Potato Stuffed Peppers

•October 7, 2009 • 10 Comments

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I  really do enjoy cooking with my mom.  I was feeling a bit under the weather the other day and, I swear, she knows it before I do. She beats me to it every time.  And for her, that’s a good enough reason to come over and pamper me silly. Forget chicken soup; just lock mom up in the kichen and listen to her hit the high notes with the pots and the pans.

She has, sort of, lost that touch for fine cuisine over the years, but she still manages to surprise with melt-in-your-mouth comfort food. Kinda like these stuffed peppers. Who knew such simple ingredients could yield pure love :)

Here’s the recipe for love:

  • 6-8 peppers
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and grated
  • 2 onions
  • salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Start by removing the tops and the seeds of the peppers.  Salt them on the inside.

Finely chop the onions and sauté them until soft and translucent.

Add onions to the grated potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Stuff the peppers and arrange them in a baking dish.

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Add 1/3 cup of water and a drizzle of olive oil. Cover them with tin foil and bake for an hour.

When they’re almost done, remove the foil and cook the peppers for another 20-30 min.

Serve warm. And eat with mom :)

Gluten-Free Ricotta Cheese Pancakes

•October 1, 2009 • 3 Comments

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Now, try saying that ten times really, really fast…Okay, just kidding.

I don’t know about you guys, but this is how it is with me; there are certain recipes that get stuck in my head and until I find the time and inspiration to make them I pretty much won’t let go. Like a pitbull.

For the longest time I’ve wanted to make cheese. Any cheese. Butter would do as well but, economically speaking, it just doesn’t pay off. Unless I get my hands on some raw milk..but that’s another topic…

So, back to the cheese. I thought I’d start with something easy…like ricotta. With only two ingredients it doesn’t get any easier than that…and here they are:

  • 12 cups full fat milk
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

Bring milk to a boil in a heavy pot. Turn the heat off and add the lemon juice. Let sit for a few minutes. You’ll notice cheese curds separate from the whey.

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Line a colander with cheese cloth and transfer the curds to the colander carefully with a slotted spoon.

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Tie the ends of the cheese cloth together and hang the ricotta to drain off excess liquid.

Makes 2 cups.

If you’re watching your weight (and your health), here’s a way to enjoy your morning pancakes with a little less guilt:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/3 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Mix all the ingredients together and pour the batter on a hot griddle or pan.  When the pancakes are done top them with your favorite sauce or fruit.

Now, with this challenge out of the way, I’m free to move on to the next. Would you like to know what it is…? Hm…maybe I’ll just make you wait until the next post. I’ll give you a hint – roll, fold, cool, roll, fold, cool, roll, fold… Any ideas?

Grilled Corn, Tomato, String Bean and Cucumber Salad

•July 24, 2009 • 1 Comment

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Well, if this salad doen’t scream summer,  I don’t know what does.

You must’ve heard many times ( and I’m sure you’re already bored out of your mind ) to eat your veg! Okay, so you know you must eat vegetables. But do you know WHY?

Apart from numerous health benefits that veggies offer such as  vitamins, minerals and fiber than nourish your body ( and your soul ),  here’s another scientific fact that’s very often neglected or overlooked: fruit and vegetables have an ALKALIZING effect on your body.

Now, what is that, you ask?

The body’s pH is measured on a scale of 0 – 14. Midrange at 7 is where the pH is balanced. Anything below 7 is acidic and a state where your body does not function as designed. Above 7 is called Alkaline. Alkaline is the state in which your body thrives. Disease cannot live in an alkaline environment.

With that said: when you remove acid toxins from your body, you will:

FLUSH Fat Fast resulting in easy weight loss
GAIN Muscle Mass
WATCH your skin glow
ENJOY maximum energy all day, everyday.

