Tag Archives: recipes

Why brunch is the best meal ever invented

13 Mar

By Tom Havran

Sunday is funday because it’s the traditional day for brunch — the best meal ever invented! It’s breakfast for lunch and lunch for breakfast.You can sleep in past breakfast time and still get a breakfast you can linger over for as long as you want. When brunch is done and you say goodbye to your dining companions, you still have the rest of the day for yourself. (I suggest a nap.)

Brunch on a Sunday is the best way to celebrate the end of one week and the beginning of a new one. But most of all, brunch is the best meal because of the food — which can be light and healthy, a decadent weekend indulgence, or a mix of both kinds of fare (my preference). I break the ultimate brunch down into seven courses:

asparagus frittata with thyme

Asparagus Frittata with Thyme

1. Eggs. I like them fresh and local, scrambled soft or sunny side up with buttered multigrain toast. For the fluffiest scrambled eggs, separate the whites and whip them to soft peaks. Whisk the yolks, then fold them into the whites. Scramble the egg mixture in a buttered skillet (no need to add cream or milk), then season with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. For best flavor, remove from heat and serve on warm plates while still creamy but not runny. I also love egg dishes, like this Asparagus Frittata with Thyme. Continue reading

5 steps to make curry your culinary soulmate

1 Mar
coconut chicken curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry (click image for recipe).

By Tom Havran

When I fix a great curry, I feel like I’m snuggling up to something warm, comforting and wholesomely good. The experience of fragrant spices, aromatic heat, and silky texture all combine to do more than simply satisfy my appetite; the effects of curry build to engulf all of my senses and nourish my whole being. If I’m feeling down, I turn to curry because it will give me an emotional lift. Curry is medicine that I love to take, a sort of gastro-therapy for my body, mind and spirit.

You can’t hurry love, nor can you hurry curry. It takes time to light this fire, and attention to detail before the dish can weave its complex culinary spell. Curry is a multilayered fusion of exotic spices, fresh aromatics and involved cooking techniques. Curry is born of a hands-on conjuring process that ultimately brings about a climax of sublime expression, proffered on a warm bed of pristine basmati or jasmine rice, with a side of pillowed flatbread.

Tofu-Curry-Noodles-with-Vegetables-8

Tofu Curry Noodles with Vegetables (click image for recipe).

If I wrote a book on this topic, I’d call it the Curry Sutra, and it would contain five steamy chapters. Here’s the brief for each:

1. Spices. SPICE is the spice of life! The seasoning line-ups, recipes and names for curries are as disparate as the preferences of the people that love them, resulting in an impossible-to-crack formula of match-making. There is no standard for a properly spiced curry, but most curries do share some fundamental DNA, having a core group of spices that includes earthy turmeric, smoky cumin, smoldering chili, lemony ginger and perhaps some nutty-floral coriander. After these, any combination from a long list of supporting spices gets involved in the affair: mustard, fenugreek, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, mace, black pepper, celery seed, caraway and fennel. The common denominator is a complex diversity of aroma, flavor and heat, blended into a coherent and dazzling expression — similar to the way a fine wine, symphony or perfume would be realized. Continue reading

An Omnivore’s Take on a Vegan Diet

20 Nov

By Alan Miles

In my childhood household, vegetable prep began by finding the can opener. But when I went to college, I dated a number of women who were really good cooks. Under their culinary influence, I developed a whole new way of looking at food — its taste, nutrition and politics.

I eventually married the best cook I had ever dated (coincidentally, of course) — a vegetarian all her adult life. I became mostly vegetarian, eating her cooking and never putting meat in the limited fare I prepared (mostly pizza, stir fries and salads). But I ate meat without hesitation when it was offered and would even order it when we were out.

Image

These corn cakes with a smoky paprika sauce are a Miles family favorite – and completely vegan.

Continue reading

Book Review: Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook by Leslie Cerier

28 Mar

by Karen Miles

If you’re adhering to a gluten-free diet because you have celiac disease or other health conditions that benefit from avoiding gluten, this is one cookbook you’ll want on your cookbook shelf. But be sure to take a look at it if you’re interested in exploring a variety of whole grains, too — regardless of what else you eat! Continue reading

Magic Soup

14 Mar

Even though winter’s winding down, we keep encountering folks who have that ‘change of seasons’ flu- especially here in the northeast right now. It seems the timing is perfect for this soup recipe sent to us by Kathy Larson, Frontier’s VP of Sustainability and Education. It might be just what’s needed if you’re battling the blahs while waiting for spring.

by Kathy Larson

Some years ago while we were in the city shopping, I started getting a sore throat, feeling achy and blah.  We had planned to eat supper before going home but I was looking forward to getting home and wrapping up in a warm blanket with a cup of tea.  However, my husband really wanted to stop at a Thai restaurant that was on our way home, so thinking perhaps some hot soup would be good, I agreed.

