This is no “Tuesdays with Morrie.” bigLITTLE’s Tuesday Lunches are bursts of life, love, laughter, and flavors!!! We began doing drop off lunches for the wonderful doctors of Dowtown Women OBGYN, by far our most loyal clients, about four years ago. Since then, the popularity of our healthy and unique “bag lunch” has spread to other local East Village & Soho/Nolita businesses. Every week we create a simple and satisfying lunch focusing on what the season has to offer. Depending on the week, the lunch menu is inspired by a specific type of cuisine, a featured ingredient, or a classic recipe that we put our twist on. We also drop off a seasonal cake at Lovely Day Cafe which is featured on their specials menu. We truly treasure Tuesday Lunches because our clients have given us the freedom to create different menus for them every week. This enables us to play and be creative… we are playing with our food so to speak!
This week (3.6.12) we started with one ingredient, SMOKED TOFU, that we picked up on a food adventures to SKY Foods. Although it sounds intense, the flavor is extremely mild and the texture is firm without being like cardboard. Choosing to toss the sliced tofu with some chili oil was a perfect way to add heat without being overpowering. We very easily could have taken the Asian route, but instead went to the Mediterranean. Since the weather has been remarkably warm in NYC we felt it best to reflect the Spring temp and clear sky with clean refreshing flavors. What better than a briney crisp Greek salad with the addition of fennel and clementines to balance off a filling and healthy pita sandwich. We love to pack our sandwiches with a ton of ingredients giving each and every bite an explosion of flavors and textures. But lets not forget about the importance of delicious bread!!! If you want some damn good pita Holyland Market on St.Mark’s is the place to stop. While we were there we also picked up Kalamata Olives and Labne. Every great Sandwich / Salad combo needs a delicious dessert to finish it off. How can you go wrong with berries & chocolate? You can’t. But you can make them better by adding them to a light and eggy dessert Pop Over. Flannery had been wanting to try a pop over recipes, so she gave it a little sweet twist and what a success it was.
Smoked Tofu Pita Sandwich
Chili Oil & Orange Marinated Smoked Tofu / Sprouts / Avocado Humus / Pineapple & Cucumber Labne / Pita
bigLITTLE Greek Salad
Spinach / Mixed Greens / Feta / Kalamata Olives / Clementines / Fresh Fennel
RASPBERRY & CHOCOLATE POP OVERS
2 T Canola Oil
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Greek Yogurt
1-2 T water
Pinch of Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 Pint Fresh Raspberries
*for lighter popovers, substitute milk for the yogurt and water
1. Preheat Oven to 425˚F
2. Evenly distribute the oil amongst 6 muffin tin cups and place the muffin tin in the oven to preheat while you make the batter. Rub the oil up the sides of the tin with your hand to ensure it is nicely coated and your little popovers won’t stick.
3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the flour, sugar, yogurt, water and salt until combined and smooth.
4. Gently fold in the dark chocolate and raspberries
5. Remove the muffin tin from the oven, (the oil in the cups should be smoking) and distribute the batter evenly in the tins. You can use an ice cream scoop if you have one.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown, rotating the pan once during cooking.
7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before indulging!
LEMON & POPPYSEED TEA CAKE for Lovely Day
Vegan & almost Gluten Free (Spelt Flour)
3 Lemons thinly sliced (can substitute with lime, orange or grapefruit)
3 Tbs Sugar
5 Tbs Earth Balance Natural Spread(vegan)
1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Tbs Egg Replacer (whisk with 6 Tbs water in a separate bowl)
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1.5 C Spelt Flour (you could also use rice flour)
2 Tbs Baking Powder
2 Tsp Kosher Salt
1/3 C Sunflower Oil (you can substitute an oil of your preference. Almond is very good in this cake)
1 Tbs Poppy Seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat a 9″ cake pan with sunflower oil (or non-stick spray) and a circular piece of parchment.
2. Combine Lemon slices and sugar in a bowl and set aside to macerate while you make the cake batter.
3. In a stand mixer paddle the Earth Balance Natural Spread & Sugar until smooth.
4. Add the Egg Replace Mixture & Vanilla.
5. Whip until smooth and completely mixed together. It should look like a grainy velvet.
6. Meanwhile, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Then add Poppy seeds to sifted mixture.
7. In the mixer add Dry ingredients into Wet ingredients. Alternating flour mixture with Vegetable oil. Mix until just incorporated.
8. Arrange macerated lemon slices on the bottom of the prepared pan. Making sure to cover the bottom as the lemons will reduce in size when baked. We want to make sure every bite gets a bit of lemon.
9. Using a rubber spatula or off set cake spatula, careful place four large scoops of batter around on top of fanned out lemons. This batter is a bit thicker due to the Spelt Flour absorption so spread the batter over lemons carefully making sure not to shift them around in the bottom of the pan.
10. Bake the cake in the oven for about 20 minutes, check & rotate after 15 and gauge from there. Depending on the accuracy of your oven this could take any where from 20-30 min. But you want to make sure it is not over baked and dry.
11. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before inverting & slicing.
Serve this cake with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I love sipping some Chamomile tea while nibbling on this perfectly English delight!