Latest Recipes

Papaya Salsa w/Grilled Fish: Tropical Flavors, Healthy Style

A bit of Papaya Salsa can dress up a fish fillet, or get tossed into rice; add a side green salad topped with chopped Macadamias, in keeping with the tropical theme. Delicious!

Healthy Topping for Fish, Tropical FlavorMexican papayas are becoming easier to find. They aren’t quite as sweet as Hawaiian papayas, but they’re also less likely to be genetically modified. They might be a little uglier on the outside too- often a mottled brown/green/orange color. But this colorful fruit is especially healthy, fighting inflammation, promoting heart health, and aiding digestion.
Limes go especially well with papayas, but lemons can substitute. This salsa is the perfect summer topping for grilled fish, or even over some greens as a salad. Serves 6-8.

INGREDIENTS

  • Half of one large Mexican papaya (about 3-4 c.)
  • Half of a Red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (or to taste)
  • Half a bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 c.)
  • Optional: Spearmint or parsley
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Juice from 1-2 limes

PREPARATION

1. Mix in medium bowl: > Half of a red onion, chopped fine > 2 cloves garlic, minced > 1 Jalapeno pepper (or to taste), chopped > Half a bunch cilantro (about 1/2 c.), chopped > 1/4 c. olive oil > 1 tsp. salt

2. After mixture’s coated with oil, add and mix again: > Juice of 1-2 limes > Half a papaya (about 3-4 c.), chopped

3. Serve this salsa as a topping over fish or other favorites. Add fresh spearmint for variety, if desired. Substitute pineapple for the papaya, if papaya isn’t available.

Energy Bars, Granola Flavor (Fight Allergies, Alzheimer’s?!)

These energy bars are made with ground, raw oatmeal, which is roasted in a skillet until golden. For another version that uses granola, see this recipe.

Raw honey (local if possible), plus the bee pollen, can help allergy sufferers approach symptoms nutritionally- the extra nutrients and enzymes in pollen can really help! Cinnamon helps insulin to work better (good for diabetics, and others). And cinnamon and coconut oil both have shown some potential in addressing Alzheimer’s. So I figure they’re perfect (and healthy) for husbands, kids, and others to munch on as needed! Makes 12 servings or so.

Cashews, oats, cinnamon, bee pollen... ENERGY BARS!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 c. raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 c. oatmeal (gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 TBS. bee pollen

PREPARATION

1. Process the oatmeal into flour in a blender (or food processor). Use: > 1 1/2 c. oatmeal

2. In a hot, dry skillet, toast the oatmeal until golden and fragrant, stirring constantly.

3. Set toasted oat flour aside in separate bowl. On medium heat, toast cashews in iron skillet, until golden, stirring often. (Or toast in oven.) Use: > 1 1/2 c. raw cashews

4. Add cashews to a Vitamix (or other blender); process until fairly smooth. Add: > 1/4 c. coconut oil > 1/3 c. honey > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. vanilla > 2 tsp. cinnamon

5. Mix the following in bowl, kneading some with hands to mix, as the dough will be very stiff. Use: > Toasted oat flour > 1 TBS. bee pollen > Blended ingredients

6. Press into loaf pan lined with wax paper, and chill until firm (about an hour) before cutting. Slice and wrap in wax paper; store in jar in fridge.

Irish Scones w/Golden Raisins and Caraway Seeds

I was craving some Irish Soda Bread from a local bakery. Alas- too far away. Plus, we needed scones for a tea we were hosting at The New Deli. Result: This recipe, which can be varied in many ways to suit your mood or tastes!

The raisins in these scones add extra sweetness, and the caraway adds a perfect complementary flavor. For variety, substitute dried cranberries for the raisins, and 1/2 c. chopped walnuts in place of the caraway seeds. Orange or lemon zest is another nice addition!

