June 23rd, 2017 03:30:00 pm
This is one of those quick ideas for dinner. You can eat whole (unprocessed) food that is good for you, without doing a lot of "chopping, prepping, cooking." Fresh wild caught salmon topped with a creamy dill sauce and served with vapor cooked broccoli and potatoes. When you prepare this in your Titanium skillet, clean-up takes less than 2 seconds. I am using the Titanium Grill Pan here, but any of them will do. They are all oven safe and will clean up really easy after baking is complete.
Prep your dill sauce as much in advance as possible so the flavors meld. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put the broccoli in your Titanium Pot (frozen or fresh it won't make a difference). Add the lid (no water) and turn the heat on, Low. When you see the moisture develop on the lid, start timing it. It will be about 4 minutes from the time moisture appears.
Meanwhile put your salmon portions into your Grill pan, or any of the Frying Pans or Sauce Pans. Brush it with a coating of Coconut Oil. Then season it well. Bake the salmon for 12 minutes or until it reaches 140 degrees. Then remove it and tent it with aluminum foil for 5 minutes. The final temperature should be 145 degrees as it will continue to cook while resting.
Top with sauce and serve and enjoy your Baked Salmon Dill Sauce dinner.
June 20th, 2017 01:56:00 pm
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this statement, “We don’t cook anymore.” I am always taken aback for a moment because I’m thinking to myself, “then what are you eating?” I believe that it is true. People don’t cook much anymore. They think it is too time consuming. The clean-up is a hassle. They don’t want to bother coming up with creative menus. So what a lot of people are doing is instead relying on two basic options to make their health and nutrition choices.
2) Large Corporations that make processed food (boxed and frozen)
To me, that’s like letting the fox guard the hen house. These days, most restaurants (particularly the big chains) are in the business of making money, not in the business of looking out for your health and nutrition. Needless to say, the same goes for the large corporations who make your frozen “pop in the microwave” food. There is ZERO concern in most cases for your personal health, nutrition, wellness and longevity. As a result, adding unnecessary sugar and salt and preservatives are a no-brainer for them. After all, these additives keep the consumer coming back for more.
I encourage you to check it out for yourself. I examined a menu at a local restaurant that prides itself on “gluten-free healthy choices.” But instead of taking their advertising pitch at face value, I decided to ask some questions. So I chose what would appear to be the healthiest choice on the menu… a grilled chicken breast and a side of grilled vegetables. Then I asked for clarification on this choice and after several trips back to the kitchen, the waitress confirmed that BOTH of these items were marinated and coated in sugar. And, when I asked if the sugar could be eliminated, I was told no, it comes that way. Bottom line, I ate it, but made a mental note that I’d just consumed high quantities of sugar (which I never add in my home cooked meals), and who knows what else was there that was not disclosed, because I did not specifically ask. So, keep in mind that what you think is a healthy choice on a menu potentially has a LOT of additives, sugar, unnecessary fats, sodium and so on—at your favorite restaurant. And, to complicate things further, it is most likely cooked at really high heat, adding AGEs to the food (see details here).
When you cook at home, you have the ability to take control of your health, nutrition, and longevity! You control the ingredients. You control the portion size. You control your spending. And, you control the quality of the cookware used to prepare your food. You also give yourself the gift of lowering your toxic load, because you’ve controlled all of those factors. These healthy dishes are all so easy to prepare at home, with minimal hassle.
Restaurants and Dining Out:
Experts agree that food is not only cheaper, but also healthier, when prepared at home. Food choice is an important factor in leading a healthier and longer life. Cooking your own meals allow you to freely decide what to put (and not to put) into your food so that the health needs and preferences of your family members are covered. Restaurant meals are often incredibly high in calories, sugar, sodium, and unhealthy fats – all of which can negatively affect your health. It is also cooked on the lowest grade cookware,that goes through substantial abuse in a commercial kitchen (aluminum).
As stated by Juliana Cohen of Harvard School of Public Health in Forbes.com, “research suggests that people who prepare food at home (versus food prepared outside the home) eat healthier. They consume fewer calories, less saturated fat and sodium, and more fiber and micronutrients per eating occasion.” And the primary key to enrich your meals with good nutrients is being able to decide and use healthy ingredients in them.
Socially, eating at home around the dinner table with family and friends is better for our health. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University has found in its survey that teens who eat more at home with their families tend to have lesser tendencies of being involved with cigarette smoking, drinking, and using drugs. As a result, they also tend to excel academically as well.
Eating at home is obviously substantially gentler on the budget as well. The Nation’s Restaurant News reported that the cost of food prepared at home dropped by 0.5%. Meanwhile, the price of eating out has gone up by 2.7%, a significant increase from the 1.4% rate from the year before.
A roasted chicken dinner with vegetables at a restaurant might be around $16.00 with tip. The same entrée cooked at home might average about $6.41. Add in the fact that you controlled the ingredients, the portions, and the cookware utilized, and it makes sense to prepare your own food both economically and from a health perspective.
