Monday, March 30, 2015

Snack Attack or just Dehydrated? Enjoy Cucumber Water for Hydration #NNM #GardenCuizine

Snack Attack or just Dehydrated? 
Cucumber Water 
for Hydration

On several occasions, I've had people tell me how they drink cucumber water rather than soda or juice as a way to cut out unwanted calories. And, I've noticed that sometimes people misinterpret thirst for hunger and may grab a snack when their body was really in need of a drink of water instead.

We all know water is the best beverage you can drink and that water is essential for life. Enhancing water with a squeeze of fresh citrus or sliced cucumbers is naturally good for your body. I decided to make cucumber water for a recent Inspira Health Network cooking class and at a social event at church. The refreshing taste was a hit at both events. 

Cucumber water makes everyday water special for you, your family and your guests. Here is all you do to make cucumber water:

Water - enough to fill a favorite pitcher
1 Cucumber

Stevia natural sweetener drops (plain)- optional
Fresh Mint - optional

Putting it all together

  • Fill a clean glass or clear plastic pitcher with cold water.
  • Wash and prepare cucumber slices. You can peel the entire cucumber or just a portion (stripes) down the length of the cucumber.
  • Cut into 1/4 inch round slices. Cookie cutters can be used to cut out shapes in the center.
  • Add the sliced cucumbers to the water and refrigerate until serving to allow flavor to infuse.
Relax and enjoy a glass!

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data: One cucumber adds trace amounts of water soluble vitamins: Vitamin C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium
Related Links
Water: Meeting Your Daily Fluid Needs
Fit Facts, Healthy Hydration 
Rethink Your Drink
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

@cheezit @GoldfishSmiles @Quaker Quick Whole Grain Family Snack Mix @kidseatright #NNM

Dietitian Approved
Quick, Whole Grain 
Family Snack Mix
According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Snacks and Sweets are a major contributor to added sugars and saturated fat intake. What's the solution? Plan ahead and make healthy snacks for your family to help prevent eating unhealthy snacks. 

This affordable, healthy family snack is under 200 calories and is a good source of dietary fiber. The best part is convenience - it can be made in just a matter of minutes. Make a large batch and teach your family how to portion out a handful.  

Portion Control Tip: keep a small Dixie cup in the storage bowl to use as a 2 ounce serving scoop.


2 cups whole grain cereal (Quaker Oat Squares, Cheerios, etc)
1 cup low salt nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews or mixed nuts)
1 cup raisins
1 cup whole grain Cheez-It® crackers OR whole grain Goldfish® crackers

Putting it all together
Easy - Put all ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix to combine. Store in an airtight container.


Nutrition Data: one handful (30g) made using Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal, whole almonds and whole grain Cheeze-It crackers: 151 calories, 11g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0 zero trans fat, 25mg Sodium, 3g (12% DV) dietary Fiber, 5g Protein, 11g total Carbohydrates, (6% DV) calcium, (8% DV) iron

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Homemade Low-fat Ranch Dip or Dressing #GardenCuizine #NNM

Low-fat Ranch
Preservative free ~ No artificial flavors
    Ranch dressing continues to be a favorite of just about everyone I talk to. As a dietitian, my challenge is to steer individuals towards a healthier diet and lifestyle. Commercial Ranch dressings are loaded with over 20 ingredients including MSG. Here's how to quickly prepare a much healthier Ranch dressing with less than half the calories and fat as commercial Ranch. Even your picky eaters will enjoy the garden fresh and delicious flavor.

Yields: 10-12 ounces (about 24 tablespoons)
Suggested Serving Size: 1 to 2 tablespoons


1 cup lite mayo
1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) apple cider vinegar added to 1/2 cup low fat milk)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic - finely minced
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 Tablespoon fresh dill - chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder

    Putting it all together

  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jelly jar. I like using a jelly jar (less clean up!).
  • Whisk or shake well to combine.
  • Refrigerate 1 hour before serving. Shake again before serving.
    National Nutrition Month Snack Tips: Keep washed and cut veggies such as carrots, celery and sweet peppers stored in baggies on a visible shelf in your refrigerator. Have homemade Ranch in a container nearby as a healthy snack dip.  
Also, note that dill weed freezes well. A fresh bunch of dill can be rinsed (shake off excess water) and stored in a freezer baggie and used as needed in recipes.

