Sunday, February 27, 2011

Farmer's Market Black-Eyed Peas

My O my. When fresh Black-eyed Peas are available in the Farmers market, the shucking machine sits behind the stand and the girls sell 1, 2 and 5 pound bags in 5 different varieties of Black-eyed Peas. My favorite is the Purple Velvet—the Eye of the Pea is a dark purple instead of the usual brown or black and the flavor is sweeter and creamier then the other varieties. I’ve never found the Purple variety available dried. So each summer this is a special treat
6 C fresh Black-Eyed Peas (Purple eyed is my favorite!)
4 Carrots, coarse grated
1 medium-large white Onion
4 large clove Garlic, chopped or 2 Tblspoon ready-chopped Garlic
4-5 ribs of fresh Celery, chopped or 1 teaspoon Celery Seed
¼ cup fresh Parsley, chopped, or 2 Tblspoon dried Parsley
1 teaspoon Cumin powder
½ teaspoon dried Sage
1-14.5 oz diced tomatoes or Rotel tomatoes
1-2 Tblspoon Olive Oil
1 Tblspoon Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh pure Water as needed.
Dried or fresh peppers to taste, like serranos, pablanos, jalapenos or smoked jalapenos
¼ cup strongly flavored meat, like smoked pork, smoked turkey neck
In very large pot, place Oil, Onions, Garlic and Celery. Cover and sauté on medium heat until soft and clear. Stir in the Parsley, Cumin and Sage. Cover for 5 minutes. Add the Black-Eyed Peas and tomatoes. Bring to boil, then turn down to simmer for 2 hours or when Peas are tender. Remember to stir occasionally and add water as needed.
Abstinent Measuring
1 cup = 1 protein

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Asparagus-Leek Soup

I love asparagus and leeks in stews and soups. They are great late winter –early spring vegetables that help detox the body for the new year. They are also a great combination added to any soup or stew and in this case, great in a soup of their own.

2 lb fresh Asparagus, cleaned and chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
3 stalks Leeks, cleaned very well, sliced thin
1 medium white Onion, medium chopped
5 stalks Celery, medium chopped
1-10oz package Frozen Spinach
Chicken Bouillon for 2 cups of water. Amount depends on manufacturer
2-3 cups Pure Water
Sea Salt, to taste
1 Tblspoon Olive Oil

Sauté Onion and Celery in a little Olive Oil until they turn soft and clear. Cover the pan for faster cooking. Add Leeks and Chicken Bouillon, then continue sauté until soft. Add Asparagus, Frozen Spinach and water. Cook at low boil until Asparagus is just turning done and Spinach is hot. Taste and add Salt as needed.

Abstinent Measuring
1 cup = 1 vegetable

1. Discard the tough ends (last 2 inches) of the asparagus stock.
2. Be sure to slice leaks lengthwise for a thorough cleaning. Sand gets trapped down between the leaves. Nothing worse then finding sand at the bottom of your soups bowl! .Also, use as much of the leeks as possible. The green leaves are great until the ends where they look darker green and “woody,” like only a cow would love..

Make It A Meal: Top 2 cups of the Asparagus Leek Soup with 2 oz of Asiago Cheese. It’s delightfully light but has a robust hearty flavor. Abstinent Measuring: 2 cup vegetable, 1 protein.

Turkey Burgers

I pulled some ground turkey out of the freezer. I’m sure I had a plan when I bought it, but at the moment I just needed a protein solution for the evening and I’d figure something out later. Ta-Da.. turkey burgers. I am delighted with the result. They really don’t taste like turkey and are really quick and simple to make. 3 ingredients if you don’t count the little bit of oil in the fry pan. Really tasty as well.

2 lb ground Turkey
5-6 green onions, medium-fine chopped
¼ cup Asiago cheese
Olive Oil for frying pan

Mix all ingredients together. Form into palm sized balls and squash flat to make patties. Fry in lightly oiled fry pan. Serve hot.

