Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Crock Pot Chili

   Every Halloween it's our tradition to make chili.  There are literally hundreds of recipes to choose from!   Some chili's are spicy, some mild, some are made with chicken, some with beef, the list goes on and on.  This year I decided to make my own version of chili using a variety of ingredients that lend themselves to my palate (and my boys) and was crock pot friendly at the same time.  

2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 lb. ground beef, (I used Grass Fed Beef)
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
2 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon pepper
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 teaspoons mustard powder
2 tablespoons ground oregano
1 28oz. & 1 14oz. can Muir Glen fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 6oz. can tomato paste
3 tablespoons salt
1 cup dry white wine
2 14oz. cans dark Kidney beans
1-2 14oz. cans light Kidney beans
2 teaspoons Ancho (ground chile's)
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley


1) Saute together onions, green pepper, sausage, and beef until they begin to brown.  Drain off as much fat as possible.
2) Next, add garlic, pepper, chili powder, cumin seed, mustard powder, oregano, salt, tomato paste and the two cans of tomatoes.  Transfer this to a crock pot and set the temperature to low.
3) Meanwhile, de glaze the pan you cooked the above ingredients in with the 1 cup of white wine.  Cook the wine down to 1/4 cup and then add to the crock pot.  At this point the chili can cook on low for 5-6 hours.
4) An hour or so before serving add the kidney beans, fresh parsley and Ancho.  Continue to cook!
5) Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese, pumpkin seeds, black olives, fresh parsley, or whatever else you please.  Enjoy!

Oh...and yes our pumpkin seeds are HUGE! 

Because our pumpkin was HUGE!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Potato & Leek Soup with a Kick

 Today's recipe comes to you from a good friend of mine, Donna.  She loves quick meals containing fresh, organic ingredients.  Her travel schedule leaves her little time to cook, therefore she is always in need of meals that are incredibly easy.  This meal is wonderful because all of the cutting and most of the time consuming preparing is done for you, not to mention it was not expensive to make!  All you have to do, is buy the ingredients, saute, blend, and serve with salt & pepper to taste.  Talk about... As Easy As Salt & Pepper!!! 
 Did I mention if living in Minnetonka, Minnesota you get to visit the new Whole Foods???


1 quart organic Chicken Broth
1 Package Potato Leek Soup kit, see photo below
1 package Apple and Pear Salsa, see photo below
Salt and Pepper to taste


1) Pour potato and leek soup kit ingredients in a saute pan and saute for 2-3 minutes. 
2) Pour container of chicken broth, and allow the potatoes to soften, 7-10 minutes.
3) Pour mixture in blender along with apple, pear salsa.  Blend until desired consistency and serve with Salt and Pepper.  


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto

  With the days getting shorter and colder I find myself looking for foods that are warming to the soul.  This is a quick dinner that doesn't call for many ingredients  and at the same time warms you up from the inside!   
5 cups vegetable broth
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, for a jar
3 tablespoons homemade pesto, see note below
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup ground parmesan

NOTE: Every year I harvest the basil leaves from my small garden and make pesto, the recipe can be found on this blog...Check it out!  You can always use store bought pesto but you can definitely taste the difference.


1)  In a medium sauce pan, warm the broth
2)  In a large pot, heat the olive oil over moderately low heat.  Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
3)  Add the rice to the pot and stir until it begins to turn opaque, about 2 minutes.  Add the wine and salt and cook, constantly stirring, until all the wine has been absorbed.
4)  Add the sun-dried tomatoes and 3/4 cups of the broth, continue to stir until all has been absorbed.  Keep adding broth in this manner until you have used all the broth.  Rice should become tender in 20-25 minutes.
5)  Stir in the pesto, parmesan & pepper and serve at once.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Olive Basil Infused Salmon

  Again, I have been a delinquent sorry about that!  I most likely realistically will be able to blog once a week or so with my schedule.  Here is a Salmon recipe I have made a couple of times now that I truly believe is wonderful and worth typing up for you all!  I hope you are able to try it, now is the perfect time with all the basil growing like crazy in the gardens!  Enjoy!

