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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Deconstructed Garden Pesto "Pasta"


What a week! I truly believe that I have had the most productive days of my life recently, and it is all paying off. My upcoming cookbook Bowls of Love is FINALLY coming together! It has been months and months (and months) of some serious hard work, and I am overflowing with excitement as I see it becoming a reality. Thanks to the hard work and brilliant creativity of my incredible designer Margot, the book looks so professional, colorful, and just my style. I released a sneak peak of the cover on Monday, and the response has been incredible. The books should be delivered to me by mid-October and in your hands before Halloween just in time for cool Fall nights and the holiday season. If you want to get your hands on a first-edition signed copy of the book at 20% off, you can order a pre-sale copy at my Square shop - don't forget to enter PRESALE20 at checkout to get your discount.

I am also eagerly awaiting some big-named Paleo celebrities to review my manuscript! I am hoping for at least one review/endorsement for the book, and I will keep you all posted on the progress. In the midst of all of the craziness, I wanted to make a simple yet perfect summer dinner tonight. I was eating alone because Ry had to work late, so I made some zucchini noodles and threw in a tomato and some basil from our balcony garden. It tasted AMAZING, and while the picture wasn't perfect, I decided I should share it with all of you! Go pick some tomatoes and give it a try! 

Deconstructed Garden Pesto "Pasta": Serves 1, Prep time: 5 min, Cook time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:
- 1 small zucchini, peeled into "noodles"
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
- 5-10 small basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat the oil over medium heat
2. Add the garlic and saute for 5 minutes until fragrant
3. Add the zucchini noodles, and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft
4. Add the tomato, pine nuts, and basil, and cook another 2-5 minutes until well combined
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

YOU WILL LOVE THIS! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Roasted Ithaca Tomato Soup w/ Fresh Basil Pesto

Life is good... Really good... Beyond amazing actually! Need some reasons?

1. I have a complete draft of my cookbook Bowls of Love: Paleo Soups for the Seasons! All 50 recipes have been photographed by the wonderful Erica Gannett, and the stories have been drafted and are getting refined by my editor (famous author) A.J. Walkley :) I am still pushing for a publish date in October so the book will be ready for all of you just in time for the Fall and cool nights that will be perfect for bowls of soup.
2. Mal and I have been separated for over three years, and our official reunion is TOMORROW! She is finished with business school, and her two-month travel adventures in Asia are coming to a close. She is moving back to Stamford, living in my building, and making my dreams come true!
3. RYAN AND I GOT ENGAGED!!! There are no words to fully describe how this makes me feel, so just know that I am so (sooo) excited, grateful, and in love with the turns my life has taken. Everything truly has happened for a reason, and there is no better time than today to reflect on that and appreciate every moment that brought us here.

I am also thrilled to announce that I won Groundswell International's basil recipe contest which was an incredible way to reconnect with an old sorority sister AND have the chance to work with the wonderfully talented Emma Frisch of Frisch Kitchen. She was by far my favorite contestant on the Next Food Network Star, and I was overjoyed to win a guest post on her blog. Check out my guest post here.

The winning recipe is for my Roasted Ithaca Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil Pesto. It is one of the 50 recipes from my upcoming cookbook, and I am bursting at the seams with excitement for the book to be done. You will have to wait a couple more months for the rest of the recipes, but in the meantime, enjoy this beautiful teaser with photo cred to the talented Erica Gannett!

Roasted Ithaca Tomato Soup w/ Fresh Basil Pesto: Serves 4-6, Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:
Soup:
- 3 pounds roma tomatoes (or any other tomatoes in your garden!)
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- sea salt & pepper
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 heaping Tbsp. chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (organic & no salt added)
- 4 cups vegetable stock

Pesto:
- 4 oz. fresh basil
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- fine sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Pesto:
1. Add the basil to a food processor
2. Pulse until basil breaks down, and then add all other ingredients
3. Blend until smooth (you may need to scrape the edges down a few times)
4. Add additional olive oil or pine nuts if you like your pesto thinner or thicker

Soup:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Slice the tomatoes length-wise, and arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet
3. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the tomatoes, and season with sea salt and pepper
4. Roast tomatoes for 45 minutes
5. In a large soup pot, heat the other 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat, and add the onion, shallot, and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes until tender
6. Add the can of tomatoes, fresh basil, and broth
7. Stir in the roasted tomatoes
8. Cook for 45 minutes uncovered over medium-low heat
9. Puree the soup with your immersion blender until smooth. 
10. Top with drizzled pesto and enjoy the taste of your fresh summer garden!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Shrimp Salad


