Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Asparagus With Hollandaise Sauce

Asparagus Spears:
24 asparagus (about 1 bunch)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and black pepper

If the asparagus spears are thin, just snap the ends off. If the stalks are thicker, then peel the stalks from half way down to the end to ensure the spears are tender and not stringy. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil all over the asparagus spears. Sprinkle garlic on top and rub well with your hands to ensure all the spears are fully coated. Season with salt and black pepper and toss over medium high heat in a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or on the grill/barbecue until it's cooked but still crispy (about 4 minutes).

Hollandaise Sauce:
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, melted

In a blender, combine egg yolks, mustard, and lemon juice. Blend to fully combine (about 5 seconds). With the blender on high speed, stream the melted butter in. Sauce should be a thick, but smooth consistency. Pour over asparagus and serve immediately.


We Could be Consuming GMO Food without Knowing!

"When a team of activists wearing white hazmat suits showed up at a Chicago grocery store to protest the sale of food containing genetically modified ingredients, they picked an unlikely target: Whole Foods Market."

"Organic foods, by definition, can't contain genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. But genetically modified corn, soy and other crops have become such common ingredients in processed foods that even one of the nation's top organic food retailers says it's been unable to avoid stocking some products that contain them."

"Though people have been modifying foodstuffs through selective breeding and other methods for centuries, genetically modified crops differ in that the plants grow from seeds in which DNA splicing has been used to place genes from one species into another. In this way, the crop can be made to withstand a weed-killing pesticide, for example, or incorporate a bacterial toxin that can repel pests."

Read More From Original Article:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Meatloaf with Balsamic Pear Glaze

1 lb pork loin, minced/ground
1 lb top sirloin steak, minced/ground
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 slices of multigrain bread (soaked in 1/2 cup of milk)
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

1 large pear, skinned and thinly sliced after removing seeds and core
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon raw brown sugar
juice of half a orange

Preheat oven to 400 F. 

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add celery, onions and garlic and cook until soft. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, soaked bread, cheese, extra virgin olive oil and the cooked vegetables and mix to combine.

On medium-high heat, bring a small saucepan with all the ingredients for the glaze to a rolling boil for 3 minutes and reduce heat to a low simmer for a further 30 minutes or until glaze is thick. Set aside.

Mold the meatloaf on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 or until it's cooked and golden brown and crispy on top. Brush the meatloaf generously with the glaze twice during the last 20 minutes of cooking ensuring to use up all the glaze. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle feta crumbles on top and serve warm.


Fish at High Risk of Extinction

"GENOA, Italy — Converts to Italy's Slow Food movement can see past a few poisonous spines and bulging eyes: the scorpion fish and needlefish may be ugly but they are cheap, sustainable and taste fantastic."

"It's time to go back to eating 'poor' fish, the types that your grandma used to eat years ago. Not only are they tasty and cheap, they can save other fish from dying out," fisherman Roberto Moggia said at Italy's Slow Fish event."

"Species at high risk of extinction -- from bluefin tuna to swordfish and eel -- are replaced by a large variety of sleek, spikey, flat or bloated fish of differing colours, laid out on display or served up raw, salted or pickled."

"Many fish are being caught too early to give them chance to reproduce, but attempts to encourage sustainable fishing have already seen the list of stocks consumers are strongly advised not buy drop from 14 to 11 this year."

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Fig Glaze

1 5-pound chicken
2 lemons, cut in half
2 tablespoons lemon thyme
2 tablespoons parsley
2 large clove garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced into large chunks
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fig-lemon preserve
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and black pepper generously and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice making sure to coat the whole bird. Rub the chicken with minced garlic. Fill the cavity with lemon thyme, parsley, lemon and onion. Place chicken on a roasting pan. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the thigh juices run clear. Baste with the fig-lemon preserve twice during the last half hour. The skin should be crispy. Transfer to a serving platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.


Processed Food

"Avoiding processed foods will not only help you lose weight, but since you will be substituting them with healthy alternatives, you will be leading a far healthier lifestyle too."

"Processed foods are most of the store bought packaged stuff that you get at any kirana store or grocery store, which have a lot of preservatives and have been altered from their natural state in order to make them convenient to buy and consume. The methods used for processing foods include canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration and aseptic processing."

"This list is endless. Starting from pizza, white bread, and pastries (flour is highly processed), it goes on to the mayonnaise or tomato ketchup that you have lying in your kitchen to the packaged cereals and cornflakes that you may be eating for breakfast, to the biscuit packets that you munch on. Even the so-called healthy biscuits and cereals are pretty processed with high sodium content, preservative, and hidden sugars. Processed meats include sausages, cured meats, ham etc."

