Dec 28, 2011
2 c buttermilk, kefir or yoghurt
2 t vanilla extract
1 t sea salt
1 c filtered water
6-8 T butter
pinch of nutmeg and/or cinnamon (optional)
Soak flour in buttermilk (I make my own buttermilk using a good quality plain yoghurt and pure water (about 50/50 ratio)). Leave this mixture in a bowl with a dish towel over the top and in a warm place for 12-24 hours. The longer you leave it, the more sour it becomes so I prefer 12 hours because I haven't acquired the taste of sourdough completely yet. This soaking of the flour will make it a lot easier for your body to digest the whole grains...yeah!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Beat eggs for several minutes. Add flour mixture, vanilla, water, and salt and process another minute. Get 2 13x9 inch pans (I use glass) and 1 9x9 inch pans ready and cut/distribute the butter between all 3 dishes. Place all 3 pans in the oven to melt the butter and when the butter starts to sizzle and the dishes are heated well, pull them out. Pour the batter in the hot pans and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. I like to turn the temperature down to 375 after putting them in so the edges don't brown as much.
After they are done, I often sprinkle them with a cinnamon/sugar mixture and serve them with fresh berries and a little pure maple syrup. YUMMMMM...........
Dec 23, 2011
1 orange (peeled, segmented)
1 sm. apple (cored, sliced
3/4-1 cup sugar
Blend in a food processor or heavy duty blender until smooth. Adjust amount of sugar to your liking.
Serve with your turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!
Dec 21, 2011
1 lb. Italian sausage
- Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain, but reserve 2 T drippings. Stir in the onions, garlic and celery with the drippings; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the chicken broth into the bacon and onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pwhite beans and carrots and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the milk and cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale or spinach into the soup just before serving.
*The original called for potatoes, but I prefer the change with beans and carrots. But this recipe is super flexible. It's mostly the bacon and sausage flavors that make the soup. Someone said they just add in milk with cornstarch for thickness, but I don't mind it thin. As long as you eat it with our good artisan bread!
4 c water (or to taste)
2 sticks cinnamon
1 orange, sliced
46 oz. apple juice
optional: splash of cranberry juice (or handful of cranberries)
Throw everything in the crockpot and simmer for a few hours.
This is GREAT for the holidays and simple...makes your house smell wonderful!
Dec 12, 2011
Pumpkins on the whole are very high in potassium, and have good amounts of beta carotene and vitamin C. They are also a good source of calcium and fibre. It also has vitamin E, vitamin A, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein.
Pumpkin seeds are one of nature's almost perfect foods. They are a natural source of beneficial constituents such as carbohydrates, amino acids and unsaturated fatty acids. They contain most of the B vitamins, along with C, D, E, and K. They also have the minerals calcium, potassium, niacin, and phosphorous.
Snacking on ¼-1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds can deliver the nutrients mentioned at the outset of this article, as well as calcium, vitamin K, protein and important omega-3 fatty acids. Just one serving gives you almost half the recommended daily amounts of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, vitamin K, and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and monounsaturated fats.
Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw, baked, roasted or toasted (with a little salt).
Preparing and Eating Pumpkin
If you're not use to having cooked, fresh pumpkin, just cut the top off and scoop out seeds, then replace the top back on and put it in the oven for about 1 hour on 400 or so (depends on size). When it's cooked through, pull it out. (careful, it drips and sags, so put a tray under). Then I scoop out the inside and mash it up. You can put it in ice cube trays and then pop the frozen cubes into a bag to use later. I use them in sauces, brownies, bread, pancakes, soups, etc.--and for baby food. Or instead of mashing, cut into cubes and throw into chili or curry. Tip: large pumpkins are really wet and not as well flavored, so either use small pumpkins for baking, or be prepared to cut back on some of the other liquids. And 1 can of pumpkin is about equal to 2 or 2 1/2 c. pumpkin. You can substitute pumpkin for many things (like the fat in baked goods). Have fun with it.
You can buy a bag of pumpkin seeds at health/nutrition stores (don't buy the expensive name brand fancy bag stuff). Throw them in your granola or ganola bars or chop up and throw in a topping or on a salad.
Try Some Recipes
Spinach Feta Stuffed Pumpkins
Pumpkin Spice Cookies
*info from articlesbase
Dec 7, 2011
1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
1/4 c crispy pine nuts (soaked and toasted as noted below**)
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp. parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
*soak pine nuts in filtered water with a little sea salt for 7 hours, drain in a colander and put on cookie sheet to bake in a warm oven-no hotter than 150 degrees for 24 hours or in a dehydrator till completely dry. Store the rest in an airtight container
Cut onions in half along the equator and remove all layers inside except the last 2. Brush the inside of each onion half with a butter and place them on a buttered glass casserole dish ready to fill. You can cut the very bottom of them to help them stand.
