Healing Curry

Posted by dom on September 4th, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

Healing Curry

My boyfriend and his mother suddenly came down with summer colds, coughing and spluttering all around the house. I went off in search of something simple yet filling to offer them for dinner, using various search terms, including “healing”. It was a good search, I ended up on a site I probably would not have paid attention to normally: Karina’s Kitchen – “recipes from a gluten-free goddess.”

No one in our household needs a gluten-free diet but the dish, A Healing Curry, sounded just right: vegetables and garbanzos (chick peas) and lots of broth, just the thing for my unhappy patients. I don’t have a crock pot but cooked it at a very low simmer on the stove, which worked just fine. The only other change I made is to use home-made chicken broth instead of vegan broth, hoping for some more goodness to combat the evil viruses around the house.

The curry was a hit, even my carnivore boyfriend asked for more. And from my point of view, it was great to be able to prep everything in the morning and then just throw in in the pot. I cooked it for just over 3 hours, stirring it now and again during the evening. The next day I reheated it again and it was just as good, so the next time I’ll make a double batch so I have a pot full to freeze.

This was a timely reminder that “restricted diet” doesn’t have to be a dirty word and specialist sites can have some wonderful recipes too. I’ll be spending more time on Karina’s site!


RecipeBlogs: Meatballs & Baked Zucchini

Posted by dom on June 22nd, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

meat.jpgPart of eating a more healthy diet is eating seasonally but it can be easy to fall into a rut. My family can be more open minded to eating their veg when they are prepared with a bit of imagination rather than boiled and dumped at the side of the plate. On this occasion, I had courgettes / zucchini in mind when I started looking for new recipes to try.

I stumbled on Almost Turkish and found a wonderful assortment of fast and interesting meals. Burcu posts traditional and modern dishes with mouth-watering photographs, including the jackpot for our own dinner: her mother’s recipe for baked zucchini (courgette).

It may sound silly to base a meal around a side-dish but that’s exactly what I did. It was easy though, spoilt for choice on Burcu’s site. I opted for the traditional meatballs that Burcu has recreated as remembered from her hometown of Tekirdağ. These are made with a mixture of lamb and beef and mirror the pepper and mint flavour of the vegetables. The recipe as given would feed four with ease, I froze half for a future fast meal.

Unfortunately I was low on dried mint, so I used it on the zucchini and used fresh mint for the meatballs, a slight change which did not harm the flavour at all. I wouldn’t recommend trying fresh mint on the vegetables though as they would not stand up to the cooking time.

The turkish meatballs were really nice — however, I would cut the chile seeds right down if you are serving to young children. My partner thought they were fine but turned down my offer of extra chile sauce on the side. The zucchini was lovely, soft and spicy with the flavour of the mint really coming through. I took Burcu’s advice and added a bit of garlic to the yogurt.

We had a roasted pepper salad with some chopped up preserved lemons as a side dish. The sweet flavour balanced well with the rest of the meal – and the lemon was perfect. If I hadn’t used the preserved lemons then I think I would have used lemon juice in some way, as a salad dressing or mixed into the yogurt perhaps. The flavour really complimented the rest of the meal.

meatball.jpg

As a side-note, I made a small batch of these without the breadcrumbs/semolina in order to offer a low-carb meal. I would cut down the egg a bit and you need to take care when forming and serving the meatballs but the result still got positive reviews.

Almost Turkish has a wide variety of interesting (and simple) dishes to try, with an emphasis on vegetables. If you want to try to add a bit of unexpected spice to your meals, I certainly recommend giving her blog a browse.


RecipeBlogs: Spinach & Red Onion Pizza

Posted by dom on April 23rd, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

Spinach & Red Onion PizzaAlbion Cooks is an blog by English ex-pat Catherine offering healthy and delicious vegetarian recipes.

For our taste-test we wanted to stay kid friendly, so we gave her Spinach and Red Onion Pizza a try.

Fast and easy, just the way we like it. And because it’s a pizza, the fussy child gave it a try! OK, so only after the haughty sounds of “Spinach? On a pizza? You must be kidding!” were completely ignored, I admit. But in the end he described it as “not bad at all” and cleared his plate.

Boboli is a fine thing but not available at our local shop. I bought pizza dough instead (yes, I can make pizza dough but I’ve found to my great disappointment that the bought stuff tastes better) and split the cooking into two stages. I baked the dough with the oil/garlic/mozzerella and onion for 10 minutes and then added the spinach and feta and baked it for another 8 minutes. Worked a treat.

If you are feeling more adventurous, I highly recommend giving her Chard, Cauliflower & Olive Soup a try.


RecipeBlogs: Spiced Lamb Meatballs

Posted by dom on April 11th, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

This article is part of our Healthy Food Blogging series – an irregular series of articles featuring your own healthy recipes and tips which we’ve tried ourselves.

