Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
~Harriet van Horne
We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink…
I have been cooking since I was a little girl. My fondest memories are being in the kitchen with my grandmother. For years my friends have been telling me to write a cookbook. I once gave several of my recipes to a lady I worked with and for Christmas she prepared them. During Christmas dinner, her children asked if she had taken gourmet cooking lessons. I still smile thinking of that story. The following are just a few of my specialties. I love to combine and layer different flavors and I feel cooking is really about imagination and creativity and of course wholesome fresh ingredients. I support local farmers and farmer’s markets and most of what I use in my cooking is locally grown. I hope you use these recipes and prepare them for someone you love. Enjoy!
He who eats alone chokes alone.
Where’s the beef? (video)
~1984 Wendy’s slogan
Beef is an excellent choice of protein and comes in a large variety of cuts or as ground beef. A 3oz portion of lean beef has 9 essential nutrients, including B12 and iron, and had only 1 more gram of fat than a 3 oz. skinless chicken breast.
Susanna’s Rib-eye Roast
- 5 – 6 pound rib-eye roast
- 3 Tablespoons grated fresh garlic
- 1 1/2 cups mushroom soy sauce
- 4 oz hosein sauce
- 24oz grape jelly
- 1 baking bag
Place roast in baking bag with other ingredients and marinate overnight in refrigerator.
Remove when ready to cook. Allow approximately 90 minutes cooking time for rare center (20 minutes per pound) Bake at 375 F.
After baking drain sauce into a large bowl, allow to cool in frig. and skim off layer of fat. The sauce can be saved in a glass jar and makes a great marinade for beef, burgers or chicken.
Serve roast with fresh horseradish.
I usually serve this dish with spinach salad dressed with mandarin oranges, walnuts, mushrooms, dried cranberries and dressing of choice. My favorite is T. Marzetti’s Original Spinach Salad Dressing.
Good choices for vegetables are steamed asparagus or artichokes with a small amount of butter or olive oil.
Red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon is a good choice with beef.
- 1 pound Veal loin cut into pieces 1/2 inch thick
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 1/2 cups half and half
- 4 tablespoons butter (may use 2 T. butter and 2 T. grapeseed oil)
- 2 cups fresh spinach (washed, drained and stemmed)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns
- 1 clove fresh garlic minced
- 1/2 cup portabella mushrooms
- 1/2 pound scallops or shrimp (shelled and deveined if shrimp is used)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
In a shallow bowl, mix flour with salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Dredge veal pieces in flour mixture and set aside. In a 12- to 14-inch sauté pan, heat butter over medium-high heat until melted and beginning to bubble but do not brown.
Shake excess flour from veal and place pieces in pan. Cook until golden-brown on one side, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn and continue cooking until golden-brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove veal pieces and set aside. Add 1/2 of wine to pan and deglaze, scraping lightly with a wooden spoon to loosen brown bits, then add butter, melt and add mushrooms. Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add half and half and continue stirring. Place spinach in pan and allow to wilt while stirring continuously. Add salt, peppercorns and shrimp or scallops and remaining wine. Add garlic last to avoid bitterness from overcooking. Spoon over veal and top with fresh grated parmesan cheese. Serve with white wine, zucchini in marinara, potato scallops lightly pan fried in olive oil or butter and fresh French or Italian bread.
Chicken, turkey, duck, and geese, are all domesticated fowl and sold in the United States for consumption and are high in protein and relatively low in fat. Domesticated duck and geese have a stronger flavor than chicken or turkey but a milder flavor than wild game birds, which cannot be sold but can be harvested for private consumption. The “gamey” taste of wild fowl or other game can be minimized by soaking overnight in a salt water solution (1 teaspoon per quart of water) or vinegar solution (one cup vinegar per quart of water). Another method is to soak the meat in buttermilk overnight in the refrigerator.
Stuffed Chicken Breasts in Mushroom Wine Sauce
- 4 chicken breasts
- 4 slices Gruyere
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3/4 pound spinach washed, stemmed and chopped
- 3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- salt and white pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions minced
- 1/2 pound fresh mushrooms thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute. Raise the heat to medium-high, add the garlic and spinach and sauté until spinach is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes. Transfer the spinach mixture to a colander and, using the back of a wood spoon, press gently against the mixture to remove any excess moisture, then let cool. Wipe the frying pan clean and set aside. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Set aside. Place each chicken breast between sheets of plastic wrap and using a meat pounder, pound until 1/4 inch (6mm) thick. Place 1 cheese slice on top of each pounded breast. Spoon one-fourth of the spinach filling onto the bottom center of each cheese slice and shape the filling into a log, being careful that it does not protrude over the edges. Fold the sides in toward the center and then, beginning at the bottom end, roll up tightly. Secure with toothpicks. Preheat oven to 425F/220C. In the frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. While the oil is heating, spread the flour on a plate. Roll the stuffed chicken breasts in the flour, coating lightly and evenly. Add the chicken to the pan and brown lightly on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the chicken to a baking dish. Place in the center of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 375F/190C. Bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to warmed individual plates and let stand for a few minutes. Remove the toothpicks. WHILE the chicken is baking, make the SAUCE. In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and sauté until the edges begin to turn translucent, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan by stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the pan bottom. Cook over medium heat until the wine is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the cream and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately.
