Karen Schuld Photography: NYC Food Photographer

Sprouts in the Hood

Sprouts in the Hood
Exploring My Hood Through Food and Lifestyle Photography

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Muchas Felicidades: Refreshing Champagne Cocktail with Zest and a Splash of Salsa!

Cocktail with Champagne with Zest and Cranberries

I love great champagne, but sometimes I do not have the cash.
For an affordable alternative, try a glass of Italian or Spanish sparkling wine with lemon or orange zest, 1 or 2 crushed cranberries and a splash of Salsa music.  !Feliz año nuevo!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

Spelt Winter Salad:

Ingredients for Spelt Salad
Spelt Winter Salad


2 cups spelt
1 pomegranate, seeded
1 cup sprouted mung beans
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, sauteed
1 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
White truffle oil or premium olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.


1.  In a saucepan, boil spelt in 3 cups of water for 30 minutes or so.  Drain excess water.
2.  In a bowl, mix spelt, pomegranate seeds, sprouted mung beans and sauteed shiitake mushrooms.
3.  Serve on a salad plate. 
4.  Top with pistachios.
5.  Lightly dress with a white truffle oil or premium olive oil.
6.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Love at First Sprout: Growing Mung Beans

Mung Beans
It all started on my first trip to India ...... Crunchy, tasty, healthy little sprouts that were added to many dishes I had at the dining table of my host family.

 A new culinary experience - I got curious to see how these little sprouts appeared magically overnight from the kitchen to the table.

Sprouts are a great way to bring fresh greens to your table in the middle of winter, plus they are easy to grow in your kitchen all year round

Mung beans, a staple food in India, can be easily found at any Asian, Middle Eastern, or Indian market or by mail order at sproutpeople.org.  They are great in stir-fries or added to salad, eggs, grains or any entree.

Growing Sprouts:

1. Soak overnight. (I use a mason jar with a mesh cover for easy drainage).
Mung Beans Soaking
 2.  Rinse, then drain.

Draining off Water

 3. Let sit on a dark corner of your kitchen.

Mung Beans Growing

4. Rinse and drain twice per day for 2 or 3 days.
5. Refrigerate.  They will keep for about 1 week.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Herbal Teas from Oriental Pastry and Grocery Co.

Tea Pour, Lavender and Roses
In winter, I like to stock up on teas from my favorite middle eastern market, in downtown Brooklyn, the Oriental Pastry and Grocery Company. Here, amongst the bins of spices, dates and pistachios, there are jars filled with dried orange rind, roses, lavender, sage, wildflowers, hibiscus and lemon verbena.  The scent of herbal teas adds comfort and warmth to a freezing and hectic afternoon in NYC.

Wild Flower Tea
Sage Tea

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chennai Flower Market

What impresses me while traveling to other countries is that you shop in a market not a “super market.”  I become creatively inspired by the colors, textures, and scents of fresh produce, flowers, legumes and spices that are unique to a specific region. 

Here are some of my pictures capturing the kaleidoscope of colors and textures at the wholesale flower market in Chennai, India.  The tropical flora at this south Indian market is stunning:  Perfect subject matter for a photograph.
Lotus Bulbs

Woman Holding Lotus Bouquet

Man Holding Marigold

Little Flower

Bear Fruit

Woman at Market

Flower Garland

Woman Holding Lotus Flowers

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy ThanksGIVING!!!

Here are some of my photographs from the AARP's "Create the Good" campaign, at the NYC Food Bank's community kitchen in Harlem, with Hoda Kotb.  Enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.
Giving thanks, Karen Schuld

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger and Peanuts

Ginger's sharp spicy flavor turns the heat up on a fall recipe.
Here is a simple soup that combines ginger with peanuts for unique and satisfying flavor.  This recipe is based on a peanut African soup recipe I once found surfing the internet.


3 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups of water or broth
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
3 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoons of cumin powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped


1.  Peel and slice sweet potatoes, then place in a large pot of boiling water or broth until sweet potatoes are soft. 
2.  Add coconut milk, chopped tomato, and peanut butter and simmer.
3.  In a skillet, saute in oil the chopped onion, coriander, cumin, ginger, garlic, salt and chili powder on medium heat for around 10 minutes.  Stir
4.  Add the skillet mixture to the soup pot and simmer for 45 minutes.
5.  Puree ingredients with blender or hand blender. 
6.  Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Bombay Bombshell: Holiday Margarita

The Bombay Bombshell: Holiday Margarita

While celebrating Diwali (Indian celebration) with my friends the other week, I whipped up a mixture of tequila, ginger, cardamom pomegranate and lime juice to create a colorful and refreshing drink.   After a friend tasted my concoction, she named it "the Bombay Bombshell".   I think that's the right name for this festive and spicy cocktail --- perfect for any holiday celebration.  Cheers!

