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Ingredient Feature

HOUSE OF CARBS

March 14, 2016

Photo @MLapi

THE CARBO LOWDOWN: IT’S SIMPLE AND COMPLEX

No, carbs are not the enemy. But a diet made entirely of white pasta, white rice and white bread is problematic. The problem isn’t the carbs in general, it’s the type of carbs.

There are two types of carbohydrates, simple or refined (white pasta, white rice, white bread) and complex (whole grains, legumes, fruit and vegetables). Simple carbs are stripped of their fiber and nutrients, while complex carbohydrates are left intact, feeding our bodies with the vitamins and minerals we need. And the fiber causes the food to be digested more slowly, preventing a spike in blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Index measures the effect a food has on one’s blood glucose levels, and clearly illuminates the difference between simple and complex carbs. White rice has a glycemic index upwards of 75, while brown rice has a lower glycemic index of 55. Quite a difference on your body!

There are some carbs that walk the line, and potatoes are a great example. National Nutrition Month, meet St. Patrick’s Day! Potatoes are a complex carb, but because potatoes are so starchy, they are rapidly digested and do significantly impact your blood sugar levels. However, potatoes are relatively high in antioxidants and are a good source of vitamins and minerals, so they do have some redeeming qualities. Plus, there are some tricks you can employ to turn potatoes into a “better” carb. After cooking, cool potatoes for 24 hours before eating. This lowers their glycemic load and prevents your blood sugar from spiking. And if you want them hot, simply reheat with no adverse effects. Or eat potatoes with olive oil or butter—fat will help prevent the spike in blood sugar as well. Want more tips like this? Join us on the Foodstand app!

Food and diet “hacks” are all the rage, but like with sugar and fat, choosing your source of carbs (complex over simple) and eating in moderation really is the best advice one can get. And it’s a lot more fun that eliminating carbs from your diet completely!


EAT & DRINK


SAVORY BLACK BEAN SWEET POTATO PANCAKES by palaknyc

INGREDIENTS

Pancakes
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
¼ cup black beans
1 cup quinoa flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground allspice
Pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
1 cup almond or soymilk
2 scallions, chopped for garnish
Spiced Maple Syrup
½ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon chili powder or ancho powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)

METHOD

In small saucepan, add maple syrup, chili powder, and butter. Bring to low simmer and set aside.

Mix mashed sweet potatoes and black beans in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, and black pepper.

In a third large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, and mix until completely combined. Stir in the mashed sweet potato mixture. Fold in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, use a measuring cup or spoon to pour batter into the skillet. Cook until the undersides are golden, the edges look to be set, and bubbles form and burst on the surface of the pancake (2 to 3 minutes). Flip and cook the other side until golden-brown, about another 2 minutes.

Repeat with the remaining pancakes. Garnish with scallions and spiced maple syrup, and serve.

 


BROWN RICE BOWL WITH TAMARI HONEY GLAZED MUSHROOM, CORIANDER TOFU AND GREEN BEANS
by gingerandchorizo

INGREDIENTS (base your ingredient quantities on how many you’re serving)

cooked brown rice
oyster mushrooms
finely sliced garlic
vegetable oil
tamari
honey
sesame seeds
sliced firm tofu
sesame oil
sea salt
garlic powder
chopped fresh coriander leaves
green beans
butter

METHOD

First make the tamari honey glazed mushrooms: sauté oyster mushrooms with a clove of finely sliced garlic and a little vegetable oil until the mushrooms take on a golden brown colour. Stir in tamari (or regular soy sauce) and honey, coat evenly, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Next make the coriander marinated tofu: pat-dry slices of firm tofu and add them to a mixture of sesame oil, salt, garlic powder and chopped fresh coriander leaves. Marinate for about 15 minutes. Pan-fry tofu and drain on a kitchen towel.

Finally, blanch fine green beans in salted water until cooked. Drain, and add a knob of butter to coat.

Add a scoop of brown rice to a plate, followed by the mushrooms, tofu and green beans. Serve.

Ingredient Feature

FAT CHANCE!

March 7, 2016

Photo @annefood

THE BIG FAT TRUTH: GOOD FATS, BAD FATS

While the low-fat craze ran strong for a long time, our bodies actually need fat—without it our brains and nerves wouldn’t function properly. Not only that, but some foods must be accompanied by fat for their nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed. That’s right salad fans, to get the nutrients from your lettuce leaves, they need a dressing with fat. But all fats are not created equal, and since it’s National Nutrition Month, it’s time to set things straight.

“Good” unsaturated fats can be found in vegetarian sources and fatty fish. Avocados, olives and olive oil, nuts, seeds, salmon, anchovies, sardines and trout all contain unsaturated fats that can help to lower your risk of heart disease. I’m sure you’ve heard about omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3s are vital for brain functioning and emotional health, and are found in fish, walnuts and flaxseed, as well as Brussels sprouts, kale, and parsley believe it or not. So eat up!

“Bad” trans fats are actually unsaturated fatty acids that have been manipulated with hydrogen to increase shelf life and texture. But along with the hydrogen comes an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. These partially hydrogenated oils are cheap and easy to use, and are thus quite common in processed foods. However, they raise “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, and lower “good” HDL cholesterol levels. So stay away!

