Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Buttermilk Pie

A family recipe (from the in-laws).... Buttermilk Pie. I didn't realize how simple and easy it is and I did my sugar substitutions to make it even easier on the tummy, especially during this holiday season. I will keep this post quick and sweet, just like this pie recipe.

Buttermilk Pie


1/2 cup Splenda
2 packets Stevia
3 tbsp White Whole Wheat flour
2 large eggs
8 tbsp butter or Smart Balance spread
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
9-inch pre-packaged pie shell (whole wheat if you have it)


(1) Mix the Smart Balance, Splenda, and Stevia together. Stir in the eggs (brought to room temperature) and mix with a fork or whisk until thoroughly combined.
(2) Mix in the flour until completely combined.
(3) Add the buttermilk.
(4) Pour batter into the rolled-out pie shell (unbaked).
(5) Bake in pre-heated oven at 425 F for 10 minutes.
(6) Lower the temperature of the oven to 350 F to continue to bake for 35 minutes. You will see the pie inflate and slightly brown when complete. Check with a fork or knife to ensure cooked in the middle.
(7) Allow pie to cool and settle before cutting and serving.

Enjoy this delicious treat. I enjoy it everytime I visit my in-laws and now with the recipe in hand, we can enjoy it more often.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chickpeas

A quick, easy, and delicious preparation for lunch is a roasted vegetable salad tossed with chickpeas. I made this for lunch for the week and it was the perfect thing to look forward to on the rainy, wet days. I used green beans, tomatoes, and yellow squash. Incorporate whichever veggies are convenient, your favorite, and even better, in season.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Chickpeas


2 tomatoes, sliced
2 yellow squash, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely diced or minced in can
canola oil spray
1/2 tsp seasoning salt, such as Adobo
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp Za'taar spice blend
1 tbsp red pepper flakes


(1) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

(2) In a bowl, toss the chopped vegetables with the garlic, seasonings, and spray with a few sprays of canola oil. This is definitely a way to reduce the fat and calories from a dish incorporating roasted vegetables. Tossing before laying on a tray, will reduce the amount of oil needed to coat.

(3) If you are patient, separate and spread the vegetables on a baking trays lined with aluminum foil. If you are not patient, simply pour the vegetables out onto the lined trays without sorting. The sorting will help as some vegetables will cook faster than others (e.g. tomatoes will finish before the squash). Bake for 15-25 minutes. If you do sort, pull out the baking trays when the vegetable looks slightly brown at the edges and look and feel tender to the touch.

(4) Toss the roasted vegetables with the drained and rinsed chickpeas. Finish with the red pepper flakes, Za'taar, and salt/pepper to taste.

Enjoy this salad alone or with your favorite sandwich...a fall/winter treat.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap and Cornbread Stuffing

 Thanksgiving Day was awesome!
I have finally recovered from the Thanksgiving indulgences, pies, cakes, turkey (lots of it), ham, and stuffing. It was a wonderful day. I learned how to make my first Turkey. I have to say (not boasting) that it actually was a beautiful golden bird. My mom taught me how to make this beauty.

The stuffing, which was baked with turkey, was yummy.

Here is the recipe:


1 8x8 pan of cornbread (see my recipe for cornbread muffins), cubed
1/4 loaf whole wheat bread, cubed
1/2 head of garlic, minced
1.5 bunches of celery, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cups low-sodium beef stock
1/2 cup dried mushrooms, rehydrated (I used a wild mushroom mix from Chile but cremini mushrooms or porcini will work well)
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried fruit


(1) Cube the cornbread and toast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 min (until brown).
(2) Mix with the remaining ingredients.
(3) Add the beef stock and toss to combine.
(4) Then bake in a oven-proof pan for 45 min - 1 hr at 350 degrees or stuff in the turkey for the 4 hour cook time.

Enjoy the deliciousness. Make extra as this is a hit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cherry Pepper Corn Muffins

My husband has been craving cornbread. I have been craving all things spicy lately. In preparation for his upcoming exam, I decided to create a cornbread that was inspired by delicious jalapeño cornbread but also sweetly inspired by pie.

