Thursday, January 28, 2010

Beef Stew With Butternut Squash

Look, it’s beef! We don’t eat meat often, but when we do we try to get locally-raised grass-fed stuff. It’s more expensive than factory-farmed beef, but—since it’s yummier, more environmentally-friendly, healthier and more humane—we think it’s worth it.

This recipe is adapted (with only a few changes) from Ellie Krieger’s So Easy cookbook. Ellie calls it “aromatic beef stew with butternut squash.” We’re not really sure why. Yeah, it smells good, but all yummy food smells good.

2 tsp olive oil

1 pound stew beef, cut into chunks

1 large onion, chopped

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

one 14.5 oz. can of no-salt-added diced tomatoes

one 8 oz. can no-salt-added tomato sauce

1 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

3 cups cooked quinoa

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook for 5 minutes or so, until browned on all sides.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate and set aside.

3. Add onion to Dutch oven. Cook, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.

4. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring for no more than 1 minute.

5. Return the beef to the Dutch oven and add the butternut squash, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, cinnamon and crushed red pepper.

6. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 30-35 minutes, until beef is tender.

7. Serve stew over quinoa and top with toasted almonds.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Amazingly Delicious Luscious Dark Surprisingly Un-Sinful Hot Cocoa

I loooove rich melted pudding-esque European hot cocoa. Pete prefers the subtle flavor of just-add-water hot cocoa. This recipe (adapted from Eating Well) is for my fellow rich chocolate lovers. It was a little too intense for my watered-down-hot-cocoa-preferring hubby.

2 ¼ cup skim milk

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup sugar

1 ½ tsp cornstarch

1. Combine all ingredients in saucepan.

2. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until steaming. Once it starts steaming, start whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and serve.

Note: As always, please use organic cocoa powder if possible

Monday, January 25, 2010

Nested Eggs

We know what you’re thinking…and yes, this is a rather odd combination, BUT it’s really yummy! This recipe is adapted from the $10 Spot section of Everyday With Rachael Ray where the recipe-developers call a fennel-filled version of this recipe “Baked Nestled Eggs.” The word “nestled” makes us think of “the children were nestled all snug in their beds” (which conjures up a very different image than eggs in peppers) so we’re more comfortable calling them “nested eggs.”

2 large red bell peppers, halved and seeded

2 tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

½ cup heavy cream

4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Place bell peppers cut-side up in a casserole dish with 1 ½ cups of water. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

3. Remove peppers from dish and set aside.

4. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add onion and rice. Cook, stirring, for 8 minutes.

5. Add squash and 2 cups of water to saucepan. Bring to a boil.

6. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, until rice is almost tender.

7. Stir in heavy cream.

8. Spoon as much of the rice mixture as you can fit into each pepper half, leaving a little room at the top for the egg.

9. Add the remaining rice mixture to a baking dish and “nestle” the stuffed peppers into the rice.

10. Use a spoon to make a little divot in the center of the rice in each pepper. Very carefully, crack an egg into each divot.

11. Bake until eggs are just set, about 15 minutes.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant is often touted as a great meat substitute. We’re not so sure about that—we like eggplant because it’s yummy—but we are absolutely certain that telling a carnivore that they’re about to eat chicken parm when you’re serving eggplant parm is a very bad idea. When you bite into something expecting a meaty taste and texture and you get eggplant, it’s just gross. Just embrace the eggplant.

2 eggplants, peeled and sliced into rounds

3 large egg whites, lightly beaten

1 cup (or more) breadcrumbs of choice (we make our own spelt breadcrumbs)

6 tbsp (probably more) shredded parmesan cheese

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp garlic powder

tomato basil sauce (homemade or jarred)

shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Note: The quantities of everything depend on the size of your eggplants. You need enough breadcrumbs, parm, garlic powder and oregano to cover the eggplant slices and enough tomato sauce and mozzarella to layer over the eggplant.

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. Place egg whites in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Combine the breadcrumbs, shredded parm, garlic powder and oregano in another shallow bowl or pie plate.

3. Dip eggplant slices in egg whites, then in the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides before plopping the eggplant on the baking sheets. If you need to add more breadcrumbs, parm, garlic powder and oregano, just eyeball it.

4. Bake until eggplant is tender, 20-25 minutes.

5. Reduce oven temp to 350°.

6. Add a dollop of EVOO to the bottom of a casserole pan. Add a layer of tomato sauce, then a single layer of eggplant, a sprinkling of mozzarella, another layer of eggplant, another layer of mozzarella and then another layer of tomato sauce. Continue layering until you’ve used all of the eggplant, adding sauce every other time. Top your masterpiece with a layer of sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella.

7. Bake for 30 minutes.

Eggplant on Foodista

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gluten-Free Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Ravioli

For me, the hardest part of giving up wheat was giving up homemade ravioli. (I know, I know…most people would be devastated about giving up bread or beer, but I was crushed by the prospect of life without homemade ravioli.) Then I came across this recipe for gluten-free pasta in Living Without. The dough looks a little weird—sorta bumpy—but the pasta has the taste and texture of gluten-loaded pasta. YUM!

