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    hello there good looking,

    I'm Jodi. I'm a natural foods chef and lover of healthy, wholesome, and tasty foods that have the power to make us look good from the inside out.

    Entries in arugula (8)

    Monday
    Jul012013

    grilled cornbread panzanella

    Last week on a trip to the market I found the most ripe, delicious, local, organic heirloom tomatoes. I've been waiting months and months for that day. It's finally here. #SUMMER

    I went to the market that day because A - I needed some produce, and B - I needed some inspiration. A trip to the market is always the best for that. I walked around aimlessly for about 30 minutes before I decided what I was going to make for Michael and his sister that night.

    When I was walking around, I stumbled across the most amazing assortment of herb plants. Every kind of basil you could think of and then some ... purple basil, thai basil, spicy basil ... you name it. And mint. So many kinds of mint. I could not resist buys several kind ... of everything. And now our backyard is adorned with some unique varietals of herbs, and I love it. 

    With the purchase of those new herbs and those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, it was only natural that I would be making some sort of salad. But I wanted something a little more than a salad. Panzanella. I wanted to make a panzanella

    If I were to #hashtag this recipe it would look something like this:

    #summer! #yum #beachfood #gluten-free #picnictime #healthy #vegan  #YUM #breakoutthegrill #cornbreadinsaladisreallygreatandevenbetterwhenitisgrilled 

    Last summer, panzanella salads were my go-to beach picnic food. I would throw some stale bread together with whatever leftover vegetables we had in the fridge and dress it with nothing more than some really good olive oil, some really good vinegar, and minced garlic. By the time we had made it to the beach and laid our picnic blanket down, the bread had sopped up just the right amount of oil + vinegar + garlic. So darn good. 

    I've been trying to stay away from white bread recently, so homemade gulten-free cornbread seemed like the perfect, if not better, substitute to throw into this panzanella. Grilling the cornbread makes it a bit crispy on the outside, mimicking that stale bread texture. It's pretty awesome. 

    You can make a panzanella with just about any kind of vegetable you have in your fridge. Later in the season, the summer vegetables like corn and zucchini would go so well in this salad. 

    I'll let you in on a little cornbread secret. Bob's Red Mill makes a really great gluten-free cornbread mix ... so if you want to make this in a flash, you can use that instead of making it completely from scratch. I am always one to say that from scratch is best, but if you want to take a shortcut for this ... I won't judge. I'd just be so happy that you made this grilled cornbread panzanella.  

    #ILOVEPANZANELLA #ILOVESUMMER

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Jun252013

    pickled strawberry + beet salad with an herbed vinaigrette

    Sometimes life gets busy. You know, real life. And, I'm okay with that. 

    There are birthday parties, baby showers, visitors, weddings, places to go people to see ... and sometimes you might even throw a dinner party in there because things are not just busy enough.

    As you can tell from my lack of posts over the past week, life has taken over recently. It's been all good and all fun things though. On top of all of the fun life events taking place right now, we moved ..... again. It was a good move though, and I think we are going to stay put for quite some time. 

    But now the boxes are unpacked and life is slowing down a bit. I am finally getting a chance to spend more time in my {new} kitchen.

    So when I got back into the kitchen, there was one thing I was dying to make. 

    Pickled. Strawberries.        Yes. 

    A few weeks ago Michael and I took a pickling and preserving class at the Stone Barns. I signed us up for this class for two reasons.

    First, I have always wanted to delve into canning, but despite having read my fair share about it, I have always been incredibly intimidated and paranoid about all of the boiling and sterilizing involved. 

    Second, I thought it would be really funny to see Michael take a class with all women, mostly over the age of 55, because let's face it, canning is far more attractive to women of older generations than mine. 

    And, I just love any reason to go visit the Stone Barns. Well, I guess that makes three reasons.

     

    The greatest takeaway from the class was that you do not have to go through the whole canning process to pickle or preserve your garden gems. You will need to keep whatever it is that you canned or preserved in an airtight jar in the refrigerator, but you do not need to worry about the sterilization process unless you want to store your preserves somewhere other than the fridge. 

    Super valuable information. I can make pickles and not worry about all that boiling and canning? Yay! Although now I think I might even give it a go after seeing how easy it was.

     

    So, what does this mean to you, or someone who wants to pickle something? It means it can be done, easily, and in about 10-15 minutes you can have yourself a pickle that can be enjoyed right away, or a preserve that can last about a year in the fridge. 

    So strawberries might not be the first thing you would think to run off and pickle, but I've got to tell you, my first pickled strawberry made me really happy and excited.

    It's sour, it's sweet, it's crazy good. Because of it's crazy sour sweetness, it goes so well with so many things. I'm always one to say that I don't like fruit in my salad, but a pickled fruit is certainly an exception. However, it's more than an exception in this case, this is going to be a new staple in my recipe book. 

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    May132013

    quinoa + white bean burgers with a ramp + chili pesto

    I cannot believe that this is the first ramp recipe I am posting this season, since ramps have been on my plate at almost every single meal I've had at home over the past few weeks. Breakfast: side of crispy ramps, lunch: raw ramps in my salad, dinner: ramps any way I can think of. 

