August 27th, 2011
These dishes will not help you through the hurricane, if you are not inside and safe, but they will help you through if you don’t have power so you can cook. Easy fix hurricane foods as long as you have a few simple things in your fridge and cupboards.
1. Something green like arugula, mesclun salad, kale or anything green will do. I use the kale because I love the texture and taste of it. Here it is pretty much raw. I “cook” it with some sea-salt, which helps it wilt a bit. I admit, it is dense and a required taste, but you can chose another and lighter green leafy something to your tastebud’s delight.
2. Something you can chop and not have to cook: cucumber, corn on the cob (the sweet corn right now on the farmer’s market is amazing), heirloom or small cherry tomatoes (but any tomato will do), carrots, fennel, string beans, asparagus, you can even shave raw beets, and avocado adds a nice touch too.
3. Canned beans or chickpeas; I prefer the ones from Eden Foods without salt…you need to add good quality sea-salt yourself.
4. Anything you can put on top for visual and taste add-on; could be herbs or it could be shavings from something you already added.
5. Add olive oil or any other oil you fancy. I like flax oil or a nut oil.
All photos are unfortunately not by Torkil Stavdal as he is building our fantastic and beautiful barn house upstate as we are waiting for Hurricane Irene here in NYC.
June 16th, 2011
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
I love using the wok since it is an easy way to whip up a light summer meal. Cut up your veggies and throw them all in together. You can add things as you go along, but the whole idea is to not cook your food for very long and to keep lifting it off the pan. What makes the wok less of a sauté and more of a “flip” of the food is the small part of the bottom of the pan that is actually on the heat. This way you use the sides to go between the higher heat at the bottom and the lighter heat on the sides as you stir, flip, and whip the veggies around. This gives them a lighter and faster cooking time and leaves your veggies nice and crunchy, and feeling more summer fresh than the very same veggies cooked in the oven or your pot during the winter. Less cooking time also leaves more nutrients in the veggies.
Here is what we used in the summer stir. Asparagus cut into little chunks, red cabbage cut into slices, kale ripped into small pieces (stem removed), fennel cut into slices, scallions chopped, and the little add-on which is only a seasonal treat; kumquats. I don’t favor mixing fruit with food for better food combining, but these little tart things cooked in with the veggies and eaten whole, skin still work fine for a properly digested meal. Fruit should only be mixed with non-starch veggies to allow for proper food combining and with that good digestion.
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
You can add on to your summer stir with some seafood if you are not vegan, here we used scallops. It needs to be something a little denser to withstand the flipping. The vegan but soy option is of course tofu or edamame beans. Another alternative is to add precooked legumes (lentils, beans, peas). Chickpeas work really well with a dish like this. Buy good quality canned ones without salt added and you will be fine. Just rinse well before using them. I prefer the Eden Food ones.
A summer stir takes about 10 min in prep-time to rinse and cut up the veggies, and about 10 minutes to cook. Easy does it. Use any herb or spice you like to give it the variety taste that you feel like in the moment. Anything from basil to cayenne, depending on spice level and mood you are in.
For cooking I use untoasted sesame oil for the stir and add a little water along the way if I need more “juice”. Mirin and tamari soy sauce (wheat free) is also great. Olive oil can be used as well but I tend to prefer my olive oil virgin and cold pressed on top of the food when serving it. Yum Yum.
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
Enjoy for a nice summer night meal and bring the left-overs for lunch.
The bowls are by Daphne, who has made these amazing bowls for us by using melons for the cast and a japanese firing method of the clay. You can contact Daphne directly to purchase yours.
April 28th, 2011
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
This soup is a delight. Created by Casey Laytin for a detox-event that I hosted with TechnoGym in Soho. This was the appetizer among other wonderful detoxing dishes that were quite the gourmet creations. She is quite the health food chef and caterer.
The bowl is a creation from my client Daphne, who does the most beautiful ceramics. She created this bowl for us at Path for Life to hold the food in a way that is most nourishing to the eye. This bowl is specially cast from a green melon.
She is starting to take orders so get yours in.
Back to the soup. Here is the recipe from Casey:
Chilled Spring Pea Soup (serves 4-6)
First make a vegetable stock:
- 1 large onion, large chop
- 2 stalks celery, large chop
- 2 large carrots, large chop
- 10 parsley sprigs
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Quarts water
Put all ingredients in a stock pot, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 45 min. Season.
