When I am not busy taking care of my two energetic little boys, or working on an interior design project~ I play in the kitchen! For the last 15 years, I have been juxtaposing new flavors and ideas; it’s finally time to document my recipes...

I believe in fresh & affordable meals.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Veggie & Egg White Fritty with Goat Cheese



One of my best friends is getting married tomorrow; I can't wait! The beautiful bride simply can't eat crap the day of her wedding. She needs good protein energy~ without too many bloating agents!!! So, at JJ's request, this egg white frittata was created. This yummy dish is clean, simple and health packed.

Go and get it...
1 Red bell pepper
1 Yellow bell pepper
1 Orange bell pepper
1 container of button mushroom
1 large container of egg whites
1/2 log of goat cheese
2 tablespoons of pesto
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven at 350 deg.
Dice/chop peppers and shrooms, put them in a pan on the stove top with the olive oil, cook over med heat for about 10 minutes. After the peppers & shrooms are soft. Add the pesto (the reason you want to wait to add the pesto is b/c some pesto has lots of parm cheese, and if you cook it too long it burns). Let cook for another 5 minutes ON LOW. Taste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour veggies in a large dish/pan, cover with egg whites, and crumble 1/2 log of goat cheese on the top.
Cook in the oven on 350 deg. for 1 hour.
I like to garnish with roasted tomatoes, basil or rosemary. This is a perfect dish for a shower, brunch or breakfast. If you are serving this for lunch or dinner, I recommend adding a balsamic reduction drizzle to the top. Google it. Its easy to to make and super tasty.

WHY GOAT CHEESE

Lower in Fat and Calories

When it comes to fat and calories, goat cheese has the advantage over cheese made from cow's milk. Goat cheese clocks in at eighty calories and six grams of fat per ounce, compared to cow's milk cheese, which generally has around 100 calories and 10 g of fat per ounce. This means goat cheese is the better choice for staying fit and thin.

Metabolism-Boosting

Diets higher in calcium have been proven to assist the body's burning of fat after meals. The need for hormone release to maintain calcium levels is banished, which correlates with a higher rate of fat oxidation.

Higher in Protein

There are five grams of protein in a single ounce of goat cheese! Goat's milk is a good source of low-cost high-quality protein, providing 8.7 grams of protein (17.4% of the daily value for protein) in one cup versus cow's milk, which provides 8.1 grams.

Higher in Calcium

The amount of calcium in goat cheese can vary from around forty grams in soft cheese up to 240 grams in hard goat cheese. This clocks in slightly higher than cow's milk cheese, which has about 200 grams in the hard version. Lower in calories and higher in the good stuff? We like it.

What does calcium do, anyway?
  • maintains the strength and density of bones.
  • helps to protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals
  • helps prevent migraine headaches
  • reduces PMS symptoms during the second half of the cycle
  • helps protect against breast cancer (Women with the highest average dairy intake had a 45% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women with the lowest average intake. When only pre-menopausal women were considered, benefits were even greater; those with the highest average dairy intake had a 65% reduction in breast cancer risk)
  • plays a role in vital body functions, like blood clotting, nerve conduction, muscle contraction, regulation of enzyme activity, cell membrane function and blood pressure regulation.
Calcium is vital to these activities, so when dietary intake of calcium is too low to maintain adequate blood levels of calcium, calcium stores are drawn out of the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations. And calcium from dairy foods is more effective than that gained from a supplement, according to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Great Source for a Variety of Other Nutrients

Goat's milk and goats milk cheese are great sources of a number of important nutrients and vitamins:
  • the amino acid tryptophan
  • phosphorus
  • riboflavin or vitamin B2 (which plays important roles in the body's energy production)
  • potassium (which helps prevent high blood pressure and protects against arteriosclerosis)
  • goat's milk contains 25 percent more vitamin B-6 than cow's
  • vitamin A is 47% higher in goat's milk, too!
  • three times as much niacin. It is also four times higher in copper.
  • Goat's milk also contains 27 percent more of the antioxidant selenium than cow's milk.

