• You Have to Taste Golden Turmeric Milk

    Hello, and Happy Friday. Fridays are officially holidays in my book now. The weekend is when my mind can really roam free and I feel the most comfortable, just like every other human on the planet. I’m currently sipping on a cup of overwhelmingly delicious “golden milk” aka milk with turmeric and spices in it. Like, damn, it’s good.

    Since speaking out about the mental health thingies I’ve been going through over the past months, I’ve been getting a lot of recommendations from friends on things to try out from different foods to meditation techniques. I already discovered the incredible healing properties of turmeric and if you don’t know how spectacular this bright yellow spice is, allow me to share what I’ve learned.

    Turmeric is a mainstay in Indian culture and diet, and is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet that can help to fight and reverse disease. Why? It’s an incredibly powerful antioxidant and just as good as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Any kind of disease has its roots in inflammation – from depression in the brain to arthritis in your hands to celiac in the stomach. Disease = inflammation. Its most renowned healing compound is curcumin, and is also its main active ingredient. 

    One of the issues with turmeric is that curcumin is found in small quantities, so you have to eat it a lot (like in an Indian diet) or take a supplement that features curcumin for it to be really beneficial. I personally take a turmeric supplement called CircuminRich, but there are a lot of them available out there. Multiple doctors have told me that adding turmeric to any supplement regime is one of the most important things I can do for long-term health and wellness.

    So lets get back to this golden turmeric milk. I picked up a jar of a product called, literally, “Golden Milk” by Gaia Herbs, a blend a turmeric, dates, cardamom seed, ashwagandha root, vanilla bean, and black pepper (you need black pepper for turmeric to be absorbed properly in the body). A serving (1 teaspoon) is only 15 calories. As a turmeric lover, I was obviously interested in a product like this, especially because I don’t drink anything caffeinated but do enjoy a tasty, warm beverage.

    To make golden milk you simply combine the turmeric powder with a bit of melted ghee or coconut oil in a pan, add some milk, heat til almost boiling and bam, it’s ready! It tastes a lot like a chai latte to be honest with you, and this particular company recommends adding a bit of honey to the drink as well. 

    Golden Turmeric Milk

    • Cook Time: 5m
    • Total Time: 5m
    • Serves: 1
    • Yield: 1 Cup Golden Milk
    • Category:

    Ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon ghee, melted
    • 1 teaspoon golden milk powdered turmeric supplement
    • 1 cup milk (dairy, almond, etc)

    Instructions

    1. In a saucepan, melt ghee and add turmeric supplement. Cook briefly until you can smell the turmeric.
    2. Add milk and whisk until almost boiling.
    3. Pour into a mug and enjoy with a touch of honey.

    I’m intoxicated by the healing properties of turmeric, the taste, and the color. I don’t think I’m getting a huge supplemental benefit by drinking golden milk, but because it’s so tasty, I’ll be adding it to my list of “comfort foods” to help ease aches, pains, and daily stresses.

    Have you tried golden milk? If so, let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

  • 500 Calorie Meal: Thai Noodles with Turkey Meatballs and Coconut Sauce

    Chef Lo at your service on this beautiful Monday in New York City. As promised, we have another 500 Calorie Meal for you and this one is REALLY GOOD. Like, REALLY, REALLY GOOD. Super rich in flavor because of the coconut milk sauce, super filling and satisfying because of the vermicelli noodles, and also nutritionally balanced.

    I made this recipe up off the cuff and I’m super thrilled with how it turned out. I often open up my cupboard and fridge and throw together whatever it is I have lying around the house. The only other ingredient I would have added to this dish would be pickled red onion – but alas, no red onions at Casa Lo today.

    Let’s break down this recipe into 4 elements so you can prep efficiently: the turkey meatballs, the noodles, the coconut sauce, and the cucumber slices. The stars of this recipe are ground ginger and fish sauce – so make sure you have those on hand before you begin. The flavors of this really come together when pairing ingredients like coconut milk, ginger, coconut aminos (a soy sauce replacement) into something distinctly Thai in smell and flavor. It’s fresh and satisfying all at once. I enjoyed my bowl of noodles in my backyard in the sun (it’s finally spring in NYC).

    This week I’m giving you the recipe and calories for 4 servings, and then will break down the 500 calorie meal into a single serving after that. Let’s get to it!

