Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sweet Rosemary & Lemon Salmon

Ok, here's a keeper.... if you like fish and you like flavor and you are feeling up for something new and fun- here's your ticket! We tried this recipe out the other night and it was great, a fun treat if you wanna break away from your regular simple fish!

We did this recipe on the BBQ and we used a Cedar Plank to give it a smoked flavor. It turned out very tasty... here's what you do! (If you don't have a plank or don't want to use one, follow these cooking directions, it should turn out just fine!)

2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP lemon zest, finely grated
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 lb. salmon stakes

If you use a cedar plank, you need to soak it for at least an hour, 2 if you have the time, and you can to do that by fill a roasting pan and submerging the plank under water (with a glass or some other heavy object) letting it soak for a while so it doesn't torch while on the grill :)

Then place your salmon stakes on the plank with the skin side down, and mix your marinate in a small bowl. Spoon your marinate on top and let it sit for 15 minutes, not too long for fish, you can over marinate it. After 15 minutes, take the plank to the BBQ and over med-high heat, grill it for about 20 minutes or until the fish looks cooked and the fat starts to surface to the top (it will depend on how thick your steaks are). Remove the plank from the grill and let the fish rest for 5 minutes on the plank before serving. Remove skin before putting it on the plate... but you already knew that :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Apple Spinach Juice

When I left for college, my mom gave me her old "Juice Man" juicer from Costco when she replaced hers with a more upscale one. I was happy to accept the gift :) I still have it, and from time to time I think about upgrading mine as well, but with 2 little kids in tow, I don't have as much time as I would like to juice, so my ol' faithful Juice Man still does the trick when I bust him out every blue moon!

Now, when making fresh juice (or smoothies for that matter), you should consume all of it within 8 hours to gain total health benefits. So, if you make a larger batch than what you can consume, freeze it in canning jars and take one out the night before you drink it. Fresh juice is best consumed in the morning when you wake, to be the first thing to go through your system and give you energy throughout the day. If you have a juice man or access to one, try this recipe out!

This has been one of my staple juices since college. I have always recommended this juice combo to people who tell me they (or their children) can't "go" and seem to be a little clogged up. (more on that topic below!) Whether that's you or not, this sweet treat & nutrient dense juice is a delicious option for a fruit & veggie combo that is sure to leave you feeling energetic and revitalized!

2-3 Granny Smith Apples
1 bunch spinach

Wash and slice your apples, rinse your spinach, and send it all through a juicer! Enjoy a nice fresh, frothy glass of homemade juice!

More Info on being "clogged up"...
For some reason, that is probably the most popular question or topic I have heard over the years, and for some reason people love to ask ME about it! I really think a steady diet of fruits and veggies with limited process food will make most systems pretty regular, but if not, here are some things you can try to combat the clog-ation :)
  • REAL Apple Juice: This is the easiest thing to do, I usually recommend this to people when they tell me their kid hasn't gone in a few days... now, when I say REAL apple juice, I don't mean Motts or some other see-thru brand, that's NOT real apple juice, it's made from concentrates and is very high in sugar, not to mention it doesn't contain any pectin and pectin is what gets things a' moving. If you get a fresh squeeze apple juice, one that's dark and almost cloudy or NOT see-thru, or better yet the apple spinach combo above, that will unclog things fairly quickly and effectively. Look for REAL Fresh Squeezed Apple Juice in the refrigerated isle, if it's not refrigerated, it's not real! (Check out Trader Joe's, theirs is delicious!)
  • Flax seed: This is a great thing to take daily if you are trying to regulate your insides. This will get you so regular, you will go like clockwork, first thing upon waking, it's that great. The fiber and roughage that flax seed packs is super for your pipes! Simply get flax seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder (or buy the pre-ground ones, but they don't have the same shelf life or "umpf" that the whole seeds have, but none the less, they still work) and mix them in an inch or two of Pineapple Juice. Pineapple juice has a certain enzyme that aides in digestion and works wonders when combined with the Flax. If you need a little more "umpf" add a TBSP of Aloe Vera Juice, and you'll really be moving! You can also add flax seeds to baby food (small amounts will do the trick) or to smoothies, see here for details.
  • Probiotics: These things are ESSENTIAL! If you are going to take any supplement, take PROBIOTICS!! The "PRO" meaning "good" and the "BIOTIC" meaning bacteria which means that you are introducing your digestive tract to ample "good bacteria" every time you take this suppliment. Not only that, but if your digestive tract can continue to stay in the "positive zone" with bacteria, you will be less likely to get sick or ill. Did you know that most diseases begin in the gut?? Good enough reason alone to be getting all the good bacteria you can into your gut to fight off the bad bacteria, right??? See Dr. Furhman's site for a great Probiotic, or check out Nature's Way for a super probiotic for babies and kids. Is your infant gassy or constipated?? Dip their pacifier in probiotic and help their tummy's regain a positive balance, it's completely safe for all ages.
  • And at the risk of sounding repetitive, if you or your kids don't empty your bowels at least once a day or if you have to strain (too graphic??? well, let's face the facts!) you need to increase your fruits, veggies, legumes, beans, nuts, and water intake and reduce your sugar & refined foods.... that's a quick fix as well!
**Hope that helps, and I am sure.... I won't be getting any comments on this post! HA!

