Saturday, December 12, 2009

Orange Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients and, if desired, orange liqueur in a heavy saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves.

Top fat-free yogurt with orange segments and Mixed Fruit Granola; drizzle with syrup.

From Southern Living

Gingerbread Waffles

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus some to butter the iron
  • Syrup, whipped cream or fresh fruits for topping, to pass at table

Preheat waffle iron.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and brown sugar until fluffy, then beat in pumpkin, milk, and melted butter. Stir the wet into dry until just moist. Do not overstir the waffle batter. Brush the iron with a little melted butter and cook 3 waffles. Serve with toppings of choice.

Adapted from Rachael Ray

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Harvest Grain & Nut Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup Quaker Oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 7 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 5/8 egg
  • 7 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 5 2/3 teaspoons finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 5 2/3 teaspoons chopped walnuts

1. Grind the oats in a blender or food processor until fine, like flour.

2. Combine ground oats, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In another bowl combine buttermilk, oil, egg and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.

4. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients, add nuts and mix well with mixer.

5. Lightly oil a skillet or griddle, and preheat it to medium heat.

6. Ladle 1/3 cup of the batter onto the hot skillet and cook the pancakes for 2 to 4 minutes per side or until brown.

Copycat IHOP via RecipeZaar

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pineapple Pork Tenderlon

  • 3 pound pork tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 16 ounces canned pineapple

Combine meat, sugar, spices, and cornstarch in a plastic zipper bag. Seal and shake well to coat. Pour the contents of the bag into the Crock Pot. Add the garlic and peppers. Pour in the soy sauce, apple juice, and pineapple. (The key with softer veggies like peppers are to put them on top of the meat so they aren't simmering in liquid all day, or add later on in the process.)

Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours, or on high for 4-6. Serve with rice.

adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Adzuki Bean Hummus

  • 1.5 cups cooked adzuki beans
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Tamari or almond butter

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until desired consistency. Use as a dip for crudite like carrots.

from I Like Granola

Spicy Azuki Bean and Brown Rice Salad

  • 3/4 cup dried azuki beans
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 green onions, green and white parts sliced
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 3 radishes, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

Rinse the beans under cold running water and soak overnight in a bowl covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Separately, rinse the brown rice under cold running water and soak overnight in 1 1/2 cups cold water in a small saucepan.

Drain and rinse the soaked beans and add to a medium saucepan. Cover with several inches of fresh cold water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans are tender but firm. Drain and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, bring the rice and soaking liquid to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Combine the oils, vinegar, tamari sauce, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, cayenne and the white parts of the green onions in a bowl and whisk. In a large bowl, combine the cooled beans and rice with the carrots, radishes and chilies, and toss gently with the dressing.

Lightly toast the sesame seeds to a golden brown over medium-low heat in a frying pan or small saucepan. Scatter the toasted sesame seeds and green parts of the green onions over the salad and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

from Lisa's Kitchen

Thursday, August 27, 2009

French Potato Salad

If fresh chervil isn't available, substitute an additional 1/2 tablespoon of minced parsley and an additional 1/2 teaspoon of minced tarragon. For best flavor, serve the salad warm, but to make ahead, follow the recipe through step 2, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Before serving, bring the salad to room temperature, then add the shallot and herbs.

  • 2 pounds (about 6 medium or 18 small) red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled and threaded on a skewer
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chervil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon leaves

1. Place the potatoes, 6 cups cold water, and the salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Lower the skewered garlic into the simmering water and blanch, about 45 seconds. Immediately run the garlic under cold tap water to stop the cooking process; remove the garlic from the skewer and set aside. Simmer the potatoes, uncovered, until tender but still firm (a thin-bladed paring knife can be slipped into and out of the center of a potato slice with no resistance), about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Arrange the hot potatoes close together in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Press the garlic through a garlic press or mince by hand. Whisk the garlic, reserved potato cooking water, vinegar, mustard, oil, and pepper together in a small bowl until combined. Drizzle the dressing evenly over the warm potato slices; let stand 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, toss the shallot and herbs gently together in a small bowl. Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl. Add the shallot-herb mixture and mix lightly with a rubber spatula to combine. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Grilled Pork Chops

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grates
  • 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 bone-in pork loin chops (3 pounds total)

In a bowl, mix together garlic, oil, sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne until a paste forms. Coat pork chops with paste and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 3).

Heat grill to medium-high; clean and lightly oil hot grates. Grill pork, covered, 5 minutes per side for medium. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings

from Everyday Food

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Minimalist on Salads

101 Simple Salads for the Season reprinted from the Times (minus the ones centered around olives, mayonaise, or other ingredients I would never use--RS)


SUMMER may not be the best time to cook, but it’s certainly among the best times to eat. Toss watermelon and peaches with some ingredients you have lying around already, and you can produce a salad that’s delicious, unusual, fast and perfectly seasonal.

That’s the idea behind the 101 ideas found in this section. In theory, each salad takes 20 minutes or less. Honestly, some may take you a little longer. But most minimize work at the stove and capitalize on the season, when tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, fruit, greens and more are plentiful and excellent.

This last point is important. Not everything needs to be farmers’ market quality, but it’s not too much to expect ripe fruit, fragrant herbs and juicy greens.

Salt, to taste, is a given in all of these recipes. Pepper, too (if I want you to use a lot of pepper, I say so).

Herein, then, are enough salad ideas to tide you over until the weather cools down.


1. Cube watermelon and combine with tomato chunks, basil and basic vinaigrette. You can substitute peach for the watermelon or the tomato (but not both, O.K.?). You can also add bacon or feta, but there goes the vegan-ness.

2. Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.

3. A nice cucumber salad: Slice cucumbers thin (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), toss with red onions and salt, then let sit for 20 to 60 minutes. Rinse, dry, dress with cider vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard; no oil necessary.

4. Shave raw asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler. Discard the tough first pass of the peeler — i.e., the peel — but do use the tips, whole. Dress with lemon vinaigrette and coarse salt. (Chopped hard-boiled eggs optional but good.)

5. Grate or very thinly slice Jerusalem artichokes; mix with pitted and chopped oil-cured olives, olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of coarsely ground cumin. Unusual and wonderful.

6. Sichuan slaw: Toss bean sprouts, shredded carrots and celery, minced fresh chili, soy sauce, sesame oil and a bit of sugar. Top with chopped peanuts and chopped basil, mint and/or cilantro. (The full trio is best.)

7. Grate carrots, toast some sunflower seeds, and toss with blueberries, olive oil, lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. Sweet, sour, crunchy, soft.

8. Chop or slice radishes (or jicama, or the ever-surprising kohlrabi) and combine with chopped or sliced unripe (i.e., still crunchy) mango, lime juice and mint or cilantro.

9. Chop or slice jicama (or radishes or kohlrabi) and mango and mix with coconut milk, lime juice, curry powder and cilantro or mint.

