Side Orders: Fresh fruits burst with flavors

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Our local farmers markets are beginning to bloom, filling up with deliciously fresh fruits.

According to cookbook author, pastry chef and bakery owner Lei Shishak, there’s no better way to enjoy them than in a made-from-scratch dessert, such as one featured in her recently released cookbook, “Farm to Table Desserts: 80 Seasonal, Organic Recipes Made From Your Local Farmers Market” (Skyhorse Publishing, $23).

“I started gardening in 2015 and immediately fell in love with growing my own fruits and vegetables,” she says. “I learned a lot from a neighbor who stressed the importance of growing organically. It was really this personal love of gardening that prompted me to write a book focused on farm-to-table recipes.”

But she cannot grow everything, so she frequents her nearby farmers market, and early summer is her favorite time to do so, primarily, Shishak says, for the first crop of strawberries.

“Farmers markets are such a wonderful environment,” she notes. “I love talking to the farmers directly and hearing their passion for their offerings.”

Anyone who’s visited Chattanooga Market or any other farmers market in our area knows well of which she speaks. With each visit, Shishak says, she gets motivated to create new recipes around crops grown by people who put the time and effort into raising them and bringing them to market to share.

When we shop at farmers markets, we support our local economy and consume food that’s healthier, tastier and packed with essential nutrients specific to our local environment.

“I believe that interest in healthier foods will continue in people of all ages who care about what goes into their bodies,” she says. “More areas are increasing the number of organic options available to consumers, and that healthy trend should continue as the results of eating healthier are felt by more and more people.”

She’s hard-pressed to come up with any one favorite fruit, but strawberries are among her favorites, mainly because so many of her friends and bakery customers at Sugar Blossom Bake…

Meet the mum who became a social media star

Hippie Lane author Taline Gabrielian.
Hippie Lane author Taline Gabrielian.

SHE is a social media star with 495,000 Instagram followers and is a businesswoman who has turned her own battle with food sensitivities into a successful app and now a cookbook.

Taline Gabrielian, 36, created Hippie Lane after she built a successful social media following. The cookbook author started out by posting recipes she created on Instagram, following her doctor’s diagnosis that she had sensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy products, egg and refined sugar.

“After having my son Seb, I wasn’t feeling quite right,” she said in an email Q&A.

“In order to heal, I’d need to remove the offending foods from diet and find alternatives.

“It felt difficult at first – the no-no list felt long and limiting.”

However, Taline started visiting health food stores and experimenting in the kitchen – and sharing her results with the world.

“The demand for my recipes grew strong within the first six months on my social media journey which led me to create my recipe app, Hippie Lane, in 2015,” she said.

A year on, she was approached by a handful of publishers to create her first cookbook, which was released this month.

Taline shares two recipes from the new cookbook with Weekend, plus more of an insight into her food choices and family life.

How long have you been choosing this whole food or raw foods diet?

It’s been seven years since I changed my lifestyle to a gluten-free and dairy-free organic whole food diet.

What initially seemed like a major hurdle was in fact a blessing in disguise. Through my journey to healthy whole foods, I was able to establish my business, Hippie Lane, help myself to feel and look my best, whilst inspiring the worldwide health community with appealing healthy recipes.

How old are your kids now and do you ever face issues with them in public or at parties if they want to try a non-whole food? If so, how do you overcome that?

Seb is 7 and Camille is 4. Party food is definitely an obstacle for mums who are trying to steer clear of additives, preservatives and added sugars.

Although it pains me to know what’s in those party foods, I let my children choose one ‘not so healthy’ option at parties. Either it’s a piece of cake, a lolly, some chocolate, a fruit drink – whatever it is they prefer – they get to have a choice of one from the party table.

I want them to be able to join in on the celebrations without feeling deprived or different from the other kids. My belief is that deprived children rebel and seek out their cravings in other ways. I think it’s about balance and I’m keen on the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time, and be more relaxed about your choices for 20%. Same applies to adults and children.

If someone wants to make changes to their diet but is unsure where to start, what is your biggest tip?

Don’t overwhelm yourself with…

PB&T Chocolate Pudding

If you live on the East Coast, chances are you are recovering from a snow day this morning. For us, there is no better time than a snow day to try out a new recipe! Besides, if you are going to stay in and cuddle up on the couch, why not make something sweet and healthy to indulge in?

Check out this recipe for my PB&T Chocolate Pudding, straight from “The Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Cookbook!” The book features 70 healthy and delicious recipes to help you control your diabetes and weight loss, and I also help you navigate the key challenges of living with diabetes. Buy it here now!

Silken tofu gives this pudding body, and it adds protein too. Don’t worry, the addition of the cocoa powder and peanut butter means that no one will know you snuck in the tofu.

1 lb (450 g) silken tofu
1/3 cup (30 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup (60 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons peanut butter

Serves 4–6 

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the pudding mixture into mini cups or bowls and enjoy.

