Gluttonous and Good For You!

Gluttonous and Good For You!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest, and Vanilla


I have a small old-school Weber grill I haven't used in.... months.  Grilled peaches - something I've always wanted to make and I knew now was the time.  The assortment of peaches at the farmer's markets right now are amazing.  Grilling the peaches caramelize the sugars and make them even more juicy.  There are plenty of recipes of grilled peaches with either ricotta or mascarpone cheese.  To be honest, I never know which one to use.  I know I always have Greek yogurt in my fridge.  I'm sure you do, too.  I added a little bit of honey, vanilla, and a little vanilla to compliment the grilled peach.  (Note: if you don't have a grill, you can pan-sear the peach for caramelization.)

Ingredients:
2 peaches, just ripe
1 cup Greek yogurt, plain
2 tablespoons honey of your choice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla (preferably paste)
zest of 1 lime (reserve some for garnish)

Directions:
Preheat grill.  Cut each peach length-wise and remove pit.  Grill on each side until slightly charred, about 10 minutes.  In the meantime, mix the honey, vanilla, and lime zest into the yogurt and mix well.  Taste and adjust accordingly.  Spoon on top of each grilled halved peach.  Serve and enjoy immediately.  Makes 4 servings.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Summer Soiree. Check out The FN Dish.  The summer produce we're focusing on here are peaches.  On twitter, we're tagging #SummerSoiree. Here are other delicious peachy recipes to try out: 

Virtually Homemade: Mixed Summer Fruit Baked Oatmeal
Homemade Delish: 
Bite-Sized Peach Panini
The Heritage Cook: 
Grilled Chicken with Peach Chimichurri Sauce (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious: 
Peach and Ricotta Crostini
Creative Culinary: 
Fresh Peach and Bourbon Upside Down Cake
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Chocolate Dipped Peaches with Sea Salt
Red or Green: 
Summer Peach & Tomato Salad
The Mom 100: 
Sour Cream Peach Cobbler
Domesticate Me: 
Peach Crumble Smoothie
Daisy at Home: 
Creamy Peach Popsicles
In Jennie's Kitchen: 
Six Ways to Savor Peaches
Healthy Eats: 
7 Healthy Ways to Use Peaches in Their Prime
Taste with the Eyes: 
Grilled Peach Salad, Over-The-Top Maple Bourbon Dressing
Swing Eats: 
Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt, Honey, Lime Zest, and Vanilla
Dishin and Dishes: 
Bacon Wrapped Grilled Peaches with Goat Cheese and Aged Balsamic
FN Dish: 
8 Juicy Ways to Eat Peaches Before They're Gone

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tiny Insalata Caprese



I appreciate simplicity in food. I see it as a testament to how good ingredients truly are. I went to the farmer's market the other day and found a perfectly imperfect tiny basket of tiny tomatoes of varying shades of red and yellow. The tiny fresh mozzarella cheese balls happen to be the same size of the tomatoes. I find that ratio is key for a successful insalata caprese and using tiny tomatoes and tiny mozzarella works perfectly.

Ingredients:
1 basket of tiny tomatoes
1 container of tiny fresh mozzarella balls
4-6 basil leaves cut into very thin strips (chiffonaded)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Wash and dry the tomatoes. Cut in half. If there are large ones, cut into fourths. Place in a medium/large bowl. Drain the fresh mozzarella balls. Cut those in half and add to the tomatoes. Add in the cut basil and olive oil. Gently toss until somewhat combined. Give a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Serve immediately and enjoy.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Summer Soiree. Check out The FN Dish. The summer produce we're focusing on here are tomatoes. On twitter, we're tagging #SummerSoiree. Here are other delicious tomato recipes to try out:

The Heritage Cook: Rice and Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes (Gluten-Free)
The Lemon Bowl: 
5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef & Eggplant
Homemade Delish: 
Sweet Tomato Jam
Healthy Eats: 
7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes
Creative Culinary: 
Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta 
Weelicious: 
Heirloom Tomato Salad
Dishin & Dishes: 
Cobb Salad with Homemade Roasted Onion Vinaigrette
Domesticate Me: 
10 Totally Awesome Tomato Recipes
Swing Eats: 
Tiny Insalata Caprese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: 
Tomato and Swiss Tart
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Tomato Pickle
Taste with the Eyes: 
Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese
Red or Green: 
Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Heirloom Tomato & Crouton Casserole (Scalloped Tomatoes)
The Mom 100: 
Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
FN Dish: 
10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Green Grapes, Drunken Goat Cheese, and Jalapenos on a Toothpick


Trust me.  Really.  I know, I know this sounds totally bizarre....  These perfect little green gems are super easy to make, crisp and refreshing, and pack a little bit of heat.  These make the perfect unexpected appetizer everyone is amazed that they like.  Give it a go!  (Biggest chemist secret: how to clean your hands properly after cutting a jalapeno....  Rub you hands with any kind of oil, followed by a good lathered wash with soap.  It works!  It removes all the capsicum that is oil soluble (like dissolves like) and that could burn your eyes when you inadvertently rub your eyes with hot pepper fingers.  Ouch.)  

