Saturday, October 31, 2009

GardenCuizine Recipe: Halloween Deviled Spider Eggs

Deviled Spider Eggs
I have seen some fascinating spiders and webs in the garden, especially Orbweavers (Argiope). These spider deviled eggs were inspired by a recipe in Sunset Magazine and were created for a devilish Halloween appetizer. They can also be prepared without the spider olive décor, and served as classic deviled eggs.
You will love this recipe for healthy deviled eggs with ZERO saturated fat and LOW, practically zero cholesterol. That’s right, these hard cooked eggs are LOW in cholesterol with absolutely ZERO saturated fat. Regular deviled eggs, even if made with low fat mayonnaise, would contain saturated fat and over 100mg of cholesterol!

How can these healthy deviled eggs be possible? Get rid of the yolks. Chickpea hummus is the perfect color and a healthy alternative for the egg yolks that are notoriously high in cholesterol. Hummus can be easily made from scratch at home, or is readily available at the market. I used a commercial mild garlic flavored hummus for this recipe.
6 eggs
1 cup hummus
1 Tablespoon sour cream
½ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon dried mustard
Sprinkle Hungarian paprika
Olives for spiders
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Putting it all together

  • Hard boil the eggs, cool and peel. Slice the eggs in half and dispose of the yolks.
  • Season the egg whites with salt and pepper
  • In a small mixing bowl mix the remaining ingredients and fill the egg white halves.
  • Sprinkle the tops with Hungarian paprika
  • decorate with sliced olives to make a spider design as shown
I used olives (with pits) that come in different colors, rather than canned black olives. Actual spiders (arachnids) do come in all colors. And just fyi, they have 8 legs.

Happy Halloween!
GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: Calculated from USDA nutrient values 1/12 of recipe, serving size: 38g, Calories 44, Calories from fat: 18, total fat: 2g, Saturated fat: 0g, Cholesterol 0.5mg, Sodium 106mg, Dietary fiber: 1g, Protein: 3g, Folate: 18mcg (4%DV), Riboflavin: 0.1 mg (5%DV), Manganese: 0.2mg (8%DV), Selenium: 4mcg (6%DV)

Percent Daily Values (%DV) are reference values for adults and children age 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your personal daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

Copyright © 2009 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

GardenCuizine Recipe: Antioxidant Pomegranate Smoothie

Antioxidant Pomegranate Smoothie

Pomegranates arrive on the scene in U.S. markets during the months of September and October. Pomegranates
(Punica granatum L.) offer nutrition high in antioxidants; they are considered a superfruit and functional food.

Functional foods offer health benefits to the body.
In a study by researchers from the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California-Los Angeles' David Geffen School of Medicine, Pomegranate juice was shown to have the highest antioxidant content, activity and protective benefits of eight different beverages tested.

Pomegranates are loaded with seeds that can be eaten straight out of a cut in half pomegranate. The seeds can also be scooped out and added as a nutritious garnish to entrees, desserts or atop healthy garden salads. Don't be intimidated by how to use them. The edible, juicy seeds are delicious and easy to use in a fruit smoothie.

Harry and I made up this Pomegranate smoothie recipe using Pom seeds. We found the seeds left crunchy fibrous bits at the bottom of our glasses, so we recommend straining the seed pulp.

Freezing Fruit
Do you have extra fruit that is getting overripe on your counter top or in your refrigerator? Rescuing, overripe, extra bananas and fruits can be easily done by freezing them for later use in recipes.
Try frozen berries or banana in this pomegranate smoothie recipe for a healthy treat that company and kids love.

Bananas are super easy, and can be frozen right in their peels. When you are ready to use them simply allow the bananas to soften for a few minutes before peeling. Frozen fruits add a nice chill and viscosity (thickness) to fruit smoothies, not to mention additional flavor and nutrition.

Putting it all together

Serves 4


3 cups (735g) plain or vanilla low fat yogurt (or soy, non-dairy, yogurt)

1 (4 inch, 282g) pomegranate

1/2 (60g) ripe banana (frozen even better)

1/4 cup grape sauce* (or
1-2 Tablespoons honey or agave syrup)

  • Cut the pomegranate in half, save a few seeds for garnish if desired. Scrape out the remaining seeds into a blender, blend the seeds
  • Strain, return strained pomegranate juice to blender
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, blend thoroughly
  • Pour into glasses and serve
Serving Suggestion for company
Serve in special glasses on doily lined plates. Garnish with 3 pomegranate seeds per smoothie with a sprig of fresh mint on the side.

* Smoothies are a great way to use and enjoy ungelled grape jelly (sauce)! Honey or Agave nectar will work just as well. Grape sauce is one of those ingredients not often on hand. It was added for flavor and sweetness from grape jelly we had that did not gel, an event that inspired me to write the article: 'Beginners Guide to Making Jam or Jelly'. Check it out on: Dave's Garden.

GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: Calculated from USDA nutrient values, dairy
Excellent Source:
Protein, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Calcium, Phosphorus

Good Source:
Dietary Fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium

Serving size: 290g, 1/4 of recipe: Calories: 283; Calories from fat: 28; total Fat: 3g (5%DV); Saturated Fat: 2g (8%DV); Trans Fat: 0g; total Omega-3 fatty acids: ~22mg; Cholesterol: 9mg (3%DV); Sodium: 130mg (5%DV); Potassium: 637mg (18%DV); Total Carbohydrate 56g (19%DV); Dietary Fiber: 3g (14%DV); Sugars: 47g; Protein: 10g; Vitamin C: 12mg (20%DV); Calcium: 326mg (33%DV); Vitamin K: 12mcg (15%DV); Riboflavin: 0.4mg (25%DV); Folate: 52mcg (13%DV); Selenium 10mcg (14%DV); Zinc: 1.8 mg (12%DV)

Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories for adults and children age 4 or older

Related Links:

This recipe submitted to 2009 recipe contest!
Pomegranate Punica granatum L. Cultivars and information; Purdue University Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
Functional Foods Fact Sheet: Antioxidants ~ Int’l Food Information Council

Anthocyanins and Human Health: by Mary Ann Lila; J Biomed Biotechnol
Fruits & Veggies

Nutrition Facts Label courtesy of
Copyright © 2009 Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 9, 2009

What’s Cooking at the Academy of Culinary Arts: Vegetable Sushi

Garden Vegetable Sushi
This video features Chef Bruce Johns from my alma mater, with a recipe from the Academy of Culinary Arts in NJ. Chef Johns demonstrates how easy and fast it is to prepare Garden Vegetable Sushi Maki. Maki is sushi rolled in nori (seaweed) that is served cut into bite size portions. Maki sushi does not contain raw fish and can be served as a delicious, low fat, healthy appetizer or light bite.

Putting it all together
You will need:
  • Nori (dried seaweed)
  • Rice (preferably brown)
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Garden vegetables
  • Fresh herbs of your choosing
  • Wasabi paste
  • Pickled ginger
  • Soy sauce (reduced sodium)

You will also need a sushi mat to roll the sushi, but can use clear wrap or a clean dish towel if you don't have one. Sushi mats, wasabi (horseradish paste), and nori can be found in Asian Markets, some Natural Food stores and usually in Asian sections of most supermarkets. Nori is available toasted or un-toasted, and tastes best toasted. Un-toasted nori has a slight chewy texture. To toast nori, place it on a baking sheet and briefly heat it in a 300°F (150°C) oven for approximately 5 minutes, or if you have a gas stove, hold the nori with tongs and pass it over the flame until it turns green in color.
  • For best flavors, Chef Johns precooks garden vegetables over dry heat. He roasts red peppers and grills carrots, yellow squash and zucchini before incorporating them into the sushi roll.
  • White sushi rice can be substituted with organic, short grain, brown rice.

Once you get practice with the technique, you can become quite creative, varying your selections for filling ingredients and combination's.
Favorites in our house include: Kappa maki (cucumber rolls) and California rolls (crabmeat, avocado, cucumber). Have fun!

Related Links: Sushi Recipes and information
Maine Coast Sea Vegetables: Toasting Nori
Academy of Culinary Arts: NJ Culinary School

Copyright © 2009 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

GardenCuizine Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato Herb Bread

Grandma's Sun-dried Tomato
Farmhouse Herb Bread

~ Low Sodium ~
This wonderful bread was inspired by a recipe from Neil, a professional gardener and chef from England. The recipe was from his Grandma. He says, "My Grandma was in service in a big house in North Yorkshire from 1911 till 1921. She started as a scullery maid and ended up as Head cook! Luckily she kept a diary of what she cooked and for who. She cooked for the King and Winston Churchill, amongst many others." 

This herbal bread dough can yield dinner rolls, boules, or farmhouse loaves of bread. I divided the dough in half and made one round, free-form, boule loaf and the rest into dinner rolls. Neil likes to divide the dough in half and press the dough into loaf pans. The choice is up to you.