10. Cook whole grape tomatoes in olive oil over high heat until they brown lightly, sprinkling with curry powder. Cool a bit, then toss with chopped arugula, loads of chopped mint and lime juice.

11. Chop and steam baby or grown-up bok choy until crisp-tender, then shock it in ice water. Drain, then toss with halved cherry tomatoes, capers, olive oil and lemon juice.

12. Combine sliced fennel and prune plums; serve with vinaigrette spiked with minced ginger. Nice pairing.

13. A red salad: Combine tomato wedges with halved strawberries, basil leaves, shaved Parmesan and balsamic vinegar.

14. A classic Moroccan thing: Thinly slice carrots, or grate or shred them (the food processor makes quick work of this). Toss with toasted cumin seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and cilantro. Raisins are good in here, too. There is no better use of raw carrots.

15. Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half; toss with soy sauce, a bit of dark sesame oil and basil or cilantro. I love this — the tomato juice-soy thing is incredible.

16. Slice fennel and crisp apple about the same thickness (your choice). Combine, then dress with mustardy vinaigrette and chopped parsley. Come fall, this will be even better.

17. With thanks to Szechuan Gourmet restaurant: Finely chop celery and mix with a roughly equal amount of pressed or smoked tofu, chopped. Dress with peanut oil warmed with chili flakes and Sichuan peppercorns, then mixed with soy sauce.

18. Roughly chop cooked or canned chickpeas (you can pulse them, carefully, in a food processor) and toss with olive oil, lemon juice, lots of chopped fresh parsley and mint, and a few chopped tomatoes. Call this chickpea tabbouleh.

19. Mix cooked cannellini or other white beans, chopped cherry or grape tomatoes and arugula or baby spinach. Lightly toast sliced garlic in olive oil with rosemary and red pepper flakes; cool slightly, add lemon zest or juice or both, then pour over beans.

20. Shred Napa cabbage and radishes. The dressing is roasted peanuts, lime juice, peanut or other oil, cilantro and fresh or dried chili, all whizzed in a blender. Deliciousness belies ease.

21. Dice cucumbers (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first) and toss with cubes of avocado, a little mirin (or honey, but then it’s not vegan), rice vinegar and soy sauce. (You could mix in a little lump crab meat, really not vegan, even rice, and call it a California roll salad.)

22. Thinly slice button mushrooms; toss with finely chopped carrots and celery and mix with mung bean sprouts. Finish with peanut or olive oil, sherry vinegar, a little soy sauce and minced ginger. (This is a super vinaigrette, by the way.)

23. Thinly slice some cucumbers (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), red onions, radishes and fresh chili pepper. Soak for a few minutes in equal amounts vinegar and water, with some salt and sugar. When they taste lightly pickled, drain and serve, alone or over rice.

24. Blanch spinach, then drain and shock in ice water. Squeeze it dry, chop it and toss it with toasted pine nuts, raisins, olive oil and a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar. Capers are good, too. Quite elegant, actually.

25. Combine chopped bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, chilies and cilantro, then toss with corn tortilla strips, toasted in a 350-degree oven until crisp (or yes, use packaged chips; why not?). Dust with chili powder and lots of lime juice.

26. Combine mushroom caps and thinly sliced red onions with olive oil; broil gently until tender and browned. Toss with a lot of chopped fresh parsley or basil (or both) and a simple vinaigrette. Some chopped escarole, arugula or watercress is good, too.

27. Cook whole, unpeeled eggplant in a dry, hot skillet or on a grill, turning occasionally, until completely collapsed and soft. Chop and toss with toasted pita, toasted pine nuts, cooked white beans and halved cherry tomatoes. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice and lots of black pepper. Or a (non-vegan) yogurt dressing is good, especially one laced with tahini.

28. Toss mâche or another soft green with toasted slivered almonds and roughly chopped fresh figs. Thin some almond butter with water and sherry vinegar to taste and use as a dressing. Some will like this with fresh goat cheese.

29. Pit and halve cherries (or halve and pit cherries), then cook gently with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar until they break down. Toss with chopped radicchio, endive, escarole or a combination, some toasted hazelnuts and more oil and vinegar, if necessary.

30. Fast, grown-up potato salad: Boil bite-size red potatoes. While still warm, dress them with olive oil, lemon juice, whole grain mustard, capers and parsley. Chopped shallots, bell peppers, etc., all welcome, too.

31. Roast beets whole (or buy them precooked), then slice or cube and toss with a little chopped garlic (or a lot of roasted garlic), toasted walnuts, orange juice and olive oil.

32. Same deal with the beets, but toss with cooked corn, arugula, olive oil, sherry vinegar and chopped shallots.

33. The real five-bean: Chickpeas, cannellini or other white beans, kidney or other red beans, steamed string beans and steamed yellow wax beans. Toss with vinaigrette, chopped scallions or red onion, and parsley.

34. Grill quartered romaine hearts, radicchio and/or endive. Drizzle with olive oil and sherry vinegar, and add dill and chopped shallots. Teeny-tiny croutons are great on this.

35. Combine cooked or canned black beans with shredded cabbage and this vinaigrette: olive oil, fresh orange juice, not much sherry vinegar, ground cumin.

36. Mix cooked or canned chickpeas with toasted coconut, shredded carrots, chopped celery, curry powder, olive oil, lime juice and cilantro.


37. Cube smoked tofu, then brush it with a mixture of honey and orange juice; broil until browned. Toss with chopped cucumbers, radishes and peas or pea shoots; drizzle with soy sauce and lime juice.

38. Cube watermelon; combine with roughly chopped mint, crumbled feta, sliced red onion and chopped Kalamata olives. Dress lightly with olive oil and lemon juice. Despite saltiness of feta and olives, this may need salt.

39. Yucatecan street food as salad: Roast fresh corn kernels in a pan with a little oil; toss with cayenne or minced chilis, lime juice and a little queso fresco. Cherry tomatoes are optional.

40. Slice cucumber and top with capers, olive oil, lots of pepper and little dollops of fresh ricotta. Note: cucumbers, ricotta and oil must all be really good.

41. Halve avocados and scoop out some but not all of their flesh. Roughly chop and toss with black beans, queso fresco, cilantro, chopped tomatillos and lime juice. Serve in the meaty avocado shells.

43. Grate raw beets (use the food processor to avoid ruining everything within spattering distance) and toss with watercress or arugula. Top with sherry vinaigrette and a little goat cheese. Especially obvious, perhaps, but also especially popular.

44. Make a crisp grilled cheese sandwich, with good bread and not too much good cheese. Let it cool, then cut into croutons. Put them on anything, but especially tomato and basil salad. This you will do forever.

45. Halve or quarter cooked artichoke hearts (the best are fresh and grilled, but you can use canned or frozen) and combine with cherry tomatoes, bits of feta or Parmesan or both, olive oil and lemon juice.

