Category Archives: Delicious Recipes À la Christine

27
February

Asparagus and Spring Onion Crustless Quiche

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine, Newsletter
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef. She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/. Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, close to 20 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home. Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

~~~~~

Asparagus and Spring Onion Crustless Quiche

 

 

 

~~~~~~~

Asparagus and spring onions are in season now and can easily be found in any grocery stores.  When buying asparagus, look for larger stalks as they are far more flavorful.  Fresh spring onions should be easy to find but you can substitute leeks, sweet onions or scallions.  Chives are abundant this time of year too.  If you don’t have any ask a friend or neighbor, they will most likely be happy to share from their gardens.

This dish can be served as a meal with a salad or as a side dish.

 

Ingredients

4 large eggs

1 cup half and half or whole milk

2 small fresh spring onions (one leek, ½ sweet onion can be substituted)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup asparagus (cut into 2 inch pieces)

2 tbsp fresh chives chopped

1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded

½ cup chopped ham

Salt and pepper

When prepping the asparagus, it is best to break off the woody ends.  Take one piece of asparagus and snap it towards the bottom of the stalk.  This is a natural break point and will leave you with the tender part of the asparagus stalk.  Then take the remaining stalks of asparagus and cut them with a knife at this same point.  I sometimes peel the bottom outer skin of the asparagus; it helps it to cook more evenly.

  • Butter a 9 inch pie plate.
  • Sauté the onion in the olive oil until tender (about 3-5 mins).  Add the asparagus and chives and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes.  Spoon this mixture into the bottom of the buttered pie plate.  Add the ham and the cheese.
  • In a large bowl whisk the eggs, half and half, and salt and pepper until mixture is well blended.  Pour this mixture into the pie plate over asparagus, ham and cheese mixture.
  • Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until set.

 

 

Added benefits of eating asparagus: ”

  1. It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.
  2. This herbaceous plant—along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts—is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.
  3. Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process.
  4. Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12—found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy—to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)
  5. One more benefit of asparagus: It contains high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which serves as a natural diuretic, and increased urination not only releases fluid but helps rid the body of excess salts. This is especially beneficial for people who suffer from edema (an accumulation of fluids in the body’s tissues) and those who have high blood pressure or other heart-related diseases.” ~ Cheryl Forberg, R.D. (Full article at link.)  Also see:  http://www.well-beingsecrets.com/health-benefits-of-asparagus/ as well as:  https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/diet-nutrition/10-health-benefits-asparagus-need-know/

Added benefits of eating spring onions:

“Green onions, also known as scallions or spring onions, contain a wide variety of health-enhancing compounds like vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. They contain vitamins K and C for bone health and vitamin A for eye health. Vitamins A and C also have strong antioxidant properties linking foods containing these vitamins to a decreased risk of heart disease. Vitamin C may also help prevent high blood pressure which can lower your risk of heart disease. And the phytochemicals in green onions—like quercetin and anthocyanins—may support immune system function.” ~ Michelle Kerns (Full article at link.)

 

20
September

Caramelized Apples

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

~

This newsletter is about ancestral healing. While their unresolved conflicts are in our DNA, their diet—the ancestral diet—can teach us a thing or two about healing as well. The author of the recipes I post here, my friend Christine, has always said that most box mixes could easily be reproduced at home from scratch in the same amount of time with more nutrition content to boot. It would do us some good to go back the diet our ancestors followed and abandon so-called “convenience foods” that provide little more nutrition than the box they come in.

Ancestral diets can reverse heart disease according to Psychology Today’s article. “When you compare our modern diet with what we were eating in the 1950’s, there are some significant differences.  The ANCESTRAL diet:

  1. was lower in sugar and processed foods
  2. rarely contained soft drinks / sodas
  3. was lower in overall calories
  4. less reliant on animal sources of protein
  5. involved 3 meals and not much between meal snacking
  6. food was eaten seasonally

In a study of children’s lunches in the 1950’s compared to today in the UK, it was found that despite post-war shortages, lunch box meals for children in the 1950’s had:

  1. more bread and milk –> more fiber and calcium
  2. fewer soft drinks therefore less sugar
  3. had more vegetables
  4. had more red meat giving them more iron
  5. had more fat in their diet

Although the fat and caloric intake was higher in the 1950’s, children were generally more active at that time and so there was less obesity. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/542205.stm

While I can’t assert that the 1950’s diet or lifestyle was perfect or that there were no obese people then, either, I do feel that we should consider returning to some of the basic principles that kept us healthy then.  I’m proposing that the ANCESTRAL way of eating would include:

  • a ban on soft drinks which have become a major causative factor in the current obesity epidemic
  • eating more plants – vegetables especially as Michael Pollan has suggested
  • eat fewer animal sources of protein and more plant sources such as lentils, beans, peas, tofu, tempeh
  • markedly reduce the use of processed, convenience or prepared foods
  • increase the variety of whole grains eaten – add barley to soups, eat quinoa, millet, brown or colored rices.
  • eat meals rather than grazing throughout the day
  • decrease portion sizes
  • go back to having a treat be a treat defined as: “an item that is out of the ordinary and gives pleasure.”  This includes desserts, candy, chips and other non-nutritive foods that we eat just because we like them.  It’s not a treat if you eat it every day!
  • Increase physical activity.”

