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A Tasty Transformation from the Outside in and the Inside Out by Mackenzie M. Ticknor - HTML preview

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A tasty transformation...

from the outside in...

& the inside out...

Mackenzie M. Ticknor

Table of Contents:

Preface & Bonus Recipe

Chapter 1: Chicken Recipes

Chapter 2: Meat Dishes

Chapter 3: Pasta and Vegetarian Dishes

Chapter 4: Breakfast Items

Chapter 5: Desserts

Please note the following in regards to all the recipes:

*Any oil listed in ingredients should be COLD PRESSED

*Eggs should be either cage-free or free-range

*Any butter listed should be “Pasture Butter” (butter from grass-fed, free-range cows) containing naturally occurring CLA

*Feel free to use organic ingredients anywhere in these recipes Preface:

The Web-Nutritionist is on a mission to help as many people as she possibly can lead healthier and happier lives. She believes that many chronic illnesses can be prevented through proper nutrition practices and through fostering healthy lifestyles. Proper nutrition is a key preventative measure in chronic illness and disease, and it doesn't have to be hard or tasteless either. Thus, the Web-Nutritionist put together this invigorating cookbook to prove just that. These recipes will prove that healthy eating does NOT have to be tasteless and boring. She takes your favorite comfort foods and puts a healthy twist on them! Whether you are looking to lose weight, improve your current diet and health, or if you are just looking for some incredible, delicious recipes...this cookbook is for you!

While these recipes are a great platform to kickoff your health or weight loss journey, nutritional guidance and regular exercise play a leading role in maintaining weight and overall health. For an overall, encompassing experience, the Web-Nutritionist offers online nutritional guidance. She offers two fully online nutrition programs; her 12-Step Nutrition Program and her Meal Plan Program.

The average cost to see a Nutritionist is around $50-$100/session, or MORE! The unique online platform the Web-Nutritionist created allows for a cost effective consulting experience. Learn how you

can see a Nutritionist for only $7/session!

The 12-Step Nutrition Program is a 12 week program. The program includes email support and addresses each of the following topics as a new step in the program each week, and applies it to the unique individual:

1.) The Food Pyramid and Food Group Equivalents (Your individual needs) 2.) Carbohydrates, Lipids, and Proteins (Your individual break-downs) 3.) “Calorie Cycling” (Did you know that if you strive to eat the same number of calories each day your body adjusts its metabolism to burn that exact number, thus causing weight loss to come to a plateau quite fast! Calorie cycling keeps your body guessing, thus allowing consistent weight loss that will STAY OFF!)

4.) “Estrogenic” Compounds! (These “estrogenic” compounds may actually contribute to belly and thigh fat. You may be consuming these compounds without even knowing it. Find out which food is a huge culprit, yet the media and health industry portray it as a leading health food.)

5.) Exercise for Weight Loss (Did you know that boring, same pace cardio doesn’t help much in your weight loss efforts? The Web-Nutritionist will teach you an effective type of training that is FUN and FAST. Don't have time to work-out? Not anymore!) 6.) Shocking and Surprising Fats (You won't see this one coming! This topic is really eye opening and contains many weight loss secrets and shocking information) 7.) The Controversy on Egg Yolks (Discarding your yolks for just the “healthy” whites? Think again!)

8.) Dietary Calcium and Dairy for a Lean Body AND Bioavailability of Nutrients (Did you know your body can NOT absorb much from supplements and vitamins?) 9.) Real Foods vs. "Fake" Foods for Weight Loss (You may actually be encouraging your body to store fat by eating these “fake” foods marketed as “health foods”!) 10.)The Importance of Alkalinity in the Diet (You just might find many of your individual ailments “cured”!)

11.)Fiber in Foods (Are you really getting enough?)

12.)Whole Grains vs. Refined Grains

On the other hand, the Meal Plan Program is a 16 week program. Each week, the Web-Nutritionist will custom make the client a modified meal plan based on their individual bodily needs and goals. These meal plans will be created specifically to help you reach your goal. Each weekly meal plan will have many options for the client to choose from. A hand selected list of many different foods within each of the food groups will be given to the client via email attachment. The client will highlight all the foods they want/ do not want/ and are open to being incorporated into their meal plans.

If you would like further nutrition help from the Web-Nutritionist beyond the recipes in this cookbook, feel free to contact her at

Exercise is another vital portion of your health or weight loss journey. If you are looking for a complimentary exercise program to your online nutrition experience, I recommend Tanya Stroh's

online personal training program. She offers a wonderful virtual training experience. Her unique

'TSTRAX' program will help you become well on your way to achieving your fitness goal.

