Pamela Salzman http://pamelasalzman.com Kitchen Matters & Recipes Tue, 28 Jul 2015 04:01:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 baked zucchini fries recipe http://pamelasalzman.com/baked-zucchini-fries-recipe/ http://pamelasalzman.com/baked-zucchini-fries-recipe/#respond Tue, 28 Jul 2015 04:01:01 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=12092 My kids can’t get enough of these zucchini fries and I can’t get enough of hearing them beg me for vegetables!  After I returned home from New York last week, my son, the one and only Mr. Picky, said, “I don’t know what you’re making for dinner this week, but please include zucchini fries!”  Pinch...

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baked zucchini fries | pamela salzman

My kids can’t get enough of these zucchini fries and I can’t get enough of hearing them beg me for vegetables!  After I returned home from New York last week, my son, the one and only Mr. Picky, said, “I don’t know what you’re making for dinner this week, but please include zucchini fries!”  Pinch me.

cut zucchini into fries

I know the recipe is posted on the Today Show website, but I didn’t actually demo the recipe during my segment and I do have some tips to share.  Keep in mind, if you love zucchini fries when you go to a restaurant, these are similar, but not exactly the same.  Those are deep-fried, and we all know deep-fried food, EVEN A VEGETABLE, is really, really bad for you.  Sorry to remind you, but restaurants use the lowest quality oil to fry foods and they use it over and over and over again.  It is like a big vat of inflammation and free-radicals and transfats and likely GMO’s — everything you want to avoid.  So we’re going to bake these, ok?

baked zucchini fries | pamela salzman

They’re still going to be crispy and tasty, they’re just not going to be greasy.  Perfect reason to dip these fries into something.  I eat them as is, but my husband (just a grown-up kid really) likes these dipped in tomato sauce (homemade recipe here) or Ranch dressing (homemade recipe here) and my son will also eat them with mustard.   I find two things to be true with kids and vegetables — they love dips and they like things that resemble French fries.  That makes this recipe a double winner!

baked zucchini fries | pamela salzman

But I’m not going to lie — even though this is an easy recipe, requiring no special skills or culinary training, they’re kind of a pain to make because you’re dipping a lot of zucchini sticks into egg and then breadcrumbs and arranging them just so on a baking sheet.  My advice is to get your kids or someone to help you and then this becomes no big deal.  You can also cut the zucchini in the morning to save on prep time before dinner.

baked zucchini fries | pamela salzman

I know so many of you have zucchini coming out of your ears right now.  Try not to let them grow too big.  For this recipe especially, you want to select small to medium zucchini which contain fewer seeds and aren’t bitter like some big ones. And the trick is to cut them into the size no bigger than a normal adult finger.  If you cut them too big, they won’t get tender enough and if you cut them too small, they can get dried out.

baked zucchini fries | pamela salzman

The only problem with this recipe is that it never makes enough.  It says “serves 6,” but that’s hardly true.  I actually never got to eat 1 fry during the entire month I taught this recipe because there were never any left.  Once you start, you can’t stop.  So for the first time, I can’t answer the question “how long do leftovers last in the fridge?”  No matter how many you make, there won’t be any!

Baked Zucchini Fries
Author: 
Serves: serves 6
 
Ingredients
  • Unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium zucchini
  • 1 cup dry bread crumbs (use GF breadcrumbs to make these GF)*
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (omit to make these dairy-free)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs**
  • Unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil spray
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and brush parchment with olive oil.
  2. To cut your zucchini into fries, cut each zucchini in half crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into halves or in thirds, and each one of those pieces into 4 sticks or into ½-inch wide sticks.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, red pepper and salt. In a separate shallow dish beat eggs very well.
  4. One by one, dip each zucchini stick into the egg mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Shake to remove any excess and place on the baking sheet.
  5. Once all are coated with breadcrumb mixture and on the prepared baking sheet, spray with olive oil.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, flipping over halfway to ensure browning on both sides. Serve plain or with marinara sauce or Ranch dressing.
Notes
*Do not use panko bread crumbs instead of the standard bread crumbs. They do not stick as well.
**You can also dip the zucchini in olive oil instead of eggs for an egg-free version.

baked zucchini fries | pamela salzman

For more great zucchini recipes, check these out:

Grain-free Chocolate Zucchini Cake (seriously the bomb!)

Zucchini-Gruyere Tart

Zucchini-Blueberry Bread

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Corn and Zucchini Frittata

Summer Garden Frittata

Zucchini “Pasta”

Summer Minestrone

 

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five friday favorites 07.24.15 http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-24-15/ http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-24-15/#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 18:10:37 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=12078 What a week!  In case you missed my posts on Instagram and Facebook, I was on The Today Show this past Wednesday!  I know!!!  Such a fun experience for me and I cooked up three great family-friendly recipes using zucchini.  I know many of you might have a boatload of zucchini in your gardens right...

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What a week!  In case you missed my posts on Instagram and Facebook, I was on The Today Show this past Wednesday!  I know!!!  Such a fun experience for me and I cooked up three great family-friendly recipes using zucchini.  I know many of you might have a boatload of zucchini in your gardens right now, so you should definitely check them out.  Here’s the link to the video and the recipes.  Happy Friday and happy cooking!

Here are some favorites I’ve been sharing in my classes the last few weeks:

 

Tonnino Tuna in Olive Oil

Tonnino -- fave tuna | pamela salzman

Here’s something you may not know about me — I am OBSESSED with tuna.  I could eat a tuna salad sandwich every day and be very happy.  I love tuna mixed with pasta, made into a patty and on top of salad greens.  I love it stuffed into roasted peppers or in a Nicoise salad.  I. Love. It.  There are two types of tuna I use and they are both great pantry staples.  The first one is the kind packed in a can, usually in water, and I use that for tuna salad sandwiches, patties or for tuna-pasta salad.  The other kind is packed in oil and I use that in a Nicoise or in green salads.

In my classes this month I am teaching a fabulous salad with tuna, white beans, greens, capers and a basil vinaigrette.  I am crazy about it.  But one of the reasons it is an exceptional salad is because of the exceptional Tonnino tuna I am using.  The first time I tried it I was with my class assistant Lauren and we were eating it straight out of the jar and looking at each other like “OMG.  Is this stuff for real?”  It is so tender and flavorful without being fishy, which is unusual for tuna.

