Kale Chips with Truffle Salt
On a recent trip I was reading one of those celebrity magazines and came across an interview with Kristen Bell. They asked what her diet secret was and she proclaimed kale chips!  I am still trying to lose those final pregnancy pounds and I thought I would give it a shot.

As I searched around for recipes I noticed that almost every food blog has a post on kale chips. Apparently, I am way behind on this phenomenon. In a quest to add my own twist to this delectable green treat I added a dash of truffle salt. I found them delicious and could have eaten the whole batch that night.

The next day I wish I had since they did not keep well, even in a sealed Tupperware container. I learned my lesson though and will be sure to devour the next batch right out of the oven. They were very simple to make, give them a try whether you are on a diet or not!

Recipe
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pinch of truffle salt (approx. 1/8-1/4 teaspoon)
Bake that kale!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove tough stems from kale, then wash leaves and dry well. If the leaves are large cut or tear into smaller pieces.

Lightly toss leaves with olive oil then place on a sheet pan in a single layer. Bake in oven until crisp, about 10-12 minutes. While kale chips are still warm sprinkle with truffle salt. Let cool slightly then enjoy!

 

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AuthorAmy Koch
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Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas
This is one of my go-to weeknight meals when I don’t have much time yet I want something nutritious without sacrificing flavor.  The cauliflower and chickpeas make this hearty enough for a stand alone vegetarian dish.  

It is a great choice to serve to any vegetarian dinner guests as they will be thrilled to get something besides pasta!  Great on plain basmati rice, but your taste buds are really in for a treat when it is served over our Coconut Saffron Basmati Rice. Enjoy!
 

Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas (printable recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12oz cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 15oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped - plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons greek yogurt - plus more for garnish

Over medium heat, melt butter in a pot or deep saute pan and add onions. Cook slowly until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic along with all the spices (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, tumeric, salt).

Saute for 1 minute, then toss in cauliflower and stir to coat in the spices. Add tomatoes, water, and chickpeas and let simmer until cauliflower is just cooked through, about 6-8 minutes. Turn off heat and fold in cilantro and yogurt. Serve immediately over rice and garnish with a little extra yogurt and cilantro.

Serves 3-4

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Hearty Vegetarian Salad with Mushrooms and Yogurt Dressing

This salad was built from the bottom up with a solid foundation of big hearty flavors that could appease any carnivore (as long as there’s still ice cream for dessert).  We have incorporated some of our favorite ingredients we often add to salads, the only thing special about this one is how many of them come out to make their cameo.

The more I eat mushrooms, the more I want to eat mushrooms.  I am always floored by the shear number of varieties out there and the dramatic differences between them.  We used some Baby Bellas (AKA Crimini, AKA Brown, AKA Baby Portobello, AKA Roman, AKA Italian) but you could use any ‘shroom you like.  Mushrooms add a ton of meaty, umami flavors that are a key component here.

Goat cheese adds creaminess, sunflower seeds add crunch, carrots add sweetness and color, chickpeas add heft.  All of those listed above have a mild earthiness that, along with the mushrooms, give the salad weight that a meat would otherwise provide.  The yogurt dressing ties everything together with a tangy-ness that makes it sing.

Hearty Vegetarian Salad with Mushrooms and Yogurt Dressing (printable recipe)
  • 1/2 pound of mixed greens, we used a 50/50 spinach/greens blend
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 pound of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 can of chickpeas, rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup of dry roasted sunflower seeds

The Dressing:
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons yogurt, we used Greek-style

Add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to a medium-hot pan then add the mushrooms.  Let them sit, undisturbed, for 2 minutes to allow them to brown a little.  Then add a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper and turn occasionally until they are soft, about another 5 minutes.

For the dressing, combine in a jar or other container with a lid and shake well to combine.  Set aside.  When the salad is ready to serve, dress the greens and the carrots and plate.

