Friday, April 18, 2014

Passover Recipes: Mashed Potato, Kale, and Feta Cheese Pancakes

We thought we'd switch it up today and share some of our favorite Passover recipes. These are not superfood recipes, but are sure to satisfy those keeping Kosher and those just wanting to try something new and exciting. Enjoy! And happy Passover everyone.

These recipes are a sneak peek from the upcoming cookbook, The Modern Kosher Kitchen by Ronnie Fein. It publishes November 2014. You can preorder your copy today.

Mashed Potato, Kale, and Feta Cheese Pancakes


I think I could eat a hundred of these! They’re soft and creamy inside, with that vaguely mineral-y mashed potato taste, but there’s that crispy, golden brown surface too! And tangy cheese and bitter kale! I like them plain for lunch or brunch, but for a bigger meal, I serve them with eggs or roasted vegetables.

2 cups (145 g) matzo farfel
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (14 g) butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups (140 g) chopped fresh kale
2 cups (450 g) mashed potatoes
6 ounces (170 g) crumbled feta cheese
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, for frying

Place the matzo farfel in a bowl, cover with very hot water, and let soak for a few minutes until soft. Drain the farfel and squeeze out as much water as possible. Return the drained farfel to the bowl.
While the matzo farfel is soaking, heat the olive oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the onion and cook for a minute. Add the kale, cover the pan, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the kale has wilted.

Spoon the mixture into a strainer and squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the vegetables. Add to the matzo farfel and mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the mashed potatoes, feta cheese, and egg and mix ingredients thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat about 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Shape the potato mixture into patties and fry for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Makes about 16 to 18 pancakes, or 6 to 8 servings

Serving Suggestions and Variations: Change this to a pareve dish by substituting ground cooked meat or sausage for the cheese and frying the onion/kale in olive oil.

Baby Fudge Cakes


These are ultra-rich and chocolaty.

Raspberry Sauce, optional (see below for recipe)
1/4 cup (56 g) Passover margarine
1/4 cup (56 g) coconut oil
5 ounces (140 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (43 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Passover confectioners’ sugar and crushed candied ginger, optional

Make the Raspberry Sauce, if desired. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2). Generously grease 12 muffin tin cups, preferably nonstick.

Place the margarine, coconut oil, and chocolate in the top part of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is uniform. Remove the top part of the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs for about 1 minute at medium speed, until well blended. Add the cocoa and beat it in thoroughly. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat for about 3 minutes, or until all the sugar has been incorporated and the mixture is thick. Add the chocolate mixture and vanilla extract and beat them in thoroughly.

Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Place the muffin tin in a bain-marie. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the cakes are set and have risen slightly (they may look slightly broken on top). Remove the muffin tin from the bain-marie.

Place the muffin tin back in the oven without the bain-marie. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Invert the pan over a cake rack. Let the cakes cool upside down on the rack. Once cool, use a knife to loosen the edges of the cakes around the sides of the cups. Shake out the cakes.

Serve the cakes with the Raspberry Sauce and sprinkled with Passover confectioners’ sugar or crushed crystallized ginger, if desired.

Makes 12 cakes

Raspberry Sauce:
2 cups (250 g) fresh raspberries
3 tablespoons (40 g) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) orange flavored liqueur or orange juice

Place the berries, sugar, and liqueur in a blender or food processor and purée for a minute until the ingredients are well combined. Strain if desired. Makes about 11/2 cups (450 g).
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This isn’t your traditional kosher cookbook.

Whether you’re new to the kitchen, or new to keeping kosher, you’ll love the array of creative and interesting recipes found in The Modern Kosher Kitchen.This modern cookbook includes recipes for preparing a family meal, hors d’oeuvres, vegetarian entrees, budget-friendly dishes, and new takes on holiday favorites for Passover and Hannukah.

Don’t worry about needing the talent or equipment of a professional chef. Ronnie Fein’s recipes are creative and interesting, but never intimidating for home chefs. Throughout the pages of this cookbook, Ronnie also provides suggestions on what to serve with her dishes; how to change the dish from dairy to parve to meat (and vice versa); or how to change the recipe to suit a different need. You’ll learn valuable tips on recipe shortcuts, information on unusual or new ingredients, and receive advice on product usage.
Recreate your favorite family dishes and learn some new tricks with the help of The Modern Kosher Kitchen.
Blogger Tricks

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Superfoods Month: Tamarind-Chocolate Chili

Cacao isn’t your run-of-the-mill healthy food; it’s a superstar among superfoods. We have heard quite a lot about the phytochemical content of tea, wine, and blueberries, but cacao has more than all of them. And though these foods are great, you can consume them in only so many ways. How many dishes can you make with tea or wine? There are probably more culinary uses of cacao than there are ways to eat blueberries!

