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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Hummus, Day 2 - Edamame

Happy leap day to one and all.

How do you plan to celebrate?

Personally, I'm really not in the mood to propose to a man the one day I'm permitted by folklore.

Darn.

So, instead, I intend to ring in the day with the remains of the edamame hummus made last night.

It has absolutely nothing to do with leap year, that's correct.

But it's creamy, refreshing, a touch spicy and exactly what I want.

Maybe you should too.

Edamame Hummus
Servings: About 1 1/2 cups total, so 6-1/4 cup servings

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups edamame, shelled
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp wasabi powder
1 tsp Tabasco
1 tsp olive oil

To Do

In food processor, pulse garlic cloves until chopped fine

Add remaining ingredients and pulse until at desired consistency.

I started by adding half a teaspoon of salt and then added more to taste. It truly just depends on how salty you prefer your hummus.

Devour.

Vogueing
The team, sans a few belated members
My ode to Kermit
Color coordination at its finest
Notes on Taste and Texture

This hummus is incredibly creamy and smooth.

It's actually like soy-flavored edible velvet at its finest.

Taste-wise, it's like a melting pot - a little bit of tahini, a lot of refreshing edamame, ginger and lemon, and all sorts of different kicks from the Tabasco, chili powder and wasabi. I wouldn't call it a killer, just a nice 'lil tap.

It also happens to be seriously low calorie. For 1/4 cup, you'll only commit 100 calories and get back a full 7 grams of protein.

Up Next

Hummus 3.0.

Food for Thought

In the US, someone born on a leap day is officially considered 18 on March 1st.

I find this upsetting.

What do you think?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hummus, Day 1 - The Original

I get bored quickly.

Probably too quickly, but that's besides the point.

I've recently developed a touch of serious ennui at this whole competition thing.

"How is it possible to become so thoroughly over something a mere four months after its conception?" you may ask.

I don't really know, but it did, and it's my blog, so I'll switch things up if I want to, up if I want to, up if I want to, Lesley Gore style.

This weeks winning theme was hummus and given my current mood, I've decided I'm going to provide one recipe a day for the rest of the week.

If you want to rule a tiny universe as well, might I suggest you start a blog of your own?

It's really lovely, not to mention terribly efficient.

Anyways, back to the star of this post, hummus.

I'm going on nearly a month strong of inhaling this chickpea dip every single day.

And I'm not hating it. Rather, I'm loving it.

I wanted to start at the very beginning. A very good place to start according to Rodgers and Hammerstein.

So, I decided to take the most basic of hummus ingredients, chickpeas, tahini (TCHHHINI for all those Israelis and lovers of Israel out there in the blogosphere), salt, lemon juice, and garlic, and really not stray from them.

As you may have guessed, this was a complete and total fail because I'm seemingly incapable of sticking to a recipe.

I added hot sauce.

Tobasco specifically.

Then I added excessive garlic.

Smoky paprika may have made an entrance.

And I most definitely topped it all off with an olive oil drizzle.

Some things will never change...

As Basic as I Get Hummus
Servings: 1/2 cup, doubles very easily

Ingredients

1-15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons tahini
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
Paprika and a drizzle of olive oil

To Do

In food processor, add the garlic cloves and pulse until fine.

Then add chickpeas, tahini, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt and water and run until at desired consistency.

Pour into serving dish and present either as is, or with paprika and drizzled olive oil.

Vogueing
The team - go, fight, win, yay.
The team - winning. How many pictures of food process mystery action do we really need?
Action shot. Guess what I'm having for my snack this afternoon? And maybe for my dinner...and then again around 9pm.
Notes on Taste and Texture

Texture is a very tricky subject with hummus.

I prefer my hummus with some texture so I ran the food processor for 30-45 seconds.

For a silken smooth consistency, you may want to add up to another tablespoon of water or 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.

I also prefer my hummus with a real garlic kick. I could probably kill a vampire with a glance.

