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Here are some the recipes people have requested:

Coming Soon:Coconut Buttermilk Pie,Whole Grain salads

Curried Spinach w/Tofu and coconut milk is on the isimmer blog

Garbanzo Bean & Garlic Soup with lemon and Tahini

Makes 3 quarts
2 tablespoons fresh chopped garlic
1-8 ounce onion, large dice
3 tablespoons olive oil 6 cups salted vegetable stock
1 cup of water
1/4 t. cayenne
1/4 t. white pepper
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
4-14 ounce cans garbanzo beans (2 cans undrained 2 cans drained)
1/3 cup tahini 2 cups non-fat yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/4 cup lemon juice

Place oil in a 3 quart pot; add garlic and onion, sautéing until onions are translucent. Add stock, water and spices then bring to a boil. Add garbanzo beans, 2 cans undrained, cover then simmer for a half hour.

Add yogurt and tahini, then carefully blend with a hand blender until smooth. A standard blender may be used in place of the hand blender, but I recommend the hand blender for quick clean up. Just before serving, stir in parsley, chives, and lemon juice.

California Sushi Rice Salad

This is a version of the Sushi Rice Salad that was published in the June 2002 issue of Cooking Light magazine. I modified it by adding shrimp and avocado. This recipe was published in the California Soups and Salads 2006/2007 Academic Calendar by Susan J. Beach

Serves 6


1 1/2 cup of uncooked Calrose short grain rice
1 3/4 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse the rice thoroughly in a sieve. Drain well Bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil in medium sauce pan; add the drained rice and salt, then stir. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; uncover and cool to room temperature.

Remaining Ingredients:
1/2 cup (2 inch) julienne-cut peeled cucumber
1/2 cup julienne-cut carrots
1/4 cup green onions sliced on the bias
1 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and steamed (optional)

1/3 cup of rice vinegar
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 garlic clove minced
2 1/2 teaspoons prepared wasabe ( a tube found in Asian markets or in the Asian section of supermarkets or powder to taste)

1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
1 sheet of nori (seaweed) cut into 2 inch long julienne strips

To prepare dressing, combine vinegar, vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger garlic and wasabe in large glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the cooled rice, cucumber, carrots, green onion, and shrimp; mix well. Place the salad in a serving bowl. Dice the avocado and toss with the lime juice. Garnish the salad with sesame seeds, nori and avocado.

Puree of Winter Vegetable Soup with Dill

Servings: 6

2 tablespoons of butter
1 leek washed, sliced, then rinsed again
1/2 pound golden beets
1 pound turnips
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes
1 carrot
1 tart crisp apple
5 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill
1/4 teaspoon dill seed
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup low fat yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped chives


Wash and peel vegetables and apple then cut into quarters or equal sized pieces, since the soup is a puree. Place butter in a 3 quart soup pot and melt. Sauté sliced leek until wilted. Add beets, turnips, potatoes, carrot, apple, broth, water, salt, pepper, dill and dill seeds. Cover and bring liquid to a boil; turn down to a simmer for 45 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree until smooth. Incorporate sour cream and yogurt and blend again. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped chives.

Maple Pecan Pie

Serves 8


2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream (or buttermilk)
1/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
1 unbaked pie shells (9-inches in width and 1-3/4 inches deep)


Preheat oven to 350° . Beat eggs until frothy. Stir in butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, heavy cream, flour, vanilla and salt. Place pecans in pie shell then pour maple mixture into shell. Bake pie on sheet tray lined with parchment for 55 minutes or until the center of the pie is dome shaped.

Maple Cream Pie

1 raw 9-inch pie shell from the freezer section of the grocery store
3 eggs
1/3 cup salted butter melted
1 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream or buttermilk
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix in order eggs with butter, syrup, sugar, dairy, vanilla then blend in flour. Pour into room temperature pie shell. Place on a foil or parchment paper lined tray. If there is extra batter pour into custard cup and bake with the pie.Bake at 350 degrees for 45minutes to an hour until the center has puffed up and is rounded.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Serves 6

These potatoes are very flavorful and have a crisp outside and tender inside. The trick to this recipe is washing the potatoes in advance so they are fairly dry before preparation and that the potatoes are salted before adding the oil. I prefer using granulated garlic for this recipe because it offers a more uniform flavor. I also recommend adding a hint of freshly chopped rosemary for a change of pace.


