Growing up as a kid. I absolutely loved eating sloppy joes. They were one of my all times favorites, but not the healthiest. So what does a girl do when she is taking on a 30 day vegan challenge and craving sloppy joes. No problem, add beans, instead of meat. This recipe has everything in it that I remember about my Mom’s sloppy joes growing up, that sweet, sour and smokiness that made them so good. I addd french lentils to this recipes, but you can add white northern beans or dark kidney beans, if you like. I mushed up some of the lentisl to give texture and left the rest whole. Lentils are high in plant based protein and fiber, so you are not missing any protein and it’s good for you. I hope you will use this recipe in your “Meatless Mondays” or any time of the week.
FOR THE LENTILS
COOK ACCORDING TO PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS, BUT YOU WILL NEED A CUP OF LENTILS FOR THIS RECIPE AND I USED
LOW SODIUM VEGETABLE BROTH AND WATER FOR THIS RECIPE, FOR MORE FLAVOR.
FOR THE SLOPPY JOES
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup poblano peppers, diced
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 15 oz. can organic tomato sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar,
2 Tbsp low sodium vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
COOK YOUR LENTILS ACCORDING TO PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. I USED HALF VEGETABLE BROTH, INSTEAD OF JUST WATER. Once cooked, rinsed and drained, set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat your oil. Once heated, add, add oil, onion, garlic, bell peppers and poblano peppers. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Sautè for 4-5 minutes,until the peppers and onions are tender and slightly browned. Add in the tomato sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce, chili powder, cumin,garlic and smoked paprika, Stir to incorporate the spices.
Add in the cooked lentill, stir to combine.
Continue cooking the mixture over medium-low heat until completely warmed through and thick, stirring occasionally – about 5-10 minutes.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
I added the sloppy joes on a sweet potato with some homemade vegan coleslaw.
I love this dish, because it is one that brings beautiful memories of me sitting in my friend’s garden, enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir, along side her olive tree, with yummy crusty bread on the side, lots of laughs and a few tears. One of my favorite memories, is just watching the hummingbirds flying around and allowing ourselves to just be in the present moment.
This recipe is a wonderful alternative for a “Meatless Monday”, it can also be a great vegan recipe, just omit the parmesan cheese. The flavor is in the red bell peppers, garlic, onions, basil and fennel. This is one you will want to make with your family over and over and again. If you have balls left over, please freeze them, they do great in the freezer.
I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do and maybe it will be bring fond memories for you, when you Set the Table with Love for those special people in your life. Enjoy! 🙂
Millet and Red Quiona Balls
1 cup of Millet
1/2 cup of Red quinoa
4 cups of water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves ( minced)
1/2 cup onions diced
1/2 cup of red bell peppers, diced
1 cup of parmesan cheese, if vegan omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese instead
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1. In large deep sauce pan add the 4 cups of water. Allow it to come to boil. Add millet and red quinoa. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn down the heat to medium low simmer, cook for 20-25 minutes. Stirring occasionally. You want a nice fluffy mash potato like texture. This makes the balls easy to roll up.
2. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a sauté’ pan and sauté’ the garlic, onions and red bell peppers, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to season the veggies. Add the sauté’ vegetables to the mixture along with the dried basil, fennel seeds and the cup of parmesan cheese. Taste and season with the black pepper and sea salt, as needed.
3. Stir completely, incorporating all the ingredients. Wet your hands
slightly and roll the mixture into medium balls. You can put the balls in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes. This will help the balls to hold together when you are browning them in the sauté pan.
4.Once the balls are firm, add the remaining olive oil in a sauté’ pan and sauté’ each ball until golden brown on each side on medium heat. Add goat cheese, basil and lemon zest for garnish, if you desire.
Makes 20-25 small millet and red quinoa balls
Simple Marinara Sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.)can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves Directions:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, basil, oregano,sea salt (or to taste), organic cane sugar, red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 40 minutes.
Serve the Millet and Red Quiona Balls on top of the Marinara Sauce.
Use pieces of basil as garnish with a little lemon zest.
This week I am sharing recipes from my cookbook, Set the Table with Love. I hope you enjoy these recipes and share them with your family and friends. I had so much fun doing this shoot with my friends and eating all the yummy food afterwards. Photography credit: ROB POLANCO. Art Design by: KEEGAN LEIBA. Love you guys!