Tips for Great Scones Included!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 c. flour (or use part fine corn meal for more texture)
  • 2 TBS. sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • grated peel of 1 lemon (or orange)
  • 1/2 c. cold butter, sliced
  • 1/2 c. raisins (or other dried fruit)
  • Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. caraway seed (or substitute 1/2 c. chopped walnuts)
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk (plus extra for sprinkling on top)

PREPARATION

1. Process in food processor until mixed: > 2 c. flour (or use part fine corn meal for more texture) > 2 TBS. sugar > 2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/2 tsp. salt > grated peel of 1 lemon (or orange)

2. Add, then process in food processor until it resembles coarse meal: > 1/2 c. cold butter, sliced

3. Last, add and pulse-mix just until blended: > 1/2 c. raisins (or dried cranberries) > Optional: 1 1/2 tsp. caraway seed (or substitute 1/2 c. chopped walnuts) > 3/4 c. buttermilk

4. Roll out (or pat out), on floured board, into approximately a 9 x 13″ rectangle (about 3/4″ thick). Spread lightly with extra buttermilk; sprinkle w/ about 2 TBS. sugar. Cut  into 6 squares, cutting through squares to make triangles. Bake on greased sheet, 1″ apart. Bake 10-15 minutes at 425 degrees. Makes 12 scones.

 

Kombucha- Continuous Brew Method

I was a very enthusiastic kombucha brewer in the beginning. I envisioned mass quantities of the stuff being welcomed by throngs of New Deli employees and patrons. I bought a tea strainer the size of a man’s fist, got a whole case of blue, clasping-lid bottles, and had gallon jars of various strains of kombucha up on my top shelf.

Alas, it didn’t catch on. Most of the deli gang enjoys this Jun Kombucha more. It’s kombucha’s sophisticated, fancier cousin, brewed on green tea and honey; the “champagne” of kombuchas. I still drink “regular” kombucha daily though–it’s got its own unique probiotic profile.

I make my kombucha extra tasty by adding some “Ginger Bug” to the second ferment. Yay- ginger ale! (Find Ginger Bug Recipe here.)

2 1/2 gallon crock for continuous brew Kombucha I was like a new mother in my early kombucha days, so nervous about my scoby. I’d carefully decant all but a few cups of the last brew, remove the scoby, clean the container, add new sugar/tea mixture (plus some of the old “starter” brew), then put the scoby back in…

Now that scoby stays in the crock/jar/whatever. I pour off most of the fermented kombucha, add new sweet tea to the receptacle, and I’m done. “Continuous Brew Style”–so much easier!

As for what receptacle to use, well…I thought a crock or glass decanter with a spigot would be handy, to fill bottles for the second ferment right from the tap. No! This was not easier! What was easier was getting a funnel, and pouring the brewed kombucha off the top, into bottles. The spigot method was slower than I’d hoped, although I still like my spigot jars, if only for pouring a bit of kombucha into a tasting cup, so I can determine if it’s “ripe” enough. So…use whatever works for you–a spigot jar, crock, or regular jar! I personally use a 2-quart square jar, so it takes less counter space. The 2 1/2 gallon crock might be too large for many of us..

SWEET TEA DIRECTIONS

Get some starter and scoby from a friend, or let a scoby develop on some store-bought, unpasteurized kombucha. OR, get this starter from Poseymom.

I speed up the brewing process when making sweet tea by brewing the tea in half-as-much boiling water, adding the remaining liquid in the form of cool water or ice-cubes. (I’m a lady-on-the-run and don’t want to wait for tea to cool off!)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 c. filtered or spring water (not chlorinated tap water)
  • 4 black tea bags or 1 TBS. loose black tea (or substitute green or white tea bags ocassionally)
  • Optional: Extra tea for flavor (rooibos or yerba matte, etc., but no Earl Grey)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 4 c. more cold water and/or ice

Bring to a boil: > 4 c. filtered or spring water (not chlorinated tap water)

Pour boiling water into jar or tea pot with the tea in it, to brew for 3 or 4 minutes. Use: > 4 black tea bags or 1 TBS. loose black tea (or substitute green or white tea bags ocassionally) > Optional: > Extra tea for flavor (rooibos or yerba matte, etc., but not Earl Grey or citrus teas, as the oil in them inhibits scoby growth)

After the sweetened tea has cooled off,strain the tea out into another jar/receptacle.Add, stirring in until mixed: > 1/2 c. sugar (Not honey or raw sugar- that will inhibit growth)

Also additional liquid. Use: > 4 c. more cold water and/or ice

When the sweet tea is cooled off, add to the gallon jar or crock that contains about 1 c. starter tea, plus the scoby.

