Kale Parsley Soup

Tempting, isn’t it?  Let’s just say me and my new food processor are best friends.  It’s becoming my 2011 ‘Trend’ but I’m sure it will stick with me forever as I can’t seem to leave it for more than a few hours…

I mean, how beautiful is this soup? Come on, don’t you wanna just try it?

I’ve been creating delicious, quick and easy dishes for all of my meals and snacks…

How did I not think of this before? Like 5 years ago, before…

Life is so much easier with a fabulous food processor.

My mouth is happy…fresh vegetables, fresh herbs.

My stomach is happy…less irritability and easier digestion.

So, I’m happy.

And smiling.


For this soup, I decided to combine a mixture of fresh kale, fresh tomatoes and fresh parsley.  I just love adding fresh herbs to any dish, but for some reason when I add it to my food processor the flavor becomes even more incredible.  I know you’re thinking why would I make a chilled soup in the winter, but this dish is perfect with breakfast, lunch or dinner and even as a snack in between.  You can easily turn this into a smoothie and put it into a to-go water bottle.

I have been enjoying these processed meals as I eat them along with my breakfast and they are a great way to start the day off with a slew of veggies.  After facing years of stomach pain, bloating and digestive troubles, I’ve become a new person the last week. Seriously. I kid you not.  My stomach is normal, well normal for me.  And it feels great, which goes to show that our bodies need this extra ‘process’, well at least mine does…maybe after all these years of eating so much, my stomach just needed a lil R n’ R (rest n’ relaxation via the food processor) making my meals go down smooth and feeling great hours after eating.

This has gotten me to thinking, why don’t I try healing my stomach via the food processor and seeing how I feel.  It’s been fabulous so far, so I’m challenging myself to take on many of my meals, whether they be chicken, turkey, vegetables, soup, tofu, beans, etc. and plop them into the food processor to puree into a fine, smooth texture that is easy to digest and makes me feel great. Many of my clients love using their food processors and I have showed them countless ways of creating delicious pates, hummus, ground chicken, turkey, tofu, polenta, beans, vegetables, soups, and smoothies in a cinch.  I’m even working with many clients creating homemade babyfood via the foodprocessor, which is working wonders.

Exciting, isn’t it?

Keeps me happy.  Another tid bit I’ve come across is Meatless Mondays.  Have any of you tried to go ‘meatless’ on Mondays? This is something that has been quite interesting and fun to take on….I usually create a delicious vegetable dish with hummus, nuts, seeds, avocado and fresh herbs…maybe a bit of salsa and Greek yogurt, as well….

What are your thoughts on Meatless Mondays?

Gotta love those antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in each sip or spoonful, whichever you choose.

Speaking of ‘Trends’ this food processor is more than a ‘trend’ to me, it’s becoming a staple in my everyday meals n’ snacks.  So, I thought it’d be fun to share with you some of the 2011 ‘What’s Hot’ Restaurant Trends…I thought this was pretty interesting…

Vegan Kale Parsley Soup

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 6 cups fresh kale, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 10 grape tomatoes
  • Pinch all spice
  • Pinch sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor; puree until smooth.
  2. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
  3. Enjoy!

And of course, let’s sum up the week with some headlines ‘In The News’…

“Lunch” School Lunch Documentary

America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook Launch

Thoroughness is Key in Children with Food Allergy Diagnosis

The Cooking Channel’s Top Food Trends for 2011

Top 10 Food Trends To Watch in 2011

Vegan’s Come A Long Way

There’s An App For Reading Food Labels

‘Fresh’ Tops 2011 Grocery Trends

It’s been a chilly week here in Manhattan, so I’m thinking about spending the weekend in my family’s warm home by the beach baking scones and making chili.  Mmmmm, gotta love the winter cravings for healthy, hearty fare, don’t ya?

What are your weekend plans? Any baking and cooking?

Baked Eggplant Medley

I’m a sucker for eggplant.  Yes, it’s a nightshade veggie but I just love the sweet, soft taste of a freshly baked eggplant.  There’s something about that rich purple skin and those succulent seeds…it almost resembles a creamy texture when baked.

What’s not to love, right? A perfect dish for a chilly, winter night when your body’s yearning for a bit of warmth and ‘healthy’ comfort food.  Why not toss the idea of the heavy, rich comfort foods and create a dish that you feel good about eating and is fun n’ quick to whip up.

