Friday, February 11, 2011

making & enjoying cultered dairy

Thursday, February 17thth “Making and Enjoying Cultured Dairy” 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

at Zermatt Resort

Discussion: Probiotics are the buzz word in the nutritional community. Come learn about the abundant nutritional and healing benefits of cultured dairy products. Watch and learn as you see how simple it is to make your own cultured dairy. This week we will make yogurt, kefir and sour cream and buttermilk. Taste the delicious ways to incorporate cultured dairy into any meal.

Menu: Creamy smoothie with kefir, Soup with crème fresh (sour cream), tandori chicken and basmati rice with fresh yogurt, vegetable kabobs, Buttermilk and berries for dessert.

Class fee is $20.00 per person with advanced registration or $20.00 at the door. Call Leslie Smoot to register – 801-550-1881

Thursday, May 7, 2009

healthy recipe archives & some spicy carrot soup

You can now find all of my recently discovered delectable recipes on the daily delights. I am posting 1-2 recipes a week there (Monday for sure), and click here for a link to my recipe archives.

Also, I've started an online Healthy Cooking Group where we've begun sharing recipes, topics, answering questions, and making new friends. Come on over and join us!

Hoping everyone is happily eating!


Monday, October 6, 2008

Chickpea Burgers

1 (15 oz. can garbanzo beans, rinsed)
1 egg
1/2 cup diced green or red peppers, or green chilies, or sundried tomatoes
1 small clove garlic or some garlic paste
3 green onions, sliced thin
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp. mustard (dijon preferred)
3/4 cup rolled oats (could use breadcrumbs or other grains)
1 tbsp. salsa
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 tsps. cumin
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. sage
Salt and Pepper as desired

Mandarin Orange Cake

1 1/3 cup raw sugar
3 eggs
¼ cup white bean, pureed
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges with the juice
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin oranges, drained
2 ¼ c. whole wheat flour
3 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt

Mix together and pour into 3 round cake pans that are greased and lined with wax paper.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 350<. Let cool. Frosting: 12 oz. Cool Whip 3 oz. instant vanilla JELLO pudding 1 small can crushed pineapple with juice 1 cup shopped pecans Mix together the pudding and pineapple. Then fold in the Cool Whip and nuts. Frost the cake and let refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (Over night is best.)

sept. metting update

Rochelle Martin, a representative of Wild Tree, taught us about the benefits of cooking with grape seed oil. She also brought different pantry items for seasoning and marinade that contain no preservatives. All of her samples tasted so fresh and wonderful. If you want to know more about Wild Tree products I think Deanne Hanson and Leslie Smoot agreed to host a party so give them a call and let them know you are interested.

Everyone brought some great foods to sample. Unfortunately, only a few of you brought recipes so we could all go home and try it out on our families.

Leslie Smoot is going to host October’s class so we’ll be in touch later with details.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

strawberry banana waffles

In blender combine waffle mix:

1 c thick whole oats
½ c spelt flour
1 ½ c almond milk
¼ c almond butter
2 eggs
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
¼ baking soda
2 tbs butter
5 frozen strawberries
½ banana

notes: pour batter to almost fill waffle pan
ours were a bit spongy…best to cook a bit longer than normal waffles

Friday, June 6, 2008


Another fabulous recipe by Valine Quinn (Camille's mom) :)

1 ½ cups water
1 cup coarsely ground bulgur
(Bulgur is whole wheat that has been parboiled and crushed into fine, medium, or coarse partials.)
¼ cup silvered almonds, toasted
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ lemon juiced
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 sprigs mint leaves roughly chopped
10 sprigs flat leaf parsley roughly chopped
4 scallions thinly sliced
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil and stir in the bulgur. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. While the bulgur is cooking, toast the almonds: Spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes. When the bulgur is done, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Whish together the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix in the mint, parsley, scallions and tomatoes. Mix in the bulgur. Sprinkle with the almonds. Serves 5.

