Monday, February 29, 2016

No Fuss Roasted Turkey Tenderloins

Replace the salty deli meat with home roasted turkey tenderloins.  These boneless, skinless white loins from the inside center of the turkey breast roast in less than 60 minutes. They taste just like the large roasted turkeys we eat at the holidays without the fuss.  In comparison to deli meat, there are no fillers and no additives.  Unlike processed deli meat, the turkey tenderloins are not a source of listeria.

Some of the chain grocery store carry packages of raw turkey tenderloins in the fresh meat area near the ground turkey and turkey sausage.  I look for the kind that is unseasoned.  I was very happy when my local farm store owners offered to save the loins for me when they processed their turkeys.

The loins were each perfect sizes for a meal-about 6 ounces of raw meat.  I was especially grateful to my Working H Farm friends for these special cuts of grass fed free range turkey tenderloins.

Roasting Turkey Tenderloins
  • Rinse the raw tenderloin with cold water.  
  • Season with a no salt seasoning blend.  I use a lemon-pepper blend. 
  • Roast in a 325 F. oven until internal temperature reaches 165 F.  Using a thermometer, take the temperature of the loin after 30 minutes of roasting. Repeat every 15 minutes until the temperature reaches 165.
  • Slice thinly. I use an electric knife. 
For the game day platter pictured above, I cooked the tenderloin in the crock pot on low for 1 hour.  The turkey is accompanied with fresh raw vegetables, fresh pineapple and steamed asparagus.  The seeded artisan crackers on the side are whole grain.  

Roasted Turkey Tenderloin meals served hot are comparable to holiday turkey meals without the fuss.  That's Fig Glazed Turkey Tenderloin with Cornbread Stuffing above and Roasted Turkey Tenderloin with Pesto Baked Potato below.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Home Bake Your Holiday Bread

Homemade bread makes any meal seem like a holiday meal.  Making bread can satisfy both the creative and nourishing intents.  To bake bread the traditional method, allow 3 hours of time between mixing and pulling the bread out of the oven.

There are 5 general steps to baking bread: 

  • Mixing
  • Proof #1
  • Punching Down
  • Proof #2
  • Baking 

Mixing in an electric mixer with dough hook in place

1) Combine 1-2 cups of the flour, dry yeast (active dry or rapid rise), and sugar in a mixing bowl. 
2) Add warm water to the bowl and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. 
3) Add fat and salt to the bowl and beat on low speed for 2 minutes.  If the recipe calls for eggs, include those in this step.
4) Gradually add additional flour to the mix in 1/2 cup increments, beating on low speed after each addition until the dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the mixer.  This is the kneading process, which takes about 10 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula throughout the process to combine the flour.

Cool water slow the yeast.  Hot water kills the yeast. Use a thermometer to measure the water at 125 F.
Take the chill from eggs by placing in a cup of warm water to a few minutes prior to mixing.
In breads calling for milk, heat it to a temperature of 125 F. before adding to the flour-sugar-yeast mix.

If you do not have a mixer with a dough hook, use an electric mixer for steps 1-3 and add some of the additional flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand.  Flatten the dough, fold it toward you and use the heels of your hands to push the dough away.  Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat:  Fold, Push and Turn! Add more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.  This too takes about 10 minutes.

Proof #1     

1) Mist a large bowl (twice the size of the dough bowl) with an olive oil spray.  Turn the dough ball so that all sides are greased.  
2) Cover with plastic wrap or a clean cloth.  
3) Set in a draft-free area.
4) Allow to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punching Down

1) Put your fist into the center of the dough.  Pull the edges to the center.  
2) Turn the dough over onto a floured surface.
3) Shape the dough.  Place on greased baking sheet, loaf pan or other bread pan.
4) If a seeded topping is desired, brush the dough with egg-water mix.  Sprinkle with seeds.

Proof #2

1) Cover with a clean cloth.
2) Set in a draft-free area.
4) Allow to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

1)  Preheat the oven.
2)  Place baking pans on center rack several inches apart.
3)  When finished baking, remove bread from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Keeping it healthy

  • Make 1/2 the flour whole grain.  Whole wheat pastry flour produces a less chewy and tender bread.

