by Rachael Lamb
This May, you may have noticed a sweet little addition to more than a few of our menu items. Spring onions, (or ’scallions’, ‘green onions’ ,’bunching onions’, ‘baby onions’, etc.) are the perfect addition to salads, soups, stir-fry’s and sandwiches. We like to use them in the Teriyaki Rice Bowl, as a garnish on the Black Bean Enchilada, or in the Polenta aside the Tuscan Beef Stew – just to name a few! They’re mild, but still flavorful in a way that isn’t overpowering. This is because they are harvested prematurely, before the bulb has time to fully develop that sharp, bold flavor. Green onions are part of the Allium family which contains over 300 species; this also includes Leeks, Garlic, Spring Onions, Shallots and Chives.
What to Look For
Bunches that are firm with bright green stems. Avoid those slimy bulbs.
How to Prepare It
Trim off the roots, then wash. Slice the bulbs and the stems into thin rounds. Green onions are mild and therefore can be eaten raw or cooked. Try them in the cream cheese recipe below!
How to Store It
Spring onions don’t have the shelf life of regular onions, so be sure to store in a perforated bag in the fridge. Or stick the bunch in a jar with in 1-2 inches of water and cover with a plastic bag. Will last 4-5 days.
Scallion Cream Cheese
- 1 package plain cream cheese
- 1 bunch scallions (eyeball it depending on their size; about 5 pieces)
- kosher salt (optional)
1) Set cream cheese out at room temperature in a mixing bowl.
2) Snip the scallions into small pieces using kitchen shears. Add to the softened cream cheese once it has reached room temp.
3) Mix thoroughly; add more scallion to taste.
4) Chill for one hour before serving. Tastes best at room temp.
-Taken from ‘Organicglory’ blog https://organicglory.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/recipe-scallion-cream-cheese/
by Rachael Lamb
The rain has finally started to slow and it is time, once again, to enjoy the product of all those wet,grey sky-ed days: Green EVERYTHING. Wildflowers. Rushing streams. Cool, fresh air. What better way to spend some free time than out exploring the beautiful northwest (or as my Oregon license plate proclaims, the “Pacific Wonderland”)! Not only is nature a wonder to marvel at, spending time outdoors is scientifically proven to release stress, and improve mood. It boosts our Vitamin D levels (essential to our immune systems), promotes eye health, is good for the lungs, improves sleep – the list goes on and on. Even a light walk has immense health benefits. Here are a few spring hikes in the Portland area worth checking out this season!
Angel’s Rest is an exposed bluff on the Western end of the Columbia River George. This summit is characterized by a long, rocky spine surrounded on three sides by cliffs, boasting a striking 270 degree view! While you can’t see any of the Cascade volcanoes from the top, you do get great vantages of Beacon Rock, Silver Star Mountain, and many other landmarks.
Distance: 4.8 Miles Roundtrip
Distance from Portland: 40 Minutes
The Wildwood Trail – Forest Park
The Wildwood Trail begins in downtown Portland and spans 30 miles throughout Forest Park. An abundance of wildlife can be found in Forest Park — the largest urban park in the country. Forest Park’s extensive system of trails, fire lanes and roads provide excellent opportunities for hiking, walking, running, and simply escaping the urban atmosphere.
Distance: 30 miles point -to- point
Distance from Portland: 0 Miles!
This is a stunning low elevation loop in the Columbia River Gorge. In literally a few steps, you leave the modern freeway noise and enter a different world. There are views of three waterfalls and a couple of views of Oneonta Gorge. The trail begins in one of the most scenic trailheads anywhere, at Horsetail Falls. The Horsetail Falls Trail (#438) continues for 2.8 miles, passing under Ponytail Falls, and then crosses Middle Oneonta Falls.
Distance: 2.8 Miles
Distance from Portland: 45 Minutes
This hike is an odd mix of easy and difficult; it’s very short, but also very steep, with loose rocks in places. This is definitely a hike for good boots.
