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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Veggie Might: Recreating Comfort Food—Deconstructed Vegan Pot Pie

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian.

There are a few comfort foods from childhood I’ve still never gotten around to vegetarianizing, and chicken pot pie has been one of them. My mom was not a “from scratch” cook, so I didn’t have a platform to jump from; and remembering how much I loved those individual frozen chicken pot pies has been enough to sustain me all these years.

Then in December, The Kitchn posted a recipe for a vegan pot pie that’s been haunting my dreams. It has everything: golden-brown tofu cubes in place of chicken, a savory broth of nutritional yeast (nooch) and soy sauce, peas and carrots, and a flaky crust that would make Mrs. Swanson cry.

But I’ve been working hard lately to rein in my waistline, and the last thing I need is another pie in my repertoire. I started thinking: “What if I take this bad boy apart and make it with a grain, like millet? Then I could call it Deconstructed Vegan Pot Pie, like I’m a fancy food person, and save about 20 grams of fat.” So I did that, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. CB agreed in his typically dry fashion, “This tastes just like pot pie. The tofu is surprisingly like chicken. It’s really good.”

There were a few deviations from the original recipe, aside from scratching the crust. I swapped out the mirepoix (onions with carrots and celery) at the saute stage for just onions and used frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, green beans, lima beans, and corn) instead of just peas. You can use whatever vegetables your heart desires; fresh or frozen, it’s your call. Next time, I would add broccoli to the mix. I also upped the nooch by a teaspoon and ditched the salt. It’s plenty savory to my taste.

Just about any grain would work too. Millet is stubborn, being birdseed and all, and takes no less than 35 minutes to cook and at least a 2:1 water to grain ratio. To substitute another grain, just modify your cooking time and liquid amounts accordingly, throw your veg in during the last five minutes of cook time, and you’re golden. Quinoa, cous cous, or amaranth would make terrific substitutions.

There’s no crust to contend with, so you could feasibly make this one-pot dish on a weeknight for supper, though it does take about an hour; and the leftovers are divine if you have any. I wrangled a serving for lunch the next day, and, it smelled so good, I was threatened with theft.

Deconstructed Pot Pie is firmly in the both the comfort food and healthy food rotations. Mrs. Swanson, you’ve been replaced.

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If you dig this recipe, point your shovel toward these treasures:
~~~

Deconstructed Vegan Pot Pie
Inspired by Vegan Pot Pie from The Kitchn
Serves 3 to 4


1/2 cup millet
8 ounces extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed to 1/4” dice
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 red potato, diced
1 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water (or more as necessary)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, like peas, carrots, and green beans
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
black pepper to taste

1) Using a large skillet, brown cubed tofu in teaspoon of oil. You may need a bit more oil depending on the type of skillet you’re using. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet will require only about a teaspoon. When tofu is golden brown, stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onion is translucent.

2) Add potato, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, stirring occasionally until potato is just cooked through. Drizzle in a bit of water as necessary to keep things moving. Your kitchen should be smelling great.

3) Pour vegetable broth and 1 1/2 cups of water into mix and scrap anything stuck from the bottom of the pan. Stir in millet and crushed thyme, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, bring broth to a simmer, then cover and cook for 35 minutes. Peek in and stir occasionally, adding more water if necessary. There should always be enough broth to just cover the millet.

4) After about 35 minutes remove lid and add frozen vegetables. Replace lid and cook for another 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender and millet is fluffy. When the vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove from heat and give a couple grinds of black pepper and a dash of salt if necessary. (I found the soy sauce/nooch combo to be enough saltiness.)

5) Spoon the deconstructed pot pie bowls for a comforting supper. Serve warm with a green salad and expect a hug.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price per Serving
3 Servings: 340 calories, 11g fat, 10g fiber, 28g protein, $1.12
4 Servings: 255 calories, 8g fat, 7.8g fiber, 21g protein, $.84

Calculations
1/2 cup millet: 378 calories, 4g fat, 8.5g fiber, 11g protein, $0.42
8 ounces extra firm tofu: 250 calories, 12.8g fat, 16g fiber, 64g protein, $0.80
1 tablespoons olive oil: 120 calories, 14g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.08
1 small yellow onion: 20 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.25
3 cloves garlic: 12 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.04
1 small red potato: 56 calories, 0g fat, 1.6g fiber, 1.6g protein, $0.40
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast: 47 calories, 0.7g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.33
2 tablespoons soy sauce: 16 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 2g protein, $0.12
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth: 30 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.29
2 cup frozen mixed vegetables: 90 calories, 0g fat, 5g fiber, 5g protein, $0.60
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.02
1 teaspoon black pepper: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g fiber, 0g protein, $0.02
TOTALS: 1019 calories, 33g fat, 31g fiber, 84g protein, $3.37
PER SERVING (TOTALS/3): 340 calories, 11g fat, 10g fiber, 28g protein, $1.12
PER SERVING (TOTALS/4): 255 calories, 8g fat, 7.8g fiber, 21g protein, $.84

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rosemary Chicken Salad and the Art of Customizing Recipes

We're switching the schedule around a bit this week, due to the gremlin that has taken up residence in my face. Wednesday's usual article is postponed until next week, replaced by this lovely recipe.

As this popular and highly rated Rosemary Chicken Salad recipe from Cooking Light is presented, it’s essentially a blank slate. I mean, it's moist, it tastes good, and it uses up a bunch of leftover chicken, but no single flavor ever comes forward to assert itself as master and ruler of its subordinates. But there's a reason for that. A good reason. Nay – a really good reason.

And that reason? Is you.

Seriously, though. Recipes like this one are invaluable, because they allow the chef (a.k.a. you) near-infinite possibilities for improvisation. You can add nearly any ingredient you like to the original dish, because it's highly improbable you'll go wrong with your choices. Why not try:
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Dried cranberries
  • Smoked almonds
  • Raisins
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts
  • Cayenne
Eggs, beans, oatmeal, polenta, and pasta salads are similarly inclined, in that they can be customized until the cows come home, with huge, gaping room for error. We'll discuss more about the customization itself next week, but in the meantime, should you decide to whip this up, there are a few things to know:

1) My loathing for mayonnaise is surpassed only by my loathing of sinusitis, but it’s in here because the other flavors cover up the flavor and texture enough so I don’t ever have to taste, smell, or think about it.

2) The calculations are very different from Cooking Light’s, largely because I don’t include bread, and have changed the proportions of the original recipe a bit (less mayo, more yogurt).

In conclusion, go nuts with this thing. The salad's the limit.

