Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce and Pecan Tuile Cookie


Each term of school I take either one or two culinary labs. This term I took a culinary lab called Designing Healthy Desserts. This course is broken up in to six groups with three students each. Each group chooses a dietary restriction from the following list: Gluten-Free/Celiac, Strict Diabetic, Pre-Diabetic/Celiac, Vegan, Vegetarian-Lacto, and Lactose Intolerant. I was asked to not be in the Gluten-Free/Celiac group because lets face that it would have been rather easy to do seeing as I live it on a daily basis so we created the Pre-Diabetic/Celiac group instead. Each class we were assigned a subject matter and had to create a dish with five components (main item, two sauces, crunch factor, and garnish). We were asked to use or create recipes that did not meet our dietary restrictions and then recreate them so they would meet our guidelines.

My group consisted of two other members, Lauren (who is AMAZING and her father is diabetic), and Peter (again he is AMAZING, and also has Celiac!). I loved working with the two of them. Probably the best group I have worked with since being in school. We all were on the same page and just had so much fun, wish we could have all the same labs for the rest of our time here (which is only a year!!!).

Below is one of my favorite recipes that we created. It is a poached peach recipe in a delicious raspberry sauce and served with a pecan tuile cookie. Seeing as our group had to incorporate not only gluten-free components but also had to be suitable for a pre-diabetic so we came up with a flour blend that worked very well in the cookie recipe we found, and instead of sugar we used xylitol. We didn’t want to use splenda in any of our creations so we used mostly xylitol and frutose which worked out very well for what we were trying to achieve.

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~Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sauce!

Adapted from “Poached Peaches with Raspberries.” Poached Peaches with Raspberries. Yummly, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2013.

These peaches are poached in a flavorful blend of white wine and spices, which is then reduced to a sauce.  The sugar is substituted with xylitol, making it a low sugar dessert.

Yield: 8 servings                                                                      Serving Size: 5 ounces

Ingredients:                                                                             U.S. Standard

  • Water                                                                                       1 1/3 cup
  • Xylitol                                                                                     7/8 cup
  • White wine                                                                               ½ cup
  • Salt                                                                                           1/6 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick                                                                        1 each
  • Lemon zest                                                                              1 lemon
  • Peppercorns                                                                             1/8 teaspoon
  • Peaches                                                                                    4 peaches
  • Raspberries                                                                              4 ounces
  • Mint leaf                                                                                  8 each

Method of Preparation

  1. Put all of the ingredients except the peaches and raspberries into a large pot.
  2. Halve the peaches and remove the pit.
  3. Add the peaches and bring the pot to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot with parchment paper and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook the peaches in poaching liquid for 7-10 minutes (time depends on the ripeness of the peaches.)
  5. Take the peaches out of the cooking liquid.
  6. Add half of the raspberries to the cooked peaches.
  7. Add the remaining raspberries to the pot and bring it back to a boil.  Reduce the cooking liquid to about half.
  8. Strain the poaching liquid.
  9. Pour the poaching liquid over the peaches and raspberries. 

~Pecan Tuile Cookies~

Adapted from “Pleasant House.” Pecan-Bacon Lace Cookies. Pleasant House, n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2013.

These cookies can be used to add a crunch to a dessert that might otherwise be lacking.  They are made with xylitol, making them suitable for diabetics.

Yield: 8 servings                                                                              Serving Size: ½ ounce

Ingredients:                                                                                       U.S. Standard

  • Unsalted butter                                                                                    2 tablespoons
  • Milk, 2%                                                                                              1 tablespoon
  • Bourbon                                                                                               ½ tablespoon
  • Pecans, very finely ground                                                                  3/8 cup
  • Brown rice flour                                                                                   1 teaspoon
  • Potato starch                                                                                        1 teaspoon
  • Tapioca starch                                                                                     1 teaspoon
  • Xylitol                                                                                                 ¼ cup

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silpat.  In a saucepan, combine the butter, milk, and bourbon over low heat.  In a small bowl, combine the ground pecans, flour, and Xylitol.  Once the butter is melted, add in the dry ingredients all at once.  Cook until gently bubbling.  Remove saucepan from heat but keep warm
  3. Drop small spoonfuls of the batter onto the lined sheet pan, leaving at least two inches between each cookie as cookies will spread.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove cookies from oven and cool on sheet pan slightly until cookies can be lifted off the pan and hold their shape but are malleable.  Cook cookies on a cookie rack, or mold into desired shape and cool until set.

Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak

Martha Stewart’s Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak

My Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (minus the red pepper sauce)

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while, but wasn’t sure how Bryan would feel about it because it has a cheese that he isn’t very familiar with and it also has capers.  I offered to leave out the capers but he said he would try them.  I should have  listened to my instincts and left them out.  He tried one but he just wasn’t a fan, they were too salty for him.  I’m not one for very salty foods but I love these green little gems, probably because I love chicken piccata so much. As it turns out, Bryan really liked this recipe and said this is one we should make again.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine and it is also in her Everyday Food Cookbook “Fresh Flavor Fast” Another great recipe from here that is also naturally gluten-free!  You would be amazed how many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free or can very easily be adapted to gluten-free.

Seeing as this is a stuffed steak, it needed to be butterflied first, then stuffed with the spinach mixture and rolled up.  I always hear about people going to the grocery store and having the butcher cut their meat a certain way such as butterflied so I thought, why not give it a shot and have them do it.  I was so wrong, no pun intended here but he butchered my flank steak.  I was so upset when I got home and opened it up.  I should have taken a picture to show you all how bad it was.  It was completely uneven with some pieces being extremely thing and others looking like they hadn’t been cut.  I made the best of it for this because I didn’t want to waste the meat but not to self, next time do it myself!  However if you have a good butcher I’m sure he would do fine but this guy was complaining the whole time he was cutting this piece.  I am very much looking forward to my meat cutting class at school!

Here is how to butterfly the flank steak according to the recipe:

Butterflying the Steak: Lay the meat on a cutting board, with the grain of the steak running horizontally. Using a long sharp knife, cut the meat almost in half horizontally, opening it like a book but stopping before going all the way through.

With the steak being cut so uneven I had to adjust the cooking time a bit and despite having to put it in a few times because the middle just wasn’t cooked to our liking (it was pretty much raw – but again I blame that on the butcher and not the actual recipe its self.) it was a very tasty, easy and fairly quick dinner.  We served ours with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Too add a little something extra to it I made a Red Pepper Sauce to go on the side to either drizzle on top of the steak or just to dip it in.   I used a container of Wild Veggie Red Pepper Soup as the base, added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon fine ground pepper.  To thicken it up just a bit I added a small amount of cornstarch/water mixture.

Have you heard about Wild Veggie yet?  If not you should check out their website and products.  Here is a little blurb about them from their website:

What is Wild Veggie? Is it a soup? Is it a drink? Is it an ingredient? If you think it’s all of the above, then you’re right! Wild Veggie is good in everything… and is good for everybody. Compared to similar products on the market, Wild Veggie is low in sodium and calories, and typically has more vitamins and nutrients, not only meeting but exceeding daily recommendations in many cases.

We start with the absolute freshest vegetables we can find, always picked at their peak of ripeness and flavor. We then wash, micro-cut, and fast cook at a low temperature, and then quickly freeze to preserve as much of the natural vegetable flavor as possible. There are no preservatives. No fake chemicals. Just the wonderful taste of pure, fresh vegetables.

Our unique process preserves the natural integrity, flavor or nutrients of the vegetables — we do not compromise on flavor or freshness, meaning that Wild Veggie is good for every body.

Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak (Martha Stewart – Everyday Food Magazine)

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen leaf spinach, thawed

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 small flank steak (1 pound)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

    1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, parsley, cheese, capers, vinegar, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cut and open steak.
    3. Cut several 12-inch pieces of kitchen twine; space evenly underneath steak. Spread spinach mixture down center of meat (see opposite). Roll steak over mixture, pressing firmly to compact the filling as much as possible; tie twine to secure roll. Cut roll in half crosswise. Place halves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet; rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
    4. Broil until browned, 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare; let rest, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes. Remove string, and slice steak into 1/2-inch rounds.


    Little bit of spice

    I used to hate spicy food.  But somewhere along the way I grew to not only like it but love it.  I ate quite a bit while living in China so that may have helped.  I’m not going to go and burn all my taste buds and mouth off for something spice though.  I want to actually enjoy my food and all the other flavors that are incorporated into the dish – whatever it may be.

