2003 Recipe Contest Winners

Congratulations to this year's winners of the Delicious Living recipe contest! We were impressed and delighted by the range and depth of creative cooks from across the nation who sent in original recipes for us to make, taste, and evaluate. Here you'll find our top picks in each of the three contest categories: appetizers, entrées (a tie!), and desserts. These delicious and healthy recipes stood above the rest for innovation, ease of preparation, and taste, utilizing some of the best natural products available. Each first-place recipe creator receives a $150 gift certificate to the natural products store of their choice; runners-up receive a $75 gift certificate.

We thank and applaud all of you who sent in recipes, and we hope you enjoy these entries. Try them yourself and let us know what you think. And watch for the 2004 contest announcement; with a little culinary inspiration and a few choice natural ingredients, you could be our next winner.

First place: Appetizer

Greek Six-Layer Dip
Alina Niemi, Honolulu, Hawaii

Serves 8 / This attractive dip comes from the kitchen of last-year's winner in this category—clearly an appetizer aficionado! It's pretty enough for a party and easy to make ahead.

1 15-ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste
1/4 cup Hain Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon Hain Pure Salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 large zucchini, shredded
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1 2-ounce can sliced black olives, drained
Garden of Eatin' Blue Chips, Sesame Blue Chips, or Red Hot Blue Chips

1. In a blender or food processor, place beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, dill, oregano, salt, vinegar, and mustard. Purée into a somewhat smooth mixture (it will still have some texture.) Spread bean mixture on the bottom of a serving dish.

2. On top of the beans, evenly sprinkle each of the remaining layers: onion, zucchini, feta, tomato, and olives. Chill. Serve with chips.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 177 calories % fat calories: 49 Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 6mg Carbohydrate: 17g Protein: 6g Fiber: 5g Sodium: 122mg

First place: Entrée (Tie)

Savory Chicken Salad
Lynn Vezina, Cortlandt Manor, New York

Serves 6-8 / Each bite of this perfect-for-summer salad bursts with a different fresh crisp flavor. Serve with a slightly dry, fruity white wine and a sourdough baguette.

1 cup uncooked soft red wheat berries
1 cup finely diced celery
1/2 cup finely diced parsley
2 scallions, finely diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
1/2 cup Hain Pure Mayonnaise
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1/4 cup Spectrum Naturals Organic Canola Oil
2 tablespoons Spectrum Naturals Organic Golden Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
3 cups cooked chicken breast meat, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup finely diced pecans, toasted
Herb salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 head butter or bib lettuce, leaves washed and dried

1. Soak wheat berries overnight in water to cover. Drain; cover with fresh water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour or until tender. Drain excess liquid and cool berries to room temperature.

2. In a large bowl, mix celery, parsley, scallions, and dried cranberries. In a small bowl, stir together cranberry sauce, mayonnaise, and sour cream. In a third bowl, blend oil and vinegar until smooth and add blue cheese crumbles.

3. Toss cooked chicken, wheat berries, and 1/4 cup toasted pecans into celery mixture. Stir until mixed. Add mayonnaise mixture and stir lightly until blended. Add herb salt and pepper to taste.

4. Divide lettuce onto four serving plates. Mound chicken salad on each plate and drizzle with blue-cheese mixture. Top with remaining toasted pecans.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 611 calories % fat calories: 54 Fat: 37g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 68mg Carbohydrate: 43g Protein: 29g Fiber: 7g Sodium: 307mg

First place: Entrée (Tie)

Flounder Delightful
Mary A. Pringle, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Serves 6-8 / The zingy filling and crunchy topping make this dish a tasty way to get more seafood into your diet.

10 ounces frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped pimiento olives
2 teaspoons capers, chopped
1 pound flounder filets
2 tablespoons Hain Pure Oil
1 cup crushed Garden of Eatin' Sesame Blue Chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Stir together spinach, cheese, olives, and capers in a medium-size bowl. Halve each flounder filet lengthwise. Spread filling over each, dividing equally. Roll up jelly-roll style and secure with toothpicks.

