Tofu Triangles with Peanut Sauce

So delicious an healthy– ingredients and recipe are courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.


  • 1 package(s) tofu, firm
    (14 ounces), drained
  • 1 teaspoon oil, peanut
    or sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce, less sodium
  • 2 tablespoon peanut butter, natural
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, rice wine
  • 2 tablespoon sugar, brown
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, red flakes
  • 4 medium scallion(s) (green onions)
    finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup(s) water
  • 2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted


Serves 6

Slice the tofu crosswise into 1/2-inch slabs. Then cut each slab into 2 triangles. Blot with paper towels. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium to high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the tofu and fry over medium-high heat until golden. Turn and cook on the second side.

While the tofu is cooking, combine soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, brown sugar, pepper flakes, two green onions and water in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.

When the tofu is lightly browned, pour the sauce over the tofu and cook until bubbling. Turn off the heat, scatter the remaining green onions and sesame seeds over the top and serve.


Beef Wellington– not as difficult as I thought!

If you like you can make individual Wellingtons with this recipe– or just one large one.

beef wellington

1 pound cremini mushrooms (coarsely chopped)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chives (minced)
½ cup whole milk
¼ cup water
4 tablespoons butter (melted, plus more if needed for pans)
2 pounds filet mignon
to taste salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup whole-grain Dijon mustard
½ pound prosciutto di Parma
1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place beef in a small baking dish, and spread with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until browned. Remove from pan, and allow to cool completely. Reserve pan juices.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  3. Mix together pate and 2 tablespoons softened butter, and season with salt and pepper. Spread pate over beef. Top with onion and mushroom mixture.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry dough, and place beef in the center. Fold up, and seal all the edges, making sure the seams are not too thick. Place beef in a 9×13 inch baking dish, cut a few slits in the top of the dough, and brush with egg yolk.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 10 to 15 more minutes, or until pastry is a rich, golden brown. Set aside, and keep warm.
  6. Place all reserved juices in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in beef stock and red wine; boil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Strain, and serve with beef.

Are you using apples from your tree? Try baked apples!

When we bought this house four years ago, we had a half-dead apple tree.  After puning, it started bearing apples.  The apples are something close to golden delicious and holds its shape when baked. If you have a surplus of apples, bake them with cherries and almonds for a lovely dessert.


  • 1/3 cup(s) cherries, dried
    coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon nuts, almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, brown (packed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 6 small apple(s), Golden Delicious
    about 1 3/4 pounds total weight
  • 1/2 cup(s) juice, apple
  • 1/4 cup(s) water
  • 2 tablespoon honey, dark
  • 2 teaspoon oil, walnut
    or canola oil


Serves 6

    • Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a small bowl, toss together the cherries, almonds, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside.

The apples can be left unpeeled, if you like. To peel the apples in a decorative fashion, with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, remove the peel from each apple in a circular motion, skipping every other row so that rows of peel alternate with rows of apple flesh. Working from the stem end, core each apple, stopping 3/4 inch from the bottom.

Divide the cherry mixture evenly among the apples, pressing the mixture gently into each cavity. Arrange the apples upright in a heavy ovenproof frying pan or small baking dish just large enough to hold them. Pour the apple juice and water into the pan. Drizzle the honey and oil evenly over the apples, and cover the pan snugly with aluminum foil. Bake until the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, 50 to 60 minutes.

Transfer the apples to individual plates and drizzle with the pan juices. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serving size: 1 apple

Here is my friend’s recipe for Kale and Almond Fried Rice– She is a legs model.

Do you find take-out to be too greasy? I enjoyed this Kale and Almond Fried Rice at a friend’s luncheon. That day some of us lamented about how easy it is to gain five pounds or more between Halloween and New Years. Yikes. This recipe follows the Mayo Clinic diet that the hostess was on—she said she doesn’t have to give up carbs to get lean and healthy. As a legs model in Los Angeles, she needs to stay that way. 



·       2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

·       1 medium onion, chopped

·       2 garlic cloves, chopped

·       1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

·       1/2-bunch Tuscan kale, ribs removed and leaves cut with kitchen scissors

·       2 cups brown rice

·       2 tablespoons sesame oil

·       2 tablespoons tamari sauce

·       1/4 cup sliced almonds

·       Sea salt, to taste

·       Ground black pepper, to taste


1.       In a 10-inch skillet or wok, heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. (Tip: you can easily peel the ginger with a spoon, by scraping the excess off). Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until lightly golden.

2.      Add kale and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the leaves are slightly wilted.

3.      Add rice, sesame oil, and tamari.

4.     Add almonds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Have you noticed Coconut Chicken is the rage these days?

Do you want to try an easy Coconut Chicken recipe?  This one features soba noodles, but any noodles work fine here.


Ingredients to serve 6:

  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pound mini sweet peppers
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 box (12 oz) soba noodles (such as Annie Chun’s)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high and brush grate with oil. In a small bowl, combine 1 tbsp of the brown sugar, 1/4 tsp of the salt and 1/8 tsp of the cayenne. Rub onto chicken breasts. Grill chicken over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes per side, until cooked through.
  2. Toss peppers and scallions in 1 tsp of the vegetable oil. Skewer peppers and grill 4 minutes; flip and grill another 4 minutes. Grill scallions 2 minutes
  3. stems, and chop scallions.
  4. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add soba and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tender. Drain and rinse immediately under cold water.
  5. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Toast coconut 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate. Add remaining 1 tsp oil to skillet. Add garlic and ginger to skillet; sauté 1 minute. Pour in coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, remaining 1 tbsp brown sugar, remaining 1/4 tsp salt and remaining 1/8 tsp cayenne. Bring to a simmer. Mix cornstarch with 1 tsp cold water. Add to mixture and simmer 2 minutes, until thickened.
  6. In a large bowl, toss sauce with chicken, peppers, scallions and soba. Divide among 6 bowls and garnish with coconut and cilantro.

