Sunday, January 28, 2007

Frozen Yogurt with Poached Rum Raisin Pears

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup pear juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup raisins
3 large firm-ripe Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1 pint frozen vanilla yogurt (regular or nonfat)

Combine 1/3 cup rum with pear juice and sugar in a 10-inch heavy skillet and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, add the raisins and pears, and simmer, covered, until pears are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan and using a slotted spoon, remove the pears to a plate. Boil the poaching liquid, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a syrup, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the butter and the remaining tablespoon rum and return the pears to the pan. Serve over frozen yogurt

Recipe By:foodnetwork

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Lasagna Light Style

A little bit of chicken Italian sausage and roasted eggplant slices goes a long way in this lighter version of a classic.

4 cups (1L) marinara sauce, homemade or commercial
2 cups (480mL) tomato sauce, canned
1 cup (240mL) water
1 medium eggplant
1/2 pound (230g) chicken Italian sausage, removed from casings
4 cups (910g) non-fat ricotta cheese
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp (5g) parsely, chopped
1/2 tsp (2g) pepper
1 pound (455g) lasagna noodles, uncooked
1/2 cup (60g) Parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

Prepare sauce: combine prepared marinara sauce, tomato sauce and water and mix well.

Prepare fillings: Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch (2cm) thick rounds. Spray vegetable oil spray on a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Place eggplant slices on pan and bake in oven for 10 minutes.urn each piece over and bake for another 5 minutes. They should be brown in color, and soft to the touch. Allow to cool to room temperture.

Brown chicken sausage in a non-stick skillet, stirring to loosen from pan. Turn off heat and reserve.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine nonfat ricotta, egg white, parsley, and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Decrease oven heat to 350°F (175°C).

Assemble lasagna: Pour about 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) pan. Place 4 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan, covering the bottom. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Follow this with a layer of eggplant slices, and 1/3 of the chicken sausage. Pour 1/3 of the remaining sauce over all.

Sprinkle about 2 tablespons (15g) of the grated Parmesan cheese over the sauce.

Repeat layers, using all the filling ingredients, and ending with sauce. Pour 1 cup (240mL) of water around the edges of the assembled dish.

Cover with foil and bake for one hour.

Carefully remove foil and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 486
Total Fat: 9g
% Calories from fat: 16%
Protein: 36g
Carbohydrate: 64g
Cholesterol: 36mg
Sodium: 1484mg

Recipe By:evitamins

Friday, January 26, 2007

Classic Beans and Rice

This recipe comes by way of the TJ Ranch in Puerto Rico.

1 pound (455g) pinto beans, uncooked
6 cups (1.4L) water
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium ham hock
2 Tbsp (30g) tomato paste
2 tsp (4g) oregano
2 tsp (4g) thyme
1/2 tsp (3mL) Tabasco sauce
2 cups (395g) rice, uncooked

Rinse beans and pick out any stones.

Soak beans overnight in water, or, if preparing the same day, place beans in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and then turn off heat. Soak beans in the cooking water for 1 hour.

Add all the remamining ingredients to the soaked beans, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and cook over medium heat for for 1 hour.

Remove ham hock and place on a cutting board. Cool for a few minutes. Using a sharp knife, cut away the fatty skin and remove the meat from the bone. Chop meat into small pieces and return to pot and continue to cook for 1 hour more. The liquid will have boiled down to a thick, brown sauce, and the beans should be soft, but not mushy.

Prepare rice: Place rice and water in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Without uncovering, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 18 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve beans over rice.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 407
Total Fat: 3g
% Calories from fat: 6%
Protein: 19g
Carbohydrate: 77g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 270mg

Recipe By:evitamins

Fish in Foil

A meal-in-one. Serve with rice or potato for a complete dinner

1 1/4 pounds (570g) cod fillets, (or any white fish fillet)
1 Tbsp (15mL) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2g) garlic powder
1/2 tsp (3g) salt (sea salt if on a corn-free diet*)
1/2 tsp (2g) black pepper, freshly ground
1 cup (140g) zucchini, sliced
1 cup (90g) mushrooms, sliced
1 cup (180g) red onion, sliced
1 tomato, cut into small chunks
2 Tbsp (5g) fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
Divide fish into four portions and place in the center of a 12-inch (30cm) square of foil.
Brush fish with oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Put zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions on top of fish. Fold and seal foil.
Place foil pouches on a shallow pan and bake for 20–30 minutes until fish flakes when tested with a fork.
Fold back foil and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve in foil.

