April 15th, 2013
I’m not big on making fussy sauces at home (I’m looking at you hollandaise). Unless a sauce comes together in my pan in 5 minutes or can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for days, it’s probably not happening in my house. The sauces I make are usually simple and clean, made with just a few ingredients since those are the ones that fit my must-be-easy-to-make criteria. And then there’s this Romesco Sauce.
Despite calling for eleven ingredients, this sauce passes my prep test—because blenders are an amazing thing and most of the ingredients are from the pantry—but the flavor has so much more depth than you’d expect from an easy make. It is smoky and tangy, hearty and bright. It hits all the spots on my palate that activate addiction. Sorry, but it’s true. I cannot get enough of this stuff.
I’ve served this Romesco sauce on top of mashed potatoes, with garlicky sautéed kale, alongside crab cakes, tossed with roasted cauliflower, dolloped into a simple veggie soup, and as a dipping sauce for toasty bread. As far as I can tell, this sauce makes everything better.
April 13th, 2013
I love Martha Stewart.
I kept my first ever issue of Martha Stewart Living on my living room table—a piece of wood propped on cinder blocks— for months, its worn pages evidence of my need to have it close at all times. I was 22, living in my first shitty NYC apartment. Nobody understood my obsession with the magazine. I’m not even sure that I did. I was, after all, still making taco beef over instant mashed potatoes for dinner. But it spoke to something inside, something developing.
I’ve gone to graduate school, taken culinary classes, edited a cookbook and developed many recipes since those days. I’ve learned a lot, but my first and most enduring teacher has been Martha Stewart. Her unapologetic commitment to technique, aesthetics and high quality ingredients have guided me. They held me to the highest standard when nobody else was around to do so, as I forged my own, unconventional career path in the food world.
Martha’s ethos provided form when my own ideas about food and cooking were shapeless. I don’t know that I would be here today, writing this if Martha hadn’t urged me along through the pages of Living and, later, as a new parent struggling to fit her passion for food in a suddenly new context, Everyday Food.
Martha has taught me so much. And now she’s teaching you, too.
April 12th, 2013
Holy yum. I’m obsessed with this sandwich. Sliced roasted beets, thinly sliced apple, fresh ricotta, pesto and a drizzle of vinegar on—this is important—good bread. No sliced sandwich bread. Something soft on the inside and crusty on the out. A baguette, ciabatta: you get the point. Put together, this hits all the big flavor notes: crisp, bright, earthy, creamy and tangy. Perfection for lunch or a light dinner.
My kids like it, too. This sandwich made a very successful school lunch.
April 10th, 2013
When I first starting writing One Hungry Mama, I would get flack for the fact that my then-only kid is an unusually intrepid eater. I’d share my thoughts on how to handle picky eating because, well, I know a thing or two about child development and nutrition thanks to many years of school and a whole lot of experience working, writing and researching, including with some brilliant experts in fields ranging from pediatrics to nutritional anthropology. But, at the end of the day, some thought that I couldn’t possibly offer helpful information not having gone through intense picky eating phases with my own child.
Well, folks, if you’re still out there, behold this video of my younger son, the not very aptly nicknamed hungry baby (who is neither hungry, nor a baby):
April 8th, 2013
You know what I love more than pure maple syrup? Honey. Sweet, pure, local honey. Maybe it’s a Greek thing.
A long time ago, in ancient Greece…
Just kidding! (It’s also a Greek thing to connect everything back to either Greece or being Greek.) Let’s try again.
A long time ago, when I was doing research for ChowBaby foods, I asked several nutritionists to speak to me about sweeteners. I had burning questions about whether less processed sugars like evaporated cane juice and sucanant were better than regular old sugar, whether agave was really so great, and such like. I followed up their answers with lots of research. So much research that, to be honest, I got kind of overwhelmed.
