Whole Wheat Focaccia with Caramelized Onions

May 30, 2013

Whole Wheat Focaccia with Caramelized Onions
I got into a focaccia kick and started making it just about every other day, topping it with vegetables and sometimes filling it with them. I mean, Stuffed Whole Wheat Focaccia with Arugula, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomatoes or Whole Wheat Focaccia With Cherry Tomatoes and Oregano, anyone?

Cauliflower Power

May 27, 2013

Not everyone is a fan of cauliflower. I get that. It’s a non pretentious vegetable, that deserves much more attention it’s actually getting.
Cauliflower is cheap, versatile, and features a high concentration of nutrients for the calories contained. The bad rep has something to do with the fact that it stinks badly when it cooks. The taste can also be a bit off-putting. Cauliflower is definitely not a kids favorite and sometimes that also applies to the grown-ups.
Cauliflower is enjoying a revamp lately though. No longer just for dips and soups, this unlikely veggie is taking the center stage in main dishes at some of the best eating spots around.
We have also found new ways to use it: what about cauliflower crust pizza? Or cauliflower rice?
Back in the days, even Mark Twain was very fond of this cruciferous vegetable. In Pudd’nhead Wilson he states “Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.” Conferring cauliflower a college degree.
Cauliflower was indeed an expensive and fashionable vegetable on the Victorian table. It was the queen of vegetables, and was often steamed whole and served elaborately garnished. Cabbage, on the other hand, was on everybody's plate, with no college education.


Quinoa and Turkey Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

May 24, 2013

Quinoa and Turkey Meatballs with Tahini Sauce

In order to stop meatballs from falling apart you need a binding agent. That’s one of the sacred rules of cooking. Without a binding agent, meatballs hardly hold their round shape and most of the time they will break while you cook them.
The most used binding agents are eggs or bread crumbs. Cheese (such as Parmesan cheese), flax meal or almond meal are among other favorites. I never thought (until yesterday) that quinoa could be used as well...now I know, quinoa makes for a perfect binding agent. Who knew?

Spicy Mexican Quinoa Casserole

May 22, 2013

Spicy Mexican Quinoa Casserole
If you’re familiar with this blog, you know how much we love quinoa. We already made bread, patties, soup, frittata, more patties, salad and tabbouleh with quinoa. Apparently, quinoa fits in almost any dish we’re cooking. Which got me thinking...maybe I should change the name of the blog from “TheIronYou” to “TheIronQuinoa” or “TheQuinoaYou”. Doesn’t sound bad, at all. I’ll give it a thought.

Banana Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

May 20, 2013

Banana Oatmeal Protein Pancakes

I’m pretty much obsessed with pancakes (who isn’t?). Good thing there’s like a million ways to make them.
This recipe has been my staple breakfast for a while. You might argue that this will never replace “real” pancakes made with butter and white flour; au contraire, they’re just as good.
They fill you up, they taste awesome, they’re nutritionally complete and good for you. Just what a power breakfast should be really about.

What I'm Reading: Making Supper Safe

May 19, 2013

The topic of food safety is more current than ever before. Over the past few decades, foodborne illness has shifted from being a fairly regionalized threat with the potential to sicken a handful of people in a single outbreak, to a national hazard capable of felling hundreds (if not thousands) of consumers from a single point of contamination.
Food recalls have become so ubiquitous we hardly even notice them. In 2008-2009 the massive salmonella contamination has killed nine people and sickened about 22,500 people. Only few weeks later, a contaminated frozen cookie dough has sent 35 people to the ER. The outbreaks are getting bigger and more deadly. These events are an alarming symptom that there’s something wrong with our food system.

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet

May 16, 2013

Hollywood’s new diet craze is nothing like the usual offerings. It’s not even a diet; there’s no counting calories, carbs forbearance or faddy detoxing. It’s a scientific based eating regimen that focuses on your body cells not your waistline. It seeks to operates on a biochemical level and it's designed to neutralize the inflammation that occurs inside your body. 
The anti-inflammatory diet got Hollywood hooked promising big benefits such as a clearer mind, fewer cravings, glowing skin and slimmer waist1.

