adidas france air max tn pas cher nike rouge homme nike homme nike tn tn nike louboutin femme adidas dentelle air max pas cher pour femme news nike air pas cher homme soldes air max 90 homme basket adidas noir femme article nike air max en promo chaussures luxe femme louboutin
Tomato Envy http://tomatoenvy.com Joyful, Sustainable, and Deliberately Decadent Wed, 20 Sep 2017 00:27:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Grilled Moroccan beef skewers http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/09/19/grilled-moroccan-beef-skewers/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/09/19/grilled-moroccan-beef-skewers/#respond Tue, 19 Sep 2017 23:49:18 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7263 When I dutifully asked Mr. President what he wanted for his recent birthday, I already knew his answer. His answer has been the same every single year I’ve know him: except for his milestone 50th birthday when he wanted to have a few friends over for dinner, he wants to stay home, just us two [...]

The post Grilled Moroccan beef skewers appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
grilled moroccan beef skewers

When I dutifully asked Mr. President what he wanted for his recent birthday, I already knew his answer. His answer has been the same every single year I’ve know him: except for his milestone 50th birthday when he wanted to have a few friends over for dinner, he wants to stay home, just us two and have dinner outside on the deck while listening to some new favorite music. His humble wishes aren’t too different from how we spend many nights, especially weekends, when the weather is favorable.

The birthday boy requested one of his favorite late summer meals, these flavorful Moroccan beef skewers cooked up on the Big Green Egg. I served them with homemade tabbouleh and he was super happy.

This recipe is one I first encountered years before I even met my husband, in a magazine that is no longer being published. I was a vegetarian then, and I remember seeing the recipe and thinking, “Hmmmmm, now if I ate meat, this would be wonderful!” I don’t know what possessed me to clip and save it, but now that I’m a selective omnivore, I’m glad I did.

Why grass-fed beef?

grilled moroccan beef skewersWe rarely eat meat because the only meat I will eat is expensive. I buy from a local farmer that uses traditional practices and feeds 100% grass. The animals are humanely raised and harvested. Because I am so picky, meat is an occasional luxury for us. For this recipe that calls for flank steak, we substitute cubed grass-fed filet mignon. Grass-fed cows roam on pasture instead of being confined and, as a result, they are more muscular and less fatty. Watch grass-fed beef closely on the grill and avoid overcooking.

This  herby marinade is perfect for steak and caramelizes just so on a hot grill. It’s a challenge to cook meat and vegetables perfectly when I thread the meat and the vegetables together on the skewers. So, instead I keep the meat and vegetables on separate skewers – steak just how we like it and charred but not soggy vegetables.

grilled moroccan beef skewersIngredients

Marinade:

1/2 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Skewers:

grilled moroccan beef skewers1 pound filet mignon steaks, preferably 100% grass-fed (if you don’t know a farmer, you can buy grass-fed beef at Whole Foods Market), cut into 1-inch cubes

Bell peppers of assorted colors, cut into large chunks

Red onion, cut into wedges

Half a zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thick half-moons

Lime wedges, for serving

Step one:

1/2 cup fresh flat-leafed parsley, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound filet mignon steaks, cut into 1-inch chunks

Combine all marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. It should be a thick paste. You can add a bit more olive oil if it seems too thick. In a shallow baking dish, mix the steak pieces with all

grilled moroccan beef skewers

Mr. P’s birthday dinner

of the marinade. Cover and chill for about 2 hours.

Step two:

1 pound filet mignon steaks, cut into 1-inch cubes

Bell peppers of assorted colors, cut into large chunks

Red onion, cut into wedges

Half a zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into thick half-moons

Lime wedges

Prepare and heat your grill to medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the marinade and, while the grill heats up, assemble your skewers by threading the meat onto skewers. If you’d like, you can toss the vegetable pieces in the leftover marinade before discarding – it gives the grilled vegetables a big hit of flavor. Thread the veggies on skewers alternating onions, zucchini and peppers.

Grill about 10-14 minutes, depending on your prefered meat temperature. Allow the meat to sear on one side undisturbed before turning. Remove from grill and let steak rest a few minutes before serving. Grill vegetables until they are nicely charred in spots, but still a little crispy. Remove meat and vegetables to a large platter, squeezing lime over top just before serving.

Moroccan beef skewers are best enjoyed with your garden vegetables and while sitting outside on a late summer evening when there’s a hint of chill in the air. Isn’t the beginning of fall the best?

The post Grilled Moroccan beef skewers appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/09/19/grilled-moroccan-beef-skewers/feed/ 0
Homemade pizza with Pizza Camp! http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/27/homemade-pizza-pizza-camp/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/27/homemade-pizza-pizza-camp/#respond Mon, 28 Aug 2017 01:06:07 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7213 Mr. President and I prefer staycations over vacations and homemade dinners over meals out. But, Philadelphia has such a wonderful food scene, so how can we make sure we’re not missing out? Buy the restaurant cookbooks, that’s how! This summer, we’ve been working our way through two cookbooks that were born right here at Philly’s [...]

