Tag Archives: Nutrition

Aromatic braised chicken, hidden veg and quinoa hot pot

This is the last of the great recipes posted in The Guardian, Eat Well For Less.  Click here for the full article.

One pot and you’re good to go. The braised, browned and caramelised meat intensifies and spreads the meaty flavour allowing you to sneak in plenty of protective fibre and veg. Quinoa? Because it’s not that fancy any more and with its low glycaemic index it’s better than eating refined carbs.

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Serves 4–6 (good to make a big batch, you’ll want the extra)

chicken 8 skinless, boneless thighs
extra-virgin olive oil
onions 2 large
leek 1 large (or add a third onion)
garlic 6 cloves
ginger a thumb-sized piece
chillies 4 red or green (seeds out for a milder version)
tomato puree 2 large tbsp
honey 1 tbsp
soy sauce 6 tbsp
star anise 1
chestnut mushrooms 2 handfuls
Chinese leaf cabbage ½ a head
quinoa 50g per person
spring onions 4, chopped

Use a heavy cast-iron dish in an oven (preheated to 160C/ gas mark 3) for the best, slow-cooked meltiness. You can also just simmer on the hob.

Roughly chop the chicken into large strips and brown over a high heat with a splash of olive oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan and if necessary brown the chicken in two batches. Stir occasionally but you are aiming to get some crispy caramelised bits on the edges and bottom of the pan to add umami intensity to the dish.

Peel, half and roughly chop the onions into large strips. Do the same with the leek and wash thoroughly to get rid of any muddy bits in the layers. Add to the pan with the browned chicken and start to soften.

Peel and roughly chop the garlic and ginger together with the chillies. Leave the seeds in if you like spice or remove if you prefer perfumed warmth. Add to the pan with the tomato puree. Cook together for another couple of minutes.

Now add the honey, soy sauce, star anise and enough cold water to barely cover (around 2 glasses usually). Bring to a simmer and scrape around the bottom of the pan to dislodge any crispy bits. Place in your preheated oven to slow cook and braise for the next 2 hours.

After 2 hours remove, stir and check the hot pot. You should have a reduced, intensely umami-flavoured sauce. You want this to be strong because it will become diluted by the water in the additional veg. Now add your washed and sliced mushrooms and Chinese cabbage. Return to the oven for another hour.

Towards the end, boil the quinoa separately until the seeds open. Drain and then add straight into the hot pot and stir together. Fish out the star anise and taste for final seasoning – add a final splash of soy sauce if you like. Garnish with finely chopped spring onion for a fresh finish.

 

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Garlic Chicken

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Recipe By: EatingWell Test Kitchen, link here
“Whole garlic cloves are mild when simmered with chicken in a simple white wine-mustard sauce in this garlic chicken recipe. “

Ingredients

    • 2 heads garlic, cloves separated
    • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2½ pounds), skin removed, trimmed
    • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
    • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ⅓ cup white wine
    • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    • ⅓ cup chopped fresh chives or scallion greens

Directions

  • 1Lightly smash garlic cloves with the side of a large knife to loosen the skins. Peel; cut larger ones in half. Sprinkle chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.
  • 2Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • 3Add chicken to the pan and cook until browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn it over and return the garlic to the pan. Add wine and cook for 1 minute.
  • 4Whisk broth, mustard, flour and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the pan; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chives (or scallion greens).

6 Foods to Eat for a Younger Heart

Adapted from Everyday Health, click here for the original article.

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According to CDC data, nearly three out of four U.S. adults have a predicted heart age that is older than their actual age, placing them at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke. (You can find out your own heart age by using the calculator on the CDC website.)

Everyone can benefit from a heart-healthy diet, but if you’re among the 70 percent of the population with an accelerated heart age, the payoff is even greater. While diet doesn’t directly factor into the new calculator, it can affect many of the indicators that do.

A diet aimed at prevention should be built on a foundation of nutrient-dense, low-sodium foods: vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and fish.

Six Eating Habits That Can Boost Heart Health

That sounds well and good, but putting this general advice into practice can be overwhelming, especially if it’s a big shift from your current meal and snack patterns. To ease the transition, you can break up heart-healthy guidelines into smaller goals and tackle one or two changes at a time. Here are six eating habits that can make a big difference and help to reverse the clock on your aging heart.

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  • Swap one of your daily snacks for a handful of nuts. From almonds and pistachios to walnuts and peanuts, all nuts are heart-healthy choices, so choose your favorites. Stick to unsalted, though.
  • Serve at least one cup of vegetables and/or fruit with every meal. Produce is naturally low in sodium, and it’s rich in fiber, potassium, and other nutrients that may help to lower blood pressure. Squeeze in extra servings as snacks, such as berries with plain yogurt or baby carrots with hummus.
  • Put fish on the menu twice a week. Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and Arctic char are best bets, but some seafood is better than no seafood, so if you prefer milder, flaky white fish or shellfish, those are fine choices, too. Fish fillets cook in less than 10 minutes, so they’re a smart entree choice for speedy weeknight meals.
  • Make the majority of your grains whole. Whole-grain bread, crackers, pasta, and breakfast cereals made from whole-grain flours are convenient choices to keep on hand. Intact and minimally processed grains, such as brown rice, oats, quinoa, popcorn, and bulgur wheat may offer even more benefits because they are digested slowly, producing a lower glycemic response.
  • Eat beans or lentils at least three times per week. Plant-based proteins are a nutrient-rich substitute for processed and red meats, which may increase heart disease risk factors. Combine canned, low-sodium beans with whole-grain pasta and roasted or sauteed vegetables for a simple meal that hits on three of the heart-healthy food groups listed here. Or, serve a side of seasoned beans in place of rice, pasta, or potatoes.
  • Cook more meals at home using whole foods. Seventy-five percent of the salt in our diet comes from processed and restaurant foods, so preparing more meals from scratch is hands down the most strategic way to reduce sodium. Minimize the salt you add to recipes and use fresh or dried herbs, vinegar, and citrus juices to build flavor.

