Tag Archives: healthy

Ginger Snaps

17 Nov

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I spent part of my summer hanging out with my dad in his cute little house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We have bonded a lot through food over the years and without fail, my dear ol’ always requests that we bake when I’m there. “We” mostly means me, but I’m more than happy to oblige. This time, he requested ginger snaps – one of his favorites and also something I had never made before. I’m always up for a challenge in the kitchen! My poppa’s palate was pleased by these wholesome morsels and they are just perfect for the autumn and upcoming winter season with all of their aromatic spices.

Time: 30 minutes                   Yield: 18 cookies

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup butter or Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups flour (I used brown rice flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh grated ginger (these are strong in ginger flavor, if you want less use 2 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and butter. Mix until creamy and well incorporated. Add molasses and egg and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom . Slowly add dry ingredients into wet, mixing well to incorporate. Next, fold in ginger and mix well.
  • Place granulated sugar in a small shallow dish. Form dough into about 1″ balls. Roll dough in granulated sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet, allowing room between each as these spread as they bake.
  • Bake for 16 minutes in middle rack. Remove from oven, lift silpat or parchment paper and gently move to cool off of the hot baking sheet.

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Orange Mango Banana Poppy Seed Bread

15 Jun

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One of my fellow MasterChef 4 competitors invited me to write a guest post for her blog. I decided to share this delicious quick bread (or muffins – your choice!). Oh, and would you believe it’s low-fat and gluten-free?! Oh, yes!!! Please visit Celebration Generation for the recipe and other interesting tidbits about our MasterChef 4 experience.

Jeweled Kale and Cabbage Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

4 Jun

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We all know how good leafy greens are for us, but did you know how downright tasty they can be to boot? I learned the technique of cooking off the rawness of the kale and cabbage from Chef Lulu Powers who I worked for when I was out in LA a few months back. These simple ingredients come together for a wonderful balance of flavors and textures. Enjoy! 

Time: 15 minutes                         Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • Salad


  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
  • orange juice or lemonade – enough to cover dried fruit
  • 3 cups shredded kale
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan Reggiano Asiago cheeses
  • Dressing


  • 1 tbsp Creole or other grainy mustard
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, freshly grated – to taste

How to make it


  • Salad


  • The day before you plan to make this salad, combine dried cranberries and juice in a small container. Seal and let sit overnight to reconstitute the fruit.
  • Preheat oven to 425F. Spread shredded kale and cabbage out on lined baking sheets giving room so as not to crowd.
  • Bake kale and cabbage for 6 minutes. Transfer from baking sheets to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add reconstituted cranberries, pine nuts, and cheese. Toss with dressing and serve.
  • Dressing


  • Combine mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup in a small non-reactive bowl. Whisk to incorporate. Add olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mushroom Barley Soup

23 May

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I know some of you are probably thinking, “soup?! really?!” considering it is late May. But here in my fine hometown of Detroit, MI it is currently 46F and pouring. What better time to warm up with this hearty soup that pleases vegetarians and meat-eaters alike?

Time: 15 min prep, 1hr 15min cook                   Serves: 8-10

Ingredients


  • 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
  • 3 bay leaves
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 large)
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large portabella mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp brown rice Miso paste, dissolved in a bit of warm water
  • black pepper
  • chopped parsley, chopped – for garnish
  • Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids and Sriracha, to serve

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How to make it


  • Put barley in a 5 quart pot with bay leaves and a generous amount of sea salt. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pot, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour or until grains are soft and open.
  • Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and the garlic, and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a few minutes then add to the pot of barley and cooking liquid.
  • Next, heat the remaining olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. (If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can cook them in a couple of batches). Sauté, stirring constantly for a few minutes. Lower heat to medium and cook until softened and starting to brown.
  • Transfer to pot. Add 2-3 cups of water, and miso paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Add kale and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve with Bragg’s and Sriracha.
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Creamy Spring Michigan Asparagus Soup

14 May

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I look forward to the spring for so many reasons, and Michigan asparagus is one of them! It’s fresh, subtly sweet, and oh so delicious. The simplicity of this luscious soup lets it shine through and really be the star. May be served hot or chilled.

