Saturday, December 29, 2012

Holiday Chicken Madeira

This was one of my most loved Christmas Eve Dinners. It is quite showy and pretty easy to make. I’m not sure where it came from but it has blessed my life! … Not just for holidays!

4 boneless chicken breast
8 asparagus shoots
4 slices mozzarella cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 c fresh sliced mushrooms
2 c beef stock
3 c Madeira wine
A pinch of fresh ground black pepper

Wrap the chicken breasts in saran or plastic wrap and pound with a meat tenderizer or something heaven until ¼-inch thick. Sprinkle each breast with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Saute flattened chicken breasts for 4 to 6 minutes on each side until they are done and browned a little. Remove the chicken from the pan and wrap it up in foil to keep it warm while making the sauce.

Add olive oil and sliced mushrooms to the pan and saute for around 2 minutes.

Addthe beef stock, Madeira wine, butter, and pepper.

Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes until it is reduced to about one half of its original volume. When the sauce is done it is thick and brown.

While the sauce is cooking down, bring a pan of water to boil. Add salt to the water and then blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the asparagus into a bowl of ice water to stop it from cooking any more

Heat the oven to broil. In a baking dish arrange the chicken and then criss-cross 2 asparagus stems over each piece. Next, place a slice of cheese on top. Broil the chicken breasts with asparagus and cheese until the cheese melts.

Transfer chicken to serving plates. Top with 3-4 T sauce on each piece.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gluten Free Champagne Flaxseed Gravy

While nothing beats the taste of gravy made the good old fashioned way, my body is not permitting me to eat flour this year, so I came up with this healthy alternative version. It is slightly grainy, and tastes like a hint of flax, but other than that its pretty darn good!

1 cup ground flaxseed (measure after grinding)
1/2 c butter
32 oz chicken, turkey, or other very flavorful broth
2 T minced fresh sage or 1 T dried
1 T minced fresh oregano or 2 t dried
1 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
1/2 c champagne - can be fresh, flat, doesn't matter

In a deep pot over medium heat melt the butter. When melted add the ground flax and stir till it gets slightly thickened. Do not burn, do not stop stirring. Add broth, turn up the heat, and whisk constantly till it reaches a bubbly boil and gets thickened to the consistency you like. Do not walk away without stirring :) Burnt gravy is awful. When the mixture is thick, remove from heat and whisk in the sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and champagne. Let cool. I then put it in a high speed blender to reduce flax lumps and blend further. If you are really into no lumps, I assume you could strain it but I haven't tried. Chill in the fridge for a few hours to overnight to thicken. You can reheat it just fine. It seems to get better with age!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ann’s Sweet Potato Casserole

I'm not sure if this is a side dish or dessert, but it sure is good and makes a lot of yummy leftovers!

5-6 med to large sweet potatoes, cooked & mashed
4 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
2 c sugar
3 t cinnamon
2 t nutmeg
2 t ground ginger
1 t salt


2 c pecans
2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter pieces

Chop together in food processor.

Mix all filling ingredients and spread in 13x9” casserole.

Top with topping and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mom's Pecan Pie

¾ c karo syrup
½ c light brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 T unsalted butter, melted & cooled
½ t lemon zest
Pinch salt
1 T dark rum
2 c pecans
Unbaked pie shell

Combine it all and pour into pie shell. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then at 350 degrees until golden.

Mom's Delicious Pumpkin Pie

If you want the best pie, bake a fresh pumpkin for the filling. Cut it up, scoop out seeds and roast at 425 for 1 hr till soft. Mash & use in the recipe.

4 C mashed pumpkin
1 ½ c sugar
6 T flour
2 t ginger
2 t cinnamon
2 t nutmeg
1 t salt
6 eggs slightly beaten
4 c scalded milk (or evaporated milk)
Don’t forget the whipping cream in a can for the top!

Combine flour, sugar, and spices, salt, pumpkin. Add eggs and milk. Pour in unbaked pie shells. Bake 15 minutes in 450 degree oven. Reduce to 350 degrees then bake until custard sets (knife comes out clean); about 30 minutes. Spray with whip cream! Mm. Makes 2 10” pies.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Not a recipe but more of a method.. the milk or cream and the butter make it!!

