Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate

Individual Plate of Cauliflower
Perfect Combo of Veggies, Fruit, Herbs, and Nuts

Recipe adapted from Live Earth Farm

Only a master chef could conceive of putting cauliflower together with smoky hazelnuts, crunchy greens, bright pomegranate, vinegar, and sweet spices. This particular master chef, Rebecca Mastoris, is also a caterer, Bauman College cooking instructor, and popular speaker with over 40 years of culinary experience. As if that weren’t enough, she also writes recipes for our CSA Live Earth Farm. Her unusual cauliflower dish features both well-balanced flavor and a colorful, festive appearance that adds eye-appeal to the table. In addition, it’s served at room temperature, so no need to stress about keeping it hot or cold. Try it at a holiday potluck, and you’ll likely see it disappear quickly, as I did last week. And get ready for some compliments!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Mini Winter Squash from my Garden

Giving Thanks and Menu Ideas

Regardless of how you feel about the upcoming holidays, giving thanks can inspire you to be happier. If you’re eagerly anticipating spending time with loved ones indulging in holiday rituals, appreciating this makes you feel even more blessed. If you’re feeling stressed about getting things done and how guests will get along, taking some time to appreciate the good aspects of your life and your to-do list will help you feel more relaxed and level-headed. In fact, you just might decide to trim down those obligations—or your guest list. Get a jump on Thanksgiving by giving some thanks now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chicken Soup for the Body and Soul

Chicken Soup Being Ladled from Pot
Ladle Full of Love and Comfort

Recipe inspired by Mom

If it’s a cold, rainy night in Santa Cruz, or if your husband is recovering from gum surgery, or if you feel a bit under the weather yourself, a big pot of chicken soup is a good bet. If all three of those circumstances occur at once—welcome to my week—it’s almost inevitable. Unlike vegetarian soups, which typically require pre-sautéing of vegetables to bring out flavor, chicken makes plenty of yummy juice when simply thrown into a pot with some water and a few seasonings. This simple preparation is a boon to the ailing cook, and even the Mayo Clinic agrees that chicken soup can help a body with cold symptoms feel better quicker.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Maple Pumpkin or Butternut Oat Muffins

A Dozen Muffins Cooling on Rack
Muffins Almost Ready to Eat

Recipe adapted from Slim and Scrumptious

In my quest to eat lighter foods to prepare for the inevitable holiday indulgences, I perused Joy Bauer’s Slim and Scrumptious, a collection of easy and healthful family meals. You might know Joy from her TV show Good Food, Good Deeds, where she teams up with Florence Henderson to create healthy meals for seniors. Joy’s recipe calls for canned pumpkin, but I substituted leftover butternut squash. Butternut won the pumpkin vs. squash pie smackdown last year, and it performed just as beautifully in the muffins, adding just a touch of extra sweetness to this low sugar recipe.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Balsamic Beets with Beet Greens

Serving Bowl of Balsamic Beets with Greens
Simple and Delish

Recipe by Irene

When I asked my Facebook fans recently what they like to do with beets, my friend Irene described this simple recipe as her latest beet idea. I love recipes that combine the sweetness of beets (known as beetroots in the UK) with the earthiness of beet greens. The recipe requires only a few ingredients. It employs the microwave oven to make short work of cooking the beets. While the microwave does its thing, the cook sautés up the stems and leaves. Then beets and greens are combined with a bit of good balsamic. It’s quicker to prepare than most raw beet recipes that require grating, so what’s not to like?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pan Grilled Tilapia or Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Closeup of Salsa on Fish
Colorful and Healthful

Recipe adapted from Health.com

As we look towards the treat- and comfort food-laden holidays, it’s good calorie economics to eat more lightly in the meantime. And so I offer this recipe with light, inexpensive, and sustainably farmed tilapia. The original recipe, no longer available at Health.com, called for salmon, higher in calories but filled with healthful omega 3 oils. It’s the tail end of salmon season in the Bay Area, so I’ve included a salmon cooking variation at the end. With its higher oil content, salmon browns more readily, but tilapia browns up just as deliciously using a method I derived from my dad.  Atlantic or Pacific cod, lingcod (plentiful right now), and line-caught black rockfish are sustainable white fish that can be prepared like tilapia.