From Stem To Peel Inspired By The Kitchen

I was watching an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games on Monday, and I saw that someone utilized celery root an unexpected way: they used both the root itself as well as the tops in a slaw. I knew you could use most parts of certain vegetables, including the roots, stems, leaves, and or tops, but I didn’t know you could do that with celery root until now. I’ve always use both the florets and stems of broccoli, but that’s really it. I want to start using more vegetables “from stem to peel” as they say on The Kitchen because I want to find interesting ways to use those parts that people normally toss. For example, I decided to use beet greens two weekends ago as a part of Sophie’s Healthy Spinach Tortillas With Sweet, Sour, And Sticky Balsamic-Tomato-Glazed Roasted Beet Yogurt And Oven-Roasted Chickpeas, but only as a garnish, uncooked. I think it would be great one day to actually cook it, and incorporate it into a salad or a hearty soup or as a stuffing for a protein (which I’ve never done with anything (except pesto, but I want to actually stuff it with something instead of just spreading something inside it and rolling it up, and you can put healthy things inside the stuffing in addition to vegetables like what I mentioned a second ago, like nuts and seeds and such), but now I want to because I’ve seen it on tv, and it looks good, and you’re adding more flavor)), or even just as a side. Carrot and or radish tops I think could be great, too, for Asian dishes especially, like in a pesto or a green herbaceous oil or something like that drizzled on top as a sauce. Anyway, I’m glad that I’m coming up with these creative ideas, and I’m going to use them ASAP!!!!!

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Healthy Eating, Part 2: Vegetarian And Vegan Inspiration

Now that my mom wants me eating healthier, I’m trying my best to do so, but for someone like me, it’s kind of difficult, and no, it’s not because of my dietary restrictions, which I no longer have anymore, so…yeah; it’s because I’m only a teenager, and sure, I eat healthy when I want to, but as someone who’s almost 16, I don’t always eat so well. I mean, who doesn’t want crispy pan-fried noodles from an awesome Chinese restaurant or a slice of pizza with all the topping you could imagine on a Friday night? You know what I mean? I don’t eat 100% healthy on a daily basis, but I do enjoy eating healthy when I do, and like I said, I’m really trying now, and I’m doing ok. Before I was the weight I am now, so, in other words, before Monday, I would be eating abnormally: I would come home from school five days a week, eat a whole box, or close to it, of Parmesan Garlic TRISCUITS, which, if you don’t know, is a flavor of these crackers that I love, and then, I would have something else, like Sophie’s Kale Caesar Salad, which is one of my favorites, and then, by the time I stopped eating, it would almost be time for dinner. My mom said that I have to space out my meals like a normal person, so I’ve been trying, and I’m not doing so bad. Anyway, now that I’m eating healthy, I want to get inspired by vegetarian and vegan recipes. For example, fried mushrooms are a great vegan dish to swap in for fried chicken, and grilled mushrooms (specifically portobellos because they hold up well on the grill and are nice and meaty (in general, mushrooms are one of the meatiest vegetables there is, which is why it’s a great substitute for meat and poultry)), marinated if that’s how you like it (or your grilled chicken), can be a succulent and delicious bite instead of grilled chicken. It’s not necessarily better for you to eliminate that protein, and I’m not going to 100% do that to myself (even though I don’t often eat meat regardless (just because I never want it)), but I just like this idea, this concept. As another example more like this, there are healthy grains that you can make substitutions with, such as farro and or quinoa. Salads are also good if you like your veggies, and you can add whatever you want, some of which can include your choice of protein, textural elements, such as nuts, etc. And, those are just three vegetarian options; there’s a whole world of possibilities out there, plus vegan substitutions as well. I also like these different kinds of bowls, like burrito bowls, but you can certainly make them vegetarian or vegan, like grain bowls with an abundance of fresh vegetables and such, almost like a deconstructed grain salad kind of thing. So, like I said in the beginning, I’m going to try, and get inspired by these kinds of recipes, and I’m going to start right now!!!!! Bye!!!!!

Sophie’s Healthy Spinach Tortillas With Sweet, Sour, And Sticky Balsamic-Tomato-Glazed Roasted Beet Yogurt And Oven-Roasted Chickpeas

A super healthy and delicious meal perfect to make with a friend. Enjoy.

