Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Jalapeño "Gaucamole" - Lunch on "J" Day


It's lunchtime on "J" day and I'm using JALAPENO PEPPERS

I made Gaucamole. I really love guacamole and the jalapeno peppers don't over power it with too much spice at all! They aren't a really hot pepper and they enhance mostly any dish with that extra "kick" of delish. This gaucamole is oh so creamy with hints of onion, garlic and lime coming through. Yummy!




Servings: 2 - 4 (it's hard to with more, you should double recipe)  

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
1/4 - 1/2 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 - 3 Tbsp of fresh lime juice (I used about 1/2 lime)
1/2 tsp coarse salt
a few grinds of freshly ground pepper




Directions

1. Cut the avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.




*With a Mortar and Pestle

Start with 1 clove of garlic and a dash of salt and mash in mortar till smooth. Add cilantro and 1/2 of onion and mash more. Add remaining onion and jalapeño with more dashes of salt (for extra abrasion) and mash more. Add avocado and mix and mash till nice and chunky consistency (to your liking) Add pepper and lime to taste. This gaucamole tastes sooooo much better in a mortar and pestle (as your breaking down the oils in the garlic, onion, jalapeño and cilantro better) - and it's fun to eat out of too!



JALAPENO PEPPERS

Jalapeños (hah lah pain yo) are mostly green, turning red as they mature. These little peppers are considered medium heat peppers and they derive their heat from the natural plant compound called capsaicin which is found in the inner white membrane and seeds. 

Capsaicin has impressive health benefits, as an anti-inflammatory and a vasodilator. Capsaicin is also "promising" for treatment of cancer because it turns off a certain protein that promotes tumor growth. It has also been shown to help in weight loss, especially hard-to-lose belly fat. 

Cooking reduces the heat in Jalapeños. If you like your food HOT then just leave more of the white membrane intact. 


Jalapeno Pepper
(1)

Potassium  248 mg
Dietary Fiber  2.8 g
Sugar  4.1 g
Protein  0.9 g
Vitamin A  21 %
Vitamin C  197 % - WOW!
Calcium  1 %
Iron  1 %
Vitamin B-6  20 %
Magnesium  3 %


Are you eating Jalapeno Peppers?


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Jasmine Tea - Breakfast on "J" Day


Well we've come to Breakfast on "J" day and I'm using JASMINE TEA

I made Jasmine Tea. Jasmine tea is a light and fragrant green tea which is such a comforting "pick me upper" in the mornings. Delightful!





Servings: 1

Use loose leaf or tea sachets, whichever you have is fine. Brew sachets for 3 - 4 minutes in very hot water. The smell of Jasmine tea will fill your room with a delicate floral aroma which is sure to brighten your day.



JASMINE TEA

Jasmine tea has been produced in China for nearly 700 years. It is made using green tea or oolong tea. High-quality loose tea leaves are blended with jasmine petals, giving the tea a delicate, mildly sweet flavour and aromatic fragrance. 

This tea is high in a group of powerful antioxidants known as catechins. It offers many health benefits, including a reduced risk of cancer, lower heart rate, blood pressure, stroke and cholesterol levels.

Jasmine tea odours calm mood and significantly decrease heart rate, even contributing to sedative effects. (So if you're ever having a hard time sleeping...brew tea just for the smell alone)






Have you sipped on some Jasmine Tea lately? 


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Italian Plum Tomoto sauce and Spaghetti - Dinner on "I" Day


Well we've arrived at Dinner on "I" day and I'm using ITALIAN PLUM TOMATOES

I made Italian Plum Tomato sauce with Spaghetti. Ok so I actually didn't make the sauce (as I couldn't find any Italian Plum Tomatoes in my area), but I bought this sauce from a health food market and the ingredients are what I would use WHEN I can make my own the next time. Italian plum tomatoes are really the ONLY tomatoes that are best to use when making a tomato sauce for spaghetti, as they are grown in volcanic soil in Italy and are the richest in nutrients and flavour, compared to your "every day" tomatoes grown in my region. (Unless you're lucky enough to live in or near Italy). This sauce is so delicious in it's "tomato-ee" goodness and brings enough flavour to any pasta dish all on its own, without having to add cheese or other additions as well. Yummy!



