Roasted Radicchio with a Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Radicchio with a Balsamic Glaze

Looking for a fancy appetizer or first course to cook up this spring? Look no further. Radicchio (pronounced: rah-DEEK-ee-o) makes for an easy-to-prepare, but looks-elegant-on-your-plate option.  A member of the chicory family, radicchio has crisp leaves and a refreshing but slightly bitter flavor. Roasting the radicchio and topping it off with a drizzle of your favorite balsamic vinegar takes the edge off its bitterness and transforms it into a delightful, warm, wedge salad or first course. The health benefits of including members of the chicory family in our diet are simply awesome. Radicchio is high in fiber, zinc and magnesium and also contains inulin, a compound that helps regulate our blood sugar. The bitter taste in the chicory family comes from a substance known as intybin, a metabolic stimulant  that helps with bile production and hence keep our digestive system healthy and forward moving. Ingredients 1 head radicchio, quartered 2 Tbsp onion, minced (or sub in shallot or leeks) 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp lime juice, freshly squeezed Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 c Balsamic Vinegar Microgreens for garnish, optional Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Quarter the head of radicchio and remove most of the tough inner core. 2. Combine the onion, thyme, garlic, olive oil and lime juice. Whisk thoroughly then add salt and pepper to taste. 3. Toss the quartered radicchio in the dressing to coat, place on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven about 10-15 minutes, turning once halfway through roasting. 4. Place radicchio wedges on a plate,...
Quick Pickled Carrots – One Post, Two Recipes

Quick Pickled Carrots – One Post, Two Recipes

As promised during my veggie burger post, I’ve written up my latest obsession for you: Quick Pickled Carrots. They are indeed quick to pickle, but the flavors meld even more beautifully if they’re left about 3-4 days in the fridge before eating them… If you’re able to wait that long. The first recipe is a fairly standard pickling spice mix, with some ground turmeric thrown in for its anti-inflammatory properties. These carrots are delightful atop veggie burgers, salads, or for adding that raw touch to your favorite stir-fry recipe. The second recipe pickles a bit on the wild side – I added fennel. Long used as a digestive aid, fennel seeds have a slightly sweet, fresh, anise-like flavor and aroma. The flavor in this pickling recipe isn’t overpowering, but it’s enough to make you tilt your head to one side and appreciate the fun combination. These carrots pair wonderfully with any recipe that is looking for a delicate bite of freshness. Rice and beans, roasted root vegetables or spring pasta dishes all make a great excuse to eat more of these wild pickles. Spicy Quick Pickled Carrots Ingredients 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds 3/4 c water 1 c distilled white vinegar 1 Tbsp sea salt 1 Tbsp white sugar 1 bay leaf 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 1/4 tsp ground turmeric 1 lb carrots, peeled and shredded, with a mandolin or grater 1/4 small red onion, finely diced Directions 1. In a small pan over low heat, toast the coriander and mustard seeds until just fragrant. Don’t burn them. Remove...
Lavender Lemon Creme-Filled Chocolates

Lavender Lemon Creme-Filled Chocolates

Regardless of your beliefs regarding oversized bunnies delivering baskets today, chocolate is in the air this weekend. It’s just everywhere in sight. And while chocolate is by far my favorite treat, there are better alternatives than the products on most grocery store shelves. These are usually laden with high-fructose corn syrup and other processed, unpronounceable ingredients I’d rather avoid. I’ve got something simple and much healthier in mind here. And it’s bunny rabbit approved. Cacao butter, a main ingredient in this recipe, is produced from the cold-pressed oil of the cacao bean and is high in omega-6 fatty acids and magnesium. Cacao powder, another main ingredient, is what remains after the cacao butter has been extracted from the cacao beans. Cacao powder is a rich source of flavanol antioxidants and is deliciously reunited with the butter during the chocolate making process. The difference between cacao and cocoa is that cacao is generally used to reference the raw form of the cacao bean. It is not roasted and contains no added sugars or butter. Cocoa, on the other hand, is roasted and has usually been mixed with sweeteners and other additives. For that reason I’ve chosen to use cacao products for my chocolate-making adventures. This recipe contains only five ingredients and you can make it with or without the filling. The creme is a decadent cashew base and dairy-free. If you’re not a fan of lavender and lemon, you can flavor the filling with anything that makes your inner bunny rabbit hop. Yield: 12 -14 small chocolates (dependent on the size of the mold) Ingredients Chocolate: 1/2 c raw cacao butter 1/2 c virgin, unrefined coconut...
Veggie Burger with a Spicy Red Pepper Coulis

Veggie Burger with a Spicy Red Pepper Coulis

I’m always on the prowl to create a delicious veggie burger. I want a flavorful experience that’s crispy on the outside and still melts into my mouth with every bite. I want something simple and without processed ingredients. And today I wanted a spicy sauce to go with it. Something to make my tongue burn and my nose squirm.   Cranberry beans are an excellent source of fiber, magnesium, potassium and iron. They are absolutely beautiful before being cooked.  After cooking, they turn a drab brownish color. I know – not very exciting. That’s why we have a sauce and a garnish. The lemon juice keeps the patties brightly flavored and the parsley gives them a dash of freshness. I used harissa, a spice blend to flavor the burgers. This is generally a blend of ground cumin, coriander, paprika and red chilis. If you’re not up for using cranberry beans, you can sub in another type of bean – I imagine that anasazi, pinto or black beans would work just as well for this recipe. Ingredients Veggie Burgers 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed, fresh if possible 3 Tbsp water 2 1/2 c cooked cranberry beans 1/2 bunch parsley, minced (about 1/2 c after mincing) 2 large shallots, minced 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 tsp harissa 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for cooking the burgers Coulis 2 roasted red bell peppers 1/2 tsp sea salt 1 dash freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp vegetable broth 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne (I used 1 tsp because I love spicy!) 1/2 tsp...
Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread

Overripe bananas and a craving for banana bread and chocolate led me to this recipe by Chocolate Covered Katie. I couldn’t resist. Plus the marbled swirling was just so fun. My modified version of her recipe is below. Ingredients 2 c ripe bananas, mashed 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp apple cider vinegar 1/4 c  and 2 Tbsp non-dairy milk – I used almond 1/2 c maple syrup 1 c spelt flour 1 c all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 3/4 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt 1/4 c sugar 1 tsp Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice 3 Tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder 1/2 c water Directions 1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease your favorite banana bread pan unless you are using a silicone bread pan. Then it doesn’t require any oil. Set it aside. 2. Stir the bananas, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, almond milk and maple syrup together in a large bowl until well mixed. In a separate large bowl, whisk together spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice. 3. In a small pot on the stove, bring the water to a boil. Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl and pour 1/4 c of the water over it – you can discard the rest of the water. Whisk until the cocoa turns into a paste. 4. Combine the contents of the two large bowls (leave out the cocoa for now) and mix well. Then, divide the batter into half and place each half in a separate bowl. You will have two bowls of batter now. Add the cocoa...