Initial brewing may take 7-14 days. It will go through stages as the sugars convert. Early on, they break down into easier-to-digest sugars that actually taste sweeter, even though there is now less sugar in the brew.

The kombucha will be ready for its second ferment when the liquid is pleasantly tangy, but not too sour. If the kombucha gets neglected for too long, it will turn to vinegar. Kombucha that’s gotten pretty sour can still be used to make a second ferment, but will need considerably more juice to tone it down!

Continuous brews can yield finished kombucha after a week or so, depending on weather. (They finish faster in warm weather.) Then they can be decanted into bottles for a second ferment (which will take a day or two to get bubbly).

CONTINUOUS BREW METHOD

Add sweet tea to kombucha starter. The more starter tea there is in proportion to sweet tea, the quicker it will ferment. If more sweet tea is added to just a little starter, it will take longer to ferment. This info can help with “Kombucha Management”!

After about 7 days, the first fermentation’s probably finished. You might wait longer (taste it now and then). Don’t go too long, or it’ll become an undrinkable vinegar concoction!

Pour off some of the kombucha into bottles, for the “second ferment”. What remains will stay in the brewing receptacle; it’s the “starter” that will help the next batch along.

Add cooled, sweetened tea back into the crock/jar. After a week or so, check the next batch every few days, looking for that characteristic tang that’s not too sweet, not too sour. Continue the process, bottling some for a second ferment, or even just drinking it straight from the tap.

Replenish the crock with more sweetened tea. Rinse and repeat! Except, I don’t actually rinse my stuff except maybe once every six months or so.Then I strain the starter tea to remove the kombucha “debris” that collects, rinse the jar out, and keep going.

The beauty of the continuous brew method is that there is so much of the fermented kombucha in the crock, that when you add a quart or two of new sweetened tea on top, it gets fermented pretty quickly. In several days or so you can decant more. (Go by taste- it’ll depend on warmth, and your preferences.)

TIPS FOR KOMBUCHA SUCCESS

TEMPERATURE: If temperatures soar into the nineties for your Kombucha brew, that could potentially make it die off. In temperatures lower than the ideal 72 to 85 degrees, your scoby might just hibernate some. In that case, at least it will start regenerating once it’s brought back into a warmer climate. If your kitchen is just too cool, you might want to look into a heater strip (click on the one on the right, if you want to buy it on Amazon). I’ve put my kombucha crock on top of the fridge, using an old heating pad under several towels to warm it up some- that also works!

BLACK TEA IS BEST: The “Scoby” (“booch”, as it can be affectionately called) needs to (ideally) brew in a medium containing black tea. I have tried green and white teas (all from the same plant), but the scoby seemed to weaken after several ferments using only those teas. I’m sticking to black, which has all the right properties. Some additional rooibos or yerba mate can be added to that as well, for extra nutritional benefits, if you want. But keep adding black tea.

Annabelle of Kombucha Fuel gives a complete run-down on teas to use, from black to green, white, yerba mate, rooibos, herbal… (article here). Someone in the comment section there mentions using Puuerh tea, but from my research, it doesn’t sound like a good idea…

NO CHEESE CLOTH: Use a towel or such for covering the kombucha as it brews- this will keep out fruit flies, mold spores, and such. (Cheesecloth isn’t a fine enough weave to work well.)

NO MOLASSES: Don’t add molasses. It’s great for kefir, but folks say it gives kombucha a weird taste.

BOTTLES:  I’ve been pouring a new batch of tea right into my gallon jar, decanting some right away into one of these blue bottles with the ceramic stopper. The kombucha will finish brewing in the bottle, building up carbonation along the way. (Add fruit juices or spices for flavoring, to make it like healthy soda!)

