Monday, November 24, 2014

Homemade Salty and Sweet Granola

Makes One Gallon of Granola

Homemade Salty and Sweet Granola 

Printer friendly copy 

Makes 1 gallon

8 cups Old Fashioned Whole Oatmeal (do not use quick-cook)
1½ cups salted Almond ( I used whole and cut them up, you can use sliced almonds)
1½ cups salted Cashews, cut up
1½ cups Unsweetened Coconut, flakes or shredded
1½ cups Dried Apple pieces
½ cup Canola Oil
½ cup Brown Sugar
¼ cup Maple Syrup
¼ cup Molasses
½ tsp Sea Salt
1 cup Golden Raisins
1 cup Dried Cranberries
¾ cup Sunflower Seeds, salted and roasted
1 Tbsp ground Cinnamon
2 tea ground Ginger

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.  Put one rack on lower part of oven and another rack above in the center of the oven.

In large bowl combine oats, nuts, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger.  

In separate bowl mix together canola oil, maple syrup, molasses, and sea salt.

Mix together the liquid into the dry and combine well.  

Spread out the mixture on to 2 large sheet pans.  Place pans in oven, one on each rack.  Bake for 40 minutes, then remove, stir and put back in oven; switching the pans so that they can cook evenly. Bake another 40 minutes or until golden brown.  

Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes.  Place granola in a very large bowl and mix in dried cranberries, dried apple pieces, golden raisins, and sunflower seeds.  Toss well to combine and let cool for at least 1 hour before placing in to gallon jar with tight fitting lid. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Black Bean Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Chili

Servings: 10

3 cups Black Beans, cooked, reserve some liquid
4 cups Vegetable Stock
3 cups Tomatoes, cut in large chunks
2 large onions, diced
1 cup diced red, yellow, orange and or green Bell Pepper, diced
3 Sweet Potatoes, cubed (about 3 cups)
4 stalks Celery, diced
2 Poblano Peppers, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 teaspoons Oregano, dried
4 tablespoons California Chili Powder
2 tablespoon Smoked Chipotle Powder
2 tablespoons Cumin powder
1½ cups Wild Rice, uncooked
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
4 cups water, or as needed
Cilantro leaves (optional)
Avocado, diced (optional)

Heat olive oil in a 8 quart stock pot and sauté the chili powders and cumin, add the onions, celery, poblano and bell peppers, and garlic; cook about 5 minutes.  Add the cubed sweet potato, wild rice, oregano, tomatoes, and vegetable broth, along with 4 cups of water.  
Cover and cook on a low simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, add water if necessary to keep the consistency of chili; the wild rice will soak up a lot of liquid.  Add the cooked beans with their liquid and simmer additional 1-2 hours. Season with Salt and Pepper.  When you serve, top each bowl with cilantro and avocado. 

You will not miss the meat at all in this chili.  The wild rice puffs up and looks a lot like ground beef, and adds great texture too.
I added a couple of dried Anaheim Chile Peppers to the pot while simmering, then removed at end of cooking.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Red Quinoa with Persimmons, Black Beans, Golden Raisins and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Red Quinoa with Persimmons, Black Beans, Golden Raisins and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Serves 8

2 ½ cups cooked Red Quinoa
3 Fuyu Persimmons, cut into ½ inch dice
½ cup Golden Raisin
1 cup cooked Black Beans, rinsed and drained


2 Tablespoons Fruity Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Pomegranate Vinegar ***
2 Tablespoons Honey

1. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a 2 quart bowl and whisk until honey is well blended.  

2. In same bowl add quinoa, golden raisins, black beans and persimmons.

3. Toss well to incorporate the vinaigrette.  Serve now, or cover and refrigerate. I find this to be best if brought to room temperature before serving.

***I found the Pomegranate Vinegar at Trader Joe's; you could substitute any fruity vinegar.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Persimmon Salsa

This recipe has been in my collection for some time now and I am not sure where I first found it.  It is one of my favorite salsa recipes and now that Persimmons are in season, you will want to put this one on the list to make.       Click Here for Printer Friendly Copy

Persimmon Salsa

Yield: Makes about 1 3/4 cups

Spoon this refreshing condiment over grilled fish or scoop up yummy bites with tortilla chips.

  • 4 small or 3 medium-size firm but ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons minced white onion, rinsed, drained
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded Serrano chile
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger 
Mix persimmons, onion, lime juice, basil, Serrano chile, mint, and ginger in small bowl. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Salsa can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.) 

Fresh Basil and Mint from the Garden
I am growing ginger now!
Everybody in the Pool!
 Now all you need is some fresh made tortilla chips or some grilled fish and you are ready to dig in!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vegetable Stuffed Baked Potato

You can barely see the potato under all of my goodies.

I often eat a baked potato for breakfast.  I love to combine different vegetables that I have sauteed up and top the potato with them.  This is a simple recipe, and you can add whatever fresh vegetables you have available to the recipe.  This is what I had ready today.  The eggplant is from my garden, I had one lone San Marzano tomato that I picked this morning, and added a few of the bell peppers that I picked a week or so ago.

Vegetable Stuffed Baked Potato

Get the potato in the oven about 30 minutes before you begin to saute your vegetables, or you can microwave it for about 5 minutes, but you will not have the nice crunchy crust on the skin if you use a microwave.  I often bake up several and keep them in the refrigerator if I think I want more during the week ahead.