If you are pro-vampire and not-so-pro-garlic, maybe cut back down to one clove or eliminate it in full.

Tahini is a sesame paste that oddly reminds me of peanut butter. It is really rather integral to a traditional hummus. The flavor, however, is somewhat strong and you can find recipes all over the internet eliminating it from hummus.

I have two points of contention here:

1. Tahini is delicious
2. If you don't like the flavor of tahini in your hummus, don't make my recipe.

Up Next

Three glorious days of hummus variations.

Get pumped.

In the meantime, what is the very best hummus you've ever consumed?

What is your favorite hummus variety?

What do you think people do in parts of the world where hummus is not acceptable? (other than live slightly sad lives).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Granola, Revisited


I eat breakfast every single morning without fail.

Sometimes breakfast is at 1pm if I've had a late evening.

Sometimes breakfast is string cheese.

But, it will be had.

For the past week, I've been on a horrible rotation of string cheese and a clementine.

It's horrible because within an hour, I'm starving.

Prior to that, I had a three month long stint of two soy sausages and an apple.

That was lovely, but after three months, even the loveliest of things become at least slightly lackluster.

"Here lies Lindsey, sister, daughter, extreme soysage devotee".
my favorite
Last night, right around the time Meryl won and my life was made entirely complete because I love her, I was inspired to start a new rotation.

The new rotation needed to be filling, packed with protein, low in sugar, portable, fast to make, easy to eat, and above all else, delicious.

Oh, and it needed to include chia seeds because they are my latest and greatest obsession.
remember these guys?
As it turns out, the novelty item (with the ever-catchy slogan ch-ch-ch-chia) happens to grow from the newest power supplement, chia seeds.

The health claims of chia seeds put flax to shame.

They carrie almost half your daily need of fiber in a one ounce serving, all while balancing your blood sugar and providing you with the most Omega-3 Fatty Acids of any plant-based product.

It sounds exhausting. Except it's not because they also provide significant amounts of energy-providing protein.

Anyways, somewhere along the way I settled on granola.

Since Israel, I've begun to have a craving for an old favorite, Greek yogurt. My bestie Emily got me hooked circa Junior year of college and at my lowest point, I was having it northwards of 3 times a day.

This story has a point.

The point is, a glob of Greek yogurt with a scoop of granola, a slice or two of strawberry and a dollop of agave hits all of the aforementioned prerequisites.

Cut to the kitchen...

Ch-ch-ch-chia Gr-gr-gr-granola
Servings: makes around 5 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups oats (not instant)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup almonds, slivered or chopped
1/2 cup quinoa, dry
1 tablespoon flax meal
2 tablespoon chia seeds
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons applesauce
1/4 cup Agave Nectar
3 tablespoons peanut butter (I used chocolate almond butter)
2 teaspoons coconut milk
2 tablespoons dried blueberries

To Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first eight ingredients in a large bowl. This is the oats all the way down to and including the salt.

Combine the next four ingredients in a small bowl. This is the applesauce down to and including the milk.

Add the four wet combined ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.

Spread mixture on parchment lined baking sheet evenly but not obsessively.

Place dried blueberries evenly on top of granola.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout the process.

Let cool and enjoy.

You may keep this stored in an air tight container for up to three weeks.

Nutritional Information

One half cup of this granola will set you back a mere 200 calories while providing you with 6 grams of protein and 4.7 grams of dietary fiber (almost 20% of your daily requirement).

Vogueing
My favorite peanut butter. The chocolate isn't too sweet at all.
Big goopy mess in the bowl. It took a mere 10 minutes to get the ingredients together, combine them, and take this picture. I bet I could've gone faster if Jean Dijardin wasn't so very enchanting.
See? Spread evenly but not obsessively.
Post oven, all golden and crunchy and tongue-burning-delicious
I don't really know...I guess I felt like getting fancy with my iphone camera.
All stored up and ready to go for my 10 days' servings...assuming no one else gets into it. Wishful thinking...le sigh.
This morning - Greek yogurt, agave, strawberries and granola. Two hours later and no hunger in sight.
Alterations

Nuts - you could really substitute any nut you'd like: peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.