Finally, many people who attempt to lose weight fail because they have not yet dealt with their underlying problem; that they tend to use food as an emotional outlet. If you struggle with emotional eating, I recommend you first address this psychological barrier before you go through with a nutrition or exercise program. I highly recommend Dr. Roger Gould's 'Shrink Yourself' Program for emotional eaters. After this obstacle is dealt with, the nutrition and exercise regimes can be conquered more effectively.

BONUS Recipe:

DELICIOUS Invigorating Weight Loss/Health Boost Drink: Ingredients:

 8 fl.oz Sea Buckthorn Dietary Liquid -- Find out why Sea Buckthorn is the new miracle berry

in weight loss and health from Dr. Oz

 2 teaspoons Organic Apple Cider Vinegar w/ “the mother”

 ½ cup Crushed Ice

 2 tbsp Agave Nectar

 ¼ cup Organic Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt

 1 tbsp virgin, unrefined/cold-pressed coconut oil


Blend all ingredients in a blender and serve! Enjoy this amazing weight loss/health boost!

Chapter 1: Chicken Recipes

Chicken Parmesan Meatball Subs


 1 1/2 pounds ground lean chicken

 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)

 1 large egg

 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (pulsate 2 slices of 100% whole wheat bread) with Italian seasoning

 Handful of chopped parsley leaves

 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,

 Canned or homemade tomato basil spaghetti sauce

 4 (6 to 8-inch) crusty whole wheat sub rolls

 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place ground chicken in a bowl and season with grill seasoning. Add egg, half of the grated cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and extra-virgin olive oil to the bowl. Mix the chicken and form 12 large meatballs. Squish the balls to flatten them a bit like mini oval meatloaves. Bake the meatballs 15

minutes until golden and firm. Once the meatballs come out switch the broiler on. Remove the meat from oven and loosen with a thin spatula. Turn meat balls in tomato sauce. Cut sub rolls making the bottom a little deeper than the top. Hollow out a little bread and lightly toast the sub rolls under broiler.

Fill the bottoms of the breads with flattened balls and extra sauce. Combine the provolone and remaining Parmesan. Cover the subs with cheese and return to broiler to melt the cheese until golden.

Garlic Pesto Stuffed Chicken


 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

 4 cubes of light laughing cow cheese (garlic and herb flavor)

 Garlic Pesto

 Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Olive Oil cooking spray


Heat a cast iron griddle or skillet over high heat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, using a sharp paring knife or boning knife, make a crosswise slit at the end of each chicken breast, cutting through the middle to form a pocket and being careful not to cut through the outside of the chicken breast. Fill each of the pockets with 2 tablespoons of the Garlic Pesto and cube of the laughing cow cheese. Press the cut ends together, and season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.

Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on the hot griddle and add the chicken breasts. Let the meat cook undisturbed for a few minutes. Sear to a golden brown and turn the breasts over and cook on the other side until golden brown. Place the pan in the oven and allow the chicken to sizzle for another 5 to 7

minutes, or until the breasts are cooked through. Remove from the pan and top with drizzle of pesto.

Pulled BBQ Chicken


 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

 1 large onion, chopped

 3 cloves garlic, minced

 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce

 1/4 cup tomato paste

 1/2 cup water

 1/3 cup organic apple cider vinegar w/ “the mother”

 5 tablespoons pure molasses

 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)

 6 whole-wheat hamburger rolls or 12 whole wheat bread slices

 6 large green lettuce leaves (optional)


Heat the oil in a large saute pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add shredded chicken, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Split buns/slices. Place a leaf of lettuce on each roll (optional), then pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll.

Saucy Salsa Chicken


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cups salsa

1/3 cup Organic Sucanat

2 Tbsp. honey dijon mustard

1 tbsp RAW honey


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients and place in baking dish. Marinate for a couple of hours. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes until chicken is thoroughly cooked. 6 servings

*Serve with brown rice

Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breasts


 3/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (or 1/4 cup dried parsley flakes)

 2/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (pulsate 100% whole wheat bread slices)

 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

 1 tablespoon lemon zest

 4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts

 Extra-virgin olive oil


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cover a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil; coat the foil with the oil. Add parsley, breadcrumbs, parmesan, pepper, and lemon zest to medium bowl and blend well. Press both sides of each chicken breast in breadcrumb mixture, and place in prepared pan. Coat the top of each crusted breast lightly with oil. Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through, and the tops and bottoms are lightly browned (about 25 minutes).

