Tag Archives: vegetables

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

I love making savory tarts and pies, but unfortunately I don’t love the carbs and calories that come along with them. It’s also Summertime, and I’m trying to cook and eat lighter than usual…and the Fall season will come soon enough with all that yummy comfort food!

Quinoa Tart 1

I’ve been experimenting lately with alternatives to pasta and dough – things like zucchini, cauliflower, almond flour, and quinoa. Not only are they lighter, but also , gluten-free and less carbs than traditional flours and equally as satisfying and tasty!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

I found a recipe on Cooking Light for a savory Fall tart made in a toasted quinoa crust and decided to experiment a little with the crust, fillings and flavors. MISSION ON.

Toasted Quinoa

I love the flavor of the nutty toasted quinoa, which is done in the oven and gives a nice depth of flavor and crunch to the tart crust.

Toasted Quinoa Tart Shells

I mixed in some Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, corn starch, Parmesan cheese and an egg for binding the quinoa, then added a little garlic salt and olive oil to bring it all together for the crust. Then I pressed the quinoa mixture into four small tart pans and baked for about 10 minutes before filling them and baking again.

Mascarpone & Cheddar

While the tart crusts were baking, I made a savory filling with mascarpone and cheddar cheese and spooned in this delightful cheesy goodness on to the par-baked crusts.

Crispy Cooked Bacon

I also cooked up some crispy gorgeous bacon in the oven while the tarts were baking..(for about 20 minutes or so)..

Top with Crispy Bacon

then chopped it to pieces and layered it on top of the cheeses. HELLO PRETTIES. Come to me.

Blanched Cauliflower and Peas

Next I started filling the tarts with my blanched cauliflower and baby peas,

Veggie Tart fillings

more Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil,

Ready to bake the tarts again

popped them back in the oven..

Tarts Cooling

and baked these cuties for another 5-10 minutes and let them cool on a wire rack for a few…

Tarts cooling

the anticipation of these delicious things in my mouth is MOUNTING.

Cooked Quinoa Tarts

Once the tarts were cooled a bit, I garnished them with some fresh chopped basil, chives and freshly cracked black pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Mini Green Goddesses!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

And Oh Holy Delicious.

Veggie Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

This is a great base recipe for any savory tart really – feel free to substitute different fillings for the tarts depending on the season..butternut squash and spinach in the Fallcorn, tomatoes and zucchini in the Summer… roasted carrotspotatoes and Gruyere in the Winter..asparagus and leeks in the Spring…oh, the ideas are endless!

Veggie Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes four 4 5/7-inch tarts

Serving Size: 1 tart

This is a gluten-free tart recipe made with a toasted quinoa crust, filled with a savory filling of mascarpone and cheddar cheese, bacon, cauliflower, peas topped with Parmesan, and fresh basil and chives.

Ingredients

  • Toasted Quinoa Tart Crust:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup almond meal flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Tart Filling:
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup baby green peas, frozen
  • 4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Jack, or Gouda)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the Toasted Quinoa Tart Crusts:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Place quinoa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool.
  4. Place half of quinoa in a food processor; pulse 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining toasted quinoa, almond meal, cornstarch, and salt to bowl; stir to combine.
  6. Add oil and egg; stir until mixture is crumbly but holds together when pressed.
  7. Press into bottom and up sides of four 4 5/7-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pans coated with cooking spray.
  8. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden, but not completely cooked (you will put them back in the oven later after you fill them with the veggies, bacon and cheese.)
  9. Prep the Tart fillings:
  10. While the tart crusts are baking, chop the cauliflower into small florets and measure out the baby peas.
  11. Blanch the veggies in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse them in very cold water or shock them in an ice bath, set aside.
  12. Cook the bacon and drain, chop into small chunks, set aside.
  13. Measure out the mascarpone, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese, and chop basil and chives, set aside.
  14. Fill the Tart Crusts:
  15. Spread the mascarpone cheese evenly in bottom of each tart crust.
  16. Top each tart with shredded cheese, then crumbled bacon.
  17. Arrange cauliflower and peas evenly over cheese and bacon mixture on the tarts and drizzle with some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  18. Bake tarts for another 5-7 minutes in the oven.
  19. Remove tarts from the pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
  20. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and chives, serve warm.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Nov 2014.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/07/23/veggie-bacon-cheese-tarts-in-a-toasted-quinoa-crust/

Other Tart Recipes you might enjoy:

Savory Harvest Fall Tart

Quinoa Tart with Zucchini & Sundried Tomato Dressing

Gluten-Free Tomato Tart

Gluten-Free Spinach and Onion Tart

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Food Styling for Birds Eye Healthy Eating TV Segment on CBS with Jennette McCurdy!

