Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Soggy lettuce leaves?


Have soggy lettuce? Do not throw it away just yet. Add juice from half of a lemon in a bowl of cold water. Add lettuce and place bowl in the fridge for one hour. Dry leaves and enjoy


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers


Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
makes 7-8 large patties


2 cans cannellini white beans, drained
1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
2 tsp maple syrup or Stevia Baking Blend
Himalayan sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper if desired
1/4 cup wheat flour
plentiful Panko crumbs
Coconut oil for pan


Directions:

1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together.
3. Mash in seasoning and flour. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist. But you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 2 Tbsp coconut  oil in a pan over high heat.
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6.  Serve with a mango salsa and a side salad or as a burger, topped with onions and avocado

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Refreshing Cold Cucumber Soup



2 English cucumbers (seedless), chopped
1/4 large red onion, chopped
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons dill
2 tablespoons fresh basil
a few sprigs of fresh chives (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt and freshy ground pepper
1 1/4 cups cold water, or as needed
How to make it:
1. In a large food processor, combine the chopped cucumbers, red onion, chives, Greek yogurt, dill, juices  and spices for 30 seconds to combine.
2. Stream in the cold water and blend as needed until smooth.
3. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge. Top with a sprig of dill to garnish. Makes 4 servings

Monday, July 30, 2012

Strawberry Ice Cream (no dairy, no sugar or sweetener)

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 banana, sliced and frozen
1 handful of strawberries, frozen
1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the frozen bananas and strawberries into a food processor. Start blending then add in the vanilla and coconut milk. Just enough for it to blend together but not too much, we want it to be really thick! Once it is nice and smooth but still very thick scoop it out and enjoy! It needs to be eaten right away as it will not keep very well in the freezer. Makes 2-3 servings. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Spaghetti and Cheese Nests



Makes about 8-12 servings
NOTES:
  • Feel free to experiment with your favorite spice combinations in this pasta.
Makes about 12 “nests” in standard sized muffin tins
INGREDIENTS
  • 10 ounces dry Whole Wheat Spaghetti (or gluten free option)
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Cottage Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • pinch Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1  teaspoon Tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • shaved Parmesan for garnish
METHOD
Pre heat oven to 425˚F with the rack in the center of the oven. Lightly spray Muffin tins. Cook pasta according to directions, reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid. Be sure not to break spaghetti while cooking so you can twirl it into nests.Combine cottage cheese and cheddar cheese in a bowl. Toss cooked pasta with a splash of olive oil, all spices and seasonings. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if you need to. Mix with cheese mixture. Reserve a bit of cheese to top each nest.
Twirl spaghetti with a fork and add to muffin tins, create nest shapes. Top each nest with a bit of the cottage cheese mixture. Bake for about 10 minutes. The tops of your nests will be lightly browned and a bit crispy. Let cool for a few minutes. Gently loosen spaghetti nests from muffin tins with a spatula and serve. Top with parmesan & dried basil or parsley if desired.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Farro, the king of grains




Farro is a whole grain that is an excellent source for complex carbohydrates. Additionally, farro has twice the fiber and protein than modern wheat. Different than some other whole grains, a carbohydrate in farro called cyanogenic glucosides has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested.

Below are more detailed facts regarding farro’s nutritional value:
Per ½ cup raw farro:
170 calories
1.5 g of fat
0 g saturated fat
0 mg of sodium
34 g of carbohydrates
2 mg of iron
6 g of protein
4 mg of niacin
60 mg of magnesium
2 mg zinc

In addition to minerals and vitamins, farro is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans and betaine.  Betaine, when combined with choline, has been shown to prevent or reduce stress-included inflammation, which can be beneficial for individuals suffering from certain medical conditions.

When cooked, farro is often shaped like a giant puffed rice.  It’s nutty in flavor and has a slightly crunchy texture. It can easily replace rice in any recipes.  It is delicious as a side dish or as a complement in stews or soups.
Try it and fall in love.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Spinach salad with chicken, avocado and feta cheese



Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 min

ingredients:

SALAD:
8 cups chopped spinach (1 bag)
1 cup halved cherry or pear tomatoes
1/2 cup corn cut off the cob, can be omitted
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 large avocado, sliced
1/3 cup crumbled  feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
DRESSING:
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

directions:

1. Place spinach in a large salad bowl. add remaining salad ingredients.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss (a little at a time... as much dressing as you desire).