SCOBY HOTEL: You might want to house some spare scobys in their own “hotel”, in case the one you’re using goes south. (Like, gets black mold on it or something- definitely a bad sign.) The “Hotel” is just a gallon jar filled with kombucha; you add the older layers of scobys to it, and they’ll keep almost indefinitely. Eventually (every two to six months), the brew will collect an excess of yeasts- those brown tendril-like clumps floating around in the liquid. So, set the scobys aside and strain the liquid out of the jar, through cheesecloth, to catch the excess yeast. Clean the jar out well, as dead yeasts build up on the bottom of the jar. Then return the scobys to the clean jar, and fill it half with the strained kombucha, and half of some new sweet-tea brew. Good for another six months or so!

There are ideas for using extra scobys in spa applications- see this article from Kombucha Kamp. In my experience, the spa idea was horrible. Another idea: let it dry out, then give to your dog as a “jerky” of sorts. Another horrible idea, at least for my dog! (She just stared at it. Not impressed.)

MORE TIPS: Eileen from Phoenix Helix goes into full detail on many issues in this article on tips and troubleshooting.

CROCKS ARE DISCREET! If you need to brew extra big batches, this is for you. And other family members don’t have to be too concerned about the strange “growth”…

Below is a picture of the jar I gave to my friend. Note how bashful the SCOBY is- hiding behind the note, haha!

Kombucha: 16 c. Water, 8 tea bags, 1 c. sugar

Leg of Lamb Mosaic: Elegant Easter Dinner!

Butterflied Lamb, Stuffed w/Carrot, Spinach, Garlic, HerbsLamb can be a welcome change from typical roasts; perfect for special occasions. This lamb recipe is big on flavor, presentation, and economy; Leg of Lamb is usually better-priced than other cuts.

With some prep done ahead of time (like roasting the red peppers before-hand), it’s not too much work all at once. The whole recipe could be prepared the day before and refrigerated, then roasted on serving day; in such a case, the overnight chilling may make it take a bit longer to cook.

Serves 8 or so, depending on size of lamb, and appetites.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 to 5 lb. leg of lamb, boneless*
  • 6 or so red peppers (or 1-2 c. roasted red peppers)
  • 4-5 med. lg. carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch of Swiss Chard (or substitute 6 oz. spinach)
  • 1/2 c. or so of diced onion (half of one small onion)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 c. parsley
  • 1/4 c. fresh rosemary and mint, if available
  • 1 c. chicken stock

 PREPARATION

1. Ahead of time, prepare roasted red peppers. Roast in iron pan, at highest oven temperature: > 6 or so red peppers (as many as might fit in the pan)

2. Check them every 20 minutes or so. As the tops get slightly blackened, turn them to get the other sides cooked as well. When skins have darkened, set the pan aside to cool. Remove skin and seeds when cooled.

3. Set red peppers aside.

4. Also ahead of time, pre-cook the carrots, by steaming or microwaving until somewhat tender. Set the cooked carrots aside. Use: > 4-5 med. lg. carrots, peeled

5. Prepare the Swiss Chard  by removing the tough inner rib (or substitute spinach): > 1 bunch of Swiss Chard (or 6 oz. spinach)

6. Also ahead of time, prepare a seasoning spread of the following, mixed together and set aside: > 1/2 c. or so of diced onion (half of one small onion) > 2 large garlic cloves, minced > 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper > 1/4 c. parsley > 1/4 c. fresh rosemary and mint, if available

7. Prepare the lamb. Use: > 4 to 5 lb. leg of lamb, boneless

8. Open the fatter parts of the lamb up by slicing cross-ways, almost all the way through, spreading the “butterflied” piece open. Pound the meat until flattened, with a meat-tenderizing hammer.

9. Spread the pounded, butterflied lamb with: > The seasoning spread (of the chopped herbs/garlic)

10. Add the following ingredients onto the lamb in layers: > The trimmed Swiss Chard (or spinach) > The cooked carrots, left whole > 1-2 c. roasted red peppers, wrapped around the carrots

11. Starting with the smaller end, start rolling the lamb up, and tie it with kitchen string. Roast at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hrs. (to 130 degrees internally, when tested with a meat thermometer). Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. Add the following to the drippings in the pan, making au jus: > 1 c. chicken stock

12. Serve the lamb with a simple side dish of rice or red potatoes, and perhaps a sprig of spearmint or rosemary. Also popular: A little side dish of spearmint jelly.

