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Homemade Pico de Gallo

December 21, 2013


This snack is brilliant because the excellent properties in these particular vegetables will cure any ill, especially when served raw.

I tend to eat this snack twice a week, and I know it plays a big role in keeping me healthy.

To begin, cut up 6-7 Roma Tomatoes finely, then throw them into your serving bowl  I prefer these over other other tomatoes as they are firmer, and easier to cut.



Add 3-5 green onions.  I slice the onions down the center first, then I start to chop them into even smaller pieces.




Dice and add 1/4 of a medium red onion.


Similarly, dice and add 3 small cloves of garlic.


Gather a handful of cilantro, and coarsely chop. ( I remove the woodier stalks, but you may prefer to leave them on).



Squeeze in the juice of 1-2 limes. (I used 1.5 today).  I also add the flesh of the lime because I like the extra.


Mix well and serve with blue corn tortilla chips and/or pita chips.


As always adjust all ingredients to your taste.  This dip is so refreshing.  Enjoy!


Smokin’ Roasted Tomato Soup

September 1, 2012

THIS is amazing.  If I do say so myself 🙂

I have an abundance of luscious organic tomatoes of all kinds in the garden this year. And in my quest to preserve the bounty for winter, I came up with a mouth-watering recipe of roasted tomato soup that is to die for.  Such a brilliant distraction from all that canning!
















Begin by slicing tomatoes in half inch rounds into a large bowl.  Add chopped onions and garlic.  Chop coarsely without paying too much attention to size or shape as they will all be pureed in the blender later.  Keep in mind, however,  that the garlic & onions shouldn’t be chopped too small as they will burn in the oven.

Toss with extra virgin olive oil to coat well.  Add sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Transfer to a baking sheet or casserole dish.  Put in a 400° oven for 40 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and slightly browned.

When they are done, transfer into your soup pot.  Add Chicken broth to cover tomatoes.  (I used Swanson’s 100% Natural).  About 2 cups of broth is good for a medium sized pot of soup.  But when in doubt (or if you hate to measure, like me) just make sure the tomatoes are covered with the liquid.

Chop up and add:  fresh basil, parsley, thyme, (fresh is best, but I’m sure you can get by with dried).

(you’ll see that I also have a bay leaf here, but I took it out cause it’s added too early : )~

Put the whole mixture into the blender and start with the pulse (or slow) setting and slowly work your way up to a medium blend.  Blend at least one minute.

Return mixture to your soup pot and now add the bay leaf.  It’s not a good idea to have shards of bay leaf in your soup, which is why we didn’t run it through the blender.  Leave bay leaf in whole for the flavor.  And you can remove it when the soup is done if you like.

Bring soup to boil, then quickly turn down to simmer.  Add more salt & pepper to taste and continue cooking an additional 10-15 minutes.

Add 1 half to 1 whole cup of heavy cream or milk about 5-7 minutes before your soup is finished.  Stir in well.  I used milk and that was creamy enough.  I’m not a fan of the heavy (fatty) creams, but I know a lot of people prefer them in soups.

Garnish with any of your fresh herbs, and serve.

I’m so glad that I am freezing this for those cold winter months.  I am doubly glad that not one tomato will go to waste this year.  I’m tripley glad that I am preserving so many home-grown organic vegetables this year and saving a mitt full of $$$ on winter produce!!

Roasted Summer Squash & Roasted Bell Pepper Soup

September 1, 2012

Had bounty from the garden.  Not sure this is the last of it.  Been pulling in this much every week:

Been giving to the food bank all summer, giving to the neighbors, preserving in every imaginable way for the winter, and now…..tackling roasted squash & bell pepper soups to freeze!

I tried a few slight variations:






I used different fresh herbs (you can also use dried herbs) for different flavors.  Try them and let me know which one you prefer.

Begin by roasting your base vegetable mixture.  I used: Yellow Summer Squash, Green Bell Peppers, Onions, Garlic, and Greek Pepperoni Peppers (These are optional.  I threw them in for color. They are not hot.  If you add hot peppers, go easy on them). I also threw in a few buttercup squash.  I coarsely chopped without great attention to detail or shape  since we are going to puree them later.  Don’t chop garlic too small (if you chop them at all).  Small pieces will burn in the oven.

Toss the above mixture together with enough olive oil to coat, sea salt & fresh ground pepper and arrange on baking sheet or casserole dish.  I used quite a bit of vegetables because I am freezing my soups for the winter.  This was the first batch.  I did two batches this size.  But one baking sheet makes enough for a med sized pot of soup. 