Who doesn’t love good recipe for guacamole, well I have one for you. It’s simple and refreshing, because it’s stuffed in these zucchini cups. I love using this recipe for when I having a small dinner party or just for a nice afternoon snack. A lot of my wellness clients are looking for ways to incorporate more veggies into their diet and this is a great way to do. I hope you enjoy this recipe and remember before the plates, glasses, silverware and candles, Set the Table with Love. 🙂
Stuffed Zucchini Cups
2 tbsp. cilantro finely chopped, and enough leaves to garnish to top of the cups
1 tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
2 ripe avocados
1/2 – 3/4 cups red bell pepper, diced
1/2 tsp. of sea salt and a dash of black pepper, to taste
1. Cut zucchini into 2 inch thick slices, discarding ends. Use a sharp spoon or melon baller to hollow out a cup in each zucchini slice, leaving just over 1/4 inch of zucchini flesh. Be careful not to get too close to the skin or the cups will leak the guacamole.
2. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion and cilantro. Stir in salt and black pepper. Fill each cup with guacamole. Top with red bell peppers and cilantro.
Wow, May was a month of major surprises and lots of fun adventures. So, forgive me for just now posting. Boy, I did miss you guys, but let’s sit down for a moment. Do you have your favorite cup of tea? Great, because I have so much to talk about! Well, where do I begin? FOOD, of course my dear, food. I was asked back again this year to be one of the chefs to do a cooking demo on the big stage at Taste of Town Brookhaven for this year’s charity event to benefit LifeLine Animal Project.
It was amazing and the best part, it was my birthday and I got to cook in front of this incredible audience and they all sung happy birthday to me, by the lead of celebrity and award winning DJ, Yvonne Monet, she was the Mcee for the evening and we jammed out as I did my cooking demo. I made my Cilantro Lime Shrimp with an avocado and pepper salsa.
Along with a wonderful Basil and Mint Berry Salad. The music was pumping and the crowds were jumping and it was just a big party. The next day my friends threw me this amazing dinner party at my favorite restaurant, St.Cecilia Atlanta, best pasta and fish in Atlanta.
Now this is a condensed version of my birthday month, also had a pre launch cookbook cooking demo at William Sonoma and my bestie brought the most beautiful birthday cake from my new favorite dessert place,Blue Rooster Bake Shop and Eatery.
I also got a chance to go to the filming of my friends new Food Network show and it was so much fun! I even got an opportunity to be part of the filming. The theme was the Great Gatsby. One of the coolest date nights with my hubby. He looked amazing in his tux.
Okay, whew! I am not done yet, tons of lunches and spa times, but the coolest thing was to be named Best Self Atlanta Magazine‘s 2017 Over 40 and Fabulous Cover Girl, check out the articles here and read about all of the winners this year. A big THANK YOU to the staff of Best Self Atlanta and our amazing photographer Sawyer Photography
It has been a month, but I have been playing around with some new and delicious recipes for you guys to try, will post soon. I want to just give a big shout out to the month of May and how amazing it has been for me. Recipes coming soon and oh my, what will June bring. Enjoy this little gallery and remember to Set the Table with Love.
Tuesday is my day to get refueled from the weekend and a super busy Monday. Mondays are one of my busiest times of the week, very rejuvenating but I am moving from one thing to the next.
I have an early morning Life coaching and Reiki session and right after, I teach my yoga class and then I am off to do B’Tyli Natural Skin Therapies work, plus other things that my Creative Marketing Director, Kristina Millsaps has on the agenda. So, let me tell you when Tuesday rolls around I am ready to go and set in my yoga teacher’s studio and her peaceful presence, for 1 hour and 30 minutes and receive my healing and bliss. Tuesdays, also calls for a little work. I really don’t consider this a work day, because I get to make raw food and let out some creative energy. I love making raw foods for my clients, because it sends healing to them and I always make enough for leftovers for me. 🙂
Today was all about the carrots. I juiced carrots for a yummy raw carrot and ginger soup, this juice also was used to make a raw carrot and ginger dressing for a beautiful cruciferous salad. Cruciferous salad?
