Sunny California Morning Juice

This is so yummy!  Made it this morning in a snap!  Maybe its because I am coming off a cold, but I swear, since I starting “juicing” 2 days ago, and I do notice  my digestive track is running so much better and faster.  I”m still eating regular nutritious food, including one big mainly raw salad a day, but this juice thing is starting to feel that much better on my body.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium sized carrots
  • 1 big parsnip
  • 1 big golden beet
  • 1 regular sized apple (I just used plain old red)
  • 2 inch peel piece of ginger (I love ginger, so you may only want to do 1 inch)

Put all ingredients through my handy dandy juicer (ACME brand but there are so many) and DELISH!



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Bright “Beet Up My Cold” Juice

Playing around with my juicer I came up with this little concoction, which is really tasty, and I’d like to believe, kicking some butt on my current cold.

Wash all the veggies and cut up to sizes that can fit in juicer.  Peel the ginger before putting through the juicer or a vitamix.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Beets
  • 2 apples
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 to 2 inch  piece of ginger (peeled)

Put through juicer (mine is an ACME brand) or vitamix if you want to keep the pulp. If I’m feeling a bit whimsy,  I like to serve my more colorful juices in fun glasses, like wine or martini glasses.  If there is  extra, just store in fridge for up to a couple of hours, or in mason jar up to 24 hours.  However I suggest to drink right away after you make it.



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Moroccan Pesto

  • This recipe was suggested to go with my African spice lamb chop recipe by Rebecca Katz, who has the recipe listed in her ” The Cancer Fighting Kitchen” cookbook and gave me permission to reprint it here.  It was a great suggestion because the African spiced lamb chops played off spectacularly with this pesto, and really elevated it to a sophisticated and elegant dish.  This “pesto” sauce is very versatile and would play up well with any number of proteins and global cuisines.  African Spiced Lamb Chop recipe here

This recipe makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tightly packed fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of tightly packed fresh cilantro or basil leaves (I used basil)
  • 6 fresh mint leaves (or more if you want a more “minty flavor”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of water (optional)

Directions:

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor (or high speed blender) and process until well blended.  Do a Fat, Acid, Salt, Sweet check to see whether you need to add another squeeze or two of lemon juice, and add water to achieve the desired consistency.

Calories per serving: 35, Total Fat: 3.6 g

Will stay fresh in airtight container for up to 7 days in a fridge, or in the freezer 2 months.



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North African Spiced Lamb Chops with Moroccan Pesto Sauce


 

I love lamb chops, and they taste especially good with Middle Eastern or African flavors infused in them.  This spice rub is also great on chicken if you choose to use that protein.

I always use grass fed organic lamb whenever I cook, and these particular chops I picked up from Stemple Creek.  Stemple Creek Farm is Marin Certified Organic, grass fed, and spectacular in taste!  This is a very  healthy entree, packed full of nutrition, flavor and can be served informally or easily for guests at a dinner party.

I suggest  the play of the African spice rubbed chops with a Moroccan  bright, light, minty pesto as a real treat for the taste buds.  However , you can serve these lamb chops with whatever you want, and it goes well with many sides and salads.   This recipe may sound complicated, but its actually really easy and fast.   The lamb chops you can spice rub up to 24 hours in advance, and then it only takes minutes to grill.   If you choose to make with the pesto, that only takes about 5 minutes to make in a food processor or high speed blender, and can be made in advance.   If there is any extra pesto, it easily stores up to 7 days in the fridge or in the freezer for 2 months.

North African Spice Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Rub spice into 4 lamb chops (I used smaller center cut here) and let spices infuse into the meat in the fridge for at least 2 hours, I waited 24 hours.

Pull the lamb chops out of the fridge and let come a little closer to room temperature to the outside doesn’t cook faster than the interior, resulting in a super rare chop.  If you have a barbecue, go ahead a grill them there.  I usually just use an oven proof grill pan heated to medium high, once hot, I oil with grape seed oil, coconut oil,  or any other high “flash point” oil for cooking on high heat.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees for any final cooking if necessary. Put the chops on the hot oiled grill pan and grill for 3 minutes on both sides.  I prefer my meat medium rare and use a heat proof electric thermometer to check the temp at this point.  If any extra cooking is required, I transfer the grill pan to the oven for a couple of minutes until the thermometer registers at the desired done temp.  I prefer medium rare 130-140 degrees internally.