Cherry Pepper Corn Muffins


2/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
5 packets of splenda + 1 packet of Stevia or 1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp Smart Balance margarine or butter, melted
1/3 cup unsweetned applesauce or 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
1 HOT pepper, finely chopped


(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin pans with canola oil or line with muffin liners.
(2) In a small bowl, mix the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the dried cherries and pepper to the mix.
(3) In a medium bowl, mix the margarine and apple sauce. 
(4) Carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing only until everything is combined. Since using the whole wheat flour, gluten formation will happen quickly so minimize mixing.
(4) Add 2-3 tbsp of the batter per muffin cup.
(5) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of a muffin pulls out cleanly.

Enjoy the sweet and spicy combo. I certainly enjoyed them with a cup of cinnamon tea and also with a bowl of chili. A multipurpose food ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Apple-Pear Cobbler

In preparation for a friend's dinner, I decided to prepare a simple and easy recipe using fruit that was both in season and in my refrigerator. Apples and Pears!!! I love the fall harvest. While I am usually a Crisp kind of gal, I decided to venture into Cobbler territory, where the crust is shaped from a buttery, biscuit-like dough. In fact, the leftover dough is perfect for a small crust, which is why I am keeping all the ends in my freezer for a rainy day. 

Apple-Pear Cobbler
Recipe adapted from MayoClinic healthy recipes

4 servings


1 1/2 large apple and 1 pear, cored and diced 

1 tablespoon orange juice 
1 tablespoons splenda 
1 tablespoons whole wheat flour 
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping: 

1/4 cup oat flour + 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour 
2 tablespoons sugar or 4 packets of splenda 
3/4 teaspoons baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
2 tablespoons cold trans-free margarine, cut into pieces 
1/4 cup fat-free milk or vanilla soymilk 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


(1) Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
(2) In a large bowl, add the apple and pear pieces. Sprinkle with orange (or lemon) juice.
(3) In small bowl, combine the sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the mixture to the chopped apples and pears and toss gently to mix. Stir in the Spread the apple-pear mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
(4) In another large bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a fork, cut the cold margarine into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk and vanilla. Stir just until a moist dough forms.

(5) Turn the dough onto a generously floured work surface and, with floured hands, knead gently 6 to 8 times until the dough is smooth and manageable. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut out shapes. Cut close together for a minimum of scraps. Gather the scraps and roll out to make more cuts.
(6) Place the dough pieces over the apple-pear mixture, until the top is covered. Bake until the apples are tender and the topping is golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Notice, that I used orange, instead of lemon juice to bring out the tartness of the fruit. If I did apple-cranberry I would definitely use lemon instead. Here I loved the combination of apple, pear, nutmeg, with the hint of orange. Experiment, like I did, and let me know what you come up with.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

BALT Sandwich (Bacon, Ahi Tuna, Lettuce, and Tomato) & Taste Test

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Nature's Pride OvenClassics 100% Whole Wheat bread to taste-test. In an aim to try this bread, I wanted to create a quick sandwich for lunch. I also had some delicious seared Ahi Tuna already prepared. 

I assembled this Bacon, Ahi Tuna, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich using some Turkey Bacon and farm-grown tomatoes. It was a treat. The bread was delicious, hearty, and yet fluffy. That is saying a lot since I rarely eat bread.

The combination of the BALT was delicious. If you happen to have some seared fish, try a creation of your own.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Apple Cider Swiss Chard

It was middle of the week, after a long day and running behind schedule, I needed a recipe that would be quick and under 10 minutes to prepare for guests that arriving any moment. I decided to finesse Swiss Chard that was sitting in the refrigerator, waiting for some attention.

Apple Cider Swiss Chard


1 bunch Swiss Chard, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Canola oil cooking spray
salt and pepper, to taste


(1) Thoroughly wash and pat dry the swiss chard before use.

(2) Spray a medium saucepan with canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic to brown. 

(3) Add Swiss chard to the saucepan, with any residual liquid serving to aide the cooking process. Add the apple cider vinegar. Sauté the chard until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This side pairs well with seafood, poultry, and red meat. The acidity of the vinegar will also pair well with many wines, such as a dry pinot grigio or very dry riesling. Feel free to add some spice like Cayenne if you want some heat and most importantly, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whole Grain Apple Cake

In celebration of autumn, the turning of the leaves, and the delicious apples. You can never have too many good apple recipes in your collection.

