Oddly Delicious: Cabbage and Eggs

by | Jun 25, 2014
Cabbage and Eggs

Cabbage and Eggs

I must confess that I’ve been reluctant to share this recipe for a long time because, well, let’s just say it isn’t the most photogenic thing that I cook.

However, I realized that this simple cabbage and eggs dish has become such a staple of my home court recipes that it isn’t fair to keep it from you any longer.

This recipe is special for a few reasons. First, even though it may look funny it tastes (and smells) absolutely amazing. The secret is adding just a splash of soy sauce to the cooked cabbage before adding the eggs, which gives it a rich umami flavor that our mouths crave.

Second, it’s surprisingly filling given that it’s just two eggs and a handful of leaves. Something about the combination makes it feel almost luscious and decadent to eat, and it keeps me full for hours.

Last, but certainly not least, how often do you get to eat (and actually enjoy) vegetables for breakfast? Although I’ve been known to make this for any meal of the day, the egg component makes it easy to add to your morning healthstyle and double down on your veggie consumption for the day.

One final bonus is that when I use certain varietals of purple cabbage in this dish my eggs turn an almost neon blue. What’s not to love?
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Foodist Approved: Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Giardiniera

by | Jan 29, 2014
Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad

A friend asked me the other day where I get the ideas for my recipes. Lucky for me I live in Portlandia where there is no shortage of foodie inspiration. If I have a whoa-Nelly eating epiphany while dining out, I jot down notes in my phone to remember the flavors. I then try to recreate the masterpiece at home and love the challenge of adding my own wholesome spin.

That’s how most of my recipes I share with you begin. But this week, I decided to go straight to one of the creators of some of Portland’s best dishes, and asked the uber-brilliant Cathy Whims, owner of both Nostrana, and Oven & Shaker and 5-time James Beard Award Finalist to share one of her healthy go-to recipes.

Cathy happily offered up the recipe for her salad of cannellini beans and albacore tuna conserva that’s a favorite on the menu at Nostrana.

At Nostrana the tuna is quickly seared over a flaming charcoal grill to maintain its beautiful rare flavor. For a stress-free weeknight meal, Cathy gives us her endorsement to use canned tuna, but only top-quality from Spain or Oregon.
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Foodist Approved: Tuscan Red Lentil Soup with Kale and Farro

by | Jan 15, 2014
Red lentil soup with kale and farro

Red lentil soup with kale and farro

This past week has been a pinch hectic as my husband and I closed on our first house and are getting ready to move.

Dinners had to be quick and easy with minimal cleanup, meaning one-pot meals instead of my usual nightly disaster in the kitchen (which always keeps my husband busy scrubbing). But into those single pots I also needed to fit a lot of healthy goodness, as I’ve been extra hungry lately (have I mentioned that I’m pregnant!!).

My best concoction from the week was a creamy, hearty soup that I loved so much, I made it twice. This recipe takes less than fifteen minutes to throw together and then you can just sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the smells while it simmers (no wine for me!).

I got lucky with how good this soup turned out as I was actually just trying to use up a few random ingredients in our pantry. I found a bag of red lentils that had been sitting neglected for a while. I like how red lentils take on a creamy texture when cooked in a broth. They’re perfect for thickening a soup and they add a healthy dose of protein and fiber.

I tossed in a cup of farro to make it a meal. That, combined with the kale, made this a one-pot meal loaded with both nutrition and flavor.

It also makes for a delicious vegan soup (there is no actual cream in this creamy soup). Simply use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and skip the sprinkle of parmesan.

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Foodist Approved: Roasted Butternut and Leek Warm Winter Salad

by | Dec 4, 2013
Butternut Warm Winter Salad

Butternut Warm Winter Salad

It’s OK to let yourself indulge a little this time of year. The best part about the holidays is family, friends and… food. I can’t imagine how boring a holiday party would be without delicious eats and festive cocktails. And enjoying good food in the company of good friends is healthier than eating a salad by yourself at home in front of the TV.

But (and this is a big but) don’t be tempted to bring home the leftover cheese platter and pecan pie, even with Mom insisting.

To maintain your healthy lifestyle throughout the holiday season it’s important to eat fresh and light at home. Soups, salads, baked fish and roasted veggies are all great choices. They’ll balance out all the festive eating and drinking, and getting plenty of veggies this time of year is especially important to keep your immune system strong and your waistline in check.