Nutrition Information for Coconut Chicken Soba Noodles

Servings Per Recipe: 6 PER SERVING: 440 cal., 10 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 85 mg chol., 880 mg sodium, 52 g carb. (5 g fiber), 35 g pro.


Do you want to try something a little different? How about Coconut Chicken?

The crunchy outside makes Coconut Chicken delicious beyond description.  I’m serving this dish with brown rice, broccoli, and Waldorf Salad– celery, grapes, pineapple on top of greens.

Ingredients to serve 4:

2- 8 oz boneless chicken breasts, scant amount of minced garlic, dashes of Italian seasoning, cinnamon, paprika. Rub with coconut oil, sprinkle with 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut.

Directions:  Bake at 350 degrees until cooked through.




Have you ever eaten farro?

Have you noticed farro is taking over the trendy vegan salads on menus? Once in a while I order a vegan or vegetarian selection. Sometimes farro is used a substitute for pasta or rice, farro is a grain with a nutty flavor similar to brown rice. It is rich in fiber, magnesium and vitamins A, B, C, and E.

farrothe front yard

Farro is an ancient grain, first domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, has been found in Egyptian tombs, and is believed to have sustained the Roman legions. Today, farro grows in central northern Italy. These areas at one time wer impoverished area, and the longevity of people there were attributed to farro.  Have you tried it?

The salad I ordered yesterday at a restaurant in North Hollywood, The Front Yard, was their Ancient Grain mixed green concoction. Ingredients were farro, red quinoa, yellow beet, butternut squash, and pomegranate seeds. I am planning to make it at home.


Here’s a lighter version of Summertime Corn-tomato chowder

I’m making this tonight– corn chowder with a bit of zesty Mexican seasoning, dapted from This is a Cookbook, by Max Sussman and Eli Sussman.

corn-tomato soup



  • 2 ripe but firm tomatoes
  • Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn (about 3 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 cup low fat milk (original recipe was heavy cream)
  • Sliced avocado for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Paprika for garnish



  • 2 ripe but firm tomatoes
  • Kernels from 6 ears of fresh corn (about 3 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • About 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Sliced avocado for garnish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Paprika for garnish



Preheat an oven to 375°F. Put the tomatoes in a lightly greased glass baking dish. Roast until the skins darken and the tomatoes are caramelized, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Keep the oven on. Spread the corn in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until the edges begin to turn golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, when the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard. Set the flesh, with the juices, aside in the baking dish. Remove the corn from the oven and let cool. Place 1 bell pepper on each of 2 gas burners. Turn the burners on high and sear the peppers directly over the flame, using tongs to turn as needed, until the skins are blackened all over, 10 to 15 minutes total. (Or place the peppers under the broiler and broil, turning as needed, until charred and blistered on all sides, about 15 minutes.) Transfer the peppers to a brown paper bag and close tightly. Let stand for 15 minutes, then remove the peppers from the bag. Remove and discard the skins, core and seeds. In a soup pot, combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow and red onions, garlic and corn, reserving a handful of the roasted corn for garnish. Add just enough broth to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and the 1 tsp. salt. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. While blending, slowly drizzle in the cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish each portion with a couple of avocado slices, a few drops of olive oil, a scattering of the reserved roasted corn and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve hot. Serves 4.

The debate is on—Parasites in Raw Fish

You might recall the warning from fifteen years ago from the World Health Organization that smoked, pickled, and undercooked fish contains parasites.  This hit home recently when a friend who adores sushi complained of pain in her ribs and made a medical appointment.  An increased number of white blood cells indicated an infection.  It was only after she told her doctor she consumed raw fish regularly did her doctor suspect an infestation of anisakiasis nematodes (worms) in her stomach lining and intestines.  Two drugs (albendazole and mebendazole) are fast-acting and also used by WHO, thanks to donations from GlaxoSmithKline and Johnson & Johnson. If left untreated, the parasites invade other organs including the brain.

Sea mammals such as seals act as the parasites’ hosts, and dissections from marine biologists tell us the problem is worldwide.

I get ideas for villains from current news topics. In my work-in-progress, Bittersweet Alliance, the serial killer serves Poke (raw fish appetizers popular in Hawaii) to kidnapped victims.  After ransoms are paid, the victims return home with severe worm infestation in their brains.  Surgical procedures to remove (massive numbers of) parasites leave victims’ brains impaired.  The serial killer leaves victims brain-dead and is using a popular food where the book is set, the Big Island of Hawaii.

raw fish appetizers

You might like this low calorie creamy vegetable stew

Did I write low calorie and creamy in the same sentence? I did! One large bowl is 320 calories.  Enjoy a salad and bread sticks with this filling summer entre.

creamy summer vegetable stew


  • 8 ounces frozen pearl onions
  • 2 cups baby carrots, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons
  • 1 15 1/2 – ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 cups cooked white rice (optional)


  1. Place onions, carrots, corn, broth, vinegar and 1-1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
  2. Stir in zucchini and chickpeas; cook for 45 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together cream, cornstarch, salt, pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence; set aside.
  3. Stir in cream mixture and tomatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle with Asiago and serve with rice, if desired.

Nutrition Information for Creamy Summer Vegetable Stew

Servings Per Recipe: 4 PER SERVING: 311 cal., 9 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 23 mg chol., 681 mg sodium, 48 g carb. (9 g fiber), 11 g pro.