Time: 45 minutes                            Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • 1 onion,  finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends removed – cut into 2-inch pieces, tips reserved
  • 2 cups peeled & cubed potatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • sea salt and black pepper, freshly ground – to taste
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

How to make it


  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 5 qt stock pot. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add asparagus (not the tips!). Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F. Place asparagus tips on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven and roast 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and set aside
  • Once potatoes are tender, use an immersion blender to puree or standing blender in batches. Return to pot and add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with roasted asparagus tips.

Pan-Fried Baby Bok Choy

30 Apr

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A quick, easy preparation that yields delicious results.

Time: 10 minutes              Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2-3 heads baby Bok Choy, quartered
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make it


  • Heat oils in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add bok choy cut sides down. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine sriracha, tamari, and honey. Add to bok choy during the last minute of cooking.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle sesame seeds over top.

Sesame Soba with Chicken and Edamame

29 Apr

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Soba noodle dishes like this can be served warm, room temp, or chilled for your enjoyment and convenience!

Time: 20 minutes                  Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oi
  • 1/2 pound chicken tenders
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 inches ginger, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced – white & light green parts separated from dark green
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use tamari, which is wheat-free)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. soba noodles, cooked according to package instructions, drained & cooled
  • 1 cup edamame, cooked according to package instructions, drained & cooled
  • cornstarch slurry – optional for thickening
  • radishes, sliced – for garnish

How to make it


  • Heat vegetable and sesame oils in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 3 minutes, turn. Add garlic, ginger, and light green parts of green onions to pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn the garlic.
  • Meanwhile, combine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Add to skillet.
  • Add cooked soba and edamame. Toss to combine. Allow to heat through.
  • If needed, add cornstarch slurry to thicken sauce.
  • Garnish with sliced radish and tops of green onions.

Quinoa White Bean Burgers with Herbed Greek Yogurt

24 Apr

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A protein-rich “veggie burger”. You can certainly put this on your favorite bun but we enjoyed it just like this with sliced cucumber.

Time: 30 minutes                      Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • Burgers


  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package instructions and cooled completely
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups Great Northern beans (I used 1/2 cup dry, soaked overnight & cooked until tender, this also equals one 15oz can, drained)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (I made fresh with gluten free bread), divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • sea salt and black pepper – to taste
  • Vegetable or olive oil for cooking
  • Yogurt


  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp each fresh dill and chives, roughly chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper, freshly ground – to taste

How to make it


  • Burgers


  • Place carrots, beans, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S-blade”. Process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add cooked quinoa, 1/4 cups bread crumbs and remaining ingredients. Mix to incorporate. Divide into 6 portions and form into patties.
  • Place remaining bread crumbs into a shallow dish and coat patties. Chill patties in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  • Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  • Yogurt


  • Combine all ingredients and mix to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Sesame Cucumber Salad

20 Apr

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Light, refreshing and healthy. This salad is great addition to any meal.

Time: 10 minutes              Serves: 2

Ingredients


  • 2-3 small Persian or Japanese cucumbers
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

How to make it


  • Slice the cucumbers lengthwise using a vegetable peeler, or widthwise into very thin coins.
  • Combine vinegar, sugar, and oil in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Mix well to incorporate.
  • Add cucumbers and sesame seeds and toss well.

Garlic Ginger Tuna Croquettes

19 Apr

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Today is National Garlic Day, so let’s celebrate! These croquettes are full of flavor and freshness, a great way to wake up canned tuna. Brown Rice Snaps add great flavor and texture, as well as being gluten-free to make them versatile. Also would make great appetizers, just make them smaller.

Time: 25 minutes              Serves: 3

Ingredients


  • 2 5oz. cans tuna, drained
  • 1/2 cup crushed Baked Brown Rice Snaps w/Tamari and Sesame, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • olive oil and sesame oil for cooking
  • green onion tops, sliced – for garnish

How to make it


  • Combine tuna, 1/4 cup crushed crackers, egg, green onion, garlic, lime juice, ginger, Sriracha, salt, pepper, mustard, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl. Mix to well to incorporate.
  • Divide mixture into 6 portions. Shape into patties. Dredge in remaining crushed rackers.
  • Heat oils in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side.
  • Garnish with green onions. Serve with Sesame Cucumber Salad.