Karen Schuld Photography: NYC Food Photographer

Sprouts in the Hood

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

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grilling Vegetables without the Grill

Close-up of Vegetables from Farmers Market with Sardine Filet
In Manhattan, outdoor grilling can be a little challenging, unless you are willing to go over to the Hudson River and set up your hibachi.  If you like grilled flavor, without the hassle of setting up the grill, here is an easy alternative for cooking vegetables.  Take your favorite vegetables and cook them on a cast iron skillet with fresh sardines.  The oils from the sardines will make the vegetables crunchy with a flavor that says "hot off the grill".  After you have cooked everything, squeeze on a little lemon juice, then add some sea salt and your favorite fresh herbs. 

Sardine with Sweet Potatoes, Beets and Beet Greens
 Sardine Filets with Asparagus, and Beets, and Beet Greens

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Persian Inspired Salad with Sweet Potato and Spinach

Persian Inspired Salad
A friend introduced me to an amazing Persian cookbook titled "Food for Life" by  Najmieh Batmanglij.  After glancing through the recipes and delicious looking pictures, I started craving flavors such as spearmint, rose water, dates, raisins, pistachios, saffron, and turmeric.  Combining a myriad of these flavors can give any dish an exotic twist.

After being influenced by Najmieh Batmanglij's recipes, I created my own Persian inspired salad.

Ingredients for Persian Inspired Salad with Sweet Potato and Spinach:

2 cups spinach
1 sweet potato, sliced
1 cup garbanzo beans
1/4 cup dill
1/4 cup parsley
3 tablespoons spearmint,
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon butter or ghee
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic stems, chopped
1 tablespoon rose water
1tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
1 pinch of saffron
Salt to taste
Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Pine Nuts


1.  Microwave sweet potato until soft.  Run cold water over potato, while peeling skin off.  Set aside.
2.  In a skillet, brown the onions and garlic in butter or ghee.  Then add sweet potato, garbanzo beans, rose water, hot pepper flakes, turmeric, saffron and salt.  
3.  Let mixture cool then add dill, spearmint, parsley, garlic stems and spinach.
5.  Dress with some lemon juice and olive oil.
5.  Garnish with a dollup of yogurt and pine nuts.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pad Thai with Spring Veggies

Pad Thai with Spring Veggies
Pad thai can be a quick and easy recipe you can rely on for last minute entertaining. My pad thai recipe is one of my favorites – I learned it some years ago when I lived in Chinatown, NYC.  

I love using local veggies to make my pad thai taste fresh and flavorful.  Today, I am adding some asparagus. scallions, and ramps to my recipe.  

This entree works great with a papaya or mango salad.


1 package cups rice noodles
4 cups of your favorite vegetables, chopped
1 package of tofu, sliced and seared
4 garlic cloves. diced
1/4 cup scallions
1/8 cup tamarind paste
1/4 cup hot water

2 tablespoons honey
4 eggs
1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup combination of herbs, such as cilantro, mint, and basil, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 limes, sliced


1.  Soak the rice noodles for an hour or two in warm water, then strain.  Set aside.
2.  Coat and heat a large skillet  or wok with sesame oil.
3.  Add chopped vegetable, garlic, hot pepper flakes and scallions, then toss while cooking for approximately 2-3 minutes on high heat.
4.  Scramble eggs with other ingredients in wok, while tossing.
5.  Dissolve tamarind paste and honey in water, then slowly add to wok mixture while tossing.
6.  Add the softened noodles to mixture, then keep tossing until ingredients are mixed and noodles have soft consistency. 
7.  Serve on platter, top with seared tofu, then garnish with freshly picked herbs, limes and peanuts.
Serves 6 people

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mongu with Red Beans and Pea Sprouts for Breakfast

Mangu with Cilantro Chutney
Mangu with Beans, Pea Sprouts and Sauteed Onions

A staple of Caribbean food is the platano, which can be found in any corner market in Washington Heights.  Mangu is a made from mashing a green platantain until it has a mashed potato-like texture.  In a typical Dominican breakfast, mangu is accompanied by eggs, avocados and sauteed onions.  This morning, I prepared some mangu then served with red beans, sauteed onions and cilantro chutney.  The pea shoot garnish gave my dish a nice spring touch.

Mangu Recipe:


2 unripe boiled plantains, sliced

2 tablespoons of butter
1 large onion, sliced  
2 garlic cloves, diced 
2 teaspoons turmeric   
1/2 tablespoon vinegar  
1/2 cup  water
2  tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste

    1.  Peel and slice plantains, then boil for 20 minutes or until tender.
    2.  Combine and blend boiled plantains, butter, vinegar, water, cilantro and salt.
    3.  Saute onions, garlic with turmeric. 
    3.  Top with the sauteed onion mixture, pea sprouts and cilantro chutney.

    Ripe Plantains and Rulo at Washington Heights Market

    Green Plantains at a Washington Heights Market

    159th Street in Washington Heights, Western View

    159th Street in Washington Heights, Eastern View

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Enjoying a Glass of Sauvignon Blanc with the Lilacs

    1.  Glass of Seven Brother's Sauvignon Blanc 2.  Lilac bush

    Robledo Vineyard's Sauvignon Blanc

    Today, I am enjoying a glass of "The Seven Brothers" Sauvignon Blanc, as I sit outdoors enjoying the scent of lilacs adorning the Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights.  The refreshing white wine has a crisp texture, a light tropical fruit flavor, and a smooth finish that is perfect on this sunny, warm day.

    You can order this Sauvignon Blanc or the full bodied red for only $13.00 though California Wine Company.  Just use the code:  foodblog-11.   


    Lilac Bush at Morris Jumel Mansion, Washington Heights

    Magnolia Tree in front of Morris Jumel Mansion, Washington Heights