Remove from oven or heat and let rest for 10 minutes or so.

Aprox Cals per 1 small center cut lamb chop grilled, lean part only:  120 Cals, 6 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein

Photo Above served with Moroccan Pesto Sauce.  See Recipe here





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“Breakfast Joe Juice”: Pump up Your Immune

It been no secret on my recent Facebook posts, I’ve been fighting a pretty nasty cold, that came with all the yucky side effects and completely drained me of my energy.  My immune system is already not the greatest, due to all the chemotherapy, radiation and stem cell high dose chemo I received about 5 years ago, so when I get hit with a cold, its hard.  The first thing I do is just close down everything stressful going on in my life and REST!  I also start paying especially close attention to what I put in my body nutrition wise.  I start eating lots of raw salads, drinking nutrient infused stocks, and now that I have my juicer back in working form, I’ve begun to juice again!  When you use organic fresh ingredients in a “juicer”,  its a fast delivery system of  vitamins,enzymes, minerals, chlorophyll, phytonutrients into your tummy,  which then goes directly into your bloodstream for your little body to soak up and distribute through out your body.

I just started juicing on the encouragement from the lovely Kris Carr, her site www.crazysexylife.com , her book “Crazy Sexy Diet”, and my good friend Jody, and oncology nurse who has been juicing now for about a year and swears by it.  There is a lot of misconceptions about people who “juice”.  They are “granola heads” or “new age”, or that they don’t eat real food, meat or anything “fun”.  Personally I started juicing because it seems like a heck of a lot better way to get all that great stuff I spoke about above, than taking a bunch of supplements.  Its natural, and the number of different juices you can make is endless.

So here was my first attempt for a morning “Juice”, to boost my immunity while I was sick.

Directions:  Run all ingredients through the juicer or high speed blender, then add in the optional greens powder

  • 1  really big fistful of spinach
  • 1  really big fistful of Kale
  • 2 apples or pears chopped with skins on
  • 1 inch or more piece of peeled ginger (my favorite add in!)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • Add in a bit of Almond Milk, Coconut Milk or filtered water for more liquid to taste
  • (Optional) a scoop of a concentrated greens powder called “Vital Scoop”, but you can omit this or use any concentrated greens formula

Drink up!  I loved it



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Super Quick Asian Noodle Super Veggie Soup

I make a variation of this recipe all the time.  This particular recipe is an exact replica of what I made when I came home last Sunday night to my boyfriend with a raging “Man Cold”.  He loves the “Chicken Magic Mineral Broth” and swears its “medicinal”.   So I defrosted some of my stock (but you can use any store bought chicken broth or stock) and added some veggies and pre cooked organic buckwheat soba noodles I had on hand.  If I make this again I will cook dry buckwheat soba noodles separately and then add right before serving

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (aprox) of homemade chicken stock or store bought (if vegetarian use vegetable stock)
  • 1 6 oz package of pre cooked organic buckwheat soba noodles (purchased from Whole Foods)
  • 12 ounces of Shitake mushrooms (but you can use cremini, white, or any asian mushrooms)
  • 6 green onions, the whites and part of the greens chopped into small pieces (see photo below)
  • 6 ounces of bean sprouts
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Heat stock or broth over medium high heat, do not let it get to a boil, low simmer o.k
  • Add the mushrooms and let them cook through and heat in the stock.
  • Add the pre-cooked buckwheat soba noodles and allow to warm up and seperate within the liquid.  If you decide to use dry noodles cook them separately in salted water and then add to stock or broth.
  • Add green onions and bean spouts right before ladling into bowl
  • Salt to taste
  • Serve and Enjoy!

This soup is naturally low in fat and calories, and high in nutrient density!

 




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Roasted Chicken Herbed “Magic Mineral” Stock

I  love making homemade stocks but used to only make them around big holiday dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I have to thank the “Cancer Fighting Kitchen” Chef, Rebecca Katz RD, for re introducing me to the true magic of having your own homemade stocks on hand.  They not only add complexity and depth to any dish you use them in, they can really crank up the nutritional and health benefits at the same time.   Additionally, they are great “tools” to have in your kitchen “pharmacy” for when you feel a little under the weather.   I swear these nutrient dense stocks have pulled me out of many colds over the past few years.  They are great for patients undergoing chemo who can only tolerate clear liquids, yet need as much nutrition as possible that you can infuse into that liquid.

