Celebrating the delights of good healthy everyday food and special treats! Sharing recipes, information, and experiences.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Recipe for Curried Rice Salad

One of the great things about living on Maui (there are so many!) is the opportunity to eat “al fresco” almost all year round.  Get togethers often include a picnic at the beach or at someone’s pool.  Community pot-lucks can be held at an outdoor pavilion.  This rice dish is one that I made for our community holiday party which we held at this beautiful setting.

I know many of you are bundled up right now in the middle of winter, not eating outside!  But I’m guessing you are still going to school or church potluck dinners or getting together with friends to watch sports or play cards.  This is a great dish for any of those activities too!

I got the inspiration for this dish from a neighbor who makes this with rotisserie chicken which is a great main course.  I’ve also made it with almonds instead of peanuts and with left over pork roast chopped and thrown in.  For added crunch, sometimes I’ll add in chopped red bell peppers.  I love versatile recipes like this!  The flavors actually get better and better with time, so make it ahead and let everything get happy together.  And enjoy the leftovers (if there are any).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recipe for Creamy Dreamy Chocolate Almond Pie

Mmmm.  Doesn't that look good?  I promise it you it is and it is also pretty easy to make.  It’s hard to beat the combination of almond butter and chocolate, so why fight it?  We're not vegan (obviously!) but this pie turns out to be so if you have vegan friends coming over, here's your dessert!  (I developed this as part of a contest sponsored by Earth Balance but was not paid to do so or to write about it; but I did win the contest and $400 gift card to Whole Foods and a year of Earth Balance products!!)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recipe for Mushroom Rice

What’s the best clue that you’ve developed a winner recipe?  To me, it’s when friends ask me to bring that dish to a potluck or party.  My friend Jennifer’s birthday dinner was coming up and her hubby, Ryan, asked me to bring “your rice and mushroom dish.”

The nice thing about this side dish is that you can serve it hot or room temp so it works for dinner or for a potluck where you might not be able to warm it up (picnic etc).  It does keep well covered in a low (200 degree) oven for up to an hour or so if needed.

Bringing a side dish with wild and brown rice gives people a healthier alternative to heavier potato or starch dishes.  The mushrooms make it earthy and flavorful.  If you don’t want to deal with the shiitakes, using all button mushrooms works just fine.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Recipe and Method for Pan Sauteed Halibut

I hope you had a nice holiday and are enjoying time with friends and family.

How do you cook your fish?  You are eating fish a couple of times a week, right?  We try very hard and most weeks we get at least two servings of fish in. 

I never really liked fish until I was well into my 30's.  I'm still a bit picky about what fish I eat.  Of course, I try to make sure it's fresh not farmed and that it's on the sustainability list or marked as from a sustainable source (WF Market is great for this).

I also don't like to get a fish bone in my mouth.  We all have our "things" and this is one of mine.  I basically have to stop eating if I get a bone in my mouth-Ewwww.  Sorry!  So I stay away from fish that have little bones that are impossible to remove prior to cooking.

OK, enough about me.  Oh, one more thing, I don't like my fish undercooked.  I know it's all the rage for chefs to serve fish "medium rare" but I like mine cooked so it is still slightly translucent and still flavorful, tender and moist, but not with that raw texture (except for ahi tuna).  I always ask the server in a restaurant to be sure that is how my fish is cooked.  And at home, of course, I have control over that.

Here's how I tell if the fish is cooked just right.  First, most fish takes less than 3-4 minutes per side to cook, so use that as a guide.  The true indication that the fish is no longer raw is that it will flake easily when you push down gently with a spatula.

I had this beautiful piece of halibut, seasoned it with some Penzey's Northwoods Seasoning that a friend gave me, and cooked it in a splash of olive oil over med-high heat for 3 minutes each side. (You can use any dried seasoning that you like, but if you haven't tried Penzey's Seasonings I heartily recommend them-my opinion, not paid for!)

You can see here how it flaked when I checked for doneness.

