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Summer Caprese(s)
09Aug
2013

PeachCapreseA couple of weeks ago I spent the weekend at the Four Seasons Palo Alto for a couple of girlfriends’ birthdays. While it’s largely a business(y) hotel, it’s also a great weekend retreat. For a couple of reasons: 1) it’s not crowded on the weekends when the business types go back home, and 2) their food and bar program is amazeballs. Note: this is the first time I’ve used the term “amazeballs,” something I swore I’d never do, but whatever. I’m practicing flexibility.

So Saturday night at dinner at Quattro we had this grilled peach caprese that was perfect. And of course it became my new mission to replicate it. Can’t be so hard, right? Tomato, mozzarella, basil and some peaches. Balsamic and olive oil. Done and done. But, just in case you want to know how I did it…here you are:

I grilled the peaches using walnut oil and was very happy with the result. You’ll notice in the photo my slices are somewhat small and that’s probably the one thing I’d adjust…use two of same size or go for a larger slice. The peach flavor was slightly overpowered by the rest and should be beefed up. If you’re a basil hound, use two leaves instead of one.

But the coup de grace? This fantastic dressing recipe I found on Kitchen Konfidence. It definitely made the dish and my happy guests smile.

While we’re on the subject of caprese(s), I’ll give you one more. This one I threw together last summer when home visiting family. You’ve got your basil and tomatoes. I used red and yellow pear heirlooms for color and flavor. Burratta cheese. And added blueberries. Reduced balsamic and olive oil to dress it. I’ve found thinner, cheaper balsamics tend to reduce better than their more refined peers, in case you were wondering.

And I just looked in the fridge and noticed a bunch of figs. Which is great because I’ve still got a ton of basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. Yes, I’m a bit obsessive and yes, I’ll likely not want caprese for a couple of years by the time I’m done experimenting.  If it’s good, I’ll be back…

bigstock-Half_dozen_fresh_eggs_in_box_made_of_recycled_paper-27183092Easter gives us all sorts of reasons to think about eggs. Who doesn’t reminisce over the vinegary smell that fills the house when you’re coloring eggs? It’s akin to liking the smell of gasoline I guess, but nonetheless, we’ve all got fun memories of coloring eggs as kids and now doing it as adults with the little ones.

But forget about the decorative things we do to eggs, I wanna talk about eating them. Breakfast has always been a favored meal for me, so in honor of the Easter weekend and all it’s egg glory, I’ll leave you with two of my current faves. These both started as recipes I found from someone else, but have morphed along the way and I don’t remember their origins. So to those who helped…my sincerest thank yous.

Both of these involved poaching. You can really make your eggs however you’d like, but poaching is my preference. Easiest way to make the perfect poached egg? Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil with about a tablespoon of vinegar (it really does help the whites coagulate and I usually use white wine vinegar). Break your eggs into individual cups. Turn off the water and let sit for about 2 minutes. Dump in the eggs and cover. In about 10 minutes you’ll have perfectly poached eggs to drain out with a slotted spoon.

Sweet Potato Benedict

Take your sweet potatoes and cut into half inch(ish) slices, massage with coconut oil, and bake at 400 until browned, flipping halfway through. Roast asparagus or saute some spinach using coconut oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and some fresh lemon juice. Pile everything up sweet potatoes, then veggies, and finally your eggs to make a healthy version of a benedict that everyone I’ve ever fed loves. If you’re feeling crazy you can add on some hollandaise, but honestly, it’s better without it. But the saucy types might want it, so if you’re so inclined have at it.

Kale Egg Bowl

I’ve been having a lot of this one lately. You can prepare the brown rice ahead of time by placing two parts water to one part short grain brown rice in a rice cooker. For each cup of rice add 3 or so quarter inch slices of fresh ginger, a couple of whole peeled garlic cloves, and a healthy dose of turmeric. Saute some lacinto kale in coconut oil and minced garlic. Put the two in a bowl with your poached eggs (about 1/2 cup rice, 1 cup kale and 2 eggs) adding chopped green onions and vietnamese chili paste. EAT.

I’m writing on a whim so I’ll have to add pictures the next time I make these. But for know, some healthier brunch egg recipes for your weekend eats. Happy Easter and to those celebrating Passover, Chag Sameach!

