A Girl & Her Food
                   

13.4.15

Watercress Detox Soup #MeatlessMonday #CleanEating #SpringCleanse







Spring is here, so it means I am on a flab to fab journey. To be honest that's the truth, but I was recently diagnosed with rosacea so it's been my #1 priority to cure naturally! 


In order to be healthy on the outside you have to be healthy on the inside.  Don't you agree?  


Over the past several months, I have been under a lot of stress and anxiety with my dog, Syrus, being sick and passing.  I exposed my body to triggers that could have caused this rosacea outbreak. We know that stress and poor diet do your body no good. 

After the Easter and Passover celebrations, I have been focusing on being
super duper fly.... in a healthy way.  
To start my flab to fab journey aka Spring cleaning of my body, I did a Epsom salt and olive oil liver detox. It was tough but yet amazing at the same time! I will share ALL the nitty gritty (no pun intended!) with you tomorrow.
As being A girl & her food, I still have to attend events, dinners and restaurant previews because this is what I do. But, meanwhile when I am at home, cooking, I will be diligent about what goes into my body.  I will be the mean green anti-rosacea machine. 
Speaking of greens, many people don't know that watercress is the BEST detoxifying food.  I will be throwing it into soups, salads, juices and smoothies and so should you! 

Benefits of Watercress:

Currently is in season so you can find it easily at your local market
Flushes toxins out of the body
Filled with vitamins like B, E, C, zinc and potassium-It has more vitamin c than an orange! 
High in fiber so its a natural diuretic 
Great for the skin as it helps prevent wrinkles 
Filled with iron and calcium 
Anti-inflammatory
Cancer fighting agents
Aids in digestion and weight loss 







Watercress Soup

ingredients 
1 tablespoon coconut oil 
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small onion, roughly chopped
3 cups of homemade bone broth (or stock) 
1 1/2 cup of water 2 bunches watercress, roughly chopped (reserve some watercress as a garnish)
a handful of organic spinach, roughly chopped
Fresh ground pepper and salt 

preparation
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil.  Toss in the onion and garlic, and cook until sizzling and fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the bone broth and water and bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce to a simmer for about 1 minute.  Stir in the watercress and spinach. Return to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer.  Season to taste with fresh ground pepper and salt. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before transferring the soup in the blender.  Puree on high for about 1 minute until smooth.  Pour the watercress soup into the bowls, garnish with fresh watercress and serve. Enjoy! 









31.3.15

A Girl and Her Dog: RIP Syrus


on the beaches of Michiana 


Farmer's Market in Wicker Park 


Supporting Flowers for Dreams with newly adopted sister, Nelle and Stanely "Pup"

I know this is a blog generally about food, and most of you read it because that’s what you are interested in learning about.  But its my blog, and my forum to do what I want with, and I ask you for some patience with this post as I want to write about my dog Syrus, who passed away this weekend after a fairly lengthy battling a massive brain tumor and lymphoma.



After 13  years, he decided he had enough already and passed Friday night.  He will missed more than you can imagine, but he will always be in my memories.





During my senior year of college at Indiana University, I rescued Syrus as a puppy.  It was my first  time really being intimate with the boxer breed, and as only other boxer owners know, it is an experience like no other.  Their ability to connect with their owners’ emotions are unparralled, and therefore the bonds you can create with them are human like.  We were inseperable, literally attached at the hip.  I devote a good portion of my life to my animals, and it was no different with Syrus.  He loved the beach and sand so much, we were always planning when we could get back to his favorite place in Michiana.  When one adventure ended I would start planning the next one for him.  He knew that, and appreciated it so much, and reciprocated back with unconditional love.


Syrus loved chasing balls, swimming (Most boxers can't swim!), drooling over grilled steak, mini bagels from Upper Crust, lots of snuggles and sleeping under the blanket with me. 




Although my husband and I saw Syrus’s slowly degrade over the last year or two, and were obviously prepared and expecting his passing for quite some time, it does not make it any easier.  He was a member of the family, and truly my first love.  I will never forget him, and know he is in a better place now, basking in the warm sun and chasing infinite amounts of tennis balls.  And with that, I do find a little peace.  Only time will fully heal my aching heart, but until I see you again Syrus, I want you to know how much I love you. I hope you and Stella are running around happily together. 


wrote on their Facebook page about Syrus: 

In loving memory of Syrus, an absolutely adorable 13 year old Boxer that loved to give kisses. When Syrus was a puppy his family rescued him. For a little while Syrus had just one cat sibling and they got along very well. His kitty companion would knead Syrus as cats often do when they are relaxed and content. Over the years, Syrus' family expanded to include many more rescues, including a few more Boxers and multiple cats. His parents created a wonderfully harmonious atmosphere for all of their furry companions and helped Syrus make it to the amazing age of thirteen. When Syrus was diagnosed with two types of cancer and his health declined, his parents knew it was time to let their sweet boy go. After eating a tasty steak meal, Syrus curled up in his favorite spot on the couch. His parents, his mom's parents, and his canine and feline siblings gathered around him and showered him with love as he peacefully passed away. Rest well, dear Syrus. You will be missed.

