Friday, January 6, 2017

Just Peachy Hoppin John with Kale #GardenCuizine #HappyNewYear #GoodLuck #cowpeas @foodbankSJ @EatRight_NJ

Just Peachy
Hoppin' John with Kale

This high fiber, low sodium recipe was made similar to my GardenCuizine New Year's recipe post last year. This year I changed the greens from spinach to kale and added one jar of flavorful Just Peachy Salsa - a local salsa blend from The Food Bank of South Jersey.

Follow the recipe here 
with the following substitutions:
  • Use black-eyed cowpeas (Fagiolo dell'occhio) from your own garden; or, if you only were able to harvest a small baggie full like us - use store-bought, plus whatever you can spare of your own. I added 1/4 cup extra cowpeas from our garden for good luck!
  • Use Kale greens instead of spinach: rinse kale, pick off stems, break leaves into bite size pieces. Follow recipe.
  • Stir in one, 16-ounce jar Just Peachy Salsa (or 1-2 cups chopped tomatoes)
Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Simmer on low heat partially covered until ready to serve. 

Happy and Healthy New Year 2017!
Related Links

Cowpeas Recipes
Just Peachy Salsa Provides Funds to Help Food-Insecure Families
Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Christmas Lasagna #Sicilian #Dinnerisready #GardenCuizine #holidayrecipe

 Christmas Lasagna
Mom didn't cook much, but she always made us lasagna at Christmas. Last year we made lasagna for Christmas and enjoyed it. This year we made it again and declared lasagna our official Christmas dinner entree! 
Here is my version of Mom's Christmas Lasagna recipe. I may adjust this the next time I make it, so do check back. 

Note: if you are vegetarian, you can sub Boca burger crumbles for the ground beef. And, if you are vegan, simply swap the ricotta with firm tofu, omit the eggs and use soy cheeses.
1 lb. Ground beef (or half beef, half Italian sausage; or for Vegetarian use Boca burgers crumbled)
1 med Onion, chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves chopped

pot of boiling water
9 lasagna noodles 

Homemade pasta sauce (make in advance and freeze in quarts for convenience)

1, 32 oz container ricotta cheese (lately we've been using whole milk ricotta)
2 large eggs, whisked
1 1/2 cups (plus another cup for topping) shredded mozzarella
1/4-cup (plus another 1/8 cup for topping) Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (about 3 twists)
pinch ground nutmeg (5 swipes fresh on rasp)
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Putting it all together
Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

Set aside a 13 x 9 x 2-inch Pyrex baking dish
  • Saute onion and garlic; stir in the ground beef and cook. (*Mom would include ground Italian sausage too) Drain fat and set aside.
  • Warm up pasta sauce in a sauce pan; cover and set aside.
  • In a bowl, using a rubber spatula, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1 T parsley and eggs 
  • Cook lasagna noodles al'dente; rinse under cold water and set aside.
  • Spoon a layer of sauce on the bottom of baking dish
  • Place 3 noodles, side by side, over the sauce
  • Add a layer of blended cheese (I used a small scoop to portion it out and then pressed it down)
  • Add a layer of cooked ground beef
  • Top with a layer of sauce and repeat with another layer. Note: any leftover ricotta cheese can be saved for other recipes.
  • Top the final layer with sauce and sprinkle with additional shredded mozzarella and Parmesan and dried herbs: oregano and remaining parsley.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove cover and cook another 10-15 minutes or until top layer of cheese is golden
  • Leftovers can be frozen and reheated.
      Serve with a tossed garden salad and/or a generous side of veggies like kale or broccoli rabe
      Our Christmas desserts this year included pumpkin pie and holiday cookies made with spices, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit. Hope your holiday was just as wonderful!
      Buon Natale!  
      Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. 
      Merry Christmas! Blessings for a Happy and Healthy 2017

      Friday, December 23, 2016

      Homemade Yellow Split Pea Soup #healthy #comfortfood #cooking #GardenCuizine

      Yellow Split Pea Soup

      We warmed up today with homemade soup for lunch that provided nourishment and comfort all in one. I actually made the soup last week when I came across a partially used bag of yellow split peas in our pantry and decided to use it up in soup. 

      Split peas are an excellent source of dietary fiber and are a good source of protein. The soup tasted great topped with garlic-herb croutons that I made using leftover white bread ends from when we volunteered at St. Paul's Church pancake breakfast in Camden, NJ.

      Recipe Yields 3 quarts and can be frozen

      8 cups water
      2 cups yellow split peas
      3 apples, peeled and chopped
      1 onion, chopped
      2 celery sticks, chopped
      1 carrot, chopped
      1 clove garlic, minced
      2 bay leaves
      2 tablespoons (tblsp) yeast flakes*
      1 tblsp Biryani curry paste*
      1/2 teaspoon (tsp) salt

      Putting it all together
      In large stock pot, saute onion, celery and carrots until onion appears translucent. Stir in Bryani paste and minced garlic. In a hand held colander, rinse the split peas and remove any pieces that don't look right. Add peas and water to the sauteed veggies. Add bay leaves and apples. Simmer covered until peas are completely cooked and soft. Stir in salt and yeast flakes. Remove the 2 bay leaves. Puree using a hand held mixer.

