Sunday, December 9, 2018

Maple Roasted Pecans

1 lb fresh raw pecan halves
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon Organic Fair Trade Cinnamon
dash Cayenne pepper

Massage ingredients into pecans, spread evenly on baking sheet and bake at 350º for 20 minutes turning once. Remove from baking sheet when done and put in large bowl to cool completely. To discover another recipe idea for Maple Roasted Pecans check out Fabulous Fennel Salad.
A holiday treat anytime of year!


Saturday, August 11, 2018

Tomato Basil Bisque

1 quart stock (veggie, chicken or beef: always best homemade from scratch!)
6 fresh tomatoes, cored & peeled (preferably an heirloom like Cherokee Purple that leans toward the sweeter side)
1 - 20 oz. can organic, crushed tomatoes (San Marzano are the best!)
¼ cup butter or ghee
1 large red onion, chopped
2-4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon oregano (Mexican is very nice!)
½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
salt & black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons cooking white wine or sherry
½ cup organic heavy cream

Heirloom Cherokee Purple

In a large soup pot sauté onion in butter until translucent, add garlic, celery, oregano and red pepper flakes and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add red bell pepper and sauté until soft. Add stock, fresh tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and sugar and simmer 10 minutes longer. Add basil and sherry and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper. Remove from burner and cool for 5-10 minutes, then process in blender or food processor. Return to pot, add cream, heat through and serve. Garnish with thin slices of basil, Parmesan cheese and croutons as desired.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Greek Goddess Egg & Lemon Soup w/Spring Greens

The colors, textures, and flavor of this soup is unforgettable. It will leave you well-nourished on many levels, and warmly welcoming Spring during its immune challenging and erratic nature of warmer windy days and spring snow the next. This is my version of the Greek classic, avgolemono.

 2 quarts organic chicken broth (if not homemade add 1 TBS organic chicken bouillon/base)
small onion or ½ large onion, chopped
½ tsp dried oregano
sea salt and white pepper to taste
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup shredded carrots (approx. 2 small carrots)
½ cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup chopped beet greens
juice of 1 large lemon
3 egg yolks
1 cup shredded cooked chicken meat
Cooked white rice (add butter, salt & black pepper during cooking)

In a large pot, simmer chicken stock with chopped onion, oregano, a little salt and white pepper, for 5 minutes. Then add celery and carrots and simmer for 10 minutes more. Add fresh dill and beet greens simmering for another 5 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Add lemon juice. In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks until smooth and continue whisking while gradually adding a ladle of the soup broth to equalize the temperature. Then return the egg mixture back to the pot while whisking. Add shredded chicken and warm through. Adjust salt and pepper.
Serve warm over rice and add garnish with a slice of lemon and sprig of dill.
Bon Appetit ~ from one Goddess to another!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Grandma’s Iron Skillet Roasted Brussel Sprouts

With cruciferous veggies being all the health rage, “Brussels sprouts” as they are now known, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical with anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the levels of sulforaphane, stir frying as in this recipe does not result in significant loss, and everything tastes better in a cast iron skillet! A food I would normally associate with the United Kingdom, Brussels sprouts is native to the Mediterranean region along with other cabbage species and widely cultivated in Northern and Continental Europe, and the United States. When I saw this lovely traditional winter stock vegetable (considered sweetest after a frost) fresh in the market and still on the stalk, I couldn’t resist. Finish with a hint of balsamic and a bit of shaved hard Parmesan or Romano cheese, keeping in mind that, like fine wine, not all balsamic is created (or aged) equally. Bon appétit!

1 pound of Brussels sprouts
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (the best is from Greece!)
4 cloves garlic, pressed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Parmesan, Romano or other hard grating cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim bottom of Brussels sprouts and slice in half, bottom to top.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat, add pressed garlic and stir until infused in olive oil. Place sprouts cut side down in skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Cook undisturbed until sprouts begin to brown on bottom. Transfer pan to oven and roast, shaking and turning every 5 minutes until sprouts are quite brown and tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add more salt and pepper as needed. Stir in balsamic vinegar and serve warm.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Spiced Indian Dal

Many years ago, in the early 1970s, I had the privilege of hanging out in an ashram kitchen with Gurucharanand, an Indian Mahatma (“Master of Wisdom”) who had come to the West with Guru Maharaji to reveal Knowledge of the Truth through life changing meditation techniques. Gurucharanand loved to sing and he also loved to cook. After learning from him how to make Chai from scratch, and cook with various Indian spices, a life-long love of Indian cookery began. Once exposed to the taste of authentic Indian cuisine and a vegetarian lifestyle, food and spirituality have become intimately entwined.   