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mixed Berry Cobbler

3 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup sugar (use up to 1 cup if a sweeter taste is preferred)
1 egg, room temperature
8 tablespoons butter (226g), room temperature
1 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons raspberry preserve or preserve of choice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Using a pastry knife, cut butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. 

Mix milk, vanilla and egg in a separate bowl. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Add more milk if dough is too dry.

Combine blueberries and preserve.

Pour half the batter into a 8x8 in (20x20 cm) greased cake pan, spreading evenly to coat the bottom of cake pan. Add fruit mixture and spread evenly. Add the rest of the batter on top making sure to cover all the berries (refer to picture).

Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Several Groups Sue FDA Over Allowing Routine Use of Antibiotics.

"Several environmental and public health groups filed suit against the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday to try to force the government to stop farmers from routinely adding antibiotics to livestock feed to help animals grow faster."

"The groups say widespread agricultural antibiotic use and the FDA’s allowance of the practice are compounding a public health crisis: the increasing prevalence of “superbugs” that infect people and do not respond to antibiotics."

"Meanwhile, the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has increased. Resistant bacteria can evolve whenever drugs are used against them because substrains that are less susceptible to antibiotics will survive and multiply."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mashed Potatoes

4 large potatoes, diced into bite sizes
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons full cream ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup full cream milk or cream
1 tablespoon fresh horseradish (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover on medium high heat. Season with salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes are cooked, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the pot and cover with a lid. 

Heat milk on medium high heat, add butter until it melts.

Beat the potatoes until smooth with an electric mixer. Add milk mixture (you may not need the whole amount). Mashed potatoes should be fluffy not runny or gooey. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Drizzle oil of choice (I used wasabi oil) all over the top. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve warm.


The Rise of Organic Farming

"PARIS — Even during a period of rising food prices and economic uncertainty, Damien Bignon, a poultry farmer in the Paris region, cannot meet the demand from local markets and stores for his organic eggs. Mr. Bignon thinks he could comfortably expand to 12,000, matching the number of chickens on the farm in 1990 before its conversion to organic operations. But he is determined to manage carefully any growth to maintain quality, keep customers satisfied and not crowd out other local farmers. He charges 2 euros ($2.82) for a half dozen eggs — about twice the cost of factory-farmed eggs at a French supermarket."

"Sales of organic foods appear robust across Europe and the United States despite weak economic conditions and rising inflation. The strong sales are attracting more interest and activity from investors, who see potential in mergers through economies of scale, especially in Europe’s more fragmented market."

"In the United States, sales of organic food reached $26.7 billion last year, according to theOrganic Trade Association. That was a 7.7 percent increase from 2009, which itself was 5.1 percent higher than 2008. The United States has now overtaken Europe to become the largest market."

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Roasted Zucchini Spears Basted with Wasabi Oil

4 large zucchini, cut into spears
3 tablespoons wasabi oil 
1 small garlic clove, minced
salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F or Preheat barbeque to medium high.

Coat zucchini spears generously with wasabi oil and garlic. Season with salt and black pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet or on the barbeque. Roast or grill for 8 minutes or until soft. Drizzle extra wasabi oil on top. Garnish with fresh herbs of choice. 

Serve warm.

Wasabi Oil:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of wasabi paste (more if you prefer a spicier oil)
salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients and whisk well to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Store in a airtight container.

Wasabi oil is available at most Supermarkets. If you can't find it, it is easy to make your own and store in an airtight container for future use on salads and grilled vegetables. It is also a great marinade for meat, poultry and seafood.


Would You Eat Meat Grown In a Laboratory?

"Although the thought of a juicy steak or chicken tender raised in a laboratory, disassociated from fur or feathers, may sound unappetizing, scientists say it's only a matter of years before we'll all be tucking in to 'in vitro meat."

"As the cells develop, they attach to a natural scaffold, gradually forming muscle tissue, which as butchers know is the primary ingredient in meat. Scientists envision being able to customize meat blends based on individual taste, fat content or even nutrients."

"In a trend that perhaps suggests our growing alienation from the methods of our food production, urban legends have circulated for several years that this or that fast food chain has already been serving us meat from 'genetically engineered' animal parts that lack heads or hearts."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Asparagus Blueberry Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigarette

1 Heart Romaine Lettuce
12 Asparagus spears, grilled
1 cup fresh blueberries
3 slices prosciutto, cooked until crispy and crumbled into pieces
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 small lemon (juice)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 small garlic clove, minced

Whisk all ingredients to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Arrange vegetables on a serving platter. Just before serving, drizzle a generous amount of the vinaigrette all over the salad. Season with salt and black pepper. Scatter cheese crumbles, walnuts (optional), and prosciutto on top.

