Tag Archives: healthy diet

Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk.  Just one medium spear has three times more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread.  And broccoli is one of the richest sources of vitamin A in the produce section.  Broccoli is also rich in isothiocyanates — chemicals shown to stimulate the body’s production of its own cancer-fighting substances – “phase two enzymes.”

This simple recipe will have even broccoli-haters reaching for a second helping – it is so much tastier than boiled broccoli!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Using a peeler, remove the tough outer layer of the broccoli stalks.  Cut the broccoli lengthwise keeping the stalk and broccoli florets intact.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to coat and roast until nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Remove the broccoli from the oven, turn pieces over and then drizzle the garlic infused oil and parmesan over the broccoli. Roast until the broccoli begins to brown and the parmesan melts, about 6 minutes longer.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

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Syracuse Salt Potatoes recipe

One of the dishes I remember well from my youth is Salt Potatoes.  They were particularly wonderful when served outdoors – BBQ, picnic, pot luck, etc.  It turns out that they are particular to Central New York, especially the Syracuse area.  While they are normally served with a melted, partially-clarified butter, I prefer them with olive oil, which adds more of a flavor compliment (and I am a butter lover).  They are awesome with the new Lucini infused olive oils – each adds a different complexity to this wonderful potato preparation.  I remember some families added fresh chives, basil or thyme leaves, but the infused oils provide even more flavor.

The recipe really couldn’t be any simpler and when you use a young potato, particularly fresh from a garden or farmer’s market, you really have a knockout side dish.  This is nice to have in your repertoire for times when you would like a change from baked or mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

Thats a lot of Salt Potatoes!

Thats a lot of Salt Potatoes!

6 C     Water

1 C      Kosher Salt

2 LB   Potatoes (new, young, red bliss, etc.  should be consistent in size)

1/4 C  Butter (or Lucini Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Preparation:

Add the salt to the water and bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes and cook until tender (keep track of the smaller potatoes and removing any before overcooking) – about 20 minutes.  Strain any access water from the potatoes and then toss in butter, or better yet, one (or a selection) of the Lucini infused olive oils.

Roasted Potato Salad

This simple potato salad recipe is always a hit at family meals, picnics and barbecues.  If you find potatoes at a farmers market, those will work best in this recipe, as the potatoes are front and center here, not hiding behind strong mayonnaise or dressing. I love creamy potato salads as well, but this one brings out the full flavor of the potatoes through roasting, the light spices and fruity olive oil add a beautiful color and complimentary taste.  If so inclined, you can jazz it up a bit with some chopped olives, green peppers or even kim chee!

Potato Salad

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450.  Mix oil, turmeric, chili powder, paprika and mustard seed.  Cut potatoes into even, small bite size pieces and then toss in oil.  Roast potatoes for 10 minutes, transfer to a bowl and then cool in freezer until potatoes reach room temperature.

Mix other ingredients well.  Add potatoes and stir until all the potato pieces are coated.

Pesto

Why flax seeds?  I have been reading a lot about omega 3 lately and trying to work it into my diet more often (rather than relying solely on supplements).  One of the best sources of omega 3 is ground flax seeds and thinking about the groundness of the seeds led me to pesto – the root of the word is the same as pestle and both derive from the Latinpestâ” (to pound or crush).  It seems that many people have negative connotations for flax seeds – that the texture is weird or flavor will be unpleasant.  But, i’ve tested this recipe on some discerning palates and everyone thought that the nuts used were either 100% walnuts or a mixture of walnuts and pine nuts.  Be sure to taste before and after adding the salt – I usually avoid salt in pesto recipes, but because the Lucini Stravecchio Parmigiano Reggiano is so rich and flavorful and has less of a salty profile than generic Parmigiano Reggiano, I do add salt to this preparation.  As always find it better to start with a little less – you can add more, but if you start with too much, fixing the taste is difficult.

pesto

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Grind the flax seeds.  Combine the garlic, flax seeds, walnuts and salt in a food processor (or a mortar and pestle, for a more ‘authentic’ consistency) and blend until the mixture forms a paste.  Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending slowly.  Add the Parmigiano 1 tablespoon at a time, blending for short beats until the mixture forms a thick paste.  The pesto can be put in a container, topped with a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil and then stored for several weeks in the refrigerator.  Without this preservation layer, the pesto discolors very quickly and the garlic flavor will turn bitter in a matter of days.

