Archive for April, 2012
Once a week, for just a couple of hours, my kids meet up with other homeschoolers for what we call ‘workshop’. They do fun projects, have lunch and recess and finish up the day with some computer work. Last week after workshop my daughter, Keegan, was telling me about her friend Eden who had peanut butter cookies in her lunch and why didn’t I ever make peanut butter cookies? Being a big fan of peanut butter I figured making peanut butter cookies sounded like a pretty good idea. I used my Almond Butter Chocolate Chips Cookies for inspiration and while I would have added chocolate chips to this recipe, Keegan wanted peanut butter cookies “just like Eden’s” so we went without…this time!
- 1 1/2 cups natural no salt added creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup raw honey or maple syrup
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
- In a large bowl mix together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla and milk.
- Add the flour and baking soda and stir until just combined. (If the dough is too sticky to work with, chill in the fridge for 15 minutes or so.)
- Form the dough into round balls (about tablespoon sized) and place on the baking sheet. Gently flatten with a fork and sprinkle the tops with sea salt.
- Bake for approximately 11 minutes or until set. Let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
Makes 24 cookies.
Serving size 1 cookie.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 145, Cal. from Fat: 75, Total Fat: 8g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 13g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 27mg, Chol: 0mg
Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For storage longer than 2 days you can store in the fridge for an additional 5 days.
I recently read an article in Bon Appetit magazine about the nutritional benefits of parsley. Actually, the article was about a chef with rheumatoid arthritis who has written a cookbook called Hero Food and relates how he found that parsley as well as some other of his favorite foods improved his health. I really love parsley and it got to me wondering why I don’t use it more. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties it helps boost the immune system as well. One of my favorite ways of eating potatoes are Parsleyed New Potatoes. I’m definitely going to be adding some parsley to my garden, right beside the potatoes. What a perfect pairing.
- 16 small new potatoes about 1-1 1/2 inches across (fingerlings, red potatoes or any thin skinned potato will work)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Boil whole potatoes until tender when pierced with a knife.
- Remove from heat and drain.
- In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
- Lay the potatoes out onto a foil lined baking sheet and gently press down with a fork or spatula just until the skin breaks. The potato should still hold together not be mashed.
- Brush the oil mixture on each side of the potatoes and bake 10 minutes. Turn over and bake 10 minutes more or until golden brown. You can also do this in a non-stick pan on the stove if you prefer.
- Serve topped with a sprig of fresh parsley if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
4 potatoes per serving.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 193, Cal. from Fat: 89, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 482mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Reheat in the oven or in a skillet for best results.
I tend to go through weird food phases. I’ll become obsessed with a certain food or dish and will literally spend weeks eating nothing but that item. The past few weeks I’ve been obsessing over 5 different foods and I don’t see any signs of stopping. But when they are so yummy, healthy and delicious can you blame me?!
I’ve been going through a blueberry phase right now. Dried, frozen, fresh – all of the above! You can find me heading to the fridge a few times each day and grabbing handfuls of fresh blueberries – so yummy. One of my favorite blueberry recipes of all time is my No Bake Blueberry Granola Bars. They are perfect for an on the go snack and I love having a bar after a workout.
The last 2 weeks or so I’ve been buying up asparagus in bulk quantities. Asparagus has always been one of my favorite veggies and there are so many wonderful ways to eat these tender green stalks. Crispy Asparagus Spears, Roasted Asparagus and Springtime Potato Salad with Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing have been my go to recipes this week.
3. Fresh Peas
When I just a little girl I would follow my grandpa out to his garden where I would help him pick peas right off the vine, tear the pods open and enjoy the delicious crispy fresh peas inside. A couple weeks ago my local grocery store had a whole stack of English Peas. They were giant and inside were some of the biggest peas I had ever seen. It took me back to my youth and as soon as I came home I started shucking those peas. While nothing beats eating the peas right out of the pod, here are some of my favorite pea recipes - Spring Green Pea Pesto and BLT & P Salad.
4. Sweet Potatoes
I adore sweet potatoes. I love slicing them up thin, drizzling with oil olive and watching them get all crispy in the oven. Roasted sweet potatoes are one of my favorite dinners. I simply dice it up, throw it on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven until they are golden brown and tender. And then there is one of my favorite veggie burgers of all time - Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers. These are a family favorite and so delicious. But my all time favorite sweet potato recipe would have to be Sweet Potato Beer Fries with Roasted Tomato Ketchup. The flavorful sweet potatoes and the homemade roasted tomato ketchup win first place every time.
