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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 basil (13)

    Wednesday
    Aug212013

    tomato + avocado + corn + basil + quinoa salad 

    Dont' worry .... I do not not need a tomato and corn intervention ..... yet.

    I do realize that this is about my fourth recipe this summer that involves tomatoes and/or corn. I don't plan on changing the name of this blog to tomato lovers anonymous, and I promise I have noticed that there are plenty of other wonderful summer fruits and vegetables that are begging for my attention too. 

    As you can tell, I have been completely smitten with tomatoes and corn and a bit obsessed with getting in as many of their indulgences that I can. I promise (with fingers crossed behind my back) that this is the last post involving corn and tomatoes (together). Everywhere I go, including my backyard, all I see are these gorgeous tomatoes and bushels of corn begging to be enjoyed. I just can't help myself. 

     

    I posted a picture of this salad on facebook and instagram a few days ago when I was working on the recipe, and never before did I have so many demands for the recipes. Demands! I had planed on posting this recipe sometime next week, but with so many requests I knew it could not wait.

    I had thought you were over my tomato and corn pictures and posts, but I was mistaken. Apparently you and I are the same, and you want to savor every second of these tomato and corn filled months as much as I do. Apparently you and I are heirloom tomato and sweet summer corn soulmates


    Last week one of my oldest and closest friends came to visit from Denver with her boyfriend. As with any long weekend with good friends, it was filled with lots and lots of laughs, plenty of great meals, some seriously delicious key lime pie, fancy homemade lattes, and big bottles of roséThe first night they arrived, we swung by our friend's parent's house to say hello, and while we were there one of her friends was preparing this awesome looking summer salad with corn, tomatoes, basil and avocado. YUM. It took everything in my power not to jump right in and devour their salad. 

    The next night I insisted that we make that same salad, and we did. It was then that I decided that this was THE perfect summer salad. Since then I have made this salad another three times. It has only been a week. And you know what? I can (and probably will) eat this every other day until summer vegetables start to dwindle. 

    Don't you worry, I have plenty of fun, creative recipes involving some of the other wonderful summer veggies coming your way ... but for now, let's enjoy these gorgeous plum, ripe tomatoes, and super sweet corn while we can. The way they were meant to be. With just a touch of really god olive oil, salt + pepper, and a few other goodies. 

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Jul082013

    popsicles two ways: blackberry + basil + yogurt | mango + coconut 

    I have wonderful memories from my childhood of making popsciles, so as soon as the weather heated up, I was inspired to run out and buy myself a popsicle mold .... but as I took it out of the box I asked myself, was this $15 piece of kitchen equipment that is just going to take up room in my cabinets come wintertime totally necessary .... and with that came the idea for my contributing post over at Modern Parents Messy Kids.

    Head on over there for tips on how to makes popsicles with or without a mold. 

    And, here are two of my favorite popsicle recipes that I am also sharing. Enjoy! 

     

    blackberry + basil + yogurt popsicles

    Makes 
    about 3-4 depending on the size of your mold / cups

    Ingredients

    • about 2 cups of blackberries (blueberries or raspberries will work as well)
    • several basil leaves, chopped
    • a teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • 2 cups of vanilla flavored greek yogurt

    Place the berries, basil and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a puree. Then spoon in the berry mixture alternating with spoonfuls of yogurt into the mold or cups (if using the cups, follow the instructions in this post). Freeze for a minimum of 3-4 hours, until the pops are frozen. You can always make these ahead of time and store them for about 1-2 weeks in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, place the mold or cups in a shallow bowl with warm water (popsicle sticks up), until the pops are loose enough to be removed from the mold.

     

    mango + coconut popsicles

    Makes
    3-4 depending on the size of your mold / cups

    Ingredients

    • 1 large, ripe mango, peeled and sliced into pieces
    • 1/4 cup of canned coconut milk (unsweetened)
    • the juice of 1/2 of a lime
    • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • a couple of pinches of toasted, shredded coconut

    Place the mango pieces, coconut milk, lime juice, and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a puree. Stir in the shredded coconut. Then spoon in the mango coconut mixture into the mold or cups (if using the cups, follow the instructions in this post). Freeze for a minimum of 3-4 hours, until the pops are frozen. You can always make these ahead of time and store for about 1-2 weeks in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, place the mold or cups in a shallow bowl with warm water (popsicle sticks up), until the pops are loose enough to be removed from the mold.

    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 ...

    Tuesday
    Apr162013

    falafel + herbed tzatziki

    There are a lot of food trucks where I live. Not the really fancy cool ones, but the ones that serve your standard NYC hot dog, pretzel, or more recently, cupcakes. They're probably not technically food trucks, more like food carts. Yes, let's refer to them as food carts.

    Food truck food, however, is the greatest. Food that came from a truck used to be a bit iffy, but not anymore. Food truck food is cool and delicious. Don't most food lovers dream of having a food truck one day? I do.

    You know what my food truck would have? Lots of awesome tasting farm fresh vegetables. Edgy vegetable dishes like veggie empanadas and maybe even some crispy grilled veggies on a stick with an awesome sauce. And falafel. My food truck would definitely have some really delicious falafel. 

    So now that I have my menu down ... I just need to name my food truck. I'm taking suggestions. 

     

    Back to the food carts. A lot of the food carts by me serve falafel. I've never tried one of theirs, but if I had to guess it probably tastes pretty darn good. My problem is, who knows who made that falafel, where it has been sitting all day, and what kind of oil it was fried in. Thanks but no thanks. I'll make my own. 

    Falafel is one of those things that can be so wonderful when it's done right, and so awful when it's not done right. The good kind of falafel is one that is not too fried, not to dry, crisp on the outside, made with fresh organic ingredients and loaded with lots of good spices.

    That's the type of falafel I want to create in my kitchen. 

    See, when I make falafel at home, I know what I am putting in and I know what it will turn out like. I know that I am making a healthier version because I know my ingredients are good, clean, and organic. How often do you see homemade, organic falafel advertised on the side of a food cart? Pretty much never. You know my food truck would .... in pink neon flashing lights. 

     

    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 ...