Fruity Guacomole Recipe Redux – April, 2015: What hiding in the cupboard?
This post is especially exciting for me, as it marks my very first written as an official, card-carrying Registered Dietitian Nutritionist! That’s right, after many years of school and internships and late nights studying, I finally sat for my RD exam for the first time last week and, as as luck would have it, I passed. Very excited to be a part of this great group of nutrition specialists.
For this month’s Recipe Redux challenge I decided to really “fruit it up”, as my cupboard contained a can of pineapple, fresh apples, and some really ripe avocados all ready for the using.
This guac is great served with baked corn chips or veggie sticks, or you can serve it alongside grilled fish or chicken. Other fruits could work well in it too, like mango, peaches or apricots. You can also use a variety of apples. Add scallions for extra bite. Tip: Make sure to add the spoonful of lime on top before refrigerating so to keep your guacamole from turning brown.
This recipe makes a big batch, so do be sure to share with friends and family!
Happy Healthy Eating!
– Chef Michelle Moreau, RDN
3 large Avocados, ripe, peeled seeded
1/4 teaspoon Cumin, ground
1/8 teaspoon Sea salt
pinch Black pepper, fresh ground
2 medium Limes, juiced
1 large Jalapeno, minced (use seeds too for extra spice if desired)
1 medium Apple, Granny Smith, peeled, cored, diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup Pineapple, diced
2 tablespoons Cilantro leaves, fresh, minced
2 tablespoons Basil leaves, fresh, minced
1/4 cup Pomegranate seeds
Into a large mixing bowl add the avocados, cumin, salt and pepper. Also add all but a spoonful of the lime juice. Mash the avocado with a fork until creamy. Add the jalapeno, apple, pineapple, cilantro and basil to bowl and stir to mix well. Place in a serving bowl and drizzle the reserved spoonful of lime juice over the top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and refrigerate 3-4 hours. Serve chilled.
Lucky Lentil Cakes with Good Fortune Sauce
Recipe Redux – December, 2013: Good Luck Foods
I admit it – of all the holidays, New Years is one of my all-time favorites. What’s not to love about everyone getting all dressed up in their finest, sipping champagne and even working a kiss or two into the evening’s schedule! What a great festivity!
With each new year comes a new beginning, and in any situation having luck on your side is always a good thing. Honestly, I have never thought about lucky foods until hearing about this month’s Recipe Redux theme challenge, and it was a lot of fun researching to come up with my own Good Luck Foods themed dinner.
Many components of my recipes here were chosen for their good luck. The lentils and cakes represent money and good fortune. Lentils have been served as far back as Roman times for their good luck. Including sauteed greens in your New Year’s menu further strengthens your monetary good fortune, so make sure to include them. I used baby kale here sauteed with minced garlic and olive oil, but any green could work.
I recommend serving the lentil cakes and grape sauce with a white fish like cod, as it’s presence makes your meal extra super lucky. Fish scales symbolize coins. Fish travel in schools, which symbolize prosperity, and swim only forwards, never backwards, which symbolizes progress. Based on this, I would guess there is no luckier food than fish! If you want to keep the meal vegetarian you could substitute grilled tofu for the cod. To prepare the cod, salt & pepper 4 4-ounce portions of cod (one per guest), heat a skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat, then add the seasoned cod. Cook the cod to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Some cultures eat twelve grapes at midnight for good luck, symbolizing the 12 months of the upcoming year. For this dinner menu I instead used twelve grape slices as garnish (6 red and 6 green), which also remind me of large, festive holiday confetti on the plate.
Even though the cake recipe instructions are presented here first, do start cooking the sauce before the cakes because the sauce does takes longer to cook. You can even cook the sauce a day before (without butter), and then reheat and stir in the butter during your special night.
May this dish bring you and your guests lots of luck in the upcoming year.
Happy Healthy New Year!
INGREDIENTS for the Lucky Lentil Cakes
2 teaspoons Olive oil
1 medium Shallot, minced
1 1/4 cup Mushrooms, Baby Bella, stems removed, minced
1 1/4 cup Beluga lentils, cooked
1 medium Egg, whole
1 medium Egg white
1/4 cup Parsley, flat-leaf, minced
2 teaspoons Thyme leaf, fresh, minced
1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
pinch Black pepper, fresh ground
for the Good Fortune Sauce
1 cup Grapes, Red
1 cup Grapes, Green
1/2 cup Vegetable or Fish stock
1/2 tablespoon Hot pepper jelly
1 teaspoon Tamari, gluten-free, low-sodium
1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Butter, unsalted
for the Lucky Lentil Cakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the olive oil to a heated pan on medium-high heat. Add the shallots and saute a couple minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute one more minute.
