December 28th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party, or if you’ve been asked to bring a dish to a potluck affair, here’s an appetizer that’s full of flavor and easy to prepare.
All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Polenta Crostini with Sausage Topping
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped and seeded
- 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 package (1 pound) prepared polenta
- 3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
- Cook sausage in skillet over medium heat 7 minutes or until nicely browned, stirring often.
- Remove sausage to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Drain fat and return sausage to skillet; add onions and cook over medium heat 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Stir in tomatoes and barbecue sauce. Heat until bubbling; set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice polenta into 12 half-inch-thick rounds and place in single layer on baking sheet. Top each round with 1 tablespoon sausage mixture, sprinkle with cheese and bake 10 minutes or until hot. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe and photo courtesy of KC Masterpiece
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December 8th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Vinegar is a must-have ingredient for intriguing salad dressings, and this week’s recipe is no exception.
The extended vinegar family includes favorites like apple cider, balsamic, rice, wine and white distilled vinegars. Each variety offers its own distinct flavor and appeal.
All of the ingredients in this recipe should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Spinach and Baby Beet Salad with Balsamic Vinegar and Plum Vinaigrette, Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese
- 1 bunch baby beets
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1 lb. baby spinach
- 1 small red onion, peeled, sliced and caramelized
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 to 5 dried plums, snipped
- 1 teaspoon coarse Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Combine all vinaigrette ingredients with whisk; set aside.
- Rinse and scrub baby beets. Trim each end; place in small saucepan with water to cover. Add white vinegar. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain and cool.
- Place spinach in large bowl with onions and mint. Cut beets into quarters and add to salad. Top with goat cheese and hazelnuts. Drizzle salad with desired amount of vinaigrette; toss and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Vinegar Institute
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August 18th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
I savored my first Vidalia onion more than 15 years ago during a business trip to Atlanta. I soon learned these Georgia treasures were mild enough to be eaten like apples, and a colleague sent me home with a 10-lb. bag.
These days, Vidalias are often my top onion choice, adding a distinctive sweetness to any recipe. They’re rich in vitamin C and fat-, cholesterol- and sodium-free. Weight Watchers even chose Vidalia onions as its pick of the season in the spring.
This easy-to-prepare recipe, adapted from The Vidalia Sweet Onion Lovers Cookbook, combines some of summer’s favorite flavors. All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Corn, Tomato & Vidalia Onion Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 1½ cups diced ripe tomatoes
- 1/3 cup chopped Vidalia onion
- 2 medium ears fresh corn, cooked and cooled (or 1 cup cooked frozen kernels)
- 15 fresh basil leaves
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes and onion.
- Scrape corn and juice off cobs to make about 1 cup; add to tomato mixture.
- Shred basil leaves; add to tomato mixture.
- In a small bowl or jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine vinegar, oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Mix well or shake to combine. Add to tomato mixture; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
Photo by Lori Grice
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August 12th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
I love ending the week with a recipe, especially during summer grilling season. This dish is featured in The Healthy Beef Cookbook, a collaborative effort from the American Dietetic Association and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The classic bistro flavors of mushrooms and wine add a sophisticated touch to these open-faced burgers.
Mushroom Merlot Burgers
Makes 4 servings
- 1 pound ground beef (95% lean)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 4 large portobello mushrooms
- 4 slices French bread, cut diagonally 1/2 inch thick
- 2 ounces goat cheese (1/2 cup)
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves
- Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
- 1/4 cup ready-to-serve beef broth
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- To prepare sauce, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add shallots; cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until caramelized. Stir in wine, broth and thyme. Cook over medium-high heat 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup. Combine butter and flour; whisk into sauce. Stir in salt and pepper. Cover; keep warm.
- Combine ground beef, parsley, salt and pepper in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties. Set aside.
- Place mushrooms on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 16 to 18 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. About 10 minutes before mushrooms are done, move them to outer edge of grid. Place patties in center of grid; grill 11 to 13 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until no longer pink in center and juices show no pink color, turning once. Place bread slices on grid; grill until toasted, turning once.
