Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fast Turkey Soup with Vegetables

Turkey Soup

The winter is in full swing, the wind is howling around the house, the holidays are over, and it is time for some simple, but warming soup. I rummaging in my freezer, I had located a turkey wing, left from Thanksgiving. So, I just added a quart of water, 2-3 handfuls of frozen vegetables, and heated it all, with the wing still frozen. Wonderful flavor steeped from the turkey bone into the soup, and once the meat was heated and soft I pulled it off the bone, and added it to the soup. When the soup finished slow cooking after 30 min, I discarded the bones, and served the soup. The turkey had been brined, so there was still enough salt and herbs in the turkey to be sufficient for the soup.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Florentine Pasta

Pasta florentine

This is light, vegetarian, full of flavor and light wintery comfort food. It gets its meaty and mushroom flavor from the boca burger, a crunch from the red bell pepper, thick stewy consistency from the spinach and pasta and the light and refreshing taste from the spinach and tomatoes combination.

1/2 ts olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 portabella mushroom boca burger, cut into small dice (or larger if you like)
1/4 cup water
1 small package of frozen but thawed, chopped spinach (like Green Giant) or fresh spinach
2 oz Fiber gourmet elbow pasta
crazy salt, pepper
1/2 ts maggi chicken bouillon concentrate
1 fresh garlic clove or 1/4 ts garlic powder
1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
1 cup passata (or chopped fresh tomatoes)

Use a heavy bottom pot. Heat the olive oil and saute the onion and the diced veggie burger, until the onion is softened and slightly browned, and the boca burger pieces are slightly browned. Add the bell pepper, mix and add the water to scrap off the browned bits from the pot bottom. Add the spinach, pasta and the rest of the ingredients. Mix gently and well so that all the ingredients are mixed. Bring up the heat, and then let simmer on low for 12 min until the pasta is cooked.

Optionally: add parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Belgian Endive with Apple, Pomegranate, Pecans and Goat cheese

Endive salad with apple, pomegranate, pecans and goat cheese

Another great winter salad: endives, celery, apple, toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese with a Galeo dressing.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Red red red salad

Red red red salad

One of my favorite salads that I had a few years ago at Legal Seafood in Boston: the red red red salad. Radicchio, dried cranberries and cherry balsamic vinaigrette, with some pecans and goat cheese.

1 head radicchio, cut in thin stripes
2 TB dried cranberries (or black cherries)
1 TB goat cheese, crumbled (or gorgonzola)
1 TB pecans, toasted and/or spiced (or walnuts)
Black cherry balsamic vinaigrette

Prepare salad and ingredients, and serve with vinaigrette.

Black cherry balsamic vinaigrette:
very good olive oil
black cherry balsamic vinegar (available @Fiore, Bar Harbor, ME)
1 garlic clove, grated (microplaned)
1 TS honey
1 TS mustard
salt, pepper

Fill all ingredients in a jar, and shake well.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Penne with Smokey Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese

Penne with smokey tomato sauce
Penne with smokey tomato sauce, goat cheese and sunflower seeds

2 oz fiber gourmet penne

1 garlic clove, grated or microplaned
1 ts extra virgin olive oil
1 ts red pepper flakes
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 ts dried rosemary
1/2 large can of organic diced tomatoes
8-10 kalamata olives, sliced (+ 1 TB brine)
2 TB capers, drained (+ 1 TB brine)
some red wine
1 big ts smoked sweet paprika
1 TB soft goat cheese
1 TB dry roasted sunflower seeds

Cook pasta according to instructions. Heat canned tomatoes and add all other ingredients. Simmer for 10 min on low. Serve over pasta and add goat cheese and sunflower seeds.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Health food that might not be so healthy

Health food

Interesting article in "Cooking Light": why some health food might not be as healthy as we think.
  • Smoothies are only healthy and skinny when made with mostly fresh fruit and low-fat yogurt (w/o the ice cream, sugar, cream etc.)
  • "Multi-grain" bread does not mean it is "whole-grain". It might still be refined flour.
  • Turkey meat is lean protein, but deli turkey slices contain a high percentage of sodium.
  • Low-fat peanut butter might not be lower calorie, and make up the lower fat with more sugar.
  • Store-bought salads can be loaded with mayo, nuts, meats and contain a whopping 600kcal.
  • Muesli bars can contain a high degree of sugars, corn syrup and saturated fats. It is healthier to eat trail mix, and low-fat cottage cheese.
For more information, see "Cooking light".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baked Apples with Beets

Sweet and Sour Baked Apple w. Beets

several apples, washed and cored
1 beet, peeled and cut into sticks
1/2 cup beef stock (or vegetable stock)
1 TB balsamic vinegar
1/2 ts whole cloves

Core apples and place in baking dish. Stuff with beet sticks. Fill the area around the apples with the mix of beef stock, balsamic vinegar and cloves. Bake at 430F for 30 min.

