Living and Eating Well!

 

Spicy Tuesday – Easy Ginger Spiced Granola – Ginger

Here in Atlanta, we have lots of friends and family getting ready for a big event this weekend, The Peachtree Road Race. With almost fifty runs, it has become a Fourth of July tradition. Our recipe this week can provide a to-go snack for those racers leaving home early in the morning, or breakfast for the rest of us as we wait for their triumphant return.

Just a little crystallized ginger provides a lot of flavor for this better-for-you granola. It adds zing and nutrition, too. Ginger is commonly used for motion sickness or an upset stomach. In fact there is one study in particular that proved that ginger was far superior to Dramamine for motion sickness! Sometimes before a run like the Peachtree Road Race, a small amount of a snack like this can help sustain your energy. Ginger is also known to help morning sickness for pregnant women and chemotherapy patients.

Ginger Spiced Granola

3 Cups Oats

¼ Cup Uncooked Millet
(Optional)

¼ Cup Sesame Seeds

¼  Cup Chopped Walnuts

¼ Cup Chopped Almonds

1 ½ Tsp Cinnamon

¼ Tsp EACH Mace 
and Cardamom

¼  Cup Maple Syrup

¼  Cup Orange Juice

Zest of 1 Orange

½ Cup Your Choice of Dried Fruit

2 TB Finely Chopped Crystallized Ginger

Step One Preheat the oven to 300F. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except dried fruit and ginger. Drizzle in the maple syrup and stir well. Add orange juice and zest, stirring so all ingredients are coated.

Step Two Spread the mix out onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring checking about every 10 minutes so nothing burns.

Step Three Remove from oven, add the dried fruit and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Lemon Sriracha Broccoli – Parsley

Who loves Sriracha? We do, we do! The tangy zip of this popular sauce can brighten up the flavors in any dish – and it doesn’t have to be “HOT”. In the culinary world when we use a spicy condiment like this, we say it “points up the flavors” of the dish. This means it brings out the best in in the other flavors, whether sweet, sour or vegetal like this broccoli.

Parsley adds flavor too! Its fresh, green and grassy taste and aroma add to the lemon-ey punch of this cruciferous dish. Parsley is not just a pretty herb on the side of a plate but brings a lot of nutritional benefits as well. Its volatile oils help inhibit tumor formation and can neutralize carcinogens. And the parsley leaves themselves are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin A. We believe it is under-appreciated so try this dish and experiment with parsley in a new way!

Lemon Sriracha Broccoli

1 Head Broccoli

2 TB Grapeseed Oil

Zest and Juice of 2 Lemons

Sriracha Sauce to taste

2 TB Chopped Parsley

Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Cut the broccoli into florets and place in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and nuke for 2 minutes. Sauté in a large pan over medium high in the oil until the florets are starting to brown on the edges.  Remove from the heat; add in the lemon juice, zest, Sriracha and salt and pepper to taste.

Spicy Tuesday – Quick Stuffed Mushrooms – Thyme

We love having a couple of easy to make, delicious and full of good-for-you ingredients that we can whip up in a few minutes. This fun recipe certainly qualifies in that category! Not only can you make it quickly, but it also is a great candidate for freezing. Make the mushrooms all the way until cooking – then freeze them on a sheet pan. When frozen, slide the mushrooms into a zip lock bag. They will stay in the freezer for about 3 months. To cook, take the frozen mushrooms out of the freezer and place in a preheated 375F oven for about 15 minutes.

Thyme is a super partner for mushrooms. Not only does it taste good, it also brings lots of great nutrition to the table. Thyme oil contains a chemical called thymol that kills bacteria and fungus. And using the herb in a dish like this brings an anti-inflammatory component to your meal. Delish!

Quick Stuffed Mushrooms

1 (8 OZ) Pkg Baby Bella Mushrooms

2 Tsp EVOO

1 TB Minced Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove, Grated or Minced

3 TBs Panko or Crushed Rice Crackers

3 TB Freshly Grated Parmesan

2 Tsp Thyme Leaves

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Step One Preheat the oven to 375F. Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems. Chop the stems. Sauté the stems and the red onions together in a large saucepan until the mushrooms have released all their liquid. Add the garlic and cook and stir for about a minute or until fragrant.

Step Two Add the panko, Parmesan and thyme leaves to the mushroom mixture. Season it with a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper. Slide into the preheated oven and roast for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Spicy Tuesday – Baked Black Beans – Bay Leaves

Yes, you can have beautifully creamy, luscious beans for use in lots of different dishes – or to eat all by themselves – WITHOUT SOAKING! We make beans like this all the time in the healthy kitchen. We love them, and so does everyone else.

What’s even better, is that any kind of bean can be used. From kidney beans to garbanzos, they all taste great when cooked like this. Bay Leaves are one of the traditional ingredients for beans. They add a complex tea-like flavor to your beans. Whether fresh or dry, they keep their taste longer when you store them in the freezer!

