Moving into Winter

The past few days have been cloudy and short, and I have been busy at the computer. Other than my weekly trip to Santa Cruz for the farmer’s market and other errands, and walking and interval running around our land, I’ve been inside, quietly working away on projects. I have had less holiday baking inspiration than usual. There were years that I began my holiday baking spree right after Thanksgiving, freezing and storing goodies to put in baskets (or plates, or colorful kitchen towels, or other creative containers I came up with over the years) for friends and relatives. There’s still time, and I have a little list of possibilities, some tried and true, others new and interesting. We’ll see what I manage to produce in the next week! Meanwhile, I’ll share one of my favorite snack recipes – any of you who’ve been following my daily food collages will have seen these squares. You can see one on 12.13.2011, just below, next to the carrots in Meal 2. I’ve been baking them with dried fruit, but the original inspiration for them, Clotilde Dusoulier’s Chocolate & Zucchini blog, used chocolate chips and I’ve made them that way as well.

Here’s the latest version:

Banana Oat Almond Plum Apricot Bar

16 oz ripe bananas
60 grams almond butter (60 g)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
200 grams rolled oats (2 cups)
60 grams ground almonds (a.k.a. almond meal)
3 serving protein powder (Show me the whey)
30 grams coconut, dried, unsweetened, low fat (1/3 cup)
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
60 grams dried plums
60 grams dried apricots

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, almond butter, and Greek yogurt. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, protein powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the dried plums and apricots.

3. Spread into the prepared baking dish, level the surface, and slip into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until the top is set and golden-brown. Let cool completely before slicing into bars. If you’re not serving all the bars at once, I suggest you cut out only what you need. Cover the rest with foil and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator. They also freeze well.

Servings: 16

Calories 141.2, Calories From Fat (33%) 46.09, Total Fat 5.49g, Saturated Fat 0.98g, Cholesterol 0.94mg Sodium 163.59mg, Potassium 144.05mg, Total Carbohydrates 17.71g, Fiber 2.25g, Sugar 7.13g
Protein 6.67g

Nutty Fruity Sourdough

Baked a loaf of Nutty Fruity Sourdough today – one of our favorite breads. The original recipe is from King Arthur’s Flour. I use white whole wheat flour instead of the all-purpose they suggest. And I let the bread machine do the mixing, then do a final knead myself and shape it to bake in the oven.

Nutty Fruity Sourdough with cranberries, raisins, apricots, walnuts

1 cup (about 8 ounces) sourdough starter
1 cup water
3/4 cup dark rye flour
2 1/2 cups (10 3/4 ounces) white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup walnuts, chopped

1. Mix all of the ingredients (except the fruit and nuts) by hand, mixer, or bread machine till you’ve created a smooth, elastic dough. Because the consistency of sourdough starters vary, you may need to add a bit of extra flour or water; the dough should be medium-soft but not sticky. Add the dried fruit and nuts, kneading until they’re evenly incorporated. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

2. Turn the dough onto a lightly greased or floured surface, and form it into a fat log. Place the log into an Italian stoneware baker that’s been greased on the bottom, or onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the loaf, and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it springs back very slowly when lightly pressed.

3. If you’re baking in a covered stoneware baker, place the bread into a cold oven, set the oven to 400°F, and bake for 40 minutes. Check the bread, and bake for a bit longer, if necessary; the internal temperature should be about 195°F when measured on an instant-read thermometer. If you’re baking on a sheet pan, preheat the oven to 375°F, and bake for 28 to 32 minutes, until the bread is brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

Servings: 24 2 oz. slices

Calories 142.92
Total Fat 3.61g
Saturated Fat 0.32g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 147.1mg
Potassium 118.93mg
Total Carbohydrates 24.57g
Fiber 3.66g
Sugar 5.65g
Protein 3.86g

Original Source: The King Arthur Flour Company

Turkey pot pie with pumpkin crust

Found a wonderful new recipe for using up that leftover turkey, from Clean Eating magazine, with a few adaptations. I used frozen mixed vegetable, a combination of shelled edamame, carrots, peas, beans, and corn, along with the onion and celery I had on hand. Also used butter for the crust – and it’s a wonderful crust!

