Watercress Soup with Cilantro n’ Beets

This weekend I created the most delicious summer-time chilling soup.  I tossed together fresh cucumbers and watercress for a cooling feeling, but then decided to add a touch of the Fall by including sweet potatoes and onions…and to polish it off, there’s nothing like the natural sweetness of fresh beets.  This soup is delicious as a main dish with gluten-free bread or used as an appetizer or side dish with any meal.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 beets, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 6 lbs. watercress, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro

Directions

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the broth and water; bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato and beets, cover and simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Add the watercress and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Transfer the soup to a food processor; puree.  Then, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Add milk and Greek yogurt, cucumbers and vinegar.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Also,

Be sure to check out my Kid Friendly Recipe that was posted on the Easy Kids Recipes website today.

and…

My ‘Fruit Not Fat’ Galaxy Granola video that launched today, as well.

The Great Gluten Free Recipe Contest

I was recently contacted by Amy’s Organic and Lundberg Farms, who are hosting a unique recipe contest.  Both Amy’s and Lundberg are dedicated to serving the gluten free community and invited me to share how I use their tasty products.  Here is my delicious Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free and Vegetarian Recipe.

I hope you’re hungry, because it’s delish!


Sweet Potato, Rainbow Chard and White Bean Pasta

Serves 4

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces Lundberg Brown Rice Penne Pasta
  • Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 leeks, sliced
  • ½ sweet onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 bunches rainbow Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated; cut crosswise into 1 inch slices
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. of chili powder
  • ¼ tsp. of nutmeg
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions

    1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain, reserve ½ cup of the cooking water.
    2. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce in a small pot over medium-low heat; stir frequently.
    3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks and onion; cook until they begin to soften, approximately 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sage; stir for 3 minutes.
    4. Add Swiss chard, beans and sweet potato; cook covered until potatoes are tender, approximately 10 minutes.
    5. Add the reserved cooking water; simmer and stir until potatoes are tender, approximately 5 minutes.
    6. Add cooked pasta, balsamic vinegar, chili powder and nutmeg.  Gently toss to combine.  Sprinkle with fresh basil, crushed red pepper, golden raisins, sea salt and black pepper.
    7. Divide the cooked pasta among individual bowls.  Top with Swiss chard mixture and Amy’s Organic Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce.
    8. Serve warm or cold.
    9. Enjoy!

Be Sure To Check Out My Eggland’s Best eggs recipe on the Eggland’s Best website!

Sweet Potato Almond Soup


Last night, I created a deliciously simple sweet potato and almond soup that warmed me up after my chilly walk home.  Let’s just say that it hit the spot and paired perfectly with a side of grilled vegetables and tofu smothered with organic tomato sauce and sprinkled with nutritional yeast…delicious is an understatement.

Dig in, this is a tasty protein-packed soup with a nice dose of beta carotene that is sure to fill you up (and warm you up) on a chilly March evening.

Ingredients

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Greek plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. all spice
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ cup Krema Almond Butter
  • Pinch of sea salt and pepper
  • Topping: fresh cilantro

Directions

  • Prick sweet potatoes with a fork to create air pockets. Place into the microwave for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat oil.  Add onion and cook until they begin to brown, approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic; stir for 2 minutes.  Add lime juice, all spice, chili powder, and sea salt and pepper.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Peel sweet potatoes and chop into small chunks.  Place into a food processor along with the vegetable broth, Greek yogurt and Krema Almond Butter; puree until smooth.  Add the puree to the pot and mix well.
  • Transfer to serving dishes and garnish with cilantro.
  • Enjoy!

In The News This Week

March is National Nutrition Month

Blood Test Might Sort Out Milk Allergies

First Lady Talks Obesity With School Nutritionists

Are In Season Foods a Better Match for Nutrition Needs?

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!!!

John Boos, O How I Love Thee…

Honestly, I’ve fallen in love with a cutting board…

The John Boos Cutting Board, that is…and O, how fine it is!

Now, this isn’t just any ol’ cutting board, aside from the fact that it’s incredibly well crafted and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, this John Boos cutting board can handle anything you desire.  The best part? It’s reversible…yes, you’ve heard me correctly, the easy to grip side hand grips allow you to flip the cutting board and start chopping right away on the other side.  I opted for the Maple Board as I think the wood  looks incredibly beautiful on my counter top.  This professional cutting board is cream finished with beeswax and used in many fine restaurants all over the country…now, who wouldn’t love one of these babies in their kitchen?

Today I was hard at work in my tiny kitchen…chopping, dicing, slicing…you name it, I did it!  That’s why good ol’ John Boos came in handy.  I opted for a vegetable stew to warm me up on this chilly December day.

Hearty Chickpea n’ Veggie Stew


Ingredients

  • 2 cups green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 cups onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large zucchini, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1′” cubes
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 3/4 cup all natural tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  • In a large stock pot, add onions, olive oil and garlic.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and cook, covered, on low heat for 6-7 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  • Enjoy!

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!

Swordfish Kabobs

swordfish

This past weekend, I decided to heat up the grill and make fresh fish kabobs before the weather starts to  cool.  For some reason, kabobs remind me of the summertime and BBQ’s on my parents back deck after a long day at the beach.

Well, this past weekend sure came close to the same flavors and tastes that I get when I’m grilling at the beach, however, a grill in Manhattan just simply isn’t the same.  But, I knew what I was getting myself into and sure enough these kabobs turned out perfect! I visited the Union Square Market on Saturday morning bright and early to ensure I had a nice selection of fish to choose from.  Sure enough, as I passed the fruits and veggies, the freshly picked flowers, the pumpkin pies and current scones, I stumbled upon my favorite fish guy–and what was on the special, might you ask? Swordfish. Perfect, I thought and went ahead to purchase myself a fabulous swordfish steak-yum.

I decided to make the kabob recipe off the top of my head and choose whatever fruits and veggies I stumbled upon at the market.  I breezed past a bunch of red bell peppers-check, shallots- o yes, oranges- so deliciously fresh, sweet potatoes- without a doubt and fresh basil- an ‘Amie’ must.

Not having skewers in my little Manhattan apartment, I set out on a mission to Chelsea Market and found a  set of skewers — just perfect for my fresh swordfish.  After traveling across the city in search of my kabob ingredients, I fired up the grill and had a mini kabob party: me, myself and the lil kabobs.  Not bad for a Saturday night, huh?

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. swordfish steaks
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 Tbsp. grain mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes
  • 2 small oranges, sliced
  • 1 tsp. agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Skewers

Directions

  • Preheat grill.
  • Cut swordfish into 1 inch cubes.
  • Combine mustard, olive oil, shallot, agave nectar, sea salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and basil; mix well.
  • Coat swordfish cubes with mustard mixture.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Cut sweet potato, red peppers, shallot and orange slices into ‘skewer-friendly’ pieces.
  • Thread fish, sweet potato, red bell peppers, orange wedges onto skewers.
  • Place skewers on the grill over low heat; cook for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  • Baste fish and vegetables with marinade when skewers are turned.
  • Enjoy!