If anyone should know about eating healthy for the holidays, it’s Maria Rodale, the CEO of Emmaus, Pa.-based Rodale Inc.
The publishing group — part of a network of ventures founded by Maria’s grandfather, J.I. Rodale, in 1930 — puts out a host of health-related magazines, from Men’s Health and Women’s Health to Runner’s World, Bicycling and Prevention. They also publish books that connect, in one way or another, to their longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible food production and consumption.
Maria Rodale’s newest book, which is out next month, is called Scratch: Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, Fun, and Totally Delicious. It’s a glossy hardbound volume with luscious images of the recipes inside — all of which are designed to encourage healthy eating and home cooking with organic ingredients.
We asked Maria for a few recipes from the book that might be good for the vegetarians in the family — those who can’t eat Nana’s brisket or gefilte fish but would like something more than apples and challah during the holidays.
Below are three creative recipes that fit the bill, with comments from Rodale herself.
The book is available for preorder at scratchcookbook.com.
Brown Butter and Egg Noodles
This is more of a side dish, but a classic one that my mother made. The browned butter adds a whole different, richer flavor to the noodles. You can cook this dish with any type of pasta, but I like the flavor of egg noodles.
12 ounces wide egg noodles
5 tablespoons butter
Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat and cook for about two minutes, or until golden and browned.
Drain the noodles and return to the saucepan. Pour the browned butter over the noodles, sprinkle with salt to taste, and toss to combine.
Serves 6 as a side
Crispy Fried Chickpeas
I first tasted these delicious tidbits at a Lower East Side Manhattan restaurant called Prune. When I tried making them at home, my kids ate them like candy and my Italian in-laws begged for the recipe. It’s a great snack or a very delicious appetizer for entertaining.
1 can (14 to 19 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup olive oil
Drain the chickpeas on paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
In a small pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat until a chickpea thrown into it starts to sizzle.
Fry the chickpeas, gently shaking the pot, for eight to nine minutes, until deep golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels, where they’ll crisp as they cool. Season with salt, then transfer to a bowl.
Tips: If you’d rather not fry them, coat the chickpeas in oil, spread them on a baking sheet, and bake in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes, until crispy. You can add a pinch each of paprika and cayenne or your favorite spice blend after the chickpeas cool.
Pickled Red Beet Eggs
On a lark, I once made these pickled red beet eggs. As most Dutchies know, they’re a real Pennsylvania Dutch delicacy, and beautiful to boot, but almost impossible to find organic. Of course, I’ve pickled the beets from scratch rather than using canned ones, which most recipes call for.
The cinnamon and cloves make them “real darn goot.” Now I make them all the time. They are beautiful on salads.
6 large red beets, trimmed
6 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
6 whole cloves
½ teaspoon salt
6 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
1 shallot, finely chopped (optional)
In a saucepan, combine the beets and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Remove the beets and set aside to cool, reserving the cooking liquid.
Strain the cooking liquid (about 4 cups) into a separate saucepan. Add the vinegar, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves and salt and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.
Place the eggs and shallot (if using) into a large glass jar, and pour the hot liquid over the top.
When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the cooked beets, slice or quarter, and add to the jar. Cover with a lid and refrigerate for a week.
Cut the eggs in half and serve with the beets as a snack, or slice the eggs and toss both in a salad. The eggs will keep refrigerated for about a month.
Makes 6 eggs
Contact: [email protected]; 215-832-0747