Making ravioli is a labor of love. We recommend allowing a couple hours from start to finish, partnering up with someone you love (and enjoy cooking with) and sipping a little vino as you cook.

Note: If you’re a perfectionist, please, for the love of God, do not attempt this recipe.

For the pasta:

½ cup tapioca flour (a.k.a. tapioca starch)

½ cup cornstarch

1/3 cup potato starch

1/3 cup brown rice flour, plus more for rolling the dough

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp xanthan gum

4 eggs

2 tbsp EVOO

For the Filling:

1-2 red bell peppers

3-6 oz. goat cheese

[We used 2 red bell peppers and about 4 oz. of crumbled goat cheese and had a lot of leftover filling. Of course, the filling is delicious spread on crackers and would probably be yummy in sandwiches so having leftover filling certainly isn’t the end of the world.]

1. Combine tapioca flour, cornstarch, potato starch, brown rice flour, salt and xanthan gum in the bowl of a stand mixer. Blend gently enough to mix the ingredients while keeping them in the bowl.

2. Combine eggs and EVOO in a medium bowl. Beat lightly.

3. While mixer is mixing the dry ingredients, slowly add the egg and oil mixture to the dry ingredients. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for about 2 minutes, until dough is soft like play dough. (If your dough doesn’t resemble play dough, add water 1 tablespoon at a time.)

4. Divide dough into 8 chunks. Start working with one chunk o’ dough and keep the remaining 7 covered with plastic wrap until it’s their turn.

5. Lightly dust the dough chunk with brown rice flour. Flatten. If you have a pasta-maker attachment for your stand mixer (or any kind of pasta maker), feed the dough through the widest setting on the machine. Fold the dough in half and roll it through again, dusting the dough with brown rice flour if it’s tacky. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Keep going until the dough holds together and is smooth. It may take 5-6 rolls. (If you don’t have a pasta maker, use a rolling pin, but be warned that you will definitely get a workout and will most likely bruise your hands.)

6. Decrease the thickness on your pasta machine and roll the dough through until it reaches the desired thickness: strong enough to hold the filling inside, but thin enough so that it’s not too thick when two sheets overlap around the edges of the ravioli.

7. Place pasta sheet on a brown rice flour-dusted cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside.

8. Repeat with the other seven chunks of dough. To keep the sheets from sticking together, place parchment paper between the pasta sheets as you layer them on the cookie sheet.

9. Meanwhile, make the filling: Preheat broiler.

10. Halve, de-seed and de-stem peppers and place cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Broil a few inches below the heat source until skins are charred (5-10 minutes).

11. Place roasted pepper halves in a saucepan with a lid until cool enough to handle. Remove one half at a time and remove as much of the skin as possible, then cut into chunks.

12. Puree peppers and goat cheese in a food processor.

13. Place one pasta sheet over a ravioli pan. Drop filling into the ravioli divots using the smallest spoon in your kitchen (the little spoon helps prevent over-stuffing).

14. Top with another pasta sheet and roll gently to seal the two sheets together. Using a spoon, carefully cut the dough to separate the raviolis. Set the ready raviolis aside.

15. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

16. Repeat the ravioli filling and cutting process three more times.

17. Cook ravioli for 2-3 minutes. Drain and rinse with hot water.

18. Serve immediately with tomato-basil sauce.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tomato Basil Sauce

Everyone needs a good tomato sauce recipe—even if you usually just use the stuff from a jar (which we do). Here’s our favorite recipe. And for the record, it’s not just good…it’s awesome (especially on homemade roasted red pepper and goat cheese ravioli).

2 tbsp EVOO

3-4 cloves garlic (or 2 big cloves), minced

40 oz. diced, peeled tomatoes (we use a 28oz. can + a 14.5oz. can)

3 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaf

3 oz. orange juice (fresh-squeezed or at least high quality stuff)

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil

1. Heat EVOO in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant—do not let it burn! (30 seconds to 2 minutes)

3. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaf, orange juice, cinnamon and cayenne.

4. Reduce heat to medium low and bring to a slow simmer. Simmer, slowly, for 15 minutes.

5. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour. The sauce will reduce.

6. Stir in basil right before serving.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Free Core Day!

On Monday, January 25, 2010 Core Conditioning is FREE! Worried that Core Conditioning will be too hard, or too easy or too early? Come try a class for FREE, Monday Jan 25, 6:30-7:30AM at The Sanctuary in Yarmouth.

Core Conditioning is not an hour of crunches. Yes, we’ll work our abs, but we’ll also strengthen and tone our glutes, hips and lower backs. It’s a fun and empowering way to start your week.

Free Core Day is free (of course), but you must pre-register by emailing Kelsey at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trout (or Salmon) in a Pouch

This recipe is quite simple. It's based on a whole bunch of googled brown-sugar-spice-rub recipes that I looked up over the years until I finally just decided to whip something together on my own. As such, the amounts aren't measured with any real degree of accuracy, and if some other ingredient seems like it would make for a good addition (I've seen dijon mustard, onion powder, soy sauce, pepper all make an appearance in other recipes), don't hesitate to toss it in as well.

