Archive for January 31, 2014

Benefits of Sweet Potato

picture of two sweet potatoes

Sweet potato facts

Did you know that sweet potatoes contain 0 (that’s zero) saturated fats or cholesterol? They are a rich source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Studies find them to be helpful in fighting cancer and heart disease. This healthy choice can be prepared in many ways I prefer baking them, my husband, Chez Gordy, adds them to a waffle recipe. Check this site often as I do plan to add more recipes using this item.

North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the nation harvesting over four billion pounds of the vegetable in 1989. The sweet potato is high in vitamins A and C and low in fat and was grown in North Carolina before the European colonization of North America.


The sweet potato was officially designated the State Vegetable by the General Assembly of 1995. | (Session Laws, 1995, c. 521). ‘Sweet – North Carolina State Vegetable

Some of the great minerals we get from a baked sweet potato with skin are:

  • calcium – 32mg
  • iron – .69mg [considered one of the iron rich foods by the American Cancer Society]
  • magnesium – 27mg
  • potassium – 475mg

NOTE: above information is for 100 grams (4 ounces /


Sweet potatoes have many vitamins e.g., vitamin A, B3 [niacin; helps increase HDL blood levels and improve circulation], B5 [pantothenic acid; make and absorb proteins, carbohydrates, and fats], C, and E.

♥ Chef Ann’s note:

The leaves also have benefits according to an article published by National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

“Research has affirmed the potential cardioprotective and chemopreventive advantages of consuming sweet potato leaves, thus indicating that increased consumption of this vegetable should be advocated.” |

Sweet potato leaves: properties and synergistic int… [Nutr Rev. 2010]‘ – PubMed – NCBI


Chef Ann’s ‘MuffCakes‘ |

picture of sweet potato muffcake

Sources of information

Sweet Potato MuffCake – Basic Recipe

picture of muffcake main


This is a toss-up between a muffin and a cupcake, so I decided to give it the name ‘MuffCake’. A perfect dessert or snack.


  • 1 cup of sweet potatoes (3 medium)
  • ½ cup butter (sweet)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups shifted flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup of milk
picture of muffcake 2


Preheat oven at 375°

Preparation before cooking muffcakes

Scrub and wash potatoes in cold running water. Dry with paper towel and place in a baking pan or on a baking sheet and put in oven.

  • Bake for 25 minutes without covering.
  • Make sure potatoes are puffy to the touch before removing from the oven.
  • Allow them to cool down for about 10 minutes before removing and discarding skin.
Continue preparation before cooking
  • In a mixing bowl add potatoes and mash with a fork until potatoes have no lumps.
  • Now add melted butter, oil, vanilla, lemon juice, eggs and sugar.
  • Mix at medium high-speed for about 3 minutes making sure that the mixture is smooth.
  • In a large bowl add shifted flour, salt and baking powder. Mix with a fork for 2 minutes.
  • Combine all ingredients into your mixing bowl and mix at medium high-speed for 2 minutes.
  • Batter will be pretty thick, add milk and continue to mix for about 1 minute on medium high-speed. The batter should be well blended, slightly thick and smooth.
  • Now you are ready to begin filling your non stick muffin pans.
  • Pour batter evenly not to the top of each muffin cup

creative picture of muffcake

  • Place in oven on middle rack.
  • Cook for 30 minutes.
  • Muffcakes are done when you can prick the center with a tooth pick and it comes out clear!
  • Remove from oven and wait 1 minute before removing from pan.

Preparation time: 22 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes
Total time: 1 hours 17 minutes
Yield: 2 dozen

♥ Chef Ann’s ‘MuffCake’ Note:
  • If you do not have a mixer, you can do this by hand. It will take an extra 15 minutes. You will need to stir ingredients very well until it is mixed thoroughly.
  • Make sure that you test the center of the muffcakes before removing them from the oven.
  • As stated earlier a tooth pick is the best gauge for testing.
Helpful information

Source: The benefits of the sweet potato | Chef Ann’s blog

image of ann's tips

Toss it up to make it “Simply Delicious”

NOTE: This is the basic recipe, I plan to offer the “Simply Delicious” version as a bonus for those who do the following:


Contact Form

If you would like to get the ‘Simply Delicious’ Muffcakes recipe please send the following information:


Baked Salmon – Basic Recipe

picture of simply delicious baked salmon

picture of ‘Simply Delicious’ baked salmon with Mediterranean spinach


Baked Salmon with lemon herb sauce and Mediterranean sautéed spinach. This is a lovely lite meal for the health conscious. This is one terrific way to enjoy the omega-3 fatty acid that salmon provides.


