Saturday, December 29, 2012

Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe

Classic Moroccan Mint Tea is made by steeping green tea with spearmint leaves. Many families serve it more than once a day.

Moroccan tea pots vary in size, but a small pot typically holds about a half liter (six glasses) of tea, while a larger pot holds approximately a liter (12 glasses).

The measures below are for a small pot of tea and are approximates since tea leaves vary in quality and strength. Try a variety – not a brand – of green tea called Chinese Gunpowder.

The recipe reflects the fact that most Moroccans like their tea quite sweet. Adjust sugar to your personal taste.

Serves 2 to 4.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon Green Tea leaves
  • 1 large handful fresh spearmint leaves, washed  ** we have this growing in the side yard!
  • 1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  1. Boil at least a liter of water. Rinse a small tea pot with about 1/4 cup of the water.
  2. Add the tea leaves and another 1/4 cup boiling water. Swirl the pot to wash and rinse the leaves, and pour out the water.
  3. Add the mint leaves and the sugar, and fill the pot with 1/2 liter (about 2 cups) boiling water. Leave the tea to steep for five minutes or longer, or set the tea pot over medium-low heat and bring the tea to a simmer. Remove from the heat, and allow to steep several minutes more.
  4. Gently stir the tea, pour into small tea glasses and serve.

Cranberry Sauce

It's interesting that this year Cindy, Barbara and I all made cranberry sauce rather than buying the cans. Somehow there is a feeling of accomplishment or beating the system to make it from scratch.   Just like pecan pie, it's something to make the night before or early in the day so there is time to get cold.

I prefer the whole berry kind of sauce, and I like to taste the cranberries, rather than tasting apples, or oranges or anything else.  Given that, I can't remember why I added blueberries this year.  Make the sauce so it didn't get as firm as it did when I only used cranberries.

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • Optional Pecans, orange zest, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

  1. Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.
  2. At this point you can add all number of optional ingredients. We typically mix in a half a cup of roughly chopped pecans with or without a few strips of orange zest. You can add a cup of raisins or currants. You can add up to a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries for added sweetness. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can be added too.
  3. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
Cranberry sauce base makes 2 1/4 cups.

From: (but I think it's what is on the back of a bag of cranberries too)

Cindy made this recipe, it has less sugar but adds pear to add the sweetness:

Pear-Cranberry Sauce

  • 12 ounce(s) fresh cranberries 
  • 1 cup(s) water 
  • 1/3 cup(s) sugar 
  • 2 ripe pears
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla 
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, water, sugar and pears. Cook over medium heat until mixture is boiling, then reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking until berries pop, about 10 minutes. 
  2. Remove from heat; stir in cinnamon and vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, until serving time. 

This recipe sounds interesting so I'm pasting it here to remember.

Lani’s Cranberry Sauce with Dates and OJ Recipe 

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • juice from one orange
  • a dozen pitted dates (doesn’t matter what From:, I used a mix of medjool and deglet noor)
  • 1/4 + cup water
  1. soak the dates overnight in the orange juice (you can probably skip this step if in a hurry – if so, maybe cook them a little to soften!)
  2. blend the dates with the juice and water
  3. put the dates/juice/water in a pot with the cranberries, bring up the heat quickly to get it hot and then and cook over medium/low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. There you have it! You may need more or less water, depending on how juicy the orange, dates, and cranberries.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spaghetti With Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta

This year we made with the non-gluton noodles Alex brought.  We had four over - but had more than half left over!

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 25m
Total Time: 25m
  • 12  ounces  spaghetti (3/4 box)
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  small yams, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • seasoned black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1  tablespoon  chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1/3 - 1  cup  ricotta
1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
3. Add the potatoes, seasoned black pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4. Add the onion and rosemary. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
5. Toss the pasta with the potato mixture, Parmesan, ricotta to taste and reserved cooking water. 
This creamy dish is also great with butternut squash in place of the sweet potato. 
Nutritional Information
Calories 551; Fat 13g; Sat Fat 4g; Cholesterol 16mg; Sodium 566mg; Protein 20g; Carbohydrate 87g; Fiber 7g

Original recipe here:

UPDATE 2015:
Made even quicker variation.
1 bag butternut squash (was frozen) - put in frying pan with a little oil, cook until brown 
1/4 bag eggless noodles - prepare as it says on package
1 red onion - chop and saute until getting color in frying pan
2 small containers cottage cheese

Combine the drained noodles, squash, onion, cottage cheese, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Pecan Pie

This year I just got a frozen 9 inch crust from Windmill Farms and made the pie following these directions (except I added some butterscotch chips on the bottom of the crust).  The chips did not add much flavor I think so okay to skip that step.  Maybe chocolate chips would be fun to add another time.

Incredibly easy pie to make.

Makes one pie.

Prep Time:  5 minutes
Bake Time:  60 to 70 minutes
Chill Time:  2 hours
Yield:  8 servings

  • 1 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) pecans
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked or frozen** deep-dish pie crust


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Mix corn syrup, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla using a spoon. Stir in pecans. Pour filling into pie crust.