Chia seeds and flax - you can eliminate one or both or substitute sunflower seeds or poppy seeds.

Almond butter - any nut butter would work here and any flavor would work as well.

Coconut milk - feel free to substitute any milk variety in any flavor. Almond chocolate milk would be divine.

Dried berries - again, any dried fruit to your liking can be substituted, or you can eliminate the fruit all together. I also think dried or candied ginger would give it a nice kick.

Up Next

In a neck and neck battle, hummus pulled through.

Stay tuned for a variety of options this week.

In the meantime, what is your go-to breakfast during the week?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Back to the Basics - How to Boil an Egg

I love an extravagant meal.

I oo and ah over an intricate dessert.

But, as my childhood faux best friend, Laura Ingalls Wilder once said, "It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all".

This isn't to say your best filet mignon with wine and shallot jus or the most beautiful chocolate souffle aren't real.

Don't worry.

Sometimes I wish they weren't real because I tend to leave my restraint at the door when a big fluffy, light as air chocolate souffle is put in front of me.

Okay, Lindsey will stop digressing now...and referring to herself in the third person.

Sometimes, we all need to get back to the basics.

As I know the suspense has been killing you, allow me to throw the shrouded veil off of this post - we are boiling an egg. Three actually, but that's besides the point.

Hard Boiled Egg Pet Peeves (feel free to add on)

1. When the shell won't come off in less than 10 pieces
2. When the shell won't come off and then there's that gross filmy layer that won't come off either
3. That gross grey color the yolk is sometimes
4. Undercooked hard boiled eggs that have liquid that drizzles out (I'm getting sick thinking about these)
5. Overcooked hard boiled eggs that are so rubbery they could probably be repurposed as bouncy balls

Now that we have that settled, let's get on with a full-proof (I swear) method for creating a perfectly cooked, yellow centered, low-maintenance hard boiled egg.

I promise.

Pinky promise.

Cross my heart and hope to die.

etcetera.

How to Boil an Egg, in Pictures
First you take fresh eggs
Then you put the desired number of eggs in a sauce pan. Make sure they're not packed in too tightly
Next, cover the eggs well with tap water, room temperature. You want the eggs fully covered by about an inch.
Keep the saucepan uncovered and put the burner on medium heat. Wait for the water to come to a full roaring boil. See below for my super high tech attempt at showing you what qualifies as a full roaring boil.
video
As soon as it gets really roaring, like Lion King style, take it off the burner, put it onto a cooler one, and cover the pan. Then let it hang out for 10-12 minutes. 12 if you like your eggs cooked like no tomorrow but not yet rubbery. In the meantime, get some pilates in, read the latest People or 1/10th of the latest Vogue, or get serious about your new favorite hummus like me.
After the 10-12 minutes, empty the saucepan and put the eggs in a bowl of cool water until no longer hot to touch.
Look how pretty. It was almost too much to crack it but...
My method for cracking egg shells is to give it a good tap or five
So, two points here - 1. Please note the less than 10 pieces of shell. 2. Hello there sunshine!
Mission, accomplished. Next mission - get a half decent camera
Now you have the tools for pieces of a perfect cobb salad, Passover seder, or afternoon snack.

What are your favorite ways to use this basic?

I prefer salt, pepper, and a pinch of garlic powder. Yum.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday Tips and Tricks


Utilizing tips and tricks you've learned along the way makes the cooking process infinitely more fun in that "I know something you don't know" way.

In honor of it being Thursday and my eternal devotion and love for alliteration, let's exchange our favorites today.

Suffering from rock hard brown sugar?

