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.

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. 

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. 

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).

* 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