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.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gluten Free Mexican Brownies with Spiced White Chocolate Drizzle

Today I was testing out my Mexican Brownie recipe that I adapted from Chef Aaron Sanchez.  I did use white sugar (didn't want time maybe I'll use agave instead) but used coconut flour and doubled the spices.  I love the way they turned out!  I think this will work out beautifully at a wedding I'm catering next month.  It's a Mexican Buffet theme.

Recipe...Mexican Brownies (Gluten Free)

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons mexican vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons Mexican cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides.  Press the paper into the corners of the pan and lightly grease the paper with an organic grapeseed cooking spray.

Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a large pot over medium-low heat; DO NOT BOIL!  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  Add the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon; while stirring add the eggs slowly; add vanilla.

Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and baking powder and mix until smooth.  Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a rack.  Use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before slicing.

Spiced White Chocolate Drizzle

1/4 cup white chocolate chips, good quality
pinch of cayenne pepper
piping bag

Place all ingredients into a plastic piping bag, shake gently to evenly coat the chocolate chips with the cayenne pepper.  Place bag into microwave.  Using Power Level 6, microwave for 40 seconds.  Press bag to mix, place back into microwave and repeat for another 40 seconds at level 6 until consistency is nice and smooth.  Cut tip off bag with scissors to desired width of drizzle.  

Cut brownies to size you desire.  Separate brownies and drizzle with spiced white chocolate mixture.  Let drizzle cool before serving.

Makes 16 brownies or 1 giant brownie for the chocolate maniac.   

Adapted from Chef Aaron Sanchez

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake -- embellished

Tonight my brother in law came over for dinner since he's in town on business.  I made broiled salmon with grilled pineapple and jicama salsa, kale salad and for dessert...Chocolate cupcakes with a white chocolate drizzle and a strawberry.  I used the recipe found in Elana's Pantry cookbook using coconut flour and agave.  They were yummy and gluten free too!!!

 At first the cupcakes seemed a bit plain so I added the chocolate drizzle and a strawberry for a punch of color.  My version of a healthy dessert!  I almost forgot, I did add mexican cinnamon, chimayo pepper powder and mexican vanilla to give them a bit more of a mexican brownie flavor.

Chocolate Cupcake with a drizzle of white chocolate and a strawberry!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sausage and Egg Cups

Individual egg cups are perfect for a nice breakfast with your family on Saturday mornings.  Add sliced pears, juice and coffee!

Sausage and Egg Cups  
Serves 4
Step 1, add sausage mixture
Step 2, add eggs then bake.

8 eggs (2 per cup)
1/2 t salt
pinch of pepper

1 t grapeseed or olive oil
1 8" link of your favorite sausage, small dice
1/4 small onion, small dice
1/2 small jalapeno, small dice

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly oil 4 ramekin cups. and place on a small sheet pan.
  2. In a saute' pan, heat oil and saute' sausage, onions and jalapenos until tender.  About 5 minutes.
  3. Divide sausage mixture evenly between the 4 cups.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with salt and pepper.  Divide evenly between the 4 cups over the sausage mixture.  Do not stir.  
  5. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until eggs are set and fluffy.  Serve immediately.  Beware, the ramekin cups will be HOT!

Eggs are done!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nutty Tabouli & Raspberries

Here's my version of a fresh parley salad...

Nutty Tabouli with Raspberries


  • 1 large bunch parsley
  • 1/2 small bunch cilantro 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries


  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • splash of maple syrup
  • salt and white pepper, to taste

Make the salad:  Chop the parley and cilantro.  Add tomatoes, hemp seeds, walnuts and onions.  Mix thoroughly.

In a small (1-cup) food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Pour over the salad, toss gently to mix well.  Serve salad with raspberries on top.

I will be serving this with a raw tomato basil soup and mint iced green tea.

Dessert:  Healthy Truffles!  Also a raw dish!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day! Chicken Noodle Soup

Today was a nice relaxing day!  Worked out in the yard, made tacos for lunch, traveled into the mountains in the afternoon, made homemade Chicken Noodle soup for dinner and chilling out with my family tonight.  I love days like these!

