Asparagus with Poached Egg

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Asparagus + Fresh Poached Eggs = Springtime!

Being one of the first vegetables to be harvested in spring, asparagus is not only delicious but is full of health benefits. Asparagus is one of the top 20 nutrient dense foods based on caloric content. It is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K and Chromium, which enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose into cells.  Asparagus is also high in fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive tract by helping the body to rid itself of toxins.

This versatile, easy and crowd-pleasing recipe combines the best of what spring has to offer and creates a beautiful, healthy and delicious first course or side dish.  It can easily be multiplied for a dinner party.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh (preferably organic) asparagus (note if you buy in advance, stand upright in cup with an inch of water and store in the fridge)
  • 1 organic farm fresh egg per person
  • Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil
  • Himalayan or other high quality freshly ground sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Optional Liven It Up with:IMG_4038 (2)

  • Thin slices of organic uncured (nitrate free) prosciutto, fatty sides removed
  • Freshly shaved or micro-planed parmesan cheese

Preparation:

  1.  Prepare the asparagus, wash, and snap off ends by gently bending and pressing on each side until it naturally snaps
  2.  Lightly coat asparagus with Olive Oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3.  Bring Grill or or stove top Griddle pan to med-high heat
  4.  Place enough water in saute pan to reach your poaching tray (if using) or 2 inches if poaching directly in water
  5.   Bring water to a boil
  6.   Roll asparagus out onto grill or griddle, turn frequently with tongs until they begin to brown.  Take care not to overcook.
  7.   Reduce heat in saute pan, gently crack eggs into poaching tray or directly into boiling water
  8.   Remove Asparagus from pan and place on serving platter
  9.   Drizzle with lemon juice
  10.   Poach eggs to desired doneness, whites should be set, yolks still loose
  11.   Carefully transfer eggs and arrange on top of asparagus
  12.   Garnish with Proscuitto if using
  13.    Top lightly with parmesan
  14.   Check for seasoning and add more salt/pepper to taste

Serves 2-4

Submitted by Rebecca Miller
Additional resources from Web MD 

Quick broiled Broccoli

broiled brocoli

Broccoli has great benefits, and cooked with Coconut Oil, Even Better!

Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables which contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Eating broccoli is said to lower our risk of cancer and may help protect us against cardiovascular disease.  Michelle’s family enjoys this recipe because of the browning effect from the broiler, it gives it an enhanced flavor and richer dimensions.  This cooking method is also great for cauliflower.  Enjoy!

brocoli

Ingredients:

  • Two Heads of Broccoli
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of Coconut Oil, melt in a pan (depends on taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Preparation:

  1. Rinse broccoli, pat dry and cut into pieces. Place in glass container. Add the other ingredients then stir.
  1. Position oven shelf right below broiler unit. Turn broiler on.
  1. Cover container and shake to thoroughly coat mixture. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and place mixture on it.
  1. Set timer for 10 minutes. Stir mixture then continue to broil for 5 more minutes or until desired results.

Serves 2

Submitted by Michelle Helland

Additional resources: Web MD cruciferous vegetables

Asparagus and Tomato Saute

Asparagustomatosaute

Beautiful, Healthy and Delicious – Spring is in the Air!

Being one of the first vegetables to be harvested in spring, asparagus is not only delicious but is full of health benefits. Asparagus is one of the top 20 nutrient dense foods based on caloric content. It is loaded with vitamins A, C, E, K and Chromium, which enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose into cells.

Asparagus is also high in fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive tract by curbing constipation and helping the body to rid itself of toxins.

This recipe not only contains asparagus but other delicious vegetables to make it extra healthy. Feel free to add other seasonal fresh vegetables into the mix.

Asparagus

Ingredients:

  •               1 1/2 cups whole (organic) cherry or grape tomatoes
  •               1 bunch (organic) asparagus (or about 10 oz.), chopped in thirds.  

(Other vegetables may also be added such as zucchini, bell pepper)

  •               1/2 red onion, sliced
  •               Whole garlic cloves, to taste (start with 2-4)
  •               2 lemons, quartered and seeds removed (optional)
  •               1 tablespoon olive or avacado oil
  •               1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
  •               Himalayan sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
  •               1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

For A Main Course Option add in:

  •               1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed 
  •              Or 1 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed for a vegetarian option
  •              Cooked whole grain such as quinoa, farro, brown rice 

Preparation:

  1. Prep your veggies and place in medium size bowl along with salt, pepper and thyme. Drizzle with 1 tsp. of oil and mix to coat.
  2. Add the remaining oil to a large saute pan and heat on medium to medium high.
  3. If using chicken, add chicken to skillet and cook until no longer pink inside, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Add vegetables and lemons and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally, or until tomatoes soften.
  5. A few minutes before you’re ready to remove from heat, add beans (if using) and let warm through.
  6. Serve on a bed of grains of choice (optional).

