appears regularly on WGMC, the local cable affiliate in Grafton MA with
her popular show, Cooking With Tasha. She has been kind enough to share
these recipes with us here and
graftoncommon.com, and will be a regular and welcome contributor to
If you have any recipe ideas you would like to see posted here please let
us know by emailing Tasha at
Crunchy Cole Slaw
A guest recipe submitted by Kristen Menhall
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 seasoning packets from Ramen Oriental Noodle soup mix
- Mix above ingredients and allow to sit overnight in fridge
- 1lb Broccoli mix (sometimes known as broccolislaw) or regular
- 1 cup of sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup of chopped scallions
- All noodles from Ramen Oriental Noodle packets - crushed
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
Mix both dry ingredients and dressing together close to time of
serving. I add raisins and almond slivers if I don’t have the seeds.
Cottage Cheese Snap
As the weather warms up and people feel more inclined to go visiting,
many of us will have unexpected company. It is always delightful to have
friends drop by, however, it can be awkward if you don't have food on hand
to make them welcome. The following appetizer is easy to prepare and
delicious to eat. It can be varied to suit the time of year and the
calories desired. If you use it as a topping for baked potatoes and
include a salad and some fruit for dessert, you have a fast, easy meal
that is nutritious as well as simple to fix. Just keep a container of
cottage cheese on hand in the 'fridge and you can make this in no time.
- 1 pint large curd Cottage Cheese
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 cup finely chopped Bermuda Onion
- 3/4 cup chopped Green Pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped Parsley
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed or pressed
- 1/tbs dried Basil
- or 1/4 cup chopped fresh Basil
- or 1/2 cup chopped watercress
- 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
Mix all ingredients well and, if possible let sit an hour or so to
blend flavors. Refrigerate until needed.
This recipe may be served as a dip or as the topping for baked potato
sundaes. It can be spread on whole wheat or rye bread slices and baked in
the oven until slightly puffy and a bit browned on top for lunch or even
To make this lower in calories, substitute low fat cottage cheese, low
fat mayonnaise and low fat sour cream. It is a healthy snack and one your
guests will heartily enjoy. It can also be used for a topping on fresh
tomatoes or to make a meal out of a salad, as a salad dressing.
Winter Warmth Casserole
Except for those who love the snow, and I am not one of them, winter
has become something to be wished away! Well, it won't go any faster for
all my wishing, and so I had better concentrate on keeping warm. This
casserole is one way to do that. Though vegetarian, it has a lot of
protein. I have served it on a number of occasions and found that it is
appealing even to those not used to Brown Rice. It is very easy to put
together and you can substitute other veggies for the greens if you wish,
however, they really taste good in this combination. Please try it and let
me know what you think.
Warm Wishes and Happy Cooking!
This recipe will provide a hearty main dish or even a complete meal for
a busy cook. It can also be frozen and reheated later. You may omit the
dill, poppy and celery seeds if you don't have them and substitute any
herbs you prefer. Oregano, Thyme, and Rosemary, for instance, would also
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 cups steamed any combination of greens ( around a 1/2 to 1 pound
of Cabbage, Spinach, Chard, Kale, etc. shredded, torn or chopped)
- Water the vegetables have been steamed in
- 4 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 2 cups cooked or canned Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)
- 8 oz. firm Tofu
- 1/2 cup Chick Pea Water or Stock
- 1/2 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbs Poppy Seeds
- 1 Tbs Dill Seeds
- 1 tsp chopped celery Seed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 350 and oil a 2 quart casserole. Add ingredients in
order given and stir together well. Bake covered at 350 degrees in a 2
quart casserole for 45 minutes. Serves 4 to 6 with an optional salad on
the side and something light, like fruit, for dessert.
Ginger Carrot Soup
This recipe came to me from a friend, who made it with me on my TV
cooking show. It is perfect for this time of year because it is bright,
cheerful, warming and filled with good vitamins and minerals. It can be
frozen and would make a fine soup to put in your thermos to take with you
for lunch. Carrots are filled with vitamin A, an especially valuable
vitamin for the protection of the immune system. Ginger is good for the
metabolism and helps you stay warm in cool weather or cool in warm
weather. It is also energizing, something we can all use when the weather
is cold like this and we would prefer to wrap up and stay in doors.
Another week I will give you the recipe I found for carrot salad. It is
perhaps better for the warmer weather, however. For now, stay warm and eat
your carrots! They are so good for you, and they taste good too.