Birds Eye Veggie Mission on CBS The Couch with Jennette McCurdy
Birds Eye Veggie Mission on CBS The Couch with Jennette McCurdy

Last week I got a really fun, unique food styling assignment for Birds Eye Vegetables for a TV segment featuring brand ambassador Jennette McCurdy (Nickelodeon I AM CARLY and Sam & Cat star) on CBS morning show The Couch. Jennette McCurdy talked about her new role in a healthy eating initiative for Birds Eye Vegetables for a multi-week challenge for families to seize the fun and ‘Rewrite the Dinnertime Rules’ leading up Nickelodeon’s 10th annual Worldwide Day of Play this fall.

I was asked to create three veggie portraits of Jennette and The Couch hosts Carolina Bermudez and John Elliot using Birds Eye Vegetables to feature on the show. I picked up a few packages of frozen carrots, peas, green beans and corn and had a fun evening drawing faces and glueing veggies on white plates to create the portraits. Not as easy at it looks! Here’s a few photos of them along with some photos and videos from the TV Segment. Read on to find out Jennette’s Dinnertime Rules for eating healthier by incorporating fresh veggies into your kids meals!

Food Styling for Birds Eye and Jennette McCurdy segment on CBS The Couch
Food Styling for Birds Eye and Jennette McCurdy segment on CBS The Couch
Veggie Portraits for Birds Eye & Jennette McCurdy CBS TV Segment
Veggie Portraits for Birds Eye & Jennette McCurdy CBS TV Segment
On set with Jennette McCurdy on CBS The Couch
On set with Jennette McCurdy on CBS The Couch

McCurdy and Birds Eye have some suggestions for getting started ‘Rewriting the Dinnertime Rules.’

Rule #1: Role Reversal. Kids pick the menu and the veggies, help shop for the groceries and are in charge (with a little help from mom and dad) in the kitchen. Plus, they get to pick the theme and dress and decorate accordingly, whether it’s hitting the “beach,” bringing out your family’s wild side in the “jungle” or cheering on your favorite sports team.

Rule #2: Play with Your Birds Eye Veggies! You can use your veggies to make smiley faces or create colorful rainbows on your plate. You can even give your broccoli a mohawk haircut (really!) – just have fun!

Rule #3: Celebrate Every Bite. It can take up to 12 times for a kid to try a new type of veggie, or any new food before he or she begins liking it (http://www.choosemyplate.gov). So, keep it up! And while you’re at it, give yourself a high five for every bite your kid takes.

Rule #4: Be a Veggie Explorer. There are all sorts of cool and surprising ways to serve veggies. Like smoothies (mixed veggies with yogurt, OJ and honey), popsicles (carrots and OJ) and salad dressings (carrot ginger). You AND your kids will be amazed at all the cool ways you can eat your veggies.

For easy advice on getting kids to eat their veggies, more dinner “rules” and recipe ideas created for and tested by kids, visit www.BirdsEye.com.

Enter to win a trip to Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play on September 21st in New York City!

The Couch on CBS Birds Eye Jennette McCurdy Video

 CLICK HERE to watch the video from the TV Segment on CBS The Couch

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Food Styling for Dr. Neal Barnard on the Joy Behar: Say Anything TV Show!

Kristen on Joy Behar Say Anything TV Show
Kristen on Joy Behar Say Anything TV Show

Last week I had the fantastic opportunity to cook and do food styling for a special healthy food segment on the “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” TV Show featuring Dr. Neal D. Barnard, M.D., founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Dr. Barnard sits down with guest host Marilu Henner to discuss how saturated fat makes you sluggish and which colored foods are good for your brain and improve memory. Barnard says, “Greens, foliage — that contributes folate, which is a B vitamin which protects the brain.” He adds, “So when you see the greens, you know that’s good for the brain.” He also goes into discussing what foods to avoid such as heavy carb and fat-laden foods that make us tired and lack energy.

Power Foods For the Brain
Power Foods For the Brain

I was asked to cook and style four of Dr. Barnard’s recipes from his new book “Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory” to display during the TV interview food segment. The recipes were all colorful and healthy and made with Power Foods and all-natural ingredients: Summer Salad made with Rainbow Chard, tomatoes, corn, onions and garlic and pecans, Minted Fruit Kebabs made with a Citrus Lime and Mint light dressing, Marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs marinated in a balsamic and herb dressing, and Super Raspberry Protein Brownies made with black beans, raspberry jam, cocoa powder and figs.

Could that glass of milk affect your memory? Is that aluminum can increasing your risk for Alzheimer’s disease? Can a banana be a brain booster? Everyone knows that good nutrition supports your overall health, but did you know that certain foods can protect your brain and optimize its function?

In POWER FOODS FOR THE BRAIN, Dr. Neal Barnard has gathered the most important research and studies to deliver a program that can boost brain health, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and other less serious malfunctions, including low energy, poor sleep patterns, irritability, and lack of focus. The plan includes information on:

  • The best foods to increase cognitive function and boost folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12
  • The dangers dairy products and meats may have on memory
  • The role alcohol plays in Alzheimer’s risk
  • The latest research on certain toxic metals, like aluminums found in cookware, soda cans, and common antacids
  • Plus, 50-75 recipes and timesaving kitchen tips.

