Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grilled sweet potato and scallion salad

I wanted to find a light recipe for the sweet potatoes. Here is one from Bobby Flay on the Food Network. I'll be following the reviewers suggestions of less vinegar and less dressing.


  • 4 large sweet potatoes, par-cooked and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 8 scallions
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


Preheat grill to high. Brush potatoes and scallions with oil and arrange on grill. Grill potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until just tender. Grill scallions until softened and marked. Remove scallions from the grill and cut into thin slices.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, the mustard, vinegars, and honey. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add potatoes, scallions, and parsley and toss until potatoes are well coated. Transfer to a platter and serve.
 **Good salad. I didn't think grilling (I have a gas grill) made much of a difference to the sweet potatoes- however, if you use a charcoal grill, I'm sure it would. Nice salad. Can't wait to try it on day two.
##It was not all that much better on day two. I won't make it again.

Warm lentil salad

This recipe comes from the Orangette blog. What a great site! I'll be serving this lentil dish with a fresh salad of greens with sliced sugar snaps on top.

French-Style Warm Lentil Salad
Adapted from

This lentil salad isn’t exactly like the ones I’ve eaten in France – those were usually plainer, with just vinaigrette and flecks of raw shallot – but I like it just as much. (And – bonus! – it doesn’t leave me with shallot breath.) It also keeps and reheats well, and it tastes even better the next day, which makes it perfect weekday lunch material.

1 cup French green (also known as “Puy”) lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cups water
1 Turkish bay leaf
½ tsp. salt, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. plus ½ tsp. red wine vinegar
½ Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Crunchy sea salt, for serving
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the lentils, water, and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt, and then simmer, covered, for another 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but not falling apart.

While the lentils simmer, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, and 1/8 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just softened, about 7 to 9 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons vinegar, mustard, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, and whisk to emulsify.

When the lentils are ready, drain them in a colander or sieve, and discard the bay leaf. Dump them into the skillet with the vegetables, and add the vinaigrette. Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until heated through. Stir in the remaining ½ tsp. vinegar, and serve warm, with crunchy salt and parsley for sprinkling.

Yield: 4 side-dish servings
 **Great salad. Easy to make. Should have put the parsley in it. I will next time!

Steamed greens with sweet sesame dressing

Although this recipe calls for spinach, I will be trying it with the asian greens we get this week.
The recipe comes from a site in New Zealand- Ruth Pretty. I'll be serving it with marinated tempeh cut into thin strips, marinated in the teriyaki marinade from last week.


90g (1/2 cup) sesame seeds
90ml(6 tbsp) soy sauce
18g (1 + 1/2 tbsp) sugar
90ml (6 tbsp) mirin
salt and freshly ground pepper
750g spinach leaves (destalked)


  • To make Sweet Sesame Dressing: Place sesame seeds into a dry frying pan and toast till they are golden. Place sesame seeds into a mortar (or food processor fitted with a metal blade) with enough soy sauce so that seeds can be crushed with a pestle to resemble a paste. Add remaining soy sauce, sugar and mirin and mix to combine. Season to taste. Cover and refrigerate till required.
  • Fill a steamer base with water and bring to the boil. Add spinach to steamer basket and steam for 3-4 minutes or till tender but still bright green. Drain well.
  • Place dressing into a small non-reactive saucepan and, over gentle heat, bring to the boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or till dressing thickens. 


** I liked this dish. It was easy to make and the greens were delicious the next day with the sauce. One of my daughters loved the tempeh.

    Leftover Steak and Vege soft tacos

    Needing a light meal using left over steak. Found this one.

