Thursday, December 22, 2011


Around this time of year it's always nice to have a hearty bowl of soup to warm your bones!  There is something so comforting about it and when the soup is hearty it can be very satiating.  This is a super simple recipe, made with basic and fresh ingredients, that will definitely hit the spot...

  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped into large pieces (1/2 to 1 inch)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 7 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large yellow squash, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over low to medium heat.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions start to get clear. 

Add tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes until some liquid starts to develop from the tomatoes.  (At this point I like to just mash up the tomatoes a bit with my spoon adding to the liquid but still leaving the tomatoes chunky).

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and let simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes.  (You can let it cook for up to an hour, stirring occasionally.  The longer it cooks the better the flavor will be.  Best if you can let it sit in the refrigerator overnight before serving).

You can add more salt, pepper, or olive oil according to your taste. 

Makes approximately 4 to 5 bowls of soup.


Bad Joan

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I love spice cookies during the holiday season!  But eating a lot of sweets during this time of year can get out of control pretty quickly.  So it's always good if you can use real fruit when baking to substitute for some of the sugar.  And, of course, using whole grain flour like oat flour can help to make those delicious calories count for something good!  I found a delicious persimmon cookie recipe online (see original recipe here); I just made a few modifications to it in order to make the cookies a little bit healthy while still maintaining the yummy flavor...

  • 2 ripe hachiya persimmons (tip: these persimmons need to be super soft and often black when they are ripe, ask your grocer how to test for ripeness if you are not sure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 3/4 cups oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove skin from persimmons and puree.  Dissolve baking soda in persimmon pulp and set aside.

Sift flour, spices and salt together, set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, beat in egg and persimmon. Stir in dry ingredients. Stir in nuts.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen depending on how large you make your cookies.

Happy Holidays!

Bad Joan