Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Nutcracker - Waltz of the Snowflakes

This time of year always reminds me of the start of dance rehearsals for the Nutcracker. One of my favorites. Namaste.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Intimacy- a parable whispered to a soul...

Pulsing and yearning- meticulous and whole.

Reason versus vulnerability, spicy and sweet.

Losing and gaining,
With every heartbeat...

Intimacy- moving upward to God high above...
A loss of control to the definition of love.

The Holy Spirit breathing through- chilling and warming the skin.
In creation, intimacy is the place to begin. 


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Immune Boosting System Tips

I ran into a friend of mine at a health food coop who gave me some excellent tips on boosting one's immune system. I thought I would share her tips with you and I truly hope that you find them helpful.

Immune System Recipe:
1. Fresh Green Lemonade (celery, apples, lemon, kale, lemon)

2. 10 drops of Black Elderberry extract (diluted in water or herbal tea)

3. 10,000 mg. Vitamin D3

4. Emergen-C packets

I hope that all who read this post feel better. Namaste.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Mango Sambal

Sambal is a term for a paste like condiment made with chilies. Although some authentic versions tend to be extremely hot, this Malaysian version compliments the Southern style barbecue spice rub. I served the pork with some rosemary mashed potatoes and a salad of vine-ripened tomatoes topped with horseradish and a basil vinaigrette. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Here is how:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a bowl combine:
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 3/4 tsp. chili powder
- 3/4 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme

3. Rub a 1 pound pork tenderloin with the spice mixture and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. Place the tenderloin on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until the meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. Let stand for 5 minutes and cut into slices.

5. To prepare the sambal, combine (in a food processor):
- 1 mango (peeled and chopped)
- 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. fish sauce
- 1 serrano chili (seeded and chopped)

6. Serve the sambal with the pork.

Here is to sweet and spicy meals! xo

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Journey

Pulses and echoes of faraway dreams
obscure realities...
discussed over coffee and cream.

Allegros spun softly
embracing the air..
one man's creation, honest and bare.

An imagination once coloured has
distilled to a haze.

Emotions masquerade dance
nettled and crazed,

A heart beating wildly
flying up in the sky...

A competition of rivals
vindication of a tie.

Threads weaving patterns...
unknown to the hand..

A tapestry of moments creates a journey to passionate lands. Namaste.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pesto Burgers

Creating "quick and easy" options for dinner can be a challenge especially when trying to keep dinner ideas fresh and creative. This meal is simple yet delicious and served with some homemade fries is great football food as well. I truly hope you find this recipe enjoyable.

Here is how:
1. Preheat and outdoor gas or charcoal grill to medium high heat.

2. Season 1 pounds of ground beef in a bowl with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give it a few turns in the bowl and form it into 4 patties.

3. When the grill is hot, place the burgers on the grill and cook for 8 minutes per side for medium. Add 4 slices of provolone cheese during the final minute or two to melt. Remove the burgers and keep warm.

4. Toast 4 gluten free hamburger buns, (cut side down), for about 1 minute to mark them.

5. Spread pesto over the buns and top with the burgers and sliced red bell pepper.

Here is to easy yet delicious meals! xo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Homemade Garlic Fries and Onion Smothered Chicken Sandwiches

This recipe is an easy option for hectic evenings. The homemade fries add an extra touch..also really yummy while watching football. I hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. Heat 2 Tbs. of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 sweet onion, (sliced), and cook for 1 minute. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 6 minutes or until soft. Stir in 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

2. While onions are cooking, place 4 ,(4 oz.), chicken breasts half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap, and flatten to 1/2-inch thickness using a meat mallet or a rolling pin.

3. Combine in a small bowl:
- 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 tsp. salt

4. Brush half of mustard mixture over chicken. Heat a large grill pan or skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Place the chicken, coated side down, in pan; cook for 4 minutes. Brush chicken with the remaining mustard mixture. Turn chicken over; cook 4 minutes or until done. Place 1 chicken breast on a gluten free hamburger roll and top each with 2 tablespoons onion mixture.

For the fries:
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

 2. Combine in a large zip-top plastic bag and toss to coat:
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 3/4 tsp. salt
-  3 pounds peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

3. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning after 20 minutes.

4. Place 2 Tbs. butter and 8 garlic cloves, (minced), in a large nonstick skillet. Cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add potatoes, parsley, and Parmesan cheese to pan; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Here is to football food! xo

Thoughts on Traveling

New found memories amidst chaos and fun. Each day bringing energy that increases awareness.. as radiant as the sun.

Seeking out the hollows and buried treasures from soil that longs to tell..

of ancient and mysterious stories..sandcastles and wishing wells.

The senses awaken to sensations of flavors, aromas and sights.
The music and language of various cultures blurs the days and nights.

Encountering people that leave an imprint on your heart and expand one's perspective and soul.
Opening the self and creating a mosaic..painting dreams and setting new goals.

Enjoy and appreciate with gratitude the days that so quickly go by.
Let your travels bring you among the clouds as far as you dare to fly. Namaste.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Chilly and damp Autumn days are comforted by a warm bowl of stew and homemade bread. This stew smells delicious as it cooks and tastes equally as yummy. I paired the stew with some gluten free foccacia bread for a complete and healthy meal. I truly hope you enjoy this recipe.

Here is how:
1. In bowl combine:
- 1/3 cup gluten free "all purpose" flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2. Add 1 lb. of lamb stew meat, (cut into 1 inch squares), and coat with the flour. Remove from the mixture.

3. In a Dutch oven, cook the meat in 2 Tbs. of hot canola oil for about 10 minutes, (until browned). Remove from the heat.

4. Stir in:
- 1 can of diced tomatoes (or 5 fresh tomatoes chopped)
- 1 cup water
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 2 (4 inch) strips orange peel
- 1 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- Sriracha sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp. sugar

5. Simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.

6. Add, 4 carrots (chopped), and cook until tender, (about 15 minutes).

7. Stir in 1 can of chickpeas and cook for 5 minutes more.

Here is to Autumn aromas and flavors! xo


"Top Ten Factors About Change"

1. Change takes courage: "The key to change...is to let go of fear". Roseanne Cash
"Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known into the unknown".