Distance: .6 miles
Distance from Portland: 40 Minutes
On the Washington side of the Gorge, Dog Mountain is a favorite of many. The steep climb is difficult, but worth the amazing views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and the tip of Mt. Hood peaking over Mt. Defiance. Dog Mountain is famous for its abundant wildflowers in springtime - the upper meadows of the mountain explode with colorful wildflowers in May and June.
Distance: 7 Miles
Distance from Portland: 1.5 hrs
by Rachael Lamb
The dreaded word. The thing to be avoided at all costs. There is good reason to fear fat – this country has a higher rate of obesity than any other place in the world, and it’s not because we overdo it on the vegetables. It seems like common sense, from a weight loss perspective, that consuming foods high in fat such as milk, butter, red meat, etc. contribute to weight gain. But what are the true root causes? Does eating fat make you fat? Let’s start at the beginning.
- Is one of the three main macro nutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates).
- Serves both as energy sources for the body, and as stores for energy in excess of what the body needs immediately.
- Fatty acids that are set free by the digestion of fats are called essential because they cannot be synthesized in the body from simpler constituents. There are two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in human nutrition: alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). Other lipids needed by the body can be synthesized from these and other fats.
- Some vitamins, (A, D, E, and K) are fat-soluble, meaning they can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats.
- Plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair, insulating body organs against shock, maintaining body temperature, and promoting healthy cell function.
- Serves as a useful buffer towards a host of diseases. When a particular substance, reaches unsafe levels in the bloodstream, the body can effectively dilute—or at least maintain equilibrium of—the offending substances by storing it in new fat tissue. This helps to protect vital organs, until such time as the offending substances can be metabolized and/or removed from the body.
(Learn more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat)
Doesn’t sound so bad anymore? From a scientific perspective it seems that fat has gotten a bad rap. Studies done in the 1970′s concluded that saturated fat was the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, and since then we have removed fat from our diets in an attempt to be healthy. The food pyramid of the 90′s urged us to eat fats ‘sparingly’, while recommending we consume 9-11 servings of bread, rice, pasta A DAY. Interestingly, over the past 30 years fat intake has dropped from 40% to 30% but obesity has doubled! On top of that, cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death in this country. Was fat framed?
New research has begun to dissect the studies done in the 1970′s, dismissing fat as the culprit. A 2010 study release by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.” (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract) New research points to sugar as the true root cause of obesity and disease. In fact, the low-fat craze led us straight to an increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugar. Even the American Heart Association agrees that sugar is more of a threat than saturated fat. A high-sugar diet increases your insulin levels (associated with some kinds of cancers, heart disease, etc.), compromises your immune system, contributes to weight gain, and is associated with increased mortality. (Check out this article from JAMA Internal Medicine).
This doesn’t mean go out and gorge on hotdogs. Not every source of fat is equal. This study published through the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine found that the consumption of processed meats, but not red meats, is associated with higher incidence of CHD and diabetes.
- Don’t fear fat – it’s essential!
- Spending a little more on food (especially fats from quality sources) is preventative health care!
- Be conscious of sugar intake to prevent risk of CHD and obesity.
by Rachael Lamb
April is the month for Asparagus. It’s bright-green shooting stalk is the epitome of Spring. We’ve spent the past few winter months winding down, conserving energy in preparation for the new birth and regeneration that this season brings us. Many vegetables start to make an appearance about now (onions, leeks, mushrooms, garlic, etc.) – but The Mighty Asparagus is King (or Queen – but we’ll get to that later).
The Asparagus plant has one of the longest growing periods of any vegetable, needing 3-4 years to build well-established roots. It will grow just about anywhere that has a freezing cold winter or dry season. You can start a plant from seed (harder, but more cost-effective), or from a year-old crown (saves time but more prone to disease or weakness). Asparagus is ‘dioecious’ - meaning it has male flowers and female flowers on separate plants. Growing from seed allows you to plant an all-male bed which is beneficial because male asparagus plants put all their energy into producing edible spears. Female plants, on the other hand, put most of their energy towards reproducing, creating berries that fall to the ground and self seed. Well prepared and maintained asparagus beds only increase in production, and can last for as long as up to 30 years!
