Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Raw Cranberry Pie To Go! from Pieography

The weather is finally warm and my mind has been wandering, planning out upcoming picnics and barbecues. I typically like to bring along a great dessert (one that looks as delicious as it is), so these pies-to-go are the perfect idea! Plus, they're filled with cranberries. I LOVE cranberries.

Raw Cranberry Pie—To Go!
Excerpted from
Pieography by Jo Packham

Raw Cranberry Pie to Go from Pieography

Makes six 6-ounce servings

Pie Crust

1 cup (90 g) raw untoasted buckwheat, soaked (see directions)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 organic orange, juiced
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon. vanilla

1. Soak buckwheat in filtered water for 20–30 minutes. Rinse and drain well, patting with paper towel.

2. In a bowl combine cinnamon, orange juice, maple syrup, and vanilla. Set aside.

Raw Cranberry Pie to Go from Pieography

Pie Filling

2 cups (300 g) raw, organic cranberries (save a few for garnishes)
1 organic pear, not too soft
1/4 wedge of organic orange, with skin
6 dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Place cranberries, pear, orange wedge with skin, dates, cinnamon, allspice, ground cloves, and vanilla in a food processor, .

2. Combine until well chopped and blended, almost a puree, but with some texture. Set aside. Rinse food processor.

Pie Topping
1/2 cup (75 g) raw organic almonds
1/2 cup (75 g) raw organic pecans
2 dates
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Place almonds, pecans, dates, and cinnamon in food processor, and combine until a crumbly meal forms.

1. Fill jars with buckwheat mixture.
2. Layer with 2 scoops of cranberry mixture, top with nut crumbles, and garnish with a fresh cranberry.
3. Place lids on jar and tie a spoon to the side with butcher string.

Tip: This pie is ready for a picnic or a handy, healthy snack to go—ready when you are!


Pieography by Jo Packham

What kind of pie conveys the experience of starting a new job, getting married, or becoming a mom? Over 30 of the country's top foodies are here to tell you. Each one has devised a pie recipe that captures the essence of her life. Stir in beautiful photography, short essays, and brief bios, and voilá, you've got more than a cookbook: you've got Pieography. From Espresso Dream Pie to Salmon and Spinach Pie, this collection nourishes body and soul.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cinco de Mayo: Chick'n Strips in Mole

*UPDATE: I mistyped and this recipe does not actually include peanuts. Sorry guys! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Cinco de Mayo is around the corner and with it comes the marvelous opportunity to try out some spicy and delicious Mexican recipes. Allyson Kramer has a new book coming out filled with amazing vegan and gluten-free recipes from around the world. This recipe is from the Mexican section of the book and just screams "try me!" Hope you enjoy it! I recommend pairing it with a margarita, but I'm "traditional" like that. ;)

Chick'n Strips in Mole 
Excerpted from Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World by Allyson Kramer

Cinco de Mayo Chick'n Strips in Peanut Mole

Mole sauce is so popular and so varied in Mexico, it is often referred to as Mexico’s curry. The sauce, which features bittersweet chocolate and chiles, is among my favorite flavors in Mexican cuisine.

For the Chick’n Strips:

1 package (8 ounces, or 225 g) Butler Soy Curls
4 cups (950 ml) very hot water
2 chicken-flavored vegetable bouillon cubes or 2 teaspoons chicken flavored vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil for frying

For the Mole Sauce:

1 tomato
4 cloves garlic
2 to 4 Mexican green chile peppers
1 serrano pepper
1 tomatillo, quartered
4 ounces (115 g) bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cocoa), melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups (230 g) corn Chex-type cereal (make sure it’s gluten-free) or gluten-free bread crumbs
3 cups (700 ml) salted vegetable broth

To Make the Chick’n Strips:

Place the soy curls into very hot water along with the vegetable bouillon  Let rest 10 minutes and then drain well. Squeeze any excess liquid from the Soy Curls and then toss into a large, deep-sided, nonstick frying pan along with about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil. SautĂ© the soy curls over medium-high heat, until lightly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir often and make sure you have a well-oiled pan, as soy curls tend to stick. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To Make the Mole Sauce:

Preheat your oven to broil. Place the tomato, garlic, and pepper on a foil-covered baking sheet. There is no need to remove the seeds or stem from the tomato or peppers. Let cook about 45 minutes or until blackened, turning occasionally to cook evenly and keeping a fairly close eye on them. The tomato will not be as blackened as the peppers, but it will turn very soft and wrinkly when ready. The peppers will be blackened on all sides, and the garlic should simply be fragrant and softened.