Ingredients:
green grapes
drunken goat cheese
jalapeno peppers
toothpicks

Directions:
Wash and dry the grapes.  Cut the rind off of the drunken goat cheese and cut into uniform small cubes, slightly small than the grapes.  Prepare the jalapeno by cutting the top off, cutting in half lengthwise, coring out the seeds and ribs, and cutting into uniform square pieces to match the cheese.  Remember the trick of rubbing your hands and fingers with oil before washing up to remove all the heat after handling peppers.

Now it's a matter of assembling.  On each toothpick, put on one grape, cube of cheese, followed by the square of jalapeno pepper.  Place on a platter for serving.  These apps keep well in the fridge, covered under plastic wrap for a couple of days.  You pick how much or how little you want to make.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Summer Soiree. Check out The FN Dish.  The summer produce we're focusing on here are no-cook dishes.  On twitter, we're tagging #SummerSoiree. Here are other delicious recipes to try out that will help you keep cool in the hot weather:

Feed Me Phoebe: 5 Farmer's Market Summer Salad Recipes
Healthy Eats: 
Ovenless Entertaining
Dishin & Dishes: 
Coral Snake Salsa (Apricot Tomatillo)
The Mom 100: 
Simple Raspberry Fool
Domesticate Me: 
Arugula Salad with Shaved Zucchini, Pistachios and Parmesan
Taste with the Eyes: 
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin à la Jean-Georges
Homemade Delish: 
Delicious Ceviche
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Tomato & Mozzarella Sandwich with Basil-Garlic Scape Pesto
Red or Green: 
Gott's Gazpacho
Swing Eats: 
Green Grapes, Drunken Goat Cheese, and Jalapenos on a Toothpick
Bacon and Souffle: 
Scallop Ceviche
FN Dish: 
A Complete Menu of No-Cook Recipes for the Whole Day

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Frico: Parmesan Cheese Crackers (gluten-free)



One of the wonderful little antipasto inventions is the frico from the northeastern region of Italy known as Friuli-Venezia Giulia. A frico is nothing more than a crisp-fried cheese wafer made with grated cheese. Even though it is simple, it can be bit tricky to make. Once you have made one successfully, it does seem so easy. Traditionally, the cheese used for making it is a three-month-old Montasio, a cow’s milk cheese with a buttery, creamy taste that melts very well. Traditionally, frico is cooked in a skillet. The difficult part of making a crisp frico, what is called locally frico croccante, is knowing when to remove the wafer from the pan. If it cooks too long and becomes too golden brown, it will become bitter. Therefore, a more fail-safe way to cook it is in the oven on parchment or a silicone baking sheet. Montasio cheese can be found in cheese stores and gourmet markets. If you cannot find it, you can try using freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grating from a large not-dried-out chunk. I use Parmesan. Most importantly, the cheese used for frico should be very low moisture and not too salty. Frico can be easily shaped while right out of the oven while, still warm and malleable, for a cup for fillings. I personally like it as a garnish to a soup or salad.

Ingredients:
• 1 pound Montasio, Asagio, or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated more coarse
• Robust herbs of your choice such as oregano, rosemary, thyme either dry or fresh (optional)
• Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Use a round cookie cutter as a guide to put in the grated cheese. Allow about 1 inch between the frico. Put a thin, even layer of grated cheese in each round. If you would like, sprinkle a small amount of herbs on the frico. Remember, the dried herbs will have a more concentrated flavor than the fresh herbs. Per your preference, grate a small amount of black pepper on, too. Place in oven. Carefully watch. Remove from oven once they start to turn a gold color, about 3-5 minutes, depending how much moisture is in the cheese.

The frico will be flexible while it is still hot, and if you drape it over a glass or bottle to cool and firm up you will obtain a cup or basket. Then it is a perfect container for an antipasto. Make sure whatever you use does not contain too much moisture.