Russet Potatoes, peeled, & cut into cubes, about 1” thick
or unpeeled baby potatoes, halved if they’re big, whole whole if they’re small
Unsalted butter
Milk or cream
Salt & Pepper
Optional: Garlic, Parmesan, Chopped rosemary

Heat a pot of water to boiling. Put potatoes in and watch them – cook around 25-35 minutes depending on the size of the pieces until the potatoes are soft and easily pierce with a knife. Dump in a strainer to drain off the water, then dump potatoes back into warm pot. Mash, adding butter and milk till you get the consistency you want. Start with a little and add more gradually. Then add salt and pepper to taste. If you like, boil some cloves of garlic (peeled) with the potatoes and mash right in. Or add Parmesan cheese and/or rosemary!

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

½ (6-oz) raspberry/cranberry frozen juice
8 oz seedless raspberry jam
1 t minced fresh garlic
½ t white pepper
¼ t salt
1 c red wine vinegar
2 c safflower oil

Combine all but oil and vinegar in a food processor until smooth. Add vinegar and process 1-2 minutes. Slowly drizzle oil in as the food processor runs. This will keep for months in the fridge.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spinach Basil Pesto

1 lb spinach
either 2 c almonds or 1 c almonds and 1 c pine nuts
1/2 c parmesan
1 t salt
8 cloves garlic
juice of two lemons
a bunch of basil - you can buy it in the supermarket in little packages, no special amount,.. the more the better!
olive oil - at least 1/2 c... more if you like

Put it all in a food processor or high power blender and blend the living daylights out of it. You can season it to taste. Great on pasta, vegetables, crackers, meat, fish, etc.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Raw Apple Crisp - Gourmet Version

For apple filling:
6 Fuji apples, washed, and sliced very thin
juice of 2 lemons
2 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground cardomom
1 t ground allspice
1 c dried raisins
1/2 c candied ginger, chopped fine - optional
1 1/2 c orange juice
1 c dates

For topping:
1 cups dates
2 cups walnuts

Optional for Serving:
Greek Yogurt

Prepare topping by chopping 1 cup dates and 2 cups walnuts. A blender or food processor works fine. Use the coarse setting. Don't wash the blender. You'll use it again!

For the filling, mix thinly sliced apples, lemon juice, raisins, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, and chopped candied ginger. If you are a a raw purist, leave out the candied ginger. Now in the same blender or food processor puree the orange juice with 1 cup of dates. It makes a thick liquid. Pour over apple mixture and use your hands to mix very well. Pour this into a 9x13" baking dish.

Sprinkle date/walnut crumbles over the top. If you can stand to wait this gets better with time as the apples soak up the liquid. I couldn't! It is awesome for breakfast or dessert with a dollop of Greek Yogurt on it!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sweet & Spicy Warm Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

Bet you never knew cabbage and carrots could taste this good! If you like Asian inspired flavors you'll love this!

2 T mustard seeds (any color)
1 T cumin
2 T ginger powder
2 t salt

Olive oil and/or toasted almond oil
juice of 1 large lemon
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey

1 medium head red cabbage shredded
1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots

Heat oil in large pot that will accomodate all the veggies, over medium high heat. If you have some toasted almond oil, use some of that. It will add a subtle extra layer of flavor. If not, just use olive oil, no worries. Add the spices and stir around in the hot oil for a minute. Next add the veggies and keep tossing to get them cooked. Meanwhile as they cook, add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and honey. Stir until veggies are the consistency you like. I like mine almost but not quite soft.

You can serve these hot or cold, as a side or a main dish with some beans and rise. You can put a bed of them under white fish for some really nice flavor. Or you can make a makeshift salad with them, with diced mandarin oranges, toasted almonds and whatever else suits your fancy! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

No Cook Gluten Free Peach Cobbler

I wanted peach cobbler but since I'm off wheat I had to get creative. This is a raw food delight!! So sweet and so good and so fresh!! Enjoy!

12- 15 super ripe peaches, peeled and diced
juice of two lemons
1/4 c raw sugar (or brown sugar if you're not a raw purist)

1 c chopped walnuts
1 c chopped dates

Mix the peaches, lemon juice, and sugar. Taste it and if you need a little more sweetness, add some. Put into a nice casserole dish or 8x8 baking dish.

Mix the chopped walnuts and dates. I make my life easy and just dump them in a food processor together to chop them. Sprinkle the top with the crumbled date and walnut mixture. Enjoy!! This lasts in the fridge a few days and the juices blend so it stays yummy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Quick and Easy Mushroom Soup

This is simple and yummy. When my stomach wasn't feeling good it tasted like heaven!

