Episode 175: Nigella’s Noodles, Avocado Oil, and Costco

Blood oranges photo from Marisa’s blog, Food in Jars

In food news this week–Did Taco Bell become a health food spot when we weren’t paying attention? Business Insider thinks so.

Marisa has a recipe recommendation for us–Nigella Lawson’s Cold Soba Noodle Salad.

We present the next segment in our ongoing series of cooking fats: Avocado oil.

Have you ever wondered if a Costco membership is worth it? So has Joy. She asks Marisa to give her some pointers before she goes to the store to find out for herself.

Finally, at the market this week, we are buying oranges.

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Nigella's Soba Noodles with Sesame Seeds

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds
  • salt
  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 5 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 5 scallions

Instructions

  1. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over high heat until they look golden brown, and tip them into a bowl.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add some salt. Put in the soba noodles and cook them for about 6 minutes (or according to package instructions) until they are tender but not mushy. Have a bowl of iced water waiting to plunge them into after draining.
  3. In the bowl you are going to serve them in, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and oil. Then finely slice the scallions and put them into the bowl with the cooled, drained noodles and mix together thoroughly before adding the sesame seeds and tossing again.
  4. Leave the sesame seed noodles for about half an hour to let the flavors develop, although this is not absolutely necessary or sometimes even possible.
  5. Serves 4 as part of a meal; or 2 when eaten, gratifyingly, as they are.
http://www.localmouthful.com/2017/01/11/episode-175-nigellas-noodles-avocado-oil-costco/

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171: Pierogi, Gifts for the Kitchen, and Dessert

parsnipcake
Parsnip cake!

A recent segment on NPR discussed an interesting statistical correlation between the days of the month when food stamps/EBT were distributed and the reduction of drunk driving accidents. Read or listen here

What’s for dinner this week? Homemade Pierogi! Marisa made the terrific recipe from the cookbook Good and Cheap.

The season of gift giving is upon us. We talked about some of our favorite homemade edible gifts last year (episode 117), but wanted to hit on some of our favorite gifts for the kitchen. (Here’s a link to that wooden tool write up in Bon Appetit Joy couldn’t remember in the moment.)

We also talked about our dessert eating habits, and wrapped things up by going to market for persimmons.

Speaking of dessert: Last week, a lot of you asked for Joy’s parsnip cake recipe.

Here it is:

Parsnip Cake with Maple and Toasted Pecans

makes one 8-inch cake

Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups peeled and shredded parsnips (about 3 medium parsnips)

Frosting:
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons maple syrup, grade B
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

2. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, and maple syrup and beat on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, and beat until incorporated, about 20 seconds more.

3. Add about one-third of the flour mixture and mix on low until just combined, about 10 seconds. Add half of the sour cream and mix until just blended, about 5 seconds. Alternate adding half of the remaining flour mixture, the remaining sour cream, and the remaining flour, mixing just long enough to combine after each addition. Using a spatula, gently fold in the parsnips. Pour batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Make the frosting: In bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the whisk attachment, combine the confectioners sugar, butter and salt. Beat on medium until the butter is incorporated into the sugar with no large lumps remaining, about one minute. With the mixer running on low, slowly stream in the maple syrup one tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 2 more minutes.

5. When the cake has cooled completely, frost just the top, leaving a half-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the frosting with the pecans.

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168: Barbecue Styles, Impulse Buys, Emotional Eating

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In food news this week, we talk about a piece that Joy wrote for the Philadelphia Inquirer on the intersection of food and science.

In our what’s for dinner segment, we talked about regional barbecue styles and sauces and some tips for making barbecue inside during the winter months.

Do you succumb to impulse buys at the supermarket? Do you diverge from your list? Do use a list? We talk about why we pick up unplanned items and how to combat it.

Emotional eating. In the wake of the election, some people can’t eat because of the stress. Others turn to food for comfort. We talk about the role of emotional eating and how we try to keep it in check.

At the market this week, we’re buying sweet potatoes.

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Episode 161: No-noodle Lasagna, Nutrition Upgrade Challenge, Cooking with Chickpea Flour

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No-noodles here. Just celery root, mushrooms ragu, and cheese!

This week in food news, we learned that stress overrides the benefits of healthful eating on NPR’s The Salt blog. Not cool, stress. Not cool.

Joy sings the praises of a recipe from Modern Potluck, whose author Kristin Donnelly we had on a short while back. (It’s the No-noodle Lasagna made with celery root instead of pasta!)

