Sweet Vegetable Slaw

This is an incredible recipe that I created last night using ingredients from my refrigerator and pantry.  I opted for a unique combination of cashew butter, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, Greek plain yogurt, pine nuts, Chinese mustard, cinnamon and dulse flakes gently tossed among a ‘slew’ of spiraled zucchini, squash, mango, carrots and cabbage with my Joyce Chen Spiralizer…This sweet n’ savory slaw will have your taste buds dancin’ at your first bite.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 yellow squash, shredded
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in half
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 Fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chinese mustard
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. cashew butter
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. dulse flakes
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Using the Joyce Chen Spiralizer, spiral all vegetables.
  • In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients.  Gently toss.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the following nine ingredients.  Transfer mixture to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat for 3-4 minutes; stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat and slowly pour over vegetable and fruit mixture.  Gently toss.
  • Serve warm or chilled.
  • Enjoy!

Smoked Paprika Carrot Fries and a Giveaway ‘1, 2, 3 Gluten-Free Cookies and Cake Mix’

Here is yet another one of my famous ‘healthy french fry’ recipes, however, this time I am using carrots! What a great way to get a nice dose of Beta Carotene!

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Ingredients

  • 6 Large, fresh carrots, cut into fry-like shapes
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Dash of Sea Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Slice carrots diagonal into ‘french fry’ strips and place on a baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle with smoked paprika.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Be sure to mix the carrots on the baking sheet every 10 minutes
  • Enjoy!

Enter for your chance to win a box of 1 2 3 Gluten Free Scrumdelious Cookies and Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake Mix Giveaway!


Simply leave me a comment on this post telling me why you’d like to try 1,2,3 Gluten-Free products and I will pick a random winner on Wednesday morning.

Good Luck!


Cranberry Butternut Squash Soup

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O, the excitement of my new kitchen continues…I’ve been busy whipping up hearty harvest recipes this week and last night I created a savory butternut squash soup with an extra kick of fresh cranberries from the local market.

This tasty winter squash is quite similar to a pumpkin, yet it has more of a nutty, sweet bite.  Not only is butternut squash deliciously hearty, it’s a nutritional powerhouse full of vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, potassium, thiamine, vitamin B6, calcium, niacin and three hefty grams of fiber per cup.

My butternut squash soup is quick and easy to whip up; simply seed and cube the squash, add it to the spices, cranberries, flax seeds and harvest root veggies,; simmer, then transfer into your handy-dandy blender and puree until smooth.  As in this recipe, I often choose incorporate ground flax seeds, which add an additional nutty flavor and are a great thickener for my soups and stews.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ cup cranberries
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2 large parsnips, shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. rosemary, finely crushed
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. curry powder
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • Sea salt and crushed white pepper, to taste
  • Toppings: Greek plain yogurt and fresh basil leaves

Directions

  • Seed and cube the butternut squash.
  • In a large pot, combine chicken broth along with cranberries and root veggies: onion, carrots, parsnips and garlic.   Add cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, ground flax seeds and sea salt and crushed white pepper; cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes or until squash is tender.
  • Lower heat to a simmer; cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  • Transfer soup mixture to a blender; puree until smooth.
  • Serve warm with a dollop of Greek yogurt and freshly chopped basil leaves.
  • Enjoy.

Here are a few news clips in the Nutrition/Health field that I’ve come across within the last week and thought I’d share with all of you:

Food Cos. Dropping Smart Choices Labeling

Loose Weight By Eating More

Are Artificial Sweeteners Really That Bad For You?

Tighter Belts Mean Thicker Waists

Stonyfield Oikos Recipe: Orange Zest Chicken Gyros

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I have been eager to share with all of you my fabulously delicious Oikos Greek yogurt recipe for the Stonyfield Oikos contest.

I created this yummy recipe last week.  As all of you know, I am a huge fan of Oikos Greek yogurt and always have at least one container in my fridge at all times.  It’s incredibly versatile and I often use Oikos in my morning breakfast, afternoon smoothies, lunchtime tuna salads and evening marinades.

This time around, I opted for creating a fun ‘finger-food’ meal, which is perfect for lunch or dinner.  If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute the chicken with tofu, seitan or another alternative.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb. skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Oikos Greek plain yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1 small orange
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 5 pitas (without pockets)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup baby portabello mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. orange zest
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Yogurt Dressing

  • 2 (16  ounce containers) Oikos Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. spicy mustard
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of olive oil

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk garlic, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, oil and cilantro.  Slowly add chicken and rub to ensure coating of the marinade.  Cover and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Pour a dash of olive oil into a large skillet, cook chicken fully; toss to ensure even cooking.
  • Once chicken is fully cooked, set aside to cool and slice onto a serving platter.  Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  • Place each pita in a skillet sprayed with cooking spray; heat for 10-15 seconds per side over medium heat.
  • Top each pita with chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, scallions and dressing.
  • Enjoy!

Directions for Yogurt Dressing:

  • Strain yogurt with a cheese cloth over a medium sized bowl; let sit overnight to release moisture.
  • Shred zucchini and carrots.
  • Combine yogurt, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper; mix well.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top before serving.