Chop the onion taken from the centers and saute in olive oil until tender. Add rice, pine nuts, oregano, cheese and parsley and mix well. Remove from heat, stir in the egg and season to taste. Fill the onion shells with the stuffing. Add a little water to the baking pan and bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour.
This dish (taken from the book, Nourishing Traditions), goes very well with fish and some green sauteed vegetables!
Nov 22, 2011
2 c. rolled oats
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flax seed, ground
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. white flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
1 c. raisins/craisins
1/4 t. salt
1 egg beaten
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. applesauce
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips (opt.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease 9x14 pan.
In large bowl mix oats, sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, flour and raisins. Make a well in center of mix and pour in honey, egg oil and vanilla. Mix well using hands. Add chocolate chips if desired.
Now pat mixture evenly into pan, leaving 1/2 inch of space to scrape out bars.
Bake 30-35 minutes (til golden edges). Cut into bars while still warm and let cool.
*Submitted by Chantel, from her friend
Nov 21, 2011
Nov 18, 2011
2 T butter, melted
Nov 16, 2011
2 c. kosher salt
½ c. butter, melted
2 onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 c. dry white wine (or chicken broth)
- Rub turkey inside and out with kosher salt and place in a large stock pot and cover with water.
- Place in the refrigerator and allow turkey to soak overnight in the salt and water mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly rinse the turkey and discard the brine mixture.
- Brush the turkey with ½ the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, ½ the carrots, ½ the celery, 1 sprig of thyme and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan and cover all with the white wine.
- Roast uncovered 3 ½ to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F.
- Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time and brush with remaining butter.
- Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving!
*Recipe by Julie Haltiner
Nov 9, 2011
1/2 c. raw cashews (soaked for 4 or more hours)
2 T. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c raw honey
3/4 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. nutmeg
3/4 t. powdered ginger
Blend all together. Serve cold.
*I enjoy using this to cook my oats in for a yummy morning oatmeal recipe: 1 cup oats to 1 3/4 c eggnog. Just boil egg nog and then add oats. Cook three minutes and then let sit for 3 minutes. Voila. I sometimes add in raisins when I add the oats, so they're more plump and warm too.
*You can also add this to nut milk instead of regular milk, but I didn't want to make our nut milk recipe...although it'd be easy if you soak more cashews and just make it at the same time. You can use pumpkin pie spice instead of these listed. Or add a tiny dash of clove and also tiny dash of tumeric (which gives a little yellow color).
Oct 6, 2011
2 c. flour (white, or wheat, or combo)
1/2 c. butter
1/2 t. salt
6-8 T cold water
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. onion
1 c. carrots
1 c. celery
2 T flour
1 c. potatoes, cubed
1 c. corn
1 c. cooked chicken
1 1/2 c. chicken broth (plus additional milk as desired)
1. Make the crust in one bowl: cut the butter into the flour/salt until crumbly.
2. Add cold water little by little until desired pastry consistency.
3. Roll into two balls and flatten to 1/4 inch. Line a pie plate with one (save second for the top).
4. In a pan, sautee onions, celery and carrots in butter until soft.
5. Add flour until everything coated, then add potatoes, corn, chicken and broth and cook 30 minutes.
6. Put filling into pie pan and cover with top pie crust. Cut slits on top and bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
*I added a cup of milk to the filling at the end, and cooked until bubbly and thickened so it was a little creamier and not too thick. Otherwise your pot pie could be too thick and dry.
This is a very versatile recipe dependin gon preferences.
2-4 onions, thinly sliced (depending on your like of onions)
2 T butter
1 T sugar (I used rapudura)
1-3 T balsamic vinegar (or apple juice or something similar)
8 c beef broth
swiss cheese (for topping soup and/or bread)
1. Sautee onion in butter for 12 minutes until brown and limp.
2. Add vinegar or juice for one minute until evaporated (to flavor and help the pan not blacken from sauteeing)
3. add sugar and cook one more minute.
4. Add Broth and simmer for 15 minutes.
5. ladle into soup bowls and top with some grated cheese and even sliced cheese if you want to then put bowls in the oven to broil the sliced cheese over the soup bowl.
*Tastes great using garlic butter french bread toasted/broiled with swiss cheese on top to dip/break into the soup! The original recipe called for sherry instead of vinegar, but I used pomegranite flavored vinegar and it tasted great.