Ingredients for 2 drinks:

4 shots of agave tequila 
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 limes, squeezed
3 tablespoons of agave nectar or honey


1. In a shaker, add the tequila, honey, ginger, cardamom. lime juice and pomegranate juice.
2.  Stir.  Add ice.
3. Shake and strain into a glass.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad

Brussels Sprouts Salad Recipe:

3 cups brussels sprouts

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/8 cup walnuts
3 dried red chilies
2 tablespoons of olive oil
pinch of salt


1.  Saute
brussels sprouts in oil.  Add dried cranberries, red chilies and a pinch of salt.
2.  When Brussels sprouts are browned, place on platter.
3.  Add coarsely chopped walnuts and lemon juice.   Serve.

Hot Spicy with Sweet, Sour and Salty Flavors

Combining hot chili to any spice blend will transform a dull meal into a dish with a kick.  Adding hot and spicy flavors to sweet and sour flavors can bring a fiery punch to a salad or vegetable dish. The sweet flavor will counterbalance the heat of the chili and the sour flavor will mask its pungency, producing a pleasing--but memorable--taste.

1.  Limes with Sea Salt 2.  Figs with Dried Red Chili Peppers

Healthy Snacks with a Little Hot Spice

Instead of adding butter to popcorn, sprinkle on a little turmeric and hot pepper for a livelier flavor.   Also,  roast some nuts with a pinch of turmeric, then throw some chopped chili peppers and fresh diced red onions on top.  

Turmeric and red chilies flavor and the colors work well together.  While the yellow of the turmeric visually warms, the dramatic red of the pepper can grab one's attention.  Turmeric's subtle roasted flavor blends well with the heat intensey of the hot pepper.

1.  Roasted Cashews Garnished with Hot Peppers and Onions
2.  Pop Corn with Turmeric and Red Pepper
Hot pepper is a metabolism booster,  so do not be shy about adding  a little to your diet. 
Photograph of a truck filled with red chilies in Rajasthan, India.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Styling and Photographing Food

When I photograph food, I focus on color combination and styling.  Rich vibrant color sings out to give food its appeal. Turmeric’s yellow color not only makes for an impressive visual presentation, it also adds a mild earthy flavor to other ingredients, such as the rice here.  The deep green of the cilantro and the light green-yellow of the lemon mixed with the turmeric colored rice made for the perfect photo.

Autumn Leaves and Yellow Turmeric

Friday, November 5, 2010

Roasted Red Potatoes with Turmeric and Herbs

Roasted Red Potatoes with Turmeric and Herbs

Turmeric adds a warm autumn glow to your pan or oven roasted potatoes while, also deepening the rustic flavor.  Herbs from my window garden make an impressive and colorful final touch.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric

Cauliflower with Turmeric and a Sprig of Coriander
Here's how to add turmeric Into your diet:  Cauliflower with turmeric recipe.

1 head of cauliflower florets
2 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of cardamom
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of water
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, lightly chopped

1.  Combine cauliflower florets with spices, water and oil in a skillet.
2.  Lightly saute and toss ingredients
together until spices cover florets.
2.  Bake for around 25 minutes at 425 degrees with a couple cloves of garlic.
3.  Remove from the oven after florets edges have browned.
4.  Garnish with fresh coriander and serve.

Turmeric's Health Benefits and Vibrant Color

Turmeric has a rustic, earthy, and slightly bitter flavor, while its color is a fiery golden orange that adds warmth and depth to your dish.  Besides having vibrant color and engaging taste, turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant.  It combats the effect of free radicals as well as Alzheimer's disease.  Adding a little turmeric to your cooking can be a win-win situation for both your brain and your taste buds.

Turmeric with Dried Red Chillies

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Basmati Rice Garnished with Fried Onions

This photograph of basmati rice was taken at the goat fair, outside the Jama Masjid (largest mosque in India) in Old Delhi.  The multi-colored garnish on top of the rice is fried onion suffused in turmeric and Kashmiri chili.   I love the juxtaposition of these pictures, which share stunning bright yellows and deep reds.

Basmati Rice with Fried Onion Garnish

Peanut Chutney

This is a dry chutney that enhances my curried squash soup.
I also add this chutney to rice, noodles, or a baked sweet potato. 