Once all are roasted, rinse the peppers and tomato under cold water to gently remove the skins and stems. Let cool completely and then place in a blender along with the tomatillos, melted chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, Chex cereal, and broth. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

To finish: Place the sauce over the prepared soy curls in a large, deep-sided frying pan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often so as not to burn the sauce. Immediately reduce the heat to medium and let simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken slightly upon heating.

Serve over rice, in a burrito, or as a main addition to a taco buffet.


Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World by Allyson Kramer

Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World is a cookbook for the home chef who likes to explore a world of cuisines, regardless of allergies or dietary restrictions. Step inside and travel the globe while still adhering to your plant-based, gluten-free diet with ethnic entrees you may have thought were off-limits, but are actually even better re-imagined! From European classics like Fig Pastries with Clotted Cream and English Cottage Pie to Caribbean specialties like Jamaican Jerk Tofu and Plantain and Potato Soup, you’ll dine on delicious dishes from all around the globe, while still pleasing every palate at your table.

Author Allyson Kramer, founder of the popular g-free vegan blog Manifest Vegan, will walk you through each and every recipe—most of which include a photo—showing you exactly how to create gourmet meals that are impressive enough for even the most seasoned foodie. From tempting appetizers to hearty mains and luscious desserts, you’ll find more than 100 globally-inspired recipes that prove eating vegan and gluten-free doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, but rather an international delight!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Nutella Heist... and a delicious recipe

Did you hear about the Nutella crime wave? Five tons of the delicious hazelnut chocolate spread was stolen in Germany. 5 TONS. Seriously. And this is the second article I've seen in a few weeks talking about people stealing Nutella. The first one was a bunch of college aged students who were swiping jars of Nutella from their campus (costing the school upwards of $5,000 a week at campus dining halls).

People! We don't need to steal Nutella. We need to use it to make amazing recipes. Recipes like those collected in the SPOON Nutella Pinterest board. Recipes like those in the NEW book, NUTELLA. Yes, there's a cookbook. It's adorable. You need to own it. Seriously.

NUTELLA® and Orange Whoopie Pies
Excerpted from Nutella by Ferrero

The combination of NUTELLA® and orange makes eating these little cakes complete bliss.

Makes 15 whoopie pies
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 - 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour

For the cream filling:

1 orange
75 g (5 tbsp) unsalted butter
50 g (1/4 cup) caster/superfine sugar
1 egg
75 g (1/3 cup) Philadelphia-style cream cheese

For the whoopie pies:

125 g (1 1/4 cup) plain/all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
40 g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
40 g (scant 1 cup) caster/superfine sugar
1 egg
100 g (scant 1/2 cup) NUTELLA®
20 g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
100 ml (scant 1/2 cup) semi-skimmed milk
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F, gas mark 4).

2. Make the cream filling. Finely grate the orange zest and squeeze the juice. Melt the butter in a bain-marie or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the sugar, egg, and the juice and zest of the orange. Beat continuously until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Beat in the cheese and then chill for an hour.

3. Make the whoopie pies. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, NUTELLA, cocoa powder, and milk. Mix well, then add the flour and baking powder mixture.

4. Place 30 small spoonfuls of the mixture on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment paper. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to cool on a baking rack, then sandwich together with the cream filling.


