Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Corn Chowder and NEWS


I've been blogging for about a year and a half now and loving every minute of it. One of the things I don't love is Blogger and my site design in general. So, starting this weekend I'll be MOVING to Wordpress! I am doing this with the help of Melissa of Fine Lime Designs - who is brilliant and wonderful and (most importantly) patient.

In one short week, I will have a snazzy new site with lots of convenient features - like printable recipes, pin it buttons, and an easy to navigate recipe index. I want to kick your Gen Y Foodie experience up a notch and make it easier to engage with the content here.

So I won't be posting here for the next week. :(

Where can you find me? I won't be going anywhere. Hit me up on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

In the meantime, email me at and tell me what sort of features and recipes you'd like to see on the new site. I am especially interested in some challenging takeout makeovers - so shoot me your suggestions.

And now it's time for the recipe....

The first corn of the summer arrived at the farmer's market this weekend and I am so excited!! I may have gone a bit overboard buying more ears than I could carry, let alone eat in a week. Regardless, after enjoying some of this tasty sweet corn on the cob, I decided to throw poor Craig a bone and make him one of his all time favorite foods: corn chowder.

Now, I have a complicated relationship with chowder (or chowda as we Bostonians call it). I generally hate it. I ate chowder for the first time when I was 25 and waiting tables at a restaurant that had great chowder so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't impressed. As someone who only tolerates dairy, it never seemed that great to me. Craig, on the other hand, adores chowder and will eat it all year round, non stop until he makes himself sick. He has sampled every type of chowder imaginable, even in 100 degree heat! Back at Holy Cross, he would get super excited every Friday because the dining hall would serve corn chowder for lunch.

So, given the fabulous corn, potatoes, jalepenos and herbs I found at the farmer's market this weekend, I decided to give it a whirl. You can grill, roast or boil the corn - or you can throw it in raw. I recommend roasting or grilling to add more flavor and bring out its natural sweetness.

Now, I didn't set out to make this a vegan chowder - but it sort of ended up that way! I decided not to add any cream or milk because I wanted it to be light and summery. Even without any dairy, this chowder is creamy and comforting.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Simple Salmon

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in creating new recipes that I lose sight of why I started this website in the first place: to help busy people learn to fit healthy cooking into their lifestyles. I recently had a wonderful reminder of this mission. Liz has been my friend for more than 10 years. We were hockey teammates in college and lived together in New York right after graduation. While we were roommates, we adhered to a strict division of labor, I cooked and she cleaned. It was with Liz that I first developed my recipe for healthy chicken fingers (a dish she requests every time she comes over to my house). Well, after many years of hating/avoiding cooking, Liz has started to experiment with some of my recipes. It turns out that she's a natural.

So, for the past few weeks she and I have been exchanging tons of emails about cooking and meal planning. Having these conversations with her has really reinforced my mission with this website as a place for information, tips and general info about cooking and meal prep. Liz emailed me this week about some ideas for preparing fish. Turns out, I haven't put a lot of fish on the website, mainly because I prefer simple preparations and never thought these were "wow" enough for the site. Talking to Liz has changed my attitude about this, and so I wanted to share this simple preparation for tasty salmon with you all.

I love fish. Living in New England, I am very lucky to have access to wonderful fresh fish year round. When it comes to fish, my opinion is that simple is better. This is mainly for two reasons. First, good fresh fish can be pricey, so you don't want to ruin it with too much recipe/seasoning. And two, fresh fish is DELICIOUS - so I don't like to cover it up with a lot of stuff.

Wild salmon makes for a tasty and incredibly healthy dinner. Craig and I picked up this beautiful filet of  wild Alaskan Coho Salmon at the store this weekend, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight a simple preparation for this tasty fish.

My cast iron skillet is my kitchen MVP. I use it for everything, but over the years I've learned that it is the absolute best and most precise way to prepare fresh fish perfectly. This is due to the fact that you can put the skillet in the oven. Because most types of fish are very delicate, you never want to flip it. Broiling in a skillet ensures even cooking because you broil the skillet first so that it gets super hot. This will crisp the skin of the salmon and help it to cook evenly while the rest of it broils. I have been honing this method over the past few years and it works with all varieties of fish.

I served the salmon with lemon wedges and bulgur with kale and walnuts. It was a simple and tasty meal that took approximately 20 minutes to put together.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Lentils with Summer Vegetables

Greetings! First thing, I am so excited to be Foodista's Food Blog of the Day. They are highlighting my Coconut Chicken Fingers and I am so honored to be chosen. Foodista is an incredible space for foodies and I am thrilled. Head on over there and check out some of the amazing recipes, news and food features, like this guide to making lobster rolls.

I am on a lentil binge these last few weeks. After the yummy lentil cakes last week I decided I need more lentils in my life! Craig and I hit the farmer's market on Saturday, where I picked up some tasty eggplant, zucchini, carrots and cauliflower. These beautiful summer veggies inspired me to create a tasty lentil salad that would be healthy and hearty.

My original plan was to grill the veggies and then chop them up and toss them in a salad with some lentils. Unfortunately, the weather did not agree, so I threw them in the oven instead. I'm glad I did, because instead of smoky barbecue flavor, these veggies got incredibly sweet and crisp. For flavor, I tossed them with a light splash of balsamic.

I used french lentils (also called puy). I chose these because they are smaller and retain their shape better while cooking. To finish off the salad, I added some yummy fresh herbs and tomatoes from my garden! I am SO EXCITED to start harvesting and eating the crops we've been working so hard on for the past few months. I took a bunch of garden picks and will update you all later this week.

Here's what I picked:

Full recipe after the jump

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

For my Lamb Cookout last weekend I wanted to make a healthy and tasty side dish that could be thrown on the grill. I settled on tasty sweet potato wedges that would compliment the complex flavors of the lamb and provide a high fiber side dish.

This recipe is extremely simple. After cutting the sweet potatoes into uniform sized wedges, I par boiled them quickly to start to cook them and then finished them off on the grill. Brush them with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper and you can throw them right on. I added some lime juice and a garnish of fresh cilantro to incorporate the Thai flavors, but lemon, garlic and parsley would be tasty as well.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Lentil Cakes

Craig specifically requested I make lentil cakes today. I am happy to oblige, especially because I love lentils and enjoy coming up with new Meatless Monday recipes. These lentil cakes are really simple and inexpensive to make, but SO filling. The whole recipe could not be easier - you just cook the lentils with some veggies and flavorings and then shape them into patties and bake. I've also cooked these in a cast iron skillet, which works great as well.

This meal proved to be a wonderful healthy detox after a very indulgent weekend. Craig and I attended a wedding on Saturday that had the most amazing food. We both overate a lot of yummy food, so it felt good to have something hearty and simple.

Lentils are filled with fiber, iron and B vitamins. Additionally, they have the highest percentage of protein by weight of any play based food. Lentils are commonly enjoyed in soups and stews, but I like to add them to all kinds of things. I forgot to mention they are naturally low in calories! One serving, which is approximately two lentil cakes, has only 197 calories, 12 grams of protein and 13 grams of fiber!

I served these with some spicy ketchup, which is just equal parts ketchup and sriracha sauce. I think you could serve these with a number of condiments, but this was super simple and tasty.

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