Thursday, February 23, 2012

A healthier pizza

Home-made pizza is perfect - customizable and transfat free. Plus kids (at least mine!) love picking out the toppings. Tomorrow I'll be heading out with friends, and kids and nana (my mom) will likely be making some home-made pizza.

Mushroom, green bell peppers atop tomato sauce... artichoke hearts... YUM!

Try pureeing nutritionally dense vegetables into the tomato sauce to up the vitamin intake... especially great for kids!

Which vegetables would I recommend?
- kale (vitamins K, A and C and full of anti-oxidants)
- turmeric (comes in a powder, but great for manganese, iron and anti-inflammatory needs.. also may prevent cancer !)
-  Broccoli  (vitamins C, K and great source of vitamin D and folate!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peas and Mushroom (Mutter Mushroom)

Mushrooms are (generally) great for Vitamin D boosting, while green peas are great source of Omega 3s as alpha-linolenic acid... Then we add in some tomato for lycopene, and suddenly we have a very healthy meal (or side dish)... and it is delicious!

2 cups frozen (or fresh, boiled) green peas
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 large tomatoes, pureed or diced
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic chopped finely, or crushed
1/2 tsp Turmericpowder
1/2 tsp Whole Cumin Seed
1/2 tsp red Chili Powder
Oil of your choice (I used coconut)
10-15 Black Mustard Seed
1 tsp Hing

In a heavy bottom pan, add oil.
Add in mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add hing.
Stir and add in your cumin seeds, chili powder. Stir wel. Add in your garlic, stir and add in onion slowly.
When onion is translucent, add in your tomato.
When combined well (2-3 minutes), add in your frozen peas.
When ice is gone from the peas (indicating the peas are mostly cooked, add mushroom.
Stir and cover. Simmer  on low for 3-4 minutes. Salt to your tasting.

Serve with indian bread such as naan or rice.

(You may have a good eye and see some eggplant... I threw in some left overs! )

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Egg curry with potato (aloo)

My one year old LOVES hard boiled eggs. With our local eggs coming in every other Wednesday, the day before is"use up the rest of the eggs" day.

1 organic baking potato
4-8 hard boiled eggs, cut in half (think deviled eggs)
2-3 large tomatoes, diced or pureed
1/2 large white onion
Coriander powder
Cumin Powder (1 tbsp)
Chili Powder (1 tsp-1 tbsp, per your tasting)
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste (or crushed ginger and garlic)
High quality oil

In large pot, add oil, your ginger garlic paste, stir well. Add your spices, stir
Add in your (organic) baking potato, cut in 1'' cubes (or any other potato, but if they're softer, then you don't have to make them as small, fingerling work great!)

Add in your tomato and onion (I pureed together)
Cover and stir to prevent sticking. You want to have your potato cooked. When potato is cooked, add in your hard boiled eggs. Salt to your taste. Stir gently to combine.

Easy, peasy.. SERVE!

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with Indian bread, such as naan, or with rice.

Welcome to Lent - Fish Fry Time

For many Catholics around the world, Lent arrives and it is time for Friday Fish Fry - I'm not a huge fan of fish, but it is tradition and one that my almost 4 year old will be exposed to this year. Our local Church has Fish Fry, but I'd like to try a few at home. My husband is great at preparing fish, but for this week, I'm looking up my options!

I'm thinking one of these Fridays, I can try Tempura style.

I don't have a Deep Fryer so it may just be baked or pan seared fish... and not necessarily fried. I think that qualifies, right?

So what is it about Friday Fish Fry for Catholics? During Lent, Catholics choose to abstain from an item of their choice, as well as fasting on Fridays. Meat is forbidden as well on Fridays during Lent... Since Fish is not considered meat, Fish is made available. I grew up in Michigan, my hometown is on the shore of Lake Superior, so it was very common for Fish Fry Fridays to be seen around town, since a good portion of the community is Catholic. After leaving the mid-west, I found that Fish Fry is not as common... I had no idea!

I do wonder if this Kindle book has some recipes:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Vegetable Tuscany Soup - Veg option available

Super awesome soup. Kid friendly and full of the "healthiest food in the world" (according to me, no I'm not a doctor, a naturalist or anything of the sort, just my vote, but it has to be better than my almost 4 year old's opinion, which is "fen fen" - she made it up, little does she know of the issues people had in the 90s with fen-phen!)

