Monday, June 29, 2015

New Age Weight Loss Tip #29


Back in my day, you might see a Dad with a beer gut or a mom struggling with baby weight, but most of the family was average weight.
In this new age, if one parent has a weight problem the whole family does.
And instead of dealing with it, we hide behind words like "big boned", "genetics" and treat it like it's some incurable disease that we just have to live with.
In the new age families gain weight together, so the easiest way to lose it is TOGETHER!
That's why New Age Weight Loss Tip #29 is MAKE IT A FAMILY AFFAIR. You have to because if I'm sitting on the couch eating a bag of barbecue lays with a big glass of Fanta pineapple soda how long before you put down your celery stick and humus.
About 2 seconds. Mom and I go through this all the time. When you're first changing your diet, its almost impossible to eat healthy when others are eating junk. Over time, you will no longer need or crave it. You will learn to eat 20 chips and be as satisfied as if you'd eaten the whole bag.
But in the beginning, everybody is on the program. And moms this begins with you. When I changed the family dining experience there was no big announcement or meeting. One day, I just baked chicken instead of frying it.
And I ate it.
One day I just added more broccoli and whole grains.
And I ate it. 
I ate it too and so did my husband. You have immediate control over what the family eats and what type of food gets brought into the house. Use it!
I already hear the moms arguing that their kids won't eat broccoli and their kids stop at fast food on the way home from school. Not if you don't give them money they don't. Not if you pack their lunch they don't. 
Like it or not, kids eat like you eat. If you love broccoli, they will learn to love it to. 
Right, just try to get me to eat a Brussels sprout. 
Let it go, Ange. But seriously, when it comes to dinner time, there should be no negotiations. Unless a child is allergic to something, they eat what you put on the table for dinner. Proper eating is a basic daily function. If children learn bad habits young, they will suffer with them for their entire life. 
We've talked long enough, but this is an important topic. Ok Ma. Give them some recipes even the most finicky kid will love. 
Here are dishes the whole family can participate in preparing. The children can wash, peel and maybe cut the vegetables. They can whisk together the dressing, marinades, etc.  And of course dad can do the grilling.  Don't forget to teach the children how to set a table.

Note: We're grilling simply because it's summertime, but every one of these dishes can be cooked on top of the stove or in the oven.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce 

On the Menu:

Grilled Ratatouille Salad
4 Servings
1 small eggplant
sea salt to taste
3 medium tomatoes
1 medium zucchini
1 medium red bell pepper
1 small red onion
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Slice the eggplant into ½ inch thick rounds. Soak in a bowl of lightly salted water, 30 minutes; drain and squeeze out the excess moisture.
Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and zucchini into ½ inch thick rounds. Stem and seed the bell pepper; slice the pepper and onion into ½ inch thick rings.
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high.
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, granulated garlic, granulated onion, sea salt and chili peppers. 
Brush the vegetables with the olive oil mixture on both sides.
Grill the vegetables, until soft and have grill marks on them, about 6 minutes on each side.
Let vegetables cool.
Drizzle the vegetables with the vinegar.

Divide the zucchini and eggplant among plates and arrange in a circle, overlapping slightly. Top with the bell pepper, tomato and onion. Sprinkle with the basil.

The Burger
Yields 12  
4 ounce Burgers

Note: Kids are pros at making burgers, just wash their hands thoroughly (especially under the nails), prepare the vegetables and let the fun begin.

3 lbs ground beef or turkey1
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers – optional
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Divide the meat into 4 ounce portions.
Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger. 
Heat a gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over.
Brush the burgers with oil. Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the first side, about 3 minutes for beef and 5 minutes for turkey.
Flip over the burgers. Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 4 minutes for medium rare or until the desired degree of doneness is reached.
Cook turkey burgers until cooked throughout, about 5 minutes on the second side.

Add seasoning to ground turkey 24 hours prior to cooking

Garlic and Herb Grilled Sweet Potato 
6 Servings
6 large sweet potatoes
5 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and cook until potatoes are tender, but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
Heat the grill to high.
While the potatoes are cooling, heat the oil in a small saute pan on the grates of the grill. Add the garlic, thyme, granulated garlic, granulated onion and chili flakes and cook until the garlic is just soft, about 45 seconds. Remove from the heat let cool then whisk in the salt.
Slice each potato in half lengthwise then slice each half into 3 or 4 wedges, depending on the size.
Place the potatoes in a large bowl, the pour the oil over the potatoes and toss by hand until all slices are coated with the seasoned oil.
Grill until lightly golden brown and just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove to a platter and immediately toss with the chopped parsley.

6 Servings
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 – 3 cup of cold water

Note: I like to use 1 cup of Grade B maple syrup in my lemonade.  It gives it a unique flavor. And it's a healthier sweetener then sugar.

First make a ”simple syrup". Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir so that the sugar dissolves completely and remove from heat.
While the water is heating for the simple syrup, juice your lemons. Depending on the size of the lemons and how juicy they are, 4 to 6 of them should be enough for one cup of juice.
Pour the juice and the simple syrup into a serving pitcher. Add 2 to 3 cups of cold water and taste. Add more water if you would like it to be weaker. Remember that when you add the ice, it will also make the lemonade weaker.
Refrigerate 1 hour before serving with ice and lemon slices.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sunday Dinner June 28, 2015

On the menu

Calico Corn Salad
4 Servings
16 oz frozen corn, thawed, rinsed
or 4 ears of corn, raw
½ small green bell pepper, diced
½ small red bell pepper, diced
½ small red onion, diced
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped      
    For the Calico Corn Dressing
½ cup lime juice
¼ - ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt           
½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers    
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
10 ounce package of spinach or arugula 

If you use fresh corn, shave the corn off the cob and place in a bowl. Add the bell peppers, onions and cilantro and mix.
Whisk together the salad ingredients. Dress the corn mixture with the dressing and mix thoroughly.
Serve on a bed of spinach or arugula.

