Archive for the 'Healthy Eating' Category

Beyond the Sandwhich part3

In this third installment of Beyond the Sandwich, we’re looking at lamb.

This meal is ideal for the day after your holiday lamb leftovers and when you might want something lighter.

Mediterranean Lamb Salad

Ingredients:
Romaine lettuce
Field greens
Greek olives
Spanish Olives (with or without pimientos)
Fresh garlic
Fresh basil (not the dried flakes)
Tomatoes
Burpless cucumbers
Feta cheese
Greek vinaigrette (or other vinaigrette of choice)
Leftover lamb sliced thin
Cracked pepper (optional)

Instructions
Wash the tomatoes and cucumbers
Slice tomatoes in eighths and the cucumbers into thin slices and then in half
Cover the tomatoes and cucumbers with the dressing, add 1/2 t of fresh garlic, cover and chill during remaining steps

Wash and drain all of the greens
Slice about 4 long leaves romaine in small bite-sized pieces
Add the field greens to the romaine and toss together gently
Add the olives–about 1/4 of each (or more to your desire)
Add the feta and chilled marinating cucumbers and tomatoes (include liquid)
Toss all of the above together to cover all leaves and olives lightly (add more dressing if necessary)

Lay the above into a bed on plates.
Wash and pat dry the basil.
Gently lay the fresh basil in the center of the plated mixture. (Have fun with it and make a design with the basil leaves.)
Lay the sliced lamb on top of the basil and serve.

Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Holidays, Healthy Eating, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

Beyond the Sandwich: Making Use of Holiday Left-overs (part two)

In this installment of Beyond the Sandwich, we’re looking at turkey. There always seem to be leftovers when you make a turkey, and after a while, turkey sandwiches can get a little boring. Here are two easy recipes to breathe new life into those turkey leftovers: turkey tortellini soup and warm turkey burritos/wraps.

First, set aside some turkey breast for the burritos/wraps.

Turkey Tortellini Soup

Ingredients

Turkey (still on the bone)
Stewed tomatoes
While the turkey is boiling, wash spinach and remove the spines from the leaves. Set aside.
Carefully remove bones from the liquid and discard them. You may need to use the slotted spoon to help gather the smaller bones. Use a pair of tongs to return any meat collected in the spoon back to the soup.

Add the tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes to the mixture.

Add a handful of basil (Note: other spices are not necessary as the soup will have the flavoring of whatever spices were used to season the turkey initially before cooking.)

Bring mixture to a low boil, stirring intermittently. If the mixture is too thick, gradually add cupfuls of water until it is at your desired consistency.

Simmer for 20 minutes

Bring mixture back up to a boil and add the tortellini. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions.

When tortellini is al dente (or near it) gently add the spinach to the soup by the handful and stir it into the soup. As each handful of spinach wilts down, add another of fresh spinach.
Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until all spinach is wilted.

Serve and enjoy.

Warm Savory Turkey Burritos/Wraps
(Note: these can be served cold as well, just omit the melting directions)

Ingredients
Large, round flat bread/tortillas (either wheat or corn)
Field greens/lettuce (optional)
1 T olive oil
1 medium Red onions (chopped)
Chopped tomatoes
Scallion /green onion (chopped)
Block of sharp cheddar cheese (shredded)

Optional Sauce:
Mayonnaise
Chipotle powder
Black pepper

Utensils/Gear
Knives
Cutting board
Small whisk (or fork)
Small bowl (for the sauce)
Spatula
Cheese grater
Oven

Directions
Prepare sauce and refrigerate
In a small bowl, add about ¼ tsp of chipotle powder to mayonnaise and whisk, blending well. (Add more or less of each to taste.) Dash with a sprinkle of ground black pepper to taste.

Prepare wrap
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Shred the cheddar cheese and set aside

Wash the lettuce/field greens and set aside (if using for the cold wrap)

Cut the turkey breast into long, thin strips (about ¼ to ½ inch wide)

Chop the scallions, red onion and tomatoes and mix together. Set aside.

Gently warm the tortillas/flatbread in the oven. (You can also steam them if you have a large steamer.)