Sep 2, 2011
Ok, so many of you may already have eaten eggplant and think, "This is a new food for you?" But although I've had it before...I've never sought it out at the store to use in recipes. This is my fourth time cooking with it and I can finally say I'm enjoying it. The first time I tried it roasted, which wasn't bad. I even tried it breaded to dip with a marinara sauce...but it didn't work out for some reason. But this week I've been baking it in the oven (wash, cut in half length-wise, place cut side down and bake on 450 for 20-30 minutes). I've scooped out the cooked flesh and used it in a curry or soup, or flipped it over and used it whole as a boat (Zucchini Sausage boats recipe --in place of the zucchini and switched a few things by using mozzerella, tomato sauce and italian flavorings). It's a very versatile recipe.
Eggplants are related to tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. The fruit of eggplants is often large and decidedly egg-shaped, although there are varieties that are long, curved and slender. The eggplant skin color can range from creamy white to deep purple. Eggplant tends to be less nutritious than other vegetables, but does have some redeeming qualities, including offering high dietary fiber and low calories and fat.
Eggplant originated in India where they grow wild. By the fifth century, eggplant was cultivated in China, later spreading to Africa and Europe. Because of eggplants' tendency toward bitterness in early varieties, it was assumed that it could change one's personality to a bitter attitude, and so, was often ignored as a food. Later, varieties that were not bitter were developed increasing the popularity of eggplant. Eggplant eventually came to the United States and is grown widely in many regions both commercially and in home gardens.
SelectionEggplant should be firm and feel relatively heavy, with smooth, shiny skin. While it does come in many colors, eggplant should be strongly colored and not have bruises or discoloration. Eggplants spoil easily and should be stored intact and cut only when ready to be prepared for eating.
ContentsA 100g serving of eggplant provides around 35 calories, with only 2 calories coming from fat. Eggplant provides 9g carbohydrates, 1g of protein, and less than 1g of fat per serving. The same serving is also an good source of vitamin K, B6 and thiamin. Eggplant also provides manganese and is a good source of dietary fiber and phytonutrients.
BenefitsEggplants are also a good source of dietary fiber, which can help improve cardiovascular and digestive health, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper
ConcernsEggplant contains oxalates, chemicals that can crystallize in the body when levels are high enough. This can cause kidney or gallbladder stones. Oxalates can also inhibit calcium absorption. Those with a history of gall bladder or kidney disease or osteoporosis may want to limit their intake of eggplant.
*info from livestrong.com
Aug 22, 2011
frozen, prepared pie crusts
Aug 17, 2011
Aug 8, 2011
2 garlic cloves
- Preheat the oven's broiler. Arrange the whole cloves of garlic, tomatillos, and jalapenos on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler, and cook for a few minutes. Remove garlic cloves first, as soon as they are toasted, to avoid developing a bitter flavor. Continue to roast jalapenos and tomatillos until evenly charred, turning occasionally. Set aside to cool. Don't remove the charred parts of the tomatillos or the peppers (unless desired). They add a really nice flavor.
- Place peppers and tomatillos in a blender with the garlic and cilantro. Add a little water to the mixture if necessary to facilitate blending. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
*We use this as a salsa for chips/nachos, or as an enchilada mothering sauce. :) I used more than one jalepeno and thought it was too spicy, so I added some lemon/lime juice. My husband didn't think it too spicy, but just right. (he likes spicy! I don't care for it, but this recipe worked well)
Aug 6, 2011
1 lb sausage
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan, grated (opt.)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c water
1. Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out insides, leaving 1/4-inch shell. Chop the pulp.
2. In large skillet, brown the sausage. Add onion, garlic and chopped zucchini pulp; sautee 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat. Add breadcrumbs, 1/2 c parmesan cheese and egg; mix well.
4. Sprinkle salt in each zucchini shell and fill with meat mixture. Top with additional parmesan if desired.
5. Place shells in ungreased baking dished and pour 1/2 c water into bottom of each dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
6. Uncover and bake another 15 minutes of until zuchini is tender.
*I used turkey burger seasoned more like sausage (cumin, ginger, cayenne, oregano, fennel, etc.) and used left over bread crust for bread crumbs. I always add two eggs, although the original recipe just calls for one. I also like broiling for a minute or two for a slight crunch, once fully cooked.
