Category Archives: Holidays

Thankful for Date Nut Truffles

Have a vegan attending your Thanksgiving table? These Date Nut Truffles will not only solve your vegan dessert dilemma, but all of your guests and you will love them. They’re also gluten free…for those other guests. I think they’ll make an appearance throughout the holidays in my home. :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut, 1/4 cup set aside
  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

If you like your nuts a little toasty, place the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in an oven at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes. Let cool, then place walnuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, and 1 cup of shredded coconut in a food processor bowl. Pulse until finely crumbed.

Food Processor 1

Add dates, coconut oil, salt and vanilla extract, and pulse again until it’s a moistened consistency.

Food Processor 2                    Food Processor 3

 

Place remaining shredded coconut and cocoa powder in a bowl. Roll about a tablespoon size into a ball and then roll it in the coconut-cocoa mixture until evenly coated. Place truffles on a tray with wax or parchment paper and place in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Date Nut Truffles

Take out about 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 20 truffles.

 

St. Paddy’s the Healthy Way

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you feel like skipping the booze and mint milkshakes this year, but still want to give a nod to St. Patrick’s Day, why not make a Green Lemonade! This continues to be my favorite drink. It’s super healthy, filling, thirst quenching and so tasty, and you don’t need a messy juicer to make it!

Here is the original recipe, and I’ve made some updates to the recipe below.

Photo by Kevin Pazmino www.pazminophotography.com

Photo by Kevin Pazmino
www.pazminophotography.com

  • 8-12 oz Water or Coconut Water
  • 1 small-medium Apple, peeled and chopped
  • 1 chunk (about 1/2″) Ginger
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Big bunch of Spinach
  • About 1/2 cup frozen Pineapple (Trader Joe’s sells frozen chunks)
  • You can add cucumber, celery, substitute kale, chard, collard greens or romaine lettuce. Hell, throw in some unsweetened coconut, half a banana and make it a smoothie. I’m getting ahead of myself…

Grab your preferred instrument for blending (I used my beloved immersion blender), and rev her up! I love spinach because it pulverizes quite easily. The tougher greens make it more chunky.

Get your St. Paddy’s energy on!

 

Scared of Squash?

If you are equally intimidated by the hard, funny shaped gourds, know that you’re not alone. I didn’t grow up eating or decorating squash or pumpkin, but having lived in the US for over 30 years now, I decided to embrace them as treats and decor, and even tried my hand at my own recipe, featuring an easy to cut one, delicata squash.

I incorporated black beans into my squash stuffing for the protein, and Brussels sprouts and mushrooms for the vegetables. You can certainly customize to your liking. I made them at my boyfriend’s place, and totally forgot to bring over onion, which I think would have deepened the flavors. Three cloves of garlic definitely helped. I also feel it was missing a fresh element. In the future, I may add fresh green onions as garnish, or incorporate a fresh herb into the vegetable sauté, like thyme, and/or make some thyme or green onion infused sour cream to dollop on top. But here’s what I did:

Ingredients:

  • Two delicata squash, halved and de-seeded
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans (I like to use Eden beans, because they are cooked with Kombu, for added nutrition)
  • About 10 oz Shaved Brussels Sprouts (I used a package of shaved sprouts from Trader Joe’s)
  • About 8-10 Mushrooms, chopped (I used cremini)
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese, sliced into thin pieces and handful shaved Parmeggiano Regiano (Or cheese of your choice)
  • A bit of olive oil for the squash roasting
  • Salt, black pepper, cayenne, smoked paprika, dash of nutmeg (or any herb or seasonings you enjoy)

Herb Infused Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt

  • A few Tablespoons of Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
  • A big pinch of fresh herbs of your choice (my choice would be thyme, green onions or chives), chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. After you’ve halved (with a good, sharp knife) and gutted your squash, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, a bit of salt and a bit of nutmeg.
  2. Place them face down onto a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. The squash should be a bit browned and caramelized on the edges. Flip the squash over and let cool slightly. Lower oven temp to 350F.
  3. While squash is baking, sauté onions until translucent on medium heat. Add garlic. When garlic is fragrant, after 1-2 minutes, add shaved Brussels sprouts. Sauté until the sprouts start to brown a bit. Add mushrooms and black beans. Make sure to season a bit more with each addition of ingredients. Continue to sauté on a medium-low heat until the squash is out of the oven, and cooled slightly.
  4. Scoop the sautéed veggies into the squash halves. Top with the cut cheddar and shaved Parmeggiano Regiano.
  5. Place stuffed squash into oven and bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese on top has melted.

And here is my second annual hand at pumpkin carving. Mine is the guy with the stitched mouth. We had a great time making these, and roasting the seeds after!

