I hope you had a good week, friends. Some of you were buried in snow while at the same time many others were confused by the record heat in January. Wherever you live, chances are you’re thinking about Super Bowl Sunday which is just a few days away. There’s always something to celebrate, isn’t there?! I am not rooting for either team, but just hoping the game is better than last year and I will at least guarantee some great eats for whoever shows up at my house to watch!
Here are some things I want to share with you this week:
Stainless Steel Spice Jar Measuring Spoons
These measuring spoons are a lifesaver for someone who goes through as many spice measurements as I do in a week. Isn’t it a little annoying when you go to measure some spices and you attempt to put the measuring spoon in the jar, only to realize it won’t fit through the opening? The answer is YES! And pouring fine powders onto the spoon is practically impossible to do without making a mess. Although I have several sets of measuring spoons, these are the ones I turn to first. These handy little measuring spoons are made extra narrow to ensure that they will fit into any spice jar I have! These have saved me tons of time and they’re not expensive (you can get a set of these for around $12). There are lots of different styles/brands out there, but I find stainless steel spoons last the longest and they usually have the measurements imprinted as opposed to painted on which always wears off too quickly and then I’m thinking, “is that a 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon spoon?”
My assistant Lauren gave me this set which she bought at Sur la Table, but you can get them in many different places from Williams-Sonoma to Bed Bath and Beyond to amazon. I like this set on amazon which has an 1/8 tsp. and 3/4 tsp. spoons — very useful!
Bar Keepers Friend
My stainless steel pots and pans get A LOT of use. But because I use them in my cooking classes and I photograph them for my blog, I don’t necessarily want them to look like they’ve been through the ringer! For years, Bar Keepers Friend has been my absolute go to for keeping all of my stainless steel shining like new. It is a powdered cleanser that forms a paste when mixed with water and cleans without using bleach – which is a must for keeping stainless steel in tip-top shape. This stuff has worked magic removing tough stains that have formed on my pots and pans through the years. Keep in mind, this isn’t a cleaning product in as much as it’s a “spiffying up” product. If you have eggs stuck onto your pan, you wouldn’t use BKF to get them off. It is perfect for removing tarnish, rust, and lime. I wanted to show you a before and after picture, but my pans all looked pretty good! You can at least see my attempt above.
Just a heads up though that Bar Keepers Friend does contain a small amount of oxalic acid which could potentially be irritating to some people’s skin. You could also use Bon Ami, which is a similar product and doesn’t contain oxalic acid, but it’s also not as effective in my opinion. What you don’t want to use on stainless steel are SOS pads which scratch the surface of the pans and allow metals to leach into your food.
Bar Keepers Friend is available at Target, Bed Bath and Beyond for $1.99 or this 3-pack on amazon prime for $10.99 which is not as good a price, but you also don’t have to shlep to the store to get it.
I can’t remember how or when I found gomasio, but I’ve been in love with it for a looooong time. Goma means sesame and shio means salt. Gomasio is a macrobiotic condiment used instead of putting straight salt on food. It contains roasted sesame seed and sea salt, but my favorite one from Eden Foods contains seaweed, too. Gomasio is considered to be a digestive strengthener as well as flavor enhancer. It’s a great condiment to use if you’re trying to cut back a little on sodium since it’s mostly calcium-rich sesame seeds with just enough salt to have a salty flavor.
My favorite way to use gomasio is simply sprinkled on steamed rice and roasted veggies, on sushi rice before I roll it up, on my Buddha Bowl and Fried Rice recipes. I think it would be great on eggs, hummus or if you were making a savory breakfast porridge.
You can also make your own gomasio by toasting up 2 cups of sesame seeds in a dry skillet. When the oils begin to release and the seeds start to turn golden, remove from heat and add 1 Tablespoon of sea salt. Grind the mixture up a bit by pulsing in a food processor or smashing with a mortar and pestle or just leave it whole. Store in a glass container in the pantry for 1-2 months.
If you want to buy it, I have found 4 flavors of gomasio by Edn Foods at Whole Foods — plain, seaweed, black & tan (2 types of sesame seeds) and garlic. All delicious. You can also buy these on vitacost.com. (Amazon charges way too much for some reason.)
Superfood Spotlight: Goji Berries
Goji berries are one of my pantry staples for topping everything from multigrain porridge to acai bowls to my homemade trail mix. These little berries have a unique tart flavor and I love them when paired with coconut, cacao nibs and walnuts. Not only are goji berries sweet and tasty but they are loaded with antioxidants and actually have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit- major plus for breakfast! Believe it or not, this superfood also boosts 15 times the amount of iron than spinach. That is pretty impressive if you ask me.
I’ve bought goji berries at Whole Foods (usually the Navitas Naturals, Himalania or Sunfood brands), as well as Thrive Market, and amazon. They’re definitely a little more expensive than other fried fruit, however. The best deal I found was on amazon for a 1 pound bag of organic goji berries for $19.
Seasonal Produce: Broccoli
January is the month of detoxes and cleanses, and while I love a good green juice as much as the next person, I would like to highlight one of the most detoxifying veggies under the sun, broccoli! Broccoli is a powerhouse of nutrition and research has recently shown that there are 3 phytonutrients found in a rare combination in broccoli that allow this veg to be extremely helpful to the body’s detoxification system. This is perfect for all of us that are trying to rid all of our holiday indulgences.
Beyond it’s detoxifying compounds, broccoli is also one of the most important health-boosting foods around. Broccoli contains sulforaphane which may help to slow down and even prevent osteoarthritis, protect your skin, improve blood pressure and kidney function, and it has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, by attacking the root of tumor growth. Broccoli also contains lutein which supports heart health by helping to prevent thickening of your arteries. Plus broccoli is anti-inflammatory, contains loads of fiber and beneficial nutrients like potassium, calcium, protein and vitamin C. I’m telling you — WONDER VEGETABLE.
Not to mention, broccoli is absolutely delicious and can be cooked in a variety of ways- steamed, roasted, blanched, or even raw! Check out some of my recipes below:
and my obsession, Roasted Veggie Buddha Bowls with Lemon-Tahini Sauce
And some delicious looking recipes from around the web:
Energizing and Spicy Broccoli Dal from Oh She Glows
Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli from Damn Delicious