What a wonderful weekend cooking for a most appreciative group of women at Alison Smith's Practice as Medicine Fall Yoga Retreat! Clean eating with big salads, lots of vegetables focusing on enticing flavor combinations and lots of delicious meat was the theme in the kitchen. I would be fool not to say that some of these menus were inspired by my time cooking with Chef David Stockhausen of the Yam and Bean or Chef Angela Ginsburg of Fork Full of Earth. Read on to find out what we ate, and how I made it! Thanks to everyone for an electrifyingly inspiring weekend.
Menu at a glance:
Turmeric Orange Baked Red Snapper
Baked Spaghetti Squash with Pesto
Sautéed Winter Greens
Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish Dill yogurt sauce
Fresh Green Salad, sunflower seeds, tarragon and Persimmon
Ice cream bar with home made chocolate syrup, shredded coconut, papaya and toasted walnuts
Saturday Light Breakfast
Mini Chia Pudding parfait with Blueberry date puree, and toasted nuts
Sliced Fruit and toast
Carrot Ginger Soup
Marinated Beet Salad
Roasted Delicata Squash, Pomegranate and Arugula Salad
Herb Slab bread
Saturday Afternoon Cheese Plate
Chicken and Eggplant Curry with Thai Basil
Raw Zuccinni "Green Papaya" Salad
Green salad with tarragon and orange slices
Sunday Light Breakfast
Smoothie bowls with pistachios, walnuts, granola, pears, dates and dried figs
Toast bar with goat cheese, almond butter and butter
Chicken or Sweet potato and black bean Tacos!
Roast Southwest Sweet Potatoes
Coriander Crema/Quick Pickled Red Onions/Cilantro
Romaine hearts with jicama, shredded carrots, tomatoes and Balsamic Viniagrette
GF Brownies (The best ever)
Here are the recipes that I used over the weekend:
Baked Turmeric Ginger Orange Red Snapper:
Marinade for fish
- I used 1/3 pound red snapper filet per person. Ask your fishmonger to cut out the bones.
In a Cuisinart blend:
- 1 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 inch of ginger, coarsely chopped
- 1 inch of fresh turmeric, coarsely chopped
- zest + juice of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small shallot
- a good shake each salt and pepper
- Blend all ingredients until well chopped up. Add more of any ingredient to taste. Taste of shallot and garlic might be strong, but they will sweeten up in the baking since they are minced up so small!
- Unwrap fish, layout and salt and pepper generously.
- Slather marinade all over each side of fish.
- bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Fish should flake apart neatly at a gentle touch. If it does not, bake for 2 more minutes
Spaghetti Squash with pesto
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and add oil. Place both halves cut side down on cookie sheet. Bake at 350 until squash gives easily when you gently squeeze its back. About 30 min.
- Once done, pull out of oven and let cool slightly.
- Use fork to pull the "spaghetti" from the squash into bowl
- Add pesto and stir
- Garnish with Smoked Paprika and chiffonaded basil
Mashed potatoes with Horseradish Dill Yogurt
Use your favorite mashed potato recipe, or cover scrubbed potatoes with water and salt in appropriate sizes pot, throw in a clove or two of garlic. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until a fork easily passes through. Drain. Heat about 1 cup of milk. Add milk and butter as you mash the potatoes.
Horseradish yogurt sauce:
- Coarsely chop fresh horseradish and mince in food processor - or by prepared horseradish.
- Add horseradish to 1 pint of greek yogurt.
- Finely chop 1/2 bunch of dill and add to yogurt. Also add salt, and a squeeze of lime. Taste sauce and adjust flavors to your liking.
- If made a day ahead, this sauce will be all the more flavorful!
Sautéed Winter greens with Ginger and Garlic
Chop 3 types of winter greens coarsely. Mince garlic and ginger. In a large saute pan, add 1 tbsp oil + ginger and garlic. Move around in pan for 1 min then add enough greens to fill pan, saute, then squeeze lemon, saute until it has shrunken to desired done-ness. Batch like this until you have enough for all of the mouths that you intend to feed!
Red Wine Vinaigrette with basil, parsley and Tahini.
on a salad of mixed greens, snap peas cut lengthwise, persimmons sliced into match sticks, basil and toasted sunflower seeds.
Chocolate Sauce for Ice Cream Bar
I used this recipe from livesimply.com to get me started. I found that the syrup was too thin so I broke up a 80% dark chocolate bar and melted it in the sauce pan as well. Once cooled, the texture was great! It was very easy to make.
Bright Carrot soup with fresh turmeric. Parsley oil garnish.
The basics of this soup are:
- 5 parts carrots ( coarsely chopped)
- 1 part onion (sliced)
- 1 part celery (chopped)
- .5 part garlic (sliced)
- 1 part ginger (sliced)
- .5 part turmeric (sliced).
- 1 quart broth/stock
- Saute all ingredients except broth in medium sized pot until nice and fragrant, and onions translucent. You can really add these ingredients in whatever amount that you have, just make sure that carrots are predominant!
