Spring Salad! Celery and Radishs With Gorgonzola

Here’s a Candida diet friendly recipe I found in the New York Times and it’s prefect for Spring!  Martha Rose Shulman is the author of The Very Best of Recipes for Healthso check her book out if you like her style:

For this salad, use the delicate hearts, or inner stalks, of celery.  Slice both the celery and radishes very thin; it goes faster than you’d think but you can use a food processor to speed up the process.

Watermelon radishes are pretty enough to eat.

Watermelon radishes are pretty enough to eat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 pounds celery hearts (about 2), stalks separated, rinsed, dried and sliced very thin (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced very thin (if they are very round and fat, cut them in half lengthwise and slice half-moons)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 ounce gorgonzola, crumbled (about 1/4 cup) (you can substitute other blue cheeses like Roquefort)
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (original recipe calls for sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the celery, radishes, parsley, chives, walnuts and gorgonzola in a salad bowl. Toss with the vinegar, olive oil and walnut oil. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve.

Advance preparation: The salad will hold for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Toss again before serving. It is a good salad for a buffet as it will remain crunchy.

Nutritional information per serving: 136 calories; 13 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 milligrams cholesterol; 4 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 117 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 2 grams protein

Original recipe HERE!

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Greens and Golden Beet Salad

I spent the better part of last week in Somerville with my sister Elise- we had a great time delivering bottles of Fire Cider to prospective stores and cafe’s.  We also went to a hot yoga class taught by my friend and former coaching client Joanna.  It was an amazing class, I think I will have to make hot yoga a part of my practice.  Perhaps once monthly to start, it’s pretty intense!  South Boston Yoga, where Joanna teaches, is a great studio if you are in the area.

Even though Elise lives in an apartment she has made excellent use of the limited outdoor space available: a planter box in the driveway that she grew corn and golden beets in and another small raised bed where she’s growing tomatoes, onions, spaghetti squash and a rose-bush.  For lunch one day Elise thinned the beets out by picking 4 small ones and we ate them from root to tip!  Here’s a whole meal in one salad that takes just a few minutes to make…..

Ingredients for 2 Servings:

Young beet greens, chopped and placed on 2 big plates or shallow bowls.

3-4 small golden beets, boiled til just soft.  Elise mixed the leftover beet juice with a cube of home-made organic beef stock for a joint and immune boosting, mineral rich, hot drink.

about 1/3 of a medium-sized onion, thin sliced

a clove or two of crushed garlic

olive oil for sauteing

salt and black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of Fire Cider

one whole sliced avocado

fresh goat or sheep cheese, we used the sheep yogurt-cheese from Sophia’s Greek Pantry, it’s some of the best Greek yogurt I’ve ever had, including the yogurt I had in Greece!

a handful of toasted walnuts

Procedure:

Separate the golden beets from the tender beet greens, chop the greens and spread between 2 plates or in shallow, wide bowls.

Boil the beets til tender.  While you wait for the beets, saute the onion and garlic with salt and pepper in olive oil over medium heat.  When the onions are soft and starting to brown, add the Fire Cider and turn off the heat.

Slice the beets while they are still hot.  Spread the beets over the greens, drizzle with olive oil, top with the sautéed onion and Fire Cider mixture.

Add a dollop of Greek yogurt or fresh sheep cheese, sprinkle with the toasted walnuts and a side of sliced avocado.

A Note About: the golden beets certainly tasted much less sweet than red beets and according to my ‘research’ on the internet there are about 18 grams of carbohydrates per cup or around 8 grams of carbs per 2.5 inch diameter beet.  So the golden beets are not a low carbohydrate food but not excessive either.  At this point, for me, portions matter as much as the carbohydrate count.  Eating small amounts of root vegetables and grains, even 100% rye sourdough bread, is a way to get healthy carbohydrates without causing candida symptoms.

Hot Chocolate Cookies

Some of you have been asking me if I have any new holiday cookie recipes and thanks to the Farmer’s Almanac, the answer is YES!  On page 40 of the 2012 Almanac is a recipe for ‘Dark Chocolate Chili Balls’.  I have taken the advice of my celebrity chef friend, that is, he’s my friend and he cooks for a lot of celebrities, not something I personally have the stomach for after my experience working as a nanny for certain 1%-ers, but his advice was this: refrain from using the word ‘balls’ when naming a food.  So we’ll call them cookies, you can shape them however you like and make any inappropriate jokes you deem necessary for this time of the year.  These spicy, rich chocolate cookies are mostly a mix of 85% dark chocolate and unsweetened chocolate with some walnuts and hot pepper of your choosing.  The original recipe was easy to adapt since it only called for a 1/4 of wheat flour, and I substituted with a tablespoon of coconut flour.

I made these last weekend and they were a hit at our Sunday night family dinner.  At the end of this post I’ve linked to my other cookies and sweet treats in case you want to make up a variety of holiday cookies for you and yours!

Chocolate cookies spiked with chipotle and walnuts.

Ingredients:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped. I used Trader Joe’s brand ‘The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Bar’ which has 5 grams of fiber and only 8 grams of sugar per 40 gram serving (about 2/3 of the whole bar).

2 ounces Unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 Tablespoon coconut flour

1/8 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 2 teaspoons ground chiles, I used a shy 2 teaspoons of ground chipotle peppers and the cookies were spicy!  I would use less spice next time.  If you like hot, go for it, if not, 1/2 a teaspoon will do.  You can use Ancho chiles for a more mild and smokey heat, Cayenne for a lot of heat and not much else or Chipotles for heat and smoke, yum!

