Can Green Really Mean Red?

Green means a healthy way.  In this edition of Tonia's Daily Dish, we'll talk about the merits of green Chlorophyll and how it boosts red blood cells.  Peggy Kotsopolous, or Peggy K. for short, joined Tonia on Tuesday's broadcast of Tonia's Kitchen to talk about her book Kitchen Cures, and specifically the more Chlorophyll you eat, the more red blood cells you have in your body, and the more energy you have.

So how can you eat more Chlorophyll?  Eat more greens to start, or as Peggy K. recommends, use a supplement known as Chlorella, which is found in algae. To find out more...visit Peggy's website


Thai Butternut Squash Soup-In Less Than A Hour!

Moosewood Restaurant.jpg

From the Moosewood Favorites Cookbook-

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

A velvety soup, that colors your place setting with vibrant orange and bright green.  This seasonal broth yields a vibrant as well— spicy, sweet, and tangy all at the same time.

Yields 9 cups

Time: 55 minutes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon Thai curry paste, or more later to taste

1 butternut squash (about 212 pounds), peeled, seeded, and chopped (6 cups)

3 cups water

1 lime

one 14- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

2 cups baby spinach, cut into chiffonade

sugar as needed

14 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Warm the oil in a covered soup pot on medium- low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and salt and cook until the onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the ginger and curry paste and cook for a minute or two more. Add the squash and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.


While the squash is cooking, zest and juice the lime. Add about a teaspoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of the juice to the pot. When the squash is tender, stir in half of the coconut milk. In a blender or food processor, purée the soup. Be careful, hot soup can erupt!

Return the puréed soup to the pot and reheat.


Taste for sweetness, spice, salt, and tang. Depending on the sweetness of your squash, a spoonful of sugar may bring the soup to life. Add more lime juice and/or curry paste to taste. Stir in the chiffonade of spinach and the cilantro, if using, and cook just until the spinach has wilted.



• Add 1 or 2 keiffir lime leaves to the pot while the squash is simmering. Remove and discard before puréeing.

• Substitute lemon zest and juice for the lime.

• Although butternut is the easiest winter squash to peel, other winter squashes can be used. Or, to save time, substitute three 12- ounce packages of frozen winter squash for the fresh, or use the precut fresh squash cubes that many supermarkets offer.

• Replace the squash with sweet potatoes.



Serve the soup topped with chopped scallions and pan- fried tofu cubes, or cubed Thai Baked Tofu.
Finely chopped Thai basil would add a tasty compliment.  Thai Noodle Salad would also make a delicious addition as a side dish, when coupled with this soup.


This week on Tonia's Kitchen

We start the week talking Indian food with Chef Raghavan Iyer. His new book, Indian Cooking Unfolded, is a great resource to learn to cook Indian food.

Monday - August 19th

Today we talked about a delicious recipe using potatoes and split peas.

Smoky Yellow Split Peas

Tamatar Chana Dal

Dals are a cornerstone of India’s meals since they are an inexpensive way of infusing proteins, fiber, and bodybuilding nutrients into one’s diet, vegetarian or otherwise. Common to fi nd, yellow split peas are easy to cook and do not require any presoaking. The spicing techniques in this recipe hail from the southeastern region of India where roasting spices to yield nutty-hot fl avors is key to creating a layered experience. I have simplified the number of spices used but have kept the authenticity in terms of assertiveness and balance. Oh, and best of all, no added fat! For the foldout meal I have chosen a rice pilaf to accompany the dal, but for an everyday meal, be sure to have some steamed white rice (page 27) to absorb all that saucy goodness.

Gluten Free

Makes 6 cups; serves 6

1 pound potatoes, russet or

Yukon Gold

1 cup yellow split peas

14 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 to 4 dried red cayenne chiles

(like chile de árbol), stems


1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 medium-size tomato, cored and


2 tablespoons fi nely chopped fresh

cilantro leaves and tender stems

112 teaspoons coarse kosher or

sea salt

1 Peel the potatoes and cut them into ó-inch cubes. Transfer the cubed potatoes to a bowl large enough to hold them. Add enough cold water to cover the potatoes to prevent them from oxidizing and turning black.

