Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Labor Day Smoothie - Spring Mix Pineapple Strawberry Smoothie

Smoothie Tips: If you don't make smoothies because it takes to much time to prep fresh fruits and vegetables, then use the frozen/packaged. Choosing Organic is always best but if you can't, consider the Dirty Dozen (foods that should always be organic) and the Clean 15 (conventionally grown with low levels of pesticides).

Spring Mix Pineapple Strawberry Smoothie
2 Servings
1 1/2 cups coconut water or water
1 cup spring mix greens
1 apple, cored, sliced
1/2 cup pineapples, frozen
1/2 cup strawberries, frozen

Place coconut water, spring mix and apple in a blender and puree until a pulp.
Add the pineapples and strawberries and puree until smooth and creamy. 
Add more water as needed to obtain the desired texture.

Dirty Dozen - Clean 15 Infographic

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Monday Morning Smoothie - Pineapple Avocado Smoothie

Smoothie Tip:  If you're new to smoothies, start out with the fruit versions with a hint of mint, parsley, basil or cilantro.

Pineapple Avocado Smoothie
2 Servings
1 cup water
1 cup pineapples frozen
1 cup watermelon, diced, frozen
1 banana, peeled, frozen
1 small avocado, seeded, peeled. sliced
2 large mint leaves

Place water and all frozen fruit in a blender and process until slushy.  Add the avocado and mint and more water if needed. Continue processing until smooth and creamy or the desired texture is reached.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunday Dinner August 24, 2014

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.
 Portabella Mushrooms with Greens
4 Servings
1 orange, juiced
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon jerk or Caribbean seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
4 large portabella mushrooms
1/2 pound mesclun salad 

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients except the mushrooms and salad greens.
Wash mushrooms and carefully remove the gills with a spoon and pat it dry.
Place mushrooms bottom side up in a baking dish and pour the marinade over the mushrooms.  Let them marinade 30 minutes then flip them over and spoon marinade over the top making sure all the marinade is covering thoroughly.  
Marinate another 30 minutes.
Remove mushrooms from marinade and pour off excess marinade and set it aside for dressing.
Cook mushrooms on a grill or in a fry pan cooking 3 - 4 minutes on each side or until mushroom is browned.
Serve over a bed of mesclun greens topped with the the remaining marinade.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4 - 6 Servings
2 pounds organic red skin potatoes Water to cover 1 bay leaf 3 large garlic cloves ¼ teaspoon mustard powder ½ teaspoon sea salt ½ cup vegan mayonnaise ¼ cup of the liquid potatoes were cooked in Method
Wash/scrub potatoes and cut them into equal size.
Cover with cold water then add bay leaf and garlic cloves, bring to a boil.
Cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.
Drain potatoes and reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Remove and discard the bay leaf.
Place the potatoes, mustard powder, sea salt, vegan mayonnaise in a mixing bowl with a paddle. Mix just long enough for potatoes to reach a creamy consistency. Add cooking liquid ¼ cup at a time if needed.   If you process too long potatoes will become sticky and gooey rather than light and fluffy. You can also use a potato masher to cream the potatoes.  Just be careful not to over mix the potatoes, you want them to be light and fluffy.

 Grilled Vegetables
4 Servings

Note: You can choose any vegetables that take well to grilling, such as peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, carrots, squash, onions, potatoes, corn on the cob, artichokes, mushrooms and asparagus are just to name a few.
2 zucchini squash, sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
2 red onions cut into fourths
2 red bell peppers, seeded, halved
2 yellow bell peppers, seeded, halved
For the marinade/dressing
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons balsamic or rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper

Combine marinate ingredients in a blender or whisk ingredients in a bowl. 
Marinate vegetables for 15 minutes before grilling.
Prepare a medium-hot fire in the charcoal or gas grill.
Put the vegetables directly on the grill grid, on skewers or in a vegetable basket.
Turn the vegetables often, brushing on more marinade as needed.
Remove the vegetables when they can be easily pierced with a fork.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Joys of Pasta Salads

On The Menu

 Orzo Gorgonzola Salad with a Hint of Mint 
6 - 8 Servings
1 pound orzo pasta
3 quarts water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ pound gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced, fine
1 celery stalk, diced
1 heaping tablespoon coarsely ground mustard
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup freshly chopped mint leaves

Bring water to a boil, add pasta to the boiling water and stir gently.
Let water come back up to a rapid boil, remove pot from the heat and cover.
Let pasta sit covered and undisturbed for the amount of cooking time as stated on the box.  Orzo is usually 9 minutes.
Remove from heat and rinse quickly with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
Transfer to mixing bowl, add the oil and salt and mix thoroughly.
Place pasta in the refrigerator and let it cool for approximately 1 hour.
Once cold, remove from refrigerator; add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.
This pasta salad is dry not creamy. 

