Friday, December 26, 2008

Tangy Wheatberry Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

This is one of my favorite salads from the Wholefoods salad bar: plumped up wheatberries with dried cranberries, scallions, pecans and a tangy vinaigrette. This is my reinvention of it.

1 TB tamari
1/2 ts sesame oil
1 TB balsamic vinegar
2 TB fruity olive oil
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 cp dried cranberries
1/4 cp pecans, toasted
1/2 red onion, diced

Cook in vegetable broth until al dente:
1/4 cp japonica rice
1/4 cp wild rice mix
1/2 cp wheat berries

Mix all ingredients, add some lemon juice, chill and serve!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Greek Lamb Baked in Red Wine

one rack of lamb, cut in cutlets
olive oil
lemon juice
salt, pepper
3 garlic cloves, whole
1 cup red wine

Rub the lamb cutlets (with bone) with olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, mushed garlic.
Place in roasting pan with some butter and the red wine, and slowly bake at 350F for over 1 hour. Baste with more red wine during baking.

Alternatively, cook in pressure cooker.

White Bean Dip

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Caramelised Onion Chutney

Onion chutney requires only a few ingredients - onions of course (any will do, but red onions give the nicest colour and sweet taste), a vinegar - sherry, red wine, raspberry or balsamic are all ideal, and brown sugar, together with some bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns for flavour.

Chop 6 large onions as coursely or finely as you like and heat with a small amount of canola oil in a stainless steel pan until they are soft. Add 1 cup of your chosen vinegar (or a mixture of vinegars) and 1 cup of brown sugar, and drop in a couple of bay leaves and 15-20 crushed black peppercorns and 5 juniper berries. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the onions have gone translucent and all the liquid has evaporated.

Pour the hot mixture straight into small (200g) sterilised jars, seal, and store somewhere cool and dark or in the fridge. The chutney should keep for at least 6 months. To ensure the chutney can keep even longer (1 year plus), put the sealed jars in boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Line metal jar lids with greaseproof paper to protect them from the vinegar in the chutney.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chocolate Amaretto Cake

Butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips or really good swiss chocolate
1 cup fresh slivered almonds
1 cup baby amaretti cookies (about 2 ounces)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh grated orange peel
4 large organic eggs
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for sifting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray a 9-inch springform pan the nonstick spray. Refrigerate. Heat the chocolate in a double boiler until melted and smooth.

Combine the almonds and cookies in processor. Pulse until the almonds and cookies are finely ground. Transfer the nut mixture to a medium bowl. Add the butter and sugar to the processor and blend until creamy and smooth. Add the grated orange peel and pulse briefly, until incorporated. Add the eggs 1 at a time. Blend until the eggs are incorporated. Clean the sides of the mixing bowl and blend again. Add the nut mixture and melted chocolate. Pulse until blended. Clean the sides of the bowl. Blend again.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center puffs and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes.

Transfer the cake to a platter. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.

Recipe, courtesy Giada Di Laurentiis (food network)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Walnut Kalamata Olive Foccaccia

2 TB whole-grain Instabake mix
1 TB wheat bran (made from Fiber one wheat bran)
1/4 ts baking powder
1 TB chopped, toasted walnuts
4-5 kalamata olives, sliced
2 TB ff milk

Mix all ingredients, and pour into a spray small metal baking pan, and bake at 400F for 20min.

Serve with goat cheese from the farmer's market.

Skinny Pumpkin Pie

Crust layer:
1/4 cup Krusteaz pancake mix
1/4 cp butter milk
1 Tbsp egg beaters
¼ ts vanilla
¼ ts baking soda

Pumpkin filling:
2/3 cup solid packed pumpkin
2 TB evaporated skim milk
2 TB eggbeaters
1 1/2 TB brown splenda
1/4 ts cinnamon extract (liquid!)
1/4 ts vanilla extract
1/8 ts ground ginger
1/8 ts pumpkin pie spice
1 TB Krusteaz mix

Heat oven to 400F degrees. Lightly grease or spray single-serve spring form.

Make the crust batter and the filling in separate bowls. Mix batter ingredients, and fill batter in a small, sprayed spring form, and bake at 400F for 5 min.

For the pumpkin filling, mix (potentially in food processor) pumpkin and other ingredients until it is a really smooth, creamy texture. Fill on top of pre-baked cake layer. Bake for another 20 at 400F, and another 25 min at 350F. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

1 breakfast entree + 1 fruit (240 kcal)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Borough Market, London

Borough Market is a produce and fresh fish and meat market for whole salers. On the weekend, it is open to the public at large.

