Sweet and Spicy Candied Pistachios | What I Made on The Taste

Candied Pistachios | The TasteSweet. Spicy. Salty. Down-right addictive. Candied nuts are the perfect cocktail nibble or crunchy garnish and often appear in some form on my holiday menu. I generally use pecans and have a bowl out on the bar for people to munch while mixing a cocktail. (And usually add bourbon to the recipe, if we’re being honest.) Yet pistachios are smaller and, for this reason, the better complement to the dish I was preparing on the holiday challenge for The Taste. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, whatever nut you choose, I hope this treat becomes your next holiday favorite.

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups pistachios, shelled, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Toast pistachios at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, until deepened in color and fragrant. (Alternatively, begin with unsalted and toasted pistachio nutmeats.) Mix together all spices in a small bowl. Taste. It should have a pleasant flavor (as good as dried spices can taste, that is). Adjust accordingly, keeping in mind that the spices will become diluted once they’re cooked. But also note that I love spicy food, and it definitely comes through in this recipe. If you don’t like heat, use less white pepper or omit it completely—and certainly don’t add cayenne. Toss the pistachios with the spices; some will end up pooled at the bottom of the bowl, which is fine.

Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat, then whisk in honey. It will become bubbly and thick. Mix in spiced pistachios until fully coated and cook a few minutes. Grease a cookie pan lightly with cooking spray and spread the nut mixture into an even layer. Cook for about 5 minutes then remove from the oven. Some of the mixture will have melted off the nuts a bit; just retoss, it’s no big deal.) Let sit until fully cooled and set. Alternatively, if you’re in a rush (kind of like I was), then place the pan into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or the freezer, even, to allow the nuts to fully set. Use your fingers to break the pieces into individual nuts or small nut clusters; use a paper towel to blot them If they’re a bit greasy.

* * * * *

Candied Nuts | The TasteNuts still suffer from a bad reputation in some circles given they are what we nutrition people refer to as “energy dense.” In other words, they’re high in calories for the amount you’re eating. In about a 1/4 cup serving you’re going to get around 170 calories. That said, they’re very small, and if you take the time to shell them yourself you’ll feel more satiated since it gives your body a chance to say “Hey! I’m full!” (This is an important part of weight management, but I’ll not digress.) And pistachios are filled with heart-healthy unsaturated fats and minerals like copper, manganese, and phosphorous. They make a terrific afternoon snack, perfect with a piece of fruit.

Of course, there are even more delicious calories in candied nuts since they’ve got the added butter and sugar. Which is why I only make them for special occasions or cocktail parties and consume small portions—while enjoying, mindfully, every single last bite.

And I’m going to go ahead and say that you should, too.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Sesame Seared Tuna with Radish Salad and Satay Sauce | What I Made on The Taste

Seared Tuna | The TasteNormally I don’t drag one story and recipe out for three blog posts, so please forgive me. However, if I tried to cover the “why” as well as the various “whats” in one post, well, let’s just say you would have stopped reading long ago. Plus, the health and sustainability messages about tuna are relevant no matter what its preparation, and both the radish salad and the satay sauce can be used in dishes well beyond this one. It was simply too many things to cover in one article, trust me.

So, today, we’ll just get right to the seared Neothunnus with a few “exciting” cooking photos that bring everything together and be done with it.

And, of course, you can use this tuna in a whole bunch of other ways, too.

Like, say, slicing it up after it’s gorgeously crusty and rare and eating it right then and there.

* * * * *

Ingredients

Directions

1. Mix the satay sauce by following the directions here. You’ll want to do this first to allow the flavors to come together. Try not to keep eating it out of the bowl with a spoon.

2. Prepare the radish salad as discussed here. Note that for this particular dish I used only Daikon for aesthetic purposes—the dish is black and white and red all over—and omitted the sesame seeds in the salad for obvious reasons.

Satay Sauce and Radish Salad | The Taste

3. Jumble the black and white sesame seeds together with your fingers on a plate. Season the tuna with salt and pepper (or crushed black peppercorns if that kind of thing enthralls you). Press each side of the tuna into the sesame seed mixture, coating fully.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna

4. Sear the tuna. Heat the peanut oil to high heat. As soon as it smokes—worry not, peanut oil has a high smoke point—place the tuna in the pan. It will sizzle and cook very, very quickly. You do not want it to overcook: seared tuna is best served rare. It will take about 2 minutes per side. The seeds will deepen in color and you’ll see the outer edge turn color.