Per Serving (3/4 cup)
220 calories
12 g total fat
1.5 g Sat. fat
5 g protein
210 mg sodium
26 g carbohydrates
7 g fiber

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

cheesey biscuits

Using America's Test Kitchen, i have found a fabulous new biscuit recipe:
2 c spelt flour
1 c rolled oats
1/2 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4" cubes
1/2 c parmesean cheese, 1/4" cubes
3/4 c almond milk
1/3 c sour cream
2 tbs butter, softened or melted
1 egg
Combine dry ingredients into mixer and stir till mixed. Add rest of ingredients and mix.
Cook in oven 10 minutes at 425 degrees. yummy!

Monday, June 2, 2008


So I've been tagged again. Though probably not the same, it looks familiar...
For a similar tagged post i've done,
click here

For this edition of the game I am to share 8 random facts/habits about myself. So for a twist i have decided to focus on 8 things to do with cooking/food. Can you tell i am 1 week away from happy salad/veggie eating?

***Though i am not a gourmet cook, nor ever expect to be, i do enjoy eating like one, and if there is a way to simplify some of the great recipes out there, i am on a quest to find out how!***

1. Our Kitchen - we spend a lot of time in the kitchen: cooking, cleaning, art and craft projects, preschool... It's a rather large kitchen, and though we don't need all of the cupboard space, or the two ovens, or trash compactor, it's fabulous for parties and activities of various sorts. The kiddos do most of their creating in our kitchen/dining area. For an article i've written about our art area & supplies, click here. As for me, I also use the kitchen to do my creating and painting. I've even got all of my paint supplies stashed in a couple of the cupboards:

yup, that's our elaborate collection of china on the top shelf :)

2. Counters - So Carl grew up in a house where the kitchen counters were basically only used for cooking/preparation. Not me. Mine is probably 1 1/2 times smaller and our counters were always full of cooking items, recipe boxes, cd's, pen/pencil holders, toaster... So when we were first married we met one of our first differences over how our kitchen should look/be organized. I had started to set it up and soon found that it was considered a "cluttered" kitchen. News to me...i tried to bend until it came to my KitchenAid Mixer. That was where i broke down. I loved my new, beautiful "artisan pistachio mixer" that i'd received at my bridal shower, and thought it was a symbol of pure domesticity. (I was working full time back then and rarely used it). In the end, mostly everything was "put away," but my mixer has remained on the counter. Since then there are a few other acceptable items, including these canisters below for beans, rice, flour...(i have twice as many on another counter).

The beloved pistachio mixer...if i could do it again, i think i'd buy a Bosch. But the kids and i use this nearly everyday. And it looks fabulous on the counter!

3. Spices/Herbs - I have a fetish for spices and herbs. If I am at the grocery store/World Market/Williams Sonoma etc., and i feel like splurging, I buy a new spice or herb...:) Pictured below are my all time favorites (yes, they do vary, but these are the most constant):

parsley, oregano, chili pepper, garlic, Thai seasoning, ginger, curry, cumin, and rosemary

I really don't know if i could live without any of these. I prefer the Spice Hunter, but there are lots of great spice peeps out there.

Along with other great features in the kitchen, there is this handy dandy spice cupboard (with a deep corner cupboard behind it). I think anyone who likes spices should definitely have one of these beauties. Or maybe a couple (i have another spice rack that sits on the counter, as well as a Tupperware box filled with spices...these are the ones i use most frequently, and no, i can't reach half of them without my step stool). I hope to have one of these in our next home as well.

4. Cooking must haves - Pictured below are some more cooking items that i don't think i could do without:

coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, capers, chili paste, olive oil, almond milk, almond butter, fish sauce, Real Salt, and i forgot to include in the photo: coconut milk.

For most of these items i am not picky, but others i prefer certain brands:

Real Salt - So many think that salt is "bad" for you, but i believe that "bad salt" is bad for you :). Real Salt contains more than 50 trace minerals, is found near Redmond, Utah (which is minutes from where my father grew up in Sanpete, County, Utah), my next door neighbor's brother is the owner, and you can buy it on Amazon. There's more to say...if you're interested click here.

Almond Breeze - by Blue Diamond Growers. For various reasons, we don't buy cow's milk anymore. We use almond milk on our cereal, to drink, and i cook with it. It comes in various flavors (vanilla, unsweetened, and chocolate), though we mostly use the unsweetened. I just love it.