Life. Is. Good. Thanks to the help and support of 199 incredible backers, I successfully funded my Kickstarter campaign for my first cookbook, Bowls of Love. The book is in progress, and it will be published this Fall. Now that the campaign is over, I can get back to recipe writing, cooking, story-telling. I decided I needed a super summery lunch today while I worked on the book outside on the balcony. I crafted a summer shrimp salad bursting with flavor from mango, lime, and lemon balm. You could serve this over a bed of lettuce or in martini glasses as an appetizer for your next dinner party. It is the perfect meal or snack when you aren't in the mood for a hot dish on these beautiful Spring and Summer days. For an extra refreshing treat, refrigerate it for 30 minutes prior to eating..

Summer Shrimp Salad: Serves 4, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
- 3 small ataulfo mangoes, diced (about 1.5 cups)
- 1 large cucumber, diced (about 1.5 cups)
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh lemon balm or mint
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- zest and juice from 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions:
1. Boil a pot of water
2. When water is rapidly boiling, add raw shrimp (with the tails still on)
3. Cook for 2 minutes then cover pot and remove from heat
4. Let shrimp cook for 5-10 additional minutes until shrimp is pink and cooked through
5. Strain and rinse the shrimp and set aside
6. Add mango cucumber, lemon balm, olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl
7. Remove the tails from the shrimp, chop into bite-sized pieces, and add them to the bowl
8. Mix well to combine and serve! Note - this tastes extra good if you refrigerate it for 30 minutes so it is extra chilled and the flavors can meld
  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sauteed Red Cabbage & Criminis

Have you heard of Diane Sanfilippo' 21-day sugar detox? I have recommended it to multiple health coaching clients of mine as a way to take a break from sugar (even fruit!) and let their bodies recalibrate without the distractions of junky food. The results are pretty astounding. I have completed a 21DSD myself, and it was incredible how sweet tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetables became when they were the only sources of "sweet" food I ate. After the detox/cleanse ended, I did reintroduce many foods into my diet including fruit, but it certainly opened my eyes as to how much certain foods impact my mood, cravings, and overall health. I took one of the interesting recipes I came across during my research and tweaked it for tonight's blogpost. 

On an unrelated note, I have to shamelessly give one final push... my kickstarter campaign for Bowls of Love is ending in 27 hours!! I have raised almost $15,000 in under a month, and I am floored by the responses I have received. I have learned at least a dozen crucial life lessons throughout this process, and I am so proud to have accomplished the first step in fulfilling my dream. It is pretty amazing what happens in life when you fully dedicate yourself to something, and I am so incredibly motivated to keep pushing. If you love my recipes and have a soft spot for soups and sharing amazing food with the people you love (who doesn't?!) please take a minute to watch my video and consider contributing to the campaign so you can get a copy of Bowls of Love!

Sauteed Red Cabbage: Serves 3-4, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients:
- 1 small head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 3 small onions, sliced
- 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. rosemary
- Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Head the coconut oil over medium heat
2. Sautee the onions and mushrooms until soft (about 10 minutes)
3. Add the cabbage and cook for 10 minutes
4. Add the vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper, and cook until totally soft (about 10-15 minutes)

Note: You can always add some water if this becomes too dry. Serve warm or cold (I prefer cold!)
  
  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Italian Salmon Pockets

I am approaching the 72-hour mark for my kickstarter campaign for Bowls of Love, and it is exhilarating! I am shamelessly plugging the cookbook everywhere I can, and I hope you all have had a chance to watch my video and check out some of the pictures from the book. I have connected with incredible people all over the world, each with a unique story why the project touches them. This experience has opened my eyes in so many ways, and the entrepreneur in me is quite happy.

Tonight's recipe was inspired by Giada's and was originally suggested to me by Mal. We went up to Ithaca this weekend for Mal and Mike's MBA graduation at Cornell, and it was incredible. Tons of great times, big laughs, and happy tears all around. More than anything, it made me really realize that Mal is on her way back to Stamford! There will be a few countries/trips in the meantime, but soon enough we will be neighbors sharing recipes (and memories) together just like the good old days.

This recipe is incredibly flavorful and a nice change from my go-to salmon recipe (post to come!). The salmon has a lot of juice from the tomato mixture, so it would be perfect served over zucchini noodles or your favorite gluten free pasta!