As for saturated fats, it seems the jury is still out. Meat and animal products such as beef, milk, butter and cheese all contain saturated fats. As does coconut oil, which has recently been touted as a wonder fat! Some say that all saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease, while others say that the quality and source of saturated fat play a large role, and some may be beneficial. So at this point consider the source, and moderate.


EAT & DRINK


SPRING SALAD WITH SALMON by Cravingsinamsterdam

INGREDIENTS

For the Salad:
½ cup of amaranth
2 avocados, thinly sliced
300gr salmon filet, without the skin
1 bunch of asparagus
1 cup of edamame
3 handfuls of lamb’s lettuce (aka veldsla)
3 poached eggs
Lemon pepper
Salt
Olive oil
For the dressing:
2 rhubarb stalks, sliced & then boiled for 5 minutes
½ cup of apple cider vinegar
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons of agave syrup
2 teaspoons of red miso paste
Salt to taste
For decoration:
Pansies
Micro watercress

METHOD

First cook the amaranth—boil it for 15 minutes and then drain it with a very fine mesh strainer. Set aside.

To make the dressing, boil the sliced rhubarb for 5 minutes. Drain it, and then blend it with the rest of the ingredients except for the salt. The miso paste is already quite salty so taste first. Set aside.

Cook the edamame as instructed on the package. I get mine frozen and still in the pod, and I just put it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes.

I prefer to buy the small, thin asparagus because they don’t need any preparation except for washing them, and they cook faster. If you get the big asparagus, just snap off the woody ends.  Over medium-high heat, add a bit of olive oil to a pan. Add the asparagus, salt and lemon pepper. Sauté the asparagus for a couple of minutes until they are crisp and tender. Set aside.

To prepare the salmon, slice the filet into 9 pieces. Season with lemon pepper and salt. Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan. Add the salmon and pan-fry it for about 2 minutes on each side. Set aside.

To poach the eggs, fill a pot with boiling water. Add a pinch of salt and a splash of white vinegar, and bring it to a boil. I like to poach one egg at a time.  Crack an egg into a glass or cup. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the boiling water in one direction to form a whirlpool. Carefully drop the egg in the middle of the whirlpool. Let it poach for 3 minutes and then remove it with a slotted spoon. Set aside and repeat for the remaining eggs.

To plate the salad, first arrange some of the avocado slices, lamb’s lettuce and edamame on each plate, then add some of the asparagus and sprinkle some of the amaranth. Then place 3 pieces of salmon in the middle and place the poached egg on top. Finish off with some micro watercress and flowers. I like to serve the dressing on the side.

Serves 3

 


FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE WALNUT COOKIES by Sarah_Phillips

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder (can substitute with Natural cocoa-powder, but the flavor and color will not be as intense)
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

METHOD

Position an oven rack each in the upper and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Sift together the cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Clamp the bowl onto a stand mixer and fit it with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute to combine ingredients.

With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the egg whites and vanilla. Increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes, until the mixture has thickened. It should be rather thick and fudgy looking. Add the walnuts and fold in by hand with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

With a 2-ounce cookie or ice cream scoop or a generous tablespoon, scoop the 6 cookies worth of batter onto each of the prepared baking sheets, about 3-inches apart. The batter will spread and make cookies that are 4-inches in diameter. 

Place in the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly cracked and appear dull on the surface. Only if baking unevenly, switch and rotate the pans halfway through. 

Slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a wire cooling rack, and let cool completely before removing. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 to 3 days. To extend the shelf life, store in the refrigerator for one week. Cookies freeze nicely for a month or more.

Makes 6 cookies

Ingredient Feature

IT’S JUST A SWEET SWEET FANTASY BABY

February 29, 2016

Photo @annefood

SUGAR, YES PLEASE?

March is National Nutrition Month, and each week we’ll give you some food for thought about an element of our diets that’s worth examination. First up at bat? Sugar! Agave nectar, beet sugar, corn syrup solids, date sugar, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup and Turbinado sugar. Sugar comes in many forms, but regardless of the name, it’s all sugar. There are many misconceptions about the stuff, so if you want the lowdown on how all sugar effects your body, Dr. Robert Lustig’s video The Bitter Truth will give you the sugary scoop.

Then why are foods with natural sugars better than those with added sugars? Usually the foods with natural sugars have inherent nutritional value, and also have fiber and fats to regulate sugar absorption into your blood stream, such as fruit and milk. Which is also the reason why eating a piece of fruit is better than drinking its juice—when you remove the fiber by juicing the fruit, it’s like a sugar bomb exploding in your system.

But we’re not perfect, and for many, sugar plays a role in our diet. The bottom line? Go natural, moderate, and pair sugar with protein and fiber when you can. And enjoy! Otherwise it’s totally not worth it.


EAT & DRINK


ALMOND CACAO PROTEIN SMOOTHIE by foodbymars

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp raw almond butter
1 frozen ripe banana
1/2 cup coconut (or almond) milk
1 tsp flax seed
1 tsp raw honey (or maple syrup)
2 tsp cacao nibs

METHOD

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Serve and optionally add slivered almonds and cacao nibs on top!

