Gluten Free Recipes

vegan gluten free brown rice and wild rice pilaf with fresh basil and pine nuts

Basil and Pine Nut Pilaf

This Basil and Pine Nut Pilaf is a really great recipe that uses up leftover rice. Thanks to Jessica  who gave us this recipe a few years back. It’s got nuts, fresh basil and garlic. Yum! Hang on to this recipe for a quick side dish this week.

~Jodi

 

Below are Jessica’s notes along with the recipe. Enjoy!

This is a brown and wild rice pilaf with a great blend of savory flavors – fresh basil and pine nuts…yum.  I have found that making pilafs with brown rice is much easier in a rice cooker.  You simply cook the rice in a flavorful broth and then toss in the rest of the ingredients after the rice is cooked.

2 cups brown rice (I prefer short grain)
¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup fresh basil (or more!), finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

COOK RICE:  Place brown rice and wild rice into a rice cooker with the broth and turn it on.
SAUTE ONIONS/GARLIC:  When rice is soft, saute onion and garlic in oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until onions are translucent.
COMPILE PILAF:  Add the rice, toasted pine nuts, and basil to the onions and garlic.  Toss until well mixed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  This recipe can also be made as a way to use up left-over rice.  To do so:  Pour 1/4 cup water or broth over 4 cups left-over rice and heat in microwave until warm.  If rice is especially dry, you may need to add additional water.  Saute onion in oil.  Stir sauteed onion, almonds and golden raisins into rice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Unless you cooked your rice in broth, using leftover rice may not be quite as flavorful as following the original recipe.

Note on toasting pine nuts:  put pine nuts in a pan over medium heat and once pan is hot, stir constantly until starting to brown and a nutty aroma is released.  This process makes nuts much more flavorful.

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Muffins

This Gluten Free Peaches & Cream Oatmeal Muffins recipe is great for those who are trying to stay away from wheat flour. The oat flour adds a slight nutty flavor, and these muffins end up tasting a lot like sweetened hot oatmeal cereal topped with peaches. Make sure to use fresh peaches or the muffins will end up a little soggy. Enjoy!

-Jodi

 INGREDIENTS 

2 cups oat flour

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 T baking powder

1/2 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup fresh peaches, diced

 

DIRECTIONS

Mix flour, oats, baking powder, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add milk and vanilla- mix until blended. Fold in peaches. Pour into greased muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees.

Healthy & Simple Valentine’s Day Dessert

This Healthy & Simple Valentine’s Day Dessert recipe is perfect for sharing with someone special. It is so quick and easy you will be shocked! And it’s delicious! Chocolate, strawberries, and creamy Greek yogurt- who would have thought!

– Jodi

 

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla or honey flavored greek yogurt (I use Greek Gods Honey yogurt because it is rich and creamy.)
2 graham crackers, crushed
2 whole strawberries
shaved chocolate bark (optional)
chocolate syrup for garnish (optional)

 

Directions: 
1. Take crushed graham crackers and divide them evenly onto 2 plates. If you’d like to make the heart shape with the yogurt, read on. If not, skip to #2.

Heart shaped yogurt mold:
You will need a heart-shaped cookie cutter and very thick Greek yogurt in order for the shape to take hold (If Greek Gods Greek yogurt is available you can use this and it will work great). Place the cookie cutter lightly on top of the graham cracker and gently fill with the yogurt (you will use about 1/2 cup. Do not over fill). Run a knife across the top to smooth out the surface. Gently lift up the cookie cutter and remove. Voila! You will have a heart shape left. Sprinkle with desired chocolate topping of choice, and garnish with a strawberry.
2. You absolutely don’t need a heart-shaped yogurt in order to enjoy this simple, yet elegant dessert. Take 1/2 cup yogurt and drop it gently on top of the crushed graham crackers. Sprinkle with desired chocolate topping of choice, and garnish with a strawberry. Repeat with second plate.

 

Enjoy!

 

* to make gluten free, omit the graham crackers.

 

healthy valentines day dessert 2

Light vegetarian frittata with zucchini and tomatoes

Zucchini Frittata

The zucchini Frittata is a light vegetable dish, with a wonderfully fresh taste of basil and thyme. It can be made fairly easily and quickly. This is a low-fat frittata variation, using less egg and dairy than traditional frittata recipes. And above all… it’s a great way to use all that summer zucchini.

-Curt

 

1 tablespoon olive oil
6 green onions, including tops, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium size zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well and extra water pressed out.
1/4 teaspoon each dried basil and thyme,
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 large eggs
¼ tsp salt (optional)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 350° F.
COOK: In a non-stick 10-inch skillet with an ovenproof handle, heat the olive oil over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add the green onions and cook, uncovered, until soft – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, thyme, and pepper and cook, covered, until the zucchini is just tender – about 3 minutes. In order for the frittata to set well, drain off excess liquid.
MIX: In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg white (eggs) and salt; pour into the vegetable mixture in the skillet. With skillet still on stove, slowly stir mixture until egg begins to barely “set”, almost like an omelette. At this point, pull off of stove and sprinkle with cheese.
BAKE: Place the skillet in the oven and bake the frittata, uncovered, until just set – about 3 -5 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to broil and place the skillet in the broiler 5 to 6 inches from the heat; broil for 2 to 3 minutes or until the frittata is golden.
FINISH: Allow to slightly cool. Cut into wedges and serve.

Butternut squash soup seasoned with sage and curry for a comforting meal

Butternut Squash Soup

This is an exceptional soup. Full of healthy bright yellow butternut squash full of Vitamin A. Perfect for a winter evening’s meal. It has become one of  our favorites.

-Curt

1 butternut squash
1 yellow onion
3 white potatoes
1 cup sweet frozen corn
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp sage
1 cup half and half or cream
2 tblsp sour cream
2 tsp curry
salt and pepper to taste

 

ROAST: Prick the squash with a fork and place it whole on a sheet pan. Roast for 45 minutes in the oven  at 400 degrees until the squash has softened. Cool the squash, then cut it in half and remove the seeds. Peel the halves and cut into 2-inch chunks. Reserve.
COOK: Cut potatoes and onion into small chunks and put in large pot. Add corn and chicken stock. Slowly cook over medium heat till soup is at a simmer, add squash and coook till potatoes and onions are tender.
FINISH: Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender and puree. Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with curry, salt, and pepper. Mix in cream, sour cream. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.

 

Note:  I use a hand held blender wand to make my cream soups. Instead of going back and forth from a blender, an inexpensive hand held wand makes it much easier. Simply place the wand into the soup pot and blend carefully in the pot. Easy. I use the wand for many recipes. Well worth the investment for serious soup creators!

 

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vegetarian tortillas with beans and cheese

Tortilla Patties

This recipe has been in our family for years and years. My nephew Justin became a real expert at making these and is responsible for pushing it by making it at almost every family gathering he could.  It is really quite simple, just two layers of corn tortillas filled with beans and cheese and put on the griddle till tortillas are golden and the insides hot and melted. Serve with fresh guacamole and hot sauce. Easy. Affordable. Filling.

-Curt

 

Corn Tortillas
Vegetarian low fat refried beans
grated cheese

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS
Fresh Guacamole
Fresh Salsa
Shredded Lettuce

 

PREPARE: Place tortilla on plate and spread on a layer of refried beans followed by a topping of grated cheese. Top with another tortilla.
FRY: Place on a lightly oiled hot skillet and cook the layered tortilla till golden brown. Then gently flip tortilla and brown the other side. That is it! It’s done!
FINISH: Serve with guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, hot sauce etc.

 

NOTE: These should be really easy and quick to make. Sometimes it works best to microwave the layered tortillas till the insides are hot and the cheese is melted – then transfer the concoction to the griddle and brown the tortillas. It makes it faster and easier not to burn the tortillas while still getting the insides nice and hot.

 

You Might Also Like

 • Artichoke and Feta Tortilla Wraps from Everyday Health

 

 

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roasted vegetables recipe seasoned with olive oil, sea salt, and italian seasonings

Oven Baked Herbed Vegetables

When I first tasted these delicious potato wedges I literally went bonkers over them.  I devoured a whole plateful and begged my friend Nina for the recipe.  She graciously shared it with me and it has become a regular in our home.  This is a great side dish for parties or when company comes over.  It is very easy to prepare and takes very little time.

-Curt

 

MAIN VEGGIES
Potatoes (red, white and russet)
Red Onion
Yams

OIL AND SEASONINGS
Olive Oil or Grape seed Oil
Sea Salt
Italian Seasonings
Optional: Be creative. Try lemon pepper or any commercial mix’s.

 

OPTIONAL VEGGIES
parsnips
carrots
green beans (whole)
turnips
rutabagas
winter squash
peppers (green or red)
whole cloves of garlic
eggplant
asparagus
beets

 

PREHEAT: Preheat oven to 450°.
PREPARE: Clean veggies and cut into wedges and place in a large mixing bowl. After the veggies are together, drizzle olive or grape seed oil over the tops of them. Add seasonings and salt to your own tastes and with a large mixing spoon stir well, making sure each veggie slice is lightly coated with oil and seasonings. The oil will keep the seasonings coating the wedges.
BAKE: Layer on baking sheet coated with a bit of cooking spray and bake in oven at 450° for 40 minutes or until tender and browned.  At the very end, if needed, turn the oven to BROIL for around 3 – 5 minutes or until you get a desired roasted color.  Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing or dip of your choice.  They are especially good with my Karma Curried Dipping Sauce (check it out in the sauces/condiments section). Or they are great alone!

 

Note: Don’t get hung up on exact measurements of seasonings or the oil. Just add enough oil to lightly coat the volume of veggies you are baking. Then add seasonings and salt to your taste. This is a fun easy recipe, be CREATIVE!

 

 

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potato salad recipe with green beans and feta

New Potato & Feta Salad

The combination of feta cheese, dill, and red peppers combined with a tangy mustard yogurt dressing makes this a fresh new potato salad. It is a great alternative to a traditional potato salad. Try to obtain fresh dill if possible, it will be well worth the effort!

-Curt

4 pounds small red potatoes, quartered, cooked, cubed about 1/2”
2 cups (16 oz..) plain yogurt
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dill weed
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package (8 ounces) Crumbled Feta Natural Cheese
2 red peppers, diced
2 cups fresh green beans, ends removed and cut in half
4 tablespoons (about 3 stalks) green onions, ½ cup (about 6 stalks) chopped
Salt to taste

 

BOIL: Boil potatoes and green beans in advance and allow to cool. Boil potatoes for about 8 minutes.  Add green beans and cook another 5-6 minutes or until done.  Drain, rinse in cold water, and allow to cool.  When you are ready to make the salad, cube the potatoes about 1/2”, or slice into 1/4”.  Might be easier to cut before cooking them, so they cook evenly?
MIX: Mix yogurt, mustard, dill and black pepper in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients including potatoes and green beans and mix lightly. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.  If allowed to sit for a few hours, the flavors will blend more.