And see, it is still moist and slightly translucent inside.  I served this with some of my mango salsa, steamed spinach, and some mashed white potatoes mixed with purple sweet potatoes and some chives from my garden-YUM!

What fish are you eating and what's your favorite way to prepare it?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

WEEKLY WRAP-Merry Christmas!

Mele Kalikimaka!!

A quick wrap up of the week on Eat Little, Eat Big.
Monday-a quick and filling shrimp main course, under 400 calories and very satisfying

 Chile Lime Shrimp Naan Wraps

Tuesday-a low calorie tropical salsa to brighten up any dish

Mango Salsa

Wednesday-a low calorie but filling main course

Rosemary White Bean Chicken

Thursday-a delicious broccoli side dish

Lemon-Tarragon Broccoli

I'll save my other tidbits from the rest of the blogosphere until next time as I'm sure you have plenty to keep you occupied today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

PICTURE THIS: Mele Kalikimaka

Santa and Mrs. C arrive on Maui!

Happy Holidays-Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Recipe for Lemon-Tarragon Broccoli

Have you taken a look at "The Flavor Bible" by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg (Little, Brown and Company, 2008)?  I checked it out of the library and have been using it for inspiration for flavor combinations.  For example, this broccoli.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Recipe for Rosemary White Bean Chicken

I’m so happy to finally have some herbs growing in my garden (don’t hate me those of you in winter climates!).  The rosemary is by the front door steps so I’ve been patiently waiting for it to get established, longing to cut some every time I pass by.  I decided it was time!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Recipe for Mango Salsa

Mango salsa-it's a great accompaniment to many dishes.  So easy to make and so tasty! Here's my recipe.

Makes 6 servings, each approximately 52 calories, 2 grams fat, 9 grams carbs, 1.6 grams fiber, 0.5 grams protein (with the avocado included); 1 WW Points+

Fruit from 1 ripe mango, cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 TBSP rice vinegar
2 TBSP chopped parsley, cilantro or mint
1/2 TBSP fresh lime or lemon juice
Salt to taste

Optional: 1/2 cup diced avocado

Mix all ingredients together.  Chill and serve.

What's your favorite salsa recipe?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Recipe for Chile Lime Shrimp Naan Wraps

Here is a delicious, quick, and filling meal with less than 400 calories.  I just love the whole wheat naan that WF Markets is carrying so I'm always looking for ways to use them.   I used frozen shrimp, defrosted.  This would be great when fresh shrimp are available.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Here's a review of the week on Eat Little, Eat Big and other things that caught my eye this week.  Hope your holiday planning is going well and stress is staying low!

Monday-an elegant and simple cake made with whole wheat flour

French Yogurt Cake

Tuesday-a rich and flavorful side dish

Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

Wednesday-the incredible egg, and how to keep it that way

Perfect Hardboiled Eggs

Thursday-something a little different and a lot healthy

Sardine Salad Appetizer

Roni at Green Lite Bites made a fun twist on lasagna.

Gina made over a breakfast favorite and cut down the calories and fat significantly.

The clever folks at Food Networks shared their homemade cracker recipes made with whole grains.

And finally, a great assortment of quick meals for the crazy days leading up to the holidays from the folks at Leite's Culinaria (check out the Salmon Farfalle and Asian Noodle salad!)

Hope things aren't too crazy at your house!

Friday, December 17, 2010

PICTURE THIS: Produce Market, Santiago Chile February 2010

A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money.  Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.  ~P.J. O'Rourke

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe for Sardine Salad Appetizer

OK, this will either be something you love or not.  I’d never eaten sardines before.  They just freak me out-little fishy things with teeny bones. Eww.

But, I keep reading how good they are for you, packed with all those omega-3s and tons of B12.  Plus they are a good source of lean protein.