Enjoy as a dip for raw veggies or as a salad dressing. Note: for a thinner consistency - simply add more milk as desired.

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Low-fat Ranch Dressing: 1 Tablespoon (15g): 34 calories, 3 g total fat, 0 saturated fat, 101 mg sodium, 1g total carbohydrate 
Photo and blog post recipe Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

@PhilaFlowerShow Great job to all for another fabulous #flowershow #gardenchat

2015 Philadelphia Flower Show
Congratulations to The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) for presenting another great Philadelphia Flower Show. The show attracts over 200,000 visitors each year. We mingled among the masses and really enjoyed this year's "Lights, Camera, Bloom" show.

Thanks to the snow, we spent the morning digging out, which cut our day short. I was sorry to miss the Garden-to-Table speaker and whole foods advocate, Sloane Six, of Quarry Hill Farm. The Flower Show offers too much to see and do in one visit; a 2-day-pass would be ideal. Is there even such a ticket?

The Flower Show grand Entrance Garden featured an Art Deco theater facade with a marquee covered in flowers and lights. Spotlights of color accented tall juniper and palm trees. 

Waves of red blooming roses and red salvias provided a red carpet of color near fountains with balls of multi-colored roses. Mass plantings included over 1,000 calla lilies and ferns. 

We enjoyed taking photos and videos along a Hollywood themed, star-studded rose garden located near the entrance. The only thing missing was fragrance.
Roses included: Henry Fonda, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Streisand. 
Stunning, grand ceiling chandeliers dripped with dried flowers, moss and colorful amaranth accented by long jewel strands.

Behind the entrance marquee visitors could view a huge 36-by-16-foot screen featuring classic movies.

My favorite gardens included a PHS Gold Medal Landscape winner by Inchscape called The Persian Garden,
inspired by the Disney film “Prince of Persia.” A mogul pavilion sat on the edge of a moat surrounded by tropical plants. Some of the tropical plants staged in this garden design by Michael Petrie's Handmade Gardens will be featured in my next "chocolate" garden article that I'm writing for Dave's Garden.
Cymbidium Mighty Tracey 'Moonwalk'
Another favorite exhibitor was South Jersey's Waldor Orchids - winner of a PHS Silver Medal. Their amazing orchids and exotic garden display was inspired by Disney's magical movie Peter Pan. I especially admired their green and chocolate-colored orchids.
Cymbidium Amesbury 'Green Sunlight'
University of Delaware received a PHS Silver Medal in Education for their Forest-to-Pharmacy display, Medicinal and Edible Plants of the Amazon Rainforest, which highlighted vital resources of The Amazon rainforest - reminding us that the Amazon rainforest is the “lungs of the world.” Almost half of the world’s medicines are derived from rainforest plants.
We especially enjoyed a presentation by Beekeeper Jim Bobb of Worcester Honey Farms. He discussed interesting facts about honey bees, calling bees "the most fascinating insects on earth." We learned about bee behaviors, their contribution to PA agriculture and about bee anatomy. Did you know that bees have 5 eyes?
With so much to see, we missed a lot, but nobody could miss Robertson’s Flowers and Events presentation of A Fairy Tale Ending – Cinderella’s Wedding. Their display featured a huge, white, French-style dining table setting with columns of hydrangeas and blooms directing attention to Cinderella's glass slipper. 
Special thanks to PHS, their sponsors, presenters and all the fabulous floral and landscape designers and gardeners that put together such a wonderful show.
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.
We missed the stars of our families: Mom and Helen. Best for speedy recoveries ladies!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Today in our Garden #GardenCuizine #NNM @PhilaFlowerShow

Today in Our Garden
Snow Melt today
Nothing like Boston's tally of snowfall (second snowiest since 1891 with 104.1 inches so far), but South Jersey's largest snowfall of this season was Thursday. We had 7 inches. Harry cleared out our driveway yesterday. Some snow melted today.
Wintering birds have been all over the seeds we've been putting out. The second heated water bowl has been a popular feature for wildlife. 