 

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Easy slow cooker vegetarian refried beans recipe

Slow-Cooker Refried Beans

What’s easier than opening a can of re-fried beans, smothering them on a tortilla and chowing down?  Its a great snack and can be part of a great meal.  This recipe makes it possible to have the same easy snack available and have it be less expensive, more delicious, and all natural.  With only a few minutes of preparation, throwing ingredients into the slow cooker and then mashing them up afterward, you can store the beans in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and use them all week long!

-Jessica

 

2 cups dried pinto beans
6 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin

 

SLOW COOK: Add all ingredients except for cumin into a large slow cooker.  Cook for 4-5 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low or until beans are very soft.
MASH: Drain beans, reserving the liquid.  Mash or blend adding just enough reserved liquid to achieve the texture you prefer.  Add cumin.  Taste and add more salt if necessary.  If you prefer spicier beans, you can also add  green chilis (fresh or canned) and any other seasonings you would like to try.

Pears baked with brown sugar and cinnamon make this recipe sweet and satisfying

Baked Pears

Baked pears are so comforting on a chilly day.  They are soft, warm, and sweetened almost entirely naturally, since they are basically fruit stuffed with fruit.  This is an exotic looking dessert that really isn’t very hard to create.  Impress your friends with this yummy recipe, or eat them by yourself!

-Jessica

 

¼ cup raisins
¼ cup dried cherries, prunes, or dates – chopped if larger than raisins.
4 large Bosc pears
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp chopped pecans
½ cup water
1 cinnamon stick or ½ tsp ground cinnamon
Plain yogurt (nonfat or lowfat)

 

BOIL: Place all the dried fruit into a small pot of water and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer while preparing the pears.  Peel and core the pears, digging out a cavity about 1 inch across and 2-3 inches deep from the bottom end, leaving the stem intact.  Drain the dried fruit, which should now be plumped a little, and put into a small bowl.
PREPARE: Stir in the brown sugar and ½ tsp cinnamon. Press the mixture firmly into the cavities of the pears and then set the pears, stems up, in a small baking pan.  Add the water and cinnamon stick.  (If using ground cinnamon, mix into water before pouring it into the pan.)
BAKE: Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 325° F for 40-45 min. or until warm and soft.
FINISH: Serve the pears topped with pan juices and with a side of plain yogurt.

 

NOTE:  yogurt can be placed in a paper coffee filter suspended over a bowl in the refrigerator to create “yogurt cheese.”  The liquid whey drains out, leaving a thicker, custard-like texture that may be preferred for a dessert.

 

 

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tomatillos and black beans are the filling for this tasty enchilada recipe

Tomatillo and Black Bean Enchiladas

Light, zingy and zangy…this enchilada recipe is a break from the norm and you wont be disappointed.

-Jessica

 

Tomatillo salsa:
12 oz. (¾ lb) tomatillos, chopped
1 bunch (about 8) green onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 oz. can diced green chilies
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
½ cup corn

2 15oz cans black beans
zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
½ tsp ground black pepper
12 6-inch corn tortillas
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
plain yogurt for garnish

 

COMBINE: Combine the ingredients for the tomatillo salsa in a large bowl.  In another bowl, combine the black beans, lemon zest, black pepper, and 2 cups of the prepared tomatillo salsa.  This will be the filling for the enchiladas.
ASSEMBLE: Place as much filling as can comfortably fit into each tortilla, roll up, and place seam-side down in a 9×13 pan.  Once the pan is filled, sprinkle with cheese.
BAKE: Cover in foil and bake at 400° F for 30-40 minutes or until warm inside and cheese is melted.  During the last few minutes the foil can be removed to better melt the cheese without drying the enchiladas out too much.
FINISH: To serve, top each enchilada with a generous spoonful of tomatillo salsa and a dollop of plain yogurt.

 

Note: To prevent the tortillas from breaking during assembly, wrap the stack of 12 in a wet dish towel.  Place in the microwave for 40-60 seconds or until warm and moist.

 

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strawberry spinach salad recipe with poppy seed dressing

Summery Strawberry Spinach Salad

Sweet, tangy and perfect for a summer picnic – this salad recipe gets families to eat their spinach!

-Jessica

4 cups spinach, loosely packed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
2-3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

DRESSING
1/3 cup oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp honey or agave (or 1/4 cup sugar)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
1 tsp poppy seeds

 

BLEND: Blend all dressing ingredients together in a blender until well mixed and frothy.
COAT: Place spinach in a large bowl.  Pour just enough dressing over the spinach leaves to lightly coat all the leaves when tossed.
TOSS: Add the strawberries, green onions, and toasted slivered almonds.  Lightly toss.

 

 

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stir fry recipe made with fresh ginger, bok choy, snow peas, pepper, and onion served over brown rice

Colorful Asian Stir Fry

This Colorful Asian Stir Fry recipe has FLAVOR and is gluten-free! I am picky with Asian food, because I need a lot of flavor.  A little soy sauce doesn’t cut it.  The subtle spiciness of fresh ginger and red-pepper flakes mixed with soy sauce, vinegar, and the natural flavors of the vegetables is quite delightful.  You will also love the variety of textures in this dish – the soft bok-choy leaves and rice, the crisp vegetables, and the crunchy cashews.

-Jessica

4-6 cups prepared brown rice
6-8 ounces shrimp, chicken, or extra-firm tofu (optional)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup water
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
2 medium carrots, sliced rather thinly (¼”)
3 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
6-8 oz. snow peas, ends trimmed if desired
1 bunch/head bok-choy, chopped coarsely
1 cup whole cashews
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, finely ground or crushed
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits or chunks for garnish

 

RICE: Start cooking the brown rice before chopping the vegetables for this dish, since the rice can take about 45 minutes to cook (follow package directions).

SAUCE: In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, water, and cornstarch.

PROTEIN: If choosing to include shrimp, chicken, or tofu – cook this first and then add to stir fry during the last few minutes of cooking.  If using tofu, saute in a little bit of oil and soy sauce until it has shrunken and is a golden brown.  This will provide better texture and flavor.

STIR FRY:  Heat oil in a wok or very large fry pan over high heat for about 1min.  Add the onion, carrots, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.  Then add the garlic, red pepper, snow peas, bok choy, and cashews and continue to stir regularly, cooking 3-5 minutes more or until the vegetables start sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If using meat or tofu, add it in once the bok choy has wilted.  Then add the liquid mixture and the red pepper flakes, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes until the sauce is thickened and vegetables are tender-crisp.  If you would prefer more sauce, an additional ¼ cup water can be added.  Serve over rice and garnish with pineapple.

 

 

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mango sorbet with lime recipe

Mango Sorbet

Sorbet is predominately frozen pureed fruit, and this sorbet recipe is just about as pure as it gets.  It is like slurping up a fresh mango!

-Jessica

 

2 1/2 cups fresh mango, pureed
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
1 Tbsp lime juice (approx. 1/2 lime)

 

HEAT: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved.  Pour into a separate container and cool in refrigerator for 1-2 hours until completely cooled.
MIX: Stir together the sugar water mixture, the pureed mango, and lime juice.
FREEZE: Pour into a 1-quart ice cream maker and freeze as directed by manufacturer.
FINISH: Serve with fresh berries.

NOTE:  Sorbet can be made with many different kinds of pureed fruit.  Try pineapple, strawberry, and any other kind you think would work well!  Lemon juice can also be substituted for the lime, which makes for some more variation.

 

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Tropical Stir Fry with cashews, pineapple, coconut and vegetables.

Aloha Tropical Stir-Fry

This recipe is a fun and easy spin-off of the traditional Asian stir-fry.  The pineapple chunks and shredded coconut really adds a delicious twist.  Aloha!

-Jessica

1 lb tofu, cut into 1/2” cubes OR ½ lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup water
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1 red onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 bell peppers (a mix of red, yellow, orange, or green), cut into 1 inch chunks
6-8 oz. snow peas
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 20 oz. can pineapple chunks or tidbits in juice (keep the juice!)
brown rice, prepared according to package directions
shredded coconut, for topping

 

SAUTE: Saute tofu or chicken in a bit of olive oil until thoroughly cooked.  For tofu, cook until golden brown for best texture.
MIX SAUCE: Place cornstarch in a small bowl.  Stir in soy sauce and water slowly to prevent clumps from forming.  Set aside.
STIR-FRY VEGETABLES: Heat oil in a large fry pan or wok.  Add vegetables and cashews and continuously stir.  If starting to burn or stick to pan, add part of the pineapple juice.  When vegetables are just tender-crisp, add the cooked tofu or chicken and the can of pineapple with its juice.  Stir the sauce again to make sure cornstarch is thoroughly mixed, then stir into vegetables.
FINISH: Serve over brown rice and top with shredded coconut.

 

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Vegetarian Cobb Salad recipe full of protein and veggies

Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Have you ever had a salad for dinner that didn’t leave you feeling healthy, only hungry afterwards?  This vegetarian cobb salad recipe is the answer.  Besides having lots of yummy fresh vegetables, it also has protein-rich beans, eggs, and cheese to help fill you up and satisfy your cravings for a real meal.  Make just enough for yourself or for a crowd.  Put on more of the toppings you love, dont include the toppings you dont love.  Make this your favorite entree salad!

-Jessica

 

Lettuce
Spinach
Green onion
Carrot
Cucumber
Tomato
Bell Pepper

Corn
Olives
Avocado
Kidney Beans
Hard Boiled Eggs
Cheese (cheddar or bleu)
Dressing

 

MIX:  Mix lettuce and spinach.  Top with the rest!  Try dipping your fork into a side of dressing before stabbing your bite of salad.  It gives you the flavor without too much dressing

 

 

 

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Creamy Waldorf salad with Avocado Citrus Dressing

Creamy Waldorf Salad

Here it is!  A creamy and wonderfully delicious Waldorf salad without marshmallows!  Its creaminess comes from the avocado citrus dressing. Yum.

-Jessica

 

1 large granny smith apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large fuji apple, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large stalk celery, diced small
¼ cup dried cranberries, dried cherries, or raisins

 

DRESSING
1 medium avocado
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp honey
salt to taste

 

DRESSING: In a small mixing bowl, mash up the avocado well.  Add remaining dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
COMBINE: Place the cut-up apples, celery, and cranberries into a medium sized serving bowl.   Stir in the dressing until everything is well coated.
FINISH: Top with walnuts and serve!

 

Note: This salad does not keep well.  Eat within an hour or two of preparation.

 

 

 

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brown and wild rice pilaf recipe with almonds and golden raisins

Honeymoon Rice Pilaf

On our honeymoon in Seattle, my husband and I ate at a fancy restaurant overlooking the ocean.  The view was beautiful and we ate fresh seafood with the most amazing rice pilaf on the side.  It was so good that we made a point to study it carefully and then tried to re-create it when we went home.  We did well and honeymoon rice pilaf is now a favorite in our home, for the memories and for the taste.

