f4ba68c1cbedb0122ea82653afbd56f3b53077b88b4c4a5f31 Uncomplicated Healthy Living: July 2015 http://www.freesearchenginesubmission.infoher-libido.com

Friday, July 31, 2015

Quinoa With Roasted Garlic and Vegetables

No one can argue the health benefits of quinoa or that of garlic.  By loading quinoa with veggies you can make it the center of your meal.  It is such a versatile ingredient to use and a great base for other flavors.  I hope you enjoy this dish!


Quinoa With Roasted Garlic and Vegetables

one head of garlic
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 green onions, cleaned and sliced
4 ounces fresh spinach, stems removed, cleaned and torn into pieces
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese

Roast the garlic as instructed in my post of June 12, 2015.  Take four cloves and mash them with a fork (save the rest for another use); set aside.  Put the vegetable broth and quinoa in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, put a cover on the pot and allow to steam for 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is done and liquid is absorbed.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the green onion.  Saute the onion for 1 to 2 minutes and add the spinach and salt.  Saute until the spinach is just wilted.  In a bowl combine the spinach, quinoa and roasted garlic.  Stir to distribute all the garlic and spinach through the quinoa.  Fold in the diced tomato and parmesan.  Serve and enjoy!

I have also served this cold as a salad with the addition of some white wine vinegar.  You can adjust the amount of garlic to suit your taste.  I happen to like a lot of garlic.  As always play around with it and make it your own.  Have fun cooking!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Tomato Cheese Galette

I eat so many raw tomatoes in the summer, I sometimes forget that to get their full health benefit they have to be heated.  To get the cancer fighting benefits, not only do they have to be heated, you also have to have some oil with them as well.  So I went a different direction with my tomato love affair.  Flaky crust, herbaceous pesto, salty cheese and sweet roma tomatoes.  It is delicious!  Find out for yourself.

   
Tomato Cheese Galette

Pastry dough for a single crust - See note below
1/2 cup pesto - recipe follows
4 ounces sliced provolone cheese
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
4 or 5 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick - how many you need depends on their size
olive oil
Italian seasoning

Place your pizza stone or pan in the cold oven and turn it to 400 degrees.  You want to heat your stone or pan to heat.  While it is heating role out you pastry dough in a 10" to 11" round.  Arrange the provolone in a layer in the center of the dough leaving a 1 1/2" edge.  Spread the pesto over the provolone.  Layer the mozzarella on top of the pesto.  Arrange the Tomatoes on top of the mozzarella.  Crowd the tomatoes on there.  They will shrink as it bakes.  Fold the edge of the pastry over the filling.  Brush the folded edge with olive oil and sprinkle with itailian seasoning.  Using dried seasoning is best in this application.  Carefully slide the galette onto the hot pizza stone or pan and return to the oven.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.  Let is sit for a few minutes before cutting it.

Enjoy it with a salad or sliced fresh veggies and you will have everything you need for a complete meal.

NOTE:  Everyone has their favorite pastry crust recipe.  I use one from Martha Stewart's cookbook.  I make some changes to it by using spelt flour instead of all purpose and I don't use vegetable shortening.  I use coconut oil instead.  You use your favorite.  You can also use a purchased crust if your in a hurry. 

Pesto

1 1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted - you can substitute walnuts
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil.

Place the basil, parsley, nuts, garlic and salt in the food processor.  Pulse once or twice to combine.  With the processor on low, drizzle in the olive oil until a paste is formed.  It is as easy as that!

Use 1/2 cup of the pesto for the recipe above.  Save the rest for another use.  You can also freeze it.  Pour it into an ice cube tray.  When frozen solid, place the cubes in a zip lock bag.  Purchased pesto also works in the recipe above.






Friday, July 24, 2015

Black Eyed Pea and Vegetable Chopped Salad

This easy salad can become dinner on the hot days of summer.  I like it even more when it has set overnight.  I don't put tomato in the salad because it can become slimy.  Instead I top it with chopped tomato on my plate or you can serve it in a hollowed out tomato.  As always put your own spin on it.  Use different veggies or herbs.  Make your own way.

  
Black Eyed Pea and Vegetable Chopped Salad

2 cups cooked fresh black eyed peas
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 small yellow summer squash, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 small bell pepper, chopped (use what color you want, I had green on hand)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. finely minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp. finely minced fresh basil

Combine the first five ingredients, peas through onion, in a bowl.  In another bowl combine the rest of the ingredients, vinegar through basil, and whisk together.  Pour vinaigrette over the peas and veggies.  Toss to combine. 

