Archive for August, 2010

Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Posted on Aug. 28th 2010 2 Comments »

  • Heirloom or Roma tomatoes (sliced 1/2 inch) - 6
  • Fresh mozzarella (sliced 1/2 inch) - 6
  • Basil (sliced thin) - 8-12 leaves
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp
  • Balsamic vinegar (reduced) – 1 tbsp
  • Salt & pepper - Chef’s choice

Place tomato slice on a plate, lightly salt and pepper. Add some basil leaves then the Mozzarella slices. Repeat. When finished drizzle olive oil and balsamic reduction over, followed with more fresh basil.

Reduce the balsamic vinegar by applying heat. Place between 2 to 4 times the amount desired in a sauté pan. Bring vinegar to boil, stirring frequently. Continue stirring and turn heat down to medium. Take off heat when near desired consistency. Remember that vinegar will continue to reduce even after heat is removed. Cooking time is approximately 3-5 minutes.

CALORIES 137 (23% from fat); FAT 8.95 (sat 4.09g, mono 3.56g, poly .6g); IRON .67mg; CHOLESTEROL 22.4mg; CALCIUM 163mg; CARBOHYDRATE 7.87g; SODIUM 187mg; PROTEIN 7.89g; FIBER 2.2g

Source: http://az.naturesgardendelivered.com/recipes-t.php

Posted by poppa-d | in Basil, Mozzarella, Recipe, Tomato

Top 10 Reasons to Go Organic

Posted on Aug. 24th 2010 1 Comment »

The central idea behind natural and organic farming is sustainability. It represents the “True” cost of production, taking all environmental factors into consideration unlike almost all other goods currently produced. By increasing the health of the environment, you are insuring the health of the crops and ultimately the health of all living things. It’s about maintaining natural ecological balances. This beautiful balance gives us much more than just healthy fruits and vegetables.

1) Fresh organic produce contains on average 50% more vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other micro-nutrients than intensively farmed produce. Science says that it’s good for you.

2) Going organic is the only practical way to avoid eating genetically modified (GM) food. Organic producers are leaders in innovative research. Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.

3) If you eat dairy or meat products, going organic has never been more essential to safeguard you and your family’s health. Intensively-reared dairy cows and farm animals are fed a dangerous cocktail of antibiotics, growth promoting drugs, anti-parasite drugs and many other medicines on a daily basis, whether they have an illness or not. These drugs are passed directly onto the consumers of their dairy produce or meat.

4) Organic farms support and nurture our beautiful and diverse wildlife. Organic farms nurture the whole environment, wherever you are. Organic agriculture respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

5) You will dramatically reduce the amount of pesticide residue you ingest on a daily basis. Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.

6) Reduced reliance on chemical and agri-engineering corporations. The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

7) Organic farming is healthier for the soil. - Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.

8) Organic farms respect our water resources - The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.

9) Organic dairy cows are not injected with milk-boosting hormones such as recombinant bovine somatotrophin (rBST) which may increase insulin levels in humans.

10) Organic produce simply tastes so much better. Fruit and vegetables full of juice and flavor, and so many different varieties to try! There are about 100 different kinds of organic potatoes in production, and that’s just potatoes!

Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

Beet Risotto with Greens, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

Posted on Aug. 21st 2010 No Comments »

Before you saute the onion, toast the walnuts in the Dutch oven until they’re fragrant. Cooking the beets along with the rice renders a beautiful burgundy color.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups finely chopped peeled beets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can vegetable broth
  • 6 cups finely sliced Swiss chard
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. Add rice, giner, and rosemary; saute 1 minute. Add wine; cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.

Add beets, water, salt and broth; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until beets are tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in chard; cook 5 minutes. Add cheese, stirring until blended. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon walnuts.

Serves 4

CALORIES 412 (30% from fat); FAT 13.7 (sat 4.9g, mono 4g, poly 3.6g); IRON 2.1mg; CHOLESTEROL 14mg; CALCIUM 92mg; CARBOHYDRATE 57.5g; SODIUM 611mg; PROTEIN 14.1g; FIBER 4.1g

Source: Cooking Light, December 2002

Posted by poppa-d | in Beets, Goat Cheese, Onion, Recipe

5 Facts about Sweet Potatoes and Yams

Posted on Aug. 17th 2010 No Comments »

Most of us think of Sweet Potatoes and Yams with marshmallows on top at the Thanksgiving dinner table but there are several ways to use this wonderful root. Did you know the following facts about them?

1.  While in the market all year-round, their peak season is from March to June.

2.  Sweet Potatoes and yams are full of vitamins A and C, and their natural sugar makes them a good candidate for the healthful dessert department.

3.  The bright orange ones are the yams, and the lighter-colored tubers are the sweet potatoes.

4. You may boil them but they taste better baked in a 350-degree (F) oven till tender (about and hour). Don’t forget to eat the skins because they contain many of the nutrients.

5.  Store the tubers in a cool, dry dark and well ventilated place and never allow them to become chilled. Properly stored, they will keep for a month or so.

What fun facts do you have to share about a sweet potato or yam?