If 30 day challenges like “The Whole 30” are not your speed (and they are certainly not ours) but you are into improving your nutrition, try the Nutrition Diva’s 30 Day Nutrition Upgrade Challenge. You will definitely eat more vegetables and you don’t have to eliminate anything. It’s a food-positive, weight neutral approach to nutrition.

Joy and Marisa trade tips on cooking with chickpea flour and talk socca and crepe making.

We hope we aren’t bad feminists but we pack our husband’s lunches. We think our tips and strategies could help you pack your own, your kids’, your husband’s too.

At the market we scored some honeynut squash–reported to be more than 10 times sweeter than butternut!

Here’s that link to Joy’s lentil and chicken soup recipe.

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Episode 160: Delicata Squash, Old Cookbooks, and Running a Love Story

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In the food news, we all recently learned that decades back “big sugar” paid off the scientific community and that’s how those of us who grew up in the 80s and 90s came to eat our weight in Snackwells.

In our what’s for dinner segment, we talked up the many pleasures of the ultra seasonal, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it delicata squash.

Joy’s getting ready to move. As she declutters her basement she’s finding forgotten cookbooks that have been packed away for years–and loving them.

Marisa talks to the amazing Jen A. Miller about her new memoir, Running a Love Story.

And we leave you with a snack-size discussion of one of autumn’s most splendid treats: Asian pears.

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Episode 158: Breakfast for Dinner, Immersion Circulators, Kristen Donnelly

ModernPotluck

In food news, the Associated Press published a story Massimo Bottura using leftover food from the Olympics to feed the homeless in Brazil.

Love it or hate it, breakfast for dinner remains a hot topic in home cooking.

We both have immersion circulators but we tend to use them in very different ways. We compare and contrast.

Joy talks with Kristen Donnelly about her wonderful new book Modern Potluck.

And at the market this week, we’re buying grapes.

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Episode 145: The Fast Casual Kitchen, Pudding, Organized Recipes

Cookware or nutrition supplement?
Cookware or nutrition supplement?

The Wall Street Journal asked, “Can a Pan Add Iron to Your Diet?” And we were all ears for the answer.

You may have noticed that so-called “Fast Casual” restaurants are taking over the world … but can you bring the ideas behind them into your home kitchen? We think so. We’ll tell you how.

This week we sing the praises of an often overlooked dessert classic–pudding.

How do you organize your recipes, both the ones you already love and the ones you want to make? We have some strategies we discuss here.

We’re finally breaking into local cucumber season at the farmers’ market. We’ll tell you how we love to use them.

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Episode 139: Plant-based Proteins, Stir Fry Strategies, Allyson Kramer

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Some of Joy’s favorite stir fry ingredients ready to cook.

We talked about how the state of Vermont has helped the cause of GMO labeling. Our take: What’s the harm of letting people know what’s in their food?

What is the deal with protein, and especially plant-based protein? We talk about our favorite meat free sources of this macro nutrient.

We share our hard-won stir fry wisdom and strategies.

Maris interviews vegan cookbook author Allyson Kramer about her work and her new book, called Naturally Lean.

At the market for us this week? Fiddlehead ferns.

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Episode 133: Sandwiches for Dinner, Coconut Oil, Easter Eats

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Marisa favorite sandwich: Turkey!

This week, we chewed over a story from NPR’s The Salt blog that discussed how resistant Americans are to eating less meat. Tell us in the comments: are you trying to eat less meat? If so, why?

Sandwiches for dinner? Why not? We talk about Marisa’s Dad’s “sandwich philosophy” and explore whether or not a dinner centered on sandwiches is sad.

We return to our occasional series on the topic of cooking fats, this time with a focus on coconut oil. We talk about its transition from a nutrition no-no to culinary cure-all. Here’s a link to the blog post we mentioned about a friend of ours who tried out the whole bullet-proof coffee thing.

Joy talks about what she cooks for Easter. Also: Candy.

At the market, we’re scooping up dandelion greens. They are bitter, but also delicious. We love them!

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Episode 130: Meal Planning Check In, Peanut Butter, Picky Eaters

PNB
Marisa’s own homemade natural peanut butter

Here’s that New York Times article and recipe concerning out of season tomatoes. It puts forward the idea that local and seasonal is dead. We don’t think so, but we love slow roasted tomatoes just the same.

Marisa and Joy confess that their 2016 meal planning and vegetable consumption has been far from perfect.

Everybody loves peanut butter and neither Joy nor Marisa is any exception. Both favor the “natural” types, sugar free, over the big brand varieties.

We talk about cooking for picky eaters and how we hide things from them.

It’s mid winter, and few vegetables are in season. Sunchokes are among them, and that’s what we talked about this week.

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