Rick and I in Idaho Springs CO
Chicken Noodle Soup

1/4 cup onions, diced
1 T grapeseed oil
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine, Chardonnay
1/2 t dried thyme
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne
salt and white pepper to taste
1 pound chicken, 1" cubes
1/4 cup shredded carrots
2 handfuls of noodles
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Saute onions in oil until translucent.  Add chicken stock and white wine and bring to a low simmer.  Add  thyme, nutmeg, cayenne, S&P and chicken.  Simmer until chicken is cooked through.  Add carrots and noodles.  Cook until noodles are done.  Add parsley just before serving.

Serves 6

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dirty Dozen/Clean 15

According to the Environmental Working Group it's best to buy only organic from this list due to the high amount of pesticides found in these foods...


  1. Celery
  2. Peaches
  3. Strawberries
  4. Apples
  5. Blueberries
  6. Nectarines
  7. Bell Peppers
  8. Spinach
  9. Cherries
  10. Kale/Collard Greens
  11. Potatoes
  12. Grapes (Imported)

Clean 15 (Lowest in pesticides)

  1. Onions
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangos
  6. Sweet Peas
  7. Asparagus
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Watermelon
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Sweet Potato
  15. Honeydew Melon
Be sure to download the App for your phone so you'll have this handy reference guide when shopping at the market.

Simple Nutty Oatmeal

No time for breakfast?  This recipe will definitely change that attitude!  If you've got 5 minutes and a microwave this is for you!

Simple Nutty Oatmeal

1/4 cup rolled oats, Bob's Red Mill
1/2 cup Almond Mylk**, or store bought will work too
2 T walnuts, chopped
1/2 t cinnamon
splash of maple syrup

In a bowl add rolled oats and almond mylk.  Microwave on 60% for 2 1/2 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and serve.  Serves 1.

**If you make your own milk, be sure you strain the nut meat for this recipe, otherwise, you will have a thick porridge like consistency.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Blueberry Yogurt Fruit Dip

Need a quick fruit dip?  Try this one.  Takes all of 3 minutes to prepare!

Blueberry Yogurt Fruit Dip

2 containers organic blueberry greek yogurt
1 t cinnamon
2 T hemp seeds

Stir all ingredients together and serve.

Makes 12 oz.

Saying "Thank You" through food!!!

Today 4 really nice college guys moved my oldest daughter into her new apartment.  So to say "thank you" I provided food.  After all, college guys gotta eat, right?  But I had to sneak in my "healthy" version of a cookout!!!  It worked!

I served...

Grass Fed Beef Hamburgers on Whole Wheat Buns
Organic Hot Dogs on Whole Wheat Buns
Broccoli and Baby Carrots with Avo-Hummus
Organic Blue Corn and Yellow Chips with Salsa Fresca
Sliced Watermelon
Grapes with Blueberry Yogurt Dip
Healthy Truffles
Blue Sky Sodas

It was funny because Ryan said he didn't like hummus but the Avo-Hummus was almost devoured!  Haha!  See, kids can eat healthy and don't even realize it!

Strawberry, Banana & Mango Smoothie

Strawberry, Banana & Mango Smoothie

Smoothies are a quick and easy nutritious drink anytime of the day.
  • 1 cup Mighty Mango by Naked Juice
  • 5-6 strawberries
  • 1/2 bag of frozen tropical fruit by Whole Foods 365 brand (contains bananas, strawberries, mangos, and pineapple)
  • 1 T agave nectar (optional)
  • Place all ingredients into a blender (or Vitamix) and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unsweetened Walnut Mylk

Unsweetened Walnut Mylk will be the perfect base for my Broccoli Walnut Soup!

I'm already soaking the nuts in the fridge right now!