Servings: 4

Ingredients

4 28 oz cans imported Italian plum tomatoes with basil (try to find San Marzano, it makes a huge difference in flavour)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbsp minced onion
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
8 leaves fresh basil leaves, finely chopped


Instructions

1. Drain tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes, gently breaking them into small pieces, removing and discarding the hard core from the stem end. (or pulse in food processor a few times, for a little chunkiness) Remove any skin or tough membranes. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add onions to pot and sauté for 5 minutes or until translucent and soft. Stir in garlic, basil, oregano and salt and sauté for an additional 30 seconds.
3. Add tomatoes and tomato liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and cook for 5 - 6 hours, stirring occassionally or until sauce is thick and the aroma in your house is driving you crazy. Add fresh basil and remove from heat. 






ITALIAN PLUM TOMATOES

Tomatoes are packed with Lycopene, which is an antioxidant that fights the free radicals that can interfere with normal cell growth and activity. These free radicals can potentially lead to cancer, heart disease and premature aging. 

An average tomato contains Potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, selenium and iron and these minerals will not be lost when canning tomatoes. 


Italian Plum Tomato
(1, fresh)

Fiber  0.74 g
Protein  0.55 g
Sugars  1.63 g
Vitamin A  516.44 IU
Vitamin C  7.87 mg
Calcium  6.2 mg
Iron  0.17 mg


Are you consuming Italian Plum Tomatoes?




Friday, 18 July 2014

Iceberg - Basil Dip - Lunch on "I" Day


It's now lunchtime on "I day and I'm using ICEBERG LETTUCE

I made Iceberg - Basil dip. This dip is so refreshing with the pepperiness from the basil, the crunch from the iceberg and the creaminess from the avocado. A delicious dip to go with tortilla chips, naan bread, used as a spread on wraps...you name it. Yummy!





Servings: 3 (to share as a dip)

Ingredients

flesh from 1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped very fine (measure first, then chop...I used small-leaves from a basil plant)
1 green onion, trimmed and chopped very fine
1 small garlic clove (about 1/2 tsp, but you can surely add more if you want more of a garlicy flavour)
1/4 tsp salt (taste to adjust, according to your liking)
2 - 4 tsp fresh lemon juice (again...to your taste)
1 tsp olive oil
a few good grindings fresh black pepper
3 cups fresh iceberg lettuce, chopped into small pieces or narrow shreds

Directions

Combine all ingredients (except the lettuce) and mash together well in a large bowl. Then add the iceberg lettuce and toss/fold to coat the lettuce with the dressing. Serve immediately. (or save in fridge and will soften more and flavours will intensify for a good spread the next day)





ICEBERG LETTUCE

You shouldn't rely on iceberg lettuce as your sole source of leafy greens, but paired along with other super greens or super foods - it is a refreshing and light addition!

Iceberg lettuce serves as a good source of Vitamin K. 

Use iceberg lettuce's low-calorie content to your advantage and add it to your meals to make them more filling without boosting your calorie intake.





Iceberg Lettuce
(1 cup)

Protein  0.5 g
Fiber  0.7 g
Calcium  10 mg
Potassium   78 mg
Vitamin C  1.5 mg
Folate  16 mcg
Vitamin K  13.3 mcg
Carotene  164 mcg
Lutein + Zeaxanthin  152 mcg


Are you adding iceberg lettuce to your healthy dishes?



Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Inca Berry Scones - Breakfast on "I" Day


So it's Breakfast time on "I" day and I'm using INCA BERRIES

I made Inca Berry Scones. These "super berry" scones are so light and refreshing, and with the added sweet glaze, they make an especially decadent breakfast. If you've never had an inca berry before, you will soon discover they taste like a cross between an orange and a cherry tomato. Yummy!



