{Things I Love} :: Summer 2016

My {Things I Love} list is back for Summer 2016 with some fun and interesting objets de desir, places, people, books, recipes, photography, food and drinks that I’m currently crushing on – not necessarily ordered in terms of my favorite – but are all worthy of a huge shoutout for their awesomeness in my opinion…until next time, Happy End of Summer, and Bon Appetit!

fresh fish cookbook

Fresh Fish Cookbook


Jennifer Trainer Thompson‘s new cookbook has gorgeous photography, amazing seafood recipes and great stories of her living along the New England coast, all the while demystifying how to cook fish simply and deliciously. You’ll find recipes for soups and chowders, shellfish, fish entrees, side dishes, desserts and beachy cocktails for your next Summer seaside feast.

Jennifer is the author of over 20 books, a self-professed hot sauce maker and chicken chaser, and author of the blog Jump Up and Kiss Me, where you can find more of her food stories and recipes.

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https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Fish-Fearless-Grilling-Shucking/dp/1612123376

coconut rose petal ice cream

Coconut and Rose Petal Ice Cream w/ Cardamom Crumble

Not only is this a beautiful Summer dessert, it’s vegan, made with coconut milk and vanilla, fresh rose petals and a cardamom and oats crumble topping.  A dream come true.

Linda Lomelinos of Call Me Cupcake Blog

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Ken & Cook NYC

It’s currently #NYCRestaurantWeek, and we all know what that means. Bingeing on some of the most delicious food and drinks in NYC, without guilt of course, at $42 per person for dinner and $29 per person for lunch including appetizers, entree and dessert. I recently visited Ken and Cook with a friend for dinner the other night and I had a glorious feast of Ahi Poke Tuna, Seafood Ceviche, Filet Mignon with Basil Pesto Mashed Potatoes with a Chocolate Lava Cake w/ Salted Caramel Ice Cream and Tiramisu for dessert. With unlimited Prosecco on the house, at that. The atmosphere was lovely, the staff super attentive and gracious. In a great location in SoHo on Kenmore Street at the best table in the house. Must try – 100% delicious!

http://www.kenandcook.com

nora luther

Nora Luther Food Photography

Being a food stylist and photographer myself, of course I’m obsessed with all things food photography. I discovered Art Director Nora Luther’s food photos from another food blog I visit frequently and was blown away by her photos of food literally flying in the air.  So creative and very cool way to present food in a unique way.

blackberry crostata

Blackberry Chocolate Italian Tart with Coffee Creme Fraiche

OK. I absolutely love fruit tarts in the Summer. But blackberries and chocolate in a whole grain coconut flour crust? Topped with coffee infused creme fraiche? And what a gorgeous presentation at that, by Valentina of Hortus food blog. yes, please. 

pereg flours

Pereg Gourmet Alternative Flours

We all know that gluten-free is all the rage, and Pereg Gourmet just launched a new line of alternative flours this year to give consumers more cooking and baking options for gluten-free diets. They have 6 new varieties including Almond flour, Banana flour, Buckwheat flour, Chickpea flour, Coconut flour and Farro flour. All are gluten free except for the Farro, and are 100% natural, non-dairy and certified kosher. I was fortunate enough to get some samples myself, so it’s time to experiment with some fun recipes for Fall – hmmm, I’m thinking pizza, tarts and pies, homemade pasta..let’s see what I can come up with – stay tuned!

fried chicken gravy poutine

Fried Chicken and Gravy Poutine

O.M.G. – 5 words: fried chicken. gravy. fries. cheese curds. BACON. #yum

http://realfoodbydad.com/fried-chicken-and-gravy-poutine/

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The Capital Grille #GenerousPour Summer Promo

My friends and I visited The Capital Grille the other night on 42nd St in NYC to take advantage of NY Restaurant Week (yes, once again!) and to partake in their #GenerousPour Summer promo. For only $28, were able to taste a variety of 3 whites and 3 reds, handpicked by The Capital Grille to accompany our dinner menu. We had the Clam Chowder (super good!), Dry Aged NY Strip and Grilled Shrimp, Beef Tournados, and Pan-Seared Salmon (all amazing!) with Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes (to. die. for.) and an amazing Creme Brûlée (my favorite!!) for dessert.

