It’s sometimes a surprise to me what recipes take off, and which ones fade into the obscurity of my archives. This gluten-free healthy sesame chicken recipe was the food blog equivalent of a blockbuster success. People are still making it in droves and commenting on how it turned out (yay!). But I can’t say that I consider it to be my most creative comfort food adaptation.
Sometimes simplicity wins out and you just have to give the people what they want. Other times, I say f*%k that and cook what I feel like cooking, which often includes putting weird things like Swiss Chard and hemp seeds in a shrimp stir fry recipe.
For the final dish I developed for Vitamin Shoppe, I decided to do another riff on that ever popular sesame chicken dish. Instead of chicken, I used shrimp and instead of sesame seeds clinging to every crevice, I used the super seed hemp. And then just to gild the health lily, instead of broccoli and peppers, I added summer squash and chard. Continue reading
One of my favorite dishes to teach is this marinated kale avocado salad. Sure, by now most New Yorkers are such fanatics they’ve probably converted their shampoo, face cream, and bed sheets to products with some derivative of kale. But I’m always surprised by how few people know how to easily remove the stems and cut the leaves to get the thin, beautiful ribbons, they’re used to seeing in the restaurant kale salads of their dreams.
It’s for this reason that I decided to develop a kale avocado salad for my Vitamin Shoppe pantry to plate class. To give the recipe a new flavor from my past kale efforts, I used coconut oil, toasted coconut, and liquid aminos for a slight Asian vibe.
One of my favorite new healthy local spots is Nourish Kitchen + Table. Their detox kale salad is one of the best around. It has a hint of sesame and tamari, but the highlight for me is that it’s topped with beautiful shaved watermelon radishes. Continue reading
As I mentioned in my newsletter yesterday, this weekend was a far cry from the detox I was envisioning when I touched down back in New York after 4 days of eating Airheads, gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes, and mystery meat tacos at Camp No Counselors. So as an antidote, I’m featuring some more of the healthy pantry recipes I created for The Vitamin Shoppe on the blog this week, including this vegetable-packed black rice recipe—a fiber-rich take on my favorite Chinese takeout dish.
Fried rice was one of the few ethnic dishes I did not inhale this weekend. For his 30th birthday, my friend Ed organized a dumpling tour of Flushing, Queens. For anyone who has yet to trek the hour and a half on the subway, picture Shanghai with slightly less smog. Ed lived in China for a year after college, so this was a deeply fun and nostalgic homecoming. He also got to showcase the insatiable appetite for small doughy pouches of pork and chives that he lovingly honed overseas.
While ordinary an outer borough food crawl would be my ideal birthday excursion, Chinese food does pose many problems for glutards. I kept myself entertained with plates of spicy cucumbers at Xian Foods and after a little MSG had gone to my head, I got a little risqué and even ate some of the fillings out of the dumpling wrappers. The crab soup dumplings at Nan Xiang Dumpling House, our fourth stop, were my favorite. Continue reading
I just got back from another epic Labor Day weekend at Camp No Counselors—the amazing organization that allows adults to once again participate in talent shows, tubing, and cabin trickery. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a shell of a human being after so many sporty activities, Woodstock theme parties and attempts at sleeping two people on the bottom bunk. Thanks to the latter, range of motion in my neck is at an awkward 90 degrees. And despite the intermittent Liquiteria juices to help us power through color war, I was very happy to have the remnants of this healthy snack for the bus ride home yesterday.
Even though the flash tattoos have yet to fully come off my face, it’s back to reality for me today. And after a weekend of heavy drinking and mystery meat tacos, this means some sort of healthy eating while I sift through my inbox. But I’m not fully ready to come down off the camp and summer high. Mainly because my stomach has come to expect 2+ hot dogs at lunch. So I’ve decided this dairy-free, comforting shrimp and corn chowder is the perfect happy medium.
Camp and back-to-school aside, September is a weird hybrid month. Summer produce is still on the stands. But the weather is getting colder, and the daylight playtime ends closer to 7pm…which is a bummer, since work happens to end after that cut off. You could stick to grilled quesadillas and corn on the cob. But somehow that feels a little immature, kind of like going back to a college frat party 6 months after you graduated (but nothing of course like going back to a summer camp 16 years after your last color war. That’s just COOL.) Continue reading
Last year around Labor Day, you may remember a smattering of instagram pictures that included homemade friendship bracelets, temporary peace sign tattoos, sweaty neon crop tops, and a lot of bug juice in the woods. Well, I decided to double down again this year and attend what is now an official entity: Camp No Counselors.
Here’s a little taste of what happened at camp last time. Unfortunately, I’m currently sitting in the woods trying to live down either the shame or awesomeness of last night’s talent show performance, so I can’t give you the full details just yet on what transpired over this holiday weekend.
But I can tell you that trail mix was involved. Because in addition to a few bottles of rose, and a Sam’s Club sized container of Airheads, I also managed to pack my new favorite healthy snack food, designed specifically for the CNC festivities.
The camp food last year contained a lot of American cheese and nostalgia packed into every sesame hamburger bun and hard taco shell. The kitchen staff were total champs about accommodating my gluten-allergy and made sure to have specially wrapped sausage egg and cheese sandwiches in the morning with my name on them (literally). But after 5 meals in a row of booze and meat sweats, I was ready for some serious detox fiber-rich fare.
As you know, I get extremely anxious when I don’t know where my next meal is coming from, so I always travel with some gluten-free snacks. This year I was prepared with something especially healthy. The inspiration for this healthy trail mix recipe came from these cashews and this tropical snack. I used raw honey, a hint of cinnamon, and just a handful of dark chocolate chips for my naughty bunkmates (i.e. Charlie) who like to pick out the candy from the mix of nuts and seeds. Continue reading
I’m all for high-low dishes (after all, Ina Garten turned me onto the magic of potato chips and caviar at a young age). But I’ve always thought that hot crab dip seemed like a foolish use of a $30 a pound protein. It’s the same kind of philosophical problem I have with putting Foie Gras on burgers and lobster in tacos. I’ll admit that I do enjoy these things at restaurants from time to time, otherwise I’d have to figure out a foot-in-mouth emoji and post it on this image.
At restaurants when someone else is doing the work and partially amortizing expensive ingredients across other menu items, that’s one thing. But at home, I’m not going to hide my luxury splurges underneath a dousing of ketchup, cream cheese or sour cream.
But a few weeks ago on the vineyard I got a craving for crab. I was having a few friends over for dinner—friends who had wined and dined me on several occasions and I had yet to return the favor. So I wanted to do something special for them. Standing over the stove frying crab cakes while everyone else drinks rose and watches the sunset is my idea of a hosting nightmare. The next thing that popped into my head at the seafood shop was the idea for a spicy warm crab dip. And like the taste of Cape Cod potato chips scooping up caviar, I just couldn’t shake it. Continue reading