1 1/2 Cups Chickpea Flour

1 1/8 Cups Coconut Milk

3 Whole Eggs

Baby Spinach, Washed

Roasted Red Pepper Strips

2 Tbsp, plus more Avocado Oil

Greek Yogurt

Beets, Peeled And Cut Into Chunks

Balsamic Vinegar

Tomato Paste

Granulated Sugar, to taste

1/2 can Chickpeas, Drained, Aquafaba Reserved

2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Grated

Orange Zest

Star Anise

Fresh Basil Leaves, Washed

Fig Jam

Tamarind Paste

Smoked Sea Salt, to taste

Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste

Ground Ginger, to taste

Ground Cardamom, to taste

Ground Coriander, to taste

Feta Cheese, Crumbled

Beet Greens

For the original tortillas:

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add the baby spinach. Stir continuously for a few seconds with a slotted spoon or “spider” until the baby spinach becomes brighter in color.

2. Remove the baby spinach with whatever you are using to stir it, and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Plunge it in deep to really let the water get into it, and stir to make sure it is are cool enough to handle before you remove it.

3. Dry the baby spinach on a paper towel.

4. In a blender, pulse together chickpea flour, coconut milk, eggs, blanched baby spinach, roasted red pepper strips, and 2 Tbsp of avocado oil until smooth, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to rest.

5. Remove from refrigerator, oil a pan with some avocado oil, and pour some of the crepe batter into it, tilting it to evenly coat it. Cook until the bottom side is set, and flip to cook the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter, and let cool.

For the sweet, sour, and sticky balsamic-tomato-glazed roasted beet yogurt:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. In a saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, granulated sugar, reserved aquafaba, grated garlic, orange zest, star anise, and fresh basil leaves until thick and sticky, and strain.

3. Spread beets out onto a baking sheet, and brush on glaze.

4. Bake until tender.

5. Remove from oven, and place in the food processor with fig jam, tamarind paste, smoked sea salt, and ground black pepper. Grind together until smooth, stir into Greek yogurt, and set aside.

For the chickpeas:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 on broil on convection.

2. Spread chickpeas out onto a baking sheet, drizzle with some more avocado oil, and season with salt, ground black pepper, ground ginger, ground cardamom, and ground coriander.

3. Bake until the chickpeas are golden and crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.

4. Remove from oven, and let cool.

For the finished tortillas:

1. Place a tortilla on a plate, and spread on some of the sweet, sour, and sticky balsamic-tomato-glazed roasted beet yogurt. Garnish with oven-roasted chickpeas, feta cheese, and beet greens, and enjoy.

Yields: about 16 healthy spinach tortillas with sweet, sour, and sticky balsamic-tomato-glazed roasted beet yogurt and oven-roasted chickpeas

Sophie’s Protein Shake Crepes

A healthy sweet breakfast treat that tastes better than it looks and is perfect to make with a friend. Enjoy.

1 1/2 Cups Almond Flour

3 Tbsp Honey or Agave Nectar

1 1/8 Cups Almond Milk

3 Whole Eggs

1 Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Caviar Scraped

2 Tbsp, plus more Coconut Oil

Greek Yogurt

Coconut Sugar

Lemon Zest

Nut Butter

Carob Chips, Ground Into A Fine Powder

Strawberries, Washed

Raspberries, Washed

Slivered Almonds

For the original crepes:

1. Melt 2 Tbsp of coconut oil.

2. In a blender, pulse together almond flour, honey or agave nectar, almond milk, eggs, caviar from vanilla bean, and melted coconut oil until smooth, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to rest.

3. Remove from refrigerator, melt some coconut oil in a pan, and pour some of the crepe batter into it, tilting it to evenly coat it. Cook until the bottom side is set, and flip to cook the other side. Repeat with the rest of the batter, and let cool.

For the lemon yogurt:

1. In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt, coconut sugar, and lemon zest.

For the nut butter-carob sauce:

1. In a saucepan, melt together nut butter and carob chip powder.

For the finished crepes:

1. Place a crepe on a plate, and spread on some of the lemon yogurt. Fold it up, and drizzle some of the nut butter-carob sauce on top. Garnish with strawberries, raspberries, and slivered almonds, and enjoy.