    by Russell Skall, Fleming's Executive Chef
    PREPARATION TIME: 15-20 minutes
    3 Tbsp. red onion, diced
    3 Tbsp. green pepper, diced
    2 tsp. jalapeños, finely diced
    2 Roma tomatoes, diced
    1 tsp. garlic, minced
    1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. black pepper, fine grind
    2 tsp. fresh lime juice
    2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    1 TBS. extra virgin olive oil
    5-6 oz. leftover steak
    1 cup shredded lettuce
    7-8 cilantro leaves
    4 flour tortillas
    Taco sauce to taste
    Cut the red onion and pepper into ¼-inch dice and place in a mixing bowl. Cut the jalapeño in half and remove the stem and seeds. Mince and add to the mixing bowl with diced tomatoes and minced garlic. Add the Kosher salt, black pepper, lime juice, vinegar and 1 tsp. olive oil to the mixing bowl and mix well. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Cut the leftover meat into ¼-inch dice, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place 2 tsp. olive oil in a small sauté pan on high heat. Add the meat and sear 1-2 minutes. Place the warm steak in a clean bowl and reserve. Place the sauté pan back on the high heat with a little olive oil. Cook the vegetables for 2-3 minutes to soften. Place in clean bowl and reserve. Place some of the meat in the middle of a tortilla, then top with some of the vegetables and shredded lettuce. Pull the cilantro leaves off the stem and place on top. Finish with your favorite sauce. Fold the tortillas and serve.

    Makes 4 tacos.
    * I won't be using bell peppers or the cilantro. We'll use spelt tortillas. I'll be using my pickled jalapenos that I canned last summer.
     Daughter One's plate
    Daughter Two's plate

    **These were great. Easy to make.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Pineapple Fried Rice

    I adapted this recipe from the cookbook called Fresh: Healthy Cooking and Living from Lake Austin Spa Resort. Make sure the rice is cold or it will be too gummy.

    1 C diced onions
    1 1/2 T minced fresh ginger
    4 C cooked rice
    1 C shredded carrot
    1 C minced pineapple
    2 eggs, beat lightly
    1/2 t salt
    4 green onions, chopped
    1 green chili, chopped

    In a wok, add some oil and fry the garlic, just until it begins to color. Add the onion and ginger; saute for a few seconds. Add the rice, carrot, and pineapple; stir- fry for a minute or two. Add the onions and chili. Stir for a minute. Add the eggs and stir. Finish with salt to taste.
    **So easy to make.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Oyster Mushroom and Onion Salad

    I was looking for a way to use the wonderful oyster mushrooms we get from LPO. Can't wait to try this salad. I found the recipe by chance- hope it is good! I'll be adding strips of grilled beef to the recipe for some additional protein.

    The secret here is to marinate the onions until they are sweet and soft. The marinade then becomes the salad dressing, with the fragrance oranges and honey. This would also work well with young almond-flavored Agaricus mushrooms like A. augustus. The recipe serves 4 as a side salad, or two as a main course.

    12 oz. Pleurotis ostreatus (oyster mushrooms), coarsely sliced or whole
    1 head of Romaine or leaf lettuce
    1 small red or sweet onion (Walla Walla or similar), sliced in paper thin rings
    1/2 cup red wine vinegar
    1/4 cup honey
    1/2 tsp. salt
    Zest of 1 large orange
    Juice of 1 large orange
    1 Tblsp. soy sauce
    4 Tblsp. sherry
    1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
    1 Tblsp. olive oil
    2 Tblsp. rice wine
    1 splash soy sauce
    1 clove garlic
    1 grated carrot
    Marinate the onion two hours in advance. Slice the onion paper thin, separating the layers into ringlets. Place the onions in a bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the honey, red wine vinegar, salt, sherry and soy sauce until the honey is thoroughly melted and the mixture is almost boiling. Pour the liquid over the onions. Mix in the zest and the juice of one large orange. Set aside for about two hours at room temperature.

    Prepare the plates for serving. Chop the lettuce into medium strips and spread onto plates. Sprinkle grated carrots over the lettuce. Place the marinated onion on top of the carrots, reserving the marinade for later.

    Sauté the oyster mushrooms. In a wok or frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil with a high flame, then add the chopped garlic, stirring. As soon as the garlic starts to turn slightly tan, about 30 seconds, add the mushrooms and stir to avoid burning the garlic. After about two minutes the mushrooms should be starting to sear a bit. Add the rice wine and a splash of soy sauce (to taste) and heat for a few more minutes until the mushrooms have absorbed most of the wine (the rest will evaporate.) Distribute the mushrooms onto the onions, on top of each salad, then dribble the onion marinade onto the salads as dressing. Serve immediately.

    * I'll be adding several strips of grilled beef to the top of this salad.
     Salad without the beef.
    Salad with the beef.
    **Nice salad. The mushrooms were delicious. I liked the marinated onions as well. Easy to make.