Credit: Image courtesy of drweil.com

Crustless Veggie Tart

May 14, 2013

Crustless Veggie Tart

This recipe is a great dinner idea. Also a lunch idea. And now that I’m thinking about it, it could make for a great breakfast too. So this is more of great idea.
It’s loaded with summer veggies and there’s no crust. Well, there’s a sort of crust made with eggplant. But no typical tart crust made with flour and butter. No grains + no gluten = paleo friendly (i.e., primal). And vegetarian. Honestly it doesn’t get much better than that.

Negative Calorie Food: Fact or Fiction?

May 13, 2013

The term "negative calorie food" has been around for quite some time now, creating a good amount of confusion. 
Allegedly “negative calorie food” identifies certain foods that use up more calories in digestion, absorption and metabolism that they contain in the first place. In other words, calories from these foods are so hard for the body to breakdown and process, that their thermic effects are greater than their calorie values. This in turn could cause a calorie deficit, giving these foods a tremendous fat-burning advantage.  
If this assumption was true, eating these foods will cause weight-loss. The problem is that it’s not true. The calories your body burns in the digestive cycle are minuscule compared with the calories in the food itself1.

Celery stalk

Black Carrot Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting

May 12, 2013

Black Carrot Cake with Greek Yogurt Frosting
Springtime is party time. Long sunny days and mild temperatures provide the perfect conditions for fun gatherings. It seems like any excuse is a good excuse to throw a party and invite friends and family over. In NYC, especially among “youngsters”, it’s all about rooftop parties (and neighbours complaining about noise).
I like being invited to those parties where you are asked to bring some food and beverage to share: potluck parties! They take some of the pressure off the host, and guests can bring their own flavor to the party.

Stay Hydrated!

May 10, 2013

There are plenty of hot days ahead of us and while it's always a good idea to stay hydrated, it's especially important when summer temps start rising. Whether you’re training for the NYC Marathon in Central Park, hiking some peaks or just going on a shopping spree in the street of Soho with your friends. 
Here are some tips for how to stay hydrated during the warm weather months.

Apple Crumble Muffins

May 9, 2013

Apple Crumble Muffins

I just found out that there’s a right way to eat an apple. I’m not talking about manners, but how to chomp on it so that you won’t waste half in the process. Essentially, I’ve just learned that I’ve been doing wrong what I considered to be a fairly common eating routine.
So, how have I (and you too) been eating an apple to this day? Down to the core. Holding the top and the bottom with the fingers. Chomping from left-to-right (or right-to-left) until reaching the “inedible” core.
But no, that’s not the way to do it.
The one and only way to eat an apple (according to my friend Ryan) is to pluck the stem and bite right through the top of the apple. Or from the bottom, you decide.
If you do so, you won’t even feel the core as you bite and you’ll eat it all...yes, all. It really works. You’ll probably discard (read this as spit out) the seeds and the little indentation at the bottom; but that’s how much waste you’ll generate.
The notorious apple core will be something you’ll show a picture to your grandkids saying “That’s how we used to eat apples back in the days.” No more apple core, what a strange world to live in.

Skinny Eggplant Parmesan

May 5, 2013

Skinny Eggplant Parmesan

Oh hell yes this was good. Much much better than anticipated.
As with many popular dishes there are many bad ways to make eggplant parmesan (aka, eggplant Parmigiana). In a run-of-the-mill Italian restaurant or in almost every pizza parlor across the country if you order eggplant parmigiana you’ll get mushy slices of soggy, oily eggplant, slathered with greasy cheese and covered with a dubious tomato sauce.
Ok, this is the worst version possible. Besides that, there are many things where eggplant parmesan can go wrong.
This begs a question: if this get ruined so often why it is so popular? Because when it’s good, it’s awesomely good. Mouth watering good. That’s why it’s worth making.

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches

May 2, 2013

Baked Eggplant Sandwiches

Last week I spent a lot of time waddling around the different Farmers’ market in the city; sniffing produce and stuffing eggplants, cucumbers, asparagus, tomatoes and a ton of other produce (I didn’t really need) in my shopping bag.
I guess I experienced some sort of compulsive shopping syndrome girls always talk about.
Whatever I was laying eyes on I had to buy; which in a Farmers’ market it’s kind of an ok thing to do. No actual risk of financially ruin yourself. Worst case scenario is that when you get home you realize there’s no space left in the fridge. Which is exactly what happened to me.