The post Homemade pizza with Pizza Camp! appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
homemade pizza

Pizza Camp book cover


Mr. President and I prefer staycations over vacations and homemade dinners over meals out. But, Philadelphia has such a wonderful food scene, so how can we make sure we’re not missing out? Buy the restaurant cookbooks, that’s how!

This summer, we’ve been working our way through two cookbooks that were born right here at Philly’s best restaurants. First, we have Michael Solomonov’s cookbook filled with the same Israeli fare he serves up at his famed restaurant, Zahav. Then we have Pizza Camp by Joe Beddia, proprietor and creator of what Bon Appetit Magazine has named the Best Pizza in America.

Simple ingredients and expert techniques

I have not visited Pizzeria Beddia because I’d have to schlep to the city and stand in line to get one of only 40 pizzas Joe Beddia personally makes each night. When Joe has transformed the 40 balls of dough into pizzas, he is done for the day. The restaurant has no phone and no place to sit – it’s takeout only which means I’d either have to sit on a city curb to stuff my face or take it home with me on the train. Sad to say, I probably won’t go. But, thanks to Pizza Camp, we are certainly having the best homemade pizza to ever come out of our oven.

Beddia’s pizza recipes call for the highest quality ingredients you can find combined with expert techniques to transform them into something greater than the sum of their parts. The formula for making and baking the pizza is the same each time, toppings are simple but perfectly balanced.

Mr. P. and I are no strangers to making pizza. We both agree that Beddia Pizza, will be our new “house” pizza.

Tips from Pizza Camp

homemade pizza

Summer zucchini basil pizza

If you love pizza, you need this book. Here I share some of the key techniques from Pizza Camp.

  1. Screaming hot oven – Bake this pizza at the highest setting your oven will go, probably 500°. Our oven maxes out at 550° and this is where we set it for pizza. This technique crisps the bottom crust, adds the right amount of char to it and gets the top golden brown.
  2. The right tools – You will need a pizza stone that fits your oven and a pizza peel to safely move your pizza into and out of the oven. Non-negotiable.
  3. Cheese, please – Use a blend of both fresh mozzarella and whole milk mozzarella. Do not use any low fat cheeses – ever.
  4. Bake and broil – Pizzas cook for about 10 minutes total starting on the regular bake setting. The last 4-5 minutes will be with the broiler setting to get that nice bubbly golden brown top that pizza dreams are made of.
  5. Simple sauces – No more cloyingly sweet red sauces. Beddia’s red sauce is nothing more than canned crushed tomatoes, salt, fresh garlic and olive oil. White sauces consist of heavy cream emulsified with fresh herbs or roasted garlic. Oh, and then there’s the pistachio pesto, the best pesto I’ve eaten.
  6. Know what toppings to bake on the pizza– At Pizza Camp, you add toppings like the best Prosciutto di Parma to the piping hot pizza immediately after it’s removed from the oven instead of being baked on it. The heat melts the fat just right. Other toppings like coins of fresh zucchini go on the pizza before baking.
  7. Finish it right – Finish all pizzas with a drizzle of high quality olive oil and a shower of finely grated hard cheese. Beddia uses a cheese called Old Gold from a small dairy in rural Pennsylvania. I’ve not been able to find it at any of my local stores, so I just use Parmigiano Reggiano.
homemade pizza

Garden arugula pizza

The only thing I’ve tried in this book that has not worked for me is Joe Beddia’s homemade dough recipe. I tried it more than once and each time, the dough failed to rise significantly and the finished baked crust was dense and lifeless. I so wanted it to work because I love the idea of the slow ferment in the fridge overnight as I’m sure that adds a nice flavor. The recipe uses very little yeast for all that flour, and I don’t know if that’s why it didn’t work for me. Alas, I use this reliable dough recipe from Food Network. It makes enough for two pizzas and yes, you can freeze half for an easy meal later.

Easy as pie

We enjoy pizza at our place almost every week. Not only do we love it, but this budget meal is embarrassingly easy to pull together even on the busiest nights, especially if you have homemade dough in the freezer. When you have a garden or local farmer’s market Leo Vegas Casino, you’ll never run out of inspiration for toppings. I’m looking forward to fall arugula because it’s the topping for one of my favorite cool weather pizzas.

If you have ever been intimidated by making homemade pizza, if you have tried many times but would like to up your game, follow me to Pizza Camp!

