Fashionable Food Trend: More Veggies

IMG_5056 If you keep score of my posts, you’ll notice that I like to change it up. The one thing that is constant, though, is my pitch to eat more vegetables. And it looks like I’m not the only one as more and more professional chefs and restaurateurs turn to nature’s bounty to enrich their offerings and make not only great-tasting but also healthier food. Come and Cook with Us!

Vegetarian-heavy menus have popped up all over the country. Bobby Flay opened Mediterranean-inspired Gato where the best-selling item is a kale and mushroom paella. And Jean-Georges Vongerichten is expected to open his newest spot, a vegan and vegetarian eatery at ABC Home in NYC in 2016. Chefs are planning to move away from offering vegetables as a boring side dish. Instead, they are preparing interesting, healthier dishes and that means that vegetables become more a part of that.

What to do as a home cook? For starters, let’s be inventive and adventurous when using vegetables. And inspiration is abound. In the last year alone, some of the most mouth-watering cook books featured plenty of delicious vegetable dishes. The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook: 100 Delicious Heritage Recipes from the Farm and Garden, Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London’s Ottolenghi, River Cottage Vegetable Cook Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and last year’s bible, Rosemary Madison’s Vegetable Literacy are just a few that get us excited here at Come and Cook with Us.

While America’s diet is still long on sugar and short on vegetables, we can do something about it, at least in our kitchens. Pro-actively focus on increasing your own repertoire of “Go To” recipes, wherever the inspiration comes from. You can start with browsing our blog. Think broad, wide and colorful. Ideally, fresh produce takes center stage and the meat, fish and other protein appear in a supporting role. But that is maybe pushing it too far. For now, embrace the produce stand and make it a personal challenge to add more irresistible vegetables to your plate. A few of our favorites are listed below. Come and cook with us!

Broccoli and Millet Salad with Roasted Cashew
Butternut Squash with Blue Cheese and Pecans
Quick Quinoa Vegetable Bowl à la Café Gratitude
Beet and Carrot Salad with Fresh Mint

 

Upgrade Your Mornings with a Pumpkin Spice Latte

_DSC0226 2Have you noticed that as soon as the days start to get shorter, pumpkins pop up all over town. In every form, color and at almost every meal. Mind you, I love pumpkins but I also wouldn’t have dreamed to go as far as drinking it in the morning. Well, things can change and I am proudly proclaiming that I, too, have joined the army of PSL fans. Not the commercial version featured in the full-page ads of major national newspapers, but the one made at home. Delicious and definitely full of fall-evoking flavors. Come and cook with us.

Adding pumpkin to my morning joe isn’t the only thing that I have been intrigued with and intensively tested over the last few weeks. Ever heard of Bulletproof Coffee? It’s the new trend using low-toxic coffee beans, butter from grass-fed cows and medium-chain-tryglycerides – or MCT – oils to your cup of caffeine. It is believed to slow the absorption of the caffeine, making the coffee working for you for longer. Intrigued by the concept, I’ve skipped the butter, as I’d rather enjoy it spread on toast in the morning. What I have experimented with, and quickly started to love, is adding MCT fats in the form of coconut oil to my coffee. Furthermore, to go with the season, roasted pumpkin, warm fall-spices as well as milk (any type from diary to either diary or home-made almond milk) have all made it into the concoction evoking what looks and tastes much better than the commercially ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte.

While making a pumpkin spice latte is not really a lot of work, it does take longer than brewing a cup of black tea. But sometimes we need a little more morning love or have the time to indulge ourselves. The addition of the coconut oil makes this drink a little exotic, and the flavors perfectly work with each other making this a luscious treat this time of year.

My home-made PSL is easily done with a home espresso machine, a blender and a milk frother which contemporaneously heats up and whisks the milk and thus turns the coffee, pumpkin, milk, coconut oil and spices into a real latte.

Spice up your fall and join the PSL revolution. Hope you like it as much as we do. Come and cook with us!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

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From A to Za’atar!

IMG_8132My mom has always loved the ocean. Lucky for us, as it meant that we spent at least a few weeks a year enjoying time on the beach. We travelled all over the Mediterranean sea, primarily Italy, Greece and Turkey. Growing up in the mountains, this was a special treat. I still remember a dinner we had in Cefalú, a small fishing village along the northern coast of the island of Sicily. Sizzling on the grill were delicious lamb sausages that had a particularly interesting flavor that really spoke to me. It was tangy, aromatic and full of a complexity foreign to the Italian and Tyrolean cuisine I grew up with. I immediately fell in love with that unique taste but only much later realized that it was za’atar. To this day, sweet childhood memories return whenever I eat this spice mixture. Let me introduce you to the lovely flavor that is za’atar. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

Mighty Melanzane

_DSC0145 2Whenever Doug, my husband, returns from a trip, I like to welcome him back with a dish I know he likes. He usually wants “something with lots of vegetables”, probably to make up for the steaks and burgers he has on the road. One of his absolute favorites is melanzane alla parmigiana, a typical Italian dish featuring eggplant. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

Everyone, It’s Schnitzel Time!

photoHave you ever noticed that when you try to cook something new, it seems to take a long time? It has been proven, that because we have to concentrate on the task and be present throughout the process, time seems to go by more slowly. But if we make a dish often enough, it becomes second nature. You can cook while thinking about what you have to get done the next day. One dish that clearly falls into this category is Schnitzel. It seems that making them might take a lot of time, but it is really very simple, easy and quick, once you have the process down. Give it a try. My kids, and their friends, love love love Schnitzel. Come and cook with us! Continue reading

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