Grain-Free “Biscuits” (“Panini” Senza Grano)

Grain-Free "Biscuits" - The Clean Gourmet

I’ve made these grain-free biscuits dozens of times and they never disappoint.  They pair great with sweet spreads, such as jam or lemon curd, and are perfect for savory accompaniments too, such as cheese or gravy.

Grain-Free "Biscuits" - The Clean Gourmet

Since they are quite neutral, you can add a dollop of preserves in the middle before baking or fold in savory herbs and cheese.  Perfectly customizable.

Grain-Free "Biscuits" - The Clean Gourmet

These require very few ingredients so they’re easy to whip up and are grain-free, gluten-free and dairy-free.

Grain-Free "Biscuits" - The Clean Gourmet

Ingredients:

3.5 cups blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as avocado oil or grapeseed oil (coconut oil works if ingredients are room temperature)

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

What to do:

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking soda and salt.  In a small/medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs, oil, honey and vinegar together.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine with spatula.  Spoon batter into muffin tin to make 10 biscuits. Bake 15 mins in 325 degree Fahrenheit oven. Let cool in muffin tin for 5-10 mins before removing to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days (they freeze very well also- just be sure to halve before freezing).

Grain-Free "Biscuits" - The Clean Gourmet

 

Ingredienti:

350 grammi di farina di mandorle

3/4 cucchiaino di bicarbonato di sodio

1/4 cucchiaino di sale

4 uova

1 cucchiaio d’olio neutro, tipo olio d’avocado oppure olio di vinacciolo (va bene olio di cocco se gli altri ingredienti sono a temperatura ambiente)

2 cucchiaini di miele

1 cucchiaino di aceto di sidro di mele

Cosa fare:

In una scodella media, frustate assieme la farina di mandorle, il bicarbonato di sodio e il sale.  Dentro una scodella più piccola, frustate le uova, l’olio, il miele e l’aceto.  Unite gli ingredienti morbidi a quelli secchi e incorporate con una spatola.

Trasferite la pastella a cucchiaiate in uno stampo da muffin, facendo 10 muffin.  Infornate per 15 minuti a 160 gradi centigradi.  Lasciate raffreddare per 5-10 minuti prima di toglierli per farli raffreddare completamente.

Mettete via in un contenitore a tenuta d’aria per un giorno a temperatura ambiente o per 4 giorni in frigo (stanno benissimo nel freezer, basta che li dimezzati prima).

Grain-Free "Biscuits" - The Clean Gourmet


Saffron and Ginger Kabocha Soup with Black Salt and Sesame Seeds

I made this when I was visiting family in California and found some fun ingredients in the pantry.  Stuff like crystallized ginger, this World Salt Tower and black sesame seeds.  Not to mention an excellent spice selection and hyper local produce from New Leaf Community Market in Half Moon Bay.

Warm and hearty, this soup tastes like a decadent cream soup, but is actually more of a detox soup in that there is no dairy, little oil and is lightly spiced.  You’ll also get lots of carotenoids (great for the eye health) from the squash and extra minerals from the black Cyprus salt, which is Mediterranean sea salt mixed with volcanic charcoal, a natural detoxifier.

Serves 6

What you need:

1 kabocha squash (about 2.5 pounds), halved and deseeded

2 teaspoons olive oil or avocado oil

1/3 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks

1 stalk celery, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 small (4-inch diameter) celeriac (a.k.a. celery root), peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes

3 cups chicken broth or light vegetable stock

pinch saffron

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

To serve:

crystallized ginger, very fine dice

black sesame seeds

black Cyprus salt

What to do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Rub kabocha flesh with olive oil or avocado oil and place cut sides down on parchment.  Pour orange juice into pan and place in oven.  Roast for about 45 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces through the skin and flesh.  Remove from oven and let cool.