Nutella cookbook

From irresistible macaroons to tasty cheesecakes, discover new ways of using, cooking and enjoying Nutella with 30 mouthwatering recipes. 30 delicious recipes in a Nutella-shaped book for all the fans of the famous spread:

- little individual sweets: from a revisited version of bread with Nutella to Nutella and banana tartlettes
- generous Nutella cakes to share: cake roll, Twelfth Night cake or even a Nutella charlotte.
- creamy, ‘must have’ recipes: mousse and little cream
- surprising recipes to impress both young and old: macaroons, caramelized hazelnut stuffed truffles, little mango egg rolls

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Southern Cooking: Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches

We took a brief break from Reggie's Southern Cooking posts for Sprout Week, but we're back again this week with another delicious Southern recipe you're sure to enjoy.


My mother, Ms. Thelma, was a single mom. She provided for my sister and me by working long hours as a shipping clerk for an aerospace company in Connecticut. Because she worked long hours, sometimes she had to whip up meals for us kids super fast. Three of my favorite childhood meals my mom made were BLTs, fried baloney sandwiches, and grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches.

None of the sandwiches mentioned above are traditionally Southern, but they satisfied several criteria Thelma looked for when cooking for us. They were simple, fast to make, inexpensive, and appealed to a kid's palate.

Today, my partner and I find ourselves looking for easy meals to prepare after a hard day at work, especially if one of us forgets to defrost something to cook.

I’m sure many of you have come home with nothing prepared for dinner and decided to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or have a bowl of cereal for dinner! If you have kids, you might have breakfast food for dinner as I mentioned in my cheese grits post. Whatever your choice, I’d recommend trying my mom’s grilled cheese and bacon sandwich. How can you go wrong with a meal that includes bacon, cheese, and butter? In the South, each one of these ingredients serves as a food group! As we say in my family, this sandwich is so good it will make you want to smack your momma. Maybe not, but you will love the savory flavors!

Making Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches for Two:

Southern Grilled Cheese and Bacon Sandwiches


4 slices of thick bacon
4 slices of white or wheat bread
1 cup (90 g) of shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick of butter (cold)
2 medium-sized frying pans

Making grilled cheese with bacon
1. Cook 4 slices of bacon on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown on both sides. 


2. After cooked, place the bacon on a plate covered with several paper towels to absorb the grease. Set the plate of bacon aside. 


3. Place ¼ stick of butter into the second frying pan on medium heat.

4. After the butter has melted and starts to sizzle, place 1 slice of bread in the pan.

5. Place ½ cup (45 g) of shredded cheddar cheese on top of the bread slice and let cook for about a minute.

6. Take two slices of the cooked and cooled bacon and break each strip in half, then place the strips on top of the slice of bread with the melting cheese.

Making grilled cheese with bacon

Making grilled cheese with bacon

7. Add another ¼ stick of butter to the frying pan. When the butter starts to sizzle, place another slice of bread in the pan.

8. Let the second slice of bread brown for 30 seconds, then place the non-cooked side of the bread slice on top of the other slice with the cheese and bacon. 

9. Immediately flip the sandwich over, to completely brown the top of the sandwich.

10. Cook sandwich until bread becomes golden brown and the cheese is gooey, but not liquefied.

11. Plate the sandwich and repeat steps 3-10 for the second sandwich.

12. Serve with sides like coleslaw, bake beans, or fries.

In addition, try my honey mustard/mayonnaise dipping sauce as a nice complement to the sandwich.

1 tablespoon (15 g) of honey mustard
1 tablespoon (15 g) of mayonnaise of Miracle Whip

1. Place 1 tablespoon (15 g)  of honey mustard and 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip in a small bowl.
2. Whisk until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add a small amount to your plate as a dipping sauce.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

How to Roast a Pig (and Host a Pig Roast!)

Back in September 2012, I held my first pig roast. It was something I had always wanted to try and we finally had the space to do it.

I would definitely do it again. In fact, I plan on hosting another pig roast this fall. There are many wonderful companies who will come and do the entire thing for you, but they're expensive. And frankly, they take all of the fun out of the experience. This is something you can totally do yourself. Believe me.