Crumble the goat cheese, dish out the sauteed mushrooms, top with the chickpeas, and sprinkle on the roasted sunflower seeds.  Sit back and enjoy a salad fit for a meal.  It pairs well with a big white wine like a Chardonnay or a Viognier.

Serves 2
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CategoriesRecipes

Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad

This is ultimate summer salad; fresh, seasonal vegetables combined with the BBQ.  I came up with this salad while at my local farmer’s market where I bought all the produce for this great dish.

We served the salad along with some grilled BBQ chicken breasts but it would also go great with any grilled fish or steak. Stop by your local farmer’s market, invite some friends over, fire up the grill and give this salad a try this weekend!

 

Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad (printable recipe)

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil plus one tablespoon
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 3 ounces of feta cheese
  • Salt & pepper

 

Preheat grill.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil and half the lemon juice. Using a pastry brush, apply lemon oil all over zucchini and corn then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

Once grill is ready, add the zucchini and corn, turning as necessary until vegetables have grill marks and are cooked through. Remove and let cool. Once they are easy to handle, cut kernals off the cob and cut zucchini into 1 inch chunks.

Place in bowl, then add scallions, cherry tomatoes, basil, feta cheese, juice from the other 1/2 a lemon, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Taste salad and add salt and pepper as necessary.

We also grilled some chicken breast with the same marinade, sliced thin, and topped with Country Bob's Spicy BBQ Sauce.  It is sweet, tangy, and just the right amount of heat.  Enjoy!

 

Serves 4


Country Bob's Spicy All Purpose was sent to us as a promotional gift.

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AuthorAmy Koch
CategoriesRecipes

Tzatziki Guacamole

Take the creamy coolness of guacamole and combine it with the refreshing crisp crunch of cucumbers, zip of yogurt, and zest of lemon; assemble them and they form like Voltron into quite possibly the greatest dip ever.

Not to toot my own horn [beep beep] but this is really good - and since the cucumber lightens things up, you don't feel nearly as bloated or guilty when you devour and entire bowl with a half a large bag of tortilla chips to the dome.

This didn't last long enough to top a dish but I could see it being great on chicken or lamb.  It is of course excellent with chips, especially tortilla chips, eating it with a spoon, or your fingers; just don't dip past the second knuckle because that's rude.

Tzatziki Guacamole (printable recipe)

  • 2 ripe avocados, cubed
  • 1/4 red onion, minced fine
  • The juice of 1 lemon, the zest of half of it
  • 1 large ripe tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 a large cucumber, seeded and diced small
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced cilantro


Combine everything into a large bowl. Try not to eat it all before you blink. If you have anywillpower, it can be stored up to a day in the fridge if you cover the surface with plastic wrap.  

 

 

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Authordavid koch
CategoriesRecipes
Caprese GazpachoOnce again our house was full of beautiful tomatoes.  With the warm summer temperatures lately, I wanted to get away from the stove for the evening but still do something fulfilling with all our fresh vegetables.  
 
I instantly thought of gazpacho, a cold raw vegetable soup from Spain.  I also had all the ingredients on hand to make my favorite salad, Insalata Caprese, made simply with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
 
Finally, I realized I could merge the two into one great dish and enjoy all the wonderful flavors from Spain and Italy in one bite.  This recipe would be wonderful served for lunch or as a light supper.  It looks beautiful plated up and would surely impress dinner guests as a first course.  Enjoy!


The Gazpacho Line-up
Caprese Gazpacho (printable recipe)
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes (about 2 lbs), coarsely chopped - reserve 1 cup of the tomatoes, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped - reserve 1/4 cup of the cucumber, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped - reserve 1/4 of the onion and dice fine
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn into pieces - reserve 1 tablespoon chiffonade
  • 1 bell pepper (any color you have on hand), coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed then coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 slices of bread, crust removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Caprese Salsa
In a bowl combine, reserved tomato, cucumber, onion, and basil. Fold in mozzarella then season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside in refrigerator to stay cool.