My Grandfather and father got me hooked on the ol’ eggplant when I was a kid and I haven’t turned my back since.

But, these days, my body enjoys a freshly baked eggplant and veggie dish instead of the heavy eggplant Parmesan that we made growing up.  My baked eggplant is gluten-free n’ dairy-free, delicious and farm-to-table fresh.

No need for processed bread crumbs.

No need for processed cheese.

Just a lil’ trip to the ol’ farmers market and you’re all set.

Trust me on this one; you won’t miss the ol’ version of eggplant parm.

The combination of chia seeds and flax seeds, both finely ground, make this meal hearty and satisfying.

If you’re going to add in a healthy fat, why not toss in these seeds or a bit of avocado instead of layering on heavy cheese and sauces?

I surely don’t miss the old eggplant parm.

Because this is new; it fits me and my lifestyle and is easy for my stomach to digest.

And that’s what life’s all about right?

Feeling good and feeling good about what we put into our bodies.

So, why not whip up this fresh veggie medley dish tnitey?

I create this dish every once n’ awhile with a few of my other favorite veggies and herbs.

This time around…it was all about the tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh parsley, turmeric, freshly ground white pepper, sea salt, dulse flakes, fresh tomato sauce n’ a sprinkle of both ground chia seeds and ground flax seeds.

And every time, I simply just can’t resist.

Can you?

Baked Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant,
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Pinch sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dulse flakes (sea vegetable)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh curly parsley, roughly chopped
  • Topping: Additional fresh tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 9 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice eggplant into disk-like shapes approximately 1/4″ thick.
  3. Layer eggplant into the bottom of the baking dish; top with tomatoes, onion, scallions, tomato sauce and garlic.  Sprinkle with turmeric, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, dulse flakes, chia seeds and flax seeds. Place into the oven.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and tender.
  5. Remove from oven; garnish with parsley.
  6. Serve warm with additional tomato sauce.
  7. Enjoy!

Nori Sweet Potato Collard Wraps

Yes, I went to the market this weekend…

Three Times.

No, I wasn’t bored.

I was just excited.

And I purchased lots of Collard Greens.

I repeat, lots of Collard Greens.

So, I took one look at the four beauteous bunches of collards in my kitchen on Sunday night and thought about what to do.

Nori and Collards.

Yes.

I created a vision in my mind.

Why not wrap it up?

And I did just that.

Enjoy…

Nori Sweet Potato Collard Wraps

Serves 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. On a flat surface lay out blanched collard greens; blot to dry with a paper towel.
  2. Top each collard leaf with a nori sheet, spread Nutzo nut butter atop each nori sheet, followed by sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, a dollop of Greek yogurt, pinch of lime zest, a squirt of lime juice, balsamic vinegar, salsa, ground flax seeds, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Fold and roll up like a burrito.
  4. Serve at room temperature with additional salsa.
  5. Enjoy!

It’s Giveaway Time…

I’m excited to announce a new Gluten Free product that I’ve recently encountered, The Gluten Free Bar. The folks over at Gluten Free Bar were kind enough to offer 2 of my readers each a free pack of Gluten Free Bars.

To Enter My Gluten-Free Bar Giveaway:

  • Leave me a comment on this post telling me which flavor bar you’d like to try
  • Tweet about this giveaway and tell me that you did
  • Post this giveaway on your website and tell me that you did
  • Post this giveaway on your facebook page and tell me that you did

Good Luck!

And, now for some fun other lil’ tidbits…

And for those of you yearnin’ to spice up your plate, check out the new iSPICE app for both your iPhone and iPad, which teaches you about different spices, herbs and seasonings via videos recipes and where to purchase.

And, if you live in or around Manhattan, be sure to check out Well & Good’s:

New York City Wellness Trends to Look for in 2011

This is an adorable calendar of food headlines from the satricial publication, The Onion, which makes a cute lil’ stocking stuffer for the foodie in your life.

Gluten-Free n’ Vegan Tomato Sorbet

 

Just in time for some delicious, Jersey tomatoes here is one of my favorite recipes, which I created from my father’s garden back in New Jersey.  This sorbet is a perfect way to enjoy farm-fresh tomatoes bursting with Vitamin C and Lycopene.

