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...
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...
Two Winter Salads

Two Winter Salads

Winter Maple Salad with Butternut Squash Since most of us are right in the midst of heavy holiday eating, I decided that this week’s recipes should be a few light, versatile salads- great for lunches, dinner parties, or even holiday side dishes. Chicory, a bitter winter lettuce that is easy to find at farmers markets this time of year, is great paired with a simple maple dressing and sweet pomegranate seeds. Maybe you’ve heard of chicory root, which is roasted, ground and used as a coffee alternative. The leaves of the same plant can be eaten raw or braised, and there are many varietals, ranging from broad-leafed to frilly, and deep purple to pale yellow. Any varietal works for this recipe, and radicchio, endive, or escarole are fine alternatives too. Chicory is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, and folate. For the salad: 1 head of romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and shredded 2 cups chicory, washed, dried, and chopped finely 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 1 cup butternut squash, cubed and roasted 3 Tbs. toasted slivered almonds For the dressing: 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup 4 Tbs. apple cider vinegar 1 lemon, juiced 1 Tbs. dijon mustard To roast the squash: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Cut the ends off and then cut squash in half (separating the thinner end from the rounder, wider end). Using a sharp knife or a good peeler, peel of the skin and cut squash into 1-inch cubes, removing the seeds. Put in a large bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt...
Rødkål Red Cabbage & Cauliflower Mash

Rødkål Red Cabbage & Cauliflower Mash

Rødkål: Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage This brilliant-colored cabbage dish is something I’ve been eating for either Thanksgiving or Christmas for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until now, though, that I found out about its origin- and how to spell it. Rødkål (pronounced “roy-kle”, I think) is a traditional Danish dish, brought to our family by a dear family friend. My grandmother is Portuguese and my grandfather is English, so there is no Scandinavian to speak of, but somehow this dish became a fixture at the holiday table and was passed down to me. It’s a crowd-pleaser: tangy, sweet, and a great sidekick to turkey and cranberry sauce. Ingredients: 1 head red cabbage, shredded finely 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar 1 lemon, juiced 5 oz. current jelly (about half a jar) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the shredded cabbage. On medium heat, stir for 7 or 8 minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Then add the rest of the ingredients, turn heat to medium low, and let simmer for 50 minutes, stirring often. Season with more salt and pepper if desired, and serve hot. This dish keeps well for several days if stored in the fridge, as the flavors meld together even more. It’s also excellent on leftover turkey sandwiches!    Katie’s Cauliflower Mash Here’s dish #2 from this year’s Thanksgiving dinner! Cauliflower is a great alternative to mashed potatoes, plus is has more nutritional value. Like red cabbage, cauliflower is part of the Brassica family, which is known for...
Chickweed Dip & Mustard Pesto

Chickweed Dip & Mustard Pesto

Chickweed Dip This week, I looked at my bag of bright green chickweed and decided I would experiment. I usually use this mild-tasting green in the same way I would use sprouts or microgreens: to bulk up salads, sandwiches, or wraps. Eaten raw, it has a taste similar to corn or even corn silk, and cooked lightly, it wilts and resembles spinach. This dip recipe will impress you with it’s neon green color (chlorophyll overload!) and it’s nutrient density (chickweed is packed with beta-carotene, vitamins B and D, and a variety of minerals). Chickweed grows in large mats close to the ground and likes cool, moist environments. It’s presence reflects nitrogen-rich soil, which is why it’s often used as a cover crop in the fall and winter. Chickweed is used medicinally for treating cuts and relieving conditions of itchy skin such as eczema. Anyone who wants to use the dip as soothing skin cream can get back to me and let me know if it worked! Ingredients: 2 cups (lightly packed) chickweed 1 ripe avocado 1/4 cup raw shelled pistachios, soaked overnight and drained 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tsp. sea salt Rinse chickweed and pat dry. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor and blend until smooth. Serve with crackers as a spread or with chips as a dip- be creative! Spicy Mustard Pesto Fall is a time for detoxifying, and incorporating mustard greens into your diet is a great way to start. These greens are full of health-promoting properties: they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, K, A, and C, and other nutrients that help...