Archive | March, 2013

colorful tailor-made tacos

27 Mar

photo-22It’s taco night!

What a fun way to include your children in the cooking process – have them come up with some of their favorite toppings, and include them in the cooking process. They can tailor their tacos as they please, and will likely get a little experimental with some fun ingredients!

Start with some shell’s either hard or soft, depending on your liking, cook up some lean ground turkey meat with some spices, bake, then top off with your favorite toppings, and you’re in for an amazing meal!

Here’s how:

Serves 2

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • .5 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp of your preferred spices: cajun rub or a mixture of cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper
  • 4 taco shells, or soft tacos
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • optional: shredded cheese of your liking, garnish of cilantro, lime wedges

Directions:

1. Prep your ingredients. Preheat oven to 350F. Mince garlic, cube avocado, dice onion, shred cheese, pluck cilantro, cut lime wedges. Arrange taco shells on baking sheet.

2. Cook and season turkey. Add olive oil to your pan, sautee the garlic then add in your turkey. Sprinkle in your cajun rub or spice mix. Mix turkey meat in pan, and cook for 10-12 minutes.

3. Assemble your tacos. Distribute taco meat into taco shells. If you’re using cheese, add in as well. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until tacos have warmed up, and cheese has melted.

4. Finish. Remove tacos from oven, add toppings, garnish with cilantro and a splash of lime, then dig in!

Buon aprovecho!

someone to eat and drink with

25 Mar

photo-21“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” – Epicurus

As Passover heads our way, and Easter not so far away let’s take a moment to take in a big deep breathe, clear our heads, and focus on making these celebrations a time to create memories with family and friends, while sharing delicious food and drink.

As Epicurus suggests, let’s embrace the company we keep, removing judgements, preconceived notions, ego and expectations. Let’s sit, talk, laugh and enjoy each other’s company first and foremost.

Then let’s all dig in, and delight in the foods that make these holidays so sweet!

no frills tuna melt

20 Mar

photo-19Have some lonely looking tuna in your pantry? Transform it into a no frills tuna melt in no-time!

Tuna is a wonderful source of omega 3’s, but be weary as it also contains high levels of mercury, and is best eaten not too often.

Here’s how:

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 1 can of tuna
• 1/3 of a fresh baguette or other bread
• 2 thin slices of cheddar cheese
• Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Directions:

1. Prep your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 350F. Open tuna, drain out water or olive oil. Mash with a fork to loosen it up. Cut your baguette into two pieces, and cut up your cheese slices.

2. Assemble. On your open faced bread add tuna to each side – press down firmly for it to stay. Top with cheese. Place on a baking sheet and into your oven for 10-12 minutes.

3. Eat. Once cheese has melted, remove from the oven, and dinner/lunch is served!

Make it a more balanced meal by crafting a quick green salad, and enjoy!

cooking as beauty remedy

18 Mar

4361629413_9a561a3fcf_zCooking is a necessity, something we all have to do a few times a day to fuel our bodies.

Not only is cooking a method of fueling ourselves, it’s also a calming and centering activity, ultimately adding beauty to our lives.

Have you noticed that when you cook, you are in a constant flow of concentration? This feeling is often times called “flow,” a psychological theory coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who wrote a National Bestseller book on the topic.

According to Mihaly flow is defined as, “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”

So if cooking provides us with fuel, and allows us to engage in “flow,” can you think of another benefit cooking bestows?

How about soft hands…

If you’ve ever made kale chips, roasted veggies or baked scones, your hands would have undoubtedly come in contact with some olive, coconut or canola oil, resulting in some very soft and healthy hands.

No need for store bought moisturizers, just get in your kitchen and cook up some food with your own two hands!

Remember, cooking not only brings about soft hands, but also encourages a clear, calm and centered way of life, enabling us to give, share and indulge in many of life’s simple pleasures.

Photo courtesy of letorri

Flora’s seasonal recipe: pizza du jour feat. the Brassica family

15 Mar

photo-16I don’t know many people that don’t like pizza!

Sunday’s are usually a perfect day for a pizza party, and Sunday pizza making has become somewhat of a tradition.

I love buying dough and fresh mozzarella from my local pizzeria. The owner has come to expect me to walk through his doors, and I look forward to our catch up conversations.

Pizza Sunday’s are pretty great, because we can never finish a whole pizza in one sitting, so there are always leftovers for Monday’s lunch.

Monday’s are that much better because of it!

The dough usually takes on some really odd vegetable combinations, all dependent on what lives in my fridge. Last Sunday I made a Brassica pizza, featuring some curly leaf kale, broccoli and some other non-Brassica’s, for a multi-cultural veggie pizza experience.

Here’s what I came up with:

Serves 4-5

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough, stretched
  • 1/2 ball of fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 5-6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3-4 stems of kale, chopped
  • 5-6 broccoli florets, cut in half
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Directions:

1. Prep the dough: Preheat your oven to 400F (gas stove) 450F (electric stove). I like to cut the dough in half (totally optional), since I have a cast iron skillet that I like to use, and a smaller piece of dough fits much better. You are welcome to use a pizza stone, or any other baking sheet that you like. If using cast iron or a baking sheet, add a dab of olive oil and spread across the surface. Stretch the dough out with your fist so it expands and gets thinner. Fit the dough to your baking surface.

2. Prep your ingredients: Rinse and slice your mushrooms, slice your onion, rinse your kale and broccoli, chopping appropriately. In a bowl add a drizzle of olive oil to your kale, and a small pinch of salt. Massage the olive oil in, then set aside.

3. Assemble the pizza: Shred your mozzarella first, sprinkle some sea salt and grinds of pepper. Add on your onions, mushrooms and top with your broccoli. Save your kale for 10-12 minutes before the pizza is done cooking, to create a kale chip topping.

4. Cook the pizza: Cook for 20-25 minutes total, depending on your oven’s strength. Midway take a peak, see how it’s doing, hang around the kitchen. Shake the pan a bit so the dough loosens and doesn’t stick. 10-12 minutes before the pizza is cooked, add on your kale. Remove pizza once dough is cooked through, and kale is crispy.

Happy veggie pizza eating!