* Allergy notes: People following a corn-free diet should avoid iodized salt since it contains dextrose, which should be avoided by those allergic to corn.

Nutrition Facts
Calories: 179
Total Fat: 5g
% Calories from fat: 23%
Protein: 27g
Carbohydrate: 7g
Cholesterol: 61mg
Sodium: 350mg

Recipe By:evitamins

Thai steamed salmon

1 bunch coriander, washed
12 mint leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp salt
1 large red chilli, finely chopped
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
2 x 175g/6oz salmon fillets
4 bok choi, cut in half lengthways

To Serve:
basmati rice, washed in cold water until the water runs clear
1 chilli, finely sliced
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
pinch salt
1 lime, cut into wedges

1. In a food processor blend together the coriander leaves and stalks, the mint leaves, ginger, garlic, salt, chilli, lime juice and fish sauce and process until smooth.
2. Place the salmon fillets in a shallow dish and pour over half of the sauce. Leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
3. Pour the rice into a pan of boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions.
4. Turn on the steamer and place the bok choi on the bottom layer. Place the marinated salmon fillets in the top half of the steamer and cook for 6- 8 minutes until the fish is just cooked and the bok choi is tender.
5. Drain the rice and stir through the sliced chili and roughly chopped coriander. Season with salt and divide between serving plates.
6. Remove the salmon and bok choi from the steamer and arrange on top of the rice. Pour the reserved sauce over the salmon and serve immediately with a wedge of lime.

Recipes by Antony Worrall Thompson from Food and Drink

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Swordfish with roasted lemons

2 lemons, quartered, seeds removed
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 swordfish fillets, each 6 ounces
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

In a small bowl, add the lemon wedges, sugar and salt. Toss gently to coat evenly. Place the lemons in a shallow baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Roast until soft and slightly browned, about 1 hour.

Preheat the broiler (grill). Position the rack 4 inches from the heat source. Lightly coat a baking pan with cooking spray.

Place the swordfish fillets in the prepared baking pan. Brush with canola oil and top with garlic. Broil (grill) until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with a tip of a knife, about 5 minutes on each side.

Transfer the fish to individual plates. Squeeze 1 roasted lemon over each fillet and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with another roasted lemon wedge on the side.

Nutritional Analysis

Serving size: 1 fillet
Calories : 235
Cholesterol : 66 mg
Protein : 34 g
Sodium : 302 mg
Carbohydrate : 9 g
Fiber : trace
Total fat : 8 g
Potassium : 590 mg
Saturated fat : 2 g
Calcium : 46 mg
Monounsaturated fat :
3 g

Recipe From:Mayoclinic

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Chinese noodles with spring vegetables

1 package (8 ounces) Chinese noodles
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 cup small broccoli florets
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
2 scallions, chopped
Crushed red chili flakes (optional)

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the noodles thoroughly. Set aside.

In a large stockpot or frying pan, heat the oils over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Stir in the soy sauce and broccoli and continue to cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and cooked noodles and toss until warmed through.

Divide the noodles among warmed individual plates and top with crushed red chili flakes, if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories : 270
Protein : 9 g
Carbohydrate : 38 g
Total fat : 9 g
Saturated fat : 2 g
Monounsaturated fat : 4 g
Cholesterol : 0 mg
Sodium : 350 mg
Fiber : 5 g
Potassium : 564 mg
Calcium : 133 mg

Recipe by mayoclinic

Beef stroganoff

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound boneless beef round steak, cut 3/4-inch thick, all fat removed
4 cups uncooked yolkless egg noodles
1/2 can fat-free cream of mushroom soup (undiluted)
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

In a nonstick frying pan, saute the onions over medium heat until they're translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the beef is tender and browned throughout. Drain well and set aside.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente (tender), 10 to 12 minutes, or according to the package directions. Drain the pasta thoroughly.

In a saucepan, whisk together the soup, water and flour over medium heat. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add the soup mixture and paprika to the beef in the frying pan. Over medium heat, stir the mixture until warmed through. Remove from heat and add the sour cream. Stir until combined.