 

Serves 2 generously.

Adapted from “The Simple Veganista” by Sue Smith

Additional References: Medical News Today and Web MD  

Sensational Salmon

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Sensational Salmon, Beautiful, Delicious, and Healthy!

Why are Fish and Fish Oil essential ingredients for health?  They are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good guys” that help to lower triglycerides in the blood and too many triglycerides can increase your risk for heart disease. Among the omega-3 fatty acids are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). DHA and EPA are important for not only heart health, but for brain and eye health and reducing inflammation.  Our “Sensational Salmon” has natural Omega-3 fatty acids and the added benefit of Coconut oil; another excellent ingredient for your health. This recipe is great for a larger gathering and can easily be multiplied. Simply marinate (at least 4 hours) and grill!   For a lovely tropical meal, serve with Avocado slices (another good fat!), Grilled Pineapple, lightly tossed greens and lemon or lime wedges.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup liquified coconut oil
  • 3 TBS organic soy sauce
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBS dijon or coursely ground mustard
  • 1 TBS grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp raw coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha hot chile sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb fresh, wild caught Salmon (Skin and bones removed, cut into 4 fillets)

Preparation:

  1.  In a medium sized glass bowl, whisk together all ingredients (except salmon)
  2. Prepare salmon fillets and place in a glass dish
  3. Pour marinade over fish, turn to coat
  4. Cover dish and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or up to overnight
  5. Preheat grill to medium, oil grill rack or fish basket
  6. Remove salmon from marinade and place directly on rack or into fish basket
  7. Salmon needs about 10 minutes per inch of thickness (at thickest part) on the grill
  8. Turn halfway through
  9. Salmon will just start to flake when it’s cooked through and should have a little char on the outside, take care not to overcook
  10. Plate with optional garnishes and serve while still warm

Serves 4-6

Coconut Panko Prawns

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We love this delicious and healthy take on traditional “Shrimp Scampi”….and it’s a snap to make!

Using coconut oil instead of butter and olive oil gives this dish a lovely and subtle coconut flavor.  Panko (or alternatively gluten free bread crumbs) ensures a light crispy texture and is a great alternative to traditional breadcrumbs in this dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (or a half pound per person) wild caught prawns
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 TBS coconut oil, liquified and divided in half
  • Several sprigs of Fresh dill, snipped
  • 1/2 cup panko (or gluten free alternative), preferably organic
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon pitted and sliced for garnish (optional)
  • Fresh mint or basil leaves for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1.  Peel and de-vein the Prawns, rinse in cold water, drain
  2. Combine garlic, wine, 2 tbs coconut oil and dill in a medium glass bowl
  3. Add prawns to marinade and let sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes
  4. Heat large saute pan (cast iron works especially well) to medium high
  5. Add remaining coconut oil to coat pan evenly, add more if necessary
  6. Dredge prawns in panko to form a light coating on all sides
  7. Sautee for 2-3 minutes, adjusting heat as needed.
  8. Turn over and squeeze half of the lemon juice over the prawns, add pepper to taste
  9. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until done, prawns should be pink and not translucent and the crust should be crispy golden brown.
  10. Arrange prawns on serving plate and squeeze additional lemon half over them.
  11. Garnish with lemon slices and mint or basil leaves (if using)

High Roasted Moroccan Spiced Carrots

high roasted carrots

What’s Up Doc? Carrots!!!

Did you know that Carrots are not only a great source of vitamins and nutrients, but they are also believed to help lower the risk for Coronary Heart Disease?  This anti-oxidant rich vegetable may also help prevent certain cancers and supports vision, brain function, protects your liver function and has anti-inflammatory benefits.  And they taste great!

We love High Roasting vegetables.  This cooking technique helps bring out the natural flavors while protecting the vitamins and nutrients.  Carrots are particularly enhanced by the exotic and healing spices of North Africa and India such as Cardamon, Turmeric and Cumin.

Although most carrots today are a bright orange color, up until the 17th century, carrots were purple, yellow, red or white. Many markets and local farm stands now offer these beautiful multi-colored varietals.