Creating any type of stock, to me, is like composing a song, with each little ingredient representing a note or chord, and all the ingredients coming together to produce a beautiful little symphony.  Chef Rebecca Katz has her trademarked “Magic Mineral Broth” on her website at www.RebeccaKatz.com for anyone to use as a guideline for a mineral rich vegetable stock.  I usually never make the exact same stock twice, and kind of play around with the basic recipe. For my chicken stocks, I save all the bones left over from the rotisserie chickens we eat over a couple months, and keep in a zip lock bag in the freezer until I need them for “stock making day”.  I make a large amount of stock  and then freeze it in several  airtight containers or quart size zip lock bags.  They will last for 3 months frozen.

Ingredients:

  • 8 unpeeled carrots
  • 2 unpeeled yellow onions cut in chunks
  • 2 to 3 leeks, cut in thirds
  • 1 whole bunch of celery
  • 4 yellow potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 unpeeled shallots
  • 1 bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 1 freshly squeezed lemon
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • 4 sprigs of fresh  lemon thyme (optional)
  • 8 quarts of water

Directions

  1. Rinse all the vegetables well, but no need to un-peel them.  In a large stock pot (12 – 16 quarts) combine all the ingredients and fill the pot with water until 2 inches below the rim, cover, and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours (I usually simmer for about 4 or 5 hours.)  As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; just add more to keep the vegetables covered.
  3. Strain broth through a large, coarse mesh sieve.  Stir in salt to taste, but you don’t need to use much.  I usually worry about the salt factor when I use my stock later.  I usually pour the stock back into the stock pot and refrigerate overnight.  The next day I skim off as much fat as I can, and then pour the stock into several airtight containers or bags, and freeze.

Notes:

  • Approx. Calories per serving: 50, Carbs: 11g, Protein:1 g, Sodium 145




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Creamy Lowfat Roasted Cauliflower Fennel Soup

I came up with this soup idea after having made roasted cauliflower and fennel  during a snowstorm in Tahoe, and thought “This would taste even better by a fire as a piping hot bowl of soup”.  It ended up being one of the first times I had ever made a soup “from the hip” that actually tasted great the first time.  Its so easy to make, yet tastes like it must be really complex.  You don’t need any fancy equipment or ingredients that are hard to find or use.  I found these ingredients all at my really basic local Raley’s in Tahoe the first time I made it.  If you want to keep it vegetarian, just use vegetable broth/stock  and don’t use the cream or milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1  2 lb (approx) Cauliflower  cut down to 1 inch size pieces
  • 2 medium sized fennel bulbs, ends cut off and quartered
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 32 ounce box of nonfat organic free range chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 peeled minced cloves of garlic
  • Optional: 1/2 cup of organic half and half or whole milk if you want a creamy flavor

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the cauliflower and fennel with olive oil and salt, and spread on foil lined oiled cookie sheet
  2. Roast aprox 2o -25 minutes, watching closely that the vegetables do not brown more than a light color.  Remove  from oven
  3. In a soup pot, saute the garlic and onion in the pan with olive oil over medium heat about 5 minutes until just soft, but not browned
  4. Toss in the cauliflower and fennel in the pot and coat with olive oil, add some more salt and heat
  5. Take the broth (and water if you need a bit extra) and pour until it just covers the veggies in the pot
  6. Bring to a low simmer for just about 10 to 12 minutes until a knife can pierce through the cauliflower easily
  7. Remove from burner, and add to blender, and puree in small batches.  Return the pureed mixture to the soup pot
  8. Reheat over medium low to medium heat, and for a more creamier soup, add the organic half and half or milk.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste

Notes:

  • Serves 4
  • Approx calories (without cream): 115 per serving, 6 g of healthy fat, 6 g of protein
  • Feel free to adjust this recipe to your own tastes by using more cauliflower, adjust the amount of cream or milk (you don’t have to use any) and try different spices  or topped with chopped parsley or fennel fronds.  Sometimes I drizzle a little white truffle oil to add a little sophistication.  Stores well up to 3 days.  This soup is naturally low in calories, and even with the addition of the organic cream or milk.