Put a chunk of it in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Then heat in microwave at 30 second intervals until soft.

So, you had a fabulously chic party weekend and overdid it on the wine purchasing?

Pour leftover wine into an ice cube tray and freeze. Then store for recipes that call for it. You can put the cubes directly into the pan when needed and they'll melt beautifully.

What cooking tips put a little pep in your step?

image

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Clarification of a Coconut Variety - Macaroons

Good morning dear ones. I hope you rested up because today, we're learning.

Get pumped.

There are macarons. And then, there are macaroons.

Despite what you may hear otherwise, these are two entirely different treats, each lovely in their own particular way.

And, as a matter of fact, it is a medium-sized pet peeve of mine when people reference them interchangeably.

Macarons are a French delicacy made of egg white wafers whipped into submission and sandwiched with delicate almond flavored fillings. (see picture behind my title).

Macaroons are coconut heaven.

Macarons are terribly sophisticated and almost nauseatingly sweet.

Macaroons are not so sophisticated but they're adorable and delicious and I like them better.

They are slightly crunchy on the outside and smooth and almost creamy in the center. Actually, they're awfully similar to a desired falafel texture.

I'm sure they would've made a lovely addition to a healthified Valentine's Day. Fail.
Mmmmacaroons
Servings: approximately 2.5-3 dozen
Inspired by a strong craving for coconut and Oh She Glows

Ingredients
2 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, separate from above
2/3 cup maple sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons coconut milk, almond milk, or milk of preference

Chocolatey Goodness, Optional (but I'll definitely judge you if you don't)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
toppings of your choice - crushed nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, sprinkles, cocoa powder, sea salt

To Do

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F

In a food processor, process the living daylights out of the 2 2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut until it forms a butter consistency. This will take approximately 7-10 minutes and you'll need to scrape down the sides of the processor intermittently.

Once completed, mix newly created coconut butter and remaining ingredients in a medium sized

**regarding the milk - depending on your climate, you will need between 2-3 tablespoons. You want the consistency to be moldable but not sticky. Less liquid will make for a flakier cookie and more will make for a denser cookie. You really can't go wrong.

Place tablespoon-sized portions of dough onto lined baking sheets. They do not need too much room between them as they don't expand.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the bottom is a pretty golden brown.

Let cool to completion on rack

While the cookies are cooling, melt the 4 ounces of chocolate in a double broiler or microwave until silken.

Lay out a sheet of wax paper

Individually dip macaroons in melted chocolate and place on wax paper to cool. Repeat.

Sprinkle chocolate-ized macaroons with any and all toppings of your choice

Devour

Vogueing

round and round the coconut goes
I swear this happens. Somewhere around minute 3, you'll call me a liar, but then you'll apologize around minute 7 and we'll be friends again.
This happened. My finger may or may not have been in cahoots with my mouth and swiped through above molasses waterfall approximately 3 seconds after this picture was taken.
Silpat is a life changing, silicon based liner that keeps your pans clean and your cookies perfectly golden on the bottom. It's worth the investment, but parchment paper is always a nice substitute. Just make sure you never ever use wax paper in the oven. Wax melts. Think candles. Think disaster.
Just chillin'
You could get fancy and use white, semi sweet, or milk chocolate as well
voila
All dressed up and nowhere to go...but a belly.
Analysis

These delicious little treats will set you back a mere 50 calories and 3 grams of sugar sans chocolate.

But who would ever do that?

With the chocolate and toppings, you're looking at approximately 75 calories and 5 grams of sugar per macaroon.

Both versions are dairy free (assuming you don't use animal milk), gluten free, and raw.

What do you want to see next?

Check out the poll in the upper right hand corner.



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Home

I've been staring at this screen now for approximately 30 minutes straight, give or take.

I took a small break around minute thirteen in search of coffee and gum. It was a complete failure of an expedition but that's besides the point.

I suppose this is what happens when I do something like take off to Israel at a moment's notice for two weeks.