Bay leaves add zip to the beans and lots of nutrition to the recipe. Studies have been done which concluded that bay leaves improve insulin function for diabetics and also reduce cardiovascular disease. Wow! Baked beans that taste good and have health benefits is a win win!

Baked Beans

An easy and delicious way to cook up a pot of beans!

1 (16 OZ) Package of Beans or Chickpeas

1 Clove Garlic

1 Large Bay Leaf

1 Tsp Sea Salt

Rinse the beans under running water and place them in a oven-proof pan that has a lid.

Cover the beans with 2 inches of water, add the garlic and bay leaf and sprinkle with the salt and close with the lid.

Slide into a 350F oven for 60 minutes. Open the oven and check on the beans. If they are not done, stir and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes. Chickpeas and other hard beans make take up to 2 hours. You may need to add a little more water to chickpeas if they dry out.

Spicy Tuesday – Fast Tomato Sauce – Oregano

We often advocate fresh herbs in this column, not the dried versions. But this week is an exception as oregano is a power packed little bundle of goodness whether dried or fresh!
Oregano is used in cuisines all over the world, from the wonderful traditional pasta sauces in Italy to the zesty green enchiladas in Mexico, and many other countries in between. When you open that bottle of oregano from your cabin that it can conjure up all kinds of different memories of great recipes.

Oregano is one of the herbs that tastes and smells very different in it’s dried form. But both dried and flash our power packed with antioxidants and other nutrition! Oregano is our spice of the week because of its nutritional, anti-oxidant and disease preventing properties. The herb, whose name means “delight of the mountains” in Greek, is native to the Mediterranean region. It is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium.

Fast Tomato Sauce

1 Large Onion, Chopped

1 Large Carrot, Chopped

1 Red Pepper, Chopped

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tsp Salt and ½ Tsp Pepper

1 TB Oregano

2 Cloves of Garlic, Grated

4 (15 OZ) Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes

More Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste.

Sauté the onion, carrot and red pepper in the olive oil with the salt, pepper and oregano. When the vegetables are very soft, add in the garlic and cook and stir for a minute until aromatic. Then, add in the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to break down. Taste the sauce to see if more salt or pepper is needed.

Serve the tomato sauce over brown rice, lentils or pasta. You can also use this tomato sauce as a base for chili. Just add 1 Tsp Chili Powder to the sauce, and 3 Cups, (2 cans of 15 OZ drained and rinsed) black, pinto or kidney beans.

***Thanks to Chloe Clark Photography for the glamour shot of our pasta!

SPICY Tuesday – PARSLEY – Super Food Brussels Sprouts Salad

Sure, Parsley makes a good garnish. We’ve all seen the little sprig adorning the side of the plate, But did you know how good Parsley is for you?

We found an interesting way to add Parsley to a creative salad, adding the green and lively taste to Brussels Sprouts. Yes, we love Brussels Sprouts, we admit it. Any way to fix them – we adore them. But when mention the name, lots of the folks in our classes say, “No Way!” Here’s an ingenious way to eat your sprouts – raw. Yes, raw in a salad. Chef Nancy likes to use the Cuisinart shredding blade to quickly reduce the whole little heads to shreds, (we couldn’t resist the rhyme), but you can use a mandoline or even a knife. Don’t tell the family what kind of salad it is, we bet they won’t even suspect its super good for them!

24 Brussels Sprouts, shredded

¼ Cup Chopped Parsley

¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions + more for garnish

1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts, Almonds or Pecans

½ Cup Shredded Parmesan + more for garnish

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 Red Wine Vinegar

2 Tsp Dijon

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Step One Shred the Brussels sprouts in a food processor, mandolin or chop with a knife.

Step Two Toss the sprouts in a bowl, top with parsley, green onions, toasted walnuts and grated cheese.  In a small jar, add the olive oil, vinegar and mustard with a sprinkle of salt & pepper. Put a lid on the jar and shake it up. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir thoroughly. Garnish with additional cheese and green onions.

Spicy Tuesday – Strawberry Mint Dressing – Mint

Its almost strawberry-picking time in Georgia. And we are excited! Not only are strawberries delicious by themselves, but they are super for a myriad of recipes – like this one! Mint makes a perfect compliment to the juicy berries, adding a little pop of flavor to the dressing. And mint isn’t just a pretty herb with flavor but packs a lot of nutrition as well. It helps with allergies, nausea, indigestion, and IBS.

We hope you enjoy this delicious dressing this week!

Strawberry Mint Dressing

8 OZ Strawberries, stems removed

1 Small Shallot, peeled

6 Mint Leaves

2 TB Lemon Juice

2 TB Orange Juice

1 Tsp Orange Zest

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over fruit salad – or baby lettuces with a sprinkling of goat cheese!


