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! ♥

Lentils and Mung Beans - the Whole Story

There are some days when I get an awfully strong craving for Indian spices. I either want to have a curried dish, or a lentil dish... those are the two competitors for my attention. My favorite dish when I was a girl, is called Mjaddara, a 'peasant' type winter dish popular in the villages of Lebanon.  It's basically a lentil/rice/onion mash that is sooo tasty, sooo comforting and sooo healthy!  That's THREE Soooo's!!  :) Mom was an expert Mjaddara maker, like her father.

According to Choosemyplate.gov...

Health Properties

"Aside from their slight differences in calorie, carb and protein values, red and French lentils have very similar health benefits. Both are protein-rich, plant-based foods, which gives them a unique set of positive nutritional properties.

mung bean sprouts 1
mung bean sprouts 1

According to ChooseMyPlate.gov: low-fat proteins such as lentils are essential for growing, building, repairing and maimaintaining tissues in blood, skin, bone and muscle cells.

Protein is also a particularly satiating nutrient and may be able to keep you full for longer than carb- or fat-rich foods, which can be important if you’re watching your weight. Both red and French lentils are high in dietary fiber, which means they can improve digestive health and potentially lower levels of blood cholesterol and blood sugar."

Mung beans are low in Saturated Fat and Sodium, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Folate, Copper and Manganese.

To find out if a carb food you are about to buy (bread, crackers, pasta, etc..) is a healthy choice do the following:

Add a zero to the total grams of fiber per serving, so 2g becomes 20.  Compare it to the total grams of Carbs per serving.  The fiber number should be MORE than the total Carbohydrates number.  This means if a product has 20g of Carbs and 1g of Fiber (i.e. 10) Then put it back on the shelf!There is not enough fiber to slow down the conversion of the carbs into glucose, and it will spike your blood sugar.  These spikes that occur all day long are what predispose us to Diabetes and other diseases.  Aim for at least 1.5 times the Fiber to Carbs.

1 cup of cookedMung beans has 2 grams of Fiber vs. 6 grams of Carbs.  That's 20 vs 6! A very good ratio.

1 cup of Lentils have 16 grams of Fiber vs. 40 grams of Carb...160 to 40!  An Excellent ratio.

And of course we know that a diet high in fiber can help prevent colon and breast cancer. So eat your beans!

I adapted this recipe to include both lentils and mung beans.

Sprouted Lentils and Mung Beans, Indian Style

  • 2 c. sprouted organic brown Lentils
  • 1/2 c. organic Mung Beans (soaked overnight)
  • 2 tsp. extra virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 c. organic Onion, chopped
  • 1 green organic Chili Pepper (I use Serrano)
  • A 1-inch piece of organic Ginger
  • 1 Tbs. organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Coriander powder
  • 3/4 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • 1-1-1/2 c. hot Water

Heat a medium stainless steel pot over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add oil and wait another 1 minute.

Add onion and chili pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add ginger and cilantro, stirring for 1 minute.

Add beans and spices and 1 cup hot water, stir, cover and simmer over medium-low for 15 minutes.

Press one of the beans between your fingers to make sure they are done, and add the last 1/2 c. of hot water if too dry.

Adjust seasoning, and serve hot or at room temperature.

lentils_Indian style
lentils_Indian style

~ Cheers! ♥

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! ♥

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.

 

bowl-723390_1280.jpg

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!

Baked Falafel

The first couple of times I tried making baked Falafel in our oven, they were just OK.  They dried out a bit more than they should have, and weren't as crispy as I like them... even though I brushed them lightly with olive oil.

Well, tonight I decided to give Big Boss a try.. and it didn't disappoint!

Big Boss Falafel
Big Boss Falafel

I put the first batch in for 10 minutes at 400ºF, and then flipped them and added another 10 minutes. Hmm, not very crispy.

So J suggested we cook the second batch at 425ºF for 10 minutes on each side, and YAY, the edges were nice and crunchy, and the middle still moist.

Flafel big boss
Flafel big boss

I stuck with Tradition and whipped up Tahini Sauce, and sliced some organic tomatoes, onions and pickles to go on top. Steamed broccoli, broiled chicken and baked Mac 'n Cheese for the kids completed dinner.

