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Recipes

Turkey bone broth

November 14, 2017
Turkey bone broth

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and I’m sure many of you are on “full-on” recipe mode.  What recipes to do for the big day and what recipes to make with your turkey leftovers?  Before discarding your turkey carcass, why not whip up a batch of nutritious turkey bone broth?  Bone broth is thought to promote healthy digestion, reduce joint pain and inflammation, inhibit infection, promote healthy bone formation, and promote healthy hair and nail growth.  It contains gelatin, chondroitin, glucosamine, calcium, magnesium, and many amino acids such as glycine, proline, and glycine.  I just think it’s delicious, and I hate to see a bird go to waste.  Please remember to use a organically-raised, pastured or grass-fed animals turkey for your broth.  Enjoy!

Turkey Broth

1 turkey carcass

1 cup of carrots, cubed

1/2 cup of celery, sliced

1/2 cup of onions chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp of raw apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Water

  1.  Place turkey in a large cast iron pot and cover with water.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onions, bay leaf, and vinegar.
  3. Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours.
  5. Strain.
  6. Season to taste

Turkey broth is extremely versatile.  I used this batch to make my most recent farmhouse bowl: shiitake mushrooms, raabe, radish, green onions, Forbidden rice ramen, fig compote, and a soft boiled egg. Yummy…

Recipes

Creamy avocado dip

October 31, 2017
Creamy avocado dip

Every family seems to have a family member(s) who’s known for their special dish.  My grandmother is known for her ham.  My aunt Lucie is known for putting maple syrup in almost everything, “tout est meilleur avec du sirop d’érable!”  As for my mother, it’s her creamy avocado dip.  It isn’t the fanciest recipe but she never brings leftovers back when she brings it to gatherings.  It’s incredibly versatile, so you can dress it with whatever veggies or herbs you like.

Creamy avocado dip

1 cup cream cheese

1 cup sour cream

1 ripe avocado

dash of lemon juice

6 dill pickles, finely minced

1 cup of green olives, finely minced

2 green onions, minced

2 plum tomatoes, cubed

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese and avocado by hand.  Then mix in the cream cheese and a dash of lemon juice to prevent the avocado from browning.  Add more lemon juice to taste if you’d like the dip to have more of a “lemony” flavor.
  2. Place the dip in the middle of a plate or any other presentation dish.
  3. Finely mince the pickles and olives.  You can use a blender if you’d like to save some time, but it tastes better when done by hand.  Place these in a large bowl.
  4. Repeat with the green onions and cubed tomatoes.  Add these to the pickles and olives.  Mix.
  5. Pour the vegetable mix around the avocado dip.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips or with freshly sliced cucumbers for a healthier fare.

Note: You can also layer the vegetables as seen in the photo.

Enjoy!

Recipes

Minestra Di Fagioli

September 6, 2017
Minestra Di Fagioli a Blue Zone recipe

Although there currently isn’t any definitive evidence-based data supporting a particular diet to help treat autoimmune diseases, for many years I’ve been a supporter of the Blue Zone way of life.  People living in Blue Zone live longer and healthier than any population in the world.

Today I’d like to share a recipe for Minestra Di Fagioli adapted from The Blue Zones Solution – Hardcover.  Enjoy!

Minestra Di Fagioli

1 (15.5 oz) can of Great Northern beans

1/2 cup dried hull-less whole-grain barley

8 cups vegetable broth

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped

2 medium celery stalks, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

1 bunch of fresh basil

1/2 tsp ground sage

1 fresh rosemary sprig

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley, chopped

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, basil, and sage in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is translucent.
  2. Add the beans, barley, broth, potatoes, celery, carrot, and bay leaf.  Set over high heat and bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer slowly until the beans and barley are tender, about 1 hour.  Discard the rosemary sprig and bay leaf; stir in the parsley, oil, salt, and pepper before serving.

Tip: To enhance the flavor, infuse 1 tbsp of purple basil pesto to each bowl of soup prior to serving.

Image courtesy of Johanne Plouffe

Recipes

Purple basil pesto

August 23, 2017
Purple basil pesto: my first attempt at a Buddha bowl

Last Friday I lunched with one of my good friends, Barnaby, at the Iron Gate Cafe in downtown Albany NY.  What a treat!  The building was originally a school and then purchased by James Holroyd, a wealthy industrialist.  He renovated the mansion adding raised oak panels, a stained glass skylight, and formal gardens.  After his death, it was used as a physician’s office.  How clinics have changed.  The building now houses the Iron Gate Cafe and Holroyd Mansion, which is available for private events and functions.