Monday, July 25, 2011

BBQ'd Turkey Burgers....

Hello again! We've had some fun summer adventures and visitors lately, and I haven't had time to post, but I have got lots of fun, new recipes to share so stay tuned!!!

Now, I not trying to take any credit on this one, I didn't invent turkey burgers of course, this is one of those posts that's supposed to help you out when you got strolling thru recipes to try to desperately find something to make tonight... or at least that's how it works for me. If I log it as a meal, then when I am planning, it jogs my ol' brain and gets put on the list and is usually under a day that says "something quick and easy!" Hope it works in the same manner for you, because this one should definitely be on the summer meal schedule! Fast, easy, effortless and enjoyed by all!

Turkey patties, either premade or formed by you with 1 lb. ground turkey
s & p & garlic (or garlic powder)
buns of your choice
avocado (a MUST in my book)
red leave lettuce
thinly sliced red onion
ketchup & mustard or BBQ sauce

If you are making your own patties, you can season your pound of meat with s & p & fresh minced garlic, then knead it all together by hand in a large bowl or you can season them afterwards (which doesn't require you to get your hands dirty!). Then split your pound of ground turkey into 4-5 sections and roll each section into a ball, push them down to make patties. Vo-la. If you haven't yet seasoned them, do that with s & p & garlic powder, and BBQ for a few minutes on each side, these cook quickly and are great for last minute meals! Add your condiments and enjoy!

***Avoiding carbs or wheat?? Try wrapping your burger in red leaf lettuce!***

Friday, July 15, 2011

Green Bean & Sweet Corn Salad

Here's another light, fresh, and summer-happy salad to enjoy. You could easily grill up some chicken and serve this along side as your meal for the evening. Maybe add some kidney beans and have a great vegetarian salad for lunch or dinner! Enjoy this salad while the vegetables are plentiful and in season!

3 ears of sweet corn, cooked & cut off the cob
1.5 lbs of fresh green beans, washed & trimmed
1 heirloom tomato, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
10-12 leaves fresh basil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
s & p
olive oil
red wine OR balsamic vinegar

Bring a large pot water to boil and shuck your corn. Boil your 3 ears of corn for about 5-7 minutes until cooked, remove them from the pot but keep your water boiling. After trimming your green beans end's off, cut them into bit size 1 inch pieces, and put them in the boiling pot for 5 -7 minutes. Cook until tender, and drain. Set the flat side of your corn on the cob on a cutting board and cut off the kernels. Add the green beans, corn kernels, diced tomato (I used half of an heirloom), bell pepper, red onion and 3 cloves garlic to your bowl and toss. Add a drizzle of olive oil (about 3 TBSP) and s & p and your choice of vinegar. For a lighter flavor use red wine, a stronger more flavorful burst- use balsamic. Serve warm or chilled, delicious either way!

With Balsamic Vinegar added

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Caprese Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes...

My mom loves to make Caprese Salad during the summer months when tomatoes are growing profusely and basil is sweet & fragrant. It's such a perfect, seasonal dish to be enjoyed when the ingredients are at their finest. Now, my mom and my sister in law Lisa could sit side by side and pass the plate back and forth until it the entire dish was gone, commenting the whole time how DELICIOUS it is, they would go on and on and ON. They love it. LOVE IT.

Here's my confession. I on the other hand would not devour the whole dish, I would politely take a small serving... because.... tomatoes aren't really my favorite things..... that is until now. I discovered the Heirloom tomatoes, and boy oh boy, did they make me change my tune! My sweet farming neighbors brought me a bag of them a few days ago, along with a DIVINE plate of Caprese Salad and I almost had to excuse myself so I could lick the plate- it was that GOOD!

So... get on out there, find yourself some Heirloom Tomatoes, pick up the few essential ingredients and make a platter for you and... well, just YOU!

Heirloom Tomatoes, sliced
Mozzarella cheese, sliced
basil leaves, chopped
s & p
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
Wash and slice your tomatoes, I would count about 1 tomato per person. As you slice your tomatoes, lay then on a platter alternating a slice of mozzarella cheese in between each tomato until your platter is full. Then drizzle a bit of olive oil & balsamic on top, sprinkle a little s & p then top with a generous amount of chopped basil before serving. This is a quick and easy dish to prep and should be made right before serving.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cool Cucumber & Mint Salad

Hello new favorite salad... this is QUICK... and when I say quick, I am talking... 5 minutes tops! It's so simple and SO STINKIN' good! What a great combination of flavors and so refreshing and cool for a hot summer day! I didn't measure anything because you use what you have and you make it according to your taste bud's preferences, but here's what you mix together...

Persian or Armenian Cucumbers, halved and sliced
some red onion, thinly sliced
a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
a sprinkling of feta cheese
a splash of red wine vinegar
a drizzle of olive oil
s & p

Wash, slice and chop your cucumber, thinly slice your onion, add your s & p and your oil & vinegar. Then cover & refrigerate until serving. Right before you serve it, toss it and add your feta and mint, toss once more and eat the whole bowl.... it's SOOOOOOOOO good!

PICTURED: I used Armenian cucumbers, they are light in color, therefore in the photo they are not peeled, I left the skin on them, and they are delicious- not bitter at all! If you can't find those, my second choice would be the Persians, and if not those then the Hothouse cucumbers.