Welcome to my whole foods cooking blog. I believe that food and eating are essential to our life as human beings and in forming a strong social connection to the world around us. This blog is a way to experiment with recipes and educate myself and anyone else who stumbles by on the history and benefits of eating slow, whole foods.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp

Serves 4


1 tbsp EVOO
1 medium onion, sliced 1/8" thick
1 Orange bell pepper, med dice
1 Poblano pepper, med dice
1 can Taste of Thai coconut milk
1 c Organic canned pumpkin
1.5 cups Organic chicken broth
3 tbsp Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
7 tbsp Thai Taste Lemon Grass
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
20 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined


1. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pan
2. Saute onions in oil until slightly translucent
3. Add peppers and saute for 5 min
4. Meanwhile blend coconut milk, broth, and pumpkin with an immersion blender
5. Add curry paste and saute for an additional 3 min incorporating into vegetables
6. Add coconut pumpkin mixture to pan along with ginger and lemongrass
7. Cook with the lid off for approximately 30 min, stirring occasionally
8. Add shrimp and continue to cook until shrimp are fully cooked
9. Serve hot over Jasmine rice or enjoy a bowl alone!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Braised Lamb with Kalamata Olives and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Fall, as you may or may not be aware, represents to unofficial opening of braising season.

That's right, break out your glazed ceramic La Creuset roasting pots and slow cookers because it is time to tackle those tougher cuts that get left out of the grilling line up. Soups, stocks, fragrant stews teeming with layer upon layer of intricate flavors that only 4-8 hours of slow cooking can illicit are back on the menu my friends and I couldn't be happier. There is nothing more comforting on a crisp, fall evening than curling up to a bowl of my favorite slow cooked concoction and watching the sunlight fade through the vines that are still clinging to both summer and the screens over my windows.

For my first braise of the season I've decided to expand on my new found, and might I add long overdue, love of olives in a Medditeranean flavored lamb braise. The sun-dried tomatoes, which I prefer not packed in oil, hold up wonderfully and the quick tapenade from the roasted garlic and olives adds just enough of a briney, earthy bite to counter the grassy, unique flavor of the lamb.

Braised Lamb with Kalamata Olives and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Serves 6 people


2 tbsp EVOO
1.75# lamb stew meat
sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
27 Kalamata olives
8 roasted garlic cloves, or 6 raw
1.5c canned organic whole tomatoes
1/3 cup organic tomato paste
4 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 c organic beef broth
1 package Sun-Dried tomatoes, julienned
1 12 oz can Artichoke Hearts packed in brine, quartered
2 cups cremini mushroom, sliced 1/4 thick
1 medium yellow onion, sliced 1/4" thick
1.5 red bell peppers, sliced 1/4" thick
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stem
1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled


1. Heat oil on high heat in a large saute pan
2. Pat lamb dry and season with salt and pepper
3. Brown the lamb pieces, working in two batches and careful not to crowd the pan
4. Remove lamb to a slow cooker
5. Deglaze the pan with beef broth and pour over lamb
6. In a food processor, pulse olives and garlic until it it resembles a rough chop then add to slow cooker
7. Blend tomatoes, tomato paste, and balsamic vinegar with either an immersion (stick) blender or in a blender and pour into slow cooker
8. Set slow cooker for 8 hours
9. Meanwhile, prepare the remaining vegetables and set aside in fridge
10. At 4 hours, add the remaining vegetables and rosemary to the slow cooker fully incorporating them into the braise
11. Ladle the braise into bowls and garnish with feta cheese

Refreshing Fall 'Slaw

So it has been some time since I have last posted due to various and sundry reasons, but I am back both in school and in my kitchen stretching my admittedly creaky culinary limbs. Unfortunately, I still do not have a camera worthy of catching mouth-watering moments but, dear reader, I think you will find your taste buds piqued despite the less than 1000 word worthy photographs.

If there is one thing I love about fall it is the feeling of living in suspended season. Especially in Upstate NY, where the weather can vacillate from humid and smothering to crisp and chilly with only a 24 hour turn around time. Fall means I can finally break out my myriad of colorful shawls that I could never quite pull off as a fashion statement in summer and wear my uber comfy Birkenstock slip-ons just about everywhere.

