Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Smoothie A Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Whether it’s a green smoothie, a fruit smoothie or a smoothie mixed with vegetables and fruit, try to drink at least one a day. Just like an apple a day, a smoothie a day is bound to keep the doctor at bay.
Now I'm not talking about those McDonald's or any commercial brand smoothies that are loaded with fat, sugar and so called all natural ingredients.  I'm talking about smoothies made in your very own kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables. 

 A Berry Green Tea Plumb Smoothie
2 Servings
1 cup green tea, unsweetened
2 plums
4 strawberries, large
1 cup blueberries
½ banana
3 red leaf lettuce leaves

Method
Brew a cup of green tea and let it cool down.  I brew mine at night, remove the leaves or bag and refrigerate.
Pour tea in the blender; remove the seed from plums and add to blender along with the other ingredients.
Fruits can be fresh or frozen.
Blend until desired smoothness is obtained.

Apple Peach Berry Supreme
2 Servings
Ingredients
1 cup unfiltered organic apple juice
½ cup of ice
1 apple
2 peaches
1 cup strawberries
½ cup blueberries

Method
Wash fruit, remove seeds and slice. 
Add juice, ice and fruit to the blender and puree until smooth and creamy.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Meatless Monday Hash



 Meatless Monday Hash
 8 Servings


 Note:  
  • This is a Vegan dish if you do not use the optional scrambled eggs. 
  • Sprinkle it lightly with a pizza cheese mix; place in the oven and it becomes a kids friendly dish loaded with veggies.

Ingredients
5 pounds potatoes
1 broccoli head
1 cauliflower head
3 carrots, sliced
¼ cup olive oil
1 large scallion, sliced on diagonal
1 red bell peppers, diced
1 green bell peppers diced
2 tablespoons chives
2 tablespoons oregano
2 tablespoons rosemary
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 dozen eggs, scrambled - Optional


Method
Wash potatoes and place in a large pot cover with cold water.  Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, drain and let potatoes cool.
When potatoes are cool enough to handle shred on a box grater’s largest side and set aside.
Chop broccoli and cauliflower into bite size pieces, slice carrots. Place them in a pot of boiling water and boil for 3 minutes.  Do not over cook
Place vegetables in a tub of ice water to quickly stop the cooking process.  Drain and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the scallions and potatoes until potatoes start to brown. 
Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, herbs and seasonings and mix thoroughly; cook until golden brown and tender.  
If using scrambled eggs, top hash with eggs before serving.




Friday, August 23, 2013

Sunday Dinner August 25, 2013

On the Menu

4 Servings
Ingredients
3 – 4 large jalapenos, minced, seeds removed
3 limes juiced
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
½ cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons, fresh cilantro, minced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
4 (4 - 6 ounce) tilapia fillets

Method
Combine jalapenos, lime, maple syrup, oil, cilantro and garlic in a bowl and whisk.
Marinate tilapia 2 – 3 hours or overnight.
Remove fillets from refrigerator and bring them up to room temperature before cooking.
Drain marinade into a small saucepan.
Boil marinade until reduced to a half cup, about 5 minutes.
Heat a skillet on high then add fillets.  Cook for 3 minutes per side.
Drizzle glaze over each fillet before serving.

Creole Squash 
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 ½ pounds squash, sliced
3 large tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Creole Seasoning

Method
Heat the olive oil in a skillet, add onion and bell pepper and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the squash, tomatoes, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning and mix thoroughly. Cook until squash begins to soften. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 

4 servings
Ingredients:
6 cups kale, chopped
1 small red onion, sliced
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 ripe avocado, sliced
for the dressing
½ cup vegan mayo or mayo
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon poppy seeds
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Method
Place kale, onions, strawberries and avocado into a large bowl and set aside.
Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour over salad and serve.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Meatless Monday, No Bother

On the Menu

Breakfast
  • Chocolate Smoothie
Lunch
Dinner
 Snack 





 
 Curried Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango
Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
1- 2 ripe mangoes, peeled and chopped
½  red pepper, chopped
¼  English cucumber, chopped
1 mango, diced
2 cups (packed) baby spinach, torn or sliced
8 ounces black beans, drained
handful of chopped cilantro (optional)
For the Dressing:
¼  cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons  white wine or white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons mango chutney, chopped if chunky (optional)
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼  teaspoon cumin