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

 

PS Don’t forget, November is actually Movember!

During November each year, the organization, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. Let’s raise some awareness and grow them staches, gentlemen!

movember_egg_stache

 

Ode To Springtime…and the Soft Boiled Egg!

“I have met a lot of harboiled eggs in my time, but you’re twenty minutes.”
~Oscar Wilde

Happy Spring! Ever notice that the egg is a symbol of Spring in several cultures? Naturally, we have Easter eggs, which were originally thought of as a symbol of new life. A similar tradition of dying eggs has been practiced for more than 2,500 years for Nowruz, the Persian celebration of the Spring Equinox, and New Year, in which the egg is also the symbol of new life. A hard boiled egg is one of the items on the Seder plate on Passover, and it symbolizes the roundness of Earth and life which is always moving in circles, and is also in Judaism, a symbol of Springtime.

When I was a little girl, I loved, but was very finicky about my soft boiled eggs. As I grew into a teenager, I really let my Mom have it when my egg wasn’t cooked right (hormones raging and all). And since I’ve been on my own for awhile, I have finally developed a level of comfort making my soft boiled eggs just right. A perfectly cooked soft boiled egg is all about the timing. While there is also a science to it, varying by cooking time, size of egg, temperature, etc, I have found that the best soft boiled eggs I’ve ever made were when I felt they were ready. It’s hoakey, I know. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamins, and soft boiled eggs are one of the healthiest ways of preparing them, since they don’t require oil or butter to make them. Here’s how I make mine:


Place your egg(s) into a pot of water, enough to cover the surface of the egg(s). When the water starts to boil, set your timer to 3 minutes for a perfect soft boiled egg. If you don’t trust yourself, heres’s a lovely little gadget you can get that tells you the state that your egg is in as it’s cooking (soft, medium or hard). After the water has boiled 3 minutes, turn off burner, and run cold water over the egg, or place it into a bowl of cold water, to make it stop cooking.

After the egg has cooled to touch, place it into an egg cup. If you don’t have one, get creative! Try a small vase, the wide neck of a bottle, a napkin ring. I’ve used these lovely little glass jars from a French yogurt company. (They’re great for candle votives too!) This time I used my favorite little chicken cup.

My favorite way to get into the egg is to crack the top of the shell with a spoon, and gently peel off the shell, placing the peeled shells in the egg cup (for easy clean up!). Some people like to be more precise, and they cut the top of the egg straight across with a knife. Peeling the top has been a lifelong ritual, and I delight in it every time.


Dig into the egg with your spoon, and unearth that ray of yolk.


My Grandmother used to put a tiny sliver of butter and a tiny pinch of salt on each spoonful before scooping out the meat of the egg. I have strayed from that ritual, and now vary with a small sprinkle of herb salt, or a spritz of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. Below you can see I had my soft boiled egg today with a fresh arugula salad, and lavash bread, one half with avocado and cucumber, and the other half with my favorite salty Irish butter. Hungry yet? Feel free to send me your favorite ways that you enjoy your soft boiled egg!

Eat Your Heart Out!

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon
 or not at all.”
~ Harriet Van Horne

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, food can be a wonderful part of Valentines Day. And you don’t have to overindulge and feel unhealthy. Think of the types of food that make you feel good, sexy, happy, fulfilled. If your favorite foods are not necessarily made up of the healthiest ingredients, perhaps you can find a healthier substitute, or simply allow yourself a little indulgence, but make sure to round it out with some healthy fiber-filled morsels to fill you up.

I’ll share with you what I think I’ll have today, and hopefully it will inspire you. For breakfast I’ll start off with a hearty hot cereal, with lots of fruit and pumpkin seeds. For lunch, I shall treat myself to my current favorite salad made with chopped kale, avocado, hazelnuts, persian cucumber, cara cara oranges and grated parmesan. I’m not sure yet what delectables I’ll have for dinner, but I think I’ll end the day with a delicious cup of hot chocolate, made with whole milk, unsweetened cocoa powder and a little bit of organic light cane sugar.

The most important thing you can do for yourself today (and every day) is love yourself as much as you want to be loved by another.

Here’s a little song I put together for you with my friend Alex Chu. Hope you enjoy.
Valentine’s Day Song

Gratitude Pie

Thanksgiving is our time to give thanks, and boy have I got plenty to be grateful for. It’s been real busy around here, but I have made a promise to myself to follow Peter Bedard’s, of Create Your Health suggestion, to write a list of 50 things I am grateful for. I invite you to do that too! I am very grateful for my wonderful community – thank you for all of your lovely support. Wishing you a beautiful Thanksgiving!

Another person I am grateful for is Elana Horwich of Meal and Spiel, who posted this awesome recipe for Pumpkin Pie with a Flourless Pecan crust. I personally “cheated” and used a can of organic pumpkin puree, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to try the flourless pecan crust recipe! It’s sitting in the refrigerator now awaiting this afternoon’s festivities. Find Elana’s entire recipe here.

This pie crust was crazy easy to make.

3 Cups Pecans
10ish Dates, Pitted
7 Tablespoons Butter + 1 Tablespoon for the pie pan

Place all ingredients into food processor, butter the pan with remaining tablespoon butter, and press the delicious pecan-ey mush into the pie pan. Either fill the pan with Elana’s delicious Pumpkin Pie recipe, or follow the instructions on the back of your organic pumpkin puree can. Here’s what I did: Bake for about 15 minutes at 425, then take pie out and cover the crust edges with tin foil (see pic below), and reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the pie is firm to touch. Let it cool before serving. Can be made a day ahead. Enjoy!
 
 

And voila! The finished pie!
 

Hanukkah!

This year I decided to go full out Hannukah- at least my version of full out. I got out the menorah, and called my mom up for her latke recipe.

My Mom suggested to put the potatoes in the blender, if I didn’t want to peel and grate. But we only had 3 potatoes to grate, and my lovely assistant/sous chef April volunteered (to my relief and gratitude), so I went with latkes made with the grated variety. They are so simple to make. I think next time I will try to make them with Zucchini, or Cauliflower perhaps. I stuck to the original recipe, and made a Cranberry-Pomegranate-Orange-Brandy Sauce, and we of course had Sour Cream and Apple Sauce. I also made a delicious Mushroom and Buckwheat Soup that warmed our tummies on a rainy LA eve.

Holiday Sale!

tomato_plant_smlLifestyle Coaching for a healthy diet!

Holiday Specials!

Get 1 Session for $125 (Normally $200)

Up to 5 additional sessions for $100 each (Normally $150)

Ask me about Custom sessions and Gift Cards!

Offer available until December 20


Looking for guidance for a healthier lifestyle and diet?

Want new easy and tasty ideas for a healthier vegetarian/vegan diet?

Need quick and healthy recipes that your family will love?

Does your busy life keep you from finding fast, delicious and easy recipes?

My services include:

A unique plan designed specifically for you that can consist of:

*Eliminating food from your kitchen that does not serve your diet.
*A shopping trip; with a built in lesson about alternative grains, sweeteners, proteins and more.
*Custom menus designed specifically for your needs!
*Trips to your local Farmer’s Market to create seasonal, locally grown meals .
*Cooking lessons in your home, categorized by food types and meals.

Tamar Kagan

Food Coach

phone: 310.203.1366

email: cuisine@tamarkagan.com
web: www.tamarkagan.com/foodie/cuisine.html
blog: www.healthydelectable.com

Thanksgiving Class!

Impress the tryptophan out of your Thanksgiving Guests!

pumkins

Whether you’re a vegetarian, you’re having vegetarians over for your Thanksgiving dinner or you’re a carnivore who just loves vegetables, this class is sure to inspire your salivary glands!

As a lifelong vegetarian, and a big lover of Thanksgiving, I have figured out a few key dishes that will surely impress your guests at Thanksgiving.

In about 2 ½ – 3 hours, you will learn how to make these delicious, super healthy and easy dishes. Both classes are $60.

You have two menus to choose from:

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1 at 2PM:


Starter:
Butternut Squash and Leek Soup with Toasted Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds & Pomegranate Seed Garnish


Side Dish:
Tamar’s Perfectly Roasted Savory Cherry Almond Brussels Sprouts (I’ve converted Brussels Sprouts haters with this recipe!)


Entrée or Side:
Buckwheat and Lentil Bake (This is a hearty, tasty recipe that can be served as a side dish or entrée, and can be customized for your meal with various vegetables.)


Dessert:
Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Bread with Amaranth & Oats (High in Fiber and Vitamins! Make it for dessert, or the morning snack to hold your overnight guests over while they are waiting for dinner!)

Classes are mostly demonstration, but if you wish to only participate, that is great! At the end of class we all sit down together and enjoy the foods we prepared. After each class you’ll take home a thoughtfully prepared packet of recipes, and the skills to show off your own delicious culinary creations!

These classes are designed for people of all ages and all cooking levels. You’ll learn how to care for your health, and prepare delicious food for those you love. We will give you the knowledge and skills to be a confident cook!

To sign up for classes please e-mail cuisine@tamarkagan.com, with your name, e-mail address and phone number, along with the date and time of the class that interests you. I will promptly get back to you to confirm availability!