May 022012
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines.

To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe – In this case, the Vinadloo spices – a mixture of coriander, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, mustard, black pepper and cloves.


Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay
I chose this dish because pattypan squash and fresh, sweet corn are just coming into season in North Florida.  I was amazed at how the chowder actually tasted like a cream based chowder – and growing up in New England, I know my chowder.  This dish would be great with a wide variety of spices – keep it simple with some salt and pepper, try herbs such as thyme and rosemary, or, if you like Indian flavors, you’ll love this Vindaloo version.


Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder
The Wines chosen to pair are:
Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay.

Broadbent Malbec, (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Malbec grapes for this wine are grown in the desert-like conditions of Argentina and are irrigated with mountain spring water that flows through a series of canals that date back to the Pre-Columbian Incan Empire. Broadbent’s description is, ” This Malbec is fresh with delicious fruit character, spicy plum notes and a silky and seductive finish.”

Tierra De Antes Chardonnay, 2010 (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Tierra De Antes vineyards are planted in Barrancas, Maipú & Mendoza in Argentina. There is a portion of the Chardonnay that spends 8 months in oak. The emphasis of this wine is the fresh, tropical fruit character that Chardonnay can achieve in a moderate to warm climate as found in and around the Mendoza region in Argentina. An article in the Washington Post lists this wine as an excellent palate cleanser or “party white”
The rating info:

Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale

Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 – The Dish

Rating of YUM – This soup is super fresh and creamy – though there is no sugar in this dish, the coconut milk and corn give it a mild sweetness and the Vindaloo is a bit spicy from Cayenne.  This is perfect for spring or the start of summer.

Category #2 – The Wines

Broadbent Malbec – Rating of YUM

Juicy! Buttery! Raisin and stone-fruit flavors.  Delicious with the perfect body and sweetness – the down the middle of the road - not too heavy and not too sweet – I would definitely buy this one again.

Tierra De Antes Chardonnay – Rating of Ho Hum

This wine was to mild and light it didn’t appeal to me.  The body was too thin for me and, though I tasted tropical flavors, it didn’t win me over.  In the context of the aforementioned article that listed this wine as a great “palate cleanser” or “party wine” this would work well.


Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay

Category #3 – The Pairing

Broadbent Malbec – Rating of Damn That’s Good

Though I’m not as much of a fan of red wines any more, the Malbec definitely won out – the buttery texture was really nice with the creamy soup.  It balanced the dish out beautifully.
Tierra De Antes Chardonnay – Rating of Nice
The wine with the dish was a bit better.  It enriched the sweet corn flavor in the chowder and was nice and cool with the warm spicy soup.
Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, with questions and pricing (please call prior to heading over to ensure they are in stock) and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.


Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder

Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp Vindaloo seasoning (or curry powder)
2 cups yellow squash, I used summer squash and pattypan squash (I used KYV Farm)
1 about 3 to 4 fresh ears, kernels removed, or one 10-oz bag frozen sweet corn
1 14-oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
with Green Chiles, drained (I used Muir Glen Organic)
3 cups salt free vegetable broth, ( Iused Vivian’s Vivacious Vegetable Broth)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 14-oz can light coconut milk

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro or Culantro


1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a stockpot over medium high heat.  Add onion and sautee about 7 minutes or until soft.  Add Vindaloo seasoning, squash and corn; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper (if needed), bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, about 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is soft; stir in nutritional yeast and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 134.9
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 103.7 mg
Potassium 479.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 8.1 g

Vitamin A 7.1 %
Vitamin B-12 88.7 %
Vitamin B-6 329.4 %
Vitamin C 30.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 2.5 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 48.3 %
Iron 7.5 %
Magnesium 9.2 %
Manganese 11.6 %
Niacin 191.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.8 %
Phosphorus 17.5 %
Riboflavin 382.5 %
Selenium 22.1 %
Thiamin 431.6 %
Zinc 17.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