 


RAW HEMP CHOCOLATES by unconventionalbaker

INGREDIENTS

Filling:
¾ cup hemp hearts
5 soft medjool dates, pitted (the fresher the better)
2 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp raw ground vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, though the fresh vanilla is much better)
⅛ tsp salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
Chocolate coating:
1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate of your choice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/16 tsp salt
Optional decorative toppings:
chocolate shavings, cacao nibs, hemp hearts

METHOD

Process all filling ingredients, except maple syrup, in a food processor into a uniform mixture. Add maple syrup and process once again to combine. Line a medium/small tupperware container with some parchment paper (I used a 7″ x 5″ x 2″). Transfer the mixture into the container and flatten, pressing it down evenly into a “block”. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm to the touch.

Melt the chocolate, coconut oil, and salt together (double boiler method or microwave). Set aside. Have your toppings handy and a small tray lined with parchment paper to set the final product on.

Remove the filling from the freezer. Transfer the set filling block onto a cutting board. Trim off any uneven edges and cut into 8 rectangles. Dunk each rectangle in the melted chocolate to coat, wipe off any excess chocolate by running the fork tines over the rim of the melted chocolate dish. Set on the tray to set. Repeat with remaining pieces.

Sprinkle with any toppings if using. Drizzle with a bit of the remaining chocolate if you like. Place in the fridge or freezer for 20 mins more to set. Enjoy! Keep leftovers refrigerated.

Makes 8 chocolates.

Ingredient Feature

DON’T GO BACON MY HEART

February 8, 2016

Photo by @SeedPlantWaterGrow

WILL YOU BE MY VALENTINE?

I bet you like to massage your kale. Slap your basil? Maybe sweet, sensual strawberries are your jam. Or perhaps a hot and spicy bowl of noodle soup is what gets you going. Sizzling fried rice, decadent lobster, or steaming apple crisp? Yes please! Are you in love with creamy gouda cheese and plump figs? Does luscious dark chocolate cake hit the spot? Or is sticky butterscotch pudding your naughty treat?

Valentine’s Day is also known as the Feast of St. Valentine, but it wasn’t originally about love or food. It was an annual religious celebration honoring St. Valentine, that became associated with expressing one’s love in the 12th century. But we can’t help ourselves—we all have a love affair with good food, and this week is all about your inner food lover. So show us what you’re devouring this week on the Foodstand app! We’d love to see.


EAT & DRINK


BROWNIE WITH WHISKY CARAMEL SAUCE by Cravingsinamsterdam

INGREDIENTS

For the peanut butter cookie crust:
½ cup of smooth peanut butter
56 grs of softened butter
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of white sugar
¼ cup of packed brown sugar
1 small egg
1 teaspoon of milk
½ teaspoon of vanilla essence
½ cup + 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of baking soda
¼ teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt

For the brownie:
120 grs of dark chocolate, chopped
57 grs of butter
½ cup of sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
Pinch of salt

For the whisky caramel sauce:
½ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of water
¼ cup of heavy cream
¼ teaspoon of vanilla essence
½ tablespoon of Whiskey
½ a tablespoon of salted butter

Extra:
Sea salt
Blueberries

METHOD

Start by making the peanut butter cookie crust. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom of a 19 cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom, with parchment paper.

Whisk the softened butter with the peanut butter. Add the sugars and whisk until fluffy. Then add the egg, milk and vanilla. Whisk until well combined. Finally whisk in the dry ingredients.

Place about 2/3 of the cookie dough in the prepared cake mold. You can freeze the rest of the cookie dough and make cookies later on. Press with a spoon to spread it as evenly as possible. Bake it for 8 minutes. Then set it aside and start making the brownie batter.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it is completely melted. Then allow it to cool down for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the eggs and egg yolk. Then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate (make sure it’s not very hot, otherwise it will curdle the eggs). Then add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk until well combined. Pour the brownie butter over the cookie crust. Tap it a bit to get rid of air bubbles. Bake it for 25 minutes. Then set it aside to cool down in the mold.

Once the brownie has cooled down, carefully pass a knife around the edges of the mold. Carefully take the brownie cake out of the mold and plate it.

To make the whisky caramel sauce, place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook without stirring until the sugar has turned amber in color, swirling the pan from time to time. This will take about 8 minutes. Then slowly add the cream and vanilla. Mix it well with a wooden spoon. Then add the whisky and butter. Stir until well combined and then transfer it to a bowl.

Drizzle some of the caramel on top of the brownie and sprinkle it with some sea salt and add some fresh blueberries.

 


ROASTED HERBED SALMON by annefood

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs wild salmon fillets, skin-on
1/2 cup shallots, finely diced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
3 tablespoons dill, minced
1 tablespoon tarragon, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place a shallow pan of water inside.

Mix the shallots, herbs, lemon zest, and oil together in a small bowl.

Rub the salmon fillets with EVOO and place skin-side down in a Pyrex baking dish. Season with sea salt and black pepper, then top the fillets with the herb mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

Place the salmon in the oven with the pan of water, and roast for approximately 15-25 minutes depending on thickness of fish. To see if it is done, check between the flakes—the center will still be slightly translucent.