Here are the recipes I made and styled for the show. Enjoy!

Summer Salad
Summer Salad

Summer Salad – The more naturally colorful your meal is, the more likely it is to have an abundance of immune-boosting antioxidants and phytochemicals. The same foods that are good for your heart are good for your brain.

Summer Salad

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 2 as main dish or 4 as a side

Calories per serving: 181 calories

Fat per serving: 2 g total fat

Chard’s slight bitterness is beautifully balanced by the sweetness of the corn and grapes, resulting in a surprising depth of flavor.

Ingredients

  • ½ small white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Leaves from 1 bunch chard
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
  • ¼ cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup seedless black grapes
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mince the onion and garlic, then smash them together a couple times with the back of a knife or with a mortar and pestle.
  2. Wash the Swiss chard thoroughly, as it tends to be gritty, then slice it into ribbons by tightly bunching the leaves together and slicing them with a sharp, heavy knife. Place the chard in a salad bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and toss.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/07/24/food-styling-for-dr-neal-barnard-on-the-joy-behar-say-anything-tv-show/

Marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs
Marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs

Marinated Grilled Veggie Kebabs – these are super easy to make and super colorful, and healthy. Marinated in a dressing made with balsamic vinegar, orange juice, honey, mustard and maple syrup with Italian season before grilling, they are super tasty too.

Marinated Grilled Veggie Kabobs

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Serve these savory kebabs over a brown rice pilaf for a satisfying and easy meal.

Ingredients

  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 red onions, each cut into 8 bite-size chunks
  • 2 green or red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 8 pieces each
  • 16 button mushrooms
  • 1 small yellow summer squash, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 8 pieces
  • Marinade:
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 metal skewers, or bamboo skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

Instructions

  1. Place the cherry tomatoes, red onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, squash, and zucchini in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the marinade ingredients and whisk well. Pour the marinade over the vegetables and stir to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat a charcoal or gas grill or your oven’s broiler. Onto one skewer, thread the ingredients in the following manner: 1 tomato, 1 red onion chunk, 1 pepper piece, 1 mushroom, 1 yellow summer squash slice, 1 tomato, 1 zucchini slice, 1 red onion chunk, 1 pepper, and 1 mushroom. Repeat with remaining ingredients and skewers. Place the kebabs on the hot grill or a broiler pan and brush with the marinade. Grill for 7 minutes, or until desired tenderness, turning the kebabs a few times. Serve immediately.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/07/24/food-styling-for-dr-neal-barnard-on-the-joy-behar-say-anything-tv-show/

Minted Fruit Kebabs
Minted Fruit Kebabs

Minted Fruit Kebabs – Power up with blueberries and grapes. These “brain berries” get their deep colors from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants shown to improve learning and recall in studies at the University of Cincinnati.

Minted Fruit Kebabs

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes 4 kebabs (4 servings)

Calories per serving: 35 calories

Fat per serving: 0.2 g total fat

Fresh fruit makes a striking appearance in these antioxidant-rich kebabs. Enjoy them for a refreshing, light dessert!

Ingredients

  • 8 red or green grapes
  • 4 large strawberries
  • 4 1-inch-square cantaloupe chunks
  • 4 1-inch-square honeydew chunks
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick slices peeled kiwi
  • 4 1-inch-square watermelon chunks
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 10-inch bamboo skewers

Instructions

  1. Thread 1 grape, 1 strawberry, 1 cantaloupe chunk, 1 honeydew chunk, 1 slice kiwi, 1 watermelon chunk, and 1 more grape onto a skewer. Repeat with the remaining fruit and skewers. Place the finished skewers in a shallow container.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, mint, and vanilla. Pour the marinade over the fruit kebabs, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 hours) in the refrigerator before serving.

Notes

Recipe by Christine Waltermyer

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/07/24/food-styling-for-dr-neal-barnard-on-the-joy-behar-say-anything-tv-show/

Super Raspberry Protein Brownies
Super Raspberry Protein Brownies

Super Raspberry Protein Brownies – A brownie made with black beans? You bet! Beans are high in fiber, calcium, and protein, making them a nutrition powerhouse. Beans are free from saturated and trans fats. Researchers find people consuming the most saturated fat in their diets have more than triple the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Super Protein Raspberry Brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 16

Serving Size: 1/16 of the recipe

Calories per serving: 145 calories

Fat per serving: 1 g total fat

A brownie made with black beans? You bet! Beans are high in fiber, calcium, and protein, making them a nutrition powerhouse.

Beans are free from saturated and trans fats. Researchers find people consuming the most saturated fat in their diets have more than triple the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon safflower oil
  • 2 15-ounce cans low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup all-fruit raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with the oil.
  2. Combine the black beans, dates, jam, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and process again.
  3. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. The brownies will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/07/24/food-styling-for-dr-neal-barnard-on-the-joy-behar-say-anything-tv-show/

For those of you who may have missed the show, here’s a video of the food segment that aired on TV last week:

And lastly, here’s a few photos behind the scenes on set at the show that day:

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Blue Hill New York – a well deserved James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant

Blue Hill NY
Blue Hill NY

I had the recent opportunity to have an intimate conversation with Trevor Kunk, Chef de Cuisine of Blue Hill New York about their history, philosophy, cuisine and thoughts on their recent James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant 2013.