Monday, July 9, 2012

GROW YOUR OWN SPROUTS -





Glass Jar - There are many different sprouting kit options, ranging from stackable plastic rings to glass jars, sprouting bags, and automatic sprouters. My favorite is the glass jar method. Sprouting with this simple system involves soaking your chosen seeds overnight and covering the jar with a mesh screen and rubber band. In the morning drain the soak water and rinse the seeds twice daily, placing them on a rack to drain during the day. Harvest them within three to seven days. Some of the easiest sprouts to grow are alfalfa, fenugreek, radish, broccoli, mung beans, onion, cabbage, mustard seeds, chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, pea sprouts, and wheat seeds. For most sprouts, continue to sprout them until they have developed a long tail or their first leaves have begun to go green. In the case of chickpeas, quinoa, pea sprouts, and lentils, they are ready to eat as soon as their tails begin to unfurl or emerge from the seed. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baked Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pesto and Feta




4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup pesto
1/4 cup crumbled feta (packed)
1/4 cup almonds or pecans, chopped up very finely
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 organic eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a flat roasting pan with olive oil. Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts, then put each chicken piece inside heavy plastic bag and pound with meal mallet until the chicken is 1/4 inch thick. (Don't worry if there are some ragged edges, you can tuck them in.) Lay chicken skin side down on cutting board.

Put crumbled Feta and pesto in a small bowl and mix together with a fork. Divide pesto mixture evenly among four chicken breasts, then use a spoon to spread it over the chicken, not going completely to the edge or the stuffing will leak out. Roll up each chicken breast, starting with the smallest end and tucking in any ragged edges, and then secure each piece with two toothpicks.

Put beaten egg in one bowl and combine almonds/pecan, and parmesan in another. Dip each chicken piece first in egg, then in almond/parmesan mixture, turning over several times so chicken is well-coated.

Place chicken pieces in baking pan and cook until chicken feels firm but not hard to the touch (about 40 minutes, but start checking a little sooner.) If desired, put chicken under the broiler for 3-4 minutes to brown the top. (I did broil the top a bit.) Serve hot.


4 servings
485 calories per serving


                                                                                



Sunday, May 20, 2012

Breakfast Pizza



Serves 2 
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour 
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 stevia packets (1/16 tsp uncut) (Can easily be omitted if you’re planning to frost the pizza with something very sweet.)
  • very scant 1/2 cup (100 g) water, juice, or milk of choice
  • 2 tbsp (35g) applesauce or coconut oil (or pumpkin, veg oil, mashed banana, or even baby food!)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • spices or extracts if you wish (I like adding a little cinnamon)
  • A few handfuls ______ Fill in the blank! Raspberries? Chocolate chips? Chopped apples, walnuts, and raisins?  Anything goes!!  It’s your pizzat!
Mix everything together and pour into a pan greased with coconut oil. Make sure it’s evenly coated and greased enough, or it’ll stick to the pan.
 Cook in an UNpreheated oven at 420 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Then you get to play with toppings: fresh berries, yogurt, cream cheese, hot baked apples. You are only limited by your imagination 

Friday, May 18, 2012

BREAKFAST BURRITO



Serves 1
·        1 whole wheat or sprouted wheat tortilla
·        1 organic egg , scramble it in a small bowl
·        salsa to taste
·        1 teaspoon coconut oil
·        1 clove of garlic , minced or diced
·        1 T. chopped green onions
·        A few leaves of spinach, chopped
·        salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in the oil.
Add the spinach and sauté for a minute
Add the egg and cook. Season
Warm the tortilla in a pan
Add the egg mixture, the salsa. Roll and serve.


There are lots of variations to this. You could add a little grated zucchini, 1 tab of brown rice, beans, cilantro, tomatoes and/or diced avocado.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Hummus


This hummus recipe is perfect for those who like hummus, but not with tahini.

Ingredients:
2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cumin


Preparation:
In a food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Serve immediately with whole grain
pita bread, or veggies.

Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How to freeze herbs

I love growing my own herbs or even going to the farmer's market and buying large bunches at a great price. But I do not enjoy wasting them.

Here is an easy method to preserve them:

  • Wash and dry your herbs. Chop them
  • Put them in an ice cube tray. 
  • Cover with either good quality water or broth.
  • When they are frozen you can pop them out and store them in a freezer bag.
  • When you need fresh herb, you can just pop one out of the bag and into the pot. 


Simple and easy.


When I get large amount of basil I love making my own pesto. It is so simple and so much healthier and cheaper then buying a jar of already made pesto. I will  freeze it in the same way, in ice cube trays.
I can just pop one or two into the dish I am cooking.

Easy convenient and healthy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lentil Quinoa Burgers with Sauteed Mushrooms


1/2 cup quinoa
1 can (19 oz) lentils, rinsed (or fresh lentil you have cooked)
1/2 cup whole grain bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 gloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp cumin powder
1/3 cup cilantro Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 tsp coconut oil
6 100% whole-grain buns

1. In a saucepan, combine quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 10 minutes. Let quinoa cool.

2. In a bowl, combine half the lentils, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, cumin, cilantro, lemon juice, cooked quinoa, and salt and pepper to taste. Place in a food processor or blender; process until well combined. Add remaining lentils and walnuts; pulse until they're incorporated. Form into 6 patties.

3. Preheat grill to medium. Meanwhile, warm olive oil in skillet over medium heat; add sliced mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in wine and cook for another 5 minutes.

