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Tasty Tuesday, Chili-Brown Sugar Delicata Squash with Pears

Pears and delicata squash tossed with brown sugar, chili powder and bacon is a delectable combination. To make this vegetarian, omit and bacon and toss the squash and pears with the brown sugar and chili powder during the last 5 minutes of roasting.

1 pound delicata squash (about 1 large)
2 medium ripe but firm pears, sliced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 slices of bacon -optional (substitute: dash of liquid smoke)
2 tablespoons water (vegetarian use lime juice)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili power

Garnish: fresh cilantro and roasted pumpkin or squash seeds


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with pears, oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a large baking sheet.
3. Roast the squash and pears until just tender, stirring once or twice, 20 to 25 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
5. Discard all but 2 teaspoons fat from the pan. Over medium heat, stir in water, brown sugar and chili powder. Add the squash and pears; toss to coat. Crumble the bacon on top.

Tasty Tuesday, Red Lentil Dal

Dal is an Indian stew made with lentils and spices which is usually served over rice.  It is very easy to make and portions can be frozen for later use.

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (heaping)

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

3 medium red potatoes, cubed

2 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained (we used yellow split peas)

6 cups water

1 can coconut milk (we used “light”)

2 cups chopped tomatoes or one 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare, or to taste

1.  In a large 8-quart pot heat olive oil over medium heat, then add cumin seeds and black mustard seeds.  Saute until they begin to pop.  Quickly add onions and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add turmeric, ground cumin, cayenne, carrots, and potatoes, saute a few minutes more.

3.  Add red lentils, water, coconut milk, and chopped tomatoes.  Stir well.  Bring to a boil, then let simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.  Add salt to taste and serve.

Elizabeth:  I also added a handful of curry leaves @ step 3; and a 1/4 tsp coriander seeds @ step 1.


Tasty Tuesday, Summer Squash Soup

End the summer and get ready for autumn enjoying this tasty soup!

2 – 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
2 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 – 10 cups chopped yellow summer squash
6 tablespoons uncooked white rice
8 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
sea salt to taste

1. Heat a 6 to 8-quart pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, then the onion and saute for 5 to 10 minutes or until onion softens and is beginning to change color.

2. Add garlic and cumin and saute a minute more.

3. Then add chopped summer squash, white rice, and stock.

4. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is tender and rice is cooked.

5. Remove from heat and puree in your blender or Vita-Mix in batches.

6. Toss in the whole bunch of cilantro and puree.

7. Pour soup into another clean pot or bowl, stir batches together, and taste. If it needs a flavor boost add lemon juice and sea salt to taste.

Tasty Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Broccoli & Chickpea Salad in Lemon Tahini Dressing

This recipe was inspired by my love of two great dishes — tabbouli salad and hummous!  And, I had A LOT of broccoli in the fridge.  The tabbouli-inspired flavors are the mint-cilantro-parsley herb mixture and the tomatoes.  The hummous-inspired flavors were the lemon-tahini-olive oil-garlic, and of course, the chickpeas!  Super-easy to make, and delicious.  We even got two thumbs up from a self-professed “broccoli hater”.

You can choose the degree to which you cook the broccoli — I steamed mine in a vegetable steamer for about 12 minutes, and it was quite well cooked.  If you like, you could just lightly steam (perhaps 6 minutes?) and then mix it all together to marinate in the dressing for an hour or so before serving.  My broccoli was too soft to mix together until just before I served it.  Of course, if you prefer, you can use the broccoli raw; I feel it is easier to digest if it is cooked a bit.

In order to keep the recipe vegan, there is no cheese added, but I think it would be delicious with some crumbled feta over it. You could also substitute lacinato kale for the broccoli, and cannellini beans for the chickpeas.

This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free……but not taste-free.  You will find it is full of flavor.

Serves 12 to 14


28 ounce can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans

2 1/2 to 3 cups broccoli florets (cut into bite sized pieces)

1 quart grape or cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in halves

1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped

1 heaping Tablespoon (or more, to taste) chopped fresh mint

2 Tablespoons (or more, to taste) chopped fresh Italian parsley

1/3 cup tahini paste (I used Maranatha Roasted Tahini Paste because I like the roasted flavor, and it is just salty enough to my taste.  If you use a non-salted tahini, make sure you adjust salt to taste in your salad)

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup (or slightly less) water

Sea Salt

Freshly ground black pepper


1.  If you are cooking your broccoli, go ahead and set that up in your steamer.  Once cooked to desired level, set aside.  Note that if you like it more well-cooked, it might be too soft to mix into the salad until just before serving.  If you mix it in, do so gently so that the florets do not get broken up — it is visually more interesting to have the nice, bite-sized florets whole).

2.  Rinse and drain chickpeas, then place in  a large bowl.

3.  Add tomatoes and chopped cilantro, mint and parsley to the chickpeas.  Toss to mix well.  At this point you can add the broccoli if it is not falling apart.