5. Cookbooks - When i really want to splurge, i have an itch to buy a new cookbook. (no, i'm still not very good at sticking to the recipes, but the beautiful pictures help me at least try) Here are my latest favs:

Cooking Light's Slow Cooker - I haven't been able to successfully Slow Cook for the past 8 1/2 months, the smell the encompasses the house makes me throw up, or i can't eat it once it's finished. I even tried hiding it in the back bathroom and cooking in the garage, but the smells still found their way in... So i'm excited to get back into the Slow Cooking thing. This is a great book with all kinds of flavors and healthy ideas. One of our favs is the Vegetable and Chickpea Curry. Yum!

The Herb Bible by Jennie Harding - a great little resource.

America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook - when i just need a bit of guidance in trying something new, this book usually hits the spot.

How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson - another great shower gift from the lovely Nancy Wishart in my home ward. I've received a lot of inspiration from this one.

Mary Engelbreit's Dining Out Cookbook - a great shower gift from my roomies: Jenn, Nance, & Amos. It has all kinds of dishes for you to eat outdoors. One of my favorite recipes comes from there, a spicy cilantro pesto covered shrimp pasta dish...yummy

James McNair Cooks Southeast Asian - My favorite in this one so far is a Thai stuffed Eggplant dish. Usually for inspiration...these recipes are complex and require many ingredients, so simplification without losing the taste, is the goal here.

Yes, one of our cupboards is dedicated to cookbooks, magazines with gr8 recipes, and cutouts i've collected or printed off the Internet. I am in the process of reorganizing this...:)

6. Cooking Sites - When i need inspiration cooking-wise, i usually turn to:

  1. Martha Stewart's Everyday Food

  2. Better Homes & Garden's Recipes

  3. All Recipes

  4. Delicious Living

Some favorite cooking blogs:

  1. Delightfully Gluten Free - my sister-in-law's sister in law, Cassandra's brain child of a blog :)

  2. Smitten Kitchen - some delicious food adventures

  3. Gluten Free Girl - even has her own cookbook on Amazon

  4. Lee Lou Ann - just darn inspiring

7. Our One Day Kitchen -

Just pulling ideas together, but Carl and I both love this kitchen, or at least most of see more photos and why we're so in love with the Yestertec designed kitchen click here.

8. Current Cooking Goals - Some of my latest desires are to improve/learn more about:

  1. wheat free bread making

  2. more food storage in my daily ingredients

  3. homemade pesto

  4. homemade granola

  5. homemade almond butter

  6. grinding my own grains

  7. wheat free cookies that stay together :) (been working on this one forever)

So if for some reason, you're still with me...i'm not going to tag anyone in particular. If you'd like to participate here are the rules that i pretty much broke (sorry, not too good at following recipes or rules):

The Rules: 1. Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.2. People that are tagged write a blog post about their own 8 random things and post these rules.3. At the end of your post tag 8 people and include their names. Don't forget to leave them a comment on their blog to tell them they've been tagged, and to comment back and read your blog for the whole story.

My rules: write on 8 things about you if you want: fashion, laundry secrets, why you think the Lakers should win/lose the championship, guilty pleasures,...whatever!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Basil Pesto

One of my favorite things to cook with is Pesto! I use it to spice up pasta, and our daily lunch menu, whether it is quesadillas or a grilled cheese sandwiches...pesto makes everything better :). One of my latest cooking goals is to learn to make and cook with more homemade pesto.

The photo shows a basic basil pesto from cooking blog, Salt and Pepper. Here is the recipe:
Young basil leaves - 1 cup packed.
Garlic- 2 cloves
Pine nuts - 2 tbsp
Parmesan cheese freshly grated- 1/4 cup
Good quality extra virgin olive oil- 2 tbsp

For mincing, you will need a sharp mezzaluna, but I replaced it with a
crinkle cutter.

There is only one step. Mince till you get a fine mince of the ingredients. Heidi recommends starting with the garlic and 1/3 rd basil. Keep adding the ingredients in parts till everything is minced. Start with garlic, then basil, followed by pine nuts and cheese.
Once mincing is done, transfer the pesto into a bowl and add the olive oil.
At this point I kept it in the refrigerator.
For a very similar recipe that i found in a new favorite resource, The Herb Bible, by Jennie Harding:
scant 3/4 c fresh basil leaves, bruised
3 garlic cloves, crushed
6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tbs pine nuts
Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz up to a fine puree. (you could also use your food processor)

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Voodoo Chicken Salad

This delicious summer dish comes from Camille Simmons, thanks Camille...can't wait to try it!


