Post image for Fresh Cleansing Salad

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to find that in the weeks following Thanksgiving I’m in major need of detox. After letting my gluttony run wild, I turn to the juicer and salads for almost every meal. Plates get piled high with antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredients to get myself feeling normal again. That’s not to say that things get boring. Au contraire. This recipe is one of the creations I put together when in need of salad creativity. The combination of flavors sounds absurd, but one taste and it’s more like absurdly amazing. Each bite is full of mouthwatering freshness – making it tough to stop eating, but with such healthy ingredients, it’s okay. (Did you know that the calcium in Kale is easier for the body to absorb than milk? And, both butternut squash and pomegranates are FULL of antioxidants.) I swear you’ll fall in love with this one…

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

1 Pomegranate

½ Cup of Sunflower Seeds

1 Medium Bunch of Red Kale

½ a Lemon

2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp. Sea Salt

3 Tbsp. Sesame Oil (1Tbsp. for squash and 2 Tbsp. for dressing)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and cube your butternut squash, then toss it in a bowl with sesame oil, and spread it out on a tinfoil-lined baking sheet.

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Place the butternut squash into the oven to cook until tender (approx 25 min). While it’s cooking, seed your pomegranate, chop your kale, and place it into a large bowl. Squeeze your half lemon over the mixuture, sprinkle with salt, and stir it up. This will help to begin softening your kale so it’s not extremely stiff and crunchy.

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Once your squash is cooked, let it cool for about ten minutes, and then mix all of the rest of your ingredients together, and serve.

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-Dec 11, 2011, 8:21PM
I'm making this now. I'm not very experienced in the kitchen and I'm a little uncertain as to how to make the dressing. Where does the dijon come in?
-Dec 11, 2011, 5:57PM
this looks delish!

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Post image for Comfort Food Risotto with Shitakes and Asparagus

When I haven’t been to the grocery store in, awhile this risotto is something I’ll whip up for dinner. I usually have the ingredients laying around (maybe not the vegetables, but I’ll do some sort of variation), and it’s simple to make. My grandmother taught me the secret trick of stirring in some cream cheese. You don’t even have to use too much, but it makes the risotto so deliciously creamy. I also tend to use brown rice just because it’s healthier, and I find the effect to be just as desirable. This dish warms up any cold day and can help cure a funky mood. It’s one of my ultimate comfort foods – my less guilty version of mac n’ cheese. Let me know if it’s just as good for you :).

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Long-Grain Brown Rice

1 Lb Asparagus

1 Large Sweet Onion

¼ Lb Shitake Mushrooms

4 Cups of Vegetable Stock

½ Cup Parmesan Cheese

3 Tbsp Cream Cheese

1 Tbsp Truffle Oil

S & P to taste

Directions

Chop onion, asparagus, and mushrooms. I like to leave the onion pieces as larger wedges for a dish like this.

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Pour truffle oil into a large pot and allow it to heat up. After two minutes or so, throw in your onion wedges to sauté. As soon as they begin to appear translucent, add in your mushrooms and asparagus to.

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Once the vegetables appear cooked (you can test them with a fork), lower the flame and pour in your vegetable stock. Then add rice and stir.

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Cover and let cook until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in parmesan cheese, cream cheese, salt and pepper.

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Let the risotto sit for about 5 minutes. Then stir again and serve.

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amy -Dec 16, 2011, 1:17PM
Yummers! Made this last night for 2 friends (one of them a shitake farmer), it was DELISH! Now finishing leftovers at work as I type. Thanks FP! xoxo
HappySue -Dec 10, 2011, 9:53AM
I made this for me and my friend yesterday, it was perfect for a frosty UK day, so thanks very much.