Serves 5-6

Ingredient Feature

I’M NOT A PLAYA, I JUST SHUCK A LOT

January 18, 2016

Photo @annefood

OYSTERS!

You’re likely lamenting the loss of warm days now that it’s mid January, but winter is actually a time to rejoice—it’s oyster season! Oysters spawn in the warmth of summer, which detracts from their flavor. It’s when the cold ocean flows through these bivalves that we find the plump, firm, briny oysters that are delicious to eat. Plus, it is thought that the natural refrigeration of winter helps keep oysters fresh and safe.

Oysters may seem daunting to prepare, but they’re actually pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it. Plus, if you want to stick to your #GetReal resolutions this year, it doesn’t get much more real than grabbing a knife and a towel and opening an oyster right before popping it in your mouth. And they’re full of vitamins and minerals!

HOW TO CHOOSE
First things first—up until the moment you cook your oyster or eat it raw, it should be alive. How can you tell? If the oyster is closed or snaps shut when you give it a tap, it’s alive. You can also give it a sniff. If it smells fresh and briny like the sea then you’re good to go, but if it’s fishy, pick a different one.

HOW TO STORE/PREP
Oysters should be stored on ice, cup-side down to ensure that the liquid inside (called liquor) stays intact. Cover them with a damp cloth, but don’t cut off their air supply or the oysters will suffocate. When you’re ready to shuck, give the oysters a good scrub to remove any mud or dirt.

HOW TO SHUCK
1. Clear a space on the cutting board, and grab a towel and oyster knife. Lay the oyster with the cup side down, and hold it with your towel so that the hinge of the oyster faces your dominant hand. Slide the tip of your knife into the hinge of the oyster and find the place where you have some traction between the two shells. Eventually you’ll find the sweet spot, and when you rotate your knife, the lid will pop open. (Have some patience, as this takes practice.) Further insert and rotate your knife to separate the shells.
2. Clean off your knife, then sever the top adductor muscle by running your knife flat along the underside of the top shell. Discard the top shell, and make sure the oyster is moist and smells fresh.
3. Run your knife flat between the oyster and the bottom shell to sever the bottom adductor muscle as well, and give the oyster a little poke to make sure it is fully detached, all the while preserving the natural liquor in the shell.

Want a visual? Check out our friend Julie (@inahalfshell) for a step-by-step video!

Many people love to eat oysters raw to enjoy their fresh brininess. But oysters are delicious cooked as well! They can be smoked, grilled, or fried, just to name a few techniques.

But wait! What about the pearls? The oysters we eat are actually in a different family than pearl oysters, so if you’re in the market for a new necklace, better leave that to the jeweler.


EAT & DRINK


BUTTER-FRIED OYSTERS by David Tanis

Photo by Jim Wilson, courtesy of the New York Times

INGREDIENTS

1 pound unsalted butter
1 large, day-old French loaf or other hearth-style white loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt
Pepper
24 shucked oysters, drained
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Red-pepper mayonnaise, optional
Lemon wedges, optional
Watercress or arugula, optional

METHOD

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then raise the heat a little and cook at a low simmer for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then pour through a fine-meshed strainer. (Save any milky juices, solids or foam left behind to add to rice or vegetables.) The clarified butter can be kept in a covered jar in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Remove the crusts from the French loaf. Tear the bread into chunks and pulse in a food processor or blender to make about 4 cups of crumbs. The crumbs will keep in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for several days, or for longer in the freezer, tightly wrapped.

Season the flour generously with salt and pepper. Dip the oysters in the flour and then in the beaten eggs. Spread a layer of bread crumbs on a baking sheet. Place the oysters on the sheet and sprinkle with more crumbs. Roll the oysters in the crumbs so that they are well coated, adding more if necessary.

Heat a wide cast-iron skillet over a medium-high flame. Add clarified butter to a depth of 1/2 inch. Toss in a bread crumb—if it browns quickly the butter is hot enough. Carefully slip in breaded oysters in a single layer, frying in batches if needed to avoid crowding. Adjust the heat to keep the oysters gently bubbling in the butter. It should take about 2 minutes to get a golden, crisp coating. Turn the oysters and brown the other side, then drain on kitchen towels. Serve hot with red-pepper mayonnaise, lemon wedges and arugula or watercress, if you like.

 


OYSTERS WITH RED MIGNONETTE by Sippity Sup for Food52

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons of the very best extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely crushed white pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 pinch excellent sea salt
24 oysters, freshly shucked on the half shell

METHOD

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, olive oil, shallots, white and red pepper and salt and whisk to blend. Spoon atop oysters or serve alongside.

Please remember to wait to shuck the oysters until just before serving to keep them as fresh as the sea as possible.

Ingredient Feature

TASTY TUBERS!

January 11, 2016

Photo credit: Nash’s Organic Produce

SUNCHOKES! SAY WHAT?

The name might sound familiar from fall and winter menus, but what exactly is a sunchoke? Also known as a Jerusalem artichoke, a sunchoke is the edible root of a sunflower plant. While this tasty tuber is native to North America and has been around for longer than the European colonists, it didn’t gain modern popularity until the last 15 years or so.