  • Do not eliminate the sugar as it aides in feeding the yeast.   Choose the breads that do not require a sugared topping or powdered sugar glaze.

  • Use skim milk or soy milk in recipes calling for milk.  Use healthy fats.

  • Top with seeds prior to baking.  Poppy seeds and sesame seeds are old favorites, though hemp seed and chia seed work too!

  • Eggs produce a rich and colorful dough.


(2 large loaves)

Mix dry ingredients in bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place:
3/4  cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry or rapid rise yeast

Heat water to 125 F.  Mix in saffron.
1 cup water
Pinch saffron
Slowly add to mixer.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
Soak eggs in warm water to quickly bring to room temperature. Separate yolk from 1 egg and set aside.  
4 eggs

Add eggs, salt and buttery spread to mixing bowl. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
1/3 cup buttery spread
1/4 teaspoon salt

Gradually add remaining flour. Add 1/2 cup flour at a time to bowl while dough hook is moving.
2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 cup all purpose flour 
Knead for about 10 minutes until dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
Place in bowl misted with an olive oil spray.  Turn to coat all sides.
Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down.
Divide in half.

Divide each half in 2 pieces. One piece is 1/3 the dough, the other piece 2/3 the dough. Divide each piece into 3 and roll to 12 inch ropes.  Braid, starting at center.

Add smaller braid on top the larger braid.
Brush with egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water.
Sprinkle with seeds
Cover and let rise until double.

Bake at 400 F. for 20 minutes. 


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hospitality Cake

These little muffin size cakes have fresh pineapple on the inside.  Mine are made with 1/2 whole wheat flour, good fats and only 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar per cake.  These are delicious served with juicy kiwi and unsweetened coconut.  Since the meal pictured above is my breakfast, I ate this with a glass of skim milk and a bowl of Greek Yogurt, to up the high quality protein. 

Fresh Pineapple Muffins

(Serves 6)

Beat eggs and sugar in mixing bowl.
1 1/2 eggs (yes-I broke 1 egg into a mini measuring glass & measured 1/2! I refrigerated the remaining 1/2 an egg to use later)
3 tablespoon sugar

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients, flours, baking powder and soda, salt and pecans.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted pecans, crushed

Mix together yogurt, oil, melted spread and vanilla.
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, plain, nonfat
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Alternately add dry ingredients and wet ingredients to egg-sugar mix.  Stir just until blended.

Portion 1/3 cup batter into each of muffin size pans (mine were heart shaped!).  Bake at 350 F. for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

For centuries, the pineapple symbol has been used to symbolize hospitality.




Monday, February 22, 2016

Not Your Classic Shepherd's Pie (Meatless Monday)

This original blend of Indian spice, lentils and vegetables topped with a mashed potato and yogurt crust is so tasty and satisfying.  The recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray

India Spiced Shepherd's Pie with Lentils

(Serves 2)

Cook lentils in 2 cups boiling water, covered. for 20-30 minutes until tender. (May need to add water) Drain.
1/3 cup lentils, dry

Cook potato in boiling water for 12 minutes.  Drain.
1 large potato, peeled and diced
Mash potato in mixing bowl.  Add yogurt.
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

Saute carrots, fennel and shallots in buttery spread for 5 minutes.
1 1/2 carrots, peeled, quartered and diced
1/3 cup shallots, diced
1 tablespoon fennel, diced
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Stir tomatoes, lentils, ginger and garam masala into carrot mixture.  Heat until thickened.
1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes, no added salt
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon garam masala

Stir peas into lentil mix.
1/2 cup peas 

Divide lentil mixture into 2 individual casserole dishes, misted with an olive oil spray. Spread mashed potatoes over tops.

Bake at 425 F. for 15 minutes.
Garnish with snipped parsley.

The little "cake" muffins have fresh pineapple on the inside.  I'll post that recipe tomorrow!


