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A Healthy Strawberry Cobbler

Who say we can’t indulge on deliciously healthy dessert?  You don’t always have to feel guilty  about eating dessert  as long as you’re using the right ingredients you should feel good about what you eat. There are a few simple steps to sort out between junk desserts and healthy ones. Here’s what you need to know:

Ensuring that every meal and snack you consume have a combination of the three main micronutrients: “Carbohydrates with protein, Fiber and Fat” and we can easily  get these micronutrients from fresh high-quality sources. For instance, when baking avoid using white flour, it has been  processed  to death and bleached out of it nutrients, instead, ground some old fashion oatmeal with some of your favorite seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, flax. Place it in your blender of food processor until flour consistency. For a delicious nutty milder flavor you can roast the nuts  first, same with white sugar. Use brown, honey or molasses as sweeter. The rule to follow is very simple, any white food has fewer nutrients than colorful ones.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious  and yes healthy cobbler:

  • 1/4 almond flour
  • 1/4 oat flour
  • 1/4 rice flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 honey
  • pinch os salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of your favorite milk (I used  almond milk)
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries (sliced)
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp your favorite rum (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Preparation

  1. Spray  a 13 -x-9 -inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking power and salt. Add milk, vanilla stirring until dry ingredients are moistened.  Pour batter over sprayed pan.
  3. Bring honey, strawberries, lemon juice and zest to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Add a couple of Tbsp of your favorite rum to the fruit mixture. Pour over the batter (do not stir). Sprinkle  with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired.
  4. Baked  at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

Enjoy it!

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East Meets West

After the incredible support and  overwhelming success from our fist ever supper in Jersey City  on valentine’s day, my team and I decided to bring you a totally unique different dining adventure with “East Meets West” a celebration of food and drink from the far east.

This magnificent  3-course dinner and select wine and beer will transport you on a magical culinary journey of balance flavors and spices from two of the world’s  greatest cuisines India and Thailand. Without any further do’s here’s the menu  we came up with.

Valentines Menu

With Valentines day around the corner and all the buzz about dining clubs around the world, I decided to let you in my secret Dinning club where my team and I promote community through delicious food and unified friendship.

Our goal is to provide  one of a kind meal at least once a month where we experiment with different ingredients to create an extraordinary unforgettable supper.

Here’s the menu we created for valentines. Pictures will follow after February 15.

For more information about  the Underground Supper Club follow this link: http://theundergroundsupper.wordpress.com/about/

The Power of Carrot

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There is a lot more to carrots than juicing. According to health experts.  Carrots are loaded with vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits from healthy glowing skin, anti-aging to lowering the risk of heart disease, just to mention few of the long list of benefits from  this amazing powerful vegetable. Here’s my version of this delicious crunchy vegetable in a pancake.

Carrot Pancakes 

  • 1 1/2 cup of your favorite flour (I used a mix of rice, oat and almond flour)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup your favorite milk (I used vanilla flavor soy milk)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • honey or maple syrup to drizzle

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and pumpkin spice. In another bowl mix together the milk, yogurt, egg, vanilla, oil and fold in the carrots. Add the carrot mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
  2. Heat a lightly oil griddle or a large saute pan on medium high. Pour 1/4 of a cup of the batter onto the griddle or pan. Cook pancakes until the edges begin to brown. Then flip them  and cook until the other side is lightly browned.
  3. Serve and drizzled with honey , maple syrup or fruits.

Want to make your pancakes even better? Add chopped  walnuts to the batter or  sprinkle on top after serving.

Bon Appetit!

White Beans Stew

Like I said in previous posts, preparing a meal, does not have to be  a stressful endeavour, unless you’re on “Chopped” the tv show. I want you to feel free to change any of the ingredients you don’t like from a recipe and make it your own, the overall outcome will be the same.  Have fun!

 

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This Spanish-style stew is the ultimate  one pot wonder and contains as much as half of your daily protein  intake. Packed with smoky flavor , this stew makes a great lunch, dinner or after a  workout meal. It will take you under half hour to prepare  this delicious meal from beginning to end.

Here’s what you’ll need 

  • 1 lb Andouille sausage or spicy chicken sausage (sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (shopped)
  • 3 garlic clove (minced)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 can white beans or garbanzo
  • 2 cup mushroom (sliced)
  • 2 medium carrots (diced)
  • 1 bunch spinach or kale (trimmed and chopped)
  • 1 cup chicken, vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes (crushed, puree or paste)
  • pinch chile flakes (optional)
  • sat & pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Heat oil on a large pot or saucepan. Saute sausage until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, fennel seeds and paprika and cook for 5 minutes or until onions begins to brown, then add the carrots. Stir in the tomato, bay leaves and stock or water and simmer until carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the beans and cook for another 5 minutes. season with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves, stir in the reserved sausage, mushroom and spinach or kale, until spinach wilts. If you would like some extra heat, add a pinch of chile flakes.

Apple Latkes

When you think of apple Latkes your immediate reaction or closer association is Hanukkah food but Latkes made delicious healthy breakfast. I have apple Latkes for breakfast at least a couple of days a week and you’ll too after you learn about the latest research out of Cornell University about the countless benefits of apples, including, protecting brain cells from free-radical damage that may cause Alzheimer’s disease, liver and breast cancer prevention, lowering “LDL” or bad cholesterol by as much as 16%.