As for its name? Sunchokes taste similar to artichokes, and sunflower + artichoke… you get the idea. But despite its Jerusalem artichoke moniker, the sunchoke has no relation to Israel. Girasole is the Italian word for sunflower, which is what settlers called the plant and its tuber, and many believe that girasole may have been mistaken for Jerusalem, which ultimately stuck.

Sunchokes are filled with potassium and iron, and are the perfect way to #GetRealexperimenting with foods you’ve never tried, and eating more of a varied, plant-based diet. The sunchoke’s delicate artichoke-like taste is accompanied by a subtle sweetness, making it perfect for creamy soups, crispy chips, or simple roasting. Sorry, potato, there’s a new tuber in town! Plus it’s in season right now in warmer climates, and is gracing many a New York menu from farmers down south.

But don’t say we didn’t warn you—sunchokes can cause gastric upset if eaten in excess. They are high in inulin, a soluble dietary fiber made up of fructose, meaning they’re sweet, but don’t elevate blood sugar levels. Which is great! But because inulin isn’t broken down by digestive enzymes, you’ll be uncomfortable if you go on a sunchoke-candy binge. Moderate, and you should be just fine!

HOW TO CHOOSE & STORE
Select sunchokes that are smooth and firm, without soft spots or discolorations. Store them in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to a couple of weeks.

HOW TO PREP
Simply rinse with cool water to remove any dirt, and pat dry. You can, but there’s no need to remove the skin! For a quick preparation, simply cut into pieces, toss with olive oil, salt and herbs, and roast at 400 degrees on a sheet pan for 20-30 minutes until caramelized and tender.


EAT & DRINK


SAUTÉED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES by Jamie Oliver

INGREDIENTS

1 lb 6 oz Jerusalem artichokes
olive oil
a few bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 splash white wine vinegar
salt
pepper

METHOD

To serve 4, you will need 1 lb 6 oz of Jerusalem artichokes. Peel them, then cut them into chunks.

Place them in an oiled frying pan and fry on a medium heat until golden on both sides. Then add a few bay leaves, 2 cloves of garlic, a splash of white wine vinegar, and some salt and pepper. Place a lid on top.

After about 20 to 25 minutes they will have softened up nicely and you can remove the lid and the bay leaves. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to crisp the artichoke slices up one last time, then serve straight away. Personally, I think they go well with both meat and fish and are particularly good in a plate of antipasti, or in soups or warm salads.

 


SUNCHOKE LEMONGRASS AND LEEK SOUP
by The Wimpy Vegetarian for Food52

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, divided, sliced across the width in thin strips, white and light green parts only
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed, and minced
2 stalks lemongrass, smashed and cut in two to fit in the pot (they need to be easy to retrieve before pureeing the soup)
1 pound sunchokes
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Lemon zest to taste
1/2 teaspoon chives, minced

METHOD

Thoroughly scrub the sunchokes to remove most of the skin, and slice 1/8″ thick. Soak them in lemon water to keep them from turning color. 

Melt the butter in a soup pot and saute one-half of the leeks and all of the shallots, garlic, and lemongrass until the leeks and shallots are soft and the mixture is very aromatic (about 10-15 minutes). 

Add the sunchokes and mix thoroughly. Cover the sunchokes with the leek-lemongrass mixture. Cook for another 5 minutes. 

Add the broth and bring to a simmer until the sunchokes are tender (about 40 minutes). If you don’t have any broth, you can use water. Remove the lemongrass stalks and puree the soup in a blender until very smooth. Pour back into the soup pot and reheat. Add the cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add lemon zest to taste. 

For a garnish, I fried the other half of the leek strips in olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice until they were fairly crispy. I topped the soup with a pinch of them and a few minced chives.

Ingredient Feature

APPY NEW YEAR!!

December 28, 2015

Photo @serveMEnow

NYE APPETIZERS—WHETTING YOUR PALATE FOR 2016

We survived the season! And now we’re full of cheer (and holiday food) and excited to ring in the new year. But one thing’s for sure: No. More. Heavy. Appetizers. Which means that we’re going to have to change things up for all of those New Years Eve parties. Luckily you all have some brilliant, creative ideas!

Check out the Tomato Basil Tartlets from @serveMEnow that you see above, with Kalamata olives and parmesan cheese. Or @Tiffany’s Maple Roasted Chickpeas for a twist on classic spiced nuts. Try @debspots’ Baked Zucchini Fries for something new entirely! Or if you’re loving squash this season, @Newgent’s Roasted Butternut Squash Skewers are packed with Vitamins A and C. And @Rachna’s Cauliflower Wings are perfect if you’re craving a little sesame and scallion flair. What do all of these tasty bites have in common? They’re all vegetable or protein based—feeding your body what it needs, as well as what it wants.

While appetizers can also refer to the first course of a meal, such as a soup, salad, or another composed plate, today we’re clearly talking about the palate-whetting, bite-sized variety that prepares you for food to come.

The term “appetizers” appeared in the 1860s, both here in America as well as in England, as an English alternative to the French “hors d’oeuvres”. They were described as a first course preceding soup, set out prior to the arrival of guests. Though let’s be honest, at many of those holiday parties we’ve been going to for the last few weeks, appetizers haven’t come before dinner, they’ve acted as dinner! And if appetizers are the last meal of 2015, they better be tasty, and make you feel good too!