2. Grease a medium, shallow baking dish with oil. Arrange filets in dish and sprinkle with crushed chips. Bake 20 minutes, or until fish begins to flake.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 223 calories % fat calories: 46 Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 42mg Carbohydrate: 11g Protein: 19g Fiber: 2g Sodium: 336mg

First place: Dessert

Cranberry-Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Larissa Whitney, Corvallis, Oregon

Serves 8 / Tangy and sweet, hearty and light-this dessert combines the best of all worlds. Serve with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

1 cup Arrowhead Mills Stone-Ground Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 cup Hain Pure Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon Hain Pure Salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup Mori-Nu tofu, firm
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup molasses or honey
1/4 cup Spectrum Naturals Organic Margarine, softened
2 cups fresh or canned pineapple chunks
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cup Hain Pure Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine first 8 ingredients (flour through cloves) in a large mixing bowl. In a blender, combine tofu, water, egg, molasses, and margarine; blend until smooth. Pour blender contents into dry mixture. Stir until combined. (Add 1 tablespoon water at a time if mixture seems too stiff). Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, combine pineapple, cranberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and pour in fruit mixture. Cover with batter. Bake 30 minutes or until set. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 236 calories % fat calories: 15 Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 27mg Carbohydrate: 48g Protein: 4g Fiber: 4g Sodium: 255mg

Runner-Up: Appetizer

Caramelized Onion-Basil Dip
Christina Manansala, Oakland, CA

Serves 8-10 / Deliciously different. Cooking the onions yields a sweet, roasted flavor that blends wonderfully with fresh basil. This would also make a great sandwich spread.

1 tablespoon Spectrum Naturals Organic Greek Olive Oil
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
1 package Mori-Nu Tofu, firm
1/2 teaspoon Hain Pure Salt
1/2 cup Hain Pure Mayonnaise
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Garden of Eatin' Sesame Blue Chips
Vegetable crudités

1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until caramelized (soft and golden brown), stirring often, about 10-12 minutes. Add a little water if necessary.

2. In a food processor, combine tofu, salt, and mayonnaise and process until smooth. Add basil and onion-garlic mixture and pulse until bits of basil and onion are mixed into dip. Season with pepper. Serve with chips and vegetable crudités.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 138 calories % fat calories: 84 Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 8mg Carbohydrate: 3g Protein: 3g Fiber: 0g Sodium: 243mg

Runner-Up: Dessert

Anytime Pumpkin Pie
Jake Ruby, Oakland, California

Serves 12 / This super-creative dessert features rich and surprising flavor combinations, including an innovative couscous crust and delectable crystallized ginger. If you're short on time, the pie would also be fabulous with a premade graham-cracker crust.

1 cup uncooked couscous
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
1-1/2 cups water
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds

2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 1/2 cups plain soymilk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon Hain Pure Salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons agar flakes
15 ounces canned pumpkin puree or baked and pureed winter squash

1 package firm Mori-Nu tofu, drained
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Rapunzel Organic Pumpkin Oil
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (optional)
3 tablespoons diced crystallized ginger
Pinch nutmeg

1. Combine couscous, syrup, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed. Stir in pecans and sesame seeds and let cool. Press into a deep 9- or 10-inch pie pan.

2. For filling, in a small bowl combine arrowroot powder with just enough soy milk to cover; stir until arrowroot dissolves. In a medium saucepan, whisk together remaining soy milk with spices, syrup, and agar flakes. Bring to a gentle boil; reduce heat and cook, stirring, until agar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Whisk in pumpkin or squash and heat thoroughly. Add dissolved arrowroot mixture to pumpkin mixture. Return pan to simmer and cook, stirring, until thickened. Pour into pressed pie crust. Refrigerate until cool.

3. For topping, in a food processor combine tofu, syrup, vanilla, pumpkin oil, and rice syrup, if using. Process until smooth. Dollop or spread on pie. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger and nutmeg and serve.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 240 calories % fat calories: 21 Fat: 6g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrate: 18g Protein: 6g Fiber: 2g Sodium: 137mg

Honorable Mention: Dessert

Magic Chocolate Mousse Pie
Sherry Schwarz, Bennington, Vermont

Serves 16 / Incredibly rich and easy to make, this dessert is for serious chocoholics only. This recipe is easily made vegan by using dairy-free chocolate chips and omitting the whipped-cream garnish.

1/2 pound whole-wheat graham crackers (16 whole crackers)
1/2 cup Spectrum Naturals Organic Canola Oil
1/4 cup honey

10 ounces Rapunzel Pure Organics Chocolate Chips, semi-sweet
1 package Mori-Nu tofu, firm
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Whipped cream, for garnish

1. For crust, finely crumble crackers in a blender or food processor. Mix with oil and honey and press into a deep, 10-inch pie plate.

2. For filling, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add tofu, vanilla, liqueur, and syrup and puree until very smooth. Pour into prepared crust. Chill at least two hours before serving. Garnish with whipped cream.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: Calories: 256 calories % fat calories: 51 Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrate: 29g Protein: 3g Fiber: 1g Sodium: 106mg