2. Change requires some degree of hope: "Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending". Maria Robinson

3. Change involves a process of grief and loss...sometimes to gain something, we must lose something first: "For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else". Ralph Waldo Emerson

4. Change requires making decisions:: "The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live". Flora Whittmore

5. Change is natural and an inevitable part of life:  "Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become".

6. You will experience setbacks while trying to make a change: "Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts".

7. Change is never ending: "Change is the only constant".

8. Change is incredibly difficult: "Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you'll understand what little chance you have in changing others".

9. Change involves insight, instinct and illumination: "Change starts when someone sees the next step"
"The first step towards change is awareness. The second step is acceptance".

10. Don't underestimate your capacity for change: "People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never the right time to do a difficult thing. A leader's job is to help people have vision for their potential".


Strength....how do we teach it....what does that mean...
At face value... it is nothing... especially what is seems...

Strength is energy unharnessed...let to be wild...
Strength is knowing when to one down...being an example for a child...

Strength and weakness are on a continuum...polar opposites at best...
The potential not recognized the vulnerability hidden from the rest...

Strength is to be humble
Strength is best visualized through grace

Strength is courage
The one who purposefully loses the race

Losing yourself for the better requires an ego at rest...
Dumb down...admit you weaknesses...to grow to your best....

People...give us their home..,
their hearts...freedom to hope..
Do not underestimate you capacity for strength...
Allow yourself to be challenged...Reach far up high...
for the best...
Do NOTTTTTTTTTTT give up...for your soul will not rest...

The more you acknowledge your best.... and your worst...
The more you will be able to heal other's traumas and hurts...

Seek out support, compassion and love...
remember we are soldiers ...healing wounds with the grace of a dove....

A Little Poetry

Choreographed steps of light, interplay into the depths of the brain.

Nothing is rehearsed nor foreseen..the future is not the same.

Cognitions intercept between the nuances of the soul.

Bold..daring..undaunted..take flight..all to reach a goal.

Power bespokes passion..music and dance take flight.

Darkness into daylight...veils unlayered reveal new sight.

Reaching into the furthest caverns..territory pioneered along the way.

Reveal your inner beauty and let your light be enough for the day. Namaste.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NAMI | Contacting NAMI

NAMI Contacting NAMI

Please contact your senators in behalf of mental health services as a medical necessity. We need a rate change in mental health services as 80% of us suffer from trauma, and depression is the #1 disability in America. There is always hope. Namaste and all my love. xo

Sarah McLachlan - Angel

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fish Chowder

I love seafood and was craving something to highlight the flavors of early Autumn and this is the recipe I came us with. I served the chowder with my "Red Lobster" biscuits and a side salad of fresh green beans and vine-ripened tomatoes topped with a white wine vinaigrette. I truly hope you find this recipe as delicious as I did.

Here is how:
1. In a large saucepan, melt 2 Tbs. of butter over medium-high heat.

2. Add:
- 1 cup sweet onion (finely chopped)
- 2 cups of fresh corn kernels
- 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh oregano (finely chopped)

3. Saute until the onions are translucent.

4. Add:
- 6 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves

5. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium. Add 2 Russet potatoes, (peeled and sliced). Cook, covered, until the potatoes are tender, (about 14 minutes).

6. Add: and cook for 5 minutes:
- 1 medium zucchini (sliced)
- 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped)

7. Next add, 1 pound of firm white fish, (such as Red Snapper), cut into 1 inch pieces. Cook for 5 minutes until the fish is done.

8. Stir in 3/4 cup milk and adjust the seasonings to taste.

Here is to elegance at home! xo

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Buttermilk BBQ Chicken

Tailgating season is here and there is nothing better than grilled chicken with homemade BBQ sauce. I paired the chicken with a grilled corn and black bean salad which highlights the delicious flavors of harvest time. I hope you enjoy.

Here is how:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together:
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbs. honey
- 2 Tbs. fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. marjoram
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2. Place 12 chicken drumsticks in a large Ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

3. Remove the drumsticks from the bag and discard the marinade. Lightly brush the drumsticks with canola oil and grill them over indirect medium heat until fully cooked, (about 40 minutes).

4. During the last 15 minutes, brush the chicken occasionally with BBQ sauce. Serve warm.

5. To make the BBQ sauce: heat 2 Tbs. of canola oil in a medium-size sauce pan.

6. Add to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 Tbs. minced garlic
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

7. Stir in the following ingredients and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, (10 minutes).
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup gluten free tamari
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbs. gluten free Worcestershire sauce

Here is to football! xo

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chicken, Avocado and Cheddar Melts

This recipe is a rendition of a childhood favorite. It is a "quick and easy" option as well that is easily made gluten free. I hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. In a small bowl mix:
- 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 1 scallion (thinly sliced)
- 1 Tbs. fresh parsley (minced)

2. Set aside the dressing and toast 2 slices of gluten free bread.

3. Peel 1 ripe avocado, remove the pit, and slice each half lengthwise.

4. Top each slice of toast with gluten free deli chicken, (thinly sliced).

5. Spread half of the dressing over the chicken. Next, lay the avocado slices over the dressing and cover with the remaining dressing.

6. Top each sandwich with:
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Hungarian paprika
- Scallions (thinly sliced)

7. Broil the sandwiches 3 inches from the heat until the cheese melts, (about 2 minutes). Remove from the pan and serve right away.

Here is to new twists on sandwiches! xo

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is one of my favorite comfort meals. This is a lighter version of the classic recipe that I adapted gluten free as well. I hope you find the recipe as satisfying as I did.

Here is how:
1. Place 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; flatten to 1/2 inch thickness using a meat mallet or rolling pin.

2. Combine in a shallow dish:
- 1/2 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3. Dredge each chicken breast in the following:
    A. 1/3 cup gluten free "all purpose" flour
    B. 2 large egg whites (beaten)
    C. The breadcrumb mixture

4. Heat 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook for 8 minutes on each side or until done.

5. Preheat broiler.

6. Place 8 oz. of cooked gluten free spaghetti in a lasagna dish. Spoon 3 cups of marinara over the spaghetti and top with the chicken breasts. Sprinkle part-skim mozzarella cheese over each chicken breast.

