Friday, December 11, 2009

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I did a vegetarian Shepherd's Pie a little while ago and kept it in my "non-published (blogged) stack of recipes". I don't give you all my recipes. You see, I'm hoping to publish a cookbook one day so I need to have new material. I don't think anybody would buy a book if they can find the same recipes for free on my blog right? But anyways...It's just hard sometimes to keep them for myself, especially when I'm really happy with the results....
Serves 4
For the lentils
3 cups of cooked lentils (I used the red lentils but you can use any others)
Fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients together
For the veggies
3 tbsp of olive oil
3 leeks, cut in rings of 1/4 inch, washed in a big bowl of cold water and drained
2 turnips of approximately 1/2 lb each, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
4 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
4 cups of chicken stock (or vegetarian stock - for the true vegetarians)
2-3 tbsp fresh oregano
1 medium garlic clove, minced
For the greens
3 cups of "just wilted" greens of your choice (I used kale, but you can use any other greens like; turnip greens, Swiss chard or spinach - although the spinach might be too delicate and might end up over cooked)
1 medium garlic clove, minced (to be added just after the greens are wilted)
Salt and pepper
For the mashed potatoes
4 big baking potatoes, cut in cubes, cooked and mashed
Seasoned to your liking (mine had 1/2 & 1/2, bit of butter, more garlic -it protects you against the flu-, salt and pepper)
For the topping
Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp of coconut oil
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Transfer lentils to bottom of a 3-qt shallow oven safe dish. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. When oil is hot but not smoking, add the leeks. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add turnips and carrots, cook for 3 minutes. Transfer veggies to plate and set aside for a minute. In a separate bowl, using a fork, mix butter and flour together and set aside. Add chicken stock to skillet (same one you used for the veggies - no need to wash it). Bring to a simmer. Whisk in your butter/flour mixture. Whisk until you achieve a nice smooth, slightly thick sauce, 2-3 minutes. Add veggies and cook until carrots and turnips are just cooked - not mushy-. Add fresh oregano and garlic. Transfer to oven safe dish on top of the lentils. Add the wilted greens over the veggies and finish with one layer of mashed potatoes. Over the top; sprinkle some breadcrumbs, grate some fresh Parmesan and place 3-4 dots of coconut oil.
Bake for 20-30 minutes and broil the top for 1-2 minutes so it's nice and crispy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shrimps with Cilantro, Jalapeno and Lime

This is a super speedy recipe! If you have a food processor, it will be done in 20 minutes, promise! The kind of recipe that I love to do when I'm pressed with time or when I don't feel like being in the kitchen too long. Delicious and super healthy! Cilantro for removing heavy metals. Jalapenos for blood circulation. Garlic for purifying your blood. It's very cleansing and lean. The kind you should do right after Thanksgiving :0)

Serves 2

3 tbsp of coconut oil

1 lb of shrimps, peeled and deveined

2 medium garlic clove, minced with the jalapenos in your food processor

1 jalapenos, minced (you don't need to seed it - it will be just barely hot)

1/4 cup clam broth (or chicken stock)

Juice of 1/2 lime (all limes are not the same size or do not contain the same amount of juice. For this reason, I suggest you add the lime juice gradually until you are please with the taste)

1/2 cup of cilantro, chopped, using your food processor

Celtic salt

Heat coconut oil in medium size skillet over medium high heat. Saute shrimps for 3 minutes, turning only once (to have nice and brown shrimps). Reduce heat to medium. Add garlic and jalapeno. Saute 30 seconds. Add clam (or chicken) broth and lime juice. Reduce liquids for 1 minute. Add cilantro and season with salt. No pepper is necessary since there is a jalapeno. Serve with rice, millet, kasha or quinoa.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Leek and Potato Gratin

Last week I stopped by my local organic store and they had beautiful young leeks. I love the taste of leeks, it's sweeter and more delicate than onions. For a more sophisticated and subtle flavor use leeks in your recipes instead of onions. Leeks are full of dirt and sand. To clean them, cut each stalk in 1/4" inch thick slices. The slices will then have to be cleaned in a large bowl of cold water. Once the leeks are in the water, separate each ring from the slices and swish the pieces around in the bowl for a minute or two. Scoop the leeks out of the water. Do not strain or the dirt (which is now in the bottom of your bowl) will return to the leeks.
For the Gratin
2-3 tbsp olive oil
6 small leeks of about 1" inch diameter (or 3 big ones), cleaned and sliced to 1/4 inch thick
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Approximately 2 cups of bechamel (see recipe below)
1 big Yukon Gold potato, sliced with your mandolin to approx. 1/8 inch thick
1 1/2 big sweet potatoes - sliced with your mandolin to approx. 1/8 inch thick
Homemade bread crumbs, using your favorite country bread (see directions below)
Few dots of butter
Preheat oven to 375 degree.
Heat a large non-stick skillet to medium. Add olive oil. When oil is hot but not smoking, add the leeks. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes or until wilted. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds. Season with sea salt and pepper. Remove leeks from skillet and set aside. Coat a gratin dish with olive oil. Crush a big garlic clove with the side of your knife, peel it and rub it all over the gratin dish. Spread 1/2 cup of bechamel in the bottom on the gratin dish. Cover the bechamel with one layer of Yukon Gold potatoes, followed by one layer of leeks and one layer of the sweet potatoes. Repeat the same operation, starting with the bechamel, until you are out of ingredients finishing the layers with a very thin coat of bechamel (if it's too thick your bread crumbs will soak up the bechamel and your topping will be soggy). At this point, if you are a cheese lover, you can add some. Sprinkle with your homemade bread crumbs and place a few dots of butter over the top. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.
For the Bechamel
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 full tbsp flour (I used spelt flour but any other flour will do - try to stick to something whole and not processed)
2 cups of almond milk (but you can also use cow milk if desired)
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Fresh thyme (leaves from 2-3 sprigs)
Sea salt and Pepper
Heat up a medium size pan over medium heat. Add the oil and butter. When butter is melted add the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes (do not let the flour burn). Add the milk in a fine stream constantly stirring with a whisk. Do not let the sauce boil, it should be smoking but not boiling (you want it just before the simmering point). If the sauce starts to get thin, stop adding milk and stir until thick again. The sauce is ready when it coats a wooden spoon. Add nutmeg and thyme at the end when all the milk is incorporated to the flour. Season with sea salt and pepper. If your sauce is not thick, it might be because it boiled. Reduce the heat to just below the simmering point. In a small bowl, mix 1 tbsp of flour with 1/4 cup of cold milk. Whisk until smooth and add to your sauce. Stir until sauce gets thick.
For the breadcrumbs
Use 2-3 slices of your favorite country bread. Break into chunks of 2-3 inches. Transfer to your food processor and pulse a few times until your bread is chopped to pea size pieces.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Onion Pie and Garlicky Kale

I have had in mind to do an onion pie for a while. I was browsing through my recipe books and magazines in search of inspiration. I found a few but they were or too long or not healthy enough. So I added a bit of this, removed a bit of that, replaced this with that and...Voila! There it was, my very own onion pie :0). Like Julia Child used to say: The only real stumbling block in cooking is fear of failure. So I say; don't be scared to transform a recipe to your liking. I do it all the time. What are they going to do?? Fire you?? :)

Garlic: it is primordial in the kale recipe (and all recipes actually) that the garlic is added at the end and that it is not browned or burnt or it will loose it's flavor. Cook it on medium-low heat and add it only in the last 30-60 seconds of cooking.