Turkey Pot Pie with Pumpkin Crust

1 1/2 cups  white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon  dried sage
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoon  butter
15 ounces pumpkin purée
1 teaspoon olive oil
180 grams onion , chopped
394 grams mixed vegetables
88 grams celery, chopped
2 tablespoon  white whole wheat flour
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 lb cooked boneless, skinless, turkey breast, chopped
cooking spray

1. Prepare crust: In a food processor, combine flour, sage, baking powder and salt. Add butter and process until crumbly. Move mixture to a bowl and add pumpkin puree, stirring until blended. Knead a few times with hands until dough comes together and is soft and slightly sticky. Do not overwork dough. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes, up to 1 day.

2. Prepare filling: In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add celery and frozen vegetable mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over top and stir to coat. Stir in milk, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until milk thickens into a sauce and coats vegetable mixture, 5-8 minutes. Stir in tarragon, salt, pepper, and turkey and remove from heat.

3. Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon filling into dish in an even layer.

4. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll dough out to a 1/4-inch-thick, 9 x 13-inch rectangle. Set rolling pin at bottom edge of dough and gently roll dough onto pin so dough drapes over top. Lift rolling pin over baking dish and gently unroll dough over filling. Shape to fit container. Cut 6 slits into crust to create steam vents. Transfer to oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until filling bubbles and crust is lightly browned. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Oven Temperature: 375°F

Calories 283.8
Total Fat 6.58g, Saturated Fat 2.68g, Cholesterol 46.64mg, Sodium 1271.87mg, Potassium 651.9mg, Total Carbohydrates 36.39g, Fiber 7.37g, Sugar 9.41g
Protein 21.75g

Source: Clean Eating November/December 2011

Food & Community

I have hosted our west coast family Thanksgiving gathering since we finished building the house here at Skyote Mountain. We met before that at the Sacramento home of my first cousin once-removed, but with the loss of a few family members, and the addition of our new home with lots of room for everyone, it made sense for the mantle to be passed to me. There are our core group of family members, other family who may or may not be here, and others who join us for one year or who become regulars along with family. It always feels very special to come together again and celebrate our gratitude for each other and for all that we have, and feasting is definitely a big part of the agenda. I generally roast the turkey and make a stuffing on the side, along with a bread or rolls (Leek Walnut Sourdough this year – that’s becoming a tradition), and a dessert (gluten-free, dairy-free pumpkin pie this year). My aunt Pat and uncle Charlie and their daughter Laura bring makings for mashed potatoes, which get done just before we eat, along with another stuffing (this year they made a artichoke mushroom crustade instead), an Indian spiced green dish, chocolate mousse, and another dessert, usually an apple or pear torte. Others bring sweet potatoes (two different recipes this year), cranberry sauce (with pears this year), and whatever else seems good to add. We had crudites with hummus and mohamra (I made that – I’ll share the recipe here), puff pastries with anchovies, roasted brussels sprouts, gluten-free dairy-free pumpkin walnut bars and some very nice wines.

I love the last minute cooking we do, several things all going on at once in the kitchen. There’s a real sense of community coming together, working together to create this celebratory feast, and enjoying each other’s company for the evening.


I have several recipes for this, each with a different spelling of the name. I had to search for where this particular recipe came from, as it is my favorite. It was published in Bon Appetit in December 1987, in response to a reader’s rave about this Lebanese dish from Fred Habib at the Bourock restaurant in Brooklyn Heights, NY. Thanks to my recipe archive, where this clipping has lived all these years, and Google (which provded Fred Habib’s name), I can credit the source.

2 cups walnuts, ground
3 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and chopped
2 Tbs grenadine molasses, or honey
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

1. Blend the first five ingredients in food processor to coarse grainy puree. Put in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.

2. Serve with warm pita.

Servings: 20

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/20 of a recipe (1.5 ounces)
Calories 106
Total Fat 9.11g
Saturated Fat 0.92g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 60.23mg
Potassium 116.15mg
Total Carbohydrates 5.61g
Fiber 1.37g

Apple Pecan Rye Sourdough Bread

I’ve been baking this one a lot lately – you can see it on 11.10 (plain) and 11.11 (with blue cheese and black sesame spread). Rene’ is a bread eater, so I bake healthy breads to make sure he is not eating empty calories.

Apple Pecan Rye

I created this several years ago in an attempt to recreate a wonderful bread made by Ecco il Pane in Vancouver. It’s not the same, but it turned out quite good on its own.