2 Place the split peas in a mediumsize saucepan. Add water to cover and rinse the peas, rubbing them between your fingertips (I just use the fingers of one hand to do this). The water will become cloudy and may have some debris like the odd skin from the peas (even though they are skinless) or dust from the packaging. Drain this water. Repeat 3 to 4 times until the water, upon rinsing the peas, remains clearer. Add 4 cups water to the pan with the peas and let it come to a boil over medium-high heat. You will see some foam rise to the surface; scoop it out and discard it.

3 Drain the potatoes and add them with the turmeric to the peas, stirring once or twice. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan. Cook the mélange, stirring occasionally, until the peas are tender but still firm looking and the potatoes are cooked 20 to 25 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet feels hot (when you hold the palm of your hand close to the bottom of the skillet you will feel the heat), usually after 2 to 4 minutes, add the chiles, coriander, and cumin. Toast the spices, shaking the skillet every few seconds, until the chiles blacken and smell smoky hot and the seeds turn reddish brown and smell incredibly aromatic (nutty with citrus undertones), 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer the spice blend to a blender and plunk in the tomato. Puree, scraping the insides of the blender as needed, to make a smooth, reddish brown paste with a smoky aroma that is sure to knock your socks off.

5 Once the peas are cooked, add the tomato and spice paste to the pan. I usually pour some of the liquid from the peas into the blender and process it for a brief second to make sure I get every last bit of the tomato paste, and then pour it back into the pan. Stir in the cilantro and salt.

6 Increase the heat to medium-high and let the dal boil vigorously, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the fl avors mingle and the sauce thickens slightly, 12 to 15 minutes. If you would like the sauce to be thicker, mash some of the peas and potatoes with the back of your spoon. Serve the dal warm.

1 Once you’ve cubed the potatoes, rinse the peas in water, draining them

2 Scoop out and discard any foam as the peas come to a boil.

3 Add the potatoes and the turmeric to the peas.

4 Cook the potatoes and peas, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and

peas are tender.


Tuesday - August 20th

Basmati rice is so delicious and easy to work with. Try this recipe for a quick side dish.

Sweet-Scented Pilaf

Masala Pulao

Perfuming oils with whole spices has been classic to north Indian cuisine for thousands of years (no, I am not exaggerating). Western cultures call it blooming (or tempering) but we call it tadka. Whatever the nomenclature for this technique, the results play a pleasing game with your palate of how-much-can-you-eat-without-stopping. Give in and savor the pilaf as a side to any main dish, salad, soup, or even a starter. It makes an elegant bed for the Ultimate Chicken Curry and Smoky Yellow Split Peas in our foldout menu.




Makes 3 cups

(serves 6 as a side)

1 cup Indian or Pakistani white

basmati rice or long-grain white


2 tablespoons ghee, homemade

(page 31) or store-bought, or

canola oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

12 teaspoon whole cloves

6 green or white cardamom pods

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

2 cinnamon sticks (each about

3 inches long)

1 small red onion, cut in half

lengthwise and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon coarse kosher or sea salt

1 Place the rice in a medium-size bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the rice. Gently rub the slender grains between the fingers of one hand, without breaking them, to wash off any dust or light foreign objects (like loose husks), which will float to the surface. The water will become cloudy. Drain this water. You don’t need a colander for this; I just tip the bowl over the sink to pour off the water, making sure the rice stays in the bowl. Repeat this 3 or 4 times until after you rinse the grains the water remains relatively clear. Now fill the bowl halfway with cold water and let the rice sit at room temperature until the kernels soften, 10 to 15 minutes, then drain the rice.

2 Heat the ghee in a mediumsize heavy pot or saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it appears to shimmer, sprinkle in the cumin, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks. The spices will sizzle, turn reddish brown, crackle, and scent the air with sweet aromas in 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the onion and stir-fry the slices until lightly brown around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.

3 Add the drained rice to the spiced onions, tossing them gently to coat the rice. Add 1ó cups of cold water and the salt. Stir the rice once or twice to incorporate the ingredients. Bring the water to a boil, uncovered, still over medium-high heat and let boil without stirring, until the water has evaporated from the surface and craters are starting to appear in the rice, 5 to 8 minutes.

