June 26, 2010

Blueberry Parfait

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , at 7:27 am by Liliana

Blueberries are in season

Blueberries are in season

Blueberries are in season.

One of the most nutritious and delicious fruits, blueberries can be eaten in an infinite variety of ways.

You can make this easy-to-prepare recipe with blueberries or any one of your favorite fruits for a quick and elegant dessert.

Indulge yourself or impress a guest.

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 4 oz low-fat yogurt
  • 1 TBS chopped walnuts
  • 2 tsp grated dark chocolate

Directions:

  1. Layer yogurt and blueberries in 2 wine glasses.
  2. Top with chopped walnuts.
  3. Sprinkle grated chocolate

Serves 2

June 23, 2010

Apricot Smoothie

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , , , at 6:45 am by Liliana

Apricots in season

Apricot season

Early summer is apricot season.

I love to eat this fragrant fruit fresh or cook it in a variety of  ways.

Apricots are delicious when roasted with meat; blanched, pealed and eaten as desert with vanilla ice cream; or slowly simmered into jam.

I found this delicious sounding smoothie in the New York Times food section.

Doesn’t it sound like the perfect treat for a light breakfast or a refreshing summer afternoon delicacy?

The writer advises that “an apricot smoothie should be pure apricot, with no other fruits to dilute the intense flavor.”

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium-size apricots (about 6 ounces), pitted
  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey, such as clover or acacia
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 or 2 ice cubes

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth. Serve right away.

Yield: One serving. Drink this right after you make it. Enjoy!

Source: New York Times Food Section

June 19, 2010

Mediterranean Salad Dressing

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , at 6:14 am by Liliana

Olive oil

Olive oil

Summer is the season of fresh, crisp, intensely colorful vegetables. Slice and mix a selection of your best farmer’s market picks for a wonderful salad.

This is the salad dressing that my family always used (except for one difference: we used red-wine vinegar instead of lemon juice.) Try it either way. It will enhance the seasonal flavors at their peak.

It is not necessary to mix the ingredients of the dressing separately before using.

Prep Time: 1 minute

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Toss your favorite salad with the ingredients and serve.

Source: George Mateljan

June 15, 2010

Market Day

Posted in Food, Friendships, Health, Money, Recipes tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:06 am by Liliana

Market Day

Market Day

Grocery shopping in modern supermarkets is not one of my favorite chores. In fact, I don’t like doing it much at all.

But I love, LOVE, shopping at our local farmer’s market.

Maybe it reminds me of my childhood. My mother, sister and I went shopping several times a week at the nearby farmer’s market in Belgrade. Mother carried a large wicker basket and my sister and I carried little wicker baskets. We bought food that smelled tantalizing and tasted delightful, was in season, ripe and delicious. We had our favorite farmers. They let us try samples. They told us what was best. They gave us ideas on how to prepare new dishes.

I am lucky to live in a town, here in Michigan, that has a lively farmers market. On Wednesday and Saturday mornings, from early March until the end of December, it is the center of our downtown area. For me, going there is a gratifying adventure.

I usually try to be at the market by 8 am, not only so I can find a parking spot easily, but also because the selection of the seasonal bounty is not picked over yet. I quickly walk through the aisles, look over the offerings, compare the prices, and greet the farmers I have gotten to know.

Frequently, I meet my friend Ann at a nearby café, for coffee and some much needed girlfriend conversation. Ann is not just one of my dearest friends, she is my market buddy. We drink hot coffee, share a delectable pastry, and talk about anything that comes to mind that particular morning. Then, we go to the market together.

I haven’t found a wicker basket I like, but I always carry several canvas bags so I can store all my purchases. I always bring cash, mostly in small bills. Farmers don’t take credit cards or personal checks. I don’t’ haggle with farmers over the prices. My grandparents were farmers and I know how hard these people work for a living. I talk to farmers, just like my mother did. I ask them what they recommend. When I don’t recognize a particular vegetable or fruit, I ask about it. Sometimes, I get new recipes.

Our market has a lot more to offer than fruits and vegetables. I frequently buy fresh eggs (from a lady everyone calls grandma,) artisan cheeses, meat (from an Amish family,) flowers (from a friendly lady who makes beautiful wreaths,) herbs, coffee. I bought a large leather bag from a woman who designs and makes them from the softest leather. At Christmas time, we come here to buy fresh trees.

I miss the market terribly during those dark, cold winter months when it is closed. But when spring arrives Ann and I are ready.

June 13, 2010

Primavera Verde

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , at 7:39 am by Liliana

Primavera Verde

Primavera Verde

This colorful pasta dish is an excellent way to add a variety of delicious and nutritious summer vegetables to your diet.

The ingredients you use are limited only by your imagination.

This dish also gives you an opportunity to use whatever is in in your refrigerator.

Prep and Cook Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut in 1 inch strips
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in very thin sticks 1-1/2 inches long
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus, cut 1-1/2 inches long, discard bottom fourth
  • 1-1/2 cup zucchini or summer yellow squash, cut in thin 1 inch strips
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 TBS + 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 TBS fresh sage, minced
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 TBS fresh oregano, minced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz whole grain linguine pasta
  • 4 oz Chevre goat cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring salted water to a boil for pasta.
  2. Chop onion and garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health-promoting benefits.
  3. Chop remaining vegetables.
  4. Heat 1 TBS broth in medium stainless steel skillet. Sauté onion in broth over medium heat, stirring frequently for 3 minutes. Add vegetables in order given, waiting about 1 minute between each.
  5. Add tomatoes and broth and simmer for another couple minutes, until vegetables are barely tender, about 10 minutes. If needed, you can add a touch more liquid to keep moist. Add minced herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. While vegetables are simmering, cook pasta according to package instructions and strain through colander.
  7. Toss pasta with vegetable mixture and top with goat cheese if desired.

