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SamCyn’s Juicing Adventure: Day Four

07/26/2011 1 comment

It was really tough for me to get out of bed on the morning of day four.  Basically, way before Sam’s alarm went off at 5:30am, I had already been awake for quite some time.  Normally, I would get up at 5:30am to make some coffee for us both.  However, now that we’re on this program, there was no coffee to be made and in addition, I had the day off.  Hence, why get up, right?

Well, that was a big mistake, because in turn it just made me feel really sluggish.  It’s like the more my mind shouted, “get up”, my body replied, “oh, but the bed feels so good”.  Finally, at around 8:ish my mind won the battle and I got out of bed.  Now, when I was in my twenties, that was considered early, but now that I’m a lot a little older it’s considered way late.

I checked my tongue and the white fuzz is pretty much all gone (yipee!).  However, I just felt awful, I had no energy and my mind was in a fog.  I thought to myself, this sucks, I’ve got to do something. 

So I made myself juice # 6.

I liked this juice just as much as juice #5, if not a little better (despite the beet).

Once I had my glass of juice, I was ready for some exercise.  Thus, I went for a power-walk and did some Pilates when I got home.  Wow, that made me feel a whole lot better.  I no longer felt lethargic and I was awake, which enabled me to go about my day taking care of the things I needed to do.

For dinner I baked some eggplant with onions and garlic, which I sprinkled with a lemon-olive oil dressing and served it atop some arugula and spinach.

Though the pictures don’t do this meal any justice, I promise, it was really tasty.  Just the smell of the garlic and onions was driving us (me) crazy.  My goal was to get the eggplant a bit crisp and browned, but instead it came out soggy.  I’ll have to research on how to get this effect.  However, If any one of you know, please feel free to share :-).

In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.  ~Author Unknown

Juice #6

Yields about 2 quarts

4 granny smith apples

1 beet

5-6 celery stalks

4 medium carrots

ginger (approx. thumb size portion)

To prepare:

Wash all veggies, cut apples in half, insert into your juicer.  Enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant and Onion

Yields approximately 2-3 servings

1 medium eggplant

4 garlic cloves

1 large red onion

Lemon-Olive Oil Dressing

1 1/2 lemons, juiced (next time I’ll use just one)

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Approx. 4-6  basil leaves, finely chopped

Approx 4-6  parsley stalks, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

To prepare:

Preheat oven to  400 °

Peel skin from eggplant and slice into medium-thin pieces.  Slice garlic and onion into large chunks.   Spread on a two-quart baking dish, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and sprinkle over ingredients.  Bake for about 10 minutes, then at 500 ° (I was trying to get it brown and crisp) for about 5 minutes.

Serve over some fresh spinach and arugula, sprinkled with any leftover dressing.  Enjoy!

As I’ve mentioned before, I am journaling and sharing this experience just to make myself accountable.  I am not a doctor, or a professional in the field of nutrition.  Therefore, I DO NOT, I REPEAT, I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO FOLLOW WHAT I’M DOING.  If you’re interested in fasting, detoxing, juicing, etc., please consult your doctor.

Thank you!

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Spicy Shrimp Gratin – GCC: Menu #17

01/24/2011 3 comments

One of the things I love most about being part of the Gutsy Cooks Club is that when I invite guests over, choosing what to cook is a “no brainer”.  Furthermore, not only do I get to test the recipe on my man Sam, I also get a broader opinion from my guests. 

So when I had my family over this weekend, I served the Spicy Shrimp Gratin. 

Gratin is a widely used culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish.

In this case, the Spicy Shrimp Gratin recipe from the Illustrated Kitchen Bible cookbook, contains Gruyère cheese and it also contains heavy cream.  Now, If you recall from my Chicken à la King post, Sam and I are not fans of cream dishes (unless of course, it’s ice cream ;-)).

However, we do like shrimp and my friend Monica loves Gruyère cheese, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before, so despite the cream issue, we were very eager to try this dish.

This is an easy dish to make & doesn’t require a lot of time….As long as, you don’t buy shrimp that needs to be peeled and deveined (I was being frugal).  Unfortunately/fortunately, my Sous Chef was busy doing things around the house and I got stuck doing it alone *pout*,*pout* (it’s definitely worth paying the extra couple of $).