It's Easier to Digest

People who are lactose intolerant (about a quarter of the American population!) are sometimes able to tolerate goat cheese even if they have problems digesting cheese made from cow's milk. The levels of lactose are similar, but the fat molecules in goat cheese are shorter, making them more digestible. Even people who don't have a lactose intolerance will find that goat cheese appears to be more easily digested than conventional dairy products.

Part of Dr. Oz's "Blue Zone" Diets

Sardinia, a Mediterranean island 120 miles off the coast of Italy, is a blue zone, an area with a high rate of healthy citizens.

Sardinians drink goat's milk, which is high in calcium and good for your heart. "Plus, researchers believe it could protect against Alzheimer's and heart disease," Dr. Oz says.

Not only is goat's milk healthy, it's easier for your stomach to digest and is also good for people who are lactose intolerant. "It has tryptophan, that same sort of mellowing agent that turkey has," Dr. Oz says. "The fat particles in goat milk are much smaller than in cow milk, so you don't have to mix it up. And when you mix up fat globules, in some people it makes enzymes that irritate your stomach." Goat's milk is available in most grocery store dairy departments, just look for it in a smaller size than a gallon. (Source: http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Secrets-of-the-Blue-Zones/8)

Contains Probiotics

Goat cheeses contain moderate levels of probiotics, the "good" bacteria that aid gastrointestinal health in the human body. Just what do probiotics do?
  • help melt postpartum belly fat
  • build elderly immune systems by tackling the age-related deterioration of the immune system.
  • they enhance immune system response
  • reduce negative affects of taking many types of antibiotics
  • aid in preventing and treating colon inflammation following surgery
  • help to prevent eczema in youth
  • increase ability to digest food
  • are therapeutic for viral respiratory tract infections by enhancing the overall immune system
  • reduce lactose intolerance
  • reduce incidence of yeast infection, vaginitis and candidiasis
  • increase ability to assimilate the nutrients from food
  • alleviate many common digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea and IBS
  • act as a treatment for halitosis (bad breath)
  • increase ability to synthesize vitamin B
  • increase ability to absorb calcium
  • promote anti-tumor and anti-cancer activity in the body     



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Morning Glory Muffs


Why does everyone use Almond Flour in their GF (gluten free) recipes? Time to mix it up a bit!!! This morning I threw a handful of walnuts in the blender. Walnut flour is wonderful! It tastes lil more "earthy" than almond flour- but we like the flavor. My kids don't "flour-discriminate" as long as their bread is coated in butter.  
The glaze on this recipe is a lil more indulgent. But, who doesn't like a buttery  sweet addition to their meal?
Try these muffs. They are simple, easy, and fun to prepare. 

Many parents complain that their kids wont eat whole nuts. I urge them to try nut flour. Give a kid a "cupcake" for breakfast, and DON'T speak a word about the nuts! Prepare the muffins while the kids are busy and then let them paint the "cupcakes" with sugar- butter. I think your kids may eat em?!?


What you need
1/2 Cup Almond Four*
1/2 Cup Walnut Flour*
2 eggs
1/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
2 eggs
Small handful of Raisins
Small handful of Craisins

*make your own flour, put your nuts in the blender and watch them turn to flour!

Prepare
Throw all ingredients in a bowl and mix. No, you don't have to use separate wet and dry bowls- or fluff eggs. Just one bowl and a mixing tool. Coat muffin tins with pam or cooking spray or butter.

Bake on 425 deg for 15 minutes. 

After the muffins come out of the oven, glaze em up!

Glaze- fun for the kids to do!
1/8 cup Earth Balance Butter
Pinch of cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar (or agave, or brown sugar, or honey)
heat ingredients, and paint the cini--sugar butter on muffins- my kids love to paint their food.


 Wacko for Walnuts: these nuts pack a powerful health punch!