To serve, divide the pasta among the plates. Top with the beef mixture and serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis

Calories : 302
Protein : 24 g
Carbohydrate : 38 g
Total fat : 6 g
Saturated fat : 2 g
Monounsaturated fat : 2 g
Cholesterol : 83 mg
Sodium : 307 mg
Fiber : 2 g
Potassium : 341 mg
Calcium : 65 mg

Beef Stroganoff, in its simplest form, is simply tender beef with a mushroom, onion and sour cream sauce served over rice or noodles.
Recipes of meats braised in a sour cream base are fairly typical of medieval Russian cookery. After the fall of Imperial Russia, the recipe was popularly served in the hotels and restaurants of China before the start of the Second World War. Russian and Chinese immigrants, as well as U.S. servicemen stationed in pre-socialist China, brought several variants of the dish to the United States, which may account for its popularity during the 1950s. It is commonly served with noodles or rice.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Roasted red snapper

1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest
3 shallots or 1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1 small whole red snapper, about 1 1/2 pounds, cleaned and scaled, head and tail left on
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 small leek, including tender green top, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
2 large tomatoes, cut crosswise into slices 1/2-inch thick

In a shallow glass baking dish, make a marinade by combining the orange and lime juices, orange and lime zests, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of the oil.

Score the skin of the fish in a diamond pattern. Add the fish to the marinade and turn once to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, turning the fish occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.

In a blender or small food processor, combine the garlic, basil, mint, thyme, the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Pulse to puree. In a small bowl, combine half of the herb paste with the leek. Toss gently to mix.

Sprinkle the leek mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with the tomato slices, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry. Discard the marinade. Rub the remaining herb paste over the fish, coating both sides. Place the fish on top of the tomatoes and cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil.

Roast the fish for 30 minutes, then uncover and roast until the fish is opaque throughout when tested with the tip of a knife, 10 to 12 minutes longer.

Lift the fish from the baking dish and place on a large platter. Divide the vegetables among 4 warmed individual plates. Peel the skin from the top of the fish, remove the top fillet, and divide it between 2 of the plates. Lift out the center fish bone and discard. Lift the second fillet and divide it between the remaining 2 plates. Serve immediately.

Recipe by mayoclinic

Buckwheat pancakes

2 egg whites
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup sparkling water
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites, canola oil and milk.

In another bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and sugar. Add the egg white mixture and the sparkling water and stir until slightly moistened.

Place a nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles as it hits the pan, spoon 1/2 cup pancake batter into the pan. Cook until the top surface of the pancake is covered with bubbles and the edges are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until the bottom is well browned and the pancake is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter.

Transfer the pancakes to individual plates. Top each with 1/2 cup sliced strawberries and serve immediately.

Recipe From:mayoclinic

How to tell when fish is fully cooked

Raw fish has a translucent appearance that turns opaque during cooking. Most types of fish are considered done when they're just opaque throughout. Many people, however, enjoy some types of fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, a little less done. These should be opaque on the outside but still translucent at the center.

Use the tip of a small knife to peek at the interior of the fish. Many cookbooks tell you to cook fish until it flakes; this is too long. Once it flakes, the fish has lost too much moisture and will be dry and bland. As you peek, see how easily the fish gives way. It should gently resist flaking but show signs of firming. If the fish is on the bone, the flesh should lightly resist pulling away from the bone.

Fish will continue to cook for a minute or two off the heat. Be sure to stop cooking when the fish is just shy of done; otherwise, it will overcook by the time you serve it.

by Molly Stevens

Pear and Walnut Salad with Roquette and Parmesan

This is a contemporary salad which has actually been around for quite a while now and we regularly prepare it as part of our cooking holiday in France. I think it has achieved classic status.

The only thing that needs any preparation to speak of is the dressing, but the pears do need to be ripe and juicy – comice are perfect for this – and the parmesan needs to be shaved from a fresh block (if you haven’t got any to hand, a good strong cheese like stilton or feta will do very nicely indeed, but completely forget about using that dirty sock-flavoured sawdust sold in pots, laughingly labelled ‘Freshly Grated Parmesan’).

If you want to turn this from a starter into a main course just add some strips of dry-cured ham, smoked duck breast, or sauteed chicken livers.

2 ripe juicy comice pears
1 lemon
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grain mustard
6 tablespoon walnut oil
freshly ground black pepper
handful roquette
handful of fresh walnut halves, roughly crushed
small block of fresh parmesan

Peel and core the pears, then smear with a little lemon juice to prevent them turning brown.

