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Monday, June 7, 2010

Big News: We're Moving!

Dear Friends,

I am so excited to announce that I have officially moved over to my own hosting at I've been working like crazy to get the new site up (perhaps you noticed I didn't post at all last week...) and I am so happy with the results.

Thanks to my wonderful designer for my new header, and to AK for getting me all set up with hosting, servers, editors, the whole nine yards :)

If you follow me via Google Reader or another online reader and subscribe to my blog via feedburner, you should be fine; if for some reason you aren't getting my posts, just hop on over to the new site and resubscribe using the nifty RSS button!

I hope you enjoy the new site--feel free to let me know by emailing me at or by commenting anywhere on the new & improved blog!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Roasted Radishes w/ Garlic & Thyme

At a recent trip to an Indian restaurant, I had a delicious dish of tomatoes, potatoes and radishes. I'd never had anything but raw radishes before (in fact, I'd never even contemplated cooked radishes), but they were really good; the cooking makes them a lot less bitter. After reading this article in the NYTimes about roasted radishes, I decided to try something new.

The result was awesome! After a slow roast in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil, cracked whole garlic cloves, lots of thyme, and salt and pepper, the radishes were sweet but still a tad bit crunchy, and absolutely delicious. I could barely resist eating the whole batch at once.

Note: The first time I made this, I trimmed all of the radishes (the fuzzy tops don't appeal to me). The second time, I didn't feel like trimming them. I should have (the tops bothered me; weird, I know), but feel free to use your discretion. You can also substitute out 1 lb of radishes for 1 lb of quartered baby potatoes. They don't look too pretty but they taste great!

Tip for removing thyme from the stem: Drag your fingertips down from the top of the stalk down to the bottom so you are removing the leaves without breaking the stem at the same time; this works great for rosemary too.

Roasted Radishes w/ Garlic & Thyme


2 lbs radishes, cleaned and trimmed
5 garlic cloves, cracked and peeled
3 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

  1. Place radishes in a 9x13 inch baking pan (you can use 2 smaller pans if necessary, try and make sure they are roughly in a single layer).
  2. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with spices, and toss to coat.
  3. Roast at 375 degrees for 60-75 minutes until skin is wrinkled and radishes are tender.
The cost:
radishes: 1.98
thyme: 1.99

Grand total: $3.97

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Spicy Coconut Carrot Soup

I wanted a cold soup for a first course over the past holiday, but AK isn't so into fruit soups so I needed something different. Both potato and carrot are great cold, but I decided on carrot since it's light, and the weather is getting warm (although this soup would be great hot too). I used a combination of coconut milk and soy milk for a silky smooth consistency, and the curry adds a spicy balance to the sweetness of the carrots.

I finished my soup with a dollop of sour cream (feel free to use dairy free or regular) to temper the spiciness of the curry, and in honor of the nice weather, a sprinkle of freshly chopped green herbs.

Spicy Coconut Carrot Soup


1 lb carrots, scrubbed & chopped into large pieces
1 can coconut milk
1 cup soy milk
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste
dairy-free sour cream
chopped fresh herbs

  1. Roast carrots in the oven until tender, about 1 hour at 400 degrees.
  2. With an immersion blender, blend carrots with coconut milk, soy milk and spices until smooth. Add additional liquid to achieve your desired consistency.
  3. Serve chilled with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chopped fresh dill, cilantro, chives or basil.
The cost:
carrots: .89
coconut milk: 1.49
soy milk: 1.99
sour cream: 1.39
herbs: 1.99

Grand total: $7.75; serves 8

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Creamy Lemony Cheesecake

I usually don't make things I can't eat, but for Shavuot I decided to go all out and make cheesecake! It was certainly worth all of the Lactaid pills :) [Note: You can also make this cheesecake with dairy-free cream cheese and sour cream]. This cheesecake is dense but still creamy, and the lemon zest really makes it.

A couple of tips to making the perfect cheesecake:
  • Bring all of your ingredients to room temperature before you start to ensure as little mixing as possible--overmixing will lead to you cheesecake cracking. You can just let everything sit out, or I like to put everything into a warm water bath.
  • After baking, turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool in there. This helps to ensure the cheesecake cools very slowly and doesn't crack.