Mediterranean fisherman’s stew: leek, courgette and cod with chilli and lemon seasoning

Another delicious recipe from the Guardian Article, Eat Well For Less, click here for the full article.

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Humble and sweet courgette (AKA Zucchini) and leek, a rich tomato sofrito sauce and subtle white fish highlighted with lemon, parsley and chilli. The plentiful courgettes and leeks become the base of a genuinely healthy meal. The combination of olive oil, tomato, garlic and onion forms the base of the sofrito sauce, a mainstay of Mediterranean cooking. When combined, these ingredients might have a synergistic, protective effect but, most importantly, they give that delicious flavour that transports you to the Italian Riviera. We’ve gone for cod because it’s the nation’s favourite, but experiment with your choice of oily fish.

Serves 4
courgettes 4 large
leeks 2 large
garlic 4 chunky cloves
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
tomato passata 500g
dried chilli flakes
cod loin skinned and filleted, three nice chunks each
parsley a handful, including stalks
lemon wedges

Cut the washed courgettes and leeks into rounds (approx 2cm thick). Slice the garlic.

Heat a good glug of olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the sliced veg. Season with salt and pepper.

Turn the temperature down so that the veg sweat without colouring. Make a cartouche with some greaseproof paper (YouTube it for a quick tutorial) and pop on top. This slow-cooking process accentuates the natural sweetness of the veg. Check on them in 10 minutes and add a splash of water if drying out.

After about 20 minutes when the veg have softened add the passata. Sprinkle a pinch of dry chilli. Re-cover and cook until meltingly soft (around 40 minutes).

Cut the chunky fish fillet across the length with a sharp knife into scallops. Taste the sauce – grind some extra pepper and if required add more salt. Pop the fish scallops around the dish on top of the sofrito sauce. Re-cover and cook for 10 minutes.

Finely chop the parsley and sprinkle over the dish with extra chilli and a squeeze of lemon to finish.

Enjoy scarpetta style with a sensible mop of crusty wholemeal bread, eat light with green side salad or throw in some borlotti beans and cook as a stew.

Mortar and pestle pesto pasta, courgette tagliatelle and baby spinach

(Another recipe from The Guardian,Eat Well For Less: click here for the full article)

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Ready in 20 minutes. The simple, fresh flavours and textures complement each other perfectly: hot peppery notes (raw garlic and olive oil), mellow comforting richness (pasta, parmesan and pine nuts) and clean perfumed bite (basil, spinach and courgette). A mixture of pasta and courgette “tagliatelle” keeps the comfort and satisfaction of pasta but packs in more veg alongside other protective ingredients such as garlic, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil and dark green leafy spinach. With the fat from the cheese giving additional satiety, you won’t miss that extra pasta, especially if you pair with a simple sliced tomato and onion salad dressed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Serves 2
courgettes 2, medium
linguine pasta 100g (50g per person)
baby spinach 2 large handfuls
garlic 1 large clove
basil leaves a big bunch
pine nuts 2 small handfuls (dry toasted)
fresh parmesan a handful, grated
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper

Make the courgette tagliatelle by taking long length slices of the courgette with a mandoline (largest tooth setting) or a potato peeler until you get to the soft water centre. Keep the soft cores, you can finely chop and add them as they are with the tagliatelle.

Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water. Wash the spinach, drain and place in a large bowl.

Make the pesto while the pasta is cooking. We like to make the pesto in a mortar and pestle for that chunky, fresh-made texture but you can add all the ingredients straight into a blender or food processor.

Bash a whole peeled garlic clove with a pinch of salt for extra abrasion until a paste. Add the basil leaves and do the same. Add the toasted pine nuts and parmesan. Drizzle in olive oil to loosen the mixture. Bash and stir away until you have a chunky mixture that’s loose enough to stir into your pasta.

The pasta should nearly be ready. Throw in the courgette tagliatelle for the final 2 minutes or just enough to soften but retain a slight bite.

Drain and immediately add the hot pasta into the bowl with the spinach and stir. The heat of the pasta will wilt and soften the spinach. Now add your pesto and mix thoroughly. Season with black pepper and a final fresh sprinkle of parmesan. You don’t need to add any additional salt as the cheese and other elements have enough.

Stuffed coqu

Recipe of the Month

Fish Tacos with Fresh Mango Salsa Recipe

Mango Salsa

Ingredients
2 diced mangos
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 minced jalapeno pepper
⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt, to taste.

Mahi-Mahi Tacos

Ingredients
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 pound Mahi Mahi filets, cut lengthwise into smaller pieces if needed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 tortillas (corn or flour)
1 cup green cabbage, sliced thin
Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the mango salsa together. Season to taste, if needed, with salt. Set aside.
  2. Combine paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin and chili pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over both sides of the fish filets.
  3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mahi-mahi to pan; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Divide fish evenly among tortillas. Serve with mango salsa, cabbage, and cilantro.

Fish Tacos with Fresh Mango Salsa

 

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Holiday Detox Time

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