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Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal, Uncategorized

Roasted Leg of Lamb

November 20, 2019

Fresh lamb can start to be available as early as December and run through June.  This recipe comes in handy after the Thanksgiving Holiday is over and you are still entertaining large family crowds.  The crispy potatoes as a result of the lamb fat drippings makes for a delicious side dish,  just add lots of fresh greens and you have a  feast that is sure to wow a crowd.   

 

ROASTED LEG OF LAMB WITH CRISPY POTATOES

1 4-5 pound leg of lamb

3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, medium size, cleaned and cut in half

fresh rosemary 

olive oil

6 garlic cloves crushed 

salt and fresh crushed pepper 

juice from 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 425* convection roast. (if available) Combine 3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary with 4 tablespoons olive oil, crushed garlic and a generous portion of salt and pepper.  Rub herb paste over the entire surface of room temperature leg of lamb.  In stainless steel roasting pan layer potatoes on bottom of pan and spray with a light coating of olive oil.  Squeeze 1/2 of fresh lemon over potatoes and sprinkle with sea salt.  Set herb coated lamb directly on top of potatoes so rendered fat drips directly onto potatoes.  Squeeze the second half of lemon over lamb before putting it into preheated oven.  Roast for approximately one hour, stirring and turning potatoes once or twice during cooking process.  Test for doneness and remove from oven.  Let sit for 15 minutes prior to serving.  Enjoy!

Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal

SPRING GREEN RISOTTO

April 26, 2019

Spring is finally in the air and the first of the fresh seasonal vegetables are showing up in our markets. I eat asparagus in all ways possible as long as it is fresh, usually throughout the month of April here in Maryland.  This delicious pasta dish is well worth the wait and satisfies a hungry appetite. Asparagus in an excellent source of vitamin K, C, and E in addition to being high in fiber and potassium and also a natural diuretic.  This risotto can be topped with shrimp, lobster, or scallops if you would like some added protein to your dish.  

SPRING GREEN RISOTTO

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 leaks, white part only, cleaned and chopped

1 large fennel bulb, cleaned and chopped

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

2/3 cups dry white wine

4-5 cups simmering chicken or vegetable stock

1 pound asparagus trimmed and cup into 1 inch pieces then blanched for five minutes (drain and cool)

10 ounces fresh or frozen peas (defrosted)

zest from one lime, zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2/3 cups fresh grated parmesan

sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Heat oil on medium heat in large surface deep saucepan.  Add leaks and fennel and saute  for 5-7 minutes.  Add rice, cook for one minute before adding white wine.  Simmer until wine is absorbed.  Add chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time stirring almost continuously, waiting for the stock to be absorbed.  When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes add asparagus, peas, lemon zest, lime zest, lime juice and fresh pepper.  Continue adding stock until all stock is absorbed and rice is tender but still firm. (this should take about 25 minutes)

Right before serving add parmesan, chives, and additional salt if necessary.  Serve immediately with additional parmesan for topping.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal

MEGAN’S MINESTRONE

January 31, 2019

All the news of freezing temperatures and 6 more weeks of winter makes me want a pot of soup to be a permanent fixture in the kitchen these days. I go from a healthy vegetables soup to replace the dinner salad to something heartier to have as a stand alone meal.  This meatless soup requires no additional food as the beans and pasta provide plenty of nourishing protein along with a tasty bowl full of anti-oxident rich vegetables.  If desired, serve with shaved fresh parmesan and crusty bread.

2.5 pounds soup bones.  Ham, beef or chicken

1 large can crushed San Marzano tomatoes

1-15 ounce can tomato sauce

1 large russet potato diced

1 large sweet onion chopped

3 celery stalks chopped

3 full size carrots chopped

1 bag frozen chopped spinach

1 bag frozen corn

6 oz. orzo pasta or gluten free pasta 

1 can organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil

3,4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 

minced fresh parsley (optional)

salt and pepper to taste 

Simmer bones in large stock or slow cooker full of water for 8-12 hours on low heat. Drain fresh stock to use as base for your soup, approximately 64 ounces (8 cups). You can substitute  2-32 ounce boxed vegetable or beef stock, one full sodium, one low sodium.

Bring fresh stock to low boil in clean large non-stick soup pot and add all above ingredients except pasta and beans.  Once soup starts to boil add pasta and cook on low boil for 30 minutes until pasta has cooked and vegetables have softened.  Add beans and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If needed add additional stock. Enjoy!

Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal

Fall Pumpkin Soup

October 18, 2018

Do you want to feel good again, have abundant energy, and take control of your health? Are you ready to make the connection with what’s on your plate and how you feel? A high nutrient diet slows down the aging process, helps repair cells, reduces inflammation, and helps rid the body of toxins.

Fall brings an abundance of superfoods to mind once the weather starts to turn.  Pumpkin and autumn squash are two that I love to turn into soup at the first sign of cold temperatures. Keeping natural canned pumpkin in the pantry makes this an easy soup to put together that is low in calorie and high in nutritional value.  Pumpkin is high in vitamin A, several B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium.  It is a rich antioxidant.  Enjoy!

4 nitrate-free bacon slices, chopped
3 TBL olive oil
2 large onions chopped
2 medium carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
8 cups chicken stock/ 4 full sodium-4 reduced sodium
2 16 oz cans pumpkin puree
2 TBL chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
1 cup fat free evaporated milk
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

In large non-stick soup pot saute bacon app. 8 minutes. Pour off drippings. Add olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery, saute until vegetables soften. (app. 15 minutes) Stir in stock, pumpkin, and thyme and boil on low boils for app. 20 minutes. Puree soup with hand held mixer and then add evaporated milk and nutmeg. If soup is too thick add additional stock. Serve with grated parmesan on top. Enjoy!

Eating Well, Recipes

“I’LL EAT SOME BREAKFAST, THEN CHANGE THE WORLD” Hairspray

September 7, 2018

With diets trending in the direction of long periods of fasting, breakfast seems to be on the back burner for a lot of people. The truth is, not everyone does well with skipping what I still believe to be the most important meal.  Starting your day with healthy protein, healthy fats and delicious nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables gets your blood sugar normalized after a long period of sleep and sets you up for an energetic start to your day.   An easy treat is a frittata made with organic eggs, nitrate free bacon or sausage, and vegetables of your choosing.   This recipe can be adjusted to accommodate individual taste and preferences.

ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOM AND SPINACH FRITTATA

6 servings

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray deep dish quiche pan with olive oil and set aside.

6 eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup half and half cream

olive oil for sautéing vegetables

2/3 pound asparagus cleaned, trimmed, and diced

1 cup sliced baby bella mushrooms

2 cups spinach, chopped

4 pieces cooked, nitrate free bacon, chopped

3/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons fresh herbs (thyme or chives, optional)

Cook bacon, set aside.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in non-stick pan and sauté vegetables on medium heat until tender and starting to brown, approximately 6 minutes.  In separate bowl, beat eggs, milk, cream and seasoning until well blended. Lay chopped bacon evenly covering bottom of dish, spread cooked vegetables on bacon, then poor egg mixture to cover completely.  Top with grated cheese.  Cook for 25- 30 minutes or until middle is firm.  Do not over bake.  Enjoy!

Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal

HEARTY KALE AND BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD

February 27, 2018

WITH WINTER COMING TO AN END BUT COOLER TEMPERATURES STILL AMONG US THIS SALAD OFFERS A HEARTY SIDE USING VEGETABLES THAT ARE READILY AVAILABLE THIS TIME OF YEAR.  ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES THAT HAS BECOME A FAMILY STAPLE. 

KALE AND SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUT SALAD WITH CRANBERRY VINAIGRETTE

1/3 cup olive oil
1 shallot peeled and thinly sliced
1 clove garlic coarsely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
juice and zest of half lemon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bunch of kale, very thinly sliced
2 cups shaved raw brussels sprouts
1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds
1/4+ cup crumbled blue cheese

Mix first 9 ingredients in dressing cruet until well combined. Let stand at room temperature, do not refrigerate. Mix together kale, shaved raw brussels sprouts, almonds, and blue cheese. Just before serving add dressing and mix well. Enjoy!

Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal

SHRIMP AND GRITS WITH CHORIZO AND KALE

September 12, 2017

Cooler temperature turn our tastebuds to heartier comfort foods in fall.  Try this version with added greens and vegetables for a more nutrient dense version of this classic dish.  It’s loaded with healthy protein and satisfies a hungry appetite!  

