Archive of ‘FOOD’ category

Sweet Corn Bread

corn bread without writing

corn bread

After multiple posts on collard greens, I was craving something sweet to drown out the veggie coma I had slipped into. With collards on my mind, I could not think of a more perfect accompaniment to good ole southern collards than some warm and crumbly corn bread. Corn bread traditionally has loads of butter and is very often cooked in a cast iron skillet lined with bacon fat. Although I am not against the skillet, I do avoid excess bacon fat! The corn meal is often mixed with flour to create a more appealing texture. However, I have found that it is simpler and quite delicious to use 100% cornmeal (non-GMO of course!-I’ll get to this later). Using cornmeal alone allows for a gluten-free recipe as well. All of the fat in this recipe comes from natural sources-not processed oils or even butter.

Why zucchini, you ask…why take a perfectly good sweet recipe and ruin it with a vegetable!? Well…Why not! First of all, gives this bread a moist and
delicious texture. Using zucchini adds high quality fiber, Vitamin A and C, magnesium, folic acid and minerals. You will never even know it’s there! I got this one by my husband without an ounce of suspicion!

The most important point I will stress with this recipe is to use good ingredients. It is important to purchase high-quality corn meal to avoid without GMO’s. Genetically modified organisms, or GMO’s, are animals or plants whose genes have been manipulated through human engineering. Whether it be to create more fruit production in shorter period of time using plants that utilize less space per cubic inch, or creating a kernel that repels pest naturally, the goal of genetic modification is usually the same- to increase profits. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is, the process of genetic modification is fairly new, and became popular only in the mid-1990’s. Therefore, researchers still don’t know the effects this will have on our bodies in the long run.  For this reason, myself and many others believe that they should be avoided. Foods commonly known to have GMO’s are: Corn, soy, papaya, rice, potatoes, rBGH found in milk, and canola oil. Bob’s Red Mill is an outstanding company that dedicated itself to providing grain products that are GMO free. I used their fine grind cornmeal for this recipe. 20140413-144152.jpg

If you are familiar with cornmeal, you know that it is very hard and does not easily absorb liquids. For this reason, corn bread needs a good amount of moisture and fat to make up for its dryness. I use full-fat canned coconut milk, eggs, and maple syrup to give the finished product a moist texture. The zucchini helps a lot as well. Coconut milk offers many great benefits and is naturally high in fat. It has such a beautiful fragrence but is truly undectable in the finished cornbread. This will substitute dairy and oil in our recipe. I love using real maple syrup in recipes as it is minimally processed and adds such a deeply rich flavor. The great thing about using a natural sweetener like maple syrup is the added benefit of minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and manganese, as well as polyphenols (antioxidants). Try finding that in white sugar!

This recipe is super easy! Just toss everything into the food processor, give it a whir and bake! It can be divided into 12 or 16 squares. Of course, I like bigger pieces so 12 is my choice, and with only 189 calories per square- the bigger the better!

Sweet Corn Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 12 Squares


  • 1 Large Zucchini, Peeled
  • ½ Cup Full-Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Egg
  • ¾ Cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 1/4 Cup Organic Cornmeal
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 inch square pan with coconut oil
  3. Add zucchini to food processor, and puree.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth
  5. Pour batter into greased pan, and bake for 25 minutes
  6. Allow to cool before serving. Enjoy!


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Sweet and Spicy Greens



A new spin on greens…super flavorful, tangy, spicy greens that will tantalize your taste buds. This dish will make you forget you’re eating healthy, let alone collard greens. These greens are so tasty, even my husband will eat them! The secret is adding layers of flavor by way of garlic, ginger, soy sauce and vinegar. They get a serious kick from chili flakes (if you aren’t a fan of spice, then simply back off a little on the red pepper flakes), and a mild sweetness from luscious honey. 20140402-230010.jpg

This dish is pretty simple, even for a weeknight. Much of the bold flavoring comes from a generous amount of immune-boosting garlic and ginger. First, sauté garlic, ginger, and chili flakes until tender. Add the greens and allow to cook until thoroughly wilted. Then add the additional flavoring ingredients: soy, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Cook on medium-high heat allowing liquid to evaporate, while stirring occasionally.