We are talking about a nutrient-dense, phytochemical-rich food that can be eaten in breakfasts, desserts, and every way in between. You don’t need to be a super-adventurous eater or fringe chef to use cacao in new ways and reap the benefits of this superbean. Check out this amazing recipe from Matt Ruscigno that helps you to get cacao into your nutrition plan in an easy and delicious way. Matt's new book, Superfoods for Life, Cacao publishes in July 2014. We thought you'd enjoy this sneak peek.

Have you enter our #superfoodsmonth giveaway? If not, here's your chance.

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Tamarind-Chocolate Chili
Excerpted from Superfoods for Life, Cacao by Matt Ruscigno


This is an easy and tasty way to have a hearty chocolate stew. Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse, chock-full of protein and minerals, and are low cost, quick to cook, and extremely versatile! Enjoy them here with the additional benefits of cacao and vegetables.


Ingredients
2 cups (396 g) cooked lentils or other legumes
1 cup (150 g) chopped seasoned tofu or cooked tempeh
½ cup (80 g) diced onion
1 cup (235 ml) vegetable broth (more as needed)
1 cup (240 g) crushed tomatoes
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced ginger
⅓ cup (82 g) tamarind purée
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon (9 g) minced chile pepper
½ cup (75 g) diced bell pepper
¼ cup (27.5 g) minced carrot
½ cup (75 g) corn, fresh, frozen, or canned
2 tablespoons (18 ml) tamari
½ teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup (27 g) cocoa powder or 2 to 4 ounces (55 to 115 g) chopped dark chocolate
¼ cup (4 g) chopped fresh cilantro
Sweetener of your choice, to taste (optional)

Garnish options: diced red bell pepper, cocoa powder or crushed cacao nibs, minced scallions, chopped cilantro, chopped pineapple, diced onion

Directions:
Cook everything except the chocolate and cilantro at a simmer in a large pot, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes. Add more broth or water if needed to keep your desired texture. Add the chocolate and cilantro and cook for 10 minutes more.

Yield: 5 servings

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Superfoods for Life, Cacao

Are you craving chocolate? Go ahead, give in! Cacao—raw chocolate—often referred to as "food of the gods", is high in antioxidants. It is also an excellent source of magnesium, iron, chromium, manganese, zinc, and copper. A good source of omega-6 fatty acids and rich in heart-healthy oleic acids, it will boost your mood, improve cognition and help lessen stress! Sounds too good to be true.

But it isn’t, as author Matt Ruscigno explains, this hot superfood has powerful benefits. Then Matt gives you what you really want—recipes for chocolate! Superfoods for Life, Cacao contains 75 recipes for sweet and savory cacao recipes—from main dishes to desserts—including Huitlacoche-Chocolate Empanadas, Cocoa Buffalo Tempura Vegetables, Dolmathes with Currant-Chocolate Rice and Cacao Tzatziki.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Superfoods Month: Sweetheart Juice

Looking for the perfect thing to add a little romance to your evening? Why not try out Tina's Sweetheart Juice? A clever combination of immune-boosting and mood-enhancing, this cup of juice is ideal for any night of the week.

We have a new #superfoodsgiveaway going on. Enter below for your chance to take home ALL of our superfoods books. Tell your friends.

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Sweetheart Juice
Excerpted from Superfood Juices & Smoothies by Tina Leigh



Tangy, succulent, and full of nutrients, this juice will leave you puckering in delight. Red beet oxygenates and purifies your blood, while grapefruit and camu camu powder deliver immune-boosting and mood-enhancing
vitamin C. Ginger reduces inflammation in the body and aids in digestion. The apple provides a sweet balance to the juice and delivers nutrients that nourish the gut and support healthy elimination.