Bacon Wrapped, Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts:
Pound out Chicken breast so it is about 1/4″ thick.
Mix together cream cheese and green onions and spread cheese mixture over 1 side of chicken breast.
Roll CHicken breast up to conseal cream cheese.
Wrap partially cooked bacon around chicken breast and secure with toothpick.
Place on baking sheet and back for about 30 minutes at 375.
Broil for about 5 minute to crisp bacon.
Holiday Turkey Wraps
Need a new recipe for after Thanksgiving turkey or a change of pace instead of sandwiches?
- Low carb tortillas
- Turkey slices
- Grated cheese (Mexican blend)
- Dried cranberries
Place lettuce leaf on low carb tortilla, then place thinly sliced turkey, a sprinkle of grated cheese, and dried cranberries. Roll tortilla and place a toothpick through roll. Cut in half and serve.
Easy Chicken Parmegiana
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese.
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- Grapeseed oil (Atomizer spray)
Preheat oven to 450 F. Place Italian bread crumbs in a large Ziploc bag with salt and pepper. Place 1-2 chicken breasts at a time in bag and shake. thoroughly coat breasts with bread crumbs. Place coated breasts in baking dish sprayed with PAM. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and pour marinara over each breast, add mozzarella cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. After baking sprinkle each breast with fresh grated parmesan. Makes 4 servings.
Fish, to taste right, must swim three times – in water, in butter, and in wine.
Fish and seafood are an excellent source of protein, vitamins A and D, some B complex vitamins (niacin, B12, B6 and thiamine) and minerals, such as calcium, zinc, iron, copper, selenium, potassium, iodine and phosphorus. In addition fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that help to control cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood clotting. Other health problems that may be controlled or alleviated by the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids from fish are asthma, arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, migraine headaches, cancer, and some kidney diseases.
There are hundreds of varieties of edible fin fish, shell fish and crustaceans and over 200 are farmed commercially. However, a dozen or so dominate world output. Carp, catfish, salmon, shrimp, mussels, scallops and oysters are among the most popular.
Susanna’s Seafood Pizza
- 1 box FILLO (Phyllo) dough
- 1 pound boiled shrimp (shelled and deveined)
- 1/2 pound crab (cooked)
- 1 jar Burgundy wine marinara sauce (I prefer Paul Newman or Ragu Chunky Garden Style)
- 4 oz sun dried tomato feta cheese
- 1/2 can black olives (drained)
- 1 each green, yellow, red, orange bell pepper (if available) Remove stem and seeds and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning
- Garlic powder
Thaw FILLO dough before using. Preheat over to 350 F. Separate approximately half of FILLO dough sheets and carefully place on clean cutting board. Brush top and bottom sheets thoroughly with olive oil and place in 9x13x2 inch Pyrex dish. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and garlic powder on exposed sheet. Onto FILLO dough pour marinara sauce to cover sheet. Place shrimp in 3 rows to cover pizza. Add crab, black olives and feta cheese. Cover with layers of bell peppers. Take bottle of olive oil and cover top of bottle with thumb to make shaker and shake a few drops olive oil over pizza. Sprinkle extra Italian seasoning and garlic powder if desired. Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake until cheese is melted (approximately 20 minutes). Allow to cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.
GENERAL FILLO DOUGH HANDLING DIRECTIONS
- Allow fillo dough to thaw in refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
- Carefully unroll fillo sheets onto a smooth, dry surface.
- Cover fillo completely with plastic wrap, then a damp towel.
- Keep fillo covered until needed. Do not leave uncovered for more than one minute to avoid drying out.
- Microwave butter until melted. This will give you a lighter and flakier pastry.
- Brush each layer of fillo with melted butter, margarine or oil.
- To prevent edges from cracking, brush edges first and then work into center.
- Be sure to brush the last layer of fillo with melted butter.
- Fillings should be chilled and not excessively moist.
- Fillo may be rolled and refrozen to store when not in use.