-Jessica

 

2 cups brown rice (I prefer short grain)
¼ cup wild rice
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ cup golden raisins

 

COOK RICE: Place 2 cups brown rice and ¼ cup wild rice in a slow cooker.  You can also cook the rice over the stove according to package directions, substituting broth for water.

SAUTE ONIONS:  When rice is soft, saute onion in oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until translucent.

COMPILE PILAF:  Then add the rice, almonds, and golden raisins.  Toss until well mixed.  Add salt to taste, if needed.
USING LEFTOVER RICE: This recipe can also be made as a way to use up left-over rice.  To do so:  Pour 1/4 cup broth or water over 4 cups left-over rice and heat in microwave until warm.  If rice is especially dry, you may need to add additional water.  Saute onion in oil.  Stir sauteed onion, almonds and golden raisins into rice.  Add salt to taste, if needed.  Unless you cooked your rice in broth, using leftover rice may not be quite as flavorful as following the original recipe.
Note on toasting almonds: Put almonds in a pan over medium heat and once pan is hot, stir constantly until starting to brown and a nutty aroma is released.

 

 

 

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zingy bean salsa recipe with beans, pepper, tomato, corn, onion and cilantro

Zingy Bean Salsa

This hearty salsa recipe is full of flavor and with its many colors is as fun to look at as it is to eat it!  It is also extremely versatile.  Try it as a dip with corn chips, as a filling in a tortilla wrap, as a topping on a veggie burger, or as a perfect pot-luck salad (see note).

-Jessica

 

1 15-oz can black beans
1 15-oz can pinto beans
2 cups corn
1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup minced red onion
1/3 cup minced cilantro

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or red wine vinegar)
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional- for an extra zing!)

 

COMBINE: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving for maximum flavor.  Though flavorful, this salsa is very mild.  If you prefer a spicy salsa, feel free throw in some minced hot peppers- but start with just a little, you can always add more.  Serve however you’d like!  (see ideas at top of page.)

 

Note: This salsa can be converted into a delicious salad – a perfect side dish to bring to a pot-luck dinner or to simply enjoy in your own home.  To the already prepared salsa, add:

4 cups prepared quinoa or brown rice
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp lime juice (or red wine vinegar)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)

Vegetarian potato soup with swiss cheese

Potato Soup

This is a hearty, creamy potato soup recipe that is satisfying enough to be a whole meal by itself. I cannot resist potato soups. I use sharp cheddar and Swiss cheeses for a taste that has just a bit of a kick to it.  This has become a classic recipe in our home… it is easy to make, and with the low cost of potatoes, a delicious and economical meal.

-Curt

 

8 medium potatoes, diced
1 1/2 quarts water
1 leek, cleaned & chopped fine or one onion, chopped fine
2 stalks celery chopped fine
1 tablespoons butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 vegetable bouillon cube
2 teaspoons basil
1 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups 2% milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar
1 1/2 Swiss cheese

 

  1. In a large soup pot, heat and butter over medium-high.  Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add water , cubed potatoes and chopped leek or  onion.  Add seasonings, cover and boil for 1/2 hour or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Remove 1/2 of soup and blend until smooth, then return to pot, (or with a hand held blending unit, blend soup just enough to make a creamy texture).
  4. Turn heat to low and  stir in  milk and grated cheese.  Salt & pepper to taste.
    Serve with whole grain toast

High Protein Coconut Cookies- Gluten Free

These cookies are amazing! What I like about this cookie is it offers a good base for a gluten-free or paleo cookie, it is high in protein and you can add anything you want to it. Nuts, chocolate chips, almonds, ground flax seeds, raisins etc. The only sweetener is honey, and a little stevia:)

 

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened (or earth balance butter substitute)

1/3 cup honey

1/2 t. stevia powder

4 large eggs

1 t. vanilla

1/4 t. salt

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded

optional: nuts, chocolate chips, almonds, ground flax seeds, raisins

 

Mix together butter, honey, and stevia powder. Add eggs, vanilla and salt and mix again. Add coconut flour and coconut and stir until combined. **The dough will be sticky.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (these cookies will not brown on the top but will be done when they brown on the bottom. Enjoy.

 

High Protein Coconut Cookies- Gluten Free recipe with coconut, raisins, honey

High Protein Coconut Cookies- Gluten Free recipe with coconut, raisins, honey

Salade Niçoise

Salade Niçoise comes from the town of Nice in southern France.  This entree salad has the perfect combination of mildly flavored toppings that blend together to form yummy French goodness.  The french certainly have a way with food.

-Jessica

 

1 head lettuce, torn
4 cups cooked brown rice, prepared as directed on label and cooled to room temperature
2 cans tuna fish, drained and flaked
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped or sliced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cucumber, chopped
4 green onions, sliced
1 can whole, pitted olives, drained
Italian dressing or olive oil and vinegar

 

Assemble 4 plates of salad by first spreading lettuce leaves over the plates.  On top each of the lettuce beds, first place 1 cup of rice, then ¼ of each of the other toppings.  Sprinkle lightly with either Italian dressing or simply some olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Bon Appetit!

Serves 4

Grilled Italian Polenta recipe with mushrooms and olives

Grilled Italian Polenta

 

I heard a great chef once say, that the world was divided into two great categories: those who are polenta lovers and those who are not. A rather simple way of looking at life, but I suppose it is true. I, for one, am a true polenta lover. Polenta is an absolute staple in Italy. It is a thick corn porridge which is allowed to “set”, making a wonderful bed for various sauces and toppings. Polenta is usually cooked over the stove and continuously stirred until it becomes thick – a time consuming process. This recipe is cooked in a slow cooker, which eliminates the stirring and comes out with a perfect result every time! I pour it into a casserole dish and allow it to cool, then slice it off and fry or grill it, then cover it with this rich Italian mushroom sauce.

-Curt

 

POLENTA
2 cups whole grain cornmeal
6 cups boiling vegetable or chicken broth
salt to taste (if using bullion  for broth, no salt needed)

 

TOMATO MUSHROOM SAUCE
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 lb sliced mushrooms
1 medium zuchinni, chopped
1 medium yellow crookneck squash, chopped
1 15 oz.. can chopped black olives
7 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
2 8 oz.. cans tomato sauce
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

 

PREPARE POLENTA: Spray the walls of a slow cooker crock with non-stick spray and sprinkle in the cornmeal.  Add the boiling broth and whisk until lump free.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 7-9  hours until very thick.  Pour and spread into a large bread pan, sprayed with a non-stick spray, and refrigerate until completely cooled and “set.” This may take a few hours.
COOK SAUCE: In a large skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic for a minute, then add chopped veggies and seasonings and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is just tender. Add tomato sauce, chopped olives and parmesan. When hot, set aside.
GRILL OR SAUTE POLENTA: Gently turn the loaf pan with the set polenta over.  Polenta should plop out easily.  Slice into ½” to 1” sections.  Grill both sides on a piece of foil until hot or Saute in a bit of olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden.
FINISH: Place polenta on individual plates and top with tomato mushroom sauce.  Sprinkle with extra parmesan.

Almond Broccoli Soup recipe- great for freezing and perfect for a light meal anytime of day

Almond Broccoli Soup

This Almond Broccoli Soup recipe is very healthy and goes well with a nice slice of multi-grain bread. It’s great for the freezer, which makes for a quick healthy light meal any time of the day. We love eating this for lunch with some hearty bread.

 

 

2 large heads broccoli, chopped into small chunks (including stalk)

2 tsp olive oil

2 cup onions

4 tsp tamari or soy sauce (preferably reduced sodium)

2 tsp thyme

2 tsp marjoram

2 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp dill

1 tsp black pepper

4 T almond butter

8 cups vegetable stock

4 tsp lemon juice

4 T fresh parsley, chopped

 

 

Directions:

Heat oil in large soup pot over med heat. Saute onions, tamari and spices for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped broccoli and cook for several minutes (stirring frequently). Add the stock and almond butter; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the broccoli is almost soft. Do not overcook broccoli. Let the soup cool down and purée in a blender or with a hand blender. Pour soup back into pot and add the lemon juice and fresh parsley. Serve while warm.

 

* NOTE: You can also use different vegetables in this recipe such as carrots, potatoes, squash and cauliflower. Each are nice variations.

 

 

This recipe is adapted from Deepak Chopra’s, The Chopra Center Cookbook.

 

 

healthy crunchy green bean recipe with almonds

Green Beans Almondine

A must have side dish for Thanksgiving, and goes well with all sorts of other meals.  Its really not much harder than making boring steamed green beans.  You simply stir in a delicious nutty coating.  If you want to boost your intake of vegetables, boost their flavor with recipes like this one!

-Jessica

 

1 lb green beans

1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, butter, or a combination of the two

1/2 cup chopped almonds

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt or to taste

 

1.  Green Beans:  Steam the green beans for about 5 minutes, or until they turn bright green and are just barely tender.  If you don’t have a steamer, you can also boil them.

2.  Almond Topping:  While the green beans are cooking, heat the olive oil and/or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the almonds and cook them, stirring frequently, until you can smell the nuts toasting – about 5 min.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, stirring constantly.

3.  Mix:  When the green beans are done cooking, put them into the skillet with the almonds and stir until they are coated.  Sprinkle with salt.  Put the green beans into a serving dish and any almond topping left in the pan can be sprinkled on top.

Grilled Tofu

Grilled tofu is easy to prepare and is a great alternative to that hunk of meat on your plate.  Tofu easily soaks up whatever flavors it is cooked in, so a quick soak in a delicious marinade is just the ticket for this fully flavored recipe.  Delicious served with brown rice and a side of stir-fried veggies.  For variations, try grilled tofu using your other favorite marinades.

-Jessica

 

1 14 oz. block firm or extra firm tofu, drained

Marinade:
¼ cup soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp vegetable, canola, or olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 ½ tsp dark brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes or hot sauce

 

PREPARE: Cut tofu crosswise into 6 slices.  Place in a single layer on top of 3-4 paper towels.  Top with another layer of 3-4 paper towels and set a baking pan or cookie sheet on top to press out the extra water.  Take care to choose a pan that is not too heavy.  After about 2 minutes, repeat the process with fresh paper towels twice more.
MARINATE: Stir together all marinade ingredients in a large pie plate.  Place tofu slices in a single layer and let marinade for 8-10 minutes, turning over every couple of minutes.
GRILL: Heat up either a George Foreman type grill or a ridged grill pan over medium heat.  Lightly oil the surface.  With a spatula, carefully place tofu slices onto the grill and let cook for about 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear.  Turn only once.

Cocoa Almonds recipe with cinnamon, agave nectar, raw sugar, cocoa powder and sea salt

Cocoa Almonds

4 cups whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp agave nectar, or honey
3 Tbsp maple sugar, or raw sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

 

Preheat over to 250 degrees. In a medium bowl coat almonds with agave nectar. IN a separate small bowl combine maple sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and salt.

