Archive for May, 2014

SPAGHETTI WITH PEAS, PROSCUITO AND SCALLIONS

Spaghetti with Peas, Proscuito, and Scallions (serves 4) IMG_1634

Most people think of peas as being starchy. Yes, they do contain some starch but peas are also loaded with fiber, Vitamin K, C, folate and iron. They are also a good antioxidant. Peas are sweet and delicious so enjoy them!

ingredients

9 oz spaghetti

2 cups frozen peas

bunch of scallions

1 clove garlic

4-5 slices proscuito

2 T chopped parsley

1 t butter

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 T olive oil

Parmesan cheese, grated

directions

Roughly chop the white part of the scallions. Peel and finely chop the garlic and tear the proscuito into pieces. Chop the parsley.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the scallions and gently soften, then add the frozen peas. Simmer gently until the water evaporates and the peas are defrosted and warm.

Add the garlic and parsley. Then add the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the proscuito.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Then drain. Add the spaghetti to the peas and sprinkle with Parmesan.

(Adapted from a recipe found in “River Café Cookbook Easy”)

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DON’T BE DROOPY

The other day, I walked into my house and felt awful when I saw my drooping plant. IMG_2286If this plant could talk it would be screaming for a drink of water.

The same thing happens to us when we don’t drink enough. Lack of hydration doesn’t feel good…….we can feel tired, sluggish, dizzy, and weak.  Just like the plant, we droop.

Most of us think that we lose water by just sweating. Yes, perspiration is a factor but we also lose water through breathing, urine and bowel movements.

So pay attention to the cues that your body is giving you. Drink, and drink often. Of course I’d love to say DRINK WATER but all liquids (accept for alcohol) will hydrate the body. Water is the best AND is calorie free.

Once I gave my thirsty plant a big ole drink, he perked up. So will you! IMG_7283

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ARROZ CON POLLO (Chicken and Rice)

This recipe is so easy, so flavorful and you only need one pot!IMG_1691

ingredients (serves 4)

8 small chicken pieces (with bones but no skin)

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 ripe tomato, diced

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced into long strips

1 cup  medium grain rice

2-3 cups chicken stock

1/2 t turmeric

1 T extra virgin olive oil

directions

Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a large frying pan or skillet, sauté the tomato, onion and pepper in the olive oil for about 5-6 minutes. When the onion is translucent, add the pieces of chicken and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

Add the rice to pan, stirring to coat all the grains with the oil. Add the chicken broth and the turmeric. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer uncovered until the rice is cooked – approximately 20 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.

 (Adapted from a recipe found on spanishfood.about.com)

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EXERCISE AMNESIA

Isn’t it crazy how we all seem to suffer from some form of amnesia?

A friend of mine suffers tremendously every month when her hormones go wonky. Once she gets her period, she says “OH……..it was just my hormones.” Yet prior to that, she can’t understand why she feels so lousy. AMNESIA.

I love coffee but I have to limit my consumption or my stomach isn’t happy with me. I figured out that I could safely drink 3 shots of espresso in the morning and feel great. Every now and then, I REALLY yearn for just one more shot after lunch. Every time I indulge, (EVERY TIME!) I suffer and say, “I will never do this again!”……..that is until the AMNESIA kicks in and I do it again.

Some of you, instead, might suffer from exercise amnesia. 0f144ae6dcab73c8_cover.xxxlargeYou’re on a roll with being a consistent exerciser and then life gets in the way and you get derailed. Knowing the benefits of exercise (feeling energized, happier, having a sense of well-being, feeling stronger, sleeping better, feeling less stressed) doesn’t seem to matter when AMNESIA kicks in.

My advice? Have someone in your life that you can count on to REMIND YOU of how you were feeling before. In my coffee case, my husband is the one who says, quite emphatically, “RHON……DON’T DO IT!” In the case of exercise, find someone (preferably NOT a family member) who will simply say, “GET MOVING.”

Once you get back into it, you will feel so much better!

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CHOLE

Chole is a popular Indian vegetarian dish. I actually got this IMG_1690recipe from an Indian cooking class that I took in London years ago. Delicious and very healthy!

ingredients

2 cans chic peas, rinsed and drained

1, 6-ounce can tomato paste

1/4  t salt

1/8-1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes

1 T vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

½ cup chopped scallions

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T minced, ginger

¼ t clove powder

1 t cinnamon

1 T chili powder

1 t sugar

¼ cup chopped cilantro

directions

Place the chic peas in a large saucepan. Add the tomato paste. Using the 6-ounce tomato paste can, add 3 cans of water to the chic peas and stir. Slowly heat this mixture over medium heat. Then add the crushed red pepper flakes and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer. Once it’s simmering, add the ginger and the garlic.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions. Cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, gently browning the onions and stirring frequently.  Add the clove power, cinnamon and chili to onions and cook for an additional minute. Add the scallions to bean mixture. Then add the onion mixture to beans and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the sugar and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Remove the beans from the heat and add the chopped cilantro.

You can make this a day or two in advance—it actually tastes better the next day! Serve with brown rice.

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PORTUGUESE-STYLE FISH STEW

This recipe is SO simple and just delicious!!

ingredients (serves 4) FNM_120110-WN-Dinners-028_s4x3.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscape

1 T olive oil

2 bay leaves

2 t smoked paprika

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 red, green or yellow pepper, thinly sliced

1, 14.5-ounce can diced tomato

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 cup seafood broth

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 ½ lbs skinless stripped bass, cut into 2-inch chunks

whole-grain bread.

 

directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bay leaves and paprika and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the onion, pepper, tomatoes, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes.

Add the seafood broth and reduce the heat to medium low. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then nestle the pieces among the vegetables in the pan. Cover and simmer until the fish is just cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Divide the stew among 4 bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cilantro. Serve with whole grain bread.

(Adapted from a recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com)

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WHAT MAKES IT GREEK?

Clearly, the Greek yogurt industry has exploded over the greek-yogurt-man-spoon-22937554 2past few years…….it’s everywhere! Did you ever wonder what makes Greek yogurt “Greek”?

Greek yogurt starts out just the same way as regular yogurt—bacteria is added to milk. The difference is, with Greek yogurt, the liquid whey is strained out, creating a thicker product. (FYI: Before it was called “Greek” yogurt, the original name was “strained” yogurt.) That’s why Greek yogurt has more protein—it’s more concentrated. A typical serving of Greek yogurt contains 17 grams of protein vs. 6-8 grams found in regular yogurt.

The other difference is in the calcium content. Calcium is lost when the whey liquid gets poured out. A regular yogurt will have about 300 mg of calcium vs. 150 mg found in Greek yogurt.

Like all yogurts, watch out for added sugars. In the case of Greek yogurt, make sure it’s not thickened with things like pectin, gelatin or cornstarch. You now know that the thickness comes from it being strained—not by these added ingredients!

So if you like Greek yogurt……enjoy it!  You might want to take plain Greek yogurt and add some fresh berries and/or sprinkle it with raw, unsalted nuts. Healthy AND delicious!

 

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