7. Broil the dish for5 3 minutes or until the cheese melts. Garnish with basil and serve.

Here is to delicious gluten free Italian cooking! xo

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pork Sausage Breakfast Pizza

This is a delicious brunch recipe that is fun to make on the weekends. I hope this recipe brings laughter and good conversation to your table.

Here is how:
1. Brown 4 gluten free pork sausage links in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from the pan, and set them aside to drain on paper towels.

2. Next, heat up 1 Tbs. of butter in the skillet and brown 1 cup of potato (peeled and shredded).

3. Take a gluten free frozen pizza crust, (I prefer Udi brand), and spread the hashbrowns on top.

4. Next top the pizza, (in the following order), with:
- The sausage (crumbled)
- 2 eggs (scrambled)
- 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
- 2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese (shredded)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

5. Bake the pizza according to the pizza crust directions.

Here is to fun weekend breakfasts! xo

Turkey Philly Sandwich

This recipe is a healthy twist on "Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches". For a "quick and easy" meal it can be served with some french fries and dill pickle spears. I truly hope you find this recipe helpful and have a blessed day.

Here is how:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Melt 1 Tbs. of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Add:
- 1 cup sweet onion (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup green bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup mushrooms (thinly sliced) (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste

4. Saute for 5 minutes or until tender.

5. Divide the onion mixture and 1/4 pound gluten free deli turkey,(thinly sliced), among the bottom halves of 4 gluten free sandwich rolls.

6. Top each sandwich with some shredded mozzarella cheese and cover them with the top halves of the rolls.

7. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Here is to classics redone healthier! xo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Laksa-Style Scallops with Sweet Chili Sauce

I was craving something sweet and spicy tonight so this is a Jamie Oliver recipe that I adapted and it turned out delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe and enjoy the fun of creative cooking.

Here is how:
1. Wrap 8 scallops with 8 strips of bacon and secure them with a skewer. Bake the scallops at 400 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the scallops are opaque.

2. Cook 8 oz. of Thai rice noodles according to the package directions.

3. Drain the noodles and toss them with:
- 2 Tbs. fish sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 Tbs. of fresh ginger (peeled and minced)
- 1 Tbs. sesame oil
- 2 Tbs. kaffir lime leaves
- 4 green onions (finely sliced)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4. Place the noodle mixture in a bowl and top them with 1 (14 oz.) can of coconut milk.

5. Place the scallops on top and drizzle sweet Thai chili sauce over them.

Here is to creative and fun cooking! xo

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

English Muffin Veggie Pizza

Busy nights are a reality for all everyone and cooking something that is "quick and easy" yet healthy can be a challenge. This is a vegetarian recipe that can easily be made casein free as well. I truly hope this recipe is helpful.

Here is how:
1. Toast 4 gluten free english muffins (halved) in a designated/ "gluten free" toaster.

2. Mix 2 Tbs. of tomato paste with 2 Tbs. of pesto and spread evenly over the muffin halves.

3. Heat 1 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the following until soft and starting to brown:
- 1/2 sweet onion (thinly sliced)
- 4 baby bella mushrooms (sliced)
- 1/2 zucchini (thinly sliced)

4. Preheat the broiler to high. Divide the vegetables between the muffins and top with mozzarella cheese.

5. Cook under the broiler for 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.

Here is to healthy, quick and easy meals! xo

Monday, August 29, 2011

Savory Cornish Hens with Roasted Garlic

Cornish hens are an elegant option for dinner that are also healthy and flavorful. This recipe is delicious paired with brown rice couscous as well as some gluten free foccacia bread that the roasted garlic can be spread on top of. I hope this meal brings style to your dinner table.

Here is how:
1. Rub 4 Cornish hens with:
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Salt to taste

2. Place the Cornish hens in a roasting pan with:
- 2 cups of fresh tomatoes (quartered)
- 4 shallots (minced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbs. dried basil
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 lemons (sliced)
- 2 Tbs. dried rosemary

3. Stuff the cavities of each Cornish hen with 2 more lemons (sliced) and place 4 whole garlic bulbs, (with a 1/2 inch cut off the top), in the roasting pan with the other vegetables.

4. Roast the Cornish hens for 1 hour at 375 degrees. The skins will be golden brown and the juices will run clear when they are done.

5. Serve the hens with some of the vegetables and broth spooned on top.

Here is to health, flavor and elegance! xo

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Not So Sloppy Joes

This is a version of "Sloppy Joes" that is not only gluten free, but also adds nutrition with the vegetables. It is a great recipe for kids that do not like to eat their veggies and is also a "quick and easy" dinner solution. I truly hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. In a skillet, heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.

2. Add and saute until softened:
- 1 cup sweet onion (chopped)
- 1 rib of celery (finely chopped)
- 1/2 green bell pepper (seeded and chopped)

3. Next, add to the skillet 1 pound of lean ground beef. Cook until the meat is browned, stirring to avoid any clumps.

4. Finally add:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Sriracha hot sauce to taste (optional)

5. Cook until bubbling and heated through. Spoon over gluten free hamburger rolls, (I prefer Udi brand), and serve.

Here is to "kid friendly" meals with nutrition! xo

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Avocado Omelet

I love making omelets for breakfast and this recipe is also a vegetarian option that balances nutrition with texture and flavor. I hope you find this recipe helpful and enjoy it as much as I did.

Here is how:
1. In a small bowl, toss together:
- 1/2 California avocado (peeled and diced)
- 1/2 Plum tomato (seeded and diced)
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

2. In a second bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs.

3. Melt 1 Tbs. of butter in a non-stick omelet pan or skillet over medium heat. When the butter has melted, raise the heat up to medium-high and pour the eggs into the pan. Cook the eggs, without stirring, until the omelet starts to brown around the edges, (about 15 seconds). Then gently stir, gathering the mixture toward the center of the pan.

4. When the bottom is set but the top is still slightly wet, add the avocado mixture to the pan. Cook until the filling is heated through, (about 45 seconds). Slide the omelet onto a plate and top with freshly chopped chives.

