Recipes

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup regular oats (quick oats will work fine, if it's what you have, but the bread won't be quite so hearty)
 
This recipe will make enough to fill one 8x8 pan, three mini loaf pans, or 3 dozen mini muffins. Times for these three options are given below. Note: if you use paper liners for your muffins, the bread will stick to the paper unless muffins are cooled completely.
 
    Preheat oven to 375°. Grease desired pan(s).
    Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a small bowl.
    Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
    Stir in pumpkin, then flour mixture, then oats.
    Pour into pan(s).
    Bake as directed below, or until the top of the bread springs back when touched.
    Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan if desired; cool completely.
 
Baking times:
8x8 pan = 25-30 minutes
3 mini loaves = 20-25 minutes
Mini muffins = 10-15 minutes
(Ovens may vary; your bread may need less or more time.)

Better Chicken Pot Pies

The one unusual trick I use in this recipe is to add the thickening portion (a mashed butter-flour roux) at the end, rather than the earlier parts of cooking. I found that the chicken cooked better in a thinner sauce, and that the thickening was more likely to hold up when added at near the end. Plus, you can really taste the richness in the final dish, hooray.

Note: I forgot the leeks and the parsley because these things happen. It would have been better with leeks; we missed them.

Makes 4 2-cup pot pies

Lid
2 cups (250 grams) all- purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
13 tablespoons (185 grams or 6 1/2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons (90 grams) sour cream or Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cider vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

Filling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (breasts, thighs and drumsticks are ideal)
1 to 2 glugs olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/2-inch slices
1 large onion, diced small
1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh or frozen green peas (no need to defrost)
2 large carrots, diced small (about 1 cup carrots)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Make pastry lids: In a large, wide bowl (preferably one that you can get your hands into), combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingertips, cut them up and into the flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles. Keep breaking up the bits of butter until the texture is closer to uncooked couscous. In a small dish, whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, and water, and combine it with the butter-flour mixture. Using a flexible spatula, stir the wet and the dry together until a craggy dough forms. If needed, get your hands into the bowl to knead it a few times into one big ball. Pat it into a flattish ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour or up to 2 days. Meanwhile…

Make filling: Generously season all sides of the chicken parts with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If your chicken breasts are particularly large, I find that halving them can ensure they cook at the same pace at the other parts. Heat first glug of olive oil over medium-high heat in the bottom of a large Dutch oven (minimum of 4 quarts; mine is 5). Brown chicken in two parts, cooking until golden on both sides. Transfer to a plate and repeat with second half of chicken. Set aside.

Heat second glug of olive oil in the same pot. Add onions and leeks, season with salt and pepper, and saute them until softened, about 7 minutes. If using, pour in sherry and use it to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Simmer until mostly cooked off. Add milk or cream, chicken broth, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Nestle the browned chicken and any accumulated juices into the pot. Cover and gently simmer to 30 minutes, after which the chicken should be fully cooked and tender.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool slightly. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon; reserve it for another use, or this:

In a medium bowl, mash butter (feel free to replace any part of it with skimmed chicken fat from the previous step, thanks to a commenter below for the suggestion) and flour together with a fork until a paste forms and no flour is still visibly dry. Pour one ladleful of filling over it, and whisk until smooth. Add a second ladleful, whisking again. Return this butter-flour-filling mixture to the larger pot, stir to combine, and bring mixture back to a simmer for 10 minutes. The brothy base should thicken to a gravy-like consistency. Adjust seasonings, if needed.

Add carrots and peas to stew and simmer for 3 minutes, until firm-tender. Shred or dice the chicken, discarding the bones and skin or saving it for another use. Return chicken to stew and re-simmer for 1 minute. Stir in parsley.

Assemble and bake pies: Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Divide chilled dough into quarters. Roll each quarter out into rounds that will cover 4 2-cup ovenproof bowls or baking dishes with a 1-inch overhang. Cut vents into rounds. Ladle filling into four bowls, filling only to 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the rim to leave room for simmering. Whisk egg with water to make an egg wash. Brush edges of bowls with egg wash, or if you like lids that easily lift off your bowls and are willing to risk that they may slip slightly into the bowl when baking, you can skip this. Place a lid over each bowl, pressing gently to adhere it to the outer sides of the bowl. Brush the lids with egg wash. Bake until crust is bronzed (more than mine, please, if nobody in your family is having a hangry meltdown) and filling is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes.