2 lbs. Salmon fillets
1/3 cup pitted black olives
5-7 large basil leaves, more for serving chopped
Zest and Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, + 1/4 cup for frying pan
Extra salt and pepper to lightly dust over Salmon


1) Heat oven to 425 degrees.

2) In a small food processor blend olives, basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, zest and juice of lemon, along with salt and pepper.

3) Make 1 inch slits in the flesh of the salmon and shove as much of the mixture as possible into the slits.
 (NOTE:  This does not look pretty at first but once sauteed the appearance becomes better.)

4) Place Salmon, flesh side down, in heated saute pan which contains the remainder of the olive oil, listed above, (1/4 cup).  Saute until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.

5)  Gently, flip the salmon over into a oven safe pan that is lined with parchment paper.  Now, the salmon will be flesh side up for the remainder of the cooking time.  Poor the oil from the saute pan in as well and place in preheated oven.  Cook until Salmon becomes opaque, 4-6 minutes.  Serve with basil sprinkled over top!  

Friday, August 5, 2011

Chaat??? Kind of...Well, not really!

  If you don't know what Chaat is then... I guess I'm not alone.  Chaat is a term that is used to describe snacks that are usually served in stalls or carts, typically, in India!   No, I did't go to India!  I wish!  Instead, over spring break this year our family had gone to Washington D.C.   I ordered Chaat in a restaurant having no idea it was a deep-fried food (my bad).  When I came home I decided I could make a "Healthy" version of Chaat with absolutely nothing bad for you!  In this version I kept the Chickpeas, added a seasonal corn (yum), and opted out of the fried bread and potato pieces.  I also made a Yogurt garnish but decided to take it up a notch and used plain greek yogurt for the extra protein benefit.   So... without further a-due, here is the Scandinavian (a.k.a me) version of Chaat!


1 cup Chickpea's (I used canned organic)
1 teaspoon curry (Use more if you really like the taste of curry)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 small purple onion, diced
1 fresh tomato, diced
1 small cucumber, diced
1 large ear of corn, boiled and cut off of cob
2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped

Probiotic Yogurt Topping (a must)

1 single serving container of plain Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh dill (I used the dill flower from the garden to decorate:)


1)  Warm the chickpeas on top of the stove on low.  Add the sesame oil, curry, salt and pepper.  Keep warm until you cut up the vegetables.
2)  Place all the other ingredients in the base layer and toss to combine.  Add the chickpeas and sauce to the fresh vegetables and toss to combine.
3) Meanwhile, mix the greek yogurt, honey and fresh dill in a small blender until well combined.
4) If you want you can serve this over rice ( I would make more yogurt topping if you were to do so)
5) Place Chickpea mixture on a plate and top with Yogurt topping, Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"The Emperor Moth," the story we all need to remember!

Sorry I haven't blogged about food lately!  It seems life always brings struggles to overcome.  Everyone has at least one... or at least I would like to believe that is true.  I came across a little story that really has seemed to hit home and help me remember that there is "light" at the end of this tunnel.  Hope this story finds you well.  If not, maybe it can help you look at the bright side today.  

  "A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. he took it home so that he could watch the moth come out of the cocoon. On that day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as the moth struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther. It just seemed to be stuck. Then the man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.    What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening were God’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the moth into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. By depriving the moth of a struggle, he deprived the moth of health."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Tuna Salad

  I always like the idea of having fresh meals at your fingertips.  You all know what I mean...The kind of food one can take out of the refrigerator and not spend anytime thinking about... what to eat, or the health benefits.  This is a quick and easy recipe that you can make in advance and eat for a few days.  You also can have fun with it, by adding or subtracting ingredients you can make it your very own!  Enjoy!


