The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

As a child, eggplants were my least favorite vegetable, much to my mother's disappointment.  The only exception was Baba Ghannouj, a must at every Lebanese appetizer table.
You see, in the Middle East, the Eggplant is referred to as the King of Stuffed Vegetables due to its versatility and the large number recipes that feature this violet beauty.
When I was in my preteen years, I decided that every couple of weeks or so I would force my self to eat one food item that I did not like. When the eggplant's turn came around, it took a while, but slowly I grew to love that little bit of creamy bitterness it offers.  Soon my favorite recipes included 4 eggplant dishes... 1) Eggplant rounds pan-fried in olive oil and topped with a Spicy Tomato-Onion medley; 2) Eggplant stuffed with Rice, Lamb, Onions, Tomatoes and Spices; 3) Eggplant-Beef boats with Pine Nuts; and 4) Baba Ghannouj.
The recipe below calls for the Caponata to be served cold as an appetizer.  Since it is versatile, I have heated it up and spooned it over hot whole wheat couscous that has been cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, for a wonderful meal!

Recipe

Serves @ 10 as an appetizer
  • 2 lbs. organic Eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic White Onion, small diced
  • ½ c. organic Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. organic Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and small diced)
  • ¼ c. organic Basil, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 small Green Chili, minced (opt.)
  • ¼ c. Green Olives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Head of Green leaf Lettuce
Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until lightly browned; removed from pan. In the same pan, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for 2 minutes (vegetables should still have some texture, and garlic should not brown). Mix everything else together in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve a large scoop of pate over a bed of lettuce and surround with toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, or scoop onto whole wheat Tuscan bread that has a light smear of Vegenaise.

~ Buon Apetito!

Apples and Butternut Squash

I inherited my current Crock Pot from a dear friend who moved to Atlanta.  

It had been a number of years since I owned a Crock Pot, maybe. I remember I have one when I walk by the rack it sits on, so it has yet to rent a permanent space in the cooking corner of my mind!

Crock Pots are wonderful for plan ahead, everything in one pot meals. Some of them are quite tasty, although scoffed at

by gourmets, but I've learned to relax and enjoy a wide array of cooking styles and approaches.

I love recipes that combine fruit and vegetables.  So many of them seem to be made for each other, like Butternut and Apples.

Pumkins and Squash

Recipe

This recipe makes a lovely side dish to curries, grilled chicken or fish.

  • 1 Tbs. organic grass-fed, Butter
  • 1/2 ts ground Ceylon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
  • 1 lb organic Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
  • 2 large tart organic Apples, cored, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
  • 1/2 organic White Onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. real Maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar

Combine spices in a small bowl, and set aside.

-butternut-squash
-butternut-squash

Put squash in Crock-pot. Add apples and onion.

Sprinkle with spices and add maple syrup.  Stir to combine well.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 - 7 hours, or until vegetables are tender.  Stir in butter and adjust seasoning just before serving.

~ En Guete! ♥

Black Bean Brownies - Revisited!

On June 5th I re-blogged the Black Beauty recipe from Chronicles of Passion.  I said that I would post the results after I tweaked the recipe to fit in with our Anti-Cancer Diet.

Well, I baked up a batch last week, and below is the end result presented in photo and words.

black bean brownies
black bean brownies

Here is the recipe with my modifications

.

maple syrup Josephs
maple syrup Josephs
  • 1 c. organic Black beans, drained
  • 1 Banana, cut into 5 pieces
  • 1/4 c. organic Zucchini, shredded
  • 1 generous tsp. pure Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/4 cup organic Raw Cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbs. Xylitol or Chicory Root powder
  • 3 Tbs. pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbs. brewed Green Tea or Water
  • 1/4 c. organic Oat Flour
  • Toasted Pecans (opt.)

Then I followed the recipe instructions for the most part.

Preheat oven to 375º F. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Place beans and banana in food processor and pulse until completely mashed.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until combined, scraping often.

black bean brownies 4
black bean brownies 4

Pour batter into pan, spreading it evenly, and push pecan pieces into batter.

black bean brownies raw
black bean brownies raw

Place pan on middle rack of oven.

Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until edges curl away from paper. The brownies may seem a little gooey, but they harden as they cool. Let cool on a rack and slice into squares.

I spread a little sugar-free (no artificial sweeteners) raspberry jam on my slice.. and oh my gosh.. it was amazing.  By the time J and I finished tasting them, 1/3 of the pan was gone!

I liked them cold out of the fridge the next day.

Do try this, and tell me what you think!

Parks and Cool Hot-Weather Recipes

Our city has 4 lovely public parks, each with its own unique character and attractions.  Our family is large..( 2 of my siblings live within a mile of me) so between our 9 children and their significant others, and children we're about 28 people. When we all get together it's often outdoors!

Being blessed with a family of excellent cooks, potlucks have less to do with luck and more with certainty! The certainty of tasty dishes from everyone.

Regular Cast of Characters

These appear at most every picnic event we hold:

  1. Authentic Homemade Hummus
  2. Tabbouleh  or Fattoush
  3. Marinated Chicken Kabobs for grilling
  4. Kafta for grilling
  5. Baked Beans

Below are 3 additional Summertime Recipes for your files.  I chose ones that don't take a lot of prep, and that are full of the Fantastic Foods you want to incorporate into your daily diet.

Quinoa and Mango Salad

This recipe can be made several hours before and refrigerated. Take it out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.

Mango Quinoa salad
Mango Quinoa salad
  • 2 c. brewed Green Tea
  • 1 c. uncooked Quinoa
  • 1 c. Mango,  cut into small chunks (not too ripe to cut back on sugar content)
  • 1/2 c. sliced organic Green Onion
  • 2 Tbs. dried Cherries, chopped (opt.)
  • 2 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Apple Cider Vinegar (I recommend Bragg's organic)
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Combine tea and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl.

Add mango, onion, cherries and parsley and mix well.

Combine liquid ingredients with spices and whisk until blended. Pour over quinoa, and mix.