Gazpacho
In a large bowl, combine the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, onion, basil, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic, and bread. Working in batches, puree ingredients in a blender while slowly pouring in the olive oil, until it is a smooth consistency.

With a spatula push soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large serving bowl. Stir in red wine vinegar, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover soup and let chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with caprese salsa and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4


The Gazpacho-maker

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AuthorAmy Koch
CategoriesRecipes
Black Bean, Potato, and Soyrizo BurritosBlack beans and potatoes are like Batman and Robin as far as I’m concerned.  These two can fight off the most ferocious noises my stomach can make when it is doing its Rancor impression.  Add cabbage, sour cream, cheese, some faux chorizo and our vegetarian burrito worthy of the Justice League is complete.

This vegetarian dish is inexpensive, easy, hearty, and delicious.  Carnivores won’t even know they’re eating soy-chorizo, I promise.  There is some prep involved, but the beans can be made  a day ahead and the potatoes can be par-baked ahead too.

The crunch of fresh cabbage, the vibrant note of paprika in the chorizo, the pizzazz of cheddar cheese, and the sweet-cool sour cream all balance the earthiness of the burrito’s “meat”.  You have all the components of a fine meal; it’s complemented well with a side salad.

You must plan a few hours ahead; I would highly recommend making your own beans from a bag of dries ones.  They seem to be more flavorful and the texture is far more appealing than canned.  It takes more time than simply opening a tin but in the words of Alton Brown, “Your patience will be rewarded.”

I used the quick-cook method for the beans instead of allowing them to soak overnight.  The potatoes also need to be par-cooked.  They crisp up far better under the broiler so that you get nice golden brown edges and more of that tasty roasted flavor.  Here we go:

Black Bean, Potato, and Soyrizo Burritos (printable recipe)
  • 1 cup of dried black beans, sorted and any rocks removed, rinsed well
  • 1/2 a 14 ounce package of Soyrizo
  • 6 small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • sour cream for garnish

For the black bean, onion and Soyrizo mixture:

Sort and rinse your beans, place them in a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch.  Bring them to a boil covered for about 15 minutes then kill the heat and allow them to cool.  Give them an hour to soak.

Once the beans have soaked for an hour, drain and rinse them again.  Place the beans back in the pot, add 3 cups of water, bring them back to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat.  Give them another hour to cook at a simmer.  

Once the beans have had about an hour to cook, taste them to make sure they are soft, kill the heat, then drain and set aside.  

Saute the onions with the Soyrizo in a pan over medium-high heat in a teaspoon of olive oil, add a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Stir the mixture often to break up the Soyrizo; cook just until the onions soften.   Add the beans to the mixture to re-heat them and incorporate well.

For the potatoes:

Set your oven to 350 and put the potatoes in whole, on a sheet pan to bake.  After 30 minutes, remove and set them aside to cool.  Once the potatoes have cooled enough to be handled, quarter them.

Using a large bowl, toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Turn on the broiler and slide the potatoes inside, give them about 15 minutes to crisp up nicely.  Remove the potatoes from the oven once their edges brown.

To assemble:

Warm up some tortillas over the open flame of a gas stove, or wrap up in some dampened paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.  

Take a warm tortilla and add some of the black beans, onion, and Soyrizo mixture, a few potatoes, some shredded cheddar cheese, shredded cabbage, a dollop of sour cream, and your favorite hot sauce.  

Make some sort of futile attempt not to eat too many so that you fall asleep on the couch.  Enjoy!


Soyrizo and Onions
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CategoriesRecipes

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Goat Cheese and Mint

This is a lighter, more healthful risotto featuring spring vegetables.  It doesn't take long to prepare so it is great for a weeknight meal.  The earthiness of asparagus and peas are brightened with mint.  The goat cheese rounds out the whole dish and adds some creaminess without weighing things down.

