Oil-Free Dressing Recipe!

Gooood morning!

Well, construction on the ark has begun.  You see, here in the Pacific Northwest when it starts to rain in November, it pretty much continues on until about February.  Okay, it’s not really that bad, but this weekend we had a lot of rain, particularly on Sunday.  That was my lazy day.  Yes, I admit I laid on the couch for a couple of hours and watched non-stop HGTV.

Weekend wrecks:
Weekends are made for experiments in the kitchen and this weekend was not unlike most.  There were some bombs (Swimming Rama) and there were some successes (carrot ginger dressing).  There was also one that I figured I’d give another go at later on (blue kuri squash soup).  It wasn’t a total fail — I’ll eat what I made — but it isn’t worthy of posting the recipe.  Can you say too much cardamom? Maybe I should throw in some apples and more cinnamon and call it breakfast!  Hey, now there’s an idea.  Hmmmm….

Weekend eats:
I will share with you, though, how salad making is an easy-peasy process and then I’ll give you a TV-inspired salad dressing.  Eating the way we do sure does require a lot of time spent in the kitchen chopping, slicing, dicing, and shredding.  And that’s before anything goes in a pan.  I’m sure I’ve said over and over again to basically measure twice, cut once.  In kitchen-speak, that means cut up the veggies you’ll be using for the week in one shot.  Why peel and shred carrots three times throughout the week when you can do a whole bunch in one two-minute round with the food processor?  I know, it’s a pain to assemble, disassemble & wash, but it’s much faster to do it one time than it is to do it every day with the hand grater.  Here you can see I processed a bunch of carrots, one beet and both green & purple cabbage.

IMG_1695I also pre-wash my greens.  I usually buy two heads of romaine and a couple bunches of kale for the two of us for a week.  Instead of washing and chopping the greens ahead of time, I just rinse well, drip dry in a colander and then lay them out on a towel and roll up, and place in a plastic bag.  The greens keep well that way, staying crisp and tasty for quite a few days.  This is what it looks like:

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When you’re ready to make your salad, unroll the greens, take out the desired number of leaves, give them a chop, place them in a bowl and add the desired ingredients, plus some chopped tomato, cucumber and beans and you’ve got a meal in just about 3 minutes!  Today’s salad was accompanied with a dressing inspired by a TV show I was watching the other day.  You know those shows where they go into a factory and follow every step that is taken of whatever it is the factory makes?  I love it.  I enjoy learning what goes into our food and how it’s made.  Of course, I don’t eat much processed stuff, but I still find it intriguing watching things cruising down the assembly line.  Anyway, the show happened to be about all things Asian… soy sauce, carrot ginger dressing, Peking duck.  Okay, so I decided to make my own carrot ginger dressing sans the oil, sugar and salt.  The result was pretty good.  As for the Peking duck, I had to turn the channel when it came to that segment.  I couldn’t bear to watch the way the animals were treated.  But I did learn that only the female ducks quack.  The males make more of a grunting sound.  Hmmm…. I’ll hold my comment there.

So you can click on the picture below to be taken to the recipe for Carrot Ginger Salad Dressing.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Wrap Up:
Well, today is the first day of the Dr. Fuhrman Holiday Health Fest.  I’m looking forward to having some motivation and support throughout the holidays to stay on track.  If you want to join in the fun, you can either click the link and join as a member or “like” Dr. Fuhrman’s Facebook page and get access to the same information there.  I know, it appears I’m always promoting Dr. Fuhrman.  I am, I agree.  But I will also tell you I gain nothing from it.  I just like to share his knowledge and hope that others will join me in living a healthy lifestyle free of disease.

I hope you have a healthy, wonderful week.  I will “see” you Friday.

Toodles…

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It’s Squash Week

At least squash don’t attack like sharks!  I do feel, however, I’ve had a squash invasion at my house.  There’s so many types to choose from…

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Kobacha

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Blue Kuri

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Delicata

There are many more varieties, as you can tell by these pictures taken at the local farm stand:

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I’d never tried the blue kuri before so I picked one up just because I liked the name.  The delicata (my fave) and kobacha I’ve had.  Next I’ll have to try the turban squash — that’s the one in the picture on the left.  I love winter squash for their sweet pulp and ease of preparation.  You can see with these next few pictures how easy it is to roast or bake them.

IMG_1707 For the blue kuri, I just plopped it on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 375° for about 45 minutes.  That’s in a convection oven, so you might want to raise the temp to 400°.  To tell if it is done, you just thump on the outside of the shell and you just know.  I think it’s sort of like those barbecue masters who can tell when a steak is done by touching it with their fingertips or something.  Anyway, the blue kuri came out perfectly.  Look at the insides:

IMG_1709It’s so much easier to cut them and scoop out the seeds after they’re cooked.  The flesh on this one is very similar to a pumpkin and works wonderfully well in soups.  It’s rich and sweet, firm and not stringy at all.  I can’t wait to try a tasty, cozy soup this weekend.

As for the delicata, I find this one very easy to make too.  I do slice it open, remove the seeds and roast it in a pan.  I like the little bit of a crunch the high heat gives it after I flip it over.
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So the way I do this one is 30 minutes “face down” in a little water, covered with foil.  Flip over and roast uncovered for another 30 minutes or until fork tender.  You’ll want to do this in a 375° / 400° oven as well.  This variety you can eat the skin.  I actually enjoy it cooled and sliced on my salad or mixed in with some mushrooms, kale, spices and other leftover veggies like peas or beans topped with some tahini & lemon.  I like this recipe that comes from the mastermind of my friend and fellow blogger, Carrie, from Carrie on Vegan.

