YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Brigid’s Chocolate Chip Goji Berry Gluten-free Muffins

I happen to have the privilege of working with some very talented people, and Brigid Titgemeier is one of them! Brigid started a blog this year to share her expertise as a registered dietitian, and you must check it out. This past week she posted her recipe for Chocolate Chip Goji Berry Muffins, which she describes as “the perfect way to combine the nutritional benefits of eggs and oatmeal in one delicious muffin!” No complaints here. The nourishing, high-quality ingredients add up to a spectacularly gorgeous, delicious, and satisfying yum! And so much better than a “breakfast bar.”

Goji berries are a long, slender, red berry that you can pick up in the dried foods section at many grocery stores. You don’t need a special recipe to eat them; they taste good straight from your palm, too. Rich in vitamin C, fiber, and phytonutrients, you can be sure that you are nourishing yourself with these sweet little babies.

Ghee, if you are curious, is simply another term for clarified butter. You can buy it, or you can make it as follows: Gently melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Within minutes, the butter will separate into 3 layers, with foam on top, milk solids on the bottom, and clarified butter in between. Spoon off the foam, discard, and then, without disturbing the bits of milk solids resting on the bottom of the pan, pour the clarified butter into a clean glass jar. That’s it!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup oats, certified gluten-free
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • a dash of sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grass-fed ghee [or cold-pressed coconut oil if you avoid dairy]
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup goji berries
  • cold-pressed coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. To prevent sticking, rub a bit of coconut oil into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients (chickpea flour, almond flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and sea salt).
  3. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and mix well (eggs, banana, peanut butter, vanilla, maple syrup and ghee [or coconut oil]).
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and goji berries.
  6. Spoon batter into the muffin cups to 2/3 full.
  7. Bake 14-16 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown.
  8. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Beautifully Red Cabbage Salad

Welcome to lunch for a week with spicy, crunchy, sour power! When I saw this recipe I knew right away that it had a future in my kitchen! Even still, cabbage is one of those foods that is highly underrated — especially the red kind. But go ahead and make some for you, your gang, and your co-workers! You’ll be very happy you did.

1 small head of red cabbage, cored
2 bunches flat-leaf Italian parsley, rinsed well and chopped finely
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts), rinsed well and sliced thinly
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best, but not essential)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped (separate whites & yolks if you’re inclined)
1/2 cup roasted almonds, chopped coarsely
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Cut the cabbage into small chunks, and process in small batches in a food processor (short, quick pulses) just a few times until chopped roughly. Avoid overprocessing or you will have raw cabbage soup.
2. Empty chopped cabbage into a large bowl, and mix in parsley and onions.
3. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste, and pour over the cabbage mixture. Toss thoroughly.
4. Sprinkle with nuts and chopped eggs. Serves 4-6.

Thank you to the incomparable Blender Girl for a prior version of this recipe.


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Haminados for Passover!

Haminados are one of my all-time favorite Passover recipes! Simple, sublime and delicious, they have been a staple at the Passover tables of Mediterranean Jewish communities for millennia! Check out this recipe and you’ll see why. Whether you make this dish in your crockpot or oven, it takes just a few minutes to toss it together and get things cooking.

12 whole eggs, in their shells
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 whole onions, including their skins
1 tsp. olive oil
1-2 quarts cool water

Slice the whole onions, skins and all, into quarters. Pack the eggs and onions into a crock pot or a medium-sized, tightly covered dish. Add salt, pepper and olive oil. Pour in cool water to cover the eggs completely, and turn heat to low (crockpot) or 200 F (oven). Cook at least 8 hours, or up to 12 hours if you’re busy. Check the water periodically to make sure it stays at or close to the top of the eggs. When you’re ready, drain, rinse and peel the eggs you’re planning to eat right away, and refrigerate the rest for later. Discard the onions, hopefully in your compost pile if you’ve got one!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Lebanese Potato Kugel

Once again, my dear friend and talented cook Judith has outdone herself. Potato kugel (translated loosely as “pudding,” but much more Yorkshire than chocolate), was a mainstay of my childhood. Last weekend she completely surprised (!) me, creating her own version of this recipe that is so familiar and dear to me, and which I grew up eating on many holidays and other special occasions. My Grandma Rosie had her own special way of making potato kugel; she taught my mom to make it, and that’s how I learned. Grandma Rosie’s version would have you heating the oil in a square glass Pyrex pan in the oven, carefully pouring the potato batter directly into the hot pan with spitting hot olive oil, and then sprinkling a little more oil on top prior to cooking it, but Judith’s version gives you a little more control over the crust.

This is one of those recipes whose flavor creates a memory that stays with you for years. As my grandma Rosie would have put it, it takes a little bit of potchky-ing (fussing) but, as Judith puts it, it’s “A labor of love you won’t regret.”

