Shrimp and mixed vegetables with coconut-basil sauce recipe

shrimp and vegetable stir fry with coconut-basil sauce | pamela salzman

I was talking to some friends the other day about our college-aged daughters, some of whom already live in off-campus housing and are no longer on meal plans.  That is, they have divorced themselves from dining hall food and have embraced the world of kitchenettes and home cooking.  I remember my first semester off meal plan.  I had visions of cooking up all sorts of wondrous things like lasagne or chicken Marbella or homemade bread and flourless chocolate cakes, my specialities in 1989.  But alas, I actually had to study night and day so that one day I might be employable.  No time to fuss in the kitchen since there was no way I would be making a career in the food industry.  Good gracious, no.  The irony.

shrimp and vegetable stir fry with coconut-basil sauce | pamela salzman

Alas, when I do think back to that era, anytime I did cook up something, it had to be fast, reasonably nutritious and budget-friendly.  I made A LOT of stir-fries.  I made so many stir-fries, I owned a wok.  I was 20.  So as I was talking to these other mamas about our girls and my possibly do a little cooking class for them this summer, I thought I would definitely start with a stir-fry.

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Turmeric latte recipe

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

My friend Alex sent me an email a few weeks ago with the subject line: “new obsession”.  Alex and I have very similar tastes in food and she is also not one for melodrama, so I knew this was an email I was interested in reading.  She proceeded to write: ” I have a new obsession.  Full out obsession” with the recipe for a delicious-sounding “Turmeric Tea.”  Thank you, Alex!  Right up my alley.  Print!

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

I don’t know what has taken me so long to wind down an evening, any evening, with a cup of warm, anti-inflammatory turmeric tea or latte.  It’s everything I love — soothing, nourishing, delicious and might even help me sleep better to boot.  The same day I received Alex’s email, a text came through from another girlfriend, whose husband was instructed to follow and anti-inflammatory diet.  “Can you tell me what foods are anti-inflammatory?  Need to get on this pronto!”  First thing I wrote back was … turmeric.

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

I love turmeric in curries, stews, juices and I even add it to my homemade taco seasoning.  Because turmeric runs bright, flaming yellow, I also use it in place of saffron sometimes (like in Mediterranean fish stew and paella.)  It is truly one of the most healing, powerful foods on earth.  I already mentioned turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties, but it is also an antioxidant, wound healer, digestive stimulant, liver detoxifier, helps to lower cholesterol, and has a warming thermal nature.  I use fresh turmeric in juices, and ground in everything else for practical reasons.  Turmeric has a very distinct, but mild flavor.  Since it is related to ginger, it does have a faint hint of ginger, but also a bitter, tart, chalkiness, too.  A little is nice, but a lot can be offensive.  It also stains like crazy — from clothing to countertops — so be careful!

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

Since Alex’s email, I have made this beverage many, many times and guess what?  I’m OBSESSED!  It’s my new favorite drink, just in time for winter when I don’t really drink cooling juices as much.  However I’m calling this a Turmeric Latte, since the base of it is milk.  I use almond milk, because it’s my go-to and I always have homemade on hand.  Of course you can use regular milk or your favorite alternative milk, or a combo of milks.  I recently started playing around with adding a little cashew milk to almond to add a thick, creamy richness.  More on that another time!

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

This turmeric latte is beyond delightful and the perfect way to settle into a restful evening.  It is also quite easy to prepare and you might even have all the ingredients on hand.  I would start with the basic recipe below and then change it to suit your taste/needs.  For example, it would be perfectly easy to use a few drops of stevia to sweeten instead of the maple syrup.  Or a couple pinches of ground ginger instead of fresh.  If you love turmeric, feel free to add more.

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

As we near the end of 2014, I know many of you have resolutions of better health and adopting new habits on the brain.  I hope this post catches you in time, as I think drinking a turmeric latte a few times a week is a resolution I can stick to.  How about you?