Thai Peanut Butter Chicken


1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced and crushed

2 tbsp rice vinegar

Pinch ginger

Brown rice

Stir-Fry veggies (frozen)

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts



Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat.

Put diced cooked chicken breasts on a bed of brown rice. Sauté veggies and put on top of chicken. Pour peanut sauce over.

Spinach and Mushroom Stuffed Chicken Breasts


 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts,

 Large plastic food storage bags or waxed paper

 1 package, 10 ounces, frozen chopped spinach

 2 tablespoons pasture butter

 12 small mushroom caps

 2 cloves garlic, cracked

 1 small shallot, quartered

 Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 1 cup lowfat ricotta cheese

 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated or ground nutmeg

 Toothpicks

 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


 2 tablespoons pasture butter

 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

 1/2 cup white wine

 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth


Place breasts in the center of a plastic food storage bag or 2 large sheets of waxed paper. Pound out the chicken from the center of the bag outward using a heavy-bottomed skillet or mallet.

Defrost spinach in the microwave. Transfer spinach to a kitchen towel. Twist towel around spinach and wring it out until very dry. Transfer to a medium-mixing bowl.

Place a nonstick skillet over moderate heat. When skillet is hot, add butter, mushrooms, garlic and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and saute 5 minutes. Transfer mushrooms, garlic and shallot to the food processor. Pulse to grind the mushrooms and transfer to the mixing bowl, adding the processed mushrooms to the spinach. Add ricotta and grated cheese to the bowl and the nutmeg. Stir to combine the stuffing. Return your skillet to the stove over medium high heat.

Place a mound of stuffing on each breast and wrap and roll breast over the stuffing. Secure breasts with toothpicks. Add 3 tablespoons oil to the pan, 3 turns of the pan. Add breasts to the pan and brown on all sides, cooking chicken 10 to 12 minutes. The meat will cook quickly because it is thin. Remove breasts; add butter to the pan and flour. Cook butter and flour for a minute, whisk in wine and reduce another minute. Whisk in broth and return breasts to the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until ready to serve. Remove toothpicks. Top stuffed chicken breasts or sliced stuffed breasts with generous spoonfuls of the sauce.

Chicken Stir-Fried Rice


 2 cups brown rice

 6 ounces cooked, diced chicken

 Frozen Stir-Fry Veggies

 ¼ cup pre-made stir-fry sauce


In large skillet heat oil, combine all ingredients except stir-fry sauce and saute until veggies are thawed.

Finally add stir-fry sauce and toss.

Crispy Chicken Fingers


 1 1/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or chicken tenderloins) cut across into 1/2-inch pieces

 1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 4 cups whole-grain flake cereal (recommend: Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Multibran Cereal)

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 Freshly ground pepper

 ½ tbsp ground red pepper

 Honey-Mustard Sauce, recipe follows

 ¼ cup parmesan cheese (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Coat a baking sheet with the oil. Put the cereal in a sealed plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Transfer the crumbs to a shallow dish. Mix in salt, peppers, and parmesan (optional). Dip each piece of chicken in the cereal mixture and fully coat and arrange on the baking sheet. Bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Leave the chicken on the baking sheet to cool slightly. It will become crispier. Serve with the mustard sauce.

Honey-Mustard Sauce:

 1/2 cup Dijon mustard

 1 tablespoon real mayonnaise

 3 tablespoons RAW honey

Stir together and enjoy!

Chicken Parmesan


 4 slices 100% whole-wheat bread

 1 teaspoon dried oregano

 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

 4 teaspoons paprika

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

 2 eggs

 1/2 cup skim milk

 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (butterflied)

 Extra Virgin Olive oil

 1 jar marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)

 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden.

In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4

teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1

piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish coated with oil.

Bake breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

Homemade Chicken Pizza


 100% whole wheat thin pizza crusts (in international aisle with pizza crusts)

 Canned tomato sauce

 Diced cooked chicken breasts

 Shredded mozzarella cheese

 Feta cheese (crumbled)

 Basil

 Your choice of veggies


Assemble pizza and bake at 300° until cheese is melted.