I got a hot, spicy and brothy soup with cilantro, mushrooms, onions, chili peppers and other goodies at the bottom of my bowl.  I like spicy foods, but this was just at the limit of comfortable eating and I remember taking careful spoonful after spoonful to avoid coughing.  Soon I was sweating and panting a bit but I cleaned up every drop of that tasty soup because it just felt healing.  And the best thing was that the next day, I felt healed!

Ever since, when I start getting that achy, sore throat feeling I make a hot, gingery soup that always warms me up and makes me feel better.  I vary this soup depending what I have on hand, as I usually am making it when I can’t plan ahead.

Magic Chicken Soup

1 small chicken (or 2# deboned, skinless chicken pieces)

Water to cover and cook chicken (2 to 3 quarts)

3 astragalus root slices

3 bay leaves

2 to 4 whole red chilies

2 large onions, chopped

1 cup chopped carrot

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms

2 tbsp tamari

1 2-inch pieces of fresh ginger, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tbsp parsley flakes

3 cups bok choy or other Chinese cabbage, chopped

juice of one lemon

Garnish: 2 tbsp fresh cilantro leaf chopped

Place the chicken, bay leaf, chili peppers and astragalus in a large soup pot, cover with water and cook until tender (about an hour).  Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.  Rinse shiitakes under cool water to remove any grit, then place in a small bowl and cover the mushrooms with hot water to soften (15 minutes).  Add onion, celery, carrot, tamari and drained, chopped mushrooms to stock and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove chicken from the bone and add it along with the garlic, ginger and parsley flakes to the soup and continue simmering another five minutes.  Add bok choy and lemon, stir well, taste and adjust seasonings if desired.  If soup is not as spicy as you would like, add cayenne ¼ tsp at a time.  Serve piping hot and garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

Kathy says: I also make this soup without chicken and add chicken broth powder to the veggies while they are cooking to get a richer broth.

 We’d love to hear about your magic soup recipes!

A Visit With Nikki and David Goldbeck – and a book giveaway!

28 Feb

The Wall Street Journal called The Supermarket Handbook the “manifesto” for a food revolution “that may be in the wind” back in 1973. And Nikki and David Goldbeck’s 1973 best-seller did help revolutionize America’s diet. The Goldbecks were early proponents for a broader acceptance of healthful foods and better food labeling, now mainstream ideas.

Over 30 years and many books later, David and Nikki still believe experiencing the joys of real food is the best incentive for people to do something about what is happening to our food supply.

It’s a full circle moment when we can stop and compare notes with our fellow organic food pioneers. We’re lucky to have become acquainted with the Goldbecks in their current hometown of Woodstock, New York, where they agreed to chat with us.

Nikki and David Goldbeck. Photo courtesy Hudson Valley Life.

How does it make you feel to see that the mainstream has come around to your way of thinking about food? Did you think that would happen?

Of course, it feels great. At the same time it’s amusing and at times frustrating to hear people telling us about these “new” ideas. But this isn’t the first time we’ve been there ahead of the crowd. David’s book, The Smart Kitchen, pioneered green kitchen design. We wrote Choose to Reuse, a book on reuse in 1995, when reusable shopping bags were still a novelty, and we published Clean & Green, a book on nontoxic cleaning, before the stores were stocked with more benign cleaning products. We are glad to see all of our concepts are finally catching on.

How did you get started with eating a wholefoods cuisine? Can you take us back to the beginning? What led you down this path?

In the late 1960s, we were living in NYC, where David was practicing law in legal services and Nikki was working on Madison Ave. doing food PR and recipe development. Influenced by friends and the times, we became aware of how meat was “manufactured” and decided on New Year’s Eve to go vegetarian for a week. After a week, we never looked back. This “experiment” led us not only to experience the joys of meat-free cooking, but began an awareness about food additives, food processing, chemical farming and the like — that launched us on our way.

We have always advocated a diet focused on wholefoods, a term we coined in American Wholefoods Cuisine, and define as “fresh and unfragmented foods that are as close to nature as possible.” Our “Wholefoods Philosophy,” which expands on this concept and is explained in more depth in that book, has remained essentially unchanged since we began this journey some 40 years ago.

What’s the easiest way for people to change their eating habits, if they feel they should?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to eating. What is of utmost importance in staying with any diet is enjoyment. Whether you are one person or a family, hate to cook or love it, there are choices you can make that are simple, healthy and fun. One of the ways we think about food is to “dine each day as if you were in a different foreign country.” That way you get both variety and pleasure.

How can people use spices to make simple foods more interesting? Do you have a go-to spice that you find yourself using on lots of dishes?

