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Health Benefits of Garlic

The Pungent Bulb Proves Its Potency

Regular consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of stroke and thrombosis by lowering blood pressure and decreasing platelet aggregation

For nearly four decades, garlic has been touted by the scientific community as a natural remedy for elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Yet the results of the most rigorous garlic study ever — funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Stanford University — reveal that previous studies were likely wrong. Whether consumed fresh or in powdered pill form, garlic did not lower cholesterol in the study’s participants, adults (average age 50) with moderately elevated LDL. The experiment’s findings, published in the February 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine, are thought to supersede those of previous studies, which typically tested only one garlic type and did not maintain potency consistency. Stanford researchers looked at two top-selling garlic supplements as well as fresh garlic; they also monitored the exact chemical composition of the preparations for the duration of the study.

Garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions

Now that the verdict is in on garlic’s ineffectiveness for cholesterol, should we throw out the cloves with their paper-thin casings? Hardly. The Stanford study didn’t rule out garlic’s other potential benefits for cardiovascular health. Various studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure, inhibit coronary artery calcification and decrease platelet aggregation, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and thrombosis. Though garlic may not lower cholesterol, it can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood stream and inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which lead to heart disease.

Garlic owes its reputation as a folk remedy — and as a breath killer — to its variety of organosulfur compounds.  Allicin and dialyl disulphide are thought to relax and enlarge blood vessels, promoting better blood flow.  Allicin is also a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal capable of killing harmful microbes — even those that have become resistant to pharmaceuticals — making garlic a natural antidote to colds, flu and infections. Ajoene has been shown to shrink the tumors of skin cancer patients. Garlic’s stink may even make you smarter: researchers in China demonstrated that the sulfur compound sallylcystein prevents degeneration of the brain’s frontal lobes.

In addition to these odiferous compounds, garlic is chock full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C teams up with allicin to protect against cholesterol oxidation, bad bacteria, and colon cancer. In fact, research has shown that eating as few as two servings of garlic a week reduces the risk of colon cancer significantly. Garlic is also a good source of selenium, which guards against heavy metal toxicity, and manganese, an antioxidant defense enzyme.

Health Benefits:

– can lower blood pressure
– can reduce risk of stroke and thrombosis
– may reduce risk of colon cancer
– antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
– contains Vitamin C, allicin, selenium and manganese
– anti-inflammatory

It is believed that the Egyptians gave garlic to the slaves who built the pyramids to fortify their strength and endurance. Greek and Roman athletes ate garlic before competitions, while soldiers consumed it before battle. No wonder:  garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions, from arthritis to asthma — not to mention the pain and swelling that might result from hurling a javelin or carrying blocks of limestone up the face of a pyramid.

From the reign of the Pharaohs to the present, cooks have savored garlic as a marinade for meat. Beyond the sweet-hot flavor it imparts, garlic may also make grilled meats healthier by reducing the carcinogens produced as a result of exposing meat to high temperatures. Perhaps this is part of why regular garlic consumption is correlated with a reduced risk of a range of cancers, including oral, ovarian, breast, prostate and renal. Garlic also promotes healthy digestion by warding off intestinal worms and parasites and stopping the H. pylori bacterium, which causes ulcers, from doing excessive damage. Though garlic did not prevail in cholesterol cross-examination, the mighty cloves have certainly won their case.

sausage-cauliflower-kale-potpie

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  2. pound sweet Italian sausage links, (Johnsonville Sweet Italian)
  3. casings removed and meat broken into 3/4-inch pieces
  4. medium onions, chopped
  5. 1  tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  6. kosher salt and black pepper
  7. 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  8. cups low-sodium chicken broth
  9. bunch kale, torn into bite-size pieces (about 10 cups)
  10. 2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  11. small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
  12.  1 large shredded fresh carrot (about 1/4 cup)
  13.  1/4 cup finely chopped turnip
  14. sheets puff pastry (one 17.3-ounce package), each cut into 4 rectangles