Buffalo Chicken Salad


 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper hot sauce (or other hot sauce), plus more to taste

 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

 2 hearts Romaine, cut into 1-inch strips (about 8 cups)

 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced

 2 carrots, coarsely grated

 2 scallions, green part only, sliced

 1/2 cup Blue Cheese Dressing, recipe follows


Preheat the broiler. Put the chicken between 2 sheets of waxed paper and pound with a mallet so the chicken is an even thickness of about 3/4-inch, then cut the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. In a large bowl, combine the hot sauce and the oil, add chicken and toss until the chicken is well coated.

Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet and broil until it is cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes, turning once.

In a large bowl combine the Romaine, celery, shredded carrots and scallions. Toss with the dressing.

Divide the greens between 4 plates, top with the chicken. Serve with extra hot sauce.

Blue Cheese Dressing:

 2 tablespoons real mayonnaise

 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk

 1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

 1 tablespoon white vinegar

 1/2 teaspoon sugar

 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese

 Salt and freshly ground pepper

Fold a full sheet of paper towel into quarters and put it into a small bowl. Spoon the yogurt onto the paper towel and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to drain and thicken. In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk and thickened yogurt into the mayonnaise until smooth. Add the vinegar and sugar and continue to whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. Stir in the blue cheese and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Chapter 2: Meat Dishes

Stuffed Turkey Burgers


 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey breast

 1/2 cup chopped roasted red peppers

 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 Crumbled Feta Cheese

 1/4 teaspoons salt

 Freshly ground black pepper

 Whole wheat buns

 Condiments


Divide turkey into 4 equal sized rounds. Make 2 equal sized patties out of each round so you have 8

patties total. Sprinkle 4 of the patties with 2 tablespoons each of roasted red peppers and both cheeses, and top with remaining patties working the turkey around the edges to seal burgers closed. Season with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin


 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 1 tablespoon organic sucanat

 1 tablespoon dry sherry

 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

 1 garlic clove, crushed with a garlic press or minced

 1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

 Pinch red pepper flakes

 1 pound pork tenderloin


Combine the soy sauce, oil, sugar, sherry, vinegar, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and add the pork tenderloin. Seal the bag and marinate the pork in the refrigerator, turning once, for 1/2 hour, or up to 8 hours.

Preheat the broiler. Place the pork on a roasting pan and broil for 15 minutes, turning once.

Prosciutto Wrapped Cod


 4 (5-ounce) cod fish fillets

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 2 ounces sliced prosciutto

 Extra virgin olive oil


Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. Wrap 1 wide or 2 thin slices of prosciutto around each piece of cod. Coat a large nonstick skillet with oil and preheat it over a medium-high heat. Add the fish fillets and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until the prosciutto is crisp and the fish is cooked through. Serve.

Breaded Pork Chops


 4, 1 1/2-2 inch thick bone in pork chops

 Whole wheat bread crumbs with Italian spice mixed in

 15-20 turns garlic pepper grinders

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 6 tbsp McCormick's pork rub

 2 tbsp sea salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine bread crumbs, grinders, pork rub and sea salt in dish and mix thoroughly. Coat pork with olive oil and then coat with the dry rub packing on and rubbing in with fingers. Thinly coat oil on a glass baking dish, add pork, and place in oven uncovered until brown, about 45 minutes.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Meatballs


 1 1/2 pounds ground extra lean beef

 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning by McCormick)

 1 large egg

 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs with Italian seasoning

 Handful of chopped parsley leaves

 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

 Canned or homemade tomato basil spaghetti sauce

 100% whole wheat spaghetti noodles


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bring pot of salted water to a boil and add handful of whole wheat spaghetti noodles. Cook for 10 mins until done and drain.

Place ground beef in a bowl and season with grill seasoning. Add egg, half of the grated cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil to the bowl. Mix the meat and form 12 large meatballs. Bake the meatballs 20-30 minutes until golden and firm.

Remove the meat from oven and loosen with a thin spatula. Place on top of spaghetti and pour tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with rest of parmesan. cheese and parsley.

Beef Stew


1 pound potatoes, with skin and quartered

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

2 stalks celery, sliced

3/4 pound lean stewing beef, trimmed

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tbsp cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water/broth

3/4 cup fat-free, low-sodium beef broth

1/4 cup red wine


Place potato pieces in the bottom of a 4-quart crockpot, followed by other vegetables. Add beef on top.