Apr 022012

Forbidden rice is a black/purple, nutrient dense heirloom rice – with lots of vitamins and amino acids.  But the real reason to try this rice is the taste and color.  When cooked it becomes a gorgeous dark eggplant color that makes a striking presentation, perfect for a special occasion.  I got this in the bulk bins at my local natural food store, Native Sun, for $3.89 per pound.  (Not bad when you consider how many people a pound of dry rice would feed.)The taste is nutty with a touch of natural sweetness and the texture is firm and dense – like that of sticky rice used in sushi rolls.  In fact, it is sometimes used as a replacement for the sticky white rice. 

If you can’t get your hands on forbidden rice, simply sub anything you have on hand.  It will still go perfectly with the warm, chewy lentils with that hint of aromatic curry.  Next time I will be making a double batch as I had this for lunch, dinner and lunch the next day.

Also on sale I found this interesting coconut vinegar.  Since I love all things coconut and have saved quite a bit since deciding to forgo meat, I decided to splurge and try it.  This is not necessary for this dish but I added a splash and really enjoyed the hint of coconut in the background.  Another thing you could try is to stir in a bit of coconut milk at the same time you add the parsley.  

Forbidden Rice with Indian Spiced Lentils

Slightly Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
Printable Recipe


2 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
3/4 of one onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup yellow split lentils (or any lentils you prefer), rinsed well
2 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tsp coconut vinegar (optional)

Forbidden Rice

1 Tbsp EVOO
1/2 cup forbidden rice
1/4 of one onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper


1. Heat EVOO in a medium pot over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic; saute three minutes or so; add forbidden rice, broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer about 50 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

2. Heat EVOO in a second medium pot over medium high heat.  Add onion, saute about five minutes; add garlic and curry powder, saute 2 minutes; add lentils, broth, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until lentils are soft to your preference.  Remove from heat, stir in parsley and coconut vinegar.  Divide rice and lentils evenly into four dishes.  Garnish with additional parsley if desired.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 244.9
Total Fat 11.4 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat 7.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 84.4 mg
Potassium 286.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 30.7 g
Dietary Fiber 6.0 g
Sugars 0.7 g
Protein 7.7 g

Vitamin A 13.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.1 %
Vitamin C 21.2 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 7.3 %
Calcium 3.5 %
Copper 8.3 %
Folate 26.7 %
Iron 17.0 %
Magnesium 7.0 %
Manganese 19.4 %
Niacin 3.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.8 %
Phosphorus 10.8 %
Riboflavin 3.2 %
Selenium 3.0 %
Thiamin 7.1 %
Zinc 5.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jan 162012
There is something about the Indian spice blend, garam masala that is so warm and inviting.  Cloves, nutmeg, star anise and cumin are a few of the sweet aromatics that make up this medley
When I thought of what I wanted to do with the golden beets I got from my farm, roasting came to mind.  Pairing the earthy sweetness of the beets with garam masala sounded like a match made in heaven.
These make a perfect side dish for some curried tofu or any simple protein of choice.  I chose to top the fries with some fresh cilantro as a compliment to the spicy sweetness but it can be left off if you prefer.
Keep an eye on them towards the last twenty minutes as they may cook faster, depending on how thinly the beets are sliced.
Indian Spiced Beet and Carrot “Fries”
Serves 4 to 6
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free


2 large golden beets, peeled and sliced into a fry shape
1 cup carrots, sliced into a similar shape
1 tsp garam masala (Indian spice blend)**
1 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp agave (or honey for non-vegan option)
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Fresh cilantro to garnish, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Mix garam masala, coconut oil, salt, honey and cayenne.  Pour over sliced beets and carrots.  Bake 60 minutes; stirring every 20 minutes.  Top with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

**If you don’t have Garam Masala on hand, curry powder will work just as well.

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 131.8
Total Fat 5.4 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 273.7 mg
Potassium 548.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.4 g
Dietary Fiber 4.7 g
Sugars 15.0 g
Protein 2.5 g