When warmed, remove from oven and layer the turkey and cheese, lengthwise in the center.

Return to oven to melt cheese/heat turkey. Watch carefully as cheese melts. When cheese starts to melt, remove from oven and layer on the onion/tomato mixture.

Top with the sauce and roll up or fold into thirds. (This last part has to be done fairly quickly.)

For a cold wrap, still warm the bread but skip heating the turkey and cheese. Instead layer on the lettuce/greens, turkey, cheese, onion/tomato mixture and sauce. Roll up and enjoy.

Next up…Left-over Lamb

Posted in Cooking, Home and Garden, Healthy Eating, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

Beyond the Sandwich: Making Use of Holiday Left-overs

We’re hosting Easter dinner this year for the extended family of 15, which means that despite the gazillion-pound ham that I bought at the market yesterday, there will be left overs. There always are. And of course, with left overs comes the lingering question of what to do with them to make them interesting for the next couple of days, and maybe even for a not-too-distant lunch, snack or dinner. Sure, I could send some home with the family as they each depart for their own homes, but that still leaves whatever is left for us to contend with. Whether you’re having ham, turkey or lamb for Easter (or any other holiday), these recipes may help make greater use of your leftovers too.

Disclaimer: Please forgive any missing quantities or measurements. I cook like my mom and grandma: part alchemy, part inspiration, part magic and a whole lot of love.

What to do with left-over ham: Savory Split-Pea Soup

You’re probably thinking “ick.” But this split pea soup will delight even the biggest naysayer. (I know, because my husband loves it.) If you have a ham with the bone in, save it, wrap it well in parchment paper or a freezer bag and refrigerate overnight or freeze if it will be longer than a day or two before using. (Don’t forget to put the date on it.) Do the same with some of the meat.

Ingredients:
Ham bone (optional)
Left over ham—diced (about 1 cup)
1 16 oz package of split peas
vegetable or chicken stock/broth (about 6 cups)
Sea salt
1 T. Ground black pepper
1 T. Yellow curry powder
2 T. Cilantro or recaito
One onion peeled and diced
Several cloves of garlic diced or pressed
One to two whole carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
Olive oil
fresh parsley or cilantro
sour cream or half-and-half
optional: sherry or sauterne

Equipment:
Stock pot
Wooden spoon
Rubber spatula
Ladle
Blender or food processor

Directions:
1 Wash and drain peas. Set aside. (You can soak them in warm water while they are set aside.)
2 In the stock pot, place 2 T olive oil
3 On medium heat sautee the onion, garlic and 1 T cilantro until the onion is clear
4 Reduce heat slightly and add the ham, sautee for about five minutes
5 Reduce heat again and add 1 cup of stock/broth
6 Add in the ham bone and add more broth gradually until the bone is covered (if not using the ham bone skip to #10 )
7 Increase heat again to medium-high and bring to a low rolling boil
8 After mixture boils, reduce heat and simmer until the meat falls off of the bone
9 Carefully remove the bone from the liquid and discard
10 Add the remaining broth (you can substitute one of the cups of broth with water or dry white wine)
11 Add the peas, carrots, 1 T of recaito or cilantro, 1 t of curry and the salt and pepper
12 Increase heat again and bring to a rolling boil
13 Reduce heat, cover and let simmer until the peas are tender (use a the back of a spoon and see if you can smush the peas against the side of the pot)
14 Remove from heat and let cool about 10 minutes
15 Carefully ladle the mixture into the blender or food processor
16 Add remaining curry (or more to taste) and blend until a velvety smooth texture and a uniform color
17 Remove from blender/food processor with a rubber spatula and serve in bowls
18 Sprinkle a bit more curry over the top and add a dollop of sour cream or swirl half-and-half in gently to the soup in small measures.
19 Garnish with a sprig of parsley or fresh cilantro and serve.

This soup can be served warm or cold. It also can be served in bread bowls for a fun touch. And, as a vegetarian option, skip the meat steps use vegetable stock. For added texture, use diced potatoes instead of meat, and add when adding the carrots and peas. Use the potatoes as the gauge for when to remove the mixture from the heat and blend.

Next on beyond the sandwich, ideas for left over turkey.

Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Holidays, Healthy Eating, Guest Blogger | No Comments »

To Fish or Not to Fish?

Stay away from certain fish because they contain high mercury levels. Eat fish because it can boost your unborn baby’s IQ. What’s a mom-to-be to do?

A study out of the University of Bristol has found children whose mothers ate fish more than three times a week did better in tests of cognitive function.

A-ha. But there’s a catch. It’s not just any fish, but oily fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids, that help raise baby’s IQ. Unfortunately, some of the fish highest in Omega-3, like swordfish, are off-limits to pregnant and nursing women due to their higher mercury content.

Fortunately, many lower mercury-content fish, including, shrimp, canned light tuna, certain salmon, Pollock and catfish, are also high in Omega-3s. Farm-raised salmon tends to be lower in mercury, but also lower in Omega-3s, while Alaskan salmon tends to be the purest in the ocean. Use his handy mercury calculator to find out how much mercury is in the fish you want to eat.

To get the most benefit for the baby-to-be, pregnant women should aim for three servings per week of heart healthy (and brain healthy), low-mercury fish. You can also supplement your fish intake with an Omega-3 vitamin. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements if you’re pregnant or nursing.

Of course hubby and I want to raise a genius. So I’m starting to introduce more canned, white tuna (not albacore) and salmon into my diet (and longing for the day when I can enjoy a nice swordfish steak, again—and a cup of coffee after dinner!)

I won’t lie and call the recipe below “healthy,? but it’s definitely tasty, easy to prepare and is making eating more fish easier for me!

1 salmon steak or filet
2 cups low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 cup lemon juice
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon ginger, or more

In a baking pan or marinating dish, combine soy sauce, lemon juice and honey. Place salmon, skin side up, in marinade, for 30 minutes to an hour or more. (Refrigerate immediately!)

Remove fish from marinade and grill for 5 – 7 minutes on each side or until salmon is cooked through.

If you’re not pregnant, this entrée tastes great with a chardonnay like Robert Mondavi Private Reserve. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Posted in Healthy Eating | 3 Comments »

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is a wonderful thing. From ancient times, chocolate has been used in medicine and relaxation. Nearly everyone knows about Montezuma and his desire for, well…desire. His legendary consumption of chocolate drinks supposedly gave him the stamina he needed to keep up with a huge harem.

In recent times, chocolate has become the indulgence of choice for women. A guilty pleasure, sometimes hidden and eaten in times of stress or depression. But, chocolate does not need to be a guilty indulgence. This food is power packed with antioxidants and is actually very good for you.

When you buy chocolate for eating, remember that the darker the chocolate, the better it is for you. Americans are used to the sweeter milk chocolate, but as we age our tastes begin to mature. Dark chocolate has a stronger, slightly bitter taste. Because of many cultures tendency to enjoy sweets, they have forgotten that the taste buds are geared to detect and enjoy slightly bitter items.

You can find different strengths of dark chocolate by reading the percentages on the wrapper or package. The higher the percentage, the stronger the bitter taste. Once you have become accustomed to the darker chocolates, your heart will thank you. Why? Because dark chocolate has those antioxidants mentioned earlier and helps protect the heart.

Hey, why not go grab a bar right now?

Posted in Uncategorized, Healthy Eating | No Comments »

Friday’s Foods: Veggie Burgers!

Hey all you vegans out there and those of you who want to try out a great veggie burger with some south of the border taste…Vegetarian Times published this recipe for Hot Tamale Burgers in July and I thought I would share it with you. Even if you’re not a vegan or vegetarian you’ll love the recipes put out by Vegetarian Times. Pick up an issue if you haven’t!

1 Cup short grain brown rice
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
1 small red bell pepper (chopped)
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (1 med ear)
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced, plus 2 teaspoons sauce.
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup instant masa harina or yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3/4 teaspoon lime zest

1- Bring the rice and 3 cups of water to boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat to low, over and simmer 40 min or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

2- meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, corn, chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic, and cumin with the salt. Sauté 2 minutes, then reduce to low heat. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Whisk 1/2 cup water with the masa harina in a bowl. Add to the skillet mixture, cover, and cook on low 10 minutes more. (mix will feel like thick cornmeal mush)

3-Remove from heat and stir in hot rice, cilantro, lime juice and zest. Cool for 20 minutes. Wet hands and shape the mix into 8 large patties. You can make smaller ones, too. Pop’em in the fridge for 30 minutes.

