Wednesday, October 5, 2011


You can now view my juicy recipes and fitness tips at the new site JUICEBOKS, a place to inspire others to live life feeling good. Wholesome tidbits on all things food, fitness and health. Check it out today!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Summer Lettuces

The best tasting salads are made with the freshest farm stand ingredients in the summer. Living in the Hamptons for two months, I frequented the farmer's markets as often as I could. This became the ultimate lunch in our house. Served over crispy, warm bread topped with smashed avocado and red chili flakes. It has all of the elements for a perfectly light meal. 

serves 2

heirloom lettuces, torn into bite-sized pieces
handful heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved 
1 corn, grilled and cut off the cob
2 pieces fresh multi-grain bread, toasted 
1 avocado, halved and pitted
red chili pepper olive oil
Maldon sea salt
fresh black pepper
juice, from a lemon
extra virgin olive oil
crushed red pepper flakes
sliced almonds, toasted

Toss the lettuces, corn, tomatoes with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, squeeze of a lemon, salt and pepper. Smash the avocado onto the toast with a fork and spread evenly. Drizzle with red chili pepper olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt and red pepper flakes. Place toast on center of plate and top with the tossed lettuce mixture. Drizzle more red chili pepper olive oil and sprinkle toasted almond slivers.  Serve immediately.

Ginger Miso Stir-Fry

Stir-frys have long been my one-pot weeknight go-to meal. With all of the fresh local veggies that are available these days, I constantly have an overload lying around, which leads to dishes like this one. I  made a ginger miso dressing that really amped up the flavor. Drizzled with a little Sriracha for spice, it's perfection in a bowl. I made mine with nutty tempeh and sauteed some shrimp to add to my husband's. Depending on your preference, any protein will really do. Feel free to play around with different vegetables, depending on the season. Baby bok choy would also work really well in this.

Ginger Miso Dressing
1 cup water
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup mellow white miso
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup shoyu
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
pinch crushed red pepper flakes

3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ginger, minced
pinch crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup red bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1/2 cup snow peas, blanched and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces and blanched
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup shitake and/or oyster mushrooms
1 cup tempeh, cubed and marinated over a simmer in shoyu, water and kombu 
2 cups kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
1/4 cup water chestnuts, sliced
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup sesame seeds, or Gomasio
mung bean sprouts (optional topping)
scallions, sliced (optional topping)
cilantro, chopped (optional topping)

To make the dressing, place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. This will keep in the fridge for up to one week.

Heat oil in a wok, or large saute pan over high heat. And garlic, ginger and pinch of red pepper flakes and saute for about 2 minutes.

Add all of the vegetables (except for the kale) and the tempeh and toss to combine. Continue to saute until desired doneness, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the Ginger-Miso dressing, water chestnuts and cashews and stir-fry for another couple of minutes. Stir in the kale and cover for a minute or so until it turns bright in color. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or Gomasio and serve immediately over brown rice or soba noodles. Top with fresh mung bean sprouts, scallions and cilantro and drizzle with Sriracha for a bite.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mate Iced Tea

Ahhh...this has become my ultimate "feel good" summer concoction. It's better for you than coffee yet still has a nice caffeine high. Mate is a traditional South American infused drink, made from steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water. You can find tea bags of mate infusions in most local grocery stores now to make the brewing process easier. Yerba mate tea contains significant levels of antioxidants, with slightly higher levels than green tea and studies have shown that it may exhibit significant cancer-fighting activity. It has more caffeine than a cup of coffee, yet does not give you the "jitters" that coffee can. This summer I pour it over ice and add a splash of lime and agave. Simple. Refreshing.

Mate Iced Tea

5 yerba mate tea bags
1/2 gallon hot water
juice from a couple of limes
agave, to liking

Boil water. Pour into a pitcher and steep tea bags until desired strength. Remove tea bags. Once cooled, add juice from limes and agave to taste.  Pour over ice and enjoy.

This can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fourth of July

Hamptons. Salmon + chicken skewers. Fresh Mango Salsa. Housemade Chimichurri. Local Corn and tomatoes. Wedge + Blue CheeseSalad.Good wine. S'Mores. Great Friends.

Summer Scrumptious

I am spending July and August in the Hamptons. I know, I know I am one lucky duck! It's only been a week and I've already had the chance to do a ton of cooking, experimenting and baking. The freshest and most ripe summer produce that you could image is out here and it only inspires me to try new things in the kitchen. Although I cannot take you out here with me, I can share with you my culinary successes. You too can taste a little piece of summer wherever you may be. These muffins are easy to make. I used spelt flour, which is easier to digest than white or wheat. I also used a vegan butter in this recipe and I do use an egg. Feel free to experiment with your choice of flours, milks or egg substitute to suite your needs. 
EQUIPMENT: muffin pan (12 regular sized or 24 mini-muffins)

Blueberry Mini-Muffins

For the muffins:
1 3/4 cups spelt flour
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 large egg (or flax goop, or egg substitute)
1/2 cup almond milk (or whole milk)
5 Tbsp Earth Balance (or unsalted butter), melted
1 1/2 cup blueberries

For the topping:
1/2 cup rolled oats
large pinch brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Earth Balance (or unsalted butter)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pans with canola oil or use muffin cups.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl, then whisk in the zest. Whisk the egg in another bowl, then whisk in the milk and the butter. Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula. Divide among the the muffin cups.