 

 

 



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Quinoa Pasta with Spinach, Rainbow Swiss Chard, and Tomatoes


Quinoa pasta is made with a combination of quinoa, a grain from the “Incan time” which is rich in protein, and corn flour instead of wheat. The pay off is that its gluten free, and in my opinion tastes just as good as regular pasta.

In this particular dish, I cranked up the nutrition and flavor with lots of veggies and fresh herbs I picked up at the Farmer’s Market this past weekend and then tossed the pasta together while it’s warm, saturating the pasta with all the yummy flavors. The result is a fun pasta dish with major flavor; a gorgeous, colorful appearance with nice texture, high flavor, and high nutrition. I make this sometimes in large batches ahead of time and keep in the fridge since it reheats well, and is a nice make-ahead, healthy snack to have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 8 ounce package gluten free quinoa spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 12 ounce containers of yellow, red or multicolor cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1 8 to 12 ounce package of baby spinach
  • 3 – 4 cups (approx) of Rainbow Swiss Chard, ribs removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped or dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped or dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • Addtional: 6 tablespoons of finely grated or shredded Parmesan
  • Optional: 2 pieces of low fat organic uncured turkey bacon, chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite , stirring occasionally to make sure pasta does not stick together during the cooking process.
  2. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta liquid.
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees
  4. Mix the cherry tomatoes in a bowl with a dash of olive oil, and a pinch of the herbs
  5. Oil cookie sheet with olive oil and spread tomatoes out evenly over the pan
  6. Place in oven and set timer for 12 to 15 minutes; cook until the tomatoes have just softened, and remove
  7. In a large heavy skillet heat oil over medium heat, add the red onions, garlic and some fresh salt and pepper. If you’re using the turkey bacon you can add this now too.
  8. After a minute or two add pinch each of the each of the herbs. Continue to stir and infuse all the flavors together for about 30 seconds.
  9. Add the 1/4 cup pasta liquid and stir, scraping up browned bits
  10. Add about 1/2 cup of the roasted tomatoes (leave the rest for later), and the Spinach and Swiss Chard in small batches until just barely wilted and warmed
  11. Add in 2 tbsps of the cheese and the remainder of the herbs, and crushed red pepper
  12. Turn the heat off or down to warm
  13. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss with tongs quickly until the spinach, the Swiss Chard and all the prior ingredients are evenly mixed through
  14. Transfer to larger family style serving bowl or dish and add tomatoes to the top of the final dish
  15. Sprinkle with the remaining part of the cheese and serve family style; along with additional cheese

Serving Info: Serves 4, 375 Calories per serving, 13 grams of “good fat, and 7 grams of fiber



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Organic Apple Ginger Tea


My boyfriend and I are fighting a flu or cold today and I just made a big batch of this. I found this little gem of a recipe through the nutritionist, Cheryl V Mitchell, who taught with me at Cooking Matters. The best part about this is it’s simplicity to make. This drink is super healthy, non fat, low in calories, yet naturally sweet in taste through the apples. Fresh ginger is really good for upset tummies or good for nausea. This is also a fun tasty little drink to have around in cold, rainy or snowy weather. In Tahoe we almost always have a big pot of this going on the stove all day long while siting next to a crackling fire while watching the snow fall. The scent of the warm apples, ginger and cinnamon fill the house and I’ve had guests ask “what kind of scented candle is this?”

I make this in a big pot over the stove or in a large slow cooker, and bring to a simmer, but then turn down and keep on low heat the rest of the time. With this recipe, as with all my recipes, please adjust the ingredients to fit your own specific tastes

Ingredients:

  • 5 to 8 Apples quartered with skins left on (how “apple” you want the tea to taste is up to you)
  • 1 big knob of fresh ginger (I like a real large knob, I love the ginger flavor and spicy flavor it gives)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 to 12 cups of filtered water
  • Optional: Stevia or Organic honey to added additional sweetness after your ready to drink
  • Optional: ground nutmeg to taste

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a slow cooker or a large pot
  2. Cover with the filtered water
  3. Bring to a high simmer, reduce heat to medium or medium low, and allow flavors to infuse for at least an hour
  4. I used a ladle to scoop out the “tea” into my cups
  5. You can also add extra water once, over the ingredients if the pot starts running low on liquid
  6. Enjoy!

*** This recipe kindly shared with me by Cheryl V Mitchell of The Diabetes Bootcamp

 

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