Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Borsht (Russian Beet Stew)

Borsht is a delicious beet stew, yet very time consuming if we start by roasting the beets. I've created this recipe for busy people to enjoy the benefits of a different, nutritious comfort food at this time of the year.

Borsht (Russian Beet Stew)


2 tbs butter
2 cans beets
1 lb brisket
2 cans beef broth
1 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Ideal (sugar substitute)
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
¼ red onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
¼ green cabbage, chopped
½ bag frozen potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh parsley
Sour cream

The night before, season the brisket with salt and pepper; add the beef broth and cook it overnight in the crock pot.

When ready to cook, sauté the garlic, onion, and celery stalk with the butter. Add the broth from the meat, red wine vinegar, and sugar. Let it cook for about 20 minutes. Add cabbage and potatoes and cook for another 20 minutes. Shred the meat and add it to the pot. Adjust seasoning and serve warm. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and sour cream.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Spiced Roasted Turkey

Spiced Roasted Turkey


1 19 lb thawed out turkey
½ cup Ideal (Sugar-free substitute)
1 cup kosher salt (for table salt, use ¾ cup)
9 14 oz cans chicken broth or 1 gallon of water
1 ½ tbs black peppercorns, crushed
2 tsp allspice berries, crushed
2 1” chunks fresh ginger, crushed
1 Madagascar vanilla bean cut in 1” pieces
Ice water to cover the turkey
Fresh rosemary for garnish
Cherry tomatoes


2 apples (1 granny smith/1 red apple) sliced, peel on
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups water
6 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 whole cloves
1 Madagascar vanilla bean
Vegetable oil to coat
Cheese cloth

A day before cooking, combine salt, Ideal, chicken broth, peppercorns, allspice, fresh ginger, and vanilla bean and bring to a boil in a large pot. Let it cool to room temperature and pour it into a 5-gallon bucket. Remove innards from the turkey and submerge it in the brine. Cover it with ice water and keep it in the refrigerator over night.

Next day, 3 ½ hours before serving, pre-heat the oven to 500 F. (Pre-heating will take about 20 minutes).

Prepare the aromatics and wrap them in the cheesecloth.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it in and out. Discard the brine. Place the turkey in the roasting rack inside the turkey pot and pat dry. (Preferably, use paper towels). Place the aromatics in the innards cavity and tight the legs. Smear the bird generously with the vegetable oil, tuck the wings underneath it, and pour the water in the roasting pan.

Put the turkey in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes. Switch the bird around for even browning. Reduce the heat to 350 F and cook for about 2 hours or until the thermometer indicates 165 F when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh. Baste the turkey every 30-45 minutes.
Once it is done; remove from the oven, cover it and let it rest for about 10-15 minutes before carving.

Garnish with fresh rosemary and cherry tomatoes if desired.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hazelnut Swirl Cheesecake (Sugar-Free)



• 5 ounces Graham Cracker Crumbs
• 2 ounces Brown Sugar
• 3 ounces Unsalted Butter (melted)

Cheesecake Batter:

• 16 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
• 6 ounces Ideal Sugar-Free Sweetener

• 5 fluid ounces Whole Eggs
• 1 Egg Yolk

• 2 1/2 ounces Heavy Cream
• 1/8 teaspoon Madagascar Vanilla Extract
• 1/8 teaspoon Hazelnut Extract
• 5 ounces Chocolate Chips (Semi-Sweet)