Add a sweet kick to your meal, while getting the goodness of these cruciferous greens. I had mine on a bed of brown rice with a perfectly cooked poached egg. It was absolutely fabulous! Poached egg on top

SIDEBAR: I have to admit that I very recently learned how to make a perfectly poached egg from the Chew’s Clinton Kelly. The Chew is one of my absolute favorite shows. I hoard them on my DVR and usually watch while I’m cooking away in the kitchen. Btw I would totally recommend it to anyone interested in daytime cooking hilarity. Anywho, Clinton revealed the most ridiculously simple method to poaching eggs: Bring a pot of water to boil. Once it boils remove from heat, add egg, and set timer for 6 minutes. Remove the egg after 6 minutes, and voila! You have yourself a perfect little egg. You’re welcome.


Feel free to adjust the heat level of these greens to your liking. The amount of chili flakes in the recipe is for very spicy greens. You may want to halve or quarter the pepper if you are not as fond of the heat. You can remove the chili altogether to create sweet and sour collards. They too will be a smash hit!

Sweet and Spicy Greens


  • 1 lb Collard Greens, Washed and Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 6-8 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1- Two Inch Section Ginger, Minced
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, Torn
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or Tamari (Gluten-Free)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider or Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil


  1. Sauté garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in olive oil on medium heat until cooked through.
  2. Add collards and allow to wilt until tender, about 5 minutes, while stirring regularly.
  3. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the remaining ingredients. Stir as to not to burn the greens but allow to caramelize.
  4. When most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan, the greens are done. Enjoy!

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Mediterranean Stuffed Collard Greens

Finished Product 1

Finished Product 1 The lack of enthusiasm generated from my last post on collard greens made me wonder if it is due to the true unfamiliarity that many have with these large leaves. Being the ever-persistent little bugger that I am, I decided not to throw in the towel in hopes that all will instantly see the magic in collards. I will educate you on the versatility and deliciousness that these greens have to offer. This post kicks off the first of a three part recipe series on collard greens.

I decided to start off with Mediterranean Stuffed Collard Greens because the focus is not necessary on the green itself. The focus is on the delicious filling and rich tomato sauce that smothers each bundle of love. As with most of my more involved recipes, each step is unbelievably simple. So although it may seem like the recipe is complicated, just take it step by step, and you will be amazed with how simple it truly is. Like stuffed grape leaves or stuffed cabbage, these are a labor of love, so take your time and enjoy the process.

Begin with the sauce. Often canned tomatoes have a very acidic “edge” to them, almost bitter really. It is quite common for a chef to add a teaspoon or two of sugar to balance that acidic bite. However, I recommend adding one whole chopped carrot to the sauce at the start. This adds a natural sweetness as well as a nutrient kick, without being detectable by taste. You can process the carrots in the food processor if you don’t want them to be seen by the naked eye. Trust me, no one will ever know. I just roughly chopped these, as I like the chunkiness. A truly delicious sauce needs the most important ingredient: TIME. So let this sauce simmer for at least an hour, and if you aren’t busy, let it go longer.

Sauce Ingredients

The filling is very simple. With brown rice, mushrooms, and beans, it is hearty enough to skip the meat. However, ground turkey or chicken breast and lean ground beef would do well in here. I would just recommend adding some of the tomato sauce to the filling to keep it from getting too dry.

Filling Ingredients

The collards should be washed and blanched for 2-3 minutes in a pot of boiling water. I recommend leaving the stems on, as they become much easier to fish out.

Collards Unwashed

Blanching collards

Once they are cooled, cut the stems out and overlap the cut ends to ensure a sturdy wrap for our filling. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the filling and roll up like a burrito, first folding up the bottom, then folding in the two sides, and finally completing the rollup. I like to have extra leaves to allow for error. If a leaf tears as you are rolling, just insert the whole thing into another leaf. A double leaved rollup is even better!