I have conservatively five hundred million things to share and am still working on regaining all my brain cells after two weeks of little sleep and mass stimulation.

I still owe you my delicious delectable healthy treat for the long gone Valentine's Day.
Obligatory sneak peak. My parents claim to have devoured them in attempt to fill the void in their hearts caused by my absence. I call that a lousy excuse for eating three dozen chocolate covered macaroons. Note: these lose the whole 'health factor' when you eat 20-30x a recommended serving.  
In the meantime, while I finish collecting brain cells and regain my ability to sleep during standard human hours, I'll regale you with images of my new obsessions.

Thus far I have three.
1.
Readers, meet halva.

Halva, meet readers.

Commence love affair.

When I was little, my mother told me never to judge a book by its cover. Sadly, I can't help it, but I implore you to apply said philosophy to halva.

Don't judge it by its appearance.

It's a defense mechanism slyly devised to ensure only those 'in the know' become swift addicts.

Halva is sesame paste and honey combined with additional flavors in a most magical way.

"What could possibly be so magical about something so simple?", you may ask. Allow me to take the opportunity to reply - "Everything. Everything is so magical about something so simple".

My favorite thus far is the nut and dried fruit variety. It's crumbly and sweet and dissolves ever so perfectly.

I'll be scouring the web for recipes because even after filling up a good portion of my suitcase with treats for me the family, my supplies are diminishing quickly.
2.
As you may or may not know, my standard level of energy is on par with most people's heavily caffeinated level.

As such, I typically try to avoid stimulants at all costs.

Not for my benefit, but out of courtesy to others.

However, after subsisting on sub-human levels of sleep for three days, the coffee gods came down from the heavens and bestowed upon me the life-changing powers of Turkish coffee.

It's thick and creamy and while it is incredibly strong, the bitter notes that accompany strong American coffee are entirely absent. Especially when you plop a piece of dark chocolate in the middle.

And, number three...

What amazing treats have you found outside your own region?

Stay tuned for macaroons, a battle of hummus, and hopefully, a slightly more coherent me.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bon Voyage

Good morning lovely ones.

I'm off bright and early to the land of milk and honey.

But never fear because I'll be writing as often as possible with new favorite food finds, and most importantly that last healthy Valentine's treat.

It does not disappoint.

xo
L

view

Friday, February 3, 2012

Berry Crumble, A Story of Redemption


Good morning blogosphere and a happy Friday to you all.

After a dose of much needed beauty sleep, I'm ready to redeem myself from my strawberry shortcake sized failure.

As I mentioned yesterday, when all else fails, go with what you know.

I know crumbles.

I know that if I take the perfect amount of flour, sugar, butter and berries, I can create a bubbly crunchy masterpiece.

Sometimes I even get a little wild and throw in some cinnamon too.

I know. What a rebel.

I think that oftentimes, in an effort to match the richness of a chocolate sweet, people fudge up (pun intended) a treat of the non-chocolate variety.

This is unnecessary.

Allow your non-chocolate dessert to become what it is meant to be. 

Don't be a conformer.

Conformers are boring.

Non-chocolate desserts don't have to be.

My crumble was born to be a bubbly, slightly sweet and tart hug of a treat.

It's so sophisticated in its simplicity. Kind of like Jennifer Aniston's hair. It looks au natural and thrown together, but you know it takes a serious expert to look so "girl next door".

Think of my crumble as your "dessert next door".

I think we've had enough metaphors for the day, don't you?

Just make my crumble.

Very Berry Crumble
Servings: 2

Ingredients for Berries

3 ounces fresh blueberries
3 ounces fresh blackberries
1/4 cup frozen cranberries
Zest of 1 clementine (or about 1 teaspoon orange zest)
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Juice from 1/2 a clementine (or about 1 teaspoon orange juice)
Juice from 1/4 a lemon
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon sugar
dash of salt
1/2 tablespoon flour

Ingredients for Crumble

5 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash of salt
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

To Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place berries in a medium sized bowl

Add in zest, juice, cinnamon, sugar, salt and flour and stir gently to combine. (from the Ingredients for Berries list). Be sweet to your berries. They're sensitive.

