Living and Eating Well!

 

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.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Baba Ganoush – Parsley

Eggplant in the Indian Market

Baba Who? Baba Ganoush! Its is a yummy and healthy appetizer that is full of flavor and good-for-you ingredients. It’s a snap to prepare, and if you love eggplant as much as we do, this delicious dip will find a place in your regular rotation of recipes!

Eggplant is the start of this recipe, and when you roast it as we do here, it becomes meaty and toasty tasting. It is a very good sources of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper. You can make this dip as substantial and “glamorous” as you’d like by piling on the optional garnishes. In fact, sometimes we serve a big appetizer like this as the centerpiece of a light meal. Lots of crudités and some sliced pita bread provide all you need for scooping and enjoying!

The smoked paprika adds a wonderful smoky, meaty flavor, and the bright garnish of parsley brings not only a crisp fresh taste to the dip, but nutrition, too! Parsley can help flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure. We know you will love this dish so parsley may be a staple herb to have in your garden this summer for this dish alone! Enjoy–

Baba Ganoush – Parsley

 

2 Globe Eggplants, (that’s the purple ones like in the picture above)

1 Head Garlic

1 TB Tahini, (sesame seed paste – find it in the international section of your grocery store)

1 Lemon, zest and juice

1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1/2 Tsp Pepper

Chopped Fresh Parsley

Optional Garnishes:

Seeded and Chopped Tomatoes

Crumbled Feta Cheese

Chopped Kalamata Olives

Step One:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a fork to poke several holes into the skin of eggplant and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cut the top off of the head of garlic and wrap in foil, with cut side facing upwards. Place on the sheet tray along with the eggplant and bake both items for 40 minutes. Once eggplant and garlic have cooked, remove from oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle.

Step Two:

Scoop flesh from the eggplant with a spoon and place in a food processor. Next, squeeze the roasted garlic from its skin into the food processor. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and puree.Remove the mixture from food processor to a serving tray or bowl and sprinkle with desired garnishes. Serve with pita chips or crudités.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Crunchy Kale Chips One More Time – Smoked Paprika

Kale Chips

We just got an email this morning, asking us for a recipe for kale chips! So…we pulled up this post from a couple of years ago. Its a super easy recipe, using one of our favorite spices. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Every time we serve these crispy treats we make friends! Although kale seems to be in the news all the time, it seems like many people haven’t made their own kale chips. Yes, you can buy kale chips in the store, but no, they aren’t as good as this easy-to-make, delicious and flavorful recipe! Baked, not fried, this is a great way to talk the whole family into loving kale.

Any spices or spice mix can be used to flavor the chips, but we love smoked paprika. The taste of “bacon without bacon” is how this bright red spice has been described by a student in one of our classes. Smoked paprika is made by grinding capsicum peppers into powder. When you eat at least 1 T of the yummy spice, you get several health benefits including carotenoids, B Vitamins, and Vitamin E. And who would have ever known that smoked paprika can actually help control blood pressure and boost metabolism? The capsaicin in the peppers is what causes the heat and helps your body with both of these. So these chips are a win win in every way—-enjoy!

Kale Chips

Preheat the oven to 275F. Make the chips by removing the tough stem from the kale leaves. (You can use the flat or curly leaves.) Wash the leaves and dry them thoroughly. Toss them very lightly with olive oil spray, sea salt and smoked paprika to taste. Place them in one layer in a cookie sheet, and place the sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, or a little longer, until very crisp.

Spicy Tuesday – Blueberry Basil Bacon Salad with Cheddar Dressing – Basil

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It’s almost Blueberry Season in Georgia! We are getting ready for it by passing on recipes for super fare like this. (The delicious season starts in mid April and end at the end of July.) We love blueberries in salads, main dishes, topping yogurt and just plain out-of-hand. Here’s a fun main dish blueberry salad that everyone will love, AND it’s pretty, too.

Basil absolutely SINGS in this salad. Its peppery, bright flavor adds a real zip to the salad – we use it as part of our greens, instead of a garnish. As the summer rolls in, this salad will become more and more seasonal, as our herb gardens burst with lots and lots of basil.

Basil has many essential oils such as eugenol, citronellol, and limonene. These compounds are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Basil also is very low in calories and contain no cholesterol. This salad is rich essential nutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are required for optimum health.

Bacon and Blueberries Salad

16 Cups Baby Spinach

½ Cup Red Onions, Thinly Sliced and soaked in ice water for 30 minutes, drained and patted dry

4 Slices Turkey Bacon, crumbled

1 Pint Blueberries

¼ Cup Julienned Basil

1 Cup Toasted, Slivered or Sliced Almonds

Toss together the ingredients in a large bowl and serve with the cheddar dressing on top.

