Living and Eating Well!

 

Watermelon, Beet and Vidalia Summer Salad

Ah… the siren call of watermelon during the hot and sticky days of Summer. Watermelon and beets are a funky combo, and not one that pops to the top of your head immediately! But we love this earthy and sweet combo that not only looks beautiful, but tastes fabulous, as well! Try sharing this salad at your next potluck and soak up the rave reviews!

Whether you are using beet greens that came attached to your beets, or parsley – they both will taste great. But the parsley will add even more nutrition to your colorful salad! Parsley is really a powerhouse. It is one of the herbs with anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. Parsley is also an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A.

Watermelon, Beet and Vidalia Onion Salad

2 Medium Sized Beets (with Greens, optional)

6 – 8 Cups Cubed Seedless Watermelon,

3 TB Chopped Parsley (optional)

½ Thinly Sliced Vidalia Onion, placed in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes and drained well.

1 Recipe Citrus Vinaigrette*

Step One Clean the beets well, if you have beets with greens, cut them off and reserve. Place the beets in a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in a 425F oven and roast for 45 minutes or 1 hour until tender. Set aside until you can peel, and peel if necessary and cube the beets – about the same size as the watermelon.

Step Two Toss the beets, watermelon and onions together in a bowl. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with chopped beet greens or parsley.

*Citrus Vinaigrette

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 TB Orange Juice

1 Tsp Orange Zest

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Shake the juices, zest, mustard and olive oil together in a jar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spicy Tuesday – Celery Root Salad – Tarragon

Do you know what Celeraic is? Or maybe you know it by its other name – celery root? Either way, it’s a delicious crunchy vegetable that is exactly what it sounds like, the root of celery! Its often served in France with a Remoulade sauce, as a rich and creamy side. This spin on the traditional is crisp and much more fresh tasting than the original.

Find celery root in your local grocery or speciality store. Look for a root that is still hard and looks fresh. Peel and then grate by hand or in the food processor. Its tough to grate,  but worth it!

The sweet spiciness of fresh chopped tarragon is perfect with the crisp, clean tasting celeriac. If you’re a frequent reader of our Spicy Tuesday, you’ll know that tarragon is more than just pretty! It’s a powerhouse – Did you know that tarragon is called “the king of herbs” because it is rich in nutrients and vitamins? There was a study done in 2005 that determined tarragon (specifically the oil) worked as a free radical scavenger. You’ll love the taste AND the nutrition in this delicious salad.

Celery Salad

¼ Cup Olive Oil Mayo

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

2 TB Whole Grained or Grainy Mustard

1 TB Dijon Mustard

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Lemon Zest

1 Tsp Sea Salt

2 LBs Celery Root, peeled and grated

2 TB Chopped Tarragon

Mix together the mayo, yogurt, mustards, juice and zest and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add the celery and tarragon and mix well.

Spicy Tuesday – Cherry Balsamic Dressing Topped Romaine Wedges – Marjoram

Its cherry season – time for cherry creativity in the kitchen! This week’s Spicy Tuesday is all about using cherries in a way you may not of thought of before now: in a salad dressing full of the rich taste of red cherries and the tang of balsamic vinegar. Marjoram, an herb that is oregano’s sweeter cousin adds a slight herbal twist to the salad as well as a brilliant green color.

Marjoram has potential health benefits! Simply adding 2 Tablespoons to a dish makes it a powerhouse. It contains Vitamin A, C, Calcium and Iron. In fact, it is also one of the richest herbal sources of Vitamin K. There are also digestive benefits in drinking marjoram tea.  Certain chemical compounds that are anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial are found in marjoram when you eat or drink the herb.

Cherry Balsamic Dressing Topped Romaine Wedges

1 Romaine Head, sliced into quarters lengthwise

1 Green Onion Sliced Thinly

1/2 Cup Blue Cheese Crumbles

1/2 Cup Chopped Toasted Almond

1 Cup Chopped Cherries (or Blueberries)

1 Recipe *Cherry Balsamic Dressing

2 TB Freshly Chopped Marjoram

Place the romaine quarters on 4 plates and top with the onion, cheese, almonds and cherries. Drizzle dressing over the lettuce and top with the marjoram.

*Cherry Balsamic Dressing

2 Cups Pitted Cherries

1 Small Shallot

1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice and Zest of 2 Oranges

3 TB Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Tsp Each Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree.

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!