Here’s how to rid your body of that over-acidic state:

Alkalizing Secret #1 — Drink Pure Alkaline Water – lots of it! Pure water meaning water that is filtered. At a minimum, you should be drinking 7 ounces of water for every 10 lbs of your body weight. So, if you weigh 130lbs, you need to drink a minimum of 91 ounces of pure water (that’s about 3 liters). Pure water meaning water that is filtered – the finest choice is an alkaline ionization unit (Jupiter is one of the finest on the market). If you don’t have this resource available, distilled water is a great choice with reverse osmosis coming next. Alkaline water means water with a pH over 7.5. Alkaline water adds oxygen to your water and helps to neutralize acids. A simple way to alkalize your water is with a dash of baking soda. There are also wonderful alkalizing agents you can purchase to buffer and alkalize the water.

(P.S. Avoid: coffee, black tea and sodas. – These drinks are highly acidic and do not count towards your daily water intake)

Alkalizing Secret #2 — Eat Celery…. This is one of the most alkaline foods you can eat. It quickly neutralizes acids. Eat it before, after or during a meal. Celery is so high in water content that is also works as an excellent thirst quencher. Celery is excellent for digestion.

Alkalizing Secret #3 – Eat Green Salads – forget the cheese and croutons! Always have a green salad on hand. Make a huge salad every 3 days and keep it in your fridge to make it very easy to alkalize your body. Some greens that have the highest water content are: cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, carrots, and onions. A great dressing would be cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with some lemon juice and Braggs Amino Acids. Keep this in a bowl in your fridge (tip: add cucumbers and tomatoes right before eating). Eat a HUGE salad with every meal!

Alkalizing Secret #4 – Switch from cow’s milk, to almond, soy, or rice milk. Cows milk has shown to produce an abundance of mucous in the human body. There are also few adults who can metabolize the protein in cow’s milk properly. This protein, casein, is what a cow’s metabolism needs for proper health, not for a human beings health. Also note that most dairy cows are injected with hormones such as the Bovine Growth Hormone to increase their milk production. Many of these hormones have potentially horrific side effects that can be passed on when consumed. Almond, soy and or rice milk are excellent alternatives to dairy. They are well worth trying out.

Alkalizing Secret #5 – Avoid artificial sweeteners! This includes: NutraSweet, Sucralose, Aspartame, Saccharin…. Not only are these acidic they also have other highly detrimental effects on the nervous system and neurological disease. Saccharin even tells you right on the package that it may cause cancer.

There is one natural sugar substitute that has had no reported side effects: Stevia.

Alkalizing Secret #6 – Eat a grapefruit in the morning wait 15 minutes before ingesting a carb or protein. Grapefruit, similar to lemons, is also alkalizing when ingested. Some people believe grapefruit to be a miracle fruit and I tend to support that group. Grapefruits have a very high water content and are highly alkalizing. Eat one first thing in the morning, and wait 15 minutes before eating a carbohydrate or protein (one or the other – do not mix). (The 15-minute suggestion is in accordance with proper food combining and allows your system to more easily digest. This recommendation applies to eating any fruit – fruit shouldn’t be combined with any other food type. Once eaten, wait 15 before consuming any other food type…ie: protein or carbohydrate).

Alkalizing Secret #7 – Eliminate consumption of red meat, pork, lamb…substitute chicken, turkey or fresh fish in small quantities. Red meats, pork and lamb are highly acidic a very low water content, not to mention being hard on the digestive system. If you must have meat, opt for chicken or turkey. Fresh wild fish is another excellent route to take.

Alkalizing Secret #8 - Reduce stress daily by adding yoga, tai chi, meditation, and proper breathing. An additional factor that adds to acidosis (acidic bodies) is stress. When the body moves into stress mode the digestive system shuts down and toxins cease to be eliminated. Thus the more toxins you keep in your system, the more the body will store them away (acids) in fat cells! Anything we can do to calm the mind/body will have a huge impact on alkalizing the body.

Alkalizing Secret #9 – Drink a top quality super green supplement. : Organic super greens are known to be some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They infuse the body with easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, amino acids chlorophyll, enzymes, phytonutients and alkaline salts that help neutralize acids in the blood and tissues.

