Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I have been trying to eat less refined wheat and sugar in my diet.  When I am eating gluten free,  I feel  less bloated, heavy, congested and more healthy and vibrant.  I have a weakness for treats and even though this recipe has sugar, there are so few other ingredients to cause problems that I feel it is a good alternative to expensive store bought gluten free snacks that are still loaded with less than healthy ingredients.  They whip up so quickly that you can have cookies in minutes.  

  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Coarse sea salt (opt.) or sugar
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place racks in the upper and lower third of the oven
  • In a medium bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of mix about 1 inch apart onto un-greased baking sheets; flatten mounds with the tines of a fork, making a cross-hatch pattern on the cookies
  • Sprinkle coarse sea salt on top of the cookies
  • Bake until golden around edges (approx. 10 mins), switching the position of the pans halfway through baking; transfer to racks to cool; repeat with the remaining dough
Makes approx. 18 cookies.
Since there is no flour the peanut butter flavor really stands out!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Since it is the New Year - out with old clothes, bad habits and bad bacteria.  I have been on a probiotic kick lately and have been eating keifir every morning and saurkraut every evening.  I have avoided the Christmas cold and feel invincible. I accredit it to probiotics. There are lots of great websites on the benefits of probiotics and recipes for making sauerkraut and  kefir.  I have made both and found them easy and affordable.   How expensive is a head of cabbage or quart of milk compared to the health benefits you will receive?  Avoid sweetened store bought kefir or yogurt and instead make your own.   Probiotics are the best thing I have discovered this past year.  Start out the new year with less bad flora and better health.

How I make sauerkraut:

Remove outer leaves of a large cabbage and put them aside.
Finely shred cabbage and layer it with salt in a large bowl.  Use about 3 tbsp of salt and 1 large head of cabbage.
Pack tightly into a sterilized jar.  Press down on cabbage to remove air.
Cover cabbage with water.
Roll the outer leaves of the cabbage into bundles and place in jar on top of cabbage
Lightly screw lid on
Check daily, but you can enjoy your probiotics after 5 days.  Once opened it can be kept in the fridge for unto a month.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Apple muesli with dried fruit and coconut

You may have heard about Breakfast In A Jar;  this is the original version of it.  I like to have something prepared and ready to go for busy mornings, and this is a great start to the morning.  This will keep for several days in the fridge, and develops a nice flavour.

Muesli is a cereal of rolled oats, fruits and nuts, softened or soaked in milk or liquid. Think of it as cold oatmeal!

I used rolled oats, grated apples, dried cranberries and blueberries and coconut chips soaked in unsweetened almond milk,   So delicious! The grated apple really adds a nice sweetness and freshness to this.

You can really make muesli with any mix of fruits and nuts, liquids and could also serve this topped with some additional fruit or chopped nuts.
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 - 1/2 cups almond milk or other milk of your choice
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt, or yogurt of your choice
  • 2 apples, grated to the core (peeled or unpeeled is your choice, I leave them unpeeled)
  • 1/3 cup coconut chips (big pieces of unsweetened dried coconut flakes)
  • 3 Tbsp.dried blueberries
  • 3 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 4 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
Grate the apples into a bowl on the coarse side of a box grater. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together well. Let the muesli soak overnight in the refrigerator. Serve with additional fruit or coconut sprinkled on top if you like.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The persimmon is my favourite fruit and it is persimmon season!  Yeah!  This delicate oriental fruit is native to China.  It spread to Japan and was later introduced to California during the middle nineteenth century.  I went to Costco and they had them!  I have had two already and I am thinking of having another and calling it dinner.  Pick some up; it may become your favourite too!

Here are some persimmon facts:
  • The fruit is low in calories (provides 70 calories/100g) and fats but is rich source of dietary fiber.
  • Persimmons contain health benefiting phyto-nutrients flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants likecatechins and gallocatechins as well as important anti-tumor compound betulinic acid. Catechins are known to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties.
  • Fresh permissions contain anti-oxidant compounds like vitamin-A, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin. Together, these compounds functions as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
  • Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions; thus, helps prevent "Age-related macular related macular disease"(ARMD) in the elderly.
  • They are also a very good source of vitamin-C, another powerful antioxidant (especially native Chinese and American persimmons; provide 80% of DRI). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.
  • The fruit is good in many valuable B-complex vitamins such as folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), thiamin...etc. These vitamins act as co-factors for numerous metabolic enzymatic functions in the body.
  • Fresh Persimmon fruits also contain healthy amounts of minerals like potassium, manganese (15% of DRI), copper (12% of DRI), and phosphorus. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as cofactors for this enzyme are manganese, and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I have been making this salad a lot lately.  Sometimes I make it as the recipe reads and other times I vary it, but it always turns out great.

2/3 cup slivered almonds (I toast them first)
1 can chickpeas,  drained
1 10 oz can mandarin oranges
2/3 cup dried berries (I like dried blueberries)
1 small red onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 in.  grated fresh ginger
1 small jalapeƱo, diced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
4 oz feta cheese
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
ground pepper

combine all ingredients

I added chopped dates instead of the berries and it was delish.  I like to have this in the fridge for a quick lunch or side dish for dinner.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I know that there are many recipes floating around for Cafe Rio Chicken.  I love this American restaurant and decided that since I can't make a trip south for their Mexican food, I would replicate it at home.  It was so easy to do and will be a go to recipe from now on. 

 I started with a cooked rotisserie chicken.  You could cook up some chicken breast instead, but the cooked chicken is so easy and cheap.  Shredded the meat and added 1 pkg of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing, 1 cup of mayo, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup Italian Salad dressing, garlic seasoning, 1/2 tbsp  chill powder and 1/2 tbsp cumin.  I simmered, covered for about 2hours and served on a bed of rice with chopped romaine lettuce and tomatoes.  I made Cafe Rio's famous green sauce to go with it, and it was delish!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


It has been months since I lasted posted anything - but not because I haven't had tasty things to share.  Just preoccupied I guess.  I have been a little obsessed with two things lately.  The first is this delicious Chopped Spinach Salad.  I like this dish because it is different from the usual spinach salad made with high fat goopy poppyseed dressing and soggy strawberries served at church parties.  This salad seems to have all the things that I love; spinach, seeds, sun-dried tomatoes, orzo, cheese, garlic and chicken. 

For Salad:
4 packages baby spinach leaves (10 oz each)
8 oz orzo pasta (cooked, rinsed in cold water, and drained)
white meat from one large rotisserie chicken (tear it off in small chunks)
2  tomatoes (or 5 Roma tomatoes) (seeded and chopped)
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes (rinsed if they are in oil) (chopped)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts  (I used sunflower seeds)
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

For Dressing: (this makes a lot so I halved it the recipe)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

To make the dressing mix all the ingredients in a blender and let it rest for at least 3 hours (can be made the day ahead) so the flavors mellow a bit.)

The next thing that I have been making lately is a very simple black bean dish.  It takes a drained and rinsed can of black beans,  half a jar of salsa,  a small can of minced green chilies and half a package of taco seasoning.  Heat through. Ta Dah!  I have added this to chicken and made it into a casserole and also just served it in bowls with brown rice and chopped lettuce and tomatoes.   It is a great inexpensive protein with 18 grams in 1 cup.  To simplify it even further, I have made it without the chilies and taco seasoning and it was equally tasty.  It can't get any easier than two ingredients!