Friday, October 30, 2015

Sunday Dinner November 1,2015

Salmon is one of our #Thanksgiving favorites. Believe it or not, it's even more popular than the turkey and stuffing. With all of the high calorie and protein foods we'll be eating during the holidays, we like to keep our vegetables free of meats, cream and cheese. We actually keep them #Vegan.

On the Menu

Stuffed Salmon
8 - 10 Servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
½ pound fresh spinach
2 ½ - 3 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 – 2 teaspoons black pepper
½ pound roasted red peppers
Have the butcher cut a pocket the length of the salmon 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan; add garlic and spinach and sauté just until spinach wilts.  
Immediately remove from heat and let it cool down as quickly as possible.    Combine salt, granulated garlic and black pepper in a small vessel then sprinkle it on the salmon inside the pocket and outside rubbing it in. 
Place salmon in a lined or oiled sheet pan, open the pocket and line the bottom half with the spinach then add a layer of the roasted peppers, close the salmon flap.  
Place the salmon in the preheated oven and roast 20 – 25 minutes and no longer.   
If you want it browned, place it directly under the broiler 5 minutes prior to the elapse of the cooking period.   
Salmon will continue cooking anywhere from 8 - 10 minutes after it is removed from the heat, so let it sit undisturbed until cooking process is complete.
Cranberry-Glazed Carrots
2 Servings
¾ lb carrots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup cranberry juice
½ teaspoon cumin, ground
¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Heat a skillet on medium high then add  olive oil and carrots, cook until carrots begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add cranberry juice, cumin, cinnamon and salt.
Simmer, stirring occasionally until tender and glazed,  approximately 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and transfer to a serving dish. 
Green Beans Almandine
4 – 6 Servings


2 lbs. green beans
2 large bay leaves
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup raw slivered almonds
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon salt


Cut tips off the beans, rinse and place beans and bay leaves in a large pot filled with water.  Bring water to a boil and boil the beans for 3 minutes.  Drain beans and set them aside.  In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil then add all ingredients.  Sauté until beans are done approximately 10 minutes.  Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasoning accordingly.  Remove bay leaves before serving.
Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
8 Servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons ground cumin
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until onions start to brown around edges, about 6 minutes.
Add garlic and chipotle pepper cook with 1 teaspoon adobo sauce, about 1 minute.
Add sweet potatoes, mix thoroughly. 
Pour in broth and seasonings.
Bring to a boil; reduce to a medium simmer and cook uncovered until sweet potatoes are tender, 20 - 25 minutes.
Working in batches, carefully transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth or use an immersion blender.
Return pureed soup to pot, taste for flavor and if needed, adjust seasoning accordingly.
 Note:  Soup can be cooked 2 days in advance, just reheat and puree prior to serving.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

In Celebration of National Chocolate Day

On the Menu

Smoothie Tip: Want some zing to your smoothies? Add a little spice like a pinch of cayenne pepper, ginger, turmeric or cinnamon. Spices also adds a little health benefit as well as jump start your metabolism in the morning.

  2 Servings
Ingredients 8 ounces coconut milk 1 tablespoon unsweetened coco powder 10 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup cherries (fresh or frozen), pitted
1/4 avocado (without peel, pit)
1/2 cup beet, chopped 

 3 cups spinach
Method Add coconut milk and coco to a blender and puree until thoroughly combined. Add the frozen fruit if you have and continue pureeing. Add the avocado, beet, spinach and any fresh fruit and puree until the desired consistency is reached.   Add additional coconut milk or water if needed.
Original recipe can be found at

Brownies – The Best Ever
16 Servings
1½ sticks butter, unsalted
1½ cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons water
½ cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, chilled
1½ cups all purpose flour
1 cup raw walnut pieces
¾ stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Line 8x8x2 inch metal baking pan with foil pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2 inches over hanging.  
Coat foil with a thin layer of vegetable oil. I used coconut oil.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan. Stir often.
Remove from heat and immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, almond extract and salt blend thoroughly. 
Add buttermilk and continue mixing.
Mixture should now be cool enough to add the eggs.
Add eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly after each egg.
When mixture looks thick and shiny, add the flour and stir until ingredients are thoroughly blended. 
Mix in the walnuts.
Transfer batter to prepared baking pan.
Bake brownies approximately 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted 2 inches from the edge of the pan comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached).
Cool pan thoroughly on a rack.
Once pan is cool, using the foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.
Spread icing over brownies and let it set before cutting.
Once icing is firm, cut into four strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies, for a total of 16 brownies.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.
Stir in sugar and cocoa powder.
Gradually stir in buttermilk.  Stir until mixture is very hot and just begins to simmer at edges.
Reduce heat to low, stir 1 minute to let flavors blend.
Transfer to medium bowl, stir in extract.
Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally until it thickens slightly and cool.
Once icing is cooled, spread it over the top of brownies. 
 Peppermint Cocoa
Serves 4
4 cups water     
4 tablespoons cocoa powder   
1 ounce dark chocolate   
4 tablespoons honey   
8 sprigs fresh mint or 4 peppermint tea bags