Whole Grain Apple Cake
Recipe adapted from 101cookbooks (Unfussy Apple Cake)


2 cups sweet, crisp green apples, cut into 1/4 cubes (peel on)
1 cup Buckwheat pancake and wa
ffle batter (I used Arrowhead Mills)

1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flaxmeal
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons nutmeg
12 packets of Splenda or 1/2 cup dark Muscavado sugar (or other fine-grain natural cane or brown sugar)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 egg + 1/4 cup egg whites
1 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup butter, melted and cooled a bit

1/8 cup 0% fat greek yogurt
2 packets of PureVia (Stevia or another natural sweetener)


(1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray baking pan (preferrably non-stick tart pan) with canola oil (you could also flour but I didn't). I used a round smaller tart pan but this would have been best in an 9x13 rectangular pan. The smaller tart pan made baking time much, much longer.
(2) Place the chopped apples in a bowl with water with the juice of one lemon. Set aside. This really emphasizes the tart flavor of the apples.
(3) Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg).
(4) In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the buttermilk (I used homemade 1 cup nonfat milk, 1 tbsp lemon juice, stirred, and let sit for 5 min), egg, and egg whites. Whisk in the cooled melted butter mixed with the greek yogurt.
(5) Pour the buttermilk mixture in with the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Don't stir more than this, especially if using whole wheat flour, like I am, as the gluten formation will make the cake dense.
(6) Drain the chopped apples, shake off the excess water, and fold into the cake batter.
(7) Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with your favorite sweetner. I used splenda. (8) Bake for 40-45 minutes, using a toothpick in the center to test if baked throughout.
(9) Let cool for 10 minutes and remove from tart pan.

Enjoy this with some greek yogurt (my favorite) or ice cream....Oh, how I love autumn.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicken with Roasted Summer Squash

After flipping through my 2007 Food and Wine cookbook, I was inspired by a quick Chicken with Zucchini salad recipe. I was cooking for some girlfriends and wanted to present something light and prepare something easy. Thankfully, I had all of the ingredients on hand and it was absolutely delicious. I love the tanginess of the lemon juice. I used red onions in place of Vidalias and topped with fresh basil (from my herb garden, which is finally doing well).

Chicken with Roasted Summer Squash
adapted from Food & Wine cookbook 2007


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium red onion or 1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp fresh spanish thyme, chopped
1 tsp Dijon mustard (optional, since used less oil)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
3 boneless chicken breast halves, with or without skin
3 medium yellow squash (1 lb.), sliced crosswise on a diagonal 1/3 inch thick
1/4 pound feta cheese
1-2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped (optional)
salt and ground pepper (best if fresh)


  1. In a blender, combine the lemon juice with 1-2 tbsp garlic, red onion, and spanish thyme and puree until smooth. With the machine on, slowly pour in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Stir in the mint and season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
  2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a shallow bowl, coat the chicken with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, spray the yellow squash with olive oil and season with garlic salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp minced garlic. Grill the squash, turning once, until tender and slightly charred, about 3 minutes total. Transfer the vegetables to a platter and keep warm.
  4. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and grill over moderately high heat, turning once, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the platter and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette, top with chopped basil, and serve.
This is so yummy. I hope you and your guests enjoy as much as I did.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lemon bars with Almond-Cardamom crusts (Gluten-free delights)

In preparation for a monthly dinner with some girlfriends, one of whom doesn't do well with gluten, I investigated options for dessert. This course of the meal I have read, many gluten-free folks unfortunately have to pass up. 

With many lemons on hand, I decided to do a lemon bar using a version of an almond meal crust that I have done before. This time, however, I felt that something was needed to carefully pull together the flavor of the almonds with lemons. I added some cardamom and it did the trick. Hopefully, you enjoy it as much as I did. I almost couldn't stop licking the mixing spoon....I know, TMI.

Almond-Cardamom crust


1 cup ground almond meal (processed almonds)
14 packets of Splenda + 1 packet of PureVia (or 3/4 cup cane sugar)
1/4 cup egg white
1/4 tsp cardamom, ground
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Spray oil (Vegetable or Canola...avoid Olive oil due to the flavor)


(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8-inch square Pyrex dish with Pam or canola oil.

(2) In a mixing bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, salt, cardamom & nutmeg. After thoroughly mixing, add the egg white. Mix to combine and spread the mixture into the baking dish and press lightly (with moist spatula) to form a crust.