*If boneless leg of lamb is not available, it’s not too difficult to cut the meat off of a semi-boneless leg of lamb. Even if it ends up as two pieces, it still all gets tied together and works out anyway.

Frittata: Great Brunch! (Spinach, Artichoke or Green Chile)

I’m rounding up favorite recipes for the brunch we’ll be having for our annual Easter Egg Hunt. Thought I’d share this one with you! Even though I don’t use much flour these days, in this particular case, the flour helps the dish to hold up, and to cut easily into small serving pieces. For gluten-free, check the note below on making the frittata “omelet-style”.

Make Frittata w/Spinach, or Frozen Artichoke Hearts (Or Green Chiles!)This simple recipe is good for serving a crowd, when one doesn’t want to deal with last minute preparations. A bit of flour in the mix helps the dish hold up. Packaged, grated cheeses are convenient, but cost a bit more, and the choice of cheese is limited. An alternative to grating: slice through a chunk of cheese, stack it and cut through it again to get smaller pieces. It works just as well as the grated cheese.

 Fancy chefs may like making their frittatas more like an omelet is made, as the eggs cook just the right amount, and the toppings are broiled, with bubbly, melted cheese. For that method, eggs are whisked with a bit of water, and added to a hot, oiled skillet. The cooked layer is lifted to the top with a spatula, and fillings of choice can be layered on next, with cheese on top. The whole pan then gets broiled until the cheese is bubbly. A glorified omelet, really, but it looks especially appetizing with the broiled cheese on top.

This frittata recipe serves 4-6 as a main dish, or more as an appetizer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 oz. Jack cheese or other favorite, divided in half (about 2 c. grated)
  • 6 eggs
  • 12 oz. Ricotta cheese
  • One 8 oz. bag frozen spinach
  • 1 c. or so grated Jack cheese
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, sliced

PREPARATION

1. Prepare cheese by grating (or slicing/chopping): > 8 oz. Jack cheese, divided in half

2. Reserve approx. half of grated cheese for the top layer. Mix well: > 6 eggs

3. Add to eggs in bowl: > 12 oz. Ricotta cheese > One 8 oz. bag frozen spinach > approx. half of the grated cheese > 1/3 c. flour > 3/4 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. black pepper > 1/2 tsp. salt

4. Mix well. Pour into buttered 13×9″ dish, and top with: > 3 or 4 tomatoes, sliced

5. Last add: > Reserved grated cheese

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden on top. Serve warm or at room-temperature. Cut into smaller pieces to serve as an appetizer.

VARIATIONS

Artichoke Frittata

Omit spinach and salt. Substitute: > Three 6.5oz. jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained (or 1 bag frozen artichoke hearts plus 1/2 tsp. salt)

 

Green Chile Frittata

Omit spinach and Jack cheese. To serve, top w/cilantro. For frittata, substitute: > Two 7 oz. cans green chilis, drained > 8 oz. Cheddar cheese, grated

Chicken w/ Sesame Orange Marinade (Easy Recipe for a Crowd)

I’m starting to plan for our annual Easter Egg Hunt on Palm Sunday, and think I’ll serve this, since it makes so much. Yes, it’s also nice to serve on a smaller scale (just reduce the recipe). But it’s ideal when you need a big batch of something, and don’t have a lot of time for preparation. Sesame oil is a key ingredient–it’s loaded with flavor, and is a healthier choice than many other vegetable oils. It’s the base of a great sauce!

Sesame Orange Chicken for a CrowdOccasions come up when a simple meat recipe is desired, to serve a large number of people. Boneless chicken thighs are a tasty, economical choice; creating a simple marinade makes preparations easier. The thighs can be partially cooked in the oven, then brought to the grill if desired, to add extra flavor.

This chicken will be tender and moist; it can be served with the homemade sauce, or on its own. 40 or so servings.

