easy

Recipes Gone Wild: Springbok ‘n’ Rolls

I learned a new word this weekend: pronking. It’s what animals like springboks, gazelles, and antelopes do when they bounce up into the air, getting all four hooves off the ground. Here’s a clip of some springboks pronking about, all excited about fresh grass. The word comes from the Afrikaaner verb pronk, meaning to “show off” or “strut,” as in “Oh hey there, hungry lion! See how fit I am? Now why would you waste a perfectly lovely afternoon chasing me?” The moral of the story is don’t chase springboks (unless you’re a cheetah). Lunch will NEVER make it to the table. Make fresh spring rolls instead.  They taste awesome, are quick and easy to make, and will give you so much clean energy that you’re gonna wanna pronk all day long! Continue reading

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Easy Like Sunday Morning Coconut Macaroons!

When a friend invites you to a party and you ask, “Can I bring anything?” be prepared for “How about dessert?” And if you don’t want to take the easiest route and go to the bakery, try this incredibly simple and festive macaroon recipe.

Aside from how tasty they are, there are two things I love about this recipe: 1. most of the ingredients (aside from coconuts) are in my cabinets and 2. I can easily remember all the ingredients. They also survived despite our wonky oven temperature fluctuations. Continue reading

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Recipe: Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos (Vegan)

This recipe is one of those vegan recipes you can put in front of any carnivore with no need to specify. Not because it tastes like meat, but because it is gosh darn delicious!
A vegetarian friend told us about Vegucated, a documentary that made him turn vegan. We put off watching the documentary, knowing that it would motivate us to make the switch, too. After we finally watched it, Jon and I looked at each other and said, “We have to, right?” I won’t go into detail, but I will tell you that if you are an animal lover, then even cheese is not really that cool. Animal cruelty aside, don’t even talk about global warming if you eat meat. The amount of energy it takes to make meat, from the water and petroleum based fertilizers to grow the animal feed through processing the final “product” is astounding. Why can’t we just live in ignorant bliss?
So now we are vegans! (That was a sarcastic exclamation point.) Well we are vegan-ish; we are not perfect. It’s been difficult to retrain our brains but we are surviving and Jon is really a vegan whiz chef. The idea to make these Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos just popped into his head. As a tough fish taco critic, I think these are a lot better than fish tacos. And that isn’t the vegan talking.

Baja Style Oyster Mushroom Tacos
• Make a beer batter with some flour and beer, salt and pepper. The batter should be the consistency of thick pancake batter and not too watery. Coat oyster mushrooms in the batter and deep fry in vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
• Top with chipotle mayo, which can be easily made by mixing some mayonaise or veganaise with canned chipotle peppers or chipotle sauce in adobo.
• Top with corn salsa, made with chopped red onions, red peppers, corn, tomato, cilantro and lime.
• Top with fresh shredded red cabbage.
• Serve on your choice of corn or flour tortilla.

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Milk and Roses Chef Makes Simple Bread Pudding with Broccoli Rabe, Egg and Chili

egg broccoli rabe bread chiliThe most satisfying dishes are often the most easy and simple to prepare. When I met with Chance Jones, the new chef at Greenpoint’s Milk n’ Roses, a cafe and wine bar that has just rolled out a new menu, I asked him to show us how to make the simplest dish on the menu.

He chose the Acuasale all’Uovo, which is Traditional Southern Italian Bread Pudding, Broccoli Rabe, Soft Egg & Chili.

This was the first time I have ever seen bread being boiled! It was a fascinating technique and the results were very delicious.

Boil day old bread with chopped and clean broccoli rabe in generously salted boiling water. Meanwhile, fry an egg in chili oil, and top it with more chili flakes. Cover it. Then drain the bread and broccoli rabe and toss with more chili oil. Add the egg on top and that is it!

It was the perfect rainy day lunch.

Don’t you agree that Milk n’ Roses should add this simple hearty dish to their brunch menu?

I am definitely going to try to make this at home… perhaps sweeten it with some milk and honey (no egg of course!) and maybe top it will some berries.

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(EASY) RECIPE: PEACH BOATS

Some of the best snacks are the healthiest and simplest. Peach season is here so make a peach boats! They are succulent, sweet, savory, crunchy and tangy – basically everything that is awesome, in one big juicy bite. A great appetizers at a BBQ, they take no time to prepare. Cut each peach in half and remove the pit. Stuff it with crumbled bleu cheese, top it with almonds (walnuts & pecans are great, too) then drizzle balsamic glaze* on top. That’s it!

