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Seasonal food blog of Chef Deborah at Cuvée at The Greenporter Hotel

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Meatless Monday: Vegan Black Bean and Vegetable Burgers

April 3rd, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, DIY, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Kosher, leftovers, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Trimmer Tuesday, Trimmer Tuesdays, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter Recipes

vegan burger

Vegan burger with beans and vegetable pulp: Photo by Andrea Kavajian

A few years ago I started juicing vegetables for my husband and got hooked myself! One of the things that bothered me about juicing was the pulp left in the juicer; which seemed like such a waste. The fiber and residual nutritional value seemed too valuable to use as compost so I started cooking and baking with it.

Two weeks ago, I made gnocchi from the pulp of veggies that turned out to be heavenly little pillows of nutrition and fiber. This week, I mixed black beans, fresh onion and herbs in the food processor along with oats. I sauteed the veggie pulp a bit with EVOO to release the flavors and added salt and pepper. Then, I mixed the veggie pulp into the black bean mixture and formed them into patties. I coated mine with polenta but some ground oats would have worked just as well. Once these were pan-seared and on a bun, these hearty vegan burgers, full of protein and nutrients, were devoured by my pickiest of meat and potato eaters.

Serve with some North Fork chips or organic tortilla chips and a side salad and everyone will be happy.

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Winter salad with spinach, carrots, apples and smoked Gouda cheese

March 19th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, Brunch, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Holiday, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Passover, Queens, Side Dishes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

winter salad

During the winter, there are many greens that are plentiful although my favorites are spinach and baby kale. Winter salads can be topped with cold weather fruit like apples and pears, the zest of winter citrus, along with colorful organic carrots and a sweet and savory apple cider vinegar. If you like cheese, I would recommend a hearty, well-aged Gouda, grated through the larger slots and directly on top to the salad.

This salad on its own or as a side dish with a baked potato or yams or with with a winter roast or stew, will make for a satisfying seasonal Meatless Monday dinner.

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Pea Pancakes with Creme Fraiche and smoked salmon

February 20th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brunch, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Easter, Entertaining, Events, Fish, Gardening, Gluten-free, Gone fishing, Greenport, Hanukkah, Holiday, Kosher, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Queens, Side Dishes, Snack, Spring Recipes, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

English Pea Pancakes

 

On a day when time is scarce and you need to shop in your freezer for a quick dinner, a box of high quality, organic frozen peas is the beginning of an impromptu gourmet dinner of pea blinis or savory pancakes topped with creme fraiche or sour cream and add a few slices of smoked salmon right out of the package.

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Rice bowl with organic pinto beans, rice, and fried egg

February 6th, 2017 · 2 Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Breakfast, Brunch, canning, City Cooking, Columbus Day, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Gluten-free, Greenport, Italian, Kosher, leftovers, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Preserves, Queens, Side Dishes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter Recipes

Organic pinto beans with brown rice and fried eggBeans and all legumes are the primary source of protein in many cultures. Whether it appears as breakfast in a traditional English fry up, or in Italy with rice as risi e bisi or with cheese and tortillas from local taco truck, beans are a delicious, affordable meal, any time of day.

I was recently inspired by on of our readers Facebook post featuring rice and beans that she made for dinner. This prompted me make a dish of traditional stewed beans served with rice that is the corner stone of most meals all over Latin America and the Caribbean, but I have also included a fried egg. If you are vegan, you can substitute with seasoned sautéed tofu.

Preparation of this dish can be simple if you have cooked large amounts of rice during the weekend to use throughout the week. If you have not cooked beans in advance, organic canned beans are fine but if you soak beans in water the night before, you will have soft, delicious beans in an hour or so. Always remember to boil without salt or any other condiment or they will never get soft. After they are soft you can add your sofrito or any other aromatics. If you make more than you can use, beans freeze well in ziplock bags for use in another dish.

