Since the last time I’ve written, so many things have happened in my life and throughout the world. Isn’t that always the case? Life is never stagnate. That can be a good thing and it can be a scary thing … Continue reading
We are well into 2015, and I finally got a chance to mentally take in the gifts I received over Christmas. So much is going on in my family, and in everyone’s family, over the month of December: traveling from one coast to another, traveling from one house to another, eating at, possibly, every new spot in Cleveland, Ohio, buying and giving gifts, sending and getting Holiday cards, carting Monsieur all over the country (kind of), dealing with a stolen wallet (fortunately that doesn’t happen every December), and the million other things that make up the busiest time of the year. It seems that with so many things going on, it’s easy to miss out on the things going on around us.
One of the gifts I received was Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2013 from my mother-in-law. I love these annual cookbooks. I get to pull out the old magazines I’ve been saving and transfer any notes of mine from the magazines to the cookbook, and then send the magazines off to a good home. It makes me feel so organized.
The note from the editor, Scott Mowbray, caught my eye from the October 2012 publication. “Sign of a food-centered family: During one meal, they talk about what the next meal will be.” Hmmm. This idea was brought up while he was interviewing Chef Ming Tsai. Chef Ming explains how important food was to his family, and his Dad would always take photos of the food they shared. Ahead of his time, right? Mowbray notes that we, hopefully, eat about 82,000 meal throughout our lives, and we should remember them. I would add to that point that we should respect them as well because meals are more than a plate of food in front of us. Think about a family meal – it indicates we are healthy enough to enjoy a meal, we have money in order to purchase what is in front of us, and we have loved ones surrounding us. Now being food-centered can turn a little crazy quickly, and we’ve all been there, too. For example, I’m sitting with my family at a restaurant for lunch and we start talking about what we will eat for dinner, or I’m out to dinner with friends and I start discussing lunch options for the following day with my husband. There is a fine line between enjoying a moment and taking it in and rushing through a moment in order to get to the next moment. I hope I take the time with each eating event, and I will be more mindful that I do so in the future. But this does not mean I will stop thinking or discussing the next meal! Again, it’s that fine balance between appreciating and anticipating. I think it can be done in a healthy way.
But this editorial note got me thinking: Is everyone like me, Chef Ming, and the Cooking Light editor? Does everyone think about the next meal while they are still seated at a table? Is this common? Of course I love cooking and eating, so every meal is usually an adventure for me. Why wouldn’t I look forward to the next one? And if you are reading this, you probably feel the same way about food. I would love to hear your thoughts on this one!
And in the spirit of thinking about the next meal, I’m listing the meals I made, and will make, this week for dinner. I’ve added the links so that you can easily access the recipe if you so desire.
Nutty Vegetable Sauté (http://www.meatlessmonday.com/recipes/nutty-vegetable-saute/) This was made over the weekend, but the leftovers have carried into this week’s lunch and dinner menus. I love when that happens!
Spicy Lentil-Walnut Burgers (http://www.marthastewart.com/318248/spicy-lentil-walnut-burgers) served with Roasted Carrots. I was attempting to make a healthy “Burgers and Fries” meal for the viewing of The Ohio State v. Oregon football game. I served it with Chunky Olive Hummus from Trader Joe’s (YUM!) and Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Flat Bread.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (http://www.marthastewart.com/1065205/peanut-butter-and-jelly-bars) These were made as a half-time treat during the football game. This was followed by one Stone Enjoy By IPA (http://enjoyby.stonebrewing.com/) to celebrate the victorious OSU!
Wild Mushroom Farro Risotto (Farrotto) (http://www.moreuncorked.com/!S0wXzFfbyV6LkYgba2nHpA!/Wild-Mushroom-Farro-Risotto-Farrotto) I omit the butter from this recipe and add more olive oil. I may add more than 2 ounces of goat cheese. Two ounces? HA!
Salad There is no recipe for this one. I usually make a salad most nights of the week. Occasionally the salad is the main course with a bunch of stuff in it, or I will make a simple one, like an arugula and red pepper salad. I grew up eating a salad with dinner most nights of the week, so I like the tradition – and it’s tasty!
Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/falafel-stuffed-eggplant)
Again, let me know your thoughts regarding the “Food-Centered Family”! I’d love to hear from you!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
OK, so my title is a little misleading. Let me start at the beginning. Melissa’s (http://www.melissas.com/) offered another challenge to the San Diego Food Bloggers. The timing was a little tough due to the craziness of the Holidays, and Melissa’s pushed our creativity to the next level. We had to use all of the ingredients and create two recipes: one savory and one sweet. I was on board. I can’t thank Melissa’s enough for giving us the opportunity once again. I received my complimentary box of goodies containing a one pound bag of Mandarin oranges, two Korean pears, bag of Baby Dutch Potatoes, steamed chestnuts, steamed baby potatoes, steamed beets, peeled and steamed baby potatoes, seedless grapes, and a cookbook all about Baby Dutch Potatoes.
I gave myself a few days to figure out the direction I wanted to go with all of the items. I browsed the cookbook I received. I had some ideas, and then my wallet was stolen. Aargh. I am still talking with different companies and the police, so my creativity took a little hit. I felt like grabbing a burrito at La Posta (http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-posta-de-acapulcos-san-diego-2) and a growler from Societe Brewing Company (http://societebrewing.com/) instead of cooking and writing.
I started with dessert. I needed something sweet! I decided to make a Korean Pear and Grape Pie. I had eaten a Korean Pear before, but I had no idea how it would bake. This is where the “Don’t Try This At Home” comes into play. The pie tasted really good, but it looked like a wet mess. So sad. Korean Pears are unbelievably juicy. Maybe that was where I went wrong. Maybe I needed to add more flour to the fruit mix, or maybe I should have sautéed the pears to extract some of the liquid? Let me know your thoughts! The produce was delicious, and the pie was really tasty, it just should have held together better. I wish I had more time to try this again, but time was short. I’m making sure to put “Time” on my wish list to Santa!
