Information. . .


This gal's got energy!
Excited about food, my kinda person.
I especially like her ideas about Humus and the Quinoa Fried 'Rice.'

Chicken Bruschetta Pasta with Tomatoes and Cream

20oz. chicken breast meat 
2T butter
2T dark, sweet Balsamic vinegar
1lg. clove chopped elephant garlic
1/2c chopped kalamata olives
1/2c chopped lg. green garlic-stuffed olives
2 sm. diced tomatoes
partially cooked bowtie pasta
1/2c or a little more sour cream -  optional

Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and put in pan with butter and vinegar.  Saute' until browned on the outside.  Add the next 4 ingredients to the pan, stir and simmer 15 minutes to blend and develop the flavors.  

Put the pasta on top.  Cover and simmer another 15 minutes.  If pasta is done the way you like, it's ready.  However, it will taste even better if you chill at this point then reheat.  Add sour cream, then heat another 5 minutes before serving. . .Lin  (Shown with a side of Shrimp Alfredo)

Corn and Black Bean Salsa Salad

1 med. Vidalia onion
3 sm. tomatoes
1 barely ripe avocado
1 lg. clove elephant garlic
1 can black beans - rinse and drain
1 can corn - rinse and drain
1 lime - juiced
zest of lime or lemon
2-3T snipped regular or garlic chives
fresh ground pepper and salt

Chop-cube the vegetables, mince the garlic and combine with remaining ingredients in a medium size bowl.  Cover and chill a couple hours.  Stir gently, taste and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar for a little extra zing, if needed.  Serve with pita wedges, tortilla chips or as an accompaniment to grilled fish, chicken or shrimp. . .Lin

Garlic-Spinach Quiche'

10oz. package frozen spinach
1 lg. clove of elephant garlic
6 lg. very fresh eggs
1/2c almond milk
1-2T Bisquick
1/2 med. chopped onion
1/2 chopped tomato
ground nutmeg, salt and pepper

Thaw and drain the spinach.  Brown the garlic in a little bit of butter, then combine with the eggs, milk and Bisquick.  Whisk until blended.  Add remaining ingredients, combine then pour into buttered 9-10" glass baking pan.  Bake 30-40 minutes at 350° until quiche' is bubbly and has risen.  Take out of the oven, check for doneness with a knife inserted near the middle, which will come out clean if done.  Top with some crumbled Feta cheese or sharp goat cheddar.

Return to the oven until the cheese melts, bubbles and is a little browned on top.  Cut into wedges and cool slightly in the pan before serving. . .Lin 

Root Vegetable Summer Squash Soup

This is an odd looking beginning to a pot of soup!  Looks like alien vegetables!  They're actually leftover from the last thing I made with my spiral vegetable shredder.  The shredder grabs the vegetables with a 1/2" circular metal piece, which creates the stem sort of tail in the center, leaving any unused portion looking like some odd sort of mushroom.

celery root
yellow beet
concentric circle red-white beet
red onion, white onion, leek
green cabbage
green and yellow zucchini
1 10.5oz. can Mild Rotel Tomatoes
1-2T chicken soup base
32oz. water

Chop all the vegetables shown into a big pot.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with red and black pepper, sea salt and ground rosemary.  Saute' for a few minutes until the vegetables are snapping.  Add remaining three ingredients and simmer an hour. . .Lin

Arugula Cabbage Tossed Salad

2-3 handfuls of arugula (baby kale)
2-3 handfuls of shredded green cabbage
1 avocado - cubed
1 tomato - diced
1-2 pickling cucumbers - rough peeled and diced
1/2 med. onion - sliced

Combine all in a big bowl.  Makes enough for 2-3 side salads or a really big one.  Drizzle with Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing and top with crumbled bleu cheese. . .Lin

Tomato Pesto-Coconut Chicken And Vegetables

1 celery root - skin pared away
1 yellow beet - scrubbed 
1 red and white beet (concentric circles) - scrubbed
(I didn't use the dark red beet)
1-2 green zucchini
1 yellow zucchini
1 lg. purple onion
1 leek - sliced, not spiral cut
2T coconut oil
3/4c chicken broth
1/2c roasted sunflower seeds

Using a spiral slicer, spiral cut as much or little as you want of each vegetable.  Combine in a big cooking pot with the coconut oil and simmer-saute' for 5-15 minutes depending on how crisp or done you like your vegetables.  At the end add a little chicken broth and the sunflower seeds, simmering another 5 minutes.  Serve  as 'spaghetti' with the chicken sauce. . .Lin

1-1/4# chicken breast meat
1-2T coconut oil
1 lg. elephant garlic clove
14.5oz. can petite diced tomatoes
4oz. tomato pesto
4oz. can coconut cream

Cut the chicken in very small pieces and saute' in coconut oil with the chopped garlic until everything starts to brown.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes.

