Friday, October 7, 2011

Exploring Lumpia.....

I love these egg-roll like Filipino rolls!  Here are a few recipes that I've come across.

pork, shrimp, spring onion, oyster sauce, corn flour, sesame oil, spring roll wrappers, brown sugar
+ white wine, cider or rice vinegar, catsup, flour

pork, onions, carrots, green beans, cabbage, cloves, fish sauce or shoyu.

ground meat, onion, carrot, potato, bean sprout, green beans, egg roll wrappers

lumpia wrappers, ground pork, garlic, ginger, shoyu, egg

chicken, carrot, water chestnuts, chinese parsley, garlic, shoyu, wrappers

brown sugar, bananas, dark chocolate, lumpia wrappers

Exploring Tri-Tip Steaks...

dark beer, pomegranate molasses, garlic, red pepper

worcestershire, montreal seasoning, mustard, chili powder, beef stock

limes, olive oil, shoyu, tequila, garlic, cilantro.

Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Molasses Chili Marinade

Serves 4.

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tbsp peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 lbs tri-tip steaks

  1. In a large glass bowl or container, whisk together brown sugar, molasses, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, chili powder and freshly ground black pepper until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place tri-tip steaks in the marinade and turn until completely coated. Let marinate for about 1 hour, covered, turning the steak occasionally.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and brush with canola oil.
  4. Place the steaks on the grill (do not discard the marinade) and cook until desired degree of doneness is reached, about 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steaks. Remove steak from the grill and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. 
  5. Transfer the marinade and any juices collected from the cooked steaks to a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil and let cook for about 10 minutes. Serve with the steak.

     Recipe from:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Craisin-Pecan Chicken Salad

4 cups cooked chicken, shredded - I use 2-3 chicken breasts, roasted; cube if you prefer
1 cup pecans, chopped - I pound them into "chopped" size
1-2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium shallot, minced - or chopped, as you prefer.  You can substitute onion if you HAVE to.
3/4-1 cup dried cranberries - don't use more than 1 cup even if you love craisins.  add more at the end if you need to.  Ever adaptable, you can of course substitute raisins or chopped dried cherries if you prefer.
1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt  - or lowfat greek yogurt, doesn't matter
2-3 tbsp. red wine vinegar - I like the bite of vinegar, so i use 3.  If you don't, use only 2.
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. pepper, or to taste
2 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley, optional - really I just grabbed off some leaves and chopped them up.

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Toss.
  2. Combine wet ingredients for dressing in second bowl or measring cup.  Mix well.
  3. Pour wet into dry.  It will look like there isn't enough, but there is.  Mix well using a rubber spatula.
  4. Add in parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir gently to combine
  5. Transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more to allow flavors to meld.
  6. Serve as a sandwich with lettuce or romain on the roll, or top a regular salad of greens with about 1 cup of the chicken salad.
09.27.2011 - I made this for mom & Dennis.  Dennis would prefer it with all miracle whip for the dressing, but that's just what he's used to.  I think this proportion of ingredients worked out better for me than the original recipe, but feel free to adapt it and make it your own!

For original Recipe:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Several Smoothies

Blueberry Acai Smoothie
vegan, serves 2

1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk
1 1/2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 acai frozen smoothie pak OR 1 cup acai juice
*if you use the juice, remove 1/2 cup of the soy milk
3/4 cup ice

 recipe from:

Pomegranate Smoothie
1/3 cup silken tofu (about 3 oz.)
1 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon honey (add more if you like it sweeter)
2 ice cubes (or just omit because the frozen berries make them kind of pointless)
Recipe from:

"Julius" style Mango Orange Smoothie
makes 2 servings

1/2 ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup orange juice
1 cup ice cubes, about 5 regular sized cubes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons vanilla yogurt
Recipe from:

Blueberry Maple Oatmeal Smoothie

(makes 2 smoothies)
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup yogurt
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup liquid (I used milk but juices like apple juice would also work well.)
1. Mix the rolled oats into the yogurt and let sit in the fridge over night.
2. Puree everything in a food processor.
Recipe from:

An indulgent smoothie, made extra-special with frozen yogurt. Serves 2
6 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2 scoops vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt
Juice of two limes
6 spearmint leaves
1 banana, cut into chunks
Pinch of black pepper
Recipe from:

Orgasm Smoothie

  • 1 banana 
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup rice, almond or non-fatmilk (substitute with juice of your choice if you don't want to use milk)
  • 1 cup ice chips
  • ½ cup peaches
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • Dollop of honey
  • Sprinkle of ginger root (season to taste) 
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg (season to taste)
 Recipe from:

Smoothies from Men's Health

Abs Diet Smoothie  (makes 2)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 tbsp low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup instant oatmeal, nuked in water
  • 2 tsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp chocolate whey powder
  • 6 ice cubes, crushed 
Throw Fruit for a Loop (makes 1)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt 
Almond Joy Smoothie (makes 1)
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 3/4cup orange juice
  • dash of cinnamon 
Mint Chocolate Morning (makes 1)
  • 3⁄4 cup 1% chocolate milk
  • 1⁄2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons chocolate whey-protein powder
  • 1 frozen Peppermint Pattie
  • 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
  • 3 ice cubes 
PBBJ Smoothie (makes 1)
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup fat-free frozen yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter 
 Kickstarter Shake (makes 1)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 kiwifruit
Better Breakfast Shake (makes 1)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 peach (cut up)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup ice 
Beta Blast (makes 1)
  • 3 small ice cubes
  • 2 apricots (sliced and pitted)
  • 1/2 papaya (frozen in chunks)
  • 1/2 mango (frozen in chunks)
  • 1/2 cup carrots,
  • 1 tablespoon honey
Belly Busting Blast (makes 1)
  • 1 scoop low-fat vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup each frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla whey-protein powder
  • 3 ice cubes 
Recipes all from:

Italian Potato Cake


  • 1/3 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 fresh Fresno or cherry chili pepper, halved
  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8-inch thick
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • Preheat oven to 425°F
  • Place potatoes in bowl and season with sea salt. Discard the garlic cloves and chili pepper and add oil to the potatoes along with the rosemary, fennel and cheese. Toss to coat evenly.  
  • Arrange potatoes in a layered pattern beginning at the center of a 10-inch skillet moving outward and up the sides. Gently pile in the remaining potatoes and press them down. 
  • Place skillet over medium-high heat and cook 10 minutes to get the bottom layer of potatoes and the pan itself nice and hot. Cover potatoes with parchment paper and set a pie plate on top. Fill with beans or pie weights, transfer to oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and parchment, and return to oven. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are deep golden on top. Remove from oven and let cool to room temp. Place a plate over top of the pan, flip and unmold. 
  • serve with sausages. 
 Recipe from Rachael Ray Show.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Apple-Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Ginger Ale Sauce


    • 3 eggs, beaten
    • 2 cups milk, cream, or combination
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 6 cups cinnamon bread, cubed (about 15 slices)
    • 1 (20 1/2-ounce) can apple pie filling
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 2 packets apple cinnamon instant oatmeal (recommended: Quaker Oats)


    • 1/2 cup ginger ale
    • 1 package whipped topping mix (recommended: Dream Whip)
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt


    In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, rum extract, salt, and brown sugar. Stir in raisin bread, pie filling, raisins, and oatmeal packets until bread cubes are moist. Spray a 9 by 12-inch baking dish with the pan spray and pour the mixture into the dish. Set aside for 30 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    Bake pudding until it has risen, browned, and a knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 40 minutes.
    For sauce: combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Serve bread with a dollop of sauce. Cover and chill until ready to use.

    Recipe from:

    Honey-Soy Pork Chops


    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sherry or unsweetened apple juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 boneless pork loin chops (4 ounces each)


    • In a small bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Pour 1/2 cup into a large resealable plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for basting.
    • Drain and discard marinade. Moisten a paper towel with cooking oil; using long-handled tongs, lightly coat the grill rack.
    • Grill pork, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. over heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160°, basting frequently with remaining marinade. Yield: 4 servings.

    Edit HTMLNutrition Facts: 1 pork chop equals 176 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 55 mg cholesterol, 132 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 22 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: 3 lean meat.

    Buffalo Chicken Rolls

    from Can You Stay For Dinner?
    makes 12 rolls

    12 egg roll wrappers
    1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
    1/2 – 2/3 cup Frank’s Red Hot sauce
    1 cup crumbled blue cheese
    1 cup broccoli slaw or cole slaw (dry)
    blue cheese dressing, for serving

    Preheat the oven to 400F.
    In a bowl, mix together the chicken and the hot sauce.
    Lay one egg roll wrapper on your work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the slaw on a diagonal at the bottom right of the egg roll wrapper. Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken on, followed by 1 tablespoon of blue cheese.
    To fold: Fold the bottom right corner over the filling. Fold in the bottom left, followed by the right, so it now looks like an envelope. Roll the wrap, but leave the top corner open. Dip your finger in a small bowl of water and wet the edges of the open corner. Fold the corner over the eggroll. The water will help to seal the eggroll wrapper to itself.
    Repeat with the remaining rolls. Place the rolls on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the rolls with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Recipe  from:

    Eggnog Raisin-Bread Pudding

    Recipe Ingredients

    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 qt canned or refrigerated eggnog
    • 10 slices raisin-cinnamon swirl bread

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Coat a 2-qt. shallow baking dish with nonstick spray.
    2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended. Whisk in eggnog.
    3. Cut 4 slices bread in 1-in. cubes; arrange over bottom of prepared dish. Pour half the eggnog mixture over top. Cut remaining bread slices diagonally in half; arrange decoratively on top. Pour remaining eggnog mixture over all.
    4. Bake, uncovered, 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
    5. Add ground or freshly grated nutmeg to eggnog mixture.
    6. Sprinkle with chocolate chips before baking.l Soak golden raisin and dried cherry blend (Sun-Maid) in rum.
    7. Scatter over bread cubes.

    Tiramisu Cheesecake

     Recipe from:

    Active Time: 45 minutes
    Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
    Serves: 16

    Recipe Ingredients

    • 2 Tbsp plus 11⁄4 cups sugar
    • 1 Tbsp Kahlúa (coffee-flavor liqueur)
    • 1 1⁄2 pkg (7 oz each) imported Italian savoiardi ladyfingers (see Note)
    • 3 bricks (8 oz each) 1⁄3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
    • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    • 1 tub (8 or 8.75 oz) mascarpone cheese
    • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate, grated
    • Garnish: unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate curls (directions follow)