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup water
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup rye flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ cups apple, peeled, cored, chopped
1 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

1. Add ingredients except apples and pecans to bread machine. After a few minutes of mixing, add apples and pecans.

2. After bread machine is done, place in loaf pan and let rise 20 minutes. Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Can be baked in the cloche, but it spreads and flattens quite a bit.

Servings: 22
Yield: about 2.75 lb. loaf (2 oz. slices)

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving
Calories 128.58
Total Fat 3.94g
Saturated Fat 0.32g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 159.56mg
Potassium 53.38mg
Total Carbohydrates 20.23g
Fiber 3.23g
Sugar 1.13g
Protein 3.36g

Holiday Indulgences & Curry Yogurt Dressing

The holiday season with its wealth of treats has begun, and my Sunday eating reflects it! I definitely had more of the Gianna’s cookies than I needed, along with a few yummy tartlets, and just too much food in general.

I am so grateful that my appetite does balance itself out, so I found myself not all that hungry on Monday, and ate fairly light. My approach to eating is never an all or nothing deal – I eat what I want to eat, but usually in moderation, with planned indulgences that are a small part of the overall picture of my nutritional intake. When I stay aware of what I am doing, and make conscious choices, and pay attention to what my body tells me, this works very well.

Tracking my intake, through these pictures and through writing it down much of the time (I’ve used DietPro in the past, I’m now experimenting with’s MyPlate) gives me the information I need to keep my eating supportive of my health and fitness.

Curry Yogurt Dressing

A creamy dressing for salads, made with yogurt and mayonnaise with spices. You can substitute other herbs or spices, and use various kinds of vinegar instead of the lemon juice.

1/4 cup Greek Yogurt – Plain, Nonfat
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Curry Powder

Serves: 5
Yield 5 ounces, 2 Tblsp. per serving
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 oz
Calories 80, Total Fat 8.86g, Saturated Fat 1.61g, Cholesterol 4mg, Sodium 75.45mg, Total Carbohydrate 1.24g, Dietary Fiber 0.14g, Sugars 0.65g, Protein 1.08g

Soup for Fall

A walk at dusk inspired soup for dinner. Fall has arrived, and I’m happy to have the wealth of colorful organic peppers still here, even as the winter squash, pomegranates, and persimmons arrive. The last of the plums, peaches, and nectarines sit next to the asian pears in the Kashiwase booth at the Santa Cruz Wednesday Farmer’s Market, and my fruit bin is filling up with the newly harvested apples. I love buying my vegetables based on what is in season and planning my meals based on that – but one of the vendors mentioned that we are at the end of the carrot season, and I must admit that when carrots are not available at the famer’s market, I am not yet ready to give them up for the season!

Azuki Bean Soup

adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Specials
1/2 oz dried shitake
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon coconut oil
168 grams onions, chopped (1 medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger root, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
109 grams carrots
100 grams parsnips
43 grams celery
3 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups adzuki beans
201 grams bok choy, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 Pour boiling water over shitakes and set aside.
2 Heat oil, add onions, garlic, ginger, and salt and sauté until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.
3 Peel and slice carrots and parsnips into small pieces. Thinly slice celery. Remove shitakes from water, reserving soaking liquid. Discard any tough stems and thinly slice the caps. Add carrots, parsnips, celery, and shitakes to pot and sauté 3 minutes.
4 Strain shitake-soaking liquid and add it to the doup pot with the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 mintues, until carrots and parsnips are tender. Stir in beans and bok choy and return to a simmer. Cook until bok choy is wilted, then add soy sauce and pepper.
Servings: 6
Yield: 9 cups
Nutrition (per serving): 185.3 calories; 11% calories from fat; 2.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 583.1mg sodium; 771.5mg potassium; 32.9g carbohydrates; 8.8g fiber; 3.9g sugar; 24.1g net carbs; 9.1g protein.

Return of the Computer Routines – and Poppyseed Ginger Rye Muffins

After 10 days of computer nightmare, I am back on my laptop again. Perhaps a break would have been easier if I did not have so much work and so many projects that are computer dependent. Now there is catching up to do – and getting ready for travels again, as I am off to Gabriola Island, BC on Friday to teach Guiding the Journey. Once again, I work my way through what is in the refrigerator, using up what I can in the next few days. I have a wealth of plums that I could not resist at the Farmer’s Market last week – time to think of what I’d like to create with them, in between packing and preparing.