My favorite wines were the Provenance Sauvignon Blanc from Napa CA, and the Beaulieu Vineyards Tapestry Cabernet (a bordeaux blend), also from Napa. We managed to stay for a few hours with full bellies and lots of generously poured vino and escaped for less than $100 each, including tip. Now that’s a delicious steal.

http://www.thecapitalgrille.com/events/the-generous-pour-wine-tasting

peach burrata salad

Peach Burrata Salad

This fresh summer salad is the perfect recipe for a light lunch or side dish for dinner. The saltiness of the prosciutto with the subtle heat of the red onion and the creaminess of the burrata is a seriously magical combination. And it’s stunning to look at too, is it not? I’m thinking a side of sparkling rose would just top it off beautifully.

http://www.designlovefest.com/2016/08/peach-and-burrata-salad/

french country cooking cookbook

French Country Cooking Cookbook

Another lovely cookbook from one of my favorite food bloggers, Mimi Thorisson of Manger. Filled with gorgeous as ever French styling and recipes and photos that will make your mouth water and wish you too were living in the countryside of France. Available Oct 25, and for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online…can’t wait to get my hands on it!

lobster tails

Lobster Tails with Mojo de Ajo & Grilled Corn Salsa

I love anything grilled, and this recipe absolutely screams Summer. Grilled lobster tails with garlic, chipotle, cilantro and lime marinade and a side of grilled corn salsa with more spicy flavors like jalapeño, onions, and basil. Sounds divine. Must make tonight.

http://www.upcloseandtasty.com/blog/2014/july/lobster-tails-with-grilled-corn-salsa

caprese mac and cheese

4 Cheese Caprese Mac and Cheese

O.M.G. Pasta. Heirloom tomatoes and basil. All baked into a bubbly pot with 4 melty cheeses – cheddar, havarti, mozzarella and brie. Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest does it again. Gorgeous and delicious as always.

 

Superfoods Recipes for a Healthy New Year

Once the holidays are over, it’s time for a break from all the super rich food and cocktails and detox with some healthy recipes made with some of my favorite superfoods for a fresh start to a healthy New Year!

What’s all the fuss over superfoods about? They help step up your immunity, boost energy, slow down aging, lift your spirits, improve circulation, detox, improve sleep, and they have healing benefits too. And they just make you feel better and healthier all around. Colorful fruits and vegetables possess tons of vitamins and minerals – start ‘eating the rainbow’, and you’re off to a healthy start.

Veggie Bean Soup


The best way to get your fix of Superfoods is to make a big pot of veggie soup in the middle of winter, not only for it’s warming properties, but also because soup gives a big dose of healthy vegetables that boost the immune system, as well as detox and cleanse the body with its healthy ingredients, antibacterial properties, vitamins and minerals, also people use different kind of supplements to burn fat and be healthy just visit site and find out the best ones.

Simmer Soup KitchenAid Stockpot

I’ve created a super healthy soup recipe that I made with my KitchenAid 11-cup Food Processor, that is so convenient to chop, grate and shred all those lovely veggies. Then I just threw them all in my KitchenAid 8-Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot (part of the Stainless Steel 8-piece set that I just got!) to make a delicious and heartwarming Vegetable and Bean Soup. The Stockpot is great because it heats up fast on the stovetop to sauté all the veggies and seasonings and it has etched measurement markings inside the pot that make it easy to measure all the liquids for the soup.

Soup_Ingredients

My soup is full of onions, garlic and chicken stock, which all help build the immunity system and keep the colds away. It also has tons of fresh veggies including zucchini, kale, carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and northern white beans topped with grated Parmesan cheese and extra virgin olive oil and some crusty whole wheat bread for dipping.

Kiwi Apple Berry Blast Smoothie

The New Year is also a great time to cleanse and detox by eating lots of healthy Superfood fruits! I love all berries that are full of antioxidants, with plenty of vitamins for a super boost in the morning.

