Warm Peanut Veggies & Slow-Cooked Lentil Stew

Warm Peanut Veggies & Slow-Cooked Lentil Stew

Warm Peanut Veggies Here’s a great way to dress up some winter veggies. This recipe is an easy, crowd-pleasing side dish to bring to a dinner party; just add chicken breast or tofu and it works as a substantial lunch too. Ingredients: Serves 4-5 1 bunch broccolini 2-3 large carrots 1/4 small red onion 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced finely 1/3 cup peanut butter (smooth and creamy are both fine) 3 Tbs. fresh-squeezed lemon juice 2 tsp. honey 3 Tbs. warm water 2 Tbs. olive oil 1/2 tsp. sea salt Toasted, chopped peanuts Minced cilantro for garnish 1) Cut the onion into thin half moons and put in a serving bowl. 2) Cut carrots in to 1.5-inch matchsticks. Chop the ends off the broccolini, discard, and separate stems from heads. In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the carrots for 3-4 minutes, or until barely soft. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and add to serving bowl on top of onions (which will lightly steam them). Do the same with the broccoli: blanch for 1-2 minutes, remove from water, add to serving bowl, and cover. 3) For the sauce, combine garlic, peanut butter, lemon juice, honey, water, olive oil, and salt in a bowl or small container. Work the ingredients together with a spoon until all is incorporated and creamy. Add more water if necessary 4) Toss veggies with a generous amount of peanut sauce, top with toasted peanuts and cilantro, and serve warm. Slow-Cooked Lentil Stew Ingredients: 2 cups dried lentils, rinsed ½ medium onion, diced 2 large carrots, chopped into bite-size pieces 2 celery...
Moroccan-Style Chicken and Herbed Couscous

Moroccan-Style Chicken and Herbed Couscous

Moroccan-Style Chicken It’s been raining for nearly four days straight in Marin. Yes, I know I should feel relieved because we so dearly need that precipitation, but it sure is making everything dark and dreary. My advice: put on some loud music and get in the kitchen. Earlier today I spent about an hour leafing through my dozens of cookbooks, and this is what I came up with for you. It’s a combination of a bunch of different recipes, so it might be a stretch to even call it “Moroccan,” but it’s delicious nonetheless. It’ll heighten the senses and lift the spirit! Ingredients: 4 large chicken breasts, trimmed and cut in to 1-inch pieces 2 Tbs. soy sauce or tamari 2 Tbs. dry white wine 2 tsp. honey Juice of 1 lemon Grated rind of one lemon 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 tsp. curry powder 1 tsp. ground turmeric 1 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 2 Tbs. olive oil 1 yellow onion, diced 1 cup chicken stock 12 dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped 10-15 black olives (the oily, salty kind 1/2 tsp. sea salt To garnish: Chopped parsley Slivered almonds, toasted 1) In a large bowl, combine chicken pieces with the next 9 ingredients (from the wine through the ground ginger). Mix well and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, or overnight. 2) In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions. Sauté onion until translucent and soft. Add the chicken, marinade, and chicken stock. Cover and let simmer on medium low for 6-8 minutes,...
Cocoa Covered Almonds and Pumpkin Pie Shakes

Cocoa Covered Almonds and Pumpkin Pie Shakes

Cocoa Covered Almonds (with a KICK!) Ingredients: 2 cups raw almonds 1/4 cup honey 1 tsp. cayenne pepper A pinch of salt 1.5 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder 1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, heat honey, cayenne, and salt over medium heat. 2) Stir in the almonds and continue to stir until they are completely coated 3) Spread the coated almonds onto the baking sheet in one layer. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice to prevent burning. 4) Put the cocoa in a Zip-Lock bag and add the almonds once they have cooled slightly, then shake until almonds are completely coated with cocoa. 5) Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Pumpkin Pie Shake There’s some interesting research about the health benefits of cinnamon. For most of us, this intense aromatic brings back memories of holidays and freshly baked cinnamon rolls. It has long been used for its medicinal qualities and current research shows some success in controlling blood sugar (great for sugarholics and diabetics!), lowering lipid levels, and lowering LDL cholesterol. However, Cassia cinnamon, which is the variety most commonly found in grocery stores, may be toxic at high levels due to a chemical called coumarin. Ceylon cinnamon, a more expensive and harder to find variety, has the same health benefits but contains less coumarin. Cinnamon is great in baked goods, in cereal, and in shakes, but according to the European Food Safety Authority, limit intake to a teaspoon per day. (Real the full article here) Ingredients: Serves 4 1...
Oat Bran Muffins and Lemon Bars

