Sunday, January 25, 2015

When to Buy Organic

Are you confused when to buy organic or not?  There is so information that bombards us every day about organic vs non-organic it is no wonder that it is confusing.  We have created a free infographic you can download and print and here are some simple guidelines to follow:

Buy organic if you are going to eat, or juice, the peel of the fruit or vegetable.  You can choose either when buying fruits or vegetables with thick skin that you will peel away, such as bananas.  Fruits with thin, or porous skin, such as berries, peaches and grapes, as well as leafy greens, are the ones where it is most important to buy organic. 

Another great option for you are frozen organic fruits and vegetables.  Grab a bag of organic blueberries, strawberries or other fruits when they are on sale so that you will always have something delicious and ready to go in your refrigerator. 

Look for our free list of fruits and vegetables that should be bought organic (or not), click here

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Belly Achin' Green Smoothie

Belly Achin' Green Smoothie

Did you eat too much and your belly is aching?  This green smoothie is quick and easy to make and will use some healthy probiotics and enzymes to help your body digest the food. 

  • 1 cup papaya, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, broken into large pieces
  • 1 cup plain kefir or Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey  (you can use regular honey if you don't have raw)
  • Add all ingredients to your blender and blend well.
  • Pour into a tall glass. 
  • Add ice cubes (optional)
  • Garnish with a lime wedge (optional)
Take your green drink with a favorite book to the back porch and relax!

(Photograph from  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Jalapeno, Bacon and Zucchini Muffin

We found this recipe on The Daniel Plan website and it looks SO good!  There are step-by-step with photos and instructions.  Click here to get the full article.  

Jalapeno, Bacon, Zucchini Muffin
by Chef Mareya Ibrahim

  • 1 muffin pan
  • 6 cage-free or organic eggs
  • 6 pieces of nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/2 zucchini, grated
  • 6 small pieces of fresh mozzarella or 2 tablespoons feta cheese
  • A dab of room temperature coconut oil
  • Smoked sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Dried tarragon
  • Jalapeno oil to brush on bacon (optional)
You can make your own jalapeno oil by soaking whole jalapenos in a cup of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or you can use prepared chili oil.

  • Pre heat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  • Grease each muffin cup with a little coconut oil.  Use a paper towel to rub the oil into the cup.
  • Brush each piece of bacon with a little jalapeno, or chili, oil for kick.  You can omit this step if you like.
  • Position each bacon slice around the circumference of each muffin cup.
  • Crack an egg into each liner keeping the yolks intact.  
  • Place a spoon of grated zucchini on top of each egg.  
  • Top with a slice of mozzarella or pinch of feta cheese.  
  • Season each egg cup with a small amount of smoked sea salt, white pepper and dried tarragon.  You can also add smoked paprika if you like it hot and spicy.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the eggs are firm.  
Makes a great brunch dish.  Serve by placing on a plate and cutting the egg in half and separating the two sections slightly.  

Click here for the full article and more information on The Daniel Plan

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Food Takedown on Facebook

Calling all foodies!  There's a new page on Facebook called Food Takedown

Do you have a favorite recipe or cooking tip?  Or, maybe you have a question.  Then we want to hear from you!  

Hop on over and give us a thumbs up "LIKE" and share your favorite recipe.  See ya on Facebook!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Real and Healthy Chinese Cooking

Got a craving for Chinese food?  I've got good news, you don't need to get in the car and fight traffic to spend a lot of hard-earned money at your favorite restaurant.  You can now prepare Chinese food and healthy meals in your home that will taste better and cost less!  

Did you know that Chinese food is healthy and well-balanced in addition to being downright delicious!  And, did you know that if you eat healthy and balanced food each day you can dramatically reduce your risk for health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure?  Well, it is true and what better way to do this than to fix wonderful and tasty Chinese food that your family and friends will rave about!

Nicholas Zhou has published this bestseller cookbook based on the secrets from his aunt and ancient Chinese philosophy that has had an important influence in Chinese food culture where dishes are made of a mixture of healthy ingredients that contain a balance between yin and yang and is good for your health.  

According to a survey conducted by the food industry:
  • 72.4% of people think that Chinese food is healthy.
  • 89.3% LIKE Chinese food, and
  • 67.8% would like to learn how to cook Chinese food. 
We would like to introduce you to Nicholas Zhou's bestelling cookbook titled "Real and Healthy Chinese Cooking."  In this 543-page digital cookbook with over 173 pictures you will get over 500 authentic recipes that are quick and easy to prepare.  By the way, when you purchase the book today you will also get TWO bonus books as well.  So, in all, you get three books for the price of one which is less than the cost of going to dinner and a movie! 

