Sunday, April 10, 2005

Cilantro Chicken Salad on Rustic Bread

These sandwiches are the perfect thing to serve when you are craving something fresh after a long winter. Not everybody is a cilantro lover, and you could substitute basil, but you don't get a more crisp, fresh flavor as in cilantro.

Serves 4

1-1/2 lb. organic chicken, cooked and diced
1 organic red bell pepper, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 organic zucchini, diced
1 pickle or 12 olives, diced
2-3 T. fresh organic cilantro, chopped
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1/4 C. tofu mayonnaise
1 tsp. mustard
4 rustic hoagies or 1 loaf good rustic bread, preferably organic

Combine all ingredients. Serve immedietly on bread or let refrigerate an hour to let the flavors intensify.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Polenta Lasagna

There are no noodles to cook up in this recipe! This dish is so healthy and delicious you won't miss them. Kids will eat it up and hardly notice it is packed with veggies.

Serves 4-6

1 Tube polenta, cut into thin slices (as many as you can)
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
A total of 3 C. sauteed organic vegetables, any three of the following (anymore and it is just too much!):
bell pepper, mushroom (crimini is good), cauliflower, broccoli, zuchinni, spinach, kale, and eggplant (be sure veggies are chopped or sliced small)
1 24 oz. jar organic spaghetti sauce
1 C. grated parmesean, ramano, or mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour about a cup of the sauce in the bottom of a square 9x9 inch pan and spread it around. place a layer of polenta slices on the sauce. In a medium nonstick skillet sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil until transluscent. Add the veggie combination and cook until tender (covering pan will speed this process). Spread 1/2 the veggie mix on top of the polenta. Cover with more sauce and another layer of polenta. Add remaining veggies and more sauce. Top with remaining polenta slices and press down. Top with more sauce and the cheese. Bake covered for 20-30 minutes until heated through.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Hard to Feel Guilty Brownies!

There is not much guilt to be found in these chocolaty brownies. They are a creative way to reduce fat and calories and include healthy organic products.

Makes 9 brownies

1 C. organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 C. good cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
1/8 or 2 T. melted margerine like Smart Balance
1/4 C. corn syrup
1/4 C. unsweetened organic applesauce
1/4 C. plain organic yogurt, low or no fat
1 C. brown sugar or sugar substitute like Splenda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 egg white, large size and organic

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 9x9 inch pan. Sift flour, cocoa, salt, soda, and powder and set aside. Melt margerine and chocolate in a saucepan over medium-low until melted then pour into a mixing bowl. Stir in corn syrup, applesauce, and yogurt. Add brown sugar and vanilla then beat for a couple minutes until smooth. Add eggs and mix for another minute. Fold in dry ingredients. Mix just until incorporated. Pour into pan and bake for 30-35 min. until knife inserted comes out clean.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Fastest Cinnamon Roll From Scratch!

I found a recipe today in my pile of recipe clippings and did a little tweeking to come up with this amazing cinnamon roll. It should technically be called a bisuit roll because there is no yeast or raising involved. I kept the recipe mostly the same, except I decreased the amount of fat in the biscuit, and sugar in the filling. I also simplified the procedure to make it a 1 bowl mix. These are sooooooo good!

Makes 12 rolls

2 C. whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. melted margerine, cooled (I use Smart Balance)
3/4 C. low-fat buttermilk
3 T. margerine, softened
3/4 C. brown sugar or mix with Splenda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1 C. milk, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift flour, powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl. pour in melted, cooled margerine and mix until crumbly. Pour in buttermilk and stir just until blended. Knead dough in bowl or on floured surface until smooth (4-5 minutes). Roll dough into a 15x8 inch rectangle on wax paper or floured surface. Spread 3 T. margerine on dough. Mix sugar and spices together in same mixing bowl dough came from (it should be fairly clean, ok if still some dough remnants). Sprinkle sugar blend over margerine and roll dough jelly roll fashion starting from the long side. Pinch seams to seal. Cut into 12 even rolls and place onto greased baking pan and bake 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and pour milk over the top if desired. Serve hot.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Sun-dried Tomato and Asiago Pasta

A great 30 minute meal for the busy person or family, or a flavorful side dish that will be a hit with any meal.

Serves 4-6
1-160z package organic penne pasta
1 T. margerine
2 T. organic flour
2 C. organic vegetable stock
1/4 C. chopped sun-dried tomatoes, not in oil
1 yellow zucchini, diced
1/4 C. freshly grated asiago cheese
1 can black beans, optional

Boil the pasta in boiling water in a large pot over med-high heat until tender. Meanwhile, melt the margerine in a medium pot over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Slowly add the stock whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Add tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cook just until thick then reduce heat to a low simmer. Add zucchini and cook 5-7 minutes until tender. Add cheese and stir. Your can opt to add the beans at this point for added protein or leave out. Remove from heat. Drain the pasta and pour into a large serving bowl. Pour sauce over the top and serve.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Apple Crumb Squares

These bars are quick to fix and an absolute treat to eat. A great way to use up the applesauce sitting in your fridge! Or make your own applesauce with the apples you never ate from the fruit basket.

Makes 2 dozen

2 C. Organic oats
1-1/2 C. Organic whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 C. melted butter or margerine
1 C. Organic applesauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, soda, nutmeg, and melted butter in a mixing bowl. Press all but 1 C. mixture in bottom of a 13x9x2 inch greased pan. Bake 13-15 minutes. Cool. Spread applesauce over top. Sprinkle remaining mix over applesauce and bake another 13-15 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into 2 inch squares.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Vegetarian Curry For The Whole Family!

Flavor is the dominating factor for this dish. Even my picky carnivorous husband ate an entire plateful without complaint. This dish does require a lot of spices so try to buy them in small quantities in bulk or just use a ready made curry blend. Even my 20 month old son loved this and it full of fiber and vitamins.

Serves 6

Vegetable curry:
3 T. Olive oil
1 C. Onion, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Medium anaheim pepper, diced
1 teaspoon each: fresh ginger, salt, ground cumin, coriander, and dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon each: ground tumeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon
1 T. Cornstarch
1 T. Flour
2 C. Organic vegetable broth
1 Small head organic cauliflower, chopped
2 Small organic yams, diced
3 T. Fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cucumber raita:
1 Medium cucumber
1 C. Plain organic yoghurt
2 T. Fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Salt

6-8 Greek pitas or chapatis

In a large nonstick skillet heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and pepper then cook another minute. Next add the seasonings, cornstarch, and flour then cook a couple minutes stirring constantly so as not to burn. Add the broth slowly stirring constantly. Add cauliflower and yam then cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook 15-20 min. or until vegetables are tender. Meanwhile in a blender combine all the raita ingredients and pulse until no big chunks are left. Set aside. Add fresh cilantro to vegetable mixture and let cook a couple of minutes. Toast pita in the oven at 200 degrees until lightly crisp. Cut into wedges and serve with vegetable curry topped with the raita.