Poached Green Tea Tarragon Chicken

End result.

Well, I just couldn’t help myself… Doesn’t this look incredible? I was inspired to create this dish last week when I was making my  morning cup of green tea and sprinkling of turmeric and tarragon on my breakfast eggs.  I thought, hmmm, ‘This tastes pretty good’…

And the rest is history.

A quick peak in the fridge fora some lonely chicken breasts and a light bulb went off in my head.

So, let’s start from the beginning.

I combined the chicken breasts with fresh green tea leaves with turmeric, tarragon and water in a pot over medium heat.

And let it simmer, covered for awhile, then reduce heat and keep it cookin’ for a soft, tender chicken.

Still cookin’…

Then, drained the excess water and was left with a beautiful array of tender chicken and blossomed green tea leaves.

I served this chicken dish with Gluten-Free Girl’s amazing Wild Rice Salad, which is one of my favorites.  A perfect side dish to compliment some tasty chicken.

Don’t ya think?

Poached Green Tea Tarragon Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup green tea leaves, dried
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. tarragon
  • Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium sized pot, combine all ingredients over medium-heat.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce to a simmer; cook for another 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and fully cooked.
  3. Drain liquid.  Discard excess green tea leaves.
  4. Transfer to a serving plate.  Serve warm.
  5. Enjoy!

Cooking with tea is one of my favorite ways to create a unique taste to any dish from rice to tofu and chicken to stews…not only does this green tea create an incredible aroma and delicious taste, it’s full of antioxidants.

So, put down that cup of tea and pour those leaves into your favorite dish.

It may just surprise you.

Have you ever cooked with tea?

Baked Eggplant Medley

I’m a sucker for eggplant.  Yes, it’s a nightshade veggie but I just love the sweet, soft taste of a freshly baked eggplant.  There’s something about that rich purple skin and those succulent seeds…it almost resembles a creamy texture when baked.

What’s not to love, right? A perfect dish for a chilly, winter night when your body’s yearning for a bit of warmth and ‘healthy’ comfort food.  Why not toss the idea of the heavy, rich comfort foods and create a dish that you feel good about eating and is fun n’ quick to whip up.

My Grandfather and father got me hooked on the ol’ eggplant when I was a kid and I haven’t turned my back since.

But, these days, my body enjoys a freshly baked eggplant and veggie dish instead of the heavy eggplant Parmesan that we made growing up.  My baked eggplant is gluten-free n’ dairy-free, delicious and farm-to-table fresh.

No need for processed bread crumbs.

No need for processed cheese.

Just a lil’ trip to the ol’ farmers market and you’re all set.

Trust me on this one; you won’t miss the ol’ version of eggplant parm.

The combination of chia seeds and flax seeds, both finely ground, make this meal hearty and satisfying.

If you’re going to add in a healthy fat, why not toss in these seeds or a bit of avocado instead of layering on heavy cheese and sauces?

I surely don’t miss the old eggplant parm.

Because this is new; it fits me and my lifestyle and is easy for my stomach to digest.

And that’s what life’s all about right?

Feeling good and feeling good about what we put into our bodies.

So, why not whip up this fresh veggie medley dish tnitey?

I create this dish every once n’ awhile with a few of my other favorite veggies and herbs.

This time around…it was all about the tomatoes, sweet onion, fresh parsley, turmeric, freshly ground white pepper, sea salt, dulse flakes, fresh tomato sauce n’ a sprinkle of both ground chia seeds and ground flax seeds.

And every time, I simply just can’t resist.

Can you?