Sprinkle herbs and add bay leaf. Add cornstarch mixture to broth and pour over meat and vegetables, followed by the red wine. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Butternut Squash Beef Stew


3/4 pound lean stewing beef, trimmed of excess fat

1 small butternut squash

1 large onion, sliced

8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced

4 ounces baby carrots left whole

1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried oregano


Brown beef in a nonstick skillet. Put to one side. Peel and halve butternut squash, then cut into 1-1 1/2

inch pieces. Place vegetables and browned beef in a 4 or 5 quart crockpot. Add crushed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and oregano. Cook in crockpot on low for 8 hours.

Turkey Meatloaf


 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats

 1/2 cup skim milk

 1 medium onion, peeled

 2 pounds ground LEAN turkey breast

 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

 2 eggs, beaten

 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

 1/4 cup organic ketchup

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 Freshly ground black pepper

 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together the oats and milk. Thinly slice 1/4 of the onion and set aside. Finely chop the remaining onion. In a large bowl combine the turkey, oat mixture, chopped onion, bell pepper, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix well until combined.

Transfer the mixture to baking dish and shape into a loaf about 5 inches wide and 2 1/2 inches high.

Pour the tomato sauce over the meatloaf and sprinkle with the sliced onions. Bake for about 1 hour or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees.F.

Crispy Fish Fingers


 4 slices 100% whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each)

 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

 1 teaspoon salt

 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 1 pound flounder fillets

 2 eggs, beaten to mix

 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt

 2 tablespoons real mayonnaise

 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives

 Pinch cayenne pepper, optional


Put the bread in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until bread crumbs form. Toast the crumbs in a large, dry nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the crumbs with a spoon if they begin to stick together, until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat a baking sheet with the olive oil. On a plate, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Cut the fillets into 4 by 1-inch strips. A few pieces at a time, dip the fish into the flour mixture, dusting off the excess. Dip the fish in the egg and then the bread crumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and continue until all of the fish is breaded. Bake until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chives and cayenne, if using. Season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper.

Salmon in Lemon Brodetto with Pea Puree


Lemon Brodetto:

 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 1 shallot, diced

 2 lemons, juiced

 1 lemon, zested

 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

Pea Puree:

 2 cups frozen peas, thawed (about 10 ounces)

 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

 1 clove garlic

 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

 1/2 cup grated parmesan


 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

 4 (4 to 6-ounce) pieces salmon

 Kosher salt

 Freshly ground black pepper


To make the Lemon Brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, and broth. Bring to a simmer, and keep warm, covered, over low heat.

To make the Pea Puree, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree.

With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady drizzle. Transfer the pea puree to a small bowl and stir in the parmesan. Set aside.

To make the Salmon, warm the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper. Sear the salmon until a golden crust forms, about 4 to 5 minutes on the first side. Flip the fish and continue cooking until medium-rare, about 2 minutes more depending on the thickness of the fish.

To assemble the dish, add the tablespoon chopped mint to the Lemon Brodetto and divide between 4

shallow dishes. Place a large spoonful of Pea Puree into the center of each bowl. Place a salmon piece atop each mound of Pea Puree. Serve and enjoy!

Pork Au Poivre


 1 1/4 pounds pork tenderloin

 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground or crushed

 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

 1/2 cup dry red wine

 Salt


Slice tenderloin lengthwise. Split meat into 1 large, flat piece. Spread mustard over both sides of the meat and rub in the pepper, pressing gently so it adheres well. Cut meat crosswise into 4 even portions.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium flame. Put tenderloin in the pan and cook for about 10 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 155 degrees F, turning once. Transfer meat to a plate and tent with foil to keep it warm. Add chicken broth and wine to pan and cook over medium-high heat.

Continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce is reduced to about a half cup. Pour sauce over meat, season with salt, and serve.

Beef Stronanoff


 1 medium Onion, chopped

 1 pound extra lean ground beef

 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

 1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt

 1/4 teaspoon Pepper

 4 ounces sliced mushrooms (portabella preferred)

 10 3/4 ounces Organic Can Cream of Mushroom soup (Undiluted )

 8 ounces low fat sour cream

 Hot cooked noodles whole wheat fusilli noodles


Cook ground beef in a large skillet until meat is browned, stirring to crumble meat; drain. Sauté onion and mushroom in skillet. Stir in flour and next 3 ingredients; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in soup.

Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sour cream, and heat thoroughly.

Serve over noodles.