Philadelphia Flower Show
It's still not too late to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show for a taste of Spring. Did you go? Watch for my Philadelphia Flower Show post; plus, another Dave's Garden Chocolate Garden article featuring decadent plants from the show. 
Our Garden
The vegetable and herb garden is still completely covered under snow at this point... the focus now is indoors and getting ready to start growing veggie seeds under grow lights.

Seed Starting during National Nutrition Month® (NNM)
March marks NNM and the time to start growing seedlings like tomatoes and other garden annuals. We start ours on St. Patty's Day so they don't get too leggy and overgrown. Vegetables with longer germination times can get started even earlier, such as peppers. I hope to plant both sweet and hot pepper seeds under grow lights indoors next week.

Happy National Nutrition Month - have fun Garden Planning!
Related Links
NNM Bloggers
Starting Seeds Indoors
Photos and blog post Copyright ©Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chia Pudding Parfait #HealthySnacks #NNM
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that During National Nutrition Month® Make Sensible Snacks Part of Your Healthy Eating Plan. And, that's just what we plan to promote too, both where I work - at Inspira Health Network in Vineland, NJ - and here on my GardenCuizine blog.

Our second cooking class, "Make Your Own Healthy Snacks" is scheduled during National Nutrition Month (NNM). I'll be blogging and tweeting healthy snack recipes during #NNM.  

Make now the time to take a bite into a healthier lifestyle.
The taste is so good, guaranteed you will want more! 

For starters, Chia Pudding Parfait makes a sensible snack. You can find my Chia pudding recipe posted here on GardenCuizine. Simply layer chia pudding in a clear glass, cup or bowl with your favorite healthy granola and fresh fruit to create a parfait.

Now that's Sensible Snacking! 

For more about Chia check out my Dave's Garden Articles:
Chia Seed Nutrition
Chia is a nutritious seed from a salvia plant that you can grow in your home garden. 
Blog post Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

More like CHIA yogurt than pudding #GardenCuizine #HealthySnack

CHIA Yogurt-Pudding
Very Vanilla
Many recipes on the internet call for similar ingredients for making Chia Pudding so I decided to try a recipe I found on the Food Network with a few changes. The final result - a creamy and delicious Chia yogurt-pudding. I think the taste and texture was sweet and gelled enough to call it pudding.

The recipe combined equal parts milk with yogurt, which seemed to work okay - the chia seeds swell up and thicken the milk. The Food Network recipe called for maple syrup and salt. I didn't like the idea of adding salt to a wholesome food that already had sodium in it (sodium in the milk) so I didn't add any more salt. And, I used just a little sugar rather than maple syrup to keep the recipe more affordable.

The chia pudding was devoured this morning after breakfast. We all decided it would make a great healthy snack. Experiment and have fun creating your own recipe variations.

Here is my basic recipe. Enjoy!

Yields: 1 quart (7 servings)
2 cups Very Vanilla Silk soy milk

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chia seeds
2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar (or other sweetener of choice)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh cut fruit (we used a few fresh strawberries as a topping. Another option is to layer the pudding with fresh cut fruit for a Chia Pudding Parfait. Kiwi and strawberries combine well and taste great with a sprinkle of cinnamon)

Low-fat granola - makes a great topping! (We like Kashi GoLean Crunch - a multigrain cluster cereal)

Creative Flavor Ideas
Magical Mocha: to V.Vanilla chia yogurt add ground coffee and unsweetened cocoa powder
Super Strawberry: puree fresh strawberries in a small amount of V. Vanilla chia yogurt before combining with the remaining yogurt (this way all the chia does not get pureed)