Italian Salmon Pockets: Serves 4, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 25 min

Ingredients:
- 4 salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp. chopped basil
- Salt & pepper

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil on salmon fillets, and season lightly with salt and pepper
3. Mix the tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon, basil, and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a bowl
4. Lay out 4 large pieces of foil on the counter
5. Put each salmon fillet (oil side down) on the foil, and top with 1/4 of the tomato mixture
6. Fold the foil packets closed, and twist the ends tightly (they should be sealed)
7. Bake for 25 minutes, and then serve immediately

  
  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Perfect Paleo Le Creuset Quiche


Last year at work I had a financial services client who was starting up an avocado ranch business, and he was nice enough to send me a box of a dozen beautiful avocados from his backyard in sunny California. It was a pretty exciting day at the office when the box arrived. It's worth mentioning that the client never told me that he sent them, so needless to say, my coworkers and I were quite confused. It turns out that anytime a client sends a box of avocados, it is a good day. My client Tim has fully launched his company and website Red Hawk Ranch and ships freshly picked California avocados across the U.S. for incredibly reasonable prices. I highly recommend ordering a box next time you are in the mood for a guacamole party!

Today's recipe uses my absolute favorite kitchen tool - my teal le creuset pot. Ryan gave this to me for Chrismannukah last year (thank you!!), and it is so beautiful that I actually keep it out our stove at all times. I am not sure if it is a coincidence or not, but every single thing I have ever made in this pot comes out perfectly. I have created quite a few crustless quiches in this pot, and I encourage you to get one and try them out! The recipe below combines some great green veggies, but you can also add some sauteed chorizo, bacon, or any other meat if your breakfast eaters are looking for some extra protein and texture. 

The le creuset pot is also incredible for soups and stews. Friday's creation for my cookbook was a sweet potato and chicken curry stew. I have my third photo shoot on Monday and then will be over halfway through the photographs for the book! You can check out some of the pictures, a video of me, and all of the info on my kickstarter campaign. Don't forget to pre-order your copy! The campaign ends on May 28th, so there are less than two weeks left!

Perfect Paleo Le Creuset Quiche: Serves 3-4, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:
- 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped
- 6 oz. spinach
- 6 organic, cage-free eggs
- Salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Instructions:
1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in your favorite Le Creuset dish
2. Add onion, and cook until soft (about 10 minutes)
3. Add broccoli and cook another 5-10 minutes
4. Add spinach and cover for 2-3 minutes until wilted
5. Whisk eggs in a bowl with a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
6. Pour eggs over the veggies, and cook for about 40 minutes until set

 
  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Parsnip Fries a.k.a. Parsnipples


I love Spring. I don’t think I could be any happier about the warm weather and the bright colors everywhere. I dusted off my bike on Monday after a long (2+ year?) hibernation. I remember when Mal and I used to bike 12-15 miles every morning before work up the steepest hills in Stamford, and it feels like a lifetime ago. I am dabbling with the idea of training for a triathlon this year for some added motivation with my workouts. It has been four crazy years since my last race, and I would love to get back into it and beat my time now that I am an old lady. I will never forget that dreaded “swim” flailing for my life like a lunatic in open water – I would have to think things could only improve after that ridiculous performance. I will share my training plan (once it exists) and keep you posted on my progress.

I am thrilled to announce that I am almost 50% through my kickstarter campaign, and my project has surpassed its initial funding goal and is climbing over $11,000. The outpouring of support has been incredible, and I am so excited to continue the momentum and pre-sell as many copies of the cookbook as possible. I am just over 130 backers, and I hope to get over 200 by the end of the month! You can pre-order a copy of the cookbook and check out the campaign at http://kck.st/1fMYQDo. Huge shout out to my photographer Erica Gannett who has created gorgeous images for the cookbook and campaign. Check it out!

Today’s recipe is a staple in my kitchen: parsnipples. I really have no idea where this name comes from, but I am pretty sure we can blame Ryan for it. Parsnipples (or parsnip fries) are one of the easiest roasted vegetables to make, and they come out incredibly every single time. The sweet/salty flavor combination is irresistible, and they go great with every meal. I am making less and less roasted veggies these days as the weather gets warmer and I turn to salads, but this is a great staple to always keep in your back pocket.


Parsnip Fries: Serves 2, Prep time: 5 min, Cook time: 20-25 min

Ingredients:
- 2 parsnips
- 1 Tbsp (or less) olive oil
- Sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Peel your parsnips and slice them into pieces that look like your favorite french fries
3. Arrange the pieces on a foil-lined baking sheet
4. Spray or lightly toss the parsnips with olive oil 
5. Season with sea salt, pepper, and garlic powder
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once