Stone Cut Bodies

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Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

This has quickly become one of my favorite dishes to create. It’s easy, versatile, and a delight to the senses. It smells AMAZING, tastes even better and it’s beautiful as you’re making it:

Roasted Tomato Prep

I originally received this recipe from a friend, and embellished it in my own way. I encourage you to do the same. Add olives to lend a salty brininess, red wine to deepen the flavor, or dried chili pepper for heat. You can use the finished product to top a pizza or fill a calzone, pile it on pasta, or for a healthier bite, heap on spaghetti squash or sautéed vegetables. It’s also mighty tasty atop a simple cracker or mixed into a breakfast scramble. So many uses for one simple dish! As an added benefit, it’s loaded with lycopene from the cooked tomatoes, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radical damage. The olive oil helps to combat heart disease.  Happy Health!

* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook, I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

a pound or two of tomatoes, chopped

6-12 ounces of goat cheese (more or less depending on how much you like goat cheese)

1/2 cup or so extra virgin olive oil

12-20 cloves of garlic, chopped (less if you don’t want to offend people)

handful of fresh basil, chopped

sprig of fresh rosemary, chopped

salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients except goat cheese in a bowl and transfer to a shallow baking pan, making sure the tomatoes are thoroughly coated in olive oil. Cook until tomatoes have released their juice and are very soft, about an hour or a little more. Cool and alternate layers of tomatoes with the goat cheese in a glass jar. Be sure to cover with the garlicky oil remaining in the cooking pan. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Easy peasy and so freakin delish!

 

 

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The Easiest Recipe

I bust this little gem out any time I am having friends over for dinner, and want to serve a pre-meal nosh that is tasty, pretty and quick. Everyone always loves it, and asks what the heck it is and how the heck I made it. My answer is, “I boiled vinegar.” And other than opening the goat cheese and plopping it on a dish, that’s all there is to it. The only tricky part is keeping a very close eye on the vinegar. It goes from its regular liquid state to tar stuck to the pan in about 30 seconds, so you have to remove it from the heat as soon as it starts to thicken. Happy Health!

* My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.


Goat Cheese with Balsamic Reduction Drizzle

 Balsmic Reduction Ove Goat Cheese

however much goat cheese you feel like eating/serving

a cup or so balsamic vinegar

dash garlic powder (if you so desire)

dash salt

 

Bring the vinegar to a low boil over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring very often. Add the salt and/or garlic powder if that sounds good to you. Remove from heat when the vinegar starts to thicken and is reduced by a little over three quarters. Cool for a few minutes (sometimes I’ll even put it in the fridge for several minutes if I’m in a rush) and drizzle over goat cheese. Mmmm, it looks like a hot fudge sundae… Serve with crackers or bread or what have you.


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Cashew Cream Cheese

I recently went to the doctor because the skin on my hands was literally slowly bubbling then ripping open. (That’s an appetizing intro to a food blog entry, no?) She told me I had psoriasis and had to lay off the gluten. No problem, I’m already off that because it hurts my belly. And dairy. Ouch. At the time she delivered this devastating news, in my fridge I had shredded mozzarella, Delice de Bourgogne, sharp cheddar, plain yogurt, cheese sticks, cottage cheese and finally cream cheese. You could say I am a cheese enthusiast. When everyone else orders dessert, I order cheese. And while I can’t completely give it up, (a good, stinky blue cheese makes my toes curl,) I am severely limiting my intake to a nibble here and there. So I needed a fix. I buy different types of soy cheeses to use from time to time in salads or recipes, and I’ve tried several of the store bought non dairy cream cheeses, but they have additives I don’t like to consume. I’ve tried “cashew cheese” at vegan restaurants around Los Angeles, so I decided to experiment and make this for myself. This tasted the best to me, I hope you like it too. Happy Health!

