Category Archives: Delicious Food

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue – A Healthy Thanksgiving Side

Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. To me, it means getting together with family and friends to spend quality time together. And of course, sharing some great food.

Growing up, I remember having sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. This Thanksgiving dish is ultra sweet with the sweet potatoes from a big can and mini marshmallows melted on top, delivering dessert during the dinner.

So, can you have your sweet potatoes with marshmallows with a fraction of the sugar and calories? Absolutely. I read a great recipe in Good Housekeeping a few years ago that reformed helped me reform my Thanksgiving sweet potato staple into something healthy and delicious.

These meringue topped sweet potatoes taste so much like toasted marshmallows to me — but rely on the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes for most of the sugar flavor but without the added calories.

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue Recipe

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue

Sweet Potatoes with Fluffy Meringue for Thanksgiving

5 large sweet potatoes (about five pounds)
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (I use Trader Joe’s)
5 egg whites
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
Pinch of salt

Clean the sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork or knife. Microwave the sweet potatoes on a plate or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap until well cooked and soft — about 15-30 minutes depending on the strength of your microwave (it takes about 30 minutes in mine). Let the sweet potatoes cool until you can handle them without burning yourself. I like to slice them in half to let the insides cool a bit faster.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the peels from the sweet potatoes and mash them well. You can run them through a food processor but if they’re soft enough, the sweet potatoes can be mashed with a fork (less clean up!). Mix in pumpkin pie spice (I use 2 tbsp as I like the flavor but use less if it’s too strong or more if you like more flavor) and a pinch of salt. Taste this mixture* and if you like it, spread it evenly across a 9×13 pan (3 quart).

Put the egg whites, cream of tarter and maple syrup into a mixing bowl and beat until you have stiff peaks. Gently, remove the well beaten egg whites from the bowl and spread over the top of the sweet potato mixture. If you’re feeling fancy, put them in a piping bag and pipe onto the top of the potatoes.

Bake at 400 for 5-8 minutes – remove from the oven when the top is golden brown (and likely when you smell it).

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

* Some people might not find these sweet potatoes sweet enough. I swear that the sweetness will be there and but if you need more sweetness, add up to 2 tbsp of brown sugar or maple syrup to the mix after adding in the spice and the salt. I also really like using ginger maple syrup in this recipe because it adds a nice sweet spicy kick. The ginger maple syrup I use is from the Deep Mountain Maple stand at the Union Square Greenmarket but I’ve noticed they’re selling it online too. Have a great holiday everyone!

SweetPotatoes

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Smokey Split Pea Soup (vegetarian, vegan)

I received a bounty of gorgeous split peas from my CSA (via Cayuga Pure Organics) and wasn’t feeling well last week so I made a lovely split pea soup. The original recipe is from Vegetarian Times but I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients (spinach, fennel) in house so I made my typical modifications to use what I had from my CSA  share and the results were utterly delicious and quite healthy.

Smokey Split Pea Soup topped with toasted fennel seeds

Smokey Split Pea Soup topped with toasted fennel seeds

Smokey Split Pea Soup

  • 2 cups dried green split peas – rinsed and picked over
  • Cooking spray (enough to coat the pan – about 5 seconds)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (one large or likely 2 medium)
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (one small head or a portion of a larger one)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (plus 1 tsp more for optional toasting)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • water

In a large pot coated with cooking spray, saute onion and cabbage until soft — about 7-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.

Deglaze the pot by adding in 1 cup of broth and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add in split peas, 1 tsp fennel seeds, dried thyme, smoked paprika, salt, 8 cups of water and remaining 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer covered for about an hour or until the split peas are tender, checking it every 10 minutes or so to give it a nice stir.

Add in kale and cook about 4-5 minutes until kale is wilted and tender.

Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth (and double check the blender for stray cooked kale — mine kept getting jammed). Season with salt/pepper as needed and add in 5-10 drops of the liquid smoke (depending on how smokey you wish it to be!). Stir well or run the immersion blender again.

If you wish, take 1 tsp of fennel seeds and toast them in a small skillet for two minutes or until they turn golden and smell yummy.

Serve soup and top with optional fennel seeds if you wish.

Enjoy!

I ran the recipe ingredients through the recipe calculator on MyFitnessPal to see what it netted out to be. If you portion this into six servings (mine were 2 cups each), here’s the breakdown:

  • Calories: 309
  • Fat: 1.8 grams (.1 polyunsaturated, .1 monounsaturated)
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Sodium: 548.4 mg
  • Potassium: 1,142.1 mg (almost a quarter to a third of the recommended allowance depending on the measure!)
  • Carbs: 54.9 g
  • Fiber: 20 g (!!!!)
  • Sugars: 11.8 g
  • Vitamin A: 19.8%
  • Vitamin C: 113% (!!!!)
  • Calcium: 16.9%
  • Iron: 20.7 percent
Split peas - dried and ready to be used in another batch of smokey split pea soup!

Split peas – dried and ready to be used in another batch of smokey split pea soup!

Recipe: Baked Ginger Cranberry Sauce

I love fresh ginger. That spicy sharp flavor makes me happy. And when I saw a recipe for cranberry ginger sauce in Real Simple, I knew I had to make it for Thanksgiving — especially because it has only three ingredients.

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This sauce was a hit with the family too and I’ve made it every year since.

However, I lost the recipe and can’t seem to find it anywhere online so I’m sharing my own version of the recipe here.

