Green Tea and More...

Eat. Drink. Sleep. Play.
Be Healthy. Be Green.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

EAT: Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

It's Tuesday! That means it's time for the Tasty Tuesday recipe. This week, to celebrate the potato harvest, we have Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary. Adding rosemary to foods high in starch like potatoes cooking at high temperatures (above 120 C and 250 F) reduces a carcinogenic chemical called acrylamide that is produced during the cooking process. Read more about it.

1. I usually estimate one medium to large potato per person. No need to peel the potatoes either. Turn on the oven and set the temperature to 400 F.

2. Cut each potato into thick slices as shown in the picture. Just about any type of potato works. Most recipes specify Yukon Gold, but I don't usually see these in the organic section so I opt for red potatoes.

3. Place potatoes in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Using a scissor, cut up several sprigs of fresh rosemary and add to the potatoes in the bowl. Reserve a few sprigs of rosemary for garnish.

4. Add a tablespoon of olive oil so that potatoes are coated when mixture is stirred. Be generous. Olive oil is a fat that's good for you. Transfer potatoes to a glass baking dish and place in the oven.

5. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes. Potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and let cool. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

EAT: Basil, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

I don't know about you, but I have had a bumper crop of basil this year. In fact I have more basil than I know what to do with. I mean how much pesto can I make? Well, quite a bit actually because I can freeze it in ice cube size portions for winter meals, but fresh basil? I saw this salad while poking around the on internet and decided to give it a try.

The balsamic gives the cucumber slices an unappetizing brown color, but don't let the picture fool you. As a small side salad it's quite tasty, as a meal by itself? Not so much. It needs the olives and crackers (you could substitute freshly baked breadsticks--stay tuned for my breadmaking efforts), but the hard boiled egg is optional. The olives give it some zing and complement the balsamic vinegar while the crackers add some crunch or chew if you substitute the breadsticks.

To make the salad:

1 cup Basil leaves, shredded (no stems)
1 Cucumber, peeled, cut in half, and seeded
1 pint of Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

EAT: Power Yogurt with Fruit & Flax Seed Oil

It's Tuesday again! Time for another quick, but nutritious recipe. Today's feature is a tasty treat I like to call Power Yogurt. Power Yogurt can be made with just about any fruit--fresh and in season or frozen. Right now melons are in season but the black raspberries I used were frozen although I did pick them from my personal berry patch last month. I made the yogurt myself (here's how) -- don't worry it's pretty easy.

Add the fruit and yogurt to a bowl. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over it and a tablespoon or two of flax seed oil (whatever amount you normally use), top it off with a spoonful of honey, mix it around a bit and you're good to go. Add a handful of almonds if you like. Power Yogurt is a healthy choice for breakfast, a mid-morning or late afternoon snack or dessert.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Black Raspberries and Cancer Prevention

I'm fortunate to live in a place where I have access to a very large black raspberry patch that yields several quarts of wild black raspberries every year. Black raspberries are not high on people's list of favorite berries because they have a lot more seeds than red raspberries and are not as sweet. Nonetheless, I enjoy them.

Most fruits and vegetables are good for us, and berries especially so, which is why they are a staple in my diet--and should be in yours too. Black raspberries contain phenols, phytosterols, vitamins, and minerals that individually are known to prevent cancer in animals. A recent study (link above) looked at freeze dried black raspberries and gene expression in rats when exposed to carcinogens. Scientists discovered that in the group of rats that ate the freeze dried black raspberry powder about one-fifth of the exposed genes showed near normal levels of activity meaning the cells they influenced would not develop into cancerous ones.

Freeze drying concentrates these substances making them 10 times more powerful than they would be otherwise. This type of "dosing up" with concentrated compounds like freeze dried black raspberry powder is referred to as cancer chemoprevention. For most of us, eating concentrated freeze dried berry powder is not an option; however, eating a cup of fresh or frozen berries every day certainly is.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

EAT: Breakfast of Champions

Well, maybe not the breakfast of champions, but how about the breakfast of busy moms? This is one of my favorite breakfast meals. It's fast, nutritious, tastes delicious, and is easy to make. All you need is one banana, a handful of nuts (almonds, cashews, or Brazil nuts are my top three choices), and a dozen or so Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate morsels. Mix and match for the best taste, but don't wash it down with milk (find out why below). Here's why this breakfast is good for you:

Bananas - Not only are they high in fiber, they contain three natural forms of sugar guaranteed to give you a quick energy boost.

60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Morsels - A dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant when eaten in moderation helps lower blood pressure. Skip the milk to wash it down though. Milk interferes with the absorption of antioxidants in the body.

Almonds - Raw, unsalted almonds are rich in fiber, protein, calcium, and magnesium, as well as Vitamin E and other trace minerals. 23 almonds = 1 ounce (6 grams of protein!).

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