Roasting a pig is not as hard as you think it is. We didn't even buy or rent any special equipment. For some bizarre reason, we have a cast iron bathtub buried in our backyard. It's become a bit of a running joke. For the longest time, I thought we could just bury it completely and then it would be less embarrassing. That was until my husband suggested we dig it out, fill it with coals, and roast a pig over it. Now our silly tub is less embarrassing and just plain awesome.

With the help of some cinder blocks and a spit we got super cheap at Lowe's, we were on our way to the most delicious barbecue we have ever had. And this pig, although appearing small, fed over 25 excited guests. (It also drove our dogs nuts! Don't worry, we shared the hooves with them!)

Tom Rea, in his new book, How to Roast a Pig, has an entire chapter outlining how to roast a whole pig. He gives helpful tips, techniques, and experiences to ensure you do everything perfectly.

How to Roast a Pig
A pig roasting from How to Roast a Pig
Tom includes a practical chart giving you cooking times depending on the size of your pig. I thought you'd all find this helpful if you're considering roasting a pig this spring, summer, or fall.

Estimated pig roasting times by size

My favorite quote in this entire book is from this chapter and I couldn't help but share it with you all:

"Don't waste those coals: If you can remove your spit bar you can have fun with what's left of the fire because it's pointless to waste good coals. Try spit roasting some random stuff. I like pineapples or a whole chicken for tomorrow's lunch. A couple of lobsters to feed any of the pescatarians always amuses and goes down well as long as you clean your spit first."

How to Roast a Pig by Tom Rea
Here's Tom Rea lifting his pig off the grill.
And, just because, here are some fun Pig Facts from How to Roast a Pig:

  • Twenty-three percent of the world's population doesn't eat pork for religious reasons, and that's before you add in those who don't eat meat and those who can't afford the luxury. Yet the world's population eats 110 million tons (100 million metric tons) of pork a yearthe same weight as 274 Empire State Buildings' worth of pork.
  • The United States slaughters approximately 1,200 pigs an hour.
  • The largest pig ever recorded, in 1933, was called "Big Bill". Owned by Burford Butler of Jackson, Tennessee, he weighed 2,552 pounds (1157.5 kg) and was 5 feet (1.5 m) in length and 9 feet (2.7 m) high. Amazingly, he weighed three times as much as the aptly named Hogzilla.
  • Pigs are more intelligent than dogs and rank fourth on the list of intelligence behind chimpanzees, dolphins, and elephants.
  • Pigs feature extensively in art (which shows how much we love them). The earliest known picture of a pig is believed to have been painted 40,000 years ago in a cave in Altamira, Spain.
  • Pigasus the Immortal was the only pig (it's debatable) to put forward as a candidate for the presidency of the United States.

Even if you're only considering roasting a pig (or just want to know more about how to cook the perfect pork chops), this book is a must have for any home kitchen. Pick up your copy of How to Roast a Pig today!

How to Roast a Pig by Tom Rea

Find the perfect pig or cut of pork, determine the best roasting style to use, and get ready to roast a pig to perfection! This complete guide covers basic roasting techniques using a selection of the most common joints and cuts, from loin chops to Boston butt, so you can enjoy roast pig as an everyday meal. Then, it builds on those skills to move onto the joy of roasting a whole pig, spit-roast or Coja China style, for a truly unforgettable event. To top it off, learn to create stylish restaurant-style pork dishes using the methods you've explored, and match the perfect side dishes to your home-roasted pig.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Clever Combinations: Jack and Coke Ice Cream Recipe

Jack & Coke Ice Cream
Excerpted from The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors by Robert Krause and Molly Krause

Jack and Coke Ice Cream

Jack and Coke Ice Cream

Jack and Coke Ice Cream

This fun ice cream makes a great float in Coke, of course! The cola syrup is available at drugstores or online. (KF note: It was actually really easy to find now that everyone has a soda maker!)

Special equipment required.

6 egg yolks
2/3 cup (160 ml) cola syrup, divided
2 cups (475 ml) whole milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) Jack Daniel's whiskey (I used Goslings rum, but that's me...)

Fill a large bowl of water for an ice bath and set aside. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the cola syrup until well blended.

