Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lemony Couscous, Asparagus, and Feta Salad

Hello everyone! I haven't posted in such a long time, I've been so incredibly busy since graduating school! In any case, I've just recently realized that I really need to step back and keep doing things I enjoy, such as sharing my lovely recipes with everyone on here. So, here is one of my favorites this summer: Lemony cous cous, asparagus, and feta salad! This is really one of my go-to dinners over the summer, as it is light, cooling and refreshing, especially served over a bed of nice greens. I've always felt like the energetics of summer are more attune to lighter, fresher foods, and this salad really embodies that. The couscous (truly the food so nice they named it twice!) creates a nice, fluffy airy effect and a wonderful texture, while crunchy asparagus, zesty scallions, fresh, bright parsley, and salty, briny feta all meld perfectly together in an acidic lemon vinegarette. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Vegetarian Cassoulet

So for some reason I've been thinking a lot about detox lately. Now I know at least for us New Englanders Spring (the season of internal/ external detox!) is far from having sprung, and it is still quite cold (lets talk about 5 degrees last night). I suppose that is why I created a vegetarian version of a wonderful stick-to-your-ribs french dish cassoulet, but added some wonderful, delicious detoxing dandelion greens! Essentially what they do is stimulate bile production from your liver, which in turn flushes out many of the toxins that are accumulating there as well as promotes paristalsis...I suppose lets just call that the intestinal elimination of said toxins. If you'd like, you can read more about dandelion greens on this post that I wrote about a year back (god, actually exactly one year back...talk about synchronicity!) This dish also has wonderful rosemary to support the circulatory system, parsely for loads of vitamin c and its heavy metal detox qualities, thyme for its lovely antimicrobial properties and tons of yummy beans and veggies for fiber, nutrients and vitamins! Oh yeah, and all of the above for their *phenomenal* flavors!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

My First Adventure into Fermentation....Homemade Yogurt!

Hey everyone! Well the snow and cold have certainly not been relenting here or anywhere else. Yesterday we just got nailed with over a foot of snow! And while it certainly makes life a bit more difficult, it is oh so beautiful and gave me my first ever "adult" snow day since graduating college! With all this time on my hands, I thought I'd make a recipe I'd been wanting to try for a while, but that takes a good amount of time and watching to complete: homemade yogurt. Now don't get me wrong, this recipe couldn't be easier, it just requires you to be there to complete simple steps every few hours-- kind of like making homemade bread. Very hands-off, but takes a little while.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Contemporizing my Roots: Gołąbki Bez Mięsa...aka Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls

A good portion of my heritage is indeed polish. My great grandfather (whom everyone called Dziadziu) was the first member of our polish family to emigrate to the states. Crazily enough, him and his siblings started a brand new and successful life in Chicopee, MA, and he even wound up becoming the mayor after living there for a while! Talk about living the American dream. But, I must admit that I have never really made too much of an effort to explore that many Polish cultural aspects, especially food, but I think with good reason as most of Poland's dishes incorporate some sort of meat, blood, marrow, etc (see: kielbasa, blood soup, pyrogies filled with all kinds of meat, and more).  But one thing that I have been wanting to try for a while now that I knew I could easily vegetarianize is simply cabbage rolls, or "Gołąbki" as they are known in Polish.

Really I'm not sure if my Dziadziu would be so proud of me because I kind of made this recipe "un-Polish", but it still has the basic idea. Instead of the normal meat and rice filling, I used a base of lentils, mushrooms and ricotta, 3 things that work very well together to create a creamy, earthy delicious taste. After rolling the filling into the cabbage leaves, I smothered it in a kind of "every vegetable in the fridge" spicy tomato sauce, though you can certainly make whatever kind of tomato sauce you like.  I'd almost venture to call them the "lazy, health-conscious person's ravioli". All in all, these guys are quite tasty and very healthy, so give 'em a shot!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Carrot Harvest Solution: Crispy Curried Carrot Fritters

So this summer I planted a HUGE bed of carrots, not really thinking about the fact that I'd have around 50+ of them at once when it came time to harvest. I kind of forgot about this fact through the end of summer and beginning of fall, but the other day I wanted to plant garlic for next year in the same, sunny bed as I planted the carrots this year, result being a crap load of carrots I gotta use up (with pleasure, of course). I pictured a few examples of my carrots below, a few different varieties to keep life interesting. I think my favorite was the "purple haze" which is the one furthest to the right. They all taste amazing, though. Not even close to the hard, dried out giants you find in the grocery store. Carrots fresh out of the ground taste incredibly sweet and fresh, and have a gentle crunch to them, not like their grocery store counterparts that take a good bit of gnawing to get through. So, though I was enjoying these carrots immensely simply dipped in hummus, I had (and still have so many) that I wanted a way to incorporate a huge amount of them into a meal, something more interesting than roasting or steaming. Result: crispy curried carrot fritters!

I used a similar recipe over the summer when my zucchini plants were fruiting in overdrive, trying a few variations such as mexican and italian. The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can tweak the herbs and spices to what you like. For some reason, I really like the sweetness of carrots with the spiciness of curry, so I decided to throw in some curry powder and accompanying spices and fried em' up. Not only is this recipe incredibly delicious, but with so many incredibly immune boosting veggies and spices (tumeric in particular!) it is a perfect way to enter into the increasingly cold winter months. Enjoy!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Wild Rice Salad on a bed of Warm Kale

I found myself in an odd position today, craving both salad but also something that would stick to my ribs a little but more than some lettuce and raw veggies. After a little bit of imagining, I came up with this yummy dish. This is another addition to my "fall line" of dishes I suppose..a delicious warm and autumnal salad.  A lot of these ingredients actually came right from our garden (well...at least the kale and the butternut squash, and we handpicked the apples at a local farm..props to fall in new england!) which makes it even more special. This combines the sweetness of apple, the roasty, spicy goodness of cinnamon spiced butternut squash, the delicate pungency of shallot, the nuttiness of wild rice, and the earthiness of sage. The combination is amazing, especially on a nice big bed of warm, lightly steamed kale. This, being an experiment, came out wayyy better than I intended it to on the first shot, and I don't think this recipe really needs many tweaks. I really like it because I didn't want anything too heavy, but it did feel like it would be unsatisfying and unatural to eat a big green salad as it is starting to get much cooler out. This is a perfect solution if you're sharing the same problem (or simply want to eat a super delicious and nutritious plate of fall produce). 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sage Scented Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout Hash

Fall is my favorite. I absolutely love the changing leaves, the sweater and  leggings weather, pumpkins, apple picking, and other things of the like. But one of my most favorite things about fall is the amazing tastes it brings about. It is around this time that our bodies start craving the foods that grow naturally in the cooler months--sweeter root veggies, heartier greens, and earthy herbs, all of which prepare us for a healthy and happy winter. Sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and sage is a perfect example of this. All of these are hearty through the winter and start flourishing during the fall. It's no coincidence that they taste amazing together. So, in the end Fall was the inspiration for this amazing hash. It is absolutely delicious, and also healthy due to the nutrient dense veggies, herbs and spices. I also tried to channel a little bit of a smoky bacon taste (though not overwhelming by any means) as a little bit of an homage to the classic potato hash. You can totally choose to omit those ingredients if they don't appeal to you though. Try this for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with eggs, without eggs, whatever you like...get creative and most of all, enjoy!