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Healthy Simple Lunch!


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Melitsanosalata, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Eggs, Roasted Peppers, Non-Dairy Cheese – Monterey Jack Flavour

Delicious, healthy lunch! Segragate in containers and take to work.

Melitsanosalata Recipe:

Roast an Eggplant by cutting in half lengthwise, placing cut side down on a cookie sheet or other flat pan, drizzle olive oil on top – enough to cover the top and have some dripping down the side. The amount of olive oil depends on the size of the eggplant. Spread the eggplant around as the cut side also needs olive oil. Shouldn’t be much left in the pan. Roast on middle rack in 350° oven until done. Should be easy to press down. Usually 30 – 45 minutes, depending on size of eggplant. Remove from oven, let cool. Don’t touch! Once cooled, remove skin by leaving the eggplant in the pan and peeling the skin off – carefully.

Place in bowl. With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise strips and then cut cross-wise. Using a fork with the knife, keep cutting cross-wise until eggplant is chopped up. (5 min.).

Add approximately 1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. Tahini, 1 tbsp. or more, olive oil, 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice. Amounts depend on the flavour you would like to achieve and the size of the eggplant. Mix up well.

Add finely chopped – garlic, green onions, and parsley. Mix well and serve!

If you like, add roasted red peppers and/or tomatoes. In place of parsley add basil or cilantro.

Either salad can be made any way that suits you!

Heirloom Tomato Salad:

Tomatoes cut up how you like them
1/2 Ripe avocado cut up
Kalamata Olives – optional
Green onions diced small or red onion
Cilantro chopped up
1 small garlic clove finely chopped
Artichoke Hearts in a jar – chopped into small bite size pieces
Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Add cucumber, celery, basil, parsley, peppers, whatever your taste buds would like!

No salt necessary as the olives contain salt. Onions provide a bite and with the garlic an umami flavour!

Yes, there is garlic in both salads but there is also parsley and lemon juice and the acidity from the tomato. Don’t worry. If taking to work, you may have to rinse your mouth or drink mint tea.

Boil an egg – water in a pot, add egg, bring to boil for approximately 4 minutes and then turn off. Do not remove pot. Leave on stove for at least 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Remove the shell. Cut into four and sprinkle with black pepper and paprika. For lunches, I boil several eggs and keep the unused ones in the fridge with the shell on – no cracks! I remove the shell before going to work as removing the shell releases an odour that you don’t want in your office. If you are eating outside or in a airy lunch room, go ahead and peel the egg at the office.

Roasted red peppers – Confession … I now buy a jar (from Greece) at the Greek Store (Kalamata Grocery). I used to make roasted peppers all the time but it does take a lot of time.

Daiya Monterrey Jack Cheese is pretty good as a side cheese for lunch or a quick snack.

More lunch ideas coming up soon!

WILD SOCKEYE SALMON WITH MANGO SALSA!


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An old friend came to visit and requested the salmon I made 10 years ago … Ummm … which one??? I have made so many different salmon meals – different ingredients, different cooking methods and … I create the dish according to time and ingredient availability, weather, palate desires – in other words … what we feel like eating (light, comfort, spicy, etc) and what I am able to put together with the ingredients I have and the time available! So … “we were having Margaritas and you cooked it on the grill” really doesn’t give me much to go on.

Time for a new invention. I had purchased a box of Ataulfo Mangos that were ripening fast, ergo must include them in this meal.

The mango salsa was done and then we went out hiking. By the time we returned home we were starving and time was off the essence. As you can see there isn’t much food left in the plate in the above photo … It smelled and tasted soooooo YUMMY that we had wolfed down half our food before I remembered to take a photo!

Creative juices flowing here is what I created!

Mango Salsa (I used 8 Mangos)

Cube 8 Mangos
6 large cloves of Garlic – finely chopped
2 Tbsp. of Capers OR (use fresh Blueberries or Raspberries)
5 Green Onions (Spring Onions) – chopped fine
5 Tbsp. Roasted Red Pepper – chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
Cilantro 
– added when served (optional) or Basil!

Cilantro may be added to the salsa before serving – chop some in a small bowl and serve on the side or sprinkle on top. Don’t add it into this mix as it will wilt in a day and change the flavour of the salsa.