Pour the 2 cups (475 ml) of whole milk and the remaining cola syrup into a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. Using a small ladle, add 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the hot milk and syrup to your egg mixture. Whisk thoroughly. Repeat with another 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the hot milk and syrup mixture. In a steady stream, add the egg mixture back into the hot milk/syrup in the saucepan, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, using a rubber spatula occasionally to scrape the pan's edges and bottom.

When the mixture thickens to the consistency of a thick cream, it is done cooking. Pass it through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl to place on top of the ice bath. Allow it to cool completely, stirring occasionally. Twist the ice cream according to the manufacturer's instructions for your machine. Just before the ice cream finishes churning, add the whiskey. Store covered in the freezer for at least 2 hours prior to serving.

Yield: 3 cups (420 g)


The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors

The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors is an indispensable guide to exotic and decadent flavor combinations for the advanced chef. Filled with more than 100 extraordinary combinations, The Cook's Book of Intense Flavors will make you rethink the way you approach food and each exotic flavor is accompanied by an inspired recipe as an example of how to use it. And unlike other flavor references, this book offers a recipe for each combination so you know exactly how to use what you learn. You'll learn how to cook more innovatively by adding an unexpected note such chili to a traditional flavor combination such as pineapple and mango. You'll cook more intuitively by learning which flavors work together and how to balance different flavor profiles such as sweet, sour, savory, and spicy. You'll get more excitement from cooking as you taste how flavors evolve during the cooking process. Most importantly, you'll get more pleasure out of the flavors and ingredients you use every day.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Raw and Simple Mushroom Miso Soup Recipe

I know, I know... it's getting to be too warm for soup, but I'm of the opinion that it's never too warm for a good bowl of soup AND this amazing recipe also includes sprouts! 

If you want to learn how to sprout in your very own home, we've got the answer for that too. Check out our Sprout Week Posts.

Mushroom Miso Soup
Excerpted from Raw & Simple by Judita Wignall

Raw and Simple Mushroom Miso Soup

I use two types of mushrooms in this soup: Crimini Mushrooms, also known as baby Portabellos, for the base, and marinated Shiitake Mushrooms for the add-ins. This gives the soup more dimension and robust flavor.

Makes 4 servings
Plan ahead: make almond or cashew milk
Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Marinated Mushrooms

2 cups (150 g) sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons (28 g) tamari

Put mushrooms and tamari in a mason jar, close the lid tightly, and shake vigorously. Let the mixture sit while you make the base.

Soup Base

2 cups (470 ml) almond or cashew milk
1 cup (30 g) (100 g) chopped crimini mushrooms
¹⁄₄ cup (69 g) chickpea miso paste
2 tablespoons (30 ml) brown rice vinegar
1 clove garlic
1–2 tablespoon (15–30 ml) olive oil


2 cups (200 g) bean sprouts
1–2 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced

Blend all soup base ingredients until smooth. Divide the base between four bowls and add in the marinated mushrooms, bean sprouts, and green onions. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if you like. This soup is best eaten the day it is made. 


If you think Going Raw might be for you, be sure to pick up Judita's books, Going Raw and Raw & Simple.

Judita Wignall is a commercial actress, print model, and musician from Los Angeles. She discovered the healing power of raw foods after health challenges made her reassess her diet and lifestyle. Her passion for great-tasting food, holistic health, and wellness brought her to Living Light Culinary Arts Institute, where she became a certified raw food chef and instructor. In between her many creative projects, she continues to teach classes, coach, and act as a personal chef for clients around the country. Learn more at http://www.rawjudita.com.

Raw and Simple by Judita Wignall

Making smart, delicious food choices in a short amount of time is now easier than ever. Raw and Simple provides easy (and incredibly tasty!) recipes that will feed your body and spirit without requiring hours of prep work. Recipes include:

Oatmeal Walnut Raisin Cookies, Apple Pie Smoothie, Winterland Salad, Cucumber Basil Soup, Creamy Kale Salad with Capers and Hazelnuts, Maple-Dijon Brussels Sprouts, Thai Veggie Noodles, Root Vegetable Slaw, Cherry-Hemp Muesli, Watermelon-Fennel-Mint Chiller, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet Balsamic Vinaigrette, Colorful Cabbage Salad, Cauliflower Couscous, Carrot-Ginger Coconut Soup, Orange-Cranberry-Apple Relish, Herbed Pecan Pate, and Orange-Almond Truffles.