Warming for a cold day, this soup is full of good vitamins and tasty
minerals. Vegetarians not inclined to use chicken broth may use a
vegetable bouillon. If you don't have a blender you can always put it
through a sieve, however, this might be tedious. It could also be served
cold for summer feasting. This recipe makes 2 to 4 portions, depending on
what else you are serving with it.
- 5 or 6 medium Carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup Onion
- 1 clove Garlic, chopped
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 1 1/2 cups Chicken Broth
- 1 1/2 cups Water
- 3 shakes Red Pepper Flakes
Put oil and butter in a heavy saucepan. Sauté ginger, onion and garlic
in oil/butter mixture until transparent. Add carrots and sauté briefly.
Pour in water and chicken broth, add salt and pepper to taste, and hot
pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. Cover and cook
until carrots are tender. Cool briefly, then process in blender until
creamy, without lumps. Serve immediately or store and reheat at serving
time. If you prefer a blander soup, omit the ginger and red pepper,
however, this way it is even more warming for a cold day.
Red Lentil Crock Pot Stew
On a cold day it is really delightful to come into the house and
discover that your dinner has cooked itself while you were out doing what
you have to do. Crock pots are useful any time of year but when the chilly
winds of Winter blow, they are especially useful.
What kind you use is really immaterial. Crockpots are pretty simple
appliances. I found mine at a yard sale and it has served me faithfully
for many years. I love to walk into the kitchen and see its lovely orange
glow on my counter, knowing that dinner will be ready soon with a minimum
of work on my part.
Recently I came up with this exceedingly simple and very nutritious
recipe. I suggest serving this stew with a corn bread and maybe some fruit
for dessert. It is not expensive either. I hope you will try it and let me
know how you like it.
This is also nice the next day--maybe even better. Serves 4 to 6 well.
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 large red pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 5 or 6 carrots
- 2 or 3 parsnips
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 cup red lentils
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
Method: In a large frying pan, warm olive oil over medium heat. Cut up
and add onion, pepper, and garlic. Add dried herbs and sauté over medium
heat until softened and slightly transparent. Meanwhile peal and chop up
carrots, parsnips and sweet potato. Place all vegetables into crock pot.
Add lentils, salt and pepper. Pour on chicken broth and water and stir
well. Cover pot and cook on high for 4 or 5 hours, turn to low, cook
another hour or 2. It is also fine if you want to continue to cook it on
low for a longer time, or you may cook it on low the whole time if you
have planned to be away for a whole day's cooking.
Children love to help in the kitchen. Some of my fondest memories of my
late son Robin are of the times we spent cooking together when he was
about 5 years old. He was attending kindergarten, and used to enjoy
helping me make his lunch. We used to bake cookies together, as well as
make Jell-O and other simple desserts. Children grow up faster than you
can believe possible, as any grandparent can tell you. Take advantage of
the time you have with them to do things together while they are small.
One day you will be glad you did.
The following recipe is just perfect for making with children. Adults
will like it because it is so simple and easy to do. It does not require a
mixer, and there is very little cleaning up to do. It has the added
benefit of using honey rather than white or brown sugar. Many cookies made
with honey are soft. This one is not, and it is so quick to make you will
want to make it often.
- Preheat oven to 350 and use ungreased cookie sheets
- 1/3 cup soft butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used spelt)
- 1 cup nuts, chopped
- 1 cup raisins OR 1 cup chocolate chips
Method: Stir butter until there are no lumps. Mix in honey until it is
smooth. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Sprinkle in and mix well salt,
soda, cinnamon. Add flour and mix well. Stir in raisins and nuts. Put
heaping teaspoonsfull on the ungreased cookie sheets, leaving room for
them to spread, and bake until done--10 to 12 minutes. They brown fast
because of the honey, so keep an eye on them. Makes 48 cookies. This
recipe is from Kids are Natural Cooks, by the Parents' Nursery School, a
collective in Cambridge MA. For more good, healthy recipes look for this
book in your local bookstore.
Apples Are Good Nutrition
Fall and winter are the best time to use apples for cooking and baking.
A great source of nutrition, they taste good too. Baked apples are good
hot or cold, so make extra for later on! Try this recipe with Cortlands or
Baldwins. Avoid varieties that include yellow or red Delicious and
Macintosh, as they are best used for eating. If you need to you can
include them with others to make applesauce. This is another fine dish to
have on hand during the winter months.
Applesauce is a delicious treat for all ages and especially good if the
tummy is a bit tender from over indulgence or one of those winter viruses.
