Go green and get your culinary jig on this St. Patrick’s Day

pretty diced pear and apple chutney in a jar

Many Irish staples carry an impressive nutrient profile. You can boost the benefits even further by complementing them with flavorful, nutritious pears. Here are 4 ways to do it: 1) Irish Oatmeal Start the day with a festive batch of oatmeal. Prepare this simple recipe for Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats, then speckle with pieces of bright green Anjou pear (in season now!). 2) Soda Bread This quick and easy 5-Ingredient Whole-Wheat Irish Soda Bread is hearty and satisfying without breaking the calorie bank. Serve with a spread of pear jam or spoonfuls of pear chutney and chunks of sharp cheddar cheese. 3) Potatoes Spuds get a bad reputation for being unhealthy but are actually filled with important nutrients, including potassium, iron, fiber and B-vitamins. Bake, mash or cut into fries and roast in the oven. Serve with roasted chicken Continue reading

Promises, Promises

Every year I make a New Year’s resolution… and sometimes stick to it. Over the years, countless clients have told me they resolve to lose weight in the coming year, but most of us fail to reach our resolutions. What’s the problem? Instead of vague promises to lose weight or get healthy, perhaps we should focus on the causes of the issue: Small changes are what really add up. A more realistic goal may be to change a particular behavior that contributes to health. Here are a few ideas. Slow down! When we eat quickly, we tend to eat too many calories before our brains register satisfaction. Take in the environment, enjoy conversation, and savor each bite. If you’re struggling to hit the brakes, make sure you’re spending at least 20 minutes enjoying your meal. Prepare ahead of time. You Continue reading

Pear, Buckwheat, and Gouda Scones with Fig Jam

Do you have company coming for Easter brunch? Alongside the ham and asparagus, serve these delightfully unique savory scones. Honey-sweet pears, nutty buckwheat, and tangy Gouda cheese are a match made in heaven. Offer the scones with a side of fig jam and watch how quickly they disappear. Pear, Buckwheat, and Gouda Scones with Fig Jam Ingredients: 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour ¾ cup buckwheat flour ¼ cup sugar ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg 2 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes 6 ounces firm, aged gouda cheese, grated 2 ripe USA Pears, such as Red Anjou or Bosc, small dice ¾ cup buttermilk (plus 2 tablespoons more if necessary) Fig jam, for serving Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, combine the flours, sugar, nutmeg, baking powder, Continue reading

Pear Compote with Earl Grey & Vanilla

This super simple compote is a beautiful and delicious way to preserve some of fall’s fading flavors. You’ll make a simple infusion which combines the unique flavor of Earl Grey tea with vanilla and orange, and then simply stir in sugar and fresh pears. Serve this compote over yogurt or ricotta for a delightful breakfast or snack, spoon it over vanilla ice cream, or try it atop crostinis spread with your favorite soft cheese. Pear Compote with Earl Grey & Vanilla Ingredients 1 cup boiling water 2 Earl Grey tea bags 1 orange 1 tablespoon vanilla paste ¾ cup sugar 3 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Comice or Red Anjou, small dice Directions Place the tea bags into the cup of boiling water and steep for 2 to 3 minutes to make a very strong tea. Remove the teabags Continue reading

Chai-Spiced Baked Oatmeal with Poached Pears

Ingredients 2 cups milk 2 chai tea bags 2 large eggs PLUS 2 egg yolks ⅓ cup packed brown sugar 1 cup heavy whipping cream ⅛ teaspoon salt 1 ¼ cups old-fashioned oats 1 firm ripe USA pear, such as Bosc or Anjou For garnish 1 ripe USA pear, such as Concorde or Anjou ½ cup fresh berries, such as raspberries or blueberries Directions Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and warm over medium heat until steaming. Add the teabags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. In the meantime, combine the eggs and yolks in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly with a fork. Once the tea has infused the milk, remove and discard the teabags. Add the brown sugar to the hot milk and stir to dissolve. Next, add the cold whipping cream, Continue reading

Pear, Carrot, and Coconut Muffins

Here is a fun fall take on the classic morning glory muffin, a popular recipe published in Gourmet Magazine back in the 1980s. These muffins are chock-full of fruit, vegetables, and nuts, making them hearty and filling, but they retain a soft, light texture, as any great muffin should. They will keep very well in the refrigerator and reheat wonderfully thanks to their high moisture content. If you prefer your muffins warm from the oven, you can even mix up a batch and bake off just a few at a time, saving the remaining batter for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Ingredients 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups finely shredded carrot (about 2 medium carrots) Continue reading

Walnut Pesto Toast with Sliced Pears and Gorgonzola Cheese

This recipe, courtesy of Dave’s Killer Bread and Lauren Kelly Nutrition, will expand your toast horizons. Perfect for breakfast or an after-school snack, this simple pear toast is anything but boring. Ingredients Pesto 4 ounces extra virgin olive oil 3 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons walnuts ¼ cup parmesan cheese ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn Sandwich ½ USA Pear, sliced ¼ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese Sliced walnuts for topping 4 slices of Dave’s Killer Bread Instructions Add ingredients to make the pesto to high speed blender or food processor in the order displayed. Blend until smooth. Toast bread until light brown. Spread pesto on toasts. Add sliced pears and top with cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately. yield: 4 servings Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn

Pear Breakfast Popovers

Here is an elegant and delicious breakfast recipe that is incredibly easy to make. The simple batter is whipped up in the blender and poured into a muffin tin filled with warm, cinnamon-spiced pears. Just 25 minutes in the oven and the popovers become light, fluffy, and irresistibly golden brown. Make a double batch and freeze the extras in a heavy-duty zipper bag. Just pop them into a hot oven for a few minutes to reheat for a quick breakfast. Ingredients ¼ cup (half a stick) butter 2 firm ripe USA Pears, such as Green Anjou or Bosc, medium dice ½ teaspoon cinnamon 3 eggs 1 cup milk ½ teaspoon vanilla 1 cup flour ⅛ teaspoon salt Maple syrup for serving Directions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in the microwave in a medium bowl, about 30 Continue reading

Savory-and-Sweet Pear, Ham, and Gruyere Strata

This delicious savory-and-sweet strata is the ideal recipe for this holiday season. It’s so versatile that it can act as the main course or a side dish for any meal—breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Ham, gruyere cheese, and fresh thyme add a rich, savory element, and pears and real maple syrup add a subtle sweetness that creates the perfect balance. Put this together the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning for an easy but elegant brunch to feed the whole family. Ingredients Butter for greasing pan 2 ½ cups half and half 6 large eggs ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon orange zest (from about half an orange) ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup 10 loose cups good-quality, artisan bread, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (from one small loaf) ⅓ pound Continue reading

Pear-Stuffed French Toast

Buttery Comice pears are generally not used in cooking, but create a custardy rich filling in this luscious stuffed French toast. Using cinnamon swirl bread adds plenty of spice and a hint of sweetness. Recipe developed by Amy Sherman. Ingredients 4 slices cinnamon swirl bread, 1 inch thick 1 ripe Comice USA Pear 2 eggs 1 cup whole milk 1 teaspoon unsalted butter Maple syrup or powdered sugar Directions  Using a sharp bread knife, cut a pocket in one end of each slice of bread. The pocket should leave a border of about one inch from the sides of the bread. Peel the pears, cut in half and core them. Working over bowl, use a knife or the vegetable peeler to cut the pear into very thin strips. Spread open the pocket in the bread and fill it with pear Continue reading