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Post image for Mamma’s Pumpkin & Pear Curried Soup

Going home for a visit, I always look forward to some of my mother’s home cooking. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. Everything coming out of “Mamma’s” kitchen is a unique invention that combines unexpected ingredients into something miraculous. I don’t know how she does it, but I thought I’d feature a sample of one for you all to get a taste (literally). This Pumpkin & Pear Curried Soup was the opener to our Thanksgiving meal this year. The recipe is delicately spiced, perfectly creamy, and just enough sweet. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did. :)

Ingredients:

1 Medium Sweet Onion – Chopped

1/2 Lb Carrots – Chopped

1 Large Yukon Gold Potato – Cut into 1/2″ cubes

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

1/2 Liter of Vegetable Stock

2 Ripe Pears

16oz Pear Nectar

2 – 29oz Cans of Pureed Pumpkin

3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar

3 Cups of Nonfat Greek Yogurt

3 Tsp Curry Powder

3/4 Tsp Gara Masala

Salt to taste

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds/Sesame oil for garnish

Directions:

Place onions into a large pot with sesame and olive oils to saute.

As they begin to turn translucent, add in carrots & potato.

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When the carrots and potatoes are soft, remove from heat.

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Slice pear, and add into sauteed vegetable mix.

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Using a blender, puree mixture in batches. For each batch you’ll want to add a bit of vegetable stock and pear nectar to cool it down.

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Return pureed mixture to heat on the stove. Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and any remaining vegetable stock/pear nectar. Let cook until mixture is heated through.

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Pour into a serving bowl, and stir in yogurt.

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Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds and sesame oil, then serve!

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Post image for The Perfect “Dillas”

Ever since Napolean Dynamite came out, I’ve been calling them “dillas.” Years later it’s far too ingrained into my vernacular to go back, so please excuse the blatant mutilation of an otherwise perfect Spanish word. Quesadillas are one of those foods that I think no American can live without once in a while. They’re the perfect blend of cheesy (who doesn’t like cheesy), carbohydrates, and (in my preference) loads of veggies – all topped off with sour cream. I like mine with a zesty flavor which I achieve using generous amounts of cilantro, garlic, and chili pepper. It gives the dillas that Mexican food sucking-air-through-your-front-teeth sort of satisfaction. Who doesn’t love that?

Ingredients (Yields 5 Quesadillas):

10 8” Tortillas (I pick mine up fresh from a Mexican joint in Philly – highly suggest it if you can find a place near you which does the same.)

1 Package of Mexican Blend Cheese or Shredded Montery Jack

¼ Red Onion – chopped finely

1 Small package of Cherry Tomatoes – cut into quarters

1 Green Pepper – chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic – minced

1 Tbsp Chopped Cilantro

1 Tsp Lime Juice

½ Tsp Chili Powder

½ Tsp Garlic Powder

½ Tsp Cumin

Salt & Pepper to Taste

You’ll also need a Panini press or George Foreman-type machine, but you could also probably pull them off in the oven or toaster oven.

Directions:

Combine onion, green pepper, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings in a medium bowl.

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Preheat your grill

Place a tortilla down onto the grill. Cover with desired amount of cheese, and then sprinkle with filling mixture. (I also cooked up some shrimp and added it to some. To do this, just cut raw shrimp into smaller pieces, and then sauté beforehand to have it ready.)

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Sprinkle more cheese on top, and then cover with another tortilla.

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Close grill, and let cook for about 8-10 minutes, and then they’re ready!

Garnish with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or hot sauce – whatever you want…

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Nora -Jan 17, 2013, 12:59PM
A big 'oh hi' from the Netherlands. I know this is an old post, just love the treàsures that are still kept in your archive. Making these tonight for my semi mexican boyfriend. Still have to go to the groceries store, bit already enjoying the pre-taste of this recipe. <3
molly -Jan 22, 2012, 6:19PM
i am doing a nutrition project for high school health class i am going to make these quesidillias as a demonstration:) love you free people <3

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Healthy Baking 101

Post image for Healthy Baking 101

Although I love to cook, when it comes to baking I’m something of an amateur. Growing up my parents always kept a kitchen stocked with healthy options, and if I whipped up a sheet of cookies for no reason they often went uneaten (except by me). As I got older and more health conscious, I realized that I probably shouldn’t be devouring these cookies either. So, in an effort to maintain a clean diet, I kind of fell off the baking band wagon and became more of a cook.

