Radicchio Salad with Beets, Pear, Walnuts and Blue Cheese: “serious autumn salad” that sticks to your ribs

Oct 20, 2009 by

CMreceiptsaladscanThe benchmark for an “affordable” dinner for four at home is $10, according to Campbell Soup. I think it’s pretty hard to make a high quality meal for that little. But I take it as a challenge to find meals that really feed you—unprocessed, natural, fresh, packed with nutrients and satisfying—for that price.  I also insist that it be delicious (by my standards). If it’s easy and quick, which this one is, all the better.

The original recipe I adapted this salad from is in a Food & Wine cookbook, which called it “a serious autumn salad.”  It was indeed so serious that none of us even felt like eating the grilled salmon or carrot, potato and leek soup I’d made to follow it that evening.  Full of contrasting and complementary flavors and textures, it was all we needed.

I spent $9.74…

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Two simple ways to make foods you're already feeding your kids more nutritious

Sep 22, 2009 by

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Do you ever wonder how recipes and food processes were first developed? Take pickling, for example. Did one prehistoric day someone discover a stray cucumber that had fallen unperceived months before into some casual vat of brine or vinegar and say, “Say, this thing has been in here since the last harvest was brought in! It actually smells good! It seems crispy! Say, this tastes good!” Or what?

How did people first discover how to make dough rise? Or how to make cheese and some of the more surprising variations thereof? And how about those real-life dramas we’ll never hear about how early peoples figured out what was poisonous or not?

Fictionalized accounts of these accidental or ingenious food discoveries would fascinate me. Maybe that’s where my buried fictional talent lies: the untold imagined stories…

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How to get your kids to eat liver

Sep 9, 2009 by

The French are quite oblivious to the American understanding of liver as the stereotypical despicable food, the quintessential really good-for-you, totally gross food.

The French like liver as much as they like anything, but if Americans eat liver, it’s usually not for enjoyment. It’s out of duty. There’s work and there’s play, and this is work. Our prejudice against liver is rooted, I believe, in our tendency to overcook it into a hard, dry slab.

Making liver enjoyable may seem almost cowardly or unethical, like making church interesting or accepting pain killers during childbirth. …

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Shrimp Remoulade with Hearts of Palm and Avocado

Aug 8, 2009 by

Stock palm treeHearts of palm, an ingredient more common in France than in the U.S., are the soft inner core of the young shoots of various kinds of palm tree, including the coconut palm.  They are interesting little nibbles. It’s something to talk about at the table with kids and a great way to introduce an intriguing and unusual new veggie.  I made this salad with twice the amount of hearts of palm the original recipe called for, and my daughter, who wasn’t familiar with them before, asked if there were any more of them after we finished the last of the leftovers. This fresh little salad was a big hit with us.

Another great thing about it is that kids can build their own salads,  choosing…

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Mango Chutney

Jul 27, 2009 by

Stock chutney This chutney goes with the Curried Turkey Salad with Grapes and Almonds, previous post.

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mango is soft and mixture is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.

Cool slightly and then refrigerate until needed.

1 ½ C peeled and diced ripe mango

½ C sugar

¼ C finely chopped red onion

2 T apple cider vinegar

2 T finely chopped green bell pepper

1 T grated fresh ginger root

¼ t ground cloves

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Curried Turkey Salad with Grapes and Almonds

Jul 25, 2009 by

Stock turkey This savory-sweet dish brings together high protein, low fat, fresh fruit, nuts and lots of complementary, mouthwatering flavors. It’s hearty, sticks-to-your ribs, yet is fresh and cool for summer weather. It’s a perfect caveman diet dish (except for that little bit of sugary chutney).

I wonder: why do we eat so much chicken and so little turkey? Turkey is not only cheaper but much higher protein and much lower fat than chicken. It makes for a nice change in flavor, too.

I made double this amount for three people and we were eating it for days. A good idea might be to go ahead and poach 5 lbs of turkey and freeze half for quick fixing…

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