Susanna’s Easy Gumbo Medley
- 2-3 pounds boiled chicken breasts (after cooking debone and remove skin and cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1 pound shrimp (shelled and deveined)
- 1 pound polska kielbasa sausage (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
- 1 pound frozen okra (whole or sliced but non-breaded)
- 2 boxes Zataran’s Gumbo mix
Powdered crab boil (may add to gumbo for spicier dish)
To an 8 quart pot of boiling water (2/3′s full) add chicken breasts and cook chicken until done (approximately 25-30 minutes). Remove chicken, debone and remove skin, and cut into bite sized pieces. Save chicken broth in pot. Pour in both boxes of Zataran’s Gumbo mix and stir to remove clumps. Add chicken, sausage, and okra and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Stir frequently. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp turn pink, then reduce fire and simmer. Serve with garlic bread and your favorite Zinfandel or beer.
Susanna’s Shrimp, Portobello Mushroom, and Zucchini Alfredo
- 2 pounds shrimp
- 4 tablespoons Old Bay garlic and herb seasoning
- 1 stick butter
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 -3 bunches sliced green onions
- 8 oz sliced Portobello mushrooms
- 3 – 4 zucchini (slice about 1/2 inch thick)
- 1 quart half & half
- 8 oz grated Romano cheese
- 8 oz grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh minced garlic to taste
- sea salt to taste
- white pepper to taste
Fill large pot about 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil then add Old Bay garlic and herb seasoning and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are pink (about 3-4 minutes). Drain and set aside. Peel when cool.
In a large non-stick pan place butter and grape seed oil. Melt over medium heat. The addition of grape seed oil raises the flash point of the mixture and prevents burning. Once butter is melted add sliced onions, mushrooms and zucchini. Cook until onions are translucent but zucchini remain firm. Add half and half and heat until steam rises but do not boil. Add Romano and Parmesan cheeses and stir continuously until cheese is completely melted and mixture thickens. Add peeled shrimp, salt, white pepper and garlic. (Never add garlic until last because it tends to get bitter if overcooked.)
May be served alone, over pasta or spaghetti squash if watching carbohydrate intake.
Susanna’s Salmon with Pineapple Jalapeno Chutney and Wasabi Soy Sauce Almonds
- Salmon fillets
- Grape seed oil
Adam’s Reserve Hickory Smoked Sear and Crust Rub
Warm butter and grape seed oil in non stick skillet. The grape seed will raise the flash point of the butter and keep it from scorching and it great for the joints. Place salmon fillets in hot oil/butter. Cook to light pink color then turn and sprinkle Adam’s Reserve Hickory Smoke Rub. Allow the other side of the fish to cook. Turn and allow the rub to crust. Once the rub has crusted sprinkle other side with rub and cook to medium brown crust. Whole process should take 5-6 minutes.
Pineapple Jalapeno Chutney
- 1 T. Butter
- 2 T. Grape seed oil
- 1 large sweet onion (Vidalia when in season) Mince.
- 3 jalapeno peppers (remove seeds and stems and be sure not to rub face or eyes) Mince.
- 2 -21/5 cups fresh crushed pineapple (may use canned if in a time pinch but use in natural juice)
- 1 T. Apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp hapanero pepper (optional) This is a very hot pepper. (I have a crushed habanero that carries a warning because it is to hot, (Pineapple and sweetener will take out heat.)
- 1 tsp Adam’s Reserve Sear and Crust Rub
- Sugar or sweetener (small hand full – approximately 3 T. sugar or equivalent of sweetener such as stevia)
- 1/2 cup white or golden raisins
In a 2 quart sauce pan, heat butter and grape seed oil. Cook onion and jalapeno peppers then turn to very low heat or remove from heat.
Add apple cider vinegar, rub, sweetener and pineapple and stir. Lastly add raisins and set aside.
Top salmon fillets with Pineapple Jalapeno Chutney just before serving and sprinkle with
Blue Diamond Wasabi and Soy Sauce Almonds.
I serve this dish with a baby spinach salad topped with asiago or romano grated cheese. blackberries and pecans and use Walnut or pecan raspberry vinaigrette dressing.
Pork has been called “the other white meat”. Through changes in feeding and breeding techniques, pork producers have responded to consumer demand for leaner pork. Today’s common cuts of pork are 16% leaner and has 27% less saturated fat than 15 years ago. The tenderloin is the leanest cut of pork and meets the guidelines for “extra lean” – a 3-ounce serving has less than 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat and 62 milligrams of cholesterol. Many cuts of pork are as lean as skinless chicken. Bacon has the highest fat content of all pork products which makes it an excellent wrap to flavor and moisten other foods.