Trevor Kunk, Chef de Cuisine
Trevor Kunk, Chef de Cuisine

We sat in the charming back patio garden room as he told me the story of the Barber Family, Blue Hill Farm, his Southern Florida upbringing and Culinary Institute of America training, and how he found his culinary calling at of one of New York’s most premiere farm-to-table restaurants. When I asked him what he thought made Blue Hill win this most distinguished and notable award, he simply stated, “we consistently produce delicious, fresh food.” After our conversation, it’s clear to see why.

Blue Hill NY
Blue Hill NY

Blue Hill New York is B-owned and managed by award-winning Executive Chef Dan Barber, and Co-Owners David and Laureen Barber. Dan is a long time supporter of local farmers, agricultural policy and artisanal food producers, and has created a consciousness around everyday food choices and bringing the principles of good farming directly to the table. He has preserved this philosophy and brought it to life through his restaurants, the Blue Hill Farm and the Blue Hill Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

Blue Hill Farm Barn
Blue Hill Farm Barn

BLUE HILL FARM

With over 138 acres in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Blue Hill Farm has been in the Barber family for three generations and served as the inspiration behind both Blue Hill restaurants. Blue Hill Farm was originally a dairy, and was converted into a cattle farm by the Barber’s grandmother Ann Marlowe Straus, in the 1960s. She believed strongly in preserving land and connecting great farming and delicious food, which she passed on to them. Dan began farming and cooking for family and friends at the farm, and it is there that grew passionate about locally grown and seasonal produce.

Blue Hill Farm
Blue Hill Farm

In 2006 the brothers decided to redesign Blue Hill Farm back to its original form, and brought in local farmer Sean Stanton to manage the land. The farm is home to chickens, pigs, dairy cows, and laying hens, supplies the restaurants with vegetables and grass-fed meats.

Blue Hill New York Outside Menu
Blue Hill New York Outside Menu

BLUE HILL NEW YORK

In 2000, Blue Hill New York opened in Greenwich Village, New York City. A small intimate space, the restaurant occupies a historical “speakeasy” near Washington Square Park. It is both elegant and casual, serving seasonal American cuisine that celebrates the delicious offerings from the Hudson Valley.

Blue Hill’s menu highlights local food, cocktails, beer and wines from regional Tri-State artisanal producers. The majority of the ingredients come from nearby farms, as well as Blue Hill Farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, located in Pocantico Hills, NY.

Blue Hill Fresh Organic Food
Blue Hill Fresh Organic Food

In addition to Blue Hill’s a la carte menu, they also offer a 5-course Farmer’s Feast and a 7-course extended Farmer’s Feast, both inspired by the week’s harvest, and have a regular seasonal menu that changes depending on what produce, poultry, meats and seafood are in season to offer the freshest foods possible. Asparagus, Rhubarb, Radishes and Fiddlehead Ferns are abundant on the current Spring menu, which will change as soon as the weather warms up to Summer months, bringing in a flux of new seasonal fruits and vegetables to feature.

They offer a variety of fresh and locally sourced Farm Snacks such as Blue Hill Farm Yogurt, Parsnips, Beets and Oats or the “Farm Bar” served with Goat Cheese and Strawberries. There are plenty of gorgeous, creative appetizers to start the meal too: Chilled Asparagus Soup with Pickled Green Garlic, Walnut Bread and Sorrel; Emu Egg Pasta; or Stone Barns Butterhead Lettuce Salad with Fiddlehead Ferns, Pickled Cauliflower and Hazelnuts.

They serve Raven and Boar’s Pig year around, but their Hudson Valley Chickens are only served from May through November when their pasture raised chickens are in their prime and able to run around and feed outside. They serve local shellfish such as Shrimp and Squid with Spring Vegetables and fresh Tarragon; Grass-Fed Lamb with Asparagus, Knotweed and Alliums; and Rotation Risotto with 12 local grains and seeds made with Brassica Puree and Chocolate Wheat. Desserts are also made with fresh fruits and ingredients from surrounding farms –Olive Oil Cake with fresh pears, brown butter and toasted almond ice cream and a Chocolate Bread Pudding made with salted caramel, pine nuts and cocoa nib ice cream are a few house specialties.

Their cocktails and bar menu mimic the culinary program and support local farms by using NY State and domestic distilleries, wineries and ingredients from Blue Hill Farm and local Hudson Valley farms. They make their own bitters and sweet vermouth in-house, and have a ‘bartender garden’ where they grow their own herbs and plants, including wormwood used to infuse vodka, which is then muddled with fennel and chartreuse to create their own absinthe.

Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Blue Hill at Stone Barns

BLUE HILL AT STONE BARNS CENTER AND BLUE HILL CAFE

Blue Hill at Stone Barns opened in Spring 2004, within the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. The Barbers created the Stone Barns Center, a farm and educational center, to help carry through their mission for local and sustainable food.

Sourcing from the surrounding fields and pasture, as well as other local farms in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, Blue Hill at Stone Barns is an elegant restaurant that highlights the abundant resources of the Hudson Valley. There are no menus there, instead guests choose from a variety of fresh daily ingredients from the field and market.

Blue Hill Stone Barns Dining
Blue Hill Stone Barns Dining

Blue Hill Café offers light snacks, farm-fresh lattes and other locally grown and baked goodies, available to eat in the courtyard or take on a walk around the farm.

Blue Hill Cafe
Blue Hill Cafe

Shop for seasonal jams and pickles, rhubarb jam and pickled sunchokes in the Spring or apple butter and pickled cucumbers in the Fall. You can also shop for Blue Hill Farm Market items online.

Blue Hill Sheep
Blue Hill Sheep

The non-profit Stone Barns Center offers plenty of cooking classes and demos using local seasonal ingredients taught by well-known chefs and food artisans.  You can also try your hand at some of their fun farm activities such as hands-on egg collecting, ice cream making, foraging for wild plants, making natural herbal remedies or maple tapping on the farm.

Stone Barns Center
Stone Barns Center

Visitors can also get a behind-the-scenes insider’s tour of Stone Barns, or attend one of their special events centered on farming and agriculture, such as the Sheep Shearing Festival in April or the Young Farmers Conference held in 2012. Check out this great video about Stone Barns Center’s mission to support a healthy and sustainable food system.

Blue Hill New York
Blue Hill New York

Blue Hill New York is open for dinner 7 days a week, and also hosts elegant events and private parties at its two restaurant locations and off-site venues. Whether it’s a trip to the farm or an elegant dinner in the city, Blue Hill certainly has earned its James Beard title for Outstanding Restaurant without a shadow of a doubt.

Blue Hill is a longstanding member of the NYS Restaurant Association (since joining in 2000), and is grateful for all the positive work NYSRA does to support their restaurants and businesses.

—–

Blue Hill New York

75 Washington Place
New York, New York 10011
T 212 539 1776 (reservations and general information)
F 212 539 0959

http://bluehillfarm.com/food/blue-hill-new-york

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, New York 10591
T 914 366 9600 (reservations and general information)
F 914 366 7920

http://bluehillfarm.com/food/blue-hill-stone-barns

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

http://www.stonebarnscenter.org/

Blue Hill Farm Online Market

http://bluehillfarm.com/catalog

—–

Photo Credits: Kristen Hess, Jen Mulkvold, Thomas Schauer, Blue Hill. Please do not share, use or distribute any photographs without expressed permission. Feel free to share this post, but please include a link back to my original post on my website with credit to © 2013 Kristen Hess/The Artful Gourmet.

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Parmesan Garlic Shells with Spinach, Zucchini and Ham

Parmesan Garlic Shells with Spinach, Zucchini and Ham
Parmesan Garlic Shells with Spinach, Zucchini and Ham

This is a super easy and tasty dish that I whipped up one night with some of the ingredients I had on hand. It’s a light and savory pasta dish made with large shell pasta, sauteed spinach, zucchini and ham with garlic and a creamy parmesan alfredo sauce, with a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Perfect dish for a weeknight dinner, with some crusty French or Italian bread, a green salad and glass of wine. You can also substitute whole wheat pasta in any shape or size you please. Cooked diced bacon or prosciutto are also delicious in place of the cooked ham. If you want to experiment with the veggies, try broccoli or peas or yellow squash, what ever your heart desires!

Parmesan Garlic Shells with Spinach, Zucchini and Ham

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of medium-large shell pasta (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thin and halved
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (leaves), chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of cooked Virginia ham, diced (can sub cooked prosciutto or bacon)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • PARMESAN GARLIC SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons neufchatel or cream cheese
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
  • 1 green onion, sliced for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta shells and cook according to package directions until al dente (about 8 minutes dried, 3 minutes fresh). Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water and set aside.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a medium-large saute pan and add zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and cook for about 8-10 minutes until zucchini is soft. Add 1 tablespoon of garlic and saute for another minute or so until garlic starts to brown. Remove zucchini-garlic mixture from saute pan and set aside in a medium-large mixing bowl.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the saute pan and heat for a minute or so. Add the fresh chopped spinach, salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes, stirring through. Saute spinach about 3-5 minutes until wilted. Add the cooked diced ham and saute another few minutes until browned. Remove spinach and ham from saute pan and add to cooked zucchini in mixing bowl.
  4. To make the Parmesan Garlic Sauce:
  5. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  6. Add the garlic and cook until soft and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  7. Add in the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, another minute.
  8. Whisk in the milk, a sprinkle of sea salt and cook, whisking constantly, until just thickened, about 3 minutes.
  9. Add the Neufchatel and parmesan cheese; whisk until melted, about 1 minute.
  10. Combine the cooked pasta shells, 1/2 cup cooking water from pasta, sauteed zucchini, spinach and ham to the alfredo garlic sauce, stir thoroughly to mix ingredients for another minute or so.
  11. Sprinkle additional salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste into the pasta mixture. Remove from saute pan and place in a large serving bowl. Top pasta with chopped fresh parsley and green onions, and top with more parmesan cheese to taste.
  12. Serve the pasta with some crusty bread, a green salad and glass of wine.

