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!