1/2 cup raw peanuts
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut, finely grated
8 cloves garlic
1-2 teaspoons hot pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt 

- Roast the peanuts.
- Grind the peanuts, together with sesame seeds.  (A coffee grinder works great.)  
- Roast and chop the garlic.  
- Roast the grated coconut.  
- Mix all ingredients together, then add some salt and hot pepper flakes.
    Peanut Chutney with a Sprig of Cilantro

    Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Indian Spices

    This healthy butternut squash soup is easy to make and tastes great with a mixture of Indian spices.   It's a fall soup -- from its pumpkin color to its crisp coriander smell.

    Flesh of 1 baked butternut squash
    1 1/2 cups water
    1/2 cup coconut milk
    2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
    1 chopped red bell pepper
    1 large finely-chopped onion
    2 cloves garlic
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground hot pepper

     - Bake butternut squash until soft.
     - Clean out the seeds and then scoop out the flesh and place into pot.
     - Add water, coconut milk, and grated ginger to the pot, then bring to boil.
     - In a skillet, saute red bell pepper, onion and garlic.
     - Add ground cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon, hot pepper and salt.
     - Simmer on low heat for one hour.
     - Puree then serve.

    Butternut Squash Soup with Chutney

    Saturday, October 23, 2010

    Indian Spices with Earthy Flavors

    1.  Turmeric, Ground Red Chili Pepper, and Black Cumin 2.  Red Chili Pepper

    Turmeric, cumin and chili pepper are earthy and musty both in flavor and smell. These ingredients are found in most Indian dishes as they are also the base in Indian curry recipes.  I regularly visit NYC Indian markets, Kalustyans in Manhattan and Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights, Queens.  There, I find treasure troves of specialty  spices, grains and legumes.

    I photographed this spice container filled with salt, cumin, turmeric, and red pepper in Rajasthan, India.  I love this original design using recycled tin coffee cans.

    Sweet, Sharp and Aromatic Spices

    1.  Peppercorns, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Ginger, and Pomegranate 2. Cardamom

    Do you want to spice up your tea?  Consider adding aromatic spices.  You can combine a mixture of these spices with black tea to make a zesty chai tea.  You also can create a special cup of coffee by adding these spices.  Also, consider making garam masala (a hot spice mixture) to flavor any dish or combine with other ingredients to make a curry.

    Chai Tea Recipe

    For 2-3 cups of chai tea, bring the following ingredients to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes on low heat:
    1 1/4 cups water
    3/4 cup milk
    1 tablespoon black tea
    4 crushed cardamom pods
    8 crushed peppercorns
    1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger
    1/2 stick cinnamon
    1 or 2 tablespoons of honey

    Strain before serving. 

    For a change, toss in a few slivered almonds.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Autumn and Indian Spices

    While enjoying the autumn colors in NYC’s foods, flora and fauna, I am reminded of Khari Baoli, the largest wholesale spice market in Asia, if not the world.  If you are ever in Old Delhi, take a rickshaw through Chandni Chowk, the main road, to Khari Baoli.  There you will find an endless array of herbs, nuts, dried fruits, teas, grains and spices.  The sweetness and lush green color of cardamom, the tang and dirty yellow of ginger, the spark of chili pepper, the earthy aroma and golden-orange hue of turmeric and the woody scent and burnt yellow color of cumin will delight your senses.  If only the autumn in NYC could look and smell a little more like the street of Khari Baoli.

    Khari Baoli, Spice Market and Autumn Leaves
    Spice Market, Old Delhi with Fall Leaves
    Autumn Road with Spices
    Spices with Fall leaves

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Sauteed Carrot Salad with Feta and Olives

    Carrot Salad

    I bought some locally grown purple carrots and a red pepper that I would love to combine with my feta cheese, kalamata olives and pine nuts from Titan Foods.  A sprig of mint from my window garden adds the perfect final touch to my Mediterranean inspired salad. 

     ·      1 tablespoon of olive oil for sauteing
     ·      2 carrots thinly sliced
     ·      1 chopped red pepper
     ·      4 cloves of diced garlic
     ·      hand full of pine nuts
     ·      feta cheese broken up in small pieces
     ·      small handful of diced kalamata olives
     ·      chopped mint (or basil)·
     .      black pepper and a very small pinch of salt (the olives add a salty flavor)
     ·      squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon

    1. Saute the carrots in olive oil for about 3 minutes on medium heat (don’t let them get too soft).  
    2. Next, turn down the heat; add diced garlic, chopped red pepper and pine nuts.  Gently stir until pine nuts are browned.
    3. In a bowl, toss together the sauteed ingredients with the diced kalamata olives, broken up feta, lemon juice, mint, and pepper.  Add salt to taste and serve.