Lettuce of your choice
2 tablespoons feta cheese
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
¼ cup tortilla strips
½ cup voodoo dressing
½ cup hot chicken breast diced (you can grill or bake it)

Voodoo Dressing

¼ cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup chili paste
2 tablespoons red pepper
¾ cup mayonnaise
1 ½ cup sesame oil
1 cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
1 ½ cup white sugar
¼ cup minced garlic
1/3 cup pureed ginger

Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix! The dressing mix makes 8 cups of dressing so you will need a bottle to put it in. Yummy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

marinated steak kabobs with couscous

Ever since the pre-labor scare, Carl and I have been trying to find ways to make meals simpler, for i get so tired at the end of the day. With the prospect of the weather heating up we thought it would be a great time to pull out the grill and do some marinating. Here is a divinely delicious marinading adventure...


1 1/2-2 lbs steak, sliced into small pieces
3/4 cups artichokes, quartered
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 box of Near East couscous (toasted pine nut)

Steak Marinade:

· 1/3 cup soy sauce
· 1/2 cup olive oil
· 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
· 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
· 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
· 3 tablespoons dried basil
· 1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper


1. Marinade steak in bag or covered bowl in fridge for at least 3 hours.

2. Place steak and artichokes on kabobs and grill for 8-10 minutes (for medium well) on low heat.

3. Prepare boxed "toasted pine nut" couscous from Near East , with mushrooms added.

So easy, so tender and flavorful. We ate it with some freshly cut fruit. I can just imagine how good it would taste with a Mediterranean salad: fresh greens, kalamata olives, feta cheese...


Monday, May 5, 2008

cashew coconut chicken

Yes, we're defintely getting to the end of this pregnancy, because i'm having major Indian Food cravings! Fortunately for my tastebuds, Carl took me to the Bombay House for my birthday dinner, and then the following week we celebrated my sister Maresa's BYU Graduation there as well. I still miss that Indian Buffet on Tropicana Blvd in Vegas...
So with all of that in mind here is my latest eastern concoction...not meant to be authentic by any means...but definitely delicious!

1 cup coconut milk
3/4 tsp red curry paste
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thai seasoning
1 1/2 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tbs ground yellow curry
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup artichoke pieces, quartered
1 1/2 lbs chicken, sliced 1/2"

Combine all but chicken in large sauce pan. Let spices and sauce warm on med heat. Slice chicken while flavors are mixing & doing their delectable thing... Add chicken and cover. Cook for 10 minutes or until chicken is tender. Great for leftovers, gives spices time to really sink in. Add salt to taste when served to bring out flavors.
Serve over your favorite rice (we prefer long grain brown, basmati, etc.)/potatoes/pasta...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

pineapple pumpkin seed chicken

So I've been inspired by the pumpkin seeds....

1 1/2 lbs chicken, chopped
3/4 cup pineapple, fresh and chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbs fish sauce
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tbs coconut oil
salt to taste

1. In a food processor or blender, blend pineapple and pumpkin seeds
2. Combine soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and coconut oil. Warm ingredients together on medium heat.
3. Add chicken, cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Chicken may not be cooked through, but should be lightly browned.
4. Add pineapple and pumpkin seed mixture. Simmer another 6-10 minutes covered, till chicken is cooked through and spices/seasonings warmed.
We ate it over steamed brown basmati rice.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chicken Marsala with Spinach & Zucchini over Pasta

Wow. This just warmed my heart...soo yummy!

1-1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into bit sized pieces
2 slices bacon/pancetta, thinly chopped (i used 2 small italian sausage links)
2 cups cooked pasta (i used brown rice spirals)
3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/2 lemon, squeezed
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley
1 1/2 cups marsala cooking wine
3 cups spinach, rinsed
1-2 small zucchini, chopped

1. In a large sauce pan, cook bacon/pancetta, drain any fat.

2. Add olive oil, garlic, and chicken and saute (4-6 minutes).

3. Cover and simmer with butter and then add the marsala, lemon, and thyme. Simmer another 8 minutes until wine sauce has thickened, covered. Add zucchini and parsley, cover for 2 minutes.