It helps to have a Foley or other Food Mill to grind up your apples,
because then you do not have to peel or core them. In fact, it is best not
to, as that way you get all the good minerals included in the skin. To
make delicious applesauce with either a food mill or a coarse sieve,
simply quarter, as many apples as you like and add either water or some
apple cider if you want to make them really tasty! Add liquid about half
way up the apples. Too much and your applesauce will be watery. You can
always add more. Bring apples and liquid to a boil and simmer until apples
are soft and mushy. Grind up in a food mill or press through a coarse
sieve. Refrigerate and enjoy!
Preheat oven to 300 degrees, or 325 if baking dish isn't glass.
Ingredients per serving:
- 1 apple
- 6 to 10 raisins
- 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
- A small amount of apple cider or boiling water
Wash and stem apples. Place in square or oblong glass baking dish. With
paring knife or potato peeler, pare away the very top part of apple. With
knife or peeler, carefully remove core. Try not to pierce a hole through
apple. (If you feel lazy and don't wish to remove the core, you can bypass
this step. If you are not removing the core, just dig out a half inch or
so of the apple, down to the core.) Fill cavity with raisins. Pour maple
syrup into cavity just to the top. Add cider or hot water to the depth of
about 1/4 inch. Basting occasionally, bake until apples are soft, probably
around 40 minutes but possibly longer because it all depends on the
variety and ripeness of the apples. Serve hot or cold plain or with
yogurt, cream or ice-cream.
Variations: substitute other syrups for Maple, other dried fruits or
chopped nuts for Raisins, cranberry or other juices for Cider.
With all the holiday baking we must do, sometimes we want to just buy a
mix and be done with it! Yet this very special cake will actually provide
some health benefits--prunes are great fiber, is low in fat, because the
shortening content is cut back, and tastes very, very good. Because it
uses honey instead of refined sugar, it is easier to digest, and the honey
adds micro-nutrients that are absent in the refined product. It keeps very
well so you can bake it several days ahead of when you will be serving it.
It actually is better a day or two after it is baked. Please enjoy it
after the holidays too! It is good all year round.
Preheat oven to 350 Lightly butter a standard angel cake tube pan.
- 1/4 cup soft Butter, no substitutions please
- 3/4 cup Honey
- 3 Eggs separated
- 1 cup cooked Prunes, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup Buttermilk or Yogurt
- 3 squares Baking Chocolate, melted
- 1 cup Oat Flour or 1 cup Unbleached White Flour—oat flour is
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- Powdered Chocolate for dusting pan
Beat together honey and butter well, either by hand or in a mixer. Add
three egg yolks and beat well. Mingle dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
You may wish to sift oat flour to avoid lumps, but add the bran back in
once the flour is sifted. Mix buttermilk or yogurt, chocolate, and
vanilla. Add dry and wet ingredients alternately to honey, butter, yolk
mixture, stirring or beating well but not excessively after each addition.
Stir or lightly blend in chopped prunes. Whip egg whites until stiff but
not dry. Fold in gently with a rubber spatula until it has all disappeared
but keep in as much air as possible so cake will be light. Grease pan and
dust lightly with chocolate powder. Fill greased tube pan evenly with
mixture. Bake for an hour or until cake shrinks slightly from sides of
pan. Cool before removing. Serve in thin slices with a bit of raspberry
sorbet for a real treat.
You don't need to frost this cake, as it is very rich all by itself.
You may, of course, frost it with an Egg White beaten in a mixer to which
1/2 cup warmed honey has been added in a thin stream, creating a
marshmallow type frosting. However, this does not last well and is best
used only when you will be serving and eating the cake immediately.
Hint: Egg Whites beat up best at room temperature but separate best
when cold. Also, when separating eggs, always drop each new white into a
teacup before adding to the total and thus avoid ruining them all if a bit
of yolk sneaks by you. Egg Whites will not whip up if there is any yolk in
them or if there is grease on the beating tool. Personally I like to use a
wire whip and a large bowl, getting some upper arm exercise in the
Brilliant Broccoli Soup
During the Holiday season, women have so much to do that it is
difficult to come up with nutritious meals that can be made simply, easily
and inexpensively. This soup is good any time of the year and most
especially during the winter when we can all use the vitamins and minerals
that broccoli provide. What I have found is that even people who don't
much like broccoli do like this soup.
For the purposes of this recipe, be sure to cook the broccoli until it
is still bright green and yet easily pierced by a fork. You have to keep
an eye on it, because it gets mushy and the taste changes if it overcooks.
This is true of all members of the cabbage family, which are so full of
nutrition and so good to eat during the winter. This is because they have
a high sulfur content, a mineral that keeps us warm, helps kill germs and
keeps our immune systems functioning. It's also what makes the vegetables
taste funny if you overcook them! .Serve with muffins and a salad for a
fast, nutritious meal.