Sprinkle over almonds and stir until well combined (sprinkle on a little extra maple sugar or raw sugar). Bake almonds on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes. Stir and bake for another 10 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

 

 

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salad recipe with cranberries gorgonzola and walnuts

Cranberry Gorgonzola Salad

Tart, sweet, and savory.  Crisp, crunchy, and chewy.  This salad recipe definitely draws attention to itself.

-Jessica

 

1 head lettuce (anything but iceberg, if you can help it), torn into bite-sized pieces
1 small granny-smith apple, cut into fairly small chunks
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

 

VINAIGRETTE DRESSING
½ cup oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup honey (or 1/3 cup sugar)

 

SALAD: Mix lettuce and spinach.  Top with the rest!  Try dipping your fork into a side of dressing before stabbing your bite of salad.  It gives you the flavor without too much dressing!
DRESSING: Shake or whisk together all ingredients in a cruet or small bowl.

 

 

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healthy tomato soup recipe

Creamy Tomato Soup

One evening, while visiting England in 1994, my father Doug took my friend Bill Potter and down a narrow hedge lined road to a quaint pub called the Woolpack Inn.  It was a cool, slightly rainy night and inside the pub a fire was crackling. It was in this remarkable setting that we were served an absolutely remarkable tomato herb soup.  The soup was very generously served in enormous bowls with a side of toast and English crackers.  We ate like Kings that evening.  What’s more, the soup was all we needed… it filled and satisfied us to the utmost!  What follows is a recipe which I have worked on tirelessly to try to do justice to the original  English soup at the Woolpack Inn.  Try it, and for just a few moments, imagine yourself in a quaint pub in old England.

-Curt

 

1 tsp butter
1 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups water or stock
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few dashes of white pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste
2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

 

SAUTE: Heat the butter in a medium sized soup pot and saute the garlic over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
ADD: Add crushed tomatoes.  Add lemon juice, herbs and water or stock and simmer on low heat  stirring occasionally.  Add milk to soup, and return to a simmer.
FINISH: Add salt,  pepper and parmesan.  Serve hot with grated cheddar cheese (optional), garlic bread, toast or crackers.

healthy gluten free vegetarian pizza recipe with brown rice crust and loaded with veggies and pinapple

Brown Rice Pizza

What?!  Make a pizza with a brown rice crust? What has the world come to?  When I first tried this recipe, my eclectic friend Barry Sockat happened to drop in and sampled my strange creation.  At first he was sceptical to say the least but after his third piece he was ecstatic over this marvelous creation.

-Curt

 

RICE CRUST
5 cups cooked long & short grain brown rice  (about 3/4ths short to 1/4 long)
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt

 

PIZZA SAUCE
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
5 Tbls tomato sauce
1/2 tsp garlic
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano

 

PIZZA TOPPINGS
Grated Mozzarella, Cheddar cheeses
Black Olives, chopped
Pineapple tidbits
Mushrooms, sliced
Green Peppers, chopped
Sliced tomatoes, cold

 

BOIL: Cook brown rice together as directed on package. (Include seasonings while cooking the rice)  Spray a medium to large pizza pan.  Scoop cooked brown rice onto pan and carefully spread out and pack down to make a well formed 1/2” -3/4” high crust.
SAUTE: In a couple of teaspoons of water, saute chopped mushrooms and green pepper until just tender.  Drain off water and set aside.
MIX & ASSEMBLE: Mix up pizza sauce and spread over rice crust.  Add a layer of grated cheese followed by well placed layers of mushrooms, green peppers, chopped olives and pineapple tidbits.
BAKE: Place in preheated oven at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese lightly browns.
FINISH: Cut and serve topped with cold sliced tomatoes.

 

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Cabbage salad recipe with cucumber, red pepper, and tangy poppyseed dressing

Cabbage Salad

I remember my dad making this salad in order to entice his social teenage son to stay home and eat dinner with the family.  He would call out, “Justin!  I made coleslaw!” and my brother would run down the stairs and say, “Really?!”  And he would eat with us.  True story.  It is that good.  This is an atypical coleslaw recipe in that the dressing is oil-based instead of mayo-based.  Its sweet tangy-ness has a real freshness to it.  A perfect side dish for a picnic or barbeque.  Or to get your teenagers to spend time with you.

-Jessica

 

½ green cabbage, chopped small
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1cucumber, sliced and chopped into triangles
1 red bell pepper, chopped

 

Dressing
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar or ¼ cup warmed honey
½ cup canola oil
½ tsp ground mustard
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds

 

Chop all vegetables and place in a large salad bowl.  Put all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until well-mixed.  Pour dressing over salad and toss.  Cover and store in refrigerator for several hours before serving for maximum flavor.

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Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Beans & Rice recipe caribbean style with black and pinto beans, cabbage and banana

Caribbean Beans & Rice

This version of a Caribbean inspired dish is an incredible festival of exotic flavors.  The colorful medley of spicy black beans are layered on a bed of brown rice, then accented with a variety of individual toppings such as cashews, bananas and salsas. Not only is this recipe nutritious and full of flavor, but it is also great fun building your own individual creation with the various ingredients. Have at it!

-Curt

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
4 cups cooked combination of long & short grain brown rice
1 can black beans
2 can pinto beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup red bell pepper diced
3/4 cup green bell pepper diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
5 tsp Piccapeppa sauce (sold at most stores)
1/3 cup raisins
salt & pepper to taste

 

TOPPINGS
Salsa
Cashews
Lime (fresh cut for squeezing)
Banana, cut
Chopped Green Cabbage
Fresh cut ripe tomatoes

 

BOIL: Cook rice as directed on package.
SAUTE: After rice is cooked, saute garlic & onions in olive oil in a large skillet.  Just as onions are almost translucent, add minced peppers and  saute long enough for the peppers to just become tender.  Add beans, cooked rice, raisins, cumin, and Piccapeppa sauce.  Heat thoroughly stirring occasionally.  Salt & pepper to taste. salt & pepper to taste. Pull from heat and set aside.
FINISH: To serve, start by making a bed of rice on each individual plate or bowl. Cover with spicy bean mixture and then let person add toppings from bowls of ingredients listed above.  Have fun and enjoy!

Oatmeal with steel cut oats and soy milk

Homestyle Steel Cut Oats

Homestyle Steel Cut Oats are a healthy, delicious easy way to start your day off right. Steel cut oats are whole grain oats  that instead of being rolled, are dried and cut into pieces with steel.  Look for them in the bulk foods section of your grocery store.  Steel cut oats do take longer to cook than rolled oats, but their texture is worth the wait.  Chewy and a little bit crunchy…No mushiness here!

-Jessica

 

MAIN INGREDIENTS
1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk or soymilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

 

MIX-INS
cinnamon
brown sugar
honey
maple syrup
raisins

berries
bananas
granola
nuts

 

COOK: Bring water to a boil in a large pot.  Add oats and salt.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
ADD: Stir in milk and vanilla.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
MIX IN: Mix in cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, berries, nuts, or whatever will make these oats delicious for you!

Serves 4-6

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Shepherd's Pie recipe with no meat and all veggies

Shepherds Pie

My mother used to make a great shepherds pie.  It was a meat and vegetable casserole in a rich tomato base, layered with cheese and of course the crowning glory was a topping of fluffy mashed potatoes.  It was always one of my boyhood favorites.  It is a hearty meal and always hit the spot.   This is my  vegetarian variation of my mothers recipe.  It is still one of my very favorites, and now a lot healthier!

-Curt

2 cups cut Green Beans
1 ½ Cups Sliced Mushrooms
3 ½ Cups Corn Kernels
1 ½ Cup Peas
1 Chopped Onion or ½ tsp. onion powder
3 15-oz. Cans Tomato Sauce
2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella, swiss or cheddar… or all 3!)
1  teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon sage
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Salt & Pepper to Taste

Mashed Potato Topping
4-5 large sized potatoes
2 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 Cup Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Paprika
Parsley

 

SAUTE: Lightly saute onion, green beans, mushrooms, Corn and peas.  After vegetables are just tender, add tomato sauce and seasonings to taste.  Consistency should be like a thick stew.  Pour into a large 14” casserole dish.  Top with grated cheese to taste.  Remember  cheese can be high in fat, so don’t overdo!
Mashed Potato Topping:  Clean and boil potatoes until done.  Place in large mixing bowl and mash adding butter and milk until potatoes are the right consistency.  Season with salt & pepper.
FINISH: With a spoon or moist hands, gently layer mashed potatoes on top of vegetables and cheese.  Sprinkle with paprika and parsley.
BAKE: Bake at 375° for 35 minutes.   Serve and eat like a famished shepherd.

Cinnamon & cocoa turkey chili recipe with cinnamon, cocoa, white beans & turkey

Cinnamon & Cocoa Turkey Chili

Every October on Halloween night we serve this soup to our family and friends. It’s the perfect comfort food when you’ve been out on a cool autumn evening.

This turkey chili recipe is spiced with cinnamon and chocolate. Can you believe it? Yep, cinnamon and chocolate. Go ahead and try it. I promise this is a crowd pleaser for everyone: young and old. Make sure to serve with warm cornbread for the ultimate Fall feast.

 

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups beef broth
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 T chili powder
1 tsp baking cocoa
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

 

In large soup pot, cook turkey and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add oregano and cumin; cook and stir 1 min. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, cocoa, bay leaves, salt and cinnamon; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add cannellini beans; heat through (about 15 minutes).

Easy vegetarian taco salad recipe with lentil & rice taco filling, peppers, cilantro, corn, beans, and catalina dressing

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Everyone loves this easy taco salad recipe at our house and the best thing about it is that it can be thrown together at the last minute. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. Have fun creating and enjoy!

 

whole grain tortilla chips
6 cups romain lettuce

 For the rest of the salad choose any of the following:

vegetarian taco filling (see vegetarian taco recipe)
black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
vegetables- colored peppers, cooked corn, diced tomato
diced avocado
green onion, shallots, or red onion
cheese- queso fresco (crumbled), pepper jack, or monterey jack
guacamole or salsa, cilantro

 

1. Divide lettuce evenly among 4 plates.
2. Top lettuce with desired toppings.
3. Sprinkle with crumbled tortilla chips.
4. Top with Catalina Salad dressing or your favorite dressing of choice.

Quinoa with Roasted Veggies recipe; carrots, zucchini, red and yellow peppers, sprinkled with italian dressing

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

We are excited for autumn in our house. To celebrate the changing of the season, we’re going to roast vegetables with the super grain, quinoa. This easy quinoa with roasted vegetables recipe is good as a one-dish meal or as a hearty side. Feel free to substitute a root vegetable for the zucchini but make sure to allow for a longer cooking time (about ten more minutes).

 

 

Ingredients

3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces

2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2″ slices

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

1 medium sweet onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

Italian dressing

salt

optional topping: shredded parmesan or romano cheese

 

Directions: Cut carrots and zucchini in half and into 1/2-in. slices; place in a large bowl. Add the peppers, onion, garlic & salt. Pour enough italian dressing on to coat all veggies; toss to coat. Transfer to a 13-in. x 9-in baking pan coated with cooking spray.