The comes the peas:
- 3 cups Organic Shelled English Peas (3# in shells)
- Sea Salt
- 1 – 1 1/4 cup Vegetable Stock – see above
- 2 tbl. spoon Tarragon
- 2 tbl. spoon Basil
- 2 tbl. spoon Mint
- Sea Salt and White Pepper to taste
- 2 tbl. spoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How to do it:
- Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a rapid boil (it should taste like the ocean)
- Prepare an ice bath with a strainer in it (to make it super easy to remove the peas)
- Add half the peas to the hot water and boil for 9 minutes, remove and shock in the ice bath.
- Make sure the water is rapidly boiling and then cook the remaining peas for 9 minutes, and shock them.
- Puree the all peas in a food processor and then pass then through a sieve (i’ve used a petite chinios w/rubber spatula or a splatter guard w/plastic pastry scrapper, but if you have a tamis i reccommend that)
- Put the puree, mint, basil, tarragon and 1 cup of veg stock in a high speed blender (like a VitaMix) add more stock to achieve the proper consistency. Remember when the soup chills it will get thicker. Season with sea salt and white pepper and finish with a little olive oil.
This soup will oxidize so try not to leave it around too long, not that you would want to becuase its so delicious !!
April 5th, 2011
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
This is basically the same approach as the paella in the earlier post but here we use a quinoa pasta with it instead. And a filet of sole. It cooks within a few minutes in the sauce which is the only thing that takes a little effort:
- 1 medium size onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or very finely chopped
- 1/2 Jalapeno finely chopped
- 4 roasted peppers finely chopped – you can choose to mix yellow and red
- 1 can of whole peeled organic tomato
- 1/2 leek -finely sliced
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 teaspoon of organic tomato paste.
Start with the onion for 10-15 min. on medium heat until soft, add the garlic for the last 5 min. Then add the rest to the pan and sauté, then let simmer with the lid on. Be careful not to have the heat too high as you would want the sauce to simmer for awhile to gain the intense flavors.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the sauce for 20-30 minutes
Add the sole or another white fish for the last 2-5 minutes with the lid back on. The thicker the fish the longer the cooking time.
Add some steamed broccoli and you have a meal.
March 14th, 2011
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
One of my absolute favorites for easy healthy food is “salads” made with grain or legumes. And chickpeas is my winner. It is easy and tasty, not very heavy, and goes so well with pretty much any vegetable I can think of.
- The ingredients are:
- Chickpeas 1 cup uncooked (soak overnight and rinse before you start the cooking)
- Wild rice 1/2 cup uncooked
- Hijiki or arame seaweed 1/4 cup
- Mixed or any color whole peppercorn. Just using the black one is fine too. Depending on how spiced you like it, 10-15-20 or 1/2 -1 full teaspoon.
- 2 Dried shiitake mushrooms, no need to soak them first.
- 3 1/2 cups of water.
- Large pinch of sea salt towards end of cooking – to taste.
Put everything together in one pot. You can add other herbs and spices too of course, just no sea salt until the end of cooking. Ideas for spices and herbs could be my all time favorite, herbs des provence, or basil, or a dash of cayenne could work too. Spices really are up to the individual I think, all foods can have some and food alone tastes good too. Garlic is also an option to add. I personally do not normally use garlic with my chickpeas.
Bring it all to a boil, the lower the heat to a low boil and cook for 45 min. Check the chickpeas and the wild rice to see if it is cooked at about 35 min. You don’t want it to get too soft. If it still needs the last 10 min you can add a little water if it seems to be getting low.
Photo: Torkil Stavdal
Served with marinated kale, sauteed broccoli-rabe, or any green you prefer.
August 1st, 2010
When it comes to eating or drinking your fruit. Always make sure the fiber is included in the drink. This is why blended smoothies make more sense than juices. See here how one glass of melon turns into one glass of smoothie in your blender.
Melon and Ice. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
Remember to chew your drink…Yes. We need the enzymes in the saliva to properly digest carbohydrates. If not. Hello bloating. Also please remember that you just had a whole glass of melon. Do not confuse this drink with a glass of water. It is a liquid meal. Not a drink! This way you can still master your caloric overview of your intake for the day.
Drinking your fruit. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
Also – melon is best enjoyed on its own. Do not mix with a meal. This is a desert. Actually – you can put it in a bowl and eat is like a sorbet.
Melon Sorbet. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
July 26th, 2010
Roasted Summer Roots. Photo Torkil Stavdal
We tend to think of root vegetables as a winter food only. But we need some sweetness in the summer too and not just from fruit and ice cream!
When cooking roots in the summer you can still pick from the seasonal foods. Carrots, beets, and rutabaga. Mix in some whole onion. Serve in salads cold or warm or with a piece of grilled fish and some sauteed greens and you should be in good shape.