    Thai Noodles with Turkey Meatballs and Coconut Sauce

    • Prep Time: 20m
    • Cook Time: 25m
    • Total Time: 45m

    Ingredients

    • 1 pound ground turkey (600 calories, 150 calories per 4 ounce serving)
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil (130 calories)
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (10 calories)
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground or fresh ginger (2 calories)
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder (8 calories)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (10 calories)
    • 1 tablespoon whole greek yogurt (15 calories)
    • 1 raw egg (71 calories)
    • 1 teaspoon salt (0 calories)
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper (6 calories)
    • 1 can organic coconut milk (600 calories)
    • 1 tablespoon raw honey (64 calories)
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (6 calories)
    • tablespoon fish sauce (20 calories)
    • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos (or soy sauce) (10 calories)
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced (5 calories)
    • 1 organic cucumber, sliced (14 calories)
    • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar (6 calories)
    • 4 bunches vermicelli noodles (680 calories, 170 calories per bunch)

    Total Calorie Count: 2,257 (1 SERVING = 494 CALORIES)

      Instructions

      1. 1. In a mixing bowl combine ground turkey with sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger, onion and garlic powder, yogurt, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Mix with hands to combine (it will be pretty sticky).
      2. 2. In a large pan melt 2 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil and cook meatballs until brown on all sides and white in the middle (because it's turkey you must cook them through completely).
      3. 3. In a separate bowl, combine sliced cucumbers (I like to use a mandolin for this) with rice wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.
      4. 4. In a sauce pan combine 1 can of coconut milk with honey, ginger, fish sauce, coconut aminos, the juice of half a lemon and stir with a whisk. Allow to boil for a minimum of 10 minutes to thicken a bit.
      5. 5. In a separate pan, boil water. Once boiled, add the vermicelli noodles and remove from heat. Once submerged for 2 minutes, transfer to a colander and run under cold water.
      6. 6. Time to put it all together! In a small bowl, add each serving of vermicelli noodles. Add many slices of cucumber, 4 to 5 meatballs, and a small ladle-full of coconut sauce (to keep the dish around 500 calories only use about this much coconut sauce - each dish doesn't need 1/4 cup of sauce).

       

    • The Items You Need To Kick-Start a Diet

      Like most people, I aim to eat healthy, cook nutritious food, and make good food choices in general. There is a total food revolution happening, a lot of new research emerging about what’s good and bad for you, and so many good food options available at most grocery stores these days that it’s not as difficult to get on the right path.

      Since I went to culinary school and really learned how to cook, I’ve also been able to assess the types of food I’ve been eating and figure out how to make healthy dishes that still taste remarkably delicious and satisfying. It’s pretty easy to reduce salt and fat when you learn to replace those things with fresh herbs, lots of spices, and thoughtful cooking techniques. Don’t get me wrong – I still love a good piece of fried chicken cooked up in old fashioned Crisco, but imagine enjoying a piece of chicken that’s air-fried in bison tallow instead? Yes, bison tallow is a real thing – I get it from Thrive Market! And air-fryers are dope, man.

      With that being said, I’d like to share with you the discoveries I’ve made in the kitchen regarding specific foods and tools that have made eating healthy that make easier and more delicious. Onward ho!


      GHEE

      Oh, the joys of ghee. Really just clarified butter, ghee is what’s left after you remove the milk solids from liquified butter. I know you’re probably giving me the side eye right now because BUTTER, but hear me out. Ghee is a great source of Vitamins A, E, and K – very important when it comes to getting your nutrients in (I should know). It’s also heart-healthy, believe it or not, because it can lower your cholesterol.  Finally, ghee is full of antioxidants, and those antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body, making you healthier inside and out. Final benefit – it’s VERY tasty. Final, final benefit – it’s really easy to cook with. It comes soft in a glass or plastic jar and melts really easily into your pan. You can also make it yourself. Melt a stick of butter on very low heat and scoop off all the milk fat that comes to the top. Reserve the clarified butter in a glass, air-proof container and bam – homemade ghee.

       

      MANDOLIN

      A mandolin is one of my favorite kitchen tools. It makes taking down veggies an absolute fucking BREEZE so that you can do a big food prep when you get your groceries home, allowing yourself to simply go into the fridge for pre-sliced cucumbers or what have you whenever you want. I find that the prep is a huge obstacle for most people when it comes to eating healthy. If it’s already ready, you’ll eat it. If it’s not, it’s a mind over matter type of situation. Hello, pizza delivery.  Good for all kinds of veggies, it easily allows you to cut them down with the simple swipe of the wrist in about 15 second flat.

       

      THESE PLASTIC CONTAINERS

      I got turned on to this specific type of plastic container in culinary school and have been hooked every since. I love them. You can write on them, they’re easy to wash, and loads cheaper than Ziploc and other brands. Plus, because they’re tall you can really pack food into them without taking up too much space in your fridge.

