Friday, October 26, 2012

Clean Food Cooking Demos and Cookbook Signings with Terry Walters!

I've been looking forward to this weekend for a while because one of my food heroes will be in town! Temps will be in the 60s this weekend, which is perfect weather to enjoy the foliage and a perfect Saturday at the Union Square Farmers Market here in Somerville, MA with my favorite Cookbook Author and clean eating expert Terry Walters set up for a cooking demo and book signing! I met Terry a little over a year ago and wrote about here.

If you can't make it to the market tomorrow, Terry will also be speaking on Sunday at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival. Check out the full details here: Let me know if you plan to come to both or either so we can connect in person. :-)

Terry just published an update of her best-selling Clean Food, which changed the way I approach cooking. I love how she makes clean cooking approachable. Terry is nonjudgmental about food while sharing her knowledge of whole foods and pantry staples with easy instructions and descriptions of why and how she suggests using the ingredients she does. She'll be demonstrating and sampling the following recipe from her book:

Apple Squash Soup

THIS SWEET, SILKY AND UPLIFTING DISH is the quintessential fall soup. I serve it to friends and family and even send it to school for my children’s lunches. Pair it with a salad or some sautéed greens and grains for an easy and satisfying meal.

1 large butternut squash
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 large apples, peeled, cored and quartered
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup rice milk
1⁄4 cup coconut milk
1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt

Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Cut into 2-inch pieces.
In large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until soft (about 5 minutes). Add squash, apples, stock,
rice milk, coconut milk and nutmeg. Cover, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes
or until squash is soft. Purée with handheld blender and remove from heat to cool slightly. Season to
taste with salt and serve.


About Terry:

"The cleaner we eat, the clearer we think, and the better we can embrace good health and nutrition.”  - CLEAN FOOD, PAGE 1

Terry is about eating clean and living well. She believes in nourishing yourself with nutrient-rich foods in a rainbow of colors and a full spectrum of tastes. Terry is about taking time to shop for, prepare, share and enjoy your meals and mealtime. She is about eating foods from living plants, not processing plants. She is about listening to your body and serving your unique being. She is about being empowered with knowledge. And most importantly, Terry is about making healthy choices that nourish our bodies, our families, our communities and our environment. One choice at a time, with intention and compassion for our selves and our planet, we can eat clean and live well.  (source:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

TODAY: Boston Local Food Festival

The Boston Local Food Festival is TODAY, SUNDAY OCTOBER 7 from 11-5 at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. I've volunteered for the last two years and am on my way there to help out again this year, but wanted to get this post out because if you're in New England, this event is not to be missed!

From the Festival's website (

The FREE festival is Boston's premier food festival promoting the joys of eating local food and includes local farmers, some of the best restaurants in New England, specialty foods, Fishstock and a Seafood Throwdown, Meat Cutting Demos, Chef Demos,Family Fun Zone. and loads of local live musicians on the The River 92.5FM stages.  The Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) educational component allows amateur and professionals the opportunity to showcase their skills with festival-goers.

Here's a map to help you navigate:

I hope to see you there!

Eat local!! :-)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Creamy Tomato Bisque (without the cream)

Creamy tomato soup with crumbled goat feta
I did top my bowl with some marinated goat feta from the farmers market... and it was a good move!
Pumpkins, squash, beets, and potatoes are taking over the local farmers markets, but I've been savoring the last of local, fresh tomatoes. My harvest was very modest this year, so I've bought over 20 pounds in the last month from Kimball Fruit Farm at the Union Square Farmers Market so I could can and dry some and make tomato soup with the rest.

Speckled Roman tomatoes are known for their meatiness. They have few seeds and make great sauces and pastes.
Finding a tasty tomato soup on a menu isn't hard, but they're often full of sodium, saturated fat and excess butter and oil. Heavy cream isn't needed to make a delicious tomato soup, though. Neither is butter, flour, or tons of salt. What you really need is quality tomatoes and fresh basil, parsley and generous amounts of dried oregano, and thyme! I've adapted Tal Ronnen's recipe for Tomato Bisque from The Conscious Cook a few times and finally have a version I like, although it's different every time and I confess, I haven't been using measuring cups at all! I made this soup last night and once again, cashew cream stood in for heavy cream and you would never know the difference. The soup came out creamy, rich, and delicious!

1/2 c cashew cream (Recipe here)
5 lbs fresh tomatoes (plum, roma, san marzano will work best. I used speckled roman. Canned tomatoes work, too!)
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tb dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small rib (organic) celery, chopped
1/3 c fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Can you see the skins peeling off?
If using fresh tomatoes: Set a bowl of cold water with a few ice cubes in it next to the stove. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Cut "X"s in the bottom of the tomatoes and drop them in the boiling water until the skins start to peel away (this usually happens in less than a minute). Transfer tomatoes to ice water bath using a slotted spoon until they cool enough so you can handle them. Peel the skins off, slice in half, and discard excess seeds (there won't be many if you use plum-shaped tomatoes). 
Note: Don't try to remove the tomato from the boiling water with your hand. It hurts. Trust me. 
Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt here to bring out the sweetness of the onion. When the onion is translucent, add the oregano, thyme, carrot, and celery. Stir and continue to saute until veggies soften. While the veggies are sauteing, chop the tomatoes.

Don't go overboard with the carrots or celery. 
Once all the veggies are soft, add the tomatoes. Give the pot a good stir and adjust heat if necessary. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, but up to 3 hours. The longer soup simmers, the more time the flavors have to get to know each other ;-)
Fresh tomatoes mean this soup tastes nothing like Campbell's!
Once the tomatoes have broken down and the soup has come together, stir in the cashew cream and blend the soup using an immersion blender (you can use a stand-up blender, but don't fill it more than 2/3 full and cover the top with a dish towel, as hot liquids tend to explode blenders). Leave some big chunks of tomato or blend it until perfectly smooth... totally your call!
This pot of soup simmered for about an hour, filling the whole house with the aroma of warm tomatoey deliciousness. 

Just before serving, add the freshly chopped parsley and basil ribbons. Ladle into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes. Bread and cheese are natural choices, but it might be fun to get creative and make some croutons out of a whole wheat sourdough or use a less obvious cheese choice.
I submerged some homemade croutons in the bottom of my bowl and topped it with some goat feta.
James loaded his with Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and croutons.
Enjoy your tomato soup!