Sesame-Ginger Steamed Broccoli

No steamer basket required for this recipe. A modest amount of liquid in a standard skillet steams the broccoli to perfection.

  • 1 lb. broccoli, cut into medium florets (6 cups loosely packed)
  • 2 Tbs. mirin or sake
  • 1 Tbs. tamari
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds

Place broccoli, mirin, tamari, ginger, oil, and 1/4 cup water in large (2- to 3-qt.) skillet. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Steam 4 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender. Sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.

Per 1-cup serving:

  • Calories: 57
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Total Fat: 2 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 264 mg
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1 g

Super Bowl Sandwiches



Canola oil, for frying
6 oz. sliced mozzarella
8 slices white sandwich bread
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain bread crumbs


Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Divide mozzarella slices among 4 slices bread; season with salt and pepper, and cover with remaining slices to make 4 sandwiches. Trim crusts; halve sandwiches diagonally. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Dredge sandwiches in flour, coat in eggs, and coat in bread crumbs; fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Super Bowl Salsa



1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1½ tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 jalapeños, stemmed and minced
½ small red onion, minced


In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients; serve at room temperature.

Emerald Veggies with Honey-Sesame Dressing

A bamboo steamer is used to lightly cook an assortment of vegetables that are then tossed in a dressing with ground, toasted sesame seeds.

  • 1 medium bok choy, separated into leaves (¾ lb.)
  • ½ lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • ⅓ cup hulled sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. low-sodium tamari
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar

1. Set bamboo steamer over 1 inch simmering water in large skillet. Fill medium bowl with ice water.

2. Arrange bok choy leaves in steamer. Cover, and steam 5 to 6 minutes, or until leaves turn bright green. Plunge bok choy into ice water. Drain, and pat dry. Slice, and transfer to serving bowl.

3. Arrange green beans in steamer. Cover, and steam 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon, plunge into ice water, then drain, and pat dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces, and add to bok choy.

4. Arrange broccoli florets in steamer. Cover, and steam 3 minutes, or until tender. Plunge into ice water, then drain and pat dry. Add to bok choy mixture.

5. Toast sesame seeds in small skillet over very low heat 5 minutes, or until golden, gently shaking pan often. (Watch closely—seeds can scorch quickly.) Grind toasted seeds with mortar and pestle or in food processor until just flaky, about 12 seconds. Transfer ground seeds to small bowl. Stir in tamari, honey, vinegar, and 1 Tbs. water. Toss vegetables with sesame seed dressing.

If you don’t have a steamer, you can blanche the vegetables for the same length of time for the same effect. 

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 127
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Total Fat: 7 g
  • Saturated Fat: <1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 417 mg
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 7 g

The Fungus Among Us

Commonly considered a vegetable, mushrooms are actually a fungus, and they are delicious and nutritious. Often added to a salad or served as a side dish, mushrooms are rarely acknowledged as a source of many health-promoting nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, which have been linked to decreased risk of chronic diseases.

Nutritional Information

Each variety of mushroom will have a slightly different caloric count, but if you eat one cup of raw, white mushrooms, you will consume 15 calories. This serving size contains 0.5 grams of fiber and just over 1 gram of carbohydrates. With this serving, you will also have 1 gram of protein.


Crimini mushrooms are high in many vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B-5,  a vitamin essential for metabolism. They are very good sources of other B vitamins, including B-1 and B-6, and a good source of folic acid, which is involved in the proper function of red blood cells and in the synthesis of DNA. Mushrooms varieties such as portobello and crimini contain antioxidants, helping to slow down the aging and destruction of cells within the body. Vitamins also provide a source of vitamin D, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Mushrooms are an excellent source of many minerals, including selenium, a powerful antioxidant, in addition to potassium and phosphorous. One 5 oz serving provides 35 percent of the daily value of copper. They are a very good source of manganese and zinc, which regulates nerve impulses and hormone release, and a good source of calcium and iron.


Many varieties of mushrooms are available at your local market, including crimini mushrooms, which are similar in appearance to white button mushrooms, but with a darker coffee color, deeper flavor and greater nutrient density. Portobello mushrooms are large and meaty, making them suited to be served as entrees. Porcini mushrooms have a long, fleshy stalk and pores on the underside of their cap, while oyster mushrooms have a tender, velvety texture.

Serving Suggestions

Mushrooms are tasty sliced and added to salads, or as a companion to carrots and celery next to your favorite dip. Since important nutrients can be destroyed or diminished by overcooking mushrooms, it is healthiest to saute them for a few minutes. Use veggie broth instead of oil and try them with garlic or onions.

Monkey Bread


18 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
3¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup milk
1¼ cup granulated sugar
2 (¼-oz.) packages active dry yeast
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ cup packed light brown sugar

Serves 8-10


1. Grease a 10″ bundt pan with butter and dust with flour; set aside. Whisk flour and salt in a bowl; set aside. Heat 2 tbsp. butter with milk and ⅓ cup water in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until an instant-read thermometer reads 115°. Transfer to a mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Stir in ¼ cup granulated sugar and yeast; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.  With the motor running, slowly add dry ingredients; beat until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

2. Combine remaining granulated sugar with cinnamon in a large bowl. Melt remaining butter in a 2-qt. saucepan; whisk in brown sugar and set aside.

