Monday, May 30, 2011

Fresh and Easy Pasta Salad

I love pasta salad! This dish can be served warm or cold. Today it will be served cold at our Memorial Day BBQ. It's much healthier than traditional macaroni salad- that's just pasta mixed with mayo and sugar. YUCK! There's still time to make this before your guests arrive. Give it a try!

1/2 lb whole wheat pasta (any style- today I am using ziti)
1/2 of a one-pound bag organic triple washed organic baby spinach leaves
1 cup jarred or canned artichoke hearts (NOT THE ONES PACKED IN OIL)
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (NOT THE ONES PACKED IN OIL)
1/4 cup large black pitted olives
1.2 medium red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon organic maple syrup
pinch of fresh or dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, gently remove the stems from the spinach leaves.  Chop the artichoke hearts and the sundried tomatoes. Don't leave them too big or make them too small-You want to taste them! Mince the onion.  Slice the olives into round slices- you can probably get 4 slices out of each olive.

About a minute before the pasta is cooked, add the baby spinach leaves to cook them slightly. Then, drain the pasta and spinach, set aside to cool.  Add all the other ingredients and toss gently.

Combine the olive oil and vinegar to a small bowl, add oregano and the maple syrup and whisk until blended.
Pour into pasta salad and toss again.  You might want to adjust the amount of vinegar- more or less, depending on your taste. Add extra salt and pepper if desired.

Chill for about an hour. Serve and enjoy.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fresh Spinach with Toasted Sesame Seeds

Tender, baby spinach leaves.  You bought them because you know they are good for you- packed with vitamins and nutrients- but you are not sure what to do with them.

I simply adore spinach leaves and add them to just about everything: soups, pasta dishes, salads, scrambled tofu......  Most of the time,  I just saute them very quickly, add a drop or two of sesame oil and a handful of toasted sesame seeds.  Each beautiful green leaf retains its color when cooked this way and the sesame oil and the seeds add an earthy, exotic flavor to the spinach.

Organic baby spinach leaves come packaged and triple washed. I always keep a big bag on hand. You can also buy them in bunches if you have the time and patience to lovingly wash every single individual leaf.  Spinach is usually very gritty when you buy it this way and you will need to scrub the leaves very well.

You will find that fresh baby spinach leaves cook up very quickly and are the ultimate convenience food. You will never need or want to buy frozen spinach again!

Fresh Spinach with Sesame Seeds

Serves 3
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Heat the canola or peanut oil in a wok or a large sauté pan over medium heat, and sauté the garlic for 20 seconds; do not let it get brown.

Add spinach and toss lightly with tongs, so that all pieces cook evenly.

When spinach is lightly wilted, remove from heat, drizzle with sesame oil and toss. Add sesame seeds and toss again. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Quick. Delicious and Cynfully Good......

Friday, May 27, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Chips

I LOVE potato chips. Potato chips DON'T love me--meaning once I rip open a bag of those salty, crispy snacks--I just can't stop eating them. Not to mention the fact they are so unhealthy!

Why buy bags of junky, greasy chips when you can make your own in no time at all? This recipe for Spicy Sweet Potato Chips ( you make them from sweet potatoes) is from I really love that website!

The beauty of these chips? They are so much tastier than any bag of chips you could possibly buy, they are baked not fried, and you know every single ingredient in them because YOU made them!


2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 sweet potato (peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices)

1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2 Stir together olive oil, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Brush the sweet potato slices with the maple mixture and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

3 Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, then turn the potato slices over, brush with any remaining maple mixture, and continue baking until tender in the middle, and crispy on the edges, about 7 minutes more.

Munch away because these are Cynfully Good............

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Portobello Mushroom Burger Recipe

Memorial Day. A holiday set aside to honor the heroes who fought for our freedom. It's also the official start to summer fun and for some of us, the first time firing up the backyard BBQ grill since last year.

It's also time for charcoal grilled beef burgers dripping with fat and nitrate riddled hot dogs served with tasteless white-flour buns.

Perhaps you are trying to eat healthy so you opt for the frozen veggie burger and either toss on a clean spot on the grill or pop it in the microwave just to be safe.