In the midst of the most distressing parts of the computer struggles, I was reminded of how calming cooking can be. The familiar rituals of chopping vegetables, puttering around the kitchen, preparing something nutritious and satisfying to eat – these activities were grounding at a time when it was easy to fly off into distress at the idea of not having my handouts put together in time for the workshop, or not having my primary music source for the movement work. I am deeply relieved that all is in place to proceed – and glad that I can be soothed by something as simple as preparing food.

Poppy Seed Ginger Rye Muffins

I developed this recipe originally during the time of much muffin baking as our house building project started in spring 2000 – I’d feed muffins to the crew that had come to prepare our driveway and dig our foundation. Today, by mistake, I used rye flour, and came up with this adaptation.
1 cup rye flour
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup crystallized ginger

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately. Combine briefly and scoop into muffin tins sprayed with cooking oil (I used Spectrum coconut oil). Bake at 350° F for 20-25 min.
Makes 12 muffins
Nutrition (per muffin): 189.8 calories; 42% calories from fat; 9.4g total fat; 39.7mg cholesterol; 143.5mg sodium; 136.5mg potassium; 24.1g carbohydrates; 1.8g fiber; 14.7g sugar; 22.2g net carbs; 3.4g protein.

Moroccan Chickpea Cauliflower Tagine

I doubled the cauliflower (the original had only 2 cups) in this recipe from Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health’s Seasonal Menus: Summer 2010, by Deb Morgan. It combined beautifully with Quinoa with Latin Flavors and Roasted Romano Beans for dinner last night.


Moroccan Chickpea Tagine

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large onion, medium diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
splash red wine, water, vegetable broth
4 cups small cauliflower florets
1/2 large red bell pepper, medium diced 2 stalks celery, medium diced
1 small carrot, medium diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 small zucchini, sliced in half-moons
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
splash lemon juice
4 lemon wedges
1 Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and paprika and stir until the spices release their fragrance. Add the onion and sauté until it is thickened and slightly browned. Whisk in the splash of wine, water, or stock and stir until all browned bits have been released from the bottom of the pan.
2 Turn the heat up to medium-high and add in the cauliflower, peppers, celery, carrot, chickpeas, and raisins. Add salt and vegetable stock and simmer until the vegetables are just tender. Add the zucchini and continue to cook until the zucchini is just tender, stirring occasionally. Splash with a squeeze of lemon and stir in the toasted almonds. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Servings: 4
Nutrition (per serving): 360.5 calories; 31% calories from fat; 13.2g total fat; 0.9mg cholesterol; 1833.2mg sodium; 958.0mg potassium; 55.5g carbohydrates; 11.5g fiber; 12.2g sugar; 43.9g net carbs; 11.4g protein.
Author: Deb Morgan
Source: Kripalu Seasonal Menus

Grandma Helen’s Chopped Eggplant

I had some of Grandma Helen’s Chopped Eggplant with my 2nd meal of the day on Tuesday. I never know whether to call it “salad” or “spread” – but I have always liked it. And I love remembering my grandma whenever I make it. I’ve changed a few things, reducing the mayonnaise and adding Greek yogurt, but the rest is hers, and taken from the recipe cards she left us when she passed away 27 years ago. Thanks, Grandma, for this and so much more!

Helen Drucker’s Chopped Eggplant

340 grams eggplant, broiled, peeled, & drained (3 small)
3 hard boiled eggs
100 grams diced onion (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch oregano
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon reduced fat mayonnaise

1 Chop eggplant, grated eggs, & onion in chopping bowl. turn into serving dish, add salt, oregano & yogurt & mix well.
2 OR drop garlic clove into food processor, then add eggplant and onion and pulse a few times to chop. Add egg, yogurt, mayo and spices and mix a bit more.

Servings: 5
Yield: 1/2 cup servings

Preparation of Eggplant: Place eggplant, on baking sheet covered with parchment paper, under broiler. Turn a couple of times & broil until soft – about 20 minutes. Cut off stem & peel off skin
Cut up eggplant on drain board & salt lightly. Liquid will run off into sink. Put eggplant into strainer to remove remaining liquid.

Nutrition (per serving): 91.4 calories; 43% calories from fat; 4.4g total fat; 144.7mg cholesterol; 296.4mg sodium; 246.5mg potassium; 7.0g carbohydrates; 2.6g fiber; 3.3g sugar; 4.4g net carbs; 6.3g protein.