46. Sauté mushrooms and shallots in olive oil. Add a lot of spinach, chopped unless the leaves are small. When it wilts, stir in parsley and crumbled blue cheese. Feels like a steakhouse side-dish salad.

47. Thinly slice raw button mushrooms; combine with sliced or shaved Parmesan, parsley and a vinaigrette of olive oil, sherry vinegar and shallots.

48. Toss roughly chopped dandelion greens (or arugula or watercress) with chopped preserved lemon, chickpeas, crumbled feta and olive oil. (Before you start cursing me out, here’s a quick way to make preserved lemons: chop whole lemons and put in a bowl with the juice of another lemon or two, sprinkle with a fair amount of salt and let sit for an hour or so.)

49. Toss greens with walnuts, blue cheese and raspberries; drizzle with a simple vinaigrette. Sell for $14 a serving.

53. Peel beets and grate them in a food processor. Mix equal parts plain yogurt and tahini, and toss with the beets along with lemon juice and za’atar (a mixture of toasted sesame seeds, dried green herbs and ground sumac; you can make it yourself using dried thyme).

54. Slice roasted red peppers (if you must use canned, try to find piquillos) and fresh mozzarella. Toss with cooked white beans, olive oil, red wine vinegar, a chopped shallot and fresh rosemary or parsley.


55. Mix watercress with chopped smoked salmon, avocado, red onion and capers. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, sherry vinegar and mustard powder.

56. Salade niçoise, sort of: On or around a bed of greens, make mounds of olives, cooked new potatoes and green beans (warm or at room temperature), good tomatoes, capers, fennel slivers, hard-cooked eggs and good quality Italian canned tuna. None of these is crucial; you get the idea. Serve with vinaigrette or aioli.

57. Toss cubes of day-or-more-old good bread with soy sauce, chopped sautéed shrimp, chopped radishes and cilantro. Like a weird shrimp toast panzanella.

58. Sear tuna until rare (for that matter, you could leave it raw) and cut it into small cubes. Toss with shredded jicama or radish and shredded Napa cabbage; season with mirin, soy sauce and cilantro. Avocado and/or wasabi paste are great with this, too.

59. Sear tuna, or use good canned tuna. Chop it up and mix with chopped olives, capers, tomatoes, parsley and olive oil.

60. Ditto on the tuna. Mix with chopped apples, halved seedless grapes, chopped red onion, olive oil, a bit of cumin and black pepper.

61. Mix canned salmon (sockeye, or use cooked fresh) with capers, chopped celery, yogurt or mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Serve on greens or in endive leaves.

62. Dust shrimp with chili powder. Sauté in butter or oil (or a combination) with fresh corn kernels and flavorful cooking greens (bok choy is good, as is watercress). Add halved cherry tomatoes and lime juice at the last minute.

63. Sunday brunch salad: Mix diced cucumbers, chopped tomato, minced red onion and capers with bits of smoked salmon. Dress with lemon juice (you won’t need much oil, if any). Take a step further by adding croutons of cubed toasted bagels.

64. Alternative Sunday brunch: Shred or chop cucumbers (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), then toss with flaked smoked trout or whitefish, capers, dill, lemon juice and olive oil.

65. In a hot pan, flash-cook cut-up squid in a little olive oil for no more than two minutes. Toss with cooked or canned chickpeas, chopped bell peppers, lemon juice, a little more oil and parsley.

66. In a hot pan, sear sea scallops for a minute or two on each side, depending on size. Slice or chop, then toss with thinly sliced fennel and lemon or orange vinaigrette and some chopped fennel fronds.

67. Bread salad for anchovy lovers: Chop together many anchovies, a few capers, lemon juice and olive oil (or anchovy oil). Toss with cubes of toasted bread and chopped tomatoes or halved cherry or grape tomatoes.

68. Mix crab meat with pan-roasted corn, chopped avocado, halved cherry or grape tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and perhaps a bit of cilantro and crumbled ancho chili.

69. Stir-fry small or chopped shrimp in olive or peanut oil with lots of ginger; while still warm, combine with tomato wedges, chopped romaine, cilantro, scallions and lots of lime juice. Good in pita.


70. Shred brussels sprouts in the food processor, preferably with the slicing disk. Toss with vinaigrette and crumbled bacon.

71. Combine sliced green tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella; top with roughly chopped basil, olive oil, black pepper and crumbled bacon.

72. Sort-of carpaccio salad: Broil or grill skirt or sirloin steak very rare and slice very thin. Arrange on a plate with tomato wedges, lettuce and lemon juice.

73. Hawaiitalian: Combine pineapple chunks with bits of any cured pork product — cooked guanciale is ideal, or any ham — and a not-too-subtle chili vinaigrette.

74. Julienne red, yellow and orange bell peppers; mix with thinly sliced red onion, olive oil and cooked crumbled sausage or chopped salami.

75. The Little Italy salad: Chop or julienne salami and prosciutto, then toss with cubed mozzarella, chopped tomato, pepperoncini, oil and wine vinegar.

76. Slice fresh figs — many, if you live where they grow — and top with crumbled bacon, balsamic vinegar (the best you have) and crumbled blue cheese.

77. Combine shredded cabbage or lettuce with bits of good turkey, Swiss cheese and rye croutons. Top with good old Russian dressing, call it a turkey sandwich salad and don’t knock it until you try it.

79. Sear a steak and move it to a cutting board (don’t wash the pan); wait a minute or two, then slice. Cut kale (preferably black, also known as Tuscan, or dino kale) into thin ribbons and toss in the pan over high heat for a minute. Turn off the heat, add chopped black olives, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Serve kale with steak on top.

80. Sort-of-Cobb salad: Choose any combination of hard-cooked eggs, chopped prosciutto, cooked chicken, crumbled Gorgonzola, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas or white beans, sliced red onion, olives. Make vinaigrette with capers and anchovies.

81. Soak sliced prune plums or figs in balsamic vinegar for a few minutes, then add olive oil, chopped celery and red onion, shreds of roasted or grilled chicken, chopped fresh marjoram or oregano and chopped almonds. Serve on top of or toss with greens. So good.

82. Cut pancetta into matchsticks and crisp in a skillet with some oil, then caramelize onions in the fat. Toss both with chopped bitter greens — radicchio, escarole or endive, for example — toasted pine nuts and halved cherry or grape tomatoes.

83. Toss thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onions with olive oil and red wine vinegar. Sear a skirt steak and let sit a minute; slice it thin. Toss salad greens with the onions, roasted red peppers, and steak; add a little more oil and vinegar if necessary.


84. Spring rolls, unrolled: One at a time, soften a few sheets of rice paper in warm water. Drain, pat dry, cut into strips and toss with chopped cucumber, grated carrots, chopped cilantro, bean sprouts, chili flakes and chopped roasted peanuts. Dress with toasted sesame oil, fish sauce or soy sauce, and rice vinegar or lime juice. A few shrimp are a nice addition.

