Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday Breakfast Sweet Potato Pancakes

 My friend Annette requested this recipe after I made them for her kids while she and her family where visiting Gainesville a few months ago. I am very grateful to Annette for the request because otherwise I may have never gotten around to posting.
 I've made these sweet hotcakes for numerous sleepovers and special breakfasts. They require very little prep time, are way more healthy than your average pancake and the ingredients are usually ready- at-hand. Top them off with home-made whipped cream and candied pecans or simply sift some powdered sugar over top for a beautiful, hearty and healthful breakfast treat. During holidays this recipe is especially easy to make because you can use your left-over sweet potato casserole in place of the 1.5 cups of mashed sweet potato the recipe calls for. Repurposing those left-overs always makes me feel super smart.  Hope this recipe helps you feel smart and healthy this holiday season. EnjoY!

 
1.5 cups of sifted flour(all purpose)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 c of flax meal(optional)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
2 jumbo eggs, beaten
1.5 cups of milk
1/4 cup of butter, melted 
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup candied pecans(optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream(optional)
4 tbsp powdered sugar(optional)


Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixing bowl. Add salt to sifted dry ingredients and whisk for 20 sec. In a seperate bowl using a hand held mixer, combine sweet potatoes, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add milk and continue to blend wet ingredients on a slow setting until everything is well combined. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. If the mixture appears to be too thick, add another egg and enough milk to reach a pancake batter consistency. Finally,  heat canola oil in a heavy skillet(preferably cast iron) and drop batter in using a greased ladel. Set the pancakes on brown paper bags or paper towels to drain. Sprinkle your Holiday Sweet Potato Pancakes with powdered sugar or top with home-made whipping cream and natural or candied pecans.


For Home-Made Whipped Cream :

Simply combine 1 cup of whipping cream with 1 tsp of vanilla and a 4 tbsp of powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix together using a hand mixer until peaks form.



Home-Made Candied Pecans:

4 cups pecan halves
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spray the wax paper with cooking spray.  Beat eggs white until stiff. Add brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Mix in pecans and stir until coated. Pour the nuts onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Bake until browned, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kale Chips

 Home-Made Kale Chips

1 large bunch of kale
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp of kosher or sea salt
.5 tsp pepper

Wash kale and dry in a salad spinner. At this point, some recipes will tell you to remove the center stem or ribs from the kale. You may chose to do this, but I prefer to keep my ribs, they add texture and fiber to the chips.  Toss kale in oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay in an even layer on baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes at 300.  Edges should be crispy,  not burnt.

Split Pea Crisps

Golden Split Pea Crisps 

1 cup yellow split peas
3 cups water
3 tbsp olive or grape seed oil
1.5 tsp fine sea salt

Soak peas for 3 hours, drain, dry on a clean dish towel and heat oil in a cast-iron skillet.  Add half the peas to the oil and stir around with a wooden spoon til golden brown(approx 6 min). Toss peas with sea salt and repeat process of browning and salting with remaining peas.

On the Road Again? Here are Some Healthy Snack Options for the Healthy Traveler

Chances are that if you're traveling this holiday season, you will surely be tempted to stop at fast food dives along the way. Here are some tips you can use to avoid buying into eating garbage just because it's "convenient" and "fast". The reality regarding fast food is that it's neither and ultimately will cost you a lot more than that $10. Fast food will cost you time on the road, money better spent on renting canoes or going to an art festival, and ultimately all the monosaturated fats, pesticidies, GMO's and preservatives in the food will cost you your health. Why trade convenience for quality of life? Pack a snack and be on your way to a better trip. Ensure that your family stays healthy, happy, healthy and full of energy this holiday season by feeding them organic, whole natural foods.  Here are my favorite snacks to pack for a long trip whether I'm by myself or with the kids:






snacks:
1. Nuts: salted, raw or glazed almonds, pecans or walnuts
2. Homemade Hummus with toasted pita wedges or carrot, broccoli, celery etc..
3. 5 lb bag of Organic Apples
4. Nori
5. Organic Beef or Turkey Jerky
6. Wasabi Chips
7. Suzi's Brown Rice Crackers with Almond Butter, Apple Butter, Pumpkin Butter or just plain Peanut Butter 
8. Organic Bananas
9. Berries and Grapes
10. Cubed Organic Cheeses and Meats
11. Kale Chips
12. Beet Chips
13. Stove-popped Chili-Lime Popcorn
14. Split-Pea Crisps
15. Dark Chocolate and Almonds
16. Vegetable Spring Rolls
17. Hard-Boiled Eggs or Egg Salad with Whole Grain or Flax Seed Crackers
18. Tabouli
19. Olives
20.  Pickled Vegetables: artichokes, cucumbers, beets, okra and peppers, to name a few


beverages:
1. Green tea or herbal tea, either not sweetened or sweetened with a little agave
2. Water that has been bottled in glass or BPA free plastic...avoid the mark-up on airport or rest stop bottled water and you can refill along the trip when  you stop at restaurants etc.
3. Iced Hibiscus or Ginger Tea with a bit of honey 
4. Citrus, Ginger or Mint flavored water..pick an orange, slice up some ginger root or cut some mint out of the garden, place in a water filled jug in the fridge and allow to infuse for several days prior to bottling and traveling. To speed up the process, add your favorite natural root, herb or fruit to water and boil for 2-5 minutes, allow water to cool, strain-out foreign matter and bottle it up for the long trip ahead. 

