Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creole Corn Bisque

This soup sounds really weird, but trust me, it's amazing! It has a bit of heat to it, thanks to the large amount of black pepper. Some folks add seafood to this...crab, shrimp, etc., but this is a vegetarian version. I first had this at the Selin's Grove Brewing Company and fell in love with it. An internet search guided me here to what I assume is the original recipe.

Vegetarian Creole Corn Bisque

1-1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
1-1/4 cup carrots, chopped
1-1/2 cups celery, chopped
1/2 cups dry sherry
3 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 bay leaf
2 quarts vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream (I used 1 cup evaporated milk with excellent results)
1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped (I used 1 teaspoon dried tarragon)
scallions and red bell pepper for garnish

Heat oil in stockpot and saute onioin, carrot and celery until soft. Add sherry and reduce by 1/2.
Add corn, bay leaf and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Puree soup in a blender or food processor and return to clean stockpot. Add cream, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add tarragon and serve.

**Add more corn prior to serving to give soup a slightly "chunky" texture.

Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffin straight out of the oven. Toodie, AKA Blueberry Muffin, looks on in anticipation.

Fresh blueberry muffin with coffee (putting in a good word for Life Flight here)

I'm constantly searching for healthy treats, and stumbled across a recipe for Coconut Flour Blueberry Muffins here. I've altered the recipe ever so slightly; they're delicious!


3 large eggs
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 Tablespoons coconut milk
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries (more or less to your liking)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare muffin tins (use muffin papers)...this recipe will make 8 muffins.

Combine wet ingredients with salt and blend well. Add coconut flour with baking powder, then add to wet ingredients and blend until there are no longer lumps. Gently fold in blueberries (make sure they're not too wet if frozen). I added the blueberries to the batter while they were still frozen...just stir them in well right away so they don't become a frozen mass in the batter.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. You can fill the muffin papers fairly full as the muffins don't rise too drastically. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until done.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Avocado-Pecan "Hummus"

Avocado-Pecan "Hummus"

This recipe couldn't be easier, and it's loaded with good fats and nutrients...a raw/vegan/vegetarian dream. You can use this as a dip/hummus, or use it as a spread/mayo on sandwiches.


1 cup pecans
2 avocados
2-3 Tablespoons flax oil
Juice of 1 lemon (or lime).
Salt to taste

Chop pecans in a food processor until mealy. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more oil or water if you want a thinner consistency. Salt to taste. I used fresh-squeezed lemon juice in this batch of "hummus", but I think lime would be even more perfect.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Southwestern Chana Dal Veggie Burgers

Southwestern Chana Dal Veggie Burgers

I love veggie burgers, but the store-bought ones are loaded with soy, wheat, potatoes and other things I'm not suppose to eat, or don't want to eat. Thankfully I stumbled upon an amazing cookbook by Elana Amsterdam called The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. In it she has a wonderful Black Bean Burger recipe, though I find it a bit heavy on the salt. Anyway, it was after making her brilliant veggie burger recipe that I came up with this one.

I adore black beans, but wanted to use something even lower on the glycemic index, and chana dal fits the bill. I ordered my chana dal from Bob's Red Mill via Amazon

If you're scratching your head wondering what the heck chana dal is, as I was not too long ago, here is a fantastic website.

Don't have chana dal? Just substitute your favorite canned bean, such as black, (small beans are best), or cooked lentils, etc.


2 cups cooked chana dal
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper, finely chopped. Use either green or red, but a blend of the two would be lovely
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon Ancho chili powder OR 1 teaspoon ground ground chipotle powder
3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped OR 2 Tablespoons dried (not nearly as good!)
1/2 cup blanched almond flour

Saute onions and peppers until soft. Add garlic and saute a few minutes longer. Blend together the chana dal, eggs, almond flour and all spices/seasonings as well as the lime juice. Add the onion/pepper/garlic mixture to this and blend well.

Heat a well-oiled pan (I like using coconut oil for this; it lends a wonderful flavor) on low heat and spoon enough of the burger mixture to make a pancake-size burger. They are a bit runny at this point but will firm up as they fry. Don't over-fry these, but brown them nicely. Flip them over once they start to bubble in the center and have turned brown. Continue to fry until they're brown on the other side.

I'm trying to create a sauce that would be tasty to accompany these, but in the meantime I've been using a healthy version of a buttermilk ranch dressing on them. Salsa would also be good.

