Cooking with Young Living Essential Oils

So I had a request from Liz Wysong Hoffart to organize a cooking class using Young Living Essential oils. She let me borrow some of the essential oils suggested for cooking to try out the recipes.  She also provided a cookbook. With some minor changes in the recipes, I developed a very tasty and delicious menu. Here are the recipes.  We also ordered the Young Living Oils, so there is a  limited variety at Hy-Vee in the heath and beauty section.  We used small drops of orange oil, basil oil, ginger oil, lemon oil and cinnamon oil.  What a great way to season foods without a lot of salt and fat. They all have a great fresh taste and the aroma is divine, with just 1-2 drops. The oils last a long long time.  We had good class participation with lots of questions.  Let me know if you have any questions. I am certainly not an expert in essential oils, there is much to learn.

Refreshing Cherry Lemonade
8 (4 oz.) servings

All You Need:
– 2 drops lemon oil
– 1 (32 oz.) bottle Hy-Vee black cherry Hy-Vee water cooler
All You Do:
1. In gallon pitcher, combine lemon essential oil and sparkling cherry. Mix well. Chill in refrigerator until cold and serve over ice with sprig of mint or lemon wedge to garnish.

Avocado Basil Dip
Adapted from  Nancy Myers
Makes 2 cups (30 samples for 1 chip)

All You Need:
– 8 oz. cream cheese
– 8 oz. chives, chopped
– 8 oz. Wholly Guacamole or 4-5 avocados
– 1 drops basil oil
All You Do:
1. Mix cream cheese and chives. Add guacamole. If you are using fresh avocados, cream in a blender or with a spoon until smooth. Mix in basil oil. Serve with blue corn chips.
Nutrition Information: 40 calories; 3.5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 1 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 1 g protein

Serves 15 samples

All You Need:
– 3 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
– 1 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
– 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
– 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced, or chopped or 1 drop basil oil
– ½ tsp. ground black pepper
– 1-2 drops basil oil
– 1 (11 oz.) container of Hy-Vee garlic chips
– Parmesan cheese
– Grated Parmesan cheese

All You Do:
1. Preheat oven to 450 with a rack in the top slot of the oven. Finely chop the tomatoes and place them in a medium bowl. Mix in the minced garlic and the balsamic vinegar. Stir in the thinly sliced basil or basil oil. Add freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste.
2. Arrange the toasted bread on a cookie sheets. Add tomato mixture on top of toasts. Sprinkle with Parmesan and grated cheese. Place in oven for 3-5 minutes to melt cheese.
Nutrition Information: 50 calories : 105 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 2 g protein (Nutrition information is for bread only not the toasts).
Grilled Chicken Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
7-8 servings

All You Need:
Orange Mustard BBQ Sauce
­ 4 Tbsp. blue agave
­ 4 tsp. dry mustard
­ 4 drops orange oil
Spicy Orange Vinaigrette
­ 7-10 drops orange oil
­ 2 Tbsp. blue agave or 6 Tbsp. honey or Stevia Liquid
­ 1 tsp. spicy brown mustard
­ ¼ c. light olive oil
­ 4 chicken breasts, cut into thin-sized strips
­ 5 oz. package mixed baby greens
­ 6 oz. package dried apricots, thinly sliced
­ 6 oz. package dried cranberries
­ 1 pint grape tomatoes
­ ¾ c. whole almonds, roughly chopped
All You Do:
1. For the BBQ sauce, whisk agave, dry mustard, and orange oil in bowl until dry mustard is completely saturated. Set aside.
2. For the vinaigrette, mix orange oil, agave, and mustard in blender. Remove the center portion of blender lid and slowly pour in extra virgin olive oil while blender is on to infuse extra virgin olive oil with other ingredients. Add extra virgin olive oil until a medium-thin consistency is obtained (or can be easily drizzled from fork). Set aside; do not refrigerate.
3. For the salad, while grill is off, thoroughly spray with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray. Grill chicken until cooked through. About 5-10 minutes before removing chicken from grill, “paint” chicken with Orange-Mustard BBQ sauce (chicken can also be cooked on the stove top, following the same directions). Allow to cool slightly.
4. Place handful of mixed baby greens onto plate. Place slightly cooled chicken onto greens, scattering apricots, cranberries, and 4-5 grape tomatoes around chicken. Chop almonds in food processor or place in plastic bag and beat with back of knife until almonds are broken into medium pieces then add to salad. Drizzle salad with Spicy Orange Vinaigrette and serve.
Nutrition Information: 480 calories, 20 g fat, 2 g saturated, 50 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 56 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 46 g sugar, 21 g protein

Ginger-Cinnamon Glazed Peaches
4-8 servings

All You Need:
– ¼ c. blue agave, honey, or stevia liquid
– 3 drops ginger oil
– 3 drops cinnamon bark oil
– Sweet butter
– 4 peaches, quartered
All You Do:
1. Stir agave and essential oils together and set aside. Slightly butter a frying pan and heat on medium. Once pan and butter are hot, add peaches. Gently cook peaches 1-2 minutes. Brush agave oil glaze on each side of the peaches. Allow glaze to slightly caramelize on each side. Once peaches are hot, remove and plate. Drizzle leftover glaze on top of peaches.
2. Serve over toasted Angel food cake with whipped cream or Hy-Vee sweet potato and cinnamon chips.
Nutrition Information: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 27 g sugar, 1 g protein
Essential Oils are located Next to HealthMarket in Health and Beauty.