In a saucepan, combine water, cocoa powder, mint sprigs or teabag, honey and dark chocolate.
Bring to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Strain or pour into a mug.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Sunday Dinner October 25, 2015

If you're going to try a new dish for the holiday, now is the time to do a practice run. If your family members are anything like mine, they do not want you experimenting with their holiday meal. 
So for the next Sunday dinners, we are going to introduce you to new recipes.  This chicken dish is how I am going to season my turkey this Thanksgiving.  

On the Menu

Roasted Chicken with Gravy
6 Servings

Note: This is a slight variation of Pat Neeley's  recipe.  I just eliminated the butter and used peanut oil instead and added a few seasonings.

1 (5-pound) roasting chicken
 ½ teaspoon sea salt
 ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
 ½ teaspoon granulated onion

For the liquid Rub
¼ cup peanut oil
1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage leaves
1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
 ½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne  pepper

For the Chicken
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 lemon, sliced
1 sprig fresh thyme, chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
1 sprig fresh sage, chopped
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

For the Gravy
¼ cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth

½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
freshly ground black pepper

For the Chicken:
Remove the giblets from the chicken rinse thicken thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel.  
Mix together the salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion. Rub the seasoning mix over the chicken inside and out. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

For the liquid rub:
In a small bowl, add the peanut oil, chopped thyme, rosemary, sage, paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix together with a wooden spoon. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F
Remove chicken from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before placing in the oven (about 30 minutes).
Lay onion slices down the center of a large cast iron skillet to create 2 rows that are touching.
Using your hands, gently separate the skin from the meat of the breast. Rub the seasoned oil on the meat underneath the skin. Take the remaining oil and gently rub the skin and cavity of the chicken thoroughly.
Place the lemon slices, whole sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic cloves into the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken on the onion slices.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and roast until the skin is golden brown and crisp, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Use an instant-read thermometer to make sure the thighs have reached 165 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest.
For the Gravy
Spoon off as much fat from the pan as possible. Place the pan over high heat and add white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chicken broth and seasonings and let reduce to about half, about 4 to 5 minutes. Strain out the onions. Add the gravy back to the pan and keep warm.

Pour the gravy into a serving bowl and serve with the chicken.

Cranberry Sauce
8 – 10 Servings
12 ounce bag of cranberries 
1½ cups sugar
1 cup water
1 whole orange, peeled, seeds removed and chopped 
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup of crushed pineapples, juice included
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Note:  Fresh cranberries can be found in the produce section

Sort through cranberries and remove stems or bad berries rinse, then set aside.
Mix sugar and water together and bring to a boil.  Add cranberries, oranges, allspice and cinnamon.  Cook over a medium flame, uncovered until berries pop open stirring frequently.  Add pineapples, reduce heat to a simmer and cook 45 minutes - 1 hour or until desired thickness is reached stirring occasionally.
Sauce can be served hot or cold.

Faux Browned Butter Green Beans with Pecans
 6 servings

Traditionally this dish is prepared with butter and bacon, but that's just not New Age Soul Food Style. 

2 pounds of fresh green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
½ cup raw pecan, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon sage, dried
½ teaspoon thyme, dried
½ teaspoon Creole Seasoning  
1 orange, juiced
½ lemon, juiced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped, fine

Trim beans and cut in thirds on the diagonal, set aside.
In a large skillet heat the oil, add onion and saute until onions are translucent.
Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
Add the pecans saute another minute.
Add the beans, dried seasonings and orange juice; mix thoroughly, cover reduce heat and simmer about 6 minutes or until beans are slightly tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. 
Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top, add parsley and mix thoroughly.
Remove from heat and serve immediately. 

