Dip, Baby Dip

by Health Coach Quinn

Last year I had my first ever foray into latke making.  Not sure how I’ve gone my whole culinary life without making them.  It’s a travesty, I know.  But luckily it has been remedied.

In typical HCQ fashion I needed to test the crap out of the recipe.  When I make something new I need to get inside the recipe.  Try a whole bunch of different swaps and really put on my scientist hat to understand how and why the recipe works.  Then I can intuit my way through it and make upgrades as I see fit.

This time started on the traditional route, using my grandmother’s recipe which comes straight from the Molly Goldberg Jewish Cookbook, then went rogue by adding in some sweet potato.  Both efforts were pretty darn good, if I do say so myself, and I fully intend to keep testing the recipe with other add-ins such as parsnip and celery root.  But in this culinary adventure the real standout stars were the accoutrements.  

I’m an accessories girl.  If latkes are jeans and a t-shirt, I threw down some serious statement jewelry with my sauces… Here’s what happened

(the options look limitless!  That beautiful latke is like a blank canvas just waiting to get sauced!)

Homemade Chunky Apple & Pear Sauce
This one is seriously heaven.  It would be amazing with pork chops, in some yogurt or just on its own as an awesome autumn snack.  Try it.  People WILL fall in love with you if you feed them this apple (& pear) sauce.  Promise.

  • 2 apples (pink lady or honey crisp)
  • 1 pear (anjou or bartlett)
  • 1 cup organic apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a few sprinkles of freshly ground nutmeg (it’s gotta be fresh!)

Directions

Peel, core and dice the apples and pears as finely as you can.  Put them in a pan with apple cider over medium-high heat.

Stir occasionally as the cider boils.  The apples and pears will begin to break down after about 810 minutes.  Help that process along by using a potato masher.  Just go in there and give them a nice smash every couple of minutes.

After about 10-15 minutes (depending on how small you cut your pieces) you will see that the apples and pears are starting to break down into mush.  Add in the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Give it a stir and continue to cook, mashing occasionally until you have a nice, yet smooth chunky texture.

 

Maple Cinnamon Cream
This one is heavenly when paired with the Apple (& Pear) Sauce.  It’s also a fab dessert on its own.  If you’re someone who loves that sour cream texture with your latkes but would rather keep it sweet than savory, this is your jammm.

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoons grade B maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Put everything into a bowl and mix well.  Garnish with a little extra dash of cinnamon.

 

Lemon Dill Yogurt
This one is kind of like raita minus the cucumber.  Super light and refreshing.  It’s great for cutting through the fat of the latkes.  The sheep’s milk yogurt adds a little something extra, plus it tends to be easier to digest than regular cow’s milk yogurt (for anyone out there with dairy sensitivity)

  • 1 cup sheep’s milk yogurt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tablespoons freshly minced dill

Directions

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

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Your Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is just around the corner (and this year it falls on Channukah! Even more holiday fun), so it’s time to start planning your menu or thinking about what show stopping dish you’ll be bringing to your pot luck feast.

To help make this year’s holiday cooking as simple and FUN as possible, we are providing a completely comprehensive, tried and true recipe guide.

Firstly, when it comes to the bird this is all you need to know.

thanksgiving sides

For side dishes & dessert (which are the best parts anyway), follow this fool proof menu…

Gluten Free Quinoa Stuffing

Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Parsnip & Apple Puree

Cranberry Citrus (Awesome) Sauce

Gluten Free Apple & Pear Crumble

Spiced Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate Cupcakes


In our Healthy Basics Cookbook you can find other perfect recipes (for the Holidays or any time) like…

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Balsamic Collards with Pine Nuts

Roasted Veggies topped with Vanilla Roasted Nuts (uh-mazing)

We’d love to see what you make!  Inspire us, and the rest of the Cooking Camp Crew by posting your pics on our Facebook page.  

turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Gluten Free Orange & Sage Quinoa Stuffing

This recipe has all the flavor a classic Thanksgiving stuffing…but won’t leave you with a raging gluten hangover.

Because so many of our Campers avoid “the glu” (our sometimes code-name for gluten) we wanted to give you a Thanksgiving option that has all the flavors and fixins’ you’ll  find in a traditional stuffing but give it a totally whole-grain, healthified makeover.

