My New Year Resolution - Eat Better...so I can eat More!

Every New Year starts with the same resolutions for me - "Lose weight, Exercise more".  The lose weight bit I've always found challenging, because I simply love food.  Cooking, eating, sharing, or just thinking about food...It's hard for it not to be a major part of my life.  So this year, I've decided to change my resolution to "Eating Healthier".  I'm trading in bread, pasta and sugary foods for healthy alternatives and I'm thoroughly enjoying experimenting with new ingredients and recipes.  I want to find food that gives me license to eat quantity without guilt.  For example, cauliflower rice.  I can eat a fairly large, filling portion of this without it being bad all.  This is the kind of healthy eating I can get on board with!

This week, I tried a recipe which honestly did not feel like a compromise at all.  Our Friday night meal was a Mexican Salad Share bowl, and it felt like a treat, but literally contained ZERO fat! 

Bowls are all the rage at the moment.  You simply assemble ingredients that make up a salad when mixed together, but the choice of ingredients is key in giving you a filling satisfying meal that is still healthy. You can choose a cuisine as your theme. 

1. Select your Grain - this could be Brown Rice, Quinoa or Farro. Try to avoid pasta or white rice.

2. Select your Protein component - Beans, Tofu, Seitan, Cheese, Chicken, Fish

3. Select your Salad leaf - Romaine, Mixed Leaves, Spinach, Kale

4. Select Healthy vegetables - Avocado, Zucchini, Tomatoes, Broccoli

5. Select a Dressing - Vinaigrette, Yogurt & herb, Vegan Green Goddess dressing.  Try to choose something low-fat avoiding mayonnaise or sour cream.

6. Select something with Crunch - Sunflower seeds, Chia Seeds, Flaked almonds.

You need to select a bowl large enough to display all the elements of your delicious salad, because the look is as important as the taste.  We eat with our eyes, and this is especially true when dieting.  The variety of colors and textures fools us into believing we are eating a treat.

My Mexican bowl is pictured here; firstly with all the elements arranged separately, secondly with dressing, and thirdly all mixed together.

Present your bowl unmixed at the table for maximum visual effect.  The photos don't do this bowl justice, it was truly delicious and simple to make. 

My elements were as follows:

Mexican Salad Share Bowl

1. Grain - Tricolor Quinoa.  I love the nutty taste of this quinoa, and also, it's prettier than white quinoa!

2. Protein - Black Beans.  They are the highest protein bean you can eat, and I think the most delicious.  I prepared them simply by frying 1 onion in 1 tbsp. canola oil.  I added a crushed clove of garlic and then 2 cans of black beans, with their juice.  I added 1 tsp of cumin powder, and 2 tsp of hot smoked paprika and salt to taste.  After simmering for 10 minutes, I turn off the heat and add the juice of half a lime. 

I also added Fat-Free Feta cheese to the bowl, which is a new supermarket find.  I personally could not taste the difference between this and full-fat feta, and the saltiness worked so well with the other salad ingredients.

3. Salad Leaf - Mixed greens

4. Vegetables - I added canned sweetcorn to keep in the Mexican theme, along with sliced Avocado spritzed with lime juice.  I also made a quick Pico De Gallo by combining 2 diced tomatoes with 1 diced onion, 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 deseeded jalapeno & lime juice. 

5. Dressing - I made a quick yogurt/herb dressing by combining in a blender: 5 tbsps. fat free natural yogurt, 0.5 cup cilantro, 0.25 cup mint, half a jalapeno pepper (with seeds, if you dare!), juice of half a lime, salt & pepper.  Check the consistency and add water as required.  I recommend making this dressing a little spicy.  It lifts up all the other flavors in the bowl.

6. Crunch - I took a flour tortilla and sliced it into strips.  Pre-heat an oven to 375F.  Place the strips onto a baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, and sprinkle over with hot smoked paprika and salt. Spread the strips out evenly on the baking sheet, and bake in the oven until brown and crispy (5-10 minutes).  Allow to cool for a few minutes before breaking up and adding to your salad. 

By only using 1 flour tortilla in a salad for 4 people, you are massively cutting down on carbohydrates, but if you wanted to be even healthier, you could add roasted unsalted sunflower seeds which would have also been delicious.

You could buy some of the elements of this recipe pre-made to make it even faster to get this on the table - for example, buy instead of make a healthy dressing and pico de gallo. 

Experiment with different cuisines: such as an Indian themed bowl featuring Paneer, Roasted vegetables & Yogurt raita, or a Mediterranean themed bowl with Falafel, Farro and Tahini dressing.