5. Brown Rice
Last week I was going through a pasta phase, this week it’s rice. I’ve probably had Crispy Fried Rice at least 3 or 4 times this week for dinner and that hasn’t stopped my rice obsession. For lunch I’ve been making Lazy Fried Rice Salad and yesterday I whipped up a batch of Tuscan Bean and Rice Soup. It’s just so yummy that I can’t stop!
Now tell me – what foods are you loving right now???
This dish is inspired by a recent lunch I had while dining at a little sidewalk cafe near Oceanside Harbor. I hadn’t been very hungry so I ordered their arugula salad. It ended up being so delicious that I seriously debated ordering one to go to have for dinner that night. The peppery taste of arugula along with the tart, tangy lemon dressing was fantastic. I just knew I had to recreate this dish at home. It was so easy to toss together and is the perfect springtime meal – light and refreshing. Enjoy!
- 12 ounces pasta of your choice (I used Jovial Brand Brown Rice Spaghetti pasta)
- 4 tbsp Garlic Gold Oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 3 -4 cloves garlic, minced
- zest from one lemon
- juice from one lemon
- 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper or more to taste
- 1/3 cup water
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- arugula or your favorite salad greens
- Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, add the oil, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper and water to a small bowl and stir well to mix.
- In a large bowl mix together the pasta and the dressing and toss well to combine.
- Place a large handful of arugula on a plate and add a cup of pasta. Top with a sprinkle of lemon zest and some toasted walnuts.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional info will vary greatly depending on the type of pasta used.
For a gluten free dish make sure to use a gluten free pasta.
Leftover pasta can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
As I was out watering my garden this weekend and looking at how well the zucchini and summer squash were doing I was dreaming of all the delicious ways that I would be using them in recipes this summer when they were ripe and ready to pick. As I went back indoors I decided I didn’t want to wait. I had zucchini and summer squash from the market so I was going to enjoy a taste of summer today. I love creating recipes on the fly so here is how it went. I checked the refrigerator for ingredients to use and found brown rice, a Mushroom Breakfast Burger (from our upcoming cookbook – The Naked Kitchen: Veggie Burgers & More), and tofu. Perfect. I really enjoyed this casserole and know that I will be making it again with my own home grown ingredients very soon.
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/2 cup shredded yellow summer squash
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup soft silken tofu
- 2 veggie or bean burgers of your choice, roughly chopped
- 1 medium sized tomato, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp Cashew Parmesan Cheese
- oil to grease a baking dish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a casserole or 13 x 9 baking dish with oil.
- In a large bowl mix the first 10 ingredients. Fold in the tofu and stir until completely mixed in.
- Gently fold in the burger bits. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
- Top with the tomato slices.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until set and browning along the edges.
- Sprinkle the Cashew Parmesan Cheese evenly over the top and serve.
Makes 8 servings
Nutritional Info not available as it would depend on the burgers used in the recipe.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
My kids and I recently finished reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. It was one of my favorite books as a child and my kids loved it as much as I did! We had a fun time talking about all the stuff we would put in our own Chocolate Factory and boy did it make us hungry! For our final project we decided to make our own candies. Keegan, being the fruit lover, wanted to make a candy using raspberries and Caleb, chocolate addict, wanted a chocolate candy. I used to love chocolate covered cherries so we used that as inspiration and came up with a delicious treat that we all loved.
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice *see notes
- 1/4 cup raw almonds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- pinch of sea salt
- 8 – 10 frozen raspberries
- plastic candy mold with at least 1 inch deep molds (you can find molds at hobby stores and kitchen gadget stores)
- Melt the chocolate chips in a small pan on the stovetop or in the microwave. Once the chocolate is completely melted use a clean unused paint brush and spread a layer of chocolate inside each of the candy molds.
- Place the candy mold in the freezer for 15 minutes or until the chocolate is completely frozen.
- Meanwhile add the almonds, shredded coconut, oil, honey, vanilla and salt to a food processor or blender. Pulse until you have a coarse, sand like mixture.
- Remove the candy mold from the freezer and fill each mold with about 1/2 tbsp of the almond/coconut mixture. Press the mixture around the edges, leaving a hole in the center for the raspberry.
- Place a frozen raspberry into the center of each mold and use the remaining almond/coconut mixture to fill the mold to just below the top.
- Spread a layer of melted chocolate over the top of each mold and place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until the candy is firm.
- Remove from the freezer and carefully “pop” candy out of the molds. They should easily pop out, if not place back in the freezer for another 5 minutes.
- Let the candies sit at room temperature for about 5 minutes before eating.
Makes 8 – 10 candies depending on the mold you purchase.
Serving size 1 candy.
Nutritional info will vary depending on the type of chocolate chips used and how much of the filling is needed for your particular mold.