Elana Amsterdam's Black Bean Burger recipe was used here

I don't eat these on a bun, but I suppose you could. My husband likes them but not on a bun...he's expecting a meaty burger taste and of course these just don't have that, so they're served on a plate with some other healthy sides.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vegan Vanilla "Milk" Shake

Looking for something creamy and cool to enjoy during the heat of the summer? Can't eat ice cream or dairy products? This Vegan Vanilla Milk Shake should should satisfy any cravings you might have. Mildy sweet (sweetened with agave nectar).


1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups ice cubes
1 Tablespoon agave nectar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
dash cinnamon--optional
small pinch salt--optional

Soak the raw cashews in 1 cup water for approximately 1 hour. This step isn't entirely necessary, but does soften the cashews a bit and will result in a creamier product.

Pour cashews and the water they soaked in into a blender. Blend on high speed for 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 cups ice cubes, agave nectar and vanilla. If you'd like to add the very small pinch of salt, do it now. Blend until creamy and smooth.

Has a slight "nutty" flavor, but if you like cashews this is not a problem. For a flavor variation, sprinkle a dash of cinnamon on top. You could alter this recipe in a plethora of ways by adding strawberries, or any fruit for that matter.

If you prefer a sweeter product, add more agave nectar. Agave nectar is low on the glycemic index, as are raw cashews, so this should be a good dessert for diabetics. And it's loaded with protein, thanks to the cashews.

Calories? We won't go there!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kale Chips

Kale Chips

The un-appetizing glob you see above is actually quite tasty. In spite of their glossy appearance, these kale chips are quite crisp. They don't store well, so eat 'em up the day you make them. You can store them in an air tight container, but they'll become soggy, yet still taste good. These are a nice alternative to potato chips, and quite honestly, the tast will grow on you if you're not a huge fan when you first try them. My husband doesn't like them, but I could just eat bags of these things.


1 bunch kale, about 6 large leaves. Washed and 2" or 3" inch chunks torn away from the tough stem. Discard stem.

1 lemon (or less, depending on taste)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large backing sheet with parchment paper. Place torn kale bits into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the kale, and season lightly with salt. Using your hands stir up the mess until the kale is coated evenly with the oil.

Place kale on the baking sheet, trying to keep it in a single layer. If it won't fit onto one baking sheet, use a second one or make them in two batches.

Place in oven and stir the leaves around occasionally as they bake. The amount of time it takes for the leaves to get crispy will vary, but should take 20 minutes or longer. The outsides will tend to dry out and finish baking before the center, no matter how much you stir! And be careful not to over-bake these, or they'll have a burnt flavor.

Once they're nice and crispy but not burnt, take them out of the oven and taste. Adjust salt as needed. Enjoy!

**You could vary this recipe quite a lot, using different flavors of salts, salt substitutes, flavored oils...the list is endless. Some folks use vinegar instead of lemon juice. I love the tang of the lemon juice.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms--fresh out of the oven

Once again I found myself with an abundance of mushrooms in the past week. What to do? I love mushrooms, but even I get tired of just frying them, or adding them to egg drop soup or making mushroom soup. I recently bought a nifty little book, Cooking With Coconut Flour, by Bruce Fife, N.D. In it I found a recipe for stuffed mushrooms, and the following recipe is based loosely on the one I found there. I rarely follow recipes to the T, and though these are similar, they are quite different. The coconut milk and coconut flour adds a subtle coconut flavor, which is an amazing combination with the mushrooms and shallots.


12 medium to large sized button mushrooms
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoons coconut milk
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 1 T. fresh if available)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt--taste to season to your liking
1/4 teaspoon pepper
dash freshly ground nutmeg
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Clean the mushrooms, either brush off the dirt or wash, whichever you prefer. Make sure they are dry before proceeding.
2. Remove stems and set aside. Don't just cut the stems off, but actually pull them out of the cap so that there's an empty space to fill.
3. Chop the shallots and stems finely.
4. Saute the stems and shallots in 1 Tablespoon butter until shallots are softened.
5. Remove from heat, and add coconut milk, coconut flour, parsley, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well.
6. Place the mushroom caps bottom-side up in a greased baking pan, and fill each cap with the mushroom stem/shallot mixture.
7. Top each mushroom with a small amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
8. Bake, uncovered, at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes.
Serve hot and enjoy!

Remove stems from caps by pulling them out

Finely chop the stems and shallots. I love my little KitchenAid chopper!

Place the caps bottom -side up in a greased baking sheet, fill with the stem mixture, and top with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F, uncovered, for 15 minutes