Unsweetened Walnut Mylk

1 cup chopped walnuts, soaked for 2-3 hours (longer for whole walnuts)
4 cups filtered water

Drain and rinse walnuts.  Add walnuts and 4 cups filtered water in a Vitamix or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Strain through a fine strainer, cheese cloth or nut bag.  I use a strainer due to convenience.  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.  However, if you're making soup or adding it to your morning oatmeal it'll be gone in no time!  

Walnuts is a good source of Omega 3s!  The Standard American Diet (aka SAD) is usually deficient in Omega 3s and too heavy on the Omega 6s.  Omega 3s reduces inflammation in the body and can aid in proper brain function.  Check out this link for more benefits for increasing your Omega 3s.

Tip for what to do with the nut is in a dehydrator until all the moisture is gone.  Place the walnut pieces in a food processor and process until a fine flour is achieved!  Wah-lah!  Walnut flour!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Almond "Mylk" is SOOOO simple to make!

No need to buy the boxed "mylks" any longer!  Make your own dairy free organic mylk in a matter of minutes.

Almond "Mylk"

1 cup organic whole almonds, soaked overnight
4 cups filtered water
1-2 T honey or agave
1/2 t almond extract

In a bowl of water soak the almonds in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, drain and rinse almonds.

Place almonds in the blender with 4 cups filtered water, honey and almond extract.  Blend until smooth.

It's your preference whether or not you choose to strain the mylk or not.  If you choose to strain it, strain through a couple of layers of cheesecloth to catch the nut meat.

Refrigerate for up to 3 days.  Makes 1 quart.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kale Salad Filled Peppers with Raw Broccoli Salad

This Kale Salad was such a hit with my family a few weeks ago that I decided to fill it into peppers.  Very tasty!

Kale Salad Filled Peppers

Serves 6

1/3 cup sesame oil
2 T tamari
1 bunch kale, chopped
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup edamame
2 cups cooked brown rice
6 multi-colored bell peppers
1 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a jar add sesame oil and tamari.  Place lid on jar and shake until well blended.

In a bowl add kale coconut walnuts and edamame.  Drizzle 2/3'rds of oil and tamari and toss gently.  Place kale onto a sheet pan.  Roast in oven for 15 minutes.

Add kale mixture to cooked rice.  Add the remaining of the oil and tamari dressing.  Toss gently.

Slice tops off of the peppers and remove seeds and membranes.   Add kale mixture to the inside of each pepper.  Place the tops back on loosely.  Place stuffed peppers into a casserole dish and pour about 1 cup of chicken stock in the bottom of the dish.  Cover with parchment paper and then another layer of aluminum foil.  Bake for 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until peppers are tender and filling is hot.

Serve hot.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Like" me on Facebook!

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Gingerbread Spiced Pancakes - adapted from Sunday's posting...

Today I adapted the Honey Spiced Almond Pancakes and added molasses and hemp seeds.  Also, had to wing it a bit.  Only had 1 T of maple syrup but mixed it with raw honey and about a dime's worth of molasses.  TASTY!!!

You could make these up ahead of time and freeze them.  Pop each in the toaster for a quick and easy breakfast.  Be sure to use whole wheat pastry flour and not the regular whole wheat flour.  I find it makes fluffier pancakes.  Next I'm testing a gluten free using either coconut flour or almond flour.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Centro Boulder = YUMMY!!!

Today my husband and I took a drive in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and ended up shopping along Pearl Street in Boulder.  We were hungry and decided to eat at Centro.  I highly recommend this place!!!  Be sure to get the Avocado Salsa with Crab and the Sopa Azteca!  We will definitely visit this restaurant again!!!

Centro Latin Kitchen in Boulder

The Avocado Salsa recipe would be something like this...

Fresh Avocados, large chunks
Pico de Gallo, fresh
Lime juice
Olive Oil
Cilantro and possibly some fresh basil
S&P to taste
Fresh Crab on top

It's a wonderful chunky salsa that is served with Tortilla Chips with Lime and Salt.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spiced Honey Almond Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Apples

Start your day right with this SUPER easy pancake recipe!