I love all the different varieties — plain, oregano, lemon, jalapeño, and then the deluxe — Ventresca, which is the belly of the tuna.  You’ll be spoiled for life with that one.  Want to know what else I love about this product?  CLEAN!  Wild-caught and in a glass jar.  No worries about BPA or aluminum.  And the Environmental Working Group has rated Tonnino Ventresca tuna a “low concern” with respect to nutrition and ingredients, which is amazing considering how many tuna products are loaded with mercury and other contaminants.  Tuna of my dreams, people.

You can buy this at Whole Foods (although at my WF it is located in the seafood department, and not with the canned tuna), Amazon and Vitacost.  I already emailed Thrive Market to please start carrying it!

 

 

Wildwood Organics Sprouted Tofu

my favorite tofu | pamela salzman

Despite the fact that I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I am not a huge soy eater.  There is a lot of controversy surrounding soy and soy products like tofu these days.   And given all the pros (e.g. high in protein) and cons (e.g. anti-nutrients, hard to digest), I prefer to limit my soy intake to fermented soy and minimally processed, as opposed to unfermented and/or heavily processed. Fermented soy products are shoyu, miso, tamari, and tempeh.

Tofu is a bit processed, so even though I do like it, I don’t eat that much of it.  Of course, there are so many things you can do with tofu; you can sub it for eggs in a scramble, add it to stir-fries, sear it, marinate it, you name it. If it can be done with meat it can almost always be done with tofu as well. But tofu also has a place in foods like smoothies and puddings– it can be blended to form a creamy, yogurt like texture without having the cons of dairy.

But when I do buy it, I buy Wildwood Organics’ sprouted tofu. I prefer this product because it is made with organic soybeans, which is a must because conventional soybeans are most likely GMO. Second, they sprout their soybeans, which basically means they have soaked so that some of the anti-nutrient compounds are neutralized making it a much more digestible and nutritious food.  I have found Wildwood sprouted tofu in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods.

Annie’s Organic Graham Crackers

cleanest graham crackers | pamela salzman

I don’t have time to make everything from scratch.  I do love baking and I do love making things that are hard to find high-quality in a packaged form, like graham crackers.  I actually have a fantastic recipe on my site for homemade graham crackers, but they take a little time because you have to roll them out and prick them, etc.

It is s’mores season and if you’re not going to make your own graham crackers, you should look for the cleanest ones possible.  From what I can find, Annie’s Organic Graham Crackers are the best and they taste delicious.  Besides being certified organic and non-GMO, the first ingredient is whole wheat flour (not “wheat flour,” which does not indicate a whole grain flour) and there are no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.  Annie’s does contain some sugar, but they all do.  EWG rated Annie’s the lowest concern of all the graham crackers in their database.  I found Annie’s at Whole Foods, but I am sure they can be found at many local markets.

Try this recipe on my site for Grilled Banana S’mores!

 

Seasonal produce:  Green Beans

green beans

I love doing these seasonal produce spotlights to reinforce what is actually in season.  Green beans have a season and it is summer!  Fortunately, my family, including Mr. Picky, likes green beans. Yippee!  I make them pretty often in the summer and into the fall because they are so versatile and go with everything.

Green beans, aka “string beans” are quite nutritious.  They are loaded with chlorophyll (good for detoxing, high antioxidants, reducing anemia, immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory), carotenoids (some of which can be converted to Vitamin A, major antioxidants, can help prevent certain cancers and eye disease) and silicon (good for bone health.)

Like with most produce, the fresher the green beans, the better.  As green beans sit in the fridge, they get tougher and lose some of their juiciness.  In my opinion, green beans love salt, so blanching with a good amount of kosher salt is helpful.  Blanched green beans are great on a crudités platter, in a composed salad, or chopped in a grain-based salad.  They’re also great roasted with shallots and lemon and for Thanksgiving in a classic green bean casserole.  Here are some great recipes from my site and around the web:

Spicy Honey-Lemon Green Beans

Fennel and Green Bean Salad with Olives

Harvest Chopped Salad

Green Bean Slaw by 101 Cookbooks

Oven Roasted Green Beans with Pistachio and Parmesan Gremolata by The Skinny

Charred Green Beans with Harissa and Almonds by Bon Appetit

Cheesy Oven Baked Green Bean “Fries” by SHAPE Magazine

 

Superfood Spotlight: Acai

acai

I wish acai was around when I was a kid.  I know it has been around for probably thousands of years, but I mean I wish it was actually available and in our lives.  I can’t remember my first acai bowl, but it was probably about 6 years ago.  I’ve had too many to count since then, but that first one was a game changer!  So creamy and delicious and I had been convinced acai was a wonder food.

Well, we all know one food can’t save your life, especially if you’re adding a ton of granola and honey to it, but acai on it’s own is pretty amazing.  Acai (prononced ah-sigh-EE) is a berry native to the Amazon (the rainforest, not the online shopping site).  Acai’s claims to fame are its insane antioxidant levels (more than blueberries!), healthful fats and a good smattering of iron, calcium and beta-carotene.  It also happens to be very low in carbs and sugar (not sweet at all.)  What I love is acai’s deep berry, almost chocolatey flavor.

Most people are using packets of frozen acai puree that you can find in most supermarkets.  Please read the ingredients to make sure you’re just getting acai puree and not any additives.  Nativo is a clean brand, if you can find it.  There are others too, just read the ingredient list on the package.  You can use the frozen pulp in smoothies and acai bowls.  Here’s a recipe for an acai bowl that you can make at home.  (They are so expensive at Paradise Bowls and such places!)  Another way you can incorporate it into your diet is with a powder.  Sunfoods and Navitas Naturals have a high quality acai powder which would be great in smoothies, in your overnight chia and oat porridge, chia pudding or even in popsicles!  The powder is also available at health food stores, as well as amazon, thrive market (best price by far)and vita cost.

Lastly, I have seen bottled acai drinks.  Please, please, please read the ingredient lists and check the sugar content.  Because acai is not sweet, there are often sweeteners (like cane syrup — hello?  SUGAR!)  added to make the drink taste good.  In my opinion, you’re kind of defeating the purpose of consuming acai if you do it with a ton of sugar.  Just trying to keep you healthy!  😉

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How to Make a Smoothie Bowl: Recipe and Video http://pamelasalzman.com/how-to-make-a-smoothie-bowl-recipe-and-video/ http://pamelasalzman.com/how-to-make-a-smoothie-bowl-recipe-and-video/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 02:44:56 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=12071 I live and teach in Los Angeles where people grab onto a food fad and hold on for dear life. Until the next cool thing comes around. Acai bowls were all the rage a few years ago.  Maybe they haven’t made it to your neck of the woods yet, but no matter because you can make one...

