Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Hi there friend of the radish...thank you for checking for recent updates. We are taking a break and heading down to Vieques for a few days for some research on Latin Caribbean cuisine and some much needed R and R! Check back soon for some inspired dishes and photos!

If your worried about Henry don't be, he will be off on his own vacation to a farm in the Catskills! Just what a spoiled little city boy needs!

Happy Holidays


Have a Happy and a Healthy New Year!

All pies made by Betty! (Apple pie with cheddar cheese crust, pumpkin, and pecan!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Little Indiscretions....

Lenny's #11
Cafe Viva
La Caridad 78
Curry and Kebab

So I will admit, it is not easy to be virtuous and cook dinner every night. With a hectic schedule, long study sessions paired with exhaustion and sometimes laziness, I fall victim to ordering delivery or picking up take-out quite a few times. Whenever I do get delivery, which is usually once if not twice a week, I always try to throw together a salad and make the best decisions possible. When I order from my local pizza place, which also happens to be all-natural, vegetarian/vegan, and kosher!, I opt for whole wheat pasta and whole wheat pizza loaded with veggies. Roast chicken is always my go to “fast food” and usually provides plenty of leftovers.  Lets face it, it's hard being a guiltless cook all the time, and sometimes it’s nice to get out of the kitchen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's Gumbo Time Y'all

For my spin on the traditional Creole dish gumbo, I concocted a roux made with whole wheat flour and canola oil rather than white flour and butter. A roux is used as a base to thicken sauces and stews and is composed of a fat and flour.  The more you cook a roux, the darker and more nutty and flavorful it becomes. I started with a golden roux for the gumbo and built the dish with a mirepoix, low sodium chicken stock, casing free andouille style chicken sausage, skinless boneless chicken thighs, some additional flavor enhancers, and topped it off with some jumbo shrimp. The other spin I took was an abridged and boosted version of red beans and rice. I used farro and kidney beans and threw in some peas for added contrast. The farro sub provided many more nutrients than traditional white rice and added a little more sophistication.

Gumbo with Red Beans and “Rice”
Adapted from John Besh’s recipe in the Nov. 2011 Food and Wine
Serves 8

½ cup canola oil
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 large onion finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
2 ½ quarts low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 ½ pounds casing free all natural andouille chicken sausage
2 ½ pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 jumbo shrimp, cleaned 

Cooked farro
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup organic frozen peas, defrosted

2 scallions, thinly sliced
Pickled jalapeño
Hot sauce

1.     Brown chicken thighs in 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. They should not be fully cooked, but nicely colored. Removed from pan and set aside.
2.     Combine oil and flour and cook over moderately high heat, stirring continually until flour mixture is golden and smooth, around 5 minutes.
3.     Mix in onions, garlic, celery, bell peppers, and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently for around 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a minute. Add stock, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf. Cut the chicken into cubes and add it back into the pot with the sausage. Simmer for 2 hours; discard the bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Throw the shrimp in 3 minutes prior to eating and allow to pinken and curl.
4.     While the gumbo simmers, cook the farro and add the frozen peas into the pot for the last minute to heat. Drain, toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and combine with kidney beans.
5.     Serve Gumbo along side the red beans and “rice” and garnish as you please.

The roux and sausage added a great smoky component to the gumbo. All of the flavors melded together nicely, and the farro was a delectable nutty and chewy addition to soak up the sauce. I looked over a lot of different variations of gumbo recipes while concocting this dish, and it is apparent that there are a plethora of variations on a common Creole theme.

This dish was nutrient rich and provided a great balance of:
Lean protein from the beans, chicken, and shrimp
Fiber, iron, and complex carbohydrates from the farro, peas, and kidney beans
Monounsaturated fat from the olive oil and canola oil

As usual, the gumbo got better with age and provided plenty of leftovers to fuel me through my rigorous study sessions leading up to finals.

On another note…I just found out I will be completing my internship at New York Methodist Hospital in Park Slope! So excited to be starting my 27 weeks of clinical rotations and be one step closer to becoming an RD!