It also signals a new culinary season rife with apples over flowing the bins at the farmers markets, GOUSS's (Gourds Of Unusual Shapes and Sizes), and root vegetable bonanzas. So as we stand on the precarious cusp between a fading Indian Summer and the Arctic Frontier I've decided to blend the best of both worlds and hold onto a little bit of summer while giving a nod to fall.

Refreshing Fall 'Slaw
Serves 8-10 people


1/3 c sliced almonds
7 cups Red cabbage, shredded
1 package Rainbow Salad, or about 5 c shredded cabbage, broccoli, and carrots
1 large organic Gala apple, grated
1/3 c Golden Raisins
1/3 c dried unsweetened cherries
2 oz Go Raw sprouted pumpkin seeds, or regular if you can't get sprouted
2 tbsp Raw Agave nectar or honey
2 tbsp EVOO
7 tbsp Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tbsp caraway seeds


1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Place almonds on sheet tray and roast for approximately 10 min or until lightly golden brown
3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl and mix throughly, but slowly with a pair of tongs
4. Add almonds straight from the oven and combine into slaw mix
5. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, although overnight is preferable
6. Take out of refrigerator and let sit at room temp for bout 20-30 min before serving for best flavor

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cumin Scented Roast Carrots

Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 30 min


1 # carrots, organic
1/4 cup EVOO/Ghee
2 Tbsp cumin powder


1:Pre- heat oven to 375 F
2. Peel and slice carrots diagonally approximately 1/2 thick
3. Toss carrots in oil and cumin until well coated
4. Place on sheet tray and into oven
5. Toss carrots 15 min into cooking
6. When carrots are soft, but not mushy, take out and serve warm

Poblano Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Bison Roll

Prep Time: 25 min Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min


2 # ground buffalo meat, hormone/antibiotic free
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, small diced
2 poblano peppers, small diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 Tsp smoked salt (optional)
1.5# nitrate-free, thick cut bacon

1. Pre-Heat oven to 375 F
2. Heat coconut oil to medium and saute onions until translucent, about 10 min
3. Add poblano peppers, saute until almost soft, about 15 min
4. Add garlic and ancho powder, saute for 5 min
5. While above is cooking, mix buffalo meat, cumin, and salt and set aside
6. Make bacon lattice as shown below on a sheet tray with a lip, covered in aluminum foil *In order to make the lattice wide enough you may have to add some slices on the end and cut some bacon slices to continue the lattice

7. Spread meat on top of lattice and then vegetables as shown below

8. CAREFULLY roll up starting at one end, some of the vegetables will fall out and you can just stuff them back in at the end. Once you have it rolled up, carefully turn it so it sits lengthwise on the sheet tray with the seal side down as shown below

9. Place meat thermometer directly in the center of the roll from the side and place on rack in the middle of the oven
10. Cook until thermometer reads 150 F or 160F if you prefer well-done. Remove and let sit for 5 min.
11. Slice and serve with Roasted Kale with Pinenuts or any other favorite veggie side dish

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bison: The Other Red Meat

The American Bison is a relatively new addition to grocery shelves that you may have come across when perusing the grass-fed beef and other specialty meat items. It is not, however, new to this continent. First things first, let's make one thing clear- bison and buffalo are not the same animal. Bison have a hump as a distinguishing feature and make their home in North and South America in rugged conditions such as the Great Plains, and can live up to 40 years as opposed to Buffalo who have no hump, live mainly in Asia and the Cape in Africa, and live both in water (water buffalo) and more rugged conditions (Cape). Buffalo is also used for it's milk which you may have come across if you've ever had fresh buffalo mozzarella- which I highly suggest you do. Bison, on the other hand, is used primarily for meat in modern times but for many Native Americans they were the back bone of life.

