Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Scoop on Bok Choy

This Week’s Recipe




    Bok choy is an Asian vegetable also know as Chinese cabbage that taste like a combination of celery, spinach and Swiss chard. 
    • It’s a cruciferous vegetable that is a good source of calcium, a mineral known to help maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as manage blood pressure and reduce the symptoms of PMS. Bok choy may also help boost memory due to its phytochemicals - antioxidants found in all cruciferous vegetables.1
    • Bok choy is also rich in fiber, vitamin A, C and D potassium, folate (B9) and beta-carotene.  Bok choy is by far the healthiest type of cabbage you can eat, says Dr. Barry Sears in his book The Top 100 Zone Foods.2
    Angelique
    I know bok choy sounds like some weird foreign thing and it actually kind of looks like it too. But it's in the cabbage family.  
    Mom
    There's just one big difference.  You know how cabbage can give you gas?  Well bok choy has all the benefits of traditional cabbage without the gas.  As a matter of fact, I have never experienced gas with any of the Asian cabbages (napa, Chinese flowering).
    Angelique
    Ok.  Let's move along from gas before you start quoting Dr Oz on pooping.
    Mom 
    I'm just bringing it up because a lot of people are deterred from eating certain foods because of the gas factor.  Like you not eating beans.  
    Angelique
    Who wants to sit around all day with their cheeks clinched for fear of letting one rip?  But seriously, Dr. Oz calls bok choy a very powerful green.  He suggests we all start eating it regularly because of its cancer-fighting properties.  He says bok choy literally starves growing cancer cells.  
    Mom
    Who's quoting Dr. Oz now?  
    Angelique
    Well it's different when I do it.  He and I actually sat down and talked about these things.
    Mom
    Well he talks to me too. Everyday in my living room at 3 pm.  Before we move on, I would like to point out that the pictures of bok choy posted are what I am accustomed to seeing.  However, when I was in NY the bok choy was 10 times that size, I didn't even recognize it.
    Angelique
    What does that mean?  Are there different varieties?  See, I knew we were eating baby bok choy?
    Mom
    After researching I  found that bok choy can grow as tall as 20".  So the bok choy we buy is definitely considered baby bok choy which is a great deal sweeter, juicier and tender than the larger.
    Angelique
    This may be hard for some to accept, but when it comes to these babies, smaller is better. Oh and bok choy is great for juicing.

    Soulful Eating,
    Joyce & Angelique


    Bok Choy
    4 Servings
    Ingredients:
    2 pounds baby bok choy
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoons ginger, chopped
    1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
    1/4 cup tamari
    1 tablespoon black sesame seeds 
    Directions:
              Preheat oven 450 degrees
              Line sheet pan with parchment paper
    Cut bok choy in half lengthwise, wash and set aside to drain.
    Heat oil and briefly saute ginger, garlic and crush red peppers.  Set aside to cool.
    Add tamari to a large bowl and whisk in the cool oil and ginger combination.
    Add bok choy to bowl and mix by hand to make sure each piece is covered with oil mixture.
    Place bok choy flat side up on a lined sheet pan.  Spoon any remaining oil mixture on top.
    Bake in oven 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

    This next recipe a power house of nutrients.  For you folks who like your protein and health drinks, try this one with all truly natural ingredients, not some man made powders.


     Bok Choy Smoothie
    2 Servings

    Ingredients:
    1 cup soy milk, plain, unsweetened
    1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
    1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
    1 tablespoon chia seed or flax seed
    1/2 cup pineapples, diced, fresh or frozen
    1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
    1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
    1 medium apple, cored, diced
    2 small bunches baby bok choy (6" long)
    Preparation:
    Place all ingredients in a blender begin processing on a low speed, when all ingredients are broken up process on the highest speed.
    Make sure a vortex is occurring, if not add filtered water 1/4 cup at a time.
    Process 3 - 5 minutes or until drink is the consistency of pudding.