Cruciferous vegetables have risen in popularity recently due to their apparent cancer-fighting properties. This large group of plants is diverse, each providing strong, unique flavors. It is named after the Latin word for crucifix because the blossoms of these plants resemble a cross.
Cruciferous vegetables include:
Cruciferous vegetables are low-calorie, and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient to incorporate if weight loss is the goal, as it helps keep you fuller longer.
But, hmm… what to do with the all the carrot pulp. I decided to make these yummy Raw Carrot Cake bites. I shaped them like Easter eggs, because I thought these would be so pretty on the table at Easter. Raw vegan or not, you will love these little bites. They are very versatile, you can use your favorite nut, add your favorite spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of clove. Also raisins or dates will work just find in this recipe. I did not use nuts for this recipe. I love nuts, but sometimes we can have a love hate relationship and today my body said, NO NUTS! 🙂
I hope you enjoy this recipe and maybe add it on your table for Easter or any day of the week. Happy Easter Everyone! Enjoy setting your table with love.
1 cup gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut, set aside 2 tbsp for garnish
3/4 cup dried raisins
1/2 cup carrot pulp
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ cup water or more if needed
Blend oats, sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup coconut in vitamix (food processor should work too) until you get a fine consistency like flour.
Add in dried raisins, pulse a few times to break them up then add carrots pulp, maple syrup, vanilla and spices.
Slowly add in water. You looking for a consistency of nice slightly wet cookie dough
Roll dough into balls, like the shape of Easter eggs and cover in shredded coconut if you want.
Today on my Facebook Live video, I talked about eating Antioxidant Powerhouse foods. Here’s the deal, we get these list of foods to eat, and then what? How do we convert them into delicious and balancing meals? Well no worries, I got you. Today I made a Spaghetti Squash Bowl using foods high in antioxidants. So, what’s an antioxidant?
“Antioxidants include some vitamins (such as vitamins C and E), some minerals (such as selenium), and flavonoids, which are found in plants. The best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. You can find flavonoids in fruits, red wine, and teas.” Source: WEBMD.
I truly believe, our well being is in the foods we eat and drink. This recipe is loaded with vitamin C, E, beta carotene and flavonoids. It’s very simple, healthy and above all, super delicious! You can switch out some of the ingredients to truly make this recipe your own. Instead of lentils you can use chickpeas, instead of spaghetti squash, use butternut squash. The possibilities are endless. But, before we get into the recipe, let me share with you a list of delicious super antioxidant foods you might want to try incorporating in your menu this week and some reasons why you should eat them:
Slower signs of aging, including of the skin, eyes, tissue, joints, heart and brain
Healthier, more youthful, glowing skin
Reduced cancer risk
Longer life span
Protection against heart disease and stroke
Less risk for cognitive problems, such as dementia
Reduced risk for vision loss or disorders like macular degeneration and cataracts
Antioxidants are also added to food or household products to prevent oxidation and spoilage Source: Dr. Ox
Antioxidant Powerhouse List:
Small Red Beans ( adzuki)
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Spaghetti Squash Bowl Recipe
1 spaghetti squash
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1 cup sprouted lentils
1 cup chopped kale
1 mini red, orange and yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbs honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
1 tsp orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice juice
salt salt and black pepper to taste
To prepare the spaghetti squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Use a very sharp chef’s knife to cut off the tip-top and very bottom ends of each spaghetti squash. Stand the squash upright on a stable surface and slice through it from top to bottom to divide it in half.
Use a large spoon to scoop out the spaghetti squash seeds and discard them. Drizzle each squash half with 1 teaspoon olive oil and rub it all over the inside and outside of the squash, adding more oil if necessary. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly over the interiors of the squash, then place them cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-40, until the interiors are easily pierced through with a fork.
Meanwhile, sauté the chopped kale over a medium heat. Add a tbs of olive in a sauté and chopped kale, a little sea salt and stir. Cook the kale until it has withered just a bit, you want it to still have some crunch, so about 2 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. In another sauté pan, add the nuts, honey, paprika and a pinch of sea salt over a medium heat. Stir and allow the nuts and seeds to heat up, for about a minute, Remove from heat and add to a bowl, so they can harden.
