Happy Saturday, Cheddar corn muffin

Cheddar

corn muffin

Cornmeal is a staple that has been used in cooking since first a colony here in the U. S. The best cornmeal to buy is stoneground , undegerminated cornmeal ( corn is not stripped of its nutritious germ). It is found in boxes in the supermarket. Enjoy your time in the grocery store, and read all the boxes/ packages that has been supplied. My usual method for purchase is to buy what is on sale, but first priority is to choose the most nutritious!!!
Store cornmeal in a cool, dry place and use within 1 to 2 months. In the summer months, keep refrigerated. Yellow cornmeal is more common than white have slightly more protein and vitamin A. There are other types, not mentioned here.

Cheddar corn muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 corn meal

1/4 cup unbleached white flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup margarine melted

1 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup corn kernels , optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine first six ingredients in a mixing bowl . In a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly . Add the wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Pour into oiled muffin cup/12 cup muffin pan.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes clean, to test for done ness.

Makes: 1 dozen.

Today is Friday and meatless day

Who wants to swing on the tire swing?

Who wants to swing on the tire swing?

For those of you who are Christian, this is a time of Lent! One of these things means the process of fasting,abstaining from meat on Fridays of Lent.

Fast and fabulous cannelloni bean salad

Into a medium sized bowl:

1 can cannelloni  beans. (high in fiber,good for you) rinsed and drained

Fresh cut-up vegetables of choice: or what you have on hand in yor vegetable drawer of fridge.

Handful ofcherry tomatoes, cut in half

Cucumbers,sliced, then cut each slice into fours

Celery, 1 stalk, cleaned with vegetable peeler, and cut into small pieces

Bottled salad or marinade, ( I used balsamic olive oil marinade).

Mix all together.

Next, I opened up a can of tuna with vegetables, mixed with, mayo,

And added some chopped black olives.

Cold brown rice salad:

Saute one or two strips of a red bell pepper and 1 stalk of celery chopped in a small

Skillet with 1 tablespoon of canola oil (lower in cholesterol).

Boil in medium size sauce pot, a bag of brown rice, 1 cup. To directions on box.,boil for 10 minutes,in this case, (success boil in bag brown rice),serves 4.

Mix into the drained brown rice,the previously sautéed chopped red bell pepper and green celery, add the spices that you prefer.

Spices: lemon pepper seasoning,1/4 teaspoon, celery seeds,salad dressing, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar,

Two Root Coulis- Using Celery, the youth and beauty food

I’ll have to say that this book is my “bible ” of sorts when it comes to health. Whenever I have a few spare moments , I read a section or two and bookmark recipes to try; I even underline important nutrient information.

Two Root Coulis- With celery

1 celery root (about 1 lb ,peeled and chopped

2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 carrots , peeled and chopped

2 cups vegetable broth

Place potatoes in medium saucepan, add cold water to cover.  Bring to boil, cook until tender ( 15 minutes).  Drain and mash using a food mill, electric mixer, or hand-held masher.

In a second saucepan, combine celery root and carrots.  Add cold water to cover.  Bring to boil and cook until tender (about 15 minutes).  Drain. Combine the two mixtures.  Puree’ ( with blender).  Serve vegetable or pasta. 

Variation : Substitute parsnips ( a close relative) for carrots. ver hot steamed veg

Note: A coulis is a thick puree.

From the Super zfoods book, by Frances Sheridan Goulart.

Yogurt Raita with cucumbers

Cool and refreshing, this Raita goes well with hot curries and other Indian spiced dishes!

Ingredients:

2 cups plain yogurt

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped

Salt

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together.   Chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes.

Yogurt Raita with Ginger and Honey

This raita offers a sweet contrast to spicy curries.

It is also delicious when you serve it as a dessert , topped with fresh strawberries.

Ingredients:

3 to 4 inch piece of ginger

2 cups plain yogurt

2 tablespoons honey

Makes 2 cups

Directions:

Peel and finely grate the ginger.  Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger either in a towel or with your fingers.   Mix 3 tablespoons into the yogurt and stir in the honey.   Taste to adjust the flavors.  Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Resources:

Cookbook: “A taste of Heaven and Earth  by Bettina Vitell

Copyright 1994~ ~” Vegetarian recipes”

“This is a both a cookbook  filled with recipes and a boo that asks questions.    She offers these questions as a way to taste what she has discovered in the kitchen and to encourage the reader to make his/her own discoveries.

“What is the source of your aliveness?”

“What brings you greater clarity?”

“What leads you to a more connected and aware way of living? “

Tortilla Wraps and potato -dill filling

Get creative making your own , healthy, low fat sandwiches and” wraps” by making them yourself. The first is with mashed potatoes. Buying a bag of potatoes is a staple in my house and here’s another way to utilize them. The same goes for beans in a sandwich combined with brown rice or spices. 

Many people are away from home at the mid-day meal.

Here’s some tasty options courtesy of Healthy Gourmet.

