Archive for the ‘Healthy Cooking’ Category

Making Gumbo From Your Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey


If you are anything like me then you are tired of eating Thanksgiving turkey by Saturday. Here is a simple recipe that I extracted from Nola Eats for you to make turkey gumbo.

Turkey Gumbo

“Make a stock with the leftover turkey carcass and save any leftover bits of roasted turkey for the gumbo. The vegetables for the gumbo are cooked in two stages to create layers of taste and texture.”

Frank Brigtsen’s Thanksgiving Gumbo
Makes 12 bowl-sized portions, 14-1/2 cups

1 pound andouille sausage, sliced into half-rounds 1/4-inch thick

2 tablespoons mild olive oil (pomace olive oil preferred)

4 cups diced yellow onions

3 cups diced celery

2 cups diced green bell peppers

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon whole-leaf dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

3 tablespoons gumbo file powder

12 cups turkey stock, made from roasted turkey carcass

14 tablespoons vegetable oil (3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)

1 cup all-purpose white flour

4 cups leftover roasted turkey, in bite-size pieces

Hot cooked rice for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced andouille sausage on a shallow baking pan and bake until the edges turn brown, 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add 3 cups onion, 2 cups celery, 1-1/2 cups  bell pepper and bay leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to turn brown, 12-15 minutes.Add the remaining vegetables: 1 cup onion, 1 cup celery, and 1/2 cup bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium, Cook, stirring occasionally, until the second stage of onions turn soft and clear, 2-3 minutes.

The Perfect Sunday Brunch

One of my favorite brunch to prepare when I have weekend guests is my New Orleans style shrimp and grits. Recently I’ve been making my grits in a slow cooker which tends to make them much more creamier without a lot of work on my part.

Here is my brunch recipe. Try it and let me know your thoughts below. I bet you will love this dish as much as I do.

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits

Slow Cooker Shrimp and Grits

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Chicken Broth or Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cups Yellow Grits
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme or 2 Teaspoons Fresh Chopped Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Cup Light Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Ounces Light Cream Cheese
  • 2 Pounds Raw Shrimp
  • 3 Tbls of Olive Oil and 3 Tbls of Butter to saute Shrimp and to use for topping on grits
  • 2-3 Scallions (Green Onions)
  • Scallions, or Thyme and Extra Cheese for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine chicken broth and grits in slow cooker
  2. Add all other ingredients except shrimp, cheddar cheese, and green onions and cook on low for 3 Hours.
  3. Stir periodically to prevent lumps (If grits have absorbed all the liquid, add some more broth. It will depend on your slow cooker.)
  4. Add cheddar cheese toward the end of cooking.
  5. Saute scallions and shrimp in butter and oil for 5 minutes until done and use for topping on plated grits.
  6. Garnish with extra cheese and/or green onions and thyme

 

Your Seasonal Food Guide for Fall Cooking

The Best Fruits and Veggies to Eat This Fall

Your Fall Seasonal Food GuideFall is the time when we’re really excited to get back into our kitchens and spend some time tinkering again: making long-simmered stews and sauces, braising, baking, and other forms of cooking that we eschew in hotter weather. Luckily, the cooler temperatures bring a whole slew of seasonal goodies to cook with, from crisp apples and juicy pears to hearty greens, sweet root vegetables, and sturdy winter squash. Make the most of what you’ll find at the markets this autumn with our comprehensive guide for buying, storing, and preparing the season’s best produce, plus plenty of recipe ideas to put it all to use.  Click here to view original web page at www.saveur.com

When making your selections, consider the many varieties of winter squash.  They tend to stay fresh longer;  a few weeks on the counter (think about creating a centerpiece on your table) and months in the refrigerator.

Here are 55 Healthy Seasonal Squash Recipes (Click here to view original web page at greatist.com )

Apples, pears, brussels sprouts, parsnips, and cauliflower are all considered ‘Superfoods’ and they are now coming into season.  Make sure you include them when menu planning.  Here are some recipes to get you started.

Quinoa Fruit Salad a Great Post-Workout Snack for Muscle Building

Quinoa (keen-wah) has been around for thousands and thousands of years, but only has become popular in the last few years.  It originated with the Incas in the mountains of Bolivia, Chile and Peru and continues to be a prominent food source in that region.

Many think that quinoa, which is gluten-free and considered easy to digest, is a grain; but it is actually a seed.  According to Women’s Health Magazine, when cooked, a 3.5 oz serving provides 120 calories and contains eight grams of protein per cup. Plus, it’s considered a complete protein, meaning it packs all nine essential amino acids your body needs to build and repair muscles; which makes it a GREAT post-workout snack.

