Sunday, July 20, 2014

Natural Sunscreen

a favorite natural lotion
zinc oxide (

Mix 2 tablespoons of zinc oxide into 1 cup of your favorite lotion for a sunscreen with SPF 20. Use more zinc oxide for a higher SPF. This sunscreen is not waterproof and may need to be stirred if not used quickly.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Emeril’s Balsamic Dressing

¼ c. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
¾ c. olive oil

Combine ingredients and blend to emulsify. Change the vinegar to oil ratio as desired to reduce fat and viscosity. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Buttermilk Dressing

1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. parsley
2 tsp. fresh chives
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground

Combine all ingredients in a blender.

Crispy Quinoa Bites

2 c. cooked quinoa
1 c. cannellini beans, mashed
1/2 c. Panko bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
4 tbsp. buffalo or other sauce

Mix all ingredients. Form into bite-sized balls. Fry in olive oil until crispy. Dress further with sauce, if desired. Makes about 30 quinoa bites.

NOTE: The buffalo version are terrific on a salad with butter lettuce, carrots, celery, scallions and blue cheese with a buttermilk dressing.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tangy Fried Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts, quartered
neutral frying oil
1 part Sriracha sauce
1 part honey
1 part lime juice

Mix the Sriracha sauce, honey and lime juice until homogeneous. Heat up 1/4 to 1/2 inch of oil in a deep frying pan. Toss constantly, frying sprouts until crispy. The sprouts will go from undone to done very quickly. Take the sprouts off the heat and spread out on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Finally, coat the sprouts in the dressing.

Spicy Courgette Salad

400 g. firm green or yellow baby courgettes (zucchinis)
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 fresh red chili
½ a bunch of fresh mint
1 lemon

Grate the courgettes in the food processor (you could use a box grater here) and tip into a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper, the juice of the zested lemon and the extra virgin olive oil. Finely chop and add the chili and the top leafy half of the mint, then toss together.

Serves 4.

Ricotta Fritters with Tomato Sauce

For the sauce:
25 g. dried porcini mushrooms
1 dried red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
700 g. passata (tomato puree)
8 black olives (stone in)
½ bunch of fresh basil

For the fritters:
1 large free-range egg
400 g. ricotta cheese
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
1 lemon
40 g. Parmesan cheese
1 heaped tbsp. plain flour
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Put the porcini into a mug and cover with boiling water. Crack the egg into a mixing bowl, add the ricotta, finely grate in ¼ of the nutmeg, the lemon zest and Parmesan, add the flour, then beat together. Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the frying pan, then use a tablespoon to spoon in 8 large dollops of the mixture, turning carefully when nice and golden.

Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the casserole pan, crumble in the dried chili, and squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher. Finely chop and add the porcini with half their soaking water and the passata, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Squash and add the olives, discarding the stones. Pick and reserve a few basil leaves, then chop the rest and add to the sauce.

Place the fritters on top of the sauce, then scatter over the reserved basil leaves, drizzle with balsamic and serve with lemon wedges

Serves 4.

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing

For the salad: 
Large head of romaine, chopped
1-15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large bell pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 c. corn (thawed if frozen)
5 green onions, finely chopped

For the dressing:
1 c. loosely packed cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 c. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt

Puree all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine. Toss with dressing. Serve topped with tortilla chips or crispy Chinese noodles. May also add cooked, chilled pasta for more bulk.

Serves 4.

Thai-Inspired Squash & Peanut Soup with Lime & Cilantro

2 lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 c. vegetable stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. ginger root, minced or grated
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1-14 oz. can coconut milk
2 tbsp. Thai red curry paste
1/2 c. natural peanut butter
1 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/3 c. cilantro, finely chopped
cilantro and peanuts, for garnish
Sriracha sauce, for serving

Peel the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Put the squash cubes and vegetable stock into the slow cooker, season squash generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the squash is soft enough to mash easily. When it's soft, use an immersion blender or potato masher to puree the squash.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add onion and saute until well-browned, about 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, and diced red bell pepper and saute about a minute more. Then add the coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and peanut butter and heat just until the curry paste and peanut butter is melted into the coconut milk.  Add the brown sugar and soy sauce.

Stir the coconut milk mixture into the pureed squash, turn slow cooker to low and cook for one hour more. Stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice and cook about 15 minutes more. Serve hot, garnished with more chopped cilantro and chopped peanuts if desired. If you'd like more heat, shake in a little Sriracha Sauce.

Serves 4 to 6.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Black Bean & Red Quinoa Enchiladas

4 tomatillos
4 garlic cloves
2 limes
1 large bunch cilantro
1 poblano pepper
1 onion
½ c. red quinoa
15-oz. can black beans
1 tsp. cumin
4 flour tortillas
1 c. Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling, on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the papery layer from the tomatillos. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut the limes into quarters. Roughly chop the cilantro. Peel and small dice the onion.

Add the red quinoa to the boiling water. Cook for about 18 to 22 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a medium bowl.

Place the poblano pepper and tomatillos on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 9 to 11 minutes, or until the skin of the pepper is browned. When cool enough to handle, carefully remove and discard the skin and seeds from the pepper, then finely chop. Finely chop the tomatillos.

In the same pot used for the quinoa, heat a little olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and garlic and cook 4 to 6 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the poblano pepper, tomatillos, and ½ cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Simmer 4 to 6 minutes, or until thickened and slightly reduced in volume, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add the juice of two lime quarters.

While the salsa simmers, drain and rinse the black beans. To the bowl of cooked quinoa, add the black beans, the cumin, half the cilantro, the juice of two lime wedges, and about a tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread about ½ c. of the quinoa mixture into the bottom of a baking dish. Divide the remaining mixture between each tortilla, placing it on half of the tortillas. Roll them up, then place them in the baking dish, seam side down.

Pour the salsa verde over the enchiladas, then sprinkle the cheese over the top; lightly season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and bubbling. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and lime wedges.