Aug 4, 2011
1. BLENDER METHOD
Measure the sugar, water and lemon juice into the blender container, add a generous quantity of herb leaves, and blend for a minute or so until smooth. Pour the liquid through the fine strainer and immediately freeze it in an ice cream maker. Although you can use ordinary granulated sugar, fine sugar (also known as baker’s sugar) is a better choice because it will dissolve faster in the syrup without heat. This method works best with lemon verbena, lemon geranium, tarragon and mint. It also works well with basil, but you’ll get the best color if you blanch the basil leaves first (a quick dip in boiling water followed by a cold-water bath).
2. INFUSION METHOD
As easy as brewingherbal tea. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan, toss in a bundle of herb sprigs (stems and all), cover the pan and take it off the heat. Let the herbs steep for 15 minutes or so and then strain. The syrup will carry the flavor and fragrance of the herb while the green vegetal flavor of the leaf, along with the stems, will stay behind. Next, add citrus juice and freeze. This is the more versatile method because it works with nearly any herb. The infused syrups also can be mixed with fruit purees like berry, melon or peach, creating endless combinations of herb and fruit sorbets.
If you make a sorbet with nothing but sugar, water and an herb, it will taste cloying and flat; but add the correct amount of lemon juice and the flavor will be bright and refreshing. Fruit purees each have their own level of sweet and tart, so the proportion of sugar syrup may vary with each particular fruit.
Too much sugar will make a sorbet that is too soft; too little sugar will make a sorbet that is too icy. You’ll need to rely on your taste buds or a recipe.
1 cup of sugar
3 ¼ cups water
¼ cup lemon/lime juice
Although there is no firmly defined difference between a sherbet and a sorbet, sherbet often is made with dairy or egg whites. Here are two recipes to try....
Lemon-Verbena Yogurt Sherbet
• 2 cups lemon verbena leaves, lightly packed 2 cups whole-milk yogurt
• 1½ cups fine sugar 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1½ cups water
1. Puree lemon verbena, sugar and water in blender on high speed.
2. Whisk together yogurt and lemon juice in a mixing bowl.
3. Strain lemon verbena syrup through a fine sieve into yogurt; whisk until smooth. Freeze immediately in ice cream maker until slushy-firm. Scoop into storage container and freeze until firm enough to scoop.
• 3¼ cups water
• 2 cups basil leaves, gently packed
• 1 cup fine sugar
• ¼ cup fresh lime juice
1. Bring water to a boil in small saucepan. Add basil leaves; cook 10 seconds. Drain and plunge basil into cold water. Drain again.
2. Puree sugar, water, lime juice and blanched basil leaves in blender on high speed for about 1 minute, or until you have a smooth, bright-green liquid. Pour through fine-meshed strainer.
3. Freeze immediately in an ice cream maker until slushy-firm. Scoop into a storage container and freeze until firm enough to scoop.
Read more: http://www.herbcompanion.com/cooking/5-easy-delicious-sorbet-recipes.aspx?page=2#ixzz1U4S6X2sB
Aug 3, 2011
- Brown eggs: Eggshell color can vary but it has nothing to do with the quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness of an egg. The eggshell color only depends upon the breed of the hen.
- Omega 3 enhanced eggs are from hens fed a diet flax seed or fish oils. Omega 3 enhanced eggs contain more omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E than the regular eggs (almost 7 times more than regular supermarket store eggs)
- Organic eggs are produced by hens fed certified organic grains without most conventional pesticides and fertilizers. Growth hormones and antiobiotics are also prohibited. Organic eggs have the same nutritional content, fat or cholesterol as regular eggs.
- Free-Run or Cage-free eggs are produced by hens that are able to move about the floor of the barn and have access to nesting boxes and perches. The nutrient content of these eggs is the same as that of regular eggs.
- Free-Range eggs are produced in a similar environment as cage-free eggs but hens have access to outdoor runs as well. The nutrient content of these eggs is the same as that of regular eggs.
- Processed eggs such as liquid egg whites or dried egg whites are shell eggs broken by special machines then pasteurized before being further processed and packaged in liquid, frozen or dried form. Process egg products may also contain preservatives and flavor or color additives.
Basic Nutrition Info and Facts
Eggs are nutrition powerhouse. Rich in folate, vitamin B12, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, eggs also provides a good source of lutein, a type of antioxidants.
Yolk: 75 calories/213 mg. of cholesterol
Egg White: 16 calories/0 mg. cholesterol
According to the Egg Nutrition Center, the nutritional value of an egg is affected ONLY by the feed. In other words, specialty eggs such as organic eggs, or cage-free eggs provide the same nutritional value as the regular varieties if their feeds are the same.
What's the difference between a brown and a white egg?
Nothing except the color of the shell. And this is determined by the breed and color of the feathers of the hen that laid the egg: white feathered hens lay white eggs, and brown hens, brown eggs.