       

      VITAMIX

      I’ve spoken about my absolute LOVE for the Vitamix, and while it’s definitely an investment piece, it’s the best utility tool I have in my kitchen. It’s not just for smoothies, no, no, no. You can put a piece of beef in there and end up with tar tar! Throw in beans and hummus comes out. Put in warm pieces of butternut squash and chicken stock and you’ll get butternut squash soup. Seriously, it’s amazing. I find that I use it for so, so, so many things beyond just a morning smoothie. Getting creative with food is the best way to keep things interesting when you’re trying to eat healthy. For me, that means taking food in it’s original form and literally turning it into something else. I’d marry my Vitamix if I could.

       

      AN OPEN MIND

      Probably the most important thing I bring with me into the kitchen is an open mind. Being willing to experiment, get my hands dirty, mess something up and start over again – all really important when creating healthy and balanced dishes. Never tried an ingredient before? Do it! Never shopped at an online health food store? Why not? I love Thrive Market – take a look around. Even more mainstream groceries stores are stocking their aisles with healthy options that before were really only available at your neighborhood co-op market. Trust that the choices you make will turn out delicious. 

      Good luck!

      X,

      chef lo

      Images via Earthbound Farm, Daily Health Post, Serious Eats, Williams Sonoma

       

       

       

    • The 500 Calorie Meal Plan Quinoa Bowl with Poached Eggs and Veggies

      So, I know a lot of us are on this whole 1200 calorie a day thing so we can be skinny minnies by summertime, but I just can’t with that. I definitely fall closer to 2000 calories a day, and because of that I like to divide up my 3 meals a day into 500 calorie ones, then allow myself 500 more calories in snacks and in-between meals.

      Eating in this way – very measured but with pleasure – allows me to manage my weight as I get older and still get the fuel I need from food to exercise. Also, I’m a professional chef and LOVE food, so getting creative with these 500 calorie meals is a fun way to stay active in the kitchen. I like to focus on an animal protein, vegetables, and some kind of grain or carbohydrate to fill my plate. Half of it are vegetables, 1/4 animal protein, and 1/4 carb of some kind. I know you might freak out about carbs but they are the bodies preferred energy source – if you don’t eat them, your body starts to break down other important elements and you simply don’t function as well. 

      That’s not to say that the carbs I’m eating are like, white bread and pasta…no, no, no. I eat brown rice, quinoa, a little barley here and there – things like this. Most are gluten-free options, but not intentionally. I don’t have any kind of gluten intolerance, I just know that brown rice is far more complex carbohydrate than say, a goldfish cracker. I’m simply choosing my energy sources properly.

      It’s pretty easy to count your calories and plan your meals this way. You can go the traditional route and read the labels on your ingredients and come up with the right ratio of veggies, to protein, to carb, or you can use any number of websites or apps to help you figure out the numbers. I’ll also be posting great meal ideas once a week moving forward that are right around 500 calories, so TheLoDown can be a great weekly source for inspiration. I’ll be breaking own the calories for each ingredient and letting you know what portion sizes are appropriate. I like to determine the calories for the carb and protein first and veggies have so few, and it’s a good model for you as well.

      With that being said, lets jump in to today’s 500 calorie recipe (it’s a breakfast meal): a Quinoa Bowl with Poached Eggs and Vegetables!

      Quinoa Bowl with Poached Eggs and Vegetables

      • Prep Time: 5m
      • Cook Time: 20m
      • Total Time: 25m

      Ingredients

      • large eggs, poached (78 calories each) = 156 calories
      • 1 cup cooked quinoa = 222 calories
      • 1 cup cooked asparagus = 88 calories
      • 1 tablespoon sharp cheddar cheese = 29 calories
      • 1 cup arugula, raw = 5 calories
      • 1 teaspoon Sriracha = 4 calories

      Total Calorie Count: 504

        Instructions

        1. 1. In a medium saucepan, boil water, add quinoa, and cook on low for 15 minutes with lid on until cooked through.
        2. 2. In another pan, bring water to poaching temperature (the bottom of the pan should just be bubbling). When the quinoa is almost cooked, poach 2 eggs by gently dropping them into water. Stir the water gently to get the eggs moving and remove after about 90 seconds (if you like them soft poached). When removing, you can allow them to sit on a paper towel to soak up any excess water.
        3. 3. While the quinoa is cooking, sauté asparagus in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
        4. 4. When all cooked ingredients are ready to go, assemble your bowl. Combine quinoa with asparagus, add arugula, sharp cheddar cheese, Sriracha, and the poached eggs. Break the eggs open, letting the yolks run over everything. Enjoy this delicious and nutritious 500 calorie meal!

