Living and Eating Well!

 

120616 Festive Brussels Sprouts Salad – Parsley

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We love the traditional foods of the holidays…like Brussels Sprouts! But sometimes we just want to “shake it up”. This recipe takes one of our favorite veggies and uses it in a creative and beautiful salad. This crisp and crunchy full-of-flavor salad can convince even the sprouts haters to convert!

Parsley adds a bright green flavor to this salad, enhancing its fresh, lively taste. It also is a super powerhouse when it comes to anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogen food chemicals. It can even boost your immune system  – something we all want to do! Add 2 TB to your dish today and you’ll get all the wonderful health benefits of vibrant green parsley.

Festive Brussels Sprouts Salad

4 Cups ***Shredded Brussels Sprouts

2 Cups Shredded Carrots

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Green Onions

½ Cup Thinly Sliced Fennel or Celery

½ Cup Pomegranate Seeds

½ Cup Golden Raisins

½ Cup Chopped Toasted Pecans

2 TB Minced Parsley

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the Honey Dressing.

Honey Dressing

1⁄2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 – 6 TB Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TB Dijon Mustard

2 TB Honey

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Shake the ingredients together in a jar.

***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.

Spicy Tuesday – Warm Scallop Salad – Thyme

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It’s the Holiday season! But that doesn’t mean that salads are out of the picture. A great way to bridge the gap between rich heavy fare that is so prevalent this time of year is to prepare a salad like the one we are sharing below. Shake up a weeknight or even a holiday party! This salad is full of luscious soft baby greens, with bright colored veggies that are topped with warm scallops and just a sprinkle of prosciutto. Plus, all that goodness is flavored with the lemony taste of thyme!

Not only is thyme a delicious ingredient in this salad, it’s a nutritious smart choice, too. Thyme has terpenoids which are recognized for their cancer preventive properties. Rosmarinic and ursolic acids are major terpenoids in thyme that possess anti-cancer properties. Thyme contains an essential oil that is rich in thymol, a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and a strong antioxidant.

Warm Scallop Salad

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil + 1 Tsp, divided

2 TB Rice Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 TB Thyme Leaves + more for garnish

½ Tsp Honey

½ Tsp each Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

12 Cups Baby Lettuces

8 oz. Package Frozen Baby Peas – defrosted

2 Carrots, Julienned or Shredded

¼ Small Red Onion, very thinly sliced

4 Thin Slices Prosciutto, chopped

18 Large Dry Scallops

Step One Make the salad dressing by placing ¼ Cup Oil, rice vinegar, Dijon, thyme, honey and salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the lettuce, peas, carrots and onions to the bowl and toss with the dressing.

Step Two Sauté the prosciutto in the remaining 1 Tsp oil until crispy and browned. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and sauté the scallops in the pan. (Don’t overcook! Depending on their size, scallops will only take about 1 minute per side.)

Step Three Divide the greens between six bowls. Top each bowl with 3 scallops and sprinkle with the crispy prosciutto and additional thyme if desired.

Spicy Tuesday – Full of Fall Flavors Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Tarragon

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Ahh…tarragon. A smell that often evokes memories of France, the warmth of sunshine, fields of lavender or mustard. Tarragon is also a beautiful partner to sweet potatoes and winter squashes, so not only is it beautiful with summery flavors – it rocks with the creamy rich tastes of fall, too!

Did you know that tarragon is called “the king of herbs” because it is rich in nutrients and vitamins? There was a study done in 2005 that determined tarragon (specifically the oil) worked as a free radical scavenger. Trust us, even if you haven’t visited France, this recipe will bring you the delicious food from the southern region of the country.

Just whipping up these wonderful fragrant sweet potatoes will put you in a happy mood. And to think that the tarragon in the recipe will also aid in digestion as you eat, is a wonderful benefit.  Everyone will love this — and ask you for it again and again.

Full of Fall Flavors Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

6 Medium Sweet Potatoes, Baked

2 Green Apples, chopped, skin on

2 Cups Chopped Oranges

1 TB Chopped Tarragon

1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts

¼ Cup Balsamic Vinegar

½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Step One Hollow out the baked sweet potato and place the flesh in a large bowl, reserving the shells.

Step Two Add the apples, oranges, tarragon, walnuts, vinegar, oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the large bowl of sweet potato. Carefully fold the ingredients together and taste for salt and pepper.

Step Three Spoon the filling back into the potatoes and cook in a 350F oven until warm, about 20 minutes.

Spicy Tuesday – Thai Tomato and Coconut Soup – Coriander

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Quick and easy, a real crowd pleaser, this different-but-delicious tomato soup is infused with the flavors of Thailand. We served this up at the Thomas F Chapman Family Cancer Wellness Center to rave reviews, recently. The combo of spices like cumin, coriander and smoked paprika sing with the addition of the creamy sweet potato and coconut milk.

Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant. It’s a tiny round light brown seed that packs a BIG punch of flavor. Slightly earthy, slightly lemony, you’ll recognize its taste from other Asian dishes. Coriander is used to fight inflammation, decrease loose stools, reduce blood pressure, and combat anemia. There are many health benefits weaved into this vegan soup!

Thai Tomato and Coconut Soup

2 (28 OZ) Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes, drained

1 Tsp Olive Oil

1 Cup Minced Red Onion

1 Minced Jalapeno

1 Tsp Ground Cumin

1 Tsp Ground Coriander

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Grated Garlic

2 Cups Minced Sweet Potato

1 ½ Cup Coconut Milk

1 TB Sweet Chili Sauce

1 Tsp

Sea Salt to taste

Chiffonade of Basil

Puree the tomatoes in a blender. Heat the oil and sauté the onion and pepper in a stockpot until soft – about 6 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and garlic to the pot. Cook and stir for about 1 minute or until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, sweet potato, coconut milk and sweet chili sauce. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt. Serve garnished with fresh basil.

Spicy Tuesday – Artichokes in Olive Oil and Garlic – White Pepper

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Did you know that black and white peppers are both from the same plant?  Black peppercorns are picked when almost ripe and sundried, turning the outer layer of the pepper black. To produce white peppercorns, this outer layer is removed before drying, leaving only the inner seed. White pepper tastes hotter than black but has less complex flavors. When buying white pepper it’s important that the spice is fresh – it can turn stale and bitter much faster than black pepper.

The French created the tradition of using white pepper for lightly colored dishes – we like it because it adds a bigger pop of flavor to these delicious artichokes. White pepper has many health benefits. It can help with digestive issues, dental issues, diabetes, minor headaches, cough, even weight loss. Although we may see it just as simple spice, the taste and health benefits are quite extensive!

Artichokes in Olive Oil and Garlic

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 TB Unsalted Butter

1 WHOLE HEAD Garlic, peeled and minced

2 Cups Grape Tomatoes, halved

2 TB Dry White

2 (15 OZ) Cans or 1 Package of Frozen Artichoke Hearts – defrosted (about 2 cups)

Sea salt and Freshly Ground White Pepper to taste

Add olive oil and butter into a sauté pan and melt together over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook stirring often for 2 minutes, watching carefully to make sure garlic does not burn. Add the tomatoes and wine and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the artichoke hearts. Cook and stir for about 2 or 3 minutes or until warmed through and then salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

Spicy Tuesday – Patatas Bravas or Angry Potatoes – Smoked Spanish Paprika

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Happy Halloween from us – to YOU! Here’s an easy and spicy-good treat for ALL the trick-or-treaters in your family!

Don’t worry about having to buy the wide variety of spices used in this recipe  – the seasoning mix is not only wonderful on potatoes – its also great on a piece of fish or chicken. (Make a double recipe and save some for cooking later in the week.) Plus, when you add the smoked paprika to the other spices, it power-packs the blend! The high Vitamin C content can help your body absorb the iron in the fish or chicken.

Smoked Paprika is one of our favorite spices. It’s got a great smoky aroma and meaty taste and is a super substitute for meat or pork. The paprika pepper is 6 times higher in Vitamin C than tomatoes! As an antibacterial agent and stimulant, paprika can help normalize blood pressure, improve circulation, and increase the production of saliva and stomach acids to aid digestion.

Patatas Bravas – Angry Potatoes with Smoked Spanish Paprika

2 LBs Fingerling Potatoes, either very small, or cut in half

2 LBs Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into the same size as the potatoes

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Recipe *Spanish Spice Rub

2 TB Chives and 2 TB Parsley, Chopped

Toss the potatoes in the olive oil and spice rub and spread out on an aluminum foil lined sheet pan. Place the spiced rubbed potatoes in a 400F oven and roast for 35 – 45 minutes, or until browned on the edges. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chives and parsley to serve.

*Spanish Spice Rub

1 TB Coriander Seed

1 TB Cumin Seed

1 TB Fennel Seed

1 TB Mustard Seed

1 TB Dried Oregano

2 TB Smoked Paprika

1 TB Onion Powder

1 TB Garlic Powder

1 TB Sea Salt

½ TB Black Pepper

In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the first four ingredients until fragrant. Add to the rest of the spices and grind well in a spice grinder.

Spicy Tuesday – Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup – Fennel

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For us, the start of October brings the “soup-y” time of the year. And here’s a soup that we make over and over again – because it highlights a powerfood—KALE! Not only full of nutrition – it also tastes so good that the whole family will love it on these cool fall evenings. Kale is a cancer fighting powerfood because of all the phytochemicals within it. Yup – forty five, 45! Different types of plant compounds are in the tasty green. It also has fiber, vitamins, and minerals that give your energy throughout the day. Our spice of the week is fennel because the crunchy and slightly sweet herb adds a refreshing contribution to Mediterranean dishes like this soup. The fennel bulb is an excellent source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals. Fennel also has fiber, folate, and potassium.