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a large bowl.
  2. Add the onions, rosemary, carrots, turnips ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the drippings in the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the kale, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until the kale is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the kale mixture and cauliflower to the sausage and toss to combine. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch or some other 3-quart baking dish and top with the puff pastry, overlapping the rectangles slightly.
  4. Bake until the pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving

  • Calories 443 calories
  • Fat24 g
  • Sat Fat7 g
  • Cholesterol19 mg
  • Sodium901 mg
  • Protein19 g
  • Carbohydrate39 g
  • Sugar4 g
  • Fiber4 g
  • Iron4 mg
  • Calcium143 mg

 

mushroom-kale-cheddar-frittata

  • Serves 6
  • Hands-On Time 15 min
  • Total Time 40 min

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/4 cup olive oil
  2. ounces mushrooms (such as cremini and shiitake), halved or sliced if large
  3. Kosher salt and black pepper
  4. small shallots, chopped
  5. large eggs
  6. 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  7. ounces Cheddar, shredded (1 cup)
  8. ounces Parmesan, shredded (½ cup)
  9. 1/2 small bunch lacinato kale, stems discarded and leaves sliced (about 4 cups)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the shallots. Cook, tossing frequently, until the shallots are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reserve the skillet.
  2. Whisk the eggs, crème fraîche, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper until combined. Whisk in the Cheddar and half the Parmesan. Toss the kale with 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the reserved skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture to the skillet, followed by the mushrooms, the kale, and the remaining Parmesan. Cook until the frittata is set just around the edge, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Transfer the skillet to oven and bake until the frittata is just set, 20 to 24 minutes. Slide onto a plate to serve.

Courtsey of Real Simple, Justin Chapple

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving

  • Calories390 calories
  • Fat31 g
  • Sat Fat13 g
  • Cholesterol295 mg
  • Sodium640 mg
  • Protein20 g
  • Carbohydrate8 g
  • Sugar1 g
  • Fiber1 g
  • Iron2 mg
  • Calcium361 mg

 

Korean Kimichi

Courtsey of Melissa Souza and Mother Earth Magazine she also has page on facebook

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Ingredients

• 1 large cabbage head
• 1 pound daikon root
• 8 green onion
• 8 cloves garlic (grated)
• ginger root (grated)
• 2 tbsp fish sauce
• 1/2 cup water
• 8 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes or red pepper paste
• 3 tbsp sugar
• 1/2 cup sea salt

Directions

1. Cut cabbage in 2 inch sections, sprinkle with salt, cover with water, and let sit 2 hours.

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3. Drain and rinse 3 times, and allow to dry.

4. Chop daicon into matchstick sized pieces.

5. Chop green onion into 1 inch sections.

6. Add cabbage to diacon and green onion, and toss.

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Prepare brine:

1. Add sugar, water, garlic, and ginger. Mix and add Korean red pepper.

2. Add brine to veggies and stir until fully coated.

3. Pack tightly into jars, and seal.

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4. Leave at room temp 2-5 days.

5. Each day push cabbage below brine surface to release gases.

6. Taste each day until satisfied.

7. Store in fridge. The full flavor is best after a week or two in the fridge. This will keep up to 6 months or more in the fridge.

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Melissa Souza lives on a 1-acre, organically managed homestead property in rural Washington State where she raises backyard chickens and meat rabbits and grows plums, apples, pears, a variety of berries, and all the produce her family needs. She loves to inspire other families to save money, be together, and take steps toward self-reliance no matter where they live. Connect with her on Facebook.

Oven Baked Zucchini Fritters

MAKES: 12    PREP: 20 min  COOK: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lb. zucchini (about 3), grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 cup. almond flour
  • 3 tbsp. fresh chives, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp. garlic powder
  • Cooking fat
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Squeeze any extra moisture out the shredded zucchini and pat it try – really try to get as much liquid out as possible.

