Recipe: Hasselback Potatoes by Mr. Chef

As the lucky recipient of Mr. Chef’s iterations of Hasselback potatoes, we couldn’t wait to share the deliciousness of this recipe. Beware: you may be used to our quick, delicious, and nutritious options and this is not how Mr. Chef operates; he pours a half-hour into making a salad and a few hours of labor and slow-cooking for a curry soup. What can we say? Opposites attract. If you have the patience of a saint or an oyster, give it a try. The pearl is worth it.

Ingredients:

Russet (or other) Potato – one per customer
Olive oil (or butter, for non-vegan customers)
Herbs – rosemary or thyme preferred – to taste
Vegan feta OR goats cheese (again, that would be non-vegan)
Oregano – a must in my mind


Step-by-step instructions: 

1. Make an oil/butter infusion: low temp heat oil/butter with herbs for as long as you can bear
2. While that’s going,
    a) put a potato on a cutting board, put chop sticks (or some other “stop” on the cutting board along its longest dimension
    b) Slice along the longest dimension to make a flat surface for the potato to stand firm while
    c) begin cutting at 1/8″ or 1/16″ intervals straight down (the thinner the better!).  The chop sticks prevent cutting it into separate slices.  The goal is to slice downward finely but not to cut the potato into slices – keep it whole.
    d) This will represent a lot of slices – as always, prep is the labor-intensive part.  Be careful to keep the blade perfectly perpendicular to the cutting board as you slice.  This might tax your knife skills a bit.  It’s worth it.  Carry on.
3. Cover potato(es) with oil/butter infusion, place in pre-heated oven at ~430 degrees Fahrenheit.  A parchment paper-covered flat baking sheet is best.
4. Wait an excruciatingly long time, like an hour or perhaps more depending on the volume of potato(es).
5. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, apply vegan or anti-vegan cheese.  Cover in oregano.  Try to sort of “push” herb topping into the crevices formed by slicing.  Serve.

The outside should be crispy, with a circular gradation into the center becoming almost as smooth and soft as mashed potatoes.  While eating, the layers should fold into interesting patterns as the knife/fork scoop them up.

I’d never eaten one but discovered it while researching thanksgiving sides.  I am somewhat obsessed now.  It won’t be on the menu this year because it takes so long and requires a cooking temperature way over what’s recommended for a turkey.  Maybe save this for a quiet night in when time is no object.  But do it!

Fancy in 5 Steps! 🥂 Charcuterie Board

The inspiration for this came from a 3 and 6-year-old. We were to host a small, casual gathering and we sought to satisfy everyone without killing ourselves. Aha! A charcuterie board is like fancy buffet but far simpler to build. We used two cutting boards that Mr. Chef made, but you don’t need custom end-grain cutting boards to accomplish this festival of food. The cutting board could come from IKEA, or use serving tray. Have a bit of fun with your imagination and what you already have in your cabinets. Presto!

In hosting, as in life, we prefer balance and elegant simplicity, and fun with perhaps a *sprinkle* of fancy. It’s okay to throw something together and even bring in a bit of whimsy.

So, to keep things classic and chill, the idea of having a variety and simple foods- a smorgasbord- stood out. Call it that, a Hungarian cold plate or “Hidegál”, or, because it sounds so nice to say, charcuterie board (the way we like to remember to pronounce it: “shar(k)-coo-ter-ee”; say it fast enough and the “k” glides you right through the word). Other reasons we love this:

Unstuffy – at its heart, a charcuterie board is very finger-friendly and is even great for kids

Healthy – we went mostly for organic produce & gluten-free items but also had quality meat products for omnivorous types.

Visually appealing – because we all ‘eat’ with our eyes first, we really wanted to provide a cheery, colorful palette of foods from which to choose.

The Steps

  1. Think about your guests – do they have dietary restrictions or allergies? Food preferences? Will children be present?
  2. Plan your board(s) – think of food groups (healthier versions of fat, protein, carbohydates) and accessories (dips that go well with chips, carrots, and celery for example). This helps provide a balanced and light meal. Bonus: make a ‘rainbow’. Get creative and perhaps offer a fruit and vegetable option for each color – such as orange bell peppers and orange slices.
  3. Go shopping and prep the produce. Here are some items you might want for your custom board(s): vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes), fruits (orange and apple slices, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes – dried fruit is also an option!), cheeses, deli meats (salami, turkey, ham or chicken), crackers and/or bread, dips (hummus, Ranch, herb-infused olive oil), olives, pickles, seeds (pumpkin and sunflower), chips, and chocolate.
  4. Decorate your boards! Use little bowls for dips, dishes or plates, cutting boards, and utensils to design a beautiful, curated offering to your guests.
  5. Relax, eat and enjoy!

Recipe: Lemony Kale & Almond Salad

lemonykaleandalmondsalad

We’ve tested it thrice so far with the crowds at Thanksgiving, a holiday party, and recent Friendsgiving with rave reviews. Here we share the zingy, tongue-tingling Lemony Kale & Almond Salad! May it serve you and yours well during holiday celebrations, potlucks, a light dinner, and even just for a mid-day snack. The dressing’s simple ingredients become something greater when combined, like when the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers connected their rings. Also, *voice lowers* it’s gluten-free and vegan…not like anyone will hold it against you :).

Yields: about 12-15 servings

Prep time: about 25-30 minutes

Ingredients

1 lb kale (we’ve used a clamshell of baby kale)
2 cups almonds, chopped
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
Optional: pepper to taste

Instructions

Let garlic steep in olive oil. Toast almonds in pan until golden brown, then set aside to cool. During garlic-steeping and toasting of almonds, cut small batches of kale into thin strips and place into a very large bowl (with lid, for transport to holiday gathering). In a separate bowl, put dressing together by adding lemon juice, salt, and garlic-steeped olive oil. If you don’t want garlic in the end-product, remove crushed garlic from oil and discard. If you are a garlic-lover, use the finely chopped garlic, without sieving, in the dressing. Combine almonds and dressing into larger bowl with kale and toss with tongs. For best results, serve within about 1 hour. Note: the more oil used, the heavier the kale leaves will be and it will reduce volume of salad within the bowl.

