Move-Over Mayo

Can you guess what’s on my plate??

I have been fortunate enough to receive a large basket of veggies over the weekend and throughout the week I have been finding creative ways to utilize my wonderful variety of nutritional goodness. One recipe I tried, was my first-ever Gazpacho.  As you’ll see above, another meal I made was barbecue tofu, grilled zucchini and summer squash, and sliced fresh garden tomatoes, with homemade mayonnaise based potato-cilantro salad.

Why make your own mayonnaise, you may ask? While the store bought stuff is a convenient and cheap option, it is filled with nastiness such as soybean or vegetable oil, preservatives and chemicals. Homemade mayo on the other hand is packed with protein and good fats… plus it tastes incredible! So move-over Hellmann’s….. my simple healthy homemade mayo created a delicious potato salad. See recipe below 🙂

Photo by artur84

Photo by artur84

Homemade Mayo Ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks at room temperature
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tsp regular or Dijon mustard (or ½ tsp dried mustard)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (warm) or other healthy oil (macadamia works well)

How to Make Homemade Mayo:

  1. Put egg yolks into blender or bowl and whisk/blend until smooth
  2. Add lemon juice or vinegar, mustard and spices and blend until mixed
  3. SLOWLY add oil while blending or whisking at low speed, starting with olive oil. Start with a drop at a time until it starts to emulsify and then keep adding slowly until all oil is incorporated.
  4. Store in fridge up to 1 week.

Potato-Cilantro Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds small new potatoes, cooked and halved (unpeeled)
  • 1/3 cup finely minced chives/scallions

Directions

In a bowl, stir together mayonnaise with cilantro, garlic, salt and 7 turns black pepper. Add potatoes and onions and toss to combine thoroughly; cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Try it and let me know what you think.

Enjoy!

In health,

Reve~Johanna

Great Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a tomato-based, vegetable soup traditionally served cold. It originated in southern Spain and is perfect for a refreshing and cold meal in the summer.

With a kitchen stalked of fresh veggies, I decided to make good use of this bounty and prepare my first-ever Gazpacho. This treat is packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals, all of which have various health benefits. Gazpacho is a solid source of antioxidants, which help to prevent free radical damage that can lead to premature aging. So, for a healthy dish that helps you look and feel great, try this recipe.

I started with a big basket of veggies. ((Can you notice the veggie face?)) 🙂

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Then I took out my blender and had a veggie party!  Note: I modified this recipe to include cilantro. Just as an added benefit cilantro is an anti-inflammatory that may alleviate symptoms of arthritis and is a good source of iron.

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Chill overnight, and here you go! Yummy Gazpacho! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
(Recipe from Simply Recipes)
http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/gazpacho/

  • 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegetarian option)
  • 4 cups tomato juice

METHOD

Combine all ingredients. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.

Yield: Serves 8.

In health,

Reve ~ Johanna

Today’s Tuesday $aver!

Does preparing lunch for the week stress you out? Do you find yourself too busy with life to prepare lunch? Do you end up stepping out to buy a sandwich, raiding the vending machine, or worse driving to the take-out window and picking up a burger w/fries? You may skip lunch all together and come home from work saying “I’m starving!!” and grab anything handy to munch on.

We all fall victim to what I have described above and I know you don’t need me to tell you that this is not a healthy way to eat!
The consequences of skipping meals can lead to developing diabetes, inadequate nutrition, and drastically altering the way that your body digests food. One of the most important reasons skipping meals is unhealthy is due to the affect it has on your blood sugar. When you eat a meal, your body breaks up the food. Some of this food is stored as fat, while other parts of it enter your bloodstream as sugar, and work to provide you with energy throughout the day. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar drops considerably. This not only makes you feel sluggish and tired, but it can also mess with the insulin in your body. If you chronically skip meals, you can be setting yourself up for diabetes later in life.

Consistently eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins helps to not only ensure that your body functions properly, but can also help in the treatment and prevention of a number of serious conditions. But how do you fit it all in?

One thing that I have learned over the past few months is to stock up on fruits and veggies when I do my sunday grocery shopping. I prepare all fruits and veggies that night– cut up carrots and celery into sticks, put fresh fruit out into a fruit bowl that is visible. Fruits and veggies need to be handy & already prepared for you to grab & go! Out of sight-Out of mind!