Method
Rinse quinoa well under cool water in a fine strainer.
Cook in a pot of boiling salted water over medium heat until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Just like you’d cook pasta.)
Drain well, return to the pot, put the lid back on and let it sit until cooled – this will produce fluffy quinoa.
Combine the oil, vinegar, chutney, curry and cumin in a jar or small bowl and shake or whisk to blend. If you like, season the dressing with salt and pepper.
Put the quinoa, mango, vegetables and beans in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing and toss until well coated
 
 Kale and Romaine Salad
4 – 6 Servings
Ingredients
1 bunch kale
1 bunch romaine lettuce
2 mandarin oranges
½ red bell pepper, sliced thin
½ yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
½ cup sliced almonds
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup lemon juice
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method
Combine all vegetables and fruit in a large bowl.
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until thoroughly combined and dressing thickens.
Pour over salad, and let it marinate for an hour before serving.
Toss again before serving. 
 
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms
Serves 4
Ingredients
½ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ -1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon oregano or any dry herb
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
4 large portabella mushrooms

Instructions:
In a bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, herbs, spices and garlic then sit it aside.
Rinse mushrooms under cool water while lightly rubbing by hand to remove any dirt or debris. 
Pat mushrooms dry with a paper towel.
Place mushrooms in a baking dish then pour the marinade over them. 
Cover and refrigerate 1 – 2 hours.
Preheat grill to a medium heat, as grilled portabella mushrooms will burn over a high heat.
Remove mushrooms from refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.
Spray grill rack with non stick cooking spray before putting it on the grill.
Place portabellas on heated grill and cook 3 - 4 minutes on each side.  And 3 minutes on the other side.
You will know the portabellas are done when they turn a darker color and look slightly shrunken.
Grilled Peaches with Maple Balsamic Glaze
4 Servings
Ingredients
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tablespoons Grade A Maple Syrup
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
2 large fresh Organic peaches, halved and pitted
Method
In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together vinegar, maple syrup and pepper. Simmer until liquid has reduced by one half. It should become slightly thicker. Remove from heat, and set aside.
Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Lightly oil the grill grate. Place peaches on the grill, cut side down.
Cook for 5 minutes, or until the flesh is caramelized. Turn peaches over.
Brush the top sides with the balsamic glaze, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the peach halves to individual serving dishes, and drizzle with remaining glaze.
 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sunday Dinner August 11, 2013

On The Menu
 
2 Servings
Ingredients
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
Dressing:
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
 
Method
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.
 
Rosemary Orange Glazed Lamb Chops
4 Servings

Traditionally this recipe uses honey, but since I am not a big fan of honey, I’m going to use Maple Syrup instead.

Ingredients:
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon ground pepper
4 lamb chops

Method
Whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, salt, rosemary, grated orange peel, garlic and pepper.
Place chops in a baking dish and pour over the marinade.  Make sure all chops are cover with marinade. 
Cover chops with plastic wrap and let them marinate in the refrigerator 2 hours or overnight.
Remove chops from refrigerator, drain and reserve the marinade.
Let chops come to room temperature before cooking.
Meanwhile, add marinade to a sauce pan and simmer until sauce is reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside.
Put lamb chops on broiler rack (or grill) and broil (grill) for 6 minutes on one side. Broil (grill) the second side for 5 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
At time of plating, spoon marinade over each chop.
 
Rice Pilaf
4 servings
Ingredients
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 stalk celery, chopped fine
1 small red onion, chopped, fine
1 medium carrot, chopped, fine
1 cup rice, rinsed, drained
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulation onion
2 cups water
2 large bay leaves

Instructions
In a small pot, heat oil, add celery, onions and carrots; sauté until onions are translucent.
Add rice, salt, garlic and onion and mix until rice is coated with oil.
Add water and bay leaves, bring to a boil, stir, cover and reduce heat to the lowest setting.
Cook rice undisturbed for 16 minutes or according to the directions on the package.
Once cooking period has ended, remove pot from the heat and let rice sit covered 10 minutes. 
Remove cover, fluff with a fork and serve.
 