For the Onion pie

1 1/2 cups of Spelt flour (or whole wheat or even white if you insist)
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

Place flour in food processor. Add butter. Pulse 4-5 times or until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add egg yolks. Pulse a few times until dough gathers together. Place dough on floured surface and form a ball. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes (but you can also cook it right away if you're in a rush - you just have better results when chilled). Pre-heat oven to 400F. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to line a 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, creating a border with the edges by folding dough over. Bake for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 325F and bake for about 15 minutes more or until the pastry is nice and gold. Remove from oven.

3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pound yellow onions, finely sliced
2/3 cup light cream
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Celtic salt and fresh ground pepper

Melt butter. Add onions and cook over low heat for 30 minutes. Do not let onions brown (not too much anyways). Mix the cream, eggs, nutmeg and seasonings. Place cooked onions in the baked crust, carefully pour in the egg mixture, and then return the pie to the oven to cook for 25-30 minutes. Server warm or cold.

For the kale
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp red crushed chili pepper
1 bunch of kale
1-2 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
1 big garlic clove, minced
Celtic salt and pepper

Heat coconut oil in skillet on medium heat. Add chili pepper, cook for 20 seconds or until oil is flavored. Add kale. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until completely wilted. Add balsamic vinegar, cook until vinegar is evaporated. Add garlic, cook for 30-60 seconds (do not let the garlic brown). Add salt and pepper. Serve with onion pie.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Kale & Red Lentil Soup

If you've been following my blog, you already know that I am a huge fan of kale, and guess what comes with fall? That's right. Kale does. Ye!!
Since nothing compares to a hot bowl of soup during the cold days of fall, and since the Living Tree -my local organic produce supplier - hi Teresa! :0) - received some beautiful fresh kale, I had, had, absolutely had, to make a soup and eat it outside, with the sun shining on my face, all cuddled up under a blanket, sitting on my porch watching the birds and the squirrels getting ready for the cold weather.

2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup of red lentil
1 quart of beef stock (or vegetable stock)
1 bay leave
6-8 baby potatoes, cubed 1/2"-inch
4-5 tomatoes (from can - preferably San Marzano), chopped
1 bunch of kale
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
Celtic salt and pepper

Heat olive oil on medium heat. Sautee onion until transparent, 3-4 minutes. Add lentils, beef stock (or vegetable stock) and bay leave. Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender. Add kale and cook no more than 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Belgium Endive, Radishes and Baby Bella Salad

I know, I know, it's been like... for ever and ever, since I last posted a recipe. Not because I didn't want to. It's just how life goes sometimes, little set back that's all. But let me just say that it feels sooo good to be here, in my kitchen, creating a new recipe, taking my pictures and sharing it with you my favorite Mouth Teaser readers.
With this recipe, I feel like, deep down, I'm sadly holding on to the last summer days. The sweetness of the dressing makes the radishes a lot milder and sweeter than what you might think. Great salad with fish, chicken, pork, scrambled tofu or seared tempeh.
2 Belgium endives, chop crosswise
6-8 Baby Bellas, sliced
6-8 Radishes, sliced
6-8 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or other seeds or nuts of your choice (almonds would also work quite well)
1 Handful of mix fresh herbs of your choice, I used a mix of fresh parsley, thyme and oregano (careful with the oregano or it will take over)
Celtic Salt
2 tblsp fresh lime juice
1 small jalapeno, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 ½ tsp honey or agave syrup
¼ tsp cumin
¼ cup canola oil
Celtic salt (or sea salt) and freshly ground pepper
Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss dressing in salad just before serving.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Asian Salad

I have been wanting to post a recipe for the last two weeks but I just didn't have the time. Today I had a day off. Although I was suppose to work on my final assignment (I"m finishing a web design certificate), I decided to give priority to my blog and post a well overdue recipe for you my favorite Mouth Teaser readers, before you start to think that I forgot all about you or that I don't love you anymore :0)

I ate this salad just like this, by itself, nothing else. It was a nice light lunch. It would also be great with grilled chicken or pork for a more substantial meal.


Serves 2

Mix greens or frisee lettuce

1 carrot - julienned

1/2 cucumber - julienned

1 1/2 cup Bean Sprout

Green beans - Approximately 20 - blanched in salted water for 4 minutes and transfered to ice bath to stop cooking.

2 small red baby potatoes - cooked, cooled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Place mix greens on plates. Mix carrots, cucumbers and bean sprouts and drizzle a bit of the dressing over them, mix to coat. Place over greens. Arrange green beans and baby potatoes on each side of the plates. Sprinkle each salad with toasted pumpkin seeds.


Fresh Cilantro

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/4 tsp red crushed chile pepper

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Lemon and fresh Fennel Salsa

This is a great salsa that works very well with any kind of white fish. It's crispy, sweet, sour, cool, fresh and summery! I dusted some grouper fillets with a mixture of Quinoa flour, lemon zest, freshly grated Pecorino-Romano, salt and pepper and sauteed them in a bit of olive oil until nice and brown. Fish, salsa and a crispy green salad with fresh herbs and a light lemon dressing turned out to be a very simple, yet elegant and satisfying dinner.

  • 1/2 small fennel bulb (reserve some of the leaves), cut in half lengthwise, cored and cut in thin slices crosswise
  • 2 small lemons, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and cut again lengthwise to have thin half moons
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded (I like to use a spoon to scrape the seeds) and cut thinly crosswise
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (with or without seeds)
  • 10 big green olives, cut in half lengthwise, than cut thinly lengthwise
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp of the reserved fennel leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Combine everything in a mixing bowl and marinate for approximately 20 minutes before serving. Oranges would be a nice addition to this salsa, it was actually my original idea but I was out of oranges.

Let me know how you like it!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Addendum for the No Bake Blueberry Pie

Please add 1/2 cup of fresh Blueberries to the list of "Filling ingredients" to blend. You still need the 2 pints of fresh blueberries for the topping. See corrected recipe below.