The post Homemade pizza with Pizza Camp! appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/27/homemade-pizza-pizza-camp/feed/ 0
Growing and harvesting your own dried beans http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/18/grow-harvest-dried-beans/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/18/grow-harvest-dried-beans/#respond Sat, 19 Aug 2017 00:14:07 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7228 Every year at this time as I walk through my overgrown vegetable garden, I question my sanity. My spring self gets overzealous about planting time and I overdo it, screwing royally my summer self. My garden doesn’t look good, and I struggle to keep up with the harvest. Once I finally harvest, the next project of making sure [...]

The post Growing and harvesting your own dried beans appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
dried beans

Cherokee Trail of Tears dried beans

Every year at this time as I walk through my overgrown vegetable garden, I question my sanity. My spring self gets overzealous about planting time and I overdo it, screwing royally my summer self. My garden doesn’t look good, and I struggle to keep up with the harvest.

Once I finally harvest, the next project of making sure I use all my goodies while they are still fresh begins. The wet, cool spring and very wet summer rendered my tomato plants sick and unproductive. I still managed to put up 10 quarts of Romas and make several quarts of soup from my Dr. Wyche’s Yellow tomatoes. I eat raw cucumber salads every single day and now I need to find something to do with a half dozen beautiful eggplants.

There are some plants that save my sanity such as garlic or the pole beans I plant specifically to harvest for dried beans. Growing beans and harvesting them dry is easy because the beans are only ready to

dried beans

Scarlet runner beans’ showy flowers

harvest when the pods are past mature – they should be shriveled up, brown and dry. you can let them hang there for a long time. Then, once harvested, they will store in your pantry for months with no urgent need to be used right away. Dried beans can be the nutritious and substantial center of winter meals: bean stews, soups, salads and slow cooker meals. And, of course you can save a few of the beans to replant next season.

Every year, I grow Scarlet Runner beans for this purpose. I plant the seeds in galvanized pots, and the graceful vines climb up the trellis in the center of the garden. Hummingbirds cannot resist the masses of showy red flowers that precede huge pods of large beans. The cooked beans are firm in texture, but inside they are buttery and smooth. They hold up well in slow cooked stews.

This year, I added another one: Cherokee Trail of Tears. These beautiful heirloom beans are small, shiny and black. I think they will be perfect for black bean soup, baked vegetarian black bean and spinach enchiladas and this other favorite easy recipe I love.

Planting beans

Beans are disease and pest free in my garden. Amend the soil in your garden with composted manure in

dried beans

Young and mature bean pods

late winter. When the soil has warmed and the threat of frost has passed, sow the seeds. Soaking bean seeds in water for several hours prior to planting speeds germination. I sprinkle the damp seeds with a legume inoculant before planting to help increase yields and improve the nitrogen fixing capacity of beans. Planting beans, especially with an inoculant, is great for your soil and will improve conditions for the next crop you plant in that spot.

Follow the planting depth suggestions on the seed package. In general, large seeds can be planted deeper than small seeds.

Then, stand back! Beans grow quickly in the warm weather. Make sure you have something for your vines to crawl up. Pole beans can be massive plants that, because they grow vertically, won’t take up a lot of space even in a small garden. Many pole bean plants produce pretty flowers that pollinators can’t resist.

Harvesting dried beans

Plant your seeds in full sun for best results. After flowering, you’ll start seeing all the pods hanging from the vines. Do nothing with these beans. Instead, go tend your tomatoes, find a neighbor to take some of your zucchini bumper crop and make pesto with your fresh basil. Only in late summer will you see those same bean pods looking brown and dry. Pick them at your slot-spiele.net leisure. Choose a quiet time when you can sit in the kitchen, crack open the now brittle pods and retrieve the beans.

dried beans

These dry pods are ready to harvest

Store your dried beans in paper or cloth bags and put them in a cool, dry place such as your kitchen pantry. When you cook beans you’ve grown yourself, cooking times may not be nearly as long as the all day project of cooking supermarket dry beans. That’s because yours will be fresher. Cooking dry beans couldn’t be easier assuming you know how to boil water, and the flavor and texture is far superior to canned beans.

Dried beans worth growing

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is my go-to source for nearly my entire garden. Here are some suggestions for beans to grow and harvest dry:

  • Any of the runner beans
  • Ojo de cabra or “eye of the goat” beans
  • Jacob’s cattle beans – these are a bush variety, so they’ll need more space to grow
  • Good mother stallard beans
  • Cherokee trail of tears beans
  • Henderson’s black valentine beans

The post Growing and harvesting your own dried beans appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/18/grow-harvest-dried-beans/feed/ 0
Best DIY summer moisturizer http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/08/best-diy-summer-moisturizer/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/08/best-diy-summer-moisturizer/#respond Wed, 09 Aug 2017 01:06:14 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7204 I have a love-hate relationship with DIY beauty products. After my extreme experiment of making nearly everything I put on my skin with lackluster results, I went back to using a mix of store bought, as-natural-as-possible products and luxurious DIY concoctions based on what works best for me. I first saw this recipe in the Mountain [...]

