Sunday, November 29, 2015

Diana's Italian Pizzelles recipe #holidaybaking #GardenCuizine

Diana's Italian Pizzelles

It's hard to believe it is still Thanksgiving weekend, but today does kick off Advent and all across America families are putting up their Christmas trees, holiday decor and baking Christmas cookies! I prefer to bake Italian holiday cookies because Mom loves them, they are delicious and they tend to be more wholesome than the average cookie. 

In general, Italian cookies call for high quality, natural ingredients such as butter, figs, nuts and seeds with just enough added sugar so they are not sickeningly sweet. Anise seeds work well in pizzelles.

Pizzelles, an Italian wafer cookie, appear during Christmas time (or Easter, or at Italian weddings!) and are one of Italy's oldest cookies. Pizzelles were originally made for the Feast Day of San Domenico in Abruzzo, which is not celebrated in December, but is celebrated May 1st.

To make pizzelles, you will need a good pizzelle iron to make the snowflake design. There are many types of pizzelle irons on the market; I'm partial to a nonstick iron. Some pizzelle irons can make 4 at-a-time; ours only has space to make two at-a-time. I purchased ours on a trip to Philadelphia's Italian Market and bought it at Fante's.

Recipe Yields: 50 pizzelles

2 tablespoons (Tbl sp) (28g) unsalted butter
2 Tbl sp (26g) vegetable shortening (trans fat free)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl sp Canola oil
1 tsp (2g) anise seeds

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 Tbl sp (15g) baking powder
1/8 tsp (dash) salt

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp anise oil (oil vs. extract - look for at your Italian Market)

Putting it all together
use the same method that I posted for my Cioccolato Pizzelles 

Buon Natale!

Related Links
Fante's Pizzelle Recipes
Photo and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Quick homemade Cocktail Sauce #GardenCuizine #recipe tastes great with crab cakes!

Homemade Cocktail Sauce
Cocktail sauce tastes great with seafood dishes such as crab cakes or shrimp. It's super easy to prepare. This is another GardenCuizine freestyle recipe; meaning you don't really need to measure the ingredients. Use your judgement and make it to your taste preference. Here is my recipe if you need a guide. You will only need 4 ingredients:

1 cup Ketchup (we use organic)
2 Tablespoons Horseradish
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon juice (fresh squeezed tastes best)
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or more or less as desired)

Putting it all together

Simply combine all the ingredients together; taste and adjust proportions as desired.

Buon Appetito!

We served homemade Cocktail Sauce last night on Crab Cakes
GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Crab meat: 
Excellent Source: Lean Protein, Zinc
Good Source: Vitamin E, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium
High in Cholesterol - all shellfish is high in cholesterol similar to the amount found in meat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting your total dietary cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg/day. 4 ounces of crab meat provides 100 mg cholesterol

Canned 4 oz blue claw crab meat only: 112 calories; Saturated Fat 0g; Total Fat 0g; Protein 23g; Vitamin E 2 mg (12% DV); Folate 48 mcg (12% DV); Magnesium 44 mg (12% DV); Potassium 420 mg (12% DV); Zinc 4.4 mg (32% DV);   
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Thanks @Healthykids for the Healthy Fun Thanksgiving #GardenCuizine @Kidseatright

Thanksgiving Veggie Dip
Turkey Appetizer

Thanks to social media and sites like Pinterest and Twitter, you can find fun, creative, ideas for all seasons. I spotted this colorful fella posted from Super Healthy Kids. I knew as soon as I saw it that I was going to try to make it for our adult dinner guests who are all kids at heart. 

My version of Mr. Pepper Turkey was quickly carved from a yellow bell pepper and stuffed with veggie dip made of hummus mixed with plain Greek yogurt. Kids would love to help make this.

His eyes were made from Cheerios and capers with a carrot slice for a beak and wattle. A green accent piece behind his head was made from a thin slice of acorn squash that I happened to have from preparing Baked Nutty for Thanksgiving.  

And, even though turkeys raised for Thanksgiving have mostly white feathers, this gobbler boasted colorful red and orange pepper feathers that were a good source of Vitamin A and high in Vitamin C.

