Eggplant with Fenugreek Spice

Fenugreek and Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant with tomatoes and Fenugreek

Roasted Eggplant with tomatoes and Fenugreek

  • 1 Eggplant peeled
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil1 tsp fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt

Directions
Peel eggplant, cut into cubes, lightly salt the cubed eggplant, place into colander and place colander onto a bowl to collect the water from the eggplant for 30 minutes. With a paper towel dab dry the eggplant. In a skillet over medium heat brown eggplant as the water from the vegetable releases its vapor.  Add olive oil and minced garlic and cubed eggplant. Stir the egg plant in the skillet for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place eggplant into a bowl, add parsley/clinatro fenugreek, red pepper flakes and combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon. May be served at room temperature.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek

1. Fenugreek is known to reduce risk of heart strokes.
2. Oestrogen like properties to help reduce menstrual cramps and discomfort during menopausal symptoms.
3. Reduce labour pain and helps against iron deficiency post pregnancy. Increases milk production in lactating mothers.
4. Galactomannan is a natural soluble fiber that makes fenugreek beneficial for people with diabetes.

Fenugreek is best known for the benefits obtained from its external use. The paste can help get rid or skin irritation, wounds, muscular pains, scars, etc. It is also used as a beauty product in face packs to remove pimples and blackheads. If consumed like green tea with honey and lemon, fenugreek can help reduce fever.

The Ultimate Ingredient

The unteachable ingredient is the most important and it begins with the farmers!

One noticeable golden thread that passes from the weathered hard working hands of labor is that of respect and passion. The farmers, fisherman, and gardeners along the costal countries which border the Mediterranean Sea translate their passion by handling the food with good intentions, admirable aspirations of delivering quality nutrients to the locals, with pride in their produce, a smile on their face, it is all done with utmost respect and affection for neighbors and residents alike.

A stark transcontinental contrast to the American Food Science Industry where the word “chemicals” is substituted by the words “Fruit Snacks” in order to convince a younger generation of what is an actual fruit form.

The Mediterranean Lifestyle has afforded me the possibility of researching, studying, and experiencing the rich culture of nutritious alimentation that reaches our tables. My goal has been to teach methods of optimizing the nutrients that come from the seeds that have grown into vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables that arrive with gusto at each and every meal.

Teachable lessons address the quality of  the produce (I have learned) that may or may not be essential, as it could be limited based on geography. Heating methods change from country to country because of the current distribution within homes. I have seen circuits blow out in an entire home just because the kitchen lights were turned on at the same time the oven was warming to it’s ideal temperature. (A single top heating unit works whether gas or electric.) Utensils for improving food preparation, while in abundance in countries like the United States, are not always readily available globally; a knife and wooden spoon can be more than enough to get one around the kitchen. Cooking often begins with a base of fat, a healthy choice is olive oil over low heat with added herbs, spices, vegetables, meat, poultry, or fish.

Notably, the execution of the technical aspect of cooking can be taught, monitored, encouraged, and at last tasted, but the one thing that I cannot teach is the emotion that must accompany cooking.  Many times I have received a call of desperation, “I did everything that you told me to do! I followed the recipe to the letter. It must be inferior ingredients. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?”

My reply: “Give your food a voice”. Did you listen to it as you prepared it? What did the simmering look like? How did  it smell or taste? Was the meat sticking to the pan when you tried to pry it from it’s cooking process?  Yes, all these techniques are critical to reproducing a healthy recipe….

…however, let’s no overlook a critical key that unlocks a successful meal, What was your physical presence: in a hurry, angry, sad, OR happy, content, positive? A word of caution when preparing food for those who you appreciate, those individuals must be elevated in importance, as you would value their conversation value their palate. Promote a progressive meal that is robust of flavors that comes into a calm, upbeat, and yes, loving atmosphere. The additive of your best self should also be that of the continued golden thread of passion and priority in order to provide a delectable meal.

Learn from the shimmering string of labor that brought the food over the miles to your kitchen, the ultimate and unteachable ingredient to an optimal meal comes from your passion as you stir the food, check the fluid, and taste the seasoning, the ingredient to a successful meal is always love.

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is Italian comfort food which can be served simply by itself, or add in a choice of vegetables, sausage and mushroom risottoseafood, or meat.

Ingredients

Italian Sausage 4 ounces
Mushrooms sliced. (choose from portabella, porcini, crimini)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 Small onion or shallots
Arborio Rice 1 cup
1/2 cup wine
2 cups broth (water and 2 buollion cube)

Directions

In a skillet over medium heat add sausage and break it into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once brown it is down. Place a colander into the sink and place cooked sausage into colander, allowing to drain for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 T of olive oil or butter in a well-seasoned, cast iron skillet (or the heaviest, non-stick skillet you have.) Add 1 pat of butter and chopped shallots or onions to the oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Add your Arborio rice. For this example, we’ll use 1 cup. This is enough to feed four to six as either a first course (the Italian tradition), or as a main course. Stir the rice well with the onions, butter and oil, because the purpose is to thoroughly “coat” the rice. This helps regulate absorption of the liquid. Add 1/2 cup of dry flavorful white wine.  When the wine is about 3/4’s absorbed, reduce the heat to the lowest setting if you are cooking in an iron skillet, (low medium if in anything else), and ladle in enough stock to cover the smoothed out risotto. When the added liquid level drops about 1/3, re-cover the risotto with more stock. (Continue this process for about 20 minutes.) At about 10 minutes of stirring rice add your mushrooms and sausage.

