with Cranberries and Walnuts

makes a LOT of cookies, I would guess about 6 dozen

2 sticks cold butter, cubed
4 eggs
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups cornmeal

zest of 2 lemons
dried fruit combo, about 1 cup
toasted nuts, about 1 cup

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar unitl nice and smoothe and fluffy. Add your eggs one at a time.

Combine the rest of your dry ingredients and add them to your butter, sugar, egg mixture. Stir in the lemon zest, dried fruit, and nuts.

Divide the dough into 6 even pieces. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll each piece into a nice, even log. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (I ran out of parchment so I just lightly greased the cookie sheet).

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, rotating the baking sheets at least once. Take the logs out of the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Using a serated knife, slice your logs into individual cookies and place the cookies cut side down. Bake for another 15 minutes or so, you will have to watch them.

This make a LOT of cookies, which are great for freezing, storing, or giving as gifts!