Notes

You can also substitute whole wheat pasta in any shape or size you please. Cooked diced bacon or prosciutto are also delicious in place of the cooked ham. If you want to experiment with the veggies, try broccoli or peas or yellow squash, what ever your heart desires!

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/03/01/parmesan-garlic-shells-with-spinach-zucchini-and-ham/

Pure YUM.
Pure YUM.

Other Recipes you may enjoy:

Smitten Kitchen’s Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

Pioneer Woman’s Pasta Primavera

What Katie Ate’s Conchiglia with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Recipe Girl’s Spaghetti with Cremini Mushrooms, Lemon & Thyme

In Jennie’s Kitchen Pasta Carbonara

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A lighter and healthier classic comfort food: Vegetable Lasagna

Vegetarian Lasagna
Vegetarian Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods to indulge in during the Winter time, but as soon as Spring is approaching, I like to lighten up this classic recipe by substituting lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and spinach in place of the ground beef or sausage that is used in the heavier, more fat-laden traditional Lasagna recipes. It still incorporates a traditional red marinara sauce and uses lightened up cheeses to give it great flavor, but somehow I feel a little less guilty taking a big bite of this yummy dish made with fresh sautéed vegetables to satisfy my comfort food fix. Goes great paired with a green salad tossed in a light Italian dressing with a glass of light red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

A lighter and healthier approach to the classic comfort dish Lasagna

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 10-12

Lasagna is one of my favorite comfort foods to indulge in during the Winter time, but as soon as Spring is approaching, I like to lighten up this classic recipe by substituting lots of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, zucchini and spinach in place of the ground beef or sausage that is used in the heavier, more fat-laden traditional Lasagna recipes. It still incorporates a traditional red marinara sauce and uses lightened up cheeses to give it great flavor, but somehow I feel a little less guilty taking a big bite of this yummy dish made with fresh sautéed vegetables to satisfy my comfort food fix. Goes great paired with a green salad tossed in a light Italian dressing with a glass of light red or white wine, such as a Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped fine
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped fine
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped fine
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or prepared)
  • 1 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup low-fat or 2% Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil leaves or parsley, torn for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil salted water in a large pot. Add lasagna noodles and cook according to package directions, drain, separate and set aside.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil on low heat in a large skillet. Cook onion and garlic for three or four minutes and place into a separate bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil to skillet and cook mushrooms, zucchini, spinach and carrots about 5-10 minutes until tender and add to onion and garlic mixture. Add one cup of the marinara sauce to the vegetables and heat through.
  4. Spread one cup of the remaining marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13x9 glass greased baking dish and layer with half of the noodles, vegetables and ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with another layer of marinara sauce, noodles, vegetables and ricotta cheese, sprinkling with remaining cheeses, salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes until cheese is golden and bubbly.
  5. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, cut lasagna into squares and top with fresh basil or parsley. Serve with a green salad and glass of light red wine.

Notes

Recipe can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator before baking. Can also be kept in the freezer tightly wrapped and reheated in the microwave for leftovers. For a Vegan version of the recipe: omit ricotta cheese and use Vegan soy-based cheese in place of the Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2013/02/12/a-lighter-and-healthier-classic-comfort-food-vegetable-lasagna/

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Beyond Sushi NYC: An Artful Approach to Vegan Sushi

Chef Guy Vaknin
Chef Guy Vaknin

On a recent visit to BeyondSushi,  a Japanese Vegan Sushi restaurant in the East Village in NYC, I had the opportunity to meet the Founder and Chef (and Hell’s Kitchen Finalist!) Guy Vaknin, to discuss his innovative and artful approach to traditional Sushi. Chef Guy came up with the idea for his vegan Sushi concept while he was the Executive Chef of Esprit Events, a Catering company in New York. Focusing on Kosher, healthy vegan and vegetarian food, they opened a Vegan Sushi station, and the idea grew from there when Chef Guy saw the potential and demand for healthy vegan food in the New York market. Two years later, BeyondSushi (The Green Roll) was born.

Sushi Artwork
Sushi Artwork

The Sushi is not only artfully crafted and colorful, but super healthy, fresh and totally vegan, while keeping the Asian flavors true to traditional Sushi by using natural ingredients such as sliced nori, red, black and six-grain rice, toasted sesame, chili flakes, and gourmet imported sea salts to punch up and balance the flavors and textures of their Sushi.