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

turmeric latte | pamela salzman

4.0 from 1 reviews
Turmeric Latte
Author: 
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (or more if you like it)
  • ½ teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • pinch freshly ground black pepper (helps absorb up to 2000% more curcumin)
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks or ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 8 ounces warm unsweetened almond milk (or half coconut milk-half almond milk, regular milk or cashew milk)
  • other possible add-ins: pinch of ground cinnamon, drop of pure vanilla extract, spoonful of unrefined coconut oil, chai spices
Instructions
  1. Place turmeric, maple syrup, cayenne, and ginger in a mug. Pour in warmed almond milk. Stir and allow to steep for a minute. Enjoy!
Notes
Feel free to use this recipe as a base for your latte, then add other spices or more/different sweetener to taste.

Sweet potato-apple-ginger juice recipe

sweet potato-apple-ginger juice | pamela salzman

I have been in a bit of a juice rut lately, making the same ones over and over again.  The bad news is that this boredom with my juice caused me to be less motivated to actually juice, and therefore I have been missing out on of the things that puts a spring in my step and makes me feel healthy.  My typical juice consists of greens (romaine, spinach, kale, or parsley or a combo), celery, apple, carrot, ginger and/or fresh turmeric.  Very good, but the same formula day in and day out was making me bored.

sweet potato=apple-ginger juice | pamela salzman

My friend and holistic nutritionist, Elissa Goodman, who is also a juicing queen, mentioned that she juices sweet potatoes.  I honestly never considered juicing sweet potatoes.  Roasting them and blending them into a smoothie is as close as I have come.  But I was curious about how they would juice, so I went for it and was just pleased as punch.  Sweet potatoes are JUICY!

ready to be juiced

It’s kind of like juicing a carrot, with a lovely mild sweetness.  So I started playing around and created a new, very different juice, one more seasonal  for fall.  Sweet potatoes and apple go hand in hand, so I put those together.  But I personally don’t care for overly sweet juices, so I added some celery to create some more liquid without sugar.  And then I boosted the flavor some more with fresh ginger and a small nub of turmeric.  The first time around I made the juice fairly spicy, which I loved, but the hubby thought was too gingery.  The second time, it was total perfection.

The cinnamon is a really fun addition.  You can add a pinch of ground cinnamon, but I don’t love the powderiness since it doesn’t dissolve.  I had great results steeping a cinnamon stick in the juice.  SO, so yummy.

juice in progress

I made a huge pitcher of this juice for a breakfast meeting and I served it over ice  with a cinnamon stick in each glass.  It was such a huge hit and I was so happy to share something so healthful.  Everything in this juice is super anti-inflammatory, especially the sweet potatoes, ginger and turmeric.  Sweet potatoes are also very rich in Vitamin C, E, B6 and Beta-carotene, which is amazing for your skin, eyes and hair.

I am going to keep playing with this base.  I had a juice recently at Sage Organic Bistro in Culver City with grapefruit in it that was outstanding and I’m thinking it might work nicely here, too.  I’m also considering making a huge batch for Thanksgiving and adding a drop of alcohol to make a fun cocktail.

freshly pressed sweet potato-apple-ginger juice | pamela salzman

I haven’t had a ton of experience working with different juicers, so I can’t make a good recommendation as to which to buy if you’re in the market for one.  I have an Omega, which is very nice, but the feed tube is so small that it’s a little too much work cutting everything into small enough pieces.  I have the Breville at our house in Park City and that is a breeze to use.  There’s a lot of controversy about juicers that juice slowly versus fast and the vitamins being compromised, but as Kris Carr, the doyenne of juicing, says, “the best juicer is the one you’ll use.”  Williams-Sonoma has a nice selection of juicers here if you’re thinking about buying one.