EAT & DRINK


RED BEET BABA GHANOUSH by Newgent

INGREDIENTS

2 medium (6-ounce) fresh organic or local beets with leaves removed
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 small lemon (2 tablespoons juice)
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

METHOD

Preheat the oven (or toaster oven) to 350°F. Wrap the beets in recycled aluminum foil and roast in the oven until cooked through and tender, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Keep wrapped; place in a bowl and chill. When chilled, unwrap and scrape off the beet skin using the dull side of a paring knife. Then chop the beets.

In a food processor, add the beets, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, paprika, and cumin. Blend until smooth, at least 2 minutes. 

Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with lemon zest, and serve.

 


ROAST RADISHES WITH AIOLI by JenniferEmilson

INGREDIENTS

Radishes
Olive oil
Sea salt
Pepper
Aioli

METHOD

Take your radishes (halve the larger ones) and coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay out on a parchment lined sheet and bake at 375 for 15 to 20 min, till softened. You may want to check the ‘leaves’ as they may crisp up faster. I served with aioli, but you could serve with whatever you like.

Ingredient Feature

SEASONINGS GREETINGS!

December 21, 2015

Photo @serveMEnow

YOUR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS

Holidays mean something different to everyone, but one thing that’s universal is tradition. Regardless which holidays we celebrate, there are always rituals we eagerly anticipate and relish with our families and friends. These traditions are personal, and reflect important aspects of our lives. And there’s no better way to celebrate than to share each other’s rituals within the Foodstand community!

I’ll start with a tradition of my own—panettone. We’re not Italian, but every year when I was a child my mother spent Christmas Eve making the traditional Milanese sweet Christmas bread. The ubiquitous pre-packaged loaves line market shelves this time of year, but a fresh, homemade batch is an entirely different deal. I remember going to bed smelling the sweet eggy dough, imagining the plump raisins inside, bursting in my mouth the next morning on Christmas Day.

Rachna (@Rachna) recalls a childhood filled with cooking breakfasts together as a family. While people became busy and long family breakfasts dwindled, they reappear every holiday season. Her family also used to have massive cookie-baking parties—a way to bring everyone together, and deliver Christmas wishes to loved ones.

New Yorker Beth (@simplywithout) starts her holiday food rituals with a course-by-course shopping list, written by her father. They head to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx where the initial food shopping begins, and the dishes transform from ideas into something greater. But no matter what holiday they’re celebrating, there is always a pasta course (she’s Italian, after all).

Lydia (@gingerandchorizo) hails from Macau, a small peninsula by the Pearl River Delta, and growing up, her family always celebrated Chinese New Year (February 8th, 2016) with a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. Her mother cooked up a feast of symbolic, traditional dishes such as steamed chicken served with ginger-infused oil (prosperity), braised pig trotters with dry oysters and mushroom (strength and wealth), and mochi—glutinous rice dumplings in sweet soup (togetherness), just to name a few of many. Since she no longer lives near her family and can’t imagine cooking so many separate dishes, she has combined the essences of each and makes one dish to continue the tradition.

Happy Holidays, from all of us at Foodstand! Can’t wait to see your own traditions on the Foodstand app!


EAT & DRINK


HOMEMADE GNOCCHI WITH MUSHROOMS by simplywithout

INGREDIENTS

3 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Heaping spoonful of pitted green olives
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of water
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1/4 cup potato starch
Handful of shiitake mushrooms
Splash of almond or soy milk

METHOD

Peel and cube the potatoes, and boil until soft (about 15 minutes). While the potatoes are cooking, add the garlic, nutritional yeast, oil, water, olives, salt and pepper to the food processor, and blend until a paste is formed.

When soft, drain the potatoes and add to a large metal bowl. Mash the potatoes with a splash of almond milk. Add the paste to the potatoes and incorporate until smooth—no lumps. Add the flour mixtures and stir until smooth. Roll out the dough in long logs, adding flour as needed for a solid texture, and cut the logs into one inch pieces.

Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in oil and plenty of salt and pepper, and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add about ten pieces of gnocchi to the water, one at a time. This may seem tedious, but it is very important to add one at a time to prevent sticking. Once the gnocchi float to the top, spoon them out with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish. Continue until all pieces have floated to the top and are cooked. Top with your favorite sauce, add the mushrooms, and enjoy!

 


BRAISED PORK RIBS WITH CHESTNUT AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOM
by gingerandchorizo

INGREDIENTS

650g pork ribs (ask your butcher to cut them into small pieces for you)
250g pre-cooked chestnut
160g fresh Shiitake mushroom
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sticks spring onion (2 sticks for cooking and 1 for garnish), cut into 4-5cm pieces
1 piece thumb size ginger, cut into thick slices
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
3 cloves
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce (plus more to taste)
1 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon brown sugar
750ml water
vegetable oil
1 tsp. corn starch, dissolved in 2 tsp. water

METHOD

Blanch the ribs in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan or casserole. Fry the onion, spring onions and ginger on medium heat until onions start to soften. Add the ribs and brown them for about a minute. Pour the water and all the other ingredients, except the chestnut and mushroom, into the casserole and bring to boil.