* worst case..you're simply too busy or distracted to plan ahead and pack you provisions, use your smart phone to plot whole foods, farmer's markets and or health food stores are along the way.

* Once you've arrived, look up the zip code of your destination town on happycow.net and find local farmer's markets, health food stores and healthy restaurants in the area.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Crustless Veggie and Cheese Quiche Cups

These little quiche cups are responsible for helping me to curb my appetite.  They taste wonderful and because they are protein and vitamin rich, you will feel full and satisfied long after you've enjoyed this delicate dish. Enjoy two in the morning followed with a cup of coffee and some fruit or nuts, pack two or three quiche cups along with a tossed salad and some soup into your lunch pail, or simply eat two with your vegetable of choice for a quick and guilt-free dinner.  I made 24 quiche cups this week, stored them in a resealable plastic container in the fridge and my family enjoyed them for 5 days.  On these cold mornings, I like to give the kids something warm to start their day, so I warm-up the quiche cups on a baking sheet along side some bacon and send them off with plenty of amino acids to nourish their growing brains. Hope you find this recipe useful for regulating your weight and feeding your family.




2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of fresh whole spinach(about 10 oz) or 10 oz thawed and rained frozen spinach, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced 
2 large field mushrooms, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
8 large eggs, beaten
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Heat olive oil on a skillet and add onions(yellow and green), spinach and mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes. Add garlic, stirring frequently( careful not to burn the garlic) continue to saute veggies for 2 more minutes.   

2. In a large pitcher or measuring cup, beat eggs and add cheese, salt and pepper to the mixture.  With kitchen tongs, place an equal amount of vegetables into each of the 24 muffin cups and top with egg and cheese mixture(only fill muffin cups 3/4 full, the egg will rise). 

3. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.  Store left-over cups in a plastic container with a lid in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mexican Beef Stew

Their are few things as satisfying, when it's cold out, than a nice rich beef stew.  This hearty soup was originally called Michoacan Beef and hails from Mexico's Pacific Coast.  The fertile volcanic soil of this region makes it a perfect spot for cultivating the richly flavorful tomatoes and peppers that form the base of this spicy stew.  I enjoyed this Michoacan Beef Thursday night with a my friend Sky and my husband Kris. The recipe's deep rich flavor and potent peppery spice left me feeling warm and comfortable for hours afterward. We paired this beefy goodness with a fine bottle of red which complemented the spice and savory flavors perfectly. We took the leftovers over to our friends for lunch at the 8th Avenue Bike and Coffee House. Everyone enjoyed a lovin' spoonfull. We hope you are able to share this magical beef stew with some good friends during this chilly season. Buen Provecho!









Note: We added a few Organic Yukon Gold quartered potatoes and some organic brown rice to the stew to both taper down the spice and extend the recipe.


3 tbsp all purpose flour
1.5 lbs stewing beef
1 lb beef shank with bone, cubed(reserving the bone for the stew)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped 
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
28 oz can of organic tomatoes, diced
2-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, deseeded and chopped
6 cups of organic chicken or beef stock
12 oz of green beans, snapped into 3 inch segments
6 small quartered yukon gold potatoes(optional) 
1 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 tsp sea salt
.5 tsp black pepper

To Serve

2 cups of cooked brown rice
seasoned red kidney beans


1. Place 3 tbsp of flour in a large bowl. Season flour with salt and pepper, add beef stew and cubed shank and toss to coat.  

2. Heat oil in a dutch oven or medium sized soup pot. Take beef out of dredge, shake off excess flour and brown in the pot over medium high heat(browning the meat should take 3-5 minutes). Reduce heat to medium, add onions and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes, diced peppers and stock, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook on low for 90 minutes(or until meat is very tender).  Add snapped green beans, quartered potatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and cook down for 20 more minutes or until veggies are tender but not mushy.  Transfer to individual bowls and serve with a scoop of brown rice over top or some seasoned red beans and brown rice on the side. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

3 Fast, Healthy and Delicious Budget-Friendly Meals for November

For me, November is a bittersweet reminder that the holidays are just around the corner. As I anticipate all  the family gatherings and laughter that will arrive in the coming months, my palms grow sweaty. Why the grim thoughts, you may ask? Well, the response is quite simple, money and time are always scarce this season and obligations abound. If you can relate to my holiday woes, I hope you enjoy the menu I've planned for this week. Easy, fast, healthy menu options are the only thing that makes me feel somewhat in control of my budget and weight during this time of year. Therefore, here is my holiday gift to you...3 meals that will satiate your hunger and leave a little room in your wallet for all the superfluous nonsense your about to spend your hard-earned dollars on...bah, humbug and happy healthy eating!