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I live and teach in Los Angeles where people grab onto a food fad and hold on for dear life. Until the next cool thing comes around. Acai bowls were all the rage a few years ago.  Maybe they haven’t made it to your neck of the woods yet, but no matter because you can make one yourself.  Not only are acai bowls delicious, but they are a pretty healthy snack.  It’s almost like a not-as-sweet soft serve made with frozen acai, frozen bananas and frozen strawberries plus a little juice or almond milk to help blend it.  But it’s the toppings (like granola, coconut, nuts, banana) that make an acai bowl even more delicious because of the contrast in textures. And then when acai bowls weren’t exciting enough, pitaya bowls came onto the scene.

And then someone figured out that you could pour your smoothie into a bowl and top it with any number of great toppings and eat it with a spoon instead of a straw.  Genius.

Most people seem to make their smoothie bowls pretty liquid-y, but slightly thicker than a normal smoothie, at least so the toppings don’t sink.  I personally like them as thick as an acai bowl or soft serve.  I taught these in my breakfast classes last year and everyone preferred the thicker versions.  There is no right or wrong way to do it.  BUT, if you want to eat this as a meal replacement, I recommend getting some protein in the smoothie or in the toppings.

Protein could be:

  • nuts or nut butter
  • seeds, like hemp, flax meal, sunflower, pumpkin or chia
  • protein powder

how to make a smoothie bowl | pamela salzman

These are some of my recent creations that I have posted on Instagram and Facebook, but like I said — there are infinite possibilities.  Watch my video if you’re a visual learner and also because I show you how to make a smoothie bowl in a Vitamix and a food processor.

And if you really need an actual recipe just to get you started, see an example below. Or just make your favorite smoothie with a little less liquid, pour it into a bowl and add lots of toppings!  Have fun and stay cool!

Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups (if you’re using a Vitamix or another high-powered blender, you can cut bananas into larger pieces), FROZEN or 1 ½ ripe bananas, frozen and 4 frozen figs
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ¼ - ½ cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice (or even more if you want a pourable smoothie)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
  • sweeten to taste with a few teaspoons (more or less) of raw honey, Grade A maple syrup or a couple drops of stevia, if necessary (you might not need any)
  • Toppings: bee pollen, hemp seeds, raw cacao nibs, toasted coconut, chopped walnuts or almonds, granola
Instructions
  1. Place bananas and strawberries in the bowl of a food processor or Vitamix or other high-powered blender. Add almond milk, vanilla and sweetener to taste. Process until smooth and creamy. I find that the food processor needs a little more liquid and a few more seconds to achieve the desired consistency, which is like soft serve ice cream.
  2. Transfer the ice cream to bowls and serve immediately with toppings, if desired. If eating this as a meal for breakfast, try to add protein toppings such as nuts or seeds or add a scoop of protein powder to the blender. If you use a sweetened protein powder, add a handful of ice to the blender so the smoothie is not too sweet.
  3. You can also store the smoothie bowl in the freezer for another time, but you’ll need to allow it to sit on the countertop to soften up for a few minutes before eating so that it’s scoopable.
  4. Notes: these measurements are flexible. Use more strawberries if you like or sub blueberries.
Notes
Notes: these measurements are flexible. Use more strawberries if you like or sub blueberries.

Another variation: chocolate smoothie bowl – use 4 frozen bananas, 2 Tbs. raw cacao powder, ¼ - ½ cup almond milk, ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, sweetener if necessary

Mocha smoothie bowl: make chocolate smoothie bowl with 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

Chocolate peanut butter smoothie bowl: make chocolate smoothie bowl with 2 Tablespoons (or more) natural peanut butter.

 

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Five Friday Favorites 07.17.15 http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-17-15/ http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-17-15/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 18:19:32 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=12021 Hey, everyone!  Happy Friday!!  Isn’t summer the best?  I hope you’re enjoying these beautiful days and nights.  I wanted to share a few things I’ve been talking about in my classes lately.  I know you’ll love them all! Terro Fruit Fly Trap I honestly can only think of one downside to all of the delicious...

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Hey, everyone!  Happy Friday!!  Isn’t summer the best?  I hope you’re enjoying these beautiful days and nights.  I wanted to share a few things I’ve been talking about in my classes lately.  I know you’ll love them all!

Terro Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit Fly Trap

I honestly can only think of one downside to all of the delicious summer stone fruit that we get this time of year.  I’m not sure about you, but whenever I keep these fruits on the countertop I get pesky fruit flies.  It drives me mad and half the time I end up with a dishtowel covering all of those beauties. My go-to natural remedy for this in the past has been a bowl of dish soap, vinegar and water left on the countertop next to my fruit platters. However, summer also means  that my kids are home more and running in and out of the kitchen all of the time = bowl of vinegar and dish soap knocked over on my counter often.  Sad face.

Lucky for me my husband found this handy non-toxic fruit fly trap by a company called Terro. The actual trap is a plastic apple that at least slightly blends in with the rest of the fruit, and then you fill it with a few drops of solution and leave it on your countertop.  It totally works and really contains the fruit fly problem in my house.  It is inexpensive and on amazon prime and a summer necessity for anyone that is stocking up on their stone fruits like I am!

 

Seasonal Produce: Peaches

Peaches

The amount of joy that I get when peaches first begin showing up at the local markets is not necessarily something that I think is normal or that most people would understand.  If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might notice most of my breakfasts lately have included peaches.  And that is because they are my favorite fruit and I am obsessed!  Peaches are so delicious on their own and have so many unique uses for summer salads, salsas, as a topping for oatmeal, or served with ice cream for dessert. They complement so many other flavors such as blueberries, tomatoes, basil, balsamic, almonds and pecans.

They are just about as nutritious as they are delicious, too! They are high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C and contain minerals such as potassium, magnesium and zinc. And believe me when I say they are lower in calories than any other food that is equally as sweet! When choosing peaches at the market look for ones that has a vibrant color without any green tones.  I also smell the peaches and look for a slightly sweet aroma.  I prefer to buy my peaches firmer and let them ripen on my countertop. They will ripen more quickly if tucked in a paper bag with an apple or banana, and once ripe can be stored in the refrigerator. Check out some of my favorite peach recipes that I have posted, as well as some others from around the web!