Smoothie_Ingredients

I’ve created a delicious Kiwi Apple Berry Blast Smoothie recipe made with kiwi, apples, vanilla greek yogurt, almond milk, blueberries, acai berry puree, honey, lemon zest, flax seed and raw almonds.

Fruit and Almonds KitchenAid Diamond Blender

I simply threw all the ingredients into my powerhouse KitchenAid 5-Speed Diamond Blender with 5 different settings that does all the stirring, mixing, blending, pureeing and heavy lifting for me.And the smoothie is a healthy breakfast or snack, giving a big boost of protein and energy from the yogurt, almond milk, flax seeds and almonds; antioxidants from the berries and honey; and betacarotene, vitamin E and C from the kiwi fruit and lemon zest.

Click here to read the full post on the Kitchenthusiast blog by KitchenAid for more photos and recipes!

Published! Food Styling & Photography for Gary Null’s NEW Vegan Cookbook..Hot off the Press!

GNCookbook-hero
Anti-Arthritis, Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: Healing through Natural Foods
Anti-Arthritis, Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: Healing through Natural Foods

Yay! The time has finally arrived – the cookbook I shot and styled for Gary Null Power Foods arrived on my doorstep yesterday, HOT off the press!

I styled and shot this cookbook last August-September and it was a 6-week process with plenty of long days and nights, cooking, styling and shooting, with lots of laughter and intensity, for Gary Null’s new cookbook titled Anti-Arthritis, Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: Healing through Natural Foods. The cookbook has over 270 recipes that are Vegan, Vegetarian and Raw Food based on the premise of promoting a healthy diet while preventing and reversing arthritis, diabetes, cancer and inflammation through eating raw, vegan and power foods.

I worked with Gary and his editorial team throughout the process to interpret the recipes into appealing, fresh and healthy images for the cookbook. I also collaborated side by side with two amazing Chefs; Wes Wobles and William Shear, day and night (literally!) to turn the recipes into beautifully plated works of art which were styled meticulously in the kitchen and by myself on set, to create the perfect final beauty shot.


I’m very proud to have been the stylist and photographer on this awesome project and part of this dynamic project team that made the cookbook come to life in such a short time – it turned out beautifully with full color photos, a clean design and a comprehensive healthy eating program that might turn any meat-loving carnivore into a Vegan or Vegetarian just yet! The recipes are simple and easy to prepare with raw ingredients including grains, fruits, vegetables, and non-meat soy proteins flavored with plenty of fresh herbs and seasonings. There are recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Salads, Soups and Desserts plus plenty of sauces and dips along with healthy appetizers. Gary also explains the nutritional aspects to a Vegan and Vegetarian Raw food diet with an eating plan spelled out and easy to follow.

Light, healthy and fresh is the name of the game in this cookbook, and it’s arrived just in time for Spring to lighten up your diet and get healthy! Who knew eating meat-free could be so tasty? I just might give it a try 🙂

Purchase a copy of the book online

View gallery of some of my fav photos I shot for the book

Kudos to the Cookbook Team!
Kudos to the Cookbook Team!
Kind Testimonial from Gary Null
Kind Testimonial from Gary Null

Entrees

Fettucine Asparagus

Cauliflower Hummus

Salads-intro

Salads

Soups

Sauces

Gingerbread

Breakfast

Apple Banana Turnovers

Desserts

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from the photoshoot:

Mushroom Bean Curry with Butternut Squash
Mushroom Bean Curry with Butternut Squash
Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce
Coconut Cherry Ice Cream
Coconut Cherry Ice Cream
Penne Pasta and Kidney Bean Soup
Penne Pasta and Kidney Bean Soup
Stewed Plums
Stewed Plums
Fennel and Pecan Salad with Peaches
Fennel and Pecan Salad with Peaches
Sweet and Sour Bean Stew
Sweet and Sour Bean Stew
Chickpea Burger and Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Chickpea Burger and Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Spaghetti with Eggplant Marinara
Spaghetti with Eggplant Marinara
Sticky Sweet Rice with Papaya
Sticky Sweet Rice with Papaya
Lentil Curry
Lentil Curry
Bulgur and Vegetables
Bulgur and Vegetables
Bammie Cakes
Bammie Cakes
Apple Cinnamon French Toast
Apple Cinnamon French Toast
Bitters Sweet Salad
Bitters Sweet Salad
Millet Coriander Stir Fry
Millet Coriander Stir Fry