1. Brown Rice Pasta with Red Clam Sauce
     original recipe found in Food & Wine April, 2011

                                                     Picture taken by Kris Callen, November, 2011

  1/4 cup olive oil
  4 large cloves garlic, chopped  
  2/3 cup dry white wine  
  1/2 teaspoon dried thyme  
  Pinch dried red-pepper flakes  
  3 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (one 28-ounce can)  
  1 cup bottled clam juice  
  1 1/4 teaspoons salt, more if needed  
  3/4 pound chopped clams, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)  
  1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley   
  1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper  
  3/4 pound linguine


  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine, thyme, and red-pepper flakes; bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, and salt. Raise the heat to moderate and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the clams and bring back to a simmer. Continue simmering until the clams are just done, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the parsley and black pepper. Taste the sauce for salt, and add more if needed.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain and toss with the sauce.
Note: Top with Locatelli Romano. We buy ours straight off the block at Dorn's. The reason it should be straight off the block is that as soon as the air hits the cheese it begins to oxidize and the natural flavors become compromised. If you must go to the market for this cheese, buy a wedge and grate as you go. 


2. Marinated Vegetables with Romano Coated Chicken Breast

                                Marinated Italian Veggies 

                                                         Photo by Kris Callen October, 2011


1/2 lb mushroooms (stems trimmed)
1 large cauliflower(broken into florets)
2 large green bell peppers (cut into 1/2 inch strips)
2 large red onions
1 cup olive oil
2-3 tbs minced fresh garlic
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar or agave
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper


1. Steam veggies until tender but still firm and place in a large bowl. Combine the last five ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over the steamed veggies and let marinate in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.



                    Romano-Coated Chicken Breast 
                    

                    
1 tbsp butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup finely grated Locatelli Romano Cheese
Freshly ground pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 325F.
2. Heat butter in a heavy skillet over med-high heat and brown chicken breast on both sides. Cook each breast for 5 minutes on each side.
3. Spread Locatelli Romano out on a plate and season with pepper. Turn breasts in cheese to coat completely and arrange in a baking dish.
4. Place chicken in the oven and bake for 10-15minutes until completely cooked through. Serve warm and enjoy!



 3. Spicy Cajun Crab and Greens Soup



Our good friend Jim made us this soup last night. The soup was meaty and flavorful. The rich and bold tomatoes combine beautifully with the onion, crab and delicate baby spinach to create a harmonious masterpiece.  Jim is no slouch in the kitchen and has treated our family to some exquisit meals in the past, but last night's meal was as healthy and satisfying as it was delicious.  Having lived in New Orleans, I can attest to the fact that this Crab Soup is among the best I've tried. Jim made it right before my eyes in less than 20 minutes using high quality Boss Pasteurized Canned Lump Crab Meat available locally at NorthWest Seafood. His gracious wife Leeanne was kind enough to pack-up a handsome portion of this soup for my husband and I to enjoy a second time around. I count myself very lucky to have friends with such good taste! Cheers to you both and many thanks for your continued hospitality.

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 2 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes with caramelized onion, in juice
  • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
*Note: Jim uses the regular (not jumbo or claw) Hand Picked Boss Lump Crab Meat


Whisk oil and flour in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until smooth and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add enough Cajun seasoning to season to taste and stir 30 seconds. Add clam juice and stir until smooth. Add tomatoes with juices. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes. Add spinach, thyme, and garlic and simmer until spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Add crabmeat and simmer until heated through, stirring gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Note: Jim found the recipe in the March 2003 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.
The recipe can also be found online at http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Spicy-Cajun-Crab-and-Greens-Soup-107846

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Simplest Roasted Chicken with Tabouli Salad, Cream of Asparagus Soup, Onion and Almond Soup with Saffron and a Simple Light Butternut Squash Soup

I am a self-professed soup snob euphmistically referred to as a soup enthusiast. As a child, my Granny home-made us all of our baby food thus creating some pretty sophisticated soupies out of her grandchildren. I carried on the tradition with my children and therefore they too can distinguish "bad" soup from "good" soup. The soups on this week's menu are unique, flavorful and have been approved by yours truly. Here we go.....


1. Simplest Roast Chicken with Tabouli Salad

Yield 4 servings
Time 50 to 60 minutes
Mark Bittman
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method
1. Put a cast-iron skillet on a low rack in the oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees. Rub the chicken all over with the oil and sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
2. When the oven and skillet are hot, carefully put the chicken in the skillet, breast side up. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. Continue to roast until the bird is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh reads 155 to 165 degrees.
3. Tip the pan to let the juices flow from the chicken’s cavity into the pan. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. Carve and serve.
 
Tabouli 
recipe found on Heartland Bulgar Wheat box or dailyunadventuresincooking.com 

(8 servings)

1 cup bulgur
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber(optional)
1/2 green pepper(optional)
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1 large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp pepper 
1/2 tbsp oregano 
dash of cayenne pepper 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Put bulgur in a bowl and stir in 2 cups of boiling water. Cover with a plate and let sit for 30 minutes.
While the bulgur cooks you can prep the vegetables. Ideally the tomatoes, cucumber and green pepper are all chopped the same size. When dicing the tomatoes and cucumber first de-seed them. Then chop the green onions very thinly.
Place vegetables in a salad bowl and add parsley and mint. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic powder cayenne pepper, oregano, salt and pepper. Add dressing to vegetables and toss to combine. Add bulgur to vegetables and dressing and fold to combine all ingredients.Enjoy this simple, refreshing salad with a side of egg salad for lunch or roasted chicken with dinner. 


