Healthy Eating can be Delicious too! May 05 2017
This week at school they were handing out blue and white cookies in celebration of Israel’s Birthday. One of the parents said ‘No thank you, I’m doing The Whole 30 Diet.’ He only looked slightly disappointed as the cookies passed him by. The truth is we sometimes go on these extreme diets with the hope that in the end they will modify our eating habits. The good news is no matter what your eating habits are, healthy doesn’t have to equate to tasting bad.
At my house, we did The Paleo Diet almost 6 years ago. That meant for 10 days we had no caffeine, alcohol, carbs, dairy or salt. We did get to eat a lot of protein, fruits, and vegetables. The diet made me realize that some of the meal choices I made weren’t giving me the energy I needed. From this 10 day experience I made some changes for the better. Our house is now mostly carb-free. We rarely have pasta or potatoes as part of a meal and I must say I don’t really miss them. Here are some tricks to keep your healthy eating delicious.
- Season Your Food – The spice blends from La Boîte add an amazing amount of flavor to vegetables and proteins. That means you don’t need a heavy sauce to coat what you are cooking to make it taste delicious.
- Stick with Dark – Chocolate that is. Dark Chocolate doesn’t have any dairy mixed in which makes it much healthier for you to consume. The single origin bars from Palette de Bine take dark chocolate to the next level and really are out of this world. Now you might thinking, chocolate isn’t healthy. When you eat a bar as amazing as these you need just a little bit to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooths.
- Go Nuts – Almonds, Walnuts and Pecans make a great snack and pack a lot of energy into something easy to take with you. Our Ranch Salad Almonds are perfect for keeping your energy levels up during the day with something delicious and tasty.
I hope these tips will help you keep to your healthy eating goals and be the in the shape you desire before swimsuit season begins 😊
Matzo All Year Round! March 31 2017
This week I discovered that Passover may be coming sooner than I’d like. The big tip off was that everything at the Kosher Butcher was labeled Kosher for Passover. I won’t bore you with a Jewish History lesson but in a nut shell Passover is the holiday where we celebrate the Jew’s exodus from Egypt and retell the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments among others. Of course, the holiday has a lot of eating traditions and the biggest one for Passover is that we give up all leavened things. That means no cakes, breads, cookies, donuts, etc. for eight days. As you can imagine, that is a pretty tough endeavor for someone who love sweets! Luckily, there are some really delicious recipes to be made from Matzo that you almost forget it is Passover.
The recipe below for Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crunch is that good. I made it using The Matzo Project Salted Matzo from our marketplace. Feel free to expand on the recipe and top with candies and nuts of your choosing. It will only make the recipe better, I promise. Just like The Matzo Project Matzo, this recipe is good all year round!
Chocolate Toffee Matzo Crunch with The Matzo Project Salted Matzo
Makes approximately 30 pieces
4-5 pieces The Matzo Project Salted Matzo
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 12-oz bag chocolate chips
-Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
-Cover the baking sheet with The Matzo Project Salted Matzo, cutting and breaking as needed to fill all of the space.
-To make the toffee combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, continue cooking and stirring for an additional three minutes to let the mixture thicken. Pour the toffee over the matzo, spreading with a spatula to make an even layer.
-Put pan into the oven a bake for 10 minutes or until toffee topping is bubbling over. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over the top of the pan. Let the chocolate soften for 3-5 minutes before spreading evenly over the toffee.
-Put the pan into the refrigerator for about 45 minutes to let the toffee and chocolate harden. Don’t leave in for too much longer as it will make it difficult to cut. Remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares.
Stock Your Pantry February 10 2017
We’ve just survived another round of snow here in New York. There is always a lot of hype prior to a snow storm about stocking your pantry. Since we don’t typically drive to the supermarket in New York I feel it is less of an issue than it might be in other places. I do however promote stocking your pantry with great food items to use in a pinch whether it be a snow storm or an unexpected guest. I know I’m always pushing products from our marketplace (that is my job!) but a quick survey of my pantry found the following items and here are some suggestions on how to use them.
Jacobsen Salt Co. Kosher Salt – This is a no-brainer. Good salt makes everything taste better and I pretty much use this salt on everything from seasoning a steak to brightening up a salad.
La Boîte Spice Blends – I have too many spice blends to count. After cooking the box of pasta from your pantry toss generously with your chosen spice blend and some olive oil before serving.
Rick’s Picks Phat Beets – These are good straight from the jar but are also great in a salad paired with goat cheese or blue cheese or whatever cheese is hanging out in your refrigerator.