Spiced Honey Almond Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Apples

Serves 4  (10 minutes)


  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 T honey 
  • 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ginger
  • 1/8 t cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T butter, melted
  • 1 T butter for cooking pancakes


  1. Combine almond milk and apple cider vinegar in a medium mixing bowl and set aside to "sour". 
  2. Combine flour, honey, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk.  Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.  
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt 1 T butter.  Using a gravy ladle, pour batter onto the skillet to about a 3" size pancake.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface.  Gently flip with a spatula and cook until browned on the other side.
  5. Serve with warm maple syrup, toasted almonds and sliced apples.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Kitchen is all painted and ready to cook!

So the new fridge led to new paint colors, 3 to be exact, and curtains.  Now that the kitchen is all cleaned up I'm ready to get cooking again!!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blue and Green Simple Salad

This is a super simple salad that's sure to please!  Most recipes are described by the ingredients but this time I felt it would be fun to colorize it.  Blue and green just go together like grass and sky.  The parmesan represents the clouds in the sky.  Look to nature for your next culinary inspiration!

Blue and Green Simple Salad

2 cups romaine greens, chopped
1 zucchini, halved and sliced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 small container blueberries
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese

In a bowl, mix all ingredients together.  Add a drizzle of your favorite vinaigrette.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Miso Marinade for Seafood

Last night I decided to marinate some salmon.  Baked it and served it over a Mache salad with a citrus shallot sauce and garnished it with almonds and orange supremes.  It was pretty tasty! leftovers were available.

Here's the recipe for the marinade.  You can use it for any type of seafood or chicken.  I would recommend marinating the seafood for about 1 hour.  Chicken would take a bit longer.

Miso Marinade

1/2 cup white wine (I used Sauv. Blanc)
2 T dried chives, fresh would be recommended but I only had dried on hand
1 T white miso
1 T tamari or soy sauce
2 T almond butter
1 T peeled and minced fresh ginger

In a shallow baking dish, whisk together all ingredients.  Add fish to the marinade and turn to coat.  Cover and plate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, turning the fish occasionally.

Grill or bake fish.  Garnish with fresh herbs and toasted sliced almonds.

Adapted from The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook

Friday, May 13, 2011

Frittata for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner

Frittata's are so easy to make.  I usually make one once or twice a week.  This recipe serves two or maybe just one if you're really hungry!

If you're making one for breakfast, go ahead and prep the night before to keep things super simple the next morning.  Prep time is only 5 minutes so don't stress over it.

For lunch, it's perfect with a small salad and fruit (as shown).  Dinner?  Add some blueberry sausage from Whole Foods to complement the dish if you gotta have your meat.

Zucchini, Sweet Potato and Mushroom Frittata

Preheat oven to broil.

Saute in an 8" skillet...
1 T butter
1/2 shallot, sliced

add just until fragrant (20 seconds)...
1 clove garlic, minced

In a mixing bowl, whisk...
4 eggs

add to eggs...
1/3 cup zucchini, grated
1/3 cup sweet potato, grated
2 button mushrooms, rough chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 T fresh herbs, (basil or thyme works well)

Add egg mixture to skillet, stir gently just until set.  Grate about 2 T Gruyere cheese on top and put just under the broiler.  Broil for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve immediately.

Today I served this with a small Mache salad and fresh red raspberries.

Serves 2

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Herbed Pork Tenderloin is so easy to make!!!

This recipe is super simple!  Give it a try!

1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
salt and pepper
1 cup chopped fresh herbs, choose a variety from sage, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, mint...the sky's the limit here!  Be creative
2 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Trim silver-skin and extra fat off of the pork tenderloin.  Chop herbs.  Season pork with salt and pepper and roll into herbs so the pork it totally coated with the herbs.  Massaging helps.

In an oven proof pan heat heat oil over medium heat.  Lightly brown pork but be careful not to burn the herbs.  Medium to medium low heat is critical here!  Once you have a nice golden pork place the pan in the oven to finish cooking.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 165.

