Summer Zucchini Tian with Avocado Cream

Originating in Provence, a tian is a French word that describes a shallow earthenware casserole as well as the food it contains. Traditionally it features a variety of vegetables, herbs and cheeses that are layered and then baked.

Ingredients for Summer Zucchini Tian:
  • 6 tbs. olive oil, plus more for greasing pan 
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 small zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 3 small potatoes, cut into 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill
  • 4 tsp. cream + 1 egg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Ingredients for Avocado Cream:
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup cottage cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • Mint, thyme, salt and pepper to taste

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.

To make the Avocado Cream, in a food processor, combine the avocado, lemon juice, olive oil, cottage cheese, mint, garlic, salt and pepper and the chopped thyme. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the finely chopped herbs of your desire. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a fry pan over medium heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 more minutes. Transfer the onion-garlic mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the cream, egg, 3 Tbs. of the oil, the dill, salt and pepper. Arrange the zucchini, potatoes on the onion-garlic mixture, overlapping the rows. Drizzle with the egg-cream mixture and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6.


Banana-Oatmeal Power Cookies

Those big tasty cookies are just what you will need for a good start of your busy day. They're filled with flaked coconut, oats, raisins, walnuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, bananas; all of the essential vitamins you will need to keep going until lunch time. Those cookies make a delicious and healthy snack for anyone. 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dry cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbs. flax seeds
  • 2 tbs. sunflower seeds
Preheat an oven to 325°F. Lightly grease 1 or 2 baking sheets or line each with a Silpat nonstick liner.
In a bowl, stir together the flour, coconut, oats, baking soda, flax seeds, salt and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream the brown sugar and butter with a wooden spoon until fluffy. Add the banana and egg and beat with a fork until blended. Stir in the flour mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, then stir in the raisins,  sunflower seeds,  dry cranberries and walnuts.
Spoon the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, switching pan positions halfway through baking if 2 pans were used.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet(s) on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Makes about 12 cookies.


Pea Soup with Turkey Bacon Bread Crumbs

  • 4 oz. turkey bacon with maple flavor
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, processed into fine crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 lb. shelled fresh or frozen English peas
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat a cast-iron fry pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the bacon in the pan and cook, turning once, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Discard all but 1 Tbs. of the fat from the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
In a mini food processor, process the bacon into fine bits. Stir the bacon, dill, salt and pepper into the bread crumbs. Set aside.
In a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallots, carrots and sauté until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the peas, broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender, 12 to 20 minutes. Stir in the cream.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the bacon bread crumbs and fresh dill. Serve immediately.


Fresh Strawberries in Vanilla Syrup

  • 1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Combine the sugar, lemon juice, and add the vanilla bean pod and the seeds in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. (Keep one in the freezer.)
Remove the vanilla bean pod. Pour strawberries in vanilla syrup carefully into canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated. Use immediately, or follow proper canning guidelines.
The best use for breakfast with pancakes, waffles or simply put it on a top of the ice cream.
Sometimes, I use basil and mint instead of vanilla bean.


Roasted Root Vegetables with Curry and Thyme


  • 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • Generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 5 carrots, about 1 lb. total, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 or 3 parsnips, about 1 lb. total, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 or 2 turnips, about 1 lb. total, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 large beets, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 5 large garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme

Preheat an oven to 500°F.
In a fry pan over medium heat, toast the curry powder, shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately transfer the curry powder to a large bowl. Stir the oil, salt and pepper into the curry powder. Add the carrots, parsnips, turnip, beets and garlic, and toss to coat well.

Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast the vegetables, turning them once after 15 minutes, until they are just tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 30 minutes.
Transfer the roasted vegetables to a warmed serving dish, sprinkle with the thyme and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately. Serves 4.


Fruit & Nut Bread



    Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and spread parchment paper at the bottom.

    In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs and stir in vanilla and maple syrup.

    Add the chopped dried fruit and nuts into the flour mixture. Stir until nuts and fruit are well coated with flour. Stir in the egg mixture to the flour nut mixture until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, pressing the batter down with the back of a spoon. Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Keep wrapped to maintain freshness. It lasts even longer when kept in the fridge.


    Strawberry Oat Squares with Homemade Jam

    Adapted from ohsheglows.com
    It is so delicious, you will want to bake more after your first bite. With strawberries in season, it is a wonderful dessert or a healthy afternoon snack with a cup of milk or lemonade.

    Ingredients for Oat Base:
    • 1.5 cups regular oats
    • 1 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds+ 4 tbsp warm water, mixed)
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp almond milk
    • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (for topping only)
    Ingredients for Strawberry Jam:
    • 2 & 1/4 cups chopped strawberries, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces OR approx 1 cup pre-made jam
    • 3-4 tbsp sugar, to taste
    • 1 tbsp chia seeds

    Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a square pan with parchment paper and oil the sides of the pan and base. In a medium sized pot, add the chopped strawberries and sugar. Heat over low until the strawberries begin to sweat and it gets a bit watery. Once it heats down a bit, add in the chia seeds, and stir well. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low to medium heat for at least 10 minutes. Once it has thickened a bit, remove from heat and cool for 5-10 mins. In a small bowl, mix the chia or flax egg and set aside. In a large bowl, mix the oat base dry ingredients: oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt. In a small bowl, mix the warm Coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk, and chia egg. Stir well. Add the wet mixture (reserving 1/2 cup of the mixture) to the dry and mix well, using hands if necessary. Pour the oat mixture onto the square pan and press down with fingers. Pour on strawberry mixture and smooth out. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup oat mixture and sprinkle on. Now sprinkle on 1 tbsp of sesame seeds or coconut. Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool for at least 30-40 minutes before gently removing from pan. Slice and then store in a container in the fridge to keep firm.


    Healthy cookie with chia seeds

    Adapted from ohsheglows.com
    • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
    • 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice (OR: 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ginger)
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • Chia/flax egg: 1 tbsp ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp water OR 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water, mixed and set aside for 5 mins
    • 1/2 cup regular oats
    • 1 cup shredded or grated carrots (approx 2 medium)
    • 1/4 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

    Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, mix the chia/flax egg and set aside. In a large sized bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients. Using a food processor or grater, process/grate the carrots. In a medium sized bowl mix together the wet ingredients (carrots, vanilla, oil, maple syrup, and chia/flax egg). Add wet to dry and mix until just incorporated. Stir in the walnuts and raisins. Scoop mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or greased with oil. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 25 minutes at 350F.
    Nutritional info: (Per cookie, Approx) 265 kcals, 9 grams fat, 1 gram sat. fat, 5 grams fibre, 4.4 grams protein, 61% vitamin A, 10% iron, 59 mg calcium, 180 mg potassium.

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