Why not cook up and serve Kung Pao Chicken tonight?   Or perhaps you prefer Beef with Brocoli, or Moo Goo Gai Pan, Sweet and Sour Chicken or Vegetable Lo Mein.  You can get started in any, or all, of these tasty dishes right away by clicking here to immediately access your new cookbook.  Then, pull out your wok and start working magic in your own kitechn!  I guarantee you will not be disappointed.  

Once you've made your favorite dish, come back here and post your comments below.  We want to know what your fave is!   Enjoy yourself!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chimichurri Sauce

Recently I was a guest at the Disneyworld Coronado Springs Resort and ate at the Maya restaurant.  The chimichurri sauce was so good that I just had to share this with you!   

Chimichurri is an Argentinean sauce or condiment that is similar to pesto.  The basic version (which is the one I prefer) uses fresh parsley, oregano, garlic, oil and vinegar.  If you like it hot you can add a touch of chili pepper.  You can add variations to the sauce to your tastes and likes so the combinations are endless.  In Argentina folks use this both as a marinade or a sauce for grilled steak, but try it on fish, chicken or pasta.   

  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, thick stems trimmed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Finely chop the parsley, fresh oregano and garlic (or use several pulses on your food processor).  Place in a small bowl.

Stir in the olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.

Serve immediately or refrigerate either as a sauce or accompany with a soft bread for dipping.  If chilled, return to room temperature before serving.  Can keep in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Serves 4.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hansen's Fruit Stix

In January of this year I began adopting a new “healthy living” plan that includes diet, exercise, physicial, mental and spiritual health. With my friend Nancy we get together every week, compare notes and help one another through the “ups and downs” of changing one’s lifestyle. We all know that living healthier also involves drinking enough water and staying hydrated. Well and good and I don’t have anything against water, per sey, but I have to say, I do get tired of only drinking water.

So, I started looking at all the water flavor enhancers and all that good stuff. Most have aspartame, sucralose or some other artificial sweetener that is not only not digestable or brain “friendly.” Hmmm, that does not work either, so back to the drawing board.

I tried a squeeze of fresh lemon, fresh lime and even peaches but it wasn’t doing the trick. Then, last week I discovered in my local grocery store Hansen’s Fruit Stix. No artificial sweetener and is made with Truvia, a natural sugar from stevia extract. While I’m not crazy about the cellulose that Truvia has in it, I don’t think there’s enough in this product to warrant not using it. I picked up the Natural Berry flavor and love it!

Here’s the “skinny” (yes, pun intended!):

• Packaged in individual serving stix

• Serving size: ½ packet = 8 oz

• Calories: 5 per each 8 oz

• Dissolves easily in a 16 oz water bottle

• Fat / Sodium / Sugars / Protein = 0 g

• Total Carb = 1 g

The only drawback I see is that if you spill the drink after it’s mixed, it does stain your hands, clothing or anything that it comes in contact with. You can find Hansen’s in most local grocery stores or online with

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Cream of mushroom soup with a side of crusty bread or a grilled cheese sandwich is one of my favorite comfort foods.  I've tried many different recipes but in the end always come back to my favorite which I found in The Settlement Cookbook, Third Edition, published by Simon and Schuster in 1965.  I found this cookbook one day in a little antique shop in Boulder City, Nevada and have enjoyed going back to the basics ever since!  I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Melt half the butter in a skillet, add mushrooms, chopped or ground, cover; simmer 5 minutes.  (Note: I will chop about 1/2 to 2/3 of the mushrooms and then use thicker slices of the rest of the mushrooms for a 'chunkier' soup.) 
  • Add to broth.  Cook 5 minutes.
  • Melt rest of the butter in saucepan, add flour.  Use a fork or whisk to blend until it has a smooth consistency.
  • When it bubbles, stir in broth; add cream and seasoning.
  • Top with a light sprinkle of paprika or chopped parsley.   
If you want to enhance the flavor here are some options for you:
  • Before cooking the mushrooms, finely chop 1 small onion and saute until they start to soften.  Then, add in the mushrooms and continue cooking according to the directions above. 
  • Use a mix of different kinds of mushrooms such as white, button, porcini, shitake, or portabello.  Select mushrooms that are known for their robust or rich flavors.
  • After you have combined the ingredients above, stir in 1-2 tablespoons or mascarpone cheese, or sour cream. 
  • When the combined mixture is cooking, add a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary.  Remove from the mixture before serving. 
  • Instead of using butter you can saute the mushrooms in a cup of white or marsala wine. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fruit Soda

Finding a healthy alternative to soda can be difficult, particularly for indivduals who have consumed sodas for many, many years.  Now, there is no substitute for water, but here are some healthier alternatives that are great any time of year.

