Chickpea Rigatoni with Cauliflower and Mushroom (Bolognese)

January 28, 2019 | Posted by Christie Bok

I’m not one to get preachy about eating a certain way, but I honestly do love replacing a routine chicken dinner with a vegetable-dense meal on Mondays. Not only does it make me feel great, but it gets me to the weekend farmers’ market, which more likely than not, means I’m bringing home an arm full of vegetables that I’ll either roast with olive oil, salt and pepper or imagine into something like Chickpea Rigatoni with Cauliflower and Mushroom Bolognese.

Cauliflower has undeniably been a craze the past few years. With products like artisan cauliflower pizza crust and Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi, this mild cruciferous vegetable surprises and delights as a low-carb alternative that kind of makes you forget you’re eating vegetables. Though the healthy swap is appealing, to me, the best part about cooking with cauliflower is that it’s a chameleon of an ingredient and when and sauteed with mushrooms in this recipe, becomes a hearty vegetable sauce that makes Meatless Monday satiating and exciting.

Luckily because of its pervasiveness, riced cauliflower is available at most grocery stores nowadays. Is the packaged variety ideal for making dinner on the fly? Totally. And it is Monday after all. But cauliflower is also easy enough to rice at home. Cut the cauliflower head into florets and in batches, pulse in a food processor until the florets take the size and shape of rice. I find the extra step of prep worth it in the end because ricing cauliflower from scratch yields a rice that is more tender and less dry than the packaged stuff.

Though I’m not going to say this tastes exactly Rigatoni Bolognese, it’s pretty darn close. And I think there are a few reasons for that. Sauteing basic aromatics of celery, carrots and onion as the base will instantly lend to the familiar flavors in a classic Italian meat sauce. Plus, the cremini mushrooms are firm enough that they won’t disappear in the sauce and once simmered in red wine, add the satisfying richness that I always crave from a big bowl of pasta.

As for the Banza rigatoni…yes, it really is made out of chickpeas! There’s no flour in sight. When I first tried chickpea pasta a few years ago, I was skeptical to say the least, thinking the texture would be mushy and the taste, too much like a legume. I was so wrong. When cooked until al dente, this pasta (which comes in a variety of long and short shapes) holds its own as a delicious source of plant-based protein that turns out to be a win-win for a filling meal.

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Souping is the New Juicing

January 21, 2019 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

Orange is the new black. SIxty is the new forty. Souping is the new juicing.

I have never been a believer in juice cleanses. I think that a human body is able to self-cleanse just fine. I also feel that there are more effective and long term ways to lose weight and feel recharged. When I am feeling sluggish and a bit overweight, I switch up my workout routine, reluctantly eat less gummy bears and chocolate bars ( i.e. sugar) and I eat more healthy food. The thought of drinking all of my meals for 3 days or longer is just not "appetizing" to me nor does it seem healthy. Actually, it’s not healthy. But, no judgements.

So, when I recently read that souping was the new juicing, I was excited, not because I was feeling unhealthy or needed to lose weight but because I love soup and any excuse to make it and eat it or in this case, drink it had me interested. Unlike juice, soups contain lots of nutritional value as well as fiber to fill you up and keep you full for hours. You can choose to eat your soup chunky with a spoon or puree it and drink it in a thermos or mug. Plus, creating a flavorful soup filled with all kinds of ingredients and a flavorful stock is much more creative to a cook, like me, than stuffing some vegetables and fruit into a juicer.

One of my favorite winter-time soups is minestrone, I have fond memories of my Italian grandmother making it for me as a child and my mother serving steaming hot bowls of it to my brother and me on snow days. Their version was the classic red variety with canned tomatoes serving as the base of the stock. But, I am thinking green, not only because of this cold, damp, dark winter weather but also because we are all about Swiss chard this week in the B-Team test kitchen. After juicing a bunch of it for Christie's delicious green mocktail...we found ourselves with lots of leftover green pulp. Instead of tossing it into the garbage, we decided to repurpose it and turn it into a delicious flavorful green vegetable stock. Genius? I think so. Green? Absolutley. Delcious? You be the judge.

