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Tuesday, April 26, 2011


In considering ways to shed some poundage before my mid-summer wedding, I decided to add as much RAW foods to my diet as possible in the coming months. For those not familiar with this diet, it means eating only raw and dehydrated foods. Cooking certain foods can diminish the nutritional value and our bodies more often than not have an easier time digesting raw foods over cooked. I do not fully believe that only raw is best, but I do believe eating a healthy mix is exactly what our bodies need. I also know, having done a raw cleanse in the past, that eating a raw diet leads to weight loss, increase of energy and healthier skin that glows - all things I need to prepare for my big day! I'm not sure how long I'll do the 100% raw, but I do know that as we head into warmer months, our diet will be about 75% raw all summer long, as our CSA's begin to bring us cukes, salad greens, tomatoes, and lots of fresh herbs.

As some of you know from my blog, Risotto is my absolute FAVORITE food...I love to cook it, eat it, and serve it to all my loved ones. The art of making risotto is not for everyone, but if you learn to do it right, it can be a very rewarding meal to share. SO, as our first raw day came to a close, I decided to make an uncooked version of my favorite meal. Here are the scrumptious results.

RAWsotto! (Serves 4)
3 small celeriac, peeled, cleaned & chopped (or 3 cups when processed)
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 t Maine sea salt
fresh ground pepper, lots of it!
1/2 C raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water for at least 4 hours, if not overnight
1 T olive oil
1 handful baby spinach
2 T nutritional yeast
1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
3 small sweet yellow peppers, sliced into thin slivers
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T olive oil
salt & pepper

Place broccoli florets in a bowl and massage oil and vinegar into it with hands for a few minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix in yellow pepper. Set aside. In food processor place celeriac and drained sunflower seeds, processing until a rice consistency. Place in a bowl and add lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and stir thoroughly. Add spinach, olive oil and nutritional yeast to food processor and process until finely mixed. Toss with celeriac risotto. Drizzle with olive oil.

To serve, scoop heaping mound of risotto in middle of plate, add a big spoonful of broccoli over the top. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Serve with a side of raw carrot sticks.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

All-Star Pie

For our Easter dinner, which we had the night before Easter, I thought a good pie was the best way to end the night. I had some fresh cranberries from my last CSA at Wolf Pine Farms and some big juicy apples. I put them together for this amazing pie.

All-Star Pie
3 large apples, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 C fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 C raw sugar
3 T flour
1 t vanilla
2 t Cinnamon
recipe for 2 9" pie crusts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place one crust in pie plate and poke with a fork. In a large bowl combine apples and cranberries then gently toss with sugar, flour, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour into crust. Roll out top crust and using a star cookie cutter, cut out 4 stars evenly spaced. Gently place crust over pie filling and place star cut-outs around the top crust. Bake in lower 1/3 of oven for about 55 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Serve, devour, repeat.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Egg Cups

With Easter coming, I thought we would have an egg based dinner. We decided to do it the night before Easter because that was when we would have all four kids. Since none of us are religious, Easter is really just a day for the kids to pig out on chocolate. BUT, I can't pass up an opportunity to make an extra special meal.

(sorry there is no picture, I thought about adding it to the blog after we all licked the plates clean)

Serves 6

Easter Egg Cups w/ Asparagus
6 eggs
1 T oil
4 small red potatoes, diced
1/2 celeriac, diced
1/2 onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large carrot, quartered and sliced
1 C vegetable stock
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 shredded cheese
20 asparagus, ends trimmed
2 T olive oil
salt & pepper

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 6 large muffin cups with oil. In a large skillet, heat 1 T oil over medium heat. Add potatoes, celeriac, carrots, onions and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add stock, salt and pepper and stir thoroughly. Turn heat up to medium-high and boil until stock is soaked into the veggies. Remove from heat and scoop veggies into muffin cups, pressing firmly into bottoms and sides. Break eggs into each cup of veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven for 15 minutes, then pull out and sprinkle each cup with cheese. Bake for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T oil in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Once oil is hot add asparagus and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When eggs are done, gently remove from muffin cups (I used a butter knife and a tiny spatula) and place on a plate with 5 spears of asparagus and a small side salad.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mushroom Risotto & Sirloin Tip

