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Tasty Elements, Tips and Time-savers

Tips

Straight talk on food and nutrition.

About Garlic

Using and storing garlic

Using  Garlic

Garlic is kind of a miracle food, so use it whenever feasible in your cooking.

Chop, mince or press your garlic (using a garlic press) before cooking with it.

Wait 10 minutes before you begin to cook with it.            

Why?

Garlic contains two enzymes alliin and  alliinase.  Each is encapsulated in different layers of the clove.  When chopped, the enzymes intermingle and form a new and powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called allicin.      

Allicin is the powerful phytonutrient produced by this herb and is linked with any number of cancer fighting, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Alliin and alliinase are heat sensitive and will be destroyed if the garlic exposed to heat too soon.  Once the enzyme allicin is formed (about 10 minutes) it is relatively stable and no longer heat sensitive. 

Always prep your garlic first during prep and let is work to form the allicin.

Storing garlic

Store garlic in an open paper bag in the fridge or on the countertop, away from heat sources, in a garlic dome.

Quick whole grains for better nutrition

Here are a couple of suggestions that are great everyday, quick, whole grain options.

TipsandTimeSaversGet to know Quinoa and Bulgur

About Tempeh

What is it? Is it good for me? How do I use it?
TipsandTimeSaversAboutTempeh

Berried Secrets

A little about the health benefits of fresh, canned and frozen berries.
TipsandTimeSaversUnbferriedSecrets

Cruciferous Vegetables

Why are they called cruciferous and why are they so good for you?
Tips and Time Savers Cruciferous Vegetables

Buying and Storing Lettuce

Know what to buy and how to take care of it.

TipsandTimeSaversBuying and Storing Lettuce

Reducing Fat in Cream Sauces

Yogurt based “Cream” Sauces are rich tasting and offer a bright tangy finish.
TipsandTimeSaversYogurtbasedCreamSauce

Some canned goods are still rich in vitamins. Feel free to use them.

Some canned good choices remain high in vitamins and nutrients.

TipsandTimeSaversSome Canned Goods are Actually Good For You

Time Savers

We all want to eat well and cook meals from scratch. Here are a few discoveries that will help you get maximum health benfits and get it done a little quicker.

Quick-Cooking Rice

Quick-Cooked Brown Rice

Have perfectly cooked whole-grain, brown rice ready to go as you start fixing diner.

This little time saver is always done in the morning.  I do it while I’m making coffee.
  1. Measure 2 C rice and 2-1/4 C. water into a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a hard boil.
  3. Turn off heat and cover pan. Leave on the burner for the day. 
When ready to prepare dinner, you’ll have perfectly cooked rice.
Safety tips: 
  • I often set a timer for 5 minutes as I start this process so I don’t forget to turn off the burner.

     

  • Special note:  Do not use chicken broth when quick-cooking rice. 

Homemade Quick, Low-sodium Tomato Salsa

How to make a quick, reduced-sodium tomato salsa.

QuickLowSodiumTomatoSalsa

Quark

Made from non-fat yogurt, quark is a great substitute for sour cream.
TipsandTimeSaversQuark

Old World Marinara Sauce in 20-minutes

Delicious Marinara Sauce doesn’t need to take hours to cook.
TipsandTimeSaversItalian Red Sauce or Marinara Sauce

Home Made Salad Dressings

Most dressings can be thrown together in 5 minutes. Here are 5 quick ones.

Four Easy Salad Dressings pages

 

 

 

 

Tasty Elements

It’s all about flavor. Many of the elements included in recipes are also tasty stand-alone items. This section helps you reference elements you may need.

Guacamole

It is believed that the Aztecs discovered that mashed avocados were delicious over tortillas. It’s name is derived form the Nahuati word ahuacamolli which means an “avocado based sauce”.

Guacamole

Hummus

Hummus dates back to ancient Egypt. However there are many cultures that happily lay claim to it. It really only needs two ingredients tahini and chickpeas. Here are several I’ve created or adapted to add interest to meals.
Traditional Hummus
Traditional Hummus made with garbanzo beans is what most of us recognize as the “go-to” hummus.  It’s seasoned with garlic, tahini, fresh parsley, lemon juice and often a touch of ground cumin.  