  • 2 medium / large salmon steaks
  • 2 bunches of spinach
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh) optional
  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon lemon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian dressing
  • ¼ teaspoon of crushed parsley


Preheat oven on 350

Preparation before cooking
  • Wash and rinse spinach very well in cold water, then place in colander to drain.
  • Wash, Chop and dice tomatoes into medium size cubes.
  • Chop and dice onions
  • Rinse salmon under cold running water, pat dry with paper towel and lay flat.
  • Place salmon in baking dish and sprinkle with lemon pepper, paprika and drizzle a tad bit of olive oil over the top of each steak.
Preparation while cooking
  • In a small dish pour Italian dressing, lemon juice, parsley, and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Stir and set aside until you remove salmon from the oven.
  • Take 2 slices of sourdough bread and drizzle a tad bit of olive oil and garlic powder on one side. Slice in half and set aside until your salmon is almost ready to serve.
  • Cover the baking dish either with the lid or aluminum foil, put salmon in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • While your salmon is cooking, take a medium size skillet and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  • At medium high temperature add onions and a dash of salt and pepper.
  • Stir for about 2 minute then add broth, 1 bunch of spinach and garlic powder. Stir for 1 minute and add the 2nd bunch of spinach and cover for 2 minute.
  • Remove lid and add tomatoes a dash more of garlic powder, salt, pepper and lightly toss
  • Cover and remove from heat.
  • Remove salmon from the oven and pour lemon mixture over both steaks.
  • Put them back into to the oven without covering, for 5 minutes.
  • In a skillet on medium high heat add your sourdough bread face down, garlic and olive oil side. Let it brown slightly and both sides, turn heat off and remove from skillet.

Remove salmon from the oven and C’est fait (French for ‘it is done’), dinner is served, ENJOY!

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Servings: 2

♥ Chef Ann baked salmon Tips
  • When you remove the baked salmon from the oven to add the lemon dressing, you may turn your dial to broil instead of finishing it on the bake cycle.
  • Make sure that your oven rack is 2 down from the broiler element.
  • Just allow it to broil evenly with a slight brown glaze then turn broiler off and remove salmon from the oven.
Helpful information

“Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract.” Source: ‘Salmon‘ |

image of ann's tips

Toss it up to make it “Simply Delicious”

NOTE: This is the basic recipe, I plan to offer the “Simply Delicious” version as a bonus for those who do the following:


Contact Form

If you would like to get the ‘Simply Delicious’ Baked Salmon recipe please send the following information:


The Benefits of Omega-3

image for benefits of omega-3

Omega-3 (image credit: T&T Dezignz)

Benefits of omega-3


Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Two of the minerals that are found in omega-3, are phosphorus and selenium. Let’s talk a little bit about phosphorus; this mineral is responsible for creating some of the energy that we use every day. Second of all, it helps our bodies in synthesizing proteins, fats and carbohydrates.

I sure hope this is helpful to you I worked hard at finding this information for my site, to go along with my baked salmon with Mediterranean spinach recipe.

⇒ Chef Ann’s info-link: Find helpful information from my friends at Omega 3 Movement

Connect with them via email:

We are committed to help millions of people to live a healthier life. Thanks to your help we get the energy needed to achieve our goals. Please contact us if you also want to help!


Selenium is nutritionally essential for humans. The fact remains, that selenium fights cancer!

“The three forms of selenium most important in cancer prevention are sodium selenite, L-selenomethionine, and selenium-methyl L-selenocysteine.

Possibly the most active is inorganic sodium selenite which has been shown to kill cancer cells in more than 8 studies…”


The vitamins in omega-3 are: B3, B12 & D. Vitamin B3 aka niacin, which lowers high blood cholesterol. It also helps the body maintain healthy skin, nerves and the digestive system. Some foods that contain B3 are: fish, red meat, chicken, nuts and enriched whole grain products. For enriched grains consider: oats, buckwheat, rice, rye, quinoa, and wheat.

B12: Lean beef, liver, eggs, shellfish and dairy products.

Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and helps to keep phosphorus in the blood. Sources of vitamin D are: fish oil, dairy and sunlight.

