Category Archives for World

Polenta and Greens

I love my greens and I figure you can never have enough greens in your diet. In this recipe, I used two varieties of kale straight from my garden but would work really well with the dark green Lacinato variety if available.  This Polenta and Greens recipe serves two as an entree and would pair really nice with a side salad.

1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/2 cup polenta, yellow, (corn grits)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, organic, low sodium
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
salt and pepper to taste

Equipment Needed
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Wooden Spoon
Large Pot

How to
Stem the onions and garlic in a 1/2 cup of stock until tender.

Add remaining vegetable stock and bring to a boil.

Slowly add the polenta and reduce heat to medium low. Stir polenta mixture continuously until thickend.  Add the chopped kale.  Stir until wilted.  Add parsley, Aleppo pepper, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot.

Serves 2
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 223.1
Total Fat: 1.1
Saturated Fat: 0.1
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 145.5
Carbs: 47.7
Fiber: 3.8
Sugars:  6.0
Protein: 6.7

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I like to use this in my recipes



Moussaka is a Greek dish that is traditionally made with meat and dairy.  My husband and I created this recipe together and we both loved it. This recipe is entirely plant-based and absolutely delicious.  It was so good that in the middle of the night all that ran through my head was I can’t wait to have leftover Moussaka for lunch.  We served this one up with a side of Spicy Garlicky Greens.  Give it a try and let me know how you like it.


3 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2″ slices
2 tbsp  olive oil
1 onion, sweet, chopped
4 clove garlic finely chopped
1/2 cup wine, red table
1 tbsp tomato paste, no salt
15 oz 1 can tomatoes, crushed
2 tbsp bay leaf whole
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/8 tsp allspice, ground
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
56.7 g/2.0oz (63.2g) prepared creamy cashew nut cheese (recipe to follow)

Equipment Needed
Sharp Knive
Cutting Board
Large Sheet Pan
Pastry Brush
Tongs or Spatula
Large Saucepan
Spoon8x8x2 non-stick square baking pan

How to Moussaka
Lighly oil the sheet pan with olive oil. Place eggplant slices on the sheet pan and lightly brush with olive oil. Lightly salt and pepper the slices. Place under a hot broiler until lightly browned.  Turn and repeat on other side.

In a non stick saucepan, add 1 T of olive oil and set over medium heat. Cook for approximately 5 minutes and add the chopped garlic. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, red wine, bay leaves, ground cinnamon, and ground allspice and reduce heat to low and simmer on low for 10 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly oil the 8×8 baking dish. Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom of the pan. Spoon tomato sauce over the slices. Repeat with a layer of eggplant and a layer of tomato sauce and an additional layer of eggplant. Top with Cashew Nut Cheese.  Bake in an oven at 400 for 20 minutes or until heated through. Turn on the broiler and lightly toast the cheese . Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before cutting.

 Serving suggestion
Make the meal complete and serve with a side of Spicy Garlicky Greens and nice Greek Salad

Serves 4

Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 275.5
Total Fat: 10.7
Saturated Fat: 1.6
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 447.3
Carbs: 39.3
Fiber: 15.4
Sugars:  18.0
Protein: 7.5

Download Moussaka Recipe

Cashew Nut Cheese

4 oz/1 cup raw organic cashews
1 tbsp or the juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, raw
1/8 tsp salt, kosher
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup filtered water or more for a thinner creamier consistency

Equipment Needed
Vitamix or High Speed Blender
Rubber Scraper

How to
Add all ingredients to the Vitamix and turn on to low.  Turn to 10 and to High and blend adding additional water if necessary for a thinner consistency.

Download Cashew Nut Cheese Recipe

Thai Butternut Squash Soup


I love food.  I wake up each morning and start planning on what I will eat that day but let’s face it, sometimes we are just plain lazy and don’t feel like cooking.  That is me on most days of the week.  I love this recipe for dinner and its all about the “garnish”.  Thai Butternut Squash Soup is one of my very favorite dishes of all time and it does not hurt that it is packed with nutrients.  Butternut squash is a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Special Equipment needed
Slow Cooker
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board
Spoon for stirring
Ladle for serving

2 – 2 1/2 Pound Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 to 2 ” chunks’
2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 small onion (or preferably half of a sweet onion)
1 T brown sugar
1 t Thai curry powder (I get mine from the Spice House in Geneva, IL)
1 Low sodium Tamari
1 T crushed red pepper (more or less depending upon your heat preference)
1 14 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk

for the garnish (prep after step two)

1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade 
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh roasted peanuts
2 shallots fried crisp in 1 T of peanut oil
4 green onions finely sliced
zest of 1 lime
lime wedges

In the Slow cooker throw in the butternut squash, stock, onion, brown sugar, curry powder, fish sauce, soy sauce and crushed red pepper.  Cook on low for 5 to 5 1/2 hours

When squash is very tender smash with a potato masher while in the slow cooker.  Whisk in the coconut milk and set slow cooker on high.  Now prep your garnish.

Ladle soup into heated bowls.  Top with a bit of each of the listed garnishes to your desired taste and squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice on top.  Enjoy with a cold Reisling.  

ref:  The Spice House

Chiffonade:  Leafy vegetables or herbs cut into fine shreds:  often used as a garnish*
Garnish:  An edible decoration or accompaniment to a dish.*
Vegan:  A meal that does not contain meat, any product or by-product that is sourced from an animal living on land, air or in water. 🙂

*Definitions from The New Professional Chef – The Culinary Institute of America – Sixth Edition Textbook

Spicy Garlicky Greens

This recipe was born out of necessity.  Necessity to eat something quick, easy, and use up greens that I bought earlier in the week.  Spicy and Garlicky Greens can be served as a one dish meal over rice or millet or served on its own as a side dish.  For those who are trying to avoid added oils, I offer two variations in this recipe, one with olive oil and one with vegetable stock.