Marinated Barbecued Vegetables
5 Servings
Ingredients
For the Marinade
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons 100% maple syrup
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Cajun Seasoning
2 cloves garlic, minced, fine
The Vegetables
1 small eggplant cut ¾ inch thick slices 
3 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into halves
3 zucchinis, sliced
3 yellow squashes, sliced
6 fresh mushrooms, stems removed

Method
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients . Add the vegetables and make sure marinade is covering them. 
Let vegetables marinade for at least an hour..
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
Place vegetables directly on an oiled grill or on skewers.
Cook on the prepared grill 2 to 3 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached
Brushing occasionally with the sauce.


 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Famous Copy Cat Recipes

On The Menu


 
  KFC Original Recipe (Copycat) - Oven Fried
6 – 8 Servings


Ingredients
1 whole chicken (3 – 5 lbs), cut into eighths
3 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon celery seeds

Method
Note: For a healthier version, remove the skin, sprinkle chicken pieces lightly with salt, granulated garlic and onion then let it marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Coat a baking sheet with oil or line it with parchment paper

Wash chicken pieces and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic and let it sit 1 hour or overnight.
Whisk together the eggs in a medium size bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bread crumbs and seasonings.  
Dip the seasoned chicken pieces in the beaten egg, knock off the excess and then coat pieces thoroughly with the seasoned flour and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Make sure pieces are not touching so that heat can circulate around chicken and promote a crunchy crust.
Bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and crunchy.
Let chicken rest 5 – 6 minutes before serving 



Red Lobster’s Maple-Glazed Salmon
New Age Soul Food Style
Serves 4
Ingredients:
4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 cup maple cherry glaze
   Maple Cherry Glaze
2 cups Grade A pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup orange juice
¼ cup chopped dried cherries
Juice of ½ lemon

Method
    Maple Cherry Glaze:
Combine syrup, soy sauce, orange juice and cherries in small sauce pot over medium heat.
Squeeze juice from half lemon in mixture and stir well.  Cook over medium low heat 20 – 30 minutes then remove from heat and let cool.
Once glaze has cooled, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Remove glaze from refrigerator and bring to room temperature before using on grilled fish or chicken.

   Salmon
Brush salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place salmon on grill and grill approximately 5 minutes, then carefully flip over.
Baste with maple cherry glaze, and continue to cook approximately 5 more minutes.
Place fillets on individual plates and top the other side with the maple cherry glaze.

This glaze can also be used on chicken, fish, shrimp, scallops, beef and pork.
Houston’s Braised Cabbage (Copycat)
4 – 6 Servings

Ingredients
1 head red cabbage, shredded
½ cup white wine vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
goat cheese for garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Add the vinegar, water, olive oil and brown sugar to a Dutch oven.
Heat on the stove and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Add the cabbage, mix thoroughly then cover and cook for 15 minutes.
Place pot in the hot oven and braise for 1 hour.
Stir about every 20 minutes and if the liquid evaporates, just add a little water or orange juice.
Serve with a dollop of goat cheese.



KFC Original Recipe (Copycat) – Oven Fried

 
  KFC Original Recipe (Copycat) - Oven Fried
6 – 8 Servings

IIngredients
1 whole chicken (3 – 5 lbs), cut into eighths
3 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon celery seeds

Method
Note: For a healthier version, remove the skin, sprinkle chicken pieces lightly with salt, granulated garlic and onion then let it marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Coat a baking sheet with oil or line it with parchment paper

Wash chicken pieces and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic and let it sit 1 hour or overnight.
Whisk together the eggs in a medium size bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, bread crumbs and seasonings.  
Dip the seasoned chicken pieces in the beaten egg, knock off the excess and then coat pieces thoroughly with the seasoned flour and place on the prepared baking sheet.
Make sure pieces are not touching so that heat can circulate around chicken and promote a crunchy crust.
Bake in the preheated oven 45 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and crunchy.
Let chicken rest 5 – 6 minutes before serving