Cheddar Dressing

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Red Wine Vinegar

1 TB Lemon Juice

2 Tsp Grated Garlic

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1 Cup Grated Low Fat Cheddar

2 Finely Chopped Green Onions, Greens Only

1 Tsp Sea Salt

¼ Tsp Finely Ground Black Pepper

In bowl, combine oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and garlic. Add in the yogurt and cheddar, stir together well. Add the green onions and season with salt and pepper.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates – Smoked Paprika

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In Atlanta, it’s Springtime! The trees are wearing their flowery best and the world has suddenly become green and lush. (And yellow from the pollen, too!)

Its time to gather our friends and celebrate its arrival! Often when we go to parties and potlucks, there are the same old sad appetizers and offerings. This recipe is different! Here’s a decadent way of serving up a delicious but a little better-for-you appetizer to a crowd. You can feel good about sharing – and your friends will love it!

Smoked Paprika makes this treat taste meaty and delicious. Its tastes like bacon – without the meat! It’s also a good source of four different carotenoids which all function as strong antioxidants. Paprika has an active ingredient called capsaicin which gives the “heat.” This has been shown to help boost metabolism, relax blood vessels, and lower blood pressure. All that in wonderful stuffed dates!

Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

(1 date per serving)

½ Cup Blue Cheese

2 TB Light Cottage Cheese, whizzed in the blender until creamy

24 Whole Dates, Pits removed

¼ Cup Sliced Almonds

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

Step One Mash the blue cheese and cottage cheese together in a small bowl. Stuff the mixture into the dates.

Step Two In a small sauté pan, over medium hight heat toast the almonds until golden, about 2 – 4 minutes. Spray or toss with a few drops of oil and toss with the smoked paprika. Take the dates, and cheese side down, press into the nuts to coat the top with the mixture.

Spicy Tuesday – Spring Carrot Salad – Cilantro

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Spring has sprung in Atlanta! We’re getting ready for warm weather and the trees, daffodils and flowers are starting to bloom. Bunnies and chicks are popping up everywhere! Here’s an easy side salad that will make all you and your family happy – whether you serve it on its own, or tucked inside a pita pocket with a few slices of avocado and some shredded lettuce!

Cilantro adds both a beautiful green color and flavor to this dish. Its also a nutritional powerhouse, as it brings loads of nutrition too. Cilantro leaves and stems are rich in many antioxidants that can help keep your body healthy this spring. Also, the deep green color of cilantro bring chlorophyll and heavy metal cleansing agents. Cilantro is also known as the anti-diabetic herb so use it generously in this great salad!

Spring Carrot Salad

1 Garlic Clove, Grated

2 TB Chopped Cilantro

1/4 Cup Olive Oil

Juice and Zest of 1 Lemon

2 TB Honey

4 Large Grated Carrots

1/2 Cup Golden Raisins

1 Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds

To make the dressing, whisk together the garlic, cilantro, oil, zest, juice and honey. Toss the carrots and raisins into the dressing and top with the toasted sliced almonds.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Lemon Dill Fish and Peppers – Dill

Fresh Fish with Dill and Lemon

               Fresh Fish with Dill and Lemon

Do the words “simple and full of flavor” make you as happy as they do us? Shayna and I are busy, busy, busy people at work and home. Shayna has three cute little boys and very nice husband. I am married to a wonderful man who keeps me hopping and a demanding business. Together we love helping others to eat and cook better. So simplicity is a value that we love in recipes.

Too often when you see a dish taunting its 5 or less ingredients or 30 minute prep time, the result is just boring. Plain and uninteresting. Or, its full of fat, sodium, sugar and preservatives. Our recipe this week falls into the category of bright flavors and tastes – and it’s a 30 minute meal from start to table. Don’t you love it? Serve it on a bed of fresh spinach pasta like we did in the picture – or a bowl of quinoa or rice and you have a gorgeous one-bowl-meal that you and your family will enjoy from the first bite to the the bowl is clean.

One reason this fish tastes so good is the fresh dill that you add. Dill has numerous plant chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties. It is also rich in folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, ß-carotene and Vitamin-C.