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Remove bottom of a 9 x 3-in. springform pan; wrap bottom with plastic wrap.
    2. Stir coffee, 2 Tbsp sugar and the Kahlúa in a shallow bowl until sugar dissolves. Set 1⁄2 the ladyfingers aside. For each of remaining ladyfingers, quickly dip one side into coffee mixture and place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers as needed to fit. Freeze about 15 minutes until firm. Lift plastic wrap, with ladyfingers, off pan bottom and place on a flat plate in freezer.
    3. Heat oven to 325°F. Reassemble the springform pan and coat with nonstick spray.
    4. Quickly dip one side of reserved ladyfingers into coffee mixture. Place wet side up on pan bottom to cover, cutting ladyfingers to fit and pressing to fill spaces. Freeze until ready to fill.
    5. Beat cream cheese, 1 1⁄4 cups sugar and the cornstarch in a large bowl with mixer on medium speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, just until blended. Beat in mascarpone and reserved 2 Tbsp coffee. Pour half the batter (3 cups) into pan; spread evenly. Top with ladyfinger layer from freezer; sprinkle with grated chocolate. Spoon on remaining batter; spread evenly.
    6. Bake 45 minutes, or until center still jiggles slightly when shaken. (Air bubbles may form on surface; they’ll sink as cake cools.) Turn off oven (leave door closed); leave cake in oven 45 minutes.
    7. Carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to release the cake (leave the pan sides on). Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 4 hours, preferably 1 day for best flavor.
    8. Remove pan sides; place cake on a serving plate. Dust with cocoa; top with chocolate curls.Chocolate CurlsMelt 4 oz semisweet baking chocolate with 1 tsp solid vegetable shortening. Pour into a foil-lined mini loaf pan or sturdy 3 1⁄2 x 2 x 1 1⁄2-in. pan made with layers of foil. Let set at room temperature. Pull a swivel-blade vegetable peeler down length of bar. Refrigerate curls until ready to use.
    9. Imported Italian savoiardi ladyfingers are crisp and longer than the familiar soft sponge cake variety.

    Grilled Plums w/ Ginger Balsamic Glaze


    8 ripe plums
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
    2 tablespoons of ground ginger
    1 tablespoon of olive oil
    Pinch of salt

    1. Slice and pit all of the plums.
    2. In a small saucepan combine all ingredients and warm over a low flame for 10 minutes.
    The key here is to reduce blend the flavors and reduce the mixture to a glaze. Balsamic vinegar can go from a wonderful reduction to "I really messed that up" in no time flat, so keep an eye on it and taste it frequently.
     3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced plums with the ginger-balsamic mixture.
    4. Grill the plums sliced-side down for about 5 minutes or until they just start to wilt. 
    5. Remove from the grill and let cool. Place the plums in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before enjoying.

    Recipe from:
    Blogger's original note: These plums are best enjoyed with a glass of 2008 Primoroso from Oso Libre Winery. Primoroso is swirling with dark berries and minor floral notes. The blend has just a hint of spice which makes it the perfect pairing for this dish.

    Perfect Malted Pancakes

    Put the following in a mixing bowl:
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 1/4 cups milk  (or buttermilk) *see note
    Beat the eggs and milk until light and foamy, about 3 minutes at high speed of a stand or hand mixer.

    Whisk together the following:
    Stir into the milk/egg. Don’t beat; some lumps are OK.
    • Add 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil. Stir it in.
    Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat, or set an electric griddle to 375°F. Lightly grease the frying pan or griddle. The pan or griddle is ready if a drop of water skitters across the surface, evaporating immediately.

    Drop 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the lightly greased griddle. Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form and break, about 2 minutes.

    Then turn the pancakes and cook the other side until brown, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
    Turn over only once; lots of flipping will yield tough pancakes.

    *Start with just 1 cup milk if you’re baking under hot, humid conditions, or if you’re going to let the batter rest longer than 15 minutes. Use up to 1 1/4 cups milk in cold, dry conditions.What’s the difference? Depending on the amount of milk used the pancake batter will be thicker/thinner, and thus the cakes will be thicker/thinner. 

    In summer, or when it’s stored in hot, humid conditions, flour acts like a sponge, soaking up moisture from the atmosphere. Thus you’ll usually use less liquid in your recipes in summer, more in winter.
    And how about resting the batter? The longer it rests, the more it thickens, as the flour gradually absorbs the liquid.

    Bottom line: If you prefer thicker pancakes, go easy with the milk. You can always thin the batter with more milk – but it’s hard to use less milk once you’ve already added it!

    Tea Time Punch

    Tea Time Punch
    Recipe by Jim Meehan, owner of PDT in New York City 

    What you’ll need:
    24 oz. tea
    12 oz Banks rum (or other white rum)
    6 oz Grand Marnier
    6 oz lime juice (squeeze it fresh for a brighter flavor)
    6 oz simple syrup (boil 1 cup of water, and stir in 1 cup of sugar and allow to dissolve. Allow to cool before using.)
    A few grates of nutmeg

    How to make it:
    1. Measure ingredients into bowl and use a ladle to stir them together.
    2. Add ice (if you have access to bigger cubes, use them).
    3. Grate nutmeg directly over the bowl. Pours 9 6-ounce cups.

    Roasted Tomato Salsa

    Recipe adapted from Cascabel Taqueria in New York City
    Recipe  from:

    What you’ll need:
    2 medium tomatoes, sliced
    2 garlic cloves
    1 Thai chili, or substitute 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 Tbsp cascabel chili powder or hot chili powder
    1 Tbsp lime juice
    5 sprigs cilantro
    1/2 Tbsp salt
    3 Tbsp water

    How to make it:
    1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the sliced tomatoes and garlic clove on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven until their aromas release, about 10 minutes.
    2. Remove the roasted tomatoes and garlic from the oven and place them into a blender or food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse for 30 to 45 seconds. Scrape the sides of the blender or food processor with a rubber spatula and pulse until smooth, about another 30 seconds. Season with additional salt, if needed. Makes a small bowl.

    How to: Oven Dried Tomatoes

    Directions from:

    How To Make Oven-Dried Tomatoes
    Slice plum tomatoes lengthwise, sprinkle with salt, and bake at 200 to 250 degrees F until shriveled, but still slightly tender. This can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on the size of the tomatoes.

    The natural sweetness of the tomatoes concentrates as the water is slowly cooked out. Each plum tomato averages 11 calories, so you’ll get big flavor for a tiny amount of calories. An added bonus: cooking tomatoes ups the lycopene content, baking in more antioxidants.