    1 http://www.joybauer.com/food-articles/cruciferous-vegetables.aspx
    2 http://health.learninginfo.org/bok-choy.htm

    Bok Choy


    Bok Choy
    4 Servings
    Ingredients:
    2 pounds baby bok choy
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tablespoons ginger, chopped
    1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
    1/4 cup tamari
    1 tablespoon black sesame seeds 
    Directions:
              Preheat oven 450 degrees
              Line sheet pan with parchment paper
    Cut bok choy in half lengthwise, wash and set aside to drain.
    Heat oil and briefly saute ginger, garlic and crush red peppers.  Set aside to cool.
    Add tamari to a large bowl and whisk in the cool oil and ginger combination.
    Add bok choy to bowl and mix by hand to make sure each piece is covered with oil mixture.
    Place bok choy flat side up on a lined sheet pan.  Spoon any remaining oil mixture on top.
    Bake in oven 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
    Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

    Bok Choy Smoothie


     Bok Choy Smoothie
    2 Servings
    Ingredients:
    1 cup soy milk, plain, unsweetened
    1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
    1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
    1 tablespoon chia seed or flax seed
    1/2 cup pineapples, diced, fresh or frozen
    1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
    1/2 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
    1 medium apple, cored, diced
    2 small bunches baby bok choy (6" long)
    Preparation:
    Place all ingredients in a blender begin processing on a low speed, when all ingredients are broken up process on the highest speed.
    Make sure a vortex is occurring, if not add filtered water 1/4 cup at a time.
    Process 3 - 5 minutes or until drink is the consistency of pudding.

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    12 Vegetables High in Calcium

    Reprinted From:  http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/12-vegetables-high-in-calcium.html

    Vegetables are a not-often-thought-of source of calcium. However, if you are familiar with the numbers, you can get your entire days’ worth of calcium from just a few servings of certain high-calcium greens. Below you’ll find a list of 11 vegetables and the amount of calcium you can expect in a general serving size.

     Soybeans
    Cooked, a cup of soybeans can offer a whopping 175 mg of calcium to your diet. These veggies can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
    Almonds
    One ounce of almonds (23 nuts) has 75 mg. Enjoy by the handful or in your favorite salads. You can even sprinkle them on chicken while it’s being cooked to infuse your whole dish with almond-y goodness!

     Okra
    A cup of cooked Okra delivers 172 mg and is great fried, boiled, or served alongside pretty much any meat.
    Oranges
    A half-cup of oranges contains 52 mg and is, as you'd expect, delicious in almost anything from salads to fruit bowls.
    Kelp 
    One cup of raw kelp has 136 mg. While eating seaweed doesn’t immediately present itself as a normal thing to do, those in the know have discovered that this surprisingly flavorful vegetable is high in a variety of nutrients, including calcium.

    Collard Greens
    A cup of boiled collard greens has 266 mg, and have much the same function in cooking as lettuce. Try substituting collard greens for lettuce the next time you can, and you’ll be getting your calcium!
     Broccoli
    Two cups of boiled broccoli have 124 mg. Fairly common vegetable, but rarely praised for its high concentration of useful nutrients like calcium, broccoli has recently come into vogue as a wonderful food with all kinds of health benefits.
    Blackstrap Molasses
    One tablespoon has about 137 mg. By using blackstrap molasses to bake certain kinds of bittersweet foods, you can take advantage of its high concentration of calcium.

                                                                   Brazil Nuts
    Two ounces of Brazil nuts (12 nuts) have 90 mg. In addition to the expected protein, Brazil nuts in particular are high in calcium and can be added to salads or main dishes, or just enjoyed by the handful.
    Sesame Seeds
    A quarter cup of sesame seeds has 351 mg calcium, and are delicious when sprinkled on chicken, fish, or just by the handful.

     Spinach
    A cup of boiled spinach has 245 mg. It makes a great side dish for many meals, and in its raw form can be substituted for lettuce on sandwiches and in salads.
    Celery
    Two cups of raw celery have 81 mg. By combining celery with peanut butter, you can indulge in a delicious, flavorful snack that helps fill your daily quota of calcium and protein.

    Vegetables rarely are seen in connection with nutrients like calcium, especially with the overwhelming popularity of milk in this regard. However, for those who don't like milk, are lactose intolerant, or are simply looking for a different way to get their daily nutrients, these vegetables and others are a good place to start.