Seared Tuna in the Pan | The Taste

5. Plate the dish. Let the fish rest a few minutes then create an artful mound of radish salad, place the fish atop it, and fleck with lime zest.

Tuna with Satay Sauce | The Taste

I couldn’t figure out an attractive way to get the sauce involved in the plating, ergo it’s on the side. What I also discovered in remaking the dish and tasting my test pieces with the radish salad is that, ironically, it really doesn’t even need it.

Do understand that this is a huge statement for me given I could drown a happy death in a vat of peanut sauce.

Use it, don’t use it. Yet know that this beauty shines on its own abed this sprightly mix of radishes, scallions, and cilantro, perhaps with an extra drizzle of the salad dressing if you like things saucy.

* * * * *

And that, as they say, is a wrap.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Simple Radish Salad with Southeast Asian Flavors

Radish Salad PKWay | The TasteRadishes. I love them, root to leaf, and it is one of the vegetables I munch on all year long. My radish horizons have been greatly expanded in recent years. Beyond the traditional red (globe) radish, they also come in purple, black, white, French breakfast, and watermelon varieties, with varying heat. And lucky me! I can get most of these all year long from the seasonal and winter markets here in Boston. Thinly slice a selection and serve with herb butter on crostini and you’ve got a fabulous French-insprired treat, a favorite at my home. Or sauté up the leaves to include in a glorious winter-themed dish like seared scallops, radish greens, and winter squash purée.

Truth be told, today’s salad grew out of a garnish, of all things. I had prepared a sesame-crusted tuna with satay sauce for the “Under the Sea” challenge on The Taste and needed acid and crunch to balance the dish. This mixture definitely fit the bill. Yet it’s so simple and satisfying that I developed this recipe starring the glorious Raphanus sativus.

* * * * *

Ingredients

  • 1 Daikon radish, sliced in batons
  • 5 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, sliced in batons
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, rough chop
  • 1 tablespoon Nam Pla (Asian fish sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • White sesame seeds, toasted (garnish)
  • Lime zest (garnish)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Very little to do here, friends. In a small bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, brown sugar, and water. Taste. Add the radishes, scallions, and cilantro. Toss and retaste. You’ve now got a deliciously light salad that can also be used as a base for fish (or whatever). For a dressing with a bit more body, simply include a teaspoon or two of peanut or sesame oil and a squeeze of lime juice or rice vinegar. If you do add oil and acid, just whisk them in to suit your own palate. It’s your salad, after all.

Spoon artfully on a plate to serve. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and zest with fresh lime. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.

Radish Salad PK Way | The Taste

* * * * *

Quick. Easy. Pretty. Crunchy. Flavorful.

Another win for radishes.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Satay Sauce and Radishes | What I Made on The Taste (and Why)

This is the first part of a three-part series on this dish. For the recipe itself, click here.

What happens when you sear up a gorgeous piece of tuna with black pepper, Fleur de Sel, and sesame seeds and serve it with satay sauce and a crunchy radish garnish? This. This bite of deliciousness right here, which sorta looks like my spoon for the “Under the Sea” challenge on The Taste.

So why did I make this dish? For starters, the logistics of the competition were paramount considerations, which involve timing and strategy. Is it circa 1998, as Chef Marcus Samuelson claimed? Perhaps. Whatever. The name of the game is to stay in the game, so I didn’t want to take big risks with one of my more inventive dishes, like, say, seared scallops with Moroccan spices and red lentils or swordfish with tomato tamarind sauce and coconut chutney. Seared tuna is also extremely quick to cook: a crispy crust with a rare center and it’s done. My Asian-inspired peanut sauce is, frankly, awesome—and takes experience to prepare with its many ingredients. I began making my own after eating a lot of bad Thai takeout, drawing on skills I learned in a cooking class in Thailand using traditional seasonings like Nam Pla. Finally, my crisp radish salad with its flavorful dressing brought in a creative element, a burst of acidity that perfectly balanced the richness of the fish and sauce. In fact when I remade this dish for today’s post, I found it didn’t even need the satay sauce at all. If I had to do it again on primetime I’d leave it off and focus on the radishes. Then again, I’m a radish fiend. 

