Category: Recipes

The 31 Healthiest Foods

Recipes March 16, 2015

…and how to eat more of them. Experts tell us which superpowered ingredients we should be incorporating into our diets regularly. Here are their combined picks, plus some simple and delicious preparation suggestions.

EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
An outstanding source of monounsaturated fats. When used in moderation, this tasty Mediterranean staple may even cut the risk of heart disease.
TRY THIS: Gently heat olive oil with fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme). Drizzle on pasta, steamed vegetables, or sandwiches in place of mayo.

EDAMAME
These young soybeans pack more fiber per serving than shredded-wheat cereal and have the same amount of protein as roasted turkey.
TRY THIS: Puree cooked edamame with garlic, olive oil, and fresh lemon juice for a quick hummus-like spread.

CHARD
Supercharged with nutrients–think calcium, B vitamins, and beta-carotene–this leafy green fuels your body with fiber, too.
TRY THIS: Saute chopped chard with garlic, then toss with whole-grain pasta and raisins.

Cannellini BeansCANNELLINI BEANS
Packed with cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, potassium, and magnesium that help regulate blood pressure, and complex carbs and protein that keep you from feeling hungry 30 minutes after you finish your dinner.
TRY THIS: Soak the beans overnight, simmer until tender, and drain. Throw them in a pan with good olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Cook long enough to meld the flavors—then spread over toast for one healthy bruschetta.

ORANGES
Your go-to source for vitamin C, which, among other useful traits, can help burn fat.
TRY THIS: Roast orange wedges along with salmon.

SPINACH
You’ll get iron (for healthy hair), plus folate and at least a dozen flavonoids–compounds that are loaded with antioxidants.
TRY THIS: Whole Grain bread + pesto + Mozzarella + Baby Spinach + Avocado = Delicious Grilled Cheese Sandwich

PUMPKIN
The antioxidants in this winter squash keep skin healthy; its potassium helps lower blood pressure.
TRY THIS: Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

SARDINES
This protein-rich winner is an acquired taste for some, but totally worth it. Chockablock with vitamins D and B12, it is also an excellent source of calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.
TRY THIS: Toss chopped sardines into a salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, and fresh parsley.

KALE
The payoff from this leafy green: loads of vitamin C, beta-carotene, calcium, and antioxidants.
TRY THIS: Make kale chips by tearing the leaves into pieces and tossing with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 300°F until crisp, 20-30 minutes.

KIWI
Ounce for ounce, this fuzzy fruit contains twice the amount of vitamin C as an orange, more potassium than a banana, more vitamin E & K than an avocado, and it is high in fiber.
TRY THIS: Thinly slice, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with toasted unsweetened coconut.

Fresh StrawberriesSTRAWBERRIES
May fight inflammation, cancer-causing compounds, and may even be capable of suppressing the progression of tumors. Also may help reduce bad cholesterol.
TRY THIS: Toss 2 rhubarb stalks (thinly sliced) with sugar (2 tbsp), fresh OJ (1 tbsp), and lemon juice (1 tbsp) in a medium bowl. Let sit until rhubarb is slightly softened and releases its juices, about 30 minutes. Toss with strawberries, mint, and toasted hazelnuts.

BLUEBERRIES
Packed with fiber, this superfruit was one of the top antioxidant-rich picks in a US Department of Agriculture study.
TRY THIS: Serve over vanilla frozen yogurt with a pinch of ground cardamom.

COCONUT
A saturated fat that gets burned like a carbohydrate? And that can increase your metabolism and lower your cholesterol – and that tastes good, to boot!
TRY THIS: In a saucepan heat 1/4 C water with 4 teaspoons of organic sugar. Add 1 C unsweetened coconut flakes and stir until all the water is absorbed. Dry. Smuggle in a bag at the movies.

BROCCOLI
A vitamin C gold mine–1/2 cup of cooked broccoli satisfies 80 percent of the US Food and Drug Administration’s recommended daily dose. It’s also a key dose of vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly.
TRY THIS: Toss with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Roast at 375°F until tender. Sprinkle with grated parmesan before serving.

