Archive for July, 2014

Mushroom & Kale Tostada with Creamy Adobo Sauce

July 31, 2014


If your family has been really good to you lately, you should treat them and yourself to this oh so tasty tostada. It’s the Mexican version of an open-faced sandwich, but crunchier and much more fun to eat. Don’t even attempt to tell your kids to be neat about it, because I dare you to not drop half the contents on your plate when you take the first bite. But, boy is the muss and fuss worth it!

Mushroom & Kale Tostada with Creamy Adobo Sauce

Must Have
¼ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 chipotle chile plus 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced

4 organic brown rice or corn tortillas
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
8 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon sea salt or herbamare
½ cup soy-free/vegan Mozzarella cheese ( I use Daiya)

1 avocado, diced
½ cup cilantro, shredded

Must Do
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Place parchment paper on a 15 x 10 inch baking sheet
3. Place the tortillas on the baking sheet and coat them lightly with the 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil
4. Bake the tortillas for 5 minutes, flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.
5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining coconut oil and add the mushrooms, kale and cabbage.
6. Sauté the vegetables until they are tender.
7. Add the sauce ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined.
8. Spread the vegetables onto the tortilla and sprinkle the cheese on top of each evenly.
9. Place the tortillas back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
10. Serve with the toppings and the sauce.

Creamy Green Curry with Greens (and other tasty colors)

July 29, 2014


I find curry to be very comforting. Not only is it creamy and slightly spicy, but the ingredients in the green chili paste, the lemongrass, thai ginger and kaffir, all have wonderful medicinal and nutritional properties that make it a very healthful dish. The green chili contains a huge amount of vitamin A and C, the lemongrass is anti-inflammatory and contains iron, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, the kaffir lime is filled with essential oils that are antibacterial and have a wonderful aroma. That’s good enough for me!

So I’d like to share with you my recipe for Creamy Green Curry with Greens (and other tasty colors). I promise you, this dish is so quick and easy to make, and absolutely down-home delicious. Can Thai food be down-home?

Creamy Green Curry with Greens (and other tasty colors)

Must Have
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
4 tablespoons green curry paste
1 tablespoon salt or herbamare
1 cup kale, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 cup cauliflower heads, chopped
½ cup red peppers, chopped

Must Do
1)In a medium saucepan, add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, basil, coconut nectar, green curry paste and sea salt and stir until incorporated. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer.

2)Stir in the vegetables and let simmer until the vegetables are cooked.

3)Serve over quinoa, millet, rice or potatoes.

Mushroom Herb Ragu

July 23, 2014


Either you’re a mushroom person or you’re not. I am a big mushroom fan, but once I saw a grown man cry when mushrooms were mistakenly added as a topping to his chicken marsala. I guess fungi bring out the emotions in my husband. But since I love mushrooms so much, I find it hard to believe it when people tell me they don’t like them. I decided to put my favorite mushrooms to the test by putting them in a ragu that takes them out of the stratosphere. This dish is so satisfying I could eat it on its own. Out of the pan. All by myself. But it’s also a great side dish and is indescribably delicious over quinoa, rice or millet – anything that will absorb the thick and flavorful sauce. When I served it to my husband, he loved it so much I could have sworn he shed a tear or two. Tears of joy, I’m sure.

Mushroom Herb Ragu

Must Have
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups mixed mushrooms, (cremini, white button, oyster, shiitake) roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt or herbamare
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Must Do
In a medium pan heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and the garlic and stir until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, rosemary, salt and pepper and stir until the mushrooms are sautéed.
Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk and simmer for a half hour until the sauce thickens.
Take the pan off the stove and add the basil leaves. Serve warm.

Wild Mushroom & Kale Quesadilla Salad

July 18, 2014


If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m just your typical, garden-variety Jewish girl originally from the borough of Queens, who hasn’t lost her New York accent no matter how many diction lessons I’ve given myself listening to the CNN anchor models that speak with Standard American vowel sounds. But lately I feel like the Salsa Stricken Latina of the San Fernando Valley saying to my husband “Do you want some sawlsa with those chips?”. All I want to cook and eat is Mexican food. And I’m not pregnant!

So my latest Mexican incarnation is this wildly delicious quesadilla that you just have to taste to believe. You’ll be dancing your own “Sawlsa” around your kitchen after you do!

