Living and Eating Well!

 

Spicy Tuesday – Lemon Tarragon Dressing – Tarragon

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Summer is full of a bounty of veggies that are so good roasted or grilled! Squash, peppers, onions, eggplants, tomatoes…almost everything tastes better off the grill! Simply slice your veggies in long strips or pieces, trying to make sure they are approximately the same size. Toss in a bowl with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil. Then either toss on the grill, a grill pan, or put on a sheet pan and slide into a 400F oven. You’ll know they are ready when they are browned on the edges and softer. (About 5 – 10 minutes on the grill, 30 – 30 minutes in the oven.)

While your veggies are grilling or roasting, you can whip up this easy dressing. Full of bright lemon flavor and the intriguing taste of tarragon, this recipe makes enough to toss with your delicious veggies, and to dress a big salad tomorrow night, too!

Tarragon is our spice of the week because it adds a nice flavor to the food and provides the dish with a good source of iron. A teaspoon of ground tarragon supplies 0.52 milligram of iron, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but is an impressive dose for such a small amount of food! So if you have 2 TB in this recipe, you get 6 teaspoons of Tarragon and lots of iron-wow! The herb also supplies some Calcium for your bones and Vitamin A for your eyes. What a great dressing to add to those grilled veggies.

¼ Cup Lowfat Buttermilk

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

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 – Potato Potato Potato Salad – Oregano

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It’s the grilling time of year…when it’s easier to throw open the backyard and invite friends and family to share a potluck, than fire up the kitchen. Just in case you have the same plans as we do, here’s a twist on everyone’s favorite picnic salad, potato salad. Instead of gloopy mayonnaise and boiled white potatoes, this fresh take combines sweet and purple potatoes – both better-for-you options, along with Yukon golds.

Oregano adds a Mediterranean zip to the salad as well as many health benefits. Did you know Oregano contains small amounts of fiber, iron, manganese, vitamin E, iron, calcium, omega fatty acids, manganese, and typtophan? Wow…all in one spice! It is also antibacterial and supports a healthy GI tract. This dish is great the first day and even better the second with the wonderful oregano flavor. Enjoy!

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Potato Potato Potato Salad

1 ½ LBs Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut in 1” pieces

1 LB Purple Potatoes, cut in 1” pieces

LB Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut in 1” pieces

2 TBs Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

*Lemon Vinaigrette

Bibb or Butter Lettuce

Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese, grated

2 TB Chopped Oregano

 

Step One

Toss the potatoes in oil; season with salt. Spread on sheet pan in one layer;

Cover with foll. Roast in 400F oven about 30 minutes; remove the foil and roast 15 minutes more or until tender. Toss with the *Lemon Vinaigrette.

 

Step Two

For each salad, place the lettuce on the plate first; place some potato salad on the lettuce and sprinkle with the cheese and oregano

 

*Lemon Vinaigrette

Shake together ¼ Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice, 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1 TB Minced Shallots, 1 TB Dijon Mustard, 1 TB Chopped Parsley, 1 Tsp Honey and Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Crisp and Crunchy Orange Coleslaw – Basil

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There’s nothing like warm weather to inspire the “coleslaw” in us. This one is a yummy blend of cabbages, radishes, carrots and orange. And the perfect partner to zesty orange flavor? Basil.

Basil has a lot of “bang for your buck”. It’s full of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial compounds. The herb is very low in calories and contains no cholesterol. Try it in this recipe, and you’ll discover it adds lots of flavor to more than just pesto or caprese salad.

Use this slaw as a side, topping slices of avocado in a pita or serve it as a bed for  grilled white fish for dinner tonight – Yum!

Orange and Honey Coleslaw

3 Cups Shredded Purple Cabbage

1 Cup Shredded Napa Cabbage

1 Cup Shredded Jicama

1 Cup Shredded Radishes

1 Cup Shredded Carrots

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onions

½ Cup Chopped Basil

1 Recipe Orange and Honey Dressing

Toss together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Orange and Honey Dressing

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Honey

¼ Cup Orange Juice

1 Clove Garlic, Grated

1 Tsp Cumin

½ Tsp Ground Coriander

½ Tsp Smoked Paprika

½ Tsp Fine Sea Salt

¼ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl

Spicy Tuesday – Manchego and Walnut Salad – Thyme

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The beautiful tomatoes we’re harvesting right now in Atlanta are the inspiration for this week’s recipe. With all the colorful ingredients, and the addition of savory proteins like creamy Manchego cheese and crunchy toasted walnuts, this salad can move from a starter or side to a main course effortlessly.

Thyme is an excellent partner to the walnut oil and walnuts in the salad. Along with a trio of other herbs – rosemary, sage and parsley – it adds a subtle mintey flavor to the salad. Thyme is our herb of the week because it has great anti-inflammatory properties. It can help lower blood pressure, help alleviate a cough, and boost your immune system with the Vitamin A and C in it.

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Manchego and Walnut Salad

¼ Cup Sherry Vinegar

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TB Walnut Oil

1 TB Honey

1 TB Dijon

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste

4 OZ Manchego Cheese, Chopped in ½” Pieces

4 OZ Toasted Chopped Walnuts

2 Cups Chopped Avocados

2 Cups Chopped Tomatoes

1 Pkg Spring Greens

Thyme Leaves for Garnish

Step One Whisk the vinegar, oils and honey and Dijon together in a small bowl.