Here is to breakfast with style! xo

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mushroom and Bacon Pizza

This is a "quick and easy" dinner idea that incorporates the flavors of wild mushrooms with onion and bacon. I hope you find this recipe as delicious as I did.

Here is how:
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil.

2. Add:
- 1 cup of wild mushrooms (sliced)
- 1 sweet onion (sliced)
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp. salt

3. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms and onions are tender (about 12 minutes).

4. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine and simmer uncovered, until the liquid evaporates (about 3 minutes).

5. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme.

6. Place 2 gluten free pizza crusts, (I like Udi brand), and top with:
- the mushroom mixture
- 6 slices of bacon (crisp-cooked, drained and crumbled)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

7. Bake the pizza according to the pizza crust directions.

Here is to delicious pizza made at home! xo

Monday, August 22, 2011

Seared Tuna with Caper Butter and Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes

I love Ahi tuna and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. This recipe adds in a flavorful butter and a light pasta side dish for a complete meal that features some of the flavors of Summer. I hope this recipe brings happiness to your table.

Here is how:
1. Rub 2 fresh Ahi tuna steaks with extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. In a bowl combine:
- 2 Tbs. butter (at room temperature)
- 1 Tbs. capers
- 1 Tbs. bell pepper (finely diced)

3. Roll the mixture, on parchment paper, into a ball and refrigerate until firm.

4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the tuna for about 3 minutes on each side. The tuna should be browned on the outside and medium-rare on the inside.

5. For the pasta, combine:
- 1 large ripe tomato (seeded and chopped)
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 clove of fresh garlic (finely minced)
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. fresh dill (chopped)
- 1 Tbs. dried basil

6. Marinate the mixture for up to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Cook 1/2 pound of gluten free penne according to the package directions until al dente. Drain well and toss with the tomato mixture.

Here is to elegance and style at home! xo

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Strawberry Mango Bagel

This was a "quick and easy" recipe I came up with for breakfast one morning. The cream cheese highlights fresh summer flavors and is also light and healthy. I hope you enjoy.

Here is how:
1. Slice a gluten free bagel (I like Udi brand) and top with the following mix:
- Light cream cheese
- Fresh strawberries (chopped)
- Fresh mango (chopped)
- Fresh mint (chopped)

Here is to "grab and go" breakfasts with style! xo


Tempura is a Japanese word to describe food that has been cut into bite-size pieces, coated with batter, fried in oil, and served with one or more sauces. It is a fun dish to make at home and is really delicious. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Foods suitable for tempura are:
- Cubed scallops
- Shrimp
- Pork, cubed and precooked
- Mushrooms
- Onions sliced into rings
- Broccoli florets
- Celery sliced diagonally
- Fresh spinach leaves
- Cauliflower florets
- Carrots sliced diagonally
- Bell peppers cut into cubes
- Water chestnuts sliced
- Green beans
- Snow pea pods

Here is how:
1. Select the vegetables and proteins and prepare them by washing and drying them well with paper towels. This will allow the batter to adhere properly.

2. Arrange the selected foods on a platter.

3. For the batter, combine and beat until smooth:
- 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1 large egg

4. Prepare the sauces. Some sauces that can be bought are: gluten free tamari, horseradish sauce, gluten free sweet and sour sauce, and gluten free hoisin sauce. In addition, I made hot mustard sauce and plum sauce.
      A. Hot Mustard Sauce:
- 3 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup dry mustard

     B. Plum Sauce:
- 1 cup plum preserves
- 1/2 cup mango chutney
- 1 Tbs. sugar
- 1 Tbs. rice vinegar

5. Heat 2-3 cups of vegetable oil in a wok to the temperature of 400 degrees.

6. Use tongs or chopsticks and dip the food into the batter. Allow it to drain briefly, then drop the food into the hot oil. When done on one side, turn and brown it on the other side. Total frying time is usually 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the food. Thinly sliced vegetables should be cooked only 1 minute.

7. Remove from the oil, cool on a plate covered in paper towels and serve with the sauces and rice.

Here is to fun cooking at home! xo

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Indian Butter Chicken

Butter chicken (or murgh makhani) is part of the Indian cuisine, popular in countries all over the world. The origins of butter chicken can be traced back to Kundan Lal Gujral, a Hindu Punjabi, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal Delux in Delhi. Butter Chicken is regarded to have been first introduced by Moti Mahal in New Delhi. Butter chicken is usually served with naan, roti, parathas or steamed rice. It should not be confused with Chicken tikka masala, a similarly coloured Indian chicken dish that originated among the South Asian diaspora in the U.K.. www.wikipedia.com

This also happens to be one of my favorite Indian dishes because the blend of spices is so fragrant that is takes you to another country right at your own dinner table. I hope you find this recipe as delicious as I do.

Here is how:
1. Blend these spices in a bowl and set aside:
- 1 Tbs. Garam Masala (make sure it is a gluten free blend with no "binders")
- 1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2. To make the sauce: Melt 4 Tbs. butter in skillet over medium heat. Add 1 onion (chopped) and saute until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add  2 cloves garlic (minced),  1 Tbs. tomato paste and  the spices, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.

3. Add 1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce and 2 cups of fresh tomatoes (diced) and stir will. Add 1 pound of cooked chicken breast pieces, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

4. Add 1/4 cup of greek yogurt to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Spoon the sauce over the chicken. Serve with brown basmati rice and top with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley.

Here is to ethnic cooking at home! xo

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Grilled Sweet and Hot Salmon Sandwich with Summer Slaw

Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of a balanced diet. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. In fact, infants who do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from their mothers during pregnancy are at risk for developing vision and nerve problems. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

This recipe is a delicious way of getting nutrients with flavor. I paired the sandwich with a Summer "Slaw" to highlight some seasonal flavors. I truly hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. Combine and set aside:
- 2 Tbs. dijon mustard
- 3 Tbs. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. gluten free tamari sauce

2. Brush 2 Salmon fillets with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill over direct medium-high heat for 5 minutes (or until browned). Turn and grill for another 5 minutes.

3. Brush 2 slices of gluten free bread with extra virgin olive oil and grill for about 1 minute on each side to toast the bread. Top the bread with baby spinach and the salmon. Drizzle the mustard sauce on top.

