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Baking on a Budget
If you have bananas about to turn but don't want to make banana bread or muffins, then freeze the bananas peel and all so you can use them for baking in the future.

* Use your pantry. Just the basics from your pantry can be transformed into a great sweet treat. With some peanut butter and brown sugar, you have the basis for a peanut butter cake. Add some oats, flour, baking soda, shortening, egg, vanilla and chocolate chips and you've got what you need. Or how about some peanut butter cookies that don't even need flour? Just add some egg and vanilla and you've got a simple peanut butter cookie. Do you have some canned pineapple and some raw carrots? Then you can make a Pineapple carrot cake.

* If you don't have buttermilk for a recipe, just make your own sour milk by pouring a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in a cup of regular milk. Let it sit for a few minutes. It's the perfect substitution for buttermilk. Check online for more substitutions when you're missing an ingredient.

* Save energy. If you don't need a huge amount of cookies, then use the toaster oven instead of your oven to bake it in. It uses much less energy. On the other hand, baking in bulk and freezing for later can be energy efficient too. Do all of your baking at once and have dessert from your freezer for months to come.

* Use seasonal foods. During the fall and winter months when apples are in season, use them in your baking. Don't forget that pumpkin. You can get a lot of tasty sweet treats in the fall and winter out of pumpkin. In the summer, adding strawberries to things makes for a tasty treat. An angel food cake with strawberries is divine. Think strawberry shortcake even.

Baking on a budget can really be quite simple. It's so easy to save by doing all of your own home baking too. And don't think that just because you haven't been able to bake before that you can't now. The more you do it, the better you get. It's like anything else that is learned - practice makes perfect. So keep trying; you just might find that you can make some really sweet treats.

Bread maker Recipes

When bread makers first came out years back people felt that all you could use them for was plain white bread. Well that is not even close to being true any more. There are now dozens of fantastic recipes available for all kinds of bread. What you will find is that the ingredients you use in a bread machine will be a little different than if you were baking bread normally. The results are just as good however.

be a little different than if you were baking bread normally. The results are just as good however.

Below is a selection of recipes that are very simple to make, very affordable, and most of all, deliciously healthy. They only take a few minutes to prepare and the results will make everyone happy. So go ahead and try them out. Crack open your bread maker and give one of these yummy recipes a try.


Basic White Bread

 1 1/4 cups water

2 tablespoons powdered milk

2 TBSP oil (l usually use canola)

1 tsp salt

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp yeast

Just use the standard wet on the bottom dry on top mixing process. This is delicious with butter and honey while it is still hot.

Grain & Honey Bread

3/4 cup warm water

2 TBSP honey (liquid or melted)

2 TBSP olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP lemon juice

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (mixed grain flower is OK too)

1/2 cup rolled oats

2 taps. granulated yeast

Put the salt in the bread maker first, then add all other ingredients except the yeast, oats and flour. Add the oats and flour. Make a small hole at the top of the dry ingredients for the yeast. Bake as usual.

Cheesy Buttermilk Bread

This yields a moist and tasty loaf. It also stores very well, but you'll probably finish it before that even matters!

1 and 1/8 cups buttermilk

1 tsp salt

2 TBSP sugar

.75 cup extra sharp cheddar (grated)

3 cups bread flour

1.5 taps. bread machine yeast


Prepare as usual. All wet ingredients first, then the cheese, then dry ingredients, and the yeast on top.

Oat Bread

Use natural rolled oats. Just put them in a pot with boiling water, and then let them soak until they cool off. Then add the other ingredients and proceed as usual.

1 cup rolled oats

11 oz. water

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp brown sugar

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups flour

1 tsp yeast

Baking bread is a wonderfully delicious way to add great nutrition to you family's diet. Give the recipes a try and add some flavor to your meals.

A Week's Worth Of Tips For Empty Nesters



Mary Young, a relatively new empty nester, remarked on how free she feels with her nine kids out of the house. This feeling is common. Joy Smith, author of "The Empty Nest Cookbook," encourages people to take advantage of it.


 My former neighbor, Mary Young, a relatively new empty nester, remarked on how free she feels with her nine kids out of the house. This feeling is common. Joy Smith, author of "The Empty Nest Cookbook," encourages people to take advantage of it: "For the first time in years you can cook because you want to, not because you must. You have fewer people and palates to please, so cook in ways you've never dared."

1. Try new recipes. A majority of empty nesters say they enjoy exploring foods that their children would not eat, according to the July 2005 Pillsbury Empty Nester Survey.

2. Think smaller. With just the two of you at home, there's little need for family-size packages.

3. Buy perishables with care. To reduce spoilage, buy only a few pieces of fruit and small amounts of vegetables at a time. Choose dairy products and fresh meats with the latest expiration date.

4. Maximize nutrition. Pick foods that deliver the most nutrition for the bite. For example, broccoli (vitamins A and C), legumes (fiber) and fortified whole grain cereals like Whole Grain Total®. As you get older, you need fewer calories but the same, or sometimes greater, amounts of key nutrients.

5. Stock up on plastic containers. Prepare recipes that serve four or six and divide up the extra into two-serving portions. Label, date and refrigerate or freeze.

6. Swap homemade dishes with a friend. It's a great way to add variety to your menu.

7. Get a new gadget. A vacuum sealer seals out air and preserves the moisture and flavor of the original dish. "I seal and freeze leftovers in one-meal portions for fresh-tasting dinners anytime," suggests Smith. "Reheat in the microwave or boil in the bag on the stovetop."

This recipe makes four servings, two for now and two for tomorrow.

Crunchy Garlic Chicken Breasts

11/3 cups Whole Grain Total® cereal

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup skim milk

2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 11/4 lb)

Cooking spray


1. Heat oven to 425°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.

2. Crush cereal. In shallow dish, stir together cereal, parsley and paprika. In another shallow dish, stir together milk, chives, salt and garlic powder. Dip chicken into milk mixture, then coat lightly and evenly with cereal mixture. Place in pan. Spray top of chicken with cooking spray. 3. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut.

Batch Cooking to Save Money

Batch cooking is becoming very popular. It's a great way to have healthy meals when you're short on time during the week because of work. It also means you don't have to eat out all the time, which saves you money. But cooking in large batches in and of itself is a great money saver. So if you're looking for more ways to save on your food budget, then here's how to do it with batch cooking.


What Is Batch Cooking?

You might be wondering what batch cooking actually is. Basically it's cooking large amounts of food at once to store and freeze for use at a later date. You can do it many different ways depending on what works best for you. If you have a deep freezer and a whole weekend, you could cook up food for the entire month. If you don't want to spend that much time or don't have the storage needed for that kind of batch cooking, then cooking in advance for the week might be a better alternative for you.


How to Cook in Batches

Cooking large amount of food to freeze can seem overwhelming. If you set aside a whole day it's doable. Just double, triple, or quadruple your recipes and place in freezer bags to save room in your freezer.

You can also cook up large batches of sauce to freeze, or roast a chicken and cut it up to freeze to use in meals throughout the week. You don't have to make a whole meal to have throughout the week.

Cooking up the basics that you will use in a meal will not only make meals easier to make, but it also saves you money. Jar sauce is convenient to use in recipes because you don't want to spend the time cooking sauce every time you need it, but if you have some made and frozen in your freezer it can be cheaper - especially if you have used in season ingredients. When you end up with a whole bunch of tomatoes at the end of the summer you can cook up a large batch of sauce that could last you all winter long.

Whole chickens can generally be bought cheaper than chicken pieces. So cooking up large batches of chicken, shredding it, and freezing it to add to meals as needed is a huge money saver - not to mention the time saver.


Tips So You Aren't Wasteful

If your major goal in bulk cooking is to save money, then the one thing you do not want to happen is for the food that you worked so hard to cook to go bad. To keep this from happening, here are some tips:

* Properly wrap your food to prevent freezer burn. Make sure you use a wrap that is meant for the freezer and that as much air as possible has been removed and it's sealed tight.

* Label the item with what it is as well as the date it was prepared. Foods can last 6-9 months in the freezer, but you need to label it with how long it has been in there Do not place piping hot food directly into the freezer. Allow it to cool some before freezing.

* When reheating, to keep food from drying out reheat at a slightly lower temperature than what you normally cook it on.

Following these tips will ensure that you make the most use out of the food and that it tastes its best. This way you aren't throwing away the food you worked so hard on.

Batch cooking can be a real great money saver. You won't be eating out as much because meals on busy days will be so fast and easy. You'll also save money by buying in-season items in bulk. Batch cooking might not be for everyone, but give it a try to see how much money you can save.

Breakfast on a Budget

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you don't want to skip it as a way of saving money. And while cereal might be your go-to breakfast of choice, it can get a little boring and start to add up. If you're looking for budget-friendly breakfast ideas, then try these tips. It's sure to give a little spice to your life while also saving you money.


This is a great thing to make in bulk (which saves you even more) and freeze for a quick on the go breakfast. There's such a variety of things you can get when it comes to muffins. You can make bran muffins, blueberry muffins, chocolate chip muffins, a fruit and veggie muffin, or a nice pumpkin muffin.



Making oatmeal can literally cost pennies. And with different toppings you can really change it up - from cinnamon and apples to blueberries. Or try peaches and milk or some frozen berries. Make it more appealing for the kids by dressing it up with some chocolate chips or fruit sprinkled on top. Make sure it's a texture the kids will like. If your child likes a mushy cereal then he'll like the oats fully cooked. For more of a crunch, cook it a little less and cool it down with some milk.



Okay, we know making eggs every morning can be a pain. While they are relatively quick to cook, there's all the hassle of dirtied pans. But make an egg bake over the weekend and freeze it and you have a great inexpensive breakfast in the morning. Scramble some eggs with spinach or peppers and onions or even some ham and bake it in the oven till set and you have a perfect yummy egg bake all week long.


French Toast

Okay, another not so great one for the week maybe, but if you have a loaf of bread that is starting to go hard, then this is a good time to make some French toast. With just eggs, milk, and bread, you can't get much cheaper than that. You can top with some fruit or add a little cinnamon to the egg and milk mixture.


Make your own granola and it will be much cheaper. Then mix it with a little yogurt or fruit. Just combine rolled oats, oil, honey, vanilla, and a little brown sugar. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes on 350 degrees F. Stir frequently to ensure even baking. It will be golden brown when it's done.



These can be inexpensive to make because you can toss just about anything into them. Got some berries that are getting a little soft? Toss them into a smoothie. Keep some plain yogurt in your fridge to thicken up those smoothies.


Peanut Butter Toast

This is a filling, quick, and easy breakfast. Just add some fruit (bananas and peanut butter are delicious, by the way) and you have a complete breakfast.

So the next time you are looking for an inexpensive breakfast idea, don't reach for the cereal. Try one of these; you won't be disappointed.

Do you have any other inexpensive breakfast ideas to add to this list? 

California and Italy have much in common, which explains why many simple Italian dishes featuring fresh ingredients are popular in the Golden State. One dish that deliciously merges the Old World with the new is California-Style Buttered Pasta.

While red sauce is the most familiar match for Italian pasta, as you move into Northern Italy the tomatoes and olive oil give way to creamy butter as a popular pasta topping. Northern Italy is a major dairy region, much like California, which is the largest milk and butter producer in the U.S. This delicious dish couldn't be simpler to prepare, combining cooked pasta with the rich natural taste of California butter. The dish comes together as quickly as you can cook the pasta.

 A topping of toasted bread crumbs adds a pleasing crunch. And for a uniquely California variation, substitute grated Dry Jack for Parmesan. Dry Jack is an aged form of the ever-popular Monterrey Jack, both of which were created in California.

 Hearty enough to serve as a main course with a green salad on the side, California-Style Buttered Pasta is also a perfect accompaniment to any type of meat or chicken dish. It also goes well with fish because its rich yet subtle flavors do not overwhelm even the most delicate fish.

 This recipe works best with slightly wider forms of pasta, such as linguine or fettuccine, which provide a nice balance between the pasta and butter coating. It will also work nicely with a penned or rigatoni style of pasta. But feel free to use your favorite type.


Yield: 3-4 entree servings or 6-8 as a side dish


1 pound (16 ounces) dried or fresh linguine

 2 tablespoons salt

 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) California butter

 1 cup (4 ounces) freshly grated California Dry Jack or Parmesan cheese

 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs

 Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. In a large (6-8 quart) pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt and pasta.

 2. While pasta is cooking, cut butter into 1-inch pieces and set aside to soften.

3. When pasta is cooked to desired doneness, drain in a colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Return drained pasta to the cooking pot and add butter, half the grated cheese and half the bread crumbs. Toss, coating well. Add the reserved pasta water to moisten. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

 4. Transfer to a serving bowl or portion into individual pasta bowls and sprinkle remaining cheese and bread crumbs on top. Serve immediately.


For a simple and hearty meal or a delicious side dish, try California-Style Buttered Pasta.


The phrase "pass the bacon" is beginning to have a more nutritious meaning for millions of health-conscious Americans incorporating Canadian bacon into their diets.


The phrase "pass the bacon" is beginning to have a more nutritious meaning for millions of health-conscious Americans incorporating Canadian bacon into their diets.


Best known as an ingredient in Eggs Benedict, Canadian bacon's recent rise in popularity stems from the low-carbohydrate diet craze. Although carb counting is no longer as fashionable, Canadian bacon remains a healthy cooking option because it's low in fat and high in protein.


With "bacon" in its name, consumers often confuse Canadian bacon with traditional American bacon, according to Philip Jones, president of Jones Dairy Farm, a leading U.S. producer of Canadian bacon. However, unlike its fatty American counterpart, Canadian bacon is a lean smoked meat made from the tender pork loin. It's precooked and has an appearance and flavor more similar to ham.


Jones points out an important difference between Canadian bacon and Canadian-style bacon. Real Canadian bacon is strictly the loin meat, but Canadian-style bacon is typically made from sirloin hip meat and includes ground pork trim. Jones believes consumers will prefer the higher-quality authentic product because it provides a more uniform appearance, better texture and superior taste.


"Real Canadian bacon provides fuller flavor and firmer texture," said Jones. "It's a premium ingredient that adds a wonderful smoky flavor in salads, sandwiches, soups or even by itself." He offers the following recipe showcasing the versatility of Canadian bacon.


Cajun-Style Gumbo:

 Makes 5 (11/2-cup) servings

 1 teaspoon olive oil

 1 green bell pepper, diced

 1 medium onion, diced

 4 cloves garlic, minced

 2 tablespoons flour

 1 (141/2-oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained

 1 cup chicken or beef broth

 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

 3/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

 1 (10-oz) package frozen sliced okra, thawed

 8 Jones Golden Brown precooked sausage links or patties, coarsely chopped

 1 (6-oz) package Jones Canadian Bacon slices, cut into strips

 2 cups hot cooked rice

 1/4 cup chopped parsley


Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add green pepper, onion, garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, thyme, oregano, pepper sauce; bring to simmer. Cover; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in okra and sausage; simmer covered 5 minutes. Stir in Canadian bacon; simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Ladle into five shallow bowls; top with rice, parsley.


Cajun-Style Gumbo made better with the addition of real Canadian bacon.


Milder weather not only means blue skies and blooming flowers, it's the start of outdoor gatherings. It's also a great excuse to switch up the menu.


Milder weather not only means blue skies and blooming flowers, it's the start of outdoor gatherings. It's also a great excuse to switch up the menu. Salads and shish kabob are favorites during warmer months and canned fruit can easily enhance a recipe. Canned Bartlett pears are always ripe, ready to eat and contain virtually no fat or cholesterol. So next time you host a get-together, add a little sweetness to the feast with this pantry staple. Try serving Blueberry, Pear and Apricot Salad with Almonds or Barbecued Pear and Chicken siska kabobs to family and guests.


Blueberry, Pear and Apricot Salad With Almond

Makes 12 Servings

1 can (15 ounces) Bartlett pear halves in extra-light syrup

1 can (81/4 ounces) Bartlett pear halves in extra-light syrup

1 can (15 ounces) blueberries in light syrup

1 can (83/4 ounces) apricot halves in extra-light syrup

Juice of 1 small lemon

1/2 cup sliced almonds, roasted


Drain both cans of pear halves; slice into bite-sized pieces. Drain apricots; halve. Drain blueberries; divide among salad plates and arrange; arrange pears and apricots as well. Top salads with lemon juice and almonds; serve.

Nutritional information (per serving): Calories: 78, Protein: 1.5g, Carbohydrates: 14.5g, Fiber: 1.5g, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 6mg.

Barbecued Pear and


Chicken shish kabobs Makes 4 Servings


1 can (15 ounces) Bartlett pear halves

1/2 cup bottled barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

8 shish kabob skewers

1 red, green or yellow sweet bell pepper, cut into 11/2-inch squares

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 11/2-inch chunks


Preheat grill or broiler. Drain pears, reserving juice. Cut pears into 11/2-inch chunks; set aside. In a bowl, stir together barbecue sauce, honey, mustard, garlic and 3 tablespoons of the reserved pear juice. On 4 skewers, alternate the pear and bell pepper pieces.

On remaining skewers, place chicken pieces. Brush all skewered ingredients liberally with the sauce mixture. Grill chicken skewers over medium coals for 10 minutes (or broil for 5 minutes), brushing occasionally with sauce.

Add pear-pepper skewers; grill for 5 to 7 minutes (or broil 2 to 4 minutes) more, or until chicken is no longer pink and pears and peppers are heated through. Serve one chicken kabob and one pear kabob per serving.


Nutritional information (per serving): Calories: 241, Protein: 25g, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 1g, Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 63mg, Sodium: 407mg.


A "pear-fect idea" for outdoor gatherings is a Blueberry, Pear and Apricot Salad with Almonds.

Are you an old pro when it comes to making delicious desserts? Do your guests rave about your cakes and pies? The next time you have company over for dessert, why not try something different. Chocolate fondue has been in and out of fashion since the seventies and most people have tried it at least once. But if you want to try something new and exciting There are many different dessert fondues out there to satisfy just about anyone with a sweet tooth.


Recently dark chocolate...

Are you an old pro when it comes to making delicious desserts? Do your guests rave about your cakes and pies? The next time you have company over for dessert, why not try something different. Chocolate fondue has been in and out of fashion since the seventies and most people have tried it at least once. But if you want to try something new and exciting There are many different dessert fondues out there to satisfy just about anyone with a sweet tooth.


Recently dark chocolate has been in the news being declared as a new heart healthy food. Dark chocolate retains more flavoring that other varieties of chocolate such as milk chocolate, white chocolate, cocoa or chocolate syrup. New research has also determined that eating a diet high in flavoring helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Obviously this doesn’t mean that you should run to the store to buy some candy bars. But it does mean that when eaten in moderation, dark chocolate can be a healthy choice as a dessert.


And whether is good for you or not, who can resist a fondue pot of hot melted chocolate just waiting for your to dip something into it. What better way to enjoy strawberries, bananas and other ripe fruits. But don’t stop there. Be sure to try dunking some salty treats into the chocolate such as pretzels and potato chips. Mixing sweet and salty foods creates a unique flavor that you are sure to enjoy.


So not only is chocolate delicious, but it is now considered a heart healthy food as well. Those are some excellent reasons to add a few chocolate fondue recipes to your recipe book. Why not try one of these chocolate fondue recipes tonight?


Dark Chocolate Fondue

12 ounces Premium Dark Chocolate (chopped)

3/4 cup Whipping Cream

2 teaspoons Kahlua or other coffee liqueur (optional)


Over low flame, heat whipping cream until warm (DO NOT BOIL)

Slowly add the chopped dark chocolate while stirring

Stir until the mixture becomes smooth

Stir in liqueur

To Dip:

Strawberries, Bananas, Sliced Apple, Cubes of Pound Cake, Cubes of Angel Food Cake, Pretzel Sticks, Chunks of Pineapple, Marshmallows, Potato Chips


Mint Chocolate Fondue

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

2 tablespoons Peppermint Liqueur

8 ounces Semisweet Chocolate


Warm the heavy cream over medium low heat

Add liqueur

Grate the chocolate or break into small pieces and slowly add to mixture while stirring

Stir until the chocolate is melted


To Dip:

Candied Fruit, Pears, Peach Slices, Cubes of Pound Cake, Cubes of Angel Food Cake


Grandmas Fruitcake

This is the recipe that my grandmother brought with her when she and her family left Russia in the early 1900"s.

This is the recipe that my grandmother brought with her when she and her family left Russia in the early 1900"s.

As a child around 1920's or so, while living on a farm in Pennsylvania which at that time there were a great amount of people who came from Europe, you needed to be able to do for yourself, she learned from her mother how to make a most delicious white fruit cake, a white fruitcake is a fruitcake that does not have any molasses, molasses which is very bitter, not having the molasses in the fruitcake gives it a lighter color, this gives it the name white fruitcake.


This fruitcake in the days in which my mother lived as a child with her parents this was only made during Christmas because the only time you could get walnuts, cherries, and some other ingredients was in the fall of the year, remember now they didn't go to the store to buy what they needed, they had to grow them, raisins were dried by the people themselves, they even had to shell their own walnuts, and candy their own cherries, and such the pineapple and coconut I do believe they must have purchased.


1 pound butter

12 eggs

1 lb. sugar

1 pound flour

1 pound white raisins

1 pound walnut meats

1 lb. red and green candied cherries

1 lb. bakers flaked coconut

1 lb. candies pineapple

1 tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in ¼ cup warm water

2 cups brandy--any brand


Soak the raisins, walnuts, cherries, coconut and pineapple with 2 cups brandy overnight in a stainless steel bowl.

In a 5 quart mixing bowl cream butter and sugar, then add eggs slowly, then add your flour and blend well, add the baking soda and water and mix a minute more, add all other ingredients and mix until well blended.

Now you are going to bake it in a 2 pound pan, or in the pan of your choice, foil or hard pan, line the pan with wax paper or baking paper or better yet a pan liner the size of the pan. For a 2 pound pan, Place 1 pound 12 ounces of the mixture in the pan and level it with a spoon, don't bang it on the table. Bake it in a 350 degree preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, depends on your oven and how brown you want it.

It's done when a pick is placed in the center and it comes out clean. Let it cool on a rack for a while and then sprinkle it with 1 ounce of brandy and then another ounce when it is cool and then pack it away for about 3 days in your refrigerator and then “enjoy it”.

Hearty Summer Salad

This organic chickpea and black-eyed pea salad is great for those summer days that are just too hot to cook.  You know, those days that are so hot you say, “Don’t even look at the stove!” 

Served cold, this salad is refreshing.  It’s terrific with grilled summer foods, such as organic portobello burgers or vegetarian bratwurst.

Although this salad is delicious as a side dish, it’s so hearty that it can be the centerpiece of the meal.  This organic salad is high-protein, so you get plenty of mileage with this meal; you will not be hungry in just two hours! 


It’s terrific served with hearty whole grain bread on the side, preferably organic and baked by a local baker, to sop up the vinaigrette.




2 15 oz. cans organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2 15 oz. cans organic black-eyed peas

2 15 oz. cans organic artichoke hearts

4 large organic tomatoes

½ large organic onion

6 large fresh organic garlic cloves

¼ cup organic olive oil

½ cup organic balsamic vinegar

A few pinches of dried organic parsley

Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste


Drain chickpeas and black-eyed peas, and dump them into a large bowl.  Chop artichoke hearts (into eighths if they’re whole, or into quarters if they’re already halved).  Chop tomatoes and dice onion; dump artichokes, tomatoes and onion into bowl.  Crush garlic gloves with garlic press and add to the luscious pile of goodies. 


Whip olive oil and balsamic vinegar together in a smaller bowl, then pour over the pile.  Your mouth should be watering now.  Add a few generous pinches of parsley, then salt and pepper to taste.  Stir all the ingredients thoroughly with a large spoon to distribute them evenly and coat them with vinaigrette.   


You can increase the ratio of balsamic vinegar to olive oil if you like the vinaigrette to taste more tangy!  And you can increase the overall amount of oil and vinegar if you want the salad to be more juicy. 


You can also experiment with which type of vinegar flavor you like best.  Red wine or raspberry balsamic vinegar taste great in this dish. 


As for the fresh ground salt and pepper, you can either add them to the oil and vinegar mixture, just sprinkle them onto the ingredients before stirring, or both. 


Adding fresh chopped basil--or any fresh organic herb you think would harmonize well with this dish--is also an option.  You can also substitute organic escallions (green onions) for the diced onions, which also adds more color.   


The trick to delicious recipes is to cook by your own taste, not necessarily by following the recipe verbatim.  Besides, how fun would cooking be if you couldn’t sample the dishes while you’re creating them? 


This dish, which serves 6 or more, also works great for summer pitch-ins, especially if you’re vegan.  You can’t always count on non-dairy, high-protein dishes at such gatherings, but you can definitely depend on this hearty summer salad!


Indian Tandoori Cooking


Article Body:

Traditionally, tandoori dishes are cooked in a tandoori, an oval shaped clay oven  with a small fire in the bottom.  The heat rises gradually but ultimately reaches a much higher temperature than a barque.


A tandoori is normally used to cook naan bread, meats and kebabs (meat or pander).   The bread is stuck to the sides, the kebabs stood vertically and whole chickens rested on a grid over the fire.


For domestic cooking, a tandoori is not really convenient but the meat dishes can be reproduced on a barbecue or in the oven.  The bright red appearance of tandoori meats which you may see in Indian restaurants is produced by a food dye which really isn’t necessary to enhance the look of your tandoori dishes.


I have a great fondness for tandoori style food.  It has flavor, without being "hot" or high in calories or too filling.  In fact it's an ideal dish summer or winter, if you fancy something a little different.  As a bonus, it doesn't take hours to prepare.  Of course you can take all the effort out of it and use a pre-prepared mix, but I think they have less flavor and you can’t use them for anything else, whereas if you use the individual spices, you can make other dishes as well.


You can easily make tandoori chicken (whole), tandoori lamb chops (pork would be more unusual, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use it, if you prefer) and lamb (kebabs) but my personal favorite is chicken  because it’s so quick so here’s my own recipe.


This recipe serves two people - multiply it for as many people as you want.



2 Chicken breasts

1 small tub Greek yogurt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp ginger powder

½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
1 small clove garlic, crushed

salt to taste

1 tbsp lemon juice


Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes and set aside.

Mix the spice powders and garlic into the yogurt.  You can use low fat yogurt if you prefer.  You can also use fresh ginger or ginger paste from a jar rather than ginger powder but go easy on the quantity as it can be quite over-powering. 


At this point you can also mix in the salt and lemon juice but if you do so, don’t leave the chicken to marinade for more than about 20 minutes or it will become very dry when cooked.  If you want to marinade it for a longer time, add the salt and lemon juice just before you cook the dish or sprinkle on to serve.


Thread the chicken onto skewers and either barbeque or cook under a grill using medium heat until the chicken is slightly browned and cooked through.


For a light meal, serve with salad, pitta or naan bread and lemon wedges or for something more substantial with rice and dahl.


Low Cara Chicken Recipes Made Easy


Do you have an interest in cooking? Or, are you interested for some of the low carb chicken recipes? If so, then you have found the right page for your need. Why? Obviously, it is for the main reason that in this article you will find two of the favorite low carb chicken recipes that you can add to your low carb chicken recipe collection. It is also interesting to know that these provided low carb chicken recipes are taken from the most trusted resources on low carb chicken r...


Do you have an interest in cooking? Or, are you interested for some of the low carb chicken recipes? If so, then you have found the right page for your need. Why? Obviously, it is for the main reason that in this article you will find two of the favorite low carb chicken recipes that you can add to your low carb chicken recipe collection. It is also interesting to know that these provided low carb chicken recipes are taken from the most trusted resources on low carb chicken recipes. So read on for your great advantage.


So here is one of the great low carb chicken recipes that will give you a sense of satisfaction before and after preparing it. Well, this low carb chicken recipe is named as Crunchy Pecan Chicken. Generally, this low carb chicken recipe is a skillet chicken recipe that has a coating of ground pecans and Parmesan cheese.  This is basically composed of one cup of ground pecans, ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese, ½ teaspoon of garlic salt, ½ teaspoon of dried leaf basil that is crumbled, lemon juice for dipping, 4 boneless chicken breast halves that are also pounded to make flat and even in thickness, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.


In terms of the procedures involved in this low carb chicken recipe, all you need to do is to combine the pecans, cheese, garlic salt and basil in a huge low dish. Then put the lemon juice in another low dish; dip the chicken in juice and then coat with pecan mixture. After that, you heat oil until moderately hot, and then add the chicken. The average period for each piece of chicken to be cooked is 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden. As simple as that!


The other notable low carb chicken recipe is what is known as Smacking Wings. Accordingly, this low carb chicken recipe is about wings that are tangy and sweet version of Buffalo wings. This is basically composed of 16 chicken wings, ½ cup of salad oil, ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cane syrup or dark corn syrup, 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce, ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, ¼ Worcestershire sauce, ¼ teaspoon cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. The directions for this low carb chicken recipe are just so simple and brief. You just need to cut off and discard the bony wing tips, and cut the remaining wings in half. Then in a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients and blend well. Marinate the wings in this mixture for one hour in the refrigerator and then grill in a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes.

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