Risotto is my go-to meal, it's the one I can cook blindfolded and half dead on my feet. And it gives me an hour to myself as it requires constant stirring in order to give it the right texture. I love making risotto, but the process is not for everyone. Before you start, make sure you have everything chopped, sliced, shredded, etc. because once you start stirring, stopping could literally ruin the dish.

Sirloin Tip
1 large sirloin tip
1 T miso paste
1/4 C tamari
2 T honey
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T sesame oil

Tenderize a sirloin tip (or any other cut of beef you want). Whisk the rest of the ingredients thoroughly and pour over beef. Cover and marinate for as long as you can in the refrigerator. When risotto (below) is finished, pan fry on each side over medium heat for 5 minutes.

1 C uncooked arborio rice
1/4 C unsalted butter
5 C stock
1/2 C dried shitake mushrooms, reconstituted for 30 minutes & water reserved, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T fresh parsley chopped
1/4 C parmesan cheese, shredded
salt & pepper

In a saucepan heat stock over low heat. In a large skillet melt 1/8 C butter over medium heat. Add onions and saute 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in arborio and cook about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add reserved shitake water and start stirring! When liquid is absorbed, add a ladle of stock, shitake mushrooms and garlic. Stir! Continue adding a ladle of stock as the liquid is absorbed. Once rice is al dente, turn heat off and mix in butter, cheese, salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon a heaping mound of risotto onto a plate, slice sirloin tip thinly and place over risotto. Add a side salad and a slice of bread.

Mac & Cheese

My boys requested mac & cheese tonight...actually, they requested Annie's mac & cheese, but I decided to do them one better - I made mommy mac & cheese. I had about 2 cups of uncooked organic bow tie pasta in my cupboard and some yummy Pineland farms cheddar cheese in the fridge. Apparently it was a hit because my youngest declared this my best meal yet!

Mac & Cheese
2 C uncooked pasta
2 1/2 C shredded cheese (I used a mixture of mozzarella & cheddar for extra gooeyness)
2 T flour
1/2 C unsalted butter
1/4 t ground mustard
1 1/2 C milk
1/2 C cream
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 C bread crumbs

Cook pasta according to directions. Preheat oven to 350. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 C butter in saucepan over low heat. Add in salt, pepper, flour, and mustard and mix thoroughly. Continue stirring over low heat until a roux is formed - mixture will be smooth, bubbly and golden. Stir in milk and cream, then bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, still stirring. Mix in cheese and stir over medium heat until thoroughly melted. Mix cooked and drained pasta with the cheese sauce and place in large glass baking dish. In small saucepan melt remaining 1/4 C butter and add bread crumbs, then continue to cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until bread crumbs are nice and brown. Sprinkle crumbs over mac and cheese evenly. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

Serve this with a nice slice of bread and a side salad.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sultry Salmon w/ Divine Mash

Even though we are mostly vegetarians, we have always eaten fish. I mean, seriously, we live in's sort of a given that we have to eat fish. I admit, however, that I'm not very good at buying local fish even though I live in a fishing community. Part of it is because our local grocery market does not carry local fish....something I'm hoping to change with a letter. The other part is that I don't think I can use my EBT card at the local fish stores. I will have to do some investigating and see how to affordably localize our fish eating habits. Especially since starting tonight we have instituted Fish Wednesday's in our house. That's some sort of "meat" twice a week and vegetarian 5 times a week. I think that's a good balance, nutritionally and sustainably.