Beyond all that, tuna is one seriously nutritious fish, a protein powerhouse that’s packed with essential omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA that have anti-inflammatory actions critical for heart- and brain health. And most people, including pregnant women and children, don’t consume the recommended levels for optimal development and disease prevention. Tuna is also an amazing source of selenium and vitamins B-3, B-12, B-6, and D; B-12 is particularly important since many adults are at risk of deficiency, especially those over 50 years of age. For all these reasons and more, most people would benefit from increasing their consumption of seafood.

On the other hand, tuna is high on the food chain and can be contaminated with methylmercury. Other species suffer from dwindling populations due to severe over-fishing, and bycatch compromises other sea life. And there are a whole bunch of different species of tuna that vary on these factors.

Foods for HealthIt gets to be a lot, I know, but there is good science to guide you. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has a great app that informs decision-making when standing at the fishmonger’s counter—yes, I’m that personand the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fishwatch is also quite informative; a recent article in National Geographic summarizes the myriad tuna issues. If you’re interested in this kind of farm-to-fork thinking when making food choices please subscribe to my blog. You might also enjoy my recent book, National Geographic Foods for Healthcurrently on sale at local bookstores and here.

And just for the record, the other elements I included in the dish, like radishes, sesame seeds, and peanut butter, are pretty darn healthful, too.

So. Cooking and Eating the PK Way. Better for you, better for the planet, and unbelievably tasty when dishes like sesame-crusted tuna with satay sauce and radishes are on the menu.

What else can I tell you, really?

Seared Tuna and Satay Sauce | The Taste

Oh, right.

The recipe.

It’s coming soon. Please stay posted!

And thanks for reading.

Update: Here’s the recipe!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more.

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Savory Sicilian Cauliflower, the PK Way

Savory Cauliflower the PK WayMy regular readers are quite familiar with my crazy cruciferous ways and my deep affection for cauliflower in particular. I even highlighted it in my “Top 5 Foods for Autumn” in a recent interview on Fox TV.

Many of my favorite cauliflower recipes begin with roasting, which creates a crispy texture and brings out the sweetness of the vegetable. Roasted cauliflower is lovely on its own but is also the beginning for all kinds of scrumptious things. Think: Garlicky Smashed CauliflowerCauliflower Soup with Artichokes and LeeksCauliflower Salad in Three Colors; Cauliflower Soup with Parmigiana and Pesto; Green Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing and Avocado; and Aloo Gobi (Curried Cauliflower with Potatoes and Peas). I’ve even doused it with hot sauce and dipped it in blue cheese dressing for a vegetarian play on buffalo chicken wings.

Today, we take a super savory trip to Sicily in a recipe inspired by Bon Appétit a few years back. Of course, I modified the dish to be better-for-you-and-the-planet-too while also bringing in a few of my own elements. You can find the original story here, or just fast forward below to get to the good stuff: the recipe.

* * * * *

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of white cauliflower
  • 1 small head of Romanescu cauliflower
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon capers (no liquid)
  • 1/2 cup whole grain breadcrumbs, from about 2 pieces of bread
  • teaspoons sherry 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup green olives, sliced
  • 4 anchovies, finely minced into a paste) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon honey, approximate (optional, to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, for garnish

Directions

Roast the cauliflower. Preheat oven to 450°. Break cauliflower into medium-sized florets; you should have about 6 cups. Spread florets on a baking pan and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss with your fingers until coated. (Add a bit more oil if needed; they should be lightly coated but not dripping.) Roast until cauliflower is crispy and cooked (but not mushy!), about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through. (For more details and photos on roasting cauliflower, click here.)

Prepare the toppingMeanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until just golden and crunchy, about 5 minutes, then add capers and cook 1 more minute. (They may pop.) In the meantime, chop or roughy grate the bread into crumbs and add to garlic-caper miture and stir until fragrant and toasted, about 2–3 minutes. Dump mixture onto a plate for later.