Related Links
For Carving Directions
Photo and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Brussels Sprouts - Great flavor and Nutrition #GardenCuizine #Thanksgiving

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts are sprouting on restaurant menus across the country. And, in case you haven't noticed, they are a popular selection for Thanksgiving too.  

Brussels sprouts provide the body with important nutrients such as dietary Fiber, Folate and Vitamin A. We often think of citrus for vitamin C, but Brussels sprouts are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.

Our favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts is to saute them with a little butter and/or olive oil, salt and pepper; sometimes we add chopped onion. You could also roast them in the oven after tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper. The key is to cook the small cabbages until their outer leaves get brown and caramelized. And, when they do, the taste is out-of-this-world delicious!

You will see Brussels sprouts sold on the stalk during Thanksgiving in super markets across the country. Being known as a cruciferous or brassica vegetable, Brussels sprouts are among the most beneficial of veggies to eat because they also provide a source of sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are phytochemicals that scientific studies have shown may help prevent diseases such as cancer. 

Eating cruciferous vegetables like: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, turnips, radish, watercress, bok choy, horseradish and arugula will benefit your health. Try a taste of caramelized Brussels sprouts, you just may discover another veggie to add to your favorites.

Happy Thanksgiving!

GardenCuizine Brussels Sprouts Nutrition data: 

Excellent Source: Vitamin C, Vitamin K
Good Source: Vitamin A, Folate
1/2 cup 78 grams: total carbohydrate 6g; dietary Fiber 2g  (8% DV); Vitamin A 604 IU (12% DV); Vitamin C 48 mg (81% DV); Vitamin K 103 mcg (137% DV); Folate 47 mcg (12% DV); Potassium 247 mg (7% DV)

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Mashed Potaga" you heard it first on @GardenCuizine low-carb Thanksgiving side dish #EatWellAmerica

Mashed Potaga
low-carb, low-fat side dish
perfect for holiday meals
I created the name "Mashed Potaga" since it's a combination of potato and rutabaga. Mashing rutabaga is nothing new. Since rutabaga is not a starchy root vegetable, straight up mashed rutabaga isn't as comforting and creamy as mashed potatoes. By adding just a little potato to mostly rutabaga, the texture becomes comparable and even better because of the distinct, indescribable, good flavor. Mom loves this recipe!
In comparison to mashed potatoes, Mashed Potaga's have less than half the carbohydrates and less than half the calories. And, by making it yourself, you control how much salt is added. This recipe has half the sodium found in typical mashed potatoes.
This recipe is another example of healthy cooking on a budget. The approximate cost per person is less than 50 cents. Enjoy!

Yields: 6, one-cup servings

1 large rutabaga (also called waxed turnip)
1 medium potato (can be any kind; we've used Russet)
2 Tablespoons Smart Balance (or butter)
1/2 cup milk (we use 2%)
1 teaspoon horseradish minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Putting it all together

  • Wash, peel and cut rutabaga into small chunks. 
  • Place in stockpot, cover with water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or longer depending on how big you chopped the rutabaga. When rutabaga chunks are getting soft, peel and chop the potato into chunks. Add to the same pot. Cook until both potatoes and rutabaga are fully cooked and ready to mash. 
  • Remove the well cooked root vegetables with a slotted spoon. Mash using a ricer or food mill into a bowl. Use a potato masher to mix in the remaining ingredients. 
  • Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Place in covered serving dish. 
  • Can be made in advance and stored for several days in the refrigerator. Reheat in microwave or oven just before serving.
GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Mashed Potaga: 1 cup
   Excellent Source: Vitamin C
   Good Source: Dietary Fiber, Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamin B6
Calories 107; total fat 3g; saturated fat 1g; trans fat 0; sodium 256 mg (11% DV); total carbohydrates 18g; dietary Fiber 3g (11% DV); Potassium 574mg (16% DV); Magnesium ~38.3mg (~10% DV); Vitamin B6 ~0.3mg (~13% DV); Vitamin C 24.8 mg (41% DV)

Photos, Mashed Potaga comparison chart and recipe Copyright (C)Wind. *Mashed Potaga is a name created by GardenCuizine. All rights reserved.