Wild Mushroom and Kale Quesadilla Salad

Must Have
4 gluten-free tortillas
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 yellow onion, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
1 cup mixture of wild mushrooms, chopped into ½-inch pieces
2 cups kale, deveined and roughly chopped
1/2 cup black beans, cooked
½ teaspoon sea salt or herbamare
½ cup vegan, soy-free mozzarella cheese ( I use Daiya)

2 cups Mixed Greens
2 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 large cucumber, diced
1 medium avocado, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

½ cup olive oil
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon stevia
3 tablespoons fresh dill
freshly ground pepper to taste

Must Do
1. Oil a medium size skillet with the coconut oil and heat the pan under medium heat. Once the coconut oil is melted add the onions, mushrooms, kale and salt. Stir until the onions are translucent, the mushroom juices are flowing and the kale is a bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan.
2. Place a tortilla in the pan and sprinkle one side with ½ cup of the chopped kale, ¼ cup of the mushrooms, 2 tablespoons of the onions, 1 tablespoon of the beans and a sprinkling of the cheese.
3. Fold over the other side of the tortilla and press down with a spatula so the two sides stick together. Once the cheese is melted, remove the tortilla. Continue to make the rest of the remaining tortillas.
4. With kitchen shears snip the quesadilla into strips.
5. For the salad, take the mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumber and avocado, and add them to a large bowl.
6. For the dressing, mix all the ingredients in a large mason jar and shake vigorously.
7. Pour the dressing on the salad and mix to combine.
8. Divide the salad into four bowls. Add the quesadilla strips.

Blueberry Hemp Power Pancakes

July 16, 2014


I love making and eating pancakes. After many years of practice, I’ve learned to throw the first batch away, since they’re never as good as the second and third and fourth batches. It’s a universal predicament as I’ve heard other pancake builders say they do the same thing.

Besides being so comforting and yummy, pancakes are a great way to pack in super foods and vitamin-rich fruits. I add hemp seeds and blueberries to this version and the combination is divine. Hemp seeds are filled with anti-aging antioxidants, omega-3’s, essential amino acids, protein and minerals. I mean that little seed has it all. I might even be jealous of it!

Blueberry Hemp Pancakes
Makes about 10 small pancakes (after you throw away the fist batch!)

Must Have
2 tablespoons grapeseed or coconut oil
1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
¼ cup hemp seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon guar gum
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/8 teaspoon stevia powder
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup fresh organic blueberries

Must Do
Oil a medium size pan with the oil
Preheat the pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes
Combine the flour, hemp seeds, baking powder, baking soda, salt and guar gum in a large bowl.
Make a well in the middle and add the coconut milk, coconut oil, stevia powder, apple cider vinegar and mix until well combined.
Add the blueberries and combine.
Add the batter about 3 tablespoons at a time into the pan. Wait for bubbles to form on top, about 2 minutes, and then turn over.
Cook for about 4 minutes and remove to a plate.
Keep the finished pancakes warm in an oven safe pan at 200°F.
Add more oil to the pan and repeat cooking the pancakes with the remaining batter.

Top with coconut nectar, maple syrup or more blueberries!

Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas (Muffinized)!

July 15, 2014


I know this may be hard to believe, but I didn’t try my first enchilada until I was middle aged. I’m talking 21 years in southern California with nada one rolled-up, cheese and bean-stuffed, sauce drenched enchi-lade-dade-dada. I’m surprised I haven’t been deported back to the NYC burrough from whence I came.

My aunt came to visit from Chicago recently, and suggested we make enchiladas. She gave me the shopping list and I gave her full reign of my kitchen. After that first bite, I was hooked. I knew I’d reincarnate the enchilada to my own liking and boy did I surprise myself. This stuff is addictive! I’m sharing it with you today, and hopefully you won’t have to wait until you’re half-a-century old to enjoy this amazing Mexican dish!

Roasted Butternut Squash Enchiladas (Muffinized)

Must Have
6-cup jumbo muffin pan
15x 10 baking sheet
parchment paper
biscuit cutter

Cheeze Sauce
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup ground hemp seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Enchilada Sauce

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cacao powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
1 15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ cup full fat coconut milk


1 medium size butternut squash, halved and seeded
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 cup pea soup (I use Amy’s low-fat pea soup)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 package corn or gf tortillas

Must Do

Cheeze Sauce

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, then add the flour and mix to form a paste.
Add the milk and stir well to remove any lumps. Keep stirring every few minutes until the sauce thickens and bubbles.
Add the nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, turmeric and paprika, and beat with a whisk until smooth, adding more milk if the sauce is too thick.

Enchilada Sauce
In a heavy saucepan heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, chili powder, cacao and cumin and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the fire roasted tomatoes and the juice. Add the coconut nectar, salt and pepper. And the coconut milk and bring to a boil Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the sauce thickens. About 15 minutes. Puree in batches in a blender.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Place squash cut-side down on parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes. Wait until the squash is easy to handle.
Scoop the squash into a food processor Add the pea soup, the garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, chili powder and nutmeg. Process until smooth.

Take each tortilla and cut out 18 mini tortillas using a biscuit cutter.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of enchilada sauce on the bottom of each muffin well. Insert a mini tortilla into each. Layer each evenly with the filling and cheese sauce. And place another mini tortilla on top until you have 2 layers of filling and 3 mini tortillas in each well.

Top each mini enchilada with more enchilada sauce and then cheese sauce.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove each enchilada with a large spoon to serve.

Stoned Fruit Muffins made with Nectarines

July 14, 2014


Stoned Fruit Muffins

Makes 12 standard-size muffins

Even though I don’t have one yet, I remember being one, and I truly believe that teenagers are the reason Moms become premature antiques. If I remember correctly, it is at this age that children grow an appendage called “attitude,” because they know way, way more than you. So just save your breath and tell your kid what you’ve made them for breakfast, because I’m sure their ears will perk up when you tell them you’ve made them muffins with stoned fruit.