 

We both chose the Farmhouse bowl special, which is composed with all foods delicious.  Some call it a Buddha bowl.  Iron Gate calls it a Farmhouse bowl.  Whatever you want to call it, it was delicious.  A perfect combination of grains, protein, and veg.  And you can’t forget their coconut curry.

I vowed that I’d try to make my Farmhouse bowl.  In fact, I vowed that I’d try to make as many Farmhouse bowls an humanly possible.  Not only are these bowls delicious, they’re incredibly healthy.  Here is my first attempt: purple basil pesto, Tuscan kale, baby bella mushrooms, rainbow quinoa, cherry tomatoes, blueberries, and pistachios.

Purple basil pesto

3 cups packed purple basil

1/4 cup shelled pistachio

1/3 cup Parmigiano-reggiano

2 cloves garlic

2 tsp of lemon juice

1 tsp of lemon zest

1/4 cup olive oil

  1. Chop the basil, pistachio Parmigiano, garlic, lemon juice, and zest in a food processor.
  2. Slowly add the olive oil until you reach the desired consistency.
  3. Serve or refrigerate.

I added a dollop of purple basil pesto to add flavor to my first Farmhouse bowl, but you can add it to pasta, pizza, soup, dips, meat, sandwiches, salad, etc.  Whatever your heart desires 🙂

Leave your comments below.  Tell us how you’ve used your purple basil pesto!

Recipes

Caprese Salad

August 9, 2017
Caprese salad: Tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, spinach, olive oil

These days it seems everything is in season.  Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, the list goes on.  This week, my cherry tomato plant is exploding!  So, I’ve decided to make a simple yet refreshingly delicious summertime salad: Caprese salad.  This salad consists of tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  It can be made in a pinch.  The prep work is what takes longest.  It can be served as side or as the main dish.  Some like it sliced but I like mine all jumbled up together.  To add some nutritional value and greenery, I also had a bit of spinach.

Enjoy!

Caprese Salad

2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes

1 cup mozzarella cheese, diced

1 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt-and-pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and loosely toss
  2. Season to taste.

Voila, a simple, quick, and healthy weekday meal!  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

Recipes

Ratatouillle

July 26, 2017
Ratatouille. Loving summer veg!

The farmer’s market is a beautiful place during high summer.  You can find all the ingredients to make one of my favorite summer dishes: ratatouille.  This is literally French home cooking at its best.  Fresh veg, fresh herbs, olive oil, a little heat, and most important of all… lot’s of patience!

If you don’t have all the ingredients, that’s okay.  The only essential ingredients are the eggplant, onions, garlic, and olive oil.

Ratatouille

1/4 pint of olive oil (and possibly more, be generous)

2 eggplants, diced

1 red pepper, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

2 medium-sized zucchinis, sliced

1 large onion, finely sliced

4 cloves of garlic

3 tomatoes, peeled and diced

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, minced

4 springs of lemon thyme, or more to your tasting, minced

Pinch of red chili flakes (not technically French but I like the taste)

Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat half the olive oil in a large cast iron pan.  Add the eggplant and sprinkle with salt.  Gently fry until tender and lightly caramelized.  The secret to an amazing ratatouille is time and generous amounts of olive oil.  Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl carefully leaving the drippings and left over olive oil in the pan.
  2. Add a little more olive oil and add both the red and green peppers.  Also add a pinch of red chili flakes.  Fry gently until the peppers are soft and lightly caramelized.  Transfer to the bowl containing the eggplant.
  3. Add a little more olive oil to the cast iron pan.  See the pattern?  This time gently fry the zucchini until soft and lightly gilded.  Transfer to the eggplant.
  4. Now gently fry the onions and garlic until lightly caramelized.  Transfer to the eggplant.
  5. Finally, fry the tomatoes until soft and collapsed.  This time transfer the eggplant, peppers, zucchini, onion, and garlic to the cast iron pan with the tomatoes.
  6. Add the minced thyme and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Gently cook, bubble, for about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve at room temperature.

Ratatouille is excellent served warm, room temperature, and even cold.  You can eat it straight or you can even use it to stuff a tart, as a topping for pasta, or to dress a pizza.  One of my favorite ways to eat it is at room temperature topped with a fried egg and served with a slice of sour dough bread.  It’s versatile and highly nutritious.

Enjoy!  Please leave your comments below.  How do you like your ratatouille?

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