2 cans tuna (in water)
3/4 cup spectrum canola mayonnaise
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped (Optional)
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 green onions, diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced (Optional)
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground


Mix all ingredients above and refrigerate until ready to enjoy!  Serve with cracker of your choice, I used The Works...a wheat free chip!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Turkey Meatloaf with Lemon Grass and Dried Mushrooms

  I know what you're thinking... I only eat meatloaf in the winter!  Yes, I agree!  In Minnesota this year it still feels like winter!  It was 54 degrees the last time I looked.  So , I made warm mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, lemon grass, and vegan butter.  And a Turkey Meatloaf that was not only pleasing to the eye, but had wonderful flavor.  I thought a gravy would have been ideal to have with this meal, but of course, both boys still requested ketchup on the side.  Whatever, I guess Mom's of teenagers are never right:)   
A side note:  With this meal I used a pantry staple I talked about a few posts ago.  A container of dried mushrooms I picked up at Costco!  I love these because sometime when you want to make a quick risotto or perhaps a sauce of some type, you can always substitute the dried mushrooms.  They do have a smokey flavor compared to regular fresh mushrooms but I found them to be handy to have around!
Some ingredients for this meal!


2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 cup chopped onion (I put in Cuisinart, and chopped fine)
3/4 cup chopped yellow or orange carrots (Chopped in Cuisinart as well.)
 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup reconstituted dried mushrooms, chopped in the Cuisinart
2 sprigs of lemon grass, diced small (optional)
1 teaspoon lemon rind, diced
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 lb. ground turkey, (preferably mixed light & dark meat) 
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 large egg
3 tablespoons ketchup


1) Saute onions, carrots, garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil on the stove top until onions become opaque. 

2) Pour the sautéed ingredients into a bowl large enough to hold all ingredients.  Deglaze the pan with the white wine and cook down until only 2 tablespoons remain.  Pour into bowl with other ingredients.
3) Add lemon grass, lemon rind, parsley, bread crumbs, ground turkey, ketchup, salt and pepper, mix well.
4) In a separate bowl, lightly beat an egg then add it to the bowl with all the ingredients.  Mix together well, and form into a football shape (American Football that is).  

5) Place on baking pan lined with parchment paper to keep from sticking.  Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in the center registers 175.  Let stand for five minutes and serve! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Simple Salmon Salad with Sprinkling of Olive Oil and Lime

When in need of another Detox meal look no further than a can of salmon.  Gone are the days of only making salmon patties.  Now you can be creative and have cans of salmon in the pantry for other quick healthy meals.  This is a easy version without using any ingredients that would otherwise compromise the detoxing process.  Enjoy!


1 cup romaine
1/2 cup spinach
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 hard boiled egg, (yolk used in salmon mixture, Egg whites diced for top of salad)
1 can salmon

1 lime
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cilantro, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Salt and Pepper Salad to Taste


1) In separate bowl combine can of salmon (drained), hard boiled egg yolk, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons diced cilantro, 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Mix well!

2) On a serving plate arrange romaine lettuce and spinach, sprinkle with chopped celery and egg whites. Salt and pepper salad.  In the center add 1/2 the salmon mixture (saving the other half for another meal).
3) Sprinkle with Olive Oil and squeeze the remaining half of lime over top and serve at once!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Morning Detox Berries and Pears with Mint and Stevia Sauce

Typically when I'm detoxing I have very little time in the morning to make a nice breakfast.  I usually grab a fruit, hard boiled egg and I'm off starting my day.  But, on weekend mornings I have a little more time to focus on what I'm eating.  So, this is a healthy alternative for the days you are detoxing!  Quite frankly I could eat these berries every morning!

 Ingredients for sauce:

 5 strawberries
1/2 packet stevia (about 1/2 teaspoon)

2-3 mint leaves
2 tablespoons filtered water


1) Mix all ingredients in high powered blender or small Cuisinart on high.  Should resemble  the picture below.

Ingredients for berries:

6 strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup blueberries
1 small Anjou pear, skin removed and sliced
7-10 small mint leaves (Don't do too many because the mint becomes over powering)


Mix in a bowl and add Mint and Stevia Sauce.

