HARU Sushi Wall Street: SCATHING Review with a nod to my mother!

HARU SUSHI WALL STREET
5/2/2012 1.0 Star Rating

Ok so let me preface this by saying I have now given this place THREE chances within months of each other and EACH time it has been horrible.  I will detail each instance.

First time:

I ate their for what was supposed to be a timely lunch with a client.  Not only were we seated for 20 minutes before the waters and diet cokes we ordered showed up but the food was horrific.  I ordered the Rock Shrimp Appetizer which tasted and looked like I had gotten it at an apple bee’s, I ordered the Toro Sashimi Special ( $8 a piece) He ordered Teriyaki.  So we waited an additional 45 minutes for our food to come out only to be SO disappointed. My “toro belly” was slimy, warm and sour which obviously was a result of them cutting it and leaving it out while they did god knows what to the salad I ordered and never received and his bland and mediocre Teriyaki.   The toro was inedible  ( took one bite I couldn’t even swallow) and a food poisoning law suit waiting to happen so I sent it back.  Our check took a good 20 minutes to track down, correct and pay. We spent a total of about 2 hours there when it was supposed to be a 45 minute lunch.  

 
I reviewed them on their site and their VP of Operations contacted me immediately and offered two gift cards to try them again, which leads me to experience number 2.

Second Time:

Again it took a crazy amount of time to receive my salad and my friends 3 rolls.  Food was bland but not awful.  Nothing memorable, service was crap and took forever.  Left unhappy again. When I presented the gift cards, the server gave a VERY audible groan and acted like it was the biggest inconvenience.  

Third Time:
Last night, went in with a colleague ( i forewarned her) she was adamant that it was a great place so I said, sure i’ll give it another shot. (WRONG)
We sat by the door of the bar, (no big deal.) The bartender while initially very nice was about as fake as the nails on my fingers.

I asked for a Lychee Martini, she convinced me to try her ” favorite drink ever” a sakitini ( gross)  I’m sure it was a decent drink, but it was just NOT my thing, so I sent it back. I ordered a MacMurray Pinot Noir- I watched her pour me the end of a bottle and walk away. My friend ordered the Estancia Pinot Noir.  So I’m a HUGE wine snob and a long time MacMurray drinker. What I was served was vinegar and for someone who will usually have 2 glasses of wine at dinner, I took two sips and left it untouched.   The Estancia was decent, it’s a low quality wine so we weren’t expecting much there.  

We each ordered a roll as we weren’t overly hungry.  I had the Crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll, she had a California roll, they were mediocre, not great not awful.  When it came time to pay the check, she walked over ( we waited 30 minutes for 2 rolls to come out and another 15 for the check)   Now I gave off ALL of the signs that I was unhappy without being a witch about it but this woman either didn’t give  a crap or was too much of a moron to figure it out.  ( Being subtle is NOT a strong suit of mine)  As she was taking away a FULL glass of wine I said “you know that bottle was kicked”….blank stare…..” it was no good, it was vinegar”  ……”oh”… and she walked away while rolling her eyes.  The manager came over and gave me the equivilent of the Spanish inquisition  and I said, listen I know my wine, I know what it’s supposed to taste like and that was a soured bottle.  

He proceeded to attempt to pour himself a glass from the Estancia, I said, Nope I had the MacMurray and it was the dregs of a bottle, she poured at my table 18 inches from my face.  He said, oh no problem and took it off my check..

As we were packing up our things to leave after paying our bill, I overheard the bartender say to the manager, that woman was a …….and i missed the last word. .

Not the way to win customers my dear.

Safe to say I will NOT be returning

 
 
 
 
One thing I learned from my Mother, the former Long Time Savor( Food) Editor for the Star Ledger, is how  to write a review and to know what to look for.  In her hay day my mom managed to close down this horrible restaurant called Max’s in NJ (at least that’s the thought and understanding)  I was probably 11 at the time and I remember always being in awe of my mom when she reviewed a place.  The sneaky way she took notes under the table to the outcome whether positive or negative of a review.  This place never stood a chance.  I remember we sat for a LONG time before any service much less any food.  I don’t remember going a second time, but apparently we did to give it another chance and it was apparently equally as hateful. Needless to say my mothers review came out and less than 5 weeks later they were closed.  Do the math.
 
My intention is NOT to get Haru closed, because some people actually love it there, just to have them correct the crap that goes on and fix their issues.