        Image via Yes, More Please.

      • I Finally Made It to the Butler Bake Shop! Nomz

        Hi, LoDown fam!

        I made it down to Brooklyn again and stopped by the Butler Bake Shop on 95 South 5th Street, a bakery I’ve been meaning to check out. Upon walking in, I immediately fell in love with the place. The natural light, gleaming through the huge windows, was so beautiful and Insta-worthy.

        If you’re looking for a casual place to hang, I highly recommend this spot. The food and ambiance was everything I could ask for.

        I’ve never been a huge fan of empanadas, but because this was such a highly-recommended dish, I thought I’d give it a try. Infused with eggs, smoked bacon, arugula, and cheddar cheese, the pastry gave my taste buds quite a joy ride! The dipping sauce that came with it was also a nice touch. I’d actually go back to Butler just to get this empanada over and over again.

        Please please please try the Breakfast Empanada if you ever make your way here!

        I also ordered the Herb & Chili Scone (pictured left) and the Sausage Roll (pictured right) to share with my friends. The Herb & Chili Scone is made with chili, thyme and chives, and is garnished with sea salt with whipped butter on the side. I’ve never had a savory scone, but this one was right up my alley. If you’re wondering, the whipped butter and sea salt complimented the scone quite nicely!

        The Sausage Roll made from ground pork and onions was topped with pickled cabbage. I’m a sausage lover, so the Sausage Roll did not disappoint! As you can see, my tongue tends to lean more towards the savory side of things. But, for those of you with a sweet tooth, Butler also has a variety of sweeter pastries!

        Hands down one of my favorite #coffeecorners. If you’re in the area, do me a favor and hit up this place—you’ll thank me later! Butler Bake Shop is the spot for catching up with a girlfriend, reading up on your current novel, or silent people watching. Oh, and if I haven’t insisted enough, don’t forget to order the Breakfast Empanada!

        Thanks for enjoying this foodie moment with me! ‘Til next time.

        xx,
        Courtney Xu
        Image result for instagram icon@courtneyxu

      • My Top 6 NYC Brunch Spots Yum

        What do the the words “hungry” and “weekend” have in common? Brunch, of course!

        It’s no secret that Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the city are best spent enjoying all the culinary wonders New York has to offer. If you didn’t already know, there are many different types of experiences a brunch enthusiast can opt for: intimate, bottomless, or even an “all out” extravagant champagne party. Not only is the mid-day, mid-afternoon meal a perfect hangover cure, but it’s also a great excuse to set some time aside for gossip and witty banter with your girlfriends. Come on, ladies, it’s time to grab your party hats and become a real New Yorker.

        Let’s raise our Mimosas and Bloody Marys for a toast to my six favorite brunch places!

        Read More

      • How to Make Carrot “Fettuccine”

        Happy Monday, Beautiful!

        As much as I love the oh-so-popular vegetable “pasta” trend, it does come across a little “bit there, done that”—a.k.a. dated. Instead of using zucchinis, everyone’s go-to choice, I decided to experiment, this past weekend, with rainbow carrots.

        Forget the spiralizer, I went old school with a peeler.

        Read More

      • It’s Always Tea Time with Kusmi Tea

        Pinky up, Princess!

        A self-proclaimed coffee addict, I also enjoying drinking tea. Despite the many visit-worthy coffee shops that proliferate New York City (*cough* foam art *cough*), I think it’s calming—if not relaxing—to sip tea from a mug at home.

        Tea has a wide range of health benefits. When consumed, it works to fight free radicals in your body. Depending on the tea, it can also help you lose weight and reduce the chances of both heart attacks and strokes.

        A fan of Kusmi Tea (I discovered the brand a while back at Bloomingdale’s – you can also purchase on Kusmi Tea’s website) I’ve gifted plenty of their tea sets to family and friends who enjoy their packaging as much as I do!

        Kusmi Tea has a variety of tea blends, including Russian, herbal, traditional, and citrus. The tea comes in both loose leaf (perfect for at home brewing) and individual bags (ideal for on the go)! My favorite flavors are Jasmine Green Tea and Genmaicha!

        They also have these ultra-delicious shortbread cookies!

        Do you drink tea? If so, what brands and what blends?

      • Why Eating Breakfast Should Be YOUR “Thing”!

        Happy Monday, Everyone!

        There’s nothing quite like the start of the week to ponder life’s greatest mysteries.

        Should you or shouldn’t you eat breakfast? Now, THAT’S a question!

        Instead of writing a million reasons why I think you should be chomping away on that first meal, I’ve asked eight other people, people like me and you, to tell me why they think breaking fast is important. Oh, and what they like to eat when breaking said fast of course!

