Several months ago I decided that I missed talking about food. I know that seems impossible, all I do is post about food, write food novels, and go to cooking school- but the truth is I rarely spend entire meal mostly talking about loving food. I remembered in the sixth grade, spending the night with my best friend and talking for hours about all the different kinds of candy we couldn’t wait to eat again (Hot Tamales, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Twix, Snickers, Butterfingers...) My 11-year-old foodie was looking to relive that yummy feeling– so voila! The Official Hearty Eaters Food Club was born.
Our first feast was in February and the theme was “food that warms your belly.” It was a long lunch filled with restaurant recommendations, recipe ideas, mouth-watering food suggestions, and amazing potluck dishes. Below are pictures of the spread and recipes from the hearty eaters! Our spring feast will be coming up soon.I can’t wait talk about sugar snap peas….MAN, I just love those nasty, sweet, green little guys….
Orange Wheels/Santre de Chakle
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus chilling
1/4 cup honey
Handful of Craisins
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons rose water
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
Peel oranges. Slice each one into 4 or 5 rounds. Sprinkle with Craisins. Sprinkle with cinnamon or go crazy and use cloves. Mix honey, orange juice and Grand Marnier. Pour over oranges and chill for at least two hours. Serve chilled with juice.
Baked Brie in Pastry
One package of Brie- any size or shape. Wheel or slice.
One package pepperidge farm puff pastry sheets.(in freezer dept)
Choose the amount of puff pastry sheet you will need from package. I soften in microwave in 15 sec increments so I can tear away the pieces I need. One reg wheel can take two pieces. Take pieces and wrap Brie up with them.
Preheat oven to 400. Cook on baking sheet (can lightly grease area where you place Brie to avoid sticking to sheet) for approximately 20 min. Watch for pastry to turn crispy golden brown.
Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup
From The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook
¼ extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped medium
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed (about 1 tablespoon)
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
2 (28oz) cans whole tomatoes
3 slices high quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into 1 inch pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon brandy (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
- Heat 2 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes (if using), and bay leaf. Cook stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces bigger than 2 inches remain. Stir in the bread and sugar and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bread is completely saturated and starts to break down, about 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Transfer half of the soup to a blender. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and process until the soup is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with the remaining soup and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Rinse and dry the Dutch oven and return the soup to the pot. Stir in the chicken broth and brandy (if using). Return the soup to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the chopped chives, drizzle with olive oil and serve. (The soup, minus the garnish, can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm over low heat until hot, do not boil)
COOKIE DOUGH DIP (from chocolatecoveredkatie.com)
Healthy Cookie Dough Dip
1 1/2 cups chickpeas or white beans (1 can, drained and rinsed very well) (250g after draining)
1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup nut butter of choice (You can get away with using only 3 tbsp. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, use a different nut butter –(Evie’s note: I whoosh up some walnuts in my food processor before I blend the dip and make walnut butter)
up to 1/4 cup milk of choice, only if needed
Sweetener of choice (see note below, for amount)
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 to 3 tbsp oats (Evie’s note: I use ground flax)
Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.
If made correctly and blended long enough, this should have the exact texture of real cookie dough!
Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I first made this for the party. Liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well, as is evaporated cane juice. You can easily get away with less sugar– some people will be perfectly fine with just 3 tbsp for the whole recipe! And if you don’t want any sugar, you can also use stevia, if you like the taste of stevia-sweetened desserts. Try 2-3 packets of NuNaturals stevia, and add more sweetener if needed. I wouldn’t recommend serving an all-stevia version to party guests, though.
Tomatoey Butter Beans
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Large onion, sliced
2 Garlic cloves, diced
1 TBSP tomato paste
2 Cups of chopped tomatoes (sometimes I use three…just sayin)
1LB Large Butter Beans/lima beans (dried or canned– if dried, soak overnight before cooking)
Heat the oil in a pan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for 10 mins until very soft and turning golden. Add the tomatoes, beans and paste. Sinner for 20 mins, adding a little more water (or red wine, or more tomatoes) if it gets too dry. Serve with crusty toast!
Black Eyed Pea Curry with Collards and Potatoes
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, in 3/4 inch pieces
1 lb collards, rough stems removed, leaves chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas (from a 15 oz can, rinsed and drained)
To serve: Basmati rice
Optional garnish: Fresh chopped cilantro
Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and jalapeno in the coconut oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is lightly browned.
Add the garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of curry powder, garam masala, salt, vegetable broth, agave, and tomato paste, and stir. The tomato paste may not dissolve just yet but that’s ok, it will when it heats through.
Add the potatoes, cover pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, immediately lower heat to a simmer, and leave the lid ajar so that steam can escape. Let potatoes cook just until tender, about 5 more minutes.
Once potatoes are fork tender, add the collards, black-eyed peas and coconut milk. Stir gently to incorporate. Leave lid ajar again, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer just until collards are tender, it should only take a few minutes.
Turn off heat and taste for salt and spices. Add remaining curry powder if needed. It tastes best if you let it sit for 10 minutes or so, but if you can’t wait then just dig in!
Serve over basmati rice.
Nothing beats homemade mac and cheese!
Can’t wait to nibble again soon!