Living and Eating Well!

 

Spicy Tuesday – Double Ginger Molasses Cookies – Ginger

The holidays are the time for sharing sweet treats with others. And just because you are invited to a cookie swap, doesn’t mean you have to bring a cookie that is full of sugar, butter, fat and calories with the group.

How about trying a cookie like this? Granted, not health food, but a little-better-for-you, due to the reduced butter, less sugar and the wonderful spicy ginger that makes these cookies sing with flavor!

Ginger is helpful in eliminating gastrointestinal distress. In a recent double-blind study, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine for motion sickness! We use it a lot in our cancer fighting kitchen for nausea during chemotherapy treatment. Ginger is also a anti-inflammatory because of compounds called gingerols. These substances are believed to explain why so many people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.

Remember it’s all about portion control when consuming cookies (2 cookies / serving for these) but rest assured, you are getting some health benefits from the ones below.

Ginger Molasses Cookies

Makes about 40 Cookies

6 TB Unsalted Butter, softened

2/3 Cup Raw Fine Sugar

¼ Cup Molasses

1 Large Egg

2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

2 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tsp Ground Ginger

1 Tsp Cinnamon

½ Tsp Mace (or freshly ground nutmeg)

¼ Cup Minced Crystallized Ginger mixed with ¼ Cup Raw Fine Sugar

Step One Beat the butter with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the 2/3 cup sugar, beating well and molasses and egg – beat well.

Step Two Combine the flour, soda and spices, (except for the crystallized ginger-sugar mixture), together in a bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and stir until well blended. Divide the dough in half, wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.

Step Three While the dough is freezing, preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare 3 sheet trays with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the freezer and create about 24 (1 inch balls) Roll the balls in the crystallized ginger mixture and flatten the cookies with a glass to ½ inch. Bake for about 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on wire racks.

Why these cookies are better-for-you:

Less Butter

Molasses instead of lots of sugar

Spices including ginger

Spicy Tuesday – Fennel and Cauliflower Puree – Rosemary

Mmmmmm…what’s better than a big bowl of creamy potatoes? We have the answer. It’s a big bowl of fennel and cauliflower puree. Not only is it better-for-you – it has SO much more flavor than the standard bowl of mashed potatoes. Plus lots more nutrition, too!

Rosemary is sometimes referred to as the Christmas herb, and its use in this dish is no mistake. It brings pine-y warmth to the velvety mix of fennel, rich cauliflower and fragrant onions and garlic. And that’s not all rosemary has to offer, its nutrition is top notch. It is full of calcium, iron, and vitamin B6. Rosemary is also known to help digestion. There are compounds that are anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, anti-fungal and anti-septic properties. Oh yes, this dish is awesome for your body and your taste buds!

Fennel and Cauliflower Puree with Rosemary

3 Heads Fennel, cut into ½” pieces

1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped

2 TB Olive Oil

1 Tsp Sea Salt

½ Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

1 Large Head Cauliflower (or 3 bags Florets)

2 Large Cloves Garlic, peeled

2 TB Unsalted Butter

¼ Cup Skim Milk

1 TB Freshly Chopped Rosemary

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Step One Preheat the oven to 400F. On a half sheet pan lined with aluminum foil or parchment and sprayed with nonstick spray, toss the Fennel, Onion and Salt and Pepper with the 2 TB Olive Oil. Roast for 45 – 60 minutes or until the fennel and onions are tender.

Step TwoWhile the fennel is roasting, cook the cauliflower and garlic clove in boiling salted water until tender – about 10 minutes. Using the immersion blender, puree. Then add the fennel mixture and puree again

Step Three Melt the butter with the skim milk and rosemary over medium low heat. Add to the fennel mixture and stir. Taste for salt and pepper and sprinkle with additional to taste.

Happy Thanksgiving from Shayna and Nancy

We join our new buddy William in saying Happy Thanksgiving! Have a WONDERFUL and grateful day!

Spicy Tuesday – Sweet Potato and Red Grape Salad – Garam Masala

Slightly sweet and definitely spicy, Garam Masala is a luscious and warming ingredient for almost any dish we prepare at this chilly time of the year. Made from a combo of interesting spices, you can find this once obscure spice blend  in almost any grocery store now. If you are a reader of our blog, you know that Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Bay Leaves and Black Pepper are full of nutrition – and they are just a few of the ingredients contained in the many recipes for Garam Masala.

This dish combines veggies of the season like sweet potatoes, carrots and oranges with it to create not only a power-packed nutrition combo, but a powerful delicious salad, too!