Korean Pear and Grape Pie
For The Crust:
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup Canola Oil (You can substitute Vegetable Oil)
- 6 Tablespoons cold milk
For the Filling:
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large Korean Pears, about 2 pounds total, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 pound seedless red grapes, halved
- 2 Tablespoons butter, diced
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the crust, sift together flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Combine oil and milk, but no need to mix, into a small bowl. Pour oil and milk into the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together. DO NOT over mix!! Divide dough in half, and shape into 2 round balls. Roll dough between two sheets of wax paper to form 12 inch rounds. Transfer one disk to a 9.5 inch glass pie pan, removing and discarding the wax paper.
- Create the filling by mixing together the 1 1/4 cups sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add sliced pears and grapes, and toss until evenly coated.
- Fill bottom crust with fruit mixture and place diced butter on top. Cover with the remaining pastry round, discarding the wax paper. Crimp edges to form a seal. Create a vent on top either by scoring the pie or by creating a design. I opted for a Christmas Tree vent. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Bake for 1 hour and allow to cool for at least an additional hour. If the pie crust begins to darken too quickly, cover the edges with foil.
Once I made my sweet tooth happy, I, shockingly, was in a way better mood to cook! With the remaining ingredients I created an entrée and a side dish that is so easy to make any night of the week. I usually am not a fan of chestnuts, but I LOVE them in this recipe. And I love beets, but they can kind of be a pain if you buy them fresh. I felt like I was cheating by having the beets peeled and steamed for me! No grabbing surgical gloves to avoid the red stained hands! Awesome!
Seared Five-Spice Chicken with Chestnuts, Beets, and Spinach Roasting on the Open Fire (Well, not really, but I was listening to Christmas music while cooking, so it just sounds right.)
- 3 skin-less chicken breasts (You can easily increase this number. My Trader Joe’s chicken pack had 3 in it, and I didn’t feel like getting more.)
- Five-Spice powder, 1 teaspoon
- Dash of cayenne powder (I like a kick. If you don’t, don’t use it, or substitute paprika.)
- Dash of ground black pepper
- Peanut oil, total amount approximately 2 Tablespoon (You can easily swap this out for canola oil or olive oil or any oil that can take high heat. Do NOT use extra virgin olive oil.)
- Fresh orange juice, 4 Tablespoons
- Soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
- Rice vinegar, 1 Tablespoon
- Fresh spinach, 4 ounces (or a couple of large handfuls if you don’t have a scale)
- Mandarin oranges, 2 diced
- Sprinkle Five-Spice, cayenne, and black pepper on chicken breasts. Add about a tablespoon of peanut oil to a skillet and heat to medium-high. Once the pan is nice and hot, add chicken breasts. Once one side is seared, flip and sear the other side. Once seared, reduce the heat to about medium to medium-low. Cover the skillet with a piece of foil. I prefer foil over a lid because it allows steam to escape and the chicken breast maintains the sear. Continue cooking until the chicken is at least 165 degrees, approximately 20 minutes. I always cook mine a little longer just because I like chicken that way. And if you properly seared it, it will remain juicy (unless you let it cook for an hour;).
- Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan and keep warm. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of peanut oil, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar. Add chopped chestnuts and chopped beets. Stir all ingredients together, loosening the chicken bits on the bottom of the skillet. Increase temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once a boil is reached, reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and gently toss until the spinach is wilted.
- Place a nice amount of the chestnut mixture on a plate and top with a chicken breast. Serve with a side of Baby Mash Potatoes, and call it a night!
Ginger Baby Mash Potatoes (No red-heads were harmed in the making of this recipe.)
I love these Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. The roast so nicely! I received the same potatoes from Melissa’s during the last challenge, and I couldn’t resist preparing them the same way, but I had to mix it up a little!
- Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes, 1 1/2 pounds
- Olive oil, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
- Melissa’s Peeled and Steamed Baby Potatoes, 17.6 ounces, rinsed
- Greek non-fat yogurt, 6 tablespoons
- Milk, 6 tablespoons
- Fresh ground ginger, 2 teaspoons (You can add more if you prefer a stronger ginger flavor.)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Rinse and dry the baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. I halved the potatoes lengthwise, and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil over them (about a Tablespoon or so), and sprinkled them with fresh ground pepper and some salt. This really is about what you like. As I mentioned in the previous post, I like a lot of pepper and not too much salt, so I would suggest eyeballing it. Just remember you can always add more after they have roasted, but you can’t take any away! Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with foil, place in a 425 degree pre-heated oven, and wait until they have softened. Ovens can vary, so check them after about 20 minutes. Once they are soft, remove the foil cover and place them back into the oven. Roast until they are the golden color you prefer. Make sure to flip and move the potatoes around once while they are browning. This step will take about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. Once they are browned to your liking, set them aside to cool.
- Place peeled and steamed baby potatoes in a large mixing bowl. With a potato masher, roughly mash the potatoes, and add the yogurt, milk, ginger, salt and pepper. Once the Baby Dutch potatoes have cooled, break them down cutting them into smaller pieces. Add small pieces to the potato mash mix. With the potato masher, continue mashing the ingredients together. I left mine a little rustic (Or in non-fancy words, chunky.)
- Simply reheat the potatoes in a microwave until heated through.
This was another fun challenge, and I can’t thank Melissa’s enough for the ingredients provided. Even though I received free stuff, all opinions are all mine! I can’t wait to see what other Food Bloggers created with these items! And I look forward to using the cookbook, but that might have to wait until after Christmas!
In case I can’t write again before the Holidays, I hope everyone has a fun, safe, and memorable eating experiences! Looking forward to writing many more posts in 2015!
And check out what other Bloggers created:
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Once again, Melissa’s Produce (http://www.melissas.com/) put San Diego Food Bloggers’ to another mystery box challenge. From my FedEx delivered box of goodies, and I had to choose at least 3-4 items from Melissa’s and incorporate 1-2 other ingredients, dealer’s choice (or in this case, cook’s choice). I could have gone in a few different directions, however, I was leaving for a trip to NYC a few days after receiving the package, so I knew I would need to make something freezer-friendly.