Baked Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant,
  • 2 large Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh tomato sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Pinch sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dulse flakes (sea vegetable)
  • 2 Tbsp. ground chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh curly parsley, roughly chopped
  • Topping: Additional fresh tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare a 9 x 9 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice eggplant into disk-like shapes approximately 1/4″ thick.
  3. Layer eggplant into the bottom of the baking dish; top with tomatoes, onion, scallions, tomato sauce and garlic.  Sprinkle with turmeric, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, dulse flakes, chia seeds and flax seeds. Place into the oven.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are soft and tender.
  5. Remove from oven; garnish with parsley.
  6. Serve warm with additional tomato sauce.
  7. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

There’s nothing like a bowl of chicken noodle soup on a chilly February evening.  Last night I created a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free chicken n’ buckwheat noodle soup that warmed me up from the Manhattan chill. I tossed in some navy beans and my favorite dinosaur kale along with mushrooms and ginger for an exceptionally delectable soup.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 4 ounces buckwheat noodles
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup navy beans
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups dinosaur kale, chopped
  • Dash of sea salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. oil
  • Toppings: Organic corn tortilla chips, crushed; fresh basil, chopped; chili powder

Directions

  • Cook chicken over medium heat until fully cooked and no longer pink. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Prepare and cook buckwheat noodles according to package.  Drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot, combine water, dried herbs, spices and ginger.  Heat until water boils; add navy beans; cover and reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, kale and sea salt; cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add buckwheat noodles, chicken and oil; mix well.
  • Transfer to serving bowls. Top with organic corn chips, fresh basil and a sprinkle of chili powder.
  • Enjoy!

Cauliflower Cakes


Well, let’s just say I’m on another kick…and this time it’s with cauliflower.  Yes, I had a fabulous date last night with a head of cauliflower…are you jealous?  Yummy; this sweet, milky, almost nutty cruciferous vegetable is at its prime right now (from December thru March) when its in season and most plentiful at local farmers markets and food stores. Cauliflower tops the charts for vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin K, folate and dietary fiber…perfect for this time of the year when you need to keep your immune system strong and healthy.

Last night, I created a fabulous gluten-free dinner for myself using a beautiful head of cauliflower that I recently purchased at Whole Foods Market.  The combination of fresh cauliflower, avocado and basil added the perfect touch of sweetness with a sharp twist from the onion and crushed red pepper.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cauliflower florets, broken
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 3/4 cup egg substitute
  • 4 Fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. soy flour
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Toppings

  • Greek yogurt
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Organic tomato sauce

Directions

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender; blend until consistency resembles a batter.
  • Mold dough into cakes measuring about 5 inches wide.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat; spray with cooking spray.
  • Cook for 3 minutes or until brown; flip and cook other side.
  • Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, tomato sauce and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
  • Enjoy!

In The News This Week…

Food allergy suffers find socializing tricky

Gluten-free sourdoughs might benefit from egg-white foam

Pomegranates seen as breast cancer blockers

Virginia commuters to get Farm Fresh discounts

Kids like veggie choices, but may not eat them

Don’t forget about my 10% off Open Sky discount when you enter the code: REDESIGN

Good throughout all of January.

Happy Shopping!

Harvest Pumpkin Tofu Frittata

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I was bit by the frittata bug last week and made this for a quick and easy breakfast dish, which then turned into a few meals throughout the week.  Aside from this tasty breakfast, I created an afternoon frittata lunch over arugula, pistacios and fresh figs and  a hearty supper earlier this week atop  al dente buckwheat noodles, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.

Over the years my clients have asked me, “What’s the difference between a frittata and an omelet?” Good Question, isn’t it?  Well, in case you are unsure of the answer…the main difference between these two is simply that omelets traditionally have the eggs cooked and folded around the filling, while a frittata gets everything mumbled, jumbled and mixed together.  I serve my frittatas at room temperature, which makes them a convenient option for ‘Cooking Once, Eating Twice’ through creating lunch and dinner plates.  The thought of frittatas reminds me of getting together with friends over brunch and gives me a cozy feeling inside…suddenly it’s not about the frattata anymore, yet the overall enjoyment of a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by one (me) or a large group.  For me, there’s nothing like a light egg dish combined with your favorite veggies and herbs, topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt, tomato sauce and vegan Parmesan cheese.  Now, doesn’t that sound delicious?

