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GREEK YOGURT CREMA : A SOUR CREAM SUBSTITUTE

February 2, 2015

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I have a confession to make: I am in deep smit with Greek yogurt lately. While vacationing last summer in Virginia Beach with friends, I was served a salad with a captivatingly unique dressing which I later found out was made from Greek Yogurt. My friend had found the recipe on Pinterest. served it up, and behold – my obsession with transforming Greek yogurt into every creamy condiment under the sun had begun.

 

How many things can I now substitute with Greek yogurt?? How had this brilliance escaped me before? Could I put it on sandwiches? Top warm dishes with it? Give up mayonaise forever? Convert overindulgent dips into protien-rich snacks?

 

 

The answer to all of the above is a resounding YES.

 

 

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Now I find myself adding Greek yogurt to everything. Smoothies, salads, sandwiches, burritos, veggies, spicy foods like biryani and chilis. It is truly a miracle food and its versatility is literally mind boggling.

 

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This simple recipe is my new subsitute for sour cream (and can be used on really anything you enjoy topping with sour cream), but it is especially delicious on dishes like burritos, tacos, chili & baked potatoes. The hint of lime allows it to pair perfectly with any Mexican or Tex-mex dish, such as my Texas Ranch Chili. But don’t fret, the flavor is neutral enough to make it a great match for other sorts of cuisines as well.

 

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GREEK YOGURT CREMA : A SOUR CREAM SUBSTITUTE
 
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A protien-rich substitute for sour cream with a hint of lime, making it perfect to top any Tex-Mex or Mexican dish to cut that heat!
Author:
Recipe type: Topping
Cuisine: Dairy
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Juice of ½ Lime
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Combine greek yogurt in small mixing bowl with lime juice and vinegar
  2. Stir until creamy and smooth. If you prefer a looser consistency, slowly add more vinegar by teaspoon
  3. Add salt and pepper and stir
  4. Serve over your favorite sour-cream lovin’ dish!

 

ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH GARLIC, ALMONDS AND BALSAMIC GLAZE

January 27, 2015

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In the winter, I find myself roasting veggies all the time. Most winter crops  such as root vegetables and cruciferous varieties roast tremendously well. I’ve even been known to roast a few types (such as my sunchokes & roasted radishes) that you wouldn’t normally expect to find on a roasting pan but as it turns out, there is quite a surprising latitude for vegetables that can be deliciously roasted.

 

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My son really loves green beans and we end up eating them all the time just steamed or boiled and I really wanted to change things up with something equally as simple but with a ton more flavor. I love this combination of ingredients with these roasted beans because the sweet and savory are perfectly balanced without overpowering the natural green bean flavor.

 

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Garlic, Sliced Almonds and Balsamic Vinegar just happen to be ingredients I stock regularly so this becomes a really easy go-to side dish for dinner during the week when green beans are looking good at the market.

 

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You can serve these beans hot from the oven as a side and they make excellent cold leftovers thrown over a salad for lunch. It is as easy as it is flavorful. This right here is a what I call a green bean triumph.

 

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ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH GARLIC, ALMONDS AND BALSAMIC GLAZE
 
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A healthy and falvorful vegeble side suitable for a weeknight or when entertaining. Sure to please!
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable, Side Dish
Cuisine: Traditional
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • ¾ lb Organic Green Beans or Haricot Verts
  • ¼ Cup of Sliced Almonds
  • 2 Large Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon balasmic

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the green beans with the almonds, grapeseed oil, salt and pepper until well coated. Spread across a baking sheet, and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the beans start to carmelize. Return roasted to mixing bowl.
  3. Melt the tablespoon of butter and combine with the balsamic until smooth. Drizzle over the beans and toss until evenly coated. Serve and enjoy!

 

SLICES OF LIFE :: SNOW DAY

January 22, 2015

 

It’s definitely wintertime! We’re on our second snowfall and my little town is mostly covered in ice. When you live in a shore town, things obviously sway toward warmer weather. But, I do like the wintertime because it gives us a chance to downshift a little and reflect inward. January has historically been my time to take notes on the past and set new strategies for the future. This holds true for home, family and business.

 

This year I’m taking a brand new approach to Olive and Herb – realizing how much I truly love this creative outlet for myself and how it inspires me to create more in the kitchen for my family and as an artist with my visual craft. My hope for this blog from the beginning was to inspire everyone from foodies to families alike in finding their groove for running an efficient kitchen (no matter how busy their lifestyles are), to show how it can be easy to eat well and from scratch on a daily basis and create images that remind people why food really is such an art. It also is a place for me to be experimental with my own creativity in how I photograph and discover more in the world of art and cuisine. But there is even more to it than that!

 

Screenshot: "Snow Day"

 

A little back story: This Christmas my son was asking for a toy kitchen. I’m not sure where this came from since as far as I know none of his friends have a toy kitchen that he would have had the chance to grow an affection for. As far as I knew, the only kitchen he spent any time in is our full-sized one.

 

In general, his wishlist tends to shift over the time frame leading up to Christmas so I wasn’t putting too much stock in this at first. Then one day I was dropping him off to school and he was looking through a circular of toys and sales and he burst out “Mommy! This is the one! This is what I want from Santa!”. He pointed to a toddler kitchen (and not a very nice one, I would add) and I asked him “You seem pretty excited about the idea of a toy kitchen. Can you tell me why? What would you do with a toy kitchen if you had one?”. He replied sincerely, “If I had a toy kitchen I would be able to cook for you and Daddy and make everyone feel happy – just like you do for us, Mommy.”.

 

Well, obviously I went immediately to purchase a toy kitchen for him after my heart, pure liquid from the flash fire melting it had just encountered, had somewhat solidified.

 

It occurred to me that cooking isn’t just something we do to nourish ourselves and our families. It’s something much, much more. It’s a way of showing and giving love and nuturing. It’s something to enjoy and share and teach and grow.

 

Screenshot: "Snow Day"

Screenshot: "Snow Day"

 

So, I decided there must also be a fun way to communicate that – and what better way than to encorporate a little video series that can truly give a peek into how I see life in the kitchen and how it can stretch outward. From cooking with kids, community and my genuine love for the beauty that is food. I hope these little vignettes will inspire you to embrace your kitchens as places that cook up and serve healthy portions of love!

 

The first one takes place on the day of our very first snowfall of 2015 and follows my little guy and myself in our journey to make a cozy hot chocolate together. You can find the complete recipe here!