Parade Magazine: Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato and Green Beans with Ginger Vinaigrette

Photo by Bill Kontzias at http://www.billkphotography.com

Farmer’s markets have many varieties of heirloom tomatoes, and they’re expensive because of high demand. However, when I see them, they bring memories of tomatoes growing in my father’s backyard. Their irregular, bulbous shape with a fresh cut strong stem indicates a juicy tomato ready for picking. It didn’t matter if they were mild green for frying in cornmeal or fiery red for a garden salad. Today, those same type of tomatoes still grow in my father’s backyard for free. Since, he lives a few states away, I purchase them for too many dollars per pound at fancy markets in New York. Regardless of price, I continue to buy them, because their sweet taste reminds me of home. As a New Yorker, I’m influenced by diverse cultures, including adding tons of ginger, a hint of fresh mint, rice vinegar and a dash of sesame oil to a vinaigrette traditionally made with a no-frill oil, vinegar, salt and black pepper that is tossed with green beans and tomatoes. Since most of the ingredients are in my pantry, the vinaigrette is cheaper to make versus the price of a large heirloom tomato. Only in New York…  Read more

When Stress is too Much and Sleep is too Little

Kale and Friseé Salad, Seared Tuna, Croutons and Matcha Green Tea Vinaigrette

As this is being written, it’s almost 2 in the morning. There’s a major deadline at work. A major deadline at home. There was a major deadline missed on Monday. Taxes are due in April. And, I’m trying to maintain what’s left of my sanity. My body aches every time I wake up in the morning. It begs for a few days of sleep. Normally, when waking up in the morning, I reach for a bold cup of coffee to feebly add a little energy to my tired body. This time a generous cup of The Republic of Tea’s u·matcha Green Tea Latte (recipe here) is whisked into a foamy drink. Matcha is green tea leaves grinded into a fine powder, and it has more caffeine than whole tea leaves. The amount of caffeine doesn’t cause my nerves to become jittery like coffee. Instead, the matcha (as with most teas) steadily increases my energy in an unnoticeable calm manner. With a banana, whole wheat toast slathered with butter and marmalade, I calmly start the day to weave in and out of crowded subways to walk up numerous stairs that lead into work.  Read more

Show Thy Body Some Love

Orange and Yellow Beet Salad with Kalamata Olives and Oregano

Ummmm… expecting chocolate? Yes, Valentine’s Day is this week. And, I delivered a salad with oranges and yellow beets. Ha… the ingredients aren’t aphrodisiacal, too. Well, I have other thoughts on my mind. Such as establishing a workout regime in my schedule. I shamefully stopping working out sometime in 2012, and I had the audacity to indulge in any and all pastries without guilt (ohhh… chocolate cake, where are you now?). Last year was an extremely good year, and we celebrated hard. The down side to the happy time, is a first-time in my life struggle with extra weight gain. And, it’s not a happy sight to see… or feel. Damn be anyone who tells me to love my body the way it is. I refuse to accept it, if I’m not working out.

Here’s my excuse: I had two separate foot injuries, dealt with a difficult cough the first few months of 2012, started a new job and running bored me. This week, I finally joined a gym. Instead of being mad at myself for stopping my workout routine, I ended my first day of class by saying, “I’m proud of you.”  Read more

A Sweet Salad of Medjool Dates, Oranges, and Gorgonzola Cheese

Date and Orange Salad

There’s an incredible depth of toffee richness in Medjool dates. They have a crinkly paper-thin skin similar to a sugar glaze. They’re dark honey brown with an oblong shape. The succulent flesh oozes sugar. It’s a fruit tasting like cake soaked in maple syrup. In this salad, dates are classically paired with oranges, and they’re tossed with creamy Gorgonzola cheese, shredded dried coconut, pine nuts and citrus vinaigrette. Read more

FrugivoreMag.com: Red Bean Salsa Nachos with Avocado Yogurt

Red Bean Salsa Nachos with Avocado Yogurt

Let’s hope your New Year’s resolution includes a game plan for a gradual lifestyle change for the better. February is probably the first true challenge of maintaining healthy goals. The football weekends leading to Superbowl are exciting events to spend with friends and family. Such celebratory events have unhealthy nibbles, bites and treats. Who’s winning? Read more