In honor of eating seasonally, as well as indulging in an item out of the ordinary that gives pleasure, I bring back Christine’s recipe from last year—Caramelized apples! I swear just the thought of “caramelized apples” carries the magic of the fall season on its coattails. Can you see the fairy dust sparkles sprinkle out the package of caramel you just unwrapped? No? Then you aren’t looking hard enough, or you just need to remember how to channel your inner child. Enjoy! ….and remember, “It’s not a treat if you eat it every day!” Thanks, Christine, for this perennial favorite:

Fall is a great time of the year to enjoy the bounty of nature. One of nature’s best gifts this season is apples. If you can, try to get to an apple orchard and pick your own apples. Or you can always buy local apples in the grocery store. Here in Minnesota my favorite this time of year is our own Honey Crisp apples.

This recipe is very versatile. You can serve as a side dish with pork or chicken, you can serve as a dessert over ice cream or use in the morning mixed with yogurt or oatmeal.

Caramelized Apples

4 apples
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch slices.
Melt butter in sauté pan. Sprinkle sugar on top. Let Caramelize for 1 minute.
Add apple slices, cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir in pan.
Let apples cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently until they start to soften but are still a bit crisp. Remove from heat.

 

23
March

Spinach, Asparagus and Ramp Frittata

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

 

~

Celebrate the arrival of spring—finally—with ramps!

I have to admit that until my personal chef/best friend, Christine, sent me this recipe, I didn’t know what “ramps” were—the vegetable that is! Oh, but are we Minnesotans ready for ramps! If you’re local you know April was a brutal continuation of winter with weekly snowfalls accumulating to eight inches or more in some areas.

Ramps emerge in early spring and go dormant in the summer. Ramps have traditionally been consumed as the “season’s first greens”. Towns in West Virginia, New York, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania celebrate spring with the arrival of the ramp. Most celebrate this coming weekend (April 27/28) or the first weekend in May—perfect timing!

Ramps are believed to have great power as a tonic to ward off many ailments of winter—not an unfounded assumption given ramps health benefits. So are you ready to “ward off the ailments of winter?!”

From Christine’s Collection:

Spinach, Asparagus and Ramp Frittata

This is an excellent dish for a brunch, lunch or lite dinner with a salad and some bread.  The ramps add a nice light onion and garlic flavor and are only available for a few short weeks in the spring. Look for them in markets. They are well worth it. The asparagus and spinach are in season this time of year and the flavors are especially fresh if you can find some grown locally. Organic and free range eggs really provide a rich, flavorful and healthy dish.

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb medium stalk asparagus trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
  • (Break asparagus near end to remove woody ends.  * Optional – Peel asparagus with vegetable peeler and it will cook more evenly.)
  • 1 Bunch of spinach – rinsed well to remove sand and dirt
  • 1 small bunch of ramps *optional but highly recommended (ramps are wild leeks and can be found at many farmer’s markets in the early spring)
  • 6 extra large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tbsp butter / olive oil
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Preparation:

  • Pre-heat oven to 325° F
  • Sauté the asparagus in the butter on med-low heat for 5 min. (in a non-stick frying pan with an oven proof handle.)
  • Add the spinach and sauté until wilted.
  • Beat the eggs with the milk.
  • Add the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Add egg mixture to vegetables in pan. With a spatula gently stir the eggs until they begin to set and gently press into an omelet.
  • Once they begin to set place pan in oven and bake for 5 -7 min. until eggs puff and are set.

 

“`

Interesting side note for my Chicago readers: “ The city of Chicago took its name from a dense growth of ramps near Lake Michigan in Illinois in the 17th century, after the area was described by 17th-century explorer Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle, and explained by his comrade, the naturalist and diarist Henri Joutel. The plant called shikaakwa (chicagou) in the language of native tribes was once thought to be Allium cernuum, the nodding wild onion, but research in the early 1990s showed the correct plant was the ramp”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum#cite_note-7  & http://www.chicagohistoryjournal.com/2008/03/how-chicago-got-its-name.html

22
January

Shepherd’s Pie

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

~

Protein, especially from animal, root vegetables and mushrooms are all foods that are considered healing for the root chakra. The following recipe incorporates all of these foods for an earthy, satisfying meal that is especially comforting during the long winter evenings.

Shepherd’s Pie

Topping
4 large potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
3 tbsp butter
¼ cup milk (Buttermilk works great) or you can substitute sour cream
1 egg

Filling
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lbs. of ground meat (can use beef, turkey, chicken or pork)
3 large carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
1 parsnip cut in 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
8 oz mushrooms sliced (1 package)
3 cloves garlic chopped
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup stock (beef, chicken or veggie)
1 tbsp cornstarch

Recipe – Boil potatoes in salt water for about 15 minutes (until soft when pierced with fork). When cooked, mash potatoes and add butter and milk. Add egg yolk and mix well.

While potatoes cook, sauté the carrots, parsnips, onions in olive. Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium heat until browned.

Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minute.
Add the ground meat and cook until browned.
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add Worcestershire sauce.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add cornstarch to cold stock and mix well.
Add the stock to pan and simmer for 5 mins.

Pour mixture into casserole dish. Spoon mashed potatoes on top and smooth over mixture.

Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes until top is brown and mixture bubbly.

06
October

Caramelized Apples—Side dish, dessert, or breakfast?

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Fall is a great time of the year to enjoy the bounty of nature. One of nature’s best gifts this season is apples. If you can, try to get to an apple orchard and pick your own apples. Or you can always buy local apples in the grocery store. Here in Minnesota my favorite this time of year is our own Honey Crisp apples.

