Hippie Rice

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By Freya Bellin

The 60s may be behind us, but this recipe is sure to please your nostalgic inner hippie. It is undeniably healthy, and the ingredients work together in a really unique and flavorful way. Nutty brown rice is sweetened by raisins, complemented by sunflower seeds, and balanced out by fresh broccoli. I love the heat that the red chile flakes add, and toasting the sunflower seeds adds a lot of flavor. The raisins get nice and plump when mixed in with the warm ingredients, and while they may seem out of place with broccoli, they’re really an excellent sweet accent. Next time I would actually increase the measurement to about 1/2 cup.

Its being a one-pot dish is big plus. You toast the sunflower seeds, cook the rice, and steam the broccoli all in the same saucepan. Just be careful not to add too much water with the rice, otherwise the rice and broccoli can get mushy. Better to err on the side of too little and add more as you go. The result is a hearty side dish that’s special enough that you’ll be excited to serve it, but also simple enough that you can add it to your weeknight repertoire. The olive oil and lemon juice that are added at the end create a nice, simple dressing, and I added a bit more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pretty much any protein—simply seasoned chickpeas would work, or up the hippie ante with tofu, mentioned below.  Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook.

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Posted in American, Vegan

Grilled or Broiled Chicken Kebabs

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Makes: 4 servings

Time: About 30 minutes, plus time to marinate

Well-seasoned grilled or broiled kebabs will make anyone a convert to dark-meat chicken. You can use chicken breasts here too, but watch them closely so they don’t overcook and dry out.

Other protein you can use: turkey thighs; pork or veal shoulder, steak, or loin; sturdy fish like swordfish or salmon. Recipe from How to Cook Everything.

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Posted in American, Recipes

1st Day of HTCE: Meat Loaf

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

“Boiled Water”

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

This Mediterranean classic, as ancient and almost as simple as boiling, is the quintessential beginner’s or just- plain-basic soup. It’s one you’ll cook forever.

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Posted in American

2nd Day of HTCE: Meat Loaf

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Meat Loaf

Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Time: About 1 hour, largely unattended

Free-form meat loaf has several advantages over those cooked in loaf pans: It develops a lovely crust on three sides instead of just one, and the fat can run off, rather than become trapped between pan and meat. Plus it’s easy to shape by hand and always turns out in the shape you wanted. You can also shape this mixture into meatballs if you like; just bake them for about half the time.

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Posted in American, Behind The Scenes

7th Day of HTCE: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Time: About 45 minutes

One of the most popular recipes in the original How to Cook Everything, which I attribute to too many people growing up with what the Canadians call “Kraft dinner.” The real thing is rich, filling, delicious, and dead easy. You can change the type of cheese you use: Try blue cheese, goat cheese, smoked Gouda, or even mascarpone. Or mix in some crisp-cooked chunks of thick-cut bacon or pancetta, about 1/2cup.

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Posted in American, Behind The Scenes

10th Day of HTCE: Real Popcorn

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I’m giving away copies of the new How to Cook Everything iPad App, one every day until new year’s eve. Just sign up for the newsletter (look to your left) to enter the running. I’ll pick an email address at random and send you the App.

Real Popcorn

 Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Time: About 10 minutes

Unless you’re at work, please forget about microwave popcorn. It doesn’t compare to the real thing (especially if you don’t store the kernels forever), which takes at most twice as long. And popcorn takes brilliantly to real butter (instead of that artificially butter-flavored oil), cheese, and many other seasonings.

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Posted in American, Behind The Scenes

Turkey Curry

Still have leftover turkey in the fridge? How about turkey curry?

Posted in American, Indian

Some Thanksgiving Advice: Chill Out

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The following story ran in The Times’s Week in Review just before last Thanksgiving; I think it’s worth running here.

But first, another word. There has been a lot of talk, and a lot of press, about Thanksgivings that are “healthy,” or “sustainable,” or “vegetarian,” or all three. Leonard Lopate asked me questions about this during our chat on the Intrepid last night (which drew 1000+ people, a nice benefit for WNYC).

I think all of this misses the point somewhat. The idea – I believe – is to focus on the big picture. Are our diets sustainable in the long run? Are we eating wisely, intelligently, consistently? Because if we are, one meal, one day cannot possibly matter. Why would you want to do a “healthy” Thanksgiving if your normal routine was not consistent with that? Why, in fact, would you want to worry about anything on Thanksgiving other than putting a lovely meal on the table? This is a once-a-year day. If your diet is moving, has moved, in the right direction, Thanksgiving will follow; if it isn’t, or hasn’t, this is not the day to single out to make changes. Make the changes gradually, and let Thanksgiving take care of itself.

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Posted in American