Traditional Hummus

Basil Hummus
My version of basil hummus utilizes garbanzo beans, garlic, peanut butter, fresh basil, and lime juice.  It delivers a satisfyingly fresh flavor. 

Basil Hummus

White Bean Hummus

Obviously, this version of hummus utilizes white beans, a touch of white truffle oil and rosemary with chopped Calamata olives.  It has a savory taste and is best used as an hors d’oeuvre spread.

White Bean Hummusb

Pesto

The word pesto originates from the Northern Italian Genoese word pesta, meaning to pound or crush. The original pesto is traced back to the 16th century and was most likely a basil/pine nut/garlic/olive oil and cheese pesto. Today there are many varieties of pesto that add interest and robust flavor to recipes. If you can dream it up, it probably already exists in some form.

Traditional Basil Pesto

The most common or Genoese Pesto.  Made with Italian basil leaves and pine nuts. 

Basil Pesto
Sicilian Pesto

Made with a mix of Italian basil, fresh marjoram and toasted almonds.

Sicilian Pesto

Cilantro/Lime Pesto

Pesto with an Asian flair.  This is made with fresh cilantro, lime juice and toasted peanuts. 

CilantroLimePesto

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

A tangy and savory pesto made with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lime juice, roasted peanuts and a touch of sesame oil and smoky paprika.

Sundried Tomato Pesto

Sauces

Sauces create flavor and add cultural identity to many dishes. Here are versions of some of mine.  I often      re-engineer recipes to make the a little healthier.

   

Barbecue Sauce

t’s always good to know exactly what’s in your sauce.  This is an excellent Barbecue Sauce.

Barbecue Sauce

Eggless Aioli  

This is an excellent substitute for Aioli without the cholesterol.  

Eggless Aioli

Ponzu Sauce

You can overspend and buy commercially made Ponzu sauce.  Or make this simple version of the Japanese inspired sauce for cooking fish.

Ponzu Sauce

Poke Sauce

A spicy Asian/Hawaiian creation used to season various raw fish dishes.  I use it over cooked fish.

Poke Sauce

Sweet ‘n’ Sour Sauce

Classic sweet ‘n’ sour sauce is an excellent stand-by for Asian cooking.  Kids love it!

SweetnSourSauce

Tahini Sauce

t’s a standard sauce for food vendors in the Middle East.  I keep some on hand as it’s great on sandwiches.

Tahini Sauce

Tzatziki Sauce

I love this cooling Middle Eastern cucumber dill sauce.  It’s delicious with a number of dishes.  

Tzatziki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

This is another example of simply wanting to know what’s in the sauce I’m eating.  

Teriyaki Sauce

Spice and Curry Combos

Here are a few spice combinations you’ll find in feature recipes.

Mexican Spice Mix

I just call it Mexican as it is inspired by Southwestern and South-of-the border spice combos.

Mexican Spice Mix

Homemade Masala Curry Spice 

Curry covers a wide spectrum of spice combinations.  It really is what you make for the food you’re cooking.  This is one of my favorite combinations. 

Masala Curry Spice Mix

Cajun Spice

Seasoning inspired by the French Canadian descendants in the bayou area of Louisiana.  They spoke an archaic version of French. They also developed a unique culture rich in music and spicy cuisine.  

Cajun Sauce and Spice combo

African Chicken Spice

This East African inspired spice combo is delicious on chicken or your favorite plant-based choice. 

African Spice Seasoning

Kofta Spices

A delicious “go-to” Middle Eastern/Indian/Iranian ground meat kabob.

Koftas

Tofu Treatment

Tofu is a pressed soy milk product that is made in a process similar to cheese making. It originated in China over 2,000 years ago. This wonder-food is high in protein and contains all of the essential amino acids the body needs. One of the knocks on tofu is that it is pretty neutral in flavor. Some people don’t care for the texture.

I have a solution for that!

Marinated/Grilled Tofu

Here’s a great way to “punch-up” your tofu. It is guaranteed to get your diner’s attention.

MarinatedGrilledTofu