Putting it all together

In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, yogurt and sweetener. Add the chia seeds and mix together well. Cover and refrigerate overnight before serving. 
  • Chia pudding can be layered in glasses with fresh fruit to create colorful and nutritious snacks or dessert parfaits.
Excellent Source: dietary Calcium
Good Source: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, dietary Fiber, Protein
GardenCuizine Chia Pudding Nutrition Data: see food label shown

Related Links
Grow your own CHIA part 1 - Check out CHIA - A Super Salvia 
Grow your own CHIA part 2 - Check out CHIA - An Indigenous Food
Grow your own CHIA part 3 - Check out CHIA - Super Seed Nutrition
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved. Revised 3/29/15.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Today in Our Garden #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

Today in Our Winter Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)

Lots of activity with wildlife in our gardens today. Heated water bowls really help provide the critters with a water source during the winter. As I walked through the garden today, I noticed that we still have a few plants showing life, especially the bronze fennel, red Russian kale, parsley and seasoning celery. I also noticed foot prints in the snow (bottom right photo in the collage)... any idea what animal they could be from?

Inside, our assorted coleus cuttings under lights are growing like weeds. In March they will be pushed aside to make room for trays of veggie and flower seeds. The price is right when growing from seeds; it's fun too. The seedlings will be transplanted to the gardens (and shared with friends) when the soil warms in spring.

Take advantage of the time indoors now to plan your spring garden. We hope to try growing onions for the first time. A professor of mine from Rutgers has had success with growing Ailsa Craig, so we're probably going to start with that variety. I'm still browsing through garden catalogs now for ideas.

Besides our usual plantings, these are on my "New to Try" 2015 grow wish list:

Jiaogulan vine - Immortality herb - has all kinds of health claims associated with it so of course I'm curious about it. Zones: 8-10. Available at

Tango Hummingbird Mint - Tango, the Garden Cat - need I say more! And, anyone who knows me knows I'm a fan of growing agastache and salvias. This one is bicolor firery orange with a hint of blue. Drought tolerant. Blooms midsummer to fall. Zones 5-10. Also available at

Ailsa Craig onions - Long day variety English heirloom. Large yellow globe onions. Plants available at Territorial Seed Co. (ignore the photo on their online catalog, it's of leeks and not Ailsa Craig onions!)

Coral Fountain (Russelia equisetiformis) - Heirloom circa 1833. Mexican hummingbird plant with cascading coral red tubular blooms. Slow grower, can reach 4 to 5 feet tall. Zones 9-10. Available from Select Seeds.
Syriaca Zaatar - I wanted to try this wild relative of Mediterranean Oregano that supposedly has hints of thyme and sweet marjoram. Zones 8-10. But, it's out of stock at the moment from Seeds of Change - hopefully they get more.

What are you thinking of growing this year? 

Happy and Healthy Gardening!
Photo collage and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Whole grain Moroccan @HodgsonMill Couscous #healthy #recipe #GardenCuizine

Recipe for 
Whole grain Moroccan Couscous
Good Source Dietary Fiber, Low Sodium

Do you know what couscous is? A National dish in Morocco, couscous is actually a pasta available in very small or large grain sizes. The larger size (caper size) is referred to as Israeli couscous. The smaller size is more popular and most often served in restaurants. Couscous cooks fast and makes a nutritious wholesome side dish.

Make Half the Grains in your diet Whole Grains
For more dietary fiber look for "whole wheat" couscous. Tonight, we used Hodgson Mill's brand of whole grain couscous. (Eat whole grains and products made from whole grains for better health!) Reading product labels can be helpful. Look for the words "whole grain" on package labels when you are shopping.

Cooking Couscous
American recipes call for boiling the grain, but authentic recipes for couscous "steam" the grain. For this recipe we boiled the couscous.

Healthy Cooking on a Budget
Couscous makes an affordable and healthy side grain to accompany the rest of your meal. Serve couscous with a lean protein entree and side vegetable for a balanced meal. You'll find this recipe super easy to make and it takes only a few minutes to cook. 