I’d love to hear what juicer you have and what you love or hate about it.  I’d also be curious if you have a favorite fall juice.  I’m motivated again!

sweet potato-apple-ginger juice | pamela salzman

 

 

5.0 from 9 reviews
Sweet Potato-Apple-Ginger Juice
Author: 
Serves: makes about 12 ounces
 
Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled (about 10-12 ounces) -- you don't have to peel the sweet potato, but the skin darkens the color of the juice
  • 1” piece of fresh ginger or more if you like it spicy
  • 4” piece of fresh turmeric (if you can find it)
  • 1 medium apple or Fuyu persimmon
  • 2 stalks celery
  • cinnamon stick
Instructions
  1. Juice all ingredients except cinnamon stick.  Be sure to juice the ginger and turmeric early on so you can flush out those juices with something high water like the celery.
  2. Place the cinnamon stick in a glass and pour juice on top.  Allow to steep for a few minutes or refrigerate the juice with the cinnamon stick until you want to consume it.
  3. Always store juice in the smallest container possible with little or no air at the top so that the juice stays fresher for longer.  Store up to 2 days in the refrigerator.  Separation will occur, so shake before serving.

 

Miso-Glazed Black Cod Recipe

miso-glazed black cod | pamela salzman

Am I the only one who reads cookbooks like novels?  Sometimes it’s embarrassing when I am asked “what are you reading?” because my nightstand is stacked with cookbooks, nutrition books and cooking magazines.  Of course it’s inspiring to look at new recipes and techniques, but more than that I find it relaxing.  A cooking nerd I most definitely am.

ingredients!

I was super excited to dig into Laurie David’s new cookbook, “The Family Cooks.”  I recently had the opportunity to meet Laurie at a party for the launch of her new book.  I think she is such a powerhouse and I love her message about making time to cook from scratch and eating together as a family.  I’m so on her wavelength.  All her recipes look good, but since she urged me to make the miso-glazed cod first, I didn’t waste any time.

grate the peeled ginger

 

grated ginger

The first time I had miso cod was many years ago at a very fancy restaurant in LA called Nobu.  The cod is so silky, it just melts in your mouth and has a little sweet-salty thing going on which is my favorite flavor combo.  This recipe is very similar although I appreciate Laurie’s use of maple syrup over processed cane sugar.  It is a very impressive dish, yet it only takes minutes to prepare and uses very few ingredients.  I also love that you can marinate it for a whole day if you want and then all you have to do is broil it before din

submerge in the marinade

I am always looking to expand our fish repertoire with good sustainable options.  We tend to eat a lot of wild salmon, wild halibut and (when my husband is not home for dinner) wild shrimp.  Whenever I want to know what the current status is for a particular fish, I go to seafoodwatch.org, an organization which helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.”  Black cod, which is also known as sablefish, is considered to be a “best choice.”  The whole family (except Daughter #2 who still doesn’t eat most fish and didn’t try this) loved it.  Serve with a simple steamed rice or cauli-rice, and a green vegetable and you have an easy, delicious and healthful dinner.   I made it recently with a kelp noodle salad and some sautéed beet greens!

under the broiler

perfectly cooked

There are a few ingredients that you may not normally have on hand, namely miso, a fermented soybean paste, and mirin, a sweet rice wine.  Both are easy to find in many grocery stores and they have a very long shelf life so you have plenty of time to make this recipe again!

dinner!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Miso-Glazed Black Cod
Author: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup white miso, preferably organic
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup or honey (I like maple syrup)
  • ⅓ cup mirin
  • 1 Tablespoon grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted unrefined sesame oil
  • 4 pieces (6 ounces each) skinless black cod fillet, also known as sablefish
Instructions
  1. In a bowl or glass pie plate just large enough to hold the fish, whisk together the miso, maple syrup, mirin, ginger and sesame oil.  Place the fish in the bowl and spoon the marinade on top of the fish to cover it completely.  Cover the bowl with a plate and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.  The longer you can do this, the better the fish will taste.
  2. Before cooking the fish, preheat the broiler and position your oven rack about 6 inches from the heat.  I place the rack on the level the second from the top.
  3. If you don’t have a stainless steel baking sheet, line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  4. Pull the fish from the bowl and shake off any excess marinade clinging to the fish.  Place the fish on the baking sheet and broil until the glaze is dark and shiny and the fish flakes when you press on it, about 6-8 minutes.