Raw food chef and instructor Judita Wignall fully integrates her raw food platform with holistic health and wellness. It’s not just about food—it’s about feeding your whole body and fueling your life!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sprout Week: Avocado and Sprout-Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe

About Broccoli Sprouts
Excerpted from Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods by Lauri Boone

Broccoli sprouts

Sprouts are the ultimate live superfoods. These three- to seven-day-old plants are a concentrated source of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytochemicals. In fact, they have just as much—if not more— of the same nutrients found in mature plants. Another benefit: Sprouts are usually easier to digest and their nutrients are better absorbed than their mature counterparts, in part because of their abundance of live enzymes. From grains and legumes (such as peas and lentils) to radish and broccoli seeds, many foods can be sprouted. And broccoli sprouts—with their impressive levels of cancerfighting compounds—are a standout among sprouts and a living superfood for the body.

Sprouting More Glucosinolates than Broccoli

Broccoli and broccoli sprouts contain compounds called glucosinolates. When you eat broccoli or its sprouts, these glucosinolates are converted in the body to active cancer-fighting isothiocyanates, more specifically, sulforaphane. Despite both being powerful cancer-fighting foods, broccoli sprouts contain much higher levels of glucosinolates than mature broccoli. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that three-day-old broccoli sprouts contain up to fifty times higher levels of glucoraphanin (a glucosinolate in broccoli) than do mature broccoli plants. That means that a 1-ounce (1/3 cup [28 g]) serving of broccoli sprouts will deliver roughly the same level of cancer-fighting compounds as would more than a pound (455 g) of broccoli.

Avocado and Sprout-Stuffed Tomatoes
Excerpted from Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods by Lauri Boone

Avocado and Sprout-Stuffed Tomatoes
The broccoli sprouts in this recipe aren’t just sprinkled on top of these little treats, but blended right into the thick and creamy filling. Stuffed cherry tomatoes are perfect bite-size snacks, but if you are looking for a more substantial side dish, you can hollow out and fill two or three vine-ripened tomatoes.

1 pint (300 g) cherry tomatoes
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
½ cup (17 g) plus ¼ cup (8 g) packed broccoli sprouts, divided
1 tablespoon (15 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Pinch of garlic powder
2 tablespoons (20 g) diced red onion

Slice off the top of the cherry tomatoes and gently scoop out the inner pulp. Turn the tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain. Blend the avocado, ½ cup (17 g) of the broccoli sprouts, and the lime juice, sea salt, and garlic powder in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Transfer the filling to a small bowl and stir in the red onion. Spoon or pipe the filling into the tomatoes and garnish with the remaining ¼ cup (8 g) of broccoli sprouts.

Yield: 40 to 50 stuffed tomatoes


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.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sprout Week: Thoughts on Sprouting

When we found out we were doing a sprouting book here at Quayside Publishing Group, we couldn't quite resist sprouting here in the office and seeing what the big deal was about. Turns out, we all kind of loved it and the sprouting continues here. We now eat our sprouts on salads, in soups, on sandwiches, heck even just by themselves. If you're looking for a new foodie hobby, this might just be the thing for you!

Here are some of our experiences.