With my Detox Breakfast I had a hard boiled egg (protein):
Of course I always make a few more for the week...It just makes detoxing easier!

YUM, can't wait to dig in!
WOW...I'm fast!  Not really, the magic of photos!  Happy Detoxing!

Printable Version 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Orange and Dill Tilapia

  This recipe was invented for the Detox page.   Tilapia is a great base for a detox meal because it's naturally low fat!  Perfect meal for the whole family as well because this fish doesn't have a fishy smell or taste.  It has a sweet, fine texture that lends itself to many different flavors.  If you're ever in Hawaii this fish is sometimes called "Hawaiian Sun Fish"!  I would love to see that on a menu someday!  So... if any of you are planning on going to Hawaii...TAKE ME!  I'm teasing, well...kind of!

4 Tilapia fillets
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, for rub, + 2 T. for fry pan
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons orange rind, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, freshly ground
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1/2 orange for serving

1) Mix marinade in small bowl.  Combine 1 1/2 T. olive oil, dill, orange rind, and salt and pepper. 
2) Rub marinade onto fish fillets and let sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.  
3) Meanwhile, heat fry pan large enough to hold all fish fillets.  When warm add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the marinaded tilapia fillets and cook 2-3 minutes a side.  This depends on how thick your fillets are, of course!  When fish is done it turns opaque all the way through.  
4) Place fillet on plate, squeeze fresh orange juice over top and serve with steamed broccoli.  Yummy, you won't know your detoxing!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Lime Cucumber Wraps

Ah... the days of summer begin!  I like to eat light "clean" food in the summer.  One of my favorites are cucumbers!  For this particular recipe I used a English (or hothouse) cucumber because of its length and of course they were on sale last week.  Generally, English cucumbers are more on the expensive side and are sold in a shrink-wrap.  Cucumbers are "in season" from May through August so I was having fun coming up with some recipes this week using them.  I'm sure there will be more to follow!

1  English (Hothouse) Cucumber, sliced thin lengthwise
1 small jicama, sliced 1/4 inch matchbox slices
1 tablespoon cilantro, diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 fresh lime juice
4 slices deli, Dilusso Cracked pepper turkey (Optional, I put this in for the boys)
Extra lime wedges to serve
Extra salt and pepper to serve as well


1) Slice the English cucumber lengthwise in thin strips that are bendable (*Note: you will need a sharp knife for this).

2) In a bowl lightly toss the sliced jicama, cilantro, salt, pepper, sesame oil, and juice from 1/2 of a lime.

3) Layer cucumber slice, deli turkey (if using), then pile in a little of the jicama mixture.  Roll-up tightly and secure with a toothpick.  (I secured a slice of lime on top with the toothpick that was exposed).  

4) Drizzle any remaining juice left over from the Jicama mixture on top of the completed Cucumber Wraps and lightly salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yum-O Gazpacho

  I adore cold soups in the summer!  A satisfying, healthy combination of fresh flavors on a hot day...What could be better?  Gazpacho can come in numerous textures and not all use just raw ingredients. In my combination, I combine pureed raw vegetables along with diced vegetables, to get the perfect match of flavors!  I beg anyone to beat this combo!  Hope you can enjoy this one soon!

1 pint baby sweet tomatoes
1 container baby sweet bell peppers (2 red, 4 yellow, 4 orange...what I used)
1 large cucumber
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 green onions, white parts only
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, more for serving
1/2 teaspoon pepper, more for serving

These are the ingredients I feel make an amazing Gazpacho!


1) Blend half the tomatoes, half the peppers, half of the cucumber, 2 green onions, 1 tablespoon cilantro, and both cloves of garlic in food processor along with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sherry vinegar and lemon juice. (I used my small Cuisinart and did batches).
2) Dice the remaining tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, cilantro and mix into the above mixture along with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Top with the sliced green onion and extra springs of cilantro (if you have them)!
3) Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.  This tastes wonderful the next day, so make extras for the week!

Oops, I ate it all again:)

Printable Version

Clean up the kitchen with...Bar Keeper's below!