Tahini Health Benefits

Tahini is a source of healthy fatty acids, containing 60.1 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 3.421 mg of omega-6 fatty acids. Your body doesn't manufacture these fatty acids, so getting them from the foods you eat is critical and they are beneficial for your brain and heart.

Thiamine : Consume tahini to boost you thiamine intake. Each serving provides 16 percent of the daily suggested intake of this vitamin, also known as vitamin B-1. The thiamine in tahini influences your nervous system, muscles and digestion.

Phosphorus : Tahini provides 12 percent of the phosphorus you require in each serving. This mineral is important for the strength of your bones and teeth

Copper : You need only small amounts of copper in your diet each day, and tahini can help you meet those nutritional needs. This mineral helps keep your blood vessels and bones healthy

Traditional Tahini Sauce recipe

  • 1 c. organic Sesame Tahini
  • 2 small Garlic cloves, mashed well with 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. + cold Water, enough to give sauce the consistency of Ketchup.

Pour lemon into garlic and salt mush, and stir well.

Add to Tahini sauce along with 1/4 c. water. Stir.  Tahini will thicken first (due to chemical reaction to lemon juice.  Keep stirring and adding water in 2 Tbs. increments until consistency is reached.

Add parsley and stir. Will keep for 1 week in refrigerator.

Serving Ideas: Use on Falafel, Fish, as a topping on Steamed Veggies, or as a spread on Baked Eggplant and Tomato sandwiches.

Tahini Sauce
Tahini Sauce

Luckily there is enough left for lunch tomorrow!

Falafel Plate
Falafel Plate

 ~ Sahtein (double health)! ♥

Parks and Cool Hot-Weather Recipes

Our city has 4 lovely public parks, each with its own unique character and attractions.  Our family is large..( 2 of my siblings live within a mile of me) so between our 9 children and their significant others, and children we're about 28 people. When we all get together it's often outdoors!

Being blessed with a family of excellent cooks, potlucks have less to do with luck and more with certainty! The certainty of tasty dishes from everyone.

Regular Cast of Characters

These appear at most every picnic event we hold:

  1. Authentic Homemade Hummus
  2. Tabbouleh  or Fattoush
  3. Marinated Chicken Kabobs for grilling
  4. Kafta for grilling
  5. Baked Beans

Below are 3 additional Summertime Recipes for your files.  I chose ones that don't take a lot of prep, and that are full of the Fantastic Foods you want to incorporate into your daily diet.

Quinoa and Mango Salad

This recipe can be made several hours before and refrigerated. Take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Mango Quinoa salad
Mango Quinoa salad
  • 2 c. brewed Green Tea
  • 1 c. uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 c. Mango,  cut into small chunks (not too ripe to cut back on sugar content)
  • 1/2 c. sliced organic Green Onion
  • 2 Tbs. dried Cherries, chopped (opt.)
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar (I recommend Bragg's organic)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Combine tea and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.

Add mango, onion, cherries and parsley and mix well.

Combine liquid ingredients with spices and whisk until blended. Pour over quinoa, and mix.

This makes about 8 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Tropical Chicken Macadamia Salad

Spicy Vinaigrette

Combine the following in blender, adjusting seasoning as preferred:

tropical Chicken salad
tropical Chicken salad
  • scant 1/4 c. organic E.V Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Cayenne sauce
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Reserve 1/2 c. of dressing.

Chicken Salad

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless organic free-range Chicken Breasts
  • 8 c. rinsed and torn Watercress and Boston or Green Leaf organic Lettuce
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped unsalted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 c. shredded organic Coconut, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. organic Red Bell Pepper, diced (opt.)

Place chicken in large resealable plastic food storage bag.  Pour remaining dressing over chicken. Seal bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to broil, or prepare barbecue grill. 

chicken-1379373_1280.jpg

Remove chicken from marinade. Grill or Broil 10 - 15 minutes or until center is no longer pink (165º F).  Arrange greens on a platter. Slice chicken breasts and arrange over greens. Tops with nuts, coconut and bell pepper. Serve with reserved dressing.

Makes about 4 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Egg White Salad

This high protein salad has less than 2g. of fat per serving, and a whopping 11 g. of protein.