This is how you do it:
Wash, scrub or peel the roots. The carrots you can scrub. The beets you might want to peel as if they are a potato but you can just scrub too. The rutabaga you need to peel the skin off for sure. It is light yellow when you get the skin off. An added surprise is radishes. They can actually be roasted too.
Cut all the roots by removing the ends and cut into cubes. You can also cook your carrots and beets whole, it will just take longer to cook.
Add to a baking dish. I like to use clay, but a glass or porcelain dish is fine too. Season with untoasted sesame oil, herbs to your liking, some good sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. An option is to add some whole cloves of garlic as well. Mix it around a bit and put it in the pre-heated oven. 425 degrees and about 45-60 min tends to work well. You can add a little water to the bottom of the dish about 25-30 min into the cooking time if you feel it is getting too stuck to the bottom. Stir around from time to time but not too often.
The herbs we normally use are rosemary since they always taste good with roots.
Enjoy the sweetness of summer.
July 22nd, 2010
Cooling food, sweet food, fresh food. Something I have always loved about summer is the lightness of the dishes. My favorite since I was a kid has been a cucumber salad. The traditional one is made with vinegar and sugar water so here is a new version of an old favorite.
Cucumber and sweet corn summer salad – made with mirin, brown rice vinegar, a bit of seasalt and water.
Prep the Corn. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
First prep the corn by cutting it off the cob. In season sweet corn can be eaten raw so no need to cook it first. Choose organic or directly from a smaller farmer so you are sure it is not GMO corn.
Slice up the cucumber. Use the European type one, not the pickle type one that we are used to here. If you are good with a knife that works, but otherwise use a small handheld mandolin. They are great for slicing. Just keep your fingertips out of there!!
Cucumber Prep. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
Add it all to a bowl, we used 3 corn and 1 cucumber. Add a tea spoon of good quality sea salt, stir a little to mix it, then add table spoon of mirin, table spoon of brown rice vinegar, and just enough water to cover. Stir again and see what it tastes like. If you want it sweeter or more pungent, add either mirin or brown rice vinegar to the mix.
Serve with any meal as a side dish.
Ready to eat Cucumber and Corn Summer Salad. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
July 6th, 2010
Green Pasta. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
Summer fresh and light. Use a gluten free pasta such as this one: Brown Rice Spinach past. You can also use a quinoa pasta, soba buckwheat noodles or rice noodles. The reason for the gluten free is that it not only is healthier for your digestive system, it feels lighter.
Cook the pasta as you normally would though some gluten free pasta requires a bit longer cooking time and it needs to be rinsed with cold water right after cooking.
Add carrot and green vegetables to the pasta while cooking it depending on how crunchy you want them, from the start or right at the end of cooking. Most green veggies are best with just 2-3 minutes of cooking time. For protein you can use edamame beans like here, but tofu, nuts or even some (canned) wild salmon could work well too. To make it light, don’t add too much animal based protein though.
Have fun with it and follow your taste-buds and your heart’s delight.
Add a nice olive oil and some fresh basil and you are good to go. Pesto is a nice add-on as well.
And bring left-overs for lunch too!
Lunchbox. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
July 3rd, 2010
Rhubarb Prep. Photo Torkil Stavdal
The summer begs for something fresh and often also something sweet. The sweetness belongs to summer which is why mother nature has provided fruit. But there is also a vegetable worth consideration. Rhubarb!
Cut rhubarb stems into 1″ long sections after washing it. Keep the skin on. About 4 stems for a good portion enough for 4-6 people.
Put it into a small saucer pot and add water to fill up half the rhubarb. You can add some Star of Anise which makes it very tasty and yummy. Just one Star goes a long way. Some fresh ground pepper gives it a little zing too. Cook (simmer) for about 30 min or until soft and pulpy. Stir from time to time and add agave at the end to taste. Torkil is the master of this dish and he keeps the agave pretty low since we like it tart. 1/8 of a cup is probably a good measure for a pot of 4 stalks.
Rhubarb compote. Photo: Torkil Stavdal
When done, add to some good coconut vanilla ice-cream and serve
We don’t use dairy for anything so the coconut based ice creams work nicely. Look for one that is sweetened with agave as well. Purely Decadent has one but there are others too.
You can of course also enjoy it as a fruit porridge with a little rice milk.
Enjoy and share
Torkil and Jeanette
Coconut vanilla ice cream with Rhubarb Compote. Photo: Torkil Stavdal