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Archive for November, 2008

Okay, we’ve had some great discussions on vitamins, minerals, herbs and foods that help us repair and maintain our health.   Still, the phrase ‘health food’ brings to mind images of tofu and bean sprouts.  Add to that the rising cost of everything from milk to gasoline, and  it can be tough to feed your family a healthy dinner without spending a ton of money.  Let’s face it…organic food is hardly cheap.   And it is so much more work than popping dinner in the microwave!

With the following recipes,  a few extra minutes and a couple extra dollars, you can be serving your family a tasty meal that is packed full of vitamins and nutrients!  These recipes will change your mind about eating healthy and have you looking forward to your next meal!

veggies

Red Sauce

This sauce is a great alternative to pre-packaged  spaghetti sauce.  It is fantastic over whole-grain noodles, baked eggplant or zuchinni, on ravioli or anywhere else you want to add a burst of flavor that is full of vitamins and nutrients!Because it is so fast and easy, this is  a great dish  when your are feeding a group
Prep Time: 10-20 min ~ Cook Time 20-45 min ~ Serves 8~10.

Here’s what you’ll need:
2 cans tomato sauce, organic if possible
2 TBSP Olive oil
1 lg onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 lg tomatoes, diced
1 bell  pepper, diced
1 lg portabella  mushroom, diced
Fresh or dried  herbs, to taste (basil, oregano,
sage, thyme, peppermint, etc)

Optional Ingredients:
Browned beef, chicken, turkey, etc.

In a medium pot combine olive oil, onion and garlic, mixing thoroughly.  Saute  on medium heat until onion is translucent and soft.  Add all other ingredients.  Cover and simmer on medium-low heat  for 20-45 minutes.

Tips:

The longer you simmer this one, the stronger the flavor.  You can easily adjust the flavor as it cooks by adding red wine, sea salt, bragg amino acids (tastes like soy sauce and is available in any healthfood store), or any of your other favorite spices.  Remember that when using herbs and spices it will take 10-15 minutes to detect a flavor change, so be careful not to overdo it!

Veggie & Rice Stir Fry

Veggie & Rice Stir Fry

Tamara’s Veggies & Rice Stir-Fry

For a quick, simple meal that is overflowing with vitamins and nutrients and is perfect for feeding a crowd, try this delicious stir fry.   You can easily customize it to fit your family’s favorite veggie preferences.

Prep time: 20-25 minutes      Makes 8-10 servings

Stir Fry Sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar,
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups vegetable, beef or chicken broth
Optional
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (or a bit of fresh minced ginger)

Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Ingredients:
2-3 cups rice (cooked)
3-4 cups fresh veggies, sliced to 1/4″
Stir-Fry Sauce
Optional Ingredients:
1 lb chicken, beef, turkey, etc, cooked and cubed
1 can water chestnuts
1 can mini-corn

Tips:

Don’t be afraid to experiment!  Try something besides long grain or white rice  to give this dish a bit of extra flavor.  Our favorite rices are basmati and jasmine!

There aren’t many veggies that don’t go fabulously with this dish.  Some that are especially delicious are yellow squash, red onions, zuchinni, eggplant, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and peppers (red, green and yellow!)

This is a dish that is exceptionally suited to fresh, organic veggies!  Canned and frozen lose most of their flavor, so they don’t add much to this dish.  Fresh is definitely better, but for the most flavor and the highest level of vitamins nutrients, organic is the way to go!

Simple Veggie Quiche

Simple Veggie Quiche

Simple Veggie Quiche

This is one of our favorite meals!  We change the ingredients to suit our mood and often have it for both breakfast and dinner!  Add some bread or a salad on the side for an extra delight!

Prep time: 10 minutes          Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

6 eggs (organic, cage free)

1 Cup heavy cream

8 oz cream cheese

1 cup grated cheese (whatever kind you like best.  For a healthier alternative, try some organic cheddar or mozzerella!)

1/2 cup veggies/meat (see tips for suggested ingredients)

3 Tbsp Bread crumbs

Coat pie pan with olive oil.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over pan, thoroughly coating bottom and sides.  Aside.

Mix eggs, heavy cream, cream cheese and grated cheese with a hand mixer 2-3 minutes.  Pour into crust.  Add in veggies/meat and gently blend throughout egg mixture.

Cook at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until eggs are barely browned and fluffy.  Let cool 15-25 minutes.

Tips:

When blending eggs/cheese, the longer you spend mixing it the lighter and fluffier the quiche will be.  Mixing adds air bubbles and truly changes the texture of this delicate dish!

When adding veggies/meat to your quiche, here are a few things to keep in mind.

If you are using canned or frozen veggies, drain them well.  Any excess water will change the consistency and texture of the finished dish.  I usually squeeze mine between two paper towels to remove excess water.

Our favorite veggies in this quiche:

spinach (frozen or raw.  We like raw best!), artichokes (canned works best), tomatoes (raw), mushrooms (raw)

others that work well: cauliflower (raw or frozen),  peppers (any color, lightly sauteed in olive oil), garlic (raw or sauteed)

Meat should be thoroughly cooked before adding it to the quiche.  Lunch meat (chopped) works really well.  We have added bacon, sausage, venison and chicken to this dish with great results!

If you don’t like the bread crumb crust, try phyllo dough crust!  Available at any grocery store, this is a great alternative.  It provides a light, flaky crust that blends nicely with the veggies and egg.

Note: While this dish has plenty of healthy ingredients, it is not recommended for anyone with high cholestorol or lactose intolerance.  As with anything, use some common sense!

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