I always keep veggie burgers in my freezer as backup plan and take one with me wherever I go- just in case. But--no matter how many fixing's I pile on top of my boring little veggie burger, when I bite into it, I miss that whole 'burger' experience.

Always on the search for delicious, healthy, vegan alternatives, I discovered portobello mushrooms. You can put them right on the grill and they will be so juicy, tasty and tender. They are the most satisfying alternative ever! 

Here's a delicious recipe for Portobello Mushroom Burgers.  Scrub the grill clean of any grease or meat drippings first and be sure to cook up a bunch.  I'll bet everyone will pass over the beef burgers for one of these!

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grates
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 red bell pepper (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 4 equal pieces
8 portobello mushrooms (about 1 pound total), stems removed
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
5 ounces fresh goat cheese, cut into 4 equal slices or vegan block 'cheese' alternative.
You might want to try Tree Nut Cheese by Dr. Cow. It can be sliced into discs like goat cheese and is sharp and tangy. It can be ordered on-line here: Dr. Cow Tree Nut Cheese
4 lettuce leaves
  1. In a shallow dish, whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add bell pepper and mushrooms; toss gently to coat. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (or refrigerate, up to overnight).
  2. Heat grill to medium; lightly oil grates. Grill bell pepper, skin side down, until blackened, about 10 minutes; remove from grill. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin; set bell pepper aside.
  3. Grill mushrooms, covered, until lightly charred and tender, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Dividing evenly, top bottom half of each bun with bell pepper, mushrooms, goat cheese or vegan alternative, and lettuce. Close burgers, and serve immediately.
Serves 4.

Juicy. Tender. Healthy and Cynfully Good.......

Sweet Potato Curry with Spinach and Chickpeas

This recipe is the perfect combination of wholesome goodness, REAL food, balance, and exotic mystery.  It is completely Vegan and you will not miss or need meat with this dish. This is 'soul food' at it's best- it's totally nourishing to your body, mind and spirit.

If you think you don't like curry, I suggest you try this recipe. You might be pleasantly surprised.

  • 1/2 large sweet onions, chopped or 2 scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1 -2 teaspoon canola oil

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder

  • 1 tablespoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 lbs)

  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, can substitute fresh if available

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

  • basmati rice or brown rice, for serving

  • 1 You may choose to cook the sweet potatoes however you prefer.

  • I like to peel, chop and steam mine in a veggie steamer for about 15 minutes.

  • Baking or boiling work well too.

  • While sweet potatoes cook, heat 1-2 tsp of canola or vegetable oil over medium heat.

  • Add onions and sauté 2-3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.

  • Next, add the curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon, and stir to coat the onions evenly with spices.

  • Add tomatoes with their juices, and the chickpeas, stir to combine.

  • Add ½ cup water and raise heat up to a strong simmer for about a minute or two.

  • Next, add the fresh spinach, a couple handfuls at a time, stirring to coat with cooking liquid.

  • 10 When all the spinach is added to the pan, cover and simmer until just wilted, about 3 minutes.

  • 11 Add the cooked sweet potatoes to the liquid, and stir to coat.

  • 12 Simmer for another 3-5 minutes, or until flavors are well combined.

  • 13 Transfer to serving dish, toss with fresh cilantro, and serve hot.

  • 14 Serve over cooked basmati or brown rice

  • Recipe from

    Perfectly balanced, healing, nourishing food. Cynfully Good......

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Watermelon Salad

    Memorial Day is in just a few short days! The official start of summer: BBQ's, lazy days at the beach,  fun in the sun, out door festivals and music concerts, and delicious summer fruits like peaches, plums and watermelon!

    Nothing puts in summer mood more than a slice of watermelon. Red, sweet, and so juicy-watermelon is refreshing and so good for you. It's packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature: Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and lycopene.  Slice it up often and enjoy.

    Now that you know how good it is for you:  here is a delicious and different recipe for watermelon salad.  It's perfect to serve or bring to your Memorial Day BBQ.

