Gluten-Free Agave Parsnip Beet Cake and The Big Green Cookbook Giveaway

Well, I did it again…another incredibly tasty recipe using avocados, beets, parsnips and my favorite nuts … a lil macadamia and a lil hazelnut … This is a fabulous dish for anytime of the year but I thought these ingredients were perfect for this fall harvest season…  Perhaps this dessert will appear on your Thanksgiving table… Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and tastes on this newly delicious n’ always gluten’ and dairy free creation.

Gluten-Free Agave Parsnip Beet Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, very finely ground
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 1/3 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 2 very ripe avocados, peeled, cored and very finely mashed
  • Egg substitute for 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 10 parsnips, peeled and grated
  • 4 golden beets, peeled and grated
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking dish with baking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground macadamia nuts with flour, baking soda, all spice, sea salt and pepper; mix to combine.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine agave, avocados and egg substitute; beat on high speed until combined.  Add dry ingredients; continue to mix on medium speed until well blended.  Slowly add in parsnips, beets and coconut.
  5. Transfer batter into prepared baking pan; sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.  Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.
  7. Enjoy!

And, I am exciting to announce my Giveaway for The Green Big Cookbook. I will be randomly selecting one winner on Monday, November the 8th at 5:00 PM EST.

To Enter, Simply:

Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite way to prepare a  ‘Green’ meal.

Good Luck and have a wonderful weekend, fellow foodies!

 

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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!!!

Apple, Parsnip and Acorn Squash Soup and OpenSky Promotion

There’s nothing like a warm soup on a cool winter evening.  This unique soup pairs acorn squash, parsnips and apples together along with Stonyfield yogurt.  The combination of fruits and sweet winter vegetables makes this soup a perfect way to end your day.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium acorn squash, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups  granny smith apples, cored, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 1 freshly ground white pepper
  • Oikos plain Greek yogurt, plain
  • 1 fresh basil, chopped

Directions

  • Place squash cut side down on rack set over gently simmering water in saucepan. Cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Cool squash slightly. Scoop pulp and set aside.
  • Combine 1/4 cup vegetable broth, apples, parsnips and onion in heavy medium saucepan.
  • Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add squash pulp, remaining broth, orange juice, ginger and sea salt.
  • Cover and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes.
  • Puree soup in batches in a food processor
  • Strain through into a medium-sized saucepan; gently warm over low heat.
  • Add orange zest. Season with sea salt and pepper.
  • Ladle into bowls. Garnish with Oikos plain Greek yogurt and basil.

OpenSky Promotion!

Check out the OpenSky Holiday Promotion Page here:

http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/

From now until midnight on Wednesday, you can sign up to receive coupons ranging from $15 to $100 off and 10% to 50% off.

The quicker you enter your email at http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/ the better your chances for great savings.  You’ll note this page asks users to input their favorite shopkeeper.  For favorite shopkeeper, please input: AMIE

Every user will receive a coupon!

  • OpenSky is the place for your holiday shopping.
  • Sign up for savings here: http://holidays.theopenskyproject.com/
  • I only have 50 Premium Coupons for $15 off a $20 item so sign   up quickly!
  • To save the most, type AMIE as your favorite Shopkeeper.

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

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

carrot

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.

Savory Parsnip Bulgur Pilaf

This savory bulgur is hearty enough for a side dish and pairs well with chicken, tofu or fish.  The summertime is a great excuse to add a touch of anti-oxidant rich garden herbs such as fresh mint and basil…Each bite is sure to lend a surprise to your taste buds.  You can easily enjoy this dish served chilled or warm.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Bulgar (cooked)
  • 1 cup Onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Minced Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Cumin
  • 1 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Spinach (cooked)
  • 1 cup Shredded Yellow Squash
  • 1 cup Shredded Parsnips
  • Nu-Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Basil (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Mint (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Pine Nuts (toasted*)
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice

* Toast Pine Nuts in a dry skillet for 4 minutes until browned.

Directions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet until hot.  Add onion and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until golden brown (15 minutes).  Add garlic,bulgur, cumin and turmeric. Continue to stir for about 1 minute.
  • Add vegetable broth, parsnips, spinach, yellow squash and salt.  Bring to a boil and stir.
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes; do not stir.
  • Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Add fresh mint, basil and lemon juice.
  • Top with toasted pine nuts.
  • Enjoy!