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Goat Cheese and Mint (printable recipe)

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 leek, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced 
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 pound arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup peas - fresh or frozen
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup mint, chiffonade
  • Salt and pepper
Directions:
In a small saucepan, warm stock on medium high heat. Once it comes to a simmer turn heat to low and keep warm.

In a large pot, heat olive oil with 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat and add onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until translucent and then add leek and garlic. Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add rice to pot and stir to coat in fat for 2 minutes. 

Pour in white wine and let it come to a simmer. Once wine has reduced, ladle in warm stock so it just covers rice. Stir and let simmer. As stock reduces, keep adding liquid (about 1 cup at a time). 

Once rice is almost cooked through, about 10-15 minutes, add asparagus and peas. Continue adding stock and stirring until rice and vegetables are all cooked through. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 3 oz of goat cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, parsley, and mint. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately and pass remaining goat cheese and Parmesan cheese at the table for garnish.

Serves 6






 

 

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Spinach Salad with Beets, Walnuts, and Goat Cheese

Green, brown, white, and deep crimson.  The colors scream to be consumed.  We threw this together to accompany a pasta dish on a sunny Sunday but this salad is so hearty it could also be a weeknight meal.  We cheated by using Trader Joe's vacuum packed pre-cooked beets, but you could roast your own easily in about 45 minutes (technique below).

Use a basic balsamic vinaigrette to accent the flavors and not overpower them.  Balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper do the trick nicely.  Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry skillet.  Open the bag of spinach and dress the leaves.  Slice the beets thin and place on the greens.  Drop gobs of goat cheese, and I like to finish with more fresh ground black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

If you want to roast your own beets.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut the greens off about an inch over the bulb, wash very carefully as they are often quite sandy.  Rub some olive oil all over them and either fold up into an aluminum foil pouch and/or place on foil-lined baking sheet.  Roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the skin, it skin should come off easily under running water.

If you want to make your own cheese, read a book.

If you ever get red pee after eating beets, like I do, don't be alarmed.  Not only is it relatively common, but they have a name for it, Beeturia.  There is some evidence to suggest it may be more prevalent in individuals with iron deficiency but they also think that the specific gut flora plays an uncertain role.  Well, now you know.

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What are these little green sprigs?  Sea Beans?  A Sea Bean is the salty, succulent plant called Salicornia that is also sometimes called glasswort, pickleweed, and marsh samphire (I grew up calling Carpobrotus edulis "Ice Plant" pickleweed, but then again, my parents are no Botanists.)  True Sea Beans appear during the summer at farmer's markets and specialty food shops for a few weeks and they only last a few days once picked, so eat them as soon as you buy them.

Sea beans have great crunch that bursts a blast of brine when chewed.  They taste just like a day at the beach - really, their resemblance to the sea is uncanny.  Because they are so salty,

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This Creamy Collard Greens and Roasted Garlic Soup is a hearty soup with the addition of potatoes and cream.  It takes about an hour and requires only an emersion blender, an oven, and a stove.  It makes for a completely satisfying entrée with a little bread or toast as a side.  I garnished it here with a dollop of sour cream, a drizzle of olive oil, and a dusting of paprika.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of medium-starch potatoes, like Red or Yukon Gold, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound of carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound of collard greens, washed well, and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pound of asparagus
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bulb of garlic, roasted
  • 1 cup cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

 

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Slice bulb of garlic in half into a cross-section, rub with olive oil, salt & pepper, and place into the hot oven for about 30 minutes until it browns lightly.  While that is roasting, wash and chop all your vegetables.  Ensure the greens get a good soak, they tend to have a lot of grit on them when you get them from the store.

Bring a large pot to medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the carrots, asparagus, and onions, salt & pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Then add the stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, then turn the temperature down to a simmer and cover.  Cook until the potatoes until they're soft and yield easily to being pricked with a knife, about 15-20 minutes.

