Almond Citrus Cake with Lime Coconut Cream

This is my delicate, delicious Almond Citrus Cake topped with Lime-Coconut Cream and fruit of your choice.

Make 1 recipe of the Almond Citrus Cake, and bake in a 9" Springform pan.

While it cools, make the topping.

LimeCoconut Cream

  • 1 15oz. can Coconut Cream (not milk)
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. Lime juice or 1 tsp. organic Lime zest (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla extract (2 tsp. if you don't use Lime)
  • 2 Tbs. Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 c. toasted Cashews or Hazelnuts, crushed
 Almond Citrus Cake w Lime Coconut Cream

Almond Citrus Cake w Lime Coconut Cream

Refrigerate can of Cream upside-down, for at least 3 hours or overnight.

When ready to use... flip can back upright, and open. Any liquid should be floating on top. Drain the liquid carefully using the lid, so you don't lose any cream.

  1. In a dry metal bowl, beat cream with mixer for about 3-4 minutes or until it thickens and holds soft peaks.
  2. Add the lime juice and extract and beat another minute.
  3. Add maple syrup and beat again, until the consistency is what you desire.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.  The cream will thicken considerable when chilled.
  5. Spread on cake and garnish with nuts and fruit of your choice.

If you have leftover cream:

  1. Use to top fresh fruit, cocoa, or oatmeal
  2. Mix in chopped fruit and chocolate chips and freeze for a summer treat!
 Almond Citrus Cake w Lime Coconut Cream

Almond Citrus Cake w Lime Coconut Cream

Garden Herbs and Baked Southwestern Sweet Potato Cakes

Sweet potatoes are full of wonderful vitamins, are alkaline and help reduce blood sugar.

You can enjoy them several times a week cooked in various ways.  They're versatile enough to be in a stew, curry, veggie patty, side dish or served on their own or in a dessert. I modified this recipe I found online.

Baked Southwestern Sweet Potato Cakes

  • 2 organic Sweet Potatoes, halved
  • 2 c. cooked organic Black Beans, drained
  • 2 cloves organic Garlic, minced
  • 3 organic Spring Onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbs. organic Red Onion, diced
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • ½ tsp. Cumin
  • ½ tsp. Chili powder
  • ½ tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh organic Thyme, minced or ¼ tsp. dry
  • 2 tsp. fresh Lime Juice
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • Avocado or Olive oil for baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Steam sweet potatoes in their skin, covered, until soft. Do not boil, as they lose flavor and will be too mushy.

Remove potatoes from pot, peel and mash in a medium bowl.

Place 1/2 the beans in food processor and blend.

Add all the beans to the potatoes.  Add the garlic, onions, parsley, cilantro, and spices. Stir together to combine.

Stir in the lime juice, zest.

Form mixture into 8 patties, just under 1/2" thick.

Southwestern Style Sweet Potato Cakes 1
Southwestern Style Sweet Potato Cakes 1

Place patties on oiled baking sheet. Brush tops lightly with olive oil.

Bake for 12 minutes, flip carefully and bake for another 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Southwestern Style Sweet Potato Cakes 3
Southwestern Style Sweet Potato Cakes 3

Serve topped with a fresh salsa (tomatoes, onions, cilantro, cucumber, lime or lemon juice and 2 Tbs. plain almond or coconut yogurt), or enjoy in a high-fiber gluten-free bun with condiments.

~ Cheers! ♥

Hot Cross Buns - Any Day of the Week!

Ever wonder why we seem to feel that traditional Holiday Fare must be served solely on their respective observed Holiday? Wouldn't it be wonderful to both awaken the energy held in said Holidays and enjoy the foods served, during other times of the year?

Why celebrate the Nativity or Thanksgiving, or Adha or Diwali only once a year?  I'm not saying we should go out and do all the associated activities we feel compelled to attach to each Holiday... but to bring the spirit of that day to mind during the year.

It's like not waiting to say a prayer of thanks until you're in a Church or Temple, but freely anywhere, anytime!

So while I did make the Hot Cross Buns for Easter... they were so well received I think they're going to appear on our table a few times a year. :)

Easter eggs

I tweaked a recipe from Udi's to better comply with our good-fats, high-fiber, low glycemic diet, while remaining tasty.

Everyone from adult to teen to 12-year-old loved them (the dark chocolate chunks didn't hurt).  Of course you're welcome to use a few raisins instead.