For the topping, stir together the oats, sugar and cinnamon. Using your fingers, pinch the mixture until tiny crumbles form. Sprinkle over the batter in muffin tins. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool on rack. Remove from molds and serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Small Bites: Big Flavor

Since finishing my internship at Pure Food and Wine, I have been experimenting with recipes, dabbling into their cookbooks and making new creations of my own. I wanted to bring my favorite dishes from the restaurant into my kitchen, taking some of their flavor inspirations and techniques and layering them into my daily meals. One of my favorite things to plate (and snack on) on the line was their tarts, served as an hors d'ouvre. This is something that seems to change quite often in the restaurant, but I loved the bold flavors that came out of these small bites. This recipe is as close as I can remember, though I believe we used an apple cider reduction as the sauce. There are so many different ways to play around with this. I made my base more of a cracker, instead of a tart, as I did not have tart molds on hand to create the shape. This worked out just fine, and I actually prefer having the leftovers around to snack on. Here is my latest version and what I learned from Pure Food and Wine.

Pinot Noir Crisps with Herbed Cashew Cream
Trumpet Mushrooms + Caramelized Shallots
Apricot-Riesling Sauce

The Apricot Riesling sauce, along with the freshness from the herbs brightens up the heavy Pinot Noir, shallot and trumpet mushroom flavor. With the sweetness from the maple shallots and truffle oil notes, this makes for one awesome bite. I used Dr. Cow's Cashew Cream Cheese as a base and added my own herbs, but you can certainly make your own cashew cheese. I added fresh chives and parsley. Serves about 4

Black Pepper-Pinot Noir Crisps
1 cup pecans, soaked for 1 hour
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 1/2 Tbsp Pinot Noir
3 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seeds
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt

In a food processor, blend all the ingredients until smooth. Add more wine as necessary until you get a smooth consistency, like peanut butter. Spread the mixture evenly on a Teflex-lined dehydrator tray, using an offset spatula to spread evenly. 

Dehydrate for about 2 hours, until the surface is completely dry. Use a cutter of your choice (depending on what size/shape cracker you want) to score shapes into the mixture. Dehydrate for another 2 to 3 hours until the tops feel dry. Flip onto the mesh screen, peeling off the Teflex sheet and dehydrate until crisp. 

 Marinated Trumpet Mushrooms
1 cup black trumpet mushrooms (I used dried)
1/4 cup Pinot Noir
1/4 medium shallot, peeled and finely minced
1/4 cup nama shoyu
1/2 tsp white truffle oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and toss. Place mushrooms in the dehydrator until ready to serve.

Caramelized Shallots
2 medium shallots, peeled, cut in half, and sliced very thin
Splash of maple syrup
Splash of extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt

Toss ingredients in a shallow small hotel pan, or mini loaf pan until evenly coated. Dehydrate until shallots are broken down and the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 to 4 hours.

Apricot-Riesling Sauce
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dry Riesling
Punch of sea salt

Puree ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.

To assemble, drizzle the plate with the Apricot-Riesling Sauce. Place a Pinot Noir Crisp on the plate, stack with a spoonful of the herbed cashew cream, a pinch-ful of shallots and trumpet mushrooms. Top off with more fresh herbs and a few drops of truffle oil.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Avocado Toast: Revisited

I posted a while back about my favorite any-time snack, The Avocado Toast. It's healthy and fresh, full of flavor and satisfying. I have turned many people with many different palettes onto this and I've recently upped-the-anti with a few additions. I continue to enjoy this savory creation, playing with new and different flavors, especially as the Summer months approach us with all of its ripe produce.

I used Mana Bread in this recipe, but any good multi-grain bread will do the trick. Mana bread is organic and sprouted, and contains no yeast, salt, oil, or sweeteners. It's full of protein and fiber and has a wonderfully nutty taste. It's a bit dense, but sliced thin and extra toasted, it makes for the perfect bite.

I top off this recipe with fresh organic, raw sauerkraut. I have really gotten into pickling and fermentation lately and favor the tastes, along with the health promoting qualities that this process offers. Naturally fermented foods contain active cultures and enzymes (like those found in yogurt) that help support proper digestion, aid in nutrient absorption and contribute to healthy metabolic function. Studies have shown that regular consumption of naturally fermented vegetables positively correlate with low rates of asthma, skin problems and autoimmune disorders in children and also have potential anti-cancer links. You can make your own sauerkraut or purchase from your local market. I recommend Real Pickles brand, but just be sure it's raw and organic. 

Avocado, Tomato + Sauerkraut Toasts
Serves 2

6 slices mana bread (or other multi-grain bread)
2 avocados, halved + pitted 
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt
crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 ripe tomato, thinly sliced and cut in half
couple Tbsp raw sauerkraut
fresh basil tops
splash of extra virgin olive oil

Slice bread thinly and toast to liking. Scoop out the avocado and place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice + a pinch of salt and smash until slightly chunky. Spread the avocado onto the toast with a fork and top with crushed red pepper flakes. Next stack the tomato slice, then the sauerkraut and top with the basil. Finish with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil and a bit more crushed red pepper flakes.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Arugula, Avocado + Citrus Salad

This is a wonderful and simple winter salad right when citrus is at its peak. The almonds add a nice crunch and the olives a good salty bite that pairs well with the creamy avocado. 

Arugula, Avocado + Citrus Salad
Serves 2

1 bunch baby arugula, washed and dried
1 clementine, peeled, separated into segments and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 avocado, pitted and diced
black kalamata olives, sliced
slivered almonds, toasted
4 Tbsp, or more, extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

To make the dressing, combine the dijon mustard and the lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until it emulsifies. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the arugula, avocado and olives in a bowl. Toss with dressing and top with toasted almonds. Serve immediately.