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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 cilantro (11)

    Thursday
    Aug292013

    swiss chard enchiladas with avocado + mango salsa and green tahini

    Hey guys, guess what? I want to be the one to tell you this, so here it goes. Summer isn't over yet. Just because Labor Day has come and gone, I am not turning in my flip flops for knee-high boots just yet. I am going to soak up every last second. As long as I have a slight hint of tan on my legs and vegetables in the garden it's summer in my mind. 

    This summer was a productive one for me. I had some pretty serious goals I was trying to accomplish, but within the serious goals I had some not so serious ones I was aiming for too.

    Try to wiggle in a couple of beach days in-between working on the cookbook (check).
    Have fun (check).
    Sleep in during the last week of August (check).
    Work on my garden and improve my green thumb skills (check). 

    Last summer I planted my first garden on my own, and I had very few successes and way too many zucchinis and mini-pumpkins. This summer I had a different strategy. I may have cheated a little, but I think it was necessary in my learning process. 

    I planted my garden with plants I bought that had already sprouted. Some may call this cutting corners, others may call this smart, but since I am not a person who can dedicate all of my attention to my garden, it turned out to be the best decision I could have made. My entire garden was a success (except for some little creature who was loving my kale) but besides that we now have a beautiful and balanced garden that is full of gorgeous summer vegetables.

    I have been eating mostly from the garden for the past few weeks, and as far as home cooked meals go, there is not much that beats that.  

    I planted a few swiss chard plants in my garden and by mid-August they had grown to have some of the biggest leaves I have ever seen. I'm talking seriously big. I had to do something fun with them. 

    You know I am not one to take the safe route and just throw them into a pan and satuée them. I wanted to come up with something totally different. After several attempts, these enchiladas came to be.

    Michael and I had a little bit of a debate on what to call these. Actually, the debate was sparked because I was accidentally calling them "empanadas" and he vehemently protested. Empanadas are one of Michael's great food loves, so I wouldn't want to mess with them. Woops! Enchiladas ... not empanadas! Once we sorted out the confusion, he agreed that "enchiladas" made more sense.  

    Traditional enchiladas are made with a corn or flour tortilla that has some kind of filling, topped off with a tomato based sauce and typically lots of cheese and then baked. Over here, I have a slightly different take on enchiladas for you. Subbing out the processed, carb-heavy tortilla for swiss chard is bold move in the health direction. And, by sticking with the green theme, adding in a green tahini instead of a tomato based sauce and cheese still satisfies the creamy texture but in a much more "still kind-of bathing suit season" sort of way. This is a perfect light, but indulgent, meal to ease into late late summer. 

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Jul112013

    raw summer pad thai

    A funny thing happened the other morning. I was going about my morning routine, running a few errands, when I was stopped by a man on the street. He goes:

    "Excuse me, would you happen to know where the nearest place is that I can buy a julienne peeler?"

    To which I responded "Well, that's funny, because I am actually on my way to buy a julienne peeler."

    (whaaaaaat .... soooo random) 

    Me: "A few blocks away in the Chelsea Market there is a store called Bowery Kitchen. They sell everything, I am almost certain they will have a julienne peeler."

    Guy on street: "Thanks! I am trying to eat healthier, so I thought it would be great for me to buy one so that I can eat more raw veggies."

    Right on guy. Right on. 

     

    The story does not stop there. So, I continue on my way, run a few quick errands, and head over to buy my julienne peeler .... and there's the guy. Scouring the peeler section. I went over to him and said "Looks like you found it!"

    Guy: "Hey! Yeah! I did, but I don't know which one to buy."

    Well, then, of course I went on a bit of a tangent about different peelers, what purpose they each serve, as well as different things you can make with raw vegetables. Raw veggie pasta, raw veggie salad, raw veggie noodle pad thai

    In fact, that's what's been on my mind. Raw pad thai. That's was why I was buying a julienne peeler. 
     

    Last summer I bought this crazy, clunky Japanese spiralizer that I would make noodles with. The problem was, I hated using that thing. It was not very user friendly and it was taking up a lot of precious cabinet space. 

    There's been a lot of talk recently about a julienne peelers, so I thought maybe that would a better solution than my cumbersome spirilizer. WELL. I am telling you. This $5 piece of kitchen equipment will CHANGE YOUR LIFE. Seriously people. Life changing. 

