Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cucumber Yogurt Cups

If you need an appetizer for your New Years Eve Party, this is it. Your guests will love these cooling cucumber cups and everyone appreciates a healthy snack after the holidays. I used greek yogurt which is packed with protein and low in sugar. Cucumbers are mostly water which will help keep you hydrated as you sip on champagne. Happy New Year!


5 cucumbers peeled
1 1/4 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup cream cheese
3 tsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
3 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp salt to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp agave syrup
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 a lemon squeezed fresh
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber for sauce

For the Yogurt Sauce:
In a mixing bowl combine greek yogurt and cream cheese and mix together well so there are little to no lumps. Add chopped dill, mint, parsley and minced garlic mix all ingredients together. Add salt, pepper, agave syrup, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and chopped cucumber. Mix all ingredients together until blended well.

Prepare the Cucumbers:
Cut the remaining cucumbers to about 3/4 inch thick. Try to keep them all close to the same size. Use a melon baller or small spoon and scoop out the middle of each cucumber leaving a little on the bottom to create a cup.

Line up your cucumber cups and place about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of yogurt sauce into cucumber. Place them on a tray and they are ready to serve!

Yields: about 30 cucumber cups

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Fettucini

If you’ve seen the movie “The Holiday” you probably know where this idea came from. Every Christmas Eve I make Christmas Fettucini Alfredo for my husband and son. It is such a creamy delicious treat for us. In this recipe I don’t skimp on the dairy or fat which is why we only eat this once a year. Merry Christmas!


2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1/2 of a white onion finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic minced
1-2 tsp of salt to taste
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 pint of heavy cream
1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 package of fettucini noodles

In a large pot bring water to boil for fettucini noodles. Follow directions on the package to cook the noodles.

In a medium sauce pan heat oil and butter together on medium. Add onion, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper. Saute onion and garlic on medium for about 8-10 minutes until onions have softened. Once softened sprinkle flour over onions and garlic and stir together until paste-like. Pour in heavy cream and water. Add nutmeg and parmesan cheese. Stir together with a wire wisk and bring to a simmer stirring constantly so that milk and cheese do not curdle. Once simmering reduce heat to the lowest setting. If the sauce seems to thick use a ladle to add pasta water to the sauce. If it seems to thin add more parmesan cheese. Once fettucini is finished cooking add it to the sauce and stir together so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Then it is ready to serve!

yields: 4 servings

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Roasted Tomato Soup

There is nothing more comforting than a yummy tomato soup paired with a grilled cheese sandwich. This aromatic, vegan, roasted soup is incredibly easy to make and full of fresh, locally grown ingredients. Delicious by itself or with a good old fashioned grilled cheese, this soup is perfect for a chilly night.


2-3 tbs olive oil
8 tomatoes cut into fours
1 yellow onion sliced
8 cloves of garlic halved
2-3 tsp of salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bullion vegetable cube
1 tbs agave syrup or honey
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes, onion, and garlic on a large baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. Put into the oven for about 55 minutes.

After vegetables have roasted thoroughly pour them into a large stock pot. Add canned tomatoes, basil, vegetable broth and bullion cube. Use an emersion blender or regular blender to blend all ingredients together. Once all ingredients are blended together bring to boil in the stock pot and add agave syrup and red pepper. Once soup is boiling reduce to simmer on low for about ten minutes until all ingredients have come together. Then it is ready to serve.

yields 6-8 servings

Friday, December 16, 2011

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies with freshly grated Ginger

If you need a great cookie for a holiday party or a cookie to leave for Santa, this is it! These gingerbread cookies are chewy and decadent with freshly grated ginger. I will be making several batches this weekend for holiday parties and I’m sure they will be a hit!

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup sugar plus about a 1/4 of a cup for cookie topping
1 tbs vanilla
1 tbs water
1 tbs freshly grated ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour

In a mixer combine canola oil, molasses, and 1 cup of sugar and mix together for a few minutes until all 3 ingredients have blend together well. Add vanilla, water, freshly grated ginger, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. Mix everything together. Keep the mixer on low and add baking soda and flour. Mix everything together until all ingredients have formed a dark colored dough. Roll dough into a ball and wrap tightly in celephane. Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray. Pour about 1/4 cup of sugar into a bowl to roll cookies in. Take small sections of the dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar and place on the cookie sheet once you have all your cookies arranged on a sheet use a spoon to slightly smash down each cookie. Then place in the oven for about 10 minute at 350 degrees. Once they have baked take them out of the oven and leave them on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes or until they have cooled. Then they are ready to serve.

yields about 24 cookies

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas

I think I got my love for making my own version of food from my mother. Growing up she had four girls to cook for who all wanted something different. Usually one of us didn’t want meat or chicken broth cooked in the dish. Every time she recreated a recipe without meat, it was better than it was before. This is one of my favorite dishes she turned vegetarian. These enchiladas are creamy and delicious. They would be great with homemade refried beans (see previous posts).

2-3 tbs olive oil
1 onion chopped small
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 vegetable bullion cube
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cream cheese
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 parmesan cheese
4 oz canned chopped green chili’s
2 oz canned chopped jalapenos
10 tortillas
4 cups monterey jack cheese shredded
2 cups spinach rinsed and stems removed
1 cup red enchilada sauce

To make the sauce:
In a large pan saute onion, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper in olive oil. Saute on medium low for about 8 minutes. Add bullion cube and break it up with a spoon. Saute everything together until bullion cube is dissolved. Sprinkle flour over and stir together until past-like and slowly add one cup of vegetable broth. Stir together well. Add cream cheese and stir together. You may need to use a wire wisk to blend all ingredients. Add another cup of vegetable broth slowly stirring everything together. Then add parmesan cheese, green chili’s and jalapenos and continue to stir until sauce is thick and blended together. Turn off heat and get ready for assembly.

Assembling enchiladas:
You may want to set an assembly station similar to the one in the picture below. Start with sauce to your left followed by tortillas, spinach, cheese and then your baking dish. Before assembly coat the bottom of you baking dish with a thin layer of sauce. Then begin assembly. Dip tortillas in sauce so it is coated on both sides, then arrange about 5-7 leaves of spinach. Top with about 2 tbs of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and roll. Place rolled enchilada into baking dish and continue this process until all tortillas are filled and rolled. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas and pour red sauce on top of the that. Top the whole dish with remaining Monterey Jack cheese and put in the oven to bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes then remove foil and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.

Yields 10 enchiladas

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegan Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Lentils are a fabulous source of protein I just love finding new ways to cook with them. The sweet potatoes and parsley I added make a perfect flavor combo with this stew. Not only is it tasty but it super hearty and vegan at that same time. This was a hit!


2 cups yellow or green lentils
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 leaks rinsed and chopped
2 cups celery
2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
2 cups sweet potato chopped
2 cups asparagus chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf

Before adding Lentils to the soup you need to cook them halfway so they don’t absorb all the liquid in the soup. Rinse lentils thoroughly and remove any stones. Put lentils in a pot with water cover about 2 inches above the lentils and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Once cooked half way drain them put them aside for the soup.

In a large stock pot saute onion, celery, leeks and garlic in olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper. Continue to saute until veggies have softened. Add tomato paste and parsley, and saute together for another minute. Add vegetable broth and lentils and bring to boil then reduce to simmer for about ten minutes. Then add sweet potatoes and asparagus and let simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are softened. Then it is ready to serve.

yields about 6 servings