Monday, December 13, 2010

CARROT CAKE MUFFINS



CARROT CAKE MUFFINS – FINALLY A RECIPE WORTH SHARING!
I have been reading, testing, and rejecting recipes for a Carrot Muffin for the longest time. Many of the recipes I found were loaded with Agave nectar, which, by the way, is still sugar! If the recipe didn’t contain grains or sugar, it was dry or (worse yet) complicated to prepare. I had a snow day last week, and took matters into my own hands. I am happy with this recipe for two reasons. It tastes really good, and it can be prepared very quickly in a food processor.
Let me know how you like it.
Enjoy.

INGREDIENTS AND PREPARATION:
2 cups almond flour
½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1 tablespoon Cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon powdered concentrate Stevia, such as KAL Brand or NOW brand.
¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 scant pinch of cloves
PUT ALL THESE DRY INGREDIENTS INTO A FOOD PROCESSOR. PROCESS TO COMBINE.
THEN ADD:
½ cup melted organic butter
1 tablespoon vanilla (no sugar – check the label)
½ cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (you can use water or organic whole milk)
4 extra large or 5 large organic free range eggs
PROCESS TO COMBINE INTO A SLIGHTLY WET BATTER.
POUR THE BATTER INTO A BOWL OVER:
1 ½ cups grated organic carrots
½ cup chopped raw pecans or walnuts.
STIR TO MIX.
DIVIDE INTO 12 MUFFIN CUPS LINED WITH PAPER OR SILICONE LINERS.
BAKE AT 350 DEGREES FOR 25 TO 30 MINUTES.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

HOME‐MADE GREEN APPLE APPLESAUCE



Apple Season is here! I made a double batch of this recipe for some children who were visiting our cottage on Labour Day weekend, and I was reminded that, when it comes to delicious, we are all children. The adults gobbled it up!
The first time you taste this, you will understand why it is worth making your own home‐made applesauce.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
3 lbs Granny Smith apples
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch nutmeg (freshly grated is wonderful if you have it)
1 1/2 cups water
2 thin lemon slices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 tablespoons “Spoonable” brand stevia, or
equivalent (optional, and to taste)

Preparation:
1) Peel and core apples
2) Cut apples into approximately 1 inch cubes.
3) Add all ingredients to a pot, and turn heat on high. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low.
4) Simmer for 20 minutes or until the apples have softened significantly.
5) Stir frequently, making sure that the apples are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add more water if necessary. Remove lemon slices.
6) Mash with a potato masher or use a food mill for a smoother consistency.
7) Taste the applesauce. If it is too tart and you want to add some sweetness, now would be the time to add a tablespoon or two of “Spoonable” brand stevia to taste.
8) Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled, if it lasts that long.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Asian Halibut Fish Cakes


This recipe is adapted from a salmon cake done by Martha's people at Everyday Food. I switched out the salmon for wild halibut and I knew it would be a new family favorite. The lovely mild ginger flavor makes this dish fragrant and delicious. I also learned a neat trick for making fish cakes without benefit of flour or corn meal. Egg is the binder; and the fish cakes are formed and then put into the freezer for about 30 minutes so they hold together when you put them into the frying pan. It works! We loved them.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 pounds of wild halibut, chopped into small pieces approximately 1/2 inch square
2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger (Tip: Peel fresh ginger with a spoon)
2 finely diced Shallots
1 egg
1 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Preparation:
Chop and mix all the ingredients together except the egg. Then slightly beat up the egg and stir it into the fish mixture until everything is coated with egg and the mixture is . . .well, it's gooey.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using an ice cream scoop, divide the mixture into 6 to 8 portions. Place each portion in a scoop or circle shape on the lined baking sheet. Put the baking sheet into the freezer for 20 - 40 minutes, until the fish cakes hold together.

Heat a non-stick frying pan coated with a teaspoon or so of coconut oil. Add the semi-frozen fish cakes to the pan and let them cook for at least 5 minutes, until they are brown on one side and will hold together when you carefully flip them over to let them fry until they are done, approximately another 3 to 5 minutes.

I didn't try this when I made the test recipe, but when I make the next batch, I may try to make a double recipe, freeze the second half until it is safe to put them into a freezer bag or container, and save them for use another time.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

MEDITERRANEAN ZUCCHINI BOATS



This time of year always means lots and lots of tasty, home grown vegetables, and many of us have an abundance of zucchini that we may not know quite what to do with. This recipe is a side dish that I saw in a Whole Foods while I was working on GOOD FOOD in 2009, and I simply had to include it in the book. The finished product is delicious hot or cold. It probably won't last long enough for you to taste it cold.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
2 zucchini, approximately 8 – 10 inches long
2/3 – 3/4 cups grape tomatoes, lightly diced
1/3 to 1/2 cups Greek Feta cheese
1/4 cup pitted black olives, lightly diced
1/4 cup pepita seeds or raw pine nuts (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
A drizzle of olive oil (optional)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1) Cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise,
and scrape out the seeds with a
teaspoon, forming a “ditch” for the other ingredients.
2) Cut a slim length of the skin on the bottom of the zucchini, so it will sit steadily on the plate.
3) Combine all the other ingredients and distribute them evenly into the four zucchini halves.
4) Bake until zucchini is just cooked, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
5) You may want to drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the finished product.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH GARLIC AND CAPER SAUCE



