January Reboot :: Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse 2013
Well, hello 2013, nice to get acquainted. With the revelry (or debauchery) of NYE now behind us, timing is perfect for Bon Appetit's 3rd annual Food Lover's Cleanse. Official start date is today(!) so get ready for a delicious two weeks and a good, hard reboot to kickstart the new year. I teamed up again with Sara Dickerman and Kimberley Hasselbrink for a fortnight of gorgeous, refreshing recipes and simple strategies. No deprivation, no gnawing hunger pangs, no gagging green juices (though they can be darn tasty at times). We've even snuck in some chocolate, and a drink or two, so you won't go totally off the deep end. Lots of fresh produce, satisfying whole grains/carbs, lean and lite proteins, all in the right portions. It's that simple. No drastic resolutions needed.
Here's a smattering of my faves and here's to a phenomenal, damn delicious 2013!
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Fresh and Clean :: Spring Cookbook Roundup
It's been quite sometime since I've last posted. Amazing how quickly a few months can fly by. Yes, I'd say I'm having fun - but working like mad at the same time to ensure that Nourish Kitchen + Table's launch is running on schedule (relatively) and is going smoothly. And it is, so I hope you're getting excited! Our doors will be open for business in a matter of weeks (aka earlyish June) and we'll have a whole new blog site with more frequent content ready to roll. More on that to come. In all the thrilling madness of the past few months, I've found some respite and inspiration retreating to a good cookbook read here and there. Actually, I take that back -- a bunch of good cookbook reads, all hot off the presses. And there quite a few stand-outs adorning bookshelves this spring. They've managed to remind me why I made the potentially-crazy decision (aka best decision of my 30-some years thus far) to open Nourish KT. Each book showcases fresh, wholesome food that's delicious, awe-inspiring, authentic and that brings people close to you around a table. And with that...here's the roundup for this spring season (and btw, you'll be able to find these books on Nourish KT's shelves at 95 Greenwich Ave soon enough). Happy reading, and cooking!
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison. One could easily tag her as the 'Queen of veggies' as she's written countless books on vegetarian cooking and making vegetables shine at the table. This book is filled with jaw-dropping recipes broken out by vegetable family (genius) like "the carrot family" or "the cabbage family" etc. You'll have a whole new appreciation for what veg can do for you after reading this book. A few recipes that got me excited...Beefsteak Tomatoes Baked with Feta and Marjoram; Chard Stems with Sesame-Yogurt Sauce and Black Sesame Seeds; Beulga Lentil Salad with Purslane and Green Coriander Buds.
It's All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen. So this book has been all over the press, for various reasons, but after reading it, I was instantly won over not only be the drop-dead gorgeous photos (thanks to acclaimed food photographer Ditte Isager), but also by the truly approachable and flavorful recipes, and by the book's overall take-home message: we simply need to be more conscious of what we're eating...and how food makes us feel which is essentially my personal viewpoint as well, and what I encourage others to consider. A plain and pretty simple message, and a nice reminder to reevaulate what's on your plate, in your fridge and how you're shopping for it. The book gives you options...to eliminate certain things like gluten and dairy and sugar, or be conscious about their use. I love the line, "We have mostly stayed away from dairy in this book (though if you put a ripe, runny, stinky cheese in front of us...watch out)." In a lot ways, Gwyneth's book hits on how we should be eating the vast majority of the time - for energy (and for enjoyment) and to just feel downright good. Just a few recipes to get your senses going...Roasted eggplant with tahini dressing, date molasses and mint. Grilled striped bass with cucumber and clementine salsa. Five spice sweet potato muffins.
The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Koo. Anyone who knows me, learns fairly quickly of my slight obsession with Paris. For obvious reasons...the incredible history you feel seep into your bones the second you step off the plane, the rich culture round every corner and tucked into every cobblestone, the fresh markets brimming with glittering food--even the simplest baguette and bowl of soup--that'll blow your mind, the lights, the romance, the teeniest of cafes, the joie de vivre in a city that can be so "grey"...I could easily go on for days. The Little Paris Kitchen brings the food and freshness of one of my favorite cities into my NYC kitchen. Simple French classics translated to a modern kitchen. A great read that'll keep you smiling...and dreaming of grabbing a passport, packing your bags and slowing life down just a little.
There are a few other new cookbooks that I've got my eye on...I Love New York by the acclaimed team behind Eleven Madison Park, The New Persian Kitchen by Louisa Shafia and Homemade by Irish culinary queen, Clodagh McKenna. No doubt these will provide some inspiration and a mini mental-vacation in the near future.
Five Spice Sweet Potato Muffins ::
Serves :: 12
from It's All Good
1 large sweet potato
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
3/4 cup good-quality maple syrup or xylitol, plus 2 extra tablespoons for brushing the muffins
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups gluten-free flour (if the flour doesn’t include xanthan gum, add 1 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato a few times with a paring knife or fork. Bake until soft (when a paring knife can cut through with zero resistance), about 1 hour. Set the sweet potato aside until it’s completely cool.
Peel the sweet potato, discard the skin and mash the flesh in a mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk the olive oil, almond milk, maple syrup or xylitol, and vanilla into the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and evenly distribute the muffin batter among the cups.
Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, brushing the tops with extra maple syrup during the last 5 minutes of baking. Let the muffins cool before serving.
Photos via :: Amazon.com, Eater.com