Friday, October 31, 2014

Sunday Dinner November 2, 2014

On the Menu

Grilled Southwestern Chicken Breast 
4 Servings
4 – 6 ounce chicken breast  
For the marinade:
1 lime or lemon, juiced
1 orange, juiced
½ cup fresh cilantro or parsley chopped
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion powder
½ teaspoon granulated

¼ - ½ teaspoon black or red chili pepper

Place chicken breasts in a shallow baking pan, or zip lock bag.
In a blender puree the marinade ingredients, or in a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients.
Pour over chicken and turn pieces to coat evenly, cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Spray or wipe a sheet pan (cookie sheet) with oil and set aside.
Place chicken on the counter and let it come to room chicken.
To Make Grill Marks: 
Picture a clock, find the 10 o'clock position and place the top of breast  on a hot grill or grill pan   with the smooth side facing the grill.
Cook without moving it until you see the outer rim of the breast change color  about 3 - 5 minutes.  
Using tongs, pick up the breast and now turn the top of it to the 2 o’clock position.  This will complete the criss cross marks (you are only putting grill marks on the top side of the chicken).
Grill another 3 minutes then remove from grill.
Place chicken breast with the grill marks facing up on the cookie sheet then place in a preheated oven.
Cook breast uncovered 30 - 45 minutes.   
At the 30 minute mark, press on the thickest part of the breast.  If it's firm with a little spring to it,  then you can remove it from the oven.  
If there is a lot of spring to it, cook another 15 minutes. 
Let the chicken rest on a platter for 10 minutes before serving/cutting. 
This will complete the cooking process and allow the juices to settle help keeping the breast  juicy.
Roasted Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
4 servings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
1 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half, rinsed and patted dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, granulated garlic, granulated onion, Dijon mustard and red chili flakes. 
Add the trimmed Brussels sprouts to the mixture, toss well, then spread them in an even layer on the prepared pan.
Season the Brussels sprouts with sea salt and roast until the outer leaves are crispy and the centers are tender all the way through, about 20 to 25 minutes. 
Transfer to a plate and serve immediately.

 Smoked Mozzarella Pasta Salad
6 Servings
1 pound Penne pasta
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pound smoked mozzarella cheese
2 roasted red peppers
¼ pound baby spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ bunch parsley
For the dressing
1 cup vegan mayo
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon chipotle or cayenne pepper, ground
Cook past until it is al dente.
Drain, rinse in cold water until pasta is cool enough to handle.
Transfer to a large bowl, add salt, mix thoroughly then place pasta a refrigerator.
Dice cheese into ½ inch cubes.
Grill red peppers, remove seeds then julienne and chill.
Add mozzarella cheese, peppers, spinach, parmesan cheese and parsley to the pasta and mix thoroughly.
Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing until well combined.
Add dressing to pasta and mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerated until pasta is chilled.
 Sweet Potato Pumpkin Soup
6 Servings
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium sugar pumpkin
4 orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
3 clove garlic, smashed
1 ½ quarts vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a blender or coffee grinder, grind coriander, cumin, oregano, fennel, red pepper and peppercorns into a coarse powder.
Place ½ of the seasoning blend in a small container with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mix until it’s a paste.
Wash pumpkin, cut it in half and remove the seeds.
Wash sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise.
Smear the inside of pumpkin and potatoes with the spice paste and place them in a baking dish.
Roast pumpkin and potatoes in the preheated oven 40 minutes or until they are tender.   
Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, onions, celery and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
Add vegetable broth, salt and remaining spices, simmer uncovered on low.
Once pumpkin and potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop them out of the skin.
Mix pulp in with the vegetable broth and using a food processor or immersion blender, puree soup until it's smooth and creamy.
Or you can remove pot from the heat mash the pulp with a potato masher and whisk until it's smooth.
Cook an additional 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Breakfast the Meal of Champions

On the Menu
  • Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole - with Meat options
  • Meat lover's Egg Casserole