  3. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes (see tips for doneness, below). Cool for 2 hours on wire rack before serving.

  4. **To use prepared frozen pie crust: Place cookie sheet in oven and preheat oven as directed. Pour filling into frozen crust and bake on preheated cookie sheet.

  5. RECIPE TIPS: Pie is done when center reaches 200°F. Tap center surface of pie lightly - it should spring back when done. For easy clean up, spray pie pan with cooking spray before placing pie crust in pan. If pie crust is overbrowning, cover edges with foil.

  6. NUTRITION TIP: To reduce calories, substitute new Karo® Lite Syrup for the Karo® Light or Dark Corn Syrup.

  7. High Altitude Adjustments: Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and increase butter to 3 tablespoons. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

  8. VARIATION: coarsely chopped walnuts may be substituted for pecans to make a walnut pie.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BBQ Dinner: Grilled Chicken and zucchini, and Salad

Salad: Peach and Black Bean - had left over so mixed in some lettuce.  Added a little honey.

Grilled chicken and sliced zucchini after marinating in a Mexican marinade.  (started with a storebought one in red packet and added some seasoned pepper, vegetable seasoning, and hot pepper).

Great meal.  Something we decided to share with company!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Romaine Salad with Pecans and Bosc Pear

Romaine Salad with Pecans and Bosc Pear
Makes 4-6 Servings

1 pound Romaine Lettuce Leaves (or you can substitute with baby spinach leaves)
1 cup chopped raw pecans
1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped cilantro or parsley leaves
Juice of one small lemon
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Combine pear slices, green onions, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, honey or maple syrup, and sea salt in a bowl and give all ingredients a good toss. Allow ingredients to sit and marinate for about 5 minutes.
2. Add romaine leaves, chopped cilantro or parsley, pecans, and gently toss again.
Serve immediately and enjoy this light, delicious, and healthy romaine salad with pecans and Bosc pear.
This recipe was adapted from a similar recipe found in a wonderful raw foods cookbook called Living Cuisine.

Chef Meg's Eggs Nested in Spicy Tomato Sauce

I haven't made this yet, but Jerri-Ann made it for one of the meetings I attended for HTH.  It was delicious!


Nestle eggs into a spicy tomato sauce and bake them for a light and easy supper. Serve over pasta or with crusty whole-wheat bread for dipping.

Minutes to Prepare: 10
Minutes to Cook: 20
Number of Servings: 4


  • Always remember to remove any added bay leaves before serving a dish. Whole bay leaves should not be eaten.
  • You can skip the eggs and make this a vegan dish.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 onion, cut in half and sliced into strips
1 garlic clove, minced
2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
28 ounces (2 14-ounce cans or 1 28-ounce can) diced tomatoes, no salt added
pinch cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
1 bunch parsley, leaves only, reserve one tablespoon for garnish
1 14.5-ounce chickpeas, drained and rinsed
zest and juice of 2 limes
4 eggs
4 shakes of hot sauce


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toast the cumin seeds in a large ovenproof skillet for 45 seconds, then add the paprika, stir, and toast for about 20 seconds, just until the paprika becomes fragrant. Stir in the oil and tomato paste, then add the onions and peppers. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add the tomatoes, cayenne and bay leaf and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Place the chickpeas, parsley (reserve one tablespoon for garnish) and lime juice in a small food processor or food chopper. Pulse a few times to chop, then add to the tomato sauce with 1/2 cup of water.
  4. Stir to combine and remove the bay leaf.
  5. Crack four eggs on top of the vegetables. Take care not to overlap the eggs.
  6. Bake until the eggs are done to your preference. For soft to medium yolk, bake for 10 minutes; for a hard yolk, bake for 15.
  7. Garnish with reserved parsley and hot sauce.

Serving Size: Makes 4 servings, one egg and 2 cups of vegetable mixture per serving.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 277.6
Total Fat: 10.7 g
Cholesterol: 185.2 mg
Sodium: 472.9 mg
Total Carbs: 36.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.7 g
Protein: 14.9 g

Monday, August 20, 2012

Salad: Peach and Black Bean

Made a delicious salad for dinner:  five diced peaches, one can black beans rinsed, about 4 T finely chopped mint (from the back yard garden), and squeezes of honey to taste.

This was inspired by a quick read of

When we have tomatoes and cucumber I will make the real recipe - what I made though was very good and easy to make....

