Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Spices and Herbs

Did you know that, according to McCormick -

1/2 tsp. Oregano has as many antioxidants as 3 cups of Spinach (add 1/4 tsp. onto grilled cheese)

1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder has as many antioxidants as 1/3 cup Zucchini (stir in 3/4 tsp. into 4 cups mashed potatoes)

1/2 tsp. Black Pepper has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup Chopped Tomatoes (sprinkle 1/4 tsp. onto scrambled eggs)

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon has as many antioxidants as 1/4 cup Blueberries (sprinkle 1/4 tsp. over everything from hot cocoa, to oatmeal and fruit salads)

1/2 tsp. Ginger has as many antioxidants as 1 cup Cucumbers (sprinkle over cooked carrots, acorn or butternut squash, and sweet potatoes)

1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper has as many antioxidants as 1/4 cup Honeydew Melon (sprinkle 1/4 tsp. into hummus)

1/2 tsp. Thyme has as many antioxidants as 1 medium Carrot (sprinkle leaves on steamed or sauteed asparagus along with a twist of fresh ground black pepper)

1/2 tsp. Rosemary has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup Watermelon (sprinkle the tops of your favorite ready-to-bake rolls with olive oil, rosemary leaves and sea salt before baking)

1/2 tsp. Turmeric has as many antioxidants as 1 cup Broccoli (sprinkle onto steamed rice)

1/2 tsp. Chili Powder has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup Cantaloupe (stir 2 Tbsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin, 2 cans diced tomatoes & 1 can kidney beans into 1 lb. cooked ground beef for a quick chili)

1/2 tsp. Cloves has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup Sweet Cherries (perk up jarred applesauce by stirring 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. ground cloves into 2 cups applesauce)

1/2 tsp. Cumin has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup Pineapple (sprinkle into soups such as lentil, black bean and butter squash)

Friday, May 30, 2014

BBQ 101

BBQ 101

It's BBQ time so when I ran across these tips I decided to share. (From May 2012 -


Grill boneless, skinless breasts for 8-12 minutes on direct medium heat, covered, turning once.  Drumsticks or bone-in thighs take 36-40 minutes (6-10 minutes on direct heat, plus 30 on indirect heat).  All chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.


Slice in half, then brush the cut sides with a little olive oil.  Grill for 6-8 minutes over direct medium heat, covered.  Grill whole tomatoes for 8-10 minutes, turning a few times.  Thread cherry tomatoes on skewers, brush with oil, and grill for 2-3 minutes turning once.

Corn on the Cob

Soak in water for 15 minutes, then remove the husk and silk, or leave the husk on (for moister corn) and remove the silk only from the tops of the ears.  Either way, grill ears over direct medium heat, covered - husked corn for 10-15 minutes and corn in the husk for 25-30 minutes.

Flank Steak

Grill a 3/4" steak weighing 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. for 8-10 minutes on direct medium heat, covered, turning once.  cook to a temperature of 145 degrees F for medium-rare, 160 degrees F for medium, or 170 degrees F for well-done.  Let steak rest 5-10 minutes before carving.  Be sure to slice very thin.


Grilling time varies by thickness.  Make all of your patties the same size so you only have to check one for doneness.  In general, grill burgers for 8-10 minutes over direct high heat, covered, turning once.  All burgers should be cooked to 160 degrees F.


Slice in half and remove the pit, then coat the cut side with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.  Grill, cut side down, over direct medium heat for 8 minutes.  Drizzle with honey before serving.  Grilled peaches will keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours.


Cut into 1/2" thick slices or 1" thick wedges, then coat with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.  Thread onto wooden skewers that have been soaked in water for 30 minutes.  Grill on direct medium heat, covered, for 4-8 minutes.  Drizzle with honey to serve.


Peel and devein the shrimp; you can leave the tails on or remove them.  Grill for 2-4 minutes on direct high heat, covered, turning once.  Cooking time depends on the size of the shrimp.  You want them to look opaque but not shriveled, a sign of overcooking.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recommended power Foods - Part 9 - Grains #9, #10 and #11

Recommended Power Foods - Part 9 - Grains #9, #10 and #11
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R. D., Author)

#9 - Soy Flour - Soy Flour is ground from soybeans and is very high in protein and low in carbohydrates.  This flour is available from full fat to low fat versions.  Full fat soy flour contains 20% fat and 35% protein, the low fat contains 6% fat and 45% protein, and the defatted soy flour contains 1% fat and 50% protein.  Combine this flour with wheat flour to increase the protein content when baking.

#10 - Triticale Flour - this flour is manmade by cross breading wheat and rye.  When this flour is milled, it contains both nutritional values of wheat and rye flours.