Easy Being Green Minestrone
Serves: 4
6 cups store-bought vegetable stock, we prefer 100% natural Swanson® Vegetable Cooking Stock
1 cup Swiss Chard pulp
1 medium Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 jalapeno chile
1 large zucchini, halved and diced
½ pound green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 can white cannelini beans, drained, rinsed well and drained again
1 bunch Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped or torn into bite-sized bits
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Grated parmesan cheese, optional

1.Combine the stock and Swiss chard pulp in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer. Using a paring knife, make a small slit into the jalapeno and add it to the stock along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover the pot and remove from the heat and let steep while you prep the vegetables.
2. Combine the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped (you do not want a puree, you still want a bit of texture).
3. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the vegetable mixture, a teaspoon of salt and a ¼ teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture the vegetables begin to release their liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until the vegetables are very soft and slightly browned around the edges and have reduced by half, about 10 minutes, making sure to stir every few minutes. This step is incredibly important to achieving a full flavored broth.
4. Add the stock to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the zucchini, green beans, tomato and white beans, reduce the heat and cook for stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender and the flavors have melded, 20 minutes.
5. Add the Swiss chard and cook for 10 minutes longer. Remove the jalapeno and discard or coarsely chop and add it back to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the cilantro and lime juice. To eat chunky: Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese, if desired. To eat or drink smooth: Remove the soup from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender (in batches, if needed) and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

The soup will last tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or tightly covered in the freezer for up to 1 month

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No Coasting? No Problem!

January 17, 2019 | Posted by Elyse Tirrell

January: 'tis the season for resets and resolutions. It's not always easy to make these great new habits stick, especially when it comes to fitness. So how do we stay consistent ALL year round? Here’s what worked for me...

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Swiss Chard: The Forgotten Green

January 14, 2019 | Posted by Christie Bok

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Green juice does not have to be intimidating. Neither to drink nor to make. Since kale and spinach have been the “it” green for what seems to be forever and the most commonly liquefied into fresh-pressed juice, I thought about giving Swiss chard its well-deserved fifteen minutes.

Fact: Swiss chard is every bit as healthy as kale and spinach and is an extremely nutrient-dense vegetable. It’s super high in Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Potassium and Magnesium, and I’ve always loved it. My mom, who I swear brought home a different vegetable every time she went grocery shopping when I was a kid, added chard to soups and sautes and even snuck some into smoothies. Once I started cooking, I began to appreciate how beautifully chard wilts down and its slight bitterness, which I find adds an extra layer of flavor to any dish it’s in.

If you walk right by Swiss chard in the grocery store and beeline for kale or spinach, I can’t say I’m surprised...thanks to popular culture, that is. Beyoncé helped popularize kale when she wore a sweatshirt with (K-A-L-E) written across it in a music video, and we’ve all known spinach with a little help from our sailor friend, Popeye.

The next time you’re at the grocery store, look for a leafy green with large, sturdy leaves, colorful stalks and vibrant veins. That’s Swiss chard. Once you know what you’re looking for in the produce aisle, I think you will find that chard is actually hard to overlook. It’s absolutely gorgeous. When it comes to the color of the stalk, green, red, yellow, purple and white are all possibilities; AKA “rainbow chard” when sold in a bunch.

I’ve been a fan of juices for several years and try to supplement *not replace* my meals with a big glass of green every few days. What I am not a fan of, is the price. A standard 12-ounce juice in NYC (think kale, spinach, parsley, apple, and celery) can cost between $8 to $12 before add-ons like ginger and turmeric that tack on an additional dollar or two. Yikes.

It all starts with the fresh juice.

I’m talking straight-up chard blended with a hint of cucumber, a squeeze of fresh lemon and water. That’s it!

So, how do you turn Swiss chard into the emerald green juice that won’t break the bank? There’s no fancy juicer required. Just a solid high-powered blender and a fine mesh strainer to separate the pulp will do the trick. But wait, don’t throw out the pulp just yet. Though most of the nutrients are in the juice itself, the pulp contains all of the fiber. Save it and add to soups as a natural thickening agent like Stephanie does in her Green Minestrone, or to the base of a homemade bone broth or even a vinaigrette.

Tightly covered, the juice can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. However, you can pour the juice into an ice cube tray and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw the frozen cubes as you need them or mix a few into a smoothie to make any smoothie green. If you’re looking to supercharge your day, try a glass or shot of the juice each morning. Be prepared, though, it’s going to taste green. If that’s not your thing, don’t worry, because when lightly sweetened with ginger-mint simple syrup, this juice becomes a delicious mocktail. Enjoy it as an afternoon pick-me-up or as a way to ease yourself into the green drink world. I wouldn’t be opposed to adding a splash of Prosecco for a fun brunch drink, either.

The options are really endless once you’ve made the juice. Get your green on and give Swiss chard a shot!