Transfer the sauteed veggies to a medium mixing bowl along with all the other cake ingredients and mix well to combine. With a large scoop, ladle 1/4 of the mixture and pour carefully onto a sheet pan covered in parchment paper, forming a round cake. Repeat process with the remaining lentil mixture, making 4 cakes.
Bake cakes for 20 minutes. Serve hot. (Serving size: 1 cake)
for the Good Fortune Grapes Sauce:
In a blender add all the ingredients except the butter and grape slice garnish. Blend on high for two minutes, until the grape skins are completely broken down. Pour mixture into a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until it is fully melted into the sauce. Serve hot, along with 12 grape slices on each dinner plate. (Serving size: 2 tablespoons of sauce)
Serve each Lucky Lentil Cake with one 4-ounce piece pan-seared Cod (or grilled Tofu patties instead for vegetarian), sauteed greens, 2 tablespoons of Good Fortune Grapes Sauce, and 6 slices each of red and green grapes. (Note: you will have a bunch of leftover sauce if serving only four guests)
Cranberry Ginger Chutney Recipe Redux- November, 2012: “Old-Fashioned” Side Dishes Made New
At every Thanksgiving dinner two dishes have always appeared on the table- roast turkey and cranberry sauce. I remember as a child the many hours spent by my family on preparing the big bird, roasting it, and then ceremoniously slicing it up onto the fancy turkey platter. The turkey even had its own special stuffing and gravy. As for the cranberry sauce, well… the only things needed for its prep was a can opener and a bowl to dump it in (hopefully my Nana and Mom don’t get too upset over my divulging this info, but on the other hand, I think back in the day most holiday tables used this same “technique” for cranberry sauce.)
As a kid, I thought I didn’t like cranberry sauce. Once I got the pleasure of trying a freshly-made cranberry sauce as an adult, I realized instantly that I just don’t like cranberries out of a can (as usual, fresh is best!)
For this fresh version, I actually adapted this recipe from a one that appeared in a Food & Wine magazine over a decade ago. Unfortunately, I do not have that November issue anymore and cannot remember the original chef’s name (I think he was from Washington State). Among several differences, his version included champagne vinegar, which is delicious but super expensive. Mine uses apple cider vinegar, which is an ingredient much easier on the wallet.
This dish has been a family favorite for years at my Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Try this recipe out for yourself at your next holiday- your guests will love it, plus your can opener will appreciate the rest.
1 tablespoon Olive oil
2 medium Shallots, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons Ginger, minced
2 cups Orange juice, fresh squeezed
1 cup Light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Orange zest
1/2 cup Cider vinegar
1 1/2 pounds Cranberries (2 bags)
1 tablespoon Golden mustard seeds
In a large, deep pan, heat the olive oil on medium high heat. Add the shallot and ginger and cook until the shallot is softened, about a couple of minutes. add the orange juice, sugar and cinnamon stick, stir until the sugar dissolves, then simmer until the orange juice is is reduced by about third (about 5 minutes). Add the orange zest, cider vinegar, cinnamon stick and cranberries to the pan and cook the cranberries until they completely burst, about 12 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and let the chutney cool.
In a small, dry fry pan add the mustard seeds and toast over a medium heat until the seeds become fragrant, about a minute. Make sure to move the seeds around in the pan as you cook them so that they cook evenly. Add the toasted seeds to the chutney and stir so that they are evenly distributed.
When the chutney is completely cooled, remove and discard the cinnamon stick.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip (and pizza topping!) Recipe Redux: “How to Tofu” Recipe Challange, plus Cookbook Giveaway!
To enter the Cookbook Giveaway, follow entry instructions below… (expired sorry)
This marks my first blog entry after a brief hiatus- a break taken due to losing my dear friend Jenn to cancer. What made the return especially hard for me at first was that Jenn was also my web designer whom helped me turn the vision of this Healthy in the Kitchen with Chef Michelle website into the reality it is today.
