Category: Organic/Healthy


Cook as directed and then let your mind go!!!

Cook as directed and then let your mind go!!!

What is this this thing called “QUINOA”….(pronounced keen-wha)?? Some people call it a grain…some people call it a super food…and then I have  one friend that says “it looks like dirt!!”

Quinoa looks like a grain but is actually a seed but can be prepared as you would whole grains like rice or barley. But the beauty of this grain is that it has the highest protein content than any other grain.  It is gluten-free AND cholesterol free!! Hell, you can even eat it for breakfast, like oatmeal!!!  You can make salads, side dishes and add just about everything but the kitchen sink to it. It is YOUR pallet to do whatever you want!

Here I used it as a side dish….

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 c cooked Quinoa (I cook mine in a rice cooker) but in a saucepan with the ratio of 1 c Quinoa to 2 c liquid…water or chicken broth.
  •  Now,  just add “color”.  Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers, red onion, green onions..leftover chicken, left over brussel sprouts, panchetta, toasted almonds, water chestnuts for crunch…or apples…raisins or cranraisins…cilantro..tomatoes…the choice is yours!!!!
  • Whatever I am going to add, I saute in a pan with EVOO for about 2-3 mins and then I add to the cooked Quinoa.
  • Season with S & P…and anything else your heart desires!!! I mean, this is sooooo darn easy and yet, so darn good and what a great source of protein!!
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A New Twist on Avocado Salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lg shallot, sliced thin
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 TBS minced garlic from jar or 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp mayonnaise
  • Salt & pepper
  • 5 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 avocados,  cut in half, pitted & cut into ¾ inch pieces , put in a bowl and set aside.
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered (red & gold are perfect)
  • 3 radishes, sliced thin (or 1-2 cups of peeled jicama cut into matchsticks)
  • ½ c chopped “fresh” basil
  • 3 oz feta cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place sliced shallots in 2 cups of ice water (with cubes) and let stand for 30 mins.  Drain, pat dry with paper towel and put aside.
  2.  In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, garlic, mayonnaise, ¼ tsp each of S & P until mixture appears  milky and no lumps.  Whisking continuously, slowly drizzle in oil. The dressing should be thickened by the continuous whisking and do taste to see if it is too tart.  If too tart, add more oil.
  3. Take the bowl with the Avocado’s, add 2 TBS of the dressing and ½ tsp salt and “GENTLY” toss and put on individual plates.
  4. Toss the chilled shallots, cherry tomatoes, radishes and basil with the remaining dressing.  Spoon this mixture over the plated avocados and serve immediately.  If you choose to use the Feta cheese, put it on top and then serve.

This recipe was taken from the latest issue of Cook’s Illustrated and it was DEEE Licious!!!

chicken-picatta

GHEE...a great tastingt butter substitute

GHEE” also known as clarified butter, is a product which is used primarily in India. It has become a product of increasing interest to people in the United States because it is said to be a healthy alternative to butter. GHEE offers the same basic taste as butter but some of the fat has been removed from the butter which is why many people believe that it’s a better product and should be used as a butter substitute.

Here are some of the benefits of GHEE that people have cited over the years; you’ll have to try them for yourself to determine whether or not they are true:

  •  Better for people with cholesterol problems. It is said that GHEE is lower in fat than butter which means that it’s a better choice for people who have problems with high cholesterol.
  • Doesn’t burn easily. If you’re the kind of person who burns everything that you cook then you have probably burned butter in the past. You are not likely to have that problem with ghee.
  • Easier to digest. Because there is less fat in GHEE, it is easier for most people to digest than butter is.
  • Longer shelf life. GHEE can be stored for a long period of time, longer than butter can, and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated when it is stored. This makes it more convenient than butter and better in some people’s eyes.
  • Mental health. People who believe in the healing powers of GHEE say that it can restore balance to the mind and enhance brain function.
  • Skin improvements. Many people swear by the fact that GHEE helps to promote a healthy glow to the skin from the inside out. That may or may not be true but there certainly isn’t anyone who will tell you that butter does that!
  • Tastes better. This is obviously a personal preference but many people say that they like the taste of GHEE better than the taste of butter because it’s a lighter taste.

So, tonight I prepared my “Chicken Piccata” a different way and it was a hit!

  • 4 chicken breast pounded thin and sliced 3 pieces per breast (easier to cook)
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c parmasean cheese
  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • 1 box baby bella mushrooms cleaned, destemed and sliced (from produce dept)
  • 2TBS GHEE butter or you can use regular butter when you are not at BOOT CAMP!!!!
  • 1 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 TBS minced garlic from jar
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 6 oz chicken broth (organic) remember…i’m at nutritional boot camp!!
  • 1 bottle of capers (use all or half, depending on your liking of capers)
  • 1/2 lb angel hair pasta
  • broccoli spears

DIRECTIONS:

  1. get pasta pot and boil water for pasta…once boiling, add pasta
  2. get “steamer” and put into pan with medium amount of water for broccoli..then add broccoli
  3. have 2 bowls…1with the scrambled eggs and 1 with the bread crumb & parmasean cheese
  4. put GHEE in large frying pan along with 1 TBS olive oil, garlic until melted and then add pounded chix breast and first dip into the egg mixture, and then into the bread crumb mixture, then add to the pan & cook until sides have turned golden brown, then turn over and do the same.  No more than 3-4 mins and take out and put on plate and put aside
  5. now add wine & chix broth and scrape bottom of pan with spatula and then add sliced mushrooms.  cook  2-3 mins, stirring and then add juice of lemon and continue stirring with mushrooms.  consistency should be “brothy”
  6. now add chix pieces back to pan, stir mushrooms and broth over chix and then add capers, cover and put on low-med heat for about 5-7 mins.
  7. Pasta is drained, then take and put on plate…put 3 pieces of chix, cover with mushroom, capers and broth sauce and a “spear” of broccoli and voila…ready to serve!!!

NOTE:  No rolling of chicken in flour, infact no flour was even used!!!…so the sauce is more “brothy” and healthier for you and the GHEE cooks better than butter and the taste is better!!!

So, my first meal cooking with different products than what I am used too….tomorrow it is off to the health store to get my first jar of GHEE and more vegies…and let’s see what Omega 3 fats I can use!!!  It will probably be a fish of some sort!!!