Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall's Fragrant Fruit

Baked local pears with a fruit and nut stuffing is a 5 star dessert.  Awesome!  I love this recipe from USA Pears.  Tonight I added dried apricots to the mix:

Baked Stuffed Pears
(Serves 4)

2 Pears
Cut each pear lengthwise and scoop out the center.

2 Tbsp. Walnuts
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
3 Dried Apricots
1/2 Piece Fresh Ginger, peeled 
2 tsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Grind in food processor.
Stuff into center of pears.
Place in baking dish.

1 Tbsp. Honey
2 Tbsp. Water
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice   
Mix and add to bottom of baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees 20 minutes.

I added a little dream whip to my warm pear!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Autumn Vegetable Tart (Meatless Monday)

I love the Farmer's Markets when I can pick up 1 or 2 loose vegetables and unusual items I might not eat alone.  This recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking MagazineHere's how I put it together:

Autumn Vegetable Tart
(Serves 6)

1/4 Butternut Squash, peeled and sliced
3 small Carrots, multi-colored, peeled and sliced in 1/2 moons
2 Beets, peeled and sliced in 1/2 moons
1 small Zucchini, sliced in 1/2 moons
1 3X1 inch piece Fennel Bulb, diced
1/4 cup Garbanzo Beans
1/4 cup Diced Onions
Place vegetables in baking dish.  Sprinkle with:
1/2 Lemon, juice and zest
2 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano Leaves  
Roast at 375 degrees 35 minutes.

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
Dash Salt
1/3 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Pulse in food processor.  Add,
2-3 Tbsp. Cold Water
Form a ball.  Roll on pastry cloth.  Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with:
2 Tbsp. Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled

Arrange vegetables onto pastry, leaving 1 inch rim.  Fold edges of dough over vegetables, overlapping to form pleats.  Brush with 1 egg, beaten.  Bake at 400 degrees 35 minutes. 
   Served with cantaloupe and purple grapes, this dinner was full of Vitamins!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Chicken Chill-Out

Enjoying the harvest bounty and eating on the deck this beautiful fall evening.  Chili Chicken with Butternut Squash & Garbanzos, Hot Applesauce and Apple-Oat Cookies with WVU Apples.  What a feast!

The recipe for the Entree and Vegetables was inspired by Food Network Magazine.   Here's my version:

Chili chicken with Butternut Squash & Garbanzos
(Serves 3)

1 Whole Chicken Breast
1 Medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeds removed and sliced
2/3 cup Garbanzo Beans cooked (I use the Hanover brand frozen cooked without added salt)
1 Red Pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro
Arrange chicken and vegetables in baking pan.  Pour sauce (below) over).

2 tsp. Chili Powder
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Lemon, squeezed and zest
1/2 Orange, squeezed and 2 Tbsp. of zest 

Roast at 450 degrees 25 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees.

The Apple-Oat Cookies was also inspired by Food Network Magazine, one of several apple recipes I'm trying this season.  We made these at work this week and they turned out great.
 I modify the amount of sugar, fat and salt in all my recipes and here's my finished version:

Apple-Oat Cookies
(Makes 26)

2 Eggs
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
Beat with electric mixer.  Add:
1/4 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted
1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce 
Stir in:
1 1/3 Grated Unpeeled Apples
2 tsp. Vanilla 

Mix together dry ingredients:
1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Oats
1 tsp. Cinnamon
3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Stir into batter.  Drop by Tablespoon scoop onto baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Cool on rack.  

Glaze when cool.
2 Tbsp. Evaporated Skim Milk
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar

My homemade applesauce is simply diced unpeeled apples, cinnamon and nutmeg, cooked in the slow cooker on low for 3-4 hours.  I'll enjoy the applesauce on my morning oatmeal and leftover chicken with vegetables for lunch tomorrow!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Extraordinary Eggplant (Meatless Monday)

The Veganyumminess Eggplant recipe combined with Merrin McGregor's Sauce was a flavorful and filling dinner entree.  I love having the made from scratch leftovers in my lunch tomorrow!  The eggplant was purchased from Sudawan Richardson, a Fairmont (WV) Farmer at the Morgantown Farmer's Market.  Here's how I made it:

Baked Eggplant Stacks
(Serves 5)

1 Medium Eggplant
Slice in 1/4 inch rounds.

1/3 cup Pecan Meal
1/2 brick Firm Tofu
1 1/2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
6 Tbsp. Water
1/2 tsp. Sugar
Combine in blender.  Pour into bowl.

