Lemon and capers have the perfect marriage on top of fish, so why not try them on your salad greens?
This heavenly dressing is a creamy Mediterranean delight. It’s novel on salad, and yet the flavors are a classic combination. I normally shy away from creamy salad toppers, preferring a light vinaigrette, but this is a welcome change of pace. Although it emulsifies beautifully, it is still light and bright. This is the perfect salad dressing for summer entertaining. Enjoy!
Lemon Caper Salad Dressing
2 1/2 T capers, with their liquid
2 T minced shallot
1 T minced parsley
juice of a lemon
1/2 t honey
1 T Dijon mustard
1/3- 1/2 c olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. Combine all ingredients (just 1/3 c olive oil) in a small food processor or blender. Puree until emulsified. Taste and add more olive oil if you want, or adjust the pepper. The capers are so salty that you don’t need to add sea salt.
2. When dressing greens, use only a tablespoon of dressing per serving and toss well. Dressing can be refrigerated for up 2-3 weeks, but it’s so good, you’ll probably run out this week.
Here’s a quick stirfry to use with your very own lentil sprouts. Feel free to swap out vegetable favorites, just be sure to cut them into small pieces. Carrots and shitake mushrooms would be lovely. Serve with either rice noodles or brown rice cooked in coconut milk.
Gingered Lentil Sprouts
1/2 red pepper, cut to a small dice
1 c small broccoli florets
1 large clove of garlic (or 2 small), minced
1- 1 1/2 T minced ginger (no need to peel)
1/2 t red pepper flakes (optional)
2 c lentil spouts
1 T sesame oil
1. Heat a wok or a large frying pan over a medium high flame. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add red pepper. Season with a pinch of sea salt. Saute for about 2 minutes.
2. Add broccoli and another pinch of sea salt. Saute for 1 minute. Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Stir and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add lentil sprouts and another pinch of sea salt. Cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Add sesame oil. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot with rice or rice noodles.
Here’s a great snack to help celebrate Earth Day. You can make it for little ones, or let older children make it themselves.
All You Need
a round plate
a rough idea of a globe
1. Cut kiwi fruit into small pieces. Arrange them to create the continents (highlighting wherever you live).
2. Add blueberries to make oceans. A few slices of banana can mark Antarctica and the Arctic.
3. Gobble it up and compost the scraps.
This recipe is healthy. Trust me.
How often can we draw inspiration for a healthy breakfast from an ice-cream flavor?
This delicious granola recipe is inspired by the famous Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice-Cream. Chock full of banana flavor with chocolate and walnuts to boot, this is crazy good while still managing to be good for you. Living in a family with four banana freaks, it’s morning hit at our house.
This recipe is a part of Making Groceries even though you can’t buy anything like it in the store. Of course there are a few commercial granolas, especially at healthier grocers, but largely the cereal aisle is a vast wasteland of GMOs and corn syrup, all mislabeled as health food. It’s time to re-imagine breakfast. Sure, you can go the egg and toast route, but cereal is so easy and yummy in the morning. The trick it to make it yourself. This is a pretty big batch. It lasts a week or two in my house.
This recipe is full of healthy ingredients and is a great start to any day. It’s lovely stirred over Greek yogurt or with almond or coconut milk. It’s also a great ice-cream topper.
Chunky Monkey Granola
3 ripe bananas
4 T coconut oil
2-4 T brown sugar (optional)
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1 1/2 T unsweetened fair trade cocoa powder
1/2 t sea salt
6 c old-fashioned oats
1 c coconut (optional)
1 1/2 c chopped walnuts
1 c smashed banana chips
1. Preheat oven to 300°. Puree bananas in a food processor until they are liquefied. Add bananas, oil, sugar, spices, salt and cocoa powder to a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Stir until sugar is melted and everything else is mixed. You may want to taste before choosing to add sugar.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, nuts and coconut. Stir until well mixed. Pour chocolate mixture over the oat mixture and stir until everything is coated evenly. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Spread the mixture over both pans.
3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until granola is nicely toasted and dry. Every 10 minutes, stir the granola and change the pan rotation in your oven. Once ready, allow the granola to cool completely. Stir in banana chips. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks. Enjoy!
The Bottom Line
I’m not going to do a price comparison, because it just isn’t equal. It costs about $6 to make this entire recipe. If you buy ingredients in bulk, the price goes down for your wallet and the environment.
It’s amazing that you can serve yourself or your kids chocolate for breakfast and call it a health food, but it really is. Sure, it takes a bit of time to make this. I make it while cooking dinner, so I’m already in the kitchen to keep stirring. It’s not too much effort for me. If you wanted, you could team up with another family and take turns making large portions to share.
Let’s bring breakfast back to the kitchen, and keep it out of the laboratories once and for all.
Here’s a great spring recipe that takes only 4 minutes to make!
