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! ♥

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!

Baked Tomato Saucers

As the youngest of 7, I was still at home and got to help Mom in the kitchen over a 5 year span, as she re-created every recipe she knew and had collected, for her cookbook.  She needed to write the measurements (she never measured when she cooked). Most of my siblings were married and away, except for my sister #4 and me. So we were her tag team. We have all been blessed with Mom's love of cooking. My brothers are amazing chefs too.

In this photograph, she's making Middle Eastern couscous (mograbiyeh) from scratch, I mean the actual ingredient, not the dish.  It starts with a handful of bulgur wheat, flour and water, and a lot of patience as you spray the wheat, add flour swirl the grains around until coated and not stuck to each other, spray with water, add more flour...etc.. until the couscous are the size you want them to be!

Years ago, when I stayed with my #3 sister in Virgina during summer breaks from college...we cooked dinner for the family together.  We had gourmet nights, take out the Grill nights, and Eating on the Mediterranean nights.

One of the tomato side dishes I fell in love with was this recipe for Baked Tomatoes. I have modified it to fit in with our Anti-Cancer diet... but it's just as delicious. I call these Saucers because I use beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, and they're huge!

If you have a Baked or Grilled Tomato recipe, do share!

Baked Tomato Saucers

  • 2 large ripe organic Tomatoes, sliced 1/3" thick (about 5 -6 rounds each)
  • 3 c. Whole Wheat or Gluten Free Bread crumbs (tear bread into tiny pieces)
  • 1/2 c. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh Thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 packet Stevia or 1 tsp. Xylitol
  • 1/4 c. Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. shredded Almond or Rice Cheese (if you are eating dairy, use 3/4 c. Parmesan Cheese)

Preheat oven to 325º F (165º C).

Place tomatoes on large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Divide bread mixture evenly among the tomatoes, pressing down a little.

Place in middle of oven and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until tops are crisp and tomatoes are soft.

Excellent with grilled meats... choose organic chicken, wild caught fish, or a 3 oz. serving of grass-fed lamb or beef.

~ Bon Apetit!

Quinoa Salad with Lime Dressing

Quinoa is a high quality protein, that is also high in iron. Quinoa, once called “the gold of the Incas, is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is a complete protein containing all eight essential amino acids.

Ingredients

2 c. water 1 c. uncooked red quinoa 2 organic scallions, chopped 1 stalk organic celery, finely chopped 1/2 organic apple with skin, finely chopped 2 Tbs. organic parsley, chopped 2 Tbs. virgin olive oil 1 Tbs. lime juice 1 tsp. cumin 1/2 tsp. salt

Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a  boil. Reduce heat' simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes or until water is absorbed. Stir. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a large non-metal bowl, and set aside.

Add apple and veggies to quinoa and toss.

Combine oil, lime juice and spices, whisk until blended.  Pour over salad and toss again.

Makes 6 - 8 servings

~Guten Appetit!

Curried Quinoa and Greens with Coconut Dressing

This recipe contains ingredients that enhance Cellular Damage Control! Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.

Quinoa, once called "the gold of the Incas, is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

The recipe below adds Kale, another 'fantastic food'.

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidants, and sulphur-containing phytonutrients. If you make the recipe with Green Tea instead of the other suggested liquids, you'll dramatically increase the Antioxidant benefits!

Curried Quinoa and Greens

Makes 6-7 servings about ½ c. each

  • 2/3 c. red Quinoa
  • 2-½ c. Water, Green Tea or no-sodium Veg Broth
  • 3 c. young Kale, lower stems removed, and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 tsp. Curry powder
  • Pinch Sea Salt

Coconut Dressing

  • 3 Tbs unsweetened light Coconut Milk
  • 2 tsp. fresh squeezed Lime juice
  • ¼ tsp. Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Stevia
  • ¼ c unsalted, dry roasted Almonds

Toast the quinoa for 5-6 minutes in a 4-quart sauté pan over med heat, until fragrant, gently stirring from time to time.  Add water or broth, kale, curry and salt; cover and raise temp to high.  Bring to a boil.

Lower heat and simmer until the quinoa and kale are tender, the quinoa ‘tails’ have popped, and liquid is absorbed, about 15 mins.

Remove pan from heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, place the coconut milk, lime juice, ¼ tsp. curry and stevia, and whisk together briskly.  Pour the coconut mixture over the quinoa and toss to combine.  May be served warm, or chilled.

Sprinkle with almonds just before serving.

~ Bon Apetit!

Healthy Stir-fried Veggies

The important thing about sauteing any foods is to keep the oil below burn point. Foods added to the oil should not 'sizzle' much.  You want to aim for 7 cups of vegetables a day (4c. cooked).  This recipe will yield 2-3 servings, more if you have a salad with your meal.

Hoda's Healthy Stir-fried Veggies

  • 1 inch piece of Ginger, chopped
  • 4 c. organic Broccoli, cut up
  • 4 stalks organic Celery, cut up
  • 1/2 White Onion, sliced thin
  • 6 organic Green Onions, cut in 1 inch pieces with green tops
  • 4 organic Carrots, cut up
  • 1 organic Baby Bok Choy, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp. Sesame oil mixed with 2 tsp. organic Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs. Tamari or Soy sauce (gluten-free)
  • 2 tsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Stevia or 1 tsp. Xylitol
  • 2 tsp. Cornstarch mixed in 1/3 c. Water or Green Tea

Place a large saute pan over medium heat for 2 minutes. Pour in the oil mixture. Wait another minute then add the ginger, stirring.

When it starts to wilt add all the veggies except the Bok Choy and garlic.  Stir for a 3 -4 minutes, then cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add Bok Choy and stir to mix.  Cover again for 2 minutes.  Add garlic and stir.

Mix wet ingredients and add to pan, mixing with veggies for 2 minutes until they are all coated and sauce has thickened.

~ Enjoy.