Do I eat out and enjoy it? Of course I do! But the majority of our meals are prepared in our own kitchen, with our own ingredients and cookware---taking control of our health and nutrition. You are able to substantially reduce your toxic burden if you eat at home the majority of the time where these factors are in your control. When I do eat out, I enjoy myself and I do not worry about content or preparation very much, because I know that the majority of my intake is on the healthy side. I know that I effectively reduce my personal toxic burden by cooking whole foods at home, thereby leaving myself some "room" for enjoying life, going to parties and eating things that are not benefitting my health. Also, there are still some of those local small (non-chain, non-franchise) restaurants out there that care about ingredients. And there are also some chain restaurants that do too.
Processed food that is “assembled at home”:
MSN recently published an article entitled “The 30 Unhealthiest Frozen Meals on the Planet.”[i] I had to chuckle… only 30? But seriously the exposé was rather shocking, but explains a lot about why so many people are plagued with bad health and disease. There is not only zero nutrition in the processed food people are eating, but there are added chemicals that are downright dangerous to your health. They are void of nutrition, sky-high in sodium and carbs, and the additives are a disaster. The serving sizes are also ridiculous, encouraging people to eat an entire package when that is loaded with enough fat and calories for two people. Some of the meals contained an equivalent amount of sugar as a candy bar, and it was noted also that they almost all contained known carcinogens for example: "ammonium sulfate" (a commonly-used lawn fertilizer). The analysis was done on names you’ve probably purchased like Stouffer’s; Hungry-Man; PF Chang’s; Red Baron; Healthy Choice; Marie Callender’s; Banquet; DiGiorno; Chili’s; Mrs. Paul’s; Tombstone; Jimmy Dean; Aunt Jemima; Pillsbury; Amy’s; Jamba; Kellogg’s; Nestle Hot Pockets; and Bob Evans.
I am probably not really telling you anything you don’t already know. What I hear most is that people are in a big hurry, pretty much always. They are tired. They are burned out. They work many many hours. And they just aren’t willing to spend time washing, chopping, “cooking” food because it’s easier to call for take-out or pop a processed food product into the nuking machine. And if you are still using that microwave, read here about why you might want to think twice about it. Believe me, I get it. But I also happen to have a passion for finding solid paths that lead to good overall health. So I prioritize healthy food because I think that is a major component that affects our life outcomes. And I sell healthy cookware as a result!
You may know I blog periodically some “recipes” for meals I am making. Most are pretty simple, and most involve the opportunity to substitute healthier choices over not-so-healthy-choices. I’ve decided, however, that I’m going to do another twist on that, and blog some ‘non-recipes’. More like “whole food assembly”. Things you can put on the dinner table that nourish, but don’t require a lot of skill, time or “cooking.” I hope you like it. The goal will be to provide meal ideas that are reasonably quick, but are still offering whole rather than processed food choices.
Following are some ideas about how to make a change...
Make cooking at home fun. Your Titanium Cookware Collection pots and pans makes is super easy to clean up and super fast using the Vapor Cooking method. Eat in and give yourself the gift of whole, healthy, unprocessed foods to nourish your body and mind. You deserve it.
June 1st, 2017 05:44:00 pm
In this recipe, I do not batter or deep fry the fish -- but everything else about it is Baja Style. We are looking to enjoy the flavor of the fish, un-adulterated. Small pieces of white fish can be quickly grilled on our 11x11 Grill Pan, or pan-fried in any of our Frying Pans. This can be done without oil if you choose in either pan. If you prefer, you can also vapor cook it by putting it on low heat and adding the lid. This makes the fish more moist and flaky, without the browning and grill marks. Either way, delicious fish meat is moments away with which to stuff those tacos!
Start by prepping your ingredients. A big platter of red cabbage, diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and lime wedges will set you up for digging in once the tacos come off the stovetop. Now prepare your Crema. This sauce really makes the taco pop with creamy flavor. There are dozens of methods, some involving emulsification and so on, but this is just a delicious way to quickly whip up a batch that will be very pleasing without a huge time investment. Blend those ingredients together well in a bowl and you are ready to go.
Now grill or pan fry or vapor cook the white fish. Once it is cooked, you can either shred it, or dice it, or serve it in long wedges. Any of these will work great when stuffing your taco. Okay, you may have noticed this is not white fish. Good point. I had some other fish on hand and used it. Point being, it doesn't really matter. Cook some fish. Make some tacos. It's all good.
My husband likes to pan fry the corn tortillas until they are crispy. Put a small (very small) amount of oil in the pan and heat it to medium high. Apply the tortilla and it will sizzle a bit. Once it is slightly crispy, turn it and do the other side. Don't leave it too long as it will become hard and break when you try to bend it. Just a minute or two each side should make it warm and mildly crispy. If you are using cheese, apply it to the side you've just cooked. It will melt quickly to the surface of the tortilla.
Now you are ready to stuff them with fish, vegetables, add a squeeze of lime and a dollop of the crema and enjoy!
Enjoy this delicious recipe for fish tacos in any season, grilled indoors. It is a healthy, fresh meal particularly nice for a summer evening.
