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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 garlic (18)

    Tuesday
    Feb042014

    garlic soup + rosemary polenta croutons


    It's no secret that there are few ingredients I love more than garlic. 
     
    Last week I was craving garlic, big time. Cold weather + garlic craving = must make garlic soup asap  

    In researching garlic soup recipes, I did not realize how popular it is. There are so many variations in so many of the cookbooks I have. I could not decide on one version, so I decided to try two different methods. One, which is very similar to this version by Heidi  was very delicious ...... but this version I'm sharing today, which turned out to be a hybrid of several recipes, was more what I was looking for. Velvety smooth, and just enough of a garlic flavor to satisfy my craving but won't scare my friends away.

    This is a quick and easy soup that you can easily make for yourself, or your family, or it would also make a perfect starter for a dinner party. It's done in one pot (if you don't count the croutons) and the most labor-intensive part is peeling the garlic. But don't worry, I googled "how to peel a lot of garlic at once" <--- for you, and found a great shortcut.

    Although, if you are weird like me and you actually like the smell of garlic on your hands, then you can do it the old fashioned way, by smashing the cloves one by one. I actually find this kind of prep work therapeutic. 

    Just in case you don't love the smell of garlic on your hands, but you do want to peel each and every clove, I also googled "how to get the garlic smell off your hands" <--- for you. (I figured I probably needed this info as well, in case I want to make this soup and then have people over that might not appreciate my garlic hands.)  

     


    Another thing I learned when reading up on garlic soup, is that it has serious medicinal properties. Just like chicken soup, garlic soup meant to be a cure-all.

     
    Apparently, if you eat this soup, you can rid yourself of a cold, hangover, or just general winter blues ... but I will only guarantee the winter blues part. I am certain this soup will pull you out of any cold weather gloom.

     

     

    I thought of calling this recipe: 40 cloves of garlic soup, because you actually use about 40 cloves of garlic. It is the main ingredient and it certainly does shine through, but you'll see I added in a few other goodies to balance out the flavors and give it a little depth.

    The reduced wine in this soup really adds a whole other special layer of flavor, but if for some reason you do not want use wine in this soup, then you could certainly substitute with mirin (an asian rice cooking wine) or vegetable broth. Mirin will give you a slightly sweeter outcome, and the broth slightly more savory. The croutons are optional as well if you want to keep this simple. The croutons are there to make it more fancy and filling, but this soup certainly has the ability to stand on it's own.

    Click to read more ...

    Monday
    Dec302013

    sweet potato tart with garlic chili oil

    Let's start this new year off with a bang. And by bang I mean this decadent, insanely delicious tart.

    If you remember last year, you remember that I don't do resolutions, diets, or new year's cleanses. I don't believe that we should only be setting these kinds of goals one time during the year, and I don't believe that you should throw your life off balance by drastically changing your eating, working, and exercising habits for a week or two. 

    I do believe in balance, and I do believe in continuously setting goals. 

    Mad respect for those who do set goals on Jan 1, and even more respect for those who actually accomplish what it is they are seeking .... but these kinds of things are not for me. 

    I realize that if you are one of those people who have goals set, you may have moved onto salads and detoxing already, and that the thought of anything on the indulgent side may have you running to the gym, but I NEED to share this recipe with you. The truth is, I probably should have shared this with you before the holidays, but it was during the holidays that I made this for the first time, and then I made this over and over and over again because it was such a major crowd pleaser. Even if you cannot think about entertaining guests for months, put this recipe in your back pocket for the next dinner party you are ready to throw.

    But, if you're anything like me .... let's throw a dinner party this weekend, just to have a reason to make this tart.  

    This tart might look familiar, especially if you are a fan of Ottolenghi. This recipe is on the cover of the newly released US version of his book: Ottolenghi, and it just might be my favorite recipe that I have made of his. Actually, it's hard to name just one favorite, so let's call this my favorite 'entertaining' recipe of his.  

    This tart blows minds. I've witnessed it. If you're wondering what it looks like, it's that look when people take their first bite and their eyes get really wide, it's then followed by some sort of expletive like "wow" or "damn girl". 

    My response to this reaction has typically been, "well ... anything you serve on puff pastry tastes good" but actually, I shouldn't say that. Most things served on puff pastry feel heavy and greasy and usually make you feel guilty, where this tart has a healthy balance of veggies, with the light, bright flavors of garlic, parsley and chili. It all works...sooo...well. 

