Tidewater Kitchen - March 2011

 

Food for Fuel
by
Pamela Meredith-Doyle

 

When it comes to your health, you decide how you are going to fuel your body. Food is fuel and the plant kingdom is the only type of food that gives you the energy you need to sustain a long, healthy life. The sun, soil and water give plants their energy. When we eat plants, we get the energy we need to run, swim, play ball and think.
Empty calories like chips, sodas, hamburgers, cookies, etc, may fill you up, but they won’t give you the protection you need to fight off disease and give you the energy you need to live a long, healthy life. Plant foods give your body the ability to fight off disease.
This month I have written an article on Healthy Foods for a Healthy Life which appears on the Tidewater Times web site under story archives (www.tidewatertimes.com).

MY MOM’S VEGETABLE BEEF SOUP
2 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, cut into medium dice
2 medium carrots, cut into medium dice
2 ribs celery, cut into medium dice
1 lb. beef pieces - stew meat
1/2 t. dried thyme or 1-1/2 t. fresh
1/2 cup canned tomatoes, cut into medium dice
8 cups beef or vegetable stock
2 potatoes cut into medium dice
1 large bag of mixed vegetables
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a stock pot or a Dutch oven. Add beef, onions, carrots, celery and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the thyme and tomatoes, then the beef stock and frozen vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are no longer crunchy and the flavors have blended, about 15 minutes.
In a separate pot, cook potatoes in water for about 5 minutes. Make sure not to overcook the potatoes as they will continue to cook in the soup.
Strain the potatoes and add to the soup. Stir in parsley, adjust seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

PIKE PLACE SALAD
Serves 4
Walnuts:
3 T. organic sugar
6 T. coarsely chopped walnuts
Olive oil

Dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider
3 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. finely chopped shallots
1 T. champagne vinegar
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

8 cups baby arugula or your favorite mixed greens
2 cups fresh berries
1/4 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled

Place sugar in a small skillet over medium heat and cook for 90 seconds or until the sugar dissolves. Stir as needed so the sugar dissolves evenly and doesn’t burn. Reduce heat; stir in walnuts. Cook over low heat for 30 seconds or until golden. Spread mixture onto foil coated with cooking spray. Cool completely and break into small pieces.
Place all the dressing ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.
To prepare the salad, place the greens in a large bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss gently to coat. Divide evenly among 4 plates. Top with berries, cheese and walnuts.
If you have any leftover steak, chicken or salmon from the night before, this can also be added to the salad.

ROASTED VEGETABLES
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
8 potatoes (I like to mix Yukon and sweet potatoes) cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch fennel
1 bag of Brussels sprouts
2 bell peppers (red and orange)
4 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt

Heat oven to 450°.
Put the potatoes and carrots on a large baking sheet and toss them with 4 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread the vegetables out in a single layer on the sheet and roast them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Roast until all the vegetables are tender.
You may serve these hot or at room temperature. You can even use them as leftovers on a salad.

PORK TENDERLOIN with ROSEMARY and GARLIC
4 Servings (serving size 3 oz.)
2 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 475°.
Combine the rosemary and garlic. Make several 1/2-inch-deep slits in the pork and place about half of the rosemary mixture in the slits. Rub the pork with the remaining rosemary mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place pork on a jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with olive oil.
Bake the pork for 20 minutes or until the thermometer registers 160° (slightly pink) or desired degree of doneness. Let stand for 5 minutes and cut into 1/4-inch slices.

WILD SEA SCALLOPS with HERBED BREAD CRUMBS
2 T. (1/4 stick) butter
12 oz. sea scallops
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
Lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 450°.
Melt butter in a heavy skillet.
Brush a 10-inch-diameter glass pie plate with some of the butter. Place the scallops in a single layer in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add breadcrumbs to the remaining butter in the skillet. Stir over medium heat until crumbs are crisp, about 5 minutes. Mix in the parsley. Top scallops with the crumb mixture.
Bake the scallops until topping is golden and scallops are opaque in the center, about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

ROASTED SALMON with CITRUS SAUCE
1 t. grated lemon rind
2 t. fresh lemon juice
1 T. fresh orange juice
2 t. honey
1/2 t. salt
1 t. flat leaf parsley sprigs
4 (6 oz.) salmon fillets, skinned (1 inch thick

Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine the ingredients in a bowl. Brush both sides of the fish with the mixture. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

TOFU LASAGNA
2 (16 oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, mashed
fresh basil or spinach leaves
1 t. sage and rosemary
1 16-oz. container Ricotta cheese
1 lb. sliced mushrooms
1 container extra-firm tofu
2 cups mozzarella cheese

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the chopped onion and mashed garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, sage and rosemary.
Cut the tofu into slices. Place a layer of tofu on top of the sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of the ricotta cheese and basil or spinach on top of that. Layer the tofu, ricotta and basil/spinach until you have used all the tofu.
Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella cheese, cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

OUT OF THIS WORLD LEMON, GARLIC and HERB CHICKEN
The key to this recipe is to marinate the chicken for at least 8 hours, but 24 is even better! Begin to marinate the night before. Just stick it in the refrigerator and forget about it until the next evening. Baking this is yummy, but grilling works great, too!

4 chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
5-10 garlic cloves, mashed
Juice from 1 big lemon, or 2 little lemons (1 part)
Olive or vegetable oil (2 parts)
1/2 t. Kosher or sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1/4 cup fresh herbs, roughly chopped (rosemary, thyme, basil)
1 large zip-lock bag

“1 part” and “2 parts” refers to 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts oil. This is the formula to make a good marinade. Measure the amount of juice you get from your lemon(s) and then double that amount for the measurement of oil.
Put everything in the zip-lock bag, push all the air out and seal it tightly. Shake it to evenly coat the chicken breasts with all the marinade ingredients. Put the zip-lock bag on a plate (to avoid messy leaks) and stick it in the refrigerator. Marinate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 425°. take the chicken out of the marinade and DRAIN WELL on paper towels. Place the chicken on a rack on top of a baking sheet. If you don’t have a rack, directly on a greased baking sheet will work. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a sharp knife.
Beware! - this will smoke. It won’t smoke up the kitchen too much unless you open the oven door a lot.

ROSEMARY CHICKEN and POTATOES
Using extremely fresh rosemary, extra virgin olive oil and seas salt are the keys to this simple, yet fabulous meal.

4 chicken breasts, bone in and skin on
8-12 small new potatoes, washed and cut in half
1 small onion, diced fine
2 T. fresh rosemary, washed and chopped
Good amount of sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°.
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.
Arrange potatoes on an oven-safe pan (or sided cookie sheet) that is sprayed with cooking spray or smeared with oil or butter.
Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden.

POT ROAST
1 35-oz. can whole Italian plum tomatoes, with their juices
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3-1/4 lb. boneless chuck roast
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 T. unsalted butter
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
6 large carrots, thickly sliced
3 medium celery ribs, thickly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup plus 2 T. all purpose flour
2 cups canned beef broth diluted with 2 cups water
2 T. soy sauce
4T. chili sauce
1 t. sugar
1 lb. medium red new potatoes, quartered

Preheat oven to 350°. In a blender or food processor, puree the tomatoes with their juices until almost smooth.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large enamel cast-iron casserole. Season the roast generously with salt and pepper and put it in the casserole dish. Brown the meat over moderate heat until crusty all over, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the roast to a platter.
Melt the butter in the casserole. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until barely softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring until it is incorporated, about 1 minute. Gradually stir in the diluted beef broth. Add the tomatoes, soy sauce, chili sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer.
Put the roast back in the casserole. Cover and cook the meat in the oven for 2 hours, turning it halfway through.
Add the potatoes, cover and cook for about 30 minutes longer, or until both the meat and the potatoes are fork tender, but not falling apart.
Transfer the roast to a cutting board and cover loosely with foil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a large, deep platter, cover and keep warm. Thickly slice the meat across the grain and arrange it on the platter.
Return the casserole to high heat and boil the sauce, skimming frequently, until thickened and reduced to about 5 cups. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, pout it over the meat and vegetables and serve.
You can make this up to 4 days ahead, then reheat or serve as leftovers.

FRESH FRUIT DESSERT
4 Servings (1 cup each)
This is great served with lemon yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 T. sugar
3 T. fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients, stirring gently. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.