4. For the slaw, combine in a bowl:
- 2 Tbs. creme fraiche
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- Juice from 1 clementine
- 2 clementines (peeled and sliced)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small carrots (chopped)
- 2 Tbs. of fresh dill (chopped finely)
- 1/4 pound of fresh green beans (trimmed and chopped)

5. Toss the slaw ingredients together and refrigerate until time to serve.

Here is to healthy meals with style! xo

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mexican Pizza

I love Mexican pizza and have yet to find a gluten free version in the grocery store. This was the recipe I came up with for dinner and it was delicious. I hope you find it helpful.

Here is how:

1. Take an Udi gluten free pizza crust and top it with:
- Salsa for a base
- Ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning (Trader Joe's is gluten free)
- Kidney beans
- Mexican cheese
- Diced fresh tomato
- Sliced black olives
- Fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Fresh lettuce (chopped)
- Avocado (chopped)
- Sweet onion (chopped)
- Sour cream
- Chipotle pepper

2. Bake the pizza according to the crust directions.

Here is to pizza with style! xo

Sunday, August 14, 2011

California Burgers

Burgers are always a delicious option for dinner and these add the benefits of some healthy nutrients as well. I used "Laura's Lean" all natural burgers and Udi brand hamburger buns with sweet potato fries for a side.

Here is how:

1. Grill the burgers to your preference. I also buttered and grilled the buns for extra flavor.

2. Next, simply add:
- Mayonnaise
- Tomato slices
- Avocado (chopped)
- Green onions (chopped)
- Freshly ground black pepper

Here is to summer grilling! xo

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is a dish that highlights simple flavors combined to make a delicious, yet "budget friendly" meal. This recipe personifies rustic charm yet is still elegant enough to serve for guests. I hope you enjoy.

Here is how:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the spaghetti.

2. Heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 8 slices of bacon (cut into strips and then crosswise) and 1 sweet onion (chopped) and cook for 7-8 minutes, until the onion is caramelized and the bacon is crisp.

3. Meanwhile, crack 3 eggs into a serving bowl. Add 5 Tbs. of cream and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese and whisk. Add the bacon and onion into the bowl with the cooking fat.

4. By now the water should be boiling, so add 1 pound of gluten free spaghetti and cook it according to the package directions until al dente. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta water and add it to the bowl with the bacon and eggs.

5. Drain the spaghetti, add it to the bowl, and toss it all together. Cover the serving bowl with a plate to hold in the heat and let the pasta set for 5 minutes.

6. Remove the plate, season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chopped fresh parsley. Give it another toss and serve.

Here is to rustic flavors! xo

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Vitamin Supplementation for Celiac Disease

1. According to www.celiac.com

How to Replace Lost Nutrients Caused by Untreated Celiac Disease

At the very least, most celiacs will benefit from a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement that includes calcium, 1,000 milligrams, along with 400 milligrams of magnesium (note that too much magnesium can cause diarrhea). Lack of vitamin B6 is partly to blame for symptoms of celiac disease, Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P) is often a good choice, as it requires no conversion to make vitamin B6, and can be easier on the stomach.
vitamins can also speed healing. Because the absorption of fats is particularly poor in celiacs, many celiac patients commonly suffer deficiencies of vitamins A, C, D, E, and benefit from taking these in supplemental form, along with a chelated form of zinc supplement. As with any supplement, read the directions and keep your doctor fully informed about what you are taking and how much.
A typical dose, for example, is 1,000 to 2,000 international units (IU) of vitamin A in the form of fish oil (too much can have toxic effects so discuss this with your doctor), 100 to 200 IU of vitamin D also in fish oil, 500 to 1000 milligrams of vitamin C, 100 to 400 IU of vitamin E, and 15 to 30 milligrams of chelated zinc.
Check with your doctor before taking more than 20 milligrams of zinc. Beta-carotene, 10,000 I.U. daily, can also be helpful, as can Iron, 60 mg. daily, if a blood test indicates iron deficiency.
In addition to a good multivitamin/mineral for support, and other vitamins, digestive enzymes, which digest gluten, may also be helpful. To improve nutrient absorption and assimilation, these should be supplemented.
Celiac patients also often suffer a deficiency of vitamin K., which can be supplemented through green foods, especially alfalfa. Green food supplements contain many essential nutrients, including trace minerals. Evening primrose oil is a good source of the omega-6 essential fatty acids that celiac patients often lack.
Silica soothes inflammations in the gastrointestinal tract. It is available in both capsules and gel form.
Medicinal clay is excellent in promoting healing of the walls of the colon and protecting it from irritation by toxins and dry, abrasive matter.

2. The Mayo Clinic states that:
Vitamin supplements to combat malnutrition If your nutritional deficiencies are severe, you may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements recommended by your doctor or dietitian to help correct these deficiencies. Your doctor may recommend supplements to increase your levels of:
  • Calcium
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin K
Vitamin supplements can be taken in pill form. But in some situations, your digestive tract may have trouble absorbing vitamins. In these cases, your doctor may give the vitamins by injection.

3. Finally a group of researchers from the Netherlands did a study that demonstrates in agreement with earlier findings, that both the presence and the severity of coeliac disease were determinants of homocysteine levels. The regular use of B vitamin supplements was associated with higher serum vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 and lower plasma homocysteine levels in patients with coeliac disease. Furthermore, B vitamin supplements seem to have a protective role against the effect of villous atrophy on homocysteine levels, irrespective to the genetic susceptibility status as manifested by carrying the C677T polymorphism of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.

I hope that all who suffer with Celiac disease find this post helpful. Namaste.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Penne with Shrimp and Dill

Shrimp is one of my favorite proteins to cook with and according to www.eatshrimp.com :

Shrimp packs a wallop of protein (18 grams per 3 ounce serving), and with only 83 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving, it is healthy and so delicious. What about blood cholesterol? You need to know that that research shows, and dietitians concur, that the high percentage of "good fats" in shrimp reduces the impact of cholesterol.