 

SHRIMP AND GRITS WITH CHORIZO AND KALE

1 cup cooked grits prepared as directed
olive oil
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bunch of kale, stems removed, shredded (approximately 2 cups)
1 red pepper diced
1 medium shallot diced
2 large chorizo sausage links removed from casings and finely minced
1 pound shrimp, cleaned and veins removed
1/2 cup heavy cream
fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare grits according to directions, keep warm. Heat two tablespoons of oil in large skillet, add chorizo and brown meat until cooked through, breaking up meat as it cooks. Drain fat and remove meat from pan. Add an additional two tablespoons of oil and saute shallots, red pepper, and kale until cooked and kale is tender. Add stock and turn heat to medium creating a low boil. Add shrimp and meat just until shrimp turn pink. Add cream while sauce is simmering and cook until sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve over warm grits. Top with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Eating Well, Recipes, Shopping & Markets

Kelp: Iodine rich and anti-inflammatory

June 6, 2017

Kelp (a.k.a. brown seaweed) contains high amounts of iodine, magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron, as well as vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, amino acids, omega-3 fats and fiber, which together yield impressive health benefits that are hard to ignore.

 

Considered by many to be a superfood because of its wide variety of nutrients, kelp has been a staple of several Asian cultures for centuries. While its popularity in the western world is more recent as more people discover the many benefits this vegetable has to offer, it’s quickly becoming part of a balanced diet for a large number of health conscience Americans.

 

Kelp noodles are a great alternative to flour-based noodles or pasta as they are gluten-free, egg-free, low in calories, contain virtually no carbohydrates, and are high in iodine that helps with healthy thyroid function for healthy hormones.

 

Get to know some of the many benefits of mighty kelp:

 

There are about 30 different varieties of kelp growing in chilly waters throughout the oceans of the world.

 

Certain types of kelp are the highest nutritional source of iodine available.

 

Kelp is helpful with weight loss, and it can help reduce diabetes risk factors and prevent or treat certain blood disorders.

 

Fucoidan, found in kelp, has been extensively researched for its cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.

 

The high presence of vitamin K in kelp, along with fucoidan, helps to keep your bones strong.

 

Kelp is available in powder, dried, fresh and supplement form. You should always get kelp from a reputable source and preferably eat it rather than take it as a supplement.

Eating Well, Recipes, Seasonal

Asparagus Soup

March 7, 2017

Nothing says spring like fresh asparagus and it seems we are seeing it earlier and earlier in the produce department these days.  Although I prefer to wait for the local crop,  purchasing organic asparagus coming from some of the warmer states can satisfy a craving for a delicious soup  this time of year. 

Asparagus are loaded with vitamin C, a whopping 404 milligrams of potassium per cooked cup,  folate (an important B vitamin) and vitamin K, which is essential for healthy clotting and strong bones.  And as an added bonus,  asparagus are high in fiber and low in calories.  Enjoy this healthy and delicious soup! 

Asparagus Soup

Olive oil for sautéing vegetables (2-3 tablespoons)
2 pounds fresh asparagus trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1 leak, white part only, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch rings
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup diced baby bella mushrooms
5-6 cups good quality reduced sodium chicken  or vegetable stock
additional water if necessary
1/4 cup half and half
additional sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Heat oil on medium heat in large non-stick soup pot. Add onion and leak to hot pan, cooking until vegetables soften and start to caramelize, approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking for two minutes. Add asparagus, parsley, mushrooms
and chicken stock and cook on low boil until vegetables are soft and can be blended. Use your hand held blender and puree soup. Add half and half and adjust seasoning.
If soup is too thick add a half to full cup of water. Enjoy!

Recipes, Seasonal

Turkey Orzo Soup

November 29, 2016

Nothing taste better than a delicious homemade soup after the feasting of Thanksgiving weekend.  This homemade bone broth is full of nutrients and minerals, including the anti-inflammatory amino acids glycine and proline.  In addition to many other benefits, the collagen and gelatin in the broth supports hair growth, strong nails, and beautiful skin.  It’s easy to do and no part of your turkey is going to waste.  

Cook turkey carcass in covered slow cooker or large Dutch oven for 9-12 hours on low heat.  While stock is simmering, you may want to add onions, carrots, celery, and aromatic herbs for additional flavor.  Drain stock into clean soup pot (this should yield approximately  3 quarts ).  Save any meat left on the bones for later use.

Add all additional ingredients into fresh pot and boil on low for 30 minutes.  (Do not add pasta until you have a boil or pasta with stick!)

1 large sweet onion diced

3 carrots diced

3 full celery stalks diced

2 cups frozen sweet corn

2 cups frozen chopped spinach

all available meat from the carcass or two cups left over reserved turkey diced

salt and pepper to taste

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 cup dried orzo  (once soup has returned to low boil)

After 30 minutes adjust seasonings if needed.  Enjoy!