4 Now (and not until now) stir once or twice to bring the partially cooked layer of rice from the bottom of the pan to the surface. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Let the rice steep for 8 to 10 minutes (8 if you are using an electric burner, 10 for a gas burner). Then turn off the heat and let the pan stand on that burner, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.

5 Uncover the pan, fluff the rice with a fork, and serve. You may choose to remove the cloves, bay leaves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks before you serve the rice. I usually leave them in since they continue to perfume the rice and just instruct the folks eating the rice to watch for those whole spices and eat around them.

1 Place the rice in a bowl and have all your ingredients prepped.

2 Fill the bowl with enough water to gently rinse the rice, separating the grains with your fingers.

3 When the water gets cloudy, gently rinse the grains without breaking the slender grains.

4 Once the rice is ready, sprinkle the whole spices into the hot ghee and allow them to sizzle.

5 Quickly add the sliced red onion to the sizzling spices to prevent them from burning.

6 Stir-fry the medley to coat the onion with ghee.

7 Allow the onion to brown around the edges.

8 Add the rice and fresh water to the pot and cook until most of the liquid evaporates from its surface and craters start to appear.

9 Once cooked, uncover the pan and fluff the rice to release any pent-up steam.

Extra Credit

The whole spices used here are some of the spices most commonly used in versions of garam masala. Here they are left whole, gently infusing the nutty clarified butter with subtle aromas and tastes—great proof that in northern India not all garam masalas are ground.

Wednesday - August 21st-

This is a perfect dish for your weekend brunch.  Turmeric has such great health benefits along with providing a nice spice to normal hash browns.  Enjoy!

Turmeric Hash Browns

I am not lying when I say this is one recipe I succumb to every Saturday or Sunday for breakfast. Not having potatoes piled into the beautiful ceramic bowl given to me by my friend Richard Bresnahan, a potter of national and international renown, is cause for panic and a quick trip to the store. For you see, I am a self-confessed potatoholic. I need them, I want them, and I covet them with unabashed lust. In India we were not privy to this tuber prior to the sixteenth century and we thank the Spanish and the Portuguese settlers for that gift from the New World. Now, no meal in India is replete without the inclusion of potatoes in some shape, size, or form. These shredded wonders incorporate one spice (turmeric) and two fl avorings (cilantro and chile) to yield a golden-colored, perfumed, and pleasingly hot cake that is crisp on the outside and moist inside.



Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a breakfast

2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes

(see Extra Credit)

12 cup fi nely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and

tender stems

112 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt

12 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 habanero chile, stem discarded, and

fi nely chopped (do not remove the seeds;

see Extra Credit)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 Peel the potatoes. Shred them in a food processor using the shredding attachment or by scraping them against the large holes of a box grater. Pile the potato shreds into a medium-size bowl. Mix in the cilantro, salt, turmeric, and chile. Because you are dealing with the heat of a habanero, use a spoon to do the mixing.

2 Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or well-seasoned cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil appears to shimmer, spread the turmeric-colored potatoes in the skillet in an even layer that is about 2 inches deep. The sizzle as soon as the potatoes hit the skillet is a good sign that the skillet is the right temperature.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes covered, without stirring, until they are nice and crispy brown on the underside, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the thick patty over using 2 spatulas and brown the second side the same way, 10 to 12 minutes.

3 Serve the potatoes immediately to experience the crispy exterior and the soft interior.

Extra Credit

• A combination of turnips and rutabagas, instead of or in addition to the potatoes, adds a deeper dimension (keep in mind the total amount for the recipe is 2 pounds). Using sweet potatoes adds a sugariness that markedly offsets the habanero chile’s capsaicin (the chemical that gives chiles their characteristic heat). If you really want to take the easy way out, buy preshredded potatoes from the refrigerated section of your supermarket. I won’t judge, I promise.