Yields: about 8 protein shake crepes

Pasta Alternatives And Healthy Eating

This post is long overdue because I’ve been into pasta alternatives for some time now, and Katie Lee on The Kitchen loves them as well, and on yesterday’s new episode, which was all about pasta, not just Katie, but Jeff and Geoffrey also each highlighted a pasta alternative. Katie, of course, talked about lentil pasta, which she’s talked about a lot in the past, Jeff talked about black bean pasta, and Geoffrey talked about chickpea pasta, all of which I like. Not only are they healthier, but they taste just like regular pasta does. The only thing that you should know, though, is that when you make a pasta dish with one of them, and you put it in the refrigerator, it’ll break down; it won’t make it taste bad or anything, but when I say that it breaks down, I mean that the pasta just breaks into pieces instead of staying whole. Oh yeah, anyway, I complete forgot that pasta alternatives made from vegetables are just as great, too; spiralized zucchini, squash, and more not only work well but taste delicious also. Just in general, healthy eating is better for you; my mom wants me to start working to maintain my weight when it comes to eating because I just got weighed at the pulmonologist on Monday, and for someone who’s 4’9″-4’10”, we think my weight is pretty good. I’ve always tried to eat healthy, and most of the time I do, but if you’ve ever heard of something called dessert, well, you know the deal. Regardless of that, I like these pasta alternatives like I said before, and I like making salads a lot, but again, dessert is my downfall. If any of you guys know me, you guys know that I make desserts for school often to give to the life skills kids and sometimes, if I have enough, I’ll offer to my other friends and my teachers, and, of course, I’m going take one because why wouldn’t I take one? No one I know doesn’t like dessert, including me. So, speaking of dessert, well, technically breakfast in this case, I’m working on one sweet and one savory crepe recipe, and the base ingredients of all my crepe recipes are going to be healthy. I’m going to use different types of flour, such as almond flour or chickpea flour, different types of sweeteners if I’m using one, such as honey, agave nectar, or coconut sugar, different types of milk, such as almond milk or coconut milk, and different types of fats, such as coconut oil or avocado oil. I’m going to use healthy filling, some or all encompassing Greek yogurt, and additionally, even though I’m not a vegan, I’ve seen that people use chickpea water, or any kind of bean water, in fact, called aquafaba, as a substitute for egg whites, but being that I like to be creative, I want to find new and inventive ways to use it (other than when I figure out how to make Italian meringue buttercream frosting; and use it for that, only because I won’t be scared about anyone consuming raw egg whites), but I’m going to try not to use it too much because eggs are a good source of protein. I’m excited to try out my spins on crepes and to continue eating healthy (including those pasta alternatives that I mentioned at the beginning) as much as I can!!!!!

Sophie’s Passover Pear Crisp With Spiced Matzo Streusel And Sweetened Ginger Whipped Cream

A yummy fruit crisp that’s kosher for Passover. Enjoy.

5 Pears, Washed, Peeled, Cored, And Diced

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

Olive Oil Cooking Spray

5 Tbsp Matzo Meal

1/4 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

Ground Cinnamon, to taste

Ground Nutmeg, to taste

3/4 Stick Cold Margarine, Cut Into Cubes

2 Cups Heavy Cream

3/8 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

Ground Ginger, to taste

For the original crisp:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine pears and granulated sugar, and toss to coat.

For the streusel:

1. In a small bowl, combine matzo meal, brown sugar, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and margarine with a pastry cutter until course crumbs form.

For the sweetened ginger whipped cream:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine heavy cream, Confectioners’ sugar, and ground ginger until stiff peaks form, and set aside.

For the finished crisp:

1. Oil a baking dish, pour in the sweet pears, and sprinkle on streusel.

2. Bake for 25 to 45 minutes. The crisp should be golden brown and bubbly on top.

3. Remove from oven, and let cool. Cut, top with sweetened ginger whipped cream, and enjoy.

Yields: 1 Passover pear crisp with spiced matzo streusel and sweetened ginger whipped cream

Sophie’s Decorated Funfetti-Vanilla Cake Ball Eggs In Rice Krispie Nests

A creative 2-in-1 Easter treat that’s great even if you don’t celebrate and is inspired by the preheat on Spring Baking Championship season 3 episode 1. Enjoy.

