Photo and recipe from thecrunchyradish.com
Photo by Mackenzie Smith
October’s interview is with Miranda Hammer, creator of one of my favorite blogs, The Crunchy Radish! Miranda is a dietitian and chef from New York, who focuses on proving that healthy cooking doesn’t need to be an elaborate, extravagant or laborious process. Miranda aims to inspire everyone to get into their kitchens, understand the ingredients they are using, cook a meal from scratch, and take pleasure in the food they are eating. Miranda also shares travel and lifestyle tips on her blog, so you might want to grab a warm drink, and cozy up cause I guarantee once you start perusing, you’ll get sucked in for awhile! So get comfortable and enjoy getting to know this inspiring RD!
What inspired you to start The Crunchy Radish?
I was in graduate school at NYU, taking tons of science classes and I was starting to experiment in the kitchen as a creative outlet. That’s when I decided to start sharing my kitchen creations through my blog and Instagram. This was when food blogs were relatively new. It was an exciting and fun way to channel my creativity while studying such intense subjects at school.
Where’s your favorite place to travel and why?
I don’t think I have one favorite place to travel, but I do love traveling. I love exploring new places, being exposed to regional cuisines and markets, and seeing life through a different lens. I was in Morocco with my husband last year and that was an incredible sensory experience. The food, the culture, the color, and the smells were all so stimulating. I also love traveling to Paris; the food, fashion, and culture is always so inspiring. I have a few favorite spots that I always love go to when I’m there, but I never seem to make it through my “to eat” list. Nantucket is also one of my top picks; I love the familiarity of it, the laid back vibe, and the quintessential ‘New England-ness’ of it.
Can you walk us through a typical day on your plate?
I usually work out in the morning, I either run with my husband and dog, or take a HIIT class. In the summers I will usually have scrambled eggs, sauteed greens, and mashed avocado on multigrain sourdough. In the winter it is usually hot grains like oatmeal, amaranth, quinoa with hemp milk, raisins, walnuts, and little maple syrup. Lunch is usually whatever it is I am working on for my website or a big crunchy salad. Dinner, if I don’t go out, is typically roasted or sauteed veggies, a grain salad, a simple mixed green salad and legume of some type in the summer. In the winter it’s all about hearty soups and stews. For snacks throughout the day I rely on raw cashews, banana with nut butters, or Mary’s Gone Crackers with hummus.
What is the one food you could eat all day, everyday?
Right now heirloom tomatoes or juicy stone fruit. Or to be totally “basic”, avocadoes.
Where do you find inspiration, and what are your favorite blogs to follow?
I get a lot of inspiration from seasonal produce as well as dining out at plant centric restaurants and cafes. Some of my favorite blogs would be What’s Cooking Good Looking, Feed Me Dearly, Dolly and Oatmeal, The First Mess, and The New Baguette.
Where would we find you on a Friday night in New York?
I am such a home body on the weekends, especially during the Winter. I love going out on weeknights with friends or my husband. On typical Friday nights, I like to crack open a bottle of wine, order in food, and watch a movie or binge on a TV show!
What is your must have kitchen tool or kitchen tools?
My Vitamix, chef’s knife, and zester!
You have so many amazing recipes on your blog, but if you had to pick just one to share as your favorite, which would it be?
Probably my Slow Roasted Tomato and Eggplant Pasta. It has all of my favorite things in it and I am a sucker for a good pasta.
A huge thank you to Miranda for letting us peek into her life and her kitchen! A healthy, hearty, simple to make pasta…could it get any better?! I’m already drooling. Bon Appetit!Print
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes or 5–6 large tomatoes or 10 roma tomatoes
- 6 tbsps olive oil
- 2 medium eggplants, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
- salt + pepper
- 5 anchovy fillets (omit for vegan version)
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 lb whole grain or gluten-free pasta (i love this brand)
- 1/2 cup basil
- parmesan cheese or hemp seeds
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice tomatoes in half, drizzle with one to two tablespoons olive oil, and toss with a pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray and roast for 3-4 hours. Smaller tomatoes take approximately 2 hours, larger closer to 4 hours. Store for later use or set aside. *When short on time, I have increased the cooking temperature to 300 degrees which shortens the cooking by an hour or so, depending on how roasted you prefer you tomatoes and how large in size they may be.
- Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. On a parchment paper-lined sheet tray, toss cubed eggplant with 4 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, tossing half way through cooking until eggplant is caramelized. Set aside.
- Cook pasta until just al dente. Drain reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
- In a large pot over medium heat, warm one tablespoon olive oil. Add anchovies, garlic, and chili flakes and cook for 2-3 minutes until the anchovies melt apart. Toss in tomatoes and eggplant and cook for another minute. Add 1/4 cup pasta water and pasta, stir until well combined and the flavors are melded together. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with torn basil, parm, or hemp seeds.
Photo and recipe from thecrunchyradish.com
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