Vegetarian Breakfast Casserole
with Meat Options
Serves 4

   For the Vegetables
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup finely diced yellow onion
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper 
2 - 3 large garlic clove, minced
1½ cups finely diced butternut squash
½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning
½ teaspoon sea salt

   For the Hash Browns
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups shredded potatoes 
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
   For the Eggs
4 large eggs
¼ cup organic whole milk 
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375˚ F.
For the Vegetables
Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add all the vegetables, Cajun seasoning and salt.
Saute until the vegetables are tender. 
Place vegetables in the bottom of a 8" X 8" baking pan.
For the Hash Brown:
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and add the hash browns and seasoning, mix thoroughly.  
Spread the potatoes out in the pan and cook until you see the edges crisp and browning.
Flip then brown the other side.
Spread on top of the vegetables in the baking pan.
For the Eggs
Whisk together the eggs, milk, water, salt, and pepper. Pour over the vegetable and potato mixture.
Bake in the oven covered with foil for 30 minutes then check to be sure eggs are fluffy, not firm. If eggs are not fluffy, cover and cook another 5 - 10 minutes.
Once eggs are fluffy, remove the foil then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before serving.

Meat Options: Add a layer of sliced Italian or kielbasa sausage or diced ham or bacon on top of the sautéed vegetables.

 Meat Lovers Breakfast Casserole
6 - 8 Servings
1 pound sausage
10 bacon slices, diced
1 cup diced ham
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 medium potatoes
½ lemon, juiced
6 eggs
¼ cup organic whole milk
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, cook the sausage, bacon, and ham.
Add the peppers and onions and continue cooking until onions are translucent.
Wash and grate potatoes with a box grater.  Put potatoes in a mixing bowl and squirt with lemon juice, add salt, pepper and granulated garlic and mix thoroughly.
In a well greased 13×9 inch baking dish, place the hash browns on bottom of the dish
Add a layer of the meat and pepper mixture.  
In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the milk, water, eggs, salt and pepper together and pour over the casserole.
Cover the casserole with foil and bake for 45 minutes, remove from oven and top with cheese.
Bake uncovered for 5 additional minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
Remove from oven and let casserole sit uncovered 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunday Dinner October 26, 2014

On the Menu
Cashew Crusted Tilapia
4 Servings
4 – 6 oz tilapia fillets
1 lemon
1 cup cashew, chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup flour 
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
2 egg whites
            Preheat oven to 400 degrees
            Line or oil a sheet pan and set aside
Rinse tilapia and pat dry with a paper towel.
Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice over each fillet both sides and set aside.
Place cashews, panko and cayenne pepper in a food processor and run until cashews are finely chopped then pour on to a plate. 
Mix together the flour, sea salt, garlic powder and onion powder then pour mixture on another plate.
Whisk together egg whites in a bowl large enough to fit 1 fillet.
      Pat dry fillets and dredge in flour (fish should be covered in a fine dust layer of flour).
      Dip fillets in egg white, shake off excess egg.    
      Press fillets firmly into cashew mixture until both sides are coated.
Place fillets on an oiled sheet pan then bake in a preheated 400 degree oven 15 - 20 minutes.

Note: Rule of thumb for cooking fish:  Cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness.  So if the fillet is 1 ½” thick, cook it for 15 minutes.

 Grilled Cabbage Slaw
6 servings
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 medium red cabbage, quartered leave core in tact
1 medium green cabbage quartered leave core in tact
1 bunch scallions

Preheat grill to medium-high heat, wipe down grates with oil.
 Whisk vinegar, oil, mustard, tarragon, salt, pepper and garlic in medium bowl.
Brush cabbages and green onions with some of the dressing.
Grill cabbages until dark grill marks form, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Grill green onions until charred on 1 side, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to a chopping board and let cool.
Chop scallions and cabbages; place in large bowl, discarding cores.
Add remaining dressing; toss until coated. 