Serve with goat cheese and pinenuts.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Stoofpotje with Vegetarian Meatballs

Mini cocotte with vegan meatballs

Now, this is a great idea for portion control: using mini baking dishes (or cocottes, potjes in Dutch). This recipes includes 2 TB of dry FiberGourmet light elbow pasta, 1 TB corn, 3 Trader Joe's meatless meatballs, and a 1/2 cup of water, 1 TB low-carb ketchup and 1/2 teaspoon liquid beef bouillion. Sprinkle with ff cheese. Bake in toaster oven for 20min at 400F.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spicy Red Kuri Squash Soup

Squash soup

  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 hot red chili, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 small diced and peeled red kuri squash (also known as Japanese squash, orange hokkaido, or uchiki kuri squash)
  • 1 medium sized peeled sweet potato
  • 2 small diced and peeled carrot
  • 4 cups water (or 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken stock)
  • 2TB ajvar (roasted red pepper paste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • crème fraiche, to serve
  • fresh parsley, chopped, to serve

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When warm, add the onion and red chili and soften. (ca. 3 to 4 min). Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 1/2 minute. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Cover with the water or stock.

Add the avjar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Purée the soup. Add more stock or water if necessary.

To serve, add a teaspoon of crème fraiche, and parsley.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Simple Apple Galette or Pie

Apple Pie

  • 1 store-bought pie crust (800kcal for entire crust)
  • 2 pound tart apples such as Brock or Spencer, peeled, cored and sliced
  • juice of one fresh lemon
  • grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Unfold thawed pie crust. Transfer to an non-greased 17- by 14-inch baking sheet or a pie shaped baking dish.

Toss apples with lemon juice and zest in a large bowl, and sprinkle granulated sugar over apples. Place apple slices on pie crust. Either arrange neatly (or not so neatly), or fold in dough border over apples if making a galette, pleating dough as necessary, to form a 9-inch round.

Bake pie 30 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and bake until apples are tender and crust is golden, 25 to 30 minutes more. Remove pie from oven and turn on broiler.

Dust apples with confectioners sugar and broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until apples are just golden, 1 to 3 minutes (watch carefully; sugar burns easily). Slide pie from baking sheet onto a rack, then cool to warm or room temperature.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Slow-cooked Ragu by Marcella Hazan

Bolognese Meat Sauce
Marcella Hazan from her book "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking"

1 TB olive oil
1 TB butter
1/2 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, cleaned and cut into small dice
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 pound ground lean beef (preferably chuck or neck)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 ts nutmeg
1.5 cups canned Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped

1. Use an earthenware pot for making the sauce. Since it is long and slow cooked, this works best to not burn it. A slow cooker would also work.

2. In a skillet, add oil and butter with chopped onion. Turn heat on to medium. Cook and stir onion until translucent. Add chopped celery and carrot. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.

3. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Break up the meat with a fork and only cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color, but don't brown it.

4. Add the wine and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has evaporated. Add the 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg and stir.

5. Add the milk and nutmeg, and let simmer, stir often and wait until the milk has evaporated. This can take a while.

6. When milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn heat down so that the sauce cooks at an ultralow simmer with occasional bubbles breaking. At this point, it can be placed in a slow cooker or continue to cook uncovered for a min of 3 1/2 to 5h, stirring from time to time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moroccan Baked Eggplant

Moroccan baked eggplant

1 eggplant, peeled and cut into round slices

Tomato Sauce:
1 cup passata pomodorri or canned tomatoes
1 TB harissa (spicy Moroccan pepper mix)
salt, pepper
1 TB moroccan spice mix

2-3 TB home-made framboise baked beans
1/4 cup turkey or beef ragu (slow cooked, or from a jar, bolognese sauce)
fresh grated parmesan

Peel eggplant, and slice into rounds. Sprinkle with salt, and let sit on a towel for 15 min. Rinse and pad dry (this will remove the more bitter taste from the eggplants). Salt and pepper the eggplant slices, heat a grill pan, and dry fry the eggplant slices on both sides until slightly brown.

Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.

Preheat oven to 400F. Use an oven-save serving dish (ceramic or a tapas dish), and place 1 layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of the dish. Add some tomato sauce and some ragu. Distribute over the slices. Add another layer of eggplant, and again distribute tomato sauce and the beans. Add remaining slices for decoration and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan. Bake for 20min, and serve hot!

Makes 2 servings! Serve with rice.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The sour grapes of 2009

The sour grapes of 2009

Yes, there are grapes growing in Maine, and they are even sweet if the summer does not decide to rain out like this year. The harvest (on my house wall) was late this year, but plentiful. It still makes for great fresh pressed grape juice.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fast Snacks: Bratwurst in Phyllo

bratwurst in phyllo dough

A fabulous fast snack or dinner, in a zinch to make.

1 bratwurst (ca. 180kcal)
2 4-inch wide strips of phyllo dough (for one wrapper, use only half of the layers)
sweet mustard or dijon mustard
4 TB onion chutney
1 TB eggbeaters

Cut the bratwurst into 4 equal sized pieces. Distributed djion mustard on the 4 phyllo strips, place 1 TB of onion chutney on one end of the strip, and the brat piece on top. Roll up, and place seam side down on a cookie sheet. For a nice brown coat of the phyllo dough, brush rollups with eggbeaters on top. Bake for 20 min a preheated 400F oven.