In the morning when I am getting ready for work I take a large food storage bag and fill it about half way with the veggies that I have in the fridge. In this particular example I used: leafy greens from salad mix, carrot sticks, cut yellow and red peppers, cubed celery, & radish.

To make sure that I include a protein, I opted to have tuna salad with this lunch. I wanted to experiment with cilantro, so I added chopped cilantro with onion and pickle in my tuna salad mix. (Refrigerate in a container, don’t include with veggie medly until ready to eat.)

At lunch time, I simply pour my salad mix out of the bag and into a bowl with the tuna salad on the side. Voila! My healthy lunch is ready and it cost less than $5!  Try a veggie medley of your own and tell us what’s in your bag!

Additional note: Maybe you noticed previously in this post I wrote how I wanted to experiment with cilantro? 🙂 Cilantro is an herb that I am in love with this summer! I have been experimenting with it frequently, my next 4 segments will focus on fun ways to use cilantro! Cilantro isn’t just a commonly-used leaf and seed ingredient found in many tasty and exotic recipes, it’s also a powerful natural cleansing agent. It has been effectively used to help remove toxic agents from the body… so go buy a bushel of cilantro and get ready for your taste buds to be tantalized!

Enjoy!

In health,

Reve~Johanna

Yo’gonna Love Yogurt Dip

Did you know your body needs to have a healthy amount of ”good” bacteria for proper digestion? Yogurts are made using active, good bacteria…more formally know as probiotic, which literally means ”for life,” refers to living organisms that can result in multiple health benefits!

Let us not forget that yogurt comes from milk. So yogurt eaters will also get a dose of animal protein, plus other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium, and magnesium.

Here are some benefits of yogurt you’re gonna love and why WedMD (http://www.webmd.com) recommends incorporating yogurt into your daily health-conscious eating habits.

1. Help Prevent Osteoporosis

2. Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure

3. Yogurt With Active Cultures Helps the Gut

4. Yogurt With Active Cultures May Discourage Vaginal Infections

5. Helps You Feel Fuller ~ so you eat less & loose weight!

In my exploration of creative cumin recipes, I found this recipe that uses cumin, avocado, & yogurt for a delicious and nutritious dish that you can dish-out all week/weekend long! (Health tip: bring dip & veggies for lunch or have as a meatless dinner one night during the week… refreshing on a hot summer night!)

Avocado-Yogurt Dip with Cumin (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/avocado-yogurt-dip-with-cumin-10000001536783/)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe peeled avocados, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth
  2. Serve with veggies

Easy-please-y!!

Enjoy!

In health,
Reve~Johanna

Don’t Be Crabby!

Seafood lovers around the world enjoy eating hundreds of species of crabs, though the most commonly eaten crabs are blue crabs (we’ll cheer them up!). Crab health benefits are so well known that these hard-shelled creatures account for one fifth of all the food caught from the seas, rivers, lakes, and other water sources. The taste, texture and nutritional benefits of crab meat make it a versatile delicacy used in a wide variety of dishes like salads, soups, pates, starters, or served as a main course.

Crab meat is nutritionally good as it is high in vitamins, high quality proteins, and amino acids. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, copper, zinc, phosphorus and iron, while having lower levels of fat and carbohydrates.

Here is a yummy recipe using cumin that will put a kick in your dinner routine and a smile on your face 🙂

This recipe idea was inspired by Pinoy Recipes: http://filipinopinoyrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/09/crab-cakes.html

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, picked over for cartilage
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup chopped scallion (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons bread crumbs, preferably fresh, or cracker crumbs, or as needed
About 1 cup all-purpose flour for dredging
Cumin powder
2 tablespoons peanut, extra virgin olive, or vegetable oil

Procedure:
1. Mix together the crabmeat, egg, bell pepper, scallion, mayonnaise, mustard, and some salt and pepper. Add enough bread crumbs to bind the mixture just enough to form into cakes; start with 2 tablespoons and use more if you need it.

2. Refrigerate the mixture until you’re ready to cook (it will be easier to shape if you refrigerate it for 30 minutes or more, but it’s ready to go when you finish mixing).