Put the vinegar and a good pinch of salt in a screw-top jar and shake until the salt has desolved. Add the mustard and walnut oil, then shake again to emulsify – the emulsion will hold for ten minutes or so, but give it another jiggle just before you use it to dress the salad.

Assemble the salad: slice the pears lengthwise into thin segments and place them rustically on four serving plates along with the roquette, then scatter over the bruised walnuts. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Using a potato peeler, shave the parmesan over the salad, then ‘dust’ with a little ground black pepper.

About the author:Fred Fisher is an experienced chef who has worked with TV chef Rick Stein, among others. He runs relaxed friendly hands-on cooking holidays in the Dordogne, France. Contact him at or visit the website at

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Turkey Avocado Wrap

1/4 cup low-fat ranch dressing
2 tablespoons chipotle salsa
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
12 ounces sliced oven-roasted turkey breast (from deli)
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced
2 cups mesclun lettuce or sprigs of cilantro
1 1/2 cups grated jicama
1 tomato, thinly sliced
2 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the ranch dressing with the salsa and orange zest. Lay the tortillas on a cutting board, and spread the ranch mixture evenly over each one, leaving about a 1-inch border on all sides. Layer the turkey, avocado, lettuce, jicama, tomato, and scallions evenly over each tortilla, still leaving a border. Season with salt and pepper. Roll up like a pinwheel. Halve, and serve.

From Food Network Kitchens

The History of Chinese Cuisine

In China, food and its preparation has been developed so highly that it has reached the status of an art form. Rich and poor, the Chinese people consider that delicious and nutritious food is a basic necessity. There is an old Chinese saying “Food is the first necessity of the people”.

This art has been cultivated and refined over hundreds of years. Legend has it that the culture of Chinese cuisine originated in the 15th century BC during the Shang dynasty and was originally introduced by Yi Yin, it’s first Prime Minister.

The two dominant philosophies of Chinese culture both had extreme influences on the political and economic history of the country but it is less well known that they also influenced the development of the culinary arts.

Confucius emphasised the artistic and social aspects of cookery and eating. The Chinese don’t gather together without involving food - it is considered to be poor etiquette to invite friends to your home without providing appropriate food.

Confucius established standards of cooking and table etiquette, most of which remain to this day. The most obvious example of this is the cutting of bite-sized pieces of meat and vegetables during the course of the food preparation in the kitchen, rather than using a knife at the table which is not considered to be good manners.

Confucius also encouraged the blending of ingredients and flavourings to become a cohesive dish, rather than tasting the individual components. Harmony was his priority. He believed and taught that without harmony of ingredients there could be no taste. He also emphasised the importance of presentation and the use of colour, texture and decoration of a dish. Most importantly, cooking became an art rather than a task to be endured and certainly he was instrumental in promulgating the philosophy of “live to eat” rather than “eat to live”.

On the other hand, Tao encouraged research into the nourishment aspects of food and cookery. Rather than concentrating on taste and appearance, Taoists were more interested in the life-giving properties of food.

Centuries on, the Chinese have discovered the health-giving properties of all sorts of roots, herbs, fungus and plants. They have taught the world that the nutritional value of vegetables is destroyed by over-cooking (particularly boiling) and in addition have found that things with a great flavour also have medicinal value.

Home cooked Chinese food is extremely healthy, even though much of it is fried. This is due to the use of polyunsaturated oils (used only once and discarded) and the exclusion of dairy products. In addition the inclusion of animal fat is minimal because portions of meat are small.

About the author:Liz Canham
As well developing her Asian Food and Cookery and Travellers' Tales websites, Liz seeks to help newcomers to the world of internet marketing with tools, tips and training from her website.

Tips to Buying Food Online

Did you know that you could buy food online? I was amazed when I discovered this fact. There are hundreds of different food websites on the internet, all of which offer great deals and promotions. So no matter what you are in the mood for, you can find it online. You can choose from steaks, lobsters, fruit, wine, chocolates, cakes, coffee, and much more.

What is available? You may be surprised to find out that almost any item that you desire can be purchased online. Many sites offer discount grocery deliveries, as well as gourmet treats. If you want a cheap elegant dinner date, try ordering two live Maine lobsters! They will be shipped to your doorstep within 24 hours, complete with cooking instructions. You can make it surf and turf by adding some Omaha steaks to the menu. Top it off with a bottle of wine and imported chocolates. All purchased online, for less than you would think! The trick to buying food online is to look for the best deals and promotions.

