Living and Eating Well!

 

Spicy Tuesday – Best Ever Guacamole – Cilantro

Guacamole

Recently we did a “Healthy Mexican” class at the Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center in Atlanta, GA. This recipe was a hit! In fact, we have used this guacamole many times with our clients to share a simple and healthy alternative to store bought dips in the grocery stores. This doesn’t take long and believe us, your guests will be begging for the recipe! Feel free to use all those fabulous tomatoes that are ready in the garden too. Cilantro takes center stage as our spice of the week for its amazing ability to help rid the body of excess heavy metals. It is also a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Enjoy the guacamole and IF there is any left, put it on a sandwich the next day!

Best Ever Guacamole

4 Ripe Haas Avocados

3 TB Minced, (Peeled and Seeded) Tomatoes,

1 TB Minced Red Onion

1 Minced Jalepeno

2 Cloves Garlic, Grated

1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro

1 Tsp to 1 TB Lime Juice

Sea Salt to Taste

1 Cup Grated Light Cheddar Cheese

Halve, peel and pit the avocados and mash with the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro. Salt to taste and spread on a large platter. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Spicy Tuesday – Greek Baked Fish – 062116

Greek Baked Fish

We recently taught how to easily cook fish to a packed house of enthusiastic home cooks and eaters at Cancer Wellness. This recipe wasn’t on our menu this time – but will be on the next line up for “GO FISH”. More than a handful of good ingredients go into this easy to fix dish that not only tastes great right out of the oven, but freezes well, too! Two foods that we cook with often are onions and tomatoes. The phytochemicals in onions improve the working of Vitamin C in the body, thus gifting you with improved immunity. And the cooked tomatoes are chock full of lycopene which helps ward off prostate cancer.

Both dried and fresh oregano are used in the Greek Baked Fish. The important thing to remember when trying to choose between the two, is that we always use dried herbs for foods that are cooked longer than 30 minutes. Then you can add in fresh herbs to layer flavors and add a BIG punch of taste.

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.

This recipe works great with shrimp, too. Top some whole wheat orzo or brown rice with this easy-to-make fish and sauce and you have a delicious dinner!

Greek Baked Fish with Feta and Tomatoes

2 TB Olive Oil

1 Medium Red Onion, Sliced

1 Cup Dry White Wine

2 Large Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

1 TB Chopped Parsley

2 TB Chopped Fresh Oregano

1 1/2 LBs White Fish like Cod, Halibut or Flounder in ½ – ¾ inch filets

8 Oz Crumbled Feta

Fresh Oregano for Garnish if desired

Step One Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion over medium heat until transparent. Add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step Two Add the tomatoes, oregano and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper, cook over medium heat for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the herbs.

Step Three Place the fish in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish and top with the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through. Serve warm.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Asparagus Gratin WITH Vidalia ONION VINAIGRETTE – Tarragon

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The asparagus that we’ve found in the market lately – has been SO good! Here’s an easy way to celebrate the spring season with asparagus and onions!

Your choice of a Tarragon or Parsley garnish can pop up the spring green flavor! Tarragon will bring a slight anise or licorice flavor, and will fuel your body with extra Vitamin A, C, and B6. On the other hand, Parsley is full of bright green taste and brings Vitamin B12 and Vitamin K to the plate. Both herbs will add more nutrition to your body and taste wonderful in the vinaigrette.

Asparagus Gratin WITH Vidalia ONION VINAIGRETTE
6 TB Olive Oil, divided
1 Large Vidalia Onion, chopped
1 Tsp Honey
1 Tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tb Sherry Vinegar
2 LBs Asparagus
Chopped Parsley or Tarragon, for garnish
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup (preferably whole wheat)Panko and ¼ Grated Parmesan mixed together in a small bowl

Step One Preheat the oven to 400F. To make the vinaigrette, sauté the onion with 1 TB of the oil and the honey until it is golden and tender – about 20 minutes over low heat. Season with salt and pepper, set aside. Stir the mustard and vinegar together in a bowl. Slowly whisk in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the sautéed onion, season with salt and pepper.

Step Two Spray or drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil. Place the sheet pan in the oven to heat while you prep the asparagus. Place the asparagus on the hot sheet pan. And drizzle with remaining 1 TB of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss. Slide the asparagus back into the oven and roast for about 10 minutes or until crisp tender.

Step Three Remove from the sheet pan. Place on an oven proof casserole, drizzle with the dressing, sprinkle with the panko/parmesan and slide under the broiler for a few minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with the parsley and serve.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Herb Salad with Herb Dressing – Tarragon

Herb Salad closeup

So many beautiful summer herbs are growing in our June gardens! Have you ever opened the produce drawer of your fridge, and found partial bags of herbs, and wondered what to do with them? We have too! That’s why we came up with the solution in this post. A fresh herb salad with herb dressing is one of the easiest and most fun ways to put those bits and pieces of herbal goodness to work in a wonderful way.