4. Serve over pasta and spinach leaves. Salt to taste. Serves 4.

Depending on how soft you like your spinach, you could place the spinach in your sauce pan and cover for a minute to wilt...without heat. It was delicious!

Country Bean Stew

This is an excellent stew to make with your Easter Dinner lamb left-overs...
The original recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens, of course i changed it up a bit:
3 cups
3/4 cup red cooking wine
2 cups chicken broth
3 tbs olive oil
2 cups dry Great Northern
beans (i used a cooked, tri-bean version with kidney, pinto and white)
3 large
carrots, coarsely chopped
12 ounces lean boneless
lamb, cut into cubes
8 ounces bulk Italian
sausage (i used a portabello mushroom, chicken & turkey sausage)
3 medium
onions, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
3 cloves
garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried
thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried
oregano, crushed
1/4 cup snipped fresh
parsley ( i used dried parsley)
1-2 avocados, diced

1. In a large pot, cook lamb, garlic, onions, and sausage in olive oil on medium low heat 6-8 minutes.

2. Add red wine, celery and carrots, and saute 10 minutes. Add chicken broth, water, and remaining spices. Simmer for another 25 minutes covered. Serve topped with avocado and your favorite homemade biscuits. Makes 6 servings.
You can also do this in the crockpot with soaked, rinsed, uncooked beans, and uncooked meat. It takes 7-8 hours on low and about 4 on high.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pumpkin Seed-Fried Trout with Grapefruit and Fried Sage

This looks delightful...i'm going to try it this next week...i'll let you know. Pumpkin seeds are packed with immune boosters and help with the flu, and grapefruit: oh the vitamin C!


1 large red grapefruit
1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
Four 6-ounce skinless trout fillets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
8 large sage leaves
Vegetable oil, for frying
1/4 cup water


1. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel and bitter white pith from the grapefruit. Working over a medium bowl, carefully cut in between the membranes to release the sections into the bowl. Squeeze the remaining grapefruit juice into a separate bowl.

2. In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds until coarsely ground. Put the flour, egg and ground pumpkin seeds in 3 shallow bowls. Season the trout fillets with salt and pepper and lightly dust them with flour, tapping off the excess. Dip the fillets in the beaten egg, then dredge them in the pumpkin seeds.

3. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the sage leaves and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the sage leaves to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Add 1/4 inch of the vegetable oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Carefully add the trout fillets and fry over moderately high heat until golden brown and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Divide the fillets among 4 plates.

4. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Add the fresh grapefruit juice and water to the skillet and bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the grapefruit sections and simmer the sauce for 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper and spoon the sauce and grapefruit sections over the trout. Garnish each fillet with 2 sage leaves and serve immediately.

Tropical Rice Pudding

Another enticing coconut milk recipe from Valine :

1 Can Japanese or other short-grain white rice
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 15 ounce can unsweetened light coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
large mango, sliced

In 3 quart saucepan, heat rice, sugar, salt, and 3 cups of water to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium; stir in coconut milk and cook uncovered until rice is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasional.
Transfer rice pudding to serving bowls; cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight to serve cold. Top with mango slices and toasted coconut before serving.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thai-Style Chicken Soup

Brought by Camille Simon's mother, Valine Quinn, (our homemade bread specialist), this soup is said to taste just like the delicious Coconut Soups in Thai restaurants...

serves 4

1 tsp vegetable oil (coconut oil would work gr8 here)
3 lemongrass stalks, touch outer leaves removed, bottom 5 inches halved lengthwise and sliced
thin crosswise
3 shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
8 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbs fish sauce
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14-ounce) cans coconut milk, well shaken
1 tbs sugar
1/2 lb white mushrooms, cut into 1/4" slices
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
3 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tsp Thai red curry paste


1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 serrano cilies, slices thin
2 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
1 lime, cut into wedges


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until just simmering. Add the lemongrass, shallots, cilantry, and 1 tbs of the fish sauce; cook, stirring frequently, until just softened, 2-5 minutes (the vegetables should not brown). Stir in the broth and 1 can of coconut milk; bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover, reuce the heat to low, and simmer until the flavors have blended, 10 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids in the strainer. Rinse the saucepan and return the broth mixture to the pan.