    It is fair to mention that cheese and butter are not normal staples in my diet, but if I am going to bend the rules and go big, this is how I do it. I usually allow a little room for a good quality goat cheese from time to time, and this toasty, melty form is the ultimate exception. If you wanted to make this dairy free, you could do so by either buying or making your own vegan puff pastry and omitting the goat cheese. I'd like to think that a caramelized onion spread would sub in nicely for the cheese. 

    Click to read more ...

    Friday
    Apr262013

    grilled artichokes marinated in garlic + lemon

    Yes, this is my second artichoke recipe of the season. No, this will not be the last. 

    As you are probably well aware, I'm kind of obsessed with artichokes. They are one of my favorite foods of all time. I'm not sure exactly why I love them so much. My mom used to make big batches of steamed artichokes when I was growing up, and when they were in season, it seemed like we always had stuffed artichokes around. I'd come home from school and immediately run to the fridge with hopes that I would find something yummy to snack on, and if that yummy thing happened to be an artichoke, well then it was a happy day.

    My mom always used the same recipe, and when I started making them for myself I used my mom's recipe. It was not until the past couple of years that I started to branch out prepare them in different ways. 

    When we were in Rome for our honeymoon last year, it was artichoke season. Lucky me. Lucky us. There was not a single restaurant in Rome that did not have an artichoke on the menu. Some as an appetizers, some as a side, and a few as a main course. They were prepared in every which way, steamed, fried, grilled, served in salads, dissected, or whole. And we tried them all. It definitely inspired me to branch out and try different preparations. 

    This marinating and grilling preparation has been my absolute favorite this year. So much so that I have not stuffed or steamed a single artichoke this season ..... (yet). It is a little easier because you don't have as much prep and cook time. You just steam them lightly, toss them in a bag with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon and when you're ready to eat them just throw them on a grill or grill pan for a few minutes. As with most things, the longer you marinate the better. 

    I have made these about 4-5 time in the past few weeks. I have wondered if Michael is getting sick of artichokes, I don't think it possible for me to. 

     

    Click to read more ...

    Thursday
    Apr112013

    roasted baby artichokes + grilled radicchio + a garlic balsamic drizzle

    There are several things that I get really really excited for this time of year:

    The first day that I do not have to wear a jacket to go outside 

    Planting the first seeds in my garden and growing fresh herbs on my fire escape

    Being able to eat meals outside again 

    Ramps

    Wearing open toed shoes, and throwing my boots to the back of the closet

    Mounds of artichokes in the grocery stores and farmers markets

    Spring onions

    Cute little sundresses in pastel colors

    Peas

    Stuffing artichokes

    Roasting baby artichokes

    Artichokes ...... 

    I love spring, I love artichokes, I just love this time of year. {Although, I'm a little reluctant to call it my favorite because come summertime when it's 80º outside and the fresh tomatoes are coming up in the garden then I'll be singing a different song.}

    I love artichokes big and small. A big stuffed artichoke is one of my all-time favorite things, but when I want a quick artichoke fix I go with the smaller ones. I never used to bother with the smaller ones until I learned how to handle them. I didn't really understand them. I thought, what's the fun if you cannot pull off the leaves and anticipate getting to that delicious heart?

    Then I realized, the small ones are a totally different experience. There is no leaf pulling, prickly center removing, or juicy heart eating. They are much less time consuming to prepare than the big guys. Once the tougher outer leaves are removed you are left with a tender inside that is completely edible and so tasty. You can grill then, blanch them, roast them, fry them ..... love them. 

     

    Grilled radicchio is a wonderful thing too. It is fairly bitter on it's own so it needs a few accompaniments to mellow it out. The sweetness of the balsamic does just that, and so does savory mellow flavor of the artichokes. If you prefer something less bitter, this can be made with any type of hearty green or cabbage. Kale, romaine, red cabbage or swiss chard will all grill up nicely. 

     

    So, if anyone is looking for me over the next few weeks you're likely to find me outside, eating artichokes sprinkled with fresh herbs from my herb garden, wearing a pastel sundress with some open toed shoes, daydreaming about what I am going to make with all the ramps and spring onions coming our way. 

     

    Click to read more ...

    Sunday
    Apr072013

    ribollita with garlic oil // food bloggers against hunger

    We typically reserve Monday and Tuesday nights for cooking a super nourishing meal at home and watching a good movie or a TV show we have DVR'd. I usually cook a meal that is heavy on the vegetables, some type of grain and or protein, and everything is usually organic or came directly from a farm. 