What’s the recipe today Jim?‘ is written by Rosie, “not so much wannabe chef as a wannabe food taster” with an eclectic combination of recipes, travel notes, and book reviews. The full set of recipes is listed down the left sidebar so you can quickly scan through to find an appealing dish.

MeatballsI opted for Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Couscous for our recipe of the day. The instructions were easy to follow and the meal was quick to make. I like recipes where you can make ahead and reheat – the meatballs definitely fit this criteria. 15 minutes before dinner, my companion received a phone call and asked if we could eat late. Late ended up being an hour later but to no detriment to the meal: a winner in my book. When he was ready I just turned the heat back up on the stove and started on the couscous.

The meal itself was nice, although my son picked around the raisins in the couscous and seemed rather unimpressed with it in general. I think I might be more liberal with the lemon juice next time.

The tomato sauce was a little bit sweet, I’d be tempted to leave out the sugar next time. It got pleasant reviews from our test-tasters of all ages though, so there will be a next time!


RecipeBlogs: Chicken Provencale

Posted by dom on April 6th, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

This article is part of our Healthy Food Blogging series – an irregular series of articles featuring your own healthy recipes and tips which we’ve tried ourselves.

Chicken Provencale ingredients

Chicken breasts have become a staple of the “need something to make for dinner fast” kitchen. But that doesn’t mean it has to be cut into nuggets!

Chickenrecipes.wordpress.com is exactly what it says on the tin: chicken recipes for every day. I decided to try the Chicken Provencale posted last year: it seemed quick and easy and a light flavour for the start of spring.

The instructions were nice and clear and the main time hit was the chopping. I didn’t worry too much about slicing the chicken breasts – just cut them large chunks which looked fine once they were cooked. I used the recommendation of pasta on the side, although at the last minute I realised that the sauce from the chicken wasn’t really what I expected. I tossed the pasta in butter and parmesan and served it on the side rather than underneath worked a treat.

Everyone enjoyed it: this is definitely one to save.



Healthy Food Blogging

Posted by dom on April 2nd, 2007 — Posted in Misc, Recipes

Here at Endiet, we spend a lot of time looking for interesting new recipes to try out and it makes sense to share those with you. So, on an irregular basis, we’ll be posting some of those recipes and links to the food blogs where we found them.

If you have a recipe you think we should look at, or even run your own food blog that you’d like to see highlighted, feel free to drop a link in the comments section or email us at endiet@endiet.com and we’ll take a look.

Recipe Requirements:

  • The recipe must be in a blog — professional sites get enough notice. We’re looking for real people making real food for real families.
  • Must be available in full online, no registration required.
  • Must not require extravagant cooking time. We don’t mind dishes that take longer if they can be prepared ahead but we’re talking weekday meals, not dinner party specials, here.
  • Must not use specialist ingredients. That’s harder to define: what’s specialist in Birmingham may be common in Los Angeles and vice versa. However, if the recipe states that an item is easily available “at any good health food store” or “in your local asian specialist shop” then chances are it won’t be featured here.
  • Must not use pre-processed produce. “Combine one packet of ready-made soup with sour cream and slather onto the frozen chicken nuggets” isn’t going to cut it. If it requires a name brand product as an ingredient, it’s probably not for us.
  • Must use fresh, natural ingredients. Fruit. Vegetables. Meat fresh from the butcher. Chopped herbs, etc.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Posted by dom on March 8th, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

Stuffed MushroomBy Yuliana Hendarto.

Defined broadly, mushroom is the ‘visible’ fungus, or the fruiting body of a fungus which is found above ground. While not all mushrooms are safe to eat, the edible ones enjoy a somewhat special status in many cultures. In fact, the Egyptian pharaohs thought mushrooms should only be enjoyed by royalties, and hence took control of the whole available supply!

Sounds like it enjoys the same status as the ‘royal’ chocolates?

I think so. And it’s definitely one of my favorite foods too. Let’s see what comes to mind when the word ‘mushroom’ is mentioned:

Cream of mushroom soup, mushroom masala (curried fried mushroom, really good!), portobello mushroom salads/burgers, stuffed mushrooms, mushroom quiche, and many many more… Everything with mushroom is always so yummy! Even if you only fry it in butter.. hmmm.. that’s good enough for me!
So anyway, I have one interesting recipe to make stuffed mushrooms. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 medium mushroom, firm, closed caps
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion or green onion
  • 1/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs (see below)
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preperation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Wash mushrooms quickly under running water; drain on paper towels.

Pull stems from mushrooms and chop finely.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat; add chopped mushroom stems and onion. Sauté until tender.

To make the soft bread crumbs, put bread on cutting board and use fork tines to tear off crumbs, or use food processor to make finer crumbs. One slice bread makes about 1/2 cup lightly packed crumbs.