Serve extra dressing on the side. 


Onions as a Natural Food Preservative???

"The antioxidant and anti-microbial properties of the raw onion make it a good candidate for use in food preservation. The study shows that the flavonoids of onion, in addition to having beneficial properties for health, increase the life of foods, and so they are a natural alternative to artificial additives used in food industry".

"The onion can be effective for delaying lipid oxidation in emulsions of oil and water - a model system of foods like margarines and mayonnaises - and it inhibits the growth of micro-organisms that alter foods."

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Lemon-Fig Drop Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter (4oz), room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons of grated lemon peel
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon-fig preserve or similar

Preheat oven to 350 F

Whip butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one a the time. Sift in dry ingredients.

On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch log to make 12 - 1 inch pieces. Use your finger to create a hole in the center of each cookie. Pour preserves into a small piping bag. Fill holes 1/2 full of preserves. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


McDonald's Insists On Advertising to Children

"McDonald’s “appears hell bent on preventing communities from securing health protections against your abusive practices. Will McDonald’s stop aggressively interfering in public health policy and opposing democratic efforts to create a healthier food environment, free of junk food marketing, for our children and future generations?”

"McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner defended the company’s right to “advertise freely.” He added that McDonald’s will “continue to advertise to our customers responsibly about our menu and about lifestyle choices and leave the personal responsibility up to them.” Skinner claimed that the fast food company takes “responsible advertising very seriously.”

“Advertising is at the heart of McDonald’s business model, with annual expenditures reaching $2 billion,” the letter stated, and pointed out that the company’s “marketing practices set the standard for competitors across industries.”

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Basil-Garlic Butter Sauce

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite sizes
2 cups all purpose white flour
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
8 ounces full cream ricotta cheese
1 egg
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Put butternut on a greased sheet pan. Season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until butternut is soft. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Mash until smooth. Add egg, parmesan, and ricotta cheese. Mix well to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Sift flour in. Add more flour if needed to form a soft dough (dough should not be sticky) Turn dough onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll into 1/2-inch thick sticks. Cut each stick into 1-inch pieces and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until ready to use.

Butter Sauce:
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon good quality maple syrup
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Handful fresh basil, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper

Heat oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, and cook until softened. Add lemon zest, maple syrup and basil (leave some basil aside for garnish) a further two minutes to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil gnocchi until they float to the top (about 2 minutes). Drain.

Return sauce to a medium heat. Add drained gnocchi and toss well to coat and brown (about 5 minutes). Place into a large serving bowl.  Garnish with extra grated parmesan cheese and basil on top.

Serve as a meal for 4 people with salad greens and fresh bread of choice or as a side dish for 6 people with grilled meat and vegetables. 


Skim Milk Makes You Fat?!

"You probably spend all of one second deciding what kind of milk to put in your coffee. What's to debate? If you want to keep the pounds off and avoid heart disease, choose skim. This is gospel, after all: It's recommended by the USDA and has so permeated our thinking that you can't even find reduced-fat (2%) milk at places like Subway—and forget about whole."

"Let's start with the question of what's fattening. Whole milk contains more calories and, obviously, more fat. A cup has 146 calories and almost 8 grams of fat, reduced-fat (2%) has 122 calories and almost 5 grams of fat, low-fat (1%) has 103 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, and nonfat (skim) has 83 calories and virtually no fat."

"But surely low-fat milk is better for your heart? We are often told to watch our consumption of dairy because it raises our bad cholesterol, the kind known as LDL. But LDL comes in at least four varieties, and only the smallest and densest of them are linked with heart disease. Dairy fat, it turns out, affects only the large, fluffy kind of LDL—the benign kind."

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chocolate Espresso Self-Saucing Cakes

1 cup all purpose flour or all purpose GF flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon good quality cocoa
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon strong espresso coffee, cold
5 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1/3 powdered/icing sugar
1 egg, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 4 small ramekins. 

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Whisk butter, milk, espresso, egg, and sugar to combine. Pour into flour mixture and stir until smooth. Spoon into ramekins and put on a baking sheet.

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup boiling water

Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Pour chocolate sauce mixture over cake batter. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Serve immediately with lot's of fresh whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Drug Companies Don't Want You to Know!