~Dr. Stacy

30.3.15

Roasted Spring Vegetables (Fennel and Carrots) Topped With Herbs and Feta







Easter and Passover are just days away and fresh spring produce is at our disposal; so it’s easy to make a beautiful and fresh meal to celebrate these holidays.  This side dish consists of garlic herb roasted carrots and fennel topped with feta cheese and fresh herbs will guarantee to be a hit at the table with your family and friends.  The best part is that the veggies can be served straight from the oven to the table but they also taste great served the next day. You can make this dish vegan by omitting feta cheese!




Serves 4-6

ingredients

A bunch of organic carrots, rinsed
One bulb fennel, sliced into medium-sized slices
4 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon of Herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon of olive oil or enough to coat all ingredients

Garnish:
Fresh herbs like sage or parsley
Goat milk feta, crumbled

preparation


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a baking dish, add the carrots, sliced fennel, garlic, Herbs de Provence and olive oil. Toss to coat evenly. I like to use my hands to make sure that all the ingredients are coasted evenly with the spice and olive oil.  Place baking dish uncovered into the oven. Roast for about one hour.  Remove and set aside to top the roasted vegetables with crumbled feta cheese and garnish with fresh herbs.  Enjoy!


24.3.15

Ludo Lefebvre's Mussel Velouté with Curry from #SobeWFF Kitchen Aid's Culinary Demo







At SobeWFF,  I was lucky to meet and chat with Chef Ludo Lefebvre.  Everyone knows Ludo is handsome, has a sexy French accent and kills it in the kitchen.  The mussel recipe he demonstrated at the Kitchen Aid Culinary Stage will make a feast of your five senses.  It is truly extraordinary.  I apologize it has taken me so long to post this recipe, but due to the shortage of mussels I was not able to get my hands on any for a while.  As always, I want to make the dish prior to sharing the recipe in case I can pick up any tips for you along the way.

Who is Ludo?  
(This Information taken from abc The Taste Website)
 Chef Ludo Lefebvre is one of the most influential chefs in Los Angeles dining, pioneering and revolutionizing the culinary industry. After training in France for 12 years with the great masters Ludovic—or “Ludo”—Lefebvre came to Los Angeles to quickly be awarded prestigious Mobil Travel Guide Five Star Award at two different restaurants, L’Orangerie in 1999 and 2000 and Bastide in 2006. He then went to challenge the definition of what a restaurant is, by creating his uber-popular LudoBites concept, a multi-city restaurant tour. 

Ludo now carries the flag for "refined"dining in Los Angeles with his restaurant Trois Mec, which has been named both Esquire and GQ Magazines list of Best New Restaurants and topped the list for both Los Angeles Magazine and LA Weekly. Additionally Trois Mec earned the top spot on Food & Wine Magazine's Best Restaurant Dishes of the Year for 2013. Trois Mec was recently just named Best Restaurant in Los Angeles for second consecutive year by LA Weekly. In July 2014 Ludo opened his new "Bar a la carte" concept, Petit Trois, which has quickly received serious praise from LA’s top food critics. Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Gold said: “there may be no better plate of escargot in town than at the new Petit Trois.” LA Weekly’s Besha Rodell,  simply said, “the best omelette I have ever had. It is not the only dish at Petit Trois that falls into this category. Let's see, what else? The best jambon beurre sandwich. The best croque-monsieur. The best escargot.”Angeleno Magazine’s Lesley Balla called it “Petit Perfection.”

Not only does Ludo operate the best restaurants in Los Angeles, but he is quickly becoming known as a master of an American favorite, fried chicken, with his highly successful LudoBird concept that stands brightly on the main course of LA’s premiere event entertainment venue, STAPLES Center.
Ludo has been named one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Chefs” by Relais & Chateaux and was nominated by the James Beard Foundation for a “Rising Star Chef” Award. Ludo also stars in the ABC hit cooking competition, The Taste, which will begin airing Season 3 on December 4, 2014.
Ludo is the author of two cookbooks, LudoBites, Recipes and Stories from the Pop-Up Restaurants of Ludo Lefebvre and Crave, A Feast of the Five Senses which first edition sold out and will be re-released in a special 10th Anniversary limited edition December 16, 2014. (This Information taken from abc The Taste Website)




Mussels Velouté with Curry











Mussel Velouté with Curry 


6 appetizer servings 

ingredients

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup good-quality dry white wine 
2 pounds of black mussels, scrubbed and debearded
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder 
4 fresh chervil springs 
4 fresh peppermint springs 

preparation 

Melt the butter in a heavy 5-QT pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the mussels. Cover and cook just until the mussels open, about 2 minutes. Stir the mussels in the cooking liquid and cook for 2 minutes longer. Discard any mussels that do not open. Using tongs, transfer the mussels to a large bowl; cover loosely to keep them warm. Strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh strainer and into a large glass measuring cup; discard the shallots. Return the cooking liquid to the pot. Add the cream and the curry powder. Cover and steep for 5 minutes over low heat.  Divide the mussels and cooking liquid among 4 wide shallow bowls. Garnish with the chervil and peppermint. Serve immediately. Enjoy! 
















