Doggy Diaries: 3 Essentials I Use to Keep My Dog Healthy

When people say that “dogs are man’s best friend”, I certainly think that it is an understatement. For dog lovers like me, I believe my dogs are my saving graces. In more ways than one, my dogs have provided me new and exciting feelings that they can only bring out of me, not to mention a whole new outlook in life I live by up until now. I know that I am not the only one reaping the benefits of being a dog-owner (and dog-lover).

dog-chef

Now, if you’re aspiring to share your life with a little canine friend, I can tell you many reasons why.

Simply put, having a dog makes you feel much more calm and happy. In fact, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for the feeling of being relaxed. When you are relaxed more often, you are less likely to have heart diseases. Pets also serve as a great booster of the immune system, helping the body withstand any diseases which could then lead to an overall healthy life.

Aside from the physiological support from owning a pet, it can support you psychologically by giving you a different perspective in life. According to researches, if you have a pet, you are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets.

Pets can also provide a sense of comfort and company like no other. They can socially connect people and can be considered as social magnets, all of which are extremely beneficial if you are under a huge amount of stress.

There are many ways how dogs can improve your health. This is why it is important to make every effort in giving them everything they need – ample time, warm shelter, and, of course, healthy food!

Here are some recipes I have played around with plus vital information about essential nutrients that our pets need to keep them healthy and playful.

Beefy Equals Hearty

It is imperative that the diet you give your dog is complete and balanced, just like how it is for humans. What this means is that the food you feed them should meets all of your dog’s nutritional needs. However, it is not necessary that every meal prepared is the same every day with little or no variation at all just to meet the requirements.

Home-prepared doggy meals have become popular nowadays. Each “meal course” may include a wide variety of food types to cater to your pet’s palette. Similar to the way humans eat, as long as your dog gets everything he or she needs, his diet is still considerably complete and balanced.

Meat should always make up at least half of the diet for dogs. It is still recommended that meat is prepared properly (i.e. it needs to be cooked). Many raw diets are extremely high in fat, which can lead to obesity. In turn, diets containing too much fat can cause your dog to suffer deficiencies of other required nutrients.

beef-cakes

Unless your dog gets regular, intense exercise, you should use lean meats (no more than 10 percent fat), remove skin from poultry, and cut off separable fat. It’s better to feed dark meat poultry than breast unless your dog requires a very low-fat diet.

One recipe I’ve worked with is Beef Ball Treats with Vegetables. This is not necessarily a new recipe, but I have tweaked it a little with the addition of baby food and some important vegetables.

You are going to need:

  • 2 6-ounce jars of organic beef and vegetable baby food
  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour (or white substitute)
  • 2 cups of dry milk
  • 1 cup of water

To prepare your doggie beef balls, you need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and mix all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. After which, you are to drop the mixture onto a baking sheet in large spoonfuls, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Finally, allow to the treats to cool completely, and store leftover beef and vegetable balls in the fridge for up to five days.

Sweet and Tasty with a Side of Dairy

There is a common misconception that dairy products are bad for dogs. In my experience in personal dog care, I have found that not all types are bad. In fact, some are considered very healthy for my lovely canine.

One example tasty dairy treat for your dog is yogurt. Yogurt is high in calcium and protein which are essential nutrients to make your dog stronger. The ones with active bacteria can act as a probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system. However, it is important to make sure to only choose yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars.

dog-eating-yogurt

To prepare this Healthy Yogurt Treat for your dogs, you are going to need:

  • ½ cup fat-free plain yogurt (goat’s milk yogurt if you can find it)
  • ¼ cup of oats
  • ¼ cup of mixed vegetables (carrots, celery, spinach, broccoli, etc), steamed then pureed
  • ½ teaspoon of honey

This yogurt delight recipe is very simple. You only have to mix the oats and yogurt, and let sit overnight in the fridge. Afterwards, you are to mix the remaining ingredients in with the oat/yogurt mixture. Viola! Now you have an exciting treat for your beloved pet.

Fish is the Best Dish, Capiche?

To truly keep your dog both healthy and excited to every meal time, some food supplements may be required. Your dogs may need it if you are not able to feed certain food type that could provide their required daily dose of nutrient. In addition, the longer food is cooked or frozen, the more nutrients are lost.

Most homemade diets require added oils for fats and calorie requirements. As such, it’s important to use the right types of oils as each supplies a different nutrient. One important supplement is fish oil. It provides EPA and DHA – omega-3 fatty acids that help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.

dog-eating-fish

Preparing fish dishes for your dogs is a great alternative to using red meat mainly because it provides certain important nutrients such as Vitamin D. Generally, canned fish with bones, such as sardines (packed in water, not oil), jack mackerel, and pink salmon, are good choices. You can feed small amounts of fish every day or larger amounts once or twice a week. The total amount should be about one ounce of fish per pound of other meats.

One recipe that is constant in my dog’s diet is Salmon with Sweet potatoes. This is a combination of protein and fiber which helps him be active and improve his immune system.

To prepare this fish with vegetables recipe, you need:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 3 parsnips
  • 1 cup of carrots
  • 1 whole cabbage
  • 1¼ cups of green peas
  • 2 kilograms of frozen white fish

The first step is to dice two sweet potatoes, and put it into a large pot of boiling water. Similarly, you are to dice the parsnips, carrots and cabbage, and add to the pot together the sweet potatoes. Boil the vegetables to soften. Make sure to boil them to 10 to 15 minutes after dicing. After which, put in the salmon and simmer. After taking off the heat, you can serve your dog his delightful dinner.

3 Mediterranean Recipes to help you fight Asthma and Allergies

Allergic Asthma and other types of allergies are extremely difficult to deal with. A lot of people from all ages can easily suffer from these types of diseases, but not all of them can cope with it. Surely, you have tried various ways to deal with it – drinking antihistamines, purifying your indoor air, or generally protecting your nose in every way possible. Then again, there is a more palatable route in dealing with this condition.

inhaler

And one of the most delicious ways to choose when dealing with allergies and asthma is going Mediterranean.

Mediterranean Diet: How it helps Allergies and Asthma

Many adults and children suffer from allergies and asthma. Their lungs are constantly bombarded by foreign bodies, or allergens, in the air. When these allergens – such as pollen and dust – enter the body, the immune system believes they are harmful. In an effort to protect itself, the body sends out antibodies to fight off these foreign materials.

Studies and researches have confirmed it: going Mediterranean in your diet helps children and adults cope with asthma. The survey of nearly 700 children living on the Greek island of Crete has showed that a high intake of nuts, grapes, tomatoes and oranges have been linked with a 50-80% lower risk of wheezing in 7 to 18 year olds.

Also, in hospitals and medical schools in Helsinki, Finland and Porto, Portugal, researchers have obtained information about the relationship of diet and asthma control in a group of individuals who had been previously diagnosed with asthma. Basing from past studies, these researches have aimed to enhance the knowledge that they had regarding the effects of Mediterranean diet to asthma.

multitude-of-veggies

What researchers found was really striking: only 25% of the participants had well-controlled asthma, and they were the same participants who closely followed a Mediterranean-diet food plan.

Since asthma is a form of allergy, allergic asthma specifically, and is commonly triggered by allergic reactions to pollen, mold, dust, or spores, experts have had their medical curiosity stirred. This has led into various studies on how Mediterranean diet is able to deal with allergies in general.

Surely, the best air purifier for allergies can easily help. Then again, when it comes to allergies such as allergic asthma, a more directed change in one’s diet can help combat the condition. Hence, going Mediterranean may be one of the easiest and most delectable ways to go.

The Mediterranean diet is chock full of healthy foods like grapes, tomatoes, and nuts. According to scientists, these foods provide the most benefits based on their antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are known for their disease-fighting ability. They work to sop-up free radicals left in the body as a byproduct of a cell’s day-to-day functions.

So, if you’re looking for the easiest and tastiest Mediterranean recipes out there, here’s where you can start out:

Creamy and Leafy Shrimp Garlic Pasta

This fresh, light, and delicious – not to mention really easy – dish can send you on a Mediterranean trip right in your kitchen, all the while aiding those allergic defenses. Here’s how to make creamy garlic pasta with shrimp and vegetables.

shrimp-scampi

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • 6 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 12 ounces peeled and deveined raw shrimp (preferably cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts

 

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook 2 minutes less than package directions.
  2. Add shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper and peas, and cook until the pasta is tender, and the shrimps are cooked (approximately 2 to 4 more minutes on the stove). Drain well and set aside.
  3. Mash garlic and salt in a large bowl until a paste forms. Whisk in yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper.
  4. Toast pine nuts in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant. Do this for 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Add the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve with the toasted pine nuts on sprinkled evenly on top.