INGREDIENTS

20 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2 c. hot water

3 TBS. salt

1 c. frozen orange juice concentrate

1 c. lime (or lemon) juice

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. white vinegar

1/4 c. toasted sesame oil (or peanut oil)

SAUCE INGREDIENTS

1/2 c. frozen orange juice concentrate

2 TBS. lemon juice

1 1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. hot pepper oil (or 1 tsp. cayenne)

1 c. toasted sesame (or peanut) oil

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1 bunch chives (or green onion), finely chopped

PREPARATION

1. In a 3-5 gallon bucket, or other large container, mix to dissolve: > 2 c. hot water > 3 TBS. salt

2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well: > 1 c. frozen orange juice concentrate > 1 c. lime (or lemon) juice > 1/2 c. sugar > 1/4 c. white vinegar > 1/4 c. toasted sesame oil (or peanut oil)

3. Let marinade cool off some; marinate in the above mix overnight: > 20 lb. boneless chicken thighs

4. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Finish on grill for extra flavor, or bake a bit longer, until done. Serve warm or cold.

5. To serve with the above sauce, add the following to a small bowl: > 1/2 c. frozen orange juice concentrate > 2 TBS. lemon juice > 1 1/4 tsp. salt > 2 tsp. hot pepper oil (or 1 tsp. cayenne)

6. Slowly whisk in, in a slow stream, until incorporated: > 1 c. toasted sesame (or peanut) oil

7. Garnish sauce with: > 1 red pepper, finely chopped > 1 bunch chives (or green onion), finely chopped

Banana Bread Breakfast Bars: Vegan, Healthy, Hearty

Breakfast-Bars-w-Quinoa-BuckwheatSome of us are really into soaking grains. Maybe this started because of some difficulties digesting wheat. Maybe it began after reading articles on how grains can be loaded with phytates, which interfere with absorption of nutrients.

For me, it was all the above. Plus, a savvy friend mentioned soaking oatmeal overnight in some yogurt (or lemon or vinegar), before cooking it. I was intrigued, since I’d been on the raw food band-wagon. At that point, I’d been soaking grains overnight, then eating them raw. As I researched the reasons behind adding yogurt (or lemon/vinegar) to the soaking liquid, I discovered numerous articles on how difficult raw grains are to digest. Maybe that explained, in part, why my iron levels were rather low, despite a “healthy” diet.

In the past year, since changing how I prepare grains, I’ve seen my iron levels improve dramatically. There have been other improvements as well; I am sold on the pre-soak method!

Part of the beauty of the following recipe is that it makes a big batch. I don’t go through the whole soak process daily–this batch lasts my husband and I over a week, which makes it worth my while. It can store in the freezer for weeks (or in the refrigerator, for a week or so).

For an easier recipe, the Oatmeal Breakfast Bar Recipe uses standard rolled oats, and doesn’t need to be processed, since the oat flakes are soft enough. And for an alternative to bananas, you might try subbing apples (plus extra cinnamon and nutmeg). That’s delicious too!

Makes 12-16 large bars.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/3 c. whole raw buckwheat groats
  • 1 1/3 c. quinoa (red or other)
  • 1 1/3 c. steel-cut oats
  • 1 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1 c. coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds (soaked in 1/2 c. water)
  • 3 medium bananas, lightly mashed (or thin-sliced) (or sub apples)
  • 1 1/3 c. diced dates, raisins, or other dried fruits
  • 2/3 c. coconut palm sugar
  • 1 c. coconut oil
  • 2/3 c. macadamias, cashews, or other favorite nut/seed
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. almond extract (or substitute spices)
  • 2 tsp. salt

PREPARATION

1. Soak the buckwheat, quinoa, and steel-cut oats for one day. The following day, rinse, drain, and let sit one more day in a large strainer, in dark cupboard. Use: > 1 1/3 c. whole raw buckwheat groats > 1 1/3 c. quinoa (red or other) > 1 1/3 c. steel-cut oats

2. After a day of soaking and a day of sprouting, process about half the mixture in a blender or food processor- this will make the grains into a “batter”. (The other half of the grains can stay whole, to give the bars more texture.) Process only about two cups at a time if using the blender (so the blender isn’t over-taxed). While processing, add the following, so mixture is liquid enough to process better. Use: > 1 1/2 c. boiling water > 1 c. coconut oil
Banana Bread Breakfast with Whole Grains