Do ahead: The dough for the lids can be made up to 3 days in advance and chilled. The filling can be made up to a day in advance and re-warmed before assembling and baking the pot pies.

Cauliflower Slaw

Crispy fried capers are one of my favorite garnishes, ever. They are way more interesting than bacon bits — yes, I said it. When you drop capers (that you’ve patted out on paper towels as best as possible) in a little puddle of oil, magical things happen — their layers curl out and crisp, like the world’s tiniest blooming onion. Like all fried, crunchy things, they don’t keep long under the weight of dressing; I recommend adding them only right before serving. I usually use brined capers for this, but both brined and salt-packed will work.

Although I love and prefer this salad exactly the way it is, I don’t think it would be bad with substitutions, whether you make them due to personal preferences or just what you have around. Raisins or another dried fruit would probably work for the currants; other briny things like chopped green olives or even cornichon could probably work instead of capers (don’t bother frying them), almonds could be swapped with any nut that you prefer, just toast them well, etc.

Makes about 3 cups which, for us, is never enough. 3 cups will be 2 large portions or 4 petite ones.

1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon), plus more to taste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt, then more to taste
3 tablespoons (30 grams) dried currants
5 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
2 tablespoons (about 25 grams) brined or salt-packed capers
oil for frying
1 small, compact-looking head of cauliflower (about 1 1/4 pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced (use green and white parts)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional, mostly for color)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds on a tray and toast them until they’re a deep golden color, tossing them once or twice to ensure even cooking. This will take 10 to 14 minutes. Set aside to cool.**

Meanwhile, place lemon juice, vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add currants; set aside and let them soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

If using brined capers, drain and spread them on paper towels until most of their moisture has wicked out, about 5 minutes. If using salt-packed capers, soak them in water for 10 minutes to remove the saltiness, then drain, rinse and pat dry on paper towels. Pour a 1/2-inch of olive oil or another oil that you prefer to fry in in a small skillet or saucepan. Heat it over medium-high. When hot enough that a droplet of water added to the oil hisses, carefully add the capers and step back — they’re going to sputter a bit for the first 10 seconds. Once it’s safe to get closer, give them a stir. Depending on how dry they were, it can take 1 to 2 minutes for them to get lightly golden at the edges and then crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.

Trim cauliflower leaves and cut head into quarters. Using an adjustable-blade slicer (this is mine; it takes up very little room) to cut cauliflower, stem and florets, into 1/4-inch slices. Add to a large bowl.

Scoop currants from vinegar mixture with a slotted spoon and add to bowl with cauliflower, along with almonds, capers, scallions and parsley. Slowly whisk 5 tablespoons olive oil into remaining vinegar mixture in a thin stream. Add several turns of freshly ground black pepper. Pour over cauliflower and other ingredients and turn gently to coat all pieces. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt or pepper to taste. Dig in!

** P.S. I really tried to avoid this pesky oven step by toasting mine in a skillet, the one I’d use to fry the capers in a few minutes. Twice, I failed because the little bits got black and smoky before the larger ones toasted, no matter how much I kept them moving. I’m pretty sure I could do better in the future, but I was running out of almonds. If you trust your pan-toasting skills, feel free to cook the almonds there instead.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Ricotta Salata

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook and The Smith

When I first had this salad at The Smith, I couldn’t figure out why it was so familiar and I’m really not proud of the fact that I’d had it three times before I remembered: my cookbook! Right, that old thing. In the book, I tried to teach myself, a kale resistor, to be a kale lover and I did so by taking it back to the 1990s, when restaurants discovered that if you add dried fruit, toasted nuts, a crumbly salty cheese and a honey-and-dijon vinaigrette to any previously unappetizing pile of salad greens, it will taste delicious. Here, the dried fruit is dried cherries (but The Smith uses dried cranberries), the toasted nuts are almonds, the honey-Dijon is barely sweet and uses coarse Dijon as well. From The Smith I learned to add a little snippet of dill, a touch of grated lemon zest and cooked, cooled quinoa to make the salad that I’m literally counting down the minutes to lunch so that I can have it again.