I was reminded of this recipe, originally created for GOOD FOOD, by Courtney from Nashville. Thanks, Courtney!
Everyone else - Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 head (about 2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon organic butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon capers (more if you want - I often use half a small jar of capers including the juice)
1 tablespoon caper juice

Preparation:
1) Trim, and cut cauliflower into small florets.
2) Spread in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet.
3) Drizzle with olive oil; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Toss to combine.
4) Roast, tossing once or twice, until cauliflower is golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes, in a hot oven ( 375 - 400 degrees)
5) In a small skillet, melt butter and olive oil over medium to low heat.
6) Gently saute garlic cloves, 2 to 3 minutes.
7) Remove from heat. Add capers and caper juice.
8) Pour over roasted cauliflower, and toss to coat.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Grilling Favorite Recipe LEMON CHILI CHICKEN



Wanted to re-post this family grilling favorite, in the hope that it will help you stay away from commercial bar-b-que sauces. These sauces are loaded with sugar - they can turn a perfectly healthy dinner into an over-the-top sugar fest! I really hope that once you try this recipe, you will use it year round - on the outdoor grill or on a ceramic-coated grill pan inside. (See GOOD FOOD for more notes about ceramic coated cookware.) You'll never be tempted by those nasty, sugar-laden bottled sauces again.
Enjoy.

Lemon Chili Chicken

Ingredients:

1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
4 organic, antibiotic free, free range, boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Preparation:
1) Combine all ingredients except chicken.
2) Pour 80% to 85% of the marinade into a heavy duty zip-lock bag. (Reserve the remainder of the marinade for basting the chicken during grilling.)
3) Add chicken; close bag and zip to seal. Place in bowl or baking dish and refrigerate for 2-6 hours.
4) When ready to cook, discard the marinade left in the zip-lock bag. Prepare and preheat grill. Cook chicken for 12-18 minutes, turning once and brushing frequently with reserved marinade, until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

GRILLED STEAK WITH CHIMICHURRI SAUCE


Outdoor grilling season makes me so happy. The addition of the chimichurri sauce is really fun, especially if you are growing flat leaf parsley. The sauce should keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but it probably won't last that long.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:¾ cup finely chopped fresh Italian (flat leaf) parsley
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 ½ teaspoons dried crushed red pepper (see note)

2 grass‐fed beef steaks, your favorite cut, 4 to 6 ounces each (about 1 inch thick)

Note: Use any kind of dried hot spice you like for the crushed red pepper. For instance, I am a fan of ground chipotle pepper. Also, when it comes to adding spices, start slowly, taste, and then decide if you want to add more.

Preparation:1) Place all ingredients except the beef in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth sauce is achieved.
2) Refrigerate if time permits. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Bring to room temperature before using.
3) Sprinkle both sides of steaks with sea salt and pepper.
4) Place steaks on barbeque grill and cook until desired doneness, about 3 minutes per side for medium‐rare.
See our notes about cookware here, or in GOOD FOOD if you are cooking on an indoor grill pan.
5) Once the steaks are cooked, let them rest off the heat for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving them. Slice steaks crosswise (across the grain of the meat) and arrange on a platter. Spoon chimichurri sauce over the steaks and serve.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Advanced Plan Pizza- What?!?



What?!?

I know. When I found this recipe (at a website called "Tropical Traditions"), I was extremely skeptical. The second time I tested the recipe, I made two batches, because I knew we would snack the first one away (as we did the original test) before a whole pizza could be made. Honestly, we love this recipe as a kind of a cheese bread and as a pizza crust.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk organic (raw is preferable) mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 large organic eggs
2 tablespoons flax meal
2 tablespoons organic coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder

Preparation:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to line two baking sheets.

Mix cheese, eggs, flax meal, coconut flour, and baking powder together until a sticky wet dough is formed. Spread with a spatula to 1/4 inch thickness on a baking sheet lined with one piece of parchment paper. I usually cover it with another piece of parchment, once I have it shaped into a circle, and roll it out with a rolling pin a bit more, because it will "rise" a little while cooking, and I want it to cover as much surface area as possible, and remain thin like a pizza crust.

Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven. Halfway through the baking process, flip crust over by lifting it from the baking sheet, flipping it over onto the second parchment lined baking sheet and peeling the old paper off. This is easier than it sounds. Return to oven to finish baking for the remaining 15 minutes.