~~~

If this recipe looks tantalizing, man, you'll like these:
~~~

Rosemary Chicken Salad
Serves 5
Adapted from Cooking Light.


3 cups (about 3/4 pound) roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken, chopped
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
6 tablespoons Greek low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped: celery, grapes, apples, dried cranberries, smoked almonds, raisins, cashews, pecans, walnuts, cayenne (optional)

In a medium mixing bowl, combine chicken, scallions, almonds, yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and chosen optional ingredients. Serve on whole wheat bread with mixed greens.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
134 calories, 5.1 g fat, 3.7 g fat, 0.7 g fiber, 18.5 g protein, $0.78

NOTE: These calculations are for chicken breasts, and no optional add-on ingredients.

Calculations
3 cups (about 3/4 pound) roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped: 373 calories, 4.1 g fat, 0 g fiber, 78.3 g protein, $1.48
1/3 cup chopped scallions: 11 calories, 0 g fat, 0.9 g fiber, 0.6 g protein, $0.30
1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds: 144 calories, 12.6 g fat, 3 g fiber, 5.3 g protein, $0.63
6 tablespoons Greek low-fat yogurt: 65 calories, 1.8 g fat, 0 g fiber, 8.5 g protein, $0.97
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise: 70 calories, 7 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.16
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary: 1 calorie, 0 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.25
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard: 8 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.07
1/8 teaspoon salt: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
TOTALS: 672 calories, 25.5 g fat, 3.7 g fiber, 92.7 g protein, $3.88
PER SERVING (TOTALS/5): 134 calories, 5.1 g fat, 3.7 g fat, 0.7 g fiber, 18.5 g protein, $0.78

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ask the Internet: Star Anise Recipes?

Today’s question is born of surplus.

Q: This is a single piece of star anise:


This is how much star anise I have:


I think the guy at the bulk store heard “a full sandwich bag,” when I said, “four star anise, please.” Besides selling, pitching, or making confetti, what do I do with this much star anise?


A: Ack. Suggestions welcomed with open anise arms.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Arg.

Sick. Back tomorrow. Arg.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Throwback: Five Nonfiction Books for the Frugal Foodie

Every Saturday, we post a lovely piece from the CHG archives. This week's comes from April 2009, when we were crazy hyper-literate. Since this, I've read both Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which was outstanding (read it now!), and Food Matters, which was all right. 

Sweet readers, this week’s a little out of whack with the ant situation. So, instead of today’s regular post, I thought I’d offer up a few of my favorite nonfiction food books. They’re fairly standard reads amongst chowhounds, and don’t concentrate specifically on healthy, low-budget cooking, but all have wonderful qualities nonetheless. I wouldn’t hesitate suggesting them to anyone. (Er, which is why they're here.)

If you’ve ever perused these guys, or have any ideas for good reads, please go crazy in the comments section. After all, reading is FUN(damental).

In no particular order…

A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain
I never considered myself a particularly daring eater, or imagined cuisine as a huge part of any vacation. But Bourdain helped change that. Cook’s Tour is about food and culture – namely, how discovering one is key to understanding the other. He describes Vietnamese food in such a way that I can’t believe I’ve never been. There’s a reverence not present in Kitchen Confidential, too, which balances Tony’s occasional bouts with ennui and annoyance.

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
On its own, In Defense of Food is a really neat guide for everyday eating. As a companion to the more analytical Omnivore’s Dilemma, it’s invaluable. It counters OD’s occasionally relentless skepticism with optimistic solutions, as well as simple, vital messages. (“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”) Read it first if you can.

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
I plowed through this book years ago, and it’s a tribute to its effectiveness that I’ve rarely stepped into a fast food restaurant since. Having worked at both McDonald’s and Wendy’s, I knew about the food prep and employee relations, but the mass production methods used to keep prices down … great scott. (P.S. If you are parent to a socially concerned teen, this will absolutely rock his/her world.)

Heat by Bill Buford
Buford took a year off to learn how to cook under Mario Batali, Marco Pierre White, and various butchers and pasta-makers all over Europe. The result is Heat, which perfectly captures the fascination, frustration, and triumph facing novice denizens of the kitchen. Dude can really write, too, which helps.

I’m Just Here for the Food by Alton Brown
If you can imagine Good Eats in print, I’m Just Here for the Food is for you. Half cookbook, half science manual, you won’t find better explanations of the physical and chemical processes involved in getting a meal to the table. It’s Wired for foodies, or Cook’s Illustrated for nerds.


Also of note

Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
Reichl’s kind of like an eccentric aunt who dresses up, goes to fancy restaurants, and ruminates on their merits for page after page. Funny, warm insider's look at big-city food criticism.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Though it can get a bit dry, OD’s a must-read for those interested in how our food industry can possibly function. Factory farms are scary, scary things.