The end of the cooking is critical for the final texture of the dish, so when the rice is mostly tender, but with just a hint of texture to it, and the liquid you have added to this point is mostly absorbed, add the Parmesean and 2 T of butter. At this point, stir the risotto to blend in the cheese and remove your finished risotto from the heat.

Savory Stuffed Pork

Pork Roast stuffed with herbs and dried cranberries soaked in Marsala.

Pork Roast stuffed with herbs and dried cranberries soaked in Marsala.

Pork Roast is lower in cholesterol and a good source of Iron, Potassium, Protein, and Selenium (needed for the thyroid). Consumed once a week pork ensures an additional intake of omega 3s and vitamin B12.

Ingredients

1/2 cup dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Marsala
2 Tablespoons Sage
2 Tablespoons Rosemary
2 Tablespoons Thyme
2 Garlic Cloves minced
Pork Roast 2.5-3 pounds
1 teaspoon Salt
kitchen twine

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Allow 1 pound of pork to bake for 20  minutes. (A 3 pound pork roast would bake for 1 hour at 20 minutes per pound.)

With a "Chef's Knife" cut a slit into the center of the pork.

With a “Chef’s Knife” cut a slit into the center of the pork.

Place cranberries and Marsala together in a bowl, set aside.  Using a food processor add Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic and “pulse” herbs for 20 seconds. With a long sharpened “chef’s knife”, insert into the wide end of the pork roast and begin to make a pocket slit for the length of the pork without the knife coming out of the meat. Reserve Marsala in a separate dish, combine soaked cranberries and herbs together, then begin to fill the inside of pork pocket slit until about 3/4 the way full, pushing down with end of wooden spoon in order to optimize the filling.  Rub salt onto entire roast. Layer with herbs and bacon, optional. Place into baking dish; may tie off pork roast with a single string encircling the meat from end to end to close pork roast and tie with a knot, or tie the entire roast with the twine.

Optional: layer pork with bacon and herbs, then tie off the pork to secure stuffing inside pork pocket.

Optional: layer pork with bacon and herbs, then tie off the pork to secure stuffing inside pork pocket.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(How to Tie a Pork Roast Video http://www.myrecipes.com/how-to/video/tying-stuffed-pork-roast-loin-10000001847834/ ) Drizzle reserved Marsala on top of pork roast. Cover dish and place into oven and allow to bake on 350F for 20 minutes per pound of pork. Pull from oven and allow to relax for 10 minutes. Thinly slice the pork (thickness of a nickel) and serve on a bed of mixed green salads. Excellent with Acorn Squash Soup.

Acorn Squash Soup

Peeling an acorn squash is effortless to do!

Peeling an acorn squash is effortless to do!

Acorn squash is a Fall/Winter vegetable that promotes the health of skin, hair, eyes, blood, and bone through vitamins A, C, B-6,and minerals: calcium, iron, and magnesium. Tasty and Easily prepared with a combination of a few common vegetables, herbs and spices.

Ingredients

1 Acorn Squash
2 Yellow Gold Potatoes
1 Onion
1 Celery stick
1 Tablespoon Salt
2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon fresh Thyme (1/4 teaspoon ground Thyme)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon half-half cream for flavor and decoration (optional)
Parsley for decoration

Directions
Wash, Peel, and quarter the following vegetables placing into a medium size sauce pan: acorn squash, potato, celery, onion.
Best to cut the acorn squash into quarters and peel the squash with a rigid potato peeler or pairing knife. Scoop out the seeds/fibers from the center and discard.
Add salt and 2 cups of water to pan of vegetables. On medium heat, cover pan, allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Add: garlic, thyme, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, olive oil. Using either an Immersion Hand Blender, or Food P

Boosts immune system, promotes health bones and skin. Perfect for winter!

Boosts immune system, promotes health bones and skin. Perfect for winter!

rocessor, purée all ingredients. ladle soup into bowls, top off with a drizzle of cream, a dash of cinnamon, and top off with parsley.

Plan Party! Include Salt, Fat, & Water

Wine Pairings by Eat Know How. Optimize your health by understanding the benefits of the Mediterranean Lifestyle

Perception of  good wine can be done through matching it to the appropriate food. Many times the association of a “GREAT WINE” comes by serving it with the proper dish, only then providing a lasting impression of the beverage. In other words, the wine should enhance the protein, carbohydrate, or fat that one is eating and it should simply be an extension of the plate being consumed. For the sulfite sensitive reader, there are many wonderful organic wines or vineyards (i.e. Chianti)  that have not been exposed to chemicals and can be enjoyed without risk of headaches.