2. Cream of Asparagus Soup




2tbs butter
2tbsp olive oil

2lbs of green asparagus
1 large onion, chopped 
1/2 cup of diced leeks 
6 cups of chicken broth 
2 egg yolks 
1 cup of heavy cream 
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper 

1. Wash asparagus, snap the tough ends off and cut a dozen or so tips and set aside. Chop the rest of the asparagus. In a large pot, heat butter and oil at medium high heat. Once butter starts melting, add onions and leeks to the pot and cook down for 3-5 minutes stirring frequently.
2. Add asparagus, and chicken broth to the soup pot, bring the soup to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes on low heat. Meanwhile, boil 1/2 cup of salted water in a skillet and place spears to simmer for 3 minutes or until bright green and tender. 

3. While soup is cooking, whisk together egg yolks and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Remove soup from heat and puree in batches using a blender. Return soup to the pot and slowly whisk in cream and yolk mixture. Reheat at low temperature until sufficiently hot enough to serve. Be careful raise the temperature too high when reheating the soup. Too much heat will cause the soup to separate.



3. Onion and Almond Soup with Saffron 




3tbsp butter
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 strands of saffron
2 oz of toasted ground almonds
3 cups of chicken broth
3 tbsp dry sherry
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped almonds
3 tbsp chopped parsley

1. Melt butter in a heavy soup pot over low heat. Add onions and garlic, stir to distribute butter evenly, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Onions should be soft and golden yellow in color. Add saffron strands and cook uncovered for 3 minutes. Add  ground almonds and stirring constantly cook for another 2 minutes.
2. Pour in stock and sherry and season with pepper and salt. Bring soup to a boil and lower to a simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Process soup in a blender in batches, return to pot and and reheat slowly.
4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped almonds, parley and a few saffron strings.


4. Butternut Squash Soup



2 tbsp butter
1 med onion
1 large celery stock
1 large carrot
2 med yukon gold potatoes
1 med butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
32 oz of MSG free chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg


1. Heat butter in a soup pot and add onion, celery and carrot. Cook down veggies for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add potatoes, squash and chicken stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover an cook for 40 minutes or until squash has softened.

2. Process soup in blender, return to pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into individual bowls, top with freshly ground nutmeg and serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

3 Super Savory Meals: Easy Thai Pork Fried Rice, Turnip Soup, Portuguese Garlic Soup

When the weather starts getting chilly, we get a hankering for some solid savory foods to warm us up. Here are just a few of my recent favorites. Enjoy!


Easy Thai Pork Fried Rice: 










2‑1/2 cups water
1‑1/3 cups long-grain organic brown rice 
8 ounces ground pork or pork sausage
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric or paprika
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 cups chopped cooked vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, red bell peppers, carrots, bok choy spinach or sweet peas
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves


PREPARATION:
  1. Bring water and rice to a boil in medium saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 50 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  2. Fluff rice with fork. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. I like to make the rice the night before to cut down on dinner prep time.
  3. When rice is cold, cook pork in wok or medium skillet(preferably a cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat; transfer pork to bowl and set aside.
  4. Heat wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat surface. Add onion, ginger, jalapeño, garlic and turmeric; stir-fry 4 to 6 minutes or until onion is tender.
  5. Stir in fish sauce; mix well. Stir in cold rice, vegetables and pork; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Push rice mixture to side of wok and pour eggs into center. Cook eggs 2 to 3 minutes or just until set, lifting and stirring to scramble. Stir rice mixture into eggs.
  7. Stir in green onions. Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with cilantro.  


Simple Turnip Soup: 
 
4 to 6 medium turnips
3 small yukon gold potatoes
2 tbs butter
3 small onions or one large onion
1 clove garlic
11/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
6 c. chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground fresh nutmeg
½ c. cream

1. Peel and dice the turnips, potatoes. Chop the onions and garlic and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Saute for 1-2 minutes being careful not to brown the garlic. Add turnips and potatoes and cook down for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add salt, pepper and broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Puree all or part of the soup depending on how you like it and stir in the cream and ground nutmeg. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve over top some baby spinach for a little splash of color and some extra nutrition.


Portuguese Garlic Soup: 

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro(seperate stocks from leaves, then chop)
6 1/2 c chicken or vegetable stock 
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
6 eggs 
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 loaf stale crusty bread(make sure it's a good quality rustic loaf)
salt and ground black pepper
1/2 c Spanish cold pressed olive oil

1. Place cilantro stocks in a pot, add stock and bring to a boil.  
2. Lower heat, simmer for 10 minutes. Process soup in a blender in batches, pour through a strainer and pour stock back into the pot. Chop and crush garlic with salt using the flat side of a large kitchen knife. Add crushed garlic and salt mixture to the broth and heat back up until simmering.
3. Meanwhile, in cast iron skillet, warm canola oil over medium heat and fry up eggs two at a time. Set eggs on a large plate when medium done and crispy on the edges. 
4. Add chopped coriander leaves to garlic broth and turn off heat. 
5. To plate, place a slice of crusty bread drizzled with olive oil at the bottom of the soup bowl. Ladel garlic soup over top and finish with a fried egg. I always like to sprinkle a little fine sea salt over the yolk before I break it open in the soup bowl.

Friday, October 28, 2011

No Tebowing Needed If You Follow myfoodplans Healthy Tailgating Recipes

1. Savory Pork Chili 

I know it's been posted already, but this recipe deserves a second look. It's certainly the tastiest, healthiest and least expensive chili I've ever made..also the only chili my kids will eat. No beans means you won't have to drive back from Jacksonville with the windows rolled down..yuck!