Posted by poppa-d | in Vegetables

Orange Pan-Glazed Tofu

Posted on Aug. 14th 2010 No Comments »

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (grade B)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 small garlic gloves, crushed
  • 10 ounces of tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 lime
  • a handful of cilantro

Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Squeeze the grated ginger over the bowl to extract the juices, then discard the pulp. Add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tofu into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, pat dry with a paper towel.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tofu and fry for 5 minutes or until golden brown on the underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tofu once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tofu from time to time.

Serve the tofu drizzled with any remaining sauce and squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top. Serve by itself or over brown rice with some.

Serves 2-4

CALORIES 144 (26% from fat); FAT 9.89 (sat 1.56g, mono 5.83g, poly 2.03g); IRON 1.35mg; CHOLESTEROL 0mg; CALCIUM 1.52mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.1g; SODIUM 9.65mg; PROTEIN 6.35g; FIBER 0.76g

Source: www.101cookbooks.com

Posted by poppa-d | in Recipe, Tofu

10 Tricks to Eat Less

Posted on Aug. 10th 2010 1 Comment »

Nowadays, more and more people are trying to reduce their calorie intake. How much we eat does not affect only our looks, but our health as well. Moreover, some even believe that eating less will extend their life span and will help them avoid health problems associated with aging.

The “French paradox” is a very good example for this matter. Only 7% of French people are obese (as compared to more than 22% of all Americans) although they do not eat only salads all day. French people, like everyone else, like to smoke drink wine, eat food products high in calories (buttered croissants, goose liveres, pastries, etc.) The only difference is that they eat less of everything as they are used to serving smaller portions.

Researchers found that an average food portion in Paris has about 270g, while in Philadelphia an average food portion has about 350g. A soft drink is 52% larger in the US as compared to France.

We thought that presenting some tricks that might help us reduce the quantity of food we eat and prevail in the battle with calories would be helpful.

  1. Eat less, but more often. Is better to eat smaller portions than few large ones because in this way food is properly digested and nutrients are better used. When we eat a lot at one sitting the body cannot effectively “process” all the food.
  2. Drink water before you eat. This will make you feel full and will decrease your appetite.
  3. Eat on smaller plates. The main advantage of a smaller plate is that it gives the impression of a normal serving although it holds less food. When going to a restaurant switch the dinner plate with a salad one.
  4. Brush your teeth. Some people might refuse to have quick snack or even a meal when their teeth have just been brushed and feel clean.
  5. Include more vegetables in your meal. Eating more vegetables can make us feel satiated even if few calories are assimilated. So, look in your meal for ingredients that can be substituted with vegetables.
  6. No more sugar. Sugar is a very important source of calories, causing an increase in appetite. In 100 g of sugar there are approximately 400 calories. Try to replace as much as possible those products that contain sugar. (e.g. replace soft drinks with seltzer water)
  7. Eat slower. The body must have time to process and fully estimate the quantity of food that is eaten.  When we eat fast, we sometimes might not realize that we are satiated.
  8. Say NO to chips, snacks, breads etc. Besides the fact that such products are well known for their “weight attraction” due to their ingredients, such products can make us want to eat and drink more (especially salted ones).
  9. Chew gum. Chewing sugar-free gum can give us the impression that we are eating. So, when hunger strikes, try some gum first.
  10. Go for more taste and less quantity. 43 percent of consumers choosing organic food do so because of “better taste”. You feel more satiated with fewer calories.
Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

Roasted Carrots and Potato Chips

Posted on Aug. 7th 2010 1 Comment »

This is a great snack for a movie or any get together in place of store bought chips or snacks.

  • A bag of organic carrots
  • 4-5 potatoes - thinly sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cheddar Sharp Cheese

Heat oven to 375.

Cut carrots into nice carrot sticks and the potatoes very thin. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and brush on some olive oil. Put the potato chips down flat to roast and the carrot sticks flat on the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and grind sea salt on top. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Add the sharp cheddar to the top for garnish.

Serves - 4

CALORIES 173 (13% from fat); FAT 5.1 (sat 3.04g, mono 1.35g, poly .33g); IRON 1.11mg; CHOLESTEROL 14.9mg; CALCIUM 150mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.3g; SODIUM 180mg; PROTEIN 6.45g; FIBER  4.88g

Posted by poppa-d | in Ingredients, Recipe, carrot, potato

7 Interesting Facts about Summer Squash

Posted on Aug. 3rd 2010 No Comments »

1. All the different types of squash are a good source of vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin C.

2. Summer squash differs from the winter type by being more tender and having a thinner rind. This skin should not be discarded because it contains many valuable nutrients.

3. You will find summer squash in all shades of yellow and green, in shapes that vary from the bulbous-ended crook-neck to the slender straight zucchini. Choose smooth, unblemished squash with no soft spots. Gently scrub the squash with a vegetable brush under cold water, and you are ready to cook it or slice it to add to salad.

4. Summer squash is best when either steamed or simmered in a small amount of water until just barely tender.

5. Because it has a high water content, it’s best not to salt squash until after cooking or too much water will cook out.

6. Try some deep-fried zucchini sticks as an alternative to the ever-popular French fry. Dry the julienne sticks well with paper towels before deep frying them in hot oil.

7. Keep all summer squashes unwrapped in the fridge, and use them within 3 days of purchase or delivery.

What’s your favorite summer squash recipe?

Posted by poppa-d | in Vegetables


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