- Reheat sauce, if necessary. Spread half of cheese on toasted bread slices. Top each with lettuce leaf, mushroom and burger; drizzle evenly with sauce. Crumble remaining goat cheese over tops; sprinkle with parsley, as desired.
Note: Because you are committed to organic living, OrganicAuthority.com recommends using certified organic ingredients, when available, in all recipes to maximize flavor and nutrition, while minimizing your risk of exposure to pesticides, chemicals and preservatives.
Recipe and photo from The Healthy Beef Cookbook, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2006 by American Dietetic Association and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. All rights reserved.
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July 14th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
If you’re a fan of the Bravo series “Top Chef,” you may have been rooting for Andrea Beaman (above), the lone natural and organic foodie of the 12 culinary contestants. “Top Chef,” for the uninitiated, is a “Survivor”-style weekly series in which competitors cook their way through a slew of Iron Chef-caliber challenges, to be judged by some of America’s leading gourmet gurus.
Beaman often confounded the judges because she didn’t fit the standard haute cuisine stereotype. She’s a natural nutritionist and holistic health counselor whose approach to food is drawn from personal experience. At 28, she was chronically sick, overweight and diagnosed with a thyroid disorder. This propelled her to surrender her junk-food habits and develop a dietary regimen that’s rich in fresh organic food.
Today, Beaman appears to be the picture of health—and while she was eliminated from the competition for her consistently veggie-centric menus, it hasn’t slowed her career. She completed her cookbook, The Whole Truth Eating and Recipe Guide, and continues to counsel clients in her East Coast practice.
I’d like to thank Bravo for giving us permission to reprint one of Beaman’s most popular “Top Chef” recipes: Curried Sweet Potato. On the show, she served it alongside a lovely Quinoa Pilaf—a recipe we’ll feature next week.
To learn more about Beaman, please visit her website. She also provides telephone consultations if you live outside the New York area.
Curried Sweet Potato
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375°. Wash sweet potatoes. Dice into 1-inch cubes.
- Put sweet potato cubes into a bowl, and coat with olive oil, curry powder and sea salt.
- Place into a baking pan. Cover and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Bravo photo by David Moir
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July 11th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Registered dietitian Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger” and author of Small Changes, Big Results, has teamed with Horizon Organic to promote the importance of eating organic food.
“It’s easy to go organic without making big changes to your family’s eating habits,” Krieger says. “Organic dairy products—with all the nutritional value of protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals of conventional dairy products—make everyday meals healthful and delicious.”
Here’s Krieger’s and Horizon’s recipe for Four-Grain Yogurt Pancakes—a healthy start to your day. (And kids love to help mix the batter…)
Four-Grain Yogurt Pancakes
Makes about 12 pancakes
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons each: cornmeal, soy flour, wheat germ, oat bran
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons sugar
- 2 large organic eggs
- 2 tablespoons organic unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups organic fat-free plain yogurt
- 3/4 cup organic fat-free milk
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- In large mixing bowl, combine flours and grains, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.
- Beat in eggs, melted butter, yogurt and fat-free milk. Batter will be lumpy.
- Lightly oil hot griddle. Bake pancakes on griddle at medium temperature.
- Serve immediately with butter, fresh fruit and syrup.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Horizon Organic Dairy
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June 28th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Eggplant season has just begun, and you can enjoy this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit—not a vegetable!) through October. Monday’s blog entry covered organic eggplant basics: nutrition, shopping tips and preparation hints.
Today’s recipe features ingredients that can be easily found at your local natural and organic food store. If you have trouble finding organic eggplant, you may substitute organic zucchini or yellow squash.
Turkish Stuffed Eggplant
Makes 8 servings
Canola cooking spray
4 small eggplants, stems removed, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 medium ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a large, shallow baking dish with canola spray.