In a medium sauce pot, sauté the ginger, onion, celery and garlic in the coconut oil, along with the salt, over medium heat.  Stir frequently to prevent browning.  Once the onions are translucent, add the celeriac, broth, saffron and remaining spices.  Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin and add to the soup.  Raise heat to high, bring everything to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Ensure that the celeriac is fork tender and turn off the heat.  If time permits, allow to cool 10-15 minutes.  Put contents in blender, working in batches if your blender is small, and blend on high (though starting at LOW) until silky smooth.  Return to pot and rewarm over low heat, adding water if necessary.  Adjust for salt, keeping in mind that you will be topping with black salt just before serving.

To serve, ladle soup into warmed bowls and top with crystallized ginger (they will sink), black sesame seeds and a few flakes of black Cyprus salt.


Cherry and Orange-Sweetened Cranberry Sauce with Apple and Spices

Three weeks until Thanksgiving!  For some reason, every year after Thanksgiving I continue to make cranberry sauce for several weeks, as I’m reminded how versatile it is.  It’s a great balancer for savory dishes, a flavorful topper for oatmeal and yogurt, as well as a satisfying dessert on its own.

Cranberries are very tart and are often sweetened with TONS of sugar.  I decided instead to sweeten them naturally (while upping the antioxidants even more) with pure cherry juice, freshly squeezed orange and chopped apple (which also serves as a thickener, thanks to the pectin in the peel).  Not only do these additions result in more complex flavor, but they also yield a diabetic-friendly and anti-inflammatory version of traditional cranberry sauce :).

If you really like sweeter cranberry sauce, you can always add maple syrup or coconut sugar to adjust to your taste preferences.

Ingredients:

12 oz fresh or frozen cranberries

2 cups of pure organic cherry juice

juice from 1 orange (include the zest if your orange is organic)

1 large apple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 whole cloves or 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 star anise or 1/4 teaspoon star anise extract

2 cardamom pods, smashed or 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder

What to do:

Assemble all ingredients in a 2-quart pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes or until the cranberries and apples are broken down and the liquid is reduced to a sauce consistency.

Remove any whole spices and chill before serving.


White Root and Pear Soup (Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera)

This soup is all about fall.  Right now, I am all about fall so this soup makes me happy.  I just spent the weekend in upstate New York among friends and we did all the quintessential fall stuff: apple picking, walks through the fall foliage, sitting by a wood-burning stove and making apple pie.  Fun as it was, by Sunday I was ready again for balance.  That means meals that are nutrient dense with low oil, light protein and complex carbs.  That does not mean, however, no yum.  Luckily when I came home I had some good produce in my fridge that came together really nicely.

The celeriac, turnips and pears are low starch, but have enough to make the soup creamy when blended.  I used light homemade chicken broth- just some chicken bones, celery leaves, garlic, onion and thyme.  If you use vegetable broth, make sure to use one that doesn’t have tomato added to it, not only because of its flavor, but because of its color as well.  I added tomatillos because they become citrusy when cooked, which meant I wouldn’t need to add lemon.  However, if you can’t get your hands on tomatillos, a little lemon juice at the end should be perfect.  I used two Seckel pears, which are small green and red pears that become very sweet and soft when fully ripe.  If you can’t find Seckel pears, Comice is a good substitute.  Fully ripe pears are key for flavor, as well as for lending texture to the soup.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

A note on nutrition: It’s important to eat a variety of colors for optimal nutrition.  White is part of that nutritional “rainbow”.  There are nutrients in white produce, such as quercitin in pears, vitamin C and calcium in turnips, vitamin B-6 and magnesium in celeriac, not to mention plenty of fiber.  I could go on.  Basically, you should eat all the colors, including white (I know…white is not a color, but you get what I mean).

Everything in this soup is seasonal and can be purchased at your farmer’s market (at least here in the Northeast).  If you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, this soup is very vegan friendly.

Serves 3-4

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil (can sub half with grass-fed butter)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

1 medium head celeriac (5-6 inches in diameter), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

4 medium turnips, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

5 cups chicken stock or light vegetable broth

1/4 head green cabbage, light inner leaves, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 tomatillos*, quartered

2 Seckel or 1 Comice pear, well-ripened, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (reserve half for serving)

3 sprigs thyme

To serve:

5 leaves sage, very finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

eggs, medium boiled (1 per person)

100% rye bread slices, toasted

grass-fed butter, for bread (optional)

What to do:

Sweat garlic and shallot in oil with salt over medium heat in a medium/large pot or dutch oven.  Stir frequently and cook until soft but not brown (lower heat if any browning begins to occur), about 3 minutes.

