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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.

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Avocado/Watermelon Salad


    • 2 large avocados - peeled, pitted and diced
    • 4 cups cubed watermelon
    • 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
    • 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing


    1. In a salad bowl, toss together the avocado, watermelon cubes and spinach. Stir in salad dressing just before serving.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Mango Salsa

    • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and diced (about 1 1/2 cup)
    • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
    • 1 Jalapeño chile, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
    • 1 small cucumber, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
    • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Avocados are our friends.

    Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Melt Belly Fat

    A diet that is rich with MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids) can help reduce belly fat. Belly fat can enhance the chances of having a cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. MUFAs are found in oils, nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and even dark chocolate. You want to incorporate these into every meal you consume. They are considered a good fat. You still need to eat a healthy calorie enriched diet in order to loose the weight, but consuming mufas will help reduce your belly fat.
    When you are cooking choose oil that is rich with monounsaturated fatty acids. You can use any of the following in your meals to help aid in burning your belly fat such as; olive oil, canola oil, flax seed oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and also pesto sauce.
    You can eat any of the following as a snack or even add them into your meals; almond butter, smooth and crunch natural peanut butter, dry roasted cashews, cashew butter, dry roasted sun flower seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds, dry roasted peanuts, brazil nuts, walnuts, pine nuts, almonds, macadamia nuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seed paste. You might want to add avocados into your meal to burn belly fat. Try eating lots of olives, you can choose from green olives, black olives, black olive tapenade, or green olive tapenade.
    For the chocolate lover you want to choose from semisweet chocolate and dark chocolate. Add the chips or shavings for an added treat plus the benefits of belly fat burning.
    There is no set limit on how much or how little monounsaturated fatty acids you should consume on a daily basis. You want to try and have at least one MUFA in every meal. Instead of cooking with butter use oil with MUFAs in it, put it on salads, or in marinades, 1 tablespoon is a serving. Incorporate nuts and seeds as a snack, dress up a salad, crush them up and use as a breading for meats, spread nut butters on fruit, crackers, and bread. Two tablespoons of nuts or seeds equals to one serving of monounsaturated fatty acids.
    The two avocados to choose from are Florida or Hass. You can put these in with a salad, mix into a salsa or a dip, and eat them as is. You will need to eat ¼ cup of avocado to get a full serving of MUFAs. Olives can be eaten as a snack, on top pizzas, in salads or pastas. Tapenade can be spread on crackers or a slice of bread when eating a sandwich, or even put it in stuffed chicken or on fish fillets.
    You need to eat 10 large olives or two tablespoons to get a serving of monounsaturated fatty acid. You can eat the chocolate any way you like it; ¼ cup gives you a full serving of MUFAs.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Champagne Cocktails


    Champagne is the name given to the bubbly white wine from the Champagne region of France. Moet & Chandon, Dom Perignon and Bollinger are famous brands that are known the world over. Champagne first found favor with the French Royal family which is where it became associated with being an upper class drink.

    During the 1920s the Champagne Cocktail was found to be extremely popular amongst the 'Flapper set' which added to the allure of bubbles. In more recent times it was a popular drink for Patsy and Eddie on Absolutely Fabulous!

    When it comes to Champagne cocktails I substitute any nice tasting sparkling white wine. The rule of thumb for me is if I would drink it on it's own then I'll use it in a cocktail, if I wouldn't drink the champagne then it will not be going into a cocktail!
    Cupid's Bow
    5 oz Champagne
    ½ oz cherry liqueur

    Pour the cherry liqueur into a Champagne flute and fill with chilled Champagne.


    1 shot vodka
    ¾ shot triple sec
    2 shots pineapple juice

    Put the vodka, triple sec and pineapple juice into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass and top up with champagne.

    Chocolate Fondue and Axis Kiss Cocktail

    Perfect for a sexy Valentine's Dinner

    Axis Kiss


    • dash of amaretto almond liqueur
    • dash of creme de cassis
    • chilled Champagne
    Pour the amaretto and creme de cassis into a Champagne flute.
    Gently top with Champagne.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    Homemade Snow Ice Cream

    5 cups of clean snow
    1/2 cup of sugar
    1 tsp of vanilla extract
    1 cup of milk, (I use vanilla soy milk)

    in a large mixing bowl add milk, sugar and vanilla.  whisk together until the sugar dissolves. slowly add about half a cup of snow at a time. slightly whisk, serve immediately.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Beer Bread, 5 ingredients or less

    3 cups of self rising flour
    1/2 cup of granulated sugar
    12 ounces of beer, I prefer a dark heavy beer
    2 tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients except melted butter together-stirring just until blended. (do not over mix) Pour into greased bread loaf pan.  Spread melted butter or oil over the top of the bread during the last 10 minutes of baking.  Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    Watch How to Cook Your Life | Watch Free Documentaries Online | SnagFilms

    Watch How to Cook Your Life Watch Free Documentaries Online SnagFilms

    Mushroom and Sour Cream Enchiladas

    Mushroom and Sour Cream Enchiladas
    ¨       1 8 oz can of cream of mushroom soup
    ¨       1 8 oz container of light or vegan sour cream
    ¨       ½ cup of white button mushrooms, chopped and lightly sauted in olive oil
    ¨       2 tsp of diced tomatillo peppers, I use canned
    ¨       2 cups of mozzarella cheese, you can use what you like
    ¨       12 corn tortillas
    ¨       1 oz can of enchilada sauce, I used red for contrast or you can make your own