Sources: ‘Selenium and cancer‘ – | ‘What is An Omega3 Fatty Acid?‘ – | ‘Healthy Whole Grains List, Healthiest Chart, Daily Allowance Guide‘ – | ‘The Benefits Of Vitamins A, B1-B12, C, D, E, and K‘ –


Turkey Sliders – Basic Recipe

picture of turkey slider

A ‘Simply Delicious’ serving suggestion: lettuce wrap turkey sliders, with shredded mozzarella, mushrooms and onion


Turkey sliders, a quick meal or snack using basic ingredients that most should have in their kitchen.

♥ Chef Ann’s ‘Turkey Sliders’ note:

I recommend broiling vs. frying, but that is your choice.

…broiling is the best way to cook some of your meat, fish and poultry,  provided that you do it in the a stove.Source: ‘What’s Healthier, Broiled, Grilled, Or Fried Food?


  • ¾ pounds ground turkey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • dash of paprika (optional)
  • ½ cup of mild shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder


Preheat oven at 350°
You will need a grill skillet/pan or a flat pan similar to a cookie sheet.

Preparation before cooking
  • Make sure the rack in oven is at the top position (closest to the top cooking element)
  • Add turkey, black pepper, garlic powder and salt in a bowl. With a fork mash and blend ingredients very well.
  • Scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of seasoned turkey and put in the palm of your hand and use both hands to shape into a round ball.
  • Once you have formed the ball, press into a patty (thickness is your option), but make sure that you do not make it too flat, you are not forming a typical burger.
  • Repeat this process until you have formed 6 nicely formed turkey sliders (patties).
  • Sprinkle a dash of paprika on each side and lay on a flat pan or grill.
picture of uncooked turkey sliders

Uncooked turkey sliders on grill skillet

  • Change the oven temperature to broil.
  • Place the turkey sliders on a grill or flat pan and place in the oven and cook for 3 minuets on each side then remove from oven.
  • You are now ready to dress your sliders with cheese (if desired) and serve. Yum delicious!

Preparation time: hours 11 minutes
Cooking time: hours 6 minutes
Total time: 17 minutes
Servings: 2-3

♥ Chef Ann’s ‘ground turkey’ Tip:

I prefer the “Jennie-O” brand when purchasing ground turkey.

Helpful information

Ground turkey is a terrific change of pace for those of you that normally choose beef.



Snow Peas, Bok Choy and Shrimp Stir Fry – Simply Delicious Recipe

picture of the 'simply delicious' snow pea


Are you surprised to finally see a ‘Simply Delicious‘ recipe, ‘Snow Peas, Bok Choy and Shrimp Stir Fry‘? Greetings oh gracious followers, I thought I would give you a treat, my favorite Asian dish.


Prepare your taste buds for a culinary delight. This dish will have your taste buds jumping off the charts with flavor! The Bok Choy and Snow peas are loaded with delectable spices that pare so well with the savoy shrimp. Bon Appetite!

Recommended utensils needed to prepare this dish

picture of stir fry cooking utensils


  • 1 pound baby bok choy
  • 1 pound snow peas
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 medium white onion chopped small
  • 3 tablespoon crushed fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon crushed fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons iodized (table or regular) salt
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon rice wine vinaigrette
  • 3½ tablespoon 100% pure sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (fresh squeezed or from bottle)
  • 1 pound medium size frozen deveined shrimp
♥ Chef Ann’s ‘Snow Peas, Bok Choy and Shrimp Stir Fry’ Note

Why use frozen vs. fresh shrimp: Unless you live in an area or have access to fresh (not previously frozen) shrimp use frozen shrimp.

It’s preferable to buy shrimp frozen – most are sold in five-pound blocks – as fresh is rare and thawed shrimp gives neither the flavor of fresh nor the flexibility of frozen. The shelf life of thawed shrimp is only a couple of days, whereas shrimp stored in the freezer retain their quality for several weeks. Courtesy of ‘Tips for buying and cooking shrimp’ by Mark Bittman

“When it comes to buying shrimp, “fresh” is not always better…” Excerpt from LA Times Test Kitchen Tips


Preparation before cooking
  • Shrimp: Place frozen shrimp into a strainer. Rinse with cold running water for about 5-7 minutes. Making sure to rotate the shrimp to make sure that they are thawing out. Place in a strainer and allow to drain before you cook them.
  • Bok choy: Place bok choy in a large bowl of water (enough to completely cover the bok choy),  lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt, for about 4 minutes. Rinse in cold water for another 4 minutes making sure to run your finger over all the leafs. When your water is clear of debris place in a colander, until ready to cook.