Southwest Flavors for the Heart

Stuffed peppers and Bean and corn salsa
Stuffed peppers and Bean and corn salsa

One of my favorite passions is cooking Mexican-style foods in a heart healthy way.  So the following recipes include peppers, lime, cilantro, tomatoes and beans.  Hope you try them! I also have gluten-free versions of the recipes with  carefully picked out some gluten-free alternatives.  Sometimes you can not make out just from the list of ingredients if a product is gluten-free because of possible contamination in the manufacturing.  So I rely on the Hy-Vee product guide or website information if the product is not clearly labeled “gluten-free”.

Seafood Ceviche (Mexican Seafood Cocktail)
Serves 10 (1/2 cup each).

All you need:
1/2 pound medium shrimp, boiled, peeled and cubed (Meat)
3/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided (Produce)
1/2 cup chopped onion (Produce)
1/2 pound imitation crab meat, shredded (Meat) Look for GF versions
2/3 cup chopped tomatoes (Produce)
2/3 cup chopped cucumbers (Produce)
2 ripe small avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed (Produce)
1/2 cup ketchup (Aisle 3)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (Produce)
2 tbsp Valentina Mexican hot sauce (Aisle 4) Look for GF versions
1 tbsp olive oil (Aisle 4)
1/4 tsp salt, optional (Aisle 5)

All you do:
1. Combine shrimp and 1/2 cup lime juice in a large bowl; cover and chill 1 hour. Drain.
2. Stir together onion, shrimp, crab, tomatoes, cucumber, avocados, ketchup, cilantro, hot sauce, olive oil and salt. Serve immediately or chilled.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 140 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 390mg sodium, 13g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 7g protein. Daily values: 6% vitamin A, 25% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 2% iron.

Source: Becky Guittar, RD, LMNT

Becky’s Southwest Stuffed Bell Peppers with Quinoa and Turkey
Serves 8 (1/2 pepper each).

All you need:
1 pound Honeysuckle White ground turkey (Meat)
½ medium onion, chopped
1 tsp oregano (Aisle 5)
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or two garlic cloves, minced (Aisle 5)
1/4 tsp Salt for Life (Aisle 5)
1/4 tsp ground pepper (Aisle 5)
1 cup Ancient Harvest red or white quinoa (HealthMarket)
2 cups water
8 oz Hy-Vee Select roasted salsa verde or favorite salsa (Aisle 4)
4 red or green bell peppers, cut in half and seeded (Produce)
1/2 cup Hy-Vee grated cheddar cheese (Dairy)

All you do:
1. In a skillet, cook ground turkey, stirring frequently to break up into small pieces, until juices run clear and no pink remains.
2. Stir in chopped onion, oregano, garlic, salt and ground pepper.
3. In a saucepan, add quinoa and water. Simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until quinoa forms small circles. Stir into ground turkey and stir in salsa.
4. Fill each pepper with meat and quinoa mixture. Place in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5. Garnish with cheddar cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese

Nutrition Facts per serving: 210 calories, 8g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 17g protein. Daily values: 40% vitamin A, 130% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 15% iron.

Southwestern Black beans and Corn Salad
Serves 20 (1/3 cup each).

All you need:
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, diced
5 cups no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15.25 oz) can no-salt-added corn kernels, drained and rinsed or 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Salt for Life
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, optional

All you do:
1. In a large bowl, combine red bell pepper, red onion, black-eyed peas, corn, canola oil, vinegar, cumin, Salt for Life, ground black pepper and cilantro leaves.

Chef’s Notes
• Dried black-eyed peas may be cheaper than canned. If using dried, cook according to package directions until peas are soft but not mushy. Drain, rinse, and add 3 cups cooked peas to salad. Use leftovers in other recipes later in the week.
• Chill the salad and serve it over cooked spinach or kale.
• Use any type of vinegar you have on hand. Try balsamic, cider, or red or white wine vinegar.
• Use black beans in place of black-eyed peas if desired.
• When corn is in season, use fresh in place of canned. Cook 4 medium ears corn. Remove kernels from cob with a knife. Add to salad.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 80 calories, 3g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 45mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 3g protein. Daily values: 4% vitamin A, 15% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 4% iron.

Source: Cooking Matters at the Store

Margarita Cheesecake
Serves 12 (1 cheesecake each).

All you need:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 12 squares)  Gluten free crackers if needed
3 tbsp Splenda, Hy-Vee Delecta or stevia equivalent
4 tbsp Smart Balance margarine, melted
1 (8 oz) pkg Hy-Vee 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (8 oz) pkg Hy-Vee fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (12.3 oz) pkg Mori-Nu silken extra-firm tofu
2 (0.14 oz each) packets sugar-free Crystal Light lemonade mix
Lime juice, to taste
1/2 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip light (12 tablespoons)
2 tbsp Splenda, Hy-Vee Delecta or stevia equivalent
Lime zest and lime slices, for garnish

All you do:
1. Line 12 standard (2-1/2-inch) muffin cups with paper baking cups. Lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar substitute and margarine in small bowl, mix well. Press into 1 rounded tablespoon into bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Refrigerate crusts while preparing filling.
3. Mix cream cheeses, tofu, lemonade mix, lime juice and 2 tablespoons sugar substitute with electric mixer or food processor until well blended. Spread 1/4 cup filling on top of each prepared crust. Garnish each cheesecake with 1 tablespoon Cool Whip light, lime zest and a slice of lime. Refrigerate for one hour.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 170 calories, 10g fat, 6g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 290mg sodium, 11g carbohydrates, 7g protein.
Daily values: 8% vitamin A, 6% calcium, 4% iron.

Source: Becky Guittar, RD, LMNT