Friday, September 29, 2017

RECIPE: Gluten Free (and Paleo/Vegan-Friendly!) Apple Skillet Cake

  • Cake:
  • 8 ounces cashew butter (can sub almond or other nut butters)
  • ½ cup honey (alternatively, can sub maple syrup or agave)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Teaspoons vanilla
  • Apples:
  • 2 pounds baking apples, cut into slices ¼ inch thick
  • 2 Tablespoon butter, or coconut oil for dairy free
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • optional add ins: a tablespoon or two of honey if your apples are sour, dash of nutmeg, dash of ginger
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix together all the cake ingredients until the batter is smooth, set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  3. Place a 9" cast iron skillet (or oven proof skillet), over medium heat.
  4. Sauté the apples with the butter or coconut oil and the cinnamon. Place a lid over the skillet and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and cook until the juices are almost gone, about 5 more minutes.
  5. When the apples are just tender, pour the cake batter over the top and place the skillet in the oven.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake batter has just set.
  7. Serve the skillet cake right out of the oven.  
*Suggestion:  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the top!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

RECIPE: Veggie and Fruit Muffins

•1/2 cup – flour, whole wheat
•1/2 cup – flour, all-purpose
•3/8 teaspoon – baking soda
•1/4 teaspoon – salt
•1/8 teaspoon – nutmeg
•1/8 teaspoon – cinnamon
•1/4 cup – sugar
•2 tablespoon – butter, unsalted
•1 large – egg
•1/2 teaspoon – vanilla extract
•1/2 medium – zucchini
•3/4 medium – carrot
•1/4 medium – apple
•1/2 medium – bananas
•1/16 cup – apple juice
•1/8 cup – applesauce, unsweetened
•1/8 cup – yogurt, plain / buttermilk

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.In a medium size bowl, mix together flours, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside.
3.Soften butter.
4.In a mixer or another bowl, mix the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
5.In a food processor, combine zucchini, apple, apple juice and applesauce.  Pulse until thoroughly mixed.
6.Shred carrots.  If you don’t want the shreds in your muffin, combine your carrots with the rest of the fruits and veggies in the food processor.
7.Combine the fruit and veggie puree, carrots (unless you already added them with the puree), and yogurt, into the wet ingredient mixture and beat until mixed.
8.Finally, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined and wet.
9.In a muffin tin, place muffin papers or spray with cooking spray.
10.Scoop the mixture into a prepared muffin pan.
11.For mini muffins: Bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes for mini-muffins
12.For regular size muffins: Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes.
13.Bake until the tops are slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean or they bounce back when you touch them with your finger.
These freeze great! Put them in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

RECIPE: Succotash with Parsley Drizzle

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears corn, or 2 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen lima beans, thawed
1 medium zucchini (about 1/2 pound) quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Parsley Drizzle:
1 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water, as needed to slacken


If using ears of corn, cut the kernels off and set aside. Discard the cobs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the corn, lima beans, zucchini, and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.

Stir the vinegar and basil into the succotash, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve. Garnish with Parsley Drizzle.

Parsley Drizzle: Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.

RECIPE: Spicy Stir-Fried Cabbage

3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 star anise, broken in half
2 teaspoons soy sauce (more to taste)
2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 small cabbage, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, quartered, cored and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch shreds
1 medium carrot, cut into julienne
 Salt to taste
2 tablespoons minced chives, Chinese chives or cilantro

1. Combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and star anise in a small bowl. Combine the soy sauce and wine or sherry in another small bowl.
2. Heat a flat-bottomed wok or a skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. 
2. Swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. 
3. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and star anise. Stir-fry for a few seconds, just until fragrant, then add the cabbage and carrots. 
4. Stir-fry for one to two minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt, then add the salt and wine/soy sauce mixture. 
5. Cover and cook over high heat for one minute until just wilted. 
6. Uncover and stir-fry for another 30 seconds, then stir in the chives or cilantro and remove from the heat. The cabbage should be crisp-tender. 
*Serve with rice or noodles.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RECIPE: Stuffed Peppers

  • 8 medium bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, white and palest green parts only, chopped and well rinsed
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cooked corn kernels
  • 4 cups diced zucchini
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or more, to taste
  • Crumbled sweet Italian sausage (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut the peppers in half; remove the seeds. 
  3. Arrange peppers in glass pyrex casserole dishes.
  4. Heat the oil with two tablespoons of water in a large skillet. Add the leeks and garlic. Sauté over medium heat, covered, lifting the lid to stir occasionally, until the leeks are tender.
  5. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring, another 5 minutes.
  6. Distribute the stuffing among the peppers. Top each with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered.until the peppers are tender but not collapsed. Keep warm until ready to serve.