1.5-2 pounds of ground pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 celery stock, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, finely chopped 

1-28oz can of chopped tomatoes 
4 tbsp. tomato paste 
3-4 cups of chicken stock 
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)

salt and pepper 
chopped fresh cilantro 
sour cream to serve 




1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add pork and season with salt and pepper and cook till no longer pink.  Add onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic and cook for 5 minutes till onion is softened. 

2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Stir in next 6 ingredients and season with more salt and pepper to taste. 
3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
4. Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream and cilantro.




2. Best Organic Plum Tomato and Red Onion Guac
By: Bob Cody on myrecipes.com


Ingredients

  • 3 organic avocados - peeled, pitted, and mashed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup organic red diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh organic cilantro
  • 2 organic roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced organic garlic
  • 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Mix in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic. Stir in cayenne pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately.


3. Chris' BBQ (Gator Hammock)Cooter Rub Wings

1-3 pound bag of never frozen natural  chicken wings
"a standard sprinkle" of Gator Hammock Cooter Rub (can be found at Hitchcock's or  www.insanechicken.com)
1/4-1/2 cup Spanish or Italian Olive Oil

For Dipping:
Favorite BBQ sauce or dressing(ranch and blue cheese being the favorite choices) or hold out for chris' bbq sauce recipe to be posted tonight!

Carrot and celery sticks are optional.

1. In a extra large tupperware countainer combine wings and olive oil. Place lid on tupperware and shake the wings up!
2. Remove lid and add Cooter Rub. Replace lid and shake the things up again!
3. Remove lid and place wings on the grill to cook between 45-55 min. Start checking wings for doneness at the 40 minute mark. Serve up with your favorite sauce and some veggie sticks if you feel so inclined.


4. Easy Black Bean Dip with Salted Plantains or Whole Wheat Pita Chips
 original post can be
found on pinchmysalt.com

5-7 whole rounds of whole wheat pita bread (or four halves)
olive oil
kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Using a basting brush, lightly coat both sides of pita with olive oil.
3. If using whole pita, cut each round in half then cut each half into four triangles.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment (optional but makes clean up a breeze) then spread pita pieces out in a single layer. Sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Turn pieces over and sprinkle the other sides lightly with salt.
5. Place baking sheet in oven and set timer for 5 minutes. Bake pita until the edges are brown and crisp, checking the first time at five minutes and then watching closely. Total baking time will be less than 10 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
7. Serve with your favorite dip.



Easy Black Bean Dip
from pinchmysalt.com 

 

1 can black beans
2 T. liquid from can of beans
squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. coriander
1/4 t. cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
big pinch of salt
1. Drain beans, reserving 2 tablespoons of liquid, then rinse in a strainer.
2. Add beans, reserved liquid, lemon juice and all remaining ingredients to a food processor, mini food processor or blender.
3. Process until smooth then taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
4. Serve with pita chips, corn chips, or your favorite crackers.





5. Fresh Cut Organic Veggies with Holy Tebow Artichoke Hummus 
 Artichoke Hummus recipe found on damyhealth.com

Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 can artichoke hearts
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
Preparation: Puree all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
 




6. Vinegar Slaw
  • 1 large head of cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 medium bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • .
  • Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 cup cider vinegar

Preparation:

Combine coleslaw vegetable ingredients; chopped cabbage, chopped bell pepper, chopped onions, and grated carrots in a large serving bowl.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until honey has dissolved; pour over vegetables and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Enough slaw for 8 to 10 servings. Delicious with Cooter Rub Wings or served on top or on the side of some Grilled Pork Tenderloin on Garlic Bread


7. Honey Coated Roasted Salted Pecan Clusters 
recipe found on sarahsprague.com

2 cups of whole (or pieces, I buy what is ever on sale) of pecans.
Honey
Sugar
Medium Grain or Fine Sea Salt
Hot water

1. Preheat your oven to 325º.  Drizzle about two to three tablespoons of honey on your nuts.
Pour about a 1/4 – 1/3 cup of hot water over the honeyed nuts and stir.  The hot water will help evenly coat your pecans with honey, and keep them moist during roasting.

2. Sprinkle on a generous pinch of kosher salt, about a teaspoon or so, and about 1-2 tablespoons of sugar.  Mix well.

3. Pour everything — including the honey-sugar-water still at the bottom of your bowl –  onto your lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.


4. Take the pan out of the oven, add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and another tablespoon of sugar, and stir until evenly coated. Put the pan back in the oven for 15 more minutes.

5. Repeat the step above.  You should have hardly any water left on the pan, so if you need a touch more hot water just to make sure the salt and sugar are evenly covering your pecans, you can.

Repeat a third time, but omit the salt.  You should be tossing just nuts, syrup, and sugar for the last go around.
Place back in the oven for 15 more minutes.  (45 minutes of total cooking time.)

5. Remove from oven and spread on a clean piece of parchment paper to cool and dry. Seal in an airtight container and take to the tailgate to share with friends and fellow fans!!!!