This makes about 8 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Tropical Chicken Macadamia Salad

Spicy Vinaigrette

Combine the following in blender, adjusting seasoning as preferred:

tropical Chicken salad
tropical Chicken salad
  • scant 1/4 c. organic E.V Olive Oil
  • 1/4 c. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Cayenne sauce
  • 2 tsp. Curry Powder
  • 2 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper

Reserve 1/2 c. of dressing.

Chicken Salad

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless organic free-range Chicken Breasts
  • 8 c. rinsed and torn Watercress and Boston or Green Leaf organic Lettuce
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped unsalted Macadamia Nuts
  • 1/2 c. shredded organic Coconut, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. organic Red Bell Pepper, diced (opt.)

Place chicken in large resealable plastic food storage bag.  Pour remaining dressing over chicken. Seal bag, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to broil, or prepare barbecue grill. 

chicken-1379373_1280.jpg

Remove chicken from marinade. Grill or Broil 10 - 15 minutes or until center is no longer pink (165º F).  Arrange greens on a platter. Slice chicken breasts and arrange over greens. Tops with nuts, coconut and bell pepper. Serve with reserved dressing.

Makes about 4 servings.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Egg White Salad

This high protein salad has less than 2g. of fat per serving, and a whopping 11 g. of protein.

  • 6 Hi Omega-3 hard-boiled Egg whites, chilled and chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Celery
  • 1/4 c. chopped organic Red Onion
  • 1 Tbs. chopped dill or sweet organic Pickles
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Parsley
  • 3 Tbs. Vegenaise
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. organic Lime Juice
  • 1/2 tsp. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1/8 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Cayenne (opt.)

Mix dry ingredients in a medium size bowl.

Mix dressing ingredients in small bowl, whisking till blended.  Pour over egg mixture.  Chill for 30 minutes.

Serve on lettuce leaves, whole grain crackers or on Gluten Free or Whole Grain organic bread.

~ Bon Apetit!

Power Lunch Ideas

If you read my post entitled Power Breakfast Ideas, then you know that thinking about meals and what to eat during cancer treatment is a difficult task. Besides your emotional and physical reaction to the changes taking place, your mind just isn't capable of adding yet one more thing to worry about.

Ideally, someone can help you with meal prep a few days a week.  If not, below are some easy ideas to help you ensure you're getting the necessary nutrients during or after treatment, to build your immune system and boost your energy.

Click here to be taken to the Fantastic Foods section under Diet and Nutrition for more ideas on what to eat!  I hope this Power Lunch Guide is helpful to you.

~*~*~*~

Sardine or Salmon Salad Nicoise: romaine, arugula, endive and radicchio greens, 3 oz. wild caught cooked salmon, or 3 sardines, tomatoes, red bell pepper, lightly steamed green beans, sunflower sprouts, avocado and apple cider vinaigrette or lemon juice and olive oil.

Hoda’s Garbanzo Bean Salad: 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, 1/4 c. cooked organic brown rice, ¼ c, chopped scallions, 2 Tbs. chopped red onion, ¼ c. chopped tomatoes, 1 Tbs. each chopped basil, mint, parsley and ½ - 1 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper,  Season with a little salt, juice of 1 small lemon and 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil.

Tabbouleh Lunch: (click here for my recipe) and ½ baked acorn squash, small organic greens salad or steamed greens flavored with garlic powder and a squeeze of lemon (swiss chard, kale, spinach, beet greens).

Tempeh Sloppy Joes: Chopped grilled tempeh mixed with tomato paste, 1 tsp. olive oil, garlic, diced bell pepper & chili powder and a dash of salt. Serve open-face on 1 slice whole-grain bread, with steamed broccoli and beets or carrots. (courtesy of Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC)

Bison Burger: Organic grass-fed bison or beef burger (scant 1/4 lb) topped with ripe tomatoes or tomato paste, lettuce, red onion and sprouts; serve with sweet potato oven-fries sprinkled with pepper & garlic powder. Add a side salad of organic greens and chopped apple with a lemon, garlic, olive oil dressing.

 Whole Grain Pasta Salad:  Use buckwheat or kamut pasta; add chopped veggies, parsley, basil, garlic. Heat enough tomato paste and water to make a sauce, adding oregano, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, a little sea salt and olive oil.

 Veggie Wrap: Organic cooked brown rice, organic black beans, avocado, cucumber, broccoli sprouts, scallions, chopped cilantro and onions, wrapped in a sheet of Nori seaweed or whole-grain organic tortilla or rice-paper wrap.  (courtesy of Jeanne Wallace, PhD, CNC)

Tempeh Fingers: Marinated strips of tempeh wrapped in steamed chard leaves, with a baked sweet potato or yam topped with a mixture of 1 Tbs. flax oil, 1 Tbs. nutritional yeast 1 Tbs. chopped chives or green onion and shredded rice/ almond cheese.

 Vegetable Curry: Curried veggies over 1/4 c. organic brown basmati rice or faro, cooked in green tea. Serve with a cucumber, mint and tomato salad.

Vegetable or ‘Free-Range Chicken’ Burrito: Mix cooked chicken or roasted veggies with organic pinto or black beans, a little brown rice, salsa and/or guacamole in a Whole Wheat tortilla.

Pacific Brand Organic Soup: In a pinch these can be used as a base (tomato, butternut squash, and mushroom varieties).  Add your favorite veggies, beans or whole grains.

~ To Your Health!

Power Breakfast Ideas

During treatment, one of the last things you feel up to doing is thinking about what to eat. You already know it's critical that you alter your diet if you haven't yet, but to call upon mental resources to focus on cooking the right things is a challenge. I am blessed that many family members live within 1 - 10 miles of us, so three of my nieces took it upon themselves to rotate weeks and cook 2 main dishes for me (compliant with my diet), which they delivered the 3rd day after each Chemo treatment...when the side effects manifested! They made enough so that I got at least 4-5 meals out of each delivery.