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Hilarious, hyperbolic behind-the-scenes glimpse into the everyday running of a restaurant, by the man himself.


Reading

Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
I’m about halfway through so far. It’s okay. Julie can definitely write, but the book seems more about her crappy apartment than the food. Still, I can relate to the crappy apartment parts. And I WILL be seeing the movie. Meryl Streep as Julia Child, yo.


Would like to read, but haven’t gotten around to yet

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

Food Matters by Mark Bittman

How to Pick a Peach: The Search for Flavor from Farm to Table by Russ Parsons


What about you guys? What are you reading? What are your opinions on the books mentioned? Do tell.

(Photos courtesty of Chrismasto, NY Bookworm, and Spill.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Veggie Might: Embracing the Asthma-thlete Within

Penned by the effervescent Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about the wide world of Vegetarianism.

About four years ago, I started working out regularly for the first time in my life. Since my childhood diagnosis, I’d used asthma as an excuse for never pushing myself to exercise. I began slowly by riding my bike to work. A year later, through a friend, I found an exercise class I liked. It met weekly, but required a monthly commitment, and I thought I can do this for a month. That month turned into a year, then two years, then a gym membership.

Riding my bicycle through New York City’s streets gave me a thrill like I’d never experienced. It was like being in a video game. My heart pounded as my legs pumped the pedals, whizzing past cars and buses. It was exhilarating. In the class, I discovered the outer limits of my endurance and a confidence I never knew existed. I pushed myself like never before.

In three years, 40 pounds had disappeared. The weight loss was so gradual that I barely noticed it—except that my clothes didn’t fit—because for the first time in my life, weight loss was not driving my endeavor. My primary concern was loving that person in the mirror and making sure she was healthy. My confidence was soaring.

What surprised me most was that I had done nothing about my diet. Not much needed to change, since I already ate a healthy, home-cooked, whole foods diet. I’ve always been a “5 small meals” eater, so I tend to eat smaller portions. I rarely denied myself the occasional indulgence or the occasional over-indulgence, and I still lost weight. I wasn’t counting calories beyond what I do for CHG. I merely added exercise to my life.

All was going well until I hit a roadblock last fall. As a freelancer, I hate saying no to work, and I found myself completely over-committed—for an entire month. First my social life went by the wayside. My friends understood, especially the ones with babies. Then cooking all but ceased. If it wasn’t going to be blogged about, it wasn’t getting made. Finally, the gym gave way. I still walked to the office every day, but my beloved 3-times-a-week exercise class fell by the wayside.

It’s only temporary, I told myself. But I knew me. I knew how hard it had been to establish that routine I was so proud of myself for maintaining.

Just as I feared, one month became two became four. I felt my energy level decrease, my asthma worsen, my clothes tighten, and the guilt build. Oh Heather, it’s so hard to break out of that shame spiral.

But I did it. Since the new year began, I’ve been back at the gym and my favorite class, walking more, and once the weather is nice, I will be back on my bike. I am lucky to have the support of my boyfriend and some very good friends who are on similar journeys. Now I know from experience I can get back on track and stay there. And if I slip, it’s okay. I’m a happy, healthy human who can have her Newman O’s and eat them too.

Find an exercise or activity you enjoy.
Anything that gets your body moving will do. Talk a walk. Throw a frisbee with someone. Dance around your living room if that suits you. Just do it a couple of times a week at first, and you’ll want to do more.  IntenSati is the mind-body cardio practice that got my body moving. Find what you love and get going. (Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.)

Slow and steady rules the day.
Whatever your fitness goals, slower is better. You’re more likely to keep weight off longer the slower you lose it. And don’t try to do everything at once. Start with exercise, and then incorporate dietary changes. Or build up to adding strength training into your routine. The longer you give yourself to adjust to the changes you’re making, the more likely they will become lasting changes.

Find a buddy (or three).
You may prefer to exercise alone, but it’s important to have a support system for the emotional part of getting and staying healthy. Not everyone wants to hear that you did 30 minutes on the elliptical this morning before work. So round up a couple of like-minded friends who do. You can be there to share each others triumphs and pitfalls. Connecting can be as simple as emailing a friend or joining an online message board. Spark People is a terrific online resource for health and fitness information, plus community support.

Your best is good enough.
Competition is at the core of many exercise and sports programs. But when you are trying to get healthy, for whatever reason, your best—right now—is good enough. If all you can do is walk to the corner and back, do that. Then do that twice a day, then three times. You get the idea. Eventually, you’ll be a triathlete if that’s your goal. In the immortal words of Senator Stuart Smalley, “You are good enough, smart enough, and doggonit, people, like me you.”

Gentle readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are your favorite ways to exercise? What do you do to snap out of a slump? The comments are yours.

