Blueberry, Kiwi, Strawberry and Mint

2 cups blueberries
2 kiwifruit, peeled
16 strawberries
2 cups packed fresh mint leaves

Wash the ingredients well, then cut them up as needed to fit through the chute of your juicer. Juice the ingredients in the order listed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately. Serves 1.


Juicing is So Popular and Nutritious!

juices-main
Juice bars and are popping up all over, and it’s is a big food trend. Juice bars puree vegetables and fruit and turn them into liquid drinks. What’s the rage all about? First, it has great nutritional value. Juicing the vegetables retains all the vitamins and minerals of the ingredients in the juice. You can drink more nutrients than you can eat in one sitting. And many people prefer to drink kale or spinach juice mixed with something sweet rather than eat a few servings of it. This gives people a shot of energy and better overall wellness.

Juicing has its critics though. Juices can be high in sugar and calories depending on the type of fruit or vegetable used. And juice cleanses can leave people without certain important nutritional needs, like proteins and carbohydrates.

Juice bars can be pricey, some are about $8 a drink, ouch. Here are some at home options and tricks for making them for far less money.
Tip 1: Always include one item that will give lots of liquid, like grapes or oranges. Kale is great nutritionally but produces only a little juice.
Tip 2: For vibrant juice, choose fruits and vegetables in the same color family. Otherwise, you can end up with less-than-appealing brown juice.
Tip 3: Keep fruits and vegetables chilled. Your juice will be more refreshing and you won’t need to add ice.

Green Juice
Blueberry, Kiwi, Strawberry and Mint

Other great combinations, proportions don’t matter, just tinker with taste):
Strawberry, Carrot, and Spinach
Pineapple, ginger, banana
Papaya, carrot, apple
Kale, green grape, parsley
Cucumber, mint, orange
Strawberry, blueberry, beet

Juicing For Kids

juicing-for-kids1
With kids I always feel you need to add a little kitsch to make food and cooking more exciting. Make juicing fun for them too by titling the juices with fun names, or letting them come up with their own combinations. These have worked for me.

ABC Juice

This juice recipe is a classic and a definite must-have in your juicing arsenal. It only has three ingredients, and, you guessed it, each items stands for one of the first three letters of the alphabet. Make a game out this recipe by letting your kids switch up the order of ingredients to spell different words.
2 apples

1 beet

2 carrots

Shrek Juice
 or Slime Juice
Speaking of colorful juices, this one reminds us of the slime they used to dump on celebrities on the Nickelodeon channel. If the slime concept is too gross, I get that!, go with Shrek Juice
2 stalks celery

1 handful kale

2 apples

Hawaii Juice
1-2 cups loosely packed chopped kale, ribs removed (about 3-4 leaves)
1 mango
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple

NutriBullet

nutribullet
Perfect for juicing because it is high-powered. Includes a power base, 1 tall cup, 2 short cups, 1 flat blade and 1 emulsifying blade, 2 re-sealable lids, pocket nutritionist and manual with recipes.

Available at Amazon.com for $99 and at Costco.com for $79

Spinach and Mushroom Salad with Miso-Tahini Dressing

spinach-mushroomsalad
Serves 4, can be doubled

I saw this salad in Fine Cooking Magazine a few months back and added it to my “Try it” file. Finally, this summer, I have had a chance to try some new salad recipes and this one was a big hit. Spinach and mushrooms pair so well together, and the miso-tahini dressing is both bold and creamy. It’s interesting and different and worth a try.

1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white miso
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Kosher salt
8 ounces (8 packed cups) baby spinach
8 ounces (4 cups) thinly sliced mushrooms
1 cup coarsely chopped, roasted, unsalted cashews

Blend the tahini, lemon juice, miso, paprika, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup water with an immersion blender until smooth.
In a large bowl, toss the spinach, mushrooms, and cashews with the dressing. Serve.

What is Brain Freeze? And Yum, Lots of Ice Cream and Sorbet Desserts

Ever wonder, what that ice cream headache really is? That painful, sudden headache that occurs when eating something cold is commonly referred to as brain freeze. It’s caused by rapid temperature changes in your mouth. When you take a big bite of cold ice cream, book vessels in the roof of your mouth constrict to reduce blood flow and heat loss. After you swallow, the vessels quickly rewarm and dilate, increasing the book flow and stimulating nearby by pain receptors. Then the brain sends out pain signals along the largest cranial nerve and you experience pain behind your eyes and cross your forehead, your jaw and the back of your head. To prevent this, just SLOW DOWN. Savor ice cream slowly in small bites. Or I you’ve already pressed a big, cold bite against the roof of your mouth and then swallowed it, drink something cool to slow down the rapid rewarming of your blood vessels. At least now you know what is happening!