In a separate, small bowl, whisk together the cinnamon, salt, flour, oats, and sugars. (from the Ingredients for Crumble list).

Add in diced butter and combine until little marble/pearl/pea sized balls appear. You may do this with a mixer with a paddle attachment, a food processor on pulse, a pastry cutter (my preferred method), or your finger tips.

If using your fingertips, take care not to smush it all together. Your goal is to combine it without overworking it or heating the butter too much.

Split berry mixture between two ramekins, filling just up to the top without overflowing. You may also do this in a casserole dish but it will be less romantic and you may ruin Valentine's Day. kidding.

Put ramekins on lined baking sheet.

With a large spoon or your hands, completely cover the berries with the crumble mixture. Put on way more than you think it needs.

The berry crumble will need approximately 30-35 minutes. It will bubble, and may overflow. The crumble on top of the berries will begin to turn golden.

Once the berry crumble is finished, let it cook on a wire rack or even on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before serving.

This is really quite simple, if the crumble is still bubbling, it will most likely burn your mouth. That would be wretched. Don't do it.

OPTIONAL: You will still have some of the crumble mixture left over.

Line another baking sheet and spread the leftover crumble on the bottom.

The leftover crumble you put on the baking sheet will only need approximately 10-15 minutes. Keep your eye on it.

It will most likely need to be stirred around with a wooden spoon or spatula a couple of times to avoid burning.

Take the leftover crumble out of the oven and let it cool for the remainder of the berry crumble's bake time. It will harden and you can crumble it on top of the berry crumble as you go for additional crunch. Or save it for later to put in your ice cream. Or you can toss it in the trash, but just remember, there are starving children in Africa.

Ingredient Options:

If you do not have any of the above berries, this is not an issue. Substitute in your favorite whether it is strawberries, huckleberries or raspberries.

You may also substitute in diced pear or apple for the cranberries.

If you're not a cinnamon fan, you may substitute in cocoa powder, nutmeg, or even pumpkin pie spice.

Adding a tablespoon or two of dried fruit or chopped nuts is also delicious.

Vogueing:
I have not forgotten my prerequisites - there is red in there.
Jazzed up berries.
crumblies pre-pea/pearl/marble-sizing
a berry berry good time
If you pile it really high (as you should), some pieces will most likely ooze over the side. I have two comments regarding this - 1. sometimes, imperfection is beauty. This is one of those times. 2. line your baking sheet with parchment paper
video
Berry crumble...just hangin'
A word of caution: you'll note the crumble is still cooling on the pan. You'll also note a certain someone (namely, my mother) getting a nice big hunk of a bite. Because she birthed me, I'm going to spare her the mortification of photographic proof of the "I burned my mouth because I don't have any patience when it comes to crumble" dance that occurred approximately 30 seconds after this photo was taken. Sometimes, I'm a really good daughter.
Clearly that didn't phase her. Nothing comes between my mamma and a crumble. Nothing. Got it?
What chocolate?
All dressed up and nowhere to go.
Aerial view. See that little blip of a red dot on that whipped cream? That's a heart. There, I hit 2 out of my 3 Valentine's Day treat qualifications.
Goodness be had.
Crumble, my daddy's way. I think I made up for the strawberry shortcake debacle.
There you have it. I accomplished what many thought was impossible.

A beautiful, rustic, seductively luscious Valentine's Day treat with not a drop of chocolate in it.

Now, to be clear, I'm not encouraging chocolate-less behavior on a regular basis. That would be vulgur.

But, if you're going to go rogue, you can't do better than my berry crumble.

What's up next? Valentine's Day healthified 2.0.