    Steamed Asian Greens with Honey Soy Sesame Dressing

    This recipe looks like a nice way to eat our LPO asian greens. I paired it with the teriyaki salmon (recipe on blog). You can find this recipe on food network.

    1 1/2 pounds spinach, baby bok choy, Chinese broccoli, or a combination
    3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon sesame oil
    1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish

    Pour about 1-inch of water into a wok and bring it to a boil over high heat. Put the greens into a bamboo steamer and cover. Put the steamer into the wok and steam the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until they are just tender. Meanwhile make the dressing by combining the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, oil, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds in a small bowl. Put the cooked greens onto a serving platter, drizzle the dressing over them, and toss well to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
     **Great accompaniment to the salmon and rice. I thought the dressing was fabulous on the salmon.

    Salmon Teriyaki

    I was drawn to this recipe because I wanted to pair it with steamed asian greens. It looks delicious and I can't wait to try it. This recipe comes from the blog called the taste space. I'll be making a trip to Talin Market for the mirin and sake. The blog suggests aji-mirin (“mirin taste”),  mirin-fu chomiryo (“a kind of mirin”), Shin-mirin (“new mirin”) as well as hon-mirin (“true mirin”).

    Salmon Teriyaki

    Teriyaki Sauce

    150 mL soy sauce
    150 mL mirin
    150 mL sake
    50 mL sugar

    1. Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolving.

    2. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer 15-20 minutes, until the syrup reduces by a quarter to a third and is glossy.

    Sauce can be used immediately or stored for 4 weeks in the refrigerator. This recipes makes plenty of sauce and could be scaled down if you just want it for the salmon.

    Salmon Teriyaki

    4 salmon fillets, each weighing 4 oz
    teriyaki sauce

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

    2. Place the fillets, skin side down on the aluminum.

    3. Brush salmon with teriyaki sauce and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, brush with more sauce. Continue to add more sauce every 5 minutes until salmon is cooked. The length of time will depend on the thickness of your salmon.

    4. Drizzle with a bit more teriyaki sauce once plated and serve.

    Serves 4.
     **I think maybe it needed more sugar. Mine just didn't thicken and glaze well.

    Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Greens with Peanuts

    Saw this on Epicurious. Looked like a nice fresh way to use our LPO cooking greens.

    2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
    2 tablespoons dry Sherry, divided
    3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
    2 teaspoons golden brown sugar, divided
    1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips
    3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
    4 green onions, white parts and green parts chopped separately
    2 teaspoons chopped seeded serrano chiles
    1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)
    1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

    Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in medium bowl. Add chicken; marinade 20 to 30 minutes.
    Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in small bowl and reserve.
    Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add white parts of onions and chiles; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over high heat. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Sauté just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens. Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts.

     **I got 3 1/2 C of greens from LPO and added another 1 1/2 C of curly leaf kale from my garden. That is about 1/2 of what was called for in the recipe. I think the dish could have used some more. I used less chicken (1 lb vs 1 1/2 lbs), and I used thighs instead of breast meat. I used 2 green chilis instead of serranos. I thought it was a delicious dish- very easy to make. Another great way to use greens.

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Vegetable Tagine

    I got this recipe from the New York Times. My comment reads, "Good, Filling". It calls for a spice called zaatar. You can find it at the Istanbul Cafe on Wyoming. They don't have a website, but I found this great local blog called Elva Eats that reviews the cafe. I love going into the shop- they have a great selection of basmati rices, spices, and it is a good place to find sheep and goat feta, rather than cow feta.

    2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
    2 medium onions, diced
    2 fresh small chili peppers, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 cup dried lentils
    4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
    1/4 cup tomato puree
    1 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned (if canned, drain and rinse)
    1 cup carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
    1 1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 zucchini, cut into 1-inch dice
    3/4 cup green peas, frozen
    1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    1 tablespoon zaatar (see note)
    Salt and pepper to taste.

    1. In a medium or large saucepan over medium heat, warm the butter or oil. Add the onions and chilies and cook until the onions begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
    2. Add the paprika, cayenne and cumin and continue to sauté until the onions are tender and fragrant, a few minutes longer.
    3. Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato puree and water just to cover. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
    4. Add the chickpeas, carrots, green beans, zucchini, and green peas. Simmer until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes more. Note: this recipe can be prepared in advance up to this point. Allow to cool, refrigerate and serve within a couple of days. Add the parsley and zaatar during the last five minute of cooking. Season to taste. Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve immediately.

    **Delicious. The zataar really made an interesting addition to the tastes.

    Mung Bean Biriani

    I made this several times on our farm. This is a good vegetarian entree for hungry workers and/or growing boys. My notes say "Big Pot- Hearty". I can't remember where I copied the recipe from- it has both metric/imperial and American measurements.

    1/2 lb mung beans
    2 med onions
    4 cloves garlic
    1 large potato
    4 tomatoes
    4 T oil
    1 t turmeric
    1/2 t cayenne pepper
    1 t cumin
    1 t coriander
    1 1/4 C brown rice
    sea salt
    juice of 1 lemon

    Put the mung beans into a saucepan with 2 1/2 C water. Cover them, bring to a boil and simmer them for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and soak the beans for 1 hour.
    Finely chop the onion and garlic Scrub the potato and cut it into 1/2 dice. Scald, skin, and roughly chop the tomatoes.
    Heat the oil in a saucepan on a low heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook them until they look transparent. Stir in the spices and cook them until the onions are soft. Drain the beans and stir them into the pan with the rice, potatoes, and tomatoes. Stir them over the heat for 5 minutes. Make the cooking liquid up with stock (total of 3 1/2 C), pour it into the pan and bring it to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes.

    *To save time, I will soak the beans for 4 hours, then cook the beans in a pressure cooker for 9 minutes. While the beans are cooking, I'll be working on the rest of the dish and will add the beans when they are finished. This should save me at least 1 hour and 20 minutes. I'll be using canned tomatoes.
     ** I forgot to soak the beans, so I brought them up to pressure for one minute and then turned them off and let the pressure drop naturally (they were cooked through- so I think 9 minutes as I'd originally researched and said above would be way too much for these little beans). I added them into the rest of the dish at that point. I served this with plain yogurt. It was delicious. Great leftovers, too!

    Lentils, Rice, and Chickpeas

    This recipe came from the Israel chapter of a cookbook called The Global Gourmet. It looks good and filling.

    3/4 cup lentils
    1/2 cup rice
    2 cups water
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    1 medium onion, finely chopped
    4 large cloves garlic
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 cups tomato sauce
    1 teaspoon salt
    Several good grinds of black pepper
    1 small bunch fresh mint leaves,
       finely chopped, or 2 tablespoons
       crushed dry mint
    2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
    Good handful of flat leaf
       parsley leaves, finely chopped
    Plain yogurt, for garnish

    1. In a pot, combine the lentils, rice, and water. Bring to a simmer; then cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered.
    2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the sliced onion over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is a rich golden brown. Remove the onion from the pot, leaving behind as much of the oil as possible. Set the onions aside.
    3. In the same saucepan, sauté the chopped onion and the garlic in the remaining oil, stirring, until the onion wilts and just begins to turn golden. Stir in the cumin.
    4. Add the tomato sauce, salt, pepper; mint, and chickpeas, then add the reserved lentils and rice. Mix well, then cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the parsley.
    5. Serve hot, garnished with the reserved caramelized onions, and pass the yogurt.
    **So easy to make. Delicious with the fresh mint. Served with yogurt. Great leftovers.

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Walnut Cookies- Gluten-free, Dairy-Free

    Not sure where this recipe came from. But it is gluten-free, dairy-free and looked like it would taste good. We'll see!

    1/2 C canola or sunflower oil
    1 C brown sugar
    2 C rolled oats
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    1 t vanilla
    1/4 t sea salt
    3/4 C walnuts, chopped
    1 C desiccated coconut

    Mix together oil, brown sugar and rolled oats. Place in refrigerator for an hour or so. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, walnuts and coconut to this mixture. Mix well together.