So I bit the bullet and bought some when I came across cans of sardines packed in water, no bones, no skin.  So great, now what do I do with them?  Well, I needed an appetizer for Thanksgiving and I wanted something light and healthy so I figured I could make up a light fish salad kind of thing and spread it on some slices of cucumber.  Here’s how it turned out.  I liked it a lot.  Others did too, but not everyone!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Method for Perfect Hardboiled Eggs

I have borderline high cholesterol so for years I’ve avoided eggs and used egg substitute.  The cholesterol level was high until I made some dietary and exercise changes; I’m now off medicine other than over the counter.  Let’s face it though,  as good as egg substitute can be for scrambles and in baking, nothing subs for a good hardboiled egg or a well prepared deviled egg.

The most recent recommendations I’ve seen from the American Heart Association recommend limiting cholesterol intake to no more than 300mg / day.   This is just more than 1 egg yolk so they suggest using egg whites and limiting egg yolks.  However, according the the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, there is no evidence in population studies (versus feeding studies) that eating eggs leads to high cholesterol nor the development of heart disease.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Recipe for Roasted Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

A beautiful butternut squash has been sitting in my kitchen for about a week.  I keep thinking about cooking it but just never get to it.  Tonight I was determined to put my thinking cap on and create something yummy with it.  This recipe turned out pretty good, even if I do say so myself.  The roasted squash in and of itself is delicious with hints of rosemary.  Then add in the tangy goat cheese and the pine nuts and you end up with quite a rich and flavorful side dish.

Makes 3 servings, each approximately 278 calories, 17 grams fat, 32 grams carbs,  8 grams fiber, 5 grams protein; 8 WW Points +

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe for French Yogurt Cake

It was a rare rainy afternoon here in paradise and I got the itch to bake.  I really didn’t want to go to the store so I looked at my list of recipes “to try” and found a Dorie Greenspan recipe for French Yogurt Cake, adapted and published in the NY Times.  I checked the pantry and had what I needed.  Easy decision.

I did my own adaptation by substituting some whole wheat pastry flour for some of the AP flour and some sucralose for some of the sugar, and instead of glazing with marmalade, I layered the cake and put jam between the layers.

This is so simple tasting, yet elegant at the same time.  It reminds me of some of the simple cakes my Granny and Nana made when I was young growing up in England.  Faintly almond flavored, not very sweet, perfect actually for breakfast or afternoon tea (I’m hoping you’re holding your little finger out, I am).

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Here's the week in review from Eat Little, Eat Big as well as other tidbits from the blogosphere that caught my eye.

Monday-an easy way to prepare a holiday favorite

Tamarind Spiced Nuts

Tuesday-well known, but new to me, tri-tip recipe

Santa Maria Tri-Tip

Wednesday-quick and easy puff pastry tarts

Puff Pastry Tarts

Thursday-a nice, crunchy fall side dish

Slaw with Cabbage, Carrot, Apple and Tarragon

Check out the new "Friends for Weightloss" site created by Danica for recipes, support, challenges and success stories focused on Weight Watchers. 

I seem to be attracted to veggie recipes this week (probably due to an overdose of reading holiday dessert posts).

Here's an asparagus dish that I'll be using for Christmas dinner by Noob Cook.

An amazing spaghetti squash recipe on Danica's site (scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the beautiful picture!)

And finally, an interesting and unique spinach soup recipe from the Pioneer Woman.  I got some spinach in my veggie delivery this week and it's cool and rainy here in paradise today so I'm off to the kitchen to whip this up!

Have a good weekend everyone!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Recipe for Slaw with Cabbage, Carrot, Apple and Tarragon

This slaw is another recipe born of the need to use up what came in my weekly produce delivery from Kula Fields.   In addition to getting fresh from the farm produce, I love the challenge of figuring out what to do with what shows up each week in the box.

I really enjoyed this just as written.  Mr. ELEB thought it was a bit “tangy” so next time I’ll probably mix a bit of honey into the dressing.  Let me know what you think.

Makes 3 servings, each 132 calories, 9.5 grams fat, 12 grams carbs, 1 gram protein (without honey)

2 cups shredded cabbage
½ cup finely chopped carrots
1 medium granny smith apple, grated
1 ½  TBSP chopped fresh tarragon
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt

Optional: 1 tsp honey

Combine cabbage, carrots, and apple in bowl.  Whisk together other ingredients and pour over cabbage mix.  Chill and serve.