(3) Bake the crust for 20 minutes. Cool completely before filling, allowing the crust to crisp more.

Lemon filling


2 large eggs + 1/2 cup egg whites
14 packets of Splenda with 3 packets of PureVia or 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp greek yogurt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour (best if freshly ground) or another gluten-free flour
zest of two small lemons (about 2 tbsp)
1-2 tsp powdered sugar (optional, for garnish)


(1) In a spice grinder, grind dry tapioca pearls, enough for 1/4 cup.

(2) Grate lemon zest and juice 2 lemons (1/4 cup lemon juice). 

(3) In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg whites, sweeteners, vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest, greek yogurt, and tapioca flour.

(4) Pour filling on top of pre-baked almond-cardamom crust.

(5) Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely and serve. 

This is a very fast recipe and great if you have other things going on in the background (during those cooling times)... I find it is best to stay out of the kitchen during these times so there is actually dessert left for guests. Hope you enjoy it. Next time, I will totally add finely chopped basil to the filling mix for an surprising and delicious twist.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Sweet-n-spicy black bean salad

In preparation for a friend's party, I made a dish that reminded me of one of the lovely Sunday dinners that I had with the girls. I think it was Emma who made a delicious black bean salad. 

For this recipe, I decided to kick up the heat with some cayenne, emphasize my island flavors with some lime juice and some sweet-n-tangy combo of sweetener with apple cider vinegar. You will love this quick and easy, sweet-n-spicy recipe for a party with some chips, or alone, as a salad.  

Sweet-n-spicy black bean salad


1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can whole kernel corn, no salt added, drained
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/4 cup diced canned tomatoes
2 tsp cilantro, chopped
1/8-1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp baking soda (to calm acidity)
2 1/2 tsp Splenda or another sweetener equivalent
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne 
1/2 tbsp Adobo light seasoning or garlic-onion powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
garlic salt, to taste
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 lime, peeled and mashed

(1) Mince garlic in food processor
(2) After draining and rinsing the black beans and corn (preferrably low or no salt added), toss together the black beans, corn, garlic, diced onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
(3) In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and seasonings, with the exception of the Adobo light and garlic salt. 
(4) To taste, add the Adobo light seasoning and additional garlic salt depending on your salt preference or dietary restrictions.

Note: To keep this completely low-carb, omit the corn kernels altogether and increase the onion and bell pepper ratio. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3-Grain Apple Cinnamon Granola

Have I mentioned before, how much I love Costco. While some of the item sizes are ridiculous for a household of 1 or 2, the variety that they offer is fantastic. I love that they have FAGE 0% fat greek yogurt. This yogurt is delicious. I also love that they have the Old-fashioned Quaker oatmeal. The pairing is perfect. 

This morning, I decided to make granola (for the first time). I don't know why I haven't made it before because it was fantastic, like OMG fantastic, delicious....I couldn't stop snacking on it. Made with three grains, oatmeal, flax meal, and sunflower seeds and sweetened with agave nectar, barley malt, and a touch of Splenda, I didn't have to ;)

3-Grain Apple Cinnamon Granola


1/8 cup barley malt 
1/8 cup olive oil
2 tsp agave nectar 
1 1/2 tsp Splenda or another sweetener
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup oatmeal
3 tsp flax meal (ground)
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup apple (chopped into small cubes) * I used Golden Delicious (Granny Smith would work well, also)
1/4 cup almonds (chopped)


(1) Preheat oven to 300oF. Line a baking sheet with foil. 
(2) In a small saucepan on medium heat, mix the olive oil, barley malt, agave nectar, and Splenda. 
(3) To this heated mixture, add the ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until thoroughly combined.
(4) Lower the heat, add the chopped apple and toss until combined.
(5) Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients: oatmeal, sunflower seeds, and flax meal.
(6) Add the heated mixture to the dry ingredients. Toss until combined.
(7) Bake the granola for 25-30 minutes until browned. For crispier apples, lower heat to 275oF and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool or eat immediately (like I did).

Enjoy alone, with milk (cool or warm), or with, my favorite, greek yogurt! 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Taste test - Arnold's Sandwich Thins and Moroccan Chicken Sandwiches

I recently had a serious craving for the sweet and savory combination like that of Moroccan-influenced food. Recently, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received some whole wheat Arnold Sandwich Thins. In order to satisfy my craving and taste-test these buns, I decided to make Moroccan chicken sandwiches. 