Homemade Spider Pizza by Kris


 My husband Kris learned how to make bread three years back when we first started losing weight. After reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan we discovered that the primary foods that were hindering our weight loss were the white foods we had been consuming all our lives. Since store-bought bread, pasta, white potatoes, refined sugar, and processed foods were among the primary culprits in helping us to create and maintain an unhealthy weight, we decided to cut those toxic products out first starting with bread since it was both processed and white. So, being the annoyingly analytical partner within the relationship, I set out in search of information that would help me to better understand what I was doing wrong when it came to eating bread. After a short while, I came to realize that the real evil in bread was the fact that because it was so available(as a give-away in restaurants and a cheap source of calories on the supermarket shelves), we tended to eat too much of it. Also, most store bought bread contains so many ingredients to keep it fresh, that it has ceased to be bread and turned into what Pollan refers to as "edible food product" or manufactured mass produced edible processed products made to resemble foods that our grandmother's may have recognized as food. These products do not process through our bodies the way natural foods do. On the contrary, these edible products collect in your gut causing stomach pains, inflammation and weight gain. Once I recognized this truth, it was clear that all we could do to satisfy our craving for bread while eliminating the toxic preservatives present in store bought bread and continuing to meet our weight loss goals, would be to start making our own bread..hence, the birth of what we lovingly refer to in my house as "Daddy Bread"! Below is a very simple dough recipe for "Daddy Bread". This recipe can be found on the Gold Metal Bread Flour bag (we just make a few adjustments). We bake the bread in a buttered metal or glass loaf pan in our oven and we go through about a loaf a week. This bread isn't fancy but it does the trick. I have not experienced any physical discomfort from eating this bread, we all continued to lose weight while eating this bread and making bread this simple bread together has given us a renewed sense of independence from the processed food industry that translates into a really empowered and excited mindset about pushing the boundaries when it comes to creating food at home.
Our kids get "Daddy Bread" in their lunch boxes, and whenever the mood strikes we make some home-made pizza with Daddy's dough. The process of making bread is a fun and exciting way to engage or play with your food so don't deprive yourself of the experience. Our children especially enjoy "knocking back" or punching the bread. Everyone gets involved and it's a great introductory culinary lesson for children.
Now for Kris' most brilliant invention yet...holiday themed pizza made with Daddy's dough. I hope you all enjoy this whimsical and healthy recipe..Happy Halloween!


Recipe courtesy of Kris:

This is a fun and easy pizza to make for your Halloween festivities.  We usually use kalamata olives on ours, but you can also substitute colossal black olives, green pepper strips, and really any topping that you can shape into a spider shape - or make up your own. 
We prefer to make our own dough so that we are certain that there aren't any additives, preservatives, and other unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients.  The recipe for the pizza dough is the same one we use to make our bread (just a slightly different process).  Before you start you will need a large mixing bowl, fork, clean work surface, measuring cups and spoons, and a clean dish cloth to cover the bowl (not a terry cloth towel) Here it is (makes enough for 2 large pizzas):

Dough
3 plus 1/3 plus 1/4 level cups of bread flour (Gold Medal brand)
1 - 1/4 OZ packet of yeast (Fleischmann's RapidRise or Hodgson Mill)
1 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt
1 tsp honey
1 plus 1/3 cups of warm water
1-2 OZ vegetable oil

Pizza Ingredients
kalamata olives or colossal black olives (and any other toppings you want)
8 OZ whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of your favorite pasta sauce
1tbsp of olive oil

In a large bowl, add the bread flour, the salt, and the contents of the yeast packet. 
Use a fork to stir these ingredients together until they are incorporated well. 
Add the honey, and warm water and stir with your hands, then transfer dough to clean work surface and knead until smooth and springy, but slightly sticky. 
Shape dough into a ball, place in clean mixing bowl, then rub the vegetable oil over the sides of the bowl and the dough. 
Cover with dish cloth, and let sit for 45 min - 1 hour.
Next, remove dough from bowl, and knock it down with your hands so that the dough is flattened. 
Cut it into two halves.  Roll each half into a ball - then flatten into the shape of a round pizza crust.  Next place the dough on a buttered round pizza pan or a baking stone if you have one (if you don't have either, you can just butter a baking sheet and make it a rectangular pizza). 
Brush the tbsp of olive oil over the flattened dough (this prevents dough from getting soggy from the sauce)
Spread about 1/2 cup your favorite pasta sauce over the dough (go with a sauce that doesn't have preservatives or additives - I'll post a homemade pizza sauce recipe later on).
Next spread 8OZ of shredded whole milk mozzarella over the sauce.
Then take the olives and halve about 7 or 8 for the bodies of the spiders.  Next cut some olives into strips to form the legs (spiders have eight legs if you are going for accuracy - but nobody's counting!).
Bake in the oven on the lowest rack at 475-500 degrees for 12-14 minutes give or take.  Keep your eyes on it towards the end - it can burn quickly.  Cut it right away with a pizza cutter, and let cool for five minutes.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

4 Healthy Meals That'll Feed You For 7 Days: Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Zucchini, Roasted Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese, Italian-Style Meat Loaf with Garlicky Kale Salad, Organic Nutmeg-Spiced Sweet Potato Soup and Vegetarian Spiced Split Red Lentils

1. Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Zucchini, Roasted Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese

Gourmet  | July 1991

  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed coarsely grated unpeeled scrubbed zucchini,;squeezed dry in a paper towel
  • 2 tablespoons minced drained bottled roasted red pepper or pimiento
  • 1 ounce of soft mild goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 whole boneless chicken breast (with skin), halved
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

1. In a skillet cook the onion in 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately low heat until it is softened, add the zucchini, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute, or until the zucchini is tender. Stir in the red pepper, the goat cheese, and salt and pepper to taste and cook the mixture, stirring, until cheese is melted. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and let it cool slightly. 