A good food delivery site will have many important features. First you want to find someone that has been around for a while. I like the selection available at They only work with the best sites, and you can be sure that you are getting a good deal. Second look at their prices and selection. Most sites will offer various promotions and coupons for repeat customers. So if you get hooked on that fancy chocolate, it may be cheaper the next batch that you order. You can also find coupon codes that may give you free shipping or 15% off the next purchase. Last, make sure to factor in the shipping costs. Good sites offers free shipping anywhere in the country. Most perishable items will need to be specially packed and rush delivered.

Buying food online is a great way to get a good discount. Websites have lower overhead and are able to give you the same product your local grocery store can, at a fraction of the retail price. What a great deal! And with the wide assortment and free shipping, you can’t pass up buying food online. Consider sending a shipment of wine or steaks for cheap, easy gift giving. Most people love food gifts, so you can’t go wrong.

by: Melanie Breeze
About the author:Melanie Breeze, avid online shopper and user of http://www.CouponChief.comis always shopping around for the best deals. You can find food coupons available around the web at CouponChief, all in one location. Always find an online coupon 1st before making ANY purchase!

Frozen Yogurt with Poached Rum Raisin Pears

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark rum
1/2 cup pear juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup raisins
3 large firm-ripe Bosc or Anjou pears, peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1 pint frozen vanilla yogurt (regular or nonfat)

Combine 1/3 cup rum with pear juice and sugar in a 10-inch heavy skillet and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat, add the raisins and pears, and simmer, covered, until pears are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan and using a slotted spoon, remove the pears to a plate. Boil the poaching liquid, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a syrup, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the butter and the remaining tablespoon rum and return the pears to the pan. Serve over frozen yogurt.

Tips for Eating Healthy This Winter

(ARA) - It’s easy to eat right during the summer months with an abundance of fresh produce available from a wide variety of sources. But as winter rolls around, those juicy ears of corn are just a memory. That doesn’t mean, however, that you drop your healthy eating habits with the dropping temperatures.

You still need to get your five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. Make an effort to include fruits and vegetables at every meal. Since your options are more limited during the winter months, now’s the time to get creative by trying new recipes as well as sampling produce you haven’t eaten before.

Winter brings a bumper crop of root vegetables like turnips, rutabagas and parsnips; squash; brussels sprouts; and more. Apples and pumpkins are the foundation of a variety of comforting, homey desserts. Here are some tips to help you chase away the winter chill by adding the flavors and healthy benefits of winter produce.

As always, the key to buying the best produce is to know what you’re looking for. No matter what the season, look for fruits and vegetables with good color; stay away from produce with bruising, blemishes, soft spots or shriveling.

For additional help in selecting produce, especially items you haven’t tried before, visit This easy-to-use Web site features an “A to Z” guide to produce that includes useful information on the peak season for any given item, nutrition information and selection tips. You can also “ask the experts” if you have a question that isn’t answered on the site. Best of all, the site includes hundreds of recipes that show you how to put the produce to work on the dinner table. From asparagus to zucchini and everything in between, you’ll find it all here.

Here are two delicious recipes sure to warm you up this winter:

Pesto Minestrone

This full-flavored soup is also full of healthy vegetables.

2 cups cauliflower (2 small heads), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups zucchini (1-2 medium), chopped
3 cans (14.5 ounces) chicken broth, reduced sodium
1 16-ounce can tomatoes, diced, drained
1 cup elbow macaroni or small pasta shells
3 cups kidney beans or black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (1 cup dry makes 3 cups cooked) or 2 cans (15 ounces each)
1 cup carrot (1 medium), sliced
1 cup onion (1 medium), chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (for pesto)
2 garlic cloves (for pesto)
1 cup basil leaves, fresh, loosely packed OR (for pesto)
1 cup Italian parsley plus 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves (for pesto)
1 tablespoon water

In a 5 to 6 quart saucepan bring to boil 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, cauliflower, onion and carrots; reduce heat and simmer covered 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add zucchini, beans, broth and pasta. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Meanwhile put all pesto ingredients in food processor or blender and process until very finely chopped. Just before serving, remove soup from heat and stir in pesto. Makes 8 servings

Golden Apple Oatmeal

Start your day off right with a steaming bowl of this hearty (and heart healthy) oatmeal.