    This recipe was on the California Olive Ranch website.  I adjusted it slightly (converting metric measurements to more familiar US measurements) and for us Vegans  in the group, I have included a recipe for Vegan feta to replace the cheese called for in this dish. (see below).

    • 1 small red onion
    • 2-4 limes, depending on juiciness
    • 3lbs sweet, ripe watermelon
    • 1 cup feta cheese or Mock Feta Cheese Recipe
    • Bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
    • Bunch fresh mint, chopped
    • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 cup pitted black olives
    • Black pepper
    Serves: 8
    1. Peel and halve the red onion and cut into very fine half-moons and put in a small bowl to steep with the lime juice, to bring out the transparent pinkness in the onions and diminish their rasp. Two limes' worth should do it, but you can find the fruits disappointingly dried up and barren when you cut them in half, in which case add more.
    2. Remove the rind and pips from the watermelon, and cut into approximately 1.5 inch triangular chunks, if that makes sense (math is not my strong point). Cut the feta into similar sized pieces and put them both into a large, wide shallow bowl. Tear off sprigs of parsley so that it is used like a salad leaf, rather than a garnish, and add to the bowl along with the chopped mint.
    3. Pour the onions, along with their pink juices over the salad in the bowl, add the oil and olives, then using your hands toss the salad very gently so that the feta and melon don't lose their shape. Add a good grinding of black pepper and taste to see whether the dressing needs more lime.
    Refreshing. Delicious. Healthy. Cynfully Good.......

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Meatless Monday Spinach and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Pizza

    If the idea of a bean dish doesn't turn you on for Meatless Monday, how about homemade stuffed pizza? This is the most amazingly easy and delicious recipe. Don't panic over homemade pizza.  It really is not difficult. This recipe takes about 20 minutes to prepare and will be ready for your family to enjoy in less than an hour.  As it cooks, you can watch the news, help the kids with homework, or pour yourself a glass of wine or sip a cup of tea and just relax.

    Serve this dish with your favorite marinara sauce and a big tossed green salad! This recipe will satisfy carnivores, vegetarians and vegans (just substitute the parmesan and mozzarella cheese with your favorite vegan varieties). Enjoy!
    • Cooking spray, preferably canola or olive oil
    • 1 14-ounce package firm water-packed tofu, drained
    • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    • 1/2 cup chopped soft or reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes (see Tip)
    • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (or Vegan alternative)
    • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (or Vegan alternative)
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 pound prepared pizza dough, preferably whole-wheat
    1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 475°F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
    2. Finely crumble tofu; pat dry. Place in a large bowl and use your hands to combine with spinach, tomatoes, Parmesan, mozzarella, basil, onion powder, salt and pepper.
    3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about the length of the prepared baking sheet and twice as wide (approximately 16 by 18 inches). Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, allowing the extra width to hang over on one side onto a clean surface. Spread the filling on the dough in the pan, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the overhanging dough over the filling. Fold the edges closed and crimp with a fork to seal. Make several small slits in the top to vent steam; lightly coat the top with cooking spray.
    4. Bake the stuffed pizza until well browned on top, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting.
    Tip: For this recipe, look for soft sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil). If you can only find tomatoes that are very dry (and hard), soak in boiling water for about 20 minutes, drain, chop and then add to the pizza filling.

    Recipe from: . Check out their site. They have a whole section of Vegetarian dishes I know you will love.

    So Cynfully Good......

    Meatless Monday Black Bean Croquettes

    It's Meatless Monday! Every day is meatless for me but for those of you wishing to add a few dishes a week that are vegetarian or vegan, here is a great recipe:

    Black Bean Croquettes. 

    These are easy to make and BAKED, not fried so they are better for you and lower in fat and calories.  Serve them with warm whole wheat tortillas, homemade coleslaw or a tossed green salad.  These are so good and so satisfying, no one will ever miss the meat!
    • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
    • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs, divided
    • 2 cups finely chopped tomatoes
    • 2 scallions, sliced
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder, hot if desired, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 avocado, diced
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
    2. Mash black beans and cumin with a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. To make the salsa: combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the black bean mixture. Reserve the rest to serve with the croquettes later.
    3. Mix the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs are coated with oil. Divide the bean mixture into 8 scant 1/2-cup balls. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
    4. Bake the croquettes until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir avocado into the remaining tomato mixture. Serve the salsa with the croquettes.