Roast Pork Tenderloin
- 3-4 pound pork roast
- 1 can coca cola
- 1 tablespoon garlic freshly sliced
- Salt and white pepper to taste
- Baking bag
Preheat oven to 350 F. Place pork roast in baking bag with 1 tablespoon flour to prevent bag from bursting. Pour in 1 can of coca cola. Add garlic and close bag. Bake at 350 degrees F. (20 minutes per pound)
As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists.
Do you remember when the slogan “the incredible edible egg” was coined by The American Egg Board? Well, it’s still true today. Eggs are inexpensive, low in fat and calories and very high in quality protein compared to other sources or protein.
The egg white contains more than half the egg’s total protein, niacin, riboflavin, chlorine, magnesium, potassium, sodium and sulfur. The yolk is comprised of all of the egg’s vitamins A, D, and E. In fact, eggs are one of the few food sources of naturally occurring vitamin D. The egg yolk contains more calcium. copper, iodine, iron, manganese, and phosphorus than the egg white and contains all of the zinc.
Although eggs are high in cholesterol, a study published in 2001 by nutrition researchers at Kansas State University reported that the lecithin in eggs actually prevents the absorption of cholesterol by the body from eggs and other sources, giving eggs a protective effect in the role of cholesterol.
In 2004, findings in a study by the University of Connecticut stated that eating eggs is not related to cardiovascular disease or body cholesterol levels and recommended that people eat 1-2 eggs per day.
Almost NO Carb Oopsie “Bread”
Two 1/4-cup servings
This high-calcium “pudding” has the benefits of cocoa and cinnamon – and the flavor of Mexico. Experiment with different brands of ricotta – they have different textures and flavors.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Ingredients: 1/2 cup lowfat ricotta cheese 2 tbsp mild honey 2 tbsp cocoa powder 1/2 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions: 1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. 2. Scoop into small dessert dishes and serve.
Per serving: 145 calories 3 g total fat (2 g sat) 11 mg cholesterol 24 g carbohydrate 10 g protein 2 g fiber 100 mg sodium
These are high-protein pancakes and quite a treat!
Prep time: 10 minutes Start to finish: 10 minutes
Ingredients: 1 egg 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1 tsp canola oil 3 tbsp whole wheat flour
Instructions: 1. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a whisk until creamy. 2. Push the cottage cheese through a wire strainer into the egg in the bowl. Mix well. 3. Add the oil and flour. Mix well. 4. Lightly oil a skillet and place over low heat. When the skillet is hot, spoon the batter into the skillet making four pancakes. Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. 5. Serve with applesauce, apple butter or your favorite whole fruit jam.
Per serving: 272 calories 11 g total fat (3 g sat) 217 mg cholesterol 20 g carbohydrate 23 g protein 3 g fiber 523 mg sodium
Huang Town Fry
- 6 eggs
- 4 tablespoons milk
- 8 strips bacon (crisp cooked)
- 2 tablespoons butter (or 1 T. butter and 1 T. grapeseed oil)
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet yellow onion
- 4 oz mushrooms (washed and sliced)
- 1/2 cup grated Swiss cheese
- 1 tin smoked baby oysters in linseed oil (drain excess oil) or 1 can plain oysters. (chop coarsely)
- Tabasco sauce
Cook bacon and set aside on paper towel. When cool, crumble bacon strips and set aside in small bowl. In a medium skillet melt butter and add onions and mushrooms. Sauté until onions are clear over low to medium heat. While onions are cooking break eggs into a bowl and beat until fluffy. Add milk and continue beating. When onions are cooked add eggs to skillet and scramble. Add oysters, cheese and bacon and fold into scrambled eggs. Add a few drops of Tabasco sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 2-3.
Mushroom Bacon Quiche
- 2 – 9 inch deep dish pie crusts
- 12 eggs
- 1/2 pound cooked bacon
- 8 oz mushrooms (washed and sliced)
- 1 bunch green onions
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 quart half and half
- 2 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and sauté onions and mushrooms until cooked, (about 6 minutes). Place cooked even amounts of bacon, cheese and vegetable in bottom of pie crusts. Melt remaining butter in skillet. In a large bowl, mix beaten eggs and half and half. Fold in remaining melted butter and immediately pour into pie crusts. Bake at 375 F for 30 – 40 minutes or until knife placed in center comes out clean. Serve with white wine.