Preeeetty sure we nailed it with this one.  What do you think?

quinoa stuffing

Gluten Free Orange Quinoa and Sage Stuffing
Servings: 6-8
Time: 40 minutes

  • 2 cups quinoa, well rinsed
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp dried sage OR 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
  • 1 tsp dried parsley OR ¼ cup chopped fresh
  • ½ cup of walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (can use white button, baby bellas or any kind)
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for cooking plus more quinoa
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

*Note: save a little parsley, zest and walnuts for garnishing at the end

Directions

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot.  Then add your quinoa, a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook the quinoa for 15 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed (quinoa will continue to bake in oven so it’s okay if it’s a little wetter than usual).

In a separate pan heat extra virgin olive oil on medium-high heat.  Sauté onions with garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until golden brown, about 6-7 minutes.

Add celery, mushrooms and herbs and season generously with salt and pepper.  Continue to cook an additional 5-6 minutes (until mushrooms begin to brown).

Toss cooked veggies and herbs into a baking dish with quinoa, orange zest and walnuts and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Garnish with an additional sprinkle of parsley, zest and walnuts and serve.

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Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass

By Quinn

I’ve found that some of the most delicious food is often the simplest.  This easy and elegant fish recipe hardly has anything to it – the only thing you need is some super fresh wild caught fish.  From there, it’s about observing your each filet as it cooks in order to bring it to prepare it perfectly.

If time is your issue, put your excuses away sister because this whole meal takes no more than 10-minutes of preparation and it tastes like a $30 dish from a fancy NYC restaurant.  

Don’t sweat if your fish is slightly over or under cooked the first time you make it. It will be better the second time.  Promise.  That’s how you learn to cook.  It’s all about trial and error.

Just making the effort to put a homemade meal on the table is an incredible act of self care.

And love, well, that’s always delicious.

chilean sea bass 2

Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass
Servings: 2
Time: 10 minutes

  • 2 filets of Wild Caught Chilean Sea Bass
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 a lemon or lime (optional)

 Directions

Take your fish out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature, even if it’s just out for a few minutes, that’s great.

Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat with 1-2 tablespoons on extra virgin olive oil.  The amount that you use depends on the size of your skillet since the oil will spread out.  If you’re using a smaller pan, you can use less oil.  Larger pan, more oil.

Generously salt the fish on both sides, but of course you want more on the non-skin side.

When the oil is hot, but not smoking put in the fish, skin side up.  Allow it to cook for about 3-6 minutes.  Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish.

Just be very aware.  Watch as the color changes.  It will go from cloudy to solid. When it is 90% cooked through, flip it over and cook the skin side for 1-2 minutes.

I love the skin, there are so many good fats in there but if it’s soggy, it doesn’t takes so good, so you want to cook it just a bit.

At the end, squeeze 1/2 a lemon or lime over both filets.  Best served immediately.

We recommend pairing this with a simple salad like THIS ONE or a great veggie dish like THESE.

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Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

We don’t like to pick favorites when it comes to food but we’re sorry: Fall food is where it’s at!

We finally feel compelled to turn on the oven again and start roasting our veggies which always bring out their natural sweetness (we love some sweetness)!

This is also the season that brings us squash (pumpkins are included in that family).

There are a million and one ways to prepare a squash, steam it, braise it, roast it, toast it, but one of our favorites it STUFFED.

Below is the perfect Fall Recipe, Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.  This recipe is beautiful for dinner parties or your own special night with your honey (or friends!).  Enjoy!

What are your favorite fall recipes?  What are your favorite squash recipes?  Let us know in the comments below!
IMG_2001-51

Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Servings: 4
Time: 45 minutes

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into a small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into a small dice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Optional:

  • ½ cup chickpeas, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios (pine nuts would work well too)
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • Cheese – I recommend shredded raw goat cheese or crumbled feta

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on a baking sheet until fork soft. Depending on your oven this can range from 25-40 minutes.

Once squash is in the oven prep all vegetables as mentioned above.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 1 ½ cups water, 1 teaspoon sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat and simmer covered until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

To make the vegetable sauté heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add zucchini, chickpeas, sage and thyme and any additional vegetables nd continue to cook until everything is softened and brown.

To assemble stuffing fold together vegetable sauté, cooked quinoa, pistachios, red pepper flakes and parsley.

Taste and add salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if needed.

Fill squash with stuffing and top with cheese if using. Serve with an additional sprinkle of parsley.

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