Alkalizing Secret #10 – Minimize/Avoid…. processed and refined foods. That means anything made with white flour and white sugar or food coloring. Our bodies were not designed to digest these chemicals and so it must do one of three things: 1. Eliminate them (if you are not hydrating properly this is very hard to do) or 2. Neutralize them by pulling alkaline buffers where it can – like from your bones leaching calcium, or from your blood, leaching iron. Or: 3. Park them away (in fat cells). Bottom line here – stay away from processed food as much as possible.

In Summary: If you will start out by going down the list of tips and add one secret each day, there’s a tremendous possibility that you will be amazed with what you experience. Simply increasing the amount and type of water you drink can and often will be a HUGE shift in how you feel. Let me tell you – it only gets better! And remember…the name of the game is progress not perfection. Be gentle with yourself – for many people, these secrets represent a huge life change. I urge you to educate yourself on pH balance with the acid/alkaline dance.

( About The Author: Dawn Sanders, pH Weight Loss Coach, is results oriented having learned on a personal level the magic of balancing the body’s pH for weight loss and for an extraordinary life. She follows Dr. Robert Young’s “pH Miracle” and “The New Biology”. Visit her website at: http://www.transformitnow.com)

As you can see, overacidity is a much bigger problem than you may have thought. Knowing that now, it’s easier to make better health and food choices. I encourage you to start with a salad…

Here we go:

  • 2 corns on a cob, grilled ( or boiled )
  • 2 cups string beans
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cup cucumbers, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • salt, pepper

Grill or boil the corn for 20-25 min. When cooled, run a sharp knife alongside the cob to remove the kernels. Cut the string beans in half and steam for 15 min. Let cool.  Mix all the veggies together and season.




Baked Summer Fruit

•July 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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In my attempt to cut down on flour and sugar I came up with this little concoction your hips will thank you for.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fruit of choice ( I used peaches, plums and blueberries )
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup almonds, slivered

Preheat the oven to 410°F ( 210°C ).

Chop the fruit. Add honey and cinnamon and transfer to a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle slivered almonds and bake for another minute or two until golden. Keep an eye on the almonds ’cause they burn quickly.  Serve at room temperature.

Sticky Spare Ribs

•July 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

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It took me a while to find this exact recipe which is strange given that I remembered the entire  list of ingredients except for the name of the dish. Duh! The “genius” that I am, I finally turned to YouTube, et voilà!

If you happen to stumble upon Nigella’s Forever Summer series you’ll notice  that this is just one in the line of recipes dedicated to fresh chili peppers. Well, I searched the entire market and no sign of chilies anywhere, and I turned every tomato, onion and celery to find it. Classic.

Anyway, I ended up using peperonata to add some fire to it. Other than that, I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter. And it was goooood.  Actually…veeery good.

I present to you the queen herself :

Homemade Granola

•July 4, 2009 • 2 Comments

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This recipe was slightly adapted from John Berardi’s Gourmet Nutrition cookbook,  and if you’re familiar with his work  you know that there isn’t anything that shouldn’t be in there. It’s great as a breakfast or a post-workout meal.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped ( or bludgeoned  with a rolling pin. It’ s easier, take my word for it;) )
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped ( again, I recommend bludgeoning )
  • 2 tbs butter, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat ove to 350ºF.  Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven ( middle rack ), mixing once during baking until oats are golden brown ( about 20 min. ). Then remove to cool.

Chardonnay and Berry Jello

•June 26, 2009 • 1 Comment

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No, there’s no special celebration or anything, just Ms. Nigella sneaking into my home again, this time via television… There she was, sitting on her beautiful patio, dressed in white, slurping a wine jello…now, if I wasn’t a woman…Hell, I’ d still make it!

Really, what better dessert on a hot summer day? And super easy too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of Chardonnay
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup red currants
  • 1-2 tbs sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 4 gelatine sheets

Pour wine in a pot and heat until it boils. Lower the heat. Cut the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and sugar to the pot. Cook for a minute or two. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 7-8 min. Squeeze the access water and add them to them wine.

Place the berries in a glass bowl or individual cups and pour the wine. Let cool in the fridge for a few hours.

To invert the jello onto a plate, dip the bowl shortly in some hot water and flip it over.

 
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