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yogurt

Socca with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Socca with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Socca and tahini have pretty much been my main obsessions for the past year. Although, my love affair with tahini really extends much further back than that. If you’re not on the sesame tahini train, I advise you to get on it. (Come aboard the Soom train, and you’ll get an extra smooth ride.)

Socca still feels new to me though, with what seems like a never-ending number of ways I could imagine it being used. In fact, that’s what I love about both tahini and socca – they can be reinvented in so many different ways, including this latest creation where the two team up together.

Socca with Swiss Chard, Pine Nuts and Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Swiss chard is of course yet another lovely ingredient. Add it to anything, and what will result is the magical appearance of something beautiful. Those colors…pretty much the embodiment of spring at its best.

It’s as vibrant as the weeping cherry tree and pink tulip filled gardens, and as tasty as the greens that are beginning to show up in them. Magic.

Swiss Chard Stalks

Here, swiss chard gets a simple saute to create a light and healthy, seasonal topping for the tender socca that’s placed beneath. A tangy yogurt-tahini sauce richens it up, and creates a meal you’ll want to make again. And again. And again. Until your tahini jar runs out, and you move onto a new socca creation.

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Cut into quarters and serve as a meal for two, or divide into smaller pieces for a fun pre-dinner or party app. Note, you will want to serve this up with a fork. You’ll find the socca dough to be rather tender in comparison to pizza or other similarly-styled dishes. It’s more than worth the fork though, and even slightly messy hands if need be!

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Carrot Soup with Tahini and Roasted Chickpeas

Carrot Soup with Tahini and Roasted Chickpeas

After dodging glaciers all week and layering up till I could’ve been mistaken for the Pillsbury doughboy, today I’m hitting you with another soup recipe. There were one too many icy bike rides taken to work this past week. All called for soup immediately upon return home. Here it is.

Carrot Soup with Tahini and Roasted Chickpeas

‘Tis the season for complaints about the weather, long movies, hibernation and honey. Maybe you should call me Pooh Bear rather than the Pillsbury Doughboy. I hear he likes raw honey in his Earl Grey tea, too.

‘Tis also, of course, the season for soup, and always the season for tahini. Naturally, the two form a partnership in this warming bowl, inspired by a glimpse at Smitten Kitchen. Cue the wedding bells and tears of joy, please.

Carrot Soup with Tahini and Roasted Chickpeas

This is hands-down one of my favorite soups I’ve had yet this season. It’s creamy and sweet from the carrots, and hit with a contrasting tang from a little Greek yogurt and squeeze of lemon. Then it’s topped with a satisfying drizzle of tahini and roasted chickpeas to add in some texture. Seriously ? it has everything going for it.

By the end of his bowl, I caught my friend clanging around his soup spoon as if it were a percussion instrument. Picture a more obnoxious version of a triangle. This soup is that good. It brings music to the ears – good or bad. And is worth every last minute of poorly played instrumentation you might have to endure.

Enjoy!

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Sesame Persimmon Parfait

Sesame Persimmon Parfait

If you’re going to talk about it, do it. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

That’s my resolution for the year. No half-assing things. Less talk, more do.

Within this, one of my missions is to start taking advantage of more things I enjoy. That means making post-work yoga class a bi-weekly routine, not a bi-monthly rarity. (Trust me, a yoga class full of warm people after a wintery, long workday – it feels like a godsend. It’s worth every cent and evening minute.)

This time of year, that also means persimmons. Persimmons, persimmons, persimmons.

Persimmons are worth splurging on at the grocery store, if only to make this recipe alone.

Sesame Persimmon Parfait

Steeped among all the winter citrus, these gems are one of the sweetest fruits of the season, and I mean that in both a literal and non-literal sense. Their  apricot-meets-mango taste is intense, and their short-lived, once-a-year novelty feels even sweeter. Again, they’re a worthy addition to your grocery cart. Especially when they’re foreseeable future includes tahini and maple.

There are two types of persimmons – Fuyu and Hachiya. Both are best when super ripe, but the Hachiya’s in particular need to be matured to the point of softness where they’re shriveled and almost mushy. Otherwise, you’ll be left with this weird, puckery sensation in your mouth. Fuyu’s can be eaten when still slightly firm, but don’t let your impatience get the best of you. These slightly stouter, disk-like versions are best after their color turns from citrusy orange to an almost tomato-like appearance. The body should have a slight give to it, too.

Let’s not just talk about them, let’s do them. And let’s do persimmons right. Pick a few up, let them ripen, and then whip up this divine breakfast. Throw in a few cashews or nuts for some crunch if you’re feeling extra heavenly. Enjoy.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Nut Muffins

Although it doesn’t quite feel like spring yet here in Philly, I’m kicking off the season with a fresh start – starting now. I’ve got some pretty exciting things coming up (hello trip to France!). And also some rather crazy changes happening as we move into one of my all-time favorite seasons. I’ll fill you in on posts to come. For now, let’s talk about one of the latest transformations to happen, aka, the bright new feel of this site!

Sorry that it has been down the past few days, but Food-Fitness-FreshAir is back, and, in case you haven’t noticed, with a spankin’ new design. I’m happy to say both my blog and I are kicking off the season feeling fresh. We’ll be celebrating the early spring cleaning with the recipe below. It in itself makes me want to grab my party hat.

Hands down, these are the best muffins I’ve had in a long time. And all of their star ingredients make them a healthy choice, too.

The chocolate-infused recipe is 100% whole wheat, but stays incredibly moist from the bananas, yogurt and tahini. Yes, tahini. This is the secret ingredient that adds an interesting depth of flavor to these muffins. Though it’s likely you’d only be able to pinpoint it if told it was in there. Even more importantly, the tahini keeps these muffins butter-free, relying on the naturally heart-healthy fats of sesame seeds instead. Combined with the omegas from the walnuts, this is one stellar choice when you need an on-the-go snack. After the first bite, you’ll want to celebrate too.

Click here for recipe…

Baked Salmon with Creamy Dijon Dill Sauce

Salmon with Creamy Dijon Dill Sauce

Another salmon recipe coming your way. This one’s surely graced the blog before, but seeing as though it’s a definite go-to of mine, I felt it worthy of a second post.

There’s something about yogurt (esp. Greek) that turns recipes into effortless creations. Overnight oats, stuffed baked potatoes, and this “cream sauce”, formed from a handful of ingredients stirred together in a bowl, are all great examples. Here, yogurt makes a surprisingly smooth, rich-feeling sauce without any heavy cream or butter needed. Another reason why the ingredient shines in my kitchen – it’s a trickster in all the right ways.

When it comes to the kitchen, there are definitely good occasions to be tricked and bad ones. Finding an empty pizza box put back in the fridge – killer. Discovering your cupcake is stuffed with peanut butter mousse – win. I’d say turning low-fat yogurt into a successful, creamy sauce undoubtedly goes on the plus side. You tell me your thoughts after giving this one a try.

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