4.  Make the dressing:  I used a food processor — you could also use a blender or Vitamix. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil to the processor bowl.  Process until smooth.  It will be quite thick.  Start adding water until it reaches the desired consistency.  I used 1/4 cup of water for mine — you want the dressing to be thick enough to coat the ingredients….not too runny.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  I used freshly ground coarse sea salt — about three grinds, and about five grinds of fresh black pepper.

5.  Pour dressing over the salad and mix well to coat ingredients.  Allow it to sit (refrigerated) for about an hour before serving.  We served it at room temperature yesterday and it was great.



Tasty Tuesday Recipe: Mango Salsa

We enjoyed this delightful salsa a few weeks ago, courtesy of Shannon Cannedy, our massage therapist!


3 mangoes, peeled and finely chopped

2 jalapeno peppers (more or less to taste), seeded and finely chopped

2 slightly under-ripe avocados, peeled and finely chopped

3 TBSP lime juice

6 cloves garlic (more or less to taste), peeled and finely chopped

1″ knob of ginger, finely grated

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and finely chopped



Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Chill before serving, if desired.

Serve with your favorite tortilla chip!

Tasty Tuesday: April 10, 2012 Asparagus and Broccoli Soup

Today we are having a light, fresh, and pretty spring soup.  This spring-green colored soup is Vegan, Gluten-Free, Fat-Free, and Low Sodium.  For those of you watching your weight and your cardiovascular health, it is a perfect accompaniment to a spring meal.



6 1/2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth

1 large leek, white and light green parts only (you can save the dark green parts for making stock later)

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces

1 bunch of asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed, and cut into 1″ pieces

2 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets

2 TBSP chopped fresh chives


1.  Heat 1/2 cup of your vegetable broth over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add leek, and reduce heat to medium.  Cook leek until tender, about 5 minutes.  Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick or burn (if the liquid is burning off, turn heat down further).

2.  Add remaining broth and potatoes, and bring to a boil.

3.  Stir in asparagus and broccoli and bring to a boil again.

4.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.

5.  Remove pot from heat and allow it to cool slightly.

6.  Puree in blender, Vitamix, or use immersion blender, taking care not to burn yourself on the hot soup.

7.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with fresh chives.


Tasty Tuesday: April 3, 2012….Marinated Vegetable Skewers

Fun, pretty on a platter, and super easy to make!  These skewers are Vegan, Gluten-Free, Fat-Free, and taste really great.  The whole office smelled yummy last week when they were out…..


Ingredients for 24 skewers (serve as an appetizer):

24 mushrooms — I used Cremini, but you can use any small, round mushroom

48 grape tomatoes

2 cans (15 ounces each) Hearts of Palm — cut into 24 1″ slices/chunks

Balsamic Vinegar

6 cloves garlic

3 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided

3 TBSP finely chopped fresh thyme, divided

24 bamboo or wooden skewers


1.  Wash and dry the mushrooms and grape tomatoes.

2.  Drain the hearts of palm and cut them into pieces.  Some of them will fall apart while marinating, so put extra into the bowl.

3.  Create 3 bowls for marinade:  I used large shallow bowls for this purpose.  Each bowl gets 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 TBSP each of fresh rosemary and thyme, and about 1/4 c of balsamic vinegar.

4.  Put your prepared vegetables into the bowls — one each for mushrooms, tomatoes and hearts of palm.  Stir to mix them with the marinade.

5.  Marinate for 30-45 minutes.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

6.  Transform mushrooms to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast until softened, and starting to caramelize, about 30 minutes.

7.  When the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, thread a mushroom, tomato, heart of palm, then another tomato onto each skewer.  Enjoy!

8.  You can save the balsamic marinade to reuse on salad or as a marinade for more veggies or meat.




Tasty Tuesday: March 27, 2012 Mexican Quinoa Salad

Our month-long celebration of quinoa continues with this fabulous and healthy salad from Susan O’Brien’s wonderful cookbook, The Gluten-Free Vegan.

I hope these different ways of preparing quinoa have given you some ideas of variations and ways you can adapt it to suit the season and your individual tastes.  This particular recipe would be wonderful served with sliced avocados and/or fresh corn.  For those who are not vegan, crumbling some feta cheese onto it, or adding grilled shrimp would also be delicious!  Enjoy.



1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock/broth

1 cup of quinoa — remember to rinse well and drain before cooking

1 yellow, orange or red bell pepper, diced into 1/4″ pieces

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced

1 small red onion (or 2-3 scallions, if you prefer) finely diced

2 Roma (Italian) tomatoes, seeded, chopped and drained

1, 15 ounce can of beans — black beans, pinto beans, red kidney beans, or a mixture of whatever beans you like.  Of course, you can also cook your own from dried.  You will want about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup freshly made salsa (you can make your own or use store-bought from the produce section)

1 Tbsp canola oil

1 lime, juiced

Freshly ground pepper and sea salt



1.  Cook the rinsed quinoa — bring your stock to a boil, add the quinoa, lower heat and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

2.  Place cooled quinoa in a large bowl and add your chopped vegetables (bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, tomatoes), beans, and salsa.  Toss to blend.