Click here to see what other San Diego Food Bloggers’ created: An InLinkz Link-up
Burgers and Fries (. . . For the Health Conscious and Flavor Seeker)
- Olive Oil, 4 Tablespoons (You can use Canola or Grapeseed Oil, if you prefer.)
- Panko or breadcrumbs, 1 1/3 cup
- Pine Nuts, 1 cup
- Walnuts, 1 cup
- Shallots, 2, diced
- Cumin, 2 Tablespoons
- Coriander, 2 Tablespoons
- Pepper Flakes, 2 teaspoons (or more, if you like a little more heat)
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- Ground Black Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
- Dried Cranberries, 1 cup
- Blackeyed Peas, 11 ounces
- Garbanzo Beans, 9 ounces
- Eggs, 4, lightly whisked
- Combine Olive Oil through Ground Black Pepper in a food processor until fully combined.
- Add Blackeyed Peas, Garbanzo Beans, and dried Cranberries to Nut and Panko mix. (The amount of beans will equal about 3 cups. You can substitute any brand of canned Blackeyed Peas or Garbanzo Beans.) With the pulse setting, combine all of the ingredients until the desired consistency. If you prefer some full beans in your burgers, go for it – just stop when it looks combined. I made mine relatively smooth.
- Place mixture in a large bowl and add 4 eggs. If you prefer to use only half of the yolks for a “healthier” version, go for it! Make sure to lightly whisk the eggs before you add the burger mix. It’s just easier that way. Mix all of the ingredients together until they are fully combined.
- With your hands, form mixture into the shape of 10 burger patties.
- Add about a Tablespoon of olive oil skillet, and heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the burgers to the pan. Once they have browned, it will take about 5 minutes, flip and continue browning on the other side. Once they are browned, turn the heat to medium-low heat and cover pan with a lid or piece of foil, and continue cooking until they are fully cooked. This will take about 15 minutes. Another option, after browning, you can transfer the burger patties to a pre-heated oven (375 degree) for about 15 minutes. The benefit is that you don’t have to keep an eye on them so closely (so they don’t burn), and you can do many more at one time. (I had to freeze about half of what I made. Just make sure to cook them first, then freeze. Then you have lunch at your fingertips!)
Making the accompanying fries, couldn’t be easier. Melissa’s sent my a 3 pound bag of baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes, and my husband and I finished them in 2 days. Nobody ever said we can’t eat. I simply rinsed and dried the potatoes. I left the smaller spuds whole, and I halved or quartered the larger ones. I placed them in a mixing bowl, drizzled olive oil over them (about a Tablespoon), and sprinkled them with fresh ground pepper and some salt. This really is about what you like. I like a lot of pepper and not too much salt, so I would suggest eyeballing it. Just remember you can always add more after they have roasted, but you can’t take any away! I place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with foil, place in a 425 degree pre-heated oven, and wait until they have softened. Ovens can vary, so check them after about 20 minutes. Once they are soft, remove the foil cover and place them back into the oven. Roast until they are the golden color you prefer. Make sure to flip and move the potatoes around once while they are browning. This step will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
Now, I can’t eat burgers and fries without ketchup, so I created a “Beanup”. All the hip restaurants opt out of the good old-fashioned stuff, so I am following suit!
- Fava Beans, 8.8 ounces
- White Kidney Beans, 15 ounce can, drained and rinsed
- Shallot, one small, finely chopped
- Tahini, 2 Tablespoons
- Garlic cloves, 2, finely chopped
- Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- Lemon Juice, 1 Tablespoon (or more if you like it tangy)
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and combine until very smooth. That’s it!
I received the items from Melissa’s, but no other compensation was given and all opinions are of my own. Thanks must be given to Melissa’s Produce! This was so much fun, and I appreciated a free box of delicious food items deliver to my door just so I could play around with it! Tonight I am using the Butternut Squash in an Arugula and Feta Salad for dinner. I can’t wait. Look for my post next week about my annual trip to The Big Apple. Funny, I never did have an apple while I was there!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
The San Diego Food Bloggers are at it again! Several of us were sent another box of goodies from Melissa’s Produce http://www.melissas.com/ . Not sure what I’m talking about? Check out my blog from March 19th, Melissa’s Produce San Diego Food Bloggers Challenge, to read all about this company.
This time I received a box containing several nectarines, 1 Korean Melon, 8 Rhubarb Stalks, a bunch of Fava Beans, Peaches, a Coconut and an opener, and a jar of Hatch Salsa. There was a delay in receiving the shipment due to the local fires and crazy weather, so the timing wasn’t the best for me. And it was about 100 degrees on the Coast. Enough of my moaning. We don’t get to complain often in San Diego, so just humor me. I loved the challenge placed before me! Really, I did!
I knew when I saw the Rhubarb, that was a must. Rhubarb is one of my most favorite things in the world. I made a rhubarb cocktail last year. I really need to do that again!! But back to this challenge! I decided to create a flat bread and top it with rhubarb, nectarines, peaches, and goat cheese. I had never tried a Korean Melon, and I was limited on time, so I opted to set that aside. I wanted something to serve alongside of the flatbread, so I made a Farro Salad with Fava Beans and Tomatoes.
Since I had some goat cheese on hand, I crumbled some more goat cheese into the salad. Why not? If I could get away with goat cheese in my coffee, I would. This flatbread turned out to be so good that my husband and I ate the whole thing in one night. Don’t judge us! You try to stop halfway!!
Thyme To Eat Your Fruit Flatbread!
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 package active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2.5 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Several sprigs of fresh thyme (extra to sprinkle on top)
3 Tablespoon olive oil
6 fresh rhubarb stalks, trimmed and chopped
2 nectarines, chopped
3 peaches, chopped
4 oz goat cheese (You can really add however much you like. I could easily add way more.)
Cornmeal for dusting
1) In a small bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy.
2)In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour and salt. Add yeast mixture, thyme, and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Stir until combined. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead in additional flour until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
3) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover; let rise 30 minutes or until double in size.
4) Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Set aside. Punch down dough. Roll and shape until the dough is the size of the entire baking sheet. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Gently press the rhubarb, nectarines, and peaches into shaped dough. Top with crumbled goat cheese and sprinkle with extra thyme. With a pastry brush, brush remaining olive oil over the flatbread.
5) Bake 18 minutes or until flatbread is the desired color and the fruit is tender. I turned the broiler on for an additional few minutes to get it a little crisper. Remember to never leave the room and keep an eye on it because broilers can work fast!!
Make sure to check out this link and read what the other Food Bloggers created! And huge THANK YOU goes out to Melissa’s Produce! Once again, you sent a wonderful box of tasty treats!! Thanks again! Take Care and Happy Eating! An InLinkz Link-up
How often do you cook dinner? I usually cook dinner 5 nights a week. That’s a lot of meals. As much as enjoy trying new recipes and making some up, I have those dishes that I always revisit throughout the year. As a kid, my mom’s favorite go-to meals were meatloaf, perch, spaghetti with jarred Ragu, and liver and onions. There was always a half-gallon of milk on the table, and it always had this orange plastic holder with a handle. Why? I’m not sure. Where did my Mom even get that thing? And where did it go?
My go-to meals are salmon (either seared or in cake form), big salads with a ton of stuff in it, good old pasta with a tomato sauce (and I admit, often it is Barilla), and some kind of grain salad, like wheat berry or Farro, with roasted veggies and chicken. But because I cook a lot of meals, I don’t want to get too repetitive, so I look everywhere for new ideas.
I made a meal the other night from an article in the San Diego Union Tribune (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Apr/08/Armenian-cookbook-vegan-eggplant-casserole/), and Franz claimed it is one of his favorites. It is so simple to make, it smells awesome, and it is delicious. This will be added to my “go-to” meals without a doubt. The creator of the recipe, Dikranouhi Kirazian, is a local San Diegan who just published Armenian Vegan: A Pure Vegan Cookbook with 200+Recipes Using No Animal Products. I might have come up with a sexier title, but if this recipe is a good example of the rest of her work, I will have to buy this one!
Eggplant Casserole (Any notes in parenthesis, highlighted and in italics are my notes or additions.)
Serves 2 to 4
2 large eggplants
Olive oil (for brushing eggplant)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste (or any herbs you prefer that can withstand being broiled)
For the sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (I added more because I love garlic.)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I added more because I love mushrooms.)
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
8-ounce can tomato sauce (I had a 15 oz jar of tomato sauce from Trader Joe’s, so I added the whole thing. I like it a little saucy!)
Wash eggplant and cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick round slices. Place slices on a large tray, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder ( I had some Santa Maria seasoning that I wanted to use, so I sprinkled that on them.). Turn slices over and repeat on other side. Put under a broiler preheated to between 350 and 400 degrees (I put my oven to 425 degrees to achieve the necessary browning), and broil both sides until a light golden brown. When done, remove from oven and set aside.(I opted to slice each round in half after broiling. I figured it would be a little easier to eat.)
Prepare the sauce while eggplant is cooking: Chop onions and garlic and sauté for several minutes in small amount of olive oil; then add the rest of the olive oil, mushrooms and all other spices. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and stir frequently. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, then turn off heat.
Prepare for baking: Pour several spoons of sauce on the bottom of an 11-by-7-inch or 9-by-9-inch casserole dish. Layer the bottom of casserole dish with eggplant slices. Spoon some of the sauce on this layer; then add new layers, spooning sauce over each. Be sure to keep some sauce to pour over top layer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake casserole dish for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot, as a main dish with rice or any pasta, and with a crunchy baguette. Can also be served cold as an appetizer. (I served this with Barilla’s Linguine.)
Sorry there are no photos. I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t realize how much I would love it, and the leftovers didn’t look very pretty. However, if you go to the UT link noted in the beginning, there is a beautiful photo!
I couldn’t leave you without one image. I found my childhood milk holder!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Recently, I received an email from Barbara from Barbara Cooks (http://www.barbaracooks.com/) asking if the bloggers of San Diego might be interested in receiving a box of items from Melissa’s Produce (http://www.melissas.com/). The “Challenge” was to take what was delivered to you and create a delicious recipe. First, I love getting things shipped to me. I feel like it’s Christmas! Second, no surprise, I love food. Third, I love playing around with food to create something new. Fourth, I love knowing that a bunch of people out there have the same ingredients and will come up with very different recipes.
I’ve heard of Melissa’s Produce, but I didn’t know much about the company, which the owners, Joe and Sharon Hernandez, named after their daughter. It’s basically an online grocery store for very unique items. There’s everything from organic fruit baskets to organic blue agave syrup to Pinot Noir and Chestnut basket. Can’t find Armenian cucumbers at your grocery store or Farmers’ Market? Just go to Melissa’s Produce. There are a ton of recipes online created by their five Corporate Chefs. Say you bought quinoa at your grocery store and you don’t know how to cook it, or maybe you’ve cooked it a million times and you need a fresh idea for dinner. Just type in “quinoa” on the website’s recipe search engine, and several recipes are at your fingertips. Maybe Muscato Cashew Quinoa will strike your fancy. My only question, are you hiring, Melissa’s Produce???
I must admit that this service is pricey. Here’s what I received: Fava Beans (shelled, steamed, and ready to eat, 8.8 ounces), Baby Beets (peeled, steamed, and ready to eat, 8 ounces), Brussel Sprouts (10 ounces), Leeks (cleaned and sliced, 6 ounces), Red Quinoa (6 ounces), Dried Chanterelle (.5 ounces), Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes (1.5 pounds), and Ojai Pixie Tangerines (1 pound). I received smaller quantities than if I were to have ordered the items myself. I estimate the total amount for the portions I received to be around $40. For certain items, overnight shipping is required, so you can add almost $20 for the FedEx delivery. Everything I received was in perfect condition and tasted great.