    Use dried tomatoes right away, or store packed in olive oil and herbs if desired. Use them to add a chewy bite of sweetness to salads, pasta, and sandwiches or blend into salad dressings or mayonnaise – they also make a gorgeous stuffing for chicken breasts.

    Recipes to Try:

    Oven Dried Tomatoes with Olive Oil and Thyme
    Oven Dried Tomatoes with Fresh Mozzarella and Arugula

    Rigatoni Bolognese

    Recipe Ingredients

    • 1 box (1 lb) rigatoni pasta
    • 2 medium carrots (4 oz), halved
    • 1 medium onion (6 oz), quartered
    • 1 pkg (8 or 10 oz) whole mushrooms
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 3 links Italian turkey sausage (about 10 oz), casings removed
    • 1⁄2 tsp crushed rosemary
    • 1⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper
    • 1⁄2 cup white wine (optional)
    • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes in thick purée

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Cook pasta in large pot of salted boiling water as box directs. Meanwhile, put carrots, onion, mushrooms and garlic in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped.
    2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chopped vegetables 6 minutes.
    3. Add turkey sausage and cook, breaking up clumps, 4 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in rosemary, salt, pepper and wine, if using; boil 1 minute.
    4. Stir in crushed tomatoes, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Spoon over drained pasta.
    Recipe  from:

    Tomato-Basil Pasta Salad

    Recipe Ingredients

    3 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lb), coarsely chopped (3 1/2 cups)
    1/3 cup chopped red onion
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp minced garlic
    1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    12 oz fusilli pasta (or your favorite pasta)
    1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips

    Recipe Preparation

    1. Put tomatoes, onion, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and oregano in a large bowl; toss. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes or until tomatoes release their juices, tossing occasionally.
    2. Cook pasta as package directs. Drain and add to bowl with tomatoes; lightly toss. Let come to room temperature. Add basil; toss. Serve or refrigerate up to 1 day.
    Recipe from:

    Slow Cooker Apple Butter

    recipe from:  Bakin' on the Side (adapted from Eclectic Recipes)
    Yield: 2 Pints

    6 apples
    1 1/2 cups apple cider (or apple juice)
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon allspice
    1/4 teaspoon cloves
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    1. Peel, core and chop apples, add to slow cooker.
    2. Add cider/juice, sugar and spices.
    3. Cook on high until bubbly.
    4. Reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 hours, stirring every hour. When done, the apple butter will have thickened and be a deep brown color.
    5. For a smoother texture, blend to break down any remaining chunks of apple.

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Vegan Thai Vegetable Soup

    Recipe from: Girl Cooks World
    Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: Whole Foods Recipes for Personal and Planetary Health, Second Edition

    * 2 Tablespoons olive oil
    * 1 medium onion, finely sliced
    * 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    * 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    * 1/4-inch piece ginger, finely grated
    * 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into thin strips
    * 1 cup dried, sliced shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 2 1/2 cups water for at least 30 minutes
    * 1 can coconut milk
    * 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced
    * 3 cups roughly chopped bok choy
    * 3/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
    * 1/3 cup thinly sliced Thai basil
    * salt and pepper, to taste

    Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion has softened.  Add the crushed red pepper, ginger, and bell pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the reconstituted mushrooms, all or their soaking liquid, the coconut milk and the zucchini.

    Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the zucchini has softened.  Stir in the bok choy, cilantro, Thai basil and cook, stirring, until the bok choy has begun to wilt.  Season with plenty of salt and pepper to taste.... you may have to add much more salt than you're used to because we're not using any pre-seasoned broth.

    Serves four.

    Fresh Corn and Basil Muffins

    Recipe from:  SweetPotatoChronicles

    1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (plus a bit unmelted for the muffin tin)
    2 cups flour (plus a sprinkle for the muffin tin)
    1/4 cup cornmeal
    1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp chili powder
    1 1/4 cup buttermilk
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 cup corn kernels (I used two cobs)
    1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter and flour your muffin tin.
    2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking sods, salt, sugar and chili. 
    3. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and melted butter. 
    4. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients. Gently fold in corn and basil, making sure there are bit or yellow and green all through the batter.
    5. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop batter into your prepared tins. 
    6. Pop in the hot oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the muffins are golden. 
    7. Allow the muffins to cool in the tin for a few minutes before popping them out of the tin.

    Grilled Vegetable Corn Husk Boats

    Recipe from: HeatOvenTo350 
    4 ears corn with husks
    1 T olive oil
    1 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
    1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
    1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp table salt
    1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce
    2 T chopped cilantro or parsley

    1. Remove tough outer leaves of husks and discard. Pull remaining husks back over the stem end, remove silk and cut corn cob off, leaving husks and stem end attached. Reserve 2-3 husks for later use.

    2. Cut corn off cobs. (See this post from Dishing the Divine for a great tip on how to cut corn off the cob.)

    3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, or heat grill to medium high heat. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, red pepper and sweet potato; cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in corn, chili powder, salt and hot pepper sauce. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cilantro; remove from heat. Let cool slightly.

    4. Spoon about 1 cup vegetable mixture into each husk. (See picture below.) Using a strip of the reserved husk or kitchen twine, tie the husks to enclose the filling. Trim excess husk 1/2 to 3/4 inch from ties. Place boats on a cookie sheet and bake until heated through and husks are beginning to brown, about 12-15 minutes. If grilling, place on grill over direct heat and turn 1/4 turn every few minutes to prevent burning. Remove when all sides are lightly browned.