Happy Eating Radish Heads!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Everything but the.... Tuna Melt

Kitchen sink tuna melt on sprouted grain and seed english muffin, low sodium pickle, and Yerba Matte Tea

For my tuna salad, I usually throw in whatever I can find, sans mayo. Today I had celery, tomatoes, kidney beans, onion, pickled jalapeño, and mustard. I topped it off with some sliced avocado, melted some shredded cheddar and jack cheese under the broiler and I was in business. Most importantly, I used Italian tonno canned in olive oil (which I drained before adding)…it is exceptional quality and really elevates a simple sandwich into something special. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pop It Lock It

Popping off the birthday celebrations in style with my all time favorite Russ and Daughters, courtesy of a very special radish head

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Egg Mcmuff Muff

Sprouted Grain and Seed English Muffin, Williamsburg Mayo, Egg Over Medium with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar and Chili Flakes 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wakey Wakey

Mixed berry and banana smoothie with fat free plain yogurt, almond butter, chia seeds, and a splash of OJ with Ezekiel sprouted grain and seed english muffin, Williamsburg Mayo, finished with sea salt. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Its Turkey Lurkey Time"

Blackened Wild Striped Bass with Kale and Avocado Relish
If you are fully loaded from hitting the stuffing a little hard this year, here is a recipe that is light and filling and will relieve you of any over gorging regrets you might have the day after. Additionally, I’ve demonstrated two super green side dishes that are both filling and tasty and can be served along side your poultry.

Blackened Wild Striped Bass with Kale and Avocado Relish

Blackening seasoning can be purchased or prepared and can be mixed to suit your taste preferences. I combined 1 tsp each of cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, salt, and pepper and coated the top of a cleaned and thoroughly dried filet with the mixture.

I heated a pan with canola spray, and placed the filet skin side up, and pan seared each side for about 2 minutes in order to get a crisp crust. The fish was transferred to a 350 degree oven for around 12 minutes or until the center was opaque. While the fish cooked, the kale was braised in sautéed garlic and 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock for 5 minutes and then drained. For the avocado relish, I simply diced the cado and mixed it with lime juice and a little salt. The limey relish cut the spice of the fish and was a lovely contrast.

Brussel Sprouts With Shallots

To get a nice crust and color on the brussel sprouts, I halved them and quickly pan seared the B.S. in a hot pan for about 3 minutes, cut side down. I then transferred the sprouts to a sheet pan and roasted them with sliced shallots and a tbsp of olive oil for 15 minutes or under tender, but slightly firm to the bite. The pan searing before the roasting is an extra step, but it really gave the B.S. a nice crispy slightly smoky outer layer that elevated the little lettuce heads. Although B.S. have a nasty rap, they are always a hit when I bring them to my family’s Thanksgiving (or maybe my family is just being nice). 
Sprouted Lentil and Escarole Salad with Toasted Walnuts
Another lovely and light side idea for your Thanksgiving table is sprouted lentil and escarole salad with toasted walnuts. I used sprouted lentils which only needed to cook for 13 minutes; they were tender and iron loaded. While the lentils quickly cooked, I caramelized some fennel with thyme and garlic and then threw in a chopped head of escarole to wilt. Once the lentils were cooked to my liking (tender with a slight bite), I drained and combined them with the escarole and fennel mixture. I stirred in 1 tbsp of chèvre, which added a deliciously tart and tangy finish, and topped the whole thing with 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts.

These recipes contain cruciferous vegetables aka kale and brussel sprouts. These vegetables are nutrient dense and are loaded with fiber, which keep things going and flowing, vitamins, and minerals. Cruciferous veggies are also antioxidants and help prevent free-radicals (harmful cells) from proliferating.  

  • Both kale and B.S. contain high levels of Vitamin C, which aids with wound healing and is an important component in maintaining bone and teeth integrity. 
  • Kale is an excellent source of Vitamin A, which is beneficial for eye health, and aids in forming and sustaining teeth and skin. 
  • Brussel sprouts contain Vitamin E which boosts the immune system and helps form red blood cells. Brussel sprouts also have high levels of folic acid and are loaded with plant healthy omega-3s. 

When making any type of vegetable, be sure to not overcook them since it can leach out most of the nutrients. Additionally, most brussel sprouts get a bad rap for being sulfurous and unappealing, which occurs when they are overcooked. 

Your Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be all about butter landed mash, creamy potato gratin, and cornbread stuffing. It’s easy to integrate nutritious sides that taste good and make you feel good too!