Remove from oven, and flip over again (onto a cooling rack) for cooling. Once crust is cooled, top with Maximized toppings (we used some cold diced organic chicken and tiny broccoli florets) and, yes, more cheese. (I have also used home made bruschetta topped with the cheese, and it was wonderful.)

Place crust with toppings under the broiler, about 4 to 6 inches from heating element, on high heat, for a minute or two until cheese is melted and bubbly. I do this on yet another piece of parchment paper, but watch it carefully because the broiler will burn the parchment paper if you leave it too long. My parchment paper has been brown, but not burnt, by the time I remove the pizza from under the broiler.



Makes 2-4 servings. (I suggest you make two.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Organic Strawberries, Maximized Shortcake


This morning I whipped up a batch of the Basic Almond Muffin recipe in GOOD FOOD. I added some lemon zest and substituted lemon juice for the water called for in the recipe. I like to mix things up and experiment, and these two changes turned out to be a good idea, although the original recipe is lovely just the way it is. (By the way, if you are an inexperienced baker, remember that baking is chemistry. You can't change amounts of ingredients or skip ingredients the way you can in cooking, which in many ways is a more creative venture.)

Anyway, later in the day I ran across some organic strawberries.

You know the rest. Whip up some organic cream, gently sweetened with a tiny bit of stevia and a whisper of vanilla extract. Slice a muffin in half, add berries and whipped cream and top with mint fresh from my garden. (The only reason I planted mint this year was to decorate desserts.) We couldn't wait for our meal to be over: Dessert Heaven.

Enjoy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Coconut Flour Crepes




These crepes are surprisingly delicious. They can be used for breakfast or brunch, and would be the beginning of a lovely dessert. To that end, I would suggest rolling fresh, local, blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries into the crepes, and topping them with a dollop of organic, stevia sweetened, cinnamon whipped cream. If you are using them for breakfast, I would top them with the Strawberry Sauce recipe which you can find in GOOD FOOD.

I also did a chocolate version of this recipe. I simply added 2 tablespoons of organic unsweetened cocoa powder, and substituted unsweetened chocolate almond milk for the milk in the original recipe. I also had to bump up the stevia to counter the bitterness of the cocoa powder. (Frankly, I preferred the original recipe, but I know there are lots of chocolate lovers out there.)

I tested the crepes in two types of pan. I used an old, very well seasoned, cast-iron pan, and I used a new Earth Chef pan that I recommended in GOOD FOOD. Both worked beautifully.

Enjoy.


Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Stevia liquid drops, to taste (I use about 10 drops)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - NO sugar, check the label (can substitute almond extract)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons organic coconut flour, sifted
small pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
1/3 cup organic whole milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk


Preparation:
In a medium bowl with a wire whisk, beat together the eggs, oil, stevia, vanilla, and salt. Mix in sifted coconut flour, nutmeg and cinnamon; stir in milk.
Heat an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. When hot, melt a tiny bit of coconut oil in the pan.

Pour 1/8 cup (two tablespoons-full) of batter in the skillet and swirl around in pan until a thin layer of batter covers the bottom. The crepe should be about 6-inches in diameter. (If you don't want them paper thin, govern your swirling accordingly.)

Cook 1-2 minutes, or until batter is bubbly and cooked around the edges. Flip the crepe and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes more, or until done.

These should be kept in the refrigerator if you want to use them for a dessert later in the day, but I would separate them with layers of parchment paper, and remove them from the fridge about an hour before dinner.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Maximized Lemon Pound Cake


CAUTION! THIS RECIPE UNDER CONSTRUCTION FOR NOW.  UPDATE COMING IN EARLY 2016.

Here's a dessert B.J. really liked. It is a pound cake, yes, but it is made with coconut flour rather than conventional or AP flour, so it is completely guilt free for people (like me) who are doing their best to remain true to the Advanced Nutrition Plan.
Enjoy.


Ingredients:
· 5 eggs
· Approximately ½ to 1 teaspoon liquid stevia (sweeten to your taste)
· 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
· 3/4 cup organic whole milk yogurt
· 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
· zest of 1 lemon
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) organic butter, melted
· 2/3cup organic coconut flour, SIFTED together with 1/3 cup finely ground blanched almond flour,  1/4 teaspoon salt,  and 2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder

Preparation:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Grease the parchment with coconut oil.

Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.

Add all wet ingredients except the melted butter to a blender.  A high speed blender is what I have,  but I use it on the lowest speed.  If you are using a regular blender use a higher speed,  and just be sure that everything is completely incorporated. Add the melted butter in a constant stream, blending continuously.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend again QUICKLY  just long enough to combine.

IMMEDIATELY pour the batter into your greased loaf pan.