- Then cover with chicken or other stock ( I used dock stock at the retreat as I happened to have made some a few weeks ago). Let simmer for as long as you can take it (an hour is a nice length of time). Don't forget salt and pepper!
- When you feel the time is right, when it is smelling quite fragrant, puree with your immersion blender or batched in your vitamix. Puree longer than you think you should, at least 2 minutes longer so that you get that silky smooth texture, or at least get closer to it.
makes a brilliant garnish to orange soup because of its bright color and bright contrast. I first made this combination for my tye-dye birthday party last year. I thought it was very fitting.
To make parsley oil, combine 1/2 bunch parsley and 1 cup olive oil in Vitamix, food processor or blender and blend until well combined. Then let it sit so the green color truly infuses into the oil and strain. The oil should be a nice shade of green. This is a good one to do early, so that you can let it sit while you make your other meal items. Leave time to strain though, as your sieve will likely get a bit clogged so it might take a moment longer than you think!
Arugula Salad with Roast Delicata Squash, pomegranate seeds and feta
from cookieandkate.com. Topped with balsamic vinaigrette with apple. The one change that I made to cookieandkate's recipe was to roast the Delicata squash in whole rings with seeds intact, instead of scooping the seeds out and cutting the rings in half.
from Bon Apetit.
Steak with Chimichurri
prepared on the stove using this method from NYT, and then finished in the oven at 425 for about 6 minutes. If you are not cooking for a crowd, and have a bit more time/patience, this steak could be done beautifully sans oven.
Chimichurri sauce covering steak:
- In food processor toss: 2 bunches fresh parsley, 1 bunch oregano, 2 cloves garlic, 1 solid pinch salt, 3 swirls red wine vinegar, 3 glugs olive oil, a nice covering of fresh ground black pepper. Pulse until nice and consistent, but still just a wee bit coarse. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. If your first thought is, "dang! that is good!" do not adjust any further.
- You could alternately use most any other more precise recipe for chimicurri. Alton Brown probably has a great one.
- Note: Make this sauce ahead of time! It gets better with a day or two of age. Also great mixed into yogurt as a dip.
"Green Papaya" Salad with shredded raw zuccini instead of papaya.
I used this recipe for green papaya salad, replacing the shredded papaya with shredded zuccini. I believe that pounding the garlic, green beans and tomatoes in the beginning is really what nails the flavor of this dish. And, of course, the fish sauce. This dish also often tastes better day two as the flavors have come together even more.
In a vitamix blend:
- 1 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 banana
- 1 handful spinach
- 1/4 cup chia seeds (raw)
- 1 shake cinnamon
- 1 apple (chopped).
Blend until nice and smooth. Pour into 2 bowls and set aside in fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients. The ground up chia seeds should thicken your smoothie base so that it will hold your toppings!
For this specific smoothie bowl, I added, a dollop of the blueberry chia pudding from yesterday's breakfast, sliced d'anjou pear, chopped pistachios, almond granola, toasted walnuts and toasted shredded coconut. Get creative with your design for a nice cathartic food experience.
Chicken, black beans and yam taco bar
- sweet smoked paprika
- dried oregano
- chipotle powder
- Ground cumin
- cocao powder
- salt and pepper
- Chicken Thighs (1 per person)
- Place chicken thighs in bowl and generously add each ingredient. The cocoa powder can handle all of the other flavors, so be liberal if you like. You can also make the spice blend in a separate bowl, mix together and sprinkle on the chicken piece by piece to make sure they are fully coated.
- Transfer spiced chicken to shallow baking dish and add 3 parts orange juice + 1 part red wine until the chicken thighs are 3/4 covered in liquid.
- Bake at 350 until springy to the touch, about 40 min.
- Let cool slightly and then use fork to shred chicken in preparation for use in tacos.
My suggested serving size is one yam per person. Slice each yam in half lengthwise, and then into 1/4 inch slices, you can wedge them if you are feeling saucy, or just place the yam cut side down and slice into 4-5 pieces lengthwise, and once width wise.
Toss prepared yam with olive oil and season with Chipotle, cumin, salt and pepper. Lay out yam slices on baking sheets, making sure that each piece lays flat on the sheet and bake at 425 until browned on top and creamy to the touch.
These beans were prepared with dill and oregano, salt and pepper. You can easily by canned beans, heat over stove in sauce pan and add these four ingredients, or buy dried beans (as I did), soak overnight, (or power soak by covering with water in pot, bring to a boil for 2 min, and the soak for 4 hours,) In either case of dried beans, make sure to change the water before you could and add a liberal amount of salt.
- sour cream
- ground coriander
- minced garlic
- rice vinegar
- whole milk
Add coriander, garlic, s+p and a dash of rice vinegar to sour cream and whisk until blended. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Whisk in 1 tbsp whole milk just to thin out for easier service.
That's it! What a wonderful weekend it was madly cooking and being inspired by all of the women at the retreat. Thanks so much for your generosity, help with dishes, storytelling and energy in general. If you do try any of the dishes above or if you have any questions, I would love to hear about them in the comment section below!