Here is our favorite way to prepare couscous, which was inspired from a Cooking Light recipe many years ago:

Serves 5 (90g serving size)

2/3 cup (104g) whole wheat couscous, uncooked
1 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
NO added salt necessary when using chicken broth
1 Tablespoon (14g) olive oil
1 teaspoon (2g) sweet curry powder
pinch minced dried hot peppers from your garden or hot pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon (0.5g) grated ginger
1 teaspoon (3g) minced garlic
2 Tablespoons (20g) minced onion
2 Tablespoons raisins or Craisins (40g) or other chopped dried fruit

1 Tablespoon (4g) minced fresh parsley
1/2 ounce (14g) toasted almond slices 

Putting it all together

  • In a small pot, saute the onion in olive oil; add the garlic and ginger; stir in the spices
  • Add broth and dried fruit; turn off heat
  • Set aside until ready to make.
  • When ready: bring the broth mixture to a boil; stir in the couscous. Turn off the heat. Cover and let sit 5 minutes. 
  • Stir in the toasted almond slivers just before serving.
Buon Appetito!
GardenCuizine Whole Grain Couscous Nutrition Data (with chicken broth and Craisins): using USDA Nutrient Reference data 
Good Source: Dietary Fiber
Serving size 1/5 of recipe: 90g; Calories 158; total fat 5g; Saturated fat 1g; trans fat 0; cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 113mg (5% DV); total carbohydrate 28g (2 Carb exchanges); Dietary Fiber 3g (13% DV); Sugars 6g; Protein 5g; Vitamin E ~1.3mg (~7% DV); Iron 1.2mg (7% DV)

Related Links
Whole Grains Council notes that couscous is not a grain, "There is no couscous plant!"
Blog post, recipe and photo collage Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Healthy Stuffed Peppers #recipe #GardenCuizine #eatright

Healthy Stuffed Peppers
High Vitamin C, Lean Quality Protein

The first time I made stuffed peppers was in culinary school at The Academy of Culinary Arts in Mays Landing, NJ. I remember Chef Matt really liked the way they turned out. We don't make them at home too often; I'm not sure why because they are easy to make. 

Bell peppers are most affordable if you grow your own or you buy them on sale at the market. Stuffed peppers make a very nutritious dinner entree. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. Peppers also provide other important nutrients including dietary fiber.

I don't usually follow a recipe, but have one below that you can use as a guide. This is another GardenCuizine "freestyle recipe". What I mean by that is that you can add or subtract any of the ingredients to your liking and the recipe will still turn out. For example, if you didn't have any fresh tomatoes - don't worry about it - just don't put them in. Or, if you don't like hot peppers - simply don't add them.

The more you cook at home, the more comfortable you will feel to create your own signature recipes. These classic stuffed peppers could also be made using Boca burger crumbles for the protein; or a combination of beans and quinoa to make them vegetarian. 

Serves 4-5 
1 cup Brown Basmati Rice
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
pinch salt and black pepper

1/8 teaspoon dried hot pepper or red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil 

6 Bell Peppers any color (or only 4 peppers if they are long in shape)

1 lb. lean ground beef (or turkey or Boca burger crumbles - a small pkg. of ground beef may be .75 lbs or a little less than one lb. - close enough)
3/4 - 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 can 28oz (794g) Cento San Marzano peeled tomatoes with basil (or small jar pasta sauce; or 16 ounces homemade pasta sauce)
1/2 medium onion (1 cup) chopped
whatever amount (~1 cup) you have of pepper chopped from around the removed stems
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley (we've substituted seasoning celery that was still growing in our winter garden!)
1/2 cup or more reduced fat shredded cheese

Putting it all together 
First cook the rice: On stove top over medium heat saute minced garlic and hot pepper in olive oil. Stir in the rice. Add water, bay leaf and seasonings. Bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer cover and cook 45 minutes. Turn off heat. Set aside. Remove bay leaf. You will only need to use 1 cup of the cooked rice to mix with the ground meat. By cooking extra rice you can save time and use the leftovers for another meal.