#11 - Teff Flour - Teff is a fine stemmedtufted grain grass.  The teff grain is the smallest grain in the world and measures 1/32 of an inch in diameter.  Because of the teff bran and germ size being small, the bran and germ stay intact during processing making it nutritionally dense.  Teff is gluten free, high in protein, carbohydrate, fiber, and many other minerals.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Recommended Power Foods - Part 8 - Grains #7 and #8

Recommended Power Foods - Part 8 - Grains #7 & #8
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R. D., Author)

#7 - Wild Rice - Wild rice is not a true grain, but is a type of edible grass.  Wild rice provides protein, B vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  The darker the grain the more bran is intact.  Add wild rice to soups, bread stuffing, or mix together brown and wild rice and cook as a side dish.

#8 - Amaranth - This is a tiny seed that contains all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  Amaranth flour contains more fiber and iron than wheat flour, and also provides calcium.  It can be found in the form of flakes and flour, and can be combined with other flours for baking.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cracker Pizzas

Saltines or butter round crackers

Preheat oven to Broil.  Place the crackers in rows on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or foil.  Sprinkle each cracker with cheese.  top with Pepperoni or olives.  Broil for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted.

Comment:  I found a recipe for pizza appetizers using crackers.  The recipe, along with several others (3 pages), was typed using an OLD typewriter.  I have no idea how old these sheets were but I don't believe the typewriter was electric.  The original called for soda crackers (saltines) that were to be drizzled with melted butter and then topped with cheese.  These were baked until the cheese melted.  I eliminated the butter and added the pepperoni and olives.  I also changed it form baking to broiling with hope that the crackers wouldn't become soggy.  I also made some of these using butter round crackers which actually came out the best.  These are simple to make and do make great appetizers - hot or cold.  Plus, the kids would love to make these for a pizza night.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Recommended Power Foods - Part 7 - Grains (Continued)

Recommended Power Foods - Part 7 - Grains #5 and #6
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R. D., Author)

#5 - Oats and Oat Flour - Oat, oatmeal, and oat bran contain a type of fiber called betaglucan, which aids in lowering cholesterol and fights infection.  Oats contain antioxidants which are heart healthy.  Oats are provide more protein than wheat and are rich in vitamins B and E, and are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber.  Enhance your diet with hot oatmeal at breakfast, sprinkle oat bran on cold cereals, or mix in dry oatmeal when making meatloaf.  Try using oat flour when making pancakes, waffles, quick breads, and oatmeal cookies. 

#6 - Wheat Flour - There are many types of wheat flour that provide a healthier texture because they include the bran and germ.  Whole wheat, stone ground and graham flour can be used interchangeably.  The only difference may be in coarseness and protein value.  Wheat flour provides complex carbohydrates, which is the source of insoluble fiber that benefits the digestive system.  Try incorporating wheat flour in your diet by adding 1/2 of white flour to wheat flour when baking breads or quick breads.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Recommended power Foods - Part 6 - Grains (continued)

Recommended Power Foods - Part 6 - Grains #3 and #4
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R. D., Author)

#3 - Buckwheat and Buckwheat Flour - Buckwheat is not a true grain but the seed of an herb plant related to rhubarb.  Buckwheat does have more protein than rice, wheat, millet, or corn.  This food item is considered to lower cholesterol and balance blood sugars.  Also, toasted buckwheat is called "kasha", a Japanese buckwheat noodle called "soba".  Buckwheat flour is a rich source of nutrients and is gluten free.  Buckwheat flour can be mixed with whole wheat flour and used in bread products.

#4 - Brown Rice and Flour - When brown rice is processed the hull is removed.  One cup of brown rice is packed with nutrients that consist of: manganese, which is essential for energy production, a healthy nervous system, and produces antioxidant enzymes; and selenium, a mineral essential for a healthy immune system and thyroid metabolism.  Brown rice also provides a source of thiamine and niacin, which are essential for your nervous system and fiber needs.  Combine brown and Wild rice together for a change at mealtime.  Brown rice flour is processed with the bran and provides a good source of B vitamins and fiber, and is gluten free. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Recommended Power Foods - Part 5 - Grains

Recommended Power Foods - Part 5 - Grains #1 and #2
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R. D., Author)

Choose grains in the least processed form and include daily in the diet.  Listed below are different forms of grains that contain fiber rich bran and germ.  These grains assist in balancing the blood sugars, benefit the immune system, and provide a sense of fullness.