Moroccan Chicken Sandwich


1 cup chicken breast, sliced
1 pimento pepper, diced
1 onion
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic, freshly minced
1/2 cup onions, chopped
olive oil spray

For sandwiches:

1/4 cup cucumber sliced
tomato (optional)
sandwich buns


(1) Marinate chicken with all of the listed spices: pimento, onion, oregano, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, cumin, garlic salt, paprika, and black pepper
(2) Spray a medium saucepan with olive oil. On medium heat, saute chopped onions and garlic until slightly browned. Remove and set aside.
(3) In the same pan, add the marinated chicken. Saute until cooked thoroughly.
(4) Meanwhile, toast the sandwich buns. 
(5) Assemble sandwiches with all of the condiments, to your liking.

These were delicious. I served them open-faced to keep it low-carb but a closed sandwich, maybe even with smoked gouda would be fantastic. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lentil Chicken Soup

For two weeks, I craved lentils. I remember the delicious lentils seasoned with cumin, garlic, and onion that my mom would miraculously put together after coming home from work when I was young. Recently, I was fortunate to have my mom visiting with us in North Carolina. It was a great visit. After a quick trip to Weaver Street Market, we made lentil soup. This time, we cooked together, making this dish extra special.

Lentil Chicken Soup
adapted from The Joy of Cooking


1 cup lentils (8 oz.), picked over and rinsed
4 - 5 cups water (more or less depended on desired thickness)
olive oil cooking spray
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes with juice
2 sprigs of thyme (fresh, if you have it) or 1/2-1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped chicken breast (optional)
1/4 tsp. cumin
dash of oregano
salt and pepper, to taste


1) Rinse the lentils with water. Begin boiling the lentils in water with the dried thyme, cumin, and oregano in a medium stock pot. Do not yet add the salt and pepper.

2) While the lentils are boiling, spray a medium sauté pan with olive oil. On medium heat, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Sauté until slightly browned and add to the stock pot with lentils.

3) Reduce the heat on the lentils to a simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring often to prevent the bottom from burning. Add the tomatoes and apple cider vinegar after 15-20 minutes to the pot. 

4) While the lentils simmer, spray the medium sauté pan again with olive oil. On medium heat, add the diced chicken breast. Sauté until cooked through. Remove from heat and add cooked chicken to the stock pot.

5) Taste soup, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Serve in a 1/2 cup portion as an appetizer or a 1 cup portion as an entree with warm bread/flatbread/pita.

Enjoy this wholesome, delicious treat. I sure did!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ginger Berry Crisp

It has finally happened, I have moved to North Carolina! I am now working on catching up with my recipe postings. It uses the summer berries that I absolutely love from California, combined with my mom's handmade crystallized ginger (but go ahead and use some from your favorite market if my mom isn't handy). The recipe is one that I have adapted to have much less sugar and an extra crumbly top.

Ginger Berry Crisp
adapted from Self magazine


1/8 cup crystallized ginger, pulsed in food processor
1/2 cup rolled oats, pulsed in food processor
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1.5 tbsp splenda or sugar substitute
1/8 cup roasted almonds, chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup margarine or butter
2 tsp ice water

Fruit filling:
1/2 pint blueberries
1 nectarine (or apple, peach, or more berries), chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbsp whole wheat flour

(1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking dish with cooking spray. 
(2) Mix the ingredients for the fruit filling.
(3) In the food processor, pulse the crystallized ginger, rolled oats, and almonds 5-7 times so that still a little chunky. 
(4) To the food processor, add the sugar, sugar substitute, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until combined. 
(5) Add to the food processor, cubed pieces of margarine or butter until a crumble forms.
(6) In the baking dish, fill with the fruit and top with the crumble.
(7) Bake crisp 35-40 minutes. 

Enjoy with a little frozen yogurt, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, or, if you are like me, have it for breakfast!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Brussel Sprout Panzanella

The summer produce in San Francisco is phenomenal. I have mentioned before how I love farmer's markets. I will miss them here but I am looking forward to enjoying what North Carolina has to offer. 

Inspired by some great seasonal produce, I decided to combine apricots, brussel sprouts, red onions, and left-over multigrain loaf to make a summery, light bread salad, known in Italy as a Panzanella. 