To make sure the fritters get properly crispy, be very aggressive about squeezing water out of the zucchini. Often it helps to shred them, sprinkle them with salt, and then let them sit for a minute or two to draw the water out. Then you can squeeze the shreds with your hands or in a cheesecloth (you might be surprised at the amount of water one zucchini can produce!). This helps avoid any potential sogginess and give you that nice crispy edge to the tops.

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, season to taste, and stir until everything is well combined.
  2. Grease each muffin tin, and fill each cup with an equal amount of the zucchini mixture.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  4. Serve warm with your favorite topping: pulled pork, shredded beef, pulled chicken, or even beef patties.

Fritters preparation

 

 

Serves 2 generously

8 ounces slender asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 strips bacon
olive oil
juice and zest of 1 lemon
fresh Parmesan, either shaved or grated

8 ounces uncooked pasta, such as fettuccine

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Before adding pasta, add asparagus and cook for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook pasta for a little less time than package directions call for, until almost al dente.

2. Meanwhile, lay the bacon in a large cold skillet. Set flame to medium and cook until just crisp, turning occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Empty bacon grease from skillet, but don’t wipe it clean. Turn off flame if pasta is still cooking. Crumble the bacon.

4. Plate pasta in individual shallow bowls. Top with some Parmesan. Don’t go crazy here – there are plenty of flavors going on. Serve.

 

Source: Christian Monitor

 

 

 

 

chicken-kale-croutons

Courtesy of Real Simple

  • Serves 4
  • Hands-On Time 20 min
  • Total Time 1 hr

INGREDIENTS

  1. pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
  2. cloves garlic, finely chopped
  3. tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  4. tablespoons olive oil
  5. teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 2 whole lemons, quartered
  6. kosher salt and black pepper
  7. thick slices country bread, torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces
  8. cups baby kale

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Toss the chicken, garlic, rosemary, oil, lemon zest, lemon quarters, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Roast, skin-side up, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken (avoiding the bone) registers 165° F, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken and lemons to a serving dish. Reserve the baking sheet.
  3. Toss the bread in the drippings on the reserved baking sheet. Toast until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the kale and toss to combine.
  4. Serve the chicken with the kale, croutons, and lemons for squeezing.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving

  • Calories 623 calories
  • Fat 30 g
  • Sat Fat 7 g
  • Cholesterol 161 mg
  • Sodium 733 mg
  • Protein 57 g30 g
  • Sugar 4 g
  • Fiber 5 g
  • Iron 5 mg
  • Calcium175 mg

Spinach, Chicken, and Wild Rice Soup

makes about 6 1 1/2 cup servings. and  it uses your slow cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 –14  ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1-10 3/4 – ounce can reduced-fat and reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2/3 cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon purslane
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 4 large cloves of fresh crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken (you can even use chicken pulled off bone of roasted chicken  (remove skin) bought at the store– about 1 pound)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded fresh kale (tear leaves off stems and cut into thing thing strips, young tender fresh kale is the best )
  • Directions

    1. In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, combine the water, broth, cream of chicken soup, uncooked wild rice, thyme, garlic, cumin.
    2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
    3. To serve, stir in chicken, kale, chives,  purslane and let sit for about 15 minutes, stir again then serve.
  • Makes 6 (1-1/2-cup) servings.

Chile Rellenos

Ingredients

  • 2 large fresh poblano chile peppers, Anaheim chile peppers,* or green sweet peppers (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 -2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped*
  • 1 1/2 cups refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed or 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Picante sauce and/or light sour cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Halve the peppers and remove seeds, stems, and veins. Immerse peppers into boiling water for 3 minutes; drain. Invert peppers on paper towels to drain well. Place one pepper half in each of four greased 12- to 16-ounce au gratin dishes. Top each with cheese and jalapeno pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl combine egg and milk. Add flour, baking powder, and cayenne pepper. Beat until smooth. Pour egg mixture evenly over peppers and cheese.
  3. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until a knife inserted into the egg mixture comes out clean. Let stand about 5 minutes. If desired, serve with picante sauce and/or sour cream. Makes 4 (1 dish each) servings

Tip

  • *Test Kitchen Tip: Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 203 cal., 5 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 15 mg chol., 470 mg sodium, 17 g carb. (1 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 19 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Vegetables (d.e): 0.5; Starch (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 2;

 Courtesy of Diabetic Weekly.

