I’ll admit it.
I judge a book by its cover. Especially cookbooks.
Think about it…
You walk into a book store to get inspired. There are a gazillion things to choose from; big books, dreamy books… books that stop you dead in your tracks.
What do you choose?
I’ve been cooking from Martha Stewart’s Clean Slate: A Cookbook And Guide. It’s geared towards restoring your health with whole food recipes. Initially, I was drawn to the photography. But also intrigued by the concept. I look for simplicity. Something streamlined. And most of all, the font can’t scream at me!
Here are 3 days of clean eating from the book, with my own personal tips:
Day #1: Spinach Tart with Olive-Oil Cracker Crust
I was definitely Greek in a former life.
Described as ‘better for you’ Spanakopita with more greens and less crust.
TWIST MY ARM.
No phyllo dough. No butter.
The filling is made with sautéed garlic, shallots and spinach. Eggs are added to help it set. The mixture is poured into a pre-baked crust, made from nutritious whole wheat and spelt flour. Although not gluten free, these flours are easier to digest than regular all-purpose flour.
I might’ve been heavy handed on the feta…
TIP: Roll out the dough as thin as possible. You’ll end up with a nice, crispy crust.
Day #2: Mediterranean Chicken Stew
Hello, speedy weeknight cooking.
Although it’s a stew, this recipe does not take all day to cook.
Start out by browning cubed chicken breast. In a separate pan, sauté sliced onions, garlic, and simmer with a can of good-quality plum tomatoes. Add the chicken and toss in escarole greens to wilt.
When’s the last time you had escarole?
I grew up eating this hearty, leafy green.
Escarole is packed with vitamins, especially B vitamins, and is high in fiber. Kale, chard, and other leafy greens would make excellent substitutes.
TIP: Do not boil the stew. Usually, chicken thighs (not breasts) are used for slow-cooked stews; they are a better for braising. However, if you gently cook the chicken breast it will be perfectly tender.
Day #3: Frozen Kiwi
Kiwi is the next superfood.
Did you know they contain more vitamin C than an orange? I had to look that up.
Here’s the thing- I never buy kiwis. I like them, but I don’t crave them. It’s strange because I like tart & sweet things. Maybe it’s because they ripen at warp speed? Mine are always mushy…
But frozen kiwi intrigues me.
Immediately after buying a bag, I peeled and cubed them into bite-sized chunks. Then, they went into the freezer. What great snacks! The kids loved them.
TIP: Freeze the kiwi on a lined sheet pan. Once frozen, transfer to a container. This way they won’t stick.
Now, you just have to find room in your freezer to fit a sheet pan…
Seared Salmon with Barley, Shiitake + Kale Sprouts
The original recipe called for sea bass and edamame, but they were unavailable at the store.
Salmon works just fine.
Kale sprouts are just as the name suggests (and new-to-me). They’re similar in flavor to brussels sprouts; crunchy and slightly bitter.
TIP: Use a non-stick pan to sear the salmon. Also, I prefer instant barley which is ready in 10 minutes.
I was happy to see something sweet in this book.
These brownies are incredibly decadent and gluten free. Melted chocolate, extra virgin olive oil, and almond meal are combined as the base. Pure maple syrup and brown sugar sweeten the mix. I was shocked- only 1/3 cup of each (respectively) is all you need. In comparison, a typical brownie recipe calls for 1+ cup of sugar!
The flavors here were perfectly balanced; you could taste all of the ingredients and really savor that rich, dark chocolate. The texture is soft, chewy, and topped with nuts for crunch.
PS- My mom texted me at 9:33 pm telling me that these were some of the best brownies she’s ever had.
(And she’s a chocolate snob).
• • • • • •
Now, I didn’t include the recipes in this post.
Because I’d like to giveaway a copy of the book!
To enter, leave a comment below describing what draws you to a cookbook… and why?
The winner will be selected at random. Giveaway ends Thursday, February 12th.
Heads up- if you’re interested, you can find the Martha Stewart Collection white dinnerware exclusively at Macy’s. I used these pieces in my photographs (they’re dishwasher safe too!). Happy cooking!