 

Bake at 400° for 40-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool.

 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add quinoa. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork.

 

Transfer quinoa to a large bowl; stir in the vegetables. Sprinkle with cheese; serve with lemon.

 

Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

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Healthy summer squash lasagna recipe, with zucchini and summer squash

Summer Squash Lasagna

This easy summer squash lasagna recipe is a great way to use up that extra garden zucchini or other summer squash.  You won’t even miss the pasta. – Jessica

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion (about 2/3 cup), finely chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 lbs fresh or canned whole tomatoes, cut into 3-5 pieces, depending on size.              (If canned, get 2 lbs then drain them)

2 tsp italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs, divided (optional)

2 lbs zucchini, yellow summer squash, or a combination of both – sliced 1/4” thick

1 1/2 – 2 cups mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 – 2 cups ricotta cheese

1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan

 

  1. Tomato mixture: Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.  Turn heat down to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2.  Layer: Sprinkle 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs (if using) onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Place a layer of sliced zucchini/summer squash, covering the entire bottom of the pan.  Spread 1/4 of the tomato mixture – doesn’t have to be even since it is chunky.  Sprinkle 1/3 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup of ricotta as even as you can.  Repeat the squash, tomato, and cheese layers 3 more times – but on the last layer don’t put any cheese (tomato should be on top).  If it doesn’t come out evenly, just divide things as even as you can.  You should still have 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs left.
  3.  Bake: Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, uncovered.  A lot of the liquid from the zucchini will evaporate during this time.  Then top with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, and 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs.  Lower the temperature to 375 F and bake for an additional 20 min. or until the cheese is melted and turing golden brown.
  4. Serve:  Serve with some good crusty bread and a green salad.

 

Serves 8-10.

 

 

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Gluten free power brownies recipe with black beans and pecans

Power Brownies

This power brownie recipe is absolutely fantastic and gluten-free. Guess what the secret ingredient is? Black beans!!! Isn’t that wild?

It’s made with black beans instead of flour, and they make the brownies super moist and packed with protein. Go ahead and try them, we’re certain your kids will love them too.     – Curt

 

1 15 oz. can black beans, undrained

3 eggs

3 T. olive oil

1/4 cup cocoa

pinch of salt

1 t. vanilla

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup pecans

 

 

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish. Combine black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa, salt, vanilla and sugar in a blender.  Blend until smooth (batter will be a little runny).  Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with dark chocolate chips and pecans. Bake approximately 20 minutes or until sides start to pull away and toothpick inserted comes out clean.

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No Bake Raw Almond Peanut-butter Cookies

No Cook Peanut Butter Cookies

This is the ultimate quick & healthy no bake cookie recipe. Filled with flax, oats, wheat germ, fresh ground peanut butter, raw almonds and pecans, it is filled with energy and super tasty. I add a little dark chocolate chips for a hint of decadence. I make a batch and leave them on the counter and before long, they are gobbled up. That said, these store quite well. You can make up a batch and have them ready to eat for a week or two in the fridge without them going bad.  – Curt

2 cup rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional) 1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup wheat germ* (optional) 1/2 cup flax meal
1 1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup raw agave nectar OR honey 1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or carob chips

 

  1. CHOP NUTS: Finely chop almonds and pecans and add into a large mixing bowl.
  2. COMBINE AND FORM: Add all other ingredients mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on serving dish. If needed, wet hands to make the cookies so that the dough does not stick to fingers. Also, use a tad of water and/or a bit more peanut butter if the cookies aren’t sticking due to lack of moisture. That is it! Just create little cookies and serve.

 

 

Note: The key to making these cookies is to have enough of the moist ingredient to make the cookies bind together. Peanut Butter is the key ingredient for binding. If the cookies aren’t sticking together add a bit more peanut butter. I get fresh ground peanut butter from the health food store when possible. If you haven’t tried that before, it is amazing! ALSO it is very helpful to keep your hands wet when forming the cookies so they don’t stick to your hands. And, the water on your hands will add a little moisture to the outside of the cookies to keep them together.

 

* Omit Wheat Germ to make Gluten free

Green Bean Tofu Stirfry with almonds - quick & easy

Chinese Green Beans, Tofu & Almonds

This delicious, quick and healthy Chinese Green Bean Almond & tofu stir fry recipe is loaded with healthiness! Cut up a bunch of fresh green beans, and crank up the wok! It starts with browning the tofu cubes, then adding the almonds and green beans with your favorite stir fry sauce. It’s bursting with flavor! Everyone will be coming back for seconds!

1 Package of FIRM tofu
4 cups of cut fresh green beans

1/2 cup raw almonds olive oil or canola oil corn starch
Stir Fry Sauce (your favorite recipe or pre-made from a bottle)

  1. BROWN TOFU: Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. In a large mixing bowl, lightly coat with corn starch. Gently sprinkle and turn tofu till corn starch is sticking to parts of the tofu. Then, add to a hot wok with oil. Gently stir every minute or so until the tofu is browned. Remove tofu and put back into mixing bowl until after beans are cooked.
  2. GREEN BEANS: Saute cut green beans and raw almonds in wok with heated oil. Stir regularly. I sometimes add a bit of water to the wok and place lid on walk. This creates a great steam chamber which is a way to cook beans without as much oil. When beans are just tender, and almonds toasted, add your favorite stir fry sauce and gently stir in. Add tofu at the end and lightly mix in as to not break up the cubes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: It is so important to eat raw fruits and vegetables. But, sometimes it is just hard to grab an orange or apple or banana and just eat it straight. But, if you can cut it up in little bites and mix it with a few other fruits, somehow it becomes this fun exotic experience of fruit indulgence! Give it a try! Make it a regular in your snacking and cut up whatever you have on hand. You’ll feel refreshed and healthy! 

Healthy & Delicious Cilantro Baked Tilapia recipe

Cilantro Baked Tilapia

This is a healthy, easy and very flavorful Cilantro Baked Tilapia recipe.  Cooking fish can be a little intimidating at first.  It is so delicate and easy to overcook!  Fear not.  This recipe is difficult to ruin.  It is baked in a flavorful cilantro ginger sauce that keeps the fish moist as it cooks.  Start the grains cooking before you prepare the tilapia so when the fish is done you will have meal.

 

2 large tilapia fillets (or similar thin white fish) – about 1 lb

salt and pepper to taste

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

2 Tbsp soy sauce (use tamari to make gluten free)

1/4 cup white grape juice

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

green onions, sliced (garnish)

extra cilantro, coarsely chopped (garnish)

 

 OVEN, FISH, & DISH PREP:  Preheat the oven to 475 F.  Place the fish in a glass baking dish that is just big enough to fit the fish (I use a 11×7” one).  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

BLEND:  Place the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, juice, sesame oil, and cilantro into a food processor and blend it up.  Pour the mixture over the fish.

BAKE:  Bake for 8 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and is cooked through (internal temperature of 145).

SERVE:  Serve over quinoa, couscous, or brown rice.  Pour extra sauce over the grains and garnish with green onions and cilantro.

 

Inspired by theKitchn

Garlic Red Potatoes Recipe with Herbs

Garlic Herbed Potatoes

This tasty red potatoes recipe cooks up quick and easy. Smothered in herbs and browned to a golden perfection. Serve them with a side of ranch or any dip, or just eat them straight out of the skillet. I boil the potatoes first till they are just tender. Then chill overnight. You can store the ready potatoes in the fridge till you are ready to cook them up in the skillet. They key is to saute lots of garlic in olive oil, then adding the potatoes into the toasted garlic. Then smothering the potatoes in herbs and sauted till golden brown. I cook these up and the pan of potatoes is usually devoured within minutes!

Small Red Potatoes (about 15) Olive Oil
2 tsp Minced Garlic
5 tsp Herbal Seasoning Blend

(I use Costcos Kirkland Brand No Salt Herbal Seasoning)

Sea Salt to taste

1. PRE BOIL POTATOES: Boil the red potatoes till JUST TENDER. Don’t over boil. Drain and allow to cool. Though not critical, I find cooling the potatoes in fridge overnight produces better potatoes.

2. SAUTE GARLIC: In a large skillet, heat a fair amount of olive oil. Add minced garlic. I use a commercial jar of pre-minced garlic for ease. Brown garlic till it is toasted to a golden color. This adds a full flavor to the garlic.

3. ADD POTATOES and HERBS: Add potatoes to the skillet. I then take my spatula and chop the potatoes in half in the skillet while they are browning. Smother the potatoes with the herbal seasoning. Don’t by shy. Do not over stir the potatoes. Allow to brown for a few minutes, then turn. Repeat till potatoes are browned. Add sea salt to taste and serve with a side of ranch.

 

Note: I use Costcos KIRKLAND BRAND ORGANIC NO-SALT SEASONING. It is incredible. But, you can use a variety of herbs. Try rosemary, sage, italian herbs. But always use garlic as the base. Experiment. The key is to add lots of herbs, and then to allow the potatoes to brown without over stirring

Vegan Raw Chocolate Pudding recipe with avocado, bananas & cocoa

Raw Chocolate Pudding

This delicious healthy Raw Chocolate Pudding recipe made with avocados, cocoa and bananas will amaze you! The recipe is not only quick and easy but vegan too. My co-worker Jodi brought this pudding to a party at my home and we LOVED it! Give it a try, I bet you won’t be disappointed.   – Curt

1 avocado

1 banana

1 T + 1 tsp honey or agave nectar (for vegan friendly)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup vanilla soy milk

3 strawberries or 3 T shredded coconut for topping (optional)

Blend avocado, banana, honey, cocoa powder, lemon juice and soy milk in food processor. Chill 1 hour. Serve topped with strawberries & bananas or shredded coconut. serves 3-4

Note: For a tropical taste, you can substitute soy milk with coconut milk.

Green Chili Vegetarian Enchiladas Casserole recipe layered with yams, beans, cheese, corn tortillas and green chilis

Green Chile Enchilada Vegetarian Casserole

Cinco de Mayo recipe!  This layered enchilada recipe is easy and simple to make. I love green chili enchiladas. Having lived in New Mexico I have eaten a fair amount of green chili recipes. I created this as more of a casserole instead of the traditional rolled up enchiladas. Mainly because I am not very good at rolling up enchiladas and having them come out looking so good. And the casserole concept builds super fast which is always big in my book. I create a mixture of roasted yams, black beans, corn and pinto beans. I make these with the best green chili sauce I can buy commercial brand. Hey, it is just easier. These make up super fast and are a sure hit.  – Curt

For more Cinco de Mayo healthy recipe ideas check out Jessica’s awesome Menu!