Frittatas are a wonderful way to add a variety of veggies (and leftovers) to your meal; the flavor combinations are unlimited…simply let your imagination guide you when choosing what’s available in your fridge.  It’s quite easy to experiment and hard to go wrong when creating your frittata masterpiece…it’s a fun, effortless way to whip up a quick meal anytime of the day. My  flavorful pumpkin tofu frittata is packed with health benefits, which come from its rich source of vitamins A, C and K.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups kale, finely chopped (stems removed)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 5 oz. firm tofu, drained
  • 2 eggs (or egg substitute)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped for garnish
  • Optional Toppings: Greek yogurt, tomato sauce, vegan Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Prepare and chop all vegetables.
  • Puree tofu with eggs and egg whites, canned pumpkin, dried oregano and turmeric in a blender.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large pan over medium heat; let sit for 1 minute, or until it starts to steam.
  • Add onion, garlic, zucchini, bell pepper, kale and sun dried tomatoes; saute for 1 minute over medium heat.  Stir often.
  • Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth and balsamic vinegar.  Pour tofu mixture over veggies, cover and cook over low heat until mixture is completely firm and cooked, about 12 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.
  • Enjoy!

Here are some recent articles ‘In The News’ that I  thought I’d pass along:

5 Superfoods About To Make It Big

Diets That Promote Health and Always Have

How Your Toddler Can Get The Nutrients He Needs

Moms Spend Wisely

Product Review: Goji Gourmet

A big thank you to my friend, Allison over at Goji Gourmet for sending me a package of their tasty cookies.  I had the delightful opportunity to meet Allison last week to hear about her exciting new business and taste her deliciously-healthy cookies.

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Goji Gourmet offers a wonderful variety of cookies packed with superfoods and antioxidants!  All of their cookies are handmade, with no refined sugar added, no preservatives, low calorie and all-natural!  These bite-sized snacks are perfect for an evening nibble or for your child’s afternoon treat.

Be sure to check out Goji Gourmet and taste the goodness of their 4 yummy flavors:

Goji Almond Oat

1

Goji Cherry Cacao

2

Goji Ginger Walnut

3

Goji Orange Mint Chip

4

My clients and I enjoyed sampling these tasty treats; we snacked on them right out of the cute little bags (which are resealable and easy to toss into your bag for travel).  I decided to use my creativity and introduced the Goji Gourmet cookies to my clients paired with a dollop of Greek yogurt, crumbled atop a fruit and yogurt parfait and used as a crumb topping for my favorite pie and cake recipes.

I love Allison’s unique Goji Gourmet flavors: the combination of Goji berries with almonds and oats is incredibly satisfying and has a nice crunch…the Goji cherry cacao was my favorite, as I loved the raw chocolate taste and dried cherries happen to be my favorite dried fruit.  Goji ginger with walnuts had a nice crunch to them, as well and the touch of ginger was mild, yet added the perfect ‘zing’.   The Goji orange mint with chips were a huge hit with my clients- as it ‘Tasted like mint-chocolate chip ice cream”, they said.

Thank you again, Allison for sending us a fabulous assortment of your delictable cookies.  There’s nothing like enjoying a tasty treat that’s packed with superfoods and antioxidants- they’re mini guilt-free nibbles.  Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Goji Gourmet, which are popping up everywhere–I assure you–you’ll be hooked on your first little nibble.

Roasted Cumin Chickpeas

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Here is an easy recipe that is sure to please your taste buds.  These roasted chickpeas pair well as a side dish for any summertime BBQ…give them a try and opt for roasted chickpeas as your side dish tonight instead of baked beans! This recipe also works wonders atop salad greens and as a ‘go-to-snack’ in a Ziploc bag for your afternoon nibble!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chick peas
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Dash of Nu-Salt and pepper

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Drain chick peas and rinse well with cold water.  Let sit for 15 minutes in a colander to drain.
  • Toss beans with olive oil and all above ingredients (except fresh oregano).
  • Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer; roast for 50 minutes or until browned.
  • Serve warm with Galaxy Vegan Parmesan Cheese and fresh oregano.
  • Enjoy!