Four tips to promote an enjoyable meal and unforgettable wine:

1. Include salty foods to the menu which will reduce headaches associated with sulfite sensitivity. All grapes “Naturally” have sulfites within their skin, so by default all wines will have  “contains sulfites” on the back of the wine bottles. The introduction of sodium chloride (table salt) provides a molecular balance allowing for further decomposition in the presence of a weak acid, (wine).

2. Eat Fat! Cheese, olive oil, butter, meats, or fried vegetables provide a source of fat. Give the alcohol molecule some fat to attach to and it will then avoid the brain.

3.  Drink water after a drink in order to rehydrate. Alcohol can both stimulate and dehydrate; it is important to provide balance to your body and consume water while at parties. I suggest lemon water.

4. Encourage 2 ounces of wine per glass giving the guests an opportunity to taste 3-4 glasses of wine. Exploring and tasting wines are popular at parties.  (A suggestion is to choose someone to be in charge of wine pouring and have someone ready to taxi drive guests home.) Men should consume 10 ounces of wine and women 5 ounces.

5.  Set up food stations. Select the appropriate wine to pair to each food item and place them into their own areas.

With the appetizers all lined up enjoy “lighter” tasting wines first and then move “heavier” wines. At our wine pairing class these are the drinks that were aligned with our menu.

Prosecco is a wonderful way to start any party. Serve with a raspberry or strawberry in the glass and salty foods on the side.

Prosecco $14.99  (Sparkling Italian Wine) serve with: olives, sliced peccorino or parmesan cheese, pretzels or crostini, prosciutto.

Sauvignon Blanc (Vinas Chilenas at Trader Joes)$6.00-$20.00 serve with: marinated vegetables i.e. Roasted Peppers / zucchini, artichokes, Eggplant and Sundried Tomatoes Also goes great with soups:  chicken, vegetable, or zucchini soups.

A wonderful light tasting grigio that is a fantastic addition to most fish dishes, soups, or sautéed vegetables

Pinot Grigio Orvieto (by Canaletto or Ruffino sold at most stores)$8.00-$27.00 serve with: Most white fish, fried Calamari, shrimp Mussels in Creamy Wine Sauce , clams, lobster stuffed peppers.

Chardonnay $6.00-$20.00  serve with Turkey or Chicken Marsala

Pinot Noir $8.00-$30.00 serve with: Smoked Salmon and Mozzarella,  Smoked Tuna, Kale Salad with Balsamic glaze.

Syrah (sold at Trader Joes Coastal Syrah OR DMZ from South Africa sold at Bottle or Two)  $6.00- $18.00 serve with: salami, walnuts, blue cheese, Eggplant Parmigiana

Honore Vera is a Garancha more dense in weight; perfect match to rustic or beef dishes.

Garnacha (Honoro Vera sold at a Bottle or Two) $10.00-$19.00 serve with Risotto and Truffles, Risotto and Porcini. Beef Roast.

After dinner digestive from Croatia.

Choose an after dinner liquor not experienced at most parties: KRUSKOVAC $15.00 is from Croatia and goes will with almonds or chestnuts. (Party Source)

References

  • What are Sulfites? http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy731
  • The Chemical Equation of Sodium Chloride and Sulfites.  Sodium Sulfite decomposed by weak acids. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_sulfite
  • Resveratrol prevents fat accumulation in livers of alcoholic mice.  http://www.the-aps.org/mm/hp/Audiences/Public-Press/For-the-Press/releases/Archive/08/36.html  Donna Krupa dkrupa@the-aps.org

Hypertension: Best Fall & Winter Foods to Reduce Blood Pressure

Fall & Winter Foods that contribute to overall reduction of blood pressure are in abundance as we move through the cooler moths. Eating seasonally is important for your body’s overall health as the variety of nutrients contribute to the body’s natural cleansing and healing abilities.

Fruits and vegetables that are higher in potassium rid the body of excess sodium, providing balance for the body and reducing overall blood pressure and contribute to weight loss. The following list of nutrition have all been researched and have shown evidence of reducing hypertension. Include them in your daily dietary intake!

Vegetables                                                                                             Fruits  

  • Baked Potato                                                                         Bananas
  • Beans                                                                                      Dried Apricots
  • (brown, kidney, lima, pinto, white)                                  Oranges
  • Lentils                                                                                     Prunes
  • Dark Chocolate (1 square per day)
  • Mushrooms                                                                            Dairy
  • Olives and Olive Oil                                                               1% Milk/Skim
  • Pumpkin                                                                                  Yogurt
  • Soybeans
  • Spinach                                                                                    Fish
  • Sunflower Seeds                                                                     Salmon
  • Winter Squash
  • Yams
  • Zucchini

Herbs and Spices to Reduce Hypertension

The following list of herbs, spices and vegetables have shown to reduce blood pressure. Their protective properties also contribute to overall heart and kidney health.

  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamon
  • Hawthorn (found in supplement form)
  • Garlic
  • Onions