Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Herb-Rubbed Turkey

I made this herb-rubbed turkey for my first thanksgiving last year and it got great reviews. I am for sure making it this year and I suggest giving the herb-rub a try. It was very moist and more flavorful I think than your average bird.


  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 22 medium garlic cloves (about 3 heads)
  • 1 (10- to 12-pound) turkey, preferably organic or free-range
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced into thin rings
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
(I double this recipe because I use a 21-24 pound bird)


One day ahead:
Process herbs and garlic in food processor until finely minced. Set aside.

Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Trim excess fat. Place turkey in large nonreactive bowl. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by gently inserting fingers between skin and meat. Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper under and over skin.
Then spread some of the garlic-herb rub under skin and gently press skin to adhere. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck into turkey. Then rub remaining garlic-herb rub over the turkey skin. (I also coat the skin with butter or more olive oil). Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

To Roast:
Let turkey stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Set oven rack at the lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. I use Reynolds Oven-Roast Turkey Bags. Add 1 tablespoon flour to the bag and shake, this stops your bag from bursting. Place your turkey in the bag breast side up. Butter the top of the turkey and season. Use the ties that come with the bag and close the bag. Make about 6 slits in the bag about 1/2 inch long, this helps to let the excessive steam out.
Put your turkey in the bag in a pan a little larger than your turkey, and with 2 inch sides . Put your pan in the oven making sure that the bag does not touch any part of your oven, racks or broiler element. I occasionally bast my turkey so I make sure on of the slits in the bag in low enough where a can grab some juices. Cooking time per weight(un-stuffed): 12-16 lb., 2 to 2 1/2 hours; 16-20 lbs., 2 1/2 to 3 hours, 20-24 lbs., 3 to 3 1/2 hours. It will take 1/2 hour longer if you stuff the bird. The bird is done when a meat thermometer reaches 170 degrees inserted into the thickest part of the thigh and juices run clear.. When the bird is done, I remove the bag and place on a serving plater (Let the turkey rest 20 minutes before carving). I then release all the juices from in the bag into my pan to make my gravy.

Recipe modified from Epicurious.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper & Chipotle Soup

Normally this type of soup contains cream to make it rich and creamy. I make this healthy soup velvety by using potatoes. It really does the trick and you don't miss the dairy. It is spicy and smoky and will really warm you up.


Serves 4
  • small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobe, minced (heaping if you like it hot)
  • 1 15oz can low sodium vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste


Char the red pepper either over a gas stove or under the broiler. Place blacked peppers in a air-tight container and set aside and allow to steam. Place a small amount of oil in a large sauce pan and heat over medium high. Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add the potatoes, minced chipotle peppers, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer until potatoes are soft. Meanwhile, remove the black skins and de-seed the red peppers. Dice and add to the simmering sauce pan. Simmer another 5 minutes. Using a stick blender or transfer soup into a blender, puree and serve.

Recipe by me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Apple Cake

This is a revised version of my Grandma's apple cake recipe with a healthy twist. This version is actually vegan but is just as good as the original (as tested by my grandma) and very moist.


  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed plus 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup whole what pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups chopped & peeled apples


  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper or silicon baking cups.
  2. Combine the first 5 ingredients and stir well. Add all the dry ingredients and mix. Fold in the apples and nuts.

  3. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Recipe adapted from Grandma de Vries

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chickpea and Spinach Soup

This is a great tasting and super healthy soup I got out of a new cookbook I recently purchased called The Anti-Cancer Cookbook by Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH. In this cook the author explains the benefits of each recipe. For example, the spinach contains magnesium, calcium, potassium, and many vitamins as well as the antioxidant lutein. The chick-peas are loaded with fiber and are protein-rich. She also adds that this recipe's folate (spinach) and fiber (garbanzo beans) may help prevent ovarian and colon cancer. I also love the ingredient are all staples in my pantry.


Makes 6 servings
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup shallots finely chopped (I used 1/2 medium sweet onion)
  • 1/3 cup celery, diced
  • Pinched red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, not drained
  • 1-1/4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced (or 15 oz can, not drained)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped (I used 5 oz frozen spinach, half a box)


1. Place a large soup or stock pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Add garlic and shallots (onions) and saute 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Add celery and red pepper flakes and continue to saute another 1 to 2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, rosemary, chickpeas, rice, tomatoes, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 30 minutes. Pour about half of soup into a blender and puree (I use a stick blender, easier). Return puree to pot. Season with salt and black pepper as desired and add spinach. Simmer on low heat 6 to 7 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe from The Anti-Cancer Cookbook by Julia B. Greer, MD, MPH
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