3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, shredded
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/3 cup garbanzo or fava bean flour
1/2 cup cilantro (plus more for garnish if desired), chopped coarsely
1/2 cup green onion, finely sliced
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
water to mix

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, except the water.
2. Add water as needed to absorb chick pea flour, so that the mixture is wet but sticks together (fairly solid). Too wet is better than too dry, fyi, so if you are unsure, err on the side of more water.
3. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add a generous slick of olive oil (approx 2 Tbsp.), and spoon potato mixture into the pan, spreading it into an even layer. Allow to cook 3-4 minutes, reduce flame to medium, and allow to brown.
4. Preheat oven to 375 F. Once the sides of the kugel begin to crisp, slide a knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen, reduce the flame to low, and allow to cook 10-15 minutes more. This time, slide a sharp spatula under and around the edges to loosen it from the pan.
5. Flip the kugel by placing a serving plate atop the skillet, and then flipping so the cooked side faces up. Return empty skillet to the fire, turn up heat to medium-high. Add remaining olive oil, allow to heat thoroughly, and slide kugel, now raw side down, back into the skillet. Allow to cook over medium heat for 4 minutes, and
6. Transfer the entire skillet to the preheated oven. Cook 15-20 minutes until done. Use a sharp knife to check the center of the kugel for doneness.
7. Flip the kugel onto a cutting board or platter, and slice into 8 or more wedges. Serve with a few slices of brisket, a squeeze of lime, more fresh chopped cilantro, a sprinkle of salt, a crumble of queso fresca, a drizzle of Mexican crema, or straight up. Your choice.

Thank you, Judith. Hearty appetite!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Momofuku’s Soy-Sauce-Soaked Eggs

This recipe is in honor of our seventeen lovely new chicks, who arrived in November and moved out to the big-girl coop this past weekend to join the gold-laced Wyandottes who’ve been with us for about three years now. The little girls won’t be laying for a little while yet, but their pale pink combs are starting to color and fill out! Once they begin to lay, we’ll have dozens and dozens of eggs!

Every once in a while you come across an amazing, new recipe, something you’ve never heard of before but which sounds extraordinarily wonderful. This is one of those recipes, and you can thank the wonderful food blog, food52, for a prior version of this recipe.

To quote the author, “What I like best is that these eggs can be used in a thousand different ways: They are perfect for breakfast, for a midafternoon snack, sliced onto an English muffin or a plate of arugula, and more.”

To quote me, “Oh come on, you know you’re just gonna open that jar, slip out a gorgeous egg, and nibble it right down to your fingers!” Yes, I know this recipe has sugar, but I didn’t want to substitute honey in case it affects its 4-week refrigerator life. If, on the other hand, you plan to eat them all within a few days, then go ahead and try it with the substitution.

6 large eggs
6 tbsp. warm water
1 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar into the water until completely dissolved. Stir in the sherry vinegar and tamari.

Set a large pot of water up to boil. Carefully lower the eggs into the pot, and cook for exactly 6 minutes and 50 seconds, stirring slowly for the first 90 seconds to distribute the heat evenly.

Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl with cold water and ice. At the end of the cooking time, transfer the eggs as quickly as possible into the ice bath. Once they are cool, peel them under the water. This should help to keep the outsides perfectly smooth.

Place the eggs in a bowl or jar filled with the soy sauce, and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 6 hours. To make sure the eggs remain completely submerged, you may need to cover the bowl with a small plate if necessary. Remove the eggs from the marinade, and serve.

Two interesting facts: #1 As long as you keep them refrigerated in a tightly sealed container, the eggs will keep for up to 4 weeks. #2 You can save the soy sauce for a second batch of eggs.

To serve, cut the eggs in half lengthwise and season lightly with fresh black pepper. Bon appetit!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Nut & Seed Bread Not For the Birds

1 cup raw almonds*
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup whole flax seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
5 eggs
1 ½ tsp. salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  3. Chop all the nuts and seeds into comfortably bite-sized bits. Not like a meal (e.g., almond meal) or a butter (e.g., peanut butter), but small pieces. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large bowl, empty into the loaf pan, and level the top.
  4. Bake at 325F for 60 minutes. The finished loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Slice very THIN slices, and slather with your choice of nut butters, preserves, avocado, smoked salmon, sliced turkey, butter, cheddar, or whatever your heart desires.

*To customize, keep a ratio of 2 cups of nuts to 4-5 cups of seeds.

Thank you to ehow for posting this interesting recipe from Danish chef and blogger Kirstin Uhrenholdt and the staff at Kong Hans restaurant in Copenhagen!


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Rice Pudding

On the day we were married, almost 36 short years ago, my Aunt Gerda showed up with a bucket of the creamiest, most extraordinary rice pudding I have ever eaten, before or since. We even packed up a small container to take on our honeymoon. You might say that rice pudding holds a special place in my heart and soul. Especially Aunt Gerda’s rice pudding. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Huevos Haminados (Slow-roasted Eggs)

Haminados are one of my all-time favorite Passover recipes! Simple, sublime and delicious, they have been a staple at the Passover tables of Mediterranean Jewish communities for millennia! Check out this recipe and you’ll see why. Whether you make this dish in your crockpot or oven, it takes just a few minutes to toss it together and get it cooking. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Red Cabbage Salad With A Buzz

It’s a red-green party, lunch for a week with spicy, crunchy, sour power! Make some for you, or your gang, or your office potluck! When I saw this recipe I knew it was for me. Generally speaking, cabbage is one of those foods that is very underrated — especially the red kind. Continue reading


YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Slow Chicken & White Beans

In honor of the upcoming marriage of HLJ to ESS:
Here’s a magnificent recipe, inspired by the fact that this year is the #Year of the #Pulse! You know how much I love beans and the flavors developed by slow cooking! Try putting it up right now, and you’ll have a very special, delicious and nutritious meal for dinner tonight. Of course, if you’re me, you might decide to make it tonight instead of in the morning, so it will be ready just in time for breakfast tomorrow.
Whenever food cooks in our slow cooker through the night, it gives me delicious dreams. Sometimes it even wakes me up, a few times for a few moments, to savor the smells. Then, when morning comes, I can barely get myself up and dressed fast enough in my hurry to get downstairs to eat my yummy breakfast from the crockpot! I’m not kidding — consider yourself forewarned.

Continue reading