Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Heart Juicing!

I just used my Christmas-present juicer for the first time, today, and I am so jazzed!!!

Here's my wonderful Omega J8004 masticating juicer:


Here's what I juiced:
Spinach, broccoli, oranges, apple

Here it is, doing its thing:

Here's what comes out -- juice and pulp.  This is what all those vegies and fruits became: 

And here is the (I'm not lyin') DELICIOUS juice!!!!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Chicken Marinara, Spinach Linguine, and Roasted Asparagus

Use your favorite spaghetti sauce to create an EASY baked chicken dish, add your favorite pasta, and try this Re-DIQUE-ulously De-LISH-ious roasted asparagus! (Even my kids, who like the canned stuff dipped in mayo liked it!)  (A few pieces were sampled before the pic was taken.)

Baked Chicken

  • Chicken pieces, about 8 thighs or breasts, skinless
  • Jar of spaghetti sauce*
  • Seasonings to taste 

Purchase or prepare skinless thighs or breasts, as you prefer -- if the pieces are very large, divide them so the sauce can permeate more easily. Simply rinse and place the chicken pieces in a casserole dish, cover with a jar of marinara or any flavor of spaghetti sauce, add extras of whatever you like -- garlic, Italian herbs, rosemary, basil -- and bake in 400 deg F oven for 45 minutes.  What could be easier?

*I have found that a very light marinara sauce gives less flavor than a full-on spaghetti sauce. I've also tried this with 3-cheese spaghetti sauce, and it was very good. Parmesan or Romano cheese at the table is a must for this dish.

Roasted Asparagus
  • Fresh asparagus, 1 bunch
  • 2 T olive oil or other (I like avocado oil)
  • 1 T fresh garlic from the jar (or mince your own)
  • 1 or 2 T Parmesan and/or Romano cheese
  • A few shakes of sea salt, pepper
  • Lemon juice from one lemon

After the chicken goes into the oven, wash the asparagus, and cut about 2 inches from the ends. Place on a (foiled-covered) tray, drizzle oil, sprinkle cheese, and shake seasonings (not lemon juice) over them and toss to coat thoroughly. Lay the pieces out in a single layer.

Bake for about 10 minutes in a 400 deg F oven -- check for roasted appearance and possibly cook another couple of minutes.

Squeeze fresh lemon juice over them for a tasty symphony of flavors.

Spinach Linguine
  • Spinach linguine or other pasta, 4 to 6 servings
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Water 

During the last 10 minutes that the chicken is baking, prepare pasta according to the package.  This one was a really nice 3-minute pasta with a light flavor that complemented the chicken dish well, but any pasta works, even reg'ol' spaghetti!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Powerhouse Salmon with Red Onions, Pesto, Lemon, Tomatoes

Healthy eating is a growing priority in my life, and I bet in yours, too!  Not only is this recipe delicious, fast, and easy, it combines super good-for-you ingredients. This whole meal was inspired by a list of the top foods to help the body fight those baddies of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and help you feel fabulous. And my family loved it -- thus earning its spot in my blog!

Here it is, ready to go in the oven for 12 minutes:

Here's what the whole meal looks like, if you were to come to dinner at our house -- help yourself!

Side dishes:

  • Organic broccoli steamed in the microwave, drained, then tossed with olive oil, Trader Joe's 21 seasons blend, salt & pepper, and Parmesan
  • A grain blend from Trader Joe's with orzo and other goodies (cooked like rice, it takes about 10 min)

And here's how to make the salmon:


  • Salmon -- about 6 oz per person -- I used two medium fillets for my family, and we had leftovers
  • Red onion -- half -- sliced thinly, then roughly chopped
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Pesto sauce, 1/2 cup  (or a blend of basil, olive oil, salt & pepper, and Parmesan)
  • Olive oil, 2 T (or avocado oil, or other healthy oil)
  • Lemon juice, half or whole lemon, to taste


Thaw salmon if frozen, either overnight in the fridge, or soaked in its package in a sink of cold water for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pull out all your ingredients, your chopping board, and knife.

Peel and cut the red onion in half and slice one of the halves very thinly, then chop the slices roughly -- see the photo.  (I chopped the other half up and stored it in the fridge for later use on salads, etc.)  It needs to be thinly sliced because it won't be cooked long

Remove salmon from packet and rinse in cold water; drip dry for a moment. Lay in a casserole dish of about 9 x 12 inches.

Blend pesto sauce, oil, and lemon juice, then pour over salmon.  Sprinkle onion over salmon. Add cherry tomatoes beside the salmon.

Bake for 12 minutes, test for desired doneness by checking the center -- my family prefers it just cooked, barely flaking, not dried out.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Steak Marinade

I haven't posted a recipe in a while -- but this marinade turned out SO YUMMY, I want to share it with you (my imagined friend in cooking)!  I ran out of Worcestershire sauce, which made me come up with something new -- necessity being the Mama of invention and all! This is pretty classic, but I think the molasses gives it a nice extra dimension.

Makes: ½ cup
·         Avocado oil – 1/8 cup  ( or other high heat oil)
·         Balsamic – ¼ cup + 1 T
·         Molasses – 1 T
·         Soy sauce – 1 T or 2 packets
·         Seasonings:
o   1 t salt
o   ½ t pepper
o   1 T Trader Joe’s 21-blend
o   1 t garlic
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Place steak pieces in small bowl so marinade covers them.   Even after just half an hour, this is yummy.  Great for broiling or BBQ-ing!

I have an old flame broiler at the bottom of my oven, and I broiled the marinaded steak pieces for 5 minutes per side.  They were on the medium/well-done side, and super flavorful.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Winter Soup Gladness: Beans, Orzo, Vegies, Mushroom, Hambone,...