Shrimp is also a nutritious alternative to other meat proteins. Shrimp is an excellent source of selenium. Selenium is an essential trace mineral in the human body. This nutrient is an important part of antioxidant enzymes that protect cells against the effects of free radicals that are produced during normal oxygen metabolism. The body has developed defenses such as antioxidants to control levels of free radicals because they can damage cells and contribute to the development of some chronic diseases. Selenium is also essential for normal functioning of the immune system and thyroid gland. Mounting evidence suggests a link-between selenium intake and reduced risk of cancer.

Shrimp also has emerged as a very good source of vitamin D and vitamin B12.

This recipe is a balanced combination of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that combines the seasonal flavors of Summer as well. I truly hope you enjoy this meal.

Here is how:
1.  Heat up 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute 1 pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined) for about 5 minutes until the shrimp turns pink and opaque. Remove from the skillet and keep warm in a bowl. Next, saute 1 medium vidalia onion (chopped) for about 5 minutes until translucent.

2. Add 1 pound of gluten free penne pasta to boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain (do not rinse) and add to the bowl with the shrimp.

3. Add:
- 1 cup of grape tomatoes (halved)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
- 1 Tbs. capers (rinsed and drained)
- 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4. Toss well and serve warm.

Here is to summer flavors at their best! xo

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bruschetta Chicken

This is a "quick and easy" meal solution that turns chicken breasts into an Italian dish  that you will want to make often. It also makes a wonderful dish to serve for guests as well. I truly hope you enjoy this recipe and that it brings flavor and warmth to your table.

Here is how:
1. Place 1/2 cup of all purpose gluten free flour and 2 eggs (lightly beaten) in separate bowls.

2. Dip 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 oz. each) in the flour, then in the eggs. Place in a greased baking dish.

3. Combine 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup gluten free bread crumbs and 1 Tbs. melted butter; sprinkle over the chicken.

4. Loosely cover the baking dish with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until the top is browned.

5. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine:
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 Tbs. minced fresh basil
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6. Spoon over the chicken. Return to the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the tomato mixture is heated through.

Here is to dinners worth repeating! xo

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Marinated Scallop Brochettes with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This is a salsa that is made with ingredients commonly found in the kitchen. The combination of mild spice with brown sugar makes the dish healthy yet flavorful. I hope this recipe brings health and happiness to your home.

Some of the health benefits of scallops are:
  • Scallops contain nutrient that can help promote cardiovascular health and give protection against colon cancer.
  • Sea scallops are an excellent source of cyanocobalamin or vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells and it necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
  • Scallops are rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, an essential nutrient for cardiovascular health. Omega 3 helps ease symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, slows the growth of cancerous tumors, helps prevents arthritis and helps combat skin disorders.
  • Scallop is a good source of potassium and magnesium. Potassium is necessary for muscle contraction and magnesium is necessary for the proper function of muscles and nerves. It is also important for converting blood sugar into energy. Relaxation of blood vessels is associated with magnesium and thus it provides relief from hypertension.
  • Scallop is also a good source of selenium which helps neutralize the injurious effects of free radicals. Excessive accumulation of free radicals (which are by products of metabolism) weakens the immune system making it prone to diseases.
Here is how:
1. To make the marinade, in a medium bowl, whisk:
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2. Rinse 24 sea scallops under cold water. Remove and discard the small, tough side muscle from each scallop that has one. Place the scallops in the bowl with the marinade and toss evenly to coat them. Cover the bowl and let refrigerate for 1 hour.

3. To make the salsa: Lightly brush 1 onion (cut crosswise into slices) on both sides with oil.  Grill over direct high heat until lightly charred all over (6-8 minutes):
- the onions
- 4 medium tomatillos, (about 1/2 pound total), husked and rinsed
- 1 medium poplano chile

4. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin, stem and seeds. In a food processor place the tomatillos and chilis with:
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 medium garlic clove (minced)
- 1/2 tsp. dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt

5. Process until fairly smooth and taste to adjust the ingredients if necessary. Remove the scallops from the bowl and discard the marinade. Thread the scallops through their sides onto skewers so the scallops lie flat. Grill over direct high heat until just opaque in the center (4-6 minutes) turning once. Serve warm.

Here is to summer grilling flavors! xo

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sesame Noodles with Shrimp

This is a "quick and easy" meal that makes for a light yet healthy dinner. It tastes best served at room temperature and can be made with tofu for a vegetarian option. This recipe is also casein free. I truly hope you find this recipe delicious.

Here is how:
1. Cook 8 oz. of rice noodles according to the package directions; drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, combine:
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 Tbs. ketchup
- 2 Tbs. gluten free hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbs. gluten free tamari
- 2 Tbs. packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. dark sesame oil

3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until well mixed. Remove from the heat and cool about 10 minutes.

4. Toss the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with 2 chopped scallions.

5. Add:
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
- 1/2 pound sauteed shrimp

6. Toss to combine and serve.

Here is to "quick and easy" dinners with flavor! xo

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rosemary Chicken with Wild Rice

Wild rice is one of my favorite ingredients to cook with and also has some interesting history behind it. According to www.brainready.com :

Many native American Indian tribes used wild rice as an important staple in their diets and considered it the centerpiece of their Megwetch Manomin Feast that followed the first harvest. During the long, cold winters when the lakes were frozen and hunting was difficult, their precious stores of wild rice nourished -- often as the primary element of their diet, a testament to the nutritional properties. They had great reverence for "the precious grain sent by the Great Spirit to serve as food." The grain was so valuable to subsistence that tribes sometimes waged wars over wild rice territories. The Chippewa tribe even carried small pouches of wild rice with them whenever they traveled.

Before any explorers set foot on the North American continent, wild rice was gathered by Indians over an expansive of area North America from the Atlantic coast to the Mississippi Valley. Archaeologists found charred remains of wild rice seeds in threshing pits in the northern states that existed long before there was contact with Europeans. By the early part of the1900s, only clear lakes and rivers of the most northern regions of Minnesota could still support the growth of wild rice and provide the Indians their staple food.

It became known as "wild rice" because the explorers noticed Indians gathering it in the waters of the Great Lakes region. As they observed it rising 3 or 4 feet above the water, it reminded them of rice paddies.