I do find it fitting that my first blog back is about cooking with soy. Studies have shown soy to be beneficial in the reducing the rates of certain cancers. So, if perhaps this site and others help make it easier for others to enjoy cooking and eating with soy, then maybe, just maybe we could help put a dent in this cancer mess. Yes, I dare to dream big… but then, is there really any other way…
So this Spinach & Artichoke dip recipe is super-duper easy to make- even a novice in the kitchen can master this on their first-try. It’s a great dish for when you are in a pinch for an easy, substantial appetizer – keep the spinach and artichoke in the freezer on hand ready and waiting for when you need it!
This dip makes for a delicious pizza topping too. Just simply spread some Spinach-Artichoke dip over your favorite pre-made pizza dough, add a few chopped veggies on top (like peppers, onions, mushrooms) and bake (ok, if you must have the cheese, you can sprinkle some of that on too…) Now your leftover veggie dip from Saturday night’s party can cleverly transform to your pizza served on football Sunday. And no one will be the wiser during either meal that there is soy making each dish so tasty (unless you tell them, which I would confess right after they remark how delicious it is!) Note: When making a pizza, if using a gluten-free crust, for better texture I recommend lightly spraying the pizza’s edges (where the dough is exposed) with olive oil.
12 ounces tofu, firm (1 small package)
2-3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon Chili Flakes
1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
pinch of salt and black pepper
20 ounces Frozen chopped spinach, thawed (2 packages)
9 ounces Frozen artichokes, thawed, chopped (1 package)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the tofu, garlic, mustard, chili flakes, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mash tofu to a course consistency, like feta cheese. Add the spinach and artichokes and toss to combine.
Spread dip out evenly in a large baking dish (I used a 9′ pie pan). Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until thoroughly heated. Serve dip warm with lots of cut veggies (like celery, carrot, pepper, broccoli, radish and cucumber) and spread a bit of it over your favorite whole-grain crackers or bread.
This post is dedicated to the loving memory of Jenn Marcelais of Soul Oyster Web Studios, and to all our other loved ones who have battled, or who are now in the fight, with cancer. May we all have a cure soon.
“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Soyfoods Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Cookbook Offer!!! Enter for a chance to win a copy of Soyfoods Cookbook!
Simply comment on this post about your favorite way to enjoy soy,and you are entered – it’s that easy! Click on the “Comments” tag below to share a comment and enter.
One respondent will be chosen at random. Entry must be made by October 23, 2012.
If you think chickpea hummus is good, well wait until you try this new version with fava beans! This hummus tastes great as a spread in sandwiches, or as a dip for cut veggies or crackers. I like the taste best when I use a combination of red and yellow roasted peppers in the dish. For full directions on how to oven roast bell peppers, check out my Millet Couscous recipe also within this site.
No fava beans on hand? You can always go traditional and make the recipe with chickpeas instead. Either way, you won’t believe how much better fresh made hummus tastes from the pre-made store brands. One bite and you will be hooked!
2 1/2 cups Fava beans, soaked then removed from shells
1/2 cup Roasted bell peppers, red, yellow and/or orange
2 tablespoons Sesami tahini
1 large Garlic clove, crushed
1 medium Lemon, juiced
1/8 teaspoon Paprika
pinch Sea salt
Put the shelled fava beans into a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, then simmer for about 45 minutes, or until cooked. Strain water and cool beans.
In a food processor, add the cooked beans, roasted pepper, tahini, garlic, lemon, paprika and salt. Process until smooth. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
This easy to make sauce is sure to impress. Delicious on tomato, mozzarella and basil salads, as well as watermelon with honey, micro-greens and feta. It also adds great flavor when warmed and drizzled on lean cuts of meat like chicken or pork.
When preparing the sauce, make sure to simmer and not boil, so that you don’t burn it. Using a high quality, thick-bottomed pan is also helpful in ensuring great end results.
Before reducing the balsamic vinegar, taste-test it to make sure it has good flavor. If it doesn’t, use a different brand of vinegar. A nice balsamic vinegar will have it’s flavors intensify by reducing it; unfortunately, the same will hold true for a poor-tasting one.
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar, very good quality
Pour vinegar into a small sauce pot. Bring to a boil, then quickly reduce to a simmer. Simmer until reduced to about a quarter-cup. Cool to room temperature.