Cocoa Powder
Sugar-Free Chocolate Whip Cream


 Combine the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar into a bowl and mix thoroughly
 Add melted butter and mix by hand until butter is even throughout
 Press the mixture into a pie pan evenly through the bottom and sides about ¼ inches thick making sure no loose pieces are present
 Set aside
 Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
 Put a deep hotel pan filled with hot water in the oven
 In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment combine the mascarpone cheese and ideal sweetener on a medium speed
 Whip for 5 minutes then turn off the mixer and scrape the sides for any residual pieces that aren’t mixing
 Turn the mixer back on and whip again for another 5 minutes
 Whisk eggs and egg yolk until blended evenly in a bowl
 Add the eggs in a 2 part method into the mixer
 Continue to whip the mixture until the eggs are fully incorporated and the mixture looks fluffy
 In a bowl add the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and both vanilla and hazelnut extracts and place into the microwave for approximately 35-60 seconds
 Take out and mix the ingredients until the chocolate is fully melted and there are no chunks at all
 Place in a bowl half of the mascarpone mixture and all of the chocolate mixture and whip until it is blended evenly
 Pour in the pie shell the rest of the mascarpone mixture from the mixer and evenly spread it out
 Pour the chocolate mixture on top of that lightly
 Use the skewer to draw a design in the chocolate mixture which will give a swirl effect
 Place the cheese cake into the oven and let cook for 30-40 minutes
 Take out of the oven and let chill in the refrigerator for 4-5 hours
 Garnish with cocoa powder on the plate and chocolate sugar-free whip cream on top of the slice

Friday, November 19, 2010

Apple Supreme Pie (Sugar-Free)

Apple Supreme Pie (Sugar Free)


• Frozen pie shell
• 1/2 a lemon

Bottom Layer

• 8 ounces cream cheese
• 1 tablespoon sugar free whip cream
• 1/8 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla extract
• Dash of cinnamon
• 2 tablespoons Ideal sugar-free sweetener

Top layer

• 1 package unflavored gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon Ideal sugar-free sweetener
• 1 1/2 cup cold apple juice
• 3 apples

Garnish: Sugar-free whip cream

 Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
 Poke the bottom of the frozen pie shell
 Cook for 10 minutes
 Remove from the oven and let cool
 Add the cream cheese, whip cream, vanilla, cinnamon, and Ideal sweetener together and mix thoroughly
 Add the blended mixture into the pie and smear until even throughout
 Set aside
 Peel, core, and slice the apples
 Add to a bowl of cold water and lemon juice from the half lemon to help prevent oxidation
 Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 a cup of cold apple juice
 Bring to simmer
 Dissolve the cornstarch and Ideal sweetener in the rest of the apple juice
 Combine the cornstarch mixture to the gelatin mixture
 Continue to stir and heat until it thickens
 Drain apples and add into the heated mixture
 Pour mixture on top of the cream cheese in the pie
 Cool in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours
 Garnish with whip cream when ready to serve

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gluten Free Fat Free Pumkin Bread

Enjoy the baking season with minimal calorie intake!

Gluten Free, Fat Free Pumpkin Bread


1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup brown rice syrup
2 eggs
1 tbs Madagascar vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup almond flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Prepare a bread pan with non stick oil.

In a medium bowl beat the eggs, add applesauce, syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.

In another bowl, mix dry ingredients and incorporate them to the wet ones.

Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.


1. This bread is slow baked due to the moisture content. We need to give sometime for water evaporation. If the temperature is too high, it will cook in the outside and be raw in the middle. Just be patient and enjoy the goodness. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pear Pie

I originally thought about making a pear tart, but did not have time to make the dough...needless to say, I cheated and bought a frozen pie dough and it turned out to be a PEAR PIE!!! Enjoy!

Pear Pie

1 store-bough pie shell (for time saving)
1 can pears
Raspberries, blueberries, and mint leaves for garnish

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooking the pie dough. Remove from oven and let it cool.

Pastry Cream
2 cups milk or half-half
1/8 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
½ tsp Pear extract (call 888-396-4552)
¼ cup sweetener (sugar, honey, agave syrup)
A pinch of nutmeg
1 egg + 2 egg yolks
3 tbs corn starch
3 tbs cold butter cut in small pieces
Ice water

In a small pot, bring to a boil the milk, extracts, sweetener, and nutmeg.

In a small container, mix eggs with cornstarch. When the milk mixture is starting to boil, and reduce heat. Slowly pour about ½ cup to egg mixture whisking fast to incorporate air. This is called tempering. Pour the egg mixture into the pot with the milk whisking fast and cook on medium-high heat until thick. Do not overcook.

Put the pot on ice water and add the butter little by little until all incorporated.

Slice the pears; pour the pastry cream in the pie shell and arrange the pear one close to another. Garnish the center with raspberries, blueberries, and mint leaves.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.