The post Best DIY summer moisturizer appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
DIY summer moisturizer

This essential oil blend smells good enough to eat.

I have a love-hate relationship with DIY beauty products. After my extreme experiment of making nearly everything I put on my skin with lackluster results, I went back to using a mix of store bought, as-natural-as-possible products and luxurious DIY concoctions based on what works best for me.

I first saw this recipe in the Mountain Rose Herbs inspiring catalog during the dark, gloomy, soggy days of late winter, and it made me yearn for the warm days ahead.

I’ve been slathering this on my sun-punished skin all summer, and it’s a winner. The combination of essential oils in this DIY summer moisturizer leaves skin smelling vibrant. The coconut oil base ensures a little goes a long way and dry skin soaks up the nourishment without feeling greasy.

DIY summer moisturizer

I weigh my oils before melting.

The MRH recipe calls for refined coconut oil, and I suppose it’s because refined coconut oil smells (and tastes) far less coconut-y than its unrefined counterpart.

That neutral base would be a blank canvas for the essential oils, but I already had a huge vat of unrefined coconut oil I bought in bulk that I wanted to use. My version has a faint coconut aroma, but I find it blends well with the citrus. It’s easy to make a lot of this moisturizer at once, so consider doubling it since you’ll go through it quickly.

Ingredients (Makes 4 ounces)

4 ounces coconut oil

15 drops cypress essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

6 drops lemon essential oil

6 drops grapefruit essential oil

6 drops lemongrass essential oil

DIY summer moisturizer

Use a funnel to get the melted oil into your jar.

3 drops helichrysum essential oil

Simply warm the coconut oil gently to melt it and stir in the essential oils. Cool at room temperature until moisturizer is solid, or store in the refrigerator.

 

 

The post Best DIY summer moisturizer appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/08/08/best-diy-summer-moisturizer/feed/ 0
Your garden, your story http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/06/17/your-garden-your-story/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/06/17/your-garden-your-story/#respond Sat, 17 Jun 2017 19:37:29 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7191 When I go on vacation, I usually return home with fewer than a dozen photos. It’s not that I don’t like photos, it’s that in the moment, I’m too busy enjoying the experience to be bothered by snapping photos. If I’m standing barefoot in the wet, cold sand of Pfeiffer Beach in January and the [...]

The post Your garden, your story appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
garden memories

Honeybees love moonflowers as much as I do.

When I go on vacation, I usually return home with fewer than a dozen photos. It’s not that I don’t like photos, it’s that in the moment, I’m too busy enjoying the experience to be bothered by snapping photos. If I’m standing barefoot in the wet, cold sand of Pfeiffer Beach in January and the wind is pelting my face with sand and salty mist while waves crash violently along the rocky shore, I am feeling something so remarkable, pulling out my phone to take photos would ruin it completely.

I know everyone has their own favorite way of preserving memories. For some it’s photos, for others, objects that once belonged to a loved one are significant. One way I remember my life story is through my garden. Our yard is vibrantly alive, dynamic and interactive, and it evokes memories at every turn. Plants produce offspring that can be passed down through families, traded among friends and even taken to new homes. Each plant can remind you of a person, a time in life, a favorite home, the person you used to be or even something sad.

When I was a kid, the first home I remember living in had a shady front yard that was overrun with Lily of the Valley. They were my favorite. As a young child, I would pick them and examine the tiny delicate white bells. The best part though was the scent – I could smell them all day. When I got a little older, my mother used to buy me a perfume that was scented like Lily of the Valley. I didn’t plant them, but our current yard has these ubiquitous little flowers now and even today, I can’t resist picking and smelling them while thinking about my childhood home.

garden memoriesBefore I married Mr. President, I lived in historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a charming little village I used to walk through nearly every day. I loved my solitary walks there looking at the beautiful old homes along my route. One of the homes was on a corner and had a crazy cool garden that wrapped around the front and side. This was right around the time I was starting to get interested in gardening. Before I knew what they were called, I noticed these huge trumpet-shaped fragrant white flowers that bloomed at night in masses on top of large sprawling vines. The flowers perfumed the air as I walked by at night, and I could never resist stopping on the sidewalk to take in every detail of that cottage garden.

I never met or talked to the resident gardener until Rob and I were engaged and I was preparing – with mixed feelings – to sell my beloved first home and move to suburban Philly to live in his place. One night, Rob and I were walking my route together when we saw the woman responsible for that gorgeous garden. I would normally not have said anything to her, but Rob encouraged me to say hello. Within minutes, I was gushing about how much I admired her lovely garden and especially the huge white flowers. She told me they were moonflowers.

