Miso Glazed Eggplant & Why I’m Leaving Facebook

Miso Glazed Eggplant & Why I’m Leaving Facebook

I’m sneaking this next recipe in.. just before it starts to really cool down. I think it kind of should have by now, considering that we’re halfway through November. But hey, you certainly won’t find me complaining about the long days of sunshine and warmth. I found these tiny Fairy Tale Eggplants just the other day, and I had to buy them because they were so cute. I really can’t help it. When food is miniature, I fall instantly in love and want to buy eat, eat it and hold it in my hand forever all at once. Eating it usually wins in the end. I decided they should be roasted, with a miso-tahini glaze. Sweet, salty, umami, creamy goodness. Spruced up by some lovely green onions and sesame seeds. Ingredients: 6-8 Fairy tale eggplants, or 2 medium Japanese eggplants 2 Tbsp Miso 3 Tbsp Tahini 2 tsp Mirin A sprinkling of Sea Salt A sprinkling of brown sugar Sesame seeds, black and/or white for garnish Green onions, bias sliced for garnish Directions: 1. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Peel if desired. Score the cut half lightly with a knife. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit, scored side up for about 20-30 minutes. 2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Wipe salt and any liquid accumulation off of the eggplants. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15-30 minutes. Timing will depend on the size of your eggplants. Bake until they are nicely softened, but watch closely so they don’t burn. 3. While the eggplants are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk...
Easter Dinner – Spring Rolls!

Easter Dinner – Spring Rolls!

With Easter bunnies a-hopping and springtime a-blooming, a colorful recipe seemed appropriate for this weekend. I think the best part about spring is the sudden onslaught of colorful food. Goodbye drab winter greys, browns and dull greens. Make way for fresh colors and flavors, looking beautiful on my plate, and bursting with flavor in my mouth. Serve these lovely little rolls as appetizers, or as an entree, depending on your mood. I see any rolled-up food as an excuse to see how many goodies I can stuff inside. So mine end up more like entree portions. I have no self-control, what can I say? I love eating these spring rolls with homemade peanut sauce or spicy plum sauce, but they are also delicious with just a spritz of fresh lime juice if you’re in a pinch for time. Happy Easter if you celebrate, and happy spring regardless! Ingredients Rice paper rolls Warm Water 1 lb firm tofu Rainbow Carrots Cucumber Cilantro Bell pepper Purple Cabbage Avocado Kelp noodles, zucchini noodles, or rice noodles, optional Lime, cut into wedges Your all-time favorite dipping sauce(s) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice tofu into thin strips. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Bake 5-8 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool. 2. While the tofu is baking, peel and slice the veggies into thin strips, about 2 inches long. (Knife Skills: Matchstick) 3. Prepare noodles of choice according to the package directions. 4. Lay out all ingredients so they are readily avilable. Fill a shallow dish with warm...
Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Sunomono – Japanese Cucumber Salad

Some weeks I get stuck in a salad rut. I rely on the same tired ‘ole veggies on the bottom shelf until they’re almost as tired of me as I am of them. And then… I remember rice vinegar. This is a traditional Japanese quick-pickled cucumber salad. You can get as crazy as you want with the recipe. Craving some heat? Add in some ginger juice or diced chilis. Looking for more color? Add rainbow carrots, red bell peppers, radish slices, maybe even try some cabbage. Whatever veggies you use, be sure to slice as thinly as possible. Ingredients 1 cucumber (Persian or Japanese cucumbers are better, but an English cucumber will work as well) 1/4 tsp sea salt 3 Tbsp rice vinegar 1 Tbsp mirin (or sugar) 1/4 tsp shoyu (soy sauce) 1 tsp black (or white) sesame seeds, toasted Rainbow carrots (or other veggies of choice), optional Directions 1. Thinly slice cucumbers and carrots (if using). Add salt, stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then, squeeze all the liquid from the veggies, and set aside. 2. In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar, mirin and shoyu together. Stir to combine. If using sugar, mix until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired. Be sure to adjust seasonings as there is quite the variety of shoyu and vinegar available. 3. Add vinegar mixture to cucumbers and carrots and mix well. Stir in sesame seeds. Eat immediately, or store, covered in the fridge for your next salad adventure. If you have leftover dressing, store it in a jar in the...
Cucumber Bites with Pomegranate Salsa

Cucumber Bites with Pomegranate Salsa

Pomegranates are red. Mint leaves are green. A more picturesque salsa, I have never seen. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this lovely, crunchy salsa can be served as an appetizer, amuse-bouche, or used to top an entree of your choice. Think tacos, fajitas, or even veggie nachos! See, I love fondue as much as the next girl, but when I’m dreaming up a romantical evening, I want food that calls to all five senses. I want something visually stunning, tasty, aromatic, and sensual. I want to leave the table feeling completely satisfied, and still able to rock some lingerie. Seriously – it’s Valentine’s Day, folks! Enjoy! Cucumber Bites with Pomegranate Salsa Ingredients 1 small shallot, minced ~ 2 Tbsp 1 medium jicama, peeled, small dice 1 pomegranate, peeled, seeds separated 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced thin 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced 1 lime, juiced 1 pinch sea salt, to taste Mint, Cilantro or Microgreens for garnish (Amaranth and Beet Microgreens pictured above) 1 pinch chili powder, optional for those who like it spicy Directions Peel and mince shallot. Place minced shallot in a small bowl of cold water and set aside. Remove shallots from water and drain well. Toss with pomegranate seeds, jicama and jalapeno. Mix well. Add lime juice and salt to taste. Top each slice of cucumber with pomegranate salsa. Garnish and serve. Mix it up! If you want to dice all of the jicama AND cucumber and serve the salsa on tortilla chips, that’s an option. You could dice all the jicama, and serve the salsa on cucumber slices. Or you could dice all of the cucumber, and serve the salsa on jicama slices. You...
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,...
My Heart Beets for You.

My Heart Beets for You.

I confess – I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. However, I do celebrate amazing food. And I do that everyday. At least three times – usually more. And what better way to celebrate deliciousness than to make a fun appetizer?? So, today I did just that. Beets are all around awesome. They contain high amounts of antioxidants, phytochemicals, iron, magnesium and fiber. Recent scientific studies have even shown that beets are high in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This helps maintain blood vessel elasticity and lower blood pressure. Cashews are high in protein and heart healthy fats. Neither contain any cholesterol. More importantly, they are both delicious. Ingredients 1 large beet 1 dash extra virgin olive oil 1 pinch sea salt 1/3 c raw cashews, soaked overnight 2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice 1 tsp freshly minced thyme 1 tsp white miso, or nutritional yeast 1 tsp minced chives for garnish Directions 1. Slice off both ends of the beet. Thinly slice into rounds either with a Japanese mandolin, or by hand. Then, cut the beet slices into heart shapes. (Dinosaur shapes would be pretty neat too.) You can use a cookie cutter, or free hand your heart. I free handed my heart with a paring knife, then used the first beet as a guide to cutting the rest of my beet slices. 2. Drizzle a teensy bit of olive oil over the hearts and add a dash of sea salt. Carefully massage the olive oil and sea salt into your hearts until they are slightly softened. This step is not to be confused with open...