Eggs Diablo is a healthier version of the classic Deviled Eggs with Greek yogurt and avocado replacing mayonnaise. If you are not a deviled egg fan, give this version a try. If you like guacamole, you will love Eggs Diablo! Green eggs. Perhaps Dr. Seuss was on to something!
This Bagna Cauda Roasted Cauliflower recipe was inspired by my Nonna. It was she who introduced me to Bagna Càuda, a traditional Italian warm dipping sauce made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil and butter. Translated literally as ‘hot bath, the dish is typically eaten during the autumn and winter months, served hot in a communally with raw, boiled or roasted vegetables.
She prepared Bagna Càuda in her electric skillet for family gatherings. As the butter melted into the olive oil, the garlic would soften and the warm pool would eventually dissolve the anchovies and transform into a heady, salty and nutty sauce of umami goodness. The aroma was as unique to me as it was captivating. I knew I was smelling ‘the Old World’ before I even knew what that phrase meant.
Pesto isn’t just for summer! Using avocado as the base, substituting greens for basil and nutritional yeast for parmesan cheese, this vegan recipe is flavorful, rich and can be enjoyed year-round. You won’t miss the cheese. Your body will love this heart-healthy, low-glycemic and fiber-rich ways to dress pasta. Continue reading
The setting was the Q & A session following the opening of the 2014 International Food Blogger’s Conference in Seattle. An attendee asked the keynote speakers, James Beard Award-Winning authors, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg what they thought would be the hottest new trend in food. In the spirit of ‘everything old is new again’, Karen declared simply, ‘vegetables!’ She then went on to discuss her latest book ‘The Vegetarian Flavor Bible’.
I was already a fan of their previous book, “The Flavor Bible,” a book which could not be named more appropriately. It is not a cookbook. There are no recipes. Rather, it is an invaluable compendium of alphabetical listings of foods that are paired together. Perfect for free-form cooks, those of us who like guides more than recipes.
If stuffing is a hot topic at your house and you are the gluten-free cook, a gluten-free cornbread is the answer. But, to the GMO-aware, having cornbread on your menu may feel like having Satan himself at your table. Fear not. Bob’s Redmill makes an organic corn flour.
Like many food lovers, visits to Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen typically end with my attempts to mentally deconstruct my latest menu favorite. Wishful plans to recreate it at home assume that guesswork will be on the ingredient list. But, in the case of the restaurant’s now famous Squash on Toast, the New York Times made my day and published the recipe, inspiring this unique sweet potato mash recipe. Continue reading
In 1988, I moved to Napa Valley with dreams of launching a catering career. I had no job and no local industry contacts to help me get one. But, I had my college friend Heidi. A native of the Valley, Heidi introduced me to Jamie, the executive chef for Inglenook winery. It was a good start. Continue reading
With tightly bound, magenta leaves, radicchio is a striking vegetable. But, at the market, it often receives an admiring gaze, then is passed over for the more familiar, less bitter and less intimidating bins of greens. While radicchio (pronounced similar to Pinocchio), looks like a small cabbage, it is actually a member of the chicory family, cousins of lettuces and dandelions. Also known as Italian or Red Chicory, radicchio is very versatile to use, nutritious and is as simple to prepare as your usual green suspects. Radicchio is nutritionally rich, but has several distinguishing health benefits, which set it apart from typical salad greens. Check out this impressive red-head!
Digestive Health: Chicories, like radicchio, contain inulin, a non-digestible carbohydrate . Through fermentation, inulin acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of beneficial bifidobacteria in the intestine. Inulin also helps regulate blood sugar levels . In addition, the bitter quality of radicchio increases bile salts, which can improve digestion.
Bone and Neurological Health: Radicchio is uniquely rich in vitamin K, with 100 grams providing 212% of daily recommended values. Vitamin K promotes the formation and strengthening of bone. Further, research shows adequate dietary vitamin K may limit naturally occurring neuron damage in the brain. As such, vitamin K has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s .
Visual Health: Radicchio’s vibrant red color is an eye-pleaser, in more ways than one. The brightly colored leaves are an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin and lutein. These compounds protect eyes from age-related macular disease (ARMD) by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays . Sunscreen for your eyes!
