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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 lemon (10)

    Friday
    Jan242014

    green tea + ginger smoothie

    In the winter months, my coffee habit sometimes trumps my green smoothie habit, because in the winter, I want warm beverages and a boost of caffeine to get me through these long, cold, dreary days.

    As a way to get myself back onto the green smoothie more often, I bribed myself with a promise of a little bit of caffeine .... I'm not talking about dumping espresso beans into my smoothie (although I must admit, I wouldn't be above it) but, that would probably defeat the purpose.

    Green tea is the perfect compromise. A nice manageable dose of caffeine with the antioxidants to make you feel like you are doing a good thing for yourself .... because, well, you are. 

     

    I recently found this green tea powder in the grocery store that promised to be less bitter and more nutrient dense than loose or bagged green tea. I was sold. 

    When I got the new green tea powder home and made my first cup, I quickly started brainstorming of possibilities. In baked goods, in ice cream, but first, I was going to scoop it into my morning smoothie and see what would happen. Magic. The health benefits of a green smoothie plus the antioxidants from the green tea with the tiniest jolt of caffeine. YES. My winter morning smoothie compromise is here. 

    green tea + ginger smoothie

    Serves
    1-2

    Ingredients

    1 teaspoon of green tea powder (or Matcha)
    1-2 cups of almond milk (or whichever kind of non-dairy milk you prefer)
    ½” piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
    the juice of ½ a lemon
    a handful of kale (or any other dark leafy green)
    1 small banana (or an apple or a pear - cored)
    ½ an avocado 

    Method

    • Using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, blend the green tea powder, 1 cup of almond milk, ginger, lemon juice, and kale on high until the kale is liquefied. Then add in the banana, blend until smooth. Lastly, add in the avocado and blend until smooth. If it is too thick, then add in the additional cup of almond milk. If you like, you can throw in a couple of cubes of ice to chill it a little. Pour into a glass and drink immediately.
    • If you prefer, you can make this a day in advance and store in in an airtight container in the fridge. A mason jar works well for storage. 

     

    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
    Apr042013

    radish + apple ceviche // some pictures from a trip to Cartagena, Colombia

    With the never-ending winter we've been having here, I've been yearning for a little warm weather fun so last weekend Michael and I headed down to Cartagena, Colombia for just that. 

    When we were trying to figure out where to go, we were surprised to find that Jet Blue now has direct flights to Cartagena from NYC. Michael is Colombian and this was our first trip there together, and my first time to Colombia, so when we figured out that we could easily get there, there was no question. Yes. Take me there. 

    The old town in Cartagena is one of the most colorful and vibrant cities I have ever experienced. Being surrounded by bright beautiful colors and humidity makes me happy. We had such a great time wandering the streets, eating, drinking out of coconuts and taking tons of photos. I loved being there with Michael, hearing him reminisce about certain foods that he would eat when he lived there and experiences he had as a kid. 

    Since Cartagena is located on the Caribbean sea, there is no lack of fresh fish and light, tropical meals. Ceviche is big there, and we made sure we tried our fair share. So fresh, so good. 

    While we were eating and trying all kinds of seafood ceviche, I thought to myself, why haven't I seen a vegetable ceviche on any menu? You know what happened next.

    When we got home the first thing I made was a vegetable ceviche with radishes, apples, and a lot of other tasty ingredients like avocado, red onion and lemon juice that make a typical seafood ceviche taste so good. The zesty radish flavor pairs so well with the sweetness of the apple. It's such a fun and colorful snack or appetizer. The only thing that was missing was the 80º weather. 

     

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    May302012

    a wedding + a graduation + a vanilla cake recipe to celebrate (vegan)

    Hello there. 

    Yes, I have been gone for a while ... but I have a very very good excuse.  

    Since my last post I became a wife, a natural foods chef, and .... a spaghetti pomodoro connoisseur {more on that later} 

    Three weeks ago, Michael and I got married in Mexico. It was the most magical, breathtaking, amazing weekend of my life.  I never pictured that a single event can be so special, so meaningful, so beyond my wildest dreams.  I feel blessed to have some many wonderful friends and family, old and new, and now a wonderful husband to share my life with.  Life is good.  

    The Thursday before our wedding, we hosted a dinner for our nearest and dearest at a restaurant in Tulum called Hartwood.  It was one of the best meals I have ever had. The ambiance, rustic and chic, was so unique and only enhanced the whole experience.  The food was simple and absolutely incredible.  Everything they serve is fresh and local, fish that was caught the same day, vegetables that were just picked, so you can imagine how everything tasted. 