Ingredients

  • 10 large tomatoes
  • 16 oz. agave nectar
  • 3 Tbsp. horseradish
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Fill a large pot with water on the stove top, over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Blanch tomatoes by submerging them in boiling water, then immediately remove them and place in an ice bath.
  3. Combine all ingredients into a food processor or blender; pulse for 1 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Transfer mixture into an ice cream maker; spin for 35-40 minutes.
  5. Transfer sorbet mixture into a container, covered in the freezer for 2 hours.
  6. Remove from freezer and serve with freshly grilled tofu, fish or chicken.
  7. Enjoy!

I am thrilled to announce my winning recipe for the USA Rice Federation’s Rice Bowl Recipe Contest!  Thank you and I hope you all enjoy creating this delicious n’ healthy gluten-free rice bowl!

Enjoy!

Asparagus Salad with Vegan Cashew Mayonnaise

Last night I ventured to one of my favorite foodie spots here on the Upper East Side of Manhattan… Eli Zabar’s.

Enough said…I am in heaven every time I step foot into this foodie wonderland…fresh produce, beautiful flowers, delicate desserts, homemade prepared dinners…

The smell of fresh herbs…the sound of running water and the joy of all the adorable holiday festive decorations on each floor…

Have you ever been to Eli Zabar’s?  If not, you are truly missing out and I highly recommend stopping by for a sure taste bud pleaser…

I picked up some fresh asparagus, escarole, watercress and dill along with a bundle of  beautiful cashews to create this delicate vegan salad…

It has the perfect hint of natural sweetness from the dill, agave and balsamic along with a tad touch of tartness from the escarole and finally a refreshing crunch in each bite of watercress and asparagus…

I leave you with…my newest creation…

My go-to side salad for any meal …

Enough Said …

Asparagus Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups escarole leaves
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 1/3 tsp. crushed red pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, toss asparagus with onion, escarole, watercress and crushed red pepper.  Gently toss with cashew mayonnaise (recipe below).

Cashew Mayonnaise

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt

Directions

  1. In a blender, combine vinegar and honey on high until well combined
  2. Slowly add olive oil and cashews.
  3. Add sea salt; blend until soft and creamy.

 

And if you’re a fan of cookin’ with Lee & Perrins, be sure to check out Shine At Dinnertime

Vegan Falafel Balls with Kale Cashew Pesto

I recently had a yearning for some falafel after seeing them on the streets of Manhattan at every street fair imaginable… I thought I’d recipe test by creating a vegan falafel ball with a kale pesto dipping sauce.  I opted to add the Kale Cashew Pesto as a dipping sauce for an extra kick, you can also add in more cashews for a creamier texture.

Vegan Falafel Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 oz. can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small skillet over medium heat to toast cumin seeds.  Toast until golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. In a food processor combine chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, sea salt, white pepper and chili powder; pulse process until coarsely chopped. Add water, ground flax seeds and rice flour.  Using your hands, mold into golf-sized balls.
  4. Place falafel balls on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and serve warm with Kale Cashew Pesto (below).

Kale Cashew Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups kale, steamed and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup cashews, toasted
  • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup rice milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Directions

  1. Place kale and scallions in food processor and pulse until chopped.
  2. Add cashews, nutritional yeast, rice milk and garlic, pulse again to combine.
  3. Slowly add sea salt, lemon juice, oil and chili powder.
  4. Continue pulsing until smooth.

Have you ever made falafel? If so, I’d love to hear your recipe…it’s such a fun, creative way to jazz up a classic recipe such as falafel and add in your own ‘kick’ of flavor.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

In The News This Week:

Casava May Improve Gluten Free Bread

Fresh & Easy Goodness Products for Kids Launched

Tofu Goes Interactive in Education


Food Blog Star Challenge #2 … An Arabic Twist on The Healthy Apple

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for voting for me in the first round of ‘The Next Food Blog Star’ as I am thrilled to have been selected to compete in Challenge #2: Choose an ethnic classic that you are not familiar with…

VOTE FOR ME HERE by giving me a RED HEART

(You’ll have to create a log in/sign up for Foodbuzz to give me a RED HEART Vote)

…as I enter Challenge #2 …with my delicious Arabic creation below, vote for me to inch one step closer to being the Next Food Blog Star!

