Sunday, September 15, 2019

Three Bean Salad

This salad is both filling and refreshing. I love taking it for lunch instead of a sandwich.

Three Bean Salad


¼ cup vinegar (Red wine and white balsamic, or all one or the other or different kind!)

3 -4 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

Pinch of crushed red pepper

½ tsp onion powder, dill

1-2 TBSP honey or sugar

Salt to taste

¼ tsp black pepper

 2 cups green beans, trimmed cut into one-inch pieces

Half red onion, sliced thin and chopped finely

1 can kidney beans, well rinsed

1 can garbanzo beans, well rinsed
2-3 stalks of Celery, finely diced

1/3 cup chopped parsley

Blanche green beans (Boil a few minutes then drain and place in a bowl of ice water).

Put all dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.

Add beans, onions, celery, and parsley together.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This should last for several days but if it needs a little refreshing add more vinegar and salt.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Easy Pie Crust

           This pie crust recipe is very easy to make and has a tender texture with a bit of flakiness. It is a little soft for things like lattice work and may not be the prettiest crust but the flavor is awesome and it is a practically fail proof recipe that can be worked more than others.  

Easy pie crust

3 cups flour

3⁄4 teaspoon salt (can use 1 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon sugar (optional for sweet pies)

½ cup cold butter cut into bits

1 cup shortening   (refrigerated first) or may use all shortening

 1 tablespoon vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar (optional for sweet pies)

5 tablespoons very cold water ( start with 4 and use 5 if needed)

1 egg

  1. In a bowl, mix together flour salt and sugar
  2. With a pastry blender, cut in cold shortening until the size of peas. Next if using cut in bits of cold butter.
  3. In a small cup, beat egg with a fork, add in the vinegar and water; whisk until well blended.
  4. Add the water/egg mixture gradually to the flour mixture.
  5. Shape into ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in airtight container or in a Ziploc
  6. Refrigerate 1 or more hours. It can stay in the refrigerator for several days.
  7. When ready  lightly flour a silicon sheet or large cutting board or counter.
  8. After rolling out dough, cut into slightly bigger than the pie pan. Cut it off extra on edges

Use for 1 large double deep dish pie crusts. Or two to three top only or bottom only 8-9” crusts

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Golden Milk Or Turmeric Tea

Today I am sharing a warm concoction that I have been drinking most every day for the past month.It is called Golden Milk or Turmeric tea.  While it is delicious, I drink it for its health benefits as well as its pleasing taste, which is similar to a spicy chai latte.

I have been hearing about the possible benefits of turmeric for years now and I decided to give it a try. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
I am always a bit of a skeptic but there is lots of research showing turmeric may have some wonderful healing and pain relieving properties! There have been scientific studies which may show a link to turmeric decreasing pain from arthritis, osteoporosis, or fibromyalgia. It may reduce headaches.  Turmeric may help with such varied conditions as ulcerative colitis, stomach upset IBS, High cholesterol or high triglycerides. There is evidence in studies that it can help fight against colon and prostate cancers. Turmeric may boost immunity. It has some benefits for the brain in slowing or improving conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression. It may help with liver function and with insomnia.
Now I am not saying all of these benefits are certain and I am not saying you can get enough Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, by drinking this tea but it should help!  I read that 1 -1 ½ tsp  a day is a good dose for health benefits but you should start out with only ½ tsp a day to see how you tolerate .
Please check with your health care professional to see if it is good for you to have daily turmeric. There is some evidence that you should not take regular doses of turmeric if you are pregnant or if you have GERD. It could cause blood thinning so don’t use before surgery or if you have a blood disorder. It might make gall bladder issues worse. The verdict is still out so check with your health care professional. But I have been drinking golden milk daily and I am feeling less pain and sleeping better.