This recipe is very versatile. You can serve as a side dish with pork or chicken, you can serve as a dessert over ice cream or use in the morning mixed with yogurt or oatmeal.

Caramelized Apples

4 apples
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp lemon zest

Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/2 inch slices.
Melt butter in sauté pan. Sprinkle sugar on top. Let Caramelize for 1 minute.
Add apple slices, cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir in pan.
Let apples cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes stirring frequently until they start to soften but are still a bit crisp. Remove from heat.

18
July

Pasta with Pesto Sauce and Grilled Vegetables

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

 

From Christine: This is a great meal for summer evenings and leftovers are great for lunch.

Basil is in season right now so it is easy buy some and make your own pesto.  The fresh flavors are much more intense when it is made fresh as opposed to the stuff you see in a jar at the grocery store.  Basil is so easy to grow and right now you can get a great deal on herb plants at the local nursery.  Buy a couple of plants and put them in a planter near your kitchen door, you won’t regret it.   The other great thing about pesto is that if you have any leftover you can freeze it.  I always make a double batch and then freeze the extra in ice-cube trays (used only for freezing pesto and chicken broth).  In the middle of the winter I throw a cube of pesto in my soups or spaghetti sauce and it’s a real treat.

And if the great taste of Basil wasn’t enough, it also has the added benefit of anti-inflammatory effects and anti-bacterial properties. The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85

Pesto

2 cups fresh basil (Sometimes I throw in a handful of fresh parsley too)

1 -2 cloves garlic

1/8 cup pine nuts (you can substitute walnuts or completely leave out)

2/3 cup olive oil (the best you have)

1 tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

½ cup grated parmesan cheese (parmagiano reggiano)

Put the nuts and garlic in a food processor (or blender) and process for about 15 seconds.  Add the basil, salt and pepper to the processor bowl.  With the processor on low, slowly add the olive oil until it is thoroughly pureed.  Add the parmesan cheese and process until it is smooth,

Grilled vegetables

1 Eggplant cut in ½” slices

3 summer squash or zucchini cut  lengthwise into ½ in slices

2 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp Dried Italian herbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Heat the grill to medium high. (Can also be done in your oven at 400 degrees). Mix the dried herbs into the olive oil.  Brush each side of the vegetables with the seasoned olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Place veggies on grill until softened about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and drizzle small amount of balsamic vinegar over vegetables.

Pasta

1 lb Penne pasta

1 cup pasta water

½ cup parmesan cheese grated

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions about 8-10 minutes.  Drain the pasta when it is al dente reserve 1 cup of pasta water.  Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and add ½ cup parmesan cheese.  Add the pesto sauce and add the pasta water to thin out the pesto sauce and coat the pasta.

Slice the grilled veggies into serving pieces and add to the pasta.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

18
May

Greek Quinoa or Couscous Salad

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Greek Quinoa or Couscous Salad

Spring is the time of year when we start to wear lighter clothes and also lighten up our meals. We still want to feel satisfied but we don’t want to feel weighed down. This salad is a fresh, satisfying meal that can be a main dish for lunch or a nice side with some fresh Copper River salmon that is just coming into season.

To really get the satisfaction out of a meal you want it to taste good, as well as be quick and easy to make—but most of all you should enjoy the process of preparing the meal!  You might think it’s easier to just buy your produce washed and chopped for you, but you should consider preparing the meal yourself.  It’s a great way to unwind after work; and if you have kids, it is a great time to teach them to cook. Most importantly—the food will taste better AND it costs less~ Christine

Ingredients:

1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh grated black pepper
3 cups cooked quinoa or couscous
1 red bell pepper chopped in 1/2 inch piece
1 small cucumber cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 bunch green onions ( scallions) chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
1 can garbanzo beans/chick peas drained and rinsed
1 cup roughly chopped baby spinach or arugula
2 tbsp Fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, dill or oregano
1 pack of crumbled feta cheese

Preparation:

In a small bowl, mix the first four ingredients together with a whisk. Pour over the quinoa or couscous and stir well. Add the veggies, beans, spinach / arugula, herbs and cheese and mix to combine. Refrigerate for 1 hour so the favors can meld.

22
February

Cabbage Rolls

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

I have to say when Christine sent this recipe to me, it brought a tear to my eye. I haven’t had my mom’s cabbage rolls—better known to Poles as gołąbki (gaw-WOHMP-kee)—since she passed away close to 25 years ago. This newsletter is all about magical portals. I’m fairly certain that every mom puts a little magic in their special recipes. I know my mom did. My friend, Christine, has the magic touch in everything she makes—and THAT is the voice of experience talking!  Enjoy!

~

“The old saying, “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day”, is definitely true when it comes to enjoying St. Patrick’s Day foods.  And the foods most associated with this celebration – cabbage, potatoes and root vegetables, are packed with powerful nutrients.

Cabbage, for one, is not only chock-full of anti-cancer fighting chemicals and antioxidants, but can lower cholesterol and promote good bacteria in the digestive tract. Top that off with a healthy dose of vitamin C and K and you have one powerful “ball” of nutrition.

There are over 400 varieties of cabbage, but the most often seen are Napa, Red, Savoy and Common (green).  The colors can range from deep green to a deep reddish purple. The deeper the color, the greater the nutritional value.