~~~~

If this tips your canoe, swim on over to:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seriously Eating II: 94 Recipes from Serious Eats' Healthy and Delicious Column

Since September 2008, I’ve been writing the Monday morning Healthy and Delicious column for Serious Eats (except in September 2010, when Leigh took over 'cos I got hitched). As we don’t include those recipes on Cheap Healthy Good, I figured I’d take today’s regular article slot to list them all. Why? They’re all healthy and good, and the vast majority are eminently affordable, as well. As far as photos … they’re not bad! They make food look like food! So that’s fun. Enjoy, and I hope you get some mileage out of 'em.

BREAKFAST
Baked Oatmeal
Banana Nut Oatmeal (Note: The ingredients go from the 1 tablespoon walnuts through the last few shakes of Kosher salt. Steps are #4 through #7.)
Buttermilk Corn Muffins
Cardamom and Dried Cherry Scones
Cheddar Chipotle Scones
French Toast Oatmeal (Note: The ingredients go from 1/2 cup oatmeal to about halfway down, a few shakes of Kosher salt. Steps are #1 and #2 only.)
Lemon Popovers
Lighter Home Fries
Orange Cranberry Muffins
Pumpkin Muffins with Pecan Streusel Topping
Raspberry-Filled Cinnamon Muffins

APPETIZERS, DIPS and SAUCES
Avocado and Corn Salsa
Black Bean Dip
Clam-Stuffed Mushrooms
Curried Kumquat Chutney
Greek Salad Skewers
Provencal Deviled Eggs
Roasted Pepper Halves with Bread Crumb Topping
Raw Tomatillo Salsa
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Spinach and Cannellini Bean Dip
Tomatillo Guacamole
White Bean Bruschetta
Zucchini Crostini

SOUPS, STEWS, STOCKS, & CHILIS
All-American Chili
Black Bean Soup
Curried Cauliflower Soup with Honey
Curried Sweet Potato and Brown Rice Soup
Italian Egg-Drop Soup
Mexican Potato Soup
Moroccan-Style Chickpea Soup (Missing Step #2: While that’s happening, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook about 5 minutes, until onion is a little soft and translucent. Add garlic, ginger, and cumin. Cook for another 30 to 60 seconds, until fragrant.)
Parsnip Soup with Vanilla
Pasta e Ceci
Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Tomato Soup with Roasted Garlic and Herbs
West African Vegetable Stew
White Chicken Chili
Winter Vegetable Chili
Yellow Tomato Soup, Three Ways

SIDES
Baked Wheat Bulgur with Sweet Potatoes and Almonds
Black-Eyed Pea "Caviar"
Bulgur Wheat Salad with Avocado, Raisins, and Almonds
Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake
Carrot and Sweet Potato Mash
Classic Baked Acorn Squash
Confetti Quinoa Salad
Couscous with Chickpeas and Edamame
Fresh Corn Salad
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts
Gomen (Sauteed Cabbage)
Greek Orzo Salad
Greek-Style Chickpea Salad
Herb-Scalloped Potatoes
Honey-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Irio
Jicama and Watermelon Salad
Lemon Basil Pasta Salad
Marinated Mushroom Salad
Nicoise Pasta Salad (Missing Step #1: Boil pasta in salted water. When it’s about 1 or 2 minutes away from being done, add green beans. Cook until pasta is al dente. Drain, reserving some cooking liquid. Run cold water immediately over pasta and beans to stop cooking process.)
Pioneer Woman’s Cranberry Sauce
Potato Salad with Green and White Beans
Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini
Red Cabbage with Apples and Honey
Sausage, Apple, and Cranberry Stuffing
Shredded Beet, Apple, and Currant Salad
Southern-Style Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon
Stir-Fried Iceberg Lettuce
Tabbouleh Salad
Thyme-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread
Yellow Tomato Salad with Roasted Red Pepper, Feta, and Mint
Zucchini Carpaccio with Feta and Pine Nuts

ENTREES (Vegetarian)
Barley Risotto
Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa
Blue Cheese Portobello Mushroom Burgers
Calabacitas Burritos
DIY Hot Pockets (Please note finished directions in comment section.)
Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Eggplant with Miso Sauce
Grilled Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing
Lighter Spinach Lasagna
Mushroom "Bolognese"
Mushroom Risotto
Pumpkin Orzo with Sage
Spaghetti Squash with Ricotta, Sage, and Pine Nuts
Sweet and Spicy Tofu
Tofu and Mushroom Marsala
White Bean and Mushroom Ragout
White Bean Puree with Poached Egg

ENTREES (Carnivore)
30-Minute Chicken Tagine
Avocado Chicken Salad
Baked Apples with Barley-Sausage Pilaf
Baked Rotelle Puttanesca (has anchovies)
Basil Chicken Pasta
Broccoli Rabe, Turkey Sausage, and Grapes
Chicken Paprikash
Chicken with Artichokes and Capers
Curried Pork with Apples
Chicken with Citrus Sauce
Dijon Tuna Burgers
Marcella Hazan’s Lemon Roasted Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes
Mussels in Spicy Tomato Sauce
Pork Chops with Tomatillo and Green Apple Sauce
Pork Roast En Cocotte with Apples and Shallots
Squid in Red Wine Sauce
Swiss Chard and Turkey Sausage Over Polenta
Turkey Sausage and Arugula with Whole Wheat Pasta
Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Chickpeas, and Garlicky Greens

DESSERTS & SNACKS
Blueberry Salsa
Cider-Poached Pears with Yogurt and Toasted Almonds
Granola Bars
Greek Yogurt Lemon Mousse
Homemade Peppermint Patties
Mexican Chocolate Cake
No-Cook Berry Crisp
Quick and Easy Apple Tart
Sugar-Roasted Plums with Balsamic and Rosemary Syrup
Three-Ingredient Banana, Honey, and Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Top-Crust Peach and Cardamom Pie

BEVERAGES
Basil Lemonade
Cherry Lemonade
White Peach Bellini

~~~

If you like recipe lists like this, get a load of these:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Green Kitchen: The Cheap Healthy Good Guide to CSAs

Green Kitchen is a bi-weekly column about nutritious, inexpensive, and ethical food and cooking. It's penned by the lovely Jaime Green.

One of my favorite things about shopping at a farmers market – if talking about this with snow in the forecast and sprouting onions lingering in the greenmarket bins – is the adventure of it. Yes, I sound bananas, but hear me out. I don't shop at the farmers market with an unlimited budget. So every week – in season, I mean, and can it please hurry up in coming – I buy what's cheap. That's often not one of the three vegetables I learned to cook growing up. So I buy things and learn how to cook them. And there are some crazy things at the farmers market. (Love you, three-foot-long green beans!)

From Erin.kkr
So I guess it makes sense that the main appeal of a CSA to me is the challenge. A box of mystery vegetables every week? Bring it on!

But there are plenty of other reasons to take your relationship with local vegetables to the next level, and maybe some reasons not to. But before we get to that...

What Is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join a CSA, you purchase a “share” of a farm's output. You pay up front for the season, usually June to October or so, and then every week of the season you pick up a boxful of vegetables. Whatever's fresh and bountiful that week? That's what you take home.

CSAs are generally just vegetables, but some include fruit. Others allow you to add on a fruit, dairy, egg, or even honey share.

Why Join a CSA?

Lots of reasons!

Oh, you want to know what they are? I'll throw it over to Just Food, an awesome NYC organization that works to connect city residents to local farms.
Buy Local
Your support helps small local farms stay afloat.
Connect with the food you eat by meeting your farmers and exploring the farms.

Eat Well
Buy the freshest food for your family.
Explore new foods and learn to cook with them.
Find out that beet greens aren’t just good for you, they’re tasty too!

Be Healthy
Eat more fresh vegetables and fruit.
Share healthy eating habits with your kids. Expose them early to a variety of regional produce.

Protect the Environment
Support farmers who take care of their land by growing food in ways that take care of the soil.
Cut down on the number of miles your food travels from the farm to your plate.
Thanks, Just Food! But then, on the other hand...

Why Might a CSA Not Be Your Best Choice?

CSAs aren't for everyone. First of all, they include some financial risk. You don't pay per pound of produce, but rather invest in the farm at the beginning of the season. If the farm has an awesome summer, you get an overflowing crisper drawer. But if weather doesn't go right, or pests are a problem, you share the burden of the farm's meager year.

From Bill.Roehl
What if, one week, you come home with a CSA box with four bunches of kale and an onion. Can you work with that? CSAs are awesome for adventurous cooks. Maybe not so much for families with picky eaters? Spring brings piles and piles of lettuce; a week in fall may yield nothing but potatoes. You can supplement your haul with greenmarket (or supermarket) buys, but that can get pricey. If trying out new (or strange) vegetables won't be fun, or at least pleasant, you might want to stick to keeping your own shopping list.

Do you have friends or neighbors who might be willing to take excess veggies off your hands? Cause you might end up with a lot of kale.

How to Find a CSA

Okay, you've weighed the pros and cons, and you're up for a summer adventure. You want to get to know your farmer. You're ready to take on a small share of his or her financial risk. Now what?

Head over to Local Harvest and do a search by zip code or state. Read about the options in your area. Compare prices, pick-up times, requirements for helping at distribution or (and I will be jealous) on the farm. Some CSAs will even tell you what was in last year's shares. Past performance is no guarantee of future etc etc, but here's 2010 for my nearby Inwood CSA. (Blast them and their Thursday afternoon distribution!)

Readers, are any of you CSA members? Do you love teaming up with a farmer, or do you get overwhelmed with corn (or lack thereof)?

(If anyone joins a CSA this summer, just let me know if you have more kale than you can use.)

~~~

If you liked this article, you'll really dig:

Ask the Internet: Cabbage Recipes?

Today's question comes from reader Sara A.:

Q: Are there any good vegan cabbage recipes? It is super cheap year round, but I have trouble finding a way to make it palatable. It always turns out very bland.

A: Good question, Sara. Being inexpensive, relatively hearty, and surprisingly high in both Vitamins C and K, cabbage doesn't get nearly enough play as it should. Fortunately, there are a number of vegan/vegetarian applications (along with bacony ones) for the veggie, especially if you look to international cuisines. Here are five examples:

Beet and Cabbage BBQ Slaw
Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup
Napa Cabbage and Red Onion Slaw
Red Cabbage and Apples
South Indian Cabbage

Readers, how about you? What are your favorite cabbage recipes? Fire away.

Want to ask the interweb a question? Post one in the comment section, or write to Cheaphealthygood@gmail.com. Then, tune in next Tuesday for an answer/several answers from the good people of the World Wide Net.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Top 10 Signs You’re Becoming a Better Cook, Plus Easy Chicken Pan Gravy

You guys? I was making Easy Chicken Pan Gravy last week when something hit me. Over the years, I've become a pretty decent cook. Not a good cook, per se, but a decent one. I'm fairly confident no one will die / vomit / write heartbreaking soliloquies after they eat my food.

Upon the realization, I started brainstorming some benchmarks - noticeable and definitive signs that you've come a long way, culinarily speaking. Here's what I came up with:
  1. You eyeball ingredient measurements.

  2. You substitute ably and with abandon.

  3. You regularly improve on recipes written by professionals.

  4. You search for physical indications (browning, thickness, scent, etc.) that a recipe is done, rather than use times.

  5. You have an ever-expanding repertoire of dishes you know by heart, and can easily go a week without consulting a recipe.

  6. You bring lunch to work not because you want to save money or watch your waistline, but because  your leftovers are fantastic.

  7. You don’t choose certain restaurant dishes because you can make it just as well – or even better – by yourself at home.

  8. Your pickiest friend will eat your food without complaint.

  9. Your foodie-est friend will eat your food with glee.

  10. Your parents entrust you with Thanksgiving.
Readers, how about you? What are some signs you're becoming / have become better cooks? Is it  something you can measure with milestones, even?

Also, this gravy is good and you should eat it.

~~~

Mmm … sauce. If this looks all nice and stuff, you will surely enjoy:
~~~

Easy Chicken Pan Gravy (With Chicken)
Serves 4


16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin (1/2-inch or so) filets
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1) Pat chicken dry and season one side liberally with salt and pepper. Pour half can of chicken broth into measuring cup and whisk flour in thoroughly. (There should be no lumps.) Keep other half in the can and set aside.

2) In a large pan, heat oil over high heat. With tongs, carefully place chicken seasoned-side down in pan. Cook until browned, about 3 to 6 minutes. While cooking, season exposed side with salt and pepper. Flip, and cook another 3 to 6 minutes, until second side is browned. Remove to a plate and keep warm. (Tent with tin foil, if you like.)

3) Pour broth in can into hot pan, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon. Cook on high until broth is reduced by about half.

4) Give the flour/broth mixture one more quick whisk, and pour into pan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat a little, to medium or medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until sauce is thick and gravy-like. This could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, so keep an eye on it.

5) When gravy hits the desired consistency, season with salt and pepper. If necessary (i.e. lumps), strain into your fancy serving vessel (measuring glass, gravy bowl, etc.). Otherwise, just pour it in. Then, dollop over chicken and/or potatoes and serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
151 calories, 3.3 g fat, 0 fiber, 26.8 g fiber, $0.72

NOTE: I used College Inn chicken broth from CostCo for my calculations.

Calculations
16 ounces chicken breast, sliced into thin (1/2-inch or so) filets: 497 calories, 5.4 g fat, 0 g fiber, 104.4 g protein, $2.14
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.02
1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth: 20 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein, $0.64
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour: 26 calories, 0 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, 0.7 g protein, $0.01
1/2 tablespoon olive oil: 60 calories, 6.7 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.05
TOTALS: 603 calories, 13.1 g fat, 0.2 g fiber, 107.1 g fiber, $2.86
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 151 calories, 3.3 g fat, 0 fiber, 26.8 g fiber, $0.72

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturday Throwback: Learning to Love Foods You Hate - a How-to Guide for Frugal Eaters

Every Saturday, we post a piece from the CHG archives. This one comes from March 2009. Enjoy!

Up until a few years ago, the list of foods I loathed was a long one. It included, but wasn’t limited to: spaghetti squash, broccoli, asparagus, red cabbage, ginger ale, cauliflower, radishes, lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, fennel, eggplant, anise, scallops, figs, and of course, the dreaded mayonnaise. The list goes on (and on), but you get the idea: growing up, I wasn’t exactly a daring eater.

I still hate mayo. I will ALWAYS hate mayo. George Clooney could serve me mayo wrapped in chocolate bacon on a gold-plated re-issue of Who’s Next, and I would throw it back in his face. But my opinion’s changed on most of those other foods. These days, I’ll gladly scarf a floret of cauliflower. Brussels sprouts hold a special place on my dinner table. And eggplant? Well, eggplant is my favorite thing ever, aside from the panda song from Sifl and Olly. (In fact, you could say I’m drunk on eggplant mystery.)

Granted, part of it is just me aging. At 31-years-old, my palate’s matured a little, and my tastes now lean more toward savory than sweet. The other part, though, can be directly attributed to recent changes in my lifestyle.

See, a few years ago, I resolved to learn to cook, to eat healthier, and to better manage my money. As it turned out, vegetables and legumes were vital to making this work, since they’re exponentially cheaper than meat and much more nutritious than most starches. So, I had to confront my fears. I had to expand my produce repertoire beyond corn, carrots, corn, and carrots.

These strategies helped. I learned to tolerate, and even love, a lot of foods I had longstanding issues with. Try ‘em for yourself, and please add your own suggestions to the comment section.

Make it unrecognizable.
Case study: Eggplant
Seedy, mushy, and horrifically purple, eggplant appealed to me about as much as a drug-free colonoscopy. Then, in 1997, my friend H hid it in her homemade tomato sauce. And … revelation. Soon, I was on to eggplant dips, eggplant pastas, and finally, plain ol’ broiled eggplant. The trick was getting the image of the vegetable out of my head, and forcing me to associate it with otherwise good food. I suspect it would work beautifully with any vegetable that could be pureed or furtively included in a sauce (butternut squash, bell peppers, etc.).

Use it in a recipe with foods you love.
Case study: Brussels sprouts
As far as I was concerned, Brussels sprouts were tiny, bitter cabbages that masochists ate when they ran out of bigger bitter cabbages. Little did I know that slathering them in Parmesan would provide a delicious gateway into healthier, simpler preparations. See also: Red Cabbage (ew) with Honey (nice), Apples (yay!), and Bacon (king of cured meats). It's actually quite scrumptious.

Try it in an ethnic dish.
Case study: Broccoli
Broccoli: looks like trees, tastes like butt, right? Yeah, I used to think like that, too. But in high school, Ma ordered Chicken and Broccoli from our local Chinese joint, Da How. Suddenly, it was broccoli: looks like trees, tastes like HEAVEN (with garlic and brown sauce). Sometimes, a food is more appealing when its paired with flavors you’re not necessarily accustomed to. Like bean sprouts on top of Pad Thai. Or peas stuffed in a samosa. Or tomatillo sauce spread across an enchilada. Pick a cuisine and start experimenting.

Cook the best-reviewed recipe you can find featuring that food.
Case study: Cauliflower
Most aggregate recipe sites like Epicurious, Food Network, and All Recipes have sophisticated rating systems with which home cooks can evaluate any dish. If you’re feeling ambitious, plug an ingredient into one of their search engines. Then, prep the recipe with the best overall reviews. For example, Ina Garten has a Cauliflower Gratin that’s received an average of five stars from 132 people (which is outstanding). I’ve tried it myself, and without exaggeration, it changed the way I felt about cauliflower. I just … I just didn’t know it could taste that good. Now, stuff like Roasted Garlic Cauliflower and Curried Cauliflower Soup with Honey are making regular appearances in my mouth.

Understand you don’t have to eat it the way your Ma (or Pa) prepared it.
Case study: Spaghetti Squash
Across the country, millions of Irish-Americans loathe vegetables because growing up, produce was boiled beyond recognition and then forced by threat of death into their reluctant maws. But take heart, my freckled brethren! It doesn’t have to be this way. Did you know carrots can be roasted? And broccoli rabe, sauteed? And spaghetti squash, combined with red sauce, mozzarella, and pine nuts to create something COMPLETELY DELICIOUS? It’s true. So, love your Gaelic Ma. Embrace her. Call her often. Just … try to forget her cooking. It’ll make this whole process much easier.