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Stone Soup Guest Blogger

"Celtuce: My Newest Farmers Market Find" is my eighth post on the Food and Nutrition Blog.   Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.  I have always loved this magazine-especially the photos and am so pleased they shared my post.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Best Nests

We understand it's hard to portion pasta and meatballs. Try baking in a muffin tin!  This recipe was inspired by Laura's Lean Beef.  The beef I purchase from my local farming friends at Working H Farm is also very lean.  After purchasing ground beef in a 1# package, I divide the package into thirds and freeze it in recipe packages, about 6 ounce each.  That amount after cooking gives us 2 ounce cooked portions of meat, enough protein for our senior citizen needs.

Pasta and Meatball Nests

(Serves 3)

Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes.  Drain.
4 ounce whole wheat angel hair pasta
Divide pasta among 6 muffin tins.

Top each with 1/2 teaspoon grated Parmesan.
Bake in 400 F. oven for 3 minutes. 
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Mix beef, garlic powder, seasoning, wheat germ and egg.  Divide in 6.  Make 6 flattened meatballs and place over pasta in tins.
6 ounce ground beef
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
2 teaspoon wheat germ
1 egg

Top each with diced tomatoes, reserving some for garnish.
1 cup petite diced tomatoes, no added salt, canned and drained

Divide cheese among tins.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
3 ounce mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

Garnish with reserved tomato and fresh basil.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Day Late Lasagna

Inspired by others, I had to try lasagna baked in a heart shaped pan. My little heart shaped cake pan I purchased at the thrift store for a quarter was perfect for a quick bread and worked just fine for this Vegetable Lasagna for 2 or 3.  (Named "Day Late" since yesterday was Valentines Day)

To prevent waste, I used the vegetables and cheeses I had on hand.  Seems I had a tiny amount of crumbled feta and a tiny amount of cheddar cheeses-here was my chance to use those little bits!.

Vegetable Lasagna

(Serves 3)

Cook noodles in boiling water, covered, for 10 minutes.
4 whole wheat lasagna noodles
Drain and rinse with cold water.

1 cup low sodium marinara sauce
2 cups chopped vegetables (I chose yellow and zucchini squash, cauliflower and fennel)
3/4 cup shredded or crumbled cheeses (I chose Parmesan, cheddar and feta)

Mist pan (this one measured 6 inches at its largest diameter) with an olive oil spray.
Layer as follows:
1/4 cup sauce
1 noodle, cut to fit
1/4 cup sauce
1/2 vegetables
1/2 cheese

Bake at 400 F. for 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.  Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. 

 Garnish with diced tomatoes.
1/4 cup diced grape tomatoes


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Homemade Taco Seasoning Favors & Flavors

Making your own taco seasoning reduces the sodium without reducing the flavor.  Even the small packages of commercial taco seasoning that advertise "33% less sodium" have 8 times the amount of sodium as in this homemade version.

  • 2 teaspoon Packaged Taco Seasoning = 380 mg sodium.

  • 2 teaspoon Packaged Reduced Sodium Taco Seasoning = 250 mg sodium.

  • 2 teaspoon Homemade Taco Seasoning = 30 mg sodium.

Homemade Taco Seasoning 

(Makes 3 1/2 cups)

2 cup chili powder
2/3 cup ground cumin
2/3 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 Mix and store in closed container.    

Sprinkle this homemade seasoning on meats, vegetarian chili, fajitas and enchiladas.

One serving of a favorite taco salad easily totals 1000 mg of sodium! 

More Tips for Reducing the Sodium in a Taco Salad

  • Make your own tortilla strips with corn tortillas and homemade seasoning.  Corn tortillas are whole grain and inexpensive.  Mist both side of the tortilla with an olive oil spray.  Cut in strips and place on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with the homemade taco seasoning and toast to crisp.  
80% reduction in sodium
  • Cook your own beans from dry.
90% reduction in sodium
  • Make your own salsa with fresh diced tomatoes, green peppers, onion and cilantro.
90% reduction in sodium
  • Replace shredded Mexican cheese with ricotta cheese.
 65% reduction in sodium   

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Zesty Seafood Parcels

Up the flavor meter a notch by baking seafood meals in banana leaves.  The leaves of the banana plant, found in Asian stores, impart a tea like flavor to the contents.  Fresh herbs, onion, garlic and lemon also impart flavor and replace some or all of the sodium in a recipe.