Add the celery, celeriac and turnips.  Sauté 4-5 minutes to soften the celery and the root vegetables.  Add some water (or white wine, if you have it!) if any browning or sticking begins to occur.

Add stock, cabbage, tomatillos, half the pear and thyme sprigs.  Cover, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and transfer soup to blender.  Start on LOW speed, then gradually raise to high speed and let run until very smooth.  (Thirty seconds with a Vitamix or high-speed blender, about a minute with a regular blender.)  Transfer soup back to the pot and re-warm over low heat while you prep to serve.  Adjust for salt (*and add lemon juice if you didn’t use tomatillos).

Ladle soup into bowls, top with remaining pear chunks, black pepper and a sprinkling of minced sage.  Serve with rye bread and a light smear of grass-fed butter for omega-3s and drop in a medium-boiled egg for protein, aminos and more omega-3 if you’re not vegan.

Leftovers: This soup will last about three days in the refrigerator, but it will thicken.  Reconstitute with a little water and reheat over medium-low flame, stirring frequently.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera:

3-4 porzioni

Ingredienti:

1 cucchiaio di olio d’oliva (potete sostituire metà col burro)

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino, più altro a piacere

2 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 scalogno, tritato

1 gambo di sedano, tagliato a pezzi

1 sedano rapa media, pelato e tagliato a cubetti

4 rape medie, pelate e tagliate a cubetti

1,25 litri di brodo di pollo o di verdura leggero (sennò usate dell’acqua)

1/4 del cespo d’un cavolo verde

3 tomatillo, tagliati a quarti (*oppure del succo di limone fresco)

2 pere Seckel oppure 1 pera Comice, tagliate a cubetti (tenete da parte metà dei cubetti)

3 ramoscelli di timo

Per servire:

5 foglie di salvia, tritate

pepe nero

uova sode (uno a testa)

fette di pane integrale di segale (100%), tostate

burro grass-fed, per il pane (secondo la vostra dieta)

Cosa fare:

Saltare in una pentola media/grande l’aglio e lo scalogno nell’olio col sale su fiamma media.  Agitate frequentemente e fate cuocere finché non siano teneri (attenti a non far rosolare), circa tre minuti.

Aggiungete il sedano, il sedano rapa e le rape.  Fateli cuocere altri 4-5 minuti per far ammorbidire le verdure.  Aggiungete un pò d’acqua (o di vino bianco, se ne avete!) se comincino ad attaccare al fondo della pentola.

Aggiungete il brodo, il cavolo, i tomatillo, metà della pera tagliata ed i ramoscelli di timo.  Coprite, fate bollire, poi abbassate il fuoco e lasciate sobbollire finché la verdura non sia morbida, circa 15 minuti.

Togliete il timo e trasferite la minestra al frullatore.  Fatelo andare prima a velocità bassa, alzandola pianamente a velocità alta.  Fatelo andare finché la zuppa non sia liscissima.  (Circa 30 secondi col frullatore potente, 1 minuto col frullatore normale.)  Trasferite la zuppa alla pentola e riscaldatela a fuoco basso mentre preparate per servire.  Aggiustate il sale (*e aggiungete del succo di limone se non avete usato del tomatillo).

Servite la zuppa e guarnite con la pera rimasta, del pepe nero e la salvia tritata.  Se non siete vegani, spalmate le fette di pane col burro grass-fed per omega-3 e aggiungeteci un uovo sodo per proteine, aminoacidi ed altre omega-3.

Per le rimaste:  Questa zuppa dura circa tre giorni in frigo, ma s’addensa.  Ricostituitela con un pò d’acqua e riscaldatela sul fuoco medio-basso, agitando frequentemente.