Summer Brussel Sprout Panzanella


1/2 red onion, chopped
1-2 tbsp white wine
1 cup brussell sprouts, chopped
3 small apricots, sliced

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
merquen seasoning or garlic-onion powder (optional)

olive oil spray


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray sheet pan with olive oil. Lay apricots and brussel sprouts flat. Roast in the oven for 10-15 min until browned on sides (turn mid-way to brown on each side).
2. Slice multigrain loaf and toast twice to brown on all sides. Chop into cubes.
3. Meanwhile, saute chopped red onions with white wine in a small pan, sprayed with olive oil, until browned or caramelized.
4. Mix the roasted brussel sprouts with the caramelized onions, apricots, and toasted bread cubes.
5. Prepare vinaigarette in small bowl, whisking together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and seasoning.
6. Add vinaigarette to panzanella (bread salad) before serving. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spicy White Bean Chili

I recently made a chili for a group of friends. It turned out well so I decided to post the recipe without the picture. But believe me.... If you follow this rough recipe, even with a little extra of this or that, it will come out well. Chili, my friends, is forgiving. That is why I love it.

Spicy White Bean Chili


1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tbsp barley syrup (I used) or molasses
1 tsp Adobo spice
1 jalapeno chopped with seeds
1 habanero (left intact and removed before serving)
2 cloves garlic, chopped

Base Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 can pinto beans
1/2 container of Great Northern Beans (Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped


(1) Spray a 2 quart pan with olive oil. Add chopped garlic and onions and saute until slightly brown on medium heat.
(2) Add the red and green bell peppers to the mixture. Saute for 3-5 minutes.
(3) Add the beans and tomato sauce to the pan, followed by the jalapeno. Saute for a 2-3 minutes. Add water, spices, malt vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. 
(4) After 30 minutes, lower the heat. Add the habanero and the small tomatoes. Simmer for 1 hour (basically forget about it). 
(5) Remove habanero and serve.

Always with chili, it tastes better after a few hours of letting the flavors meld. I like to make a day in advance but this tastes good right after making.

Either way, enjoy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Taste test - Nature's Pride Harvest buns and rolls

On a recent trip to North Carolina (my last visit before I completely move there), I had an extra pleasant treat. As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received Nature's Pride Premium Harvest buns & rolls. With some proscuitto and melon on hand, I decided to make a quick sandwich and test out both the texture and taste of the Whole Wheat Harvest buns. I was pleasantly surprised that the buns held up to the weight and juiciness of the melon but were also very mild in taste, not to overpower the protein on the bun.

The sandwich was an easy combination of cantelope, proscuitto, mixed salad greens, and dijon mustard. 

Did I mention how much I love the simplicity but also the taste complexity of a sandwich...

My fiancé also recently made a delicious take on a burger: 

Spicy Turkey Burgers with Asparagus

The asparagus is mixed in with the beef. Let me know what combinations you come up with!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken Salad

While I love to cook and plan what I will cook, there are those days where you get so hungry and that you need a quick recipe. Having a few key ingredients on hand and with the help of my friend, Virginia, we cooked a quick meal that was done in 15 min. The "15 minute fix" is an appropriate name, because in a short time you can create a meal that will fill you before you think about eating the plate by itself, which honestly there are days the plate looks appealing.

Teriyaki Chicken Salad
serves 2


Teriyaki sauce (low-carb):

2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1/4 cup soy-sauce (preferrably low-sodium)
1/4 cup water
2-3 splenda packets (to taste)
1/4 tsp ginger powder
2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Protein and Vegetables:
1/2 carrot
baby spinach or mixed field greens
1/4 lb asparagus
white button mushrooms
1/2 bell pepper
cooked, sliced chicken breasts (such as Trader Joe's frozen, grilled chicken breast strips)
Olive-oil cooking spray


1. After finely chopping the garlic, whisk together the teriyaki sauce. Leave aside.
2. Spray a medium sauté pan with olive oil. Sauté sliced vegetables, including the mushrooms, asparagus, and carrots until tender but crisp, approximately 4-6 minutes at medium heat. 
3. Add the cooked chicken strips to the pan with the teriyaki sauce. Saute until heated throughout. 
4. Plate chicken with vegetables on top of a bed of baby spinach or mixed greens (shown here).

Enjoy the food, not the plate.