Bake for 45 to 55 minutes (I was closer to 55 minutes), until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Let cake cool COMPLETELY before removing from the loaf pan. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Storing Fresh Herbs


Once the weather begins to brighten, planting herbs becomes a top priority for me. I have found in the past that herbs are not as fragile as annuals, so frost is much less of a concern (with the exception of basil, which really loves the hottest weather it can get). I am experimenting with some new herbs and vegetables this summer, all planted in containers (city mouse that I am), and all chosen because I know I will actually use them in my meals. I got some beautiful lettuce plants from McSmith’s farm a couple of weeks ago, and they are also doing beautifully.

Over the rainy Mother’s Day weekend, I happened upon the following advice about storing fresh herbs once they are picked, and decided to pass it along. This method will work whether you plant and harvest your own herbs, or you buy them in bunches at the market. Fresh parsley, cilantro, basil, and other fresh herbs can last up to 2 weeks or longer when stored this way.
Let me know how it works for you.
Enjoy.

METHOD:
1 Snip off the bottom of the stems.
2 Make sure the leaves are completely dry. Better to hold off rinsing them until you're about to use them.
3 Fill a jar or a water glass partially with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water in the jar. (See the photo above.)
4 If you are storing the herbs in the refrigerator, cover loosely with a plastic bag. Cilantro loves cool temperatures and should be stored in the refrigerator. Parsley can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. According to experts, basil is ideally stored at room temperature and not in the refrigerator, because it is susceptible to damage from cold.
5 Change the water after several days if the water starts to discolor.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hollandiase Sauce 101


While the asparagus is still local and fresh, you will want to fancy it up now and again for Sunday dinners, or other special occasions. Nothing dresses asparagus like Hollandaise Sauce, and this recipe, which I found online at "Simply Recipes," is “Maximized,” delicious, and (perhaps more importantly) easy. What more can we ask? (I know it looks like the preparation is lengthy, but once you read through, you will see how simple it really is.) Prepare this sauce just before your meal.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
10 tablespoons butter
Preparation:1) Melt the butter slowly in a small pot. Try not to let it boil – you want the moisture in the butter to remain there and not steam away. Once the butter melts, turn off the heat and let it cool just a little bit while you prepare the eggs.
2) Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne (if using) into your blender. Blend the egg yolk mixture at a medium to medium high speed until it lightens in color, about 20-30 seconds. The friction generated by the blender blades will heat the yolks a little. The blending action will also introduce a little air into them, making your hollandaise a bit lighter.
3) Once the yolks have lightened in color, turn the blender down to its lowest setting (if you only have one speed on your blender it will still work), and drizzle in the melted butter slowly, while the blender is going. Continue to buzz for another couple seconds after the butter is all incorporated.
4) Turn off the blender and taste the sauce. It should be buttery, lemony and very lightly salty. If it is not salty or lemony enough, you can add a little lemon juice or salt to taste. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little warm water. If you do this, pulse briefly to incorporate the ingredients one more time.
Store until needed in a warm spot, like on or next to the stovetop. Use within an hour or so.Makes about 1 cup of sauce, good for about 4-6 servings.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Coconut Macaroon Cookies



These light and delicious cookies are a tribute to the recipe I found in the "Maximized Living Nutrition Plan" book.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
6 Egg Whites
1 Package or 2 ½ cups of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
Stevia to Sweeten (to taste)

Preparation:
Beat egg whites until peaks form. (This can be done with a wisk or an electric hand mixer. I have done it with a wisk, and, although it was a tiny bit of a workout, it is possible – and somewhat satisfying.) Add stevia to sweeten, and beat again to combine. Taste, and add more stevia if necessary. At this point, if you want to add a teaspoon of pure vanilla, feel free. Gently stir in unsweetened shredded coconut.
Drop by teaspoons-full onto parchment lined baking pan. Bake at 350º for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on parchment paper in the refrigerator until firm. Once cooled, these cookies can be dipped into melted, stevia-sweetened chocolate if you prefer. (I like the toasted coconut appearance and taste without the chocolate.)

Friday, March 5, 2010

"SUNDAY DINNER KALE" - or "KALE THAT KIDS WON'T HIDE UNDER THE PLACEMAT"


While I understand that Kale may not be first on any kid's list of favourite foods, I guarantee that if you can get them to try this side dish, they will like it, and they will eat it themselves (poor cat). If, however, I am wrong, and the kids don't ask for seconds, all the more for you - and you will thank me for that.


When the rest of your dinner is ready, the table is set, and everyone is ready to sit down, get your ingredients lined up in preparation for the quick cooking of this super fast super food. Once the preparation starts, you are literally seconds away from completion.
This recipe should serve two, generously. I am willing to bet that you will double the recipe the next time you make it. Kale is the most nutrient dense green on the planet. Prepared this way, I think it is also the most delicious.



Enjoy.