White Root and Pear Soup - The Clean Gourmet


Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

I was blessed with these gorgeous zucchini blossoms, thanks to my mom’s contractor, who happens to have three acres in upstate Connecticut and, apparently, plenty of zucchini plants.  Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean beautiful produce ends.

I usually like to toss squash blossoms into saffron risotto at the end of cooking.  However, with such a big bag of blossoms I felt I had enough that I could do some experimenting.  I knew I wanted to try stuffing them, but usually that includes a breadcrumb filling followed by deep frying.  I wanted to make them gluten free and definitely not fried, as I prefer to avoid heating oils to such high levels.

This combo seems to straddle summer and fall, with herbs like basil, mint and thyme, heavily sprinkled into a mixture of goat cheese, lemon and sweet potato.

This is a beta-carotene-filled snack, thanks to the orange petals and the sweet potatoes.  Also, the fresh herbs have highly concentrated amounts of phytochemicals, which ward off viruses and other more serious ailments.  In particular, mint is known to calm digestion, which especially important for those who struggle with IBS.  Also, basil is an especially powerful anti-inflammatory, which is key for those who suffer from arthritis or other joint pain.  In addition, the oils in thyme are shown to be highly antimicrobial, which means consuming more thyme helps fight bad bacteria so you don’t get sick as easily.  Sounds better than that multivitamin, no?

You definitely want to serve these nutritional tasties immediately while hot, as they lose their texture a bit as they sit and the petals lose their crisp.  I think they’re great alone, but you could serve with a mildly flavored dipping sauce as an appetizer or top a salad or risotto with them.


Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

What you need:

2 medium/large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil, plus more for drizzling

11-15 zucchini blossoms, stamens removed

4 ounces soft goat cheese

5 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped (plus more, very thinly sliced, for serving)

1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped

one lemon, zested and juiced (about 1 tablespoon of juice)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

salt, to taste

2 eggs, lightly whipped

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss sweet potato chunks with oil and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.

While sweet potatoes roast, mix together goat cheese, thyme leaves, mint, basil, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

When sweet potatoes are crisp-tender (about 20 minutes), put in bowl with goat cheese mixture and mash together with a fork.  Taste for lemon, salt and pepper.  Adjust as needed and add eggs.  Mix well.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Line the same baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment and lightly grease with oil.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Using a small spoon, scoop the goat cheese-sweet potato mixture into blossoms (it’s okay if they split, just wrap the petals around the stuffing) and arrange on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and bake for about 20 minutes, until they’re beginning to brown and crisp.  They will also be nice and puffy :).

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Sprinkle with thinly sliced mint and serve alone or with a dipping sauce.  I like my Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce ;).

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Downloadable/Printable Version


Avocado and Roasted Tomatillo Dip

My CSA this week included five beautiful tomatillos.  I’d never cooked them myself before and had only eaten them in the form of green enchiladas and salsa verde in various Mexican restaurants in California.  But here I was in New York City with five locally grown tomatillos.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly excited when I saw that it would be included in the week’s CSA share,  and my first thought was “OK, what am I gonna do with these.”

Well I was inspired by a recent Bon Appetit Instagram post and luckily had most of the ingredients I’d need already on hand.  Tomatillos have a bright and slightly acidic flavor that brightens up this quacamole-ish dip.  I didn’t even add any lime.  Also, roasted garlic adds aroma and depth of flavor, sans the bite and bad breath of raw onion.

No need for special equipment, as I don’t have much myself, but if you have a food processor I suppose that could be a convenient way to incorporate the ingredients.  I just used my knife and cutting board.

Serves 2-4

What you need:

2 avocados, cubed

5 tomatillos

3 cloves garlic (do not peel or crush)

3 red chili peppers (a.k.a. fresh cayenne peppers)

handful cilantro, finely chopped

salt, to taste

What to do:

Put whole tomatillos, garlic cloves and chilies on a pan and place in oven set to broil.  Roast for about 15 minutes, turning once as it begins to blacken.  (The tomatillos may pop a bit- that’s okay.)

Meanwhile, place avocado and cilantro in medium bowl.