Vitamin A 78.5 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.9 %
Vitamin C 14.4 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 3.3 %
Copper 5.9 %
Folate 38.6 %
Iron 6.8 %
Magnesium 8.8 %
Manganese 25.0 %
Niacin 3.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.0 %
Phosphorus 6.6 %
Riboflavin 4.4 %
Selenium 1.5 %
Thiamin 4.2 %
Zinc 3.8 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 232011
I found Nutmeg Notebook through my weight watcher message boards. The photos of her healthy recipes are just gorgeous and occasionally she does product reviews.  The one I came across that intrigued me was for an Organic Sprouted Bean Trio from truRoots .  Per 1/3 cup there is 160 cals, .5 g fat, 11 g fiber and 11 g protein.  Is that unbelievable or what?
I was so excited I contacted the company to find out where I could purchase their product and they advised where and that they could send me a sample to see if I liked it before purchase. Of course I gave a resounding yes!
This would be the “sample” pack they sent.Sprouted Mung Beans, Sprouted Quinoa, Whole Grain Quinoa

Germinated Brown Rice, Sprouted Green Lentils

Organic Chia Seeds and Organic Haiga Rice

The first thing I thought of was a curry lentil soup because the last time I had some from Native Sun it was so amazing I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  Every time I go back I ask if they have the soup and no far no luck.
To my complete happiness this came out just as amazing and was super easy.  It’s so creamy, flavorful and has a hint of sweetness.
Thank you to truRoots for this amazing sample pack!

Sprouted Green Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

***3 WW Pts Plus
10 to 12 servings

Organic Ingredients

1/2 Tbsp Earth Balance
1/2 Tbsp EVOO
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp minced ginger
4 cups (1 carton) vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 rounded Tbsp curry powder
10 oz frozen cubed butternut squash (or fresh will be fine too)
6 Tbsp or about 1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup lentils, I used truRoots Organic Sprouted Green Lentils
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 14-ounce can light coconut milk
Salt, to taste
Dash of cayenne pepper, optional


1. Heat butter and olive oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat; add onion, carrot and ginger and cook until softened but not brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Pour broth and water in to vegetable mixture; stir in curry, squash and tomato paste and bring mixture to a boil.

3. Add lentils and gently boil for 5 minutes, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.

4. Remove from heat; stir in coconut milk and raisins.

Nutrition Facts
***3 WW Pts Plus
10 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 134.9
Total Fat 2.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.7 g
Cholesterol 1.6 mg
Sodium 458.1 mg
Potassium 282.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.9 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 4.9 g
Protein 6.2 g

Vitamin A 81.2 %
Vitamin B-6 5.6 %
Vitamin C 13.3 %
Vitamin E 2.9 %
Calcium 4.1 %
Copper 4.5 %
Folate 3.3 %
Iron 16.5 %
Magnesium 5.0 %
Manganese 8.9 %
Niacin 3.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 3.2 %
Riboflavin 2.1 %
Selenium 1.3 %
Thiamin 3.2 %
Zinc 1.4 %