Time: 10 minutes
Equipment: Juicer
Yield: Approximately one 16-ounce (500 ml) juice

Ingredients:
1 (1/2-inch, or 1 cm) piece fresh ginger
1 medium Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled, with pith intact, and quartered
1 medium red beet, trimmed and halved
2 medium sweet apples (such as Red Delicious), halved
1/2 teaspoon camu camu powder

Preparation:
Pass ginger, grapefruit, beet, and apples through the juicer in the order specified. Transfer to a serving glass and garnish with camu camu powder. Enjoy immediately and sip slowly.

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Superfood Juices & Smoothies

Mom always told you, “Drink your juice!” But let’s face it— the choices in the grocery store can be boring, full of sugar, and getting more expensive every day. Well, move over orange and cranberry cocktail! This looks like a job for superfoods like kale, chia, coconut, goji, and cacao!

Never heard of things like sacha inchi or yacon? Not to worry—Superfood Juices & Smoothies offers an easy-to-follow guide that anyone interested in getting healthy will love. Author Tina Leigh breaks down each nutrient rich food and provides you with taste, texture description, health benefits, storage and more!
Juices and smoothies are so fun and simple to make and with the 20 key superfoods found in this book, you can start to enjoy 100 delicious and nutritious recipes!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Superfoods Month: Josephine’s Red Sauce

It's amazing how easy it can be to incorporate superfoods into your everyday diet. Take this easy red sauce recipe, for example. It seems simple enough, but it can make a big difference in your daily health. And eating well doesn't mean you have to eat things you don't like. Who doesn't love a hearty bowl of pasta, after all?

Manga! :)

Josephine’s Red Sauce
Excerpted from Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods by Lauri Boone



This sauce recipe has been handed down for at least three generations. It is the original sauce recipe that my grandmother Josephine made—and it combines an abundance of healthful herbs and spices, including oregano, parsley, and bay leaves. Enjoy this thick and rich sauce on pasta, vegetable pizza, or tossed with strands of spaghetti squash (my favorite way to serve it).

2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, chopped
1 can (6 ounces [170 g]) tomato paste
4 cans (28 ounces [785 g] each) crushed tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 teaspoons dried parsley, or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (5 g total) chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (5 g total) chopped fresh oregano
2 dried bay leaves, whole
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Yield: 12 cups


Place the oil in a large pot and add the garlic and onion. Stir while cooking over medium-high heat until the
onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, sugar, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, and salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to heat until the sauce begins to bubble, lower the heat, and simmer covered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving.

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Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods

Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods is your definitive guide to 50 of the leading superfoods for optimal health and vitality. Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are a fundamental part of a healthy diet, but plant-based superfoods are the power elite. Revered by many ancient cultures for their ability to heal and energize the body, plant-based superfoods are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods features 50 top superfoods and discusses their unique benefits and how they can be integrated into your diet for incredible health and amazing taste. From local superfoods—like greens, berries, and garlic—to more exotic superfoods—like maca, cacao, and yacon—Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods also includes 50 nutrient-rich recipes that are all naturally vegan and gluten free.

From Berry Lavender Ice Cream and Mesquite Sweet Potato Hash to Luscious Cashew Cream Spinach Soup and Carob Bark, you can begin to work superfoods into your daily diet—effortlessly and deliciously—one meal and snack at a time. A beautiful compilation of information, tips, recipes, and photos, Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods will inspire you to start working with superfoods in your own kitchen to upgrade your diet and your health.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Superfoods Month: Beet-tastic Kombucha

There is nothing more amazing than a beet. From its deep red color to its delicious taste and multiple health benefits, this savvy veggie sure packs a punch. I had never really thought about including it in a beverage until I had my first taste of beet kvass last year at the Mother Earth News Fair. It seriously changed my world. So when I saw this recipe for Beet-tastic Kombucha in Meg's upcoming book Superfoods for Life, Cultured and Fermented Beverages (publishing July 2014), I knew I had to try it. You should too. You'll be amazed.

Beet-tastic Kombucha
Excerpted from Superfoods for Life, Cultured and Fermented Beverages by Meg Thompson



I adore beets. They are completely underrated, fabulously nutrient rich, and unapologetically messy! There are a number of studies that show beetroot’s protective effect on liver cells and also their role in assisting phase II liver detoxification. Beets are fabulous for the liver. They have a wonderful antioxidant profile, and
traditionally they have been used to treat liver stagnancy, to purify the blood, and for liver problems in general. Couple that with kombucha, and you have a powerful detoxifying drink that just happens to be refreshing and delicious, too!