Make the dressing. Add stock and sherry to the same sauce pan (it’s fine if a few errant breadcrumbs remain) and bring to a boil. Add raisins, olives, anchovies, and lemon juice, and simmer until almost fully reduced, about 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning with honey for sweetness and balance as desired. Continue reducing until a few teaspoons of liquid remain. Taste and readjust if needed.

Put it together.  Place the cauliflower on a plate and drizzle with raisin mixture. Scatter with crispy topping and garnish with parsley. Drizzle with finishing olive oil and a bit of sherry vinegar if desired.

Can be served warm or at room temperature. Serves about 4.

* * * * *

This plate may not the prettiest out there, I’ll admit (though it does have a certain Jackson Pollack aesthetic happening in my eyes). And its bold flavors may not be for everyone. But if you’re looking for something adventurous, I recommend giving this dish a try. The unique ingredients come together in a way that’s different from anything I’ve ever made with its complex flavors and textures. And, as in all cases, you can alter the recipe to suit your own palate.

Sicilian Cauliflower | PK Way

Roasted cauliflower delivers, yet again.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public health. She brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Mac and Cheese, the PK Way | What I Made on The Taste

Macaroni and Cheese | The Taste

Here’s a taste for *you*! Thanks for reading & watching!

All cooks have their own version of macaroni and cheese, that perennial favorite that everyone loves—including me. So I was thrilled when that was the first team challenge on The Taste. And how fun to see the Domestic Goddess make mac and cheese in her own kitchen!

Anyway, after watching me on the show last night, one of my Twitter followers quipped “Did you put anything healthy in your mac+cheese? Is that possible?”

The simple response, as many of my regular readers will anticipate, is yes. (Occupational hazard.) Not that it’s always necessary, mind you. See, for example, my recipe for maple walnut ice cream. But it’s certainly possible.

Yet I think the more important answer to the question is that decadent dishes like mac and cheese absolutely fit into Cooking & Eating the PK Way, which is my food-loving philosophy that keeps pleasure and taste at the center of the plate (while also looking like this). There’s no need for total deprivation when it comes to diet, and that in and of itself can facilitate an unhealthy relationship with food, trigger binge eating, and so forth. Mac and Cheese | PKWayThat said, macaroni and cheese is not my regular menu item given its massive amount of, well, cheese. (More examples of the things I regularly cook are here.) Moderation is key when it comes to meals like these; my recommendation is to keep mac and cheese as a special treat. I, for example, make it only a few times a year. I adore the classic cheddar-based version—confession: I still get occasional hankerings for Stouffer’s from my grad student days—but today’s recipe includes other cheeses, too. Ravishing additions like caramelized onions, blue cheese, and a crispy garlic and herb crumb topping come together in a sexy adult variation that’s definitely not yo’ mama’s mac and cheese.

So enjoy this lighter-than-usual-yet-still-creamy-and-delicious dish of indulgence—and do so guilt-free! It is definitely nutrition doctor approved.

Just, you know, not all the time.

* * * * *

Macaroni & Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or more)
  • 2 cups onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, fresh (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • Salt and black pepper, to season
  • 2 cups vegetable stock, homemade or no-sodium store bought
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth (or white wine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 12 ounces whole wheat elbow macaroni (or other pasta of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 cups white cheddar, grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups blue cheese, crumbled (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup green peas (optional)

Crispy Crumb Topping

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, approximately
  • 2 pieces whole wheat bread, pulsed or grated into fine crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts, chopped (almonds or pecans also work)

Directions

Caramelize the alliumHeat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low and add in onions and shallots. Season with salt and pepper and toss until coated. Cook down slowly until brown and deliciously sweet, stirring occasionally, and toss in the thyme leaves during the final minutes. Drizzle in a bit more EVOO if needed during cooking to prevent the onions from sticking to the pan and drying out. (More instructions here on how to caramelize onions.)

Make the pasta and sauce. While the onions are doing their thing, smash your garlic cloves with the back of a knife, remove the skins, and throw into a saucepan with the vermouth, vegetable stock, and rosemary. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 10 minutes or so. Note that the goal is to infuse the stock with garlic and rosemary, not reduce it substantially. While the sauce simmers, fill a pot with water and a few big pinches of salt and bring to a boil. Follow the directions on the package and cook your pasta of choice until a few minutes firmer than al dente; it will absorb the sauce and become more tender during cooking. In a large bowl, grate the cheddar cheese and toss it with corn starch, then pour in the herbaceous stock and whisk. (Note that this is not a thick béchamel sauce; the mixture will still be thin at this point.) Stir in the mascarpone, dried mustard, and white pepper.