Ingredients:5 to 6 oz. kale, stems removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher sea salt
1/3 cup raw walnuts or raw pecans
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup imported Italian Parmesan cheese, freshly grated


Preparation:Remove the stems and chop the kale into strips about ¼ to ½ inch wide, wash it, and shake off as much water as you can. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in the widest skillet you own. Add the kale and salt to the pan and cook for less than a minute, just long enough for the kale to lose a bit of its structure. Stir in the nuts and garlic, wait 10 seconds, then grate the nutmeg over the kale, and stir it in. Wait ten seconds again and stir in the lemon juice and zest.
Remove from heat and serve dusted with Parmesan cheese.

That's what I'm talkin' about.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

GINGERBREAD FAKE – I MEAN CAKE


Normally we would expect to see a recipe for Gingerbread Cake in the fall, or around the holidays. Does it feel like fall where you are? Does the weather feel more like Christmas time? Close enough.
Enjoy.
Ingredients:
1 ¼ cup flax seed meal
1/4 to 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (substitute allspice)
1 ½ - 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Stevia equivalent to approximately 2/3 cup sugar
4 large organic, free range, antibiotic‐free, eggs, beaten
1/8 cup olive oil (1/8 cup = 2 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup water (substitute unsweetened Vanilla flavoured Almond Milk)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla (no sugar – check the ingredients)
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped pecans or whole pecan halves (optional)

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cake pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides, or use an 8x8 inch silicone baking pan.
1) Mix the dry ingredients together.
2) Mix the wet ingredients.
3) Add the wet to the dry and combine thoroughly.
4) Let batter stand 10 minutes.
5) Pour batter into the pan.
6) Sprinkle with pecans (optional) and bake for approximately 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chipotle Lime Chicken


Chipotle is a wonderful flavor. It is not only hot, but has a smokey element to its taste. I assume it comes in mild, medium, and hot versions. I definitely got the hot variety. When you make the marinade for this chicken, taste your chipotle chili pepper. Depending on the heat of your spice, adjust the amount used in the recipe.

I used an indoor grill pan and the results were wonderful, but this would make a wonderful summer bar-b-que staple as well.

Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 to 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (preferably organic) mustard, any style as long as it has no sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
4 organic, antibiotic free, free range, boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Preparation:

1) Combine all ingredients except chicken.
2) Pour 80% to 85% of the marinade into a heavy duty zip-lock bag. (Reserve the remainder of the marinade for basting the chicken during grilling.)
3) Add chicken; close bag and zip to close. Place in bowl or baking dish and refrigerate for 2-6 hours.
4) When ready to cook, discard the marinade left in the zip-lock bag. Prepare and preheat grill. Cook chicken for 12-17 minutes, turning once and brushing frequently with reserved marinade, until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, and possibly a dollop of organic sour cream. Depending on the heat intensity of your chipotle chili powder, you will need the guacamole and sour cream to cool your mouth!

Monday, February 8, 2010

HOMEMADE INSTANT BOULLION


In the bad old days, when I used processed foods, one of my favorite things to enjoy on a winter afternoon was a cup of boullion, which I made using a pre-packaged square of heaven-knows-what and hot water. I love this recipe because the cup of steaming soup I can enjoy is at least as good as the "mystery boullion" I used to make, it is actually quicker to prepare than the pre-fab cube, and, most importantly, I know exactly what's in it.

This recipe requires a food processor. I have a 8-cup / 2 liter / 2 quart model, and needed every cubic inch of it. I found the best approach if you are tight for space in your food processor is to add a few of the ingredients, then pulse a few times. The ingredients collapse and free up more space for the next few ingredients.


I would suggest making half of the batch described below for your first attempt. I would also encourage you to add and subtract ingredients according to your taste. For instance, I added a red pepper, and omitted the cilantro.
This may seem like a long list of ingredients to put together, but remember that you will have "instant" boullion for the rest of the winter.

Ingredients:
5 ounces / 150 g leeks, sliced and well-washed
7 ounces / 200g fennel bulb, chopped
7 ounces / 200g carrot, well scrubbed and chopped
3.5 ounces / 100 g celery
3.5 ounces / 100g celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 ounce / 30g sun-dried tomatoes
3.5 ounces / 100g shallots, peeled
3 medium garlic cloves
9 ounces /250g fine grain sea salt
1.5 ounces / 40 g flat-leaf parsley, loosely chopped
2 ounces / 60g cilantro (coriander), loosely chopped
Preparation:
Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse about twenty times. Add the next four ingredients, and pulse again. Add the salt, pulse some more. Then add the parsley and cilantro.

You should end up with a very moist, loose paste of sorts.

Keep 1/4th of it in a jar in the refrigerator for easy access in the coming days, and freeze the remaining 3/4 for use in the next month. Because of all the salt it barely solidifies making it easy to spoon directly from the freezer into the pot before boiling.

Start by using 1 teaspoon of bouillon per 1 cup (250 ml), and adjust from there based on your personal preference.

Makes roughly 3 1/2 cups.