Arugula Salad with Farro and Peaches

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

Individual Warm Peach Pie Pots

Mache and Peach Salad with Jalapeno Vinaigrette by Sprouted Kitchen

Peach, Basil, and Ricotto Flatbread by Cookie and Kate

Peach Oat Smoothie by Minimalist Baker

 

Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Burgers

HilarysEatWell Veggie burgers

I know that I am always touting that homemade will beat store bought anything, anytime, anywhere. There has yet to be a packaged product that I really think is comprable enough to the real deal, especially when it comes to nutrition. However, after trying these veggie burgers by Hilary’s, my mind has been blown. These veggies burgers are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, non-gmo, the list goes on and on; the company is sustainable, and above all these are DELICIOUS!! Win, win, win!! They are made with high quality ingredients like organic millet, quinoa and coconut oil and come in a variety of flavors like root veggie and hemp & greens. I toasted mine in the toaster oven and in 10 minutes had an absolutely delicious and nutritious burger! You can check out the website here for where these are sold, but where I live they can be found at GROW and Whole Foods.

 

OXO Triple Kitchen Timer

kitchen timer

I’ll admit, when I am cooking I can get slightly distracted on any given day by helping with homework, checking email, and doing the laundry.  I could not live without a kitchen timer to help me remember what’s on the stove.  And because I am usually cooking more than one thing at a time, I need a kitchen timer with super powers.  This one from OXO is a TRIPLE timer!!  (It’s a little stressful to try and use a phone, oven and your 11-year-old to keep track of what’s happening.)  It has saved me on many holidays and dinner parties, and I love how it displays the time of day when not in use.  Another great feature is that if you do not turn off the beeping within a certain amount of time, it will continue to beep, slowly, until you eventually stop it.  It is sold at several kitchen stores such as Williams Sonoma and Sur La Table, and is also available on Amazon with free prime shipping!

Grey Celtic Sea Salt

salt

One of the most common questions I get in my cooking class is about the salts I use regularly – what kinds do I use, when do I use them, do I use the pink kind, the gray kind, kosher or not, etc.  I think the topic of salt is a very important one as I think table salt is one of the worst offenders when it comes to common foods found in an everyday kitchen. Swapping out over processed, heated, additive-filled, pro-inflammatory table salt with something else is one of the easiest but most productive steps you can take in creating a more healthful kitchen.  Especially since we use salt in almost everything we eat!

The Celtic grey sea salt is my hands-down go to salt.  It’s one I use the most often and more than any other in my kitchen. This salt doesn’t contain any additives, flowing agents, preservatives, heavy metals or anything, for that matter. It has not been processed or heated in any way, which would destroy the natural minerals that are very beneficial to our health.  And it tastes like pure salt, as opposed to harsh and metallic like table salt.

I have purchased my salt from two different companies- my favorite is Selena Naturally (shown above) and the other is San Francisco Salt Company. I prefer the fine grain shown here since it is compatible with most dishes and dissolves easily. I also have other coarser/flakier salts that I keep on hand for specific dishes, but I always use a sea salt as opposed to a traditional white table salt. I do advise my students that the only time I don’t use this salt in my everyday cooking (since it is a bit pricier than regular table salt) is if I am making a marinade or to salt pasta or blanching water…something that is eventually going to get thrown out. I like to get my sea salt in bulk because it is more economical- the 5 lb bag can be transferred to glass jars and stored easily in the pantry. I think Amazon has the best prices which is where I get mine!  I know it will be tempting to buy the less expensive coarse sea salt, but it is very chunky and only good for soups and stews which provide enough time for the salt to dissolve.

If you don’t want to spend the money on this salt, do look for a sea salt without additives.  Check the ingredient label to be sure.

 

 

 

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Arugula Salad with Nectarines, Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella Recipe http://pamelasalzman.com/arugula-salad-with-nectarines-tomatoes-and-fresh-mozzarella-recipe/ http://pamelasalzman.com/arugula-salad-with-nectarines-tomatoes-and-fresh-mozzarella-recipe/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 05:32:01 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=12002 Do you need a salad that you can whip up in 5 minutes that is beyond delicious, epitomizes summer and will wow all your friends?  Look no further.  Here it is.  This is my salad for Summer 2015.  I put together this arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad a few weeks ago and posted...

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arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad | pamela salzman

Do you need a salad that you can whip up in 5 minutes that is beyond delicious, epitomizes summer and will wow all your friends?  Look no further.  Here it is.  This is my salad for Summer 2015.  I put together this arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad a few weeks ago and posted it on Instagram and it received a very favorable response.  Then I made it again for friends this past Friday night and it was a huge hit.  But I have been getting lots of emails asking me for specific measurements of the ingredients, so I thought it was worth doing a blog post.  Also, not all of you follow me on social media or may have missed it.  So here are my tips for how to make sure this salad is as good as it can be, how to adapt it if you are vegan or dairy-free or Paleo, and the measurements for those of you who asked.

arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad | pamela salzman

Okay, let’s start with the fact that you MUST, no exceptions here, use only seasonal ingredients.  This salad is a dream because of the deliciousness of the produce.  You must use perfect and tasty tomatoes and nectarines or else this salad will be nothing.  I know you know this, but it is possible to find tasteless, bland, hard tomatoes in the supermarkets during the summer.  Don’t do it.  Make the salad without tomatoes if you can’t find any good ones.

arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad | pamela salzman

If you don’t eat cheese, no problem.  Nice thick wedges of avocado will be a fantastic sub.  You get that same creamy mouthfeel and I promise, the salad will still be delicious.  While we’re on the subject of substitutions, look at this salad as a template for a great vibrant, seasonal salad.  In the last image at the bottom of the post, I only used about 7 ounces of arugula, as opposed to the other images where I used 10.  In the winter, you can sub beets for the tomatoes and oranges for the nectarines, and even feta or goat cheese for the mozzarella.  In the spring, use cherries, almonds, and Pecorino.  In the fall, go check out my salad for roasted apple and delicata squash with Manchego.

arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad | pamela salzman

Lastly, there’s no “vinaigrette” here.  I had never actually measured the vinegar and oil for this salad until I received lots of questions about measurements.  Basically, when I use an AGED balsamic vinegar (and that would be the thick, syrupy kind that is sweet and acidic, which has been aged at least 12 years),  I use equal parts vinegar and oil.  If the vinegar is not aged, I use a proportion of about 1 part vinegar to 2 to 3 parts oil in a salad like this one.  I love using an aged white balsamic to dress the arugula first because it keeps the salad looking a little “cleaner” and prettier.  It’s really just for a better look.  But if you can’t find aged white balsamic (I buy it at my farmers market), then just use traditional dark aged balsamic for the arugula and to drizzle on top once the salad is assembled.  I hope that makes sense.  You can find aged balsamic vinegar at most supermarkets and at Sur La Table and Williams-Sonoma.  They can be expensive.  But I have used an aged balsamic by Napa Valley Naturals that is very reasonably priced and very acceptable.  It’s called Grand Reserve Cherry Wood Aged Balsamic and on thrivemarket.com it is $8.  Don’t hesitate to use this one if the others are out of your budget.

arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad | pamela salzman

I could personally could eat this as a meal.  There’s protein in the cheese and I find tomatoes to be very filling.  But I know a lot of people like animal protein with their meals, especially when entertaining.  I made a balsamic and rosemary grilled flank steak and sautéed corn with this salad the other night.  But even a simple steak would be nice, as would herb-marinated chicken or slow-roasted wild salmon.  Now, be sure to let me know how many times you make this salad!