Sweet Potato and Red Grape Salad

1/4 Cup Low-Fat Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Nonfat Plain Yogurt

2 TB Orange Juice

2 TB Orange Zest

1/2 Tsp Garam Masala

1 Cup Grated Carrot

1/2 Cup Chopped Celery

6 Cups Chopped Roasted Sweet Potatoes***

1 Cup Red Seedless Grapes, Halved

1/3 Cup Chopped Dates

1/4 Cup Chopped Toasted Walnuts

Step One

Mix mayonnaise, 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 In a bowl toss the grated carrot, diced celery, sweet potatoes, halved grapes and chopped dates. Add dressing to salad and toss. Sprinkle salad with walnuts and serve.

** To Roast the sweet potatoes, spread the chopped potatoes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 TB olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and 1Tsp garam masala. Roast in a 400F oven for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are browned.

111114 – Spicy Tuesday – Seven Layer Quinoa Apple Salad – Allspice

Everyone loves layered salads – pretty presentations for a potluck, party, or dinner. We enjoy them too. But most are loaded with calories and fat! Once you whip this recipe up, you’ll find a new favorite for your family and friends. Filled with the flavors of fall, apples and squash, with a dressing full of flavor from apple cider vinegar and tasty allspice. Because its made with quinoa, you can serve it as a main course – or a side.

Did you know that Allspice is not a combo of spices, but just one? Smelling like cloves, ginger and nutmeg and cinnamon, it looks very similar to black pepper. You can use allspice one for one as a substitute for any of these spices. Because of its eugenol content, (a powerful phenylproniod), allspice has attributes similar to cloves. It’s also a popular home remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, used as a poultice or in a hot bath.

Seven Layer Quinoa Apple Salad

1 ½ Cups Quinoa, Prepared as Package directs, divided

Apple Cider Dressing*

1 Cup Chopped Green Apple, skin on

1 Cup Chopped Red Apple, skin on

2 Cups Chopped Roasted Butternut Squash

1 Cup Chopped Dried Apricots or Cranberries

½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese

½ Cup Chopped Toasted Almonds

3 Thinly Sliced Green Onions for Garnish

Step One Toss the Quinoa with ½  of the dressing. Toss the chopped green apples in a bowl 1 TB of the dressing. In another bowl, toss the chopped red apples with 1 TB of the Dressing.

Step Two Layer the ingredients in a trifle bowl, starting with ½ of the prepared quinoa and then add the squash, green apple and apricots or quinoa. Layer the remaining quinoa then the red apple, blue cheese and almonds. Garnish with the sliced green onions.

*Apple Cider Dressing:

1/3 Cup Apple Cider

3 TB Apple Cider Vinegar

3 TB Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1 Tsp Allspice

1 Tsp Honey

1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Whisk together the ingredients.

Spicy Tuesday – A New Addition!

Chef Nancy here – while we have been in the kitchen cooking – look what’s up with Dietician Shayna? Welcome Will Komar!

Spicy Tuesday – Remoulade with Crudités – Horseradish

Happy Halloween!

Don’t you love our fun skeleton? We served this up at the PINK party for a group of wonderful breast cancer survivors. Typically crudité is served up with hummus – but this Remoulade makes a super dip – and you can always add some boiled shrimp on the side for a complete dinner!

We’ve spiced up our Remoulade with a traditional ingredient – horseradish. Horseradish adds loads of flavor and cancer fighting glucosinolates. These are responsible for the characteristic hot taste of horseradish, wasabi, and mustard. Once inside the body, glucosinolates are broken down into powerful derivatives called isothiocyanates and indoles, which are believed to be the main cancer-preventive contributors of horseradish and cruciferous vegetables.

Remoulade with Crudités

½  Cup Light Olive Oil Mayo

½ Cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

2  TB Creole or Spicy Mustard

2 TB Low Salt Ketchup

½ Cup Minced Green Onions

2 Minced Parsley

2 TB Chopped Celery

2 Garlic Cloves, Grated

1 Tsp Horseradish

1 Tsp Smoked Paprika

1 Tsp Hot Sauce

Mix all the ingredients together and set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Serve with fresh crunchy vegetables.

Spicy Tuesday – Herbed Breakfast Potatoes – Basil

Does the idea of breakfast for dinner get you excited? Us, too! We love having multi-purpose recipes like this one that can slide easily from one meal to another, just by making a double recipe or heating up leftovers. Fast and easy, an aluminum foil lined sheet pan makes this breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner side a snap to prepare.