Chipful Hot Cross Buns, Gluten Free

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3¼ cups gluten-free flour (about 1 lb.). For the best results use a GF flour blend; I used: 1-1/8 c. Sorghum flour 1-1/8 c. Gluten Free Oat Flour (e.g. Bob's Red Mill) 1/2 c. Potato Starch, slightly mounded 1/2 c. Almond Flour/Meal
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Palm Sugar
  • 2 Tbs. Apple Pectin (for sweetness and fiber)
  • 2½ tsp. Yeast
  • 2½ tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp. Ceylon or True Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • ¼ tsp. each: Ginger, Cardamom, Nutmeg
  • 3/4 c. Dark Chocolate Chips or 1/2 c. Raisins

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1½ c. Almond Milk
  • 3 Hi Omega-3 Eggs
  • 4 Tbs. organic, grass-fed Butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Next day:

  • 1/4 teaspoon Instant Yeast ( I used regular yeast with 1 Tbs. warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes, and it was fine)
  • 1 Tbs. Warm Water

Egg Wash:

  • Mix 1 large Egg with 1 Tbs. Almond or Coconut Milk

Method

  1. Combine all dry ingredients (except fruit or chocolate chips)
  2. Combine wet ingredients and then add to the mixed dry ingredients. Fold in fruit or chocolate chips.
  3. After mixing dough thoroughly, cover tightly with wax paper, then a clean dish towel and refrigerate in a bowl overnight.
  4. The next day: Dissolve the 1/4 teaspoon of instant yeast in the water. Stir this into the dough.
  5. Grease two 8"x8" square or two 9" round pans with coconut oil, and place 8-9 balls of the dough into each pan.

    Hot Cross buns pan

  6. Smooth out the tops of the buns and brush with the egg wash.
  7. With a sharp knife, slice a shallow cross (+) in the top of each roll. Let them rest in a warm room (or 100 degree oven) for about 10-12 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350º F.

    Hot Cross buns oven

  9. Place baking pan in the center of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating once during baking, until the buns are golden brown and firm to the touch.
  10. Allow buns to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely... if you can wait that long!

No icing necessary, but you must try them warm with a smear of coconut oil and sprinkle of cinnamon!

Hot Cross buns plate

~ Bon Apetit!

Quick Mini Veggie Wraps with Peanut Sauce

This recipe has become a favorite as a quick lunch, or salad substitute with dinner. The presentation is colorful.  

brown rice wrap
brown rice wrap

Next time you shop buy two packages of Brown Rice Wrappers and Nori sheets to have on hand.

You can improvise with the filling, and surely you have a jar of organic, no-sugar-added Peanut Butter for the sauce base. :)

Mini Veggie Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Note: You can make the sauce without the pepper flakes, and/or add 1 tsp. Lime Juice for more zip.

Also, adjusting the amount is simple.. for each additional sheet or Nori or Rice wraps, you'll want another 1/2-3/4 c. of shredded or sliced veggies.

  • 4 sheets Brown Rice Wrappers
  • 2 sheets sushi-grade Nori
  • 1 1/2 c. organic Zucchini, shredded
  • 1 c. organic Carrots, shredded
  • 4 organic Scallions, cut into thin strips
  • 3/4 c. fresh organic Cilantro, stems trimmed
  • 1/2 c. organic Mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1/2 c. organic Red Cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 c. organic Yellow or Red Bel Pepper, thinly sliced

Spicy Peanut Sauce

  • 1/4 c. organic, no-sugar-added Peanut Butter
  • 3 Tbs. Coconut Aminos or Tamari Sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. organic ev Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. raw, organic Honey (Maple syrup for vegan)
  • 2 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp. organic Garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Ginger
  • 1 tsp. crushed Red Pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. Water or Lime juice (opt)

Mix all ingredients, whisking until smooth.  (You may add a few crushed peanuts if you so desire.)  Place in a bowl.

rice wrap ingredts
rice wrap ingredts

 

  • Place on a chopping board or kitchen counter covered with parchment paper.
  • Spread 2 tsp. of sauce along center, and place up to 3/4 cup of filling (1/6 of each veggie), in layers, on wrap. Fold ends in and roll carefully but firmly, so as not to tear sheet.
  • Cut into 1-1/2" slices with very sharp knife, and place on serving platter.
  • Do this with remaining sheets or rice wraps.