#1  - Rye and Rye Flour - These breads contain more protein, phosphorus, iron, potassium, and B vitamins than wheat.  Rye provides a large amount of fiber, which is good for the intestinal tract and aides in balancing blood sugar levels.  Rye flour is available in light, medium, or dark varieties.  The darker the flour indicates the level of bran incorporated into the flour.  Add rye bread to your lifestyle by substituting rye for wheat in sandwiches.  Combine rye and wheat flour in pancakes and other breakfast foods, or make a porridge using rolled rye flakes.

#2 - Barley and Barley Flour - Barley is sold in many forms, but hulled barley is richer in fiber and contains more nutrients than Pearl or Scotch barley.  This grain is very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber.  The fiber found in barley provides food for the "good" bacteria in the large intestine and can assist in greater health and disease resistance.  Flour ground from whole barley is more nutritious than flour ground from pearled barley because the bran is left intact.  Whole barley flour provides soluble fiber which aides in decreasing cholesterol in the blood.  Enhance your diet by adding barley to your soups, combine barley and wheat flour to make bread products, or use barley flakes as a hot cereal.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Recommended power Foods - Part 4 - Other Vegetables

Recommended Powers Foods - Part 4 - Other Vegetables
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R.D., Author)

Other Vegetables - Pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, and winter squash, have the deep orange-yellow hues.  Add the leafy greens to help maintain healthy skin and hair, protect against prostate cancer, and strengthen healthy vision.  The redness in tomatoes and watermelon (fruit) contains the chemical lycopene, which is believed to fight cancer and promote heart health.  The green vegetables such as; kale, broccoli, cabbage, turnip greens, and spinach are just a few foods high in anticancer compounds.  The Asian mushroom (shittake, maitake) also contain active ingredients that help your body fight off infection.  Other vegetables that fight inflammation in the body include; bok Choy, cauliflower, watercress, chard, collards, mustard greens, and spinach.  Vegetables also provide phytonutrient antioxidants that strengthen the immune system.  The top 1 foods include; cooked artichokes, cooked red cabbage, frozen spinach, red and white cooked potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, russet cooked potatoes, cooked red peppers, cooked broccoli and steamed carrots.  Strengthen your immune system by adding 4 or more servings a day of a variety of vegetables for antioxidant protection.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Recommended Power Foods - Part 3 - Garlic

Recommended Power Foods - Part 3 - Garlic
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R.D., Author)

Garlic is a member of the lily or Allium family, which also includes leeks and onions.  Garlic's pungent odor is from sulfur compounds which are the source of many health benefits.  Garlic is considered to be an immunity boosting superstar and aids in fighting inflammation, benefits the heart, fights cancer, and has antibacterial/antiviral benefits.  When chopping fresh garlic, allow to sit a few minutes for the enzymatic process to reach its maximum potential.  Avoid microwaving or boiling garlic as whole cloves, due to decreasing the enzyme activity.  Raw garlic is more beneficial for our health than cooked or dried.  This is due to cooking decreasing the garlic's sulfur enzymes which lowers the antibiotic effect.  Try adding garlic 5 to 10 minutes, at the end of the cooking process for maximum benefit.  Other foods that contain these sulfur compounds are; cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, leeks, onions, and shallots.  Enhance your diet by adding minced garlic to pasta dishes, pizza topping, sauces, and soups.  Try making garlic bread topping with crushed fresh garlic and combine with olive oil, and other preferred seasonings.  Or create garlic mashed potatoes by adding roasted garlic and olive oil.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Recommended Power Foods - Part 2 - Fruit and Juices

Recommended Power Foods - Part 2 - Fruit and Juices
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R.D., Author)

Fruit and Juices - Pomegranate, blueberries, plumbs, red grapes, and all other berries, are foods that are very high in antioxidants and strengthens the immune system.  The highest top 10 in antioxidant phytonutrients are:  blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, grape juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, prunes, and orange juice.  Antioxidants protect and repair cells that interfere with your immune system.  It is believed the antioxidants in blueberries also enhance brain function.  In general, fruits assist your body in fighting inflammation, which is a response of the immune system to infection or an imitation. Fruits that aid in decreasing inflammation in the body include grapefruit, lemon, lime, oranges, apricots, cherries, papaya, strawberries, and apples.  Adding 4 or more servings of a variety of fruit and/or juice daily, benefits and strengthens your immune system by adding antioxidant protection.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Recommended Power Foods - Part 1 - Fish and Shellfish

I've decided to do a series of info from a book titled The Power of Food by Bonnie Raffel R.D.  This book has to be one of the best cookbooks I've ever found and the information it includes makes it one of the most informative 'food' books I've ever found.  This series will be posted over several weeks.  I'm doing this because I feel that smaller posts are more likely to be read as well as remembered.  So here goes with Part 1.

