Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"Jesus gave up His life, Susie. Surely you can give up candy for 40 days."
As a kid, after confession we'd go around saying, "Ihaven'tsinnedyet! Ihaven'tsinnedyet! I'mstillpure!" as if it were a contest to see who could go the longest without sinning. By the time the lunch bell rang, I'd forgotten to keep up with my Sin-O-Meter. I didn't know if I'd participated in some estrangement with God, so I'd give up the game and continue being an amoral child.
I still don't know what I am going to give up, with less than 10 hours to go til Ash Wednesday commences. But I'll figure it out.
What is do know is: I may live in the South and it may be characterized as being slow, but I'm ready to fast.
I don't want to interpret things wrong or tell you an untruth, so if you have any questions, I'm going to direct you to The Catholic Encyclopedia. It's like...just because I'm black, people ask me questions about "being black" all of the time, and I have no idea. There is no "black encyclopedia." And if there is, it's a farce. Ask me about literature. Ask me about food. I know about those.
Speaking of food, I made a fast-friendly meal that I plan on duplicating for the next few weeks.
Oven Baked Tortilla Chips
Simple and easy, these chips can be substituted as crackers.
12 6-inch wheat tortilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Stack 3 or 4 tortillas and with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the tortillas into 8 wedges. Next, spray a baking sheet with a thin coating of nonstick spray. Spread out the tortilla wedges in a single layer. Spray the tops of the tortillas. Sprinkle the wedges with the salt and pepper. Put the sheets in the oven, and bake the chips for about 6-7 minutes. Then rotate the sheets and cook for another 6-7 minutes.
Nikki's Pea Soup
It looks like something Oliver Twist or Charlie Bucket would be made to eat, and they probably did at some point or another. The only difference? This is made with love and pumped pull of nutrients.
1 lb bag frozen whole peas
1 onion small onion, small dice
1 cup diced carrots
1 shallot, minced
2 bay leaves, ripped
1 tsp cayenne
1-2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground back pepper
1 head butter lettuce, shredded
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp flaxseed oil
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
Saute onions, shallots and carrots in olive oil until onions are translucent.
In a sauce pan, add peas, broth, salt, pepper, cayenne, bay leaves and butter lettuce. Bring to a boil. Add sauteed vegetables and flaxseed oil.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered. Blend with an immersion blender, if desired.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
No, these are NOT heart healthy, but they're cute. Krispy Kreme hooks up its patrons with these doughnuts on Valentine's Day. Who can't resist a something heart-shaped?
Pink peppercorn crusted pork tenderloin, blood orange salsa, and collard greens
The following recipes were featured during Save A Heart For Valentine's Day at Best Health on 2/13/09. For nutritional information, please email me at nicolettemiller [at] hotmailDOTcom.
Pink Peppercorn Crusted Pork Tenderloin Serves 16
The inspiration behind this dish came last year during my first foray into the Royal Foodie Joust over at the LeftOver Queen's Forum (of which I haven't entered in months...that may change soon enough). The ingredients were pork, citrus and pink peppercorns. The dish didn't win, but it was tasty to me. I decided to bring it back and introduce it to a whole new group of people.
6 Tbsp Pink peppercorns, crushed
¼ tsp. Kosher salt
4 lbs. Pork tenderloin roast, raw
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
3. Rinse tenderloin under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
4. Using a spice grinder or hand-held grinder, grind peppercorns and put them on a plate and mix in the kosher salt.
5. Spray all sides of loin with nonstick spray. Place loin on pepper-covered plate and roll until all sides are coated evenly with pepper.
6. Place loin on prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until roast registers 160 degrees F on meat thermometer.
7. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with blood orange salsa.
Blood Orange Salsa Serves 4
'Tis the season for citrus and any citrus combinations work well in this recipe. Blood oranges are beautiful and give the salsa a slightly sweet, yet tart flavor. To offset the tartness, using navel oranges or even mandarin oranges would be advantageous.
2 each blood oranges
2 each navel oranges
½ each red onion
1 Tbsp. fresh mint, chiffonade
1 each jalapeno pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
¼ tsp. black pepper
1. Peel and remove pith from oranges. Cut into supremes and dice.
2. Dice onion into small pieces.
3. Stem jalapeno pepper, remove all seeds and mince.4. Combine all ingredients, toss, refrigerate for 30 minutes to chill before serving.
Lemon Curd Serves 4
Usually made with multiple egg yolks, sometimes butter (to produce a creamier texture), fruit and their zest, curd is generally thought of as a fattening and certainly NOT heart healthy. The recipe below uses one egg yolk, splitting the cholesterol intake by four. Substitute orange or any other natural fruit juice to produce a tasty curd to be slathered on scones, eaten in a demitasse with clotted cream (or in this case, cottage cheese) or as a filling for a tart, cake or pie. Cottage cheese is added in this recipe to cut the tartness of the curd.
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ½ Tbsp. cornstarch
1 each egg yolk
1 cup lemon juice
4 tsp. grated lemon zest
½ cup fat free cottage cheese (optional)
1. Put 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch in a nonreactive mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Whisk in the egg.
2. Combine lemon juice, zest, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
3. Whisk this in a thin stream into the egg mixture.
4. Return the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking steadily.
5. Reduce the heat and simmer 1 minute, until thickened.
6. Transfer curd to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
7. Make a slit in the wrap to allow the steam to escape.
8. Let cool to room temperature then refrigerate.
9. When ready to serve, spoon 1 oz. cottage cheese in a bowl with 1/4 cup curd.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
I read this article last week and it piqued my interest in more than one way.
Personally, I've had to cut my food costs by about 60% due to the economic meltdown the country is experiencing right now. 60 percent is a lot. More than half. Since it's just me, it's hard to just cook for one. Any single person can tell you that little tidbit of information. I can barely imagine families of three or more people squeaking by on what I have to use as a solo entity.
On that note, I've been making tons of soup and sandwiches for my meals.
This is my super-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich. Laced with tomatoes, cheddar, bacon, and white onions, the only thing missing on this sandwich are potato chips and a Tastykake.
This tomato soup, garnished with shredded mozzarella, really hits the spot after a long day at work. I was afraid it would taste like watery spaghetti sauce, but somehow I pulled it off. Roasting the vegetables beforehand will eliminate that worry (if it is one you are wont to have). It took no more than 30 minutes from start to finish and I had plenty leftover (for myself LOL)
Homemade Tomato Soup
1 (14-ounce) can or 1 1/2 lbs diced tomatoes, fresh
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves roasted garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 bay leaves, ripped
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and any tomato juices, water, and bay leaf. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil. Puree with a hand held immersion blender until smooth, if desired.
This work by http://niksnacks.blogspot.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.