To make Nori, go through the same process, but do not dip in water.

  • Serve with additional peanut sauce, or Tamari.

~ In Good Health! ♥

Super Duper Dill 'n' Veggie Omelet

We had a little plumbing crisis last night. J did a couple of loads of laundry, his little girl took a shower and we used bathrooms all within the same hour or so.... Yikes!  Our 35-year-old pipes couldn't handle it. While waiting for the plumber this morning, I had time to make a leisurely breakfast.

One of the classic breakfasts that is served in Lebanon is a Dill Omelet. Mom made an oven baked version that includes some flour, and was rich with dill and onions.

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Black Bean Salad Lunch Plate

Whenever I make Tabbouleh I am sure to make enough to last 3 days. That's about the limit for freshness. It goes so well with so many foods, and as a condiment in sandwiches. I had some left from yesterday, and some black beans left from making the Dark Chocolate Black Bean Bars, so I transformed the latter into a salad, and added the last piece of Ginger Cod. Very tasty, very healthy... high protein, omega 3's, high fiber, high antioxidant!

Black Bean Salad

  • 4 c. cooked organic Black Beans, drained
  • 1/2 c. organic sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c. organic Mint, chopped
  • 1/2 organic Serrano Chili Pepper chopped (opt.)
  • 2 medium organic Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 organic Green Onions, chopped
  • 4 Tbs. organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg's is best)
  • 2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Flax Seed Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin or more to taste
  •  

Mix everything together in a large bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste. I added a sprinkle of black pepper.

My son ate some for a snack right out of the bowl. He's my gourmet, finicky food critic.  :)

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

Happy July 4th Birthday and Nutty Crackers

Infinite Possibilites

My sweet daughter was born on the 4th of July.  She has lived up to the spirit of that day in her energy and expression of pure unadulterated joy. 

In Kindergarten her teachers noted that she often led the other little girls around the playground, acting like a General! She is, after all, born in the Year of the Tiger.  She is a creative, positive, caring, talented and sunshine-filled woman. What more could a Mom desire for her child? So blessed that both my children are gems, with hearts that extend to others.

One of the things I wanted to make for our Birthday guests, was flour-less crackers. I found a recipe online that I liked, so I and decided to create my own blend based on the ingredients in the recipe.

I'm happy to say the experiment was a success!

Hoda's Nutty Crackers - Gluten Free

This recipe will make about 35 - 50 crackers depending on how large you cut them.  I got about 50 cut into 1-1/2" diamonds.

nutty crackers baked
nutty crackers baked
  • 1/2 c. dry roasted Almonds, salted
  • 1/2 c. Pecans
  • 1/4 c. Walnuts
  • 2 Tbs. Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. golden Flax Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. black or regular Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbs. Macadamia nut pieces
  • 2 Tbs. Sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbs. red Quinoa
  • 1 tsp. Anise seeds, crushed (opt.)
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs. water
  • anise seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds or black pepper for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C).

nutty cracker batter
nutty cracker batter

Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place all ingredients (except toppings) in a food processor.  Process until mixture has even grains, about 2 minutes.

Divine the dough into two, and place on parchment paper in the pans. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper to prevent rolling-pin from sticking.

nutty cracker batter1
nutty cracker batter1

Roll each ball out into a rectangle, turning the parchment paper in the pan to accommodate the rolling-pin. Roll quite thin (2 - 3 mm).

Use a sharp knife to cut into desired shape. I made a tray with diamond-shaped crackers and sesame seeds topping, and another that I hand pressed into rounds with anise seeds.

nutty cracker batter3
nutty cracker batter3

Mist with a little water to help your topping stick. Push the topping into the crackers lightly.

Bake for about 9-10 minutes, watching carefully after 8 minutes so they don't burn. Store in airtight container.  Will keep for 3-4 days.

~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

Teacups and Dark Chocolate Black Bean Bars

Mom, Dad and my older siblings lived in Washington DC for about 5 years when Dad was Ambassador to the U.S.  He was reassigned when I was born, so at 2 months old I made the trip back home. While in DC Mom and Dad had a portrait done by Stefan Norbin, a Polish artist.  While he made Mom look much younger than Dad they were actually only 6 years apart in age.