Golden Milk Or Turmeric Tea

Make a mix for four servings:
2 cups water

4 tsp ground turmeric (If just starting out, try using 2 tsp turmeric for the first batch)

3-4 tsp ginger, powdered, adjust to desired flavor

Five thin slices of fresh ginger or 3-4 small chunks of crystalized ginger, optional

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground or pepper corns

1 tsp coconut oil

3-4 tsp ginger syrup, honey, maple syrup, optional, you may add sweetener later with milk to taste

Pinch of cardamom ( or a pod, crushed) or cloves if desired

For serving- Milk ( dairy, coconut, almond, or cashew milk) and sweetener if desired

Place all ingredient except milk in small sauce pan and simmer for at least 10 minutes. If you have time, Let in sit for another 10 minutes before using.
Strain through a mesh sieve at least one time and place in a glass container. You may use it immediately in warm milk if you are making four cups or mix up one serving, see directions below, and place the rest in a container in the refrigerator.
To serve—heat up a ½ cup of this mixture and pour into mug of ½ cup warm milk—coconut, cashew, almond or dairy. You can add more or less milk as you desire. You can heat up the turmeric mixture and milk together in a sauce pan over low heat or in microwave but don’t get it too hot.
I think Golden milk is best served very warm.  Add sweetener such as maple syrup, ginger syrup or honey if desired, but not too much. Top with cinnamon if desired. You may want to skip the last sip as the spice will settle in the bottom of the mug and can be gritty.
The turmeric mix can be stored for a week or so in the refrigerator. I am not sure if it could be stored longer but it is best to drink this daily for maximum health benefits so it should be gone within four days anyway. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Pimento Cheese

Pimento cheese is a simple cheddar spread that is welcome at parties or on the lunch table at home. It is a really tasty and easy to make treat that is popular in the south but not as well known in other areas. It is delicious as an appetizer on crackers and celery.  It can also be used to fill cherry tomatoes or pitted olives. It is great on sandwiches or burgers.  It could be dressed up by forming a ball or log shape and rolling it shredded cheese. This was my first try at this. I looked up a few recipes at southern Living and adjusted them into my own spin on this classic. I will be making this one again.
Pimento Cheese Spread

4 oz. Cream cheese
3-4 TBSP Mayonnaise
1-2 tsp spicy mustard
2 tsp sriracha or hot sauce
1 tsp onion powder (or 1-2 TBSP grated onion)
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
8 oz. or so chopped jarred roasted red pepper or pimento
8 oz. extra-sharp white or yellow cheddar,freshly shredded  
8 oz. sharp cheddar, freshly shredded

Blend everything together in a bowl either by hand or with a heavy-duty mixer. Refrigerate for at least several hours.
Here is a photo  of our lovely winter down town area to get you in the mood for Holiday parties!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Crispy Vegetable Salad

Here is a delicious crunchy salad recipe to keep you eating healthy in the midst of all the holiday indulgences. This is not so much a recipe as a spring board. Try any of your favorite  vegetables  in this. If you don't like pickled vegetables feel free to skip them. Just try this and your vegetables!!

Crispy Vegetable Salad

Choose 4 or more of these vegetables. Enough for about 5 cups of salad.

4 carrots, sliced very thin diagonally
1 cup green beans or wax beans, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3-1 cup sugar snap peas, cut into 1 inch pieces
2/3- 1 cup cauliflower florets, small

2/3 - 1 cup jicama, julienned or diced
½ - 1 red bell pepper, julienned or diced
2/3 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup cucumber, de-seeded, sliced or chopped

For pickled veggies:
1/3 cup of mild vinegar like golden balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 TBSP lime juice, optional
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. salt

Add one or two of the following:

½ onion, sliced in  thin vertical slices or diced
8-10 radishes, trim and slice thin

Thinly sliced daikon
Optional: Olive oil, salt, lime juice, sugar, parsley, mint, to taste

Boil carrots for 4 minutes. Add green beans, or cauliflower and boil for 3 more minutes. Add pea pods for 30 seconds.

Place pepper, cucumber, jicama, in a bowl of well salted ice water. Add the parboiled veggies and extra ice as needed.

Heat vinegar, sugar, salt in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add radishes and onion. Turn off heat and let this sit for 1 hour. Drain but reserve pickling liquid.
Mix all veggies, mix some of the pickling liquid and a bit of olive oil and use this to dress salad.