San Francisco Garlic Fries
4 to 6 servings

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 ¼ pounds russet potatoes cut lengthwise into French fries
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Coat a large  baking sheet with oil.
Toss potatoes and all dry seasonings in a large bowl and mix until potatoes are coated with mixture.
Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet.
Roast the potatoes, turning occasionally, until browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Increase heat to 500°F. Continue roasting until fries are deep brown in spots, about 5 minutes.
Whisk remaining ½ Tablespoon oil, garlic, and parsley in a large bowl. Add in hot fries, and toss to coat. 

Grilled Corn on the cob

For the Corn:

  1. If using a grill - place corn directly on a hot oiled grill, grill 2 - 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Gas stovetop – pat the corn dry and place directly on the burner, turning so that all sides brown.  It should take about 3 minutes.  Keep a close eye on it so that it does not burn or catch fire.
  3. Using oven - rub corn with one of the spreads listed below or create your own.  Place in a baking dish, making sure they are not touching and bake in a 450-degree oven.   Turn so that all sides brown.  Bake approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

Chili Lime Spread – (Spicy)
Yields ½ Cup
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (XVO2) 1 – 2 teaspoons chili powder
Juice of 1 lime 

Whisk together all ingredients until it thickens and brush on each ear of roasted corn.  Serve hot.
Lemon Chive Spread – (Mild)
Yields ½ Cup

Ingredients  ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (XVO2) 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon granulated garlic

Whisk together all ingredients until it thickens and brush over hot corn.  Serve immediately.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn Soups

On the Menu
  • Black Bean and Yams Soup
  • Spicy Rutabaga Soup 
  • Tomato Soup 

There isn't much that's more comforting on a chilly evening than a hot bowl of soup. Whether spooned from a pot for family and friends, or eaten with nothing more for company than a good book, it is one of the most satisfying meal.  So buckle down and enjoy one of our soups.

 Black Bean and Yams Soup
8 - 10 Servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 medium onions, chopped  
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander 
1 teaspoon ground cumin  
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
2 quarts vegetable broth  
1 pound black beans, cooked  
2 medium yams, peeled and cut into medium dice 
2 teaspoons sea salt  
1 lime, sliced, thin

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pot.
Add the onions and garlic and saute until onions brown slightly. 
Add  coriander, cumin, and pepper and mix thoroughly. 
Add the broth, beans, sweet potatoes and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender.
Remove 2 cups of beans, drain and set aside. 
Puree the remaining soup in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender.
Return the beans to the soup taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve with a slice of lime.

 Spicy Rutabaga Soup
8 Servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks,  chopped
1 1/2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and diced
4 cups water
2 large bay leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Add rutabaga water, bay leaves and salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until rutabaga is tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. 
Remove the bay leaves then add, paprika, pumpkin spice mix and chipotle pepper and stir to combine.
Allow soup to cool slightly, then purée in a blender or using an immersion blender until smooth.
Taste and season with more salt and white pepper as needed.

 The Best Tomato Soup Ever 
10 – 12 Servings

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
⅔ cup chopped garlic
1 quart vegetable broth
2 quarts crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons basil, dried
¼ teaspoons salt – dependent upon type of broth used
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup fresh chopped basil leaves

In a large stock pot, heat the oil and saute the onions for 2 minutes, add the garlic and saute another minute.
 Add the vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, sugar, basil salt and pepper; cook 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Taste for season and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Remove from heat, stir in the cream then puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
If pureeing using a food processor, return pureed soup to the pot then stir in the fresh basil.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Morning Smoothie - Tofu Tropical Smoothie

Smoothie Tip:  You don't need to add sugar to smoothies! Just add high sugar fruits likes apples, bananas, mangoes, pineapples, grape, etc.  A few dabs of maple syrup for flavor not sweetness is okay occasionally.