Arugula Salad with Nectarines, Tomatoes, and Fresh Mozzarella Recipe
Author: 
Serves: serves 6
 
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces of arugula* (I prefer the baby leaves which don’t need to be chopped)
  • ¼ cup aged white balsamic vinegar (thick and syrupy kind) – or use all traditional aged balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
  • Maldon sea salt (flaky) or regular sea salt
  • 2 large firm, but ripe nectarines, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 large tomatoes (I used heirlooms, but use whatever tastes fantastic)
  • 2 balls fresh mozzarella, about 8 ounces total (often packed in water)
  • aged traditional dark balsamic vinegar (thick and syrupy kind)
Instructions
  1. Place the arugula in a large bowl and drizzle with ¼ cup aged white balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Toss to coat. Arrange arugula on a platter and sprinkle with a few pinches of flaky salt.
  2. Take the nectarine wedges and tuck them into the arugula, evenly spacing them throughout the platter. Do the same thing with the tomatoes and mozzarella.
  3. Drizzle the entire salad with equal parts aged balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with several pinches of flaky sea salt.
  4. Taste for seasoning. Using enough salt is key to bringing out the sweetness of the tomatoes and nectarines, so don’t be afraid to add another pinch.
Notes
*You can also make the salad with less arugula if you like. Use 5 ounces of arugula and half the amount of white balsamic and vinegar.

arugula, nectarine, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad | pamela salzman

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Five Friday Favorites 07.10.15 Foods for a Good Gut http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-10-15-foods-for-a-good-gut/ http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-10-15-foods-for-a-good-gut/#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 19:41:33 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=11981 Happy Friday, friends!  Guess what happened to me after I came back from Mexico?  I got sick!  I couldn’t believe it.  My girlfriend did too, and our husbands were spared, thankfully.  I am not going to bore you and gross you out with the very unpleasant details, but suffice it to say my digestive system was compromised for a...

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Happy Friday, friends!  Guess what happened to me after I came back from Mexico?  I got sick!  I couldn’t believe it.  My girlfriend did too, and our husbands were spared, thankfully.  I am not going to bore you and gross you out with the very unpleasant details, but suffice it to say my digestive system was compromised for a while.  I have spent the last few weeks building it back.  And that’s when it hit me I’ve never shared my favorite products for keeping your gut healthy and robust.  Hence the theme for this week’s Five Friday Favorites!

A healthy gut is so, so important in keeping our immune system strong (80% of your immune system resides in your gut) and aiding our bodies with digestion, which in turn gives us energy and makes us feel better in our everyday lives.  A healthy gut also allows you to absorb more nutrients from your food, which makes every last leafy green worth it!

The goal in consuming any of the following items is to create a thriving population of good bacteria in the gut that will far outnumber the bad bacteria.  Most populations around the world partake in some sort of regular fermented or cultured condiment (e.g. kimchi, yogurt, raw cheese, traditionally brewed soy sauce, etc.) with their meals, but not so much in the US.  Here are some of my favorite ways to boost your gut health.

Probiotic Supplements

probiotics

If you aren’t necessarily into eating fermented cabbage or if you are trying to cut back on the dairy, there is the option of taking a probiotic capsule on its own, as a supplement. In general, I am very reluctant recommend supplements because so many of them are absolute garbage and made with low quality ingredients.  You really need to know which are the brands worth buying.  And even then, we should be trying to get our nutrients through whole foods and not a pill.  But if you had to take one supplement, I would recommend taking a probiotic.  I take a probiotic daily and when I was sick after Mexico, I took even more.

My acupuncturist, Jason Handler,  recommends VSL as well as Syntol AMD by Arthur Andrew Medical, which I have used before.  I tend to switch products from time to time and I am using Dr. Ohhira’s which I bought on thrive market.com and have used BioK before with success.  My friend and holistic nutritionist, Elissa Goodman, loves Renew Life 100 or 150 billion.     You may experience a little discomfort when you first start taking probiotics as your body is trying to adjust to the balancing of bacteria.   Temporary symptoms could including bloating, gas and going to the bathroom more often.  My best advice is to play around with different capsules and try them out until you find one that feels the best for your body.

 

****

 

You may have heard about fermented foods being good for the gut. Products like kimchi and kefir are lining the shelves at health food stores- but is this whole fermentation thing a fad or should you believe the hype? In my opinion, I do think we should be consuming fermented foods!! When foods are fermented or cultured, a healthy, live bacteria is developed which is beneficial for our bodies. Here are some of my favorite fermented products:

Firefly Kitchens Raw Fermented Veggies

firefly kitchens | pamela salzman

There are many brands out there, so feel free to experiment or stick with your own favorite.  But I really like these veggies by Firefly Kitchens. Take already healthy veggies like cabbage, kale, and carrots, add some herbs, spices, garlic, and onions and you are left with an extremely healthful, easy-to-digest snack.  While I would not go around claiming that this tastes as good as avocado toast, they are kind of tasty and so worth it to do something so good for your body.  Even just 2 Tablespoons a day with lunch or dinner will provide you with amazing beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes.  My favorite is the Emerald City Kraut.  These veggies are available at certain Whole Foods- you can check online here. But don’t be afraid to try a sample of another brand at your local farmers market or health food store.

 

Wallaby Organic Kefir

wallaby kefir

Kefir (pronounced ka-FEER) is creamy, tart, drinkable yogurt/buttermilk-tasting product that contains healthy bacteria that have become present due to the fermentation process.  The bacteria in kefir can colonize the intestinal tract and kefir also contains a greater range of bacteria than yogurt does, as well as yeasts.

Kefir is so versatile and can be used in place of buttermilk for certain dressings, or anywhere you use yogurt such as smoothies or with fruit and granola. Do note however that the bacteria is only present when eaten raw, so when swapping out Kefir for buttermilk in things like your morning pancakes you won’t get those fermented benefits. I love this organic Kefir by Wallaby that I buy at my local Whole Foods.  But there are a few health food stores where you might even find coconut kefir if you are dairy-free.

