January 30, 2009

Eat Your Sea Veggies

Arame is what I like to call the Sea's Vermicelli. I bet it would be delicious with a chunky garlic tomato sauce & ribbons of fresh basil. If experimenting with seaweed in the kitchen is new to you, Arame is a great introduction to the palate. It's much more mild than most seaweeds and blends well with other flavors. Plus it's shredded which makes it noodle-like and easier to slurp down!

If I haven't convinced you to play with it yet. Then just keep in mind that it is packed full of minerals and nutrients. A rich source of calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, Vitamin A and cancer fighting Lignans.

My dear friend Diana and I have been making Real Food Daily our nourishing stopover after our Sunday hikes. Founder and Chef, Ann Gentry has a scrumptious Sea Vegetable side. It's perfect paired with Steamed Toasted Millet & Quinoa and steamed leafy greens.

For lunch today I decided to recreate her masterpiece as a side to my Ginger-Lemongrass Steamed Salmon. I simmered both millet & quinoa together, steamed kale, sauteed arame & created a bright tart lemon ginger oil to drizzle over the top of it all!

January 29, 2009

Nothing Naughty Going On Here

Warm notes of bittersweet chocolate pair with bananas in this gluten & dairy free muffin. Both wholesome and naughty all in one bite! Loaded with wholegrains, fruit and bittersweet chocolate.

I've been experimenting with wholegrain baking, leaving out the typical inflammatory wheat flour and of course that shockingly sweet refined white sugar. For years, I've used organic evaporated natural cane juice and other wholesome sweeteners like pure maple syrup, raw honey and a bit of agave. Nothing creeps me out more than all of those agrochemicals concentrated inside the shockingly sweet white granules most of us grew up with!

It's just recently however that I seem to be getting the hang of incorporating the right combination of wholegrain flours to yield a delicate crumb, that won't have you craving wheat flour.

Don't get me wrong, I do love wheat, but everything in moderation. Afterall, I am Italian and can't go long without fresh pasta and traditional pizza!!

The great thing with wholegrain baking is really how satiated you feel after eating one serving.

Again, just a sneak peek of what's to come!

January 28, 2009

Calling All Superheros

Packed full of greens, fish and beans. Superheros may not have the time to grill a tuna steak, so canned tuna is the perfect mighty ingredient.

A quick and healthful lunch for all those on-the-go. This salad takes minutes to toss together. Add what you like and take out what you're not crazy about, try adding broccoli florets, capers & sun-dried tomatoes.

Superhero Tuna Salad
Makes 4 Large Servings

1 can of tuna, spring water packed, low mercury
1 can of chickpeas, drained
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
handful of kalamata olives, pitted and halved
handful of Italian parsley, chopped
2 scallions, green tips only, chopped
9 oz baby spinach
1/2 C grated Parmigiano, Pecorino Or Asiago

Lemon Vinaigrette
1/3 C lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
zest of 1 lemon
1 C extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & black pepper

In a large bowl toss together the tuna, chickpeas, celery, olives, parsley, scallions, baby spinach & cheese.

In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, zest and extra virgin olive oil. Season to taste.

Drizzle 1/2 of vinaigrette over the tuna salad and toss. If coated to your liking serve, if not add more lemon vinaigrette.

Enjoy with a thick slice of crusty whole-grain toast.

January 27, 2009

Sneak Peek

Hooray! A gluten-free, dairy-free muffin that's light and dare I say airy!?! A moist crumb that would never be substituted for a doorstop. I've been testing a few recipes for my cookbook and I think I have a winner.

Ginger and Cloves cozy up with Teff and Real Pure Maple Syrup. These muffins are chock-full of Vitamins A & B, Potassium, Iron & that lovely antibacterial Lauric Acid.

So without giving away all of my secrets, here is a sneak peek of what's to come!

January 24, 2009

Oatmeal For Two

We're finally experiencing a bit of winter weather. Drizzle and gray. The perfect weather for old-fashioned steaming bowls of oatmeal.

Plain is hearty, but it's always fun to dress it up a bit!

A dollop of coconut butter for wholesome sweetness.
A Sprinkling of toasted coconut and fresh blueberries. Banana slices, sauteed cinnamon apples, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts. Drizzle in honey or real maple syrup for those sweet tooth's!

January 23, 2009

Forbidden Rice Bowl

Toasted walnuts tossed with an earthy blend of forbidden black rice and seared tofu. Drizzled with a gingery lime vinaigrette. This bowl is the perfect accompaniment to a soggy wet day. Bright notes of cilantro and lime cheer with an extra pinch of cayenne pepper. It's scrumptious just warm from the stove, room temperature or straight out of the fridge.

Forbidden Rice Bowl
Serves 4-6

15-16oz Extra Firm Tofu
3 C cooked Forbidden Black Rice Or Wild Rice will do
1/2 C toasted walnut halves, chopped
handful of cilantro sprigs, chopped
2 scallions (green tips only), minced
juice from 1 lime & 1/2 the zest
2 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/8 t cayenne pepper, adjust to your liking
pinch of sea salt
1 T honey
1/8 C brown rice vinegar
1/8 C tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T walnut oil **(sesame oil or simply more evoo will work just as well)
1 shallot, minced

Drain the tofu and cut in half width-wise. Set the 2 pieces on a large plate, place 2 paper towels over each piece, place another plate over top and weigh down with a few heavy items like canned beans. Let drain for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast your walnuts if necessary. Pop into a 350 degree F oven for 8-12 minutes, until fragrant and golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Gingery Lime Vinaigrette:
Using a food processor fitted with the metal blade attachment, combine the lime zest & juice, ginger, cayenne pepper, sea salt & honey, pulse until well mixed. Add the brown rice vinegar, tamari, and oils and process for about 1 minute. Add the minced shallots and set aside. **If you don't have a food processor, simply whisk everything together by hand.

Seared Tofu:
Uncover the tofu and drain out any excess liquid. Cut into 1X 1/2" strips. Lightly oil a non-stick saute pan and heat over a medium-high flame. Sear the tofu on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Just before serving, gently toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Bon Appetit!

January 17, 2009

A Nourishing New Year!

Simple, Real, & Earthy flavors are what I'm craving this New Year. Today I made a warming bowl of Lemongrass-Ginger Chicken broth & Soba. I found 100% Buckwheat noodles at my local market. Eden carries soba that's unlike many other brands, as this particular type has no wheat flour, only pure and hearty Buckwheat. The perfect partner to my Lemongrass-Ginger Chicken broth.

I kept it simple and seasoned it with a few drops of tamari and a handful of scallion tips. However, sometimes I love to add chilies, cilantro and kale. It's a soup that you can have your guests dress at the table. Set out bowls of fresh herbs, veggies, bean sprouts, sliced chili peppers, chili paste, fish sauce & tamari.

To a Creative & Nourishing New Year!