Every poultry-eating cook needs a go-to stock recipe. I never had one until recently as the yield from my single roasted chicken didn’t seem worth the effort. But, now I can’t imagine wasting a single carcass and simply wait until I have two of them. After all the meat has been eaten, I throw the bones into a freezer bag, along with any kitchen scraps collected from juicing and cooking during the week (mostly carrot, celery, leek and onion ends). I also save onion skins, as they impart a pleasant caramel color to the stock. Continue reading “Basic Chicken Stock” »
With tightly bound, magenta leaves, radicchio is a striking vegetable. But, at the market, it often receives an admiring gaze, then is passed over for the more familiar, less bitter and less intimidating bins of greens. While radicchio (pronounced similar to Pinocchio), looks like a small cabbage, it is actually a member of the chicory family, cousins of lettuces and dandelions. Also known as Italian or Red Chicory, radicchio is very versatile to use, nutritious and is as simple to prepare as your usual green suspects. Radicchio is nutritionally rich, but has several distinguishing health benefits, which set it apart from typical salad greens. Check out this impressive red-head!
Digestive Health: Chicories, like radicchio, contain inulin, a non-digestible carbohydrate . Through fermentation, inulin acts as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of beneficial bifidobacteria in the intestine. Inulin also helps regulate blood sugar levels . In addition, the bitter quality of radicchio increases bile salts, which can improve digestion.
Bone and Neurological Health: Radicchio is uniquely rich in vitamin K, with 100 grams providing 212% of daily recommended values. Vitamin K promotes the formation and strengthening of bone. Further, research shows adequate dietary vitamin K may limit naturally occurring neuron damage in the brain. As such, vitamin K has an established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s .
Visual Health: Radicchio’s vibrant red color is an eye-pleaser, in more ways than one. The brightly colored leaves are an excellent source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidants, such as zeaxanthin and lutein. These compounds protect eyes from age-related macular disease (ARMD) by filtering harmful ultra-violet rays . Sunscreen for your eyes!
When selecting radicchio, look for compact, bright-colored heads with prominent ribs, free of bruises and brown or withered leaves. The smaller, younger heads will be less bitter. Store the heads refrigerated, but eat as quickly as possible as they will become more bitter with time. To reduce the bitterness, soak the leaves or quarters in cold water for 10 to 30 minutes.
Substitute radicchio in recipes calling for chicory or endive. Using radicchio raw, tear or chop the leaves into small pieces, and combine it with other salad greens for a flavor, color and texture accent. The individual leaves can also be used as elegant and low-carb serving cups or wrappers for appetizers. Cored, but not quartered, the sturdy leaves are excellent grilled or roasted. Radicchio pairs especially well with balsamic vinegar. Try tossing the soaked and dried leaves with a balsamic vinaigrette, with an optional topping of shaved parmesan. Balsamic vinegar also combines well with grilled or roasted radicchio. Following is an adaptation of Michael Ruhlman’s Grilled Radiccchio recipe.
Roasted Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place radicchio wedges in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
- Place each wedge, cut side down, on the lined baking sheet.
- Roast the wedges, turning once, until the leaves are wilted and just slightly charred, about 12-15 minutes.
- Season both sides of the wedges with salt and pepper.
- Before serving, drizzle balsamic vinegar or vinaigrette over the top of each wedge.
 The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia – Comprehensive Resource for Healthy Eating, by Rebecca Wood
 Niness (1 July 1999). “Inulin and Oligofructose: What Are They?”. Journal of Nutrition. 129 (7): 1402 (7): 1402. PMID 10395607. Retrieved 2008-01-19.
 USDA National Nutrient data base
 nutritionandyou.com – Radicchio
Temperatures are atypically hovering around 70 degrees. While I’m ready for fall, I’m not quite ready for my favorite fall recipes such as cauliflower mash, aka faux mashed potatoes -a quintessential comfort food fake.
But, cauliflower is in season -now! As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower is a true ‘super food’. While over-used, cauliflower is actually worthy of this term. Rich in sulforaphane, indoles and isothiocyanates, cauliflower supports multiple body systems; detoxification, antioxidant, and the inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system .
Cauliflower is also high in vitamin C, with one serving providing 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C . It is also high in fiber, and pretty much all the nutrients as it’s more popular and colorful cousin, broccoli. That is, of course, except chlorophyl. But, cauliflower has an edge over broccoli inside its cell walls, pectin. Just as pectin in apples provides thickening and gelling properties to applesauce, the pectin in cauliflower makes it creamy when cooked.