The spicy taste of basil makes this dish sing with flavor. There’s nothing like a combo of tomatoes, basil, olives and capers to make almost anything taste better AND be better for us. Basil is just about done in the garden so pick the last bits to use in this healthy breakfast/dinner dish. Did you know basil can protect our body from a cellular level? Yes, it has flavonoids and volatile oils that have been studied to show cell and chromosome support from environmental damage. And basil is a good to protect from bacterial growth in the body as well.

If you’d like to make this this delicious potato dish a little heartier for a big day or for dinner, it makes a perfect nest for a poached egg, too!

Herbed and Spiced Breakfast Potatoes

2 Sweet Potatoes, Chopped

1 White Potato, Chopped

1 Chopped Large Red Onion

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided

Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1 Cup Chopped Tomato

½ Cup Chopped Sundried Tomatoes (Dried – not oil packed.)

½ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes

½ Cup Chopped Kalamata Olives

¼ Cup Capers

1 TB Chopped Basil

1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Step One Place the potatoes and onion on a sheet tray, toss with 2 TB of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slide into a 400F oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crispy and brown around the edges.

Step Two When the potatoes and onion are roasted, slide them into a large bowl, and add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1 TB of oil. Stir together gently and serve, warm, room temp or cold.

Spicy Tuesday – Zesty and Cool Arugula Dip – Arugula

Hmmm, did we mention that October and November are two of our busiest months of the year? Oh yes, because many of the Cancer Groups we work with have survivor celebrations, the corporate world is getting all of their meetings and workshops in before the holidays, and well – its just that busy time of the year!

Thus, the late Spicy Tuesday – But it’s worth it, we promise. This dip is cool and creamy, zesty and spicy in a super-yummy-green-veggie way! With only 4 ingredients, this recipe creates not only a delicious dip, but is also great as a salad dressing, or in a baked potato, as a spread on a sandwich. It’s good on anything that needs a little zip of creamy goodness.

The bright taste of arugula is what gives this dish its flair. Arugula is also known as rocket salad because of its pop of peppery flavor. It is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as the notoriously nutritious better-known vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Studies have suggested that the sulfur-containing compounds that give cruciferous vegetables their bitter bite are also what give them their cancer-fighting power.

So keep eating these greens as we get into flu and cold season !

Zesty and Cool Arugula Dip

1 Log (8oz) Goat Cheese

¼ – ½ Cup of Nonfat Greek Yogurt (depending on the consistency desired)

1 Bag (4- 6 oz) Arugula

1 Tsp Lemon Juice

Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Set aside a few leaves of arugula to chop for garnish. Whiz the goat cheese, yogurt remaining arugula and lemon juice in the food processor.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Done! Yum!

Spicy Tuesday – Spicy Chicken Burgers with California Slaw – Cilantro

A better-for-you burger and slaw is dinner on a bun! When the family is craving comfort food, this sandwich will make everyone happy. Not just your run-of-the-mill hamburger, it’s packed with flavor from the tomatoes and chilies, the cheese, garlic, and chipotle chile pepper.

When we whip up this recipe for dinner, we often make a double recipe. The burgers keep super in the freezer, and the slaw is delicious as leftovers for lunch as a salad – or tucked in a pita pocket.

The grassy, sharp and pungent flavor of cilantro makes a wonderful complement to the chilies and the smoky chipotle powder. When you use cilantro you are adding Vitamin K to your body. It also has trace mineral manganese and vitamins A and B-9, known as folate, each at 1 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Spicy Chicken Burgers with California Slaw

Burgers

1 Can Tomatoes and Chilies, (like Rotel), Drained well, divided

1 LB Lean Ground Chicken

½ Cup Light Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1 Garlic Clove, grated

1 Tsp Chipotle Chile Pepper

1 Tsp Sea Salt

Whole Wheat Buns or Lettuce Leaves

Avocadoes as Garnish if Desired

Slaw

4 Cups Shredded Napa Cabbage

2 Cup Shredded Carrots

1 Cup Shredded Jicama (or radishes)

¼ Cup Chopped Cilantro

¼ Cup EVOO

1 TB Dijon Mustard

Reserved ¼ Cup Tomatoes and Chilies

2 TB Orange Juice

1 TB Lime Juice

1 Tsp Honey

Step One Scoop ¼ Cup of the Tomato and Chile mixture out of the can and set aside.

Step Two Place the chicken, cheese, garlic, pepper and salt in a bowl. Mix together gently. Form into patties and cook in a cast iron skillet until browned on both sides. Slide into a 350F oven for about 5 minutes or cooked through.

Step Three Toss the cabbage, carrots, jicama and cilantro together in a bowl. In a jar, (or with a small bowl and whisk), combine the EVOO, tomatoes and chilies, orange juice, limejuice and honey. Shake well and drizzle over the salad. Use the slaw to top the burger and as a side.