Strawberry-Cucumber Smoothie Recipe

strawberry-cucumber smoothie | pamela salzman

Thank heavens for the smoothie. When one of my teenage daughters oversleeps and has “no time” for breakfast, I can throw in the blender an assortment of fruits, vegetables and things that don’t normally go with fruits and vegetables (like hemp seeds or almond butter) and we’ve got a balanced meal in seconds. The smoothie is something even a 10-year-old like Mr. Picky can make by himself, and he does almost daily. His favorite is a combination of frozen banana, strawberry, pineapple, yogurt, coconut water, coconut butter and a squirt of Barleans Mango Omega Swirl. He even makes smoothies for his friends when they come over. So cute.

ingredients for smoothie

I love making smoothies at home, because I can control what goes into them, especially the sweetener. I rarely order smoothies in restaurants because I find them to be too sweet. And I’m not falling for what Jamba Juice considers a smoothie. Anything blended with frozen yogurt or sherbet is basically a fruity milkshake and it is not breakfast material.

I saw this recipe on Joy the Baker a while back and it made me think of flavored waters which I like to have on hand in the summer. (Just take a pitcher of water and toss in some cucumber slices or strawberries or watermelon or even pineapple rinds. Mint is fun to add in, too.) I loved this smoothie instantly. It felt like something I would have at a spa, and I sure don’t go to spas often enough!  There isn’t an overwhelming flavor of cucumber, it’s so subtle.  The smoothie feels lightly sweet and super refreshing.

I prepare this several different ways. Almond milk makes it creamy, and coconut water keeps it light and fresh, more like spa water. I don’t usually add extra sweetener to mine, but the kids like it a tad sweeter. Honey or even pitted dates work beautifully. And if I have fresh ginger on hand, I love to add a little for an extra special kick. Ginger is incredibly anti-inflammatory and so great for digestion. Cucumber is one of the most alkalizing foods and terrific for the skin.  And strawberries are rich in Vitamin C and other powerful phytonutrients.  Total beauty smoothie here!

The only missing from this smoothie is protein, so I wouldn’t consider this a meal.  But if you did want to include protein, I would throw in protein powder (keep in mind most are sweetened), hemp or chia seeds, or use yogurt instead of the almond milk.  Yogurt is more tart than almond milk, so you might need to add a little sweetener to balance it out.  If you’re tired of your same-old-same-old smoothie, give this one a try and get glowing!

strawberry-cucumber smoothie | pamela salzman

Strawberry-Cucumber Smoothie
Author: 
Serves: 2, but if you are serving younger kids, you could get 4 smoothies out of this
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold coconut water or unsweetened almond milk (click here for how to make your own)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries (click here for how to freeze fruit)
  • 1 Persian cucumber, unpeeled, cut into large chunks or ½ an English (hothouse) cucumber, seeds removed, cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon minced, peeled ginger (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add more almond milk as necessary, depending on your desired consistency.
Notes
Note:  you can substitute frozen blueberries or blackberries and add ground flax meal, hemp seeds or protein powder.

 

Moroccan chicken with dates recipe (slow cooker version, too!)

Moroccan chicken with dates | Pamela Salzman

You all know I live in Southern California and perhaps you know we are having a very mild, but super dry winter.  We actually have a serious drought happening here.  And you might also know that 99% of my entire family lives in the New York/New Jersey area.  And they’re having a veerrryy different kind of winter.

prep the chicken

So most of our phone calls the last few weeks have been kind of like this:

Me: “Hi!  It’s me.  What’s new?”

Sister/Mother/Father: “It’s snowing.  AGAIN.  The kids are off from school.  AGAIN.  It’s absolutely freezing out there.  Seriously, this is the worst winter EVER!”

Me:  “Bummer.  But I asked, ‘what’s neeeewwww?'”

