Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ginger - chamomile tea

This tea is so easy to make and its soooo good if you have a cold and cough. This is the only thing that really helps me sleep.

All you need is:

- Fresh ginger (the root)
- Chammomile tea
- Honey
- Lemon juice
- Hot water

The ginger - I just skin and cut thin strips and throw into the cup. Then pour hot water, honey, lemon juice and chamomile teabag in there, and you got yourself one delicious beverage.

Butter-massaged rosemary potatoes

This is a real simple way to make fancy potatoes. I got this from my mother.
Just make sure to cook the potatoes before anything else - they take forever!!!

You will need:

- Potatoes (SOME)
- Butter
Salt, Rosemary, pepper

I cut the potatoes in this longish wedges, they cook faster that way. After that, and this is a bit messy, I rub butter over each and every piece. Makes sure it's got a nice layer of butter on them, otherwise they going to be dry and flavorless.

Once the potatoes are well-massaged with butter (lol) I sprinkle rosemary (dry herb) and pepper. Do not add salt just yet, as it draws water from stuff.Stick in the oven, preheated to 375-400 degrees.

I check them periodically, but on 375-400 degree heat in the oven, in takes me about 30 minutes or more to get them soft. Just eyeball the temperature, I'm sure it will vary with tater quantity and your oven layout. If you lucky, you will get this crunchy top over them, which is extra delicious.

Once the taters are ready, THEN I sprinkle salt on them. Or just put salt on the table and let everyone salt their own.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pita Chips

So this may be super obvious, but I had never thought about it until recently. You see my favorite snack on the planet is Hummus and Pita. Particularly roasted red pepper sabra hummus on flat bread. However, to get my husband to enjoy this snack rather than his suggestion (always ice cream) we have to eat our hummus on pita chips. My first problem with this is that I always assume the more you do to a food the unhealthier it often becomes. My second problem with this is that a bag of pita chips costs somewhere between $3 and $4 and a pack of pita/flat bread (that goes further) is $1-$2.  I recently found this very obvious solution.


  • pita bread (of any sort - we prefer whole wheat)
  • evoo
  • spices of your choosing (i like red pepper or pepper or cinnamon)

  1. Preheat oven to 300
  2. Rip/Cut pita into pieces the size you want to dip with
  3. Brush the pita with evoo
  4. Cook in the oven 10-20 minutes depending on your choice of crunchiness
  5. Voila pita chips :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Oh-Ehm-Gee Curry Lentils

This is what I shall call this dish. OMG-curry lentils. I just had a bowl of it and I still want more.
Ever since Kim left back home, I've been craving Thai-Ethiopian food. I have 2 packets of curry paste - green and red. I was going to make some curry dishes for Kim, but never got around it, so I decided to use some of that curry and see waht I can make.

What came out was: OMG.

You will need:

- Lentils (!)
- Curry paste (I used the red. It looked less spicy by the ingredient list. I don't like spicy)
- Tomatoes
- Lime
- Cilantro
- Onions
- Salt
- Veg. oil

Boil "some" lentils. Until soft - just follow instructions. Once lentils are ready - drain them in a colander (I use the one with fine mesh to make sure all the water is out).
Heat up a flat skillet with some oil. Dice up onion and let it start cooking. Once the onions are almost done - throw on the lentils. Stir frequently, lower the heat - don't let the lentils burn.
Now the curry paste was tricky - it was very...pasty. I dropped just a half of teaspoon in there, and I could tell the taste is going to be phenomenal. I stirred and stirred until all of the paste got dispersed throughout the food.
Then I squeezed half-lime worth of lime juice. Threw some cilantro in and some salt.
Turn off the heat.
Dice up tomatoes, remove the mushy middles. Use roma tomatoes, or anything that's hard, basically. Dice up, and throw in. Let the tomatoes be cold, but the rest hot.

I guarantee you will love it. Kim, let me know if you cannot find this kind of paste, and I will sent you some from here. Oh, and it does also taste a bit like Ethiopian food.

Ginger-Lime Shrimp

Was craving something "exotic" last night and made this concoction. Shrimp with , I guess, Bahama-Thai flavor?

You just need:

Some shrimp (Yep, I don't measure things)
Garlic/Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Lime (or lemon)
Fresh ginger root
Green onions
Green peppers
Regular onions (I like sweet vidalia)

Start with heating up butter. While that's doing it's thing - dice up green pepers and onions small. Toss them on and let them cook up a bit. Then toss shrimp. Cut lime up in halves, and squeeze a bit, but not too much. Then cut the 1/2 lime into quarters and toss into the mix.
Add your garlic, salt (tiny amount), pepper. Then add a TINY bit of ginger. I pretty much just scrape a bit off the root (remive the skin!)and just toss it in the mix for the smell, mostly.

