Sunday, March 15, 2015

A late winter's salad

Signs of spring cheer the heart, but it's only mid-March as far as produce goes in the East. If you like a salad for lunch, think beyond tomatoes and lettuce. Here's one that's colorful and hardy for a cool, rainy day.

A late winter's salad
Serves 2

Ingredients
½ cup cooked wheat berries, chilled
½ cup cooked French tiny green lentils, chilled
4 mini bell peppers, sliced
Handful of haricots vert, or tender green beans, cooked and cooled
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons quality olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Celtic gray salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
Toss all in a bowl and serve. Also good over a bed of tender field greens or arugula.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi day pie – a rustic quiche

I was supposed to host a brunch today for my fellow nerds who wanted to mark the best Pi Day of our lives (3/14/15 9:26:59) by eating pie together. Alas, the best laid plans were laid aside when I slipped on ice in my driveway last Sunday and fell hard and twisted my left knee. It's healing, but I couldn't possibly host anything today.

But we did have pie this morning. I decided to try to make a pie that didn't require a lot of measuring or extra fat and could be committed to memory. Here's what I came up with and it was very tasty.

If you don't have ham, use crumbled cooked bacon or sausage or sliced hot dogs. If you don't have chopped fresh kale, used thawed chopped spinach squeezed until dry. Any medium hard cheese you like will do. Chopped green onions or any color chopped bell peppers would be good, too. And if you like it spicy, use cayenne pepper instead of nutmeg. If you don't have a 7-inch spring-form pan, an 8-inch pie plate will do.


Lori K's rustic quiche for two 

 Crust
½ stick of frozen butter (2 oz)
1 cup whole-wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup ice cold water

Filling
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup skim milk
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon black pepper
2 slices of deli ham, chopped
½ cup chopped kale
¼ cup part-skim mozzarella

Instructions
Grate butter into mixing bowl. Add flour and salt and combine well. Add water slowly until it looks like everything is sticking together but not not sticky; you might not need the full amount of water.
Knead a little until it holds firmly together in a ball. Flatten the ball a bit, put it back into the bowl and put in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Heat the oven to 475°.

Make the filling: Whisk together the eggs, yogurt, milk and spices. Roll out the dough so that it's large enough to cover a 7-inch spring-form pan. Press it around all the bottom edge, and flatten the folds. Take off any overhanging dough (you can roll it out thinly and bake at the same time to make crackers; they may be done before the quiche is, so keep an eye on them if you do this). Sprinkle the kale, ham and cheese on top of the dough, then pour the filling over.

Put in the oven on a baking sheet and turn the heat down to 375. Cook for 20 minutes. The sides will slip down and it will look like a rustic tart. Take out of the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes.

Friday, February 13, 2015

World's best Valentine save

Photograph ©2015, Lori Korleski Richardson
It's Feb. 13, and you realize that you haven't gotten your sweetie anything for Valentines Day.

(It happens. I remember one night a city editor at our newspaper ran around gathering up all the red and white carnations the pizza guy had delivered with the pizzas so he'd have something to bring his wife when he finally got off work one Feb. 14.)

Don't sweat it. Tonight, make sure you have the following available:

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Nuts (optional)
Sea salt or kosher salt

 Tomorrow morning, suggest your love attend a matinee with a friend, something you know she wants to see but you don't. While she's gone, turn on the oven to 170 degrees, open a 12-ounce bag of semisweet chocolate chips (make sure they are real chocolate) and empty it in an 8-by-8-inch pan that you have lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Spread them out. Then open a can of fat-free sweetened condensed milk and pour it over the chips. Put the pan in the oven. It should take about 15 minutes to melt. In the meantime, get out some vanilla extract, sea salt (or kosher salt) and if she likes nuts, a small bag of chopped pecans, walnuts, filberts, macadamias, pistachios or almonds. When you take the pan out, add 1½ teaspoons vanilla and mix the chocolate and milk quickly, gently (you don't want to tear the foil) and thoroughly. Smooth it out so that it goes into all the corners. Add the nuts and press them into the mixture, then lightly salt it all over. Put it in the refrigerator to set up for at least two hours. Take it out of the fridge, turn it out on a chopping board, peel off the foil, and cut it into little squares. Put the squares on a pretty plate, wrap in plastic, and put a bow on top of it.

Could hardly be easier. And hey, it's chocolate!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Grapefruit: Sweetened by broiling

Grapefruit is an odd fruit. It's too big to be eaten in one sitting by one person, since each half looks like a little bowl. It's best shared, but many older couples can't do that, if one is on statins.

And although it tastes of summer, all fresh and juicy and tart, cold from the refrigerator, it ripens in the winter.

And my favorite, Texas Rio Red, isn't as available in stores in the East as the Florida fruits, which aren't nearly as sweet.

To get around this, you can use your broiler to punch up both the taste and the sweetness. Some people like to put some brown sugar on top, but I like them plain. Just half your fruit, put it on a pan suitable for broiling, and put it under the preheated broiler until the rind is good and toasty. The fruit will be warm, the cells swell to almost bursting and all you'll need to enjoy it is a grapefruit knife and/or grapefruit spoon.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

A cruciferous Christmas

Crown him with many broccoli crowns: A photo from the produce section of Monterey Foods, courtesy of my friend Amy Pyle.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Fifteen foods to add to your diet for a healthful 2015

Photo courtesy of  kalettes.com
For the full story, go the Huffington Post.

If you just want the list, I'm glad to be of help:

1. Matcha tea (ground green tea with extra chlorophyll)

2. Broccoli sprouts

3. Crickets  (as well as mealworms, locusts, and grasshoppers)

4. Kalettes (a hybrid of Brussels sprouts and kale)

5. Plantains (boiled and mashed, not fried)

6. Umeboshi (Japanese fermented plum) paste

7. Watercress

8. Lychee

9. Capers

10. Black-, mung- and garbanzo-bean pastas and flour

11. Khorasan wheat

12. Purple peppers

13. Rosemary

14. Coconut flour

15. Pine nuts (look for ones not from China)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vitamin and supplement info in an interactive graph


SOURCE: PUBMED, COCHRANE
RESEARCH: DAVID MCCANDLESS, PEARL DOUGHTY-WHITE, ALEXIA WDOWSKI
CODE: ANDY PERKINS


I'm glad graphic artists are exploring new ways to convey information in charts. Sometimes the new ways are just confusing and actually worse at conveying the data than a simple bar chart. But sometimes, they come up something that works just amazingly well, like this one, courtesy of Information is Beautiful: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/

Even better, it's interactive, with links to take you to more information about each bubble.