    Being able to eat more raw veggies in the summertime, being able to eat my favorite pasta dishes subbing veggies for the bad carbs .... amazing. Yes. Run out and buy one right now. 

    Hold on, I am sure that many of you probably already have a julienne peeler, and many of you have probably already told all of your family, friends, and the checkout person at the grocery store how amazing it is. So, those of you can realte to my level of enthusiasm. 

    The first thing I made with my julienne peeler was this creamy pesto zucchini dish. Seriously delicious.

    The second thing I made was this raw pad thai. I have been dying to make raw pad thai ever since we moved away from my favorite raw foods restaurant, and I am no longer able to order it on the regular. So now that I have my handy fancy julienne peeler I will be making my own. On the regular. 


    So the story ends with me the and the guy each buying our own julienne peelers ... and we go off on our merry ways to live happy, raw veggie filled lives. And, I hope (if you don't already have one) you will go out and do the same. 

    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 ...

    Thursday
    Jun062013

    sugar snap pea + cilantro slaw

     

    When I chop a lot I think a lot. 

    Even thought there's a lot of thinking going on when I'm chopping, it's the kind of thinking that clears my head the same way running or exercise would.

    I am not good at not thinking, I wish I was a little better at it. In yoga when they tell you to quiet your mind, that's right about the time that my mind starts to wander to some far-off bizarre places. It probably sounds a little like this:

    I want to adopt another dog that is a cross between a newfoundland and a king charles cavalier
    ahh! I forgot to email so and so back
    I really want a yellow mixing bowl
    a nice wrap dress for the summer would be a great addition to my wardrobe
    I need to get a pedicure

     

    I've had a lot on my mind recently. Nothing crazy, but we just have a lot going on right now. It's impossible to stay balanced all the time, so when things are a little off kilter, I need to find ways to make it back to my center place.

    Yoga usually gets me there (despite my wandering mind), and chopping. Lots of chopping.

    Maybe that's how this slaw recipe came to be. Maybe I just needed to chop it out.

     

     

     

    As I am sure you know, I am a sucker for twists on classic recipes. This recipe takes a classic slaw and adds a lot of fun surprises. The cilantro mayo dressing is light, bright, and happy, and the snap peas add this lovely little unexpected crunch. It all goes so well together that this side dish might become the main event. 

     

    This slaw would pair well with so many things. It would be killer on top of these quinoa burgers I made recently, or maybe beside some shish kabobs, or a nice piece of fish .... or if you're like my husband, you can just eat it straight out of the bowl for lunch (yes, he did that). 

     

     


     

    Now that summer is coming up, I love to have fun recipes like this handy for when we are grilling or if I need to bring something to a friend's BBQ. It's vegan (depending on the type of mayo you want to use) and gluten-free, so you won't have to worry about food preferences or allergies with this dish. 

    I realize that fresh sugar snap peas are seasonal and are only around for a short time so make this while you can. They tend to taper off around mid-summer around here. If you want to make this and cannot find sugar snap peas, a snow pea would be a okay substitute, or you can just make it without the snap pea. Even though the snap peas are the real treat, the cilantro mayo and cabbage can still hold it's own. 

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    May242013

    spring pea + fava bean guacamole with root chips

    Today is the start of one of my favorite weekends of the whole year. 

    I'm a huge fan of summer and this weekend signifies the start of the summer for us here in the east coast. Although summer's official start date is not until late June, this is the weekend for us that the grill get uncovered, some new plants get planted, and the flip flops get dusted off. 

    One of my favorite things about summer is cooking and hanging out with friends. Grabbing vegetables straight from the garden or the nearby farm stand, and having people over for a causal meal is just the best.   

    Backyard BBQs, beach picnics, long leisurely brunches. That's what summer is all about. 

    I love to have nibbly bits around whenever we are entertaining, and guacamole is always a popular snack. Sure, you can buy gaucamole in the store, but it is so much better (and impressive) when you make it at home. 

    I love to fanci-fy otherwise simple foods. Adding peas and fava beans is a super easy way to make a regular guacamole a little fancier. Since it is not officially summer yet, this snack is a marriage of a few great spring vegetables that you can still find right now, and one of my favorite summertime snack foods. 

    I am keeping this short and sweet, because I am off to cook for a big girls dinner tonight. I am so excited to kick off the summer with a huge home-cooked meal celebrating friends.  

    Happy weekend!

     

    Click to read more ...