Living and Eating Well!

 

Spicy Tuesday – Spanish Olive Vinaigrette – Cilantro

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Sometimes you just need a salad dressing with ZIP! You can whip up this flavorful vinaigrette for a simple side accompanying your weeknight dinner – or splash it out with roasted baby potatoes, sliced hardboiled eggs, roasted red peppers and anchovies for a show stopping entrée on the weekend!

Cilantro adds a grassy green goodness to the salad. Not only is it flavorful and full of herb-ey goodness, it adds nutrition, too! When you cook with cilantro you are adding Vitamin K to your diet, trace mineral manganese and vitamins A and B-9, (known as folate), each at 1 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Spanish Olive Vinaigrette

1 Clove Garlic, minced or grated

1 TB Whole Grain Mustard

Juice and Zest of One Lemon

1 TB Red Wine Vinegar

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ Cup Sliced Green Olives with Pimentos

2 TB Finely Chopped Kalamata Olives

3 TB Finely Chopped Cilantro

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Place the ingredients in a jar and shake well. Serve over your favorite greens and veggies.

Spicy Tuesday – Mediterranean Red Rice – Oregano

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With the summer’s end bounty of gorgeous tomatoes, this dish can make any dinner festive! We first published this recipe in 2013, but its the perfect time of year for a reminder for this easy-to-make and yummy side dish!

If you can boil rice you can make this flavorful, colorful and delicious side dish, inspired by bright cuisines of the Mediterranean. Tomatoes and peppers are an important part of warm weather foods, and this recipe includes both. The garlic and red onion are full of antioxidants, and although we usually use brown rice in our recipes, we are staying close to the original by using a short-grained rice called Valencia or Paella rice. The list of other items in this recipe helps balance the white rice and add extra nutrition.

One of the ingredients you may notice is the dried oregano. Why dried? For two reasons. One is because unlike many other spices whose fresh counterpart tastes the same, dried oregano has a unique flavor that we associate with tomato sauce. And the other reason is because when cooking food more than a half hour you should use dried when cooking, and the fresh herb to garnish. Cooking fresh herbs too long causes them to break down and lose their flavor. Using the dried version allows you to infuse your food with flavor.

And not only does oregano have the taste we think of as tomato sauce, it also is packed with thymol and an acid called rosmarinic acid which are potent antioxidants. There are preliminary studies that show oregano may benefit the cardiovascular/ nervous system and relieve inflammation. For example, in cell culture studies, oregano extracts protected cells from oxidative stress and DNA damage. Anytime we can eat foods that have potential health benefits, we try and add them into our dishes. So this recipe is two fold….. a crowd pleasing side dish, and chock full of healthy ingredients!

Mediterranean Red Rice

2 TB Olive Oil

2 Cups Valencia or Paella Rice (you can find this in your local grocery store)

1 Chopped Red Onion

1 Garlic Clove, minced or grated

4 Cups Veggie Stock

1 TB of Tomato Paste

2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Black Pepper

Step One In a large stockpot, brown the rice in olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and tomato paste and cook until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and cook and stir until fragrant. Stir in the paprika, oregano, salt and pepper.

Step Two Add the stock to the rice and bring it to a simmer, cover and let cook about 20 – 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

Step Three Spread the rice on a platter as we have done here, and garnish with grilled tomatoes.

Spicy Tuesday – Shredded Southwestern Salad – Smoked Paprika

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Fresh Green Produce? Leafy lovelies? We are in! This past month, we’ve been lucky enough to meet (virtually) and work for Hollandia Produce and their gorgeous Live Gourmet products. As a “dynamic duo”, Nancy creating the recipes, and Shayna providing the nutrition data, we’ve developed a handful of yummy ways to enjoy their fresh produce. Here’s just some of the info we shared with them:

A shredded salad is a super way to create a one-platter meal full of veggies and color. When you toss up this salad, you’ll have rave reviews at dinner, and then you can tuck any leftovers in a pita pocket for lunch tomorrow.

Southwestern Shredded Salad

2 Heads Living Romaine Heads, shredded

1 Cup Shredded Carrots

1 Cup Extra Sharp Cheese, shredded

1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes

1 Cup Chopped Avocadoes

1 Cup Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

1 TB Freshly Squeezed Lime Juice

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Gently toss the romaine, carrots, cheese, tomatoes, avocadoes and cilantro together in a bowl. In another small bowl or jar add the oil, juices and smoked paprika, Dijon mustard, salt and black pepper. Shake or whisk the ingredients together and pour over the salad.