This recipe combines the flavors of wild rice and rosemary and is delicious served with some steamed green beans topped with some almonds. I hope this recipe brings comfort and flavor to your home.

Here is how:
1. Cook 1 cup of wild rice according to the package directions.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil. Add 2 cloves of garlic (minced) and saute until golden (about 2 minutes).

3. Add:
- 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- 2 carrots (chopped)

4.  Saute, stirring frequently (about 3-4 minutes). Next, stir in 2 Tbs. of fresh rosemary, (chopped), and cook until the chicken is cooked through (about 3-4 minutes longer).

5. Stir in:
- 1/4 cup orange marmalade
- 1/8 cup dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

6. Cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and toss to combine.

Here is to outdoor flavors! xo

Chicken Paprikash Topped Potatoes

A culinary journey in Hungary from http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/ :

At the root of the country's gastronomy is French cooking, imported by way of Austria to Hungary, where it melded with ancient peasant traditions, many originating in Asia. The country's unique cuisine has influences also from the Central Asian Magyar founders of the nation, Turks, Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Serbians, and Croatians. The simple agrarian and shepherd lifestyles of the Hungarian Plain and mountains have also helped shape the country's unique dishes.

It is uncommon for a Hungarian dish not to have a little dash of paprika. This spice first appeared in Magyar cooking in the 19th century. Today the best varieties of sweet peppers used in making paprika come from Szeged and Kalocsa in southern Hungary where flame-colored fields extend across the plains as far as the eye can see.

This recipe is based on a Hungarian flavors of chicken and onion in a creamy paprika sauce that turns baked potatoes into a balanced meal. Dark meat chicken complements the bold flavors. I hope this recipe brings happiness to your home.

Here is how:
1. Pierce 4 Russet potatoes with a fork and bake in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

2. Combine in a zip-loc bag:
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (cut into bite-size pieces)
- 2 Tbs. gluten free all purpose flour (I prefer Bob's Red Mill brand)
- 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

3. Seal the bag and coat and shake to coat the chicken.

4. Melt 2 Tbs. of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Add:
-  The chicken mixture
-  1/2 cup onion (chopped)
-  1 (8 oz.) package of presliced mushrooms
-  2 garlic cloves (minced)

6.  Saute for 5 minutes and add 1/2 cup of gluten free chicken broth (Pacific brand is gluten free) and bring to a boil. Cook for 6 minutes or until the chicken is done and sauce thickens; stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream.

6. Open the potatoes and fluff the pulp. Divide the chicken mixture evenly over potatoes; sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Here is to healthy meals with flavor! xo

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New York Strip Steak with Pizzaiola Sauce

One of my favorite meals to make at home is a New York Strip Steak paired with twice baked potatoes and grilled vegetables. This recipe combines classic flavors with an Italian Pizzaiola sauce that makes dinner memorable. I truly hope this recipe bring enchantment and happy memories to your table.

Here is how:
1. To make the sauce: Grill 2 1/2 pounds of plum tomatoes over direct high heat until charred on both sides (3-5 minutes). When cool enough to handle, peel away the skin, halve the tomatoes crosswise, remove the cores, squeeze out the seeds, and then chop the tomatoes.

2. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil and cook 1 clove of garlic, (minced), until golden brown, (1-2 minutes), stirring occasionally.

3. Add the tomatoes, 1/4 cup thinly sliced oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh oregano.

4. Allow the steak to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling. Brush both sides of the steak with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, rubbing the seasonings into the meat.

5. Sear over direct high heat for 8-10 minutes, turning once, and then grill over indirect high heat until cooked to desired doneness, 4-6 minutes for mid-rare.

6. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3-5 minutes. Reheat the sauce over medium heat. Serve the steak over a pool of the sauce.

Here it to memorable meals at home! xo

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sweet and Spicy Glazed Salmon

According to www.lowcarbdiets.about.com some of the health benefits of salmon are:

People who eat fish seem to be protected from a host of conditions. Some of this is probably due to the omega-3 fats, but there may be other benefits apart from this. The science isn’t clear yet as to all the reasons why eating fish (particularly fatty fish such as salmon) seems to be so darned good for us.

Omega-3 fats seem to primarily work through reducing inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation is turning out to be at the base of many health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, some types of cancers and arthritis. Omega-3’s also help prevent the blood clots which cause many strokes.
An exciting, fairly recent development is the realization that omega-3 fats have potential to help slow cognitive problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline. Also, people who have sufficient levels of omega-3’s (especially as compared to omega-6 fats) seem to have less depression and suicide risk, as well as less aggression -- in one study, giving prison inmates this type of fat (plus vitamins) reduced aggressive behavior by a third in a mere two weeks.

This is actually a fairly simple recipe that combines sweetness and spiciness that complements the flavor of the salmon perfectly. I paired the fish with some savory herbed brown rice couscous (Lundberg brand) and a side salad for a complete meal. I hope this recipe brings health and happiness to your home.

Here is how:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine in a saucepan:
- 3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. gluten free tamari sauce (I use San J brand)
- 4 tsp. Chinese-style hot mustard
- 1 tsp. rice vinegar

3. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.

4. Place 4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets on a foil-lined jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

5. Preheat broiler.

6. Brush the sugar glaze over the fish; broil 3 inches from heat for 3 minutes or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Here is to healthy meals with flavor! xo

Monday, August 1, 2011

Baked Chicken Breasts with Parmesan-Garlic Crust

This is one of my favorite "quick and easy" meal solutions for dinner. The parmesan crust gives incredible flavor to the chicken and paired with some garlic mashed potatoes, fresh fruit and vegetables it is a delicious, balanced and complete meal. I hope that this recipe warms your hearts and homes.

Here is how:
1. Adjust oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine in a bowl:
- 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs (I prefer Schar brand)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste

3. Pat 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (trimmed) dry with paper towels and transfer to a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

4. Combine 1/4 cup reduced fat mayonnaise and 1/4 cup fresh basil (minced) in a small bowl and spread evenly over the chicken.

5. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture over the mayonnaise, pressing lightly to adhere.

6. Bake until the crusts are golden brown and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest past of the chicken registers 160 degrees. Bake for 18-22 minutes.