I think I’ll give the kobacha a try at Thanksgiving time mixed with some rice or other grain (maybe quinoa), cranberries, sage, nuts and other ingredients to make a stuffing of sorts.  The neat thing about squash is with its thick skin, you don’t really need to worry about them spoiling on your countertop.  They last quite a while which is good because I tend to buy too many with great ambitions to go squash crazy and then I don’t.  This week, however, is a little bit of an exception.  And I’ll be sharing a recipe with you on Monday (if my soup turns out).  So stay tuned.

Health Benefits of Squash:

Winter squash contain many antioxidants which protect our bodies from free radicals (aka cancer-causing elements).  The more colorful the vegetable the more carotenoids they have, right? Well, hello! Can you get any more colorful than orange?  Be careful!  Your very own skin just might take on that same hue if you eat too much.  But what’s better than great-looking skin in the dead of winter?!

These squash(es) also have great anti-inflammatory effects, contain about one-third the amount of Omega-3s that walnuts have (and are much lower in fat), and only about 15% of the calories come from fat!

Coupled with the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, squash just might be the food to include in a diet to keep away cardiovascular disease.
Source:http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

And did you know that squash are in the same family as cucumbers and melons?  Wow! The amazing things you learn!

Wrap Up:
So now that you know everything there is to know about squash, check back here on Monday to see what, if anything, I made with my blue kuri ball of tastiness!

Toodles…

Start the Day off Right with Oats

Hi there!  Glad you could join me.  On this Veteran’s Day, I wish to thank all of our service members.  My father served, my father-in-law did too, and now my own son is proudly serving our country.  I am so grateful for those who have the courage and the drive to do something I could NEVER do!  Thank you.  If you have a loved one who is a veteran, please give them a hug from me.

Sigh… another breakfast recipe:

I know.  I know.  You’re tired of breakfast recipes.  Maybe it’s because breakfast is the most important meal of the day that I focus on that more than any other.  Maybe it’s because my lunches are leftovers of my dinners and my dinners are just repeats of many of the recipes I’ve already posted.  I tend to get stuck in a rut and eat the same things over and over.  That’s okay…  I think.  It goes like this:  Salad.  Soup.  Salad.  Tacos.  Salad.  Salad.  Salad.  Salad.  After all, salad is the main dish.

Anyway, let’s get to the point.  Oats are good for you.  The less processed the better.  That makes steel cut oats the best.  The problem is they take so gosh-darned long to cook.  Who has ten minutes to stand over the stove on a busy weekday morning?  That’s why I usually save my cooked oats for the weekends.  Of course, I like my raw oats too.  You can find a very yummy recipe here for raw apple oats.  But with this new recipe that I recently came across and adapted, I can get everything ready and turn on the pressure cooker, hop in the shower, and breakfast will be ready for me when I’m finished!  Steel cut oats pack a powerful protein punch with 7 grams to a serving of 1/4 cup (uncooked).  They’re also high in fiber (we know what that does for us) and phosphorous, a vital mineral needed to keep our heart pumping, our kidneys filtering, and our bones strong.  H³ eats oats of some type almost every morning after his intense workouts.  Giving him energy and refueling, he stays full until lunchtime… sometimes he doesn’t even eat again until dinner!

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Before the added toppings

Remember, when you have oats, to add in some flax or chia seeds and serve alongside a bowl of berries.  You’ll be good to go and feel great for eating so healthy!

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Loaded with walnuts, flax, date crumbles & extra ceylon cinnamon!

I hope you have a great week and have the chance to try a new yummy breakfast.  It really is the most important meal of the day.  Actually, every meal is important, so eat up!

Check back on Friday.  Hopefully I’ll have a new lunch or dinner option for you.

Good Morning, Friday! And a Holiday Smoothie

Hello, Friday… I’m so happy to see you.

I hope y’all had a good week and are ready for a long weekend.  We government workers have a holiday on Monday.  I always enjoy an extra day off, and when it’s something like Veteran’s Day, I take a moment to send up a little prayer for all of our veterans and those who are currently serving our country.  It’s more than a weekend of shopping deals at the mall for me.  I challenge you to take the time when you’re out and about to thank a current or former service member.  They’re easy to spot.  And it feels so good to say thanks.

A Holiday Smoothie:
Check this out:
IMG_1674I was inspired by a recipe I came across in a Williams-Sonoma catalog.  You know how they always put a tantalizing recipe next to something they’re selling.  It’s usually some meat entree that looks totally greasy and unappetizing to me, but this time, right next to the Vitamixes was this Cranberry Orange Banana Smoothie.  I did a little tweaking, removing the yogurt and agave and substituting with ingredients that fit more in my dietstyle.  Click the picture above and check out the recipe.

I think it would be delicious served as a morning wakeup for holiday guests.  Or how about using frozen bananas and turning it into a sorbet of sorts.

Wrap Up:
I’ve been a little out of touch recently, but I am making my way back to the blogosphere and will try to be here a little more often and keep you updated with a new recipe as often as I can.  I am poring over a few new cookbooks and trying some new recipes as time and the taste testers will allow.

Do you have a new recipe you’ve tried recently that is so good that you feel you just have to share with everyone you meet?  If so, email me at janmarieglaze@gmail.com  I love to try new dishes and love even more sharing them with the world!IMG_1672