*Sweet Truth:
Stoned in this context means “stones have been removed.” Just as pitted means “pits have been removed” and gutted means . . . oh, never mind.

Must Have
12 standard-size paper baking cups
2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ginger powder
½ teaspoon guar gum
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup coconut nectar
¼ teaspoon stevia powder
⅓ cup apricot, peach, nectarine or plum puree
1 cup unsweetened plain rice milk
1 cup diced apricots, peaches, nectarines, or plums

Must Do
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, guar gum, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle.
Add the grapeseed oil, coconut nectar and stevia and stir to combine. Add the fruit puree and rice milk, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the batter is smooth.
Add ½ cup of the diced fruit and stir to distribute evenly.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about two-thirds full. Top each with the remaining ½ cup of diced fruit.
Bake the muffins for 17 to 18 minutes, or until they are a light golden brown and bounce back slightly to the touch. Rotate the muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking.
Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack and let sit for 10 minutes before removing the muffins to cool completely.
Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 muffin): 150 calories, 5 g total fat, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 160 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein, 5 g sugars

*Sweet Truth:
The apricots, peaches, nectarines or plums used for the puree should be peeled, but should not be cooked.

Spicy Basil Hemp Pesto

July 7, 2014


If I had to choose one sauce to use on anything and everything on my plate till food do us part, it would be pesto. Imagine my devastation when I found out my son is severely allergic to dairy and tree nuts. I thought my pesto days were over, until I realized that I could substitute one key ingredient that makes this the most outstanding and satisfying pesto this side of Tuscany.

I discovered that hemp seeds could not only replace the pine nuts, but could also replace the parmesan, because when ground up, they have a wonderful cheese-like essence. Who knew?

So please pour this exquisite pesto on anything edible you can find within your fridge or pantry. I promise it’ll taste better.

Spicy Basil Hemp Pesto

Serves 4

¾ cup hemp seeds
2 cups fresh basil
juice of 1 large lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoons fine sea salt
¼ cup water
¼ cup olive or grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (Optional)
freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place hemp seeds in a food processor and grind until they turn to powder.
2) Add basil and pulse to combine well.
3) Add lemon, garlic, salt and pulse again.
4) With the motor running, add the water and then the oil until the pesto is smooth and creamy.
5) Add the red pepper flakes, if using, and then the pepper.
6) Serve over pasta, roasted vegetables or anything in your pantry and fridge.

Antioxidant Blast Energy Bars

July 3, 2014


I don’t think you can stuff any more super hero super foods into this amazingly crisp, exquisitely colorful and deliciously nutritious energy bar. Goji berries and blueberries top the charts when it comes to antioxidant content. I have included them, along with pumpkin seeds, for an extra blast of protein. The reason I use ground up goji berries is that even though they start out bright and rosy red before they go in the oven, they come out with a tropical tan. Thank goodness for companies that make goji berry powder, (thank you Navitas Natural), which just disappears into the crowd while still providing all the promised nutrients. It’s the perfect snack to freeze and pack for a pick-me-up and fill-me-up. See the recipe below to make these at home. And if you like what you make, I’ve got a whole chapter of similarly fabulous energy bars in my cookbook.

For those of you with an aversion to baking anything but your body on the beach, have I got a deal for you. If you order $25 or more from Sweet Debbie’s between Friday, July 4th and Saturday, July 5th, we will add one dozen of these bars to your order absolutely FREE! So enjoy your Independence Day holiday and we look forward to hearing from you soon! To order, please call us at (818) 294-2496 or email me directly at

Antioxidant Blast Bars
Makes 25 Bars
Must Have
Sheet of parchment paper slightly larger than 15 x 10 inches
4 cups gluten-free oats
1¾ cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup goji berry powder
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
1½ teaspoons guar gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup coconut oil
½ cup coconut nectar
⅜ teaspoon stevia powder
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries

Must Do
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper, with a little extra over the sides.
Mix together the oats, flour, goji berry powder, pumpkin seeds, guar gum and salt in a large bowl.
Microwave the coconut oil and coconut nectar in a 2-cup measuring cup for 60 seconds. Add the stevia and stir to combine. Pour the coconut oil mixture into the oats mixture and mix well. Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into the corners and on top with a wet baking spatula to cover the pan evenly.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the oats are a light golden brown and look dry. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through baking.
Remove the pan from the oven to a wire rack and let sit for about 15 minutes before putting in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
Transfer the parchment paper to a cutting board and cut into 25 bars.
Wrap each bar individually in parchment paper or bakery tissue paper, place in a sealable plastic bag and keep frozen until ready to pack or eat.

Nutrition Information Per Serving (1 bar): 170 calories, 10 g total fat, 0.0 mg cholesterol, 25 g carbohydrates, 40 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein, 4 g sugars