Nowadays, we have so many more options for healthy baking. Right here in Philly there is a café that serves up my favorite “nuffins” made with yogurt, olive oil, and splenda. It got me to thinking about baking in an all new way, and I decided to give it a stab again. Up until now, this has involved following other people’s recipes, but this past weekend I attempted making whole-wheat pumpkin cupcakes with yogurt as an experiment. I took photos, and was planning to post on them today, but sadly, they came out entirely too moist, and sort of fell in on themselves.

The week got hectic, and I couldn’t make it to the store to pick up ingredients for another recipe, so as a result, I thought I’d take you all along the learning curve with me. In attempts to get the recipe right, I’ve been doing some research on healthy baking substitutes that I’ve heard about. Here’s what I’ve learned so far and can’t wait to try out. Once I get the cupcakes just right, I’ll be sure to share them with you all & if any of you have tips – please share!

Applesauce

Substituting applesauce is one way to cut down on fat in baking. Using it keeps the finished product moist, but it really only works for oil-based baked goods (i.e. breads, muffins, and some cakes) not recipes calling for butter.  When you substitute applesauce, it’s even more important to work the batter gently, and as little as possible. Most sources recommend a 1:1 swap (1 cup of applesauce in a recipe calling for 1 cup of oil). Measure it out in a liquid measuring cup, and use unsweetened applesauce.

yogurt

Yogurt

Yogurt is another great way to cut fat and calories, but maintain a tender, moist consistency in baked goods. This one can be used in both butter and oil-based recipes. In those calling for butter, replace half of the butter with half as much yogurt (1/4cup yogurt & 1/2cup butter in a recipe calling for 1 cup butter). For oil or shortening, replaice half of the oil with ¾ the amount of yogurt (1/4 cup + 2tbsp of yogurt with ½ cup oil in a recipe calling for 1 cup of oil).

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Whole Wheat Flour

This is where it can get a bit tricky. From what I’ve read, you want to find whole-wheat pastry flour which is generally lighter than the all-purpose kind. You usually still have to include white flour when making this switch. Sometimes you can use 100% whole wheat, but that’s where experimenting comes in. From what I’ve read, going entirely whole-wheat works great with banana bread. Breads in general can take more, as it tends to make the product heavier which is okay with bread. When baking pastries you’ll want to stick to a 50/50 rule (substituting half the amount of all-purpose white flour with whole-wheat flour).

click on images for sources

Hmoureuse -Nov 21, 2011, 10:00AM
@Anonymous : gluten free flour is great ; you can use either coconut flour or rice or corn or chestnut flour (which is quite expensive, so I always mix rice and chestnut flour) As for the egg replacer, arrowroot is GREAT. 1 full tablespoon of arrowroot + 3 tbsp of water for one egg. I always use coconut oil as a substitute for butter as I am allergic to lactose but also almonds, soy, gluten, etc. Every day I find new ways to replace ingredients and it all tastes even better :)
michelle B -Nov 16, 2011, 6:13PM
While, I do love stevia(truvia is pretty good), I find that there is a distinct after taste and it can be tricky to sweeten when used alone. I typically used it with something else like agave, honey, concentrated white grape juice or powdered frutose. Sometimes I substitute it for half of raw sugar just to cup don on the sugar. I love to use it in whipped cream. Add two packets to a 1/2 pint of whipping cream and beat until peaks form. No one will ever know the difference!