6 Servings
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds crook neck [yellow] squash, cut ½” on the diagonal
1 ½ pounds zucchini, cut ½” on the diagonal
½ bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Peel butternut squash, slice in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Slice squash again lengthwise then cut on the diagonal.
Wash then cut the crookneck (yellow) squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and cut on the diagonal.
Remove sage from the stems and rough chop.
Place the butternut squash in a bowl and mix in ½ sage, olive oil, salt and
Place on a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash is golden brown.  Approximately 45 minutes.
Combine the crookneck, zucchini squash and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
Transfer to a sheet pan and bake in oven until edges of squash are golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.
Turn once ½ through the cooking time.
Once both pans of squash are done, combine them.
Serve hot

Lemon Rice
4 Servings
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black lentils
1 teaspoon yellow split peas/lentils
1 red chili pepper, dried
1 green chili pepper, dried
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon turmeric, ground
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons carrots, grated
1 lemon,  juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup cashews, chopped

Cook rice as directed on the package.  Let it cool for 10 minutes, then spread it in a plate, mix a teaspoon of sesame seed oil to it, so that the grains will not stick together.  Set aside for later use.
Heat grape seed oil in a skillet; add mustard seeds, when seeds start to pop, add lentils, chilies and onion powder.
When yellow lentils turns slightly brown, add ginger, turmeric powder, bay leaves and carrots.
Sauté until the carrots are slightly cooked.
Squeeze lemon juice in a cup, add the salt and mix it in the rice.
Add the rice to the skillet and mix thoroughly.
Taste for flavor and add more lemon juice if desired.
Top with cashews and serve.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Day in the Life of Meatless Mondays

On the Menu

7:00 a.m.
 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.

10:00 a.m.

You think McDonald's Maple flavored oatmeal is the best you ever tasted, then you haven't tried New Age Soul Food oatmeal. Such a great way to start your mornings!

Maple Fruity Oatmeal
2 Servings
½ cup water
½ cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pure Maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup whole organic oats
¼ organic apple diced
1 tablespoon orange flavored cranberries or raisins

    Optional garnish with sliced almonds

Place all ingredients into a small sauce pan and mix thoroughly.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 6 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Mix again, serve hot.

12:00 noon

The Ultimate Black Bean Burger
6 Servings

3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, roughly chopped
½ small red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 cups basic black beans
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup fresh cilantro roughly cut
2 tablespoons vegan mayo
½ cup panko bread crumbs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil – for frying

Place garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper and onion in a food processor and pulse for 3 pulses, scrape down the sides of the bowl then pulse another 3 times. 
Carefully drain off the juice that has accumulated (the excess juice will make patties too moist).
Re position bowl back on the food processor then add half the black beans, all the dry seasonings, cilantro, vegan mayo and bread crumbs.
Pulse in food processor until mixture takes on the consistency of a thick coarse puree.  
Transfer mixture to a bowl, stir in the remaining beans and mix thoroughly.
Separate mixture into 6 equal parts.  Roll each part into balls then form them into patties.
Place patties on a sheet pan and refrigerate at least 1 hour to let patties set before cooking.
Heat a skillet and oil over medium high heat until it shimmers.  Add patties and cook until browned, approximately 3 minutes.
Turn patties and cook on the other side another 3 minutes.
Remove patties from pan and serve with all the fixings just as you would a hamburger or any other patty.

Remoulade Sauce
1 ½ cups
¼ cup Creole or whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
¼ teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grapeseed oil

Combine all ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor and pulse once or twice until thoroughly mixed.
With the machine is running, add the oil in a slow steady steam, blending until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Refrigerate until ready to use.

3:00 p.m. 
Melon Salad
8 – 12 Servings
⅓ cup honey or agave syrup
½ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
¼  teaspoon crushed red chili peppers - Optional
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, diced
1 honeydew melon, seeded, peeled, diced
1 watermelon, seeded, peeled, diced

In a small bowl, combine honey, orange juice, lemon juice, chili peppers and mint, mix well.
Place melon cubes in large serving bowl and pour honey mixture over. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

7:00 p.m.
Caprese Pasta Salad
8 Servings

8 cups water
1 pound pasta (angel hair, orzo or penne)
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound fresh mozzarella, ½” dice
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 small bunch fresh Basil, chiffonade

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta and bring the pot back up to a rapid boil then stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit, undisturbed 6 – 8 minutes (see package for exact cooking time). 
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt and mix thoroughly.
Add ¼ cup olive oil mix until pasta is coated with oil then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool, add pepper, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and remaining oil if needed.
Mix thoroughly and refrigerate until salad is cold.

9:00 p.m.
 Chai Tea Mix
72 Servings

Ingredients - Spice Mix:
1 orange
½ cup cardamom pods
12 cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 tablespoons whole cloves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons allspice berries
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
¼ cup whole star anise
½ cup loose leaf Darjeeling tea

Dry the orange: Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the orange into ⅛ inch-thick rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet; turning occasionally, until dry -- 2 to 3 hours.
Combine the dried orange and the rest of the ingredients except the tea in a large bowl and toss to combine. Store the spice blend and the tea in separate airtight containers for up to 6 months.
Simmer 2 tablespoons of the chai spices with 28 ounces water for 25 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon Darjeeling tea and steep for 3 minutes.
Strain into 2 large mugs and serve immediately.