Breakfast was easy once I got into the habit of shopping for the groceries I would need early in the week, (either my daughter or Jon would replenish fresh produce as we ran out), and developed a few routine favorites.

Lunch and snacks depended on what I had in the fridge or the pantry, so I was sure to stock healthy, easy to prepare foods...Sardines, organic beans, hi-fiber bread or RyeVita crackers, salsa, baby carrots, spinach, lemons (for squeezing in tea and on almost anything), almond butter, organic fruit spreads, coconut milk, homemade hummus, avocados and nuts. I'll post some ideas for these two meals soon.

Remember that you are eating to both support your immune system and to boost your energy during treatment. Spice up your food to instantly add antioxidants.

To help you develop the knack of easily creating healthy breakfasts, or for someone who may prepare them for you, I put together the Power Breakfast Guide below.  Be generous with the use of spices you like in any of these breakfasts.

~*~*~*~

Berry Oats: ¾ c. of organic oats, 1 cup blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or sliced strawberries, 1 Tbs. chopped almonds or pecans, 1 Tbs. freshly ground flax seeds, coconut or cashew milk, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and cinnamon. Add cup of Matcha* or Sencha green tea (buy in bulk on Amazon).

*Matcha is premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. Matcha is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll. One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content

Parfait: 6oz. of organic soy or coconut yogurt, 2 Tbs. fresh ground flax meal, and 1 cup organic berries (blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, mulberries..), a slice of gluten free hi-fiber toast with a tsp. of Coconut Oil, and a cup of matcha or sencha green tea.

Jeanne's Special: One or two boiled organic hi-omega-3 eggs with 1/2 cup steamed spinach, kale or swiss chard and 1/2 cup rosemary-baked sweet potatoes, cup of green tea.

Tasty Lebanese Eggs: Poach 1 or 2 organic hi-omega-3 eggs. Mix 2 Tbs. tomato paste, dash of salt, and 1 Tbs. hot water and stir.  Finely chop 1-2 fresh organic garlic cloves and lightly sauté in 2 tsp. ev olive oil on medium low heat, until pale golden. Add tomato paste and stir. Top poached eggs with tomato mixture and sprinkle with black pepper. Serve with 1 hi-fiber piece of toast, 1 c. fresh spinach or a handful of watercress and a cup of green tea.

Mediterranean: Whole grain toast topped with 1 tsp. flax or hemp oil, 1 clove garlic crushed with a dash of salt and 1 tsp. nutritional yeast, cucumber, basil and fresh tomato slices, and a cup of green tea with dash of black pepper.

Oats n Apples: 3/4 c. Organic steel-cut oats with grated red apple (with skin), 1 Tbs. chopped almonds or walnuts, 5 - 6 organic raisins, 1 Tbs. flax seeds freshly ground, cinnamon and coconut milk.  Remember your tea!

Miso-Veggie soup: (miso, spinach, bok choy, mushrooms, tamari, scallions), and 1 slice of whole-grain rye-flax toast with almond butter, cup of green tea with dash of black pepper.

Breakfast Burrito: Fill a whole wheat or gluten-free high-fiber tortilla with 1/2 cup black beans, chopped romaine lettuce, chopped green onion, avocado slices, salsa, grated home-made Almond cheese and a chopped boiled egg.

smoked_salmon
smoked_salmon

New Yorker: Hi-fiber Rye bread or mutli-grain topped with tofu sour cream, smoked salmon, red onion and organic lemon slices, and 1/2 cup steamed green beans. Don’t forget your green tea with dash of pepper!

Tofu scramble: cook silken tofu with grated carrots and zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, garlic and a dash of cumin, or do the same with scrambled hi omega-3 eggs, and 1 slice whole grain toast topped with "better butter" (mix equal parts organic grass-fed butter/flax oil).

CheeseyToast: Toast 2 slices hi-fiber Flax Seed bread (like Udi's) topped with sliced cassein-free Almond cheese, tomato slices and a sprinkle of organic thyme. Serve with 1/2 c. steamed Spinach drizzled with olive or flax oil and a dash of salt and cinnamon. Cup of Matcha tea.

~*~*~*~*

~ Be Well! ♥

Turnover a New Leaf? Make it Swiss!

Couldn't resist... the leaf is Swiss Chard and it's going to creep into the turnovers I am making. Savory pastries are quite popular in many European, South American and Mediterranean countries.  In my Post about Pies I mentioned a few of them:

Pierogi (Polish), Kulebyaka (Russian), Steak and kidney pie (British), Zwiebelkuchen (German), Tourtière (French Canadian), Banitza (Bulgarian), Kreatopita (Greek), Fatayir (Lebanese). Click on titles for recipes!

My favorite Lebanese turnovers or pies are: Lamb-Pine nut, Spinach-Onion, Swiss Chard, Chickpea-Onion, and of course Zaatar (Thyme) Pies.

I like mixing greens when I make turnovers, so I tossed two handfuls of Spinach, and a handful of chopped fresh Fenugreek into my mixture.

Note: I only trim 1 inch off the bottom of the stems of any green I cook. I believe there are nutrients in the stems that may not be present in the leaves!  I also don't believe in waste. This will alter the amount of greens you wind up with, so I wanted to share that with you.

Make 1 recipe Basic Dough and let it rise for 90 minutes, or until about doubled.

In the meantime prepare Filling:

  • 1 bunch organic Swiss Chard, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 c. organic Spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/2 c. fresh Fenugreek, chopped (opt.) .. do not use dry herb
  • 2 medium organic Onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 2 Tbs. organic Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbs. Sumac (found at Mediterranean markets)
  • 1 c. organic Walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Stack 3 leaves of Chard and slice lengthwise into 3 - 4 pieces depending on width.

Chop and repeat with rest of leaves.

Place in a large bowl.

Add Spinach and Fenugreek (if using).

Chop onions and add to greens.

Sprinkle Salt over mixture and using your hands mash all together squeezing the greens and onions until slightly wilted.