Fitbit wireless pedometer

There is a new sleek pedometer in town.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fall Porcini Fettucini

pasta with porcini mushroom

Fall Porcini Fettucini
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2/3 cup boiling beef bouillon
2 oz Fiber Gourmet ultra light fettucini
1/2 teaspoon clarified butter
1 finely chopped shallot
1/3 package exotic mushroom blend, coarsely chopped (frozen or fresh)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 TB dry sherry
1 TB Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 TB heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
Sage sprigs (optional)

Combine dried porcini and boiling beef stock in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving the soaking liquid. Chop porcini.

Cook pasta in boiling water 10 minutes or until al dente; drain, and reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

Melt clarified butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, exotic mushroom blend, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in porcini, and sherry and porcini soaking liquid; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to medium. Add parmesan cheese, sage, and pepper and stir and cook until liquid is almost evaporated.

Stir in pasta, and a few TB of the reserved pasta water. Toss well to combine. Drizzle in the truffle oil; toss. Place on plate and top with some parmesan cheese.

Home-made apple cider

Apple cider

Fall, the time of apple picking and apple abundance. Cider is readily available, but it is also easy to make at home with the right equipment (e.g. a Breville juicer). To skinny it, use apples and an english cucumber.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Cherry Tomato Tart

Fall reminds me of onion tarts, accompanied with young white wine. Onion, caramelized in balsamic vinegar, baked with ham, cumin seeds, heavy cream, eggs on a pizza dough like crust. But, I was lazy and hungry, so a quick and dirty version had to do. I cut some layers of phyllo dough into round shapes, and lines small tart forms. One was filled with onion chutney, and topped with a mix of ff sour cream and (full fat) grated gruyere with some nutmeg. A second was lined with halved cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled with shredded mozzarella and basil. A third was filled with a mix of eggbeaters, sour cream and spices, and the 4th was filled with peeled sliced tiny picked apples, mixed with some brown sugar, ground cloves and a bit of maple syrup. Baked for 25 min in a 425F preheated oven.

Onion Tart
onion tartelette

Friday, October 2, 2009

Pizza with Olives, Chorizo and Mascarpone

Pizza w Chorizo

Pizza, made simple. A store-bought frozen single serve margarita pizza with some sliced olives, chorizo and some spoonfuls of mascarpone cheese.

Preheat oven to 425F. Microwave pizza for 4 min on high. Bake in oven f0r 5-10 min to make it crisp. Serve!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New England Maple Baked Beans

1 can pinto beans
1/3 white onion, diced
2 TB pancetta, diced
2 TB maple syrup
1 ts loose chicken bouillon (or 1 cup of chicken stock)
1 TB brown splenda
1 TB dried cranberries
fresh ground black pepper

smoked paprika

Rinse pinto beans, and preheat oven to 375F. In a dutch oven (such as le creuset), heat the pancetta, release the fat and brown slightly. Add the onion and soften. Turn off the heat. Add the rinsed beans, 1 cup of water, the chicken bouillon, the maple syrup, brown sugar, and the cranberries and black pepper to taste. Stir gently and bake in oven for 45 min at 375F.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Roasted Balsamic Beets with Pine Nuts and Goat Cheese

Balsamic Roasted Beets

Balsamic roasted beets

6 medium beets (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 star anise
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Brush the beets clean and cut in large chunks. Place in a baking dish, and whisk the stock, balsamic vinegar and rest of ingredients together, and pour over the beets. Cover with foil, and bake for 1h. Turn off heat, and leave in oven for another 30min.

Makes 5-6 servings.

Roast beet salad with pine nuts and goat cheese


2 TB rice vinegar
1/2 ts olive oil
1 ts spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
some salt

Whisk the ingredients to a vinaigrette.


1 TB toasted pine nuts
1 oz soft goat cheese
1 cup of roasted beets, cooled

Arrange the beets on a plate. Drizzle with vinaigrette, and top with pine nuts and goat cheese.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Giada's Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

It sounded good seeing Giada stir it up on TV.... and it is really good cooking and eating it myself with some leftover organic chicken -- chicken noodle soup with lemon, a bay leaf and parmesan. I added lemon, but used only half of the proposed amount. A wonderful dish for the slowly colder nights and the fall to come...

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 dried bay leaf
1 (2-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
handful spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup diced cooked rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat
2 TB grated Romano cheese
handful chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
fresh ground pepper

In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth, lemon juice, bay leaf, and Parmesan rind to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the diced carrots and pasta, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken and heat through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and the Parmesan rind and discard. Stir in the cheese and the parsley.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Food Scene in Portland, ME (NY Times)

THE overnight temperature is dropping toward frost this week and probably won’t rise above it until May. Most of the cruise ships are gone, and with them the fudge buyers, the lobster seekers and the chowderheads who clog the Old Port neighborhood in the summer.

But the quiet and the chill are deceptive. Portland’s many chefs and bakers, its turnip farmers and cookbook sellers and assorted mad food geniuses are gearing up for another lively winter.

read more.....

BRESCA 111 Middle Street (Franklin Arterial), (207) 772-1004.