Should I always buy grade AA eggs?
Eggs are graded AA, A or B based upon the quality of the egg's interior and exterior when it left the farm. AA is the better option, for this reason. Yet, the grade doesn't have anything to do with freshness or size and grade A is commonly found in our markets. What matters more than grade is freshness, so if you have a choice between a very fresh grade A and a less fresh grade AA, choose the fresher A.
What size eggs should I buy?
Most recipes/nutrition info are based on large sized eggs.
jumbo = 30 oz
extra large = 27 oz
large = 24 oz
medium = 21 oz
small = 18 oz
*weight ranges are based on minimum size
How should I store eggs?
Always refrigerate your eggs and keep them large-end up in their original store cartons instead of transferring them to those useless egg-holding trays in your refrigerator. Egg shells are porous so if you expose eggs to the air inside your refrigerator, they easily can absorb food odors.
How long do eggs keep?
Raw eggs can usually be kept in the fridge up to a month (from the day they were packed). If you keep eggs at room temperature they lose more quality in one day than if stored in the refrigerator for a week.
A hard-cooked egg can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week. If you open a carton and any eggs are cracked, discard them because the protective shell has been violated and it could cause the egg to spoil.
*Tip: If you don't know how old the egg is, do a simple test: If the egg sinks, it's good; if it floats, it's bad (which means it may give you a lit of stinky gas, should you choose to eat it).
Can I freeze eggs?
Egg Yolks = NO
Egg Whites = YES
Freeze beautifully and can be kept frozen for up to 6 months. Just put them in a sealed plastic container. You can also use an ice cube tray to freeze individual eggs whites, transferring the individual "egg cubes" into a sealed plastic bag after they've frozen.
Why are some egg yolks different shades of yellow?
The color of the yolk will depend upon the hen's diet. Wheat-fed hen's yolks will be a paler yellow than those fed a diet of alfalfa, grass or yellow corn.
What if there's a spot of blood on a yolk?
It's just a natural residue on the yolk that occurs when the egg is formed. Some say it's a sign of freshness because this kind of spot will fade as the egg ages. But if you have any question about the condition of an egg, discard it.
What about salmonella? Are raw eggs too risky to use?
Salmonella is a bacteria that causes an illness that can be dangerous to the very young, the very old, and anyone with a compromised immune system. Today it is extremely rare (some say 1 in 20,000 eggs) but if you have concerns, especially if there has been a recent egg recall, you should partially or completely cook your eggs. To kill the bacteria, cook an egg to 140º F for 5 minutes (the yolk will stay runny) or to 160º F (the yolk will harden) for 1 minute. The alternative is to purchase pasteurized eggs (they're more costly) which have been heated enough to kill the bacteria without cooking the eggs (pasteurization/high heat generally kills many nutrients/vitamins).
Also remember that eggs come from chicken farms, not exactly sanitary places. So handle eggs as you do raw chicken -- keep the eggs in their carton and separate from other food, discard any that are broken, and wash your hands after handling them.
Easy-to-peel Hard Boiled Eggs
1. Place eggs into a pot with cold/lukewarm water covering atleast an inch above the eggs.
2. Bring the water to a full, rolling boil at a high temperature.
3. The very minute the eggs reach that full rolling boil, remove the pot from the stovetop to a nearby waiting trivet and IMMEDIATELY put the cover on the pot TIGHTLY and allow the eggs to continue to cook in the hot water (right on your tabletop, yes, without any flame underneath it) still in the pot for EIGHTEEN minutes.
4. After the 18 minutes, remove the cover and pour out the still very very hot water and refill the pot with the coldest water you can get your tap to produce.
5. Let the eggs just sit in the very cold water for a minute or two and then refill the pot again with more of the coldest water you've got.
6. Peel oh so easily (because the immediate rinse with cold, cold water). :)
*adapted from www.citycook.com, www.healthcastle.com and www.dvo.com
Jul 28, 2011
1-2 c beat greens, stems trimmed/shredded
2 T butter (opt.)
- Sautee onion in the oil until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rice; cook and stir another 2 minutes.
- Mix in the beet and beet green mixture, cooking another minute.
- Pour in the broth mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding each batch, stirring continually. Do this for the amount of time the rice normally takes to cook, but allow the water to absorb until tender--may have to periodically taste for doneness. (I do brown rice and cook it for a whole hour with seven cups of broth/water)
- Continue stirring until creamy and thick, about 3 minutes more. Add lemon juice, butter and salt if desired. Top with Parmesan cheese if desired. ]
*found this recipe at allrecipes.com and it's a great way to use the whole beet/greens. I tweaked it a little by not adding any cheddar cheese, using brown rice and adding the lemon juice. It's very creamy with the brown rice and 7 cups water! And I've used pumpkin and feta, in place of beets. Adding pureed vegetables makes it healthier. So this recipe is my modified version. Enjoy!