You can eat quinoa raw or cooked for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and for in between snacks.  One of my go to recipes that I like is a ‘Quinoa Fruit Salad’ with fresh seasonal fruit. During the Summer I use fresh berries and melons and during the Fall pears and apples.  You can boost the sweetness of the fruit with a couple tablespoons of honey, agave, maple or any flavored syrup.  Try it and let me know your thoughts.

Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

Quinoa Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Dressing          serves 5

Ingredients:-

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cups sliced strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or raspberries or combo of all
  • 1 cups diced mango or papayas
  • 1 cups diced peaches
  • 5-6 Mint leaves chopped

 Preparation:

  1. Using a very fine strainer, rinse quinoa under cold water. Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil 5 minutes.
  2. Turn heat to low and simmer about 12 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Let quinoa cool to room temperature.
  3. To make the dressing, combine lime juice and honey. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, strawberries, blackberries, mango, pineapple and mint. Pour dressing over salad and mix until well combined. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note..You can use any seasonal fresh fruit that you wish. If you use frozen fruit, you must defrost it first.

 

 

Herb and Fruit Vinegars

I’m hoping that you enjoyed my previous tips on preparing herb butters and oil.  I love preparing them both. Today’s recipe is on another one of my favorites: preparing flavored vinegars.

Seasoned vinegar is especially useful for making marinades and salad dressing due to its deeply infused flavors.

Herb or fruit flavored vinegar may be made by combining in sterilized jars or bottles:

  • 1 cup fresh herbs or fruit (bruise slightly to release their oils) or 1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped herbs and
  • 2 cups of white or red wine vinegar (It’s important to find a high-quality white or red wine vinegar to start with, one with minimal levels of ethyl acetate, the compound that shows up in lesser-quality vinegars.)

Tightly cap the container and set aside to steep in a warm place for about two weeks checking daily. Strain and discard herbs. Repeat with fresh herbs/fruit for richer flavor. Decant into sterilized jars or bottles with a tight-fitting cap.

You can also add vinegar and herbs or fruit to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer and slowly cook two minutes. Strain through a coffee filter inside a strainer and store.

Typical herbs to use singly or in a combination are: basil, dill tarragon, rosemary, celery seed, cranberry, mustard seed.

Add a couple of sprigs of herbs or a few seeds to the final product for a festive-looking bottle.  Remember to keep away from direct sunlight.

Some flavors to try:

  • Apple Spice
  • Tarragon
  • Raspberry, Nectarines, Peaches or Mangoes
  • Lemon
  • Garlic Chive

Have you ever made your own flavored vinegar? What has been your favorite flavor? Any particular tips to impart?

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef specializing in healthy cooking, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

Herb or Spice Flavored Oils

One of my favorite gifts I like to make and give is  herbal or spiced infused olive oil.  It can be used for salad dressings, cooking, or as a table condiment.
It is easy to make herb and/or spice infused olive oils at home. You do though have to plan ahead to let the oil steep for 2 weeks before using.
Herbal oils may be made with any oil but lighter oils allow the flavors of the herbs to be enjoyed more fully.
  • Light oils: extra light olive, extra virgin olive, corn, safflower, sunflower, vegetable
  • Heavy oils: peanut, sesame

To make an herb oil, first sterilize any size jar or bottle (I suggest boiling in water for approximately 10 mins.) then half-fill it with whole fresh herbs. Fill jar with oil (must cover all herbs) Tightly cap and sit aside to steep in a warm place out of sunlight for about two weeks shaking daily. Strain through coffee filter and discard herbs.

Taste the product and repeat steps for richer flavor and body. Re-sterilize container.

Decant final product into a sterilized container with tight-fitting cap. Add a couple of fresh sprigs of herbs and/or a few compatible seeds to final product for a festive looking bottle

Typical herbs to use: garlic, tarragon, thyme, various peppers (hot or mild), basil, rosemary, oregano or bay leaf.

I like to use my flavored oils when grilling vegetables or seafood.

What are some of your uses.  Send me your comments.

Chef Lynn Ware is a private/personal chef specializing in healthy cooking, culinary educator, and food blogger. Chef Lynn offers: Corporate Cooking Classes, Group Cooking Parties, Private Cooking Lessons and Gourmet Catering. Contact Chef Lynn (ChefLynn@ChefLynn.com) for additional information.

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