Since the corrected recipe is not being emailed I thought I would create a new post (this one) to let you know. Voila!

Also see the Note on Coconut Oil (at the end of the original-revised recipe ;0))

Sorry about that people!


No Bake Blueberry Pie

Here's why you should try this recipe:
  • It's delicious
  • It's fast and easy to put together
  • It's a no bake recipe. Who needs an oven when it's so hot outside!
  • It's all raw, so you have all the vitamins and nutrients
  • It's gluten and lactose free
  • It's packed with only super healthy ingredients
  • It's a 100% guilt free dessert
  • Because of the blueberries: In laboratory animal studies, researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Researchers found that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging animals, making them mentally equivalent to much younger ones.


1 3/4 cups of almonds

2 tbsp of lemon zest

2 cups of pitted dates

Place almonds and lemon zest in food processor until mixture resemble tiny little peas (you want some crunch). Remove almonds and set aside. Add dates to food processor and pulse until you get a paste like texture. Add almonds mixture to dates and process until well combined. Dust pie dish with flour to prevent dough from sticking (you can also line your pie dish with some plastic wrap if your intention is to serve it on a pretty platter). Press dough in the bottom of your pie dish. I like to use a glass or a cup and use it to press all over the bottom and sides of my dough. The result is a tighter and more even crust. Set dough aside until filling is ready.


3 cups of Cashews, soaked for 2 hours

1/2 cup of fresh blueberries

1/2 cup of amber agave syrup (maple syrup would also work)

Juice of 3 limes (approximately 1/2 cup - taste and adjust quantity of lime juice to your liking)

3/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted (coconut is a very healthy fat, for more info please read:

1/4 cup of water (add a little more if your filling is too thick - your filling should be like a thick smoothie)

2 tsp of vanilla extract

2 pints of fresh blueberries for topping, washed

Place everything (except the blueberries for topping) in your food processor (or blender) and mix until very smooth. Place filling in your prepared dough and refrigerate until set (about 3-4 hours but preferably overnight). Top with fresh blueberries just before serving or as soon as filling is set.

You would never think it's an all raw, no cook Blueberry pie. Actually, the people I served it to, thought it was a cheese cake.

Try it, you'll like it!

Note: Do not substitute the coconut oil for another oil. The coconut oil becomes solid when cold (just like butter or shortening) giving the pie it's nice, rich texture.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shrimp Toast with Poached egg and Spinach

I was visiting the Gourmet website the other day and came across a shrimp toast recipe. I created my own version of it and James and I ate it for a late breakfast/early lunch (well, I guess I could have wrote a Brunch duh!!). I can think of a few people who love this kind of Brunch food so, here it is...
I overcooked my eggs a little, I usually like them a bit runny but it was still delicious!
Serves 4
For the Shrimps
1 pound of deveined, shelved shrimps and roughly chopped
2 scallions, chopped roughly
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp of lemon juice
1 bunch of fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped roughly
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350F
Place everything in food processor until pureed. Lightly toast 4 slices of whole wheat bread. Divide shrimp mixture in 4 and spread over toast (it will be thick, like 1 inch or so). Place on baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until shrimps are cooked.
1 package of spinach, sauteed in a bit of olive oil in a medium size skillet until just wilted. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over them (the lemony taste goes great with the shrimps), add a bit of salt.
4 poached eggs (or fried eggs if you prefer). Poach eggs in simmering water ( to which you added 2 tbsp of vinegar) for 4 minutes, remove with slotted spoon and transfer to plate.
Hot sauce of your choice
Dash of smoked paprika
To plate
Divide spinach in 4 equal portion and spread over the shrimp toasts. Top with poached (or fried) eggs, a bit of your favorite hot sauce and a dash or two of smoked paprika.
A few slices of avocados would be a nice addition.
Bon appetit!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Green Beans and Cucumber Salad

I love cucumbers in summer time, not only they are fresh and cooling but they are 95% water which makes them very light and low in calories.

Here is a simple salad perfect for a picnic on the beach.

Serves 4 (as a side dish)

For the Salad:
1 pound of green beans, blanched in boiling salted water for 3 minutes, then immediately transferred to an ice bath for cooling and to stop cooking (so you don't want to loose all the nutrients).
1/2 English cucumber, sliced paper thin with your mandolin

Place cooled green beans and cucumber in a large mixing bowl.

For the dressing:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1 lemon or to taste
1 hand full of fresh mint, chopped
1/2 tsp of red crushed pepper
Celtic salt or any other sea salt

Mix all ingredients, adjust seasoning. Add to mixing bowl with green beans and cucumber. This salad is great with grilled chicken kebabs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quiche with asparagus, zucchinis and sundried tomatoes

Yes, you will have to make a pate brise (flaky dough) from scratch for this recipe (all by yourself)...but don't worry, it's really not as complicated as you think. Actually, if you have a food processor it will be done in less than 5 minutes. Promise. If you don't have a food processor, get in your car, drive to the closest store and buy one. Trust me, it's not an expense, it's an investment, it will save you loads of time and make your life so much easier. If your husband complains, tell him it's Mimi's fault ;0)

The trick to have a flaky dough is to have all your ingredients ice cold and not to process the dough too much after you added the water. Measure your flour and stick it in your freezer for 30 minutes prior to making your dough. Cut the butter and drop it in a bowl half way full of water and tons of ice cubes. You want to butter to break in hundreds of tiny pieces when incorporated in the flour, that is how you achieve a flaky dough. If your butter is not cold enough, it will melt and not break. The ice cold water will keep your butter super hard.
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cube
In food processor, pulse the flour with the salt. Add diced butter and pulse 3-4 times until you get a sandy/crumbly type mixture. Sprinkle ice cold water (approximately 2-3 tbsp) and pulse until dough comes together (the dough will gather together on one side of the food processor, that's your cue). Do not over process or the dough will be hard. Transfer dough to plastic wrap and press into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour (if you don't have time, it's o.k. to roll it out right away). On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 12 inch round. Transfer to 9-inch pie dish (previously buttered and dusted with flour to prevent the dough from sticking). Press into the pan and trim off any excess. Use scraps to patch any cracks. Prick holes all over bottom with a fork.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake crust until golden about 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Reduce oven
temperature to 375°F.
1 cup 1/2 & 1/2
5 eggs, whisked
1 tsp of fresh nutmeg, grated
Celtic salt and Cayenne pepper
1 shallot (small french onion), chopped
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/4" slices
7-8 asparagus, cut into 2" pieces
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Alta Dena goat cheese, grated (or other cheese of your preference)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
In medium size bowl, combine 1/2 and 1/2, eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside. Add 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet. Saute shallot over medium heat until transparent. Add zucchinis and asparagus, cook for 3 minutes (I like all my veggies crunchy). Add sundried tomatoes, fresh parsley and season with salt and pepper. Cool 5 minutes. Pour cooled vegetables into your prepared crust. Add 1/2 & 1/2 and egg mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Transfer to pre-heated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until set. Serve with a crispy green salad!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spaghetti a la Vongole

This is one of my very favorite pasta recipe. I learned it from a wonderful woman who is partly Italian. We used to get together all the time and she was always cooking some fabulous meals, I used to be amazed at how easy cooking was for her. Her dishes all came together in no time and always looking picture perfect and tasting out of this world. She was (and still is - although I don't see her much anymore since we live in different countries) a great source of inspiration to me.

