Monthly Archives:

January 2013

Warm Smoked Russet Potato Salad with Bagna Cauda Dressing + GIVEAWAY

Warm Smoked Russet Potato Salad with Bagna Cauda Dressing

My latest column in Grid magazine dropped earlier this month. The recipe component of the article, picture above, is comprised of a Warm Smoked Russet Potato Salad with Bagna Cauda Dressing (and grilled leeks, lemon & herbs).

It was given to me by Chef Prensky of Supper, and far exceed my expectations. Pick up the issue and whip it up for breakfast alongside scrambled eggs or tofu. As I relayed in an earlier post, this is what converted me into an anchovy believer, so if you’re a newcomer or a little wary of the ingredient, I suggest you give this a try. For the digital version of the February issue, click here.

Russet Potatoes and Leeks

Warm Smoked Russet Potato Salad with Bagna Cauda Dressing

Undressed.

I’m also hosting a giveaway today that you can enter now through February 6th. The folks at Brookside Chocolate are giving away an array of items to one lucky reader.

Enter to win: 3 packages of  Brookside® Dark Chocolate covered fruit, a 3-compartment serving bowl with a central loop handle, stainless steel cheese server, ceramic cheese serving board, stemless wine glasses, and a few other fun items.

To enter:

(Leave a separate comment per entry. Each separate comment will give you one entry in the contest.)

This contest closes on **February 6, 2013 at 8:00pm EST**

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to use a Russet potato.
2) Leave a comment on this post telling me what food/drink you’d bring to really make a party.
3) Become a fan of F-F-F on Facebook
4) Follow me on Twitter
5) Link this giveaway on one of your blog posts and let me know that you did.
6) Tweet a variation of this on Twitter:@GraceDickinson is giving away everything you need for a party – including choc., wine glasses & more – at FoodFitnessFreshAir.com.

One winner will be chosen at random by random.org.

Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup

Carrot Soup

Transportation problems. Life problems. January problems. This is the story of my winter every year. I must be destined to have two homes. I promise I’m not a lavish girl, but an escape for the winter, I could truly use.

These stretches of 20-degree weather aren’t doing me much good. Driving to work is not my favorite way to wake up. And biking to work is also no fun when your breath is fogging up your morning commute. Especially when this experience is made wearing tights. (Though, I’m not sure I ever love hopping on two wheels in a pencil skirt.)

If I could plan ahead to assemble an outfit warm enough for a walk to the car, or an even warmer set of layers for a ride on my bike, maybe I’d be better at embracing the eye-opening air. But that’s something I haven’t ever really mastered.

I do love, however, the excuse to spend Saturday afternoons curled up in my kitchen, tunes blaring, soup jamming on my stove. These are the months suitable for a new soup every week, and that I truly love. (Hence why I’m bringing you another creamy creation just a one post after my last one.)

The beauty of a good soup is that you need only a few steps for it to turn out tasty. Often, you’ll also only need one pan, though this soup requires a step in the oven that will call for two. Roasting the carrots here really draws out their flavor, which gives this orange bowl of butter a sweet, earthy flavor. A touch of thyme draws back memories of Thanksgiving all over again, while ginger spices things up to keep your body extra warm.

Just talking about this recipe is making me appreciate winter. I suppose everything has its bright side.

 

Click here for recipe…

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna is a sea of layers that melt so beautifully well together. As the Italians know best, tomatoes, pasta, herbs and cheese are four components destined to swim as a team in the culinary world.

Though, injure one of those teammates, and you’re in for a disappointing loss. Poor sauce = terrible lasagna. The wrong combination of cheeses = bland, not addicting results. Lack of herbs = an aggravating feeling that something is missing.

In order for lasagna to triumph, all of its key players need to be at the top of their game.  Lasagna can take some effort to assemble, so you better pick your team wisely or it may not be worth your labor. (I’m still working to come up with a vegan version to take home a gold. This roasted veggie version comes pretty close, but I’m still not sure the tofu ricotta quite takes the cheese – especially if you’ve been exposed to top of the line, traditional versions. Although, I must say the caramelized layers of veggies are undoubtedly memorable.)

If you’re not quite ready to full-on delve into the world of lasagna-making – a commitment to truly master – then I suggest starting with this soup. I’ll admit, given a competitive situation, it wouldn’t beat my favorite lasagna. But when it’s significantly easier to assemble, and so much lighter and healthier, who cares. As Prevention RD states, this is one pot meal that comes together within 40 minutes. Easy. The dollop of cheese that goes with it truly makes the whole dish, so make sure to include that extra  (but simple) step.

If there’s no time to prep the team needed of a lasagna worth making, or you simply want a pasta dish that won’t weigh you down, go give this a try. It’s a simpler, easier version of one my favorite oceans of flavor, a little bit of cheese included.

Click here for recipe…

Red Curry Coconut Cabbage

If my stomach didn’t scream at me, I could easily drink down a can of coconut milk. Especially with a little fruit or honey blended in, or even just a savory scoop of curry paste. The sweet, creamy juice is a key element to success for a lot of Thai, Indian, Vietnamese and other tropical-inspired dishes.

In vegetarian recipes, I love coconut milk for the richness it can add to veggies, like the cabbage that keeps this particular dish on the light side. Make sure to use the full fat version though. The splurge is totally worth the taste, and besides, the remainder of the ingredients are as low-fat as can be.

One day, I will carry out a few of my years in the tropics. And I will measure the richness of my life by the number of fresh coconuts I’m sipping from per week. Those will be the days. Beach yoga, swimming and coconuts. Good thing I have dinners like this to hold me over until then.

Click here for recipe…

Healthy Spiced Butternut Squash Crostini

Spiced Butternut Squash Crostini

“You must really like sauces,” said my sister as I aimed the ketchup onto my plate next to the Ranch, hot sauce and salsa. She was serving bean burgers that night, and while I’m sure only one condiment was really needed to moisten the buns, I just couldn’t help myself. I am known to be indecisive with the little things in life, especially when it comes to food.

Of course after the burger topping episode came a salad dressing decision. With a husband and three kids, my sister had FAR more dressing options than I ever keep in my fridge. I settled for balsamic on one half and a sun-dried tomato vinaigrette on the other. The looks I would’ve gotten for that one…luckily my sister already seated herself at the dinner table in the next room over.

I like options. And taste-testing. And creamy dips and sauces. Guacamole? Yes please. Hummus? I could easily eat it by the spoon. And peanut butter, too.

As I think about all of the different options, I’m pretty certain I’m not alone in holding this affinity. Which is why this past New Year’s Eve, it wasn’t hard for me to decide what I wanted to bring to my friends’ dinner party. I was going to bring some kind of dip – even if my boyfriend wasn’t all too sold on the idea. Fast forward to the taste-testing, and he didn’t question me again.

Spiced Butternut Squash Crostini

I chose to use up some roasted butternut squash and immediately thought to make this on the sweet and spiced side.  Given the occasion, NYE, I wanted to send a healthy option to dinner, hence where the beans and low-fat cream cheese came in. Combined with the butternut, they delivered a classic creamy dip with some surprising nutritional power behind it. Placed on lightly buttered, toasted baguette slices, this was a HUGE hit at the party.

Make sure to include the toasted pecans and drizzle of honey. It really completes the crostini. This recipe wouldn’t be the same without its toppings, so no indecision here

Click here for recipe…

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