2 slices New Day Bakery Seven Grain Bread, toasted
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
Pulse in food processor until small crumbs are made.  Pour into a second bowl.

Dip eggplant rounds in Mayo, then into Breading.  Place on parchment lined baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees 15 minutes, then turn and bake 15 minutes more.

Simple Tomato Sauce  

1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/4 cup Onion, diced
Saute 5 minutes.  Add:

1 16 oz. can Diced Tomatoes (no added salt)
1 1/2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste, no added salt
1 3/4 tsp. Italian Seasoning   
Bring to boil;  reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Tofu Ricotta

Remaining Mayo from recipe above
1/2 brick Firm Tofu
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Fresh Basil
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
Mix in food processor.  

Spray a small baking dish with Pam.  
Cover bottom with 1/2 cup Simple Tomato Sauce. 
Make a single layer of Breaded Baked Eggplant Rounds.
Top each with 1/4 cup Tofu Ricotta.
Add a layer of Simple Tomato Sauce.
Top with second Breaded Baked Eggplant Round.
Finish with Simple Tomato Sauce.
Bake for 20 minutes until hot.   

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lunch on the Line

Mason Dixon Park near home was the site for our Sunday picnic.  To mark the start of fall, I purchased another thermos and made soup to carry to the spot.  This easy soup normally has black beans, but I substituted these awesome lima beans I purchased at the local Farmers Market.

 The Festive Bean Chili recipe was inspired by Moosewood Restaurant.

Festive Bean Chili
(Serves 3)

2 cups Cooked Beans
The shelled beans above were not as hard as many beans, thus cooked in about 1 hour.

1/3 cup Onion, diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Mini Sweet Pepper, diced 
1 tsp. Olive Oil  
Saute for 5 minutes.

1 tsp. Cumin (I mixed seeds and ground)
1 tsp. Coriander
1/3 cup Water
2 cups Cooked Beans
1 16 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, no added salt
1 Ear of Corn, cooked and cut off the cob
Simmer for 30-45 minutes.

WVU Farms is now in it's 3rd week of fall apple sales.  I buy them for work (& deliver) and Friday I bought them for home.  Here's my first creation:

Apple Cider Apples
Inspired by Food Network Magazine
(Serves 6)

1 16 oz. bottle pasteurized Apple Cider
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
Dash Ground Cloves
2 Star Anise Pods
2 wide strips Orange Zest
1 Nutmeg Bean
Combine in a pot;  bring to a simmer.

4 Apples
Peel and half.  Scoop out the cores.  Poach the apples in the cider mixture until tender, turning midway, about 30 minutes.  

For the picnic I garnished these with Ricotta Cheese and Shaved Nutmeg.  
I purchased 2 anise seed pods at the Mountain People's Co-op in Morgantown.  I love that I can buy just the right amount of spices I need for recipe. 

The meals center plate included Swiss Cheese, New Day Bakery Spinach Feta Loaf and Grapes. 

We had coffee on the creek-Dunkard Creek that is!

 Another page in the history of Bob and Cindy.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Couchgating with Local Foods

Saturday morning Farmers Market and Saturday Night Football in Morgantown makes for a great weekend combo.  My menu tonight featured:

Garlic Herb Zucchini Noodles with Scallops
Spicy Cauliflower Curry
New Day Bakery Spinach Feta Bread

DeBerry Farms out of Oakland Maryland has beautiful yellow squash and zucchini, so the zucchini I "peeled" for the "noodles" was as crisp and fresh as it could be.  The recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.

Garlic Herb Zucchini Noodles with Scallops
(Serves 3)

6 oz. Scallop Pieces
Saute in 1 tsp. Olive Oil with 1 Garlic Clove, minced.

1 Small Zucchini
Peel, then julienne stip with a carrot peeler.

1/2 Lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp. Canola Oil
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1/4 cup Minced Fresh Herbs
Pour over scallops.