    Onto an oiled cookie tray,place teaspoons of the mixture and flatten with a spoon. Bake at 325 for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
     **Made lots of cookies. It helps to refrigerate them before you put them on the cookie sheet. If you aren't careful, they'll fall apart. If you take them off the sheet too early, they'll crumble; too late, they'll stick. Good flavor- like a sweeter oatmeal cookie.

    Brownies- Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free

    We have a friend visiting that is dairy free and chocolate free. So I decided to try these brownies before she arrived. I turned to Elishia's Kitchen again for this recipe!


    1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill gluten free all purpose flour mix*
    1 Cup carob powder
    1 Tablespoons baking powder
    1 Tablespoons ground flax seeds (or sold as flax seed meal)
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum*
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    3/4 Cup almond milk
    6 Pitted dates, medjool preferred
    2/3 Cup coconut oil, melted
    1/2 Cup apple sauce
    9 Drops stevia*
    1/4 Cup maple syrup (agave would work too)
    2 Tablespoon vanilla flavor, or use vanilla extract - just 1 Tbsp*

    2 Eggs
    1 Cup pecans, chopped

    silky carob topping (optional) recipe below

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 
    2. Lightly grease a muffin tin for a cupcake version or a 7x13” pan. You may choose a smaller pan if you want them thicker, just increase cooking time. 
    3. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients together and mix well. Carob tends to clump up a bit - I like there to be some little bits (pea sized or smaller) of it in the finished product - so break up any large pieces with a whisk, otherwise just leave it alone. Set aside. 
    4. Place the dates and almond milk in a blender and blend until the dates are pulverized. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients, except the eggs, and blend until combined. 
    5. In a separate bowl whip the eggs together until there are air bubbles on top, and set aside. 
    6. Add the blender contents and the eggs to the dry ingredients and mix well using a whisk until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in the pecans. 
    7. Scrape all of the dough from the bowl into your baking pan and place in the oven. 
    8. The muffin shape will take about 25 minutes to cook, and 35 minutes for the regular brownie pan. Rotate them in the oven half way through, and begin checking them 5 minutes before the stated done time. Poke with a toothpick, and remove them from the oven when the toothpick is still a bit damp on the end, but not raw. If you cook it longer, its fine, it will just be more like a cake and less like a brownie. If you like it more raw, its up to you! 
    9. Allow them to cool somewhat before eating.  
    10. Store in a tightly sealed container for up to three days or wrap tightly and freeze for up to one month. 

    Silky Carob topping: 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp carob powder, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup agave, 1 Tablespoon vanilla flavor. Simmer, stirring til it bubbles. Remove from heat and let sit a few minutes. Spread on warm brownies with a spatula or pastry brush. This sauce would also be great on some almond or coconut ice cream (recipe coming soon!). enjoy!

    1. Substitute 2 Tbsp of the flour with mesquite flour for a more chocolatey taste. 
    2. If a bit of dairy isn’t an issue for you then you may add 1/2 cup of unsweetened carob chips along with the wet ingredients. 

    Ingredient notes:

    Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free all purpose flour mix: This mix is genius and if you are planning to do any gluten free baking or cooking I recommend that you pick up a bag.

    Xanthan gum: This is the glue of gluten free baking. Without it your recipe will fall apart. It is a thickener and emulsifier. You may notice that a bag of it costs about $8 but each recipe only calls for a teaspoon or less and it has an infinite shelf life, so i’d get some and keep it around.

    Stevia: Most people agree that the flavor of stevia is kind of gross. The only one I’ve found that’s not is the Vanilla Creme from Sweet Leaf. This is my go-to sweetener now and the way I use it is by combining it with other sweeteners to dramatically boost the level of sweetness without any taste. My husband in particular HATES the flavor of stevia! So I developed this combining method and even he cannot detect the stevia.  (don't tell him!)

    Vanilla Flavor: I use the Vanilla Flavor from Frontier and it is a superior alcohol free product. It also has a great flavor that I love.

     **Jill's notes- We made them in a pan instead of a muffin tin. They were a bit crumbly. We didn't make the frosting. I thought they did a nice job for satisfying a chocolate craving without the chocolate. I gave one to a fitness trainer- she loved them.
    Picture is from Elishia's Kitchen.