Spices are the foundation of every good cuisine. Remember our advice to eat each day as if you were dining in a different foreign country? What distinguishes all of these cuisines is the way in which they take basic foodstuffs and flavor them to create the world’s great culinary delights. Oddly, the spice we turn to quite often is cumin – it seems to work with so many different cuisines … Arab, Israeli, South American, Indian, African, and more.

Let’s get back to your books. What was your first book? How did you write it? Did you test the recipes yourself?

The first book was Nikki’s cookbook, Cooking What Comes Naturally, A Month of Vegetarian Menus. Following the “trial” vegetarian week, and constant questions from family and friends about what we were eating, David began writing down what we had for dinner on a calendar. After 30 days, we realized we had eaten more interesting and varied meals than ever before.

As a result, Nikki began to refine the recipes, David served as the #1 food taster, and a book was born. As luck, or timing, would have it, Nikki made friends with a woman on the bus going to work who told her that Doubleday, where she worked, was considering a vegetarian cookbook. And as they say…the rest is history.

Did you go on a book tour then?

We went on a small tour. But what stands out is our appearance on the Donahue show, which was just ending its run in Dayton, Ohio and about to move into the big time in Chicago.

Tell us about your visits on Donahue. (For our younger readers, Phil Donahue’s show was the precursor to Oprah)

Over the next few decades we appeared three more times on Donahue, filling the entire hour talking about each of our subsequent books, starting with The Supermarket Handbook and then American Wholefoods Cuisine. He was a terrific host (even though he did wave around tofu and compare it to wallboard!) And it was quite a challenge, since there was no TV kitchen. We still laugh about the time we were holed up in the Drake Hotel in Chicago cooking on improvised equipment in preparation for the show where we introduced vegetarian wholefoods cooking to America.

Nikki & David cook with Phil Donahue.
Donahue turned over four one-hour shows
(c1974, 1977, 1979, 1983) to the Goldbecks to present their
approach to wholefoods shopping, cooking and nutrition.

You’ve also written a restaurant guide, Healthy Highways, to help people “avoid the fast-food lane” when dining away from home. Do you see this as a new direction in your work?

Healthy Highways is the next logical step in our food writing as we see it. We have written about how to shop for wholefoods, how to cook them, how to choose a healthy diet, and how to set up an environmentally-friendly kitchen.

But the missing piece was how to eat healthfully away from home. In Healthy Highways, we “travel” state-by-state, city-by-city, letting people know where they can find a natural foods store or restaurant that features vegetarian and vegan meals.

Our goal is three-fold: to help people eat well away from home; to bring customers to natural food stores and vegetarian and vegan restaurants; and, to encourage restaurants everywhere to pay more attention to people looking for meatless meals and healthier options. We are happy to say that there are more eateries around the country offering real (and creative) choices – not simply a plate of vegetables or salad.

Thanks so much, David and Nikki! It’s been great to connect with you and to see you’re still stirring things up in the food world.

Now in its second edition,  American Wholefoods Cuisine contains more than 1300 recipes and has been hailed as “the new Joy of Cooking.” Admired by M.F.K Fisher and nominated for the prestigious Tastemaker Award, this book is a culinary triumph of vegetarian cuisine and foreshadowed today’s emphasis on wholesome foods.

And the Goldbecks have given some of the delicious, practical and healthy recipes you’ll find in the book to our website.

Check out the simple goodness of such dishes as White Bean Paté, Potatoes Nicoise, Stuffed Clam Shells Areganata, Hot Open-Face Tempeh Sandwiches and African Bean Soup in our recipe collection.

We think this book belongs on every cook’s shelf. And Nikki and David want to give a copy of American Wholefoods Cuisine to a lucky fan on their Facebook page! Their page is a handy resource for recipes, tips and articles about a natural vegan diet.

Just visit their page, click “Like” and leave a comment telling them why you’d like a copy of the book, between now and March 6. 

 They’ll choose a winner at random after March 6 and send that lucky fan a copy of American Wholefoods Cuisine. 

REMEMBER — don’t leave your comment to win the book here, please leave it on the Goldbeck’s Facebook page – link above.

Simply Organic Recipe App

10 Jan

Recipe apps are all the rage these days, with smartphones doing more and more to make our lives easier.

Simply Organic’s recipe app for the iPad® is a finalist in the 2011 “Best App Ever Awards,” and we’d love your help in voting for it as the winner by Jan. 25.

148Apps has selected Simply Organic’s app for iPad® as one of the top ten iOS recipe apps. The winner of the recipe category will be announced at the 2012 Macworld / iWorld Expo in San Francisco on January 26-28.

Simply Organic is the only organic brand in the category!

You can vote at www.simplyorganic.com or http://bit.ly/BestCookingApp.

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the app, here’s some quick info.