Arrange zucchini on plate.  Add Scallops.  Pour dressing over.  Garnish with
1 Red Tomato, wedges  
1 Mini Sweet Pepper, cut in rings

I also found this perfectly sized small cheddar (orange) at DeBerry's table this morning in the Morgantown Pavillion Farmer's Market.  The recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking Magazine.

Spicy Cauliflower Curry
(Serves 6)

1 Small Cauliflower
Remove leaves and about 1 1/2 inch from bottom stem.

1 Mini Sweet Pepper, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, diced
1/4 Onion, diced
1 2-inch piece Ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 tsp. Curry Powder
1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 tsp. Olive Oil   
 Saute vegetables and spices in olive oil.

1 cup Diced Tomatoes in Juice (no added salt)
1/4 cup Vegetable Broth
1 Mini Pack Raisins
1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice

Place cauliflower face down in sauce.  Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Turn over and simmer 15 more minutes.

The meal was a winner (unlike the game)! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Chics and Claus

Chicken, Chickpeas, Santa Claus Melon and more Farmers Market Vegetables comprise tonight's meal.  The recipe was inspired by Dietitian Drive and I cut up and added a variety of produce on hand. 

Chicken and Chickpeas with Roasted Vegetables
(Serves 3)

1-6 oz. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
(Pound thin between 2 sheets of cling wrap)

1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Canola Oil
1/4 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Cayenne
1 tsp. Paprika
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
Mix in small cup.
Add to cut up vegetables and chickpeas.  Stir.

1 cup Chickpeas (I use the Hanover Brand Frozen, Cooked Garbanzo Beans without salt)
 All other vegetables were from local Farmers Markets or my container garden:
4 Thai Eggplant
1 cup Brussel Sprouts
1 Yellow Squash
1/4 cup Onion
2 Red Tomatoes

Place in baking dish lined with foil.  Top with chicken breast.  Sprinkle with fresh herbs (I have parsley, cilantro and oregano).  Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash.  Bake at 450 for 25 minutes.  Temperature of chicken should be 165 degrees.

This awesome melon is from the Sines Farm in Pt. Marion Pa.  (a delightful Grandfather and Grandson duo).  Sweet like a honeydew and quite a bargain for $2.50.

Have a good day tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


 A weekend and mid-week Farmer's Market delights me, so I'm making room for more goodies tomorrow.  For this recipe from Laura's Lean Beef, I skipped the beef (I've had 2 beef meals this week).  I made Laura's Enchilada Sauce (without the beef) on the weekend which demonstrates the recipes are so versatile!

Summer Lasagna
(Serves 4) 

Gather and prepare vegetables:
2 Medium Zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise
1 cup Cooked Spinach, water squeezed out
 6 Cremini Mushrooms, cooked and sliced
 1/2 cup Fresh Corn on the Cob, cooked, and cut off the cob 

1 cup Diced Canned Tomatoes, canned without salt
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup Onion, diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add tomatoes and seasoning.  Cook until most of liquid evaporates.

2 Tbsp. Fresh Basil

Mix ricotta, eggs and cheese in food processor:
1/2 cup Part-skim Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
1/3 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese

Spray baking dish with Pam.  Layer as follows:
Tomato-Onion-Garlic Mix
Ricotta-Egg-Cheese Mix

Top with 2 Tbsp. Shredded Swiss Cheese and Mrs. Dash.
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  Turn oven to broil and cook a few minutes more to brown the cheese.  Cool 10 minutes before cutting. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Crispy, Spicy & Sweet (Meatless Monday)

Farmers Market produce makes for many Meatless Monday ingredients.  These are the Pear Chips I made with Fairmont WV pears and mixed in my breakfast oatmeal.

After cooking these gorgeous pole beans, I mashed them with Mexican spices to make refried beans.  Here's the lunch I packed:
 I spread the beans on a corn tortilla, added a side of Butternut Squash with Black Beans,
topped with Enchilada Sauce and Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar.

Dinner included Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas and
Fresh Fruit Cup with farmers market melons and purple grapes.

