Monday, May 30, 2011

Balsamic Black Pepper Mushrooms

I've been really into mushrooms lately. I used to have some weird psychological issue with eating fungi, which I cannot be more thankful to have overcome. Not only are mushrooms rich in antioxidants and B vitamins, (even white buttons!) they're also just really freaking tasty.

So now that I've come to my senses, I look for excuses to eat piles of mushrooms in one sitting, main-course style. I've tweaked this recipe several times and I think it's perfect now, thanks to the addition of fresh parsley suggested in a similar recipe in Vegetarian Times.

Pouring the hot mushrooms over fresh raw spinach wilts some leaves while others remain crisp; the tangy/sweet balsamic flavor is all the dressing you'll need.

I enjoyed this meal with a juicy organic pear (ingredient #8) and a glass of white wine (#9) and I felt all French and fancy. You too can feel French and fancy! Enjoy.

7-Ingredient Balsamic Black Pepper Mushrooms
Total Kitchen Time: 20 minutes. Serves 1.

10 medium-large white button mushrooms, sliced to medium thickness
3 cloves garlic, sliced longways
1 Tbls. olive oil
splash balsamic vinegar
2 Tbls. fresh parsley, chopped finely
1/4 cup raw walnuts
2 cups fresh spinach

Free Spice Blend
LOTS of freshly ground black pepper
sea salt


Drizzle oil into pan over medium heat and fry garlic until translucent; about 1 minute.

Add mushrooms. Spread them evenly across the bottom of the pan and then DON'T TOUCH THEM for 10 minutes. This part is really hard (for me). Be sure the pan is hot enough to keep up with cooking off any liquid the mushrooms might release.

After ten minutes of heroic patience, stir gleefully, enjoying your beautifully browned shrooms. Add balsamic vinegar and cook 2 more minutes, or until no liquid remains.

Toss parsley into pan and remove from heat promptly. Grind salt and plenty of black pepper onto mushrooms and stir thoroughly.

Pour mushrooms over fresh spinach, sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Five Minute Plate

The Five Minute Plate is back! Well, it's gone now. I mean, I ate it. And it was delicious.

This seven-ingredient meal included baby bok choy sauteed in olive oil with a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh strawberries, carrot sticks, and an egg fried in a bit of butter. I've mentioned before that I enjoy unprocessed fats without guilt, including saturated fats like butter and coconut oil.

Unrefined fats are especially important while breastfeeding because all mom's dietary fats go straight into her milk. Trans-fatty breast milk = horror show! Run, babies! Coconut oil, on the other hand, boosts the lauric acid content of the milk which translates to maximum infection-fighting properties for baby.

Breastfeeding has been challenging, but today Darwin and I celebrate two months together growing and learning. I absolutely love giving him this unparalleled super-food. How could I not want the best for these chins?
Have a beautiful day, foodies!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Curry Roasted Cauliflower


If you've been to the Ten Ingredient Project homepage recently, this cauliflower might look familiar. Actually, the version pictured on the website is a real recipe from Epicurious, and the version here is my hurry-up-and-cook-while-baby's-sleeping recipe, maybe also the I'm-crap-out-of-onions recipe. I was surprised to find that sweet potatoes added so much deliciousness to this and that overall, minimalist curried cauliflower tastes just as good as its more complicated counterpart. One secret is to use a really flavorful curry powder, i.e. one you've ground up yourself from whole spices (recipe to come--wear your spice snobbery with pride.)

I completed this light meal with a sweet and zingy organic kiwi that my mom sent in my birthday package. Oh yeah, I'm 28 now. That's almost three meal's worth of ingredients! ;)

5-Ingredient Curry Roasted Cauliflower
Prep Time: 10 minutes. Cook Time: 40 minutes. Serves 2.

1 head cauliflower
1 sweet potato
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbls. apple cider vinegar
small handful fresh chopped cilantro

Free Spice Blend
1 tsp. good curry powder
2 tsp. paprika
sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Rinse cauliflower, chop into even bite-sized florets, and place in a large mixing bowl.

Dice sweet potato into small cubes, about 1cm across (woah, metric!). Combine with cauliflower.

In a small bowl, whisk togetherolive oil, vinegar, and spices. Pour over vegetables and toss.

Arrange veggies on a large baking sheet and bake for around 40 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and browning a bit at the edges.

Scatter cilantro on veggies; serve.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Roasted Kale Chips


I'm a mom now so I get to bust out this classic motherly decree: Eat your greens! Eat them every day. Be hard-core because they're arguably the most nutritious foods on earth. When I was too preggo-queasy to drink green smoothies for breakfast (tears!), I sauteed greens each morning instead. My philosophy about greens is just to do whatever you need to do to get them into your body on a regular basis.

Roasting kale chips almost makes it too easy. Easy like standing over the stove inhaling hot crispy chips straight off the baking sheet until you've made quick work of the entire bunch, and you spend a minute worrying if it's okay to eat that much kale in one sitting, before you remember it's kale, and you've just consumed a super dose of folic acid, calcium, vitamin K, fiber and antioxidants.

When I roast kale chips, I like to "undercook" them slightly, so that the leaves are still a vibrant green and the edges are crispier than the centers. That bright color means that you preserve the most nutrients, and I prefer the combination chewy/crisp texture. Thoroughly roasted kale tends to disintegrate like an Indiana Jones relic in your mouth. (Some people like that.)

Try this a few times with different spice combos and let me know your favorite!

2-Ingredient Roasted Kale Chips

Total Kitchen Time: 15 minutes. Serves: 2 with restraint, or 1 without.

1 bunch kale
extra virgin olive oil

Free Spice Blend
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
&c &c!

Preheat oven to 350. Wash and spin-dry kale. Remove stems and tear leaves roughly into bite-sized pieces.

Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into your palm and massage raw leaves with your hands. Repeat as needed until kale is lightly coated.

Arrange kale on a large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and any other spices you like: curry powder, garlic, cayenne, cumin. (Save the black pepper until after roasting, since it won't stand up to the heat of the oven.)

Roasts ten minutes, grind on some pepper, devour, repeat!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Ten Ingredient Year

Any TIPers still out there? What a year it's been! When I announced my bloggy hiatus last summer, it was with more than a heavy heart; it was with a queasy stomach, too. I was newly pregnant! Morning sickness, strange cravings and a passion for whole foods make strange bedfellows. In nine months I went through a kiwi phase, a green bean phase, a frozen-peas-and-pickles phase, and a cream-poured-over-whole-grain-cereal phase. I ate a lot of weird stuff but I stuck to whole foods and my pregnancy was healthy and wonderful. Here I was about a week before delivery.

And here, looking large, fixing up a ten ingredient plate of vegetables, homemade hummus and whole wheat pita.

On March 25, 2011 I had my son, Darwin. Here he is at seven weeks old, the Honeycrisp of my eye.

Since I'm exclusively breastfeeding my baby, eating whole foods is more important than ever. Nutrients and food flavors are transferred in breast milk, and I love that I'm setting up my son for a lifetime of healthy habits by giving him milk that both tastes and performs like the best foods on earth. That means I'm eating lots of unrefined fats like olive oil, coconut oil, butter and nuts; fresh vegetables like broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, celery, carrots, mushrooms and onions; luscious fruits like berries, apples, oranges, pears and pineapple; and whole grains like wheat, brown rice, oats and quinoa.

With this new little one, and the happiness of springtime, there couldn't be a better time to restart the TIP blog, to publicly celebrate the way of eating to which I owe so much. I hope you'll join me back for yummy recipes, shameless food porn and mutual inspiration. Happy eating, friends!