Our finicky Mama prefers super soft, sweet dinner rolls made with eggs, milk and more sugar. But even she agreed that this bread was delicious! When you want a good, wholesome and tasty bread, try this recipe. Nothing beats the smell of fresh baking bread wafting throughout your home. This bread freezes well too.
Putting it all together
Yields: 2 boules, or 1 boule and 10 dinner rolls, or 2 loaves, or ~20 dinner rolls

Preheat the oven to 425
°F (218°C)
2 1/2 teaspoons (10g) instant dried yeast
1/2 cup (125mL) warm water (not hot or it will kill the yeast)
pinch sugar

1/3 cup (18g) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in 1/2 cup (125mL) water

1lb 10oz (737g) white whole wheat flour
2 cups liquid (500mL): left over sun-dried tomato soaking liquid with added water to = 2cups
2 teaspoons (8g) sugar 
3/4 teaspoon (5g) salt
4 Tablespoons (59mL) olive oil
1/4 cup (25g) grated Parmesan cheese (or grated Soy cheese)

Herbs of your choosing: Neil has used oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and tarragon. We used:
1/3 cup (20g) fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon (2g) fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon (3 leaves) fresh sage, minced
2 Tablespoons (8g) lemon balm leaves
2 1/2 Tablespoons (8g) fresh chives, minced

egg - whisked with a splash of water for egg wash (or plain water if vegan)

Notes: Fresh herbs can be substituted with dried herbs. Use less - around half of the amount called for - dried are more concentrated in flavor.

  • As always, wash your hands and sanitize your counter tops before working with food. Prepare the herbs by washing, drying and chopping, set aside. Drain the soaked sun-dried tomatoes and save the liquid. Chop the hydrated tomatoes and set aside.
  • In a small bowl mix the yeast, warm water and pinch sugar. Set aside until you begin to see activity reassuring you that the yeast is alive. (Tip: Instant dry yeast can be stored frozen. We keep a large bag in the freezer and use it as needed)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar. Add in the prepared herbs, tomatoes and cheese. Whisk together to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the oil, some of the water and tomato soaking liquid, and all the yeast mixture.
  • Slowly incorporate into the flour using a wooden spoon. Gradually add the remaining liquid. You may need a bit more or less, use your judgment.
  • With your hands or in a mixer with a dough hook, mix and knead the dough until it comes together in a smooth stretchable mass.
  • Form the dough into a round ball and place in a large, lightly oiled, bowl to rise. Cover the bowl. I use a dampened linen cloth, some prefer to cover rising dough using plastic wrap.
  • Allow the dough to double in size in a draft free warm place. Punch down and divide the dough in half.
  • Form the dough into desired shape(s): rolls, loaves, or boules. For loaves, form the dough and place in lightly sprayed 5x9 loaf pans. For dinner rolls or boules*, after forming place on lightly sprayed sheet pans, allowing space in between them for expansion as they rise
  • Allow the dough to rise again until the dough responds with a slow rebound when gently pressed with your finger.
  • If desired, carefully brush the tops with egg wash before baking to give the bread a slight gloss. Neil adds a sprinkle of grated cheese and herbs to the top too.
*Boules can also be placed on a piece of parchment or baking peel dusted with cornmeal or flour to rise, so they will easily slide into the preheated oven onto a baking stone or oven bottom. Advanced bakers also like to add steam at the onset of baking by squirting a light spray of water directly into the oven right after the bread is added.
  • Bake until golden brown. Baking time will vary depending on your bread shape and size. Dinner rolls don't take too long, ~15 minutes. Loaves will take longer, ~30 minutes or more. I usually test for doneness by feeling the weight of the bread. Bread will feel lighter when it is fully baked. Some bakers test for doneness by listening for a hollow sound when tapping on the bottom of the loaf.
~Buon Appetito
GardenCuizine Nutrition Analysis: Calculated from USDA nutrient values
Excellent Source: Vitamin K, Thiamin, Folate
Good Source:
Iron, Riboflavin, Niacin, Selenium, Manganese

Serving size: 71g, 1/20 of recipe (one dinner roll): Calories: 169; Calories from fat: 31; total Fat: 4g (6%DV); Saturated Fat: 0.7g (3%DV); Trans Fat: 0g; total Omega-3 fatty acids: ~23mg; Cholesterol: 1mg (0%DV); Sodium: 128mg (5%DV); Potassium: 89mg (3%DV); Total Carbohydrate 29g (10%DV); Dietary Fiber: 1g (5%DV); Sugars: 1g; Protein: 5g; Vitamin A: (2%DV); Vitamin C: (3%DV); Calcium: (2%DV); Iron: 2mg (11% DV); Vitamin K: ~19mcg (~23%DV); Thiamin: 0.3mg (20%DV); Riboflavin: 0.2mg (13%DV); Niacin: 2.4mg (12%DV); Folate: 81mcg (20%DV); Selenium ~13mcg (~18%DV); Manganese: 0.3mg (14%DV)

Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories for adults and children age 4 or older

Special Thanks: Special thanks to Neil for passing on his Grandma's recipe. My interpretation of her recipe is slightly different, but for the most part it is the same. I used wholegrain flour, added more liquid, and reduced the salt, since grated cheese adds sodium. For the original recipe, see Neils comment at the bottom of my Rosemary article under the post by NEILMUIR1.
Related Links:
Scoring Artisan Bread

Photos and recipe Copyright © 2009 Wind. All rights reserved. rev 11/19/11