    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    Story of the Engagement Chicken

    On The Menu


    Angelique
    For those of you who know nothing about the Engagement Chicken, it all started when a Glamour Magazine fashion editor shared a chicken recipe with her assistant.  After the assistant prepared the dish for her boyfriend, he proposed to her shortly thereafter.  Three more women around the office used the recipe and they all became engaged.  In 2004 Glamour Magazine published the recipe and started receiving letters from all over the US from women who received proposals after serving the chicken.  Hence the story of the Engagement Chicken began.
    Mom
    I have no idea how a chicken cooked in lemon juice and herbs can be responsible for someone putting a ring on your finger but it certainly is worth a try.
    Angelique
    Well mom you know what they say, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach."  Maybe its just that simple.   
    Mom
    Its a chicken, Angie.  Women cook chicken for men all the time and don't get proposed to.  
    Angelique
    I don't know.  I cooked some burnt wings for one of my ex-boyfriends.  He didn't eat the wings and laughed at me forever, but shortly thereafter he did propose.  
    Mom
    Well, I assure you it wasn't the burnt wings he was after.  Which boyfriend was this?
    Angelique
    Ma, not in front of everybody.
    Mom
    You brought it up.
    Angelique
    Look, I'm not going to try to rationalize why the engagement chicken works.  All I know is one of my girlfriends made it for her new love interest and last check she spent the holidays with his folks.  And he spent the new year with us girls.  So there.
    Mom
    Yeah but haven't they been dating for a while?   And wasn't it heading in that direction anyway? Time and establishing a relationship would be the factor in this case.   If they get engaged, it has nothing to do with the chicken.
    Angelique
    Not if, when they get engaged.  And the funny thing, she didn't burn the chicken, but she burned her asparagus. It was a disaster, but it still worked.  Maybe it works because women believes it will.
    Mom
    Maybe  why don't YOU try it and find out.
    Angelique
    Oh my gosh!  This isn't about to turn into a "I WANT A SON-IN-LAW" conversation, is it?
    Mom
    You're the one who started it with this whole engagement chicken nonsense.
    Angelique
    Well folks, it's time for us to excuse ourselves.  Here's the recipe.  

    Soulful Eating and Good Luck!!!
    Angelique & Joyce

    Engagement Chicken
    6 - 8 Servings
    Ingredients
    1 [4 to 5 pound] roasting chicken
    4 lemons - divided
    ½ cup dry white wine
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    Fresh herbs [4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs and 8 thyme sprigs]

    Method
    Note:  You do not want to pierce the chicken with a fork or other sharp objects, this will cause valuable juices to escape. 

    Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
    Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash the chicken inside and out with cold water and remove all of the gook between the bones, etc.
    Let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.
    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
    Juice 2 lemons and whisk together with the wine, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.
    In a medium roasting pan, line the bottom with the fresh herbs then place the chicken breast-side down in the pan and pour the marinade all over the chicken, both inside and out.
    Prick the remaining 2 lemon with a fork in 3 – 4 places to release the juices and then place them inside the chicken.
    Cover, refrigerate and let chicken marinate  2 – 3 hours.
    Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let pan come to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 400°F.
    Place the chicken in the oven uncovered and lower the temperature to 350°F, and roast for 15 minutes.
    Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Using tongs or two wooden spoons turn the chicken breast-side up and return it to the oven and roast for 1½ hrs., [~ 15 minutes per pound] and chicken is golden brown.
    For safety purposes and the best results use a meat thermometer.  After cooking chicken for the estimated period [~ 15 minutes per pound], insert thermometer in the thigh joint and if the internal temperature is 165 degrees, it’s done [leave thermometer in chicken until ready to carve].
    Using tongs or two wooden spoons, transfer chicken to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before piercing with a fork or carving.
    Strain the juice from the roasting pan into a sauce pan, discard the herbs, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until juice is reduced by ⅓.
    Now here’s the secret: Pour the juice on top of the sliced chicken—this is the “marry me juice.” Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

    Serve with Strawberry Spinach Salad, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Citrus Roasted Asparagus for a perfect Sunday Dinner.

    Engagement Chicken

    Engagement Chicken
    6 - 8 Servings
    Ingredients
    1 [4 to 5 pound] roasting chicken
    4 lemons - divided
    ½ cup dry white wine
    ¼ cup olive oil
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    Fresh herbs [4 rosemary sprigs, 4 sage sprigs and 8 thyme sprigs]

    Method
    Note:  You do not want to pierce the chicken with a fork or other sharp objects, this will cause valuable juices to escape. 

    Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven.
    Remove the giblets from the chicken, wash the chicken inside and out with cold water and remove all of the gook between the bones, etc.
    Let the chicken drain, cavity down, in a colander for 2 minutes.
    Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
    Juice 2 lemons and whisk together with the wine, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.
    In a medium roasting pan, line the bottom with the fresh herbs then place the chicken breast-side down in the pan and pour the marinade all over the chicken, both inside and out.
    Prick the remaining 2 lemon with a fork in 3 – 4 places to release the juices and then place them inside the chicken.
    Cover, refrigerate and let chicken marinate  2 – 3 hours.
    Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let pan come to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 400°F.
    Place the chicken in the oven uncovered and lower the temperature to 350°F, and roast for 15 minutes.
    Remove the roasting pan from the oven. Using tongs or two wooden spoons turn the chicken breast-side up and return it to the oven and roast for 1½ hrs., [~ 15 minutes per pound] and chicken is golden brown.
    For safety purposes and the best results use a meat thermometer.  After cooking chicken for the estimated period [~ 15 minutes per pound], insert thermometer in the thigh joint and if the internal temperature is 165 degrees, it’s done [leave thermometer in chicken until ready to carve].
    Using tongs or two wooden spoons, transfer chicken to a platter and let it rest for 10 minutes before piercing with a fork or carving.
    Strain the juice from the roasting pan into a sauce pan, discard the herbs, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until juice is reduced by ⅓.
    Now here’s the secret: Pour the juice on top of the sliced chicken—this is the “marry me juice.” Garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

    Serve with Strawberry Spinach Salad, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Citrus Roasted Asparagus for a perfect Dinner.

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Those Great Orange Vegetables


    Roast Yams with Apricot Sauce


    Carrots, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes—they're the hearty vegetables of the season, and they're delicious to eat. Here are  ways to cook and enjoy these orange vegetables
      
    Fresh brunch option: Grate raw carrot into a frittata or quiche before cooking. Serve with some sweet-potato hash browns on the side.
    Mexican night: Add small cubes of cooked kaboche  or butternut squash to meat or bean taco filling.
    Need a colorful side? Roast sweet potato and carrots in oven until tender. Purée or mash together and serve with chicken, fish or protein of your choice.
    Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: Brush the inside a sweet  potato & butternut squash lightly with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bake in oven 45 minutes or until tender.  The potato will get done before the squash, so remove it when it’s done. 
    New twist on Shepherd’s pie: Make it with ground turkey and top with mashed sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin (don’t use canned pie filling by mistake). Sprinkle with chopped pecans, then bake until heated through.
    Winter salad: Place warm roasted acorn squash slices on a bed of half baby spinach and half arugula. Crumble blue cheese overtop, and drizzle with a white wine vinegar and olive oil dressing.
    Sweet side: Place peeled sliced sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and bake, turning once, until tender and browned. Serve with roast chicken, or  grilled steak or salmon.
    Veggies for breakfast: Mix fresh carrot juice in equal amounts with orange juice for a sunny start to the day.
    Great for guests: Halve an acorn squash or cooking pumpkin. Scrape out seeds and bake, cut side down, until soft. Stuff each half with cooked quinoa or brown rice mixed with diced apple, grated cheddar and walnuts. Bake until heated through.

    This article was originally titled "Orange power" in the November 2011 issue of Best Health.


    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Mommie, What's A Rutabaga?