 * My culinary posts are meant to be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my recipes. If my guideline calls for cilantro but cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. When I cook I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

Cashew Cream Cheese

Cashew Cream Cheese

1 lb raw cashews

enough water to cover the cashews in a pot (2-4 cups)

1 clove garlic

1/4 – 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, depending on the consistency you like

tbsp or 2 nutritional yeast

tsp or 2 miso paste, any kind you like

juice of 1 medium lemon

dash onion powder

dash salt if you like

enough water to cover the cashews in a pot (2-4 cups)

 

Soak the cashews in water for 1-4 hours. Some recipes will tell you this is optional, but I think it is necessary to really soften the cashews up and get a good, creamy spread. Drain and blend in a blender or food processor with all other ingredients, adding the almond milk slowly and checking for the consistency you’d like. If you don’t have access to nutritional yeast or miso paste, you can omit them and still have a decent “cheese”, they just add to the richness and depth of flavor. Spread on a cracker or celery stick, or do as I do and scoop into a de-yolked hardboiled egg with a touch of salt for a tasty protein snack!


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Recipes Without Borders

When I was growing up, my father did most of the cooking in my family. He made delicious, healthy meals. He told me he loved to cook for his family, because he felt he was participating in a creative endeavor and nourishing people he loved at the same time. I have carried this notion with me and used it as an example for my own cooking. I love creating meals for friends and family that not only make them smack their lips and dig in for a second (low cal!) serving, but meals that also sustain and promote health and vitality in my loved ones. I don’t bake much, because recipes for baking are precise and I like to throw things together in a creative way. I’ll think of a few tastes that might work well, and mix them together until I like what’s on my tongue. I wasn’t always so adept in the kitchen. The first time I tried to “cook,” I was 20 and in college. I didn’t have a stove, just a microwave in my dorm room. I bought a bagel and some American cheese and nuked that sucker. I was very proud of myself when I pulled a melted (albeit chewy) cheese sandwich from the microwave. I even called one of my friends and squealed “I cooked!” My culinary ability has since evolved. I began to take an interest in healthy, flavorful cooking when I moved into my first apartment after college. I would find new ingredients in the grocery store and call my father to ask, “What would I use cilantro for?” or “How do you cook eggplant?” “What is a good marinade for fish?” As I learned the spices that go with a particular type of cuisine, and how to prepare basic dishes, I began to experiment. Cooking became really fun. I’d find myself randomly thinking things like, “artichokes and pesto go really well together, maybe I’ll make an artichoke pesto, using the artichokes in place of the oil and lowering the fat and calorie content!” If I use recipes at all, it is merely as a guideline or an inspiration. I’d like to encourage you to do the same – to learn to create healthy, delicious dishes in new ways that you and your family will love. Teach a man to fish, he will eat for life. Teach a man to cook a fish healthfully and creatively, and that life will become longer and  enriched.

So my culinary posts will be guidelines, not recipes. They are different from what you would usually find in a cookbook, because I think cooking should be inspired and new every time you do it. If you like heat, add a sh**load of cayenne or jalapenos to one of my dishes. If cilantro tastes like soap to you, leave it out. That’s not to say if you love cheese and bacon you should add a pile to the guidelines. Try to stick to the less calorically dense ingredients, but have fun and discover flavors you love other than “butter.” When I cook, I get a buzz from the thrill of creation. The same can happen to you.

This is one of my favorite summer dishes. It’s light and refreshing and doesn’t require the use of a stove. You can put it on crackers, but to healthy it up, you can scoop it with celery, cucumber slices, cauliflower, or any other veggie that scoops well. Summer produce is fresh and delicious! Happy Health!

Artichoke Pesto

Artichoke Pesto Bowl

 1 can artichokes in water, drained, halved and patted dryish

small bunch fresh basil

small handful sunflower seeds

1-2 cloves garlic

handful shredded Parmesan cheese

juice of ½-1 lemon

lemon zest from 1 lemon

salt to taste

small drizzle of olive oil

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until mixture is dippish and enjoy! You can also substitute or add fresh parsley to the recipe. Or cilantro. Or whatever makes your mouth smile.