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 1/3 Cups Granulated Sugar

1/4 tsp Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda

3 Sticks, plus more Butter or Margarine, Softened, Divided Use

2 Whole Eggs

1 Cup Whole Milk or Half And Half or Heavy Cream

2 tsp Vanilla Extract, Divided Use

Rainbow Sprinkles

1 Cup Confectioners’ Sugar

Yellow Coating Chocolate, Melted

Green Coating Chocolate, Melted

Blue Coating Chocolate, Melted

Pink Coating Chocolate, Melted

Gold Luster Dust

Marshmallow Fluff

Rice Cereal

For the original cake ball eggs:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together 2 sticks of butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add whole eggs, one at a time, and 1 tsp of vanilla.

4. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda.

5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and whole milk into the batter, starting and ending with the dry ingredients, and fold in rainbow sprinkles.

6. Pour the cake onto a well greased baking sheet, and bang it before putting it in the oven to release the air bubbles.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when the cake is done.

8. Remove from oven, and let cool. Crumble it up, and place in the food processor.

For the vanilla American buttercream frosting:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together 1 stick of butter and Confectioners’ sugar on low speed until everything is thoroughly combined. Add remaining vanilla, and let the mixer go until everything is incorporated.

For the finished cake ball eggs:

1. Add the vanilla American buttercream frosting into the food processor with the crumbled cake, and pulse until it comes together.

2. Break off pieces, and roll into egg-shaped balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm.

3. Remove from refrigerator, brush on melted coating chocolates and or gold luster dust to decorate however you would like, and refrigerate again until set.

4. Remove from refrigerator, and set aside.

For the rice krispie nests:

1. In a saucepan, melt some butter, add marshmallow fluff, and stir to combine.

2. Turn off the heat, and stir in rice cereal.

3. Press into hemisphere silicone molds, and let set.

4. Remove from molds, and set aside.

For the finished dessert:

1. Place one decorated funfetti-vanilla cake ball egg in each rice krispie nest, and enjoy.

Yields: 30 decorated funfetti-vanilla cake ball eggs in 30 rice krispie nests

Sophie’s Healthy Chickpea Salad With Sweet Chili Chickpea Dressing

A healthy salad that’s as delicious as it looks. Enjoy.

3/4 can Chickpeas, Drained, Divided Use

1 Garlic Clove, Peeled

Onion Powder, to taste

Avocado Oil

4 stalks Celery, Washed And Chopped

Red Grape Tomatoes, Washed And Quartered

Hearts of Palm Medallions, Washed And Diced

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Sweet Chili Sauce

Lemon Juice

White Balsamic Vinegar

For the chickpeas:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 on broil on convection.

2. Spread 1/2 can of chickpeas and garlic out onto a baking sheet, drizzle with some avocado oil, and season with onion powder.

3. Bake until the chickpeas are golden and crispy on the outside but still soft on the inside.

4. Remove from oven, and let cool.

For the original salad:

1. In a small bowl, combine celery, quartered tomatoes, hearts of palm medallions, oven-roasted chickpeas, and salt and pepper.

For the sweet chili chickpea dressing:

1. In the food processor, grind together remaining chickpeas, roasted garlic, sweet chili sauce, lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar, and some more avocado oil.

For the finished salad:

1. Pour dressing over salad, toss to coat, and enjoy.

Yields: 1 serving

Sophie’s Baked French Caramelized Onion And Mushroom Pappardelle

A sweet layered and baked pasta reminiscent of French onion soup and caramelized onion dip. Enjoy.

Pappardelle Pasta, Broken In Half

1/2 Onion, Peeled And Thinly Sliced

2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Minced

Vegetable Broth

Sour Cream

Cream Of Mushroom Soup

Onion Soup Mix

Parmesan Cheese, Grated

Gruyere Cheese, Grated

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Heat oil in a pan, and add garlic. Sauté until slightly browned, add onion, and let caramelize, stirring occasionally.