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Spicy Four Bean Soup

Post image for Spicy Four Bean Soup

I love crock pots. There’s something magical about them. It’s like the modern day witch’s cauldron that you throw a bunch of stuff into, and poof, it turns into a delicious meal. It’s great for when I’m feeling lazy, or just plain don’t have the time to prep dinners all week. I’ll put together a concoction, turn the temperature to low, and go to bed for the night. When I wake up in the morning I’ll put aside enough for lunch. Then stick about half of the remains into the freezer, the other half in the fridge, and I’m set for a go-to healthy meal all week.

This Four Bean Soup recipe as is, is definitely not for wimps. The spice is strong, but burn is good. If you’re not into it, leave out the jalapeno peppers, or cut down on the amount of red pepper. You can also try removing the jalapeno pepper seeds before you add them into the pot as this is where they contain most of their spice. However you like it, it’s simple, good for you, and will make your week much more convenient. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

1 Can Kidney Beans

1 Can Cannellini Beans

1 Can Black Beans

1 Can Pinto Beans

1 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

4 Cups of Vegetable Broth

2 Carrots

2 Celery Stalks

1 Red Onion

2 Jalapeno Peppers

1 Tbsp Chili Powder

1 Tbsp Cumin

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tsp Salt

3 Garlic Cloves

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

Drain and toss all of your beans into the crock pot.

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Pour in tomatoes and then cut each one into smaller pieces.

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Peel and chop carrots

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Peel and slice onion

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Chop celery, jalapenos, and garlic

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Throw all chopped ingredients into the crock pot along with vegetable broth and seasonings. Stir

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Turn crock pot to “low” if you’d like the soup to cook for 6-8 hours. If you want you want to speed the process up to 3-4 hours, you can turn it to “high.”

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Turn off and you’re done!

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Cristan -Nov 08, 2011, 10:48AM
This was ok. Hopefully will be better on day 2! It took A LOT longer than 8 hours to cook, so I was very hungry, and almost sad when I finally got to eat it... maybe i cut my carrots too big? woopsie!
Michelle -Nov 07, 2011, 5:45AM
Looks delicious! x Michelle www.michellesstylefile.blogspot.com

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Post image for Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pistachio and Dried Cranberry

Yet another thing to love about fall is the plethora of squash varieties you can discover at farmer’s markets and the grocery store. It’s a great time of year to dream up dishes, and experiment around. The following recipe is one of my favorite results from doing so thus far this season.

Ingredients:

1 Acorn Squash

1 Pint of Non-Fat Cottage Cheese

¼ Cup Dried Cranberries

¼ Cup Pistachios – shelled and chopped

1 Tbsp Honey

½ Tsp Cinnamon

½ Tsp Allspice

2 Tbsp Macadamia Nut Oil

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut your acorn squash in half

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Scoop out insides with a spoon

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Brush squash with macadamia nut oil

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Cover a baking sheet with tinfoil

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Place acorn squash face down onto baking sheet, and place into the oven to cook until soft (approx 30 min).

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When your squash is almost cooked, throw cottage cheese, honey, cinnamon, allspice, and pistachios into a blender.

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Stir in cranberries, and then spoon filling into squash. Garnish with cinnamon.

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Betsy -Nov 04, 2011, 11:26PM
I finally got around to trying this. It looked really interesting, so I was intrigued, and wanted to try it. I must admit my friend and I were pretty skeptical, but it turned out to be really delicious! I used a sweet dumpling squash instead of an acorn, and Daisy 2% cottage cheese. I think if I were to make this again, I would stir in coarsely chopped pecans along with the cranberries.
response to naida -Nov 03, 2011, 11:57PM
naida. try using the tofuti better than cream cheese. you can find it at any grocery store. it'll be a little smoother and probably even more delicious!

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Post image for Miso Glazed Tofu with Spice Roasted Vegetables

This weekend’s recipe is a two-parter. You can prepare the two dishes to go together or make them separately. I personally love them together for dinner, but I’ll often save the leftover tofu to throw on a salad for the next day’s lunch. There’s a great candied flavor to the tofu while the veggies inject a bit of spice into the meal. I like to think of this meal as the healthy version of potato chips and honey baked ham. It feels like an indulgence, but in reality you’re really being quite healthy.

