Sunday, January 29, 2012

CHOPPED SARDINES, GREEN ONION AND APPLE SALAD

At  a recent pilates class we got into a discussion about sardines.  People either love them or hate them and at times don't know how to eat them.  Sardines can be used in a number of dishes and in formulating some of the fish based omega 3 supplements.

While growing up, my mother would make me a sardine salad that she learned from her mother.  I have always enjoyed it and make this salad from time to time.  It is like making a chopped egg, tuna or salmon salad.  The ingredients are blended together and you spread the mixture on crackers, bread or on a lettuce leaf which can be rolled up like a big cigar.  I buy sardines canned in water versus oil.  I also buy the plain canned sardines versus the ones flavoured with tomato or other condiments.

INGREDIENTS:


1 tin of plain sardines, drained
1 green onion, chopped
1 small apple, peeled and grated
1 to 2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:


Add the drained sardines to a small bowl and mash them using a fork.  Add the green onion and apple to the bowl and mix together.  Add the mayonnaise and lemon juice and combine.  You can add more lemon juice if you want more of an acidic flavour.  Seasoning with pepper is optional.  Serves 1 to 2 depending on what else you are serving with this salad.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CHICKEN WINGS

I recently made these chicken wings to watch the eastern and western playoffs for the NFL.  The recipe is delicious.  I only used 4 pounds of chicken wings and small drumettes and therefore made only half the marinade.  I also did not use the habanero pepper.   I didn't bake all of the chicken and froze a number of the wings and drumettes in the same zip lock bag with the marinade.   For a future meal I will thaw this bag of uncooked chicken and bake them.

Chicken in a zip lock bag.

Mixing the marinade in a small blender.

Marinade added to the chicken and ready to go into the fridge.

Ready to serve.

Caribbean Chicken Wings
INGREDIENTS:
1 habanero, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fennel seed
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
7 pounds chicken wings


DIRECTIONS:

In a food processor, blend together all the ingredients but the chicken until smooth.  Place chicken wings into a large zip loc plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or tinfoil. Remove the chicken from bag and place them on the baking sheets. Cook for 50 to 55 minutes. 

Adapted from foodnetwork.com

Saturday, January 21, 2012

PARTRIDGE ON A SUNDAY MORNING

This past Sunday was snowy and the temperature was falling.  It was getting cold.  The birds, sparrows, were feeding at the bird feeders.  Much to our pleasure, nine partridges swooped in and started to feed.  There were several males in the group.  Males have a red circle of hair on their chest so that is how you can tell the difference between the sexes.  Besides the partridge we also had a flicker feeding on peanuts.  In the first picture there was a sparrow feeding beside the partridge.  As I took these pictures through the kitchen window and was playing around with my camera, the exposures are different.  It is always a treat to have partridge in the backyard.

Years ago when I was young and still living at home with my parents, we would get partridge in the backyard during the winter.  Even though we lived in the suburbs, there were fields close by which attracted a number different birds and small mammals.  My parents liked to feed the birds and there were feeding stations set up, similar to what I have in the backyard now.  We also had fruit trees including apple, plum and pear in the backyard while growing up.  What made this all the more humorous was that the partridge would sit on a branch in the pear tree.  



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

VEAL CUTLETS

The DH will sometimes order veal cutlets with a side of pasta when eating out.  There was one particular restaurant that we used to go to and this was his standing order.  The restaurant did quite a nice job in making this dish.  While out grocery shopping recently, we saw veal cutlets in the meat section in one of the big grocery stores.  I decided to try my hand at making veal cutlets though I didn't think I would be able to make the same recipe as the particular restaurant that my husband enjoyed going to.   I used an electric frying pan to make the cutlets.  I also used 1/2 cup cooking wine instead of real wine.   The cutlets were good and I would recommend this recipe.

Cutlets frying in a electric frying pan.

Cutlets simmering in sauce.

Ready to be served.



Veal Cutlets With Lemon, Garlic, and Capers

INGREDIENTS:
                1 pound veal cutlets
                1/3 cup flour
                3/4 tsp salt
                1/4 tsp ground black pepper
                3 tbsp butter
                1 tbsp olive oil
                1 clove garlic, finely minced
                3/4 cup white wine
                Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 to 3 tbsp
                2 tbsp capers

DIRECTIONS:

Put veal cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently to about 1/8-inch thickness. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and pepper; dip cutlets into the mixture, coating both sides.

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Saute the veal cutlets for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove veal to a plate and set aside. Saute the garlic for about 1 minute, stirring often.  Add the wine and lemon juice; simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce slightly.  Add the veal back to the skillet with capers; cover and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.  Serves 4.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

APPLE WALNUT LOAF

This recipe for an apple walnut loaf is made with almond meal (ground almonds) instead of flour.  It also doesn't contain added sugar or sweetener.  Instead of baking it in a loaf pan I used a rectangle cake pan.  I did find the loaf to be not sweet enough and I put some honey on the pieces I ate as did the DH.    We both enjoyed the loaf.

Just out of the oven.

First sample of apple walnut loaf. 

Numerous samples.

