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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 sweet potato (3)


    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. 

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    baked sweet potatoes with mustard greens, leeks, white beans + a cilantro tahini

    I've been getting asked a lot recently how I come up with new recipes and where I get ideas from. Well, first things first, I think about food. A lot. Constantly. Probably more than the average person (but probably not much more than you, if you're taking the time to read this blog about food). Constantly thinking about food is a necessary starting point, but there are many outside influences, some obvious and others not so much. 

    I eat out a decent amount. It's hard not to living in NYC. I love to eat out just as much as I love to cook. It might be my biggest source of inspiration, and it's nice to have someone else do the cooking (and the dishes). Every new restaurant experience from the most casual to the most fancy has a way of getting the ideas flowing.  

    Even just wandering around the streets, walking by a restaurant and checking out their menu in the window will get me inspired. This city loves food, and sure does it well. I'm constantly being bombarded with awesome ideas. 

    It also helps that most of the people I know love food and love to talk about food, and if they have a good idea or a recipe or a restaurant to try they are always willing and excited to share it with me. These conversations are my favorite sources of inspiration.

    Last week we had dinner with friends at the Fat Raddish in the lower east side (yum). I got a lot of inspiration that night, not only from the food from that restaurant but also from our friends. They're very into food, Andy is by far the most talented home cook I know, but they work late hours so home cooked meals on the week nights usually consist of something that can easily be throw together. Julie told me that she made stuffed baked sweet potatoes the other night, and it sounded so awesome ... I warned her I might be stealing her idea.

    I couldn't stop thinking about baked potatoes. I love how easy it is to just throw one in the oven, but also how you can load it with all sort of healthy and delicious toppings. It quickly becomes an easy, tasty, complete meal. 

    I'm sure you've heard the expression "eat the rainbow", and that's easy to do when you're starting with a bright orange potato. Greens were of course my next color of choice to add. You can use any green you like, but I really like the taste of mustard greens. They're hearty and have a bit of an edge to them. White beans round out the protein and add another element of color. Lastly, I wanted an awesome sauce to finish this off, and cilantro has a way of balancing everything out. 

    I'll be making this many of the nights that I am not eating out. Thanks for the inspiration Julie. 


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    toasted sweet potato gnocchi with a sage & walnut pesto // vegan