And finally, don't do what I did, and replace all these saved calories with Friday night alcohol calories....

Whoops!  Perhaps I need to add "Drink Less Alcohol" to the list of New Year resolutions.  Nah!  Maybe not ;-)

 

Pumpkin Risotto - jumping on the Pumpkin and Halloween bandwagon!

Halloween, or should I say Fall, or actually, just the start of September sees the beginning of the American love affair with pumpkins.  The PSL was available on 1 September at Starbucks, and with that key indicator, the start of all other pumpkin related recipes and drinks began.

I'm sorry to say, that I'm not really a fan of anything sweet that contains pumpkin.  Pie, Latte... I just don't have the taste for it.  But I do love pumpkin, butternut squash and sweet potato for hearty Fall recipes.  I actually look forward to having the chance to cook with those ingredients. 

Risotto is one of my "go-to" comfort foods that works magic on the soul.  I actually make it all through the year - in Spring/Summer I make Pea, Zucchini & Asparagus Risotto or Wild Mushroom Risotto.  On those Fall evenings when there is a nip of cold in the air, or it's pouring with rain, like today, Pumpkin risotto is just perfect.  Creamy, hearty and using seasonal ingredients, you will really impress with this dish.  It's even orange colored so you feel like you are eating Fall! 

If you've always been a little daunted by cooking risotto, follow this recipe and it won't fail you.  It's simple, and you will only be stirring your risotto at the stove for between 20-30 minutes, nothing more than that.  If you're having friends over for Halloween and want to give them something vaguely themed, but grown-up, this is the recipe for you.  Happy Halloween!

 

Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 2

Ingredients

For the roasted pumpkin/butternut squash: 1 cup diced pumpkin or butternut squash, 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, salt & pepper

For the risotto:

1 quart (1 litre) good Vegetable stock (I use More than Gourmet, Culinary Vegetable stock)

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion diced

3 garlic cloves crushed

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 cup Arborio rice (or any other Risotto rice)

1/2 cup white wine

1/3 cup pumpkin puree from a can (not the pie mix, just plain pumpkin)

3-4 basil leaves finely chopped

1 1/2 tbsps. mascarpone

3/4 cup grated parmesan

For serving: Goats cheese crumbled (optional), Chopped basil, Olive Oil, Grated parmesan

 

Preheat your oven to 380F.  Take your diced pumpkin or butternut squash and scatter on a baking tray.  Drizzle with the olive oil and salt & pepper.  Toss until coated.  Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. 

Whilst the squash is cooking, place two large pans on the stove.  Empty the stock into one pan, over a medium/high heat and start heating up to simmering. 

In the second pan, start to warm the olive oil on a medium heat, and then add your onion and cook gently until translucent.  When the onion is cooked, add the crushed garlic and the unsalted butter.  Stir gently until the garlic is cooked, and the butter has melted. 

Add your risotto rice to the garlic/onion mixture and gently fry the rice for 1 minute until the rice has absorbed some of the butter and looks a little more translucent. 

Add the white wine, and stir the rice until the white wine has been absorbed. 

Take a ladle and spoon one ladle from the hot stock pan into the rice mixture.  Keep the heat on both pans on medium.  Stir the risotto pan until the stock has been absorbed.  Don't let the rice completely dry out before adding a second ladle and stir again.  The rice should always have a little liquid in it as you keep adding new ladles of stock.  Adjust the heat on your risotto pan to medium/high if it's taking too long to stir in the stock, but don't cook it on too high a heat.  Risotto needs to be cooked slowly so it's fully cooked through, but remains creamy. 

Keep adding ladles of stock, until you only have around 2 ladles of stock remaining.

Add the pumpkin puree and chopped basil, and stir through.  Then add the remaining ladles of stock, stirring until absorbed. 

Add the mascarpone, parmesan and basil leaves.  Stir until everything has melted and combined.  Turn off the heat and put the lid on the risotto, and let it sit for 5 minutes. 

In the meantime, take your roasted squash out of the oven (if using), and stir this into the risotto.  Taste and check seasoning.  The stock already contains some salt so add as appropriate. 

Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with a little goats cheese (if using), parmesan, basil and a little drizzle of olive oil. 

 

 

 

 

 

Corn & Pomegranate Chaat

I've had so many requests, I had to blog about this recipe.  I'm particularly proud of this creation, because it works on so many levels of deliciousness, but remains simple and uses seasonal ingredients. 