85. Mix lots of arugula with somewhat less cold whole wheat penne, lemon zest, olive oil and Parmesan. The idea is an arugula salad with pasta, not a pasta salad with arugula.

86. Toss chilled cooked soba noodles with diced cucumber (if they’re fat and old, peel and seed them first), a small amount of hijiki reconstituted with water, toasted sesame seeds and a vinaigrette laced with soy sauce and miso.

87. Cold not-sesame noodles: Combine about a half-cup peanut butter with a tablespoon soy sauce and enough coconut milk to make the mixture creamy (about a half cup), along with garlic and chili flakes in a blender or food processor. Toss sauce with cooked and cooled noodles, a load of mint, Thai basil, and/or cilantro, and lime juice. Shredded cucumber and carrots optional.

88. Toss cooked pasta with roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts, fresh goat cheese, basil and olive oil. Corny, but still good.

89. Soak or cook rice noodles, drain and rinse; toss with cubed unripe mango, chopped peanuts, shredded carrot and minced scallion. Make a dressing of rice vinegar, fish sauce, lime juice, chili and a bit of sugar.

90. Sort of classic pasta salad: Pasta, artichoke hearts, sliced prosciutto or salami, chopped plum tomato. Dress with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar, perhaps with some mustard.


91. Cereal for grown-ups: Start with puffed brown rice; toss with chopped tomatoes, scallions, a minced chili, cooked or canned chickpeas and toasted unsweetened coconut. Dress with coconut milk and lime juice.

92. Simmer a cup of bulgur and some roughly chopped cauliflower florets until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Toss with chopped tarragon, roughly chopped hazelnuts, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil and lemon juice.

93. Mix leftover rice with lemon or lime juice, soy sauce and a combination of sesame and peanut oils. Microwave if necessary to soften the rice, then serve at room temperature, tossed with sprouts, shredded radishes, chopped scallions, bits of cooked meat or fish if you like and more soy sauce.

94. Cook and cool quinoa. Toss with olive oil, loads of lemon juice, tons of parsley, some chopped tomatoes and, if you like, toasted pine nuts. Call it quinoa tabbouleh.

95. Mix cooked couscous or quinoa with orange zest and juice, olive oil, maybe honey, sliced oranges, raisins or dried cranberries, chopped red onion and chopped almonds. Serve over greens, or not.

96. Cook short-grain white rice in watered-down coconut milk (be careful that it doesn’t burn) and a few cardamom pods. While warm, toss with peas (they can be raw if they’re fresh and tender), chopped cashews or pistachios, a pinch of chili flakes and chopped raw spinach.

97. Toss cooked, cooled farro, wheat berries, barley or other chewy grain with chopped-up grapes. Add olive oil, lemon juice and thinly sliced romaine lettuce; toss again, with ricotta salata or feta if you want.

98. Toss cooked bulgur with cooked chickpeas, quartered cherry or grape tomatoes, a little cumin, lots of chopped parsley, and lemon juice.

99. Toss cooked quinoa with fresh sliced apricots, cherries, pecans, and enough lemon and black pepper to make the whole thing savory.

100. Mash a canned chipotle with some of its adobo and stir with olive oil and lime juice. Toss with drained canned hominy, fresh corn cut from the cob (or drained pinto beans), cilantro and green onions.

101. Cook a pot of short-grain rice. While it’s still hot, toss with raw grated zucchini, fermented black beans, sriracha, sesame oil, sake and a touch of rice vinegar. Add bits of leftover roast chicken or pork if you have it, and pass soy sauce at the table.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ravioli with Chard and Caramelized Onions

  • 3/4 lb. ravioli (ideally a mix of ricotta and butternut squash)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil,
  • sea salt
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup pinenuts, toasted and chopped

To caramelize the onions, heat a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions over high heat, stirring occasionally, until they turn deep brown in color.

Into a large pot of well-salted boiling water add the raviolis. After a few minutes, when the raviolis float and are cooked through, drain them and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil. This prevents them from sticking together. Set aside.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, again in a big skillet over high heat. Add the raviolis. Stir in the onions, and then the chard. Wait until the chard begins to wilt, then stir in most of the cheese and most of the nuts.

Serve on a big platter garnished with chives and remaining Parmesan. Serve with sausages on the side.

Serves 6.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lemon-Buttered Broccoli Spears

  • 1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into spears, the stems reserved for another use
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • fresh lemon juice to taste
  • freshly grated lemon zest for sprinkling the broccoli
  • lightly toasted pine nuts or almonds (optional)

In a steamer set over boiling water steam the broccoli, covered, for 4 minutes, or until it is crisp-tender. In a skillet heat the butter over moderate heat until the foam subsides, in it toss the broccoli until it is coated well, and sprinkle the broccoli with the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and zest. Sprinkle on nuts, if desired.

Yield: Serves 3

Adapted from Gourmet | March 1992

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Carrot-Banana Cake

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, heated until just melted
  • 1/2 cup dried dates, seeded and finely chopped into a paste
  • 3 ripe bananas (1 1/4 cups), mashed well
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (2% or lowfat is ok)
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5x3 / 8-cup loaf pan (or 8x8 cake pan) and line it with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the walnuts and set aside.

Stir the dates into the melted butter, breaking up the dates a bit.

In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date-butter mixture, breaking up any date clumps as you go. Whisk in the yogurt and the eggs. Add the flour mixture and stir until everything just comes together. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean in the center of the cake - it'll be less if you are using a standard cake pan. Remove from oven and let cool.

While the cake is baking whip together the cream cheese and agave nectar. Taste. If you like your frosting sweeter adjust to your liking. When the cake has completely cooled frost the top of the cake with an offset spatula.

Makes one carrot cake.

from 101 Cookbooks

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Warm Farro with French Lentils, Caramelized Onions, and Feta

What follows is closer to a set of guidelines than it is to a real recipe, so do with it what you will. The most important part is the onions: be sure to take your time with them, and stir them frequently. Make this on a Sunday, or on a weeknight when you have some extra time to cook.

We eat this as a main dish, but it would be a nice side for almost any roasted or grilled meat. It is also delicious - and prettier - with some cooked kale or chard stirred in. Just boil the greens in nicely salted water for about 5 to 7 minutes, until tender but not mushy; then drain them, squeeze all the water out, coarsely chop, and add to the farro mixture.

And about farro: most of what is sold in the U.S. - I’ve found it at Whole Foods and fancy grocery stores, or you can get it from ChefShop - is grown in Italy, but there are also some domestic producers, like Bluebird Grain Farms in Winthrop, Washington. It is usually sold semi-pearled (semiperlato), meaning the some of the bran has been removed. If you buy whole farro, though, it will likely need to soak overnight before cooking - rather than a brief soak for semi-pearled - and will need to cook for 30 to 45 minutes more.