Beef Lasagna


 8 ounces whole wheat lasagna noodles

 1 pound lean ground beef

 1/2 cup chopped onion

 8 ounces mushrooms, optional

 1 jar (about 16 ounces) spaghetti sauce, your favorite

 1 teaspoon garlic powder

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, crumbled

 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, crumbled

 1 1/2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese or cottage cheese

 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, brown beef, onion, and mushrooms; drain well. Stir in spaghetti sauce, garlic powder, salt, oregano, and basil.

In a 2-quart buttered baking dish (about 11x7x2-inches), layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the ricotta cheese or cottage cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, and Parmesan cheeses.

Repeat layers twice. Bake lasagna at 350° for 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated and bubbly. Let stand for 8 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Lamb Stew with Orange


 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 1 pound lamb cubes (lean, from leg and shoulder)

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 Pinch ground black pepper

 1 medium onion, diced

 2 large cloves garlic, minced

 2 tablespoons low-sodium tomato paste

 2 stalks celery, rinsed, trimmed and diced (about 1 cup)

 2 large carrots, cut into coins (about 2 cups)

 2 parsnips, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)

 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium chick peas, drained

 3/4 cup dry red wine

 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

 1 (15-ounce), can low-sodium tomato sauce

 1 teaspoon orange zest

 1 large orange, segmented, juice reserved

 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

 2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves


Heat oil in an 8-quart Dutch oven or other large pot over high heat until hot but not smoking. Season meat lightly with salt and pepper and sear in oil until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate, cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Add celery, carrots, parsnips, chick peas, wine, chicken broth, tomato sauce, orange zest, segments and juice, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until lamb is tender, about 90 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, and ladle into bowls.

Top with fresh mint.

Chapter 3: Pasta and Vegetarian Dishes

Macaroni and 4 Cheeses


 Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 1 pound whole grain elbow macaroni

 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash

 2 cups 1% milk

 4 ounces 2% extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)

 2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)

 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese

 1 teaspoon salt

 1 teaspoon powdered mustard

 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 2 tablespoons unseasoned whole wheat bread crumbs

 2 tablespoons grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a baking pan with the olive oil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8

minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.

Cheese Stuffed Shells


 Whole wheat Jumbo Shells (if can't find, roll up whole wheat lasagna noodles)

 2 c. (8 oz.) shredded Mozzarella cheese

 2 c. low-fat cottage cheese

 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

 2 tbsp. parsley flakes

 1 tsp. oregano

 1 tsp salt

 1 tsp pepper

 1 (32 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce


Cook shells according to package directions; rinse, drain and set aside. Combine Mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, parsley flakes, salt, pepper and oregano. Stir well. Stuff shells with cheese mixture. Place stuffed shells in a baking dish. Spoon spaghetti sauce over shells; sprinkle with rest of parmesan cheese. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until heated through.

Whole Wheat Pasta Salad with Walnuts and Feta


 1/2 pound whole-wheat fusilli or other spiral shaped whole wheat pasta

 1/2 cup walnuts

 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

 1/2 cup diced red onion

 1 1/2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves

 2 tablespoons walnut oil

 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

 1 clove of garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)

 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

 Salt

 Freshly ground black pepper


Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, rinse it under cold water, and put it in the refrigerator to chill. In a dry saute pan toast the walnuts over a medium-high flame until they are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set the walnuts aside to cool then chop them coarsely. In a large bowl, toss together the chilled pasta, walnuts, feta cheese, onion, and spinach. In a small bowl whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss to combine.

Season with salt and pepper.

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce


 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

 1 small onion, chopped

 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock

 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or a 6-ounce block

 1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine

 Salt

 Freshly ground black pepper

 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 10

minutes. Add roasted peppers and saute until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor with stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce, adding pasta water by the tablespoon, if needed.

Sauce should cling nicely to pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining feta cheese.

Four Cheese Baked Penne


 1 pound whole-wheat penne noodles

 1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese

 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

 3 tablespoons chopped parsley

 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

 1 medium onion, chopped

 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium crushed tomatoes

 1 (8-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce

 1 teaspoon dried oregano

 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

 3/4 teaspoon salt

 1/4 teaspoon pepper

 1/4 cup grated parmesan


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and parsley in a bowl and stir with a fork to incorporate and set aside. Cook pasta until tender but still firm, a minute or 2 less than the package directs. Drain.

Heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Return pasta to pot with sauce and turn off heat. Add cottage cheese mixture. Coat a glass baking dish with olive oil and then transfer pasta mixture to pan. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30


Portobello Lasagna Rollups


 12 whole-wheat lasagna noodles

 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

 12 ounces portobello mushrooms, chopped

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 4 cups store bought marinara sauce

 1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

 1 egg, lightly beaten

 Freshly ground black pepper

 Pinch ground nutmeg

 1/4 cup grated parmesan

 3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the noodles al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them well and spread them out onto aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent them from sticking.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and all the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4

teaspoon of salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce and simmer for 2 minutes. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, a few turns of pepper, and nutmeg.

Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture onto a lasagna noodle. Top with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, roll the noodle and place it into the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles. Spread the remaining 1 1/2

cups of sauce over the lasagna rolls. Top with grated cheeses, cover loosely with foil, and bake for 45

minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more.

Chapter 4: Breakfast Items

Heart Shaped Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce Ingredients

 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 2 large eggs

 1 cup low-fat buttermilk

 1/2 cup non-fat milk

 1 tablespoon RAW honey

 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

 Strawberry sauce, recipe follows

Strawberry sauce:

 16 ounces strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened, thawed)

 1 teaspoon lemon juice

 2 tablespoons 100% PURE maple syrup

Puree strawberries to a chunky puree. Heat them in a small saucepan over a low flame, until they are just warm. Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium-low flame. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In another medium bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, non-fat milk, honey and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. The batter will be somewhat lumpy. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ladle the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancake when the top is bubbling and it is golden brown on the bottom. Then cook until the other side is golden brown. Hold on an oven proof plate in the oven until the entire batch is ready. When all the pancakes are ready, cut them into heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Ladle about 1/3 cup of the strawberry sauce onto each plate, place pancakes on top.

Chocolate and Strawberry Stuffed French Toast


 3 eggs

 1 1/4 cups nonfat milk

 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1/4 cup low fat ricotta cheese

 8 slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed

 1 (8-ounce) container strawberries, hulled and sliced

 4 teaspoons bittersweet chocolate chips


In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla. Set aside.

Place 1 tablespoon of ricotta in the center of 4 of the pieces of bread and spread around slightly. Top with about 6 slices of strawberries and a teaspoon of chocolate chips. Cover each with another piece of bread to make a "sandwich".

Lightly butter a large nonstick skillet or griddle and preheat. Carefully dip each of the "sandwiches"

into the egg mixture until completely moistened. Then place on the skillet and cook over a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side, until the outside is golden brown and the center is warm and chocolate is melted.

Transfer to serving places. Top with remaining strawberries.

Peach Raspberry Yogurt


 4 cups plain lowfat yogurt

 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

 1/4 cup raw and unprocessed honey

 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 2 teaspoons grated orange zest

 1/2 to 1 cup peach nectar

 1/4 cup organic raisins

 1 peach, peeled and diced

 1/2 pint fresh raspberries


Line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels and suspend it over a bowl. Pour the yogurt into the sieve and allow it to drain, refrigerated, for 3 hours or overnight.

Place the thickened yogurt into a medium bowl and add the almonds (reserving 1 tablespoon for the garnish), honey, vanilla, and orange zest. Thin with peach nectar until it is a desirable consistency.

Add the raisins, peach (reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish) and raspberries (reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish). Garnish with the reserved almonds, peach and raspberries.

Blueberry Coffee Cake


 2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

 1 teaspoon baking soda

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 3 tablespoons agave nectar

 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

 1/2 cup organic sucanat

 2 tablespoons pasture butter, at room temperature

 2 tablespoons melted pasture butter

 2 large eggs

 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

 1 cup fresh blueberries, or frozen and thawed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch square cake pan lightly with butter.

Whisk together the flour, the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, stir together the agave nectar, cinnamon and walnuts. In a large bowl, beat the sucanat, butter and melted butter until fluffy. If necessary, use the back of a spoon to press out any lumps in the sucanat. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla and yogurt.

Add the flour mixture in 2 batches, stirring until just combined.

Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the nut mixture over the batter and top with the blueberries, gently pressing them into the batter. Spoon the rest of the batter into the pan, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture over the cake, pressing gently. Bake until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly and then unmold and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. Cut the cake into 2-inch squares.