When ready, remove roasted vegetables from oven and let cool slightly.  Remove garlic from the peel and toss in bowl with avocado and cilantro.  Squeeze chilies from their skins and remove most of the seeds, without obsessing too much.  Chop as much as you can- a little smooshing action is okay.  Add to bowl as well and, finally, chop up the tomatillos and begin mashing that with the rest of the ingredients.  Season with salt and serve with chips, on top of fish, salad or whatever else you feel like!

Downloadable/Printable Version

 


Celery and Zucchini Detox Soup with Tarragon and Lime (Zuppa di Sedano e Zucchina al Dragoncello e Lime)

It’s hot and humid in New York, so I wanted something light and easy to digest.  (I’ll admit, I also had some celery and leftover brown rice I wanted to use up…)  I don’t often use tarragon, but the grassy, “anisey” flavor plays nicely with the lime and celery and is very refreshing.  Avocado adds some clean protein and healthy fat to the dish as well.  (Unfortunately we ran out before we were able to get a picture with it.)

Note:  I freshly ground dried thyme, so I used just a pinch.  However, if your thyme has been sitting in the cupboard for over six months, you’ll probably need to use a bit more.  Hence, the range of measure I provided.  In general, I highly recommend swapping any old herbs or spices for fresh ones, as the flavor of fresh herbs and spices will completely transform your health-conscious cooking.

serves 4

2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 small onion, medium dice

1/2 head celery (5-6 large stalks), scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground dried thyme

4 cups water

1/3 cup cooked sweet brown rice or 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats

1 large zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

pinch black pepper

3 sprigs tarragon (stems removed), finely chopped

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)

To Serve:

avocado, sliced or cut into chunks, to serve (optional)

tarragon leaves, for garnish

 

In a medium pot, warm oil over medium heat and add shallot and onion with a pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring often.  Once beginning to soften, add celery and thyme.  Cook until celery is mostly soft and then add water, rice or oats, zucchini, salt and pepper.  Cover, bring to a low boil and turn heat to low.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Turn off heat, stir in tarragon and transfer to a blender (preferably Vitamix or other high speed blender).  MAKE SURE THE BLENDER IS SET TO LOWEST SETTINGS.  Working in two batches, add half of the soup to the blender and turn on at low speed.  Gradually raise to a higher speed and blend until the soup is smooth and there are no major flecks of tarragon remaining.  Pour into a bowl and repeat with the other half.

Once all of the soup has been blended and consolidated, stir in lime juice.  Pour into bowls and top with whole tarragon leaves and/or avocado, to serve.  The soup should be warm, but not piping.

Celery and Zucchini Detox Soup with Tarragon and Lime - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Sedano e Zucchina al Dragoncello e Lime:

4 porzioni

2 cucchiani di olio di colza

1 scalogno, tritato

1/2 cipolla picolla, tagliata a pezzi

5-6 gambi grandi di sedano, puliti bene e tagliati in pezzi a circa 1 cm

pizzico di timo essiccato macinato

1 litro d’acqua

30 grammi di riso integrale cotto oppure 23 grammi d’avena cruda

1 zucchina grande, tagliata in quarti e poi in pezzetti

1/2 cucchiaino di sale, o a piacere

pizzico di pepe nero

3 rametti di dragoncello, tritato

1 cucchiaio di succo di lime (da circa 1 lime)

foglie di dragoncello, per guarnire

avocado, per servire (facoltativo)

 

In una pentola media, riscaldate l’olio sul fuoco medio e aggiungete lo scalogno e la cipolla con un pizzico di sale.  Fate cuocere circa 4 minuti, agitando spesso.  Appena cominiciano ad ammorbidire, aggiungete il sedano e il timo.  Fate cuocere finché il sedano non sia abbastanza tenero, poi aggiungete l’acqua, il riso o l’avena, zucchina, sale e pepe.  Copritela, fate bollire e subito abbassate il fuoco.  Fate sobbollire 10-15 minuti, finché la verdura non sia tutta tenera.