Put the vegetables in the bottom of a 2-3 qt. casserole dish, spoon chicken and sauce over this.  Cover and chill.  When ready to serve, bake at 325° for 30 minutes. . .Lin

Peppery Sprout Side Salad

Sprouted lentils and mung beans
avocado, tomato, cucumber

Combine a couple big handfuls of sprouts with chopped avocado, tomato and cucumber.  Toss and dress with a little Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing or your favorite Lemony Vinaigrette.   The fresh, slight bitterness of this salad would cut the richness of something like a Pasta Alfredo and pair well together. . .Lin

Chipotle Lime Shrimp Salad

8-12 lg. uncooked shrimp
chopped romaine and arugula
sliced onion and avocado
chopped tomato and cucumber

Saute' the shrimp in a little butter or steam in water until the grey color turns to pink-coral.  Let cool just a little. Meanwhile, use the remaining ingredients to make a large tossed salad or two smaller ones.

Add cooled shrimp then drizzle with your favorite dressing.  Since today is Cinco De Mayo, I decided to try a new Chipotle Lime dressing. It was a good choice. . .Lin

Bean, Etc. Soup

I love sprouting!

Sprouts are so good on a sandwich, in soups, salads and even eaten alone or with a seasoned vinegar-oil type dressing - and they're high in protein too.  Yesterday I decided to sprout lentils with green and red mung beans.  I started with about 2" of this bean mix, in a half gallon jar, filled half way with warm water.  This morning the jar was half full of well-soaked-moisture-expanded beans!  So I'm using half for a nice bean soup.  Since they had soaked overnight - this is good timing.

2-3oz. precooked smokey meat
1 lg. onion
2 carrots
2 stalks celery or a celery heart
1/2 red pepper
3 sm. Yukon Gold potatoes
1-1/2c soaked beans
5-6 c water
celery tops

Slice or chop the first 6 ingredients into a 5qt. pot.  Stir and saute' in a couple tablespoons of butter, until onions are barely translucent.  Add the next 3 ingredients.  Bring to a boil, then back down to a slow simmer for half an hour.  You could stop right now; for a very thick, hearty soup - or - simmer longer for the vegetables to break down further.  Chill then reheat (this further develops the flavors.)  Taste then add: red or black pepper, sea salt, chicken or vegetable bullion if needed.  Serve with some artisan crusty, buttered ciabatta. . .Lin

Potato-Leek Soup

6 sm. yellow potatoes - cubed
1/4# very finely chopped bacon
1/2 red pepper - chopped
2 leeks - sliced
8 lg. cloves of garlic - minced
6c water
4 stalks celery - chopped

celery tops - finely chopped
1 carrot - finely chopped
1 big handful frozen French green beans
2T chicken soup base
1c half & half

In your favorite 5qt. pot, combine potatoes, bacon, red pepper and about half the chopped leeks and garlic.  Add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and bring all this to a medium simmer, stirring often, for the next 20 minutes or so.
When everything is browning and beginning to stick to the pot, add water and continue to stir hard, scraping all the browned bits into the soup.  Simmer, covered on medium heat for about a half hour.  Add all the remaining ingredients except the half & half.

Continue to simmer, covered, for another 45 minutes.  Stir in the half & half, stir again and serve with some aged, dry, flavorful cheese grated on top.  Fresh Parmesan would be perfect.  This is another soup that tastes really great reheated, after being fully chilled. . .Lin

Leg Of Lamb Stew

1# lean lamb cut in cubes
2T butter
4 lg. cloves minced garlic
1 med. onion - chopped
4-6 c water
leftover lamb gravy with fat skimmed off
3 stalks celery - sliced
2-3 carrots - sliced
4 lg. scrubbed red potatoes - quartered
salt and pepper, beef soup base if needed

Brown the lamb, garlic and a little bit of onion in the butter.  Deglaze the pan with a little water or beer.  Repeat this process several times until the meat and the pan are a rich warm brown.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer, on low heat, for at least an hour.  You could serve it now, but this always tastes better after being chilled then reheated the next day.  Serve with some really good crusty bread. . .Lin

