Karen Schuld Photography: NYC Food Photographer

Sprouts in the Hood

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

Monday, February 28, 2011

Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad
This simple-to-make salad combines nutty, salty, and  sweet flavors with crispy and crunchy textures.  The spices in the couscous combined with dried fruits, roasted pine nuts, kalamata olives and greens makes the salad so flavorful that dressing is not needed. Add a little turmeric when preparing the couscous for a more vibrant and colorful presentation.

Ingredients for Couscous:

1 1/2 cup couscous
2 1/2 cups water
1-2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of red pepper
1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit
A pinch of lemon zest

Ingredients for Salad:

1 bunch watercress
1/2 cup sprouted broccoli shoots
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 of roasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced thin

Directions for Couscous:

1.  Boil water, then add the spices, raisins and couscous.  Let simmer for 5 minutes on low heat.
2.  Let couscous mixture sit and cool, then serve on plate.
3.  Top with salad ingredients, the serve.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Couscous for Breakfast or Snack

Couscous with Dried Fruit, Nuts, and Spices

Your favorite dried fruits
Your favorite nuts
Your favorite spices - (Adding turmeric will give you a beautiful yellow color)

Directions for Couscous with Nuts, Dried Fruit and Spices:

This is a really quick and easy breakfast or snack.  To prepare, I like to add a little turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, raisins, dates, and dried cranberries when cooking the couscous.  Then, I garnish with some roasted cashews, walnuts, almond, pistachios, or pine nuts.  You can serve hot or cold.

Dried Fruit and Nuts

Dates, Raisins, Dried Cranberries, Nuts and Turmeric

Turmeric Piece

Raisins, Cashews at an Open Air Market in Old Delhi
Dried fruits and nuts mixed together with your favorite spices is a satisfying combination.  I like to pan or oven roast a mixture together for a healthy snack or for adding color, texture and flavor to a rice dish, yogurt or salad. 

Note:  Nuts will last longer if you buy them raw and then roast them yourself on a per usage basis.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Yogurt

This simple recipe can be served as a healthy appetizer or meal.  It includes sweet (sweet potato), spicy (chipotle peppers) and cool (Greek yogurt) flavors that make a perfect taste combination.   I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients for Baked Potato Fries:

Sweet Potatoes, cut lengthwise
Oil, to coat
Smoked chipotle peppers, dried and ground (smoked paprika would work too)
Sea Salt

Ingredients for topping:

Plain Greek yogurt
Roasted pepitas "sunflower seeds"


Wash and slice sweet potato length wise.
Coat with oil.
Sprinkle on the sea salt and ground chipotle peppers.
On a baking sheet, roast sliced potatoes with skin at 400 degrees.
Turn slices around ever 5 minutes or so until browned on all sides.
Garnish with yogurt and pepitas "sunflower seeds."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sprouted Pea Soup

Instead of an ordinary split pea soup try sprouting your peas to make a savory, healthy, vegetarian alternative.  

Peas are very easy to sprout.  You can follow the same instructions for sprouting mung beans.   After the dried peas soak for a day, they will become live food - doubling in both size and nutrition. They will look like regular peas from the garden, but they will need to be cooked to become soft.

Sprouted Peas

Cup of Sprouted Pea Soup


1 cup of spouted peas (1/2 cup of whole split peas)
2.5 cups of water
1 medium sized potato
1 small piece Parmesan cheese rind
6-10 shiitake mushrooms
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dill
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  In a pressure cooker, add the sprouted peas, potato, add the Parmesan rind. 
2.  Cook on high heat until the cooker whistles, then cook on low heat for 10 minutes. 
3.  After you turn off the heat on pressure cooker, set aside and let sit for 15 minutes.
4.  Saute the onions, garlic, mushrooms, dill, and cumin until lightly browned.  
5.  Combine the sauteed ingredients together with the ingredients in the pressure cooker, then puree with a hand blender.
6.  Add salt and pepper to taste then serve.

Note:   You can use a large pot instead of a pressure, but cooking time will increase to 2 hours. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Recipe: Aztec/Mayan Hot and Spicy Cocoa

Hot Pepper Heart
Last week, on a cold day in Manhattan, a friend mentioned she warmed up with hot cocoa spiked with hot pepper.  Since hot chilies are one of my favorite spices, I became curious about this endorphin-releasing combination, so I did a Google search.  I discovered that 2000 years ago the Aztecs and Mayans prepared a sacred drink mixing cayenne pepper and cocoa.  Wanting to rediscover this ancient drink, I created my own variation of this spicy hot cocoa for a Valentine's Day treat.
             Cocoa with a Cinnamon Stick


Dark chocolate, sweet or unsweetened
Brown sugar (if chocolate is unsweetened)
Almonds, finely ground
Hot pepper


1.  Combine desired amount of milk and chocolate into a saucepan.
2.  Add chilies, cinnamon, vanilla, ground almonds plus any other flavors of your liking.
3.  Bring to rapid boil, then serve in a small glass.

Selection of Mexican, Colombian and Dominican Chocolate
All of these chocolates are perfect for hot cocoa. You can find them in a Mexican or Caribbean market.    I like combining the sweetened ibarra with the unsweetened Luker Chocolate. The Embajador Chocolate works great alone.

List of Chocolate Brands for Cocoa:

1.  The Luker Chocolate is bitter, non sweet chocolate, from Columbia.
2.  Chocolate Ibarra, from Mexico, has a gritty texture and is sweetened and flavored with cinnamon.
3.  Embajador is a dark, sweetened chocolate from the Dominican Republic.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Burdock Root from the Farmers Market at Union Square

My friend Keiko, from Tokyo, introduced me to burdock root, a slender brown root vegetable that is common in Japanese cuisine.  This week, i was happy to find this vegetable at the farmer's market at Union Square.  The root has a nutty sweet flavor with a crunch texture that tastes perfect with a bowl of rice and a glass of hot Saki.

Burdock Root

Burdock Root Recipe on Rice

Here is one of Keiko's delicious recipes:


4 Pieces burdock root, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Chunk tofu, sliced
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon sesame oil


1.  Heat sesame oil in skillet.
2.  Add the burdock slices, tofu and sesame seeds, then toss in pan until browned.
3.  Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes.
4.  Serve on a bed of rice or just plain.

Serves 2