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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Smoothie Operator

There I stood in front of the refrigerator, feeling a bit peckish, looking at what was left of a bottle of Naked Mighty Mango juice that was about to go home to Jesus in one week. Evolution's Sweet Greens comprised of spinach, kale, celery, apple and parsley with lemon (that had been crying out to me, "partake of my nutrients, please!") lingered next to it, near a carton of soy-gluten-dairy-free Silk unsweetened almond milk, longing to be put to better use than merely floating a bowl of cereal. Half a banana lay in wait as well. With about one cup each of the liquids, the banana and six ice cubes, I threw it all into the blender. You know what? It was absolutely delicious, refreshing, and loaded with stuff that does a body good. Most of the ingredients were all neatly dispatched, thereby making some more room in the fridge too. I think that makes me somewhat of a smoothie operator, don't you?

Do enjoy!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Tomato-Less Marinara Sauce

Over the years,  I have developed a frustrating allergy to tomatoes and red wine. This does not mean I would need to race for an EpiPen having consumed either of these delights; I just more often then not have to avoid them or suffer the consequences of psoriasis and heartbreak. I gave up on wine years ago but pizza, pasta dripping in red sauce and Chicken Parmigiana have been a struggle. However, I have, oddly enough discovered places around Manhattan where I am not subject to outbreaks and bumps at all (and I vacuumed a pepperoni-laden gooey delicious pizza fantastic quite without impunity last summer in Spain). Odd, no? Please let me know if you have experienced similar allergies and how you've dealt with them!

I just discovered this recipe for a tomato-less marinara sauce where beets and carrots rise to the occasion as an alarmingly bright, grand substitute. Laced with oregano and sprinkled with pinches of Parmesan cheese and grinds of fresh black pepper and salt, these additions will all complement the dish and suffice...well, in a  pinch!

Click on the link here for the recipe and thanks to!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Quickie Corn Chowder

I have said before that a little ingenuity is often a necessary ingredient in the kitchen. When making this particular corn chowder recipe (sent to me by my cousin, her source unknown), I was reminded of my own adage. As I set up all my ingredients on the counter to start cookin' I realized I had plum forgot to pick up sweet onions along with my other ingredients that afternoon! It was later in the evening and I didn't have the near temerity to go outside again. But what to do? After some thought, I sliced a huge clove of garlic into thirds and threw in three slices of crisply tart green apples to rally forth some sweetness. It was a marvelously successful idea! This "brothy" chowder needed a little thickening to my way of thinking too. So, at the end, I pureed a can of corn that I had on hand with a touch of its own liquid and stirred it back into the pot and let the whole thing simmer before I availed myself to the full, fine flavor of summer!

Summer Corn and Golden Potato Chowder
Makes 4 to 6 servings

(My suggestions in italics)

4 Tbsp. butter (I used Smart Balance dairy free, low sodium 'butter' which worked like a charm)
5 cups fresh corn kernels; reserve two cobs (I only had two ears so the aforementioned can of corn helped tremendously to thicken, but optional of course)
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 large sweet onion, diced (about two cups)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 large Yukon gold potato, diced (I shamelessly used whole canned potatoes which saved time and work, even as I quickly diced them. I threw the taters in at the end just to warm them up)
3/4 cup half-and-half (I don't know about you, but I need to lighten up! Carnation evaporated skim milk worked out very well as more than an ample substitute)

1. Melt butter in a small stockpot over medium heat. Add corn kernels, thyme sprigs, diced onion, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes or until corn is tender but not browned.
2. Stir in broth (I only used three cups) and diced potato (or wait until the end if potatoes are canned). Increase heat to high; add reserved corn cobs (great idea to add body!), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Discard cobs and thyme stems. (Also fish out the large pieces of garlic and apples here, if you like)
3. Process 1/2 cup of corn mixture in a blender until smooth. Return processed mixture to stockpot, and stir in half-and-half. Serve immediately. (A garnish of fresh basil and dill is suggested but I just topped with grinds of black pepper and salt, to taste)

Do enjoy!