  • 2 medium or large yellow onions
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup farro
  • ½ cup French lentils, carefully picked through for pebbles and debris
  • Feta cheese
  • Hot sauce, such as sambal oelek (optional)
  • Lemon (optional)

First, the onions: slice them thinly. When I caramelize onions, I slice mine about ¼-inch thick, and I slice them lengthwise, from top to bottom - going “with the grain,” so to speak - so that they hold their shape. (If this makes no sense, check out the first two minutes of this video, from Fine Cooking. It’s a great demonstration.)

Pour a few glugs of olive oil into a large (12-inch) skillet. You want to be generous here, nearly coating the bottom of the skillet. Warm the oil over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, dump in the onions. They should sizzle. Stir them to coat, and then add a couple of pinches of salt. (Some people say that this causes the onions to fall apart more quickly, but I do it anyway. I like that it causes them to release some water, so that they stay moister, and it seems to make them caramelize more evenly, too.) Reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and continue to cook slowly, stirring occasionally. First, they will soften a bit; then they will go a little golden; and then they will begin to caramelize. It takes a long time to do this properly, so be patient – and stir regularly, especially as they take on color. My last batch of caramelized onions took about an hour and a half. When they’re done, they will have shrunk down in volume by quite a lot, and they should be a deep amber color and almost translucent.

Meanwhile, once you’ve got the onions started, put the farro in a medium bowl, add cold water to cover, and set it aside to soak for 30 minutes. Then drain it, turn it out into a medium saucepan, and add 3 cups of cold water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; then reduce the heat and simmer until tender but still a little chewy, about 30 minutes. It’s up to you, really, how “done” you want your farro. At 20 or 25 minutes, mine is usually too tough, but a few minutes later, it’s perfect: no longer a major jaw workout, but still al dente, for lack of a different term. When the farro is ready, drain it, and set aside.

While the farro is cooking, put the lentils into another medium saucepan. Add 3 cups of cold water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; then reduce the heat and simmer until tender but not falling apart, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, and rinse briefly under cool water.

By this point, ideally, your onions will be nicely caramelized. Now combine it all – onions, farro, and lentils – in a bowl and stir gently. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve with feta crumbled on top and, if you like, hot sauce and/or a squeeze of lemon.

Note: Leftovers keep nicely in the fridge. Rewarm slightly before eating.

Yield: 3-4 servings

from Orangette

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Braised White Beans

The garlicky beans, topped off with a mix of herbs, and spooned on toasted Italian bread was amazing. We ate it for dinner with a side of roasted asparagus and it was the perfect light dinner. I also imagine wilting some spinach in the beans would be tasty, or even just eating them in a bowl with a grating of parmesan on top, maybe even browned under the broiler.

  • 2 c. dried cannellini beans (1 lb bag, dried beans)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed with side of knife
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbs dried herbs de provence

Rinse the beans in a colander and transfer to a bowl. Cover with cold water by at least 2 inches and let soak for at least two hours and up to overnight. Drain the beans and transfer them to a large pot (I used a 4.5 qt dutch oven). Add water to cover by 1 to 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, anywhere between one to two hours (mine took about an hour fifteen). If any foam rises, skim it off. When the beans are tender, turn off heat and add salt. Let the beans sit in their cooking water for 30 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the cooking water, and drain the beans. In a large pot (I reused the same one), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and oregano and cook for about three minutes until the garlic softens. Stir in the beans and the cooking water. Simmer gently until the beans achieve a creamy consistency. The recipe said this would take about 4 minutes, but it took about ten to get the consistency I wanted. Remove from heat and pluck out the bay leaf. Stir in the herbs de provence and adjust the seasoning-- I found it needed a good bit more salt. Serve with toast points, in a bowl with fresh breadcrumbs, or parmesan, or in a tupperware container as leftovers the next day that just seem to get better and better. from Il Fornio, adapted from A16: Food and Wine; recipe originally published as part of Gourmet's Cookbook Club.

My Very Favorite Asparagus Vinaigrette

I can think of no more superlative recommendation for this recipe than its title. I’m happy eating it every day of asparagus season, at almost any time of the day or night.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup fruity olive oil
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds medium asparagus, trimmed and bottom portion of stalks peeled
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. For the vinaigrette, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, and mustard together in a small bowl. Add the garlic. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, then stir in the diced tomato. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let mellow at room temperature at least 30 minutes.

2. Blanch, steam, or microwave the asparagus just until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. Arrange the hot asparagus on a serving platter and pour the vinaigrette over all. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving. The asparagus may be served warm or at room temperature. I often make it about 30 minutes ahead of serving and let it sit while I attend to the rest of my meal.

Polish Easter Cheesecake

The traditional Polish Easter cheesecake is always baked in an oblong pan. It is not too sweet, very lemony, and, I think, absolutely delicious. This is my preferred version.

Yield: Makes 12 to 15 servings.


  • ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup finely chopped walnuts


  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 pound farmer’s or skim ricotta cheese
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 lemons
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup light cream

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly butter a 13 × 9 inch glass baking dish.

2. Prepare the crust: Place the flour, baking powder, salt, both sugars, and the butter in a food processor and process just until the mixture begins to hold together. Add the walnuts and pulse to combine. Press the dough evenly over the bottom of the prepared dish. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.

3. Prepare the filling: In a large mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese and farmer’s cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the sugar, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. Finely grate or chop the zest of the lemons. Squeeze the juice from the lemons and strain. Add the zest and juice to the cheese mixture. Add the flour, vanilla, and light cream and beat until smooth. Pour the filling over the baked crust.

5. Bake the cheesecake until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours. Cut into squares to serve.

from Cold Weather Cooking

Monday, April 6, 2009

yummy celeriac, apple & fennel bake

  • 1 large celeriac, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 1 apple (sharp variety such as Granny Smith), sliced
  • 180ml whipping or double cream
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 125g grated cheese (optional)

Serves: 4

1. Preheat oven to 190C/Gas mark 5 and steam the celeriac and fennel for 5 minutes to soften slightly.

2. Put a layer of celeriac into a buttered gratin dish and season. Then layer the apple slices over the top and sprinkle with salt. Next, spread a layer of fennel on top of the apple.

3. Repeat step 2 with the remaining celeriac, apple and fennel. Season and pour the cream over the bake.

4. Bake for about 35 minutes until soft. If adding cheese, finish the bake off under the grill until the cheese bubbles.

Recipe by Amy Brooks, a box customer from Reading. This 'yummy' bake was the winning recipe of our 2009 recipe competition held at the Field Kitchen in Devon.

Celeriac Gratin

  • 1 medium celeriac, peeled and sliced
  • 6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 leek or onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed with a teaspoon of salt
  • brown bread crumbs, tossed with a drip of olive oil (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 carton double cream
  • grated cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper

Lay sliced potato and celeriac in a large flat dish, put a little of the salt garlic mix between each slice, pour over cream, grate cheese over and add black pepper.

For a change you can add the crispy topping - best made using onion, wholemeal or seeded bread for the crumbs whizzed in a blender.