2 pounds red skinned potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
light olive oil to liberally coat potatoes
2 teaspoons chopped garlic garlic
1 ½ teaspoon paprika (not spicy Hungarian paprika)
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
pan spray as needed

Trim potatoes then wash and drain for 1 hour so they are no longer wet. Preheat oven to 450° . Cut potatoes into uniform 1/2-inch slices then salt liberally. Coat salted potatoes with olive oil, garlic, paprika and ground pepper. Toss the potatoes with the oil and spices then arrange on jelly-roll, pan coated with pan spray. Potatoes should not be stacked on each other; instead each slice of potato should be laying flat on the pan.

Place potatoes in the oven and set timer for 30 minutes. Then rotate the pan and gently flip the potatoes with a metal spatula. Continue roasting the potatoes for 20-25 minutes or until the potato flesh is golden brown in color. Using the spatula gather the potatoes to one side of the pan then prop the pan up on that side so the oil drains to the empty side. Once drained, place the potatoes in a serving dish and keep warm until served.

Parsnip and Apple Soup with Horseradish

Parsnip lovers rejoice; this one's for you! This recipe was written for a friend that was increasing his fiber intake and reducing his fat intake.

Serves: 4-6

1-1/2 tablespoons butter
1 pound of medium parsnips
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, 10 ounces (or use 1-1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
3/4 cup canned, unsweetened applesauce
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
a generous pinch of cayenne pepper
a pinch of ground bay leaf or 1 whole bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt (depending on salt content of broth)
3-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of prepared horseradish sauce (the sharper the better)

This soup is pureed, so there is no need to cut the vegetables to a uniform size. Peel the parsnips and potatoes, then rinse with water. To core the parsnips, cut each one from top to bottom on all four sides, squaring off the fibrous core. Discard the cores. Cut the cored pieces in half, widthwise . Then cut the potatoes in quarters, lengthwise. Peel the onion, core, then cut into roughly eight pieces.

In a large heavy gauged soup pot, place the butter , parsnips, potatoes, onion, seasonings, salt, chicken stock, water and applesauce.* Bring to a boil over high heat. When the stock has boiled , turn heat to medium. Allow the liquid to simmer covered, for 45 minutes. Add the horseradish to the soup and remove the bay leaf. Blend the soup with a hand - held or standard blender, until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and horseradish.

Note: if using a regular blender, use caution when pureeing hot soup, and blend in small amounts.

Black Bean Chipotle Soup

Serves: 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/4 cups diced yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups salted chicken broth (fresh or canned)
1 (14 ½ oz.) can of kidney beans, drained
2 (15-oz.) cans unseasoned black beans, drained
2 individual chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
Whole cilantro leaves
1 lime cut into wedges

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-heat. Add diced onion and garlic and sauté until transparent. Add spices and continue cooking for 1 minutes. Add chicken broth, kidney beans, black beans, chipotle peppers with sauce, and tomato paste. Simmer uncovered over medium heat for 45 minutes. Add baking soda. Some foaming will occur as the acid in the tomato paste is neutralized.

Add ½ cup sour cream/yogurt to the hot soup mixture. Carefully puree the hot soup with a hand immersion blender. The soup will be flecked with bean skin when it is pureed. Hold over low heat until served. Fold in the Chopped cilantro just before ladling soup into bowls. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of the remaining sour cream or yogurt, cilantro sprig, and a lime wedge.

Chipotle Potato Salad with Fresh Corn

I cook my potatoes whole for potato salads because the potatoes have a better texture in the end. Before boiling potatoes, always salt the water liberally. Because the potato starch absorbs liquid as it cooks, it is easier to salt the potatoes during the cooking process rather than after. When the smaller potatoes begin to float, take it as an indication that they are almost done. The use of a kitchen timer also helps to ensure that you don't overcook your spuds.