Mom and Dad 1940's
Mom and Dad 1940's

Recently, I looked up info on the artist and this is what I found:

"Stefan Norblin, a polish painter and graphic artist, had an exciting, and tragic life. He was a successful and popular portrait painter, poster and book and costume designer in Warsaw in the 1920's and 1930's, married to the movie star Lena Zelichowska.

When World War 2 broke out, the couple fled in the last-minute, first to Romania, then Istanbul, Iraq and finally arrived in India. Norblin quickly caught the attention of the Maharaja of Jodpur who had just built a huge palace that needed to be decorated, and Norblin was given a free hand to design the interior and the furniture.

In 1946, he left for the United States, and although he had a few commissions for portraits, he was not happy, his eyesight was failing and he finally took his own life in 1952. Most of his work in the United States was lost or destroyed, and except for his polish tourist posters, he was forgotten. "

A few years ago, I started my a collection of teacups like my mother did in her 40's. 

Cups
Cups

I inherited my love of cooking from Mom, who spent 6 years writing the first anthology of Middle Eastern and North African Cuisine, published in 1970. Thanks to her all 7 of her children, and numerous grandchildren have that same passion.

Yesterday I stumbled on a recipe for brownies made with Black Beans that sounded twice as good as the recipe I adapted a few weeks ago.

Here is my version...

Dark Chocolate Black Bean Bars

  • 3/4 c. cold-pressed Coconut Oil
  • 5 oz. 85% organic Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 c. cooked organic Black Beans, drained
  • 3 Tbs. organic raw Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Tbs. Coconut Flakes (more to taste)
  • 1 c. organic Walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pinch of Sea Salt
  • 2 high-Omega3 Eggs
  • 3 Tbs. freshly ground golden Flax Seeds
  • 2/3 c. Chicory Root or Xylitol

Preheat the oven to 325°F and line an 11-inch square or 8 x 11 baking pan with parchment paper.

Melt the coconut oil on low heat in a medium size pan, add dark chocolate pieces. Stir around until the chocolate is completely melted.

Chocolate Black Bean Bars2
Chocolate Black Bean Bars2

Put beans, cacao powder, coconut flakes and 1/2 cup of the walnuts in a blender or a food processor. Blend for one minute or until well chopped, then add the chocolate mixture and blend for one more minute, scraping down sides once.

Chocolate Black Bean Bars1
Chocolate Black Bean Bars1
Chocolate Black Bean Bars6
Chocolate Black Bean Bars6

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with an electric mixer for about 2 minutes, add the flax seeds and xylitol and beat for one more minute.

Chocolate Black Bean Bars4
Chocolate Black Bean Bars4
Chocolate Black Bean Bars5
Chocolate Black Bean Bars5

Save four spoonful’s of the egg mixture in a separate cup and pour the rest into the chocolate and bean mixture and process just to incorporate.

Add the remaining walnuts and dark chocolate and stir gently with a spatula until blended.

Chocolate Black Bean Bars7
Chocolate Black Bean Bars7

Pour into the baking pan.

Drip the remaining egg mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and use a toothpick or a knife to create a marble effect.

Chocolate Black Bean Bars final
Chocolate Black Bean Bars final

Bake for 30 minutes. They might still feel a little soft in the middle when you take them out, but they will harden when they cool. These are decadently chocolaty!

You can spread a little Xylitol-sweetened raspberry jam on top for variation.

~ Enjoy!  ♥

Haight Street and Roasted Vegetables with Tea Leaves

I had an appointment with my anthroposophic Doc in San Francisco yesterday.  I've been having vertigo that lasts for a few seconds when I lay down, and inner ear congestion, so I sought her help.  She is an amazing woman with more accomplishments than I can ever remember. 

haight street SF
haight street SF

J and I drove in 4 hours early since he had a meeting on Haight Street with contractors bidding for a remodel on a new building his boss purchased to turn into another Music store.  I hadn't been to Haight in a number of years.  My niece and I used to go to a Middle Eastern restaurant across from the building where J has his appointment, to enjoy the food and belly dance to live music.

Everyone knows that one aspect of San Francisco's charm is the wonderful Victorian architecture.  The intricate designs and eye-catching colors never cease to please me.

red victorian SF haight
red victorian SF haight

Haight Street is best known as the principal street in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. The Haight-Ashbury district is famous for its role as a center of the 1960s hippie movement. College and high-school students began streaming into the Haight during the spring break of 1967.