Cottage Cheese Jell-O Treat
- 1 24 oz container small curd cottage cheese
- 1 large package of Sugar Free Jell-O Gelatin (black cherry or raspberry make good choices but you can use any flavor)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 small can pineapple or mandarin oranges (drained – no sugar added)
Remove a small amount of cottage cheese from the container (1/2 cup). Cover and place in refrigerator. Mix Jell-O into remaining cottage cheese and mix well. Add drained fruit and nuts and mix well. Serve cold. You may store in frig in original container. This is a good low carb dish and can get you over sugar cravings when dieting.
Low carb Cheesecake
- 32 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup Splenda
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sour cream.
With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese and Splenda at slow to medium speed, scraping sides often. Add all other ingredients except eggs. When completely mixed (with no lumps), add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating very slowly. When eggs are incorporated, do not mix any more. Over-mixing the eggs is a contributing cause of cracked cheesecakes.
Pour the mixture into a spring form pan. Place the pan on a very large piece of aluminum foil and fold the foil around the pan to create a watertight barrier around the cheesecake. Then place the barrier pan in an even larger pan halfway filled with water. This is called a water bath. Place the entire water bath in a preheated 300-degree over. Cook for 1 hour then reduce heat to 200 degrees for 1 more hour. Turn oven off and leave cheesecake in oven until the oven is completely cool. You may run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to separate it from the sides of the pan. If you plan to serve the cheesecake on a different dish than the bottom of the spring form pan, then you should line the pan with parchment paper before the batter is poured in. Make sure to grease both sides of the paper. This will make it easier to remove the cheesecake later. It works best if the cheesecake has been refrigerated fully before trying to remove it from the bottom pan.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals. They are low in fat and high in fiber, and are a major source of phytochemicals, and antioxidants which have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. The USDA recommends a diet containing at least 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. For people on a low carb diet that limits fruits, berries are the best choice.
- 4 bananas (slightly green) peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup butterscotch liqueur
- 1 pint vanilla bean ice cream
Over a medium fire, melt butter in non stick skillet (do not allow to turn brown). Add bananas and sear on each side, then add brown sugar stirring constantly. You must watch and stir constantly but try to keep from breaking bananas apart. Add liqueur and turn heat to low. Stir until mixture begins to caramelize slightly. Remove from heat. Spoon mixture over vanilla ice cream. Cooking time approximately 4 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
I large head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic grated or minced
2 large eggs lightly beaten
4 oz low fat mozzarella cheese
½ tsp onion powder
Marinmara or alfredo sauce
Pizza Toppings (meats and veggies)
Cut and place the cauliflower in boiling water with ½ tsp salt and cook until soft. After cooking, drain and place into food processor and blend until mashed potato texture. In a medium bowl stir together cauliflower, egg mixture, cheese and seasonings. Lightly spray grapeseed oil on pyrex dish or baking pan and coat with mixture (1/2 inch thick). Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until top starts to brown.
For Pizza: once crust has been in oven approx. 12 minutes spread on marinara or alfredo sauce, and add desired toppings. Sprinkle cheese on top.
3 cups cooked or 2 cans (15oz) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup organic dried cranberries (chopped fresh would be great too)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
1/2 cup scallions (green onions), thinly sliced, white & green parts
mineral salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon each)
6 tablespoons (1/3 cup) tahini or mayo
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) champagne, white wine or cider vinegar (I used Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar)
2 tablespoons water (only needed if using tahini)
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
Leafy lettuce of choice
Bread of choice – I use Paleo bread or low carb tortilla wraps, but you could opt to skip the bread and serve on a bed of leafy greens or a killer salad!!
- 4 medium eggplants
- 2 pounds ham sausage
- 2 cans tomatoes with green chilies
- 8 oz mushrooms (washed and sliced)
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 stick butter
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 3 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- black pepper to taste (I use about 2 teaspoons)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut eggplants in half and carefully remove eggplant from skin leaving skin intact. Boil eggplant in water with 1/2 teaspoon salt until tender (about 15 minutes). While eggplant is boiling crumble sausage into a skillet and cook. Drain and set aside. Wipe skillet with paper towel and add butter to pan. Melt at low heat, add mushrooms and chopped onion and cook at low heat until onion is clear. Drain eggplant. Add cooked sausage, vegetables, tomatoes with green chilies, cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs and pepper to eggplant. Mix well, then add 1 1/4 cup parmesan to mix. Save the rest of the parmesan. Spoon the eggplant mixture into eggplant skins and bake for 30 minutes at 400 F. Remove and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top of eggplants and bake for another 5 minutes. Makes 8 servings. Leftovers freeze well and can be easily reheated.
Eggplant Dip has a great texture with a tangy, vinegary, seasoned taste that is mellowed with the pita. I also like to smear the dip inside warm crepes for a different kind of presentation.