Baked Pear Chips
Inspired by Teaspoon.com 

Slice pears thinly and remove any seeds.  Bake on a wire rack in a 275-degree oven until crisp.  These pears were very ripe, so they baked for almost an hour due to the juiciness.  

Refried Beans
(Serves 4)

1 pint Pole Beans
Shell, rinse and cover with water twice the volume.  Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 hours.  Mash in food processor with:

1/2 tsp. Cumin
1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
1 Garlic Clove

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas
Inspired by Dietitians Eat Cake  
(Serves 4)

1 small Butternut Squash
Peel, seed and dice.  

1 tsp. Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 small Onion, diced
1 Mini Sweet Pepper, diced
Saute vegetables in oil until soft.  Add cubed Squash.

2/3 cup Diced Tomatoes, canned without added salt
3/4 cup Cooked Black Beans (I use the Hanover brand frozen, cooked, without salt)
2 Tbsp. Water
1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
1/2 tsp. Cumin
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro  
Cover and cook until squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Enchilada Sauce
Inspired by Laura's Lean Beef        
(Serves 4)

2 Tbsp. Onion, diced
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tsp. Canola Oil
Saute onion and garlic until soft.  Add

2 Tbsp. Chili Powder
1 1/4 tsp. Cumin
1/2 tsp. Oregano
Stir well. Sprinkle in:
1 Tbsp. Flour

2/3 cup Vegetable Stock
1 1/4 cup Diced Tomatoes, canned without salt, blended
Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

Enjoy your week! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Teter Tot Picnic

Teter Creek Lake was today's picnic spot. . . and the menu did include a red potato salad!

Mini Meatloaf with Pepper Glaze
New Potato Salad and Peas
Fresh Fruit Salad
Seven Grain Menu

was the menu of the day.

The mini meatloaves were inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.   We shared one ramekin loaf and made sandwiches on New Day Bakery Seven Grain Bread.  Yes Bob brought his complimentary mustard. 
Mini Meatloaf with Pepper Glaze
(Serves 4)

6 oz. Lean Ground Beef
1/4 cup Bread Crumbs (mine were made with Seven Grain Toasted Bread)
1/4 cup Fresh Corn on the Cob, cooked and cut off the cob
1 Tbsp. Tomato Paste, no added salt
1/2 Egg
1/4 tsp. Chili Powder
Mix and portion into 2 ramekins, sprayed with Pam. Brush with Glaze.

1 mini Sweet Pepper
1/2 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp. Honey
Mix in food processor.
Bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes, or until center of loaves reach 165 degrees. 

Mine is garnished with a mix of garden vegetables:
Cherry Tomatoes, quartered
Mexican Tomato, diced
Sweet Pepper, diced

The New Potato and Pea Salad was marinated in a German Potato Salad Dressing.  I drain it this morning.

German Potato Salad Dressing

2 tsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Water
1/8 tsp. Dry Mustard
1/4 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1/2 Egg
Cook until thick in double boiler.

 I always bring fresh flowers from home.

 We had coffee on a rock by the lake.

This makes us very happy!  I'm no longer sad to start a work week!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fishy Family

Our meal for two is served "Family Style" tonight.  The menu included:
Aloo Gobi
Garden Tomatoes & Herbs
Wild Cod with Garlic, Arugula & Spinach

I posted the Masala Gobi recipe before.   I love this spicy blend.  Tonight I added peeled red potatoes to the cauliflower and ginger blend.

Since I was using the mini processor to prepare the garlic-ginger paste for the cauliflower, I decided to first chop fresh garlic and arugula-spinach mix for the cod topping.

The tomatoes and fresh herbs are from my container garden.

The cauliflower was a petite head purchased at Wednesday's Farmers Market.

Here's more of the unique produce I've purchased at the Farmers Markets this week:
We made a meal on 1 salmon fillet and roasted vegetables last night!  The little cantaloupe was a perfect size for Bob and Cindy:)  It was only 50 cents!

I'll be attending Morgantown's Farmers Market tomorrow.  I love to be surprised and buy something unique and nutrient dense!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Top Flight Tacos

Not the average taco, this one has fillet mignon.  Because we shared one small steak, each of our meals was less than $4 a piece.  The toppings included:

Spinach-Arugula Mix, Northern Beans, Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumbers from my container garden, Shredded Reduced Fat Cheddar and  Kalamata Olives.