Serves 2

Olive oil - enough to cover the bottom of your skillet plus 2-3 tbsp
4-5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp chile pepper
1-10 oz baby clams
1-14.5oz tomatoes
Fresh parsley
8 oz spinach spaghettis, cooked to directions

Heat olive oil on medium heat. When oil is hot but not burning (olive oil is sensitive to heat and will become saturated if over heated) add garlic, reduce heat to low and continue to cook for 10 minutes (this will infuse the olive oil with the garlic taste and also it will caramelized the garlic). Remove garlic from oil (keep garlic infused oil in skillet you will need it in a minute) and smash it with the side of the blade of your knife on your chopping board to create a paste, set aside. Strain clams directly over the skillet, set clams aside. Reduce clam broth by 1/2 by simmering for approximately 5 minutes. Puree tomatoes in food processor and add to clam broth. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit. Add clams, simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Add garlic paste, fresh parsley and a bit of salt.

Serve over your spinach pastas and enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chile Sin (without) Carne

If you love Chilis but would rather skip the meat, you have to try this...And all of you who are telling me you don't have time to cook or that eating healthy is too expensive, well I have an excellent news for you, you won't have to worry your pretty little head about "time" or "cost" with this dish. How much is a can of bean? Even organic it's cheap, so no more excuses...I said no to the hand!!

2 medium size tomatoes
1/2 large portabella cap
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeno
2 cloves of garlic
1- 15 oz can black beans
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 tsp cumin powder (to taste)
Celtic salt

Place tomatoes in your food processor and pulse 2-3 times, until the tomatoes are chopped in small pieces but not pureed, chunks are good! Transfer to large mixing bowl. Pulse portabella cap in food processor 2-3 times until it resemble a minced meat type texture (that is your ground meat). Transfer portabella to mixing bowl with tomatoes. Place jalapeno, cilantro, garlic and olive oil in food processor until minced (not pureed - a bit smaller than chopped). Transfer to mixing bowl with other ingredients. Place 1/4 of the black beans into food processor and this time, do puree it (this will give a nice thick consistency to your chili). Add black bean puree to mixing bowl with the remaining of the whole black beans. Season with cumin and salt. Mix well and serve with corn chips!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Raw Corn Chowder

With summer around the corner, this corn chowder is absolutely perfecttly fresh, crispy and light not to mention extremely quick to put together and of course super delicious! Just what we need right?
Corn Chowder
Serves 4

3 cups fresh corn kernels (I figured that 1 corn is almost the equivalent of 1 cup of kernels)
1/2 - ¾ cup walnuts or cachew (not salted)
3/4 extra virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp celtic salt
2 1/2 cups almond/rice milk or water

Chowder Toppings
1 cup corn kernels, reserved from above
1 avocado, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
Dash cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper or paprika

From the 3 cups of kernels, reserve 1 cup for dressing the chowder. Put all remaining ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer chowder to bowls and dress with the reserved corn kernels, the avocado cubes, the fresh cilantro and sprinkle with a dash of cayenne peper.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kale a health superstar!

I love kale and I try to eat it as much as I possibly can.

I was telling a friend of mine the other day that when I'm not cooking it, I simply break a piece and drop it in my smoothie. Guess what she said??? Probably the same thing you are thinking right now.....which is: YOU'RE A FREAK!!

Of course I busted out laughing. I know it sounds totally strange but you know what? Mixed with bananas, strawberries, almond milk and agave syrup you totally don't taste it but you get the my dear girlfriend...I am a freak but a healthy one.

Here's what I found on on Kale. Read it and you will understand why I include it in my smoothies and who knows, you might even want to give it a try :0)

Sulforaphane, which is formed when cruciferous vegetables such as kale are chopped or chewed, triggers the liver to produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals.

Crucifers' well known cancer-fighting properties are thought to result from their high levels of active phytochemicals called glucosinolates, which our bodies metabolize into powerful anti-carcinogens.

Kale is also rich in flavonoid. Researches proved that women with a diet rich in flavonoid had a 40% reduction in risk of ovarian cancer.

Kale is also a very good source of calcium. 1 cup of kale supplies 93.6 mg of calcium for only 36.4 calories. In contrast, a cup of 2% cow's milk provides 296.7 mg of calcium, but the cost is high: 121.2 calories.

Kale also emerged from our food ranking system as an excellent source of traditional nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese. It is also a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, copper, vitamin B6, and potassium. This combination of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients makes kale a health superstar!
Sauteed Tofu with Rice Noodles, Portabellos and Kale

For the Tofu: Cut tofu into 1" cubes and saute, on low heat, in olive oil with 2-3 minced garlic cloves for approximately 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cooking garlic on low heat will flavor the oil and give a very good taste to the tofu.

For the Portabellos: Slice thinly, saute in olive oil on low heat for approximately 10 mins, sprinkle with a dash of Celtic salt.

For Rice Noodles: Cook according to package's directions. Rinse over cold running water and drizzle with a bit of sesame oil (so they don't stick). When ready to serve, heat up in a skillet with a bit of coconut oil and sprinkle with some black or brown sesame seeds.

For the Kale: Chop kale into small bites. Cut 1 medium size tomato into 1" cubes. Mix kale and tomatoes. Dress with sesame oil (3 portions of oil for one portion of lime juice), tamari (or Nana Shoyu - 1-2 tbsp - start with one and add slowly), 1 minced garlic clove, fresh ginger (2 tbsp), lime juice and a hand full of cilantro. Marinate 10-15 minutes.

Plating: Place kale salad on bottom of big bowl. Arrange tofu, mushrooms and rice noodles over the kale but not hiding it completely so you see all the nice colors.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Oat Groats with Apples, Pecan nuts and Coconut Oil

Oats the ‘cleansing grain.’ They clean your intestinal tract and your blood as well. Oats contain an fabulous balance of amino acids. It’s proteins are almost in perfect proportion to the body’s needs. High in lysine which is often low in other cereal grains, oats bring a real balance to your protein needs. Oats contain high levels of complex carbohydrates which have been linked to reducing the risk of cancer and the better control of diabetes.

