Archive for September, 2010

Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables!

Posted on Sep. 28th 2010 2 Comments »

To give you an idea of just how important fruits and vegetables are, here is a quick overview of some of the many ways fruits and vegetables affect our health.

Increasing your daily intake of fruits and vegetables can:

  • decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke
  • lower your blood pressure
  • help you avoid constipation and the painful intestinal ailment called diverticulitis
  • guard against two common aging-related eye diseases – cataract, and macular degeneration
  • delay or prevent memory loss and a decline in thinking skills
  • help you feel full with fewer calories and so control your weight and waistline

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by poppa-d | in Health and Fitness

Cucumber-and-Radish Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles

Posted on Sep. 25th 2010 No Comments »

  • 7 ounces dried rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1 large cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

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Posted by poppa-d | in Radish, Recipe

The Value of a Berry

Posted on Sep. 21st 2010 No Comments »

Berries, it turns out are not really an exact classification - the botany gets complicated. Some such as raspberries are really clusters of fruit. Others such as cranberries are called false berries because they do not form from a flower.

But we all know the common meaning - small fruits without pits or stones. Here, small is beautiful!

Berries are really super foods. They are so full of vitamins and antioxidants they really deserve to be included in everyone’s diets. Often the wild species out-do the cultivars - they are richer in antioxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals. (Phytochemicals are plant chemicals with therapeutic uses.)

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Posted by poppa-d | in Fruit

Broccoli Crunch Salad

Posted on Sep. 18th 2010 No Comments »

The success of this salad hinges on the broccoli. Make sure you try to not overcook it - you don’t want it turning to mush.

  • 4-5 cups broccoli florets (and chopped stalks if you like)
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 small crisp apples, cut into bit-sized pieces (if you aren’t going to use the apples immediately, let them sit in a bowl of water with the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted or candied walnuts or almonds
  • 1/3 cup pan-fried crunchy shallots*
  • chives (optional)

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Posted by poppa-d | in Recipe

The Value of Fresh Vegetables

Posted on Sep. 14th 2010 No Comments »

Vegetables are building blocks for any diet, for nutrition and for variety. Each has a different nutrient makeup and can be loosely classed into 3 main groups: stems, roots and leaves. The dark green, leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens and spinach are valuable sources of vitamin A and calcium. Stem and flower vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, promote good digestion, as well as being simply good sources for nutrients. Turnips, potatoes, beets and other root vegetables add bulk to the diet. The orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes and yams are an important source of carotene, which your body uses to convert to vitamin A.  Vegetables should be selected in their proper season, and Nature’s Garden Delivered helps you do this.

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Posted by poppa-d | in Vegetables

Hazelnut & Chard Ravioli

Posted on Sep. 11th 2010 2 Comments »

Choose a winter flavored ravioli, I used a fresh (but store-bought) cheese ravioli  but a butternut ravioli would be delicious as well. I sometimes precook the raviolis and keep them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet until I am ready to use them - this helps prevent the raviolis from melding into one another after cooking. I used a butternut squash version of the potato “croutons” shown here. Substitute butternut squash for the potatoes, you can make them a day ahead but they loose some of their structure overnight. The flavors is still great, but you’ll loose a couple points for eye-appeal. I sometimes do a big batch of the onions and keep them in a jar in the refrigerator to use in recipes like this one.

  • 3/4 lbs. raviolis (see headnotes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, deveined and cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 cup butternut squash “croutons”
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup chives, minced

Into an extra-large pot of well-salted boiling water add the raviolis. After a few minutes, when the raviolis float and are cooked through, drain them and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil. this prevents them from sticking together. Set aside.

To caramelize the onions, heat another tablespoon of the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed skillet with a pinch of salt. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions collapse and turn deep brown in color. You can do this ahead of time (or just before serving) - whatever you prefer. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Just before serving heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, again in a big skillet over high heat. Add the raviolis. Stir in the onions, and then the chard. Wait until the chard begins to wilt, then stir in most of the cheese and most of the hazelnuts. Gently fold in the butternut squash and lemon zest. Remove from heat.

Serve on a big platter garnished with chives and remaining hazelnuts and Parmesan.

Serves 6

CALORIES 330 (48% from fat); FAT 18.3 (sat 5.45g, mono 10g, poly 1.75g); IRON 2.48mg; CHOLESTEROL 89.5mg; CALCIUM 236mg; CARBOHYDRATE 30.7g; SODIUM 806mg; PROTEIN 12.9g; FIBER 2.56g

Source:  www.101cookbooks.com

Posted by poppa-d | in Butternut Squash, Chard, Onion, Recipe

Top 10 Fun Facts about Broccoli

Posted on Sep. 7th 2010 No Comments »

Broccoli is one of the healthiest green vegetables. It’s versatile, inexpensive and taste great.

1)      The word broccoli comes from the Latin word brachium and the Italian word braccio, which means “arm”.

2)      Broccoli is a part of the cabbage family.

3)      Eating broccoli reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and death in postmenopausal women.

4)      A compound found in broccoli appears to have more effect than modern antibiotics against the creation of peptic ulcer causing bacteria.

5)      Broccoli comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep sage all the way to dark green and purplish-green.

6)      Tom “Broccoli” Landers holds the current world record for eating 1 pound of broccoli in 92 seconds.

7)      Broccoli is high in Vitamins C, A, and folate and also soluble fiber.

8)      It has been shown to fight cancer cells in lab tests.

9)      It’s versatile in the kitchen, both as handy snacks, in soups, in salads, and finely chopped in homemade pesto.

10)   California produces almost all the broccoli sold in the USA. Americans eat an average of 4# broccoli a year that’s 900% more than 20 years ago!

What are some fun facts you know about broccoli?

Posted by poppa-d | in Vegetables

Tofu Curry Recipe

Posted on Sep. 4th 2010 No Comments »

The curry has a bit of a kick to it - so if you’re cooking for a spice -sensitive crowd, scale back a bit - and season to taste at the end.  You can either steam or roast the potatoes (oven at 375F) - both are slightly different approaches. You can also substitute the potatoes with yam or sweet potatoes. You can substitute tempeh for the tofu as well.

  • 1 1/2 pounds small waxy potatoes no bigger than a small lime, halved
  • 2 teaspoons fine -grain sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • splash of cream or a dollop of creme fraiche
  • 8 oz tofu, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • a small handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Bring a few inches of water to a boil in a large pot. Place the potatoes in a steamer , sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and cook until tender throughout - about 20-30 minutes, depending on how large your potato pieces are. If roasting, line pan with a little olive oil and light brush oil on top for a nice golden brown.

In the meantime, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil, add the onion and cook over LOW heat until they are soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cumin seeds, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, wait about thirty seconds, then stir in the tomatoes, water, and the other teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat, stir in the cream and blend with a hand blender - (or leave it unpureed if you like!). Note: you might need to transfer it to a bowl to puree, then return it to the skillet.

Once the curry is back in the pan, add the tofu and bring barely to a simmer. Let the tofu cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the potatoes when they are finished steaming. Transfer to a large family-style bowl, and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Serves 4 - 6.

CALORIES 146 (54% from fat); FAT 9.52 (sat 2.72g, mono 4.66g, poly 1.64g); IRON 1.42mg; CHOLESTEROL 6.94mg; CALCIUM 132mg; CARBOHYDRATE 11.6g; SODIUM 15.2mg; PROTEIN 6.12; FIBER 2.2g

Source:  www.101cookbooks.com

Posted by poppa-d | in Onion, Recipe, Tofu, Tomato, potato


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