The good news is that I’m ready to dig back into that research to serve you useful answers. More on that soon but, in the meantime, here’s the bottom line: the best sweetener is the one that will achieve the flavor you want with the least amount. Processed or unprocessed, at the end of the day, most nutritionists will tell you that you want to keep your added sweetener intake to as little as possible.
For me that means using honey which, of all the unprocessed options, gives the most sweet for your buck. It’s also surprisingly high in vitamins, particularly vitamins B6 and C, and antioxidants. Plus, if you get your hands on raw honey you’ll get all kinds of additional B vitamins, minerals and antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal benefits. (And who doesn’t want antifungal benefits? Hello!) If your honey is local, it may even help with your allergies.
No wonder Dr. Oz calls raw honey “liquid gold.”
April 5th, 2013
Well, friends, I’d hoped to post a recipe today, as I usually do on Fridays, and then share a little something extra over the weekend, but amoxicillin has ruined my plans. Worse, it has caused the hungry boy a fierce allergic reaction that we’ve been dealing with since Wednesday. Thanks to two days of doctors appointments and (unsuccessfully) trying to keep him comfortable, plus two sleepless nights , my plans have changed. I’ll be serving up more good eats very soon. In the meantime, here’s that little extra something I mentioned.
April 3rd, 2013
Babies don’t come with a handbook, but motherhood certainly comes will a million books and competing ideas of how to do it “right,” especially when it comes to feeding. The good news is that you’re doing way better than you think you are. (That goes even if you think you’re doing an awesome job—because you are!) The even better news is that being a great family cook is simpler than you think, you just need to learn the ropes. That’s why I’m here.
Welcome to One Hungry Mama’s Family Cooking School!
If you’ve been following along you may know that I’ve started working with private clients. (The site will be updated with info soon, I promise; you can read more about my practice here in the meantime). I kicked things off with a private one-on-one program that gives parents highly customized healthy eating solutions tailored to YOUR schedule, YOUR family’s taste and YOUR budget. Now I’m excited to announce that I’m adding a group program, Family Cooking 101. Think of it as a foundations class to give you the tools you need to start the process of getting mealtime back on track.
To celebrate the launch of my group program, I’m starting a “Family Cooking School” series of posts to touch on some family cooking basics that will help you move from pre-baby cooking to family cooking. The difference between the two? Family cooking is big on flavor, but made short on time; meals are efficiently planned and made; and ingredients are healthy enough for everyone to share.
Lets start with pantry basics: rice, pasta and whole grains.
April 1st, 2013
I’m sick of winter—really, I am—but there’s something exciting about this moment, teetering on the precipice of spring. It’s still too cold, but you can feel warmth approaching. The edge is gone. The sun stays out longer. We’re close. Really, really close.
This Masala Milk—warm milk spiked with spices, saffron and ground nuts—is perfect for this very moment. It’s warming, but with a fresh, bright flavor. This is very decidedly not a winter drink, but it’ll warm you on a chilly morning or cool night. You can also drink it cold if you want, when the warmth peaks in mid-afternoon.
This is what you should be drinking right now. And you can share it with kiddo, too.
March 29th, 2013
By now most of you know that I’m Greek. So here’s the thing with us Greeks:
We’re hot headed.
We yell a lot, even when we’re not angry.
We think that everything tastes better with lemon. Lots and lots of lemon. (Oregano, too.)
We celebrate Easter on a different day then, oh, everyone else in the world who celebrates Easter.
On some years, Greek Easter aligns with what I like to call “regular” Easter. On others, Greek Easter is as many as five weeks later. This is one of those years. You’re going to be totally psyched for posts about naturally dyed Easter eggs and Greek-style Easter leg of lamb in early May, right?!
Seeing that I don’t celebrate Easter for another month, I’m not yet in holiday cooking mode. So, in the meantime, I’ve rounded up a list of amazing Easter brunch recipes that can be prepped in 30 minutes or less. Because putting together a festive brunch with only 30 minutes of prep work is just my speed right now.