Creamy Potato Dill Roll Roll-Ups:

This is lighter and healthier using Yukon Gold potatoes.

1 cup cooked mashed potatoes

2 Tablespoons reduced fat cream cheese

2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion

2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon fresh dill, or 1/4 teaspoon dried dill

Sea salt and pepper to taste (optional)

2 large or jumbo chapatis or whole wheat tortillas.

1.  In  a medium bowl. combine the mashed potatoes, cream cheese, green onion, parsley, dill, and salt and pepper, if using.

2.  Lay the chapatis or tortillas on a flat surface and place half the filling on the center of each.  Fold the sides of the chapati in first and then fold the top and bottom toward the middle.  Dot the ends with a little water and press lightly.  Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap until ready to serve; when it is unwrapped it will stay together.

Makes 2 servings

Preparation Time :5-10 minutes

Calories : 171, Fat 3.5 grams, Protein 7 g, sodium 615 mg, carbohydrates 27 g, cholesterol 12 mg. saturated fat < 1 gram, % calories fat: 19 %

Broccoli Ginger Roll-ups: Broccoli and carrots are rich in vitamins and minerals and a cancer -fighting chemical like sulforaphane ( it is not destroyed when cooked. )

1 teaspoon extra -virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chopped broccoli, lightly sautéed

2 Tablespoons grated carrot, lightly sauteed

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 Tablespoon brown rice vinegar

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon tamari or light soy sauce

Pinch of ground cumin

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 large or jumbo chapatis or whole wheat tortillas

1.  Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and lightly saute the broccoli, carrot, ginger, and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes. The vegetables should still be crunchy.  Set aside to cool.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, honey, tamari, soy sauce and cumin.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the rice, broccoli, carrot, ginger, and garlic.  Pour the dressing over the rice mixture and combine well.

4.  Lay the chapatis or tortillas on a flat surface,   your kitchen counter, and place half the filling on the center of each.  Fold the sides of the chapati in first and then fold the top and bottom toward the middle. Dot the ends with a little water and press lightly. Wrap each sandwich individually in plastic wrap ; it will stay together.

Makes 2 servings.  Prep time :5-10 minutes

Nutritional Info per Serving:

Calories 219, Fat 7.7 g, Protein 5.9 g, sodium 271 mg, carbs 32 g, cholesterol 0 gram, saturated fat 1.1 g % calories fat 32%

Quinoa, get your grains!

Quinoa

Quinoa is similar to the grain amaranth ( native to Mexico).  Quinoa is traditionally grown in South America, but has recently begun to be cultivated in the Rocky mountains of Colorado. It thrives in thin air, low rainfall, and high altitudes.

Having 16 percent protein , it surpasses other grains in quantity and quality of protein with substantial amounts of all the amino acids.  It is rich in the minerals,particularly calcium, phosphorus , and iron.  It also provides a wide-range of B-Complex vitamins as well as Vitamin E.  Quinoa is mild and distinctively nutty; it’s texture is very light and fluffy. It has a quick cooking time.

Quinoa and Summer Squash Saute

Yield: 4  to 6 servings

1 Tablespoon safflower oil

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups water or vegetable stock

2 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion ,chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium zucchini (about 1 and 1/2 pounds) or 

1 zucchini and 1 medium pattypan squash, sliced into bite sized pieces

6 large or 10 medium mushrooms sliced

1 or 2 green chilies , seeded and minced

2 to 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro or fresh parsley

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp ground cumin

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat the safflower oil in a large heavy skillet.

Toast the Quinoa until it is lightly browned and aromatic about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, bring the water or stock to boil in a heavy saucepan.  Stir in the quinoa and cook as directed on  the package. 

Heat the olive oil in the same heavy skillet. 

Add the onion and garlic and saute over moderate heat until it is translucent.

Add the squashes , mushrooms, and chilies, and stir-fry until the squashes are touched with golden spots ( hmm, ,I use the green zucchini’s and have yet to see golden spots?) 

Stir in the cooked quinoa , along with the seasonings.   Cook over very low heat , stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes.  Serve at once. 

Source:

The Whole Food Catalog , A complete guide to Natural Foods

By: Nava Atlas

P.S. This is a great resource book that someone donated , and my mom thought I would like it and I do.

Celery & Soffritto

Celery,  I ask , what do I do  with two bunches of celery?

Last week after making a delicious soup of  quartered potatoes , carrots ,  ” Smart choice ”  elbows pasta, and celery simmered in chicken broth,  I commented that I had used the LAST of the celery.   Unbeknownst to me, my husband bought celery last Saturday and this week, I bought another bunch of the same root vegetable.   While I’ve got your attention, I’ll share  a recipe that is used by Italians.

Soffritto” is the base for many Italian dishes.

a mixture of some diced vegetables which are cooked in a heavy pan with three tablespoons of olive oil (although some other kinds of oil and fat are also been used) until they reach a consistency which is defined as “under (sub) fried”. This means that we should not overcook those vegetables or caramelise them, unless it is a specific recipe which calls for that.