2 TB Olive Oil

1 Cup Chopped Onion

1 Cup Chopped Red Pepper

1 Cup Chopped Fennel

1 Cup Chopped Carrot

2 TB Italian Seasoning

1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

1 Bunch Kale, thinly sliced

2 Garlic Cloves, Grated

4 Cups Veg Broth

1 Can (15 OZ) Chopped Tomatoes, undrained

1 Can (15 OZ) Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 Tsp each Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Garnish

½ Cup Shredded Parmesan and Basil for Garnish

In a large dutch oven, sauté the onions, pepper, fennel, carrots, seasoning and red pepper flakes together, until the onion is tender and golden. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale and garlic; cover and cook and stir for another couple of minutes. Add the remaining ingredients; cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and serve, garnished with the Parmesan and basil.

Spicy Tuesday – Brown or Red Rice Salad – Thyme

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This yummy recipe appeared first in a summer 2014 post. But we’ve had lots of rice in the healthy kitchen lately, so we’re moving it over to celebrate fall!

Do the variety of different rice types and blends entice you with their beautiful colors and descriptions? They certainly do us! We have been using lots of different rice to make hot, warm and cool rice dishes – full of gorgeous color and delicious flavors. This week’s recipe celebrates rice with other easy to find ingredients that combine so well together, you’ll want to make a double batch for lunch later in the week!

Thyme is an herb that “sings” when its combined with earthy mushrooms and the umami, (the flavor of lusciousness), of soy sauce. Thyme is also a nutrition powerhouse because it is packed with minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Its leaves are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium. And its volatile oils have scientifically been found to have antiseptic and anti-fungal characteristics. You can’t go wrong with the health benefits and the flavor of this awesome salad!

Brown or Red Rice Salad

2 Cups Red or Brown Rice, Prepared*

¼ Cup Chopped Shallots

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 Oz Wild or Baby Bella Mushrooms

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Black Pepper

1 TB Light Soy Sauce or Tamari

1 TB Fresh Thyme

1 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts

1 Large Red Apple Chopped

2 TB Chopped Parsley

Season the shallots and mushrooms with the salt, pepper and soy sauce. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms in the oil until nicely browned. Stir in the fresh thyme. Toss with the walnuts and apple and garnish with the chopped parsley.

*We used Lundberg’s Burgundy Rice – which we found in the local grocery store.

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Spicy Tuesday – Romaine Wrap with Crunchy Apple Salad – Garam Masala

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Its that apple time of the year, and only is this easy salad seasonal – its delicious as well. We were thrilled to get a shipment of Live Gourmet‘s romaine. The romaine is special as it has no “heart”. That’s a GOOD thing because you can enjoy every leaf as a crunchy scoop.

By using the lettuce as the wrap rather than a carbohydrate rich bread, pita, or roll, you are saving calories and adding more Calcium, Iron, B Vitamins and protein to your meal. Believe it or not, romaine lettuce has 7.7 grams of protein / head of lettuce. It also has 16% of your daily water intake. So although drinking fluids is very imporant for health, you can also eat foods (like this romaine lettuce) to stay hydrated in your day.

The homemade dressing adds pop to the dish while bringing health benefits of its own. Because of the blend of spices in Garam Masala, it can help fights disease and builds immunity, and help increase the ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and proteins – the nutrients in the lettuce wrap are better absorbed because of this flavorful spice blend.

What’s not to like in this fun salad? (We bet your kids will eat it up too!) Here’s the recipe that Nancy developed to showcase fall apples and the delicious lettuce.

Romaine Wrap with Crunchy Apple Salad

½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

2 TB Orange Juice

2 TB Orange Zest

1/2 Tsp *Garam Masala

1 Cup Grated Carrot

½ Cup Chopped Celery

1 Red Apple, Cored, Chopped

2 Green Apples, Cored, Chopped

1 Cup Red Seedless Grapes, Halved

½ Cup Golden Raisins (or chopped dates)

½ Cup Chopped Roasted and Salted Cashews

1 Head Live Gourmet Living Baby Romaine

Step One Mix the yogurt, orange juice, orange zest and Garam Masala in a small bowl to blend. (You can prepare this dressing up to a day ahead of time)

Step Two Add the grated carrot, diced celery, diced apples, halved grapes, raisins or dates and cashews to a bowl. Add the dressing to salad and toss.

Step Three

Cut the roots off of the head of the Live Gourmet Living Baby Romaine and lay a leaf out flat. Place a couple of tablespoons of the salad in the leaf and repeat with the remaining leaves.

*Garam Masala is a aromatic spice blend from India. Full of flavor from spices like cardamom, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon, you can find it in the spice rack of almost any grocery store.

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.