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How The Naked South makes dinner easy, fun, and light

There are two things I’m always looking to do to make dinner fun, easy, and not too heavy: 1. Turn appetizers into meals, and 2. Make it on the grill. This recipe accomplishes both. Anyone who doesn’t despise mushrooms enjoys them stuffed. (I’ve heard those mushroom-hating people are out there, but I choose to believe that’s an urban myth, because who could truly despise mushrooms?) Stuffed things are just superior to non-stuffed things in general. Quail, pizza crusts, stockings — all benefit from adding the word stuffed. Mushrooms are no exception. These were inspired by my love for pizza and my love for not feeling how I do after I eat pizza.

Key Components:

I’m so excited to talk to you about coconut aminos. This product is truly amazing (until research comes out that it’s bad, which is always possible).  It’s the sap tapped directly out of the coconut tree and aged with sea salt, creating a sort of sweet and salty soy sauce without the soy. It’s naturally abundant in 17 amino acids (the building blocks of protein), B-vitamins, vitamin C, minerals, and a probiotic! And it tastes delicious, addictingly so. In case you’re wondering, amino acids are important because they repair and rebuild muscle tissue, help to enhance overall brain and nervous system function, and assist in boosting the immune system and physical energy levels. Find it next to the soy sauce and tamari in health food stores such as Earth Origins and Whole Foods.

Millet is an underutilized, gluten-free grain that is as versatile as it healthy. It can be soft and creamy or slightly crunchy and fluffy, depending on how you cook it. One thing that sets millet apart from other healthy grains is its particularly high content of magnesium, which research shows can lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack.

If you are someone who doesn’t consider mushrooms a favorite food, you may want to reconsider. Mushrooms are so good for you. Most interestingly, research is finding that Portobello mushrooms provide vitamin B12, which is typically reserved for animal products and is an important vitamin to include if you’re eating more vegetarian meals. Mushrooms are amazing for immune system support and are anti-inflammatory. They’re also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant boosting phytonutrients.

Millet-Stuffed Mushrooms with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Yield: Makes 4 mushrooms

Millet-Stuffed Mushrooms with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 packed cup arugula, lightly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup cooked millet (or cooked quinoa)
  • 4 large Portobello caps, gently wiped clean
  • Basil, for serving
  • Toasted rustic bread, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. To cook the millet: Rinse ½ cup millet thoroughly. Combine with 1 cup water and pinch salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Turn off heat, place dry paper towels under lid and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
  2. Combine tomatoes, arugula, olive oil, coconut aminos, and garlic in a large bowl. Add cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add cooked millet (or quinoa) to tomato mixture and toss to combine.
  3. Prepare a grill for medium heat. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Fill each with tomato-millet mixture and carefully transfer to grill.
  4. Cover grill and cook until cheese melts, about 4 minutes. (This can also be made in an oven set to broil. Arrange mushrooms on a baking sheet and transfer to oven and cook until cheese melts.) Top with basil leaves and serve over toasted bread, if desired..
http://ediblenetwork.com/sarasota/recipes/how-the-naked-south-makes-dinner-easy-fun-and-light/

Recipe Editor Charlotte Abrams serves up weekly recipes for "inspired food your body will appreciate" in her new column. The Naked South.About The Naked South with Charlotte Abrams
Charlotte’s mission is to teach, inspire, and empower you to make small changes toward a healthier diet while enjoying all the deliciousness food has to offer. The healthy eating “rules” are always changing and everyone’s body has a different relationship with food, so The Naked South focuses on variety and moderation. No rules, no judgment, just inspired food your body will appreciate.

 

 

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Breakfast for the busy in The Naked South

Oatmeal has long been one of my favorite breakfasts. My grandma would regularly make it for me with brown sugar, whole milk, and plenty of butter. It was more like a creamy soup with a scoop of slow-cooked oatmeal drenched in salty, sweet, buttery goodness. This version is a little less indulgent, but just as tasty and comforting. Plus, like many households, mornings are busy around here. So the simpler the breakfast, the better. This soaked oat-and-chia combination is quickly stirred together the night before and popped in the fridge, making breakfast while you sleep. It couldn’t be more perfect for smoothing over hectic mornings.

Oat and Chia Porridge

Key Components

Oats are a fabulous grain for people who are trying to eliminate or reduce gluten in their diet. Even oats that aren’t labeled as “gluten-free” are better tolerated by people with gluten sensitivities. But gluten doesn’t need to be a concern to start incorporating oats into your regular diet. With a high fiber content and unique antioxidant compounds, they are particularly beneficial for heart and digestive health. Soaking the oats, as we do in this recipe, makes them even easier to digest and therefore reap all their rewards.

