Friday, March 28, 2008

Grassroots Natural Market

This is where I work. I've been the chef at Grassroots for 2 years. I've been cooking organic health food for 15 years and enjoy every moment. For me there's nothing more satisfying than cooking healthy food for people looking to better their lives.
Organic produce has made such a leap in the last 10 years. When I first started at my first health conscious eatery it was looked upon as something for hippies only. Now I see everything from athletes to big shot business folks chowing down on healthy eats.

At Grassroots we have something for everyone. Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, raw foodies and carnivores. We do caterings for any size party from 4 to 200. We have a great variety of veggie juices, wheat grass, and coming soon a smoothie bar.
I love to cook food from many different cultures, specializing in Asian, Latin, and Italian. Our customers are very open to new and classic flavor profiles. If you're ever in Denville, NJ stop in and say hello.

Moroccan Basmati Pilaf

Moroccan Basmati Pilaf
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 diced small onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbs curry powder
  • 1/4 cup garam masala
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup garden peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add curry and garam masala and cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes and add stock. Bring to a boil and lower your heat until rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and serve warm. I sometimes add cilantro, ginger or golden raisins.

Vegetarian Carnival

I joined my first recipe carnival and will have one of my recipes posted on Apr 2, 2008 via Veggie Chic. There will be many other great recipes from vegetarian bloggers to enjoy. Make sure you stop by and show support. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Quinoa with Shitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas

Quinoa with Shitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 6 sliced shitake mushroom caps
  • 1 cup sliced snow peas
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds roasted with tamari
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

Saute the snow peas and shitake mushrooms for 5 minutes, set aside to cool. In a large bowl toss all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. It can be served cold or hot. It's up to you. Quinoa is my all time favorite grain. It's considered the mother of all grains due to it's amazing benefits. Let me know what you think.

Caribbean Black Bean Salad

Caribbean Black Bean Salad
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 bunch scallion chopped thin
  • 1 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (key lime is great)
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and give it a good mix. Be careful not to mix too vigorously, you don't want the beans to mash up. This can be served as a dip for chips, toss it with field greens, or throw it into a burrito. Corn, jalapeno, and tomatilloes go very nice with this salad.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam the Brussels sprouts first in a large pot of salted water. Drain and toss with all the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350. Place veggies on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure not to skip the steaming step, I noticed the Brussels sprouts tend to get too dried out if not steamed. You can also mix with parsnips, yams, potatoes, or any other root vegetables for a more exotic side dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Allspice Roasted Miniature Carrots

Miniature carrots are one of my favorite vegetables. I just can't make enough of this dish at work. Miniature carrots cook up fast, evenly, and caramelize perfectly. Everyone is going to love you for this one!
Allspice Roasted Miniature Carrots
  • 1 bunch miniature carrots washed thoroughly
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (please use organic, such a better product)
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry spices in a small bowl. In a large bowl toss the carrots with oil. Sprinkle spice mix over carrots making sure to give a good toss so that all the carrots have some spice. Roast on a oven sheet pan for 20 minutes or until tender to the touch. If allspice is not for you try substituting curry, Italian herds, or southwestern spices. Let me know how they turn out!

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Marinated Artichokes

I've cooked with couscous for a long time and will for even longer time. It's versatile can very fulfilling. Israeli couscous is larger than regular couscous, therefor has more texture. Great for soups, salads, and side dishes.

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Marinated Artichokes

  • 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous (4 cups water,pinch of salt, cook until water is absorbed)
  • 4 sliced roasted tomatoes
  • 4 sliced marinated artichokes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup steamed spinach cooled
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. This dish lends itself to many options. Try a cup of flat leaf parsley, keep it whole, it'll taste better and look great. Capers, olives, feta or some grilled haulloumi cheese would kick it up. Have fun with it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Forbidden Rice Salad

I love to cook with forbidden rice, and when you try this recipe you will too. Forbidden rice has a nutty flavor, soft texture, and awesome purple color. My customers are lucky that I don't eat it all.
  • 5 oz. forbidden rice cooked and cooled
  • 1 bunch chopped scallion
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2cups golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and serve in your favorite bowl. It doesn't get any easier than that! Forbidden rice can be found in Whole Foods , gormet food stores, or ordered directly from What, if anything, would you do different?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Vegetarian Steak

This one is for my fellow vegetarians looking for a great pasta with a great meat substitute. I've made this salad with and without cheese, it's up to you. Try it, and I promise you'll be thanking me. Good luck, and remember to let me know what you think!

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Vegetarian Steak
  • 2 Lb. cooked and cooled rigatoni pasta
  • 1 bunch chopped and blanched broccoli
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 small thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 pkg dices tempeh steak (can be substitute with fakin bacon)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

Saute onions for five minutes or until caramelized, add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool. Saute veggie steak for 5 minutes or until browned, be careful not to burn (I have so many times). In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and serve. You can make this a hot dinner item as well. You can throw some spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or collards and it will be delish.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Asparagus Salad

This salad has the best of both worlds. There's a level of fresh salad taste along with warming grilled flavors. The caramelized red onions and grumbled goat cheese bring it all together. You'll be the talk of the town with this one. Try it and let me know what you think.

Grilled Portobello and Asparagus Salad
  • 1 bunch grilled asparagus chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 grilled portobello mushrooms sliced thin
  • 1 lg caramelized red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 4oz bag organic spring mix
  • 1/2 cup your favorite balsamic dressing

Toss all the asparagus, portobello, onion, spring mix, and balsamic dressing together in a large bowl. Top with goat cheese. Can be served with your favorite crusty bread or grilled pita bread. I've made this salad with the veggies still warm and cold and both ways worked out fantastic. This is definitely one of my favorite salads. You can substitute feta or fresh mozzarella for the goat cheese. Let me know how it worked out for you.

Golden Beet Salad

This recipe is easy, quick, and so tasty. Awesome for a BBQ side dish or as a refreshing snack. You can make this a day ahead so that the flavors have time to blend together.

Golden Beet Salad

  • 5 golden beets peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss all the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For best results serve cold or room temperature. You can substitute red beets if golden are not available. Bon appetite!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grilled Asparagus

In my opinion there is no better way to eat asparagus other than throwing it on the grill. Whether it's on your outside grill or a Foreman. Asparagus takes on a nutty savory flavor when grilled. Makes a great vegetable for all occasion and what a way to impress your family and friends. Enjoy!


  • 1 bunch asparagus washed and stems cut

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (can also use sesame oil)

  • salt and pepper to taste

Toss asparagus with olive oil in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure your grill is very hot, you want to cook the outer part fast so that the inside stays al dente. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until nice grill marks appear.