2013-03-14 15.27.16It’s been a while since I’ve posted about food stuff. Probably a sign I’ve been too focused on work.

But after a long love affair with green juices, I’ve added green smoothies to the mix and I’m OBSESSED. Like a junkie needing their crack, I HAVE to have some form of green smoothie every day. My reason for sharing? I feel it’s a really good way to get those greens in and even more so for those who don’t love ’em like I do. Why? Because you can sweeten your concoctions up with fruit and not even notice their green ingredients. So if you’re reading this and have veggie haters in your life, keep reading because this is a tried and true trick for sneaking in those vital greens.

Trick #1: Spinach. You can throw gobs of the stuff into any smoothie and never know it’s there. A great way to get some raw greens down and it doesn’t change the flavor a bit.

My personal favorite:
1 cup frozen cherries
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1/2 frozen banana (optional)
1 TB chia seeds
A few ice cubes
Coconut water to your liking
Fill the rest of the blender with fresh organic spinach
BLEND

Trick #2: Kale. Not quite as sneaky as the spinach though. This one you can taste and see. Very green. It’s definitely for those with a greater affinity for eating green things. But for newcomers to the kale revolution, this is a winner. Great way to get it down in bulk.

Here’s my reco:
8-10 ice cubes
3/4 cup fresh pineapple
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
Coconut water to your liking
Fill the rest of the blender with fresh organic kale (lacinto for me)
BLEND

This one looks like a Shamrock Shake when all is said and done, so in honor of that, HAPPY ST. PATRICKS DAY!! Not once in my days of drinking green beer did I ever think I’d celebrate with a green smoothie. Whatever. Stranger things have happened.

So yeah, not exactly insurance nonsense, but it’s good to venture away from it once in a while. Otherwise you might think we’re boring or something. And green smoothies certainly change that…

Cheers!

Biscuits Be Gone
16Nov
2012

This week was spent in Atlanta for the Operation Hope Global Financial Dignity Summit. I’ll spend more time on that subject over the weekend when I’m not playing mad catch up. An absolutely GREAT event with great people, great content, and an in person performance by Ben Bernanke. Ok, so performance is a strong word, but he did talk about the housing market.

Food in the South is generally in the to die for category, but it’s not exactly light. And not so green either. In my plight yesterday morning to vegetize, I asked to substitute my breakfast potatoes with a side of spinach and was sorely disappointed when my dream of a mountain of little green leaves was crushed by a ramekin of frozen nonsense. Not that it was Georgia’s fault. It happens in California too. I did find some delicious fried green beans. At least they were green on the inside.

So I woke up this morning dedicated to filling up with as many raw nutrients as possible. This made lunch a juicing adventure and one I had to share. It delivered a sweet flavor made up of the following:

3 carrots

2 gala apples

2 stalks of celery

1 slice of lemon

1 crown of broccoli, stem included

3 slices of ginger

I’m calling it “Biscuits Be Gone.”  You might think it’s a strange combo, but it’s really good. Light and sweet and the color of pumpkin.

On that note…another fun one is Pumpkin juice. Get crazy.

 

Green Gratitude
24Sep
2012

Juicing day 3.

Not easy.

If it weren’t for the health benefits I might say it’s ridiculous. But so are a lot of other things we do in the name of health and happiness.

While I’ve been following recipes in Juicing for Life, by Cherie Calbom and Maureen Keane, the cook in me decided to venture out on my own and start experimenting. Voila Green Gratitude! Green for obvious reasons and the Gratitude came from the Lululemon Instagram photo a day fun called What the Focus, fondly referred to as #WTFSept.

Here’s the goods…

 

  • 4-5 handfuls of Trader Joe’s Organic Lacinto Kale
  • 4 Bartlett Pears
  • 3 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1/2 Lemon

These amounts are for a serving for 2, so adjust accordingly if you need to.

I’m using the Miracle Juicer MJ1ooo and it’s divine. But then, anything offering any nourishment at this point would be divine.

Like a nice bloody steak, a hearty baked potato and a great glass of cab, but I digress.

And keep drinking my green juice.

Cheers!

PS…Clearly I think I’m an original. I’m sure there’s someone out there that’s come up with this before.

 

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