2 lbs of crimini mushrooms, sliced
olive oil
vegetable broth
pinch of salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Saute mushrooms till tender but not mushy. Blend mushrooms in a blender with enough veggie broth to make the consistency of the soup you like. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simple and satisfying.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Curried Veggies & Rice

My wonderful hairdresser Tricia Royall served me a dish with cauliflower, curry, and chickpeas. I fell in love with it, so of course I had to go home and make my own version! Its light, summery, healthy, and flavorful! If you want to add a kick, serve with a little chile sauce added in.

1 head cauliflower, cut into bit sized florets
1 zucchi, chopped
1 cup matchstick carrots
16 oz spinache
1 bunch cilantro
1 can garbanzo beans
2T + 2 T good curry powder
2 tsalt
olive oil
Cooked rice

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix the cauliflower with olive oil to just coat it. Add 2 t salt, a few shakes of black pepper, and 2 T curry powder. Mix well with your hands, place in a roasting pan, and roast for about 30-35 minutes till tender.

Meanwhile heat a little olive oil in a skillet on the stove top over medium high and stir fry the zucchini and carrots with 2 t curry powder (you can dump them in together). Set aside.

Add a little more oil to the skillet and wilt the spinach in it. Add to zucchini and carrots. When the cauliflower is done, mix this, the garbanzo beans, and the chopped up cilantro as well. Mix well and serve over warm rice.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grilled Portobello and Roasted Veggie Burger

This fourth of July my body wanted veggies and my mind wanted a burger and these satisfied both needs very well! Makes 2 but you can double it.

2 large portobello mushrooms with stems off and brown underneath scooped out
several large pieces roasted red bell pepper
1 eggplant peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 c mayonnaise
2 T pesto (I like my kale pesto! see recipe in my blog)
olive oil
2 whole wheat buns or any thick roll

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and then oil them liberally with olive oil. I give them a massage with it! Let the eggplant slices sit on a towel or tray, sprinkle with salt, and let sit ten minutes to get the water out. Dab up excess moisture with a towel.

Heat a grill then turn down to low heat. Put the portobellos on, bottom down first. Put the eggplant slices on too. Grill for 5-10 minutes till done on that side and then flip both. They'll be soft but not squishy when done.

Now layer up the burger.Liberally spread the pesto may on the buns, Stuff red pepper slices into the bottom of the mushrooms, layer with eggplant, and enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Potato and Green Bean Salad

This is an easy summery dish with a little twist on normal potato salad:

4 large red potatoes or several smaller ones
1/2 lb green beans, ends snapped off and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 pint cherry or plum tomatoes (optional)

1/2 c may
2 T dijon mustard (less if you want less spice)
1 t salt
sprinkles of cracked pepper
1 T dill

Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces (leave skin on). Bring water in a big pot to boil and dump in the potatoes Boil for 8 minutes. Add green beans to the pot and boil three minutes more. Drain veggies and put in fridge to cool.

Mix mayo, dijon, salt, pepper, and dill. Mix in with chilled veggies. If you want to pretty it up, add half a pint of chopped cherry or plum tomatoes just before serving. Its best if the potato salad is chilled and the tomatoes are room temperature.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Easy "Oh Yes" Ono Fish

2 filets Hawaiaan Ono fish, about 3/4 to 1" thick
2 T olive oil
2T butter
balsamic vinegar
salt, pepper, garlic powder

Select a skillet that is fairly flat, has a lid, and can go in the oven. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil and butter in the skillet. Rinse fish and pat dry, season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt. When oil and butter are hot and bubbly, drop in the fish filets. Wait until you can see white about 1/8" thick near the bottom. Flip the fish only once, cover the pot, and put it in the oven for about 6 1/2 minutes. Remove and check for doneness. If not done, pop it in again but watch carefully. It can also finish cooking in the hot covered pan. Just before serving put a spash of balsamic vinegar on the top.

Great with rice and sliced pineapple or mango chutney. OR alternately, good with sauteed spinach and topped with some sauteed cherry tomatoes & slivered almonds. This is my quick go-to fish that can be made a gazillion ways.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Easy Asian Inspired Broccoli

1 head of broccoli, sliced into florets
3 cloves garlic minced
1 inch fresh ginger peeled and chopped
1 T olive oil
1 T toasted sesame oil
3 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar

Steam broccoli or microwave in a sealed container with a little water in the bottom for three minutes.