Also called Balsamic Vinegar Creme, you can find it at The Garden (921 Manhattan Ave) Or, you can just reduce balsamic vinegar down until it’s thick and syrupy. It last until forever in your fridge and is perfect over ice cream and salads, too.

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EASY & DELICIOUS: PULLED PORK FROM THE MEAT HOOK

After a long and tiring week, I said, “Jon, what do you want? I will cook you anything in the entire world!”
“Spaghetti Bolognese,” he said. It’s always spaghetti bolognese.

I went to The Meat Hook to get the the good meat, the kind Jon jokes that they “hug to death” and I saw pints of pulled pork next to pints of BBQ sauce and in my periphery I spotted potato rolls. No brainer.

He didn’t ask for Pulled Pork Sammies, but when he sunk his teeth into these delicious little suckers and washed it down with a cold beer on the side, Bolognese wasn’t on his mind.

Sometimes, when you’re cooking for 2, it makes total sense to buy prepared food. The entire meal cost about $20, which is way cheaper than buying a pork shoulder and much cheaper than going out to eat.

It’s really satisfying to sit down to a beautifully “plated” and delicious meal, even though I didn’t make it from scratch because I wasn’t deliriously tired, I wasn’t scrutinizing my creation and I didn’t have a sink full of dishes looming.

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Pick A Card: Pink Serissa

Terrarium at Go! GreenpointThis game is fun! I randomly pick a business card from a pickle jar and introduce a local business.  Today I grabbed a card that said Pink Serissa Terrariums. We love terrariums around here! I remember seeing these lovely and unique terrariums at the Go Green! Greenpoint Earth Day Festival in McCarren Park a few weeks back.

There were underwater and hanging terrariums, and plants that required no soil, which blew my mind. I remember the prices to be very reasonable. The website needs updating, but the Pink Serissa Etsy Store was informative with beautiful photographs.

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Recipe: Broccoli Taco (or Braco)

The Braco - Broccoli Tacos

I go insane over broccoli. If I had to chose one only food to eat everyday, you guessed it: broccoli! Boil it, bake it, roast it, grill it, steam it, fry it, pie it – any which way, it is the best vegetable. And as a cruciferous vegetable, it’s also anti-carcinogenic. Not a bad thing considering I live directly over the plume!

While having a romantic dinner with my wife (wondering what that means? read here.) at No. 7, the restaurant in Fort Greene from the same owners as No. 7 Sub on Manhattan Ave, we ordered an exclusively vegetarian meal. This is very unlike us. When Julie returned from the dark side of being a vegetarian, we celebrated with a Sausage Party, and it’s been dirty jokes and meaty dinners ever since. But sometimes the vegetarian options will surprise you, and they are often overlooked because you think, I’m out, I might as well eat meat! If you want a lighter meal, go veggie; you will certainly leave feeling less stuffed.

Cheesy Bacon Gordita Crunch - Limited Time at Taco Bell

The Double Decker Broccoli Taco we ate was amazing, so I had to try it at home. It is basically the healthy vegetarian version of a Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell. (Don’t act like you don’t dream about it!) But with the braco, a hard taco is stuffed with feta cheese and broccoli, around which a black bean smeared soft taco is wrapped, then the whole thing is topped with pine nuts and hot sauce! Not only are the flavors happily married but the texture of the soft taco spooning the hard taco is quite a fiesta in your mouth.

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Recipe: Daikon Cheddar Sandwich

I think I learned this sandwich from a German person. It seems like something German people would eat. Maybe it’s the pumpernickel bread. Either way it is the most delicious (and vegetarian) sandwich ever!
The first time I had it, it was with your standard grade european radish, but here I used daikon slices, which I find every week at the Greenmarket.

Simply butter pumpernickel bread, top it with cheddar cheese and any type of radish. It’s fresh, crunchy, buttery & cheesy. (Note: the fresh oregano is just a green garnish to pretty up the otherwise uncolorful photograph, but it might be delicious on there, too!)

If you have any great recipes to share, please send them to greenpointers (at) gmail.com. The goal is to make a Greenpointers Community Cookbook, the spiral bound kind your Mom has, but with illustrations from local artists.

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