Surprise! Catering my fathers surprise 60th

I decided to take on the task of catering for my ultra picky family and my fathers friends for his surprise 60th. While murphy’s law was definitely at play:  

  • The Dog Ate a Portion of My Cake ( No, Really that happened) 
  • Someone who shall remain nameless ( mommy dearest) misplaced the cookbook with quite a few of my recipes 
  • Pastry dough that was to be refrigerated was accidentally frozen ( mommy dearest)  rendering it unusable

All that aside it worked out perfectly and I want to throw a HUGE thank you out to Sweet Lucy’s Bakery in Morristown NJ for the last minute order and amazing handling of a semi frantic phone call that went something like:

“Hi, due to a cake accident ( sure that’s what we’ll call it) I need 50 cupcakes or a cake made by this evening!…….. can you help….please? …….please?……”

Truly it worked out fabulously and I am SO grateful that the staff was able to accommodate with 50 delicious cupcakes ( all though we had a minor accident where a few of them toppled over- we lost 4 but that’s ok)

Image

 

Here’s a snap shot of the menu:

 

Frank’s Surprise 60th Menu

Moroccan Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Salmon Log

Olive and Blue Cheese Stuffed Baby Peppers

Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam

Ham & Jarlsburg Stromboli

Mozzarella balls wrapped in Roasted Red Pepper

Spinach & Artichoke Pizza

Traditional Italian Platter with Meats, Fruits & Cheeses

Brownies

Fruit Display

Shrimp Platter

Cheese Board

Mini Candy Buffet

Wine & Champagne Bar

 

A HUGE thank you to Jessica Williamson for assisting and doing a beautiful job of serving and passing!

 

Image

Sauteed Onions for the Meatballs!

Image

Beef & Parsley

Image

Beef, Parsley & Bread Crumbs

Image

Beef,Parsley, Bread Crumbs & Eggs

Image

Beef, Parsley, Bread Crumbs, Eggs, Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Cinnamon, & Dash of Coriander

Image

Combined Ingredients

Image

Cooking my balls in the oven

Image

Finished Product!

Image

Balls on a stick ready to go out

Image

Baked Brie with Raspberry Jam & Ham/Jarlsburg Stromboli(should have made 3)

Image

Stuffed Halved Baby Peppers with Olive Tapenade & Blue Cheese

Image

Table scape: tri color gum balls in martini/margarita glasses with zebra napkins, black cocktail plates and the Cup Cake Tower went in the center!

 

 

Thank you to everyone who attended, the gracious compliments you paid me, all the support, love and help!

 

Mom, I still love you ❤

 

 

 

Last Nights Dinner: The Palm

Last night I had the pleasure of eating at one of my favorite restaurants, The Palm.   For those who are not familiar, The Palm is an amazing steakhouse with great seafood as well and an awesome atmosphere.  Located at 250 West 50th Street in the city.   http://www.thepalm.com

As always I had a terrific meal, perfectly cooked Filet Mignon in a Brandy Peppercorn sauce, with creamed spinach and 3 cheese potatoes au gratin.  We started with a mix of clams casino and calms oreganato.   My blue cheese stuffed olive martini was to die for, the Russian River Valley Pinot was outstanding and the conversation was hilarious.  Our waiter Dave was awesome and so attentive without being obtrusive.

 

I will forever recommend The Palm and look forward to many more amazing experiences!

 

ImageImage

 

Dans Le Noir: A Sensory Experience aka My Birthday Location

So this past weekend was my birthday party, I know I know Happy Birthday To Moi. I decided this year that I wanted something utterly random and unique and i found exactly that in Dans Le Noir.

 

The Concept

Dinner in the total darkness, guided and served by blind people, is a unique experience that changes our perception of the world by reversing points of view. A visit to Dans le Noir is not just dinner, it is a censorial, social, and human experience. First, your senses will be awakened, as you are allowed to completely re-evaluate your perception of taste, smell, and texture. It is a social experience, in which the darkness protects you from your inhibitions and frees you to experience relationships and interactions without prejudice or preconception. Finally, it is a richly human experience when the blind become your eyes, opening your mind to an intriguing new world of mystery and sensation.

This place is totally devoid of vanity and you will leave with a memorable experience to say the least!

 

How It Works

You have the choice between 4 different surprise menus:

White : No Restrictions. “the true Dans le Noir experience” ( I did this one)
Blue : Fish and Seafood . . . for the Little Mermaid in you
Red : Meat Lovers . . . the Carnivore’s delight
Green : Vegetarian . . . “eh, what’s up, doc

 

Upon making a reservation you are asked to complete an excel document alerting them of who wants which surprise menu, how many glasses of wine and any allergies.  I had initially thought this was utterly ridiculous and frankly an inconvenience. WRONG It was absolutely essential to the way they operate and run to have this done.   