Of course the more processed the oat is the less properties you will have from it. So I say: Go for the "real McCoy", the Oat Groats. I much prefer the texture of the Oat Groats, it's not mushy like the Quick or Old Fasion, it's firm and there is a small crunch under your teeth. I love it.

Rinse oat 2-3 times under fresh running water. Simmer Oat until tender (approximately 40-45 minutes - water/oat proportion is 1 to 1). When cooked, remove from pot (drain extra water if necessary), transfer to bowl. While still hot, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil, chopped apples (or other fruit), chopped pecan (or other), 2 tbsp of agave syrup or non pasteurized honey and sprinkle with Chia Seeds.

This breakfast will keep you going all the way to lunch without feeling the urge to snack.

For my Frenchies: Le "Oat Groat" c'est la graine d'avoine et non le flocon.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Here is what a Kohlrabi looks like

Also in my box of veggies from the CSA was a Kohlrabi bulb. Kohlrabi, which belongs to the cabbage family, is an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium. It is also high in fiber and helps to stabilize blood sugar. It can also be effective against edema, candida and viral conditions.

Kohlrabi and Goat Cheese Omelet

I had no idea how this dish was going to turn out until the very end, until I had my first bite actually. I was pleasantly surprise I must say. The Kohlrabi was crunchy and sweet. I was afraid the goat cheese would be over powering but it wasn't at all. I served it with an organic sour cream that I dressed with some roasted Serrano peppers and lime juice. It was quite satisfying. I will make it again.
2 1/2 cups of Kohlrabi, julienned with your mandolin
1/2 red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 slices of Alta Dena Raw Goat Cheese (For the ones who live in Enterprise: you can find it at the Living Tree, for the others: if you can't find it, you can use any other goat cheese, just crumble it instead of slicing it)
5 eggs, slightly beaten and seasoned with Celtic salt and a bit of Cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of flat leave parsley, chopped
1 tbsp of quinoa flour
1 avocado, sliced
Drizzle of Olive Oil
Lime slices and Cilantro leave for decoration
Turn your oven on and set to Broil.
In a medium size non-stick/oven proof skillet, over medium heat, saute the Kohlrabi in olive or coconut oil, stirring occasionally until it's nice and crispy (it will take a little while, like 10 minutes or so). I tried to get it like a hash brown texture. Actually, you could very well substitute the Kohlrabi with Potatoes if you wanted to. When the Kohlrabi is cooked add the slices of goat cheese. Mix the quinoa flour with the eggs, whip to have an even mixture and pour over the Kohlrabi and Goat Cheese. Continue to cook on the stove for 2 more minutes. Transfer to oven, on the top grill and broil for 1 minute or until puffy and brown. Remove from oven. Let cool for a minute. Place a large plate over the skillet and turn it over the plate so the Kohlrabi is facing up. Garnish with the avocado, lime slices and a few dollop of organic sour cream. Drizzle with a bit of first/cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and a few leaves of cilantro and serve.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

In the news

Poached Egg with Swiss Chard, and Sauteed Baby Turnips

I got these beautiful baby turnips in my box of veggies from my local CSA this week and they are just delicious. Here is what I did with them this morning.

First I cut them paper thin with my mandolin, then, I slowly sauteed them in 1 full tbsp of coconut oil and sprinkled them with oregano and a bit of celtic salt. The coconut oil gave them a very nice sweet taste and a crunchy bite which was a nice contrast with the greens and the egg.
I sauteed the swiss chard in olive oil on medium heat and I simply added a bit of apple cider vinegar (like 1 tsp, which evaporates as it cooks leaving a sweet slightly tart taste), I added some freshly ground nutmeg, gave it a dash of cayenne pepper and seasoned it with celtic salt.
I then poached the egg in simmering water (you should have enough water in your pot to cover the egg), to which I added 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (so the egg would keep it's shape together and not spread in the water) for 3 minutes (I like my egg runny).
To assemble it all. I placed one cup (approximately) of greens in the middle of a plate, put the egg on top, the turnips on one side, sprinkled some first/cold pressed olive oil over the egg and a bit around the plate and sprinkled it all with a bit of paprika for the color.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kasha with Portabello and Asparagus

This was my express lunch today. I had some Kasha left over from the night before. So all I did really is saute some onions, garlic and portabello mushrooms in 2 tbsp of coconut oil and at the end I added the asparagus, which I sauteed for no more then 30 seconds, then I added my Kasha and a bit of Tamari. It was fast and truly delectable.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Zucchini, Banana and Nutmeg Muffins

Let the muffins roll!!
These were actually more moist and crumblier then the carrot muffins (See recipe previous post). James prefers this recipe, probably because it has more of a cake then a bread texture. Personally, I liked both.
It's basically the same recipe as the carrot muffin. Except for the following modifications:
  • Replace coconut oil with 1/2 cup or 1 stick of organic butter
  • Replace honey with 1 cup organic sugar cane
  • Replace carrot with 1 small grated zucchini (thin 6-7 inches long) and 1 ripe mash banana
  • Reduce flour quantity to 1 cup instead of two
  • Add 1 tbsp of nutmeg
If you prefer a cake to muffins just bake this recipe in a loaf pan instead of muffin pan and bake it for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gluten and dairy free Carrot Muffins

James woke up this morning at 5:00 and he said he was starving to death. Unfortunately, there wasn't much in the fridge and he left for his p.t. (physical training - army language) with a glass of milk mix with 1 tbsp of Chia seeds in his belly. I felt bad for him. So I got up and before he got back to shower and change I came up with this Muffin recipe. Which turned out to be quite tasty and nutritious on top of being gluten and dairy free. After they cooled down I dabbed a bit of Tupelo honey over the top and sprinkle some raw sugar cane.

1 cup almond milk
1 cup rolled oat (old fashion of course)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup Tupelo honey
1 cup of coconut oil, melted
1 cup of carrot pulp (I used the one from my morning carrot juice - if you don't own a juicer you can finely grade 2 medium size carrots)
2 cups of quinoa flour
3/4 tsp celtic salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped

Heat up oven to 350F.
Grease and dust your muffin pan with quinoa flour.
Mix almond milk, oat, egg, honey, coconut oil and carrot pulp. Let stand for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl mix all remaining ingredients. Combine dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Transfer to muffin pan (try to scoop equal amount of batter for each muffin in order to achieve an even baking.)
Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes up clean. If you would like some kind of icing, I suggest to mix some cream cheese with a bit of maple syrup...that is yummy!!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Last night with my class we did some Sushis. Everybody did a fabulous job so I just thought I would show off a little.....:)
Below is the recipe if you feel like trying.
Sushi Rice Recipe
Makes 10 rolls
500 ml Sushi Rice
500 ml Water
Sea salt for seasoning rice
6 tbsp Rice Vinegar (Marukan Gourmet is one of the best sushi rice vinegar-make sure it says gourmet on the bottle. The other one is labeled "genuine brewed" is is pure rice vinegar, the Gourmet one is sweet and sour)
5 tbsp natural sugar
1 tsp of sea salt

Wash the rice several times until the water runs clear when drained. Let your washed rice strain for 30 minutes. Transfer the rice to your pot, add water and some salt. Turn heat until rice starts to boil hard, cover tightly and simmer on low allowing the rice to steam for 15 minutes. You must leave it covered... no peaking! Remove your pot from the heat and let stand covered for another 15 minutes. Take a wooden spatula and fold the rice to cool it a bit. Be gentle as you do not want to smash the cooked grains.