Jul 27, 2011
- Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook until tender. (add meat now if desired)
- Fill the pot halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots, beets, cabbage and tomatoes; cook 10 more minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste to the soup, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Taste, and season with salt (and sugar if needed).
Jul 19, 2011
1 c rolled oats
1/4 c raw almond slivers
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup warm filtered water plus 2 T whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c filtered water
1/4 c raisins
1 T flax seeds, ground
fresh berries, optional but good!
Mix oats with almonds, cinnamon, and coconut. Combine oat mixture with warm water mixture, cover and soak at room temperature for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours. (I find it easy to start soaking my grains just before going to bed or right after dinner.) Bring an additional 1 cup of water to boil with sea salt. Add soaked oats and raisins, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes. Serve with butter, flax meal and either Rapadura, date sugar, pure maple syrup, maple sugar or raw honey. You'll feel SO good after eating such a healthy and delicious breakfast!
recipe from: Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
*see post: awesome heath benefits of soaking flour
Jul 18, 2011
The Best Cuts & Cooking Methods
Grilling, broiling, and pan frying
The best cuts of meat are rib eye steaks, strip or shell steaks, and T bone, which contains both the strip and tenderloin steaks. Sirloin and round steaks will be tough and dry. Flank steaks and flat iron steaks are good when quickly cooked and sliced across the grain, as described above.
Top sirloin, tenderloin, standing rib roasts, and top rump roast are good candidates.
Flank, top round, and sirloin steak are good. These cuts are best cooked quickly, and since elastin is broken because the meat is cubed, they are more tender.
Tenderloin is the best bet. This mild cut absorbs flavors easily and it is very tender.
Pot roasting and braising
Chuck and rump are the best cuts. These cuts have more collagen and need long, slow cooking in a wet environment to reach their optimum tenderness. Chuck has the most flavor and is the most tender.
Ground beef, chuck is the way to go. It has optimal amounts of fat and is tenderized mechanically by the grinding action. Most lean ground beef is chuck, but if you're not sure, ask!
Read more to find out why and for extra tips...
Basic Cuts of Beef
For beef, there are eight 'primal cuts'. At the top of the animal, starting near the head and going back toward the tail, they are chuck, rib, short loin, sirloin, and round. Underneath the animal, from front to back, they are brisket, plate, and flank. The tenderness or toughness of the cut depends on how much the animal has had to use the muscle. Therefore, cuts near the shoulder or leg, which are used often for movement, are going to be tougher. The muscles that are not used as much, in the center of the animal, include the rib, plate, and loin.
Protein, Water, Fat, Sugar, and Collagen
- When meat is cooked, protein molecules, which are tightly wound and connected to other molecules, first unwind. This is called 'denaturing', and all it means is that the proteins are relaxing and separating. Because proteins are attracted to each other, they almost immediately pair up with other proteins, forming bundles. This is called 'coagulating' or cooking. As more heat is applied, the bundles of protein shrink. Up to 120 degrees F, the bundles shrink in width. After 120 degrees F, the bundles begin to shrink in length as well.
- Water is also present in the muscles. Some of it is bound up with the proteins, fats, and sugars, and some is 'free water'. The amount of liquid left after the beef is cooked is directly related to the juiciness of the finished dish. As the protein bundles shrink and fat melts in the muscle, water molecules are squeezed out. Not too much water is squeezed out as the protein shrinks in width. But as the temperature increases over 120 degrees F and the bundles become shorter, more and more water is squeezed out and evaporated. That's why a well done piece of beef is so dry. Cooking times and temperatures must be controlled when cooking beef.
- Fat is flavor! A good cut of meat will have specks of white fat evenly distributed through the meat. Leaner cuts of beef, such as flank and round, have less fat and can benefit from marinades and dry rubs.
- Sugar plays an important role in beef, its finished color and flavor. Sugar and protein, when heated in an acid-free environment, combine to form complex molecules in a process called the Maillard Reaction. The wonderful crisp crust with its rich caramel flavors that form on a seared piece of beef are all from the Maillard Reaction. High heat is required for this reaction to occur; grilling and broiling are the best methods. You can also brown meats before cooking to start the Maillard Reaction, and you can broil roasts at the end of cooking time to achieve the same result.