    Squash Puppies w/ Jalapeno Mayo Dipping Sauce

    Recipe from:  one of my fave blogs, Ezra Pound Cake
    Adapted from “Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen”
    Makes about 36
    • 2 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal
    • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 2 medium yellow squash (about 1 pound), minced
    • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 3 tablespoons grated onion
    • 1 jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded and minced
    • Canola oil, for deep-frying
    • 1 cup Roasted Jalapeño Mayonnaise (see below)
    1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a brown paper bag.
    2. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
    3. In a separate bowl, stir together the squash, buttermilk, eggs, onion and jalapeño.
    4. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture, and stir just until moistened. (Overmixing will make the hush puppies tough.) Let the batter sit for 15 minutes, undisturbed, at room temperature.
    5. Fill a saucepan, Dutch oven or an electric skillet with canola oil 3 to 4 inches deep, and heat over medium-high heat to between 350 degrees F and 375 degrees F.
    6. Spoon the batter into the hot oil about 1 tablespoon at a time, using two spoons or a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop. Working in batches of 6 to 8 squash puppies, fry, turning several times with a slotted spoon or frying utensil, until crispy and golden brown all over, 2 to 3 minutes.
    7. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the squash puppies from the pan, and drain on the prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven to keep warm while cooking the remaining puppies. Serve hot with Roasted Jalapeño Mayonnaise for dipping.


    Roasted Jalapeño Mayonnaise

    Makes about 2 cups
    • 3 jalapeño peppers
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
    • 1 trimmed and chopped scallion
    • 2 smashed garlic cloves
    • Juice of 1 lime
    • 6 fresh basil leaves
    • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    1. To Roast the Jalapeño Peppers: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place your jalapeño peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the skin is blistered and slightly brown. Remove from the oven, and set aside. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them, and discard the skin, seeds and core. Set aside.
    2. Place mayonnaise in a food processor. Add roasted jalapeño peppers, cilantro, scallion, garlic, lime juice, basil, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    Korean Style Corn Pancakes

    Recipe from: The Healthy Foodie
    (serves 4)

    • 1½ cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 2 tbsp cornstarch
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ¼ tsp black pepper
    • 2 cups ice cold water
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 2½ cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels
    • 6 green onions, finely chopped
    • 4 birds eye chilis, finely chopped
    • ¼ cup soy sauce (japanese, or tamari)
    • 4 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
    • 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    1. For the sauce, simply mix all the ingredients together. Set aside to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the pancakes.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt and pepper. Add 2 cups ice cold water and mix until smooth and well incorporated. While whisking, add eggs  mix until just incorporated, no more. Add corn, green onions and peppers. Again, stir lightly, just to combine.
    3. Over medium heat, heat a little bit of olive oil in a cast iron or non stick pan and pour half the batter. Spread to the edges of the pan. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the bottom is nice and golden and the pancake starts to set. Flip it over and continue cooking until the other side is golden, about 5-6 minutes.
    4. Slide into a plate and repeat process with rest of the batter.
    5. Cut each pancake into 8 wedges.
    6. Serve warm with dipping sauce and lots of sauteed vegetables.
    7. These pancakes are also delicious served cold and would make a great appetizer.

    Lemon Mint Ice Cubes

    Recipe from:  SheWearsManyHats


    • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh mint leaves (~ 1.1 oz)
    • 2 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (juice from 1 lemon)
    • 4 cups water


    1. In a blender or food processor combine mint, lemon juice, and a small amount of the water until mint is finely chopped.
    2. Add mixture to the remaining water, mix well, pour in ice cube trays, and freeze.
    3. Once frozen, store ice cubes in zip top plastic bag in freezer until ready to use.
    Copyright © 2009-2011

    Quinoa Tabbouleh with Cherries

    Recipe: Tastespotting, the Blog

    makes enough for 4 people as a side dish


    ½ cup quinoa
    1 cup water
    pinch of salt
    2 very large bunches of fresh parsley
    2 tablespoons lemon juice (about half a lemon)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and chopped
    salt and pepper


    In a medium pot, rinse quinoa, drain, add 1 cup water and pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered. Turn off heat, cover and let sit while you prepare the rest of the tabbouleh. I actually like to let the quinoa sit for as long as it takes to come to room temperature.
    Wash parsley, dry and pull leaves from stems (some small, thin stems are okay). Roughly chop leaves. Most tabbouleh I’ve eaten is made with very finely chopped parsley, but I prefer large pieces.
    Combine parsley and quinoa in a bowl, then sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to combine. Add fresh cherries (I add them last just so cherry juice doesn’t stain everything too much).
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Personal Pear Pizza w/ Stilton & Walnuts

    Servings: 2-4
    Recipe from: Greedy Gourmet

    7.5g (¼ oz) fresh yeast

    150ml (5 fl oz) lukewarm water

    5ml (1 tsp) sugar

    2.5ml (½ tsp) sea salt

    15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil

    37.5g (1½ oz) durum wheat flour

    200g (7 oz) strong bread flour

    250g (9 oz) ricotta cheese

    4 large pears, thinly sliced

    300g (10 oz) Stilton cheese, crumbled

    50g (2 oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped

    1. Crumble the yeast in a bowl and dissolve in the water. Add the sugar, salt and olive oil.
    2. Add the two flours a little at a time and knead the dough in a mixer for around 10 minutes, until it is elastic. [You can also knead the dough by hand.]
    3. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough, cover with a cloth and leave to rise in the bowl for about 45 minutes, until it is double in size. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 250°C (fan 230°C/500°F/gas 10).
    4. Divide the dough into 8 and roll each one out thinly on a floured surface.
    5. Spread a layer of ricotta on every pizza.
    6. Distribute the pears over the pizzas.
    7. Crumble the Stilton over the pears, and then sprinkle over the chopped walnuts.
    8. Bake in the middle of the oven for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

    Southwest Coleslaw

    Southwestern Slaw
    Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen

    1 bag of shredded slaw mix
    2 carrots, shredded
    1 red bell pepper, sliced very thin and cut in smaller pieces
    2 green onions, sliced
    2-3 ears grilled corn (kernels sliced off) or 1/2 cup frozen corn (defrosted)
    handful of chopped cilantro
    1 cup chipotle or spicy ranch (I used Marie’s Chipotle Ranch)
    2 tablespoons mayo (I used reduced fat)
    a few splashes apple cider vinegar
    fresh ground pepper

    In large bowl combine ranch dressing, mayo, vinegar and black pepper. Taste for seasoning. Add vegetables (minus cilantro) and toss until fully dressed. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled. Toss in cilantro right before serving.