The green onions go last. Sometimes I'll add some cilantro leaves as well. This dish tastes really fresh and delicious.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tikil Gomen

This is actually one of my favorite yummies on the ole veggie platter at your local habesha restaurant. I was so excited to make it last night and even more excited to share it with you today. If you make it at home post a picture in the comments section or let me know how you liked it. I have never been an enormous fan of cabbage, but after this - I just may be.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 sliced carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 spoonfuls of berbere (if you dont have berbere you can substitute pepper, cumin, tumeric, and chili powder)
  • 1/2 head of cabbage
  • 5 potatoes cubed

  1. Heat olive oil in large (i mean large) pot on medium heat

  2. Add carrots and onions and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add spices and cabbage and cook for 20 minutes
  4. Add potatoes

  5. Cover and cook for another 30-40 minutes until potatoes are soft

  6. I would continue to check on this pulling the juices up to the top with a spoon and moving the potatoes and veggies around

  7. Once the potatoes are soft remove from heat
  8. Serve on injera
  9. Enjoy!

Misr Wot

In case you don't stalk all of my blogs, you may not know that my adorable hubby and I are adopting from ethiopia . In the process and to help our patience through the long wait to be matched with a child, we are learning what we can about the Ethiopian culture. And being fond of eating we are especially taken with Ethiopian foods. And myself being a vegetarian - and Ethiopian food being full of vegetarian options - it is definitely my new favorite food. The problem? Well we are saving every penny for the adoption and can't afford to visit queen of sheba every week. The solution? Learn to cook habesha (ethiopian) food ourselves! errr... myself... :)

Misr Wot is a pureed lentil spicy concoction. It is meant to be serves (as all ethiopian food) on injera. In this particular situation I had no injera so we used flatbread. I did have berbere (an ethiopian spice) but if you do not have it you can substitute pepper, cumin, tumeric, and chili powder or or order berbere here


  • 1.5 cups red lentils (i used yellow and that worked too)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 T berbere

  1. cook lentils in 2 cups of water for about 30 mins on medium/low in a pot

  2. saute onions and garlic in olive oil until transparent in pan

  3. put in 2 T berbere and some water and mix around in pan
  4. add lentils

  5. cook and mush for another 30 mins on medium/low
  6. continue to mush around and add water when it gets too sticky

  7. after about 30 mins the lentils will have pretty much disintegrated and it will be done
  8. you can add paprika if you want to deepen the color red
  9. Serve on injera (or any flatbread type thing if you dont have injera)
  10. Enjoy!

Garlic-Butter shrimp with Pasta Alfredo

Ok, this is a REALLY simple dish to make, takes like 30 minutes and you got a nice lunch/dinner. You will need:

Some shrimp - however many you wanna eat, I suppose
Some pasta - same
A couple of chive/green onion stalks
Some butter/margarine
Garlic (minced) or even garlic powder
Lemon-pepper or Lemon
Alfredo Sauce

I start out with boiling water for pasta, as the shrimp is the quick part, even with peeling (if its raw). While that's cooking, start on your shrimp. Doesn't matter what kind of you get, but I prefer to get the unpeeled, raw kind - it really gets a much better texture and flavor if you cook it yourself, instead of basically heating the pre-cooked one. But it's up to you, really.

Toss some butter on a skillet - high-ish heat. Let it warm up. Toss the shrimp on. Stir often. Remember - shrimp cooks REALLY quickly, so don't let it sit, otherwise it will be rubbery.
Dive up so,e green onions./chives - I usually do it at a slant, it looks prettier that way. You can also toss that right at the end.
Toss salt, lemon-pepper, garlic, to taste. I would have added something sweet (like honey) to make it a bit sour-sweet, but I didn't have any, so I don't know how that's gonna come out.
Remember - use salt sparingly. For some reason it's really easy to oversalt shrimp, I dunno why.

When pasta is ready, put it in bowls, pour Alfredo over it, and stir it up a bit. Then place the shrimp on top. Guaranteed amazing-looking and tasting meal.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tangy Mustard Cauliflower with Cheese

Ok, I totally stole this recipe from the Internets.

* 1 head cauliflower
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise, reduced fat
* Tablespoon of Ranch dressing
* 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
* 1 teaspoon onion, minced
* 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar or Parm cheese

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Wash, trim and core the cauliflower; break up. Cook in simmering water 12 to 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain well.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise,Ranch dressing mustard and minced onion. Spread mixture over cauliflower. Sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cheesy Artichokes

Ok this is our favorite side dish by far. In fact I am certain that we are having it again tonight with our wholewheat pasta.

  • can of artichoke hearts (preferribly whole)
  • evoo
  • parmesan
  • italian spices
  1. Lay the artichokes out in a baking dish
  2. Spritz over the top of them with evoo or butterspray
  3. sprinkle parmesan and spices all over the top
  4. put in oven and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until they brown

Tofu Cacciatore

This is one of my favorite recipes and I actually didnt make it this week only because we have had so much of it. It is also super easy and makes enough for a couple meals.

  • tofu, i like to slice it into smaller pieces
  • stewed tomatoes
  • tomato paste
  • all colors of bell peppers
  • evoo
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • garlic

  1. Saute the vegetables and evoo and garlic in a frying pan with some evoo 
  2. Once they are nice and soft go ahead and pour in a tablespoon of tomato paste and the stewed tomatos
  3. Spice to taste and mix it all in really good
  4. Then set aside to stay warm
  5. Then take the tofu and saute that in evoo careful not to burn it or make it crumble
  6. Then get a baking dish and lay the tofu out and smother in the cacciatore
  7. Put it in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes or until the sauce starts to bubble

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

So it hit me the other day that I hadn't had french onion soup (which used to be a favorite of mine) since I became a vegetarian. So I decided to figure out a way to make it vegetarian and south beach. And I did. I lost weight the day I ate it, so it apparently didn't effect my weight gain, and it was pretty good.

So here is the recipe to share:


  • EVOO
  • SB safe butter spray
  • Vegetarian broth
  • Vidalia Onions (1 per bowl)
  • Light swiss cheese (shredded would be good but not necessary - i could only find it light in slices)
  • whole wheat bread/tofu if in stage 1
  • splenda
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Light Soy Sauce
  1. Saute the onions in evoo and butter spray til they become translucent
  2. Add in some soy sauce and spices and a bit of wine/balsamic/splenda to carmelize a bit
  3. after the onions are sweet and soft you can pour in the veggie broth, about a containerfull
  4. add spice to taste and here is your veggie onion broth
  5. Bring it to a boil and then bring it down to a simmer for about 10 minutes
  6. Then pour the soup into oven safe bowls and set the oven to broil
  7. Float a tiny bit of whole wheat bread/tofu in the top of the soup bowl and lay the cheese on top of it to melt
  8. Cover the top with cheese and put it in the oven
  9. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling and turning brown at the top

And then you eat it - and its yummy :)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

OK. So I came up with this one last night. I took the roasted red pepper dip from the south beach book and added it to the hummus recipe from the south beach book, mixed them together, let them sit overnight, and yuummmmmm on celery/carrots/wholewheat pita pieces (on stage2).

Mind you, this is MUCH better the second day so I would avoid eating it until the following day if it can be helped.


  • 1 can of chick peas
  • sesame tahini (1/2 cup)
  • olive oil (a couple teaspoons)
  • splenda (a tablespoon or so)
  • roasted red peppers (1 jar)
  • light cottage cheese (3 tablespoons)
  • onions (1/4 cup)
  • garlic (3 cloves)
  • cumin (a couple shakes)
  • pepper (a couple shakes)
  • salt (a couple shakes)
  • hot sauce (a splash or two)

  1. Put all ingredients in blender/mixer and blend til its creamy
  2. add all additives (spices and liquids) until it tastes right
  3. Pour it into a bowl and let it sit overnight

Roasted Chick Peas

So - one of the things Bryan and I have discovered is that some of the things South Beach books ok to consume regularly make us gain weight on the days we eat them. Yes we weigh ourselves every day. I know I know, but for me it works. Case in point is the sugar free fudgecicles. Every single day we ate them we both gained weight. So we took them and dumped them into the Watsons fridge and won't even look at them let alone eat them. They were not even close enough to being good enough to gain weight from.

But there is one snack food that I can seem to eat as much as I want of and never do anything but lose weight on these days. Roasted chick peas. I have personally modified the recipe from the south beach books enough to make it a super super yummy treat and can't seem to stop eating them. We had four cans of chick peas in the closet at the beginning of the week and I am hoping there is one left in there to make some roasted chick peas tonight!

So here is my version of the recipe. Feel free to replicate or even call them kimchi-ckpeas :)


  • can of chick peas (use more than one can if you plan to share)
  • splenda
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sbfriendly butter spray
  1. Drain the can of chick peas
  2. spread the peas out on a cookie sheet on aluminum foil in a single layer
  3. spray the peas with the butter spray
  4. sprinkle salt, pepper, and splenda over the top of the chick peas
  5. put them in the oven at 350 for an hour or so - or until they have the consistency of pop corn - or if you like them mushier on the inside cook a shorter time
  6. Every now and again i will take them out, roll them around or sprinkle more splenda on them if they look a little unflavored ( :) )
  7. Then take out of oven when complete, allow them to cool off for 5-10 minutes and throw in a baggy or bowl for munching.
  8. They almost have a hummus/popcorn/kernel corn taste when they are done and I love them

ENJOY! This, by the way, is what I sneak into movie theatres with and snack on instead of 10poundstomywaist popcorn.

Iced Coffee

I make this at work to start my day, and my hubby makes a yummy one at home


  • coffee
  • ice
  • splenda
  • flavored creamer

  1. prepare hot coffee with sugar
  2. add creamer
  3. add lots of ice and serve

Russian veggie omelet

Ok, this omelet takes a little of time, but its so worth it. My mother and me can eat this pretty much for all of the meals.You will need:

Bell peppers
Herbs (usually parsley and cilantro)
cheese (cheddar)
Few eggs

Saute diced veggies:

1. Peppers first
2. Onions (separately from everything)
3. Tomatoes (diced, DEFINITELY de-seeded)
4. Mix sauteed veggies in one skillet, let them get to know one another
5. Chop up the herbs and throw on top
6. Salt/pepper
7. Breaks a few eggs and pour on top of your colorful mix. Don't scramble it, just break the yolks and kind of spread them over the veggies.
8. Lower the heat a bit (so you don't burn the veggies on bottom) and let it work its magic. It will take a while to cook through, just watch the top and make sure you don't have raw egg. Sometimes I cover the skillet, and that makes it cook a bit faster, but looses some of it's prettiness.

then take it out, cut it up and eat, eat, eat!!

Oh yeah, forgot about the cheese. Throw that before pouring the egg if you want, but usually cheese is too much for me, and the taste is great without it.

Injera and veggie sautee

This one is a left-over delight. I still have a bunch of Ethiopian injera left and I must say its great with pretty much anything. So I made myself some faux ethiopian food last night.

1 Injera
1/2 of a large tomato
1 slice of a large (red) Bell pepper
1/2 red onion
Salt/pepper to taste

Pretty much any veggie you like

I usually start with peppers and onions, because those take longer to saute. Dice them up, throw them in a skillet with a little-bit of olive or veggie oil. Saute until they soften and "golden". The onions will start getting clear. Also, if you slow-cook them, they will taste much better.
Then throw in the softer veggies, diced. I usually scrape the seeds out of the tomatoes before dicing them up, to avoid the mushiness as much as I can. Also, if you are picky about the tomato skin (it peels once the tomatoes are cooking), then pr-peel them (you know how to do that right?).
Tomatoes don't need much time, watch for yellowing - if they yellow too much, they are done. Otherwise they become very sour and gross.
Then I just toss some herbs, salt, pepper, whatever else spices.

Then just dmp stuff on top your nicely-layed out injera, and you got yourself a delicious, veggie, and exotic dinner!

Homemade Ginger-zinger tea

I've been suffering from never-ending sinus drainage with accompanied sore throat and flegmy cough, so I found this recipe online, and added some of my own stuff to make it even yummier.

What you need:

Fresh ginger root
Herbal tea (I like thyme or chamomile)
Lemon juice
Hot water

Just cut 3-4 pieces of ginger and throw them in your tea cup. Add honey, lemon juice and your tea and pour hot water over it all. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. The taste is so healthy and fresh that it's going to make you "sick". Its great for colds, upset stomach, cramps, muscle pain and hypertension. Its also a great way to relax before bed (ginger makes your body feel nice and warm), and also wake up in the morning.

Forget coffee - have ginger!

Monday, October 11, 2010


This is another of our favorites. It is a heavy meal but goes for many leftovers.


  • tortillas
  • enchilada sauce
  • cheese
  • veggie meat/beans/chicken/groundbeef
  • evoo
  • cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • onions

  1. Cook the tortillas by sauteeing them in a frying pan for only a brief moment each until they puff up a little
  2. Place the tortilla into a pan with enchilada sauce in it and coat well
  3. Put into casserole dish
  4. Fill with cheese, meat, onions, and a smidge of cream cheese
  5. Roll up
  6. Repeat with other tortillas until you are done
  7. Cover with Enchilada sauce, cheese, and onions
  8. Heat in oven at 375 for about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it
  9. Serve with sour cream scoop to cool
  10. Enjoy

Veggie Fried Rice

This is my husbands favorite. The only thing I have messed up is one time too much soy sauce. Aside from that its been really easy.