        205984_173864359352490_120477091357884_423259_6042414_n

        A MOTHER:

        “It’s all about the metabolism boost. When we sleep, our metabolism slows down. The only way to jumpstart it [again] is with healthy breakfast. [Eating breakfast] will help you burn calories from the beginning of the day.”

        Favorite breakfast: smoothie with chocolate coconut milk spinach.

        CREATOR OF SWEATSCALE:

        “It’s the most important and most delicious meal of the day. Helloooo!”

        Favorite breakfast: breakfast burrioto from Dimes in Chinatown with extra hot sauce.

        AN ADORABLE 2 YEAR OLD:

        “To get BIG!”

        Favorite breakfast: “I want breakfast with ranch on it!”

        A “TECHIE”

        “[Eating breakfast] is the official start of my day. Waking up, checking Instagram, showering may happen before, but breakfast is when productivity starts.”

        Favorite breakfast: plain greek yogurt with granola and fresh pineapple.

        A SISTER

        “I think you should eat a healthy breakfast because it sets the tone for your day. [Eating Breakfast] makes you feel less weak throughout the morning, and you also make better choices throughout the day.”

        Favorite breakfast: eggs, whole wheat toast, and coffee.

        A FELLOW FLYWHEEL INSTRUCTOR

        “I eat breakfast to fuel my body for an active day and to keep my metabolism regular.”

        Favorite breakfast: two eggs and an arepa—Columbian breakfast all the way!

        AN ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE IN DIGITAL SALES

        “I think you should eat breakfast to boost your metabolism for the day ahead and to fuel your body throughout the night.”

        Favorite breakfast: whole wheat avocado toast.

        A M.S. STUDENT OF NUTRITION AND CURRENT DIETETIC INTERN

        “At night, while you’re sleeping, you’re technically fasting. Your body uses up stored energy to start your day. Brain fuction relies on glucose (carbs), which is the first macronutrient used as energy fuel, so breakfast provides a new influx of macronutrients to propel your brain, vital functions, and physical activity throughout the day! If you don’t have that glucose on hand, your body has to use other sources like fats or proteins as fuel, and the conversion time of fats/proteins to energy is much slower than glucose so your body lags.”

        Favorite breakfast: Whole grains or high protein and low fat. Both are satisfying to get through to lunch. I prefer 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal with a mashed banana, the banana adds volume and a fruit serving for the day. Yogurts or eggs are the best morning protein.

        ME

        “I believe that eating a healthy meal to start your morning will fuel your body for a strong, productive day. You are breaking-the-fast from dinner. I find that eating breakfast also helps me eat less calories throughout the day. The days I skip breakfast are the days my sweet tooth kicks in (low levels of blood sugar) and I crave unhealthy treats.

        Favorite breakfast: sweet potato with almond butter

         

        Everyone agrees that eating breakfast is important, and I hope this helps motivate you to start your day with the right fuel.

        Peace, Love & Eat Breakfast!

        Emily Burkhardt

      • Pumpkin “Yum-kin” Pie: A Thanksgiving Series

        Finishing it all off with some pie!

        A Thanksgiving meal is never complete without some pumpkin pie to top off the decadent food marathon!

        If you’re brave enough to channel your inner pastry chef, this challenge is perfect for you.

        To save time on Thanksgiving Day, this is another one of those recipes you can attempt in advance. Actually, you’ll want to attempt it in advance! Between pre-baking the pie crust and letting the actual pie cool, the process, while totally worth it, can take a while to make.

        pumpkinpieIf you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

        x

        Lo

        1. A pre-baked pie crust

        2. 2 cups (15oz can; 450g) of pumpkin puree

        3. 3 large eggs

        4. 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) of packed dark brown sugar

        5. 1 Tablespoon (15g) of cornstarch

        6. 1/2 teaspoon of salt

        7. 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

        8. 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger

        9. 1/4 teaspoon ground of freshly grated nutmeg

        10. 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves

        11. 1/8 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

        12. 1 cup (240ml) of heavy cream

        13. 1/4 cup (60ml) of milk—any is fine

        1. Preheat oven to 375F.

        2. Whisk the pumpkin, 3 eggs, and brown sugar together until combined. Add the cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, pepper, cream, and milk. Vigorously whisk until everything is combined. Filling will be a little thick.

        3. Pour pumpkin pie filling into a warm pre-baked crust. If you did not use a deep dish pie pan, you will have too much filling. Only fill the crust about 3/4 of the way up. Bake the pie until the center is almost set, about 55-60 minutes give or take. A small part of the center will be wobbly – that’s ok. After 25 minutes of baking, be sure to cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil or use a piecrust shield to prevent the edges from getting too brown. Check for doneness at minute 50, and then 55, and then 60, etc.