A head of cabbage is a self-contained package that you can store in your vegetable bin, uncut, for about a month. Peel away the outer leaves that yellow or lose their crunch. Once cut, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then store in a plastic bag and eat within a few weeks.” http://wordenfarm.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/eat-cabbage-for-luck-and-good-nutrition/

In Ireland cabbage is considered good luck because it is green and resembles money. Eat Cabbage for luck and nutrition. They are a sign of good luck at New Year—so why not St Patrick’s Day too!

Here is a recipe that will bring a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

1 head of cabbage

Filling:
1 cup cooked rice. Can be white or brown
1 lb ground beef (You can use any ground meat such as chicken, turkey, lamb or pork)
1 small onion diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 egg slightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce
1 can condensed tomato soup
1  14 oz. can chopped tomatoes

 

Preparation:

  • Remove the damaged outer leaves from the cabbage.
  • Separate the leaves from the cabbage.
  • Rinse then put in a shallow pan of simmering water to steam the cabbage leaves. They should steam for 5 to 10 minutes so that they are pliable enough to roll around the filling.
  • Check the pan every few minutes and remove the leaves as they are done. The larger outer leaves will take less time to steam then the inner leaves.
  • Place the steamed leaves in a colander to drain and cool so they are easier to work with.
    Filling:

    • Sauté the onion in 2 tbsp of garlic oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
    • Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    • In a large bowl combine the rice and ground meat.
    • Add the sautéed onions and garlic and the beaten egg.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.


    Sauce:

    • Mix the tomato soup and canned tomatoes in a medium size bowl until well blended.

     
    Assembling the cabbage rolls:

    • Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a thin layer of the sauce.
    • Place a spoonful of the filling in a cabbage leaf.
    • Roll the leaf around the filling and place the roll seam side down in the casserole dish. Continue until filling is used up.
    • Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls.
    • Cover the dish.
    • Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 50 to 60 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and keep covered for 10 minutes.Serve warm.
23
December

Pasta Fagiolo

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

~

“Pasta e fagioli or pasta fagioli, (or fagiolo) meaning “pasta and beans”, is a traditional meatless Italian dish. Like many other Italian favorites including pizza and polenta, the dish started as a peasant dish, due to being composed of inexpensive ingredients. Today it can be widely found, even in restaurants that do not specialize in Italian cuisine. It is often pronounced pasta fazool in the United States.

The word for “beans” varies in different Italian dialects, e.g. fagioli ([faˈdʒɔːli]) in standard Italian, [faˈsuːl] in Neapolitan, and [faˈsuːlu] in Sicilian. Pastafazoola, a 1927 novelty song by Van and Schenck, capitalizes on the Neopolitan pronunciation in the rhyme, “Don’t be a fool, eat pasta fazool.”  The Dean Martin song ‘That’s Amore’ also rhymes “When the stars make you drool, joos-ta like pasta fazool, that’s amore”.”  (Hah!  I always wondered what the words were for that part of the song!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasta_e_fagioli

Pasta Fagiolo

2 stalks celery medium chop
1 onion medium chop
2 carrots small chop
3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken stock cup water
1 16 oz can of chopped tomatoes ( do not drain)
2 cans cannellini beans
3/4 cup elbow macaroni

  • Sauté celery, onions and carrots in Olive oil in large saucepan for 3-4 minutes until they start to get soft.
  • Add garlic, Italian seasoning and red beeper flakes and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Be careful to watch so that garlic does not burn. Sautéing the seasoning will help to enhance the flavor.
  • Add the chicken stock and water and bring to a boil.
  • Turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes to cook the vegetables.
  • Add the beans, canned tomatoes and macaroni and bring to a boil.
  • Cover the pot and cook for 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.
  • Add a sald and you have a hearty, healthy winter meal!
23
October

Spicy Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Filling in for Christine’s busy schedule:

Spicey Fall Stew Baked in a Pumpkin

Vegetarian Times Issue: October 1, 2008   p.67

Nutritional Information

Serves 6

Amount Per :

Calories 221
Protein 6g
Total fat 9g
Carbs 31g
Cholesterol 10mg
Sodium 699mg
Fiber 6g
Sugars 10g
You don’t need a magic spell to turn a pumpkin into the edible serving dish for this satisfying autumn recipe. If you can’t find a large pumpkin or squash, bake this stew in two smaller ones. Serve with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (Click here for recipe).

Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
  •  2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder, preferably New Mexican
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered (1½ cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can hominy, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1 3- to 4-lb. pumpkin, either sugar pie, cheese, red kuri, kabocha, or buttercup squash
  • 2 oz. grated sharp Cheddar cheese (½ cup packed)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano, and cook 3 minutes more, or until spices darken.

2. Add tomatillos, hominy, ı/2 cup water, and salt. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, 10 to 12 minutes, or until tomatillos are softened. Uncover, and cook 5 minutes more to thicken stew, if necessary.

3. Meanwhile, cut top of pumpkin around stem to make lid. Scoop out pumpkin seeds and strings. Rub inside of pumpkin with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and sprinkle generously with salt. Sprinkle cheese in bottom of pumpkin.

4. Fill pumpkin with stew, then top with pumpkin lid. Place on parchment-covered baking sheet and bake 1ı/2 to 2 hours, or until pumpkin flesh is fork-tender. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

5. Scoop stew, including pumpkin, into bowls and serve hot, topped with Poblano-Cucumber Salsa (Click here for recipe).

Return to http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/food/recipes/recipe/10829

23
September

Braised Cabbage with Sausage

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

By now you probably get that I am 100% Polish, and pretty darned proud of it.  So when Christine sent this, I immediately thought of my mom’s many, many polish dishes that included sausage and cabbage.  She would have loved this recipe, and I would have eaten more than my fair share.  It was like getting a little bit of home sent to me when I received this recipe.

