Not your everyday Pâté

My friend Jess and I were having a ladies dinner last night and I invited her over to my apartment to have a glass of wine before we went out.  I would normally run downstairs to our little market and grab some chips and salsa or humus and pita, but Jess is kinda a foodie so I wanted to offer something a little more sophisticated!

I recently took an “All About Root Vegetables” cooking class from the very talented chef, Peter Berley at the Institute of Culinary Education.  One of my favorite recipes from the day is a Roasted Vegetable Pâté.  Its super easy to make and it’s really delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 plump cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 3 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbls barley miso
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or to taste
  • Freshly milled black pepper to taste
  • Finely chopped fresh parsley or a herb sprig for garnish

I know you are swooning over my new cool cutting board.  Yes, that it is a colander attached, yes it is sitting over my sink creating more counter space, and yes its my new favorite kitchen item.  It’s genius and it’s from Crate and Barrel.  I could talk about this cutting board for hours, but back to the recipe!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

  1. In a bowl, toss together the onion, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, herbs and salt.
  2. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes or for even browning.
  3. When the vegetables are tender, transfer them to the bowl of a food processor.  Add the miso, lemon juice and black pepper to taste and puree.  Add 1 tablespoon of water if the pâté is too thick.
  4. Allow the pâté to rest for 5 minutes to marry the flavors before serving.

This dish is nice warm and cold.  We had leftovers from last night and I put some on an english muffin this morning!

Buen prevecho!

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Orchid Show

Last Saturday my boyfriend and I and two other couples met at Grand Central Station and made our way up to the New York Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show.  Taking the Metro Train North was super easy and a quick 25 minutes.  The travel time was just enough time for us to start with a bottle of a Wölffer champagne that our friends Ryan and Sabrina brought.  Being a big lover of champagne I just had to mention that this bottle was delicious and I’m looking forward to making a trip to their Long Island winery.

The original plan was to attend the garden’s Orchid evenings event, but with the event falling at the same time as the Final Four we opted to do gardens by day, basketball games by night (see Juice Madness for a post tournament cleanse)

As we entered the Conservatory we were welcomed by a theatrical display of orchids.

And each turn and room we wondered into just continued to allow us to enjoy these flowers in all their grace and beauty.

As a majority of the rooms celebrated the orchid, there were other rooms that adapted the climates of different parts of the world.

There was the desert:

And the Rain Forest:

All in all it was a great day!  I highly recommend the Orchid exhibit to anyone in the New York area.  Though we were really lucky to get a beautiful day, I think the Orchid Evenings would be a really fun date night.  They serve wine and have cool lighting throughout the Conservatory.  The show ends April 25th with the evening event the next two Saturdays.

And on the topic… Look what bloomed this week!

Couldn’t be prouder of my little orchid!

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Juice Madness

Growing up in a basketball family, March Madness was a very important time in our house.  We would sit on the couch together to watch the games, listen to my father discuss each play, and root for the underdogs.   My mother, who always cooked dinner for our family, would bring our plates into the living room so we could be properly nourished; even though if you asked my dad a March Madness game is all the nourishment a young body needs.

As I have left my parents house the tournament is no longer home cooked meals and evenings on the couch with my family. It’s now celebrated in loud bars with big TVs, imported beers and spinach dips.  So after all that bar food and beer drinking my body was ready for a restart.

Feeling similar to how I do now I had my first juice cleanse experience this past January after an over indulgent holiday season.  I purchased the 3-Day Cleanse written by founders, Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss, of the Blueprint Cleanse and finished the three days feeling refreshed and clear of the holiday excess. I have yet to do another three continuous days of just juice, but I will occasionally do a full day or two days of juice with a light meal for dinner to give my body a break.

So this time around I’m doing a two-day cleanse with a light dinner at night.  A basic day of the cleanse is three vegetable juices, two fruit juices and then a light salad.  I start my morning off with a glass of room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon.  While I’m drinking this I begin my prep for the veggie juices.

I start with 5 apples, 1 cucumber, 3 lemons 2 handfuls of spinach and 6 large leafs of greens.  I used collard greens this time around, but I have used kale and chard.  Place all these ingredients in a juicer, I use the Breville Juice Fountain, and its as easy as that.  With these ingredients you should be able to yield 32 oz. of liquid goodness!  I make two juices at a time and store the other 16 oz for later.

I try to space my juices out every 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours.  The next juice is a pineapple mint slushy.  I take my hand blender and blend pineapple chunks, mint and ice.  This is one of my favorite juices as its refreshing and the ice gives it that thicker consistency that you start to crave when only drinking juice!

I follow the pineapple with another green juice then move to a watermelon juice.  The watermelon juice is made just like the pineapple, with the option of mint (I prefer mine without).  By this point of the day your body is a little weak and starting to feel pretty hungry.  I think the watermelon juice takes the edge off nicely with the right amount of sweetness and natural sugar.

If I am doing a full day of just juice I do one more green juice and then a cashew milk drink at night.  But since I’m doing a meal in the evening I skipped the last juices and made a mixed green salad with tomatoes, bell pepper, and Trader Joe’s lentils. It’s the perfect way to end my evening.

My body is much happier now that I am giving it the proper attention that its been screaming for the past three weeks, but was mostly drowned out by the loud bars, the big TVs, imported beers and spinach dips!

Happy Juicing!

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April Flowers

When I woke up to a rainy Friday I continued to repeat the well-known phrase, “April showers bring May flowers.”  As I did my rebellious nature started to get the best of me.  I wasn’t going to let the rain bring me down and I was determined to bring flowers to my first weekend of April.   So the first thing I did Friday morning was go to Trader Joe’s and picked up two bunches of tulips. 

