Tuesday

Dining with the Doc: Chickpea and Spinach Curry



This recipe was inspired by my mom and is one of the recipes included in my upcoming book, The Natural Pregnancy Cookbook, which will be released in 2015 (so stay tuned!).  Having grown up in a vegetarian household, my mom has always made the most delicious, vegetarian Indian dishes.  This is definitely one of those dishes that I turn to when I want something comforting that will deliver a taste of home.  




I took my mom’s chickpea curry recipe and added some new ingredients like coconut milk and spinach.  I love the flavor that coconut milk adds and the spinach provides a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Chickpeas, which are also packed with many vital nutrients, are a great vegetarian source of protein and fiber.  The result is a delicious and simple dish that’s full of flavor and is great for you too.  Serve the chickpeas with brown rice, naan or whole grain bread. 




Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Makes 4 servings


Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated or minced ginger
1 teaspoon grated or minced garlic
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 4 plum tomatoes)
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup light coconut milk
2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon garam masala*
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 package (5 ounces) baby spinach
Fresh cilantro for garnish


Directions:
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion.  Cook until softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic, turmeric and cayenne and cook another minute until fragrant, stirring often.  Add the tomatoes and salt and cook another 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes break down.  Mash them with the back of a spoon as they cook.  Add the coconut milk and chickpeas and simmer a few minutes until the sauce thickens.  Stir in the garam masala and lemon juice.  Add the spinach and cover the pan for a few minutes until wilted.  Uncover and stir the spinach into the sauce.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.  Garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve curry with brown rice, naan or whole grain bread.    


* Garam masala is an Indian blend of dried spices commonly used in Indian cooking. Most varieties contain a mixture of spices that includes peppercorns, cloves, cumin, coriander, and cardamom.  It can be found in specialty grocery stores and increasingly in regular grocery stores.  If you don’t have it, you can use a little ground cumin and coriander.


One serving: Calories 291; Fat 9.1g (Sat 3.4g); Protein 12.1g; Carb 41.7g; Fiber 10.7g; Sodium 702mg



Friday

Dining with the Doc: Spinach, Mushroom and Gruyere Strata




My Spinach, Mushroom & Gruyere Strata is a perfect dish for Sunday brunch.  A strata is a layered casserole made with cubed bread, eggs, cheese and other ingredients like vegetables or meat.  It’s similar to a savory bread pudding and it’s definitely a comfort food.  The beauty of making a strata is that you can toss in whatever ingredients you have on hand and you can prepare it all the night before.  In the morning, simply bake it and serve it straight out of the oven while it’s hot and puffed up. 

Thursday

Dining with the Doc: Cold Sesame Noodles




Peanut butter, sesame oil and soy sauce come together with ginger and garlic in this addictive noodle dish.  A staple on Chinese-American restaurant menus, Cold Sesame Noodles are easy to make at home.  This dish requires minimal cooking time and makes a great appetizer or side dish.  Add some steamed broccoli or grilled chicken and it becomes a substantial main course.  Although they have the word "cold" in their name, the noodles can be served hot, cold or at room temperature.

Dining with the Doc: Tuscan Kale and Apple Salad



Welcome the arrival of fall with my Tuscan Kale and Apple Salad.  This dish uses Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato or dinosaur kale) but if you can’t find it, you can use curly kale.  The kale is paired with apples, which are in season this time of year, as well as dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and almonds.  The salad is topped off with shaved Piave, which is an Italian cheese that adds a nice salty bite. 

Tuesday

Dining with the Doc: Blackberry Chia Jam



Making homemade jam has never been easier!  Before the summer officially ends, why not preserve the sweet flavor of your favorite berries by making a batch of jam?  Homemade jam typically requires a lot of time and equipment.  In order to get it to thicken properly, you usually have to use a thickening agent like pectin along with a significant amount of sugar.  My quick and easy Blackberry Chia Jam will take you only about 15 minutes to make and it uses the natural gelling properties of chia seeds.

Thursday

Dining with the Doc: Lemon Raspberry Buttermilk Popsicles



Here in south Florida, popsicles are a year round treat. But for a lot of you popsicle season will be ending soon.  So before the cool weather arrives,  make a batch of these Lemon Raspberry Buttermilk Popsicles and celebrate the remaining days of summer in style!

Wednesday

Dining with the Doc: Super Fast Peach Frozen Yogurt



A couple of weeks ago I posted a One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream recipe- a quick and easy ice cream recipe using only fresh bananas.  Since then I’ve been on a quest for more healthy dessert recipes.  Let’s face it, it’s hard to find easy, guilt-free dessert recipes that also taste great.  That’s why I’m really excited about my Super Fast Peach Frozen Yogurt.  This delicious treat simply involves putting frozen peaches, Greek yogurt, honey and a bit of lemon juice into a food processor and blending until smooth and creamy.  You only need five minutes and the end result is a creamy, luscious treat that the whole family will love.  It’s hard to believe it’s so easy to prepare- no ice cream maker needed. 

Monday

Dining with the Doc: Butter Lettuce Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing



Did you know that it’s really easy to make your own salad dressing?  My Buttermilk Herb Dressing is simple, delicious and healthy.  Store-bought salad dressings often have a lot of added sugars, preservatives and a surprising number of calories.  However, when you make homemade salad dressing, you can use fresh, natural ingredients and make healthy substitutions as desired.  My Buttermilk Herb Dressing is like a cross between ranch dressing and green goddess dressing- two of my favorites.  It uses fresh herbs, which are abundant this time of year, and it comes together in just a few minutes. By using low fat buttermilk and nonfat Greek yogurt, you can cut back significantly on the amount of mayonnaise used and still have a nice creamy texture.  The fresh herbs, dijon mustard and lemon juice add bright flavor and acidity.  This is a nice versatile dressing that can be used on salads or even as a dip.  Try it with my Butter Lettuce Salad, which features delicate butter lettuce leaves topped with heirloom tomatoes and fresh, grilled sweet corn.  

Sunday

Dining with the Doc: Cold-Brewed Coffee



I love a good cup of coffee in the morning.  For years, when I lived in NY, I would set the timer on my coffee pot at night and then wake up in the morning to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.  That was until I moved to South Florida.  Now it’s all about iced coffee.  Nothing beats a tall glass of home brewed iced coffee in this heat, especially in the summer when the temperature is usually 90 plus. 

I had heard about cold-brewed coffee and seen it on the menu at coffee shops but never really thought about making it at home.  I was used to brewing hot coffee and then pouring it over ice or refrigerating my leftover hot brewed coffee and then using that to make iced coffee.  Then I tried making cold-brewed coffee at home and I haven’t gone back since.  

Dining with the Doc: One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream



For some time now, I’ve seen a recipe for a simple one-ingredient banana ice cream circulating on the internet.  The other day I had some really ripe bananas sitting on the counter and I decided to give it a try instead of making the usual smoothie or banana bread.  Now that I've tried it, I want to spread the word!

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