When selecting radicchio, look for compact, bright-colored heads with prominent ribs, free of bruises and brown or withered leaves. The smaller, younger heads will be less bitter. Store the heads refrigerated, but eat as quickly as possible as they will become more bitter with time. To reduce the bitterness, soak the leaves or quarters in cold water for 10 to 30 minutes.
Substitute radicchio in recipes calling for chicory or endive. Using radicchio raw, tear or chop the leaves into small pieces, and combine it with other salad greens for a flavor, color and texture accent. The individual leaves can also be used as elegant and low-carb serving cups or wrappers for appetizers. Cored, but not quartered, the sturdy leaves are excellent grilled or roasted. Radicchio pairs especially well with balsamic vinegar. Try tossing the soaked and dried leaves with a balsamic vinaigrette, with an optional topping of shaved parmesan. Balsamic vinegar also combines well with grilled or roasted radicchio. Following is an adaptation of Michael Ruhlman’s Grilled Radiccchio recipe.
Roasted Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place radicchio wedges in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Place each wedge, cut side down, on the lined baking sheet.
- Roast the wedges, turning once, until the leaves are wilted and just slightly charred, about 12-15 minutes.
- Season both sides of the wedges with salt and pepper.
- Before serving, drizzle balsamic vinegar or vinaigrette over the top of each wedge.
 The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia – Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating, by Rebecca Wood
 Niness (1 July 1999). “Inulin and Oligofructose: What Are They?”. Journal of Nutrition. 129 (7): 1402 (7): 1402. PMID 10395607. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
 USDA National Nutrient data base
 nutritionandyou.com – Radicchio
Temperatures are atypically hovering around 70 degrees. While I’m ready for fall, I’m not quite ready for my favorite fall recipes such as cauliflower mash, aka faux mashed potatoes -a quintessential comfort food fake.
But, cauliflower is in season -now! As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower is a true ‘super food’. While over-used, cauliflower is actually worthy of this term. Rich in sulforaphane, indoles and isothiocyanates, cauliflower supports multiple body systems; detoxification, antioxidant, and the inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system .
Cauliflower is also high in vitamin C, with one serving providing 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C . It is also high in fiber, and pretty much all the nutrients as it’s more popular and colorful cousin, broccoli. That is, of course, except chlorophyl. But, cauliflower has an edge over broccoli inside its cell walls, pectin. Just as pectin in apples provides thickening and gelling properties to applesauce, the pectin in cauliflower makes it creamy when cooked.
I love this recipe for its seasonal-neutral contrast of light citrus and subtle heat from the pepper flakes. The recipe is simple and quick to prepare, can be served warm or at room temperature and the texture is the same the next day. You can enjoy this and other cauliflower mash recipes year-round as the preparation works equally well with fresh or frozen cauliflower. However, keep in mind that while still nutritious, commercially packaged frozen cruciferous vegetables may lose many of the health benefits found in their fresh counterparts .
- 1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped into florets (or 1 pound frozen)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil or butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 head roasted garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon organic lemon zest (optional)
- A few tablespoons coconut, almond or rice milk, if desired for texture
- Place chopped cauliflower into a steamer insert inside of a saucepan or stock pot with an inch or two of water.
- Cover and steam until very soft when pierced with a fork. For fresh cauliflower, this will take 10-12 minutes. Frozen cauliflower will take less time.
- Remove the cauliflower from the heat.
- Allow the cauliflower to rest in the steamer for another five minutes.
- Transfer steamed cauliflower into a food processor or blender.
- Add all other ingredients, except the zest to the blender and process until smooth.
- Add rice or almond milk, if needed for a smooth texture.
- Readjust seasoning to taste, if needed.
- Top with lemon zest and serve.
What are your favorite ways to prepare cauliflower? Let me know!
If cabbage and avocado are good, then coleslaw and guacamole must be even better! This variation on a classic Chilean salad is simple to make, refreshing to eat and a powerhouse combo of fiber and healthy fats with mashed avocado replacing the mayonnaise in traditional coleslaw. Generously salting cabbage for an hour or more makes it tender and withdraws the bitter juices. Add lemon, and mashed avocado and you are picnic ready. Continue reading