Jonathan (Acquisitions Editor, Quarry Books): I don't usually keep living things around. Pets and plants are more than I can bear, so sprouting is a bit like that grade school lesson in responsibility: can you keep an egg over the weekend without it breaking? I dutifully rinsed my alfalfa and dill sprouts in warm water morning and evening. The ritual was comforting, I remarked on their daily and relative growth. I even took them on a car trip to Vermont. My alfalfa sprouts flourished in just a handful days. I enjoyed snacking on them individually and throwing fistfulls into salads. The dill sprouts, however, languished. Nervous research showed they take as long as 15 days to sprout! In their second week, my patience with daily rinsings grew thin even as the first white sprouts started to just grow long. Rushing out the door one evening, I left my lazy sprouts in the common kitchen at work with no note or protective placement. When I returned, someone had very kindly washed all the dirty dishes including my sprouting trayall that dutiful responsibility down the drain! A moment of fury passed when I realized if I saw a plastic container with things starting to grow in it, I'd probably turn on the water too. And now with a clean tray, I could start a new batch.   

Caitlin (Assistant Managing Editor, Quayside Publishing Group): There were two benefits to my French lentil sprouting experiment: greenery for my work space and a crunchy lunch garnish. I did get a few curious glances when I started swishing and rinsing the sprouts at the break room sink twice a day, but the only hassle was remembering to put something down to catch the drips from the leaky mesh lid when I tilted the jar to drain it. It only took three days to get a tangled, leafy mass of successful sprouts. I'd never tasted this kind of sprout before and definitely agree with a coworker who proclaimed them "earthy." My next order of business is to start bringing more salads and sandwiches for lunch so I can use them up...

Lauri Boone (Author of Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods): Thanks to Sprout Week, I finally dusted off my sprouting jars and bag and went to work growing food in my kitchen. I worked with two great varieties of sprouts from The Sprout House. I soaked both Pea Sprouting Seeds and Broccoli Mix Sprouting Seeds (containing alfalfa, broccoli, and red clover) overnight in glass jars (about 12 hours total). I rinsed and drained the seeds and then placed the broccoli mix in a sprouting jar and the pea seeds in a sprouting bag that hung from my kitchen cabinet. Twice a day for the next few days I rinsed and drained the seeds with water—that was it. So simple! Nature took its course and within a few days, my broccoli mix had sprouted and I was tossing handfuls into my salads and wraps. The peas took a few days longer to sprout, but when they did, they became a welcome addition to salads—bigger and crunchier than the broccoli sprouts.  Sprouting reminds me that growing your own food can be easy, you can do it inside and at any time of the year, and the end result is a winning combination of delicious and nutritious.

Cara (Development Editor, Quayside Publishing Group):
For my first attempt at sprouting, I used a plastic sprouter that consisted of four round stacked trays. Think four-story, circular parking garage without the ramps and you've got the idea.   

All the sprouts were soaked overnight, rinsed the next day, and ready to be scattered across their respective trays: broccoli sprouts on the top level, mung beans on the second, and an assorted mix of lentils, kamut, adzuki beans, and fenugreek on the third. Each tier, except for the bottom, has vents that allow water to flow through during daily waterings. Tilting the entire contraption to empty excess water from the bottom into the sink was easy—just make sure you have a big enough sink!

Despite fears of mold or stubbornly sprout-less seeds, the whole experience couldn't have been easier. Delicate tendrils began to emerge from the broccoli sprouts only a couple of days after starting! They tasted delicious in a pita with hummus and, my favorite, as a garnish on a chicken-white bean chili. An apparently harmless, barely detectable, white fuzz appeared atop some of them after a few days, and I easily removed it with my fingertips.

The white, thicker mung bean sprouts showed their faces a day or two later; a coworker and veteran sprouter advised eating them soon while fresh. Similar to the assorted mix, which arrived last, they provided a chewy, almost meaty, texture to whatever they were added to.

Not all the seeds sprouted, but it didn't matter—they were scooped up, dried in a paper towel, and eaten, too!      

Renae (Editorial Project Manager, Quayside Publishing Group): 
I've been working on Rita's sprouting book, and I was really excited to get to try it out for myself. I'm normally not the type of person who gets excited about growing her own food—I like immediate or at least quick results, and just the thought of going outside and weeding makes me scowl. Plus even if I wanted to grow my own food, I live in a little apartment and don't have anywhere to grow it.