- Other substances in meat include collagen and elastin. These are present in the hard working muscles of the animal. Collagen will melt as it is heated, turning into gelatin and becoming soft and melty. Elastin can only be broken down physically, as when you pound a cube steak before cooking or grind meat for hamburger. These compounds are found in the brisket, shank, chuck, and round primal cuts; in other words, the beef we cook as pot roasts and stews and hamburger.
The Two Methods of CookingThere are two methods for cooking meat:
Dry heat: grilling, broiling, sauteing, roasting, stir frying, and deep frying.
Wet heat: braising, pot roasting, stewing, steaming, poaching, and slow cooking.
You choose the cooking method depending on where the meat was located on the animal. Steaks, cut from the little-used center area of the animal, are naturally tender with little collagen and elastin, so they cook best using dry heat and short cooking times. Rump or round roasts have more collagen so they need wet heat, and longer, slower cooking in order to melt the collagen.
Most solid cuts of beef are cooked in a two stage method.
A quick high heat produces the Maillard reactions and forms a flavorful crust on the surface.
A slower cooking at a lower temperature will evenly cook the meat through without overcooking the outer edges.
If you are grilling a steak, divide your grill into a hot side and cooler side by controlling the number of briquette. Start the steak on the hot side to form a crust and pull it over to the cooler side to finish cooking.
Roasts and stir fries use the same two stage method; first browned over high heat, then cooked with lower heat until the correct inner temperature is attained. You can also cook a roast with low heat in the oven, then turn on the broiler for the final few minutes to create a crisp flavorful crust.
TIP: After cooking, cover the beef to retain heat and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. This will let the water redistribute throughout the cut.
Figs grow on the ficus tree (Ficus carica). Native to the Middle East, figs were one of the first fruits ever to be cultivated. Currently, California ranks third in the world in fig production after Turkey and Greece.
Figs tend to be more popular in their dried form because fresh figs are very delicate and tend to deteriorate quickly. When choosing fresh figs, select those which are plump and tender, have a rich, deep colour, are free from bruises and are not mushy. Ripe figs should not be washed until ready to eat and should be kept covered and refrigerated, where they will remain fresh for approximately two days. Unripe figs should be kept at room temperature and out of direct sunlight.
NutritionFigs are high in natural and simple sugars, minerals and fibre. They contain good levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese. Dried figs contain an impressive 250mg of calcium per 100g, compared to whole milk with only 118mg.
The health benefits of figs include promoting healthy bowel function due to the high levels of fibre. Figs are amongst the most highly alkaline foods, making them useful in balancing the pH of the body. They are a good source of potassium, important in helping to regulate blood pressure.
10 Tips for Incorporating Figs in your Diet
- Eat dries figs as a healthy energy snack. For extra flavour and nutrients, stuff them with nuts and a little honey
- Add figs to baked goods such as muffins, cakes and muesli bars.
- Add dried or fresh figs to porridge, oatmeal or breakfast cereals.
- Stew dried figs in fruit juice with other dried fruits to make a delicious fruit salad. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg before serving
- Poach figs in red wine or fruit juice and serve with Greek yogurt or creme fraiche.
- Add quartered fresh figs to a salad of fennel, rocket and parmesan cheese.
- Stuff fresh figs with goat's cheese and chopped almonds and serve as an appetizer or dessert.
- Make a fig butter by boiling dried figs in fruit juice until soft. When all the liquid has been absorbed, place the mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use to spread on rice cakes, toast or crackers.
- Add chopped fresh figs to rice, quinoa or couscous dishes.
- Make a fig tart by grinding two handfuls of walnuts in a food processor. Add one packet of dried figs, 1/2 packet raisins,3/4 c. apple juice, 1 tablespoon grated orange zest, 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Process until the mixture is the texture of a sticky paste. Press into a pastry case and bake at a medium heat for 35 minutes.
Read more at Suite101: Health Benefits of Eating Figs: Nutrition Facts and Tips for Serving Figs | Suite101.com http://www.suite101.com/content/fabulous-figs-a34848#ixzz1SUEQ2iEf
Jul 11, 2011
|both sweet and savory --won a Recipe contest|
3 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 slices of cheddar cheese
1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. + 1-2 T. rapadura sugar (Portuguese name for dried sugarcane juice)
1/4 c. water
Make candied walnuts:
Place 2 T sugar in a mini-pan on medium heat and melt. Add walnut pieces and coat. Quickly take out and seperate pieces to harden on silcon mat.
Cut pears in half, long-wise and cut out the core and stem.
In a larger pan, combine 1/2 c. sugar with 1/4 c. water and place in pears cut-side up.