COFFEE BY DESIGN 43 Washington Avenue (Cumberland Avenue), (207) 879-2233.

EVANGELINE 190 State Street (Congress Street), (207) 791-2800.

THE FRONT ROOM 73 Congress Street (Howard Street), (207) 773-3366.

MICUCCI GROCERY CO. 45 India Street (Middle Street), (207) 775-1854. (italian import store)

MIYAKE 129 Spring Street (High Street), (207) 871-9170.

158 PICKETT ST. CAFÉ 158 Pickett Street (Broadway), South Portland, (207) 799-8998.

PACIARINO 468 Fore Street (Cross Street), (207) 774-3500.

RABELAIS 86 Middle Street (Franklin Arterial), (207) 774-1044.

ROSEMONT MARKET 559 Brighton Avenue (Montrose Street), (207) 774-8129, and 88 Congress Street (Merrill Street), (207) 773-7888.

SCRATCH BAKING CO. 416 Preble Street (Pillsbury Street), South Portland, (207) 799-0668.

VIGNOLA 10 Dana Street (Commercial Street), (207) 772-1330.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

How the Cat makes Quesadillas

How the cat makes quesadillas

1 St. Joseph Lavash, cut into 4 quarters
2-4 TB ff refried beans
fresh ground pepper
1 ts chili oil
1/4 small red onion, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced and cut into thin strips
1/2 cherry pepper, finely chopped (no seeds!)
some leftover chicken or steak, cubed
1/2 ts cumin
1/2 ts chili powder
2-3 TB water
2 TB low-fat Mexican cheese mix

On a cutting board, prepare the lavash (cut in half, and then half the halves again). Pair 2 quarters each for a quesadilla. Cover one quarter each with 1-2 TB refried beans, and crush black pepper on the bean spread.

In a skillet, heat the oil and add the onion and cherry chili. Saute until slightly soft. Add all the spices, the bell pepper, chicken or beef (or both), and the water, and saute on low heat until the bell pepper is tender. Turn off the heat.

Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan to high heat. Distribute the bell pepper steak mix on the bean spread of the two quarters. Sprinkle with the cheese and close with the second lavash quarters. Place on the heated skillet, and, depending on the heat of the stove, turn the lavash to the other side, once it has browned on the bottom side. Turn off the heat, and let the other side get brown and the cheese melt. Serve straight up or with salsa, green onions and sour cream. Says the cat.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Walnut Kalamata Bread

Kalamata Pecan Bread

One of my favorite fast home-made breads, and instead of individual servings, this time in family size.

1 cup Insta bake
1/2 cup ground FiberOne cereal
1/2 TB baking powder
1/2 cup sliced marinated kalamata olives
1/4 cup walnuts or pecan, fresh chopped and slightly toasted
3/4-1 cup ff milk
2 TB of kalamata olive water

Mix all the dry ingredients first, and add olives and nuts. Add the wet ingredients, and mix. It will be a dry, clumpy dough, but not too crumble. It should come together as a dough, just not very smooth. Fill in a small bread baking dish, and bake at 400F for 45-60min.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pasta with Scallops in Cherry Tomato Sauce

Scallops and pasta

2 oz Fiber Gourmet rotini
1 cup of canned cherry tomatoes (Whole Foods brand)
1/2 cup of water
1 TB ketchup
1 garlic clove, minced
fresh ground black pepper
Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
1/8 cup red wine
2 fresh mushroom, cleaned and cut into thin slices
1 TB skinny sundried tomato pesto
3 large fresh or thawed scallops
1/2 small can of chopped clams, drained and 1 TB clam juice

Cook pasta according to instructions. In a pot, heat the cherry tomatoes and the water. Add the garlic, pepper, Mrs. Dash, pesto as well as the sliced mushroom and red wine. Heat well, and simmer for 5 min. Add the clams and thawed or fresh scallops, and heat through for another 3-4 min. Serve over pasta. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

It is still relatively warm and sunny outside, so not really time yet for hearty stews yet, nevertheless I felt like one. I had a few small steaks in my freezer, and improvised on the remaining ingredients. Melissa D'Arabian again was my inspiration: succulent slow cooked meat, fork tender, smelling delicious. So, here is a french inspired beef stew with some extra kicks.

ca 300 gr of chuck, steak or other type of lean beef, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
1 small red onion and 1 small white onion, diced
1 TB clarified butter (ghee)
2 medium-sized garlic cloves, chopped
2 springs of fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped
1/2 TB Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
1 cup of good dry red wine, a cabernet sauvignon or Cote du Rhone(my favorite is Menage a Trois)
1 cup of water
1/2 cube of beef bouillion
other vegetables such as dried porcini or fresh button mushrooms
2 TB tomato paste
1 TB flour, dissolved in 1/4 cup of water
1/8 cp red wine
1/2 TB creme fraiche
salt, pepper to your liking

In a dutch oven (or any skillet you can place in the oven with a tight lid), heat the clarified butter and sear the meat chunks. Once browned, add the onions and carrots, and sear, too. After 5 minutes, add the garlic and sear for another 1-2 min. Add the red wine, and scrap the bottom of the pan gently. Add the water, bouillon, and other vegetables. Stir, and take of the heat. Add the tomato paste and the flour. Cover with a lid, and slow roast in the oven for 3h at 325F. Occasionally, stir the stew.

Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste, and more red wine to give it a bit of an edge and the creme fraiche (or sour cream) to add it some elegance. Serve with roasted potatoes and vegetables. Enjoy!

Makes ca. 5-6 small servings or 4 dinner sized servings.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Farmers Pasta Salad

This is great simple pasta for the Labor Day weekend bbqs......

1/2 pound of mezzo rigatoni pasta (or any small shapes pasta of your liking)
1 red bell pepper, small dice
handful cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
1 can of small white beans, rinsed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 small container of crumbled fat-reduced feta cheese
2 springs of fresh rosemary, chopped
handful of fresh basil, cut into small stripes
salt, pepper, Mrs Dash garlic and herbs
3 TB very good extra virgin olive oil
2 TB white balsamic vinegar

Cook the pasta according to instruction, drain, and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and place in a large salad bowl. Once the pasta is cooled, add to the vegetables, feta and herbs, add salt, pepper and Mrs Dash. Stir gentle, and drizzle olive oil and the white balsamic vinegar. Serve with bbq chicken or steak. Enjoy

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mesclun Greens with Black Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette


In Bar Harbor, a new store opened this month: Fiore LLC. I had seen this type of store in Paris a few years back, a store that lets you taste a large variety of extra-virgin olive oil so that you can selected exactly the one flavor you like best (think wine tasting!). I must admit I've been a extra-virgin olive oil collector ever since.

Fiore has a selection of mild, fruity olive oils, from Greece, Italy and Spain, and I especially liked the one with Persian Lime and Chipotle. Accompanying the olive oil, a selection of balsamic vinegars is offered. The blueberry balsamic vinegar must be the crowd favorite, because it doubles as a gift from the vacation in Maine. My favorite is the black cherry balsamic vinegar, and the white peach balsamic vinegar.

So, with my new goods of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a raw wooden salad bowl from the raw woods store on Main street in Bar Harbor I made this salad today.

Black Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, grated
1 TB black cherry balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
1 ts Dijon mustard
1/4 ts soy sauce (thanks, for the tip, Melissa D'Arabian!)
a few drop of liquid sweetener (such as Fiberfit)
1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil
fresh crush pepper and Mrs. Dash garlic and herb

2 handfuls fresh greens, from the garden, Farmers market or store
some arugula salad
1/3 red bell pepper, diced

Use a wooden salad bowl (or another large, flat bowl) and whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients in the bottom of the bowl. Place the salad on top, and when ready to serve mix the salad and vinaigrette. Serve with a few slices of mozzarella!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The summer favorite: ratatouille


A timeless summer favorite when the zucchini, beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs are plentiful in the garden and at the Farmers market. It does not need much more then a TB of good olive oil, and it will steam away to a tender bite in its own juices, caramelizing it to a sweet flavorful dish (or, short cooked, with some original vegetable crunch). A meal in itself, a side, a pasta sauce, great with goat cheese or mozzarella and a glass of cabernet. Summer!

1 zucchini, cut into thick cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/3 red onion, diced
1/2 summer squash, cut into thick cubes
a handful cherry tomatoes, halved
handful yellow beans, ends cut off
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil with persian lime
salt, pepper, 2 springs of fresh rosemary (chopped), fresh basil (chiffonade)
1-2 large garlic cloves, grated
Mrs. Dash garlic and herbs
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Prepare all the vegetables (wash and cut them). In a heavy dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent and then add all the vegetables, and close the lid (important! ---- the purpose is to saute the veggies in their own steam and not add additional liquid). After 5 min, stir, and add the salt, pepper and fresh herbs and the garlic. Saute for another 5-10min, depending on how much crunch you like in your veggies. Serve with some fresh grated parmesan cheese!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sauerkraut with Pineapple

Pineapple Sauerkraut

A flavorful, slightly exotic variety of sauerkraut: infused with pineapple and apple. I usually make a big batch, and it works well as side to pork roast, ribs, on a hot dog, or just as a snack.

1/2 pound of sauerkraut (I like Hengstenberg or Morse Sauerkraut)
1/2 tart apple, finely diced
8 oz fresh or canned pineapple (sugarfree, if canned), cut into chunks
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup white wine
a few juniper berries
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper (easy on the salt, since sauerkraut is salty)
1/4 cup of pineapple juice (optional)
1 TB brown sugar or 1/2 TB brown splenda

This works best baked in the oven (using a heavy dutch oven with a lid, a tagine, or a clay baker, anyhow it need to be closed with a lid so that it can steam to cook). Mix all ingredients, and place into a tightly covered baking dish. Bake in oven for 35-45 min at 400F.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fettucini with Ratatouille

Fettucini with Ratatouille

A great leftover lunch or light dinner --- a big pot of ratatouille with fresh zucchini, beans, red bell pepper, fresh corn, cherry tomatoes and garlic, rosemary and basil, and using leftovers with a serving of lemon pepper FG fettucini, some porcini mushroom, pine nuts and fresh mozzarella. Satisfying, flavorful and healthy.