Step TwoToss the cheese, walnuts, avocados and tomatoes together. Top the greens with the salad, drizzle with the dressing and garnish with thyme

 

SPICY TUESDAY – Easy Delicious and Fun Summery Cool Dip – Dill

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HOT! HOT! HOT! If the summer heat is “getting” you, like us, its time for light dinners without turning on the oven or stove. Add some Pita Chips and a big platter of chopped raw veggies to this yummy and easy dip, and dinner is done!

Dill adds a lemony fresh zip to this easy, cool and creamy dip. Dill also has a significant amount of vitamin A and vitamin C, as well as trace amounts of folate, iron, and manganese. And dill has a good amount of calcium to help with bone loss. A great tasting dip as well as good benefits for your body!

Mykonos Island Dip

16 Ounces Greek Yogurt

8 Oz Soft Light Cream cheese, Room Temp

8 Oz Crumbled Feta cheese

3 Cloves Garlic, Grated

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

1 English Cucumber, Peeled and Diced

5 Plum Tomatoes, Seeded and Chopped

5 Green Onions, Chopped

1 Cup Kalamata Olives, Chopped

½ Cup Chopped Dill

Step One In a bowl, stir together the yogurt, softened cream cheese, feta cheese, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; mix until smooth.

Step Two Spread mixture into a shallow serving or baking dish. Cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight.

Step Three To serve, scatter cucumber, tomatoes, green onion, chopped olives and dill on top, and season with pepper as desired.

Spicy Tuesday – Chilled Peach Soup – Mint

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It’s summer, and it’s hot! Here’s a fun way to shake up one of everyone’s favorite juicy ripe summer fruits – in a chilled soup! Mint makes the peach flavor POP! What’s even better? It brings lots of good-for-us antioxidants to the table, too.

Mint is great for digestion. It also soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation. When someone is having nausea or fatigue, mint can help provide that boost as a naturally soothing substance. Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients as well, as it is a good relaxant and relieves congestion.

Chilled Peach Soup

6 Large Ripe Peaches

1 Cup Cold Water

1 Cup Apple Juice

½ Cup Chopped Dried Apricots

1 Cup Peeled and Chopped Cucumber

Zest and Juice of 1 Large Lime

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Chopped Mint

Add the peaches to a blender and puree. Add the water, apple juice, apricots, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours. Pour the soup into cups, garnish with mint and serve.

To PEEL the Peaches: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cut a small “X” through the bottom of each peach, then drop them two at a time into the water to blanch for about 30 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer peaches to a bowl of ice water. When peaches are cooled, drain well then peel them, starting from the “X” at the bottom of each peach.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Summer Ripe Tomatoes – Italian Seasoning

Summer Ripe Tomatoes

Summer Ripe Tomatoes!

No matter how you serve them up, juicy, ripe, delicious, tomatoes are tops in our book. We love using tomatoes that are canned in the winter, but during the summer they manage to slide into breakfast, lunch and dinner easily.

There’s nothing better than a plate full of the ripe beauties, just sprinkled with a little goat cheese, salt, balsamic and Italian seasoning. The zesty spice adds just the right pop of savory flavor to the sweet, messy fruit.

Italian seasoning is a mixture of dried basil, thyme, oregano, and often a little marjoram, basil’s softer and sweeter “cousin”. Its reminds of us the aroma and tastes of the Mediterranean and it works great with fresh tomatoes, as well as in your favorite red sauce. The herbs pack a potent nutritional impact to the dish as well. Marjoram was used by the Ancient Greeks and known as the herb of peace, harmony, and happiness. That is probably because it made them feel so great after eating it with the high levels of Vitamin A and C in it! Although dried herbs do not have the same high levels of some nutrients, they do still rank in the ORAC scale which means the antioxidants are kept intact during the drying process.

Super Easy Summer Tomatoes

2 Cups Spinach or Basil

4 – 5 Ripe Summer Tomatoes, sliced

1/2 Cup Crumbled Goat Cheese

2 TB White Balsamic Vinegar

1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tsp Italian Seasoning

½ Tsp Sea Salt

¼ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Layer the spinach on a large platter, top with the tomatoes and goat cheese. Drizzle on the vinegar and oil, sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Serve up to an appreciative audience!

Spicy Tuesday – Quick Creamy Romesco Dip – Parsley

Quick and Creamy Romesco Dip

Looking for a change from cheese and crackers? Want to enjoy crunchy fresh veggies with a creamy dip that you don’t have to feel “guilty” about eating? Romesco is the answer! Think of romesco as pesto’s lesser-known cousin—it’s also made with almonds, garlic and olive oil but uses roasted red peppers instead of basil.

The herb that tops this quick and easy food-processor romesco is crisp, bright and flavorful parsley. Parsley is not only glamorous on this dip, it’s powerfully nutritious too! Parsley is great at helping lower blood pressure if consumed on a regular basis. It is also helpful in keeping kidneys functioning well. Parsley has Vitamin C,B12,A, and K in it.

Romesco Sauce

1 Cup Raw Almonds

2 1” Slices Rustic Country Bread

1/3 Cup Sherry Vinegar

2 Large Roasted Red Peppers

2 TB Tomato Paste

1 TB Fresh Lemon Juice

1 TB Sweet Smoked Paprika

1/2 Tsp each Salt and Black Pepper

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Step One On a baking sheet, toast the almonds in a 350F oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Step Two Cube the bread, and place in a bowl with the vinegar for 30 minutes.

Step Three In a food processor, grind the almonds, add the vinegar and bread, the peppers, tomato paste, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

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.