1 small baked potato

1 small eggplant, diced (about 3/4 cup)
1 San Marzano plum tomato, diced
1/4 cup brown onion, diced
1/2 cup diced bell peppers in assorted colors
2 big handfuls of arugula, (about 2 cups)
Assorted fresh herbs from the garden (today I used sweet marjoram, Kaliteri oregano, and French thyme)
Olive Oil
1/3 of an avocado, diced

Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a small skillet.  Saute the vegetables until just tender, but still firm.  This will take about 10 minutes if you are using eggplant.  Now all you do is slice open your potato, mush it up a bit by pushing together at either end to get the potato puffed up a bit in the center.  Add your sauteed vegetables to the top, sprinkle with some fresh herbs, a pinch of salt and pepper and top off the plate with some diced avocado.  That's it folks!

I used small  5 ounce potato

Eggplant, Onion, Tomato, Arugula, and Bell Peppers in 3 colors
Top left: Sweet Marjoram.  Top right: Kaliteri Oregano.  Bottom left: French Thyme
Kaliteri means "The Best" in Greek.  This oregano has a very high oil content and is grown commercially in Greece for the high quality.  It has become my favorite oregano to use in my cooking.  I often use it in place of my Mexican oregano in my southwest recipes.  It has such a wonderful flavor and the plant grows more upright than most oregano's that tend to hug the ground.  It makes itself known when you brush your leg up against it, releasing its fragrance into the air as you pass by.

I just used the small one on the left in my recipe today, it was only about 3 inches 

Be sure to stop by THYME in a BOTTLE to see my breakfast in the garden with Tasha Tudor!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pesto Risotto

Pesto Risotto

Printer Friendly Copy 

  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Shallots, peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2/3 cup (5 oz.) Risotto Arborio Rice
  •  4 cups clear vegetable or chicken stock, heated  to simmer
  • 3 Tbsp Basil Pesto (see recipe below)
  • ¼ cup toasted Pine Nuts
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot, add the rice and toast, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Add the shallots and cook until translucent and softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering, vegetable or chicken broth, and stir until almost completely absorbed. Continue cooking the rice, adding the broth one ladle at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next.  Continue this process until the rice is tender and creamy yet still firm to the bite, or al dente, about 25-30  minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the Pesto, butter, salt and pepper.  When ready to serve at the toasted pine nuts to the top and if you would like, add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to the top of each serving.
Serves 4-6

Just about there, add the pesto and continue cooking until most of the broth is absorbed and risotto is creamy.
When you toast the pine nuts, do not take your eyes off of them or you will burn them!  This is a heavy, enamel pan and it stays very hot so when they are toasted, I remove them to a plate to cool.  You won't need any oil, there is enough natural oils in the nuts to toast them to a nice golden brown.

Here is the pesto recipe I have used for many years.  Not sure where I found it, but it is perfect every time.  I added the addition of lemon zest because I like the flavor and it will help to keep your basil green.  It freezes well, too.  Add a drizzle of olive oil on the top of each jar before you put the lid on when freezing.

Basil Pesto Sauce

4 cups tightly packed fresh Basil leaves (all stems removed)
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon fresh Lemon Zest
6 sprigs fresh Parsley, (leaves only stems removed)
Sea Salt and ground Pepper to taste
1/4 cup Pine Nuts, Walnuts, or Almonds
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

Wash the Parsley and Basil leaves in cool water, spin until very dry in a salad spinner or use paper towels.  Place leaves in a food processor.  Add Oil, Garlic, Lemon Zest, Sea Salt, Pepper, and Nuts.  Pulse blend until all is chopped, stopping to scrape down sides.  Add the grated Parmesan and give a few quick pulses to blend.  Refrigerate in airtight container.  Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of pesto.

This is a what a double batch of the recipe will make.

This risotto is excellent with grilled or baked salmon!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fusilli with Lemony Kale, Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Feta

I am able to grow kale year-round here in Southern CA. This dish came about after I picked a huge amount and made a double batch of kale salad.  I decided I wanted something a bit more substantial for dinner and having twice as much kale salad as I normally make, this pasta was what came to mind. It's very good!  The salty feta with lemon and basil, the crunch from the toasted sunflower seeds makes a refreshing pasta dish.

Fusilli with Lemony Kale, Toasted Sunflower Seeds and Feta

Serves 6-8 


1 pound kale (1 large bunch, I use Lacinato Kale)
Juice from 2 lemons
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
4 TB extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup feta cheese (I used sheep’s milk feta)
Fresh Italian basil leaves, torn
1 pound dry fusilli or penne pasta (I used a bit of both)

Cook pasta according to package directions. While your pasta is cooking, strip the kale from the stalks, rinse well in cool water, and dry well.

Slice kale into small pieces and place in large, shallow serving bowl. Pour the lemon juice and olive oil over the kale.  Massage this into the kale by rubbing between your fingers; I use food grade, gloved hands for this so the lemon won’t hurt my hands! It will take about 5 minutes to get the kale soft; it will look much darker and very shiny in color when you are finished.

Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and feta cheese to the kale, toss lightly and season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked, drained pasta to the kale mixture. The pasta should still be hot when you add it to the kale mixture.

Sprinkle with the toasted sunflower seeds, some fresh torn basil leaves, and check for the need of additional lemon juice, feta or seasoning.   Now you're ready to serve.

Lemony Kale with Feta and Toasted Sunflower Seeds