Chaat is an awesome Indian Street Food creation that has many guises: Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Aloo Papdi Chaat, Samosa Chaat.... the list goes on.  The key things that unite all these Chaat items are a few basic rules, or guidelines for making Chaat if you will.  Firstly, Chaat needs to have a chutney element, be it mint, coriander, tamarind etc.  Secondly, it needs to have a crunchy element, such as sev, papdi or puris.  And lastly, and probably most importantly, it needs to have a great mix of sweet, tangy, sour and spicy notes.  That's what makes Chaat so unique and moreish.  That almost indescribable mixture of flavors that wake up your tastebuds.  Chaat masala is an essential spice mixture that adds the tangy flavor because it contains, amongst other ingredients, dried mango powder.  You can buy it from your local Indian store, and you'll definitely find other uses for it.  Try sprinkling hot French fries with Chaat masala for instant Indian fries, delicious for dipping into any hot sauce. 

Other than the above "rules" to good Chaat, the ingredients can be anything you want them to be.  I created the Corn & Pomegranate Chaat when asked to make a picnic item over the summer.  The abundance of fresh corn in the summer months, and it's delicious creaminess attracted me. I added pomegranate because it typifies that sweet sour note that Chaat needs.  It's not a very sweet fruit, and actually if you drink the juice, you'll taste that delicious tangy flavor. 

The recipe below uses canned corn which is perfectly good to use outside the summer months, and actually much less work than shucking fresh corn during summer as well.  The Chaat needs to be prepared and eaten straight away so it doesn't get too soggy.  I've made these in picnic portions, and as hor d'oeuvres where I decorated them with edible flowers as part of a catering theme.  It's very versatile, and super easy so you can really have fun with it.

Corn & Pomegranate Chaat

Ingredients (Makes 5 small bowls as pictured below)

I can of corn (15.25 oz size)

1 pomegranate

1/2 red onion finely chopped

1 tomato deseeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup of whole red peanuts

2 tbsps cilantro leaves finely chopped

2 tbsps mint leaves finely chopped

3/4 tsp chaat masala

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp chilli powder

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt to taste

For garnish: coriander chutney, sev

 

Drain the corn and add to a large mixing bowl.  Cut the pomegranate in half width ways.  Remove the seeds by holding the Pomegranate upside down in your palm over a bowl, and tapping with a spoon.  The seeds will fall out into the bowl, along with a splattering of juice. Reserve 2 tbsp. of pomegranate seeds for garnish.

Deseeding a pomegranate.  Just hit the skin of the pomegranate with a spoon, and watch the seeds rain into your bowl.

Add the pomegranate to the corn, along with the chopped red onion, deseeded tomato, peanuts and chopped cilantro.

Finely chop your mint in chiffonades if you can, by stacking the mint leaves together, rolling them up and slicing with a knife to create tiny ribbons. Reserve 1 tbsp for garnish, add the rest to the bowl with the other ingredients.

Add your Chaat masala, Garam masala, chilli powder, salt and lemon juice.  Mix all the ingredients together.

 Delicious Chaat all mixed up... serve it up fast!

Delicious Chaat all mixed up... serve it up fast!

Spoon the Chaat into bowls and top with a tablespoon of coriander chutney and a sprinkling of sev.  Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and mint leaves you set aside, just so the Chaat bowls look pretty.

 And relax...........

And relax...........

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elevating a Tea time treat to a Canapé (and making it go with Chai!)

Who doesn't love Madeleines?  Simple, shell-shaped mini cakes, that are light, moreish and perfect with a cup of tea.  Of course, you do need a madeleine tin, which I invested in last summer.  Great investment, because once I bought it, I realized that if you have unexpected guests drop in for tea, you are literally only 20 minutes away from serving madeleines hot from the oven.  Not to mention the fact that your guests will be hugely impressed and consider you to be a domestic goddess.  The basic batter is very simple, and also uses store cupboard ingredients you are more than likely to always have: flour, butter, eggs, sugar and lemon. 

Last week, I catered a cocktail party for 40 guests in Cos Cob, CT.  It was an event for the India Cultural Centre of Greenwich and held in a private home.  My remit was to make Indian canapés, both savory and sweet.  Boy, did I have fun planning (and taste testing!) for this event!  Here are a small selection of pictures of the items I made.  You'll find more detail on the Catering Page of my website.  I'm going to focus on one of my sweet items as the subject of this blog post today. 