Servings: 8

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups Bisquick
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped inca berries (or use dried, for a sweeter scone)
all-purpose flour, for work surface

Glaze

1 cup icing sugar
Juice of 1 lemon (approx. - taste as you make)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract



Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Whisk together the baking mix and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Mix in the butter with your hands or a pastry blender until the butter is the size of peas.
4. Beat the eggs well with the 1/4 cup milk in a small bowl.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine until just blended. Do not over mix.
6. Gently fold in the inca berries.
7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and pat into a 3/4 inch thick square.
8. Cut into 4 squares, then cut each square into 2 triangles.
9. Arrange the scones on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool a bit before glazing.
10. For glaze: Whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth. Pour evenly over warm scones and serve!




INCA BERRIES

The mighty inca berries go by a variety of different names including the Golden Berry, Aztec berry and Peruvian cherry, to name a few. They have been harvested by indigenous tribes for centuries, as both a valuable source of food and a traditional medicine used to treat a number of diseases and conditions including cancer, leukaemia, diabetes, malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism. 

They are a rich source of Vitmain C and other powerful antioxidants, and contain important minerals.

The seeds of the inca berries are known for their mildly laxative effect, if you eat a lot of berries. Inca berries are a unique source of vegetable protein. 

These berries also contain a small amount of melatonin, which can help regulate our biorhythm and promote a good night's sleep. 


Inca Berries
(1/4 cup)


Protein  3.3 g
Fiber  8 g - WOW!
Vitamin C  4.5 mg
Potassium  675 mg - WOW!
Phosphorus  99 mg


Have you tried Inca Berries before?



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Halibut with Lemon and Thyme - Dinner on "H" Day


So It's dinner on "H" day and I'm using HALIBUT

I made Halibut with Lemon and Thyme. Halibut is such a deliciously light and meaty fish and paired with the lemon and thyme it really adds a nice light flavour without being over powering to the fish. If you are lucky enough to score a wild Halibut, vs. store bought, all the better! Yummy!




Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 large halibut, cleaned, skinned and deboned (or 4 Halibut steaks/fillets, whatever you can get your hands on)
1 lemon, sliced
4 or so sprigs of thyme
a few dabs of butter
S & P, to taste

Lemon and Thyme Sauce

In a pan add a small dab of butter and approx. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of chicken broth, or more, whisked with 2 tsp flour in small bowl, before adding to the pan. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice into pan, to taste. Whisk on medium heat and add 1 tsp of cut up thyme leaves and S & P to taste. Continue whisking till you get a thickish consistency and adjust heat, as needed.  Turn off heat when sauce is a bit thick. 

Directions

Place your halibut down onto a large piece of aluminum foil. Preheat BBQ to medium heat. S & P your halibut and add a few dabs of butter around the fish. Top with a few slices of lemon and sprigs of thyme (don't remove the leaves, as leaving them whole allows the fish to infuse with the thyme flavour). Cover the halibut with another sheet of aluminum foil and roll up the sides for a nice tight seal. Poke just a few holes on the top, to allow some steam to escape.

Place the aluminum foiled halibut on top of the grill and close the lid. BBQ on medium heat for approx. 15 minutes and check the fish. It is done, when the fish is white and flakey, NOT shiny. 

Remove from grill and open aluminum foil packet. Drizzle with lemon and thyme sauce and serve with a side of green veggies and rice (or whatever you like). Delicious! 




HALIBUT

Besides being a very good source of high quality protein and necessary nutrients, it is a lean fish. Halibut is rich in selenium, magnesium, phosphorus potassium, Vitamin B12, niacin, Vitamin B6 and Omega-3 fatty acids. 