The steak dressing was inspired by Cooking Light  .  

Lemon Steak Taco
(Serves 2)

1-6 oz. Beef Fillet
Lemon Peel from 1/2 Lemon
Mrs. Dash
Sprinkle each side of fillet with peel and seasoning.  In pan sprayed with Pam, cook over medium heat 5 minutes per side.  Set aside on cutting board for 5 minutes.

2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Canola Oil
Slice steak thinly across the grain (I use an electric knife).  Pour dressing over slices.

Our tacos were served on Whole Grain Corn Tortillas, heated in the skillet 20 seconds per side.

I purchased a small watermelon at our hospital Farmer's Market today.  Since it's "Super Moon" time, I cut a slice with my celestial cookie cutters.
  The sun was delightfully warm today.  This was a great finish to a nice day!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Egg-cellent Noodles (Meatless Monday)

Fresh vegetables, brown rice noodles, an Asian sauce and poached egg-a simply delicious dinner with endless substitutions!  The recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine when I first made this in March (photo above is from my March luncheon).  I saw a similar recipe in Vegetarian Times, yet decided to go back to an old favorite.

Here's the picture of the meal tonight:

To prepare, julienne cut fresh vegetables on hand.  I cut Farmer's Market yellow squash, multi-colored carrots, green beans, green onions, garlic and peppers from my own container garden.  I also added some arugula-spinach mix.  I cooked the green beans and carrots slightly prior to sauteing with the other veggies.

Saute vegetables in 1 tsp. sesame oil.

Cook brown rice noodles according to package directions. (One could substitute brown rice, whole wheat spaghetti or other whole grain)

Poach eggs in water with a tsp. of vinegar.

Layer noodles and vegetables in a bowl.
Add sauce (see below).
Top with the egg.
I sprinkled mine with Mrs. Dash.

Asian Sauce
(Serves 2)

1 tsp. Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Orange Juice
Juice from 1/2 Fresh Lime
1 tsp. Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Honey

Now to check out the Harvest Moon!  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lakeside Luncheon

We're keeping our streak alive, taking Sunday picnics to pretty nearby locations.  Today's picnic was just above Savage River Dam in Maryland.  The menu included:

Caramel Chicken Thighs
Edamame Salad. Greek Style
Fresh Garden Tomatoes and Peppers
Maple Caramel Pear Tart

 We couldn't find a picnic table, so we set up on a rock!  This worked just fine!  We had a great view:

The recipe for the chicken is from Cooking Light and can be found here.

I really enjoyed the salad, inspired by Cooking Light.

Edamame Salad, Greek Style
(Serves 2)

1 cup Edamame, frozen
Cook for 3 minutes.

1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Fresh Oregano
1 Cucumber, sliced thin (from my container garden)
1 Tbsp. Kalamata Olives, sliced
1 Tbsp. Gorgonzola Cheese 

The Pear Tart was made with 1 Asian Pear (purchased at the local Farmer's Market) and 2 Bartlett Pears.  Inspired by Better Nutrition Magazine.

Maple Caramel Pear Tart
(3 Individual Tarts)

1/4 cup Almon Flour
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1Tbsp. & 1 tsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 1/2 tsp. Maple Syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Egg (minus a little egg white)
Mix in food processor.  Divide into 3 and pressed into individual tart pans sprayed with Pam.

Pear Filling
1 Asian Pear
2 Bartlett Pears
Peel and slice thinly.  Add:
1 tsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
2/3 tsp. Brown Sugar
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1 Tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted  

Layer into tart shells.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, covered with foil.  Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more.  Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before adding glaze.

Maple Caramel Glaze
1 1/2 tsp. Maple Syrup
2 tsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 tsp. Fat Free Evaporated Milk
Combine syrup and buttery spread in saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk mixture for 3 minutes.  Add milk and whisk 1 minute more.  Drizzle over tarts.

We actually shared 1 tart.
This turned out to be 1 of 3 days a year the Savage River Dam has a planned water release.  There were many rafters and kayaks riding the rapids, which made the day even better.  We planned this trip near by aging parents, where he stopped and visited (taking them meals and Boost) after!