2. Return the pan to medium-high heat. Stir the remaining can of coconut milk and sugar into the broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, 1-3 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat.

3. Combine the lime juice, curry paste, and remaining 2 tbs fish sauce in a small bowl; stir into the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the cilantro, shiles, and scallions. Serve immediately with lime wedges.

Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate Sauce

Claudia Gertsch found this delightful dessert on Veria, and healthy living tv show that has a great healthy cooking show called Naturally Delicious. Here's the recipe she found and has used a couple times already:

This has got to be one of the most popular desserts we make each day. It is a tofu-based pie, but you’d never know it since the texture is so creamy. The sweetness from the coconut is very appealing, too. Be sure to make a high-standing rim of crust to hold the generous amount of filling for this pie. Although the filling will move slightly in the center when done, as the pie cools the filling will become firm and creamy.

Serves 8

2 (12.3-ounce) containers vacuum-packed extra-firm silken tofu (such as Mori-Nu)
1 cup maple sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup canola oil
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
oat pastry crust
chocolate sauce


Position the rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°. Blend the tofu, maple sugar, coconut milk, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, oil, arrowroot, vanilla and almond extract in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour the coconut mixture into the baked pie crust.

Bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup shredded coconut over the pie. Continue baking for 15 minutes, or until the coconut is golden and the filling is set around the edges but still moves slightly in the center when the pie dish is gently shaken. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool completely. Cover the pie and refrigerate until cold. Cut the pie into wedges and transfer to plates. Drizzle the chocolate sauce over, and serve.

The pie will keep for one-day, covered and refrigerated.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Eggplant, Zucchini & Portobello Schnitzel

Schnitzel Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk
1 large egg
2 cups breadcrumbs (use your favorite bread)
4-6 portobello mushrooms (sliced)
1 large eggplant (sliced into ½” rounds)

Lemon-Caper Sauce:

3 tbs butter
3 tbs olive oil
3 tsp capers
3 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs parsley

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Grease baking sheet (I use coconut oil)

2. To make Schnitzel:

Whisk together milk and egg in wide, shallow bowl. Spread bread crumbs on a large plate. Dip eggplant, zucchini, & Portobello into milk/egg mixture, then coat with breadcrumbs. Set on baking sheet. Bake vegetables 10 minutes. Flip them and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and breadcrumbs are brown. Set aside.

3. To make Lemon-Caper Sauce:

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until butter begins to brown. Stir in oil and capers, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and add lemon juice and parsley.

Serve vegetables immediately with sauce on top.
This can be served as a side or main dish. To make this a complete meal, you can dip cooked chicken or sausage in the schnitzel sauce, and voila!

Curry Chicken with Asparagus

1 can coconut milk
3/4 c almond butter
1 tbs fish oil
1/2 tsb green curry paste (red is also good)
1 tbs soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1-2 tbs curry powder
1 tbs ginger powder1 onion, chopped (or two green onions, chopped)
Other Ingredients:
1 bunch of asperagus chopped into 1 1/2 “ pieces
3 chicken breasts chopped
1. In large sauce pan combine sauce ingredients and stir until smooth at medium heat.
2. cook chicken in sauce on medium heat, covered. (7-10 minutes, depending on chicken piece size)

3. Add asparagus and cook until tender (3-4 min)
Serve over rice.
Serves 4-5.
Asparagus can also be replaced by zucchini, eggplant; almost any of your favorite in-season vegetables.

Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

In a medium sauce pan, boil 5-6 cups water with 3 breasts of chicken.
Remove chicken and all but 1 ½ cups chicken broth

2-3 tbs raw/turbinado sugar

1/2 - 1 tsp. green curry paste

2 cans coconut milk

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Mix and heat together. Thicken with 2 T. cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water. Use sparingly until just barely thickened.

In a saucepan sauté:

2 cups chopped celery

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1/2 pound sliced mushrooms

3 limes, juiced

Stir sautéed vegetables and chopped chicken into coconut milk mix. Simmer 20 min. For a filling meal, serve over brown rice.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Beans - Nature's Perfect Food

Cheri's research on Beans...

