Quinoa is classified with the rest of the grains but did you know it’s not actually a grain – it’s a seed. It’s been around for over 6,000 years, originating in the Andean region of South America. The Incas held the crop to be sacred and referred to it as chisaya mama, meaning mother of all grains.
Winter inspires me to cook warm, hearty dishes with a little heat thrown in – chili, spicy soups and legume dishes, especially lentils. I know plenty of people who are unmoved by lentils but I adore them. They easily soak up different flavors and can be paired with a variety of ingredients. They’re nourishing, relatively inexpensive, filling and easy to prepare.
I know what you’re thinking … parsnips, how exciting. But really, this Parsnip and Sweet Potato Bisque is fabulous. We’ll get to that. First, I have a GIVEAWAY I’d like to announce! Woohoo!
My readers have been so good to me so I wanted to give a little something back to you. The nice folks at CSN Stores.com have given me a $40 gift certificate for me to give away to one of you. They have some really nice things ranging from luggage sets to kitchen table to home accessories.
Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us. I’ve been seeing plenty of turkey, stuffing, and potatoes recipes flying around but not too many veggie recipes, at least the non-starchy ones. And sure, there might be a green salad on the Thanksgiving table but sometimes my palate is looking for more.
This festive slaw recipe won’t disappoint. It’s crispy, fresh, and tasty and has a practical use for eating – it’ll help wash down all the other food because it’s packed with fiber. What makes this dish special is the sweet vinaigrette and appleslices. These ingredients help bring out the natural sweetness in the carrots and beets.
I used green cabbage because it’s mild in taste and also has a subtle sweetness to it. This dish does call for some prepping but the good news is there’s no cooking! I bought the green cabbage pre-shredded and then I shredded the carrot and beets using a hand grater. To make things easier, you could buy the cabbage and carrots pre-shredded or use a food processor set to the shred option.
Coconut Pumpkin Soup represents everything that is wonderful about fall – hot soup, apples, nutmeg, cloves, the color orange, and of course pumpkin. It was during a recent visit back to New Jersey and New York City that I was inspired to make a wholesome and comforting fall soup to complement the lovely season.
I picked up three beautiful Bartlett pears at the farmers’ market last weekend. I’ve been staring at them since Sunday, patiently waiting for them to become fully ripened. I knew I wanted to do a pear crisp but it was only after baking and tasting a bite that I realized it needed a berry sauce to accompany it. I over-bought cherries and blueberries this summer and stocked them away for a special occasion, such as this.
Green bubble tea first caught my eye at a small cafe in Hoboken, New Jersey about five years ago. I loved not only the way it tasted but the way it looked. The beautiful pale green color paired with luscious round tapioca balls. After a friend inspired me to make my own green bubble tea, I decided to experiment. I’ve spent the last several days getting to know tapioca pearls and I’m revisiting my love for bubble tea.
I love making brownies. They’re easy to make, easy to grab, and easy to love. You know what I love even more? Making a healthier, lighter version of them. Although it took multiple attempts, I’m finally pleased with the brownie recipe below that incorporates my favorite fall fruit, apples!
Baba Ganoush is a great go-to appetizer perfect for two people, especially on hot summer days. Even if you’re not that big on eggplant, this dip is so delicious even eggplant-haters will like it. If you like eggplant and you’ve never tried Baba Ganoush, it will be a special treat for you.
I picked up a few beautiful Rosa Bianca eggplants at the farmers’ market the other day with my sister. These eggplants are Italian, small in size, and tender. Their color is amazing – bright purple hues with marbled white mixed in. They are known for their mildly delicious taste.
On Saturday, I had the privilege of indulging in one of the most anticipated events in the San Francisco food scene – SF Chefs 2010. This was the 2nd annual culinary event celebrating food, wine, and spirits. This event celebrated the unique flavor, diversity and bounty of Northern California.
The Chocolate Fig Smoothie was sort of an accident.
I was in the mood for something sweet. I couldn’t figure out if it was one of my usual chocolate cravings, or something else.
After eyeing up the farmers’ market fresh figs on my kitchen counter, I wondered. I had never paired chocolate with fig, at least not in a smoothie. I figured it couldn’t be bad considering figs are sweet, nutritious, and not very overpowering. They also have a lovely little texture that could add to the smoothness of the drink.
Watermelon salsa is one of my favorite toppings for grilled seafood and grilled veggies on hot summer days. It is a sweeter-style salsa so it compliments bitter foods well including slightly charred and grilled meats, seafood, and vegetables. Plus, the nice thing about a watermelon is it’s very versatile so you can use it to make this salsa, maybe a Fresh Watermelon Cooler, or even throw it in a salad or quinoa bowl.
The two star ingredients in the Spicy Watermelon Salsa are the spicy Padrón pepper and mint. The pepper adds a nice punch and the mint gives it complexity and pairs so well with sweet watermelon making this salsa easy to love.