To my delight, the woman gave me some seedlings for my garden. I planted them in Rob’s yard, which was soon to be my yard, too. I nurtured the little plants until they became the envy of our neighbors. Because the plants prolifically re-seed themselves every year, we have descendents of those same Bethlehem moonflowers in our current yard, eight years later! What a wonderful way to remember my first home and the first of many conversations with another gardener that inspired me to create something of my own.

Our current yard also has something from Rob’s single days: a stunning, low-growing red Japanese maple he planted when he renovated his childhood home  – the one we lived in when we were first married. When we moved, we hired someone to dig it up and plant it here – quite a feat considering how large the tree had grown. Today, it spans about 7 feet in diameter and provides vibrant color at one end of our pool.

garden memoriesI grow California poppies to remind me of how they look lighting up hillsides along the central coast of California, my favorite place to visit. I grew toad lilies in the deep shade of my Bethlehem yard, and before I left, I dug them up. Those same plants bloom every fall in the shadiest spot in our yard here with exotic spotted purple flowers I admire right by our outdoor shower. Even the arched trellis that lends support to runner bean vines in my vegetable garden was once the chuppah Rob and I were married beneath. We have a sculpture, a wedding gift, made by a talented friend that stands tall among the perennials and grasses at the end of our pool.

Memories don’t need to be frozen in time. What I love about the memories evoked every day in my garden is that they grow and change, just as life does. I can interact with and care for them. They provide a constant in this life of uncertainty and constant change. No matter what’s going on in the world or in my life, every June, I can count on having hundreds of new moonflower seedlings, new life somehow connected to who I used to be.

What memories do you keep in your garden?

The post Your garden, your story appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/06/17/your-garden-your-story/feed/ 0
Gluten-free carrot pancakes http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/04/03/gluten-free-carrot-pancakes/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/04/03/gluten-free-carrot-pancakes/#respond Tue, 04 Apr 2017 00:36:10 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7173 How do I know when spring has sprung? Some of my personal tell-tale signs include: not being OK with the unacceptable appearance of my feet, rushing to do basically everything outside even though it’s still too cold, feeling overwhelmed with all the gardening chores that need to be done and my desire to stop eating [...]

The post Gluten-free carrot pancakes appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
gluten free carrot pancakes

How do I know when spring has sprung? Some of my personal tell-tale signs include: not being OK with the unacceptable appearance of my feet, rushing to do basically everything outside even though it’s still too cold, feeling overwhelmed with all the gardening chores that need to be done and my desire to stop eating all things cooked low and slow.

Early spring is a local food lover’s biggest challenge because the supply of most storage crops and root vegetables is coming to an end and there is a lack of fresh food in season. So, we do the best we can. I am very lucky to have a farmers market nearby that runs year-round, and I can count on it for a select few crops this time of year. For the rest, I shop my local co-op.

This recipe from Bon Appetit appeared in their Best Recipes 2015 cookbook, which I now think was their only book of its kind after I failed to see a 2016 edition. It caught my attention because I love savory pancake-like items (like these with butternut squash and leeks!) for meals any time of the day. They make an ideal and totally portable lunch or dinner served over crisp greens. For breakfast, you know what they say: add an egg.

The first time I made these carrot pancakes, I was sure they wouldn’t work out. I thought the batter would never hold together and they’d be bland. They turned out beautifully and tasted great, especially with the zesty arugula and rich salted yogurt. I even added sliced avocado to make the meal more substantial. It’s the perfect light spring meal to have before you address those “winter feet” or head out to the garden to work on your long to-do list.

I give these a “good for singles” rating because leftover carrot pancakes can be reheated the next day, or they can be frozen for later use.

Ingredients (serves 4, or so they say)

4 large eggs, beaten to blend

1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated (I use the large holes on my box grater, but watch your fingers!)

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chickpea flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp. or more olive oil, divided

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (can be Greek if you prefer)

Spicy greens like arugula, watercress or baby mustard greens

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)

gluten free carrot pancakesStep one:

4 large eggs, beaten to blend

1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chickpea flour

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix eggs, carrots, cilantro and chickpea flour in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Step two:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (can be Greek if you prefer)

Spicy greens like arugula, watercress or baby mustard greens

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Season yogurt with salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well. Chill until ready to use for serving. Toss greens with lemon juice and the olive oil and set aside.

Step three:

gluten free carrot pancakes2 Tbsp. olive oil

Heat remaining olive oil in a large skillet such as a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Scoop 2 half-cupfuls of carrot batter into the skillet, gently pressing to flatten to about 1/2-inch thickness with the back of a spatula. Cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes before gently flipping to cook the other side. Pancakes should be golden brown. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter to make two more pancakes. Add more oil to the skillet if needed.

Serve carrot pancakes alongside or over top of the fresh dressed greens. Add a dollop of seasoned yogurt, and season with flaky sea salt and more pepper.