Bean eaters are associated with smaller waist sizes and a 22% lower risk of obesity. They also take in less “bad” fat and one-third more fiber than those who avoid these nutritional gems.

Beans have such an amazing nutrition track record. One cup of beans provides a whopping 13 g of fiber—which is half of what we need daily—with no saturated fat. Beans are loaded with protein (about 15g per cup) and dozens of key nutrients, including a few most women fall short on—calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Studies also tie beans to a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and breast and colon cancers. And surprisingly, red, pinto, and kidney beans are the highest antioxidant food, beating out both blueberries and cranberries. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Rd
Prevention – February 2008—pp 85-87


The new U.S. Department of Agriculture dietary guideline using the Eating Right Pyramid suggests, that the foods lowest in fats, oils and sugars (fruits, vegetables, dry beans and grains) should make up the largest portion of our daily meals. The benefits of using beans on a daily basis have recently been promoted because studies show beans help to reduce cholesterol while providing excellent nutrition. When combined with nuts, seeds or grains, they form a complete high-fiber vegetable protein. Most beans contain only 2-3% fat. Beans are the perfect food for a fat-restricted diet. You may never have to count calories again. Beans contain no cholesterol, and they can help lower your cholesterol level because they are one of the richest sources of fiber! Most beans contain at least 20% protein and are high in carbohydrates which provides longlasting energy. In addition, beans provide essential B Vitamins and Iron. Adding beans to your daily meals insures total nutrition, and with our wide selection of beans you should be able to find the right flavor for you.

Here’s a great website that will tell you about the nutritional content of all different types of beans and recipes to use them in.

But what about ...Some people hesitate to eat beans because they can produce too much intestinal gas. Gas develops as indigestible carbohydrates in beans pass into the large intestine, where bacteria break down the carbohydrates and produce gas. A product called Beano taken with or just before eating provides a protein that breaks down these carbohydrates, preventing or reducing gas formation.

Cultures that traditionally use beans abundantly tend to use herbs and spices said to fight flatulence. These include turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, anise, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, rosemary, lemongrass, garlic and basil.

Bean Basics
If you really want to improve the quality of your diet, think beans. A hearty and satisfying alternative to meat, beans are low in fat, and rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, zinc, copper, and potassium. As for fiber, no other food surpasses beans. Just a half cup of cooked beans provides 4 to 8 grams of fiber — up to four times the amount found in most other plant foods. Beans also help maintain healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels. As an added bonus, beans keep you feeling full and satisfied long after the meal is over — a definite benefit if you're watching your weight.

Because beans are a natural product, packages of dried beans sometimes contain shriveled or discolored beans, as well as small twigs and other items. Before cooking, sort through your beans and discard any discolored or blemished legumes. Rinse the beans well, cover them with water, and discard any that float to the top.

There are two methods used to soak beans in preparation for cooking. If you have time — if you intend to cook your dish the next day, for instance — you may want to use the long method, as this technique is best for reducing the gas-producing oligosaccharides. If dinner is just a couple of hours away, though, the quick method is your best bet. Keep in mind that not all beans must be soaked before cooking. Black-eyed peas, brown and red lentils, and split peas do not require soaking.

The Long Method
After cleaning the beans, place them in a large bowl or pot, and cover them with four times as much water. Soak the beans for at least four hours, and for as long as twelve hours. If soaking them for more than four, place the bowl or pot in the refrigerator. After soaking, discard the water and replace with fresh water before cooking.

The Quick Method
After cleaning the beans, place them in a large pot, and cover them with four times as much water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and continue to boil for two minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. After soaking, discard the water and replace with fresh water before cooking.

To cook beans for use in salads, casseroles, and other dishes that contain little or no liquid, clean and soak as described above, discard the soaking water, and replace with two cups of water for each cup of dried beans. When beans are to be cooked in soups or stews that include acidic ingredients — lemon juice, vinegar, or tomatoes, for instance — add these ingredients at the end of the cooking time. Acidic foods can toughen the beans' outer layer, slowing the rate at which the beans cook. You'll know that the beans are done when you can mash them easily with a fork. Keep in mind that old beans may take longer to cook. The use of hard water can also lengthen cooking times. During long cooking times, periodically check the pot, and add more liquid if necessary.