2. With your fingers make a pocket for the filling in each chicken breast half by separating in skin from the meat, being careful not to tear the skin and keeping the skin attached along most of the edge. Stuff each pocket with half the filling with a small spoon, packing it and pulling the skin to cover the filling completely, and secure the pockets with wooden picks if desired. 

3. In a large skillet heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it sauté the chicken, beginning with the skin side up, for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to moderate, cook the chicken for 9 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through, and divide it between 2 plates. Pour off the fat from the skillet, to the skillet add the broth, and boil the broth, scraping up the brown bits, for 30 seconds. Strain the sauce and pour it around the chicken.

* Serve with myfoodplans Simple Sweet Potatoes





2. Tarka Dhal (Richly Spiced Split Red Lentils) 



For dhal
1/2 cup split red lentils
1/4 cup yellow split peas
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 fresh green chillies,  chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt

For the tarka

2 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
1 large onion
1/4 tsp mixed mustard and onion seeds
4 dried red chillies
1 tomato sliced

For the garnish

1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 fresh green chillies(seeded and sliced)
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint

1. Boil all the red split lentils and yellow split peas in water with ginger, garlic, turmeric and chopped green chillies for 20 minutes or until soft.

2. Mash mixture with a fork or potato masher until it reaches the consistency of creamy chicken soup.
 If the mixture appears dry, add water a little at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Season with salt and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a heavy pan and fry the large onion, mustard, onion seeds, dried red chillies and tomato for 2 minutes.

4. Spoon red mashed lentils into a serving dish and pour tarka over top. Garnish with fresh cilantro, green chillies and mint and serve.





3. Italian-Style Meat Loaf
with Garlicky Kale Salad 

1 1/2 pounds 92% lean ground beef

1 cup fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce, divided
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil 
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
2 large egg whites 
Cooking spray 
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine beef, 1/2 cup pasta sauce, and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl. 
2. Shape beef mixture into an 8 x 4-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush remaining 1/2 cup pasta sauce over top of meat loaf. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. 
3. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut loaf into 12 slices, serve and enjoy!!!

 

 

Garlicky Kale Salad

(Inspired by the Whole Foods salad bar)

 

  • 1/2 bunch raw kale (washed, de-stemmed and dried)
  • 1 T tahini
  • 1 T water
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T liquid aminos (tamari or soy sauce would work too)
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (1 -2 cloves of garlic)
  • sesame seeds, to taste as garish (optional)
  1. Break kale into bite size pieces and place in a large bowl.
  2. Puree all ingredients except kale and sesame seeds in a blender or food processor to blend the dressing.
  3. Pour dressing over kale and massage into the kale with your hands until all pieces of kale are coated.
  4. Let the salad sit in the fridge for an hour or so to marinate. You can skip this step if you need to eat right away, but allowing some time to marinate will wilt the kale a bit and make it a little more palatable – particularly for those who are skeptical of eating raw kale.
  5. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds before serving if so desired.
 Recipe found on http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2011/02/garlicky-kale/




 4.  Organic Nutmeg-Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

1 tbsp olive oil or grape seed oil
1 large yellow organic onion
3 sweet potatoes
2 yukon gold potatoes
1 turnup
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or coconut milk
6 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp agave
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
2 tbsp organic butter
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Peel and cut potatoes and turnip and set aside. Chop onion while oil is heating in a soup pot. Add onion to oil and sate for 5-7 minutes. Add cut potatoes and turnip and cook for 1 minute. Add broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

2. Puree vegetables with broth in batches. Return soup to pot, heat at low temperature and slowly stir in cream, brown sugar, nutmeg, butter and salt. Serve and enjoy a true taste of fall!!!









Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gainesville Food: Top 5 Finds

Let me just preface this list by stating that I absolutely love my fare city as much as I love punning. I have now lived in Gainesville for over 10 years and in that time I've heard Gainesville called many things from "...the Berkley of the South" to "...just like Austin in the 70's". I disagree with these limiting descriptions, and consider that Gainesville is a little patch of green heaven filled with democratic, enterprising individuals not the least of which are our local restaurateurs.
 My family and I exclusively dine at locally owned and operated restaurants around town. It's just one small way we chose to give back to this fine city. I suggest that whether you're a native or a recent transplant you take my suggestions seriously..eat locally. It stands to benefit your town, your health and ultimately your wallet.  Okay, lecture over..here it goes..my top 5 local restaurants:

1. The Lunch Box: Right smack in the center of Bo Diddley Plaza. Open air, open seating and cute as a button. The outdoor eatery not only looks sweet, it can deliver the goods. From absolutely devine soups that any five star chef would envy, to most incredible home-made corn dog you've ever had the privilege of devouring - not that I would know:)

Favorite Menu Item: Ginger Curry Carrot Coconut Soup (Menu Special)
Price: around $4
Guilty Pleasure: Home-made Corn-Dog
Price: $2.75
For a complete menu check out thelunchboxdowntown.com



2. Civilization: Finally an attempt to make a formerly hipster infested hang-out into a very beautiful and progressive restaurant quite worthy of it's name. Civilization is primo! From the soups right down to the water buffalo burger(real free range buffalo from our little neighboring town of Archer).  The fries are even better than the burger which is nothing short of outstanding! Civilization has it down..a-mazing food, beautiful architecture, great lunch menu and lunch menu prices. Best of all this place is a restaurant co-op which means that your server is also part owner. You don't ever have to worry about having an aloof server here. Try to avoid dinner..too much of a mark-up there.