Same old, same old.  I miss the talks we used to have about currents events, movies, what we’re making for dinner, what we ate for lunch.  Interesting, riveting stuff.  Instead, it’s all blizzard all the time!  Thankfully, winter doesn’t last forever and they’ll all be able to get back to business before we know it.  Easy for me to say, I’m sure.

onion, carrots, coconut oil and spices

 

prepped

But if I were in the middle of a polar vortex, I would quickly buy a one-way ticket to L.A. I would make super-warming foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We may not be able to control the weather, but we can control the thermal nature of what we eat.  And I say, heat me up!  High on my list would be this Moroccan chicken with dates which I taught in my classes last February.  I know it seems like there are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but half of them are spices, all of which are warming to the body, and anti-inflammatory, too.  These spices, including ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and a pinch of cayenne are also quite flavorful and make this otherwise simple chicken dish, something very special.  There’s also a little bit of sweetness from the cinnamon and from halved dates which rank as one of my favorite foods on the planet.  A little earthy, a little sweet, a touch spicy and a little tart — it’s one of my favorite chicken recipes!

slice open the dates to remove the pit

In these images, and for dinner last night, I served this with an apricot couscous (I’ll post the recipe next week.)  This will have a very tasty, but brothy sauce which just begs for something to sop it up.  Couscous, which is pretty dry, is the perfect side dish.  But you don’t need to make it with any seasonings or herbs.  Even plain would be just the right side for this dish.  Otherwise, if you’re gluten-free, steamed rice, quinoa or millet would be amazing here.  I also served it for dinner with simply sautéed Swiss chard, but check out this recipe for raw grated carrot and beet salad.  That would be fabulous, too.

bring to a simmer before added browne

add chicken to mixture

I have made this recipe in the slow cooker, as well.  Please read the directions for how to adjust this recipe for the slow cooker.  Both versions are amazing and will help warm up your core.  At least until the next snowfall or tomorrow, or both, as the case might be!

Moroccan chicken with dates | Pamela Salzman

5.0 from 9 reviews
Moroccan Chicken with Dates
Author: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 3 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts such as breasts (I like them split), thighs or drumsticks, seasoned with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt when you get home from the market or brined for an hour (1/4 cup kosher salt + 2 cups water) EXCEPT if you use kosher chicken. See this post for how and why to brine chicken.
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (feel free to add more if you like it)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 5 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 12 dates, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, if you like it
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and add to the pot in one layer. Do not overcrowd. Cook until browned on the underside, then turn over and browned on the other side, about 15 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet or platter and repeat with remaining chicken if there’s some still left to do.
  2. Add onions and carrots to the pot and sauté until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks, salt and remaining spices. Sauté about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
  4. Add stock, 3 Tablespoons lemon juice and dates. Deglaze the pan by scraping the brown bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, add chicken pieces back to pot skin-side up and cover. Lower heat and simmer until chicken is completely cooked through, about 40-45 minutes. An instant-red thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the breast.
  5. Add lemon juice to pot and stir to combine. If sauce needs thickening, transfer chicken to a platter and simmer sauce until it is reduced. Sprinkle everything with cilantro and serve.
Notes
SLOW COOKER VERSION:

Use bone-in, skinLESS pieces of chicken
Use a skillet to brown chicken, and sauté vegetables and spices.  Add only ¾ cup of stock to the pan and the same amount of lemon juice as in the original recipe to deglaze the pan.  Do not add the dates until 20 minutes before serving.
Transfer the browned chicken, and the vegetable, spice, stock and lemon juice mixture to the slow cooker and cook covered on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH 4-5 hours.
20 minutes before serving, stir dates into the slow cooker.  Add remaining lemon juice and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

 

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup Recipe

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup | pamela salzman

You know what is just the worst?  Getting sick.  Life is great until you feel horrible.  I think most of us run around like maniacs until we’re so wiped out while our poor bodies are trying to tell us to slooooooow down and get some rest.  First it’s a little whisper like feeling so tired.  But we don’t listen.  Then we get a sore throat.  We don’t listen.  Then our bodies have to whack us over the head with a crazy cold and body aches until we have no other choice but to stay in bed.  A friend of mine who came down with a bad cold said to me the other day,”If I just spent a little time in bed resting when I wasn’t sick, maybe I would have stayed healthy!”  I think she’s onto something.