Rather than a specific recipe, choose ingredients by checking the home refrigerator or pantry and using those on hand.

  • Fresh herbs, onions and garlic.  I chose shallots (a mild onion), garlic, fresh ginger and fennel bulb.  Fennel adds a sweet anise flavor to foods.
  • Lemon.   Slices and juice impart their flavor magic.
  • Vegetables.  I sliced carrots, celery and yellow squash in julienne strips though the choices are endless.  Broccoli, tomatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, edamame all come to mind.
  • Whole Grain.  Quinoa, brown rice, bulgur, farro, kashi-here's your chance to use that little bit left in a bag or a large jar that's been sitting on the shelf.  My choice was millet.  Simply cook the grain in water prior to assembly-or use leftover cooked grain.
  • Seafood.  Salmon, tuna steak, scallops, shrimp or any variety of raw fillet works.  It's alright to make one packet with one variety and another packet with a different fish if one of this and one of that is what's on hand.  My choice is flounder.
  • Banana Leaf.  I purchased a package of these in the frozen food section of a local Asian market.  I cut pieces the size of a parchment sheet (no thawing necessary), wrap the package tightly and freeze the rest for up to 6 months.  Wash the leaf pieces, and cut out any spine. 

To assemble, layer ingredients on top of banana leaf:

  • Grain.  For carbohydrate counters, measure the amount desired.  I used 1/2 cup cooked grain.
  • Fresh grated ginger, shallots, garlic and fennel.
  • Vegetables.
  • Fish portion.
  • Lemon slices and juice. 
Fold ends over to enclose contents.  Place face down on baking sheet.  Bake at 375 F. for approximately 20 minutes until internal temperature of parcel reaches 145 F.

Do not eat the banana leaf.  Sometimes they make a nice platter presentation.  These were starting to brown, so I slid the contents of each packet onto our individual plates to serve.

Another great flavor technique is to poach the seafood in liquid with steeping green tea bags!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Premier Treats for Valentines Day

These chocolate cookies are top end-made with 100% cacao chocolate, 1/2 whole wheat flour and reduced sugar to fit in the current Dietary Guidelines.  The finished product is as good as it gets-chewy and delicious!  Packed in 3-packs, these are tokens of the heart felt holiday for our adult friends.

Champion Chocolates

(4 dozen)

In a double boiler, melt the buttery spread and chocolate.
1/2 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
4 ounce 100% Cacao unsweetened chocolate

Cool slightly.  Beat in:
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, scraped innards

Stir together:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Dash salt

Add dry ingredients to bowl just until mixed.  

Shape dough into balls, 1 tablespoon each.
Roll in powdered sugar:

1/4 cup confectioners sugar 

Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Flatten slightly.
Bake at 350 F. for 12 minutes.

Sift more powdered sugar over cookies after cooling.

The recipe was inspired by The Local Palate. 


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Snow Day Sweetheart Cake

The snow was in a whirl as I studied Dietitian Amber's recipe for Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Muffins.  I had all the ingredients on hand, including just the right amount of pumpkin in my freezer.  A few days ago, I purchased this sweet little heart cake pan at the thrift store (for a quarter).  So I adorned my apron and went at it!  

I measured 1/3 cup increments of water into the cake pan to determine the amount of batter to constitute about 2/3 of the depth.  That volume was 3 cups-or 9 muffins.  Since the recipe was for 12 muffins, I found a small bundt cake mold to hold the rest of the batter.

This recipe made 1-6 inch cake (9 servings) and 1-4 inch bundt cake (3 servings).

Chocolate Swirl Pumpkin Cake

(12 servings)

In an electric mixer bowl, beat egg and sugars for several minutes.
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

Alternately dry mix, then liquid mix to the egg-sugar.  Stir in just to mix.  Do not over mix.
Dry Mix
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Liquid Mix
1 cup pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Separate 1/3 cup of the batter into a separate bowl.  Mix in cocoa powder.
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (not Dutch processed) 

Pour pumpkin batter into pans greased with an olive oil spray.  Spoon chocolate batter to the top.  With a pick, swirl chocolate into pumpkin batter.