Rice Bed Salad
Rice Bed Salad

They have a variety of delicious and creative sushi rolls, sushi pieces, as well as Vegan wraps and salads, and they make all of their own custom sauces such as Carrot Ginger, Sweet Soy Mirin, Shiitake Teriyaki, White Miso, and more, using grapeseed oil and all natural, dairy free ingredients.

Chefs at Work
Chefs at Work

They take a variety of colorful, seasonal ingredients and combine them into gorgeous works of art – and the best part is, they really do taste like traditional sushi, but are pure Vegan. Crunch ‘n Munch, Pickle Me, La Fiesta, Green Machine and Mighty Mushroom are just a few of their catchy roll names – all made with tasty, healthy vegetables, rice and seasonings. They also do a custom roll of the month, which Chef Guy creates based on whatever he feels like dreaming up that day, using  local produce from vendors at the Union Square Farmers Market.

Vegan Baked Goods
Vegan Baked Goods

Their Pastry Chef, Tiffany Louie, has created a new line of Vegan pastries and baked goods available in the store – Parsnip Cakes with Orange Almond Creme, Seed and Dried Fruit Almond Bars, and Carrot Bars are a few of their sweet healthy treats. Their juices are squeezed fresh each day and made in house.

Nutty Buddy Vegan Wrap
Nutty Buddy Vegan Wrap

I sampled the Nutty Buddy wrap, made with Buckwheat noodles, crushed peanuts, cilantro, jalapeno, peanut butter, avocado, sesame oil, carrots, baked tofu and romaine – a delicious combination and explosion of Asian flavors!

Vegan Sushi Rolls
Vegan Sushi Rolls

For a sushi sampling, I devoured the Spicy Mang Roll, made with Black Rice, Avocado, Mango, Cucumber and spicy veggies with a delicious Toasted Cayenne sauce. I also had the Pickle Me, made with Six Grain rice, Gobo, Carrot, Pickled Daikon and Avocado with a Carrot Ginger Sauce. YUM!

Dining Area
Dining Area

Their space is casual, cozy and inviting, and in a great location on 14th Street near Union Square. Their prices are reasonable too, ranging from $5.00 to $8.50 for Rice Paper Wraps and Salads to $6.50 for an 8-piece roll, or $7.50 to $13 for a combination plate of rolls. They also do custom catering for private events, weddings and parties with a variety of sushi rolls, salads and wrap platters.

Beyond Sushi Sign
Beyond Sushi Sign

They’ve been written up by Oprah and the NY Times and have plans to open up a second location in the near future, so stay tuned for more. There definitely isn’t any other restaurant around like it, so kudos to Chef Guy for pioneering this healthy, delicious concept. With Vegan Sushi this good – who needs the fish?!

BeyondSushi
229 E 14th St
New York NY 10003
646.861.2889
www.BeyondSushiNYC.com

Check out their online video and Facebook Page for more info

Check out their menu online

Beyond Sushi NYC
Beyond Sushi NYC
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NYC Green Cart Initiative: Creating new jobs and promoting healthy living with Mobile Food Carts and Fresh Food Packs

NYC Green Carts Vendor

In 2008, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund partnered with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to launch the NYC Green Cart Initiative, which uses mobile food carts to increase the availability of fruits and vegetables in these underserved neighborhoods in and around NYC.

NYC Green Carts Vendor

The initiative has created hundreds of new jobs and has become a national model for expanding access to healthy foods.

Fresh Food Pack

NYC Green Cart Initiative’s Fresh Food Pack

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has partnered with the James Beard Foundation to publish the Fresh Food Pack series, including bilingual recipe cards, produce storage tips, and a fun facts and information about food for kids. The goal of the recipe cards, which feature produce available from NYC Green Carts, is to provide people living in underserved communities with the tools they need to buy, cook and eat healthier meals.

Download the latest Fall/Winter edition here!

NYC Greencart Cookbook

Prior to producing the Fresh Food Pack, the Illumination Fund created the NYC Green Cart Cookbook (launched in March 2011), which is still available electronically here.

Also, check out some of the great recipes from the Fall/Winter Fresh Food Pack below – enjoy!

Bengali Green Beans

Bengali Spiced Green Beans

Pepper Potato Stew

Pepper Potato Stew Recipe

Collard Greens

Collard Greens Recipe

 

Fall/Winter Technique

Click on the image above to see some great tips for cooking Fall and Winter vegetables!

Kids Chart

Click on the image above to see some great exercises and tips for kids to educate them on healthy eating and fruits and vegetables!

Find out more about the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

Find out more about James Beard Foundation

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Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup
Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

I always look forward to the season change to Autumn – there’s something calming to the beautiful colors of the leaves, the cooler temperatures, and sunny skies. It’s a time of harvesting and celebration of autumnal fruits of the earth mixed with a sadness for the upcoming cold Winter months.

I love the heartier, warming foods Autumn brings, and there’s nothing better than a delicious bowl of homemade soup. It reminds me of when I was a kid – my Mom would always have a big pot of soup simmering away on the stove to warm us up after a day outside romping in the leaves in the brisk, cool weather. Mom’s soup was always something to look forward to and a safe haven to come home to.