3. Set processed mixture aside; prepare other ingredients. Add chia seeds and water to a mixing bowl, letting the chia seeds absorb the liquid, stirring some if necessary. Use: > 1/4 c. chia seeds > 1/2 c. water

4. After chia seeds have softened, add to that bowl: > 3 medium bananas, lightly mashed (or thin-sliced) > 2/3 c. coconut palm sugar 1 1/3 c. diced dates, raisins, or other dried fruits > 2/3 c. macadamias (or other favorite nut) > 2 tsp. vanilla > 1 tsp. almond extract (or cinnamon and other spices) > 2 tsp. salt

5. Stir until the mixture is blended, then stir in: > The processed grains, plus the extra (that didn’t get processed)

6. Add mixture to an oiled 13″x9″ pan.

7. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

8. Turn oven off, let finish baking with oven off for 25 more minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Lobster Bisque- What’s More Romantic (& Easier?!)

Lobster Bisque might be the perfect menu selection for Valentine’s Day, if you’re not going to a fancy restaurant. If they have it on their menu, you can bet it’ll cost a whole lot more than what it takes for you to make it.

If you’re really pinching pennies, you can substitute langostino (not exactly lobster; more like a small crab) or shrimp. Definitely cheaper than lobster! (Even if lobster is so good…)

This recipe just happens to be low-carb and gluten-free. Not to be trendy, but mainly because this is how it tastes best- with just a bit of sauteed onion and tomato to give it body, and none of those flour-y thickeners that are sometimes used. This Lobster Bisque is also very easy to make, so the cook has enough energy left to still feel romantic. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Serves 4-6.

(Lobster or) Shrimp Bisque- Simple RecipeINGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. or so shrimp heads, if available
  • 1 medium large onion, chopped
  • Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 12-oz. pkg. frozen Langostino (or sub shrimp, or real lobster)
  • 16 oz. canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2-4 c. shrimp stock (or sub chicken stock)
  • Fresh herbs (tarragon and thyme, or others)
  • Grated pink peppercorns (or chili flakes)

PREPARATION

1. Ideally, you might purchase head-on shrimp for previous meals; save the shrimp heads to make an excellent stock. The shrimp heads are particularly high in the esteemed nutrient “Astaxanthin“; plus, it makes super delicious stock. Prepare shrimp stock using heads of shrimp, covered in boiling water and cooked until flavorful. Use: > 1 lb. or so shrimp heads

2. Saute in some olive oil until translucent and soft: > 1 medium large onion

3. Process in blender (or use immersion blender): > Sauteed onion > 2 c. (16 oz.) canned tomato

4. To the processed onion and tomato, add and pulse/mix just until blended: >1 12-oz. pkg. frozen Langostino (or sub shrimp, or real lobster) > 1/2 c. cream > 1 tsp. salt > fresh herbs > 2-4 c. shrimp stock (or sub chicken stock)

5. Put back into soup pot, heat, and garnish with fresh-grated pink pepper (or pepper flakes) to serve

 

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries- Easiest Romantic Dessert

Chocolate Chips, Butter, Strawberries- Good!As is typical, I seemed to run out of time to make a fancy dessert for Valentine’s Day. I guess the good news is, it’s easier to burn off the calories from this dessert, than from one more heavily-laden with starch and fat and sugar!

We won’t be going to a fancy restaurant (so expensive), so I thought I would spice things up for our Valentine’s Day with an easy (but delicious) batch o’ chocolate-dipped strawberries.

This is a super simple recipe using whatever chocolate you have on hand. Just add a bit of butter to the chocolate, melt (in microwave, or gently, on stove), then dip.

I used 1 c. chocolate chips to 1/4 c. butter. (That works out to 6 oz. chocolate, if you’re using a scale, plus 2 oz. butter.)

It took just over a minute to melt this much in the microwave. I added a dash of almond extract too, since it seems to go so well with strawberries. (In my opinion!)

I was happy I’d found some good, organic strawberries at Trader Joe’s yesterday- they’re delicious. (Even tastier with chocolate on them.)

We’ll have a light, chocolatey dessert, which should leave us with enough energy to enjoy the rest of the evening as well. A great Valentine’s Day to you all!