    Last week I was reminded that this little ritual of ours was a luxury, not a right. Last week I learned that hunger in America is real, and 1 in 4 kids will go to sleep hungry tonight.

    After reading Nicole Gullota's, of The Giving Table, call to inspire action about hunger in America, the next movie up in our queue for movie night was A Place At The Table, a documentary about hunger in America. If you have not seen it yet, you must. I have to admit, with there being such big focus these days on childhood obesity, I was a bit skeptical and confused that there was now a documentary about childhood hunger. But what I quickly came to learn from watching this documentary was that the two go hand in hand. I was shocked, sad, and (once again) blown away at how our government is not taking responsibility to make sure our children are fed, and fed well. 

    I spent most of the documentary asking Michael why the government does not outlaw these over-processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and subsidizing the corn producers that makes it. Isn’t it obvious that will solve all sorts of issues from obesity, to issues with health care, which all trickles down to the economy? 

    The issues do not stop with these dangerous government subsidies. Did you know that the government only allows $1 per child for school lunches or $4 for people who need food stamps? I didn't until now. Have you ever tried to buy (good, healthy) food to make dinner with only $4? It’s pretty much impossible with the rising costs of produce. Especially for people who live in areas called "food deserts", which are areas in our country that do not have access to healthy foods and fresh produce.

    But you know what you can buy with 4$ a day? Go to the isles with the chips, soda, and high fructose corn syrup - everything. You get a lot more bang for your buck in that isle.

    So you see, when you are only living on a few dollars a day for food, the few calories you are getting are the ugly, dangerous ones. The ones that you and I will pay the extra few bucks to avoid.

    It’s wrong, and when it comes to children, we as a nation should be doing everything in our power to feed them, and feed them well. No child should go to bed hungry, ever, but especially in one of the wealthiest nations in the world.  

    If you are as shocked and saddened as I am about hunger in the US and would like to take action today, there is something you can do. Go here and sign a petition to tell Congress to support anti-hunger legislation. The more voices they hear the better, so pass it along to your friends and family who would want to take action as well. 


    For this post, we were asked to create a recipe that would cost very little to make and something that could be made with pantry staples. I thought that a classic ribollita would be perfect, because it is one of my favorites, and can often be made with pantry staples, leftover ingredients, and some stale bread. It's a filling, warming, nutritious stew that makes for an easy, great dinner, and delicious leftovers to enjoy all week long. 

    Ribollita is a Tuscan stew, it means re-boiled. It is typically a leftover type of dish in Italy ....a really really good leftover dish. You know how some meals are better as leftovers? This is one of them. 

    ribollita with garlic oil

    Serves
    Around 4-6

    Ingredients

    1 yellow onion, diced
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    a couple of tablespoons of olive oil
    1 bunch (about 10 leaved) of kale, or another hearty green
    14oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
    2 cups of white beans, soaked overnight and drained
    1 teaspoon of salt
    pepper, to taste

    1 small-medium sized 2 day old baguette, torn into pieces

    for the garlic oil:

    2 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
    a couple of tablespoons of olive oil

    optional spices: red pepper flakes, a bay leaf

    Method

    • Heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Sautee until they are clear, about 3-4 minutes. You want them to be translucent but not browned. 
    • Then add in the kale and stir to coat with the onions and garlic. Cook the kale for a couple of minutes until it just begins to wilt. 
    • Then add in the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes, and using a spoon break apart the tomatoes so you have a chunky paste consistency. 
    • Add in the beans, bay leaf (if using) and 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil and them reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour and a half. 
    • After it's been cooking for about one hour, remove the bay leaf add the salt and pepper. Give it a taste and adjust any seasoning accordingly. This is where you can add some red pepper flakes or any other seasoning you like.
    • Add the bread and 2 more cups of water (or enough to make sure the bread and rest of the ingredients are covered), and cook for another 30 minutes.
    • At this point, you can make the garlic oil. Place the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Cook the garlic on low heat for about 5 minutes. You want the garlic to become fragrant but you do not want it to brown. When it’s done remove it from the heat and place it in a small bowl. 
    • To serve the ribollita, spoon the soup into a bowl and drizzle the garlic oil over the top.
    • This ribollita will keep for several days in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, place in a saucepan on the stove on medium low heat. Make sure you add a little bit of water to the mixture because the bread tend to soak most of it up.