Ingredients for Miso-Glazed Tofu:

14-16oz Lite Firm Tofu

¼ Cup White Miso Paste

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

2 Tbsp Mirin

Ingredients for Spice Roasted Vegetables:

1 Lb. of whatever vegetables you chose (I used yellow squash and zucchini)

1 Tsp. Coriander

½ Tsp. Fennel Seeds

½ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes

½ Tsp. Italian Seasoning

3 Tbsp. Macadamia Nut Oil

Salt & Pepper to Taste

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Directions:

Slice your tofu block into three layers and place in a towel to soak up moisture.

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Cover a small baking dish with tin foil

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Slice veggies. You can choose the size; just make sure they’re all more or less uniform.

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Mix oil and spices together with in a ramekin with a basting brush

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Paint over veggies and mix up so each piece is well coated

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Place veggies in oven, and then begin mixing together the miso glaze for your tofu.

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Liberally paint the glaze onto either side of each tofu slice with your basting brush.

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Place pieces into a larger baking dish

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Place into the oven along with your veggies. You can stir up the veggies at this point.

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After about 10 minutes flip tofu over and finish baking until glaze looks candied. You’ll want to take the veggies out once they just begin to brown.

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Serve it up!

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fp naomi -Oct 24, 2011, 9:35AM
melissa - Sorry about that - 375F.
melissa -Oct 23, 2011, 1:14PM
what do you preheat the oven to?

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Post image for Gourmet Cheese & Claudio’s Specialty Shop

Claudio’s, a small specialty shop nestled in Philadelphia’s Italian Market, is one of my all-time favorite spots. The shop has been open for over 50 years serving meats, cheese, olives, pasta, and other imported goods. It’s one of those places you go and feel the old world preserved. The employees who work there were born and raised right down the street. They can recount for you how their mothers used to send them down for a half pound of fresh mozzarella, and now they’re keeping the tradition alive by running the place themselves.

My favorite part about Claudio’s though is the cheese. They’re selection is out of this world. Gourmet cheeses of every kind – Italian, French…fresh, aged…sheep, goat….

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It’s become my go-to place for cheese experimentation. I’ve tried everything from Bulgarian Feta to smoked cheddar – each inspiring me with a new recipe idea. After much sampling, here is some ingredient inspiration with my favorite, and some of the most novel cheeses, that I’ve discovered at Claudio’s.

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(from left to right: Beemster, Vento D’Estate, Crucola, and Testun Occelli al Barolo)

Beemster

Beemster is my absolute favorite cheese that’s I’ve discovered at Claudio’s. It’s a bright orange, 3-year aged cow’s milk cheese that originated in Holland. Its texture is delicate –its flavor sharp and nutty.

I love it on its own, or thrown into a gourmet grilled cheese – think pressed foccacia bread with thin apple slices and mixed greens.

Vento D’Estate

This cheese is the most unique thing I’ve ever tasted. It’s an Italian cheese made from sheep’s milk. In the aging process they actually cover it with hand-picked hay, and place it in wooden barrels. The idea came from a famer who, many years ago, was driving his cart filled with cheese down a country road when hay from the buggie in front of him started to blow off. He sniffed the air, and wondered why, if the scent was so pleasant in the air, couldn’t it be pleasant combined with his cheese. So he wrapped the cheese in the nicest hay he could find, and thus Vento D’Estate (literally meaning summer wind) was born. The hay gives it a pungent earthy flavor unlike any other cheese I’ve ever had.

I can see this cheese being great in a spanokopita-type dish because of its strong earthy flavor.

Crucola

Crucola is a cow’s milk cheese originating from the Italian Alps. The flavor is mild with a slight hint of swiss. The swiss cheese flavor is ever so slight, so if you’re not a fan of swiss (like myself) you may still like it.