Great Leftovers!

Abstinent Measuring
4 oz = 1 protein

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mom's Rare Roast Beef

My Mom was a fantastic cook and knew how to make a food dollar stretch to it's ultimate limit. It's a skill. She could buy the cheapest ingredients and make it a gourmet meal--before gourmet was cool, lol! This is her famous roast beef. It’s made with one of the cheapest cuts of beef you can buy – Sirloin Tip or Boneless Rump Roast. When done, it tasted like she had spent a fortune on the meat. Everyone wanted to know her secret and the secret is patience; Patience to let things cook in a natural way. It’s a lesson we can apply in many areas of our lives.
3-8 lbs Sirloin Tip Roast or Boneless Rump Roast.
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
Herbs --any non-salt seasonings will work. I prefer “Herbs de Provence,” there are various Spice vendors that combine Thyme, Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil, Fennel, Sage & Lavender—plus or minus the last few listed here.
Mom used to pan sear the Roast on all sides with oil to “seal in the flavor.” I find that a good coating of olive oil all over the Roast works just as good. The idea is to keep the juices IN the Roast to STAY in the roast.
Sprinkle all spices all over the Roast. A good crust of salt/pepper /herbs will form all over…think of it as like a heavy “salting/peppering” and it will be fine. A little too much will not hurt anything.
Place herb crusted Roast on oven-proof pan in 175 degree F oven. 5 to 8 hours. Plan on 1 ½ hour per pound of meat. Test with meat thermometer for desired ‘doneness” 140 for Rare, 160 for medium and 170 for well-done. Towards the very end, if looking for well-done, raise the oven temp to 200 degrees F--but watch it--the internal temp can go up very quickly the last hour.
When cooking is complete, remove from oven and let the Roast rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Abstinent Measuring
4 oz Roast = 1 protein

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Stew

It’s a stew that is cooked in the oven, weird, but a delightful combination of spices and method. The vegetables all fit onto two trays, and you can roast everything at time, assuming your oven has two racks. All the work is in the chopping.
A little olive oil, Bottle or spray
I medium Garlic Bulb
6 medium Tomatoes, not too ripe,
4 large red and/or yellow Bell Peppers, cored (with seeds and stems removed,) but leave Pepper whole
1 medium onions, chopped into 1-inch chunks
4 medium carrots, chopped into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 zucchini, chopped into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 small-medium Cauliflower
Salt to taste
I Tbl spoon Cumin Seeds
I Tbl spoon Mustard Seeds
1 tsp ground Cinnamon or 1 Cinnamon stick
3 Tbl spoons Lemon Juice (to taste)
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two large baking trays.
Tray 1: Place the Garlic bulb in one of the tray. Core the tomatoes, and arrange them on the tray with the bell peppers.
Place Tray 1 on bottom rack of oven, Set timer for 20 minutes. Turn Peppers with tongs about every 10 minutes, so they don’t blister. Don’t turn the tomatoes.
Tray 2 Scatter the onions, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, drizzle or spray with Olive Oil m with extra oil, and sprinkle with Mustard Seeds Cumin Seeds and a little Salt.
When timer goes off, place Tray2 in upper rack of oven. Set the timer for 20 minutes. Turn Peppers with tongs about every 10 minutes, so they don’t blister. Don’t turn the tomatoes.
When the timer goes off, remove Tray 1 (tomatoes and peppers) which have now had a total bake time of 40-45 minutes. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
Move the Peppers and Tomatoes to a large glass Oven-proof bowl or casserole dish. Sprinkle the Cinnamon around this hot mixture and toss as best you can. They may mush and fall apart and that just fine. Cover and let sit until the timer goes off.
In the meantime, when the garlic has cooled enough to handle, remove roasted Garlic cloves. This can be accomplished by cutting off one end of the clove and squeezing out the pulp. When complete, add all garlic pulp to the glass bowl and re-cover.
When the timer goes off, remove Tray 2 from the oven (total cook time 35 min) and set aside.
Carefully lift out the peppers, leaving as much of their liquid in the howl as possible. Cut the peppers into strips and return them to the bowl. Then lift out the tomatoes, .chop, and return it to the bowl. Fish out and discard the cinnamon stick if you used one instead of the powder.. Scrape the vegetables and seeds on Tray2 in the glass bowl. Add Lemon Juice and Black Pepper. Mix well.
Cover the bowl, and heat the stew in a 350°F oven for about 20-30 minutes. Serve hot, over or next to Brown Rice or Quinoa, and garnished with minced parsley and lemon wedges.
Optional Garnishes: Minced fresh parsley Squeezable wedges of lemon.
NOTE: This IS an easy recipe. But there are a few steps, each of which take time. I’ve written this for the minimum amount of time in the kitchen and a minimum vegetable cooling in between. If you don’t want to shuffle the trays, resetting the timer in between, prepare both trays and start at some time. Put Tray1 on bottom oven rack for 40-45 minutes and Tray2 on top oven rack for 35 minutes. Just let Tray 2 and vegetables sit aside until it is ready to go into the casserole dish and back into oven. Allow a little more time for the complete stew in the oven, since they cooled some before the final combining.
Abstinent Measuring
1 cup Stew = 1 vegetable