♦ Chef Ann’s quick note: You may chop bok choy or leave it whole when cooking.

  • Snow peas: In a large bowl of cold water place snow peas, add 1 teaspoon of salt and let soak thoroughly for about 4 minutes rinse and drain. Cut the ends of each snow pea and set aside till ready to cook.
  • Shiitake mushrooms:

♦ Chef Ann’s quick note: Remove stems from mushrooms and discard unless you want to add them to this dish.

  • Place mushrooms in a colander and run under cold water.
  • Rinse thoroughly for about 2 minutes, removing all dirt. Lay them down on a paper towel and peel the top layer off of each mushroom and discard (optional). Now begin chopping or slicing mushrooms and place in a bowl and set aside until ready to cook.
  • Onions: Peel onion and chop medium small pieces and set aside till ready to cook.
Preparation while cooking
  • Place shrimp in a bowl and add garlic powder, white pepper, 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic and 1½ tablespoon of sesame oil. Blend all ingredients using hands or spoon, cover bowl and set aside.
  • Pour remaining sesame oil in a large wok or skillet at medium high heat.
  • Add onion, ginger, snow peas, bok choy and remaining crushed garlic. Stir with large wooden spoon for about 4 minutes on high heat, making sure that all ingredients are blending without sticking.
  • Add rice wine vinaigrette and continue to stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl.
  • Place wok or skillet back on the burner. Add shrimp and mushrooms, stir until shrimp begins to plump and take on a beautiful mild pink color, about 2 minutes. Pour in soy sauce, add vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and Serve!

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Helpful information on snow (snap) peas

“…snap peas also help you meet some of your vitamin and mineral needs, including vitamin C, folate and potassium. You need vitamin C to repair tissue. It is also an antioxidant that protects your cells from damage by free radicals. Folate is a B vitamin that helps make new cells. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant need adequate amounts of folate to prevent spinal cord defects in their babies. Potassium is a mineral needed for building proteins and muscle, and it also helps control the acid-base balance in your body.” Source: – ‘Nutrition Snap Peas



French Toast and Blackberries – Basic Recipe

image of french toast

Picture of French toast with blackberries
(basic recipe)


Here we have a delightful healthy breakfast of 100% whole grain French toast, syrup and blackberries.


This recipe consists of 8 ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup of blackberries
  • Syrup of choice
  • 1 tbsp extra light virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices of regular size 100% whole grain bread

♥ Chef Ann’s Note: If you use really large or thick slices of bread you make need to increase the amount of your ingredients a bit.


Preparations before cooking
  • Start off with placing your blackberries in a small bowl of cold water. Allow them to soak for a few minutes and rinse them several times before placing them on a paper towel to dry.
  • In a medium size bowl pour your milk and add the eggs, vanilla and cinnamon.
  • Use a whisk to whip the ingredients well.
Cooking preparation
  • In a large skillet add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan at medium high temperature.
  • Do not add your bread until your skillet is hot.
  • Now place your slices of bread in your mixture of liquid one slice at a time, making sure to coat both sides before placing in the skillet.
  • Allow each side to brown evenly before removing from skillet to a plate or platter.
Serving preparation
  • When all of your slices have browned, begin to slice vertically.
  • Depending on the size of your bread you may have 12-16 strips.

Preparation time: approximately 25 minutes Cooking time: 7-10 minutes Total time: up to 35 minutes Servings: 2-4

picture of french toast and berries 1

♥ Chef Ann’s French Toast and Blackberries serving suggestion:

Plate with syrup on bottom, strips of French toast with perhaps a tad of butter and blueberries on top.

Related information

Wikipedia ‘French toast

“…blackberries are rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C, but other nutritional benefits include a very low sodium count and having only 62 calories to a cup.” Source: Huffington Post ‘Blackberry Facts: 10 Things You May Not Know About The Fruit’

image of ann's tips

Toss it up to make it “Simply Delicious”

NOTE: This is the basic recipe, I plan to offer the “Simply Delicious” version as a bonus for those who do the following:


Contact Form

If you would like to get the ‘Simply Delicious’ French Toast and Blackberries recipe please submit the following information:

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