    Healthy. Easy. Meatless. Cynfully Good......

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Italian Potato Salad

    Craving potato salad but don't want all that unhealthy, fattening mayonnaise? Try this delicious recipe instead.: Italian Potato Salad.... No mayo in sight! Perfect to bring to a Memorial Day BBQ!

    6 potatoes, boiled in the skin
    1 onion, cut in half and then sliced very thin
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
    3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

    Peel boiled potatoes while they are still warm and cut into large, bite-sized cubes.
    Toss together with remaining ingredients.
    Refrigerate for at least one hour.


    Simple. Delicious. Healthy. Cynfully Good..........

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Quick and Simple Fruit Salad

    I love fruit salad, but I don't always keep such wide variety of fresh fruits on hand. Honestly, when the mood for a nice big fruit salad does strike me, I want it NOW and don't have the patience to wash, peel or cut all that fruit and then clean up the mess.

    Here's  a simple and delicious solution.

    Quick and Simple Fruit Salad

    1 can organic tropical fruit salad - Native Forest is perfect-lots of mango, papaya, pineapple
    1 banana, sliced thin
    4 or 5 fresh strawberries sliced
    handful of fresh organic blueberrys
                                      handful of raw almonds
    (if you happen to have shredded coconut on hand, add a bit of that, too)

    Toss everything into a bowl and stir gently to mix.  Chill for about 30 minutes (or eat it right away- your choice). Either way, this is simply sensational!

    Quick, healthy, delicious and Cynfully Good

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Sushi Rice Salad


    Sushi Rice Salad Photo: Deirdre Rooney

    This recipe was in the food and drink section at  and what a great recipe it is. It's a little different, very healthy, and completely Vegan/Vegetarian. 

    Sushi rice is a short grain rice and gets sticky when you cook it. You can find it in Asian markets and some larger grocery stores carry it as well. Or, order it here at Just click the link I've posted. If you are a 'die-hard brown-ricer', you can use that, too.

    Do add the baked tofu to this salad. It is so worth it and makes it filling. Serve with miso soup for a real "Sushi Night Out" experience.  This salad is a complete meal and perfect for lunch or a light supper. Enjoy......

    Sushi Rice Salad

    For the baked tofu
    200g (7oz) firm tofu, cut into 2cm (¾in) thick batons
    1 tbsp finely grated ginger
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp mirin or sweet sherry
    1 tbsp groundnut oil

    For the rice
    200g (7oz) brown sushi rice or brown shortgrain rice
    1 tbsp sugar
    4 tbsp rice vinegar
    ½ tsp salt

    For the salad
    100g (3½oz) frozen soy beans (edamame)
    2 tbsp sesame seeds
    1 large avocado, quartered, stoned, peeled and sliced
    2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
    2 toasted nori sheets, cut into thin strips with scissors
    small handful of radish sprouts or other sprouts such as alfalfa
    2 tsp wasabi paste, to serve
    2 tbsp Japanese pickled ginger, drained, to serve

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Combine the tofu with the ginger, soy sauce, mirin or sherry and oil. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes or just spread out on a lined baking-sheet and cook for about 25 minutes, turning halfway, until golden. Set aside.

    Meanwhile, rinse the rice and cover with water. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until just tender. Drain off excess water and set aside to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Combine the sugar, rice vinegar and salt and sprinkle over the warm rice, stirring in well. Cool, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or so while you finish the rest of the salad.

    Blanch the soy beans in boiling water for two minutes then refresh in cold water and drain well.

    Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying-pan until golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

    Mound the rice into four bowls and top with tofu, soy beans, avocado, spring onion, nori and radish sprouts. Scatter with sesame and serve with wasabi and pickled ginger.
    A fun, asian-inspired complete meal in bowl and Cynfully Good!