INGREDIENTS:


2 cups ground almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup sour cram or coconut milk


DIRECTIONS:


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  In a medium size mixing bowl combine the ground almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  In a second bowl, combine the eggs, applesauce, oil and sour cream.  Pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Mix everything together.  If the mixture is too dry, add a tbsp or two of sour cream or coconut milk.

Pour the batter into a non-stick or greased 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out dry.  Allow to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes and then turn out.  Slice and serve.
Adapted from the Wheat Belly book.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CHINESE PEPPER STEAK

I recently made this chinese pepper steak using some small sirloin steaks that I froze last summer.  I don't barbecue much in winter (it depends on how cold it is outside) and therefore look for other dishes to make with meat that I might have barbecued in the summer and fall months.  One ingredient that I didn't add to this dish were the tomatoes.  The dish turned out quite well and was delicious. 

Ready for the table


Chinese Pepper Steak
INGREDIENTS
1 pound beef top sirloin steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar or equivalent
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
1 red or white onion, cut into small pieces
1 green or red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS
Slice the steak into 1/2-inch thick slices across the grain.

Whisk together soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and ginger in a bowl until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Place the steak slices into the marinade, and stir until well-coated.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, and place the steak strips into the hot oil. Cook and stir until the beef is well-browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Stir in the onion and toss together.  Cook for about 2 minutes until the onion begins to soften.  Add the green pepper. Cook and stir the mixture until the pepper has started to become tender, about 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, stir everything together, and serve.  
Serves 4.


Adapted from allrecipes.com

Thursday, January 5, 2012

FLOURLESS BANANA BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

I saw this recipe in the Wheat Belly book and decided to try it.  There are a number of recipes that use ground almonds--almond meal-- in place of wheat flour.  I have been having these muffins for breakfast.  I keep them in a zip lock bag in the fridge versus the cupboard or kitchen counter as they are moist.   I will definitely make these muffins again.

Banana gives these muffins some of its sweetness.  Because of that, I only added 1/4 cup of splenda to the recipe.  I used frozen blueberries but you can also instead any other berries that you may have fresh or frozen.  Since I had two ripe bananas that I wanted to use, I added both to the recipe and made 18 muffins.  My freezer has enough frozen bananas and I don't need to add anymore to the collection.  I used sour cream in the recipe.  These muffins cook at a lower heat, 325 degrees F.  I was wondering why a lower heat but I followed the instructions and it worked.

Ground almonds and flaxseed 

Dry ingredients mixed together

Bananas mashed in a bowl

Muffin mixture all mixed together

Out of the over and ready for sampling

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups ground almonds
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
sweetener such as stevia or splenda equivalent to 3/4 cup sucrose
1 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream or coconut milk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Grease or use muffin cups for a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, flaxseed, sweetener, baking powder and salt.  Mix well with a spoon.  In another bowl, mash the banana.  Add the eggs, sour cream or coconut milk and oil.  Mix well.  Add the banana mixture to the almond meal mixture and mix thoroughly.  Add the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling them to almost 3/4 full.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.  Cool in the tin for about 10 to 15 minutes and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Makes about 10 to a dozen muffins.

Recipe from the Wheat Belly book by Dr. William Davis

Sunday, January 1, 2012

MULTIVITAMINS AND CHOICES

I have a pretty good diet and eat a variety of food across the various food groups.  Each morning I take a multivitamin along with a few other nutritional supplements.  I prefer taking one multivitamin a day instead of some varieties being taken with each meal.

As I am finishing up the latest bottle - One A Day for women by Bayer which I am sure I bought at Costco as it has 300 tablets, I was wondering what I should choose next.  Are all vitamin formulas pretty much equal and what about the quality of the ingredients.  How can I judge if the quality is different between the various companies?

Usually when I am standing and gazing at the shelves with the various vitamin brands, I will have two or more bottles in my hands and start to compare the dosage of each of the vitamins from the different bottles.  Of course I can't remember from the literature I have collected on what dosage I should be aiming for from each of the various vitamins and minerals.  That vital piece of information would be at home somewhere, neatly filed away and never to be found again.

Instead of perusing the vitamin shelves at Costco or another pharmacy,  I stopped in at one of the health food stores I frequent.  I started to peruse the aisle where multivitamins are sold.  Besides just looking at the vitamins, there are also minerals to consider as part of the multivitamin partnership.  The One A DAY multivitamin that I have been taking contains calcium, iron and magnesium.  There are multivitamins which contain many more minerals than just these three.  I started to ask the sales clerk questions about the various varieties and companies.  I was interested to know who makes a better product.  She recommended The Ultimate One for women by Nu-Life.  I have used Nu-Life products before but couldn't remember which ones.  This product contains 13 minerals and 14 vitamins.  The One A DAY product contains 12 vitamins.

When I compare prices, the One A Day is probably less than 10 cents a day and the Ultimate One is around 30 cents a say.  Are the vitamins and minerals any better in the more expensive product?  The dosage is not quite the same between the two products.  I decided to buy the product made by Nu-life and to give it a try.  I won't be able to figure out quality of the ingredients without doing more research and reading further on this topic.