• The Cubans may be known for their infamous cigars but let’s not lose sight of their other gift to the world—that addictive member of the capsicum family called the habanero (which means “from Havana”). Potent, perfumed, pungent, the habanero may sometimes be labeled as a Scotch bonnet, even though the latter is a different variety of the same species. It is widely available among the chiles and the peppers in the vegetable bins of neighborhood grocery stores. It is the second hottest cultivated chile and with a reputation to hurt so good. Please be advised to use disposable gloves while chopping it. The habanero's fruity aromas are unmistakable as soon as you cut it open. Discard the veins and seeds if you wish a gentler heat. Serranos or jalapeños are okay alternatives but keep in mind they don’t possess that fragrance I so adore.

Chef Kevan Vetter - McCormick Spice Kitchens

Thursday - August 22nd

Chef Vetter joins me to talk about using a variety of wood chips to enhance your grilling adventures. Pecan wood is one of his favorites and might be yours if you give it a try.

Listen to the interview.

Friday - August 23rd

Chef Vetter shares a quick and easy marinade.


Apple-Fennel Guacamole Recipe by Rick Bayless

Turn up the volume on guacamole by swapping out onion in favor of apple and fennel.


Listen to Rick Bayless describe how it's done and take a look at the recipe below.

This is the kind of guacamole to put on a dressed-up table with lots of fresh vegetables for dipping, maybe some garlic toasts or grilled pita, even some rustic tortilla chips.

Recipe: Apple-Fennel Guacamole
Yield: about 3 cups

Ideas for serving: My favorite way to serve it as a condiment with grilled chicken or fish on an Indian summer afternoon sitting in my backyard. Which happens far too infrequently.

However, with the Superbowl this weekend - why not try it out on your friends and guests.


  • 1medium fennel bulb, stalks and fronds cut off
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt
  • ½ medium apple (a crisp-texture one like Granny Smith works good here), peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 ripe, medium-large avocados
  • 1 generous teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large serrano or 1 small jalapeño, stemmed, seeded (if you wish) and finely chopped

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the fennel bulb in half, then cut each half in 3 wedges. Lay them in a single layer in small baking dish, drizzle them with olive oil, measure in ¼ cup water, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, cover with foil and slide into the oven. Bake until the fennel is tender, about 1 hour. Cool. Remove the fennel to a cutting board, pull off any exterior layers that seem fibrous, cut out and discard the pieces of core that hold each wedge together, then chop the remainder into tiny pieces—the tinier the better here.

While the fennel is cooking, scoop the apple into a bowl, sprinkle it with the lime juice and toss to combine. Refrigerate until you’re ready to use it. Mash the avocado flesh in a large bowl: Cut the avocados in half, running a knife around the pit from top to bottom and back up again. Twist the halves in opposite directions to release the pit from one side. Scoop out the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half. With an old-fashioned potato masher, large fork or back of a large spoon, coarsely mash the avocado.

Add the thyme, chopped green chile, apples (including all the lime juice) and half of the chopped fennel to the avocado, and stir to combine. (Refrigerate the remaining fennel to add to a salad or pasta dish.) Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate until serving time.

When you’re ready for the guacamole, scoop it into a serving dish and sprinkle with the cheese.


Pan Fried Onion Dip by Marlene Koch

Today Marlene Koch, Author of Eat More of What You Love, talks about her Pan Fried Onion Dip. This is a healthier version of the traditional onion dip. We made this for a recent party we had - it was a huge hit. A must try recipe! If you want to cook healthy for your family and guests without losing taste, this is your go-to cookbook.

Tune in below and listen to Marlene discuss her Pan Fried Onion Dip recipe.

Recipe: Pan Fried Onion Dip

  • 1 tsp. canola oil 
  • 3 cups roughly chopped or sliced onions 
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar 
  • 3 tbsp. light tub-style cream cheese 
  • 3 tbsp. light mayonnaise 
  • 1 cup light sour cream 
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion 
  • 3/4 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper  

Heat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the onions, lower the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the brown sugar and continue to cook for another 7 to 10 minutes, stirring periodically, until onions are deep golden brown. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise. Add the sour cream and then the remaining ingredients, including the warm caramelized onions.

Serve immediately, or place dip into a serving dish, cover, and put in refrigerator for 30 minutes to meld flavors and serve as a cool dip.

Some notes: Make sure you onions are deep golden brown; mine could have used a little more time in the skillet.