adapted from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven cookbook

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Smoky Paprika Rub

Smoky Paprika Rub

This rub is very simple and takes no time at all to make. The flavor is outstanding. I’ve been asked what restaurant catered my Chicken. It work equally well on all meats: hoof, claw and fin.


1 part Regular Paprika

1 part Spicy Hot Hungarian or Smoked Paprika

1 part Your Favorite non-salty seasoning (mine is SpiceHunter’s Steak&Chop, Grill&Broil Mix)

1 part Sea Salt

For the ‘parts’, just buy spice jars all the same size and use one of the empty ones to measure the salt.


Mix thoroughly in a large bowl. Store in air-tight container. I employ a small shaker of the rub for general use and the rest is backup in my pantry.

Use: For Meat, Poultry and Seafood. Just before cooking, sprinkle and rub the spices on all sided of the skin, flesh and bones. Cook as usual: bake, broil, grill, etc.

If you want to use this rub as a marinate, omit the Salt.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roasted Vegetables

Sounds boring and yet roasting brings out the most amazing flavors. Try it once and get hooked. Try it with just the vegetables that are in season and the freshest. Try different combinations of vegetables every time. It's a dynamic, living recipe.


2 -3 lbs of vegetables, chopped into 1 1/2 to 3 inch pieces -- see Advise below.
combo1: 1 eggplant, 2 zucchini, 2 yellow squash, 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 red onion
combo2: 1 cauliflower
combo3: 2 crown broccoli, 1 ear sweet corn, 1/2 lb mushroom, 1 red bell pepper,
combo4: 4 turnips, 4 red beets, 3-5 carrots, 3-5 parsnips, 2 fennel
combo5: combo4 plus 1 butternut squash
combo6: 1 butternut squash
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Toss the chopped vegetables with sea salt and pepper. Place on grease baking pan, one layer deep. it may be necessary to go to two pans if you get too happy with the chopping.
Bake in 350 degree F oven for 30-45 minutes or until tender.
Abstinent Measuring
1 cup Roasted Vegetables = 1 vegetable
if corn is used, it must be separated out and measured as a starch
Optional Spices
Red Pepper flakes
Any seasoned salt you can imagine is great substitute for the sea salt
Rosemary - be careful not to over do. Rosemary is strong spice and gets over-powering fast.
Dill - again, be careful not to get carried away
DO NOT TURN the veggies halfway. it just makes them burn faster.
Corn - just cut the cob into 2 inch rounds and toss in with other veggies.
Root Vegetables take more time to cook because of their density. Chop into 1 1/2 - 2 inch cubes.
Take it to a Party: Remove the veggies about 10 minutes before they are done, cover with foil and a towel. Take to party and put on pretty plate when you get there. The veggies will finish cooking on the way and they will have that awesome, straight-from-the-oven quality when you serve this dish.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Basic Vinaigrette

Add your measured Oil and get a great lunchtime salad dressing.