Happy Thanksgiving from The Crunchy Radish and Henry too!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Quick Fix Mexi Night

Sometimes you just can’t help but get those cravings for gooey, cheesy, spicy goodness. Instead of going to the local greasy fryalator restaurant, I opted to make these simple, healthy, and tasty quesadillas that fulfilled my mexi craving. Obviously, to no one’s surprise, I had to take a healthful spin on these quesadillas and chose Ezekiel’s sprouted grain tortillas as my foundation. These tortillas are more substantial than your average white flour variety and offer a more robust flavor while providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber which are not always offered in your run of the mill refined form. For the interior, I used canned low sodium fat free vegetarian refried beans and spread the mash down as my base. For my layers, I caramelized some onions, blanched some asparagus, and roasted a poblano pepper. To top it off, I used about a tablespoon and a half of shredded monterey and cheddar cheese per quesadilla and some organic Muier Glen corn and black bean salsa. I placed another tortilla on top and pressed down slightly and baked for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese was gooey. I topped off these fiestas on a plate with some sliced avocado and pickled jalapeño and was in spicy cheesy Mexican heaven. I am sure these quesadillas are an insult to any Mexican quesadilla purest, but these were great, very simple, and up for a variety of interpretations.

Additional fillers:
Sautéed mushrooms
Blanched broccoli
Roasted red peppers
Sundried tomatoes
Black beans

“Beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot!” Well, that being said, beans are not a fruit but are a legume and are considered part of the vegetable and protein family. They definitely do have some magical attributes! Beans are loaded with calcium, protein, iron, folate, and phosphorus. They are a great source of fiber and can get things flowing, hence the lovely rhymes. Depending on the preparation, beans can be fat free and are a great food choice to help fill you up without being calorically dense.

To accompany my quesadillas, I made an uncomplicated smoky and spicy tomato soup that completed my fiesta….all I needed was some chilled Patron with lime and a mariachi.

3 cups diced onions
1 clove garlic diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
1 28 ounce canned San Marzano diced tomatoes
3 teaspoons minced canned chipotles in adobo with 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce

Optional Garnishes:
Fat free sour cream
Sliced avocado
Shredded cheese
Crumbled baked blue corn tortilla chips

Sauté onions in oil until softened, 5 minutes.
Add garlic, cumin, and oregano and stir for 3 minutes.
Add broth, tomatoes, and chipotles, cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Turn soup off, allow to cool slightly, and blend in either a blender or with an immersion blender.
Serve and garnish

Monday, October 31, 2011

Boo! So Creepy

It has been a long time dream/obsession of mine to make pumpkin soup and serve it inside a pumpkin. Trying to create my vision the night before Halloween during a pumpkin shortage, caused me to put my dream on hold. Luckily, I was able to think on my feet and found this gorgeous Carnival Squash. I simply sawed the top off, scooped out the innards (reserving the seeds), placed a tbsp of Earth Balance spread, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and a tbsp of pure maple syrup into the cavity and a little on the top half and roasted at 350-degrees for around 30 minutes. Once the meat was soft, I allowed the squash to cool slightly and gently mashed the soften core until it was a smooth consistency (It might be easier to take everything out, mash it, and refill the squash.). To make use of the seeds, I washed them and made a mixture of olive oil, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. I tossed the seeds with the mixture and toasted them for 10 minutes in a 350-degree oven. I topped my squash mash with the spiced seeds and dove into this scrumptiously sweet and delicious fall side. Accompanied by a little Sunday “gravy”,  light mixed greens, and my Sunday was complete!

Squash is on my mind! On another occasion, I made butternut squash and black bean chili with swiss chard, chipolte peppers topped off with parm, avocado, red onions, and lime
Happy Halloween everyone! Can you guess who Henry is? This was the best shot I could manage. Its not easy getting a 4 month old pup into a frog prince costume…let me tell you his breath is not all that (Prince) Charming!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Skate Skate Baby

Chickpea flour encrusted-pan seared skate with caper mustard sauce and roasted cauliflower 

Fresh pappardelle with roasted butternut squash, broccoli rabe and parmigiano reggigano

Sauteed mixed mushrooms with rosemary and garlic
As the end of October begins to encroach upon us and each evening seems to begin a litter earlier, the abundance of fall produce shines in the farmers' markets and groceries. Squash is the quintessential fall vegetable, and there are numerous types that all have unique and delectable attributes. For my pasta recipe, which I actually got from the Today Show (don’t judge), I settled on the ever faithful, delicate, and delicious butternut squash. It was simply roasted with olive oil and then combined with vegetable stock, garlic, chilies, broccoli rabe, a little pasta water, and tossed with the fresh pasta and cheese. The fresh pasta made it relatively light and the sweet butternut squash balanced really well with the peppery bitterness of the rabe.

