Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Rainy Day Grilled Cheese Surprise

Today has been a dark very rainy cool day in New York City. Lunch was very late lunch today I'm having a super busy start to 2017!  Sometimes you just need a change of pace for lunch.  This was one of those, "wonder how it would be if I add...." moments in the kitchen.  This will be definitely a make again lunch and a favorite.  If I can I will lay out the Swiss cheese and ham for a bit till they get closer to room temperature to aid the melting of the cheese.   If not and the cheese isn't runny enough I will often cover the pan till it's gooey.  Enjoy!!



Rainy Day Grilled Cheese Surprise


Zesty pickled jalapeños, oozy gooey Swiss cheese, and very thinly sliced ham!   Other versions of this sandwich could be prepared and very tasty with thinly sliced turkey or chicken for sure!

Rainy Day Grilled Cheese Surprise

Serves 1

2 slices of Swiss Cheese (about the size of the bread slice)
2 ounces thinly sliced ham
pickled jalapeño slices 
2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 Tablespoon softened butter

griddle, heavy fry pan or panini press

Method

Warm the frying pan on medium heat.
   
Add 1 buttered slice of bread butter side down in the pan.  Top with 2 slices of Swiss cheese, layer the pickled jalapeños to cover cheese, top with the thinly sliced ham and cover with the other buttered on 1 side slice of bread, butter side up.

Cook till the bottom slice of bread is browned to your preference, then flip carefully to toast the other slice of bread.  When the bread is toasted to your taste remove and eat.   





Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Paprikás Csirke 🍴 Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprika

Chicken paprikash is my daughter's favorite dish which she will always ask for when she visits. (How did she get old enough to live on her own?) Here's a tip:  Do not mistake the tins of HOT and SWEET paprika in your spice rack. Once when she visited I did that!  The dish was spicy but it was still fine to eat.  She doesn't like spicy foods.

This is truly one of the easiest meals to cook ahead!  I love a mix of Hot and Sweet Hungarian paprika in this. The small amount of Hot just gives it a bit more kick.  Mom only used the sweet paprika in hers and I love it that way also. Mom would also occasionally use some tomato sauce rather than the sour cream to finish (my brother and I always preferred sour cream!)

This dish is even better the day after you make since if there is excess fat that cooks out of the chicken you can very easily take a spoon and scoop off that layer.  I prefer making this ahead and removing the fat layer. Another way to remove the fat the same day is to use a fat separator measuring cup where the fat will float to the surface and the meat juices pour from underneath the fatty layer.

  Paprikás Csirke 🍴 Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprika 


Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikash

6 servings

Ingredients

3 pounds chicken thighs
2 medium onions
3 Tablespoons flavorless oil
1 Tablespoon Sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon Hot paprika  (don't like spice...use all Sweet paprika)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sour cream

1 pound wide egg noodles cooked per package directions

Directions

Make sure the chicken is free of pin-feathers and trim the excess fat and set aside.  Be sure to wash hands thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination in the kitchen before doing anything further.

Prep the onions









Peel and chop the onions.













Add onions to the pot


Over medium heat add oil to the pot and cook the onions until lightly browned.


Sweet and Hot Paprika

Onions are just starting to brown
















Add the chicken, salt and paprika to the pot. Add some water but don't add enough to cover the chicken.  At about 30 minutes into cooking either move the pieces around to make sure they all get covered in the onion and paprika sauce, or just baste with the juices.  

The chicken will exude juices as it cooks but the water will help get the simmering off to a nice start and if you love the gravy part you'll want plenty of it.

Cover and simmer on low heat for about 1 hour or until fork tender. The cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken parts used. Adjust salt in case you need more near the end of cooking.  Easier to add salt than remove salt.

If you like a thicker gravy use 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch whisked into the juices and cook a minute to thicken. Add the sour cream and heat to a simmer for few minutes just before serving.  Make sure all piece of chicken are thoroughly coated with this wonderful sauce.Serve over the wide egg noodles or nokedli (Hungarian dumplings or spaetzle).

  Paprikás Csirke 🍴 Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprika 



Sunday, November 20, 2016

My Favorite Cranberry Orange Pecan Compote

Cooking is really what you love in your flavor wheel house. There is no right or wrong way to make a cranberry compote as far as flavor profiles. Occasionally I have read that people will add some jalapeño even for a change. The techniques will get you where you need to for the finished food but flavors?  That is really up to your tastebuds.

