Sauteed Enoki Mushrooms w/Spinach

9 Dec

enoki spinach - serve

Seven years go, David and I lived for a couple years in the Upper Eastside.  A time long before our gluten-free days, our favorite neighborhood place for Chinese food delivery was Café Evergreen (which, it seems, has now closed).  One dish in particular remains in my mind, mostly because it was so simple yet surprisingly satisfying: sauteed enoki mushrooms with spinach.  I recently had 2 bunches of enoki mushrooms and spinach sitting in my fridge that I needed to use, so I decided to make my own interpretation of the Café Evergreen dish.  This veggie dish is very simple, quick, and delicious.  The enoki mushrooms almost feel like “noodles.”  I didn’t have any fresh ginger on hand, so I used ground ginger, which worked fine — but next time, I’ll probably use fresh grated ginger instead. Continue reading

Sauteed Black Tuscan Kale w/Red Onions+Garlic

8 Dec

kale - tuscan kale

‘Tis the season for winter greens!  I recently found on sale these these little bunches of black Tuscan kale, locally produced by Satur Farms.  They are smaller than your more typical kale, and have a bumpy, crinkly surface.  In the past, David hasn’t been the biggest fan of kale — he finds kale bitter and its stems too tough.  I thought I’d give the black Tuscan kale a try anyway, mostly because they looked pretty.  Surprisingly, David LOVED the black Tucan kale and couldn’t get enough of it!  The black Tuscan kale has an earthier, almost sweeter flavor than the large type of kale, and the texture is lovely — the leaves are soft but not mushy .  After blanching the kale, I cooked the leaves very simply with sauteed red onions and garlic — a perfect pairing with a pork chop.

Here’s how: Continue reading

I ♥: Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink

5 Dec


I love all-natural fizzy beverages without/very little sugar and low (or without) calories.  When we lived in Stockholm, I went crazy over their wide variety of sparkling water flavors.  My recent favorite fizzy beverage treat is Kevita Sparkling Probiotic Drink.  It contains 4 strains of live probiotics and is low calorie, gluten free, lactose/dairy free, made with certified organic ingredients and is vegan, too!  My favorite flavors are the Coconut, Mango Coconut, and the Strawberry Acai Coconut, which have the least amount of sugars (the Coconut one has the least).  The drinks are similar to konbucha, but without such a strong “fermented” taste (I think).  I have only seen Kevita at Whole Foods so far, and they are priced around konbucha prices ($3+) so they are not cheap.  But they are delicious and refreshing, and satisfies my sweet craving during the day.  If you see Kevita and are interested, give it a try!

Spicy Ginger Cauliflower “Fried Rice” w/Pork

3 Dec

And it’s December!

Hard to believe that 2012 is in its final month.  It’s been a long while since last I’ve posted, so I have some major catching up to do.  My early next year/New Year resolution shall be to post more regularly!

In the meantime, here’s a comfort dish for the winter months — spicy ginger cauliflower “fried rice.”

I have seen various cauliflower “fried rice” in various paleo food blogs and recipe sites, but had never tried making it.  Cauliflowers in our kitchen tend to end up being roasted.  But when David and I went to a Japanese super market a few months ago and came across beautiful, thinly sliced Berkshire pork belly — and I had to buy it.  What to make with this paper thin pork belly slices?  (Cauliflower) “fried rice” seemed like a good idea.

Oh, and some gorgeous shimeji mushrooms were on sale, too.  Perfect.