Bake at 350 F. for 45 minutes.  Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run spatula around edges of pan.  Invert and cool cake.

I thinly sliced a washed apple and removed the small core centers.  Cut the apple slices into hearts with a small cookie cutter.  Spread almond butter between 2 slices.  Drizzle with berry syrup. 

Dust cake with 2 teaspoons confectioners sugar.

The berry syrup is just that-the liquid from the berry topping I made for our Strove Tuesday pancake dinner.

Very Berry Topping

(Serves 4)

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine water, sugar and berries in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer until 1/2 the liquid is absorbed.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Sweetheart Meal to Start Off the Week

I always set a pretty table. . . and we always sit at the table for our evening meal.  Enjoying a meal is more than just good food.  The menu of Tomato Corn Soup with Quinoa, Sweetheart Cheddar, Seeded Whole Grain Crackers and Ruby Red Grapefruit was "good food".  The crackers were sold as seasonal holiday feature at Aldis.  The package displays the whole grain stamp.  I bought a couple boxes after Christmas during the sell out.  I couldn't resist the heart shaped red wax covered cheese-another seasonal item sold at Aldis.  While the crackers and cheese both have some sodium, the soup is very low in sodium.

Tomato Corn Soup with Quinoa

(Serves 4)

In a 12-inch cast aluminum pan, saute carrot, celery, shallot, garlic and fennel in olive oil, covered, for 6 minutes.
1 carrot, peeled and sliced in 1/2 moons
1 stalk of celery, with leaves, diced
1/2 shallot, diced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/3 cup fennel, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add tomatoes, broth and seasoning.  Bring to a boil;  lower heat to simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes while quinoa cooks.
10 ounce diced tomatoes in juice, no salt added
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Add corn.  Return soup to a boil.
3/4 cup corn, frozen

Turn off heat.  Add leaves and parsley.  Cover and stir, allowing leaves to wilt.
1 1/2 cups spinach leaves, stems removed
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Garnish each bowl of soup with cooked, drained quinoa.
1/2 cup cooked quinoa

The soup was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.   

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Babka- The Sweet Taste of Home

A slice of toasty bread accompanies my meals.  This sweet yeast bread-"Babka"- is a dessert.  I took the recipe , substituted 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour, decreased the total sugar by 1/2 and decreased the butter by 1/2 to make a still luscious, lower calorie, less total sugar and whole grain version.  And the bread has raisins and walnuts!


(1 loaf-13 slices)

Mix 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl with dough hook in place.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 teaspoon rapid rise yeast

Heat milk to 125 F.  Slowly add to dry mix in bowl.  Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
1/2 cup skim milk

Add 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, egg and buttery spread.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 egg, warmed by placing in a cup of warm water for a few minutes
3 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

At low speed of electric mixer, slowly add flour, kneading after each addition, until dough leaves the sides of the bowl (about 8 minutes).  Place dough in a bowl greased with olive oil spray.  Turn to grease the top of the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

Punch dough down.  On a floured surface, with a covered pin, roll to a rectangle, about 12 inches long and 1/4 inch high.  Spread with filling to about 1/2 inch from edges.

Puree raisins, sugar, buttery spread, cinnamon, salt and walnuts in a food processor.
1 cup raisins, soaked in warm water 10 minutes and drained
3 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery spread
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
6 tablespoon toasted walnuts
Using a spatula, spread filling on rolled dough to about 1/2 inch from edges.

With floured hands, roll filled dough to a skinny log.
With a sharp knife, cut dough in half lengthwise.
Braid 2 dough pieces.
Fold and place dough in a 9 inch loaf pan, greased with and olive oil spray.
Bake at 375 F. for 45 minutes. 

In a saucepan, heat buttery spread and milk.  Add combined dry ingredients.
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 1/2 tablespoon fat free evaporated milk
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash salt
6 tablespoon confectioners sugar 
Pour glaze over the warm bread.  (I placed a piece of plastic wrap under the bread and lifted the plastic wrap up along the sides of the bread to contain the glaze.  As the bread cooled, I moved it along the plastic wrap to glaze the bottom of the bread.  The bread was sweet all over!)