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Cin-ful Latte

January 4, 2019 | Posted by Christie Bok

Welcome, 2019. But first, tea! That’s right. We’re swapping our morning coffee ritual for a delicious tea latte loaded with an antioxidant-rich spice that happens to be Bobby’s absolute favorite: cinnamon.
Why cinnamon? Well when we think about last year’s food trends, turmeric-infused golden milk lattes seemed to be the buzz at barista counters all over New York and LA. Like turmeric, cinnamon has many of its own medicinal benefits -- including properties that can fight inflammation, lower blood sugar levels and help keep your metabolism in check -- so we thought why not let this spice shine in a Triple Cinnamon Tea Latte?

Essential in our quest to making our cinnamon-centric drink was Sullivan Street Tea & Spice Company, a tiny shop tucked away on charming street in Greenwich Village that is home to hundreds of loose leaf teas and spices. If you live locally, it’s totally worth checking out!

Since we’re choosing tea over coffee as part of our New Year health kick, we decided to fully take the plunge and go caffeine-free with Rooibos tea. If you’ve never had this South African herbal red tea, you’re in for a real treat. The bold flavor is reminiscent of a black tea, yet the distinct floral qualities make it the perfect pairing with not only our homemade vanilla bean date paste, but also the Indonesian Cassia cinnamon chips we add to the tea leaves as they steep. When you brew Rooibos tea as strong as we do (2 tablespoons of loose leaf per 4 ounces of water), it mimics the mouthfeel of an espresso. If you’re not on the tea train out of fear that it’s too weak, it might help to know that we steep this tea in a French press.

If you have cinnamon at home, it’s likely Cassia cinnamon, which is known for its mild flavor, low oil content and frequent use in traditional Chinese medicine. We also steep cassia’s counterpart, True Cinnamon -- a species from Sri Lanka also commonly referred to as Ceylon or “Baker’s Cinnamon” -- in our almond milk before frothing. With a distinctly robust, complex flavor and an equally rich history of harvesting the bark whereby it is skillfully peeled into what we know as cinnamon “sticks,” there is no doubt that true cinnamon is truly something special. Though almond milk is our choice as it adds a nutty flavor and cuts a few extra calories, feel free to use cow’s milk or another dairy-free alternative such as oat or coconut. The trifecta in our latte is Vietnamese cinnamon powder. Add it to the milk while steeping and garnish with an additional pinch. We think you will immediately realize it tastes like a nostalgic cinnamon candy, Red Hots!

Of course if you can’t get to the spice shop, use any cinnamon that you have on hand. Even just one variety will create for a lovely tea latte.

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How to Get Your Grain Bowl On

January 1, 2019 | Posted by Sally Jackson

Make no mistake, the bowl is definitely having a moment. Açai bowls, grain bowls, savory porridge bowls…all the cool kids are eating them (at least that’s how it appears on Instagram). Is it trendy? Yes. But is it also an awesome, endlessly customizable, easy method for delicious clean eating? YES. I’m definitely on the bowl bandwagon.

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Thanksgiving Essentials, Tools Edition

November 4, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

The biggest food holiday of the year is only a few weeks away. Are you ready?!? The B-Team has compiled our recipes (stay tuned all month!), along with a list of our favorite kitchen tools to make the big day a whole lot easier. Sure, we could live without some of these gadgets...but we'd rather not!

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Spaghetti Squash: Get to Know It and Love It

October 25, 2018 | Posted by Sally Jackson

What’s pale yellow, great with Bolognese, and perfect for twirling around a fork? Not pasta, but one of my favorite winter ingredients: spaghetti squash.

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How to Deseed a Pomegranate

October 22, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

Pomegranates are a hallmark fruit of the holiday season. They look like an edible Christmas ornament -- one with an incredible inner architecture of bright, gem-toned seeds, bursting with flavor. One small problem: pomegranates can be a total pain in the you-know-what to deseed...if you don't know the trick, that is! Once you know the technique, less than a minute of work stands between you and a bowl of juicy pomegranate seeds.

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Barry's Bootcamp - Anything but Basic Training

October 20, 2018 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

I first heard about Barry’s Bootcamp a few years ago when it seemed to be all the rage in NYC. Even though it debuted on the west coast in 1998 and has been the workout of choice for many celebrities (Kim Kardashian, Jake Gyllenhal and Jessica Biel) for years, it didn’t make its way to the isle of Manhattan until 2011.

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Orange Alert: It's Persimmon Time!

October 10, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

Gorgeously vibrant, orange-hued persimmons are the perfect color for a fall tablescape. But what do to with these autumnal beauties beyond piling them in a bowl for a centerpiece? We've devised a handful of ways to easily enjoy these underappreciated fall fruits (and not just as eye candy).

