Superbowl Casserole

Ready for the big game on Sunday?

Here’s a quick and easy recipe that will have your Superbowl fans begging for more.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced
  • 1 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 1 cup SoyaKaas Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup SoyaKaas Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Jalapeno Cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/6 tsp. ground sage
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cups shredded chicken or turkey
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups organic corn or rice chips
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Toppings: Greek plain yogurt, guacamole, organic salsa

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine vegetable broth, tomato sauce, tomato slices, onions, scallions, olives, spices, agave nectar, sea salt and pepper to form a sauce.  Set aside.
  • Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Layer half of the chicken, then beans, then half of the sauce, Cheddar Cheese, Jalapeno Cheese and tortilla chips.
  • Repeat layers, ending with cheese on the top.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until casserole is bubbling and cooked.
  • Garnish with cilantro and top with a dollop of each: Greek plain yogurt, guacamole and salsa.
  • Enjoy the Game!
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‘Chicky’ Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Here’s a great recipe for some guilt-less chicken fingers for all of you chicks watching your figures!

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup ground macadamia nuts
  • 1 egg white, lightly whisked
  • 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Dash of cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Greek plain yogurt
  • Dash of balsamic vinegar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prep baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • Cut chicken breasts into desired sized nugget pieces. Set aside.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Seal the bag tightly and shake well until completely mixed.  This will be used as your coating mixture.
  • In a medium sized bowl, combine the low-sodium vegetable broth and egg white.  Dip each piece of chicken into the broth/egg white mixture, then dip into the coating mixture ensuring each piece is well coated.
  • Place coated chicken pieces on the baking sheet.  When the sheet is full, place into the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the chicken is cooking in the oven, combine the ingredients for the honey mustard in a small bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 1 minute on medium speed to ensure a ‘whipped’ dip.
  • Serve with homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.
  • Enjoy!

Get Those Kids Cookin’…

Ever wonder how to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here are a few tips that I offer to my clients…whether you have young children, nieces, nephews, neighbors, family or friends…these tips are sure to get your little ones active and entertained in the kitchen.


  • Cucumber Caterpillar: Slices of cucumber held together with natural peanut butter. Place the Caterpillar on ‘greens’ to look like grass.
  • Taco or Burrito Bar: Serve brown rice, black beans, onions, hot peppers, sprouted grain or gluten free tortillas, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, guacamole and  salsa.  Add nuts, seeds and spices in tiny serving dishes to jazz up the flavors!
  • Salad Bar: Spin your greens in a salad spinner, then dress dry greens with a lime dressings made by combining sesame oil, fresh lime juice, low-sodium tamari, cayenne pepper, agave nectar, balsamic vinegar and water.
  • Mashed Potato Parfaits- Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips and carrots mixed together…topped with raisins, cinnamon, shredded coconut and agave nectar
  • Individual Pizzas: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Choose gluten free or sprouted whole grain tortillas, caramelized onions, spinach, red onion, mushrooms, kalamata olives, artichokes, fresh basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add each ingredient atop each tortilla and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Panini Party: Gluten Free or sprouted whole grain bread, SoyaKaas Gluten Free/Dairy Free cheese, tomato slices, eggplant slices, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, avocado, zucchini and squash slices.  Add all ingredients to 2 slices of bread.  Place onto a panini maker (sprayed with cooking spray); cook until cheese is melted and veggies are warm and cooked.  Dip into marinara (red) sauce.
  • Stir-Fry: Switch up your usual recipe with unique grains such as millet, quinoa or buckwheat.
  • Fruit Salad: Add exotic fruits to spice up the flavors.  Use a melon baller and serve in a wine glass to add to the allure of this meal.  Add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt atop each fruit salad serving and sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia.
  • Slaw Wraps: Cabbage, celery, carrots, bok choy, mushrooms, peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, snow peas, green beans and Napa Slaw can easily be combined and wrapped in rice paper.  Liven up this dish by pairing it with a special sauce of grapefruit juice, ginger, balsamic vinegar, lemonade and seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.  Toss with fresh apples or cumin roasted chick peas.  Adding berries such as blackberries, raspberries and cherries add a nice antioxidant punch to these wraps.
  • Peanut Butter Chicken Fajitas: The best way to make a good peanut sauce is by combining organic peanut butter, fresh ginger, cayenne pepper, agave nectar and low-sodium tamari/soy sauce.
  • Frozen Basil and Banana Pops: Blend together 2 cups ice, 2 cups fresh basil leaves, 1 ripe banana, 1 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 cup agave nectar in a blender.  Blend well and pour into glasses! This is a wonderful treat for a healthy dessert!