Hunter S. Thompson labeled the district "Hashbury" in The New York Times Magazine, and the activities in the area were reported almost daily.  I'm sure we all remember the Summer of Love, the social phenomenon in the summer of 1967, when about 100,000 people converged on the Haight-Ashbury triggering a major cultural and political shift.

The 'Peace Cafe' located in the Red Victorian, is neighbor to a Vintage Costume and Rental store.  We got ourselves something to drink from a cafe across the street, decorated with huge paintings on canvas based on "The Wind in the Willows".

Back at home, I decided to roast some veggies, bake some Cod filet with ginger and green onions, and steam Butternut squash with a hint of coconut oil, salt and pepper. For a salad a Slaw with Red and Napa Cabbage.

Roasted Rainbow Vegetables

8 Servings

~I only use veggies that are Organic.

  • 1 cup chopped Red Cabbage
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped Onion
  • 3 Zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced 3/4" thick
  • 3 Carrots, sliced 3/4" thick
  • 1/2 large Eggplant, cut in chunks
  • 2 cups Butternut Squash, cut in bite size chunks
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes, cut in bite size chunks
  • 7 -10 cloves Garlic, halved if large
  • 2 Tbs. Green Tea leaves (reserved from making tea, or soaked)
  • 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Caraway Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 425ºF ; 220ºC.

Combine veggies in a large bowl with tea leaves. Add Olive oil and toss to coat thoroughly.

Sprinkle with Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Caraway and Cayenne. Toss again until evenly coated with the spices.

Spoon Veggies into a large ceramic or glass baking dish that has been lightly sprayed with Coconut or Olive oil.

Roast veggies for 30 minutes, toss them with spatula and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

veggies roasted
veggies roasted

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot.

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

Coconut Cilantro Chutney

One of my sweet 30-something nephews came over for lunch today.  We hadn't really visited for some time since he lives an hour away. We caught each other up on news over chicken tacos, chicken Thai curry, whole wheat couscous, kale salad and spinach flat bread (I like eclectic meals).

I realized that I didn't have a chutney to serve, since most are so full of sugar I rarely buy them.  I came across this recipe... It goes very well with fish too, and takes just minutes to whip up.

Coconut Cilantro Chutney Recipe

GreenCoriander chutney
GreenCoriander chutney
  • 3/4 c. shredded unsweetened Coconut
  • 3/4 c. fresh organic Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small seeded organic Serrano chili,  quartered
  • 1/2 c. light coconut milk (or green tea)
  • Juice of 1/2 organic Lime
  • dash of Sea Salt

Place all but Lime juice in blender, or food processor, and pulse until consistency is almost smooth.

Pour into a bowl and mix in lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning.

As a variation you may add 1 clove of garlic to veggies, or a 1/2 inch slice of ginger.

Makes about 1 cup of chutney.

~ āp kā khānā svādiṣṭa ho! ♥

The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

As a child, eggplants were my least favorite vegetable, much to my mother's disappointment.  The only exception was Baba Ghannouj, a must at every Lebanese appetizer table.
You see, in the Middle East, the Eggplant is referred to as the King of Stuffed Vegetables due to its versatility and the large number recipes that feature this violet beauty.
When I was in my preteen years, I decided that every couple of weeks or so I would force my self to eat one food item that I did not like. When the eggplant's turn came around, it took a while, but slowly I grew to love that little bit of creamy bitterness it offers.  Soon my favorite recipes included 4 eggplant dishes... 1) Eggplant rounds pan-fried in olive oil and topped with a Spicy Tomato-Onion medley; 2) Eggplant stuffed with Rice, Lamb, Onions, Tomatoes and Spices; 3) Eggplant-Beef boats with Pine Nuts; and 4) Baba Ghannouj.
The recipe below calls for the Caponata to be served cold as an appetizer.  Since it is versatile, I have heated it up and spooned it over hot whole wheat couscous that has been cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, for a wonderful meal!

Recipe

Serves @ 10 as an appetizer
  • 2 lbs. organic Eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic White Onion, small diced
  • ½ c. organic Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. organic Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and small diced)
  • ¼ c. organic Basil, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 small Green Chili, minced (opt.)
  • ¼ c. Green Olives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Head of Green leaf Lettuce
Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until lightly browned; removed from pan. In the same pan, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for 2 minutes (vegetables should still have some texture, and garlic should not brown). Mix everything else together in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve a large scoop of pate over a bed of lettuce and surround with toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, or scoop onto whole wheat Tuscan bread that has a light smear of Vegenaise.

