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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 white bean (6)


    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

    Around 4-6


    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


    • 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.

    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. 


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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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    crisp kale + brussels sprout tacos with avocado + a white bean "creama" // vegan

    The other day I had lunch with my dear friend, Laura. We had tacos here. They were awesome. 

    Our waitress insisted that we order a side of brussels sprouts with the tacos. I am never one to turn down brussles sprouts. The brussles sprouts were awesome. 

    When I was eating the tacos, I wished that the brussels sprouts were in the tacos. So the next day I made myself some brussles sprout tacos. Brussels sprout tacos are AWESOME. 

    The End. 



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    white bean chili

    I thought about starting this post with" I love chili" ... then I realized that I start almost every post with "I love .....".

    I guess I just can't help myself, I love food. 

    Okay, but seriously, I do really love chili. Especially when it gets cold. First frost on the grass cold. First log on the fireplace cold. First time you whip out the puffy jacket to walk the dog cold. 

    There is something so warming and comforting about the beans and the spice. It makes you feel gooood. It's one of the most satisfying meals you can make in one pot (I'm pretty sure I say that a lot too). 


    I've been working on a few chili recipes recently, not just because I love chili, but because I am teaching a class on vegetarian chili next Monday at my new favorite place: Haven's Kitchen, in NYC. 

    It's the first class I am teaching there, so I want to be sure my recipes are super stellar. In addition to a more traditional chili, I also wanted to include a chili recipe that was a little less traditional. Something different. I am thinking this one might do. 

    If you live in NYC or will be in the area, check out my class and all of the other classes at Haven's Kitchen. I'd love to see you there!

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