A fruit soda is a drink that is made with fruit juice and club soda that comes with an almost endless list of possibilities and combinations.  You can change it up with organic fruit juices or tea and give it some fizz by mixing in the club soda.  Fruit soda is generally a half-juice, half-club soda mix such as:

Orange Fruit Soda
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 4 oz club soda
Citrus Blast
  • 1 oz orange juice
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz key lime
  • 2 oz green tea
  • 4 oz club soda
  • Touch up with a little sugar or honey if needed
Use fresh-squeezed fruit juices to give your drink a flavor blast.  Top with an orange, lemon or lime curl, a slice of fresh fruit, mint sprig or even a fresh basil leaf.  Pour into iced or insulated glasses to keep cool.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Pickled Beets


This recipe uses a more traditional sugar, vinegar and pickling spices to cooked beets.  Yumm!


  • 12 to 16 small beets

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1-1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon whole pickling spices

  • Wash beets well; cut off leaves about an inch above beets.  Cook in  boiling water for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender.  Cool; rub off skins, trim, and slice. 
  • Combine sugar and vinegar in a medium saucepan. 
  • Tie spices in a small piece of cheesecloth and place in saucepan. 
  • Simmer for 15 minutes; add sliced beets and bring to a boil.
  • Discard spices and chill pickled beets before serving.
Serves 6.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Citrus Marindate

I love a good citrus marinade on chicken or fish, particularly in the summer time.  Here's a healthy version from Weight Watchers


1/3 cup orange or grapefruit juice, preferably fresh
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Makes 4 servings.

In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all the ingredients, cover and shake well.
Use right away or cover and refrigerate up to 5 days.
44 cal per serving (2 tablespoons) ~ Points value = 1

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cornmeal Biscuits with Blackberry Butter

My mouth is already watering! Here's a great comfort food treat for any meal or time of day.

Blackberry Butter:

  • 6 tablespoonos (3/4 stick) butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons blackberry jam (seedless preferred)

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest


  • 1-1/3 cups all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)

  • 2/3 cup coarse ground cornmeal

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, chilled and cubed

  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

To make blackberry butter: stir together the softened butter, blackberry jam and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

To make biscuits: in large bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined. Using a pstry cutter or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the sour cream and pull the dough together into a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a 3/4 inch thick round. Using a 3-inch cutter, cut as many rounds as you can, then re-roll the dough and cut out the remaining biscuits.

Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet and bake until light brown, about 15 minutes. Serve the biscuits hot with a generous dollop of blackberry butter.

Makes 6-8 biscuits.

Recipe from: The Dean Family Cookbook, 2009 by Simon & Schuster.

Photo by Alan Richardson

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Quick Quiche

If your life is as hectic as mine, you are always looking for something to fix for dinner that is quick, easy, requires as few ingredients as possible, and tastes good. Once in a while I venture out and try a creation of my own. Last week I did just that and would like to share my version of a "quick quiche." I am sure that there are many different ways you can change this recipe out or kick it up a notch. Enjoy being creative!

..4 potatoe latke pancakes (frozen)
..1 small carton Egg Beaters (any flavor)
..1/8 to 1/4 cup diced onions
..1/4 to 1/2 cup grated mozarella, low-moisture, cheese
..1 tablespoon butter, divided in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Place 1/2 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized fry pan and turn heat to low to medium. Add frozen potato pancakes. Heat potatoes until slightly crispy on each side, taking care to not burn them.

Remove potatoes from fry pan and place in buttered glass pie dish, arranging to best fit the configuration of the pan.

Add the diced onions to the fry pan with remaining butter. Saute until just starting to turn opaque. Turn off heat and remove pan, transferring onions to the baking dish and distributing them evenly across the top of the potatoes. If hot to to touch let the dish cool for a few minutes before proceeding.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the onions and potatoes.

Add the egg mixture over the top of the potatoes, onions and cheese. There is no need to stir. Suggest slowly pouring the eggs in on a side between the glass and the potatoes.

Bake uncovered for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the egg mixture is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.

Cut into pie wedges and serve.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Ultimate Omelette

One Saturday morning I was working at my desk and had the FoodNetwork channel tuned in on the little TV that sits on my desk. Tyler Florence was on and he was talking about his recipe for "The Ultimate Omelette." I love omelettes and have tried for years to make my own, but they never turn out right.

As I watched the TV program I realized that Tyler's secret for making omelettes was so easy. So, that night I tried it and VOILA! I had a fantastic omelette without a lot of hassle. You have to try this! Click on the title above and you'll be redirected to the FoodNetwork TV website. Type in the search words "The Ultimate Omelette" and pick the Tyler Florence recipe link. Enjoy!