Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Everything Goes With Green"

We celebrated Father's Day with the "Third Annual Mini-Golf Tournament". Go to a course...nope. The young cousins in the family constructed very creative golf holes in the backyard out of what they can find in the garage and around the house. It keeps them busy for most of the day, so the Dad's can go out and do anything they want, which is usually play "big boy golf". The day was finished off by another creative activity...involving food of course. It was such a beautiful day, so we planned to eat on the deck and create a "panini bar". If you have an electric press this works very well, grab an extension cord, and make them outside. Everyone is assigned to bring a favorite the combinations are as creative as the kids golf course. Fresh mozzerella, roasted red pepper, caramelized onions, olive tapenade, basil leaves, arugula pesto (recipe below), blue cheese, cheddar, tomatoes. Just add a salad and you have an instant party!

This summer I've been convicted to get as many green leafy vegetables on the table as possible. You will notice most of the recipes are green this week! With the farmer's markets and crop shares available greens are very inexpensive and PACKED with nutrients.
Green leafy vegetables are arguably one of the richest sources of nutrition and have numerous health advantages, including cancer prevention and detoxification.
Despite their many health benefits they are one of the most under-consumed foods in the average person's diet. Studies have shown that eating two or three servings of green leafy vegetables per week significantly lowers the risk of stomach, breast and skin cancer. These same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease and prevent cataract and macticular degeneration in the eye.

Shaklee is all about "Green". Of course our "Get Clean" products were among the first truly green cleaning products, but a couple other truly green products are Herb Lax #20144 and Alfalfa #20153 An original Dr. Shaklee formula, Herb Lax contains an enhanced proprientary blend, including Senna leaf, which has been used for thousands of years as a natural laxative, plus other complementary herbs. Encourages a mild cleansing action to aid the body’s natural processes. Alfalfa is another Dr. Shaklee signature formula, it is a storehouse of nutrients. Its tap root reaches down as deep as 20 feet, searching out nutrients and minerals from deposits in the soil, while its leaves gather large amounts of chlorophyll through the natural process of photosynthesis. How green can you get?

Garlic is another thing I use in most meals. It helps boost the immune system, prevent colds, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and fight fungal or yeast infections.
Shaklee Garlic # 20084 is an amazing product...and you won't keep your friends's odor controlled with rosemary and spearmint! This quick sauce is great with so many things...grilled vegetables, couscous, meats, pita chips use your imagination.

Garlic Yogurt Sauce
1 c. whole milk yogurt (Greek would be good)
1 clove of garlic mashed with a pinch of salt
a few drizzles of olive oil

This is good just the way it is, but of course you could doctor it up any way you choose. It would be great with a sprinkling of smoked spanish paprika (you can get it at Penzey's this stuff, kind of a secret ingredient you should have in your spice drawer!

Loved this next recipe. You could use a number of different ingredients. It even tastes great the next day.

Massaged Kale Salad
(Cookus Interuptus) link to fun video of this salad being made

1 bunch kale
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted (or Sweet Glazed Nuts
¼ cup diced red onion
1/3 cup currants
¾ cup diced apple, (½ apple)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

De-stem kale by pulling leaf away from the stem. Wash leaves. Spin or pat dry. Stack leaves, rollup and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade). Put kale in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, massage salt into kale with your hands for 2 minutes. To toast seeds, put in a dry skillet over low to medium heat and stir constantly for a few minutes until they change color and give off a nutty aroma.
Put kale in a fresh bowl and discard any leftover liquid. Stir onion, currants, apple and toasted seeds into kale. Dress with oil and vinegar and toss. Taste for salt and vinegar, adding more if necessary. When at desired flavor, toss in cheese.

Preparation time 15 minutes
Makes 6 servings

This is a quick saute we really like. In the recipe it calls for blanching the broccoli rabe...last time I made it I skipped that step and it worked just fine.

Broccoli Rabe Toasts with Olive Oil, Garlic, and Red Pepper
Adapted from Gourmet, April 2006

This has a lot of "bang for your buck" Just buy a bunch of broccoli rabe, put a pot of water on to boil, and all you have to worry about is your impending garlic breath. Especially good with a glass of red wine and maybe some manchego cheese :)

For the toasts:
A few slices, about 1/3 inch thick, from a long, crusty, country loaf
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, halved crosswise

For the broccoli rabe:
1 lb broccoli rabe, large stems discarded and the remainder coarsely chopped
3 Tbs good-quality olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, sliced
1/8 tsp dried red pepper flakes
3 Tbs water
¼ tsp salt

Preheat the broiler, and fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about 2/3rds full of salted water. Bring it to a boil over high heat.

While the water is heating, prepare the toasts. Place the slices of bread on a baking sheet, brush both sides of the bread with oil, and season them lightly with salt and pepper. Broil the bread about 4 inches from the heating element, turning the slices halfway through, until golden, about 3 minutes total. Gently rub both sides of the bread with the garlic. Discard the garlic, and set the toasts aside.

When the water comes to a boil, add the broccoli rabe, and cook, uncovered, until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli rabe into a colander, and press it gently to remove any excess water. Set it aside.

Wipe the pot clean, add the oil, and warm it over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 2 minutes. Taking care to avoid hot oil splatters, add the broccoli rabe, water, and salt, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes.

Divide the warm broccoli rabe over the toasts, and serve.

I got this next idea from my Brother Kevin. He was "flying solo" while Pam was away last week. He made this chicken in "strip" form and his kids loved it. Last night I made it for David with a side of fresh green beans. It took 30 min...and we got to enjoy a candle lit "date" on the deck.

No Recipe Recipe Dijon Panko Chicken with Lemon Garlic Green Beans

I did what Kevin said...pound some chicken breasts, coat them with dijon mustard and then dredge them in panko bread crumb (add some salt and some parmesan if you have it) Bake them in a hot oven for about 30 min. ( cut into to make sure the chicken is cooked through) it should be really juicy with a crisp crust.

While the chicken is cooking, wash and trim some fresh green beans. I put some olive oil in my cast iron skillet, threw in the beans. Right before they were done (crisp/tender) I tossed a couple cloves of garlic in the pan. Finish it off with some lemon zest, a sqeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper. Easy meal.

This is the pesto I had for the paninis. You can use it on pasta, or add to mayo for a nice kick on a sandwich.

Lemon Arugula Pesto Sauce

Lemon-Arugula Pesto Sauce
(by Reeni)

1/2 cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1 and 1/2 cups Baby Arugula leaves
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan or Romano
1/2 cup Extra-Virgin Olive oil
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Toast the walnuts in a skillet on low for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To the bowl of your food processor add the walnuts, garlic, arugula, and parsley. Pulse to chop.

Stream in the oil and lemon juice. Pulse constantly until nice and smooth.

Add cheese and pulse briefly to combine.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This month Shaklee is running a fabulous special for those of you who are not yet "members". Membership is FREE until June 30th with a 50 pv order. Contact me for details. Also ask me about a new benefit of membership I am offering members in my group. How would you like some one on one nutritional/cooking consultation? I can help you revamp your pantry and we can cook a few dishes together.

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