It is as easy as that!  No mayo. means this travels well and you don't have as many worries if your eating outdoors.  Enjoy everyone!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Peach Crisp

Fresh peaches plus oats, almond flour and flax seeds.  How can things that are good for you taste so good?  They just do.  With the sweetness of the peaches a lot of sweetener is not needed.  You can use the fruit of your choice with this recipe.  All that may vary is the baking time.  Fair warning, if you don't like getting your hands dirty this is not the recipe for you.  You can do the oat topping in a food processor, but it will destroy the texture.  Make it your own and enjoy all the good fruits that come with the summer!


Peach Crisp

4 cups of fresh, pealed and sliced peaches (approximately 4 large peaches)
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1/2 cup coconut sugar, divided
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup almond meal (also called almond flour)
1/4 ground flax seeds
1/2 chopped pecans
4 tbsp. coconut oil
4 tbsp. butter, cut in cubes

Sprinkle the peaches with 1/4 cup of the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla.  Toss to combine.  Arrange the peaches in the bottom of a 8" square baking dish.  In a bowl combine the oats, almond meal, flax seeds, pecans and the rest of the sugar.  Using your hand, work the coconut oil and butter into the dry ingredients.  You don't want any dry crumbs.  Crumble the oat mixture over the top of the peaches.  Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and crisp.

You can eat it as is or use your favorite topping.
    

Friday, July 17, 2015

Cherry Clafouti

What is clafouti?  Is is hard to define.  It isn't quite a custard, or a cake, or a pie, or a souffle.  It isn't any of them, but, it has elements of all of them.  How ever you what to define it, it is delicious.  You can make it with any kind of fruit and add your flavorings or spices that go with the fruit.  This one is with cherries and I added a small amount of almond extract to compliment them.  It uses a minimal amount of sweetener and we all know the benefits of eating a variety of fresh fruits.  It is also a source of protein and calcium.  So you don't have to feel like your throwing away your healthy living goals. 

  
Cherry Clafouti

1 tsp. spelt flour (as always you can use all purpose)
2 cups pitted, halved sweet cherries
3/4 cup spelt flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups skim milk
3 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Grease a 10" deep pie pan with coconut oil.  Dust with the teaspoon of flour.  Arrange the cherry halves in a single layer in the bottom of the pan.  In a bowl whisk together the flour and salt.  Slowly pour in 1 cup of the milk, whisking the entire time.  Make sure there aren't clumps of flour.  In another bowl, whisk together the other cup of milk with the eggs, sugar and the extracts.  Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, whisking the entire time.  Once combined and smooth; pour the carefully pour the batter over the cherries.  Bake in an oven that has been preheated to 375 for 40 to 45 minutes, or until set in the center.  When you remove it from the oven and it starts to cool, it will fall.  Serve at room temperature or cold.

If you want a more creamy white color, use a different sweetener.  The coconut sugar darkens the color to what it is added.  In the picture below you will see I served it with whipped coconut cream.  Enjoy the fruits of summer while we have them!


Monday, July 13, 2015

Corn and Green Bean Salad

As promised this is the salad that I served with the Zucchini Green Onion Biscuits.  This salad along with the biscuits give you a complete meal, perfect for using the bounty from your garden or farmer's market.  Also this is a great light meal for those hot summer days.  Putting corn and green beans in a salad may sound odd.  It becomes a tasty combo.  Enjoy!


Corn and Green Bean Salad

1 tbsp. rice vinegar
3/4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. finely minced fresh basil
2 green onions, finely minced
2 ears of corn
8 ounces of fresh green beans
3 packed cups baby spinach and kale
1 packed cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1 large tomato diced

Combine the first eight ingredients, vinegar through green onion, in a small bowl and whisk together.  Cook the corn and cut off cob.  Blanch green beans in boiling water for 1 minute.  Remove and rinse with cold water.  Drain and cut in half diagonally.  Once completely cooled combine beans, corn, spinach and kale, parsley and tomato.  Toss with the dressing and enjoy.

I've changed this up by grilling the corn and beans.  I've have also added diced jalapeno pepper and avocado.  Make it your own and have fun in the kitchen.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Yogurt - Make it Part of Your Healthy Eating


You hear both good and bad about yogurt.  There are many brands out there that have turned something that can be healthy into a sugar and fat laden downfall.  Keep a few things in mind when looking for yogurt and you will be able to take advantage of it's many health benefits.