This recipe for Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup is a simple and nutritious soup chock full of fresh vegetables and herbspasta and Italian Great Northern white beans. It’s great topped with some freshly grated cheese, served with crusty bread and a leafy green salad.

The good news with vegetable soup is you can substitute just about any veggies you want – throw in some kale or spinach, zucchini, green beans, peas, corn; whatever your heart desires. It’s healthy and filling and warming to the soul.

And it’s definitely worth taking a romp in the leaves if you know there’s a pot of goodness on the stove waiting for you.

Italian White Bean, Vegetable & Pasta Soup

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cups chopped fresh tomato
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1-2 stalks diced celery
  • ½ cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • ½ zucchini squash, cut into thin slices, halved
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cups dried pasta (bow-tie, penne or shells)
  • 1 can Italian white beans
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried ground fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or ¼ tbsp. dried)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil (or ¼ tbsp. dried)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • A few fresh thyme sprigs or leaves (for garnish)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, bell pepper and zucchini over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the pasta, white beans, salt and pepper to taste, paprika, fennel seed, chopped fresh herbs, water and vegetable stock; cover and simmer over medium-low for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked through and vegetables are tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste, and extra stock or water to adjust desired consistency and thickness.
  3. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves and freshly grated cheese; serve with crusty Italian bread and a leafy green salad.

Notes

Feel free to substitute or add any veggies you like to the soup: Zucchini, Green Beans, Squash, Corn, Peas, etc.

Adjust thinness or thickness of soup by adding more or less broth and/or water to the soup while it cooks down.

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2012/10/05/italian-white-bean-pasta-soup/

 

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A LOVE-ly Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta Tart

Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta Tart
Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta Tart

With all the cooking I’ve been doing lately, I’ve decided to mix it up and experiment with some baking.  I’m obsessed with savory tarts and quiches – perfect comfort food for this cold Winter we’re having in New York. I also haven’t played with puff pastry too much, so I though a free-form Spinach, Artichoke & Ricotta tart would be fun to make for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day.

This recipe is fairly easy to make and healthy with all the veggies loaded on top. The light and creamy ricotta base has lemon zest, thyme and fines herbs to give it a bright, fresh flavor. It’s topped with sautéed fresh spinach and artichokes with a little bit of garlic and chile flakes, and I also used a combination of two flavor-infused oils by Tavern Direct – one with Lemon and Pepper, and the other with Chile Pepper and Garlic to give it a little more kick. You could also substitute the veggies with some zucchini and yellow squash and some shallots or sweet potato with bacon and kale. The tart is topped off with four shredded Italian cheeses, then  baked to a flaky, golden brown perfection. I used a frozen puff pastry, which is convenient to use, but if you prefer you can make your own puff pastry dough, which is a bit more time and effort but delicious all the same – Martha Stewart has a great recipe on her site. This scrumptious, savory tart is great served with a green salad and a crisp glass of white wine.

Ingredients

1 15 oz container Ricotta cheese
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tbsp fines herbes, dried
1 egg yolk
Rind of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp garlic, finely minced
2 tbsp olive oil (can substitute lemon, garlic or chile-infused oils for more flavor)
3 handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 pkg frozen artichokes, drained and chopped into large chunks
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes (add more or less to adjust heat)
1 puff pastry sheet
1 cup shredded Italian cheeses (Fontina, Parmesan, Romano, Mozzarella)
Kosher or Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh ground garlic and black pepper seasoning, to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Ricotta and Lemon and Herbs
Ricotta and Lemon and Herbs

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta, thyme, fines herbes, lemon rind and egg yolk until smooth. Set aside.

Spinach and Artichokes
Spinach and Artichokes

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add artichokes and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and saute until it begins to wilt, another 1-2 minutes. Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 1 additional minute. Remove from heat, cover with saucepan lid and set aside.

Floured Pastry
Floured Pastry

Roll out pastry dough and sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Score around the edges with a sharp knife to make a 1 inch border and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Garlic Butter Wash
Garlic Butter Wash

Melt the butter and minced garlic on the stove or in the microwave for about 1 minute. With a pastry brush, coat the entire pastry sheet with the garlic butter.

Ricotta Mixture on Tart
Ricotta Mixture on Tart

Spread the ricotta mixture within the border on to the pastry sheet.

Spinach and Artichokes on Tart
Spinach and Artichokes on Tart

Top with spinach, artichoke, garlic and red pepper topping.

Sprinkle Four Cheese Topping
Sprinkle Four Cheese Topping

Scatter the grated cheeses over the entire tart and season with salt and pepper or garlic pepper seasoning to taste.

Flaky, Buttery, Creamy Goodness
Flaky, Buttery, Creamy Goodness

Place the tart in the oven and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack for about 5-10 minutes.

Slice and serve warm with a green salad and a glass of crisp white wine. Delectable.

Serves 6.

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