You can use any herbs you have to create this salad and dressing. A fun way to think about the herbs you mix and match together is like casting a movie – make sure that herbs with strong distinctive tastes like rosemary, mint, oregano and sage play an “extra” role instead of a main character.

Tarragon is another strong flavored herb – but one that can be a real star in the salad dressing. Tarragon, that soft leaved herb with a liquorice-y taste partners beautifully with the buttermilk in this recipe. Tarragon has not only strong taste but big nutrition, too! Tarragon has long been used as a digestive tonic because it aids in the production of bile by the liver. Not only can it improve natural digestion, but it has also been found to relieve common digestive problems like an upset stomach, irritable bowel. Also, based upon several studies, tarragon appears to have chemicals that can help to increase appetites. Whether used as a seasoning herb in cooking or consumed raw as a small garnish, it may help people who have poor appetites due to age or illness.

Herb Salad and Dressing

24 Cups of Soft Lettuces, (like mesclun, spinach or baby greens), bright colored veggies like raddichio and red cabbage and Herbs, (whatever still looks good in the produce drawer 0r in your pots!)

2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, quartered

½ Cup Chopped Green Onions

½ Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

1 Recipe *Herb Salad Dressing

Toss the lettuces and herbs, tomatoes and onion together in a large bowl. Drizzle with the herb salad dressing and toss again. Sprinkle with the goat cheese and serve

*Herb Salad Dressing

¼ Cup Lowfat Buttermilk or Yogurt

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Honey

1 Clove Grated Garlic

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TB Finely Chopped Tarragon, (or whatever herbs you have on hand)

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar and taste for salt and pepper

Spicy Tuesday – Mediterranean Avocado Relish – Cilantro

Spicy Tuesday - Mediterranean Avocado Relish - Cilantro

Ahh…the flavors of the Mediterranean… Not only is the food delicious, its incredibly nutritious too! Which makes this week’s recipe perfect for a dip, a chip, or as we served it here on sliced chicken – or even topping a piece of roasted white fish.

This relish is packed with flavor and the kinds of ingredients that make it hit the anti-oxidant “ball out of the park”, including cilantro. One of the reasons we love cilantro is because it helps clean out our body of heavy metals. It really helps to detox the liver and give us a clean, healthy body to stay strong. We are always figuring out ways to practice clean eating the cilantro helps us do just that!

Mediterranean Avocado Relish

2 Avocadoes, peeled and chopped

2 Tsp Ground Coriander

¼ Cup Green Olives

¼ Cup Capers

2 Garlic Cloves, grated

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ Cup Lemon Juice

½ Cup Chopped Cilantro

½ Cup Chopped Basil

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients together, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spicy Tuesday – Touch of Thai Lime Salad – Parsley – 052216

Done Salad

Its that time of the year here in Atlanta. Flowers bloom and the weather is gorgeous, and full of the promise of spring. We break out our shorts and get excited for warmer weather. We all want to be outside for a holiday weekend like Memorial Day.

A perfect weekend for a salad filled with sunshine! This one is full of flavor and texture from the crunchy Napa cabbage, to the creamy-rich avocado, the vivid green taste of the parsley and the snap from the peanuts. Yes, peanuts. If you are craving Thai cuisine, this salad makes a wonderful substitute for a high fat-high calorie Masaman Thai curry, typically made with avocadoes, tomatoes, peanuts and lime. You can still enjoy the character of the Thai cuisine without feeling guilty. What’s better than that?

Parsley adds to the gorgeous color of the salad, as well as to the taste. Sometimes we think of parsley as just a garnish. But parsley is full of nutrition, too! Studies show that there are compounds found in parsley that not only inhibits tumor formation (especially in the lungs), but also activate enzymes that help fight against oxidized molecules. You should shoot for 2T a few times a week to get the benefits of this rich antioxidant herb.

Touch of Thai Lime Salad

1 Cup of Chopped Parsley

½ Head of Napa Cabbage, Shredded

2 Large Carrots, Shredded

1 Avocado, Pitted, Peeled and Chopped

2 Tomatoes, Chopped

½ Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese

¼ Cup Dry Roasted Peanuts

1 Recipe *Lime Honey Dressing

Toss all the salad dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle the Lime Honey Dressing over it and toss before serving.

*Lime Honey Dressing

Juice of 2 Limes

2 TB Unseasoned Rice Vinegar

1 TB Dijon Mustard

½ Cup Grapeseed Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste

Shake the dressing ingredients together in a jar – season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spicy Tuesday – Strawberry Balsamic Salsa topping Seven Minute Salmon – Parsley

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One of the joys of spring is everyday discovery of what’s-in season fruits and veggies. We can’t stop talking about the bright red juicy strawberries that are bursting out of boxes at the local farmers markets.

This week’s recipe uses strawberries in a sweet and savory way to top an easy fish recipe, that rocks!