4 yams

2 cans black beans
1 can pinto beans
2 cups frozen sweet corn

3 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp cumin
corn tortillas
2 20 ounce cans green chili sauce grated jack cheese to taste

  1. YAMS:  Roast yams at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven, cool, and remove skins. Then dice into small pieces.
  2. BLACK BEAN MIXTURE:  In a large mixing bowl combine black beans, pinto beans, corn, diced yams and seasonings.
  3. LAYER:  In a large deep casserole dish, layer ingredients. Start with a layer of green chili sauce, then add a layer of tortillas. Cover that with the bean mixture and top with cheese. Repeat until casserole dish is almost fill. The top layer should have a layer of tortilla, then a bit of sauce, with cheese as the final touch. Bake at 375 till cheese has a light golden brown. Serve with guacamole, green chili salsa and sour cream.

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healthy oriental gluten-free salad with rice noodles, tofu and spinach

Oriental Noodle Salad

This healthy Oriental Noodle Salad recipe is a FAMILY favorite – easy, gluten free and vegan! The dressing is really tasty, and forgiving. You can adjust according to taste and it is also good with a little fresh ginger or peanut butter (for a thai peanut flavor). * This recipe makes A LOT of salad! Great for a dinner party or lunch with your friends! This recipe was inspired by our great friend Ali Eisenach’s Oriental Salad in her “When Life Gives You Friends” cookbook, visit her at lemonpoppycake.com.

 

Dressing:

1/2 cup oil (you can use olive oil)

4 T. sesame oil

3/4 cup soy sauce

2/3 cup red wine vinegar

4-6 T. agave nectar (adjust to taste)

1/2 t. pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined.  Set aside while you cook tofu and noodles.

1 T. coconut oil

1 lb. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ pieces

12 oz. rice noodles (or more)

Cook tofu in coconut oil In a large skillet until brown and crisped on the edges (season with a little salt). Remove from heat. Boil noodles until soft. drain and set aside. Pour half of the dressing directly onto the noodles and let marinate while you prepare the salad ingredients.

 

In a large bowl combine:

6-8 cups spinach

4 green onions, diced

1 large orange, peeled and cut into sections

2 red peppers, sliced (you can use orange or yellow peppers)

2 cups sugar snap peas

 

Add noodles, tofu and pour remaining dressing on top. Eat right away or chill before serving (I generally like to toss all the ingredients together right before serving…if you need to prepare noodles and tofu earlier in the day, just cover or place in large zip lock bags in the fridge until you are ready to serve). If you choose you could substitute the tofu for chicken. Enjoy!

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Southwestern easy salad recipe with avocado & cilantro lime dressing

Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

The colors, flavors, textures are perfectly pleasing in this southwestern-style entree salad recipe.  But the Cilantro Lime Dressing is really what makes it special.  It is a sweet, tangy blend of cilantro, lime, honey, and jalapeno.  The corn, beans, and avocado provide enough substance to make this salad a meal in itself, but it also goes well with a quesadilla.
– Jessica

1-2 heads lettuce (I like to mix romaine with spinach or red leaf)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup diced avocados
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup white corn (fresh or frozen and thawed)
1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced thin (so pieces look like half circles)
1 bunch cilantro, (coarsely chopped and most of the stems removed)

Dressing:
1 large jalapeno, seeds and rinds removed
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger
1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. SALAD:  Combine all salad ingredients and toss lightly.
  2. DRESSING:  Place all dressing ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  If you have a high powered blender, you can put the ingredients in whole.  Otherwise, it may be wise to mince the jalapeno, garlic, and ginger first.  If you plan on eating all the salad in one sitting, pour on just enough dressing to coat as you lightly toss the salad.  You probably won’t use it all.  If you plan on having left over salad, serve the dressing on the side.

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SixSistersStuff.com

 

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Easy & healthy Peanut Butter Banana Protein-Shake

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

This Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake is one healthy protein shake recipe I make almost every day. Or an occasional variation of this one. I recommend it highly as there is something about the protein and the ingredients in this protein shake that totally balances out your body. What’s more, it’s filling enough to be a meal replacement. The creamy frozen banana creates an almost milk shake consistency and supplies potassium and fiber. The ground flax meal is a super food filled with fiber and omega 3 oils. The little bit of peanut butter along with the protein powder adds a slow burning protein to rebuild tissues and provides a good brain fuel. The dates and almonds (along with being healthy and having fiber) add a beautiful extra taste creating the ultimate tasty mind boggling shake. I have introduced this to many people, and I hear back from my legions of devoted shake drinkers that they also drink it daily, as they feel so crazy fantastic afterwords!  – Curt

 

2 cups rice milk

1 cup ice

1 frozen banana

1 scoop (about 3 tbls) protein powder

   (soy, whey, rice – your choice)

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

3 tablespoons ground flax meal

1 – 2 dates (pit removed)

small handful of raw almonds (about 15)

 

  1. FREEZE BANANA:  I keep a large zip lock bag in the freezer with peeled bananas ready to go. Freezing the bananas helps create a colder more ice cream texture to the shake. However, it isn’t mandatory they are frozen.
  2. COMBINE IN BLENDER: Add rice milk, frozen banana, protein, ice, flax, peanut butter and dates. Blend thoroughly till smooth.
  3. ADD ALMONDS: At the end of the blending cycle, add the raw almonds and blend for just a bit more. This allows the almonds to be a bit chunky and ads a little crunch to the thick shake.

 

Note: As in many of my recipes, I recommend being flexible with the amounts for the shake. The main thing is to get it as thick as you can as your blender can handle. I like the Vita Mix or Blend-Tec mixers. But there are other good ones as these are a bit pricey. The ice and the frozen banana give it the cold thick shake consistency. Vary ice accordingly. 

 

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Black Bean Burger recipe with Mushrooms and Swiss Cheese

Black Bean Burger Melt

This is a very quick and healthy black bean burger recipe that can be whipped up in minutes flat. You can make your own black bean burgers, but for sheer convenience and speed, you can use any store brand black bean or veggie burger which makes this a snap (see notes below). The avocado adds a freshness to the meal and the sauteed mushrooms add a nice dimension. Without the hassle and extra calories of a bun, this makes a real fun quick tasty meal. – Curt

 

1 Black Bean Burger

Swiss Cheese (or your favorite cheese)

Sliced Mushrooms

Sliced Avocado

 

  1.  Thaw the frozen burger, or quickly microwave where it isn’t frozen.
  2.  Heat a cast iron skillet (or any skillet) to medium high temp.
  3.  Add a dab of olive oil on skillet and spread around. Brown the one side of the burger.
  4.  In another skillet, or if there is room in the skillet you are cooking with, add sliced mushrooms and saute till just soft and browned.  Remove mushrooms when done.
  5. Flip burger, and top with sliced cheese. Continue to cook. I usually top the skillet with a lid to assist the cheese in melting. When done, remove the burger and place on plate. Smother with mushrooms and top with fresh sliced avocado. Enjoy!

 

NOTE:  You can really use any veggie burger for this recipe. But my favorite is the Chipotle Black Bean Burger from Morningstar Farms. I buy them at Costco. They are 1/4 pound and really are great. Again, you can create your own veggie burgers at home but I have found it is a lifesaver to have some alternatives for when you are on the run, or don’t have a lot of time. This is why I love this recipe. It cooks up super fast, and is filling and nutritious. You can also add salsa to this dish for another nice twist.

 

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Hummus recipe with chick peas, tahini, and seasonings

Simple Hummus

If you have never made your own hummus recipe, you have got to try it.  It is SO easy!  And it is fun making something so easy that turns out just as well (if not better) than as when you buy it.  Hummus contains lots of health stuff – protein, fiber, and healthy oils.  Use it as a dip for vegetables or pita triangles or spread it on a veggie sandwich.  Sure beats mayo!  – Jessica

1 cup dry garbanzo beans or chick peas (makes 2 1/2 cups cooked.  If you prefer to use canned, use almost 2 cans)

1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste (optional)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1 tsp minced garlic

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste (start small)

1/4 tsp cumin (optional)

2-4 Tbsp olive oil

 

  1. COOK:  Cook the dry garbanzo beans in a small slow cooker with 4-5 cups of water.  Turn it on in the morning and several hours later, check back to see if they are soft.  There isn’t an exact time here.  Drain the water.  You should have about 2 1/2 cups beans, now.  If you would prefer to use 2 1/2 cups canned beans, that is fine, too.
  2. BLEND:  Place the cooked garbanzo beans along with all the rest of the ingredients besides the olive oil in a blender or food processor and blend.  If it is too thick, add more water little by little and stir it down to the bottom before blending again.  (I find that it is easier to use a food processor than a blender for this recipe because there is more room around the blade.  Once I blend it in the food processor, I transfer it into the serving bowl and then blend it again with an immersion blender to get it super smooth.)  Taste, and adjust salt and cayenne to how you like it.
  3. FINISHING TOUCHES: Spoon the hummus into a bowl and pour olive oil on top.  Garnish with another sprinkle of cayenne and a parsley sprig.

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raw gazpacho with tomato cucumber red pepper v8 juice

Quick and Healthy Gazpacho

There are some recipes that are categorized as “super healthy”. This is one of them. I created this for times when I needed super nutrition. Freshness and the most live healthy ingredients for when I needed a boost. Most of this I gathered from other recipes. I just added a few things that gave it an extra zing. I also wanted this to be fast. Easy. For flavor an optional ingredient is spicy V8 for added body. I also add a super immune superhero, apple cider vinegar which also ads zest. This is mostly all fresh live foods, and will give you an instant pick me up. – Curt

 

7 tomatoes

2 Cucumbers

3 Stalks Celery

3 Red Peppers

2/3 cup parsley chopped fine

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 – 8 oz cans spicy V8 Juice

3 cloves garlic minced

1 Red Onion

Salt to taste

 

1. Chop all vegetables super fine and combine in a large bowl and mix well.

2. Add minced garlic, V8 and salt.

3. Blend roughly about a half of the mixture in a blender on low which creates a fine texture and body to the soup. Pour back into the bowl and stir in.

3. Stir Apple Cider Vinegar at the last. Allow to chill for a few hours.

 

NOTE: In the summer months, when you have lots of veggies and fresh tomatoes, this is one of the most flavorful fresh dishes in the world. When I want to go on a healing cleanse, I always make a fresh batch of gazpacho and keep it on hand. You an eat it for a few meals a day. You feel great and the live fresh ingredients bring healing and cleansing. There are many variations of gazpacho – the apple cider vinegar and parsley are superfoods that work well with this traditional recipe.

 

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fingerling potato and asparagus skillet for healthy gluten free dinner

Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes & Asparagus

This is a quick recipe that is delicious. I cook this in a cast iron skillet to brown the potatoes and asaragus really well. I par boil the potatoes the day before so they don’t take long to cook up. The potatoes and asparagus are a great combination. They are seasoned by cooking them in olive oil, garlic, onion, mushrooms and rosemary. – Curt

 

COOKED IN SKILLET (preferrably cast iron)

About 12 Small Fingerling Potatoes

6 – 8 Stalks Asparagus cut into 3 inch pieces

12 Mushrooms sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 Red Onion sliced 3 Tbls fresh chopped Rosemary

or 2 tsp dried rosemary olive oil

Sea Salt

 

1. Pre cook the potatoes by boiling them lightly just till barely tender. You can cook them the day before for ease. 2. Add a little olive oil in skillet, and add chopped onion and garlic. Saute till browned. 3. Add potatoes and rosemary. Slowly cook in skillet till potatoes are browned, turning them when needed.