When the weather is cold and rainy (as it so often is this time of year in Portland), I don’t crave salads. But I know that a salad is sometimes just what I need to recover from a night out. I’ve discovered that if I top my salad with warm roasted veggies, I get both my raw- and cooked-veggie fix together. Plus, a warm salad is so much more appealing. The key to a winter salad is to use a hearty green like arugula or spinach; leave the romaine lettuce for light summer salads.

I made an amazing winter salad the other night with leftover roasted butternut squash. I added it atop my usual favorite combo of arugula, walnuts and Parmesan, then added pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of hummus dressing. It was so good!

Butternut can be difficult to chop. I recommend heating the entire squash in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes so that it’s easier to get a knife through it. Or buy your butternut already cut (I promise I won’t tell). Just don’t use frozen butternut. After cooking it will have the consistency of baby food.
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Foodist Approved: Cucumber Wakame Salad with Oranges

by | Nov 13, 2013
Cucumber Wakame Salad

Cucumber Wakame Salad

Unless you’re Japanese, here are some words you’ve probably never heard: “Honey, we’re running low on wakame! Don’t forget to pick up another bag!”

But perhaps they should be. Sea vegetables (wakame is one) are one of the world’s most nutrient-dense foods. Sea vegetables make up 10% of a typical Japanese diet, and guess what people live longer than any other in the world? (Hint: it ain’t Americans.)

The ocean provides us with thousands of varieties of vegetables. Some varieties have a fishier taste than others, but marinating the vegetables in a lemon or vinegar dressing will offset that fishiness. My favorite varieties are wakame, arame, toasted nori and kombu. Because of its mild taste, arame is great for kids and those who’ve never tried seaweed. You can find all these varieties in most health food stores. They come dried in small bags and require soaking in water to rejuvenate, but are otherwise easy to store and can be kept on hand for days for when you need a good nutrition kick.

Below is a recipe for my favorite seaweed salad. You’ve probably had a similar dish at Japanese restaurants. The restaurant version has a lot of added sugar. Instead of sugar I use orange segments for a delicious sweet and salty contrast. This salad is easy to prepare and goes well with an array of main dishes, from baked fish to veggie stir-fries to steak or grilled chicken. Try it as a side with my Miso-marinated Grilled Chicken. I promise you’ll be happy and healthy!
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Better Than Butternut: Roasted Delicata Squash Recipe

by | Nov 4, 2013
Roasted Delicata Squash

Roasted Delicata Squash

I have a confession to make: I should have posted this recipe a long time ago.

It has been over a year since I discovered delicata squash, and I instantly fell in love. But let me start at the beginning.

Like most people, I hadn’t heard of delicata squash before, but was a big fan of butternut. Butternut squash tastes rich and sweet, and has a wonderful texture. It’s also very filling, and is a fantastic substitute for more starchy carbohydrates.

But anyone who has tried to cook with butternut squash knows it isn’t easy to work with. Butternut squash are huge, have a tough outer skin and take longer than most vegetables to cook through.

Lazy people don’t cook butternut squash. And I came to accept the fact that I am one of those people.

But last winter everything changed. Somewhere around the blogosphere I heard that not all winter squash require peeling. To me the difficult (and sometimes painful) peeling is the hardest part of cooking winter squash, so I was instantly intrigued about the possibility of alternatives.

I was delighted to learn the beautiful green Japanese “pumpkin” kabocha squash don’t require peeling (woohoo!). I also discovered delicata.

Delicata Squash

Delicata Squash

Delicata are much smaller than most winter squash, making them substantially easier to get home from the market and more amenable to the needs of a small household. More important, delicata squash are a cinch to clean, cut and cook, making them any winter squash lover’s dream.

Did I mention their flavor is even richer and their texture more creamy than butternut?

I prefer to roast my delicata squash in a metal pan, allowing the outer edges to brown and caramelize. While a Pyrex or ceramic pan will also work, I’ve found that I get better browning when I use metal to cook in. Foil will likely give you the same effect, but I haven’t tried.

The caramelization creates an almost sweet potato like flavor. Fans call the recipe my “squash fries,” even though they are baked in the oven. Needless to say I make this recipe all the time.
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Foodist Approved: Feta and Avocado Egg Scramble

by | Oct 30, 2013
Feta Avocado Scramble

Feta Avocado Scramble

Lately, with the mornings getting darker and colder, I’ve been waking up craving a hot breakfast. Fruit and yogurt just isn’t making the cut. And getting out of bed on crisp fall mornings is easier when I know I’ll soon be enjoying my favorite egg scramble.

Starting your day with protein is a great way to fuel up. I’ve noticed when I eat a high-protein breakfast I’m more productive throughout the morning and less likely to get the afternoon munchies. Once incorrectly branded an unhealthy food, eggs are now heralded as a top 10 healthiest food by many nutrition experts. Eggs contain the purest form of protein found in whole foods, which means our bodies use it more efficiently than any other protein.

