Spicy Shrimp Griddlecakes

This recipe comes from an older cook book called Fresh Ways with Breakfast and Brunches. It's a Time Life Book. These were tasty and put me in the mind of hush puppies. I substituted unbleached all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour.

1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 sweet red pepper, seeded, deribbed and finely chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 2/3 cups low-fat milk
1/2 lb cooked, peeled baby shrimp
Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder,thyme, oregano, salt, white pepper and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Stir in the garlic, scallion and red pepper. Whisk in the melted butter and the milk, mixing until all the ingredients are just blended. Stir in the shrimp.
Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat until a few drops of cold water dance when sprinkled on the surface. Drop the batter a generous tablespoon at a time onto the griddle and use the back of the spoon to spread the batter into rounds. Cook the griddlecakes until they are covered with bubbles and the undersides are golden--one to three minutes. Flip the griddlecakes and cook them until the second sides are lightly browned-- about one minute more. Transfer the griddlecakes to a platter and keep them warm while you cook the remaining batter. Serve the griddlecakes piping hot, garnished with lemon wedges and sprigs of parsley. They go well with eggs, oven fried fish or alone.

Potato, Broccoli and Cauliflower Frittata (Italian)


Frittatas originated in Italy, and the ingredients were mainly leftover foods. Very similar to what has been noted about pizza; a poor man’s meal. Frittata became a craze in the states in 1952 after the first English recipe was featured in the New York Times.

Pepper, Potato, and Veggie Frittata (Italian)

¼ cup olive oil
½ cup diced and cooked leftovers (I used broccoli and cauliflower)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 potatoes unpeeled, thinly sliced
1 8 oz Package of cream cheese, cut into small squares
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 eggs

1. In a large flameproof frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat eggs until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat a broiler (griller) when the potatoes are tender saute leftover veggies, then pour in the eggs. Add cream cheese and sprinkle paprika
3. Cook, lifting the edges as needed to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath, until set around the edges, but still moist. About 10 minutes. Sit under the broiler until the top is set and golden, about 1 minute. Watch the pan closely that the frittata does not brown. Remove from the broiler and transfer to a serving plate. Serve hot, warm or room temperature. Cut into wedges.

Chinese Parsley (Cilantro)

Cilantro/Coriander - Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, produces both cilantro leaves and coriander seeds. Cilantro leaves are rich in calcium, iron, carotenes, and vitamin C. Eaten in large daily amounts, cilantro is said to mobilize mercury and other toxic metals out of the central nervous system. Cilantro also guards against skin cancer, increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels and decreases LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, and stimulates the endocrine glands. It’s a good source of iron and magnesium, thus is helpful in relieving anemia. Cilantro is also good in helping with flatulence, liver health, nausea, and urinary tract infections; it eases hormonal mood swings, and helps to reduce menstrual cramping. It also reduces bad breath. This is by no means an exhaustive list of benefits; the list of healing properties goes on and on. To learn more about cilantro’s healing properties, search the net for “benefits of cilantro”.

Sugar Blues...

White Sugar - White sugar is another big no-no at my house. White sugar is just as bad, if not worse, than white flour. White sugar as we know it today is unnatural; it is usually derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. As with white flour, it starts as a natural plant that has nutrients and minerals present. However, through the refining process, it is stripped of all vitamins, enzymes, proteins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients leaving only simple sucrose, more commonly known as table sugar. It is noted on a site called Organic Nutrition that the average American consumes 115 pounds of sugar a year. Sugar is an addictive substance that does more harm to the body than most narcotic drugs. The one thing that makes sugar unique from these narcotic poisons is that it is difficult and commonly illegal to buy them. Sugar however, is present in almost everything you purchase from the store.
The negative effects of sugar are too many to count; however, I am listing just a few here to give the reader a general idea. Sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay, bleeding gums, and deteriorating bone structure. Sugar consumption can lead to diabetes, hypo- and hyperglycemia, cancer, poor eyesight, lowered immune system, heart disease, the increased presence of bad forms of blood cholesterol, and it really wreaks havoc on the endocrine system, causing problems with all of its organs, including the pancreas, adrenal glands, and the liver. Sugar also can cause yeast infections, chronic fatigue, increased PMS symptoms, and increased weight gain, and it has been shown to cause hyperactivity in at least 50% of children.
My dietary alternative for white sugar is rapadura. This sugar can be found in your local health-food chain-type markets. In my area, I get it in bulk from a place called People’s Co-op. Whole Foods sells it as well.
So what make this sugar so special? It’s not as refined as white sugar. The way this sugar is produced is by extracting the juice from the sugar cane, and simply dehydrating it. There is no refinement, and it is not separated from the natural molasses that is present. Therefore, what you have is an all-natural sweetener with all the nutrients intact the way Allah intended. The taste is better than refined sugar, and it is actually good for you - in moderation of course. It has a caramel-type taste to it, and I replace it as the sweetener of choice in most of my baking. It is more costly than white sugar, but well worth it. And the way I rationalize it is that I try not to bake too often anyway, so it lasts a while. It’s great in cookies, most pies and cakes, muffins, and so on. The only thing that I don’t use it in is cheesecakes, yellow cakes, pound cakes, and lemon meringue pie, since their flavors may clash with a molasses taste. However, I don’t bake those things often, and when I do I use raw sugar or evaporated sugar cane crystals, as it’s also called, which is still less refined than white sugar.
Another fine substitute for white sugar is sucanat. There is no real major difference between sucanat and rapadura. They are both unrefined cane sugar. I just have more of an affection for rapadura. More expensive but acceptable substitutes include maple sugar, date sugar, agave, stevia, and honey. I have not tried these, but I know of others who have and say they work fine as sweeteners. I would recommend that those who are concerned for their health, but still have a sweet tooth, replace refined sugars with these all-natural sweeteners.