Quinoa Burger by Carolyn Hemming

This burger is better! A meatless, meat-lover’s burger, this is a full-flavour burger with the perfect combination of toasted pecans, mushrooms, aged cheddar, herbs and of course, red quinoa. These burger patties hold together well for freezing and make for a quick and easy meal option.

Today Carolyn Hemming, Author of Quinoa Revolution talks about her Quinoa Burger. Made with using red quinoa, grape seed oil, diced onions, cheddar cheese, rolled oats, pecans and more.

The Better Burger - Quinoa Burger
From Quinoa Revolution by Carolyn Hemming  ~

  • 1 cup (250 mL) water 
  • ½ cup (125 mL) red quinoa 
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grape seed oil or vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced onions 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) finely chopped cremini or white button mushrooms 
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) minced garlic 
  • ¾ tsp (3 mL) dried marjoram 
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) dried oregano 
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL) shredded reduced-fat aged cheddar cheese 
  • ½ cup (125 mL) toasted pecans, chopped fine 
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) rolled oats, quick cooking (gluten free if required) 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce or tamari (gluten-free if required)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease.

Combine the water and quinoa in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and cool.

Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Sautee the onions for about 5 minutes or until the onion is starts to become soft and transparent. Add the mushrooms, garlic, marjoram and oregano, sautéing for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside to cool.

Mix together in a medium-sized bowl, the quinoa, mushroom mixture, cheese, toasted pecans, oats, egg, and soy sauce.

Using a ½ cup (125 mL) measure, scoop mixture on to the parchment and form into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick patties leaving 1-inch (2.5 cm) between (should make 8 to 9 patties). Bake for 27 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve. Note: These burgers can also be cooked in an oiled fry pan or on a barbecue baking sheet.

PER SERVING: Energy 150 calories; Protein 7 g; Carbohydrates 13 g; Dietary Fiber 2 g; Fat 9 g; Sugar 2 g, Cholesterol 25 mg; Sodium 130 mg.


Red Velvet Waffles with Beet Juice by Carolyn Hemming

Shhh. No one will guess these velvety waffles are sweetened with nutritious pureed red beets. Extra delicious with served with the optional Lemon Cream Cheese Topping.

Today Carolyn Hemming, Author of Quinoa Revolution talks about her Red Velvet Waffles. Made with beet juice, cocoa powder, using quinoa flour (typically sold right beside the quinoa seeds in your grocery store).

Red Velvet Waffles
From Quinoa Revolution by Carolyn Hemming  ~

  • 2-3 small beets 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) water 
  • 2 cups (500 mL) quinoa flour 
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) cocoa powder 
  • 4 tsp (20 mL) baking powder 
  • 3 Tbsp (45 mL) organic cane sugar (or white sugar) 
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
  • 1¼ cup (310 mL) 1% or 2% milk 
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil 
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract 
Lemon Cream Cheese Topping (optional)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) light cream cheese 
  • ½ cup (125 mL) low fat plain yogurt 
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup 
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) pure vanilla extract 
  • ½ tsp (1 mL) lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, bring the beets (with skins on) and water to a boil. Lower temperature to medium heat and continue to cook the beets until tender. Save and set aside the red cooking juice. Rinse beets under cool water and gently remove the skin with your fingers. Chop beets into large chunks and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth and set aside to cool.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. In a separate, medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla, ¼ cup (60 mL) of pureed beets and 1 cup (250 mL) of the red beet juice saved from cooking. Blend well and set aside.

Lemon Cream Cheese Topping (optional): In a medium bowl, whip the cream cheese, yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside. Grease or lightly spray a waffle iron with cooking oil and preheat it. Pour the batter onto the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions and close. Remove the waffles when the lid lifts open easily, about 5 to 6 minutes. Serve with lemon cream cheese topping (if using) or butter and maple syrup. Waffles will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days in a sealed container. Reheat in a slice toaster or toaster oven.

 PER SERVING: Energy 390 calories; Protein 12 g; Carbohydrates 49 g; Dietary Fiber 8 g; Fat 17g; Sugar 11 g, Cholesterol 75 mg; Sodium 200 mg.