Going Green! (Smoothies, that is.)

Green Smoothies | Culinary Cousins

I’ve officially jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon.

They’re very “in,” you know, and I have trouble resisting a food trend.

But, no, let’s think of this as a lifestyle change. I’ve been on a bit of a health kick as of late, with exercise and trying to eat better. So green smoothies found me at the right time. Continue reading

Food Find: Coconut Oil

Food Finds: Coconut Oil at www.culinarycousins.com

I know, I know. I’m way late to the coconut oil party.

In light of that, I’m not going to wax on and on about its benefits. You can read those elsewhere. Actually, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe did a great roundup on coconut oil recently. I certainly can’t say it as well as I can just link to her post.

I snapped up a jar of coconut oil at Trader Joe’s, with great intentions of using it in stir-fry and with sauteed greens. Then I realized that Thanksgiving is upon us. And Thanksgiving means pie. Continue reading

Tomato, Basil and Watermelon Salad

This salad is the perfect summer dish. It’s light, refreshing, and pretty filling. It’s a Giada recipe, (love her), and it’s perfect as is. I wanted to make it a meal salad, so I added thick cut applewood smoked bacon, which complemented it nicely. Enjoy!

Start with cubed watermelon, and cherry tomatoes...

Start with cubed watermelon, and cherry tomatoes…

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Ginger Soy Tuna

Are you a Sushi lover? I’m not. To be honest. I’ve tried and tried to like it, but something about it sort of grosses me out. Seaweed, no problem. Rice and Vegetables, great. Fish, love it,  as long as it’s COOKED. That’s where Sushi and I have our differences. (But, I do love any sort of Sushi roll that is only vegetables or tempura fried shrimp (who wouldn’t?). )

So, to better acquaint myself with raw tuna, I bought a gorgeous sashimi-grade (read: you can eat it raw, top quality, kept frozen always) block of tuna. This type of fish is best served medium rare or, heaven-forbid, raw (ewww).  I thought the best way to serve it would be to eat it with some sort of sweet-salty-tangy glaze. Fortunately, I was right on. It was phenomenal with the glaze. Loads of fresh ginger made it really tasty. I served it over a bed of mixed greens tossed with some of the glaze that I made into a vinaigrette.

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This is exactly what great quality tuna should look like, not grey or dark purple. Pink and fresh.

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Food Find: Roasted Coconut Chips

It’s Friday, so I’ll keep it short and sweet… I found these chips at Trader Joe’s and had to give ’em a try, since they sounded so different. The description says, “Mature coconuts soaked in fresh, young coconut milk, lightly dusted with salt and sugar.” Basically, they’re a healthier and tastier version of kettle corn: salty, sweet, crunchy, totally addicting. Try them if you have a TJ’s nearby. Happy weekend!

Crispy, Crunchy Perfection

Vegetarian Moussaka

veg_moussaka

My quest to fill my life with more vegetables continues. I’ve been doing fairly well. I’m a “pescetarian” (veggies and seafood) at home but outside of that anything goes. Hence the trip to a Brazilian steakhouse last week … and the braised short ribs I ate on vacation. (Oops.)

At home, I like that this way of eating is forcing me out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to experiment more with dishes that are hearty enough not to leave me hungry two hours later and satisfy that need for comfort food at dinner. I never realized that part before — a couple of nights ago my friends were talking about what we eat for dinner. Some just have yogurt or a sandwich or crackers. Others of us (like me) feel the need to make a full meal. That’s because, someone noted, dinner is such a comfort meal. So true.

Anyway, I lived for a couple of years in a Greek neighborhood in NYC. Those traditional dishes quickly became my favorite cuisine, and I dream sometimes about the authentic food I could get stumbling right out my front door: creamy hummus and baba ghanoush, Greek olives, lemon potatoes, pastistio and warm, fresh pita. I could go on and on.

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Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding | Culinary Cousins

Long ago I learned I have an obsessive personality. Not in a Single White Female way, though, I promise. More like I find something I like and I latch on to it for awhile. I’ve documented some of my recent obsessions, but I really haven’t had one in awhile.

Until now.

I’ve been talking with a lot of people recently about food and health and the latest trends. One consistent recommendation in all those conversations is chia seeds. It’s the hot thing of the moment in the health food world.

I know you’re thinking about the Chia Pet/Chia Head thing and laughing at me right now. And you’re not entirely wrong. It’s the same seed, but this time we’re eating it. Don’t run away — it’s worth it. Continue reading

Amazing Lemon Cranberry Scones (Gluten Free!)

The finished product…crunchy and creamy with sweet and tart cranberries

As of right now, I don’t follow a strict gluten-free lifestyle. But I’m beginning to wonder if I should….

Gluten. Oh gluten. This was going to be my year. The year I FINALLY successfully  gave something up for Lent. After hearing a whole slew of bad press about this peculiar protein, I decided to make that my target. I was going to give up gluten for forty days. Welp, here we are, the week before Easter and I can officially say I epically failed. Epically. Like 4 days into it. I’ve eaten more glutenous foods since Ash Wednesday (start of Lent) than I’ve eaten in the past 6 months. No joke. WHY does that always happen???? That is why diets don’t work. When you are fixated on cutting something out, you eat it more often and in greater quantity- or maybe that’s just me, and my lack of dietary will power.

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