It reduces blood pressure, prevents arthritis and promotes healthy brain function. Halibut provides protection against ovarian and digestive tract cancers.

Eating Halibut fish lowers the risk of certain types of strokes. In addition, the selenium present in it is a crucial antioxidant which is very important for a healthy liver. 



Halibut

(1/2 fillet)


Protein  42 g

Vitamin A  6 %

Calcium  10 %

Iron  10 %




Have you eaten HALIBUT lately?



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Hummus - Lunch on "H" Day


So we are at Lunch on "H" day and I'm using HUMMUS

I made Hummus. So I just had to incorporate hummus in the super foods, as it has so much more than just chickpeas, (as I've used already for "C" day dinner), but also the goodness of tahini sauce and cumin. I just love hummus with crackers, veggies or as a spread on wraps. Absolutely Yummy!



Servings: 4 or more (if shared as a dip, depends on your use)

Ingredients

1 can of organic chick peas, rinsed well (or cook organic, raw ones)
1 garlic clove (lightly crushed before hand, to release the healthy oils) - Or roasted garlic clove (yummy! - again lightly crush first, then after 10 minutes, roast the bulb with all the lightly crushed garlic)
1/3 cup Tahini sauce
1/2 lemon, peeled (add more, to your taste)
1/8 lime, peeled and added to a Vitamix
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 Tbsp water (plus more to thin, as needed)
Just about 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (adjust to your taste)

Directions

Blend together well till you get a smooth consistency. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 - 4 days (if you don't eat it all up first)  :)




Eating Hummus is part of the "Mediterranean diet", which is super good for you. And besides chickpeas, it includes:



Tahini Sauce (a.k.a. Sesame Seeds)

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. That is the ONLY ingredient: sesame seeds. It is extremely versatile in cooking sweet and savoury dishes and, of course, hummus!

It is rich in minerals (phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron). It is a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification. High in Vitamin E and Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. Can prevent anemia. It has 20 % complete protein, making it a higher source than most nuts!


Cumin

Cumin seeds are an excellent source of iron. They have traditionally been noted to be of benefit to the digestive system, stimulating the secretion of pancreatic enzymes to break down the nutrients in foods. They have anti-carcinogenic properties, protecting animals from developing stomach and liver tumors in one study. 

Cumin, seeds
(2 tsp)

Iron  15.5 %
Manganese  7 %
Copper  4.4 %
Calcium  3.9 %
Magnesium  3.8 %
Phosphorus  2.9 %
Vitamin B1  2.5 %


Are you eating HUMMUS?

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Honeydew Melon Smoothie - Breakfast on "H" Day


So it's now breakfast on "H" day and I'm using HONEYDEW MELON

I made a Honeydew Melon Smoothie. This is a winner with all the fresh notes of this fruit and the hint of lime coming through. A definite summer drink! - Yummy!




Servings: 2

Ingredients

1 ripe fresh Avocado
1 cup honeydew melon chunks 
Juice from 1/2 lime (or more to taste)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup apple juice or white grape juice
1 Tbsp honey



Instructions

1. Cut avocado in half, remove pit.
2. Scoop out flesh, place in blender.
3. Add remaining ingredients; blend well.

Serve cold. Will hold in refrigerator up to 24 hours. 
** Large avocados recommended for this recipe.

Enjoy!





HONEYDEW MELON


Honeymelon (aka honeydew) is a very hydrating fruit and a nutrients powerhouse that is excellent for reducing water retention and edema. 

In addition to supplying potassium, Vitamin C and magnesium, honeydew is also a good source of several B vitamins, including thiamine and niacin. B vitamins help your body get rid of toxins that can cause illness and disease. 


Honeydew Melon
(100 grams)

Potassium  228 mg
Fiber  0.8 g
Sugar  8 g
Protein  0.5 g
Vitamin A  1 %
Vitamin C  30 %
Iron  1 %
Vitamin B-6  5 %
Magnesium  2 %


Are you eating Honeydew melons?