Let’s talk cabbage! Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates.

Digestive Tract Support

Long-established in health research is the role of cabbage juice in helping heal stomach ulcers (called peptic ulcers), but more recent studies on cabbage have looked at the overall health benefits of this food for the stomach and digestive tract as a whole.

Cardiovascular Support

You can count on cabbage to provide your cardiovascular system with valuable support in the form of cholesterol reduction.” http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?dbid=19&tname=foodspice#healthbenefits

P.S.  One more thing….when Christine’s recipe below suggests various sausages, you’d BETTER pick Polish!  Trust me—it’s the best!

Braised Cabbage with Sausage

1 small head red or green cabbage shredded
2 carrots shredded
1 stalk celery finely chopped
1 small red onion cut in half and then thinly sliced
1 small apple cut in 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup apple cider or juice
4 pieces of sausage (bratwurst, knockwurst, polish etc.)

Place sausage in a skillet and add 1 inch of water to pan and a drizzle of olive oil. Turn heat to medium and steam sausage uncovered until water evaporates about6 minutes. The sausage will brown in the pan. Turn sausage until browned evenly.

Sauté all vegetables in olive oil on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar and apple cider. Sauté for 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon cabbage on plate and top with sausage.

23
August

Hariton’s ‘Famous’ Vegetarian Casserole

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Filling in for Christine’s busy schedule:

Hariton’s ‘Famous’ Vegetarian Casserole

Ingredients

  • 8 large eggplants
  • 8 large potatoes
  • 8 green bell peppers
  • 8 large onions
  • 8 summer squash
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 pound fresh green beans
  • 1 pound whole fresh mushrooms
  • 2 bulbs garlic, cloves separated and peeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill weed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the eggplant before assembling ingredients, by cutting them into 2 inch chunks and putting them into an extra large bowl with salted water to cover. This will draw out the bitterness from the eggplant. Let this sit for about 3 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Cut the potatoes, green bell peppers, onion, squash and tomatoes into 2-inch chunks. Cut the green beans and mushrooms in half and peel the garlic cloves.
  4. Drain and rinse the eggplant, then combine it with all the other chopped vegetables, the dill, oregano and basil and place all into a 3x13x18 inch roasting pan. Pour the tomato sauce and olive oil over all.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 2 1/2 hours, adding a little water about halfway through cooking time to keep moist.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving:  Calories: 176 | Total Fat: 5.1g | Cholesterol: 0mg

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/haritons-famous-vegetarian-casserole/detail.aspx?src=3797_1

23
July

Baked Tomato Salad

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Tomatoes abound!  Don’t you just love this time of year when tomatoes are plentiful, and taste like they’re supposed to?  Not only do they taste awesome but the health benefits documented are “more than the scientific community is able to print.

These studies have proven not only the benefits in preventing cancer; heart disease as well as high cholesterol are also in the tomato’s sights.  Cancers such as prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and cancers of the stomach, mouth, pharynx, and esophagus have all been proven to be staved off by high levels of Lycopene.

Tomatoes are equally as nutritious fresh as they are in other variable forms. When tomato products are heat processed the bioavailability of the Lycopene actually increases rather than the anticipated decrease.  Research is now slowly proving that there is a high likelihood that the consumption of tomatoes and tomato based products actually may prevent serum lipid oxidation and reduce the risk of macular degenerative disease.

Tomatoes are by far the healthiest of the fruits and vegetables with the power to ward off some of the worst known diseases to man. With the vast variety of tomato products on the market, it really shouldn’t be difficult to get the full health benefit of tomatoes but, if you would like to get the full health benefits of tomatoes and have some fun at the same time, consider raising your own organic tomatoes (The author of this recipe does…but you probably already figured she’s all about fresh produce from her garden—which is absolutely beautiful). It would be a lot of fun, get you outside for some vitamin D and best of all reward you with great taste and vibrant health.”
http://healthfood-guide.com/tomatohealthbenefits.aspx.

Don’ have a plot of your own to garden?  Check out this book recommended by Yogamint’s “A Plot of Your Own”  to enjoy the benefits of gardening “urbanstyle”:  I Garden – Urban Style

Now for the scrumptious recipe!

This can be served warm, room temperature or chilled. It is great to make ahead for company. It is best served with warm, crusty bread or on top of pasta or tortilla chips

Baked Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

Olive oil
Fresh garden tomatoes (as many as you like)
4 cloves minced garlic
Salt
Fresh ground pepper
Minced fresh parsley
Minced fresh basil
*fresh minced cilantro can be substituted for basil
1 jar of roasted red peppers
Preheat oven to 475

Instructions:  Coat the bottom of a large baking dish (preferably stoneware or similar) with olive oil. Cut the tomatoes in 1/4″ slices and put in a single layer into the baking dish add the garlic. Salt and pepper lightly, sprinkle a bit of parley then basil (or cilantro) then layer roasted peppers. Repeat the layers ending with a layer of tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with dry bread or cracker crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.
Excellent served with bread or pasta to soak up the juices or with tortilla chips if you make it with cilantro.