Favorite Menu Item: Free Range Water Buffalo Burger
Price: Under $10
Guilty Pleasure: Home Fries with dipping sauce
Price: comes with your $10 Buffalo Burger

www.welcometocivilization.com

3. Chopstix: What can I say about this place. Well, for starters, it should be listed as #1. Mr. Lee and his beautiful wife have been charming me back in here for years. Their menu is extensive, their food is NOT expensive, their portions are enormous and the staff..well, let's put it this way, I would gladly sell something dear to me before I tipped under 20% here. Staff is stupendous! They give great menu suggestions and are very precise about describing dishes(which must be hard to do with such an extensive menu to memorize) and their smiles are contagious. Good times are had by all at Chopstix!

Favorite Menu item: Lemon Grass Chicken
Price: $9
Guilty Pleasure: Salt and Pepper Squid
Price: Market Price(around $12)

www.chopstixcafe.com

4. Sabore :  If like me, you can appreciate art in culinary form...it will be a sincere pleasure to dine at Chef Willy Hernandez's fun, hot, and elegant Tioga restaurant. I've personally celebrated several birthdays and anniversaries there in the last few months. This place has a sizzling atmosphere, a diverse menu (which blends flavors from Japan, Italy, Spain, Peru etc) and impeccable service! I recommend Sabore whether you're having a casual lunch with friends or you want to make your out-of-town guests jealous. Important Note: Don't skip dessert here..I highly recommend the appropriately named "the funk"(chef special tiramisu / chocolate heath bar / blueberry sauce) and dulce de coco (a Dominican dessert made from shredded coconut, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon - think coconut rice pudding without the rice!)

 



Favorite Menu Item: King Salmon
Price: $13
Guilty Pleasure: Dulce de Coco
Price: $8

For the complete menu, pictures of their culinary masterpieces and the best restaurant website I've seen in months check out www.saborerestaurant.com


5. Satchel's: A destination, not just a restaurant. If not for their ever so extensive and quite impressive beer collection, go for the art... Found art, hip mamas, and some seriously yummy Satchel's salad, not to mention Lightnin' Salvage is my favorite venue in town. Just behind the pizzeria is a cute little open-air seating area/music venue. You may just order a pizza and sit out at the Salvage with the kiddies taking in some great sights and sounds. Let them go for a romp in the playground while you're taking in the tunes or playing bocce ball with friends out back at Satchel's very own bocce court.




Favorite Menu Item: The Satch Salad
Price: $6.50 (feeds 2-4)
Guilty Pleasure:  The Major (a pizza with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and black olives)
Price:  $5.75/slice  $20.00/medium pie

www.satchelspizza.com

Other Gainesville restaurants that make my inner fat-kid smile:

For Jazz, Most interesting bathroom and Mark's Famous Sunday Brunch: Leonardo's 706
For a Taste of the Town and to meet the coolest kids in town(cause they all work here): Leo's
For a Latin-Inspired weekend lunch with friends: Emiliano's
For celebrating your birthday(if your friend's are paying): Dragonfly
For the best hot sauce and Cuban sandwich in town: Fruitanga
For a great bar, amazing food, interesting art and mid-century modern furniture to boot: The Top
For the best pancakes, salmon eggs benedict, their very own chocolate cinnamon infused coffee roast you might be tempted to trade your roommate for: Ivy's Grill 





Sunday, October 9, 2011

What we're having for dinner this week: Pea Soup topped with Prosciutto, Salad Nicoise, Mushroom and Sausage Ragu, Maple-Glazed Salmon with Mixed Lettuce Pear and Goatcheese Salad, Baked Buffalo Chicken Thighs with Cheesy Squash Cassarole, Fall Vegetable Curry and Simple Savory Italian Chicken and Escarole Soup

1.  Gordon Ramsey's Salad Nicoise
 

 
  Photo taken by Kris Callen
2. Pea Soup with Garlic topped with Prosciutto  


2 tbsp butter
2-3 garlic cloves
8 cups frozen peas
5 cups chicken stock 
4 slices prosciutto roughly chopped


1. Heat butter in a medium soup pan and add garlic. Fry garlic gently for 2-3 minutes(be careful not to brown). Add peas and and cook down 2 more minutes. Pour in stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes(or until peas are tender).
2. Remove soup from heat and let cool at room temperature for 10 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to blender and puree. Return to soup pot and warm prior to serving. Season soup with salt and black pepper to taste and garnish with chopped prosciutto.




3. Fall Vegetable Curry 

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup diced peeled sweet potato 
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion 
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson) 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained 
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt


1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Decrease heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onion, and curry powder; cook 1 minute, stirring mixture constantly. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro and spoon over top brown rice.




4. Maple Glazed Salmon with Mixed Lettuce Pear and Goat Cheese Salad