Monday, December 14, 2015

Good Morning Green Juice!



There's nothing like juicing to get your nutrients in large quantities. There is more and more research coming out about the benefits of getting as much raw vegetables and fruits into your diet as possible. Turns out an apple a day isn't quite going to cut it! (we're going to explain the research better in an upcoming newsletter). I juice as often as I can and I really notice a huge difference in energy, skin quality, immune system, and sleep when I forget to juice for a while. 

Juicing can get expensive, but you can stretch it out with inexpensive cucumbers and also health it up with green powders from the nutrition store for added punch. Here's my simple juice that I make a few times a week. You can make this with any juicer that will juice leaves, or take the spinach out and do apple cucumber if your juicer can't handle leaves. 

2 organic cucumbers *
2 organic granny smith apples (or fuji if you can't handle the sour haha)
1 decent bunch of organic mint.
1-2 large handfuls of dark leafy greens
Sparkling or still filtered water.

*I tend to use organic when I juice especially since all the nutrients (and anything lingering ON the fruit) is liquified and goes right into your system. If you can't use organic, then I'd peel the fruits/vegetables first.

Basically all I do is run those through the juicer. I put the mint and greens in between the cucumber and the apple so the hard fruits help the leaves through the chamber. Then I mix it half juice with half cold sparkling water and drink it! If you were serving it at a dinner or lunch and wanted it to look fancy, you could always float a few apple slices in it or garnish it with extra mint:)

Happy Juicing!





Grandma's Summer Spinach Salad




This is a family favorite and has been for years! And while it's called summer spinach salad, it's great all year long. It's delicious with a steak, a piece of chicken, or fish. It's even filling on its own.

Ingredients

Dressing:
9 Tablespoons healthy oil (olive or avocado is best)
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salad herbs (you can usually find this mix in any seasoning section)
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Salad
1 bunch of green onions chopped finely
1 mid sized container of baby spinach
1/2 container sliced mushrooms, or equivalent if you're slicing your own. If you love mushrooms feel free to add more! They're great for you.
1/2 cup of slivered almonds
5 strips of nitrate free bacon cooked and crumbled*
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (can be omitted if you're dairy-free)

Add all of it into a bowl and toss. Pretty simple and it's usually a fan favorite :)

Happy Cooking!











* There has been a debate about bacon in the paleo/primal community for ages. The way we see it here at The Salad Gourmet is it shouldn't be a large source of protein, use it occasionally and sparingly, and make sure to get the best kind possible. Our grocery store has a nitrate free variety.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poblano Peppers (our version of chile rellenos)





This is a great way to get your veggies!  Poblano peppers are available at most food markets. They are about 4 inches long and a deep, dark green. They're not very hot, on the pepper scale, but it still wouldn't be smart to handle them and then touch your eyes! 

Use disposable gloves when handling the peppers - especially the seeds on the inside. As you take the seeds out of the peppers, put them onto a paper towel and dispose of that. Have some vegetable oil handy in case you get any of the "heat" on your hands. Do not touch your face with your hand unless you are sure there is no residue of the peppers on them. Washing with water only spreads the hot spicy oil.

Ingredients
2 poblano peppers
3 slices of pepper jack cheese
4 small tomatoes
1/4 pound of mozzarella cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup of water
tomato salsa


Chop the tops off of the peppers with gloved hands. Remove the peppers and all of the interior sections and dispose of them (not in the garbage disposal). You can

either put the peppers on a baking sheet and put them under the broiler to blister the skin or you can hold them over the flame on a fork to get the skin turning black, bubbling and blistering. After the skin is blistered, lay the peppers on a cutting board and use a knife to scrape off the skin. This was the hardest part of the whole thing.

Let them sit there while you cube up some white cheese. I used mozzarella but any mild white cheese will do. I also cubed some small fresh tomatoes. Hold the peppers open and stuff the tomatoes and the cheese inside.


Mix three or four eggs and about one fourth cup of water in a mixing cup. Beat the eggs with a fork. Spray some PAM into a frying pan. On a medium heat, warm up the pan. Pour about one third of the egg mixture into the pan. Place the two stuffed peppers into the pan and pour the remainder of the egg mixture on top. With a medium to high heat cook the eggs scrambling to let the wet eggs get to the bottom and the done part get to the top. As you think it is all getting about done, place a few strips of pepper jack cheese on top. Keep it in the frying pan until the cheese melts on a low heat. Divide the egg/pepper mixture into two sections and dish onto the plates. Top with a few tablespoons of salsa.



Happy Cooking!




Monday, December 19, 2011

RRM-Random Recipe Moment!



Random Recipe Moment #1
Spinach and Chicken Sausage Soup


One of the things I do on a regular basis is scrounge around my kitchen for ingredients and use whatever I have on hand to make something! It's a lot easier than going to the store all the time, and some of my favorite recipes of all time have come from RRMs. If you keep soup stock (chicken, veggie, beef) on hand then usually, like eggs, they can be a base for countless things.

I'm also going to go on a mini soup rant right here...and it's called canned soup. Canned soup isn't my favorite thing. Usually it has tons of fat and/or salt, possible MSG, not to mention lord knows what else as far as the dreaded unpronounceable four syllable ingredients. Even the low fat/sodium ones have a lot of artificial ingredients. If you can find one that doesn't, then that's great! In the mean time, soup is really easy to make at home, it tastes way better, and of course you won't be adding artificial flavors and tons of sodium. (Some flavors up to 850mg. Yikes!)

So rant over, here's what I had going on in my kitchen tonight:) I dumped all of this in a soup pot and it's happily simmering away!