1 zucchini, cut into thick cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/3 red onion, diced
1 summer squash, cut into thick cubes
a handful cherry tomatoes, halved
shaved kernels of 1 cob of fresh corn
possible additional veggies: eggplant, edamame, french beans, eggplant, .......
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, 2 springs of fresh rosemary (chopped), fresh basil (chiffonade)
1-2 large garlic cloves, microplaned
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Prepare all the vegetables (wash and cut them). In a heavy dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent and then add all the vegetables, and close the lid (important! ---- the purpose is to saute the veggies in their own steam and not add additional liquid). After 5 min, stir, and add the salt, pepper and fresh herbs and the garlic. Saute for another 5-10min, depending on how much crunch you like in your veggies. Serve with some fresh grated parmesan cheese and pine nuts!

2 oz FiberGourmet lemon pepper fettucini
1 oz dried porcini mushroom, reconstituted in hot low-sodium, ff chicken broth
1 cup of ratatouille
1 ts pine nuts
1 slice of fresh mozzarella, cubed.

Cook the fettucini in hot water for 12 min. Meanwhile, rehydrate the porcini mushroom in hot chicken broth. In a saute pan, heat a cup of ratatouille and add the rehydrated porcini mushroom. Once the fettucini is cooked al dente, drain them and add them to the vegetable mix. Mix and heat for 1 min. Serve with pine nuts and the mozzarella! Enjoy!

1 lunch + 1 veggie + 1 fat serving

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Apple Pecan Cranberry Salad at Jordan Pond House

Apple Pecan Cranberry Salad at Jordan Pond House

This is the time of the year to go hiking, in the nearby beautiful Acadia National Park with its beautiful hikes and views, and, of course, some well-deserved early dinner somewhere in Bar Harbor or the roadside lobster houses. This is a crunchy fresh salad at the Jordan Pond House, served on the lawn, with a side of good weather (and dressing!).

dried cranberries
with balsamic vinaigrette

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pasta della Isola d'Elba

pasta della  Isla d' elba

I found this recipe on one of my favorite Swiss food blogs, la cucina mia. It sounded like a great light summer pasta dish, and it is: incredible flavorful and great texture. And, how much better can it get than a Isle of Elba inspired summer pasta dish?

2 oz Fiber Gourmet long fettucini
cook according to instructions

1 ts extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 of a small red onion, small dice
1/3 red bell pepper, small dice
about 10 Kalamata olive halves (in brine, not oil)
1 generous TB capers
1 garlic clove, minced
about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
5 sundried tomatoes, cut into thin stripes with a scissors
4-5 large basil leaves, rolled like a cigar, and cut into fine slices
1 TB pine nuts
salt, pepper

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and fry the onions and bell pepper. After ca. 5 min, add the olives, capers and garlic clove. Saute and mix well. Add a ladle of starchy pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil leaves and pine nuts as well as salt and pepper. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, preserve a laddle of pasta water, drain the pasta, and add the pasta back to the sauce in the pan. Mix all ingredients, and heat again until the pasta water more or less is evaporated. Serve with 2 small slices of fresh mozzarella. Enjoy!

1 dinner entree

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Onion Chutney

onion chutney

Onion chutney requires only a few ingredients - onions, vinegar - sherry, red wine, raspberry or balsamic are all ideal, and brown sugar, and a few spices. Great with roast beef, or sandwiches.

6 large red or sweet onions, chopped
1 TB canola oil
1 cup of vinegar (can be red wine, sherry, raspberry, balsamic or a mix of them)
1 cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
15-20 crushed pepper corns
5 juniper berries

Put onions into freezer for 10 min, and then chop them as coarsely or finely as you like. Heat the onions with a small amount of canola oil in a stainless steel pan until they are soft. Add vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, crushed black peppercorns and juniper berries. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the onions are translucent and all the liquid has evaporated.

Pour the hot chutney into small (8oz) sterilized jars, seal, and store in the fridge. The chutney should keep for at least 6 months. To ensure the chutney can keep even longer (1 year plus), put the sealed jars in boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Line metal jar lids with greaseproof paper to protect them from the vinegar in the chutney.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sweet Garlic Pickles


The weather was not so great, so time to get some canning and jamming done. I tried out an easy recipe by Cooking light, the sweet garlicy pickles. Can't wait to try them in four days.

Swordfish with Tabbouleh

1/4 cup bulghur (cracked wheat)
1/4 cup hot water
4 gherkins, diced
1 green onion, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/3 English cucumber, peeled and diced
1/3 green bell pepper, diced
large bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
bunch fresh mint, chopped
salt, pepper
1/2 ts cumin seeds
juice of 1 lemon

Soak bulghur in the hot water for 1 hour. Meanwhile, chop the vegetable, and put in a medium sized bowl. Add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the bulghur as well a 1-2 TB liquid from the gherkin jar to the cracked wheat. Now, mix in all the vegetables, stir gentle, and chill for 1-2 hours.