Lemon Dill Fish and Peppers

3 Bell Peppers, any color, sliced

1 Sweet Onion, Sliced

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (EVOO) divided

Sea Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper to taste

2 LBs Fish Filets, (Tilapia, Corvina, Haddock, Cod), cut in pieces

8 – 12 Grape Tomatoes

Fresh Dill Fronds

1 Lemon

Place the peppers and onion in the bottom of a casserole dish and toss with 1 TB of EVOO, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer the fish on top, then add the dill and the tomatoes. Drizzle the remaining oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide into a 375F oven for about 20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily and the flesh is opaque. Squeeze the lemon over it all and serve with quinoa, farro or pasta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Tuesday! It is a beautiful day in Atlanta and this recipe will add to the great spring we are having. You can use any ancient grains you have for this recipe; wheat berries, couscous, farro, quinoa, etc. This is a great side dish or light main meal for the whole family. The highlighted spice is our wonderful cinnamon. It can help keep your blood sugars stable throughout the day so this recipe is good for diabetics as well. The chopped nuts and ancient grains will provide protein so this is a great vegetarian dish! Enjoy!

 

Ancient grains with dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon

3 cups of ancient grains (your choice)

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 ½ cups of chopped dried fruit

1 cup of toasted chopped nuts

1 Tsp of cinnamon

Cook ancient grains as directed. While still warm, add in the olive oil. Stir in the chopped fruit and nuts. Finally, sprinkle cinnamon over top.

Spicy Tuesday – Squash Ribbons – Basil

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We are starting to get excited about warm weather around here. In Atlanta the days are getting longer, and with a weekend that was in the 60s and sunny…well its hard not to dream of the sultry days of summer. And what veggie in the grocery store reminds us of our own summer garden plots? Squash, of course!

This week’s recipe is a new take on a “frequently-used” veggie in our homes. Zucchini and Yellow Squash both work great in this recipe, or together. Sautéed in a little butter and olive oil and topped with Feta and the bright fresh taste of basil, it’s a side that doesn’t get easier OR better!

Basil adds a pop of flavor and health benefits in every bite. Basil can reduce inflammation and protect against unwanted bacterial growth. The health benefits stem from the flavonoids and essential oils in the herb. Finally, basil is a good source of magnesium, which is helpful with cardiovascular health.

Squash Ribbons with Feta and Basil

2 LBs Zucchini or Yellow Squash

1 TB Unsalted Butter

1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

¼ Cup Crumbled Feta

¼ Cup Chiffonade of Basil (thin strips)

Step One Using a vegetable peeler, make long thin strips of the squash – avoiding the very “seedy” middle. (Use the middle to add flavor to vegetable soup!)

Step Two Melt the butter and olive oil together in a medium hot pan. Saute the ribbons until crisp tender, about 2 -3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and remove to a platter. Garnish with the feta and basil and serve

Spicy Tuesday – Mmmm Mushroom Burgers – Five Spice Powder

Mushroom Burgers

Mushroom burgers that almost taste like juicy beef burgers? Sign us up! These burgers are not only juicy and delicious, they are easy to make and fun to share with friends and family!

Have you ever used Five Spice Powder? It’s a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds. What a power packed mix! For starters, the fennel seeds contain strong antioxidant properties that are known to reduce inflammation and effectively remove harmful free radicals in the body, thus protecting from cancers, aging, infections and degenerative neurological diseases. Cinnamon contains strong antibacterial properties and is very good to keep blood sugars under control for diabetics. Finally, star anise can ramp up your immune function and fight viral infections such as the cold even with small amounts of this spice.

Mmmm Mushroom Burgers

2 Cups Finely Chopped Fresh Mushrooms

1 Large Egg + 2 Whites

½ Cup Rice Cracker Crumbs

½ Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

¼ Cup Minced Red Onion

¼ Cup Brown Rice Flour

½ Tsp Five Spice Powder

½ Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Black Pepper

1 TB Olive Oil

6 Hamburger Buns

1 Recipe *Asian Slaw

Step One Mix the mushrooms through the pepper together in a large bowl. Shape into six thin patties – they will be VERY moist.

Step Two Place into the fridge to “set up” for an hour.  Cook in 400F oven for 10 minutes, without flipping.  Serve on the buns with the *Asian slaw.

*Asian Slaw

6 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

1 Small Jalapeno, seeded and ribbed, minced

2 Green Onions, thinly sliced

2 TB Sesame Seeds

2 TB Olive Oil Mayo

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Mirin**

1 TB Rice Vinegar

1 TB Braggs Liquid Aminos

Juice of 1 Lemon

Sea Salt and Black Pepper

 

Toss the cabbage through the sesame seeds together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the mayo, oil, mirin, Vinegar, Braggs and juice. Add it to the cabbage and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.