There were 11 of us at dinner and my best guess is that we were seated at a long table. Everything is VERY specific and placed so that the waiter (Adam) could figure out who was in what location.   It is a 3 course meal, appetizers, entree and dessert.  While I can’t TELL you what I ate as it would ruin the seasonal menu for them.  I can tell you there was some game, there were some odd items and I know I ended up eating with my hands ( what a mess)

 

I’m huge on texture so I knew a fork and knife were simply not going to be an option for me.  All in all it was a good experience, a bit pricy for what it actually is.  Advertized at 60 a head it was more like 100 when you factored in tax/tip.  There was some competition between our table and what I assume was the only other table in there.  They were not amused that we were a louder and rowdier group of FUN individuals and kept shushing us. ( not productive- only made us louder)

I would recommend Dans Le Noir for an intimate 😉 date ( keep in mind everything is recorded with heat cameras- so no monkey business)  

 

 

Happy Eating!

 

Chocolate Caramel Tarts

Chocolate Caramel Tarts

These decadent chocolate and caramel tarts are no more difficult to pull off than a batch of your favorite cookies. Because they’re made with a slightly sturdier pastry than regular sweet dough, the shells are easy to remove from the molds once they’re baked. Since tartlet molds come in different sizes, use what you have on hand; even mini muffin tins work. Just measure the top of the tin and use a cookie cutter 1 inch bigger than the cup to cut out your circles of pastry.

Servings:24 tarts

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ready In: 3 hours(including cooling time)

Ingredients

Pastry

¾ cup unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cold water

Caramel

½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1/3 cup whipping cream

Chocolate

4 ounces dark (70 %) chocolate
½ cup whipping cream
1 egg yolk
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
 

Method

 
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Place butter, salt and sugar in food processor. Process until mixture is light and fluffy. Add flour and water and just combine. Remove from processor and shape into a flat disc. Chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out pastry about 1/8- inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut circles to fit your tartlet tins. Ease pastry into tins and, if it breaks, pat it together again. If there is enough pastry, make a rim around each tart. Freeze pastry for 30 minutes. (Any leftover pastry can also be frozen for another use.) Prick base of pastry with a fork.
 
Bake tartlets 10 to 12 minutes or until golden. Cool in tins.
 
Remove before filling them.
 
Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a heavy pot. Bring to a boil and boil until sugar turns an amber color (about 4 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cream until well incorporated. Stir occasionally as mixture cools. Chill until mixture hardens.
 
Break up chocolate and place in a heavy pot with 1/2 cup whipping cream. On low heat, slowly melt chocolate, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Stir in egg and vanilla and continue to stir together until mixture is slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).
 
Cool.
 
Place 1 teaspoon caramel in base of each tart. Top with 1 teaspoon chocolate mixture.

Refrigerate tarts until chocolate mixture is set

 

OPTIONAL Substitutions/Ad ins:

Peanuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts ( can be used in pastry or as a garnish on top)

For Chocolate Pastry add in 1/2 cup Diced and melted semi sweet or dark chocolate

 

CAN BE MADE AS ONE GIANT TART ( use a shallow pastry pan or pie pan and double/triple the recipe)

 

Image

Enjoy!

 Thanks for the recipe Aunt Carol!

Working Lunch: Mixed Green Salad with the works ( for me at least)

Image

 

1/2 Package Mixed Greens ( Baby Spinach & Arugula)

Jarlsberg Cheese -3 slices ( small cubes)

3 Cherry Tomatoes ( I’m not a big fan but I needed filler)

1 Roasted Red Pepper ( diced)

1 Egg ( whites only) diced

2 Baby Bell Peppers ( Orange) Diced

3 Spicy Green Olives Stuffed with Hot Pepper – Diced

 

Dressing:

1 Scoop Sabra Spinach & Artichoke Hummus

1/2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Grind of Sea Salt

1 Grind of Black Pepper

1/4 Tsp Raspberry Jam

 

Combine & Shake in Container and Enjoy!

 

 

BEST SALAD I’VE MADE YET!

 

 

 

 

Easter Blog! Pastries, Cookies, Cakes & a Workout

Apologies for the MIA status over the weekend! So Happy Easter to All!  Happy Passover ( is that correct)  to my Jewish friends!   Hope everyone had a great weekend.  So being the big happy family my family is, there was certainly no shortage of food this year, but dessert certainly stole the show!   We usually have a few cookies, brownies, maybe a cake, but this year we went all out! 

