Food from the Hart

Posts Tagged ‘figure-friendly’

English Pea Soup with Mint

In Recipes on April 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Yield: 4 servings

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

This is a recipe that I adapted from Chef Russell Moore at Chez Panisse in Berkley, CA.  They are the masters of turning simple, seasonal ingredients into food experiences.  The key to this recipe is using fresh peas from pods.  They have a wonderful sweet and delicate flavor that is worth the work to shell.

2 spring onion, sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups English peas, shelled (about 12 ounces)

12 mint leaves, torn


Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Creme Fraiche


Sauté the spring onion in four tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shelled peas, some kosher salt, and enough broth to barely cover. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes, then add half the torn mint leaves. Continue cooking until the peas are tender, a few more minutes. Check for seasoning, and add more salt if needed.

Let the peas cool a bit and use an immersion blender or regular blender the puree the peas.  Continue to mix until the puree is smooth. For a most delicate texture, pass the mixture through a fine sieve.  Thin out with additional broth if needed. Serve warm with a dollop of Creme Fraiche and a mint leaf.





Garlic Kale

In Recipes on February 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

Yield: 8 servings

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Kale is king when it comes to nutritional value.  There are very few vegetable out there that pack the same vitamin punch as this leafy green.  Surprisingly, it also tastes delicious. It pairs wonderfully with garlic and is a great alternative to the more typical sauteed spinach.

3 pounds kale

Olive oil

8-10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Kosher salt


1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Using a knife, cut the leafy green part of the kale away from the course center vein and stem.  Rip the leaves into 2-3 inch pieces.  Wash well and set on paper towels to dry.  Do not dry totally.

Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large saute pan.  Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant and lightly brown. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and set aside

Add more oil if necessary and once the oil is hot again, add the kale.  Use a wooden spatula to push the kale around until it begins to wilt and then add more.  You will want to add all the kale.  Once it has begun to wilt, season with salt and pepper and red pepper.  Cook until all the leaves are completely wilted.

Add the garlic back to the kale and mix well.  Serve warm.

Oven Fried Chicken Fingers

In Recipes on February 12, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Yield: 8 Servings

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

These taste just like classic Chicken Fingers without all the calories.  They are perfect for a casual cocktail party or a children’s dinner.  Try with a honey mustard, chipotle mayo or simple ketchup.  I promise they won’t disappoint!

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders, about 16-18 pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup flour

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Non-stick cooking spray


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare a sheet pan by covering with parchment paper. Set aside.

Wash the chicken tenders and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Using three bowls, add the flour to one, buttermilk to one and mix the panko, bread crumbs, cayenne, paprika and pepper in the the other.  This will become your assembly line to make the chicken.

Salt the chicken liberally. Dredge the chicken in the flour so it is fully coated. Tap the chicken on the side of the bowl to remove any excess flour.

Give the chicken a bath in the buttermilk and move chicken to the breadcrumb mixture and coat fully. Transfer finished chicken to the prepared sheet pan.  Spray each piece of chicken liberally with the non-sticky spray on both sides.

Bake for 4 minutes and then turn the chicken and bake for an additional 4 minutes.

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