4- Prepare the charcoal or gas grill for medium heat. Brush the burgers with olive oil, along with the rack. Grill 7 minutes per side or until crusty on the outside. (Less time for smaller burgers)

Yummy, yummy! Top these guys with some smoky cheddar or Monterey jack, be sure to put the cheese on a few minutes before removing from the grill. Toast your buns for extra flavor.

Special thanks to Stacey for giving me the inspiration for this post!

Posted in Cooking, Healthy Eating, Nutrition for Adults | 4 Comments »

Friday’s Foods: Healthy Substitutions

Spices

Do you need to change your diet to include more healthy foods? There are still pleanty of foods you can enjoy, especially if you use substitutions. Sometimes it may be hard to figure out what you can use in place of another ingredient. To help you with this change, I offer a list of healthy substitutions for commonly called for ingredients.

1 Baking Chocolate Square- 3 tablespoons carob powder from the health food store and 2 tablespoons of water.

Butter or Margerine- Vegetable oil, sesame oil, or tahini butter in the same amount called for of butter or margerine.

1 cup of Buttermilk or Sour cream- 1 cup of low fat yogurt, 1 cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cornstarch- Arrowroot, agar agar

Cottage Cheese- An equl amount of tofu

Ground Beef- Use the same quantity or weight in ground nuts, soy beans, tofu crumbled, or textured vegetable protein.

1 egg- 1 tablespoon arrowroot or 1 tablespoon cornstarch. This works well in baking.

Milk- Soy milk or nut milks. Almond milk is especially nutritious and tasty.

Peanut butter- Use other nut butters such as hazelnut, walnut, almond, or cashew butters.

To replace salt you can use salt substitute or make your own mix of dried herbs. There are many different recipes for dried herb mixes that you can place in your own shaker and use to season your food. If you have spices and herbs that you favor above others, try experimenting until you have your own secret mix to season all of your favorite recipes.

Posted in Cooking, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Nutrition for Adults | 4 Comments »

Sneak Some Vitamins Into Your Kids (and you!)

A Vitamin Packed Smoothie.

A well balanced diet is the best way to get kids full of the proper vitamins for their growth. Fish, fresh fruit and veggies, plus whole grains will help your children stay healthy. All of those foods have the right balance of nutrition when combined with other healthy choices.

But what if your child, or you, hate some or most of those foods? In that case, it is very easy to become deficient in nutrients the body needs to stay strong enough to prevent sickness and even bone breakage. Luckily there are many foods you and your kids can eat that will sneak in the vitamins and nutrients the body needs. Foods that are stuffed with the ever important calcium, vitamin A, and essential omega fatty acids.

Many people love to snack on salty or sweet crunchy foods. Pumpkin seeds can help fulfill this desire and be flavored so many different ways. With a toss of olive oil and seasoned to taste, it’s so easy to make a crunchy snack! The combinations are infinite. I use a full pumpkin’s worth of seeds that have been picked clean from the gourd, washed, then laid flat to dry. You can speed this process by using a paper towel. Then toss the seeds on a large bowl with about a tablespoon of olive oil if you have it, vegetable oil if you don’t. Once covered well with the oil, sprinkle in some good sea salt, then choose your seasoning. My kids like them sweet so I try to add a little sugar for a ‘kettle cooked’ taste. Some adults love the Cajun flavors, so just sprinkle on about a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning to start.

These are only my ratios. You can use as much or as little as you’d like to satisfy your own taste. Experiment with other spices and herbs to make your own unique pumpkin seeds recipe.