Like many men, my Beloved does not care much for broccoli, he does
however, enjoy my broccoli soup. I make it frequently so that we can both
enjoy its benefits. The soy gives added calcium to the calcium rich
broccoli, two plusses for the price of one!
- 1 cup Broccoli per person
- Water for steaming
- 1/2 cup chicken broth per person
- 1/2 cup soy milk per person (You may use dairy, however, I believe
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 or 2 shakes of Red Pepper flakes (Optional, however, it does give
a nice tang to the soup.)
Cut broccoli tops from stems and divide into smaller pieces. Peel stems
and chop. Place broccoli in a small amount of water. Cover pan, bring to a
boil, and turn heat to simmer. Cook until broccoli is slightly transparent
and easily pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, mix soy milk with chicken broth
and heat. Add salt, pepper and pepper flakes. In blender place broccoli,
cooking water, and enough of the broth/soy milk mixture to liquefy the
broccoli. Process the mixture until all is smooth and green. Add mixture
to remaining broth/soy milk mixture and stir well. Serve immediately or
keep warm until ready to eat. This is also good served cold, in the
Chocolate Pillow Puffs—A Very
Rich Cookie for Special Occasions
Holiday cookies are fun to make, and these are delicious and also good
to bake with the help of children, who can cut the marshmallows and press
them into the cookies as well as help with the frosting. With their soft,
brownie-like richness, they are a dessert all by themselves, and would be
especially nice to put out for Santa, to go with his glass of milk. Makes
approximately 48 cookies, depending on the size you make them.
Preheat oven to 375, bake on greased cookie sheets.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup dairy, soy or rice milk
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts
- 24 marshmallows cut in half*
Beat butter, shortening, together. Add sugar, beat well. Add egg, beat
well. Mingle flour, salt, soda, cocoa, nuts. Add in thirds alternately
with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Blend well. Drop by
heaping teaspoons on greased sheets. Bake 8 minutes. Remove and lightly
press half marshmallows onto cookies. Return to oven. Bake 4 minutes until
done, marshmallows softened. Cool on wire racks and when completely cool,
spread with glaze.
Glaze: 2 cups confectioners sugar sifted with 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
powder. Stir 4 to 6 Tablespoons hot milk or water into sugar/cocoa
mixture, until soft enough to spread. Let harden before storing.
*Hint: Be sure to cut the marshmallows with scissors and dip them in
preferably warm water between cuttings so they won't get too sticky.
Please email me to
TashaHal@aol.com if you have any questions or would like to request a
recipe you have seen me make on my Cable show.
for Thanksgiving and After
Everyone has loves mashed potatoes, and normally they are part of a
Thanksgiving feast. Left over versatile mashed potatoes can be served in a
variety of ways, from patties, to casserole top "crust" to a bottom layer
for any number of toppings. Make twice what you need and you will have
good left overs you can convert into a meal in minutes. To begin with, try
this recipe which trades milk for soy, increasing the protein and
decreasing the fat and cholesterol content of the dish. Use the Silk brand
of unflavored soy milk. You will never know the difference and neither
will anyone else. Begin with this basic recipe:
Mashed Potatoes Supreme
- 1 medium to large unpeeled Potato per
person, chopped in 1 inch blocks sufficient Water to cover chopped
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped
Parsley per person
- 2 Tablespoons Chicken broth per
- 1/4 cup Silk plain Soy milk per
person (You can use dairy, of course if you must!)
- Optional 1 Tablespoon Butter per
- Salt and black pepper to taste
Place chopped potatoes in water to cover and bring to a boil, uncovered.
Cook over medium heat until water is reduced and potatoes are soft, though
not mushy--about fifteen minutes, usually. Meanwhile, warm soy milk and
chicken broth. In a large bowl, place potatoes, liquids--including cooking
water, butter salt and pepper, chopped parsley. Mash well until there are
no lumps and the potatoes are fluffy. You can use a mixer however, this
alters the potatoes' texture, and an old fashioned potato masher really
works best. Plus you can burn up a few more calories that way. Serve at
once or put in a well greased casserole dish and reheat in the oven for 20
minutes, covered, or uncovered if you wish them to brown slightly.
Please adjust liquids to make the potatoes moist enough for your taste.
Potatoes vary in how much they will absorb. Measurements are approximate.
Potatoes will be ready in half an hour.