A great place to have breakfast, oysters, or a glass of prosecco before produce shopping.

It's best to come around 9am when the market is still empty, private, and relaxed.

Food ranges from organic fruit to spanish ham and provence lavender.

Samples are available at most stands, and they alone a worth wandering the market.

The cheese is Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy and naturally some British goat cheese and Stilton.


Monday, September 15, 2008

What to Eat Now

A new food show on BBC 2 featuring Valentine Warner. The man has taste! He calls rabbits "bunnies", has a name that sounds all Victoriana chick-lit and a premise that's hip, seasonal and earthy. I suspect great things ...

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Korean Spicy Miso Soup

2 1/2 cups of water
1 ts Mrs Parks' dried mix (ground -- dried anchovies, mushroom, seaweed, shrimp)
2 green onions, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and cubed
1 TB of dengjang (Korean miso)
tofu, cubed

add (optionally):
chili paste (for spicy version)
string beans
potatoes (optionally)

Boil dried mix, green onions and and other vegetables in water for five minutes or until vegetables are tender. Reduce heat to low. Take out a 1/2 cup of broth in a mug, and mix in the miso really well until dissolved. Add back to pot, stir, dissolve, heat for 1 min, and take off the heat and serve.

This traditional Korean miso soup is typically served with a bowl of rice and one or two vegetable side dishes. Depending on how sensitive your taste is, you may need to add more or less miso, so taste as you go.

Optional ingredients include tofu cubes, string beans, or edamame- all can be added a minute or two before you add the miso.For a spicy version, add chili flakes or spicy chilli paste.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Korean Cinnamon Honey Drink

This is a popular drink in Korea, to drink chilled after a meal. People swear it it good for digestion and keeps you young. Well, it tastes pretty good!

The ginger root is washed and sliced without peeling. The sliced ginger root is stored with honey for a few weeks. To make the drink, cook the ginger with a cinnamon stick for 2 hours, and then chill, and serve cold. It can be sweetened with more honey.

Another version is Saenggang cha s a tea made from ginger root. The ginger root is washed and sliced without peeling. The sliced ginger root is stored with honey for a few weeks. To make the tea, boil the ginger hot water.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to make Korean Sushi (Gimbap)


Cut up cucumbers into long stripes

Make thin layers of scrambled egg, mixed with salt. Then, cool slightly and slice in long strips.

Saute fresh-grated carrots in oil and some salt.

Saute ground beef with salt, pepper and sesame oil.

So, here is carrots, sauteed beef, sliced egg omelette, cucumber, and daikon.

Make sticky rice with a salt, vinegar, sugar mixture (an art in itself)

Prepare a salted, cooked egg yolk mixture (mixed with some rice)

Cut up nori sheet, add rice layer, cucumbers, more nori sheets, and make sophisticated patterns (for experts)

or make simple pattern, with adding egg slice, cucumber, carrot, imitation crab,....

Roll up the sushi, slice it up and serve!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Panettone French Toast with Strawberries

1/2 of mini panettone (italian brioche with raisins, etc)
2 TB eggbeaters
1/2 capful of vanilla extract
1/4 capful of almond extract
dash of cinnamon
2 TB ff coolwhip
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 TB sugarfree Torani Raspberry syrup
1/2 ts brown splenda

Slice strawberry, and marinade in a bowl with raspberry syrup and brown splenda while preparing the french toast. Slice the panettone into 2-3 slices. Combine eggbeaters, vanilla, almond extract and cinnamon, and let panettone soak up the egg beaters. In a non-stick skillet. heat a few sprays of ICNBINB spray, and keep on medium heat. Brown panettone slices from both sides, and serve with whipped cream and strawberries!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Apple Cake with Walnuts And Maple Syrup

1 apple (peeled and sliced thin)
⅛ tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp Heart Smart Bisquick
1 Tbsp soy flour
1 Tbsp Splenda brown sugar
2 Tbsp FF milk
¼ Tbsp Promise FF butter spread
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp egg beaters
1/2 ts real maple syrup
1/4 ts vanilla extract
1 Tbsp candied, chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tart form. Place apple slices in a star pattern on bottom of tart pan. Stir together Bisquick, soy flour, and Splenda brown sugar. Add milk, butter spread, egg beaters and maple syrup to dry mix and beat until smooth. Pour over apples. Distributed candied walnuts on top, and bake 20 min in preheated toaster oven, or until golden and ”set".