Wash the peppers. Cut the tops off. Remove the membranes and seeds. Carefully cut around the pepper stem and pull off the stem with the seeds intact so seeds don't go all over the place. You may have some peppers that may not be the perfect size for stuffing. Longer bell peppers can be cut in half. Any usable pepper attached to the stems can be chopped and sauteed along with the onion. 

For larger, long bell peppers - cut the stem out of the top and use the pepper to fill too (don't worry about it having a hole in the "bottom". To clarify: for example, we had 4 bell peppers, two red, one orange, and one yellow. You can see in the photo that the two red peppers were huge and long. So, I cut them in half, which gave us two top halves plus the 4 bottoms - now we had 6 peppers to stuff. Also, some peppers may need a small slice cut off their bottom so they stand in the baking dish without falling over.

Saute the onion and any pepper pieces until the onion is translucent. Stir in the garlic and seasonings (note that no added salt is needed in the meat filling). Stir in the ground meat and cook until almost done. Stir in one cup cooked rice, the fresh tomatoes and chopped parsley. Turn off heat.

Open the can of San Marzano tomatoes and squeeze the tomatoes - crush with your clean hands as you add the tomatoes and most of the sauce to your baking dish. If you have any leftover add it to the ground meat mixture. Or, use 8 ounces of homemade sauce in the bottom of your baking dish and 8 more ounces of sauce mixed in with the ground meat.

Fill the peppers with the ground meat mixture. Cover with foil and bake 40-45 minutes.

Remove foil and sprinkle tops with shredded reduced fat cheese. Return to oven uncovered and continue baking until cheese melts and sauce is bubbling. About another 20-30 minutes.

Serve with a side garden salad and homemade corn bread.

Buon Appetito!
GardenCuizine Stuffed Peppers Nutrition Data coming soon...
Blog post reicpe and photos Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Tasty Tarter Sauce︱ Light and Homemade #GardenCuizine

Tasty Tartar Sauce
Light and Homemade

No need to buy ready-made tarter sauce when it's easy to quickly whip up your own; even your kids can help. The recipe does not have to be precise - a little more or less of the ingredients won't make much difference. 

Add tartar sauce to broiled, poached, baked or breaded fish or seafood. We especially love homemade tarter sauce on crab cakes or pan-fried catfish. Leftovers can be used as a spread on sandwiches or thinned with a little water for a salad dressing.  

Use "light" mayo cut with water, sour cream or yogurt to make tasty tarter sauce lower in fat content. "Light" products by definition means they contain 1/3 less calories or 1/2 the fat. A good rule of thumb when eating any type of creamy condiments is to enjoy them sparingly. Condiments are to enhance the flavor of the food.

Also, with this recipe note that NO added salt is necessary. You'll taste plenty of flavor from the capers, relish and mustard.  
Preparing foods at home 
gives you ingredient control for better health

Serves 4-6
1/3 cup "light" mayo
1/3 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
3+ Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons (tsp) capers
1 tsp relish
1 tsp grainy mustard 

2 tsp fresh chopped parsley (or dill)
1/2 lemon, squeezed for juice
stem or 2 of chives (garlic chives are tasty if you happen to have them in your garden; if not, add a little minced onion)
1/8 tsp minced hot pepper, fresh or dried (we use whatever is around from our harvest: Serrano, Thai, Jalapeno...) 
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Putting it all together
Simply combine all the ingredients together in a bowl, thin by adding more water if needed. Cover and chill until using. Store leftovers in sealed container and refrigerate.

Buon Appetito!
GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: Tarter Sauce ...coming soon
Recipe blog post Copyright (C)2015 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pumpkin Pie made with Butternut Squash #GardenCuizine

Pumpkin Pie 
made with Butternut Squash
Low in saturated fat, a good source of calcium, 
and a very good source of Vitamin A

Have you ever noticed that Christmas carols sing of pumpkin pie being served during the holidays? "...when they pass around the coffee and the pumpkin pie..."

Baking your own pie guarantees quality ingredients for you, your family and friends. Enjoy pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and at Christmas too. 

