Archive for September, 2010

Whole foods bulk section: Mango Wild Rice with Spaghetti Squash

Tasty even for squash skeptics

As the produce festival of summer/fall comes to a close, the Whole Foods bulk section with dried grains, dried fruits and nuts becomes essential. Last night I put together a yummy side dish that happens to be super healthy. Give it a try!

WF bulk section:
-1 C. wild rice blend
-5 slices of dried (no sugar added) mango
-1/4 C. roasted almonds (not salted)

Other ingredients:
-1/3 large yellow onion (diced)
-fresh thyme and oregano (sub whatever flavor you’d like)
-2.5 C. vegetable stock
-3 or 4 C. of shredded, roasted spaghetti squash

To start, add olive oil, herbs, and diced onion to a pot on medium-high heat. Season onion with a little salt. Once onions are almost translucent, add rice and cut (w/ scissors) up dried mango pieces to pot and stir for 3-5 minutes. Then add 2.5 C. vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat down enough to maintain slight boil on surface. Let cook for 30 minutes. Test the rice after 20 minutes, when it’s soft and chewy, it’s done.

Then add spaghetti squash and smashed up roasted almonds. Season with salt and butter to taste. Enjoy!


Greek Islands Restaurant (themed Greek)

This Greek themed restaurant seems like something I’d find in Disney World. It felt more theatrical than authentic. After watching an Anthony Bourdain special on Greece, I expected that the entire menu would be greens picked from a rooftop garden. Hoping for greens, I was surprised to only find a small side of spinach, tomato and rice. I enjoyed my food, including grilled octopus salad, but I would not come back for more.

FMIOTW: Japanese Sweet Potato

Nutty, rich and delicious as french fries

Crusty, delicious bread to accompany winter soups

Thanks Joey!

I always halve this recipe:

Published: November 21, 2007

Adapted from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François (Thomas Dunne Books, 2007)

Time: About 45 minutes plus about 3 hours’ resting and rising

1 1/2 tablespoons yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

6 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, more for dusting dough


1. In a large bowl or plastic container, mix yeast and salt into 3 cups lukewarm water (about 100 degrees). Stir in flour, mixing until there are no dry patches. Dough will be quite loose. Cover, but not with an airtight lid. Let dough rise at room temperature 2 hours (or up to 5 hours).

2. Bake at this point or refrigerate, covered, for as long as two weeks. When ready to bake, sprinkle a little flour on dough and cut off a grapefruit-size piece with serrated knife. Turn dough in hands to lightly stretch surface, creating a rounded top and a lumpy bottom. Put dough on pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal; let rest 40 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough or refrigerate it.

3. Place broiler pan on bottom of oven. Place baking stone on middle rack and turn oven to 450 degrees; heat stone at that temperature for 20 minutes.

4. Dust dough with flour, slash top with serrated or very sharp knife three times. Slide onto stone. Pour one cup hot water into broiler pan and shut oven quickly to trap steam. Bake until well browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 4 loaves.

Variation: If not using stone, stretch rounded dough into oval and place in a greased, nonstick loaf pan. Let rest 40 minutes if fresh, an extra hour if refrigerated. Heat oven to 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Place pan on middle rack.

Mother Sauce #1: Sauce Tomat

In my mother sauce journey, I have started with Sauce Tomat. It came out tasty, rich and smooth. Making my own veal stock was a new and enjoyable experience. Wanting to stay traditional, I found a recipe by Escoffier on the Free Culinary School website.

Veal stock from scratch

Sauce Tomat (w/ yellow banana peppers and italian herbs)

Dishes made possible by the FMIOTW harvest!

-not pictured; roasted acorn squash, mushroom pizza and sauce tomat

Caprese Salad with purple bell peppers. (yellow grape tomatoes:amazing)

Roasted tomato soup (w/ roasted red peppers and molasses)

Spaghetti squash seasoned with butter and salt (yum!)

FMIOTW: Dr. Davis’ harvest

I am set for the winter!

Brain on Food: a little science

Remembering that a person eats with all their senses reminds me to be more creative with smell, sight, sounds and touch, not just taste.

Italian Sausage and Spicy peppers in a Porcini mushroom broth (with pasta)

-Mild Italian sausage uncased
-one red bell pepper
-one or two spicy peppers (of your choosing)
-half of a yellow onion
-3 cloves garlic
-fresh parsley
-dried porcini mushrooms
-grated parmesan cheese
-2 T. flour
-shell pasta
-red wine
-dried Italian herbs (parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme)
-olive oil

This dish is simple, flavorful and spicy. Serves 4 people.

Bring large pot of water(salted) to boil and cook pasta according to directions. Fresh pasta only takes a few minutes. Drain and set aside.

Put a handful of dried porcini mushrooms into a pot of boiling water. (approx 4 C. of water) Keep simmering until ready to pour into other ingredients.

Toss chopped, de-seeded and de-membraned peppers in olive oil, salt, and dried Italian herbs. Throw them in a stainless steel pan and into a 375degree oven for 20 mins. Wear plastic gloves when cutting the spicy peppers, otherwise you’ll sting your eyes later that night when removing your contacts.

Take pepper pan out of the oven and place peppers in a bowl. In the same, now empty pan, add your uncased sausage. Brown and cook sausage. Once done, put sausage in a bowl and return the pan to heat.

Add sliced onion and garlic to pan, season with salt, and sautee until transparent. Turn up pan heat a little and add 1/2 C. red wine to de-glaze the yummy pepper and sausage brown crusties off the bottom. After a few minutes, add back the sausage and peppers.

Turn the pan heat down to medium. Coat the pan contents with two tablespoons of flour and stir until white flour adheres to everything evenly. Then ladle in porcini mushrooms and broth into pan and stir until sauce thickens. Do not pour broth into pan as unwanted porcini sediment lurks at the bottom of the pot. Season to taste with salt and add a handful fresh parsley.

Finally combine pasta and stew in pot and stir. Portion into bowls and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

FMIOTW: Spicy peppers!

An unknown assortment of HOT! (and a red bell pepper)

I had no idea how spicy these little crazies were going to be. For a dish, I wore plastic gloves while removing their seeds and white membranes. Still, they were crazy hot and had my guests coughing on the spicy air in the kitchen. Nuts!

Meet Mr. 'HOT' Habanero!

The hot component of spicy peppers, Capsicin, has been scientifically proven to kill cancer cells, prevent sinus infections, serve as an anti-inflammatory agent, provide gastric relief and produce fat oxidation.

And remember, what goes in spicy, comes out spicy.

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