Ingredients: 1 eggplant (1 1/2-pounds) 1/2 medium onion, grated or finely chopped 2 tablespoons capers 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 4 pitas 1 tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Set the eggplant on a baking pan or dish and pierce it a few times with a knife. Bake it until it becomes soft, about 30 minutes; it should pierce easily with a fork. Remove it from the oven and let cool. When completely cooled, peel the skin off and put the flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the onions, capers, and lemon juice. Turn on the machine, then gradually add the olive oil. Continue to blend until the eggplant is smooth and creamy. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oregano, salt, pepper, and vinegar.
3. Warm the pitas briefly on a baking sheet, then cut each of them into 8 wedges. Arrange them on a plate or platter. Just before serving, stir the tomato and parsley into the dip.
Per serving: 169 calories 7 g total fat (1 g sat) 0 mg cholesterol 23 g carbohydrate 4 g protein 3 g fiber 175 mg sodium
Traditional patés are often made from high-fat meats and liver. They can be delicious and quite elegant, but less than nutritious. This vegetarian version is elegant, filled with flavor, and nutritious. Enjoy it on a special occasion or as an everyday spread with whole grain crackers.
Ingredients: 1 large eggplant 1 cup walnut pieces
2 teaspoons fresh gingerroot, peeled, grated, and finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, mashed 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice Salt and hot pepper sauce to taste
Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pierce the eggplant with a fork in several places and bake until very soft, about 45 minutes.
2. While the eggplant is baking, grind the walnuts in a food processor until very fine, and set aside.
3. Remove the eggplant from oven, slash to let steam escape, drain off any liquid, and scrape the pulp into a food processor with the gingerroot, garlic, and olive oil. Process until smooth.
4. Add the ground walnuts and allspice, and process until smooth.
5. Season to taste with the salt and hot pepper sauce. Spoon into a small loaf dish and chill several hours or until firm.
Per serving: 98 calories 8 g total fat (1 g sat) 0 mg cholesterol 6 g carbohydrate 2 g protein 2 g fiber 150 mg sodium
Pears are one of the few fruits that actually improve in texture and flavor after being picked a little green. You can store them in a paper bag for a couple of days to speed up ripening. A little softness around the stems and a change in skin color means they’re ready. Bartletts, red Bartletts, or Anjou varieties have the best flavor and are good for cooking. When the time comes for thickening the pear sauce, I prefer arrowroot over cornstarch, although it is a little harder to find. Arrowroot comes from a tropical tuber whose root stalks are dried and ground into a fine starchy powder that’s very easy to digest. Sauces thickened with arrowroot are a little finer than those thickened with cornstarch but you can use either.
The most potent ingredient in this dessert, and the one that gets it into my cookbook though, is the ginger. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is known throughout the world for its tonic and spiritually uplifting properties. When used fresh, it’s especially effective at improving digestion and calming nausea and indigestion — making it a great follow-up to any hearty meal.
Ingredients: 5 firm ripe pears 3 cups apple cider 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger root 3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract Salt to taste
Instructions: 1. Peel the pears, quarter them lengthwise, and core. Slice pears thinly and place in a saucepan with the apple cider and ginger root. Add a pinch of salt.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pears are tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Dissolve cornstarch or arrowroot in 1/3 cup cold water and add to the simmering pears, stirring, until the sauce is thick and clear.
4. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract. Serve warm or cold.
Per serving: 184.9 calories 0.9 g total fat (0 g sat) 0.0 mg cholesterol 46.7 g carbohydrate 0.8 g protein 4.7 g fiber
2 cups organic couscous1 cup organic apple
1 cup filtered water
1 organic cinnamon stick
1 cup organic
strawberries, washed and sliced
1/2 cup organic raspberries, washed
cup organic blueberries, washed
1 teaspoon organic cinnamon
fresh organic mint, chopped finely
Fresh mint leaves, to
1. Place couscous in a bowl. Pour apple juice and water in a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, and then pour over couscous. Cover bowl with a towel or sushi mat and leave for about 5 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove cinnamon stick and fluff couscous with a fork.
2. Add mint and berries to the couscous.Sprinkle with cinnamon. Toss gently.
3. Place in bowls and garnish with mint leaves.
-Use cranberry juice instead of apple
-Add orange zest
-Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt
Start to finish: 10 minutes
Ingredients: 1 cup spinach leaves (or other greens) torn
1 egg 1 egg white 1 tsp fresh grated ginger root 1 tsp Italian or other seasoning mix 1 tbsp salsa
Instructions: Tear up the spinach leaves and steam very briefly. (Put the torn leaves in a small saucepan with 1/4 cup of boiling water, cover the saucepan, turn off the heat and allow to steam for about 3-5 minutes. Baby spinach leaves take just 3 minutes.) Fold into the beaten eggs with the grated ginger, salsa and seasoning. Cook on a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray, turning as needed until the eggs are set.