And now for some fun behind the scenes shots on set:

Test Shoot
Test Shoot
Chef Wes Wobles in the Kitchen
Chef Wes Wobles in the Kitchen
Kristen on set shooting garden scene
Kristen on set shooting garden scene

 

Making Homemade Granola
Making Homemade Granola
Making Caramel
Making Caramel
Arranging items on set
Arranging items on set

 

Plating the dish and prepping the shot
Plating the dish and prepping the shot
Setting up the props for the final shot
Setting up the props for the final shot

 

Behind the Scenes with Healthy Eating Expert Kathy Freston

Kathy Freston
Kathy Freston

Kathy Freston is is a bestselling author with a focus on healthy living and conscious eating, a health activist, vegan fashion lover, and person obsessed with living and eating well consciously. I had the opportunity to interview Kathy on her healthy living strategies for cooking and eating right, and find out more about her background, bestselling books and favorite recipes.

Veganist
Veganist

In Kathy’s new book, Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change the World, she discusses how she made the switch from classic, meat and fat-laden comfort foods to plant-based substitutes to create the same dishes, not only healthier for her well-being, but also better for the ecosystem and reversing and preventing disease.

Veganist was an instant New York Times bestseller, as were two of her previous books – Quantum Wellness and The One. She has appeared frequently on national television, including The Oprah Winfrey ShowEllenThe Dr. Oz ShowGood Morning AmericaThe View, and Extra. She is a regular contributor to the The Huffington Post, and her work is consistently featured in many national publications.

The Lean
The Lean

Kathy is also offering a limited number of signed copies of her book The Lean! – a 30-day plan for achievable, healthy, long lasting weight lossThe philosophy behind the book is about making choices to eat foods that are delicious, filling, and supportive of your weight loss goals. Each day of her 30-day plan, she asks you to make one simple change – from drinking more water, to swapping nondairy for cow’s milk, to exercising for a few minutes each day. Little by little, these changes will help you gain momentum and propel you towards your goals.

“Leaning in’ is a positive, sustainable way to lose weight and transform your health. It’s all about setting an intention for what you want, and then nudging yourself ever so gently in that direction.”
– Kathy

For more of Kathy’s tips and suggestions for cooking, eating right and healthy living, visit her shop on OpenSky.com — the premiere social network for shopping where you can connect with experts in health, food, design and style for exclusive information, advice and insider product recommendations.

***Now for the exclusive interview with Kathy where she discusses about her background, healthy living strategies and cooking tips in more detail.

1. Can you tell me a little bit about your nutrition / culinary training and professional background?

I am just your average food obsessed gal with no culinary training, which is why I enlisted the help of Chef Dayna Mcleod to come up with some super easy and delicious recipes to accompany the weight loss plan!

And on the nutritional front, I’m a researcher rather than a dietician, so I track down the best and most definitive peer reviewed studies on how food affects our health and weight; I try to pull it all together so that the science is easy to understand and applicable to anyone’s daily life.

I’m lucky to know and work with some of the nutrition science rock stars of our time, like Drs. Dean Ornish, Andrew Weil, Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, T. Colin Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, and Neal Barnard, professor of medicine at George Washington University.  I use their work and expertise to substantiate the medical soundness of The Lean plan.

2. When did you realize you wanted to be a nutrition and healthy living expert? Who in your career has inspired you most? What did you learn from them?

My interest in health was first born out of vanity!  I wanted to lose weight, have clear skin, and look attractive… all things that had eluded me until I started changing the way I approached food.  But vanity was soon taken over when I learned that nutrition could add years (many years) to my life by preventing and reversing disease.  THAT’S empowering!

I’ve been inspired most by the people who have lost weight – whether it was 30, 100, or 200 pounds – and turned their health around.  They are the best story tellers and motivators because when they share the steps they took and tell how they felt along the way, you can feel in your bones that you can do it too.  I love those people; they are game changers – not only for themselves, but for their families and communities, too!