Recommended Power Foods - Part 1 - Fish and Shellfish
(Information from The Power of Food - Bonnie Raffel R.D., Author)

Fish and Shellfish - Salmon is a powerful anti inflammatory food and is an excellent source of omega3 essential fatty acids.  Salmon is the heart healthiest high protein food of all.  Try to select Wild Alaskan salmon which contains a healthier fat profile over farmed salmon whenever possible.  Other good food (fish) sources of omega3 are; halibut, shrimp, cod, snapper, scallops, whitefish, striped bass, oysters, rainbow trout, and tuna.  Shrimp also contains the antioxidant selenium, which helps support a healthy immune system.  Also, just 2 servings a week of fish, will increase your body's blood level for omega3 fatty acids.  The use of fish oil or an omega3 in a soft shell form, may be used.  It is also advisable to choose a supplement with vitamin E.  Vitamin E is an antioxidant and when added to the oil, prevents the fatty acids form becoming rancid.  Store this product in the refrigerator or freezer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Chilizo - Guest Post by Author Christopher McPherson

Recipe from Christopher McPherson, Author of:
Murder at Eastern Columbia
and the James Murray Mysteries

(named this because it's made from Chili & Chorizo)

1/2 lb. kidney beans
1/2 lb. black beans.

Soak them overnight.

Put them in a crock pot on low for ten hours or high for five hours. Add enough water to the pot to just cover the beans. 

1 lb. chorizo (more or less as you like)
1 can diced tomatoes

About an hour before dinner cook the chorizo in a frying pan.  Make sure to break it into little chunks.  Drain and add to crock pot.  A few minutes before serving, stir in the tomatoes.  Heat all until hot.  Serve with cheese and/or diced onions on top.

This recipe is silly easy to make and there are only three ingredients (beans, chorizo and tomatoes).  Chorizo can be purchased with varying amounts of spiciness, so the Chilizo can be mildly spiced or very spicy.  In addition, it's very low fat, very high in good carbohydrates and taste, to boot!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fruit and Your Health - Part 6 - Oranges

After reading the information on these two sites, I plan on eating more oranges.

Nutrition - 1 medium fresh orange
Calories - 62
GI - low
Vitamin C - 92.9%
Fiber - 12.5%
Folate - 9.8%
Vitamin B1 - 9.1%
Potassium - 6.7%
Copper - 6.6%
Pantothenic Acid - 6.6%
Calcium - 5.2%

Health Benefits:
Vitamin C - is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells.  Free radical damage to cellular structures and other molecules can result in painful inflammation, as the body tries to clear out the damaged parts.  Vitamin C is also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. 

According to a report released in 2003 by Australian research, a diet high in citrus fruit provides a statistically significant protective effect against some types of cancer.  Citrus appears to offer the most significant protection against esophageal, orophayngeal/laryngeal (mouth, larynex and pharynx), and stomach cancers.  Studies showed risk reductions of 40-50%.  The World Health Organization's report concluded that a diet that featured citrus fruit offers protection against cardiovascular disease.  The CSIRO Report includes evidence of positive effects associated with citrus consumption in studies for arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment, Parkinson's disease, macular degenerative, diabetes, gallstones, multiple sclerosis, cholera, gingivitis, optimal lung function, cataracts, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Other Info on this site include:
Possible Cholesterol-Lowering Benefits
Compounds in Orange Peel May Lower Cholesterol as Effectively as Statin Drugs
Good Source of Fiber
Prevent Kidney Stones
Help Prevent Ulcers and Reduce Risk of Stomach Cancer
Protect Respiratory Health
Protect Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

Info from Sunkist

Why Citrus?
* Consuming the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that enhance one's total wellness through natural foods assures an optimal balance of nutrients, rather than running the risk of excess through the use of supplements.
*  Increased levels of stress suppress the body's immune function, and during these times many people tend to cuddle up with comfort food.  For this reason, it is especially important to feed stress-related cravings with healthy foods that help build the immune system.
*  The good news:  a healthy lifestyle - including diet - works well as preventative care for both men and women.  And the AHA urges prevention through choosing a diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits like oranges, that contain heart-healthy nutrients such as Vitamin C, folate, pectin, potassium and phytochemicals.
*  Studies show that eating 8 - 10 servings of fruits and vegetables lowers blood pressure readings comparable to that seen with the use of high-blood pressure medication.
*  Studies show that people who eat fruit such as oranges, lemons, tangerines, and other whole foods tend to eat less at subsequent meals, compared to people who eat "lighter, more calorie-dense foods"  such as chips, snack crackers, dessert or candy.
*  Following a balanced diet that includes fruit, along with regular exercise will help bring weight down without jeopardizing your health.