For more cranberry compote recipes click here. 



My Favorite Cranberry Orange Pecan Compote




peel orange with vegetable peeler for strips
but just the colorful part

My Favorite Cranberry Orange Pecan Compote

6 servings +

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar, white or light brown
3 - 1" wide strips of orange peel                                          
 





     
shelled pecans
14 oz fresh whole cranberries
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans










Preparation

Into a saucepan bring orange juice and sugar to a boil.   Add the cranberries, orange peel, and simmer till the berries start popping and liquid thickens.  When ready to cool, thoroughly stir in the toasted pecans to spread evenly.  Leave the peel in or remove if you wish. The liquid will thicken more while cooling. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you need to serve. Serving suggestion: top with some grated orange rind and sprinkled chopped toasted pecans. This will be colorful and let the guests know exactly what's in the compote.





Apple Lovin' Cranberry Compote

Love the autumn and the newly harvested apples, cranberries, pumpkins and other fall-harvested ingredients.  This recipe combines apple, cranberries, and cinnamon with either apple juice or cider.
A lovely with chops, chicken, turkey or other poultry.  Don't be afraid to experiment when you cook, that's how new recipes are created.   For more cranberry compote recipes click here. 



whole cranberries ready to cook





Granny Smith Apples

Apple Lovin' Cranberry Compote

6 servings

Ingredients

1 cup apple juice or cider
1 cup sugar
1 medium to large granny smith apple                                              
Cinnamon sticks
14 oz fresh whole cranberries (or frozen not defrosted)
1 cinnamon stick

Preparation

Peel and chop the apple into roughly chopped chunks. These chunks will break down during cooking but smaller chop works best. It is fine to have some pieces larger so they show in the finished product.

Into a saucepan bring the juice or cider, cinnamon stick and sugar to a boil.  Add the cranberries, apples to pot and stir.  Simmer until the berries start popping and liquid thickens.  The apples will soften even more as the compote cools and the liquid will firm up while cooling completely. Remember to remove the cinnamon stick before serving.  Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until serving.  This works very well with pork, chicken, turkey or duck.



 Cranberry Compote to gift




The Uncanny Smooth Style Jellied Cranberry Jelly

This is nicer than the usual canned cranberry jelly styled sauce from the can.  Will you miss the ridges from the can?  I know we don't!   It's really about flavor, flavor, flavor for my family!  This is so simple to make! It really is just my basic Very Berry Basic Whole Cranberry Compote that is strained to remove the pulp.


The Uncanny Smooth  Style Jellied Cranberry Jelly strained and decorated for giving


The Uncanny Smooth  Style Jellied Cranberry Jelly 

6 servings +

Ingredients


1 cup water
1 cup sugar
14 oz fresh whole cranberries

Whole Cranberries










Preparation

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan . Add the cranberries and simmer till the berries start popping and the liquid thickens.  Before allowing to cool down, strain the sauce using a wire strainer set over a bowl. Work carefully because those hot sugary syrups really can give quite a nasty burn. Once most of the liquid is strained out, then use a sturdy spoon to mash down the berries and get the remaining juices.
wire mesh strainer

Don't forget to scrape the outside of the strainer to get all the fine pulp into the liquid in the bowl. The liquid will thicken more while cooling. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you need to serve.








The Very Berry Basic Whole Berry Cranberry Compote

This is the basic recipe for whole berry homemade cranberry sauce or compote.  From this one recipe many variations can be made.   Check more of my recipes for cranberry compotes.


 The Very Berry Basic Whole Berry Cranberry Compote


The Very Berry Basic Whole Berry Cranberry Compote

6 servings +

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
14 oz fresh whole cranberries (or whole frozen berries not defrosted)

Preparation


Into a saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries and simmer till the berries start popping and liquid thickens. The liquid will thicken even more while cooling. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you need to serve.




Thursday, November 17, 2016

4 Ways to Make Cranberry Lovin' Compotes

Come October I'm ready to see the leaves turning their glorious splendor.  I'm fortunate to live overlooking the New Jersey Palisades which turn brilliant across the Hudson River and often the contrast of the warm yellows, oranges, and reds against the grayish but still sunny skies is incredible! But no doubt about it, my favorite season is autumn because of the foods, warm fires and sitting with friends enjoying each other's company which is some of the best things in life!  I always look forward to the change of seasons even though I'm sad to see summer leave so soon but I will miss those luscious fully vine ripened tomatoes sadly!