April 27th, 2017 05:46:00 pm
We don’t eat completely paleo or gluten-free in our home, but we do try to modify and eat less of the things like pasta, rice and bread. You have probably noticed that in my cooking, I offer ways in which to substitute those items with healthier choices. Today’s Cauliflower Rice Risotto is no exception. Using that chameleon vegetable—Cauliflower—you can create all sorts of filling and satisfying dishes. I’ve done the Cauliflower Steak, the Cauliflower Pizza Crust, the Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”… and last night I made this paleo-friendly Cauliflower Rice Risotto. It is delicious and creamy.
Start by gathering these items:
Start by warming the broth. Set it on low heat. I am using the 6” Universal Pot. The broth needs to be warm before you start the Risotto. Everything should be pre-chopped and ready to go as this takes place rather quickly once you start.
Put your florets into the food processor and pulse it until it is the consistency of rice. Don’t over process.
Now choose your Risotto pan. I am using the 13” Sauce Pan. You want plenty of room because you will need to keep moving this around the surface during the entire cooking time. The pan should be big enough to allow you to spread it out thinly as you shift it around, because you will need to be absorbing moisture, adding moisture, and absorbing it again and again until the texture is creamy. The 13” Frying Pan and the 13” Rondeau will also work perfectly for this process. But if you have an 11” of either that should be fine too.
Get your pan pre-heated, to medium-high. Add the ghee. Once it’s sizzling hot, add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt and sauté them until translucent. The pinch of salt with each added ingredient pulls the moisture out and distributes flavor.
Now add the chopped mushrooms and sauté again with a pinch of salt. Once the moisture is absorbed add your riced cauliflower and a pinch of salt. Move this around the pan, shifting constantly as it pulls out the fiber and moisture. When it is consistent and on the dry side, add several ladles of warm broth and move it around the pan some more. If this is not bubbling hot, increase your heat a bit. When this is almost dry (Au Sec), add more warm broth and keep moving it around the pan surface. Do this a third time—from Au Sec to bubbling/boiling, to Au Sec. The key is that you are not adding all of the liquid at once. You are bringing it in, in sections and reducing it each time. This will produce much better results.
The consistency should be creamy but not gooey. Serve this and top it with the chopped olives sprinkled on top. The olives cut through the creamy texture with their bold flavor. The olives are optional of course.
I served this with Rack of Lamb, which is a super easy task in our cookware. We get the frenched New Zealand kind that is packaged and ready to bake/roast. I season it with herbs and pop it into the oven. See the blog on how to do it here: Rack of Lamb. The lamb is done in 15 minutes, sits for 5. Carve and serve. It complements the risotto really well (or vice versa!). And just look at how easy it is to clean up the pan!
Enjoy your Cauliflower Rice Risotto with mushrooms and think about how you will give the recipe your own style next time around. Maybe by adding garlic? Curry? Fresh herbs? Or by substituting broccoli for cauliflower!
April 17th, 2017 03:26:00 pm
Gluten-Free Pan Fried Chicken: If you don't have time to marinate, you can make these quick fried chicken cutlets easily, and you can make them gluten-free if you wish with a few simple modifications.
Pull together this very simple list of ingredients:
Start by pounding your chicken out into consistent thicknesses, so that everything will cook evenly once you start the frying process. I use the flat side of the mallet and I cover the meat with saran which prevents splashing and any transfer of chicken juices to other parts of my kitchen unintended. It also protects the meat somewhat so that it holds together nicely. But it is optional. I sectioned the breast up so that I have different sized pieces, and then pounded each to the same thickness. Here is also a picture of the chicken breast before and after for reference. Salt and pepper each piece.
Prepare your bowls for "dipping" the chicken before frying. Bowl 1 is your flour product. In this case, cassava flour. Put your prefered spices in this bowl and mix well. Bowl 2 is your beaten egg. Bowl 3 is your bread crumb. In this case Chickpea crumbs.
Get the oil hot in your Titanium Sauce Pan. I am using this one. It is our square casserole, but any of them of appropriate size and depth will do just fine. I am using coconut oil. Test the heat of the oil by dropping a bit of your flour into the oil, and if it sizzles and rises, your oil is hot enough.
Now dip your chicken cutlet first into the flour... then into the egg... then into the bread or chickpea crumbs. Make sure to use the flour mixture first as this creates your "glue" when you then dip it into the egg mixture. After you bread each of them, you can pile them on a plate as pictured here, and cover and refrigerate until it is time to fry them if you wish. When you are ready, don't over-crowd, and gently fry them on both sides. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels, and put paper towel lining in between each layer to absorb excess oil.
Make sure you don't over cook them, as that will dry them out. It will only take a few minutes on each side. Adjust your heat as you go to make certain you are not over-browning. If you are preparing a lot of chicken, you will need to add more oil midway through the process. When you do, make sure you bring it up to proper heat for browning before adding more chicken cutlets.
When you plate the chicken to serve it, squeeze a generous amount of lemon over the top. Gluten-free pan fried chicken cutlets are delicious served warm as dinner, or served cold as a lunch snack. Either way, don't forget the lemon as it really adds a lovely freshness to the flavor. Happy and Healthy Cooking!
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