20.3.15

Help Donate Pasta to Northern IL Food Bank #RanaRavioliChallenge for National Ravioli Day!



When Giovanni Rana asked me to help in a day-long social media celebration of ravioli and charitable giving today as it's National Ravioli Day! 
Giovanni Rana, synonymous with authentic, Italian pasta, is partnering with your local food bank to fight against hunger and encourage spending time with family and friends during the #RanaRavioliChallenge.






Giving back to my community is very important to me. #agirlgivesback 

Do you know that 1 out of 5 people are hungry??

I am VERY lucky to have every meal, every day provided. Please join me help solve hunger by simply using a hashtag and Rana will donate pasta to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. 

I ask you today to head onto your social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtag #RanaRavioliChallenge and Giovanni Rana will donate 1LB of pasta to the Northern Illinois Food Bank! 









19.3.15

Butternut Squash Fries with Curry Dipping Sauce





Let's be honest here, there is no true substitute for the classic french fry.  But if you are going to go in that direction, I will tell you, sweet potato fries are out, and butternut squash fries are in! Not only are they lower in carbs than sweet potatoes, but they also oven-roast to such a delicious and crispy state that I promise you will be impressed and glad you made the switch.  If you dip 'em in curry sauce... Wowzers!  That's all I can say.  Curry + Butternut Squash is a match made in heaven.   Trust me.  I use a curry dipping sauce made with kefir and veganaise, and is actually super healthy for you. With each dip in the curry sauce, you get probiotics and calcium from the kefir, omega 3-acids from the veganise, and the spices that make up the curry help fight Alzheimer's and cancer. 








Butternut Squash Fries + Curry Dipping Sauce 

ingredients

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into evenly-sized fries 
Olive oil to toss 
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, place the cut butternut squash and drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Also your hands to coat and toss evenly. Pour fries onto a rimmed baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt or pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes, then carefully flip fries over using tongs.  Bake for 20 minutes more or until tender and browned on edges.



Curry Dipping Sauce 

ingredients
1/2 cup of plain unsweetened kefir

1/8 cup of Veganaise (healthy substitute to  mayonnaise) 
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon lime juice or juice of 1/2 lime 
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Note: You can substitute Kefir with Greek yogurt 1 1/2 cups not not use Veganise. 

preparation

In a medium bowl, mix together the kefir, veganaise, curry powder, lime juice,  salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. You want the dipping sauce to be smooth and not clumpy. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving. Enjoy! 
(I LOVE Lifeway Kefir)



17.3.15

Halibut Ceviche with Avocado







We had a taste of 70-degree weather yesterday that made me crave a cold margarita and ceviche, while sitting al fresco in the warm sun. Luckily for me, Whole Foods is having a sale on halibut, so I picked some up to make an afternoon snack. This refreshing dish is surprisingly really easy to make, and sure to make you dream of summertime.




Halibut Ceviche with Avocado 
Serves 4

ingredients 

For the ceviche:
1- 6 ounce wild-caught halibut fillet, deboned and skin removed, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest of one lemon
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice 

For the "Salad": 
Juice of two large limes
1 tomato, diced 
1 serrano chile, finely minced 
2 Tablespoons, fresh cilantro chopped (if you don't like cilantro use parsley) 
1 small avocado, pitted and diced 
4 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced 
1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar 
1 Tablespoon of olive oil 
Salt and fresh ground pepper 
Lime wedges to serve 

Fresh jicama slices or Tortilla chips

preparation

For the ceviche:  
In a glass or ceramic baking dish, combine the halibut, lemon juice, lime juice, lemon zest and salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for approximately 3 hours.  Halfway through the "cooking" time, stir up the mixture to redistribute the marinade. 

For the "salad": 
I will generally hold off on this step until when the ceviche is almost cooked and I am ready to serve the dish. 
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the tomatoes, chiles, avocado, green onions, cilantro, agave, lime juice and olive oil. Stir to mix well.

Combine the ceviche and the salad together in the bowl, and mix well. Spoon into serving glasses to immediately enjoy.  Tortilla chips or jicama slices are great tools to scoop up the ceviche.  Enjoy!