1 large beet (preferably organic)
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) Basic Kombucha (recipe follows)
Fresh mint leaves, for serving

Peel the beet and put it through a juicer. You should end up with about 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) juice. Combine the beet juice and kombucha in a glass, adorn with some fresh mint leaves, and sit back and enjoy, all aglow in
the fact that you have done your good deed for the day—helping out your liver.

Yield: 1 cup (235 ml)

Basic Kombucha

If this is the first time you are making kombucha and you don’t have any tea left over from a previous batch, use the liquid that came with your SCOBY when you received it.

4 cups (946 ml) water
1⁄4 cup (50 g) organic sugar
2 organic black tea bags
1 kombucha SCOBY
1⁄2 cup (120 ml) kombucha tea from a previous batch

Equipment you will need :
Saucepan
Wide-mouth glass jar (no lid required), plus a jar with lid for storage
Clean kitchen towel

Place the water in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved.
Place the tea bags into the saucepan and leave to brew until the tea cools to room temperature.

Once cool, remove the tea bags and transfer the tea to the wide-mouth glass jar. Add the SCOBY and the kombucha tea from the previous batch. Cover with the clean kitchen towel or an unbleached coffee filter or paper towel, and place in a warm spot away from sunlight (ideally 70 to 85°F, or 21 to 29°C). The top of
the refrigerator is a great spot! The time it takes your kombucha to ferment will vary slightly depending on the
temperature; the warmer the temperature, the faster the process. Also, the longer you leave it, the more sour your tea will become, as the bacteria are consuming the sugar. Be aware that the SCOBY can move around in the jar. It may sit at the bottom, float in the middle, or hang out on top and fuse to the second developing SCOBY. All of this is fine. The end result should be slightly sour and a little fizzy.

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Superfoods for Life, Cultured and Fermented Beverages

Maintaining good bacteria is critical to a healthy gut—unfortunately our modern-day diet, replete with sugar, caffeine, processed foods, additives, toxins, stress, and common medications wildly disrupts that balance. Probiotics found in these cultured beverages that you can brew at home will help to add the good bacteria back into your system— and they’re delicious!

It’s time to get back into balance with Superfoods for Life, Cultured and Fermented Beverages. Join author Meg Thompson as she explains to powerful benefits of this amazing superfood. This book also contains 75 enjoyable recipes for cultured drinks like Kombucha, Kefir, Fermented Nut and Grain Beverages, Herbal and Medicinal Ferments, Ciders and Ales, and Cultured Smoothies.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mother Earth News Fair Asheville and Butterbean Hummus

For those of you who don't know yet, we will be at the Mother Earth News Fair this weekend in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina. If you're looking for a book (on cooking, gardening, sustainability, beekeeping, chicken-keeping, and more) be sure to swing by booth 3010 and say hello. We'll also be serving up Brys Stephens' amazing Butterbean Hummus. And you can meet him! That alone should be reason enough to come by.

Follow us ALL weekend long using #QPGatMENF. We'll be tweeting, Facebooking, instagramming, and more. It'll be like you're there.

If you don't live in Asheville and won't be able to make it to the fair, don't worry. We're sharing the recipe for the hummus today so you can make it at home. We're also sharing a great giveaway in partnership with Botanical Interests to get you excited about spring. Enter below.

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Butterbean Hummus
Excerpted from The New Southern Table by Brys Stephens




I’ll never forget exploring the various hummus restaurants in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, where it’s often eaten for breakfast and where disputes over the best hummus spots reach biblical proportions. Back home in the South, lima beans are a fresh substitute for the chickpeas called for in classic hummus. Baby limas are probably the closest to chickpeas in color and flavor, but any lima variety will work here. Hummus is all about personal taste and balance, so try different amounts of limas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.

4 tablespoons (60 g) sesame tahini
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste, divided
1 clove garlic, minced, divided
2 1⁄2 cups (425 g) cooked lima beans
1 tablespoon (15 g) nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lima bean cooking liquid or water
Kosher salt
Optional garnish: Olive oil, for drizzling

In a small bowl, mix together the tahini with one-half of the lemon juice and one-half of the garlic to lighten the tahini’s texture. Combine the tahini mixture, the remaining lemon juice, garlic, lima beans, yogurt, and lima bean. In a small bowl, mix together the tahini with one-half of the lemon juice and one-half of the garlic to lighten the tahini’s texture. Combine the tahini mixture, the remaining lemon juice, garlic, lima beans, yogurt, and lima bean cooking liquid in a food processor, and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt, and then blend again to incorporate the salt. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.