I have a long time love affair with cranberries, pumpkin, and the winter squashes.  Here are just a few of my many recipes for that help with my addiction to cranberry compotes.   Don't just think of them as a side to pork, turkey, chicken or even duck, but rather a tasty addition to some plain or vanilla yogurt or in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Be creative with these cranberry compote recipes!

You'll see that I love to save good glass containers to use over and over and may recognize these jars from a particular French jelly company.  Wash and sterilize them.  My favorite labels I order are Ball Labels from Amazon.  I love these labels because they remove easily and I even often cover the computer cameras with them when I'm not using video chat since they are so easy to use and remove cleanly.

Any of these recipes can be made with absolutely fresh cranberries or frozen whole cranberries.  No need to defrost when using the frozen.  I stock up in October to make sure I always have plenty of whole berries in the freezer.  Wrap them tightly in foil and a zip lock for longer term storage.  They will keep for 1 year in the freezer.

 My Favorite Cranberry Orange Pecan Compote



The Very Berry Basic Whole Berry Cranberry Compote

6 servings +

Ingredients

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
14 oz fresh whole cranberries

Preparation


Into a saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil. Add the cranberries and simmer till the berries start popping and liquid thickens. The liquid will thicken even more while cooling. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you need to serve.



Beautiful plump raw right from freezer cranberries

The Uncanny Smooth  Style Jellied Cranberry Jelly 

6 servings +

Ingredients


1 cup water
1 cup sugar
14 oz fresh whole cranberries

Preparation

Bring water and sugar to a boil in a saucepan . Add the cranberries and simmer till the berries start popping and the liquid thickens.  Before allowing to cool down, strain the sauce using a wire strainer set over a bowl. Work carefully because those hot sugary syrups really can give quite a nasty burn. Once most of the liquid is strained out, then use a sturdy spoon to mash down the berries and get the remaining juices.  Don't forget to scrape the outside of the strainer to get all the fine pulp into the liquid in the bowl. The liquid will thicken more while cooling. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you need to serve.


Shelled Pecans



                    

Fresh Oranges, peel with vegetable peeler but just the colorful part

My Favorite Cranberry Orange Pecan Compote

6 servings +

Ingredients


1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar, white or light brown
3 - 1" wide strips of orange peel
14 oz fresh whole cranberries
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans

Preparation

Into a saucepan bring orange juice and sugar to a boil.   Add the cranberries, orange peel, and simmer till the berries start popping and liquid thickens.  When ready to cool, thoroughly stir in the toasted pecans to spread evenly.  Leave the peel in or remove if you wish. The liquid will thicken more while cooling. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until you need to serve. Serving suggestion: top with some grated orange rind and sprinkled chopped toasted pecans. This will be colorful and let the guests know exactly what's in the compote.





Granny Smith Apples



Apple Lovin' Cranberry Compote

6 servings

Ingredients

1 cup apple juice or cider
1 cup sugar
1 medium to large granny smith apple
14 oz fresh whole cranberries
1 cinnamon stick

Preparation

Peel and chop the apple into roughly chopped chunks. These chunks will break down during cooking but smaller chop works best. It is fine to have some pieces larger so they show in the finished product.

Into a saucepan bring the juice or cider, cinnamon stick and sugar to a boil.  Add the cranberries, apples to pot and stir.  Simmer until the berries start popping and liquid thickens.  The apples will soften even more as the compote cools and the liquid will firm up while cooling completely. Remember to remove the cinnamon stick before serving.  Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator until serving.  This works very well with pork, chicken, turkey or duck.



             Apple Lovin' Cranberry Compote to gift










Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Super Simple Modern Style Homemade Chicken Soup

One of my favorites things on a rainy day is a nice big steaming comforting bowl of homemade chicken soup. The aroma of chicken soup simmering takes me back to childhood.  Mom made the best soups! There is always so much more flavor in soups you make at home!  

Soup is an easy food to prepare. This super simple modern style chicken soup doesn't start out with a whole chicken.  Yes, I can break a whole chicken down to make it, but it's not my favorite thing to do.  I love using chicken thighs with the bone in and skin on because there is a lot more flavor in those parts. Thigh meat doesn't dry out as easily as white meat.  