Turkey and Tomato Panini

These Paninis are one of the most common snacks in a Mediterranean diet, and it can easily be prepared in less than half an hour. A creamy spread full of Parmesan and fresh basil cozies up the turkey and summer-ripe tomato slices for a savory hot sandwich that will quickly become a go-to mealtime solution.

panini

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced reduced-sodium deli turkey
  • 8 tomato slices
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

 

Preparation:Have four medium skillets ready for cooking by the stove.

  1. Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, Parmesan, basil, lemon juice and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each slice of bread.
  3. Place the deli turkey and tomato slices and top it with another bread slice. Do this on 3 more pairs of bread slices.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  5. Place 2 panini in the pan.
  6. Place the medium skillet on top of the panini, then weigh it down. Cook the panini until golden on one side (about 2 minutes on the skillet).
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low, flip the panini, replace the top skillet, and set until the second side is golden (about 1-3 minutes on the skillet).
  8. Repeat with another 1 teaspoon oil and the remaining panini.

 

Mediterranean Breaded Salmon

Here’s a big meal for the family, prepared in just about an hour. You can indulge in a very nutritious breaded salmon dish served with a lot of healthy vegetables. Mediterranean style!

salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen baby lima beans
  • 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into fourths lengthwise, then crosswise into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), drained, cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 ¼ lb salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup plain panko crispy bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Preparation:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line the 15x10x1/2-inch pan with heavy-duty foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. Place lima beans and eggplant in pan. If beans are frozen in solid block, microwave on high setting for about 1 minute or just long enough to break beans apart. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and toss. Spread in single layer in pan, and Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix bread crumbs, lemon peel, oregano leaves, garlic and olive oil in a bowl. This would serve as salmon topping.
  4. Remove pan from oven. Push vegetables to sides of pan, and place salmon skin side down in center. Brush salmon with 1 teaspoon oil, and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange vegetables in single layer around salmon.
  5. Gently press half of mixture, or about 1/2 cup, evenly on salmon. Sprinkle remaining topping over the vegetables.
  6. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork, and vegetables are crisp-tender. (If fish browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.)
  7. Spoon beans and eggplant into large heatproof bowl. Toss vegetables with roasted peppers and spinach. Cover the mixture with foil, and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is slightly wilted.
  8. Cut and prepare the salmon into 4 servings. Carefully lift fish from skin with pancake turner to serving plate. Serve salmon with vegetables.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid-Rich Recipes for Better Lung Health

Omega-3 fatty acids have been known to have a ton of health benefits. Surely, if you read “fat,” you have this preconception that it would be harmful for your body. Technically, fats are needed by the body in many of its functions. It is just that the unhealthy fats are the ones that have harmful side effects in the body. On the contrary, Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the body in many ways; More importantly, researchers and scientists found out that Omega-3 fatty acids have a direct and essential effect in lung health.

omega-3-foods

Compounds derived from omega-3 fatty acids – like those found in salmon – are key to helping the body combat lung infections. Not to mention that the food containing omega-3 fatty acids are really delicious!

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for the Lungs

An Indiana University study has found that a unique omega-3 supplement derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel significantly improved lung function in asthmatics who experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, also called exercise-induced asthma. This study has shown that omega-3 supplements are effective in reducing the airway inflammation experienced by asthmatic study participants.

fish-oil

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is most often caused by years of smoking, is characterized by inflammation and excessive mucus in the lungs that blocks airflow. Quitting smoking can slow the progress of COPD, but it doesn’t halt the disease. Anti-inflammatory drugs are the most common treatment. However, they suppress the immune system, which can put people with COPD at risk for secondary infections, most commonly NTHi bacterial infections.

Unlike other anti-inflammatory drugs, the specialized agent used in a study conducted by Richard Phipps, Ph.D. (professor of Environmental Medicine and director of the URSMD Lung Biology and Disease Program) has reduced inflammation in the lungs of mice without suppressing the ability to clear the bacteria. In fact, it could actually hasten the process of clearing bacteria. Phipps and his colleagues believe they are the first to show that this special compound can improve lung function in the face of live bacteria.

The compound that Dr. Richard Phipps found has indeed helped a lot in combatting COPD. That compound is, in fact, a derivative from Omega-3 fatty acids.

In addition, it has also been proven that Omega-3 fatty acids have a direct effect in strengthening the lungs to prevent bacterial infection. It’s great to have a whole house air purifier to prevent airborne bacteria or virus in your home, but in places where the air pollution is too much, your lungs are always compromised. Omega-3 fatty acids greatly help in preparing the lungs to fight against infections that may occur in your body.

So how do you get your daily dose of Omega-3? Here are some of the easiest and tastiest dishes you can try that contain those wonderful Omega-3 fatty acids:

Blackened Salmon Sandwich

blackened-salmon-sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound wild salmon fillet, skinned and cut into 4 portions
  • 2 teaspoons blackening or Cajun seasoning
  • 1 small avocado, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 crusty whole-wheat rolls, split and toasted
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preparation:

  1. Skin salmon fillets. To do this, place salmon on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Then, gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
  2. Preheat grill rack to High heat.
  3. Rub salmon on both sides with blackening (or Cajun) seasoning.
  4. Grill until cooked all the way through (3 to 4 minutes per side).
  5. Mash avocado and mayonnaise in a small bowl.
  6. To assemble sandwiches, spread the avocado mixture on each roll and top with salmon, arugula, tomato and onion.

Arctic Char on a Bed of Kale

arctic-char

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 pounds kale, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped (14-16 cups)
  • 1 pound skinned arctic char or salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 4 lemon wedges for garnish

Preparation:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir fry shallot, continuously stirring until it begins to soften (2-3 minutes).
  2. Add broth, water and half the kale; cook, continuously stirring until slightly wilted (1-2 minutes). Add the remaining kale and cook until tender (about 8 minutes).
  3. Sprinkle fish fillet with salt and pepper, and place on the kale. Cover and cook until the fish is just cooked through (5 to 7 minutes).
  4. Combine sour cream, horseradish and dill in a bowl. Serve the fish and kale with the sauce and lemon wedges.

Tuna and Green Bean Salad

tuna-salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds slender green beans, trimmed, halved crosswise
  • Approximately 3 teaspoons salt to taste
  • 2 large red potatoes, diced
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 9 ounces canned tuna packed in oil, drained

Preparation:

  1. Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally (about 4 minutes). Using a mesh strainer, transfer the green beans to a large bowl of ice water to cool completely. Drain the green beans and pat dry with a towel.
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of salt to the same cooking liquid and bring the liquid to a simmer. Add the potatoes to the simmering liquid, and cook until they are just tender but still hold their shape (8 to 10 minutes). Transfer the potatoes to the ice water to cool completely. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a towel.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic, oil, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Place the tomatoes, basil and parsley in a large serving bowl. Add the tuna and toss gently to combine. Add the green beans and potatoes. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Oatmeal and Flax Seed Chocolate Chip Cookies

oatmeal-cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed, finely ground in a spice grinder, or pre-ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the flour, oats, flaxseed, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy (about 4 minutes). Put in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat until properly combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown (10 to 12 minutes). Let the cookies cool (for about 3 minutes) on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Cobb Salad & California Rolls: Recipes and Cultural Relevance

Cobb Salad & California Rolls: Recipes and Cultural Relevance

As the famous Andrew Zimmern once said, “the common food of a country or a town defines a huge part of its overall culture.” This pays homage to how Sicilians highly value artichokes, and how Filipinos prefer to practically pair any food with rice. There’s so much to be said for the amount of diversity in cultural cuisine.

Labeled California avocados.

Meanwhile, California is considered the “salad bowl” of the United States for various reasons. The cuisine of California is characterized by fresh produce and fusions, from the fertile Salinas Valley, to the wine countries across the state, and the vast diversity of urban areas like Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. The health-conscious culture paired with the abundance of local produce has led the way to some modern and creative kinds of cuisine.