        4. Once done, transfer the pie to a wire rack and allow to cool completely for at least 3 hours.

        Time: 30 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to bake, and 3 hours to rest

        Level: Medium

        Serves: Depends on the size of your slice!

         

      • Brussels Sprout Salad: A Thanksgiving Series

        Get your greens on!

        To balance an otherwise heavy and hearty meal, I like to plate some greens.

        What better a recipe than one that includes brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds?

        Roasted or sautéed “mini cabbages”—as I like to call them—are everywhere as of late. To put a unique spin on things, however, I’m roasting mine by the leaf. Doing so makes for a much crispier texture!

        Because this salad is super easy to make, I recommend saving it for last on the Thanksgiving meal to-do list.

        saladIf you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

        x

        Lo

        1. 2 pounds brussels sprouts

        2. 2 tablespoons olive oil

        3. 1 cup pomegranate seeds

        4.¼ cup pine nuts

        5. 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

        6. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

        7. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

        8. ½ tablespoon tahini

        9. ½ tablespoon pure maple syrup

        10. ¼ teaspoon sea salt

        11. Black pepper, to taste

        1.Preheat oven to 350F.

        2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

        3. One at a time, trim the brussel sprouts and separate the leaves. You will need to trim the base of the sprout a few times to get as many leaves as possible from each. Add the leaves to the baking pans and repeat with each sprout.

        4. Once all of the leaves have been added to the pans, drizzle each pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves. Spread the leaves out evenly over each pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until most of the leaves are crispy and just turning golden. Make sure to toss the leaves every few minutes as they bake to prevent burning. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

        5. While the leaves are baking, make the vinaigrette by adding the lime juice, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, tahini, maple syrup, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Whisk for 15-30 seconds until incorporated.

        6. To serve the salad, add the leaves to a serving bowl or tray along with the pomegranate seeds and pine nuts. Pour the dressing over, toss to coat, and serve immediately.

        Time: 30 minutes from start to finish

        Level: Easy

        Serves: 5 people

      • “Only the Best” Gravy: A Thanksgiving Series

        It’ll require the “brown bits” you saved from the turkey pan.

        So you know how I just told you Sage Stuffing is my favorite part of the meal?  I’m now actually leaning more towards gravy because you can put it ON the stuffing and pretty much everything else!

        When flavored appropriately, gravy is smooth, decadent, and brings out the deep flavors that a roasted turkey creates after hours of browning and bubbling.

        This gravy recipe is unique in that the first part allows you to save some time on the day of and really expand your recipe to accommodate more guests.  The day before the big day, simply make a roux and add chicken stock, allowing it to boil and cool.  This will serve as your gravy base.  The day of, you’ll make a nice stock using the bones and giblets, and then deglaze the roasting pan itself to collect the brown bits from that pan.

        The most important part of the gravy making process?  Allowing those brown bits to form in the bottom of the turkey roasting pan as your Thanksgiving turkey cooks. When the turkey begins to roast, brown bits form from the juices falling off the bird as the temperature rises (a Mallard reaction).  Keep your fingers crossed for as many brown bits as possible as they add complexity and flavor to the gravy once the roasting pan is deglazed with a bit of wine.

        In general, this gravy recipe is a bit “out of the box” because there are a couple different processes, but the final result is a delicious and smooth gravy your guests won’t be able to get enough of!

        Happy Thanksgiving!

        gravyIf you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

        x

        Lo

        6 tablespoons butter + more for other steps

        6 tablespoons flour

        Chicken Broth (about 8 cups)

        Turkey neck and giblets

        Half an onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

        1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

        Half a celery stick, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

        2-3 bay leaves

        Parsley stems

        Kosher Salt

        Black Pepper

        Juice from Turkey Roasting Pan

        Brown Bits from Turkey Roasting Pan

        White Wine to deglaze

        1. The day before Thanksgiving, make the base for your gravy by making a roux then adding chicken stock until it boils and thickens.  To do this, melt butter completely in a sauce pan then add flour, whisking together into a paste and cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly over medium heat.  Add hot chicken stock (about 5-6 cups) to the pan, stirring constantly to avoid clumps.  Allow the gravy base to boil so the starch in the flour expands, thickening the gravy.  Boil for 5-10 minutes.  Allow gravy base to cool completely and refrigerate until Thanksgiving.