AVOCADOS
You’ll get nearly 20 percent of your daily dose of fiber in one 1/2 cup serving, plus cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.
TRY THIS: For a side dish, halve an avocado, drizzle with soy sauce and fresh lime juice, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

BLACK BEANS
These burrito mainstays boast antioxidants and magnesium, which helps maintain nerve and muscle function.
TRY THIS: On a baking sheet, toss canned black beans with olive oil, ground cumin, and salt. Roast at 450°F until crispy, about 10 minutes, for a tasty snack.

SWEET POTATOES
The darker the color, the richer these tubers are in the antioxidant beta-carotene.
TRY THIS: For a side dish, steam cut-up sweet potatoes and apples. Puree with maple syrup and crushed red pepper.

Whole MilkMILK
It offers nine essential nutrients: calcium, of course, but also B vitamins, which help neurological function, and vitamin D, a potential cancer fighter.
TRY THIS: If you want a break from your regular morning cozy, warm a cup of skim milk with a dash of vanilla and ground cinnamon.

MUSHROOMS
Meaty and filling, as a stand-in for beef they can slash up to 400 calories from a meal. They may also protect against breast cancer by helping to regulate a woman’s estrogen levels.
TRY THIS: Saute button mushrooms and shallots until tender. Add a splash of white wine and cook until evaporated. Eat.

WHOLE-GRAIN PASTA
Contains three times the amount of fiber per serving as the typical semolina variety. Skip pasta labeled “multigrain”: It may be made with a number of grains, but they aren’t necessarily whole ones.
TRY THIS: Toss whole-grain pasta with pesto, chopped arugula, and grated lemon zest.

WALNUTS
A surprisingly good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Those are the fats that lower the bad-for-you cholesterol (LDL) and raise the good-for-you kind (HDL).
TRY THIS: For a healthy on-the-go snack, pack a handful of walnuts with some dried figs and a few anise seeds. (As the ingredients sit together, the anise releases flavor.)

PEANUT AND ALMOND BUTTERS (ALL-NATURAL)
Heart-healthy monounsaturated fats abound in these protein-rich spreads. Opt for those with just two ingredients–nuts and salt.
TRY THIS: Mix with soy sauce, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar to make a quick Asian dipping sauce for chicken skewers or dressing for noodles.

OATMEAL (STEEL-CUT OR OLD FASHIONED)
Holds cholesterol in check, helps fight against heart disease, and keeps you full until lunch, thanks to its soluble fiber.
TRY THIS: For a savory breakfast, drizzle cooked oatmeal with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan.

FILLING GRAINS (BULGAR, BARLEY & QUINOA)
Another high-fiber cholesterol fighter offering the same energy and satiety you would get from meat.
TRY THIS: Stir olive oil and fresh lemon juice into quinoa with feta cheese and red grapes.

LENTILS
A protein powerhouse, these are flush with folate, a nutrient that may prevent certain birth defects.
TRY THIS: Toss cooked lentils with extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped celery, and fresh thyme. Serve over salad greens.

ALMONDS
Packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which keep blood vessels healthy. The plant fibers help lower cholesterol.
TRY THIS: Fold chopped almonds into cooked whole grains, along with banana/passion fruit puree and pomegranate seeds.

EGGS
The whites offer up protein with minimal calories (and zero fat or cholesterol). The yolks are awash with vitamin B12 and vitamin A.
TRY THIS: Make a sandwich with whole-grain bread, scrambled eggs, and olive oil mayo.

NONFAT GREEK YOGURT
Rich in probiotics (bacteria that may improve digestion and increases your immunity), this extra-thick yogurt can contain 8 grams more protein per serving than conventional yogurt.
TRY THIS: Make a dip with all-natural peanut butter, local honey, and cinnamon. Serve with your favorite apple wedges.

