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Debbie Amster's

Nourishing Possibilities

Your guide to a healthy way of life
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Featured Recipe

Beet and Tomato Bisque

Ingredients

(Makes 8 cups)

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)

• 1 medium clove garlic, minced (1 teaspoon)

• ½ teaspoon salt

• 1 pound (4 small) red beets

• 1 pound carrots, cut crosswise in half

• 28 ounces canned plum tomatoes, drained

• 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

• 2 teaspoons sugar

• ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 or 2 lemons)

• 2 tablespoons minced parsley

• Sour cream or yogurt, for garnish

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and sauté for a couple of  minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion has softened. Add the beets, carrots, tomatoes, broth and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 1 hour, adjusting the heat so the liquid is just barely bubbling around the edges.

Use an immersion (stick) blender, and blend briefly to a coarse puree. (Alternatively, If you use a blender, transfer in batches; remove the center knob from the lid and cover the opening with a towel to contain splash-ups.)

Stir in the pepper, lemon juice, parsley and the remaining tablespoon of oil. Serve hot or cold, garnished with sour cream or yogurt.

Szechuan Cold Spicy Noodles

Ingredients

• 1 chicken breast (cooked, boned and shredded) optional

• 1 lb. Chinese noodles or thin spaghetti or substitute raw zucchini "noodles" for a healthy option

• 2 Tbs. vegetable oil

• 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil 

Sauce:
• 3 Tbs. sesame seed paste or peanut butter

• 6 Tbs. soy sauce

• 1 Tbs. vinegar

• 1 tsp. red hot pepper oil

• 1 tsp.sugar

• 2 Tbs. scallions, chopped

• ½ Tbs. chopped ginger

• ½ Tbs. chopped garlic

• ½ tsp. ground pepper

• 1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil 

• 1 Tbs. chopped roasted peanuts

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain and immediately put them on a platter or in a bowl with 2 Tbs. vegetable oil.  Put 1 Tbs. of toasted sesame oil on top of the noodles then toss until all the noodles are coated with oil and don’t stick together.

If using the chicken, place the shredded chicken on top of the noodles in a pile and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Mix the sesame seed paste or peanut butter with 1 Tbs. soy sauce in a small bowl.  Mix thoroughly then add another tablespoon until you have blended in all 6 Tbs. of soy sauce.

Add the remainder of the sauce ingredients to the above mixture.

When ready to serve, pour the sauce over the chicken and noodles.  Sprinkle the peanuts on top as a garnish.  Mix well.

Kitchari with Greens

Ingredients

• ½ cup quinoa • ½ cup red lentils 

• 1 medium onion coarsely chopped

• 1 stalk celery chopped

• 2 carrots chopped

• 1 fennel bulb chopped

• 1″ cinnamon stick

• 4 cloves

• 4 cardamom pods crushed – just seeds

• 1 tsp whole cumin seed

• 1 bay leaf

• ½ tsp turmeric powder

• 3 cups of water

• 1 Tbsp ghee or extra-virgin olive or coconut oil

• ½ - 1 bunch of kale, spinach or collards, chopped

• Salt to taste

Directions:

If you can, soak the quinoa and lentils for 7 hours and then rinse. This shortens the cooking time and eases digestion.  Drain the quinoa and lentils and then rinse. Heat the oil in a large pot and when hot sauté the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf. When the leaf starts going brown, add the whole cumin and sauté for a few seconds.

Then add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the turmeric and stir well. Add the quinoa and lentils and mix together with the veggies and spices.

Lower the flame to a medium heat, add the water, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the lentils lose their shape and the quinoa is cooked.   Add salt to taste and the greens.  Cook until greens are wilted.  The kitchari should have a runny consistency. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon and chopped cilantro.  Raita and or a chutney is nice to serve with the kitchari.

*Be flexible with the vegetables adding those you have on hand – cauliflower, peas, squash or potatoes would go well.

**You could substitute or add 1 Tbsp curry powder for the spices listed in the recipe.

Shakshuka

Ingredients

• 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, chopped, or one 28-ounce can tomatoes

• 2 large onions, chopped

• 3 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 green, red or yellow peppers, chopped

• 6 cloves garlic, chopped

• 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste

• ½ teaspoon sweet paprika

• ½ teaspoon hot paprika

• 1 teaspoon cumin

• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

• 2 teaspoons tomato paste 

• 12 large eggs

Directions:

1. In a large frying pan sauté the onions with a pinch of sea salt in oil 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and peppers and sauté an additional 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and spices and cook for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

2. Beat eggs and pour over tomato mixture and stir occasionally until set.

Adjust seasonings to your taste.  Eggs may also be poached in the sauce.

Watermelon Mint Smoothie

Ingredients

• 2 cups diced seedless watermelon

• 1 Tbs. fresh mint (you can substitute basil)

• 3-4 ice cubes

Directions:

Place ingredients in a blender, and puree.

More Recipes

Beet and Tomato Bisque
Szechuan Cold Spicy Noodles
Kitchari with Greens
Shakshuka
Watermelon Mint Smoothie
"

Debbie has been doing our Wellness healthy cooking class for the last three years.  Her recipes are easy, delicious, low cost and most important healthy. We look forward to learning something new every year.

Mary L. Joseph
,
Wellness Coach
,
Dept of Transportation, Montgomery County Public Schools

I have been extremely fortunate to experience a number of cooking classes with Debbie (so many I have lost count, at least 6, possibly more).  If you have an opportunity to experience a cooking class with Debbie, don’t miss it.  She offers helpful information about what spices and foods contribute to your health and wellbeing; what foods to buy organic and which you can skip; tips on how to cut, peel, and prepare ingredients; what more healthy ingredients to substitute for less healthy ones; and delicious food in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.  You even leave with recipes that you can (and will want to) recreate at home.  My family and I are very grateful for all that she has taught me.  Thanks, Debbie!

Nancy Kramer
,
Class Participant
,

I have had the pleasure and privilege to attend all of the classes that Debbie has taught for Loudoun County Public Schools. They are fun, informative and the food is fantastic. She always introduces each class to foods that are different and shows us how to prepare them. Debbie always has samples of the spices she uses. She has so much knowledge and always share it with a smile. I have prepared many of the recipes she introduced to us. They are easy and my family does not know they are nutritious because they taste so good. I look forward to more classes. Debbie, you are the best.

Phyllis Ford
,
Employee Health, Wellness & Benefits
,
Loudoun County Public Schools

I first met Debbie Amster when a friend told me about this amazing women who teaches others about the benefits and power of whole foods. I signed up for a spring cleanse that included weekly sessions on nutrition. She had me share with her what I wanted out of the sessions & she far surpassed that. She has such a passion for sharing her knowledge of living a healthy lifestyle. From delicious recipes, to sharing many websites, to taking advantage of local farms & markets -she is a wealth of information and helpful  advice. Her sessions also included dinner from recipes she shared with us and sometimes we took part in the actual cooking. She always kept things interesting as well as informative. She also let you know that you could call or email her anytime with questions. I attended a cooking demonstration at the local farmers market and one in her home. Again so interesting as well as informative & enjoyable.

Tracy Greaney
,
Class Pariticipant
,

Debbie has been one of our most popular demo chefs for several years now.  When she presents her delicious dishes, everyone is sure to be entertained, educated and enlightened.  She shows us how surprisingly easy and tasty healthy cooking can be!

Judy Newton
,
Chef Liason
,
Olney Farmers and Artists Market