Cover pan and simmer pears on medium-low heat for 7 to 10 minutes--until pears are cooked through.
Remove cooked pears from pan and place on dish. Put the slice of cheese, bacon crumbles and candied walnuts on each pear.
Meanwhile, increase heat to medium and bring remaining sugar water in large pan to a boil until sugar turns from light color to dark and just starts to thicken a little (about 5-7 minutes). Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Remove from heat immediately and drizzle over pears; sugar will harden fast. Add tiny dash of cinnamon on top.
You're done! Eat and savour every bite.
Jul 9, 2011
1 c brown rice flour (grind your own if you have a good grinder)
1/2 c thin coconut milk
2 T cocoa powder
1/2 T raw apple cider vinegar (or kefir)
1 T chia or flax seeds
3-4 T water
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt
2 T melted coconut oil or butter
½ c sweetener of choice
1 1/2 c boiling water
1/3 c cocoa powder
dash of salt
½ c sweetener of choice
1-Mix together the flour , cocoa powder and coconut milk and apple cider vinegar, if using. Leave covered in a warm place for 12-24 hours.
2-When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chia seeds in the water and let sit for 15-20 minutes, until thickened. Put the water on to boil. Then mix the baking powder, baking soda, vanilla extract and salt, oil or butter and sweetener, and the chia seed mixture in with the soaked flour mixture.
3-In another, heat safe bowl, combine the boiling water, cocoa powder, dash of salt and honey. Mix until combined.
4- Scrap the batter into the pan 8 x 8 x2 or pie dish. Then pour the boiling water mixture over it.
5-Baking for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the cake topping. Then remove from the oven. Let rest at least ten minutes and up to 45 minutes before serving. The longer it sits the thicker the sauce will become. My husband actually likes this best cold. But most enjoy it warm with some ice cream on top.
Jul 8, 2011
It's the perfect morning food, filled with natural, complex sugars for slow-release energy, fiber, and nutrients galore. Cantaloupe, an orange, berries--all are perfect with whole wheat toast, cereal, or an egg.
2. Make another rule: Fruit for dessert at least three nights per week
A slice of watermelon, a peach, a bowl of blueberries--they're the perfect ending to a meal, and are so much healthier than cookies or cake. Like your desserts fancier? How does chocolate-covered strawberries, poached pears in red wine, peach and blueberry crisp, or frozen fresh raspberry yogurt sound? They count too.
3. Every Monday, start your week with a fruit Smoothie Add one cup fresh fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice, and one cup ice to a blender and liquefy. That's two servings of fruit before 8 a.m.! If you'd prefer a creamier smoothie, toss in 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt.
4. Substitute fruit sorbet for ice creamOne scoop (1/4 cup) contains up to one serving of fruit, says Carolyn Lammersfeld, R.D., who leads the nutrition team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Chicago. To whip up your own, try freezing peaches packed in their own juice for 24 hours, then submerge the can in hot water for one minute. Cut the fruit into chunks and puree until smooth.
5. Or substitute frozen fruit bars for ice cream
Buy pure-fruit versions that don't add extra corn syrup or sugar. Feel free to have one every single day. Or better yet, make your own. Do blended fruit by itself, or add yogurt and/or sugar. You can freeze bananas and then spread peanut butter on them and refreeze, and then dip in melted chocolate and nuts before going in for one last freeze for scrumptious snacks.
6. Keep a fruit bowl filled wherever you spend the most time. This could be at work, near your home computer, or even in the television room. And keep five to eight pieces of fresh fruit in it at all times, such as bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, or plums. Most fruit is fine left at room temperature for three or four days. But if it's out and staring at you, it's not likely to last that long. A piece of fruit makes a perfect snack--as often as four times per day.
7. Get your fruits dried
Dried fruits are very portable and have a long shelf life. Take them to work, on shopping trips, or even on vacation. Raisins and prunes are classic choices. Also try dried cranberries and blueberries, which are extremely high in phytonutrients, or dried apricots, which are chock-full of beta-carotene, says Mary Gregg, R.D., director of Human Care Services for NutriSystem, Inc. Other options include dates, figs, dried peaches, dried pears, and dried bananas.
8. Bring fruit with you anytime you go out and about for more than an hour
Once you are on the highway cruising along or walking step after step along a path, an apple or a nectarine tastes great and helps break the tedium.
9. Substitute fruit puree for oil in baking
Prunes work particularly well for brownies, or applesauce for lighter cakes and muffins, etc. You can even make your own by blending it up and freezing in ice cube trays and then just use the cubes as needed, so you always have some on hand.