Try a dish with a subtler incarnation of that food.
Case study: Tarragon
This one’s a little difficult to explain, so here’s an example: I despise anise. Even thinking about its black licorice flavor makes my tongue curl. Recently though, I discovered a White Bean and Tarragon Soup that I quite like. Tarragon, like fennel, possesses traits similar to anise, but it’s much, much subtler. In the soup, it was complemented so well by the other ingredients, I didn’t even taste the hate. Maybe I'll feel the same way about anise someday. Think of this principle like salsa: you start out mild, and work your way up to medium and hot varieties.

Give it just one more shot.
Case study: Beans
For some inexplicable reason, I always assumed I hated beans. As a kid, they looked funny to me. And in my six-year-old brain, funny-looking food = bad food. It wasn’t until I grew up, sacked up, ate one and didn’t throw up, that they became a regular part of my diet. (Okay, hummus helped.)

If you truly hate it, let it go.
Case studies: scallops, figs, radishes, mayo
Scallops will never be my thing, no matter how fresh they are, how well they’ve been prepared, and how many times I try them. Figs, radishes, mayonnaise – still disgusting, as well. (Which, did I mention I hate mayonnaise? I did? Oh, good.) Sometimes, a certain food just won’t do it for you. And it’s okay. Just move on to the next one.

And that’s it. Readers? Suggestions?

~~~

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Top Ten Links of the Week: 3/11/11 - 3/17/11

Hi team CHG! Gonna keep this one a little short today, so I may bask in the glorious shiny thing that's planted itself in the middle of the sky. Yes, I'm talking about the alien ship. We are theirs now, and I, for one, greet our green-gilled overlords.

1) The Atlantic: The World-Class Local Foods That Gardeners Have Overlooked
Neat, neat piece by Hunger Angler Gardner Cook blogger Hank Shaw about oft-ignored food that grows in the wild. Groundnuts, ho!

Wiki - Ansel Adams
2) New York Times: Itinerant Life Weights on Farmworkers' Children
The families who pick our vegetables have children who must go to school. Only, they have it way, way, way tougher than other kids.

3) Oregon Live: The pantry principle - Serve up easy dinners by cooking what you have
I love the Oregonian's food articles because they're always way thoughtful and extensive. This one's another winner.

4) Grub Street: America's Next Great Restaurant (Recap)
Why watch the show when David Rees' recaps are so much fun?

5) Huffington Post: Giving Back - How You and the Food Community Can Help Struggling Families
Marcus Samuelsson says: Buy local. But with more words and better explanations.

6) Diner’s Journal: The DIY Cooking Bibliography
Love this link roundup of make-it-yo-dang-self blogs, focusing on food and the kitchen. Especially helpful if you're into preserving.

7) Food Politics: Soda companies vs. soda taxes - breathtaking creativity
Though their products are almost always mentioned as part of the reason for the rise in obesity, Pepsi, Coke, and similar businesses are making huge contributions toward anti-obesity initiatives. And the cycle continues.

8) Wise Bread: Affordable Sustainable Seafood Choices for Your Table
Nice little roundup with some unexpected suggestions. (Seaweed!) Also worthy of notice: squid, clams, sardines and anchovies, as well as various other shellfish and some cephalopods.

9) Casual Kitchen: An Easier Way to Crack an Egg - Blunt Force Trauma
Love the title, love the process.

10) Money Saving Mom: My Stock-Up Price List
Crystal finally shares what she'll pay for food. We are rank amateurs, people.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

The Epi-Log: Best Recipes for New Teen Vegetarians?
Chili! Chili!

Food Politics: Once again, kids prefer foods in packages with cartoons
Um … duh?

Serious Eats: What You Should Know About the Primer
"The Farm Bill, formally titled the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act, is a huge piece of legislation. Its 15 titles outline policies ranging from crop subsidies to agricultural research to nutrition programs." Will it be affected by the newfangled initiatives towards healthier eating? Remains to be seen.

Words to Eat By: Food Swap in The New York Times
Yay Deb!

AND ALSO

Endless Simmer: 100 Ways to Cook with Guinness
Guinness: It's not just for drinking anymore. You can eat it now, too.

From Wiki Commons' Koolgiy
Thank you so much for visiting Cheap Healthy Good! (We appreciate it muchly). If you’d like to further support CHG, subscribe to our RSS feed! Or become a Facebook friend! Or check out our Twitter! Bookmarking sites and links are nice, too. Viva la France!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Veggie Might: One for My Teetotalers - How to Substitute Alcohol in Baking and Cooking

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a weekly Thursday column about all things Vegetarian.

Gentle Readers, it’s St. Patrick’s day. In honor of the drinkingest holiday of the year, let's talk about booze. Sort of.

Here at CHG, we have a healthy appreciation for hootch, being responsible citizens and lovers of life. A glass of wine, a bottle of cold beer, or the occasional Jager shot a well-crafted cocktail make an evening with friends or a holiday party that much more enjoyable/tolerable.

The flavors of our favorite beverages are unmistakable, and we drink them for their good taste more than their soothing aftereffects. Or so we tell Aunt Helen. Ingredients like wine and sherry and Grand Marnier are included in recipes for the same reason. Their flavors are unmatched and give our recipes that je ne se quois we seek.

Red and white wine, vermouth, sherry, beer, bourbon, brandy, and a flavored liqueurs like coffee (Kahula, Tia Maria), orange (Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Triple Sec), and anise/licorice (Ouzo, Pernoud) are commonly used in cooking and baking recipes. These are the staples to have on hand if you’re keeping a well-stocked culinary bar.

But while the we of CHG appreciates a nip with dinner and splash in the cream sauce, the me of CHG is a reluctant teetotaler. I’ve got this brain thing that doesn’t like it when I drink, and while a little bourbon in my pecan pie is probably okay, I just don’t keep the stuff around; it’s not worth the expense for the occasional recipe—or the risk of a trip to the emergency room.

“But Leigh,” you exclaim, “it’s not about the alcohol, it’s about the flavor! And all the alcohol evaporates during cooking!”

Yes: true and mostly true. Most people make tequila chicken for the enhanced flavor the liquor imparts, not to get one up on their friends at margarita night. And most, but not all alcohol is cooked away when booze is applied to recipes, though claims vary as to how much evaporates during cooking. According to Kevin Weeks at NPR.com, “depending on cooking method and time, you can reduce the alcohol by 60 percent by simmering for 15 minutes, or by as much as 90 percent after two hours of simmering.” But when cooking for children or people with health or addiction issues, even a little bit can be too much.

So what then? Weeks suggests choosing another recipe, and I agree if the liquor is the distinguishing feature of the dish, like Julia Child’s famous Boeuf Bourguignon—it’s meat soaked in red wine. Something tells me it would be an altogether different experience if you decided to let your boeuf braise in grape juice overnight.

But if I passed up every fondue or stew that called for a splash of kirsch or a glug of beer, my repertoire would be quite limited—and I could toss away half of the recipes from France. So I improvise with what I have.

For example, broth or stock is an easy substitution for wine or beer in many savory dishes, like soups, sautés, and risottos. Fruit juices, like apple and grape, can replace wine in desserts. If you want a note of acid, add little vinegar. It won’t be the same, as I’m sure some would argue, but it will still be delicious.

In some cases you can just leave out the booze. Fondue will be just as good without kirsch, but keep an eye on it; the alcohol in the liqueur is there to lower the boiling point of the cheese.

In the last year I’ve made two outstanding dishes that were no worse for lack of wine. Both were from the fabulous Viva Vegan, which is still getting heavy play in my kitchen. Red Posole and Beans called for Mexican beer which I replaced in equal measure with vegetable stock, and the resulting stew was to die for.

For Quinoa-Millet Mushroom Risotto, I swapped the 1/2 cup of white wine, traditionally used in risottos, for 1/2 cup of apple juice + 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. It remains one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth.

When baking, replace liqueurs with similarly flavored extracts and juices. Vanilla is the most commonly recommended stand in for bourbon; almond extract works great in place of amaretto; and brandy has its very own cooking extract. Orange, apple and grape, and pineapple juices fill the void left by orange liqueur, dry and sweet vermouth, and rum.

Now, it must be said that extracts contain alcohol, which works as a solvent to break down the fruit or herb so that the maximum amount of flavor is obtained. Vanilla extract is 35% alcohol by volume, or 70 proof, not far off from vodka. But the minute amount used in baked goods, partnered with dilution and evaporation, will unlikely cause anyone to feel its effects.

According to Cook’s Thesaurus, 1 tablespoon of brandy extract replaces 5 tablespoons of the real deal, yet measure for measure, they have a similar alcohol content. Extract is a safe alternative unless you’re abstaining for religious reasons or are hypersensitive. Flavored oils, powders, and straight-up ingredients like vanilla beans, may be your best solution if you want to avoid alcohol altogether.

We all love charts, right? Well, here are some handy charts, fresh from the Internet machine, to guide your alcohol-free baking and cooking adventures:
If you have any nonalcoholic baking or cooking tips you’d like to share, the comments are open. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Slàinte!