    Shopping at Titan's Market in Astoria, Queens

    When craving Mediterranean food, I hop on the M60 bus to Titan Foods in Astoria, Queens. Here you will find the most amazing varieties of feta in all of New York City.  This old world Greek market is filled with delicacies such as olives, anchovies, Greek yogurts, nuts, caviar spreads, grains and legumes.  Also, there is a bakery filled with baklava and other irresistible Greek pastries…. Today, I am focused on buying some kalamata olives and a mild feta made from sheep's milk.

    Thursday, October 14, 2010


    Beet greens go great with tzatziki, a Greek yogurt and cucumber appetizer.  Tzatziki is also very simple to make.  Just use a container of Greek yogurt with half cucumber squeezed through a sifter (all liquid drained).  Then add some dill (fresh mint works too), 2-3 cloves of grated garlic and a pinch of sea salt.
    Making Tzatziki with Mint

    1. Greek yogurt
    2. 1/2 cucumber
    3. Dill or mint
    4. Grated garlic
    5. Pinch of sea salt

    Sauteed Beet Greens: Mediterranean Style

    I love to indulge myself with fresh greens at the end of the summer. My friend Maria, from Athens, turned me on to her Greek style, beet green recipe last summer.  Here is her simple but delicious way to use the top of your beets.  Just steam the greens until the stems are soft, then lightly saute with sea salt, olive oil and apple cider vinegar.   

      1.  Beet greens, 2.  Olive oil,  3.  Apple cider vinegar,  4.  Sea salt.

    Sauteed Beet Greens

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Early Autumn Produce

    The colors and textures of early autumn produce give me creative inspiration, plus the desire to prepare a tasty meal.

    Still Life of Autumn Produce
    It is helpful to know what is available at my local green market so I can plan my menu accordingly.  Here is a link to see what types of produce are available in your region - local produce guide

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Dandelion Greens Flavored with Anchovies

    This is one of my favorite salad recipes. The secret flavor ingredients here are anchovies and garlic.

    First, in a skillet, brown red potatoes with a couple of anchovies, garlic and a little olive oil. The anchovies will melt and give the potatoes a nice salty flavor. 

    After the potatoes have softened, add some raw sunflower seeds and lemon 
    zest, throw in a little sea salt and let the sunflower seeds get crunchy.  Last step is throwing in the dandelion greens.   The greens will wilt and all the flavors will merge together, creating a taste sensation.  For a nice finishing touch, mix in a hard boiled egg or two and squeeze lemon juice over your salad.
    I can never stop eating this salad.  Something about the mixture of salty, bitter, nutty and sour tastes makes it really special.

    Dandelion Greens with Anchovies

    First Step: 
     Saute these ingredients together until potatoes are brown and soft.
    5 small red potatoes,
    5 anchovies, 
    6 cloves of garlic, and
    3 tablespoons of olive oil.
    Second Step:  
    Add these ingredients to the potatoes and cook until sunflower seeds brown.
    1/4 cup sunflower seeds,
    est from 1 lemon,
    1 teaspoon of sea salt.

    Third Step:  Throw in dandelion greens and stir.

    Final step:  Add these ingredients to the mixture:
    2 peeled hard boiled eggs,
    juice of 1/2 lemon.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Black Eyed Pea Soup with the Flavor of Fresh Dill

    Today is cold and brisk.  Fall has arrived along with a craving for a nice hot bowl of soup.   Here is a simple recipe that uses some local, in season vegetables.  I am sure it will hit the spot.

    Black Eyed Pea Soup with Fresh Dill
    Step # 1:  Soak 1/2 cup of dried black-eye peas in 3 cups of water for approximately 2 hours.

    Step # 2:  Boil and mash a potato then set aside - you can use an extra potato if you prefer a thicker soup.

    Step # 3: Rinse your black-eyed peas, then bring to a boil and let simmer in 1 1/2 cups of fresh water.   While the peas are simmering, you will chop and saute 1 red bell pepper, 1 onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of a deep green leafy vegetable and a 1/4 cup of fresh dill.

    Step # 4:  Combine the sauteed vegetables, the mashed potatoes, 1 diced tomato, 1 teaspoon of salt and the black-eyed peas together. Simmer for a 1/2-hour.

    Step # 5: Taste the soup to make sure the flavor and consistency is where you would like it to be.  If everything is perfect, you are ready to serve.

    Step #6:  Finish by garnishing with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprig of dill.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Quinoa Salad

    Sometimes it is better to follow your instincts rather than a recipe:  Rely on your taste buds and sense of smell. You cannot go wrong if you use fresh ingredients and consider what flavors and spices will produce the most inspiring taste.  I just fixed the most delicious breakfast using my leftover veggies and adding some quinoa.  I simmered the quinoa on the stove, while I chopped and quickly sautéed some of my market veggies.  I then mixed all ingredients together for a low calorie and healthy meal.

    Quinoa Salad