Soffritto:

The basic recipe requires the following ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, small dice

1 clove garlic, flattened and chopped

salt and pepper to taste

The onion is sautéed in the oil for about 12 minutes until it becomes transparent.

During the last 2 minutes, you add the garlic and keep on cooking it.

In Northern Italy, 2 sticks of celery and 2 carrots, all diced, are added to the onion.

Many other vegetables, all diced, such as zucchini, mushrooms, aubergines, etc. can also be added.

Then your base is ready and you may add cooked meat, chicken or even seafood.

To turn this into a ragu, you add

1 large tin of tomato puree (or a tin of tomatoes, chopped)

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

herbs to taste

(If you are not using the balsamic vinegar, add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)

and cook thoroughly for a few more minutes.

You can also add chopped olives, capers, anchovies….. there are many variations.

This can be a sauce for pasta, polenta and for many stews.

Which is your favourite sauce which starts with a “soffritto“?

Reposted from http://www.italymag.co.uk/italy/

Another Celery dish:

You can cut each stalk in half, braise it in simmering water with a piece of thyme, a clove of garlic and a spill of olive oil until tender, then eat it as is with another spill of (good) olive oil and another pinch of salt, or reduce a cup of cream with same stuff, whole garlic clove, sprig of thyme, pinch of salt by about 1/3, and then pour over celery in oven proof dish. Stick into a 350 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.

GIada  DeLaurantes makes a great salad with celery mushrooms and parmesan. Very simple salad with a light vinegraitte  🙂 I  think it’s at foodnetwork.com. Make some grilled chicken and pair it with the salad. You should be able to use a couple of stalks with that.

In New Orleans , onions, celery,  carrots  cooked in this way are referred to as the “Holy Trinity” and form the basis, along with the French Roux, for most of the Cajun dishes for which the area is so famous.

MIDWEST Chow Mein:

Take the remainder of your celery and cut into bite site pieces.   Include flower bits as well.)   Heat up a large pan.   Add some oil.   When hot add some ground pork or ground turkey meat. (1 lb. or so).

When the meat is cooked, add the celery and enough stock (or water if no stock) to just cover.

You can add mushrooms if you like them.

Add a bit of molasses (for color, to darken it) and soy sauce (for salt) to taste.

Make a cornstarch slurry – mixing cornstarch with cold water or cold stock. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the slurry, let it come back to a boil and then turn off the heat.

Then add some bean sprouts if you have them.

Serve, over store-bought Chow Mein noodles (the dry crispy kind, ie, (La Choy) and some rice if you like. Add some cashews on top for more zest.

This, in the Midwest is “Chow Mein.”

Sippity Sup has a recipe for celery,

Italian Mushroom and Celery Heart Salad Serves 4

  • 1⁄2 lb Crimini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 10 pale inner celery stalks with their leaves from a couple of bunches if necessary
  • lemon juiced
  • tsp  lemon zest
  • 4 t  very good olive oil
  • 4 t  kosher salt
  •  pecorino-romano cheese , to taste
  •  coarsely ground black pepper

Put the sliced mushrooms into a large bowl.

Pick of all the leaves from the celery and add those to the same bowl. Thinly slice the remaining celery stalks on a diagonal 1/8″  thick.   Add them to the bowl and toss to combine.

Whisk together the lemon juice, zest, olive oil and salt until well combined.

Pour the dressing over the celery and mushroom mixture, tossing to coat. Shave large thin sections of cheese on top of the salad with a vegetable peeler. Topping it all with a good helping of coarse black pepper.

http://www.sippitysup.com/italian-mushroom-celery-heart-salad-my-past-life-yours

MakingSense says,  I serve it as a winter vegetable frequently.

  • Celery is wonderful braised in a little chicken stock. Add a knob of butter just at the end if you like. Dash of nutmeg. Sprinkle of flat-leaf parsley.
    Excellent steamed with lemon and dill.
    A little browned butter, slivered almonds and bread crumbs.
    Blue cheese and walnuts.

    Health Benefit Of Celery

    The medical quality of celery was first described by the Greeks Discorides and Pliny.    The green leaves, stem and the bulbous root of celery are all extremely rich & makes celery a very important medicinal plant.
    It contains balanced minerals, vitamins & nutrients & its oil has strong smell due to concentrations of plant hormones.    The existence of essential oils makes celery special.  They are also found in the seeds & can be added to the juice also. These oils have a specific effect on the regulation of the nervous system, and have a great calming influence.
    A tablespoonful of honey in celery juice, sipped slowly, will very effectively reduce the appetite if taken before a meal, and makes a delightful drink. It will also help in reducing their weight.

    You can take the same mixture as a nightcap; it will help you to relax into a soothing and restful sleep. So those who have a problem of sleeplessness must enjoy the sound sleep after having this yummy health drink.

    The strong water removing powers of celery enable it to be used in the control of health problems such as arthritis, stone, liver problems and rheumatism.

    Calories In Celery: 1 cup or 100 gms of celery has only 14 calories

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