Before it was a concrete jungle, California was initially the health-first town. Modern takes on ethnic foods from countries around the world were modified to fit local tastes, evolving throughout the years, especially after immigrants surged to the state.

So the next time you are on the road bound for California, choose among the most ethnic-centered Vernon hotels, stay in for a while, and treat your taste buds with the classic tangy-taste of the original ranch dressing or some tasty California rolls.

Here are some recipes to make your taste buds dance.

The California Cobb Salad

Invented in Hollywood, California back in the 1930s, Cobb salads are staple food choices by the locals. Cobb salad is a dinner salad made from “as many as you can” – flavorful ingredients.

A California cobb salad.

The origin of the original ingredients for the Cobb salad is not known for certain, but its name came from Robert H. Cobb, the pioneer of Brown Derby restaurant chains in the USA. This is where the dish was first served.

Cobb salad is composed primary of iceberg lettuce, romaine, tomatoes, bacon, roasted chicken, hard-boiled eggs, avocado, chives, and roquefort cheese. The ingredients are then all chopped and tossed with French dressing, a mixture of red wine vinegar, lemon, mustard, oil, and Worcestershire sauce. The many ingredients of this salad are often formed into ornate displays before serving, showing off the contrasting colors, shapes, and textures to excite palettes.

A woman preparing a cobb salad.

Classic Cobb Salad Recipe

~ Serves 6 ~

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 head of romaine, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 head of Boston lettuce, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine (about 4 cups)
  • 1 small bunch of curly endive, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 bunch of watercress, coarse stems discarded and the watercress rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine (about 2 cups)
  • 6 slices of lean bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 ripe avocados (tip – use an authentic California avocado!) skinned and pit discarded
  • 2 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds total), halved, cooked, and diced
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 hard-boiled large egg, separated, the yolk grated fine and the white grated fine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Roquefort

DIRECTIONS:

  1.   In a large salad bowl, toss together the Romaine, the Boston lettuce, the curly endive, and the watercress.
  2.   Cook the bacon over moderate heat in a skillet until crisp.
  3.   Prepare the avocados by cutting them into halves then slice them into 1/2-inch pieces.
  4.   Arrange the chicken, the bacon, the tomato, and the avocado decoratively over the greens and garnish the salad with the grated egg and the chives.
  5.   In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, the mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Then, add the oil in a slow stream, whisking the mixture until the whole dressing is emulsified. Stir in the Roquefort. Continuously whisk the dressing then pour over the salad. Toss well.

California Roll Recipe

The California roll is easily the most famous of California’s cuisine, and it speaks a lot about how the state is open to accepting foreign influence. This dish tells tons of stories about the combination of the Japanese and the Californian culture.

Most importantly, it’s healthy. And delicious.

california roll

A sushi roll consisting of crab meat, cucumber, rice and seaweed, it is fused with the essential taste of California – the avocado. The roll has helped make sushi more appealing and “edible” to Californians (and Americans, in general) who have reservations on trying sushi for the first time. Given this, the roll is made inside-out, that is, the rice is outside the seaweed called nori because the American taste buds were not ready to take that culinary leap at the time.

To experience the1960-born experimental fusion of both traditional Japanese and California ingredients, you can follow this recipe:

hand roll

For the sushi core filling:

  • 1/2 lb crab meat
  • 1 Avocado, ripe but still firm
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled and sliced into long julienne strips
  • Toasted Nori Seaweed
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • For the rice:
  • 2 cups Japanese short or medium grain rice
  • 2 1/2 cups cold water
  • 5 Tbsp Sushi Vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp Rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

Preparing the rice:

  1. Wash the rice with cold water until the water runs clear. Drain well.

For stove top method:

  1. Put drained rice in a heavy sauce-pan and add 2 cups cold water. Add in sushi vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and salt into the rice mixture.
  2. Cover tightly, set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium and let the rice cook or until all the water is absorbed (7-8 min).
  3. Do not remove the cover to check. Instead listen for the bubbling to stop.
  4. Once you hear a faint hissing sound, reduce the heat to very low and cook for another 6 min. Remove from the heat, and let it stand for more 15min covered.

Using a rice cooker:

  1. Follow the suggested cooking instructions of the rice
  2. Include the sushi vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar and salt when adding the water to the raw rice.
  1. Once the rice is cooked, transfer the hot rice to a large bowl.
  2. Let the rice cool down just a little. tt should still be warm when made into a roll.

Now, to make the rolls:

  1. Fold the nori sheets in half and cut them into two equal parts.
  2. Toast your sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring constantly until golden.
  3. Dice up the avocados, cucumber and crab meat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. With damp fingers, spread a generous handful of sushi rice onto the 1/2 sheet of nori.
  5. Flip the rice covered piece of nori over so that the rice side is facing down the sushi rolling mat. Place your filling along the length of your nori.
  6. Start rolling the spread, applying pressure as you go along to make a tight roll. Rolling it tighter makes the sushi easier to slice.
  7. Once the roll is complete, sprinkle the roll with toasted sesame seeds while it is still on the mat so you can turn it easily.
  8. Run your sharp knife through a damp paper towel before slicing so the rice would not stick as much. Cut the roll in half, then line the two halves up and slice into even 1-inch rings.
  9. Serve with soy sauce with wasabi paste or powder.

Guilt-Free and Delicious – 4 Probiotic-Rich Recipes For a Healthier You

Everybody needs probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria, like yeasts, that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Usually, people think of bacteria as something that causes diseases, but your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep your tummy and digestive tracts healthy.

There have been numerous studies that prove how important probiotics are, especially to the body’s digestive system. Plants and animals, even your pet dog needs dog probiotics.

asian meal

While there many ways to get your daily dose of probiotics through commercial drinks, tablets, supplements, or some preserved foods, they are not necessarily natural. The thing about probiotic dietary supplements is that they are not aptly backed up by scientific studies about their safety and effectiveness, hence food supplements’ favorite label “no approved therapeutic claims”. In addition, these supplements are often too pricey. The best way, still, is to get these good bacteria from reliable sources.

And the best source is from nature itself. Here are some natural and organic probiotic-rich food and some recipes that you can try out:

Kimchi

No Korean meal goes off without kimchi. This spicy and sour traditional Korean side dish is made from fermented cabbage, cucumber, radish, or a mixture of these ingredients. “Mak kimchi”, or simple kimchi, is made with cut cabbage, radishes, and scallions, and a seasoned paste of red pepper, garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, salted shrimp, or kelp powder.

kimchi

The best thing about it is that these pickled vegetable treats are a good source of fiber with very low calorie content because they are veggies. Also, research shows how Kimchi consumption leads to better immune system regulation because it is rich in nutrients brought about by the innate nutrition of vegetables and the process required to make kimchi.

Remember – when making sandwiches, stir-fry, or soup with this unique ingredient, just be sure to add it last to avoid cooking off the good bacteria. The trick is to lightly sautee or steam.

Kimchi Grilled Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices sandwich bread
  • 2 ozs cheese (comté, sliced with a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 ozs kimchi (squeezed well)
  • 1 scallions (thinly sliced)

Directions: To start, brush the olive oil on the sandwich bread slices, and distribute all the cheese, kimchi, and scallions well before grilling.

Delicious and easy to prepare, this healthy snack is full of the much-needed probiotics to treat your hungry tummy.

Miso

From Korea, it’s now time to go to the prime essence of Japanese cooking: miso. Miso is a rich, salty condiment that characterizes a ton of Japanese dishes. As such, the Japanese traditionally begin their day with a bowl of homemade miso soup. They also use miso to flavor a variety of foods in other meals throughout the day. No wonder Japanese people are ranked first in life expectancy. It is all thanks to this all-natural condiment that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

miso

Miso is also very flavorful as it goes through a complex process. To make miso, soy beans and sometimes grains – such as rice or wheat, are combined with salt and a mould culture, and then aged in cedar vats for one to three years. The aging process creates a unique taste of salty, sour, cream-like, brewed and earthy, leaving a mild savory texture to the palette.