 Mediterranean Pasta Salad
6 Servings

New Age Mediterranean Pasta Salad
½ pound pasta of your choice
2 quarts water
   For the Dressing
   ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
   1 lemon, juiced
   ½ teaspoon sea salt
   freshly ground pepper to taste
   ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
   ½ teaspoon granulated onion
   2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 avocado, diced, squirt w/lemon juice
2 roma tomatoes, seeded, sliced
¼ cup kalamata olives cut in half
½ medium cucumber, cut in ½ lengthwise seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced

6 ozs. baby spinach
1 lbs. boiled or grilled shrimp
1½ lbs. grilled chicken, diced
½ pound feta cheese, crumbled

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, add pasta to the boiling water and stir gently.
Let water come back up to a rapid boil, remove pot from the heat and cover.
Let pasta sit covered and undisturbed for the amount of cooking time as stated on the package.
Remove from heat and rinse quickly with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain well.
Transfer pasta to mixing bowl, add a little oil and salt and mix thoroughly.
Place pasta in the refrigerator and let it cool for approximately 1 hour.
   For the Dressing
Place olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic and onion in a food processor or blender; blend until creamy.
Add dill and pulse just until incorporated. 

Remove the cold pasta from the refrigerator and add all remaining ingredients, dressing included and toss to combine.
Keep salad chilled until ready to serve.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Morning Smoothie - Ginger Cilantro Fruity Smoothie

Smoothie Tip:   Green smoothies tend to taste better when you use 60% sweet fruit to 40% greens, by volume.

Ginger Cilantro Fruity Smoothie
2 Servings
½ cup water
1 thin slice ginger root
¼ small bunch cilantro w/stems
3 romaine lettuce leaves
½ lime, peeled 
1 peach, sliced
1 plumb, sliced
1 apple sliced
½ banana, frozen
½ cup watermelon, diced, frozen

Place water ginger, cilantro with stems, lettuce and lime in blender and process until it’s a liquid.
Add the fresh fruit and process until it’s a pulp.
Add the frozen fruit and process until smooth and creamy.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunday Dinner August 17, 2014

On the Menu

Sauteed Turnip Greens with Garlic
4 Servings
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
6 - 10 whole garlic cloves
2 small dried whole chili peppers
2 bunches turnip greens
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 orange

Heat oil in large saute pan, add garlic and whole dried chili peppers and saute until garlic is medium brown.
Add turnip greens and seasonings and saute until greens are wilted.
Squeeze orange over greens, stir and cover.
Let greens continue to cook from residual heat and soak up the orange juice.

Peppercorn Crusted Filet Mignon
2 Servings
2 – 6 ounce filet Mignon steaks (1 inch thick)
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup mixed peppercorns
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
Wash steaks and place them in a pint size zip lock bag.  Pour in the red wine vinegar and let steaks marinade overnight in the vinegar, turn bag a few times to make sure steaks are well covered.
Set steaks on counter to gradually warm to room temp while preparing other ingredients.
If you have, use a coffee grinder to crack the peppercorns, or place peppercorns in a plastic bag and use the back of a heavy pan to crack them.
Mix together the coarsely cracked peppercorns, granulated garlic and onion.
Remove steaks from plastic bag and blot off the excess vinegar with a paper towel.
Roll steaks in the peppercorn mixture and mash mixture into steaks until all sides are coated.
Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add steaks to hot dry skillet and cook according to schedule listed below. Transfer to platter.
Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Juices will redistribute and steak will continue cooking during this time.

Cooking time for 1” Steaks:                                            
Rare - 5 minutes on first side and 3 minutes on second side 
Medium - 6 minutes on first side and 4 minutes on second side
Well - 8 minutes on first side and 6 minutes on second side

Vegan Pasta Salad
6 – 8 servings

1 pound elbow macaroni
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced   
1 large carrot, grated
1 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup vegan mayo - Recipe to follow

In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta then bring the pot back up to a rapid boil and stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit 6 – 8 minutes covered and undisturbed (see package for actual cooking time).
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt, pepper and paprika, mix thoroughly.
Add olive oil mix until pasta is coated with oil then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vegan Mayo
1½ cup

½ cup soy milk, plain and unsweetened
1 cup  extra virgin  olive oil
¼ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon dry mustard

Put everything in the blender and process until it is thick. The homemade vegan mayonnaise will become thick and completely emulsified exactly like a mayonnaise made with egg.

 Strawberry Orange Mint
Yields ½ gallon
64 ounces water
2 sprig fresh mint
3 ripe strawberries, halved
2 slices orange 
Place all ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before drinking.  Refill container three time or when strawberries loose their color then discarding ingredients.