Add lemon juice, sumac, walnuts and olive oil, and mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Tilt bowl so liquid will drain on one end, propping with a cloth underneath.

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil.

When dough is ready, roll into balls the size of walnuts, dipping the bottoms in flour and putting aside.

Sprinkle flour on your board or counter top, and roll each ball into a thin round  using a little flour if sticky.

Place 2 Tbs. of filling in center of round. Make sure liquid is squeezed out.

Have a small bowl of water nearby.  Dip your finger into water and rub around perimeter of dough round to wet.

Fold 1/3 dough over filling, sealing top tip securely by pressing.

Fold other 1/3 overlapping the first and press to seal all along overlapped edge.

Bring bottom 1/3 up and press along seams and tips to seal well.

Place on baking sheet, repeating until all dough it used up. 

P.S. If you are left with any dough balls, allow to rise for 10 more minutes, and pop in the oven to make into Pita bread!

Bake turnovers for 15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.

Cool to room temperature.  Enjoy warm or cold.

~ Sahtein (double health!)

Stuffed Bell Peppers x 2 - 'Big Boss' Friendly

Well, I am ready to tackle another Big Boss Oil-less Fryerrecipe. Their book includes an Italian Stuffed Pepper recipe, but I read the ingredients, and while it sounds like a pretty good combo, I am inclined to use my Mom's filling for this experiment.

I will include their filling below for those wishing to try it.  I also included methods to cook my version in a Big Boss or on the stovetop.

sweet_pepper
sweet_pepper

Hoda's Stuffed Peppers:

  • 5 large organic Bell Peppers, variety of colors
  • 1 c. cooked Wild and Brown Rice, raw if you're cooking on stovetop (cook rice in broth or green tea)
  • 3/4 lb. grnd. organic grass-fed Beef, Lamb or free-range ground Chicken
  • 5 Tbs. organic Tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic Yellow Onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. fresh organic Parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbs. fresh organic Mint, chopped (or 2 tsp. dry)
  • 2 organic Tomatoes, sliced (for bottom of pot)

Sauce:

  • 1 c. organic Tomato sauce
  • 1 + c. Hot Water
  • 2 tsp. Salt, 1 tsp. Allspice, 1 tsp. Cinnamon

1. For Stove Top Cooking:

Do not cook rice.  Mix all ingredients together with 5 Tbs. of tomato sauce, reserving the 1 cup for pot.  Place tomato rounds in bottom of pot to prevent peppers from sticking.

Stuff peppers to within 1/2" from top, and place snug side by side in a large pot, so they support each other.

Mix 1 c. tomato sauce, spices and hot water.   Pour around peppers and add enough hot water to reach within 1 inch of pepper tops.  Scoop 2 Tbs. broth into each pepper to help rice cook.

Raw Stuffed Peppers in sauce 2014
Raw Stuffed Peppers in sauce 2014

Bring to a boil over medium high, then turn to low and simmer for 35 - 45 minutes or until rice is cooked.

2.  Big Boss Recipe:

  • 5 organic Bell Peppers, variety of colors
  • 1 c. cooked Brown Rice
  • 3/4 lb. grnd organic grass-fed Beef or Turkey
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves organic Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. dried Oregano
  • 1/2 Tbs. dried Basil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1 c. plus 5 Tbs. organic Tomato Sauce

Saute ground beef in med saucepan over medium heat until brown.

Cut tops off peppers, dice the tops and set aside. Remove seeds and membranes from pepper cavities. When beef is browned drain grease and place meat in a bowl.

In same pan add olive oil. Wait 1 minute and add onions, garlic and chopped pepper tops.  Saute for 2 minutes.  Add oregano, basil and stir 1 minute longer. Return meat to pan and add 1 c. tomato sauce. Stir well.

In a large bowl, combine meat mixture and 1 c. cooked rice. Stir well. Stuff peppers with filling.

Spray lower rack of Big Boss oven with cooking oil. Arrange peppers on rack. Top each with 1 Tb.s of tomato sauce.

Cook at 350º F for 30 minutes.

Stuffed Peppers 2014.jpg

Slow-Cooker Chicken Curry - the Cancer Fighter

I think I could eat Curry 4 times a week and not tire of it.  There are so many variations that one could easily not repeat a combination of ingredients in months! I add a palm-sized piece whole wheat garlic Naan on the side, (instead of rice) and it's close to heaven... This recipe is full of Cancer-fighting ingredients, and is oh-so good!

Recipe

  • 1 tsp. each salt, Black pepper, Cumin, Coriander, and ground Cardamom
  • ½ tsp. each Cinnamon, ground Cloves, and Turmeric
  • 3 - 4 boneless, skinless organic Chicken Thighs (@ 1 lb.)
  • 4 boneless, skinless organic Chicken Breasts (@ 2 lbs.)
  • 1 large organic Sweet Onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 3 medium Carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can (8oz) Water Chestnuts, drained
  • 2 c. low-salt fat-free organic Chicken Broth
  • ½ c. Coconut Milk
  • 1-½ Tbs. Curry powder
  • 1 Tbs. fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. sea Salt
  • ½ tsp. crushed Red-pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh Ginger
  • 1 organic Garlic clove, minced
  • 2 c. organic Broccoli Florets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ c. plain soy Yogurt
  • 1/3 c. fresh organic Cilantro, chopped

To make spice rub: In a small bowl combine the salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric. Set aside.

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle spices over the chicken pieces and use your hands to thoroughly mix rub in.  Cover bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.  Remove chicken from fridge.

Dry Rubbed Chicken Breasts

Cover bottom of slow cooker with the onion. Sprinkle carrots over onions and top with sweet potatoes and water chestnuts.

In a bowl, whisk together the broth, coconut milk, curry powder, lemon, salt, red-pepper flakes, ginger and garlic. Pour half of the broth mixture over veggies in slow cooker.  Place chicken on top of veggies, and pour the rest of the broth over the top.

