11.29.2017

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I woke up Monday morning determined to eat well this week. After last week’s Thanksgiving escapades (creamed spinach 4-life!!) and extended road trip diet (which consisted of mostly bagels and coffee) I needed a restart. One strategic move that always works to improve my vegetable intake is preparing a handful of favorite dressings, all unique and packed with flavor, to have on hand. These three little jars are my ticket out of this carb jungle.

Each dressing can be made quickly and easily  by simply combining the ingredients in a lidded jar and shaking vigorously. Below are the recipes for Lemon-Tahini Dressing, Carrot-Ginger-Miso Sauce, and Mustard Vinaigrette. I love the Lemon-Tahini number over quinoa and roasted root vegetables. The Carrot-Ginger-Miso is especially good mixed into a stir-fry or tossed with dark leafy greens. The vinaigrette is good on lentils and simple salads.

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My 3 Favorite Dressings:

Lemon-Tahini Dressing:

1/4 cup tahini

1 lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-3 tablespoons hot water

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Tahini-Lemon Dressing can be stored on the counter for a week.

 

Carrot-Ginger-Miso Sauce:

1/2 cup miso paste, white or red

1/4 cup canola oil

1 cup shredded carrot

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup water

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Carrot-Ginger-Miso Dressing can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.

 

Mustard Vinaigrette:

2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/2 a lemon, juiced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove, halved

Pinch dried or fresh herbs – dill, thyme, cilantro, and oregano are my favorites.

Simply combine everything in a lidded jar and shake, shake, shake. Mustard Vinaigrette can be stored on the counter for a week.

 

DON’T FORGET! You get 20% copies of Feeding a Family using code FAF20 at this link. Give the gift of food and family this holiday!

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02.02.2017

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I wrote The Beginner’s Guide to Juice Making for Food52. Check it out! 

Whether you received a juicer over the holidays, are in the midst of a New Year’s resolution kick, or simply want to get more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet (who doesn’t?), you may be curious about juicing…click here to read the full article and get the recipes.

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Photography by Elizabeth Cecil

10.25.2016

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3 Ways to Spiffy Up Hot Dogs into Family Dinners, Well Beyond the Cookout by me is up on Food52 today.

Sure, hot dogs are a quick-to-prepare crowd favorite, but can they be a nutritious and interesting family dinner, too? The answer is-thankfully!-yes. Today, there’s a wide variety of farm-raised, grass-fed, all-beef hot dogs that make for speedy, satisfying, and anything-but-boring meals.

So, let’s plan a modern hot dog dinner, one perfect for a busy weeknight. First, visit your farmers market and pick out some locally-grown dogs. If you don’t have luck finding a local source, see the list of quality national brands below.

Next, tell the kids it’s hot dog night and pat yourself on the back when they actually jump up and down in excitement (rather than scowl) over the dinner plans. Pick a cooking method and topping combination from the suggestions below. Maybe you crisp the dogs on a griddle and slather them with leftover chili, or grill them and top with tangy Greek salad. Look to your leftovers and needy produce for hot dog topping and sauce inspiration…click here to read the whole story.

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Photography by Elizabeth Cecil.

 

08.01.2016

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We are just hanging out this week – no camp or any big plans so I am going to make this short and sweet (can you hear the eager kids under my feet?!). Today I am sharing a favorite warm weather dinner, Noodles with Baked Tofu & Raw Veggies. I have made a million versions of this dinner (tweaking the sauce, noodle type, variety of veggies, adding a fried egg) but it always hits the spot. The leftovers are great, stored separately, for lunch the next day too. And really, what doesn’t taste good with roasted and salted peanuts sprinkled on top?! I’ve even been known to chop up a handful of salted peanuts to top vanilla ice cream. Try it, you’ll thank me. But, we digress, back to the noodles…

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Noodles with Baked Tofu & Raw Veggies

Baked Tofu:

1 tablespoon canola oil (for greasing the pan)
1 16-oz block extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Noodle Salad:
1 pound fresh Asian noodles (I used ramen noodles)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, grated

1 teaspoon toastes sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 1/2 cups thinly peeled carrot
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped

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First, make the baked tofu. Place whole block of tofu on baking sheet and press with a heavy pan (I used our big cast iron) for at 30-60 minutes to release excess liquid. When ready, pre-heat the oven to 350F. Slice the pressed tofu into rectangles. Mix the honey, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and rice vinegar together. Gently toss tofu squares in the marinade and let them sit as long as you can (at least 30 minutes but you can do this ahead and store in the fridge), then lay the tofu on a greased baking sheet, brushing on any leftover marinade. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes then flip, baking for another 15 minutes. When slightly cool, slice into strips.

To prepare the salad, mix the vinegar, honey, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and chili flakes in a bowl until the honey dissolves. Prepare all vegetables and cook noodles according to package instructions. Toss warm noodles with half the dressing. Combine vegetables, cilantro, and tofu with the remaining sauce (dump in any leftover tofu marinade as well). Pile noodles onto individual plates, top with slaw, and finally with chopped peanuts.

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07.12.2016

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We first made these muffins during the last week of school. Gray and I nibbled on a few while driving to pick Dylan up then we left three behind for our beloved preschool teachers. Today, if feels more like June than July. I dug out a few sweatshirts and even shut the windows last night. I know the summer heat is coming but I am happy to have a break from torched skin and overheated cottages. I appreciate when turning on the oven feels natural rather than painful.

These Carrot Rhubarb Muffins are packed with nutritious whole foods, are gluten-free, dairy-free, and kicked up with ground ginger. If you are able to get the oven on and a tray of muffins baked, these pack up well for a trip to the water or park.

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Carrot Rhubarb Muffins from My New Roots

makes 12 muffins

2½ cups rolled oats (gluten-free if desired), plus extra for sprinkling if desired

½ cup coconut sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

4 to 6 spring carrots, unpeeled, roughly chopped

¾ cup raw walnuts (optional)

2 thin stalks rhubarb

Knob of coconut oil, for greasing the tin (or use muffin liners)

¼ cup pure maple syrup

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

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Measure out 1 1⁄2 cups of the rolled oats and put them in a food processor. Pulse until you have a coarse flour. Put the flour in a large bowl, and add the remaining 1 cup rolled oats and the coconut sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, sea salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine.

Pulse the carrots in the food processor until they are roughly minced. Put the carrots in a medium bowl. Pulse the walnuts a couple of times in the food processor until roughly chopped, and then add them to the carrots. Slice the rhubarb into thin disks and add to the carrots.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a muffin tin with coconut oil (or line it with muffin liners).

Add the maple syrup and applesauce to the oat mixture, and mix just to combine. Then fold in the carrots, rhubarb, and walnuts.

Fill the muffin cups with dollops of the batter; sprinkle with a few rolled oats if desired. Bake in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the tin.

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