Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Seasonal Eating’ Category

On Winter Cleansing

We are barely into the New Year, and already I’ve heard people talking about cleanses and detoxes and other extreme eating regimes they are planning for January or February, so I’m just going to come right out and say this: Read more

Head-to-Tail Cooking, Vegetarian Style

photo 2Head-to-tail eating has been all the rage for a few years now.  Chefs such as Fergus Henderson of St. John in London and his compatriot Hugh Fearnsley Whittingstall brought this concept — eating the entire animal, head to tail, so that nothing is wasted — back into style.  American chefs are also exploring this sustainable approach to cooking meat.  Preparing and enjoying food this way makes sense for many reasons: less waste, more nutrients, more mindful use of resources and a greater connection with our ingredients.  

I think we should be bringing this idea to the vegetable world. Why throw away the skins, or the green tops of the beautiful vegetables we find at the farmers’ market, not to mention the vegetables we have nurtured in the garden?  I’m not saying we should be eating banana peels, but I am offering up three ways to use more of the whole vegetable. Read more

Summer Games

I’m announcing a fun, new family game, but first I want to tell you a story, so settle yourself down for a second.

Once upon a time, there was a young Yale student who had been given one of the best educations available in the western world. As he was about to head off to live on his own, this strapping young athlete stood chatting with his mother in the family kitchen.  He turned to her and, pointing to the can of tunafish in his hand, said, “So how long do I need to cook this before it’s done?”  This is a true story, and a worrying one.  I hear stories like this all the time: last week the mother of a college-age daughter relayed that her daughter had called to ask how to turn the pancake batter in the fridge into pancakes.  Another well-educated young woman thought that mashed potatoes came from a box.

We are raising an amazing generation of young people. They can find anything on the Internet, compete in triathalons, design websites, create apps, compose sophisticated dance music, speak multiple languages, start non-profits, ace their ACT’s and build houses in Haiti. What many of them haven’t yet learned is how to perform one of the tasks most essential to human survival — make themselves a meal that will nourish their body, mind and spirit.

People who cook their own food are living healthier, happier lives.  Earlier this year, food journalist Michael Pollan told The New York Times, “We need public health ad campaigns promoting home cooking as the single best thing you can do for your family’s health and well-being.”

The problem is that learning to cook, like learning your multiplication tables, learning to play lacrosse or learning to swim, takes coaching, practice and patience.  It can also make a big mess.  But it is worth it!  It is time to bring the children into the kitchen.

To that end, Good Food Naturally is sponsoring the first annual

Summer Family Cooking Games

Here are the ground rules: Read more

Local and Seasonal: Peaches


I live a bike-ride away from Terhune Orchards, and this week their farm store has been fragrant with the smell of their own, tree-ripened peaches. Presented with all those peaches glowing in the afternoon sunlight, I was prompted to throw together a crumble. It was more than pretty good, so I wanted to share the peach-love. Read more

Eats Shoots and Radishes


I had seen straw hats bobbing about town.  I had glimpsed some brave souls in white trousers.  I had spied some beautiful pedicured be-sandaled feet.  And yes, the birds were singing and the azaleas were popping but I wasn’t convinced that summer had arrived until Thursday.   Thursday was the first day of the Princeton Farmers’ Market.  Phew!  Summer is finally here.

To celebrate here’s a simple farmers’ market lunch: sliced radishes and pea shoots from Chickadee Creek Farm on a slice of  pain au levain from Terra Momo Bread Company, drizzled with olive oil or perhaps even slathered with some wonderful small-batch butter from Valley Shepherd Creamery.  I add a bit of Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper. The bright pink radishes are a perfect complement to the pea shoots which taste sweet, like peas.  But bread you say?  Aren’t you always railing against us eating too much white bread?  Well, yes, but everything in moderation, and the slowly fermented pain au levain is a perfect base for this summer open-faced sandwich. Local. Seasonal. Fresh. Delicious.

To hold radishes in the fridge, keep them in a bowl of water so the roots stay wet.

To hold radishes in the fridge, keep them in a bowl of water so the roots stay wet.

For those of you who remain unconvinced about radishes  — too peppery, too crunchy, too raw —  feel free to sauté or roast them to mute the peppery, crunchy rawness.  Sometimes I grate fresh radishes and toss them with orange slices, olives and mint.  Pea shoots can be added to a salad, or the next stir fry you make.   Get to your nearest Farmers’ Market and start experimenting!   Here is a website that can help you find the market closest to you.  The Princeton Farmers’ Market operates Thursdays from 11 am to 4 pm, Hinds Plaza.  See you there!

A is for Artichokes (and also for Almonds)

IMG_1054Growing up, artichokes were a springtime treat, steamed and served with little ramekins filled with melted butter and lemon juice for dipping the leaves into before we scraped off all that artichokey goodness from the leaves with our teeth. Simplicity in itself. Eventually, I met my darling and was introduced to his mother’s sublime, steamed artichokes stuffed with a magical triumvirate of bread crumbs, parsley and garlic, lovingly laced with extra virgin olive oil.

“What about some Parmesan?” I would ask her, filled with ideas of improvement, “or even Pecorino, maybe some anchovies?”  To which her reply was a shrug, a gesture, the merest raising of an eyebrow to suggest ever so gently that this would be gilding the lily.

We have eaten our artichokes following my mother-in-law’s original recipe for many years, but recently I’ve been searching for a delicious way to enjoy these without all the bread-y stuffing.  Trust me, it is not without trepidation Read more

Baby, It’s Cold Outside



Hold onto your hats everyone,  I am going to come right out and say I disagree with T.S. Eliot …. April is not the cruelest month; that honor goes to February. Think of it; the dark darkness of deep December (which at least had some festivities to keep you going) is past, Read more

Taking Stock From Thanksgiving

Anytime stock pot

After the excesses of Thanksgiving, I like to have a few days of brothy soups to clear the body of all that stuffing. I am always surprised by how easy it is to make a nourishing bowl of aromatic broth from modest beginnings. Think of it — an old carcass, some water and a paltry handful of vegetables, add some heat, skim a bit and soon you have a steaming bowl of flavorful stock — really, turning dust into gold is nothing compared with this type of alchemy.

Read more

Halloween Goodness

Halloween is over (and I’m not even going to go into the issue of what to do with the candy because you know what needs to be done….) The point is that there are still pumpkins to be had in the market, their seeds begging to be rinsed, roasted and eaten. These crunchy gems are a great protein-rich snack, Read more

Snack of the Month: Cherry Tomatoes

I’m always thankful for cherry tomatoes. They are a good source of Vitamins A, C and K as well as potassium, manganese and fiber. I find if I keep a bowl on the kitchen counter, the kids gobble them up. True, they are high in sugar, but better a cherry tomato than a cherry twizzler! They are lovely roasted and tossed in a whole grain salad, as you will see with the farro salad described here.   Roasted or sautéed they are lovely, but there is nothing to compare to the burst of cherry tomato sunshine  just picked off the vine at your local CSA.