 

Health-Ade Kombucha

health-ade kombucha

Kombucha is tea that has been fermented to develop good bacteria. This Kombucha by Health-Ade is my favorite, is made locally in Los Angeles and comes in a variety of flavors such as pink lady apple, beet, and ginger-lemon. One reason (besides being downright delicious) I like this particular Kombucha is because the company is committed to using all organic fruits and vegetables for their flavorings, never use plastics or metals that can leech during production, and they use UV-sensitive bottles to ensure that none of the bacteria is damaged by sunlight. These teas are bubbly and tart and are a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Health-Ade is sold at most health food stores and often times at juice shops and cafes- check out their website to find a retailer near you!

 

Homemade Coconut Yogurt

homemade coconut yogurt | pamela salzman

I do eat dairy, but I limit my intake, especially of cow dairy.  Coconut milk-based products are a great alternative.  This homemade coconut yogurt has become an absolute game-changer in my house. I don’t know what took me so long to come around to making my own, since there are pretty much zero clean store-bought options for coconut yogurt. However, after watched my friends’ CJ Nutrition‘s Youtube how-to,  I realized how dead simple this is to make!

All you need is 14 ounces of coconut milk (I like Aroy-D because it’s packaged in tetra-paks, not cans), a glass jar, and a probiotic capsule. I read in the comments section of the video that C&J Nutrition had the best success with a capsule called VSL#3 (also mentioned above.)  It is available on Amazon but I just called my local Walgreens and they had the pills available for sale individually. Check out the video for specific instructions but essentially you just add the probiotic capsule to the coconut milk and stir!  It’s a 3-day process, but there’s almost nothing to do while the probiotic does its thing.   The yogurt ferments on your countertop and then can be stored in the fridge. You can save a little bit of the yogurt then to start another batch.  I have been enjoying my yogurt on smoothie bowls, granola, oats, and with fruit! And the fact that it is fermented is just a bonus on top of its thick, creamy deliciousness!

Homemade Coconut Yogurt
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 14 ounces full fat coconut milk* (I prefer Aroy-D)
  • 1 probiotic capsule (I use VSL#3)
Instructions
  1. Pour the coconut milk into a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. Open the probiotic capsule using your fingers and pour the contents into the coconut milk. Stir well. Using a fork helps to break up the clumps of powder.
  3. Place the lid very loosely on top of the jar. Don’t screw it on at all, you want plenty of air to get to the mixture within, but want to cover it from any dust or dirt.
  4. Let sit on the countertop, out of direct sunlight, for 24 hours undisturbed.
  5. After 24 hours, stir mixture again (it should ne starting to thicken) and let sit for another 24 hours, undisturbed.
  6. After 48 hours total, your yogurt should be able to coat the back of your spoon. If you refrigerate it now, it will be the consistency of regular yogurt. If you let it sit for another 12-24 hours, it will become the consistency of thick Greek yogurt.
  7. Store in the refrigerator with the lid tightly sealed.
Notes
*You are not using the coconut beverages in the refrigerator section. This is the pure coconut milk you find in a can or, in the case of Aroy-D, small tetra-pak boxes.

 

Here’s to your health!  xoxo

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How to Use Your Food Processor VIDEO http://pamelasalzman.com/how-to-use-your-food-processor-video/ http://pamelasalzman.com/how-to-use-your-food-processor-video/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 05:35:53 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=11977 For those of you that are already friends with your food processor, feel free to bypass this post and I will see you back here on Friday! For those of you that aren’t, you are not alone. One of the most common requests that I get from my students is asking how to use their food...

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For those of you that are already friends with your food processor, feel free to bypass this post and I will see you back here on Friday! For those of you that aren’t, you are not alone. One of the most common requests that I get from my students is asking how to use their food processors. They are often intimidated by all of the parts and discs and blades, despite having had their machines for years!

A food processor is actually one of the most useful and versatile tools you can have in the kitchen, and there are so many ways you can use it that will allow you to really step up your game in the kitchen. In this video, I demo two different food processors- the Breville, which I own, and the Cuisnart, which I find that about 90% of my students own if they have one. If you take a few minutes to watch and learn with me, I guarantee you will be a food processor pro in no time. Which also means that you will be able to shred and grate all kinds of different veggies, cheese, you name it, in a matter of seconds. I also use my food processor for pureeing and blending and making pastry dough.  See my pie crust video here.

So dust off your blades and discs and let’s get processing!

 

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Tomato, Roasted Pepper and Basil Strata (with Leftover Hamburger Buns) Recipe http://pamelasalzman.com/tomato-roasted-pepper-and-basil-strata-with-leftover-hamburger-buns-recipe/ http://pamelasalzman.com/tomato-roasted-pepper-and-basil-strata-with-leftover-hamburger-buns-recipe/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2015 04:45:06 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=11958 I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July weekend!  There’s a good chance if you hosted a party, that you have some leftover hamburger or hot dog buns lying around.  What were you planning on doing with them?  Bread crumbs?  Great idea.  Croutons?  Another great idea.  Putting them in the freezer for the next...

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tomato, roasted pepper and basil strata recipe | pamela salzman

I hope you had a fantastic 4th of July weekend!  There’s a good chance if you hosted a party, that you have some leftover hamburger or hot dog buns lying around.  What were you planning on doing with them?  Bread crumbs?  Great idea.  Croutons?  Another great idea.  Putting them in the freezer for the next time you make burgers or dogs?  Good luck with that one.  My freezer is basically one-third buns.  They’re all freezer-burned too, because I was lazy and threw the bags in there and didn’t bother to wrap the buns tightly in foil first.  And my kids reject previously frozen buns.  They would rather eat a hot bog or a burger without a bun over one that has been previously frozen.  It’s kind of annoying since we’re a family of 5 and you can’t buy a bag of 5 buns.  And I cannot handle wasting food, even a silly hamburger bun.

sauteer red onion and garlic

So I came up with this strata using leftover hamburger buns that had been sitting in my freezer and that I absolutely knew would end up in the compost bin.  Stratas are kind of like savory bread puddings, more bread-y than an egg-y quiche or frittata .  I actually prefer a frittata, but my husband and kids love their bread!   I posted a strata on my site a few years ago with spinach, tomatoes and feta.  Super delicious and I love that you can put it together the night before to soak in the fridge and then you bake it in the morning easy peasy.

