Cooking Tips: How to Cut Half Moon Onion Slices

This is a short cooking tip on slicing “half-moon” onion

Cooking Tips: How to Clean Mushrooms

This is a short cooking tip on cleaning mushrooms in two different ways

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Turkey Kielbasa Soup

This recipe I saw on Rachel Ray’s website but I tweaked it to a healthier version and added turkey kielbasa. I had purchased some pie pumpkins from a local farmer’s market and decided to roast them. I had some pumpkin puree left over and made the soup for the first time. It was delicious. Now when I am pressed for time and cannot roast pie pumpkins, I purchase organic pumpkin puree. This happens to be one of my favorite soups that I make quite a bit in the fall and the wintertime. The soup freezes well and it is good with a green salad or crusty toasted bread and butter. Enjoy!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Turkey Kielbasa Soup

Recipe created February 16, 2010

Pumpkin Black Bean and Turkey Kielbasa Soup

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced Muir Glenn tomatoes with juice
2 cans (15 ounces) pumpkin puree or 3 pie pumpkins roasted and mashed
1-cup heavy cream (optional)
1-tablespoon curry powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
½-teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 (12 ounce) package of Turkey Kielbasa cut into cubes (can omit)
Coarse salt
20 blades of fresh chives, chopped fine
Heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes and add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, black beans, pumpkin puree, and turkey kielbasa. Stir well and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and stir in cream (optional), curry, cumin, cayenne pepper (optional), salt and pepper. Simmer for additional 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to your taste and serve with chives sprinkled on top.


Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash

I made this recipe from a book called “The Big Book of Vegeterian” because I had bought a lot of sweet potatoes that were on sale from the market. When I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, sweet potatoes is one of the vegetables that is low on the Glycemic Index that does not make the glucose (sugar) levels spike. This recipe turned out to be one of my favorite things to make all the time. I demonstrated this in 3 of my diabetes workshops and the feedback from the people were all positive. When I have leftovers, I make breakfast wraps with multi-grain wraps, scrambled egg substitute and 1 oz of cheese. Wonderful alternative for breakfast. Enjoy!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash

Recipe created September 25, 2007

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash
1 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped (it seems like a lot but the onions reduce after they have been cooked)
1 small green pepper, chopped (I omitted the green pepper)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (1″ cubes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Rich Vegetable Broth, canned broth or water (I used Better than Boullion – it’s condensed just add to water – the broth is very rich)
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels (do not need to defrost)
One 15 oz can black beans rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or 2 teaspoons dried
Fresh ground black pepper

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, takes about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook stirring for 30 seconds. Add broth and cook until almost all absorbed about 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and black beans and cook, stirring until fully heated through. Stir in the cilantro and season to taste with pepper.

Taken from “The Big Book of Vegetarian”


Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

I saw this recipe on the food channel one Saturday morning. The show was about eating healthy with Ellie Krieger and the recipe looked amazing. I thought it would be a good Football or card party kind-of-an-appetizer since most appetizers served at events tend to lean very heavy on the calories. I tested the recipe, it was perfect! Loved it and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme

Recipe created December 31, 2009

Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Creme
8 small Idaho potatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried
4 teaspoons of olive oil
8 ounces broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
6 pieces of Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 6 ounces) (can be omitted) or use Turkey Bacon
¾ to 1 cup of grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Avocado Crème:
2 scallions (green onions) thinly sliced and greens reserved
1 medium avocado
2 tablespoons of reduced fat sour cream or 2% Greek Fage Greek Yogurt
Two tablespoons lime juice
¼ cup cilantro leaves (or use another herb if do not like cilantro like parsley, thyme)
1 clove garlic
¼-teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork and rub lightly with olive oil (not the 4 teaspoons in the recipe above – extra). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until baked potatoes are cooked thoroughly and tender. Remove from oven and cool completely enough so they are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8” of the potato flesh, leave the skin in place. Save the scooped potato flesh for another use (possibly fresh corn and potato chowder).Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down and baking sheet until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

While potato skins are cooking, prepare the filling. Steam the chopped broccoli until crisp tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a non-stick sauté skillet, add the chopped Canadian bacon or turkey bacon and cook until crisp stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes, put cooked bacon on paper towel to remove excess fat. To make avocado crème, combine scallion (green onions) whites, avocado, sour cream or Greek Yogurt, lime juice, cilantro (or other preferred herb), garlic and salt in a small bowl of a food processor or blender and process on high until smooth.

Toss the broccoli with cheese and spoon filling evenly among cooked halved potato skins. Return potatoes to oven and bake until cheese is melted, approximately 5 minutes, Spoon 1 tablespoon of the avocado cream on top of the broccoli-filled potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon crisped bacon bits.

Calories: 180, Total Fat: 10g, Protein 8g, Carbs 15g, Fiber 3g, Cholesterol 20 mg


Yummy Hummus!

This is another one of my recipes that I make all the time and do not feel guilty with the calories. Yummy hummus is a healthy recipe, loaded with protein and an excellent dip to use in sandwiches. I keep the hummus in the refrigerator ready and available with cut up carrot or celery sticks so that if someone wants to munch on something that does not have a lot of calories, they can do that. Yummy Hummus is such an easy recipe to make with dried beans cooked or if pressed for time, canned garbanzo (a.k.a. chick peas).

Yummy Hummus!  

Recipe created on 12/09/2007


1 – 2 garlic glove – peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup good tasting olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup of water, depending on smoothness of hummus
16 oz canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans – rinsed and drained
1/2 cup Tahnini – make sure the Tahnini is stirred well a lot of it settles on the bottom of the jar

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth and has the desired flavor you want. Add salt, scrape the sides of food processor as needed. And attack with food!

I made a parsley oil – 1/4 cup olive oil with 2 Tablespoons of fresh parsley and dolloped that on top of hummus with roasted pine nuts.
Can be refrigerated up to 3 days


Pam’s Guacamole

Guacamole is one of my favorite dips. I like to serve this dip because it is healthy and a good fat and I am not worried about the calorie content as much as the other dips. I make it all the time for just Mexican dishes or when I have people over. I serve it with corn tortilla chips or black bean chips – there never is any left. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Pam’s Guacamole Dip  

Recipe created on 02/16/2010


2 large Haas ripe avocados (the avocados I pick are firm and a little bit on the dark green side and when you press the avocado; there is a tiny dent on both sides from your fingers)

1 large Roma tomato

2 Tablespoons of lime juice (the one I used Santa Cruz Organic Lime Juice)

1-2 Tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro

2 small garlic cloves

2 – 3 Tablespoons of Fage Greek Yogurt (you can use 2% or fat free)

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 2 cracks of fresh pepper)

Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed by whacking the seed with a knife. Slightly twist the seed and remove. Scoop out the flesh part of the avocado with a large spoon and put into a bowl. Mash the meat of the avocado with a fork until you have the right texture you want. Add the lime juice, diced tomato, minced garlic, chopped cilantro and greek yogurt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve with your favorite tortilla chips.



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