September 15, 2014

Chia Seed Fruit Salad

This is one of the most delicious sugar-free dishes I've eaten. If you use bananas it really reminds me of frog eye salad (a cool whip fruit salad), which I don't make any more.

Chia Seed Fruit Salad

4 cups of diced fruit (berries, bananas, pears, apples, oranges, peaches)
1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups coconut milk (1 can)
1 orange, juiced and zested
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Make this in one big bowl or four single serving dishes. To serving bowl (or bowls), add the fruit and currants. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the chia seeds, coconut milk, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Pour chia seed mixture over the fruit. Top with shredded coconut. Allow to set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

August 11, 2014

Corn and Cheddar Chowder

Summer corn is in season! Try this delicious soup that highlights corn.

Corn and Cheddar Chowder
adapted from Family Bites

1 lb new potatoes, diced and unpeeled
3 cups water
6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large yellow onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
4 cups of corn, scraped from 6-7 ears of corn
3 green onions
1 cup milk
1/3 cup cream
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
10 grinds fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

Clean the potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place them in a soup pot and cover with the water, fresh thyme and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Chop the onion. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and olive oil and add onion, sauteeing until translucent and slightly browned. While the onion cooks, remove the corn from the ears and set aside. Slice the green onions, ends removed, and set aside.

Once the onions have cooked add them to the potatoes. Also add the corn, green onions, milk, cream and stock. Bring to a boil and allow to bubble for 7-8 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika and pepper and stir well. Lower the heat and add the cheese, allowing it to melt completely. Serve and enjoy.

Jamaican Pork Tenderloin

This pork tenderloin recipe is comes together so quickly but has great flavor without marinating.

Jamaican Pork Tenderloin
adapted from Joshua Trent

2 lb pork tenderloin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons brown sugar, coconut palm sugar, or sucanat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon honey

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a bowl, combine the spice rub ingredients.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Tenderloins don't always come trussed, so if you have two pieces, tie them together lengthwise using kitchen string in about 5 or 6 sections.

Rub spice mixture over tenderloin and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Sear tenderloin in a large oven-safe skillet set on medium-high heat, about 1-2 minutes per side, or until browned. While searing, mix the honey, tomato paste and vinegar in a small bowl. When ready for the oven, brush mixture on top of the meat.

Place the tenderloin, still in the skillet, in the oven. Cook until a probe thermometer reaches 140-145°F, about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Remove string and slice into 1/2 inch slices.

July 31, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate

When I want to make a treat, usually I think chocolate and peanut butter. I can't help it! I recently discovered these peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with oats. The oats aren't very noticeable and add texture. Try chopped dark chocolate (the darker the better) instead of chocolate chips here or in any cookie recipe to slightly reduce sugar content and add more deliciousness.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate
from Brown Eyed Baker

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar or sucanat
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

On medium speed, cream together the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

Use a large cookie scoop (3 tablespoons) and drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Coconut Lime Cookies

These cookies are scrumptious!

Coconut Lime Cookies
adapted from Two Peas

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into sixteen 1/2-inch pieces, at cool room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tablespoon cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened finely shredded coconut

In bowl of standing mixer fitted with flat beater, mix flour, lime zest, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined, about 5 seconds. With mixer running on low, add butter 1 piece at a time; continue to mix until mixture looks crumbly and slightly wet, about 1 minute longer. Add vanilla and cream cheese and mix on low until dough just begins to form large clumps, about 30 seconds.

Use hands or a cookie scoop to roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake one batch at a time in 375-degree oven until lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Whisk cream cheese and 2 tablespoons lime juice in medium bowl until combined and no lumps remain. Whisk in confectioners' sugar until smooth, adding remaining lime juice as needed until glaze is thin enough to spread easily.

Dip tops of cookies into glaze and scrape away excess, then dip into coconut. Set cookies on parchment-lined baking sheet; let stand until glaze dries and sets, about 20 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant parmesan never tasted so good as it did yesterday when I made it with this recipe. Yum!

Eggplant Parmesan
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 large egg
1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (make your own by toasting stale homemade bread and then putting it in a food processor)
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large eggplants (2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
4 cups tomato sauce
8 oz. thinly sliced or shredded fresh mozzarella

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 1 or 2 baking sheets with olive oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together egg and 1 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.

Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.

Spread 1 cup sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Depending on how much eggplant you have, arrange the eggplant all in the bottom of the dish OR only use half the eggplant. Cover the eggplant layer with sauce and mozzarella. If using two layers of eggplant, place the other layer of eggplant on top, and top with more sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle the top with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

July 24, 2014

Coriander Radish Noodles

I made this dish last spring but never posted it. This year when I saw breakfast radishes again at the farmer's market, I remembered this dish and made it again. When I remember something I've made only once, I know I have to permanently remember it by posting it here.

Coriander Radish Noodles
from Heidi Swanson

12 ounces dried soba noodles
3/4 cup slivered breakfast radishes, reserve tops
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown rice wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 small clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh (or dried) coriander seeds
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
poached eggs, one per person

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously, and cook the soba noodles per package instructions. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.

In the meantime, place the radishes in a small bowl and toss with 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and set aside. Place the shallots in a separate small bowl with the vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside as well.

Place the garlic in a mortar and pestle, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt, and mash into a paste. Add the sesame and fresh coriander seeds, and pound together. If using dried coriander seeds, toast in a dry skillet until fragrant before using. Work in the olive oil gradually, then the paprikas, and blend until uniform.

To serve, place the soba noodles in large bowl, and arrange the radishes across the top. Trim the stems from the radish tops you reserves, and chiffonade into thin ribbons (~1/2 cup). Add them as well. Add the shallot-vinegar mixture and toss well. Drizzle with the sesame-paprika paste, and garnish with sesame seeds. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Optional, serve topped with soft-poached eggs.