 

23
June

Sautéed Swiss chard

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Swiss Chard:

“Swiss chard is not only one of the most popular vegetables along the Mediterranean but it is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to spinach following our analysis of the total nutrient-richness of the World’s Healthiest vegetables.

Blood Sugar Benefits

Multiple studies on animals have shown that chard has unique benefits for blood sugar regulation. In addition, chard may provide special benefits in the diets of individuals diagnosed with diabetes.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

As an excellent source of vitamins C, E, beta-carotene and the mineral manganese, and a good source of the mineral zinc, chard offers an outstanding variety of conventional antioxidants. But these conventional antioxidants are only part of chard’s fantastic health benefits with respect to prevention of oxidative stress and diseases related to chronic, unwanted oxidative stress. Equally outstanding are chard’s phytonutrient antioxidants.

Support of Bone Health

With its very good supply of calcium, its excellent supply of magnesium, and the vitamin K it provides in amounts six to eight times higher than the Daily Value (in just one boiled cup), chard provides standout bone support.”

Read more details on all of the above at:  http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16 Now for the recipe!

Sautéed Swiss chard

This is great as a side dish, filling for an omelet, served over pasta or polenta.  It can easily be doubled. 

Ingredients:

1 bunch Swiss chard

3 cloves of garlic (or more to taste)

1/2 sweet onion

2 tbsp olive oil

Splash of apple cider vinegar (use raw unfiltered if available)

3-4 tbsp of water

Instructions:

1. Rinse chard well.  Spin dry. It is ok if there is some water on the chard, it will help it steam later.

2. Chop the stems of the chard into 1/2 inch pieces. 

3. Finely chop garlic and onion.

4. Chop leaves of chard into 1-inch strips.

5. Sauté onion, garlic and stems from Swiss chard in pan over med-low heat for 5-8 minutes.

6. Add the chard leaves.  Sauté 3 minutes. 

7. Add the vinegar and water, cover the pan and sauté an additional 5 minutes. 

8. Take the cover off and let sauté until liquid evaporates (about 2 minutes).

23
May

Green Cabbage and Mushrooms

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Filling in for Christine’s busy schedule:  http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/RCP00216/Green-Cabbage-and-Mushrooms.html

Green Cabbage and Mushrooms

Description:

Cabbage is a true vegetable treasure, widely underappreciated. It is low-cost and highly nutritious. Along with the other cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale), cabbage provides significant amounts of fiber, vitamin C and an important class of nutrients called indoles. Research on indoles is focusing on their ability to protect against both breast and prostate cancer. An additional bonus in this savory side dish is the mushrooms. Use the more flavorful (and healthful) shiitake mushrooms if you can find them.

Ingredients

1 small green cabbage, cored and diced, about 6 cups
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 pound mushrooms (shiitake, if possible)
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon fresh dill weed, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. In a covered pot over high heat, steam the cabbage in the stock for 5 minutes until it is just wilted and still bright green. Remove from heat and remove cover.

2. While the cabbage cooks, heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok, and sauté the onion and mushrooms until they brown. Add the cabbage and heat through, mixing well.

3. Stir the cornstarch mixture well and add it to skillet. Bring mixture to boil, stirring, until liquid thickens. Reduce heat and season to taste with dill, paprika, salt and pepper.

23
April

Asparagus Soup

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Feeling run down? Bloated? Need to detox? … And boost your Folic Acid intake if you’re pregnant or nursing, avoid varicose veins and savor a delicious delicacy that’s fast and easy to cook?

The answer is the simple asparagus stalk. http://archive.supermarketguru.com/page.cfm/37895

Asparagus Soup

1 lb of asparagus cut into 2″ pieces – woody ends removed and discarded
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic
Pinch of red pepper flecks
1 quart chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Sr. Cream * optional
Chopped chives

Sauté asparagus in olive oil on med low heat for 5 minutes. Add shallot and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes until asparagus is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool. Puree asparagus and stock in blender. Reheat or serve at room temperature. Garnish with sr. cream and chives if desired.

23
March

Peach-Blackberry Smoothie

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Filling in for Christine’s busy schedule:

Created by: Almond Board of California
Description:
Let this crisp and fruity drink give you a smart morning start, or act as an afternoon snack to keep hunger at bay. With every sip, you’ll enjoy the smooth taste of almond butter, peaches, blackberries, and a touch of honey.

Ingredients

2 cups almond milk
2 cups frozen peaches
1 cup frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey

Preparation: Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and thick. Serve.

Nutritional Information

Nutritional analysis per serving.

Calories 209 Fiber 5 g
Fat 7 g Cholesterol 0 mg
Sat Fat 0.7 g Sodium 109 mg
Mono Fat 3.5 g Calcium 186 mg
Poly Fat 2.2 g Magnesium 66 mg
Protein 7 g Potassium 417 mg
Carb 34 g Vitamin E 6.9 mg*
* total alpha-tocopherol equivalents

http://www.almondboard.com/healthprofessionals/RecipeIdeas/Pages/RecipeDetailView.aspx?RID=cd54c61d-6094-4b0d-bcf8-78679855614c&sr=1

2 cups almond milk
2 cups frozen peaches
1 cup frozen blackberries
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
Preparation: Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and thick. Serve.

