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Monday, June 20, 2011

Fast Fresh Penne with Feta

6 ounces uncooked penne pasta
½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 can (14½ ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking sauté mushrooms in oil in a large skillet for 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, basil and salt. Cook and stir for 5 minutes.
3. Drain pasta and add to the skillet. Stir in the cheese, heat through.
4. Serve with warm buttered Italian bread or rolls. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chocolate Hazelnut Blender Pie

Gluten Free Dairy Free Chocolate Hazelnut Blender Pie

  • 1 cup roasted hazelnuts with the skins removed
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3/4  - 1 cup cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 2 cups hemp or soy milk
  • 1/2 cup / 1 stick of vegan margarine (Earth Balance of Nuttelex) melted
  • 3/4  - 1 cup agave nectar to taste
  • 2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • a pinch of Celtic sea salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 150 C / 300 F.
  2. Roast the hazelnuts on about 200 C / 400 F for about 8 minutes until fragrant. Be sure not to burn them.
  3. Set aside to cool and then roll off the skins.
  4. Throw all the ingredients in your blender and mix on high until smooth and creamy. The mixture is very thick.
  5. Grease a 9 inch / 23 cm pie plate and pour the mixture into the dish.
  6. Bake for about 40-60 minutes (depending on the temperature of your oven) or until just set.
  7. The pie will continue to set while cooling.
  8. Allow to cool completely and then chill in the fridge.
  9. Serve with dollops of vegan cream, berries or shredded coconut. YUMMO!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Grill-worthy Veggies

The sizzle of a steak on the grill is one of summer’s signature sounds, but man can’t live on meat alone. If you’re looking for a couple of sides that are both healthy and hearty, consider planting some of these grill-worthy vegetables in your garden this summer. Not only will they stand up to the heat of the grill, they’ll be the perfect complement to steaks, burgers or whatever else you cook up.
A great plant for the novice gardener, zucchini grows like a weed, even when slightly neglected. Zucchini are sprawling plants, so give them plenty of space to grow, at least a foot and a half between each plant. And zucchini are not shy when it comes to heat and sun, so plant them in the brightest spot in your garden. They should start producing fruit in six to eight weeks.
Best way to prepare: Cut them a quarter of an inch thick lengthwise in long, flat slices, which will prevent the zucchini from falling through the grate. Toss the slices in some oil and add a little salt and pepper. Cook directly on the grill until they brown and blacken slightly on each side. Finish them off with a light coating of vinaigrette before serving.
Potatoes are fairly easy to grow. You’ll have the best luck with seed-grade potatoes sold at a garden store, but even supermarket spuds will work. Once your potato has started to sprout eyes, it’s ready for planting. Each eye will produce its own plants, so cut up the potato into segments so that there’s one eye per piece.
Once you’ve cut the potato, place the pieces in a paper bag for two days, which gives the cut ends time to heal. Plant the potato pieces one foot apart in a trench about six inches deep facing eye-side up. The potatoes should be ready to harvest in two to three months.
Best way to prepare: Chop the potatoes about a cubic inch in size. Add salt, pepper, diced onion, minced garlic, a splash of oil and a pinch of freshly chopped rosemary. Wrap everything in a tinfoil package, poke a few holes in the foil with a fork so that steam can escape and toss on the grill for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
Bell Peppers
A great heat-loving plant, bell peppers should be planted 18 inches apart and about an inch deep. Plant them in a sunny spot well after the last frost has passed and you should see peppers in about 10 to 12 weeks.
Green bell peppers are just peppers that have not been allowed to fully ripen on the plant. If you want the sweeter yellow, red and orange peppers, leave the fruit on the plant for an extra two to four weeks.
Best way to prepare: Core and quarter the peppers, add a splash of oil and cook directly on the grill until the skin blackens. To easily remove the blackened skin, cover the still-warm peppers with plastic wrap and let them sit for 10 minutes. The skin should then slide off easily.
If you’re looking for something a little different to grow in your garden this year, consider a mushroom kit, which comes with live, active spores and a growing medium. Every species of mushroom is going to prefer slightly different growing conditions, so read the instructions that come with the kit carefully. But, generally speaking, mushrooms are going to prefer cool, damp and shady conditions and can even be grown indoors.
Best way to prepare: Place mushrooms on a wooden skewer and toss in a little oil. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms start to shrink and wrinkle, about 10 minutes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Lite Summer Meals

Cuban Tilapia
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 4 tilapia or other mild-flavored fish fillets (about 5 oz each)
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups fresh or canned (drained) pineapple chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Preparation Instructions:
  1. In 1-cup glass measuring cup, beat all dressing ingredients with wire whisk.
  2. Set oven control to broil. On rack in broiler pan, place fish; spray tops of fish with cooking spray. Sprinkle tops of fish with 2 tablespoons lime juice and the seasoned salt. Broil with tops 4 to 6 inches from heat 6 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.
  3. Meanwhile, on each of 4 plates, arrange 1 cup salad greens. Divide pineapple among plates. Place fish on or next to greens. Sprinkle greens and fish with mint. Serve with dressing.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    John's Vegetarian Chili

    1/4 cup olive oil
    2 cups chopped onions
    1 coarsely chopped chili pepper
    6 garlic cloves, chopped
    2 tablespoons chili powder
    2 teaspoons dried oregano
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    16-ounce can black beans, 16 oz can of pinto beans
    1 16-ounce can diced tomato
    2 uber finely chopped corn tortillas

    Preparation Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, pepper, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans and diced tomatoes. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, mix in finely chopped tortillas to thicken chili. Season to taste with salt and pepper. a little sour cream never hurts. i serve over steamed rice.

    Passion Fruit Juice Colada

    • 2 cups ice
    • 1 cup passion fruit juice
    • 1/4 cup cream of coconut
    • 3 ounces rum, optional 
    Combine ice, passion fruit juice, cream of coconut and rum, if using, in a blender and blend until smooth.