Watch and learn...

-Drug companies underestimate dangerous side-effects.
-Drug companies control much of the information your doctor receives.
-You're often prescribed drugs you don't need.
-Drugs target the symptom, not the cause of the problem.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicken Sliders with Balsamic Pear Marmalade

12 dinner rolls (sourdough or brioche)
4 chicken breasts, minced/ground
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup full cream ricotta cheese
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced/ground
1/2 cup panko crumbs
2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven 450 F

Combine all the ingredients and season with salt and black pepper. Scoop into a greased 12 cup muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned and cooked through. Set aside.

Balsamic Pear Marmalade:
1 large pear, thinly sliced (remove skin and core)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons raw sugar
Juice of 1/2 an orange

On medium-high heat, bring all the ingredients to a rolling boil for 3 minutes and reduce heat to a low simmer for a further 30 minutes or until marmalade is thick and the pear is soft.

Assemble sliders with greens of choice and thick sliced tomatoes. Serve warm.


Europe Moving Away from Toxic Synthetic Food Dye

"The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a prominent advocacy group, has requested the Food and Drug Administration ban artificial coloring in food. Our 2008 petition highlighted the evidence demonstrating that food dyes impair the behavior of some children. In response to that petition, the FDA held an advisory committee meeting, which narrowly voted against requiring a warning label. That, of course, is only advisory, and the FDA could do whatever it likes.”

"Although no other nations have banned dyes in food, we want the United States to move away from synthetic coloring as Europe is doing. The European Union requires a warning label on most dyed foods. Europe is surviving well with little use of artificial dyes. Numerous natural colorings are available. The public would benefit from eliminating these toxic substances from the food supply.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

White Wine Sangria

2 bottles Prosecco
1 litre bottle pomegranate Italian soda
1 litre bottle sparkling water
1 packet passion fruit pulp
1 cup powdered sugar (add more if you prefer a sweeter taste)
2 cups summer fruit chopped into bite sizes
12 mint leaves

Combine all the ingredients in a large pitcher and mix well. Serve icy cold with chopped fruit  and mint leaves on top.

Square Foot Gardening

"When asked why they grow vegetables, gardeners often answer the question by saying they want that special homegrown flavor without preservatives, to save money by growing one’s own food and also the pleasure and satisfaction of a great hobby."

"Square foot gardening is the practice of planning small but intensively planted gardens. The garden is divided into a size and shape that gardeners of all ages, sizes and levels of experience can understand and cope with easily. It can be large enough to grow food for an entire family or just enough for a few salads each week."

"Benefits of this method of gardening are many. No heavy tools are required to loosen the soil as it is never compacted, weeding is minimal and convenient, and companion planting with pest-repelling plants is efficient in a close space. Also, taller raised beds can be installed to accommodate physically challenged gardeners."

Read More From Original Article: 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Egg Salad

4 hard boiled eggs
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon brown mustard
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
1 stick celery, finely diced
salt and black pepper to taste

Mash eggs with mayonnaise and mustard. Add dill, celery, onions, and capers. Mix well to combine. Season with salt and black pepper. 

Serve chilled. 

Dark Side of Soy.

"Food products made with soy have enjoyed great popularity in the United States and elsewhere in recent years. Two decades ago, Americans spent $300 million a year on soy food products; today we spend over $4 billion."

“Many of soy’s health benefits have been linked to isoflavones — plant compounds that mimic estrogen,” reports Lindsey Konkel in Environmental Health News. “But animal studies suggest that eating large amounts of those estrogenic compounds might reduce fertility in women, trigger premature puberty and disrupt development of fetuses and children.”

"The U.S. government permits the sale and consumption of GM foods, but many consumers aren’t so sure it’s OK to eat them, given not only the genetic tinkering but also the exposure to so much glyphosate. Due to these concerns, the European Union has had a moratorium on GM crops of all kinds since 1998."

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Mini Banana Cakes with Passionfruit Cream

226g butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
4 bananas, mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
3 cups cake flour

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Grease 12 small ramekins or 12 cup popover pan.

In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt, together. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy in a separate mixing bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Beat in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in bananas.

Scoop mixture into prepared ramekins. Fill 3/4 full. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (about 50 to 60 minutes). 

Cool. Run a knife around the edges to remove.

Passionfruit Cream:
1 small carton heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons passionfruit pulp

Using an electric mixer, whisk all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl until cream forms stiff peaks. Serve generous spoonfuls on top of the mini cakes.


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