Spice Your Life!

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Cumin is a seasoning that I have not experimented with in the past and have decided to get better acquainted! This week, I’ll take you on a Cumin journey :). Think East Mediterranean & Indian, no passport required!

Did you know Cumin is a seed that has been used since antiquity?  It’s health benefits and medicinal uses were well known even then. Today, this seed of a small flowering herb from the parsley family might not be used quite as much in food preparation as it was 5000 years ago, but it’s healing properties are still valued and used in natural remedies.

Add a little spice to your life! Cumin is said to increase the heat in the body thus making metabolism more efficient. It is also thought to be a powerful kidney and liver herb and can help boost your immune system. White fish and Cumin are rich in B vitamins. Cumin paired with white fish is good for your skin, increasing your energy and your over all well being. Here is a great recipe from “Tommy Bahama’s” that will spice up your life! Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. of your favorite white fish
8 oz. Fish Taco Marinade (see recipe below)
8 tbsp. Lime Sour Cream (see recipe below)
8 tbsp. Chipotle Aioli (see recipe below)
3/4 lb. Asian Slaw (see recipe below)
8 tbsp. Pico de Gallo (see recipe below)
12 6″ white corn tortillas
4 oz. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. of your favorite blackening spice

Fish Taco Marinade:
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup egg yolks, whipped
1 tbsp. cilantro, washed and rough chopped
1 tbsp. jalapeño, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Spanish paprika

Instructions:
In a clean mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cut the white fish into 1 oz. pieces and place into the marinade, mixing everything together. Hold refrigerated for at least 12 hours.

Chipotle Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 chipotle pepper
1 tsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
Kosher salt to taste
Coarse ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in a blender. Puree until everything is incorporated and the aioli is smooth in consistency. Transfer to a squeeze bottle with a small tip and refrigerate.

Lime Sour Cream
6 tbsp. sour cream
2 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed

Instructions:
Place ingredients into a small, clean mixing and blend together well. Transfer to a squeeze bottle with a small tip and refrigerate.

Pico de Gallo
1/2 cup yellow onion
1 tbsp. jalapeño
1/4 cup ripe tomato
1/2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped
1 pinch black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Dice the yellow onion and tomato; mince the jalapeño. Place in a small, clean mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and finely chop the cilantro; then add to the bowl.
  3. Add the salt, lime juice and black pepper. Mix everything together well and hold refrigerated.

Asian Slaw
4 oz. shredded cabbage
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, rough chopped
2 oz. jicama, peeled and julienned
2 oz. red onion, peeled, sliced paper thin
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. lime juice, freshly squeezed
Kosher salt to taste
Coarse ground black pepper to taste
In a small, clean mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together.

Serving Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat a large sauté pan and melt the unsalted butter in the pan. Drain the marinated white fish and gently place into the melted butter. Spread the fish out evenly. Sprinkle the blackening spice evenly on the fish and let sit over high heat for 2 minutes. Flip the fish with a spatula and cook on the other side until the fish is completely cooked.
  2. Turn the heat down to very low and hold hot.
  3. Place the white corn tortillas into another large sauté pan and heat them on both sides. (Be sure the second pan is dry.)
  4. Toss the Asian Slaw in a mixing bowl.
  5. Lay the hot corn tortillas on a clean cutting board and place 2 oz. of the cooked fish on each tortilla.
  6. Top the fish with a little of the Asian Slaw.
  7. Drizzle a little Chipotle Aioli, Lime Sour Cream and Pico de Gallo onto each tortilla.
  8. Serve immediately.

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In health,

Reve~Johanna

Oy-Mate! Have An Oyster!

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Did you know that once a day, your immune system destroys a cell that would’ve became cancer if it lived?

Eating foods that promote a healthy immune system gives your body the ability to destroy harmful cells. This week we have already learned about the immune system building benefits of lemon, but did you know that zinc has been identified with healthy immune systems?

Oysters are loaded with zinc! Whether you love them raw, fried, or on the half shell, oysters can provide you with a host of health benefits, among them, high levels of heart- and brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids and enough zinc (the aphrodisiac mineral) to keep your mojo flowing all night (just an added bonus to zinc that has its own health perks) 🙂

We should all appreciate oysters and one serving of this unique appetizer provides about 13 milligrams of zinc — that’s all you need in a day. Have an oyster!