    On the Menu
    Angelique
    Mom's been serving rutabagas since before I can remember.  I recently realized that rutabagas are nothing but a yellow turnip.  
    Mom
    You’re right and I don’t know why we only eat them during the holiday season when they are available all year long.
    Angelique
    The thing is you see them in the store and they are ugly and hard.  No normal person would look at it and think it tastes anything but yucky.  But all it takes is a little salt, pepper and olive oil.
    Mom
    Rutabagas are actually quite sweet and yummy.   The smaller ones are sweeter and milder in flavor than the larger ones.
    Angelique
    And please do yourself a favor and buy the smaller ones.   I remember mom trying to cut those huge turnips with this giant knife and a hammer.  Banging it down on the linoleum floor like she was SheRa or something.  
    Mom
    That’s probably why we only ate them during the holidays; the large ones are really very hard to cut.  I  started buying the smaller one simply because they were easier to cut, not realizing that they would have a different taste.  
    Angelique
    This from the woman who always tells us to buy smaller vegetables because they are tenderer and sweeter than the larger ones.
    Mom
    And the very same woman who taught you to "do as I say, not as I do."  
    Angelique
    Oh how I always loved that line.  Throughout the years, mom has roasted, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, mashed and stewed them. But our favorite is the simplest of them all  - plain old mashed.
    Mom
    Yes I know they are ugly and scary looking.  If we still haven't convinced you that rutabagas really do taste good, then consider the nutritional aspect.

    Rutabagas are very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. They are also a good source of Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese.

    Angelique
    Which will mean nothing to your family, all they will care about is how good they are.  

    Soulful Eating!
    Angelique & Joyce


    Mashed Rutabaga
    6 servings
    Ingredients
    2 lbs rutabaga, peeled, dice
    2 cups water
    1 bay leaf
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    Method
    Peel rutabagas with a vegetable peeler, and cut into cubes.
    In a saucepan over high heat add water, bay leaf and rutabagas.
    Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered 15 – 20 minutes or until fork tender.
    Drain, remove bay leaf and using a potato masher, mash rutabagas in the saucepan until they are as smooth as you want them to be.  They can be chunky or smooth like mashed potatoes.
    Add the salt, pepper and oil, taste for flavor and add more salt/pepper if needed.


    Roasted Rutabaga
    6 servings

    Note: Roasted rutabaga can be very sweet like candy. The browner they become, the sweeter they get. 
    If you cut them into strips like French fries, you would have no problem getting children to eat them.
    Ingredients
    2 pounds rutabaga, peeled, diced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    1 teaspoon granulated onion
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

    Method
    Preheat oven 400 degrees F
    Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or wipe pan lightly with oil

    Peel rutabagas with a vegetable peeler, and cut into cubes.
    Place oil and seasonings in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
    Add rutabaga cubes and mix by hand until each piece is thoroughly coated with the seasoned oil.
    Place rutabagas on sheet pan in a single layer leaving space between each piece to allow for browning.  Use two pans if needed.
    Cook for 30 minutes and turn. Continue cooking another 15 minutes or until fork tender and golden brown.

    Root Vegetable Casserole
    8 Servings
    Ingredients
    3 cups water
    1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
    2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cubed
    1 medium parsnip, peeled and cubed
    4 garlic cloves
    1 bay leaf
    2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Sprig Rosemary
    1¼ teaspoon sea salt -  divided
    1 teaspoon black pepper - divided
    3 tablespoons olive oil - divided
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme - optional

     Method
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
    Combine water, potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes, drain.
    While vegetables are cooking, heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sliced onions and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
    Saute for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and continue sautéing until onions are tender and golden brown.
    If vegetables are not done at this time, remove onions from the pan and let them drain on a paper towel until ready to use.
    Once vegetables  are done, transfer them to a large bowl; remove bay leaf and thyme or rosemary sprigs.
    Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste than mash with a potato masher.  It’s OK if chunks remain, it does not have to be creamy like mashed potatoes.
    Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed.  
    Transfer mashed vegetables to a lightly oiled baking dish.
    Spread the onions evenly over mashed root vegetables, sprinkle lightly with salt, freshly ground pepper and a dried herb.
    Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until top begins to crisp.




    Mashed Rutabaga

    Mashed Rutabaga
    6 servings
    Ingredients
    2 lbs rutabaga, peeled, dice
    2 cups water
    1 bay leaf
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    Method
    Peel rutabagas with a vegetable peeler, and cut into cubes.
    In a saucepan over high heat add water, bay leaf and rutabagas.
    Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered 15 – 20 minutes or until fork tender.
    Drain, remove bay leaf and using a potato masher, mash rutabagas in the saucepan until they are as smooth as you want them to be.  They can be chunky or smooth like mashed potatoes.
    Add the salt, pepper and oil, taste for flavor and add more salt/pepper if needed.