Prepare the crispy topping. Pulse the bread into fine crumbs; you’ll have about 1 cup or so. Heat the olive oil to medium-high and add the garlic, stirring until fragrant, and then the breadcrumbs. Sauté until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes or so. Add nuts and parsley, mixing an additional minute or two to combine.

Put it together.  Stir the drained pasta into the cheese sauce then add the crumbled blue cheese, caramelized onions, and peas (if using),  just until combined. Pour the mixture into a large casserole or fun, individual-sized serving dishes that have been lightly coated with olive oil or cooking spray. Scatter the top(s) with the crispy crumbs.

Bake in an preheated 375 degree F oven about 20-40 minutes (a deep casserole will take closer to 40 minutes), until mixture is hot and bubbling. If crumbs are getting too brown, cover with foil until cooked

Let the mac and cheese rest a few minutes then serve.

* * * * *

If you’re still reading—and thanks for that!—then you caught the various alterations that make my version better-for-you-and-the-planet-too: I swapped nutritious whole grain for typical white for both the pasta and bread crumbs; switched heart-healthy olive oil for butter; selected homemade veggie stock rather than full-sodium store-bought chicken broth; and included veggies like onions and peas for balance and texture. (My hubby has an affection for peas, and I love to see the green pops of color.) And I used Nigella’s tip of starting with a stock, which lets the flavors sing rather than burying everything in uber-creamy cheesiness. (Though there’s certainly nothing wrong with that once in a while, as she and I both fully agree, and you can make this dish a lot richer by starting with a traditional roux and adding even more cheese.) Finally, including some toasted nuts in the topping brings in even more vitamins and minerals with a little bit of extra crunch to boot.

The result? The earthy, herbaceous notes of this dish come together delectably in a sophisticated take on mac and cheese that’s almost dinner party worthy.

And if this dish doesn’t quite work for you, since some people don’t care for blue, either use all cheddar or swap in Swiss or gouda. And include the veggies that make you and yours happy. Make it your way!

Or, you know, there’s always Stouffer’s.

I hear that.

Macaroni and Cheese

Note. This is the version of the dish I make in my own kitchen based on the ingredients I use regularly, like whole grain pasta and bread and homemade vegetable stock. I made minor changes to my regular recipe on the show based on the pantry items available. Also—repeat after me—whole grain pasta doesn’t suck, and this dish is the perfect foil since it has other nutty, earthy elements to it (like blue cheese and nuts). Give it a shot, or start swapping in whole grain for regular until your palate adjusts to the more pronounced flavor of whole grain pasta; it will happen.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Making a Manhattan, the PK Way (May Involve Cranberries)

It’s a special night! I’ll be making my primetime debut auditioning for The Taste, ABC’s reality show cooking competition looking for the best undiscovered cook in America. Will I get on a team? Watch and find out! In the meantime, I’ll be calming my nerves by sipping tonight’s cocktail of choice, a Manhattan. My version includes the traditional ingredients of bourbon, sweet vermouth, and bitters but swaps the maraschino cherries for cranberries in my own seasonal twist on the classic. Check it out!

And don’t forget to check back soon for the recipe on how I roasted up those gorgeous little Vaccinium macrocarpon(That’s nerd-speak for cranberries.)

Thanks for watching!

                                           

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

Dr. P. K. NPK Newbyewby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Toasted Hazelnuts

Brussels Sprouts and Caramelized OnionsStill searching for the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving? Look no further, The Nutrition Doctor has got you covered. Here I take three separate elements—roasted Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, and toasted hazelnuts—and put them together in a tantalizing way that will make people stand up and cheer.

Well, maybe not cheer, exactly, but it will certainly wow your guests who still have nightmares about overcooked sprouts, a smelly mess that no one wants to eat.