My mom was visiting from Cleveland, Ohio when the shipment arrived. She was excited to see what was in the box and what I’d make with it. A few days after I received the box, I just started sautéing things. My Mom asked what my plan was, and I honestly wasn’t certain. It just kind of came together. We were talking, and I’d roast Brussels Spouts. We’d talk more, and I chopped Fava Beans. We’d talk some more, and I sautéed leeks and cook quinoa. Next thing I knew, I created Quinoa Stuffed Chicken with a Spicy Soy Orange Glaze and, as I call it, Mish Mosh Potato Salad.
For the potato salad, I halved the Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes and put them, sliced side down, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. I covered the sheet with foil and put them into the oven at around 400 degrees. Once the potatoes were soft, I removed the foil, flipped those bad Dutch Babies over and continued cooking them in the oven until they were nicely browned. I roasted the Brussel Sprouts in the oven at around 400 degrees, as well, until they were browned and softened slightly. Once I removed them from the oven, I did a rough chop on those lovely mini cabbages. I placed the potatoes and Brussel Sprouts in a large bowl and added the Red Beets which I roughly chopped, as well. I took walnut oil and balsamic vinegar, whisked it until it emulsified, and added it to the potato salad. I usually do a ratio of one part vinegar to two parts oil, but I must admit I don’t really measure. I added a little salt and pepper, too, and that was it!
Like I mentioned earlier, this was a “do whatever I felt like” kind of cooking day. I love sautéing leeks and garlic, so that’s where I started. First, I sautéed the leeks in olive oil over medium to medium high heat until the softened and were golden, probably around 6 minutes. I added a few garlic cloves I had chopped and continued cooking for about a minute. I added about 2 ounces of white wine (mainly because I felt like a glass of wine while I was cooking), and I raised the heat and cooked for a few minutes. Right about then, the house smelled amazing. I had cooked the quinoa in chicken stock earlier, so I added the leek mixture to the quinoa. Earlier, I had also reconstituted the Chanterelles. I simply boil water, add the mushrooms, turn off the heat, leave the lid on, and let them sit for 30 minutes or until they have softened. I rinse the mushrooms very well after. I chopped the Chanterelles and the Fava Beans, and I added them to the quinoa mixture. I added some ground pepper and salt, to taste. The amount of quinoa filling was enough for 8-10 chicken breasts. I didn’t realize just how much it would make, but I love leftovers!
I pounded the chicken and put as much filling as I could in each breast, approximately 1/2 a cup of filling for each. I folded the chicken breast so that the filling remained inside, and I tied the chicken with kitchen twine. I put the stuffed chicken into a baking dish coated with olive oil, covered, into the oven (around 375 degrees) for about an hour, or until it reached 165 degrees internally.
While the chicken cooked, I threw together a few items I had on hand for a sauce. In a bowl, I whisked together orange juice (about 1/2 cup), soy sauce (about 4 tablespoons), agave (4 Tablespoons), white vinegar (2 healthy Tablespoons), and a couple of Tablespoons of chile paste. If you like it really spicy or not very, this amount can be catered to your taste. After whisking to combine, I placed the mixture into a pan and brought it to a boil while continuing to whisk. Once it reached a boil, I reduced the temperature and I let it simmer for about 10 minutes. It will reduce slightly and thicken. I added the chicken breasts to the pan and continued cooking at a medium heat while basting the chicken with the sauce. At this point, the chicken is cooked, I just wanted to really infuse the chicken with the flavors of the sauce. I got the idea of doing an orange juice based sauce because of the tangerines in the shipment. I decided to simply eat the tangerines as a dessert. It was a perfect meal, if I do say so myself!
I can’t wait to read what other local bloggers created! What a fun idea! A huge “Thank You” goes out to Barbara and Melissa’s Produce!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Here is the link to see all of the Bloggers who participated: An InLinkz Link-up
I love food trends. It’s fun to see what people create with the hot item of the season, or the month, or the minute. I over indulged one weekend in New York City when pork belly was all the rage. Bad idea. My husband and I couldn’t even look at pork belly for about a month. Then there was the ramp craze. That wasn’t a big hit with me. It was just ok. Then kale got the spotlight. It was (and seems to still be) everywhere! Is kale even cool anymore? I will never tire of it. Of course you could swap it out for turnip greens or Swiss chard, but I still really enjoy kale. And there are many types to choose. Check out this blogger who documents 6 kinds: http://www.pigandvine.com/2013/01/garden-6-kinds-of-kale.html
Top Ten Reasons to Eat Kale
- It goes with anything! Just Google recipes for kale, and you will find a combination you like. Say you don’t eat veggies often (a la Ron Swanson), add some quinoa and some grilled chicken. You prefer sweet entrees? Make a nice vinaigrette, add some strawberries, maybe throw in some sautéed shrimp, and dinner is served.
- It is super filling. It’s like eating a bowl of rice. It seems to really expand, and yet I’ve never felt uncomfortably full.
- Talk about healthy!? It’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet! It has a ton of fiber, calcium, vitamin B6, A and K, magnesium, etc., etc. However, I have read that too much kale may interact with some medications and can interfere with the absorption of calcium, so have that milkshake from Jack in the Box another time, and speak with your doctor about drug interactions. I even think you get health benefits for just reading about it! So well done. You’ve just increased your magnesium!
- You can eat kale, and then feel ok about that Jack in the Box milkshake you will gulp down later!
- It’s really tasty, and you feel good eating it. You know when you donate to a worthy cause or finish a charity run? That’s how I feel after eating a bowl of kale.
- It doesn’t have to be 100% healthy. Go ahead, throw a pork belly on it. It won’t judge you.
- You can bake them and eat them like potato chips! Or you can have someone else do the work for you. Thanks, Trader Joe’s!
- I think it keeps one regular. Just being honest.
- You can try growing it and talk about it at farmers’ markets so you sound really cool.
- It’s so pretty! You can use it in a floral or table arrangement!