Feb 172011
I don’t have a very clever post planned for the origins of this recipe other than coming across the Moroccan idea at Squash Blossom Babies (please check out this blog, it is fabulous!) and then thinking about how I could use the Moroccan theme for a quinoa dish to make it gluten free AND utilize some of my CSA squash and green onion. It was definitely a highlight of the night as it was easy and came out SO well. Very hearty for a vegetarian dish; sweet, savory, aromatic and, with the addition of cayenne pepper on my serving, spicy. I’m on a roll with paring my ingredient list down and it’s so perfect for busy people like me.
This pretty much covers the excitement of the night and goes to show you how easy this recipe is!
Dawn’s Evening Itinerary beginning at drive home from work:
Plan out recipe ingredient list in head on drive home.
Pick daughter up from school.
Let dogs out. Throw jeans and sneakers on. Feed dogs.
Cut up squash, potato and onion while daughter “does dishes” (aka gets spoon stuck in garbage disposal and makes large puddle of water & soap on floor.)
Put vegetables in to roast and bring child and dogs outside to play on new swing set. Chase Madison (dog) away from eating neighbor’s trash.
Come back in when it’s dark and throw quinoa on then do yoga in the pool (aka. jumping in daughter’s small bounce house conveniently placed in foyer so when guests come to visit they can immediately enter “the pool”.)
Add remaining ingredients to recipe.
Exit bounce house to try and take food photo as daughter “helps” hold tripod.
Try to wolf some of the dinner down before bath time occurs.
Bath time of joy (daughter does NOT like any drop of water near the eye area).
And then 8:00. Ah, me time. Try on new tops purchased for hubby’s b-day night in St Augustine this Saturday with bunch of close friends. (Can’t wait!)
Post beet recipe create this post.
Watch Modern family. Read two pages of The Reader.
Hit the hay and get ready to do it all over again the next day.
Moroccan Roasted Delicata, Sweet Potato and Quinoa
6 rounded 1 cup servings
***7 Pts Plus
Gluten, Dairy, Egg, Nut Free


1 delicata squash, seeded and diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 onion, diced
Coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder
2 tsp Garam Masala, from Penzey’s Spices
1 cup white quinoa, I used Ancient Harvest Organic
2 cups vegetable broth
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup raisins
1/8 cup cranberries
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 green onion, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the squash, sweet potato and onion on the pan.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder; bake for 40 minutes.

2. Heat quinoa, vegetable broth and Garam Masala in a medium pot to a boil, reduce heat and cook to package directions.  Stir in garbanzo beans, raisins and cranberries.  Cook an additional two minutes.  Remove from heat; add roasted squash mixture and stir in vinegar and green onion.

Nutrition Facts

6  Rounded 1 cup Servings
**7 WW Pts Plus
Amount Per Serving

Calories 281.1
Total Fat 2.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 528.1 mg
Potassium 265.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 56.4 g
Dietary Fiber 8.5 g
Sugars 9.8 g
Protein 9.0 g

Vitamin A 113.0 %
Vitamin B-6 22.1 %
Vitamin C 20.9 %
Vitamin E 0.7 %
Calcium 15.0 %
Copper 10.1 %
Folate 14.1 %
Iron 22.7 %
Magnesium 7.4 %
Manganese 29.8 %
Niacin 1.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 3.7 %
Phosphorus 34.7 %
Riboflavin 60.7 %
Selenium 3.5 %
Thiamin 3.8 %
Zinc 6.0 %

Aug 202010
I know I’ve mentioned the Pacific Foods Soups in the past and I just can’t seem to get enough of them!  They are so light but have this velvety texture that is like silk on the tongue.  The flavors are perfect by themselves or pair well with just about anything; various fresh veggie relishes, cubed grilled chicken or even tofu! 
Curry Lentil Soup with Maple Tahini Tofu and Fresh Corn
Serves 4
4 WW Pts


1 package light firm tofu, pressed, drained and sliced lengthwise
1 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
1 Tbsp real maple syrup
2 tsp tamari
2-3 Tbsp water
Cooking spray
4 ears fresh corn
Coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Mix the tahini, maple syrup and tamari in a small bowl.  Slowly add in water until you get the desired consistency.  Add the tofu and turn to coat.  Marinate for 12 to 24 hours.
2. Preheat grill over medium high heat.  Spray the tofu and corn on all sides with cooking spray.  Season the corn with salt and pepper then add corn and the tofu to grill.  Grill each side of tofu 5 to 7 minutes or to desired doneness, turn corn when tofu is turned.  Cool tofu and cube, cool corn and cut off kernels off cob.
3. Pour soup evenly into four bowls.  Microwave to package directions (or on high until heated through).  To each bowl add the kernels of one corn cob and 1/4 of the grilled tofu.
Jun 102010
I came across another Eating Well recipe I wanted to try for my recipe swap.   When I saw the photo and read more I knew I had to try it.  I love Indian spices and thought it would be perfect paired with the sweet mango.  The fact that a 1 cup serving is less than 200 calories with 9 grams of fiber made it even better! 