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lb (675 g) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • juice of 2 limes
  • few drops of hot red pepper sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 hot red chiles, seeded and minced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  •  3/4 cup shredded Gruyère 

 To prepare:

  • Toss the shrimp, lime juice, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl and let stand for about 15 minutes.
  •  Position the broiler rack about 8 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. 

By the way, I didn’t use olive oil, I used bacon fat.  I had decided to add bacon to this dish (besides garlic, a lot of dishes go better with bacon). 

  • Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chiles (I used mild chiles) and garlic and cook about 5 minutes more, until tender.

  • Spread in a large, ovenproof serving dish. Drain the shrimp and arrange over the onions. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour in the cream sprinkle with the Gruyère.

  • Broil about 5 minutes, or until the shrimp turn opaque and the cheese is golden brown. Serve immediately.

In my case, I baked for 15-18 minutes @ 400°, then I sprinkled with some fresh parsley and bacon and broiled for about 3 minutes.

I served it with pasta, a salad and sliced baguette.  The bread came in handy for sopping up the cheesy, cream sauce.  I think adding the bacon was definitely a good call on my part (yes, I’m patting myself on the back). 

It turned out to be a real crowd pleaser, which is always my ultimate goal.

Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure. 

“Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, sautee it. There’s, um, shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan fried, deep fried, stir fried. There’s pineapple shrimp and lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich… That’s, that’s about it.”
 Mykelti Williamson quotes (American Actor, b.1960)  Character: Bubba Blue quotes.

Potato & Parmesan Cakes – GCC Menu#16

01/18/2011 4 comments

Out of the three choices we had for the Gutsy Cooks Club menu #16, the Potato & Parmesan Cakes were the most appealing.

Okay…that’s a lie.

The Profiteroles were also appealing, but lack of time (and a bit of laziness & intimidation) got the best of us :-).

The Potato & Parmesan Cakes were simple enough to make, but a bit on the bland side as far as ingredients went, so after boiling and mashing (I don’t own a potato ricer) the potatoes, I elected to add a few of the following extras: 

  • Onion & garlic (finely chopped)
  • Fresh parsley & oregano
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Virgin olive oil

After mixing the potatoes, parmesan, egg yolk, salt and pepper and above mentioned additions, I made little cakes and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Baked at 450° until they had this beautiful golden brown color, approximately 25 minutes.

Sam and I thought they were really tasty!

We liked the crispness without having to fry them and adding the red pepper flakes offered a nice little kick.  We also like the diversity of these potato cakes and how they can be used as a backdrop to a whole range of ingredients. 

Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure. 

“Pray for peace and grace and spiritual food, For wisdom and guidance, for all these are good, but don’t forget the potatoes.”  John Tyler Pettee, ‘Prayer and Potatoes’

Chicken à la King

12/06/2010 3 comments

There were three recipes to choose, from this week’s Gutsy Cooks Club menu.  Sam and I were going to a friend’s birthday party (Happy Birthday Georgia!), so we decided to bring the Chicken à la King.

Apparently, it was a very popular dish during the 1970’s and into the 1980’s…Now I’ve got to tell you, neither one of us is a fan of dishes w/cream sauce and Chicken à la King is a recipe consisting of diced chicken in a cream sauce, with mushrooms, and vegetables, that can be served over bread, rice or pasta.   

We like to think of ourselves as open-minded (after all, that’s the point of being part of this cooking club) and decided to give it a try. The BEST part of it all, was that it was soooo simple to make.  Therefore, how could (WHYwould) we possibly pass that up, right? 😉

Unlike some of my other cooking adventures (Monica, you would be proud), I was not rushing around like a chicken w/o a head AND I had my trustworthy Sous Chef aka (handsome) husband help me with the chopping, slicing, etc…

By the way…our camera did NOT cooperate when I took close-up pictures of the lovely ingredients for this recipe (hence, the picture of my Sous Chef).