Spegnete il fuoco e uniteci il dragoncello.  Trasferite tutto nel frullatore (idealmente uno potente, come il Vitamix).  ASSICURATE CHE IL FRULLATORE SIA SISTEMATO ALLA VELOCITA’ PIU’ BASSA.  Lavorando in due lotti, mettete la metà della zuppa nel frullatore e accendete, cominciando dalla velocità più bassa.  Pian piano, alzate la velocità e fatelo andare finché non ci siano più pezzetti noti di dragoncello.  La consistenza dovrebbe essere abbastanza liscia.  Quando finita, versatela in una zuppiera e ripetete col resto.

Dopo aver passato tutto per il frullatore e tutta sia consolidata, aggiungete mescolando il succo di lime.  Servite calda, ma non scottante, e guarnite con foglie di dragoncello e, se volete, delle fette d’avocado.


Simple Nights: Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg (Sere Semplici: Insalata di Rucola e Verdura Affettata all’Aglio con Uovo in Camicia)

Woo life got crazy!   Culinary school, work and exercise dominate my days, but I’m having the time of my life!  New York is amazing and I’m loving the people I get to see every day.  Indeed, I no longer dread Mondays :).

Dinners lately often consist of practicing recipes from school or utilizing leftovers from class to make new dishes.  I’ll also whip up something simple like tonight’s dinner.

Raw garlic, radish and celery are very cleansing and are a refreshing way to start the week.  Also, using a mandolin makes prep go twice as fast and makes cuts look beautiful without fail.  (I love OXO’s Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer, because it’s small and light, but you get three settings and it locks for safe storage.)  If you are vegan and don’t eat eggs, I would recommend some white beans cooked with minced fresh rosemary and black pepper.

Proportions are not terribly important here, but I’ve put suggested amounts based on what I used tonight.  Feel free to switch up the veg as well!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

For the Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad:

4-5 cloves garlic

juice of 1 medium lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

pinch salt

arugula

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced*

1 6-inch piece daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced*

3 red radishes, thinly sliced*

2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal*

1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal*

freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the poached eggs:

egg(s) (as many as you and whoever is with you prefers)

apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Organic whole wheat English muffin or whole grain bread, toasted

What to do:

Whisk together raw garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt.  Set aside.

Assemble the arugula, cucumber, daikon, red radish, carrot and celery on each plate.

Carefully crack eggs into individual cups, ensuring that the yolks don’t break.

Bring a small to medium pot (depending on how many eggs you’re poaching) of water to a boil.  Add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt.  Turn flame under water down to a low simmer and slowly lower eggs into water.   Use a spoon to gather the whites around their yolks.  Simmer 3-4 minutes, until whites are set.  Scoop eggs out with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate in order to drain excess water.

Prepare toast and set on plates.  Top with poached egg and season with salt.  Give the dressing another whisk and drizzle over salad and egg.  Finish with some cracked black pepper.

*Use a mandolin to quickly make consistent and beautiful thin slices.

Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg - The Clean Gourmet

Insalata di Rucola e Verdura Affettata all’Aglio con Uovo in Camicia:

(2-3 porzioni)

Ingredienti:

Per l’Insalata di Rucola con Verdura Affettata all’Aglio:

4-5 spicchi d’aglio

succo di un limone

1-2 cucchiai d’olio di oliva extra vergine (aggiustate secondo le vostre preferenze)

pizzico di sale

rucola

1 cetriolo, pelato e tagliato a fette sottili*

1 pezzo di ravanello daikon, pelato e tagliato a fette sottili*

3 ravanelli, tagliati a fette sottili*

2 carote medie, pelate e tagliate a fette sottili al diagonale*

1 gambo di sedano, tagliato a fette sottili al diagonale*

pepe nero, a piacere

Per le uova in camicia:

uovo(a) (quante ne servono secondo gli appetiti)

aceto di mele o di vino bianco

sale e pepe nero, a piacere

pane integrale, tostato

Cosa fare:

Battete insieme l’aglio crudo, il succo di limone, l’olio d’oliva e il sale.  Mettetelo da parte.