Serves 6

2 tablespoons salt for cooking potatoes
1-1/2 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes, uniform in size
2 ears (1-1/2 cups) cooked corn on the cob, cut off the cob
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons adobo sauce*
2 small chipotle peppers, seeded, deveined, and chopped**
1 small yellow onion, diced
20 stems of cilantro leaves, pulled from stem and then chopped

Rinse the potatoes, and place them in a large soup pot.  Cover potatoes with water, bringing water level to three inches above the tops of the potatoes.  Bring potatoes to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Test a potato for doneness-the center of the potato should not resist being pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes and allow them to cool.

To cook the corn on the cob, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, drop in corn, turn off heat and cover pot. Drain after 5 minutes. Cool and cut off the cob. On hot summer days, to cut down on heat in the kitchen I place the corn in a zip-lock plastic bag and microwave it on high for eight minutes.

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, sugar, salt, adobo sauce, and chopped chipotle pepper.

While the potatoes are still warm to the touch, gently pull off the skins and discard. Dice potatoes into 3/4 inch pieces and place them in a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add corn, onions, chopped cilantro, and mayonnaise mixture. Mix well and refrigerate until served.
*Adobo sauce is the red sauce that is canned with the chipotle peppers.
**Use gloves or plastic bag to handle chipotle peppers.

Black Lentil and Roasted Eggplant Stew

Most people are surprised at how satisfying this flavorful dish is. Its a perfect vegan meal that has plenty of protein when teamed up with long grain brown rice and a tossed salad. Black lentil can be found at health food stores.

Serves 6


2 medium eggplant
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
1 teaspoon dry basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
pan spray as needed

Preheat oven to 450° . Trim the top and tail of the eggplant, then slice off the outer skin and dice into1-1/2-inch cubes, place in a large stainless steel or glass bowl.  Salt the eggplant then toss with oil, garlic, herbs, paprika and pepper.  Prepare a jelly roll pan with pan spray and spread the eggplant mixture on the pan.  Bake for 30 minutes, turn and stir eggplant, baking for 20 more minutes.  Once the roasted eggplant is caramelized it should appear dark brown to black in color.

Additional Ingredients:

2 cups black lentils
5 cups water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt

Sort and rinse lentils then place in a saucepan.  Add water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Turn down to a simmer and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes then stir in tomato paste and salt.  Add the cooked eggplant to the lentils; then stir in lemon juice.  Bring stew to a boil; turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Remaining Ingredients:

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Stir in lemon juice and parsley just before serving over steamed rice.

Spicy Butternut Squash with Peanuts and Coconut milk

As a variation to this recipe try making it with peeled garnet yams. I think you'll find it to be equally delicious. Use a saute pan with a tight fitting lid to cook squash, this will reduce the cooking time and ensure that the squash cooks evenly. Serve over brown rice.

Serves: 4


1 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 2-1/2 lb butternut Squash
3/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons yellow curry powder
1-15 ounce can of coconut milk
2 tablespoon olive oil

Peel, seed and cut squash into 1-1/2 inch cubes.  Dice onion, mince garlic and slice pepper.

Heat oil over high heat; add onions, garlic and pepper then stir.  When the onions become transparent add the squash, salt, and water.  Cover; lower heat to medium and let simmer until the squash is tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Adjust the heat to low; add coconut milk and cook for 5 minutes. 

Additional Ingredients:

1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
3 tablespoons toasted coconut
25 stems of cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, sliced on the bias
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Taste and adjust seasoning.  Just before serving sprinkle with chopped peanuts, coconut, cilantro and green onions then stir in lime juice.

Chilled Ginger-Peach Soup

I created this soup one day with little else on hand to make a cold soup.  It was declared a keeper.  If you have four juicy yellow peaches on hand plunge them into boiling water for one minute then place in an ice bath.  Slip the skins off, pit and use in place of canned peaches.  Increase the sugar to taste.