Miso Soup with Chards and Tofu Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chard or other sturdy green
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 3-4 Tbsp white miso paste with or without bonito (fish flavor)
  • 1 sheet (1/4 cup) nori (dried seaweed), cut into large rectangles

Directions: Place water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a low simmer. Add nori and simmer for 5-7 minutes.

In the meantime, place 3 tbsp of miso into a small bowl, add a little hot water and whisk until smooth. Then add the miso mixture to the nori soup and stir. This will ensure it doesn’t clump. Add remaining ingredients to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Taste and add more miso or a pinch of sea salt if desired. Serve warm and add to a nice and tasty sandwich as main course.

Pickles

Probably the most common yet most undervalued source of healthy organisms, these tasty and cheap greens provide for a lot of probiotics which are perfect for digestion. Other than that, many people cite the health benefits of pickles, saying that these greens can help with weight loss. The sweet or sour treats are filled with healthful antioxidants, and can even fight off certain kinds of cancer.

pickles

Pickling has been used for thousands of years to preserve food beyond the growing season. They are made for a more affordable solution to hunger and are most revered by the natural health benefits that come by their cost-effective nature. Most pickling recipes call for salt, vinegar, and seasoning.

Cucumber Pickle Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 ounces sea salt (about 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 8 cups bottled water
  • 1 1/2 pounds cucumbers, thoroughly washed and dried (best if you measure the cucumber accordingly to the container on which you will preserve it).
  • Few sprigs fresh dill, washed and dried

Directions: What you need to do is mix the sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and water and bring them to a boil. Let it simmer for five minutes.

Remove the brine from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Arrange the cucumbers upright in a container large enough to hold the brine, perhaps a mason jar, like this one. Place the dill sprigs in amongst the cucumbers in the jars. The cucumbers should be fitted tightly and should come within probably half an inch to an inch of the top of the container. Fill the container with the brine to the top and tap on a flat surface to remove any possible air bubbles.

These pickles can last a few weeks.

Yogurt

yogurt

Of course, you should never ever skip yogurt when you’re talking about probiotics. Yogurt has literally millions of good bacteria in it.

Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment. This thickens the milk and gives it its characteristically tangy flavor. Cow’s milk is the most common type used, but goat’s, ewe’s, sheep, or buffalo’s milk are also suitable.

There is a lot to gain and few to lose through a proper consumption of yogurt. In fitness, yogurt is believed to give you faster flat abs, if reinforced with good workout, that is. Yogurt is also loaded with vitamins to help give you energy during exercise. A cup of yogurt a day can help you recover faster after a heavy lifting session or just a simple exercise at the gym because it also has casein protein.

Mango Yogurt Recipe

Prep Time: 5-10 mins

  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup whole milk or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions: In a blender, combine mango, yogurt, sugar, and 1/2 cup cold water. Pour through a fine sieve (to remove pulp), if desired. Serve immediately over ice.

You can practically use yogurt with almost any smoothie that you want to prepare. Basically, it’s an alternative for whole milk. You can do it with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla.

Cheers to you, and your gut health!

Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

I honestly can’t begin to tell you how delicious these skillet veggie and cheese stuffed shells are!  They are easy to make, easy to clean up and even easier to eat if you ask me.  Pasta is definitely one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but throwing in an assortment of fresh veggies somehow doesn’t make me feel as bad at the end of the day!  C’mon I know you agree with me.

This past weekend was my birthday and I actually ended up making these stuffed shells for my whole family while we were all together since I love getting their approval on new dishes that I come up with.  Well I’m happy to report that they all gave me two BIG thumbs up and even my picky little brother who hates vegetables said this was a winner!  Oh and if you’re wondering why I cooked for everyone on my own birthday, well it’s what I genuinely love to do and it isn’t often my entire family gets together for dinner so this was really fun.  Followed by Game of Thrones of course, but don’t even get me started on how obsessed I am with that show.  ALL the heart eyes on that one!

Oh and don’t worry I definitely did celebrate my birthday though and apologize in advance to those who saw my excessive wine-induced snap chats last Sunday.

#Oops.

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

To be honest when I was turning 30 I absolutely HATED it.  The whole idea of it literally depressed me.  I considered myself officially “old” and thought all of my exciting care-free years were behind me and it was time to become a full-fledged adult, but I honestly couldn’t have been more wrong.  I absolutely LOVE my thirties and so far they have marked some of my greatest life achievements and memorable moments.  And hey adulting hasn’t been so bad either – I am more financially stable than I ever was in my twenties, I have stronger (more lasting) relationships, I have tons more confidence and overall I am a much healthier person.  Most of the time.  Best part is, there is sooo much more to come and I am just getting started!  How’s that for a glass half full kind of mindset?

Ok so back to the carbs.

You guys this recipe literally couldn’t be any easier to make.  If you can boil water and shred up some veggies then you’re already one step ahead of the game.  For the filling I used shredded zucchini, carrots, spinach and onion all mixed together with a little garlic, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan and, um, lemme just tell you that this sure makes one delicious combo!  Pretty sure I could just eat this filling by the spoonful if no one was watching.

I also sauteed everything in the same skillet that I cooked the shells in which makes for super easy clean-up and less dishes to have to worry about.  Your dishwasher (er husband) will thank you!

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

Okay let’s talk about sauce!

Now you could either make your own (which don’t get me wrong – I LOVE to do) or just use your favorite store-bought jar from your local grocer to save a little time.  No ladies this does not mean you’re lazy!  During the week sometimes it’s so nice to come home and whip up a quick, easy meal with just a few simple ingredients for your family and the great thing is this whole entire dish only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  But for those of you who love making your own homemade sauce, try this recipe for my favorite tomato sauce OR this simple bolognese sauce (just omit the meat).  Either way I think you’ll agree these stuffed pasta shells are a win-win!

I mean not only will your kitchen smell incredible, but your kids (and hubbies) won’t even realize they’re eating veggies!  Hey it’s okay to be sneaky from time to time.

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

I also love this dish because it freezes really well too which is perfect for those busy weeknights.  I can’t begin to tell you how stuffed our freezer is with pre-made meals ready to go, but they really are just so convenient!  Simply stuff the pasta shells, cover tightly with plastic wrap and they will freeze nicely for up to three months!  When you’re ready to make them, just de-thaw them in the fridge for a few hours, add your pasta sauce to the skillet and continue with the recipe as instructed.  Super easy!!

And before you dive into this delicious cheesy dish, allow me to impart some important words of wisdom to you – life is all about a healthy (yet realistic) balance and sometimes you just need to stuff your face with a big bowl of pasta!

One Pan Veggie Stuffed Shells

  • 27 (9 oz) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups pasta sauce (24 oz)
  1. Cook pasta shells according to the package instructions, drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute onion, garlic, carrots and zucchini until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and saute an additional minute until all combined and transfer spinach mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Stir in ricotta cheese, about ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of Parmesan (the remaining cheese will be used at the end) then add salt and mix until completely combined.
  4. Pour pasta sauce into the skillet then fill each shell with 2 heaping tablespoons of veggie mixture.
  5. Arrange stuffed shells in the skillet, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until heated through. Top with remaining cheese, serve and enjoy!

Serving Size: 3 stuffed shells • Calories: 273 • Fat: 9.9 g • Saturated Fat: 3.9 g • Carbs: 34.1 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 13.8 g • Sugars: 7.8 g • WW Points+: 7 • Smart Points: 9

3.5.3208

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

I honestly can’t begin to tell you how delicious these skillet veggie and cheese stuffed shells are!  They are easy to make, easy to clean up and even easier to eat if you ask me.  Pasta is definitely one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but throwing in an assortment of fresh veggies somehow doesn’t make me feel as bad at the end of the day!  C’mon I know you agree with me.

This past weekend was my birthday and I actually ended up making these stuffed shells for my whole family while we were all together since I love getting their approval on new dishes that I come up with.  Well I’m happy to report that they all gave me two BIG thumbs up and even my picky little brother who hates vegetables said this was a winner!  Oh and if you’re wondering why I cooked for everyone on my own birthday, well it’s what I genuinely love to do and it isn’t often my entire family gets together for dinner so this was really fun.  Followed by Game of Thrones of course, but don’t even get me started on how obsessed I am with that show.  ALL the heart eyes on that one!

Oh and don’t worry I definitely did celebrate my birthday though and apologize in advance to those who saw my excessive wine-induced snap chats last Sunday.

#Oops.

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

To be honest when I was turning 30 I absolutely HATED it.  The whole idea of it literally depressed me.  I considered myself officially “old” and thought all of my exciting care-free years were behind me and it was time to become a full-fledged adult, but I honestly couldn’t have been more wrong.  I absolutely LOVE my thirties and so far they have marked some of my greatest life achievements and memorable moments.  And hey adulting hasn’t been so bad either – I am more financially stable than I ever was in my twenties, I have stronger (more lasting) relationships, I have tons more confidence and overall I am a much healthier person.  Most of the time.  Best part is, there is sooo much more to come and I am just getting started!  How’s that for a glass half full kind of mindset?

Ok so back to the carbs.

You guys this recipe literally couldn’t be any easier to make.  If you can boil water and shred up some veggies then you’re already one step ahead of the game.  For the filling I used shredded zucchini, carrots, spinach and onion all mixed together with a little garlic, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan and, um, lemme just tell you that this sure makes one delicious combo!  Pretty sure I could just eat this filling by the spoonful if no one was watching.

I also sauteed everything in the same skillet that I cooked the shells in which makes for super easy clean-up and less dishes to have to worry about.  Your dishwasher (er husband) will thank you!

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

Okay let’s talk about sauce!

Now you could either make your own (which don’t get me wrong – I LOVE to do) or just use your favorite store-bought jar from your local grocer to save a little time.  No ladies this does not mean you’re lazy!  During the week sometimes it’s so nice to come home and whip up a quick, easy meal with just a few simple ingredients for your family and the great thing is this whole entire dish only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.  But for those of you who love making your own homemade sauce, try this recipe for my favorite tomato sauce OR this simple bolognese sauce (just omit the meat).  Either way I think you’ll agree these stuffed pasta shells are a win-win!

I mean not only will your kitchen smell incredible, but your kids (and hubbies) won’t even realize they’re eating veggies!  Hey it’s okay to be sneaky from time to time.

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

I also love this dish because it freezes really well too which is perfect for those busy weeknights.  I can’t begin to tell you how stuffed our freezer is with pre-made meals ready to go, but they really are just so convenient!  Simply stuff the pasta shells, cover tightly with plastic wrap and they will freeze nicely for up to three months!  When you’re ready to make them, just de-thaw them in the fridge for a few hours, add your pasta sauce to the skillet and continue with the recipe as instructed.  Super easy!!

And before you dive into this delicious cheesy dish, allow me to impart some important words of wisdom to you – life is all about a healthy (yet realistic) balance and sometimes you just need to stuff your face with a big bowl of pasta!

One Pan Veggie Stuffed Shells

  • 27 (9 oz) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
  • 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups pasta sauce (24 oz)
  1. Cook pasta shells according to the package instructions, drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, drizzle olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute onion, garlic, carrots and zucchini until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and saute an additional minute until all combined and transfer spinach mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Stir in ricotta cheese, about ¾ cup of mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of Parmesan (the remaining cheese will be used at the end) then add salt and mix until completely combined.
  4. Pour pasta sauce into the skillet then fill each shell with 2 heaping tablespoons of veggie mixture.
  5. Arrange stuffed shells in the skillet, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until heated through. Top with remaining cheese, serve and enjoy!

Serving Size: 3 stuffed shells • Calories: 273 • Fat: 9.9 g • Saturated Fat: 3.9 g • Carbs: 34.1 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 13.8 g • Sugars: 7.8 g • WW Points+: 7 • Smart Points: 9

3.5.3208

Our family's FAVORITE Skillet Veggie and Cheese Stuffed Shells - the perfect weeknight meal that is delicious and easy to freeze! eat-yourself-skinny.com

 

Homemade Fruit Snacks

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Homemade Fruit Snacks

These homemade fruit snacks are not just fun and delicious- they are also healthy. Made with unflavored gelatin (here’s why gelatin is healthy), 100% fruit juice and honey, they are a far better choice than commercial fruit snacks, and although their texture is a bit different, they are still delightful.

It’s difficult to tell how many fruit snacks this recipe is going to yield for you, because it depends on the mold you use. For me, it yielded 30 truffle-size gummies (using this mold) plus two bigger ones (filling 2 silicone muffin cups 1/4 full), so I would say about 12 servings.

I used 100% grape juice to make my fruit snacks. You can use any juice you like, of course.

Homemade Fruit Snacks
Prep and Cool time
Total time
Recipe type: Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Primal/Paleo, Snacks
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients

Instructions
  1. Place a silicone candy mold on a cookie sheet to keep it stable.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the juice and honey. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking to combine.
  3. Once heated, whisk in the gelatin, one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly with a fork (you can use a whisk, but that would introduce more air into the mixture and allow foam to form on the finished product).
  4. Continue heating the mixture over medium-low heat until it is smooth and the gelatin has fully melted.
  5. Quickly pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup with a pouring spout, then pour it into the silicone molds. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until set.
  6. Pop the fruit snacks out of the molds. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
A tasty variation: pineapple fruit snacks
12 fl oz (2 small cans) 100% pineapple juice (I used Dole)
2 tablespoons honey
4.5 tablespoons gelatin

Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 36; Fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 7g; Sugar: 7g; Sodium: 9mg; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 2g

Homemade Fruit Snacks

More Healthy Recipes:

Gluten Free Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate Banana Pudding

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Homemade Fruit Snacks

These homemade fruit snacks are not just fun and delicious- they are also healthy. Made with unflavored gelatin (here’s why gelatin is healthy), 100% fruit juice and honey, they are a far better choice than commercial fruit snacks, and although their texture is a bit different, they are still delightful.

It’s difficult to tell how many fruit snacks this recipe is going to yield for you, because it depends on the mold you use. For me, it yielded 30 truffle-size gummies (using this mold) plus two bigger ones (filling 2 silicone muffin cups 1/4 full), so I would say about 12 servings.

I used 100% grape juice to make my fruit snacks. You can use any juice you like, of course.

Homemade Fruit Snacks
Prep and Cool time
Total time
Recipe type: Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Primal/Paleo, Snacks
Yield: 12 servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place a silicone candy mold on a cookie sheet to keep it stable.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the juice and honey. Heat over medium-low heat, whisking to combine.
  3. Once heated, whisk in the gelatin, one tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly with a fork (you can use a whisk, but that would introduce more air into the mixture and allow foam to form on the finished product).
  4. Continue heating the mixture over medium-low heat until it is smooth and the gelatin has fully melted.
  5. Quickly pour the mixture into a glass measuring cup with a pouring spout, then pour it into the silicone molds. Refrigerate for 2 hours, until set.
  6. Pop the fruit snacks out of the molds. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
A tasty variation: pineapple fruit snacks
12 fl oz (2 small cans) 100% pineapple juice (I used Dole)
2 tablespoons honey
4.5 tablespoons gelatin
Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 36; Fat: 0g; Saturated fat: 0g; Carbohydrates: 7g; Sugar: 7g; Sodium: 9mg; Fiber: 0g; Protein: 2g

Homemade Fruit Snacks

Sensational Sweet and Spicy Sambols

sambol

Being someone who loves a meal with many elements, Sri Lankan food was pretty much my dream come true. Every meal is served with plenty of sides: sauces, chutneys, relishes, and pickles, to make each bite unique and surprising. Sambol is the word for this seemingly endless collection of condiments, and I lost count trying to sample them all in a week.

I believe I mentioned in my previous post about Sri Lanka, how spicy the food is there. Like, blow-your-head-off spicy. And as if the curries themselves weren’t hot enough, the chili-based sambols on the side will certainly commit your taste buds to perplexing levels of pain.

sambol9

sambol9

Pol sambol is the ubiquitous, fiery condiment served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is probably one of the simplest dishes to make, consisting mainly of chili, shredded coconut, chili, lime, and chili – did I mention the chili? Yea. This mix ranges from very spicy to volcanically hot depending on whose table you’re sitting at.