 Tofu Tropical Smoothie
2 Servings
2 cups diced frozen mango
1/2 cup pineapple, frozen 

1 cup coconut milk 
1 cup Organic silken tofu
1 lime, Juiced
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

Combine mango, pineapple, milk, tofu, lime juice and lime zest in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sunday Dinner October 19, 2014

On the Menu
Red Lobster’s Maple-Glazed Salmon
New Age Soul Food Style
Serves 4
4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup maple cherry glaze
   Maple Cherry Glaze
2 cups Grade A pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup chopped dried cherries
Juice of ½ lemon

    Maple Cherry Glaze:
Combine syrup, soy sauce, orange juice and cherries in small sauce pot over medium heat.
Squeeze juice from half lemon in mixture and stir well.  Cook over medium low heat 20 – 30 minutes then remove from heat and let cool.
Once glaze has cooled, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove glaze from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using on grilled fish or chicken.

Brush salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place salmon on grill and grill approximately 5 minutes, then carefully flip over.
Baste with maple cherry glaze, and continue to cook approximately 5 more minutes.
Place fillets on individual plates and top the other side with the maple cherry glaze.

This glaze can also be used on chicken, fish, shrimp, scallops, beef and pork 
Greens with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes
4 Servings
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt divided
4 Roma tomatoes cut in fourths
3 large garlic cloves sliced
1 bunch collards, chiffonade
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 oranges, juiced [¾ cup]

In a wok or large sauce pan, heat oil, add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. 
Saute onions on medium high heat until onions are caramel in color, approximately 8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and garlic and continue sautéing until all liquid from tomatoes is absorbed.
Add collards and remaining ingredients mix thoroughly then bring pan up to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes on low heat.
Jasmine Rice with Lima Beans and Dill
4 Servings
1 cup Jasmine brown rice
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup frozen baby lima beans, rinsed, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 – 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Rinse rice thoroughly with cold water and strain.
In a medium size pot, add rice, water and bay leaf; bring to a boil and let it boil uncovered for 7 minutes.
Drain rice through a wire mesh strainer reserving cooking liquid and bay leaf then set them both aside.
Return pot to the stove and heat, add the oil, thoroughly drained rice, bay leaf, lima beans, salt, onion and garlic.
Mix ingredients and let it cook approximately 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the reserved liquid; make sure it covers rice by at least 1 inch.  Add more water if necessary.
Bring pot up to a boil, stir then cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and let rice cook 35 minutes undisturbed.
After the 35 minutes has elapsed, remove pot from the heat and let it sit unopened for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove top and gently fold in the fresh dill.

 Asparagus and Arugula Spring Salad
6 - 8 Servings

1 pound slender asparagus, tough ends trimmed
10 ounces arugula
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
1 ½ ounces shaved Parmesan cheese
For the Vinaigrette Dressing:
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon granulated garlic

Preheat oven to 400°F
Whisk the dressing ingredients in small bowl to blend, cover and refrigerate.
Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes and re-whisk before using.
Place asparagus spears on a baking sheet. Drizzle ¼ cup vinaigrette over and turn to coat, then spread in single layer.  
Roast asparagus until just crisp/tender, about 8 - 12 minutes, depending on size.
Cut asparagus in thirds on the bias.
Combine arugula, asparagus and sun dried tomatoes in large bowl.
Add remaining vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Transfer salad to platter; add shaved cheese. 

 Russian Tea
25 Servings

5 cups water
1 ½ cups sugar 1 orange rind [skin of 1 orange] 8 whole cloves
8 cups boiling water
1 lemon, juiced
4 oranges, juiced
4 tea bags

In a large pot, add 5 cups of water, stir in the sugar, 1 orange rind and cloves. Boil together for 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved, cover and set aside.
In another pot, pour in 8 cups of water, lemon juice and orange juice; bring to a boil than add the tea bags and remove pot from the heat; let bags steep for 5 minutes.
Combine pots, stir and strain.
Keep hot until ready to serve.