Not only is this plant not afraid of commitment – it delivers an abundance of nutrition. It gets it’s name from the ammino acid ‘asparagine’, which it is brimming with. Asparagus packs a good dose of vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and zinc, and a very good source of dietary fiber, protein, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, rutin, niacen, folic acid, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. WOW.
Interestingly, there is a recipe for asparagus in the oldest existing recipe book: Apicius’s third-century AD De re conquinaria, Book III. It follows:
6. A Dish of Asparagus, Another Way: Add asparagus tips (that are usually thrown away) to a mortar. Pound, add wine, then pass through a sieve. Pound pepper, lovage, fresh coriander, savory, onion, wine, liquamen and olive oil. Put the purée and spices in a greased shallow pan, and, if you wish, break eggs over it when it is on the fire, so that the mixture sets. Season with finely-ground pepper and serve.
Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/apicius-pandecter-4.php
Copyright © celtnet
Another interesting fact: Asparagus can make your pee smell (if you haven’t already noticed). If you are among the few who claim you’ve never smelled it, that’s because (no offense) you lack the ability to detect the odor, or you lack the ability to produce the odor! Research studies are inconclusive as to why some people produce the odor but can’t smell it – or don’t produce it but can detect it. Check out the BBC’s run-down on these studies here.
And as you begin your transition into spring this year, remember to ‘stalk’ – up on some asparagus. :)
by Rachael Lamb
Have you noticed the significant difference in our pasta dishes lately?! What has added such flavor, texture, and wholesomeness to our Tuscan Lasagna, Chicken Spiedini, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Turkey Bolognese, Shrimp Arrabbiata, etc? That would be Adam Berger’s hand-made pasta. Farm to Fit has recently made the transition from dry pasta to fresh, local pasta that is made right down the street from us! Adam Berger, the long-time owner of Tabla Restaurant (on the corner of NE 28th and Davis), has launched an organic premium pasta line called “Rallenti” which he serves at his restaurant and which is now available to you via Farm to Fit! I got a chance to chat with Adam this morning at Tabla and learned quite a bit about the pasta-making process as well as the artist himself.
Where are you from originally? ”Jersey”
How did you get started doing this? ”Well, I’ve been making pasta for 20 years. I graduated from culinary school in Arizona and went straight to Italy, where I worked in 4 restaurants making pasta. We used a crank handled extruder, which can take awhile”
What does “Rallenti” mean? “Slow Down”
What ingredients go into making your pasta? And your gluten-free pasta? “Semolina flour and water – and the pasta I make for you guys is whole wheat so I add in some fresh wheat germ. The gluten-free pasta is made with Bob’s Red Mill rice flour, xanthan gum, and eggs.”
What is the key to making THE freshest pasta? “Using the best flour and eggs. The best ingredients in general. We always use semolina flour – a coarser flour that is only milled in certain places in the U.S. Keeping your attention on what you’re doing. A lot of times your hands are just ‘going’, you can’t really just ‘daydream’ you have to make sure you are keeping attention to detail. Also, being aware of how the environment/weather is going to affect your ingredients. Every day is different. Especially the humidity – a batch of pasta can differ by 25 g of water on different days, depending on humidity.”
How long have you had Tabla? And what sets your restaurant apart from other Portland Italian places? ”We’ve been here for 12 years. That’s a good question…I’d say that we are well grounded in authentic Italian technique – - with a 2015 Portland twist.”
Check out Tabla Restaurant at http://www.tablapastaevino.com/ and stay tuned to Farm to Fit’s upcoming menus for more Rallenti-inspired creations!
by Rachael Lamb
We’re super excited to unveil the new face of Farm to Fit!