On the second day of the trip, my tongue seeking refuge in something, dare I say it, borderline bland, I discovered one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted – and it wasn’t bland to say the least, just not sweat-inducing. Seeni sambol, a fragrant, Sri Lankan caramelized onion jam, turned out to be incredible on everything from hoppers to curries, and could turn a pretty plain bowl of red rice into something remarkably special. I became totally obsessed with this sambol and it was the very first thing I attempted to make when I came home. I really cannot tell you enough how awesome this stuff is. Do yourself a favour and make a batch soon!

sambol2

The most memorable experience I had in Sri Lanka was learning to cook traditional recipes with two women in the local village. It was likely one of the most eye-opening culinary experiences I’ve ever had – not only learning from such passionate and experienced cooks, but seeing their traditional kitchen, tools, and techniques really inspired me.

sambol6

sambol6

Take their stove, for example. A large clay bench with large mounds molded into it held the earthenware pots in place, and the heat underneath was adjusted by adding more sticks to the fire, or taking them away. Genius. Above the stove was a large wooden wrack to hang beans, seeds, and herbs for fast drying, which I thought was a brilliant way to take advantage of the residual heat. Ingredients were prepped on the floor, since it’s cooler down there, and also nice to sit while you’re working. The knife to cut veggies was actually attached to a stool, and instead of holding the blade, you hold the vegetables and basically drop them on top, slicing them in the air to fall onto a grass mat. The sambol was made by grinding all the ingredients together on a huge flat stone designed specifically for this task, and as such took all of ten seconds to prepare. Spoons were made from dried coconut shells. The plates were made of woven grass, topped with fresh lotus leaves from the nearby creek. The leaves protected the plates from the saucy curries, and when you were finished your meal, you’d discard the leaf into the compost, so that there was literally nothing to wash! I mean.

This day made me take a long hard look at how much stuff I use in the kitchen. Water, electricity, appliances – these women were literally using nothing but things from the earth around them and it made me wonder how we’ve come so far from that connection. Cooking has become so overblown, and it was this experience that reminded me to cook simpler and eat simpler. Get closer to the earth. I don’t have some grand solution, but it’s food for thought.

sambol8

sambol8

I’ll share a few notes on the recipes…
You will likely think I’ve lost my mind when you begin the task of slicing two pounds of onions (#worthit), but I promise you it is the correct amount, and you’ll see that it cooks down to nearly nothing. I tried half this amount my first time and it just simply wasn’t enough. If you’re going to go for this, you may as well make a batch that will last you at least a few meals, right? Fresh curry leaves are a definite preference for this recipe, but I’ve never been able to find them here in Copenhagen so I used dried. They’re not great, but better than nothing. If you don’t want to gnaw on whole spices or curry leaves you can remove them after the seeni sambol is cooked, but it can be a bit of a treasure hunt situation, just sayin’. Once I’ve smashed the cardamom pods, I like to remove the outer skin and just add the inner seeds to the spics mix. I tend to leaves the cloves and curry leaves in since I like those bursts of flavour.

The pol sambol recipe I’ve written here is admittedly, a wimp’s version. I’ll admit that I can only tolerate spice until it begins to overwhelm the other flavours in the food, so mine is strong but still edible on its own. I invite you to go with your instincts on this one and dial up the heat to suit your tastes. If you can find freshly grated coconut (or a fresh coconut that you can grate yourself) by all means use that instead of the desiccated variety! Some versions of pol sambol include curry leaves, but because I only had dried I left them out. If you can find fresh ones, add about a sprig for this recipe, and crush them well before incorporating.

As far as serving these two sensational sambols go, they are pretty much great with All. The. Things. Rice dishes, curries, stews, soups, wraps, sandwiches, salads…I mean it! Once you taste them I’m confident you’ll find infinite uses for them. The first photo is of steamed brown rice and the Kale Mallung recipe that I wrote from the last Sri Lankan post – still a major fav around here. I love this meal for breakfast with a poached egg, lots of seeni sambol and, ahem, lightly sprinkled with the pol sambol.

sambol3



sambol7

A huge thanks to Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts  and Sri Lankan Airlines for making this incredible trip possible!

Show me your sambols on Instagram#MNRsambol

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

 

sambol

 

Being someone who loves a meal with many elements, Sri Lankan food was pretty much my dream come true. Every meal is served with plenty of sides: sauces, chutneys, relishes, and pickles, to make each bite unique and surprising. Sambol is the word for this seemingly endless collection of condiments, and I lost count trying to sample them all in a week.

I believe I mentioned in my previous post about Sri Lanka, how spicy the food is there. Like, blow-your-head-off spicy. And as if the curries themselves weren’t hot enough, the chili-based sambols on the side will certainly commit your taste buds to perplexing levels of pain.

sambol9

sambol9

Pol sambol is the ubiquitous, fiery condiment served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is probably one of the simplest dishes to make, consisting mainly of chili, shredded coconut, chili, lime, and chili – did I mention the chili? Yea. This mix ranges from very spicy to volcanically hot depending on whose table you’re sitting at.

On the second day of the trip, my tongue seeking refuge in something, dare I say it, borderline bland, I discovered one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted – and it wasn’t bland to say the least, just not sweat-inducing. Seeni sambol, a fragrant, Sri Lankan caramelized onion jam, turned out to be incredible on everything from hoppers to curries, and could turn a pretty plain bowl of red rice into something remarkably special. I became totally obsessed with this sambol and it was the very first thing I attempted to make when I came home. I really cannot tell you enough how awesome this stuff is. Do yourself a favour and make a batch soon!

 

sambol2

 

The most memorable experience I had in Sri Lanka was learning to cook traditional recipes with two women in the local village. It was likely one of the most eye-opening culinary experiences I’ve ever had – not only learning from such passionate and experienced cooks, but seeing their traditional kitchen, tools, and techniques really inspired me.

sambol6

sambol6

Take their stove, for example. A large clay bench with large mounds molded into it held the earthenware pots in place, and the heat underneath was adjusted by adding more sticks to the fire, or taking them away. Genius. Above the stove was a large wooden wrack to hang beans, seeds, and herbs for fast drying, which I thought was a brilliant way to take advantage of the residual heat. Ingredients were prepped on the floor, since it’s cooler down there, and also nice to sit while you’re working. The knife to cut veggies was actually attached to a stool, and instead of holding the blade, you hold the vegetables and basically drop them on top, slicing them in the air to fall onto a grass mat. The sambol was made by grinding all the ingredients together on a huge flat stone designed specifically for this task, and as such took all of ten seconds to prepare. Spoons were made from dried coconut shells. The plates were made of woven grass, topped with fresh lotus leaves from the nearby creek. The leaves protected the plates from the saucy curries, and when you were finished your meal, you’d discard the leaf into the compost, so that there was literally nothing to wash! I mean.

This day made me take a long hard look at how much stuff I use in the kitchen. Water, electricity, appliances – these women were literally using nothing but things from the earth around them and it made me wonder how we’ve come so far from that connection. Cooking has become so overblown, and it was this experience that reminded me to cook simpler and eat simpler. Get closer to the earth. I don’t have some grand solution, but it’s food for thought.

sambol8

sambol8

I’ll share a few notes on the recipes…
You will likely think I’ve lost my mind when you begin the task of slicing two pounds of onions (#worthit), but I promise you it is the correct amount, and you’ll see that it cooks down to nearly nothing. I tried half this amount my first time and it just simply wasn’t enough. If you’re going to go for this, you may as well make a batch that will last you at least a few meals, right? Fresh curry leaves are a definite preference for this recipe, but I’ve never been able to find them here in Copenhagen so I used dried. They’re not great, but better than nothing. If you don’t want to gnaw on whole spices or curry leaves you can remove them after the seeni sambol is cooked, but it can be a bit of a treasure hunt situation, just sayin’. Once I’ve smashed the cardamom pods, I like to remove the outer skin and just add the inner seeds to the spics mix. I tend to leaves the cloves and curry leaves in since I like those bursts of flavour.

The pol sambol recipe I’ve written here is admittedly, a wimp’s version. I’ll admit that I can only tolerate spice until it begins to overwhelm the other flavours in the food, so mine is strong but still edible on its own. I invite you to go with your instincts on this one and dial up the heat to suit your tastes. If you can find freshly grated coconut (or a fresh coconut that you can grate yourself) by all means use that instead of the desiccated variety! Some versions of pol sambol include curry leaves, but because I only had dried I left them out. If you can find fresh ones, add about a sprig for this recipe, and crush them well before incorporating.