Per serving (if serves 6): 216 kcals, 12.5 g fat (3.3 g saturates), 15.9 g carbohydrate (11.2 g sugars), 10.2 g protein, 2 g fiber, 0.2 g salt

Recipe from The Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Cookbook by Dr. Karin M Hehenberger, MD, PhD (CICO Books, $19.95) Photography © CICO Books

Vegetarian Eggs Benedict: The Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Cookbook

This hearty vegetarian dish will provide you with ample protein and carbohydrates to help you make it through the morning. If you’re not sensitive to dairy, you can also add mozzarella cheese as a topping.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 zucchini (courgette), diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 cup (160 g) frozen chopped spinach
  • ¼ cup (25 g) pitted black olives, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon
  • dried rosemary
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 gluten-free English muffins, split in half
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Serves 2

  1. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini (courgette), tomato, spinach, olives, and rosemary, lightly season with salt and pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes until the zucchini and tomato are softened and the spinach is heated through.
  1. Meanwhile, poach the eggs. Fill a skillet (frying pan) with water and bring the water to a low boil. Break the eggs directly into the simmering water and cook for about 4 minutes until the yolk is as you desire.
  1. While the eggs are poaching, toast the muffins in a toaster.
  1. To assemble, place two muffin halves on each plate and top each muffin half with some sautéed vegetables and a poached egg.

Per serving: 489 kcals, 27.7 g fat (1.2 g saturates), 30.3 g carbohydrate (6.9 g sugars), 25.1 g protein, 7.4 g fiber, 2.2 g salt

Recipe from The Everything You Need To Know About Diabetes Cookbook by Dr. Karin M Hehenberger, MD, PhD (CICO Books, $19.95) Photography © CICO Books

A recipe book for all

A recipe book for all

Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

Mala Barua and Nandini Gulati are from Assam and Punjab respectively. Two states which, inspite of having delicious vegetables and amazing kinds of cereals, are now mainly non-vegetarian (Punjab less so, because village women are still vegetarian.) Nandini was thirty kilos overweight, had hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis and was pre-diabetic. As she learnt how to do “mindful” eating she developed an understanding of her body and the world around her. She now is disease free and very slim. A profound lesson which she learnt, that all of us should learn, is that what is good for the body is good for the planet. We are a microcosm of the macrocosm. If we eat only organic vegetables and coarse natural cereals not only will we be healthy but the planet will be green, the water pure, the air fresh and the animals happy. There will be food for all and health for all. If you eat with nature you support the entire planet.
Mala grew up watching live fish being killed in front of her and eating their bodies an hour later. She watched chickens being beheaded and she and her friends played with the decapitated heads as they blinked their eyes. She started yoga and meditation but she continued to eat animals. Then her dog collapsed and she had to put her to sleep. Something clicked. Through her tears she realised that thousands of animals were being killed and she became vegetarian. Then she met Nandini, at a 21-day disease reversal camp, and became friends. The common bond was the realisation that food could create every disease and different food could reverse every disease.
And this is what I have been saying for years. That, just as a machine runs only on good machine oil and appropriate fuel and will break down with inappropriate oil and fuel, the human body is not meant to be stuffed with non-vegetarian food. We are vegetarian animals. Meat, milk and eggs and pesticides cause everything, from bad eyesight to hair fall and acne, tuberculosis and every form of cancer. However, diseases that are thought incurable can be reversed. A friend of mine had developed a tumour in the pancreas ten years ago. This is supposed to be one of the worst forms of…

Kristin Cavallari’s Love for Cooking: Jay Cutler’s Wife Shares Zucchini Bread Recipe Pic

Kristin Cavallari

Photo credit: Photographer Group / Splash New
Kristin Cavallari took to Instagram to share her zucchini bread recipe.

A photo posted by Kristin Cavallari (@kristincavallari) on Nov
16, 2016 at 2:09pm PST

The Hills star looked stunning in black and white while she shared a pic of her freshly baked bread. The businesswoman is always on the go and now she is into another business venture. She told E! News that she would soon be releasing a cookbook.
Jay Cutler’s wife has always loved cooking and can bake the most delicious pumpkin cupcakes, apple pies, almond butter cookies, and brownies. If you wish to bake them yourself you can grab a copy of her cookbook which will be released in spring 2018. While she knows her fans are desperately waiting for the cookbook, she shares her daily diet and some health tips until its release.
“I’m so excited to announce that I’ve been working on a cookbook! I’ve been dying to talk about this for so long. It’s such a blessing,” she said at the Kristin Cavallari x Chinese Laundry and Emerald Dove presentation. She continued saying, “I’ve actually been working on it for the last couple of years with hopes I’d have a cookbook deal, and it’s finally come true, and I’m so excited. It’s going to be a reflection of how I eat on a daily basis.”
She feels diet is about...

10 Good Reasons You Should Buy My New Cookbook

I’ve officially launched my cookbook, Scratch: Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, Fun, and Totally Delicious. I could pretend that I don’t care whether or not you buy my book. But the truth is I do care! I want you to buy my book! Why do I care so much? I’ll give you 10 good reasons…
1. Cooking from Scratch tastes better than anything else in the world. (Unless it’s having someone else cook from scratch for you!) There is nothing quite like home-cooked food served up hot and comforting and just the way you like it. Do you prefer your mac and cheese crispy or gooey? I’ll show you how to do both.
2. Cooking from Scratch is so much easier than you’ve been led to believe. Learn to make things that seem intimidating but are really super simple: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, crackers! Pasta so simple my kids do it. (Even pie crust! Here’s my recipe, plus 5 deliciously easy pie recipes.)
3. Cooking from Scratch is fast. Make the most delicious foods—all from scratch—like soups, full-course meals, salads, and desserts, in less time than it takes to go to the food store and buy something pre-made (which by the time you get home will taste old).
4. Cooking from Scratch is fun! Start having more fun in the kitchen! Gain the confidence to experiment and create, make…

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