I didn’t change anything from the original recipe so rather than reprint it and risk copyright issues I’ll just provide the link (above).

As a review of the recipe I loved the blend of flavors; however, the recipe stated that the lentils should break down and fall apart and mine stayed fairly firm.  No worries, I enjoyed the texture and thought it was a great vegetarian meal served over whole grain brown rice.

May 062010

Keep It Simple Stupid.  Now where the heck have I heard that?  I can’t remember but it sure does apply so I’m going with it.

Cooking light has an article this month about “cooking simple”, meaning to resist the temptation to add just one more ingredient.  I am notorious for this.  The writer says that adding all these additional pinches and dashes may take a dish from great to just “weird”.  Hence the KISS acronym.  I really need to start doing this.  So here is my version; Crispy Tofu with Jalfrezi Sauce, and it was so good.

Recently I found some Seeds of Change Tikka Masala sauce and it was excellent and fairly low in calories.  The Jalfrezi Simmer Sauce with bell peppers and coconut looked great too.   This sauce weighs in at 90 calories, 6 grams of fat and 2 fiber so it’s also pretty light.

Seeds of Change Jalfrezi Simmer Sauce

Sauteed Tofu with Jalfrezi Sauce
(Photo from old camera so don’t judge!)
Sauteed Tofu with Jalfrezi Sauce
4 Servings


Cooking Spray
1 package firm organic tofu
1 jar Seeds of Change organic Jalfrezi Simmer Sauce
1 bag pre-cut broccoli florets
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked to package directions


1. Press the tofu to remove excess water for at least an hour but overnight is better. 
**I found these directions on how to do so on a blog post; How to Press Tofu in Five Easy Steps and I really like how Melissa explains it.

2. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium high heat.  Meanwhile, cut the tofu into desired cubical size.

3. Add the tofu to the heated pan and brown. 

4. Add the broccoli and sauté about 2 minutes.

5.  Reduce the heat to low, add the simmer sauce and cover.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.

6. Serve over brown rice.

Apr 132010
During my last food shopping spree I found Seeds of Change Tikki Masala Simmering Sauce
Yes, I realize I’m supposed to be cleaning my pantry out and not adding to it but this just looked so good!
Hi my name is Dawn and I’m a food hoarder.
I used it to marinate meat the night before with some diced onions and then just poured it into the pan when I got home and added some chickpeas.  I threw it all over some sautéed spinach and brown rice and voila!  A super fast dinner.
If you like Indian food you will love this product!
***Be sure not to overheat as it will curdle.  Do not let it come to a full boil.
Mar 252010

After the excursion to Flavors Indian restaurant I decided I could no longer go without the mashed eggplant-y goodness of Baingan Bharta and felt so inclined to make my own. 

According to Wikepedia “Baingan Bartha or Baingan ka Bartha is a predominantly Pakistani and North Indian Punjabi vegetarian dish made from eggplant, which is grilled over charcoal or direct fire to impart a smoky flavour to the flesh of the eggplant and then cooked with spices and vegetables.”

I set out on my adventure of making my recipe and since I didn’t have the green chilli I substituted with an entire can of Rotel with habanero because that’s all I had on hand. 

Now mind you, I love super hot and spicy food, but this was at the nuclear level.  I could have sold it to the Department of Defense for a hefty profit to use in warfare.  

I got some of it down but it about killed me so obviously almost a can if habanero is a bad substitute in this dish. In addition, I surmise that in the restaurant they must use a lot of ghee, which is an Indian clarified butter, because mine did not taste as buttery. 
(It was still pretty though so I had to still take a photo)