(makes 2 servings for lunch or 1 serving for dinner, ca. 220 kcal alltogether)

3 oz of swordfish
1 ts ghee (clarified butter)
salt, pepper

Heat the ghee in a skillet til smoking point. Salt and pepper the swordfish, and caramelized from both side for 3 min in hot skillet.

Serve swordfish and the tabbouleh (half for a lunch, and the entire serving for dinner). Enjoy!

Another great recipe!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Perfect for those summer Sundays when friends come over, or to bring to a potluck occasion.

Strawberry Rhubarb mix:

1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons heartsmart bisquik
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
3 cups diced rhubarb

1 cup heartsmart bisquik
1/4 cup brown splenda
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, mix white sugar, heartsmart bisquik, strawberries, and rhubarb. Place the mixture in a 9x9 inch baking dish.
(or 10x8 inch if you like IKEA).

Melt butter. Mix 1 cup of bisquik mix, brown splenda, and oats. Add butter, and mix all until crumbly. Distribute crumble on top of the rhubarb and strawberry mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until crisp and lightly browned. Cool and serve with ff coolwhip

Makes about 12 servings a 226kcal.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chicken Tandoori

A slightly different version of chicken tandoori, but all the flavors and very healthy.

1 organic small chicken breast (on the bone)
2 TL Patak Tandoori marinade
1 container Danone nonfat plain yogurt (or other brand)

1 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/3 white onion, diced
1 ts red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp Tandoori paste
1 Tbsp Danone (or other) non-fat yogurt

Mix tandoori paste and yogurt and fill into a ziplock bag. Add chicken breast, and marinade overnight in the fridge.

Heat BBQ, and grill marinated chicken breast with marinade in a "bowl" made using aluminum foil on the BBQ (it is juicier and more baked than grilled). "Bake" for ca. 25-30 min on high. Take off BBQ, and slice chicken breast into strips, and use half (!) of the breast for the remaining dish.

In a PAM-sprayed pan, saute the bell pepper, and onion with the chili flakes. After 5-7 min, add the chicken stock, the tandoori paste and yogurt. Stir, and add the chicken. Serve!

1 dinner protein + 1 veggie + 1 fat

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Make your own notebook

So, it is Sunday, time to slow down. I saw these great notebooks made by an art student the other day in a store. This sounded like a fun project to reuse old magazines, and made some personalized gifts or notebooks for recipes. As you can see, I had a few Williams-Sonoma catalogs and Gourmet magazines on hand.

1 notebook
glue, scissors
see-through packing tape.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maine Mussels with Tomato Marinara

One of the great things of summer in Maine are: going clamming or getting your own mussels from the coast. Unfortunately, no longer this summer, because the 'red tide' closed most areas again for the next weeks. But the fish monger at the local farmers market still had (pricey) mussels from a certified dealer. So, it was time for mussels in a tomato marinara, garlic, white wine, and fresh rosemary. With it, some fresh french baguette from Chase's in Belfast.

1 can fireroasted tomates (with garlic)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 ts extra-virigin olive oil
morton lite salt, fresh ground pepper (to taste)
Mrs. Dash garlic and herbs
1/4 cup white wine (Chardonnay)
a twig fresh rosemary, chopped

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions. Once transluctant, grate the garlic into the pot, and stir. After 1-2 min, add the white wine, and let the liquid evaporate. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, Mrs Dash and rosemary. Heat well and sautee for 3 minutes on medium-high heat. Make sure the mussels are well clean and de-bearded. Add mussels to the pot, and close the pot with a lid. Steam the mussels in the tomato marinara for 5-7 min, until all mussels are open (discard those that do not open), and cooked. Serve with pasta or a piece of baguette!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Haddock with Rainbow Chard

A light meal for those warm summer days, with ingredients from the local farmers market. Haddock, young rainbow chard, garlic scapes, cherry tomatoes, and an orange bell pepper with some lemon and some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Delightful!

1/2 haddock fillet
PAM, salt, pepper

1 ts extra-virgin olive oil
small bunch of young rainbow chard, sliced
2 garlic scapes, sliced into small pieces
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 orange bell pepper
salt, pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Grill the haddock with salt and pepper in a hot, PAM-sprayed skillet until cooked (ca. 5 min, both sides). Remove fish, and keep warm on the serving plate. Add the olive oil to the pan, the garlic scapes, rainbow chard, tomatoes and bell pepper. Sautee for 5 min, then add the lemon juice, salt and pepper (not much salt, the parmensan cheese is also to add saltiness!). Sautee for 2 more minutes, and microplan in the parmesan cheese. Stir, and serve with the haddock!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cleaning House

Sometimes, you just feel like it: cleaning house, getting rid of toxins, clutter, and rejuvenate. Go for a walk in clean air, drink only water for a day, go the sauna, relax and eat only fresh vegetables and fruit. This is a great (and for a change tasty) fresh pressed juice to start the day.

