Tag Archives: Recipes

Farro is Healthy and Delicious – Learn How to Make Farro Salad

farro

Farro is Healthy and Delicious!

If you have yet to try Farro, now is the time!

Farro is a whole grain that is an excellent source for complex carbohydrates. Additionally, farro has twice  the amount of fiber and protein of modern wheat.  This delicious grain has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested.

Here is a simple recipe to introduce you to this new grain!

Farro Salad

* Cook farro according to the directions on the bag.  I undercook it, as I prefer mine with a little bite rather than too soft.

* While farro cooks, saute a chopped shallot until cooked through. Set aside in a bowl.  Then saute two drained cans of chic peas in olive oil for a couple minutes. Set aside in another bowl. Saute a box of spinach and/or arugula in olive oil and again set aside.  Finally saute chopped zucchini.

* When zucchini are cooked, add back the shallots, chic peas and greens.  Mix together and then add farro.

* Stir in one bunch of finely chop parsley, leaves only, no stems.

Dressing

* Whisk together the juice from one lemon, 3 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper.

* Right before serving, drizzle the dressing, toss thoroughly and sprinkle 1/2 cup of parmesean cheese shavings to the top of the salad.

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Freshen up your cooking with beautiful homegrown herbs!

Whether you love to garden, have the space to plant or simply just love to cook with Mother Nature’s finest, there is nothing quite like fresh herbs.  This season make a pot full of fresh basil, spearmint, rosemary and chives and don’t forget fresh cilantro.  The combination of all four look gorgeous together and will give you a variety to choose from all summer long.

Fresh basil with tomatoes and cucumbers…yum.  Spearmint sprigs in your favorite iced tea make it a most refreshing afternoon beverage.  Rosemary can be added to most roasted veggies, chicken and fish dishes, and chopped chives are always great to have on hand.  Summertime guacamole is extra special with cilantro.  Not to mention, once all of these are ready to harvest, they look beautiful in a vase (instant centerpiece) adding an aromatic freshness to the air….

Try it — you’ll see just how fulfilling it can be to take ingredients from the earth and bring them directly to your table…..with a bath in the sink first of course. Enjoy!

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It’s a Delicious Time of Year!

Okay, so typically I stick to healthy whole foods especially for my blog.
However, with this recipe I make an exception.  Last night I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s annual “Cookie Party.”  I arrived and walked into a house decorated from top to bottom with Christmas and holiday decor.  Lights sparkled, friends mingled and in the dining room were forty (40!) different holiday cookies beautifully displayed. Each year someone wins the award for best cookie.  Hands down, this chocolate
toffee bark won thanks to Lydia Altman’s gift of making bark.  I had to share it with all of you after I indulged in its decadent flavors. Trust me, it was worth every bite.  Thank you Michele for a warm, wonderful evening filled with good friends, yummy treats and your loving kindness.

Chocolate Toffee Bark

Makes about 40 pieces

10 0unces bittersweet (not unsweetened), dark or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (optional: + extra for drizzling on top)

7 ounces good quality white chocolate (Ghirardelli, Lindt or Baker’s), coarsely chopped (optional: + extra for drizzling on top)

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use old-fashioned style or freshly ground)

Toffee chips or chopped Skor or Heath bars to taste

8 ounces good quality milk chocolate (Ghirardelli or Lindt), chopped

Turn large baking sheet upside down. Cover tightly with foil. Mark a 12×9 inch rectangle on foil.

Stir bittersweet chocolate in medium bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water until melted (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch the water). Pour melted chocolate onto marked rectangle on foil.  Using icing spatula, spread chocolate to fill rectangle. Refrigerate while making peanut butter filling.

Stir chopped white chocolate and peanut butter continuously in heavy medium saucepan over med-low heat until mixture is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes.  Pour over bittersweet  chocolate. Working quickly, spread to coat bittersweet chocolate completely. Sprinkle generously with toffee chips. Chill until very firm, about 20 minutes.

Stir milk chocolate in medium metal bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) until chocolate is melted. Remove and pour chocolate over toffee chips, spreading quickly to cover. Sprinkle with more toffee chips.

