Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tempura Fried Okra w Honey Scallion Dip

Tempting Tempura-Fried Okra
Serves 4 to 6

3 quarts canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning the okra
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup club soda
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 pounds fresh okra, stems trimmed and okra halved lengthwise
Sweet and Sticky Honey-Scallion Dipping Sauce (see below)


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over high heat until a deep-fat thermometer reaches a temperature of 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix 11/2 cups flour with the salt and pepper. Add the club soda, egg, and cream of tartar and whisk until smooth.

Coat the okra with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and shake off any excess. Dip the okra in the batter and then, using a long-handled slotted spoon or tongs, carefully submerge the okra in the oil and fry until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not crowd the pot. Lift the okra from the oil with the slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a large plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain, and season with salt while hot. Continue frying the okra, letting the oil return to 350°F between batches. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Sweet and Sticky Honey-Scallion Dipping Sauce
Makes about 11/2 cups

1 cup sour cream or low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt, drained
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, honey, scallions, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill, or for up to 1 week. Stir before using.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Serves One


* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/3 cup fresh or stale coarse breadcrumbs
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
* zest from half a lemon

1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Ask a question about this step.
2. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté until golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Ask a question about this step.
3. Add the rosemary, immediately remove from heat and allow to cool. Ask a question about this step.
4. Mix in lemon zest and set aside. Ask a question about this step.

Spaghetti and Eggs:

* 4 ounces spaghetti
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
* 1 teaspoon small capers, drained
* freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to directions on box. (I usually undercook the pasta by about a minute.) Ask a question about this step.
2. Wipe out the skillet from the pangritata, add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter and melt together over medium heat. Ask a question about this step.
3. Add the garlic and immediately break the eggs into the skillet. Ask a question about this step.
4. If need be, lower the heat a bit. You want the garlic to cook without burning and the egg whites to set, but the yolks to remain runny. Ask a question about this step.
5. Drain the pasta well, reserving ½ c of the cooking liquid. Ask a question about this step.
6. Add pasta back to the pot, pour over the eggs and all the fat from the skillet, add the parsley and capers and toss well, breaking up the eggs as you do. If you prefer a wetter dish, you can add in some of the reserved cooking liquid. Ask a question about this step.
7. Plate the pasta and eggs, season well with freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with the grated cheese and then top with the pangritata.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Avocado Crunch Wrap

Avocado Crunch Wrap

* 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (see Note)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups shredded red cabbage
* 1 medium carrot, shredded
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
* 1 ripe avocado
* 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
* 2 tablespoons minced red onion
* 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps, or tortillas

1. Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.
2. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
3. To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.

* Ingredient Note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Mediterranean Wrap

Mediterranean Wrap

* 1/2 cup water
* 1/3 cup couscous, preferably whole-wheat
* 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 pound chicken tenders ** or vegetarian substitute of course:)**
* 1 medium tomato, chopped
* 1 cup chopped cucumber
* 4 10-inch spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps or tortillas

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, combine parsley, mint, lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Toss chicken tenders in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the parsley mixture and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the tenders in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked though, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces when cool enough to handle.
4. Stir the remaining parsley mixture into the couscous along with tomato and cucumber.
5. To assemble wraps, spread about 3/4 cup of the couscous mixture onto each wrap. Divide the chicken among the wraps. Roll the wraps up like a burrito, tucking in the sides to hold the ingredients in. Serve cut in half.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Simple Baked Breakfast

Peach Baked Oatmeal -- or raspberry or blueberry or apple... :)
Makes 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes

½ cup oil
4 eggs
1-1½ cups sugar, depending on your taste preference
3 cups dry rolled, or quick, oatmeal, uncooked
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pint fresh, or canned, peaches, chopped (if canned, reserve liquid)
2 cups milk

1. In large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, and sugar. Blend together well.
2. Add dry oats, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Blend thoroughly.
3. If using fresh peaches, stir into batter, along with 2 cups water.
If using canned peaches, drain peaches, reserving juice. Add water to peach juice to make 2 cups. Add both peaches and 2 cups liquid to batter.
4. Add milk to batter.
5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve warm with milk.

Apple Puff Pancake
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes

½ stick (4 Tbsp.) butter
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 eggs
1½ cups milk
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
confectioners sugar
syrup, optional

1. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Arrange apples over butter.
2. Mix brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in small bowl and sprinkle over apples.
3. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes, or until apples soften.
4. Combine in blender, eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Blend thoroughly and pour over apples.
5. Return to oven and bake 40 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve immediately. Serve with syrup if you wish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Crispiest Tofu

As with most well breaded recipes, you need a three “bowl” workstation for this. I like to use lipped plates, but if you don’t have any, try using cake pans.

Start with marinated tofu. Cut them into whatever shapes you want to eat.

Set up a three bowl work station consisting of: seasoned potato starch, thickened seasoned non-dairy milk, and seasoned home-made bread crumbs.

