hemsley hemsley beef ragu + courgetti

beef ragu and courgetti, with cookbookI eat fast. I know I shouldn’t. I should slow down, savor each bite, take a breath, enjoy the fruits of my labor. But I can’t help it. I scarf food down like it’s going to be taken away from me if I don’t finish within minutes. Brian, on the other hand, eats slow. So slow that after I’ve finished eating (and checked Twitter, instagram, my email…) I’ll joke that he must hate the food I’ve made. (He doesn’t; what he hates is me saying that.) I’ve said before that I equate how much (and how fast!) he finishes with how much he loves me. Which is why just minutes after I gobbled down this plate of beef ragu and courgetti… or as I like to call it, zucchini noodles bolognese… I was gobsmacked to see that Brian had also cleared his plate. I checked under the table, inside his crumbled up paper towel, even behind him on the couch, but he ate it. Every. Last. Bite.

So I’ll definitely be making this dish again… only problem is that I’ve dog-eared about 20 other recipes in this book that I want to make first. “The Art of Eating Well” is the first cookbook I’ve come across that caters to a mostly Paleo diet (which I’ve been following for five months now) without calling itself that or more importantly, being overly preachy about what you eat. It focuses on eating well for your gut, a concept I’ve been learning a lot about lately as I attempt to keep my raging rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at bay. (Think less grains and sugar, more bone broth and probiotics.) I’ve become smitten with the London-based Hemsley sisters because of this approach that’s so… approachable. Helps that they’re totally adorable and have a fun instagram account and Vogue UK column to follow.

Now that I’m eating some meat (pasture-raised, grass fed only) I’ll be showing you some of the recipes that I’ve been experimenting with over the last few months. It’s the first time I’ve had some of it in almost 7, 8 years… so bear with me. It’s an exciting experiment; we’ll see where it takes us!

Meantime, here is the full recipe for the Hemsley Hemsley beef ragu and courgetti. Enjoy!

beef ragu and courgetti, closeup

magical healing soup

magical healing soup finalIt may seem early for soup. It may also seem early for a tickle in your throat. But both happened Tuesday in our house because well, rules were made to be broken.

When Brian woke up and told me he thought he felt an itch, a scratch, a something funny in his throat, I immediately ran downstairs to the kitchen where I keep my cookbooks. I knew exactly what my husband needed: Alicia Silverstone’s Magical Healing Soup. (The Kind Diet was my original bible when I first went vegan, years ago. It’s now a whole delightful community: The Kind Life.)

I riff on her original masterpiece a bit by not using daikon radish, ginger juice or shoyu… but instead adding kale. Lots of it. You can throw in whatever vegetables you like (bok choy is always good here, too) and of course feel free to use soy sauce instead of Tamari. I choose Tamari because the soy sauce has gluten and soy, both of which I avoid. But the two taste almost exactly identical.

If you don’t have a cold or sore throat yet, or think it’s just too soon for soup, then bookmark this recipe for later in the season; you’re definitely going to need it. Otherwise live a little! Make it now, on one of the first chilly nights of fall. A bowl of warm, fresh vegetables always does a body good.

Get this: B hasn’t complained about his throat since he had the soup Tuesday night.

Magical.

magical healing soup elements

carrots for magical healing soup

Alicia Silverstone’s Magical Healing Soup

SERVES TWO

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thick
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 trumpet mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium leek, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • couple handfuls of kale, roughly chopped
  • salt, pepper and tamari to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the red onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the mushrooms and leek.
  3. Keep stirring and cooking another few minutes. Add a few dashes of tamari, salt and pepper then taste it.
  4. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked through but still slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Add the kale and scallion, and continue stirring until the kale wilts down. Then turn off the heat and ladle the soup into bowls.