~ Buon Apetito!

Apples and Butternut Squash

I inherited my current Crock Pot from a dear friend who moved to Atlanta.  

It had been a number of years since I owned a Crock Pot, maybe. I remember I have one when I walk by the rack it sits on, so it has yet to rent a permanent space in the cooking corner of my mind!

Crock Pots are wonderful for plan ahead, everything in one pot meals. Some of them are quite tasty, although scoffed at

by gourmets, but I've learned to relax and enjoy a wide array of cooking styles and approaches.

I love recipes that combine fruit and vegetables.  So many of them seem to be made for each other, like Butternut and Apples.

Pumkins and Squash

Recipe

This recipe makes a lovely side dish to curries, grilled chicken or fish.

  • 1 Tbs. organic grass-fed, Butter
  • 1/2 ts ground Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
  • 1 lb organic Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • 2 large tart organic Apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 1/2 organic White Onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. real Maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar

Combine spices in a small bowl, and set aside.

-butternut-squash
-butternut-squash

Put squash in Crock-pot. Add apples and onion.

Sprinkle with spices and add maple syrup.  Stir to combine well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 - 7 hours, or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in butter and adjust seasoning just before serving.

~ En Guete! ♥

Kale Medley Wraps

Kale and Greens

medley bags from Trader Joe (baby kale, baby chard, baby spinach)  and decided to create an Asian Style wrap filling using that and a few other ingredients.

I had a cup of soaked and sprouted mung beans in the fridge, and about a cup of sprouted lentils that I cooked with green tea, onion, cumin, salt and pepper. So here's what was born from this starter.

Kale seasoning
Kale seasoning

Kale, Greens and Bean Filling

  • 5-6 cups mixed organic Greens (Kale, Chard, Spinach, Collards, Watercress, etc..)
  • 2 tsp.organic  extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 organic White onion, sliced thin
  • 1 c. organic Carrots, shredded
  • 1 c. cooked sprouted Lentils (cook in broth or green tea and spices to give it flavor)
  • 1 c. Mung Beans, soaked overnight till sprouted
  • 1/4 c. Water or Vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. organic Ginger, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. Tamari Sauce (Gluten Free)
  • 3 Tbs. Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pour olive oil into a large sauté pan over medium heat, for 1 minute. Tilt pan to spread oil a little. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, then add greens and carrots.

Stir for 5 -6 minutes or until greens turn bright.

carrot onion kale saute
carrot onion kale saute

Add Mung beans, lentils and water. Stir to mix.  When it starts to simmer, turn heat to Low, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Kale burrito filling 3
Kale burrito filling 3

Add ginger, and all seasonings.

kale saute _ginger
kale saute _ginger

Stir well, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender. Add a little more water if necessary.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Kale burrito filling 4
Kale burrito filling 4

Serve wrapped in wilted Chard leaf, whole grain Tortilla, or open face on whole wheat Pita bread. May also be served on top of wild rice or mixed in with buckwheat noodles!

 Bon Apetit!

Black Bean Brownies - Revisited!

On June 5th I re-blogged the Black Beauty recipe from Chronicles of Passion.  I said that I would post the results after I tweaked the recipe to fit in with our Anti-Cancer Diet.

Well, I baked up a batch last week, and below is the end result presented in photo and words.

black bean brownies
black bean brownies

Here is the recipe with my modifications

.

maple syrup Josephs
maple syrup Josephs
  • 1 c. organic Black beans, drained
  • 1 Banana, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1/4 c. organic Zucchini, shredded
  • 1 generous tsp. pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup organic Raw Cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbs. Xylitol or Chicory Root powder
  • 3 Tbs. pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs. brewed Green Tea or Water
  • 1/4 c. organic Oat Flour
  • Toasted Pecans (opt.)

Then I followed the recipe instructions for the most part.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Place beans and banana in food processor and pulse until completely mashed.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until combined, scraping often.

black bean brownies 4
black bean brownies 4

Pour batter into pan, spreading it evenly, and push pecan pieces into batter.

black bean brownies raw
black bean brownies raw

Place pan on middle rack of oven.

Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until edges curl away from paper. The brownies may seem a little gooey, but they harden as they cool. Let cool on a rack and slice into squares.