And please, please, don’t throw out that yolk! Unless you’re allergic, you should definitely indulge in the egg’s incredible center. The yolk contains not only all the egg’s vitamins and minerals, but also healthy fats your body needs to absorb such fabulous nutrients.

My favorite egg scramble naturally has to include avocado. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love avocados (and to those out there who don’t, you’re seriously missing out!). Avocados can turn an average dish into an oh-my-I could-eat-this-every-day type dish. They give the eggs a creamy texture and a decadent flavor. The trick is to add the chopped avocado towards the end of cooking so you don’t end up with just a mushy pile of green eggs (although Dr. Seuss would approve).

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Foodist Approved: Immune-Boosting 8-Vegetable Minestrone

by | Oct 16, 2013
8-Vegetable Minestrone

8-Vegetable Minestrone

Cold weather is ahead and that means all the good things that come with it. Cozy fires, hot chocolate, comfy sweaters, and holiday parties.

Oh, and flu season.

But fret not. Darya and I are here to help you stay healthy all fall and winter long. A recent post of hers contains ten great tips on how to avoid getting sick. And my recipe for a hearty, healthy homemade soup will help you nail her #9: Eat well.

For years I’ve been working to perfect the recipe for my Immune-Boosting 8-Vegetable Minestrone. I love the result.

This isn’t your average minestrone with some beans and a few wimpy vegetables floating in some tasteless broth. My minestrone alone is a complete meal. It satisfies like a bowl of your favorite hearty pasta, and in addition to eight different fresh veggies this soup includes whole-wheat penne, cannellini beans, spicy chicken sausage (optional), and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Even better, it is easy to make and hard to mess up.

Ready to beat cold and flu season? Don an apron and dust off your pots and pans. It’s a lot of vegetables to chop, but enlist the help of a friend and you’ll both benefit from the big batch of soup this recipe makes. It’s so good you can eat it multiple nights in a row, or freeze the leftovers and enjoy a quick, healthy dinner at a later date.

Enjoy!
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Foodist Approved: Miso-marinated Ko Lan Grilled Chicken (or Tempeh)

by | Oct 2, 2013
Ko Lan Grilled Chicken

Ko Lan Grilled Chicken

My life recently went from moderately busy to extremely crazy. I got a puppy. He’s 9 weeks old and pure energy.

Meet Huck

Meet Huck

Meet Huck. Huck-a-boo. Huckleberry.

When I get home this wild little pooch wants 110% of my attention. Because of him I’m beginning to better understand why some parents say, “I just don’t have time to cook a healthy meal.” Huck is my “first” and he’s like a little warning of what it’s like to try to balance work with raising a child, while still finding time to cook a healthy and delicious dinner.

I’ll admit that during my husband’s and my first week with Huck there were a couple of nights that we relied on takeout after he finally went to bed at 10 p.m. I’m now determined to create recipes for you (and me) that are great for hectic nights. They’ll be quick and easy without compromising taste or nutrition.

The marinade in this Thai-inspired dish takes just five minutes to make and gives the chicken incredible flavor. The miso in it pairs deliciously with the ginger, garlic and lime, and a touch of agave helps the marinade to bind, which keeps the chicken extra moist. My marinade is also far healthier than store-bought ones, which are full of sugar, low-quality oils, artificial flavors and preservatives. Even the organic ones are high in sugar and salt and lack fresh flavor.

I love grilling on weeknights because it requires no cleanup and it’s fun to cook outdoors after a day spent behind the computer. I always make enough of this dish for two dinners. The first night I serve the chicken with grilled veggies and an easy tomato avocado salad. It also goes perfectly with my Kale Superhero Salad. The second night it’s delicious sliced and served cold on top of a salad full of seasonal greens.

For a vegetarian option this marinade pairs fantastically with tempeh. Simply slice the block of tempeh into four pieces and follow the same directions below.
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Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream (+ Cookbook Giveaway)

by | Sep 9, 2013
Velvety Mediterranean Gazpacho with Avocado Cream

Photo Credit: Leo Gong

Today I’m thrilled to share a recipe from The Longevity Kitchen, the fabulous new cookbook by Rebecca Katz, MS. Rebecca is a Marin-based nationally recognized cookbook author, nutrition expert and chef. She is the founder and director of the Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal, which is dedicated to transforming lives through nutritional science and culinary alchemy. Her previous book, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, is a two-time IACP award-winner.

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