A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

brian’s birthday at blue hill stone barns / best meal of our lives

Today is ma husband’s birthday. Happy birthday, Brian!

brian blowing out birthday candle at blue hill stone barns

But this past Sunday, because he makes me feel so special, so at home every single day… I wanted him to feel the same as we celebrated him turning 29. So special, so at home. So I took him to see his family at the farm!

beef cow at stone barns

Kidding! I did take him to a farm though. But not just any farm: Blue Hill Stone Barns, a magical place just 30 miles north of the city. If you haven’t been, you must add it to your list.

open farm field at stone barns

It’s a once in a lifetime experience. You can take a tour of the farm with their staff to see where your entire meal is coming from, or, if you’re lucky like me your husband will grab a map from the farm store and take you on a self-guided tour of all the vegetable gardens, chicken coops, and open pastures to see animals like this guy! (Thing I learned: sheep are much cuter than they are friendly.)

sheep at stone barns

You can even play on some of the farm equipment (and dream about your own future farm)! It’s always fun to get nice and sweaty and dirty before the fanciest dinner of your life.

me on a tractor, stone barns

And I mean fancy. There are no menus, just a 20-course tasting feast made from whatever’s been harvested from their fields. You can get the official wine pairing to go along with it, or you can opt for a la carte drinks as we did, which I highly recommend. See this rose champagne cocktail? The flowers were edible!

dooryard rose champagne cocktail at blue hill stone barns

Speaking of edible flowers, here were some that we had for one of our courses… served alongside some kind of cola made from a plant. (Don’t ask / this was during my second cocktail, and I’m not much of a drinker.)

edible flowers and smut cola at blue hill stone barns

For another course we had all different kinds of beans foraged from the garden, some delicious piece of dried meat served atop a glass of what tasted like the best apple juice I’ve ever had, salted cucumbers with fresh yogurt, and a canteloupe/cheese plate that made me drool. Literally, drool coming out of my mouth. What I really loved though was the waiter dropping off a bag of forks, knives and spoons and saying, “Use whatever silverware you like.” We ate with our hands.

beans cheese meat course at blue hill stone barns

We noticed during the meal that each table got taken outside by the waiter for a little while. Brian’s reporter curiosity kicked into high gear and he made me try and ask the woman two tables down from us what happened out there. “We saw the composting.” The composting? We thought, based on our cocktail-induced mathematics of when other tables were whisked away, that we were getting the shaft and wouldn’t be taken outside. But alas! Just as we were giving up hope, we were escorted to this little slice of heaven: our own private farm table to enjoy one last course before dessert. (Doesn’t he look sexy in this setting? We really need our own farm.)

brian in outdoor farmhouse at blue hill stone barns

Every detail at this place — from the soft bathroom towels, to how they catered every course of mine to my grain-free needs — was perfectly executed. It’s a seamlessly orchestrated experience, like none other. To wit: this adorable nook inside the private farmhouse room. So cute, right?!

outside corner : shelving

And finally, here it was! Brian’s favorite course (besides dessert, of course): the goat.

goat main course at blue hill stone barns

Before we left we hit up the farm store for some eggs, a souvenir tote bag (of course, cause I need another tote bag), and some fresh vegetables from their farmer’s market. Ya have to bring a little Stone Barns home with you! And I’m so glad we did, cause the next day I sauteed these shishito peppers with some olive oil, garlic and sea salt… and it almost felt like we were back at the farm. Almost.

shishito peppers from stone barns

But let’s not forget why we came. One more time, altogether now: happy birthday, Brian! It was the best meal for the best husband. I am the luckiest girl in the world. I love you.
brian blowing out birthday candle at blue hill stone barns

One Part Podcast / Jessica Murnane’s One Part Plant

OPP Podcast Image 2I had so much fun talking to Jessica Murnane earlier this week for her One Part Podcast. You may remember when I was featured on her site One Part Plant as a “Babe in Plantland”; since then, she’s created an e-cookbook all about cookies and started this delightful (and super successful!) podcast.