Have fun and experiment with some of my ideas above…Getting the kids active in the kitchen is fun…and who knows, your kids may just start to ‘enjoy’ their veggies!!!

Spicy Yogurt Chicken

Continuing on with my Stonyfield yogurt recipes, last night I created a delectable yogurt chicken dish that incorporates a vast array of spices and herbs such as cloves and coriander. This is a wonderful dish to warm you up on a chilly December evening.

Ingredients

  • 2 small onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 14 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups Oikos plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts, mashed
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté onions until they begin to caramelize.
  • Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add all spices.
  • Stir until well combined; let it all mix together in the skillet for a few minutes.
  • Add tomatoes and water; mix well. Reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes while it thickens.
  • Whisk Oikos plain Greek yogurt into the sauce; mix well.
  • When the sauce begins to simmering again, add chicken; simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is completely cooked.
  • Serve over warm brown rice or whole wheat pasta.
  • Sprinkle with mashed macadamia nuts and fresh basil.

In The News…

Benefits of Eating Fish May Depend on Preperation

Whole Foods Rewards Healthy Employees

Feeling Blue, Green Tea May Help

Spicy Bean Cacao Chili

chhiiilli

Now, this is what I call ‘Delicioso’.. talk about a sweet n’ savory winter meal. This hearty chili packs in powerful antioxidants from the raw honey and cacao nibs and a dose of protein from the  beans and pumpkin seeds.  Try this tasty chili tonight for a cozy way to warm up your weekend.

Ingredients

  • 3 Dried chili peppers
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Smoked sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Raw honey
  • 1 ounce Cacao nibs
  • ½ tsp. Fresh Ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 c(15.5 ounce) an Kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can Chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can Navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup Fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup Pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup Strong coffee
  • 1 Yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, shredded
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced

Directions

  • In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion, carrots, and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in raw honey, paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Add tomatoes, chili peppers, and cacao nibs, and stir until well blended.
  • Add beans, water, and coffee, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until chili thickens and flavors have time to develop, about 45 minutes. Add a little more liquid if chili becomes too thick.
  • Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and fresh basil before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Do you recall a few weeks ago, when I had the pleasure of dining at Rouge Tomate and interviewed their Culinary Nutritionist as well as visited the Back To Basis Farm Market last month?  Well, next Thursday, November the 19th marks the one year anniversary of Rouge Tomate and they are celebrating with a Basis Farm To Chef event…and you’re invited!  I had the pleasure of

dining rougetomate 3

Rouge Tomate, one of the greenest restaurants in Manhattan, is proud to celebrate its New York one-year anniversary with a special event co-sponsored by Basis Farm to Chef.On Thursday, November 19th from 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Rouge Tomate will host a Farmer’s Market Forum featuring produce and representatives from 10 local farms and a 3-course $29 price-fixed Farmer’s Market Lunch prepared with ingredients procured from four of the farms being showcased.  This celebration comes on the heels of Rouge Tomate receiving its first star from the Michelin Guide, a true honor for a health-conscious restaurant in its first year of operation.