 

 

 

The post Gluten-free carrot pancakes appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/04/03/gluten-free-carrot-pancakes/feed/ 0
Olive oil: the real deal http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/03/28/olive-oil-real-deal/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/03/28/olive-oil-real-deal/#respond Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:58 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7164 A great book can change your life or at least part of it. I recently read (and reviewed!) a book like that called Real Food, Fake Food by Larry Olmsed. It reminded me that great food can also be life-changing, especially when you know exactly what it is you’re eating and you are getting what you [...]

The post Olive oil: the real deal appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
three tins of premium olive oil

Our three oils, set up for a taste test

A great book can change your life or at least part of it. I recently read (and reviewed!) a book like that called Real Food, Fake Food by Larry Olmsed. It reminded me that great food can also be life-changing, especially when you know exactly what it is you’re eating and you are getting what you pay for.

Among all of the fake foods being marketed that the author talks about – from truffle oil to red snapper and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese – he says olive oil is one of the most prevalent fake foods that Americans eat every day.  In fact, he says that many Americans have never actually tasted real extra virgin olive oil.

This isn’t a news flash. In fact, the fake olive oil industry was exposed several years ago. In 2010, the University of California Davis published a study that shook up the industry and helped inform consumers. It seems that the real deal isn’t impossible to find, but it’s easier if you can find a direct source. When a middleman is involved, olive oil gets cut with cheaper oils to increase profit and mislabeling runs rampant.

I live in Pennsylvania, not exactly the world’s olive oil mecca. Besides knowing the reputable brands, I was stumped about how to find a reputable source. Then, I got a tip from my good-food-loving locavore boss. She adopted a share of a real olive grove in Italy and reaps the rewards in the form of pure, delicious extra virgin olive oil shipped right to her home. I wanted in on this action myself!

The cooperative I am now a proud member of is called Nudo. It consists of a number of small-scale olive growers in Italy who produce real, artisanal olive oil. When you adopt a share of your chosen grove, you provide the farmers with security and the income they need to continue growing and producing quality oil in a sustainable way. I think the idea is close to community supported agriculture (CSA) in that you invest in the farmers and share in the risks and rewards that come with growing food.

I know I am not one of those millions of Americans who has never tasted real olive oil. I certainly have, but I was still excited to receive my first quarterly shipment of oils from Nudo. In the fall, the oils are infused, and I received three tins of oil infused with lemon, rosemary or garlic. My next shipment consisted of three larger tins of plain olive oil.

As I read in Real Food, Fake Food, quality extra virgin olive oil shouldn’t be made into sauces and toppings. Instead, it alone should be the sauce or topping, and I found Nudo’s oil to be completely worthy of standing alone to finish our fancy salads and most decadent pastas and top our homemade sourdough bread. The day our first trio of oils arrived, Mr. President and I happily dug into all of them and dipped cubes of bread into each to taste. Out.Of.This.World!

The cost for adopting part of your chosen Nudo grove is $69 per quarter. This is not cheap olive oil, but I’m using it sparingly and where it has the chance to shine. Now, I really can’t wait until my summer tomatoes come in – I’m dreaming of slices still warm from the sun, drizzled with my Nudo olive oil and sprinkled with just a bit of flaky sea salt. No need for a passport – I can just close my eyes and dream of Italy!

 

 

The post Olive oil: the real deal appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/03/28/olive-oil-real-deal/feed/ 0
Apple Dutch Baby http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/01/08/apple-dutch-baby/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/01/08/apple-dutch-baby/#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2017 01:37:12 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7140 Tonight, the temperature here is going down to 7 degrees. Seven. For us here in eastern Pennsylvania, that’s unusually cold even in the dead of winter. Everyone’s face gets all scrunched up when they’re outside because it hurts. I don’t mind winter or the cold so much at all, as long as I have my [...]

The post Apple Dutch Baby appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
Dutch baby recipe

Tonight, the temperature here is going down to 7 degrees. Seven. For us here in eastern Pennsylvania, that’s unusually cold even in the dead of winter. Everyone’s face gets all scrunched up when they’re outside because it hurts.

I don’t mind winter or the cold so much at all, as long as I have my creature comforts. At our house, that means dogs and cats to cuddle up with, a fire burning in the fireplace all day, a needlework project to work on, hot coffee and a fully stocked pantry so I can make a comforting breakfast.

We enjoy this apple Dutch baby frequently at our place, and it’s easy to make. It is a skillet pancake with more interesting textures than your typical pancake. The center will be kind of custardy like bread pudding, but the edges get crispy and light. So, so good. And, the way it puffs up is awe-inspiring. Just beautiful!

 

When you have company for breakfast, make this. It’s decadent and no one (you) has to stand over the stove, cooking things in batches while trying to keep the rest warm or watching bitterly as everyone eats ahead of you. When my parents visited recently, I had two skillets going at once in the oven, and then we all ate at the same time.

