March 17, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend With Simply Beautiful Eating

Green isn’t limited to shamrocks and leprechauns. At this epic spread, it’s the inspiration for a healthy, yet hearty lunch that offers a spread of crudités with green goddess dip, mini fruit-topped pavlovas, and iced green tea.

Here’s what comes to mind when I think about St. Patrick’s Day: loads of green food, rainbows, pots of gold, shamrocks and of course, leprechauns. Even if you’re not Irish, you can create, style, cook, bake and host a gorgeous and elegant St. Patrick’s Day party!

This table offers a lush meets luxe dining experience. Think green and leafy intertwined with white and gold accents for your table settings. In keeping with the traditions of this theme, I used all of Martha’s recipes to blend together a wonderful, healthy lunch for family and friends.

One of the most eye-catching details at this table? The four-leaf clover napkins! Since this holiday is always fun and festive, I wanted to try my hand at napkin-folding. The only problem I have with this type of challenge is following instructions. This was a perfect job for my husband to tackle. (I bet you didn’t know that he is an expert napkin folder. Now you do!) He has so much more patience when it comes to tasks like this, it’s wonderful. Here’s how!

One thing I loved doing for an anniversary party I hosted recently, was a DIY garland for the table runner. It was super easy, reasonably priced, and packed a punch as a focal point for a simply beautiful centerpiece. For this garland, I included frisée (pronounced “free-ZAY”), which is used to refer to a variety of endive with curly, pale green or yellow-ish leaves. I created the garland with an edible factor, which is also appealing to the eye.

Let’s get back to the food. I chose these recipes carefully, based on three ingredient colors: green, white, and a pop of gold. For a quick appetizer, I created a wonderful crudité platter with green goddess dip.

My main course dishes were super healthy, green, and packed with protein. A warm quinoa and chicken salad, baby bok choy with ginger and garlic plus a refreshing salad with buttermilk dressing.

Don’t forget a signature mocktail. I served a cool and refreshing iced green tea with cucumber, which paired perfectly with the meal.

Lastly, dessert was easy: mini pavlovas garnished with fruit and a fresh herb that kept the St. Patrick’s day theme going — green grapes, kiwi, and mint.

Wishing you a pot of gold and all the joy your heart can hold.

Here are some quick tips for hosting this party:

Get festive with your food, think green and clean.

Showcase your creativity by cutting foods into pretty themed shapes. For example, a green pepper sliced width-wise looks exactly like a shamrock or four-leaf clover.

Give your tablescape a focal point, like the DIY garland.

Incorporate traditional with a modern twist: a four-leaf clover napkin, gold drinking straws, confetti and a menu filled with color themed food.

Include a signature “green” drink.

Have fun!

Credits
Author/Photographer/Stylist: Debi Traub | @simplybeautifuleating created exclusively for

Martha Stewart Living

Party props: Little Miss Party

Tableware, Props: Pier 1 Imports

Florals: Irene’s Floral

Tableware, Props: HomeSense (U.S. readers can shop similar product at HomeGoods)

View all recipes by clicking on the pictures above

xx, Debi
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March 10, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Two words.

PRETTY PIZZA.

I could probably stop right here and just move forward to the recipe because that’s all you need to know, right?

But of course I can’t go on without my usual and much anticipated ramble.

What inspired me about making this pizza was one simple ingredient – watermelon radishes. I can’t even look at them because they are just too stunning. LOOK AT THIS COLOUR!! A perfect shade of hot pink and a real show stopper for many recipes. Here’s the real story behind me buying ONE, yes ONE watermelon radish.

It’s all because of the popcorn.

Wait.

What?

Yes, popcorn.

Do I still have your attention? If you haven’t scrolled down to the recipe already, I’m going to tell you about my current obsession.

Every night I stuff my face with a good size bowl of low fat popcorn from a very well known company. Before I tell you more, you need to know this. I HATE SHARING MY FOOD. Like HATE. Okay, hate is a very strong word, how about DISLIKE IMMENSELY. Wait. That’s two words, but who cares.

When I go to the movies, I get my very own “pig size” popcorn. If I happen to drop a kernel on my lap while shoveling it in, I get anxious and sweaty. If my husband happens to reach over and steal from my bag when he clearly has his own, that’s grounds for divorce. So  yes, I don’t like anyone in my popcorn space.

The other night, as I was enjoying my bowl of popcorn I noticed that it had a strange, almost sweet taste. I asked Steve to taste it just in case it there was something wrong with ME. This would be the ONLY time I would share this snack because, technically it was yucky. (I actually googled my Med MD website to see if there was a correlation to a change in taste buds due to eating high volumes of popcorn). Ya. That’s how nuts I am.