3. Deglaze the pan with vegetable broth, let the sauce bubble and reduce slightly, and stir in sour cream and cream of mushroom soup. Season with salt and pepper and onion soup mix, let simmer for a few minutes, and turn off the heat.

4. Layer half of the pasta into a well greased baking dish, pour over half of the sauce, repeat, and cover with tinfoil.

5. Bake until the pasta has absorbed most of the sauce and is al dente. This should take about 40 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees on broil.

7. Transfer the baking dish to the top rack, remove tinfoil, and sprinkle on grated Parmesan cheese and grated gruyere cheese.

8. Bake until the grated cheeses are melted.

9. Remove from oven, and let cool. Cut, and enjoy.

Yields: about 6 servings

Sophie’s Saint Patricks Day Key Lime Pie Cupcakes And Chocolates: Rainbow-Layered Graham Cracker Cupcakes With Lime Curd Filling And Sweetened Whipped Cream And Gold-Dusted Tinted Green Coating Chocolate Shamrocks

Colorful cupcakes inspired by a popular citrus pie with Saint Patrick’s Day chocolates to go along with them. Enjoy.

2 Cups All Purpose Flour

2 Cups Granulated Sugar, Divided Use

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

2 Whole Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Heavy Cream, Divided Use

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Graham Cracker Crumbs

Red Food Coloring

Orange Food Coloring

Yellow Food Coloring

Green Food Coloring

Blue Food Coloring

Purple Food Coloring

3/4 Cup Lime Juice

2 Egg Yolks

1/2 Stick Cold Butter or Margarine, Cut Into Cubes

1/2 Cup Water

3 Tbsp Confectioners’ Sugar

Green Sugar

Green Coating Chocolate, Melted

White Coating Chocolate, Melted

Gold Luster Dust

For the original cupcakes:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

3. In a separate bowl, beat 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, whole eggs, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, oil, and vanilla.

4. Slowly add to flour mixture, mix until well combined, and fold in graham cracker crumbs.

5. Divide the batter between bowls. The number of bowls and the number of food colorings you are going to use should be the same. Color each bowl of batter with a different food coloring, and pour a little bit of each color of batter into well greased cupcake liners, starting with purple, next blue, then some green, yellow, orange, and finally red. Place in cupcake tin, and bang it before putting it in the oven to release the air bubbles.

6. Bake for 15 minutes. Toothpicks inserted into the centers should come out clean when the cupcakes are done.

7. Remove from oven, let cool, and set aside.

For the lime curd:

1. Set up a double boiler to create the curd. On the bottom, place a saucepan filled with water over the stove. On the top, place a small bowl filled with the lime juice, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and egg yolks.

2. Cook slowly, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, and it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F, and turn off the heat.

3. Stir in butter, one cube at a time, letting each one melt before adding the next.

4. Remove bowl from saucepan, strain into another bowl, and stir in some more green food coloring. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly over the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming, and chill in the refrigerator until cold.

5. Remove from refrigerator, unwrap, and set aside.

For the sweetened whipped cream:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip remaining heavy cream and Confectioners’ sugar until stiff peaks form, and set aside.

For the simple syrup:

1. In a saucepan, dissolve remaining granulated sugar in water, and bring to a boil. Bring the simple syrup to a simmer, and set aside.

For the gold-dusted tinted green coating chocolate shamrocks:

1. In a small bowl combine melted green coating chocolate and melted white coating chocolate.

2. Use a pastry brush to brush the tinted green coating chocolate inside shamrock cookie cutters on a baking sheet lined with well greased parchment paper, and freeze the designs until set.

3. Remove from freezer, remove from parchment paper, and brush gold luster dust on each.

For the finished cupcakes:

1. Brush the simple syrup on them.

2. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the lime curd into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip.

3. Twist the bag, insert the tip into the center of each cupcake, and gently squeeze the bag to pipe some of the lime curd inside.

4. Use a rubber spatula to scoop the sweetened whipped cream into another pastry bag fitted with any tip you would like.

5. Twist the bag, and gently squeeze it to pipe some of the whipped cream on each. Sprinkle on green sugar, grab a gold-dusted green coating chocolate shamrock, and enjoy.

Yields: about a dozen cupcakes and chocolates