RECIPE: Creamy Jalapeno-Cilantro Sauce

- 5-6 jalapeños (depending on heat and personal preference), stemmed, seeded, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil (I use grapeseed)
- 3/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro leaves with tender stems

1. Pulse jalapeños, garlic, lime juice, and salt in a blender or food processor until puréed.
2. With motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until a thick sauce forms.
3. Add cilantro and pulse a few times until chopped and incorporated.
5. Taste and add more jalapeño, if necessary.

*Preparation note: Properly emulsifying the oil is key!

*Serving suggestion: This tastes great on burgers, tacos, sandwiches....

RECIPE: Tomato Mint Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, chopped
3l arge tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 c chopped mint leaves
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 c red wine vinegar
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl, toss together the cucumbers, vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature for an hour, stirring occasionally.

2. Add tomatoes, onion, mint and oil to cucumbers and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

RECIPE: Crustless Spinach Quiche

  • 8 eggs or 2 small cartons of egg beaters
  • 1/2 container of low fat whipped cottage cheese or fat free ricotta (about 8 oz. total)
  • 4 oz. low fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. Cabot chipotle cheddar cheese or pepper jack, shredded
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of spinach, stems removed and chopped (or 1 bag of pre-washed baby spinach, chopped); note: you can also use chard or another leafy green
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (or cooking spray)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large ceramic fluted quiche dish or glass pie dish with cooking spray.

  • Heat olive oil (or cooking spray) in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until translucent. Reduce heat to medium and add red peppers. Once peppers have softened, add chopped spinach. Sauté until spinach is completely wilted and most of the moisture has cooked off. Cool vegetables slightly.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together egg beaters, cottage cheese and shredded cheeses. Either mix the cooled vegetables into egg mixture or if vegetables are still very warm pour egg mixture over warm vegetables in bottom of quiche dish to prevent hot vegetables from cooking the eggs.

  • Place quiche in center of oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling, center is firm and top is golden brown. Cool slightly before cutting into eight wedges and serve warm.

RECIPE: Vanilla Pear Muffins

For the topping:
3 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. chopped walnuts, ground (see note above)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the muffins:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (if available)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or walnut oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 or 5 firm, ripe pears, 2 lb. total, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease 14 standard muffin cups with butter.

To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the sugar, walnuts and cinnamon. Set aside.

To make the muffins, in a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla until blended. Add the flour mixture, stirring just until evenly moistened. The batter will be slightly lumpy. Using a large silicone spatula, gently fold in the pears and walnuts just until evenly distributed, no more than a few strokes. When mixing, take care not to break up the fruit. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them level with the rim. Sprinkle the muffins with the topping, dividing it evenly. Fill the unused muffin cups one-third full with water to prevent warping. Bake until the muffins are golden, dry and springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the pan(s) to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then unmold the muffins onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 14 muffins.

RECIPE: Ginger Pear Smoothie

 2 pears, chopped
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3 Tbsp hemp seeds
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp almond butter
1 ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Some people like this warmed in a sauce pan... I drink it as is!

*Note: recipe makes two smoothies.  It can be halved for one.

RECIPE: Cinnamon Baked Pears

2 large ripe pears
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 c crushed walnuts
Optional add in: handful raisins
Optional toppings: yogurt, vanilla ice cream

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Slice pears in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet, flesh side up. You can cut the skin side, as well, so they stay flat.
3. Scoop out seeds
4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and add walnuts and raisins. Drizzle honey on top.
5. Bake for 30 minutes

6. Let cool (they come out very hot!!), and serve plain or with your favorite topping.