As far as serving these two sensational sambols go, they are pretty much great with All. The. Things. Rice dishes, curries, stews, soups, wraps, sandwiches, salads…I mean it! Once you taste them I’m confident you’ll find infinite uses for them. The first photo is of steamed brown rice and the Kale Mallung recipe that I wrote from the last Sri Lankan post – still a major fav around here. I love this meal for breakfast with a poached egg, lots of seeni sambol and, ahem, lightly sprinkled with the pol sambol.

 

sambol3

 



sambol7

A huge thanks to Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts  and Sri Lankan Airlines for making this incredible trip possible!

Show me your sambols on Instagram#MNRsambol

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Italian Cheesecake Jars

I asked Luise if this was too simple? It’s almost not a recipe, just a quick thing we have been making when we crave dessert but don’t feel like busting out any mixers or even turning on the oven. “What, too simple? That’s my favorite kind of recipe. Nothing can ever be too simple!” she told me. So here it is. A simple Italian twist on cheesecake, served in small jars or glasses. It features two of our favourite summer fruits on a bed of creamy lemon & vanilla mascarpone and the simplest raw crumble you’ll ever make.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_02

Even though we sometimes make it on regular weeknights, this is the most perfect thing to serve on a summer buffet table. It’s quick and effortless and looks really pretty in small jars or shot glasses. It’s easy to quadruple the recipe too, so you could make 30 jars in no-time.

The crumble is simply made from mashed dates, roughly chopped almonds and a pinch of salt. Simple and crunchy. It also keeps well without going soggy. The mascarpone filling is deliciously decadent. It can be replaced with thick Greek yogurt for a lighter twist. It can also be made vegan by replacing the mascarpone with coconut yogurt or by making the cashew filling from our flower power cake.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_3

We let the fruit macerate in a squeeze of lemon and honey. It makes it even more flavourful and it also helps the fruit release liquid that will sip down the sides of the jar like a natural fruit syrup. This simple fruit salad is also really good on its own or on top of any breakfast bowl.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_04

Italian Cheesecake Jars
Makes 8 small jars or 4 larger ones

If making this ahead, we’d recommend only filling the jars with crumble and mascarpone, and keeping the fruit salad in a separate jar until right before serving. Strawberries and peaches are often heavily sprayed so choose organic if possible.

15 strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3 peaches, rinsed
1 lemon, washed
2 tbsp (unheated) runny honey or maple syrup
80 g / ½ cup raw almonds
8 soft dates, stones removed
1 pinch sea salt
250 g mascarpone
½ tsp ground vanilla or pure vanilla extract 
a small handful lemon balm or mint leaves

Cut the fruit in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze over 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp honey, toss and let sit for 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the almonds and mash the dates with a fork. Stir together and divide on the bottom of 8 small glasses or jars. Stir together mascarpone and vanilla, add zest and juice from the rest of the lemon together with 1 tbsp honey, stir until combined and then dollop it into the glasses on top of the date crumble. Add the marinated fruit right before serving them on the buffet table, top with lemon balm and decorate with flower petals, lavender or elderflowers.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_05

We have developed this recipe for Åhléns campaign Alla Länders Land which focuses on welcoming more food cultures to the Swedish summer table. 

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I asked Luise if this was too simple? It’s almost not a recipe, just a quick thing we have been making when we crave dessert but don’t feel like busting out any mixers or even turning on the oven. “What, too simple? That’s my favorite kind of recipe. Nothing can ever be too simple!” she told me. So here it is. A simple Italian twist on cheesecake, served in small jars or glasses. It features two of our favourite summer fruits on a bed of creamy lemon & vanilla mascarpone and the simplest raw crumble you’ll ever make.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_02

Even though we sometimes make it on regular weeknights, this is the most perfect thing to serve on a summer buffet table. It’s quick and effortless and looks really pretty in small jars or shot glasses. It’s easy to quadruple the recipe too, so you could make 30 jars in no-time.

The crumble is simply made from mashed dates, roughly chopped almonds and a pinch of salt. Simple and crunchy. It also keeps well without going soggy. The mascarpone filling is deliciously decadent. It can be replaced with thick Greek yogurt for a lighter twist. It can also be made vegan by replacing the mascarpone with coconut yogurt or by making the cashew filling from our flower power cake.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_3

We let the fruit macerate in a squeeze of lemon and honey. It makes it even more flavourful and it also helps the fruit release liquid that will sip down the sides of the jar like a natural fruit syrup. This simple fruit salad is also really good on its own or on top of any breakfast bowl.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_04

Italian Cheesecake Jars
Makes 8 small jars or 4 larger ones

If making this ahead, we’d recommend only filling the jars with crumble and mascarpone, and keeping the fruit salad in a separate jar until right before serving. Strawberries and peaches are often heavily sprayed so choose organic if possible.

15 strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3 peaches, rinsed
1 lemon, washed
2 tbsp (unheated) runny honey or maple syrup
80 g / ½ cup raw almonds
8 soft dates, stones removed
1 pinch sea salt
250 g mascarpone
½ tsp ground vanilla or pure vanilla extract 
a small handful lemon balm or mint leaves

Cut the fruit in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze over 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp honey, toss and let sit for 15 minutes.

Roughly chop the almonds and mash the dates with a fork. Stir together and divide on the bottom of 8 small glasses or jars. Stir together mascarpone and vanilla, add zest and juice from the rest of the lemon together with 1 tbsp honey, stir until combined and then dollop it into the glasses on top of the date crumble. Add the marinated fruit right before serving them on the buffet table, top with lemon balm and decorate with flower petals, lavender or elderflowers.

Italian_cheesecake_jars_05

Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake

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Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake

I love bakes and casseroles. They’re not just a delicious comfort food, they are also easy to make, and leftover usually keep well and are even better the next day or two, reheated. Most casseroles are not very pretty to look at, but this egg, sausage and cheese bake is actually gorgeous, so I often serve it for brunch when we have friends over.

Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake
Prep and Cool time

Total time

Recipe type: Entree, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Primal
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian pork sausage (I used the Whole Foods brand)
  • 1 lb. frozen spinach, whole leaves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack (or cheddar) cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the frozen spinach and cook, stirring often and breaking it up, until it’s defrosted. Allow to slightly cool, then place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  3. Wipe the skillet clean and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the drained spinach, tomatoes, garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper to the skillet. Mix everything to combine.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Whisk the eggs with the remaining salt and pepper. Pour on top of the sausage mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  7. Bake until eggs are set and cheese is browned, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Per Serving
Serving size: ⅙ casserole; Calories: 367; Fat: 26g; Saturated fat: 13g; Carbohydrates: 7g; Sugar: 1g; Sodium: 958mg; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 24g

Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake

More Healthy Recipes:

Corn Casserole
Enchilada Casserole

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Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake

I love bakes and casseroles. They’re not just a delicious comfort food, they are also easy to make, and leftover usually keep well and are even better the next day or two, reheated. Most casseroles are not very pretty to look at, but this egg, sausage and cheese bake is actually gorgeous, so I often serve it for brunch when we have friends over.

Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake
Prep and Cool time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Primal
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian pork sausage (I used the Whole Foods brand)
  • 1 lb. frozen spinach, whole leaves
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 8 large eggs
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack (or cheddar) cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  2. Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the frozen spinach and cook, stirring often and breaking it up, until it’s defrosted. Allow to slightly cool, then place the spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  3. Wipe the skillet clean and add a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the drained spinach, tomatoes, garlic, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper to the skillet. Mix everything to combine.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  6. Whisk the eggs with the remaining salt and pepper. Pour on top of the sausage mixture. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  7. Bake until eggs are set and cheese is browned, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.
Nutrition Per Serving
Serving size: ⅙ casserole; Calories: 367; Fat: 26g; Saturated fat: 13g; Carbohydrates: 7g; Sugar: 1g; Sodium: 958mg; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 24g

Egg, Sausage and Cheese Bake

More Healthy Recipes:

Corn Casserole
Enchilada Casserole

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Savoury Buckwheat Granola

Say hello to your salad’s new best friend. This jar of mustardy granola has become a total game-changer in our kitchen. And if you are like us and often mix leftovers into quick salad bowls, you are soon going to realize its potential. The granola has the most delicious flavour and adds a superb crunch to all types of salads. We don’t see this as a salad topping but instead a filler that you can use instead of cooking a batch of rice, quinoa or millet or whatever you normally use to make something simple and green into a more substantial meal. The granola is also great with soups (perfect for gazpacho!) and on top of grilled feta cheese or on a savory yogurt bowl. There are doubtless lots of other uses that we haven’t tried yet, but we surely will during the summer.

gks_savoury_granola_2

Savory granola might not be an entirely new concept, but it is a great one. And this recipe is a real winner with tones of mustard, orange zest, thyme and rosemary. It also has an incredible crunch from buckwheat groats, nuts, seeds, rolled rye and oats. So give yourself 10 minutes to mix the ingredients together, shove it in the oven and then use it on almost anything. You can thank us later

gks_savoury_granola_3

To help you get started, we are also sharing a quick little baked feta cheese recipe and a crunchy green salad which both are optimal paired with the granola. The feta cheese is almost too simple. Bake a block of feta cheese for 10 minutes on 200°C / 400°F, then switch up the temperature to max and turn on the broiler for just a few minutes. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh herbs and a generous sprinkle of savoury granola. We usually serve the cheese as a side dish to share on the table. An extra drizzle of honey will make it even more special.