To give credit where it's due: I found this recipe online, and it is apparently inspired by The River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin. The U.S. edition of the River Cottage Preserves Handbook will be available this summer.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS


I know. The idea of Brussels Sprouts used to make me less than enthusiastic, too. To be blunt, I didn't like them at all. I had heard from so many people that the traditional method of preparation, boiling, was my problem. Well, they were right. This recipe is one that we all look forward to when I prepare it for Sunday Dinner. Chillis, parmesan cheese, and lemon juice make these beautiful little cabbages pop!
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed, ends trimmed
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
1 minced fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher or Sea Salt, Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated (raw if possible, or imported Italian) Parmesan cheese
Method:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Place Brussels sprouts in a cast iron frying pan (or a roasting pan, but a cast iron frying pan works beautifully for this recipe). Toss in the red chilli and garlic. Sprinkle Brussels sprouts with lemon juice. Toss with oil so that the sprouts are well coated. Sprinkle generously with salt and a few turns of black pepper.
2) Put Brussels sprouts in oven on top rack, cook for 20 minutes, then stir so that the sprouts get coated with the oil in the pan. Cook for another 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with Parmesan and cook for another 5 minutes.
The sprouts should be nicely browned, some of the outside leaves crunchy, the interior should be cooked through.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

CRUSTLESS BROCCOLI QUICHES



Elegant, healthy, romantic, and delicious! What more could a valentine ask for?
Enjoy.

Ingredients:Organic Butter, for ramekins
Kosher or Sea Salt
1 cup Broccoli florets, very lightly steamed and cooled
6 large organic, free range eggs
½ cup organic half-and-half (or ¼ cup each organic milk and cream)
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
¾ cup shredded organic (hopefully raw) cheddar cheese (3 ounces)


Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter 4 8-ounce ramekins (or a 9-inch pie dish); set aside
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, and seasonings. Stir in broccoli and cheese.
Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle quiche mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve immediately -the beautifully puffed quiches will fall somewhat as they cool.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner Menus


My friend, Joanne, had the idea to make up a "Maximized Valentine's Day Dinner Menu." I was immediately inspired, and couldn't believe I hadn't thought of it myself. Here are some ideas for a three course menu - all mix and match of course, and all delicious. For each suggested recipe, remember to use quality ingredients - organic if at all possible in the case of the fruits and vegetables, and free range organic, or wild caught in the case of the meats and fish. The recipes can all be found in GOOD FOOD, MAXIMIZED LIVING NUTRITION PLAN, or here within the pages of this Blog. Enjoy.
Appetizer Choices:
Spinach Salad with fennel, pine nuts, sliced strawberries, and Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette
Leek and White Asparagus Soup
Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic, and Leek Soup

Main Course Choices:Crust-less Broccoli Quiche with grilled Asparagus
Lemon Chicken on a Bed of Pureed Cauliflower, with Mediterranean Zucchini Boats
Pan Seared Salmon with Avocado Remoulade and Green Beans
Grilled grass-fed steak with Chimichurri Sauce and mixed vegetables

Dessert Choices:
Strawberry Shortcake
Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
Chocolate Pecan Torte with Strawberry Sauce or Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake for Valentine's Day



I had a brilliant idea last week as I posted the recipe for the Chocolate Cupcakes. I mentioned that both "chocolate" and "vanilla" cupcake recipes could be found in GOOD FOOD, the "vanilla" being the Basic Almond Flour Cupcake recipe. I realized then that these adorable yellow cupcakes would make the perfect cake base for Strawberry Shortcake, a Valentine's Day dessert favorite.
If I were making this dessert, I would simply use the "Strawberry Sauce" recipe in GOOD FOOD, spoon it over split Almond Flour Cupcakes, and then top it with stevia sweetened, whipped organic Cream.
Ain't love grand?
Enjoy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

FISH FRY DINNER



With very minor changes, you can enjoy fish that your children won’t feed to the cat.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:1 to 2 pounds of wild caught fresh or frozen fish of your choice, such as:
Flounder
Grouper
Red Snapper
Amberjack
White fish of all varieties
Note: Wild caught frozen fish, thawed, is perfectly acceptable, and very affordable.
3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon pepper – choose your favorite seasonings
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil
Lemon wedges (optional)


Preparation:1) When the rest of your dinner is prepared and your table is set, heat the coconut oil in a large skillet. (This process takes very little time, but requires your full attention.)
2) Lightly season your fish, and then dust or dredge in the coconut flour.
3) Sauté the fish in coconut oil over medium high heat for approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fish, until the coating is golden brown and the fish is cooked, and flakes to the touch.
4) Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Important Note: See the blog about cookware.