Sweet 'n Salty Egg Salad

5 hard-boiled eggs
2T mayonniase
2T grainy horseradish mustard
2T plain Greek yogurt
2T chopped pimento
3T capers
3T chopped dill pickle
3T chopped sweet pickle
1sm chopped onion

Chop the eggs and combine in a medium bowl with remaining ingredients.  Today for an early lunch I had this with a simple coleslaw I made yesterday.  Finely slice-chopped green cabbage, a small grated onion and carrot, tossed with a little poppyseed dressing and a big splash of fruity, dark balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a little ground celery seed.  Add a few crispy crackers or a rice cake. . .Lin

A Big Tossed Salad With Black Beans

1 handful lettuce mix
1 lg. mini English cucumber
1 med. Roma tomato
1/2 avocado
1/2 can rinsed-drained black beans
extra virgin olive oil
dark, fruity balsamic vinegar
fresh ground pink Himalayan salt
fresh ground black pepper

This was the last of a lettuce mix I made a few days ago.  It had 3 types of lettuce, sliced raw beets and onions.  I filled a bowl with that, then sliced in the remaining vegetables and added the black beans.  Tossed, then drizzled on the oil and vinegar then sprinkled with salt and pepper and tossed again.  This was one huge salad, could also be made into 2 or 3 side salads. . .Lin

Lemon Lime Cleansing Drink

This is my variation of an old German recipe that claims it will "cure clogged arteries, fat in the blood, infection and colds."  While it may, or may not, do all that, I think of it more basic terms.  It's a great daily cleansing drink!  The original recipe only used lemon, garlic, ginger and water.  Kale, spinach, celery or cilantro are other good cleansing agents.  In doing a side-by-side comparison of lemons vs. limes I discovered that they're are just packed with nutrients!  Where the lemon scored low, the lime excelled and vise versa, back and forth right down the list!  Now when using them in a lemon or lime recipe, I'll use half of each.

2 lg. lemons
2 lg. limes
1-2" cube of peeled ginger
4 lg. cloves of peeled garlic
a whole bunch of cilantro
1/2 gallon of filtered water
honey-to taste after chilling

Scrub, cube and seed the fruit - interestingly, there wasn't a single seed in any of mine!  Chop the ginger, garlic and thoroughly wash the greens.  Place all in a blender, adding enough water to fill in the air space.  Blend on high a couple minutes before returning the mixture to a 3qt. pan containing the rest of the water.  Heat slowly, while stirring occasionally, to just below the boiling point.  Pour into a large covered container and chill several hours.  Mix, then strain, using a very fine strainer, into a small kettle, add a teaspoon to a tablespoon of raw, organic honey.  Heat and drink.  I would recommend drinking a cup of this first thing in the morning and also an hour before dinner. . .Happy Cleansing. . .Lin

The Food Network

Do you get The Food Network on TV?

I do and find I have to limit my viewing time or I'd never get anything else done.  My three favorites are Barefoot Contessa, Pioneer Woman and Southern At Heart.

Some great women and amazing cooks.  Do you have a favorite? . . . Lin

Spicy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1 lg. clove elephant garlic
- or - 3 lg. regular cloves
4oz. kalamata olives
1 sm. can sliced black olives
1/2c drained caper berries
1/3c drained chopped pimentos
1/2c extra virgin olive oil
1/4c dark balsamic vinegar
1t+ sea salt and ground rosemary
1/4t+ ground black and red pepper

1 can artichoke hearts - drained and cut up
1c - or more - sprouted lentils and mung beans
8oz. dry quinoa pasta - cooked "al dente" - drained
1 lg. Roma tomato - finely cubed -optional-
4oz. ± crumbled feta cheese

Chop garlic and kalamata olives into a big glass bowl.  Add next 7 ingredients, stir together then let rest to blend the flavors for 30 minutes.  Add artichokes, sprouts, tomato and pasta.  Mix and let chill 30-60 minutes.  Top with cheese and toss just before serving. . .Lin

Shape, Size and Texture!!! It just might be all about TEXTURE!

I've never given any conscious thought to how texture impacts the foods we cook.  Cubed cheese or grated?  Grated potatoes, as in hash browns, or cubed for American fries?  Ground lean steak, or cubes of that same steak, in your favorite chili recipe?  I'd never use lasagna noodles in my shrimp scampi, nor angel hair in a hearty stew. . .it's all the same ingredient, but in the end, the texture really matters.

Enter my new favorite kitchen toy in. . .well. . .years!!  My new spiral slicer arrived yesterday and I ran right to the grocery store to get some interesting vegetables to try it out.