CHICKEN BREASTS (BONELESS, SKINLESS)
A dinner staple from the leanest part of the bird: Half a breast has just 2.5 grams of fat and more than 22 grams of protein.
TRY THIS: Shred cooked chicken and toss with olive oil, raisins, curry powder, and fresh lime juice.

WILD SALMON
Its omega-3 fatty acids may improve your mood and keep your skin glowing. Why wild? It’s exposed to fewer toxins than the farmed variety.
TRY THIS: For breakfast, mash some avocado on whole-grain toast and top with flaked poached salmon.

BaconBACON–THAT’S UNEXPECTED!
45 percent of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated. Better still, bacon’s monounsaturated fat turns out to be oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil. So that means some could argue bacon is about half as good for you as olive oil and about 100 times more delicious. Of course, moderation is key here, and you should seek out artisanal varieties without preservatives.
TRY THIS: Fry up just one slice along with the aromatics for a pot of soup, or chop it up and use it as a garnish for fish or sauteed greens.

Advertisements

How-To: Cook An Egg

Recipes March 15, 2015

You think it’s such a simple thing, but a perfectly cooked egg is actually kind of an achievement, particularly when you’re trying to get a specific result. Anyone who has served their share of rubbery scrambled eggs knows that well. That said, they’re also awesome. They’re cheap, they’re packed with protein and healthy fat, and throwing one on top of pretty much anything makes pretty much anything a meal; for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

BOILED

1 egg
water

  1. Fill a small saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Using a spoon, gently slide in the egg and set your timer.
  3. Keep an eye on the water while the egg cooks, and try to maintain a soft boil.
  4. When the timer goes off, remove the egg to an ice water bath for one minute to stop the cooking.
  5. Crack, peel, and enjoy.
  • For a soft-boiled egg with set whites and a liquid yolk set for six minutes. This is what you want for ramen, or eggs & soldiers.
  • For a perfectly hard-boiled egg with a slightly soft center set for nine minutes. This is what you want for salad niçoise.
  • For a completely cooked through yolk set for ten minutes. This is what you want for egg salad, a snack, or deviled eggs.

SCRAMBLED

2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon heavy cream
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter

  1. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and season with a very generous pinch of salt and several grinds of black pepper.
  2. Add cream, and beat the eggs with a fork until they are a uniform light yellow color.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small non-stick pan over high heat.
  4. When the butter melts and begins to foam, pour in the eggs and immediately turn to low. Stir with a spoon or spatula constantly as you cook.
  5. When the eggs are just set but still look too moist, remove them to a plate (they will continue to cook a bit as they rest).

POACHED

1 egg
water
2 teaspoons white vinegar

  1. Fill a small saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
  2. Add vinegar to water, and crack the egg into a small bowl or ramekin.
  3. Use a wooden spoon to stir the water, creating a whirlpool, or vortex.
  4. Gently slide the cracked egg into the vortex—it should spin around a bit. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. After 10 seconds, use a slotted spoon to gently move the egg, making sure it hasn’t stuck to the bottom of the saucepan.
  6. Let the egg cook at a low simmer until it has reached desired doneness. For us, that means around 2:30 for just-set whites and completely liquid yolks, or around 3:30 for runny yolks with a little more structure.
  7. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then either serve immediately or cool, refrigerate, and reheat in simmering water when ready to eat.

FRIED

1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Heat olive oil in a small, non-stick pan over medium heat.
  2. Crack the egg directly into the pan and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Continue cooking the egg over medium heat for about three minutes, or until the white is set and slightly crispy around the edges, but the yolk is still quite runny.

OVER-EASY

1 egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. The over-easy egg starts off exactly the same as the fried egg.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a small, non-stick pan over medium heat.
  3. Crack the egg directly into the pan and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook for about two minutes, then use a spatula to flip the egg, being careful not to break the yolk.
  5. For a runny yolk, turn off the heat and let the egg sit for one minute. If you prefer a slightly more cooked yolk, turn the heat down to low and cook one to two minutes.