  • Look for the seal:  The National Yogurt Association has a seal that can only be put on yogurts having 100 million active starter cultures per gram.  What does this mean for you?  You are getting the active cultures you are paying for.  Some yogurts are heated after being made, which kills the cultures.  So look for the seal that states it has live and active cultures.
  • Read the ingredients:  You want yogurt, not gelatin with yogurt flavor.  Going for the organic brands will get you the real thing.  The fewer the ingredients the better it is.
  • Watch the fat content:  Yogurt can be a heart healthy food.  However, animal fats are not heart healthy.  Ideally you want 3.5 grams or less of fat per serving.  That means get low fat or nonfat.
  • Watch the sugar:  Many companies have turned yogurt into sugar laden pudding.  Processed sugar has no benefits.  It is empty useless calories.  So you should get artificially sweetened yogurt, right?  Wrong, artificial sweeteners do our bodies more harm than good.  Yes, they can save calories.  But, they also destroy your bodies ability to tell what should be used and what should be stored as fat.  Look for yogurt that has 20 grams or less of sugar.  Or go for the plain and dress it up as yourself.
  • Watch the frozen yogurt:  What is labeled frozen yogurt may be ice cream with some yogurt added in.  Again look for the live and active culture seal to be sure.  Better yet, make your own.  See how by clicking here.
What are some good things about yogurt?

  • It is a high protein food.  It is up to you if you choose to eat dairy or not.  But, yogurt is an excellent source of protein.  Again, not all are created equal.  Look for one that has 8 to 10 grams of protein.
  • It is a source of calcium, B12, B5, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, iodine and zinc.  All great health benefits.  Plus you get the probiotics.
  • It is versatile.  You can use it in savory or sweet applications.  You can use it in dips or make your own yogurt cheese.  Pour yogurt into a double layer of cheese cloth.  Gather the corners of the cloth and tie them around a long handled utensil.  Place the utensil across a bowl, allowing the yogurt to hang into the bowl.  Let drain several hours and you will have yogurt cheese that has the same consistency as cream cheese.  Use it the same way you would cream cheese. 
Yes, yogurt can be a part of your healthy diet.  It can be of benefit to you.  Enjoy what you are eating.  Healthy eating doesn't have to be boring or tasteless.  Was this info. helpful?  Let me know.  Leave a comment.
   

Monday, July 6, 2015

Caramelized Onion Flat-bread Pizza

Caramelizing onions takes them to a whole different dimension.  It takes some patience, but, vadalia onions become even sweeter and take on a jam like quality.  Paring them with salty mozzarella and parmesan is a combo that makes you sit back and sigh with pleasure.  Can something that tastes this good be good for you?  Protein and calcium come from the cheese and immune boosting power comes from the onions.  Phytonutrients come from the zucchini.  By using naan as your crust you get addition protein from the egg and milk in the naan.  Eat in moderation and you have every reason to enjoy!


Caramelized Onion Flat-bread Pizza

2 large pieces of naan (homemade or purchased)
4 large vadalia onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil (olive oil can be used)
1 small zucchini
2 cups shredded mozzarella
freshly shredded parmesan
freshly chopped tomato
freshly torn basil and flat leaf parsley

Peal and vertically slice the onions.  Melt the oil in a large frying pan over low heat.  Add the onions and season them with salt.  Allow them to sit on low heat stirring ever minute or so until they become deep golden brown.  This process will take anywhere from twenty to forty minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.  Clean and slice the zucchini in very thin slices.  You can do this with a mandolin or you can use a vegetable peeler.  Heat the oven to 450 degrees with you baking stone or pan in the oven.  Brush the naan with melted coconut oil or olive oil.  Sprinkle with parmesan.  Cover with mozzarella and place the zucchini slices on them.  Season the zucchini with salt.  Then top with the cooled vadalia onions.  Slide the naan onto you hot baking stone or pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and add the chopped tomato.  Tare the basil and parsley directly onto the pizza at the last minute.  Cut and eat up!

I didn't give you a naan recipe because the one I use is from The New York Times.  You can get it from their website.  Why use naan and not pizza dough?  You can use pizza dough.  The naan dough is has the addition of egg, yogurt and milk giving it more nutritional value than plain pizza dough.  Also, you will notice from the photo that the heat of the pizza wilts the basil quickly.  That is the reason to leave it to the last minute.

Vadalia onions will be gone soon.  Use them and enjoy them while their are at their best.  Have sun in the kitchen everybody!