Chia seeds are becoming more and more popular as the news of their benefits beyond sprouting into adorable “pets” (remember the Chia Pet?) spreads. Firstly, chia is one of the few plant sources to contain all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (a status typically reserved for animal products). They provide plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s. Like most nuts, seeds, and grains, soaking them helps release all their powers.

Overnight Oat and Chia Porridge with Mango and Coconut

Yield: Makes 1 serving

Overnight Oat and Chia Porridge with Mango and Coconut

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ⅔ cup almond milk (preferably homemade)
  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)
  • 1-2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut

Instructions

  1. Combine oats, chia, and almond milk in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight (8 hours).
  2. Top with mango, coconut milk, syrup, and shredded coconut to taste. Eat. Be happy.
http://ediblenetwork.com/sarasota/recipes/breakfast-for-the-busy-the-naked-south/

Recipe Editor Charlotte Abrams serves up weekly recipes for "inspired food your body will appreciate" in her new column. The Naked South.About The Naked South with Charlotte Abrams
Charlotte’s mission is to teach, inspire, and empower you to make small changes toward a healthier diet while enjoying all the deliciousness food has to offer. The healthy eating “rules” are always changing and everyone’s body has a different relationship with food, so The Naked South focuses on variety and moderation. No rules, no judgment, just inspired food your body will appreciate.

 

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Florida Orange Sauerkraut Salad

flaOrangeKrautSalad
Photo by Kathryn Brass-Piper

Makes 6 servings

1 (16 ounce) jar Beagle Bay organic “original” raw sauerkraut, drained
2 large organic carrots, coarsely grated
1 small sweet organic onion, thinly sliced
½ cup organic raisins
2 teaspoons organic orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh organic orange juice
¼ cup organic rapadura or dark brown sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine sauerkraut, carrots, onion, raisins, and orange zest in a large bowl. Blend together orange juice, rapadura, and olive oil in a small bowl, stirring until dissolved. Pour dressing over sauerkraut mixture, toss well to combine. Cover and chill at least 3 hours, up to 1 day. Drain just before serving.

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Easy Sopapillas with Citrus Zest

easySopapilla

Makes 25 (2-inch) squares

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
½ cup powdered coconut sugar (see note)
1–2 tablespoons citrus zest
Orange blossom honey, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 400°. Unfold thawed puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface. Cut pastry into approximately 25 (2-inch) squares. Arrange squares on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until pastries are golden brown, 12–15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sugar and citrus zest in small bowl. Sprinkle citrussugar mixture over hot pastries. Serve warm, drizzled with honey.

NOTE: Coconut sugar, or coconut palm sugar, is made from the sap of the coconut palm. This unrefined sugar retains all of its natural minerals and vitamins, and doesn’t put stress on your blood sugar levels in the same way as white sugar. With a caramel color and a taste similar to brown sugar, it can be substituted for cane sugar in most recipes. To make “powdered coconut sugar,” process 1 cup coconut sugar with 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) in a blender until powdered and light brown. Store in an airtight jar in your pantry

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Peach-Rose Sorbet

easySopapilla

Makes about 1 quart

¾ cup water
¾ cup honey
4 cups peeled and sliced frozen peaches
½–1 tablespoon rosewater, or to taste
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Juice of ½ a lemon

Combine water and honey in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir just until honey dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer syrup to blender. Add peaches, rosewater, vanilla, and lemon juice; blend until smooth. Process sorbet mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

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Blueberry-Lavender Sorbet

blueberryLavSorbet

RECIPES BY ELIZABETH SNIEGOCKI
PHOTOS BY KATHRYN BRASS-PIPER

Makes about 1 quart

¾ cup water
¾ cup honey
1–2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
4 cups frozen blueberries
Juice of ½ a lemon

Combine water, honey, and lavender in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain and discard lavender. Let syrup cool to room temperature. Transfer lavender-honey syrup to blender, add blueberries and lemon juice; blend until smooth. Strain and discard seeds and skin, if desired. Process sorbet mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.

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Marcello’s Grilled Pompano Livornese

marcelloGrilledPompano

Makes 2 servings

2 fresh pompano fillets (6–8 ounces each)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for fish
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons drained capers
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
½ cup fish or vegetable broth
6 large Gulf shrimp
Fresh basil, for serving

Heat grill to high. Season both sides of fish with salt and pepper and lightly brush with oil. Grill fish until lightly charred on each side, about 1½ minutes per side, it should not be fully cooked. Set fish aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet big enough to hold both fillets over medium heat. Add garlic, olives, and capers. Once garlic begins to brown, add tomatoes and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add fish fillets and shrimp, cover and cook until shrimp are cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.