Chicken soup should have some of the chicken fat in it since fat is flavor.  Small amounts of healthy fat will keep the hunger pangs away longer and brains do need some fat to work well also. The best and easiest way to remove the excess fat is to chill the soup overnight. Fat congeals to a layer on top of the broth and which can easily be lifted off.  When the soup is done it's easy to pull the chicken pieces out to remove the skin and bones and cut into spoon-size pieces. This too can be done the next day or before serving. Controlling the sodium and flavor profile is better in scratch-made food. Once you prepare homemade soup your palate will tell you there is no going backed to canned soups. 



Easy Modern Style Homemade Chicken Soup


Easy Modern Style Homemade Chicken Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 large white onion
4 large carrots
3 large celery stalks
1 bunch of fresh parsley  
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dry tarragon 
1 teaspoon dry dill 
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme 
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (to start)
1/2 teaspoon finely ground white (or black) pepper
2 quarts of water or chicken stock
2 teaspoon flavorless cooking oil
2 pounds average sized chickens thighs (preferably with bone and skin on)*

1/2 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

6-quart size Dutch oven or stock pot


Fresh carrots with tops



Preparation

Clean and peel carrots, chop into smaller dice.  Imagine the pieces on your spoon eating to judge size you prefer.  Scrub and chop dice celery. Set carrots and celery aside.   Peel and dice the onion into a medium to small dice.   Chop the parsley fine including the stems.  If you don't like chopping the stems, then take the stems into a bunch and tie with cotton kitchen twine for easy removal.  The parsley stems add a lot of heartiness to add to the finished soup.

White Onions
Into the stock pot or Dutch oven add the flavorless oil and on medium heat sweat the onion, carrots, and celery for a minute or two.  Next add the dried tarragon, dill, stir to bring those herbs back to life. Add the 2 bay leaves (I happen to use dried bay) and the water.

I prefer to use the chicken thighs with the skin and bone in. *If you use boneless and skinless thigh, then you can cut those into bite-sized pieces before adding to the soup base. Add the chicken to the pot and over a very low flame heat to a simmer for 60 minutes minimum.  

Check for flavor.  This is where you can adjust the salt and pepper.  If you've used the bone in chicken thighs, remove them from the pot and cut or shred the meat to small pieces.   

 If you want a heartier broth, let is simmer lid off a bit at this point to reduce the volume.


Sweating the carrots, celery, onions and herbs

Finishing

I can be lazy or in a hurry cook some days so I often just add the uncooked Israeli couscous to the stock pot and cook for about 10 minutes.  I find that adding the couscous works fine because the larger Israeli type stays round and firm and doesn't cloud the broth.   Any other soup noodle or rice should be cooked separately and just added to the bowl before ladling in the soup.










Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Warm Hearty Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal Bowls

Two of my favorite things about fall....the brilliant leaves against sunny gray skies....and the classic fall flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, the new fresh crop of apples, and cranberries.  Just makes me think cozy fires and hanging around with friends and family.

It fun for me just seeing what's in the kitchen and experimenting with new flavor profiles.  This is one of those recipes with things always in the pantry but a new combo to please the palate.  Super simple, easy and quick...all things you love for a weekday morning recipe.

One of my prerequisites creating a new recipe is nutritional value.  If we fill with food lacking what our body needs, we will wind up eating more later because our body isn't satisfied and that promotes overweight.  The addition of the pumpkin in this recipe boosted our daily intake of Vitamin A, C, iron, B6. and magnesium. Just one cup of pumpkin is 197% of the Vitamin A which we require daily but only 30 calories.   That's a win-win food: tasty and healthy!




Warm Hearty Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal Bowls

4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup old fashioned organic rolled oats
4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon (or more to taste)
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice mix
2 Tablespoons organic butter
1/2 cup Real maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dried cranberries*




Preparation

Pour water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add oats, spices, and maple syrup.  As the oatmeal is starting to thicken add the dried cranberries.
Cook for 3-5 minutes to desired thickness. 

Serve

In individual bowls with a few dried cranberries on top.   If you want a sweeter oatmeal drizzle a bit more of the real maple syrup on top.  Shown here I drizzled a bit of milk on top.








Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hungarian Székely Gulyás

This popular Eastern European dish is said to have been originally created in the town of Szeged which is the third largest city in Hungary, others believe that this dish was named after the famous Hungarian writer, and screen writer János Székely.