Cook on High for 3 hours, or low for 4 – 5 hours, until chicken is cooked through. Place broccoli on the top for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

At end of cooking time, remove the chicken and place in large bowl. Skim fat from the surface of the broth.  Gently stir in the yogurt.

Pour curry sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with cilantro, and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings

~ To Your Health!

Vegan Eggplant and Spicy Chopped Salad Sandwich

Another warm day in the Bay Area.  I just finished ironing 7 shirts (my soon-to-be-17 son wears a larger size than my bf).  Lunch had to be something cool, refreshing, easy... Yesterday I made an eggplant/mushroom medley, and today it was going to be the guest of honor in my sandwich. I used the rest of the parsley and cilantro bunches, to make a spicy chopped salad.

Here are the recipes:

Eggplant - Mushroom Medley

I love this concoction because it goes well on pasta, in a sandwich, and as a dip.I make this with no oillike many of my personal recipes that call for sautéing onion. I drizzle virgin olive oil once a dish is cooked, for flavor.

  • 1 med. organic white Onion, chopped
  • 1 med. Eggplant, mostly peeled and diced
  • 5 organic Mushrooms, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic Tomato, chopped
  • 1 c. chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tbs. organic Tomato  Paste mixed with 1/2 c. hot water
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (opt.)
  • 5 cloves of Garlic, chopped

Place onion in a large saucepan over medium heat, no oil.  Watch the onion, stirring until it begins to turn brown.

eggplant muchroom saute
eggplant muchroom saute

Add eggplant and cover, turn to medium low, and stir every 2 minutes, until eggplant is wilted.

Add mushrooms, tomato and parsley. Stir, cover and simmer over low  heat for 10 minutes.

Add the diluted tomato paste, seasoning and garlic, turn heat to medium, and cook uncovered for another 8 - 10 minutes, or until veggies are cooked through and water is absorbed.

We're adding the garlic last so it doesn't lose all its antioxidant power!

You may add a drizzle of olive oil once you remove from heat.  This dish is good warm or cold.

Spicy Chopped Salad

  • 1/2 bunch organic Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch organic Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small white Onion, diced
  • 1 organic Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 organic Jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 Tbs. fresh Lime juice
  • 2 tsp. fresh Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbs. virgin Olive Oil

Mix it all up!

Serve as a topping for rice dishes, stews, sandwiches or as a fresh dip with toasted whole wheat Pita bread, broken into 'chips'.

Assemble Sandwich

  • Vegenaise (opt.)
  • 1 Tbs. organic Tomato Paste
  • Bread

Take two slices of your favorite Whole Grain Bread.

eggplant sandw1
eggplant sandw1

Spread one slice with tomato paste and the other slice with Vegenaise.

eggplant sandw2
eggplant sandw2

Spread some of the Eggplant Medley over the tomato paste.

Top with Spicy Salad.

eggplant sandw3
eggplant sandw3

(You may add protein of your choice if you like).

eggplant sandw5
eggplant sandw5

Cover with other slice, press down, and munch!

~ Bon Apetit! ♥

How are You Impacting Your Teen's Health?

It is imperative that we pay attention to what our pre-teens and teens are eating.  We are heavily involved in setting the stage for their future health. Here is an excerpt outlining the Nutritional needs of teenagers:

Balanced Diet

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that teenagers have a balanced and varied diet. Eat five fruits and vegetables per day. These can be fresh, frozen, or dried. For energy, eat complex carbohydrate foods, such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, whole grain bread and sweet potatoes. Eat lean meat, poultry, eggs, fish, beans and nuts to boost your daily protein intake. Protein builds and repairs the tissues in your growing body.

Snacking

Snacking on unhealthy foods can lead to unnecessary weight gain. Having breakfast will prevent this. Breakfast gives you the energy you need to start your day and also helps with your memory and concentration. If you get hungry between meals, avoid snacking on chips, chocolates, cookies, cakes and other high-fat or high-sugar foods. These foods contain saturated fat, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease if eaten frequently. Snack on more nutritious foods such as cheese, yogurt and fruit.

Calcium and Iron

The body's demand for calcium is at its highest during adolescence. Calcium is vital in your diet to build strong bones and teeth. A low intake of calcium during this time can lead to osteoporosis later in life. This is a bone disease where the bones become fragile and likely to fracture. From ages 13 to 18, the daily recommended allowance of calcium is 1,300mg, according to the National Institutes of Health. For age 19, the daily recommended allowance of calcium is 1,000mg.  Eat calcium-rich foods such as low-fat dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and fish.

Iron also is an important mineral in a teen's diet, especially for young women. Eat iron-rich food such as meat, poultry, liver, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, green leafy vegetables, pulses, beans and nuts.

___________

Once a week 4-5 of my son's friends come over to participate in a role playing game  called MouseGuard, and I make sure that I prepare  healthy snack items for them.  It's surprising how well they like what I make and comment that at home it's invariably chips, or crackers, or soda, or candy that they snack on.

It takes under 10 minutes to assemble a plate that you can put in the fridge for your teen to find when they get home:

Girls who take Birth Control pills are at risk of Vitamin B depletion, and should supplement with a well rounded B vitamin.  This is not a trivial matter. Please, please try to encourage your children to eat a wide variety of foods.  And if you need tips for picky eaters, DROP ME A NOTE! I can send you list of  Lunch Ideas that are creative and healthy.

"Lifepak Teen" is a good supplement for kids between 9  - 18 and supplies the following vitamins and minerals:

Serving Size: 2 Capsule Servings Per Container: 60

  • Vitamin A   5000 IU
  • Vitamin C (as Calcium Ascorbate)  100 mcg
  • Vitamin D  200 IU
  • Vitamin E  50 IU
  • Vitamin K1  20 mcg
  • Thiamin  1.5 mg
  • Riboflavin  1.7 mg
  • Niacin  20 mg
  • Vitamin B6  5.0 mg
  • Folate  200 mg
  • Vitamin B12  15 mcg
  • Biotin  150 mcg
  • Calcium  250 mg
  • Iron  4.5 mg

Calories  

On average, boys require about 2800 calories per day; and girls, 2200 calories per day. Typically, the ravenous hunger starts to wane once a child has stopped growing, though not always, says the dietitian. “Kids who are big and tall or who participate in physical activity will still need increased amounts of energy into late adolescence.” During middle and late adolescence, girls eat roughly 25 percent fewer calories per day than boys do; consequently, they are more likely to be deficient in vitamins and minerals. Read more here.