21
February

Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread by Carol Fenster

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine, Newsletter
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

My friend, Christine, had mentioned she was thinking of Irish Soda Bread for this month.  So she’s the inspiration for my posting the following as a fill-in for her recipe.  I was given the honor of blogging about my experience cooking and baking from 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster.  Both my husband and I are gluten-sensitive.  I was quite flattered when my friend, Mike Mitchelson, asked me to review the book and do a blog on my efforts.  http://bloatedbelly.typepad.com/the_bloated_belly/2010/12/for-the-love-of-dumplings.html

So this month’s recipe is from this wonderful book!  As a reminder and in keeping with the “little people theme this month, elemental spirits of the Earth can be invoked through crystals, herbs, salt and bread.

Irish Soda Bread

Makes 10 servings

Irish Soda bread is ideal for those who avoid yeast because it is leavened with baking soda and baking powder instead.  It makes great sandwiches, and it can be toasted for breakfast.

2 cups Carol’s Sorghum Blend (see below)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk or Homemade Buttermilk (page 29 in the book), thinned with
¼ cup water, well shaken, and at room temperature
¼ cut unsalted butter or buttery spread, at room temperature
½ cup dried currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted

  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Generously grease an 8 x 4-inch nonstick (gray, not black) loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sorghum blend, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.  Add the egg, buttermilk, butter, currants, and caraway seeds.  With an electric mixer on low speed, mix just until thoroughly blended.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and smooth the top with a wet rubber spatula.  With a very sharp knife, cut a 1/8-inch-deep X on the top to allow the bread to expand as it rises.
  3. Bake until the top is deeply browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 55 to 60 minutes.  The internal temperature should reach 205 degrees Fahrenheit when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the center of the loaf.  Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack.  Slice with an electric or serrated knife.

Carol’s Sorghum Blend
Makes 4 cups

1 ½ cups sorghum flour
1 ½ cups potato starch or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk the ingredients together until well blended.  Store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place for up to 3 months.  You may refrigerate or freeze the blend, but bring to room temperature before using.  You may double or triple the recipe.

23
January

Chocolate Raspberry Bonbons

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Raspberry Bonbons Recipe

Substituting for Christine, here’s one from http://enchocolat.com/category/chocolate-recipes/

There is nothing like a delicious chocolate and many times the over processed confections that are sold in many stores often don’t hit the spot for real chocolate lovers. How do we resolve that? Well we find this delicious Chocolate Raspberry Bonbons recipe from Elana’s Pantry of course! It’s just an added bonus that these are gluten free and vegan friendly as well so even more of you chocoholics can enjoy them!

Chocolate Raspberry Bonbons
¾ cup dark chocolate chips 73% cacao
¼ cup raspberry jam

  1. Melt chocolate in a small pan over very low heat; you can use a double boiler if you wish and temper the chocolate
  2. Using a small paint brush, coat the bottom and sides of a candy mold
  3. Place mold in freezer for 10 minutes to allow chocolate to harden
  4. Remove mold from freezer
  5. Spoon a scant teaspoon of raspberry jam into each chocolate lined candy mold cup
  6. Paint chocolate over raspberry jam to cover and make final layer
  7. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to harden
  8. Remove from freezer, turn mold upside down and pop candies out of mold
  9. Serve

Makes 11 bonbons (depending on your mold)

06
January

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

Whether it’s cold outside or you’re feeling a little under the weather, soup can be a comforting and beneficial remedy. In addition to its taste, it can give you a number of vitamins, minerals and other beneficial elements to help you feel better—especially when it’s homemade!

Chicken Wild Rice Soup
4 carrots cut into I inch pieces
3 stalks of celery in 1 inch slices
1 large leek (or onion can be used) slice
4 sprigs of fresh time (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 Box Uncle Bens wild rice mix (you can use the seasoning packet for more flavor)
1-2 cups of roast chicken or turkey (this is a great way to use leftovers from store bought roasted chickens)
1 Quart Chicken or turkey stock. (another great use for leftover chicken carcasses)
1-1 1/2 cups of 1/2 and 1/2 or milk (depending on how creamy you want it)

Sauté the carrots, leeks and celery on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Add the wild rice mix and Thyme. Cook for 1 hour. Add the cooked chicken and the cream and bring to a simmer.

ENJOY with cracked black pepper.

06
November

One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  http://www.thepalate.net/.  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

This winter, as the cold and flu season comes into full swing, put good foods in your body to nurture seasonal health. Nutrient types and levels vary in foods that grow each season and your body knows how to use each food for strength and immunity. By eating healthy, whole foods that are grown organically and in season, you are feeding your body the highest amount and most necessary nutrients. Food types vary with the seasons for good reason and eating a variety of in season foods will bring great benefits. In the fall and early winter, pumpkins, squash, carrots, beets, and dark leafy greens line the market shelves. Right now, the bounty of these foods will bring you large amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants.  Pumpkins and squash help your body clear out excess mucus that can develop during the cold season and help improve circulation that can be constricted by the cold weather.
http://yogaearth.com/blog/winterproduce/. Here is a great soup (from my friend, Christine), that will please your taste buds and fortify your health this winter.

Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium to large squash (either acorn or butternut)

8 cloves garlic unpeeled

4 leaves of fresh sage

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 shallot

3-4 cups of chicken broth


Turn oven on to 350

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Rub olive oil on cut side of squash. Place 4 cloves of garlic under each piece of squash on a baking sheet.  Cover squash with aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes until squash is very soft when pierced with sharp knife.


Remove squash from oven and let cool until you can touch.