The name may sound unusual or complicated but it's a very simple to make pork and sauerkraut stew. This recipe version is one that Mom used to make on occasion during the winter.   My brother and I both loved this stew when she served it and later on my family, even my picky kids, loved it.

One of the best things about this recipe is the pure simplicity of a few ingredients left to simmer and mellow into an extraordinary blend of aromas and flavors. These ingredients really do work well even if at the outset you don't think it would. (Like me!)  I was very surprised that Mom added the sour cream to this dish the first time, but it works!  This dish is also fine without the sour cream but it does enhance the dish with a richer broth.  The sauerkraut from the cooking loses some of it's bite and mellows into a delicious shredded sauce.

If case you don't know much about Hungarian paprika, it has more flavor than the run of the mill brands in many stores labeled as just "paprika".  It's much easier to find now than it was years ago.   The Hot paprika can pack a good bit of heat so...add slowly if you're not a spicy food lover.  If you're familiar with the Scoville Scale  of peppers,  Hungarian Hot Paprika is around 500 while ancho chilis are about 1500 Scoville units and cayenne pepper is up around 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units. By contrast the Sweet paprika is rated at 0 for heat on the Scoville Scale.

I firmly believe that when you cook you should prepare recipes to your family's taste.   If you don't like spicy...please by all means use just the Sweet paprika but 2 Tablespoons instead of the 1 Tablespoon of each type as listed in the recipe.  If you love spicy....go ahead and go all Hot paprika.

A great addition to this recipe would be to substitute a few slices of diced bacon in lieu the oil to brown the meat. If you use the bacon, cook that till almost crisp then remove the pieces from the Dutch oven before adding the meat so there will be no chance of the bacon pieces becoming overdone or blackened.

This is a great weeknight meal since you can easily prepare this ahead on the weekend and serve later.  Like most stews and soups the flavor improves as it sits so the ingredients absorb all the flavors from each other.



Hungarian Székely Gulyás  




Hungarian Székely Gulyás 

Serves 4 - 6

Ingredients


2 pounds pork, trimmed and cubed
1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons of flavorless cooking oil
2 pounds sauerkraut either fresh or in a bag
1 Tablespoon Sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 Tablespoon Hot Hungarian Paprika  (for not spicy all sweet paprika instead)
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt
Pepper


Fresh Sauerkraut


Preparation

Trim and cube the pork into 1 inch cubes.  Cut onion into a course chop.  Since this will cook down and blend into the sauerkraut the pieces need not be small.

Drain the sauerkraut and reserve the juice.  I always like to check for salt and acidity before using the sauerkraut in cooking.  If the sauerkraut is too salty, go ahead and give a quick rinse.  I like to save that juice to add more flavor if needed later.  If the sauerkraut is one you could eat as is...go ahead and add the juices to the pot when it's time to add the sauerkraut.

                                                                                         
Hungarian Paprika comes in both Hot or Sweet varieties
Like a bit of heat in your food?
Use the Hot!  But add a little at a time it has good amount of heat

 Cooking

Heat a Dutch oven and then add the oil to heat till it shimmers.  Slowly, and in batches add the pork cubes making sure their surface is dry so they brown a bit to add even more flavor.  As they brown remove each batch to a plate before adding more. Next add the onion and sauté until just starting to brown.  Return the pork cubes to the pot, add the sauerkraut plus the paprika and just a bit of black pepper. (If you did the bacon instead of oil add it back now.) You can always adjust salt and pepper later.

Add the sauerkraut and use as liquid either the kraut juice or some water so the meat will stew just to barely cover things.  Cook covered over low heat and check the meat for tenderness in 50 minutes.  It will probably take longer than that to finish.  Continue cooking the pork is very tender and the meat almost starts shredding.


Székely Gulyás ready to simmer.
Notice it's not totally covered in liquid.


If you have made the stew ahead, when your ready to serve heat to serving temperature.  Now add the sour cream and stir well.  I have also completed this dish with the sour cream addition and then stored overnight before serving.  If you don't like sour cream this dish still has nice flavor without the addition.

I prefer serving this in bowls with some nice crusty bread or biscuits on the side.

Egyűnk!   (Let's eat!)








As always love to hear your comments and suggestions on all recipes.

















Wednesday, December 30, 2015

For Better Nutrition Be Bold!

Is losing that extra poundage you've gained during the last 2 months of feasting a New Year's 2016 Resolution?