Mango & Quinoa Salad

This is an incredible easy and very tasty quinoa recipe.  Quinoa is a high protein food and the proteins we get in quinoa also include fiber, carbs, and phytochemicals that protect against disease.  The mango adds a bright flavor, along with healthful vitamins and minerals, including: Potassium and Vitamins C, A and B6.  Grind some flax seeds, throw them in and you will add considerable omega-3, without inflammation promoting omega-6 acids!

quimang

Ingredients:

  • 1 C          Quinoa
  • 2 C          Water
  • 1/4 tsp  Salt
  • 1              Mango, chopped
  • 1/2 C      Cucumber, chopped small
  • 2 TB        Flax Seeds, ground (optional)
  • 3 TB        Pumpkin Seeds, roasted
  • 3 TB        Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp       Turmeric
  • 1 tsp       Curry Powder
  • Black Pepper, ground
  • 1              Lime, juiced
  • 1 TB        Pinot Grigio Italian Wine Vinegar
  • 2 TB        Cilantro, chopped

Preparation:

Wash the quinoa and then toast in a small dry saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it crackles and becomes aromatic, about 4-5 minutes.  Boil the toasted quinoa in salted water for 10 minutes, then let the quinoa sit until it absorbs all the water.  Fluff with a fork and let it cool to room temperature.

Peel the mango and cut into cubes.   Dice the cucumber, and add to mango along with the flax and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Mix the lime juice and vinegar with the curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper.  Emulsify the olive oil into the dressing and then add the cilantro and stir well.

Add the cooled quinoa to the mango mixture, pour the dressing over the salad, and mix well until well distributed.

Scrambled Egg ‘Bruschetta’

This is is a simple recipe for children to help Mom (or another adult) prepare for Mother’s Day (or any other time).   They will feel like they are finishing up a special treat when they spoon the egg – ricotta mixture onto the toasted bread!  Removing 2 of the yolks provides the start for homemade mayonnaise and also cuts down the cholesterol in this dish significantly.  If you happen to have some extra tomato confitcherry tomato chutney or even tasty tomato sauce lying around, it can be spooned onto the bruschetta before the eggs.  Finish with a touch of Lucini Tuscan Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil and dig in!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Toast (or grill, if so inclined) your baguette slices and then brushed with a small amount of olive oil.  Whisk together the eggs, onions, turmeric and salt in medium bowl until well combined.  Pour the olive oil to a nonstick skillet and heat for 1 minute at your medium setting.  Add the egg mixture and stir constantly until the eggs  are mostly cooked through, but a bit runny in parts – about 2 minutes.   Remove the eggs from heat, mix in the ricotta and stir just until incorporated, but the ricotta remains distinct.

Plate your toasts and spoon the egg – ricotta combination on top.   Grate the parmesan cheese onto the egg and season with more salt and freshly ground pepper.

Olive Oil Poached Trout

This is one of the simplest recipes I know and it really shows off the flavor of a great Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh Trout.  Because the olive oil is only heated to 115º for a short period of time, the tocopherols and other healthful agents in the oil are not damaged, so I strain the remain oil, mix it with Lucini Savory Fig Balsamico, and have a great dipping sauce for bread.

Be careful in choosing your pan for this dish – it should be large enough so the fillets to fit and you will be able to get your spatula in and remove the fillets comfortably.  However, you do not want too much room, as the fillets must be fully submerged in the oil.  This accounts for the range (1 to 2 cups) in the amount of oil used.  For poaching to work correctly, the oil must completely cover the other ingredients in the pan.  Arctic Char works as a replacement for the trout.

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB    fresh Trout (filleted, cut into 4 pieces)
  • 1-2 C  LUC Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2     small Carrot (use 6  1/8 inch thick slices)
  • 1          small Shallot, diced
  • 4         Thyme sprigs (single ‘branches’ of Thyme, not multiple branched ‘trees’)
  • 4         small Bay Leaves
  • Salt, ground or crushed fine
  • Pepper, ground fine
  • 1/4    Lemon

troutPreparation:

Place the remaining olive oil in to a small pot and add the carrot, shallot, thyme and bay leaves.   Place a thermometer in the oil and heat to 115º.  Trim the trout fillets and submerge them in the oil carefully, so the trout does not rest on the other ingredients.  Poach for 7-8 minutes until the fish is just firm to touch.  Remove the fish and pat dry.  Season your fillets with salt and pepper, drizzle each with 1/2 tsp of the poaching oil and fresh lemon juice.  That’s it; you’re ready to serve!

I like to serve this dish with something green – a nice salad, braised celery and escarole are all great options.  Supremes of blood orange with a drizzle of Basil-Infused or Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin also look wonderful on the plate.