Recipes: Cooking At Home

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4 Bean Salad Recipe, no sugar added
4 Bean Salad Recipe, no sugar added

Make Ahead Make Over 4 Bean Salad

Makes 12 Small Servings

In a blender, add in this order:

1/2 cup extra light olive oil

1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar with the mother

1 packet stevia plus monk fruit

1/2 teaspoon sea salt with iodine added

1/4 teaspoon cayenne red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/3 large sweet onion, diced

1 medium sweet bell pepper, (green, red, yellow, or orange), diced

Blend until the raw vegetables are finely chopped.

In a 64 ounce glass container with a lid, add:

1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans, well rinsed and drained

1 (16 ounce) can white kidney beans, well rinsed and drained

1 (16 ounce) can chick peas, well rinsed and drained

1 (16 ounce) can no salt added green beans, well rinsed and drained

Pour the blender contents over the bean mixture; stir well.  Cover with lid and refrigerate, several hours, stirring occasionally.  Like all make ahead recipes, it’s always better the next day!

Florida Fun Times Hibiscus Punch

Florida Fun Times Hibiscus Punch

6 pure hibiscus tea bags (I order this from Nile Valley Herbs)
spring water
3 stevia plus monk fruit packets, I use the Kal Brand
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup 100 % cranberry juice with no additives, sweeteners, or other juices
2 cups Pom Wonderful juice, or other brand of 100 % unsweetened pomegranate juice

In a saucepan, place tea bags and enough spring water to cover plus half inch. Bring to a boil. Boil for five to seven minutes. Turn off the heat and let the infusion of water and tea sit until it is cool.

Meanwhile squeeze and measure out 1/4 cup of lime juice. Set aside.

When the tea has cooled, remove each tea bag, and give them a good squeeze to save every drop.

Place a canning funnel, or other funnel, on top of a 64 ounce glass container. Pour in the hibiscus infusion. I usually sit the glass container in the sink. It’s easier that way.

Kal Stevia plus Monk Fruit
Kal Brand Sweetener

With a table knife, one at a time, stir in each of the three Kal packets, mixing well after each one with the long table knife.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring well.

Add enough spring water to fill the glass container. Cover with the container top, or with waxed paper and a rubber band.

Keep refrigerated. Enjoy over ice, or straight up.

Elderberry Smoothie


1 cooked elderberry frozen cube, see YouTube video "Elderberry Time"
3/4 c. fresh blueberries
enough Kefir or yoghurt to cover fruit
2 Tablespoons Lecithin Granules
1 packet Pure Stevia Extract Plus Lou Han (Monk Fruit)

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

Note:  The above proportions were to accommodate an average size blender.  My device is decades old and produces a 30 ounce drink.  In the smoothie pictured, I also added a few frozen papaya chunks, extra ice, and I used raspberry flavored Kefir.  For this amount I used only 1 packet of the sweetener, since the Kefir was already sweet.

Breakfast TECHNIQUE:

Florida Fun Times Waffle Blintz

frozen waffles

ricotta cheese

greek yoghurt


For each serving,  place a frozen waffle or two on a microwave safe dinner plate.  Spread as much ricotta cheese on the frozen waffle as you like.


Cover with another microwave safe dinner plate of the same size, making sure that a waffle does not stick out.


Microwave for approximately 1 minute, depending on your microwave and the number of waffles.  Use pot holders and very carefully remove from your microwave.  Do NOT allow a child to do this step.

Remove upper plate carefully, as it will be hot and the waffles will be too.  The waffles will be steamed soft.  On one half of each waffle, spoon on some greek yoghurt.  My preferred greek yogurt for this is vanilla flavored.  If that is not available, my next favorite for this recipe is plain yogurt with pure maple syrup mixed to taste.  I add only a little, just enough to take the edge off of the tartness of the yoghurt.

Since the waffles will still be hot, fold them over using your fork.  Spoon any jam you like on top.  In this picture, I used a blueberry lemon jam.  The frozen waffles in this picture are a whole grain with added blueberries.  Give yourself and your family several options and allow everyone to discover their favorite combination of waffle and yoghurt.

Enjoy your waffle blintz any day of the week for breakfast, or even for a quick supper with other fillings and toppings.  It's the quick and easy technique that is the key to this "recipe."  And if you are too rushed for time for even this technique, but enjoy time in the kitchen the night before, have a fun time experimenting and making the following "Florida Fun Times Black Friday Power Breakfast" your own!

