Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thai Chili

1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
2 tsp ground cumin
4 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth
1 cup bulgar wheat
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups cooked kidney beans
1/2 c coconut milk
2 cups tomato puree
2 scallions, chopped
fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste

1. In 4 qt pot, add curry paste and a bit of broth. Mash mixture and stir until no lumps.
2. Saute onions, bell pepper, garlic in mixture, adding broth slowly if needed to prevent burning.
3. Add broth, bulghur, potato. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat to med-low and cook fo r10 min
4. Add coconut milk and tomato puree to pot and stir. Cook, uncovered, at least 10 minutes, until bulghur and sweet potato is tender and chili is thick.
5. Stir in scallions and black pepper and serve.

Chicken and Potato Soup


1-2 lbs organic chicken breasts
8 cups water
8 medium russet potatoes
2 medium onions, chopped
1-2 cups organic corn (we choose organic corn because non-organic corn is genetically modified)
Cajun seasoning
1/3 cup chives
salt to taste
1/3 c flour
1 1/2 c almond milk

1. Season chicken with salt and Cajun seasoning. Place water, onion and chicken in pot. Boil, reduce to simmer. Cook over med heat for 1 hour.
2. Add potatoes and boil for 10-15 min until soft.
3. Remove chicken and potatoes. Add corn and chives and cook for 10 min.
4. Meanwhile, cut chicken into small peices and mash a few of the potatoes into small course chunks, to preference.
5. Return potatoes and chicken to pot. Season to taste again.
6. In separate pot, combine flour and milk. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, until thick. Add to pot.
7. Season with parsley and chives before serving.

Lemon Pepper Tilapia


4 Tilapia
zest and juice of 2 lemons (save the rest of the lemon)
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped
chopped parsley
1/4 c olive oil
(optional lemon pepper seasoning)

1. Preheat oven to broil
2. Mix all ingredients and pour over tilapia in pan. Allow to sit for 20 min.
3. You may want to spray pan with cooking spray, but I have found it is not necessary. I like to put the lemon halves (even though they have been zested and juiced) in the pan to. It adds just a bit more lemon flavor, which I love!)
4. Place in oven and broil about 10 min (depends on thickness of fish filets).

Vegan Creamed Spinach


2 Tbsp Earth's Balance "butter" or other vegan butter substitute
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 containers frozen, thawed, drained squeezed dry (could sub fresh easily)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed and cut
1/2 cup tofu based cream cheese (we use Tofutti)
1/4 c almond or coconut milk
2 tsp nutmeg
salt and black pepper
*optional 1/4 to 1/2 c Parmesan substitute or real Parmesan for non-vegan

1. Heat butter and olive oil over med-high heat.
2. Add garlic and onion. Cook until onion transparent and garlic fragrant
3. Add remaining ingredients, and season to taste. Cook until spinach is hot, about 5 min.

*Caveat: Our family has food allergies, and so we have some who are vegan and some not. We make this recipe with no Parmesan or Parmesan sub, then those of us who eat cheese add it to our plate while hot, and our vegans eat without any cheese substitute and love it..

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Roasted Fennel and Potatoes


2 Fennel bulbs, sliced lengthwise into wedges
3 Tbsp fennel fronds, chopped
10 red potatoes, cut in half
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oven to 425 deg. Set roasting pan in oven and let preheat for 20 min.
2. Season fennel and potatoes with salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil.
3. Remove roasting pan from oven and place fennel and potatoes in hot pan.
4. Return pan to oven and roast for approx 35 min, without turning, until vegetables are golden brown.

Thank you Martha Stewart! This turned out scrumptious!

Louisiana Sticky Chicken


1 organic free range chicken, cut up
2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Water and/or chicken stock
3 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or unbleached white flour or combo)
4 cloves garlic, minced


1. Season cut-up chicken and saute in oil. Brown chicken on all sides until meat pulls away from bone; stir to keep from burning
2. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onion, garlic. Saute about 5-7 min. Add flour and stir well.
3. Continue to stir flour mixture until it begins to stick to pan; return heat to highest setting and saute for 30 seconds.
4. Deglaze by adding water or chicken stock and removing from heat immediately, stirring until pan is clean of stuck residue
5. Add chicken and enough water or stock to cover chicken well. Bring to boil, then turn heat down to simmer until gravy is thick.
6. Serving over rice is most common. We have also served over quinoa cooked in chicken broth and it was delicious, too!

Why Are You Obsessed With Coconut Oil?

If you follow my blog (is there anyone out there :) , EVEN IF you are the only one!, you will have noticed that I prefer to cook with coconut oil. Just thought I would share a few websites and info on why!!

Coconut oil helps in maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. It doesn't turn to fat in your body, stabilizes blood sugar, and helps your metabolism!! Coconut oil improves energy levels and contains lauric acid. It is also antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing. In terms of cooking, it doesn't burn as easy as other oils, and is more resistant to becoming rancid!

How to Cook Steel Cut Oats Perfectly

Perfect Steel-Cut Oats
serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!

3 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
pinch of salt

Bring the water to a boil and stir in the oats and salt. Let the water and oats come back to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat.

Let the oats simmer with the lid slightly ajar, stirring frequently until cooked through - 20 minutes for chewy oats or 30 minutes for softer oats.

Stir in extras like milk, sweeteners, nuts, and fruit off the heat in individual bowls. Leftovers keep for one week.

How to Cook Quinoa Perfectly!

