Sunday, March 31, 2013

How to Eat Your Vitamins

It is possible to get your daily vitamin requirements from the food you eat.  Here are the nutrients you need every day and how to get them from your diet.
Vitamins B6 and B12
The B complex of vitamins  keep blood, nerves, and the immune system functioning properly. A deficiency may be a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

Best food sources: 
B6 is plentiful in whole grains, bananas, beans, nuts, wheat germ, chicken, and fish.
Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
How much is enough: 1/2 Cup 

B12 is found in beef, pork, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy.
The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products. B12 comes from micro-organisms.
How much is enough: 1 burger

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to fight DNA-damaging free radicals. It may help to maintain a healthy immune system and boost HDL, the so-called "good" cholesterol.
Best food sources: Citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, red and green peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, kale, and collard greens.

How much is enough:

Just one orange almost gets you to the RDA. Eat your recommended five servings a day of fruits and vegetables and you shouldn't be lacking in C.

Calcium is essential for bone health and plays an important role in preventing osteoporosis. Best food sources: Dairy products are the most calcium-dense foods, but smaller amounts can be found in legumes and dark green, leafy vegetables.

How much is enough: 
An eight-ounce glass of skim milk, one cup of yogurt, one cup of cooked spinach/greens, and one fig will get you to your calcium goal. If you don't eat dairy, look for calcium-fortified soy milk or orange juice. 

Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption. A vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and has been linked to certain cancers, as well as to multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses.
Best food sources: Although some is found in fatty fishes, like tuna, salmon and mackerel, most of our vitamin D comes from fortified foods, like milk and cereal. The body also produces its own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.

 How much is enough: 4 ounces
 4 ounce serving of salmon or two cups of fortified milk will give you the RDA. 
10 to 15 minutes of sunlight two to three times a week is usually sufficient, too. 

Vitamin E major function is as an antioxidant. Recent studies point to positive effects on eye health and the prevention of Alzheimer's disease. 
Best food sources: Avocados, vegetable oil (such as safflower, sunflower, cottonseed, canola, and olive), wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds, and most other nuts.
How much is enough:  2 ounces guacamole
It's easy to meet the RDA with food―one cup of raw broccoli plus two ounces of either almonds or sunflower seeds will do it.

Folic Acid (Folate) deficiencies may be a risk factor for some cancers, heart disease, and stroke. 
Best food sources: Leafy vegetables, strawberries, wheat germ, broccoli, asparagus, whole grains, beans, and foods that have been fortified with folic acid, such as cereals and breads.

How much is enough: 5 - 6 spears of asparagus
3/4-cup serving of fortified breakfast cereal  1 cup of peas, 1cup of cooked spinach.

Iron prevents iron-deficiency anemia. There's also evidence that it helps support a healthy immune system. A deficiency may be linked to impaired memory and an inability to focus.
Best food sources: Iron is most plentiful in and best absorbed from red meat, clams, and, in lesser amounts, egg yolks, chicken, and fish. It’s also found in legumes, fortified grains, cereals and cast iron cookware.

3 Health Reasons to Cook with Cast Iron

How much is enough: A large spinach salad, a cup of lentil soup, and a small (three-ounce) serving of red meat will give you adequate iron.

Vitamin K helps maintain healthy blood clotting and promotes bone density and strength.
Best food sources: Dark green, leafy vegetables and vegetable oils, such as olive, canola, and soybean.

How much is enough: 1 cup
One cup of raw broccoli or a spinach salad will provide about all you need.

Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, regulate blood sugar levels, and keep bones strong. A lack of it in your diet may contribute to heart disease or high blood pressure.
Best food sources: Whole-grain breads and cereals, legumes, spinach, broccoli, dates, raisins, bananas, almonds, cashews, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans.

How much is enough: Have two slices of whole-wheat toast for breakfast, snack on three ounces of almonds and raisins in the afternoon, and for dinner try three ounces of grilled halibut with a baked potato.

plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system. Sucking on zinc lozenges several times a day during the first few days of a cold may shorten its duration and lessen the severity of symptoms.
Best food sources: Animal products, like beef shank and pork tenderloin, as well as oysters and nuts. 