Heat olive and sesame oils in a pan over medium high. If necessary add a little more of the oils to coat the bottom of the pain. Add the garlic, ginger, and broccoli, and stir fry till garlic and ginger are cooked nad broccoli begins to brown a tiny bit. Add the rest and stir around a bit till coated. Great right away or as a leftover.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Easy Shrimp & Vegetable Curry

2 cans coconut milk
1 brick of golden curry paste (1 package) found in the asian food section of the grocery store

2 large carrots peeled and sliced thin on diagonal
3 medium red potatoes, washed and cubed
1 medium vidalia or sweet onion cut into 1" sized pieces
4 cloves garlic diced
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 c cooked shrimp or chicken
1/2 cup snap peas, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/3 c cooked garbanzo beans
3 T fresh chopped basil

olive oil

Steam potatoes and carrots on stovetop or put in a microwave safe container with a little water in the bottom and zap for three minutes.

Meanwhile heat olive oil and saute onions till a bit translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute till they are cooked but not soggy. Mix in the coconut milk and curry brick and break up the curry till it is dissolved. Add steamed carrots and potatoes. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then reduce to a simmer. Add shrimp, snap peas, beans and basil. Add extra water to get the sauce to the consistency you like, and to be enough to cover everything. I added about a cup and a half. Simmer for five to ten minutes on low to get flavors to blend, then serve plain of coconut rice. The leftovers are even better!

This can be made with chicken or just plain veggies if you like.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Favorite Black Beans

1 regular bag of dried black beans - about 2 cups
1 sweet onion, chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 T cumin
olive oil

Soak beans overnight. Dump water and rinse beans. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in the bean pot and sautee onions and garlic till tender. Dump in the beans, and 6 c water. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer 1 hr. Dump in the cumin, stir, and let simmer another hour.

These are great as a side dish, as a chip dip, mixed with rice and veggies for a grain salad, mushed inside of cheese quesadillas. I never run out of ways to enjoy them!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Almost Raw, Super Easy Banana Pudding

2 cups ripe mashed bananas
2 T lemon juice
tiny pinch of salt
1 t vanilla extract
2 T flax seeds.

Put it all in a blender and blend till smooth. Pour in ramekins and put in the fridge for at least an hour. Best eaten within a day.

I call it "almost raw" because the vanilla extract is probably heated. If you're a raw purist, get a vanilla pod and scrape the insides into the blender instead. It isn't as pretty as cooked banana pudding - it turns brown instead of yellow, so if you serve to company, you might want to garnish it a bit. Nonetheless, it is yummy and oh so healthy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mediterranean Style Roasted Veggie Pita with Kale Pesto Mayo

1 small to medium eggplant
2 large portobello mushrooms
3 red bell peppers
olive oil
2 Pita breads or flat breads that you can stuff
a few lettuce leaves
diced veggies of choices: tomatoes, cucumber, sprouts, carrots, etc.

Kale Pesto - see recipe in this blog
Mayo - 1/3 cu works well for two sandwhiches
optional - 1 T dried dill

  • Turn oven to 500 degrees and prepare a large cookie tray by lining with foil. Turn the edges up so you don't have any leaks.
  • Scoop the scaly underside out of the portobello tops and toss the stems. Rub both sides well with olive oil. Place on cookie tray.
  • Peel eggplant and cut into 1/4 slices. Mix with salt and put on a towel for ten minutes. After ten minutes squeeze excess water out, toss eggplant with olive oil and put on cookie tray.
  • Put the three peppers on the cookie tray.
  • When the oven comes up to temperature put the veggies in to roast for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove the mushrooms, and turn the peppers 1/4 turn. Cut the mushrooms into thick strips.
  • Roast another 6-7 minutes and remove eggplant. Turn peppers again.
  • Roast peppers for another ten minutes then take out and put in a bowl. Cover securely with saran and a towel and let the peppers steam for 10-15 minutes. When done steaming, run under cool water, to slip the skins off and then remove seeds and stem. Cut into very wide strips or leave whole.
  • To make the sandwhiches, layer the following inside the pita:

Kale Pesto Mayo - Mix 1/3 c mayo with 3 T kale pesto (see recipe on this blog)
Lettuce leaves
Roasted pepper
Roasted eggplant
Roasted portobello
Optional diced veggies - I like carrots, cucumbers, & sprouts
Another dab or two of the kale pesto mayo.

Kale Pesto:

1 head of kale
2 cloves garlic
1/2 c walnuts
1/3 c lemon juice
1/3 c olive oil
1 t salt

Remove hard stems from kale. If you have a food processor, rip kale into bits, put it in the food processor with the garlic and walnuts and pulse to chop finely

Otherwise, mince kale very finely with a knife. Copy walnuts and garlic finely and add to kale.