It’s been a long time coming that we update our logo – a lot’s changed in 3 years. We’ve moved into our own kitchen, outgrown a decent-sized walk-in, and just recently built a shed for more storage space. On top of that, we’ve worked on perfecting our recipes so that Portland can experience how delicious health food can be. Thank you to all of our loyal customers – and welcome to the “new” Farm to Fit (with that same great taste)!
by Rachael Lamb
There is a growing population of Americans who have begun to buck the bad habits that sometimes come with living the ‘fast life’. You know, that daily grind of: up and at ‘em out the door – work. school. errands. chores. meetings. phone calls. commutes – and finally home, starving, looking at that empty fridge. We all know how easy it is to succumb to take-out meals or pre-packaged, processed foods that have low nutritional value. Fast food exists on every corner for a reason. It’s hot, it’s ready to eat, and it’s right there. However, we all know the detrimental effects of a fast food diet on our bodies, our local communities, and our conscience. That’s why so many are starting to seek out healthier alternatives. At Farm to Fit we combine the slow and the fast, thus making healthy, hearty eating possible without any time lost. Let us spend the day braising, marinating, kneading, pickling, poaching, etc. so that you have the time and energy to do what YOU do best.
Chef Jeremy often has something stewing overnight in the tilt kettle, and our team of prep chefs are always cooking with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Scones are made from scratch. Beans are soaked. Beef is slow-cooked to shredded perfection. At farm to fit we care to keep the bar high. We provide quality food so you can focus on the things that add quality to your life.
Check out these Portland food-based businesses/organizations with similar philosophies !
1. New American Restaurant - Tasty, sustainable, and wholesome family-style meals that you can order and pay for from your phone or computer.
2. Slow Food Portland - A non-profit dedicated to bringing the Slow Food philosophy to life through:
- cooking, tasting and educational events;
- community discussions and speaker presentations;
- farm, ranch and garden tours;
- happy hours; and
- film and book events.
3. Local Harvest - A national online database listing over 30,000 family farms and farmers markets, along with restaurants and grocery stores that feature local food. Portland, OR shows 298 listings.
4. Portland Area CSA Coalition - An online database listing Portland area CSA’s
“The Portland Area CSA Coalition connects you with your farmer through Community Supported Agriculture. We help people find the right farm for their family, and we help farmers create sustainable, thriving businesses. We believe a vibrant, environmentally sound local food system is created by building relationships between farmers and households through healthy, accessible, local food.”
5. Old Salt Marketplace - Deli & meat shop, supperhouse & bar, event & classroom, and a mid-week farmers market through the summer. EVERYTHING made in-house.Address: 5027 NE 42nd Ave, Portland, OR 97218Phone:(971) 255-01676. Soup Cycle - Fresh, tasty meals delivered by bicycle.Phone: 503-897-8464
by Rachael Lamb
We all want to feel fit and healthy, but sometimes it’s hard to find the path there. In our current culture of overly-processed, mass-produced foods, healthy eating has become somewhat of a challenge. We are constantly bombarded with information that is often times based on subjective claims or one answer solutions that will keep you “slim, disease-free, and full of energy.”
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the varying declarations. And while fad diets are at least a step in the right direction (a desire for a healthier lifestyle), they can often lead to more frustration due to their usually unsustainable nature.
Take the Raw Food Diet for example. It suggests that cooking food destroys nutrients so adherents to the diet must spend hours juicing, blending, dehydrating, sprouting, germinating, cutting, chopping, and re-hydrating. Or how about the Cabbage Soup Diet – the idea being that the liquid will keep you full and cabbage/veggies are low calorie foods, hence weight loss. But how long can anyone really eat cabbage soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
There is one time-tested plan that most experts can agree on being practical and beneficial. It’s called basic healthy eating. Brian Smith, clinical nutrition operations manager at UnityPoint Health Des Moines, encourages folks to eat a variety of foods, select as few processed foods as possible, and be careful with salt and refined sugar. Here are some other healthy eating tips from Harvard Health Publications:
To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
- Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
- Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
- Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
- Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.
- Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entree, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, and start small. If you don’t feel satisfied at the end of a meal, try adding more leafy green vegetables or rounding off the meal with fresh fruit. Visual cues can help with portion sizes–your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards and half a cup of mashed potato, rice, or pasta is about the size of a traditional light bulb.
- Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. If the rest of your diet is healthy, eating a burger and fries once a week probably won’t have too much of a detrimental effect on your health. Eating junk food just once a month will have even less of an impact. As you reduce your intake of unhealthy foods, you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
People are often overwhelmed when shopping and don’t know what to do when they get to the grocery store. Preparing meals at home is another challenge. That’s where Farm to Fit can help! We take the stress out of eating by designing menus that are filled with fresh vegetables, portion controlled meats, carbs, and fats, and plenty of variety. On top of all that, we’ll deliver them to your door! If food delivery isn’t your thing, try a CSA box or take a cooking class!
The bottom line: Shoot for developing a diet that you can maintain for life, not just a few weeks or months, or until you’ve hit your ideal weight. Healthy eating shouldn’t be about ’good’ or ‘bad’ foods. Don’t feel guilty about the foods you love, rather eat them in moderation and choose other foods to provide the balance and variety that are vital to good health.
by Rachael Lambposted in Recipes
Things are winding down here today in the Farm to Fit kitchen, and as I sat down to write, my mind couldn’t help but wander to my after-work plans. That’s when I suddenly got a craving for chocolate peanut butter pie. I was Google-ing recipes when Erik, our sous chef walked up behind me and exclaimed “Uhhhh..PIE?! that doesn’t look Farm to FIT related!” I quickly tried to explain that it DID have to do with work, because they were HEALTHY recipes, and that I was researching them for a blog piece – but his grin told me that he didn’t believe me, and he had stopped listening.
It’s true, we are Farm to FIT – dedicated to and promoters of healthy eating and living. But where in the definition of ‘healthy’ is ‘NOT ALLOWED’? Maybe I use a loose definition of ‘healthy’, but even medical science agrees that there are health benefits in the indulgence and enjoyment of sweets (or whatever your ‘guilty pleasure’ is). The key is moderation, and we all know it. Chocolate peanut butter pie every afternoon? Sure – but I’m not about to call that healthy. A big ole’ hot fudge ice cream sundae once a summer? Totally good for the soul.
Another point in favor of dessert tonight: Make the healthy version. WAH-LA! not-so-guilty anymore, are you?
Clean No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup cashews
- 2 tbsp agave, honey or maple syrup
- 3 – 4 tbsp almond, rice or soy milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup organic peanut butter, unsalted (if using salted omit salt)
- 3 medium bananas, ripe (yellow)
- 3 tbsp almond, rice or soy milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, mini or regular (optional)
- To make the crust, add Crust Ingredients to a food processor and process until a ball of dough forms, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl. Start with a few tablespoons of almond milk and add more if necessary to bring to a desired consistency. Be careful not to over process the crust into a nut butter. Transfer the dough to a 9″ pie dish and flatten on the bottom and sides with your hands to make a pie shell. You can make a pretty rim using the fork.
- Give food processor a rinse, wipe with a towel and add Filling Ingredients. Process until smooth, pausing and scraping the sides of the bowl. Pour filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle with chocolate chips (optional), cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3-4 hours or until frozen. Thaw on a counter for about 30 minutes before slicing and serve.
Black Bean Brownies
- 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder (10g)
- 1/2 cup quick oats (40g) (See nutrition link below for substitutions)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or agave (or honey, but not for strict vegans.) (75g)
- pinch uncut stevia OR 2 tbsp sugar (or omit and increase maple syrup to 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil (40g) (See nutrition link for substitution notes)
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g) (Not optional. Omit at your own risk.)
- optional: more chips, for presentation
Black Bean Brownies Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor, and blend until completely smooth. Really blend well. (A blender can work if you absolutely must, but the texture—and even the taste—will be much better in a food processor.) Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Optional: sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. If they still look a bit undercooked, you can place them in the fridge overnight and they will magically firm up! Makes 9-12 brownies.
Carrot Cake Paleo Balls
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 5-6 dates, pitted
- 1/3 unsweetened shredded coconut
- 2 Carrots, shredded
- 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Cloves
- 2-4 Tbsp coconut milk or coconut oil, melted
- Put almonds in Vitamix or food processor. Blend until a fine flour. Remove.
- Put dates and coconut in Vitamix and blend until a smooth paste in formed.
- Return nuts, add carrots and spices, and mix well.