Mix the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let your sushi vinegar cool to room temperature. Put the hot rice into a mixing bowl and add 1/4 of the sushi vinegar solution. Mix with a folding motion so as to not smash your perfect sushi rice. Repeat until all sushi vinegar is used. After mixing, fan the hot rice mixture (you can use a magazine to fan the rice) for about 5 or 6 minutes in order to remove excess moisture and create a glossy shine to your rice. Your rice should have a slight chewiness and be sticky to the touch.

1 sheet nori (seaweed
1 cup of sushi Rice
Desired fillings (such as; carrot, zucchini, cucumber, avocado, crabmeat, smoke salmon, tuna, cooked shrimps)
1 recipe Wasabi Sauce
1 recipe Honey-Ginger Sauce
Pickled ginger

Lay seaweed, shiny side down, on a sushi mat topped with plastic wrap. With damp fingers, spread 1 cup of sushi rice on nori sheet, leaving ½ inch unfilled at far side. Arrange desired vegetables or seafood on the edge closer to you. Roll seaweed into a spiral, rolling around filling toward unfilled edge. Pressing down firmly on your sushi mat to make sure the roll is nice and tight. Continue rolling mat over sushi all the way to the edge. To serve cut each roll in half and each half in 3 pieces. Serve with sauces.

Wasabi Sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
1 tsp wasabi
In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce and wasabi.

Honey-Ginger Sauce
1/3 cup honey (preferably non pasteurized)
2 tbsp bottled plum sauce
2 tbsp shoyu
1 2-inch long piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly chopped
Combine all ingredients in small bowl and transfer to serving dish.

The garnishes can be used inside or outside your rolls. If you use it outside the roll, then drizzle some of the ginger mayo first and then sprinkle with toasted Panko/crispy onions/black or white sesame seeds.

Toasted Panko
Heat a medium size skillet on medium. When skillet is hot add 1 tbsp of sesame oil, when oil is hot, place about 1-2 cups (depending on the amount of Maci Rolls you are planning on doing) of Panko in a skillet and cook stirring constantly until nice, crispy and brown.

Crispy onions
Slice onions thinly and sauté on low for about 30-45 mins or until crispy, then chop and transfer to serving dish.

Seasoned Mayonnaise
Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise (preferably homemade) with 1 minced garlic clove, ½ inch of fresh minced ginger, a dash of lemon juice and a hint of sea salt. Add a bit of water if texture is too thick.
Black or white sesame seeds
Just so you know
Don't pass food from one set of chopsticks to another. As part of a Japanese funeral ritual, family members pass bones of the deceased to each other by chopsticks. Passing food from one set of chopsticks to another mimics this ritual, and is therefore considered extremely impolite and offensive. If you must pass something to another person, pick it up, and place it on their dish. They can then pick it up with their own chopsticks.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Salad with left over pork roast and mango salsa

This salad is made with left over pork roast, but you could very well make it with left over chicken or fish. The mango salsa is really what makes this salad special.

I'm not going to give you ingredients or instructions for the salad, just make your own with what you have on hand..all you really need is the recipe for the mango salsa.

1 mango, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 red onion, chopped in small cubes
1/4 of red bell pepper, cut in small cubes
1 hand full of cilantro, chopped
1/2 inch of fresh ginger root, minced
1/2-1 lime, juiced (depending on how you like it)
1 splash of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in medium size bowl, toss and serve.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cucumber, asparagus and mango salad

This recipe would work very well with salmon, pork or chicken. It's very summery and fresh and of course healthy!

1 small cucumber, sliced thinly with a mandolin
10 asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
half a corn on the cub, kernels removed
1/2 mango, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp toasted almonds or peanuts

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, toss dressing (slowly, you might not need the whole thing)over veggies and transfer to serving platter.

1/4 cup of Marukan rice vinegar (if you can't find the Marukan rice vinegar, you can use any other brand but you might need to add some natural sugar (agave syrup) - like 1 tbsp- since Marukan is a sweet vinegar generally used to season sushi . Unless you live in a very remote area you shouldn't have any problem finding it.)
2 tbsp of sesame oil
2 tbsp of water
1 tsp crushed chili pepper

I suggest you taste the dressing and adjust the ratio rice vinegar/sesame oil to your liking, depending on how acidic you like your dressing.

What does “Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil” Mean To You?

Hydrogenated vegetable oils (HVO), now referred to as “trans fatty acid” bearers,
went mainstream in the 1920’s with a wonderful new substance, margarine, advertised as
being a beneficial substitute for artery hardening butter. Not only have the butter and
dairy farmers taken a financial hit, but national green group “Sustainable Enterprises’ ”
researchers state that cardiac arrest has been going up ever since (also animal studies
prove cancer from HVOs).

Today, it is almost impossible to go to a supermarket and find a food that does
not contain Hydrogenated vegetable oils or its sweet industrial counterpart, high fructose
corn syrup (HFCS). Both of these substances were created by big industry to promote a
food’s “shelf appeal” and it’s “shelf life.” These industry buzz words unfortunately do
not translate into health promoting foods as you will learn the process of hydrogenation
and refining oils renders them toxic to the human body (read on oils).
Hydrogenation requires the heating of oils in the presence of Raney’s Nickel (50%
nickel, 50% aluminum) at temperatures above 400 degrees F for up to 8 hours. This new
substance not only cannot be properly digested or metabolized, but it depletes our bodies
of mineral and vitamin stores, adds aluminum associated with Alzheimer’s disease and
may even facilitate cancer as animal models have shown. Dr. Erasmus calls these refined
oil products, “protein-less, de-mineralized, de-vitaminized, fiberless, empty calories
which are nutritionally equivalent to refined white sugars (read on soda) and white flour,
which facilitates fatty degenerative diseases such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, kidney
and liver degeneration.”