After scratching my head to come up with something innovative for dessert, an idea came to me in a flash when it was mentioned I should make something to go with Chai.  I thought about that madeleine tin sitting gathering dust in my cupboard....ok, how to elevate this tea time treat to a canapé, and make it go with a cup of chai?  After some experimentation of flavors, and thinking about what could complement Indian food, I came up with the Pistachio & Rosewater Madeleine.  The pistachios, when ground up and added to the madeleine batter, add a nutty crunch, but also a lovely subtle green colour.  The hint of rosewater makes it exotic and Indian/Middle Eastern in its flavor.  It worked well, but something was missing.  It didn't feel like enough had been done to fancy up this canapé.  Then I thought, what makes an English Victoria Sponge cake, more than just a sponge cake?... the oozy generous jam filling!  I made a raspberry & rosewater dipping sauce to serve alongside the madeleines.  Fruitiness adds a sweet/tart flavor dimension, that also helps to keep the madeleine moist, especially when you won't be able to serve them fresh from the oven in large quantity.   I love raspberries for cutting through super sweet desserts.  I always serve them alongside anything rich and chocolatey like a lava cake or warm brownie to freshen up the dessert and add some tartness.  It also goes well with these Middle Eastern flavors, particularly complementing the rosewater.

Serving the items on a bed of rose petals added theatre and echoed the ingredients.  Try this recipe out for yourself.  Be careful with the amount of rosewater you use.  It's powerful stuff, and if over done, can leave you with a mouth tasting like perfume. 

Pistachio & Rosewater Madeleines (Makes approx. 20) & Raspberry Dipping Sauce

Ingredients (all measures are in grams. Apologies - this European recipe is not easy to convert into Cups without risking baking failure!)

2 large eggs

80g sugar

pinch of salt

50g unsalted pistachios

4tbsp confectioners sugar

100g unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp for greasing pan

90g Italian 00 flour

2tbsp rosewater

Madeleine tin

Confectioners sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 390F.  Melt all the butter slowly in a pan, and set aside to cool.  Grind the pistachios together with the confectioners sugar.  Not too finely.  A few chunks of pistachio will add more flavor.  Set aside.

Add the eggs, sugar and salt to an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.  Beat together on medium speed until the mixture thickens and is around 3 times the original volume.  Should take about 5 minutes.

While this is mixing, prepare the madeleine tin by brushing with melted butter and dusting with flour.  Tap away any excess flour by knocking the tin against your work surface. 

Remove the bowl from your electric mixer.  Gradually add the flour to the egg & sugar mixture, carefully folding in with a spoon.  Also add the pistachio & confectioners sugar mixture, remaining melted butter and rosewater, and mix gently until everything is combined.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared madeleine tin.  One level tablespoon will fill each shell.  The mixture will spread so don't overfill. 

Bake for 5-7 minutes until mixture is set.  Check after 5 minutes. Tap the madeleine tin to release the cakes straight from the oven and cool on a wire rack.   Serve dusted with icing sugar once completely cool. 

To make the Raspberry Rosewater Dipping Sauce:  Combine 2 pints of raspberries with 1/4 cup of sugar in a pan.  Set on a medium heat and bring to a simmer.  The raspberries should start to break down and the mixture thicken up.  This takes around 10-15 minutes.  Add 1 tbsp. of rosewater at the end of cooking.  Taste and adjust sugar (you may need to add a little more if your raspberries are less sweet).  Strain the raspberry mixture through a sieve to remove any seeds, pushing through as much of the raspberry pulp as possible.  You should be left with a thick, crimson red sauce.  Pour into a serving bowl and serve alongside the madeleines for dipping. 

 

 

 

A Little of Something Sweet...The "Posset"-bilities are endless...

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be asked to cater the dessert station at the party of some friends who live in Greenwich, CT.

Catering desserts never feels like work to me... Pure pleasure! Creating delicious sweet treats in summer leaves me wanting to do a party every weekend!  The bounty of summer fruit gives so many fresh, delicious options, and really gets my creative juices flowing.

The trend these days is towards miniaturizing desserts. The theory is you've already had a meal, probably from a buffet station or grill and you've sat down and eaten it. You're pretty full, but after a few more drinks and conversation, you're definitely ready for something sweet.

Cue...Shot glass desserts. They give you a small indulgent sweet bite, but not too much of a good thing. If you have multiple options, people can mix and match and don't feel too guilty about trying everything the dessert station has to offer, because collectively all those mini bites probably add up to one large dessert. The small size allows you to stand up, walk around and eat these treats too...a more social option. 

With all this in mind, I designed 2 shot glass desserts for Melinda and Kunal's party, both reflecting a fusion of English & Asian cuisines. 