  • brown rice
  • evoo
  • frozen veggies of your choice (we like carrots, peas, mushrooms, onions)
  • eggs/eggbeaters
  • tofu
  • lite soy sauce

  1. Cook brown rice
  2. Pour evoo into pan
  3. Pour some eggs in to cook em up
  4. Once eggs are fried add tofu and veggies to saute
  5. Cook up eggs, tofu, and veggies
  6. Add rice to mixture
  7. Mix up real good and let it brown a little on the bottom
  8. Add soy sauce to mixture to taste
  9. Add spices to taste
  10. Serve and enjoy

Tofu Curry

So my favorite restaurant would be Bangkok Thai restaurant in Sarasota, Fl. Hands down! There have been weeks where they saw me in there three times in the same week! Those were good weeks for me. Or maybe they were bad ones that people were using that to cheer me up. Either way its my favorite.

Now I have been going there around 8/9 years and I have always ordered the same thing. Tofu pad thai medium/hot (depending on my mood) without the eggs. It is amazing. Now Ive swapped appetizers. Sometimes I get sumtum cucumber salad. Sometimes crunchy tofu. Sometimes Tofu Satay. But always the pad thai.

So recently I went and decided after 8 years of the same thing I was going to try something else on the menu. It was very courageous of me, because as my fiance pointed out, if I didn't like what I ended up with - then I would have wasted a trip to Bangkok.

But I took another step into the world of thai food and ordered the Green Curry with Tofu. Man was it good! Now I have gone back three times since and only order the tofu green curry. Being on the South Beach diet, and also trying to not spend too much money eating out, I decided to try this at home, south beach style.

It took two tries to get all the ingredients perfect, but now it is south beach friendly (i never gain weight on the days I eat it and often lose), vegetarian (for me), and also just as yummy as the ones my friends at Bangkok make. So here is the recipe to share with you!

  • evoo
  • red bell pepper
  • green bell pepper
  • vidalia onion
  • cubed tofu
  • mushrooms
  • green peas
  • green curry paste
  • splenda
  • light peanut butter (the one with splenda is best cause its sbfriendly)
  • light soy sauce
  • two cans of lite coconut milk
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • whole grain brown rice 

  1. cook brown rice, while it is simmering -> continue
  2. saute in some evoo: red bell pepper, green bell pepper, vidalia onion, tofu cubed (cook the tofu until its brown on the sides a little), shitake mushrooms, anything else you want to saute
  3. add green curry paste (you can get this in the Asian dept at Publix you can also use yellow or red curry paste to change flavor)
  4. mush it all together and let it cook like this a little bit
  5. once cooked enough pour in two small cans of light coconut milk (also in Asian dept at Publix)
  6. add in a bit of splenda, lt peanut butter, and lt soy sauce to taste
  7. Add green peas, any other green vegetable that doesnt need to be sauted
  8. Add a bit of crushed red pepper, salt pepper, anything else you want to spice it with - determine your level of spice with the crushed red pepper or even hot sauce if you like
  9. Let it boil, then cook under low for 10 minutes
  10. Serve over cooked brown whole grain rice
it should be like a soup with chunks of veggies and tofu in it. obviously you can trade out the veggies and tofu for chicken if you want to change the flavor. it was soooo yummy i cant wait to have it again.

Tofu Pad Thai

who knew pad thai was so quick and easy?

  • pad thai noodles
  • handful of plain raw peanuts
  • 1/2 vidalia onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • sesame oil
  • firm tofu
  • green onions
  • hoison sauce
  • splash of soy sauce
  • splash of hot sauce
  • pinch of splenda
  • smidge of peanut butter
  • lemon
  1. prepare thai noodles according to package (boil only for a moment)
  2. chop peanuts
  3. pour a couple drops of sesame oil on frying pan
  4. after heating to medium/low pour in chopped peanuts (keep close eye so it doesnt burn)
  5. saute garlic, onions, and tofu in another pan in sesame oil
  6. place noodles into sauteed veggies and tofu
  7. in a small bowl wisk hoison sauce, soy, hot, splenda, pbutter, and a couple squeezes of a lemon
  8. pour sauce over noodle mixture in pan
  9. cook for a few moments
  10. top with peanuts, chives, and a couple squirts of lemon juice to taste


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