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Grilled Peach & Angel Food Cake Skewers with Honeyed Mascarpone

grilledPeachCake

Makes 6 kebabs

4 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup orange blossom honey
1 (3-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
6  rm, ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced
½ store-bought angel food cake, cut into
1½-inch cubes
6 (12-inch) bamboo skewers

In a medium bowl, whip mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, and 1 tablespoon honey together with electric mixer until  u y. Cover and chill. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring ¼ cup honey and rosemary sprig to a simmer. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Set rosemary-honey aside.

Thread skewers with alternating peach slices and angel food cake cubes. Heat grill to low. Grill skewers, turning often, until cake is lightly charred and peaches are soft. Transfer to serving platter and drizzle with rosemaryhoney. Serve warm with a dollop of honeyed mascarpone cheese.

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Grilled Feta & Veggie Kebabs

grilledFetaVegKebab

Makes 6 kebabs

1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
1 lemon, zested, halved lengthwise, and sliced
1 head radicchio, cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
1 (8-ounce) package imported feta cheese, cut into 1½-inch chunks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
6 (12-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Heat grill to high. Thread tomatoes, zucchini, lemon slices, and radicchio onto skewers, distributing ingredients evenly. Place kebabs and feta chunks on a platter, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with lemon zest and rosemary. Brush grill lightly with oil. Grill kebabs and feta chunks, turning once, until browned, about 4 minutes.

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Greek Chicken Kebabs with Tzatziki Sauce

greekKebab

Makes 6 kebabs

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grill
Juice of 2 fresh lemons
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into
1½-inch chunks
1 large red onion, cut into 1½-inch wedges
2 bell peppers (red and yellow), cut into
1½-inch wedges
24 pitted Kalamata olives, for serving
Fresh parsley, for serving
6 (12-inch) bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, and cumin in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces and toss well to coat chicken. Cover and transfer to refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to 4 hours.

Heat grill to medium-high. Thread chicken, onion, and peppers onto skewers, distributing ingredients evenly.

Brush grill lightly with oil. Grill kebabs for about 10 minutes, turning once, until chicken and veggies are cooked through and nicely charred. Transfer to serving platter and top with olives and parsley. Serve with tzatziki sauce.

QUICK TZATZIKI SAUCE:

Combine 1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt, 1 English cucumber (seeded, finely grated, and drained), 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill.

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Cast Iron Snapper and Grilled Fingerlings & Corn Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

castIronSnapper

Makes 4 servings

2 (2 pound) snapper fillets, skin on and scored
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 pound mixed fingerling potatoes
1¼ cup vegetable oil, divided
3 ears sweet yellow corn
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 Meyer lemons zested and juiced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ pound baby arugula

Create a two-zone indirect fire in grill by banking charcoal on one side. Alternately, light only half the flames of a gas grill set to high. Place cast iron skillet over direct heat on grill to get hot. Season fish with salt and pepper and set aside.

Toss potatoes with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stack 2 large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold edges up to make a cooking tray for potatoes. Transfer potatoes to foil tray and place on grill over indirect heat. (Add a splash of beer if you’re feeling frisky.) You want to cook the potatoes slowly then move to high heat to get some grill marks. Repeat this same process with corn. Once corn and potatoes are cooked, set aside to cool.

In the meantime, make the Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette. Combine mustard, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisking constantly, slowly add ½ cup vegetable oil and ¼ cup olive oil. Keep whisking vigorously until emulsified.

To cook fish, add ½ cup vegetable oil to hot skillet and wait until oil just begins to smoke. Carefully place snapper in skillet, skin side down. You are looking to get the skin crispy. Cook, skin side down, for about 2 minutes. Turn fish over and transfer skillet to indirect heat zone. The skillet will continue to cook the flesh side of the fish.

Remove corn kernels from cobs and slice charred potatoes. Transfer to a large bowl and add arugula. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette until everything is evenly coated.

To serve, transfer salad to serving dish and place snapper on top.

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Herb & Salt-Crusted Whole Bar Jack with Summer Vegetable Quinoa Tabbouleh

herbSaltJack

Makes 4 servings

5 egg whites
5 cups kosher salt
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups chopped Italian parsley, divided
4–5 pound whole bar jack (amberjack), cleaned and gutted
10 sprigs fresh thyme
2 lemons, sliced, plus more for serving
1 lime, sliced
2 cups cooked quinoa
½ pound tri-colored carrots, sliced on byass
2 cups diced zucchini
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
½–1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup crumbled feta
Fresh dill, for serving

Create a two-zone indirect fire in grill by banking charcoal on one side. Alternately, light only half the flames of a gas grill set to high. Stack 2 large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold edges up to make a cooking tray for fish.

Whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Fold in salt, cilantro, and 1 cup parsley. Place thyme and citrus slices in body cavity of fish and set aside.

Place 4 tablespoons egg white mixture onto foil tray. Place fish on top and spoon remaining mixture over fish, making sure to encase the entire fish, creating a seal. Transfer to indirect heat on grill and cover. Cook for 25–30 minutes. Remove fish from heat and let rest.

Combine cooked quinoa, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, lemon juice, ½ cup oil, and remaining 1 cup parsley in a large bowl. Mix well.

This can be made one day ahead. When ready to serve, transfer tabbouleh to a serving dish and top with feta.

To serve fish, strike crust with the back of a spoon to crack. Use a knife to carefully remove salt crust from top of fish and scoop flesh onto serving dish. Drizzle with remaining ½ cup oil and garnish with lemon and dill.

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Corvina with Fresh Eggs, Spicy Mascarpone & Crispy Bagel Chips

corvinaEggs2

Makes 4 servings

4 golden corvina fillets or other white, flakey fish
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup white wine
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup sliced chives
¾ cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
4 assorted bagels, thinly sliced and toasted on grill
10 sprigs tender, fresh dill, for serving

Create a two-zone indirect fire in grill by banking charcoal on one side. Alternately, light only half the flames of a gas grill set to high. Stack 2 large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold edges up to make a cooking tray for fish. Set foil tray over indirect heat on grill. Place fish in foil and season with salt and pepper. Add wine and butter and cover with a flipped over skillet or another sheet of aluminum foil.

Heat nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron skillet on same area of grill. Add oil and beaten eggs to hot pan. Use a rubber spatula to gently scramble eggs in smooth turning motions. Pull pan away from grill just as the eggs set, they will continue to cook. Fold in fresh chives. Once fish is firm and easy flakes apart when pierced with a fork, remove from grill. Flake fish into bite size pieces and add to eggs.

To serve, combine mascarpone, sriracha, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Place eggs and fish on a warm platter, dollop with spicy mascarpone cheese and garnish all around with crispy bagel chips, dill sprigs, and lemon wedges.

corvinaEggs

corvinaEggs3

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Summer Fruit Tonic

sumFruitTonic

RECIPE BY CHARLOTTE ABRAMS
PHOTO BY KATHRYN BRASS- PIPER

Makes 8 servings

1 bottle Pinot Grigio
1 bottle ginger beer (such as Goya)
½ cup elderflower liqueur (such as St. Germain)
Juice of 1 lime
3 cups chopped pineapple
2 cups sliced mango
1 cup pitted lychees
1 cup fresh cilantro, basil, or mint

In a large pitcher, gently combine wine, ginger beer, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice. Add remaining ingredients and gently mash with a wooden spoon to release juices. Transfer to refrigerator and let chill for at least 1 hour, up to one day. Serve over ice.

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Steamed Grouper with Corn, Tomatoes & Basil

steamedGrouper2

RECIPE BY CHARLOTTE ABRAMS
PHOTOS BY KATHRYN BRASS- PIPER

Makes 2 servings

½ cup fresh corn kernels
½ cup halved grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon lightly chopped basil, plus more for serving
1 small clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 (6-ounce) grouper fillets
½ lemon, plus zest for serving
2 tablespoons butter, cut into
4 pieces Crusty bread, for serving

Heat oven to 400°.

Combine corn, tomato, basil, and garlic in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut 2 pieces of 16-inch-long parchment paper. Fold each in half lengthwise and unfold. Divide corn-tomato mixture evenly between parchment, arranging along one side of the fold. Top with fish and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over fish and top with 2 pieces of butter.

Fold parchment over fish leaving space for steam to circulate. Seal by making small, overlapping folds around edges. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes, packets will puff up.

To serve, immediately transfer packet to a serving dish and cut open releasing steam. Sprinkle with basil and lemon zest. Serve with bread to sop up juices.

NOTE: I highly recommend purchasing a nut milk bag, it makes the process of homemade mylks much easier. A variety of choices can be found online.

4 STEPS TO BAGGING YOUR FISH

steamedGrouper

  1. Fold 16-inch piece of parchment in half lengthwise. Place corn-tomato mixture along one side of fold.
  2. Place fish over tomato-corn mixture, squeeze lemon over fish, and top with butter.
  3. Fold parchment over fish leaving space for steam to circulate.
  4. Seal pouch by making small, overlapping folds around edges.
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