⅔ pound of Rainbow Trout or Wild-Caught Salmon

1 tbsp EVOO

¼ cup light-brown sugar

2 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 425º

2. Combine brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and garlic powder in a bowl.

3. Place the fish fillet skin-side down, lengthwise along a sheet of aluminum foil, making sure the foil extends an inch or two beyond the fillet at either end.

4. Drizzle the fish with EVOO.

5. Spread the brown sugar mixture over the meat of the fish, trying your best to cover it completely. (Feel free to heap it on if you have too much.)

6. Fold the sides of the foil up over the fish, to create a sealed packet/pouch. (I do it by folding the sides down in the middle and rolling the ends up, but that's easier done than described.)

7. Place the foil pouch on a baking pan and place in the oven, cooking for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flaky. (It generally takes a few minutes for the heat to penetrate the foil wrapping, and then it's about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.)

Note: This recipe also works on a medium hot grill.

One more note: If you want to find out why wild salmon is better than farmed salmon, read our Mauka to Makai post here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

These cookies are scrumptiously light and chocolaty. Better yet, they’re flourless! In other words, they’re wheat-free (for me)—people who can’t eat gluten should make sure all of their ingredients are gluten-free.

This recipe is from Francois Payard.

2 ½ cups walnut halves

3 cups confectioner’s sugar

½ cup + 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder*

4 egg whites

1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Finely chop walnuts and transfer to an unlined baking sheet. Toast in oven for about 9 minutes, until fragrant.

3. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cocoa.

4. Stir in walnuts.

5. Add egg whites and vanilla. Beat with a fork until batter is just moistened.

6. Drop dollops of batter onto parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.

7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tops of the cookies are lightly cracked and glossy.

*If possible, use organic or Fair Trade cocoa to prevent chocolate extinction.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Veggie-Loaded Pasta

Here’s a speedy weeknight meal that always leaves us with enough leftovers for at least one lunch. This recipe is based on a recipe for “Athenian Pasta Primavera” from Eating Well.

1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed


1 medium onion, sliced

2 yellow bell peppers, sliced

2 medium zucchinis, halved and cut into thin slices (or 1 zucchini and 1 yellow summer squash)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

½ cup dry white wine (either Riesling or Pinot Grigio)

1 package brown rice penne (or your penne of choice)

1 ½ cups frozen peas, thawed

¾ cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

1. Cook penne until it’s al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp EVOO in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, 3-5 minutes.

3. Add tofu, peppers and zucchini to the skillet. Cook, stirring until the tofu starts to brown and the vegetables become tender, 3-5 minutes.

4. Add garlic to the skillet. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

5. Add wine and simmer 1-2 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

6. If you’ve timed things perfectly, the pasta will reach al dente perfection while the wine is simmering in the skillet. Drain the pasta (if you’re using brown rice pasta, rinse it with cold water) and then add the pasta to the skillet.

7. Add peas, feta and 1 tbsp EVOO. Toss.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Sage Crostini

I made no-knead spelt bread for three reasons this weekend: 1) because I looove bread dunked in EVOO, 2) to try out the new replacement knob and 3) to make crostini for this fabulous soup.

We’re not really soup people, but a friend made this for us about a month ago and it was good—damn good—and wicked filling. So we made it for ourselves and watched the snow outside as we ate our soup by the fire.

This recipe is adapted from Giada.

For the soup:

2 tbsp butter (at room temperature)

2 tbsp EVOO

1 medium onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 big butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed

6 cups low-sodium (or unsalted) chicken stock

¼ cup chopped fresh sage

For the crostini:

Sliced baguette (or no-knead spelt bread)


Chopped fresh sage

Fontina cheese, grated

1. Add butter and EVOO to an 8-quart stockpot. Melt together over medium-high heat.

2. Add onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

3. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.

4. Add squash and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Add sage.

5. Continue to boil until the vegetables are tender (poke ‘em with a fork to test), 20-30 minutes.

6. Pour contents of stockpot into a blender (you may have to split it into batches) and blend until smooth.

7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Arrange bread on baking sheet. Drizzle with EVOO, sprinkle with sage and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted, 6-8 minutes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Even Better No-Knead Spelt Bread

I’ve got fabulous news: There is a Santa Claus and he reads Healthy-ish! I got a stainless steel replacement knob for my Dutch oven in my stocking…and I put it to work this weekend. I followed the first part of the recipe for No-Knead Spelt Bread, using light spelt flour instead of regular spelt flour because that’s all I could find. After letting the dough rest for about 20 hours, I followed the following instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat empty lidded Dutch oven in the 450° oven for 30 minutes.

3. Place dough in a parchment paper sling and move it into the Dutch oven. Return the Dutch oven to the oven and cook for 30 minutes with the lid on.

4. Remove lid and cook for 3 minutes.

This bread tasted like it was straight from a bakery! It was light and moist with a crispy crust. The light spelt flour gave the bread less of an earthy flavor than the regular spelt flour…perfect for dipping in EVOO.