Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Nutritious Chip...Off the Old Kale Block!


I love them, you love them. Potato chips are extremely tasty, they're also lacking when it comes to nutrition. But there's a way to simulate the chips, and get mega-nutrition while you're snacking thanks to kale. Suzanne Landry, who wrote the cookbook, The Passionate Vegetable came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her "Cheesy" Kale Chips.  They're loaded with nutrition and taste, and despite the name, they don't actually have cheese. Suzanne told Tonia she uses curly leaf kale for this recipe because it takes the sauce better.  As for the sauce (which is the boss!), Suzanne starts with a whole chopped red pepper, the juice of a whole lemon, and a half teaspoon of teaspoon of sea salt.  Place everything in a blender and mix together.  Then add a 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and raw cashews.  When the sauce is blended, it looks like Velveeta cheese!  Pour the sauce into a pan and toss the stemmed kale leaves in the mix, and bake the leaves until crispy.  Then you enjoy the kale krunch!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Grilling...It's In The Wood


You might not think so, but there's flavor in those wood chips!  And the kind of wood you use could make all the difference with what you're barbecuing.  Kevan Vetter with McCormick Kitchens talked with Tonia's Kitchen about experimenting with the kinds of wood you use.  Kevan told Tonia to look beyond Mesquite and Hickory, and move into Pecan and Maple woods, as they provide a lighter kind of smokey flavor that can really make meat sing.  Kevan's got a great chart to help you decide which kind of wood to use, check it out at

Monday, July 24, 2017

Rice Salad...Hold The Rice!


This next one is pretty special. Rice salad, using cauliflower.  Our next guest promises not only is it delicious, it's extremely healthy,.  Cookbook author Dana Carpender came by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her Potluck Rice Salad, sans the rice.  Dana told Tonia she takes a head of cauliflower and shreds it into rice using her food processor.  She then dices a red pepper, a bunch of scallions, half a cup of fresh parsley for both variety and color. Now comes the special part, 1/2 cup of homemade mayonnaise, which is so much healthier for you than consumer mayo because of the oils you use at home (more likely to have healthy Omega-3s vs bad-for-you Omega 6s found in most commercially available brands.)  Add a 1/2 cup of coconut milk, yogurt, along with olive oil, white white vinegar, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.  Mix it all together and serve chilled.  Dana says it went very fast one picnic she brought it to!

1 cauliflower, head
1 small red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch scallions
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
Whack your cauliflower in half, and remove the leaves. Trim off the very bottom of the stem. Now whack it into chunks, and run it through the shredding blade of your food processor. Dump the resulting "cauli-rice" into a microwaveable casserole with a lid, add a few tablespoons of water, cover, and nuke on "high" for 8-10 minutes.
While that's happening, dice your red onion and your pepper, and slice your scallions, including the crisp part of the green shoot. Throw all this in a huge mixing bowl (I'm lucky enough to have one made by Tupperware, that has a lid.) Mince your parsley and oregano, and throw that in, too.
Somewhere during all that chopping, your microwave will beep. Pull out the cauliflower and uncover it, to let out the steam and stop the cooking. Stir it up to let out more steam, then let it sit and cool a bit while you proceed with the rest of the recipe. Stirring it again every now and then will speed cooling.
Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice, until the whole thing is smooth and nice. This, of course, is your dressing.
When your cauliflower is cool enough that it's not going to cook all your other veggies (it can still be warm), drain it well and add it to the mixing bowl. Stir the whole thing up. Now add the dressing, and stir till everything is evenly coated.
Salt and pepper to taste. You can eat it right away if you like, but it's better if it's refrigerated for a few hours, first.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Love is Blue..When it Comes to BBQ Sauce


We visit Asheville, North Carolina, and more specifically, to the fantastic 12 Bones Smokehouse, where Chef Shane Heavner today, is talking about his Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce, that can make your meat sing...with only 4 ingredients.  Shane told Tonia's Kitchen he starts with his signature tomato-based sauce (super by itself) and adds fresh blueberries, ginger powder chipotle peppers and honey.  After that, Shane says it's just a matter of blending everything all together, and adding more chipotle if you want the sauce spicier.

2.5 lbs. fresh blueberries 
8 7oz. cans chipotle peppers
2 cups honey
2 qts. tomato bbq sauce (brand can vary)
1Tblsp. ginger powder

Puree chipotles and blueberries. Combine all ingredients and slather on ribs.   Cook!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Days of Wine and Cherries


In many parts of the country its cherry season, especially in the Rocky Mountain West.  And while those cherries are sensational by themselves, they won't keep on their own.  That's where preserving comes in, you can keep the cherries all through the year, while enjoying their fresh taste!  But what kind of preserves are we talking about, jam, jelly, preserves? Alison Duffy who wrote the cookbook Preserving With Pomona's Pectin says while preserves are similar to jam, they use whole fruit or a substantial piece of fruit.  Jam is made up smashed pieces of fruit.  Alison told Tonia's Kitchen about her Cherry Port Preserves. Alison says she uses whole or halved cherries and a small amount of Port wine.  She says it makes a fantastic dessert topping!

Reprinted for

Whole uncooked Cherries: 1 pound
Sugar: varies, depending on volume of cooked cherries, for every cup of cooked cherry add 3/4 cup of sugar
Any good port wine: approx 1/4 cup
Apple juice: approx 1/4 cup
Zest and juice of lime or lemon: 1 no.
Star anise: 1 (optional)

  • Method:
    1. Rinse the cherries and remove the stems. Using a Cherry pitter or a knife pit the cherries.   Chop about 3/4ths of them into smaller pieces, the rest leave whole for a varied texture.
    2. Cook the cherries in a large stainless steel vessel with just enough port wine and apple juice to soften or wilt cherries. Apple juice contains pectin that will cause the jam to set/ gel. Add the zest and juice of one fresh lemon. Lemon juice adds pectin as well as acidity, and also help the jam gel later on.
    3. Cook the cherries, stirring once in a while with a heat proof spatula, until they’re wilted and completely soft, which should take around 15-20 minutes on a medium to low flame.
    4. Once cooked, measure out the cherry mixture into a cup and use 3/4 cup of sugar for every cup of mixture.The sugar is necessary to keep the jam from spoilage.
    5. Stir the sugar and the cherries in the pot and cook over moderate-to-high heat. The best jam is cooked quickly. While it’s cooking, put a small white plate in the freezer. Scrape the bottom of the pot as you stir as well. Do not allow the jam to burn.
    6. Once the bubbles subside and the jam appears a bit thick and looks like it is beginning to gel, (it will coat the spatula in a clear jelly-like layer, but not too thick) turn off the heat and put a small amount of jam on the frozen plate and return to the freezer. After a few minutes, when you nudge it if it wrinkles, it’s done.
    If not, cook it some more, turn off the heat, and test it again. If you overcook your jam, the sugar will caramelize and it won’t taste good and there’s nothing you can do. Better to undercook it, test it, then cook it some more.
    8. Once it’s done and gelled, add another splash of port wine to the jam if desired. Port wine adds depth and sophistication to this jam. Ladle the warm jam into clean jars and cover. Cool at room temperature, then put in the refrigerator where it will keep for several months.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Don't Waste that Fruit, Preserve It!


There's many reasons to preserve fruit.  The basic one of course is to make it last longer, that's what people had to do in the old days.  Somewhere along the way, foodies discovered that preserves can be delicious, and you can get creative with this.  Enter Alison Duffy, who wrote the cookbook Preserving with Pomono's Pectin.  She stopped by Tonia's Kitchen to talk about some of her favorite recipes, including Brandied Apricot Preserves.  Chef Alison told Tonia she starts with Lemon Peel that she cooks until they're soft.  She then adds fresh apricots (you can use frozen), brandy (of course!), sugar and pectin powder.  It's a not overly sweet preserve that people on low-sugar diets can enjoy.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

This is One Cool Soup!


And not just because its trendy!  Nina Elder, who's the Executive Food Editor for Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine stopped by Tonia's Kitchen with her Chilled Watermelon Soup recipe.  She starts with four cups of watermelon, cucumber, tomatoes and red wine vinegar. Mix together with a blender and place into a freezer until cold.  Then in a bowl, put more seeded watermelon that's chopped, along with cucumber and feta cheese.  Use that to top each bowl of soup, along with basil and mint. It's a great way to enjoy a classic summertime treat, especially on a hot day!