Enjoy the bounty of summer!

Source: George Mateljan

June 12, 2010

Ginger Papaya Salsa

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , , at 7:43 am by Liliana

Papaya tree

Papaya tree

This salsa is a flavorful and refreshing enhancer for any dish, especially shrimp, scallops, fish or chicken. It will add exotic energy to your summer meal.

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium papaya, diced
  • 1 TBS cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 TBS lime

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Source: George Mateljan

June 5, 2010

Summer Fruit Salad

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , , at 6:39 am by Liliana

Summer Fruit Salad

Summer Fruit Salad

Try this refreshing, delicious and nutritious summer salad. It could make a lovely treat or an exotic and elegant side dish.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
• 1 medium sized pineapple, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 4 oranges, segments cut out from membrane
• 1 large papaya, cut into pieces
• 2 TBS sliced almonds

Directions:
1. Cut fruit and mix together.
2. Sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Source: George Mateljan

May 30, 2010

Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

Posted in Food, Health, Home, Recipes tagged , , at 6:58 am by Liliana

Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

Greek Garbanzo Bean Salad

Prep and Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, preferably organic or 2 cups cooked
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 TBS parsley, chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional:

  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 6 sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 tsp rosemary

Directions:

  1. Press or mince garlic and let sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out its hidden health benefits.
  2. Drain liquid from garbanzo beans and rinse under cold running water; this helps prevent intestinal gas.
  3. Combine all ingredients with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Source: George Mateljan

May 26, 2010

Fresh Herbs

Posted in Food, Garden, Health, Recipes tagged at 7:03 am by Liliana

Lavender

Plant an assortment of herbs in your garden this spring. They are aromatic, delicious, nutritious and environmentally sustainable in most temperate regions.

A selection of herbs to plant:

  • Basil – has a strong, pungent, sweet flavor. It is a wonderful addition to many recipes, especially pastas, Italian sauces and tomato dishes. Basil is a good source of vitamin A, and can act as an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Parsley – used to flavor and garnish a wide variety of dishes, such as soups, salads, stews, and infinite others. Parsley is rich in vitamin C and has carcinogen neutralizing capabilities.
  • Sage – a peppery herb, excellent for seasoning meats, roasts, etc. is a beautiful resident of any garden.  It is a member of the mint family. Sage is believed to boost brain functions and enhance memory.
  • Rosemary – native to the Mediterranean region this fragrant herb is used to flavor meats, stews, roasts, etc. High in iron, calcium and Vitamin B6. In Ancient Greece, young scholars placed rosemary sprigs in their hair when studying, as it was believed to aid memory.
  • Thyme – a light flavor that blends well and does not overpower other herbs and spices . Widely used in countries from the Caribbean to the Middle East in flavoring meats, soups and stews, it is also a good source of iron.
  • Dill – subtly aromatic leaves used to flavor foods such as fish, soups, and pickles (where the dill flower is sometimes used). In Serbia we use it to make glorious white sauces, and best potato salads. Native to Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and Western Africa, dill adds a tangy, refreshing flavor to any dish.
  • Oregano – tastes range from spicy to sweet to pungent. Its delightful flavor is famous in Italian and Greek dishes.  Oregano is also an effective anti-bacterial.
  • Peppermint – a refreshing addition to summertime meals, its flavors produce a cooling sensation.  It is excellent for making tea, and soothes stomach problems.
  • Lavender – adds a lightly sweet flavor to food, but most people grow it for its singular aroma and the beauty it adds to any garden. Lavender oil is excellent for healing burns, wounds, and insect bites and is used to produce balms, salves, lotions, and perfumes.

My dream is pull out all the grass from the front lawn of my cottage and plant nothing but lavender.

May 23, 2010

Salmon in Citrus Sauce

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , at 7:39 am by Liliana

Salmon in Citrus Sauce

Salmon in Citrus Sauce

This is a delicious and healthy dish and it takes only fifteen minutes to prepare.

Any time I am unsure of what to make for dinner, I run over to our local supermarket and buy some fresh fish. With some rice or couscous, fresh vegetables in season and a light salad, it is everyone’s favorite. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lbs salmon fillets
  • 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 TBS + 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 TBS minced fresh parsley
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler and place a stainless steel or cast iron skillet under broiler for about 10 minutes to get it very hot.
  2. Chop onions and garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance their hidden health-promoting properties.
  3. While skillet is heating, place chopped onion, garlic, fennel seeds, 2 TBS lemon juice, and orange juice in a shallow, wide saucepan and cook on high heat for about 10-15 minutes to reduce to half the volume.
  4. Season salmon pieces with 2 tsp lemon juice, salt and pepper and place on hot pan from broiler. Return pan to broiler (approximately 5-7 inches from heat) and broil salmon for about 7 minutes depending on thickness (10 minutes per inch of thickness). Do not turn, as salmon is cooking on both sides at once.
  5. Remove salmon from pan, and place on platter. Season citrus sauce with salt and pepper and strain liquid over salmon. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.

Source: George Mateljan

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