According to new research presented at the 241st meeting of the American Chemical Society, the health benefits of walnuts include lowering heart disease risks. It seems these tasty treats have more and better quality, antioxidants than any of the other nuts tested in study by Joe Vinson, PhD, out of the University of Scranton.
We know that nuts are good for the heart, they not only bring down cholesterol and inflammation they also cut oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Experts know that antioxidants protect the cells of the body against damage that’s caused by free radicals. This damage can play a part in many health conditions, including heart disease.
Earlier studies have found that walnuts enhance blood flow and improve cardiac risk factors, both beneficial to your heart. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration agrees that eating nuts as part of a heart healthy diet might just lower your risk for heart disease.
The nuts evaluated included almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. The team found that an ounce of walnuts has more antioxidants than the total of what most people get from fruits and veggies.
A handful of walnuts has two times the antioxidants as an equal amount of the other commonly eaten nuts. What’s more, the antioxidants in walnuts appear to be from 2 to 15 times more effective than those in the other nuts.
When you add a small serving of nuts to your diet, Vinson points out that research finds you’re far more likely to either maintain or lose weight. Nuts are also emerging as having a benefit to brain health.
thanks 2---> www.reallyworks.org

Friday, May 20, 2011

Almond Bread


Oh my my. I found a new love. Almond flour. This bread recipe is super easy and fun to do with the kids. I just learned (thanks Leslie) that you can make almond flour by putting almonds in the blender. Surprise!
Right before they become almond butter- the nuts are flour! Seriously, its amazing. This recipe DOES not taste like some of the SICK gluten free bread I have purchased. This bread is moist and nutty~ and packed with protien. I love my muffins topped with a little earth balance butter or cream cheese with my coffee in the am...


Ingredients
2 1/2 Cups Almond Flour
2 eggs
1/8 cup honey
1/4 cup applesauce (don't have applesauce? add another egg instead)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
dash of cinnamon
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I love Bragg's) 


Fun additions~I add em all, plus whatever other fruit is sitting around
1 mashed banana
1 handful of raisins
1 handful of dried cranberries 


Beat eggs and honey, add applesauce and vanilla. Add rest of ingredients. Add whatever fun addition you like.


Coat whatever pan you are using with pam/cooking spray/butter. 


Cook on 300 deg for 20-35 minutes- depending what pan you select. I like to make em into muffins which take about 25-30 mins. Watch the bread. It tastes horrible if it is overcooked. Take it out of the oven once the top gets brown and the middle is not geeewey. 


AC Vinegar is really good for you. 



Apple cider vinegar has long been used as a health aid for weight loss and circulatory health. It is a very safe supplement, even for children. There are no known side effects resulting from using it. It is obtained from the fermentation of apple juice. The fermentation provides alcoholic apple cider that is combined with oxygen to produce acetic acid. The pH of ACV (apple cider vinegar) is very beneficial for the body.
Apple cider vinegar is quite rich in minerals, vitamins and other substances. It contains vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin, A, vitamin P, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6. ACV also a lot of beneficial minerals like manganese, iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, sulpher, copper, phosphorus, silicon, chlorine and fluorine.
ACV provides enzymes, amino acids, aldehydes, potash, alcoholic acids, propionic acid, and apple pectin. Apple pectin is a dietary fiber that is an essential component of a healthy diet. With more than ninety substances and a great deal of minerals and vitamins, apple cider vinegar can be one of the most important ingredients in a healthy diet.

Blood pressure:

The potassium in ACV along with other substances makes the blood thinner and is helpful in controlling blood pressure.

Cholesterol control:

Many heart attacks are caused by high fats and cholesterol in your blood. The fiber in ACV helps to absorb fats and cholesterol by expelling them from the body as waste materials.

Diabetes:

The dietary fiber in ACV is also helpful in controlling glucose levels in the blood.

Arthritic pains:

Many suffer from this disease in the west and it is caused by the gathering of metabolic toxic waste in the tissues. In this context, ACV speeds up metabolism and excretes the toxic wastes from the tissues.

Strong Bones:

Minerals like manganese, calcium, magnesium, silicon and iron develop bone mass and make them stronger.

Yeast Infections:

ACV is also useful for yeast infections like Candida caused by the unbalance of acid levels in the body. Making a solution of ACV in warm water and douching can help with the symptoms.

Chest congestion:

Apple cider vinegar is also useful in flu or chest congestion. Applying ACV with pepper on the chest can help relieve some of the congestion.

Sore Throat:

If you have a sore throat, gargle with ACV mixed with water.