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Simple Grilled Lamb Shoulder Blades

10 Nov

Lamb shoulder blades entered into our dinner repertoire because they are surprisingly delicious, and, compared to other cuts of lamb, less expensive, thereby making them a good “everyday” option (i.e. not “special occasion”).  When we first bought shoulder blades to cook at home, we worried that the meat might be chewy (they kind of look it at the butcher’s); but after marinating overnight and cooking them simply, the meat on the blades are tender and very flavorful.  I marinate the blades in my go-to mix of lemon juice, garlic, and olive oil overnight.  Although some pieces might be a little sinewy or have an intricate maze of bones — requiring patience for the eater — lamb shoulder blades are a good option if you want a good amount of lamb for less.   I’m sure slow-cooking will be a good method for them.  So far I have seen 2 types of grass-fed lamb shoulder blades: New Zealand and Icelandic.  The Icelandic lamb is smaller than the New Zealand lamb.  Although lamb blades may not be to everyone’s taste, if you’re interested, it’s worth trying!

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Rock the Party Spicy Pork Ribs – v. 2

13 Oct

When we lived in Stockholm last winter, I made some spicy pork ribs for a birthday party we threw for our colleague.  The ribs were a hit, and made for an excellent — and hands-on — party meal among friends.  Now back in my own kitchen in Brooklyn, I have more spices in my pantry to play with — and recently, I came up with a rub that I think works even better.  I like to put the rub on the ribs overnight before cooking.  Although these ribs aren’t of the smoke-house variety, we still think they are delicious, tender, and do come off the bone quite easily.  We tend to prefer the St. Louis style pork ribs over baby-back — there’s more meat to them (always a plus for David), and I like how the fat renders off while roasting, giving the ribs  a nice, juicy quality without being too fatty.

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Sole “Pie”

23 Sep

Every so often, I see local, wild-caught sole on sale at Whole Foods.  Sole can be tricky to cook, because it can be rather bland without frying or adding a lot of fat.  This Sole “Pie” is a neat and delicious way to eat sole baked — basically, it’s Asian-style eggplant caponata sandwiched between two layers of sole.  Chinese eggplants work best for this dish, because their skin is thin and cook quite easily without having to sweat the eggplants beforehand.

Here’s how:

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Simple Dishes: 7-min Chicken Salad

23 Sep

We had half of a store-bought rotisserie chicken leftover in the fridge.  Although delicious while hot, store-bought rotisserie chickens are usually not so great cold.  Yesterday, I used the leftover chicken to make a simple chicken salad — the salad took about 7 minutes to make, and turned out to be a very tasty way to eat the leftover chicken!

Here’s how:

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Simple Dishes: Caramelized Balsamic Red Onion/Garlic Scramble

25 Aug

When we recently returned from vacation, there was hardly anything in our fridge to eat the next morning: a half-dozen eggs, 2 medium red onions, a couple of cloves of garlic.  For breakfast the next morning, I caramelized the red onions with garlic, then de-glazed the onions with balsamic vinegar before adding the eggs… the result was delicious!  I topped the eggs with some basil right from our garden, and we had a lovely breakfast indeed.

Here’s how:

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Garden Update

25 Aug

Our garden continues to grow apace.  The tomato plants have gotten tall, and so, as they fruit tomatoes and some of their branches weigh down,  we’ve had to find ways to secure the plants — we’ve put stakes, tied a couple to the balcony railing itself, and added a cage around one pot.  The tomatoes seem sensitive to changes in temperature, and we found a few baby tomatoes sadly rotting… but all in all they look great and there are quite a few tomatoes growing healthfully.

Here’s one of the big ones:

The basils are doing fabulously — we’ve already made several batches of fresh pesto (paleo version), and have used them in sauces as well as scrambled eggs.  They keep growing back and then some.  It’s wonderful to be able to just step out onto the balcony and harvest our own basil as needed!  The thyme and sage are doing, well, too, and have been useful in cooking.  It’s a very satisfying feeling to have a herb garden that proves useful in daily cooking.

My current garden excitement are the shishito peppers — they look gorgeous, and more keep growing… I can’t wait to eat them!  I planted them solely because I love grilled shishito peppers and thought it would be great if we could just grow them ourselves and not have to pay for them.  We weren’t confident how well they’d do, but they seem to be doing very well.  Although I suspect that their pepper growth will not keep up with my appetite, I am impressed with how well they are doing.