This is the perfect cheese to add into morning eggs for a twist on the old cheddar.

Testun Occelli al Barolo

You got it, this beer is bathed in wine – Barolo wine. For the last few months of its 7-month aging process the cheese is infused with it. The blend of cow and goat’s milk picks up the fine flavor, and the outside forms a funny flaky texture of dried wine bits.

I imagine this one crumbled up in a salad with some nuts and grapes, but then again, this guy might go best with some crackers and a glass of…Barolo.

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If any of you love cheese as much as I do, and you’re interested in trying them for yourself, you can order off of their website. I highly suggest getting all four, slicing up an apple, putting out some crackers, pouring some wine, inviting over some friends, and having a cheese party. It’s one of the simplest, pleasure-filled ways to pass an evening.

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What’s your favorite cheese? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

la casara -Feb 29, 2012, 4:29PM
The list would be way too long but my top choices are: fresh ricotta, fresh mozzarella and the burrata made by Caludio is delicious. When I also find in the store mozzarella di bufala and stracchino just arrived from Italy I am in heaven. Also love pecorino toscano and Occelli butter and more ... can i mention prosciutto di Parma not a cheese but it does go well with everything above :)
sara -Oct 19, 2011, 10:33AM
english 5 county cheddar. hard to find but the best cheese in the world! usually have it at east village cheese shop in nyc!

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Post image for Do it Yourself Granola

These days the word “granola” seems to be slightly vague. When you go to the grocery store there are so many versions. It can be made with oats. It can be made with nuts. There can be cinnamon, or vanilla – even chocolate. You get the point. Basically, to be granola it has to have crunch, and it has to be delicious. When you make it at home, however, there are even more versions to experiment with. The options are endless, so I wanted to share some of the interesting granola recipes that have been catching my eye lately. I love the idea of making your own granola, and really controlling what goes into it. I’m still deciding which I should throw together, but if any of you try one, let me know how it is!

Crunchy Quinoa Granola

Ingredients:

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.  
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (oats, quinoa, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds) in a large bowl. Mix well. 
  3. In a small bowl stir together all wet ingredients (applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla, agave, molasses).
  4. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until well coated.
  5. Spread the granola on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Turn it over every 10 minutes or so to provide even toasting.
  6. Let cool completely. Keep in airtight container.

(recipe via Anja Food 4 Thought)

Lemon Rosewater Pistachio Granola

Ingredients:

1 lemon, zest and juice of
1/4 cup date syrup or honey
1 tablespoon rosewater
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, rosewater and syrup/honey in a saucepan.
  4. Bring to a boil. Take off the heat and let cool a little. Set aside.
  5. In a big bowl, combine oats, flax seeds, and chopped pistachios.
  6. Pour the lemon syrup mixture over the oat nut mixture and stir until well combined.
  7. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Spread the granola evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely. Stir in raisins (optional).
  10. Keep in airtight container.

(recipe via Anja Food 4 Thought)

Pumpkin Granola

just because I’m loving fall :)

thepastryaffair

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup until smooth.
  5. Add the oats, dried cranberries, raisins, almonds, coconut, and pumpkin seeds, stirring until granola is evenly coated. It will be moist.
  6. Spread out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and stir the granola around. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. Granola will crisp up once it has cooled down.

(recipe via The Pastry Affair)


Linda -Oct 27, 2011, 7:39AM
Thank you! I'm simply crazy about healthy recipes and this one will help me a lot in my diet.. Thanks again.. :D
dragon fruit -Oct 09, 2011, 11:33PM
omg I am SO trying this this week! I have all the ingredients already too, perfect :) thank you againnn, FP! xo www.dragonnfruit.com

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Post image for Chilled Lentil Salad

Most people do not eat many lentils, but they’re a great food to try and incorporate into your diet more often. Technically legumes, they are high in protein (especially great for vegetarians), and have a multitude of vitamins like magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamin B.  They’re also good to lower cholesterol, but perhaps the best part is that these little guys are extremely filling which isn’t always the case with healthy foods.