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Ingredients
1 slice(s) (1 1/2-ounce) bread
2 teaspoon(s) butter
1 1/2 cup(s) finely chopped fennel or celery
1 clove(s) garlic, minced
1/4 cup(s) fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon(s) kosher salt
2 tablespoon(s) anise liquer (such as ouzo)-optional (can also use white wine)
1/3 cup(s) (1 1/2 ounces) shredded fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon(s) chopped fennel fronds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon(s) grated lemon rind
2 teaspoon(s) fresh lemon juice
Dash of ground red pepper
12 shucked oysters

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place bread in a food processor; pulse 7 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 1 cup. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8 minutes or until toasted. Transfer to a plate; cool.
Position oven rack to the top one-third of the oven. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add fennel and garlic to pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add broth and salt; cover and cook 5 minutes or until fennel is tender. Uncover and cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in liqueur; cook 1 minute or until liqueur evaporates. Transfer fennel mixture to a bowl; add breadcrumbs, cheese, fennel fronds, rind, juice, and red pepper. Toss to combine.

Arrange oysters in a single layer on a large baking pan. Top each oyster with about 1 tablespoon fennel mixture. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until the edges of the oysters begin to curl and the stuffing is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Key Heath Benefits with Ketone

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It is summer in New England and nothing beats a plump sun-kissed berry fresh off the bush! Berries have been known to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet. It seems new research is constantly being published and berries are in the spotlight!! Berries are now being recognized and analyzed for their health giving properties.

Extremely high in antioxidants, berries are among my favorite foods and I just discovered one more reason to love these succulent little gems! Raspberries are high in ketone – if you haven’t heard yet, ketone is the weight loss supplement that’s set to rock the health and fitness world in 2012.

Raspberries are rock’in with ketone. According to Dr. Oz, “Raspberry ketone is the primary aroma compound of red raspberries. This compound regulates adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism. Raspberry ketone causes the fat within your cells to get broken up more effectively, helping your body burn fat faster.”

So go pick or pick up a pint of berries and enjoy! To keep your berries best, rinse with cold water and lemon, dry and store in a covered container in the fridge.

Some tasty tips:
Top a bowl of berries with a dollop of light-whipped topping and a sprinkling of chopped pecans or walnuts.
Add raspberries to a bowl of whole grain cereal.
Sprinkle berries on a salad.
Stir fresh raspberries into Greek yogurt.
Combine frozen berries with bananas and low-fat milk to make a smoothie.

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Have a Heart!

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Have a … A healthy

Lemon and asparagus are high in vitamin A, here is a sure way to score an A+ on your next heart exam! 🙂

Asparagus is versatile and uniquely delicious. Buying it this time of year is best as it is fresh and particularly nutritious, since it is in season. Studies show that asparagus balances insulin levels, which means that it powerfully prevents diabetes. Ensuring that our insulin levels are stable is one of the most important things we can do for our health… it allows us to live long and feel good.

Asparagus has a unique mineral profile makes it an effective natural diuretic. Natural diuretics promote the formation of urine in the kidneys, aiding in detoxification and cleansing.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/023368_asparagus_benefits_food.html

Here are some other benefits that make asparagus one of the best foods on the planet … Add lemon to your asparagus to turn it into a SUPER food!!

* Great for your heart
* Fights depression and puts you in a good mood
* Is energizing and fights chronic fatigue syndrome
* Lowers blood pressure naturally
* Lowers cholesterol

Roast whole slices of lemon along with the asparagus for a beautiful look and sparkling, bright taste. Great with seafood, especially salmon or scallops.

INGREDIENTS
2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 lemons, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Toss asparagus, lemon slices, oil, oregano, salt and pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally to toss, until the asparagus is tender-crisp, 13 to 15 minutes.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (90% daily value), Folate (42% dv), Vitamin A (25% dv).

In health,

Reve~Johanna

Chill Out!

Start alkalizing! Although water and lemons are acidic in nature, they are very alkalizing to your body when you ingest them. The more alkaline your body is, the healthier you look and feel!

Lemons and honey are good for weight loss. One of the major health benefits of drinking lemon water is that it paves way for losing weight faster, thus acting as a great weight loss remedy. If a person takes lemon juice mixed with water and honey, it can reduce the body weight as well, and in the summer why not chill-out and have it frozen!

On a hot day, it’s hard to beat a tall glass of slushy frozen lemonade. Blend sliced lemon, honey, water, and lemon juice with ice for a frozen drink that the whole family will love.

Ingredients:
1 thinly sliced lemon
1/2 cup honey
3 cups cold water
1 1/4 cups lemon juice
4 cups ice

Preparation:

Combine 1 thinly sliced lemon and honey in a bowl; mash with a spoon. Add 3 cups cold water and 1 1/4 cups lemon juice; let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain. Puree half of lemon juice mixture and 4 cups ice in a blender until smooth. Pour into 4 chilled glasses; repeat. Serves 8.

Cheers!

In health,

Reve~ Johanna

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When life hands me lemons…

… I’ll say lem’me at ‘em! 🙂

Lemons are not only vibrant in color, scent, and taste- but they are vibrant in nutritional value!

According to Organic Facts (http://ow.ly/bAq15), the health benefits of lemon include treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, fever, hair care, skin care, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, overweight, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure. Wow, that’s a mouthful!

