Wednesday, April 13, 2011

French Potatoes with Green Beans

Here I am back from the winter hibernation with a recipe for a warm potato salad, which can be served as a side dish or a light main course. I have to confess... I don't really like string beans, but I know they are good for you... So, I think I found one tasty way to incorporate them into my family's diet. Here it is...

  • 3 tbsp of organic or imported corn oil (sunflower or olive oil can be used),

  • 1 large onion, chopped,

  • 2 celery stacks, chopped,

  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped,

  • 4 large potatoes, cut into potato salad pieces- whatever you like,

  • 1 lbs of string beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces,

  • 1 tsp of black mustard seeds, optional,

  • dash of red pepper,

  • dash or black pepper and salt,

  • 1-2 tsp of Dijon mustard,

  • 1 tbsp of Mayo,

  • 1/4 cup of chopped dill

Heat the oil in a large saute pan, add onion, celery and garlic. Cook on low to medium heat until lightly browned and soft. Add potatoes and cook until browned and half cooked. Add salt and peppers. Add beans, stir, cover and cook until potatoes are ready, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, add the mustard, mayo and dill. Mix and serve. Yum!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Warm Tomato Zucchini Salad with Spinach

This was inspired by my recent Sunday trip to a local farmer’s market. This is my little Disney! The rainbow of peppers, tomatoes, potatoes – from white to purple and everything in between.

Luckily I forgot to bring enough cash, so I was forced to stop at a certain point. Later that day my family was treated to a warm tomato-zucchini salad with wilted spinach and here is the recipe:

Warm Tomato Zucchini Salad with Spinach

2 yellow zucchini squashes, sliced

3 cups of baby spinach

3 garlic cloves – sliced

4 medium tomatoes, halved and sliced

Olive oil

White wine

Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic Vinegar – optional

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan and cook garlic for about a minute, then add zucchini and sauté for a couple of minutes, add white wine, salt and pepper and sauté another minute or so. Transfer into a salad bowl with a slotted spoon. Place spinach into the pan that still has the liquid. Cook until barely wilted and drain. Transfer to the salad bowl. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar if using. Adjust seasoning and enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

RIP Stuart Corn

My dearest teacher, I want to thank you for all the support and love you have given me over the years. I wouldn't be what I am now without your continuous encouragement, which came in so many forms. You praised and scolded me. I could be a "frog" one day and "your brightest star" the other. I remember working on my headstands at your beautiful house on the lake. I remember how you drove 25 miles through the snow to support me when I taught my first yoga class. You were there for me when I opened the studio too. You shared your wisdom through the words you spoke, books you gave me and, most importantly, through the way you lived. You'll always hold a very special place in my heart. Rest in peace, Stuart. I will never forget you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

European Apple Pie

I am blessed with 2 kids who enjoy eating things like Brussels' sprouts, red cabbage, quinoa and farro. We cook with whole grains a lot and they love it... with one exception. For some strange reason my children are not particularly fond of buckwheat. Why, oh why? I grew up eating buckwheat and love it.

Buckwheat is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. Whole buckwheat is a very nutritious food. The protein in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids and is also high in lysine. Buckwheat is also rich in many B vitamins as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese. Buckwheat is also a good oil source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids we must have to be healthy.

I truly believe it deserves a lot more attention in this country. My solution to painlessly add buckwheat into our diet was to use buckwheat flour in a dessert that I knew they wouldn't refuse. How about an Apple Pie? Plus I got to squeeze in walnuts - another power food that my older one dislikes for some strange reason. Feel free to experiment with other flours. I used spelt, teff and oat and it came out great.

European Apple Pie with Buckwheat Flour

1/2 cups of raw sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup of buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 small eggs
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tart apples, chopped
3/4 cups of walnuts or pecans

Preheat your oven to 350. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.Beat eggs and vanilla in a small bowl, then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in apples and nut and pour into a greased 9 inch pie dish. Bake for about 1/2 hour or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve warm. May be with your favorite ice cream! Here is my absolute favorite for today... in caramel flavor...
PS: Did I mention that buckwheat is gluten free? :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Broccoli Rabe Salad

Another simple, but wonderful culinary creation came out from combining some left-over ingredients, that were sitting in my fridge. ("wonderful" as per the in-house food critics...)

There was a bunch of broccoli rabe begging to be used. I could have simply steamed it, but that would be too boring. Life is too short to be boring.

Broccoli Rabe Salad
1 bunch of Broccoli rabe, hard stems trimmed
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/2 red pepper (this is how you get stuck with left-over ingredients!), chopped
1 can of cannellini beans
1/2 cup of organic white cheddar, shredded
Fresh basil- small bunch, torn into pieces
2 tbSp Olive oil or more to taste
1 tbSp white wine vinegar or more to taste
Salt, pepper

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add broccoli rabe, cover and steam for a couple of minutes until it wilts a bit, then open the lid and let the moisture evaporate. Add garlic, salt and pepper and toss for a minute or so, remove from heat. Add tomatoes, peppers, beans, cheddar and basil and mix well. Eat warm with some fresh crusty bread of your choice.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Meeting a Living Legend

I've been a fan of Tao Porchon-Lynch for a while. Last night I finally got to meet her! Since I was supposed to be in Westchester, NY on Wednesday anyway, I made arrangements to take her class at a local club. Last night when she walked into the room, I realized she was everything I was expecting and so much more. She was wearing a beaming smile , bright red high heel shoes and a matching red top... Yeeees!

Tao is a 92 year old inspiration and a testament to the power of Yoga. This former actress, who was born in India and lived and taught all over the world, teaches 7 yoga classes per week, leads regular workshops all over the US, conducts 200 and 500 Teacher Trainings, takes large groups on annual trips to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and enjoys ball room dancing with her 20-30 year old partners, who can barely keep up with her. This busy schedule would make most of us dizzy, but not Tao!

5 years ago Tao undergone a total hip replacement and was told by her doctor that she wouldn't be able to do all the things that she used to do. In response to that she sent her doctor a photo of herself doing Lotus in a Shoulderstand... Tao says that if someone says to her that she can't do it, then she must do it.... Her motto: "There is nothing that you can't do!"

Ananta Yoga Studio is planning to host a workshop with Tao this fall (the tentative date: 10/30). This will be a unique opportunity for all of us to meet the living legend, someone who'd studied with Indra Devi herself, and someone who proved by example that yoga is the perfect way to keep your body, mind and spirit healthy. Viva Tao!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Orzo and Vegetable Bake - Italian Style...

Last night I looked in the fridge, saw what was there and invented this Italian style bake. My kids absolutely loved it. They begged me to put it on the blog and enter into the Vegetarian Times recipe contest :) Well, I dunno about that one... This is a super fast easy way to treat your family to some Italian style comfort food. It takes less than 1/2 hour.

Orzo and Vegetable Bake - Italian Style...

You'll need:

1 box of orzo 12 oz or 16 oz
1 eggplant, cut in 1 inch cubes
About 3 cups of organic spinach
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup of grated Parm cheese (can be less)
Salt, pepper, olive oil

You can use any combination of vegetables for this. I would imagine bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, cannellini beans etc would work just fine. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and let it sit in a colander for about 30 min (feel free to skip this step is pressed for time). Boil pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a sauté pan, add eggplant and cook until barely soft - a couple of minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until wilts. Add the sauce, mix well and bring to boil. Drain pasta and transfer to a large Pyrex casserole dish. Spread in an even layer. Top with the vegetable mix, sprinkle with cheeses and bake until the cheese melts. About 15 minutes. Enjoy!