2 large eggs

stevia to taste

1 Tablespoon espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup of chopped walnut pieces

Procedure:

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Unsweetened Chocolate, butter and some 85% dark chocolate make the base of these rich cookies.

In a saucepan over low heat melt the two kinds of chocolate with the butter.  Add stevia to taste, a bit sweeter than you’d like and the flavor will balance out when you add in the rest of the ingredients.  After it’s melted, set it aside to cool a bit.

In a bowl mix together the coconut flour, baking powder, salt and hot pepper.

In another bowl beat the eggs, espresso powder and vanilla at high speed for 2 minutes.

Cowboy coffee for the modern foodie: whipped organic farm eggs, espresso powder and vanilla extract.

This last part should be done quickly so have your baking sheet ready and your oven up to temperature.

Add the melted chocolate to your egg mixture and beat well to blend.

Add the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Stir in the walnuts.

The chocolate will begin to solidify so immediately begin to shape spoonfuls of dough into rounds and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies have a shiny skin and are slightly firm.  Let them cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.  Makes 24-36 cookies depending on size!

Some of my other dessert recipes:

Nuts and Seeds Cookies

Chocolate Lavender Tart

No Bake Chocolate Cake

Pumpkin Pie and Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Cake

Carrot Cake

Less Fruity, More Veggie Waldorf Salad

Last night I chose to go for a run rather than drive to our garden to pick food for dinner.  We have not bought any produce since the beginning of the summer so I’ve been getting creative with using what we’ve grown.  The brussels sprouts are coming in and Dana and I ate the first round on Sunday night, sautéed with bacon to crispy delicious perfection!  Somehow we managed to blow through a whole grocery bag full of kale in less than two days so last night our dinner vegetable choices were limited to carrots and cucumbers.  While I ran I mulled over my possible dinner options and started thinking about the Waldorf salads I used to make with my grandmother: crisp apples, crunchy walnuts and sweet grapes in a creamy lemony dressing.  It used to be one of my favorites, I would sometimes make it with yogurt and turn it into more of a sweet breakfast or snack rather than a salad served over lettuce.  When I got home I decided to make a veggie version: crisp cucumbers in place of the apples, shredded carrots for sweetness instead of grapes and a mayonnaise dressing with lemon juice and some crumbled blue cheese.  I would have used  celery, which is called for in most versions, but we didn’t grow any this year.  Dana and I split this for dinner and I hope you find my veggie version of a Waldorf salad as filling as we did.

A seriously filling salad thanks to walnuts and blue cheese and fresh veggies from our garden.

Ingredients:

about 1 cup shredded carrot

2 medium cucumbers, chopped into small bite sized pieces

2 stalks celery, chopped into small bite sized pieces

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

For the dressing:

3 Tablespoons mayonnaise

1 Tablespoon lemon juice (I used bottled lemon juice, if you have a lemon, zest it for extra lemon flavor)

salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:

Prep the veggies and add them to a large bowl with the walnut pieces and crumbled cheese.

Whisk the mayo and lemon juice with salt and cracked black pepper.  Add some lemon zest if you’ve got it.

Mix the dressing in with the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!  This will be good the next day, if you have any left over.

Spaghetti Squash with Walnut Miso Topping

Sure, spagetti squash and homemade basil-y tomato sauce is delicious.  Unfortunately one thing that I know for sure is that tomatoes are too sweet for me right now.  Sometimes I can handle them, and now is not one of those times.  When there is more stress in my life, for good or ill, I always eat more conservatively.  So, instead of tomato sauce I make a walnut and chickpea miso topping, plus some raw pressed garlic, hot pepper flakes, a little oil and, yum, healthy comfort food!

Spaghetti squash with walnut miso, romano cheese and garlic.

First you’ve got to get your squash baked.  There are a few ways to do this.  I like to hack my squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and fibers, oil the inside and bake the halves skin side up at 350 for about 30-45 minutes.  I know they are done when given a push, the skin gives a little.  Also, when I try to fork out the spaghetti like strands, they should come out without much effort.

Using a fork to pull out the strands of cooked squash.

Be careful not to over cook this squash, the strands will lose their slightly crunchy sweet individuality and turn into a mushy mass.  If you want to read up on the various ways to cook spaghetti squash, here are a few suggestions, with pictures!  And if you are interested in the nutritional profile for spaghetti squash, here it is!

For the walnut miso topping I use my Cuisinart.  The ratio is about 1/4 cup of walnuts to 1 1/2 teaspoons miso.  I’m allergic to soy so I found some chickpea miso at my co-op and it’s really tasty.  Miso is a fermented food with some great health benefits like being high in minerals, good for your digestive system and boosting immunity.

Adding miso to the walnuts in the Cuisinart.

So put your walnuts and your miso of choice, I used 1/2 cup nuts and about 3 1/2 teaspoons of miso, into your Cuisinart.  Pulse until it becomes a slightly sticky, crumblely mixture.  Taste for salt and add more miso if necessary.

This is a yummy addition to salads as well.

Once your squash is baked and cooled a bit, scrape out the spaghetti like strands.  Mix with a little olive oil, hot pepper flakes, pressed raw garlic (I use one whole clove per serving, it’s a great pathogen fighter, colds, flu, candida and vampires beware!)  And finally top with some walnut miso crumble.  If you have any fresh parsly, basil or oregano, add that too.  There you have it, healthy comfort food!