 

There are traditional Italian cookies and pastries ( I myself am not a pastry fan but these are spectacular)

Easter Dessert Menu

Italian Pastries

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Strawberry Shortcake

Muddy Buddies aka Puppy Chow

Brownies

Italian Cookies

Easter Basket Candy

 

 

ImageImageImage

 

ImageImage

Image

Another Great Salad: Park Avenue Deli in Rockville Centre NY

So I was working out of the Rockville Centre office yesterday and wanted a salad for lunch.  I’m on this protein shake kick so I’ve been subbing out either breakfast or lunch for a shake ( I doctor up my vanilla bean lean shake powder (GNC) with a tsp of sugar free chocolate syrup and a banana)    So a coworker suggested I check out this places create your own salad bar ( loved it)   Albeit it was slow as molasses in there ( great food= long wait)

I went a bit nuts with the add ins

Spinach

Beets

Carrots

Blue Cheese

Chick Peas

Avocado

Egg Whites

Dried Cranberries

Roasted Red Peppers

Artichoke Hearts

Balsamic Vinaigrette

It was AWESOME but way to much for one sitting!

Image

Worldly Wednesday: Chana Masala & Dosa Filling

I went to a good friends house for dinner last night and she made a wonderful Indian meal for us.   She made a Chana Masala and Dosa ( just the filling) we used the Dosa batter to make a bread similar to Ethiopian Injera ( since we were not about to start frying!) We omitted the spinach last night and added in some ginger.

Image

CHANA MASALA

 

  • 1 can chickpeas in water (also called garbanzo beans) or 1 1/2 cups precooked + 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • juice from one lemon (approx 2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 large bunch of spinach or two handfuls, rinsed

Preparation:

In a large skillet or frying pan, sautee onions and garlic in olive oil until soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Add chickpeas straight from the can, including all the water. Add spices and lemon juice, cover, and simmer about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more water if needed, until chickpeas are cooked and soft.

Reduce heat, add spinach and cover. Allow spinach to wilt for 2-4 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy your chana masala!

Makes 3 servings. Nutritional information, per serving:
Calories: 301, Calories from Fat: 148
% Daily Value: Total Fat: 16.4g, 25%; Saturated Fat: 1.9g, 10%
Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 179mg, 7%
Total Carbohydrates: 32.6g, 11%
Dietary Fiber: 5.0g, 20%
Protein: 10.4g
Vitamin A 38%, Vitamin C 21%, Calcium 9%, Iron 19%

 

DOSA FILLING

Ingredients:

  • 4 nos – Potato, medium sized
  • 1 to 2 – Onion, medium sized long thinly sliced
  • 12 nos – Small green chilies, not to be chopped. Just split them at the center
  • 1/4 tsp – Turmeric
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp – Mustard ( we subbed mustard seeds)
  • 1 tsp – Urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 1/4 tsp – Chana dal (yellow split peas)
  • 10 nos – Curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp – Coriander leaves or Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp – Ghee
  • 2 tbsp – Oil
  • Chopped Ginger to taste ( we used about 2 inches worth)
Cut the potatoes each into 2 pieces with the skin intact and cook them in a cooker until one whistle. Then peel the skin of the potato and smash or squeeze them coarsely by hand and set aside.

 

Heat oil in a khadhai or a pan and toast all seeds and grains. Keep stirring for a minute and then add onion, curry leaves, green chilies and turmeric. Saute for around 10 minutes. Add Salt and 1/2 cup water and stir well. Add the mashed potato, coriander leaves, ghee and mix well. Now take the pan of the heat and the potato subji is done.
 
 
 
thank you to Jane Aldrick for an awesome meal! 

Traveling Tuesdays: Moroccan Chicken with Eggplants, Almonds & Tomatoes

Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant, Almonds & Tomatoes

 

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 3 cups onions , sliced
  • 6 large garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed , ground
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes , drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or more)
  • 8 chicken thighs (skinned, but bone-in)
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (skinned)
  • 1 large eggplant , unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram , chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almond
  • fresh cilantro , chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy large wide pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add paprika, salt, turmeric, coriander, fennel, pepper, cumin, and ginger; stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes, water and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; bring to a boil. Arrange all chicken in a single layer in pot; spoon some sauce over. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 45 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes longer.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place eggplant and remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread eggplant out on prepared baking sheet and bake until soft and brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. (Chicken and eggplant can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate separately until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.).
  3. Stir eggplant and marjoram into chicken. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes to heat through and blend flavors. Season stew to taste with more lemon juice, if desired, and salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro.

 

One of my favorite Recipes ( Can be made with Lamb instead)

 

” Cooking for the troops” Bringing Jersey to El Paso Texas!