Upside Cherry Cheese Cake

Cake base layer
1/3 cup Krusteaz pancake mix
⅓ cp butter milk
1 Tbsp egg beaters
¼ ts vanilla
¼ ts baking soda

Cheese cake filling
4 TB lf quark (or lf ricotta)
1/2 ts vanilla
1 TB eggbeaters
1 TB splenda
1 TB Krusteaz pancake mix

Cherry filling:
2/3 cp cherry pie filling, canned, splenda
1/2 ts vanilla
1 TB Torani SF Raspberry syrup

Make the batter and the fillings in separate bowls. For the cheese cake filling, mix quark and other ingredients until it is a really smooth, creamy texture. Mix the cherry pie filling with the vanilla and the raspberry syrup.

Fill batter in a small, sprayed spring form, and bake at 400F for 5 min. Take out of oven, pour cherry mix over solid surface of the cake base, and pour cheese filling on top of cherries. Bake for another 20-25 min at 400F. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Note: if you use cream cheese instead of quark, use 3 TB, and mix them with 1-2 TB ff sour cream and 2 TB eggbeaters to get a smooth, creamy consistency. The cheese cake might look too liquid when finished baking, but it will set once it cools down.

Here is a simple way of how I make my own quark.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My kitchen

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 roasted peppers, from a jar, rinsed, and diced
1 diced fresh tomato
2 anchovy fillets
1 TB meyer lemon olive oil
1/4 white wine
1/2 can Hunts Tomato Sauce, No Sugar Added
1/2 cup tomato or vegetable broth
1 TB Agave nectar
1 handful fresh basil
5 springs of fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, grated

Sautee onion, roasted red pepper and anchovy fillets in Meyer lemon olive oil, until slightly liquid is evaporate. Add white wine, and cook until liquid evaporated. Add tomato sauce, broth, agave nectar and herbs garlic. Heat up till cooking, and then turn off the heat, cover with a lid and let cook with the rest heat.

Optionally: add 1 TB ff sour cream.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Naked Lemons?

It must be the time for limoncello....

the simple version: buy in a store, Caravella
home-made version:

Take the peel off of 1 pound of lemons
Place in masson jar
Fill up with 1 bottle of vodka
Let sit on kitchen counter for 1 week (for the lemon peel essential oils to flavor the vodka)
On day 8, make a simple syrup (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, water heated and sugar dissolved)
Strain contents of masson jar, and only keep vodka (now with a yellow color) and mix with simple syrup.

Fill in a bottle and chill. It will freeze solid in the freezer, but keep in fridge.

Serve with a glass of champagne or chilled, by itself.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mexican Beach Fruits

Mexican beach snacks: papaya, mango and cucumber stripes in a banana leaf with lime, chili powder and salt

Jicama, cucumber and pinneapple spears with dipping chili powder and cucumber sour cream

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Smoked Sea Scallops and Steelhead Trout

A new adventure: stove top smoking. Cooking and smoking is one process, and for fish or seafood it only takes about ten minutes. Place 2 TB wood chips (alder, applewood, etc) under the grill pan. The smoker is placed on the stove top, and initially heated on high to incinerate the wood chips. At the beginning, leave open a small vent until smoke develops. Then, close it and the clock starts (10 min).

Season scallops and steelhead trout with salt and pepper, and some lemon slices. Serve with a spicy remoulade. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Vegan Banana Bread

small spring form

1/4 cup splenda brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cups pastry flour

¾ cp whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt

2-3 TB semi-sweat mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk, mixed with
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 TB earth balance no-transfat margarine, melted

¼ cp apple sauce, optionally
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 8x4 bread pan with non stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with margarine.
Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and dry spices.
Cream together the soy milk, apple cider vinegar, margarine and vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and add the bananas. Mix well. Pour batter into pan. Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mini Pizza with Gorgonzola and Caramelized Acorn Squash

1/4 acorn squash
1 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/4 teaspoon
2 oz fresh pizza dough
1/4 cup shredded ff mozzarella or soy cheese, shredded
1 TB crumbled Gorgonzola
1/2 cup arugula
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice the squash in half from top to bottom, then quarter it. Scoop out the seeds. Slice a quarter of the squash into 1/2 to 3/4-inch wide half moons and place in a medium bowl. Toss the squash with the syrup, olive oil, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the squash on a alu foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the squash until tender and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Keep the temperature on the oven at 375 degrees F. Roll out the pizza dough on a flour dusted surface. Place the pizza on a perforated baking sheet. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and the Gorgonzola on the pizza dough. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Peel the skins off the squash. During the last 5 minutes, top the cooked pizza with the cooked squash. Top with arugula and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Slice and serve.

This is a small-sized version of Giada di Laurentiis's EVERYDAY ITALIAN pizza.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Rich Chocolate Cake with Raspberries

This is not necessarily skinny, but it is vegan (no eggs, no butter, no sugar), so quite light and just a divine rich chocolate taste, and light cake texture.

