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Tasty Elements, Tips and Time-savers

Straight talk on food and nutrition.

About Garlic

Why do I suggest chopping garlic and waiting 10 minutes before cooking?

Quick whole grains for better nutrition

Here are a couple of suggestions that are great everyday options.

About Tempeh
What is it? Is it good for me? How do I use it?

Berried Secrets

A little about the health benefits of fresh, canned and frozen berries.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Why are they called cruciferous and why are they so good for you?

Reducing Fat in Cream Sauces

Yogurt based “Cream” Sauces are rich tasting and offer a bright tangy finish.

Some canned goods are still rich in vitamins. Feel free to use them.
Good choices that remain high in vitamins and nutrients.


Time Savers

We all wish to eat well and cook meals from scratch. Here are a few discoveries that will help you get maximum health benefits and get it done a little quicker.

Quick Cooking Rice

Have perfectly cooked rice ready to go as you start fixing diner.

Homemade Quick Low-Sodium Tomato Salsa

How to make a quick, reduced-sodium tomato salsa.

Made from non-fat yogurt, quark is a great substitute for sour cream.

Basic Marinara Sauce

Delicious Marinara Sauce in 20 minutes.

Home Made Salad Dressings

Most dressings can be thrown together in 5 minutes. Here are 5 quick ones.

Tasty Elements

It’s all about flavor. Many of the elements included in recipes are also tasty stand-alone items. This section helps you reference elements you may need.


It is believed that the Aztecs discovered that mashed avocados were delicious over tortillas. It’s name is derived form the Nahuati word ahuacamolli which means an “avocado based sauce”.


Hummus dates back to ancient Egypt. However there are many cultures that happily lay claim to it. It really only needs two ingredients tahini and chickpeas. Here are several I’ve created or adapted to add interest to meals.



Traditional Hummus
Traditional Hummus made with garbanzo beans is what most of us recognize as the “go-to” hummus.  It’s seasoned with garlic, tahini, fresh parsley, lemon juice and often a touch of ground cumin.  

Basil Hummus
My version of basil hummus utilizes garbanzo beans, garlic, peanut butter, fresh basil, and lime juice.  It delivers a satisfyingly fresh flavor. 

White Bean Hummus 
Obviously, this version of hummus utilizes white beans, a touch of white truffle oil and rosemary with chopped Calamata olives.  It has a savory taste and is best used as an hors d’oeuvre spread.


The word pesto originates from the Northern Italian Genoese word pesta, meaning to pound or crush. The original pesto is traced back to the 16th century and was most likely a basil/pine nut/garlic/olive oil and cheese pesto. Today there are many varieties of pesto that add interest and robust flavor to recipes. If you can dream it up, it probably already exists in some form.

Traditional Basil Pesto
The most common or Genoese Pesto.  Made with Italian basil leaves and pine nuts.


Sicilian Pesto
Made with a mix of Italian basil, fresh marjoram and toasted almonds.


Cilantro/Lime Pesto
Pesto with an Asian flair.  This is made with fresh cilantro, lime juice and toasted peanuts. 

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto 
A tangy and savory pesto made with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lime juice, roasted peanuts and a touch of sesame oil and smoky paprika.


Sauces create flavor and add cultural identity to many dishes. Here are versions of some of mine.  I often 
re-engineer recipes to make the a little healthier.


Barbecue Sauce
t’s always good to know exactly what’s in your sauce.  This is an excellent Barbecue Sauce.

Eggless Aioli
This is an excellent substitute for Aioli without the cholesterol.  

Ponzu Sauce
You can overspend and buy commercially made Ponzu sauce.  Or make this simple version of the Japanese inspired sauce for cooking fish.

Poke Sauce
A spicy Asian/Hawaiian creation used to season various raw fish dishes.  I use it over cooked fish.

Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce
Classic sweet ‘n’ sour sauce is an excellent stand-by for Asian cooking.  Kids love it!

Tahini Sauce
t’s a standard sauce for food vendors in the Middle East.  I keep some on hand as it’s great on sandwiches.

Tzatziki Sauce
I love this cooling Middle Eastern cucumber dill sauce.  It’s delicious with a number of dishes.  

Teriyaki Sauce
This is another example of simply wanting to know what’s in the sauce I’m eating.  

Spice and Curry Combos

Here are a few spice combinations you’ll find in feature recipes.

Mexican Spice Mix|

I just call it Mexican as it is inspired by Southwestern and South-of-the border spice combos.

Homemade Masala Curry Spice

Curry covers a wide spectrum of spice combinations.  It really is what you make for the food you’re cooking.  This is one of my favorite combinations. 

Cajun Spice

Seasoning inspired by the French Canadian descendants in the bayou area of Louisiana.  They spoke an archaic version of French. They also developed a unique culture rich in music and spicy cuisine.  

African Chicken Spice

This East African inspired spice combo is delicious on chicken or your favorite plant-based choice. 

Kofta Spices

A delicious “go-to” Middle Eastern/Indian/Iranian ground meat kabob.

Tofu Treatment

Tofu is a pressed soy milk product that is made in a process similar to cheese making. It originated in China over 2,000 years ago. This wonder-food is high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs. One of the knocks on tofu is that it is pretty neutral in flavor. Some people don’t care for the texture.

I have a solution for that!

Marinated/Grilled Tofu

Here’s a great way to “punch-up” your tofu.  It is guaranteed to get your diner’s attention.