Eating Disorders

Here's a little 'literature' on eating disorders that many young people have, which underlines the need for monitoring our teens and what signals they may be responding to:

Also, households where there are high academic expectations are well-known breeding grounds for eating disorders.

Finally, many young women between the ages of 14 and 25 develop an eating disorder when they are not only under stress at school or college but also uncertain of their sexual orientation or sexual attractiveness.

Websites

BAM is a website that is both Fun and Informative, and is recommended by Nutrition.gov as a place designed for kids 9-13 years old:

  • "BAM provides information to help them make healthy lifestyle choices. The site uses games, quizzes, and other interactive features to teach kids about topics such as food and nutrition, physical activity, and general safety."BAM!
  • WebMD
  • HealthyChildren.org

~ Be Well.  ♥

Whimsical Eats

In my Appealing to the Eye post, I mentioned how visually appealing food just tastes better!  And if not better, well it sure draws you to want to try it. Getting children or finicky eaters to try something new or eat something 'healthy' is a challenge I'll bet each one of us has faced at one time or another.  But with just a little bit of creativity, they seem to be willing to override their objection if the food looks fun.

When my children were young, I told stories to distract them while eating, created faces on their sandwich bread by gluing pieces of fruit or cheese with peanut butter, or cut veggies in odd shapes.  It worked!

For Christmas, my daughter bought us two plates, one for me and one for my boyfriend, J.  This morning I was in a mood for a 'silly breakfast', a technical term referring to a plate of food that has an element of the ridiculous in it. I pulled out the "her's'"plate.

Don't you think your picky eater might be tempted to eat a flamboyant hat, earrings, and a bow in the shape of a heart and wings....and what if you expressed exaggerated distress as each item disappeared?

What do you think of my silly breakfast?  Would it pass the test?

What is your most creative way to get 'good' food into the stomachs of those you love?

breakfast face
breakfast face

~ Kawabunga! ♥

The Kitchen Sink - a Competition!

I have often wondered what kind of savory dish could be called 'The Kitchen Sink'. Well...

I challenge you to send me your photo or recipe of the Healthy Dishyou would consider fit to hold that Title!(No sugary desserts or fast food allowed!)

My contender is made from 4 dishes that my daughter and I cooked yesterday, with a bowl of each left over.  Hers was a 1) Red Cabbage, Celery and Carrot medley, and my three were 2) Swiss Chard with Tomato Paste, Onions, Garlic and a bit of lemon and sumac, and 3) Carrot, Green Bean, Red Pepper, Onion with Red Vinegar and Olive Oil, and 4) Pearl Barley Pilaf.

So I mixed the lot and heated them up.  The colors were lovely, and I realized that in this concoction were some of the Super Foods that boost our antioxidants and a wonderful array of vitamins. Low fat, high fiber, and delicious!

I tend to do this when I have 3 - 4 small bowls of leftovers and I am rushed for time.  Most every time the results have been quite pleasing... most of the time that is... yeah mostly.

I'm calling this the RainbowKitchenSink.

Waiting to see how creative you can get... :)

mixed veg dish
mixed veg dish

Send 'em in...  tic, tic, tic...

Kitchen sink award
Kitchen sink award

Here is the Award!

~Get cookin' ♥

Green Bean, Carrot and Red Pepper Salad

Tonight was my night to cook 15 to-go dinners. Three times a week, people from our community volunteer to cook for 15 -20 people in the neighborhood who sign up for take away dinners.

I made Fasoulia, Green Bean/Carrot Salad and Pearl Barley Pilaf.

I'm not usually a fan of red peppers, but in some recipes, like this one, I love the flavor they bring to the dish.  This is a salad that is best at room temperature, but can also be served chilled.

You'll need:

  • 1 lb. organic Green Beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 lb. organic Carrots, sliced in 1-inch pieces or julienne
  • 1/2 organic Red Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 organic Red Onion, diced

 

 

Dressing

  • 2 Tbs. Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbs. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Stevia
  • 2 tsp. organic Tomato Paste
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Steam green beans and carrots until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.

Drain and place in a large bowl. Add peppers and onion.

Mix dressing with a fork until blended. Pour over vegetables and mix well.

Serve at room temperature for maximum flavor.

~ Bon Apetit!

When Eggs Meet Vegetables - à la Lebanese

Two of the main spices in Lebanese cooking are Allspice and Cinnamon.  These are used in both savory and some sweet dishes. They were made for each other in terms of flavor compliments. Third in line would be Black Pepper, followed by Cumin. This is the basic 'Omelet' in Lebanon. As with many recipes it includes fresh vegetables and aromatic spices.  I was very scrawny as a girl, and Mom used to tell me stories and feed me bites of breakfast until my plate was clean.

This was one of my favorite egg-based breakfasts, with a few slices of tomato on the side, drizzled with virgin Olive Oil pressed from our own olives. It's still a popular choice at our home.

I'd love to hear how you like it!

*~*~*~*~*~*

Lebanese Garden Omelet

  • 2 Omega-3 Eggs
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped organic Green Onion
  • 2 Tbs. chopped organic Tomato
  • 2 tsp. pine nuts (opt.)
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of salt

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.

Place a sauté or omelet pan over medium-high heat, and brush lightly with organic butter just to coat bottom.

Wait 1 minute, then pour egg mixture into pan.  When edges turn light brown, turn heat to medium-low.  Fold omelet in half and cook for one more minute.

Flip omelet and cook an additional 2 minutes, or until just set in the center. (you can make a small slice to peek).