Add all ingredients (except Cilantro) in a large bowl and mix them together well. Cover and set aside. May be refrigerated in a sealed container (NOT PLASTIC) for up to 5 days. Sometimes 6 … 🙂

Wild Sockeye Salmon (1 Large Filet)

In a small bowl combine the following ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Miracle Whip
1 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder (or use Fresh Garlic)
1 1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1 Tbsp. Dried Basil

Blend well. Once it is blended add while stirring:

1 Tbsp. Tamari (or Japanese style Soya Sauce)
1 1/2 Ounces/ 5 ml of Orange Juice

Blend very well.

Chop up as much fresh Ginger as you like.

Wash Salmon. Pour a little olive oil in a baking dish. Place Salmon skin side down and completely cover with above mixture. Sprinkle fresh, chopped Ginger on top.

Cook for approximately 15 minutes at 350°- depends on the size of the Salmon filet and the type of oven you have. The Salmon juice in the pan should be bubbling, clear and a little brown. If you have a thin filet you may broil it – two notches below the broiler otherwise the sauce will burn! Or you may place it on a grill sheet/pan/aluminium foil on the barbecue at 400° for about 15 minutes.

Super Foods My Patootie!!!


Any time you connect to media – Any social media, radio, TV, the spam in your junk file – you are inundated with the wonders and cures of a “SUPER FOOD”! The ad (because that is what it is folks), goes on to list the numerous cures of this miracle Super food and cites studies, which are rarely specifically named, on how this food may cure cancer, diabetes or any number of diseases. Read … May …

Blueberries, ginger, turmeric, anti-oxidants, lemons, honey, cinnamon, gogi berries … the list goes on, ad nauseum and changes constantly. There is always a new super food that will cure everything, make you happy, make you look younger, cure a disease, help you lose weight and now the miracle ingredient is available in this powder form for your convenience! WooHoo … not.

THIS IS A super food: you planted it, tended to it, picked it when ripe and ate it fresh, that day. Now THAT is super! And it’s a food! Since most of us do not have the opportunity to have our own, diverse garden (read: veggies, fruit trees, berry bushes, etc.) and even for those that do, it is generally not year round, nor is it as diverse as we would like, we become denizens of our local grocery store and must forage through what is available and we wonder if we are making the right choices.

I am so sick and tired of reading all this bullshit on all media about this cure or that cure or how to lose weight if you buy this product or what you should never do/eat and … rants about Big Pharma … we need to remember that the natural health industry is also a billion dollar industry. People are in it to make money. In the case of “Big Pharma”, once you begin on a course of medication one pill leads to another and pretty soon you are not sure what you are taking and must consult a pharmacist to show you which pill to take when and with what and whether they are all working together for the good of your body. As for the health industry they are offering this cure for that disease, that cure for this disease, pills, cleanses, teas and the list goes on for a vast array of cure alls and weight loss products which without a complete lifestyle change – ie. exercise, diet, outlook on life, don’t deliver and are seldom beneficial for anything except making money for the seller.

Do I believe in healthy diets, mind, body, soul/spirit healing … YES! Do I believe holistic medicine is a great preventative tool? YES! Do I believe following a healthy diet can effect a cure for an already established disease. unfortunately, No. I DO believe following a healthy diet, resting, exercising, having fun/laughing/loving can lessen the symptoms of a disease, help get you back to being healthy faster and perhaps keep you off of or decrease the amount of your medications. For those that have a genetic predisposition to a disease, I believe being proactive by having good living habits will help keep the disease at bay or at least mitigate the severity.

DNA, genetics accounts for a lot of unexpected diseases. These can be mitigated with a healthy body, mind and spirit but not necessarily eradicated. Why bother then? Because your chances of survival are increased. Your time spent being ill is decreased. Better quality of life … if you like to be ambulatory and free of pain …

Fresh, whole foods do provide the nutrients your body requires and is built to use. Our body is an amazing machine which given the chance, regulates itself, detoxifies itself, pH balances itself and so much more. Yep. All it requires is the proper fuel; movement; rest; love and laughter. Your body is a part of a complex system encompassing your emotions and thought processes.

