Hey all, I checked Mark Bittman’s Food Matters out of the library. It was a really great book and I will probably buy a copy when it comes out in paper back. He had a ton of good recipes, so I typed out some of my favorites. He’s focused on eating well, but not necessarily low calorie/low fat – it’s more of a holistic, whole foods approach (limiting meat products).
Thai Beef Salad
8 oz of skirt or flank steak
¼ cup mined red onion
1 medium cucumber – diced
1 small fresh hot chile
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs fish sauce (or soy sauce)
½ tsp sugar
Toss the greens with onion and cucumber. Combine all the remaining ingredients with 1 tbs of water (dressing will be thin). Use half the mixture to toss the greens. Put the greens on a platter, reserve the extra dressing.
Slice the beef thinly, reserving its juices. Combine the juice with the leftover dressing. Lay the slices of beef over the salad, drizzle the dressing over all, serve.
Breakfast Bread Pudding
1 cup milk
¼ cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
4 medium to large apples, cored/seeded/diced
½ cup raisins
½ cup nuts
8 slices of whole grain bread (preferably stale) cut in 1 inch cubes (about 3 cups)
Heat the oven to 350. Butter (grease) a 11/2 quart or 8 inch square baking dish. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cinnamon, honey and salt. Stir in the apples, raisins and nuts. Fold in the bread cubes, using your hands or a spatula to make sure everything is evenly coated. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Give one more big stir (you can refrigerate for up to 12 hours, if preparing in advance).
Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, smooth out the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and only a little wobbly in the center. Let sit for several minutes before cutting.
Whole Grain Bread Salad
8 oz whole grain bread (4 thick slices, stale is fine)
8 oz escarole or kale or collards
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 ½ lbs of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
Heat oven to 400. Put bread on a baking sheet and toast, about 10-20 minutes, depending on thickness of the slices (should be golden and dry). Cool.
While the bread toasts, put a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Fill a large bowl with ice water. When the pot comes to a boil, add the greens, let wilt for a minute, then drain and plunge into ice water. When cool, squeeze dry and roughly chop. Put greens, oil, vinegar and tomatoes and onion in a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper and toss to coat.
Fill a bowl with tap water and soak the bread for about 3 minutes. Gently squeeze a slice dry and crumble it into salad bowl. Repeat with remaining slices. Toss well to combine and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Right before serving, taste and adjust seasoning with the basil.
Make it with fruit
Use any kind of kale or collard greens instead of the escarole. Omit the tomatoes and basil and substitute shallot for onion. In step 2, toss the kale and dressing with 1 cup chopped dried fruit and 1 tbs chopped fresh sage leaves. Garnish with toasted hazelnuts.
Chickpea Stew with Roasted Chicken
4 cups cooked chickpeas or canned chickpeas (drained but reserve liquid)
2 cup bean cooking liquid (or stock or water)
4 tbs olive oil
4 chicken pieces, about 1 lbs (Preferably legs or thighs)
1-2 small eggplants or medium zucchinis, trimmed, sliced
1 lb fresh mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tbs minced ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 cups peeled, seeded chopped tomatoes (canned is fine, don’t bother to drain)
Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish
Heat oven to 400. Warm the beans in a large pot with liquid, sprinkle in salt and pepper. Adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles slowly.
Put 3 tbs of oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat, add the chicken, sprinkle with salt/epper, brown well on all sides for about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a small roasting pan and set aside.
Pour off all but 3 tbs of the fat and return the pan to medium heat. Add the eggplant (or zucchini) and the mushrooms. Cook (stirring occasionally) until tender 15-20 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Put chicken in the oven.
Add 1 more tbs of oil to the skillet. Over medium heat, add the onion celery and carrot. Cook, until vegetables are softened about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits. Add the mixture to the simmering beans along with the reserved eggplant (zucchini).
When the chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, check for doneness. When it is ready, remove from oven. When the veggies are tender, put the chickpeas and the vegetables on a large, deep platter, top with chicken, drizzle with its juices, garnish and serve.
Bulgar Pilaf with Vermicelli and Meat or Cauliflower
2 tbs olive oil
¼ - ½ lb of ground lamb, beef, turkey or chicken OR 1 small head of cauliflower, cored and roughly chopped
1 lb of any mushroom, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
½ cup vermicelli (preferably whole what), broken into 2 inch long pieces or shorter, or other pasta (put pasta into plastic bag, break up pieces with rolling pin or skillet)
1 cup coarse or medium bulgur
1 tbs tomato paste (optional)
2 ¼ cups vegetable stock (or water) heated to boiling
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Put the oil in a large skillet or saucepan that can be covered later, turn the heat to medium. Add the meat or cauliflower, sprinkle with salt/pepper, cook, stirring occasionally to break it up, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, spoon off all but a couple tbs of the fat.
Put the pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and onions, cook, stirring until everything is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pasta and the bulgur and cook, stirring until coated with oil. Return the meat or cauliflower to the pan, add all the remaining ingredients, turn the heat to low, and cover. Cook 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat, let the mixture sit for 15 minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings. Fluff with a fork and serve with garnish.
Orchiette with Broccoli Rabe
About 1 lb broccoli rabe, trimmed cut into pieces
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbs chopped garlic (Or more to taste)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp fennel seeds (blech fennel)
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ lb sweet or spicy Italian sausage
½ cup white wine or water
½ lb dried orchiette (or penne, ziti or other cut pasta, preferably whole wheat)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the broccoli rabe until it’s crisp-tender, about 3-5 minutes. Scoop the broccoli rabe out of the water with a slotted spoon, set aside.
Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, crumble in the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally to break the meat into relatively small pieces and brown it, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds (if you’re using them) and sprinkle with salt/pepper. Continue cooking/stirring for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and its liquid and cooking, mashing and stirring until the broccoli is quite soft, about 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat to low to keep sauce warm.
Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 5 minutes. When the pasta is tender, but not quite done, drain it, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the sauce, along with some of the pasta water to keep the mixture from drying out. Taste and adjust the seasonings and serve immediately.
(weird I just reviewed the recipe again and there is no mention of the white wine. Maybe it’s the mysterious “liquid” in step2, maybe we’re just supposed to drink it? Slainte!)
Vegetarian option – skip the sausage, add 2 cups of chickpeas and garlic along with the red pepper flakes
No broccoli rabe? – substitute broccoli or cauliflower, but they take a little longer to become tender in step 1.
Add a couple of fresh chopped tomatoes for bright flavor.