Once you have removed the roasted garlic from the oven, squeeze it so that the cloves slide out.  They should have the consistency of pudding at this point and should slide out easily.  Drop them into the pot along with the collard greens and bring back to a boil, hold them at a boil for 5 minutes.

Once the greens have had time to soften, take the pot off the heat and blend thoroughly with an emersion/stick blender, or in batches in a traditional blender.  Once everything is blended, taste to see if you need more salt & pepper, and add the cream.  Mix well.

Serve hot and garnish with sour cream and/or a little olive oil, and a sprinkle of paprika.  Enjoy.

 

 

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We received some boisterous radishes from our CSA box, both red and white, and decided that they should be consumed in a way more traditionnelles.  In France, radishes are often consumed with sweet (unsalted) butter, and a little salt, sometimes on a piece of bread.  What would go better with this than a glass of champagne?  I don't know.

It doesn't have to be Champagne, mind you.  Any dry sparkling white wine will do the trick.  The piquant bite to the radishes would, in my opinion, pair well with a Spanish Cava, an Italian Prosecco, Asti, or Franciacorta, a Portuguese Mateus rosé or Vinho Verde, or a bottle of bubbles from California (just keep your André Cold Duck in the fridge for another day).

On a side note: according to the Gallo website, André is the #1 selling sparkling wine in America.  Not surprisingly because it averages around $4 a bottle.  But what's even more interesting is that they can legally call it "Champagne." Despite the fact that André is not made in Champagne France, is not likely made up of traditional Champagne vatietals, and it is most definitely not produced from the méthode champenoise, André was grandfathered in.

The radish (Raphanus sativus) is in the Brassicaceae family which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, Chinese cabbage, and horseradish.  What gives radishes and many of its "cousins" their punch is a neat little system of the vegetable's version of chemical warfare.

Allyl isothiocyanate is the chemical responsible for the sharp peppery note generated  by some members of the Brassicaceae family and it is what keeps animals from eating the plant.  It is; however, harmful to the plant itself so it stores two otherwise harmless chemicals in separate containers within the cell walls.  When something takes a bite of radish, the enzyme myrosinase is released and transforms a glucosinolate into allyl isothiocyanate.

Mmm, allyl isothiocyanate.  Delicious.

Champagne, butter and radishes with some sea salt - what a great appetizer.  For your viewing pleasure, I found a vintage André commercial, "Greet the season and your friends with the best, André"

Santé!

 

 

 

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Authordavid koch
CategoriesDrinks, Recipes
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photo by Dave Koch

We saw some really nice heirloom tomatoes at our Whole Foods the other day (we also saw San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsom but that's another story) - and SippitySup's tomatomania contest was fresh in my head.  I came up with this recipe thinking about putting a new twist on the ubiquitous caprese salad.

By breading and frying the tomatoes, you get a little crunch, and their sugars begin to caramelize. Their natural sweetness is enhanced by the honey in the reduction and the acidity adds a POP that would otherwise be missing with only the cheese, basil, and tomatoes.

The key to pulling this off, is mise en place; getting everything set so that you can plate it in a jiffy, serve, and eat while it's still piping hot. Once you begin to cook the tomatoes, they’ll start to break down, so work quickly. Half the texture is in keeping a little bite to the tomatoes to contrast with the soft cheese.

Ingredients:

· 2 nice heirloom tomatoes, a red and a green preferably
· 1 cup of ricotta, I used "part skim"
· 1/4 cup of basil, minced fine
· 1/4 cup flour
· 1/4 cup bread crumbs
· 1/4 Parmesan cheese, grated
· Salt & pepper
· 1 cup red wine vinegar (homemade is best!)
· 1 tablespoon honey
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 tablespoons butter

 

Instructions:

Begin by reducing the red wine vinegar with the honey in a small pot over medium heat, this step will take the longest.  Mix your basil and the ricotta in a bowl.  Slice the tomatoes about 1/2 inch thick, thicker slices hold up better and are less likely to fall apart.