Note: The corn is not cooked, if frozen, rinse and drain.  If on the cob, just shave it off the  cob.

KFC Oven Fried Chicken

Serves 8
   KFC Spice Mix - yields 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon oregano, ground
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon marjoram, crushed
½ teaspoon ground mustard
½ teaspoon celery seeds, ground
   For the Chicken
1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven 350 degrees
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray sheet lightly with oil and set aside.

For the spice mix: Place all seasonings in an airtight glass jar, shake until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.  Store up to 6 months.

For the Chicken: Wash chicken parts and pat dry with a paper towel.
Mix together 1 ½ tablespoons of the spice mix, 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1 ½  teaspoons sea salt. Place in a plastic bag, shake until flour and spices are combined.  Add the chicken and shake until chicken is coated. 
Place chicken on the prepared sheet pan.
Space chicken in pan so that the pieces are not touching.  If pieces are too close, it will prevent the heat from circulating around the chicken and stop it from becoming crunchy.
Bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered 45 minutes or if you are using a meat thermometer chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. There is no need to turn the chicken, both sides will brown.
At the end of the cooking period, remove pan from oven and away from the heat.  Let chicken rest undisturbed 8 minutes prior to serving.
Use tongs when handling the chicken so that you do not poke holes in it and release the juices prematurely.
 Sautéed Turnip Greens with Garlic
4 Servings
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
3 – 6 large cloves garlic
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 large bunch turnip greens, chiffonade
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
Juice of 1 orange

Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and put on medium-high heat. Toss in the garlic cloves and crushed red pepper. Cook the garlic until it becomes lightly brown and is very aromatic.
Add the mustard greens and season with salt, granulated garlic and granulated. Add the juice of 1 orange, cover and cook the greens until they are soft and wilted. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if needed. Transfer the greens to a serving bowl and serve.

Grilled Potatoes
6 Servings
3 - 4 Large Idaho or russet potatoes
1 cup grapeseed or a vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
Preheat and grease grill.
Scrub potatoes, thoroughly then cut into ¾ - 1 inch slices.
Boil potatoes in water for 6 minutes, until slightly cooked but raw in center.
In a medium bowl whisk together the oil, salt, garlic and onion and set aside
Drain potatoes in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel.
Place potato slices in the seasoned oil and swish them around until they are well coated with oil and seasoning.  Place the well coated potato slices on a hot grill.
Grill potatoes for 4 to 5 minutes on one side then flip over to the other side. Cook until grilled through.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Chicken Dish A Fish Dish and A Beef Dish

On the Menu

Chicken Carnitas
4 Servings

1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
4 – 6 ounce chicken breast, boneless, skinless
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 jumbo onion, sliced
1 quart orange juice

In a small bowl, mix together the sea salt, black pepper, onion powder and granulated garlic.
Rinse and pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel.  Sprinkle the seasonings on both sides of the breasts and let them marinade 1 hour in the seasonings.
Heat the oil in a large deep skillet or pot then brown the breast lightly on the top side in the hot oil and remove them from the pan. You just want to add  a little color to the chicken.
Add the bay leaves and chili peppers to the pan and gently saute until the chili peppers brown lightly.
Add the sliced onions and continue sautéing for approximately 3 minutes.
Add the orange juice and any of the leftover seasoning blend to the pan and mix thoroughly.
Return the breasts to the pan cover and simmer over medium low heat until chicken is tender. 
To serve you can shred, slice, dice or leave the breast whole.

Cilantro Chipotle Tilapia
4 Servings

1 ½ cups chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 lemon or lime,  juiced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon granulated onion
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 – 6 ounce tilapia filets

Puree cilantro, olive oil, chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, lemon/lime juice, cumin, garlic, onion and sea salt in a blender until smooth and creamy; then coat the fillets with the sauce.
Place coated fillets in a dish and let them marinate 1 – 3 hours in the refrigerator.  Remove the fillets from the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to cook them.
Heat grill the grill and  brush grates with canola oil.  Grill from about 4- 6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness).  And remember, it's better to undercook than overcook.
Remember, the fish will continue cooking once you remove it from the heat.

Tri Tip
6 - 8 Servings

1 whole tri trip
salt to taste
Savory Spice Rub – Recipe to follow

Savory Beef Rub
2 tablespoons of mixed whole peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
½  tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon onion flakes
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Season the roast with salt and sit aside. 
Place the peppercorns, coriander, cumin and onion flakes in a coffee/spice grinder, grind until seeds are cracked add the remaining spices and sugar and grind until they are well mixed.
Sprinkle meat with rub and massage lightly all over. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour or as long as overnight. Remove from refrigerator an hour before cooking.
Prepare charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high. Place roast on grill and sear one side well, 6 to 8 minutes, checking for flare-ups. Turn the roast and sear other side for about the same time. Then lower gas to medium-high or move the meat to a cooler part of the charcoal grill.
Turn meat again and cook another 8 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook again. A 2-pound roast will require about 20 to 25 minutes total cooking time. The roast is ready when an instant-read thermometer reaches 130 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
Rest roast on a cutting board 10 to 20 minutes. Slice against the grain. The roast is shaped like a boomerang, so either cut it in half at the center of the angle, or slice against the grain on one side, turn the roast and slice against the grain on the other side.