  • 6 Hi Omega-3 hard-boiled Egg whites, chilled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Celery
  • 1/4 c. chopped organic Red Onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped dill or sweet organic Pickles
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • 3 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. organic Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (opt.)

Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl, whisking till blended.  Pour over egg mixture.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Serve on lettuce leaves, whole grain crackers or on Gluten Free or Whole Grain organic bread.

~ Bon Apetit!

The Sweet Potato Story

1. Did you know that a medium-sized sweet potato contains more than your daily requirement of vitamin A, nearly a third the vitamin C you need, almost 15 percent of your daily dietary fiber intake and 10 percent of the necessary potassium?

2. Did you know that orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene?  And that the beta-carotene and vitamin C in these tubers work together to rid the body of cancer-friendly free radicals?

3. Well did you know diabetics can eat sweet potatoeswithout worry as they have a low glycemic index?

4. How about the fact that they contain Vitamin D which is critical for immune system and overall health, especially for women.

It's important to have some fat in your sweet potato-containing meals if you want to enjoy the full beta-carotene benefits of this root vegetable. Recent research has shown that a minimum of 3-5 grams of fat per meal significantly increases our uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. This can be 1 Tbs. of virgin olive oil (also recommended for breast cancer suppression) per serving for 4.

Organically grown sweet potatoes are free from the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and inorganic sprays. They cook relatively quickly and are rather versatile, lending themselves both to sweet or savory dishes.
Below is a recipe I adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London's Ottolenghi , so it fits in with our Anti-Cancer Diet.  Instead of pan frying, we're going to bake these patties, and instead of dairy yogurt we're using soy or coconut yogurt.

SWEET POTATO CAKES (Vegetarian and Gluten Free)

  • 1 3/4 lbs peeled organic Sweet Potatoes, cut in large chunks
  • 2 tsp. organic Butter or Coconut oil, plus more for cooking
  • 2 Tbs. organic Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Tamari sauce
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • pinch of Red Pepper flakes
  • Scant 1/2 c. organic Oat flour (gluten-free)
  • 1 Omega-3 Egg, well whisked

Sauce

  • 1/2 c. Soy or Coconut Yogurt
  • 2 Tbs. Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Dill
  • 2" section of organic Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. organic Red Onion, thinly sliced (opt.)
  • pinch of Sea Salt and Black pepper

Steam the potatoes until tender throughout. Set aside in a colander to drain and cool.

While the potatoes cook, warm the butter or oil in a cast iron pan. Sauté the green onions in 1 Tbs. coconut oil over medium heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, blend all of the yogurt sauce ingredients, besides the dill, together in a mini blender or food processor. Lastly, add the dill and give it one or two more whirls just to blend. Set aside.

When the potatoes have released most of their moisture, transfer them to a bowl and mix them with the tamari sauce, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and flour to combine. You want the mix to be tacky not wet, add more flour if it seems too moist to hold shape. Add the green onions and egg and mix to combine.

Add enough coconut oil to baking sheet to coat lightly.

Drop potatoes by 2 Tablespoonfuls onto sheet, and flatten into patties. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes, flipping after 6 minutes. Add another 2 -3 minutes if not quite browned on top.

Remove to a plate. Serve with some lightly dressed greens and a generous portion of the sauce. Garnish with a dill stem.

These would be so wonderful with a poached egg and a few leaves of watercress on top.

~ Enjoy!

Authentic Arabic Bread - Basic Dough

Whenever we make dough for Zaatar pies, we save some to make Arabic (pita) bread. This is a Basic Dough recipe which is used to make Spinach, Meat and other hand-shaped small pies, as well as bread.  The dough is rolled thinner than for pita rounds, and is folded and sealed around a variety of fillings. This bread is present at almost every Lebanese meal. Another variety of Arabic bread that I love is rolled paper-thin and cooked on the top of a domed outdoor oven.  It is called 'marqooq', and is like lavash but much thinner. It can be found at Middle Eastern or Persian markets.

It's ideal for rolled sandwiches and making pin wheel appetizers, but since the dough is thin you need to use fillings that are not very wet, so the bread doesn't become soggy.

Traditionally, Arabic bread loaves are 10-11" round, but you can make them smaller, like the popular store-bought pita.