Once the squash is done, remove with from the oven using oven mittens. Being to assemble the bowls, use a fork to remove most of the squash, add spaghetti squash to a bowl. Add a little olive to the spaghetti squash, then add the kale, chopped peppers, some of the nuts and seeds, set a few aside as a garnish, add the cherries, cranberries, fresh basil, and orange zest. Toss and drizzle some of the juice from the orange over everything and a little more olive oil, if desired. Add the mixture into the spaghetti squash bowls and garnish with the remaining nuts and seeds. Enjoy.
Today on my Facebook Live post I talked about something I love sharing with my clients. Most of them have super busy schedules, but want to incorporate a healthier lifestyle and perhaps lose a few pounds, but do not need all the fuss. I like to call this my S3 plan, Smoothies, Salads and Soups, we also do a +1 for those who like to incorporate fresh green juices.
The plan is pretty simple and just takes a little creativity and prep work on your part, but I am going to get you started. So what’s the plan? Here’s the deal on S3. It’s smoothies in the morning, that consist of fruits such as, cherries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, peaches,oranges, papaya, melons,guava and kiwi. These fruits can be added to your smoothie. I like using unsweetened non dairy milk as my liquid. Remember S3 is a gentle cleansing plan, so dairy is not included. I do suggest if you must have dairy, use yogurt. You can also add to your smoothie, nuts such as almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios. This will add more protein to your smoothies. I also like to add a vegan protein mix, that’s low in sugar and carbohydrates. Get creativity! Try out new fruit and nut combinations, it’s easy, just throw it all in your blender and go for it.
For the salad: When we think of salads we think, lettuce, tomatoes and cold vegetables with yucky carrots stripes that are dry and just unappealing. You can make a salad without lettuces, but if you do use greens, make sure they are leafy greens, like kale, swiss chard, butter and bib lettuces, romaine lettuce, add different type of spinaches. But a salad can be sautéed vegetables, with some chickpeas added, some fresh herbs and dried cranberries or golden raisins. In the S3 plan, I make all kinds of vegetable salads, french lentil salads and green salads as well. The point here is to use as many vegetables you enjoy, cooked or raw and make your own vinaigrettes or buy a really good healthy one. That’s the key here, use vinaigrettes on your salads, instead of heavy creamy dressings.
SIMPLE VINAGRETTE RECIPE:
You can be so creative with vinaigrettes, add chopped strawberries, finely chopped blueberries and blackberries, if you like and there you have a fruit vinaigrettes.
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 teaspoons organic honey
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine shallot, garlic, honey, vinegar, and water in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Alternatively, place all ingredients in a tightly sealing jar, seal, and shake vigorously until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Now for the soups, here you have a world of possibilities just as with the smoothies and the salads. The catch here is to only make broth based soups, lots of broth, this will add in elimination. Today I made a french lentil and porcini mushroom soup, it was brothy and earthy and just plan delicious. All of the carrots, onions, garlic and celery helped give me a good fiber based. When you are making your soups you want to pack them out with lots of herbs, dry and fresh, seasonings, such as turmeric, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger,smoked paprika, chipotle and red chili peppers. All of these are anti inflammatory spices.
Here on S3 you can eat all the Smoothies, Salads and Soups you want. When you need to snack, make sure to have nuts, seeds, and vegetable and fruit handy. I would suggest the ones I listed above under what fruits are good for a S3 smoothie. You can do this plan for 3 days, 3 weeks or even 3 months. Your basically eating a vegetarian diet. I like to add eggs to make soup, a poached or boil egg gives me that extra protein I may need. You can also add eggs to your salad. If you need to eat something more than vegetarian, I would suggest fish, such as trout, salmon or mackerel. Here’s the deal, keep it simple and it will not be complicated.
How are we feeling about S3? It’s super simple and easy, it can be done.
Let’s talk about what you want to avoid during S3: Whatever time period you have decided to do this plan you want to cut back or all together avoid, processed sugar, alcohol, caffeine, red meats, high fat foods, such as chips, pastries, etc. You want to consume plenty of water, that includes, green tea, coconut water, that is just pure coconut water and you can juice your
BELOW THIS RECIPE IS MORE S3 RECIPES YOU CAN TRY.