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Vegan-Vegetarian Mongolian 'Beef" Recipe

    This is it, folks! If you are looking for authentic stir fry but want to keep it Vegan, check out this recipe from The "BEEF" is actually tofu and I promise, you are going to LOVE it~

    Vegan -Vegetarian Mongolian Beef

    Enjoy! It's Cynfully Good.........

    Wednesday, May 11, 2011

    Quinoa Loaded with Herbs and Veggies

    In my humble opinion, the absolute perfect dish!!

    Prepare the quinoa:
    1/2 cup sprouted quinoa
    1 cup vegetable broth
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp minced fresh garlic
    1 tsp minced fresh shallot
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    pinch crushed red pepper
    Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.

    Prepare veggies:
    Thinly slice and layer into a large bowl:
    1/2 cup baby bell peppers in assorted colors
    1/2 cup shiitake mushroom caps
    1/2 cup fennel bulb
    1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes

    When quinoa is ready, tumble over the top of the layered veggies. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Then add:
    1/2 cup chopped parsley
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
    1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
    1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds

    Toss thoroughly and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!


    Cynfully Good!!!

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    Avocado Lemon Pie Recipe

    Okay....I will admit this recipe is really for "die-hard" vegan health nuts! It's definitely NOT your Mama's lemon pie. It is packed with lots of good stuff, however:  rich, luscious avocados and refreshing, cleansing lemons.  The crust is made of shredded coconut and Medjool dates.  Did you know Medjool dates contain more potassium than bananas? They also have vital amino acids which help with digestion and helps cure intenstinal disturbances.

     Yes, I know this is one ugly looking pie....but give it a try....if you dare!! If this recipe doesn't tempt you in the least, I won't be offended.  Hopefully you will add a couple of Medjool dates to your diet every day.  They are so good for you.  Add a few fresh lemon wedges to your water, too. Your body will thank you!



    • 1 ½ cups organic unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 2 cups organic pecans
    • 4 to 6 organic medjool dates
    • ¼ cup organic raw agave nectar


    • 1 ½ organic avocados
    • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • ¼ cup organic raw agave nectar
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon zest



    1. Combine coconut, pecans, dates, and agave in a food processor and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs and begins to stick together.
    2. Empty the mixture into a 9” pie plate and evenly distribute the crumbs along the bottom and up the sides. Once the crumbs are distributed, press it all in firmly with your hand until it’s all packed together.


    1. Combine avocados, lemon juice, agave, and lemon zest in a food processor and process until smooth. Then using a spoon spread the filling over the crust.  Chill the pie for about an hour before serving, then enjoy!

    Cynfully Good......

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Pesto Wraps

    If you are looking for healthy, fun, vegan appetizers to serve for your Mother's Day dinner or BBQ this weekend; these pesto wraps are perfect. They are easy to make, too. I would recommend you assemble them right before your guests arrive or better yet, get them involved in the preparation. Just pour some white wine, put on some music, and start wrapping. Enjoy!

    What You Need:
    3 large zucchini
    Sea salt, pinch
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    Chopped green and purple basil leaves (garnish)

    Presto Pesto:
    2 cups walnuts, chopped
    2 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
    3 cloves garlic
    1 tablespoon red miso
    2 tomatoes, cubed
    What You Do:
    1. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, cut thin, wide strips lengthwise down zucchini. In a bowl, place zucchini strips, cover with water, and add sea salt and lemon juice. Soak for 2 hours. Drain, rinse, and drain again.

    2. For the pesto, in a food processor, combine walnuts, basil leaves, and garlic to create a paste. Transfer paste to a bowl and stir in miso.

    3. To prepare each wrap, lay a zucchini strip flat. In center of zucchini strip, place a teaspoon of pesto. Press a small piece of tomato into pesto. Roll up zucchini strip. With a toothpick, secure wrap or serve it seam side down on a serving plate. Serve with chopped basil garnish.

    by Jeremy A. Safron.
    Photograph by Eniko Perhacs

    Healthy, Easy, Vegan, and Cynfully Good...........

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Roasted Corn Guacamole

    Roasted Corn Guacamole! Perfect for a Mother's Day BBQ!!