Mix olive oil, lemon, and salt for dressing. Mix into the rest very well and stir for a minute or so to really get everything integrated. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Great on pesto, mixed with mayo on sandwhices, on flatbreads with other finely chopped veggies on top, etc.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Healthy Shaved Greens Salad

These are not your mama's brussel sprouts! In fact this is more like coleslaw or a creamy salad. It might just surprise you! I haven't exactly loved brussel sprouts over the years until I learned to roast them, but I love this!

For Salad:

10 oz brussel sprouts - about 12 of them
2 leafs of kale
1 c sliced toasted almonds
1 c dried cranberries

For Dressing:

1/3 c apple juice
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T honey
1 T brown sugar
1 t mayonnaise (optional if you want it creamy)

Cut off the stem of each brussel spround and cut the softer parts off the sides, avoiding using the hard core on the inside. Shave or cut into fine strips.  Cut the tough stem off the kale and mince finely.  Mix the kale and brussel sprouts with the almonds and cranberries. If you prefer raw almonds that's fine too.

For dressing, mix the apple juice, apple cider vinegar, honey, brown sugar, and optionally mayo.  Mix thoroughly with the salad. It tastes even better the second day after the flavors mesh.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Easy Garlicky Veggie Pasta

When I have things in the fridge that need to get used there are always two options - soup or pasta! This week it was a nice garlic pasta with a lot of veggies.

1/2 box whole wheat penne pasta cooked according to directions
4 T butter
3 T olive oil
1 large or 2 small heads broccoli, cut into florets
2 lbs cherry tomatoes, cut in half
4-6 cloves of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
Any other veggies you want that would go with these... these are all I had at the moment!

Cook pasta according to directions and set aside. Meanwhile steam or microwave the broccoli to crisp tender. I microwave by putting it in a glass dish with a tiny bit of water covering the bottom. I cover with saran and zap for three minutes and drain. If you don't like microwaves, steaming works well too.

Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a deep pot. When its hot, add garlic and stir around for about three minutes. Next add the tomatoes and stir around to heat and melt a bit for 2-3 more minutes. Finally add the broccoli. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more butter and/or olive oil. Add about 2 t salt and some good sprinkles of pepper. Toss in the pasta to warm and coat. YUM! You must like garlic to like this dish. If you don't, substitute your other favorite seasonings.

Feeds four easily.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mom's Easter Bread

This is lightly sweet and like big cheese danish. We used to love it as kids!

1 pkg dry yeast
1/4 c warm water
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/2 c sugar
1 c hot scalded milk
2 slightly beaten eggs
2 t vanilla
1 t salt
4 - 4 1/2 c flour

Cheese Filling:

1 lb cottage cheese
1 lb margarine
2 egg yolks
pinch of salt
1/4 t lemon
Powdered sugar to taste (1/4c is slightly sweet)
2 heaping T flour

Soften yeast in warm water. Combine butter, sugar, milk. Stir in 2 eggs, vanilla, salt. Add flour. Knead very slightly to mix and form a ball. Put it in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hr.

Beat down. Turn into well-greased 9x13x3” pans or deep round pans or pie plates. The pans have to be tall enough to let the dough double and then have the cheese topping on top. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled, about 45 minutes.

Use a food processor or hand mixer to blend all cheese filling ingredients until they are like whipped cream consistency. Pour cheese filling on top of the raised dough, and brush with reserved egg.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Roasted Orange, Beet, & Fennel Salad

Admittedly this sounded weird when the angels put it in my head, but I gave it a go and it is delicious if you are a veggie lover!

1 bunch beets- about three beets
1 large fennel bulb with some of the tops
2 medium sized navel oranges
olive oil
1t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 T dried oregano

Peel beets and slice into thin quarters or half moons. Chop up the red parts of the greens to include, and reserve the greens for something else. Slice up the fennel bulb as well, and chop up the tops. Don't peel the oranges, just slice them thin and get rid of any seeds.

Put all three in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano, then toss with a little bit of olive oil and mix with your hands till evrything is coated, with the oil, but not soggy. Roast at 500 degrees F for about 15 minutes. YUM!

Great over grains for a full meal if you like. Later I tossed the beet greens with some swiss chard greens and poured an orange vinaigrette over the top. YUM! Two salads in one!