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Cabbage and Radish Salad with Thai Peanut dressing

January 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Kosher, Kosher non-dairy dessert, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, pareve, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Snack, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter Recipes

Cabbage and radish salad

Cabbage and radish salad

I got home from work tonight: rushing to make meatless Monday dinner, only to find a cabbage, jalapeños and a few radishes in my refrigerator. Because I always have crunchy peanut butter, tamari and vinager in my pantry, I got out my knife and cutting board and began to assemble a crunchy Asian salad with peanut dressing. If you need to add a bit more bulk to this dinner, boil a package of soba noodles (always in my pantry) to toss into the salad and call it dinner. I topped it with fresh chopped cilantro that was left over from yesterday’s guacamole recipe.

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Spicy Peanut dressing

January 23rd, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Brooklyn, Brunch, canning, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Grilling, Kosher, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, pareve, Pasta, Preserves, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Snack, Summer, Summer Recipes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Spicy peanut dressing

This is my go-to peanut dressing for any salad, as a spread on sandwich or wrap or as a dip. It is flavorful, versatile and can keep in your fridge for up to a month.

1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter, organic
4 tbsp Tamari
1 tbsp rice or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp local honey or maple syrup
1 small Garlic clove, or half of larger clove
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp hot water
1/2 teaspoon of Siracha or Sambal olek Chile paste (use less if you don’t like spicy-a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes will do).

Directions

In a food processor or high speed blender, combine all ingredients and pulse until blended.
Storage Instructions: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container and use for skewers of chicken, beef or grilled tofu (firm) or use as veggie dip.

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Mushroom Barley Soup: with or without Beef

January 16th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Gardening, Greenport, Kosher, Low-Calorie, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Queens, Soups & Bisques, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegan, Wine, Winter Recipes

 barley-soup1

During these winter months, I have soup for dinner almost every night: either as a starter or as the main meal. For me, soup is like medicine and always makes me feel satisfied and cared for; like being in grandmother’s kitchen as a child. The warmth of the spices, and medley of veggies and grains suspended in hot, savory broth permeates our being and calms our souls.

Out here on the North Fork, we are lucky to have so many farms where produce is available year round. From root vegetables to mushrooms, we have it all. One of my favorite stops is the East End Mushroom Co., where you can pick up anything from Shiitake to Oyster mushrooms, Maitake or Cremini; available in fresh and in dried form for the best mushroom and barley soup. If you are vegetarian, I suggest using both fresh and dried for a richer broth, and if you have any leftover beef or beef bones from your weekend dinner, you can lend a little meat flavor for the family member who is less keen about Meatless Monday dinners.

barley1

 

Barley or Hordeum Valgar, originated in Egypt and was one of the earliest grains cultivated for domestic use around 8,000 BC.

 

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Twice-Baked Spaghetti Squash Parmesan

January 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, canning, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Italian, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Meatless Mondays, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Pasta, Queens, Side Dishes, Tips, Travel, Travels, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Spaghetti squash ParmesanOn cold winter nights when you are craving pasta, but still trying to keep things light, this spaghetti squash recipe with your best tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella will hit the spot. Bake it till bubbling and oozing with creaminess and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

INGREDIENTS: 2 servings

1 small spaghetti squash (2 to 3 lbs)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Baked spaghetti squash

For the topping
2 cups of seasoned tomato sauce

One package or container of fresh mozzarella

1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds.* Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place squash, cut-side down, onto the baking dish. Place into oven and roast until tender, about 35-45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
Using a fork, scrape the flesh to create long strands.

Once the strands have been loosened and are fluffy, sprinkle with more salt and pepper and pour a half cup of tomato sauce on top of each half. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella and bake for another 20 minutes on 425.

Allow to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Scoop out into a pasta bowl with more sauce on the side and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  You can also serve then in their own skin inside another bowl.

