February 18, 2019

(pronounced "po-keh") means "to slice or cut." Originating from the islands of Hawaii, it started as a snack for fishermen. They used up the off-cuts of fish and added Japanese and other Asian seasonings. Poke is usually bite-sized pieces of raw fish or shellfish mixed with spices, herbs, nuts, fruits, vegetables, seasoning, seaweed and kukui, a nut relish. It can be served as an appetizer or snack.

As a main dish, it goes with rice, a freshly made salad or toasted bread. Whatever fish or shellfish you choose to use or seasoning you marinate it with, it is bloody delicious. Fresh and healthy, it's made in minutes and will satisfy the whole family.

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Chickpea Bread

February 11, 2019

Believe me, this bread is so easy and has the added bonus of very little clean-up and, I promise you, no waste. It is healthy, fabulously delicious, vegan, gluten-free and addictive, in a healthy way. Need I say more? Just one thing, enjoy!

Chickpea Bread
One 8 inch pie

1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
Cooking spray

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Pan Roasted Red Snapper with Spinach, Beans & Green Grapes


February 4, 2019

The northern red snapper is a native species of fish from the western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. It's a wonderful source of lean protein that is rich in selenium, vitamin A, omega 3 fatty acids and potassium. It has firm flesh that cooks in minutes, either pan roasted, grilled or steamed, which makes it a fabulous and easy to prepare dish.

A lot of people are scared to cook fish or shellfish, but like anything you should at least give it a try. Cooking is all about temperature control and time. Start by bringing your piece of fish to room temperature, then season it with salt and pepper. If you're leaving the skin on, then slash the skin with a very shape knife, which will stop the piece of fish from curling as it cooks. Make sure your frying pan is hot but not too hot; it shouldn't be at the point of smoking. The oil should shimmer when hot, then add the fish and cook for 2 to 3 minutes

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Pan Fried Wild Alaskan Salmon with Sun-Set Slaw


January 28th 2019

From 1998 to 1999, we lived in Alaska and had one of the best years. I was on a teacher's Fulbright Exchange program at the Martin Luther King Career Center in Anchorage, which was an extraordinary school with amazing teachers and staff. We actually lived 10 miles outside of the city with only six other houses in our neighborhood. We were surrounded by mountains and tall pine trees. We had a family of moose living in our back yard, and the brown bears would periodically run down the street between the houses.

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Sweet Potato Wedges with Roasted Garlic Dip

 January 21, 2019

Healthy snacks or healthy party appetizers are hard to come by! Especially this time of year. But with a little thought and imagination you can keep things healthy by using fresh ingredients. You're always going to find garlic at the local store, along with potatoes and fresh herbs, so this recipe is simple and delicious, go on give it a try.

Crème fraiche is Frances favorite form of cream to cook with and use in the kitchen especially with smoked salmon or trout. It has a tangy hazelnut flavor to it, so it works well with seafood and poultry. With more body and complex flavors than fresh sweet cream, creme fraiche is a thick, rich, custard of a cream that works well with sweet or savory delights, and makes the perfect dip to accompany sweet potato wedges.

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Oven Baked Flounder with Pistachio Pesto & Ancient Grains

 January 14, 2019

This is one of those dishes that I made up when I saw one ingredient at the store and thought, "Let's have fresh fish tonight." I got home, opened the fridge and the pantry and thought, "Ok, what will go nicely with this beauty?" In the pantry, I found pistachios nuts but not enough. I added pumpkin seeds. In the fridge, there was fresh basil. So let's do a take on pesto. Ancient grains, canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Dinner was sorted in about 30 minutes. Go on give this recipe a try or get creative with what's in your kitchen. Enjoy!

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Christmas leftover Turkey Kedgeree


January 7, 2019

                I love leftovers, and what better way to use turkey leftovers than to make a "somewhat traditional kedgeree".
Kedgeree is a traditional Scottish (Indian) dish consisting of cooked, flaked Haddock, boiled rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, and occasionally sultanas and it can be eaten hot or cold. Kedgeree was listed as early as 1790 in the recipe book of Stephana Malcolm of Burnfoot,

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Roasted Carrots, Radishes, English Peas, Tomato & Quinoa Salad

 December 31, 2018

Let's take a moment to talk about a very underrated vegetable - the pea. The pea is not actually a vegetable but a fruit since it contains seeds developed from a flower. But nonetheless, the pea is loaded with health benefits. With only 100 calories per cup and lots of protein, fiber and micronutrients, peas are a real power house food. One cup provides 44 percent of your daily vitamin K allowances along with generous amounts of vitamin B1 and folate, B2, B3 and B6. Niacin found in peas helps to reduce the production of triglycerides and very low-density lipoproteins which results in decreased bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increased good "HDL" cholesterol.

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Jicama Slaw with Toasted Buckwheat and Crumbled Feta Cheese

December 24th, 2018

If you haven't tried jicama give it a try. I tasted my first jicama over ten years ago and I just love it. Other names for jicama include yam bean, Mexican potato, Mexican water chestnut and Chinese turnip. It's the root of a plant that produces beans similar to lima beans. Has a globe-shape to it with papery, golden-brown skin and interior flesh that is juicy yet crunchy, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. It tastes like a cross between a potato and a pear/apple. Originally grown in Mexico, jicama eventually spread to the Philippines and Asia. It requires a long growing season with no frost, so it thrives in locations that are warm year-round.

