I am so excited to have all of my children and grandchildren at my house for Christmas. My daughter Roxanne amd her children Giulia and Nathaniel will stay with us for a week. Erica my middle daughter will be spending most of the week with her two children Kai and Alice at our house too. My son Ralph will come from the city. He is studying microbiology so he always gives his scientific view on everything, which is very helpful at times. We don't get to see him too often; he has a busy schedule. I am very glad all my children will be together.
There will be lots of fun, cooking and eating. We all eat gluten free, dairy free and organic diets. My youngest daughter Amanda is a natural chef and was educated at Natural Gourmet Culinary School. We have fun cooking cooking together during the holidays. I also took courses at Natural Gourmet and learned how to cook with healthy ingredients and allergy free foods. The education gave me the ability to create my products.
My goal for the new year is to provide healthy food for anyone and everyone who wants to improve their health and happiness. Also, to provide holistic nutrition lifestyle counseling and cooking classes.
Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays with health and happiness!
I accredit my success of cooking throughout my life to my two aunts Rose and Antoinette. My mother's parents were born in Italy and sailed on that oh so common boat ride to the infamous Ellis Island; a place of relief, freedom and new beginnings.
They set their roots in Astoria, Queens and bought their first American home. My grandfather was a shoe maker and had his business on the first floor, and on the second floor there were two bedrooms where my grandparents and their eight children lived. Imagine that!
Skip to the day my mother had her own children, approximately 60 years later. Every Sunday when I was a child we would have family dinner with my two mother's sisters and grandmother in Astoria. Even though nowadays people fear the beginning of a new week, I was always excited and looked forward to be around family. Each time I walked in the door I always noticed how lovely the table was prepared, garnished with a fancy tablecloth, crystal glasses and flowers. We had a traditional four course Italian dinner, which consisted of a fruit cup, a roast, vegetables and of course pasta! We never left with our bellies grumbling and we shared many memories around the kitchen room table.
As for the various holidays during the year, my aunt's had their own traditions. A couple of days before Easter they would gather in the kitchen and would make their own baskets with handles made out of Italian cookie dough. In each basket they would put jelly beans, chocolate eggs and a chocolate bunny for us when we arrived on Easter. For Easter dinner we would have manicotti, leg of lamb, breaded, fried zucchini and artichokes, and pepperoni pie and Italian cheesecake for dessert. Antoinette would always asked, "Well, how do you like everything?", and before you could answer she would say, "Of course its good, it has the best ingredients!" As we would roll our eyes growing up at the annual comment, I always admired her pride for what she made for all of us. At Christmastime my aunts would start baking cookies on December 1st. They would store them large pickle jars and made 15 varieties to give to each of the families, which looked like works of art as well as being delicious.
In honor of my aunts Rose and Antoinette, even though they might be rolling in their graves, I would like to share with all of you a gluten free twist on their famous Lasagna dish to share with your families.
Amanda's Gluten Free Lasagna
1 big can crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes (San Marzano is a good Italian brand)
1 head garlic minced
2 shallots roughly chopped
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1 unpeeled carrot
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons thyme
oregano, no more than one teaspoon
fresh rosemary, no more than one teaspoon
1 cup fresh basil minced
Directions: Heat extra virgin olive oil then put in garlic & shallots until translucent. Add in dried herbs, cook for one minute, then add red wine and cook until almost reduced all the way. Add in tomatoes and 1/2 of tomato can of water, use immersion blender to make smooth. Add in balsamic vinegar and whole carrot. Take out carrot after 5 minutes of simmering. Bring to a boil, then to low simmer covered for 20 to 40 minutes. Turn of heat. Add salt & pepper to taste. Put in fresh herbs after blending.