Peach Black Bean Salad

Sweet meets savory meets spicy as peaches, tomatoes, black beans and jalapeño come together to make the most of their delicious flavor contrast. This versatile dish is easily adapted by swapping the peach for your favorite Summer fruit. Or throw in a chopped avocado and eat it with tortilla chips for a refreshing fruit guacamole. This recipe comes to us from Jenné Claiborne of Sweet Potato Soul.
Serves 2
  • 1 peach, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cup cooked or canned black beans
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • black pepper, to taste
Combine the diced peach, tomato, onion, cucumber and jalapeño together in a large mixing bowl. Add the black beans and stir, taking care to ensure the ingredients are evenly distributed.
Season the fruit bean mixture with the lemon juice, vinegar, cilantro and black pepper, to taste. Toss well, chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Peach Black Bean Salad
  • Servings per Recipe: 2
  • Amount per Serving
  • Calories: 180
  • Calories from Fat: 86
  • Total Fat: 1g
  • Saturated Fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 9mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Dietary Fiber: 11g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Sugars: 10g
  • The FDA recommends 2000 calories a day as a reasonable average guideline for most adults. Click here to learn how you can use the Monday 2000 to reset the calorie budget you have to spend each day. For specific calorie recommendations based on your age, metabolism and medical history, consult your doctor or nutritionist.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Smashed Chickpea / Avocado Salad Sandwich

Yield: Salad for 3-4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
This Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich is a great quick and easy lunch option that is good for you too! The salad also makes a great dip!

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans (I use Bush's Garbanzo Beans)
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice (I use whole wheat bread)
Fresh spinach leaves or other sandwich toppings: lettuce, tomato slices, sprouts, etc.

1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place on a paper towel and remove the outer skins. You can leave them on, but I like to remove them.

2. In a medium bowl, using a fork or potato masher smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

3. Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings. I like to add fresh spinach leaves.

Note: This salad also makes a great dip. Serve with cut up veggies, crackers, or pita chips. Also, this salad is best eaten the day it is made because it will turn brown due to the avocado.

This delicious recipe brought to you by Two Peas & Their Pod

Monday, April 30, 2012

Brownies - Untried Recipe

Chocolate Brownies

1 Box Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake mix
1-15oz can 100% pumpkin
½ cup water

Mix the three ingredients together. Pour into a greased 9” X 13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Found this in a quilting blog post:

Sounds like something to try out.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sweetened Baked Tofu

Serve with brown rice and sauteed vegetables.  Makes about 4 to 6 servings.

Sweetened Baked Tofu
1 to 1.5 lb firm tofu, cut into 1 inch slabs
1/2 c French Salad Dressing (See recipe)
4 T apricot or peach jam (I bet orange marmalade would be good too!)
1/4 c finely chopped onion (you'll need more onion if making the French Salad dressing - see recipe)
1/2 c raisins (try golden raisins or dried cranberries or diced dried apricots, etc.)
optional - handful of sliced almonds, pinenuts, pecans (add at the very end)

Side Vegetables
Pick two vegetables, for example:  baby bok choy, string or snap peas - total about 2 to 4 cups. Rough cut or chop.  Change it up by having different vegetables the second time!
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
about 1 T soy sauce

Side Rice
About 4 cups of cooked brown rice.

1.  1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1 inch slabs. You need to use weight to squeeze out the water (this will also flatten the tofu a bit too).  I put on top of my flat colander then topped with a big frying pan filled with water for about 90 minutes.  You could put between anything flat with a weight on top, and tilt so the water drains off.

2.  Make cooking sauce - just combine the 1/2 c French salad dressing, 4 T jam, 1/4 c finely chopped onion and 1/2 c dried fruit in a little bowl.

3.  Turn oven on to 350 degrees.

4.  Lightly grease a small shallow baking dish (estimate so the tofu mostly ends up being in one layer).

5.  Cut the pressed tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in the baking dish.

6.  Pour the sauce over the tofu.

7.  Bake without a cover for about 45 minutes.

8. Heat the rice and saute the vegetables with chopped garlic and soy sauce.

9.  Move the tofu dish closer to top of the oven, turn the broiler on, and broil for another 3 or 4 minutes until crisp. Watch the food, do not let it burn!

Tastes good reheated the next day or so.

Made 2-14-21 too!  Put in my new 8x8 pan. Nutrition from My Fitness Pal.

Sweetened Bake Tofu, 1 serving(s)198 Cal   12 Fat   13 Carbs1 Fiber6 Protein4 Sugar
Jasmine Rice - Rice, 1 cup160 Cal1 Fat36 Carbs1 Fiber3 Protein0 Sugar

French Dressing Versions 1 & 2

Version 1

Combine these items at least 30 minutes ahead of when you need the dressing:
1 small chopped onion
2/3 c vegetable oil
1/2 c sugar
2 T ketchup
1.5 t Worcestershire sauce
1/5 t salt
1 t prepared mustard
1 t paprika
1/2 t garlic powder (or chopped garlic)
1/2 t celery salt

Put in frig after it's made.

Put the extra in the freezer to use later on salads.  I know It will not freeze so will be easy to scoop out what you need - then microwave or defrost before putting on the salad.


Version 2 - fewer ingredients and less oil too!

Combine these items at least 30 minutes ahead of when you need the dressing:

1/4 cup = 4 T white sugar
1/4 cup = 4 T ketchup
1/4 cup = 4 T vegetable oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons (seasoned rice) vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons minced chives

Put in frig after it's made.

Put the extra in the freezer to use later on salads.  I do not think it will freeze rock solid so will be easy to scoop out what you need - then microwave or defrost before putting on the salad.