So here we are...it's the first Monday in January 2016 and many of us are deciding to kick up health the "diet" we blew over the holiday season. Do not beat yourself up mentally if you've gained this past holiday season. It's the long term eating of better nutrition that will make the difference for you. Here's some of my ideas on that. Remember variety is good for you mentally and physically.  Good healthy starts in your mindset.

Today is the first day of the rest of your soon to be healthier life....don't think "diet" think health.
If you deny yourself the foods and flavors you love you will binge.   The key to losing and keeping it off is to love what your eating and yes smaller portion size too.   Trust me....I know how it is to lose a LOT of weight.  Without weighing and measuring food I took a new and healthy approach years ago and lost well over 100 pounds on my own.  No surgeries or diet pills.   Weight loss starts in you mind!!!  It's what is eating you that is keeping that weight on you!!

Keep track by first taking measurements
(you'll be glad you did)


Start by shaking up the grocery shopping routine!  Variety is the spice of life.  Are you bored, tired of the same old, same old foods?




Here are some out-of-the-box food ideas to incorporate into your diet, along with some stand-bys with benefits just too good to ignore: 

  • WATERMELON – If you need an excuse to load up on this summer favorite, here’s one: watermelon contains lots of nutrients and cancer-fighting antioxidants like lycopene and vitamin C. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s 92 percent water, meaning it will full you up with minimal calories. 
  • JICAMA – While this Mexican turnip may look like a fuzzy brown lump, beneath the surface is a fiber-packed snack that can work wonders for weight loss. With a high fiber-to-sugar ration and plenty of potassium (which the body requires for maintaining its water balance) – not to mention a delicious, light taste and crispy crunch – jicama is a winning snack to work into your diet.  
  • NUTS – There are few foods smarter than nuts. Not only are nuts like almonds and pistachios packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, which help you control your appetite while lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes, but they also contain protein that will keep you full AND increase your calorie burning potential for up to three and a half hours. Other nut benefits include increased vitamin E levels along with improved memory and performance. Not all nuts are created equal, so be sure to check out what’s best for your goals.  
  • PURPLE CARROTS – If you think regular old carrots are a healthy eat, just wait until you try their purple cousins! In addition to the beneficial phytochemicals contained in the orange variety, purple carrots contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants with anti-aging properties. 
  • MANGOES – These delicious fruits hold a number of benefits in their juicy orange flesh. Sweet enough to curb sugar cravings, mangos are also high in fiber, iron, magnesium and antioxidants. They also aid in digestion, so make sure you opt for the fruit over just the juice. 
  • EGGS – The incredible, edible egg is making a comeback among fitness circles. Several studies have shown that egg protein outperforms other proteins in boosting muscle strength and development, thanks to its high concentration of the amino acid leucine. Egg protein also helps curb hunger over a sustained period of time while providing plenty of energy.  
  • MULBERRIES – Change up the summer berry routine with this power-packed fruit. Like most berries, mulberries are low in calories, but these winners also contain plenty of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and the phytonutrient resveratrol, which has been shown to protect the heart. 
  •  WHOLE GRAINS – While whole grains aren’t news, this research is: after analyzing the diets of more than 27,000 people across an eight-year span, Harvard University researchers found that those who ate whole grains daily weighed an average of 2.5 lbs less than those who ate only refined-grain foods. Researchers at Penn State University additionally found that those who ate whole grains lost 2.4 times more belly fat than their refined-grain-eating counterparts. This makes sense when considering how whole grains favorably affect blood-glucose levels, keeping your body from blood sugar spikes. Whole grains’ antioxidants help control inflammation and insulin (which the body uses to store belly fat).
The closer to eating food in it's natural state as Mother Nature planned them, the healthier you will be long term and your skin will thank you too!  Remember to hydrate yourself daily!

Here's a fun recipe to help you get started to a healthier you!!  Enjoy!!

Ciao for now!






Mango cubed

Mango Banana Smoothie

1 cup cubed frozen mango cubes
3/4 cup sliced ripe banana (about 1 medium) 
2/3 cup milk or almond milk
1 teaspoon honey 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract



Preparation

Place frozen mango and the remaining ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!

Note: If using fresh mangos, peel and cube then arrange the mango cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet; freeze until firm (about 1 hour).


Fresh Ripe Mangoes at the Market