Put leftover potatoes in a covered container. For the next meal you
wish to use them, either form into patties, fry lightly in butter, and
serve with eggs, vegetables, or what you will, or spread in a greased pie
pan and fill with any filling made from a combination of leftover
vegetables or meat and vegetables. Cover with slices of cheese and bake
until cheese has melted and veggies are hot. You can also cut up meat,
season it with pepper and herbs, stir in gravy to moisten, cover with the
mashed potatoes and bake in a 350 oven until hot and bubbly and potatoes
are slightly browned on top.
Ginger Carrot Tofu Warmup
Many people ask me what to do with tofu. Although it is easily
obtainable and highly nutritious, it is also still an object of fun with
those who fail to understand its importance as an inexpensive, easy to use
protein. Tofu, also called soybean curd, has been used in oriental cooking
since time immemorial. It takes on the flavors it is cooked with and can
be prepared in a variety of ways, from puddings to appetizers to main
High in plant estrogens, tofu, together with other soy products, has
been shown to be helpful to women experiencing the symptoms of menopause.
However, it is appropriate for all ages and sexes as an excellent source
of calcium, protein, and B vitamins. It comes in a variety of firmness,
from extra firm to soft, for a variety of uses. If anyone has questions
about tofu, I will gladly answer them if I can. If you want some good
recipes, just keep reading this column and you will soon have quite a few.
With the rising incidence of prostate cancer, not to mention the use of
hormones in the raising of beef, chicken, and other animals, tofu is
becoming an excellent as well as an inexpensive substitute for animal
protein. Men who used to make fun of it might do well to eat it as a
healthy alternative. The following recipe is very tasty and will satisfy
any open-minded meat eater.
Try this on a chilly evening and see if it doesn't warm you right up!
Recipe serves 2 to 4, depending on appetites and side dishes. Takes 30 to
45 minutes from start to finish.
- 1 lb. peeled, sliced carrots
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons peeled sliced
fresh ginger root—spicy to your taste
- 1 lb extra firm tofu, drained, sliced
into slabs or strips
- (Optional) 1/4 cup finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons butter or ghee
- 2 to 4 Tablespoons broth, water or
Method: Slice carrots in long, thin strips, ginger in matchstick pieces
and tofu in 1/4 inch slabs or strips if you prefer. Melt butter or ghee
and sauté (optional) onion and ginger. Add tofu and turn it to brown it
slightly on all sides. Add carrots and stir until they are covered in
butter. Add the smaller amount of liquid, cover and simmer until carrots
are soft and everything smells good. Add more liquid as they begin to dry
out. Your final result needs to be moist, without extra juice.
Note: I often use frozen, thawed Tofu in this recipe. Drain a block,
wrap well or put it in a heavy plastic baggie, and keep it in the freezer.
Thaw before using. Freezing changes the texture and the tofu absorbs more
Winter Squash Recipes
Here are a couple of nice recipes for using the bounty of the Fall
The Butternut and Acorn squashes that fill farm stand tables can be
used in a variety of ways. You can bake them whole, cool slightly, then
cut them open and scrape out the seeds. They take around 45 minutes to an
hour, depending on size, at 350 degrees unless you are using a glass
baking pan in which case, set the oven to 325.
Butternut is no fun to peel, and Acorn squash is impossible, yet this
method frees up the delicious inside without your having to do anything
except scrape it out of the skin. If the Butternut skin is tender, you may
even be able pull it off. Otherwise, scrape it out gently with a spoon and
set the squash aside to fix in a variety of ways.
You can simply add butter, salt, pepper, and a little curry powder,
serve at once or reheat and serve when you like. A pound of squash easily
feeds 3, possibly 4. If you have a sweet tooth, instead of curry powder,
add a bit of maple syrup. To me, squash is sweet as it is. You can also
put it in a casserole and stir in 2 Tablespoons butter, some cranberry
sauce and some grated cheese and/or unsweetened coconut—half a cup of each
per medium sized Butternut squash.
Acorn squash is of course delicious when it is cut in half. Remove the
seeds, and bake upside down for half an hour. Then turn it right side up,
fill with 2 tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons brown sugar or maple
syrup per half. Bake uncovered until quite done—probably 15 minutes.
Butternut squash, seeds removed, can also can be baked this way, however,
don’t turn it over; bake it this way the whole time, cut into sections and
Lastly, you can cut either type of unpeeled squash into half to
three-quarter inch slices and place in a baking dish. Add either oil or
butter to your taste, bake at 350 or 325 for glass, covered lightly with
foil for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake around 15 minutes more—check to be
sure squash is done. It will be slightly transparent and easily pierced
with a fork. Happy Fall dining!