Optional: warm additional bittersweet and white chocolate (separately). Dip spoon in bittersweet chocolate and drizzle lines over toffee chips.  Repeat with white chocolate. (This can be done using a pastry bag or plastic zip-loc bag).

Chill bark until firm enough to cut, about 20 minutes.

Lift foil with bark onto work surface.  Cut crosswise into 5 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 sections, and diagonally into 2 triangles.

Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled in airtight container.

ENJOY!!

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My New Favorite Cookie

This is my new favorite cookie…filled with delicious oats and sesame seeds providing that perfect carbohydrate/protein balance.

Pour yourself a hot cup of tea and treat yourself to these. Worth every bite and good for you!

Oatmeal Sesame Raisin Cookies

3 cups oats

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds

3/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup rice syrup

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup raw almonds (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and drop by heaping tablespoon on parchment.

Bake 8 – 10 minutes, watching carefully. They burn quickly!

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Snack Time – Homemade Granola Bars!

Snack time can be healthy and wholesome when your kids get home from school. One of my favorite snacks to make are delicious homemade granola bars. They are all natural and filled with just the right amount of nutrients to get your kids to dinner.

Feel free to add dried cranberries, raisins, peanut butter chips
or chocolate chips or nuts of various kinds depending on your family’s favorites.

Maple Cinnamon Granola Bars

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup crisped brown rice cereal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy protein powder or regular vanilla based protein powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbl. canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray baking pan with Pam.  In bowl mix the oats, rice cereal, flour, brown sugar, soy powder, cinnamon and salt.
In a small bowl mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla and canola oil until smooth.  Stir one mixture into the other and combine them.  Spread mixture into the square baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.

Take out of oven and cut them into bar shaped size and then put the pan back into the oven for another 5 minutes.  The bars should be golden brown.

Store in an airtight container.

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Quinoa: “The Gold of the Incas”

A staple in my kitchen, quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and nutty flavor when cooked.  It is commonly considered a grain but is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. Recently rediscovered, quinoa had been called “the gold of the Incas.” Now it is gold in my house at dinner time – my kids love it with stir fry instead of brown rice. I happen to love it mixed with veggies for lunch or dinner. As a vegetarian, I am always looking for more protein, and quinoa provides me with not only a delicious taste but nearly 15 grams of protein per serving.

Enjoy one of my favorite recipes:

Carrot, Zucchini and Asparagus Quinoa

2 Tbls dried currants

2 med carrots, cubed

2 sm zucchini, cubed

3-4 asparagus spears

1 shallot, chopped

2 Tbls olive oil

Saute chopped vegetables in oil until tender. Prepare quinoa according to directions on box. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

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Delicious For Spring: Baby Spinach Salad

Spring ahead with lots of exercise and healthy eating – they go hand-in-hand. The energy and stamina we enjoy largely depend on what we put into our bodies. Eating clean with fruits, veggies, fish, beans and nuts provides us with all the essential nutrients necessary for healthy living.

The health benefits of spinach are numerous, and its ability to help prevent disease is well known. Spinach is at the top of many “super food” lists because like other dark leafy greens — kale, collards, swiss chard, turnip greens and bok choy — it’s loaded with calcium, folic acid, vitamin K and iron. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids. Eaten raw for a salad, it is truly a nutritional powerhouse. When ordering a salad, I always ask if spinach can be substituted for the lettuce, knowing that spinach far outweighs lettuce’s nutritional benefits.

This is one of my favorite recipes:

Spring Baby Spinach Salad with Fresh Citrus Vinaigrette

Citrus Vinaigrette

¼ C orange juice

2 tbls minced shallots

1 tbls fresh thyme

2 tbls grated orange peel

1 tsp honey

½ C olive oil

½ C white wine vinegar

For salad, combine 3 sectioned oranges, fresh baby spinach, ½ C diced green scallions, and 2/3 C walnuts or almonds (optional). Can also add feta or gorgonzola cheese.

Enjoy!

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