- Add coconut milk or oil and blend until desired consistentcy is reached.
- Form into balls.
- Store in refrigerator.
Gooey Apple Pecan Bars
For the crust:
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/4 cup coconut oil
3 Gala apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt
- Place all the crust ingredients in a food processor until they are finely chopped and well combined. Transfer the mixture to an 8×8-inch baking pan and press so that it is evenly distributed. Chill the crust in the refrigerator while you prepare the apple topping.
- Place a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the whole pecans, and toast until aromatic, about 8 minutes. Roughly chop the pecans, then set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut oil followed by the sliced apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and pinch of salt.
- Cook just until the apples become flexible, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Allow the apples to cool enough so you can handle them.
- Arrange the apple slices on top of the refrigerated crust, then sprinkle the chopped pecans over the apples, then drizzle with the reduced apple liquid. Refrigerate the bars until they become firm, about 8 hours. Cut into 12 bars, then serve.
Pumpkin Protein Cheesecake Mousse
1 cup low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk of choice
1 tbs sugar-free instant butterscotch (or vanilla) dry pudding mix
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3-6 packets stevia, or to taste (or sweetener of choice to taste)
light whip cream
- Place everything in a blender, and blend until smooth. Serve immediately or cover and place in the refrigerator until chilled — at least one hour. Top with light whip cream and/or crushed gingersnap cookies if desired!
Chocolate Pudding with Graham Cracker Pieces
by Rachael Lamb
“Bless You?” My first thought exactly, one day last year, when this popular Middle Eastern dish made it’s debut on our menu. I probably said “Shakshouka!” over 100 times that day, giddy by the excitement evoked in the annunciation of such a strange word. At first my co-workers laughed, one or two probably joined in for some group “Shakshouka’s!”, but as the day wore on so did their patience, and now I limit myself to 2 or 3 for the sake of team morale. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to! Not only is shakshouka fun to say, it is perfect cozy-weather food. Eggs poached in a spicy tomato/pepper sauce, traditionally served right in the cast iron skillet – what a ‘Sunday’ kind of breakfast.
Shakshouka has it’s roots in Tunisia, but has become a staple in Israel, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt – with the flavor and presentation slightly different in each of these countries. Sometimes it is served with spicy sausage, or salty cheese, onions, vegetables, and often with a side of bread. Whatever its origins, and however the best way to cook it, shakshouka, which means “all mixed up” in Hebrew, is healthy, nutritious, and apparently a fine cure for a hangover.
At Farm to Fit, Chef Jeremy mixes it up by adding Harissa to the sauce, a side of Israeli Couscous, and a link of Chicken-Apple Sausage. This Sunday try our version or make your own with this simple recipe!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 medium brown or white onion, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
- 4 cups ripe diced tomatoes, or 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili powder (mild)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste– spicy!)
- Pinch of sugar (optional, to taste)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5-6 eggs
- 1/2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional, for garnish)
- Heat a deep, large skillet or sauté pan on medium. Slowly warm olive oil in the pan. Add chopped onion, sauté for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and continue to sauté till mixture is fragrant.
- Add the bell pepper, sauté for 5-7 minutes over medium until softened.
- Add tomatoes and tomato paste to pan, stir till blended. Add spices and sugar, stir well, and allow mixture to simmer over medium heat for 5-7 minutes till it starts to reduce. At this point, you can taste the mixture and spice it according to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste, more sugar for a sweeter sauce, or more cayenne pepper for a spicier shakshouka.
- Crack the eggs, one at a time, directly over the tomato mixture, making sure to space them evenly over the sauce. I usually place 4-5 eggs around the outer edge and 1 in the center. The eggs will cook “over easy” style on top of the tomato sauce.
- Cover the pan. Allow mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked and the sauce has slightly reduced. Keep an eye on the skillet to make sure that the sauce doesn’t reduce too much, which can lead to burning.
- Some people prefer their shakshouka eggs more runny. If this is your preference, let the sauce reduce for a few minutes before cracking the eggs on top– then, cover the pan and cook the eggs to taste.
- Garnish with the chopped parsley, if desired.