Digestion:

In your digestive system hydrochloric acid and pepsin are two essential components that break down the food to be digested properly. The lack of these components can cause food poisoning. ACV has ability to enhance their functionality and help prevent food poisoning.

Nasal Congestions:

Apple cider vinegar is sometimes helpful in nasal congestion.

Apple cider vinegar and weight loss

It helps to detoxify the liver which plays an important role in weight loss. There are historical facts that Egyptians took apple cider vinegar for weight loss. Some claim ACV speeds up the metabolism while some claim it burns the calories to reduce appetite. To lose weight just take 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, mixed in water, before every meal.
ACV is also available in tablets and capsules. According to some nutritionists the combination of apple cider with kelp, vitamin B6 and lecithin is much more effective for weight loss than ACV alone.
gracias~ www.healthrecipes.com

Going Bonzo for Roasted Beans



These little suckers are sweet and addicting. My boys loved them! I was brainstorming ways I could get more protein in Cruz (he does not like meat) and My Gf Dani gave me the idea to roast garbanzo beans...


What you need
* 1 Can of Garbanzo Bean
* 1/4 tsp olive oil
* pinch of salt
* squeeze of honey or agave or pinch of brown sugar
* dash of cinnamon


Coat a pan with oil & turn on on med-high heat. Throw in all ingredients. Turn to medium. Roast. Takes about 4 minutes for the honey to brown. Enjoy. 


~ Oh, I added a little pinch of yellow curry powder to my second batch...yummm

Here are many health benefits of Garbanzos.


Fiber Advantage and Weight Loss
Like other beans, Chickpeas, are rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that snares bile (which contains cholesterol) and ferries it out of the body. Research studies have shown that insoluble fiber not only helps to increase stool bulk and prevent constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders.

Protein for Vegetarians
Chickpeas are a good source of protein. Combined with a whole grain such as whole-wheat protein, they provide amount of protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fats.

Manganese for Energy Production

Garbanzos are an excellent source of the trace mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Just one cup of garbanzo beans supplies 84.5% of the daily value for this mineral.

Iron Boost
Garbanzos can boost your energy because of their high iron content. This is particularly important for menstruating women, pregnant or lactating women and growing children. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

Stabilizing Blood Sugar and Low Glycaemic Index (GI)
Soluble fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels. If you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes, beans like garbanzos can help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady, slow-burning energy. They have low GI value of 28 – 32 means the carbohydrate in them is broken down and digested slowly. This is helpful for weight loss as it controls appetite.

Heart Healthy 
Regular intake of Chickpeas can lower LDL (bad) and total cholesterol. Garbanzos contain the significant amounts of folate and magnesium. Folate lowers the levels of the amino acid, homocysteine and strengthens the blood vessels. Studies have found chickpeas lower the risk of heart attack

For Women 
Garbanzo contain phytochemicals called saponins, which can act as antioxidants. It could lower the risk of breast cancer, protect against osteoporosis and minimizes hot flushes in post-menopausal women.

Weight Loss
Due to high fiber content and low GI, chickpeas are excellent for weight loss diets. Salad with chickpeas are tasty and can keep you full longer, controlling the appetite.






thanks to: www.tips4.net



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Polenta Cupcakes

With all the gluten intolerance in the air, I have been experimenting with polenta. Its fun cause it takes on whatever flavor you cook it with, it is easy to mold in different shapes, and its versatile (tastes great in Italian, Mexican, & Indian food).
I love the idea of doing a fun app before the meal & my kids love the idea of cupcakes. 
I tried an Italian cupcake (Polenta Lasagna) and  a Mexican cupcake (Green Chili Casserole). My kids and my man preferred the Italian. I like em both. So, I will give you both recipes. They both use the same major ingredients- so save $ and make them both in the same week. The recipes can be prepared in a casserole dish, ramekins ~fancy fun~, or cupcake tins.
The cottage cheese and eggs make this dish creamy and full of protein. They are a good sub for a full fat cheese or meat.  




If you are a meat eater~ be efficient & broil the chicken for both meals at once. Make the Italian Cupcakes on Monday and the Mexi as a casserole on Friday!