So I headed out to the great state of Texas this weekend to visit a friend down in El Paso at Ft. Bliss.  He and a few of his buddies had seen all the things I post on my blog and facebook and begged me to come down and cook.   Always loving to travel and “show off” my cooking skills I said sure! I decided to bring a little bit of Jersey Italian to Texas and go with a variation of my lasagna and sausage/peppers & onions.Safe to say it was a success and I left them with plenty of leftovers ( well for a day or two at least)

 

On the menu: 

6 cheese lasagna made with my homemade gravy ( with meat this time) & ground beef.  Typically I would use lamb but the stores out there didn’t have any!

My Gravy with Meat!

Image

Beef Shank prepped and ready to braise!  ( rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme & oregano) Image

6 Cheese Meat Lasagna ( Mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, Ricotta, Fontina & Provolone)

Image

Hot & Sweet Italian Sausage, Red & Green Peppers, Large Yellow Onions, Scoop of Gravy per each serving cooked

Image

Side by Side Finished Product!

Image

Weight Loss Wednesday: Grilled Salmon with Leek Risotto

  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon butter or margarine
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 ounces salmon fillet
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • Lemon wedge (optional)

Directions

  1. In small saucepan melt butter. Cook leek, rice and garlic powder in butter over medium-low heat for 5 to 8 minutes or until leek is tender and rice is lightly toasted.
  2. Carefully add broth to saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grill salmon on greased grill rack over medium coals for 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, carefully turning once.
  4. Stir parsley and Parmesan cheese into rice. Spoon onto serving plate. Top with salmon.

 

Image

 

 

Enjoy!  I’ll be making this tonight. 

Todays Recipe: Roasted Corn & Chicken Tostada

Ingredients

  • 1 (7-inch) whole wheat flour tortilla or flour tortilla
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil ( I use grape seed)
  • 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream

Directions

  1. Lightly coat both sides of tortilla with cooking spray. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 400° F about 10 minutes or until crisp.
  2. Meanwhile, in small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray cook corn over medium-high heat for 1 to 3 minutes or until beginning to brown, stirring frequently. Remove from skillet. Set aside.
  3. In same small skillet heat oil. Add chicken, chili powder and cumin. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in salsa, beans and corn. Heat through.
  4. Place tortilla on serving plate. Top with lettuce, chicken mixture, cheese and sour cream. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

Credit:Special K Challenge Cookbook!

The Celtic Knot: Chicago

So I was in Chicago for a wedding this weekend and had the pleasure of attending the rehearsal dinner at Evanston’s local traditional Irish pub!   My cousin and I split a few things but I have to say everything was on point!

Image

 

ImageImageImage

So  I didn’t get pics of everything BUT we had some amazing oysters, fantastic fish and chips, great calamari, a ploughman’s lunch and seriously the best cupcake i have EVER had!

The Celtic Knot’s Guinness Chocolate Cupcake with Baileys Frosting

 

If you find yourself in Evanston, IL or Liverpool where the cupcakes come from you MUST get one or 5!

 

Panko crusted Tilapia with Asian Infused Quinoa and String Beans!

Image  

 

Tilapia with Panko crust, broccoli and carrot quinoa & string beans!

1 Filet of Tilapia

1/2 cup skim milk/lactaid milk

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Handful of string beans

3 Garlic Cloves (diced or pressed)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to drizzle)

1 Cup of Quinoa

2 Cups of Water

1 Carrot ( peeled, washed and diced)

1 head of broccoli

1/4 cup Kikkoman Triple Ginger Teriyaki Sauce

1/4 cup Peanuts

 

Dip filet of tilapia into milk and then coat with panko, grill or bake to liking ( typically a 5 minute grill)

Cook quinoa on stove top- boil 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of quinoa, fluff after boil and let simmer, add raw carrots, broccoli and peanuts and combine.   Add 2/3 of the teriyaki sauce to the quinoa and stir. Serve hot or cold/warm.  

Steam String beans stove top or in microwave, combine with garlic and toss with Extra Virgin Olive Oil until coated.  You can add sea salt and pepper if you want, I do not!

 

 

 

Enjoy!!

 

Way Back Wednesday: Beet, Carrot, Ginger Soup

ImageImage

 

Beet/Carrot/Ginger Soup

6 beets- washed & peeled

4 carrots- washed and peeled

1 inch chunk of fresh ginger

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 

Shred Beets, Carrots & Ginger in Food Processor, change over to saute pan and saute all with olive oil, salt pepper and any left over ginger.  (15 minutes-20 minutes)  Transfer all into the food processor and puree until a thick soup.   