Butternut squash is a great source of beta-carotene, which is the precurser to Vitamin A. Beta-carotene is an anti-oxidant and helps flight free radicals, which are damaging substances that attack healthy cells in the body. If healthy cells are damaged, they are more prone to cancer and disease.  Other sources of beta-carotene include: tomatoes, broccoli, dark leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach.

On a separate occasion, I picked up some skate for a quick and simple supper. Skate is a fish that is part of the ray family. It is mild in taste, has medium firmness, and is tender to the bite. For the skate preparation, I took a spin on the traditional prep and  coated my skate in chickpea flour, a fiber and iron rich alternative to traditional wheat flour. It gave the skate the same desired crisp texture on the outside and enhanced the flavor with a slight nuttiness. I pan seared the skate in Earth Balance vegan all natural spread for about 5 minutes a side. I took the skate out and made a sauce with the pan remnants. I added a little more Earth Balance, some Dijon mustard, white wine, and capers, and let it slightly reduce. After about 3 minutes the sauce was done, and the skate was ready to be devoured. A quick, simple, and healthful meal on a crisp fall night. 

Check back soon for black bean and butternut squash chili with swiss chard and pumpkin spiced cookies...mmmm fall!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Curry Curry in a Hurry

Not everything turns out the way you want it to, and my attempt at the picture perfect roast chicken left me thinking that I should have saved my energy and called up Pio Pio. Needless to say, the evidence of the roast will not be making an appearance on TCR anytime soon. But alas, I was left with a hefty quantity of roast chicken that serendipitously was mainly dry white meat. To amend this cooking faux pas, I gave the bare and juiceless chicken the equivalent of a spa getaway to the Berkshires. He came back refreshed and glowing and was ready to win back my respect.

Curry Chicken Salad (hold the mayo)
Diced roasted chicken (2 breasts skin removed)
2 tbsp fat-free plain yogurt
1 tbsp hot curry powder
2 stalks celery chopped
1 1/2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp walnuts chopped
1 cup arugula
salt and pepper

Whisk yogurt and curry together, mix in all ingredients, and season to taste with salt and pepper

Now I know this is certainly not the most original idea, but it’s a leaned down version of a classic. The chicken salad was the perfect lunch. It was spicy, tangy, and sweet, and I’m sure it will be even more flavorful tomorrow.

Curry not only adds wonderful color and a flavorful pop, but research also shows that it may be beneficial for your health. Turmeric, which is the main ingredient in curry and the reason for its yellow hue, has been used in Asian medicine for centuries to help with stomach problems, arthritis, and lack of energy. Recent studies show that turmeric has anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, so adding a little spice and flavor may be more healthful than you thought!

Curry, thanks for coming to the rescue, and here’s to hoping that my next roast chicken is a success! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Dipity Dopity Do

In honor of my good friend’s visit, I threw together a little gathering to welcome her home. Having excess time is not something I am familiar with anymore, as the demands of school and my dietetic internship have taken priority of my life. Luckily, I was able to throw together two very simple and nutritious dips to accompany my cheese platter, crudités, and home made pita chips. At the end of the day, all you need is some wine and good company.

Vegetarian Chopped Liver adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook

Who doesn’t love the real thing…well maybe a few people, but as we know it is definitely not the most healthful food to eat despite its deliciousness. This recipe does a decent job at emulating the texture and appearance of chopped liver and, although the taste does not really resemble the creamy indulgence, it  stands its ground as a delicious dip for any occasion.