Yield: 2 to 3 quite large meal salads or 4 to 5 side salads; salad will wilt a bit and seem smaller the longer it sits with the dressing

Salad
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
8 ounces Black Kale, also known as Cavolo Nero, or Lacinato, Dinosaur, or Tuscan Kale
1/2 cup slivered almonds, very well toasted and cooled
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped a bit
2 to 3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled or finely grated
Few gratings of fresh lemon zest

Dressing
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons smooth Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
Just shy of 1 teaspoon honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Rinse quinoa well in a small colander. This is essential to remove bitterness. Place quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer with a couple pinches of salt. Simmer at a very low temperature for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Drain any un-absorbed liquid from cooked quinoa. Spread quinoa on a plate to cool quickly.

Wash your kale and dry it well. Then, with a knife, remove the rib from each stalk, leaving long strips of kale leaves. Stack the leaves in small batches, roll them tightly the long way, and cut the roll crosswise into thin ribbons. Add the kale ribbons to a large salad bowl. Add remaining salad ingredients to kale and toss to mix.

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small dish, and pour the dressing over the salad. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then dig in.


Mustard Greens Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4.
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
Method

1 In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.

2 Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Eggplant Gratin (Serves 2)

Copyright 2007, Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved


Photo: Courtesy of Food Network

Good olive oil, for frying
¾ pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
¼ cup ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
¼ cup half-and-half
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus 2 tablespoons, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup good bottled marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat about 1/8 inch of olive oil in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil, heat it, and add more eggplant until all the slices are cooked.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

In each of two individual gratin dishes, place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and spoon half of the marinara sauce. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture, and finally a tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top.

Place the gratins on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the custard sets and the top is browned. Serve warm.

Blackberry Pie

Ingredients
  • 1 pie dough recipe for top and bottom crust
  • 5-6 cups blackberries, rinsed, picked clean, patted dry (if you use frozen berries, defrost and drain them)
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries are)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 Tbsp quick cooking instant tapioca (can usually find in the baking aisle of your local supermarket)
Method

1 Place blackberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, almond extract, and quick cooking instant tapioca in a large bowl. Gently fold the berries until they are all well coated with sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes.

2 Preheat oven to 400°F. You should have two balls of pie dough, one for the bottom crust, one for the top crust. Roll out one of the balls of pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 12-inch diameter if you are using a 9-inch pie pan, or 13-inch diameter if you are using a 10-inch pan. Line the bottom of your pie pan with the dough. Chill in refrigerator while you roll out the bottom crust.

3 Roll out the second ball of pie dough for the top crust. If you would like to do a lattice top, weave the dough strips as described in How to Make a Lattice Top for a Pie Crust.

4 Spoon the berry mixture into the dough-lined pie dish. For a lattice top, weave strips of pie dough over the top of the fruit-filled pie dish. For a solid top, place the second rolled-out pie dough crust on top of the pie. Press ends of strips into the rim of the bottom crust. Use scissors to trim the edges to 1/2-inch from the outer edge of the pie pan. Fold the edges back over themselves and use your fingers to crimp to seal the edges. If you are using a solid top crust, score the top with a sharp knife to create air vents for the steam to escape.

5 Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven. Put a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any juices that might bubble out of the pie while it's cooking. Bake the pie in two stages. First bake it at 400°F for 30 minutes. Then place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie to protect the edges and tops from getting too burnt. (A pie protector is quite useful here.) Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 30 minutes, until crust has browned and filling is bubbly.

Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Cool completely before serving.

Kale Chips

Salty, crispy, addicting, and from garden to oven in 15 minutes ... making your own kale chips couldn't be easier.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash kale leaves and dry very well.
  3. Using a paring knife or kitchen scissors, trim out the ribs and discard. Cut the remaining kale into approximately two-inch pieces.
  4. Place kale in a large bowl and toss gently but thoroughly, making sure that every last bit of kale leave is coated with olive oil.
  5. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Lay kale in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. (If you have more kale than baking sheet, you may need to cook them in batches).
  6. Bake for 8 - 12 minutes, just until crisp. Start checking at 8 minutes - don't overcook or they'll burn! I find that Lacinato kale cooks faster than curly kale.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two, then serve.

Southwestern Chopped Salad

(use organic ingredients)

Large head of Romaine 15 oz.
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen, thawed)
5 green onions
Optional: avocado

{Dressing}
1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 avocado (or 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt or Greek yogurt)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime), more to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt

{Instructions}
Making the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Making the salad: Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Toss with desired dressing