Living and Eating Well!

 

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.

Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Veggie Salad – Parsley

We just did a lunch n ‘ learn this week for VWR International in Suwanee, GA. It was so fun! What a great group of people that are very interested in health. We spoke about SUGAR and how to cut it down in our daily eating habits. This was one of our recipes because it highlights the natural sweetness of vegetables when they are roasted. This recipe would give you a nice slow release of energy for your whole day. And this recipe also has one of our favorite herbs – PARSLEY!

It’s more than a decoration on a plate, folks! Parsley contains two types of unusual components that provide unique health benefits. These volatile oil components qualify parsley as a “chemoprotective” food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke). It’s great to make this salad once and eat from it multiple times in your week. The flavors will keep getting better and better each day!

ROASTED Veggie Salad

Use your chose of veggies. The sky’s the limit!

Brussels Sprouts

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Squash – summer and winter

Eggplant

Radishes

Carrots

Parsnips

Sweet Potatoes

Fingerling Potatoes

Beets

Turnips

Put them on a sheet tray, spray or drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide into a 425F oven. Roast from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your choice of veggies.

Red Cabbage

Napa Cabbage

While the veggies are roasting, shred the cabbages. When the veggies are done, Place the cabbages and the veggies on a platter or in a bowl and toss with the dressing below:

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 TB Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp Turmeric

2 Tsp Dijon

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Sprinkle with:

¼ Cup Chopped Parsley

¼ Cup Chopped Green Onions + more for garnish

1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts, Almonds or Pecans

½ Cup Shredded Parmesan

AND serve!

Spicy Tuesday – Spicy Carrot Hummus – Coriander

Now that the Easter Bunny has made his appearance, we’re using his favorite snack as one of ours, too! Carrots are roasted with pungent garlic for this easy recipe, along with chickpeas and a condiment called Harissa. That’s where this week’s spice appears, coriander.

Harissa is sometimes called the ketchup of North Africa. Full of peppers and garlic, caraway seeds and coriander seeds, it is medium hot with lots of flavor. If you aren’t a fan of “warm” foods as we are, you can begin the recipe with two tablespoons of harissa, and add more as you taste the hummus.

Coriander seeds add a roasty, nutty citrus flavor to the hot sauce. The seeds are a good source of manganese, iron and magnesium as well. They have eleven components of essential oils, six types of acids (including ascorbic acid, better known as vitamin-C), minerals and vitamins, each having a number of beneficial properties. Using spices in your cooking adds flavor and lots of nutrition as well!

Spicy Carrot Hummus – Coriander

1 – 2 LB Carrots, peeled if desired and chopped coarsely in 1” pieces

4 Garlic Cloves, peeled

¼ Cup plus 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

1 ½ Cups Veg Broth

1 ½ Cup Cooked Chickpeas OR 1 (15 ½ OZ) Can, rinsed and drained

3 TB Almond Butter OR Tahini

4 TB Harissa Paste

2 TB Lemon Juice

1 TB Honey

Step One

Toss the carrots and garlic together with 1 TB of the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide into a 400F oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Step Two Combine the veg broth, roasted carrots and garlic, cooking liquid and chickpeas in a food processor and puree. Add the olive oil and tahini and puree until smooth.

Step Three Add the harissa, juice and honey and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Puree to combine, adjusting the seasoning as desired.

Spicy Tuesday – Strawberry Ricotta and Almond Parfaits – Mint

There’s nothing like spring in the air and strawberries in season to inspire a recipe. This one is super easy, super fast AND super delicious. This one is great for home – or easy to transport for a start-of-the season picnic. The easiest way? Try putting it in a small mason jar as we have done in the picture. The result is cute and convenient.

The ingredients in this quick dessert taste great, and are good-for-us too! Even our garnish of mint brings goodies to our table!

Mint is a great palate cleanser and promotes digestion. It also soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation. When you feel sick to your stomach, drinking a cup of mint tea can give you relief. Also, if you are someone who travels long distances via plane or boat, the menthol oil derived from mint can be very soothing for nausea and related motion sickness.

Strawberry Ricotta and Almond Parfaits – Mint

1 Pint Strawberries, chopped finely

1 Cup Light Ricotta Cheese

1/2 Tsp Almond Extract

½ Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds

Fresh Mint for Garnish

Layer the chopped strawberries in a small jar or parfait glass. Stir the cheese and almond extract together in a small bowl, and then layer on top of the strawberries. Sprinkle on the almonds and garnish with mint.

Spicy Tuesday – Spring Asparagus Salad with Tarragon Dressing – Tarragon

Can you believe that Easter is on Sunday? Neither can we. You don’t have to panic though!  Planning for a family and friends dinner isn’t too hard when you keep a couple of easy dishes like this one in mind.  Add a perfectly roasted chicken, a side of healthy whole grains and some fresh fruit for dessert, and you are ready for the Easter Egg hunt!
Tarragon is our secret weapon in this dressing. One of the glorious fresh flavors of spring , it provides  the perfect foil to the rich green taste of the roasted asparagus. Shake up a double batch of dressing and keep it in your fridge to marinate a pice of salmon for dinner later on in the week.
Tarragon is traditionally used to stimulate a persons appetite and to alleviate anorexic symptoms. It also has a good amount of iron, vitamin A and C. The amounts may be small but if you use this dressing multiple days as we suggested then you get in a good amount of these essential nutrients and vitamins.
Spring Asparagus Salad with Tarragon Dressing
1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 – 2 LBs Asparagus
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Tarragon Dressing
2 Cups Halved Cherry Tomatoes, sprinkled with salt and pepper
Drizzle the oil over asparagus that you have spread out on a sheet tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a 400F oven for about 10 minutes or until desired “doneness”. Remove from the oven, toss with the dressing, and add the tomatoes on top.
Tarragon Dressing
1 Garlic Clove
1/4 Tarragon Leaves, packed
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
2 Tsp Local Honey
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Add the garlic to a food processor and chop finely. Add the remaining ingredients and purée until smooth.

Spicy Tuesday – Salad Bar Fun – Cilantro

One of our favorite meals to share with others is a salad. No, not one with a choice of dressing – but a cornucopia of delicious tiny bites that make up a wonderful plate for lunch or dinner. We like to pick and choose from what looks good in the market – but you can add your own favorites to the “salad bar” as well!

Start with a bed of crunchy or beautiful fresh lettuces. Then add components like:
Roasted red peppers
Cucumbers or pickles
Green onions
Tomatoes
Chopped Eggs
Capers and olives
Goat Cheese or other shredded cheese
Peppers – sweet or Hot
Chickpeas or beans
Salmon or shrimp
Chopped roasted sweet potato or butternut squash
The list is only limited to your imagination!

And of course, a luscious choice of dressings are always important.  The one crucial component in both of these yummy dressings is the pop of the cilantro. Cilantro adds bright flavor and a wealth of nutrition benefits. Cilantro is an antimicrobial and helps pull out heavy metals from the body. It is used in many “detox” type juices and smoothies. It is also being studied as a natural water purifier.

Cilantro Vinaigrette
1/4 Cup Packed Cilantro – leaves and stems
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 TB Dijon
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Add all the ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Packed Cilantro – leaves and stems
1/4 Cup Lime Juice
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Add the garlic to a food processor and chop finely. Add the remaining ingredients and purée until smooth.

Have fun with your own salad bar – Let us know what you chose to offer!