Nothing too difficult about this recipe at all. A few ingredients and three simple steps and you’re done. And you really don’t have to measure anything here, just use whatever amounts you need based upon the number you’re feeding—a handful per person, say—and go from there. Experienced cooks can put together these elements using their own methods while beginners can click on the links for more detailed info on how to roast Brussels sprouts and caramelize onions. It’s super easy, so if you’ve never done it before don’t let that stop you.

Also, prepare to be amazed.

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Ingredients: Brussels sprouts, onions, extra-virgin olive oil, thyme, hazelnuts (aka, filberts), kosher or sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

1. Caramelize the onions. Slice onions thinly; I use about 3 or 4 large yellow ones because they shrink down considerably when cooking and extra can be saved in the fridge or freezer for another time. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan to medium-low and add onions, cooking until soft and sweet. (More here.)

Caramelized Onions

2. Roast the Brussels sprouts. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, toss sprouts with olive oil, season with S&P, and cook for about 20 minutes. (More here.)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

3. Toast the hazelnuts. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and throw a towel over them for a minute or so then rub off the skins; no need to remove them all, since they add color and texture to the dish. Chop coarsely, leaving some whole.

Toasted Hazelnuts

4. Mix it all together. Put sprouts, onions, and nuts together in a bowl in whatever proportion pleases you and mix until combined. Taste and reseason with additional salt and pepper as needed. Spoon into a serving dish and garnish with additional nuts. Feel free to top with an extra drizzle of olive oil for richness and/or a splash of vinegar (sherry, wine, balsamic, whatever) for zing if you like. Or, you could get even fancier with a maple dijon vinaigrette, which is fabulous but not at all necessary.

Brussels Sprouts and Caramelized Onions with Hazelnuts

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Gluten-free? Check. Paleo? Check. Vegetarian? Check. Vegan? Check. Healthy? Check. Planet-friendly? Check. Scrumptious? Double check. Beyond being a crowd-pleaser for veggie-loving folks, this recipe also fits beautifully into the diets of your friends and family with specific dietary preferences.

And on the nutritional front, these little green bundles, like its headless cousin kale, are a source of a great many vitamins and minerals, including vitamins K, C, folate, B 6, B 1, manganese, copper, and potassium. They have about 60 calories per cup (before the olive oil and other ingredients, that is) and are particularly high in glucosinolates, a powerful group of phytonutrients important in cancer prevention and DNA protection. Put that together with the minerals and heart-healthy unsaturated fats in filberts and the flavonoids and anthocyanins in onions—which are more of those mighty phytonutrients—and you’ve got a salacious and satiating side dish for Thanksgiving, or any day.

So move over, kale. Step aside, cauliflower. It’s time Brussels sprouts started getting their due respect on the dinner table, and this dish gives them the starring role they deserve.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at your local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Another Cruciferous Revelation)

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts PlatedMy first-ever post on roasted Brussels sprouts was, well, long. Who wants to read all that when all you need is a go-to Brussels sprouts recipe for Thanksgiving, or any day?

Of course, if you do wish to read that piece—and I thank you for that—it’s here. But if not, today’s brief post is dedicated to the recipe alone. In four easy steps, you will be acquainted with the easiest tried-and-true way to enjoy Brussels sprouts, and they can be eaten alone or included in various wonderful dishes like kale and Brussels sprouts salad with maple dijon vinaigretteswordfish picatta with smashed cauliflower and caramelized Brussels sprouts; or seared scallops with roasted squash, Brussels sprouts, and cranberry beans. All of these are delicious autumn-themed meals featuring this adorable little cabbage.

The magic begins in a white hot oven, so get in the kitchen, turn up the heat, and let’s get cooking.

1. Wash Brussels sprouts. Use as many as you like. (They keep fine in the fridge for additional uses.)

Bowl of Raw Brussels Sprouts

2. Place washed sprouts on a baking sheet, cutting the large ones in half. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss with your fingers until coated. (There should not be extra oil pooling on the sheet.)

Brussels Sprouts Before

3. Roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes until tender and browned in places., tossing half-way through cooking. Some of the leaves may become charred, becoming crunchy and delicious (and, occasionally, too charred, tasting burnt; discard those ones).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

4. Spoon into a serving dish and enjoy.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Plated

That’s all, folks. Easy as can be.

