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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crockpot Risotto




2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, cored and finely diced, plus 2 tablespoons chopped tops of fronds
1 cup pearl barley, or short-grain brown rice
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium fat free chicken broth,
1 to 1-1/2 cups water, divided
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 cups frozen  pea's or  green beans (optional)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pitted oil-cured black olives or calamatta, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

 Coat a 4-quart or larger crock pot with cooking spray oil. Crush fennel seeds with the bottom of a saucepan. Combine the fennel seeds, diced fennel, barley,  carrot, shallot and garlic in the crock pot. Add broth, 1 cup water and wine, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the barley (or rice) is tender, but still chewy and the risotto is thick and creamy, 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours on high or low.
 One half hour before risotto is cooked, cook pea's or green beans per directions. Add the  beans, Parmesan, olives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. If it seems dry, heat the remaining 1/2 cup water and stir it into the risotto. Serve with boiled shrimps on top and fennel fronds.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Healthy Grain Bread





2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
7 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup cracked wheat
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
4 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. In a large bowl, mix remaining 3 1/2 cups warm water, honey, molasses, oil, eggs and lemon juice. Mix well. Add yeast mixture and stir.
Gradually add 5 cups whole wheat flour beating well after each addition. Add the flax, cracked wheat and sunflower seeds, stir well.
Let sit for 20 minutes, until mixture is very light. Stir in salt and the rest of the flours until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Knead  15 minutes until dough is smooth and easy to handle. Put into lightly oil sprayed bowl  and cover, let rise in the oven with light on until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down and shape into 6 round shaped or oval shapes.  Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
Form into loaves and let rise covered in oven until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees 40 minutes or until browned.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Why are Brussel Sprouts Good For You?

Brussel sprouts are small leafy green buds resemble like miniature cabbages in appearance. The buds are exceptionally rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which work wonders to get rid of many health troubles. In fact, a renewed interest is growing about health benefits these sprouts have to offer.

Botanically, the sprouts belong to the same brassica family which also includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli and kale.

Brussel sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.
Brussel sprouts are cool season vegetables. In general, sprouts are harvested when the lower buds mature and reach about an inch in size. Fresh sprouts should feature firm, compact and dark green in color. Avoid sprouts featuring loose leaf, yellowish and light in hand.
Fresh sprouts keep well in the refrigerator for up to a day or two. Remove any damaged or discolored outer leaves and store fresh unwashed sprouts in plastic bags/zip pouches in the vegetable container of the refrigerator.


Before cooking, remove discolored and loosen outer leaves and the stems are trimmed.  Wash in clean water and then, soak for few minutes in salt water to remove any dust particles and insect’s eggs.

Fresh sprouts are delicate in flavor, however overcooking results in the release of allyl isothiocyanates  imparting sulphurous odour (pungent smell) to cooked recipes. Therefore, sprouts are generally blanched in boiling water for just about 5 minutes, cooled and then added to a little olive oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper...that's it enjoy!  See other recipe on this site ... roasting brussel sprouts are delicious also!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Roasted Chicken in Lemon Pepper Sauce




Not hard to make this roaster.. simple. In fact if your choosing to eat any kind of meat this is the way to cook it.

1 Roasting Chicken up to 5lbs
3 fresh lemons juiced then sliced remove seeds reseve juice
Herbs ( always fresh if possible) to include basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage
4 cloves of fresh garlic mashed
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of black pepper

Clean chicken remove bags, gizzards. (I also remove the skin after its cooked.) Place in a large roasting pan with a rack, spray with cooking spray. Fill the bird with lemons. Mix the juice of the lemons with the water. Pour on the bottom of your roasting pan. Mix all the herbs together and sprinkle on top of the chicken, add mashed garlic.  Baste every half hour. Roast until clear juices run out around 2 hours on 325* degrees. Tender, juicy and healthier version