 
Chicken or beef Stock (2 4 cup containers or 8 cups of home made stock)
Sausage ( one medium sized container)
Spinach (A large handful)
Mushrooms 1/2 a crate. 20 or so)
Garlic (8 or 9 cloves)
Grape Tomatoes (a large handful or two)
Lemon (one)
Seasonings on my spice rack (in this case, salt, pepper, fennel, rosemary, and sage)


I started by browning the sausage in butter (remember most vegetable oils aren't good for frying, even the healthy kind). I used Italian and not breakfast. After the chicken sausage was browned, I poured a bit of the broth in and used it to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Those little pieces have a ton of flavor.


Then I poured the rest of my 2 containers of broth in. The broth I used was free range organic, and each container was 4 cups. (Total of 8)

After that I added what are typical "Sausage" seasonings. Fennel, rosemary, and sage. With both the fennel and rosemary, I went through them with a knife to break up the pieces. It keeps your soup from having big chunks of herbs. Also, when you cut or break open dried leaves and seeds, more of the flavo
rs escape. I dumped a good tablespoon of each in.

Then goes in the spinach. Let that wilt and become part of the soup.


I sliced the grape tomatoes and garlic up into pieces. Halves for the tomatoes, large dice for the garlic cloves. I only had this weird meat cleaver clean. I felt a bit like Sweeny Todd, but oh well:) The rest of my knives were in the dish washer and the show had to go on!

After that, I zested the lemon, then cut it in half and squeezed in the juice for some nice fresh flavor! you can add some salt and pepper (go easy at first), taste, and add some more until it's seasoned enough for you.


Last, let it simmer for an hour or so until the mushrooms and garlic are soft and the flavors have combined. I usually make soup the night before. The next day it's amazing!


I eat this on its own but you can add a salad or a friendly starch. Plus, any soup with garlic and/or onions is great in the winter if you've managed to come down with a cold.

Happy Cooking!!












Sunday, December 18, 2011

Product I Love - Cibo Pesto


Cibo Pesto

I love LOVE pesto. And I'm not picky about it unless it's awful. Pesto is, of course, best home made. You can control what goes in it that way and cut out the dairy if you want to follow the full paleo plan. But if you're going to go for store bought pesto (which might be best since it can be expensive to make with all the ingredients) than this is an excellent brand. It tastes amazing, and it doesn't have a ton of weird chemical stuff in it. Most of the ingredients are whole foods. I've gotten really picky lately about artificial flavorings and colors--picky as in I avoid them at all costs.


Pesto is good on:
-Pasta
-Bread
-Scrambled eggs
-Mixed with mayo for salad dressing, veggie/pita chip dip, or a sandwich spread
-On cottage cheese and sliced cherry tomatoes for breakfast or a delicious snack. (I promise!!)
-Directly from the jar on a spoon...hehe. I do that all the time.


I'm sure there are MANY other ways:) Cibo has other flavors of pesto like artichoke lemon, roasted red pepper, and sundried tomato. I'll always like classic basil the best though!

Someday soon, we'll post the recipe for our dairy free full paleo pesto. Until then, Enjoy:)

Happy Cooking!



Spinach, Garlic, And Mushroom Frittata





Spinach Garlic and Mushroom Frittata

This dish is super easy, and actually very versatile. You can put anything in a frittata from meats and cheeses, potatoes, vegatables: really anything you have on hand. All a frittata really is, is a baked omelet. The ingredients are mixed right in the raw eggs before baking, rather than put on top of cooked eggs and folded in the middle. It's also usually cut into wedges like a cake or pie and served to a group with side dishes instead of eaten by one person. For those of us (like me!) who struggle with omelets and usually end up with a big old mess stuck to the pan, this is an easy answer.

I chose to make this frittata vegetarian—but you could always add browned ground beef, or anything really. So here are the ingredients for the frittata as I made it:

Ingredients:
six eggs
3 roma tomatoes (or 1 large beefsteak)
enough olive oil to coat the dish
Garlic, Mushroom, Spinach mix (see This Recipe)
4 deli slices of swiss
salt/pepper
glass baking dish


First thing is I'll lightly coat the bottom and sides of a baking dish with olive oil. I used a fairly small but deep baking dish. You could also use one that's larger but shallower. You'll have a shorter bake time. I just thought the small dish was pretty. Sometimes you have to sacrifice form over function:)


I sliced my tomatoes and lined the bottom and partway up the sides with tomato. You can always chop it and dump it in the main mixture, but again, I thought it was pretty with the tomatoes showing on the sides. Plus it's another layer between the egg and the glass to help with sticking.

In a separate bowl I beat the 6 eggs. Remember, this is meant for more than one serving, so don't freak out about that many eggs. Once the eggs are nice and beat, with all the yolks broken and incorporated into the whites, I added the Garlic, Spinach, and Mushroom mix. I also added the swiss cheese that I cut into chunks. If you don't like swiss, that of course can be substituted by any melty cheese.

Once all of the filling was mixed, I poured it into the tomato lined baking dish. I checked the top for big clumps of spinach, which I moved around so they were more evenly spaced, then I popped it in a 400 degree oven.

My frittata took about 25 minutes, but it was fairly deep. If yours is shallower it can take as little as 10 minutes. Some people like to start them in a frying pan as well, fry the bottom, then pop the pan into the oven to finish baking. That's a matter of taste, and any variation is fine!

When the center of the frittata is firm and not jiggly, and you can stick a knife in it and have it come out clean then your frittata is done (mind you, it will still have some juice from the tomatoes). Pull it out and let it sit for a little while to cool and solidify, then cut it into wedges and serve on its own or with a side dish.


This particular frittata would be delicious with a side salad, some roasted vegetables. You could also serve it with a grass-fed steak or a chicken breast.

   

Happy Cooking!!