Then I checked the bag and it was my usual popcorn brand, so I have no idea why it tasted different. I thought about different factory based scenarios that would interfere with the production of MY popcorn. Other than the possibility of a sweet flavour version somehow making its way into the wrong bags on the conveyor belt, I don’t have a clear cut answer. I just wanted MY slightly salted and oh so perfect popcorn, not this sweet crap.

Still with me?

I went to buy another bag of it the next day from a different store. The second I walked in, I spotted these magnificent watermelon radishes and completely forgot about why I was there in the first place. I put ONE radish in the cart, picked up additional ingredients and toppings for a whole wheat pizza and left the store…..

….WITHOUT THE POPCORN.

Wasn’t this worth reading?

NO, but this pizza is worth eating.

WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA WITH BUFFALO MOZZARELLA, GREENS & WATERMELON RADISH

– 1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough (see below)
– ½ teaspoon oregano
– 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh pesto
– 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
– 4 – 5 slices fresh buffalo mozzarella
– 3 cups of mixed greens (I used mixed greens with edible flowers)
– ½ cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
– fresh basil for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 400F. I like to use the convection option for making pizza. If you don’t have this type of oven don’t stress. Just bump up the temperature to 425F
2) Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan by greasing it with butter.
3) Stretch the pizza dough onto the pan. Spread pesto sauce over the dough, sprinkle with oregano and top with sliced watermelon radish. Place buffalo mozzarella over the top of the pizza dough. Sprinkle 1½ cups of the mixed greens over the buffalo mozzarella, then sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella. Bake for 20 -24 minutes or until crust is nicely browned underneath and around the edges. Remove pizza from the oven and top with remaining 1½ cups of mixed greens and basil. Slice and serve hot.

WHOLE WHEAT PIZZA DOUGH

– 1 cup water, heated to 110 degrees
– 1 tablespoon sugar
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) rapid-rise or instant yeast
– 2¾ cups white or regular whole wheat flour (or a combo of both)
– ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
– 1 teaspoon sea salt

1) Whisk water, sugar, oil and yeast in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes. It should puff up.
2) Pulse flour, parmesan cheese, and salt in food processor until combined. While running the food processor, slowly pour in the water mixture and process for one minute until a rough looking ball forms.
3) Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and quickly knead dough a few times until it comes together. Cut your dough in half if your are making two smaller pizzas or use the entire ball for a large pizza.
4) On your floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough as thinly as possible. Place into prepared pan and stretch it out with your fingers if it bounces back. It can get sticky so dip your fingers lightly into oil to help it spread. Once you have all your toppings on, brush the edges of the dough with olive oil.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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January 13, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I’m sorry but it’s hard.

Every week I go through the same drudgery. What to do for an easy weeknight meal? And what about all those pots, pans and utensils? Wash and dry, wash and dry, wash and dry. Ugh  MAKE IT STOP!

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That’s why this one pan meal is so great   I’m just going to refer to it as Four Breasts and a Pan (rated PG 13 because, well, there are naked breasts involved).

I featured my tablescape last week, which included a fresh greenery garland complete with lemons and limes. Do you know how many lemons and limes were on that table? An obscene amount. What was I supposed to do with these afterwards?

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Well….

When life gives you lemons you clearly need to make a sh&*t load of chicken or one big ass lemon pie. I opted for the one pan meal deal because, frankly I have had my fill of sweets in the past few weeks. Speaking of which, I received a gift of cookies from my son’s future mother-in-law and was methodically going through the tin night after night. It contained some of my favourites from the past years, and to be honest, once I get a hold of these I count the days until I get another delivery next year. Now, here’s where the story begins………you knew I would have a story with these cookies right?

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My first mistake was leaving the container in full view on the counter. Not to say I don’t share, but what I should have done was clearly mark the “no touch ones” in the container or better yet, separate them and HIDE them for ME.

I know what you’re thinking. SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH.

This is what I have to say to that.

I DON’T CARE.

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Where am I going with this? Oh ya. I went down to make myself a nice cup of tea the other night, which included a sweet treat from “the container”. When I opened “the container”, this is what I saw……

Crumbs. Just crumbs.

And then, I turned to glare at my husband, who sheepishly looked up at the ceiling lights and tried to ignore me.

Only 341 more days until those cookies come around again Steve…..ONLY 341.