Vegetable Lo Mein (Chinese)

This is a very easy recipe. Satisfying and Delicious!

1 package of Brown Rice Pasta (Spaghetti)
1 half head of cabbage
3 carrots
2 sesame seed or olive oil
broccoli florettes cut thin (1-2 crowns)
Soy Sauce to taste
1 half onion diced
1/2 inch ginger root
1-2 cloves garlic

Cook brown rice pasta as stated on package. Be sure to add salt and oil to water. When tender, rinse starch off in a strainer two to three times.
Set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoon of oil. Stir fry each vegetable seperately along with part of the onions, ginger and garlic until all veggies and seasonings are gone. Add more oil if necessary. Stir fry veggies until they are tender, but still slightly crisp.
Add all veggies to a large mixing bowl. Add noodles to bowl. Add in soy sauce with amount to your liking, and more oil. (1-2 Tablespoons)

This is a favorite for my kids. They love them. You may keep this meal vegetarian or add chicken, beef or shrimp. Less carbs than spaghetti and meat sauce.

Cure All Cardamom!

Cardamom- Cardamom is known as the queen of spices, second only in reputation to black pepper, often called the king of spices. Cardamom is most helpful in relieving indigestion and heartburn issues. It also increases the appetite and soothes mucous membranes. Cardamom also helps to relieve bad breath, and urination problems, such as scant urination and burning urination. Cardamom tea can relieve depression, and it helps with such male sexual dysfunction as impotence and premature ejaculation.

Why not White Flour???

Enriched White Flour - I absolutely never cook with white flour, so you won’t find it in my kitchen cupboards. Why does white flour get the dietary thumbs-down? It’s made from wheat grain, just like whole wheat flour, right? That’s correct, however, the difference lies in which parts of the grain are used to make it. When the bran and germ are removed from the wheat grain, over 80% of the fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants are also removed, so much that the government requires five of the thirty nutrients removed to be added back in, producing what Americans know as enriched or fortified flour. Furthermore, it has been noted by Weston Price, the author of Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, that during the processing stage approximately 80% of the phosphorus and calcium content is usually removed, together with the vitamins and minerals provided in the embryo or germ. The evidence indicates that a very important factor in the lowering of reproductive efficiency of womanhood is directly related to the removal of vitamin E in the processing of wheat (op. cit., p. 480, “Nourishing Traditions”). Aside from all of this, it can be said that white flour is nutritionally useless, because the body breaks it down into a sugar. The body cannot tell the difference between eating a spoonful of sugar or a slice of white bread; the pancreas reacts by secreting insulin - a fat-storing hormone - stimulating the appetite and slowing the metabolism. With the Western diet so full of processed foods, the pancreas works overtime to balance the sugars consumed and eventually shuts down, causing low blood sugar, diabetes, and a handful of other problems.
Bleached white flour is even worse. Flour mills add chemicals in the bleaching process such as nitrogen oxide, chlorine, chloride, benzoyl peroxide, and even potassium bromate, a known carcinogen banned in Europe, Japan, and Canada. Many European countries ban the bleaching process entirely. Except for an off-white tint, unbleached flour is identical to bleached flour in terms of cooking; many professional chefs will not use bleached flour because of the slight chemical taste in the final product many can detect.
On the flip side, whole wheat flour is an excellent source of fiber because it uses the whole grain. Whole wheat flour acts as a cleansing agent for the colon, but it’s also good for the functioning of the heart as well. Taking in more fiber helps to reduce the likelihood of colon cancer, heart disease, hemorrhoids, acne, headaches, fatigue, and excess weight gain. For those who bake and are particular about the outcome of their baking products, there is an alternative to whole wheat flour called whole wheat pastry flour. I use this, and I rarely have to make adjustments in my recipes that call for white flour. For some people who may have a sensitivity to wheat gluten, you may find spelt flour more suitable. I use it sometimes, and find it to be more tolerable for my own gluten sensitivities. However, it doesn’t convert well in recipes where rising is essential, like those for biscuits and pancakes. Since there is very little gluten in it, it doesn’t rice much. It does work well, however, with cookies, pie crusts, and some cakes. Usually you add less liquid than a recipe calls for when using spelt flour. For those who have celiacs disease or other serious gluten allergies, you may try other alternatives such as coconut flour, almond flour, rice flour or other gluten free alternatives.

Hamburger Stroganoff

I borrowed this recipe from cd Kitchen, however I put my own twist on it. It was very tasty! Kids loved it! :)

2 tablespoons butter,or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup beef broth
3/4 cup organic cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
hot cooked brown rice noodles (I used spirals)

In large skillet, heat butter. Add onion and cook over med heat, stirring often, until softened, about 3 min. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms have given off their liquid and are lightly browned, about 5 min. Drain off liquid. Add beef and cook, stirring often to break up meat; until loses its pink color, about 5 min. Add salt and papper. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, 1 min. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 1 min.

Remove from heat and stir in sour cream. Return skillet to med. heat and cook, stirring constantly, just to warm sour cream through, about 30 seconds. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately over hot noodles.

Celebrating Celery

Celery is well-known for having many healing properties. Eating celery, and especially drinking its juice, can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer. It aids in breaking down and eliminating urinary stones and it helps to reduce weight by reducing cravings for sweets and rich foods. Furthermore, celery may help lower blood cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancer, aid in the smooth functioning of the kidneys, and act as a mild laxative and diuretic. A substance called polyacetylene in celery is an amazing source of relief for all inflammation diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, asthma, and bronchitis. Celery even has a calming effect on the nervous system. Celery is truly a blessing from Allah with its many benefits.