Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Cranberry Relish

I love this time of year and all of its seasonal foods! Here is a recipe I developed using the cranberry, which is so popular now. It's a hit with turkey and holiday trimmings! Enjoy!!
Cranberry Apple Relish (serves 4)
1 cup cranberries, cut into half
1 whole orange, seeds removed, peeled and cubed
1 whole pear, peeled/cored/cubed
one quarter cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
2 whole apples, peeled/cored/cubed
2 tablespoons apple juice, frozen concentrate

Place fruit and juices in small saucepan. Add water until cranberries are covered. Cook over medium heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook til cranberries ‘burst.’ Stir frequently. Mash cranberries with fork. Adjust sweetener/liquid as needed. Store leftovers in airtight container in fridge.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dark Leafy Spinach Alternatives

With the recent e-coli scare involving spinach, there has been a search for healthy alternatives to this dark, leafy green. There are a variety of dark leafy green vegetables just waiting for you to try them. They can all be eaten either raw or cooked. Here are some varieties just waiting for you to enjoy them:

This dark green vegetable has curly leaves. In fact, it is an attractive-looking vegetable. In order to assure freshness, be certain that the leaves are firm and green. They are not to be wilted. Also, the stem should be firm. Kale is the most popular substitute for spinach since its taste is the most similar.

Collards, or collard greens.
These huge, dark green leaves have sturdy stems. The stems can be used in cooking. The leaves themselves can be about a foot wide. They actually resemble super large spinach leaves. The oval shaped leaf can be just as long as it is wide. Taste-wise, they have a slightly bitter taste. When cooked, the taste becomes milder. Collards are traditionally used in Southern cooking. They go great with beans!

Swiss chard, or chard.
This dark leafy green also has large leaves. Chard is a member of the beet family. Hence, you will notice the sturdy stem to be either red or white in color. The stem is not recommended for eating. In fact, the chard leaves are pretty attractive leaves. A great way to use them is by making ‘cabbage rolls’. Substitute the cabbage with chard.

Dandelion Greens.
These dark green leaves have a bitter taste, more so than the other varieties mentioned in this article. The leaves themselves are thin and narrow. These are best used in raw salads, combined with other greens. Or, steam some up, place on a plate, and squeeze a fresh orange over them. That will sweeten their taste.

Beet Greens.
When you buy fresh beets, do not discard the greens. Use them. As a spinach alternative, they provide a slightly bitter taste. Cooked, they are much milder and enjoyable.

Mustard Greens.
Last, but not least, are mustard greens. These large leaves have a slightly peppery taste when raw. They are milder tasting when cooked. They are great in raw salads. Or, once again, steam them up and squeeze a fresh orange over them.
A great recipe involves stir frying some chopped mustard greens up with mushrooms, onions, and minced garlic. Ooh lala!

Now that we know about the alternatives available for spinach, let’s discuss how to store and buy them.

Buying Tips:
All of these fresh greens have a slight smell (scent) when purchased fresh. If they have a strong odor, do not buy them.
Leaves should stand up and feel firm. They should not droop.
Greens and colors should be vibrant, not brown or dull looking.

Freshness Tips: (these greens stay fresh only a couple of days in the refrigerator)
Separate leaves
Rinse with water
Shake off excess water
Wrap in paper towels to absorb water
Enclose in plastic bag
Store in refrigerator

All the above-mentioned dark, leafy green spinach substitutes can be eaten raw or cooked. Enjoy in salads, stir frys, or simply steamed. Also, try chopping some up and putting into spaghetti sauce or soup.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Two New eBooks!!

I have just published two new ebooks that are fresh on the market!
One is a how-to book titled 'Cooking & Eating the Lowfat Way'. It gives suggestions, recipes, and ideas for enjoying a meal plan that's lower in fat for optimum health.
Information is compiled from 20 years of my teaching, reading, and learning about healthy eating. It makes a great gift for anyone interested in healthy eating!

This informative 'how to' ebook can be purchased by clicking here.. Support independent publishing: buy this e-book on Lulu.

It can also be purchased in hardcopy form. Click here for online purchasing...Support independent publishing: buy this book on Lulu.
My other book available in ebook form is the second edition of my 'Joys of Organic Cooking, Vol. I'. It contains recipes developed over 3 years while working with an organic foods delivery firm. Recipes all include a nutritional analysis to aid in meal planning. The cookbook also introduces a variety of new uses for foods such as turnips, beets, parsnips, etc. Recipes are all taste-tested and popular with my readers plus students!
Purchase 'Joys of Organic Cooking, Vol. I by clicking here.....Support independent publishing: buy this e-book on Lulu.