I have been known to hide veggies into dishes you wouldn’t normally find them. A few days ago I made a stir fry with very thinly sliced steak, a whole head of cabbage, a bag of spinach, onions, carrots, and a huge sweet red pepper. Oh, and mushrooms. I used an electric wok and cooked the very thinly cut steak first. After that, I just dumped in the other ingredients, turned the wok to low and let it go until everything was soft. A small dash of sugar and a few shots of soy sauce made this dish taste slightly Asian, but not too strongly. Because of the way the veggies were sliced the kids assumed they were noodles. Go figure!

If you have a juicer, you’re ahead of the game. You can add a little vegetable juice into fruit juice, or to put into a soup stock instead of chicken broth. Try it in breads instead of water for a vitamin boost to your grains. Simmer rice in a water and veggie juice mix to help replace the vitamins that were lost when white rice was milled.

If you’re creative, you can find so many ways to sneak healthy foods into your children or yourself. Maybe even into a reluctant spouse. For more ideas and information on healthy eating, check out this article Healthy Eating: Best Sources Of Fiber.

Posted in Health, Nutrition, Cooking, Healthy Eating | 1 Comment »

Kitchen Health: Cinnamon

This Toast Can Lower Your Cholesterol!

I love cinnamon and have ever since I was small. The scent is so warm, inviting, and has even been found to boost memory, along with cognitive function! I guess that’s why remember Grandma’s cookies so well. Ok, maybe not, but they were so tasty.

I add cinnamon into different dishes you probably wouldn’t normally think of dumping it into. The spice has a wonderful way of bringing out the flavor of other ingredients, especially pork. Try a dash in spaghetti sauce or meatloaf.

Cinnamon has so many benefits to the body. A recent study found cinnamon in a ½ teaspoon dose daily can lower LDL cholesterol. It can also help regulate blood sugar in diabetics. Another great benefit is the ability cinnamon has in stopping yeast infections that are resistant to medication. Here is a short list of some other great things about cinnamon:

1. It’s full of manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber.
2. It’s an anti-clotting agent for blood.
3. Mixing cinnamon with one tablespoon of honey and taken every morning can give relief in sufferers of arthritis.
4. At Copenhagen University, a study has shown cinnamon reduced the growth of leukemia and lymphoma.

Wow. So many more reasons to love one of our most popular kitchen spices!

Posted in Uncategorized, Health, Arthritis, Chronic Illness, Cold and Flu Remedies, Diabetes, Healthy Eating, Herbs and Natural Remedies | 3 Comments »

Mmm…Tasty!

Oh, so sweet!

I promised some yummy desserts to pop into those lunchboxes! I found one recipe and I’ve ‘designed’ the other. Before I get to them, I want to talk about creativity and your child’s lunch. If you want your child to eat the lunch you’ve so carefully prepared you should be creative in the presentation. Don’t worry, it’s nothing like the gourmet plating you see on cooking programs.

Kids love interesting foods, the texture, taste, and look all factor in. Knowing they have a delicious dessert to follow the interesting wrap or sandwich you packed will only make the whole meal more fun and interesting for them. Don’t go overboard, though. Frilly ribbons to tie baggies shut might turn off your son. And his friends. Bright fruits, dips, and interesting containers will do the trick.

For really young kids, instead of a written note, try just drawing a happy one. A smiley face, a heart, a flower, or your best drawing of their favorite cartoon character can brighten up their day. A simple ‘I love you’ is the very best note to slip in. Try writing it on their juice box, the inside of their lunchbox lid, or in another unexpected place they’ll be sure to see.

Now, on to dessert…

Want healthy and sweet? Try out a Banana Dog! Just pop a hot dog bun into a baggie that has been spread with peanut butter on one side and jam on the other and a small baggie of raisins, cocunut, or peanuts inside. When your child gets to the cafeteria all she has to do is peel the banana and place into the bun, then sprinkle with the extras. Neat, huh?

If you want seriously sweet…rather your child does, try candy bar brownies. This is so easy! Just whip up a bowl of pre-packaged brownie mix, line a muffin tin with cupcake liners, pour the cups 1/3 full. Place half of a snack sized candy bar in the middle, then cover with more brownie mix. Bake according to directions. You can use any snack size candy bar.

These are just two idea. How many can you come up with? Share!

Posted in Uncategorized, Cooking, Healthy Eating | No Comments »

             More Entries >>



Google