Placing filling

Place each little soldier in an orderly fashion in a baking dish.

Rolled Collards

Cover with sauce, then foil, and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Rolled collards top view

Topped with sauce

Mediterranean Stuffed Collard Greens

Yield: 8 Stuffed Leaves


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot, Chopped or Minced
  • 1- 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
  • Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Filling
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Can Cannellini Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
  • 6 Large Button or Crimini (Baby Bella) Mushrooms, Chopped
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 12 Intact Collard Greens, Washed


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. For the Sauce:
  3. Saute garlic, onion, and carrot in olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes, basil, and spices.
  4. Simmer for a minimum of one hour.
  5. For the filling:
  6. Saute the garlic and mushrooms until tender.
  7. Add the rice, beans, salt and pepper, and sauté until flavors have combined and all ingredients are heated through. Set aside.
  8. Preparing the Collards:
  9. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil. Place the collards in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, just until they are bright green and pliable.
  10. After removing from water, allow the leaves to cool slightly. Remove the stems from the center by carving them away with a knife.
  11. Completing the Rollups:
  12. Overlap the trimmed ends of the leaf to create a smooth and sturdy wrap. Add 3-4 tablespoons of the filling and roll up like a burrito, first folding up the bottom, then folding in the two sides, and finally completing the rollup.
  13. If the leaf tears halfway through the process, simply insert it into another leaf, allowing for a double-leaved rollup.
  14. Align rollups side by side in a square baking sheet and cover with all of the tomato sauce. Wrap the top with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.


*If the tomato sauce is still too acidic, you may want to add 1 tablespoon if honey to round out the flavor.

**These stuffed collard greens are delicious served hot or at room temperature. Drizzle with a thin stream of extra virgin olive oil if you so desire, and enjoy!
Finished product 2


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Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies

Blurred Tea with Stacked browines

Tea Blurred Brownies Stacked

You read right… Black Bean Brownies that are absolutely divine. I first must give credit to as this is where the recipe originated. I first tasted these babies through a fellow dietitian who brought in a sample to work. They were absolutely dreamy. I found the recipe and, of course, had to tweak it slightly to my taste. To appeal to my vegan friends, I removed the eggs and actually substituted them with a little ground flaxseed and water trick. I added some walnuts and pumpkin seeds because I love a little crunch in my brownies. I used a little less cane sugar and added in some coconut sugar for a deep brown sugar-like flavor. After a few tries, I found perfection. Surprisingly, the original recipe called for a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. I tried the recipe both with and without the vinegar and found the texture to be slightly more to my liking WITH it. The vinegar is undetectable by taste, so use it.  Stacked Brownied

Now this is not my first go at black beans in brownies…in fact, I have made them on multiple occasions. However, none of the recipes tasted as amazing as these. They have earned themselves a little spotlight in the blogosphere (and Gina from has as well of course!).

So not only are they rich and delicious little gems filled with fiber and protein, they are also astonishingly easy! You basically throw all ingredients except for the nuts and chocolate chips into a food processor and presto chango, you have transformed canned black beans into pure decadence!


Instead of the two eggs that the original recipe called for, I used 8 tablespoons of water blended together with 2 tablespoons of flax seeds to create an egg substitute rich in omegas. You are welcome to use the two eggs that are called for if you so choose.


 I also cut down the cane sugar and added some coconut sugar in lieu. Found in most health food stores, coconut crystals are basically just the sap from a coconut plant dried to form sugar-like crystals. Although there are many health claims swirling about this product, I am not so certain that they are all true. However, this form of sugar does have some minerals remaining from its originator and its taste is deep and- rich similar to brown-sugar. I love coconut crystals mostly for the flavor.


If you do not want to go through the trouble of finding coconut crystals, just use the original 3/4 cup cane sugar. Process all ingredients except for the chocolate chips, nuts, and seeds. Then stir them into the batter, spread into an 8 x 8 inch pan, and bake!