I use my larger Cuisinart to mix the dough, and then knead it 5 minutes by hand, or sometimes I let my KitchenAid mixer do all the work.  I leave that up to you.

Depending on the size of rounds you decide to make, this recipe will yield anywhere from 12 - 16 loaves.

Recipe

  • 4 c. organic all-purpose Flour
  • 2 c. organic Barley Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 packets (4 tsp.) dry Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Evaporated Cane Sugar
  • 2  to 2-1/4 c. tepid Water
  • 3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sift flour and salt. Dissolve yeast and sugar in water, and proof for 5 minutes.

Fit mixer with dough hook, or Cuisinart with dough paddle. Put flour in mixer bowl and add water and yeast mixture. Process until smooth.

Remove dough and place on floured board.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Dough should be soft but not very sticky.  Add a little more flour or water depending on consistency.

Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions, and divide each of those into 3 -4 balls depending on size preference. Cover balls with towel and let rest another 15 minutes.

Heat oven to 425º F, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven.  You will bake the bread on this surface (if you have a pizza stone then you can use that instead.)

Dust your work surface with a light coating of flour.  Slightly flatten one of the balls of dough with your hands and sprinkle a bit of flour on top.

Roll the dough out to between 1/8 and 1/4 " thick. If the dough does not stretch easily cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.

Repeat with rest of dough.

Place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking sheet surface. They should be baked through and puffy after 3-4 minutes.

Remove onto cooling rack with dough paddle, or large spatula.

Store bread in airtight bag. Will keep for 2 days at room temperature, or in refrigerator for 5-6 days.

~ Sahtein! (double health).

When did Waldorf Creep into my Sandwich?

It's helpful to have something quick and healthy in your fridge ready to grab as you rush off to work or an appointment. You can relate to that I'm sure. With summer around the corner, a cold meal is welcome.

I love the combination or sweet and savory, and adding low-sugar fruits to a sandwich is both tasty and smart! 

Enter...

Waldorf Chicken (or Tofu) Salad

This salad will keep for 2 - 3 days.

waldorf-salad
waldorf-salad

Waldorf Chicken Salad Sandwich

  • 2 cups cooked organic Chicken, diced (or 2 cups grilled or barbecued Tofu for Vegan recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar
  • 2 medium organic Granny Smith Apples, unpeeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup organic Grapes (halved)
  • 2 organic Celery Stalks, thinly sliced
  • Shredded organic Green Leaf or Romaine Lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped Pecans or Walnuts
  • 2 Tbs. organic whole Cranberry Sauce (opt.)
  • 1/2 cup Vegenaise
  • ¼ tsp. Black Pepper
  • Dash of Curry

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour. Serve on whole grain bread, Udi's Gluten Free Chia bread or atop salad greens.

~ To Your Health! ♥

Tart Cherries Invade Unsuspecting Brown Rice!

A lovely blend of flavors, fit for a luncheon served with a grilled fish or lime glazed chicken breast. Keep some tart dried Cherries around for this impromptu dish.  In a pinch you may substitute dried Cranberries.

You may cook the Gaba rice in advance (like early morning) since it takes about 35 - 40 minutes, and leave pot out until you're ready to make the Pilaf. I always have pine nuts in my freezer for immediate availability.

Recipe

Serves 8

  • 1 c.  chopped organic Green onion
  • 2 c.  chopped organic Celery
  • 1/2 c.  dried, Tart organic Cherries
  • 1/2 c. Pine Nuts
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh organic Thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1/2 tsp.  ground Black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil (or Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 2 c. cooked brown Gaba rice (may use Wild Rice)

Put onion, celery, cherries, nuts, thyme, pepper and oil in a large skillet.

Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Add rice; mix well.

Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.

That's it, simple and scrumptious!

~ Enjoy!

Wrap It - à la Mediterranean

They're easy to transport, easy to make, inspire creativity, and are fun to eat... I'm talking about Wraps

Crunchy GF Wrap6.jpg

This wrap integrates a North African ingredient with a tasty hummus (or you may substitute BBQ'd tofu) filling.