French Lentil and Porcini Mushroom Soup
1/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cups boiling water to re-hydrate them (save liquid for soup)
3 tbs good cooking extra virgin olive oil
2 small carrots, chopped
2 small celery stalks, cleansed and chopped
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped onion
1 cups French lentils or any lentils you prefer
4 cups good low sodium vegetable stock
fresh thyme, about 1 tbs, minced
sea salt and ground cracked pepper to taste
Re-hydrate the mushrooms in boiling water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes.
In a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat and olive oil, then add our vegetables, MAKE SURE TO CUT THE VEGETABLES THE SAME SIZE and season with salt and pepper and add a sprig of thyme.
Cook stirring often for 15 minutes or until vegetables start to caramelizE, YOU WANT JUST COLOR, NOT BURNT VEGETABLES, :)!
Add lentils, vegetable stock, mushroom liquid, broth then bring to boil, then turn down to simmer.
Cook until lentils are just tender.
Serve immediately, I like to drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive over the soup.
A FEW RECIPES YOU CAN TRY. ENJOY AND REMEMBER TO SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE
I love dessert. I will talk about healthy eating forever, but I will never skip on dessert. A healthy lifestyle has a little dessert included, well at least that is what I believe and preach. Life is all about balance. We all need a little sweetness in our lives and honey these cookies will deliver just that. First off they are gluten free, so they are great for people with gluten allergies. They are small and just perfect with a cup of hot ginger tea. I love making these cookies and sharing with my granddaughter, can you say, TEA PARTY! Bottom line they are so yummy, that’s really all you need to know, right?
So, stay on your healthy path. Eat clean food, drink clean water and make your desserts from scratch with good high quality ingredients. Enjoy them at least once a week or so and get out enjoy nature. It’s all in Divine order.
As always, Remember to Set the Table with Love. 🙂
Gluten Free French Sable Vanilla cookies
2 soft, plump vanilla beans
1/3 cup organic cane sugar
8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted organic butter
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1-1/3 oz. (1/3 cup) organic confectioners’
2 large organic egg yolks
2 cups of gluten free flour blend ( Pillsbury Gluten Free Flour Blend)
My favorite gluten free cookie blend
2 cups white rice flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1. Cut the vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape the seed pulp into a small bowl;
add the sugar. Using your fingers, rub them together until blended.
2. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, mix the butter on low speed until smooth and
creamy, mix in the salt. Add the vanilla sugar and the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add 1 egg yolk and mix for 1 minute. Still on low speed, mix in the flour just until blended; the dough will be soft.
3. Sprinkle a little gluten free flour onto the counter. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead it gently a few times. Divide it in half and shape each half into a 9-inch log. Be
gentle with the dough and work with it, gluten free dough needs a little more care.
Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
4. Position oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and heat the oven to
350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Sprinkle about 1/2 cup sanding sugar onto a piece of waxed paper. Combine the
remaining egg yolk with a splash of water in a small bowl and whisk with a fork.
6. Brush each log with the egg wash and roll it in the sanding sugar until evenly coated.
Trim the ends of the logs if they’re ragged. Using a knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inchthick rounds. Put them on the baking sheets, leaving about 2-inches between rounds.
7. Bake the cookies, rotating and swapping the baking sheets’ positions halfway
through, until the cookies are brown around the edges and golden on the bottom, 18 to
22 minutes. Let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes; then carefully transfer to a cooling
rack and allow to cool completely before serving. Sable’ cookies need to be eaten cool, so
cooling with allow them to set, so you can enjoy to perfection.
I love trying new things. My new love outside of poaching white fish in butter, is this making confits. What does confit mean: Confit (/kɒnfi/, French pronunciation: [kɔ̃fi]) comes from the French word confire which means literally “to preserve,” a confit being any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation. Usually you hear this word in fine dining restaurants, duck confit or goose confit, meaning the bird has been cooked in it’s own fat. Yes! Actually. I prefer making confits with citrus. A lemon confit is the same idea, but I am using olive oil to slowing cook the meyer lemon rinds in. It makes an excellent condiment to any dish. You can use it on toasted breads, drizzle on salads, vegetables and as I did today on a piece of broiled pacific cod. This is a very simple and easy recipe, that I adapted from Naomi Pomeroy Taste and Technique Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking.
