Pistachio Stuffed Baby Portobellos

The thought of these just makes my mouth water! I love the crunchy nuts with the sweetness of the figs all together in a nice little mushroom package.


Baby portobello mushrooms, otherwise known as crimini mushrooms deliver a wonderful balance of nutrients including selenium that helps to regulate the thyroid and immune system, iron for red blood cells and calcium for strong bones and teeth. They contain a complete amino acid profile and a serving of these will contain about 4% of the daily requirements of protein. These mushrooms are a source of copper. Copper works to help the body absorb both iron and calcium. Without enough copper one may become anemic or develop osteoporosis.  Baby portobellos have high amounts of linoleic acid which help increase metabolism, fight obesity and prevent fat deposits.

Research indicates that the fat in pistachios may not be completely absorbed by the body. The findings indicate that pistachios may actually contain fewer calories per serving than originally thought – further validating pistachios as one of the lowest calorie nuts with 160 calories per 30 gram serving. Pistachios are a weight-wise tree nut with more to offer than meets the eye. One ounce provides 12% of daily fiber needs, more than most Americans tend to feed themselves in a day. Along with the baby portobello mushrooms they also contain high amounts of copper, iron and calcium. Ounce per ounce pistachios contain more protein than most other nuts with 6 grams per serving. They are full of phytosterols which help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) absorption and thus promoting the good cholesterol (HDL). They contain vitamin A as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin all of which is a very rare find in any tree nuts.

Figs, which are as full of iron and calcium similar to pistachios, are also a great source of fiber which helps with weight management and they add a sweet touch to this recipe. They are a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium and other minerals.

Turmeric is a brain boosting spice that helps you clear out brain-clogging proteins that can build-up and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. It helps us develop nerves that help us learn and keep our minds sharp. I like to add it to my food here and there to reap the benefits!



1 (24 oz.) pkg. baby portobello mushrooms
1 cup roasted pistachios
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup dried figs
1 T chopped rosemary
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 t turmeric
2 T  ground flaxseed
3/4 cup Chardonnay white wine (one mini bottle)
Chopped pistachios for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wipe the mushrooms clean and cut out the stems. Combine the stems with the next 7 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Heat the chardonnay in medium saucepan until boiling. Add the filling ingredients and stir briefly until it  binds together. Using 1 to 2 tablespoons each, fill the mushrooms and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with chopped pistachios. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

These are very tasty and much requested muffins. I love that I can get these made very quickly too! I’m introducing the use of xylitol with these muffins!


Bananas are well known for their potassium content which is helpful for the heart, brain, kidneys and muscle tissues for starters. The potassium in bananas helps to maintain normal blood pressure, normal blood sugar levels, normal brain function, reduce the effects of anxiety and stress, assists in metabolic process of various nutrients, assists in the proper function of the kidneys and helps in keeping the cells of the body hydrated, and it is imperative for muscular strength and function.

What might come as a surprise is that one medium banana contains 3% of the daily requirements of protein and includes all the essential amino acids making it a complete protein. They are a great source of many of the vitamins from the B complex group, especially B6 which may reduce the risk of dementia and brain shrinkage. They also are a good source of vitamin C, manganese and magnesiumBananas are almost fat free and the tiny amount of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids they contain are essential to proper functioning of the nervous system and brain health as well as help to reduce low level, internal inflammation. Bananas contain tryptophan, which the body uses to make the happiness hormone serotonin.

Xylitol is found in many fruits and vegetables and our bodies make about 10 grams of it everyday. Xylitol is as sweet as sugar, but with 40% less calories, and does not rely on insulin in the body, making it the ideal natural sweetener for diabetics and it can have a positive affect on the waistline! It is slowly absorbed and metabolized, resulting in very negligible changes in insulin making it an extremely low glycemic alternative to sugar. It has no unpleasant aftertaste like sugar and other sugar alternatives. Xylitol has been used in various places around the world for decades with only positive effects. Most bacteria and yeast in the mouth are unable to make use of xylitol which slows there ability to multiply and produce acids that cause cavities. Xylitol is easy to use in baking since it doesn’t break down under heat. Expect to see more recipes using xylitol in the future.

The walnuts in these muffins contribute protein and they contain significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as well as manganese, copper, phosphorus, iron calcium and other minerals.  Plus, the antioxidant activity in walnuts is extremely potent which provides the body protection against damaging free radicals.



2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 cup xylitol
1/2 t stevia (Sweetleaf)
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup water
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup non-dairy, dark chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly oil 12 muffin cups. Combine the dry ingredients. Blend the wet ingredients together mashing the bananas. Add the two mixtures together and fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts. Fill each muffin cup equally, bake 20 minutes until they are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Lemon Dream Vinaigrette

This is the third in a series of dessert inspired vinaigrettes. In an effort to help health conscious individuals drop dessert and eat more salad I’ve created these dressings so dessert isn’t missed. Many of my friends and family have said that this one is their favorite!