Mediterranean Chicken Wrap Recipe

 Yield - 8 wraps

  • 1 cup uncooked whole wheat Couscous
  • 1/2 c. chopped Almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 c. golden Raisins
  • 3 c. BBQ'd Tofu (opt.)
  • 2 c. shredded organic Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Tbs. diced organic Red Onion
  • 1/4 . extra virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • 1 tsp. grated Lemon peel
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole wheat Pita Bread pockets, split into 8 rounds (or 8 whole wheat organic Tortillas)
  • 1 c. Hummus

Cook couscous according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, gently combine couscous, almonds, raisins, tofu, lettuce and onion.

In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, cumin and lemon peel. Season with salt and pepper.  Mix 1/4 cup dressing into couscous mixture.

To assemble wraps, lay bread split side up on work surface. Spread each with 2 tablespoons hummus. Spoon approximately 1/2 cup couscous mixture down center of each pita round.

Drizzle with 1 tablespoon dressing.  Fold up bottom and then sides to wrap.

~ Sahtein! ♥

Eggplant Tomato Bake

Eggplant, King of the Vegetables as it is hailed in the Middle East, lends its creamy texture and unique flavor to this pasta dish. I modified this recipe to decrease fats from dairy and increase fiber from whole grain pasta and flour.

  • 1/2 c. barley or whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. dry whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbs Italian seasoning
  • 2 Omega-3 eggs
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1 small organic eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1 Tbs peanut oil
  • 1 (14 oz) jar organic marinara sauce
  • 1 c. silken tofu, crumbled
  • 1 c. grated Almond cheese (if you can have dairy may use Parmesan Cheese)
  • 1 organic tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 oz) package angel hair whole grain pasta

1. Preheat the oven to 350º F (175º C).

2. In a plastic bag, combine the flour, bread crumbs and Italian seasoning. Shake to mix. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and water. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. There should be enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the skillet. Dip the eggplant slices in egg, then place in the bag and shake to coat. Fry the slices in the skillet until golden brown on each side. Remove, and drain on paper towels.

3. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish. Cover with the eggplant slices, then top with more sauce. Mix together the tofu and Parmesan cheese; spread over the eggplant. Spread sauce over the cheese, and top with tomato slices. Cover with more sauce, and spread remaining cheese over the top.

4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling.

5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

6. Serve the eggplant tomato bake over pasta. Serve with steamed Broccoli and green Salad.

~ Eat Hearty!

My Marvelous Meatball Soup

We may have seen the last of the cool weather in Northern California, so I wanted to close the season with one more gathering around soup bowls. In the valley where we live, summer temps can reach 102ºC...HOT.  Today it was in the high 80's, still tolerable, but around 3pm I had to get the a/c going.

I realized that it has been forever since I made Mom's meatball soup. Rolling the tiny meatballs was an activity I liked participating in. Mom taught me how to roll two at a time, since we'd make about 150 of them sitting on the pink vinyl couch in our spacious kitchen, with a low table in front of us.

There was al,ways something going on in the kitchen. We had two live-ins since our house was a two-story with 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 3 living rooms, a formal dining room a laundry room and kitchen.  (Makes me pant to think about it).

My 4 aunts and uncle lived just 4 miles away and dropped by often.

So deciding to make this soup today was a trip down memory lane.  I seem to be doing that often these days.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lean Grass-fed Beef (or Lamb)
  • 2 tsp. Wheat germ or Oat Bran
  • 1/2 c. organic Parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. chopped organic Tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Onion
  • 1 organic Carrot, shredded
  • 1 large organic Carrot, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/3 c. Brown Rice
  • 2 Tbs. Parsley, chopped (as topping)

Mix meat, seasoning, wheat germ, parsley, onion and shredded carrot well.

meatball soup1
meatball soup1

Form into tiny meatballs, a little larger than a hazelnut.

meatball soup2
meatball soup2

Heat 6 cups of water in a large pot, and drop meatballs in a few at a time.

meatball soup4
meatball soup4

As it starts to boil, turn down heat and skim surface until clear.

meatball soup5
meatball soup5

Add tomato sauce, rice and round carrots, cover, and cook until rice is done, about 35 minutes, depending on rice you use.

Season with salt and pepper and a generous dash of cinnamon.

meatball soup6
meatball soup6

Cook 5 minutes longer, and add some chopped parsley.

Enjoy with a side salad and roasted sweet potatoes.

~ Sahtein (double health!) ♥