Serves: 4


3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
1/3 cup peach syrup from canned peaches
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 cups ice cubes
1, 29-ounce canned sliced peaches, drained
1/4 cup lime juice
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1-1/3 cups low-fat plain yogurt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Gather all ingredients, a stainless steel bowl and blender.  Place ginger, peach syrup, sugar and half the ice in a blender, pulse until smooth.  Pour ginger mixture into bowl.  Puree remaining ice, lime juice and peaches. Reserve one cup of puree in blender, add the yogurt, salt, and cinnamon; blend thoroughly then whisk together with other ingredients. Refrigerate soup for an hour or two before service. Place bowls in freezer so they are cold and frosty when soup is served.

Jicama and Avocado Salad with Lime Juice

When shopping for jicama, pick the smaller ones; they have the best flavor and texture.
To get the most crunch out of your jicama, cut it up, then soak it in salt water and refrigerate overnight. 

Serves 4


1 pound jicama
1 pint basket of cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
2 limes
1/2 teaspoon salt
a pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Peel jicama, then cut into 1/2-inch x 3-inch sticks and place in bowl.

Wash cherry

tomatoes; cut in half and add to jicama. Peel avocado and dice into 1/2-inch pieces;

squeeze lime juice over avocado. Season ingredients with salt and cayenne, then add
chopped cilantro and toss. Refrigerate until served.  

Garden Fresh Cucumber Salad

Serves 4


2 medium cucumbers
4 cups water
2 tablespoons salt

Slice cucumbers, with the peel on, very thinly. Soak for two hours in heavily salted water. Submerge the cucumbers completely by weighting them down with a plate.


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup water
freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

Drain the cucumbers and place in syrup for 24 hours. Serve chilled

Scalloped Oysters

Serves 6

Preheat oven to 350 °
pan spray as needed
2 sleeves of saltine crackers crumbled in package
2 cups of half & half or whole milk
1/2 cup melted butter
2 pints of oysters rinse well in cold running water to remove sand
Discard the oyster juice from the jar
freshly ground pepper

Crushed crackers and toss in melted butter.

Spray a two quart baking dish with pan spray. Place a layer of cracker crumbs on the bottom of the dish. Place the oysters on top of the crumbs. Cover the oysters with the remaining cracker crumbs, pour in the half and half; then add ground pepper to taste.

Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until oysters are cooked. Best when served hot.

Cherry Scones with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut

Makes 12


3 cups a.p. flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1stick) plus t tablespoon salted butter
1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 egg, mixed with 3 tablespoons water
sugar for sprinkling-optional


Preheat oven to 375. Mix flour, sugar, brown sugar and baking powder in a bowl.  Cut the cold butter into the flour, working into a mealy consistency.  Add dried cherries, ginger and coconut to the flour mixture. Combine buttermilk, and coconut extract separately, then add to dry ingredients and gently mix. 

Turn dough onto a floured surface, patting with floured hands, until it holds together, handling as little as possible.  Divide dough, shaping into two flattened circles 2-1/2 inches in height.  Cut each round as you would a pie, into six wedges.  Place wedges on a parchment lined tray, at least 2-1/2 inches apart.

Whisk egg and water together in a small bowl. Brush scones with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning tray after 15 minutes.  The scones should be golden brown on the bottom.  Cool on tray for 10 minutes before handling or serving.

Published in the San Jose Mercury News August 10, 2005

Peach Ginger Jam

Makes about 7 cups


4 cups finely chopped firm but ripe yellow peaches, about 3 pounds of whole peaches
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
1 box Sure Jell Fruit Pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
5-1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, chopped

Peel, pit and finely chop peaches.  Prepare mixture according to pectin directions, when sugar is added, add the ginger and proceed with the canning process, ladling mixture into clean, hot sterilized canning jars, to within 1/4 inch of rim. Wipe jar rims with clean, damp cloth and fit with lids and rings, Process in boiling water for 5 minutes (water should cover jars by about and inch) and cool on wire rack. Make sure jars have sealed, then store in a cool, dry place.

Published in the San Jose Mercury News August 10, 2005

How to peel a peach:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Place peaches in boiling water for 60 seconds, less time for smaller peaches. Scoop peaches out of hot water and place in cold water.  The skin should slide right off.

All site content copyright 2006-2014, Susan Beach.