3. Heat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, pat dough out into an 8″ square about 1″ thick. Cut dough into 1-inch pieces. Toss dough with cinnamon sugar mixture, and then fit snugly into prepared bundt pan. Pour butter mixture evenly over dough; bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Torshi Seer… Pickled Garlic Persian style

Fermenting whole heads of garlic in a vinegar and wine solution with honey and dried barberries gives the garlic a mellow, complex sweetness and pungency in this Persian pickle.



  • 4 heads garlic
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup dried barberries
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme


Place garlic in a sterilized 1-qt. glass jar; set aside. Bring balsamic and red wine vinegars, barberries, honey, salt, and thyme to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan; pour over garlic, place lid on jar, and let cool to room temperature. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 weeks before serving.

An Italian Sunday..

For a crowd-pleasing weekend meal, serve this menu and plenty of red wine for a comforting Italian-American feast.


The dish is a lean cut of beef pounded thin, then spread with a layer of grated cheese, fresh herbs, bits of prosciutto, raisins, and pine nuts, then rolled, tied, seared, and simmered for hours in tomato sauce.


⅓ cup raisins
5 tbsp. chopped parsley
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
12 6″x 4″ slices boneless beef chuck, pounded to 116” thickness
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
½ cup red wine
½ tsp. red chile flakes
2 (28-oz.) cans whole, peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed by hand
1 bay leaf
Garlic bread, for serving

Serves 6


1. To make the filling, mix together raisins, 4 tbsp. parsley, pine nuts, Parmesan, and garlic in a bowl; set aside. Place a slice of beef on a work surface perpendicular to you, season with salt and pepper, and place about 1 tbsp. filling on the bottom half; starting with the filled half, roll beef up around the filling into a tight cylinder. Secure roll with toothpicks, and repeat with remaining beef and filling.

2. Heat oil in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add beef rolls, and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add onion to pot, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring to scrape bottom of pot, until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in chile flakes, tomatoes, and bay leaf, and then return beef rolls to pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered partially and gently stirring occasionally, until meat is cooked through and tender, about 2 hours.

3. Remove meat rolls from sauce, remove toothpicks, and transfer to a serving platter; continue cooking sauce until reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Pour sauce over meat rolls, and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly…. the Banana

Americans like their bananas, eating more than 10 pounds per person a year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Like other fruits, bananas make a healthy addition to your diet. They are a good source of energy and contain nutrients that keep your body healthy.  Bananas are packed with benefits for your body, and they make a convenient snack for any time of day. Bananas may even be good for your brain and help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. They benefit athletes, too, since they can help prevent muscle cramps

Nutritional Highlights…

One medium-sized banana contains 110 calories. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Each banana holds about 3 grams of fiber, which is 12 percent of your daily requirement. Bananas contain the minerals potassium and manganese. They also contain B vitamins, including folate, riboflavin and niacin. They’re a particularly good source of vitamin B-6, which helps produce antibodies and hemoglobin while maintaining healthy nerve function and blood glucose levels. One medium banana contains 15 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Potassium is required for healthy functioning of your nervous system and muscles. If you’re deficient in potassium, your muscles can get tired and weak, and you may experience painful cramps.

Medicial Highlights…

In a study published in the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” in 2014, scientists investigated the effect of bananas on glucose levels. In an animal study, they induced diabetes — a condition of glucose levels being too high — and then gave the rats banana extract. They concluded the banana extract hindered carbohydrate absorption, which has an anti-diabetic effect. But the effects of eating bananas on diabetes in humans hasn’t been examined. In another study on rats, published in the “Journal of Dietary Supplements” in 2009, scientists found that banana flavonoids lowered levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids and fatty acids. This effect hasn’t been tested in humans.

Risotto with a twist.

I apologize for such a long delay in posting. It seems like the start of every quarter I have to adjust to my new class and work schedule. Today’s recipe is currently being worked on in the restaurant in the coming weeks but risotto also happens to be my best friends favorite dish, well it seems that way, he makes it all the time. So this is for all of you guys to enjoy

Serves 4–6

6 cups chicken stock
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
8 oz. hen of the woods, chanterelle, or morel mushrooms, cleaned and halved if large
3 medium shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1¾ cups (12 oz.) orzo
1 tsp. freshly grated Meyer lemon zest, plus 1 tbsp. juice
1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup cream
½ cup finely grated parmesan, plus more for serving

Heat chicken stock in a small saucepan over medium heat; set aside and keep warm. Heat butter in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add mushrooms and cook until golden, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to a bowl; set aside. Add shallots and garlic to saucepan; cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add orzo, zest, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Add reserved stock ¼ cup at a time, cooking until each addition is absorbed before adding next amount. Cook, stirring often, until liquid has all been used and orzo is tender, about 30 minutes. Add cream and cook, stirring, until liquid is creamy, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in reserved mushrooms, lemon juice, parmesan, salt, and pepper; serve with additional parmesan on the side.

To make it vegan friendly, substitute chicken stock for veg and use a non flavored but creamy cream milk substitute.