What I find so amazing about tulips is how quickly they open up.  Only closed buds when I purchased them, they were practically in full bloom 12 hours later.

As the tulips gave me instant gratification, there is another flowering plant in my apartment that brings me to whole new level of happiness.  It’s my orchid.

Anyone who’s ever had an orchid knows how difficult and temperamental the plant can be.  The best advice that I received about the up keep of an orchid was leave it alone!  I like to say that they are the divas of the flower world and they really want to do their own thing at their own pace.  I purchased this plant about a year ago already in bloom and as the flowers died I was left with just two leaves.  I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away while there was still life; so when I saw these buds I couldn’t have been more excited.

I cannot wait to watch this plant continue to grow and don’t worry, I’ll be sharing the progress!

Are you starting to see your plants begin to bloom?  What flowers put you in the Spring spirit?

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Will you be there?

My girlfriend Helena, the Youth Marketing Coordinator for Peta2, sent me this link a few weeks ago and I was so happy when my phone calendar went off to remind me of the event.

I’m definitely going to stop by for a couple of hours and check out some of the exhibits, demos and lectures.  I’m particularly excited to participate in the vegan cupcake contest and watch the Unapologetically Delicious Vegan Desserts for Everyone demo.

Check out the link for yourself:  nycvegfoodfest.com

Hope to see you there!


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Radicchiously easy and Butternutsly good

So after my first post about this Spring Awakening I was having, in true New York “spring” form it snowed.  With the temperature heading back into the 30s, I was craving a night of good tivo and something warm in my belly.

A little unmotivated to do a monster amount of dishes on tivo night, I decided to make  Alicia Silverstone’s radicchio pizza from thekindlife.com and a butternut squash soup.  What’s great about this menu is that it has few ingredients, the preparation is easy and it is quite nutritious!

Game Plan

  1. Prepare and roast butternut squash
  2. With about 15 minutes left in the roasting process cut and dress the radicchio
  3. Remove squash and begin to simmer with the vegetable stock
  4. After 5 minutes of simmering place the pizza crust in the oven.  As the pizza crust is baking for the initial 7 minutes start pureeing soup
  5. Place radicchio on pizza and allow the soup to reheat as the pizza is finishing baking.

Radiccho Pizza with Truffle Oil

  • 1 large head radicchio
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1 pinch of fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp. of White truffle oil, to taste
  • 1 fresh pizza crust (preferably a healthy, whole grain one)
Steps
  1. Cut the radicchio in half, then slice each half crosswise into thin ribbons (as thin as possible).
  2. Dress with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few dashes of white truffle oil to taste.
  3. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Toast the pizza crust in the oven for 7 minutes, or until it is heated through and slightly golden, but not crunchy.
  5. Scatter the dressed radicchio over the pizza crust and return to the oven for another 3-5 minutes, until the radicchio is warm and just starting to wilt.
  6. Serve immediately.

For those who are unfamiliar with radicchio as I was it looks like this:

It has such a beautiful purple color and according to radicchio.com it provides an antioxidant content rivaling that of blueberries and spinach.

My Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash soup was the first type of soup that I explored making back when I was living in San Francisco and over the years I think almost every roommate, friend, and family member of mine has had a bowl or at least a bread dip of it.  It has been made in many kitchens and in many forms, but I think this last batch was one of my best.

One suggestion I would like to make is to get yourself a hand blender.  I just purchased the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender about a month ago and my cooking world is infinitely easier.  Before I used to use a regular blender and the process of pureeing the soup in sections though doable is much more time-consuming and I never manage to not make a mess.  Also as I mentioned before, it was tivo night and my dishwasherless self prefers not to hand wash a blender!   I use mine all the time for soups, smoothies, and even margaritas!

  • 1 butternut squash halved and seeded
  • olive oil
  • 16 fl oz Vegetable Stock
  • 6.5 fl oz (approx half of can) lite coconut milk
  • Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit
  2. Rub a light layer of olive oil on the flesh side of the squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Flip upside down (skin side up) and place squash in a baking pan or on a cooking sheet puncturing the skin a few times with a fork.
  4. Place the squash in the oven and let it roast for about 45 minutes or until the flesh is completely soft
  5. With a spoon, carefully scoop out the squash into a 4-5 qt pot
  6. Add vegetable stock and let simmer for 5 minutes
  7. Add coconut milk and take off the heat.
  8. With a hand blender, blender or food processor blend soup to a creamy consistency
  9. Put back on low heat again to warm the soup back up and then SERVE!

 

Bon Appetit Friends!

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Changing seasons

March 20th marked the first day of Spring and with thoughts of sunnier days and leaves on trees I have been inspired to “bloom” myself a little this Spring.  As the seasons are in a transitional phase, I too find myself in a transition.  After 3 years of working at a busy New York City Investment Bank, I have decided to move on from the financial industry and create a new and personally more fulfilling path.  Where this all leads me to, I have no idea, but at the end of the day I want to be doing things that I love and inspire me. 

I am very fortunate to live in New York City overlooking the amazingly beautiful Washington Square Park.  I call it my backyard, and love all of the sounds, smells and energy it creates.  One of the most interesting parts I find of the view is the constant changing of the trees.  Originally from Southern California seasons are something I never experienced, so when I look out my windows now I feel like I’m watching a science experiment.  I thought it would be really cool to document this experiment and have weekly photographs of the park and its seasonal transitions.  So here’s a couple of pictures of the park today: 

Predominately bare, however there are a few green leaves trying to poke through as if they we’re screaming “don’t worry New Yorkers, spring is coming!” 

So as corny as it is, I feel like these trees are kind of a metaphor for this whole experience.  It’s new, budding and can’t wait to grow.

Posted in Washington Square Park watch | 3 Comments