Fresh ingredients

 

Lemongrass

At the moment I’m not sick and maybe you aren’t either (knock on wood), but I know lots of people who are.  And we all know what happens when people who are close to you get sick.  Well, have I got the soup for you!  First of all, I really believe the hype about homemade chicken stock.  I think it has magical immune-boosting compounds.  If you drink a cup of plain homemade chicken stock every day, I bet that would help you ward off a whole lot of stuff you don’t want to get.

chicken, ginger, lemongrass

 

Finished soup

But this soup also has ginger, which I think is another miracle, anti-inflammatory immune-booster.  In the week before I got on a plane to New York, I had really run myself ragged.  The night before my flight I stayed up until 2:00 am packing and getting organized, then woke up early the next morning.  I felt really rundown, and then I sneezed a few times when I got on the plane.  And I have a theory that airplanes just make a sick condition sicker, so I felt doomed.  Doomed until I spotted the pile of pickled ginger on Mr. Picky’s sushi plate.  I stole all his ginger and kept it in a cup of hot water, which I sipped during the flight.  Then after a few hours, I ate all the ginger.  Guess what?  By the time I disembarked, I felt 100%.  Ginger is AMAZING.

Tom Gha soup | pamela salzman

I am no expert in Thai cooking, but this silky, aromatic soup, also known as Tom Kha Gai, is better than anything I’ve had in a Thai restaurant.  It has a few ingredients that you might not have lying around (e.g. lemongrass and fish sauce), but it’s surprising how many mainstream markets carry both of these.  I think lemongrass and fish sauce make this soup taste fantastic, but if you can’t find either you can order fish sauce and dried lemongrass from Amazon.  Or just add a little extra lime juice in place of the lemongrass.  Think of this recipe as a roadmap where you can take different directions to get to your final destination.  You can add cooked rice noodles, bean sprouts, hot chili paste or sriracha, basil, mint and/or cilantro, like I did in the photo above.   You can grate the ginger instead of using big chunks so have a more prominent ginger flavor.  How ever you make it, this soup is fast, easy and so satisfying.  It’ll fix you up even if you don’t think you need fixing up!

Thai Coconut Chicken Soup | pamela salzman

4.8 from 5 reviews
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Author: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into big chunks for easy removal*
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional) or sriracha or red chili paste to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1 6-8” stalk lemon grass, white part only and split down the middle or smashed
  • ½-1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded and thinly sliced
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (I like Native Forest or Natural Value)
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock, light vegetable stock or water
  • 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 large baby bok choy, sliced thin
  • A handful of mushrooms (any type), sliced thin
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped (also a little mint and/or basil is nice, too)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent.
  2. Add ginger, red pepper, salt and lemongrass. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken to the pot and cook, stirring until chicken is white on the outside.
  4. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and lime juice and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the flavors are well blended, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add bok choy, mushrooms and cilantro and simmer another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Remove ginger and lemongrass stalk before serving.
Notes
*or grate a teaspoon or two or fresh ginger into the soup for more kick.
You can adjust many of the ingredients according to taste, especially the spiciness. Also, I vary the amount of chicken I use in this recipe according to what else I am serving in the meal.
This soup traditionally contains palm sugar, which is a higher quality unrefined sugar. If you would like to balance the sour and spicy with some sweet, add about 2 teaspoons.

Gingerbread biscotti recipe (gluten-free version, too!)