I set the oven to 40o° and let them roast for 40 minutes.  The underside will likely brown first and a dark pan is better to achieve that brown roasting color ( it is not necessary to turn the vegetables.  If they are brown on one side, that is enough).  Alternately you can let them cook 30 minutes and put on low broil for the last 5-10 minutes.

They’ll look something like this when ready:

Transfer the cooked vegetables into your soup pot and cover with chicken broth (I used Swanson’s 100% Natural).  If you are making a medium sized pot, 2 cups should do it. Just make sure that your vegetable mixture is covered with liquid.

Add to your pot, any one of the recipe variations below:

A) for Roasted Summer Squash & Roasted Bell Pepper Soup W/Mint:

Add Mint & Thyme.  Fresh is best, chopped up fine  (This one is my favorite!  Simple, elegant, & delicious)

B) for Roasted Summer Squash & Roasted Bell Pepper Soup W/Oregano:

Add oregano, thyme, mint, & fresh parsley (opt.) Fresh, chopped fine

Now throw your mixture into the blender to puree.  Start with the pulse (or slow) setting, and gradually work up to medium speed on your blender.  Blend at least two minutes on medium speed.

Pour mixture back into saucepan. Bring to boil, then quickly turn down to simmer.  Add more salt and pepper to taste.  Cook an additional ten minutes, and serve.

Okay, you may want to lose the wine glass!

Hubby says the mint soup is perfect when paired with a main course of lamb.

Try adding some of your own variations.  Let me know what you come up with!  Eyeball amounts like I do, according to your taste or produce availability.  Remember to use up what you have in your fridge or garden before it goes bad.  That’s what I did!

Shrimp Feta Fry!

August 13, 2012

This is my creamy feta and lemon flavored sauce to go over a shrimp stir fry.  The sauce by itself is fantastic on salmon as well!

Begin by cooking the amount of brown rice you and your family usually eat for a meal or two (this will also make a great leftover meal) according to package directions. 

I used Basmati rice at a ratio of one cup rice to two cups of water.  It is just my husband and I so that is enough for two meals.

When rice is covered and on a low simmer, begin making the sauce:

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter in a small sauce pan on low heat. 

Once the butter is melted, add 2-3 Tbsp of flour, stirring constantly.

The more flour you add, the thicker your sauce will be.  You can always add more milk or flour later to adjust thickness levels to your liking.

Bring butter and flour to gentle boil for one minute on low heat.   Mixture should be bubbly.

 Slowly stir or whisk in enough milk to fill saucepan half way. 

Stir  in aprox. 1/2 cup well crumpled feta cheese and 1/8 to 1/4 cup of lemon juice to sauce mixture, to your taste.  Add salt & pepper to taste. Stir continuously all the while.

Turn stove to medium heat and continue stirring until mixture starts to thicken (2- 5 minutes).  Turn heat down if mixture starts to stick and burn to bottom. 

If after 5 minutes, you would like sauce to be thinner, add more milk.  If you would like sauce to be thicker, mix  1 Tbsp flour to a little bit of cold milk, whisk well and add to saucepan mixture.

Once you are happy with the consistency of your sauce you can stop stirring and take it off heat, or leave on very low heat.

*Whenever your rice is done take it off burner and let it sit, covered, until the rest of the meal is ready.*

Add olive oil to your biggest fry pan.  Chop up and throw in your favorite stir fry vegetable medley

For me, it is usually whatever I need to use up in the fridge!  Here I have zucchini and yellow squash, onions, broccoli, green beans, bell pepper, and garlic.  Make sure you make enough for your family.

Allow the vegetables to cook on medium heat until they are done to your liking.

Meanwhile, add more olive oil to a smaller fry pan, and add thawed shrimp seasoned with lemon pepper.  Cook 3-5 minutes on medium heat, then set aside.  Make as much shrimp as you’d like for this meal.

If you turned the heat off on your sauce, now is the time to put it back on the burner and slowly heat it back up.

When vegetables are done, stir in the cooked shrimp.

On individual plates, pile the vegetable shrimp combination over the brown rice. 

Drip some warm sauce over vegetables and shrimp. 

Serve immediately.



Kat’s Mmmm! Potato Soup

August 13, 2012

Usually I show my work in pictures (in steps) for you to observe.   This time, I had no idea that the soup was going to turn out so yummy.  It’s been a while since my last post, so I’d gotten out of the habit of taking pictures as I cooked.  Once I tasted how delicious it was, however, I did snap a shot of the finished product for you!

The turkey bacon makes this a more healthful choice, and gives it a yummy, almost smokey flavor.  The flavor burst in the fresh cherry tomatoes (added only at the end with minimal cook time), brings this soup to a whole new level!

I wasn’t recording measurements either (I never do….see “Why I cook the way I do”, in the header above).  So these measurements are approximate.  What I really wanted to do was say things like …”add water to cover potatoes”, and “add milk to fill saucepan.”  But that wouldn’t do….you wouldn’t have been terribly happy with me then.  So I did the best I could with measurements here and I think the consistency will turn out pretty close.  Of course, as always, feel free to make your own adjustment in ingredients and measurements.   Though the flavor with these particular ingredients is smokin’!

So, carrying on:

2 cups chopped potatoes (small bite size, leave skins on)

1/2 Lg onion (I used red onion here) chopped into small bite sizes

Salt & pepper to taste

Cover with 3 cups of water.

Simmer on low boil for twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes,

Whisk 3 Tbsp cornstarch into 3 cups cold milk (I used apx. 1.5 cups skim milk & 1.5 cups 2% milk).  *You may add more cornstarch for thicker mixture or more milk for thinner mixture*

Pour over potato mixture and add:

6-7 pieces turkey bacon chopped into small bite sizes

2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

3/4 of a head of chopped garlic (small pieces, but not diced).

Simmer on low boil for another 20-30 minutes, then add:

3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

10-20 fresh cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered)

Cook an additional 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Cool a few minutes (the soup is hot!), and serve.  Garnish with one spring of parsley per bowl.

Bone Appy!


Best Tasting Salad in the Universe

June 7, 2011

The medley of ingredients in this salad, make it an eye popper, but the dressing is what sends it into space!   SOOO delicious!

I used ripped up lettuce of several different varies. Use whatever kind of lettuce you like.

* I first wash each piece of lettuce then I lay them down on heavy paper towel, when I’ve got the amount of lettuce I want washed, then I lay  double pieces of  paper towel over top and roll up the lettuce leaves.  (with paper towel below and on top of them).  This is a great way to store lettuce in your fridge and it stays fresh for days without wilting.

I also added  fresh spinach, parsley and cilantro.  I hardly ever make a salad without adding cilantro anymore.  I love it. 

Then I broke up walnut pieces and threw them in. 

(cooking in the RV on the road here, can you tell)?









Next came the sugarless shredded cocoanut (available at any health food store & very inexpensive.  I paid 94 cents for the bag you see here.  (it’s also incredible in fruit salads!)










I then added an avocado and a tomato.









So, hey Dawg, then comes the killer dressing    🙂

As follows:

Fresh grated ginger, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, & honey.

Experiment with amounts, I just kinda guesstimate, maybe  less lemon juice than olive oil, honey to taste, and not too much ginger   (you’ll figure it out as you go….no matter how I do it and even it I throw it all together without much thought, this combination always comes out great, and I never do it the same every time, so don’t fret about it too much).

Here’s what it looks like before I shook it all up (which you’ll need to do to mix it of course).  You may choose to mix it up in a blender as well.










I thought it looked pretty cool.   Best dressing I have ever had, and the best part is that there is no sugar and plenty of MUFAs (MonoUnsaturated Fatty Acids).

Drizzle it over your salad!

This is seriously the best tasting salad in the universe, and probably one of the healthiest.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal Yogurt Sundae

January 28, 2010

A very healthy start to your day!

The oatmeal remains uncooked in this delicious morning meal to maintain every last drop of nutrition. (When cooking oatmeal many of the nutrients get boiled off).

Step One:

Take your favorite brand of oatmeal and place in your breakfast bowl (you may substitute oatmeal for granola).

Step Two:

Take your favorite brand of Probiotic Yogurt with all of the active bacteria culture, and with very little, or no, sugar added.  (I like Olympic brand organic probiotic yogurt).

Steps Three and Four:

Mix the yogurt with the oatmeal until moist and the oatmeal is no longer dry.

Then put dollops of yogurt all over the top to add extra yumminess, creaminess and smoothness to the recipe.  Don’t be shy, put on as much as you like!  it’s soooo good for you!

Step Five:

Slice your favorite fruit on top, and enjoy this healthy sundae supreme!