Here is to dinners with comfort and nutrition! xo

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thai Watermelon Salad

Watermelon is one of my favorite summer fruits and this recipe combines the sweetness with a hint of spice for a light and healthy lunch. It also packs in some protein with the peanuts and cheese. Paired with some wild berry iced tea it highlights the flavours of summer at their best. I hope you enjoy.

Here is how:
1.  Assemble together:
- 1/4 of a watermelon (skin removed and flesh cubed)
- 2 handfuls of fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 2 handfuls of baby greens (chopped)
- 2 handfuls of fresh mint (chopped)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (deseeded and chopped)
- 4 oz. fresh mozzarella (cubed)
- a handful of peanuts

2. For the dressing combine:
- a thumb size piece of fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- 1 tsp. dried chili pepper flakes
- 2 Tbs. gluten free tamari sauce (I use San J brand)
- 4 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste

Here is to summer flavors at their best! xo

Grilled Swordfish Steaks with Dijon Vinaigrette and Gazpacho Salsa

 According to the California Seafood Council: "Whether grilled, broiled, baked, poached or kabobed, swordfish is a favorite of first-time seafood initiates as well as enlightened conoisseurs. Swordfish's meaty texture and mild flavor are two reasons for its popularity. In addition to good taste, swordfish offers a low-fat, low-calorie choice for health-conscious consumers. And don't forget the heart-healthy benefits of swordfish: rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals."

This recipe combines the fresh flavors of summer heightened with the tanginess of a dijon vinaigrette. It is also really delicious. Swordfish is best paired with a Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Sparkling Brut. There are also really delicious sparking pear spritzers for a non-alcoholic choice (Knudsen brand makes a great one). I truly hope that this recipe brings happiness to your table.

Here is how:

1. To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl whisk together:
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins classic brand is gluten free)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2. To make the salsa, dice 1/4 of an English cucumber and drain on paper towels. Gently squeeze the seeds from 2 tomatoes (halved crosswise). Chop the tomatoes and dice 1/2 of a yellow bell pepper and 1 medium vidalia onion. In a serving bowl, mix the vegetables with 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill and 1/2 of the vinaigrette. Set aside.

3. To make the marinade, in a small bowl, whisk together:
- 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1/2 tsp. salt (I used Pink Himalayan salt for the mineral properties)
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

4. Place the swordfish steaks on a large plate and evenly brush the marinade over both sides. Cover the steaks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Grill the fish over direct medium heat until the steaks are opaque in the center but still juicy, 8-10 minutes, turning once. Serve warm over the salsa with vinaigrette spooned on top.

Here is to meals with refined style! xo

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Grilled Raspberry Chicken Sandwiches

I was craving a grilled chicken sandwich tonight and yet wanted something with some "sweet and spicy" flavor. This is the recipe I came across and it turned out delicious. The sauce can also be used on chicken wings or meatballs warmed up in a crock pot as well. I hope you find this recipe helpful.

Here is how:
1. In a small saucepan combine:
- 1 cup sweet Thai chili sauce (Maggi brand is gluten free)
- 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbs. dijon mustard

2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Set aside 1 cup for serving and remaining sauce for basting.

3. Take 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 4 oz. each) and cut in half widthwise; place in a large resealable plastic bag. Add 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper. Seal bag and turn to coat.

4. Grill the chicken, uncovered, over direct medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until no longer pink, basting frequently with raspberry sauce. Remove and keep warm.

5. Grill 12 buttered gluten free hamburger buns (I like Udi brand), uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until lightly browned on one side. Make sure that you use a new stick of butter to prevent cross contamination. Place a piece of chicken, lettuce and reserved raspberry sauce on half of bread slices; top with remaining bread. 

Note: I also topped mine with some grilled vidalia onions. Simply slice an onion and place in a foil packet with 1 Tbs. butter. Grill for 3 minutes over direct medium-high heat and flip the packet over for another 3 minutes.

Here is to healthy grilling with flavor! xo

Yoga to Aid Digestion

I practice yoga on a regular basis and increasingly I find that specific poses to aid with digestion are helpful coping strategies. There are some sequencing of poses that target "IBS" type symptomatology. Here is the information and I hope you find it helpful.

Yoga Poses for Specific IBS Symptoms

Yoga Pose (Click on name for picture)
Bow, Corpse Pose, Fish Pose, On your Back With Knees to Chest, Seated Forward Bend, Uddiyana, Forward Bend, Plow
On Your Back With Knees to Chest, Wind Relieving Posture, Gentle Inversion Poses
Bowel Dysmotility
Overall GI Function
Corpse Pose, Locust, On Your Back with Knees to Chest.

Yoga Posture Sequence:

1-Corpse pose

2-Reclining bound angle pose

3-Hero pose
(helps relieve stomach acidity, flatulence, abdominal cramping)

4-Reclining easy seated pose
(helps relieve indigestion, flatulence, and abdominal cramping)

5-Inverted staff pose (helps relieve diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal cramping, indigestion) (Caution, don't do if you have neck problems, migraine/headache, or current diarrhea)

6-Bound angle pose
(helps improve digestion and blood circulation to abdomen & pelvis)

7-Wide-angle seated pose
(improves circulation to abdomen/pelvis, digestion overall)

8-Downward facing dog
(helps calm nervous system, relieve constipation and indigestion)

(helps relieve spastic colon, and stabilize digestive tract) (Caution: Only do this if already part of your regular practice. Don't do it if have high blood pressure, period, neck/back problems, or migraines)

(helps IBS, colitis, chronic constipation, or hemorrhoids) (Caution, avoid this if you have neck/shoulder problems, high blood pressure, period, or migraine/headache)

11-Half-plough pose
(helps soothe nerves and relax mind, and digestive complaints associated with anxiety) (Avoid if you have neck/shoulder problems or period)

12-Bridge pose
(helps with overall digestion, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping)

13-Legs up the wall pose
(helps soothe sympathetic nervous system, relieve anxiety-associated diarrhea, indigestion, and nausea)
Go to www.helpforibs.com to find the full article where you can click on the poses for pictures.

I hope that you find yoga as helpful as I do. Namaste.