A healthy lifestyle, incorporating the mind, body and soul can keep you healthy and can minimize risk. If you are healthy in ALL three areas you have a better chance of fighting the disease and recognizing that something is wrong with your body, perhaps getting early treatment …

There is no magic pill. There is no surefire, instantaneous, miracle cure.

No one is here to solve YOUR health problems with a magic pill or potion! THAT is entirely up to you, to do the best you can with what you have. Research facts, read studies, stay away from marketing promises, commit to a lifestyle change and begin slowly. Small steps in the beginning lead to bigger strides once you develop your pace. Our health is our responsibility.

What there is the age old, simple advice … sleep, eat real foods, meditate/de-stress/relax, drink lots of pure water, socialize with friends and loved ones – be a part of a social network and get some exercise.

Mix it up. A little of this, a little of that … everything in moderation.

 

 

Split Pea Soup on a Cold Winter Day – Easy and Filling


First winter back in the frozen north … and they told me it doesn’t snow here, where I chose to live … uh huh … warmest area in Canada …  oh sure … There are icicles on my car!
And so … the fireplace is on and I have 2 smoked pork hocks simmering on the stove. Smells like bacon cooking. I don’t know about you but I LOVE the smell of bacon and really LOVE eating it too! My comfort food – well, one of them. The love for bacon is so intense that I must limit myself to devouring a pound of bacon (yep, in one sitting), to a maximum of 4 times per year. Who can have just 3 slices? Not me!

Back to the pork hocks (bone in) … They are simmering with about a tablespoon of black peppercorns and six small bay leaves in 16 cups of water. If you’re making a pot of something, make a big pot! Whether it’s soup or stew or sauce, it doesn’t take up much more time and it freezes well for a quick dinner or lunch. Mine go into 4 cup, sealable, glass jars and are stacked in the freezer.
My apologies. Another digression … bear with me, please. Back to the soup.

My mom used to make the tastiest pea soup and she gave me the recipe. The miracle is that I managed to find it amongst all the papers in my storage locker! Here it is.

Mom’s recipe:
8 cups of water
2 bay leaves
6 – 8 peppercorns
1 lb. washed, split, dry green peas
1 large carrot – chopped
1 medium onion – diced
1 stalk of celery – diced
salt to taste
1 ham bone with some meat on it.
Toss all into a pot and simmer for 8 to 10 hours. Remove ham bone, take off meat and add back to soup. Remove bay leaves.

Really? That’s it? Doesn’t sound like much … definitely wouldn’t be enough to freeze … Hmmm …

And so … after a slight tweak … my recipe for a really big pot of soup:

1.7 Kilos (about 4 lbs of smoke pork hock)
6 smallish bay leaves
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
16 cups of purified water (Hate the chlorine taste in my soup. Yes, you can taste the difference!)
Simmer (on low heat – #3 on the dial) for 4 hours.
Let cool. Place in refrigerator. I don’t have the time to make this in one day. 🙂
Next day, remove pork hocks, skim off fat, fish for all the peppercorns and bay leaves or if you have another really big pot, use a sieve and pour the liquid/stock through. Separate the meat from the fat and bone. Dice up the tender morsels (must taste to be assured of the flavour). Add to stock.
6 – 8 carrots – depending on how much carrot you enjoy, keeping in mind this will make about 16 bowls of       soup.
3 – 4 stalks of celery (same tip as the carrots)
1 1/2 large onion
8 cloves of garlic
3 lbs of dried, split peas (washed up)
Chop up the veggies to the size you like. Add all the remaining ingredients into the stock. If the water has evaporated too much, add more (purified).
Do Not add any salt as the smoked pork hocks are salty enough. If you can’t find smoked hocks use a ham bone from the butcher.
Allow to boil and then lower to a simmer for about 1 hour or more, until the peas are mushy.

Make a nice salad. Some gluten free garlic bread. Enjoy!

Cool to slightly warm before placing in jars for the freezer. If you freeze this soup in smaller containers, it makes a delicious, warming, light and filling lunch to take to work!

After the holidays eating light and healthy is a relief for your digestive system and will help you to lose those holiday pounds! Soup and salad is heartwarming, tasty and filling, while being light and easy to digest. Just choose your salad dressing carefully! 🙂

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