Kids love it, because they can open up the sugar snap peas to find sweet little green balls. Adding sesame not only tastes great, but also serves as an excellent source of manganese and copper, as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fiber. Sesame seeds reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. Most importantly, they’re delicious.
Sesame Sugar Snap Peas
1 T sesame seeds
3 c sugar snap peas (ends trimmed or snapped off)
1 t sesame oil
sea salt (preferably black Hawaiian sea salt)
1. In a dry saute pan toast sesame seeds until they are a nice golden color. Rinse peas in a colander.
2. Add peas to the pan, allowing the water on them to provide a little steam. Add a pinch of regular sea salt and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add sesame oil and stir to coat. Garnish with black sea salt. Enjoy!
When I served a beet puree and papadoms at Easter Brunch, instead of salmon, I wasn’t sure how it would go over.
It turned out to be the hit of the whole table! Guest after guest remarked on how much they loved beets right now, and recanted dishes on the menus at top New York restaurants they visited. The week earlier my friend Mary wondered if they were the it vegetable of 2013. I think she might be right. It was brussels sprouts in 2011, kale in 2012.
Mamaguru declares 2013 to be the Year of the Beet!
Always ahead of the trends, I have fabulolus recipes in my archives for the red root veg. Check out my profile of beets with a great salad, chips, and a rice dish.
Inspiration abounds, and I want to share with you another fabulous recipe, which does double duty as an impressive dinner party side and a sneaky trick to get kiddos to eat their beets. Beet cous cous is easy and delicous. The shocking color lives up any plate and the sweet, earthy flavor it imparts is delectable. Best of all, it takes only minutes to prepare.
Beet Cous Cous
2 c Israeli cous cous
1 c fresh beet juice*
2 1/4 c vegetable stock
1. Swirl a little olive oil in a medium sauce pan and heat over a medium flame. Add cous cous. Stir frequently as you toast the cous cous to bring out a nice nutty flavor (about 5 min).
2. Add beet juice, stock and a generous pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
* If you don’t have a juicer, you can go to a juice bar to get some.
Barack Obama will certainly be remembered as the first African American president of the United States, a laudable achievement. It will be the first sentence school children can recite about him in history lessons, but yesterday he signed into law the policy that will become his presidential legacy: the Monsanto Protection Act.
For the past few days, facebook and news media have been rapt with rainbow signs and images of red equality symbols in support of a tide that has already changed as the Supreme Court is poised to grant gay people full civil rights. Wonderful! But under all that hoopla, President Obama, quietly signed into law a bill that undercuts the health and well-being of every citizen in America. He completely undermined the first ladys’s entire platform and secured his policy legacy for all of history:
He sold our food supply to a chemical company.
One company owns the rights to genetic codes of the plants that are the foundation of our food supply. It’s not a church or any organization even remotely related to God or creation. It is Monsanto, the company responsible of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Monsanto’s legacy only goes down from there. It is such an insidiously evil company, it is hard to know where to start.
The most important thing to understand about them is that they quietly secured the rights of genetic codes to create patented seeds which cannot be saved from year to year as is agricultural tradition. These seeds must be purchased every single year, securing a continual profit supply. Ever single farmer who doesn’t want to purchase seeds from Monsanto is sued and loses his or her farm because wind blows some Monsanto seeds onto their land which makes them unwitting thieves.
Despite Monsanto’s deep coffers of profit, reels of bank-rolled verdicts, our government decided to offer them even more protection. Congress passed it. Obama signed it.
People like me are screaming at the top of lungs to the deaf ears of the rest of our nation.
This bill seems detached, minor and irrelevant to the lives we are living. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Why It Matters to You
Monsanto’s endless financial resources and nonexistent ethics thwart all the efforts of ordinary citizens to demand labeling of GMOs. How can 93% of Americans support the labeling of GMOs with no result? Something is amiss. Monsanto steamrolls small farmers, concerned parents, and smart public servants. Our country sleeps through it all.
The results are already devastating and will only continue to worsen, especially with yesterday’s legislation. The corruption of our food supply is why you have an autoimmune disease, your kid has ADHD and all your neighbors are obese. It’s why your parents have dementia. It’s why your children will die of cancer. It’s why your blood line will end in a generation due to infertility.
I know how crazy those statements sound. I know my voice sounds like a wacko and will be dismissed as such.
But I also know that I am speaking the truth. The modern rise of disease absolutely is linked to our denatured food and the chemicals that coat it. We cannot wait to address this. Every bite we eat, every seed that is planted has a direct causational relationship to our life.
I am confident that history will prove me right. Generations will look back at this time and scratch their bewildered heads at our inaction. Why didn’t we care? Why didn’t we fight this? Why weren’t we at all concerned for basic human safety and health?
We wrote our chapter in history yesterday, and the book doesn’t end well.
