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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Chocolate Ice Pops


These home-made ice pops are dairy-free and full of antioxidant-rich cocoa powder. It's important to eat plenty of foods high in antioxidants, especially during the summer to counteract the oxidizing effects of the sun. Some antioxidants, like the flavonols found in cocoa powder, have also been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2-Ingredient Summer Dessert

This simple summer dessert is as easy as it is elegant. Because there are only two ingredients, quality matters. Use the best berries you can find, preferably organic because they're #4 on EWG's Dirty Dozen list. If you have berries that are under-ripe, this is a good way to sweeten them up a bit.

I used 85% dark chocolate ("The Dark Chocolate Lover's Bar" from Trader Joe's) for this recipe, but a 72% variety would also work well. When it comes to the health benefits of  chocolate, darker is better, so use the darkest variety that you like to eat. I find that 3.5 ounces is the right amount for a quart of berries.

It's the tips of strawberries are usually dipped in chocolate, but I prefer to cut off the tops and dip the big end instead. This creates a flat and stable surface, so they don't roll around. It also makes it easy to pop them into your mouth whole.  And it increases their shelf life in the fridge because moisture from the green leafy tops can create ideal conditions for bacterial growth. Without the tops, and with the chocolate sealing the cut surface, you can make these a day or two in advance.

3.5 ounces 85% dark chocolate
1 quart fresh strawberries, tops removed
  1. Fill a saucepan with an inch of water and warm it over low heat .
  2. Place the chocolate in a glass or stainless steel. Set the bowl on top of the pan of simmering water. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with the water.
  3. While the chocolate melts, cover a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. 
  4. Once the chocolate has just melted, turn off the heat and transfer the bowl to a heat-proof surface. Do not over-heat the chocolate.
  5. Hold each berry by the tip and dip the base into the melted chocolate before placing it on the prepared sheet. 
  6. Once all the berries have been dipped, transfer them to the fridge. 
  7. Once they have set, store them on the wax or parchment paper in an air-tight container. 
  8. Take them out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Broccoli Stem Salad with Lemongrass Vinaigrette


Don't throw away your  broccoli stems! The centers are tender and full of flavor. They're the stars of this dish, which turned  into a rainbow of colors, textures, and flavors. I often cook broccoli stems along with the florets, but this time I used only the stems and saved the tops for another meal. Along with other crunchy vegetables and chopped peanuts, this salad is light but filling.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Oyster Mushrooms Sautéed with Fresh Herbs


When I have a special ingredient, I like to serve it without a lot of fuss. Just something simple, to savor the unique flavor instead of covering it up. In this dish I sauté oyster mushrooms with some basic aromatic ingredients that play a good supporting role.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mediterranean Braised Chicken


This slow-simmered chicken dish boasts flavors of Spain and Italy. Capers, olives, and sherry vinegar make it a bit sour; a touch of honey adds a little sweetness; and a roasted red pepper adds a subtle hint of smoke in this well-balanced one-pot meal.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs


These Indian-inspired scrambled eggs make a quick and healthy meal. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner because they contain everything a meal should have -- protein, healthy fat, and fiber-rich vegetables -- as well as a good dose of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Greek Lentil Salad with Spring Onions


This flavorful dish is full of ingredients you might find in a Greek salad: feta cheese, tomatoes, oregano, and Kalamata olives. Cucumbers are usually part of the mix but because they aren't in season yet, I substituted spring onions. And because it's also too early for fresh local tomatoes, I used sun-dried ones soaked in olive oil. You can serve this salad as a side dish or as a main course, topped with grilled calamari, shrimp, or wild salmon.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Colored Easter Eggs You'll Really Want to Eat


Forget synthetic dyes and artificial food coloring. These eggs are colored naturally with a beet-balsamic vinaigrette, which also makes them taste good. The purple they soak up on the outside is a stunning contrast to the bright yellow yolk inside.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Easter Candy for Grown-Ups: Dark Chocolate Rum Balls


These DIY dark chocolate truffles will melt in your mouth. Unlike other rum balls full of sugar and corn syrup, they have no added sweeteners and it takes only a few ingredients to put them together.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cheesy Cauliflower


This cup of cheesy goodness brings me back to my childhood, when winters were for sledding and macaroni and cheese was my favorite food. This recipes gives it a grown-up twist with a made-from-scratch spicy aged cheddar cheese sauce. I substituted cauliflower for pasta because, let's be honest, pasta is really just a vehicle for the cheese. So why not use cauliflower? Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and sulfur-containing compounds like isothiocyanates and indoles that help our bodies detoxify. Strange as it seems, you'll never miss the pasta. And your kids will finally eat their veggies.