The first, was Eton Mess with Pistachios and Cardamom.  I mixed whipped cream, with fresh, crunchy meringue, strawberries, pistachios and ground cardamom.  The cream with layered with fresh strawberry compote and topped with more cream, pistachios and strawberries.  Creamy and indulgent.  Eton Mess is a classic British summertime dessert used to showcase British strawberry season.  The pistachios and cardamom in my recipe give it a warm, Middle Eastern edge. 

I apologize for the quality of the photos in the post today.  The dessert station was outside in the dark, and my photography didn't do it justice at all.  Hopefully you'll get the general idea!

 These Eton Messes were displayed in 5 oz plastic dessert cups.  Elegant and just the right amount.

These Eton Messes were displayed in 5 oz plastic dessert cups.  Elegant and just the right amount.

The second dessert I made was a Mango Posset.  These possets are a revelation. "Posset" refers to an old English drink made in a way that's similar to this simple, but dramatic pudding.  Heavy cream and sugar are combined and flavored with a fruit of your choice and lemon juice.  The fruit cream is set overnight and will be firm.  I topped my mango version with fresh mango and lime zest to cut through some of the sweetness.  The recipe for my Mango Posset is at the end of this post. 

I urge you to try it at your next dinner party!  It's impressive, and people will think you've been slaving for hours.  Shhhhhhh!  It's super simple and quick!

 We created a Pineapple Palm tree for the dessert station to add some drama and fun!

We created a Pineapple Palm tree for the dessert station to add some drama and fun!

 I made these Mango Possets in 3oz Plastic Shooter glasses

I made these Mango Possets in 3oz Plastic Shooter glasses

To complete the dessert station, I added Fruit skewers and Chocolate Brownie bites with vanilla ice-cream.  To be honest, the kids tried all the desserts on offer, but I always feel like it's essential to have something chocolatey on offer for them. 

Everyone enjoyed multiple sweet bites and the very hot weather last weekend made these light desserts go down a treat. 

Happy "Posset" making - the possibilities for flavor are endless.  Passion Fruit is delicious if you can find fresh fruit, and Pineapple is also amazing. 

Mango Possets
Makes 6-8 large desserts (try pouring them into Martini glasses for a dramatic dinner party dessert)
Or, makes 12-15 mini desserts (using 3 oz shooters made 15)
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup white caster sugar
juice of 1 large lemon
2/3 cup mango pulp (I used Swad Ratnagiri Alfonso sweetened Mango pulp available from Asian grocery stores)
To decorate:  Fresh mango finely diced, Lime zest
Pour the cream and sugar into a pan and warm on a medium/low heat, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved.  Bring to the boil, and leave for exactly 3 minutes to bubble, without stirring. 
Take the pan off the heat, and whisk in the lemon juice and mango pulp until completely combined.  Pour into your glasses of choice and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully transferring to the fridge to set for 4+ hours (overnight is better).
Once set, decorate with fresh finely diced mango and the zest of a lime.
 

 

Yummy Quinoa Frittata muffins

I'm a Frittata fan.  I love that it's a one pan, easy dish that I can pull together with pretty much any vegetables I have in the fridge.  My favorite is Red bell pepper, Pea, Scallion and Goats Cheese, which I dress up for brunch when I'm entertaining with a side salad and garlic bread.  I also make a kids version with cheddar instead of goats cheese, which mine love to dip in Marinara sauce. 

But, I was inspired to re-engineer the Frittata when faced with bringing it to the Farmers Market.  It's hard to scale up the pan frittata which needs to be served in slices, so I decided to make a muffin version that can be batch baked.  A major ingredient of regular frittatas is potatoes to act as the carbohydrate and bind it all together.  I wanted to make it lighter and healthier.  My regular visitors at the Market love Quinoa, as do I, so why not add that instead?  And thus was born the Quinoa Frittata muffin and it's a revelation!

 

 Quinoa Frittata Muffins at the Chappaqua Farmers Market.  They're a sell out!

Quinoa Frittata Muffins at the Chappaqua Farmers Market.  They're a sell out!

After experimenting with various fillings, I settled on Tricolor Quinoa (for nutty flavor and a little texture), Baby Kale, Carrot, Fresh Oregano and English White cheddar.  The combination of Kale with sweet Carrot and creamy English Cheddar (I'm English, only this cheddar will ever do!) works so well.  I add red chilli flakes for some punch. 