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How did I get from breasts to cookies? Oh ya, I opted for this fairly healthy meal because:

A. It’s easy to make.

B. It’s got chicken in it.

C. There’s only one pan to clean up afterwards and,

D. I used a few of the lemons up so there was no chance of me making something sweet and fattening with them.

ONE PAN LEMON CHICKEN WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS

-4 small skinless & boneless chicken breasts (about 1lb )
-½ cup Italian-style bread crumbs
-½ cup panko crumbs
-¼ cup parmesan cheese
-juice and zest of 1 lemon
-about 4 small lemons sliced
-½ teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon of any poultry seasoning (I used an herb one)
-fresh thyme sprigs
-4 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
-2 tablespoons honey (I used organic Manuka)
-2 cups small brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half
-additional oil for drizzling

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1) Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with oil; set aside.
2) Cut chicken breasts in halves then into long tenders about 2 inch wide. (or you can also buy chicken tenders to save yourself from cutting them)
3) Combine the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese one a plate and set aside.
4) Combine the lemon juice, zest, oil, honey, garlic powder, and seasoning in a shallow bowl.
5) Dip chicken pieces one at a time in the lemon oil mixture then into the breadcrumbs and place the tenders on the baking sheet. Top chicken with fresh lemon slices and fresh thyme sprigs then drizzle with remaining lemon oil mixture.
6) Add the brussels sprouts to the pan. Lightly drizzle the chicken and brussels with a tablespoon of oil. Then sprinkle the brussels sprouts with additional parmesan cheese.
7) Bake 20 – 25 minutes or until chicken is golden and and brussels sprouts are tender.

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See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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November 2, 2016

Chef Luke makes Apple + Kale Chips

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Chef Luke and big bro, Gavin got their hands super dirty and doused in olive oil with the most delicious fall snack. Today they are sharing their recipe for Apple + Kale Chips. You’ll find the most fabulous apples and kale at your local farmer’s markets now….Enjoy!

Chef Luke, Chef Gavin and Chef Kathleen’s recipes for Fabulous Fall Snackin’:

Kale Chips: Wash & dry leaves, remove stems & break into bite-sized pieces. Toss with a small amount of oil of your choice (we used about 1/2 Tablespoon for 1 bunch kale) & place on a parchment-lined baking sheet in one thin layer. (One bunch of kale made for 2 large sheet’s worth.) Bake at 275F for about 15-20 minutes, flipping leaves over halfway through. Remove from oven & salt to taste.

Apple Chips: Carefully slice apple into thin rounds with mandolin or knife. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet, making sure slices don’t overlap. Sprinkle with seasonal spices such as cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Bake at 220F for an hour, flip slices over & continue to bake until crisp. (For knife-sliced pieces, this took another hour. Mandolin-sliced pieces should crisp up quicker.)

xx, Seri
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September 30, 2016

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

I have to be honest. The amount of cooking that I actually do lately during the week has drastically dwindled. Now, that’s not withstanding the shoots that are part of Simply Beautiful Eating. Those are created during the weekends, take an entire day and we have loads of leftovers afterwards.

The reason for my lack of cooking is twofold:

1) It’s just the two of us now, so we don’t care if we eat straight out of a pot and;
2) I like going to my yoga class after work.

This would never be possible if I wasn’t married to a great husband who is a wiz in the kitchen. Steve prepares the full meal and all the trimmings and I’m in charge of setting the table, a truly daunting task, wink wink.

So I bet you’re wondering why I’m telling you all of this.

Easy.

The other night, I made a salad. Aren’t you impressed?

This is what happens when I’m in charge.

Kale, Fig & Plum Salad with Goat Cheese

-1 bag of kale salad mix or 5 cups of fresh kale
-2 cups shredded nappa cabbage
-3 – 4 fresh figs, sliced in half
-2 red plums, sliced
-¼ cup goat feta cheese (if you can’t find goat/feta use either one)
-2 tablespoons pine nuts
-2 tablespoons dried fruit, cranberries, raisins or apricots
-Creamy Avocado Poppyseed dressing (recipe below)

Place kale and cabbage on a platter or in a salad bowl. Arrange sliced plums over the top, sprinkle with cheese, nuts and dried fruit. When ready to serve, toss with salad dressing.

Vegan Poppyseed Dressing
-2 tbsp avocado mayonnaise (for this one I used Chosen Foods avocado mayo)
-2 tsp Kozliks balsamic fig & date mustard (if you can’t find this, dijon mustard will do)
-1½ tbsp avocado or olive oil
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
-1 tbsp poppy seeds
-1 garlic glove, peeled and smashed
-dash of kosher salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients well in a blender or food processor. Serve over salad. Can be stored in fridge for up to one week.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating
simplybeautifuleating.com

xx, Debi
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