You could also  make a dressing from 2 TBSP pickling liquid, 1 TBSP lime juice ,2 tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt or 1 tsp soy sauce, 2 TBSP sesame seeds, 3-4  TBSP olive oi
Let everything meld together in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more. This salad will be good the next day although picked radishes may turn it a bit pink.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Here is a repost of one of my favorite fall recipes featuring winter squash. It is a mac and cheese that is full of veggie goodness but you would never know. It gets a rich orange color and a full flavor from the addition of butternut or other winter squash puree.
Many are afraid of cooking with butternut because they think it must be peeled or chopped while raw. But for recipes like this one, the squash only needs to be cut in half or in quarters and then roasted . You could even pierce a whole butternut multiple times and then microwave it for a few minutes to soften the shell before cutting. After roasting according to the recipe, it is very easy to peel or scoop out the squash and then puree it. You could substitute frozen squash from the freezer section or even canned pumpkin. Or try some of the specialty winter squashes like the sweet buttercup or the fluffy kabocha; just cut and roast them like butternut.
Feel free to use less cheese if desired, it will still be tasty!

Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash

About 10- 12 side dish servings, 8-10 entrée sized portions

1 medium Butternut squash or buttercup squash or
kabocha or even canned pumpkin  (about 2 1/2 cups pureed)

1 1/2 TBSP butter

2 -3 TBSP flour

2 cups low fat milk, slightly warmed (may need more)

2 cloves garlic, pressed

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, maybe about a tsp.

½ tsp.  fresh grated nutmeg, Onion powder, paprika, thyme 

¼+ tsp. garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper

1 lb. pasta, hearty variety cellantani or elbow would be good choices, whole grain if desired

1/3 cup Greek yogurt, optional

1 1/3   cup Swiss or gruyere cheese, shredded

1 1/3   cup sharp or extra sharp cheddar, shredded

1/3 cup parmegiano reggiano, grated

2-3 large tomatoes (or use 4-5 roma tomatoes)

About ¾ cup panko bread crumbs (whole wheat is best if you can find them)

Another 2 Tablespoons Parmegiano regiano

First, cook the squash. I prefer roasting it for added flavor and color. To roast, you may wash and cut it into quarters .  OR you could peel it whilst whole and cut into cubes, which will cook a bit faster. Discard seeds or save them to roast like pumpkin seeds. 
Place squash into a rectangular baking dish, which you may line with foil. Add a little water and cover with foil, baking at 350 for about 45 minutes (30 minutes for cubes) and then uncover and cook for 15 minutes more.  Let it cool and peel if you have not yet.
Another method you could use to cook squash: simmer squash cubes on the stovetop in a large pot with water, about 25 minutes and drain.
 Once butternut is cooled. You may mash by hand or puree in a food processor with a bit of water.
Squash may be cooked and mashed ahead of time. Keep refrigerated.

Preheat oven to 375.
In a large pot, melt butter and add flour, cook for two minutes.
 At the same time, heat salted water in large deep pot for pasta. Once it is at a lively boil, add pasta. Keep the water boiling. Check for doneness
 To the butter and flour, add warmed milk and whisk or stir vigorously. Add the mashed squash and spices. Stir and cook for 8 minutes or so. If it looks too thick you can add a bit more milk.
Remove from heat and add Greek yogurt if using. Then stir in cheeses, mixing thoroughly.
Add well drained pasta and then place into a large rectangular dish that is lightly oiled ( I like to spray olive oil with misto sprayer).  
In a skillet heat 1 tablespoon butter and add panko crumbs stirring for about 2 minutes. Add 2  TBSP parmesan cheese, grated, salt and pepper if desired.
Thinly slice tomatoes and place on top of pasta. Top with bread crumbs and bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Crunchy Seed Sprinkle

Seeds are such a good source of nutrition! The seeds in this recipes are powerhouses of minerals, vitamins, protein, fiber and nutrients. Plus, they taste really good.

You can use any kinds of seeds or nuts but here is a good mix to get you started.

Add this sprinkle on top of sliced fruits, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, ice cream, toast with nut butter or just eat it by itself!

Crunchy Seed Sprinkle

1/3cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sliced almond

¼ c sesame seeds

3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1/4 cup shredded coconut

¼ cup chia seeds

Kosher salt if needed to taste

Toast pumpkin seeds, almonds and sunflower seeds in a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat, tossing often, until golden, about1- 2 minutes. Add sesame and fennel seeds; toast, tossing often, until golden brown, about 1 minute more.

Mix in syrup; cook, stirring often, until clumps begin to form, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in coconut and chia seeds. Season with salt if needed. Transfer to a parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet; let cool.

Other great seeds to include are hemp seed or flax seed meal. You could also add 2 tsp fennel, aniseed, caraway, or cumin seeds but be aware these will give a strong flavor.