Some of our best doctors and notable researchers, Christiane Northrup, MD,
Andrew Weil, MD, Mary Enig, PhD, Paul Pitchford, Udo Erasmus, PhD, Hulda Clark,
PhD, ND, just to name a few, believe that these trans fatty acids disrupt immune function
and can even cause cancer. Linda Page ND, in her book, Healthy Healing, (1997) lists
daily consumption of margarine as a contributing factor to essential fatty acid deficiency
which is linked to cell membrane insufficiency, decreased hormone production and nerve
and immune function impairment. Samuel Epstein, MD states that cancer rates are up
40% (children’s brain cancer) t o 200%(multiple myeloma) since the 1950’s due to
innumerable chemical additives in our consumer products.
This one is sneaky though, so you must read your labels even if you think the
food is a natural or healthy food. Even regular olive or corn oils can have trans fatty acids
if they have been refined (read on oils), so again, check those labels and use only
unrefined oils.

In 1999, the FDA proposed that trans fatty acid amounts be added to the
nutrition label on foods. This will at least give the consumer the knowledge of its presence
and have the ability to choose whether or not they want to eat these biologically toxic
substances. Of course, neither the FDA nor the big industries will take these disease
causing substances off the supermarket shelves. Big business has too much money
invested to even think about protecting the health of the nation, but at least the FDA is
hinting that these hydrogenated oils are not healthy to eat. Paul Pitchford stands firmly
that, “refined oils should not be ingested,” period.

Remember, that you should use your strongest political power by making
thoughtful consumer decisions:

If you don’t buy it, they won’t make it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Shrimps with curry, coconut milk and baby bok choy

Come back tomorrow for the recipe....I have to run or I'll be late for my Cycling class...sorry for the inconvenient......although, I kinna like giving you something to look forward to :)
Two days later...
Sorry about the delay guys, here is the recipe....
2 tbsp extra virgin, organic coconut oil (any other oil will work but the good quality coconut oil gives this dish a very nice fragrant flavor)
1 small onion, chopped
1 pound of raw, deveined, deshelved medium size shrimps
2 tblsp curry powder, or paste
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup of fresh (or canned) tomatoes, chopped
6-8 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise and washed
1 hand full of fresh cilantro
1 tbsp agave syrup (or more if desire), optional
Salt & pepper
Heat large skillet on medium heat. Add coconut oil. When oil is hot (don't let it smoke) add the onions. Sautee onions until transparent. Add shrimps, sautee for 2 minutes. Add curry powder (or paste) and cook until the oil from the curry separates (1-2 minutes not longer). Add coconut milk, cook for 2-3 minutes until coconut milk starts to bubble. Add tomaotes, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bok choy and cook for 2 minutes or just until wilted (you want it still crispy not dead). Add fresh cilantro and agave syrup, cook just until heated through, season with salt and pepper and transfer to serving platter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Japenese Noodles with wakame and roasted sesame oil

Wakame is a seaweed and it's rich in protein, calcium, iodine, magnesium, iron and folate. A lower risk of breast cancer have been reported in japenese women eating a diet high in wakame (kelp). Lignans, which help fight cancer are found in high quantity in wakame and may provide protection against certain cancers.

I saw this recipe last night on TV, I liked the ingredients so I thought I would give it a try and guess what??? It's very good (and super duper fast) so I'm sharing it with you. I did change a few things from the original recipe..(you know me) I added fresh cilantro, extra-virgin and organic coconut oil and replaced their veggies for some greens (which we can never have enough of).

1 bundle of Japanese noodles (or soba noodles)
1 tbsp of coconut oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp of maple syrup
1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
1/3 cup (full) of wakame seaweed (or other seaweed), soaked in Shoyu (non-pasteurized soy sauce) for 2-3 minutes, drained and chopped
1/2 cup of greens of your choice (kale, mustard, turnip - you can also use raw red and yellow peppers cut in strips)
1 hand full of fresh cilantro

Boil noodles until just tender, drain and transfer to large bowl, add coconut oil and mix well. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl until well combined, add to Japanese noodles, mix well and serve!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Give the gift of pancreatic cancer

I am reading the Live Food Factor by author Susan Schenck. It's about the raw food diet and it's absolutely fascinating. There is tons of infos, studies and testimonials on the raw diet. People with cancer, asthma, allergies, obesity, depression, to name but a few, not only have healed going on a raw diet but they also have more energy, they feel happier, look younger, their mind is sharper, they need less sleep etc.

I have been eating 75% raw myself (breakfast and lunch) and I do see a huge difference in my energy level, my happiness, my PMS, my concentration and my complexion. I'm not quite convince about giving up the animal protein altogether though. Everydoby is different, but sometimes (espacially if I worked out a lot), I really feel like I need it, vegetables, grains and nuts just won't do it, but hey, I'm all for eating tons of raw vegetables and fruits!

The above cartoon is in the book. I thought I would share it with you.

Green Smoothie

I have started to make smoothies a lot for breakfast. I used to drink one huge fresh juice made with 1 cucumber, 1 beet, 2 carrots, 1 apple, some ginger and 1 lemon, followed by loads of fresh fruits but when I workout I need something a little bit heavier then juice and the smoothies are filling this position perfectly. I add some Chia seeds (see my post about Chia seeds) for extra hydration, performance and endurance and I can run 2 marathons in a row...well...o.k. maybe only one :)

I don't have exact quantities for this smoothie, but approximately here is the will have to adjust it to your likings.

1/4 pineapple, roughly chopped
1 big banana, cut in 2 inches slices
1 1/2 cups of almond milk
3/4 cup of coconut milk
2 big hand full of fresh cilantro
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1-2 tsp of agave syrup

Mix everything together in your blender until smooth.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring rolls with coconut dipping sauce

Light, crunchy, pretty and delicious, perfect dish to celebrate spring! You can put any kind of veggies you like in the rice wrapper really. Now I'm thinking I should have included some asparagus since it's the season. I love the pretty asparagus tip, it really adds to the design and look of a dish. Anybody that knows me well, will tell you I'm into tasty but also, beautiful foods....that is why my motto is "food for all senses". Oh well, I guess the asparagus will just have to wait now.

If you can't find the rice wrapper you can substitute it with kale, collard or lettuce leaves.

2 rice wrappers, or kale, collard, lettuce leaves
1 cup of sprouts of your choice
1 small carrot, julienned with a mandolin or knife
1 small zucchini, julienned with a mandolin or knife
1/2 red pepper, julienned with a knife
1 hand full of fresh cilantro
1 hand full of fresh basil

Soak rice wrapper in warm water for approximately 30-45 seconds or until soft (do not leave longer than necessary or it will break). Transfer to work surface. On the side closer to you, approx 1 inch from the edge, add 1/2 of the ingredients, forming a bundle. Fold the piece of wrapper closer to you over the vegetables, bring the sides in and over the wrap and continue rolling. Try to roll it as tight as you can (it will be easier to eat, otherwise it might fall apart when you eat it, I know, it does take some practice). If your wrap is breaking when rolling, soak a second wrapper and double it, leaving the first wrapper on. It will make it sturdier and less breakable. You can also add some chicken or shrimps if you feel like a bit of meat.

