Monday, March 28, 2016

My first Fruit and Veggie Layer Cake! #SavortheFlavor #NNM #Easter #GardenCuizine

Fruit and Veggie Layer Cake!

Healthy food never tasted so good! In case you missed the Tweet I posted yesterday featuring pastel colored Salad Cakes, here are a few photos of my first Fruit and Veggie Layer Cake creation. What do you think? We enjoyed the festive cakes for Easter dinner.

This is one of my freestyle recipes. Sorry, I didn't have time to measure any of the ingredients to post an exact recipe. I can tell you that rather than serving the veggies raw, I decided to cook them tossed with a little egg whites as a binder. I seasoned the veggies with a little salt, herbs and spices before adding them to individual round baking dishes that were lightly coated with nonstick spray. 
The first layer was spiralized zucchini.
The Easter bunny suggested carrots as the next layer. The third layer consisted of thinly sliced red cabbage to add the Easter color purple. Cinnamon bread served as the base of each Veggie Cake.

Each cake was frosted with a blend of blueberries, extra firm tofu, low fat cream cheese and just a little stevia. The cakes were garnished with marinated radish and raw zucchini spirals.
Happy Easter!
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Celebrate Cabbage Today! #GardenCuizine #NationalNutritionMonth #StPatricksDay

Celebrate Cabbage Today
No matter how you eat cabbage, raw or cooked, it is low in calories and a good source beneficial plant sterols, dietary Fiber and an excellent source of Vitamin C! 
Happy St. Patty’s Day! 
Eat something green today. Cabbage anyone?
… and many more! What’s your favorite recipe with cabbage?
GardenCuizine Nutrition Data Cabbage  

Raw: 100g (almost 1cup) = 25 calories, 0g total fat, Vitamin C 37mg (61% DV WOW!), Dietary Fiber 3g (10% DV), Folate 43 mcg (11% DV), Plant Sterols 11mg

Cooked, boiled: 100g = 23 calories, 0g total fat, Vitamin C 37.5 mg (62% DV WOW!), Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV), Plant Sterols 10mg

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

Monday, March 14, 2016

#NationalNutritionMonth Savor the Flavor of Heirlooms! #GardenCuizine #gardenchat @Eatright
Celebrate National Nutrition Month by Planting Seeds!
Savor the Flavor of Heirlooms

National Nutrition Month kicks off the gardening season as well as reminds us to exercise and feed our bodies nutritious food all year long. Seeds can be collected and saved each year from heirloom plants. Inexpensive seed packets can be ordered online, or found at your local garden market or Home Depot.

Today, I planted a few flats of annual veggies, herb and flower seeds a week earlier than I usually do (St. Patty's Day) thanks to the warming trend with our NJ weather. As you can see in my list below, there are a lot of heirlooms! 

Heirloom veggies provide fantastic flavor and best of all you can collect the seeds and grow your favorites year after year.

Seeds I started under grow lights 3/14/16: (as they germinate, I will edit and add the number of days to germination)
  • Capers (just for the fun of it - a memory from a special Cape Cod visit)
  • Cayenne peppers, long slim (17 days)
  • Purple Majesty Millet (hopefully the cats don't eat all the seedlings! (7 days; most are not germinating as of 3/31/16... maybe the seeds were too old... will have to look at the date)
  • Leslie's French Mini heirloom Tomatoes (8 days)
  • Pistou Basil (Cooks Garden) (9 days?)
  • Chocolate Nicotiana (6 days)
  • Red Rubin Basil
  • American Flag heirloom Leeks (never grew leeks before) (8 days)
  • large Yellow Heirloom tomatoes (6 days)
  • Fish Peppers (decorative Chesapeake Bay heirloom)
  • Chocolate Cherry heirloom tomatoes (6 days)
  • Critter's Black Pearl ornamental peppers
  • Lady in Red Salvia*(1st to germinate 4 days!)
  • Hot Thai peppers (for spice jar; dried) (13 days)
  • Coral Nymph Salvia*(5 days)
  • Chervil
  • Amsterdam Seasoning Celery (17 days)
  • Italian Parsley (17 days)
  • Black Krim Tomatoes (juicy large heirloom from Russia) (9 days)
  • Large Italian Basil (Meadowbrook Farm seeds; 5 days)
  • Large red cherry tomatoes (5 days)
  • Coronado Hyssop* (6 days)
  • Goldman's heirloom Tomatoes (pasta sauce; 7 days)
  • Hungarian Wax Peppers (Parks; 15 days)
 More Seeds started 3/20/16
  • Forest Fire Salvia coccinea* (7 days)
  • Tomatillos
  • test trial of our own LFT - Last Forever Cherry Tomatoes (no lie, these 1/2-inch red Jersey heirlooms strangely last forever without refrigeration from end of summer harvest into the New Year!! And, maintain juiciness and flavor)
  • Cherokee Purple heirloom tomatoes (9 days)
* Hummingbird favorites

Get Growing!
Happy National Nutrition Month and Happy Gardening!

Related Links
Heirlooms vs Hybrids
Blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.
NNM logo used with permission.

Cocoa-Balsamic Reduction #fatfree #sauce #NNM flavorful sauce for entrees and desserts

Cocoa-Balsamic Reduction
Why buy reduced balsamic at a gourmet store when you can make it so easily at home? Reduced balsamic vinegar adds amazing, velvety, fat-free flavor to salads, chicken, steak, fish, cheese, veggies and fruit such as strawberries or peaches.

Depending on what you're serving, balsamic can be reduced with other added flavors such as garlic cloves, rosemary, peppercorns, cinnamon, blueberries or orange. I used cocoa to make a tasty sauce to drizzle over Peaches Cannoli - a healthy dessert featured at a recent National Nutrition Month cooking class held at Inspira Health Network.

For best flavor, start with a good quality Italian balsamic vinegar made from grape must and aged in oak barrels.

2 cups Balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Putting it all together
In a stainless steel pot slowly simmer the balsamic vinegar. Whisk in the cocoa powder and reduce (40 minutes or so) until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir often and be careful not to let burn!

Remove from heat, cool and transfer to an airtight storage container or small plastic squeeze bottle. Store in refrigerator. Serve room temperature.

Enjoy! Savor the Flavor
Related Links

Everything You Need to Know about Balsamic Vinegar
Blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Grilled Peaches and Cannoli Ricotta #NNM #healthy #dessert @Fruits_Veggies

Grilled Peaches and Cannoli Ricotta
with Cocoa-Balsamic drizzle
Serves 5


5 peach halves (fresh peaches in season or canned peaches in juice)
1 cup part skim Ricotta
1 Tablespoon (Tblsp) powdered sugar
1 Tblsp Vanilla Soy Milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
mini chocolate chips garnish - optional

Putting it all together

Wash, pit and cut fresh peaches in half. If using canned peach halves: drain and save juice to store extra grilled peaches.

To grill: spray the cut side with cooking spray. Place cut side down on hot grill and cook until grill marks are imprinted into the peach. Remove and let cool on plate or in reserved juice.

In mixing bowl mix the ricotta, sugar, soy milk and vanilla ext. Set aside in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Make Cocoa-Balsamic Reduction and transfer to a small squeeze bottle when cool.

Serve one peach halve topped with 1 oz. scoop cannoli ricotta and drizzle with reduced cocoa-balsamic. Garnish with a few chocolate chips and/or mint leaf.  

Enjoy and Savor the Flavor!
Good source Vitamin A and Calcium
Recipe and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.