Florida Fun Times Black Friday Power Breakfast

Basic Recipe:

For each serving, you make the day ahead (on Thanksgiving evening in time for Black Friday)

Basic Ingredients:

Florida kumquats, you will need 2 per serving

Cottage cheese, you will need 1/4 cup per serving

Plain Greek style yogurt, you will need 1/2 cup per serving

Sweeteners of your choice

Flavorings of your choice

Cereal or granola of your choice, (can also use cookies of your choice), you will need 1/2 cup or more per serving

Toppings of your choice

Other fruits of your choice

In food processor finely chop 2 washed and seeded  Florida kumquats.  Set aside in small bowl and mix with your favorite sweetener to taste.  My sweetener of choice for the kumquats is Florida orange blossom honey.

Without rinsing food processor, whip 1/4 cup of cottage cheese until smooth.  I like to use the cottage cheese with fiber added, but you may use any type you have on hand.  Transfer to a large bowel.  Add 1/2 cup of plain greek style yogurt.  To this mixture add your favorite sweetener and any flavoring of your choice.  Suggestions will follow.

In tall glass, begin layering your power breakfast with a dash of cereal on the bottom.  Cover with a dab of the yogurt/cottage cheese mixture.  Then add 1/2 teaspoon of the kumquat honey mixture.  Continue layering ingredients, ending with the yogurt/cottage cheese mixture.  Sprinkle  with a topping, if desired.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Serve with ice tea spoons. Consume before the third night.

Suggestions for flavorings, pure vanilla and/or almond extract (one half teaspoon per serving).  Concentrated juice, such as black cherry.  Cocoa and/or instant coffee crystals are delicious.  Peanut butter or other nut butters may be mixed or swirled into this mixture.

Suggestions for cookies:  vanilla cookies combined with sliced bananas.  Intense dark chocolate  cookies with peanut butter, oatmeal cookies with blueberries.

Suggestions for toppings, any nuts, finely chopped cacao beans, coconut, especially toasted coconut, cinnamon, cardamom, granola or other cereal.

Tofu Cornbread

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup milk

1/2 baking soda

1/2 12 ounce package Mori-Nu firm tofu, rinsed and drained; (6 ounces of firm tofu)

1 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons salad oil

1/4 cup flour

2 Tablespoons honey

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

2 large eggs

Oven temperatures vary.  Preheat oven to approximately 400 degrees.

Prepare 9 inch by 9 inch baking pan with nonstick spray.

In large bowl, mix together baking powder, soda, and salt.  Add flour and mix well.  Add cornmeal and mix well.

In blender, add milk and tofu.  Blend well.  Add salad oil and then honey.  Blend well.  Add eggs and blend well.

Fold blended ingredients into dry ingredients.  Pour into pan and bake approximately 30 minutes.

(Put the other half of the tofu into a bowl and cover with water then refrigerate.)

FloridaFunTimes Sweet Tea

1 teabag white tea

1 teabag hibiscus

1 teabag green tea

4 stevia packets

1 teabag oolong

1 Tablespoon blackstrap molasses

1 teabag black tea with lemon

2 quarts boiling water, 1 cup cold water, ice cubes

Have ready a stainless steel pitcher (available at Crate & Barrel and some restaurant supply stores), small binder clips from the office supply store, and a kitchen timer.

Fill a 2 quart pan with water and put it on the stove to boil.  Meanwhile, clip the paper tabs of the tea bags to the edge of the pitcher.

When the water just starts to boil, pour the water into the pitcher over the teabags to steep.  Set your kitchen timer to 1 minute.  After it rings remove the white teabag.  Set your timer to 2 minutes.  When it rings remove the green teabag.  Set your timer for 2 minutes again.  When it rings remove both the black teabag and the oolong teabag.  Set your timer for 5 minutes.  When it rings, then remove the final, hibiscus, teabag.

Now add the Tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and mix well.  Next pour in the 8 ounces of cold water.  Mix well.  Then add four packets of stevia (I use Wholesome Sweeteners Organic).

Mix well.  Pour over tall glasses of ice cubes and enjoy!

Note: I set my pitcher down in the sink when I am pouring boiling water into it.  Also, if you do not have a stainless steel pitcher, a large pan that will hold enough liquid and fit into your sink will work.

Curried Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Serves One

1 sandwich roll, whole grain

pepper, fresh ground

1 egg

iodized sea salt

nut or seed butter, (peanut, sunflower, etc.)

safflower salad oil

unsalted curry powder

natural ketchup, optional

Heat skillet.  Add just enough safflower oil to coat the bottom of skillet.  Sprinkle unsalted curry powder into the skillet.  Grind some pepper over the oil and curry powder mixture.  Crack one egg into skillet.  Add one or two shakes of iodized sea salt over the egg.  When the bottom of the egg has started to set, pierce the yolk of the egg, then turn the egg over to finish cooking.  Remove the curried fried egg and set aside to cool slightly.

If you prefer a sweet and savory sandwich, spread a very small amount of natural ketchup on one or both sides of the whole grain sandwich roll.  Spread nut (or seed) butter generously on both sides.