 How much is enough: 6 ounce Serving

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Dinner 2013

On the Menu

Angelique:  Every year we host an international Easter/Passover dinner with friends of all religions, nationalities and backgrounds.
Joyce:  Not this year.  I'm playing it low key.  My sister, mom and niece just left after a 6 week visit.  Fortunately, we all made it through without killing each other.  But 5 women trapped in a house together for 6 weeks?
Angelique:  I should have planted some video cameras cause that's a reality show.  Oh, and guess who did ALL of the cooking during Real Sistas of Hollywood?  
Joyce:  Me!  My mom can't cook. My sister won't cook and my niece only recently learned to use a microwave.
Angelique:  What about me mom? I helped.
Joyce:  Yes, pumpkin.  I appreciate you putting the tea water on for me every morning before I made the family breakfast.
Angelique:  I don't get credit for the Groupon dinners?. . .The theatre tickets?. . .Pressing start on the blender to make the smoothies?. . .  I guess I'm cooking Easter dinner alone, huh?
Joyce:  Yep. 

Happy Holidays
Angelique & Joyce 

 2 Servings
10 ounces baby spinach
8 – 10 large strawberries cut in 1/8, lengthwise
¼ cup almond slithers
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ bunch chives cut into 1 inch long pieces
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Rinse spinach and spin in a salad spinner or drain in a colander then blot with paper towels to remove excess water.
Whisk together dressing and set aside.
Toss spinach with enough dressing to lightly coat. 
Add the strawberries and almonds and toss again.
Place on platter and top with feta cheese and chives.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Yields 8 - 10 servings

Ingredients 4 pounds butternut squash
1 jumbo sweet potato
1 tablespoon sea salt – Divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil – Divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice squash lengthwise and remove seeds  Wash sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise Brush the inside of the potato & 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.  Once they are cool enough to handle, remove skin from the potato and scoop the squash out of its skin with a tablespoon.  Mash both the potato and squash with a potato masher. Add vegetable broth to a large stockpot and place over medium heat.  Add mashed vegetables to the broth.  Sprinkle in the remaining salt, coriander and pumpkin spice then mix thoroughly.  Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered 30 - 45 minutes or until soup thickens, stirring occasionally.  If you have an immersion blender (hand blender), puree the soup in the pot.  If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree; then return it to the pot.  Check for seasoning and add pumpkin spice/salt – ½ teaspoon at a time if needed.  Bring the soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.

Citrus Roasted Asparagus
6 – 8 Servings
2 bunches asparagus
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
oranges or lemon slices

Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Wash and trim off bottom of asparagus.
Combine olive oil, orange and lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Toss asparagus with dressing.
Place asparagus on sheet pan, top with orange or lemon slices and roast in oven 9 – 10 minutes or until asparagus is slightly brown.

Rosemary Roasted Baby Red Bliss Potatoes
2 Servings
1 pound baby red bliss potatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
Juice of ½ lemons
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced or 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh parsley to garnish
Preheat oven 450 degrees
Lightly oil/spray a baking sheet
24 hours prior to cooking, prep potatoes by scrubbing with a vegetable brush to remove dirt.  If potatoes are larger than 1 inch in length, cut them in half. 
Cover potatoes with cold water squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon then add lemon rind to water.  Refrigerate and let potatoes soak overnight.
Remove potatoes from refrigerator and let drain in a colander.  Blot potatoes with a paper towel to remove excess liquid then place them in a large bowl.
Add the rosemary and mix thoroughly by hand.
Add chili peppers, salt, onion and garlic powder and mix thoroughly.
Add olive oil and minced garlic and mix until every potato is well coated.
Place potatoes on the sprayed baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and tender.
Garnish with fresh parsley and serve hot.