Carving Carbs at Thanksgiving #GardenCuizine #EatWellAmerica @eatright

Carving Carbs at Thanksgiving
If a person had lung cancer from cigarette smoking, what would you think if they wanted to smoke just for the day on Thanksgiving? It's not a good idea, right? Like cancer, obesity is a disease. Overeating during the holidays, or any day for that matter, can be harmful to the health of adults and kids, especially those with diabetes and/or obesity.

If you are not sure you weigh more than you should, calculate your body mass index (BMI) on a free online app. Adults with a BMI greater than 30, and children and teens with a BMI percentile greater than the 95th percentile, should pay attention to diet and lifestyle choices to prevent obesity-related diseases like diabetes.

Diabetics and those overweight or obese know that it is hard to portion control carbohydrates on holidays - especially when you see food overflowing in the environment. The environment can be either at home, at a friend or family member's, or at a restaurant. No matter where you go, holiday feasts can be tempting to over indulge. The good news is that you can still enjoy a holiday feast while portion controlling carbohydrate foods at the same time.

Carbohydrate foods are important for energy, but excess can lead to high serum glucose levels and/or obesity. Excess carbs can come from sugary pies, cakes, cookies and drinks, or in classic Thanksgiving menu items such as cranberry jelly, starchy mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, stuffing and corn.

There are all kinds of ways to carve carbs on Thanksgiving. One way is to rethink candied sweets; you may be able to drastically cut the butter and brown sugar in your recipe and still find it fabulous. Or have you ever tasted rutabaga? Rutabaga can replace most of the potato in mashed potatoes. We made this and got thumbs up from kids and adults at a recent Inspira Health Network’s Diabetic Cooking Class. 
Some diabetic Thanksgiving recipes for cranberry jelly use sugar-free jello or artificial sweetener. I’m not a fan of artificial sweeteners, so I prefer to use pure sugar and eat a smaller portion. Knowing the nutrition data can also be helpful. For example, the GardenCuizine recipe for whole cranberry jelly uses 12 oz cranberries, 1/2-cup sugar and 1/2-cup orange juice, which yields 12 servings at only 12 grams net carbohydrates per serving.
Drink preferences easily put one at risk for consuming excess carbs. Depending on age, holiday drinks often include alcohol or sugary beverages such as sports drinks, soda, juice and sweet teas. Try substituting iced-water with sliced fruit. You may be surprised to see who drinks more calorie and carb-free water instead.
Another strategy to avoid eating excess carbs this Thanksgiving is to keep cookies and sweet treats out of sight until dessert time. Adults need to take the lead and not serve or allow children to eat excess carbohydrates. Keep dessert portions as small as possible. And, don’t forget to include fresh fruit. 
Did you know that stress increases blood sugar levels? So don’t stress out this holiday season and don’t skip or forget to eat breakfast on Thanksgiving morning. Eating breakfast may prevent overeating at dinner.  
Blessings for a Happy Thanksgiving from our kitchen to yours!

Related Links
Carve Carbs at Thanksgiving

Navigating the Holiday Feast
Photo and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Low-carb Mulled Apple Cider #EatWellAmerica #Thanksgiving #GardenCuizine

Mulled Apple Cider

Yields 7 cups

4 cups Apple Cider (read ingredient label: look for 100% apple juice, no added sugar!)

3 cups water
2, 4-inch cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
optional: float washed small orange studded with a few cloves in the pot for added flavor and fun; or 3 thin orange slices

Putting it all together
Combine all ingredients directly in a crock pot or stock pot. Heat to almost boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors blend and your guest arrive. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Another recipe just in time for National Diabetes Month. We served this at Inspira Health Network's Diabetic Cooking Class.