Sauce (see above instructions)
1 box of Tinkyada brand brown rice
Pasta lasagna noodles
1 container of organic ricotta cheese
1 Mozzarella ball shredded (save a 1/4 of it for topping)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
To put the Lasagna together: use a Pyrex 9" by 11" pan
1. Cover bottom of pan with sauce.
2. Place uncooked noodles on top to cover pan.
3. Spoon sauce over noodles.
4. Mix all cheeses together in small bowl and drop teaspoon dollops on noodles an inch apart.
5. Place noodles on top of cheese and repeat from step one to six.
6. Place 3 layers of noodles and top with sauce and shredded mozzarella.
October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Everyone's lives have been touched in some way by knowing someone that has had Breast Cancer or by hearing on the news about a celebrity going through treatment.
My good friend and neighbor Peggy passed away from Breast Cancer about two weeks ago. She had her first case of Breast Cancer nineteen years ago. Everyone on Dartmouth Street was so upset for her and of course it was so difficult for her family, her husband Frank and her two sons Chris and Mike.
Peggy was a nurse. She would always look after the children's bumps and bruises on the block. Her response was always "You will be fine!". Peggy was very witty and always put a smile on everyone's face. I will miss her very much.
Dartmouth street was a wonderful place for our children to grow up. It was the '80s when children played outside and played pretend school or house. They would also put on mini plays. No play dates- just knocked on each other's doors and would walk in, as if a member of the family.
All the families including Peggy's would interchange houses to make dinner for the neighborhood kids. We had multiple block parties, birthdays, communions and graduation parties all on our block and backyards. We would celebrate every milestone together or just a impromptu barbecue.
All the children on the block are now all grown up and are creating families of their own. We shared many memories and milestones that we can recall to this day. No matter how far away we might be, we will always know Dartmouth Street to be a source of welcoming and home when we return.
As for my late friend and "family member", I would like to contribute some of my profits to Breast Cancer research organizations such as Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which Peggy was a proud supporter of. I will also be creating a new recipe, a gluten free Irish soda bread, in honor of the friendly, witty Irish woman I had the pleasure of knowing.
Irish Soda Bread (Gluten free)
Makes 1 Loaf, 20 mins prep time, 50 mins bake time
3 cups gluten free all purpose flour blend (I use Namaste)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup raisins
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup ghee
1 cup almond milk combined with 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 egg beaten
Blend flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, honey, coconut oil and ghee with pastry blender unlike it looks like cornmeal. Add raisins and mix. Blend in beaten egg and almond milk mixture just until mixed. Form in a round loaf and place in a 10" round glass pie dish greased with coconut oil or ghee. Brush a little coconut oil or ghee on the top of the loaf. Make an x shaped slit in the uncooked loaf with a knife. Cook at 375 degrees for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Serve and enjoy!
Fall season is here and what does that mean? Congestion, allergies and flu season! If you know you are one of those people who coughs and sneezes, read below to find some simple yet healthy ways to boost your immune system!
Step one: Diet
Step two: Prevention
Step three: Protect your environment (if someone around you is sick)
For info on children go to www.theholisticmama.com
TUSCAN WINE & BEAN!
A taste of Tuscany with Placido Pinot Grigio white wine paired with chickpeas and white beans.
Gluten, dairy, peanut and sugar free. Also vegan!
Additional ingredients are parsnips, tomatoes, carrots, leeks.
White Beans are good for fiber and protein, and leeks are loaded with probiotics!
I will give you $1 off your soup if you are a returning customer and bring back the jar! YAY!
Cooking classes for individuals, small or large groups are available NOW if you call, email or facebook message me!
One on one consultations are available by appointment.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to everyone who showed up on Saturday! Here are pictures I took from the party!
I'll be sending out emails and posting on my blog flavors of the week and other announcements. Please look out for them! The soup of the week (or for the next two weeks) is CROWN CREAMY VEGETABLE! The ingredients I used to make this soup are cabbage, broccoli, coconut milk and miso. Here is a picture below of my soup!
My daughters and I have been creating gluten free and dairy free foods for about 8 years. I had digestive problems all my life. My middle daughter, Erica, had stomach problems since she was little. The doctors did not know why.