Make these when you have left-over quinoa and eggs.  Throw in any vegetables and cheese you have.  The muffin is a great portable snack.  Freeze in batches and defrost for breakfast on the go.  Serve warm piled on a platter alongside some delicious salads for a simple but impressive brunch. 

I did just that last weekend. We had the muffins alongside my Rainbow Salad with Green Goddess dressing, and some delicious leaves with edible flowers and Nasturtiums (Shout out to Obercreek Farm who sell these salad leaves at the Chappaqua Farmers Market). 

Come and try these Muffins at the Chappaqua Farmers Market this weekend, before they sell out!  We're taking orders for larger batches, please use our Contact tab to get in touch.

 Ahhhh....... Summer on a table!

Ahhhh....... Summer on a table!

Layered Salads!

 

 

I used to look at vegetable spiralizers in stores and couldn't believe that people would spend money on something that basically just cut your vegetables in a different way.  What a waste of money and effort, is what I used to think.  Even being a vegetarian didn't persuade me to try something different involving vegetables.

But then a couple of things changed. 

The first, I went back to London a few months ago and met a friend I hadn't seen in 6 months.  She'd lost so much weight and looked fantastic.  Her secret... spiralizing.  She'd cut out pasta and rice from her diet and replaced them with spiralized zucchini, butternut squash and anything else she could turn into spaghetti. Hmmmm, perhaps not such a waste of effort?

The second realization came when I tested out a recipe for a salad, using griddled zucchini, feta, garbanzo beans and an incredible pistachio dressing.  The salad was great, but griddling the zucchini made it greasy, something that needed solving.  The solution...spiralize the zucchini!  I also wanted to lower the carbs so I cut out the garbanzo beans and added roasted fresh corn that is in abundance at the moment.  Oh my!  What a result.  It's a crunchy, complex salad, marrying Middle Eastern flavor with seasonal produce.  For the Chappaqua Farmers Market, I've layered it to keep all my ingredients perfectly fresh.

So then I got inspired by layering.  I mean, doesn't this salad look beautiful, and don't you just want to dive in?  I added the king of layered salads to my repertoire, the Rainbow salad, with layers of beetroot, sweetcorn, zucchini and carrot with a Vegan Green Goddess dressing.  The dressing is made with Avocado, Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive oil and fresh basil, parsley and chives so you can feel truly virtuous and goddess-like eating this!  No sour cream or mayonnaise in sight.  A surprise bonus, my kids loved it!  I made a "rainbow" on their plate with the different layers and they ate the whole thing.  Easy way to get them to eat these raw veggies. 

So I'll leave you with a recipe for the Pistachio dressing for this awesome salad.  Add roasted corn, chopped& de-seeded tomato, red onion, feta cheese, coriander and pistachios to the spiralized zucchini and drizzle over this thick flavor packed dressing. 

Pistachio Dressing (Serves 2 as a main course salad)

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1 small garlic clove

1 tbsp. roasted unsalted pistachios

2 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp caster sugar

salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor with 2 tbsp. of water or more to get a smooth, thick, but pourable consistency.  Adjust seasoning to taste. 

Memorial Day Barbeque salads

I can't tell you how exciting it is to say I'm heading into my 3rd week at the Chappaqua Farmers Market!  I'm slowly getting into the swing of things, and people are coming back for more of my salads, wraps and healthy food. The Bircher Muesli Breakfast Bowl was a surprise hit.  I soak oats overnight in unsweetened apple juice, and then add non-fat yogurt and grated apple.  It's topped with fresh fruit and honey, and honestly shouldn't taste as good as it does, considering how healthy it is!  The oats are easier to digest and give you slow-release energy. It's creamy, sweet and kids love it as a grab and go breakfast. 

This week, I'm introducing two new salads which will be perfect for any Memorial Day barbeque you're planning. 

The first is my healthy take on potato salad. It's inspired by the Niçoise salad, and is made with baby potatoes, green beans and black olives, in a garlic, lemon & basil dressing with generous shavings of Parmesan. It's super more-ish and full of flavor.
The second is my healthy take on coleslaw. It's the usual white and red cabbage, with carrot & red onion, but the dressing is made with Greek yogurt. Low in fat, but just as creamy. For crunch, I've added roasted sunflower seeds and poppy seeds, and for sweetness, dried cranberries.
Both will hopefully make great accompaniments to any burger. Come and check us out at Chappaqua Station!

I just love summer barbeque fare, lots of small bites to go alongside your main event.  Plenty of colorful, seasonal fare.  It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!  Happy Sunny Memorial Day Weekend!