Montate della rucola, del cetriolo, del ravanello daikon, del ravanello, della carota e del sedano su ogni piatto.

Delicatamente aprite le uova dentro tazze separate, facendo cura di non rompere i tuorli.

Fate bollire dell’acqua in una pentola piccola o media (secondo quante uova fate).  Aggiungete un goccio d’aceto e un pizzico di sale.  Abbassate il fuoco sotto l’acqua, giusto che si faccia poche bollicine.  Abbassate le uova e usate un cucchiaio per radunare gli albumi intorno ai propri tuorli.   Lasciate cuocere 3-4 minute, finché gli albumi non siano sodi.  Usate una mestola perforata per rimuovere le uova e fatele scolare su un panno da cucina pulito.

Tostate il pane e mettete una o due fette su ogni piatto con sopra le uova.  Metteteci del sale a piacere.  Battete l’olio e l’aceto all’aglio un’altra volta e gocciolatelo sull’insalata e sulle uova.  Finite con del pepe nero fresco a piacere.

*Usate il mandolino per fare velocemente le fette consistenti e belle.

Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg - The Clean Gourmet

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Winter Citrus and Escarole Salad (Insalata Invernale di Agrumi e Scarola)

This is a result of healthy/seasonal food cravings after having an heavy lunch this past Sunday.  It completely hit the spot…If you want to be “fancy” you can serve at as in the picture, but feel free to chop up the escarole and orange for easier communal serving.

This is a good side to accompany a white fish, cannellini beans or marinated tempeh.  I like the balance of multiple acids, which is why I use lemon juice over oranges with a touch of apple cider vinegar to balance the lemon.  However, if you don’t have any good apple cider vinegar on hand, I recommend you just use more lemon juice in its place.

I highly recommend that you mix the dressing before preparing the vegetables to allow the flavors to marry and to allow the dried mint to open up in the liquid.  Also, be sure to rinse the escarole well as it can be quite sandy.

I hope you enjoy my first NY recipe!

What you need:

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons walnut or extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or more lemon juice)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

juice from 1 tablespoon grated ginger (simply squeeze it in the palm of your hand or through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and discard the fiber)

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (about 1 shallot)

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 head escarole, leaves removed from core, well rinsed and dried in a salad spinner or on a clean dish towel

1 orange, peel and pith removed with your knife and sliced into 1/4″ slices

5 radishes, thinly sliced

chia seeds, for sprinkling

What to do:

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Assembly:*

Arrange in layers: escarole leaf, orange slice, radish slice.  Repeat three times per plate.

Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle chia seeds.

*You can also chop the escarole leaves and quarter the orange slices to toss in a communal bowl with the radish slices, dressing and chia seeds.

Insalata Invernale di Agrumi e Scarola:

Cosa serve:

Per la salsa:

2 cucchiai di succo di limone

2 cucchiai d’olio di noce o extra vergine d’oliva

1 cucchiaio d’aceto di mele

1 cucchiaio di sciroppo d’acero

succo d’un cucchiaio di zenzero grattugiato (semplicemente stringetelo tra i palmi e raccogliete il succo, scartando le fibre)

2 cucchiai di scalogno, tritato (circa un scalogno)

1/2 cucchiaino di menta essiccata

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino

pepe nero macinato

Per l’insalata:

1 grappolo di scarola, foglie separate dal torsolo e ben lavate ed asciugate (consiglio di asciugarle in una centrifuga scolaverdure o in uno strofinaccio)

1 arancia, pelata (inclusa la parte fibrosa) e tagliata in fette da circa un centimetro

5 ravanelli, affettate sottilmente

semi di cia, per cospargere

Cosa fare:

Frustate gli ingredienti per la salsa in una scodella piccola e mettete da parte.

Preparazione:*

Mettete in strati su ogni piatto: una foglia di scarola, una fetta d’arancia ed una fetta di ravanello.  Ripetete tre volte per ogni piatto.

Fate cadere gocce di salsa e cospargete i semi di cia sulla verdura.