Remove from oven and place pork on a cutting board.  Cover with parchment paper and then a towel to let the meat rest for about 10 minutes.

Slice on the bias and serve with your favorite sauce.  Goes great with Cranberry Orange with Caramelized Shallot Sauce.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Orange Walnut Vinaigrette reinvented...

Refer to yesterday's post for the Orange Walnut Vinaigrette but use it for a chicken marinade instead of salad dressing.  Add a few sliced oranges on the grill with the chicken and you've repurposed the vinaigrette.  Most marinades in the stores contains high fructose corn syrup.  That's one ingredient that I simply won't tolerate in my kitchen!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Orange Walnut Vinaigrette

I went hiking in the mountains with my middle daughter, Melanie, today.  As we were hiking back down the mountain she mentioned that she was hungry and began planning dinner.  I knew I had salad greens in the fridge and then decided to make my own vinaigrette with oranges and walnut oil.  So when we returned home the plan was executed.  Here is the recipe:

Orange Walnut Vinaigrette

Juice of 1 fresh squeezed orange (about 2-3 oz)
4-5 oz walnut oil
1 T maple syrup
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and White Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar with a lid.  Shake until well mixed.  Serve.  Keeps in the fridge for 1 week.

Drizzle vinaigrette over your favorite greens, add 1 T hemp seeds and shaved parmesan cheese.  YUM!

This is a mild vinaigrette, if you prefer it to be more acidic add a splash of raw apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.

Bonus:  Pics from my hike today!  I LOVE hiking in the Rockies!!!  We hiked 5 miles today!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Banana Molasses Muffins

I gotta give proper credit for this recipe to Anjas Food 4 Thought Blog!  I'm attending a party tomorrow morning and this is what I'm taking.  It's a healthier alternative to the mainstream muffin.  THEY ARE YUMMY and family approved!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cranberry Orange Sauce with Caramelized Shallots

Here is the recipe I used for my final exam yesterday.

  • 1 1/2 T butter
  • 1 shallot -- thinly sliced
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 10 oz frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1/4 t pepper

Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the shallots and cook for about three minutes, until translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and the rosemary, and cook until caramelized.
This takes about 10-15 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries have burst and sauce is thickened, about 20-30 more minutes. Cool to room temperature and serve. Can be made in advance and refrigerated, but bring back to room temperature before serving.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Final Exam

Today was my final exam.  The criteria was to prepare a protein, grain, sauce and veggie dish which may include a salad.  We were also to demonstrate to the Chef 4 different kind of knife cuts, plate and serve the Chef in 2 hours.  I finished 20 minutes early!!!

My menu consisted of...

  • Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
  • Cranberry Orange w/Caramelized Shallot Sauce
  • Brown Rice Pilaf with Basil and Toasted Walnuts
  • Apple Mint Salad dressed with a Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

This was the dish I served to Chef Lynda

This was what I served to my classmates.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kale Salad

Kale Salad w/Coconut Chicken
Tonight I made the Kale Salad from Heidi Swanson's new cookbook "Super Natural Every Day".  I HIGHLY recommend this recipe.  I added toasted walnuts and coconut chicken for a complete meal but it's totally optional.  

I was testing out this recipe for our graduation.  We're making about 10 hors d'oeuvres and thought we would stuff mushrooms with this salad and top it with a little parmesan cheese.  Broiled to perfection!

Did you know that Kale is one of the most nutrient dense veggies on the planet!  Check out this web site for more details...

Today's Lunch!

Today I had leftovers for lunch.  Broccoli Almond Soup with Fruit and Honey Spiced Walnuts!  YUM!!!


Graduation is almost here!  Next Wednesday I will be a Certified Natural Foods Chef!  The journey the last 16 weeks has been simply amazing and life transforming.  Three items you WON'T find in my kitchen are white flour, white sugar and hydrogenated oils.  YUK!

It is my goal to post my journey as a new chef along with recipes that I test in my kitchen.  I strive to cook nutrient dense foods bursting with flavor.  I'm hoping I can keep up with this blog daily!!!