3. Season the flour with salt and pepper and add cumin powder. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes. Add oil and heat. Shape the crabmeat mixture into 1- inch-thick cakes, dredge each in the flour, and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary and turning once (very gently), until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side

4.Optional: Serve with cumin sauce: equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream, lime juice, chili powder, hot sauce, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. 🙂

Super Summer Squash Salad

As we continue to explore Cumin, I’d like to highlight the beautiful benefits of squash! This delicate flavor, soft shell and creamy white fleshed veggie is a perfect addition to any summer meal!  Summer squash is fantastic when it comes to providing our body with key antioxidants, Vitimin C, & few calories!

Here is a great recipe from the New York Times what pairs Cumin with Summer Squash. Check it out!! http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/health/nutrition/18recipehealth.html

Ingredients:

1 pound zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced or cut in 1/2-inch dice

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced or puréed

3/4 to 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions:

1. Steam the squash for three to five minutes until just tender. Remove from the heat.

2. Mix together the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. Toss with the squash. You can serve this warm, in which case add the cilantro and serve. Alternately, refrigerate until shortly before serving. Toss with the cilantro and serve.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: This will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator, but the colors and flavors will be less vivid.

In health,

 Reve ~Johanna

 

True Beauty

In Balinese, Lagoh Lagoh Prano means “Happy Body”.  The Balinese believe that the body, mind and spirit work in harmony. The health and well being of all make the whole body happy. I believe that when you eat well, you feel well & you look well~~this is the recipe for true beauty!

As we are learning about Cumin this week, I also learned a few facts about shrimp! Shrimp may be small in size, they are huge in terms of nutritional value and the health benefits they offer. Shrimp will help you lose weight, provide your body with important beauty nutrients and add cancer-fighting minerals… all to make you a happy, healthy true beauty this summer. 🙂

According to HEALTHWITHFOOD.ORG, shrimp contain astaxanthin, a carotenoid that gives them their pink color and that can act as a potent antioxidant and protect the skin from premature aging (Sweet!), the omega-3 fatty acids in shrimp provide antioxidant protection, and the zinc shrimp contains plays an important role in the production of new cells (including hair cells and skin cells). It also helps maintain the oil-secreting glands on the scalp that keep hair shiny. In addition, shrimp are a good source of copper which can help prevent hair loss, contribute to hair thickness, and intensify hair color. (Now that’s no skimpy shrimp!)

Cumin seeds contain a good amount of iron. Iron is an essential element for the formation of hemoglobin in the blood required for transporting oxygen …oxygenated blood leads to oxygenated skin cells and will result in a beautiful complexion.

Be true to you and a true beauty with this tasty spicy shrimp and cucumber salad with mint, lemon, and cumin! (Recipe from www.kalynskitchen.com)

Ingredients:
1 lb. shrimp in the shell (frozen shrimp are fine; I used 36-40 per pound size shrimp)
1 tsp. fish rub (optional, to season water when cooking shrimp)
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes (optional, to season water when cooking shrimp)
2 cup diced cucumber (about 3 mini cucumbers)
1/2 cup packed mint leaves
3 T fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 – 1 tsp. ground cumin (try half teaspoon, then taste to see if you want more)
1/4-1/2 tsp. Sriracha sauce (or use your favorite hot sauce, add to taste)
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (use a little less if using regular salt)
several grinds black pepper
3 T extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

If using frozen shrimp, thaw overnight, then drain. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil, stir in fish rub and hot pepper flakes if using, then add shrimp and let boil exactly 3 minutes (use a timer.) After 3 minutes, drain shrimp quickly, plunge into a bowl of ice water, then pour into a colander placed in the sink and let the shrimp drain well while you prep other ingredients.Cut end off cucumbers and peel if the skin is thick. (If there are very many seeds, scrape out the seeds with a spoon before dicing the cucumbers.) Dice cucumbers into 1/2 inch pieces and place in medium-sized salad bowl.In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, cumin, Sriracha sauce, Vege-sal or salt, and black pepper. Then whisk in olive oil. (Start with smaller amount of cumin and Sriracha and add to taste.) Coarsely chop mint using a chef’s knife and stir into dressing.Check shrimp to be sure they have drained well enough to be quite dry, and pat dry with paper towels if needed. Pull off shells, including pulling off tail section, and put each shelled shrimp into salad bowl with the cucumbers as you peel it. When all shrimp are peeled and gently combined with cucumbers, stir in lemon-mint dressing, taste to see if you want to add a bit more salt, ground black pepper, or Sriracha .
The salad can be served immediately but it’s best when chilled for a few hours before serving. This will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
Enjoy!
In health,
Reve ~Johanna