Sultry Salmon
1 lb fresh Atlantic salmon
pinch of Maine Sea Salt
1 small red onion, halved and sliced thin
1/4 C fresh chopped parsley
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5 T butter
1 lemon, squeezed

Preheat oven to 450. Add all ingredients - except salmon, salt and onions - to a saucepan over medium heat and cook until butter is melted. Bring to a boil for 1 minute then remove from heat. Place salmon in a glass baking dish skin side down and lightly salt. Pour butter sauce over salmon and cover with sliced onions. Cover dish with tinfoil and bake for 15 minutes (add time depending on thickness of salmon, cook until flaky).

Divine Mash
6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 celeriac root, peeled and quartered
8 T butter
1/4 C milk
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
salt & pepper

Boil a large pot of water and add potatoes and celeriac. Cover and boil until tender. Strain and set aside. In a sauce pan, melt butter, onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until butter starts to get golden. Add milk, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. Pour over potatoes and mash all together thoroughly.

Serve a heaping pile of potatoes with salmon placed over it, then spoon some of the butter from the salmon over it all. Add a small salad of greens and dried cranberries with balsamic vinaigrette...ENJOY!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

Well, we did it. We made the plunge and started eating beef tonight. I bought some local organic beef sirloin tip from Caldwell Farms and made up some yummy beef stroganoff. I knew my boys would eat anything with sour cream, noodles and mushrooms. I was right! The meal went off without a hitch and all the plates were licked clean. We have decided to make Mondays our meat days (in direct juxtaposition of the typical meatless Monday menu's at many colleges). I think we'll stick to beef right now, but who knows in the future.

Serve this meal with a light salad of greens, apples and goat cheese tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette, and a glass of Blueberry Wine from Blacksmith's Winery.

Beef Stroganoff
2 T butter
2 C beef, cubed
2 C mushrooms, sliced (I used white button, but use any type, or a mix of mushrooms)
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 C stock
2 T flour
8 oz sour cream (or plain yogurt)
salt & pepper
1 t cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

In a large skillet melt butter over medium heat. Add beef and saute 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown. Stir in onions and 2/3 C of the stock and simmer for about 10 minutes until beef is cooked through. Add mushrooms and garlic and a pinch of salt and cover for 5 minutes. Put remaining 2/3 C of stock and flour in a container and cover tightly the shake vigorously to mix. Add to meat and mushroom mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute, allowing sauce to thicken.

Remove from heat and add pepper, sour cream and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Serve this over some egg noodles or rice. Adjust seasonings as desired.

Sweetheart Pie

As many of you know, I'm a BIG fan of potpies, especially in these winter months when my fridge is full of root veggies. This past weekend my friends did a Thanksgiving Re-do and I decided to bring a potpie for us vegetarians. I made this one extra special with heart cut-outs because I'm so lucky to have all these wonderful people in my lives - AND because unbeknownst to me I was going to be getting engaged just a few hours later. So here it is, my sweetheart pie.

Veggie Pot Pie
double pie crust
1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 C edamame
1/2 C quorn turkey roast
1/2 large red onion, chopped
4 small parsnips, peeled and sliced
4 T butter
1 C veggie stock
2 T flour
salt, pepper and oregano

Heat oven to 375 and line a pie plate with one crust. Using a fork poke holes in the bottom and sides, then gently press the fork down around the edging of the crust. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat and add veggies and quorn turkey. Saute for 10 minutes. Add stock and cover, simmering gently until veggies are soft and stock is gone. Remove from heat, add flour, salt, pepper and oregano and stir thoroughly. Spoon veggies into crust. Take top crust and a heart-shaped cookie cutter (or any shape you like) and cut out for evenly spaced hearts. Place crust over veggies and using a fork, press the edge tightly onto the bottom crust all the way around. Trim off any extra crust. Take the four heart pieces and place them on the crust in between the heart cut-outs. Bake for about an hour, with foil around the edges so as not to burn. Remove and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!!

***The highlight of the dinner for me was when one of the guys there complimented me on my "meat" pie. I smiled and said "actually, there isn't any meat in it...." His response was simply, "huh, well it's delicious!"***