Mix the following together into each bowl:
Bowl 1:
½ cup potato starch
dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bowl 2:
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or a combo of other fresh herbs)
dash of salt
dash of hot pepper or allepo pepper

Bowl 3:
1 1/4 cups homemade breadcrumbs (leave your favorite gluten-free bread out on the counter for a day or so, then pulse in a food processor until crumbly).
1/3 cup potato starch
dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder

You'll need:
1 big block of extra-firm tofu, cut into whatever shapes you want to eat and marinated overnight, or as long as possible.
parchment lined baking sheet, greased with 3 tablespoons of neutral oil (like canola).
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.
Dredge a few pieces of tofu with the starch mixture in bowl one. Make sure each piece is completed coated with a thin layer of starch, then tap off any extra and move down to bowl two.

Submerge each tofu into bowl two and allow any excess liquid to drip off. Move ‘em down to bowl three.

Pat each piece of tofu in the seasoned breadcrumbs, to completely coat on all sides. Transfer each breaded tofu to the oiled baking sheet.

Repeat the above steps until you’ve breaded everything within reach.

Season the tofu with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake for about 5 minutes, then carefully flip each piece to allow the other side to absorb some of the oil from the baking sheet. Bake the tofu until the bottoms are brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes, then flip to brown the second side. Keep an eye on these so they don’t burn, you’re going for a deep golden brown.

Dip in yummy things like bbq sauce, low fat Vegenaise, tartar sauce, or be fancy and make remoulade!

The time needed to cook this recipe is a tiny bit more than one hour.

Greek Style Quinoa Salad

Greek-Style Quinoa Salad

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed in a garlic press
¼ cup kalamata olives
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
7 ounces sheep’s milk feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup diced red onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold running water.
Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cook 15 minutes until quinoa is almost translucent.
Spread cooked quinoa on a large dinner plate and place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic. Toss with quinoa.
Add olives, scallions, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, and red onion; gently mix ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*Feta cheese may be too salty for some. To lower the sodium count, soak it in water overnight.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Apple Pizza Pie

Apple Pizza Pie
1 double crust pie dough recipe (or 2 refrigerated crusts)
6 medium sized apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup butter
2oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Roll pie crust out onto cookie sheet, and set aside.
Peel, core and slice apples into bite size pieces.
Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and flour to the apples until evenly coated.
In a separate medium bowl mix together flour, brown sugar and oats.
Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. My piece of advice here is don't under-cook. I usually like my baked goods gooey, so I cook them a few minutes less than the suggested time, don't do that here. The crust in the middle takes a little longer to cook, if you think they look like they're done, I would cook them an extra two minutes just to make sure! While pizza is cooking make the icing.
Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature so you can combine easier. Whisk until all clumps are out.
Once the pizza has finished baking, remove from oven and drizzle with the icing.
Slice and serve! It tastes great served warm and cold. I kept the leftovers in the fridge, and they taste just as great then too! The butter and oats crumbles and the icing really make this a tasty dessert.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

1 - 16 oz.pkg. macaroni elbow noodles
Approximately 1/2 cup of margarine
Approximately 1/2 cup of flour
Several pinches of dry mustard
4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use a variety of cheeses… have fun with it!)
5 cups of whole milk
1 block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Pinch of black pepper
1 egg (uncooked)
Touch of paprika

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan melt margarine, flour, pepper and dry mustard. Stir until thickened. Reduce heat to very low and add milk and shredded cheeses. Heat until begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add macaroni to baking dish and stir in egg. Add cheese sauce and stir. Cut up several pieces of cheese from the block and add to macaroni in baking dish. Thinly slice the rest of the block of cheese and layer on top. Sprinkle with paprika to taste. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Enjoy!

Remember… this is southern cuisine (soul food)… which means it must be made with love! It may take a few tries before it's what you want it to be, but keep trying!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Cinqo de Mayo!

Mexican Tortilla Bake

I'm adding a layer of seasoned burger/sausage crumble mix, too.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• 11/2 cups cooked pinto beans or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed (I'm using cilantro lime black beans)
• 1 141/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
• 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 11/2 cups prepared tomato salsa
• 4 ounces soft or silken tofu
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 12 6-inch flour tortillas
• 1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly oil a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pinto beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a food processor or blender, combine the salsa, tofu, lime juice, and 1/2 cup of the bean mixture. Process until well blended.
4. Spread a thin layer of the tofu and salsa mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange 6 of the tortillas on top, overlapping as necessary. Spread the remaining bean mixture over the tortillas and cover with another layer of tortillas. Top with the remaining tofu-and-salsa mixture and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. I'm also topping this with salsa verde w heavy avocado chunks.
5. Bake until hot and bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.

Homemade Horchata

• 1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
• 1 quart of soy milk
• 2 quarts water
• 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional, but definitely necessary, in my opinion)
• 1/2 cup white sugar

1. In a large saucepan, combine rice, water and cinnamon. Heat until it’s just about ready to boil.
2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Purée rice mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Flavor with vanilla and sugar to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.
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