    I really enjoy cooking with red pepper flakes and Thai Chili’s (see my sweet and spicy chicken recipe!). While in Italy I brought home some red pepper flakes from the Campo de’ Fiori in Rome along with a few other herbs to bring home and try.  I didn’t think much of the flakes but, these were super flavorful!!  Probably the best I have ever had or bought anywhere else.  Don’t ask me why these were so much better, but they were…maybe it was just because I bought them in Rome. Those little flakes packed a ton of flavor! That market was amazing, if you are ever in Rome I highly suggest going there and checking it out.  There was a man there hand slicing procuitto!! And the olives…oh they were to die for.

    One night when Bryan was here visiting I decided to be a nice girlfriend and make him stuffed peppers (being nice because I don’t eat peppers) and having never made them before I had no clue what I was doing…oh it was a mess!! We used some hot Italian sausage and added some red pepper flakes…a bit too many because neither of us could breath, had to open the window and everything.  Amazingly, he ate them and didn’t complain.  Probably one of the worse meals I ever made!!

    With one failed hot Italian sausage recipe down, we figured we would give another one a try.  So a few nights later I used a jar of Trader Joe’s Arrabiate Sauce (has a slight spice to it and is really good), four links of Trader Joe’s hot Italian sausage and a bag of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta.  This meal came out so much better.  If I had the time would have made my own sauce but it was a weeknight and we wanted dinner to be quick and easy. I made this meal again last night but added chopped zucchini to the mix-yummm.  You can add in any other veggies you may like – onions, mushrooms etc.  The sauce is great because it has a little bit of spice already and plenty of garlic.

    Red Sauce with Hot Italian Sausage

    1 jar of Trader Joe’s Arrabiate Sauce (or any sauce is fine)

    4 links of Trader Joe’s Hot Italian Sausage

    2 medium zucchini

    1 bag of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Pasta

    Cut the zucchini in small-medium cubes.  Remove casings from sausages and either cut or tear apart the sausage into chunks.  In a medium skillet brown sausage over medium heat until almost cooked through out.  Add zucchini and cook for an additional two minutes.  Add the jar of sauce and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

    In a large sauce pan bring water to a boil. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.  Add pasta and cook per directions on the bag (usually 9-12 minutes).  Strain pasta, reserving 1/3 cup of pasta water to be added to the sauce.  Return the pasta to the pot, add a few drizzles of olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together and about a ladle of sauce.  Serve the pasta with sauce and enjoy.

    I was on hot sausage kick this week!  Victoria (one of my current roommates) was craving pizza really badly and the only place around here for me to get any form of it is Whole Foods – 4.99 for tiny little pizza from Glutino one hot sausage link and about 15 minutes later (that pizza takes more than than it says of the package!) I had one tasty little meal.  I’ve never had one of their pizzas before and it was good…not my favorite but still good.

    Pasta-less Lasagna


    (Updated November 2010)

    When I was little every year for my birthday we would have lasagna and I loved it so much. Mostly loved it with out meat but on the occasion meat was ok . I haven’t had lasagna in such a long time and the other day Lisa was talking to me about a recipe she made with squash instead of noodles. It sounded pretty tasty so I thought I would give it a try.

    This recipe is awesome! So tasty and has a little bit of crunch from the squash. I used a Trader Joe’s sauce with a little bit of spice to it.


    2 medium-large yellow squash

    1/2 cups ricotta cheese (you can use skim ricotta to make it a bit lighter)

    1 cup frozen spinach, chopped (after its been thawed and drained well)

    1/2 cup Pasta Sauce (I prefer homemade, but jar sauce is perfectly fine)

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    Slice the squash in 1/4 inch pieces.  Lay them on a paper towel, salt to draw out the extra water/moisture from the squash.

    In a bowl mix the spinach and ricotta, season with salt and pepper.

    In a baking dish (I used a small 2qt baking dish, for a larger lasagna double the recipe and use a larger baking dish) layer the bottom of the pan with a small amount of sauce. Place the first player of squash down to cover the bottom of the pan (you may have to cut a few pieces to make it fit), evenly spread out the ricotta and spinach mixture, top with sauce. Repeat. You should get about three layers out of these ingredients. Sprinkle with some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese or top with sliced/shredded mozzarella.

    (This can also be done with eggplant or zucchini, again after slicing place on a paper towel and salt to draw out excess water).

    Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (or until mozzarella is golden brown)

    Thanks Lisa!!!