1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Brown Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp lemon-pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tso chili pepper flakes/cayenne powder (to taste)

Mix together and you have it! you can use it right away.

Abstinent Measuring
Vinegar is a condiment

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Breakfast Beans

Never had beans for breakfast before I came into program, but I have them every day now. Topped with a little salsa, they get me started every morning. Yes, I take an enzyme supplement to counter act their sharp retort,lol!

4 cup any dry kidney shaped bean (kidney, black, white, black-eye pea, etc). Rinse throughly
1-28 oz can Diced Tomatoes or Rotel Tomatoes
6 cup water
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

3-10 smoked jalepeno or serrano peppers (to taste)
1/2 cup strong flavored meat, like smoked pork, ham hocks, smoked turkey neck

Combine all ingredients and bring to boil. Boil for 1/2 hour, then turn down to simmer for 3-4 hours or until beans are soft. Pick out bones, as necessary.

If you have the time, it really turns into something special after 5-6 hours--more of a baked bean consistency.

Yields 8-10 cups of cooked beans

Abstinent measuring
1 cup Breakfast beans = 1 cup protein

Make it a Meal
A breakfast favorite: Divide smallish saute pan into thirds for 1/2c Breakfast Beans topped with 1/4c salsa, 1/2c left-over Brown Rice, 1 egg. They will all cook/warm at the same pace. when the egg is ready to flip, do so then gently turn beans and rice within their own pan space. 1 cup mango makes this a super way to start the day.
Abstinent Measuring: 1 protein, 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1/4c condiment

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Indian Mung Dal (Kitchari minus the rice)

This was my first venture into Indian Cooking. It's so simple and quick. Even picky eaters and fussy children will eat Kichari. It's also soothing when your sick and nothing else tastes good.

1 c mung dal (split yellow lentils)
1 T ghee or olive oil
¼ t cumin seeds
¼ t brown mustard seeds
¼ t turmeric
¼ t salt
4 c water

Rinse mung dal until water is clear. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the ghee and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Stir a moment until the seeds pop. Add the mung dal, turmeric and slat. Stir until well blended with the spices. Add the water and bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat to low and cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar. Cook until tender, about 20-25 minutes.

Abstinent Measuring
1 cup cooked mung dal = 1 protein

Note: The traditional Kitchari recipe calls for 1 c rice/1 c mung dal. They are cooked together in the same pot and the blended flavor is a beautiful thing. Since this recipe is for the abstinent meal plan follower, the rice was removed and the lentils doubled to make the spices work.

Serving suggestions
1. Rice is a wonderful complement to this protein (See note above) . 1 cup cooked mung dal and ½ cup cooked brown rice makes a hardy dish that comforts from the inside out.
Abstinent measuring = 1 protein, 1 starch

Make it a Meal: Add 1 cup/8 oz fresh greens/tomato salad and 1 cup curried okra.
Abstinent measuring = 1 protein, 2 vegetable, 1 starch

2. Spinach! Put 4 oz of washed fresh baby spinach in bottom of large-ish pasta bowl. Spread 1 cup cooked mung dal more or less evenly over the spinach. Roughly dice 4 oz fresh tomato and place on top of all. Microwave until spinach is slightly wilted. Stir to mix warmed food to spread the lentils evenly throughout the spinach.
Abstinent servings = 1 protein, 1 vegetable

Make it a Meal: This is actually one of my favorite lunch solutions. I make the above spinach/lentil combination, but I add another 4 oz fresh diced tomato (for a total of 8 oz of tomatoes). Add ½ c diced fresh veggies: combo of bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and/or cucumber. The exact content of this last ½ cup varies depending on the contents of my fridge vegetable bin. Add dollop of Thai Garlic-Chili sauce for extra spice and you have an awesome, satisfying lunch for any time of year.
Abstinent measuring = 1 protein, 2 vegetable

3. for extra heat and spiciness
Add a dollop of Thai Garlic-Chili sauce
Add chopped Hot Banana Peppers

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chicken Asparagus Soup

This is a hearty soup that really satisfies, light enough for a summer refresher, filling enough for warm comfort in the winter.

1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium leeks, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
4 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large bunch of asparagus, cut into 1-1 ½ inch segments
2 C fresh green beans, cut into 1-1 ½ inch segments
6 C chicken broth
1 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Salt and pepper to taste

In large stock pot sauté onions, leeks and garlic in 1 C of chicken broth until onions are clear. Add Chicken and sauté until just cooked thru. Add asparagus, green beans and remaining chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for ½ hour. Serve hot.

Abstinent measuring
Separate out Chicken for separate measuring
4 oz Chicken = 1 protein
1 cup drained soup veggies = 1 c vegetable

Wilted Greens with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Mushrooms

Fresh Greens (spinach, Chard, kale, beet greens, etc) become meltingly tender when combined with warmed ingredients, causing them to wilt slightly. This wilted Greens dish tastes best immediately after it has been assembled, when the onion and other vegetables are still warm and the greens are room temperature. But this dish is also very good if “overcooked” and the greens hot when served. It’s up to the tastes of the cook and lucky recipient of this amazing dish.

3 T Olive Oil or Bacon Grease
1 med-large onion, sliced into med thick rings
½ c Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
(the soft kind, not packed in oil is best, but any will do—they plump during cooking)
½ lb fresh Mushrooms, sliced
2 lbs Greens, chopped (Chard, Kale, Spinach, Beet greens, Dandelion greens, etc.)
3-5 fresh Basil leaves
1 t Cumin Seeds
2 T lemon juice
½ t Sea Salt
½ t Black Pepper

Heat Oil/grease in large 4 quart pan/wok. When Oil is hot, added Onions and sauté until just starting to soften and turn clear (2-3 min).
Add Cumin Seeds, Sun-dried Tomotoes an dMushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms are starting to get soft (5 min)
Add Greens. Toss in pan until just beginning to melt.(2-3 min)
Add SeaSalt, Black Pepper and Lemon. Give some final tossing to mix the spices evenly.
Serve Immediately.

Prep Time: 10 min to clean/chop vegetables
Cook Time: 10-15 min
Yeild: 3-5 cups, depending on greens and length of “wilting” time.

Abstinent measuring
1 cup Wilted Greens = 1 veg, 1/2 t oil

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Abstinent Coleslaw

A vinegar Coleslaw that stands up for itself in a cold meal. It is also a cool counterpoint to spicy meals.

1 head Cabbage
1 lg White Onion
3 Carrots
1 to 2 Sweet Bell Pepper
(color of your choice)

6 Green Onions
Shredded Zucchini

1 to 1 ¼ c Apple Cider Vinegar
½ c Oil (Olive, GrapeSeed or Flax)
8 pkg Stevia (eq 16 t sugar) or other non-sugar sweetener
1 tsp Dry Mustard
1 tsp Celery Seed
1 ½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper

Shred all Veggies and mix in large bowl. Combine all Dressing ingredients into small sauce pan, heat just to boil. Pour over and mix into shredded veggies.
Store in sealed container for at least 8 hours or overnight. Keeps in refrigerator for several weeks.

Serving Suggestions
Combine it with salad greens. A 1/2 cup of this coleslaw adds a juicy softness which spinach, kale and chard sometimes lack. Top it off with sliced hot banana peppers for extra ZING!

Abstinent measuring
1 cup Ab Coleslaw = 1 veg, 1 t oil