Creamy Chicken with Biscuits

Cozy Cooking, Recipes November 12, 2013

Comfort food has to be full of carbohydrates, able to be eaten with a spoon and served in a bowl. To me, bowl food equals soul food. And this recipe hits the mother lode. It’s a southern classic that my grandmother used to make, but I’ve changed it to make it my own. It’s easy to prepare and simply delicious. Serve it with turnip greens, scalloped apples, grilled peaches or quartered figs, and a glass of wine, though personally, I like to eat it with some peace and quiet.

3/4 pound carrots (about 4), cut into 1/4 inch lengths
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (about 8)
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream

In the slow cooker, toss together the carrots, celery, onion, and flour. Place the chicken on top and sprinkle with poultry seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the wine and broth.

Cover and cook on low for about 4-5 hours. The vegetables and the chicken should be tender.

Thirty minutes before serving, prepare your favorite biscuits. This is the important carbohydrate part that completes this dish.

Ten minutes before serving, add the peas, cream, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the chicken and stir to combine. Cover and cook until heated through, 5 to 10 minutes more.

To serve, place the bottom halves of the biscuits in shallow bowls, then top with the chicken mixture and remaining biscuit halves.

serves 6

Quick Tip: Poultry seasoning usually contains a mix of dried thyme, sage, marjoram, rosemary, and black pepper. It’s a great way to add flavor to chicken dishes. To make your own, combine equal parts of these herbs and store in a tightly sealed container.

Beef Brisket with Yams and Prunes

Cozy Cooking, Recipes October 4, 2013

Braised beef brisket is the quintessential Jewish holiday dish for Passover or Rosh Hashanah. It also makes a festive main course at any time of the year, for any faith. I’m a big believer in the fall season so I like to make this recipe when the weather outside requires that I wear an oversized sweater. The sweet-sour yam-and-prune mixture that cooks with the brisket is one of many versions of the traditional accompaniment know as tsimmes, a Yiddish word that also means “mess,” capturing its appealingly chunky character that goes great with my sweater. You can substitute carrots for the yams and dried apricots for the prunes. Many fans of braised brisket swear that it’s even better reheated the next day.

1 marbled beef brisket, about 3 lbs
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 yellow onions, cut into chunks
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups pitted prunes, halved
2 1/2 lbs small yams, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Trim away excess fat from the surface of the brisket. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the meat.

In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the brisket, fat side down, and cook until browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set in the slow cooker, fat side up.

Add the onions to the pot and sauté over medium-high heat until they start to brown, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, stirring and scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir in the broth and ketchup and bring to a boil.

Add the onion mixture to the slow cooker, spooning some of the onions over the brisket. Add the bay leaves and sprinkle in the thyme. Cover and cook for 4 hours on the low heat setting. In a large bowl, combine the yams, prunes, orange juice, and brown sugar, tossing to coat the yams and prunes. Push the yams and prunes into the cooking liquid around the brisket and drizzle the juice-sugar mixture over them. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 more hours until the meat and yams are tender.

Transfer the brisket to a carving board. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Carve the brisket across the grain into slices 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Arrange the slices on a warmed platter and top with the cooking juices and vegetables. Serve at once.

If you plan to serve the brisket a following day, place the slices in a storage container and cover with the cooking juices. Keep the vegetables in a separate storage container. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours.

serves 6-8

Lemon Rosemary Chicken Bake

Recipes May 15, 2013

8 or so chicken legs
1 lemon, sliced
1 pound of potatoes, cut into large chunks
10 or more cloves of garlic, peeled
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
coarse sea salt & pepper
1 glass of dry white wine

Put chicken legs into a baking dish and add the potatoes, lemon and garlic cloves. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Pour in a glass of white wine. Bake at 400 F for 40 minutes until tender, fragrant and beautifully browned.

Tip: For softer potatoes, boil chunks for 6ish minutes before baking. To give chicken a browner color in the end, pan sear the legs for 3 minutes on each side before baking.

serves 4