4. Brush burgers with oil and cook for 4 minutes per side. Toast buns for 2 minutes. Serve burgers on buns and top with sauteed mushrooms.

Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 445 cal, 15 g fat (3 g sat), 62 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 305 mg sodium, 19 g protein

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Greek guaccamole


2 large avocado chopped

1/2 cup red onion chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

4 small tomatoes - roma or vine-ripened chopped

4 oz feta cheese

1 tsp olive oil

1 Tbls red wine vinegar

1Tbls fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano

Juice of one lime

salt & pepper to taste


Mix everything & serve with chips or raw vegetables

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP


ingredients
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 onion, chopped
· 2 garlic cloves, chopped
· 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (2 tablespoons)
· 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
· 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
· 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
· Dash ground cloves
· 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
· 1 tart apple, peeled, quartered, and chopped
· 4 cups chopped butternut squash
· Coarse salt and pepper
Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, apple, squash, and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil; cover partially and reduce to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
3. Working in batches, puree until smooth in a blender. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

How to Store Fruit



Apples store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.
Citrus
store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an airtight container.
Apricots
on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe
Cherries
store in an airtight container. Dont wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.
Berries-Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.
Dates
dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if theyre going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag as long as its porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.
Figs
Dont like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week unstacked.
Melons
uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.
Nectarines
(similar to apricots) store in the fridge is okay if ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.
Peaches(and most stone fruit)
refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.
Pears
will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
Persimmon –Fuyu
(shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.
–Hachiya
(longer/pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stackthey get very fragile when really ripe.
Pomegranates
keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.
Strawberries
Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

15 MINUTE CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA


Ingredients:

1 medium sized ripe avocado, pitted

1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish

1-3 garlic cloves, to taste

1/2 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt or to taste

1/4 cup fresh basil (optional)

2 Tbs California Olive Ranch, Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 oz , Whole Wheat Pasta or your choice of pasta

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes or follow directions on package.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Please note: This dish does not reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce. Please serve immediately.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Refried Beans


Until I found this refried beans recipe, I always bought canned refried beans to use in quesadillas. Now that I know how easy it is to make them from scratch, I prefer making my own. They are much tastier - and they are healthier and more economical too! Unlike canned refried beans, these make a hearty meal. Try serving them with rice, salsa and a salad.

If you are in a rush, use 2 cans (each 19 oz) of cooked pinto beans instead of cooking your own.

ingredients

3 Tbs olive oil

2 cups minced onion

4 cloves garlic, pressed

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

4 cups cooked pinto beans

directions

In a large skillet, heat the oil.
Add the onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.
Sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft.
Turn heat to low.
Add the beans. Mix well. Mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher. Cook for a few more minutes until heated through.

½ cup serving = 185 calories

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Dipping Blue Berries in Yogurt, freezing them over night for a healthy snack the next day. You could do this virtually with any type of fruit!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Layered Greek Dip


1. Finely chop olive, bell pepper, cucumber, and dill.

2. Spread hummus about 1-2 inches thick in the bottom of a wide serving dish.

3. Sprinkle the vegetables evenly over the hummus.

4. Crumble feta cheese on top.

5. Sprinkle bits of dill and serve with warm whole grain pita slices. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HERBS


Herbs are a wonderful way to add flavor and taste to your food. It brings a new life to everything. I came across this wonderful website to help you grow your own herbs. You can then not only have them all year round, but you can grow them organically. You will save money and have healthier, fresher food.

Really useful information about growing eleven different herbs.


Fresh herbs to dry herb ratio

When cooking with fresh and dry herbs, there is a general rule when it comes to the ratio of fresh to dry. Because dried herbs are generally more potent and concentrated than fresh herbs, you'll need less -- typically three times the amount of fresh herbs as dry. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, you need only 1 teaspoon of dried, since 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Over Ripe Avocados? Don't throw them out!



Last week there was a great deal at my local grocery for avocados ($1 each!), so I bought a bunch of them! A few were ripe so those were used in my mango salsa a few nights ago. The rest I let sit to finish ripening to freeze! Most people do not realize you can freeze these whole food beauties! Just cut in half and remove the seed. Wrap in saran wrap (a vacuum sealer is the best option if you have one) then place into a freezer safe container or bag. I have never kept mine more than three months so not sure how long they will keep.

When you are ready to use them thaw in the ice box overnight. These are great for guacamole, homemade baby food, chocolate mousse, truffles and so much more!

Enjoy!

Broccoli and Avocado Salad


1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 head broccoli

1 small red onion
1 avocado

Himalayan sea salt

Freshly ground pepper
handful roasted almonds

1. Combine mustard, vinegar and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a salad bowl. Season.

3. Chop broccoli into tiny trees and toss in the dressing.

4. Chop avocado in half and scoop bight sized chunks into the dressing mixture using a spoon.

5. Toss salad to distribute the dressing and serve with almonds on top.