Well, here she is folks…I decided to create an Arabic dessert.  Why? Well, over the weekend I was pondering what ethnic foods I don’t tap into often…and while contemplating Greek, Asian, Indian and so forth…another thought crossed my mind…it brought me back to my college days…many, many years ago (hehe)…when I would sit in Harvard Square with my girlfriend, Suey at a Turkish coffee house…it was fabulous…so relaxing, so tranquil…just a place where we went to feel at home and escape the college campus…a place where we could sit and sip on Turkish coffee (which is amazing…and if you haven’t tried it…you should – I of course, sippity sip the decaff)…read our books and snuggle in the cozy cafe on those frigid Boston afternoons…

This adorable cafe had the most incredible desserts and I loved seeing all the beautiful treats lined up each day…fresh n’ smellin’ just divine…yum…It feels as though it was just yesterday that I was sippin’ on Arabic coffee in Harvard Square with my studies…  But, it wasn’t … it was many years ago… but a gal can dream and drift back to those fond college days, can’s she?  A gal sure can try to whip up a semi-fabulous resemblance of those treats in her lil pin sized Manhattan apartment, can’t she? O yes she can… And I did…

I started off in my ‘Challenge #2’ journey on the streets of Manhattan…the tiny, little ethic shops that pack a million and one ingredients, foods and beverages into a pint sized bodega … memorizing, isn’t it? Well, I went ahead and spent my paycheck on the ethnic Arabic goodies, why not, right?  I knew it would be an adventure once I unleashed the goodies in my kitchen.

Why Arabic? Well, a few months ago when I created the spa menu for Donald Trump’s new Trump SOHO Hotel, the theme was ‘Arabic’ and ‘Turkish’ cuisine and treats…so I had done my fair share of research and taste testing of ingredients…a little of this, a little of that…but I had never included a lil’ Healthy Apple spin until this Challenge…

I leave you with…my latest creation…one that is surely outside of my ‘usual’ comfort zone, but yet still Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Soy Free and Dairy Free, hehe…so all of you can enjoy this tasty Arabic dessert…or mid afternoon nibble, whichever way you’d like to phrase it…(or eat it)…

And so, here she is … my Arabaic Challenge, to say the least…

Now, why was this really a Challenge for me? Well, as I do with all of my other recipes, I simply created this from experimenting in my lil kitchen…having too much fun on a Saturday night with Arabic ingredients can leave you quite inspired and perplexed…so, what did I create? What challenged me? This baby right here…which took me about eight attempts to perfect…It came at attempt number nine right before the clock struck midnight…my lil’ hands were tired, my electric mixer was burnin’ up and I was surely runnin’ out of expensive ingredients…so, I was delighted when number nine was the winner and I loved it…actually, I’m still lovin’ it as I stored the ‘leftovers’ in my fridge for my evening desserts this week…5 lil ramekins for 5 fabulous nights of dessert…now, who wants to come on over to join me?


Pecan n’ Pistachio Date Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 3/4 Tbsp. stevia
  • 1 1/2 cup dates
  • 5 large bananas
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped

Directions

  1. Lay the dates on a flat surface.  Gently remove pits and slice thin.  Set aside.
  2. Peel the bananas, slice each banana in half, then slice each half into thin slices approximately 1/4 inch thick.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine almond milk and stevia with an electric mixer until stiff peaks are formed.
  4. Slowly add bananas, dates, cumin and cinnamon to the almond milk mixture.  Mix well until combined.
  5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine pecans and pistachios; process until smooth.
  6. Spoon pecan mixture atop banana mixture; place into the refrigerator for 1 hour or until ready to serve.
  7. Serve chilled with a sprinkle of mint shavings.
  8. Enjoy!

Thank you again for all of your support with The Next Food Blog Star! I greatly appreciate all of your support and I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and The Healthy Apple…

I hope you enjoy this tasty, ‘Healthy Aple’ spin on my ethnic dish…but not to worry, it can be enjoyed by all as it’s free of gluten, dairy and soy…not to mention both vegetarian and vegan…

So, go ahead…what are you waiting for? Bring back those Arabic dreams of the Disney movie, Aladdin and take yourself on my carpet ride…

I’d love to hear your thoughts…Any takers?

Have you ever tried to create an Arabic dessert? If so, I’d love to hear about it.