Be sure to visit the Oikos Facebook fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/oikos and the Oikos website here for more tasty Greek yogurt recipes.



Sweet Roots

This recipe is one of my favorites to make on a Sunday afternoon…it’s quick, simple to prepare, and leaves you with a soothing tonic of sweet sauce once cooked to perfection.

soup

Ingredients

Use as many of the following sweet veggies as you wish:

  • Corn
  • Rutabaga
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Beets
  • Winter Squash
  • Sweet Potato
  • Yams
  • Parsnips
  • Turnips
  • Red Radishes
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Green Cabbage
  • Burdock
  • For added protein- add Beans and/or Tofu

Directions

  • Chop the hardest veggies (carrots and beets) into smaller pieces
  • Chop the softer veggies (onions and cabbage) into larger chunks
  • Use a medium sized pot and add enough water to barely cover the veggies. Check the water level while cooking and add more water if needed. The veggies on the bottom will cook faster than those on the top, therefore stir every few minutes.  Cook until desired tenderness. The softer the veggies get- the Sweeter they become!
  • You may wish to add tofu or beans for extra protein
  • Season your veggies with seaweed or spices such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, black pepper, white pepper, chili powder, and cayenne
  • When veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, empty the ingredients into a large bowl, flavor as desired.
  • The leftover cooking water makes a delicious, sweet sauce, and is a healing, soothing tonic to drink by itself.
  • Enjoy!

Apple n’ Parsnip Crunchy Fries

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Continuing on with my fall-themed recipes, I thought I would create a side dish that incorporated autumn root veggies such as parsnips and carrots along with a delicious fall fruit-the apple!  I was introduced to parsnips a few years ago when my family served them for Thanksgiving dinner.  Yum-what a unique, sweet taste.  Since the moment these babies hit my taste buds I’ve created a vast array of cooking and baking recipes that combines these tasty parsnips with other root n’ hearty vegetables.  This dish is perfect for the fall season, not only is it incredibly healthy but it tastes delicious and ignites your kitchen with a magnificent aroma.

I love making my ‘Fries‘, but this time around I wanted to try something different.  I have yet to use a fruit when making my fries, therefore I imagined the combination of fresh apples with carrots, shallots and parsnips in my mind.  Why not, I thought….it can’t taste taste that bad, right? I gave it a whirl and whipped out my handy-dandy cutting board and a few fancy knives along with some pantry staples such as cinnamon, agave nectar, granola and dried cherries.  Hmmmm….would this combination make a delightful fry that I could flavor with a bit of sweetness and perhaps dip it into some Greek yogurt, homemade agave- sweetened relish or fruity-flavored salsa? I surely hoped it would…and as a matter of fact, it went above and beyond my expectations.  I just had to share this savory fry recipe with you…I hope you run out to the market and snatch up these ingredients because this one surely is a winner in my book.

Don’t be afraid to alter my recipe if your pantry isn’t stocked with these items; if you don’t have any granola on hand, feel free to use ground flax seed or mashed cereal, crackers or pretzels for the crunchy texture.  No dried cranberries?  No problem–reach for raisins or cranberries.  You can also experiment with sweeteners—you may choose to use honey or stevia.  Now, I’ve always followed my recipe to the ‘T’ and haven’t altered it a mere pinch, but if you’ve got the guts to switch it up…go for it and let me know how it turns out.

Now, how much fun is this for a Friday night?

Ingredients

  • 2 Large Apples (I used Granny Smith Apples)
  • 4 large Parsnips
  • 6 Large Carrots
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Granola, mashed
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cherries
  • 1/4 cup of Pistachios
  • Dash of Agave Nectar

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Slice carrots, parsnips and apples into fry-like shapes.
  • Place into a Zip-lock bag with cinnamon, shallots, granola and dried cherries.
  • Shake until carrots, parsnips and apples are completely coated with cinnamon.
  • Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and place into a serving dish.  Drizzle with agave nectar and pistachios.
  • Enjoy and serve with your favorite condiments such as relish, sweet salsa, Greek yogurt, guacamole or tamari.

Zucchini n’ Avocado Hummus

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Last night I created a masterpiece.  I took a look in my pantry and fridge to see what ingredients I had to play with… a perfect combination of a ripe avocado, fresh zucchini from my corner vegetable stand, a small bag of carrots and an onion.  I glanced over at my food processor and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head: Homemade Hummus! What a fabulous  idea, I thought.  Yum.

As you all know, I love my sweet and salty combination, therefore I decided to toss in a dash of agave nectar and chili powder for the perfect palate pleasing treat!  I served myself this tasty appetizer aside my gluten free rice chips and sweet potato wedges.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 Avocado, peeled, cored and mashed
  • 1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 cup Sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Warm water
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, shredded

Directions

  • In a food processor, combine lemon juice, water and tahini; puree until smooth consistency.
  • Slowly add mashed avocado, shredded carrots and shredded zucchini; continue to puree.
  • Add chopped onion, agave nectar and chili powder; puree until desired smooth consistency.
  • Transfer into serving dishes.
  • Enjoy with your favorite whole grain chips, pitas, crackers or raw vegetables.