 6 – 8 Servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, diced 
16 ounces frozen lima beans
16 ounces organic frozen corn
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
4 fresh tomatoes, diced
2 cups of water
2 bay leaves
⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

Heat olive oil in large sauce pan, add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno and saute until onions are translucent. 
Add the lima beans, corn, dried seasonings, tomatoes, water and bay leaves.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium.  Cook uncovered 30 minutes or until beans are tender.
Remove bay leaves and mix in parsley.

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon
4 Servings

2 pounds salmon fillet
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅓ cup 100% maple syrup
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon sea salt and
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425º.
Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel.
Mix together the granulated garlic, onion, ginger and cayenne pepper and sprinkle the seasoning blend on both sides of the fillet.
Make glaze by cooking maple syrup, mustard, vinegar and thyme, salt and pepper until it thickens, remove from heat.
Place salmon, on oiled grill pan, brush with glaze. Cook for about 10 minutes, brush with remaining glaze and cook for another 5 minutes.
  Transferto serving dish.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sunday Dinner March 24, 2013

On the Menu

 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

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.
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.
 Red Beans and Rice
6 Serves
1 pound dried red kidney beans
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
½ cup chopped celery
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried sage
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or any hot sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Chopped scallions or parsley for garnish

Sort beans by removing any broken or disfigured beans, rocks, dirt and any other debris.  Rinse thoroughly and drain.
Put beans in a large saucepan, cover with water and soak overnight.  To quick soak the beans, bring pot to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and soak for 1 hour before cooking.
While beans are soaking, heat the oil in a medium saute pan add the onions, peppers, celery and garlic cloves saute until onions are translucent.
After the soaking period is over, add the sautéed vegetables, dried seasonings, bay leaves, Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce mix thoroughly, cover and cook over low heat 2 – 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve beans over steamed brown rice and garnish with scallions or parsley.
Note: This is a well seasoned dish so careful with the Cajun seasoning and Tabasco sauce.
Greens with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes
4 Servings
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, sliced thin
1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt divided
4 Roma tomatoes cut in fourths
3 large garlic cloves sliced
1 bunch collards, chiffonade
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
2 teaspoons granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 oranges, juiced [¾ cup]

In a wok or large sauce pan, heat oil, add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. 
Saute onions on medium high heat until onions are caramel in color, approximately 8 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and garlic and continue sautéing until all liquid from tomatoes is absorbed.
Add collards and remaining ingredients mix thoroughly then bring pan up to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 20 minutes on low heat.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Long Live Caesar! Salad that it.

On the Menu

I love a crisp, fresh, Caesar salad, but what  I do not love is all the calories that comes with the dressing.   
Let's talk about it.  With the raw egg mayo that it's made from, all the cheese and croutons, you suddenly took something healthy and turned it into junk food.
Add chicken and you might as well have ordered a pizza.  We always talk about the dangers of our favorite comfort foods.  But even the so called "healthy" dishes can ruin your weight loss plans.  
But as always, I've got a fix for that.  A few tweaks here and there and I've come up with a much healthier alternative to the traditional Caesar salad.
She even has a vegan version.  BTW, the anchovy is optional.  I know it's ugly to look at, but it's yummy.  I promise.  

Soulful Eating
Angelique & Joyce   

 Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad
4 - 6 Servings
1 head romaine lettuce 
½ bunch dino kale
½ cup Organic soy milk 
½ cup grapeseed oil
juice of ½ lemon  
1 - 3 cloves garlic 
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ - 1 anchovie fillet

Wash lettuce and kale and cut into bite size pieces
Place all other ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
Store dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Kale and Romaine Caesar Salad
4 - 6 Servings 
1 head romaine lettuce  
½ bunch dino kale  
½ cup Organic soy milk
½ cup grapeseed oil
juice of ½ lemon
1 - 3 cloves garlic  
½ teaspoon sea salt  
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
Vegan Parmesan cheese - Recipe below 

Wash lettuce and kale and cut into bite size pieces
Place all other ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender and puree until smooth and creamy.
Store dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Parmesan Cheese
1 oz nutritional yeast flakes
1 oz blanched almonds or cashews

½ teaspoon sea salt

Grind all ingredients in coffee grinder or food processor until they resemble fine crumbs. 
Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.