Recipe: 8-ingredient Quinoa Salad

8ingredientquinoasalad

We initially debuted this 8-ingredient Quinoa Salad during National Vegetarian Month on 10TV with Valencia Wicker and Ross Caruso – watch here if you’d like. This dish is quick, delicious as well as gluten- and dairy-free! Enjoy!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
8 servings

Ingredients
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped radishes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.

Garlic Basil Spaghetti Squash

one bite wellness garlic basil spaghetti squash

With the super-bugs going around and infecting people with flu/cold and coughs that linger for weeks, we thought it was high-time to bring in some garlic. Other than the folklore surrounding its ability to keep vampires at bay, did you know that garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties? This vegetable from the lily family has a well-deserved space on our plates this season.

Ingredients

1 medium spaghetti squash
25oz jar of tomato sauce
1 bulb garlic, peeled and minced
6oz white button mushrooms, sliced
5oz shredded green cabbage
1oz fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Carefully cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place cut side down on baking sheet into pre-heated oven (400 degrees) and cook for 45-50 minutes.

Prep all other ingredients with knife and cutting board. Put garlic and mushrooms in large pan over low-medium heat for about 5 minutes, then add cabbage, tomato sauce, and fresh basil and simmer until done.

After spaghetti squash has cooled a bit, use oven mitt to hold while scraping out ‘spaghetti’ with a fork. Top with tomato sauce mixture and enjoy!

Recipe: Turkey Breakfast Sausage

breakfast1

Oh my, how savory the turkey sausage patties! A perfect pairing with a over-medium egg and hot sauce. At this point, you have two choices: devour with your eyes or get cooking so you can devour them with your mouth.

Bonus: no scary ingredients from typical store-bought sausages with their nitrites and other questionable agents. We also added tons of garlic for the health properties related to winter wellness!

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey (ours from MKM family farms at farmers’ market)
2 tbsp coconut oil (feel free to substitute olive oil)
4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp oregano, parsley, and fennel seeds
1 tsp salt & pepper
2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette for de-glazing pan
hot sauce

Instructions:
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until golden-brown. Remove from heat and add onion to mixing bowl along with turkey and combine. Then add the oregano, parsley, fennel seeds, salt & pepper and mix thoroughly by hand. Form patties by hand to be about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2″ inch thick. Cook in skillet about 5 minutes on either side or until inserted meat thermometer registers 165°F and meat is fully cooked. Add balsamic vinaigrette to de-glaze the pan and cook on a lower temperature so meat soaks some up.

Happy breakfast-ing!

breakfast sausage obw

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Southwestern Skillet

skillet obw
Smoothie. Oatmeal. Rinse & repeat. We know that breakfasts can get a bit repetitive and unimaginative so we’re going to shake it up with this inspired southwestern dish.

Whether you’re looking to fuel up for a busy day of hiking or for back-to-back meetings, this dish is a delicious & satisfying breakfast with great macronutrient content. Let the culinary adventure begin!

Servings: 2-4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Ingredients
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
1 can black beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 tsp cumin
olive oil
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Instructions
Cut sweet potatoes in 1/4 inch pieces. Chop red pepper and rinse canned black beans. Drizzle olive oil in a large pan and heat sweet potatoes on medium for 3-5 minutes, then add black beans, red pepper, and cumin. Add water to cover bottom of pan and cover to cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often.

We topped the skillet with a cooked egg and a few slices of avocado. Add fresh lime juice, hot sauce, or salsa for a unique meal that fits your needs.

Recipe: Brown Basmati Pilaf

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup long grain brown rice (not instant)
2 1/2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth or 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a small skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
Add rice and sauté for 1 minute. Add broth, and season with salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 45-50 minutes. Check rice occasionally and add water if necessary. Uncover and let rice stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe: Shiitake and Kale

Cook time: 10 minutes; yields about 4 servings

Ingredients:
one bunch of kale
3 cloves of garlic (more or less, depending on how much you like kale)
1/3 cup raw walnuts
a handful or two shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Cut off the stems of the kale and place it in a large bowl. Chop the garlic into thin slivers.
2. Heat the olive oil in a pan and then add the garlic and walnuts
3. Add the shiitake mushrooms and let cook for about 5 minutes
4. Add the kale and let it cook for a couple minutes
5. Salt and pepper can be added to taste
6. Remove from heat, and enjoy!

Recipe: Roasted Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-sweet-chili-sauce-recipe-9562

photo source: steamykitchen.com

Ingredients
2 lbs Broccoli florets
1 lb Brussels Sprouts
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil or grass-fed butter, softened
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 lemon juice and zest
1 pinch cayenne
Celtic Sea or Himalayan salt and pepper
1⁄4-1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese from grass-fed animal (optional)
2 Tbsp. raw Almonds, chopped (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash veggies and dry thoroughly.
2. Slice broccoli stems into 1/4 inch thick rounds, cut florets in bite sized pieces. Have as many flat sides as possible so they caramelize. Remove the ends of the Brussels sprouts and slice in half.
3. Place veggies in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray with sides. Toss with 2 T of the olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes depending on how crisp you like them. Stir halfway through and toss with fresh garlic. Remove from oven when finished and allow to cool slightly.
5. Whisk together the remaining 2 T oil, lemon juice and zest, dijon, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Toss with the veggies and cheese and almonds if using. Serve immediately or allow to come to room temperature.