I had lunch the other weekend at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. My husband had a delicious steak, and I thought it was very reasonably priced for Vegas. I ordered the Frisee, Kale, and Warm Bacon Salad with a Soft Poached Egg. Divine. Again, it doesn’t always have to be healthy! However, I’m in love with a recipe that doesn’t clog the arteries. I discovered this recipe in Good Housekeeping (April 2013). It’s a Dr. Oz recipe (and I now love him because through his show I discovered the cleanse I did last month), and I think it’s a great one for people who already love kale and for those who are not so sure about it. Another option with this recipe is to blanch the kale first or add the quinoa hot if you are not crazy about eating kale raw. I’ve read that it is even healthier to eat kale cooked. You have so many options with this simple recipe!
Apple and Baby Kale Salad
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (*see note below)
- 1 lemon
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used avocado oil just because I like to mix it up every so often.)
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 6 cups mixed baby kale (Or use any kind of kale you like. I like them all!)
Cook quinoa according to the directions on the package; let cool. (I didn’t let it cool that much. I just threw it in.)
Whisk together mustard, oil, lemon juice, green onion, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add apple, kale, and cooked quinoa; toss to combine. And, of course, it’s great topped with sriracha. Like I even need to mention that (insert eyes rolling).
Why do I love this particular recipe? First of all, I love the unexpected sweetness of the Granny Smith apples. Second, if you (or someone you know) think you might not like kale, it’s a great introduction. You could add more quinoa and not use as much kale. **You could replace the quinoa for something all together – you could add orzo! Why not? It would be like a pasta salad with some kale. Maybe throw in some blue cheese? OK, I’m just getting hungry now.
Even if kale has jumped the shark, I’m not letting this trend go anytime soon! What’s your favorite food trend? I’d love to hear about it! And if you head to Vegas anytime soon, check out Mon Ami Gabi. There’s a patio (no reservations accepted for that area) that is on the strip. Talk about a great day: A bottle of wine, steak, kale and watching the lovely people of Vegas walk by! What could be better?
Take Care and Happy Eating!
It’s Day 11 of 30 for me on The Clean Cleanse. Right about now I’m asking myself “Why did I pick this month to start???” Reasons why I should have waited: 1) My family was visiting (and they love to eat at new restaurants and old favorites) 2) I’m going skiing with friends for a weekend. 3) St. Patty’s is on a Sunday so that really means it’s St. Patrick’s WEEKEND!
4) I always love having a huge brunch on Easter Sunday. 4) A good part of the day is spent reading about things like Croissant Bread Pudding. Hey, thanks a lot, Seaside Baker – Musings of a Mompreneur!
Seriously, check it out: http://theseasidebaker.com/2013/03/13/croissant-bread-pudding/
I mean come on!!! The truth is that there is never a good time to start this kind of thing. Something will always pop up. Also, I have to remember why I decided to do it in the first place. I’ve been really down, and I wanted to see if all the hype over cleanses had some merit, and I wanted to see if I felt any improvements in my mood. Other than the first couple of days when I had a headache, it has been relatively simple. I do have to plan ahead for lunch. I never want to be in the position where I’m hungry after a workout and decide to grab a foot long sub. That does sound good though. On two occasions, I was in a little bind. This past Sunday, I realized we were out of leftovers from previous meals I made, and there’s no way on God’s green Earth (that’s an expression, right?) I’m going to a supermarket on a Sunday afternoon/evening. I had some kale, a red pepper, and chicken breasts in the refrigerator. I seared the chicken with some paprika, and it was served with an impromptu Kale Salad (I chopped some kale, whisked some lemon juice, a small touch of extra virgin olive oil, and red pepper flakes together, added some pine nuts and chopped red pepper.) Voila, dinner was served. And then on Monday, I didn’t have leftovers from Sunday, and I didn’t have time to make lunch earlier in the day. I had some hummus and a green pepper which was enough to hold me off until dinner. I wouldn’t recommend eating so little, but stuff happens.
I don’t know if it’s in my head, but I do feel like I have more energy. The biggest difference is that I’m not constantly thinking about running into the kitchen for a piece of chocolate or a bowl of cereal. In fact, I really haven’t had any cravings. I did pass a Starbuck’s yesterday inside Target. As I walked by, the overwhelming smell of mochas, lattes and cappuccinos wafted over me. I will honestly say that I just purely enjoyed the smell. Would I have noticed it to the degree I had if I hadn’t stopped drinking coffee 11 days ago? I don’t think so. Last night I did get a little hungry. I opted for some unsweetened coconut flakes and some roasted pumpkin seeds.
The house menu for the week is: Sexy Cilantro Shake, Peach Apple Cobbler Shake, Millet Risotto with Artichoke Hearts, Acorn Squash with Wild Rice, Tuna Salad with Mixed Greens, Baked Falafel with Tahini Sauce, and Clean Salmon Nicoise. One day I did the Cilantro Shake with fresh papaya and another day without (my papaya wasn’t ripe enough). I loved it with the papaya. With the fruit, I added a tablespoon of Flax Seed Oil and some chopped walnuts. It has been one of my favorites so far. You can’t have peanuts on this cleanse, but many other nuts seem fair game. I’ve also been adding cinnamon to all of my shakes. Why not? It’s tasty and so healthy.
I would highly recommend the Millet Risotto because it was delicious and hearty. The Salmon Nicoise is a fantastic meal because it is super quick and easy. I blanched the green beans for a minute or two, just enough to bring out their color, before plunging them into an ice bath. I prefer my veggies crunchy.
I was very surprised by the tuna salad. I’m a huge fan, so I was a little skeptical of the recipe.
- 1 can tuna fish
- 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced (**I just added an amount I felt was enough.)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced into 1/4 inch crescents (**I added a half of a stalk and had the leftover stalks on the side.)
- 1/4 cup capers (**Again, I just eyeballed this amount and put in what I liked.)
- 2 heaping tbsp dijon mustard (I did about 1 tbsp.)
- 1 heaping tbsp miso
- 1/4 cup almond milk (maybe a little less, depending on the consistency you want) (**I did less.)
- Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- A handful of fresh dill (or a tablespoon of dried dill)
- Butter lettuce leaves
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until well-combined. Keep in the fridge, covered, until ready to serve. Serve in lettuce leaves. (**I squirted a Meyer lemon over the salad.)