Let’s change the ending before it’s too late.
Here’s a lovely summer supper, perfect for easy outdoor entertaining. Of course it’s only summer in the tropics and Southern hemisphere right now, but the rest of the world can bookmark this recipe for later or buy some hot-house tomatoes and dream of the months ahead.
This delectable recipe serves four. Pair it with a nice green salad and a light red wine like a Beaujolais.
Roasted Tomaotes and Shrimp on Grilled Bread
1 pint cherry tomatoes
20-25 medium shrimp
3 garlic cloves
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
zest and juice of 1/4 of a lemon
about 1/4 c fresh basil, roughly chopped
good quality bread
pecorino romano cheese for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 325. Smash one clove af garlic and remove its peel. Place the smashed garlic and tomatoes in a small baking dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Toss to gently coat everything. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tomato skins burst.
2. In the meantime, place shrimp in a small bowl. Roughly chop a garlic clove. Add the garlic and lemon zest to the shrimp. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper (or optional red pepper). Chill while tomatoes cook. Once tomatoes have burst, squeeze a little lemon juice on shrimp and add it to the baking dish. Stir and bake for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and start to curl. Just before serving add the basil.
3. In the meantime, brush slices of bread with olive oil. Grill, broil or toast bread. Cut the remaining garlic clove in half. Once bread has toasted, rub it with the cut side of the garlic. To serve, heap the shrimp and tomatoes on top of the bread. Shave cheese on top. Enjoy!
An Easter repost from 2012.
Most fridges contain a dozen left-over Easter eggs, so here’s my promised recipe for the definitive devilled egg.
Nana taught me how to make make them as a child. From elementray school onward, it was my contribution to Easter dinner. Her recipe is simply perfect. She once took a tray of them to a catered graduation party for my cousin’s shi-shi foo-foo friends in Malibu. Much to my nana’s pride, they were gobbled up before any of the chef’s food. Yesterday I made what I thought was more than enough for Easter brunch and parents still ended up stealing from their children’s plates.
Really. It was brutal.
This is more of a technique than recipe, as amounts can vary. I recommend not gussying them up. People really love a great egg as is.
Perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs
mayonnaise ( about 1 1/2 T for 4 egg)
either freshly chopped dill or chives
1. Slice eggs in half and mash the yolks with a fork. Add about half as much mayo as you think you should. Mix well. Too much mayo overwhelms the egg flavor, and it needs to mix in thoroughly before tasting.
2. Add a generous pinch of salt. Mix and taste. If you want to add more mayo, do it a sparse spoonful at a time. Don’t be afraid of salt, eggs really come alive with it.
3. To make eggs super creamy, use a hand held mixer for a minute. You can spoon yolks into the egg whites or put them in a piping bag. (A baggie with a cut corner works well.) If you want to make eggs in advance, use the bag technique so you can fill the eggs at the last possible moment and keep everything fresh. Garnish with dill or chives.
4. If you have left-overs, you probably did it wrong. (Ha-ha!) Actually, you can just mince the whites, mix and smear on bread for a delicious egg salad sandwich. Add onions if it’s for my husband. Enjoy!
A essential Easter repost from 2012.
With Easter just around the corner grocery stores are stocked with extra dozens for the spring rush. There are many lovely tips for decorating Easter eggs, but I’m concerned about how they taste. There are so many ways to go wrong. Yolks turn grayish green and chalky if cooked too long. Some shells cling to the whites, creating craters on deviled eggs or they crack in odd places. Here are simple, but very effective, tips to make the perfect hard-boiled egg.
1. It’s counter-intuitive, but the freshest eggs are not the best choice for hard-boiled eggs. They tend to cling to their shells, so buy your Easter eggs now, not on Saturday.
2. Place eggs in a pot and fill with cold water until all the eggs are covered. This prevents premature cracking.
3. Bring the water (with the eggs) to a full boil. Turn off the flame and cover pan with a lid. Let sit for exactly 8 minutes. This is just enough time to cook the egg to perfection.
4. Gently pour eggs into a colander. Immediately shock them by putting them in an ice-bath. Let them cool there. It should take about 2 minutes. This shock helps to create the air pockets needed for clean shelling. It also prevents the egg from over-cooking as residual heat always results in further cooking. You can use these eggs immediately or dry and refrigerate them until you are ready. If chilling, be sure to mark the cooked eggs to avoid confusion.
5. To shell the egg, gently tap the eggs and roll them with soft pressure on a counter top. Try to get lots of little cracks instead of a few big ones to prevent the whole egg white from cracking.
6. Feel the bottom (flat part) of the egg. You will find an air pocket there. Gently press your thumb on the pocket to begin removing the shell. Carefully peel the rest of the egg. Rinse in cold water to make sure no bits of shell remain.
7. Enjoy! I’ll post the PERFECT devilled egg recipe later this week, so check back.