The Vitamin C in Lemon Dream Vinaigrette will enhance the absorption of the iron present in such greens as endive, spinach, mustard greens, kale and radicchio. They pair together nicely for that reason and many others. Though lemon is acidic to the taste, it leaves off alkaline residues in the body. This is why it is useful in all symptoms of acidosis. Lemons help in production of antibodies in the blood which attacks the invading microorganism and prevents infection.  It has been proved by experiments that the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases are destroyed in lemon-juice. Lemon is an antioxidant which deactivates the free radicals preventing many dangerous diseases.  Lemon-juice is a powerful antibacterial. It also contains some vitamin A. Natural vitamin C is much more effective than the synthetic one. The Vitamin C of lemon-juice is very effective because it is combined with bioflavonoids (vitamin P). In addition to Vitamin C, lemon also contains niacin and thiamin in small amounts. Lemon lowers blood pressure and increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Lemon is found to be anti-carcinogenic which lower the rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Lemon juice is said to give a glow to the skin, clear the digestive system, help to purify the liver, relieve colic pain and gastric problems, help to prevent and cure osteoarthritis, lowers cholesterol levels and help to bring down your weight, and help prevent dehydration and shock in case of diarrhea.

Stevia extract is a super-sweet, low-calorie dietary supplement that helps regulate blood sugar and supports the pancreas. It is valuable for anyone with diabetes and hypoglycemia. It is a wonderful aid to weight loss and weight management because it contains no calories. In addition, research indicates that it significantly increases glucose tolerance and inhibits glucose absorption. People who ingest stevia daily often report a decrease in their desire for sweets and fatty foods. It may also improve digestion and gastrointestinal function, soothe upset stomachs, and help speed recovery from minor illnesses.

Xanthan gum derives its name from a strain of bacteria and although it sounds a bit alien it is a completely natural product and is safe to use. This bacteria is frequently found on many fruits and vegetables. Xanthan gum works as a natural stabilizer in this vinaigrette.

Flax oil is full of omega-3 fatty acids which aid in brain and nervous system function, and can help reduce the inflammation associated with asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and migraine headaches.



Zest of 1 large lemon
4 T fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t lemon extract
1/4 t stevia (Sweetleaf)
1/16 t xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill)
2 T almond oil
2 T flax oil

Whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Slowly add in the oils while briskly whisking to emulsify.  Serve drizzled over mixed greens tossed with blueberries or blackberries and macadamia nuts or walnuts. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Steamed Artichokes with Basil Dipping Sauce

Spring is the season for those wonderful artichokes and here is a delicious way to enjoy them. If you’ve never eaten an artichoke, you’re in for a treat!


Artichokes are antioxidant powerhouses, sporting more antioxidants than any other vegetable. Antioxidants helps to prevent aging, birth defects, some kinds of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.  Artichokes are also very beneficial to the liver and studies have found they may even regenerate liver tissue. Artichokes help the digestive system, they are a natural diuretic, they aid digestion and improve gallbladder function. The carbohydrate in artichokes is in the form of inulin, which has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetes. The artichokes must be fresh, as the inulin will eventually convert to other sugars as the artichoke ages. One large artichoke contains a quarter of the recommended daily intake of fiber. A medium artichoke has more fiber than an entire cup of prunes!

The basil in the dipping sauce also promotes health and youthfulness due to its antioxidant activity. It have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body which promotes healing. Basil is a very good source of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins C and K as well as a dietary fiber.

I like to add a tiny bit of kelp to many of my recipes due to the high mineral content of this amazing sea vegetable. Kelp is a great source of iodine which is essential for overall health and effects everything from the thyroid, hormones, reproductive issues, depression, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and on and on. Kelp can easily be found at Whole Food Markets and many other natural health food stores.



8 fresh artichokes
1/2 cup vegetable based mayonnaise (Vegenaise)
1/4 cup soy cream cheese (Tofutti brand)
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 t ground mustard seed
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t kelp granules
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/8 t Himalayan sea salt*
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 large, fresh basil leaves, minced

Prepare and steam the artichokes. Place steamer in a large deep pot (will need to use two pots for 8 artichokes) and bring about 2 inches of water to a boil under the steamer. Using scissors or kitchen sheers cut the tips off of all the artichoke petals and using a sharp knife cut about 3/4 inch off of the top to remove the tips of the top petals and cut the stem so the artichoke will stand easily on its own. Place the artichokes in the steamer stem end up. Steam on medium-high heat for 30 to 40 minutes or until tender and a sharp knife can be inserted in the stem with ease. Carefully remove artichokes using tongs. Serve immediately with basil scented sauce.

To make the sauce, combine the vegenaise and the next 9 ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Using a hand blender, beat until smooth. Stir in the minced basil. Serve alongside the artichokes. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Jalapeño Bisque

My sweet husband loves jalapeño bisque! He’s been waiting for  me to post this recipe for quite some time and I promised him it would on The Kitchen Twist in the month of May. If you like a little spice, this is definitely a winner!