 

Serve alone, with rice or with any kind of meat!

 

Throw Back Tuesday: Veggie Lasagna

Image

So I start with one large container of skim ricotta cheese and add 1/2 a container of full fat ricotta, then I combine 2 egg yolks, 1 full cup of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 a cup of asiago or fontina cheese.   I add oregano, rosemary, salt and white pepper to taste,  I also add garlic powder.

 Image
Roast your eggplant which has been cut in 1/4 inch rounds and tossed with Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper.  Roast on high heat in oven for about 10 minutes ( watch these carefully so they do not burn or over brown)  you want them to be soft but not soggy

ImageI then add my red peppers, onions, garlic, ( skip the green peppers,  I don’t love the way they come out) Garlic, Zucchini & Roasted Eggplant and let simmer in Olive Oil.   Cook until soft. Image

Assemble a layer of sauce, then spinach noodles, then veggies and then ricotta, repeat ( i usually get about 4 layers finishing with noodles. 

ImageImage

Top with a blend of Mozarella, Fontina, Parmesan and Asiago.  I usually over cheese and do about an inch of cheese ( you can do less)  Cook until perfectly browned and then serve HOT!

ImageImageImage

 

Enjoy!!

Re Boot Your Life!

Re Boot Your Life!

So this website was recommended by a co worker and I have to say I am totally crushing on it right now!   More juice recipes for a juicing fanatic!! Yes please!!   It’s definitely worth checking out! It may or may not be for you but I strongly recommend giving it a glance!

 

Thanks Amy!

 

 

Juice Up!

My Favorite Kale Salad

Raw Kale with Peanuts, Artichoke & Tomato Bruschetta and lemon
 
I am a huge Kale fanatic.  I try to eat at least two servings a day when possible and usually will have a juice on the way to work with kale in it! 
 
 
 
 
Image

Funky Fresh Friday: Brussel Sprouts

Image

 

Brussel Sprouts are by far one of my favorite veggies!  They are not everyone’s cup of tea however I will give you my recipe for some pretty darn good sprouts!

 

1LB of Brussel Sprouts (washed and halved)

1.5 Tablespoons Olive Oil

4 Cloves of Garlic ( peeled and pressed)

1 yellow onion ( diced)

Sprinkle of brown sugar

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until golden on low heat ( do not burn it) Add in brussel sprouts and turn up the heat to medium/high.  Once they start to crisp add in the brown sugar and resume sauteing for about another 5 minutes.  They SHOULD turn out a nice caramelized batch of deliciousness!

 

I will be making these tomorrow and will post pics!

Pair with chicken, fish, turkey, or steak!

 

Thirsty Throw Back Thursday: Pellegrini Vineyard

One of my absolute favorite things to do in the late spring/summer is visit Long Island Wineries!  As a follow up to last weeks Wino Wednesday post about laurel lake and their fabulous moscato.  Here is Pellegrini Vineyards!

Last summer one of my favorite experiences was heading on a winery day with my friend Molly and the guy I was seeing.  Just around lunchtime we had smartly packed a mini picnic and purchased 3 bottles of their 2010 East End Select BBQ Red ( $15 a bottle)  ( delicious, light, perfect with our cheese and light bites!) We sat on their great lawn and tanned, ate, drank and had a blast for a good 2-3 hours! We then were on our merry way to the next vineyard!

I will be putting together a Wino Weekend in the next few months so stay tuned for more Winery news!

 

 

 

Image

Image

Way Back Wednesday: Sweet Potato/Carrot Puree

Image

My Mother’s Sweet Potato Carrot Puree

 

3 Sweet Potatoes

3 Carrots

2 cups Creme Fresh

Salt & Pepper to taste

1/4 tsp Paprika

 

Cook Sweet Potatoes & Carrots until soft, then puree in food processor.  Pre make Creme Fresh ( you can substitute sour cream if you must) Combine everything in food processor, then bake for 30 minutes on 250. 

 

Serve hot!  Goes GREAT with Thanksgiving dinner!

Breakfast Time!

So this morning was 1 eggwhite sprinkled with parmesan cheese, 2 stalks of raw kale with 1/4 cup of my lentil stoup on top ( i didn’t finish it all)   and a swirl of ketchup and sriracha mixed together!   I am in love with Wegmans Just Tea- the jasmine green tea is my favorite!  Teas Tea is also another favorite zero calorie tea! ImageImage

A good swift kick in your metabolisms A$$!