Gingerbread Biscotti | Pamela Salzman

Gingerbread Biscotti | Pamela Salzman

I have been offered A LOT of biscotti in my life.  When everyone you are related to is Italian, biscotti appear more often than Oreos.  They’re called “biscotti” because they literally translate to “twice baked.”  You bake them in logs first, then you slice up the logs and bake them again. They have this tell-tale shape you see here and they are a bit dry and crunchy and not overly sweet.  There are infinite flavor combinations ranging from lemon to almond to chocolate chip to raisin to you name it.  I remember my parents and all the other grown-ups dunking them in espresso or, if they were really feeling festive, dipping the cookies in a sweet Italian liqueur called Vin Santo.

dry ingredients

chopping crystallized ginger

Now that sounds dreamy to me for sure, but when I was a kid, all I wanted was a normal chocolate chip cookie for goodness sake!  Or one with M&M’s or some other junk.  I’m all grown-up now and I much prefer homemade cookies, especially ones that don’t contain M&M’s and lots of sugar.  Even though I try not to indulge in sweets very often, I do like to bake cookies for the holidays.  My favorite holiday “flavor” is gingerbread.  Every year in my December classes I teach some sort of gingerbread dessert, two of which have been posted on my site.  These gingerbread biscotti might very well be my favorite so far!  One of my complaints about the biscotti of my youth is that they were B-O-R-I-N-G.  What kid gets excited about orange zest in a cookie or fennel seed?  Yaaaaawwwwnnnn.  That’s not a dessert.  But gingerbread biscotti are something else.  These pack a spicy punch from both crystallized ginger and powered ginger and a double crunch from the whole almonds.  Even Mr. Picky loves these.  He just walked by the computer and said, “isn’t it about time we make those gingerbread biscotti again?”  I absolutely swear he just said that!

bake the logs first

slice the baked logs

Biscotti are fantastic to make for the holidays because they last a good long time (a week or more?) without getting stale, so they’re perfect for gift-giving!  If you need to accommodate gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan folks, read through both recipes because there are options.  If you’re not sure how to do this, please leave me a comment below and I will help you out.  I’ll tell you the truth — I like the gluten-free biscotti better than the wheat flour ones.  I think they’re lighter and crispier, although both have that great gingerbread flavor.  I love the extra boost from crystallized ginger, but if you can’t find it, don’t worry about it.  And if you’re feeling extra naughty, you can go right ahead and dip these cuties in some melted white chocolate and let them harden before you store them or wrap them up.  Are you feeling the holiday spirit now??

gingerbread biscotti | pamela salzman

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gingerbread Biscotti
Author: 
Serves: makes about 24
 
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons coconut oil or room temperature unsalted butter
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • ½ cup muscovado or firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs or ½ cup unsweetened smooth applesauce
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds or chopped, if desired
  • ½ cup crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat coconut oil and sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and creamy.  Beat in eggs, combine well.
  2. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients; add to sugar mixture, beating at low speed until blended.  Stir in almonds and crystallized ginger.
  3. Divide dough in half.  Using floured hands, shape each portion into a log 3-inches wide and 1-inch high.  Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 25 minutes.  Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet; remove to a wire rack, and set aside until cool to the touch.  Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  5. Cut each log crosswise into ½-inch slices with a serrated knife. Place slices on the same parchment-lined cookie sheet.  If you want long cookies, cut on the diagonal.
  6. Bake 7-8 minutes; turn cookies over, and bake 7-8 more minutes.  If you cut them thick, you will probably have to bake them a little longer.  Cool completely on wire racks.

gluten-free gingerbread biscotti

makes about 24

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup cane sugar

½ cup muscovado or firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs or ½ cup unsweetened smooth applesauce

½ cup almond flour

¼ cup sorghum flour

¼ cup tapioca flour

¼ cup potato starch

¼ cup sweet rice flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 cup whole raw almonds or chopped, if desired

½ cup crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Beat butter and sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and creamy.  Beat in eggs, combine well.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to sugar mixture, beating at low speed until blended.  Stir in almonds and crystallized ginger.
  3. Dough will be very sticky so you can refrigerate it for 15-20 minutes and/or flour your hands while you split the dough into two logs, about 1 inch high and 2 inches wide.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown on the edges and just slightly soft in the middle.  Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet and remove to a wire rack.  Set aside until cool to the touch, about 30 minutes.
  5. Cut each log crosswise into half-inch slices with a serrated knife.  Place slices on the same parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake 15-20 minutes until golden.  Cool completely on wire racks.