Inspired by the large box of fruit my daughter, a first year teacher, bought from the FFA club at her school I decided to make this for our New Years dinner. Refreshing, with just a few ingredients, it makes a great brunch salad and goes great with champagne or breakfast mimosa’s.
I hope you are enjoying the beautiful times spent with family and friends this holiday season and I thank you so much for all of the support throughout this past year.
Fresh Fennel & Orange Salad
2 oranges supremed*
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bulbs fresh fennel, sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and black fresh pepper
½ teaspoon chopped sage for garnish
Toss together and serve.
How to supreme an orange: Supreming an orange, or sectioning orange as it is otherwise called, is when you cut an orange (or other citrus fruit) down to its most tender sections. It is easy to do and all you need to get started is a very sharp paring knife.
Start by cutting off about 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of your orange. The fruit should be revealed so you can see exactly how deep you need to cut to remove the pith and peel. Working carefully, cut away all of the peel and tough pith from the fruit. Continue until all the pith and peel have been removed.
Once the peel has been completely removed from the fruit, note the thin, white membranes that divide up the orange into slices. Insert your knife as close to that membrane as possible and make a slice parallel to it, right to the center of the orange. Find the membrane on the other side of that orange section and make another slice down to the center of the orange. You should be left with a tender, juicy orange segment. Use a sharp knives for best results.
As the holidays quickly approach, there is a good chance you’re beginning to nom on all the delicious office sweets brought in by your co-workers to celebrate the season. It’s hard to resist all those delicious baked treats, right? Unfortunately, many of them are probably filled with white sugar and over-processed ingredients. That doesn’t mean you have to totally abstain from all the holiday celebrating going on around you, just be more conscious of what you’re putting into your body. Maybe your contribution to your office parties can contain whole grain flours and sugar alternatives! Here are some easy sweetening substitutions to make your favorite recipes a little more healthful. Complex sugars, like the ones listed below release slowly in our bodies, keeping that typical sugar rush and subsequent crash at bay—which may help you avoid packing on the holiday pounds! Try one and let me know how they turned out!
1 cup of white sugar =
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 1/4 cup barley malt
1 1/4 cup rice syrup
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1 cup date sugar
1 cup sucanat
1 cup fruit juice concentrate
1 cup honey
1 cup frozen unsweetened juice
1 cup palm sugar
*When using any liquid sweetener as a replacement for white sugar, reduce the liquid content by 1/4 cup. If no liquid is called for in the recipe, add 3-5 tablespoons flour for each 3/4 cup of liquid sweetener.
Winter is here, and along with it, comes winter recipe cards! Just in time for gifting at the holidays, or keeping for yourself, these cards contain plenty of soul-satisfying, belly warming, nutritious recipes to fill you up. The cards are sold in packs of 12 with an additonal bonus card, complete with a veggie wash recipe on one side and a produce helper on the other! Each set is $8 and can be purchased by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an email I received from one of my clients:
“I made some apricot nut muffins this morning with a recipe I found from a Moosewood Cookbook. It called for 1 c. Oat Bran but I didn’t have enough. I thought…what has Jo taught me? So I ground up some oatmeal and used that. The batter came out really dry and I thought again…what would Jo suggest? So I added a little more milk to moisten it. I never would have attempted either of these substitutions in the past but I am feeling more confident with your guidance. The muffins are very yummy! Thank you!!
Feeling confident in the kitchen is the greatest gift you can give yourself and that’s one of the major things I try to encourage in my students. Use your instincts, trust your tastebuds, and experiment! Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!
Need to add a little sparkling goodness to your holiday gathering without the guilt? Try this. It’s quick and easy to mix up and has some awesome health benefits.
Sparkle and Spice Drink
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (Florida Crystals)
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
Juice from 1/2 lime or orange
Chill 2 quarts of sparkling water.
Make a paste using the lime juice and all the other ingredients. Drizzle about ½ teaspoon of paste in a 10 to 12 ounce glass. Add ice and fill with chilled sparkling water, stirring. It will get very fizzy. Have slices of the citrus on hand to garnish the glass. Add more paste for more flavor or less for a hint of flavor.
Benefits of Ginger
• Great for digestion and easing nausea
• Excellent anti-inflammatory
• Boosts immunity
Benefits of Cinnamon
• Acts as an appetite stimulant
• Aids in digestion
• Helps balance blood sugar
Everyone loves to snack. Why not be sure it is an important part of your daily diet? Good-for-you snacks are more satisfying and a great way to get variety in your diet. And did you know nature provides the perfect fast food? Wrapper included!
Some delicious Grab and Go fruits and veggies to try:
• Pea pods
• Cooked Edamame
• Green Beans
• Cherry Tomatoes
• Sliced Zucchini
• Sliced Yellow Squash
• Snap Peas
• Baby Leaf Lettuces
Drink in your goals and dreams.
Every time I speak to a group, I present them with a challenge to think about their hydration level. If the only change a person makes is to increase how much water he or she drinks, it’s a step in the right direction!
Did you know that the proper hydration level is:
Half your body weight in ounces = amount of water needed each day
• crave sweet or salty snacks
• fuzzy memory
• foot cramps
Here’s a positive way to change your mindset AND your hydration habits!
Write messages or words on your favorite mug or drinking vessel, affirmations, goals, thoughts you want to ponder but be sure they are all positive—now drink in these messages each time you take a sip.
Feel the positive impact as you hydrate. The power of words and thoughts are immeasurable.
I am so pleased to announce my first collection of recipes cards. A collection of 12 of my favorite comforting, delicious and nutritious recipes to add to your rotation of mouth-watering foods for fall! Full color, double-sided, 4×6 inch cards perfect to fit in your recipe box or into your binder of “must try” recipes. Contact me at email@example.com for more information on how and where to purchase these gems.
This is the beginning of a wonderful new venture for me and I can’t wait to share it with all my current fans and clients as well as many new people I hope to reach all across the world who are HUNGRY for a change in their food lifestyle. But first, an introduction is an order.
I’m Jo Cessna, a natural cook with a passion to empower people to learn how to prepare and eat whole foods and learn about ingredients through education. The techniques that I have created are simple, easy and fun to implement, making every day eating enjoyable but most importantly healthy.
As a little girl I was fascinated with the process of putting ingredients together using only what was available on our family farm. But what really stirred my passion was sharing the food with the special people in my life and the great feeling it gave me knowing I could show how much I cared through the gift of food. I baked hundreds of hours under my Easy Bake oven light bulb to have stacks of cakes and cookies waiting for my family and neighborhood friends.
In 2008 I left my career in the food industry, ready to explore how I could make a difference using my gifts as an educator and cook. This curiosity led me to study in Boulder Colorado at “The School of Natural Cookery”, opening my palate to the amazing world of natural foods. This was the first major step on my journey—it tested my years of traditional cooking experience and methods and helped me learn to trust my intuition (we all have amazing inner knowledge we do not tap into). Upon returning home to the Midwest I decided to start my own cooking school from my home kitchen. The response has been tremendous, as the work from my kitchen counter has led me to working with cancer patients and caregivers, moms of preschoolers, high school students, factory employees, opera students at the local university and hospitals and health care clinics. The connections that are made around my kitchen counter are heartwarming. People are hungry for knowledge on how to eat cleaner but also hungrier for the community of gathering, learning and experiencing with surprise the wonderful taste of real food.
Also, I’ll let her introduce herself, but my niece Ann will be a regular contributor to the blog as well. Together, we hope to give you a wide range of exciting and interesting topics to discuss. I hope this blog will act as my virtual “kitchen counter” where we can all gather together to share food, love and life!