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Turmeric Honey Roasted Vegetables

 December 17th 2018

Whenever I eat root vegetables, I'm always reminded of my father and the happy memories growing up in the North East of England. My parents moved from their council house in Arkwright Street, Gateshead. To a brand new home in Eighton Banks when I was only 4 years old. My parents, were the first in our family to actually own their own home. In those days virtually everyone rented their house from the local government, hence the name "council house". One of the reasons my parents bought the house at the time, was it came with a huge garden. 70 foot long by 30 foot wide. My father was a very keen gardener at the time.

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Wake Up Call for Your Gut

December 10th, 2018

The origins of yogurt trace back as far as 5000 BC. I find it hard to believe that this creamy, tangy treat has been eaten across Europe and the Middle East since the Roman times for its health benefits. The health benefits come from colonies of "good" bacteria introduced during production. These bacteria digest the carbohydrates in the milk and produce lactic acid. The acid, in turn, causes the milk to gel, giving yogurt its thick, creamy texture.

The "good" bacteria are called probiotics. They are wonderful for your digestive system and can prevent a whole host of stomach issues. Seventy percent of your immune system is located in your gut. Eating probiotic foods like yogurt actually encourages more good bacteria to grow, keeping your immune system strong. Add some fresh fruit and homemade granola, and you have a really healthy start to your day that will keep you satisfied well into lunch time. If you are one of the 60 million Americans who struggle with digestive problems, give your gut a wake-up call every morning with this recipe.

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Vegetable Soup

 December 3rd, 2018

I have said this before and I'll probably say it again, but my boys love soup any time of the year, especially in the fall and winter months. Since we have the roaring fire pit on most weekends now, what better that to sit chat, laugh and reminisce about vacations, movies and family events with a blanket around your shoulders and a hot bowl of nutritious soup warming your hands and your stomach at the same time.

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Easy Peasy Carrot Soup (with a slight touch of heat)

Chef Mark Allison's Column

November 26th, 2018

When I was playing around in the kitchen one weekend using up leftovers, I came across some carrots, a can of coconut milk, and an almost empty bottle of Thai chili sauce. I thought, "Let's combine these and see what we come up with." Well, if I say so myself, this was the best soup I've ever made. It is velvety smooth, stunning in color, delicious to taste with a slight touch of heat, and, boy, easy to make. This could definitely be a go-to soup to impress family or friends at your next dinner party. It's also fabulous as a comforting fall or winter lunch soup with toasted artisan bread or served cold in the hot summer months as a refreshingly cool appetizer.

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Split Pea Soup

 November 19th, 2018

Moving to a more plant based diet many years ago gave me the opportunity to work with a really underrated ingredient - dried beans, peas and lentils, a.k.a. legumes. They are simply mature beans that are dried and then removed from their pods. They are virtually the perfect food, full of flavor, very versatile to use, very inexpensive and nutritionally dense with protein, dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates.

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Oriental lentil broth

Oriental lentil broth

This soup is so simple yet tastes delicious so give it a try tonight - I'm sure the family with love it! Here's some information to share with the family over dinner tonight: Did you know that a cup of lentils contains about 18g of protein and a whopping 16g of fiber. That 1 cup also provides 37 percent of the Daily Value of iron and 49 percent of the Daily Value of manganese. Manganese is an important trace mineral that's essential for growth, reproduction, brain function and the proper metabolism of sugars, insulin and cholesterol. Additionally, the ancient Greeks used lentils in soups, salads and bread making over 10,000 years ago. Also, Catholics who could not afford to buy fish during "Lent" ate lentils. Just some interesting facts.

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Miso Soup

Chef Mark Allison's Column

Miso Soup

I love soup and so do my boys. This one is pretty easy and tastes wonderful. I first tried miso soup while on an amazing teaching opportunity in Singapore many years ago.
Where do travelers go to have good local food at a reasonable price in Singapore you may ask? That's the question I was asking myself on the flight there as I had already been told that Singapore was expensive.

The answer was quite simple - hawker centers, also known as food courts. At these down-to-earth culinary destinations, you can find a wide variety of local dishes, from Chicken Rice, Fried Kway Teow, Hokkien Mee, Bak Kut Teh, Satay, Laksa, Chilli Crab to the vegetarian Yong Tau Fu dish to miso soup.

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Mushroom Soup

October 29, 2018


Chef Mark Allison's Column

Store bought creamy mushroom soup that is not full of crazy ingredients can be hard to come by these days. Trying to find a vegan version is pretty much impossible (read the label very carefully). Even if you do, it's likely full of salt, preservatives additives and colorants. Well not anymore!

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Recipe of the Week



 October 8, 2018


Fabulous Green Bean Salad from Cooking Light

This dish is loaded with powerful phytonutrients and good fats.


Dr. M

Sweet Potato recipe

July 24, 2017


Try this recipe with 1/2 the amount of butter or ghee and maple syrup. You will still be pleased with the final product.

Always consider reducing the sugar content of any recipe and assess the taste. Many dishes have unnecessary amounts of sugar and fat in them. Give this a twirl.

Dr. M

Strawberry Delight

July 10, 2017

Keep it simple

Using Organic strawberries, cut away the stem and feed it to your Coco (dog). Slice flesh in half and place in a bowl. Melt 70% or greater dark chocolate in a sauce pan. Lightly drizzle with the sharp end of a knife dipped in chocolate to leave a thin line on the berries. Less is more here as the chocolate is an accent and not used to overpower the berry flavor. Delicately salt for a sweet salt contrast and serve.

Dr. M