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Nutty Topping


For the Topping:

 1/4 cup sliced raw almonds

 1/4 cup hulled (green) pumpkin seeds

 1/4 cup sunflower seeds

 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (preferably unhulled)

 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ

 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup, plus more for serving

 Pinch salt

For the Pancakes:

 1 medium apple, such as Golden Delicious, cored and diced (about 2 cups)

 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

 2 teaspoons baking powder

 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 1/4 teaspoon salt

 2 large eggs

 1 cup lowfat buttermilk

 3/4 cup lowfat milk

 2 teaspoons raw honey


Make the topping: In a large skillet, toast the almonds and pumpkin seeds over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add the sunflower seeds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Add the sesame seeds to the pan. Cover and cook, shaking the pan, until the seeds are toasted, about 30 seconds more. Transfer the toasted nuts and seeds to a medium sized bowl. Add the wheat germ. Stir in the syrup and a pinch of salt and set aside.

Make the pancakes: Put the apple in a microwave-proof bowl, tightly cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until softened, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, 1/2 cup of the milk and honey. Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined. If the batter seems too thick, add as much of the remaining 1/4

cup milk as necessary.

Coat a large non-stick griddle with melted pasture butter and heat over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4

cup batter per pancake into the pan and top each pancake with a heaping tablespoon of the cooked apple. Flip when the pancake tops are covered with bubbles and the edges look cooked, about 2

minutes. Cook until the pancakes are golden brown and cooked through, an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately or transfer the cooked pancakes to an ovenproof dish and keep warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven while making the rest. Sprinkle pancakes with 1/4 cup of the topping. Serve with additional maple syrup.

Chapter 5: Desserts

Chocolate Chip Cookies


3/4 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup pasture butter, softened

2/3 cup Sucanat

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Grind oats in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add sucanat, egg and vanilla; beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls, at least 1 inch apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until firm around the edges and golden on top, about 15 minutes. Cool the cookies for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Brownies


 ¼ cup pasture butter

 ½ cup agave nectar

 3 eggs

 ¼ cup applesauce

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 1 ¼ cup Bob's Red Mill Stone Ground White Bean Flour

 1 teaspoon baking powder

 ¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter

 ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate pieces (70% cocoa or higher) Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9×2 inch baking pan with nonstick release foil.

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat; remove from heat. Whisk in agave nectar and 1/3

cup COLD water. Whisk in eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and the baking powder. Place peanut butter in a small bowl; gradually whisk in ½ cup of the batter. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup flour and the cocoa powder; stir into the plain batter. Stir chocolate pieces into the chocolate batter, pour into pan.

Drop peanut butter batter in small mounds over chocolate batter in pan. Using a thin spatula, swirl the batters together. Bake 20-25 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool an then cut.

Yogurt Berry Freeze


 1 container of organic low-fat vanilla yogurt

 2 packages of organic frozen mixed berries

 ¼ cup agave nectar

 ½ cup wheat germ

 2 tbsp virgin, unrefined/cold-pressed coconut oil


Combine all ingredients in large bowl and store in freezer. Thaw slightly to serve.

Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies


 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

 1/2 cup agave nectar

 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

 1/2 teaspoon salt

 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

 2/3 cup applesauce

 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries

 1 egg

 1 tablespoon pasture butter, softened


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Stir until well blended.

Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter and drop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each cookie with the back of the tablespoon. Repeat until sheet is full, being careful not to crowd. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

Dark Chocolate Bark


 3/4 cup roasted, shelled pistachios (3 ounces), coarsely chopped

 3/4 cup dried cherries and/or dried cranberries (unsweetened)

 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

 24 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided Preparation:

Line the bottom and sides of a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with foil. (Take care to avoid wrinkles.) Toss pistachios with cherries (or cranberries) in a medium bowl. Divide the mixture in half; stir orange zest into 1 portion.

Melt 18 ounces chocolate in a double boiler over hot water. (Alternatively, microwave on low in 30-second bursts.) Stir often with a rubber spatula so it melts evenly.

Remove the top pan and wipe dry (or remove the bowl from the microwave). Stir in the remaining 6

ounces chocolate, in 2 additions, until thoroughly melted and smooth.

Add the pistachio mixture containing the orange zest to the chocolate; stir to mix well. Working quickly, scrape the chocolate onto the prepared pan, spreading it to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining pistachio mixture on top; gently press it into the chocolate with your fingertips. Refrigerate, uncovered, just until set, about 20 minutes.

Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Remove the pan and peel off the foil. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the chocolate lengthwise with 6 parallel lines. Break bark along the score lines. Break the strips of bark into 2- to 3-inch chunks.