Available free from the iTunes® store, the app contains several key features with user-friendly functionality. They include:

  • Browse and search for more than 1,500 recipes, with an emphasis on organic ingredients.
  • Recipes are referenced by popular recipe collections, such as Healthy Kids, Vegetarian Main Dishes, Ethnic Cuisines.
  • Filter recipe searches by what you already have at home, by what ingredients are in season, or by a key word.
  • Weekly recipe ideas and coupons.
  • Customized note taking for future reference to save any changes made to cooking preparation, as well as any favorite wine pairings.
  • A “Give it a Spin” function that generates recipe suggestions randomly with a spin of the touch screen when you need inspiration.

And you can check off items on the recipe app as you shop –  no paper involved!

Simply Organic also adds an average of 10 new recipes twice per month. Those new recipes are automatically added for free and simply require the user to accept the new recipe download notice.

We’d love to hear if you’re using the app! And don’t forget to vote.

We thank you!

Refocus on Simple Healthy Eating

3 Jan

Refocus is a positive word, an action word that implies moving forward. It suggests doing something again that you once did, and maybe did well. You were focused, now let’s refocus.

It’s what we like to do when the new year dawns – refocus our energies on some things we’ve maybe lost sight of, or not been as vigilant about as we’d hoped. Often this involves food and our health. Maybe this is the year you really want to learn to cook simple, healthy meals.

One of the easiest ways for a busy person to do this is with a slow cooker. We’ll offer you some other tips in the coming weeks, but let’s start with a simple slow cooker recipe. Almost all of us have a slow cooker, in the form of a crock that plugs in.

Here’s a recipe for chicken tortilla soup that combines some hearty vegetables with spices, as good as anything you’ll find at the restaurant down the street! Serve it at home, knowing exactly what ingredients are within: simple and healthy.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
Ingredients
1 pound boneless chicken, cooked and shredded
1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 can (10-ounce) enchilada sauce
1  medium onion, chopped or 1/2 cup dried minced onion
1 can (4-ounce) chopped green chilies
2  cloves garlic, minced
2 cups water
1 can (14.5-ounce) chicken broth
1 can (15-ounce) whole kernel corn
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried chopped cilantro
Directions
Combine all ingredients in greased 4 1/2 to 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat 6 to 8 hours or on high heat 3 to 4 hours.
Chef Suggestions
Serve with tortilla strips and garnish with grated pepper jack cheese and guacamole.
Add 1 cup shredded carrots or shredded zucchini at the beginning of cook time.
In the coming weeks, we’ll present more ideas to help you renew your efforts in the areas of healthy eating and sustainable living under the “Refocus” heading.  We’d love to hear your tips and plans, too.

Our Segment from the Whole Foods Market® Whole Story Blog

16 Dec

As Marc Hamel and Ha Lam wrote in their recent blog post on the Whole Foods Market® Whole Story blog, “Frontier knows the quality of spices can make or break a recipe — just a dash of spice can make a world of difference. Frontier focuses on sourcing the best to ensure that home cooks and home bakers can perfect flavors in recipes when using spices.”

We do, indeed.

Here’s what happened when they paid us a visit, with our CEO Tony Bedard giving Martha Stewart a run for her money.

 

And here’s that recipe for the Sugar-Coated Gingerbread Twists.

The Whole Story blog gives you a fun behind-the-scenes look at some of Whole Foods’ suppliers, vendors and producers.

Please visit the Whole Story blog for more of our story.

Coconut Rum Truffles

2 Dec

Now that we have your attention, let’s pause and think about holiday desserts.

Close your eyes and anticipate the sights, the sounds, and the aromas of the winter holiday season. How far did you get before food entered the scene? Were you baking sugar cookies with the kids, or serving cranberry bars to the carolers? Did you attend a community potluck, with its high dessert ratio, or an open house rich with the aroma of gingerbread?

There’s good reason we center much of our celebrating around food—especially lavish, almost sinfully indulgent desserts. Holiday baking warms our hearts along with our kitchens, heightens our senses, and encourages the spirit of sharing and celebration. It’s a perfect opportunity to express the festive extravagance that marks the season.

And oh my…here’s a little extravagance now. As if chocolate, rum and heavy cream aren’t enough, we’ve added some coconut to put these over the top, decadence-wise. These truffles can be packed in a beautiful tin as a gift to someone you love that much! Hello, adult dessert.

COCONUT RUM TRUFFLES
Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1  egg yolk
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut, divided
Directions

In a small, heavy saucepan (or double boiler), melt butter and chocolate together until smooth. Remove from heat.

Add rum, cream, egg yolk, sugar, almond extract, and 1/2 cup of the coconut. Whisk until well blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Roll into one-inch balls, then roll the balls in the remaining 1 cup coconut. Set on waxed paper to harden. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.

(Good luck with that one month thing…)

Please let us know what treats you like to bake and give for the holidays!

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