Makes about 30 frico
Total time: 10-15 minutes

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Food Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The spring food we're focusing on here are cheesy sides. On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides. Here are other delicious recipes to cheese up your life:


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kale Salad with Lemon, Pecorino Romano, and Toasted Walnuts



Only in the past couple of years have I discovered how awesome kale is. When talking about dark leafy greens, the nutritional powerhouse that is kale resides on top. My favorite way to prepare kale had been making chips out of them. The standard procedure consisted of lightly coating the whole kale leaves, stalk removed, season, and bake in oven at low temperature until crisp. Delicious, but too oily for me to call healthy. Then I kept hearing more about kale salad, where the kale is broken down by acid and then dressed. Hm. I usually steer clear of putting any acid into any green vegetables, knowing that breaks down chlorophyll, along with the nutritional content and flavor, as well as transforming it into a drab olive green.

Somehow kale salad works on a few different levels. First off, it is delicious. The preparation proves to be super easy without having to cook anything, with the exception of maybe toasting some nuts. This salad gets better upon refrigeration, whereas traditional salads which turn to mush. Even after 4 days of sitting in the fridge, it tasted just as fresh as the first day I made it. I decided to use an Italian approach to this salad, using lemon juice for the acid, lemon zest for brightness, Pecorino Romano cheese (sheep milk, lactose-free), toasted walnuts, and olive oil. My favorite cheese right now is Pecorino Romano, with its perfect balance of salty with that distinctive sheep cheese flavor.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of Lacinato/dinosaur kale
2 lemons, juice of (zest before juicing)
1 lemon, zest of
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper, chili flakes to taste

Procedure:
Wash the kale well. Remove stalk, and chiffonade into thin strips. Place in a large (preferably glass) bowl. Zest one of the lemons, and put aside. Juice both lemons, put 1/2 the juice in with the kale (the other 1/2 set aside) and massage thoroughly with clean hands. Cover bowl and place in fridge.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon juice, the lemon zest, grated garlic, romano cheese, walnuts, olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili flake. Mix and taste. Adjust seasonings for you preference. Add this dressing to the messaged kale and toss well until completely combined. Store in fridge and serve as needed. Makes 4-6 servings. That simple.

-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Food Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The spring food we're focusing on here are green salads. On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides. Here’s the link to our Pinterest board:
http://pinterest.com/foodnetwork/lets-pull-up-a-chair/. Here are delicious green salad recipes from our other network bloggers:


Creative Culinary: Mixed Greens with Smoked Mozzarella and a Warm Roasted Garlic Dressing
The Cultural Dish:
Three Quick and Easy Salad Recipes
Napa Farmhouse 1885:
Salad Greens with Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
Red or Green:
Salad Greens with Basic Balsamic Vinaigrette
The Heritage Cook:
Chopped Steakhouse-Style Salad (Gluten-Free)
Weelicious:
Southwestern Salad
Taste with the Eyes:
Teacher Appreciation Farmers Market Salad
Swing Eats:
Kale Salad with Lemon, Pecorino Romano, and Toasted Walnuts
Virtually Homemade:
Spinach and Bacon Salad
Domesticate Me:
8 Gorgeous Green Salads for Spring
Elephants and the Coconut Trees:
Arugula and Grapefruit Salad
Dishin & Dishes:
Tangle Thai Rainbow Salad
Homemade Delish:
Grilled Pineapple Spinach Salad
FN Dish:
Why Side Salads Are the Best Salads

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stir-Fried Quinoa with Chinese Vegetables



To be honest, I never heard of quinoa (pronounced: keen-wah) before my Celiac diagnosis. After my initial consultation with a dietitian, 12 years ago, I discovered a whole new world of grains that are gluten-free: quinoa, millet, buckwheat, teff, and so many others. They all have unique texture and taste as well as power-packed with nutrients. Quinoa has become one of my standbys. Quinoa is an ancient, super-food from South America. It contains about 14% protein and all of the essential amino acids your body needs, i.e, it is a complete protein. Important tip with quinoa: it must be RINSED well with water (using a fine mesh sieve/strainer) before cooking it. There's this weird smelling enzyme that coats it and can be strong and wreck your senses. It is so worth the effort.

I make quinoa up as pilafs, tabbouleh, steamed. This time, I let my fridge dictate what method to use for my quinoa love. I saw small bok choy, giant shiitake mushrooms, and green onions. I worked at a Chinese restaurant for 10 years and still influences how I shop for (shopping at Asian markets regularly) and cook my food. Yes, why not - stir-fried quinoa?! It's like the new Chinese Peruvian fusion cuisine that's becoming so hot: the Chinese immigrants from the 19th century influencing traditional Peruvian food. It worked! Such a different take on "fried rice" that feels new, healthy, interesting, reinvented. This recipe is a multi-step recipe and it's important to follow the directions in the right order for the best results. Even though this is a side dish, I will contest that this dish can stand on its own.

Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa (rinsed well with water as mentioned above)
1 1/2 cups water or broth (of your choice)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg
1 tablespoon of coconut or vegetable oil (not olive oil, it will burn)
4-5 large shiitake sliced mushrooms (fresh! or regular fresh button type)
1/4 cup of Chinese cooking wine (I like the sweet kind with this)
1 medium bok choy, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 stalks green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon chili sauce
about 1/4 cup of extra liquid as needed (water, broth)
salt and pepper to taste (yes, you can add soy sauce if you feel it is truly necessary)
extra sesame oil to finish as desired

Directions:

  1. Cook the rinsed quinoa in 1 1/2 times the volume of water in a covered medium saucepan over low heat until absorbed, about 20 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork and allow to cool uncovered.
  2. Heat up wok on medium high heat. Scramble egg with a splash of water, a pinch of salt, white pepper (if you have it) in a small bowl or cup with a fork. Put sesame oil in hot wok, swirl. Pour in egg, swirl and cook it as a thin layer without getting brown. Turn over once until just barely cooked. Cut heat. Cut into small strips/pieces and put in a cool bowl/plate and put aside.
  3. In that same wok heat up the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add in sliced mushrooms and saute. Add in the wine, stirring constantly. Allow to get a good brown to them - good flavor. Add in the white parts of the bok choy, green onions, garlic, and chili sauce. Saute until those are slightly cooked down. Then add in the green sections of the bok choy and green onions with stirring. Once wilted, add in the quinoa. Stir, stir, stir. Add in liquid as needed if too dry. Trust your judgement. Taste for seasoning. Adjust salt, pepper, heat per your preferences. Cut the heat. Add in the scrambled egg and toss. Toss in a little sesame oil. Enjoy. Serves 4 healthy portions.
-Erin Swing
Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Food Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The spring food we're focusing on here are grains.  On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides. Here’s the link to our Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/foodnetwork/lets-pull-up-a-chair/. Here are delicious good to the grain recipes from our other network bloggers:

Weelicious: Mushroom Barley
Virtually Homemade:
Easy Yellow Rice
Feed Me Phoebe:
Maple-Chia Overnight Oatmeal
The Wimpy Vegetarian:
Mujadara with Roasted Tomatoes and Greens
Jeanette's Healthy Living:
Indian Spiced Quinoa Pilaf with Peas
The Heritage Cook:
White and Wild Rice Pilaf
The Mom 100:
Red Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Artichoke Hearts and Olives
Napa Farmhouse 1885:
Wild Mushroom, Sweet Pepper & Leek Risotto
Red or Green:
Spicy Barley Risotto
Taste with the Eyes:
Brown Rice Noodles paired with Tamarind Fish
The Cultural Dish:
Three Ways to Make Risotto
Creative Culinary:
Rice and Egg Bowl with Salmon and Peas
Swing Eats:
Stir-Fried Quinoa with Chinese Vegetables
FN Dish:
5 Quirky Grain Switch-Ups You Gotta Try

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Asparagus with Rosemary



The flavor imparted to asparagus by roasting is usually overlooked. Roasted potatoes with rosemary remains a standard in my culinary repertoire for many years.  Why not combine the two in one winning side dish? As an Angeleno, I love to go to at least one farmer's market a week. The produce in Southern California blows my mind. This week I picked up a tiny bag of fingerling potatoes and a beautiful bunch of asparagus from the same vendor. Asparagus can hold their own against roasting and rosemary, just not the same time in the oven as potatoes. And the rosemary I was able to source from my yard. Really, it's impossible to over roast the potatoes. I love them on the crispy side. Only about five minutes is needed to roast the asparagus. Note on the potatoes: don't be tempted to use the red-skinned ones, they have too much sugar - will not cook up right in the oven and will burn.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes
  • 1 bunch asparagus, fibrous ends removed
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

Directions:
  1. Heat up oven to 375F. Clean, dry, and cut the fingerlings in half lengthwise. In a baking pan, combine the cut fingerlings, olive oil, and salt. Arrange the fingerlings cut side up. This way there's no need to turn them while cooking. Allow to turn golden brown, about 15-25 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven. Cut the asparagus into ~2" segments on only the tender part. Toss in the pepper and rosemary, and more salt if need to taste. Again, arrange the fingerlings cut side up. Return to oven for about 5 minutes until the asparagus are very deep green. Remove and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

-Erin Swing
 Swing Eats

This is part of Food Network's Sensational Sides Food Fest. Check out The FN Dish. The spring food we're focusing on here are asparagus sides. On twitter, we're tagging #SensationalSides. Here’s the link to our Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/foodnetwork/lets-pull-up-a-chair/. Here are delicious recipes for asparagus side dishes: