Wednesday, February 16, 2011


In honor of my upcoming trip to Italy, I'm sharing one of my most requested recipes! Potato gnocchi are not hard to make, just a little time consuming. These little potato pillows taste amazing and just melt in your mouth!

One week from today I'll be seeing how prosciutto and pancetta are made, then have tours of balsamic vinegar and Parmigiano factories planned as well. What can I say, for a food geek like me it's a dream trip! Stay tuned for more recipes and photos! In the meantime, make yourself a steaming plate of gnocchi - perfect way to end a cold rainy day!

Potato Gnocchi

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 65 minutes


1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 small onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (29-oz.) can crushed tomatoes

2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


1 1/2 lbs. small unpeeled russet potatoes

1 1/4 cups flour, plus extra for kneading

1 tbsp. butter

3/4 tsp. salt

1 egg

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. To prepare sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for at least 1 hour.

2. Prepare gnocchi while sauce is simmering. Scrub potatoes and place in a large pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the potatoes). Drain and let cool slightly; remove peels and mash well. While potatoes are still warm, stir in flour, butter, salt and egg until a soft dough forms.

3. Transfer to a lightly floured board and knead for a minute or two until smooth. Roll dough into 3/4-inch thick tubes and cut into 1-inch pieces. With the tines of a fork, gently pull the fork across the surface of each gnocchi to make indentations. Drop into boiling salted water and cook just until the gnocchi float to the top.

4. Immediately drain well and transfer to a serving dish. Grate cheese over the gnocchi and toss lightly. Ladle a small amount of sauce over the top and toss again to coat. Serve with additional sauce and cheese. Makes 8 servings.

To freeze: Place in a single layer on a floured baking sheet and freeze until firm. Transfer to zip top bags. Cook from frozen, do NOT thaw before cooking.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Healthy New Years Cooking

Healthy Cooking for the New Year!


Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sandwiches

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Nonstick cooking spray

2 egg whites

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Country Sausage Patty (recipe follows)

1 multigrain English muffin

2 tbsp. 2% sharp Cheddar cheese

Spray a medium skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add egg whites and cook over medium heat for a minute or so until partially set. Turn and cook for 2 minutes more, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. While eggs are cooking, place sausage patty in skillet to warm and place muffin in the toaster oven or under the broiler to toast. Top with cheese and cook until cheese is melted. Place eggs and sausage on toasted cheese muffin and close sandwich. Wrap in foil to keep warm if not eating right away.

Country Sausage Patties

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes total

1 (20-oz.) package 7% fat ground turkey

1 (1.25-oz.) country gravy packet

1 1/4 tsp. each: garlic salt and dried sage leaves

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl with your hands. Shape into 8 flat patties. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Cook 4 patties at a time for about 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cooked through. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Fruity Juice

Puree orange juice and frozen mixed berries in a blender or food processor or

Mix 1/2 cup POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice with 1/2 cup orange juice.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Prepare multigrain pancakes according to package directions adding a generous handful of shredded carrot, cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with low fat cream cheese and a no sugar spread.


Fat Free Ranch Yogurt Dip

Stir 1 packet ranch dip mix into 2 cups fat free Greek yogurt.

Low Fat Bean Mayo

Spread on your bread in place of mayonnaise.

1 to 2 large cloves garlic

1 (15-oz.) can white beans

1 dill pickle spear, coarsely chopped or

1/4 cup fat free ranch yogurt dip

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

With machine running, drop garlic cloves into a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add beans, pickle and salt, puree until smooth. May be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Chipotle Chicken Soup

Serve with crumbled baked tortilla chips and low fat shredded Mexican blend cheese.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

1 (32-oz.) container chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth

1 (16-oz.) jar salsa

1 (15-oz.) can black or beans, rinsed and drained

1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup canned corn

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced

1 tbsp. Art of Chipotle Gourmet Paste

Stir together all ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Stir in chicken and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve with cornbread or tortillas. Makes 6 servings.

Smokey Black Eyed Pea Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

2 (32-oz.) packages chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth

2 cups diced, smoked turkey

1 cup dried black eyed peas

1 medium onion, chopped

2 ribs celery, sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

1 (14 1/2-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1/2 cup minced California Sun-Dry Sun-Dried Smoked Tomatoes

2 to 3 tsp. Cajun seasoning

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup chopped bell pepper

Stir together stock, turkey, black eyed peas and onion in a large pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Add celery, carrots, tomatoes, and seasonings and simmer for 30 more minutes, adding bell pepper during the last 10 minutes of cooking. Makes 8 servings.


Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

Spray a whole grain tortilla with olive oil cooking spray. Bake at 450°F for 5 minutes to crisp. Spread with prepared marinara sauce and top with sliced fresh Mozzarella or shredded reduced-fat Italian blend cheese. Top with sliced turkey pepperoni and any desired vegetables. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned around the edges.

Mexican Stuffed Potatoes

Cook large russet, red or Yukon Gold potatoes until soft when gently squeezed. Let cool slightly, then cut in half and scoop out insides into a bowl, leaving a 1/4-inch shell of potato inside the skin. Mash with diced avocado and light Mexican blend cheese, light sour cream or plain fat-free yogurt and season with garlic salt and a Mexican blend seasoning.

Low Fat Black Bean Brownies

Amazingly low fat. You’ll soon be addicted!

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray an 8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Drain 1 (15-oz.) can black beans and rinse in a fine mesh sieve. Place back into can and cover with water. Puree beans and water in a blender or food processor until smooth. Stir into 1 box brownie mix with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (no need to add eggs or oil!) Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool before cutting. Makes 9 servings.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sideline Snacks

I recently ran into an old friend - our kids went all through school together. She told me she always hated it when she had the week after me for "snack mom" duties. Her son would tell her "Plain old oranges again mom? Abbey's mom makes all kinds of good stuff!"

So I've put together some of my favorite sideline snacks. Healthy, of course, as you don't want to load kids up on sugar and junk after they've just been getting all that great exercise!
These are things that are great when it's your turn to bring the team snack, and some are perfect to keep in the car for those days when you race from school to lessons to practice.

My favorite is my homemade energy bars. Nothing but dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon and extract. I've made them with all different types of dried fruit and it works great every time! I think my favorite is dried plum, dried mango and dried blueberries. I usually use half walnuts and half sliced or slivered almonds but I've also used pecans and pistachios. Even though Abbey lives half the country away, I just made a few different batches of these and mailed them off to her so she can slip healthy snacks into her busy sports schedule! (I added a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder and instant espresso powder to one of her batches - great for the coffee cravers!) My health nut son keeps these in his car so he has something good to grab between school and work.

The Honey Nut Munch is great to keep in an airtight container. Add a scoop to a zip lock bag for quick out the door snacking in the morning.

You can also see my recent TV segment on healthy snacking at!

Healhy on the Go Snacks

Try mixing dried fruit and nuts in small containers or zip lock bags to make your own healthy snack mixes. Try these combinations or create your own:

Fruit and Nut Mix

Dried cherries

Chopped dried mango

Honey nut peanuts

Smokey Nut and Cracker Mix

Cheddar Goldfish

Parmesan Goldfish

Smoked Almonds


Sideline snacks!

When it’s your day to be “snack mom”, these treats can be pre packed in zip lock bags or individual cups.

Fruit Sushi

Spread flour tortillas with a small amount of no sugar added preserves and top with a fruit leather. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of whipped cream cheese over the top then sprinkle with chopped fresh fruit (berries, bananas and kiwi work best.) Carefully roll up and cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 1-inch thick slices.

(Sushi may be cut in advance if you’re not using bananas.)

Fruit and Nut Energy Bars

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 30 minutes

2 cups mixed dried fruit

1 cup sliced or slivered almonds

1 cup walnuts

2 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse on and off until fruit and nuts are finely chopped and mixture sticks together (there should be very tiny pieces of nuts visable). Press into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Cut into bar shapes or smaller squares and separate on baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour for larger bars and 45 minutes for smaller squares. Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Honey Nut Munch

Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 45 minutes

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. almond extract

8 cups rice or corn chex cereal

2 cups sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 250°F. Melt butter in a small saucepan; stir in honey, brown sugar, cinnamon and almond extract. Place cereal and nuts in a large bowl; pour butter mixture over and toss well to coat. Spread inm a single layer on 2 baking sheets and bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container. Makes 10 cups. Recipe may be doubled.

Gluten Free Instant Breakfast Bars

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 15 minutes

1 (10.5-oz.) package miniature marshmallows

1/2 cup Smart Balance buttery spread

1 dry packet rich milk chocolate flavor Carnation Instant Breakfast

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter

1 (10.6-oz.) box gluten free corn flakes

Melt marshmallows and margarine in a large pot over medium low heat, stirring constantly. Stir in instant breakfast, vanilla and peanut butter, mixing until well combined. Remove from heat and stir in corn flakes. Press into a 9 X 13-inch pan that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to cool. Makes 15 bars.

Fruit Kebabs and Yogurt

Thread berries and grapes onto skewers. Pop into clear plastic cups with about 1/4 cup fruity yogurt in the bottom.

String Cheese

Lots of varieties to choose from! Twists, cartoon characters, etc.

Gogurt Yogurt Tubes

Freeze ahead of time and carry in cooler. Even if they thaw, they’ll still be cold.

100% Juices and Water Bottles

Steer clear of the “juice beverages”. Water bottles come in fun smaller sizes and shapes too!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quinoa Risotto: Food Find!

Yep, quinoa again!

I had the most delicious quinoa risotto at a Peruvian restaurant last night. It was a mixture of white and black quinoa and was packed with vegetables. On top was a pretty ruffled sweet potato chip. It was a perfect blend of soft and crunchy textures and the flavor was amazing! It tasted totally decadent but was really healthy.

Stay tuned for the recipe - I'm determined to recreate this one this weekend. I think I'll use white, black and red quinoa....

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Food Find - Grama's Sweet Chilli Sauce

One of the great things about being in the food business is that I have people constantly bringing me great food products to use in my recipes. One of the best ones I've seen this year? Grama's Sweet Chilli Sauce!

It comes straight from Thailand where it's the #1 chili sauce. It's actually Grama's recipe, the grandson designed the label and the company is still run by the family. How great is that!

I love this sauce straight out of the bottle but it's really a great ingredient too. Not too sweet, not too hot, it works in so many recipes - everything from ribs to chicken to vegetables and salads.

Here are a couple of recipes that I developed using Grama's sauce. I steamed the ribs before grilling making them fall off the bone tender. The chicken skewers are light and fresh. Perfect for a hot summer dinner or as an appetizer for a get together.

Sweet and Spicy Ribs

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: about 1 hour, 20 minutes

1 rack pork spareribs

1/2 cup Grama’s Sweet Chilli Sauce

1/2 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place ribs in a large shallow baking pan and add 1/2-inch water to pan. Seal tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. While ribs are cooking, stir together remaining ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Carefully drain water from ribs. Place on a grill over medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes on each side, brushing liberally with sauce occasionally, until ribs are nicely charred. Serve with any remaining sauce and sprinkle with cilantro, if you like. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sweet Chilli Peanut Satay Skewers

Prep time: 15 minutes

Marinate time: at least 1 hour

Cook time: about 12 minutes

1/2 cup Grama’s All Natural Sweet Chilli Sauce

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Chopped fresh peanuts and chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Stir together chilli sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce and cilantro in a small bowl; set aside. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch thick flat strips by cutting on the diagonal. Place in a shallow baking dish or resealable plastic bag and coat with half the satay mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours. Thread onto skewers and grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until chicken is nicely charred and cooked through. Baste liberally with sauce and increase heat to high; cook for a minute or so more on each side. Remove from grill and brush with any remaining sauce; sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro, if you like. Makes 4 main dish or 8 appetizer servings.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bermuda - Food Find!

On my way to Bermuda again to teach my food styling skills to the kids of Bermuda again! Last year we had 150 kids participate in the Jr. Chef Convention...I didn't think there were that many kids on the tiny island!

Last year I got to sample some of the great cuisine that Bermuda has to offer. Most of the chefs come from other countries so it's really a mixed bag of foods. Two of my favorites came from Chef Edmund Smith of Ascot's Restaurant in Hamilton. I had a perfect lunch there: a warm chicken and portabella salad and a banana soup that had a drizzle of good dark Bermuda rum on top...yum.

So here you go! I'll post in a few days with another great dish! And if you want more info on the great cooking classes for kids go to Great program that really teaches kids how to make good, healthy food!

Hot Mushroom and Chicken Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: about 15 minutes

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, slightly flattened and cut into bite-size strips

1 portabella mushroom, stemmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

4 strips thick cut bacon, coarsely chopped

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

6 small radicchio leaves

6 Belgian endive leaves

4 cups desired greens

Tomato and cucumber slices

Creamy Herb Dressing (recipe follows)

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook over medium-high for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, onion, bacon and garlic; cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until bacon and mushrooms are caramelized. Arrange radicchio and endive leaves on 2 dinner plates; top with greens, tomatoes and cucumbers. Pile chicken mixture in center and drizzle with Creamy Herb Dressing: Whisk together 3 tbsp. mayonnaise and 1 tbsp. cider vinegar. Stir in 1 clove minced garlic, chopped fresh herbs, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Makes 2 servings. Recipe may be doubled.

Chilled Sun-Ripened Banana Soup

Prep time: 5 minutes

6 ripe bananas

1 (32-oz.) container plain lowfat yogurt

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup honey

Dark rum (preferably Gosling’s Black Seal Rum)

Slivered almonds, toasted

Puree bananas, yogurt, lemon and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth. Ladle into shallow bowls and drizzle with rum and sprinkle with almonds. Makes 6 servings.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Food Carts - Food Find!

Talk about the ultimate food find! I'm on my way home from the annual IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) convention in Portland - well fed to say the least! On top of all of the great restaurants (Mother's Bistro and Wildwood were standouts!) I stuffed myself with food cart food.

What a crazy food trend! I walked the city from top to bottom to check out all of the kitchy carts and ended my trip by spending a few hours at the "Eat Portland" festival where there were 30 of the best food carts showcasing their goods. It was like a mini culinary trip around the world!

The favorites? Even though I'm not a big sweets or fried food kind of gal I have to admit that the tiramisu waffles and fried pies were pretty darn tasty. And the waffles with whipped maple syrup were mmmm good! The grilled p b & j sandwiches with additions like jalapenos or bacon were totally fun and unexpected. I rounded it out with a pupusa with pork, beans and cheese. I tried to sample something from every booth and I think I did pretty well. Ugh. I can't say I felt great by the time the evening was over but it was a blast! Makes me want to open up a few carts in Sacramento! Check out the pictures from the streets of Portland and the food cart festival. I hope you can enjoy the food cart scene vicariously through them!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Healthy Chocolate Cupcakes - Food Find!

Ok, I know that sounds like it's too good to be true, but check out these delectable little beauties! I created this recipe for the California Raisin folks who wanted a great chocolate cupcake...but they wanted it to be healthy too.

Here's what I did. First, I used unsweetened cocoa powder to keep the fat and saturated fat down. Using light and fat-free dairy products kept the fat down as well. (I could do a whole blog on fat-free half & half - one of my favorite products!) But the real secret was to add pureed raisins to the cupcake batter. Using raisin puree lets you add way less fat to the recipe without sacrificing any quality in flavor or texture. It's amazing!

These are moist and chocolaty and the little swirl of frosting on top adds just a bit of fun! Perfect for kids parties or for any one looking to satisfy their sweet a good way!


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 18 to 20 minutes

3/4 cup California raisins
2 to 3 tablespoons hot water
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup softened heart healthy vegetable spread
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
4 egg whites
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
1/4 cup softened heart healthy vegetable or soy spread
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons fat-free half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F and line 12 muffin cups with cupcake papers. Set aside.

