Sheryl Crow cooks - and on a shoestring!

Sheryl Crow is known as much for her youthful looks and natural chic as she is for her sunny and heartfelt songs.

With her busy schedule, she never had much time to cook, and was always eating on the run wherever she happened to be playing on a given night.

But all that changed five years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Taking her illness as a wakeup call, Sheryl was determined to find a way to eat more healthily, both on the road and at home.

At that point, she met Nashville chef Chuck White. When Sheryl tasted his cooking, she was hooked, particularly by his ability to replace unhealthy ingredients with surprisingly healthy alternatives.

Now, with their new book, "If It Makes You Healthy: More Than 100 Delicious Recipes Inspired by the Seasons," which they wrote along with Mary Goodbody, Sheryl and Chuck bring their healthy, delicious creations to the home cook. It's true to Sheryl's style.

And as special "Chefs on a Shoestring" on "The Early Show Saturday Edition," Sheryl and Chuck prepared some of their recipes from their book - and tried to do it on our meager budget of just 40 bucks.

Their menu includes what Chef Chuck calls a Cyclops salad, beef tenderloin with purple potatoes, and for dessert, a chocolate avocado mousse.

RECIPES

Cyclops Salad

Chuck says he calls this salad "Cyclops" "because the fried egg on top resembles a single eye staring up at you. Until you take your fork for the yolk. When you do, the lovely yellow liquid adds a sauce-like consistency to the salad."

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 thin slices Italian bread (cut them from a large loaf, not a skinny one)
  • About 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups half-stemmed watercress (trim the bottom halves of the stems from the watercress before measuring; they tend to be bitter.)
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned and drained cannellini or fava beans
  • 1/4 cup sliced roasted red peppers, preferably organic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 2 tablespoons soy or unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs, preferably omega-3 eggs
  • One 3- to 4-ounce block Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

METHOD:

1. Preheat the oven to 375degrres F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the bread slices with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Lay the bread slices on the baking sheet and toast for 8 to 10 minutes. Turn them once during toasting to ensure even browning. Let the bread slices cool.

3. Put 1 slice of bread on each of 4 serving plates. Top each with an equal amount of watercress, beans and peppers.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the truffle oil, and seas to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle a small amount over each salad. Squeeze a lemon half over each salad.

5. When salad is complete, heat a medium-size skillet over medium heat and when hot, melt the butter. Fry the eggs in the pan, turning them once to make eggs over easy. Season lightly with salt and pepper and then transfer an egg to the top of each salad.

6. Shave 5 to 6 slivers of cheese over each salad and serve.

Grilled Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin with Chanterelles, Leeks and Purple Potatoes

Chuck says, "When I cook beef, I try very hard to make sure it's grass-fed. Sheryl and I both appreciate the humane way these cattle are raised: Grass-fed herds spend their entire lives living in open pastures where they can roam as the grass and their spirit wills them. The cattle are slaughtered at slightly older ages than corn-fed beasts - without the corn diet, they take longer to reach optimum weight - and because they are not fed grain, the meat is leaner and tastes a little different from the heavily marbled beef most of us are accustomed to. But despite the difference, grass-fed beef is equally delicious! Farmers who raise grass-fed beef tend to participate in the sustainability and organic movements and so don't give the cattle growth hormones or unnecessary antibiotics.

"This dish, made with tenderloin, is an all-in-one meal, complete with potatoes and mushrooms. Tenderloin is also called filet mignon. To make this, you might choose to buy the whole tenderloin and cut your own portions. The soft, tender meat is easy to slice into round medallions."

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2/3 cup diced purple potatoes (1/2-inch dice) or another colorful potato variety
  • Four 6-ounce portions organic grass-fed beef tenderloins
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, preferably expeller-pressed, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons for sautéing vegetables
  • 1/2 cup diced leeks, white parts only (about 1/2 large leek)
  • 1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon soy butter or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • About 1 cup micro greens, such as radishes, mesclun, red mustard, arugula, mache, or pea shoots

METHOD:

1. Fill a large saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with ice and water and set it next to the stove. Cook the diced potatoes in the boiling water until softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and immediately dunk the potatoes in the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and let the potatoes dry completely on paper towels.

2. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill so that the heating elements or charcoal are medium-hot. Before you start the fire, rub the grate with a little canola oil to prevent sticking.

3. Season each fillet with salt and pepper and lightly rub each with about 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil.

4. Grill the tenderloins for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium rare or 3 to 4 minutes on each side for medium to medium well done. Transfer to a cutting board and let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes.

5. Meantime, in a medium-sized sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the leeks, mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes longer.

6. Add the potatoes and cook just until warmed. Add brandy and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in the cream, soy butter, parsley and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

7. To serve, spoon equal amounts of the mushroom mixture onto the center of each of 4 serving plates. Top each with a fillet and garnish with micro greens.

Chocolate-Avocado Mousse Martinis with Fresh Raspberries

Sheryl says, "I love it when this is on the menu, because is appeases any craving I might have for chocolate. And you would never have guessed that Chuck used avocado to thicken the mousse and that it would make it so delicious. Avocados are mild and sweet enough to blend seamlessly with the chocolate. This is super-healthful: no eggs, no cream, no white sugar in this mousse, and yet it's absolutely glorious. Serves 3 to 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Green & Black's organic fair trade cocoa powder.)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar, plus more to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 pint fresh raspberries, for garnish

METHOD:

1. Halve and pit the avocados and scoop out the flesh. Transfer the avocado flesh to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Using a spoon, break up the avocado a little in the food processor.

2. Add the cocoa powder, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and almond extract to the processor and process for 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then process again until the mousse is very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

3. Taste the mousse and if not sweet enough, add more nectar, 1 teaspoon at a time. Pulse to mix.

4. Spoon the mousse into martini glasses or similar serving vessels. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours.

5. Serve the mousse chilled and garnished