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Preserving Lemons! @ Spiced Curiosity

Friday, March 8, 2013

preserving lemons – bright vitamin c recipe

  • 1 1/2 lbs. of organic lemons
  • 2 c. kosher salt
    1 qt. canning jar

Hi lovelies!

I confess, before dating a Dominican, I rarely thought much of lemons or limes. I thought the latter was just a complement to sweet iced tea. Flash forward two years, and now I dress every dish with some touch of it. Concocting a salad? Squeeze in a drop of lime. Roasting vegetables? Throw in some lemon at the end to brighten the flavors.

It turns out that all long, the two juices are packed with Vitamin C. What a great surprise! This winter has brought a bevy of beautiful citrus too, so take the opportunity to stock up.

Preserving Lemons! @ Spiced Curiosity

Inspired by Food52’s and Nourishing Kitchen’s posts, I’m excited to make my own preserved lemons, and keep them in stock. And you can’t go wrong in making them, really. Clean off all ingredients and tools, slice the fruit, and fill it up with good Kosher salt. Wow. (Waiting for it to ferment is part of it too, but Shh.) You can throw in fresh sprigs of spices, though I’m excited enough just to do lemons.

This recipe makes for a great accessory to savory dishes. Not only do they add a punch of bright color, but they add a touch of mellow, lemony sourness. The fun part is eating the entire fruit, even the rind!

Preserving Lemons! @ Spiced Curiosity

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Healthy Huevos Rancheros – Spiced Curiosity

Sunday, February 24, 2013

healthy huevos rancheros – tex-mex gringa in ny

    huevos rancheros – makes ~3 servings
  • 5 large vegetarian-fed or organic eggs
  • 1 Tbsp high-heat oil
  • 4 small tomatoes – diced
  • 1 large red onion – diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 15oz-can of black beans – drained & rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground annatto
  • 1 lime – halved
  • 1 Tbsp of fresh cilantro – coarsely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 avocado – sliced length-wise
  • 5 corn tortillas
    • • •
    minty mango with honey – 2 servings
  • one large, ripe mango – reddish with yellow spots
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint – minced

One of the qualities I love most about this lustrous island of a city is the wide variety of cultural experiences, especially for the culinary-inclined. Any night you can taste a longitudinally-far country’s fare, or meet your favorite cook in a tiny room of excited peers.

Last week’s fun leaned more toward the latter, where some friends and I joined smiles with Chloe Coscarelli at the Natural Gourmet Institute. We tasted vegan desserts and listened while she told us her recipe-creating process. Chloe is a great cook – I’m impressed by her penchant for using vegetables in everyday cooking. (Case in point – try her Avocado Pesto Pasta here, I tested it with great success!) Meeting her in person makes her twice as adorable, because she has the sweetest demeanor of any food celebrity I’ve met. Which, alright, isn’t many, but I think she’s the nicest regardless.

Chef Chloe Coscarelli

Me, Melissa, Tanne & Chloe

After the event we ladies headed over to Cafe Blossom for some tasty vegan fare. The laughs were loud and conversation was long, all in a warm, cozy atmosphere. The food was dynamic too – my favorite dish was the Carrot Ginger soup. The lighting was very dim, so please forgive the photo injustice.

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easy veggie meatballs!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

easy veggie meatballs – not just for veg-heads

    makes about 2 dozen meatballs
  • 2 cups dried, rinsed lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp high-heat oil – coconut/sunflower/safflower
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped into 1/4-in pieces
  • 1/2 large red onion – diced
  • 3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes – I ran out of real ones!
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 cup fresh parsley – chopped

Yum! They’re so simple to enjoy. Each morsel is just a few bites, but melt in your mouth like weak knees on Valentine’s Day. I said it. V-Day. When all the world is a-flutter with chocolatey truffles and snaps of heart candy, opt for a savory experience. Make your partner (or your lovely self) a filling, hearty meal – with Italian heritage to boot. (They say the Latin-language countries are most romantic.)

lentils in the mix

These are a delightful mix of savory flavor. The heavy thyme and garlic flavors are like eating your way through an Italian market. And though it’s vegetarian, my coworker exclaimed that they actually have a meaty taste to them. (I shared them at work the next day, and they were still pretty tender and juicy. They hold together well, too!)

Always curious to cook better, I’m in the middle of a great Skillshare class by The Meatball Shop. The teacher and head chef is hilarious and has an arsenal of good tips. Check it out for free, and anywhere with a solid internet connection.

Skillshare with Dan Holzman

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sweet potatoes, orange, saffron, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, yummy

Thursday, January 31, 2013

simple sweet potatoes – saffron, citrus, and sunshine

    2 servings
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of saffron
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

New York’s a pretty colorful place. But you’d never guess by the dreary haze of grey coats and smogged skies on a regular January morning. Heads down, people pack the sidewalk in habitual motion, forward, faster, smoother. It’s 9 am, and the sun is shivering. I join in with my simple goal, to get to work.

winter, cold, trees, landscape, city

A spark out of the smoke, a turmeric-colored gown cuts around the corner. An elderly Indian lady radiates, with her lightly upturned grin playing a small indicator of her bright presence. The intense color is unique, but it makes the entire scene more beautiful. Not only herself, but the dinge of black coats and blank faces as well.

sweet potatoes, mashed, orange, orange juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, ginger

The citrus brings the same life to the sweet potatoes. Normally the earthy, thick taste of roots wallows in your palate. There’s nothing wrong with them. But when immersed with sweet, bright juice from the orange, the entire dish feels lighter, and every aspect is intensified. The normally cloying saffron rounds out the flavor, along with a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

sweet potatoes, sunny, healthy, Vitamin A

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