Lemony Cheesecake


4 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup sour cream
4 8 oz. bars of cream cheese
2 pre-made graham cracker crusts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With an immersion blender, blend eggs. With a wooden spoon, in sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream.
  3. With a mixer (or I use the electric whisk attachment on my immersion blender), beat in cream cheese until smooth, careful not to overbeat.
  4. Divide evenly into 2 graham cracker crusts. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, then turn oven off and allow cheesecakes to cool in oven 5-6 hours. Chill before serving.
The cost:
eggs: .40
lemon: .29
sour cream: .99
cream cheese: 5.56
crusts: 1.98

Grand total: $9.92 (makes 2 cheesecakes)

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Easy & Delicious Baked Apples

[This isn't exactly my recipe, but since I have participated in the buying of ingredients and it was baked in my oven, I figure it counts :)]

AK first made these divine baked apples for me a few months ago (it's his mom's recipe, thanks JW!), and it's a great alternative dessert if you don't want to serve baked goods, or if you have vegan friends but don't want to just serve raw fruit.

AK's mom uses Rome apples, but I have also tried these with Braeburn apples and they were great. Whatever apples are good for making apple pie will work. Just hollow out the center, fill them with raisins, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with agave and them bake them in the oven until they are soft and sweet. Yum!

I like eating the apples as is, but I bet they would be great chopped and served over oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, or over ice cream for dessert!

Easy & Delicious Baked Apples

6 large apples
dark raisins
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup agave

Core the apples so you remove the seeds and most of the core, but don't cut all the way through to the bottom. Place in large baking dish.
Fill apple centers with raisins until they are full (amount will depend on how big the apples are and how much you cut out). Sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with agave and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes until the apples are soft. Serve hot or cold.

The cost:
apples: 3.54
raisins: 1.99
agave: 1.99

Grand total: $7.52; serves 6-8

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Food Musings: The Bane & Blessing of Food Allergies

I eat in a pretty healthy manner. I cook most of my own meals, and even when I eat out or at other people's homes I'm careful what and how much I eat. [I also keep kosher, so I guess by definition I think a lot about what I eat or don't eat, but it's rote by now--I've been doing it most of my life.]

As you probably know if you've read any of my posts before, over the past few years, I've developed a host of food intolerances/allergies (still not sure which they are yet, still working on that part) and in addition to making sure I eat healthily, I also have to make sure I don't eat things that make me sick.

I've gone through fits and spurts of eating organic, cage-free, preservative free, artificial flavors & ingredients free, get the idea. It's not that I don't care about environmental sustainability, or even the fact that organic, cage-free, or local produce is more expensive or not as accessible; honestly, for better or worse, it's just not in my frame of reference. I buy things without thinking how far my bananas have traveled to get to me, or how the field workers who picked my grapes were treated.

Having food allergies has made me infinitely more mindful about what I'm putting in my mouth because of the ill effects certain things can have on me. But it has also made me think a lot more about food sustainability and food ethics in general, and how the choices I make about food impact others. Sure, I'm only one person, and what kind of environmental impact am I really having by buying bananas that have been shipped from Chile? What point does it make if I buy ethically raised meat? But if everyone thinks like that, then everyone is contributing to problems rather than helping to solve them.

At this point in my life (and budget), I can't commit to completely changing the way I shop and eat; I know it wouldn't stick. But I'm taking small steps to buy more local produce, ethically raised meat, and free trade items, and plan to incrementally adapt my habits in the long term.

Food allergies have made my life complicated, but they've also opened my eyes to how the choices I make about food can have a significant impact on more than just myself. Silver lining, I guess?

(This blog post is also posted on the Jew & the Carrot, which has lots of information about food security, food sustainability, and Jewish ethics)

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Basil & White Bean Dip

Basil & White Bean Dip

I like chumus but have been wanting to try a white bean dip for a while. I made my ginger, basil & pine nut crusted salmon earlier this week and had some leftover basil, so I decided on a basil &white bean dip. All I used was a can of white beans, fresh basil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt to taste (canned beans can be pretty salty already so taste before you add any salt). You can also add olive oil for extra richness, but I didn't want to add the fat that goes with it.


1 14-oz. can small white beans
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1 garlic clove
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
salt to taste

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender, food processor or immersion blender attachment.
  2. Chill and serve with crudite, pita chips or crackers.
The cost:
beans: .69
basil: 1.99
lemon: .19

Grand total: $2.87

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