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Barbeque: Cali Style

June 17, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

You’ve undoubtedly heard of Carolina Barbeque and Texas BBQ but have you ever tried Santa Maria Barbeque? Unlike the aforementioned styles, Santa Maria Barbeque doesn’t involve a long, slow cooking method or sweet sauces, but is instead a menu featuring a well-seasoned California tri-tip cooked over native red oak coals on a special hand-cranked grill, accompanied by pinquinto beans, salsa, green salad, and garlic bread.

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I believe I can FLY...Barre

June 1, 2018 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas and Elyse Tirrell

A few weeks ago, we decided to give FlyBarre a try. We arrived at FlyBarre’s Flatiron location on 21st Street in Manhattan dressed in our workout clothes and ready for the challenge… Or were we?

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June Burger of the Month at Bobby's Burger Palace

May 30, 2018 | Posted by Bobby Flay

It's back! One of the most popular Burgers of the Month is back at BBP for June. The Napa Burger with creamy goat cheese and Meyer lemon mustard arrives in all locations June 1. Run, drive, be driven, heck, even walk....just get there!

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Chill Out with Rosé Sangria

May 26, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

Is it Bobby's delicious new Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, GATO, that has me in the mood or is it the blazing summer heat that has me craving one of my favorite cocktails, SANGRIA? Perhaps it is both! The B-Team is celebrating all things grilling this month and what better drink to serve at an outdoor party than fruity, colorful, refreshing sangria.

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Matzo Brei: Breakfast for Passover (and Beyond)

March 31, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

If you celebrate Passover, you probably already know the simple pleasure that is a warm plate of matzo brei. If you’re like me, and you’d never even heard of it (matzo brie? Like the cheese? No, BREI, as in rhymes with “fry”), then here’s a surprisingly tasty, homey new breakfast for you to try!

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Luck (and Soup and Bread) o' the Irish

March 4, 2018 | Posted by The B-Team

The B-Team loves Saint Patrick's Day (Bobby is Irish, after all), mainly for the reason we love all holidays: the food! You won't find green beer or even green clothing in our office...but you will find green soup -- and some beautiful Irish brown bread to dunk in it.

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Hamentashen is for Noshin’!

March 1, 2018 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

Growing up a good gentile girl in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, I had never heard of a Hamentashen, much less eaten one. I didn’t experience my first triangle-shaped, fruit-filled cookie until I was 28 years old -- and it was love at first bite!

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Burn Baby Burn...Calories, That Is!

February 9, 2018 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

Rolling Stone magazine named it the "hot" exercise of 1993 and indoor cycling has maintained its status as one of the most popular group classes at fitness clubs all around the world. I, personally, have been taking Spin classes since 1994 (ummm, I started when I was 10, I swear) when it arrived at my local Equinox in NYC. From the moment I adjusted my seat and handle bars and started pedaling, I was immediately addicted!. Fast forward 21 years, and indoor cycling continues to be more popular than ever and is still a big part of my workout routine (I take classes 3 to 4 times a week.) I am happy to say, it still challenges me and keeps me fit and I love it just as much today as I did the first time I tried it!

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Grandma Gerard's Pastina Soup

February 8, 2018 | Posted by Stephanie Banyas

Warm and comforting just like a grandmother's hug...This soup was the creation of my Italian grandmother who came to America from Calabria Italy at the turn of the last century. She and her cooking are missed but her memory lives on through her recipes.

Grandma Gerard’s Pastina Soup
Serves: 6 to 8

Beef Stock
5 lbs oxtail, rinsed well and patted dry
2 medium Spanish onion, halved
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
2 large stalks celery, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
10 whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon kosher salt

1. Combine the oxtail, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, thyme peppercorns and salt in a large stock and add 4 quarts of cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until meat is tender (fall off bone) and stock has reduced, about 6 hours. During the first hours, remove the scum that rises to the top using a ladle and discard.
2. Remove the stock from the heat and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Strain the soup through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into a very large bowl or another clean stockpot. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight. You should have about 12 cups of stock. Remove the meat from the oxtail, put into a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate.

Pastina Soup
Beef stock, recipe above
Reserved oxtail meat
1 14.5 ounce diced tomatoes and their juices
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ cup pastina pasta
2 medium carrots, diced
¼ cup Heinz ketchup
Small bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Grated parmesan, for serving

1. Put the stock in a large stock pot, bring to a boil over high heat and cook until reduced to about 10 cups, about 20 minutes. Add the meat, tomatoes and thyme and cook for 30 minutes.
2. Add the carrots and ketchup and cook 10 minutes longer. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper and cook until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Ladle into bowls and serve with grated parmesan on top.

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