The salad is a bit of a mash-up between a salad and a slaw. Thinly sliced vegetables and pears are mixed with lettuce, drizzled with a yogurt dressing and then covered in granola. Win!

gks_savoury_granola_4

Savoury Granola – Salad’s Best Friend
Makes 4 cups / 1 litre
You can of course add or replace any of the seeds, nuts or flakes with what you have in your pantry. If you are looking for a slightly lighter granola you can replace some of the oil with water. Dry spices could also be added instead of the fresh herbs.
Dressing: 
1/2 cup / 125 ml olive oil
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
zest from 1 orange 
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme (leaves only)
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (leaves only) 
salt and pepper 
Dry ingredients: 
1 cup / 100 g rolled rye flakes (or just oats, if you are sensitive to gluten)
1 cup / 100 g rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat groats 
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 
1/2 cup sunflower seeds 
1/2 cup hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Use you hands or a spatula to toss the dry ingredients in the dressing until all is coated. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crunchy and golden, stirring the granola halfway through to prevent it from burning. We usually add some extra herbs after it is baked but this is of course optional. Store in an air-tight jar in room temperature for up to 4 weeks.
Fennel and Pear Salad with yogurt dressing
Serves 4
1 butter lettuce, leaves gently torn
1 cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced 
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 romanesco or 
broccoli, thinly sliced
2 pears, thinly sliced 
2 tbsp olive oil 
Yogurt dressing
3/4 cup / 20o ml yogurt
10 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice
a pinch of salt and a generous grind of black pepper
Prepare all the salad ingredients and place them in a large salad bowl. It’s easiest to use a mandolin to get thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Stir together the yogurt dressing in a small bowl. Serve the salad on 4 plates, drizzle with yogurt and top with a generous scoop of granola.

gks_savoury_granola_5

PS. In case anyone is wondering, the salad plate was a real bargain from a local ceramicist. Apparently it’s a bit uneven so we almost got it for free. A tip is to always ask for their “damaged goods” if you want unique pieces and are on a budget. The apron is from Stone Cold Fox. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Say hello to your salad’s new best friend. This jar of mustardy granola has become a total game-changer in our kitchen. And if you are like us and often mix leftovers into quick salad bowls, you are soon going to realize its potential. The granola has the most delicious flavour and adds a superb crunch to all types of salads. We don’t see this as a salad topping but instead a filler that you can use instead of cooking a batch of rice, quinoa or millet or whatever you normally use to make something simple and green into a more substantial meal. The granola is also great with soups (perfect for gazpacho!) and on top of grilled feta cheese or on a savory yogurt bowl. There are doubtless lots of other uses that we haven’t tried yet, but we surely will during the summer.

gks_savoury_granola_2

Savory granola might not be an entirely new concept, but it is a great one. And this recipe is a real winner with tones of mustard, orange zest, thyme and rosemary. It also has an incredible crunch from buckwheat groats, nuts, seeds, rolled rye and oats. So give yourself 10 minutes to mix the ingredients together, shove it in the oven and then use it on almost anything. You can thank us later

gks_savoury_granola_3

To help you get started, we are also sharing a quick little baked feta cheese recipe and a crunchy green salad which both are optimal paired with the granola. The feta cheese is almost too simple. Bake a block of feta cheese for 10 minutes on 200°C / 400°F, then switch up the temperature to max and turn on the broiler for just a few minutes. Drizzle with olive oil, fresh herbs and a generous sprinkle of savoury granola. We usually serve the cheese as a side dish to share on the table. An extra drizzle of honey will make it even more special.

The salad is a bit of a mash-up between a salad and a slaw. Thinly sliced vegetables and pears are mixed with lettuce, drizzled with a yogurt dressing and then covered in granola. Win!

gks_savoury_granola_4

Savoury Granola – Salad’s Best Friend
Makes 4 cups / 1 litre
You can of course add or replace any of the seeds, nuts or flakes with what you have in your pantry. If you are looking for a slightly lighter granola you can replace some of the oil with water. Dry spices could also be added instead of the fresh herbs.
Dressing: 
1/2 cup / 125 ml olive oil
2 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
zest from 1 orange 
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme (leaves only)
1-2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (leaves only) 
salt and pepper 
Dry ingredients: 
1 cup / 100 g rolled rye flakes (or just oats, if you are sensitive to gluten)
1 cup / 100 g rolled oats
1/2 cup buckwheat groats 
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 
1/2 cup sunflower seeds 
1/2 cup hazelnuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add all of the dry ingredients to the bowl. Use you hands or a spatula to toss the dry ingredients in the dressing until all is coated. Bake for about 20 minutes or until crunchy and golden, stirring the granola halfway through to prevent it from burning. We usually add some extra herbs after it is baked but this is of course optional. Store in an air-tight jar in room temperature for up to 4 weeks.
Fennel and Pear Salad with yogurt dressing
Serves 4
1 butter lettuce, leaves gently torn
1 cucumber, sliced into rounds
1 fennel bulb, halved and thinly sliced 
1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 romanesco or 
broccoli, thinly sliced
2 pears, thinly sliced 
2 tbsp olive oil 
Yogurt dressing
3/4 cup / 20o ml yogurt
10 basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice
a pinch of salt and a generous grind of black pepper
Prepare all the salad ingredients and place them in a large salad bowl. It’s easiest to use a mandolin to get thin slices. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Stir together the yogurt dressing in a small bowl. Serve the salad on 4 plates, drizzle with yogurt and top with a generous scoop of granola.

gks_savoury_granola_5

PS. In case anyone is wondering, the salad plate was a real bargain from a local ceramicist. Apparently it’s a bit uneven so we almost got it for free. A tip is to always ask for their “damaged goods” if you want unique pieces and are on a budget. The apron is from Stone Cold Fox. 

smokey, spicy clams & chorizo

clams-chorizo 1
I would like to thank mother nature for this post. The 14″ of snow that were dumped on us last night not only inspired me to make this dish, but it also gave me the time to write and post today. Part of my winter comfort food repertoire involves things that are smoky and or spicy, like BBQ brisket or like this dish, clams and chorizo. So yesterday when I was in the grocery store stocking up on food in preparation for another intense snow storm, I wanted something comfort food-ish. I could not get clams and chorizo out of my head. And here we are. I wish I could describe in words how insanely delicious this dish is. Just be sure you have lots of toasted baguette nearby because you are going to want to soak up every smoky, spicy drop.

clams chorizo 2

Ingredients:

2 dozen clams
5 oz of cured chorizo, cut into small cubes
2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 of a 14 oz can of san marzano diced tomatoes
1/2 cup of dry white wine
a pinch of spanish smoked paprika
olive oil
salt & pepper

In a large sautee pan, cook the chorizo and garlic in olive oil until the garlic is browned. Add in the tomatoes, smoked paprika, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Then add around 1/4 cup of the wine and reduce until it is almost gone and you have a thick sauce developing. Add the clams and the remaining 1/4 cup of wine. Shake the pan to coat the clams, cover, and cook for about 9-12 minutes (until the clams open). When all or most of the clams have opened, transfer to a bowl removing any clams that did not open. Spoon the sauce over and inside the clams. Serve immediately with lots of toasted bread.