Parsley plays a supporting role in this easy recipe. It’s more than pretty, its nutritious, too! Parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system, too. It also helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. finally, regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure. What a great recipe for flavor and health benefits!

Strawberry Balsamic Salsa topping Seven Minute Salmon

2 Cups Strawberries chopped

Zest of 1 Large Orange

3 TB Orange Juice

1⁄2 Cup Chopped Parsley
1 TB Balsamic Vinegar
2 TB Olive Oil

Black Pepper and Sea Salt to Taste 2 TB Minced Red Onions
To make the salsa, whisk together the strawberries, orange juice, parsley, vinegar and olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper.

Seven Minute Salmon

2 Salmon Steaks, skin removed (4 to 6 oz)

1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Drizzle the salmon and season with salt and pepper. Slide into a preheated 400F oven fro seven minutes. Check to see if the fish is done – if not – slide it back into the oven and check it after 2 more minutes.

Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Radish Toast – Parsley

Spicy Tuesday - Radish Toast - Parsley

This time of year, every farmers market boasts bunches of beautiful radishes, whether traditional red or “easter egg” radishes with the beautiful colors of red, yellow, gold and pink. We love radishes, added to a salad, topping a taco or even roasted. Yes, roasted! Radishes turn from spicy to sweet in the oven, and it takes just a minute to toast up some whole wheat bread and top it with sweet radishes and the bright green taste of parsley.

Parsley adds color, flavor and nutrition to the roasted radish toasts. Parsley helps support healthy kidney function and can lower blood pressure. It is rich in many Vitamins, including C, B12, K, and A. And bring in the radishes! They are a good detoxer for the whole body and support your liver and stomach. Radishes are rich in vitamin-C, folic and anthocyanins, and have been connected to treating many types of cancer, particularly colon, kidney, intestinal, stomach and oral cancer.

Roasted Radish Toasts

4 Pieces Rustic Whole Wheat Bread

1 TB and 1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

1 Bunch Radishes, halved or quartered

2 TB Chopped Fresh Parsley

Step One Spray or brush the toast with 1 Tsp of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil, or place over a gas flame until very browned.

Step Two Toss the radishes with the remaining 1 TB of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a sheet tray and slide into a 425F oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and top the bread with the radishes, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Strawberry and Asparagus Salad – Basil

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Both of us are big fans of seasonal foods. With spring upon us, this means that both strawberries and asparagus are in season. This easy to make and gorgeous salad is a recipe to add to your recipe file – Delicious, Different and Full of Flavor!

The zippy taste of basil adds lots of pop to this salad – Basil is a top herb of choice for us because of the essential oils it has in it. They are known for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil is also an excellent source of Vitamin A and iron.

Strawberry and Asparagus Salad

2 Cups Strawberries, Stemmed

¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1 TB Dijon Mustard

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Black Pepper and Sea Salt to Taste

3 Cups Quinoa, Prepared

12 Asparagus Spears, Roasted and Chopped

2 Ripe Avocados, Chopped

¼ Cup Chopped Basil, Chiffonade

4 Cups Baby Arugula

½ Cup Chopped Toasted Almonds

Step One To make the dressing, roast the strawberries on a aluminum foil lined sheet tray, sprayed with nonstick spray – 10 minutes in a 400F oven.
Remove from the oven and let cool briefly. Coarsely Chop.

Step Two Whisk the juice, mustard & oil together. Add the strawberries. Season with salt & pepper.

Step Three To make the salad, gently combine the quinoa, asparagus, avocados and basil together.

Step Four Spoon the quinoa over a bed of arugula, and drizzle with dressing as desired. Top with almonds and basil.

 

Have you ever roasted berries before? Just like with veggies, roasting berries concentrates the flavor, making them even more delicious and sweet – when you take them out of the oven – they smell like fresh berry pie!

Spicy Tuesday – Ancient Grains for Breakfast – Cinnamon

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Oatmeal tops the list of favorite breakfast dishes for us, so its not surprising that we love this twist on cooked cereal. We use farro, amaranth and millet in this recipe – but you can shake it up by using your favorite ancient grains like freekeh, kasha, quinoa or kaniwa.

Cinnamon makes this yummy bowl full of warm comforting flavor. Cinnamon has wonderful phytochemicals that help balance your blood sugars. This is a great idea, especially in the morning, so you do not have that 10 o’clock sugar crash. Instead, with a complete protein and complex carb breakfast like this, you can have loads of energy until lunchtime.

Ancient Grains for Breakfast

1 Cup Farro

1 Cup Millet

½ Cup Amaranth

7 Cups Water

Dash of salt

2 TB Coconut Sugar

2 Tsp Cinnamon

½ Cup Chopped Toasted Almonds

2 Cups Pomegranate Arils or Chopped Strawberries or other berries

Place the farro, millet, amaranth, water and salt in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for about 30 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Top with the almonds and pomegranate and serve.