Come to think of it…the camera hasn’t been cooperating much lately 😦 Maybe….just MAYBE… Santa will gift me with a new camera? 😉 

Anyhow….did I mention how E-Z this dish is to make?? basically, the recipe calls for onions, red and green bell peppers (I used red & yellow) to be cooked in oil & butter.  Of course, I added garlic because as far as I’m concerned, a dish is not Savory unless it includes garlic.  After about 5 minutes, add white mushrooms (I used Baby Bella).

Cook until mushrooms are soft, add flour and milk…stir constantly until thickened, stir in  cooked, diced chicken and simmer for about 5 minutes, sprinkle with paprika and…

Ladies and Gentlemen, you are DONE!

The recipe  is originally for Turkey a La King from The Illustrated Kitchen Bible and is considered a time-honored way of using turkey leftovers after a holiday meal.  However, our Gutsy Cook of the month Raymond chose the variation of using chicken (good choice Raymond!).

So what’s the bottom line you ask?

It’s a pretty good dish, that is simple enough to make and goes well with rice.  However, we’re not converted to cream sauce lovers just yet.

Everyone else enjoyed it, but the real hit at the party was my mother-in-law’s dish.

So what’s the dish you ask??

Let’s just say, it’s simple, yet OH SO GOOD and ALWAYS a hit no matter what else is around (keep in mind she’s Italian…need I say more?), I’ll post about it sometime 😉

Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure.

We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink… ~Epicurus

Spanish Vegetable Tortilla & Cod in Tomato Sauce

11/08/2010 8 comments

 

 

I learned a lesson while cooking one of the recipes chosen for the Gutsy Cook’s Club Menu #6…

First and foremost, I learned that it’s important to not only read instructions, but to actually REGISTER the information.  You might say, I got a little cocky for my own good… I’ll explain why.

Saturday I was preparing the Spanish Vegetable Tortilla, which was simple enough to make…after all, I’ve made plenty of tortillas aka omelets before…just never with potatoes.

The recipe calls for eggs, potatoes, onions, broccoli and peas.  Since I’m not a fan of peas, I added a red bell pepper and garlic to the mix…

I had my mom over and she was helping me.  We’re talking, working, etc. I’m thinking this is great, it’s so E-Z. Cook potatoes (I used red-skinned) and onion (and garlic) in olive oil in a 9-in frying pan….beat eggs in a large bowl, season with S&P…

Transfer, the above ingredients into the eggs.  Add broccoli and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in pan (I chose to use butter), pour in egg mixture, cook for 20-25 minutes until top begins to set or bottom becomes golden brown.

Slide onto a plate, invert and transfer back into pan.

HA!

So, I go about “sliding” my tortilla onto a plate and the darn thing did not hold itself together and crumbled under pressure (sorry, I didn’t think to take pictures).

You see…I used a 12-in pan…I was probably thinking (subconsciously, of course) that bigger is better.  HOWEVER, in this case it wasn’t so.  

Lesson learned: no matter how easy it seems, visualize your steps as you read instructions.

As for the Cod in Tomato Sauce…

 

I couldn’t find “Cod”, so I trusted the young man at the local fish market and bought Boston Scrod , which he said was the same thing.  Unbeknownst to me, scrod is a young (2.5 lb/1.1 kg or less) cod or, less frequently, haddock, split and boned. It is a staple in many coastal New England and Atlantic Canada seafood and fish markets.

I really love that I joined this group.  I’m learning all sorts of tidbits :-).

I prepared according to instructions, with the exception of the fish stock.  I used chicken stock and added a few extra garlic cloves. 

There was no drama in making this dish, with the exception, that I don’t understand why it’s so necessary to bake the fish in the pan.

Why not just cook the cod on the stove top? and then remove from the sauce to reduce & thicken sauce??

Which by the way, didn’t really thicken enough for me, but we were really hungry and couldn’t be bothered, so we just served and ate.

The bottom line, you ask? Sam loved both dishes..my mom only tried the tortilla (I cooked the cod on Sunday) and said it was really good.  As for me, I liked them both very much…I’m glad I added the garlic to the tortilla and would consider cooking/frying the potatoes a little longer, so that they’re crispy (just a preference of mine).

Follow link for recipes: Spanish Vegetable Tortilla and Cod in Tomato Sauce.

Ladies and Gentlemen…this concludes this week’s Edible Adventure.

The belly rules the mind.  ~Spanish Proverb