Brownie Batter in Pan

What you are left with is nothing short of heavenly. Enjoy!

Single Brownie with tea

Gluten-Free Black Bean Brownies


  • 1 14-ounce Can Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons Whole Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Cane Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Crystals
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips or Carob Chips
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend 1/2 cup water with flax seeds until smooth to make egg substitute.
  3. Add egg substitute along with remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips, walnuts, and pepitas, to a food processor.
  4. Process until very smooth.
  5. Transfer into mixing bowl and stir in chocolate chips, walnuts, and pepitas.
  6. Spread into greased 8 x 8 inch pan and bake for 28-31 minutes.
  7. Let brownies cool completely before cutting and serving.

For the original recipe at click here.


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Asian No Rice “Fried Rice”

Cover Picture

Cover Picture

  This is a smart dish that will absolutely blow you away with both its complex flavor and nutrient profile. By substituting cauliflower for actual rice, you not only lighten up the dish but you add cancer-fighting phytonutrients. With a somewhat mild flavor and soft texture after cooking, cauliflower is the ultimate substitute for rice. I promise, you will be AMAZED! …and never miss the rice! So I will admit, there are quite a few steps to this recipe, but the end product is beyond worth it – hang in there! Each step is major easiness so there is no way to really mess this one up. This is a perfect bring your own lunch (BYOL) recipe that should last you almost the whole work week. So a little legwork on the weekend will totally pay off. Not to mention the fact that you will be the talk of the break room with your super snazzy and smart fare. You could literally call this “BOTTOMLESS Asian No Rice Fried Rice” as you can eat all you want and only gain health (alright and a little extra sodium but who will really eat the entire recipe- I guess if you really want to, cut back on the soy sauce)! My point is this is a fabulous light dish that won’t assist in packing on the pounds, but will provide nourishment at a cellular level. It is also a vegan recipe, but feel free to serve with a lean protein such as salmon or chicken breast, or keep it veg and add some marinated tofu. Serve warm or cold, as a side or a main, for lunch or dinner, just try it. For the recipe in its entirety, please see below. Begin by making the Asian sauce with garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cilantro, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey. Then add this to your raw cauliflower that has been pulsed in the food processor.

Mise en place Cauliflower Sauce IMG_3032


Spread “rice” in one even layer onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3-5 minutes more. This softens the cauliflower, cooks the garlic and ginger, and adds a bit of crispness that is sinful.


Cauliflower Spread on baking sheet

While the “rice” is cooking in the oven, sauté shredded cabbage, onions, and carrots until tender. Carrot, onion, cabbage sautee

Mix the veggies with the rice, fresh cilantro, and roasted cashews and serve!

Finished product close up 2

Asian No Rice “Fried Rice”


  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or Gluten-Free Tamari, Divided
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider or Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Garlic, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Ginger, Finely Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro, Finely Chopped
  • 3 Scallions, Chopped
  • Rice:
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive or Coconut Oil
  • 1Tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower, Core Removed and Roughly Chopped
  • ½ Head Green or Savoy Cabbage, Thinly Sliced or Shredded
  • 2 Large Carrots, Thinly Sliced or Shredded
  • 1 Large Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • ½ Cup Fresh Cilantro, Torn
  • ½ Cup Roasted Cashews, Chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wisk together all liquid ingredients for the sauce, then stir in garlic, ginger, chopped cilantro and scallions. Set aside.
  3. In batches, pulse cauliflower until it resembles grains of rice. Be careful to not over process as the cauliflower will eventually turn to a puree.
  4. Pour sauce over cauliflower rice and mix.
  5. Spread in one even layer onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then broil for an additional 3-5 minutes- or until golden brown with some dark, crispy bits.
  6. While the cauliflower is cooking in the oven, sauté cabbage, onions, and carrots in oil with soy sauce on medium-high heat, until tender.
  7. Mix cauliflower with sauté mixture, cilantro, and cashews. Serve and enjoy!



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