    Ramps, all day every day. 

    I'm hoping you have not been overwhelmed by onslaught of ramp recipes this year .... if you're anything like me, you'll never be sick of ramps. 

    But this recipe is not just about the ramps. They're sharing the spotlight with this quinoa burger. If you've been following along here for a while, you know that I have done a few variations of a quinoa burger, shifting ingredients and preparations around each time. This might be my favorite one to date. 

    The very first recipe I posted for a quinoa burger went internet famous on me. And by internet famous, I mean it has made it's way around Tumblr (not as exciting as being YouTube internet famous). To be honest, I don't even think it was the burger that was getting all of the love, I think it was the avocado spread.

    Because let's face it, when it comes to a veggie-type burger, it is just as much about the sauce as it is the patty. 

    And with that, the conversation gets turned back to ramps.

     

    I've tried some pretty interesting and awesome ramp preparations this year. There is so much you can do with them. They're great raw, sauteed, pickled, or incorporated into a sauce, like this recipe here. 

    Last night I watched my father-in-law chop a few up and mix them into some homemade guacamole (I'm pretty sure he thought it was green onion). It was so good. 

    Ramps are a little more pungent and exciting than green onion, but the two can be interchanged in almost any recipe. So if you cannot find ramps where you are, or when their short season is over, then go ahead and sub green onion. 

    Okay, back to the burgers. These burgers are super versatile. You can switch up, increase, or leave out pretty much any ingredient listed, including the egg, since I know some of you would prefer a vegan version. In the past, my quinoa burgers were made without egg, however the egg really helps to bind. If you prefer not to use the egg, by all means leave it out. Just be aware that they will be a little more delicate (they fall apart easier). 

    You can go crazy with the toppings. For mine, I just added some arugula and some thinly sliced red onion but you can also add avocado, and any other veggie you can think of. If you want a gluten or bread-free option you can leave out the bun and serve it over a salad or in a lettuce wrap. 

    The only non-negotiable part is the ramp pesto. You cannot leave out the ramp pesto, it really is the best part.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Feb252013

    winter potato salad with quinoa + an arugula pesto

    I might as well get this out of the way and tell you that I am not a huge fan of winter. I don't particularly like cold weather. I would much rather be spending my time on a beach rather than on the ski mountain. 

    I like winter in the beginning. I get excited for the brisk air, warm fireplaces, hot chocolate, and big, comfy sweaters. The first snow is magical, and I get to bring out my favorite pear of knee-high boots and dust off a new wardrobe for a few months. 

    But it is right about this time of winter that the allure had faded. I have had enough of putting on a coat to go outside and walk the dog, and I had just about worn out my favorite pairs of boots. I'd like to go for a walk and not have to wear a hat. 

    I'm ready to put on a sundress and some open-toed shoes and walk the streets of NYC aimlessly.  NYC is such a happy place when it's warm and sunny. Is it spring yet?

    Enough about the weather ... let's talk about potato salad. 

    Potato salad reminds me of summer. It's a staple dish at our beach bbqs. Since I am itching for warm weather, this winter version of my potato salad is the compromise. 

    I made this to remind me that spring is around the corner, and summer will be here before we know it. 

     

    Potato salad is a hearty side dish that goes with just about anything. The winter greens add a pop of color, and the quinoa adds a little extra hearty touch. You don't nescessarily have to eat this with something, you can also eat this alone. I had a big bowl for lunch. I added some extra greens + pesto and it was so good. I also may have closed my eyes and pictured it was summer. Okay, I did. And I was happy.  

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Feb072013

    beluga lentils with crispy brussel leaves, carrots + fennel with a ginger dressing

    Yes. I am sharing two salads with you in a row. 

    You see, there is something I have to tell you ... salads are my thing. My speciality. My jam. 

    I know, It is not exactly the most exciting thing in the world. 

    Some people are really good at making awesome, fancy things like creme brulee or pot pie. I am really good at making salads. 

    I always wanted to be really good at making one thing. You know, so Bobby Flay would come knocking on my door to do a throwdown. Being the veggie lover that I am, I guess it was natural that salads became my thing. I'm ready for my salad throwdown Bobby. Bring it. 

    You might be thinking, what's so special about making salads? Isn't making salads really easy. Well, yes, it is. But anyone who is really good at making one thing puts a lot of love into making that one thing.

    I put a lot of love into my salads.

    I love to make my own dressing, I love to incorporate a good balance of ingredients, I love to use only what's fresh and seasonal, and I love to add unexpected things. 

    It's all about the love and the ingredients. 

    As always, whenever I post a salad recipe, I like to think of it more as a guideline or an inspiration for your own salad creations. If you've never used sautéed fennel in a salad, maybe you will try it sometime. If you've only had ginger dressing at a japanese restaurant, maybe now you'll be tempted to make your own at home.

    Or maybe you will try this just as I made it. I sure hope you do. 

    Click to read more ...