Image

Please pardon the half eaten breakfast your seeing!  I couldn’t resist!  So this mornings breakfast was a “two egg” white “omelet” with a sprinkle of Asiago cheese with a combo of ketchup and sriracha!   If you are looking for a nice way to perk up your breakfast, kick your lazy metabolism into gear or just wake yourself up: Here it is!

 

 

 

Traveling Tuesdays!:Julia’s Indian Lentils

Image

So I am currently having a complete love affair with lentils.  Growing up I shunned them like they were mushrooms ( I am highly allergic to mushrooms)   This is a bit of a simple recipe that I threw together last night.  It’s not quite a stew, it’s not quite a soup  so I call it Stoup!

Indian Spiced Roasted Lentil “stoup”


1 Package Green or Red Lentils (re-hydrate ahead of time overnight)

1 Can of San Marzano Whole Tomatoes (with Basil) in Juice ( when in season use4 fresh tomatoes)

5 cloves of garlic (sliced)

1/4 cup Grape Seed or Olive Oil

4 Carrots (diced)

1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)

1/2 TBSP Turmeric

1/2 TBSP Roasted Ground Cumin

1 TBPS Sriracha

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Water to thicken or thin

Optional:  Sweet Potato or Potato ( 3 diced)

 

Roast the lentils with garlic, carrots, potatoes and onion and oil in a wok for 5 minutes ( keep turning them and stirring so they do not burn) Once slightly browned and softer add tomatoes and juice plus a small amount of the water. Let simmer in the wok for another 5-10 minutes.  Transfer everything to your crock pot and cook on low. ( I cooked mine overnight for about 7 hours) 

I serve mine over uncooked kale, but you can do it over rice, pasta or salad

 

Enjoy!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

M.O.M ( Munching on monday)

Quinoa “Rice Bowl”

 

1/2 Cup Quinoa ( cooked in 1.5 cups water)

1.4 cup peanuts

1/2 cup broccoli florets (steamed slightly undercooked)

1 Carrot Shredded ( uncooked)

1/2 Cup Bean Sprouts 

1 half inch thick slice of tofu cut into cubes

2.5 Tablespoons Triple Ginger Teriyaki dressing ( I use Kikkoman’s- 15 Calories per TBLS

 

toss together to combine with dressing ( can be eaten hot or cold – i prefer luke warm)

 

Enjoy! Image

 

Greek Taverna

Greek Taverna

Greek Taverna

So I spent Saturday in Montclair NJ antiquing and shopping while occupying my friend Jane, while her fiance set up her surprise “re do” 30th birthday party. We had an amazing lunch at Greek Taverna on Bloomfield Avenue. We went a little overboard on the ordering but it was well worth it!

I have to say as someone who is a food snob its usually pretty hard to impress me with Greek Food, they absolutely knocked it out of the park.

So we split: An unreal Greek Salad ( picture included) Grilled Haloumi, Greek Taverna Chips ( eggplant and squash with skordalia) Keftedes ( I abstained from those) & Tzatziki ( amazing)

Continue reading

Moroccan Meatloaf with Moroccan Veggies

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ( grape seed will cut the fat down)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup pitted, very finely chopped green olives
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin,
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric,
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter (margarine for lower calorie)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

In a medium bowl, add the meat, 1 small onion, Add finely chopped garlic, panko, extra-virgin olive oil, the egg, the zest and most of the juice of lemons. Mix to combine. Add the olives, spices, a handful of parsley and a handful of mint. Combine well. Form the mixture into 4 individual rolls and bake on a parchment lined sheet pan until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons butter to a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat, whisk the flour into melted butter, and then add the Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock, the remaining lemon zest and juice, 1/4 cup honey, and salt and pepper, to taste. Slide the meat loaves into the sauce. (If the meat loaves are cold, tent with foil and gently reheat in low simmering sauce.) Once the meat loaves are warm, transfer them to a serving plate and raise the heat to high. As soon as the sauce becomes syrupy after 1 to 2 minutes, drizzle it over meat and serve.

I make Moroccan Veggies to go along with- this can be done with any combo of veggies, think carrots, eggplant, zucchini, squash, onion, potato, tomato.  Saute in olive or grape seed oil, add salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, paprika, all space and nutmeg to taste.   Add mint and parsley at the end (sprinkle on top)

Image

Funky Fresh Friday

Image

Low Fat Veggie & Bean “Stir Fry”

This is a long standing favorite of mine

 

So I have a few variations on how I do this.  This particular one is a combo of sauteed onions, garlic, eggplants, broccoli, diced tomato, & cannelloni beans sprinkled with parsley, oregano, rosemary, a light drizzle of grape seed oil and the juice from diced tomatoes. You can add lean chicken or turkey for protein.  Occasionally if I want a thicker sauce I will add half a container of plain Greek strained yogurt ( I personally favor Chobani . I have used 1/4 of a cub of plain kefir which also works nicely!