Bake at 160 degrees C for a couple of hours under foil and then remove to crisp topping. If your in a hurry you can steam/boil celeriac and spuds first and bake for 1/2 hr in a hotter oven!

(Parsley to garnish)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spinach and Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 thick slices of bacon
  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • one orange: half juiced, half sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach leaves

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Put the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes. Remove and keep them on the pan until ready to use.

2. While the potatoes cook, put the bacon in a nonreactive skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook, turning once or twice, until crisp. Drain on paper towels and pour off the fat, leaving any darkened bits behind in the pan. Put back on medium heat, and add the remaining oil to the pan. When it's hot, add the onion, and ginger to the pan. Cook, stirring once or twice, until no longer raw, then stir in the cumin and the reserved bacon. Stir in the orange juice and turn off the heat. (The recipe can be made up to an hour or so ahead to this point. Gently warm the dressing again before proceeding.)

3. Put the spinach and orange slices in a bowl large enough to comfortably toss the salad quickly. Add the sweet potatoes and the warm dressing and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve.

- serves 4 -

Adapted from Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating by Mark Bittman.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

White Beans and Escarole

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked great northern or navy beans
  • 2 large heads escarole, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed oil
  • 5 dashes ume plum vinegar
  • Gomasio

In Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté garlic in olive oil until soft (about 2 minutes). Add beans and escarole and stir until escarole starts to wilt. Continue cooking 3 minutes. Remove from heat, drizzle with flax oil and vinegar and toss to combine. Sprinkle with gomasio and serve.

VARIATION To turn this dish into a rich, nondairy cream soup, add 3–4 cups vegetable stock, simmer 5 minutes, purée with handheld blender and serve.



Kabocha Squash Stuffed with Brown Rice and Chickpea Pilaf

  • 1 kabocha squash
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans


  • 1 cup medium grain brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 thumb-size piece kombu
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Soak rice for 1 hour in bowl with enough water to cover. Drain, place rice in pot with 2 cups fresh water, kombu, currants, allspice and dill. Bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes or until water is absorbed. Set aside to cool.


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash squash well and cut in half from top to bottom. Remove seeds and rub skin and f lesh with oil. Place cut side down on cookie sheet and roast 25 minutes or until soft (time will vary according to size of squash).


In large skillet over medium heat, sauté onion in grapeseed oil until soft (about 3 minutes). Remove kombu from rice and discard. Add rice and chickpeas to onion and sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat and toss with pine nuts, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Slice cooked squash into boats, place on individual plates or group on a platter. Spoon brown rice stuffing over the center so that it spills down on each side, sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve.



Apple Squash Soup

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Sea salt

Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Cut into 2-inch pieces. In large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until soft (about 5 minutes). Add squash, apples, stock, rice milk, coconut milk and nutmeg. Cover, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is soft. Purée with handheld blender and remove from heat to cool slightly. Season to taste with salt and serve.



Cranberry Chutney

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 medium apples, cored and chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Combine cranberries, raisins, sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and water in Dutch oven. Place over medium heat and cook 15 minutes. Stir in onion, apples and celery and cook 15 minutes more. Remove from heat and add lemon peel. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Chutney can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the freezer.

MAKES 4 cups

adapted from CLEAN FOOD

Cranberry Chutney

A delicious cranberry chutney with apples, oranges, golden raisins, and spices, perfect alongside pork, turkey, and chicken main dishes.

  • 1 orange, peeled, tough membrane removed, chopped
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 package (12 ounces) fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, chopped
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until cranberries are bursting. Chill until serving time; freeze surplus in small containers. Makes about about 4 cups of chutney.

adapted from Southern Food on

Orzo Soup

A couple tips - use a great broth, with just a few ingredients in this recipe, it's key. Before serving be sure to adjust your salt, if the soup tastes flat, add more a pinch or two at a time until all the flavors pop.

  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo (or other small pasta i.e. pastina)
  • 2 cups chard or spinach, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
  • good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • fine grain sea salt
  • some grated Parmesan cheese (to finish)

Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until just tender - about ten minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach.

In the meantime, heat the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a separate saucepan. Taste, and salt a bit if needed.

Just before serving, Slowly pour the egg whites into the soup, stirring quickly with a whisk. The whites should take on a raggy appearance. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve the soup in individual bowls, with each serving topped with a generous spoonful of tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and dusting of cheese.

Makes 4-6 servings.

from 101 Cookbooks

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sausages with Cider and Apples

  • 1 lb. (about 8) fat, coarse ground pork or beef sausages
  • l lb. yellow onions, peeled and cut in rough chunks
  • 1 tsp. prepared English mustard
  • a pinch of thyme
  • 1 cup apple cider (fresh, unpasturized cider or unfiltered apple juice is the best, if you can get it)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large red eating apple.
  • To Serve: Creamy mashed potatoes for four

Prick the sausages once or twice with a fork, then lightly brown them in a medium sized cast iron or other heavy-bottomed skillet for about 5 minutes, turning often. The skillet should provide just enough room for ingredients to fit tightly. Pack the onions in around the sausages, giving the pan a few shakes. Stir in the mustard, thyme and apple juice.

Cover and simmer (do not boil) over medium low heat for about 30 minutes. The apple juice will combine with other pan juices to make a rich gravy. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Core but do not peel the apple. Divide into 8 to 10 slices and arrange over the top of the dish. Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. The apples should soften but keep their shape.

To serve, arrange two sausages on a generous portion of creamy mashed potatoes and top with apples, onions and gravy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hangover Soup

  • 2 large heads garlic
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta or alphabet pasta or other small shell pasta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 6-8 whole wheat bread croutes
  • 4-6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese or monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • finely minced fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced, for garnish (optional)

In a large stock soup pot combine the garlic, stock, cloves, sage thyme, and parsley. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low, and let simmer gently, uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes. Strain the soup, pressing down the solids with the back of a wooden spoon to extract most of the garlic from the peels. Scrape garlic purée from the underside of the strainer into the broth. Discard the garlic peels and the spent herbs.

Add the tomato or V8 juice to the strained soup and bring it to a boil. Drop in the pasta and let it cook until done – 5 minutes for alphabets and 8-10 minutes for the larger shapes.

Meanwhile beat the egg yolks in a small bowl.

Put a croûte in each soup bowl and top with a handful of grated cheese.

When the pasta is done, ladle out a little of the hot soup into the beaten egg yolks. Whisk together, and then whisk this mixture into the soup pot. The soup should thicken almost immediately. Remove the pot from the heat, and ladle the soup over the cheese-covered croûtes. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of parsley and/or cilantro, and top with a few slices of ripe avocado. Enjoy!

Yield: 6 servings

from Soup & Bread by Crescent Dragonwagon

Irish Lamb Stew

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 onions (roughly chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 Guinness (or other dark stout)
  • * beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme (chopped)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 white potatoes (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 4 carrots (cut into bite sized pieces)
  • 1 handful parsley (chopped) garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large pot.

