Monday, March 31, 2014

Union Square Cafe's Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Poppy Seeds and Lemon

(recipe from Union Square Cafe Cookbook, via

1 lb. large brussels sprouts
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Cut the stems from the brussels sprouts and halve each one lengthwise.  Slice each half into thin slices, about 1/8 inch thick, and toss with the lemon juice in a large bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat almost to the smoking point.  Stir in the hashed sprouts with the garlic and poppy seeds.  Add the white wine and continue stirring for about 3 minutes, until the sprouts are bright green and barely crunchy.  Reduce the heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 additional minute.  Transfer to a warm bowl and serve.

(My new favorite brussels sprouts recipe!  Amazing!  Fresh and lemony, light, warm.)

Lemon-Dill Pollock

(recipe from Cooking Light magazine)

1/3 cup minced fresh dill
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar (I used honey)
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (6-oz.) pollock or other firm white fish fillets (I used haddock)

Combine all ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.  Remove fish from the bag; discard marinade.

Prepare grill or broiler.

Place fish on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray (or covered with parchment paper).  Cook for 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

(I used the broiler.  An effortless and delicious fish preparation!  I spooned some of the marinade over the fish before broiling, so my fish was moist and juicy.)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Carrot Fennel Potage

(I think this came from the LearnVest website... ?)

One large fennel bulb (about 1 lb.), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
Four medium carrots (about 1 lb.), peeled, halved width-wise, and quartered
One medium Spanish onion, quartered
1 tsp. sea salt, divided
Olive oil
One medium Yukon gold potato (about 1/2 lb.), peeled and diced
3 Tbsp. Pernod or dry white wine
1 quart vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh dill leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the fennel, carrots, and onion with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Divide among the baking sheets and spread in an even layer.  Roast in the oven until caramelized, about 40 minutes, swapping the pans halfway through cooking.  Note:  The vegetables can be roasted up to two days in advance.

Add the roasted veggies to a medium stockpot along with the raw potato and the remaining salt.  Pour in the wine, stock, and 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree the soup using an immersion (or regular) blender.  Add more liquid if necessary to reach your desired consistency.

Meanwhile, combine the dill and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, adding more oil as necessary.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle with the dill oil.  Garnish with some croutons or a few nuts.

(This is a thick, flavorful soup.  I'm trying to avoid too much oil, so I just blended the dill right into the soup at the end.)

Green Ginger Smoothie

(I have it written on a yellow sticky note - not sure where it came from!)

2 handfuls spinach
juice of 1/2 lemon
1-inch knob ginger, peeled (I don't peel mine)
2 pears
1 small cucumber
1 cup water


(I actually use these ingredients, but differ the amounts: one pear, part of a cucumber, smaller piece of ginger.  I also add celery and aloe juice.  Pears make nice smoothies - a little grainy, but interesting.)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Carrot shlada

(recipe from The Africa Cookbook, by Jessica Harris, via Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine)

1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley (I used cilantro)
salt and pepper to taste

Cook carrots with garlic in about 1 cup of boiling water, covered, until slightly tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain carrots and place in a nonreactive bowl.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, pour over the salad, toss.  Let stand for about half an hour.

(A nice salad, can be served warmed or cool.  Tangy and bright.)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mango and Avocado Salad with Black Beans and Lime Vinaigrette

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

2 firm-ripe avocados, halved, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. lime juice, divided
1 firm-ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Salt and pepper
1 Tsp. grated lime zest
1/4 tsp. sugar (I used honey)
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, more for garnish
4 Tbsp. olive oil (I used 2 Tbsp.)
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed

Gently toss avocado with a Tbsp. of lime juice in a medium bowl; add mango, jalapeno, and salt and toss to combine.

To make the lime vinaigrette, whisk together the remaining lime juice, zest, sugar, and cilantro in a small bowl.  Whisk in the oil until thoroughly combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Toss the black beans with the vinaigrette.

To assemble the salad, spoon the black bean mixture onto the middle of a small platter.  Arrange the chopped mango and avocado around the black beans.  Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.

(I just mixed everything together, and it was a fresh and vibrant and delicious salad.  It kept in the refrigerator for a few days, too.)

Broccoli Salad

(not sure where this recipe came from...)

3 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or both)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup raw pecans (optional)

1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a couple of hours in water
3 Tbsp. raw honey
2 Tbsp. raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup onion
Salt to taste
1/4 cup water

Add first set of ingredients to a large bowl.  Blend dressing ingredients until smooth.  Pour over other ingredients and mix well.  (You could also add purple cabbage, yellow peppers, just to make it more colorful.)

(This dressing is so tangy and delicious!  And healthy.  It would probably be awesome in cole slaw.)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Acorn Squash-Ginger Bisque

(recipe from an unknown magazine clipping)

2 medium acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lbs. each)
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 1/4 cups red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened orange juice
2 tsp. ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Slice each squash in half lengthwise, and place cut side down on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes or until tender.

Let cool, and remove seeds and membrane.  Scoop out pulp and set aside; discard remains.

In a large saucepan, bring sherry to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and garlic; cook for 3 minutes and stir frequently.  Add bell peppers; continue to stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Add reserved squash pulp, broth, and remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour squash mixture into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Ladle into bowls and serve warm.

Serves 7.

(A thick and delicious soup.  I also blended some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into some of the servings, with nice results.  If you remove the seeds from the squash before baking, you can bake them separately for a snack!)