Thursday, 3 July 2014

Ginger Carrot and Squash Soup - Dinner on "G" Day


So it's dinner time on "G" day and I'm using GINGER

I made Ginger Carrot and Squash soup. This soup packs a "kick" with the goodness of ginger and warmth from the pureed squash and carrots. It is so comforting on any day of the year. You can taper how much ginger you want in your soup - as it really adds A LOT of spicy flavour! -  "The-oh-so-good-for-you" kind of spice!




Servings: 4

Ingredients

1/2 large butternut squash 
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 lb carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed 
1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, grated (10 grams - or less if you dislike the strong taste of ginger)
4 cups water (or chicken broth, for added flavour)
S & P to taste
1 small pinch cinnamon
1/4 cup milk (optional, for a little creamier soup, is all)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Scoop seeds out of the butternut squash half and place cut side down onto an aluminum foiled baking sheet. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes in about 1 inch of water, or until softened. Allow to cool, then scoop the squash flesh out of the skin using a large spoon and set aside. Discard skin.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring until onion is translucent. Pour in the stock water, add the squash and carrots and bring it to a boil. Cook for at least 20 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Add the milk lastly and warm in soup on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

3. Puree the mixture in the blender, or use an immersion blender. Add boiling water if you don't like it so thick. But it is meant to be a creamy soup, not runny. Season with S & P and cinnamon.

4. Ladle in soup bowls and enjoy! 




GINGER

Ginger has a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress (nausea) and it is revealed that ginger possesses numerous therapeutic properties including antioxidant effects and direct anti-inflammatory effects.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis sufferers have experienced reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly. 

Ginger extracts have been shown to have both antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects on cells. Exposure to the extract caused cell death in all participants of one particular ovarian cancer study.

Ginger Root, fresh
(1 Tbsp)

Protein  0.11 g
Water  4.73 g
Choline  1.73 g
Folate  0.66 g
Vitamin C  0.30 mg
Calcium  0.96 mg
Magnesium  2.58 mg
Phosphorus  2.04 g
Potassium  24.9 mg


Are you using Ginger in your cooking?


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Green Bean Salad - Lunch on "G" Day


So for lunch on "G" day I'm using GREEN BEANS

I made a Green Bean Salad with tomatoes, cucumber and onions. This is such a deliciously light and fresh salad - perfect for summer and packed with nutrition. Yummy!




Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
1/4 english cucumber, cut into thin sticks resembling shape and size of green beans
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Small handful of sunflower seeds
Olive oil or EVOO, for drizzling
1/2 lemon, juiced
S & P to taste

Directions

Steam green beans in a double-boiler for 3 - 4 minutes. Cold shock beans by running under cold water and drain well. Place beans in a bowl and combine with onions, cucumber, tomato and sunflower seeds. Dress salad with a generous drizzle olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Season salad with S & P, to taste. 




GREEN BEANS

These powerful beans contain important amounts of the antioxidant mineral manganese. They also contain a wide variety of carotenoids and flavonoids that all have health-supportive antioxidant properties. 

Improvement in levels of blood fats and better protection of these fats from oxygen damage has been shown to result from green bean intake.

There are unique anti-inflammatory benefits that can help with the prevention of type 2 diabetes.


Green Beans, Cooked
(1 cup)

Vitamin D  22.2 %
Manganese  18 %
Vitamin C  16.1 %
Fiber  16 %
Folate  10.3 %
Vitamin B2  9.2 %
Chromium 5.8 %
Magnesium   5.6 %
Calcium  5.5 %
Potassium  5.2 %
Phosphorus  5.1 %
Choline  4.9 %
Vitamin A  4.8 %
Vitamin B3  4.8 %
Protein  4.7 %
Omega-3 Fats  4.5 %
Iron  4.5 %
Vitamin B6  4.1 %
Vitamin E  3.7 %


Are you eating Green Beans?