Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I actually made this recipe when I found myself with left over mimosa ingredients one Sunday!  My philosophy is, "waste not, want not."  The blend of champagne, oranges and oregano gives a unique taste that is sweet and savory at the same time.  And with the addition of the potatoes you have an instant meal!  Check it out...



  • 2 - 3 lb chicken cut into 1/8ths
  • 3 red skin potatoes
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup champagne
  • 2 small oranges
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano

Preheat oven to 375.

Wash chicken and place in a large baking dish.  (I like to take a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and coarse salt and rub it directly on the chicken before I do anything else.  I find that this makes the meat extra tender and fall off the bone.  This is optional step and this amount of olive oil and salt would be in addition to the amounts listed above.)

Cut potatoes into cubes and place in baking dish with the chicken.  Cut onions into bite size pieces and place in baking dish (I like to spread the onion evenly over the chicken and potatoes.  I cut them into bit size pieces because they are delicious to eat along with everything else once they've cooked!).

Chop the garlic.  Peel the orange.  Place both in the blender.  Add champagne, olive oil, salt and pepper to the blender.  Blend all the items together.  Pour this "sauce" over the chicken, onions and potatoes. 

Sprinkle the oregano over everything. 

Cover the baking dish tightly with foil.  Place in the oven.  (Placing the foil over the baking dish will help to lock in moisture and flavor.  If you want the chicken to brown a little and the skin to be a little bit crispy you can remove the foil for the last 20 to 30 minutes of cook time.)

Cook times will vary on how large your chicken is.  It is recommended to cook a chicken for about half an hour per pound.  So if you have a 3 lb chicken then you should bake it for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

If you are cooking for one, then this is the perfect thing to make on Sunday and eat all week.  Just store the cooked chicken in the refrigerator in some sort of sealed container or in a dish cover with foil or plastic wrap.  It will be good to eat for about 4 days.  To give you some ideas, here is how I usually divide the chicken over the course of the week:
  • 1st night - I eat a breast and a bunch of potatoes.
  • Next morning - I reheat the rest of the potatoes and have them with an egg for breakfast.
  • Lunch - Use the leg and thigh for sandwich meat.  I take the skin off and break up the meat into small pieces, use some sprouted grain bread, add avocado or tomato if I have it, and mustard and mayo.
  • One more lunch or dinner during the week - I eat the other breast and the wings.
  • One last lunch or dinner during the week - I will either make another sandwich from the remaining leg and thigh or I will add them to a salad for protein.

Just because you are a single gal (or guy) doesn't mean you can't make a gorgeous, healthy dish.  You just have to get creative with how you eat it!

Bad Joan


Thursday, September 22, 2011


It might not sound that exciting but this dish is a real crowd pleaser!  I discovered this dip when I worked at a Los Angeles restaurant called Axe a few years back (PS - if you are in LA or visiting any time soon you should definitely eat at Axe, it is incredible!).  This dip has been a favorite snack of mine ever since and everyone I have ever made it for absolutely loves it.  Plus, it is so simple to make and it's full of calcium; it's a win/win!  Check it out...

  • 1 24 oz container of plain yogurt (I prefer to get Greek or European style yogurt)
  • 1 large shallot

Place a colander inside a large bowl.  Line the colander with a paper towel.  Scoop the yogurt onto the paper towel and place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight, uncovered.  This process drains any excess liquid from the yogurt making it very thick.

Scoop the thick yogurt into a container and put aside.

Peel the shallot, chop very fine and add to the yogurt.  Mix.

That's it, your done!  Now you can spread the mix on crackers or bread, or just eat it plain.  Since it is nice and thick sometimes I will even spread it on a bagel instead of cream cheese.  Trust me, it's beyond delicious! 

Bad Joan

Friday, September 16, 2011


Turkey burgers are a great alternative to beef burgers, or even if you eat read meat they are a delicious and filling source of protein.  Most people add some type of bbq sauce or ketchup to their burgers.  But since those sauces are made from mainly salt, sugar and artificial ingredients I decided to make mine with a sauce substitute that is actually good for you!  Check it out...

  • 1 1/4 lbs ground turkey (I prefer dark meat but light meat will work)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 large medjool dates
  • 1 slice sprouted grain toast
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste


Place ground turkey in a large mixing bowl and put aside.

Chop onions, garlic and cilantro and lightly saute in a pan with some extra virgin olive oil.  Saute until onions are clear.  (This is a little trick my friend Candice taught me; it makes the onions and garlic tender which ultimately makes the final burger more tender.  Thanks Candice!).  Add the saute to the ground turkey.

Shred the carrots.  Remove skin from dates and pull apart into small pieces.  Place both in a bowl and blend with a hand blender.  (You can use a regular blender if you don't have a hand blender, but since this is a small amount of food it is easier to blend with a small hand blender.)  Blend as smooth as you can, it won't be perfectly smooth, and add to ground turkey.

Toast the bread until crisp.  Crumble the toast into fine bread crumbs.  Place crumbs in a separate bowl and add a bit of water let the crumbs absorb it.  I like to add 1 or 2 spoonfuls or until bread is lightly saturated.  Add crumbs to ground turkey.

Add egg, plus a dash of salt and pepper to the ground turkey and mix with your hands until everything is evenly distributed.  Patties should be about 1 handful each.  Grill and serve!

Makes 7 - 8 patties.

*If you're cooking for 1 you can eat these patties in creative ways all week.  I like to cut up a patty and add it to a salad for protein.  I also like to make turkey burger pitas; use a whole grain pita, sliced avocado and tomato and you've got a delicious lunch!