Middle Eastern Chicken Kebabs

grilled-chicken-kebabs

Courtesy of  Once Upon a Chef, Jenn Segal

 

 

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes, plus 8 hours to marinate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (reduce to 1/2 teaspoon if you don’t like heat)
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (or 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts), trimmed of any excess fat and cut into large bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing the grill

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, olive oil, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic.

 

 

  1. Thread the chicken onto metal skewers, folding if the pieces are long and thin, alternating occasionally with the red onions. Be sure not to cram the skewers. (Note: You’ll need between 6-8 skewers.) Place the kebabs on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Spoon or brush the marinade all over the meat, coating well. Cover and refrigerate at least eight hours or overnight.

 

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. To grease the grill, lightly dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and, using tongs, carefully rub over the grates several times until glossy and coated. Grill the chicken kebabs until golden brown and cooked through, turning skewers occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the skewers to a platter and serve.

Nutrition Information

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories:350
  • Fat:15g
  • Saturated fat:3g
  • Carbohydrates:6g
  • Sugar:3g
  • Fiber:1g
  • Protein:41g
  • Sodium:871mg
  • Cholesterol:186mg

Creole Eggplant Eggs Benedict

  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Serving Size: 2 eggplant slices, one poached egg, 1/2 cup Creole sauce, and 1 tablespoon “hollandaise” topper
  • Carb Grams Per Serving: 20

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (2 stalks)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 14 1/2 – ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
  • 8 1/2-inch-thick slices peeled eggplant (2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Paprika or ground black pepper (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. For Creole sauce,* in a medium saucepan cook onion, celery, and garlic in 1 teaspoon of the olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir in the fresh parsley.
  2. In a shallow dish combine panko, the dried parsley, garlic powder, paprika, the 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the salt. Place egg product in another shallow dish.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet heat 2 teaspoons of the remaining olive oil. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg, then dip in the crumb mixture to lightly coat. Add half of the eggplant slices to the hot oil; cook for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown and tender (if eggplant browns too quickly, reduce heat slightly), turning once halfway through cooking. Transfer eggplant slices to a foil-lined baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and the remaining eggplant slices.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet bring 1 inch water to boiling; reduce heat to simmering (bubbles should begin to break the surface of the water). Break an egg into a cup and slip egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the remaining eggs, allowing each egg an equal amount of space in the water. Simmer eggs, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until whites are completely set and yolks begin to thicken but are not hard. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs from water.
  5. To make “hollandaise” topper,** in a small bowl stir together Greek yogurt, lime juice, mustard, and the white pepper.
  6. For each serving, place an eggplant slice on a plate; top with 1/4 cup of the Creole sauce, one poached egg, another eggplant slice, another 1/4 cup of the Creole sauce, and about 1 tablespoon of the “hollandaise” topper. If desired, sprinkle with paprika or black pepper.

Make Ahead Tip

  • * The sauce can be made the day ahead. Refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Make Ahead Tip

  • ** The topper can be made the day ahead and refrigerated until needed.

Courtesy of Diabetic Weekly

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Servings Per Recipe: 4
PER SERVING: 229 cal., 12 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 212 mg chol., 294 mg sodium, 20 g carb. (5 g fiber, 9 g sugars), 13 g pro.

Diabetic Exchanges

Medium-Fat Meat (d.e): 1; Fat (d.e): 1.5; Vegetables (d.e): 2; Starch (d.e): 0.5

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