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 National Diabetes Month

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

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Comfort food: Beef Pot Roast w/ garden veggies #GardenCuizine #crockpot #recipe

Slow Cooker Comfort Food
Pot Roast Dinner
Beef braised with Carrots,
Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes 
and Gravy
Lately studies have been pointing to excess refined carbohydrates and not fat as being problematic for good health. Red meat, all cuts, can be part of a healthy diet when portion controlled in moderation and counterbalanced with foods found mainly in a Mediterranean Diet

Nutrient dense, healthy meals include vegetarian proteins, such as soy, legumes, nuts, seeds and other nutrient-rich plant foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. And, healthy meal plans limit sugar and excess salt.

Eat Better by Planning Ahead
Planning ahead enables individuals and families to prepare healthy balanced meals. A 2 1/2 lb. piece of beef chuck yields high quality protein for several meals depending on the size of your family. And, although chuck is not considered a lean cut, a lot of the excess fat seen marbled throughout the beef will dissolve into the cooking liquid and can later be strained out. The reduced fat beef broth can be made into gravy

Crock-pot slow cooking allows for home cooked meals when you are busy at work or busy at home. Leftover pot roast can be frozen for use in other recipes such as: Black Bean Chili, Cottage Pie, Fajitas, Tacos and roast beef sandwiches.

Look for quality beef that is antibiotic and hormone free.
  • A 3-ounce serving of beef provides 26 grams of protein plus essential nutrients, including iron, B vitamins and zinc.
  • Evenly distributing daily protein intake at meals and snacks throughout the day (~20 to 30g/meal) helps maintain a healthy body weight and support a healthy metabolism.
2 1/2 lbs. boned Beef Chuck (we cooked USDA Choice*)
Olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
4 carrots, cut into thirds
2 celery sticks, cut into thirds
1 hot pepper (we used one thin Thai pepper)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic (I used dehydrated)
3 bay leaves (grow your own tree!)
4 sprigs Italian parsley
few thyme sprigs (optional)
3 cups water
few twists fresh grated black pepper

3 cups broth from crock-pot after meat is cooked (strain fat)
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
Salt and black pepper

Putting it all together

  • Sear the beef to add flavor - brown the outside. If your crock-pot is small like ours, cut the beef in half before searing so it fits. Sear each piece separately. Heat a large cast iron skillet* over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to coat bottom of skillet. Have a splash guard ready to prevent splatter. Add meat just long enough to brown the outside and not cook the meat. Use a spatula and turn to brown the other side. Remove and place beef directly into crock pot set on low. 
  • Drain any excess oil from skillet.
  • In skillet, brown carrots and onion. Add water, bay leaves, garlic and pepper. Turn off heat and stir to scrap up any brown bits on bottom. 
  • Remove veggies to crock pot and ladle in liquid and cover
  • Braise the beef by slow cooking until very tender when pierced with a fork - about 8 hours.
note that NO salt was added - with all the flavor you'll never miss it
  • Separate solids from liquid in crock-pot. I use tongs to put meat on a plate; strain the broth into a pot separating the cooked veggies. Pour into a gravy fat separator. Allow to rest while the fat floats to the top.
  • In a clean pot, melt butter. Stir in flour. Stir in Worcestershire. Add broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste; stir. Simmer, uncovered about 5-10 minutes.
  • Return gravy to crock-pot with beef and carrots; keep warm until ready to slice and serve.

    Serve with a side of Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
    Buon Appetito!

    * USDA Beef Grades include Choice and Select.

    GardenCuizine Pot Roast Nutrition Data beef only: serving size 3 ounces (85g) - Calories 257; Protein 26g; total fat 16g (25% DV); Saturated fat 6.5g (32% DV); Monounsaturated fat 7g; Sodium 42 mg; Niacin 3.6 mg (18% DV); Vitamin B12 1.9mcg (31% DV);  Iron 2 mg (12% DV); Zinc 6 mg (40% DV); Selenium 24 mcg (34% DV)

    Related Links
    Saturated Fat Not So Bad? or Just Bad Science?
    CookingLight Slow Cooker Favorites 
    Recipe and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

    Saturday, October 29, 2016

    Cooking Calabaza Squash #pumpkin #pumpkinpuree #GardenCuizine

    Cooking Calabaza
    (Pumpkin Puree)
    Nutritious Calabaza squash (West Indian Pumpkin) grows in several parts of the world including: Central America, South America, parts of Africa and North America and throughout Caribbean tropical areas. Ours may have come from Costa Rica, we bought it at ShopRite. The squash was beautiful with streaks of green throughout the melon color. We usually prefer to buy and support locally grown Jersey Fresh produce. 

    Locally grown Pumpkins or other varieties of large squash can be cooked in the same way described below. Simply wash and roast whole. There is no need to waist time and try and cut into a hard-as-a-rock, large pumpkin and risk getting cut; when cooked it slices like butter.

    1 Calabaza squash


    • Before cooking, wash and rinse outside of squash. 
    • Place the whole squash on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated 375 deg.F oven for about 1 hr, 15 min. Take out and check to see if done. When cooked the flesh will feel soft when pressing on the sides.  Let it cool before touching so you don't burn your finger!
    • Let cool on baking sheet another 10-minutes or so. 
    • Cut out and remove top stem and cut the squash in half. 
    • Allow to cool another few minutes and spoon out the seeds. 
    • When cool enough to handle, spoon out flesh into food processor.
    • Process until smooth.
    • Store in freezer containers and freeze or refrigerate and use in recipes calling for pumpkin puree as needed.
    Happy Fall Baking and Cooking!
    Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.