Turn down the heat to low when boiling, and let it simmer for an hour with the lid on. Check and stir occasionally during cooking. After one hour, the meat should be tender but not too soft. Add the chestnut and mushroom to the ribs, and turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered.

The sauce should have reduced by half. Taste and season with more tamari if needed. Then slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the casserole and stir continuously until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from heat and add the remaining spring onion pieces to the ribs. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with steamy jasmine rice.

Serves 4

Ingredient Feature

MEAT. IT’S WHAT’S FOR DINNER.

December 14, 2015

Photo by @annefood

PLEASE EAT RESPONSIBLY

You may have noticed that we talk a lot about produce here at Foodstand, taking note of the seasonal fruits and vegetables we eat throughout the year. But good food is more than vegetables. And the star of the holiday table is often meat—long-cooked brisket, prime rib, beef tenderloin, roast goose, pork loin, turkey… The list goes on.

There has been a lot of conversation surrounding meat recently, and if you stay on top of the news (or Foodstand’s weekly newsletters!) you’ve probably heard about the World Health Organization’s latest findings about processed and red meats. Limited consumption is better for one’s health, and also for the well-being of the planet. But a good food diet is a well rounded one, and being mindful is a big piece of the puzzle. Plus, meat is packed with protein and has many vitamins and minerals our bodies need. So if it plays a crucial role on your holiday table, then enjoy it! Just make sure it’s the best meat it can be! Here’s a quick guide to help you out at the butcher.

Certified USDA Organic: Animals must be fed non-GMO grain and grass produced without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and be raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics. They must also be raised in a way that accommodates their natural behaviors such as grazing on pasture a minimum of 120 days per year.

HFAC Humane Certified: Animals that are certified humane have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, and with attention paid to a variety of other factors such as stocking density, sleep periods, litter management, pasture time, and slaughter methods.

Natural vs Naturally raised: Natural doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot besides suggesting that the meat has been minimally processed—there’s no governing body or qualifications for the term. Despite common belief, meat labeled natural can be raised using hormones and antibiotics. That’s where naturally raised comes in, which does require that animals are raised eating food without animal by-products or being given hormones or antibiotics. This doesn’t however, have any bearing on the animals’ environment.

Cage free vs Free range: Cage free is fairly self explanatory—poultry that was not raised in a cage. Read: still lives inside, just not in cages. If you want poultry that was raised with access to the outdoors, look for free range, though the classification doesn’t mandate how much outdoor time the animals have.

Pasture raised vs Grass fed: Pasture raised requires that the animals are raised outdoors without confinement. However, these animals may have been fed grains in the winter months when grazing is not possible. If you are looking for pasture raised and a solely grass diet, choose grass fed. Note: 100% grass fed beef tends to be leaner, more intensely flavored, and slightly tougher than its grain fed counterparts. Could make for an interesting taste-test to cook both and compare!


EAT & DRINK


SWEET AND SAVORY BRISKET by Cara Nicoletti for Food52

Photo credit: James Ransom for Food52

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds second-cut brisket
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium white onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 sprigs thyme
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 cup dried apricots or prunes
6 cups beef stock
1 bottle of red wine (I used cabernet)

METHOD

Rub brisket all over with salt and pepper and allow to sit out at room temperature for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, the moisture that the salt releases from the meat should be reabsorbed into the meat. If the surface of the brisket is still beaded with moisture, allow the meat to sit out at room temperature a little longer.

Preheat oven to 325° F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat and sear brisket for 5 minutes on each side, or until a nice crust forms. After searing, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.

Melt butter in the Dutch oven and add onions, garlic, thyme, carrots, and tomato paste and cook over medium heat until onions are soft and slightly browned—about 5 to 7 minutes. 

Return brisket to Dutch oven and add the apricots or prunes, beef stock, and red wine. The brisket should be completely submerged in liquid—if it isn’t, add water or more stock until it is. 

Cover the Dutch oven with a lid and cook in the oven until the meat is falling apart, about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. 

When the meat is done, remove it from the Dutch oven, set it on a platter, and cover in foil to keep it warm. Boil the liquid over medium heat until it reduces to approximately 4 cups—this should take about 25 minutes.

After it has reduced, strain the sauce through a sieve and taste it to adjust seasoning.

Cut brisket against the grain in 1/4-inch strips and serve with sauce and stewed apricots or prunes, onions, and carrots.

Serves 6

 


PORK TENDERLOIN WITH SHALLOTS AND PRUNES by David Tanis

Photo credit: Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times

INGREDIENTS

For the brined pork:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon allspice berries, crushed
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
2 bay leaves
Few thyme branches
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed, about 1 pound
For the sauce and roast:
4 ounces pitted prunes, about 16 large
½ cup dry red wine
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 to 4 large shallots, finely diced, about 1/3 cup
½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon Madeira or port, optional
2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water

METHOD

To brine the pork: Dissolve the salt and brown sugar in 2 cups cold water in a glass or stainless steel bowl large enough to hold the tenderloin. Add the allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. Submerge the meat, cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours (overnight is better). Before cooking, remove the tenderloin, pat dry and bring to room temperature. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

To make the sauce and roast: Simmer the prunes in the red wine until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the ginger and orange zest, and steep for 10 minutes

Heat the olive oil in a heavy stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the tenderloin, about 3 minutes per side. (Turn off heat and use the same pan to make the sauce.) Transfer the tenderloin to a small roasting pan. Roast uncovered for about 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140 degrees. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. (Residual heat will cause the meat to continue to cook a bit while resting.)