6 servings

1 Tbs. Vegetable oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh green beans
2 hardboiled eggs (yokes removed)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 Tbs. White wine
1 1/2 Tbs vegan mayo
black pepper to taste
Handful of parsley

Sauté onion and salt in oil until onion browns, about 10 minutes. Add chopped green beans and sauté until tender, about another 10 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients, including the onion and beans, in a food processor until well blended.
Top with some chopped walnuts

Oil-Free Hummus

Hummus is always a party pleaser, especially when you make your own. This recipe, which was modified from my buddy Barefoot Contessa, uses no oil, resulting in a lower fat version of everyone’s favorite dip.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup tahini
6 Tbs lemon juice from 2 lemons
2 Tbs water or reserved chickpea liquid
8 dashes Melinda’s hot sauce
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth

I garnished my hummus with some whole chickpeas for added texture and a few sprinkles of cayenne pepper.

Hummus is a great snack option or sandwich topper, especially this one, that includes minimal excess fat, which usually comes from olive oil. It was creamy, flavorful,  and extremely simple to make. Chickpeas are a legume and are an excellent source of lean protein, iron, calcium, and fiber! The tahini, which is roasted pureed sesame seeds, also has calcium, and mono and polyunsaturated fats (the good fats).

I served both dips with home made whole-wheat pita chips. To make the chips, simply separate the pita into two and cut into triangles. Toss the pita in olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and pepper. Bake at 350 until crisp, tossing as they cook, about 15-20 minutes. Finish with sea salt.

D, it was so nice seeing you, looking forward to your next trip home!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Breakfast of Champions

Sprouted grain bread, reduced fat organic cream cheese, wild smoked salmon, red onion, scrambled eggs and oscietra caviar

After a refreshing loop around the park, this was a just reward on this fall-like day and a great way to utilize some leftover caviar.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thank God For Ina!

Wild Salmon Tartare
Mediterranean Salad
Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Parsley Dressing

This weekend was supposed to be filled with fun and revelry with friends as we tried to clasp on to the bittersweet end of summer on Fire Island, but alas the gargantuous amount of schoolwork bound me down to my desk. To lighten up my mood, I called on my "good friend" The Barefoot Contessa, to shake me out of my disappointment. I was feeling a little fried, so I simply followed her guidance and created 3 light and healthful dishes that put me back on track.

All of these dishes appear in Barefoot’s book How Easy Is That? and, true to her words, everything was extremely simple, unfussy, and tasted great. The only addition I would make is to prepare some garlicky, cumin accented whole wheat pita chips to go with the Mediterranean salad.

The salmon tartar gained a lovely tang from two types of mustards, capers, lime juice, and dill, the Mediterranean salad offered a cooling crunch, and the garlic roasted cauliflower got an upgrade with the addition of a lemony parsley dressing to finish.

To my buds frolicking on FI, have a great time…I’ll be immersed in leftovers, study guides, and an itching feeling for sand in my toes. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Farro Study Break

Whole faro with sun dried tomato anchovy pesto, broccoli, peas, boston lettuce, red onion with an apple rhubarb spritzer

Let the studying beginning…..but I couldn’t continue without refueling with my favorite grain…FARRO!
Farro is a whole grain and contains, fiber, protein, and iron and when paired with legumes create a complete protein. 

I can not seem to get enough of these nutty chewy Italian morsels!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Not Your Muddah's Casserole

On my most recent venture to the Union Square Farmer’s Market, I found myself constantly fighting to focus on procuring useful ingredients. I get so distracted by the beauty and bounty of fresh produce, that I loose track of what I need to aquire for my next meal. That day was definitely one of those occasions. I arrived home with a plethora of gorgeous fresh and somewhat unique produce and I wanted to delineate a little from my normal grilled corn or zucchini and tomato salad. To step out of my comfort zone, I flipped through my handy Moosewood cookbook and found an intriguing recipe for carrot and mushroom "loaf", which was perfect since I had snagged a bunch of carrots and a bag of cremini mushrooms. I also gathered some sweet potato greens, pimento padrao peppers, and what is a trip to the summer green market without corn, tomatoes and fuzy peaches.

Moosewood calls this dish a loaf, but it is more along the lines of a casserole. The recipe called for superior breadcrumbs and for that I made my own with sprouted grain bread that I toasted and then pulsed in the food processor.

Recipe (with my augmentations): Serves 6 (freezes well and also reheats great! Who doesn’t like leftovers?)