    • Kernels from 3 ears fresh corn, or 2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
    • 1 tablespoon(s) olive oil
    • Salt
    • Black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon(s) finely chopped red onion
    • 2 tablespoon(s) fresh cilantro, finely chopped
    • Juice and finely grated zest from 1 lime
    • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded, finely chopped
    • 1 avocado, pitted and chopped

    1. Roast the corn: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Put the corn kernels on the baking sheet and toss with the oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Spread the corn out evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until the corn turns a golden brown. (It may seem that you have left the corn in the oven for too long, but you want it to caramelize and get a little crunchy.) Remove the corn from the oven.
    2. In a bowl, combine the roasted corn, red onion, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and jalapeño. Gently stir in the avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

    Tips & Techniques
    Removing Corn Kernels: I find that the easiest way to do this is to work with the corn in a horizontal position and essentially slice four sides off of the ear of corn. You will need a large chef's knife. Place the corn on a cutting board lengthwise in front of you, and position the tip of your knife blade on the top right side of the corn then slice off the entire right side. To help avoid cutting into the cob, place your blade one kernel in from the edge. Rotate the ear of corn clockwise and repeat with the remaining three sides.

    Roasting Corn: Roasting corn not only caramelizes the naturally present sugars, it also intensifies the flavor of the corn. Twenty minutes is the average time it takes to get the corn to that state, but don't be afraid to leave it in a bit longer. Even if some kernels appear burnt, they will be deliciously crunchy and pop in your mouth.
    From Simply Mexican ©2009, Ten Speed Press - Buy the book

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Spring Minestrone Soup

    Spring Minestrone Soup Recipe


    Yes,  it's spring but do you still want soup? I know I do and this recipe is perfect! Loaded with spring veggies and a special surprise- pesto! So good and nourishing. I could exist on bowls of this soup and nothing else for days!

    This recipe is from  I omitted the chicken stock in their original recipe. Believe me, vegetarian or not, you will enjoy this soup just as much if you use the vegetable stock.

    You can either make fresh pesto for this recipe, or you can just buy some high-quality pesto in the market.


    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 6 green onions
    • 2 green garlic stalks, or 2 large garlic cloves
    • 1 pound baby potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
    • 1 quart vegetable stock
    • Salt
    • 1/2 pound artichoke hearts (fresh or frozen), chopped roughly
    • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas
    • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
    • 1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 2 cups greens (dandelion, chard, spinach, kale, arugula, etc), sliced into thin ribbons
    • Up to 1/4 cup pesto
    • Grated parmesan or pecorino cheese (or vegan alternative) for garnish


    1 Chop the green onions and green garlic and separate the white and light green parts from the green tops. If you are using regular garlic cloves, put them with the white parts of the green onions. Slice the potatoes and artichoke hearts into chunks you would want to eat with a spoon.

    2 In a large pot set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil for 1 minute. Add the white parts of the green onions as well as the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the potatoes, stir to combine and cook 1 minute.
    3 Add the diced tomatoes with their liquid and the quart of vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer, add salt to taste, then cover and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

    4 Add the artichoke hearts and cook another 5 minutes, then add the chickpeas and green peas and cook another 5 minutes. Remove the cover from the soup and add the asparagus. Cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and the green parts from the green onions and green garlic, if using. Stir well to combine and cook 1 minute.
    5 Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto. Serve topped with grated cheese.

    Yield: Serves 4-6.

    Cynfully Good......

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Skillet Gardner's Pie

    The days are finally getting warmer!  Evenings, however, remain a bit chilly so I am still craving warming, substantial, "stick-to-my-ribs" meals.  I just happened to stumble upon this recipe at and had to try it. It is delicious and perfect for dinner on a damp and dreary night.

    Skillet Gardner's Pie! It's like a Shepherd's Pie, but this recipe is totally Vegan.  It's loaded with mushrooms, kidney beans, spinach and fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary and sage and just like the traditional dish, it's topped with a layer of mashed potatoes.  Give a try.  I think you will love it..

    Be sure to explore the  website, while you're checking out this recipe. 

    You'll find lots of Cynfully Good Things..........