Many of the Plain's Native Americans and bison's lives were inextricably intertwined. The bison gave the Native Americans food, shelter, utensils, and through them, a spiritual connection to the land and the bison themselves. Around the same time settlers began encroaching on Native American land, they also began killing the bison which, coupled with unregulated hunting laws pertaining the bison, led to what had been herds containing upwards of 50 million bison prior to settlement to no more than 1,500 in the mid to late 1800s. Settlers killed the bison primarily because they saw them as an inexhaustible food source and as a way to essentially force the Native Americans into starvation by eliminating their primary food source. Today the bison are once again thriving although it has only been in the last 10-15 years that the herd has grown to an estimated 500,000 in North America thanks in a large part to the legal protection established in Yellowstone Park, the National Bison Refuge in Montana, and ranchers actively raising bison on their own land.

Raising bison is in most ways very different from raising cattle. They are not given hormone or antibiotics and spend most of their time grazing freely on grass and hay although, unfortunately, many producers still finish their herds on corn for the last 90-120 days. Because bison are allowed to roam most of their lives, they are nutritionally similar to grass-fed cows except for the influence of corn on their fatty acid make-up when finishing. They are generally leaner and lack the marbling seen in beef. This means that they are low in fat, high in protein, and can be treated like other lean game animals such as venison and elk when it comes to cooking. This usually means that you need to be very careful not to overcook bison. Medium well is probably the highest you would want to cook your meat unless you are braising it although surrounding in a juicier meat to hold in the moisture, like I did with bacon below, will help retain the moisture in higher heat cooking.

So the next time you find yourself confronted with a curious vacuum sealed packaged containing Bison next to your usual grass-fed ground beef- take the plunge to the wilder side of red meat!

Slow Roasted Beef Brisket with Chipotle BBQ Sauce

Being a Texan born and raised (for the most part), I love a good, slow cooked brisket. Preferably one that has been smoked over hickory chips lending it that delectable balance between the smoke infused flavor of the outside and the tender, juicy meat on the inside. If you ever find yourself in the middle of Texas on I-95 say somewhere between Austin and Dallas and you pass a sign for Cooper's BBQ I highly suggest you defer all travel plans and swing in for some of the best suck-the-bone-dry BBQ you'll ever experience. Unfortunately, I have neither a smoker nor a small town BBQ pit with ten of their own smokers to satisfy my hunger. So I decided to take the plunge and buy a piece of brisket anyways and figure the rest out as I went. The result was delectable and the chipotles in the sauce added just the right touch of smokiness to make up for the lack of a real smoker. For those of you who may be wondering what cut of meat you need to hustle your butcher for, there are two types of brisket cuts: the flat cut and the point cut. I prefer the point cut, and in fact it was the only one available at Whole Foods, because it has a nice strip of fat on one side that is a delicious texture contrast and melt in you mouth flavor booster.


1 2-3 # trimmed beef brisket, grass-fed if possible, hormone/antibiotic free
1 6 oz can organic tomato paste
1 c beef stock
3 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and pepper to season
2 chipotles in adobe sauce


2 c beef stock
1/4 c gluten-free Tamari, low sodium
1/4 c dijon mustard
1/4 c gluten free San-J szechuan sauce
1 tsp smoked salt
1 onion, medium dice
6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
1/3 c coconut vinegar

1. Combine all ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the brisket and mix well
2. Place brisket in pot.
3. Cover brisket with marinade making sure some is underneath the meat then cover and refrigerate for 8-16 hours. I like to get is ready to night before when I'm making dinner and let it marinate until time to cooke around 1 pm.


1. Pre-heat oven to 270 F
2. Take brisket out of marinade, dry off and let sit out for 20-30 min
3. While brisket is drying, take pot with marinade and place over high heat
4. Reduce by 1/2 then take a stick blender or throw the marinade into a blender and pulse until coarsely blended
5. Add paste and cup beef stock and mix well
6. Heat coconut oil on high in a skillet large enough to fit brisket in
7. Season both sides of brisket with salt and pepper
8. Sear each side of the brisket until it is nice and brown careful not to burn
9. Place brisket back into pot, coating each side with the sauce
10. Cover pot tightly with aluminum foil securing with a top if possible
11. Cook for approximately 4-6 hours (1.5 hours per pound) turning every 1.5 hours.
12. Remove brisket from pan and let sit on cutting board
13. Put sauce in blender with two chipotles and blend until smooth
14. Slice the brisket against the grain as shown below and serve with sauce