ROASTED SHALLOT SALAD DRESSING


If I remember correctly, this recipe also came from my friend, Chantal, one of the best cooks I know. This salad dressing became a family favorite immediately. It is so nice to have a dressing that tastes "gourmet" but is ready and waiting in the fridge.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:1 Small Bag Shallots (6 to 8 count)
2 teaspoons Coconut Oil
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar, plus extra for deglazing
2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation:1) Peel and slice the Shallots; then sauté them in Coconut Oil until they begin to caramelize.
2) Deglaze the pan with some balsamic vinegar, and remove from heat.
3) Pour the shallots and vinegar into a blender, and add more balsamic vinegar – approximately one cup.
4) Turn the blender on, at first to a low setting, and then increasing the speed as the shallots are incorporated.
5) Once the high setting has been established, stream in approximately two cups of olive oil, very slowly so the dressing will emulsify.
6) Taste. Add salt and pepper as needed.
Store in refrigerator

Monday, January 25, 2010

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES


Valentine's Day cards and chocolates are in the stores already! There must be a massive corporate conspiracy to get all North Americans to buy and eat all the sugar and grains in all the stores, regardless of what they will do to our health, as long as there is a profit for the sugar and grains companies! This calls for a revolution! Sugar-free, grain-free chocolate cupcakes.
Enjoy.
Ingredients:
 2 cups pecans
• 1/3 cup cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 4 eggs
• 1/2 cup (I stick) butter, melted
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (no sugar - check the label)
• Stevia equivalent to approximately 1 cup of sugar, or to taste
• 1/2 cup water (or unsweetened almond milk – I use the chocolate flavor) (You could use coffee.)

Preparation:
Heat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with silicone cups or paper liners.
1) Process pecans in food processor ‐ pulse until they are meal, not quite as small as corn meal.
2) Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse again.
3) Add the wet ingredients and process until well‐blended.
4) Separate into muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The exact time will vary with the pan. Start checking at 20 minutes. When you can smell them baking, it is a good time to start checking for doneness. When toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, the cupcakes are done.
p.s. If you are not a fan of chocolate, there is a basic Almond Flour cupcake recipe in GOOD FOOD. This will give you a "vanilla" cupcake result.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

LIME & WALNUT COLESLAW



Limes or chilis left over from the Chili Lime Butter recipe? Try this. It has been a family favorite at my house for years. Leave out the jalapeno if you like it milder.
Enjoy.
Ingredients:1 1/2 cups raw walnut pieces
1/2 of a medium‐large cabbage
1 basket of tiny cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered (optional – not pictured here)
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and diced
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped (I use parsley because I prefer it to cilantro)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preparation:
1) Cut the cabbage into two quarters and cut out the core. Using a knife shred each quarter into whisper thin slices. The key here is bite‐sized and thin. If any pieces look like they might be awkwardly long, cut those in half.
2) Combine the cabbage, walnuts, tomatoes, jalapeno (optional), and cilantro or parsley in a bowl.
3) In a separate bowl combine the lime juice, olive oil, salt. Add to the cabbage mixture and gently stir.

Friday, January 15, 2010

CHILI LIME BUTTER FOR FISH



I always make a double batch of this. Everyone loves to add a dollop of it over steamed vegetables, or on a piece of flax seed bread.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:1/2 cup unsalted organic butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons minced fresh Serrano or Jalapeno chili, (including seeds or not, depending on how much heat you want)
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preparation:

Wear Gloves when chopping any chili.1) Combine all ingredients. I use a food processor.
2) Serve a dollop of this butter with each fillet of any whitefish you prepare.
Note: 2 teaspoons minced fresh Serrano or Jalapeno chili is approximately one average sized chili.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

AMARETTO CAPPUCCINO SMOOTHIE



If you are wondering if there is a way to “Maximize” an Iced Cappuccino, here it is. Sometimes, I impress myself.

Ingredients:3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 scoop Chocolate Organic Whey Protein
1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder
1 tablespoon “Spoonable” brand stevia, or equivalent, or to taste
1 teaspoon raw almond butter
4 strong coffee “ice cubes”

Preparation:1) AHEAD OF TIME: Prepare an ice cube tray with strong coffee and freeze. I use approximately 10 oz. of water to 3 generous teaspoons of instant espresso powder, and mix the coffee in a drinking glass before pouring it into the ice cube tray. Adjust the strength of the coffee to your taste. Once frozen, keep the coffee ice cubes in a re‐sealable plastic bag in the freezer.
2) Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
DO NOT consume after 3:00 P.M.