 

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Green Lentil Soup

December 31st, 2016 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, Christmas, City Cooking, Columbus Day, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Gluten-free, Greenport, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, Lunch, Meatless Mondays, New Year's, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, pareve, Queens, Side Dishes, Soups & Bisques, Thanksgiving, Travel, Travels, Trimmer Tuesday, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wine, Winter Recipes

Photo credit: Blake Royer

Photo credit: Blake Royer

After the indulgences of the holidays, I am left feeling a bit weighed down and ready for new beginnings: more time for myself, more quality time with friends, leisure travel and last but not least, better nutrition. In my quest to fill my meals with more protein, fiber, iron, zinc, and flavor, I am cooking with more legumes, vegetables and herbs that I dried myself and use in my salt grinder, mixed with sea salt.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve in New York and many of my friends in Europe have already rung in the New Year. In Italy, many of my friends will find good luck and sustenance after a night of drinking, in a bowl of lentil soup.

It is said that lentils are eaten after midnight because their coin-like shape represents luck and prosperity. You can make this recipe vegetarian and also have it on Meatless Monday. In Italy, it is traditional to add some pork or pork sausage because it signifies the bounty of the land. This recipe is very flexible because you can add any type of herb, condiment and choice of vegetable. Not only is this recipe hearty and delicious but if you soak the lentils overnight, they cook in about a half hour. This way you will have more time to spend enjoying life and pursuing prosperity — in whatever form you desire.

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Italian-American Thanksgiving Feast

November 23rd, 2016 · No Comments · Agrotourism, Allergies, Brooklyn, City Cooking, Cooking Classes, Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel, Dietary Restrictions, Dinner, Entertaining, Events, Fall Recipes, Gardening, Greenport, Holiday, Italian, Kosher, leftovers, Long Island Wine, Low-Calorie, New York City, North Fork, Nut allergy, nut-free, Queens, salad, Side Dishes, Thanksgiving, the baking corner, Tips, Travel, Travels, Wine, Winter Recipes

img_7148

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and because it embodies the essence our immigrant culture and lends itself to many wonderful interpretations. I have seen Thanksgiving meals with a Southern spin, Latin or Asian spice, as well as farm to table vegetarian renditions. However, my most memorable Thanksgiving dinner was my first, East coast Italian-American Thanksgiving at my husband’s aunt’s place in Massachusetts; the same year we were married.

Aunt Virginia was a tall, elegant woman with giant, bejeweled glasses and large manicured hands. She was the sister of my husband’s father whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from the Aeolian Islands; off the coast of Sicily.  I remember her  demonstrative reception at the door as she ushered us to the dining room table that was set up like a buffet.  At the time, I thought it was the dinner buffet but little did I know it was just the antipasti. Stuffed artichokes, prosciutto with melon, mortadella, sorpressata, olives, pepperoncini, bread, white bean dip, caponata. Then out came cheese ravioli and a large platter of meatballs. I ate heartily and was relaxing over a glass of wine pondering what elaborate desserts would appear when out came the turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and other fixings and more wine. OMG!

Somehow I made room for the turkey and fixins’ and the five-hour dinner was full of laughter as Aunt Virginia told stories of her youth, her Italian family and her three husbands. All of this as she smoked a cigarette, in between courses, from a long tip cigarette holder in her long dress and gold slippers.

Over the years I have come to learn that this type of dinner is not so uncommon.  You may find yourself lucky enough to be invited to a Thanksgiving dinner of a family whose roots date back to some part of Italy, a generation — or two or three ago; during a time when the family was everything.

I asked a colleague to share her own family Italian-American Thanksgiving menu to see how it compared to Aunt Virginia’s and sure enough, the menu even rivaled hers in variety, abundance and flavors.  Even if you don’t have the amount of family or helpers on hand to pull off this incredible menu, you may at least benefit from the mostly cook-free antipasti table. We are hoping this menu will inspire you to ask an aunt or grandparent for a recipe that has been passed down over the years. Maybe it will prompt the sharing of photos, some family history or some connection to the past. Maybe this will bring a new  appreciation for the present and for what the future has to hold.

Here’s to the memory of all Aunt Virginias out there! May we forever celebrate them. Che mangiamo e beviamo nel tuo nome!

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