M & M Ice Cream Sandwiches
Ice Cream Bon Bons
Ice Cream Tart with Crunch Topping
Watermelon Sorbet
Strawberry Orange Honey Sorbet
Sorbet Tart

Balsamic and Rosemary Marinade

1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon rosemary (for dried use 2 teaspoons or more)

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Herb Marinade

1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, chopped (try basil, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro or any herb of choice)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Lemon and Shallot Marinade

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons oregano (for dried, use 2 teaspoons or more)
1 small shallot, chopped
1 minced garlic clove

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Soy and Ginger Marinade

1 tablespoon Sriachi sauce (use less for less spiciness)
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons lime zest
¼ cup lime juice
3 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Marinade Instructions:
Whisk ingredients in a small bowl. In a large resealable plastic bag, coat chicken or steaks with marinade and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 4 hours. Remove chicken or steak from marinade before grilling. Add salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Grilling Season is in Full Swing!

barbecue
Grilling season is in full swing! I’m a bit obsessed and never tire of great grilling foods. One night I grill chicken, another marinated meats, and then break it up with some Cedar Planked Salmon. Don’t forget to watch my how-to video and recipe for Cedar Planked Salmon too.

There are many keys to great grilling success (print my grilling guide for times and temperatures) but one reason I love it and never tire of it, is because I prepare so many different types of chicken and meat on the grill, that all come out with a different flavor profile. Yes, I love traditional bbq sauce too, but that would get boring, night after night. I like to make interesting marinades and use different types of chicken and meat, on the bone, cutlets, full minute steaks, and individual steaks, etc.

So this week, a few successful and fool-proof marinades and a new BBQ sauce too for chicken and meat that will jazz up your grilling repertoire.

Balsamic and Rosemary Marinade
Lemon and Shallot Marinade
Soy and Ginger Marinade
Herb Marinade
Espresso Barbeque Sauce

New Essential Grilling Tools

Gimmicky grilling tools come and go, just check out your local Home Goods or TJ Maxx for all the items that sound good but are really unnecessary and DON’T buy them. Throughout the summer, I do try many new products though and love to share the best ones, like cedar planks and the Grill Daddy grill cleaner.

A few more must-haves include….
veggie-pan
The Weber Style Grill Pan, made of sturdy, stick resistant stainless steel. It keeps small vegetables in place and still gives them a nice char. I tested many types and this was the hands-down favorite to maintain great grilling flavor while ensuring that the veggies don’t fall through the grates.

Available at Amazon.com for $20

tong
Oversize tongs make it easy to grab anything, big or small.
Available at oxo.com for $15

mitt
Heat-protective gloves with a silicone grip, so utensils don’t slip and you don’t get burned reaching to the far end of the grill. I like these because they are not too oversized.

Available at weber.com for $35

Espresso Barbeque Sauce

espresso-barbecue-sauce

This bbq sauce has great flavor and depth from espresso. I love it on chicken, fish and grilled steaks.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups chopped onion
>4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced (seeds and membrane removed for less heat)
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brewed espresso
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons chile powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook the sauce over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

With an immersion blender or a food processor puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the sauce to mellow.

MAKE AHEAD
The barbecue sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Melon Gazpacho

melongaspacho
This is a wonderful twist on traditional gazpacho from the Balaboostanyc.com. The restaurant is not kosher but the cooking classes are often worth it (even without tasting the food). A combination Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and flavors is really fantastic. This gazpacho is just one example of this.

1 ripe cantaloupe, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup white wine (I like to use sauvignon blanc)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced almond
1 fresh red chili, such as red jalapeno or long red chile, cored seeded and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
Store bought crispy fried shallots or onions
Chopped fresh mint
Finely chopped peeled jicama
Finely chopped fresh red chile (optional)
Almond Chile brittle

Cut the cantaloupe into small pieces and place in a food processor. Add the wine, vinegar, almonds, chile, salt and pepper and puree until the mixture is smooth.
Chill in the refrigerator before serving and garnish with the crispy shallots, mint, jicama, brittle and red chile.

Sweet Summer Fruit Soup

strawberry
Serves 6-8

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen strawberries
1 (16 ounce) bag frozen mixed berries, or other summer fruit iike mango, papaya, mixed tropical fruit, or other choice or use more strawberries
1 (15 ounce) can sour cherries
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
¼ cup sugar

Garnish: Chopped strawberries and fresh mint
Place cherries and 1 ½ cups water in a 5 quart pot. Turn on heat and bring to a boil. Add strawberries and other fruit with juices, vanilla sugar and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and cool slightly. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled with chopped strawberries and mint on top.