It's sorta like a cuppa human kindness, except it's a bowla soup gladness (see what I did there?).

We had a wonderful glazed ham from Trader Joe's, for Christmas dinner, and this left us a week later with a beautiful big ham bone. Given my Southern roots, I new how nicely that would flavor a pot of beans or soup! This had wonderful flavor, and would feed a crowd. This is very nutritious, has great flavor in the broth, and I especially love the texture that the orzo gives it.

  • 1 lb bag of mixed beans and lentils, pre-soaked
  • 6 cups broth - or - 2 T chicken "better than bouillon" and 6 cups water
  • hambone from a cooked ham
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, in big chunks
  • 2 cups celery diced
  • fresh basil, large handful, chopped fine (or 1 t dry basil)
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped fine (or 2 t crushed or powdered garlic)
  • 1 package dried wild mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (I might use 2 jars next time)
  • 1 lb orzo
  • optional: diced ham
  1. To pre-soak beans, either soak them over night, or bring them to a boil in a few cups water, simmer for 2 minutes, drain, and rinse.
  2. Put the beans in a big soup pot with the broth and the hambone.
  3. Heat the oil in a big frying pan to high heat and stir fry the vegies in batches (onion, carrots, celery) until soft; add to the soup pot.
  4. Add the herbs, garlic, mushrooms, and marinara to the soup pot.
  5. Simmer for about an hour, until the beans are tender.
  6. Add the orzo and cook 10 minutes longer. (Ensure there is enough liquid to cook the orzo, and when it is done, add water if needed to make the soup have a broth.)
  7. Meanwhile, heat the ham in the frying pan.
  8. To serve, ladel soup into bowl and add ham to taste. Serve with warm bread or onion bagels.
  9. Note: I didn't add salt or pepper, but season to taste at the table.
Bon Soup-a- teet!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Roasted Chicken & Vegetables, Cilantro-Lemon-Garlic, and Pasta

OK, so like, this is SO delicious, SO nutritious, and SO easy!

  • Chicken thighs or other pieces, one economy pack
  • Cilantro, 1 bunch, stems removed
  • Onions, 3 medium, peeled and quartered
  • Tomatoes, several vine ripened
  • Celery, 3 stalks, cut into snack size
  • Aparagus, 1 bunch, bottom ends trimmed off (optional, or whatever's on sale or you like - red peppers, garlic cloves, mushrooms,..)
  • Lemon juice, of 2 lemons
  • Garlic to taste - powdered or jarred crushed
  • Salt & pepper to taste, or Cajon seasoning blend (a few dashes)
  • Whole wheat spaghetti, enough for your family
  1. Preheat oven to 425 deg F.
  2. In the blender, put cilantro, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Pulse to blend.
  3. Arrange the chicken pieces in a large roasting pan, one of those in two parts, with the bottom that catches the drippings.  Arrange the vegetables in another large roasting pan, bottom only, or in a large casserole dish.  Peel back the skin on the chicken.
  4. Pour the cilantro blend over the chicken and vegetables.  Stir the vegetables to coat them.  Pull the skin back over the chicken pieces.  This way, the chicken is flavored with the herb blend, even if the skin is discarded, or if you just want to indulge in one crispy skin, be my guest!
  5. Bake for 50 minutes.  During the last few minutes, cook the pasta.
  6. Pile the chicken pieces on top of the vegetables, remove the top part of the pan, and pour the drippings out of the bottom into a 2 cup measuring cup, or small bowl.  Add several icecubes, and allow the drippings to cool a couple minutes, so that the fat and ice can be removed off the top.
  7. Put the de-greased drippings into a small pot, and reheat, adding more garlic to taste. 
  8. This can be served over the pasta as is, but if you have time to play with it, here's what I did.  I added a cup of evaporated milk, reduced the sauce but it wasn't thickening very fast, so I added cornstarch (first mix it with a small amount of sauce, then add to the pot), and added 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  Then reduced it some more, until I deemed it "ready."
To serve, I put the roasting pan on the table with the vegies and chicken, put pasta on each dinner plate, and served the sauce in that 2-cup measuring cup, so people could use as much as they liked.   It was a hit, and when I calculated the calories -- about 500 for two pieces of chicken, most of the skin removed, 3/4ths cup of pasta, lots of vegies, and a generous amount of sauce.  Wowza!

This photo is from a night I put it all in one pan -- sorry, I only took a pic of it pre-roasted -- after it was done, it just went toooooo fast!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Baked Apples -- "Bon Apple-teet!"

Photo taken after several servings were eaten.  Have to be fast around here!

Baked Apples

This is about as easy as it gets.  A very flexible recipe, the apples can be baked at whatever temperature that another item may need in your oven -- generally between 350 and 400 degrees F.  A covered casserole dish makes it easy.

  • Apples, about 4
  • Raisins, 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Brown sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamin, 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger, 1/4 teaspoon
  • Allspice, 1/2 teaspoon
  • Butter, 2 Tablespoons
  • Optional: walnuts or pecans, 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Core and slice the apples; do not peel them. The peel has a great taste and texture in this recipe, and they are nutritious!  To core and slice the apples in one step, a tool like this makes it easy.  I got a really cheap one that works great.
Toss the slices into your casserole dish.  Dump the raisins, sugar, and spices over the apples.  You could add walnuts or pecans, if you like.  Cut the butter into several dabs and place on top of the apples.  No need to stir because it will all blend as it bakes.

Put the lid on and bake. 

I was baking some potatoes at the time, and later some salmon, so my oven was at 400 degrees F.  The apples baked for about a half hour, then sat on the counter with the lid on for another half hour until after dinner.  If baking at 350, probably 40 minutes would do the trick.

The apples should be like butter.  And the flavor -- suprisingly intense and rich.

Bon Apple-teet!!!