If your tuna is heavy on the mayo, give this a try. I was surprised at how much I liked it. It was light and refreshing, and the miso gave it something I’ve never had before in a tuna salad. I’ll make this one again.
Since I’ve started, I went out to eat twice. I was a little nervous because I really have been trying to adhere to the rules. One lunch outing was at Pita Jungle in Hillcrest. I ordered the Wood-Fired Salmon Salad, and I skipped the dressing. In lieu of the dressing, I squirted lemon juice over the salad. I added some sriracha, but I now realize that there’s sugar in it, so I’m refraining from that as well now. That is a tough one!!! My friend ordered the Chipotle Black Bean Burger. I’ve had that before, and I loved it. Pita Jungle is such a great spot. If you haven’t been there, check it out. They have a Garlic Dip to die for!!! You might kill someone later with your breath, but oh well. The food is very fresh, it’s always delicious, and the staff is really friendly.
My second meal (lunch) out was Point Loma Seafood. You can order some of the freshest fish and bring your tray upstairs to large open air deck with great views of the Point Loma Marina and downtown San Diego. Franz opted for sushi, and he couldn’t stop raving about the California Rolls. He ordered it because he couldn’t recall ever having it with real crab. He told me the Spicy Tuna Rolls were great, too. I had to take his word. It was a bummer not being able to try some, but I’ll be back. I’ll be back. My Grilled Ono on a bed of greens was just what I needed. I like Ono because it is a little heartier, like a cross between halibut and swordfish. Every single person around me had a fried fish sandwich with fries. I’m not kidding. It looked really good. One child had a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. Ugh. I was perfectly happy with my yummy fresh tasting Ono. Once again, I asked them to hold the dressing, and I grabbed some lemon wedges to use as the dressing.
I’m not sure if my eyes are whiter or if my skin is more radiant (yet), but I like the way I feel. I’m surprised that I’ve lost about 8 pounds. So far, I’m happy I’m giving this a try and I’m looking forward to the next 19 days! Oh God, 19??? haha
All of the Clean Cleanse recipes by Dr. Junger can be found at http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/clean-program-30-day-meal-plan?fb_xd_fragment
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Hello! I’ve been gone from my blog for a bit. I had some difficult weeks, and it felt appropriate to just take a break. However, I found that I was nearing March, and I was still in a blah mood. And I don’t mean blah in a good way like Blind Lady Ale House (http://www.blindladyalehouse.com/), but blah in a sad rut kind of way. I needed to figure a way out of it.
A couple of months ago, I saw a commercial for a Dr. Oz show about a 30 day cleanse. I don’t believe in cleanses. I think the body, if you have a proper diet, naturally cleanses itself. Yeah liver! The ad was intriguing to me due to the number of days. I watch Dr. Oz every so often and he doesn’t seem to push fad diets, so I was curious how someone could, in a healthy way, cleanse for a month. The cleanse was created by Dr. Alejandro Junger, who attended medical school in Uruguay and completed 6 years of post-graduate training in NYC. His program removes certain things from one’s diet: dairy/eggs, gluten, processed sugar, soy, coffee/soda/alcohol, beef/pork, creamed vegetables, and peanuts. By removing these items, Junger claims you remove the products that feed bad bacteria in the body.
Here is Dr. Junger explaining how the detoxification process works:
Click here: Dr. Junger Discusses Good and Bad Bacteria
Here are the 10 Detox foods recommended:
1) Green leafy and cruciferous vegetables (a.k.a. the gassy veggies)
2) Fish, cold water preferred
3) Chicken, free range preferred
5) Apple cider vinegar
6) Lemon water
7) Herbal teas
8) Unsweetened coconut milk
9) Coconut oil
10) Plant based protein powder
Of course he has a book, and he has a program (http://www.cleanprogram.com/) you can buy for a whopping $425 where you get nutritional pills, online support, shake packets, etc. What interested me was the potential results: feeling better overall and more vibrant skin and hair. He claims that in 1 month you can lose up to 10 pounds and even your eyes will be whiter! I didn’t see any downside to his program. You can eat as much as you want on the program as long as it’s on the “approved” list. Why not give it a try? He has so many recipes listed on Dr. Oz’s site for each meal of the day. Super easy. I’m opting to forgo his $4oo+ system and do it on my own with his on-line suggestions and recipes.
My parents and brother were coming for a visit at the very end of February, so I decided I would eat out with them and go crazy for 3 days, and then on Monday, March 4th, begin the 30 day cleanse. I was very worried that going to places like Hodad’s (arguably the best hambugers in San Diego – not to mention amazing onion rings) and Extraordinary Desserts (hands down some of the best desserts you’ve ever had) would be hard. Also, I was nervous that giving up simple things, like having a cup of coffee with a piece of toast in the morning, might foil my detox plans, but I was willing to give it a try!
The detox plan suggested on Dr. Oz’s site has a different meal for every single day. I opted to pick a few recipes and make larger quantities, as opposed to making something different to eat every single time. Each week I will create a different set of meals.
Here was what I made for the first week:
Breakfasts: Switched between Berries and Green Shake and Favorite Green Shake
Lunch: Hummus Chicken with Brown Rice Pilaf (In addition, certain days I had leftovers from dinners I prepared.)
Dinners: Shepherd’s Pie, Quinoa Salad with Roasted Veggies, and Black Bean and Chipotle Bisque (and will make Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps for dinner tonight)
The first 2-3 days were interesting. I thought I would be craving certain things, but I barely had an appetite. That’s very odd for me! I would eat, but I was eating much smaller amounts than normal. I’m not sure why. Also, I had a slight headache during this period. Dr. Junger suggests not to exercise for the first few days, and to slowly build up your exercise regimen. Well, I had boot camp on the third day, and I didn’t want to miss it. My head was pounding during that hour!