Have you created anything recently?  Please share!
Printable Recipe

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Recipe for Quick and Easy Puff Pastry Tarts

Veggie Tart

Pepperoni Tart
Here’s a simple recipe that adapts to what you have on hand (veggies, cheeses) and what type of meal (appetizer, main meal) you are preparing.  Serve right away, they keep ok if reheated the next day but are much better within an hour or so of cooking.

For 16 pieces per tart, each approximately 111 calories, 7.6 grams fat, 7.9 grams carbs, 3.4 grams protein (pepperoni) and 116 calories, 7.9 grams fat, 8.9 grams carbs, 3 grams protein (veggie)

BTW  Check out the new tab at the top of the home page: a listing of my phase 1 South Beach friendly recipes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Recipe for Santa Maria Tri-Tip Roast

We recently went to a barbeque and had a delicious tri-tip roast off the grill.  I asked my friend for the recipe and was told it was “Santa Maria”.  Almost everyone else seemed familiar with this but it was new to me.  I got my friend's recipe and also looked on the web and sure enough, tons of recipes.  I guess Santa Maria California is known for tri-tip, go figure!

I tripled my friend’s recipe and used Italian seasoning where hers called for dried parsley.  I also used smoked paprika instead of plain because I love the smoky taste.   The result was quite good although for some reason, much more peppery than hers.  Everyone I served it to at a sunset picnic liked it but next time I’ll dial the pepper back just a tad.  Although, the next day I made a gyro with some of the leftovers and cucumber raita sauce.   The cool cucumber sauce toned down the pepper perfectly!

If you aren't grilling this time of year where you are, I would give this a try in the oven or even maybe the crockpot.  The texture would be different in the crockpot, and you'd might need a bit of moisture for cooking but the flavors are worth the try-let me know how it turns out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Recipe for Tamarind Spiced Nuts

There are always a few things that get you in the holiday mood.  For me, spiced nuts are on the list.  These are incredibly easy to make and always a crowd pleaser.  Remember, nuts are good for you but high in calories so figure out how many handfuls you want to indulge in and then “STAY OUT OF THE NUT BOWL!”.

Makes 8 - ¼ cup servings, each approximately 208 calories, 18 grams fat, 10 grams carbs, 6 grams protein, 3 grams fiber  (I’ll start including fiber content for you WW followers out there so you can figure your points with the new system)

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Here's the week in review from Eat Little, Eat Big as well as other tidbits from the blogosphere that caught my eye.

Monday-a super healthy and tasty start to the week

Spice Crusted Salmon with Ginger Cilantro Sauce

Tuesday-a quick and easy way to use leftovers (and tasty too!)

Chicken, Corn, and Mushroom Quesadillas

Wednesday-a crispy, fun way to eat your veggies

Zucchini Fritters

Thursday-another fun way to eat some veggies

Raw Beet Salad

One of my favorite websites, Kalyn's Kitchen, and the monthly summary of South Beach ph l recipes from Kalyn and other bloggers (I had a few featured this month)

A recipe from Susan at Food Blogga that I'll definitely be using for inspiration for our next pizza night.  Roasted butternut squash, turkey, blue cheese and apple pizza.

A new website from the Earth Balance folks with some great recipe ideas.  For all you bloggers out there, they are doing a weekly bake off with a nice prize.  (See my Dreamy Creamy Chocolate Almond Pie?)

Have a great weekend.   Are you holiday shopping yet?

Friday, December 3, 2010

PICTURE THIS: Anniversary Dinner

A few weeks back we celebrated our wedding anniversary at a very special Maui restaurant: Capiche

Again, if you are ever coming to Maui, let me know and I'll fill you in on the dining scene.  Capiche is a great romantic, special view, Italian restaurant with a wonderful wine list as well as great food.

On this special night, we shared a fabulous caprese salad, Mr. ELEB had a gorgeous pork chop and I had a lovely ahi tuna dish.

Happy Friday everyone!
Mr. ELEB's pork chop - YUM!