    Sesame Noodles

    Cold sesame noodles are a great dish to make in the summer. It is also a great camping dish. Just make the noodles and sauce before hand- put them in one container. Then put raw veggies cut into small pieces into a second container. Mix them when you are ready to eat. This recipe came from Epicurious.

    yield: Serves 4 to 6
    Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.


    • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white-wine vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
    • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar or granulated sugar, or to taste
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1 tablespoon Oriental sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1 pound linguine or lo mein noodles
    • chopped scallion and cucumber strips for garnish


    In a saucepan combine the soy sauce, the vinegar, the red pepper flakes, the brown sugar, the peanut butter, the oil, the ginger, and the broth, simmer the mixture, stirring, until it is thickened and smooth, and let it cool slightly. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the noodles until they are al dente, drain them in a colander, and rinse them under cold water. Drain the noodles well, transfer them to a bowl, and toss them with the sauce. Serve the noodles at room temperature and garnish them with the scallion and the cucumber.

    **I thought the peanut sauce was OK. I've had better. I used rice noodles. I lightly steamed broccoli and carrots. I put peanuts on top along with scallions. The dish was served slightly warmed.

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Stir-fry Hoisin Sauce

    Just as quiche is a staple at my house, filled with various ingredients, so do I consider stir-frys. The ingredients change with the seasons. Last night I started with big pieces of onion, then added diced carrots, sliced cabbage, leftover brown rice, and finished with tot soi.

    I simmered the whole stir-fry in a hoisin based sauce and served it with peanuts on top.

     Hoisin Sauce

    3 T hoisin sauce
    2/3 C water
    3 T rice vinegar
    3 T tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
    1 T cornstarch

    Mix the ingredients together and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes till it thickens.

    This sauce comes from the Broccoli-Tofu Stir-Fry recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. If you want a great vegetarian cookbook, this is one of them. Fast, easy recipes with everyday ingredients.

    **Hoisin is a sweet sauce- so be prepared. It was a bit sweet for me, but my husband loved it.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Spinach and Carrot Quiche

    Quiche is a staple at my house. I use different ingredients each time I make it.

    3 carrots, sliced and steamed for a few minutes
    1/2 yellow onion, chopped and sauteed in coconut oil
    3 good handfuls of spinach, washed and thrown onto the onions
    4 eggs
    Monterrey Jack
    Cook at 365 for 40 minutes.

    Here is a picture of the greens and onions.
    Here is a picture of the quiche once it cooked.

    Sunflower Seed Casserole

    I have been meaning to try this recipe for some time, you can find it on Cooks Recipes. I am looking for a loaf that will taste nice as leftovers in a sandwich.
    2 cups sunflower seeds
    2 cups cashews
    3/4 cup water
    1 cup onion, finely chopped
    1 cup mushrooms, finely chopped
    5 cups cooked brown rice
    2-1/2 teaspoon vegetarian broth powder
    3 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    Salt to taste
    1. Finely grind the sunflower seeds in a food processor. Place them in a large bowl.
    2. Blend together cashews and water in the food processor until smooth.
    3. Combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Place in a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake at 325°F (160°C), covered, for 45 minutes. Remove cover and continue baking an additional 45 minutes.
    Makes 6 to 8 servings.

    * I'll be putting this into a loaf pan.  
    Going into the oven..

    **Great loaf-not dry at all. I doubled the garlic powder. I didn't have the cashews, so I used 2/3 C soaked Brazil nuts and 1 1/3 C soaked almonds. I ended up putting it back in the oven because the middle was still mushy (the end was ok). It seemed like it needed a bit more salt, but since I steamed the broccoli with celtic sea salt, it seemed to balance it out. Next time, I'll add some herbs into the mix.

    Chicken, Apple, Arugula, and Goat Cheese Salad

    Looking for a way to use up the last of the arugula and an apple...realizing that I had a log of goat cheese in the cheese drawer... Google search can be a wonderful thing. This recipe can be found on the Simply Recipes site.

    • Olive oil
    • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
    • 1 1/2 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
    • Salt
    • 1 tart green apple, thinly sliced
    • Baby arugula leaves - enough for a salad for four
    • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup goat cheese - broken up into little pieces
    • Lemon juice
    • Salt and pepper


    1 Heat frying pan to medium heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly sauté the shallot slices until translucent. Remove from pan. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and cook the chicken breast pieces, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through - 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on the chicken while you are cooking it. Remove from pan and chill.
    2 When chicken has cooled, toss together in a serving bowl the shallots, chicken, sliced green apple, arugula, walnuts and goat cheese. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
    Serves four.