To finish the sauce, melt the butter in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened, stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape up any browned bits to enrich the sauce. Add chicken broth, turn up the heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in the prunes and wine, and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the Madeira if using. Taste and correct the seasoning, then add the potato starch mixture and cook for another minute to thicken. Spoon sauce and prunes over the sliced tenderloin.

Serves 4

Ingredient Feature

TWIST AND SPROUT!

November 30, 2015

Photo @sugardetoxme

BRUSSELS SPROUT, THAT IS.

Behold the Brussels sprout! Perhaps the most polarizing of vegetables. Unfortunately the reputation of many a delicious veggie was tainted by the boiling era (circa 1950) when dropping beautiful veggies into a pot of water only to emerge soggy, bland, and overcooked was the sole method on the menu. Brussels sprouts prepared in this manner are not particularly desirable, and don’t smell so great, either… And thus the Brussels sprout got a bad rap.

But luckily those days have come and gone. And boiling water has been replaced by roasting pans and cast iron that yield beautifully firm, crispy sprouts—a stove-hot trend that is here to stay. And has many a devout follower! If you’ve been to a restaurant in winter over the last five years you may have noticed, and perhaps even scarfed down a plate or two. They’re quite addictive.

Brussels sprouts are part of the Brassica family, along with mustard, cabbage, and broccoli to name a few, all of which are commonly called cruciferous vegetables. Like their family members, Brussels are a nutritional powerhouse with high levels of Vitamins A, C and K, as well as folic acid. They’re also known for their cancer prevention properties thanks to a ton of antioxidants and phytonutrients!

While Brussels sprouts were originally cultivated in—you guessed it—Brussels, Belgium, in the 16th century, lucky for us they eventually made their way across the Atlantic in the 19th century. And every Fall through Spring, they make our cold weather season a little more enjoyable. Just keep them out of that boiling water…

HOW TO BUY
On the stalk! Brussels sprouts grow on a thick stalk, and stay fresh longer when you buy them still attached. They’re also less expensive than the loose sprouts because you aren’t paying for labor. Look for sprouts that are bright green and small in size with firm, tightly packed leaves.

HOW TO STORE/PREP
Store unwashed sprouts in the fridge. Wrap the intact stalks in plastic, and keep loose Brussels sprouts in plastic bags in the crisper drawer. When you’re ready to chow down, either slice the sprouts off the stalk or trim the cut ends of loose sprouts. Then rinse, remove old loose leaves, and cut in half for a nice sear.


EAT & DRINK


ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH POMEGRANATE SEEDS
by JenniferEmilson

INGREDIENTS

enough brussels sprouts for the occasion (I’ll leave it to you to determine if this will be a side or the main course, and how many you are feeding)
olive oil
ground cumin
coriander seed (or ground coriander if this is all you have)
celery seed
pomegranate seeds
kosher salt
cracked pepper

METHOD

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Trim and cut brussels sprouts in half. Toss in olive oil (just enough to coat) and sprinkle with cumin, coriander and celery (adjust to your taste, but I would think no more than 1 tsp of each will be enough).

Spread out in a baking pan, and roast, turning occasionally, until tender and slightly charred. Add more oil if necessary. This will take approximately 40 minutes.

Put into your serving dish and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add as many pomegranate seeds as strikes your fancy (don’t skimp)! Toss and serve.

Note: This is perfect as a side dish. But feel free to make enough to feed as a main by adding toasted walnuts or almonds, and serving it over basmati rice. Adapted from from a photo by Sarah Phillips.

 


ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUT AND SAGE BROWN BUTTER PASTA
by LesleyRozycki

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
5 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. sriracha
4-5 shakes garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 tbsp. salted butter
5 fresh sage leaves
1 lb. ground Italian sausage (sweet)
6 ounces of pasta

METHOD

Heat your oven to 400ºF. While the oven is heating up, grab a large bowl and pour in the grapeseed oil (olive oil will work as well), balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and sriracha. Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, and whisk until emulsified. Set aside.

In a medium pan, cook and brown the Italian sausage over medium-high heat. Add some of the drippings from the sausage into the mixture in the large bowl and whisk until well combined.

Put the Brussels sprouts into the bowl and toss until well coated. Spread them onto a baking sheet and put into the oven to roast for 30-35 mins (depends on how hot your oven runs). Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with a generous amount of kosher salt.

Cook your pasta (I used penne) and drain. While your pasta is cooking, melt six tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, turn the heat up and cook until it becomes a light amber in color. Add your fresh sage and cook for an additional min. Take off the heat and set aside.

In a bowl (the same large one you used earlier), toss the pasta, sausage, and Brussels sprouts together. Pour the brown butter over the pasta mixture and toss once more before serving.