    ü  combine soup, sour cream, 1 cup of cheese (save the rest as a topping), peppers and mushrooms
    ü  heat tortillas until pliable, about a minute in the microwave.
    ü  in a shallow baking dish roll a heaping spoonful of the mixture in the tortillas or you could layer like a casserole, top with enchilada sauce and the remaining cheese, bake at 350 for 20 minutes

    * you can also add chicken and spinach

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Chocolate Bread

    Don't let this recipe scare you, if I didn't screw it up then you won't either, everyone knows I am a notoriously bad baker.


    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cupwalnuts
    • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used cherries)


    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease one 9x5 inch loaf pan.
    2. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil, vanilla, vinegar, water nuts and fruit. Mix together until smooth.
    3. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Facon (fake bacon)

    Okay, so it has the texture of play dough, but once you get past that it actually tastes pretty darn good.
    I love it with banana nut pancakes and on my famous FLAT Sandwiches (facon, lettuce, avocado, tomato).

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Twice Baked Potatoes

    Low Fat Twice Baked Potatoes
    v  3 medium size potatoes
    v  1/3 cup of fat- free Italian dressing made with olive oil
    v  ¼ cup of low fat, fat free or vegan sour cream
    v  Fat free or vegan cheddar cheese
    v  Sea salt to taste
    v  Black cracked pepper to taste

    Bake potatoes until they are soft, and then cut in half lengthwise.  Scoop out all of the potato and put in a mixing bowl, leave the skins intact.  Add dressing, sour cream, salt and pepper, mix thoroughly until the mixture is smooth.  Place a heaping spoonful of the mixture back in the potato skins and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
    260 calories

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    Eat Your Veggies...

    More Veggies!

    Asparagus- excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamins A, C, K and B complex, reduces weight, Inflammation and depression

    Allium Foods- Have natural antibiotic properties, boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight infection.
    ·         Leeks
    ·         Onions
    ·         Shallots
    ·         Scallions
    ·         Garlic

    Sweet Potatoes- are rich in carotenoids, vitamins A, B6, C, potassium, iron and fiber and are delicious.

    Bell Peppers- great source of potassium, manganese, fiber and vitamins A, B, C and K
    ·         Green  peppers
    ·         Yellow peppers
    ·         Orange peppers
    ·         And red peppers

    Summer and Winter Squash- rich in carotenoids and vitamins A, C, potassium, magnesium and fiber

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    Eat Your Veggies!

    Mother always said to eat your vegetables…here’s  why.
    Here is a list of the healthiest vegetables and why.
    Cruciferous Vegetables
    Are filled with anti-aging, cancer fighting, immune boosting phytonutrients, plus vitamins  C, K, potassium, calcium, iron and folic acid.
    ·         Broccoli
    ·         Cauliflower
    ·         Brussels Sprouts
    ·         Green and Red Cabbage
    Carrots- protect against cancer, improve eyesight, high levels of carotenoids and vitamin A, B, C, and K (when raw)
    Dark green leafy
    Most nutritious eaten raw, contain iron, potassium, calcium, carotenoids, vitamins B, C, E and K.
    ·         Kale
    ·         Spinach
    ·         Swiss Chard
    ·         Collard greens
    ·         Parsley
    ·         Red and green lettuce
    ·         Mustard and turnip greens
    Tomatoes- high in lycopene carotenoids and vitamin C
    Beans and Peas
    High in protein, fiber, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium
    ·         Peas
    ·         Lentils
    ·         Soybeans
    ·         Lima beans
    ·         Kidney beans
    ·         Garbanzo beans

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    For the Love of Tea

    Almond Tea


    • 4 cups hot water
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons instant tea
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


    • In a large saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat; stir in the tea, lemon juice and extracts. Yield: 4-5 servings.


    • 3 quarts water
    • 5 individual tea bags
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 3 to 4 cinnamon sticks (3 to 4 inches)
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 3/4 cup thawed lemonade concentrate
    • 3/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate
    • 2 cans (6 ounces each) pineapple juice
    • Additional cinnamon sticks, optional
    • In a large kettle or Dutch oven, bring water to a simmer; turn off heat. Add tea bags, cover and steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove and discard bags.
    • In a bowl, dissolve sugar in boiling water. Add cinnamon sticks and cloves; cover and steep for 15 minutes. Add concentrates and pineapple juice; mix well. Strain and discard spices. Stir into tea; heat through. Serve with cinnamon sticks for stirrers if desired. Yield: 3-1/2 quarts.

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    refried black beans

    These are great as a side with
     your favorite tex mex, on nachos or tacos.

    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    1 (19-oz) can organic black beans, including liquid
    1/2 to 1 cup water
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

    Cook garlic in oil in a skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beans with their liquid and mash with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to make a coarse purée.

    Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot. Stir in enough of water to thin to a creamy consistency. Add pepper to taste.
    Serve warm, sprinkled with cilantro.