1/2 cup Golden Delicious apples, diced
1/3 cup apple juice
1/3 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, uncooked

Combine apples, apple juice, water and seasoning; bring to a boil. Stir in rolled oats; cook 1 minute. Cover and let stand several minutes before serving. Makes a 1-cup serving.

For more recipes, as well as nutrition and buying information for all types of produce, visit Courtesy of ARA Content

Potatoes are healthful!

Not deep fried potatoes.

Not potatoes smothered in butter, margarine, or sour cream.

Low fat yogurt can be used as a topping, plain or with herbs and spices.

But try potatoes that are baked, boiled, fried on a non-stick surface with a minimum of oil or non-stick spray, chopped into soups and stews, and on, and on.

It is extremely unfortunate that deep fried and salted potatoes ("french-fries" or pomme de terre frit" or "pomme frit", and potato chips) are so tasty, and are now the most popular of all fast foods. But severely restrict your intake if you don't want heart disease, stroke, and otherillnesses.

Potatoes are such a complete food that some societies in South America (Andes of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, where potatoes were first cultivated) eat little else.

Prepared with little fat or salt, Potatoes are healthful!

by: Dr. Donald A. Miller
About the author:Dr. Miller is author of ""Easy Health Diet""""Exercise for Juniors to Seniors"" numerous free articles on health

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Olive, History and Production

The Olive tree dates back to early ancient times in both biblical and classical writings. In these early writings, the olive oil is referenced as a symbol of both goodness and purity, and the tree represents peace and happiness. In ancient times, the oil was also burnt in sacred lamps at temples during the Olympic Games, and the victor was crowned with its leaves.

Olives have been cultivated since prehistoric times in Asia Minor. Today olives are commercially produced in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, Portugal, China, Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Angola, South Africa, Uruguay, Afghanistan, Australia, New Zealand, and California. The Mediterranean area produces 93% of the olive production. Currently there are some 800 million olive trees being cultivated. California is the only state where olives are grown commercially. Over 90% of the olive production is used to make olive oil.

The Olive tree is considered an evergreen tree. These trees can live to be over 2,000 years old. They grow 20-40 feet high and begin to bear fruit between 4 and 8 years old. The tree blooms with small whitish flowers and have a wonderful fragrant.

A Franciscan missionary planted the first olive tree in California in 1769 at a Franciscan mission in San Diego. The olives grown in California are called ยกยฐmission olivesยกยฑ. Of all the species of olives, this olive is especially good for its oil.

Olives are not edible, green, or ripe, and must be treated with lye and/or cured in brine or dry salt before being edible. They contain about 20% oil. Olives must be processed to remove the bitter glycoside oleuropein, before they are edible, so they are usually first treated with lye and then pickled.

Greek olives are not treated with lye. They are strong tasting because they are just packed in dry salt, or pickled in brine for 6 to 12 months (where they undergo a process of lactic fermentation), and finally packed in fresh brine.

Spanish green olives are picked before they are ripe, treated with lye, and then placed in a brine and allowed to ferment.

California olives are treated to set the pigment, treated with lye and then packed immediately in brine and sterilized. They do not undergo the fermentation process, and the sterilization 'cooks' them. This lack of fermentation and the 'cooking' when they are sterilized produces a bland, uninteresting olive

Ten medium size black olives have 50 calories and 4 grams of fat.

by: David Chandler

Melon fool

1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt, without gum additives or stabilizers
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt, without gum additives or stabilizers
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon, removed in wide strips
2 tablespoons sugar
4 fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1 small cantaloupe, 1 to 1 1/2 pounds, halved and seeded

1 small honeydew melon, 1/2 to 1 pound, halved and seeded

Set a fine- or medium-mesh sieve lined with a paper coffee filter over a bowl. Without stirring the yogurts, gently spoon both of them into the sieve. Place in the refrigerator to drain for 8 hours or overnight. Discard the liquid in the bowl, and spoon the yogurt cheese in the sieve into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, lemon juice and zest, sugar, and the 4 mint leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes. Scoop the mint and lemon zest out of the mixture with a slotted spoon. Return the mixture to a boil over high heat. Boil until the liquid is reduced to 1 tablespoon, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the syrup to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Whisk the cream cheese and chilled lemon-mint syrup into the yogurt cheese.