I love this recipe for its seasonal-neutral contrast of light citrus and subtle heat from the pepper flakes. The recipe is simple and quick to prepare, can be served warm or at room temperature and the texture is the same the next day. You can enjoy this and other cauliflower mash recipes year-round as the preparation works equally well with fresh or frozen cauliflower. However, keep in mind that while still nutritious, commercially packaged frozen cruciferous vegetables may lose many of the health benefits found in their fresh counterparts .
- 1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped into florets (or 1 pound frozen)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil or butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 head roasted garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon organic lemon zest (optional)
- Place chopped cauliflower into a steamer insert inside of a saucepan or stock pot with an inch or two of water.
- Cover and steam until very soft when pierced with a fork. For fresh cauliflower, this will take 10-12 minutes. Frozen cauliflower will take less time.
- Remove the cauliflower from the heat.
- Allow the cauliflower to rest in the steamer for another five minutes.
- Transfer steamed cauliflower into a food processor or blender.
- Add all other ingredients, except the zest to the blender and process until smooth.
- Add rice or almond milk, if needed for a smooth texture.
- Readjust seasoning to taste, if needed.
- Top with lemon zest and serve.
What are your favorite ways to prepare cauliflower? Let me know!
This anti-inflammation beverage is not a juice. It is a true tonic. Definitions of the word range from ‘a medicine that invigorates or strengthens’ to ‘anything invigorating physically, mentally, or morally’. Both are apt descriptions for this drink, inspired by a similar commercial beverage, Tumeric Elixir of Life. Continue reading “Turmeric Anti-Inflammation Tonic” »
It’s not easy to love a minimum wage job at a mall. But, I loved my part-time job at Pasta & Co. In the 80′s, fresh pasta was a retail novelty. While Pasta & Co was one of Seattle’s first retailers to offer fresh pasta, it was their specialty sauces and prepared foods which captured my imagination. The owner, Marcella Rosene put a creative twist on everything in that store, from selecting unique and defining recipe ingredients, such as black sesame oil to her beautifully hand scripted product labels. In her stores, something as simple as croutons were memorable. Pasta & Co. The Cookbook, the first cookbook I ever bought myself, is still with me today, dog-eared and splattered. The book is now out of print. But, I noticed a few new copies available on Amazon for $215! Continue reading “Quinoa & Black Bean Confetti Salad” »
It’s not summer without the occasional nostalgic, cool treat. Fudgsicles were a childhood favorite of mine. There was something about the way they slowly morphed from a frozen solid into creamy, chocolate pudding. Unfortunately, three of the top six ingredients in those fudgsicles are sugar, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Keep reading the label and you will find other goodies, such as cellulose gum and polysorbate 80. Continue reading “Healthy Fudgsicles” »
A gluten-free, grain-free, vegan brownie? You might wonder – why bother?! The Minimalist Baker convinced me otherwise. Here, I have adapted her black bean brownie recipe to make it sugar-free as well.
Beans, being a magical fruit in more ways than one, make a healthy brownie possible. Here, beans replace flour with pure vanilla and raw cacao camouflaging the bean flavor. Date paste replaces sugar. The result is a firm outside encasing a moist, dense and rich chocolate pudding-like texture inside. Only slightly sweet, this is an adult-style brownie. Think flourless chocolate cake, but healthier and antioxidant rich. Continue reading “Black Bean Brownies” »
Dates are naturally moist and sticky with hints of carmel, brown sugar and often vanilla flavor. These qualities make dates an excellent alternative to processed sugar in smoothies baked goods, such as breads, cookies and bars or as a spread.
Adding sweetness with dates means adding nutrition without refined sugar’s roller coaster ride. The natural sugar in dates, invert sugar, is easily absorbed and assimilated by the body. Yet, their high fiber content makes them a low-glycemic index food. So, dates or date paste, not only support healthy blood sugar levels and elimination, but also helps you stay full longer. Dates are also high in iron, calcium, are even richer in potassium than bananas. Dates are also a rich source of minerals, such as chlorine, copper, magnesium, sulphur and phosphorus. Continue reading “How to Make and Use Date Paste” »
Also known as Mexican Lemonade, Chia Fresca is simply lemon water with chia seeds and sweetener. This version is sugar-free and only ever so lightly sweetened with liquid stevia or maple syrup. Super refreshing, you can sip this all day long, keep hydrated and gain the nutritional benefits of the chia seeds. Winning.
- 3 cups filtered water
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 cup chia gel or seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia or 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
Simply combine all ingredients, shake, and you’re done. The seeds will settle to the bottle of the container. Shake intermittently if you want to keep the seeds in suspension. Just like a summer snow globe…