Some notes on technique: Before going to bed the night before, take your eggs out of the fridge and leave them on the counter. Room temperature ingredients are best for this Bon Appetit Dutch baby recipe. The key to getting the awesome lift of a proper Dutch baby is to have your pan very hot when you add the batter to it. So, don’t skimp on that step.

Ingredients (Serves 4, but really only 2) 

Dutch baby recipe3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk, preferably room temperature, but not necessary

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 apple, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Real maple syrup

Dutch baby recipeStep one: 

3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup whole milk, preferably room temperature, but not necessary

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425°.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Dutch baby recipeStep two:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 apple, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the apple slices and sprinkle them with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are coated with mixture and softened, about 5 minutes.

Remove apples from the skillet and set aside. Wipe out the skillet.

Dutch baby recipeStep three:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Real maple syrup

Place the skillet in the hot oven for a full 10 minutes – don’t cheat!

Carefully slide oven rack with the super-hot skillet out and add the butter to melt. Swirl the pan gently to coat the bottom and the sides of the skillet. Add the reserved apples to the center of the skillet. Next, pour batter into the skillet. Close oven door and bake until dramatically puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve with warm maple syrup and hot, strong coffee.

The post Apple Dutch Baby appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2017/01/08/apple-dutch-baby/feed/ 0
Book Review: Real Food Fake Food http://tomatoenvy.com/2016/11/27/book-review-real-food-fake-food/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2016/11/27/book-review-real-food-fake-food/#respond Sun, 27 Nov 2016 15:31:38 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7102 I have often said my life would be easier if I wasn’t informed about food and if I didn’t care deeply about eating good, honest, sustainable and humanely raised food. There is nothing convenient about my quest for food. There is no one-stop shopping since I need to visit several places just to get everything I [...]

The post Book Review: Real Food Fake Food appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
fake foodI have often said my life would be easier if I wasn’t informed about food and if I didn’t care deeply about eating good, honest, sustainable and humanely raised food.

There is nothing convenient about my quest for food. There is no one-stop shopping since I need to visit several places just to get everything I need. Sometimes, I drive two hours with a cooler in the car to buy the best grass-fed meat around. And, for what I can’t grow organically in my garden, fresh pastured eggs and seasonal fruit, the next stop is the farmer’s market. For pantry staples, I shop our local food co-op where we have been members for years. For what they don’t have, I make the trip to Whole Foods. Then, there’s the cooking: no convenience foods and everything made from scratch.

I just finished reading Larry Olmsted’s book Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating & What You Can Do About It. What I learned will no doubt help me buy better food, but it will not make my life more convenient.

Exposing Fake Food

This book is an investigation of the world’s most commonly faked foods. Some common fakes, like olive oil, have been in the spotlight for years, but others may surprise you. Did you know that even if you go to the most high-end Manhattan sushi bar for dinner, you probably won’t be eating the fish you ordered? Or that truffle oil on a menu is a telltale sign you should go elsewhere? Or that you should call “BS” on any Kobe beef hamburgers you see on a restaurant menu?

Olmsted begins with a detailed chapter on the “King of Cheese,” the one and only Parmigiano-Reggiano. In it, he describes how the cheese is painstakingly crafted under the strictest standards. From how the dairy cows are fed, to the maximum length of time the milk can exist before becoming cheese to the aging process, the Italian government strictly regulates every step. The result is a cheese that is truly addictive and of the highest quality. It’s a far cry from the powdery mess you can buy in those green canisters.

After I read that first chapter I looked for the telltale signs of real Parmesan on my next trip to my local Whole Foods. I was relieved to see that what I’ve been buying all these years is the real deal. I was also then motivated to seek out the real thing at other places. I was successful at both a local artisan, old school cheese shop and, of all places, Costco. I can get a huge brick of real Parmigiano-Reggiano for a fraction of what the same amount would cost at Whole Foods.

Game Changing

As it is, Mr. President and I don’t eat at restaurants very often. Even before I read Real Food Fake Food, I would not order restaurant meat since it’s not likely to meet the standards for what I will eat at home – only pastured and humanely raised. That means I often chose the seafood entree. But now, even that is suspect based on what I’ve learned. I know anytime I see red snapper on a menu, it is probably going to be something else when I get it. I order differently at restaurants now, and have come to appreciate the vegetarian options even more than I used to.

I learned why country of origin is so important when buying seafood, especially shrimp. I also learned which stores are known for honest labeling of frequently faked foods and which stores to avoid.

The Joy of Real Food

What I most appreciate about Olmstead’s book is that his exposé doesn’t paint a dire and bleak picture that takes the joy out of eating at home or out on the town. Each chapter ends with specific and helpful shopping tips to ensure you get more of what you are paying for. By enjoying real foods prepared exactly the way they should be, you will get even more pleasure out of every meal.