Spicy Tuesday – Sautéed Mushroom Salad – Thyme

Did you know mushrooms have a season? Oh yes. And here in Georgia mushroom season is now! Here’s a delicious and easy way to use mushrooms – no matter what kind you find in the market. Perfect as a salad tonight – and a pita stuffer for tomorrow!

Mushrooms are little sponges of flavor – and nutrition too! They are one of the few foods that produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight and therefore contain Vitamin D for your body. Oyster mushrooms are a good source of iron, whereas shitake and maitake have the most medicinal properties. All mushrooms are low in calories and a great substitute for meat.

Thyme is the perfect partner for mushrooms! More good news – its not only delicious with the sautéed mushrooms, thyme can help lower blood pressure, stop coughs, and also help build your immune system because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

Sautéed Mushroom Salad

2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms

1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ Tsp Sea Salt

¼ Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

1 Pkg Baby Greens

2 Roasted Red Peppers, cut in strips (Here’s a quick tutorial on how to roast them!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddZwOVsGTwc )

1 Cup Quartered Grape Tomatoes (optional)

1 Recipe *Parsley Shallot and Thyme Dressing

Sauté the mushrooms in the olive oil with the salt and pepper until they have released all their liquid. Add to a large bowl with the baby greens, peppers and tomatoes if using. Drizzle the dressing over and toss to combine.

*Parsley Shallot and Thyme Dressing

2 TB Minced Shallot

1 Clove Garlic, grated

2 TB Minced Parsley

1 TB Fresh Thyme

1 TB Dijon Mustard

¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar

¼ Cup EVOO

½ Tsp Sea Salt

¼ Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Shake together all the ingredients in a jar.

Spicy Tuesday – Breakfast Black Beans Tacos – Turmeric

Join us in celebrating Cinco de Mayo today, by creating a delicious dinner of tacos with eggs and black beans. Creamy eggs studded with black beans are the star of this dish, with supporting flavors from salsa you can make yourself – in a snap!

The turmeric that we use in the eggs, not only adds beautiful color to the tacos, it also adds super nutrition, too! We try and add turmeric into many dishes because of the active ingredient curcumin that is in the spice. The main reason curcumin is so powerful is because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Infact, there are hundreds of studies on curcumins cancer preventive properties. It can also delay diabetes, protect the brain, and decrease joint pain. Make sure you add fresh black pepper and a healthy fat to any recipe you put turmeric in to increase the bioavailability in the spice.

Breakfast Black Bean Tacos with Avocadoes

2 Eggs + 4 Egg Whites

1 Tsp Turmeric

¼ Cup Skim Milk

1 ½ Cups Black Beans (that’s about 1 canned, drained and rinsed)

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

12 Corn Tortillas, heated in the microwave or oven or stovetop

½ Cup Cabot 50% Jalapeno Cheddar, Shredded

1 Cup Prepared Salsa (Use Your Favorite Brand or whip up the *fast and easy salsa below)

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1 Avocado, Thinly Sliced

Sliced Green Onions and Chopped Cilantro for Garnish

Step One Whisk the eggs, whites and turmeric together with the milk

Step Two Coat a skillet with olive oil. Pour in the egg mixture and the black beans and scramble for about five minutes or until done to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place a spoonful of eggs in each taco, sprinkle a little cheese and top with a dollop of salsa, non-fat Greek yogurt, a slice of avocado and the onions and cilantro.

*Fast and Easy Salsa

1 Can Green Chilies and Tomatoes (I like the Hatch brand that you can find at Whole Foods)

½ Cup Chopped Onion

1 Garlic Cloves, Chopped

1 Jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped finely

½ Cup Chopped Cilantro

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Spicy Tuesday – Aromatherapy with Roasted Nuts – Rosemary

Aromatherapy in the kitchen. That’s what we call it when nuts are roasting in the oven.  Add to those yummy smelling nuts a bunch of chopped fresh herbs and you have a delicious combination of flavors and delicious aromas. We like to use whatever herb is plentiful in the garden. Today we used fresh rosemary to share with our friends at the Cancer Wellness Center!

Rosemary is not only for remembrance, but for nutrition too.  It reminds us of good food and good health for many reasons but the most important being that it stimulates the immune system. It also is used to increase circulation and improving digestion. The fragrant flavor balances both the forest and the sea. The memorable health benefit makes it an indispensable herb for every kitchen.

Rosemary Roasted Pecans and Almonds

2 Cups Pecans

2 Cups Almonds

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Chopped Rosemary

1 Tsp Sea Salt

Spread the nuts out on a sheet tray. Slide into a 400F oven and roast for 10 minutes, before checking to see if they are starting to brown. Toss with the oil, rosemary and salt.