Broiled Chicken

Add Raw or Frozen Chicken Breasts Chicken and a 2-3 cups of chicken stock or water, salt, garlic salt, pepper, & 1/2 chopped onion on the stove top, covered, on MEDIUM-LOW heat till it is cooked thru. Try and cook it as slow as possible- this is what makes the chicken moist and "shreddy. Busy? Throw ingredients in a crock pot in the am and come home to warm shredded chicken in the pm. 


Mexican Ingredients
1 small can of Green Chilis
1/2 tube of Trader Joes Polenta
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup cooked spinach
1/8 tsp cumin
1/2 diced onion
1/2 cup mexican cheese
Broiled Chicken or black beans
jalapenos

Combine Cottage Cheese and eggs. Whip. Add Cumin (If you don't like the way cumin smells, don't use it! It tastes how it smells). Spray muffin cups, ramekins or casserole dish. I am not going to give exact measurements for the layers. Experiment. You can play around cause your not "baking" (baking is non-forgiving cause ratios are really important).  I personally like lots of green chili's and jalapenos! Top with fresh salsa/pico. :)

Layer 1- Sliced polenta.
Layer 2- Cottage cheese mix. Add a green chilis (to your liking).
Layer 3- Cooked spinach
Layer 4- Chicken and/or beans. Add onions to your liking.
Layer 5- Sprinkle with Mexi-cheese and add jalapenos to your liking. Cook for =/- 20 mins.

In a rush? Microwave. Then brown cheese in oven under broiler for 2 minutes. Top with fresh salsa/pico



Italian Ingredients
1/2 tube TJ's polenta
1/2 cup cottage cheese
2 eggs
Garlic Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup Cooked Spinach
1/4 diced onion 
1 cup marinara sauce
Broiled Chicken
Parmesan Cheese (or parm reggi)

Combine cottage cheese and eggs. Add garlic salt and pepper to your liking. Spray muffin cups, ramekin or casserole dish.

Layer 1- Sliced polenta
Layer 2- cottage cheese mix
Layer 3- 50% of your marinara sauce
Layer 4- Spinach
Layer 5- Broiled chicken and onion to your liking
Layer 6- Rest of marinara (other 50%) and sprinkle with parm cheese.

Having a party? Serve these savory cupcakes on a cupcake stand for your app hour, then change out your stand for the sweeter stuff after dinner.

Adios & Mangia!



Health Benefits of Spinach- BTW, I am gonna eat more of this stuff after reading what is below!!!!


Spinach has many important roles to play in maintaining a healthy body and various health benefits of spinach include:
  • Good Eyesight: Spinach is a rich source of beta carotene, lutein and xanthene, all of which are beneficial for eyesight. Beta carotene is supplied to the eyes by cooked spinach. It can prevent one from vitamin A deficiency disease, itching eyes, eye ulcers and dry eyes.
  • Age-related Macula Degeneration (AMD): AMD or Retinitis pigmentosa is responsible for causing blindness. It is due to the degeneration of lutein and xanthene which form central part of the retina. According to research conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, consumption of spinach can result in regaining of the two pigments and preventing AMD effectively.
  • Blood Pressure: Spinach has high content of potassium and low content of sodium. This composition of minerals is very beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure. Folate present in spinach contributes in reducing hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, maintaining proper blood flow.
  • Strengthens Muscles: A component of spinach, factor C0-Q10 which is an anti-oxidant, plays important role in strengthening muscles especially heart muscle which continuously pumps blood to all parts of the body. As per the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart diseases.
  • Cataract: Lutein and zeaxanthin present in spinach act as strong antioxidants thus preventing the eyes from harsh effects of UV rays that lead to cataract.
  • Atherosclerosis and Heart Attack: Atherosclerosis is caused due to hardening of arteries. A pigment named lutein found in spinach has been shown to reduce the occurrence atherosclerosis, heart attack as well as stroke. This is due to the fact that spinach proteins tend to reduce the cholesterol and other fat deposits in the blood vessels.
  • Neurological Benefits: Several components of spinach like potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits. According to Neurology, folate which reduces due to occurrence of Alzheimer's disease can be revived by spinach.
  • Bone Mineralization: Spinach is a good source of Viatmin K, which functions in retaining calcium in the bone matrix thereby leading to bone mineralization. Apart from this, other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus also help in building up of strong bones. This in turn can prevent an individual from osteoporosis of bones.
  • Anti-Ulcerative: It has been found that spinach and some other vegetables have the ability to protect the mucous membrane of stomach thereby decreasing the occurrence of gastric ulcers.
  • Anti-Cancerous Property: Spinach made up of various important constituents has been found to be promising in various kinds of cancer. These include bladder, prostate, liver and lung cancer. Different constituents in spinach like folate, tocopherol, chlorophyllin act via different mechanisms to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
  • Skin Protection: Different phytonutrients and pigments have been shown to protect the skin from harmful rays of sun including the UV rays. These not only protect but also repair the damaged genes to some extent thereby preventing skin cancer in long run.
  • Foetus Development: Folate found in spinach is needed by the growing foetus for proper development of new nervous system. Defects like cleft palate or spina bifida may occur due to deficiency of folate. Vitamin A offered by spinach is advised to be consumed in more quantities by the mother. Vitamin A is required in lung development of foetus as well as during breast feeding.
  • Protein Rich for Infant’s Proper Growth: ‘Popeye’, the sailor man is known for his obsession for spinach. The cartoon was deliberately shown to eat spinach and get strong. Infants are advised to be fed with spinach which is a rich in protein, vitamins minerals and phytonutrients. These will result in proportionate development in there growing stages.
Thank you ---> http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-spinach.html

