August 7th, 2017 02:09:00 pm
Lay it all out -- in the sheet pan! Cooking an entire meal on a single baking sheet is a great alternative to classic one-pot recipes. This method really allows the individual flavors of your food groups to shine, while it guarantees the easiest cleanup ever.
Start your super easy sheet pan supper by gathering some ingredients. You can adjust this list to what you like, and what you have on hand. They will all cook together in the oven and the flavors will be delicious even if you choose to substitue brussel sprouts for squash. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees for this sheet pan supper!
Put the onions in a pan and saute them until soft and lightly browned. I'm using the Titanium Grill Pan which you can view here. Once browned, line the Baking Sheet with the onion, and sprinkle the minced/chopped garlic onto the tray as well. These will be at the bottom so they can get good contact with the pan to release flavor throughout the food.
In a bowl, mix the chicken cubes with the seasonings of your choice and the oil. Toss it well to coat the chicken with the seasoning.
Add the veggies to the bowl and mix and season it all together. You may need to add some oil to get everything to distribute well onto the chopped vegetables. Now layer this onto the baking sheet. See the Titanium Baking Sheet here. It is such a versatile piece and will clean up so easy once this is baked, as nothing will stick to it!
Bake this for about 20 minutes, or until the chicken pieces register 165 degrees. If you keep the chicken cubes reasonably small, they will cook faster. Serve in bowls. This is a delicious comfort food. Enjoy!
July 19th, 2017 03:15:00 pm
I am standing there after a full day of work... looking at a package of ground beef and thinking, thinking, thinking. How can I make this interesting? Mushrooms and a variety of onions, as well as pasta are always staples in our house, and I happen to have some sour cream left over from a party dip I made last weekend. Perfect time to throw together Beef Stroganoff with Ground Beef. This is also even better with Sirloin or Tenderloin sliced thin, but ground beef will taste delicious as well. Here is what the end result looked like. It was creamy and delicious and I paired it with some healthy vapor cooked broccoli that took under 10 minutes.
You can do this all in one pan, while boiling the pasta in a second pan, and vapor cooking the broccoli in a small third pan. Start by browning the ground beef (or the tenderloin slices). While that is browning, slice the mushrooms and dice the shallots.
Remove the cooked ground beef and add the butter. If your meat has fat, just use that. Mine was super lean so I used the butter. Add the shallots and saute them for a few minutes to bring out their delicious flavor. Once the shallots are tender, remove them, adding them to the ground beef that is set aside in a bowl. Now you can add your sliced mushrooms to the same pan, and begin to saute them. They will release moisture immediately. Once they do, add the seasonings: nutmeg, tarragon and a bit of red wine or a couple of dashes of worcestershire.
When the mushrooms are soft and melded nicely with the spices, lower the heat and add back the meat and shallots. Make sure that has cooled a bit before adding the sour cream. And make sure the sour cream is not super cold or it will curdle. Room temperature is best. Add the sour cream and stir gently to combine all ingredients.
Vapor cook the broccoli for a healthy side to offset this creamy stroganoff. Cook the egg noodles as instructed. Add a pile of noodles to each plate and top with a generous scoop of Beef Stroganoff. A delicious dinner on a budget.
June 30th, 2017 02:00:00 pm
Healthy snacking is especially easy if you make something nourishing in advance, put it into containers, so it's ready to grab and go. These healthy quinoa snacks are the perfect gluten-free pop of energy, and can easily be modified into different variations to suit your tastebuds!
Make a big batch of quinoa to start, using your Titanium Universal Pot, see it here. I am using the 8" Soup Pot. Once your quinoa is cooked, set it aside to cool and begin assembling the other ingredients.
You can pre-soak your quinoa in apple cider vinegar overnight if you want it to be even more delicious. This process removes the sapponins that coat the grain and soaking it off eliminates some of the bitterness. It is good either way. Once the quinoa is boiled and sprouted. I moved it into my mixing bowl to cool, and used the same pot to start vapor cooking the broccoli. I have frozen, organic broccoli and you simply pour the frozen florets into the pot, add the lid and set the heat very low. They will be done in minutes. Move them onto a cutting board and chop them for the snacks. If you are using fresh broccoli, just rinse them and put them into the pot as well... same process. They vapor cook on low heat very quickly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini muffin cups (or not if non-stick). Now chop the onion and grate and cube the cheeses and add them to the mixing bowl as well. Beat the eggs and pour those into the bowl. These will act as the glue to hold these together once they are baked.
Fill the mini muffin tins and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges get a bit browned and crispy. Let cool on a cooling rack, pop them out, bag them and refrigerate for snacks, or plate them and serve them as warm appetizers. Your guests will appreciate a healthy alternative that is both gluten-free and a delicious quinoa snack!
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.
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