3. Add asparagus and mushrooms. Continue to cook and turn till asparagus is tender. Another tip is to add a bit of water to the skillet and cover with lid. This creates a steam chamber which creates an affect where the entire skillet cooks more evenly. Lightly season with sea salt. Serve and enjoy!

NOTE: Don’t worry about the exact amount of potatoes and asparagus. This can be altered to the proportions you like. This cooks up quite quickly if you have the potatoes lightly boiled before you brown in the skillet. Fingerling potatoes are very tasty and make a nice presentation

Quick and easy Fish Tacos with cabbage slaw and cilantro lime dressing

Flying Fish Tacos

I love fish tacos. They are so quick and easy to make, EXCEPT for the fish part, right? They have the cleanest feel to them- No surprise, as they contain fish and a crisp cabbage slaw.    My brother in-law, Eric, is a wonderful cook and occasionally passes on brilliant cooking ideas to the rest of the family.  He solves the time-consuming-fish-problem by using a high quality fish stick in his fish tacos.  You just throw the frozen sticks onto a pan and cook them while preparing the rest of the meal and setting the table.  And voila! – fish tacos that are so fast to prepare they are FLYING!   – Jessica

8 all-natural high quality fish sticks (I used Trident Food’s “Ultimate Fish Sticks” from Costco)

DRESSING:
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, without stems
1 tomatillo, unwrapped, washed and quartered
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped coarsely
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice

SLAW:
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup diced bell peppers (I like a combination of red, orange, and yellow ones)
1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed and coarsely chopped

8  6-inch corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced (optional)
1-2 limes, sliced into wedges (optional)
FISH:  Cook the fish sticks according to package directions.
DRESSING:  Blend all dressing ingredients in a food processor or in a bowl with an immersion blender until completely blended.
SLAW:  While the fish sticks are baking, assemble the slaw.  Mix the cabbage, bell peppers, cilantro and just enough dressing to lightly coat in a medium sized bowl.
TORTILLAS:  Warm the tortillas in either in the microwave with a little bit of water spread between each one, or individually in a pan on the stove with a little bit of olive oil.  On the stove tastes a little better, but the microwave is obviously faster.
ASSEMBLE:  When the fish sticks are done cooking, place one inside of each tortilla.  Top with about 1/2 cup of slaw and avocado slices.  Squeeze fresh lime on top for an extra zing!  Fish tacos are also delicious topped with some fresh mango or pineapple salsa.

Creamy mashed potatoes & skins with Yukon Gold and Russets.

Mashed Potatoes with Skins

My dad said it best.  If he could only have one food in the world it would be the potato.  This from a man who was raised on an Idaho Spud Farm.  And of all the potato recipes.. nothing quite tops good old mashed potatoes.  We make them a little bit sophisticated by using 2 potato varieties. Yukon Gold Potatoes, and good old Idaho Russet potatoes. The Yukons make it creamier and the russets have a bit more body. I error on the side of having a bit more russets. Leaving the skins on is non negotiable. It ads nutrition, texture and heck, it’s easier than peeling them all! Don’t get hung up on exact proportions here. You have to create each batch with your own sense of what is best as potatoes vary in size, and we vary the batch depending on how many we are serving. One last note on the amazingness of mashed potatoes… they are super affordable, filling and kids love them! You can feed an entire family for a few bucks! How do you beat that? – Curt

 

INGREDIENTS

5 medium Golden Yukon Potatoes

5 medium Russet Potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups 2% milk or rice milk

sea salt & pepper to taste

 

OPTIONAL

4 tablespoons of sour cream

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup grated gouda cheese

 

CLEAN AND CUT: Scrub potatoes till clean so that any dirt is removed from potatoes. Then, cut potatoes into about 2 – 3 inch chunks. Cutting into large chunks will speed up the cooking time.

BOIL: Choose a large cooking pot… large enough to mash potatoes in when finished boiling.  Boil potatoes until fork pierces easily.  Pull from heat and drain off water.

FINISH: Using a potato masher, mash down potatoes, adding butter and milk as you go.  Continue mashing until potatoes are light and creamy.  Salt and pepper to taste.


 

Note: 

NOTES: Potatoes are really an art. Not a difficult art, but it is an art. For one, potatoes vary in size. So, you have to learn to mash up a batch, then add the butter, salt, pepper to taste. Just add slowly and keep adding till you are happy with the batch. Just boil up the spuds, then mash like crazy. Then add butter and milk slowly. Too much milk will make the potatoes too thin and soupy. Too little and they will be dry. If I really want to be a bit decadent, I add more butter, a tad of sour cream, and then if I really want to go wild, I throw in just a bit of grated cheese. You can experiment with the cheeses as well. In our family, the mashed potatoes are so incredibly delicious, we hardly ever need gravy. Don’t get stuck on exact proportions having variety is half the fun!

tzatziki cucumber yogurt sauce for gyro falafel dressing or dip

Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

This sauce is cool, refreshing, and easy to make.  It is traditionally called tzatziki sauce and is used in gyros, greek-style grilled meats and with falafel (check out that yummy dancing carrots recipe).  It can also be used for a salad dressing or as a veggie dip.

– Jessica

 

1 cup plain yogurt (or greek yogurt, if you’d like it thicker)

1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped small

2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried dill weed

1 tsp sugar (optional)

 

  1. MIX:  Stir all ingredients together into a small bowl.

Enjoy!

hearty creamy vegetable soup with carrots, potatoes, thyme, marjoram, nutmeg and ginger

Country Vegetable Soup

This is a nice creamy soup made up of a blend of root and leafy vegetables .  It is a real hearty dish perfect for cold wintery nights. Serve with some crusty whole grain bread.

-Curt

 

1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup diced carrot
8 small peeled and diced potatoes
1 cup diced celery
3 cups brown rice cooked
6 cups cold water
4 cups finely chopped cleaned raw spinach
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups 2% milk
1 vegetable bullion cube
generous pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon ginger

 

SAUTE: In a large cooking pot, melt butter and saute onion until soft.  Add water, carrot, potato and celery and cook covered over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes.
ADD: Add rice and seasonings and simmer until vegetables are tender.
BLEND: Remove 1/3 of soup and blend, or partially blend soup by using a hand held blender.  This will thicken the soup giving it a creamy texture without using as much milk.
FINISH: Add the spinach and peas.  Simmer again until spinach and peas are just tender.  Stir in milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper.  Serve.

 

Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate for a fast easy dessert

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Fantastic for Valentines Day, or any day!  Who doesn’t love chocolate dipped strawberries?  The sweet, juicy fruit and the crunchy chocolate coating…There is something just decadent about them.  And whether you are making one just for you, or a bunch for a crowd, with how easy they are to make you’ll never buy them again!

-Jessica

 

strawberries, washed and dried thoroughly
dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cocoa)

 

Melt: Place just enough chocolate chips for the amount of strawberries you are wanting to dip into a small microwave safe bowl.  A little bit of dark chocolate goes a long way.  A rule of thumb – 1 Tbsp chocolate chips per 1-2 large strawberries.  Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.
Dip: Dip the strawberries in the chocolate and set on wax paper, taking care not to let them touch.
Finish: Allow chocolate to cool. When chocolate is completely hardened, they are ready to eat!

Healthy fruit smoothie for breakfast or a snack

Fruit Smoothie

Fruit smoothies are sweet, delicious, and very refreshing without any added sweeteners! They are excellent for breakfast or for a summer treat.  All one really needs to make a great fruit smoothie is fruit and a good blender.  All the rest is optional!  Experiment with combinations of fruits and juices. The most economical way to make good smoothies is to buy fresh berries and bananas when they are on sale and then freezing them yourself.  Any time you are ready for a smoothie, you can draw from your frozen fruit stash and make one within minutes!  Another reason to use frozen fruit is that it makes a nice, thick, smoothie without adding any ice, which dilutes the flavor of the fruit.  We personally like to include a frozen banana in most smoothies which gives a full body and texture.  Fresh squeezed lime juice adds a lot of dimension, as does coconut milk.  Which is your favorite combination?

-Curt and Jessica

 

FRUITS
Banana
Strawberries
Pineapple
Peaches
Apricots
Apple
Raspberries
Cherries
Blueberries

 

LIQUID
Apple Juice
Orange Juice
Pineapple Juice
Coconut Milk
Plain Yogurt
Cows Milk
Soy Milk

 

EXTRAS
Orange Juice (or other fruit juice) Concentrate
Lime juice
Lemon Juice
Chopped nuts (raw & unsalted)
Freshly ground Flax seed

 

EXPERIMENT & BLEND: Start by placing all of the fruit needed to make the smoothie into the blender.  Add about a cup of liquid and blend until the consistency is smooth.  You may need to add additional liquid if blending requires it or until the desired consistency is obtained. Obviously, more liquid will create a thinner smoothy, while less liquid will make a thicker smoothie.  A twist of lemon and/or lime will add a little zing.  Using yogurt or milk will add some protein to help keep you full longer.  If using a liquid other than juice, adding some orange juice concentrate will add more flavor without using too much liquid. Experiment and come up with combinations that work best for you!

 

healthy and refreshing green smoothie drink to renew energy

Green Drink

I learned this recipe from an old herbalist years ago who used to tell anyone who was sick to drink lots of these to renew their health. It is a real easy way to get deep green veggies into your diet without having to tediously chew them up. You will feel the healthiness immediately after drinking one of these! They are also good for helping our overly acid bodies become more alkaline, which is optimal for ideal health! – Curt

 

BASE JUICE
1 1/2 cup pinapple juice
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup ice

 

GREENS
KALE – about 3 leafs

OPTIONAL GREENS
Spinach
Parsley
Beet Greens
ANY DEEP LEAFY GREENS!

 

Just blend it all up!

 

NOTE:  Adjust pinapple juice, water and greens to your desired consistency. I like to dilute the pinapple juice as straight juice without halving it with water gets to sweet. But, you can adjust the proportions to what you like. The main thing is you are drinking a great dose of pure green energy!

 

crock pot polenta with spinach and red peppers healthy dinner

Spanish Polenta and Butter Beans

Spanish Polenta and Butter Beans gluten free recipe. The ultimate spanish comfort food – you will not be disappointed with this mildly flavored, creamy textured dish.  Polenta can be time consuming to make with lots of stirring over the stove top.  This recipe calls for using a slow cooker instead.  This means no long bouts of stirring and no lumps!  For an even quicker and easier version, purchase 2 prepared tubes of polenta.