*Potete anche servire in un’insalatiera grande, tagliando la scarola e facendo pezzetti d’arancia per unire al ravanello, la salsa ed i semi di cia.

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Mexican Wild Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso Selvatico alla Messicana)

I finally made the move to NY to begin the Chef’s Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute and once again have INTERNET!  Here is the last meal I made pre-move…a whole foods approach to Ameri-Mex fare.   It is both winter and summer friendly…serve it warm in the winter (leftovers sauté nicely) or cold in the summer (great for picnics and barbecues).  Add the jalapeño if you like some heat.

Wild rice is especially high in fiber and vitamins compared to other types of rice (it’s not really a rice, actually) and yes, it’s gluten free.  I hear the Native American hand cultivated wild rice is the best in quality, nutrition and taste, but I have yet to try it.  In the meantime, I use the common black variety.

About the corn…if it’s summer, get it fresh, slice the kernels right off the cob and throw it in the water with the asparagus.  However, this time of year you’ll want to go ahead and get it frozen.  Don’t worry about cooking it, it will thaw as the rice cooks and especially once it’s tossed with the warm rice.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice, soaked for 2-8 hours and rinsed

3 cups light vegetable broth or well salted water

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 heads Belgian endive (red or white), cut into 1/2″ slices

1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 golden beet*, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 bunch fresh asparagus, stems snapped off and the rest cut into 1″ pieces

juice of 1 large (or 1 1/2 small) lemons

salt and black pepper, to taste

avocado, to serve

cilantro, rinsed well and finely chopped

What to do:

Begin to cook soaked wild rice in the broth or water, covered, in a medium pot.

In the meantime, place olive oil, endive, corn (if using frozen), jalapeño, cumin and thyme in a medium bowl and toss together.

After the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add the beet chunks.  After 10 more minutes, begin to test the rice for doneness.  Once the rice is just a few minutes from doneness, add the asparagus (and corn if using fresh) and let steam with the rice.

Test the rice, asparagus and beet chunks to ensure doneness.  Pour into a strainer to allow everything to cool and to let any excess water drain off (about 10 minutes).

Add cooled rice, lemon juice, salt and pepper to bowl with vegetables.  Toss gently and serve with sliced avocado and cilantro.

Great alongside roasted tomatillos and “refried” black beans :).

*Unfortunately, I didn’t have yellow beet for this photo and had to use turnip instead.

Mexican Wild Rice Salad - The Clean Gourmet

Insalata di Riso Selvatico alla Messicana:

4-6 porzioni

Ingredienti:

200 gr di riso selvatico, impregnato per 2-6 ore e sciacquato

700 ml di brodo leggero oppure d’acqua salata

2 cucchiaini di olio d’oliva extra vergine

2 indivie, tagliate in pezzi a 1 cm

175 gr di mais fresco o 200 gr di mais surgelato

1 peperoncino fresco, tritato coi semi tolti (facoltativo)

1 cucchiaino di cumino in polvere

2 cucchiaini di timo fresco, tritato

1 barbabietola gialla, pelata e tagliata in cubetti

1 grappolo di asparagi, tagliati in pezzi da 2 cm coi gambi rimossi

succo di un limone grande

sale e pepe, a piacere

avocado, per servire

coriandolo fresco, tritato

Cosa fare:

Fate cuocere il riso selvatico nel brodo o nell’acqua, coperto, in una pentola media.

Intanto, metteteci l’olio, l’indivia, il mais (se congelato), il peperone piccante, il coriandolo, il cumino ed il timo in una scodella media e mescolate.

Dopo 15 minuti di cottura, aggiungete i pezzi di barbabietola al riso.  Dopo altri 10 minuti, cominciate a controllare il riso per la cottura.  Poco prima che sia pronto il riso, aggiungete i pezzi d’asparagi (ed il mais se usando fresco) e fateli ammorbidire col riso.

Controllate il riso e l’altra verdura per la cottura.  Scolate e lasciate raffreddare per una decina di minuti nel colino.

Unite il cotto al crudo ed aggiungete il succo di limone, del sale e del pepe.  Agitate e servite con delle fette d’avocado.

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