        2. On Thanksgiving, brown neck and giblets in butter in a large sauce pan.  Once browned remove from the pan, melt some additional butter and brown onion, carrot, and celery.  Add the bones and giblets back to the pan, add chicken stock (or turkey stock if you have it) to cover, bay leaves, parsley stems, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 1-2 hours.  Strain , cool the liquid and set aside.

        3. When the turkey is finished cooking, pour the juice from the pan into a bowl and allow the fat to come to the top.  Spoon the fat off of the turkey juice.  Over medium heat, deglaze the brown bits off of the pan using white wine and by scraping the bottom of the pan.  Add turkey juice, the turkey liquid from the bones, and the gravy base to the pan.  Allow the gravy to boil to let the different liquids come together.  Scrape any fat that comes to the top off of the gravy.  Season with salt and pepper until it tastes just right.  If your gravy needs to thicken, you can boil it down further (the saltiness will intensify so be careful) or add a bit of flour and butter paste (take soft room temp butter and mix it with equal parts flour) to the gravy, stirring to thicken (it must boil).

        Serves: 8-12 people

        Difficulty: Medium

        Time: 3 hours over the course of 2 days

         

      • Sage Stuffing: A Thanksgiving Series

        It’s called “stuffing” for a reason…

        The overwhelmingly tasty Sage Stuffing is probably my favorite part of my family’s Thanksgiving meal.  It’s full of butter, sausage, and sage.  No watching your waistline here!

        It’s SUPER important to note that I NEVER stuff the bird.  Never.

        It really messes with the time it takes to cook the turkey and causes it to cook unevenly.  More often than not, if you stuff your bird, the inside of the stuffing is so compact that it may never cook, leaving it bacteria-laden and susceptible to making your guests sick. Ew!

        The solution? Just do all the stuffing in a glass baking dish (or two), and add chicken stock!  You get a moist interior and crisp exterior, aka the perfect Thanksgiving Stuffing.  Best of all this dish is full of sage, my favorite herb.  Yum!

        stuffing

        If you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

        x

        Lo

        1. 1 loaf of good sourdough bread cut into small cubes and dried out in the low-heat oven until stale

        2. 3/4 to 1 stick of butter

        3. 1 large onion, diced

        4. 4 celery sticks, diced

        5. 2 heaping tablespoons of dried sage

        6. 1 Jimmy Dean or Farmer John’s Sage Sausage

        7. 3 cups of good chicken broth (can add some Better Than Buillon flavoring to increase flavor)

        8. Salt and Pepper to season

        1. Cut bread into cubes and dry the cubes out on a cookie sheet in a 250F oven until dry, stale, and toasty.

        2. Melt butter in pan, add diced onion and celery until soft, add sage, salt, and pepper.

        3. Cook sausage in a separate pan until just about done, then add sausage and fat to softened onion and celery.  Check the seasonings – you’ll need quite a bit since you’ll be adding bread and chicken stock.

        4. In a large bowl mix veggies, sausage, and bread making sure to coat the bread with the fat.  Taste test.  Add more salt, pepper, and sage per your taste!

        5. Pour 3 cups of broth over stuffing and mix together well.  Each piece of bread should be coated with fat and stock.

        6. Put stuffing mixture into a buttered 12×16 (or is it 10×15?) glass dish.  Bake in convection oven at 375 for about 40 minutes (if it’s coming out of the fridge).  Stuffing will be bubbling at the base and crispy and yummy on top.

        Serves: 6-8 people

        Oven: 250F and 375F

        Time: 90 minutes

        Level: Easy

      • Tackling the Turkey: A Thanksgiving Series

        Hi, everyone!

        It’s been a minute.  I hope you’ve all been well!

        Launching Love Wellness has kept me quite busy, but I’m back and ready to share a couple Thanksgiving recipes with you!  Throughout today, starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 1:00 p.m., I’ll be releasing some Bosworth-family secrets—tricks I use to ensure my feast, everything from prepping to cooking, goes off without a hitch.

        First recipe I’m starting with? The turkey, of course!

        If you’ve thawed out the sucker (2-3 days in advance, depending on size) and are still debating the best way to cook him, here are three techniques I use to ensure a foolproof turnout:

        1. I like to dry brine my turkey with kosher salt for 2 days before cooking him on Thanksgiving. You can dry brine a frozen turkey but start to thaw 2-3 days before doing so because getting it to cooking temperature takes FOREVER.  The dry brine helps to trap moisture in and creates a really nice flavor.
        2. I cook the turkey at 500 F for 30 minutes at the top using canola oil on the bird to create a beautiful brown skin and to create a moisture seal around the meat.
        3. After lowering the heat, I like adding some beer and wine to the bottom of the pan to help add additional moisture to the turkey as the liquid steams.