Jalapeño peppers provide many health benefits. Studies show they can relieve sinus congestion and through their antibacterial properties they can fight chronic sinusitis. They help combat migraine headaches, speed metabolism to help ward off excess weight, they reduce cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Due to their ability to help strengthen blood vessels they are helpful in lowering blood pressure and make the blood vessels more elastic.  Jalapeños reduce inflammation that can occur all over the body and cause all kinds of diseases. Research indicates that eating jalapeños may drive prostate cancer cells to self destruct which dramatically slows and may even reverse the development of prostate tumors.

Red onions contain several types of powerful antioxidants which boost the immune system. They and have been shown to also have anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties as well as have potent anti-cancer effects. In addition, they are a rich source of chromium, a trace mineral that can help control glucose levels. This is good news for anyone who may be at risk to insulin resistance.

Cilantro’s ability to bind with heavy metals hiding in the body makes it unique. It can help to remove these harmful substances from the tissues, blood and organs and then transport them out of the body. People with metal based fillings in their teeth, or consume large predatory fish such as tuna, chilean sea bass or shark, or who have otherwise been exposed to mercury can benefit greatly through regularly consuming cilantro over an extended period of time.

The cashews in this recipe are used to create a creamy texture. They also add quite a few benefits such as dietary fiber which promotes weight management, magnesium which is beneficial to bone health, copper which is good for flexibility in joints and blood vessels and they help lower LDL cholesterol levels promoting better cardiovascular health. Cashews provide all the essential amino acids making them a complete protein. The amount of just the cashews per serving in this recipe provides about 14% of the daily value of protein.



1 T grapeseed oil
6 to 8 jalapeños, minced
1 cup finely chopped red onion (about 1/2 onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups raw cashews
3 cups water
1 avocado, peeled and diced
2 cups diced tomatoes (about 2)
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
1 T Himalayan sea salt*
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
1 red jalapeño, sliced in rounds (for garnish)

In a 4 quart saucepan, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat and add the jalapeños and onions stirring until the vegetables are almost soft. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute. Place the cashews in a Blendtec* blender with the water. Blend on the whole juice setting until completely smooth (about a minute). Add the cashew mixture to the jalapeño mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients and gently heat to blend flavors. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with additional cilantro and red jalapeño. Serves 8. slices. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Fettuccine with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Ahhhh tangy tomatoes over pasta…this would be perfect if you’re looking for an easy and tasty dish for Mother’s Day! Also, notice the new Recipe Index tab, this is a new and easy way to find all the recipes here at The Kitchen Twist!


In the area of nutrient research, nothing has been hotter in the last several years than studies on the lycopene in tomatoes. This carotenoid found in tomatoes has been extensively studied for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. Tomatoes help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage. Lycopene from tomatoes has been repeatedly studied in humans and found to be protective against a growing list of cancers. These cancers now include colorectal, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers. Scientists are finding out that it is the array of nutrients included in tomatoes, including, but not limited to lycopene, that confers it with so much health value.

Rosemary contains substances that are useful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. Rosemary also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may make it useful for reducing the severity of asthma attacks. In addition, rosemary has been shown to increase the blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. So, generously enhance the flavor of this pasta dish with rosemary, and know you’re doing your body good.



1 lb. whole wheat fettuccine
8 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
12 sun-dried tomato halves, packed in oil
1/4 cup olive oil (from the sundried tomato jar if possible)
2 lbs. grape, or cherry tomatoes (3 pints)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
1 t Himalayan sea salt*
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup Chardonnay white wine (one mini bottle)
1 cup nutritional yeast
2 (14.5 oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 T chopped rosemary
Garnish with additional chopped rosemary

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and the fettuccine cooking according to package directions. Meanwhile, roast a head of garlic and use 8 cloves in this recipe or alternately, toast the 8 whole, peeled, garlic cloves along with the pine nuts then combine with the sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil in a blendtec*blender. Whirl on whole juice setting to create a relatively smooth tomato pesto. Spread the grape or cherry tomatoes onto a foil lined baking sheet and broil in an oven 10 to 12 minutes until lightly smoked and skin appears to be browning. Sauté the chopped onion in a large large skillet set at medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, Himalayan sea salt, pepper and Chardonnay and simmer 5 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomato pesto to the onion mixture and combine. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and turn the temperature to low. Add the nutritional yeast and canned tomatoes. Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes then add the rosemary. Serve the sauce over the fettuccine, garnish with additional chopped rosemary. Serves 8. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com

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Posted in black pepper, canned stewed tomatoes, garlic, grape tomatoes, Himalayan sea salt, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, olive oil, onions, pine nuts, rosemary, Sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, Uncategorized, white wine, whole wheat pasta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment