Monday, August 19, 2013

Gluten free super easy pizza

This pizza is ready in 25 min tops!  

  • 1/2 cup corn grits
  • 1/2 cup garbanzo flour
  • 1 cup of water or broth (chicken or veggie)
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano or sage)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix all the ingredients in a blender and put the mix into a 11 inch sauce pan covered with parchment paper. Cook in the oven until the dough starts setting and forms a nice base. This pizza is going to be very thin. 
When the pizza dough is almost ready, spread a ricotta cheese on the top and add asparagus, zucchini ribbons or the vegetable you have at hand. Or tomato sauce, mozzarella, olives and basil. Or caramelized onions, fresh oregano and mozzarella.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Berries buttermilk cake

This bread type cake is very versatile. You can make it not only with berries, but with any fruit you have on hand. The buttermilk replaces a lot of the sugar and oil you'll need in similar cakes. I used unbleached white flour, but you can also use a mix of half whole wheat pastry flour and half unbleached flour.

- 1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tbsp softened butter
2/3 cups of sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups blackberries, raspberries or any fruit you have.

1) Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2) Using a mixer beat the butter with the sugar for three minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract. At low speed beat in the buttermilk and dry ingredients. Do not over mix. The batter will be lumpy. Over mixing will cause toughness and may cause holes to form inside the cake.
3)Gently fold the batter just until blended, then scrape into the pan and smooth the top. It is a good idea to use parchment paper inside the pan and butter the paper.
4) Put the fruit into the butter lightly pressing them in. Sprinkle the remaining a little of sugar on the top and bake for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 400.
5) Transfer the cake to a rack to cool 

It is possible to make muffins instead of a spread cake, but you'll have to modify the timing accordingly. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tomato sauce

Although it takes some time to do this sauce, once you taste its freshness and flavor you won't  go back to the prepared ones. It is a good idea to prepare a large amount of the sauce and freeze it in jars of different sizes.

The good thing is that tomatoes are not only a nutrient dense vegetable, but they are also rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant responsible of their red color, which is especially abundant in cooked tomatoes products.
Salsa de tomate

The sauce can be made with whole tomatoes or just the flesh. I prefer the latter, but it will take some time to prepare the tomatoes. If you don't have that extra time, start directly in step 3.

You'll notice that there are no amounts in the recipe, everything is to taste.

1) Start by peeling the tomatoes. The easiest way to do this is to cut and X in the top or bottom of the tomatoes. Blanch them for 25 seconds and very quickly put them into an ice water bath. Now it will be very easy to peel the tomatoes.

2) Remove the seeds from the tomatoes. You can either cut them in four pieces and remove the seeds one by one or you can make a cut in one side of the tomato, turn the knife and cut around the center pulp and seeds removing the flesh in one long strip. Then cut the strips into smaller pieces.

3) After that you'll just need to sauté onions in olive oil for approximately 5 to 8 minutes. Remember to salt the onions when you are sautéing them because this will release all the water from the onions and they will cook in that liquid. Add chopped garlic and sauté for 30 seconds and add the tomatoes. As soon as you ad the tomatoes add salt, pepper, oregano (dried or fresh as you prefer), bay leaves, sometimes I add some red wine and anything you want to condiment the sauce. Add some sugar (a tablespoon) to cut the acidity.

4) The sauce should be cooked in a covered pot over low heat for one or two hours.  Don't use aluminum cookware since the high acid content of the tomatoes may interact with the metal. If you have a slow cooker you can cook the sauce there (but you need to sauté the onions with the garlic and tomatoes before) in the slow setting for 4 hours or more. The longer you cook the sauce, the sweeter it will be.

5) Puree everything in a food processor, let it cool, fill glass containers and put them in the freezer. It is a good idea to use different sizes of jars so you have tomato sauce for different recipes. Once you thaw them it is not a good idea to re-freeze.

I use this sauce in lots of different dishes as pasta, pizza, rice, polenta and quinoa, and depending on the use sometimes I add fresh basil, black olives, more onion, meat, etc. It is a nice way to introduce more vegetables to the snacks and lunches that we bring to school.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Traces of melamine in dinnerware after eating hot meals

A new study from researchers in Taiwan has concluded that after eating hot foods from melamine bowls, the levels of this chemical in urine were greater than the levels of those who ate the same food from ceramic bowls.

The FDA has stated that the levels found in those tests fall below the levels they considered a risk for people's health, but anyway they recommend to avoid heating food in melamine containers, even in the microwave.

To see the complete story:,0,2109938.story or

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Naan bread

This is a very healthy and easy recipe to prepare and have it as a snack.

All purpose flour (2 cups)
Water (1 cups)
Salt to taste

Start by mixing in a big bowl the water, salt and flour until you have a dough that doesn't stick to your hands or to the countertop. You need to slowly add the water to a hole in the middle of the dry ingredients.
The amount of water and flour is not exact, depending on the flour and ambient humidity.
Knead until you have a dough without lumps.

Separate the dough into three balls and let it rest for five minutes.

After five minutes add a little of flour to one of the balls and roll it until it is 1/4 of an inch.

Cook it on a skillet (no need to use oil) until it changes its color to opaque white. Then pick it with tongs and burn it over direct flame moving it constantly until it is crunchy but still flexible.

Then add butter or olive oil and it is ready to eat!

Another version is to prepare one with a filling. In this case Emilse made a kale and garlic filling.
You need to sauté the garlic and kale, add a little of lemon zest and fill one of the balls with it. Then roll and cook it as the previous one.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

AAP Makes Recommendations to Reduce Children's Exposure to Pesticides

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released a new policy statement named Pesticide 
Exposure in Children stating that "Prenatal and early childhood exposure to pesticides is associated 
with pediatric cancers decreased cognitive function and behavioral problems". 

They also address the need of pediatricians to work with parents, schools and government agencies to 
advocate for the least toxic methods of pest control, inform communities when pesticides are being used 
in the area and offer guidance to parents about safe storage and  the use of the least toxic methods of 
pest control. 

You can read the abstract here and the full statement here