tomato, roasted pepper and basil strata | pamela salzman

I essentially took what I had — a large tomato, half a red onion, a handful of baby mozzarella balls and a jar of roasted peppers in the fridge, plus some basil from my patio, and combined them with eggs and milk and voila!  No one had any idea that I used leftover, previously frozen buns.  And no one had any idea they were all different, including a whole grain sprouted bun!  Of course, gluten-free buns work equally well.  A strata is so versatile that if you had some leftover roasted zucchini, you could throw it in there too.  Or a link of leftover sausage or a handful of corn kernels.  And if you wanted a higher proportion of eggs, go for it.  Just bake until the strata feels “set.”  So no liquid gushes out when you push on the center of the strata and it kind of bounces back a bit.

tomato, roasted pepper and basil strata | pamela salzmantomato, roasted pepper and basil strata | pamela salzman

What’s also cool about this is that you can make it for breakfast, lunch or (Meatless Monday) dinner.  I served it in these photos with some lightly dressed arugula and I think that’s the best accompaniment or just a simple green salad.  But any non-starchy vegetable, like green beans or summer squash, would be great, too.  Because bread is the main ingredient, I wouldn’t serve another starch with a strata.  But I would serve it with a cold glass of rosé.  Happy summer!

tomato, roasted pepper and basil strata | pamela salzmantomato, roasted pepper and basil strata | pamela salzmantomato, roasted pepper and basil strata | pamela salzman

Tomato, Roasted Pepper and Basil Strata
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing skillet
  • ½ large red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk or unsweetened, plain hemp milk or milk of choice
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt (or 1 teaspoon if your mozzarella is unsalted)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 ounces bocconcini (baby fresh mozzarella cheese), drained if in water
  • 1 large tomato, seeded (if desired) and diced
  • 1 roasted red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • a handful of basil leaves, julienned
  • 5-6 ounces of whole wheat, spelt or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes, about 8 cups, preferably a little stale
  • For the Salad:
  • 6 ounces baby arugula
  • good aged balsamic vinegar
  • unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 3-4 minutes, add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds, then remove from heat and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, sea salt and pepper. Stir in the bocconcini, tomato, roasted red pepper, basil, bread and onion-garlic mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. You don’t have to soak overnight, but I love the way the bread soaks up the mixture. Feel free to put it straight in the oven.
  3. If you soaked it overnight, remove the strata from the refrigerator and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch skillet (or a 9-inch pie plate or equivalent) with olive oil and pour the strata mixture into the skillet.
  4. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until egg mixture is set and top is golden brown.
  5. Remove strata from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  6. While the strata is cooling, toss the arugula with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil (just enough to coat) and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Top the strata with the arugula salad and serve, or cut the strata into serving size pieces and top each piece with arugula salad.
Notes
Unbaked strata can be frozen if wrapped tightly. Thaw in the refrigerator before baking, uncovered.

MINI-STRATAS: grease 4 individual ramekins or muffin tins. First layer bread then vegetables and cheese. Last, pour egg, milk, salt and pepper on top. Refrigerate overnight, if desired. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

 

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five friday favorites 07.03.15 http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-03-15/ http://pamelasalzman.com/five-friday-favorites-07-03-15/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:50:43 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=11941 Summer is here and Friday Favorites is baaaaaaaack!!!  There has been a lot going on here, namely getting this site back in business.  I think most of the kinks have been worked out, so thanks for your patience :). We’ve already been to the beach a few times and had some friends over for dinner,...

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Summer is here and Friday Favorites is baaaaaaaack!!!  There has been a lot going on here, namely getting this site back in business.  I think most of the kinks have been worked out, so thanks for your patience :).

We’ve already been to the beach a few times and had some friends over for dinner, so I thought I would share a few favorites people have been asking me about.  I hope you all have a great holiday weekend!

 

Onyx Stainless Steel Popsicle Molds

stainless steel popsicle molds

If you saw my post from earlier this week, you may have noticed these stainless steel popsicle molds that I used for my red, white, and blue popsicles. These molds are great and what is most important is that they allow you to make your own popsicles so you can avoid all of the dyes, chemicals and sugars that are in the store bought ones.  You all know me well enough by now to know I avoid plastic (even BPA-free plastic) as much as possible.  Using stainless steel molds ensures that you will not have any chemicals leaching into your popsicles.  Also, these are super easy to remove from the mold as you just run it under cold water for a couple of seconds and voila!  These are perfect for cold treats all summer long!  Here’s a link to the cylindrical shape I used for the “bomb pops” and here’s a link for the more traditional flat, rectangular shape (which is strangely more expensive and not available on amazon prime.)

Table in a Bag

table in a bag

We very often meet friends at the beach for dinner or just drinks and snacks and I don’t know what I would do without this darling “Table in a Bag” from Crate and Barrel.  The table disassembles in an easy-to-carry shoulder bag that I can tote with us to the beach or the park or wherever we want to set up a picnic.  It takes minutes to put together and is so much easier than lugging any kind of fold up table from home. I have had mine for at least 10 years, but Crate and Barrel doesn’t sell the natural wood version anymore.  But I think the grey is very chic and it’s on sale right now online at Crate and Barrel!

 

Firewire Double Prong Stainless Skewers

double prong stainless skewers

The two questions that I most often get in my classes when it comes to grilling anything on a skewer: 1. Do you need to soak wooden skewers? 2. How do you keep the meat or veggies from spinning around on the skewer? I don’t soak wooden skewers if I can fill them up all the way.  And I avoid the spinning problem by using two skewers parallel to each other.  I’ll admit, this is kind of a pain to do.  But if you have double metal skewers, you can disregard those issues!  The double prong allows the food to remain stable and in place while on the grill, and the metal eliminates the need for soaking or the worry of them catching on fire. Plus, they are reusable all summer long and also have fun little symbols on them so that everyone can identify his or her own skewer!  These make for a great addition to your summer cooking collection and would make a great gift as well. They are available at Williams-Sonoma and on Amazon (for $1 less and free shipping.)

 

 

Chateau Miraval Cotes de Provence Rosé

miraval rose

I’m not a big drinker, but I do enjoy a crisp, cold glass of rosé in the summer.  It’s so light and refreshing and goes with everything (that I like to eat in the summer.)   Two years ago, I found my new favorite rosé.  Miraval Rose is actually made by Brangelina (go figure) on their estate in Provence and I will confess, I didn’t think it would be good.  I didn’t want to like it.  But it is fantastic — light, clean, and fruity, but not sweet.   And the critics actually agree with me here, as this was the only rosé included on the top 100 wines in the world by Wine Spectator Magazine in 2013, receiving a 90 out of 100 points.  I mean, what can’t those two do right?  I have bought Miraval at Whole Foods and my local BevoMo.