Stay tuned for how I used this particular batch in some upcoming recipes. And, for more dishes starring veggies to adorn your Thanksgiving table, from cauliflower to squash, stuffing to desserts, please visit my recipes page.

Thanks for reading, and happy cooking!

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Her first book Foods for Health is onsale at your local bookstores and here.

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.

Getting Retro with Waldorf Salad: A Modern Take on the Classic

Waldorf SaladSome of my readers may not be familiar with this dish, which is decidedly old-school. In fact, Waldorf salad was created at the turn of the twentieth century. It was particularly popular in the early 1900s, even getting a shout-out in Cole Porter’s classic song “You’re the Top” from Anything Goes (1934) alongside Shakespeare and Mickey Mouse. Waldorf salad also played a starring role in one of the episodes of the 1979 British sitcom Fawlty Towers

Perhaps due to its tasty simplicity featuring common ingredients like apples and walnuts, it continues to be passed down the generations. And why not? There’s nothing not to like about this classic, and it’s a fine way to celebrate all those crisp autumn apples of varying colors and flavors. Just select a few varieties that make you happy—leave that pretty skin loaded with fiber and phytonutrients on, please—and add a few more ingredients for a dish that can be made in less than ten minutes. My recipe modernizes the salad with additional vegetables and herbs to give it a nutrition and flavor boost, and there’s plenty of room for you to play, too, to create your own perfect Waldorf salad fit for twenty-first century families.

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Ingredients

  • 2 apples
  • Hakurei turnips (sweet salad turnips)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (approximately from 1/3 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon scallions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon celery, diced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, rough chop
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon raisins (I prefer golden)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pecans, toasted, rough chop
  • 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2  teaspoon agave nectar (or honey) (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions and Notes

Chop the unpeeled apples and turnips into bite-sized chunks and toss with freshly squeezed lemon juice. (I generally choose one sweet and one tart apple; use whatever you want.) Stir in scallions, celery, parsley, mayonnaise, yogurt, raisins, and nuts. Add a shake of vinegar and small squirt of agave, season with freshly ground pepper and a few pinches of salt, and mix. Taste and adjust: final amounts of vinegar, lemon juice, and agave (if using) will be dictated by how sweet or tart the apples you selected were as well as your own preferences. Personally, I enjoy a salad with tang so I often squeeze in a bit more lemon juice. Garnish with lemon zest, a few nuts, or a scatter of parsley and scallions, as desired.

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Sure, you can just toss some apples together with yogurt and nuts perhaps like you would with any fruit for a simple snack or dessert. But putting a few additional ingredients together creates something … special. I include scrumptious turnips because they’re always at my farmers market this time of year. This small and sweet variety is perfect in any kind of autumn salad and has the same texture as a very crisp apple with none of the bitterness of its larger counterpart. Perfect complement.

There are so many other options to keep things interesting and suit your taste. Swap red or yellow onion for scallions; switch pistachios or walnuts for pecans; add kale, broccoli, or cauliflower for color and texture; or toss in and handful of grapes, as those keeping with the traditional recipe are wont to do. And you could ditch the mayo if you prefer and just use yogurt, perhaps with crème fraiche or sour cream for tang. I often include a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, too.

A small bowl of Waldorf salad makes a super breakfast, snack, or dessert, but with all of these vegetables I find it also makes a really nice light lunch when served atop a bed of greens. Peppery arugula is perfect (as pictured) but anything works, really, from sweet spinach to pretty red leaf lettuce; choose whatever you have on hand.

Modern Waldorf Salad

Here’s to the classics!

There’s a reason they’re still around, and getting creative makes them a fun and worthwhile addition to your meal-time repertoire, even now.

If you like what you see here at The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen, please subscribe to my blog from the home page, become a fan on Facebook, follow me on Twittercheck out my food porn on Pinterest, watch my cooking videos on YouTube, and peruse my recipe page for soups, salads, seafood, sweets, and more. 

P.K. NewbyDr. P. K. Newby is a nutrition scientist and educator with expertise in the prevention of obesity and chronic diseases through diet and the relations between agriculture, food production, and public healthShe brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability through her writing and videos to help people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. 

© 2014 The Nutrition Doctor is In the Kitchen. All Rights Reserved.