Combine the flour, bread crumbs, and the Parmesan cheese on a large plate so that you can dip the tomato slices into it easily.  Be sure to season the bread crumb mixture well with salt and pepper, about a tablespoon of each. It may seem like a lot, but not all of it will stick to the tomatoes.

I recommend a non-stick pan for this because the breading is likely to separate from the tomato otherwise.  Add a tablespoon each of the olive oil and the butter to the pan, and put on medium-high heat - you are not supposed to heat a non-stick pan dry. Once the butter begins to foam, quickly dip the tomatoes into the breading so that you get an even coat on both sides (don't do this ahead of time or you will make glue).  Place into the pan.

Fry until GBnD (Golden Brown and Delicious), about 2 minutes on each side.  Place one tomato slice on the plate, add a dollop of basil ricotta on top, then the other slice of tomato, then another dollop of ricotta.  Spoon a drizzle of the vinegar reduction around the sides.  Serve immediately.

Makes enough for 2.

 

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photo by Dave Koch

Compelled to eat more vegetables, eat more locally, and eat more organic, we signed up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box.  It is delivered from Eat Well Farms in Dixon, California and we pick ours up only a few blocks from home.  We opted to go with the semi-weekly box because there is just the two of us.  The cost?  Just $27.

This week's box contained: 

  • Marjoram
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Stir-fry mix (dark, leafy greens - like chard)
  • Radishes (red and a milder white variety)
  • Broccoli
  • Green Garlic
  • Navel Oranges
  • Carrots
  • Jerusalem Artichokes (AKA Sunchokes)
  • Lemons

We are well stocked for the week and have already made some fun dishes.  I like that they send you some items that you might not pick out on your own.  To help out those that may be stumped with something in there, they add a few recipes in the box.  This batch had instructions for a Cream of Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Sautéed Radishes with Radish Greens &/or Arugula, and Carrot-Cous Cous Salad.

They also run a blog, check them out!

You can also, find a CSA farm near you.

 

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Authordavid koch
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Celebrichef Joanne Weir served this up to my wife for breakfast the other day and she whipped up some for me.  It is delicious and light, and at the same time satiating.  It only takes minutes to prepare and can keep you energized for hours.

Apples and Yogurt

  • 1 apple per person
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (Greek-style is tasty)
  • 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
  • dusting of cinnamon to taste

Cut apples into bite sized pieces - preferably Pink Lady Apples which I describe as firm but not hard, and tart but not sour.  Add the yogurt and slivered almonds on top.  Dust with cinnamon.  Enjoy.

 

Interestingly enough the term "Pink Lady" is a registered Trademark of Apple and Pear Australia Limited.  The cultivar is the result of hybridizing the Golden Delicious and the Lady Williams and is experiencing a boom of sorts.   It was developed by John Cripps in the 1970's and read below how complicated the fruit industry has become... (from Wikipedia)

"The Cripps Pink variety is owned and licensed by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA), which has Plant Breeders' Rights in multiple countries.

The peak industry body for Australian apple and pear growers - Apple and Pear Australia Limted [sic] (APAL) - owns and manages globally the intellectual property in the trade mark PINK LADYTM, which is registered in more than 70 countries.

Only the highest quality grade of apple can be sold under the trademark of PINK LADYTM."

When they mention how only the highest quality grade can be sold as "Pink Lady" - according to Orange Pippin, 65% of annual production does not meet the standards and are then sold under the name Cripps Pink.  They are the same variety.

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photo by southerntabitha

I found this article from the San Francisco Chronicle's website, sfgate.com (via chow.com) and it so funny it is worth repeating.  SF Gate columnist Mark Morford discovered an evangelist named Jim Rutz from Megashift Ministries who is proclaiming that because soy contains estrogen-like compounds (isoflavones), it is turning society gay.