    Baked Roasted Corn and Cream Cheese Potstickers

    Recipe from:  NaturallyElla
    Author: Erin Alderson
    Prep time: 20 mins / Cook time: 20 mins
    Serves: 2-4
    • 12-16 wonton wrappers
    • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 1/2 cup corn (about 2 medium ears)
    • 1/2 cup green onions, diced
    • 2 ounces cream cheese
    • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary
    • 1/2 cup parmesan
    • salt and pepper
    • water for sealing
    • olive oil for brushing
    1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Remove corn from kernel and toss together with diced green onions and olive oil. Place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and roast for 15-20 minutes. Let cool slighlty.
    2. Reduce oven heat to 350˚.
    3. In a food processor combine cream cheese, rosemary, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Once corn is slightly cooled, add to food processor and pulse until everything is well combined.
    4. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling into center of wrapper. Wet edges of the wonton wrapper and crimp. Set aside and finish until filling is gone.
    5. Place potstickers on a baking tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until potstickers are golden brown.

    Sweet Banana Flat Bread

    • Whole wheat flour 2 cups
    • Mashed bananas 1 cup
    • 2-3 tables spoon of oil
    • Salt
    • Water

    1. Peel and mash the bananas well. Combine mashed bananas, whole wheat flour, salt and make a stiff dough. Add the oil and kneed well. Make the dough into small ball, dust them with flour and roll them out into circles with a rolling pin.
    2. Heat a griddle. When hot lightly grease with oil. Place the flat bread on the griddle. When small bubbles appear on it, turn it over to the other side. When this side starts to change colour, apply a couple of drops on oil, spread well and turn over. Apply a little more oil on this side as well. Your flat bread is ready when small red spots appear on it. Do not over heat the griddle as this might burn them.
    Recipe from: LoveFoodEat

    Incredible Hulk Pasta (summer squash, tomatillos, basil)

    Recipe from: The Pasta Man

    1 lb pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
    1 large summer squash
    8 small tomatillos, quartered or halved
    1 small bunch basil, roughly chopped
    1/2 large onion
    4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
    parmesan and olive oil

    1.  Slice squash into 1/2 inch deep cylinders and spread on paper towels.  Heavily salt each squash cylinder (kosher salt is good here) and set aside for 15-20 minutes.  Squash will develop large beads of water.  Squeeze cylinders with paper towels, using more towels as needed.  Cut squash cylinders into quarters.
    2.  Boil pasta in heavily salted water until al dente, reserving some cooking water.
    3.  Saute onions over medium-high heat in olive oil until translucent and just beginning to brown.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.  Remove onion-garlic to bowl.
    4.  Raise heat to high and add squash and additional olive oil.  Cook until squash is well browned, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatillos and basil and cook until tomatillos are slightly blistered and basil is wilted, five more minutes.
    5.  Mix together pasta, squash-tomatillo-basil mixture, and onions.  If pasta is very dry, add pasta cooking water or olive oil.  Taste for salt.  Serve, passing parmesan.

    Grilled Peach & Cucumber Salsa

    Recipe from: ChezUs - photos available if you click on the link
    makes about 2 cups
    Perfect for topping fish and chicken!
    • 2 peaches, not too soft, not too hard
    • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
    • 1 jalapeno pepper
    • 3 tablespoons red onion, small dice, let sit in cold water for 20 minutes
    • 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
    • drizzle olive oil
    • sprinkle salt
    Heat an outdoor grill, until very hot;  about 300.  Slice the peaches in half, brush each half with olive oil.  While the grill is heating up, cut your cucumber into a medium dice.  Dice the red onion, and let sit in a bowl of cold water;  this removes the bitter taste.  Once the grill is hot, lay each peach slice onto it;  put the pepper on the grill off to the side.  Turn the pepper, until a little brown on each side;  about 1 minute.  Cover the grill with the lid, and cook until the peaches have grill marks, and are slightly bubbly;  about 3 minutes.  The pepper will most likely pop at this same time.  If not, that is okay.  After 3 – 5 minutes, remove from the grill.  Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.  Dice the peaches into a medium dice, and mince the pepper.  Add to the bowl of cucumber.  Drain the red onion, and dry with a paper towel;  add to the bowl.  Lightly drizzle with some olive oil, add the lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt.  Gently fold.  Serve.  Eat.

    Cucumber Limeade

    Makes 6 servings
    Recipe from BackToTheRoots


    • 1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced into chunks
    • Juice of 3 limes
    • 1/2-1 cup simple syrup
    • Water


    1. In a blender, add cucumber, lime juice, simple syrup and water to within an inch of the top.
    2. Blend until cucumbers are well chopped. Strain through a strainer.
    3. Serve over ice.