I spread a little sugar-free (no artificial sweeteners) raspberry jam on my slice.. and oh my gosh.. it was amazing.  By the time J and I finished tasting them, 1/3 of the pan was gone!

I liked them cold out of the fridge the next day.

Do try this, and tell me what you think!

Make it Fruity

I'm sifting through my Hot Weather recipes to gather them for reference in the upcoming weeks of Summer.  

Fruit is the main feature in a number of tasty meals I am planning for many reasons... its nutrition content, its ease of preparation, its tastiness and its cooling effect, not to mention the gorgeous colors it brings to our table.

I replaced the dairy I used to use with Tofu here.  It's possible to serve this without the topping, and just sprinkling the mint on the fruit.  Watermelon and grapes have high sugar content, so don't overdo those two fruits.  Also make sure you bananas are firm and a little on the green side, since they too are overly loaded with sugar when ripe.

 

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Makes 4 servings

  • 1/2 c. seedless organic Red Grapes
  • 1 c. organic Strawberries, halved
  • 2 c. organic Soft Tofu, crumbled
  • 2 Tbs. organic Mint, chopped

In a bowl combine Vegenaise, lemon juice, and Stevia; stir well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine fruit, and spoon into serving dishes. Mix Tofu with mint and divide among dishes. Serve with the dressing.

Enjoy!

What's that Black Stuff Doing in my Rice?... wondered Mochi

Black Glutinous Rice...

is an unprocessed, short grain,  that is purplish in color. It is also referred to as forbidden, sticky or sweet black rice.

Lotus Foods Organic Forbidden Rice, 11-Pound Bag
  1. Black rice bran contains high levels of the antioxidant anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is a water-soluble antioxidant that is common in blue and purple fruits. The American Chemical Society reported that you can eat 10 spoonfuls of steamed black rice to get the same amount of anthocyanins you would by eating a spoonful of fresh blueberries. (Those amazing blueberries!)
  2. Black rice has high fiber content because the bran is intact and is not processed
  3. Black rice also contains many essential vitamins and minerals. It contains high amounts of vitamin E, a fat soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. Like most whole grains, black rice is a rich source of the B vitamins.
  4. Chronic inflammation is associated with diseases such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and many others. Black rice bran may help reduce inflammation.

I haven't priced this rice at Whole Foods yet, but 6 15-oz packs from Amazon are around $22 (so about $4/lb).

Sources:

The fiber content of Black Rice is similar to Brown Rice, so not really optimal with our Good Carb Formula:

Good-Carb formula:Multiply total fiber per serving by 10.  The resulting number should exceed the total Carbs per serving. The higher it is than total carbs, the slower it will break down and the less it will spike blood sugar.

But due to its antioxidant benefit, you can allow yourself a 1/4 c. a couple of times a week. Cook with coconut oil and chopped veggies, or eat with a protein to further slow down the glucose effect. OR for a treat, make Mochi Balls!

Mochi Recipe

  • 2 c. organic Black Sweet Rice
  • 1-3/4 c. Water (or Green tea, or half Blueberry juice)
  • 1/2 c. Xylitol (skip for savory Mochi)
  • 1/4 c. canned organic Coconut Milk
mochi
mochi

Fillings:

  • Seasoned, cooked organic Portobello. Shiitake or Maitake Mushrooms
  • Seaweed and dash of ginger
  • Baked organic Tofu and splash of Tamari

or:

  • Bean paste
  • Almond butter
  • A dollop of low-sugar Fruit Spread
  • Raisins

Preheat the oven to 325ºF, 170ºC.

Soak rice in water and coconut milk Then put in blender, bit at a time, processing until all is well blended. .

Pour batter in to a metal baking dish lined with foil, and then with parchment paper. Grease parchment paper with coconut oil.

Top with another greased sheet of parchment, so it's touching the batter, and another piece of foil right against the parchment so they are touching.

Bake for 1 hour.

Let Mochi cool for an hour, then remove from pan inverting onto a surface dusted with potato starch. Be careful as Mochi will be super sticky.

Form into balls with filling of your choice, or cut into tiny squares dusting with potato starch.

You can toss Sweet Mochi on cereal, a top no sugar Sorbets, or enjoy as is with Green Tea! Savory Mochi can be added to soups and stews, or filled and enjoyed as a snack.

~ Itadakimas! ♥