Place the cooled egg into the sandwich roll, then enjoy!

For brand names of products used in the FloridaFunTimes home, please refer to the recipe notes category of the blog.

Vegan Oatmeal Cookie recipe can be made in many versions including gluten free, whole grain, and non-vegan.  Seeds, nuts, coconut, dried fruit and chocolate chips many be added in different combinations.  Read more recipe notes on the FloridaFunTimes Blog.
Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup salad oil

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 12 ounce package Mori-Nu tofu, rinsed and drained; (6 ounces of tofu)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 Tablespoon pure vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups oats

Oven temperatures vary.  Preheat oven to approximately 350 degrees.

Prepare cookie sheets with oil, nonstick spray, or parchment paper.

In a blender combine oil, tofu, and vanilla.  (Since this mixtures forms a stiff dough, I usually mash the tofu with a good potato masher and then use the potato masher to blend the rest of the ingredients.)  Blend until smooth, then, transfer into a large bowl, if you used a blender.  In a separate large bowl combine salt, baking soda, sugar, and flour.  Mix well.  Add oats, mix well.

Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing as you go.

Add a few drops of water at a time up to 1/3 cup if needed to mix ingredients.  This will vary depending on the type of tofu, soft or firm, the type of flour, whole grain or unbleached, and the type of sugar.

I received a small bag of coconut sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners.  (See Link Me 2 tab to check out their web site.)  This sugar is similar in taste to a mild light brown sugar with a hint of caramel cream flavor.  It contains more moisture than white sugar.  It is a little less sweet in taste and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, but higher than agave syrup.

If desired, 1/2 cup of nuts or mini chocolate chips may be added.

Drop mixture by large spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets and bake for approximately 15 minutes.

If the dough is stiff due to whole grain flour, my last batch had whole wheat and amaranth flour, roll the dough into balls the size of meatballs, then flatten them with a fork on the cookie sheet.  The bonus is that these cookies will not spread while baking when you use a stiff whole grain dough.

Let cookies cool for 15 minutes on cookie sheets before removing them.  Store cookies in the refrigerator or you can freeze them.

(Put the other half of the tofu into a bowl and cover with water then refrigerate.)

These cookies are great with toasted almond butter or peanut butter!  This recipe makes about 4 cookie sheets full of cookies!

Crock-pot Rosemary Chicken

Chicken small enough to fit in your crock-pot

one fresh lemon

several sprigs of fresh rosemary from your garden

agave syrup

NOTE:  ROSEMARY CAN RAISE BLOOD PRESSURE!  Do not use this herb, if you have high blood pressure.  Try basil instead.

Trim rosemary bushes and gather a fist full of rosemary sprigs.  Rinse the sprigs and set aside.

Fully juice one whole lemon right into the bottom of the crock-pot.  Add two Tablespoons of agave syrup.  (Note: agave syrup is a sweetener made from the agave plant.  Agave syrup is great on pancakes and waffles too!)

Remove gibbet packages from the interior of chicken.  Discard the neck.  Fold the rosemary sprigs in half and stuff the body of the chicken.  (No need to remove the stems.  The rosemary leaves will fall right off during cooking and you can just discard the stems before serving.)

Roll the chicken around in the cock-pot to coat the skin with the lemon juice and agave syrup.  Toss the giblets into the crock-pot.

If you have paprika, you can sprinkle some over the top of the chicken for color.

You can also add another sprig of rosemary, stem and all on the top of the chicken, if desired.

Put the lid on the crock pot.  Plug in the crock-pot and turn the dial to low.  Cook for about eight hours.

This will produce a melt in your mouth chicken and a good amount of flavorful broth.  Since the chicken has no added salt, it is best served with fried yellows and a plain microwaved potato.  No butter is needed for the potato thanks to the delicious broth!

Fried Yellows

carrots, sweet potatoes, and/or yams

oil for stir-frying

Soy sauce, regular or low-sodium

Clean and dice any type and amount of raw sweet yellow vegetables that you desire.

Heat skillet.  Add an oil that will withstand high temperature.  You only need enough oil to just coat the bottom of the skillet.

Add yellows.  Stir fry them just until the very outer layer becomes soft.

Then, add soy sauce (one or two Tablespoons, depending on the amount of yellows) and continue to cook until desired tenderness all through the vegetable pieces.

Serve immediately.

Banana Waffles

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 beaten eggs

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 3/4 cups milk

1 1/2 Tablespoons honey

3/4 cup mashed bananas

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup salad oil

Sift dry ingredients together.  In a separate large bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients.  Then add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Sir until just moistened only.  (At this point, 1/4 cup of ground nuts may be folded in if desired.)  Spoon the mixture on to a pre-greased and pre-heated waffle iron.  This recipe will serve three generously.  Enjoy it with butter and agave syrup!