      Serve warm topped with garlic-herb croutons


      * Biryani Curry Paste adds a blend of flavors: coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, salt, red chili, tamarind, pepper, clove, cardamom, cinnamon and other spices. Yeast flakes are a vitamin fortified food product that adds flavor. I used it on the croutons too. 

      GardenCuizine Nutrition facts coming soon...

      Monday, December 5, 2016

      @FCPDPG Yes, a tour of @atlanticcape greenhouse! Aloe, nasturtiums, radish, lemongrass... #GardenCuizine

      Long overdue visit to
      Academy of Culinary Arts (ACA)
      Mays Landing, NJ
      It felt really good to go back to my Alma mater, The Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, NJ after over a decade; 12 years to be exact. After attending ACA I went on to become an RD, both adventures were special accomplishments in my life making me a proud dietitian-chef.

      This morning, the culinary students did a good job preparing healthy vegetarian breakfast entrees. Some made multigrain waffles; others made egg white omelets served with fakin' bacon and Ezekiel whole grain toast. Students also prepared Quinoa and Acai bowls. 
      Garnish options included parsley, granola, apples, pomegranate, orange, banana and fresh berries.

      The students worked quickly to prepare and present their plate ups for critique and review from the Chef Instructor. Chef Chelius graded as she tasted and tested the temperature of each food.
      After evaluations, students then moved to the back of the kitchen and stood around a display of food products for a sugar lesson. Each food or drink had a baggie beside it showing the amount of sugar it contained. I use similar props in my nutrition education lessons. Visual aides really work. The students' eyes opened wide as they each looked at the amount of sugar in Red Bull, some yogurts, lemonade, iced tea and other popular foods. 

      Finally, after a busy morning, the students took their seats in the adjoining classroom for my talk about becoming an RDN-chef and about The Academy of Nutrition and The Food and Culinary Dietetic Practice Group that I am a member of. I concluded with a brief discussion about food groups, portions and MyPlate. 
      Afterwards, Dean McClay gave me a terrific tour of their greenhouse. Potted citrus trees greeted us at the entrance. One had thorns bigger than I've ever seen! Their Aloe, tomatoes, oregano and nasturtiums were thriving and blooming. I didn't notice any thyme or Bay leaf trees, which would be useful culinary plants to have.
      The greenhouse wasn't available for the culinary school back when I attended. What a great addition and resource it must be for the Chefs and students.
      ACA also grows chives, pineapple, parsley, Swiss chard, radish, lemongrass, figs, citrus, micro greens and other herbs and veggies. Walking into the greenhouse for fresh food is every cooks dream; every restaurant should have access to one.
      And, I never knew Dean McClay had a green thumb! She knew all about what's growing in the greenhouse. She even installed a hydroponic growing area. She showed me a worm bin. And, she shared several fresh radishes for me to take home too. So Awesome - Thanks!

      On our way back from the greenhouse we bumped into Chef Latorre, a culinary school friend, who now works at the Academy. Lucky students - she worked as a pastry chef at The Borgata. It was great to see our first place ribbon and team photo hanging in the hallway. I snapped a quick pic and posted it on Instagram. Great Memories!

      I enjoyed seeing old friends and Chef Instructors at ACA. Thanks to everyone for your warm hospitality. Harry and I look forward to visiting the ACA's Caremes restaurant someday soon.

      Happy and Healthy Holidays!

      Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

      Saturday, November 26, 2016

      Garden Greetings ~ Fountain love #gardenfountain #gardendream #gardenchat

      From the Kitchen 
      to the Garden
      Thanksgiving was a day for the kitchen, today was a day for the garden. How do you like my priorities? Kitchen-Garden.
      Today we unpacked (or I should say, the guys from the Garden Center unpacked...) our long awaited for 3-tier fountain! It was worth the wait. What a nice surprise for it to arrive Black Friday weekend.
      I'm not crazy about the fake crack design on both sides of the base. Of course, in the Massarelli's catalog the crack was not shown; but even so, I'm still in love. A 300+ pound concrete fountain is something a garden girl can get excited over! Mom even got up to take a peak at this fabulous water feature being installed.
      Hopefully the temperature here in South Jersey will be above freezing for this coming week, but I know that pretty soon we'll have to drain the water and patiently wait until springtime to  hear the waterfall sounds again.

      And, as for the caryopteris shrub that was in that spot? Well, after we dug it up it easily pulled apart into several clumps; three were added to the butterfly garden and another got planted nearby our rain barrel.

      Garden Greetings!

      Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

      Sunday, November 20, 2016

      Today in Our Fall Garden #GardenCuizine #HappyThanksgiving

      Today in Our Fall Garden
      South Jersey 
      USDA zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
      Yesterday felt like the last warm Fall day here in South Jersey. With the exception of red, orange and yellow, the blue, pink and pale colored Summer blooms are starting to look out of place - yet they'll continue to bloom until the first hard frost:
      • Salvias (Pineapple sage, Lady-in-Red, Coral Nymph, Black and Blue, Guaranitica), Cosmos, Firecracker plant (shown), trailing Abutilon (shown) and Nicotiana.  
      Even Mom had a chance to sit and read the paper on the front porch while enjoying some fresh air and sunshine. 
      And, what a difference a day makes; today became windy and 20 degrees cooler! 
      Our gardens linger on and have not completely succumbed. Prolific red currant tomatoes and long hot peppers appear to glow against brown dying vines.

      Once we get a killing frost we'll dig and store canna and dahlia tubers in peat moss to over winter as always.
      Haven't the leaves been especially vibrant and beautiful this fall? Fall leaves make great compost when chopped up. A simple run over with a lawn mower will allow the leaves to return valuable nutrients to your grounds.
      We wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

      Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

      Monday, November 14, 2016

      @@InspiraHN Program this Friday #Fall Apple #dessert: Crisp, Cobbler or Crumble? #GardenCuizine @EatRightNJ @FCPDPG

      Apple Dessert
      Crisp? Cobbler or Crumble?

      Good Source Fiber and Vitamin C
      What's the difference between an Apple Crisp, Apple Cobbler or Apple Crumble? Come find out and join us this Friday at Inspira Health Network's Senior Health Program that includes a catered lunch and guest speaker, who is guess who?... yours truly! I'm looking forward to it and will be joined by three dietetic interns.  

      Serves 15
      Cranberry Apple Crisp
      12 Gala Apples
      3 cups cranberries
      12 graham cracker squares
      3/4 cups brown sugar
      1 cup rolled oats
      1/2 cup all purpose flour
      2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      3/4 cups margarine, melted 
      Cooking demo featuring Diana Wind, RDN presented to Inspira Health Network Senior Health Program 
      Putting it all together
      1. In a plastic baggie, use a rolling pin or your hands and crush the graham crackers to desired texture.
      2. Peel, core and slice apples and place on bottom of 9 " x 13" baking dish. Add cranberries and combine.
      3. Mix dry ingredients together, then add the melted butter. Combine.
      4. Spoon the crumbs over the fruit and bake at 350 deg F. for 45-60 minutes.
      Recipe compliments of Inspira 2016 Dietetic Interns
      GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Apple Crisp: 1/15 of recipe: about 130g
      Good Source: Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C
      Calories: 241; Total Fat 7g (10% DV); Saturated Fat 2g (9% DV); Trans Fat 0; Cholesterol 0; Sodium 126 mg (5% DV); total Carbohydrates 45 g; Dietary Fiber 4g (15% DV); Net Carbs: 41 CHO (about 3 Carb servings); Vitamin A (9% DV); Vitamin C (13% DV); Thiamin ~0.1mg (~10%DV)
      Related Links
      What's the Difference between a Crisp, Cobbler or Crumble?

      Photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

      @AmDiabetesAssn Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes #GardenCuizine #diabeticrecipe #lowcarb #Thanksgiving

      Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
      low carb - fat free
      high Vitamin C 
      According to many parents I've spoken with, mashed cauliflower tastes so good that even children who don't eat their veggies will eat this. Pureed veggies add good nutrition for adults too, especially those on bariatric diets and anyone needing soft, pureed food

      Nutrient dense cauliflower is considered a brassica or cruciferous veggie, which scientific studies show as being important for disease prevention. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare and is low in carbohydrates making it a healthy choice for diabetics, especially on Thanksgiving - a day known for excess carb consumption. 

      Serves 6
      Cauliflower 1 large head (840g)
      2 cups water
      1/4 cup dried potato flakes
      salt and pepper

      Putting it all together
      • Wash and chop cauliflower into florets. Place cauliflower in pot and add water. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and steam cauliflower in covered pot. Cook until really soft. Strain saving liquid.
      • Puree in blender OR drain out some of the liquid and puree and mash the cauliflower right in the pot, adding back more liquid if needed. 
      • Sprinkle in a little potato flakes to add desired texture. In my opinion, straight up cauliflower tends to lack the thicker, creaminess of potatoes; adding just a little potato flakes seems to perfect the recipe without adding any excess carbohydrates to worry about.  
      • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
      Note: no butter, milk or added fat needed if serving with gravy. If serving plain you may wish to add a tablespoon of butter, grated Parmesan cheese or Smart Balance spread.
      GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes  
      Serving size 1/6 recipe (147g)
      Excellent Source: Vitamin C and Folate
      Good Source: dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Potassium
      44 Calories; total fat 0; total carbohydrate 9g; dietary fiber 4g (15% DV); net carbs: only 5g; Vitamin C (112% DV WOW!); Vitamin B6 0.3mg (18% DV); Folate 81mcg (81% DV); Potassium 452mg (13% DV); beneficial plant sterols 25mg
      Related Links
      November is American Diabetes Month

      Recipe and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.