3.  Add ground cumin, cilantro, canola oil, and lime juice.

4.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Tasty Tuesday: March 20, 2012…..”Mermaid Salad”

This salad with the bewitching name contains some of my favorite “superfoods” — quinoa and sea vegetables!  It comes from Kelly Keough’s cookbook, “The 100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes for Your Vegan Kitchen”.

Don’t be afraid of sea vegetables (sometimes referred to as seaweeds).  They are really tasty and so good for you.  Sea vegetables are loaded with minerals, and can help balance the endocrine system.  You can purchase sea veggies at most organic or asian markets.  You want to be sure that the brand is clean and organic though, and has tested for heavy metals, as our oceans are sadly polluted now.  Watch for more tasty ideas for how to prepare these superfoods in the coming months.  Sea vegetables come dried in packages, and generally require re-hydration before use.  Some of them will expand quite a bit and make a beautiful bright green leafy addition to whatever you add them to.

This yummy dish also contains turmeric, an inflammation fighter!



1/4 c dried arame (I used dulse because it was what I had at home)

1/4 c dried wakame

1 1/4 c filtered water for soaking the sea vegetables

1 c quinoa, washed (see last week’s recipe for how to wash your quinoa)

2 c water or vegetable stock/broth for cooking the quinoa

3 TBSP roasted sesame oil

1 TBSP Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or Tamari sauce)

1 tsp dried turmeric

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp sea salt

freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

1/2 bunch scallions, washed and chopped fine

1 large ripe avocado

1 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice

Gomasio ( a seasoning made from sesame seeds and seaweed)



1.  Soak the sea vegetables in filtered water for 20 minutes.  Drain through a strainer and pat dry.  Set aside.

2.  Cook the quinoa in the water or stock until it is done — bring stock to a boil, then add washed quinoa, turn down the heat, cover and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 minutes or so.

3.  In a small bowl, make the dressing — combine the sesame oil, Bragg’s, turmeric, cayenne, and salt.  Mix well.

4.  In a large bowl, combine the warm quinoa with the dressing and your prepared sea vegetables.  If you will be serving the dish right away, go ahead and add your finely chopped scallions.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

5.  Cut the avocado into thin wedges and toss in the lemon juice, allowing the acid to break down the oils in the fruit.  Place the avocados on top of the salad and drizzle with the remaining lemon juice.

Best if eaten right away, but can also be served cold.






Tasty Tuesday March 13, 2012: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Oranges and Almonds

Vegan, gluten-free, delicious and so easy to put together!  You will love this salad made with “super foods” kale and quinoa!



2 c cooked quinoa (see instructions below for how to cook this marvelous seed)

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed (about 1/2 c at most)

1 bunch Lacinato kale (aka Tuscan, or dinosaur kale)

Sea Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

3 fresh oranges (I used blood oranges, but you can use tangerines or whatever types of oranges you have at home)

1 TBSP gluten-free tamari/soy sauce (I used Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)

1 TBSP honey, agave, or brown rice syrup

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 c roasted almonds (I used organic tamari roasted almonds today)



1.  To cook the quinoa — first wash the quinoa very well.  To accomplish this, you will need a very fine mesh sieve.  Measure out your quinoa into the sieve and wash under cold running water until the water runs clear.  I always cook my quinoa in vegetable stock, as it makes the final product much more flavorful, but you can certainly use water if you like.  One cup of quinoa to about 1 1/4 cups of water (so for this recipe, you will start with 2 cups of quinoa and about 2 1/2 cups of stock or water).  Bring the stock or water to a boil, then add the washed quinoa and turn heat down a bit.  Cook over moderate heat until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.  For this recipe, drizzle with about 1/4 cup of olive oil once you take it off the heat, fluff and set aside.

2.  Wash and dry the kale.  Some of the larger leaves will have a thick rib in the center.  I recommend cutting that out — just fold the leaf in half and slice the rib off.  For the smaller leaves, it is fine to leave the ribs intact.  Chop  the leaves and put into a large bowl.  Add 1/4 c (or a little less) olive oil, a few grinds of sea salt (you will taste to season again later), and then “massage” the oil and salt mixture into the kale leaves.  Use your hands!  Have fun.  Kale is a hearty green and it holds up well to this treatment.  Set aside while you prepare the dressing.

3.  Peel 2 of the oranges, and separate into sections.  Set aside.

4.  Juice the 3rd orange and combine that juice with the tamari, honey, black pepper, ginger and garlic.  Whisk until well blended.  Pour the dressing over the kale and toss to combine.

5.  Add the kale to the quinoa and toss together.  Mix in the orange sections, and taste for seasoning.  I added a bit more salt to mine, but that is how I like it.  We kept the almonds on the side today for those who have nut allergies.  If you are not concerned with allergies, mix the roasted almonds in with the oranges.

6.  Enjoy!