A member of the Green Restaurant Association, Rouge Tomate exhibits its commitment to sustainable, environmentally conscious practices in everything from the architectural design to the development of the menu. Under the direction of Executive Chef Jeremy Bearman, the Modern American restaurant features delicious cuisine with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers such as those involved in Basis Farm to Chef.  Basis Farm to Chef is a service provider that helps bring together small and mid-size farmers with chefs and consumers who want to buy locally produced food.  At the upstairs market, the farms will offer food samples, describe their operations and discuss the benefits of eating seasonal and local foods. Downstairs, Chef Bearman will be preparing a delicious menu that locavores will not want to miss.

In the year since Rouge Tomate opened its doors at 10 East 60th Street, the restaurant has had a huge impact on the community, partnering with a number of eco-conscious organizations and health charities including Go Green, The Green Market, New York Restoration Project, Operation B.L.U.E and Action Against Hunger among others.

“As Rouge Tomate prides itself on seasonal and local cuisine, a farmer’s market is the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate our year of success and showcase our sustainable and delicious menu,” said Emmanuel Verstraeten, Founder and CEO of Rouge Tomate. “When I began Rouge Tomate in Brussels eight years ago, I never thought that that one day we would open in New York.  It has been a truly special year, from our first reservation to our first Michelin star. We are proud to celebrate our anniversary with a great organization like Basis Farm to Chef.  We hope to see you all on November 19th.”

To make reservations for Rouge Tomate, please call 646.237.8977 or visit www.rougetomatenyc.com

dining rougetomate 3

Rouge Tomate was envisioned and founded by Emmanuel Verstraeten, who opened the first property in Brussels in 2001. Based on the resounding success of the original location, Verstraeten opened the flagship location in New York City in 2008.  Rouge Tomate’s commitment to health, balance and well-being is evident in every aspect of the restaurant – from sustainable, eco-friendly design and practices to the constant collaboration between the executive chef and the staff culinary nutritionist.

Rouge Tomate is located at 10 East 60th Street (between Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue), and is open Monday through Saturday.

basis

Founded in 2008 in New York City, Basis is a mission-driven company committed to good food for all. We are passionate about good food that is traditional, localized and 100% traceable. We partner with farmers and local communities to sell good food at affordable prices. Basis is launching a new chain of small-format retail food stores, starting in New York City, that will only sell good food. No toilet paper. No Twinkies. Just good food from good producers. Basis also offers delivery, storage, and marketing services for farmers interested in selling their products directly to wholesale customers, including the 20,000+ restaurants in New York City.

fall

And Just in Time for The Weekend, Here’s A Few Articles In The News This Week:

Fast Eating Limits Gut Hormones that Induce Fullness

Kellogg Removing Antioxidant Claims on Some Cereal Boxes

A White House Chef Who Wears Two Hats

New Couples At Risk For Packing On The Pounds

Perishables Sales Booming at Retail

Kids Menus? O Grow Up!

Cranberry Butternut Squash Soup

butter

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

Cilantro Pesto with Pine Nuts

Call me crazy but I decided to create a pesto using cilantro last night.  I  recently purchased a beautiful, fresh bushel of cilantro at the farmers market and I couldn’t stand to see it wilt away in my tiny fridge.  Cilantro is by far my favorite fresh herb (although there is a close tie with basil); the flavor of fresh cilantro can truly add excitement to any meal.

pesto

I always try to have fresh herbs in my fridge for a nice dose of antioxidants and pizazz! If you follow my blog, you’re familiar with my posts on herbs and ways to add fresh herb flavor, which I do with every meal!

This pesto is a great way to enhance the flavor of any dish; it can be used as an appetizer dip, a sandwich spread or served atop fish, chicken and tofu.  My favorite way to enjoy this cilantro pesto is with my halibut tacos; simply top tacos with a dollop of pesto and fresh salsa for a tasty treat.  You can easily prepare my cilantro pesto in a matter of minutes and use it for a flavor boost to any dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pine nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Vegan Galaxy Parmesan Cheese
  • Nu-Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Blend together all ingredients in a food processor; slowly add olive oil.
  • Serve at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!