Thursday, April 14, 2011

simply de*lish indi-squash


these little suckers are so buttery and sweet they hardly need any help. but, some days (okay, most)...we like to spice it up around here. so, i put one of these in the micro ( i know, i feel bad about the micro~ but no time to use the stovetop today), cut it open...and started adding stuff. the final product was very interesting. today, "indi-squash" was born. 



Ingredients
1 acorn squash
1 handful of walnut pieces
1 handful of raisins
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 pinch of mild yellow curry
optional- 1/4 cooked brown rice






Make it~ SOOOO simple
wash squash. poke it on both sides with a fork. put it in the micro for 5 minutes. cut it in half. scoop out seeds. take all squash out (i like to use a fork) and put in a bowl. add all ingredients to the bowl. stir. put back in squash halves. my kids get a little sketched out by curry, but if i balance it with some honey~ they eat it. let em drizzle their own honey. 

if you want to make your recipe a bit more hearty, add some brown rice. 

SQUASH DOES  A BODY GOOD!
One serving or one cup of acorn squash contains 145% of the daily recommended requirements for Vitamin A. It also contains Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, folate (folic acid), and 15% of the omega three fatty acids necessary to good health. It is also a good source of fiber. With all of these vitamins and minerals acorn squash has many health benefits.


The orange-yellow color in squash comes from the Vitamin A precursor. The strong presence of beta-carotene, helps reduce the possibility of lung cancer, even in smokers. Carrots have the same benefit. The beta-carotene also reduces free radicals in the body, even while reducing the chance of heart disease and colon cancer.Because it contains phytonutrients, acorn squash is thought by many to have an anti-cancer effect which is especially strong when the squash is turned into a juice. It may also promote prostate health in men by reducing symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy (a condition in which the prostate gland becomes enlarged).
Folate in acorn squash is important for a healthy body as it works to reduce homocysteine which is a byproduct of metabolism. Homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls. In this way it helps prevent heart-attacks and strokes. It is also a factor in colon health. Folic acid is also important for brain health, combining withVitamin B12 to prevent nerve damage and brain shrinkage.


thank you for the info- http://www.indepthinfo.com/acornsquash/healthbenefits.htm

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sweet, Savory & Spicy Sweet Potatoes

 This week I picked up some sweet potatoes cause I wanted to add some Vit. C to our menu (we all have colds)~ & had NO idea how I was going to prepare them....till, my kids did not finish their breakfast!
Extra crispy bacon and creamy maple syrup....hmmmm.
So, yes~ when my girlfriend was eating the taters with me & asked what inspires me to cook- I had to be honest! It's not the sea that inspires me, or a vacation, or some magical experience. Usually, its what my kids don't eat (I can't stand to throw away food)- or some random combination of left overs. 

