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Friday, December 27, 2013

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Green and healthy 
Source: Adapted from a Costco recipe by chef Phil Joy

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

- 1 kg / 2.2 lbs of Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- juice of 1 lemon (optional)
- 2 medium tomatoes (optional)
Total: 8 servings

1. Wash the Brussels sprouts, cut off the root ends and make a small cut through the middle of the root to allow for even heating.
2. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well.
3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, pour the Brussels sprouts and bake at 400F for 35-40 minutes.
4. If you wish to add the tomatoes and / or the lemon juice, skin and seed the tomatoes, and chop into 1/4 inch cubes. 10 minutes before the Brussels sprouts are done, take the baking sheet out of the oven, toss the Brussels sprouts, add the tomatoes and drizzle with lemon juice, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

- Really nice recipe, it takes a little time to cut the roots of all the small Brussels sprouts, but you can treat it as your zen meditation of the day.
- Don't use Hawaiian sea salt, it turns out really salty, maybe because of the large grains. Use finer salt for this recipe.
- One more option is sprinkling with grated cheese and placing under the broiler for another 2 minutes.

To Recipe...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lentil Soup

Simple and simply delicious
Source: improvised

Taste: 5 (out of 5)
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

- 3 cups red lentils
- 6 cups / 1 1/2 l water
- 3 inches of ginger (or 3 frozen ginger cubes)
- 1 large potato
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tbsp onion flakes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp black pepper
- 1 cup chopped parsley or cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
Total: 8 servings

1. Wash the carrot, the potato, the ginger and the tomato (no need to peel). Peel the garlic cloves. Place the vegetables with the onion flakes into your Vitamix(or another blender), add 1 cup of water and process on High setting for about 15 seconds until the ingredients are finely ground.
2. In a large pot add the vegetable mix to the remaining water and the lentils and bring to boil on high heat. Stir.
3. When the soup boils, add salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric, reduce heat to medium low and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
4. Right before serving, add chopped cilantro and juice of 1 lime.

Great soup, I make it all the time. If you want, make it thicker and serve as dahl over rice. Can also use fresh onion or tomato paste.

To Recipe...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Good morning detox drink

A drink that keeps the cold away 
Source: My mom told me it's good for you

Taste: 1 (out of 5) - you're drinking it for health benefits
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

- 1/2 gallon / 2 liters water
- 3 inches fresh ginger ground, or 3 frozen ginger cubes
- 1 lemon or lime cut in half
Total: 16 servings of 1/2 cup

1. Add all ingredients to a large pot, bring to boil, remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour into clean jars and refrigerate.
2. Warm up (e.g. in a microwave) 1/2 cup and drink first thing in the morning before eating anything else.

I really don't like the taste, but I believe this drink is great for preventing colds, and generally strengthening the immune system and cleansing the body. I tried something similar with horseradish several years back, and it kept me healthy all winter. As much as I don't like this ginger drink it tastes much better than the horseradish. I'll wait and see if it's as effective.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Freezer Ginger Squares

Ready, peeled, ground and portioned ginger whenever you need it
Source: improvised

Taste: Not applicable
Difficulty: 1 (out of 5)

Ginger root, as much as you want

1. Wash and peel the ginger root, and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
2. Place the ginger into your Vitamix (or another very strong) blender. Start on low setting, increase speed from 0 to 5, use the tamper if large chunks of ginger get stuck. When the mixture is more or less uniform, increase the speed to 10, then set it to High and let process for another 15 seconds.
3. Line a small shallow freezer-safe dish (I use a plastic cover of a Pyrex) with parchment paper, and scoop out the ground ginger onto the dish. Flatten the ginger puree with a spatula, and freeze for about 2 hours.
4. Remove the ginger from the freezer, flip the ginger onto a cutting board, peel off the paper, and cut the ginger into squares. Place the squares into a freezer bag and freezer until required.

I love this method and use it with lots of herbs and spices: lemongrass, roasted garlic, parsley, basil, you name it. It is particularly great for highly perishable herbs. For ginger, it saves you a lot of time: you do all the peeling, the grinding and the washing once every couple of months, and have freshly ground ginger whenever you need it in a second.

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