Cut the rind off the cantaloupe and honeydew melons and cut the flesh into chunks. Set aside a 1-inch cube of each melon. In a blender or food processor, combine the remaining melon pieces and puree until smooth. Add the yogurt cheese mixture to the food processor and pulse a few times to blend.

Cut each reserved melon cube into 6 pieces. To serve, divide the fruit mixture evenly among small ramekins or champagne flutes. Garnish with 1 piece of each kind of melon and mint leaves.

Grilled miso salmon

1/2 cup mirin
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives or green (spring) onion tops
1 tablespoon yellow miso
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon tahini
1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
4 salmon fillets, 5 ounces each, skinned
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the mirin, chives, miso, soy sauce, tahini and ginger. Add the fish to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, turning the fish occasionally.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill or place a grill pan over high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and pat dry. Discard the marinade. When the grill or pan is very hot, place the fillets on it and cook, turning carefully with a spatula, until grill-marked, firm to the touch, and opaque in the center, about 4 minutes on each side.

Transfer the fillets to a serving platter. Garnish with the cilantro and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Yellow Pepper Soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut in large chunks
2 large leeks, (white part only), halved lengthwise, sliced crosswise, well rinsed
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 medium russet potatoes, (about 1 pound) peeled, cut into chunks
4 cups water
1 tablespoon dry white vermouth
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the peppers, leek, garlic, salt and turmeric, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.

Tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf together with kitchen twine. Add the potato, water, and herb bundle and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the potato is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Discard the herb bundle. Puree the soup in small batches in a blender (keep the lid cracked to allow steam to escape), or in the pot with an immersion blender, until smooth. Return to the pot and reheat. Stir in the vermouth, and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Vegetable Sushi

1 1/4 pounds sushi rice (2 3/4 cups)
3 cups water
1/4 cup mirin, plus additional for moistening nori
5 sheets nori (1 package)
4 teaspoons wasabi powder, mixed with 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup small-diced red onion
1 carrot, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 scallion, julienned (green part only)
1 hothouse cucumber, seeded and julienned
1 (10-ounce) jar pickled ginger

Sushi Dipping Sauce:
1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
1/4 teaspoon water
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced pickled ginger
1 teaspoon minced scallion (green part only)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons good soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil

Place the rice in a strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water is fairly clear, about 5 minutes. Shake the water out and allow the rice to dry in the strainer for 15 minutes. Put the rice in a pot with exactly 3 cups of water and cook covered over high heat until it starts to foam, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with 1/4 cup mirin. Replace the lid and allow the rice to steam for 15 minutes. Place in a bowl and cool to room temperature.

To prepare the sushi, place a bamboo sushi roller flat on a table with the bamboo reeds horizontal to you. Sprinkle lightly with water. Place 1 nori sheet on top, smooth side down, and moisten lightly with mirin. With damp hands, press 1 1/4 cups rice flat on top of the nori, leaving 1 1/2-inch edges on the top and bottom, but pressing all the way to the sides. Make sure the rice is pressed even and smooth.

Spread 1/4 teaspoon of wasabi paste in a horizontal stripe near the lower edge of the rice. Over the wasabi, lightly sprinkle the red onions in a horizontal stripe. Place strips of carrots in a horizontal stripe, on top of the wasabi and onions, and follow by piling the red and yellow peppers, scallions, and cucumbers on top, making a tight, straight bundle of vegetables. Place 1 layer of pickled ginger slices on top.

To roll the sushi, pick up the near edge of the bamboo roller and hold it with the nori, then pull them up and over the vegetable bundle until the nori reaches the rice on the other side. Press the roller to make a round bundle, then roll the bundle to the far edge of the nori and press again to make a round bundle. (The nori should totally enclose the rice and vegetables in a round tube, but the ends will have rice and vegetables sticking out.) Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Keep the rolls under a damp towel and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, slice off the ends with a very sharp knife and slice each roll into 8 equal pieces.

Meanwhile, for the sushi dipping sauce, combine the wasabi powder and water to make a paste. Mix in the red pepper flakes, ginger, scallions, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Serve the sushi at room temperature with the dipping sauce.

Zucchini Salad

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 small zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced into half moons
3 cups loosely packed frisee (French curly endive), trimmed and torn into small pieces
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn in 1/2 lengthwise if large
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
12 kalamata olives, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

Whisk together zest, juice, mustard, honey, anchovy paste, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Add zucchini, frisee, herbs, olives, and onion and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

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