Lemon is known to help to strengthen your immune system and cleanse your stomach. It is not only a blood purifier but also enables the body to fight diseases. Lemon juice, especially, has several health benefits associated with it. Useful for treating kidney stones, curing heart strokes and reducing the body temperature, lemonade helps you to stay calm and cool…just watch your sugar intake on the lemonade 🙂

Health benefits of lemon are due to many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B, phosphorous, proteins, and carbohydrates present in it. For a great tip, get into the habit of squeezing lemon juice into water, on salads, and on fruit!

This week we will be lavish in our love for lemon… starting with this simple and quick recipe:

Lovely Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 4 lemons, halved
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Place chicken pieces in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Squeeze lemon halves over the chicken, then sprinkle with the garlic, curry powder and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

In health,

Reve~ Johanna

Magnificent Muffins!


If you liked my recipe for Carrot-Ginger Salad, you will LOVE this recipe for Carrot Ginger muffins! (a budget friendly way to use your leftover carrot salad) Recipe idea from:
http://www.mykitchenaddiction.com/2012/02/ginger-carrot-muffins/

Your heart and waist line will thank you for this treat! Did you know that you can replace oil with apple sauce in baking recipes? 🙂

Making healthier food choices can lead to a healthier lifestyle. Applesauce is a healthier option than oil, and may be substituted when you are baking. Substitute applesauce for oil by cutting the amount of oil recommended by two-thirds and replace with applesauce. For example, if a recipe calls for 1½ cups of oil, substitute 1 cup of applesauce and use ½ cup of oil.

Applesauce cuts the sodium and fat bakers get with using oil and provides you with a great source of fiber and antioxidants…. but did you know applesauce is full of many helpful flavonoids as well?  It will help to reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and joints, which relieves pain from arthritis and promotes healthy blood flow.

For a budget friendly and heart happy breakfast, give these a try!

Ginger Carrot Muffins
Makes 6 jumbo muffins
(or 12 regular muffins)

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots (Use leftover carrot salad- Note: do not use juices from salad)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger (Not needed if using leftover salad)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, pulsed in the food processor
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jumbo muffin pan with 6 large paper muffin cups (or lightly grease), and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until the egg is completely incorporated into the creamed mixture. Add in the shredded carrots, apple sauce, fresh ginger, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.

Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, ground flax, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing on low speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

In health,

Reve ~Johanna

Know Your A, B, C’s!

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Summer is the perfect time to enjoy the sweet and tangy flavor of tomatoes and watermelon. Whether you buy them at the farmstand, the supermarket or grow your own, there are a few things you should know…

Together tomatoes and watermelon provide you with a great dose of vitamins A, C & B complex.

Among many other benefits, tomatoes help to burn fat! Tomatoes are a inflammation-fighting food. When you reduce inflammation, you can trigger your weight loss hormones, such as leptin, to work properly, allowing you to lose weight. (to learn more visit http://huff.to/iChkEE)

Melons are an excellent source of pure distilled water and contain a great deal of minerals essential for good health. Eating melons is one of the best ways to purify the body of toxins while at the same time providing a healthy amount of vitamins A, B, & C that your body will appreciate!

Mix melon and tomato with ginger to soothe your heart, cleanse your bladder and liver, cool your body and lose weight. How can you go wrong? Here is a summer ready recipe to try:

Ginger Marinated Heirloom Tomato with Watermelon Salad

Ingredients

1 6-inch piece of ginger, peeled

½ cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp lime juice

24 baby heirloom or multi-colored vine ripe tomatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces

½ cup red onion, thinly sliced

¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

2 cups red or yellow seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups baby arugula

salt and pepper

Method

1. Grate ginger on the large holes of a box grater.

2. Wrap ginger in a square of cheesecloth and squeeze over 
a medium bowl to extract the juice. You should have about 4 tbsp.

3. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the ginger juice, ½ cup olive oil and lime juice

4. Add tomatoes, red onion and half of the cilantro and toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

6. Once the tomatoes have marinated add watermelon and toss until well combined.

7. In a separate mixing bowl, drizzle the arugula with the remaining tbsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

8. Divide tomato and watermelon between serving plates. Drizzle with any remaining marinade and garnish with the remaining cilantro. Serve with baby arugula on side.

Enjoy!

In health,

Reve~Johanna

Bone-appetite!

Did you know that Ginger is known to boost bone health and relieve join pain? Pair ginger with carrots and you have a beautiful relationship! ♥

Carrots are filled with carotene which provides your body with a wonderful dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps with eyesight and in keeping mucous membranes healthy.

Ginger + Carrots = a body in balance!

Enjoy this recipe:

Orange, Carrot Ginger Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups grated carrots, (6 medium-large)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Preparation

  1. Mix carrots and ginger together.
  2. Stir in orange juice

In Health,

Reve~Johanna