 

Seasonal Produce:  Tomatoes

I heart tomatoes

It is so surprise to anyone around here that I am absolutely crazy about summer tomatoes.  I remember as a child, going into the garden with a salt shaker and taking tomatoes right off the vine and eating them out of hand with a pinch of salt.  Heaven.  They are my favorite vegetable (or fruit) and I go nuts all summer long including them in every meal that I can.  But I am a tomato purist, so once they are out of season, I won’t buy any of the imported impostors that come into the markets afterwards.

Tomatoes are not only delicious but contain lycopene, which is a nutrient that is said to lower your risk for stroke as well as lower your risk for certain cancers such as prostate. And while most veggies are best eaten raw, interestingly enough the lycopene in tomatoes actually increases when tomatoes are cooked which gives you even more of a reason to make tomato sauces and soups. Tomatoes also contain tons of Vitamin C and beta carotene, as well.

If you are going to consume canned tomatoes it is important to make sure you are purchasing them in glass jars (like from Jovial or Eden) as this highly acidic vegetable will cause BPA (or aluminum if the can is BPA-free) to leach and reach unsafe levels in the tomatoes. So using fresh tomatoes in the summer or tomatoes in glass jars in the winter is your best bet.

When buying tomatoes, gently squeeze the exterior. It should be firm but give slightly. If the tomato is hard or the skin is really taut, then it is under-ripe. Tomatoes are best stored on the countertop– putting them in the refrigerator actually decreases their sweetness and can leave them mushy and mealy. There are many reasons to stick to buying fresh tomatoes only in the summer—some of them being that imported tomatoes are much more heavily sprayed, they are less nutritious, and they are picked way under-ripe because they would not be able to withstand travel if they were ripe and juicy.  I think the best tomatoes come straight from the farmer’s market in the dead middle of summer! Here are some of my favorite recipes for fresh summer tomatoes!

Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Feta and Mint

Eggplant Caprese 

Fresh Tomato Soup

Grilled Panzanella Salad 

Fattoush 

And from around the web:

The Mothership Tomato Salad by Jamie Oliver

Creamy Tomato Risotto by BBC Good Food

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes by Giada DeLaurentiis

Baked Orzo with Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers and Zucchini by The New York Times

 

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Red, White and Blue Popsicles Recipe (fruit-based, all natural) http://pamelasalzman.com/red-white-and-blue-popsicles-recipe-fruit-based-all-natural/ http://pamelasalzman.com/red-white-and-blue-popsicles-recipe-fruit-based-all-natural/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 21:42:13 +0000 http://pamelasalzman.com/?p=11923 Everyone in my family has drunk my Kool-Aid, so to speak.  My husband and my teenage daughters all have bought into my way of eating for the most part, understanding the connection between what they eat and how they feel (and in the case of my daughters, how they look.)  Although my 11-year-old son, whom I...

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all-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

Everyone in my family has drunk my Kool-Aid, so to speak.  My husband and my teenage daughters all have bought into my way of eating for the most part, understanding the connection between what they eat and how they feel (and in the case of my daughters, how they look.)  Although my 11-year-old son, whom I lovingly refer to as Mr. Picky, has been a little slow coming around.  My son quietly wishes I was a “cool mom.”  You know, the kind that buys “unhealthy food,” as he calls it.

all-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

Believe me when I say that he is not deprived of treats.   I know enough not to be one of those parents who prohibits her children from eating a grain of sugar or a not-homemade graham cracker.  But there are certain food substances that do not cross my front door.  Ever.  One of those is artificial colors.  So when my son asks me “why can’t we have ____?” (insert disaster-packaged-food-marketed-to-kids), I usually go on about why those food-like impostors are bad for our health or I just say, “because I love you too much.”  And he rolls his eyes.  There is less eye-rolling than he did a year ago, but that still annoys him.

all-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

So just before dropping my sweet boy off at sleepaway camp for 13 whole days, my husband was reminding him to shower (going in a pool or a lake doesn’t count) and brush his teeth, use sunscreen and keep hydrated.  As soon as I opened my mouth, Mr. Picky looked at me and said, “Don’t worry, Mom.  I got it.  Don’t forget to eat protein.  No high-fructose corn syrup and not too much junk food.”   Of course, I was like, “What?  I wasn’t going to even mention food.  Have the best time!  Love you so much!”  Busted.

all-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

Because Mr. Picky will be at camp on the 4th of July, I surprised him the other day with these red, white and blue popsicles.  Of course they are all natural.  But really natural, not like the “natural” food companies liberally use when marketing many products.  I had no idea if they were going to turn out good or boring or what.  I mean after all, they’re made out of …fruit.   What a concept.  And some coconut milk sweetened with honey.  Zzzzzzzzzzz…….

blueberry pureeall-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

I personally think these are very exciting and the perfect answer to Bomb Pops, especially if you use these cool stainless steel popsicle molds which you can find here.  I tasted each mixture before freezing to make sure the sweetness was just right, otherwise these are very straightforward and you can make them today for the 4th if you want.

all-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

They were a huge hit with all my kids, including Mr. Picky!  My girls thought they tasted like a really fresh-tasting sorbet.  My son gave me such a nice compliment when he said, “Wow, Mom.  These are actually pretty good.”  And then he had a second one.   I miss him already.

all-natural red, white and blue popsicles | pamela salzman

Red, White and Blue Popsicles Recipe (fruit-based, all natural)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 7 ounces hulled strawberries*
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk ( I like Aroy-D)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
  • 1 ½ cups blueberries*
Instructions
  1. Place strawberries in blender or food processor and blend until you achieve a liquid consistency. Pour into bottom third of popsicle mold. Insert stick. Place in freezer for approximately 1 hour, or until frozen solid.
  2. Combine coconut milk, vanilla and honey in a measuring cup or a bowl with a spout. Remove popsicle mold from the freezer and pour the coconut layer on top of the frozen strawberry layer leaving the last third of the mold empty. Place back in the freezer and freeze for about 30-45 minutes until coconut mixture is firm, but it doesn’t have to be frozen solid. Place popsicle sticks in coconut mixture and put back in the freezer until completely frozen.
  3. Place blueberries in a blender or food processor and blend until you achieve a liquid consistency. Remove popsicle mold from the freezer and pour blueberry mixture into top third of mold, over the frozen coconut mixture. Place back in the freezer for another hour or until completely frozen solid.
  4. To remove from popsicle mold, gently run mold under warm water to release.
Notes
*Make sure to taste your fruit mixture first, if your fruit isn’t super sweet or you prefer a sweeter popsicle, feel free to add honey (or sweetener of choice) to taste to the fruit mixtures.

 

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