Rinds of 3 lemons
1/4 teaspoons dried fennel seeds
1/4 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Cut away most of the spongy white pit of the rinds, leaving only the yellow peel. Cut the trimmed rind pieces into strips 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch long.
Place the strips in a 2 quart saucepan and add the fennels seeds, red chili pepper flakes, sugar, salt, olive oil and garlic cloves. Place over very low heat and slowly simmer. You want it simmer to point you see tiny little bubbles. You will need to stir this often, to make sure the sugar and salt dissolves. You do not want the mixture to fry the lemon rinds, so keep a close eye on it. I had to take mine off the heat at least 3 times and put it back on the low heat, so it would not fry. Naomi suggest using a diffuser, but I did have one of those. If you keep it on a low heat and just keep a good eye, it will be fine. It takes about 20 minutes for the rinds to simmer and cook until they are soft. Take a fork and remove one out from the oil to check the consistency. Once they are soft, remove from heat and set aside, covered, at room temperature to allow the flavors to come together overnight. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.
I poured my meyer lemon confit over this beautiful piece of pacific cod.
What a fun day?! I so enjoy coming out and cooking for the customers and staff of Williams Sonoma in the Forum. The staff is like family! I have been demoing and educating the customers about eating and supporting local farmers for the past 6 months and it has been a beautiful partnership. So many times we do not eat in season, we eat the same things week after week. I am so very grateful for the support of such an icon, like Williams Sonoma, to be able to showcase local farmers and share with their customers, creative and healthy ways to eat local. Today we used my favorite local farm, Fry Farm in Bethlehem Ga, early spring produce, red kitten kale, baby chantenay carrots, nobel spinach and baby cress.
I wanted to put up a couple of the customer’s favorite recipes, before hitting the sack. I hope my readers will enjoy these simple and delicious farm to table recipes as well, just as we all did today.
Until next time remember to Set the Table with Love and Eat Local. 🙂
SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE
FARM TO TABLE EARLY SPRING MENU
White Asparagus, Red Spinach and Pancetta Tart topped with Baby Cress
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled out
¼ – ½ cup pancetta, crisped and cooled
1 cup shaved white asparagus, cutting off the spearheads and chopping them finely to add to each tart.
3/4 cup gruyere, or more based on your preference
1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus more for topping (optional)
1 tsp fresh thyme
¼ cup milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups red spinach, chopped
baby cress, as garnished
extra virgin olive, sea salt and a lemon juice to dress the baby cress, optional.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone-baking sheet. In a saucepan on medium heat, cook the pancetta, until crispy, set aside to cool.
Combine the shaved white asparagus, crispy pancetta, gruyere, parmesan, milk, thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Place the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
Once hot, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the cheese mixture.
Stir together until well combined.
On a floured surface roll out the puff pasty and using the smallest cookie cutter cut out several circles, as many as you can with each pastry sheet. Place the cut pieces into a lightly mini muffin pan, mold the pastry to make a small cup in the muffin pan. Use a fork to prick holes in the bottom, so the pastry doesn’t puff up. If the pastry puffs up after your blind baking, just gently press the middle down, before adding the filling.
Blind bake the tarts in the oven for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven gently push down the middle of the tarts, if has puffed up a lot. Leave whilst to add the filling.
Spoon in a little mixture into each tart.
Brush each puff pastry with the remaining beaten egg and top with a sprinkling of extra parmesan and gruyere, if desired.
Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes before serving.
Gently toss the baby cress in the olive oil, lemon and sea salt. Add to the top of each tart.
GRILLED SMOKY AND SWEET MAPLE BABY CHANTENY CARROTS, MAPLE SYRUP
1 bushel of baby chantney carrots
1 and ½ tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning
2 – 3 teaspoons butter
2 – 3 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Fresh chopped mint
Preheat the oven to 375. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil (for easy clean-up) and set aside.
Wash the baby carrots and drain well, chop off tops.
Tip the carrots onto the lined baking sheet (don’t crowd them, you want them to roast, not steam). Drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with the sea salt and smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning, then toss the carrots gently to coat them with the seasoned oil.
Roast in the oven for 30-40 mins or until almost done.
In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter, and maple syrup, sea salt, and one juice of a medium blood orange, and reduce heat, until sauce has thicken. Add roasted carrots into the saucepan and toss, until the carrots are completely covered.