Monday, December 17, 2012

Healthy Dinner Option

Faster than a soup, but just as comforting, risotto takes only about 20 minutes to come together — a perfect dish for weeknight dinners. Caramelized onions, cauliflower and Parmesan cheese are a wonderful and unexpected combinations.

Cauliflower, Onion and Greens Risotto

4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l.) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm.) florets
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 oz./330 g.) arborio rice
1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) dry white wine
1 bunch beet greens or other greens, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
1 cup (1/4 lb./125 g.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh marjoram
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the broth and 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep the liquid hot.

In a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and saute until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the cauliflower and saute until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and saute until opaque, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add about 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml.) of the hot broth, reduce the heat so the broth simmers slowly, and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue cooking, adding the broth by about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring frequently until the rice is not quite tender, but still slightly firm, about 15 minutes.

Add the greens and continue cooking, stirring almost constantly, adding the liquid about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) at a time, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes longer. Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the cheese and the marjoram. Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and serve right away. Serves 4.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Arthritis Remedy

Drink 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in juice/water at night and in the morning and you should see improvement

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eggplant, Red Pepper Hummus Spectacular

Simple hummus is an amazing source of protein, folate and iron.  When you add in the eggplant and red bell pepper, you are also getting a good dose of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamin A and vitamin B6.

Hummus is incredibly versatile. It can be used as a dip with veggies or pretzels - perfect for after school.  It's also delicious as a spread on sandwiches or pita bread and is a great on-the-go snack.  Hummus will stay fresh in an airtight container, out of refrigeration for about 2 hours.

This recipe is appropriate for babies 10-12 months and up, toddlers, big kids and adults.  Always make sure the consistency of your baby's food is one she can handle. As I experiment with my own little one, its important to make sure all is blended to perfection.

What you'll need:
1 eggplant - washed and cut in half lengthwise
1 red bell pepper - washed, cut in half lengthwise with stem and seeds removed
1 1/2 - 2 cups of cooked chickpeas - if using canned, rinse and drain chickpeas, also be sure the can does not contain BPA

1/2 teaspoon of kosher or coarse sea salt
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste) or extra virgin olive oil
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon) 
2 tablespoons of purified water
1-2 cloves of garlic (optional)

*Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
*Place eggplant and pepper cut side down on the baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes, until both are soft and cooked all the way through.
*Scoop eggplant out of the skin and remove as many seeds as you can.  They are in bunches and can be removed fairly easily.  Don't worry if you can't get them all, as the seeds are tender and edible.
*Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.  Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spoon or spatula in between pulses and add extra water while processing, if needed to develop a smooth consistency.
*Serve or store
*Hummus can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.