Raspberry or Strawberry Lemonade

lemonade
Makes 8-10 glasses

This is so refreshing in the summer! The fresh lemon juice give it so much more flavor than the prepared store-bought variety. Be sure to serve it in cute glasses with lots of ice and straws to make it look as good as it tastes.

4 cups fresh lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 bag frozen raspberries or strawberries
Ice cubes, for serving

Squeeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher.

In a pot, heated over low heat, stir together sugar with 3 cups water until sugar dissolves to make a syrup. Cool, than add sugar syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it’s sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries or strawberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so be sure to sweeten enough!)

Fill mason jars with ice cubes and top them off with the lemonade.

Carrot Soup with Cucumber Pistachio Relish

carrot-soup-cucumber
Serves 5

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large (about 2 cups) onion, diced
4 cups (about 10) chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced seedless cucumber
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger or fresh ginger, diced
2 teaspoons chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons chopped mint

Make the soup: Heat oil over medium-high heat, add the onions, carrots, and garlic, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, curry, and cayenne and cook for 1 more minute. Add 5 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until carrots are tender — about 15 minutes. Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and vinegar and set aside.

Make the relish: Combine the cucumber, pistachios, ginger, cilantro, mint, and remaining salt in a small bowl. Ladle the soup into

Cold Summer Soups

Summer is time for fresh fruit, lighter foods and cooler appetizers. I often serve Tuna Tartare, or Smoked Salmon in a Spinach Salad. I also love to serve a refreshing summer chilled soup, like White Grape Gazpacho with Toasted Almonds or Super Flavorful Mango Curry Soup.

This week, I bring you a few more cold soup options. Sweet and/or zesty but all super infused with flavor. All choices are refreshing and make a great summer appetizer.

Try these:
Melon Gazpacho
Cold Cucumber Dill Soup
Tomato and Avocado Soup
Carrot Soup with Cucumber Pistachio Relish
Sweet Summer Fruit Soup

Cold Cucumber Dill Soup

cucumber
Serves 6

1-1/2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup chopped onions
4 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 5 cups)
1 (8-ounce) russet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3-1/2 cups low-salt pareve chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 large fresh dill sprigs plus 6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 teaspoon (or more) salt
½ cup Tofutti sour cream

Melt margarine in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add cucumbers and potato; stir 1 minute. Add broth, dill sprigs, and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase heat and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until cucumbers and potato are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree soup in until smooth. Return to pot. Cool 15 minutes. Whisk in tofutti sour cream and 4 tablespoons minced dill. Cover and chill until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Taste soup, adding more salt if desired. Garnish with remaining 2 tablespoons minced dill.

Fresh Tomato and Avocado Soup

tomato-avocado-soup-deServes 4

1 pound,(about 4 tomatoes) tomatoes, chopped with their juices
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup seedless cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 avocados, diced (about 2 cups)

Combine all ingredients except avocado in a large bowl. Mash lightly with a potato masher, stir in 1 cup water, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour or up to 6. Stir in the avocado and serve immediately.

A Few Summer Must-Haves

strawberry-huller copy
Strawberry Huller $7.95 from Williams-Sonoma.com
Cute to look at, and perfect for summer salads, smoothies, fruit platters, shortcake, and stuffed strawberries. This fun kitchen tool quickly removes the leaves and stem from a strawberry.

Citrus Zeel-Peel $5.95 from Williams-Sonoma.com
Designed for best citrus peel removal, no bitter pith! It removes the peel in three simple steps. Just score your fruit with the peeler’s sharp hook, lift the skin with the tapered corner, then slip the peel through the round opening. Quickly and neatly peels whole citrus fruits. Ideal for grapefruits and oranges. Great for using the peels in iced tea, couscous salad, and sangria!

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Chocolate Espresso Cookie

Makes 3 dozen

3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder
1 box Dark Chocolate Premium Brownie Mix
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1⁄2 cups dark chocolate pieces, semi sweet chocolate pieces
and/or white chocolate pieces (combined into the 1 1⁄2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl combine water and espresso powder, stir until dissolved; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine brownie mix, egg, oil, cinnamon, and the espresso mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined, scraping sides. Stir in chocolate pieces by hand, using a spatula or wooden spoon. Drop dough by rounded tsp. onto prepared cookie sheet.
Bake about 6-8 minutes or until edges are just set. (Centers may appear doughy). Do not overbake. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. If desired place a chocolate candy kiss or a caramel chocolate candy kiss into center of cookie immediately after removing from oven as a garnish.