    **Delicious salad. I used a red wine vinaigrette, no shallot, and no chicken. I used a braeburn apple.

    Mac n Cheese- Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

    Wow- Elishia's kitchen has been an amazing place for recipes. I have a friend coming to visit who is dairy-free, so I wanted to have a nice dish for her. So I turned to Elishia's blog, once again, for some help. Here is her recipe for Mac n Cheese- gluten-free and dairy-free.

    Cooking time: 20 minutes, not including making the almond milk
    serves: 3-4
    3/4 pkg Tinkyada brand fusilli brown rice pasta, you could also use elbows or penne, but I prefer fusilli for this recipe
    2 tablespoons ghee (olive or grape seed oil will work too)
    1/2 of a small yellow onion, finely diced
    1 garlic clove, minced
    2 tablespoons Quinoa flour
    1 cup thick homemade almond milk  (recipe follows)
    1 pinch of nutmeg
    1 pinch of dried thyme, crush it between your fingers as you add it
    1/8 teaspoon turmeric, or a good pinch
    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    1 teaspoon of a quality sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1. Boil pasta according to instructions on package. Don’t over cook it! Drain, rinse briefly and toss with one tablespoon of olive or grapeseed oil. You’ll want to use the pasta while it’s still hot, so to time it out so that you’ll have the sauce ready you’ll want to start the sauce just after adding the pasta to the water.
    2. To make the sauce: In a saucepan gently warm the ghee and add the onion, cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and keep cooking 2 more minutes
    3. Add the quinoa flour and stir continuously with a wooden spoon for 3-4 minutes, until the color darkens just slightly.
    4. Begin adding the almond milk about 1/4 cup at a time, each time stir until it is thoroughly combined. As the sauce thins, begin to use a whisk to incorporate the almond milk. Once it’s all been added then whisk it for a minute over medium heat to make sure that no lumps remain.
    5. Add the nutmeg, thyme, turmeric, nutritional yeast and salt. Continue to cook for a few minutes, until the sauce bubbles and begins to thicken. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
    6. In a large bowl toss together the pasta and the sauce. Grind a little fresh pepper on top and serve immediately. Although the rest of what I made was eaten out of the fridge cold (not mentioning names), and got rave reviews that way too.
    Kitchen notes: Recipe easily doubles. Just don’t double the salt, turmeric or nutmeg, add the amount called for here and add more to your taste. Add the turmeric in tiny pinches till the color is appealing. If you have extra sauce it can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. To re-heat put a 1/4 cup of water or almond milk in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Add in the cold sauce a few spoonfuls at a time, whisk to combine. Keep over medium low heat, whisking frequently, until heated through and serve immediately.
    Almond milk: Soak one cup of almonds overnight. Drain and place in a blender with 3 cups of water. Blend 2 minutes on high speed. Strain through a mesh strainer or a cheesecloth. Squeeze out as much of the milk as you can. You can re-use the leftover almond pulp to make a 2nd batch of almond milk if you like, but it will not be thick enough for this recipe, so keep them separate.
    CHEF’S NOTE: Buy yourself a nut milk straining bag. This $5 item is available at most health food stores and on amazon.  It makes an already easy process about 10 times easier and you’ll be able to get way more almond milk from the pulp. You can use a kitchen strainer and push the almond milk through with the back of a spoon or use cheesecloth.
    PS. Several people have already asked me if you can use the almond milk from the box and get the same result. Sorry, the answer is no. That almond milk is very thin and will not produce a creamy sauce. You’re skipping the cheese for goodness sake – you will have to add in elbow grease instead.

    *I used spelt instead of quinoa flour. I made the almond milk in a Soyabella. (Great investment if you are prone to making your own soy or raw nut milks). I used the whole package of pasta and increased the nut milk a bit.

    **Great dish. We needed a bit more salt to bring out the flavors. Everyone gave it a thumbs up. I can't wait to see what my friend thinks!