Sprouts were (and are!) perfect for me, as it turned out! I used an Easy Sprout sprouter, which kind of looks like an oversized Icee cup when you have the domed, ventilated growing lid on top. It took up practically no space at all in my kitchen. I quickly learned too that the Easy Sprout sprouter lived up to its name: the inner cup had a series of holes at the bottom, allowing it to easily drain into the outer cup. After soaking them overnight, all I did was rinse them twice a day! By day three I had what you see in the picture below.

This was the St. Patrick's Day Mix, which consisted of red clover, mung bean, yellow mustard, and green lentils. They were delicious! I ate them on sandwiches, and in soups and salads. All in all it was a really simple and rewarding experience. I can't wait to try round two of sprouting!

Katie (Food Marketing Manger, Quayside Publishing Group... oh and I write SPOON!): As I said when I launched Sprout Week, I really am terrible at growing things. That being said, I am addicted to sprouting. It takes little to no time and very little effort to end up with something that goes great with everything (okay, I keep getting told "except for ice cream..."). I chose to sprout with the hemp bag and really found it to be a cinch. Just drop the beans/peas/whatever in and add water. I even took my little bag of sprouts home with me one weekend to make sure they still got the water they needed. If I can do it, you can do it! 


Preorder your copy of Homegrown Sprouts today!

Homegrown Sprouts by Sprout Lady Rita

Sprouts are the ultimate in local food—harvested no further away than your kitchen counter, they are fresh, delicious, and versatile. Homegrown Sprouts is the complete guide to growing your own sprouts. Choose the right sprouter for you, be it a jar, a bag, or a tray, and learn the techniques to use it. Grow a wide variety of sprouts, including wheatgrass, leafy greens, mung beans, and alfalfa. Enjoy them on their own, or discover a variety of serving suggestions from salads to soups to juices. There are even tips on sprouting for your pets.

Whatever the season, Homegrown Sprouts will take you on a germinating journey that you won’t soon forget. When you learn how easy it is to grow nutrition-packed sprouts in your own home, you’ll want to use them in every dish you make!Blogger Tricks

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sprout Week: Bean Sprout Help

Sprout Week continues here at SPOON. Thanks for tuning in. Today, I wanted to share this question I received from one of our readers, Angie. She was having trouble with her mung beans. Thanks for sending in the question, Angie. You'll see Sprout Lady Rita's answer below.
I was so happy to see your post on Sprouting Week and it so happens that I am stuck now :)

I tried sprouting mung beans. On day 3, my bean head turn red. The sprouts looks great, fat and really good looking. I couldn't find an answer on Google on why the head turned red, so we were too scared to eat it.

It's day 5 now and the sprouts look like the picture now.. what can I do with it? Watch it grow further or juice it?

Day 3

Day 5

Hi Angie,
It is perfectly natural for the mung bean to turn red as it grows. No problem! And they look scrumptious at day 5, so everything is going along just perfectly, I would say. You can watch them grow for another day or so, or you can consume them right now by eating or juicing. Mung beans grown this way are delicious and habit forming. A great source of chlorophyll, vitamins and fiber! 
Your friend in sprouting,
Sprout Lady Rita
Rita Galchus, owner of the Sprout House and popularly known as “Sprout Lady Rita”, lives with her husband and their son. In addition to her love of sprouting, she is an avid reader and also enjoys walking, beach vacations, and spending time with her family and friends.

Preorder your copy of Homegrown Sprouts today!

Homegrown Sprouts by Sprout Lady Rita

Sprouts are the ultimate in local food—harvested no further away than your kitchen counter, they are fresh, delicious, and versatile. Homegrown Sprouts is the complete guide to growing your own sprouts. Choose the right sprouter for you, be it a jar, a bag, or a tray, and learn the techniques to use it. Grow a wide variety of sprouts, including wheatgrass, leafy greens, mung beans, and alfalfa. Enjoy them on their own, or discover a variety of serving suggestions from salads to soups to juices. There are even tips on sprouting for your pets.

Whatever the season, Homegrown Sprouts will take you on a germinating journey that you won’t soon forget. When you learn how easy it is to grow nutrition-packed sprouts in your own home, you’ll want to use them in every dish you make!