What I found immensely satisfying about reading Real Food Fake Food is the validation that all of the inconvenience I endure in the pursuit of our meals is completely and totally worth it. Doing so increases the chance that our hard-earned money is buying what we intend to buy. I have a great respect and appreciation for food that is prepared traditionally and with painstaking attention to detail, as with real Parmigiano-Reggiano or cold-pressed olive oils. I want to support the people who do it with my dollars and help their businesses thrive.

Real Food Fake Food is not only a great read for anyone who is concerned about fake food and wishes to avoid it, but it will inform and entertain anyone who just loves to eat well. This book will inspire you to spend your money where it matters and discover the decadent joy only read food can provide.

 

 

The post Book Review: Real Food Fake Food appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2016/11/27/book-review-real-food-fake-food/feed/ 0
Spiced Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad http://tomatoenvy.com/2016/10/07/spiced-roasted-eggplant-bulgur-salad/ http://tomatoenvy.com/2016/10/07/spiced-roasted-eggplant-bulgur-salad/#comments Sat, 08 Oct 2016 00:19:07 +0000 http://tomatoenvy.com/?p=7080 As in years’ past, the leaves on my garden eggplants look like Swiss cheese this October. Once again they are the unfortunate victims of flea beetles I simply didn’t take the time to battle. There was even a big fat tomato hornworm I didn’t have the heart to kill. It was huge by the time I [...]

The post Spiced Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
roasted eggplant

As in years’ past, the leaves on my garden eggplants look like Swiss cheese this October. Once again they are the unfortunate victims of flea beetles I simply didn’t take the time to battle. There was even a big fat tomato hornworm I didn’t have the heart to kill. It was huge by the time I discovered it, and I figured 99 percent of the damage it would do was already done.

Even so, the plants are still delivering beautiful, mild-fleshed eggplants. I vowed to find something to do with them that doesn’t involve frying, marinara sauce and cheese like my standby recipe, eggplant gratin. I truly love it cooked into a bubbling cheesy mess, but I wanted something different.

This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe appeared in Bon Appetit. I suspected it could stop me from constantly yearning for the roasted eggplant at my favorite Israeli restaurant, Zahav. I was right.

The process of making this was fraught with suspicion. “Do I even have preserved lemon peel?” I thought. “Hmmmm, that looks like an awful lot of spice mixture to put on these eggplants. Really, I should use it all?”

roasted eggplantI made this on a particularly busy Sunday, and I started setting low expectations early with Mr. President, letting him know I was skeptical of this new recipe. But, when we took that first bite, we were sold – this perfect blend of spices melts into the roasted eggplant which gets smooth and creamy during cooking. Paired with the light bulgur salad that’s heavy on the fresh herbs, it’s a satisfying vegetarian dinner. If you’re cooking for one, make it anyway and enjoy the wonderful leftovers later.

Ingredients (Serves 4 supposedly, but it really just served us two)

1 cup quick-cooking bulgur

1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

2 Tbsp. preserved lemon peel, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 medium eggplants, about 9-10 ounces each, cut in half lengthwise

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup dried currants

1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

roasted eggplant1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

Step one:

1 cup quick-cooking bulgur

In a large bowl, combine the bulgur with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Let sit for about 45 minutes and stir occasionally. The grain will soak up the water and will be tender.

Step two:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. preserved lemon peel, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

roasted eggplant1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 medium eggplants, about 9-10 ounces each, cut in half lengthwise

While bulgur is soaking, get started on the eggplant.

Preheat your oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup olive oil with all of the spices, lemon peel, garlic and salt. Set mixture aside.

Using a small paring knife, carefully score the cut surfaces of each eggplant half using a crosshatch pattern. The cuts can be about 1/2-inch deep, but avoid cutting through the skin. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each eggplant half and sprinkle each with a little salt. Next, evenly spread each half with one-fourth of the reserved spice mixture making sure to go all the way to the edges. Place the eggplants on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up, and bake for about 50 minutes. The eggplants should be very soft when they are done.

Step three:

1/2 cup pitted green olives, quartered lengthwise

1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

1/3 cup dried currants

roasted eggplant1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper

While eggplant is roasting, prepare the ingredients for the salad. Combine all ingredients with the bulgur once it is tender. Let sit for about 30 minutes at room temperature so flavors can blend. The salad can be made well ahead of time, if desired.

Once eggplant is done, plate it with some of the bulgur salad and drizzle everything with olive oil. If desired you can serve a dollop of full-fat plain yogurt on the side. This eggplant is best when served warm or at room temperature.

 

The post Spiced Roasted Eggplant with Bulgur Salad appeared first on Tomato Envy.

]]>
http://tomatoenvy.com/2016/10/07/spiced-roasted-eggplant-bulgur-salad/feed/ 2