Add one part quinoa to one and a quarter parts liquid. As always, choose the liquid that best suits the dish you are making. Depending on the ad ins you are using, you may or may not use a bit more liquid. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low. Cover and cook for between 30 and 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit covered for an additional five minutes.

German Chocolate Cake with Ganache


1 1/2 c unbleached flour
1 c whole wheat flour
1 c sugar
1/2 c stevia
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
5 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 c maple syrup

I cheated. I bought store bought.

2 Tbsp Earth Balance butter sub (or other vegan butter)
4 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 c maple syrup
3/4 c powdered sugar (optional)
1 tsp vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Stir all cake ingredients into 2 8x8 cake pans.
3. Bake cake for 35 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
4. Meanwhile, make ganache. Over med heat, melt butter sub, add cocoa and milk. Bring to a boil.
5. Mix well, reduce heat. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir well and remove from heat.
6. To assemble cake: Place one layer of cake on cake platter. Ice thickly with icing. Add second layer. Ice top generously, but do not ice the sides.
7. Use ganache to cover sides of cake. Drizzle remaining ganache over top of cake.

Caveat: I opted for more nuts than the store bought icing had in it. I added about 1/2 c of pecans (crushed) sprinkled on top. You could also use walnuts.


Southern Meatball Stew


1 lb lean, organic grass-fed beef
2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax, 3 Tbsp water)
1 c unbleached flour (could also use wheat flour)
Salt, black pepper, red pepper

1. Mix all ingredients together (including seasonings). Make meatballs. Meanwhile heat about 2 Tbsp oil over med high heat.
2. Roll meatballs in flour (optional).
3. Brown in oil very fast. Drain off any excess oil.
4. Add enough water to cover meatballs and let simmer until cooked, usually about 30-40 min.
5. Serve over rice.

This is straight from Granny Patsy's kitchen guys!!!

Mexican Barley


1 box (or can) 14 1/2 oz Stewed tomatoes
1 tsp olive or coconut oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c barley
1 c water (divided)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1 can black beans
1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste


1. (Optional) Put the tomatoes in food processor and puree.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over med heat. Add onion and garlic. Saute 5 min.
3. Stir in barley, tomatoes, 1 cup water, and seasonings. Simmer, uncovered until liquid has been absorbed; stir ofen
4. Continue to add water, about 1/2 c at a time, as needed. Total cook time should be about 40 minutes; barley should be tender, yet still firm (not mushy). Add beans with about 15 min left of cooking.
5. Stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Chicken Quesadillas

1 poblano pepper, stemmed, halved, seeded
5 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1/2 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, halved, seeded
15 small sprigs cilantro
1/4 white onion
2 cloves garlic
sea salt, to taste

4-6 Tortillas, eat clean
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese blend or non-dairy cheese shreds
2 boneless, skinless, organic free range chicken breasts (if you are not using organic, the breasts will be larger, and 2 breasts will likely be too much meat, so you may want to use less!)
3 green onions, chopped

1. In med saucepan, bring 3 cups water to boil. Add tomatillos and poblano and cook for 5 min. Add jalapeno and cook until all are tender, about two minutes.
2. Using slotted spoon, transfer mix to blender. Ad 1/4 c cooking liquid, onion, cilantro and garlic. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Arrange tortillas on a workspace. Sprinkle cheese, arrange turkey on top of cheese, and add a sprinkle of green onion. Fold in half.
4. In large skillet, cook on both sides over medium heat until golden brown and cheese melted.
5. Cut quesadillas in 4 wedges and serve with salsa. We ate this with Mexican barley!

Caveat: I recommend cooking the chicken with the following seasonings: chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, pepper.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chicken Mushroom Ragu

Adapted from The Best of Clean Eating 2


1 container organic portabello mushrooms (original calls for dried porcini)
12 oz package of whole-wheat of any large, round ragu noodles (or make your own from lasagna sheets)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
4 cups shitake mushrooms
2 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked, cooled, and shredded
Pinch red chili flakes
1 c low-sodium organic, free-range chicken broth
1 28-oz box diced tomatoes
sea salt to taste
1/2 c crushed toasted walnuts (unsalted)
2 cups baby arugula
fresh ground black pepper to taste


1. In large skillet, heat oil on med-high. Add garlic and all mushrooms, cooking in batches if necessary so as not to over crowd, until all mushrooms golden brown.
2. Add chicken and chile flakes, and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 min.
3. Add broth and tomatoes to skillet, and stir until reduced by half, about 6 to 8 min.
4. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
5. Add pasta, walnuts, arugula to skillet with ragu and gently toss. If dry, add reserved pasta cooking liquid, 1 Tbsp at a time. Season to taste. Serve immediately!

Curried Chicken


1 c brown rice
1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb boneless, skinless organic chicken breasts (cubed)
3 Tbsp curry paste
1 c low-sodium, organic, free range chicken broth
1/2 c frozen green peas (do not thaw)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Cook rice according to package
2. Add green onions, onions, garlic to pan over med-high heat. Saute, stirring frequently, about 1 min.
3. Add chicken and cook for several minutes until browned on all sides
4. In separate bowl, whisk curry paste into broth. Add this to pot and bring to simmer, simmering for 5 min and/or chicken is cooked through.
5. Add peas and cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro and stir in.
6. Serve chicken mixture over rice.

*caveat: not all curry pastes are gluten free! Please read labels carefully!