Ingredients for a small spring form:
1/3 cp whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts baking soda
1/3 cp cocoa powder
1/4 ts salt
1/2 cp soy milk
1/4 cp canola oil
3/4 cp pure organic maple syrup
1/2 ts apple cidre vinegar
1 ts vanilla extract

Raspberry Sauce (for a small cake):
1 cp frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 ts maple syrup
1/2 ts vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with non stick cooking spray. Sift together flours and baking powder and baking soda. In a saucepan, heat the soymilk on low-medium heat. When it is slightly bubbling, add the cocoa powder and whisk well until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Combine the other liquid ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Add the cocoa mixture and combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry.

Pour batter into prepared pan, bake at 350 F for 25 minutes until a toothpick or butter knife comes out clean. Let cool completely and frost with your favorite frosting.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wholewheat Soba Noodles with Sesame Vinaigrette

2 oz somen noodles
1/4 cucumber
1 scallion, sliced
1 TB soy sauce
1 ts sesame oil
1 ts rice vinegar
1 ts sake
1 ts white miso
½ inch ginger, grated

Cook noodles in hot water for 3 min. drain and rise in cold water. Place in the serving bowl. In another bowl, whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sake, miso and sesame seeds. Toss over noodles. Toss with green onions and cucumber. Serve!

In addition: Korean marinated cucumber (Oi Moochim)

½ cup distilled vinegar or rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Dash of dashida (dried soup stock made from essence of seafood or beef)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons gochuchang paste, plus more to taste, or thai hot sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ English cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

Whisk together the vinegar, soy, dashida, sugar, spicy hot sauce, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the cucumber and stir until combined. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and let marinate at least 1 hour before eating.

BBQ Steelhead Trout with Pineapple Salsa

It undeniably felt like spring today, despite a lingering 1 foot of snow on the deck, so the BBQ season had to be started. Here we go....

Steelhead Trout:
1 steelhead trout filet, with skin on
salt, pepper
fresh squeezed lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
a few fresh springs of thyme

Pineapple Salsa:
2 slices of fresh pineapple, grilled on high for 4 min on each side
1/2 red hot pepper
1/2 red onion, finely diced
fresh squeezed lime juice, 1/2 lime
a few thyme leaves for color

First, grill the pineapple. While grilling, prepare the steelhead trout. Spray a piece of aluminium foil with oil olive and place the trout filet, skin-side down, on the foil. Season with salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Place thyme springs on top of filet, and fold foil up like a steaming tent.

Remove pineapple from BBQ, and place trout on. Prepare salsa by dicing pineapple, hot pepper and onion. Mix with lime juice and seasonings. The trout takes about 12 min. Enjoy!

Here is a photo of the preparation before folding up the aluminum foil like a tent:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Orecchiette with Fireroasted Tomatoes and Tapenade

2 oz orecchiette
1 cp fire-roasted tomatoes
1/3 red onion, diced
1 ts olive oil
1 ts fresh thyme
1 TB tapenade

1 cp marinated kalamata olives
2 TB cured kalamata olives
2 TB capers
1/4 cp fruity olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 TB dried oregano
fresh ground pepper
optionally: 1 ts anchovy paste

Mix all tapenade ingredients in a food processor.

Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water. In a saute pan, heat olive oil and saute onions slightly. After 3 min, add the diced fire roasted tomatoes and fresh thyme. Sautee for 3 min. Add 1/2 cp of hot pasta water, and simmer the sauce. Once the orecchiette is al dente, add it to the pasta sause. Mix in the tapenade, and serve!

This is inspired by Vegan with a Vengence.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Vegan Mini Pizza

Use a mini pizza (see post below) and add tomato sauce, 2 TB shredded vegan mozzarella, 1 soy hot dog cut into slices, red onion slices and a dash of fresh ground black pepper.
Bake at 450F for 12 min. Serve with kalamata olives and red pepper flakes sprinkles.

Tomato sauce (makes more than 1 serving):
2 TB ketchup
1 TB hot sauce
1/2 grated garlic clove
1 cup fired roasted canned tomatoes, diced

Pre-Baked Mini Pizzas

This is the simplified version: buy ready-to-bake pizza dough in your frozen food section. Once thawed, divide the dough into 16 portions, and roll each portion into a tennis ball sized shape. Roll out with a floured rolling pin on a floured surface into round mini pizzas. Pre-baked individual pizzas at 450F for 5 min. Freeze, and use when in need of a pizza!