Stir in Worcestershire sauce, soft bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper.

Sprinkle salt over mushroom caps and fill with sautéed mixture, mounding over the top.

At this point, you may cover and refrigerate these mushrooms for up to 24 hours.

Before serving, put 2 tablespoons of water in a shallow dish and arrange stuffed mushrooms in dish. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes 8 to 10 appetizers.

Let me know if you like it!

Some extra tips/fun facts on mushrooms

Psychedelic Mushrooms
These mushrooms are more commonly known as the “magic mushrooms”. Especially famous in the Netherlands (walk along the streets and you can see several of those “coffee shops” having it!!), they have certain psychoactive properties, which means it can induce hallucinations. The effects vary from person to person though, and can range from positive to negative feelings. The highly toxic mushrooms can even cause nausea and permanent damage when taken in large doses.

Mushrooming
This is the activity of mushroom-picking! It can be an eye-opener and exciting adventure, so the next time you go on a vacation or hiking trip, keep an eye for a local mushrooming activity. Take a look at this website for more info on mushroom picking.

Fun Link

Try the mushroom quiz here: http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz55096651748.html

Sources


Soup Week: Creamy Chicken & Spinach Soup

Posted by dom on February 24th, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

To finish off our Soup Week, guest blogger Dixie Doodle gives us one of her personal favourites:


Spinach. It’s one of my favorite vegetables. I know that its green leafy goodness has gotten a bad rap lately, with the e.coli breakout and all, but let’s forget about that and focus on its good points. Spinach is high in nutritional value. It’s a great source of Vitamins A, C and E, as well and being high in calcium, iron and folic acid. Its nutritional value is highest when it’s fresh, but most folks don’t like the taste of fresh spinach; so when cooking it, the less amount of cook time, the better.It’s a fairly versatile little veggie, having been used in many a different recipe. Quiches, soufflés, salads, sautéed and served on the side of a grilled fish fillet. Whew, I need to stop, I’m making myself hungry! Oh, can’t forget my absolute fave, hot spinach and cheese dip! Mmmm! So, what’s not to love?

At my house there are 5 adults and 2 toddlers to feed. Two of those adults are males and neither of them wants “twig and tree bark” (better known as diet or low-fat) food. Part of the reason this recipe is one of my favorites is that it is a big winner at my house and no one, but me, knows that it is a “diet” dish. I’ve made it three times since I acquired the recipe and it is always gone before everyone gets their fill, so this last time I doubled the recipe. That gave everyone enough, plus I get a bit left over for lunch the next day.

So in honor of Soup Week here at endiet.com, I give you:

Creamy Chicken & Spinach Soup

  • 9oz cheese tortellini
  • 14.5oz fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can 98%fat-free cream of chicken soup
  • 16oz chopped frozen spinach (thawed)
  • 9oz cooked diced chicken breast
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2tsp ground thyme
  • 1/4tsp black pepper

Cook tortellini according to directions on the package, using the chicken broth instead of water. Do not drain broth once tortellini is cooked. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook until heated through. (just a few minutes) Makes 6 servings at 1 & 1/3 cup.

P.S. The original recipe calls for only 8oz of spinach, but since I do love me some spinach, I have doubled it.


Soup Week: Mallorquin Vegetable Stew

Posted by dom on February 23rd, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

Day Five
Mallorquin Vegetable Stew

  • Onion, chopped
  • Green peppers, chopped
  • Garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • Green cabbage, chopped
  • Cauliflower florets
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Thyme
  • Paprika

Heat olive oil in a large pot at a low heat. Fry the onion, peppers and garlic until golden and soft, around 10 minutes. Stir in the cabbage and cauliflower and fry for a few minutes more. Increase the heat to medium hot, then add in tomatoes, thyme and paprika and stir well. Cover the vegetables with broth, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender but stop before they are falling apart. You can chill or freeze at this point. Bring to a simmer before serving.


Soup Week: Curried Chicken Soup

Posted by dom on February 22nd, 2007 — Posted in Recipes

Day Four
Curried Chicken Soup

  • 1-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 inch ginger, cut into thick slices
  • 2-3 stalks of lemon grass
  • Curry powder (you can go very spicy with this if you like)
  • Coconut milk
  • Boneless/skinless chicken, cut into small cubes

Don’t add the following until directly before serving:

  • Spinach leaves
  • Spring onions, sliced
  • Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Lime juice

Mix the garlic, ginger, lemon grass and curry powder into the broth and bring to a boil. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes and then strain out the solids. Bring to a boil again and add chicken, simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Mix in coconut milk to taste. You can chill or freeze it at this point. Before serving, bring to a boil and then add the greens and a touch of lime juice, serve immediately.