I'm back. The two and a half-year hiatus I took from my blog does not mean I haven't been cooking...The past couple of years I've been experimenting with an even healthier diet, including lots of raw food and nearly nothing processed or packaged.
Last year, I found out that I am intolerant to soy, so all of my forthcoming posts will now be soy-free. When I first learned this, I was pretty disappointed...I've never been a huge consumer of soy products, but I used to enjoy soy milk and tofu at times. since I stopped eating soy, I've never felt better...and since soy is such a processed food, I am happy to leave it behind.
For the past week or so, I've been babysitting a Vitamix. If you don't know what those are: they are pretty much supercharged blenders that can blend nearly anything. An entire apple? No problem. A whole beet? Easy. I hear it can even handle an avocado pit, although I have not yet put this to the test.
So here's my first recipe of the year (ahem, decade...). It's nothing but a simple smoothie that sounds strange but is chock full of nutrition and actually quite delicious and refreshing.
One word of caution: If you don't own a high-performance blender, like the Vitamix, you might want to chop up some of the ingredients before they enter the blender. I don't want to be responsible for breaking your kitchen appliances...
1 small-medium beet
3-4 cups cubed watermelon (seeds are fine)
3-4 leaves swiss chard or kale
1/2 small cucumber
6-10 large mint leaves (depends how minty you want it)
1 small orange
water (approx 1 cup water, might need more depending on your blender)
1 pinch of stevia or tbsn of honey
Blend, Enjoy. Invite a friend over...this should make 3 servings.
I can't take credit for this recipe -- I'm not a baker. But they are really good and I'm going to attempt to make them this Thanksgiving. These cookies are actually kinda healthy -- not low calorie, but they are packed with vitamin A, fiber and iron.
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter or trans-fat-free margarine
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, cream together pumpkin, sugars, butter and egg. In a small dish, dissolve baking soda into milk. Set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, salt and spices. Add baking soda mixture to flour mixture.
Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix or the batter will get tough. Add vanilla extract, chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
You can use just about any veggies you want for this recipe. Red pepper, mushrooms, peas, and corn would probably all be good. Get creative -- and let me know what works. This is what I used:
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
2 carrots, diced
2-3 cups instant brown rice
4-6 cloves garlic, chopped
2-4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into -inch pieces
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Bunch of diced chives or scallion greens
Salt to taste (about 1-2 tspn)
Parsley to taste
Heat oil on medium heat. Cook onion until soft. (a few minutes?) Add carrots and celery for a few minutes until they start getting soft. Add garlic.Add rice and cook for a minute or two. Add broth and salt and bring to a boil. Start with 1:1 ratio of rice to broth - (2 cups rice, 2 cups broth) cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about five minutes.
Remove cover and spread asparagus on top of the simmering rice -- do not stir into the rice yet. Replace cover and continue simmering, adjusting the heat if necessary, until the liquid is almost absorbed and the asparagus is still crisp, five minutes or so. Try the rice - if it's still crunchy, add more broth and wait until it is almost absorbed.
Add cream cheese; stir until the mixture is creamy. Return to a simmer and continue cooking until the liquid has evaporated and the asparagus is tender, about five minutes more. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and half of the green onion.
Top with chives or scallions, parm cheese, and parsley.
Mince garlic and sautee in pan. Add onions and cook half-way. Toast Almonds with a little oil in separate pan. Mix everything together with beans. Put flame on low and cover. Add lemon juice, salt, and coriander. Cook until beans are as soft as you like em!
Oil two baking sheets and preheat oven to 375. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Beat the egg and stir into the oil mixture. Gradually stir in soda and flour to form a stiff batter. Fold in carob chips and drop the batter onto
the baking sheets by the teaspoon. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until cookie is lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool
I've been cooking for years, but I've never really used recipes. People ask me all the time "Mmmm -- What did you put in that dish?" And I usually say "A little bit of this and a little bit of that."
I had a dinner party a few weeks ago and a friend of mine wanted to come over early for a little cooking lesson. She was following me around the kitchen with measuring devices, attempting to measure the "this and that" I was tossing into my vegetable and bean concoction. And she tried to take notes.
Well by the end of the night, she was flustered and swore there was no way for her to reproduce anything we had just cooked.
I realized then that "a little bit of this and a little bit of that" isn't a recipe. So now I'm the one trying to take notes on what I do in the kitchen so I can post the recipes. I apologize if I use some vague language (Read: a little bit of this, a little bit of that.) I can't measure everything. But I'm going to do my best.