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, sweet
2 cloves garlic
3 cups Swiss Chard
1 cup   Arugula
1 tsp    Aleppo pepper
1 tbsp  crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
Equipment Needed
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife
Large Skillet
Serving bowl

How To
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Chop onion and garlic and add it to the pan.  Cook until softened.  While onion and garlic are cooking, remove ribs from Swiss Chard and chop.  Add ribs to onion and garlic mixture.  lice the greens.  When onion, garlic and chard ribs begin to soften layer the Swiss Chard greens and arugula on top to steam.  Add the Aleppo pepper, pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.  When the greens begin to wilt,  stir well and serve hot or at room temperature.

Healthier Variation
Eliminate olive oil and use vegetable stock to steam the onion and garlic until soft.

Serving suggestion
Make it meal and serve it over steamed millet or brown rice.

Serves 1

Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 128.5
Total Fat: 5.0
Saturated Fat: 0.7
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 529.9
Carbs: 19.6
Fiber: 3.8
Sugars:  10.0
Protein: 4.2

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Mexican Style Fresh Pickled Vegetables

This Mexican Style Fresh Pickled Vegetable recipe requires fresh lime juice to give it a nice tangy flavor.  It is delicious as a side dish, a condiment for tacos or a flavorful topping for a sandwich. With no added oils and packed with fresh vegetables this dish is low in fat and calories, gluten free,  and is quick and easy to make. Give it a try and let me know what you like to top with it.

1/2 cup onion, red, thinly sliced
1 cup jicama, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ x 2″ sticks (approxmately 1/2 of a small jicama)
1 pepper jalapeno, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed (do not chop)
1/2 cucumber, seeds removed and sliced into 2 inch sticks
1/2 tsp cumin seed, whole
juice of 2 limes, fresh squeezed
kosher salt and pepper to taste
Equipment Needed
Mixing Bowl
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board

How to
Place prepared all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  Chill for a minimum of 30 minutes to let the flavors combine.

Serving Suggestion
Liven up tacos, sandwiches or wraps by topping with these fresh pickled vegetables.

Serves 4
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 31.5
Total Fat: 0.2
Saturated Fat: 0.0
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 143.7
Carbs: 7.7
Fiber: 2.2
Sugars:  2.2
Protein: 0.9

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Fresno Chili Spiked Hominy and Black Beans

Fresno Chili Spiked Hominy and Black Beans is the result of my search to use a new ingredient in a recipe this week. Hominy is made of dried maize, also known as corn. Typically hominy is used in soups and stews, but during the summer months I am always looking for ways to keep things fresh by adding ingredients from the garden.   Choose a variety that has been simply processed with salt and lime.  For black beans try to use no salt added canned or save money by cooking dried black beans and freezing them in pre-portioned containers.

I used fresh Fresno Chilies from my garden but you can easily substitute the Fresno Chili with a Jalapeno. Feel free to add more or less chopped chili peppers to suit your own individual spice/heat preference.

29 oz   white hominy, canned
15 oz   black bean, canned, no added salt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 jalapenos,finely chopped
2 stalk  green onion, sliced
Juice of 2 limes, fresh squeezed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
kosher salt and pepper to taste

Equipment Needed
Mixing Bowl
Sharp Knife
Cutting Board

How to
Drain and Rinse hominy.  Drain and rinse black beans.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined.  Serve warm or cold as a salad.

Serving suggestion
Use the hominy and beans to top salad greens, or as taco filling.  Make one day ahead.  This dish tastes great after the ingredients have a chance to marry.
Serves 4
Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 245.5
Total Fat: 1.7
Saturated Fat: 0.2
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 444.1
Carbs: 43.5
Fiber: 19.4
Sugars:  7.1
Protein: 13.0

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Pasta and Mint Pesto With Peas – Quick and Easy

Mint is the first herb that begins growing in our garden and is the first sign of spring.  I planted a small portion of mint in my garden three years ago.  It is taking over the garden and is almost impossible to kill, its kinda like the cockroach of herbs.  I do love mint so I use it in so many different recipes, from Asian to Middle Eastern to American.

My husband and I came up with this recipe of Pasta and Mint Pesto and Peas one evening after work.  It is quick and easy or should I say “easy peasy” to make. You may easily substitute another shape of pasta with a shape like shells. This recipe was inspired by Italian cooking in the sense we are using what is fresh and available and mixing it with pasta.   Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups fresh basil
1 cup   fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup almonds, sliced and toasted
3 tbsp  extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp  fresh lemon zest
1 tbsp  fresh squeezed lemon juice
5 cloves fresh peeled garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup frozen green peas
1 lb whole wheat bow tie pasta

Equipment Needed
Food Processor
Large Pot

How to Pesto
Add the basil, mint almonds, olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary to reach desired consistency.

How to Peas and Pasta
Cook Pasta in according to package directions. Defrost the peas under cold running water.

In a skillet gently warm the pesto and add the peas.  When pasta is al dante, remove the pasta directly from the boiling pot and add it to the pesto pea mixture and stir until coated with pesto.  It is okay and good to add a bit of the cooking water from the pasta to the pesto mixture to make it a little more saucy a tablespoon or two should do the trick.

Serves 6

Nutrient Analysis per Serving:
Calories: 394.7
Total Fat: 10.7
Saturated Fat: 1.4
Trans Fat:  0.0
Polyunsaturated Fat:  0.0
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.0
Cholesterol: 0.0
Sodium: 145.8
Carbs: 65.8
Fiber: 3.6
Sugars:  2.3
Protein: 15.0

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