Jim Rutz claims:

"Research is now showing that when you feed your baby soy formula, you're giving him or her the equivalent of five birth control pills a day. A baby's endocrine system just can't cope with that kind of massive assault, so some damage is inevitable. At the extreme, the damage can be fatal.  Soy is feminizing, and commonly leads to a decrease in the size of the penis, sexual confusion and homosexuality.

The danger zone is the first three months of both pregnancy and infancy, when male physiology and brain circuitry are still developing. In other words, a girl-chasing, football-playing college boy won't go gay even if he becomes a vegetarian or snacks all day on soy energy bars. (He might develop thyroid or other health problems or lose most of his libido, though.)"

 

This increase in gay must because of the dramatic increase in the sale of soy products.

 

From the FDA's website:

"The problem, researchers say, is that isoflavones are phytoestrogens, a weak form of estrogen that could have a drug-like effect in the body. This may be pronounced in postmenopausal women, and some studies suggest that high isoflavone levels might increase the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer.

Research data, however, are far from conclusive, and some studies show just the opposite--that under some conditions, soy may help preventbreast cancer. It is this scientific conundrum, where evidence simultaneously points to benefits and possible risks, that is causing some researchers to urge caution."

It sounds like Jim's claims are a big helping of crazy with a dash of pseudo-science just to throw off the sent of paranoid schizophrenia.

Check out Mark's article where he goes "nuts" on Jim (soy nuts, anyone?).  It's hilarious.  Mark rants:

"It is no secret, after all, that the consumption of excess Girl Scout cookies -- particularly Caramel deLites -- will make you a butch lesbian. It has also been reported in lesser-known scientific journals that eating lots of organic baby greens means you want to subscribe to the New Yorker and drive a Prius and get your genitals pierced, often at the same time.

Stay in school, kids. Stay in school and for Christ's sake please learn something lest you end up like Jim, what with his trembling hands and his spasming colon and his violent nightmares featuring giant tofu robots leading perky armies of sashaying soy-fed children, marching into his yard wielding soy lattes and Barbra Streisand records and waving gay-marriage petitions like victory flags. Shudder."

 

 

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Authordavid koch
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"My (little) garden" - photo by Erin Collins

I'm not a health food nut, but I do enjoy some foods many consider should be reserved for Hare Krishna feasts and rabbits.  One of these delicious delicacies is sprouts.  I love 'em.  One really simple and delicious sandwich I make is just sprouts, honey, and peanut (or almond) butter.  Mmm.  

There is plenty of new age hullabaloo about the benefits of eating sprouts and eating raw in general.  It is true that most enzymes are denatured, ergo useless, at temperatures above around 140 degrees Farenheit.  

Enzymes are, on the other hand, also denatured by pH extremes like the acid in your stomach so... what's the point?  Most of what I found on the internet is ranges between the wacky and the outright delirious, but there are some good articles especially on making your own sprouts at home.

I was reading www.wisebread.com (a website for frugal living) and they had this article on making your own sprouts.  It sounds really easy.  I want to experiment with sprouting different things, I'll bet they each have some different nuance.  

Then I also found from www.living-foods.com there is a whole plethora of spout-it-yourself information in their article here.  Not only do they discuss the basics, but they go into different methods of sprouting, and have a nearly exhaustive list of specifics for each type of grain.  

This list includes: amaranth, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, wheat, almonds, cabbage, fenugreek, flax, psyllium, chia, mustard, pumpkin, radish, sesame, sunflower, alfalfa, clover, garbanzo, beans (including: Anasazi, Black, Fava, Kidney, Lima, Navy, Pinto, and Soy), lentils, Mung beans, peanuts and peas.

I'm not alone with my sprout sandwiches.  Here are a few more that I found:

 

From www.thekitchn.com -  their Alternative Sprouts Sandwich

From www.milkandhoneyfarm.com - thier Easy Tomato and Sprout Sandwich (at the bottom of the page)

 

And from www.goodmagazine.com here is a really good looking recipe for what they call  Project 009: Avocado And Sprouts Sandwich

- Dave Koch

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Authordavid koch