Per serving: 105 calories 5 g total fat (1 g sat) 187 mg cholesterol 3 g carbohydrate 10 g protein 1 g fiber 204 mg sodium
Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake Ice Cream Sunday
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
3-4 tablespoons milk (as needed
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups powdered sugar
ice cream (for serving)
caramel sauce (for serving;
this one is delicious!)
whipped cream (for
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large
bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together and set
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, bring the butter, vegetable oil,
cocoa powder, and water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the dry
ingredients well. Mix in the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Bake the skillet cake
at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with
just a few moist crumbs.
While the cake starts to cool, make the
frosting. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil.
Remove them from heat and add the icing sugar, nuts, and vanilla. Stir to
combine. Pour over the warm cake, spread with a spatula, and serve with vanilla
bean ice cream, caramel sauce, and whipped cream.
2 cups cocoa (I actually use 3 cups because my friends like it chocolatier)
1 pound salted butter
2 pound box Velveeta cheese
REAL vanilla extract (about an ounce in each bowl of wet mixture)
1 pound pecans or walnuts or a mixture of both (Macadamia nuts are also nice)
3 fingers of LIMU original
2 scoops LIMU Lean
2 T. Coconut oil
1 container Greek yogurt
1 cup ice cubes
LIMU Halloween Smoothie
2 Scoops Vanilla LIMU Lean
2 oz LIMU Original
1 large carrot
1 orange peeled (may substitute small sweet potato)
1 banana peeled (optional)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 ice cubes
Cut carrots into smaller pieces and grate with food processor. Add to other ingredients in blender and enjoy!
2 Scoops Vanilla LIMU Lean
1 medium cucumber (peeled and sliced)
1 cup water
1 cup ice
1 Lime (juiced)
Kale Orange Smoothie
2 Scoops LIMU Lean
1 Orange peeled
1 cup Kale chopped
1 cup unsweetened almond, coconut, hemp or rice milk
2 T. ground flax or chia seeds
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Pear Ginger Smoothie
2 Scoops Vanilla LIMU Lean
1 pear (cored and quartered)
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (may use almond, coconut, hemp or rice milk)
1 cup ice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
Pinch or nutmeg
Blend all ingredients and top with nutmeg
LIMU LEAN Strawberry Vanilla Smoothie
2 scoops vanilla Limu Lean
8 ozs V8 Splash Smoothies strawberry/banana
1 6oz Greek yogurt
6 ice cubes Blend well and enjoy!!
Substitute LIMU Vanilla Lean for Protein Powder
Substitute LIMU Lean Dutch Chocolate for Soy Milk
What is Stevia?
For those of you that are hearing about stevia for the first time, it is a plant that is typically grown in South America, and while its extract is 200 times sweeter than sugar, it does not raise blood insulin levels. That’s what makes it so popular. However in 1991 the FDA refused to approve this substance for use due to pressure from makers of artificial sweeteners like Sweet n’ Low and Equal (a one billion dollar industry). But in 2008, the FDA approved the use of rebaudioside compounds that were derived from the stevia plant by Coca-Cola (Cargill) and PepsiCo – hmmm doesn’t that sound suspicious? Not until a major food company got involved did stevia become legal, and only after it had been highly processed using a patentable chemical-laden process…so processed that Truvia (Coca-Cola’s branded product) goes through about 40 steps to process the extract from the leaf, relying on chemicals like acetone (fingernail polish remover), methanol (antifreeze), ethanol, acetonitrile (solvent), and isopropanol (rubbing alcohol). Some of these chemicals are known carcinogens (substances that cause cancer), and none of those ingredients sound like real food, do they?
The whole leaf stevia that you can grow in your backyard (and has been used for centuries in countries like Brazil and Paraguay) remains a non-approved food additive by the FDA. However, rebaudioside A (the stevia extract) that was approved by the FDA has not been used for centuries and long term human health impacts have not been studied and are still unknown. The sweetener/sugar industry wields powerful influence over what is ultimately approved at the FDA, and this is just another example where they are influencing decisions that don’t make sense. How can a chemically derived extract be deemed safe in processed food and a plant from mother nature not?