To the receipe:

4 links of chicken or veggie italian sausage. Diced
2 red bell peppers, diced
1-2 tsp chopped garlic (2-3 cloves works nicely)
1 diced onion (white or red, if you like the tang)
Water to cover or to your taste (I used around 4.5 cups)
Potatoes Diced
Other vegetables pureed as you see fit (optional, but definitely increases vitamins!)
2-3 tomatoes (i blend in my ninja, but chopped roughly works well)
1-2 cups cream
Kale, roughly chopped

In a large pot, fry your sausage and garlic with the diced peppers in a pan of your choice. Add in onion soon after the sausage is mostly cooked. Add in your potatoes and vegetable puree, as well as your tomato. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and add your water. Bring to a boil and add your cream, stirring constantly. Add in your kale at the end. I topped with cheese, but I have a 21 month old cheese monster :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Marathi - Indian Stuffed Fish

Stuffed Mackerel - by the husband

For the stuffing
Coconut (grind it yourself or used Shredded coconut (unsweetened))
Cilantro (fresh)
Chili Pepper
Coriander seeds
Cumin Seed Powder
Whole Cumind Seeds

Blend the above items into a paste. Salt as necessary. You can also salt the fish separately.

Rinse the fish and put turmeric on it

Cover and allow to marinate over night, or at least 2 hours.

Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Stew - Beef Stew in the crockpot or slow cooker

Winter often means comfort food. Comfort food doesn't have to mean gobs of cheese, sugar and butter. Crockpot stew is a great option.

One onion, diced
Salt/pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
Crushed garlic, to taste
4 red potatoes (depending on size/preference of course), sliced or quartered
Carrots, diced or baby carrots (around 1/2 cup per person works nicely)
Vegetable or other bullion Vegetable broth
(watch for added ingredients, you can also use a trusted vegetable stock)
Sliced Celeriac (you can use celery as well)
Bottle gourd sliced
Beef, I used an organic that was close to the sell by date since I knew it was being used that day, diced into 1/2 inch slices

Add in the beef, to your slow cooker, place on low.
Season with salt and pepper and the crushed garlic
Add in your vegetables.
Cover with water and bullion or Vegetable broth

Add in bay leaf
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 9-10 hours

Enjoy with your family... Outdoors if the weather is right :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Breaking open a coconut

Growing up, coconut was something that had sugar on it, came in flakes and was used for baking. I was in my 20s when I first had unsweetened coconut, and now I use it regularly for cooking (and it sometimes makes it way into baking as well).

The fact is, the cheapest way to have a coconut often is to buy a whole coconut and use it in the various ways it can be used. 

  1. Coconut water
  2. Coconut pulp for shreds
  3. Coconut pulp for making milk or oil

Benefits of coconuts include:

Coconut is a great, vitamin-filled source of GOOD fats. Here's a post I did on my parenting blog on the benefits of young coconut water.

I know it can seem daunting to open a coconut so I had my husband assist and I took this brief video. My daughter will actually do it now too! (And she's a 33 lb 5 year old!). So, if she can do it, you can do it!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Another option for cauliflower - Gobi Muttar

Since Tuesday is my husband's cooking day, it almost always means lentils, but since I menu planned, I could assign the cauliflower to my husband - it is one of his favorites!

Here's how it turned out!


Head of cauliflower
1-2 cups peas (frozen is fine)
1-2 tomato (to taste)
1 tsp mustard seeds
garam masala (to taste, less than a 1/2 a tsp)
Chili powder or green chili, to taste
Cumin seeds (1 tsp)
Coriander seeds (1 tsp)
Ginger garlic paste (1 tbsp)
1/2 onion, diced

In oil, add in mustard seeds. Fry until they pop. Add a dash of hing.
Add in garam masala, chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, stir
add in ginger garlic paste, stir
add in onion
Stir and when the onion is translucent, add in your vegetables.
Cover, stir to prevent burning
Serve when cauliflower is soft. Salt to taste.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Asian - Inspired Eggplant curry

To finish using the eggplant that sat lonely in the bottom drawer of my fridge, it was determined curry would be on order.

Curry leaves
Basil leaves
(and any other leaves you have, to taste)
Eggplant, diced
Onion, Sliced
Green or red pepper, sliced
Zucchini sliced
Tomato, roughly chopped
Potato, diced (i left it ou)

1 can coconut milk
Soy sauce (to taste)
chili pepper, to taste

In oil of your choice (I used coconut), add in your leaf spices. Allow to create an aroma (30ish seconds).
Add in onion, stir well. Add in your vegetables, stir to mix into the spices. Pour in the coconut oil and soy sauce. Cover.

Stir every 3-5 minutes to ensure items cook evenly. The eggplant (or potato) usually takes the longest, so serve over rice after all vegetables are cooked, around 25 minutes.

Yummy Asian Pear with mint and dates

This was a blend of three different recipes and boy was it YUM.

1 package cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c confectioners sugar
1 c dates
bunch of mint

Asian Pears, ripe

Blend together the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, dates and vanilla. I used my Ninja :)

Serve as a dip for diced asian pear (or apple) and garnish with mint.