    Roasted Rutabaga


    Roasted Rutabaga
    6 servings

    Note: Roasted rutabaga can be very sweet like candy, the browner they become, the sweeter they get.

    If you cut them into strips like French fries, you would have no problem in getting children to eat them.

    Ingredients
    2 pounds rutabaga, peeled, diced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
    1 teaspoon granulated garlic
    1 teaspoon granulated onion
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

    Method
    Preheat oven 400 degrees F
    Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or wipe pan lightly with oil

    Peel rutabagas with a vegetable peeler, and cut into cubes.
    Place oil and seasonings in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
    Add rutabaga cubes and mix by hand until each piece is thoroughly coated with the seasoned oil.
    Place rutabagas on sheet pan in a single layer leaving space between each piece to allow for browning.  Use two pans if needed.
    Cook for 30 minutes and turn. Continue cooking another 15 minutes or until fork tender and golden brown.

    Root Vegetable Casserole

    Root Vegetable Casserole
    8 Servings
    Ingredients
    3 cups water
    1 large baking potato, peeled and cubed
    2 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cubed
    1 medium parsnip, peeled and cubed
    4 garlic cloves
    1 bay leaf
    2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 Sprig Rosemary
    1¼ teaspoon sea salt -  divided
    1 teaspoon black pepper - divided
    3 tablespoons olive oil - divided
    1 large onion, thinly sliced
    ½ teaspoon of dried rosemary or thyme - optional

     Method
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
    Combine water, potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer uncovered until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes, drain.
    While vegetables are cooking, heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sliced onions and ¼ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
    Saute for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and continue sautéing until onions are tender and golden brown.
    If vegetables are not done at this time, remove onions from the pan and let them drain on a paper towel until ready to use.
    Once vegetables  are done, transfer them to a large bowl; remove bay leaf and thyme or rosemary sprigs.
    Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste than mash with a potato masher.  It’s OK if chunks remain, it does not have to be creamy like mashed potatoes.
    Taste for seasoning, and adjust if needed.  
    Transfer mashed vegetables to a lightly oiled baking dish.
    Spread the onions evenly over mashed root vegetables, sprinkle lightly with salt, freshly ground pepper and a dried herb.
    Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until top begins to crisp.

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Oven Fried Deep South Pork Chops


     Oven Fried Deep South Pork Chops
    6 Servings

    Note: This is the traditional Deep South fried pork chop recipe.  We’re just going to make it a little healthier by not submerging it in all that oil!  And tastier by adding garlic and homemade Cajun seasoning

    Ingredients
    6 bone-in pork chops ½ inch thick
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    2 teaspoons granulated garlic - divided
    2 teaspoons granulated onion – divided
    3 large eggs
    1 tablespoon cold water
    1 ½ cups of all purpose flour - divided
    ½ cup of cornmeal
    1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

    Please Note:  If you are using a commercial Cajun seasoning, it already contains salt or some form of sodium so do not use any additional salt.
    Method
    Rinse pork chops and season both sides lightly with, sea salt, granulated garlic and granulated onion, set aside for an hour.

    Preheat Oven to 325 Degrees F.
    Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly coat the pan with oil.

    Select 3 bowls/containers large enough to hold a single chop and ingredients.

    1.    Place ½ cup of flour in 1st bowl.
    2.    In the 2nd bowl, whisk together the eggs and cold water
    3.    In the 3rd bowl, mix 1 teaspoon each of the following: granulated garlic, granulated onion and Cajun seasoning with 1 cup of flour and the cornmeal.

    From the 1st bowl, coat a chop with flour; shake off any excess so that the chop is lightly dusted with flour.
    Dip the lightly dusted chop into the 2nd bowl with the egg wash, shake off the excess.
    Press the pork chop firmly into the seasoned mixture in the 3rd bowl, making sure it’s thoroughly coated. Shake off any excess and then place it on the prepared sheet pan.  
    Continue this process with all the chops, making sure they are not touching so that the heat can freely circulate around the chops to produce a brown crunchy coating.
    Let chops cook uncovered 40 minutes or use a meat thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F [which takes 35 – 40 minutes].
    Don't overcook the chops or pierce them with a fork. Remove chops from pan with tongs and let them rest 6 minutes before serving.