Combine raisins and hot water in food processor or blender; process until smooth. Beat raisin puree together with sour cream, spread and extract in a large bowl until light. Beat in sugar, then egg whites. Add dry ingredients and beat until well mixed. Spoon into lined cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.

For frosting, beat together 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar with remaining ingredients until smooth; spread the top of each cupcake with a thin layer. Stir remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar together with a few drops of half-and-half until thick and smooth. Drizzle a swirl on top of each cupcake.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories: 300, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 330mg, Potassium: 317mg, Carbohydrates: 55g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 30g, Protein: 5g, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 0%, Calcium: 4%, Iron: 15%

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Barley - Food Find!

I developed this tasty healthy recipe for a TV segment promoting Dr. Andrew Weil cookware. It's simple to prepare and is packed with nutrients and fiber. If you've never tried barley, you'll be amazed at how addicting it is! The slightly chewy texture is perfect topped with crunchy toasted walnuts. Stir in chopped sun-dried tomatoes for extra flavor, if you like.

Mediterranean Barley with Chicken and Vegetables

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: about 1 hour total

2 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth

1 cup pearl barley

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped portabella or crimini mushrooms

1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups coarsely chopped fresh baby spinach

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary or basil)

1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted walnuts

Bring stock and barley to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes or until stock has been absorbed. While barley is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Add chicken and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is browned. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add remaining oil and onion to skillet; cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes more. Add bell pepper, wine, cooked barley and chicken; cook until very hot. Stir in spinach, Parmesan and herbs; cook until spinach is barely wilted then sprinkle with walnuts. Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Tip:

Barley may be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Quinoa: Food Find!

I love quinoa. No it's not pronounced "kee-no-ah". It's "keen-wah". It's an ancient grain and is super healthy. In fact it's considered to be a superfood.

This amazing little grain (and I mean little) has some unique things about it. First, it has it's own built in pesticide coating each grain so it should be rinsed in a fine mesh strainer and drained before you cook with it. Second, it's the only grain that provides a complete protein. None of this mixing with legumes - it's a good source of protein all by itself! It contains many essential vitamins and minerals, is low in sugar and starch and high in fiber and unsaturated fat.

It also cooks in about 12 minutes which is another plus in my book. It has a nutty taste and is really great for salads.

I wanted to try something different though. I thought that by adding quinoa to baked goods would be a good way to increase the nutritional value of the recipe. I make a great brown rice bread but I cook the rice first (obviously). The first recipe that I pulled up called for putting the quinoa in without cooking. So I thought I'd give it a go.

After the dough was made I thought I'd really blown it. It looked like polka dot bread and I was sure I'd have hard crunchy quinoa grains throughout. But it rose like a champ and baked just as well! The grains that are on the outside give it a nice crunch, but the inside is nice and soft.

I revised the recipe a bit adding honey and walnuts for flavor and health benefits. I did another loaf with walnuts and dried cherries. I think this bread is best toasted. . . slathered with Irish butter. So much for low fat. I'll be good tomorrow. Or when my bread is gone.

Quinoa Bread

Prep: 30 minutes
Rise: 3 hours total
Bake: 30 minutes

1 cup plus 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water, divided
1/4 cup honey
1 package active dry yeast
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup chopped dried cherries, raisins or cranberries (optional)

Place 1 cup water and honey in a large bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast over the top; let stand for 5 minutes or until yeast starts to foam. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and drain well; add to bowl with oil and mix lightly. Using the dough hook, stir in flours and salt until a dough forms, adding a little more water if necessary. (Dough will be stiff.) Knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until dough is very smooth and elastic. Coat another large clean bowl lightly with oil; add dough and turn to coat. Cover bowl and set in a warm spot to rise for 2 hours. Punch dough down and knead several times, adding walnuts and fruit if you like. Shape into 2 loaves and place on a large parchment lined baking sheet. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour more. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake bread for 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped.

Post comments and let me know what you think of the recipe!