Yield: 2 to 3 cups (490 to 740 g)

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The New Southern Table

Immerse yourself in The New Southern Table, a celebration of food, culture, and quintessential Southern ingredients. Food writer, photographer, and fifth-generation Southerner, Brys Stephens, shares his love of travel and food and reinterprets classic Southern ingredients with recipes from diverse world traditions.

Often oversimplified as “y’all” cuisine, Southern food, at its heart and soul, has always been fueled by local ingredients and flavors. Okra, peaches, pecans, and collard greens are just a few of the beloved Southern ingredients found on farms—and dinner tables—all across the American South. However, many world cuisines have developed age-old flavor combinations, techniques, and dishes based on these very same ingredients—from lima beans and sweet potatoes in South America to corn and watermelon in Asia. With 100 recipes, each showcasing home-grown ingredients, The New Southern Table tours through French, Mediterranean, Asian, and Latin cuisines.

Try Greek-inspired Okra with Tomato, Feta, and Marjoram or Caribbean-infused Coconut Hoppin’ John. Savor flavor-infused main dishes such as Herb Grilled Bison with Fig Chutney and sides such as Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Yogurt—a unique spin on meat and potatoes. Sicilian Watermelon Pudding elegantly balances sweet, sour, and bitter flavors.

With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, the recipes in this book will quickly become down-home favorites at American tables, new and old.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Superfoods Month: Open-Face PLT Sandwiches with Avocado Chia Mash

The weather is warmer, the sun is shining, and I want a sandwich... at the park... in the sun. Don't you? This open-faced PLT is a great option for a number of reasons, not the least of all is that it's delicious. I had no idea that parsnips could replace bacon, but being a huge parsnip fan, I am really excited to try this one out.

Don't miss out on this great coconut giveaway. Enter today.

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Open-Face PLT Sandwiches with Avocado Chia Mash
Excerpted from Superfoods for Life, Chia by Lauri Boone


The “P” in PLT stands for parsnip, a sweet root vegetable that is a relative of the carrot. A few years ago, I read about a “parsnip bacon” trend in Food & Wine magazine. I fell in love with the salty crunch of the “bacon” and began using it in sandwiches (when I wasn’t devouring the crunchy crisps alone). Top this sandwich with a generous spread of Avocado Chia Mash for flavor and health.


1 parsnip
1 tablespoon (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon chia seeds
4 slices whole-grain, sprouted-grain, or gluten-free bread of choice
4 leaves romaine lettuce
1 medium tomato, sliced


Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C, or gas mark 2). Peel the parsnip lengthwise into wide, thin strips using a vegetable peeler. Lay the parsnip strips on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the olive
oil on both sides of the parsnip strips and season with sea salt. Place a sheet of parchment paper over the parsnips and cover the pan with another baking sheet so that the parsnip strips are firmly pressed between the pans. Bake for about 40 minutes until the parsnip strips are golden brown and crisp.

In a small bowl, combine the avocado halves, lime juice, chia seeds, and pinch of sea salt and mash. Spread about 1 tablespoon (15 g) (or more) of the mash onto each slice of bread. Top with a lettuce leaf, a slice or two of tomato, and a few strips of parsnip bacon and serve.

Yield: Serves 4

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Superfoods for Life, Chia

Chia is one of nature's all-star superfoods. High in protein, fiber, minerals and essential fatty acids, this little seed packs a nutritional punch. Moreover, it's portable, versatile and easy to integrate into your diet. Just a spoonful adds a shot of nutrition to drinks, crunch to salads, or a tasty protein substitute in garden burgers and soups. This handy guide includes 75 delicious recipes, fun facts and lore, and tons of tips for using chia every day for health and beauty.

Learn how you can integrate chia into your diet for improved health and well-being. Superfoods for Life, Chia gives overview of the superfood, fun history and facts, and its reputed nutritional benefits. Once you’ve discovered how great chia is, you’ll learn more about key nutritional properties and “cures” associated with chia, including its role as an inflammation fighter, and natural source of potent omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Each chapter references studies and research. The included 75 recipes within this book are sure to get you excited about integrating chia easily and deliciously into every meal.