Scoop out flesh from eggplants; cut into chunks and reserve. Lightly sprinkle inside of the shells with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place upside down on paper towels. Let stand 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, spray large skillet with cooking spray. Cook garlic and onion over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, reserved eggplant flesh and allspice. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley, lemon juice, remaining salt and pepper.
Pat eggplant shells dry with paper towels. Spoon eggplant mixture loosely into shells. Place filled shells in prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until shells are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle tops evenly with feta cheese. Bake for 10 more minutes, then serve.
Nutrition information (per serving): 71 calories, 2 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 236 mg sodium.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research
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June 23rd, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
’Tis the season for potluck picnics. As has become customary, let’s end the week with a great recipe featuring ingredients that are readily available at your local natural and organic food store.
Greek Pasta Salad serves 12, but you can easily cut the recipe in half if you’re cooking for the family. It provides a taste of the Mediterranean, with crisp cucumbers, Kalamata olives and feta cheese. A yogurt dressing, accented with mint, oregano and black pepper, is a cool, refreshing change from standard salad fixings.
Greek Pasta Salad
Makes 12 servings
8 ounces elbow macaroni
1½ cups plain yogurt
1¼ teaspoons dried mint flakes
1¼ teaspoons dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cook macaroni according to package directions. Rinse under cold water; drain well.
Mix yogurt, mint, oregano, garlic powder and pepper together in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Add macaroni and remaining ingredients; toss to coat well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Recipe courtesy of McCormick
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June 16th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
A Father’s Day barbecue is a great way to celebrate the first man in your life. Here’s a recipe for Teriyaki Lamb Chops that features ingredients you can easily find at your local organic food store.
Teriyaki sauce has been popular for hundreds of years, since the Japanese first mixed soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine) and sake. The sugars in mirin are the perfect balance to the saltiness and tanginess of the soy sauce and wine. As foods prepared with teriyaki cook, the sugars caramelize, becoming even richer and deeper in flavor and sizzling aroma.
And then, of course, there’s “the glaze effect.” Those caramelizing sugars cause teriyaki to thicken and take on a beautiful sheen. In fact, the name “teriyaki” comes from the Japanese words for luster (teri) and broil (yaki).
Teriyaki Lamb Chops
Makes 4 servings
- 2/3 cup teriyaki sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
- 4 lamb shoulder arm or blade chops, each about 3/4″ to 1″ thick
- Combine first 3 ingredients; remove and reserve 2 tablespoons mixture. Pour remaining mixture over lamb in large plastic food storage bag. Press air out of bag; close top securely. Turn bag over several times to coat lamb well. Refrigerate 1 hour, turning bag over once.
- Place lamb on grill 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Cook 6 to 7 minutes on each side (for medium-rare), or to desired doneness, brushing occasionally with reserved sauce mixture.
Recipe courtesy of Kikkoman International Inc.
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June 9th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
For me, cooking is most enjoyable on the weekend, when I don’t have to worry about writing deadlines or an appointment-packed schedule.
Here’s a perfect summer weekend recipe, featuring fresh ingredients available at your local natural and organic food store.
Chicken, Strawberry & Fennel Salad, dressed with a walnut-balsamic vinaigrette, goes great with a glass of Chardonnay. And here’s a bit of trivia: Did you know children rate strawberries as their favorite fruit?
Chicken, Strawberry & Fennel Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 6 servings
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup walnut oil
- 2½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon roasted garlic purée
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb. grilled chicken breast strips
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced
- 3 cups thoroughly cleaned, thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 3 cups shredded radicchio
- 3/4 cup basil leaves
- 1½ cups toasted walnut halves
- To make the vinaigrette: In a blender or food processor, purée oils, vinegar, garlic purée, salt and pepper until emulsified.
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken, strawberries, fennel, radicchio, basil and walnuts with the vinaigrette.
- To serve, mound equal amounts of salad on six plates.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the California Strawberry Commission
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