Certainly, there are as many versions of dal as there are Indian cooks and this is just one of mine influenced by Mulligatawny, a South Indian soup originally known as “pepperwater” or Rasam, and used as a cure for indigestion. The warming and carminative spices contained in the garam masala are what lend a healing quality to this soup.

OM, to the Mother of all cooks…
“May the Ocean of Salt, the Ocean of Honey, the Ocean of Wine, the Ocean of Ghee, the Ocean of Curd, the Ocean of Milk, the Ocean of Sweet Water sprinkle thee with their consecrated water.” – from a consecration manta

2 cups red or brown lentils
2 large onions, chopped or thinly sliced
bay leaf
4 Tablespoons ghee, or sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons garam masala
1 quart vegetable stock and additional water as needed
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut milk
(optional garnish: lemon, rice, cilantro leaves and sour cream)

Wash the lentils and soak over-night or for 3-4 hours. Drain, rinse, cover with water and simmer with bay leaf until soft. In the meantime, heat ghee and sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger until golden. Add garam masala and sauté a few minutes longer. Add some of the stock to sauté pan to losen spices and add to the dal with remaining stock and salt. Simmer until lentils start to fall apart 1- 3 hours. Add coconut milk at the end, warm through and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice with lemon. You can also garnish with cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream.

A little music from Gurucharanand to accompany your meal: Open Your Hearts and Listen

Indian Vegetarian Cookery by Jack Santa Maria, published by Samuel Weiser, Inc. New York. Printed in Great Britian 1977.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hearty Vegan Lentil Stew

2 cups brown lentils soaked overnight
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
¼ cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1 ½ tsp thyme
1 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp white pepper
1, 14 oz can organic fire roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen)
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 medium size potato, cubed
1 cup broccolini, chopped
2 Tbs parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Drain lentils and add with veggie broth and bay leaf to large soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Stir regularly while cooking. Add olive oil, onions, garlic and spices and simmer for 20 minutes. Add spices, tomatoes, carrots, celery, pepper and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add potato and broccolini and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add parsley, salt and pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add vinegar at the end.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Maple Pumpkin Pie

1 ½ cups pureed pumpkin
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup whole milk
½ cup maple syrup
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon*
1 ¼ ginger*
¼ tsp nutmeg*
¼ tsp cloves*
(*or 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
½ teaspoon salt

1 nine inch, deep dish whole wheat pie crust

Blend all ingredients and pour into pie shell and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 50-60 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

This is an original recipe developed over time out of an undying love of pumpkin pie and a desire to reduce my sugar intake. Since whole wheat pie crusts are not easy to make, I always make at least two at a time and double the recipe for the filling. You can also buy very good whole wheat, spelt or gluten free pie crusts already made in the freezer section of your health food supermarket. When making from fresh pumpkin, cut into chunks and simmer until the skin is soft. This makes them easier to peel. Puree in food processor.
The secret to this pie is the pumpkin itself. The heirloom Long Island Cheese Pumpkin is one of the oldest varieties cultivated in America. Ever since I purchased one in the store and threw the seeds in my compost, they come up every year as volunteers and every year I return the seeds to my compost. And we can thank Ken Ettlinger, a local Long Island seed saver and natural science educator for establishing a regional seed bank in the late 1970's to conserve the genetic resources of Long Island including this variety.

Rich in color, very sweet and arguably the best choice for pumpkin pie I would like to quote D.D. Tooker from an 1855 issue of Michigan Farmer: "The sweet pumpkin or pie squash is the only true article in my opinion for making the most delicious of Yankee notions - pumpkin pie - and I am not alone in my opinions, for I have yet to see the individual who would not agree with me in this matter."

You can purchase seeds and start your own tradition at: Rare Seeds