This time it was celery root, zucchini, yellow and red beets, of course onion, and napa cabbage that didn't spiral well at all.  It shredded nicely however.  So I only used a little.

I was torn between a raw salad and a vegetable stir-fry, so I made both.  I broke up the spirals a little then tossed it all with olive oil, a dark fruity balsamic vinegar, fresh ground black pepper, Himalayan pink salt and ground rosemary, then added a few tiny tomatoes and half an avocado.  It's perfect!

The stir-fry started with a little coconut oil and butter, ground red and black pepper, ground rosemary and Himalayan pink salt.  After 5-10 minutes, transfer to a serving dish, top with bleu cheese crumbles and it's ready to serve now, or heat up later.  Side benefit, your kitchen will smell awesome with the scent of coconut oil, rosemary and all those lovely vegetables.

I realize, it's brand new, but already I give this slicer very high marks!  I'm sure I'll always have one in my kitchen! . . . Lin

Salad Season

In my house, Salad Season is all year long, just like Soup Season.  This was my great find today, while at our local organic grocery store - this awesome sprouting jar!  A half gallon jar, which is probably overkill since I live alone, but I'm pretty sure that whatever I sprout, I'll eat before they get funky.

I bought 4 seeds for sprouting, my favorite, green lentils - which have a really nice peppery flavor, mung beans, radish and broccoli seeds.  All organic.

Today I'm only using the lentils and mung beans (in the bags) - one part, consisting of a mix of those two, into the jar, followed by three parts warm water.  Always stick with similar sizes, or you'll have some big ones that are rock hard mixed in with little ones that are perfectly sprouted.  The smaller they are, the faster they sprout.

I hope you try these on whole grain bread sandwiches and salads for a great, spring-fresh flavor, vitamins and lots of protein. . .Lin

Simple Salads. . .

Since a big salad can be such a vital part of our daily diet, it's really important to have a Salad Plan.  For me, it's in 2 stages, salad ingredients and dressing.  If you shop regularly, it's easy to keep a good variety of greens and other favorites on hand to quickly combine for a great, fresh salad.  The most healthy dressing, I'm convinced, consists of a simple one that starts with good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a Balsamic Vinegar.  This particular brand has quickly become a fixture here.  Their line of oils and Balsamic Vinegars is excellent.  The other enhancements would be the spices you add after the oil and vinegar has been drizzled on.  Mine are shown in the two containers on the left.  The first contains Himalayan Pink Salt and Ground Rosemary.  The other is a shaker of Penzeys Black and Red Spice, which is a blend of ground black pepper and cayenne pepper.  Experiment and find what works for you.

Yesterday's salad, shown here, was a mix of Romaine, green cabbage, baby spinach, cauliflower, tomato, avocado, green onion, garbanzos and cubed asiago cheese.

Today's was similar but Chinese Cabbage (Nappa) was used as the base and I switched out the cauliflower for heirloom carrots.  A half a can of beans are a wonderful addition for protein and fiber, and of course the cheese cubes are a nice way to round it out, nutritionally.  Be creative and have fun making healthy, fresh options as we enter into the season of Salad Days. . .Lin


2 finely chopped carrots
2c thinly sliced celery
5 lg. sliced scallions (green onions)
4-5 lg. minced cloves garlic
2T extra virgin olive oil
ground red and black pepper
ground rosemary and sea salt
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes
1-2t sugar

½ head cubed green cabbage
5 lg. bay leaves
1 can drained-rinsed garbanzo beans
½c tiny Asian red beans
½c brown and wild rice

Combine the first 5 ingredients and seasonings in a 3 quart pan. Simmer and saute' until the vegetables are 'snapping,' for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cabbage, bay leaves and garbanzos, then return to a light boil. Cover and simmer an hour. Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine the red beans with 1½ cups of water and simmer on medium heat for an hour.

Do the same with the rice and 1½c water. After an hour, add the beans and rice and whatever water is left in the little pans, to the soup pot. Simmer another half hour until beans and rice are cooked the way you like them. Check the flavors and add any additional seasonings needed. . .Lin

Quinoa With Dried Fruit And Seeds

1/3c quinoa - any color
½c water
2 cubes of candied ginger - sliced thin
¼c roasted pumpkin seeds
¼c craisins
1t butter or coconut oil
a sprinkle of sea salt

Combine all the above and bring to a quiet simmer. Cook this way, covered, for 15 minutes or until water absorbs and quinoa sprouts little tails. Take off heat, keep covered, another 5 minutes. Makes 1 big serving. . .Lin