Serve with fruit, non-dairy cheese, cucumber or tomato slices and whole grain bread.

~ Sahtein!

 

Gluta-what??

"It's the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease --

yet you've probably never heard of it. It's the secret to prevent aging, cancer, heart disease, dementia and more, and necessary to treat everything from autism to Alzheimer's disease. There are more than 89,000 medical articles about it -- but your doctor doesn't know how address the epidemic deficiency of this critical life-giving molecule ...

What is it? I'm talking about the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system: GLUTATHIONE (pronounced "gloota-thigh-own").

The highest concentration of glutathione is found in the liver, making it critically important in the detoxification and elimination of free radicals. Accumulation of these dangerous compounds can result in oxidative stress, which occurs when the generation of free radicals in the body exceeds the body’s ability to neutralize and eliminate them. Free radicals are highly reactive compounds created in the body during normal metabolic functions; they can also enter the body through the environment.

 

How Should Glutathione Be Taken?

 Unfortunately the BEST way to get supplemental glutathione into our system is through intravenous therapy.

Glutathione is probably not well absorbed into the body when taken by mouth.  A more practical solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself. While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

Note: Glutathione was the main ingredient in the immune system boosting 'cocktail' I was given daily at the Immune Clinic I've mentioned in earlier blogs, in Orange County.

   "The good news is that your body produces its own glutathione. The bad news is that poor diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all deplete your glutathione.

    This leaves you susceptible to unrestrained cell disintegration from oxidative stress, free radicals, infections and cancer. And your liver gets overloaded and damaged, making it unable to do its job of detoxification.

   At first I thought that this was just a coincidental finding, but over the years I have come to realize that our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness -- and to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health and performance. "  from Dr. Mark Hyman's blog .. read more here.

Another Source:

 Glutathione: New Supplement on the Block

July 30, 2001 -- Who wouldn't like to get their hands on a naturally occurring substance that acts as an antioxidant, an immune system booster, and a detoxifier? Something that can help your body repair damage caused by stress, pollution, radiation, infection, drugs, poor diet, aging, injury, trauma, and burns?

 A handful of researchers are saying the antioxidant glutathione can do all that and maybe more. But can you believe such sweeping claims? What's the evidence to back them up? Here are what three experts have to say:

 Gustavo Bounous, MD, is director of research and development at Immunotec and a retired professor of surgery at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. "It's the [body's] most important antioxidant because it's within the cell."

 Antioxidants -- the most well-known of which are vitamins C and E -- are important for good health because they neutralize free radicals, which can build up in cells and cause damage.

 Glutathione occurs naturally in many foods, and people who eat well probably have enough in their diets, says Dean Jones, PhD, professor of biochemistry and director of nutritional health sciences at Emory University in Atlanta. Those with diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables and freshly prepared meats are most likely just fine. On the other hand, those with poor diets may get too little.

 What Does Glutathione Do?

 The strong antioxidant effect of glutathione helps keep cells running smoothly. Bounous and another glutathione expert, Jeremy Appleton, ND, say it also helps the liver remove chemicals that are foreign to the body, such as drugs and pollutants.

 Appleton is Chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Ore., and senior science editor for Healthnotes, a database on complementary and alternative medicine available at newspaper stands and health food stores.

 "If you look in a hospital situation at people who have cancer, AIDS, or other very serious disease, almost invariably they are depleted in glutathione," says Appleton. "The reasons for this are not completely understood, but we do know that glutathione is extremely important for maintaining intracellular health."

 Since Glutathione is not well absorbed when taken by mouth, a solution is to take the precursors -- that is, the molecules the body needs to make glutathione -- rather than glutathione itself.  While there is no solid proof this works, the consensus among experts is that that doing so will increase the amount of glutathione in the cells.

 Bounous has developed a glutathione-enhancing product called Immunocal, which is made up of glutathione precursors, mainly the amino acid cysteine.

 Who Does Glutathione Help?

 Animal and laboratory studies have demonstrated that glutathione has the potential to fight almost any disease, particularly those associated with aging, since free radical damage is the cause of many of the diseases of old age.

 "Theoretically, there are many very strong arguments in favor of a therapeutic use of glutathione," says Appleton. "But when people have actually tried to use glutathione as an oral supplement, nasal spray, or intravenously, the results have been more of a preliminary nature. The amount of research on glutathione as a supplement ... is very limited."

 The best studies have been conducted in cancer. One study involved women with ovarian cancer who were being treated with chemotherapy. Some of the women were also treated with intravenous glutathione. Those given the glutathione not only had fewer side effects from the chemotherapy but also had better overall survival rates.

 Case Study

Myriam Abalain of Montreal, Canada, is one of the many people who have taken Bounous's Immunocal to combat cancer. In 1996, at age 33, a routine PAP smear revealed she had precancerous cells on her cervix, which is one step away from having cervical cancer. The three specialists she visited all told her that a hysterectomy was her only option, but she hesitated to have such major, life-altering surgery.

 Instead, she waited. For more than two years, her condition remained stable. Then a friend suggested she try Immunocal. After eight months of taking the supplement, her physician could no longer detect any precancerous cells. Does this mean Immunocal cured her? It's hard to say based on just one case like hers. It is possible her body went into remission naturally.

 Even Bounous acknowledges there's no real proof his product cured her cancer, but he's working on conducting good clinical research, comparing individuals with cancer taking glutathione to those who are not.

 

What Are the Risks?

 Overall, taking glutathione or its precursors in reasonable amounts appears to be quite safe, although it should be avoided in people with milk protein allergies and in those who have received an organ transplant. There is also some concern, however, about the safety of taking glutathione for the one condition for which there is the greatest evidence of its usefulness: cancer.

 "People don't get concerned about these health-promoting [supplements] until they're in their 50s and 60s," says Emory's Dean Jones. At that point, they may already have the initial precancerous [cells]. Therefore, the supplements, just like they promote health in normal tissues, might promote health in the precancerous tissue."