We talked food / arthritis / love / so much more — so I’ll hope you’ll check it out. Jessica’s doing really great and really important work / spreading the good word about eating good food and living the good life, so it was an honor to be a part of it.

More recipes coming in September… til then, happy Labor Day weekend!

grain-free, dairy-free ice cream sandwiches

final paleo ice cream sandwichesAt overnight camp when I was a kid I had a chipwich almost every single night of those 8-week summers. Man, I loved my chipwiches.

This right here is basically the adult version of that… minus the grain and the dairy. Lest you think it’s minus all the flavor, too, both my husband and best friend tried them — both of whom love their carby sweet treats — and loved ‘em. What’s not to love about cookies and ice cream though, in any form?

So before summer’s over, get in on this recipe.

me holding final paleo ice cream sandwich

Grain-free, Dairy-free Ice Cream Sandwiches

MAKES 15-20 COOKIES

Ingredients

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any dairy-free brand)
  • 1 pint of your favorite dairy-free ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another small bowl mix eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla extract together.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix together until combined.
  5. Melt coconut oil, pour into batter, and continue to blend until combined.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips. (The batter will be very wet.)
  7. On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop balls of cookie dough about a tablespoon in size. They will expand when you bake, more than you think.
  8. Flatten cookie balls with back of a spoon — flatter is better for ice cream sandwich-making. If you want, leave some fluffy for straight cookie-eating.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Let cool outside the oven, then put them in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.
  11. Scoop ice cream onto half the cookies, topping them with the other halves. Push down and freeze them for another 10-15 minutes… then enjoy!

Notes

These will keep in the freezer, inside tupperware, for about a week.


A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com

swiss chard farmer’s market salad

farmer's market salad with swiss chardThe best Sunday dinner is the kind made strictly from our Union Square Greenmarket haul on Saturday. This gorgeous (and spicy!) mix is:

> swiss chard (which was $2 for a giant bunch — still figuring out what to do with the rest. saute it?)

> broccoli sprouts

> peppers (I wish I remember what kind these are / but they’re bright, almost neon green, and stunning)

> teeny yellow cherry tomatoes

> I threw in some sesame seeds and tossed the whole thing in homemade dressing (apple cider vinegar, spicy mustard and a smidge of manuka honey)

Cheers to the end of another beautiful weekend / the start of what I hope is another magical week.

15-minute spicy steamed clams

steamed clams : dinner tableIf I’m gonna cook at all in the summer, I want it to be fast. Nothing should be baking, roasting, or simmering for too long… not when there are endless hours of sunlight to enjoy. (Funny coming from someone who goes to bed by 9 o’clock most nights / but you get my point.)

These steamed clams are not only super simple to make — 15 minutes from start to table — but they’re chock full o’ citrus-y, garlic flavor. Lightly inspired by a dish at The Clam, our not-so-new-anymore favorite restaurant in the ‘hood, this iteration kicks it up just a notch in the heat department with some sliced jalapenos.

Spice not your thing? No big deal; lose the peppers in the recipe, maybe the chili flakes as well, and you’ll still be in for a treat.

As for how many clams serves how many people, it depends upon your M.O. >>> I bought 3 pounds of littlenecks for the two of us and it was a small dinner, even with a side of broccoli. We could’ve eaten more; but isn’t that always the case with a batch of juicy clams? You feel like you can go on and on and on and…

steamed clams : le creuset

15-minute Spicy Steamed Clams

SERVES TWO

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBSP minced garlic
  • 3 pounds fresh littleneck clams
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced thin
  • red chili pepper flakes, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large pot with a lid, warm oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until garlic is slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add jalapeno pepper and wine and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in clams and cover pot. Cook until clams open, about 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove clams from pot, dividing them between 2 serving bowls. (Discard any clams that don’t open.)
  4. Stir lime juice and red pepper flakes into the pan sauce and let cook for about a minute.
  5. Spoon that sauce over clams and serve.

A Recipe From Jamie Stelter | www.thetvdinner.com