A lot of people are asking me how the cleanse is going. So far I really like it. I have lost 5 pounds since Monday, but I highly doubt that will continue. What I like is that I’m not thinking about food all the time. I think that’s why I wanted to take a break from writing as well. Don’t get me wrong! I love eating food, thinking about food and cooking – I really felt like I needed a time out. I can’t wait until April so I can go out and have a beer with my husband or a cocktail and dinner with friends. Again, I never believed in cleanses or diets, but so far The Clean Cleanse has been very interesting. I will continue, and I will keep all of you posted along the way. If you are on Instagram or Facebook, you can follow my daily journey that way, too!
Below are the recipes I’ve made suggested by Dr. Junger and his crew.
Berries + Greens Shakes
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
1 to 2 loosely-packed cups of spinach
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 heaping tbsp plant-based protein powder
Blend until smooth.
Favorite Green Shake
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 cup frozen blueberries (or raspberries, blackberries, mangoes, papaya, etc.)
- 1 tbsp flax oil
- 1 tbsp maca powder**
- 1 tbsp spirulina**
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 heaping tbsp plant-based protein powder**
- 2 dates or a few drops of stevia to taste (I didn’t have either on hand, so I skipped this ingredient.)
Blend until smooth. (**I couldn’t find these ingredients on their own, so I opted for a dietary supplement that combined the two with other ingredients. I found Amazing Grass, Green Superfood, Raw Reserve at GNC. I use 1 Tablespoon in my shakes.)
Hummus Chicken Serves 2-3
- 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (local and free-range)
- 2 lemons (1 sliced into rounds and 1 juiced) (**I just used the juice from the lemons, and did not slice into rounds to use as a topper.)
- 1/2 cup hummus (recipe below)
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs or 2 tablespoons dried
- Generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat to 450°F. Blend all the hummus ingredients together in a food processor.
Place the chicken breasts in a small roasting pan, covering all exposed meat with the hummus (use a spoon or your hands, just make sure it’s layered quite thick, about 1/4”). Scrunch each lemon half in your hand and then loosely arrange them over the chicken with the rosemary sprigs, broken into smaller pieces. Serve with Brown Rice Pilaf**. (**I bought Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley. It’s a blend of Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley and Daikon Radish Seeds. It’s delicious.)
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wrap Serves 4
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 carrots, finely chopped or grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
- 2 tbsp wheat-free Tamari
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar (******I haven’t found this ingredient anywhere!! If you know where I can buy it, please let me know!! Thanks!)
- 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
- 1 head Boston, bibb lettuce or endive
- Chopped cilantro
- 2 green onions, chopped
Melt coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add carrots and saute for several minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, turkey and Chinese 5 spice to the pan and saute until turkey is cooked through – about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add water chestnuts and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in tamari, vinegar and nectar. Cook for a couple more minutes, stirring well to thoroughly combine.
Put one scoop of turkey mixture into lettuce leaves. Top with green onions and cilantro.
Dr. Oz Shepherd’s Pie Serves 2 (****This was a favorite! I served it to my family while they were visiting, and it got great lots of thumbs up!)
- 10 cups cauliflower florets, steamed soft
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil, divided (more or less if needed)
- 2 cups roughly chopped broccoli florets
- 1 small bok choy, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 8 oz poached chicken, diced
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees. Purée the cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a blender until very smooth. set aside. In a medium pan sauté the broccoli for 2 minutes in 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, until lightly browned and starting to soften a bit. Transfer to a bowl and cook the bok choy for 2 minutes, in the same pan, adding a little more of the coconut oil if necessary, until starting to brown. Transfer bok choy to the bowl with the broccoli. Add the diced chicken, 2 cups of cauliflower purée, 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper and gently toss. Transfer mixture to a 4 cup baking dish, top with the remaining cauliflower purée and bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubble. If you like to brown the top a bit, broil for a few minutes after baking.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Serves 1-2
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped (Oops, I didn’t add this. Ran out of space on the baking sheet!)
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- Enough oil to lightly cover vegetables
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 small yellow (summer) squash, chopped
- juice of one fresh lemon
Roast chopped vegetables in the oven at 300°F until tender. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium pot and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-12 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Toss everything together in a large serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh lemon juice and sea salt to taste.
Black Bean and Chipotle Bisque Serves 4 (**I LOVE this recipe. Creamy and delicious!)
- 2 cups black beans, canned or dried (Note: If using non-canned beans, there is overnight soaking prep time. See directions below for both options)
- **I added a quart of Organic Chicken Stock instead of water to cook the beans. I opted for canned beans to save time.)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped roughly
- 1 large carrot, chopped roughly
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (**I didn’t use this. I didn’t feel like it was necessary.)
- Juice of 1-2 limes
- A few tbsp (possibly up to 1/4 cup, depending on taste) apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 scallions, minced (for garnish)
- Small handful of cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
Soaking Directions (if using non-canned beans)
To lessen the cooking time and to make the beans more digestable, it is ideal to soak the beans overnight in water with a strip of kelp. After about 8-12 hours, strain and rinse the beans. Drain well. If using canned beans, skip this step and proceed to cooking directions.
Make sure carrots and onions are chopped. In a large soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and carrots for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and keep stirring frequently, until fragrant. Stir in the dried spices and beans, allowing everything to cook for a few more minutes, continuing to stir often. Before the beans start to dry out, add enough water to completely cover them, and allow the water to come to a boil (**Here is where I used chicken stock. I used a quart. If you want it thinner, just add more stock or water.). Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow beans to simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir every so often. After 30 minutes check the beans for doneness (should be very tender). If the liquid is getting very low and the beans are not yet tender, add a bit more water to the pot, and continue to cook until the beans are soft. When they’re done, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the tender beans (and whatever water is left), a little at a time, into a blender with the lime juice. Purée until you have a thick and creamy soup. Experiment with the flavor, adding a touch of apple cider vinegar to help balance out the flavors. Season with sea salt. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and scallions (optional).
Have you ever done this cleanse or another one? I’m curious to hear people’s thoughts and stories! I’ll keep you posted throughout the month on my progress! Recipes for the Clean Cleanse can be found at http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/clean-program-30-day-meal-plan?fb_xd_fragment.
Take Care and Happy Eating!