  • Living Romaine heads contain 6mg of iron, which ads a significant source of iron to the diets of people following a plant based food plan.
  • Romaine lettuce is 17% protein with 7.7 grams per Living romaine head. It is also contains all 9 essential amino acids as well.
  • There is vitamin C in the lettuce, helping keep your skin, bones, and teeth strong. These beneficial effects associated with vitamin C are linked to its strong antioxidant properties as well as its role in collagen synthesis.
  • Cilantro is an important ingredient in the salad, and is most often cited as being effective for toxic metal cleansing and rightfully so, this herb is a powerful, natural cleansing agent. The chemical compounds in cilantro bind to toxic metals and loosen them from the tissue.
  • Anytime you make your own dressing for salad, you are eliminating excess sodium, fat, preservatives, and dyes from your food plan. This dressing has the healthy anti-inflammatory extra virgin olive oil mixed with Vitamin C rich juices and spices.

 

Spicy Tuesday – Spicy (not hot!) Indian Summer Fruit – Garam Masala

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In India, it’s said that every family has its own secret recipe for Garam Masala. Each kitchen holds the key to the amounts and types of spices and herbs that create the mix. A yummy combo of ground spices like Cinnamon, Cumin, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Turmeric, Bay Leaves, Cardamom, Cloves – what’s not to like? Garam Masala is one of our favorite warm and aromatic spice mixes. Once thought terribly “exotic”, as cooks across the United States have adopted this interesting Indian spice blend, you can now find it in almost every grocery store.

The combination of the ingredients in this savory mix brings nutrition to the table, too! Garam masala can help with weight loss because of the blend of spices. The literal translation of the spice’s name is “heat spice” or “hot spice.” And individually each spice brings its own health benefits which include:

Cinnamon is an anti-microbial as well as anti-inflammatory. It can also help control elevated blood sugars.

Cumin helps stimulate digestion, helps relieve nausea and indigestion.

Black Pepper increases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals and proteins. It helps break down fat cells (and brings the “heat” to the spice.

Cardamom is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic. It helps to flush out toxins from the body.

Cloves boost the metabolism, removes toxins from the blood stream, helps prevent the formation of blood clots and regulates blood sugar levels.

Bay Leaves are a powerful anti-oxidant that helps prevent cancer, arthritis, and ulcers.

What’s even more interesting is how you can use it to flavor foods from soups to stews, main courses and even dessert. In this week’s recipe, we use it as a warm baking spice that pairs perfectly with the crystallized ginger. A warm weather dessert with only three ingredients plus fresh summer fruit? Sign us up. It tastes like a delish cobbler – with out the crust.

Spicy, (not hot), Indian Summer Fruit

1 TB Garam Masala

1 TB Raw Sugar

1 TB Crystallized Ginger, chopped

4 – 6 Cups of chopped Seasonal Fruit (like peaches, nectarines, pears, apples etc.)

Stir the garam masala, sugar and ginger together in a bowl. Sprinkle over the fruit and place under the broiler for 2 – 3 minutes, or until the fruit is browned on the edges. Serve over ***frozen yogurt, cake or just by itself!

 

 

 

 

Spicy Tuesday – Roasted Shrimp Salad with Summer Tomato Vinaigrette – Oregano

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Roasted Shrimp Salad with Summer Tomato Vinaigrette – Oregano

Its easy to serve up a whole platter of veggies and shrimp during the dog days of summer – and then let others help themselves to the bounty of color and flavor. This recipe is a super easy fix for dinner, with super star seasonal ingredients roasting in the oven and topping fresh crunchy greens. The salad dressing is one of our favorites, using a tomato in the dressing instead of the salad itself!

The oregano brings vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6, calcium, and potassium to the recipe. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that help combat as osteoporosis and arteriosclerosis.

1 LB Green Beans (or Asparagus)

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

1 TB Dried Oregano, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

2 LBS Small or Salad Shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Large Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Red Onion

½ Cup Capers

6 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach

1 Recipe Summer Tomato Vinaigrette

Step One Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the green beans with 2 Tsp oil, and 1 Tsp dried oregano. Spread them out on a sheet pan and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp with the remaining oil and oregano. Spread them out on 2 sheet pans and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the pans in the oven. The shrimp will take about 5 minutes to cook through. (Check to see if they are opaque and pink.) The green beans will be roasted in 10 – 12 minutes. Set aside to cool before adding to the salad.

Step Two

In a large salad bowl, add the fennel, red onion, capers and spinach. Toss together and add the roasted shrimp and green beans. Drizzle with the dressing and toss again.

Summer Tomato Vinaigrette

2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 TB Rice Vinegar

1 TB Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Large Ripe Tomato, seeded and finely chopped

Shake all the ingredients together in a jar.

 

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.