Saturday, November 13, 2010

Great recipe for Thanksgiving!

Sweet Potato Spoon Bread

From Super Natural Cooking

By Heidi Swanson

3 medium large red-fleshed sweet potatoes

1/3 cup unsalted butter

4 large shallots, sliced into thin rounds

6 oz fresh goat cheese 9or maybe a little more…it is cheese after all)

¾ cup whole-wheat pastry flour or while whole-wheat flour

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup boiling water

3 large eggs (organic)

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, garnish

· Preheat over to 350 degrees F, position rack in the middle of the oven, and butter a 2 qt casserole pan

· Pierce each sweet potato with a fork a few times. First, wrap each in parchment paper, and then aluminum foil. Pierce the foiled potatoes to allow steam to escape. Bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours, until they are fork tender. Cool until they can be handled, using a big spoon, scoop out the flesh.

· Increase oven temp to 425.

· Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and stir in shallots. Cook, stirring frequently until shallots are golden and butter has browned, about 9 minutes.

· In a small bowl, whisk or blend the goat cheese until fluffy and light; you may need to add a few teaspoons of water if the cheese is dry.

· In a large bowl, combine the flour, onion powder, salt and pepper. Add a splash of the boiling water and stir to make a paste,

· Continue adding the boiling water a bit at a time until it is all incorporated. Batter may be a bit lumpy, no worries.

· Add 3 cups of the sweet potatoes and blend using a hand blender or by hand. Stir in sautéed shallots and all of the butter in the pan, then stir in eggs one at a time.

· Put 2/3 of the sweet potato mixture in the prepared casserole dish and top with dollops of the whipped goat cheese. Finish with dollops of the remaining sweet potato mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until goat cheese begins to color and the potatoes have set.

· Serve topped with a dusting of Parmesan.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Please check out (and "like") Green Goddess Gourmet San Diego on facebook. I post many articles and recipes there!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Interesting Article

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pan Roasted Organic Chicken with Braised Kale and Quinoa

(serves 3-4)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
One small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
Organic chicken, drumsticks and thighs (3 each), skin on, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped
Salt to taste
Juice from half and orange, save the other half for garnish
1 cup quinoa

• In a large skillet with lid, heat olive oil using medium high heat.
• Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, stir frequently
• Reduced heat to medium and add chicken, brown on each side and cover
• While chicken is cooking, prepare quinoa. (see note below)
• When quinoa is cooked (15 minutes), add kale to the chicken. Reduce heat to low and use tongs to gently flip kale uncooked kale on top to bottom of the pan. When most of the kale has started to wilt add orange juice, cover and allow kale to slowly cook for 5 more minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Add more salt to taste is needed.
• Spoon quinoa on center of the plate, next layer kale and chicken.
• Garnish with orange slices

*Rinse quinoa well and strain through colander. Heat 2 cups of water in a kettle to boil. In a small sauce pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil, add quinoa, stir frequently until you start to smell nutty aroma. Add hot water to quinoa, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.

*Remove skin on chicken for lower fat version

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Love Affair

I am in love, love, love with fresh figs right now. I can't visit the farmers market without immediately buying a small basket and sampling this delicious fruit as I enjoy the rest of the market (and then I turn around and do it again the next morning at the next market). I have a particular fondness for the Black Mission figs found locally, probably through October. Not only do they have a unique texture and taste, but they are simply beautiful. I almost always split the fig in half lengthwise before eating just so I can admire the beauty of the fruit before enjoying the taste. They may be enjoyed plain, as an appetizer, or make a visually and tasty addition to salads, sides and sauces (and I haven't even gotten to desserts!). Below is a simple way to enjoy these tasty little guys as a appetizer or munchie for you next wine party. I've also included some of the health benefits. Enjoy!

Black Mission figs
Soft goat cheese, possible chevre
chives, cut into 1 inch pieces
a couple of slices of prosciutto, sliced into strips about a 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches long
sunflower seeds

Slice some figs completely in half lengthwise. Others, remove the stem and make 2 crisscross slices in the top, cutting about half way down the fig from top to bottom.
For the halved figs, put a small dollop of goat cheese and top with either 2 pieces of the chives or sunflower seeds.
For the crisscrossed figs, roll the prosciutto into a funnel and gently stuff the fig. You may add chives to this one for garnish. Play around with the ingredients or come up with your own! But the combination of the sweet fig, creamy cheese and salty prosciutto or sunflower seeds is delicious.

  • a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure
  • A good source of dietary fiber
  • A good source of calcium
  • Fig leaves have been shown to have anti-diabetic properties, lower triglycerides and inhibit certain cancer cells
  • Eating 3 servings of fruit may lower risk of age related Macular Degeneration

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tortilla de Zuchinni

My family was visiting me in sunny San Diego for about 2 weeks. One of the activities we enjoyed together was hitting up several of the local farmer's markets. We came home with armloads of fresh veggies and ate delicious green inspired dinners almost every night. I feel funny calling this a recipe since it's so simple to prepare, but think of it as another option to enjoy the fabulous zuchinni that are starting to pop up everywhere.

2 Tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 zuchinni squash, washed and julienned (you may also grate with your cheese grater)
6 farm fresh eggs
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup fresh organic basil, chiffonade. More for garnish
1 teaspoon salt, more to taste

  1. Heat 1 TB olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until the onion starts to become translucent, approx. 5 minutes.
  2. Add zuchini and saute with onion until soft but not mushy, stirring often, approx 7 minutes.
  3. While veggies are cooking, beat eggs, goat cheese, basil and salt together in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Add cooked veggies to egg mixture and stir until well coated.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in skillet and add veggies and egg.
  6. Reduce heat to medium.
  7. Gently scrape around the edges of the tortilla with a spatula to make sure it isn't sticking. As the egg cooks it will become more solid. You can also gently shake the pan back and forth to insure the eggs do not stick. If the tortilla doesn't move a whole entity when you shake the pan, you may need to gently slide the spatula under the middle to loosen the tortilla.
  8. When the tortilla moves as one and the egg appears about 2/3 done (with some moisture remaining on the top), it is time to flip it, about 5-7 minutes. Use a large plate and place over the top of the skillet. Gently flip the tortilla onto the plate. The top should be golden in color. Using the spatula, gently scrape the tortilla back into the pan to cook the other side, about 3-5 minutes.
  9. Flip cooked tortilla onto serving plate, garnish with more basil and serve.
  10. Goes great with a tomato salad.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Take Action!

Very interesting. Please take a minute to read this short article.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Seasonal Produce for July

Happy July everyone! If you have visited your local farmer's market lately then you have experienced the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies that summer has to offer. It's a wonder to the senses. If you haven't been lately then I encourage you take advantage of the many different markets San Diego has around the city. When shopping at your local Farmer's Market, get to know your vendors. Ask if they are organic, and if not "Certified Organic," what type of farming practices are used. Ask where they are located, do they participate in CSA's? You never know who you can meet and what new interesting tidbits you can learn just by chatting. Salud!

Look for these yummy fruits and veggies that are currently in season:
Asparagus, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherries, eggplant, fennel, french beans, lettuce, loganberries, nectarines, new potatoes, oyster mushrooms, peaches, peas, radish, raspberries, rhubarb, sage, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, watercress

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spinach and Blueberry Salad with Tangy Garlic Dressing

I was just home in southern Illinois visiting family and the blueberries are in season and delicious. We often go as a family to the u pick place and bring home gallons. After mountains of blueberry pancakes, blueberry smoothies and blueberries by themselves, I start to get creative. Here is a simple recipe and yet another way to enjoy blueberries. The tangy dressing is a nice contrast to the sweet berries.

2 TB rice vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1large or 2 small cloves garlic, through a press
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
salt to taste

3/4 lb baby spinah leaves, washed
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced
1-1 1/2 cup blueberries, or more to taste
3 green onions, chopped including greens

Combine vinegar, mustard and garlic in a blender at low speed. While blender is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Then add yogurt and salt. Blend well.
Toss spinach leaves in dressing, adding a little at a time until leaves are coated (you may not use all of the dressing). Add more dressing depending on taste. Place dressed spinach in a large serving bowl. Layer cucumber slices and blueberries. Top with chopped onions. Serve family style. Serves 6.

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin K, carotenes, vitamin C and folic acid. It is also a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamins B2, B6 B1 and E. Spinach is a strong protector against cancer. The high iron content gives it remarkable capabilities to restore energy, increase vitality and improve the quality of the blood. Spinach is one of the most alkaline producing foods and helps regulate body pH.
Blueberries are an excellent source of flavonoids. They are also a great source of vitamin C, soluble and insoluble fiber and pectin and a good source of manganese, vitamin E and riboflavin. Some studies rate blueberries as the highest in their level of antioxidant capabilities. One benefit of the high antioxidant content may be in the protection against Alzheimer's disease. Blueberries also help improve vision and protect against age related macular degeneration. Blueberries are also helpful remedy for both diarrhea an constipation as well as promote a healthy urinary tract.
Yogurt is a very good source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin and vitamin B12. it is also a good source of pantothenic acid, biotin, selenium, zinc and potassium. Yogurt and other cultured dairy foods provide many health benefits such as; improved tolerance of milk, improved intestinal health, lowering of blood cholesterol levels, anti cancer and immune enhancing effects including reducing colon cancer and having anti tumor effects.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Carrot Green Controversy

After posting the recipe yesterday, I decided to do a little research on the nutritional value of carrot tops. Wow! Was I in for a surprise! While every site hails the nutritional benefits of the root, there are conflicting reports on whether or not greens are safe to eat. I must premise this information with the fact that I felt no ill effects after making my delicious recipe last night, nor when I ate the leftovers for lunch again today (YUM!). However, below I will present a summary of the information learned through my quick research.

First the good stuff: Carrot greens are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They contain 6 times the vitamin C of the root and are a great source of potassium and calcium. The greens are an excellent source of chlorophyll, which has been noted to purify the blood, lymph nodes and adrenal glands. They have also been noted to deter tumor growth.

And the not so good: To understand where the concerns lie, it’s interesting to note that the modern carrot was originally cultivated from Queen Anne's Lace, also known as the "wild carrot." This plant is topped with fern like greens and contains a single root, which resembles a pale carrot, and is also edible. However, it's the greens of the Queen Anne's Lace that can get a person into trouble. The leaves contain alkaloids, a group of organic compounds that contain such nasty poisons as strychnine, cocaine, and caffeine. In the old days, the seeds from Queen Anne's Lace were even used to prevent pregnancies or induce abortions. While the greens of the common garden-variety of carrot aren't quite as deadly as that of the wild carrot, some still regard them as toxic due to the presence of both alkaloids and nitrates in the greens. While many report the greens leaving a bitter taste in the mouth, others experience some of the side effects of exposure to alkaloids or nitrates. These include a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, increased heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, agitation and possibly even death.
So why do some people get sick while eating carrot greens and others don't? Carrots pull nitrates out of the soil during its growth. The levels of nitrates fluctuate with the growing season. Since home gardeners have no way of knowing at when the nitrate levels are high and when they are safe, some recommend not eating carrot greens at all.

As I mentioned earlier, I did not experience any of the side effects mentioned. I, will, however stress the importance of eating organic carrot greens. One concern is the toxicity due to the high levels of nitrates in the carrot greens. I posted on an earlier occasion that carrots are like the sponge of the farming world and are often used as a throw away crop, to cleanse a field of dangerous nitrates. Again, whether or not you decide to eat the greens, always, always buy organic carrots!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fettucini with Carrot Greens and Yogurt Sauce

The other day I was chopping radishes for a salad and felt guilty about just throwing the leaves in the trash (or compost). I started thinking about different ways to use those leaves. Then I came across a recipe by the glorious Deborah Madison, that, not only utilized the radish leaves, but also the tops of carrots. Below is my adaptation of that recipe.

4 cups of fresh spinach (packed)
Tops from 1 bunch of carrots, the leaves stripped from the stems
Leaves from one bunch of radishes (discard funky looking ones)
1 cup cilantro, stems included, chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
4 celery leaves
1 TB olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and chopped
1/4 white onion, thinly sliced
1 cup whole milk yogurt (organic of course)
sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, depending on taste
1 lb Jerusalem artichoke flour or spinach pasta
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup pine nuts
crumbled feta or soft goat cheese
lemon, sliced or wedges for garnish

  • Sort through greens and get rid of any funky looking ones. Wash and coarsely chop all greens.
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide nonstick skillet. Add garlic, chile and onion and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. next, add greens with water clinging to their leaves. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne and cook until wilted, turning with tongs, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add yogurt and greens to blender and puree.
  • Return mixture to skillet and heat over low heat (careful not to curdle the yogurt with too high heat).
  • Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain.
  • While pasta is cooking, toast pine nuts in a small skillet, over medium low heat until golden.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Adjust seasonings and lemon as needed.
  • Top with cheese, pine nuts and a lemon slice. *I used feta the first time I made this, but think creamy soft goat cheese would be delicious as well.

Monday, May 24, 2010

SOS -Save Our Strawberries

Please take a minute to click on the link and read this important info.