2. Add the lamb and brown on each side.

3. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

5. Sprinkle in the flour and stir.

6. Add the Guinness and enough beef stock to cover.

7. Add the rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

8. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lamb it fork tender, about 1-2 hours.

9. Add the potatoes and carrots and some more beef stock to cover.

10 Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until they are tender, about 20-60 minutes depending on cut.

11. Plate and garnish with parsley.

from Closet Cooking

Shrimp Scampi

  • 1 1/2 pound jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Pasta, to serve

Put the shrimp on a large pie pan or plate and pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Arrange the shrimp so they lay flat and are evenly spaced.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the butter to the skillet. When the foaming subsides, raise the heat to high, and invert the plate of shrimp over the pan so the shrimp fall into the pan all at once. Cook the shrimp, without moving them, for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn the shrimp over and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer the shrimp to a bowl.

Return the skillet to the heat and pour in the vermouth and lemon juice. Boil the liquid until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Stir the zest and parsley into the sauce. Pour the sauce over the shrimp, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Divide the shrimp among 4 plates or arrange on a platter and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Adapted from the Food Network

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Persian Rice

  • 3 cups long grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup water

1. Start the 2 quarts water and salt boiling in large stock pot or dutch oven. Rinse rice until water runs clear (or as close to clear as you can get it). Add rice to boiling water, boil about 10 minutes or until rice is about half cooked. Drain rice in colander, reserve.

2. In stock pot or dutch oven, pour about 1/4 cup melted butter on bottom, tilt to cover 2 inches up sides. Pour the half-cooked rice into the pot, try to make a nice mound in the middle, and avoid the sides as much as possible.With the end of a wooden spoon, make holes in the mound of rice (5 or 6 places) evenly around. Pour the remaining melted butter onto the rice, and drizzle 1/4 cup of the extra water into the holes you made. Cover pot with kitchen towel to absorb the steam, place pot lid on towel.

3. Cook on very low heat, checking after about 15 minutes. If the rice is browning too fast, add the remaining extra water a little bit at a time. Cook rice until it's done, about 30 minutes. Try not to check it too often, as it needs to steam.

Serves 6-8

Fesenjen Chicken (Chicken with Walnuts and Pomegranate)

  • 2 lbs of chicken thighs (about 8), skin and excess fat removed (I bought them boneless and skinless and they were fine. )
  • 3 cups of walnuts
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of pomegranate molasses (I used about half of this)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds or dried barberries, for garnish

Put chicken thighs in 4-Quart Slow Cooker.

In a large skillet, toast the walnuts over medium-high heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a food processor and finely chop them. Add the walnuts and bay leaf to the cookers. Pour in 1 2/3 cups water (I used chicken stock to compensate for the lack of bones) and cook, covered, on the low setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Using tongs, remove the chicken thighs to a board and put the meat off the bone in large chunks. Set aside.

Turn the cooker to the high setting. Stir the sugar and pomegranate molasses into the sauce and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour until the sauce is thickened. Return chicken to slow cooker and cook until heated through. (You can speed this up and get a thicker sauce by pouring the slow cooker juices, molasses and sugar into a large saucepan, bringing it all to a boil over high heat, boiling it for 25 minutes, then adding the chicken to heat through.) Discard the bay leaf. Serve hot, sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Serves 4, Or 2 Big Eaters

Adapted from Secrets of Slow Cooking

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easier Chicken and Dumplings


  • 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed (about 1/2 tablespoon)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3/8 cup dry sherry
  • 1/6 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 ounces frozen peas (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoon minced parsley


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

1. FOR THE STEW: Bring broth to a simmer in Dutch oven over high heat. Add chicken and return to simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent loosely with foil. Transfer broth to a large bowl.

2. Return empty Dutch oven to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add carrots, onion, and salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute. Stir in sherry, scraping up browned bits. Stir in reserved broth, cream, thyme, bay leaf, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until stew thickens, about 20 minutes.

3. FOR THE DUMPLINGS: Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in cream until incorporated (dough will be very thick and shaggy).

4. TO FINISH: Discard bay leaf and return stew to a rapid simmer. Shred reserved chicken and add to stew along with any accumulated juices, peas, and half the parsley. Shape dumplings by dividing into 9 equal pieces and rolling each into a ball. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve.

serves 3 to 4

adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Winter Vegetable Soup

  • 4 slices bacon in 1-inch piece
  • 4 tb unsalted butter
  • 2 c diced leeks
  • 1 1/2 c diced onions
  • 1 c diced celery
  • 1 1/2 ts dried tarragon
  • 1/2 ts dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 c chicken stock (homemade preferred)
  • 2 1/2 c diced potatoes
  • 1 lb rinsed spinach 1/8 inch slivers
  • 1 1/2 c sliced carrots*
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cabbage*

1. In large soup pot, cook bacon till fat is rendered (5 min), remove & discard.

2. Add butter, then leeks, onion and celery. Cook over low heat till wilted (15 min). Season with tarragon, thyme salt & pepper. Stir well.

3. Add stock, potatoes & carrots. Simmer till tender but not mushy (15 min).

4. add half the spinach and the cabbage, simmer 1 minute.

5. Remove from heat. Puree half the soup in a food processor or blender & return to pot.

6. Simmer over low heat and add the remaining spinach and the cream. Heat well but don't boil. Adjust seasoning and serve.

Serving Size : 6

Recipe found in “The New Basics” cookbook Lulins/Rossi *ingredients added by me! Mark in NJ

Friday, January 23, 2009

Orecchiette with Cauliflower Il Melograno

  • 1 large head green cauliflower (sometimes called broccoflower, about 2 1/2 pounds) or 1/2 large head cauliflower and 1/2 bunch broccoli, cut into 1/2-inch flowerets, stems reserved for another use
  • 3/4 pound dried orecchiette
  • 5 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • Accompaniment: freshly grated Parmesan

In a 5-quart kettle bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil for cauliflower (or cauliflower mixture) and pasta.

In a 12-inch deep heavy skillet heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook bread crumbs, stirring, until golden. Transfer bread crumbs to a bowl and wipe skillet clean with paper towel. In skillet cook bacon over moderate heat until crisp.

While bacon is cooking, add vegetables to boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a colander to drain and keep water at a boil.

Add vegetables, garlic, and salt to taste to bacon and sauté until cauliflower is pale golden, about 3 minutes. Keep mixture warm.

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente and drain well in colander. Add pasta, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste to cauliflower mixture and toss until combined well.

Sprinkle pasta with bread crumbs and serve with Parmesan.

yield: Serves 4 as a first course

from Gourmet

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wheat Berry, Lentil, and Kielbasa Salad

I improvised this one. I liked it warm for dinner, but should work well at room temp for lunch. The orange flavor from the infused olive oil was especially nice. Next time try adding sections of orange for serving. Was not a hit with husband or toddler.