 

 

Happy Friday!

 

Dieters, Beware: 5 Myths That Can Halt Weight Loss

Myth: Eating small portions, or “grazing,” throughout the day will help increase metabolism.

Modifying your food intake in this way won’t increase your metabolism. Though some people might find that eating smaller, frequent meals and snacks helps to control their appetite, making it easier to lose weight, others may experience the opposite effect.

“Some people tend to graze on high-fat, high-calorie foods, which would actually make them gain weight,” said Sara Stanner, a registered public health nutritionist and a member of the British Nutrition Foundation.

But “if you are sitting down for a meal, you are more likely to have lower energy foods such as vegetables sides and salads,” Stanner said. “In general, studies show that if you are trying to lose weight, the best approach is three planned meals and a couple of healthy snacks.”

Myth: Low-fat or fat-free food will have significantly fewer calories.

Just because a food is labeled as being low in fat does not necessarily mean it’s low in calories — because fat can be replaced by other nutrients that provide calories, such as protein, starch and sugar.

For example, according to a food guide published by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a small, low-fat blueberry muffin has 131 calories, while a regular blueberry muffin of the same size has 138 calories.

Eating low-fat foods will not automatically lead to weight loss, Stanner told MyHealthNewsDaily. This is especially true if you end up eating larger portions of low-fat foods.

Myth: Eating late in the evening will cause you to gain weight.

It’s not true that food consumed later in the evening will just sit there, unused, and automatically get converted into fat.

“You will gain weight if your total daily energy intake exceeds your energy expenditure, regardless of the timing of consuming these calories,” Stanner said. “Eating late at night, however, especially large meals, can cause digestive problems and that’s why it’s not recommended.”

Myth: A sports drink that is high in vitamins and nutrients is a healthier alternative to soda.

It’s easy to think of sports drinks as the healthy alternative at the vending machine, but that’s not always true. For example, a bottle of VitaminWater contains 13 grams of sugar and 50 calories per serving. However, each bottle contains 2.5 servings, so if you chug the whole bottle after a workout, you’ve taken in 125 calories. By comparison, one can of regular Coca-Cola has 140 calories.

“Sports drinks may contain a good supply of vitamins and minerals, but it can still be high in sugar and calories,” Stanner said. “And some of the added vitamins and minerals may also not be required if you are already eating a healthy diet.”

Myth: A big breakfast will keep you from eating too much later in the day.

It’s a bad idea to skip breakfast because you’re more likely to reach for extra morning snacks — but this doesn’t mean a big breakfast is good idea either. A big breakfast does not keep you from being hungrier later in the day. Worse yet, it can pile on too much extra calories.

A German study of 280 obese and 100 normal-weight people, published this month in the Nutrition Journal, found that eating a big breakfast can tack on an extra 400 calories. Yet we typically don’t balance out this morning calorie infusion by eating less later —breakfast calories had little or no effect on the number of calories consumed during the rest of the day, the researchers found.

Traveling Thursday: Cassata Siciliana

Image

 

The traditional cassata siciliana consists of round sponge cake moistened with fruit juices or liqueur and layered with ricotta cheese, candied peel, and a chocolate or vanilla filling similar to cannoli cream. It is covered with a shell of marzipan, pink and green pastel colored icing, and decorative designs. The cassata is finally topped with candied fruit depicting cherries and slices of citrus fruit characteristic of Sicily.

The Cassatella di Sant’Agata —colloquially named Minni di Vergini, meaning “virgin breasts”—is a similar dessert, but made in a smaller, personal-serving size, with a candied cherry on top, and often a specifically green-coloured marzipan. It is typically made in Catania for the festival of Saint Agatha. The allusion to the female breast relates the specific torture Saint Agatha faced as a Catholic martyr.

 

My family in Genova Italy has this every time I visit them! It is truly one of my favorite desserts and to this day I have not found a US version that I can tolerate!  

 

 

My Challenge To YOU: Find me the best cassata cake around- remember this is a seasonal dessert!

Wino Wednesday!

In honor of the rare 60-65 degree weather we are currently having, here’s my ode to last summer!  One of my favorite wines is from this Local Vineyard! If you find yourself in Long Island Wine Country ( the north fork)  you MUST stop over at Laurel Lake and try their Moscato!  Now I am not typically a white wine drinker, however I bought a few bottles when I left! It’s delicious without being overpoweringly sweet or tangy!

 

 

 

Image