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data low carb cider: 1 cup, 8 oz., 240 ml: Calories 69 (versus 120 in apple cider), total Carbohydrates: 17g (vs 30g in one cup of apple cider), Vitamin C: 2.1mg (3% DV)

Photo and recipe Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Today in Our Fall Garden #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

Today in Our Fall Garden
South Jersey

Our unseasonably warm weather (77 deg F) has convinced a purple iris to bloom today! Even our creeping geranium and summer hanging baskets are still blooming away. The tulip and maple trees are not so convinced, though; their leaves continue to fall to the ground as fast as winter snow. 
Cannas and dahlias bordering our veggie garden show signs of dying down too. Soon we'll be digging up the tubers to store them for the winter. I hope to do better with dahlias next year - this season was not that great. Our best blooms were from red and yellow Show 'n Tell.

Garden for Wildlife
Just a few days ago our backyard neighbor had at least 5 deer peering over our fenced yard and garden! We welcome all wildlife and just wish they had more woods and undeveloped habitat areas. I saw the youngest dead on the road the next morning and always feel so sad to see animals hit by cars.

Just before watching all those deer, we saw a ground hog scamper up one of our wooden garden gates. He climbed right to the top, then hung his body over the gate, front legs dangling down. After a few long minutes, he dropped down into the garden. So it appears we have a resident ground hog that wasn't deterred by the fence. 

But, like us, not one of the critters seems interested in the remaining long, red Italian peppers that are still clinging to a few plants. 

Attention Seed Savers
Now is the time to collect as many seeds as possible before they drop to the ground. Some of my favorites include Jobs Tears, Coronado Hyssop, Coral Nymph and Lady-in-Red Salvias, which are actually still blooming!

Enjoy this beautiful Fall weather while you can. Cool, more seasonal air is sure to be here soon.
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Thyme for Chicken Zoodle Soup #GardenCuizine #lowcarb #recipe #EatWellAmerica

Thyme for Chicken Zoodle Soup!
Low Carb ~ Low Fat ~ Reduced Sodium 
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion - diced
2 celery - diced
2 carrots - diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
9 cups no salt chicken broth (the best way to get nutrient-rich, NO SALT broth is to make homemade!)
2 1/2 cups roasted chicken pieces (bite size) 
1 teaspoon salt
2 Zucchini - spiral cut (Veggetti kitchen gadget works great)
3 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese 
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley - chopped

Putting it all together
  • In a large stockpot over medium heat add olive oil. When hot: saute diced onion, carrots and celery until onion starts to become transparent. 
  • Stir in garlic, thyme and cayenne. 
  • Add broth and simmer until flavors blend. 
  • Stir in cooked chicken and salt simmer another 15 minutes. 
  • Using culinary shears or a knife, cut into the spiral cut zucchini noodles pile a few times to shorten the spaghetti-like strands. Add zucchini noodles, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Zucchini noodles cook fast so they are best added near the end.
  • Serve with additional grated cheese at the table. Enjoy!
This GardenCuizine recipe was created just in time for American Diabetes Month®, which takes place every November. National Diabetes Month is a good time to come together as a community to Stop Diabetes®! 

Yesterday's Diabetic Cooking class at Inspira Health Network featured this recipe. Both adults and children had fun taking turns using the Veggetti spiralizer kitchen gadget.

Comfort food - Nutritious and Delicious
Homemade Chicken Zoodle Soup provides you and your family with double the Vitamin A and Vitamin C found in canned soups such as: Healthy Choice Chicken Noodle, Progresso Heart Healthy roasted Chicken Noodle or Campbell's 25% less sodium Chicken Noodle. 

Heart Healthy
Cooking your own soup gives you control of the salt content, making it a better choice for heart health. This recipe has low sodium of 235 mg per cup, versus 910 mg high sodium in Nissin Chicken Flavor Ramen noodles or 470 mg in Progresso's heart healthy Chicken Noodle Soup. 

Using zucchini in place of pasta or rice also makes homemade Chicken Zoodle Soup lower in carbohydrates, which benefits those keeping count for a healthy body weight and diabetes control.

Happy and Healthy Cooking! 
a few of the recent statistics on diabetes:
  • Nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 86 million Americans have prediabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
  • The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion.
American Diabetes Month takes place each November and is a time to come together as a community to Stop Diabetes®!
- See more at:
Recipe, photos, blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. Stop Diabetes is a registered trademark of the American Diabetes Association.