        turkey

        If you do end up making some of the Bosworth family recipes, please share your creations with me and my family (I’m back in Laguna for the holiday!) using the hashtag #LoCooks . If you’ve enjoyed this series, please let me know if you’d like something similar for Christmas!

        x

        Lo

        1. 1 raw turkey (can be frozen, but you must start thawing it 2-3 days before Thanksgiving)

        2. A ton of kosher salt

        3. A ton of butter or duck fat

        4. Black pepper

        5. Canola Oil

        6. Cinnamon Stick

        7. 1 Apple, halved

        8. 1 Onion, halved

        9. Fresh Rosemary, thyme, sage

        10. Your best beer

        11. Your best white wine

        12. A very large plastic bag

        13. Large roasting pan

        14. Thermometer

        15. Twine

        1. Dry brine your turkey 2 days before Thanksgiving while allowing him to thaw out in the fridge.  Wash the turkey, removing the neck and organs (but save them for gravy), and dry the bird very well.  Next, turn your huge-ass plastic bag (must be air-tight once closed) inside out and set aside.  So as not to cross-contaminate your salt, put the salt you’ll be using for the brine in a bowl separate from the salt you always use.  Rub kosher salt all over the outside of the turkey and also underneath the skin on the breast.  Be very gentle when peeling the skin away from the breast meat as you don’t want it to tear.

        2. Wash your hands and grab the inside-out bag, wrapping it around the turkey so once the bird is in the bag, it’s right-side out again.  Tie the sucker shut (tight) and place the turkey breast side up in the fridge until Thanksgiving.

        3. On Thanksgiving preheat your oven to 500 F.  Take your turkey out of his bag and rinse all the salt off of him.  Dry him very, very, very well again and set aside.

        4. In a microwave-safe container (I just use a piece of tupperware), microwave your halved onion and apple along with your cinnamon stick together with some water for about 3 minutes until soft.

        5. Prepare to season the bird, butter and oil him up, and fill the cavity – aka have your butter and oil ready to go along with salt and pepper in specific bowls (so you don’t cross contaminate), and your onion, apple, cinny stick, and all your herbs.  Make sure your roasting pan is out and ready to go and your twine is on-hand to truss.

        6. Salt and pepper the turkey very generously (but be prepared to move fast after this with your butter as the salt brings out moisture which repels the fat from sticking) outside and inside the cavity as well.  Like at least 3 handfuls of salt.  Seriously.  Massage the salt and pepper into the turkey.

        7. Butter the entire turkey, massaging into the breast as best as you can without breaking the skin.  Insert onion, apple, cinnamon stick, and a bunch of fresh herbs into the cavity.  If you’re making my Sage Stuffing Recipe (it’s coming out at 10:00 a.m.) def use some sage!

        8. Tie the legs together using twine.  Watch this video on how to truss a turkey.

        9. Create a shield for the breast of your turkey using aluminum foil (this is Alton Brown’s genius idea) and set aside.

        10. Drizzle canola oil all over the outside of the bird so he is completely oiled up.  Leave no part oil-free.  Place your turkey breast side up in your roasting dish and into a 500 F oven for 30 minutes.

        11. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and allow the bird to finish cooking for another 2 to 3 hours (depending on the size).  Add some beer and wine to the bottom of the pan.

        12. I wouldn’t recommend using the pop-out thermometer (generally included in most turkeys these days) to indicate total done-ness of the turkey.  If the pop-out thermometer is in the breast and it pops out, the breast meat is done but the legs will definitely NOT be (they always take longer, just like on a chicken).  If you’re super brave you can remove the turkey from the oven at this time and remove the legs from the rest of the body and put them back in the oven to continue cooking without over-doing the breast.  If you choose to do this, simply set the breast and carcass aside on a cooling rack (over a cookie) sheet and let rest.  Your thermometer should be in the deepest part of the thigh without touching bone, and should reach 160 before you determine your legs are done.  160 is basically the magic number.  Hit it and pull your bird out.  Go to 170/175 like the Health Department recommends and you’re going to have a dry turkey.

        12. Allow your turkey to rest for 20 minutes minimally no matter what.  If you’ve removed the legs or chosen to keep them on, still let all the parts rest to allow the moisture to be sucked back in.  Simply pop the bird back into the oven momentarily before serving to heat him right back up.

        13. SAVE THE BROWN BITS from your pan for gravy (recipe coming out at 11:00 a.m!).

        Time: 30 minutes to prepare the dry brine, about 4.5 hours start to finish for preparing and cooking the turkey

        Level: Medium

        Serves: Depends on how big your turkey is!

      • TheLoDown