Butternut Squash Risotto

2 Tablespoons olive oil                      IMG_1167
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup pearled barley
32 ounces chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup frozen petite peas
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in garlic and thyme and cook stirring for one minute.  Stir in the barley and the broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in squash, cover the pot and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in peas and 3/4 cup cheese. Garnish with  remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Serves 4.

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Caramelized Brussel Sprouts

brussel sprouts12 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
Course salt
Ground pepper
2 T Olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice

In a large skillet, combine sprouts and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated and sprouts are crisp tender, about 5 minutes (add more water if skillet becomes dry before sprouts are done).

Increase heat to medium-high; add olive oil to pan. Continue to cook, uncovered, without stirring, until sprouts are golden brown on underside, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Brussels sprouts are delicious, high in fiber and like other vegetables in the cruciferous family, are rich in a wide variety of nutrients and antioxidants. You will know when Brussels sprouts are in season when they are readily available in the market; look for nice green, small-medium sized sprouts. To prepare for cooking, rinse in cold water and remove the ends with a paring knife. For maximum health benefits, do not overcook.

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Chicken with Roasted Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar

4 boneless chicken breastsOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
1 jar whole mushrooms
2 Tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp butter

Season flour with salt and pepper and dredge chicken breasts in flour mix.  Heat olive oil in heavy skillet and brown chicken on one side, approx. 4 minutes.  Add whole garlic cloves.  Turn chicken pieces and scatter the mushrooms all over.  Continue cooking, shaking skillet.  Cook approx. 4 minutes and add the balsamic vinegar and broth.  Add bay leaf and thyme.  Cover closely and cook over medium low heat, about 10 minutes.  Turn pieces occasionally as they cook.  Transfer pieces to warm serving platter and cover with foil.  Let the sauce with the mushrooms cook uncovered, over medium high heat about 5-7 minutes.  Swirl in butter.  Remove and discard bay leaf.  Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

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Pan Poached Salmon Piccata

2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon chicken broth granules
2 (4-6 oz. each) Salmon fillets
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon capers
Black pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish

Bring water and lemon juice to a boil in medium-sized skillet.  Stir in chicken granules.  Reduce heat to a simmer and place salmon in pan.  Cover and simmer over low heat, 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part, or until fish flakes when tested with a fork.  Remove salmon from pan; keep warm.  Boil remaining liquid in pan until it reduces to approximately ¼ cup.  Whisk in butter and stir in capers.  Spoon sauce over fish.  Season with pepper and sprinkle with fresh parsley.  Makes two servings.  Note:  Recipe may be easily doubled.

Learn more about omega-3 fish oils at vitalremedymd

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Carrot Ginger Soup

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large Vidalia/sweet onion chopped
2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Dash of ground ginger
2 cups water
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
2 Tbsp. heavy cream, divided

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrots; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add salt, pepper, and ginger. Add water and broth to pot; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, simmer 25-30 minutes until carrots are tender.  Remove from heat; cool.  Place half the carrot mixture and 1 Tbsp. cream in a blender or food processor; process about 20 seconds until smooth.  Pour pureed mixture into a large bowl.  Repeat procedure with remaining carrot mixture and 1 Tbsp. cream.  Return mixture to pot and cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated.  Serves 4-6.

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Pasta with Edamame

Edamame (ey-dah-MAH-meh) is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean.  In East Asia, the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers.  This has become a popular appetizer in many restaurants and you can find them in the organic frozen foods section at your grocery either in the pods or shelled.  When my daughter was 12 years old she loved this recipe and learned to make it herself;  it’s certainly a step up on the nutrition chart from pasta and butter!

3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if you’re not a fan of spicy decrease by half)
12-ounce bag shelled edamame, partially thawed
14 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
12 ounces linguine (or pasta of your choice)
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley

In a large skillet, over medium heat, cook the garlic in olive oil until just golden; stir in red pepper flakes.  Add the edamame and broth and simmer until the edamame are tender and the broth is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta; drain and add to the skillet.  Toss to coat and remove from heat.  Stir in the parsley and serve.  Makes 3-4 servings.

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Wintertime Chili

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 small yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (16 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small can whole kernel corn
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

Warm olive oil in large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, squash, and celery; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add remaining ingredients, except cheese.  Increase heat to high; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered 45 minutes.  Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Learn more about preventive cardiology at www.preventivecardiologyinc.com.

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Audrey’s Almond Clusters

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut chips
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar

Use a fork to beat the egg whites with the sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add sliced almonds, walnuts, and coconut and mix by hand until thoroughly coated. Make into clumps or mounds on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 275 for 18 minutes. Then continue baking at 325 for about 8 minutes until golden. Rotate the cookie sheet half way through and watch closely to avoid overcooking as oven temperatures can vary.

Yields 18-20 clusters.

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Black Bean Burgers

1/2 cup rolled oats
1 15.5-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large egg
1 tsp. ground cuminSAM_0229
Kosher salt
½ cup shredded pepper Jack cheese
1 medium shallot
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

Put the oats in a small food processor and pulse four times to roughly chop. Add half the beans and pulse into a course paste, about 6 pulses. Add the egg, cumin, and ½ tsp. salt and process to mix well, about one minute. Transfer the bean mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining beans, the cheese, shallot, and cilantro.

With wet hands, form the bean mixture into four patties and transfer to a lightly oiled plate. Refrigerate briefly to let the burgers set.

Heat a large heavy skillet on high heat; add the oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Cook the burgers until brown with a good crust, about 3 minutes on each side. Serve the burgers on buns, topped with sliced tomato and avocado, or your favorite garnish.

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Thai Chicken Salad


Thai Chicken Salad

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 cups shredded/pulled rotisserie chicken
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts, divided
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced or put though garlic press

Cook rice according to package directions.  Transfer rice to a large bowl; fluff with a fork. Cool. Add chicken, carrot, onions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and salt to rice; toss to combine. Combine juice and remaining ingredients in a small bowl; drizzle over rice mixture and toss to combine.  Sprinkle each serving with remaining peanuts and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.


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