Recipes from Chef Maria Elba’s Healthy Cooking Class

by posted on 19 February 2014

Sweet Potato Soup, serves 8

  1. 2 kg sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  2. 4 tb olive oil
  3. 4 tb shredded ginger

    Squash Soup
    photo by Veronica Mittino
  4.  4 tb cumin seeds
  5.  2 red chillies, chopped
  6. 4 stalks lemon grass, finely chopped
  7. 4 cups vegetable stock
  8. 2 cup coconut milk
  9. 2 Tb agave
  10. 1 cup cilantro leaves (coriander)

Place sweet potato in a sauce pan of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain and set aside.  Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add ginger, cumin seeds, chilies and lemon grass.  Cook for 3 minutes, add sweet potato and mix well.  Place in a blender with a little stock until smooth.  Return to sauce pan.  Add the rest of the stock, coconut milk and agave.  Cook until heated through and serve





California Quinoa bowl, serves 8

  1. 6 cups cooked Farro, barley, wheatgrain or quinoa
  2. 4 cups arugula

    California Quinoa Salad
    photo Veronica Mittino
  3. 6 ounces queso fresco or ricotta salata cheese
  4. 1 cup toasted almonds
  5. 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  6. 2 cups plain yogurt
  7. zest of one lemon
  8. 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  9. 1/4 cup of chives, plus more for serving
  10. 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  11. 2 ripe avocados, thinly sliced

To cook quinoa:

Wash 2 cups of quinoa in cold water until runs clean

Place the 2 cups of quinoa with 2 cups of water1 teaspoon os salt and 2 garlic cloves

Once the water starts boiling, cover and lower the temperature to low.  Cook 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Do not open   rest 5 minutes

Fluff quinoa and let cool

In a large bowl combine the quinoa, arugula, cheese, almonds, and salt together. Mix well. You might need more or less salt depending on the saltiness of your cheese.

Make a quick yogurt sauce by whisking the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon, juice, chives, and salt in a small bowl. You can refrigerate this (or any leftovers) for a few days, if needed. If the sauce begins to separate, just give it a good stir before using.

Serve topped with avocado, chives, and big dollops of yogurt sauce

Poached cod, halibut or merluza in Lemon-Herb Sauce   

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  2. 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  4. 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  5. 4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Poached Cod
    photo Veronica Mittino
  7. 3 lemon sections, finely chopped
  8. 3 tbs. olive oil
  9. 6 cups water
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  12. 2 green onions, coarsely chopped
  13. 1 parsley sprig
  14. 1 cilantro sprig
  15. 4 pcs of fresh halibut, cod or merluza fillets

Combine first 8 ingredients.

Combine water and next 5 ingredients (through cilantro sprig) in a large skillet; bring to a low simmer (180° to 190°). Add fish; cook 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove fish from pan with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce.


Healthy Coconut–Oat Cookies

Chocolate Banana Oat Cookies
photo Veronica Mittino

3 large, ripe bananas, well mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, barely warm – so it isn’t solid (or alternately, olive oil)
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded & unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in the top third. In a large bowl combine the bananas, vanilla extract, and coconut oil. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together the oats, almond meal, shredded coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Drop dollops of the dough, each about 2 teaspoons in size, an inch apart, onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes.






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