Moroccan Spiced Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch Fresh Carrots (orange or multi-colored) scrubbed or peeled, optionally split lengthwise
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Organic Olive Oil
  • 1-2 TBS Ras El Hanout*
  • Pinch of brown sugar or drop of honey (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Fresh mint for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Whisk together Ras El Hanout and Olive Oil with sugar/honey if using
  3. Rub mixture on to the raw carrots to lightly coat
  4. Line-up carrots on parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Roast in oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the carrots are slightly softened and lightly charred
  6. Carefully remove carrots to serving dish
  7. Sprinkle with freshly ground Sea Salt
  8. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over carrots and garnish with fresh mint (if using)

*Ras El Hanout is often used in Moroccan cuisine.  If you aren’t able to find it, you can make your own spice combination using Coriander, Cinnamon, Cumin, Cardamon and Cloves.  Lavender, Fennel, Black Pepper and Cayenne are often added in as well.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

Flourless Dark Chocolate Cake

 Flourless Chocolate Cake

LET THEM EAT (Dark Chocolate) CAKE!

Decadent Dark chocolate, can be quite healthy. It is loaded with antioxidants, which protects your cells and tissues from damaging free radicals.  One study* found that by eating dark chocolate the risk of cardiovascular death was reduced by 50% over a 15 year period in elderly men. This and other observational studies show that there is a benefit to your heart when dark chocolate is included.

 This indulgent dessert uses a high cacao content (70%+) chocolate for maximum health benefits and coconut sugar to make it sweet and irresistible.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter (or coconut oil), plus more for the cake pan
6 oz. 70%+ dark chocolate, chopped
6 large free-range organic eggs, separated
1 cup raw coconut sugar, divided
2 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
pinch of fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C), place a rack in the middle.

  1. Invert the bottom of 9-inch spring form pan and line with a buttered parchment round.
  2. Place butter (or coconut oil) and chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water (making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water). Stir until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove the bowl from over the boiling water, let mixture sit for a few minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl beat together egg yolks and ½ cup of raw coconut palm sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until thick and the sugar has completely dissolved.
  4. Add espresso powder and salt; beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and melted-chocolate mixture; beat 1 more minute.
  5. In another large bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt on medium-high speed until foamy.
  6. Increase speed to high and gradually add remaining ½ cup cup raw coconut palm sugar, beating until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. The raw coconut palm sugar will dissolve into the egg whites giving them a fantastic brownish/caramel macchiato color.
  7. Gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture in 3 batches.
  8. Transfer batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until set.
  9. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  10. Remove side of pan; transfer cake to a serving plate.
  11. Serve with a dollop of coconut milk whipped cream, Greek yogurt or berries.

Nutrition facts:
One serving yields 221 calories, 13.9 grams of fat, 18.7 of carbs and 5.2 grams of protein.

Serves 10

Adapted from: The Iron You

*Resource study: Buijsse et al. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2006; 166(4): 411-7)

Tom Ka Kai (Thai Coconut Milk Soup)

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We’re crazy for Coconuts!

Coconut milk contains beneficial fat called lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy.   Lauric Acid is converted in the body into a highly beneficial compound called monolaurin, an antiviral and antibacterial that destroys a wide variety of disease causing organisms.  Coconuts’ fatty acids may help you lower cholesterol levels, improve blood pressure, and prevent heart attacks or a stroke.

This delicious Thai soup is really easy to make and is a lovely first course.  Add prawns and carrots in to make it more of a meal. Adjust spice heat levels with chili pepper quantity.  Can also “ease in” hot chili sauce (Sriracha) for each serving.  A few drops should satisfy the more tolerant palette.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon coconut or peanut oil
  • 1-2 fresh red chilis, seeded and sliced (jalapenos can be substituted)
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 ½ cups organic chicken broth
  • 1 can (1 2/3 cups) organic coconut milk (can use light for a lower calorie option)
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless organic chicken breast cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbl Thai fish sauce
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, split
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger or galangal, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon raw sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, gently stretch and bruise (optional, any lime leaves work)
  • ¾ cup frozen organic baby peas, thawed
  • 1 pack fresh Enoki mushroom, trimmed and separated (shitake or oyster mushrooms can also be used)
  • 3 fresh scallions (green onions), trimmed and thinly sliced on a slight diagonal
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lime Wedges and Cilantro, Mint or Thai Basil for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the chilies and garlic for 2 minutes
  2. Add the leek and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently
  3. Stir in the broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil
  4. Add chicken, fish sauce, lemongrass, ginger, sugar and lime leaves
  5. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes ‘til chicken is tender, stirring occasionally
  6. Add peas and mushrooms, cook for 3-5 more minutes
  7. Remove the lemongrass and lime leaves
  8. Stir in the cilantro and serve garnished with lime wedges and fresh cilantro, mint or basil

Serves 4