Oat Bran Muffins and Lemon Bars

Being a certified teacher with DirectionFive, a non-profit culinary and nutrition program for kids, is a pretty sweet job (no pun intended!). I get to teach kids of all ages about a topic I am passionate about, plus I spend the day cooking and eating delicious food. Last week, our team of teachers were at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa for their winter intersession. Our stellar group of 15 high school students learned some basic kitchen skills such as how to use a knife properly and how to chiffonade kale leaves. We also talked about the 11 body systems, learned about sustainable agriculture, and toured an organic farm. Below are two of this week’s favorite recipes. Oat Bran Muffins Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins 2 cups oat bran 1/2 cup unbleached sugar (or Sucanat) 2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. sea salt 1 cup of milk or other non-dairy milk of your choice 3/4 cup apple sauce or pumpkin puree 2 eggs 1 cup apple, grated 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1/3 cup almonds, chopped 1/4 cup raisins 1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly oil a muffin tin or use paper muffin cups. 2) Mix together first 5 ingredients. In a separate bowl mix together milk, apple sauce or pumpkin puree, and eggs. Stir well, then add apple. 3) Combine wet and dry ingredients then add nuts and raisins. 4) Spoon into prepared muffin tin and bake for 15-17 minutes. Lemon Bars Ingredients: 2 cups + 4 Tbs. of all-purpose flour 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 cup butter, cold 4 eggs lightly beaten 2 cups unbleached...
The SOY Controversy

The SOY Controversy

Walk down an aisle of almost any grocery store these days, and you will surely be met with numerous products containing soy or soy derivatives. Soy has made it’s way into hundreds of thousands of food and industrial products in the past few decades. Besides corn, I would be hard pressed to think of another crop that has been used to make such a range of products as tofu, ice cream, cupcake liners, tea bags, and glue for cardboard boxes. It’s positively everywhere, and so is the controversy that follows it. Conflicting literature and scientific data leaves most of us just plain confused and annoyed. We ask ourselves, Should I stop drinking soy milk? Is tofu a healthy meat alternative? What about soy protein powder? Believe me, I have asked those same questions and have a hard time knowing who to believe. Crooked food industry politics and flawed studies aside, there are some important take-home messages regarding soy that you as a consumer and health activist should know. Soy: good or bad? First, the facts. Soy is a member of the legume family and is a very versatile plant. Soybeans are relatively higher in protein than other legumes, and also contain all the essential amino acids, which is why soy proponents consider it to be the only vegetable-based “complete” protein. As a whole food, soybeans are high in fiber and healthy fats (lecithin and essential fatty acids omega 6 and 3). Soybeans contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as molybdenum, manganese, iron, phosphorous, and vitamin K. For thousands of years, soy has traditionally been used in Asian...
Broccoli Slaw and Sage-Roasted Veggies

Broccoli Slaw and Sage-Roasted Veggies

Broccoli Slaw Sweet, sour, crunchy, and refreshing- this side dish is a great way to incorporate raw broccoli in your repertoire. Ingredients: 3 heads of broccoli 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (or 1/4 cup Greek yogurt + 1/4 cup mayo) 1 lemon, juiced 3 Tbs. cider vinegar 2 Tbs. honey 1 small shallot, thinly cut in to half moons 1/3 cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted Salt & pepper to taste Wash broccoli and cut the stems off, leaving 1-2 inches from the top (the stems, when tender, are delicious). Mince all the broccoli in to small pieces. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, lemon, vinegar, and honey together until thoroughly blended. Combine the broccoli with the dressing, then add the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Sage-Roasted Veggies My version of comfort food… Ingredients: 1 acorn squash 1 sweet potato 1 yellow onion 3 large carrots 4 fresh sage leaves, minced (or 2 tsp. dried) 1 Tbs. paprika Extra virgin olive oil Salt & pepper 1) Cut acorn squash in half length-wise, scoop out seeds, then cut into wedges about 1/2-inch thick (you can cook and serve acorn squash with it’s skin on even though it’s not edible). 2) Cut sweet potatoes and carrots into about 1-inch square chunks. 3) Peel onion, chop in half length-wise and cut into thin half moons.  4) Add chopped vegetables to a large baking pan then drizzle with olive oil until lightly coated. Add sage, paprika, and a shake of salt and pepper. Toss together, arrange in a single layer, and bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until all veggies are soft...
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