Bad Joan

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I love tea!  A warm cup of tea is so comforting in the winter and a cold glass of iced tea is so refreshing in the summer.  Many packaged teas have artificial flavors and/or some preservatives in order to keep the tea bags fresh and useful in your cupboard for a long time.  So why not make your own? 

I love the combination of fresh ginger, fresh mint and fresh squeezed lemon.  All of these elements are great for digestion/metabolism and they are very flavorful.  In fact, I often drink this mixture when I am experiencing some indigestion and it settles my stomach right away!

  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 15 - 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 lemon


Remove skin from ginger root (I like to just scrape the skin off with a spoon or you can also use a knife).  Grate the ginger (on a box grater I like to use the second smallest holes).  Place grated ginger in a tea strainer.

Wash mint leaves and pluck from stem.

Boil water. 

Add ginger, mint leaves and boiling water to a pitcher.  Squeeze in lemon juice and mix. (I like to insert a fork into the middle of the lemon and use it as leverage to really get every last drop of juice out!)

Let it sit for at least 10 - 15 minutes to absorb all the flavor.  The longer the better. 

I like to drink a hot cup right away and then put the rest in the refrigerator and have it as a cold drink throughout the week!

Bad Joan

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Soups can be misleading.  Most look and taste "healthy" but many soup purees are made with heavy cream and chicken stock (which can be very high in sodium!).  So how do you lock in flavor that chicken stock adds and the texture that cream adds without all the extra empty calories and sodium?  Easy!  Follow this simple recipe for a rich, creamy and filling vegan veggie soup...

  • 10 roma tomatoes
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 2 white squash
  • 2 red skin potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Chop tomato, zucchini, squash, and potato and place into a large oven safe baking dish (I like to leave the skin on everything but you can take it off if you prefer). 

Peel and chop onion and garlic and add to dish.  Chop or tear basil leaves and add to dish.  Add olive oil, salt and pepper.  Mix a little with a spoon just to distribute the olive oil evenly.

Cover dish tightly with foil and place dish in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove from oven, remove the foil and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes.  Then blend until smooth.

Place puree in a pot, reheat, stir and taste.  At this time you can always add a little more salt, pepper or olive oil to your liking!

Makes 6 to 8 servings (depending if you are serving a "cup" or "bowl" size).


In order to make the "croutons" you see in the picture all I do is toast a piece of sprouted grain bread and cut into squares.  I throw in a few at a time as I'm eating the soup.  They are delicious just like that and they add a little extra texture!

  • The potatoes make the soup creamy.  They are a lower calorie and vegan substitute to using cream.  Red Potatoes are high in Vitamin C, Potassium, and Niacin among other things. 
  • Baking all the ingredients covered in foil helps to significantly lock in the flavor therefore eliminating the need for chicken stock.  So if you want to make a vegan soup this is a great way to keep flavor and still be able to serve your vegan friends. 
  • Also, chicken stock (even low sodium chicken stock) can be very high in sodium.  Many recipes will call for chicken stock in addition to salt.  Personally, I just think that's way too much sodium and not necessary for flavor!

Bad Joan

Friday, September 2, 2011


I've already told you how much I love avocado so naturally I eat it a lot.  This is just a straight forward sandwich but it is quick and easy to make, plus it is filling, delicious and nutritious so I figured why not share the recipe!  I was inspired by the veggie sandwich at Trails Cafe in Griffith Park.  I always order it when I go there so I figured why not make my own version at home?  Now I eat this sandwich almost everyday for lunch!

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • 2 - 4 slices of red onion (depending on how much you want)
  • small handful of sprouts
  • 2 slices of sprouted grain bread
  • mustard and mayo (if it tickles your fancy)


Peel avocado and place in a small bowl.  Mush with fork until creamy but still a little chunky.  Spread mixture on bread, add additional ingredients.  Done! 

Bad Joan


It's not carbs that are the devil, it's flour.   Wheat, white, and all-purpose flour are all delicious but they are just empty calories, they don't have nutrients that your body can use.  Which is why you should eat sprouted grain bread.  Sprouted grain breads are made from whole grains, they do not have flour, they are easier for your body to digest and breakdown, and they are much higher in vitamins and fiber.  In other words, they are made up of carbs and calories that your body can use!

I will admit that a lot of sprouted grain breads taste like cardboard.  But I found a brand that I really like, Alvarado Street Bakery.  They offer several different types of sliced bread including whole wheat, sourdough and multi grain, and they are all delicious.  This makes the perfect sandwich bread so at the very least when you are at home making your own meal you can make a better choice for yourself! 

Bad Joan

Thursday, September 1, 2011


While we're on the subject of watermelon and basil, you're going to need something to do with the rest of those ingredients!  So here you go...

  • 1/2 of a large watermelon
  • 10 large basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


Remove rind from watermelon.  Tear or chop basil leaves.  Place watermelon, basil, and lemon zest in blender and mix until smooth.

Run mixture through a strainer or sieve to get rid of pulp. 

Once the mixture is strained, chill it in the refrigerator until cold and then it is ready to drink!  Serve as a rich and delicious juice or mix it with vodka for a "healthy" martini.  ;)

(*If you are making the Watermelon Basil Rib Eye Steak you can use the leftover pulp from this recipe to make a paste that tastes delicious with the steak.  Simply reserve pulp in a container, heat up a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan and then add the pulp to the pan.  Let it cook on high for a few minutes, and then let it simmer until thick.  Serve with the steak and enjoy!)

Bad Joan