Stevia Kills 71% of Breast Cancer Cells in Vitro: Stevioside, the intensely sweet compound found in the herb stevia, has been found to kill up to 71% of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) after 72 hours of treatment. Researchers also discovered that this stevia compound acts as an antioxidant for healthy cells and helps protect them from damage. But it does just the opposite to the breast cancer cells and floods them with toxic free radicals. This halts DNA replication and disrupts the cancer cells’ mitochondria, quickly causing the cancer cells to die. This study marks the first discovery of stevia being active against breast cancer (only activity against skin cancer has been shown in the past). Stevioside and its related compounds (steviol, isosteviol and rebaudioside A) have also shown significant anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting and blood sugar-stabilizing effects. A recent study showed that aspartame may significantly raise the risk of several cancers in humans (leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma), and other artificial sweeteners are now being viewed with increasing scrutiny. It’s nice to know that the herb stevia – nature’s answer to sweetness – is safe, healthy and may actually protect us from cancer and other diseases. Stevia could therefore be a great replacement for sugar as part of a lower calorie, healthy and balanced diet focused on organic fruit, vegetables and whole foods. The study can be read in full at www.pubmed.gov.
What “Stevia” Products to AVOID due to other Additives: Not all “Stevia” products are created equal, natural, pure or even organic! You must read labels!!!
Truvia (Erythritol, Stevia Leaf Extract, Natural Flavors)
Nature’s Place All Natural Stevia (Erythritol. Rebianna, Natural Flavors)
STEVIA IN THE RAW (Dextrose, Stevia Leaf Extract)
PURE VIA (Dextrose, Reb A (Stevia Extract) Cellulose Powder, Natural Flavors)
WHOLESOME Sweeteners Organis Stevia (Organic Agave Inulin, Organic Stevia Extract, Silica - used to make concrete and glass and is also an additive in most processed salt. Silica enters the body and microparticles can cause damage to organs, veins and arteries and may lead to plaque formation.)
- Buy a stevia plant for your garden (luckily it’s totally legal!) or purchase the pure dried leaves online – you can grind up them up using a spice grinder (or use a mortar and pestle) for your own powdered stevia.
- When choosing products already sweetened with stevia, look for “whole leaf stevia” on the ingredient label.
- Add fresh or dried leaves directly to tea or drinks for natural sweetness (note the straight stevia leaves are only 30-40 times sweeter than sugar, vs. 200 times using the extract).
- Make your own liquid stevia extract (Recipe below).
- If you are not up for getting a stevia plant of your own or making your own extract, remember to look for a stevia extract that is 100% pure without added ingredients (Sweet Leaf & Trader Joe’s have versions). Sweet Leaf brand has Stevia in flavors as well such as chocolate, hazelnut, English toffee, lemon, orange and others as well as plain stevia.)
When all else fails, choose a suitable alternative and forget stevia altogether. Lisa uses honey and pure maple syrup, and I personally prefer coconut palm sugar, since it is low glycemic (making it more diabetic friendly) and one of the most natural unprocessed forms of sugar available. It is naturally high in amino acids – has 10,000 times more potassium, 20 times more magnesium and 20 times more iron than conventional sugar.
Home Made Stevia Recipe
- Pick leaves off stevia plant, discard the stems, and dry the leaves for 12 hours in the sun.
- Once your leaves are dry, grind them in a food processor or coffee grinder to make pure stevia. I find that a coffee grinder makes for the finest powder and works very nicely.
- Note ~ homegrown stevia powder is not as sweet as store bought stevia (300 times sweeter than sugar). To cook with home grown stevia simply replace every 1 cup of sugar with 3-4 teaspoons of homegrown stevia.
- To make liquid stevia, dissolve 1/4 cup pure homegrown stevia powder with 1 cup hot filtered water. Stir and leave out at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours strain the stevia out of the liquid and store the liquid stevia in the refrigerator.
That is it. It tastes amazing and you will never buy store bought stevia again. One plant usually supplies enough stevia to last me a year. Remember, a little goes a long way!! So head on out and get yourself a stevia plant and try this for yourself. You won’t be disappointed!
Fill a jar with local honey. Add lemon slides, about 12 – 15 pods of garlic, 3 chili peppers and 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger. Store in refrigerater and stir before using. May double as a glaze for meat or seafood.
Great food is like great sex. The more you have the more you want.
There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won’t, and that’s a wife who can’t cook and will.
Disclaimer: “LIMU products are not drugs and have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are simply dietary supplements and are not intended to diagnose, cure or treat any illness or disease. While your body may experience amazing positive health responses when you feed it the right nutritional building blocks, and there is indeed reliable scientific evidence supporting the beneficial effect key ingredients of LIMU products have on the immune system, there is insufficient scientific evidence to support some of the specific therapeutic results reported by users of the product. We therefore promote LIMU products for their benefit on the immune.”