Friday, January 8, 2010

PAN SEARED SALMON WITH AVOCADO REMOULADE



This time of year, my nails, hair, and skin can become so dry. What a great excuse to eat one of the healthiest foods on the planet - avocado. The good fats supplied by this gorgeous fruit can not be duplicated. This avocado remoulade is a sort of "mayonnaise" without all the un-pronounce-able ingredients and trans fats you find in a mayo jar. The taste is absolutely delightful. It can be used in a thousand ways, as long as you eat it all up once you prepare it. (Avocadoes do turn brown - if they last that long.)
Ingredients:• 2 large avocados, cut and peeled
• 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (you can substitute lemon juice)
• 3‐4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon minced shallots or green onion
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or to taste (no sugar – check the label)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of wild caught salmon fillets
• Coconut Oil
Preparation:1) Put avocado pieces and lime juice into a food processor or blender and pulse until blended.
2) Slowly add olive oil, pulsing, until you reach desired consistency of sauce.
3) Add minced shallots (or green onions) and parsley, pulse just until combined.
4) Remove to a bowl, add mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
5) Coat the bottom of a sauté pan with coconut oil. (Earth Chef or Green Pan Cookware is the only non‐stick cookware I recommend. It is available at Zellers in Canada or Target in the United States.)
6) Season both sides of the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.
7) Carefully lay the salmon into the pan, skin side down first.
8) Cook the salmon until it is done, and flakes easily when pressed with a fork (approximately 4 to 6 minutes per side).
9) Serve salmon with avocado remoulade sauce.
Serves 4

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ALMOND PROTEIN BARS




One of the great things about a blog is that you get to have a "do-over" any time you need one. (When you publish a book, it's not that simple.) If you have seen this recipe before, but have had only limited success with it, try it again, following these directions. We hope this helps. If not, please feel free to post a comment about any problems you might have had, and we will do our very best to help you.

Protein bars are a real staple on both the "Advanced" and the "Core" Maximized Living Nutrition Plan. They make a wonderful lunchbox treat, but you do need to ensure that they stay cold. I take one of those tiny blue ice blocks in my lunch bag. That does the trick.
Enjoy.

Ingredients:
2 cups raw almonds
½ cup flax seed meal
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 scoops of Organic Whey Protein, flavor of your choice
½ cup raw almond butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup coconut oil
1/8 t.  of KAL brand or NOW brand powdered stevia, or equivalent, to taste (This is the sweetening power equivalent of approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar). Taste, and adjust to your liking.1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (No sugar – check the label)

3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and sweetened to taste with stevia and cinnamon (optional)


Preparation:
1) Place almonds, flax meal, shredded coconut, Organic Whey Protein, almond butter and salt in a food processor.
2) Pulse briefly, about 10 seconds.
3) In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil over very low heat.
4) Remove coconut oil from stove; stir stevia and vanilla into oil.
5) Add coconut oil mixture to food processor and pulse until ingredients form a coarse paste.
6) Press mixture into an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. (A parchment paper liner helps when you want to remove the bars from the dish.)
7) Chill in refrigerator for 1 hour, until mixture hardens.
8) In a double boiler, melt chocolate, stirring in stevia and cinnamon.
9) Spread melted chocolate over bars; return to refrigerator for 30 minutes, until chocolate hardens.
10) Remove from refrigerator, cut into 32 bars, and serve.


You can add other ingredients to this recipe, and just process them in. For instance, some people really love to blitz in some melted (unsweetened, of course) chocolate. (If I do this, I add another 1/8 t.  of powdered stevia to sweeten the unsweetened chocolate.) Personally, I prefer the bars "naked," without the chocolate topping. I simply do not complete steps 8 through 10.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Baked Wild Halibut Steaks


An Italian-style vegetable and feta cheese topping is the perfect enhancement to this delicious, light, baked halibut. The herbs and tomatoes will make you think it's summer!
Enjoy.

Ingredients:1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (6 ounce) wild caught halibut steaks
1/3 cup crumbled imported Greek feta cheese

Directions:1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with extra virgin olive oil.
2. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir in zucchini, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Remove saucepan from heat and mix in tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper.
3. Arrange halibut steaks in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Spoon equal amounts of the zucchini mixture over each steak. Top with feta cheese.
4. Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Chicken Savoy



Want a chicken dinner recipe that you can leave in the oven while you prepare the rest of the meal? This chicken is juicy and delectable. Anyone can prepare it, and everyone will enjoy it.

Happy New Year, Everybody.
CHICKEN SAVOY

Ingredients:

4 Organic free range boneless, skin-on or skinless chicken breasts
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup water with 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
½ to 1 teaspoon dried oregano or basil (your preference)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup freshly grated, real, imported, Italian Romano (or Parmesan) cheese
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Note: It is important that you choose your cheese wisely. Raw is best. Failing that, I have found that good quality imported cheeses from Italy and Greece are the next best thing. The problem with other cheeses is that they come from our poor, North-American, corn-fed, feed-lot cows. We don't want to eat these cheeses.
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1.) Place the chicken breasts in a 9 x 13 or other shallow baking dish.
2.) Cover the chicken with a mixture made of the water, kosher salt, and olive oil.
3.) Grate or mince the garlic and sprinkle it on the chicken breasts.
4.) Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and other seasoning over the chicken.
5.) Sprinkle the Romano cheese over the chicken.
6.) Bake at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
7.) Remove the dish from the oven, and pour off the excess fluid, leaving the chicken in the baking dish.
8.) Drizzle with the Balsamic Vinegar (if using) and serve.