    {{These gorgeous photos you are about to view were taken by a guest, dear friend and wedding photographer Meghan Capozzi Rowe. To view more of her fabulous work visit her site at www.mecimages.com }}

    If I had to use one only word to describe our wedding day, the word that rings loud in my head is: magical. Our venue, an Italian duchess estate that was converted into a boutique hotel, was the perfect place to house all of our guests and throw a big party.  It felt like home for the few days we were all there. 

    The day of the wedding, I was overwhelmed by how beautifully our wedding planners & fabulous floral designer transformed the estate into something both fun and romantic.  Everything from the mariachi band to the food was perfection.  Beyond what I could have ever imagined.  

    To top things off, Saturday night was a full moon. Not just any full moon, it was a supermoon which means the moon was the closest it has been to the earth in the past five years.  We did not realize this was going to occur until the night before, and what a fantastic happening.  It made for a gorgeous backdrop to our dance floor, and I do believe it added to the absolute craziness that ensued on the dance floor that night. 

    I came home in-between our wedding and honeymoon because I had another important event I had to participate in, my graduation from culinary school.  I am now a certified natural foods chef. I am so excited and proud to have this title, and I could not be more ready to take on the world of {healthy} foods. 

    Now, back to business, and by business I mean CAKE. 

    We did not have a cake at our wedding. Instead, we had a few other favorites of mine, coconut, apple, and key lime pies. But, since there was no cake, I thought it was appropriate to bake a cake for myself when I got home. In celebration of being married, of being a chef, and of just being. 

    This is one of the most moist and flavorful vanilla cakes I have ever baked, of both vegan and non-vegan recipes. Non-vegan cake lovers would never ever know this was made with no butter or eggs.  It's incredible. Although I did make some minor additions, I can take no credit in the creation of this amazing recipe.  I owe it all to Fran Costigan, the vegan baking diva.  She came to speak at one of our last classes and totally inspired me in all sorts of new ways. I also got a signed copy of her book : More Great Good Dairy Free Desserts Naturally, which is where this recipe can be found.  It is not to be missed.  

    Cheers!  To health, happiness, and really good cake! 

    vanilla cake with a lemon pistachio cream {vegan}

    Makes 
    8" two-layer cake which is about 8-10 servings

    ** Plan ahead: you will need to allot about 4-8 hours of sit time for the frosting and cake. 

    Ingredients

    For the cake:

    1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
    1 cup of unbleached white flour
    1 teaspoon of baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon of salt
    1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
    3/4 cup of vanilla almond or soy milk
    3 tablespoons of vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar

    For the icing:

    1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
    14-16 oz package of firm tofu, blanched (instructions to follow)
    1 tablespoon of canola oil
    1 tablespoon of smooth cashew butter
    1/2 cup of natural cane sugar
    1/2 a teaspoon of salt
    zest of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract
    1/3 cup of pistachios, finely chopped 

    Directions

    • Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350º. Oil two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit. 
    • Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the pastry flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to the strainer. Tap the strainer against the palm of your hand to sift the ingredients into the bowl. Stir with a wire whisk to distribute the ingredients. 
    • Whisk the oil, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and vinegar in a separate medium bowl until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until the batter is smooth. 
    • Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Tap the pans lightly on the counter to eliminate air bubbles. 
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden, and the sides have started to pull away from the pan. 
    • Cool the pans on racks for 10 minutes. Run a thin knife between the cake and the inside of the pan. Invert each layer onto a rack. Remove the pans and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert the layers again top-side up onto a rack. Cool completely. 
    • Gently, without breaking the cake apart, wrap them each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-8 hours, until cold, before frosting.

     While your cake it cooling make the frosting. 

    • Start by blanching the tofu. Place a medium sized pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the water from the heat and add the tofu. After 4-5 minutes remove the tofu, strain it, and allow it to cool to room temperature. 
    • Crumble the tofu into a blender. Add the oil, cashew butter and process for 2-3 minutes, stopping several times to scrape down the sides. 
    • Add the sugar, salt, and lemon juice and process for 1-2 minutes more, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the lemon zest, vanilla, and lemon extract and pulse a few times to incorporate. 
    • Refrigerate the mixture in a covered container for a 4-8 hours to allow the flavors to blend and for the cream to thicken. {Do not be afraid if you try the frosting and it has a slight tofu taste. This will go away after the forsting has had a few hours to chill and blend flavors.}

    To assemble the cake:

    • Place the bottom layer on a plate or serving platter. Spread 1/2 of the frosting over the top and sides. Then place the top layer and finish frosting the top and the sides of the cake. 
    • Sprinkle the chopped pistachios and serve immediately.  You can also refrigerate and serve later.  This cake keeps well for about 5-7 days, depending on the freshness of your ingredients. 

    Enjoy.  

    Monday
    Feb132012

    vegan dinner for two: creamy avocado pasta and a balsamic roasted beet salad