March 27th, 2013
I love writing for you. Telling stories, outlining recipes and sharing tips that help make being the family cook manageable are among my favorite things to do. But now that I’ve been speaking to you lovely mamas over the phone through my private practice, I’ve got the bug. I want to talk more often and to more of you. Even better, I want to meet you all in person! And thanks MommyBites, a fab new online educational resource for moms and moms-to-be, I’m going to get my first chance!
Here’s the deal:
March 25th, 2013
Growing up in New Jersey, you eat a lot of breaded chicken parmesan (heavy on the mozzarella!) and chicken marsala. At least I did. In the years since my departure from the Garden State, I’ve come to love classic Italian cooking, a more delicate and restrained origin of the kind of Italian-American cooking I grew up with. Still, nothing brings me comfort like those two chicken dishes, especially when served with a side of slightly overcooked linguini topped with a ladle plop of marinara. It takes me home, which is why I was drawn to a version of this recipe for Pappardelle with Sausage Marsala the minute I saw it.
March 22nd, 2013
I want to be writing about something else like ramps or rhubarb, artichokes or peas. I’m ready for spring. But, alas, small, dirty patches of snow still dot my Brooklyn street. And it’s cold. And the hungry boy is home sick. These may be his last days, but cranky old man winter is still here and instead of composing spring salads, I find myself bubbling soup. Chorizo and Chickpea Soup, to be exact. Hey, at least I get to throw in some swiss chard.
It’s possible that the weather will have warmed a bit by the time this post goes up, but that shouldn’t dissuade you from committing to this tasty soup. Though I was reluctant to make it, I developed the recipe with warmth soon to come in mind. It’s a transitional soup: warming enough to get us through these last days of cold, but light enough to carry us through the slow start of spring. And it’s a killer spring substitute for chili: thanks to smoky chorizo and fire roasted tomatoes, this soup has all the big flavor of a great chili with a much lighter feel fit for the warmer days ahead.
March 20th, 2013
Last week was a particularly prolific week in my kitchen and a particularly busy week for the hungry papa. I don’t normally have much in the way of leftovers because, well, my hungry guys eat. A lot. But when the hungry papa’s away (and the hungry boy is going through yet another picky phase—argh!), I’m left with leftovers galore. The only way to deal was to have pizza night. Leftovers pizza night.
Instead of making a single pie, I made two small pies, each with two flavor halves. In case you aren’t doing the math, that makes four opportunities to get rid of leftovers. Huzzah!
March 18th, 2013
I was never much of a batch cook, but your boobs aren’t the only thing that change after childbirth. Today, two kids in, I find that setting aside a couple of hours to cook every weekend saves me an exponential number of hours during the week, and a little sanity, too.
When people hear “batch cooking,” they often think vats of soup, trays of lasagna and pots of stew. Sometime I go that route, especially in the winter when we’re more often stuck inside, but batch cooking doesn’t always have to be complicated or slow going. I don’t have much time on the weekends either, so it’s often a simple matter of prepping in bulk, making overnight oatmeal, or whipping up a jar of quick thai peanut sauce or pizza sauce. Sometimes it’s just roasting veggies like this Curry Roasted Cauliflower.
All it takes is a cauliflower…
…olive oil and three spices: curry powder, salt and cumin seed.
March 16th, 2013
I have a thing with St. Patrick’s Day. Let’s just say that it’s not my favorite holiday. I’m not sure why, but I know that artificially green food doesn’t help. And it’s not just because I like my eats to be dye free. I’m happy for my salads to be green and my pesto, too, but I’m just not down with serving up a whole plate of green in honor of leprechauns, or whatever. Even when the green is derived from natural sources.
Am I grinch? Perhaps, but not so much that I’m not posting this green matcha tea latte in honor of, you guessed it, St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, I’m going to give St. Patrick’s Day credit for bringing this delicious drink back into my life. That’s big, y’all.