-Jessica

 

POLENTA
2 cups whole grain cornmeal
6 cups boiling vegetable or chicken broth
salt to taste (if using bullion
for broth, no salt needed)

 

BEAN-SPINACH MIXTURE
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 15-oz can butter beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups raw spinach, packed
¾ cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (or vegan cheese)
salt and pepper to taste

 

PREPARE POLENTA: Spray the walls of a slow cooker crock with non-stick spray and sprinkle in the cornmeal.  Add the boiling broth and whisk until lump free.  Cook on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 7-9  hours until very thick.  Pour and spread into a large bread pan, casserole dish, or baking sheet, sprayed with a non-stick spray, and refrigerate until completely cooled and “set.” This may take a few hours.
SAUTE POLENTA: Dice polenta into ½ inch cubes.  Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, place polenta cubes in a single layer, and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until starting to brown.  Transfer to a dish and set aside.  You may need to do this in 2 batches.
MAKE BUTTER BEAN SPINACH MIXTURE: In the same large saute pan, reduce heat to medium, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.  Add onion and red pepper and cook for 3 minutes or just until tender.  Stir in beans, spinach and vegetable broth and cook until spinach is wilted – about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in vinegar and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
FINISH: Place a layer of polenta cubes on each plate and top with butter bean spinach mixture.

easy dinner sweet potatoes with black beans and tomatoes

Loaded Sweet Potatoes

This super easy recipe is filling, fast, & packed with nutrients!  It can be made just as easily for a single person as for a large family (Just reduce or increase the amount of ingredients used). Microwave the sweet potatoes, and load on the toppings!

-Jessica

4 small sweet potatoes or yams
2 cans black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings

Optional toppings:
Monterey Jack cheese, grated
Green onions, sliced

 

MICROWAVE or BAKE: Microwave or bake sweet potatoes until tender.  This should only take about 4 minutes per potato in the microwave or about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Be sure to pierce each potato with a fork before cooking.
SIMMER: Combine black beans and tomatoes in a small pot over low heat.  Simmer until hot, stirring occasionally.
FINISH: Slice the sweet potatoes in half and top with black bean mixture.  Sprinkle on additional toppings.

 

ready in 5 minutes.

Serves 4

healthy baked potatoes stuffed with broccoli mushrooms onions and cheese recipe for an easy meal

Veggie & Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

As a young boy, my mother used to make baked stuffed potatoes which I still remember fondly to this day.  They were always large russets, stuffed with light and flavorful mashed potatoes mixed in with broccoli, cheese and mushrooms.  This simple recipe is a real treat and should become a favorite in your home.  It’s great as a leftover ready for a quick re-heat in the microwave.

-Curt

5 medium to large baking potatoes
2 cups finely chopped broccoli, stems and florets
1 -2 tablespoon butter
1 cup sliced  mushrooms
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1 cup skim milk
1 – 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
paprika (optional)
½ teaspoon onion powder

 

BAKE: Bake potatoes in 425° F oven until tender when pierced with a fork (approximately 1 to 1 ¼ hours).
SAUTE: While potatoes are baking,  chop broccoli up fine and saute  in a few teaspoons of water (see note on water sauteing) until almost tender then add mushrooms and continue until lightly done.  Set aside.
ASSEMBLE: When potatoes are done baking, pull out of oven and cut the top off each potato so that the insides can easily be scooped out with a spoon.  (You may need a hot pad!)   Carefully scoop out insides placing the whites of the potato into large mixing bowl.  Enough sturdiness of the shell should be left to hold the stuffing.
MIX & FILL: Mash with butter and just enough milk until potatoes are light and fluffy.  Add scallions, sauteed vegetables, grated cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper to mashed potatoes and mix well.  Fill potato shells carefully with this mixture and finish by sprinkling top of each potato with a dash of paprika.  They should be stuffed full of the mixture and should taste magnificent!
BAKE: Bake 15 minutes more at 425° F and serve.

 

Note: The tops of the potatoes can even be layered with stuffing  and baked.  No need to waste anything! If in a hurry, you can boil the potatoes instead of baking them and simply have veggie mashed potatoes.

Tropical Fruit Parfait

A quick breakfast served with a muffin or a piece of toast – and just a little more exotic than a side of yogurt and a piece of fruit.  Try serving this recipe at a brunch or even having it for dessert!

-Jessica

½ cup plain yogurt
3 Tbsp sweetened and flaked coconut
2/3 cup chopped/sliced fruit

 

MIX:  Mix yogurt with 2 Tbsp coconut.
LAYER:  Place yogurt/coconut mixture in bottom of a glass.  Next, place layers of fruit.  Top with the last Tbsp of coconut and serve.

 

Note:  For this recipe, we used pineapple, mango, and strawberry.  Another tasty combination is kiwi, strawberry, and blackberry.  Try making your own favorite combination!

Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe, easy and healthy

Oatmeal Porridge

Oats are truly a “superfood.”  A warm and comforting bowl of fresh cooked oats seem to be the perfect breakfast. A bowl of cooked oats is a clean, filling fuel for the body that lasts through the morning.  Oats have been shown to regulate cholestorol along with a variety of health benefits. Real rolled oats are not as refined as the regular quick cooking oats, which means you get more nutrients and fiber.  Look for rolled oats in your health food store or in the natural foods section of the grocers.   Top with a bit of milk and sweeten with pure maple syrup or honey.  Sit back and enjoy an age old classic.

-Curt

 

COMBINE:
2 cups spring water
1 cup whole rolled oats or steel cut (no instant)
a pinch of salt

OPTIONAL:
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 teaspoons raisins

 

OTHER TOPPINGS:
Milk or Soy Milk
Pecans
Bananas
Berries
Honey or Pure Maple Syrup
Granola

 

COOK: If oatmeal comes in a package, follow the cooking instructions provided.  If purchased in bulk, cook oatmeal in twice the amount of water to oatmeal.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  When the oatmeal begins to thicken and bubble up, remove from heat serve with 2% milk, pure maple syrup and whole wheat toast.

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healthy vegetarian enchilada casserole recipe with beans peppers and olives

Enchilada Casserole

These enchiladas are New Mexico style, which are layered in sections of tortillas, vegetable-bean filling and cheese, then baked.  The inspiration for this recipe came from my time I lived in New Mexico where I gained a real love of vegetarian style enchiladas.  This is a sensational health-conscious version.  You must try this one!  They make fantastic left-overs!

-Curt

 

MAIN FILLING
12 corn tortillas
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 15 oz. cans pinto beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 can black olives, chopped (optional)
2 cans green chilies 4 oz.

 

CHEESE MIXTURE
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
4 cups grated cheese (colby, mozzerella, jack etc)

 

ENCHILADA SAUCE
2 16 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
5 teaspoons chili powder
3 teaspoons cumin powder
salt & pepper to taste

 

SAUCE: In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Heat sauce to where it is warm to the touch on stove.  Set aside.
VEGETABLE BEAN FILLING: While sauce is simmering, in a mixing bowl, combine cut peppers, pinto beans, chopped olives, corn and green chillis. Set aside.
CHEESE MIXTURE: In a mixing bowl, combine cottage cheese with 3 cups cheese.  Set aside for assembly. Leave last part of cheese for topping.
ASSEMBLE: Dip tortillas in sauce and  put a layer of tortillas in a large casserole dish.  Spread a couple of spoonfulls of sauce over layer of tortillas.  Follow with layer of filling, then cheese mixture.  Continue until all ingredients have been used. Try to add at least 3-4 layers of torillas as they add body to the casserole.  Top with remaining sauce and cover with remaining cheese.
BAKE: Bake at 350° F for 20-30 minutes.  Serve hot.
OPTIONAL: Top each serving with a spoon of guacamole and cold shredded lettuce.

baked potato recipe with vegetarian toppings such as broccoli, vegetarian baked beans and steamed veggies

Baked Potato Buffet

What a great meal and easy recipe. A large baker potato, right out of the oven with a table full of toppings.  Man could not be in a happier state!  A great meal for large groups… or if you are eating alone, just pick out which topping you want and keep it simple.

-Curt

 

Large russet Idaho potatoes, baked in the oven or in the microwave

TOPPING IDEAS:

Barbecued Beans
Shredded cheese
Cottage Cheese
Vegetarian Chili
Steamed Broccoli
Steamed Veggies
Chives
Butter (go easy)
Lo-Fat Sour Cream (go easy)
Corn
Peas
Salsa
Cheese Sauce

Guacamole Perfection easy avocado recipe

Guacamole Perfection

Avocados made into this Guacamole recipe are just amazing. I believe a good easy guacamole recipe with some hearty tortilla chips can be a meal in itself. Or, the perfect compliment to a good healthy well made Mexican main course. We make ours with fresh avocado mashed just enough, but leaving nice chucks of raw avocado. The additional flavors of cilantro, tomato, green onion and lime juice achieve guacamole perfection!  Adjust the following ingredients to make your own excellence in guacamole creation!

-Curt

 

4 medium avocados
few tablespoons of fresh minced cilantro
1 tomato finely chopped
1 stalk of green onion finely minced
lime juice from one lime
garlic salt to taste

 

PREPARE: Cut avocados and spoon out into a mixing bowl.  Mash just enough, but leaving some nice chunks of avocado.
MIX: Chop remaining veggies and gently stir in along with lime juice and garlic salt. Mix in the amount of ingredients to your tastes. There is no right or wrong – just variations!

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fresh basil pesto recipe with basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, olive oil, and parmesan cheese

Basil Pesto

This intensely flavorful sauce is delicious on pasta, pizza, and as a spread for toasted baguette.  A little bit goes a long way with this recipe!  Pesto can even be frozen for later use, which makes for an especially easy meal.

-Jessica

 

3 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup pine nuts
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ cups olive oil
1/3 cups freshly grated parmesan or romano cheese

 

BLEND: Place basil and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until basil leaves are fairly small.   Add in garlic, salt, olive oil and cheese.  Continue to  pulse until well blended, but with some texture remaining.

 

Note: Pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days if tightly covered.  It can also be frozen for long-term storage.  The easiest way to freeze pesto is to put it into ice cube trays.  When frozen, remove from the trays and store the pesto cubes in a freezer bag.  When you want to use, it will be ready to thaw in individual portions!

Caramelized pineapple recipe; serve with yogurt, ice cream, or berries

Caramelized Pineapple

Delicious with a bowl of ice cream, frozen yogurt, or even just by itself.  This recipe is an easy alternative to eating plain fresh pineapple which can also be a delicious dessert by itself!

-Jessica

 

1 whole fresh pineapple
brown sugar (optional)

 

SLICE: Peel and slice the pineapple into ½ inch thick rounds.  Then cut out the cores.

SPRINKLE: Arrange the pineapple slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle lightly with brown sugar, if using.

BROIL: Place the tray under the broiler  – about 6 inches from the heat.  Cook until the brown sugar melts and carmelizes – anywhere from 2-5 minutes.  Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.  If not using sugar, broil until warm.

FINISH: Serve hot with ice cream, frozen yogurt, berries, or by itself.