Depending on the variety and type of chocolate chips that you use you might need to sweeten them up a little with some raw honey (or coconut nectar) and some milk. If you want a more dark chocolate like shell them skip the honey and milk. For those that want a more milk chocolate shell add in a tiny bit of honey and milk until you get the sweetness that you prefer. Also, if you follow a gluten free diet make sure to use a gluten free chocolate chip.
Leftover candies need to be stored in the freezer until ready to serve. Let the candies sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
Leftovers stored in an airtight container will keep for up to 3 months.
The last few weekends have been filled with to do lists. Cleaning out the garage, planting our vegetable garden, training for our half marathon in June and working on our upcoming cookbook. This weekend we tossed aside the to do lists and planned a fun adventure to Point Loma in San Diego. The tidepools in Point Loma are amazing and if you time your trip just right and arrive during low tide you can find all sorts of wonderful things lurking in the pools.
There was a pretty thick marine layer that stuck around for most of the day so it was mostly cloudy and it kept away most of the tourist. The waves coming in off the ocean created some beautiful splashes and it was so peaceful listening to them hit the cliffs just below us.
When visiting the tidepools it’s important to wear non slip shoes. The rocks are very slippery and large areas are covered in green algae. You can also plan on getting somewhat wet. If you’re not a 5 year old who likes to splash in puddles then you can stay pretty dry but the tide rushes in very quickly and you’re likely to find yourself with water up to your ankles in only a few seconds.
The tidepools are filled with hermit crabs like this little guy, sea anemones, crabs, octopi, starfish, sea urchins and mussels. We had a great day and the kids loved every second of it. If you’re ever in the San Diego area I highly recommend a visit to the tidepools. You can get more info on them here - http://www.nps.gov/cabr/naturescience/tidepools.htm
For the past few weeks the organic market where I shop has had the most beautiful, plump, juicy blueberries I’ve ever seen. I’ve been buying them by the cart full and enjoy a handful everyday with lunch. My husband has been hinting all week that a blueberry pie would be the perfect use for my blueberries. I finally gave in and he couldn’t have been happier. This pie was easy to put together and the results were delicious. Enjoy!
- 1 batch Perfect Pie Crust
- 4-5 cups fresh blueberries (amount will depend on how thick you want your pie)
- 1/4 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch (cornstarch works too)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Start by preparing your crust. Roll out half of the dough to a 1/8 inch thick circle on a lightly floured work surface about 13 inches in diameter.
- Fit the dough over a 9 inch pie pan and trim the edges to 1/2 an inch over the edge of the pie pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl add the blueberries, coconut crystals, tapioca start and lemon juice and gently mix together.
- Transfer the mixture to the chilled bottom crust and set aside.
- Roll out the remaining dough to the same size and thickness as the first. Place on top of the berry filling and tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough. Crimp the edges with your fingers. Score the top of the pie crust with 4 or 5 cuts. (I opted to do a lattice top crust but you can cut out shapes or use your favorite top crust preparation)
- Transfer the pie to the fridge and chill for about 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 425, reduce heat to 350 and bake for 30-40 minutes more or until the juices are bubbling and have thickened.
- Let the pie cool slightly before serving.
Makes 1 whole pie.
Serving size is a 1/8 piece of pie.
Nutritional info is not available at this time.
Leftover pie can be stored for up to 2 days at room temperature. Any remaining pie should then be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days more.
I call this Lazy Fried Rice Salad because it’s like fried rice only not fried because I was in a hurry to get lunch made and threw the ingredients together to make a chilled salad instead. Or else it’s because I was just feeling lazy and had all the ingredients assembled but didn’t want to get out a pan and make fried rice. Whatever the reason I’m glad I did. I like the chewy texture of the rice with the crunchy freshness of the vegetables and the Tamari Roasted Almonds are like tasty little treasures hidden throughout the salad. Perfect for a fast lunch or side dish at dinner. Go ahead be a little lazy today too but still enjoy a delicious meal.
- 1 tbsp unrefined toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp unrefined peanut oil
- 1 tbsp mirin (if you don’t have mirin you can substitute white balsamic vinegar)
- 2 tbsp low sodium tamari (if you follow a gluten free diet be sure to use gluten free tamari)
- 1 tsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 tsp granulated garlic (powder)
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tbsp chives, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, chilled
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup shredded diakon
- 1/2 cup snow peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/4 cup Tamari Roasted Almonds, chopped
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the oils, mirin, tamari, honey, garlic, ginger, chives and red pepper flakes (if using).
- Add the remaining ingredients and toss to combine.
- Serve cold.
Makes 6 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 157, Cal. from Fat: 57, Total Fat: 7g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 3g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 306mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.