Sauté shallot in olive oil until soft, about 8 minutes.

Squeeze garlic out of its peel and add to shallots

Add squash to pan with garlic and shallot.  Stir until well mixed.

Add chicken stock and cook soup for 30 minutes on low heat.

Let cool.  Use an immersion blender or add soup to blender and blend until smooth.

Reheat if necessary.  Serve with Crème Fraiche or sour cream.



24
October

Three-Apple Applesauce

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
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One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef. She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI: http://www.thepalate.net/. Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago. It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home. Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers. Enjoy!

Substituting for my friend, Christine, this month is epicurious.com:

Three-Apple Applesauce
by Jill Silverman Hough

The combination of three varieties of apples gives this applesauce sweet-tart flavor and great texture.

Yield: Makes six to seven 1-pint jars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 pounds Fuji apples or other sweet-crisp apples
  • 3 pounds Granny Smith apples or other tart apples
  • 3 pounds Jonathan or Rome Beauty apples or other soft-textured apples
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Preparation:

Combine 2 cups water and lemon juice in 10- to 12-quart stockpot. Peel, core, and cut apples into 3/4-inch pieces; mix pieces into lemon water as soon as apples are cut, to prevent browning. Add sugar, coarse salt, cinnamon, and allspice; stir over medium high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until apples are soft and almost translucent, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Using potato masher, mash apples to chunky consistency.

Ladle applesauce into hot clean 1-pint glass canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch space at top of jars. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar threads and rims with damp cloth. Cover with hot lids; apply screw bands. Process jars in pot of boiling water 20 minutes. Cool jars completely. Store in cool dark place up to 1 year.

Read more http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/printerfriendly/Three-Apple-Applesauce-350115#ixzz118YGgS6O


23
September

One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef. She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI : http://www.thepalate.net/. Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago. It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home. Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers. Enjoy!

Substituting this month for my friend, Christine is “Cooking Light” magazine!
Apricot-Thyme Galette

A little bit of almond flour (also labeled almond meal) makes the dough more tender. Look for it on the baking aisle or in the gluten-free section.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

Ingredients

  • 6.2  ounces  all-purpose flour (about 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons), divided
  • 3  tablespoons  ice water
  • 1/2  teaspoon  cider vinegar
  • 1/8  teaspoon  almond extract
  • 1/3  cup  turbinado sugar, divided
  • 1/4  cup  almond flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  cup  chilled butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  cornstarch
  • 2  pounds  firm ripe apricots, pitted and cut into quarters
  • 1/4  cup  apricot jam
  • 1  tablespoon  honey
  • 1  teaspoon  fresh thyme leaves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Lightly spoon 1.1 ounces (about 1/4 cup) all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1.1 ounces all-purpose flour, ice water, vinegar, and almond extract in a small bowl; stir with a fork until well blended to form a slurry.

3. Combine remaining 5.1 ounces (about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, almond flour, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add slurry; stir just until moist. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 5 times. Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap. Cover with additional plastic wrap. Carefully roll dough into a 14-inch circle; freeze for 10 minutes.

4. Remove dough from freezer; remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Let stand 1 minute or until pliable. Place dough, plastic wrap side up, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper; remove remaining plastic wrap.

5. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons sugar; sprinkle over dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange apricots spokelike on top of cornstarch mixture, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold edges of dough over apricots (dough will only partially cover apricots).

6. Combine jam and honey in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 45 seconds. Brush jam mixture over apricots and dough edges. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until crust browns. Remove from oven; sprinkle with thyme. Cool 10 minutes.

http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1988576

23
August

Berries and Cream or Cheesecake without the crust

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
Comments Off on Berries and Cream or Cheesecake without the crust Tagged with

One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef. She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI : http://www.thepalate.net/. Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago. It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home. Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers. Enjoy!

Berries and Cream or Cheesecake without the crust 

This is a nice summer dessert and a great way to get your anti-oxidants in.


8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek style)

1/4 confectioners’ sugar

1-2 tsp vanilla extract (depending upon taste)

1 tsp grated lemon peel

2 pints of your favorite berry


Mix all ingredients with a mixer. Add small amount of milk to thin out if necessary.  It should be the consistency of a thick mile shake. Refrigerate at least 2 hours for flavors to meld. 

To serve spoon some cream into bowl and add berries.  Enjoy.

23
July

Light summer meal or side dish

Written by Sandy. Posted in: Delicious Recipes À la Christine
Comments Off on Light summer meal or side dish Tagged with

One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef. She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI : http://www.thepalate.net/. Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago. It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home. Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers. Enjoy!


This is an excellent dish for a light meal in the summer or it can be used as a side dish.  You can substitute 10 oz. of broccoli or zucchini if you want.

Spinach pie

2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp. flat leaf parsley
1 tsp canola oil
8 oz fresh mushrooms
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground pepper
10 oz fresh spinach chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp minced fresh chives
1/4 minced fresh dill

1. Preheat oven to 350

2. In a large bowl combine eggs, cottage cheese, mozzarella and parsley.  Mix well.

3. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, lemon juice and pepper.  Sauté until liquid is evaporated.  Add the spinach and nutmeg, cover and sauté 1 minute.  Remove cover and sauté another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add chives and dill.  Cool slightly.

4. Add the vegetable mixture to the egg and cheese mixture and pour into a 9 inch slightly greased pie pan.

5.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, until browned on top.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.  Cut into wedges and serve.