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.

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?

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!

‘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!

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!

Scrumptious Sage Stuffing

You simply cannot go wrong with a gluten-free bread stuffing, especially when its enlivened with fresh sage, white balsamic vinegar and dried cherries. Chunks of bread, golden and crisp on top, soak up turkey stock and buttery juices from the sautéed onions and celery.


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 1 ripened avocado, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups gluten-free bread, chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. sage, chopped
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • Sea salt and crushed white pepper, to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  • Over medium heat, cook onion and celery in a large skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper; stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a bowl and toss with bread cubes, dried cherries, white balsamic vinegar, mashed avocado, celery leaves, and sage.  Set aside to cool for five minutes.
  • Whisk together vegetable broth and egg in a large bowl.  Gently toss with bread mixture until absorbed.
  • Transfer to baking dish and bake, covered with foil for about 45 minutes.

In The News This Week…

Sodium Reduction- A Top Trend

Relaxation Snacks- A Trend for 2010

Whole Foods Endorses Healthy Lunches

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