    Peach Wontons

    Recipe from: She Wears Many Hats


    • 2 pounds ripe peaches, peeled and sliced/diced (about 8 peaches)
    • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • Wonton wrappers (1  12 oz. pack should do it.)
    • Canola or vegetable oil, enough for about 1″ of oil in your pan
    • Powdered sugar for sprinkling


    1. Slice up the peach and toss in a large bowl with flour and brown sugar.
    2. Lay out the wonton wrappers, drop about a tablespoon of sliced/diced peaches and a tad bit of peach juice in the center of each wonton wrapper.
    3. Using your finger or pastry brush, wet the outside edge of the wonton wrapper.
    4. Fold one corner of the wrapper over to the other corner, and gently press down to seal edges. Make sure to seal edges thoroughly to avoid the oil splattering. Add an additional fold, if you’d like by dabbing the corners with water and folding them up to meet in the middle.
    5. Heat 1″ of canola or vegetable oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat to 375°F. Carefully slide wontons into oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes, turning as they fry. When they reach a lovely golden brown, remove from oil to a paper towel lined pan.
    6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
    7. Let cool ever so slightly and enjoy!
    8. Makes about 50-55 wontons.
    Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
    Cooking time: 3 minute(s)
    Number of servings (yield): 50-55 pieces

    Cumin-Lime Black Bean, Jicama, and Corn Salad or Salsa

    Lime-Cumin dressing inspired by Healthy Food for Living

    1 can corn, drained  
    2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    1 cup diced jicama
    1 avocado, diced
    Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
    1 1/2 tsp cumin
    Dash of salt and pepper

    In a medium sized bowl combine corn, black beans, jicama, and avocado.  In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice and cumin.  Pour juice over bean and corn mixture.  Season with just a dash of salt and pepper.  Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

    Eat as a salad, or scoop w/ tortilla chips!

    Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas

     Recipe from: CupcakeProject
    • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    1. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.
    2. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. (You didn't miss anything here.  You don't oil or season them until after they are done.  In fact, for an extra healthy treat, try them when they get out of the oven before even adding the oil.  They are enjoyable all on their own.)
    3. Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
    4. Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.  Like popped corn, the chickpeas are never as good the next day.  However, they are still quite enjoyable 3-4 days after making them.   
    I encourage you to eat the chickpeas hot by the handful, but save a few as cupcake toppers for gluten-free chocolate cupcakes made with garbanzo bean flour (coming soon).

    Martha Stewart's Cold Soba Sesame Noodles


    • 1 pound soba noodles or whole grain noodles
    • 1/4 cup sesame oil
    • 1/4 cup black soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 1/2 tablespoon organic sugar
    • 1 tablespoon hot pepper oil, optional
    • 1/4 cup scallions, finely sliced


    • Julienned red bell pepper
    • Julienned Cucumber 
    • Snow Peas, blanced, cut in to bite-size pieces


    1. Cook soba noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse well until cold water until chilled; drain again. Place in a large bowl.
    2. Combine Sesame Noodle Sauce Ingredients. 
    3. Stir half of Sesame Noodle Sauce into soba noodles and toss. Add more sauce to taste. Toss well so all the noodles are well covered. 
    4. Chill overnight.
     Recipe from Jeanette's Healthy Living

    Salty-Sweet Olive cookies

    Recipe from NoDesserts

    130g unsalted butter, softened
    85g icing sugar
    1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    185g all-purpose flour
    55g/1/2 cup pitted black olives, chopped small
    2 pinches fine sea salt

    Cream butter until soft and fluffy. Stir in the icing sugar until it's well combined. Drizzle the olive oil over and stir it in. Now, using a wooden spoon (it's sturdier than a spatula), gently mix in the flour to form a dough. Add the olives and salt until the olives are distributed kinda evenly throughout the dough.

    Shape the dough into a thick disk and place in between two sheets of parchment paper. The dough will be sticky and the paper will make it easier to roll out.

    Roll the dough till it's about .5 cm thick. Refrigerate for about 30 mins. The dough is soft and so it needs to be refrigerated to be firm enough to cut.

    When you're ready to cut the cookies into shape, pre-heat the oven to 180C.

    Cut out your shapes, place on a lined baking sheet and bake each batch for about 12 minutes, rotating midway. If your dough gets soft again mid-way through cutting, pop it in the fridge again for about 15 minutes and continue. 

    Sriracha and Honey Grilled Tofu Salad

    Serves 2

    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons sriracha
    1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion
    1 package medium or firm tofu
    1/2 cup quinoa
    1 lime
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    salt and pepper
    1 peach
    5 cups mixed salad greens
    1 ripe avocado
    oil for grilling

    • Remove the tofu from it's package and drain excess water. Wrap it in paper towels and set a heavy plate with a can on top, allow the water to drain out for 15 minutes. Slice into 3 3/4" slices. Combine the honey, sriracha and red onion in a small bowl. Pour the sweet and spicy mixture over the tofu and between each slice. Let marinate for at least 20 minutes. (Do this the day before and it is even better.)
    • Preheat your grill. Boil a pot of water and cook the quinoa (I boiled mine). Once drained stir in the juice of the lime, a touch of olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Cover and it will keep until you have grilled the peach and tofu!
    • Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Gently oil the grill and the peach. Grill both the tofu and peach until softened, heated through and nicely charred. Remove to a cutting board. Chop the tofu and peach. Assemble each plate of salad starting with a bed of greens, followed by a heaping of quinoa and the chopped tofu and peach. Chop up the avocado last and top the salad with it. Serve warm or at room temperature.

    Portobello Pest Pizza

    Recipe from:  BrownEyedBaker

    Yield: One 12-inch pizza
    Prep Time: 30 minutes | Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour | Bake Time: About 10 minutes

    For the Pizza Dough:
    ½ cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
    1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
    1¼ cups water, at room temperature
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    4 cups bread flour
    1½ teaspoons salt

    For the Toppings:
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
    ¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
    1 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
    8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
    ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1. Make the Pizza Dough: Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
    2. Process the flour and salt in a large food processor, pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons) through the feed tube. If the dough does not readily form a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
    3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.