 Here’s what you need to make this healthy delicious breakfast      

  • 3 large tart firm green apples  such as Granny Smiths
  • 1/2 lemon Juiced and zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  •  1/2 cup of oat flour
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon  cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • sour cream, creme fraiche or honey for serving

Preparation

  1. Clean and core apples and grade using a large holes of a box grader. Using a large strainer squeeze out as much juice as you can by pressing the apples down into the strainer with the back of a spoon.
  2. Transfer grated apple to a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice, zest and ginger.  In a small bowl whisk together  flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and toss with the apple, until evenly coated.  Lightly beaten egg and stir into apple-flour mixture.
  3. Heat a large non-stick pan or the flat part of a cast iron grille, coated it with  your  favorite  spray oil and drop ice cream scoop full of the apple batter into separate piles, gently  pressing them until a bit flatter using the back of spoon to do so. Browned them for about 3 or 5 minutes, then flip them and continue to cook for extra 3  more minutes or until nicely browned but not burned. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, sour cream or drizzle honey.

I hope you enjoy apple latkes as much I do.

Bon Appetit!

Barley-Mushroom Risotto

Fell free to load-up on this high-fiber power grain. According to health experts, one cup serving of barley contains 16% of your recommended daily fiber intake. This delicious recipe will be great side dish for roasted meats, fish or  vegetables.

 

 

 

Here’s what  you’ll need to make this delicious healthy Risotto.

 

 

  • 5 cups of chicken, vegetable broth or water
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 garlic (chopped)
  • 2 bay leaf (whole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried or fresh)
  • 1 lb mushroom (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Preparation

  1. In the saucepan, bring broth or water to a boil. In a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp oil, thyme, onion, bay leave and saute until onions are soft and translucent but not burned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Then add barley and  1 cup of the hot broth or water. Reduced heat to low, and simmer until most of the broth or water is absorbed, about 8 – 10 minutes. From this point on add  only 1 cup of the hot liquid at a time, stirring and allowing to become absorbed before adding more.  Repeat  this process until all the hot liquid has been used. This whole process takes approximately  45 minutes to an hour.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the rest of the oil and saute the mushroom until tender. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in the barley mixture. Add cilantro and cheese. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving.

Bon appetit, enjoy it!

Huevos Ranchero

Whether you’re looking for a protein-packed breakfast to countdown the new year in Times Square or just a healthy  breakfast to carry you through the shopping and preparation for today’s festivities, Huevos ranchero has what you’re looking for.

 

 

 

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious ranch-style eggs

 

 

  • 1 can (16 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 small shallot, (chopped)
  • 2 clove garlic (whole)
  • juice of  1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro springs
  • 1 Tbsp of canned chipotle pepper, (minced)
  • 1 can low-sodium black beans, (drained)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6  whole wheat or soft corn tortillas
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, pepper, half the lime juice and cilantro in a food processor, pulse until slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t have a food processor? Chopped all the salsa ingredients by hand with a sharp knife to your desire chunkiness.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, cumin and the remaining  lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a couple tablespoon of warm water if the bean mixture looks too dry.
  3. Spray  a non-stick skillet and heat the pan on medium. Cook the eggs they way you like to eat them. In another pan heated on medium, toast the tortillas about a minute on each side.
  4. Spread a couple of tablespoon of the beans mixture on the tortillas and top with eggs and salsa. Makes 3 servings.

Bon appetit!

New Year’s Eve Drink on a Budget

With today’s economic uncertainty we’re all looking for a memorable  new Year’s Eve Party that does not break our wallet but without sacrificing taste, tradition or style.

Sparkling wine does not need to be expensive specially if you’re mixing it with fruit juices of favorite puree, so let’s start by getting a cheap bottle of bubbly. Trader Joe’s offers the cheapest bubbly in town “Sparkly Lambrusco” for only $4.99 a value  worth celebrating.

 

Here’s what you’ll need for this fabulous drink:

 

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger
  •  2/3 cup brown sugar
  •  8 Whole star anise
  •  1/2 cup water
  • 1 bottle Champagne or sparkling wine

Preparation :  In a small saucepan, bring ginger, sugar and water to a boil, then reduce and  simmer until liquid thickens to syrup consistency, about 12 – 15 minutes. Remove from heat, let it cool and pure it  in a food processor or blender to a paste. Drop 1 star anise into each glass. 1  tablespoon of the ginger puree and about 3 ounces of champagne.  That’s it, now you’re ready to start the countdown to the new year.  Cheers!

Ginger-Anise Champagne Cocktail will sure impress your guest for years to come  and make your new year’s eve party the most talk about event of last year.

Jersey City Happenings

2nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting & Caroling – December 9th

The historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery are back with their annual tree lighting. Featuring the famous “Hudson View Carolers” These amazing carolers have been invited to sing at the National Tree Lighting 2011 in Washington, DC.  Please donate today atwww.jerseycitycemetery.org and help the Vietnam Vets in the historic gatekeeper house, so they can continue doing doing the wonderful work they been doing.

435 Newark Ave, Jersey City NJ. 7 – 10pm.

“Touching, Seeing” – The art exhibit at Dames Coffee & Espresso Bar – Dec 9th   

Despite the museum closure last year Jersey City art scene continues to thrive thanks to Michelle Mumoli and Beth Ann Morrison, founders of Pop-Up Art.  They continue to revitalize the art world in Jersey City by constantly showcasing and curating pop-up art exhibitions in the least unexpected places to reach out to the masses.  Last year the Historic Jersey City Harsimus Cemetery took center stage to displayed the work of local artist Jon Rappleye. This time Pop-Up Art has teamed up with Artists J. Carpenter and Agnieszka Wszolkowska for a sensory exploration of tactile manipulation of textural elements, color and laced sculptures.

Opening reception: Friday, December 9th @ 7pm.

Fare provided by Gingerbird Store Organic Bakery and Kintique.

Dames Coffee & Espresso Bar.   581 Jersey City Ave,  Jersey City NJ