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.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

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.

1390565_617152481664400_1060611790_n

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

How to Talk To Your Farmer

{Re-blogged from Health Coach Quinn}

I talk to a lot of people who are intimidated by farmer’s markets.  They feel like they don’t quite know what questions to ask, who to buy from and end up getting totally overwhelmed by the process.

First thing to note is: it’s up to you to get the conversation going.  

Most farmers are incredibly intelligent, have copious amounts of information about their crops and could talk ad nauseum about them…if you show a little interest.

They are so entrenched in what they do that they assume you know what they know.  Like, if someone asks about your job, you’re not going to immediately offer detailed information about how exactly you do what you do…  People need to ask for it.

Here is your simple guide to get the convo going with your local farmer.  Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question!

Farmers_Market__July__2010_027

The Basics

  • Do you use any pesticides or herbicides in your field? (just because a farm is not certified organic doesn’t mean they don’t follow organic standards.  It’s always best to just ask!)
  • What’s the freshest today?
  • What is the most ripe? (especially if you’re talking about fruit)
  • What items do you recommend?

A little more in-depth

  • When was this harvested? (harvested=picked)
  • How can I prepare this? (let them give you some ideas, they are happy to share!)
  • How should I store this? (Importanté!)
  • How much longer will this be in season? (that’s an advanced level question)

Your farmer is not some serious, socially inept weird-o.  They want to chat with you!  But they don’t want to assume that you know nothing, so it’s on you to engage them.  Also, a lot of people who choose to work on their own tend to be introverts.

Don’t be afraid to engage them in conversation about what they do and how they grow/raise their food.  Be interested, be curious, be whoever you are.

JP-FARMERS-popup

All people like to talk about themselves.  Feel free to ask questions like:

  • How long have you been farming?
  • What got you into it?
  • What is your favorite vegetable/fruit/cut of meat/dairy product that you have?

Of course if they are super busy you don’t want to barrage them with small talk.  But these are people who have dedicated their entire lives to this.

Farming isn’t a 9-5 “job”.  It’s a lifestyle, a labor or love, and the people who devote their lives to this are proud and passionate about what they do.

Any other questions you think are pertinent?  Please add to the list in the comments below.  I’d love to hear from you!

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

Salad Fest 2013: That’s a Wrap

Whoa.  3 weeks of non-stop salads have us feeling svelte and satisfied.

We  couldn’t be more excited about all of the amazing participation over the past few weeks.  It’s been amazing to see recipes from our foodie friends and to see what’s cooking in the kitchens of people like indie rock icon Sarah Lewitinn, eFlirt Expert Laurie Davis, and fashion writer Faran Krentcil.

We did our best to get a variety of salads from Sweet to Savory to Slaw… We traveled the globe giving you something from Japan and something from Italy

We hope Salad Fest 2013 rocked your kitchen as much as it did ours.

saladfest3Here’s the rundown of all the recipes that were featured in Salad Fest 2013.  

Feel free to let us know which ones were your favorite OR keep the Salad Fest fun alive and keep tweeting, facebook’ing and instagram’ing your favorite salads using the hashtag #SaladFest2013.

Healthy Cooking Camp’s Fresh Herb Salad

Amie Valpone of Healthy Apple’s Sesame Brown Rice Salad

Jamie Mendel of Studio Eats’ Massaged Kale Salad

Arielle Fierman of Be Well with Arielle’s Japanese Carrot Ginger Dressing

Robyn Youkilis of Your Healthiest You’s Detox Quinoa Salad

Sarah “Ultragrrrl” Lewitinn’s Colorful Pasta Salad

Sarah Kagan of Beyond the Batter’s Kohlrabi, Carrot and Apple Slaw

Laurie Davis, eFlirt Expert’s Date Night Salad

Quinn Asteak aka Health Coach Quinn’s Peachy White Bean Salad

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture’s Carrot & Cabbage Slaw

Jaime K of Save the Kales’ Chickpea Strawberry Summer Salad

Holli Thompson of Nutritional Style’s Quinoa and Bean Salad with Mango

My New Roots’ Chakra Fruit Salad with Enlightened Tahini Sauce

Faran Krentcil’s Watermelon Mozzarella Salad

Healthy Cooking Camp’s Italian Tuna + Bean Salad

Health Ninja’s Tempeh & Grilled Peach Salad with Blackberry Cilantro Pesto

Katie Dalebout of Wellness Wonderland’s {Sweet Salty Spicy, Simple} Breakfast Salad

Bon Appetit, Campers!

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program

Quinn Asteak’s Peachy White Bean Salad #SaladFest2013

asteaks-poultry_portraitI’m a little obsessed with this recipe.  I call it a salad because I’m not quite sure what else to call it.  It could be a salsa (throw some blue corn chips in that sucker) or a side dish (it’s great with quinoa or creamy polenta), but for the sake of #SaladFest2013 it will be a bean salad.

It’s a great mix of sweet, savory and unexpected that makes this a perfect salad for any occasion.

I love having this out when friends come over or keeping it in the fridge to dole out into meals throughout the week.  I’ll put it over a bed of greens, with some grains, or even add some grilled shrimp on top.

Peaches are perfectly ripe right now, so carpe diem you guys!  Try this peachy white bean salad and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

quinn asteaks peachy white bean salad
Peachy White Bean Salad
Servings: 8ish
Time: 15 minutes

  • 2 cups white beans (cannellini beans, preferably OR you could use roasted corn)
  • 2 medium cucumbers, diced
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 5-6 peaches, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon fig-infused vinegar (or white balsamic vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds using a spoon, then finely dice the cucumber.

Next,  finely dice your onion, peaches (keep any juices that spill onto your board), jalapeño (if using–remember to take out the seeds!) and roughly chop your cilantro.  Put everything in your bowl.

Rinse your beans and add them to the bowl too OR if you’d rather use corn, sauté it with a little butter, salt and pepper.

Pour in the olive oil, lime juice and vinegar.  Season with cumin, salt and pepper and mix well.

Allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes to let the flavors marry together.  Serve cool or at room temp with corn chips, over polenta, fresh, wild-caught fish or on it’s own as a salad.

——–

Quinn Asteak is a fashion-stylist turned farming enthusiast, board certified Health Coach and Healthy Cooking Expert.  She is the owner of Health Coach Quinn and a co-founder of {Healthy} Cooking Camp, which both aim to teach people that cooking with whole foods can be easy, enjoyable and incredibly delicious. She believes that healthy should taste as good as it feels and is dedicated to empowering people to change their relationship with food in order to look and feeling their best.

She was featured in Daily Candy as one of the “top ways to look and feel better”, and has also been in NYLON magazine, PeopleMag.com, SELF, The Huffington Post, Well + Good, Vital Juice, The Examiner and Your Bella Life to name a few.  Connect with Quinn on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (@QuinnAsteak) for yummy pics and cooking tips.

Like This? You'll love our {Totally FREE}
Learn-to-Cook Program