Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nature's Table Cooking School

I'm about to embark into a new venture and open a recreational cooking school with nutrition in the mix.  I have a store front picked out (boy is it a diamond in the rough right now) and just chose a logo last night.  The excitement builds every day and almost can't contain myself right now!  Check out my new logo!  I'll keep everyone posted so you can come and enjoy a class or two, or three in the future.  We'll be marketing like crazy these next few months while the space is being built out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cooking Segment on CBS4Denver!

Today was truly an eventful day!  Started out with CBS4Denver filming a segment on cheap healthy cooking at our class today.  I got to wear a microphone with the battery pack hooked to the back.  Fun stuff!  Check out the video!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Perfect Rice

I've always had troubles making rice.  Either it was too sticky or too al dente.  In my search to make the perfect rice I finally found a solution.   Give it a try and you too will end up with perfect rice that's not sticky or gummy.

4-quart Pressure Cooker works best
Perfect Rice

Equipment used:  Pressure Cooker; 4 quart pot


2 cups brown short grain rice, soaked and rinsed
*4 cups chicken or beef stock (water works too)
1 t salt

In the 4-quart pot bring 4 cups of liquid to a boil.

In the pressure cooker, dry toast, over medium heat, the rice until nice and nutty, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the hot liquid and salt.  Put the lid on the pressure cooker.  When the pot is under pressure (indicated by the yellow pressure indicator that pops up on the Fagor models) begin the timer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes.  Release pressure according to the manufactures suggestions and taste the rice.  If it's done place the lid back on and let steam for 10 minutes.  There will be liquid in the pot so don't be alarmed.  Strain, season according to taste and serve.  If the rice is not done, place the lid back on and place on the stove and cook at pressure for 3-5 more minutes.

This, by far, is my favorite method. I know I have to get an extra pot dirty but the end result is worth it to me!

Why should I soak my grains?  Read this article to find out why...

TIP:  Make double and use later in the week!

*I used my leftover pork stock from my Carnitas.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy 4th!

What are you cooking on the 4th?  We went to Farmer's Market today and bought buffalo burgers and brats.  Then headed on over to Natural Grocers and got some organic corn on the cob, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  It's American food, my style!  Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Healthy Meal - Frittata, Salad & Fresh Strawberries

This is what a healthy meal looks like to me!  3/4 of the plate consists of fruits and veggies and 1/4 is protein also packed with more veggies!

Last night I made a frittata with shredded carrots and zucchini, a walnut-salad with fig balsamic dressing and fresh organic strawberries.  The strawberries were so sweet that honey was not required.  It was a nice evening to eat out on the back porch.

My tip is to make your meals with fresh, organic, colorful ingredients.  Leave the boxed, over-processed foods on the shelf at the's not needed in this recipe.

Farm Fresh Confetti Frittata

Colorful, Tasty, Healthy Meal

8 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 cup cheese, shredded
2 T fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste
1 T real butter
1/4 cup red pepper, small dice
1/4 cup onion, small dice

1/4 cup shredded cheese, to sprinkle on top just before broiling
chopped cilantro or parley to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, zucchini, carrot, cheese, basil and S&P.  Set aside.
  3. In a 10" oven-proof skillet heat butter over medium to medium-high heat.  Add red pepper and onion and saute until soft and translucent.
  4. Add egg mixture and gently stir with a wooden spoon until eggs are almost set (still jiggly).  Top with remaining cheese and place in the oven under the broiler for 5 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  With a hot pad, remove from oven and let set for a few minutes before serving.  Cut like a pie and serve warm.  Sprinkle top with cilantro or parsley.

Serves 4-6.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Grilled Mexican Pizza

Tonight I made Mexican Pizza's for dinner.  I added a couple of spices to my pizza dough mixture to spice it up - - Mexican Style.   Instead of baking the pizzas like I usually do I decided to place them on the grill.  My chef instructor said she grills all of her pizzas so I thought I would give it a try.  After I rolled out the dough I sprayed it with Grapeseed oil and grilled them on one side, flipped them over and spread refried black beans and cheese on top.  I had extra toppings for my family to add according to their preference.

Grilled Mexican Pizza

Spicy Dough
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 T chili powder
1 t Mexican oregano
1/2 t salt

  1. Combine water, yeast and 1 1/2 cups of flour in a large bowl.  Mix well.
  2. Add the oil, salt, 1/2 cup ww flour, 1/2 cup spelt, chili powder, Mexican oregano, and salt. Blend with a wooden spoon until dough holds its shape.
  3. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled 2-quart bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Knead the dough again for a minute or two to work out the air.  Divide dough into 8 balls.

Serves 8.

Make pizzas.

Roll out dough into a 6" circle.  Spray with grapeseed oil and place on a hot grill.  Cook one side for a couple of minutes.  Turn.  Spread refried black beans over each and sprinkle shredded cheese too.  Grill until cheese melts and crust is done.

Top with additional condiments like salsa, shredded cheese, jalapeno's, and/or guacamole.

After the rise.
Here are the spices I used.

TIP:  If you don't have a warm place to let your dough rise, turn on the oven to 170F for 30 seconds then turn it off.  Now you have a warm spot.

Baked Chicken Nuggets - 3 Step Breading Method

Make your own chicken nuggets using this SUPER EASY 3 step breading method.  Give this a try and you won't be going through the drive through ever again!  Know what's in your food!

Baked Chicken Nuggets - 3 Step Breading Method

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.  You will need 3 bowls or pie plates for each step.

1 pound boneless chicken, cut into 1" cubes

Step One:
1 cup favorite whole grain flour (whole wheat, coconut - my favorite, spelt, etc)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 T favorite dried herb or 1 t favorite ground spice (or both!)

Step Two:
2 eggs, beaten (for some heat, add a couple of drops of Tabasco)

Step Three:
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts mixture (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Note:  Could also add shredded coconut, favorite herb and/or spice used in Step One for additional flavor.  Be creative with your topping but be sure to chop the nuts finely.  A small 1-2 cup food processor works great or you could use a cutting board and chef knife.

Coat the chicken with Step One mixture, dredge through the egg mixture - Step Two, and then finally through the nut mixture, coating well - Step Three.  Place on the prepared sheet pan.

Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through.  I find that 15 minutes is sufficient and the chicken is tender and juicy with a nutty crust.

KEY:  Be creative and use the ingredients you have on hand.  Buy boneless chicken that's on sale or frozen.  If frozen, place the frozen chicken in a bowl, covered, and defrost in the refrigerator overnight.  


Nuts or seeds:  Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, brazil nuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Herbs:  Oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, thyme, dill, fennel, sage

Spices:  Chat Masala, chili powder, cumin, ginger, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, cocoa etc.

Other ingredients:  coconut, flax seeds, hemp seeds, parmesan cheese

For a touch of sweetness, drizzle with maple syrup, agave nectar or honey before or after baking.