 Appleton recognizes this possibility but says "there's no evidence that supplementing with glutathione, even intravenously, is in any way going to make any cancer worse. In fact, the evidence we have suggests the opposite."

 Bounous says his research has demonstrated that taking Immunocal actually lowers glutathione in cancer cells while increasing it in normal cells. As a result, the cancer cells are more vulnerable to chemotherapy, and the normal cells are protected.

 The upshot? The experts disagree on who should take glutathione or its precursors. Bounous says everyone should take it in order to optimize overall health. Appleton would reserve it for people with cancer. Jones says it might only prove beneficial for those who eat poorly and are thus unlikely to be getting much glutathione or its precursors in their diet.

 They all acknowledge that people with severe diseases known to be associated with low glutathione levels, such as AIDS, may well benefit from the supplement, although there is no proof to this effect.

 For her part, Myriam Abalain is still taking Immunocal and feeling fine. "I'm doing pretty good now," she says. "I'm in better shape than ever!"

*~*~*~*~*~

 If you have any of the listed illnesses, talk to your doctor about Glutathione treatment, especially if you are in Chemotherapy.

  ~ Be Well. 

My Marvelous Meatball Soup

We may have seen the last of the cool weather in Northern California, so I wanted to close the season with one more gathering around soup bowls. In the valley where we live, summer temps can reach 102ºC...HOT.  Today it was in the high 80's, still tolerable, but around 3pm I had to get the a/c going.

I realized that it has been forever since I made Mom's meatball soup. Rolling the tiny meatballs was an activity I liked participating in. Mom taught me how to roll two at a time, since we'd make about 150 of them sitting on the pink vinyl couch in our spacious kitchen, with a low table in front of us.

There was al,ways something going on in the kitchen. We had two live-ins since our house was a two-story with 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 3 living rooms, a formal dining room a laundry room and kitchen.  (Makes me pant to think about it).

My 4 aunts and uncle lived just 4 miles away and dropped by often.

So deciding to make this soup today was a trip down memory lane.  I seem to be doing that often these days.

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground lean Grass-fed Beef (or Lamb)
  • 2 tsp. Wheat germ or Oat Bran
  • 1/2 c. organic Parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 c. chopped organic Tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. Tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. chopped organic Onion
  • 1 organic Carrot, shredded
  • 1 large organic Carrot, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/3 c. Brown Rice
  • 2 Tbs. Parsley, chopped (as topping)

Mix meat, seasoning, wheat germ, parsley, onion and shredded carrot well.

meatball soup1
meatball soup1

Form into tiny meatballs, a little larger than a hazelnut.

meatball soup2
meatball soup2

Heat 6 cups of water in a large pot, and drop meatballs in a few at a time.

meatball soup4
meatball soup4

As it starts to boil, turn down heat and skim surface until clear.

meatball soup5
meatball soup5

Add tomato sauce, rice and round carrots, cover, and cook until rice is done, about 35 minutes, depending on rice you use.

Season with salt and pepper and a generous dash of cinnamon.

meatball soup6
meatball soup6

Cook 5 minutes longer, and add some chopped parsley.

Enjoy with a side salad and roasted sweet potatoes.

~ Sahtein (double health!) ♥

The New "BOSS" at Our House...

Three weeks ago, one of my sweet nieces who used to make and bring me dinner every other week after my treatments (she was one of 3), sent me a Groupon notice for the Big Boss Oil-less Fryer. She knows I love Sweet Potato Fries, and the only place I can get them air-fried is in Berkeley (15 miles away). I immediately sent off for the Fryer... a $79 bargain.

A week later, UPS delivered a huge box to my front door.  I couldn't imagine what it was.  Yes, you guessed it was the Big Boss... and it was BIG!! In fact AWE-inspiring (phantom organ music here).

My son and I hauled it out of the box with two cranes and a winch, and set it on the piano bench.  Why the piano bench?  I'm not sure.  It seemed too overwhelming for the kitchen counter, and since the piano is just around the corner in the breakfast/computer den.. it seemed close enough but not too close.

The next 7 days I looked at it from a 5 -6 foot distance, assessing its personality.

The 8th day it seemed less imposing and actually friendly.

In the meantime, my 5 lb. bag of sweet potatoes was twirling its thumbs and tried to trip me twice as I passed by it on my way to the Cereal cabinet!

The 9th day.... TA DAAAA...I peeled two potatoes and my boyfriend J cut them into strips.  He and my son and three neighbor kids, moved the BIG BOSS to the kitchen counter.  He wiped down the large glass bowl and other parts.

We read the instructions and suggestions and directions. Carefully we placed the potatoes on the racks, cleared the area, plugged it in, set the temperature at 450º,  and turned the timer to 12 minutes.  J then lowered the handle into place (which turns the BOSS on apparently) then...

and WHOA!!  My eyes!!

An intense infrared glow filled the house, spilled down the counter to the floor and leaked out the doors onto the streets.

We stood transfixed...barely breathing.  "Is she gonna blow?" I asked J.

"I don't think so," he whispered back... his arms still spread out as if to shield us from an impending blast.

I tried to act nonchalant, and went back to chopping salad greens, peeking over my shoulder at the glowing UFO on the counter.

12 minutes were up.  Bodies came from everywhere to see if the fries were still there, or had been beamed up to the Enterprise.  Nope, there they were, a little golden, but not quite  done. Oh, where did we go wrong?  Maybe we should have bowed down lower?

We read the booklet again and Duh...we should have put one layer at a time for crispy fries.  So J carefully fished out one rack, and turned the BOSS on again. 6 more minutes and we had Sweet Potato Fries with a mist of oil, crispy on the ends and tasty in between!

I'm sorry we ate them before I could get another photo. :(

So now I am good to go... the BOSS is back on the piano bench gloating, and I am making my list of dishes to turn over to him...Roasted Game Hens, dehydrated Veggies, Minted Salmon, Onion Rings, Kale chips,  and Stuffed Peppers.

Got a request?  The BOSS is in!

~ Cheers!