~~~~

If these bubbles tickled your nose, you’ll lose your head over:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In Defense of Potatoes (Plus, 12 Potato Recipes)

A few weeks ago, in a post entitled How to Buy the USDA-Recommended 4.5 Cups of Fruits and Vegetables for $2.50 Per Day, I argued against buying corn, lettuce, and potatoes in favor of other vegetables. Also, I may have written the following:

Among the produce counted towards the $2.50 total are 
white potatoes and corn, starchy vegetables not exactly known 
for being powerhouses of vitamins and minerals.

and

Though tasty and inexpensive, 
potatoes are somewhat lacking in the nutrient department.

Several readers called me out on the statements, and rightfully so. Looking back, I gave short shrift to spuds, which are actually quite healthy when not drenched in oil and deep fried. Somewhere, my Irish ancestors are looking down from the heavens, flipping birds and cursing the anti-tater dummy they unknowingly begat – the one who so callously dissed the very calorie-dense food that sustained them through generations of largely absent nutrition. Yep - the very same edible that’s lack drove them clear to another country, if they were lucky enough not to die of starvation first.

In penance, I would like to prove conclusively that potatoes are better than me. Defending spuds will be Liz Conant of the United States Potato Board, a lovely organization dedicated to the advancement of potatoes in American culture. Defending me will be me.

To accomplish this, I've set up a comparative chart, pitting our most prominent qualities against each other in a tater/blogger battle for the ages. Specific criteria are listed in the first column. Liz's answers are in the second column, and mine are in the third. The winner of each is proclaimed in the fourth and final column, and the quantitative victor is named at the end. You have to click on it to read. (Sorry 'bout that.)


As you can see, Liz housed me. Potatoes clearly win Battle CHG, and as such, I rescind my former anti-spud statements. In fact, here are 12 potato recipes to make it up to you:

Baked Loaded Potato Skins
Chili-Spiced Potatoes
Chorizo and Potato Fritata
Dijon Roasted Potatoes
Mashed Potatoes with Leeks and Sour Cream
Meatless Shepherd's Pie
Miso Mashed Potatoes
Pasta with Lemon, Potatoes, and Cannellini
Potato Gnocchi
Potato Leek Soup with Kale
Potato Salad for Rainy Day People
Roasted Red Potatoes

For more information on the potato and its nutritive qualities (which are manifest, I promise), head over to the U.S. Potato Board's website.

Readers, how do you feel about potatoes? When and where do you buy them on sale? What are your favorite potato recipes? Have you ever gone face to face with a potato and lost? Please fire away in the comment section. Oh, and Happy St. Patty's Day!

~~~

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