Baked Cranberry Ginger Sauce

1 C minced fresh ginger
1/2 C. sugar (I prefer organic)
2 12 oz. bags of fresh cranberries – rinsed and picked over

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and mince the ginger. I like to peel mine running a spoon along the piece. You’ll end up with a good pile of ginger.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mix together all ingredients and spread out in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cranberries get soft and syrupy – as pictured below.

Cool and serve.

Makes about 2.5-3 cups. Fills a pint and a half Ball jar.

20131127-230552.jpgFresh ginger – minced and ready to be mixed with the cranberries.

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Baked sauce – fresh from the oven!

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Lightly mixed together to spoon into the jar.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Minorly Obsessed: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

I have a problem. I adore cold brewed iced coffee. It’s addictive because there is no acidic taste like you get with hot coffee – just pure, ultra-caffeinated deliciousness.

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Plus, it’s simple to make. You just take a large scoop of coffee, cold water, stir (or shake), let sit for 12 hours, strain and — voila — cold brewed ice coffee concentrate.

Amazing.

Here’s my recipe for coffee perfection. And if you’re clever like me, order up some Community Coffee. They have a New Orleans style blend with Chicory in it, adding a hint if chocolate flavor. Mmmmmm.

Since I’m lazy about measuring, I use a one quart ball jar because the measurements are on the jar. Could it be easier? I think not!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Recipe:
1 Quart Ball Jar (or container of choice)
1 Cup Coffee
Cold Water (about 3 1/2 Cups)

Put coffee in the ball jar. Fill to top with cold water, leaving about a 1/2 inch of space.

Cover tightly.

Shake.

Leave the jar on the counter for 12 hours.

Strain.

Drink immediately or put into another jar for storage. This strained mixture fits really well into the pint and a half Ball jars.

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For the perfect cup of cold brewed iced coffee, fill a glass 2/3 with ice. Pour in coffee concentrate until about half full. Top with your choice of milk. Swirl and drink!

Repeat. Try not to repeat too many times or coffee jitters will follow.

Enjoy!!!

Get Pinned

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A few months ago, I joined Pinterest and have been pinning relatively regularly – on many completely random things I adore like:

I love being able to discover new recipes, get inspiration from my friends, track the things I love and generally organize my likes online in a place where I can find them again in six months, a year, etc. While I’ve never been a collage maker, Pinterest is totally my speed.

Are you pinning? Let me know where and let’s follow each other! Post your Pinterest link in the comments.

Me on Pinterest

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Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Cornbread with Cayenne or Dill

Thanksgiving is almost here and since I joined my CSA, I’ve been looking for great ways to use the lovely flours from Cayuga Pure Organics in unique and delicious ways. I’ve been making versions of this cornbread for three years now and I think it’s finally ready to be shared because it is bonkers good.  Plus, it’s relatively easy to make – no mixer needed!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

ImageCheddar Cheese Cornbread (with Dill or Cayenne)
2C bread flour (or all purpose – mix of white and wheat or all wheat is fine)
2C cornmeal
3T baking powder
1/2tsp kosher salt
1/8C sugar
1/2tsp cayenne pepper (optional) or 1c well chopped fresh dill
1C (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
2C milk (1% or other lowfat is fine – use regular if you wish)
4 large eggs
8oz aged cheddar cheese – grated

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar – plus cayenne if using). In a separate bowl, melt butter and stir in the milk and eggs. Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients until ingredients are mostly combined and lumps are pretty much gone but don’t worry too much about getting them all (and please don’t over mix). Stir in 1/2 the grated aged cheddar (and dill if using). Rest mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Butter a 9x13x2 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees while mixture is resting.

Spoon batter into prepared, smooth the top and evenly distribute the rest of the cheddar on the nicely smoothed top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Mine took about 40 minutes but my oven runs cool. And I do love a little bit of a golden top – yummy!

Cool and cut into 24 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Helpful hints:
— Feel free to make the cornbread the night before – tastes great the next day!
— If your aged cheddar cheese is salty, feel free to eliminate the salt. The original recipe called for 2tsp of kosher salt, which made for a really, really salty batch.
— I hate chopping dill at times and have found that if you pulse it in the food processor a few times, it give you a perfect chop!
— For the cheese, a grate will give you more consistency in the melted cheese on top. I shredded the dill version and the cheese never quite fully melted, which was disappointing. A finder shred (like on a zesting microplane) works perfectly too.

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Based on Ina Garten’s Cheddar Dill Cornbread with some modifications for more cornbread taste/texture and other bits. Original recipe can be viewed at this link.

Rockaway Taco …. drool …. yum … summer fun

Yesterday was another glorious day at the beach. This time, went to Jacob Riis in Rockaway. Like usual, arrived mid afternoon but with a touch of a crew this time. I brought some vanilla curry caramel popcorn that I made that morning – it was a little curry and lot of sweet crunchiness. (and thank you Cat Cora / Oprah for the recipe – I use a lot more curry than she does and it turns out brilliantly every time)

The water at Jacob Riis was lovely. Good gentle waves and pretty warm. You could easily stay out there for an hour and bask in the salty but beautiful breakers.

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After, we stopped by Rockaway Taco for some delicious fish tacos (dear God are they bonkers good). There is a green salsa on the table in the picnic area – add some of that to whatever you get because it is absolutely worth it

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The guacamole (on the deluxe fish taco) was added a nice accent too and it even matched my friend Stef’s new fancy pants green gingham manicure (yeah Sally Hanson manicure strips — we did those on the beach while (theoretically) drinking wine)…..

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Oh and note the adorable surfing Hello Kitty — who is also wearing a lime green bikini! Yeah matching! Yeah summer! Yeah fun nails. Here are mine — so surf beach inspired.

xoxoxox,
D

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