  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach, chopped
  • olive oil
  • light or turkey kielbasa
  • orange olive oil
  • white balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese

Cook onion and carrots in olive oil until softened. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Add cooked lentils wheat berries to warm. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, cook kielbasa until browned and warmed through. Combine all ingredients and dress with orange olive oil and vinegar. Sprinkle feta cheese on for serving, if desired.

[To cook lentils: Place in slow cooker with water to cover by 1 inch. Cook on high setting for 2 hours. Drain and season to taste with salt.

To cook wheat berries: Place in slow cooker with water (1:4 ratio). Cook on high setting for 4 hours. Drain and season to taste with salt.]

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cowboy Christmas Breakfast

Sausage, egg, scallion, and cheese are layered over garlicky "Texas toast" in the heartiest take on savory bread pudding we've ever come across — just the sight of it could stir a cowboy-size appetite. This stick-to-your-ribs breakfast for a crowd can be completely assembled the night before.

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for greasing baking dish
  • 1 (1-lb) package bulk breakfast sausage (not links)
  • 1 (15-inch-long) loaf Italian bread (about 4 inches wide)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 dozen large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large bunch scallions
  • 1/4 lb sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 cup)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter bottom and sides of a 13- by 9-inch baking dish.

Cook sausage in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps with a fork, until browned, about 10 minutes. Pour off fat from skillet, then cool sausage to room temperature.

Cut half of bread into 1-inch-thick slices and reserve remaining half for another use. Pulse butter (1/2 stick) and garlic in a food processor until smooth. Spread a thin layer of garlic butter on both sides of each bread slice, arranging bread in 1 layer in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle sausage on top.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until frothy, then whisk in scallions and half of cheese. Pour egg mixture over sausage (bread will float to the top), pushing down on bread with a spatula to help it absorb liquid. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake, tightly covered with a large sheet of buttered foil (buttered side down), 30 minutes, then carefully remove foil and bake until top is slightly puffed and custard is set in center, about 20 minutes more. Transfer baking dish to a rack and let stand 10 minutes. Cut into 12 squares and serve immediately.

Cooks' note: Dish can be assembled (but not baked) 12 hours ahead and chilled, tightly covered with buttered foil. Bake as directed above.

Makes 12 servings (or 8 for cowboys)

Active time: 30 min, total time: 1 1/2 hr

From Epicurious

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sausage, Spinach and Cheese-Stuffed Shells

  • 12-ounce box jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions
  • 1 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large egg
  • 16-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 10-ounce box chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 32-ounce jar pasta sauce (4 cups)

If serving immediately, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until no traces of pink remain, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl lightly beat the egg. Add the ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, dried basil, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and the reserved sausage mixture.

Spread 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce over the bottom of each of two 9-inch-by-13-inch or similarly sized shallow baking dishes. Fill each of the reserved shells with the sausage and ricotta filling.

Arrange half of the shells in each of the baking dishes, then spread half of the remaining pasta sauce over each dish of shells. Cover the pans with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling.

Uncover and sprinkle each dish with 1/4 cup of the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Alternatively, one or both baking dishes can be frozen for up to 4 months. The dishes should be covered tightly with foil and plastic wrap before freezing. When ready to serve, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap (leaving the foil) and bake directly from the freezer for 1 hour, or until hot and bubbling. Uncover and sprinkle each dish with 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes.

From and tested by the Associated Press. 523 calories (40% from fat), 23 grams fat (8 grams sat. fat), 54 grams carbohydrates, 27 grams protein, 1,562 mg sodium, 69 mg cholesterol, 383 mg calcium, 6 grams fiber.

Serves: 8 / Preparation time: 40 minutes / Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Pot Roast with Root Vegetables

For pot roast, we recommend a chuck-eye roast. Most markets sell this roast with twine tied around the center. If necessary, do this yourself (see illustrations, "How To Tie A Top-Blade Roast," below). Seven-bone and top-blade roasts are also good choices for this recipe. Remember to add only enough water to come halfway up the sides of these thinner roasts, and begin checking for doneness after 2 hours. If using a top-blade roast, tie it before cooking to keep it from falling apart.

  • 1 chuck-eye roast (about 3 1/2 pounds), boneless
  • Table salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped medium
  • 1 small carrot , chopped medium
  • 1 small rib celery , chopped medium
  • 2 medium cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots (about 8 medium carrots), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes , halved if larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter (about 5 cups)
  • 1 pound large parsnips (about 5), sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 3 cups)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Thoroughly pat roast dry with paper towels; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

2. Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Brown roast thoroughly on all sides, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer roast to large plate; set aside. Reduce heat to medium; add onion, carrot, and celery to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken and beef broths and thyme, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; add enough water to come halfway up sides of roast. Bring liquid to simmer over medium heat, then place large piece of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid; transfer pot to oven. Cook, turning roast every 30 minutes, until roast is almost tender (sharp knife should meet little resistance), 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Add carrots, red potatoes, and parsnips to Dutch oven, submerging them in liquid. Continue to cook until vegetables are almost tender, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Transfer roast to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm. Allow liquid in pot to settle about 5 minutes, then use wide spoon to skim fat off surface; discard thyme sprig. Add wine and salt and pepper to taste; boil over high heat until vegetables are fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to warmed serving bowl or platter. Using chef’s or carving knife, cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices or pull apart into large pieces; transfer to bowl or platter with vegetables and pour about 1/2 cup sauce over meat and vegetables. Serve, passing remaining sauce separately.

Serves 6 to 8. From Cook's Illustrated; Published March 1, 2002.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Diet Lunches

soups: chicken noodle, pasta e fageol, broccoli puree, carrot orange, mushroom barley, tortilla soup, butternut squash, winter vegetable salads: greens, chicken, feta, cucumber, tomato, red onion, greek vinaigrette grain salad crudite (cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, peapods (in season)) and pita bread with hummus apple or orange sparkling water

Diet Breakfasts

  • plain yogurt with fruit preserves, granola
  • whole-grain bread with peanut butter, fruit
  • scrambled eggs with veg (spinach, arugula, broccoli), low-fat ricotta, whole-grain bread
  • oatmeal with pears or apples, walnuts, a little sweetener and milk
  • oatmeal with apricots, almonds, a little sweetener and milk
  • egg sandwich with tomatoes and cheddar, ham or turkey sausage on whole-grain bread
  • whole-grain french toast with fruit, ricotta
  • whole-grain pancakes or waffles
  • smoothie

pantry: sugar, apricot jam, granola, peanut butter, eggs, oatmeal, dried fruit (apricots, raisins, cranberries), whole milk, 1% milk, eggs, buttermilk, protein powder, frozen fruit for smoothies, cocoa powder, coffee, tea

shopping list: whole-grain bread, fruit (apples, pears, oranges, berries and stone fruit in season), spinach or arugula, low-fat ricotta, slicing tomatoes, ham or turkey sausage, bananas, basic4 cereal (for Peter), cheerios (for Maggie)