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your healthy living strategies and what makes your menus and healthy eating plans unique?

Here’s my belief:  life is meant to be enjoyed, and food is a big part of that.  So much of our comfort and joy is connected to enjoying traditional favorites with our friends and family.  I’m a big fan of continuing to enjoy the traditional foods we grew up loving, but just upgrading them a bit so that they are healthier.  I love pasta with sausage, for instance; so I’ll opt for pasta made from brown rice (you cannot tell the difference between it and white flour pasta) and veggie sausage instead of the fatty stuff from animals.  I love tostadas and burritos; but I’ll have them with black beans rather than beef or chicken with all the fixins (nondairy sour cream rather than dairy, though).  I love all things creamy, but I make them with cashew cream so that it’s easier on the body.  No white-knuckle, hard core discipline –  just healthier versions of the things we already love!

4. Can you tell me a little more about your book and eating plan The Lean, and some of the basics key points and advantages behind it?

The Lean is about getting lean in the body, but it’s also about “leaning in” to the process easily and gradually.  You have one new task to do each of the 30 days of the plan, and what you do on Day 1, you will also be doing on Day 2, Day 3, etc; so by the end of the 30 days, you will have 30 wonderful new habits that will have crowded out some old bad habits!

5. Can you give us some quick tips and strategies on weight loss and nutrition?

Here are 3 little things you can do right away that will help you begin leaning:

1.     Eat an apple a day.  The fiber fills you up and keeps your blood sugar steady.  The pectin from apples is actually twice as good as other fiber, because it leaves your stomach twice as slowly so you feel fuller longer.  Eat one before a meal and you’ll eat far less calories!

2.     Drink 8 glasses of water, 8 times a day.  This keeps your metabolism (and every other system in your body) running optimally.  In regards to weight loss,  it’s called pre-loading:  people who drink 2 cups of water before meals in a study lost 5 pounds of fat more than people who didn’t drink water in a 12 week period.  Easy peasy!

3.     Add 2 Tbs ground flax seeds to your food every day (in a smoothie or soup, for instance, or mixed in with oatmeal); the fiber adds volume to your food and fills you up so you are satisfied for hours.  And flax has a powerful antioxidant in it called lignans, which are cancer preventative.

Notice how weight loss and health go hand in hand?!

6. What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe, and would you be willing to share it?

Well, there are many (I can say that since I didn’t write the recipes!).  I love, love the recipe for cashew cream that I borrowed from Chef Tal Ronnen for the book.  All you do is soak raw cashews in water overnight, and then blend them (at a very high speed) with fresh water the next day to get delicious cream that you can use as a sauce, a base for soup, or anything you would have used heavy cream for!  It’s way less fattening than dairy, and has zero cholesterol!  I also love this Soy Milk Maker because you can make fresh soy milk, almond milk, and cashew milk instantly!  Its also great because you can use it to make porridges and pureed soups for a healthier meal option.

7. What are your favorite ingredients to cook with and why?

I really like adding fruits to meals because they make the dishes sweet and textured.  I love mango salsa on black bean cakes (recipe in The Lean), sliced pears in salad, or a sprinkling of goji berries into a soup for an extra dash of health.

8. When cooking at home, what do you like to prepare for yourself?

I could live quite easily on soups and salads.  I get all my nutrition – protein, complex carbs, and veggies – from them, and they are super hearty and fulfilling.  And did I mention easy?  Also, when I make a soup or chili, I make at least double what I need and freeze half of it for a later date when I may not have time to cook.

9. What are your favorite cookbooks/books that you recommend (besides yours!) to help readers eat healthier and more nutritiously?

If you are a real chef – or aspire to cook like one – I love The Conscious Cook by my friend Tal Ronnen.  His dishes are exquisite!

10. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?

I’m all about progress, not perfection!  I believe that we can all lean into healthy changes, one small step at a time.

—–

Check out Kathy Freston’s Facebook Page

Follow OpenSky on Twitter

 

 

 


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