Due Cellucci Traditional Tomato Sauce – Of course you could pour this amazing sauce over that pasta from your pantry OR you could use it as a base for a delicious tomato soup. Pair the soup with a grilled cheese sandwich and everyone in your house will be happy!
Lucy’s Granola – This a great breakfast option when you’re snowed in and don’t have anywhere to go. I recommend having breakfast in your pajamas when there is no place to go. Pour some granola on top of your yogurt for a delicious parfait. You can also sprinkle onto pancakes as they are cooking for some extra crunch and hidden deliciousness.
Paul & Pippa Biscuits – Is it a cookie? Is it a cracker? Well, these biscuits are both. The sweet flavors are great with a cup of tea and the savory would be great with that cheese from the refrigerator.
I’m sure if I moved some of the boxes of Cheerios around in my pantry I would find more products to tell you about but I think you get the idea. I hope you’re surviving the weather wherever you are. Remember you can order from our marketplace rain or snow or sleet or hail or sun!
Just Add Salt May 20 2016
Salt is defined as a dietary mineral used for flavoring and preservation. It may also be referred to as sodium chloride, an iconic compound resulting from neutralization. As most of you know, salt makes all the difference in cooking as it helps bring out the flavor of everything from savory to sweet. I always add a little bit of salt to anything I am cooking. Sea Salt, like the ones from Jacobsen Salt Co., are the salts and minerals obtained from the evaporation of sea water.
This week I learned that different times of the year it is actually easier to make Sea Salt. Our friends at Jacobsen Salt Co. posted the following on Instagram this week.
‘Summer is here! We make our best Pure Flake Finishing Salt in the summer – when the water is salty and undiluted by winter rain.'
The good news is that you can buy their Pure Flake Finishing Salt right here in our marketplace. The better news is that you really can use it on EVERYTHING! Keep some on your counter and sprinkle just a bit on whatever happens to be for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You’ll discover the true taste of your food and I guarantee you will not be disappointed! But remember, a little salt does go a long way!
Hopefully the summer weather has arrived where you are… or at least some spring like temperatures! It is a beautiful day today in New York City!
College Football Season, We have Your Snacks Covered September 11 2015
College Football has begun and I’m sad to report my Purdue Boilermakers are starting the season with a loss. Hopefully they will turn that around next week against Indiana State. One thing that comes with football season are lots of Saturday afternoons spent watching the games. Even if your team isn’t winning you can always get excited about some delicious snacks during the game!
We are thrilled to welcome Tiny But Mighty Popcorn to the marketplace at Julie’s Beet. Tiny But Mighty Popcorn is an ancient heirloom popcorn grown in the great state of Iowa. Any Hawkeyes or Cardinals fans out there? The tiny popcorn has been preserved to stay small resulting in tiny kernels with an extremely thin outer hull. That means you have a delicious tender popcorn that won’t get stuck in your teeth! We are carrying Tiny But Mighty’s Microwave Popcorn, so in less than 4 minutes you’ll have the perfect snack ready for your crew. Try the traditional butter flavor or the sweet and salty Kettle Corn. Read more about Tiny But Mighty here.
Have a great weekend watching football and enjoying some delicious snacks.
To Salt or Not To Salt? August 21 2015
I’ve been doing a lot of research this week on artisan salt producers. There are some really great ones out there and I am searching for the perfect salt to add to the marketplace. While looking at all of these wonderful salt makers I started thinking about if we really need salt and if our palettes have grown accustomed to too much salt.
One point is very clear, salt brings out the flavor in food. Don’t believe me? Take a slice of tomato, first try it without salt. Then add some salt and see how much more flavor that tomato has. Salt has even found its way in to sweets like our Sea Salt Milk Chocolate and Sea Salt Dark Chocolate from Rococo Chocolates.
I am a big fan of salt and as a young chef I was taught to season the ingredients all the way through a recipe. This helps to layer the flavor and have an end result of a really flavorful pot of soup, salad, tomato sauce, or whatever you might be cooking. With so many different types of salts out there, it is difficult to decide which one to use. In this post on Panna Cooking, Chef Sebastian Rouxel tells us why he prefers to bake with kosher salt. https://www.pannacooking.com/tips/kosher-salt-vs-sea-salt
I also prefer Kosher salt in my cooking, but definitely have a variety of sea salts and finishing salts around to complete different dishes. Finishing salts have larger crystals so you just need a pinch on top of a dish. Which type of salt do you prefer to use in your kitchen? Do you think we use too much salt?
I’m going to continue looking for the best salt I am able to find to add to our marketplace as long as you promise to use it in your kitchen!