    4. Assemble the Pizza:  Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of the oven (if using). Heat oven to 500 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
    5. While the oven is preheating, prepare the mushrooms and onions. In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add the sliced mushrooms and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms have released all of their liquid and both the mushrooms and onions are soft and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
    6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two pieces. Form each piece of dough into a smooth, round ball and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes. (You only need one ball of dough for this recipe, so at this point you can wrap one ball of dough in plastic wrap, put in a ziploc bag and freeze for another day – just move it to the refrigerator the morning you plan to use it).
    7. Flatten the dough ball into a disk using the palms of your hands. Starting at the center of the disk and working outward, use your fingertips to press the dough until it is about ½-inch thick. Holding the center in place, stretch the dough outward. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and stretch again. Repeat until the dough reaches a diameter of 12 inches. Use your palm to press down and flatten the thick edge of the dough.Transfer your prepared pizza dough to a pizza peel, parchment-lined baking sheet or pizza pan (whichever you are using).
    8. Spread the pesto over the pizza dough, just as you would pizza sauce, leaving a ½-inch border uncovered. Spread the mushroom and onion mixture evenly over the pesto, and then top with the provolone and Parmesan cheeses. Slide the dough onto the heated stone, or place your baking sheet or pizza pan into the oven.

    9. Bake until the crust edges brown and the cheese is golden brown in spots, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve (be careful, it will be hot!).

    Sour Cherry Almond Muffins

    Ingredients: (makes one dozen muffins)

    1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
    1 egg
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup oil
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup fresh sour cherries
    1 cup sliced almonds (divided)

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, milk, oil, egg and almond extract. Next, fold in the cherries and half of the almonds.
    2. Spoon the batter into well-greased muffin tins. Fill the cups 2/3 full and top with the remaining almond slices (and a pinch of sugar, too if you like!)
    3. Bake for 20 to 25 min.
    4. Serve piping hot with a side of cherries and a big ole slab of butter.
    Recipe from: KeepItSimpleFoods

    Spicy Zucchini Pancakes with Green Goddess Dressing

    Makes 8 little cakes.

    For the pancakes:
     1 zucchini
    1 shallot
    Kosher salt and black pepper
    1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
    ¼ cup egg whites (or 1 egg, beaten)
    ½ cup panko bread crumbs
    ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)

    • Shred the zucchini and shallot in a food processor, season with a little salt and pepper. Dump the veggies out onto a paper or tea towel and squeeze out all the excess liquid. Mix together with the remaining ingredients. Take about two tablespoons and form into a patty, fry over medium-high heat for about 1 ½ minutes each side or until browned and warmed through.

    For the dressing:
    ½ cup chopped herbs (I used basil, tarragon, and chives)
    ½ cup light mayonnaise
    ½ cup light sour cream
    1 tablespoon vinegar (anything but white, I used champagne, but tarragon or white wine would also be nice)
    Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
    • Mix together all ingredients in food processor until thoroughly combined, or in a small mixing bowl with an immersion blender. Let chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes for the flavors to blend sufficiently.

    Kimbap, Korean Sushi!

    This is Kimbap! 

    It's a Koreean roll that looks a LOT like sushi we are familiar with, but it has sliced carrots, picked radish (you can purchase), fish cake, fried eggs, spinach, crab stick and of course, rice & seaweed.

    If you've ever made sushi, this is made exactly the same way.  If you've never made sushi before - it's really easy!  Nothing but some sliced veggies, cooked rice, wrapped up in a piece of seaweed.  Nothing to it!

    Only a few different ingredients that you can find in the asian, ethnic or health food sections of most stores.  Or if you're like me, head down to your local asian food store and they'll DEFINITELY have what you need.  I live in Hawaii most of the year, so everything in this is pretty readily available at any supermarket.

    Find the full recipe, directions & step-by-step photos at:  Beyond Kimchee .

    Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad w/ Lemon Basil Dressing

    Recipe from Veggie Belly

    Serves about 2
    For the quinoa
    1/2 cup quinoa
    1 cup water
    For the fruits and veggies
    ½ cup fresh blueberries
    ½ cup cubed ripe mangoes
    ½ cup cubed cucumbers
    1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries
    For the lemon basil dressing
    1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
    10 Basil leaves, chopped finely
    Salt and pepper

    Place the quinoa and water in a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or till the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature.

    While the quinoa is cooking, combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.
    Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, except the chopped basil. Refrigerate till you are ready to serve.

    Chop and add the basil to the dressing just before serving. If you add it earlier, it will go black.

    Add half the dressing to the quinoa and mix gently.

    Assemble the salad just before serving – toss the quinoa, fruits and cucumbers together. Serve other half of the dressing on the side. Serve  immediately.

    Refreshing Cucumber Salad with Creamy Mint Dressing

    Recipe from OhSheGlows Blog
    Inspired by Savvy vegetarian and Clean Start.
    Yield: 2 servings

    • 2 English cucumbers (or type of your choice), chopped
    • 1/4 cup packed mint leaves, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
    • 2-3 tsp chopped fresh dill
    • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk (Stir can well before measuring out)
    • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
    • 2 tsp agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
    • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder, for slight thickening (optional)

    1. Chop the cucumbers, red onion, 1/4 cup packed fresh mint, and dill. Place into large bowl and combine.
    2. In a food processor, make the dressing by processing the rest of the ingredients (coconut milk, mint, olive oil, lime juice, agave, salt, optional arrowroot powder). Process until mostly smooth (tiny mint speckles will remain).
    3. Pour the dressing onto the cucumber salad and mix well. Chill for an hour or two or serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings.
    Note: Salad does not keep well overnight in the fridge (it gets a bit watery), so I suggest eating it the same day.