Erica and I started our healthy journey when we both went to school together at Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Two years later, Erica became very sick with Lyme disease. We went to Dr. Jonathan Dashiff, a doctor who specializes in Integrative Medicine, who was so caring and knew how to treat the cause of Lyme with many different approaches. He also said it was very important to follow a very strict gluten free diet, which means cutting out wheat, rye and barley. So long spaghetti and pizza :(
Dr. Dashiff also said I should get a blood test to test for celiac since Erica had to get it from a gene that a may have. So the blood test came out positive. It turns out that Erica had celiac too, but found out later in life.
We take family recipes and convert them to gluten and dairy free by adding or substituting ingredients. They are so much healthier and better for you than store bought food! Our first recipes that we made were Blueberry Green Tea Muffins, biscottis and macaroons. Then we started changing our whole diets to gluten free and felt ten times better! I never thought my friends and family would like my recipes so much, but to my surprise, I created a small business out of it. People always come to me on a daily basis telling me that my advise of substituting dairy or gluten with other ingredients really helped them in their day to day living.
Even though it was a rough time long ago when Erica was sick, I see it as a blessing in disguise because we would have never went to Dr. Dashiff, would have never found out our allergies, and would not have changed our diets for the better. I also would have not created my business or gone to Integrative Nutrition, and most importantly, would not be able to counsel people on living healthier lives.
I am so excited about hosting the Zen Sweetz Grand Opening Party on September 24th! My goal is to provide homemade, organic soups and sweets. I created my delicious recipes for my cooking classes that I have been doing for the past 10 years. I also have previously catered yoga retreats, and through popular demand, started selling soups and gluten free vegan muffins.
My purpose of creating Zen Sweetz foods is to introduce healthy, no-guilt delicious recipes! My food will add in nutrition with vitamins and minerals, and will be very satisfying!
Are you willing to take on the challenge of Zen Sweetz? It will change your life to turn out the best you can be!
Please RSVP to my Grand Opening Party via Facebook on September 24th from 3:00-5:00PM at my house, 59 Dartmouth Street in Rockville Centre, NY, and please bring a friend! I will announce soup choices of the week and will be selling soup and sweets every other week by special order. You can either pick them up at my house on Thursday or Saturday nights, or if it is a bigger order I can make arrangements for delivery. Whatever works best for you!
Hi everyone! OK so I have been receiving some questions about the services I provide for Zen Sweetz and I wanted to clear up some confusion.
What to eat for any meal can be stressful and a chore. Being prepared every week will save you time money and your health.
Cooking at home is easy when you have a stocked pantry and refrigerator. We will cook easy healthy recipes in class that can be used to create several different meals. I will provide recipes, shopping lists and a weekly planner.
The recipes will include gluten free and dairy free soups, vegetable dishes, grains dishes and desserts. Having an organized kitchen will lead to an organized life.
To sign up for this cooking class (taught by me!), please visit http://rvccommunityed.mypinnaclecart.com/ and click on the tab for "Adult Education" and then click on "Cooking". The class is titled "How to Create a Delicious and Healthy Weekly Meal Plan" and from there you can pay for the class online which is $55 per person and there is an additional $30 extra cost for ingredients and materials. If you are not a resident of Rockville Centre, NY, there is a $5 additional fee BUT if you are a senior citizen you will receive $10 off the total admission. Let me break this down for you:
Total cost of class and materials for adults living in the town of Rockville Centre: $85.00/ Seniors: $75.00
Non-resident (does not live in Rockville Centre) but is an adult: $90.00/ Seniors: $80.00
The class starts September 21, 2016 on Wednesday nights from 7:30-9:00pm for a total of six weeks. This is a great opportunity to buy a cooking class for that family member or friend who either has an allergy or knows someone close to them that does, or simply one who wants to learn how to cook healthy meals!
Refer a friend deal: If you are a returning customer or client, please bring friends and family members! If you bring someone new to my class, you will receive a free organic product and your friend will receive a free consultation with me!
Hope to see you there!