Coconut dipping sauce
1/3 cup organic coconut milk
1 tsp sesame oil (or to taste)
1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
1 tbsp of nama shoyu (or to taste) (nama shoyu is a non-pasteurized soy sauce)
1/2 tbsp agave syrup (or to taste)
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
Dash red crushed chili pepper

Mix everything in your food processor until smooth.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fennel, asparagus and corn salad

It's asparagus season ye! This dish would make the ideal salad to accompany a nice juicy, tender piece of white fish.
1/2 medium size fennel bulb, sliced thinly with a mandolin
6-8 asparagus, cut into 3 inches pieces
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed
5-6 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
3 parts olive oil
1 part red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Place all ingredients on a platter, mix with dressing, marinate 10 minutes.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Tahini Dressing

What I like most about this dressing is it's versatility. It's great on blanched broccoli, sprinkled with black sesame seeds and it's also excellent on grilled chicken.
1/2 cup tahini, well mixed
1/2 cup water
4-5 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp of braggs
Mix all ingredients and serve. If the tahini is bitter add a bit of agave syrup, start with 1/2 a tsp, taste it, add a little more if necessary.
Note: Lemon juice should not be added on pure tahini or it will form a hard ball. Make sure you mix the almond mild/water with the tahini before adding the lemon juice.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Carpaccio of turnip and pear

I was on the phone with my sister Denise the other day and she told me about a fabulous salad she created for some family catering. The way she described it reminded me of a carpaccio which I absolutely love. The turnip cut very thinly with a mandoline will absorb all the juices from the dressing making it ever so tender and delectable. This recipe is definitely one of my favorite raw recipe. It's very elegant as well. Ideal as an appetizer.
Serves 1 as a main meal
1 small young turnip, sliced paper thin with a mandoline or potato peeler if you don't own a mandoline.
3 cups Baby arugula
1 small young pear, sliced paper thin
1/2 cup almonds, soaked over night and pulsed 5-6 times in your food processor or until crumbly (it's not absolutely necessary that they soak over night but they are much more tender and will resemble more of a hard cheese texture rather then a nut)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Place one layer of turnips on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. On top of turnips, add on layer of arugula. On top of arugula add one layer of pears and continue these 4 steps until you have no more ingredients. Let the salad marinate for 5 minutes and serve.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kale Nicoise

There is two types of green kale. One is the Scotch type and have gray-green and very curled and crumpled leaves and there is the Siberian type which is blue-green and less curled. I find the Siberian to be more tender and not as bitter.

Today my friend Maria asked me what to do with kale and I thought maybe other people were wondering the same. Some recipes on my blog do include kale but I noticed that I don't have any where the main ingredient is actually kale.

Kale is part of the cabbage family, it's full of vitamin K, A, C and it contains, to name only a few, a very generous amount of manganese, fiber, calcium, Omega 3, etc... Studies have proved that eating kale reduces the risk of cancer (especially ovarian cancer), optimize your cells detoxification, lower cataract risk, promote lung health, boost immune system, slow loss of mental function and much more...

Now, you know why I include kale in my recipes as much as I possibly can (it's great in smoothies and in juices)

2-3 tbsp of olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 big garlic clove, minced
Dash of crushed pepper
4-5 cups of kale, cleaned and chopped
1 medium tomato, cubed
1 tbsp capers
10 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
Salt and Pepper

Heat up olive oil in a medium size skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add shallot, garlic and crushed pepper and saute for 1-2 minutes or until shallot becomes transparent but not brown. Add kale and saute for 2 minutes or just until it starts wilting. Remove from heat (I just don't like mine to be over cooked, almost in it's raw form, but you can leave it a little longer if you like it more cooked). Add tomatoes, capers, olives, salt and pepper.

Note: if your kale is bitter add a little bit of agave syrup, honey or maple syrup (like a tsp, taste it and add some more if needed)

Monday, March 2, 2009

3 spices chicken thins

I often pound chicken breasts because it cooks in no time and it's becomes more tender. This recipe is great with any saute veggies but also the next day, sliced thinly in a salad.
Serves 2
2 chicken breast, butterflied and pounded as thin as you can without breaking the meat
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp crushed pepper
1 hand full fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
zest of one lemon, chopped
Set chicken breast aside. Mix all remaining ingredients in a bowl big enough to hold the pounded chicken breast. Take one chicken breast and press it down in the spice mixture. Repeat with second chicken breast. Heat up a skillet on medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil. When oil is hot but not smoking add the chicken breast. Leave 3 minutes on one side (do not disturb), flip on the other side and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes or until pink as just disappeared. Do not overcook or it will be dry.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mama chia!!

Have you heard about the Chia seed? This ancient super food was used by Aztecs warriors and Indians. Known as the running seeds, they would eat it on long journeys for energy endurance, and apparently, as little as one full teaspoon was enough for a 24 hr forced march. That is super food alright!
My new friend, John, from the Herb and Spice store in Enterprise, AL told me about it. I'm sure everyone of you came across that little clay animal covered in sprouts...well, that's it! That's the Chia seed..but there is much more to it than the little clay animal covered in sprouts...
Mix 1 part of Chia seeds and 9 parts of water in a bowl and leave it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes the seeds have melted and transformed into a gelatin, that is due to the solid fiber in the Chia. When you eat the seeds, same thing happens in you stomach. If you are dieting, the Chia seeds are wonderful because if you eat only 2 tblsp it will transform into approximately 1 1/2 cup in your stomach making you feel full.
The gel creates a physical barrier between the carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that breaks them down, slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. Therefore, it release sugar in your blood stream in a much more stable manner. For this reason it's a great food for diabetics but also it's hydrophilic properties having the ability to absorb more then 12 times it's weight in water prolong hydration, retains moisture and regulate.
It's also a muscle and tissue builder and an energizer of endurance with extensive hydrating properties. It offers a better assimilation of food that supports and enhanced nutritional absorption and on top of that, it's a great source of Omega-3 & Omega-6 (it's apparently the best source of Omega-3, better then Flax), it's also high in fiber, calcium and protein...
There's a lot more to write about it, but I just wanted to plant a seed, a Chia seed in your mind, so you get curious and Google it.
It's great in shakes, it makes them nice and smooth! An hour before I go to the gym I make a Chia seed shake (the gelatin will keep in your fridge for two weeks). In my blender I put 3/4 cup of Chia gelatin, some almond milk, one banana, 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract, a bit of agave syrup and I'm good to go!!