I paired the sweeet tots with mustard curry chicken and coconut brown rice (recipe to come).

Ingredients
* 2 Sweet potatoes
* 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
* dash of chipotle Tabasco (or some spicy sauce)
* 1/4 cup Maple yogurt
* 1/8 cup crispy bacon bits
* pinch of diced jalapenos
salt and pepper

 
Make em...
Broil whole sweet potatoes on stove top (in water) for about 15 minutes. While they are cooking, mix BBQ sauce and chipotle (or something spicy). Take potatoes out of water. They do not have to be fully cooked- they will cook more later.  Cut the taters in circles, as thin as you like (see below). Baste with BBQ sauce mix on both sides. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put Sweet taters on outdoor BBQ grill (adds yummy smoky flavor & tasty grill marks) or in oven under the oven broiler (450deg) for a few mins, flip. Make sure they have a good crisp to them.
Put bacon and jalapenos in a frying pan on MED HIGH (the oil from the bacon should be enuf to fry em up crispy).
Put a scoop of maple yogurt on each tater round. Top with bacon and jalapenos. I like adding extra cracked pepper. Top with cilantro (not included in pics- I ran out).
Serve taters with a side of the BBQ sauce :)
With summer coming near- this is a good one to pull outta your pocket. Fun for backyard BBQ's. My kids will eat these if I leave out the spicy & cilantro. 

I make the sweet p's w/o sauce for my kids (right side). They like dippin' them in plain BBQ. Think your kids will never eat sweet taters? Drizzle some honey (or agave or brown sugar) on the top.

Benefits of sweet potatoes....
  • Immunity: Being very rich in beta carotene, which is a major anti oxidant, apart from vitamin-C and B-complex, iron and phosphorus present in them, sweet potatoes are excellent immunity boosters.
  • Inflammation: Like the common potato, sweet potato also has anti inflammatory properties, although it does not belong to the family of common potato. This is primarily due to presence of beta-carotene, vitamin-C and magnesium. It is equally effective in curing internal and external inflammations.
  • Asthma: The sweet potato is effective in curing congestion of nose, bronchi and lungs, thereby giving relief in asthma. Its typical aroma helps in this.
  • Bronchitis: The concentration of vitamin-C, iron and other nutrients help curing bronchitis. The sweet potatoes are believed to be capable of warming up the body (may be due to the sweetness and other nutrients). This property also is beneficial in bronchitis, apart from its property to ease congestion.
  • Arthritis: Beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc and vitamin-B complex, among others, make sweet potato a helping hand to cure arthritis. The water in which the sweet potatoes are boiled can be applied externally on joints too to ease pain in arthritis.
  • Digestion: The fiber content of sweet potatoes is higher than that of common potatoes and it tastes good too. When these two factors are combined with other minerals like magnesium present in sweet potatoes, it makes an excellent facilitator for digestion. Sweet potatoes are easy to digest too, since they mainly contain starch. They are soothing for the stomach and intestines too.
  • Cancer: Beta-carotene, the champion anti oxidant and anti carcinogen, the pigments responsible for the color of the peel of the sweet potatoes and vitamin-C, are very beneficial for curing many types of cancer, mainly those of colon, intestines, prostrate, kidneys and other internal organs.
  • Water Balance: The fiber or roughage present in sweet potatoes helps retain water. This maintains water balance in the body.
  • Stomach Ulcers: Sweet potato has a soothing effect on the stomach and intestines. The vitamins (B-complex and C), beta carotene, potassium and calcium are very effective in curing stomach ulcers. Moreover, the roughage in sweet potatoes prevents constipation and resultant acid formation, thereby reducing the chance of ulcers. The anti inflammatory and soothing properties of sweet potatoes also reduce the pain and inflammation of the ulcers.
  • Diabetes: Contrary to the popular belief, the sweet potatoes are beneficial for diabetics. Amazingly, they are very effective in regulating blood sugar lever by helping proper secretion and function of insulin. Of course, that does not mean that diabetics should eat them indiscriminately. The idea is that they can replace their rice or carbohydrate intake with sweet potatoes.
  • Weight Gain: This is easily understood. The sweet potatoes are sweet as well as contain very good amount of complex starch, apart from healthy vitamins, minerals and some proteins too. Moreover, they are very easy to digest. Thus they provide a lot of energy and are excellent bulk builders. Those suffering from inferiority complex due to their bones visibly sticking out of their skin, will welcome this news, without having any risk any side effect, which most of the synthetic bulk building dietary supplements run.
  • Other Benefits: They are effective in quitting addictions like smoking, drinking and taking certain narcotics. They are good for the health of arteries and veins, as they protect their walls against hardening. The high concentration of beta carotene (an alternative of vitamin-A) and phosphorus are excellent for ocular and cardiac health.
read more: www.organicfacts.net

