Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sweet Potato and Pear Soup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sweet Potatoes, Olive Oil
Wash and cut in half lengthwise about 4 sweet potatoes. Lightly season a baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil. Lay potato halves cut size down onto seasoned baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree pre-heated oven until soft, about 20-30 depending on size of sweet potatoes.

Red Onion, Garlic
While potatoes bake, add about one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to a medium-sized stock pot and saute one small or one-half medium red onion, sliced. When tender, add about 4-6 medium/large garlic cloves, smashed, and saute a few minutes until cooked through. 

Vegetable Stock, Pears, Soy Sauce, Red Pepper Flakes
After sweet potatoes are done and cooled down a little, scoop out meat and add to pot with onions and garlic. Add 1 quart homemade or low-sodium vegetable stock (add water as needed to adjust thickness/flavor), 1 teaspoon low-sodium gluten-free soy sauce, two peeled then sliced and coarsely chopped soft ripe pears, a pinch of red pepper flakes (or more to taste), freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste. 

Cook all ingredients on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and puree with an emersion blender. 

Chives, or Parsley, Toast
Reheat soup when ready to eat and serve with chopped chives or parsley depending on what you have on hand or in your garden, rub toast with a garlic clove. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Blueberry Vinaigrette ~ A Versatile Dressing

Try this over a spinach and strawberry salad. Delicious!

Blueberry Vinaigrette

Process 1 1/4 cup blueberries in a blender until pureed with:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
salt and pepper to taste

That's it! Enjoy

This Easter salad topped with the blueberry vinaigrette contained baby spinach, red onions, radishes, strawberries, mushrooms, walnuts and beets that were boiled in water then mixed with apple cider vinegar, and a deviled egg - a favorite of mine because it reminds me of my childhood holidays.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lactose Free Spinach Artichoke Dip / Spread

This spinach and artichoke dip or spread is light and flavorful. As a dip, enjoy with crackers like the whole wheat Yehuda Matzos in the photo or with cut up veggies.

In a food processor, process:
~Artichokes from a 9.9 oz jar until finely chopped. I used artichokes in water, drained
~2 cups packed fresh spinach until finely chopped
~About 2 tablespoons caramelized onions and 1 clove of garlic. I had leftover caramelized onions but a small shallot would be a good substitute 

Mix above ingredients with: 
~1/4 cup mayonnaise of your choice
~1 6 oz. container plain coconut yogurt. That's what I had on hand. Plain almond yogurt would probably be good. Use less or more mayo/yogurt depending on consistency you want 
~About 1/4 cup of chopped almonds. I happened to have these leftover from a meal and were a nice addition
~1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (taste with 1/2 teas then add more if needed)
~A generous pinch, about a 1/2 teaspoon, of nutritional yeast to give it a salty cheese flavor (more or less to taste - be careful not to use too much!)

Let the mixture sit about 15 to 30 minutes to blend the flavors before serving. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Easy Tasty Breakfast Sandwich | Healthful

I love breakfast sandwiches but they're usually greasy and fatty. Here's a great breakfast sandwich, or lunch, idea that's very tasty and healthful. No need for cheese because the avocado gives it a cheesy flavor and creaminess.

Cook one pound of low fat ground beef (I used local meat) in a skillet with a little vegetable broth or water for moisture, mix in about one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, a touch of salt and pepper.  Add more seasonings to taste. The Italian seasoning will make the ground beef taste like sausage without all the fat. Drain well in a colander.

While ground beef is draining, peel and chop one avocado, chop one plum tomato, stir in about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper. Note: they'll be more egg/ground beef mixture than the avocado topping so if you need more topping, make it with two avocados and two tomatoes, etc.

Return the drained ground beef to the skillet and stir in six eggs. Cook until the eggs are done. There was plenty leftover for the two of us to freeze or use another day, so depending on how many people you're feeding you may have leftovers for another meal also. 

Put it all together on a whole wheat wrap with some baby spinach and enjoy! 

Make it ahead and make mornings easy! The lemon juice will help keep the avocado topping from browning if stored in a tightly sealed container for a couple of days. Just assemble the sandwich and heat in a microwave for about 30 seconds.

Instead of making the avocado topping, this would be a good way to use up leftover guacamole. 

Also, it's a good way to use up any leftover scrambled eggs. Just add cooked ground beef separately and assemble the sandwich with the other ingredients and you're good to go.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Roasted Local Lamb Chops with Herbs and Walnuts

These French cut lamb chops are from a local vendor that was at the winter farmers' market at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket a few weeks ago. I can't remember the name of the vendor but these local chops were fresh, tender, moist and delicious.

I simply seasoned the chops with Herbs de Provence, a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper. I then sprinkled some extra virgin olive oil over a baking sheet and laid out the chops. After pre-heating the oven at 400 degrees, I roasted the chops for about 8-10 minutes (check half way through cooking for desired doneness). 

After tasting the chops I felt they needed something more so I processed about a cup plus of walnuts, a large clove of garlic, about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, what was left of the fresh parsley I had in the fridge from another meal, and a little salt and pepper. I had just enough of this walnut parsley pesto to top each chop with about one teaspoon full.

These chops made a nice addition to our Easter feast but would be easy to make anytime of the week for your family.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cod Puttanesca

This is an easy family meal to make. And there is plenty of left over sauce to save for a pasta meal another day or freeze, which makes our cooking-at-home lives much easier!

Ingredients for the sauce:
3 cups of your own pasta sauce, or 1 25 oz jar of organic marinara
1 28 oz can of organic Italian whole peeled plum tomatoes
    (I like the texture these add. Just squish them up with your hands before adding to the pot.)
1 12 oz jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
2 tablespoons nonpareil capers
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Dark or light. I used light.)
About 1/2 cup loosely packed chopped parsley and basil, mixed. This is fresh cooking so
    it really doesn't matter -- it can be all parsley or all basil. Whatever is on hand. Whatever you like.
1 large shallot
2-3 cloves garlic, depending on size and how garlicky you want the sauce to taste
1/2 teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes, to taste
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (The olives, capers, and canned/jarred tomatoes, if not
   low-sodium, could already add enough salt.)


Add everything to the pot, bring to a boil, stir around then simmer while preparing the fish.

For our meal, I used four large fillets of fresh cod that I cut in half. There is a lot of sauce for more fish. If using less fish, freeze the leftover sauce for other meals. 

I sprinkled a little extra virgin olive oil on the bottom of the casserole dish, added the fish, ladled the sauce over the top of the fish in amount that looked good and baked at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the fish looked done.

This cod puttanesca tastes great with simple oven roasted potatoes or crusty bread. I love roasting potatoes with an Italian herb mix and rosemary.