This year we had locally grown butternut squash available so I made pumpkin pie using fresh roasted butternut squash instead of canned pumpkin. It was one of the best pumpkin pies ever! Try butternut squash for a delicious substitute to canned pumpkin.

Click here for my pumpkin pie recipe published online.

Simply substitute pureed butternut squash for canned pumpkin.

Looking for the perfect pumpkin pie crust? 
Click here for my GardenCuizine pumpkin pie dough recipe.

Happy Holidays!
Blog post and photo Copyright © Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Better Butternut Squash Soup #wintersquash #GardenCuizine #JerseyFresh

Better Butternut Squash Soup
I've been recently testing and tasting recipes for our first outpatient dietitian hospital cooking class at Inspira Health Network. The class - "Soup's On" - featured nutritious butternut squash soup. My recipe uses soy milk so that anyone who is lactose intolerant can enjoy it too. Heavy, calorie-laden cream is not needed to make delicious cream soups.

A quick Google search will reveal a variety of ways to make butternut squash soup. I posted a recipe years ago using cinnamon and vanilla soy milk. Back then, I may have used "vanilla" soy milk because that was all we had in the house at the time. This version tasted even better with added curry, fresh ginger root and plain, versus vanilla, soy milk.

And, for those who tell me that they can't afford to eat healthy: the soup cost only about 58 cents per cup - more evidence that you can Cook Healthy on a Budget!

Yields 3 quarts - note: freezes well

one 2 to 3 pound butternut squash OR 2 bags (16 oz. chopped frozen butternut squash)

1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/8 teaspoon (tsp.) minced dried hot peppers from your garden (or hot pepper flakes)
1 tablespoon no salt butter (or vegetable oil)
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger root (or one cube of frozen ginger*)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch fresh grated black pepper
2 cups low fat chicken broth (or water)
1 quart plain soy milk (or 2% milk)
Putting it all together
Step 1

Decide how you want to cook the squash. 
Wash hands. 
If roasting squash: Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.
Wash vegetables
Prep onions, celery and carrots: peel and chop - set aside.

Step 2
  • Prep squash: cut ends off both sides. 
  • If sauteing directly in the soup pot: cut in half across the middle and peel skin; cut each piece lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut into cubes. OR for convenience use precut, frozen butternut squash.
  • If baking: Cut in half across the middle; cut again so there are 4 pieces. Rub olive oil on cut sides of squash. Place squash cut side down on foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 deg. F. until soft (about 30 minutes); remove from oven - scoop out seeds. Return to oven and continue baking until squash is full cooked and the edges show caramelizing and a little browning.
Step 3
  • In stockpot saute chopped veggies in 1 T butter or oil for 10 minutes
  • Stir in hot pepper flakes
  • Stir in remaining seasonings
  • Add 2 cups broth OR water and bay leaf. Cover, simmer and cook until veggies are soft
Step 4
  • Remove bay leaf
  • Stir in milk
  • Puree in blender or with hand-held immersion blender
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed
Enjoy with a few homemade whole grain herb pita chips

Buon Appetito! 

GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Butternut Squash Soup: 1 cup soup
Excellent Source: Vitamin A, Vitamin C
Good Source: Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Riboflavin, Folate, B12, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium

Calories: 111; total fat: 3g; Sodium 246mg (10%DV); total Carbohydrate: 20g; dietary Fiber: 1g (4%DV); Sugars 6g; Protein 4g; Vitamin A 17250IU (345%DV wow!); Vitamin C 22.6mg (38%DV); Vitamin D: ~39.7IU (~10%DV); Vitamin E ~2mg (~10%DV); Riboflavin 0.2mg (13%DV); Folate 32mcg (11%DV); B12 1mcg (17%DV); Calcium 170mg (17%DV); Magnesium 57mg (14%DV); Potassium 593mg (17%DV)

 *thanks D.A. for introducing me to frozen ginger cubes! Ask for frozen ginger at your local supermarket.
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.