I’ve been trying to eat lentils more often, and this week’s recipe is my first stab at a chilled lentil salad. I used to think that lentils were hard to cook, and generally stayed away from them. After reading up a bit, I realized I was wrong – they’re just about as easy to cook as rice. Some might think lentils can get a bit bland, but that’s why I’ve added some kick with Serrano peppers for this recipe. The onions throughout help to add a bit of crunch, and the spinach is just plain tasty. This is a great to-go lunch or side dish for dinner.

photo incorporates tomatoes which aren’t in this recipe, but feel free to add them in! (via the grub daily)

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Dried Green Lentils

6 Cups of Hot Water

5 Cups of Spinach

3 Serrano Peppers

1 Red Onion

½ Tbsp Cumin Seeds

½ Tbsp Minced Ginger

2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil

Directions:

Pour dried lentils into a strainer and pick over for any bad looking bits.

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Rinse a few times, mixing around with your hand to be sure every piece gets rinsed well.

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Throw into a pot, with 6 cups of hot water, and let cook for about 25-30 minutes.

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Slice onion and peppers, mince ginger, and throw into a saucepan with grapeseed oil to sauté.

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While that is sautéing mix cumin seeds into your lentils, and then begin to stir in spinach. You’ll have to stir it in bit by bit as bulky spinach moistens and wilts, creating space to add more.

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Once onions begin to appear transparent, mix everything in the sauce pan into your lentils. Let sit until they reach room temperature, and then stick them in the fridge to chill overnight.

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Okay, it’s not the prettiest food out there, but it sure is delicious – and good for you!

chelsea -Oct 13, 2011, 1:33PM
this looks super yummy - especially on a cold winter night
-Oct 04, 2011, 9:38PM
its in the fridge as we speak! i wish i didnt have to wait overnight to try it!! im so impatient!

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Post image for Superfood Sushi Salad Bowl

This week’s recipe is part 2 of my coverage on Julie Morris’s recipe book, Superfood Cuisine.   This time around as a big sushi lover, I decided to replicate her Sushi Salad Bowl.  I’d never thought of putting a salad like this together before, but with the first bite, I quickly fell in love. I think what makes it so delicious is a combination between the Nori sheets and ginger dressing (I’m a huge love of ginger dressing). These two ingredients combined, I just couldn’t get enough. Dare I say, I might even like it more than sushi. I paired the salad with a side of edamame, put my new Hong Kong-purchased chopsticks to use, and had a wonderful dinner. It was simple to throw together, and I can’t wait to share this guilt-free dinner with friends.

Ingredients:

3 ½ Cups of cooked brown or wild rice (about 1 ¼ cups uncooked)

3 Cups of Sunflower Sprouts (or any other sprouts you’d like to use – I used an alfalfa blend)

1 Handful onion sprouts (or scallions)

4 Nori Sheets

1 Carrot

Ginger or Shoyu dressing to taste

Directions:

Throw sprouts into a large bowl. Grate carrot, (if you’re using scallions) chop scallions, and throw them into the bowl along with sprouts.

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Cut 4 Nori sheets in half.

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Make one pile, and cut in half again.

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Make one pile, and now cut them going the other way to make lots of small strips.

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Scatter the Nori sheets around. Once you add the dressing they will clump together if they’re all in one place.

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Make sure rice is room temperature, and add it to the mixture.

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Mix it all up.

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Add dressing & mix again.

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Serve!

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-Sep 29, 2011, 2:12PM
Just prepared this for lunch. IT. IS. DELICIOUS! Thanks so much for the recipe. This will definitely become a staple.
karen -Sep 25, 2011, 11:06PM
Good! Will try this weekend! Thank you!

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