3-4 carrots, cut in large chunks
2 apples, quartered
1 scoop probiotics greens (like ProGreens)

Juice the carrots and apples in a juice, and mix with the probiotic powder. It is sweet from the carrots, tangy from the apples and a bit bitter from the probiotics.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Halibut with Bourbon Peach and Greens

Fresh halibut from the Farmer's Market again this year, grilled with a fresh peach and Honey Bourbon grilling sauce, and fresh salad greens from the garden.

6 oz halibut
1 small peach, sliced
PAM spray
salt, pepper
1 TB Bourbon grill sauce
2 TB chicken stock

Heat a grill pan on really high heat, spray with pam, and grill the halibut from both sides, 3 min each. Place halibut on the serving plate. Add the peach slices, the Bourbon grill sauce, and and the chicken stock to the pan, and heat up for 1-2 min. Pour over halibut, and serve immediately.

Stats: 6oz halibut raw, 187kcal, 1 small peach: 50 kcal

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fettucini with Vegetarian Marinara

Again, it is Fiber Gourmet pasta night, like almost every night because the pasta is truly light: high fiber, 40% less calories and tastes just like regular pasta, and, because of thehigh fiber content, it keeps me full for hours.

2 oz Fiber Gourmet long fettucini

Vegetarian Marinara:
1 ts extra virgin olive oil
1/3 red onion, diced
2 TB Morning star breakfast starters (ground beef, vegetarian)
1/2 can of salt-free diced stewed tomatoes
splash of olive juice (from a jar of green olives)
salt, pepper, Mrs Dash garlic & herbs
1 TB ketchup
1 ts liquid chicken stock extract
1 small branch of fresh rosemary
a few basil leaves
a splash of liquid sweetener

Cook pasta according to instructions (12 min in boiling water, don't rise, just drain). In a skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the onion and the Morning star vegetarian beef. Then, add all the other ingredients, and simmer until the pasta is cooked al dente. Drain pasta, and serve on plate with sauce. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Swiss Roesti with Kalamata Olives

Roesti is a traditional Swiss potato dish, made from grated potatoes that have been cooked or steamed before. Traditionally, they are fried in clarified butter until crisp on both sides, and served with a fried egg or a meat dish. I updated my version, and mixed in some bacon, a bit of parmesan cheese, and kalamata olives. It was delicious, flavorful and quite skinny! However, no way to get around the clarified butter in this dish!

1 Yukon gold potatoes (ca. 100g)
1 ts bacon bits
1 ts low-fat parmesan cheese
salt, pepper to taste
5-6 kalamata olives, sliced
1 ts clarified butter (ghee).

On the day before, steam or cook the potato until half cooked (they should still half raw, so that they keep some texture when grated. They will finish cooking when fried), ca. 10 min. Cool and set aside.

Peel the cooled potato, and grate on a coarse grater. Handle gently. Add the bacon bits, salt, pepper, parmesan and kalamata olives. In a skillet, heat the clarified butter, and distributed over the bottom of the pan with a brush. Add the roesti mix to the skillet and form them into a patty shape. Fry for several minutes, and then break up the patty and mix the potatoes again so that some of the brown bits are inside the roesti, too. Then, press into a patty again, and finish frying. If you are skillful, you can turn the roesti around and fry it from the other side, too (I can't!). Serve!

This is one lunch entree. (160kcal).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Grilled Chicken and Peach Garden Salad

How convenient it is to grow your own lettuce in the garden. No worries about freshness, just going outside in the garden with scissors and a bowl, and there is lunch.

mixed garden green (romaine, arugula, lettuce, etc)
4 oz leftover grilled chicken, cut in stripes or cubes
1 peach, sliced
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 TB pine nuts, toasted
1 TB Galeos dressing
pepper to taste

Clean the salad, chop coarsely. Arrange with grilled chicken, sliced peach and the remaining ingredients.

1 complete lunch (230kcal)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Angel Food Cake

Skinny Single-Serve Angel Food Cake
1/4 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 cup Splenda (granulated, not packets!)
1/2 TB fiberfit
3 organic egg whites
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift the flour onto a large plate and set aside.

2. Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Slowly add to splenda to the whipping egg whites in a slow, steady stream. Add the vanilla extract, and continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

3. Sift the flour mixture over the egg whites and fold in very gently with a large metal spoon until well blended.

4. Spoon the mixture into 2 ungreased small tube pan, gently smoothing the top. Bake until golden brown and cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, about 25 minutes.

5. Invert the cake, still in the pan, onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely, upside down. When it is cool, slide a long knife around the side of the pan to loosen the cake, then invert it onto a serving plate. (The cakes can be kept, wrapped in plastic or stored in an airtight container, for 1 to 2 days.)

Makes 2 cakes, each cake has 72 kcal.

Angel Food Cake with Berries
1 single-serve angel food cake
1 small container ff greek yogurt (fage)
1/4 cup thawed raspberries
1 TB ff coolwhip
liquid artificial sweetener (to taste)
1-2 TB raspberry rum sauce

Place angel food cake on your serving plate. Mix fage with artificial sweetener, and place next to angel food cake. Drizzle raspberry rum sauce over greek yogurt. Place dollup of coolwhip on angel food cake. Place raspberries on top of coolwhip and fage, and serve!

1 breakfast entree + 1 protein + 1 fruit