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simple GREEN salad


This salad tastes healthy~ cause it is! Buy FRESH greens and cheese for this recipe.

What you need... 
Asparagus
Fancy Mixed Greens
Balsamic Vinegar (or a lemon)
Olive Oil
Dijon Mustard
Parm Cheese (sometimes I use hard (shaved) goat cheese- OMG, FANTASTIC!! if you adore goat cheese like me, go that route. The Carlsbad Costo has a phenomenal hard goat cheese right now)
Salt/Pepper
Pine nuts

Make it...
Wash and trim asparagus. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil in the oven (500 deg.) on middle rack for 5 minutes. Take out & sprinkle with your cheese of choice. Put back under the broiler- top rack- for 2-4 minutes till cheese turns golden (the goat cheese does not really golden like parm, just melts). Set aside.

Toss your greens with 1/2 olive oil & 1/2 balsamic (or lemon juice). I LOVE lemons- but some people find them too tart. Use your good olive oil on this dish. Add nuts. Toss. Top with lots of pepper. Add salt to your liking. If you like garlic- add fresh crushed garlic to this salad. It would taste sooo good. Garlic and I don't get along these days. 

Put Asparagus on top of tossed salad. 

Drizzle asparagus with Dijon mustard. Dijon mustard has a very intense flavor. If you are unsure- leave it off!


The Reasons Asparagus Keeps Us Healthy:
1 - As a detox - asparagus has 288 milligrams of potassium per cup. Potassium is known for reducing belly fat (see belly fat link below). It also contains 3 grams of fiber which cleanses the digestive system. It has virtually no natural sodium so no bloating during PMS, has no fat or cholesterol, and one cup has only 40 calories. According to a clinical dietician at UCLA Medical Center, asparagus in the ultimate in detox vegetables.
2 - For anti-aging purposes - asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and folate. It is also very high in glutathione - an amino acid compound with protent antioxidant properties; a must as an anti-aging deterrent. Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals.
3 - As an aphrodisiac - the asparagus is considered a psycho-physiological aphrodisiac because of its shape. It is said to trigger the mind to have a physiological response. The French word for asparagus is asperge; asperge is a slang word for penis.
4 - Against cancer - asparagus in high in folate which is now known to be an important protection against cancer. Note: Folate is found naturally in leafy green vegetables, and citrus fruits. While folic acid is said to be the same as folate, folic acid is the supplemental form. It is always recommeded that you get health benefits from eating healthy whole foods.
5 - Reducing pain and inflammation - it is the folate that helps reduce inflammation.
6 - Preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis - asparagus has vitamin K which studies have shown can help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Vitamin K aids in bone formation and repair. It is also necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is the protein in bone tissue on which calcium crystallizes. Asparagus has been listed as the number one source of vitamin K.
7 - Reducing the risk of heart disease - it is the folate that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
8 - Preventing birth defects - getting enough folate (doctors often recommend the folic acid supplement) is especially important for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Having a folate deficiency has been correlated with increased risk of Spina Bifida (a spinal cord birth defect) and also anencephaly (a neural tube defect). Folate helps to regulate embryonic and fetal nerve cell formation and may also help to prevent premature births.
Additionally, studies have shown that the nutritional benefits of asparagus can help prevent and treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Overall, asparagus is rich in potassium, vitamin A, folate, glutathione, and vitamin K. It is high in fiber, has no sodium, is low in calories and has no cholesterol or fat.
thank you for the information::: http://hubpages.com/hub/10-Super-Health-Benefits-of-Asparagus