2 cups minced onion
1 tbs. Earth Balance Spread
1 lb mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp dill
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 carrots, grated (6 cups)
2 cups superb bread crumbs (made from sprouted grain bread)
1 cup grated cheddar (low fat cheese)
2 eggs, beaten
Black pepper

Black sesame seeds and chopped chives for garnish (up for interpretation)

Preheat oven to 350°
1)    Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with canola oil cooking spray
2)    Sauté onions in melted Earth Balance in a heated pan for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt, herbs, and garlic and sauté for 10 more minutes.
3)    In a bowl, combine carrots, breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, and pepper. Add the sautéed mixture and combine well. Spread into the prepared pan and top with sesame seeds (or your desired choice of topping). Cover with foil.
4)    Bake for 30 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.
5)    Finish with chopped chives.

This dish was very filling and tasty…it even looked a lot better than I thought it would. This could easily be a main dish or a side and keeps well. The casserole was a complete meal. It had protein from the cheese, sprouted bread, and eggs, complex carbohydrates from the bread and vegetables from the carrots and mushrooms.

Mushroom are versatile meaty little morsels and are one of the lone plant sources of Vitamin D. They also contain selenium and potassium.

I had never heard of or tried sweet potato greens and was quite intrigued when I came across them. I removed most of the stem and simply sautéed them with garlic and olive oil in order to properly taste the dark greens. They turned out to be pretty "meaty" for greens and were a heavier denser more fragrant version of kale. For the peppers, I simply seared them in a very hot pan with garlic and olive oil until they blackened slightly. Finally, since I couldn't leave the market without corn and tomatoes, I made a simple composed salad with blanched corn, heirloom tomatoes, burpless cucumber, red onion, purple peppers, radishes, basil and a spicy garlic lime dressing (garlic, lime juice, olive oil, Melinda’s hot sauce, cilantro, salt and pepper).  

Au Revior summer…you will be missed! I am hesitantly looking forward to an intense semester and the start of my Dietetic Internship at NYU…. wish me luck!

As a side note…LOOK! I found a guinea pig in Henry’s crate. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Goodnight Irene

Irene came and went and caused most of us to hibernate in our houses for most of the weekend. To our great disappointment, a member of The Crunchy Radish had their birthday festivities put on hold due to the storm. To make the best of things, we made a birthday dinner with some goods that we loaded up on the day before at the farmers’ market.

Grilled avocado was a unique spin on the traditional avocado and tomato salad. Marinating the avocado in lemon juice and then grilling the halves with a little olive oil for two minutes a side really brought an interesting complexity to the fruit and intensified the flavor. The avocado was layered with red onion, (which was also tossed in lemon juice), heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes, olive oil, some aged balsamic, salt, and pepper.

Usually not a potato person, I couldn't help myself at the farmers’ market. These little nuggets were calling out to me to be simply roasted to the point where their skins were crisp and finished with a garlicky dressing. Potatoes are underrated and do possess some essential nutrients, particularly in their skin. Potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and are naturally low in calories. Potatoes with the skin not only have fiber, but contain B Vitamins, Vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium.

The petite blue and fingerling potatoes were roasted with rosemary and olive oil and then mixed with a "paste" of roasted garlic, rosemary, cayenne pepper, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

The birthday boy grilled himself up a  New York Strip steak, and we toasted with some bubbly.

For dessert I was able to utilize my bounty of peaches and Italian plums and made a crisp with whole wheat flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, currants, and some Earth Balance spread. The crisp wouldn't be complete without some organic vanilla bean ice cream.

We were able to have a pre-birthday celebration the night before at Fedora. We had a lovely meal filled with oysters, chicken liver on toast with pickled onions, sautéed chanterelles with a poached egg, and their take on a surf and turf which consisted of chicken meatballs and scallops. We finished the meal in style with a delicious ice cream sandwich-Van Leeuween ice cream sandwiched between chocolate cookies dipped in chopped peanuts!

Looking forward to continuing the birthday celebration with friends later this week at Roberta's.

Happy Birthday to the biggest Radish Head I know!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Simple Summer Supper

Heirloom lettuce salad with chickpeas, celery, local cherry tomatoes and white balsamic dressing, fresh New Jersey summer tomato sauce with yellow and red tomatoes, garlic, chili pepper, olive oil, and basil with Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Pasta, toasted sourdough with earth balance spread, diced garlic and basil. Raw cows milk Landoff cheese.

Keeping it simple is sometimes the best…especially when you have a three month pup on your hands! Please welcome the newest member of The Crunchy Radish, Henry Pepper!