Friday, February 26, 2010

Pick Your Navels!

Pic source: 

No, not your belly button!  It's navel orange season in San Diego! For those of you out there who continually let your citrus drop to the ground and mold here are some ideas to share the wealth and the San Diego gold:

  1. Pick them and take them to your office
  2. Put a bag out front with a sign that says "take me" 
  3. Juice them and freeze them in ice cube trays for later 
  4. Zest them and freeze that to add flavor to your favorite muffins, cakes, breads, dressings, etc.
  5. Find recipes and use them!
I have a lime and an orange tree, so I juiced a ton of limes and froze them in my silicon muffin trays.  Once frozen, I pop them out (with ease) and store them in freezer bags.  So, what do I use mine for?  MARGARITAS!!!  ;o)  I also make a lot of marinades with lime juice.  And, this morning I made an amazing smoothie to start my day:

6 navel oranges, juiced with lots of pulp
4 spears of pineapple
1 cup blueberries

Blend and enjoy! Now I just need to get my vegetables for the day.  Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blueberry pancakes, talk of my hiatus, and a soapbox!

I am back, but I'll be honest I am finishing up my Master's of Science in Nutrition this semester thus my time seems to be focused more on that these days! I'm sure y'all understand. I'll keep trying to get my recipes up. Rest assured, I am still cooking up a storm and taking quick photos of my meals otherwise I'd starve. ;o)

So, here is a great recipe for homemade pancakes. I spruced them up a bit with some antioxidant-packed blueberries which add such a balanced flavor to real maple syrup and impart terrific color to the plate.  All the rage seems to be acai these days, but in reality getting a balance of all types of fruits and vegetables is key. You cannot sustain your health just by drinking a mere smoothie made with acai. I know this is a bit of a side track of my pancakes, but I am constantly barraged with the buzz word "acai" and all the miracle properties of this single fruit. Really? Think back in time at all the other years and products that came out that would cure all.  Practice caution, save your dollar, and eat a variety of local produce!  Now off my soapbox! ;o)  Here is a great article by a fellow RD on Acai (ahhhh--sigh--eeeee) :o). 

Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed


Heat a griddle or electric skillet to about 400*F or you can feel the heat with your hand 2" off the pan. It's essential to have a hot pan!  In a bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. In a liquid measuring pour milk and whisk in egg. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, add in butter, and stir (but you should still see lumps--quick breads work best with lumps!!!).

Add butter to the skillet. Drop 1/4 cup of batter into skillet and top with 4-7 blueberries (depending mostly on size of blueberry and your preference).  Once you see bubbles flip the pancakes and let cook until they rise a bit and look golden. Avoid flipping more than once.  Top with real maple syrup and more fresh blueberries!  Yum!!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Simple Greek Dinner

After spending my day stuck in a library doing extensive research I found myself driving home and not wishing to prepare anything and really just vegetating the night away. I thought about pizza--love it, but not in the mood. Thought about Thai food, but my favorite Thai Restaurant (Tamarind in La Mesa) was closed until 5pm, and then I remembered that the La Mesa Farmer's Market was open.  Ahhh, fresh food. I ended up picking up some Greek food, a loaf of ciabatta bread, tomatoes, flowers (treating myself for Valentine's Day), and a jar of pickled garlic (it's a California specialty item). So, instead of spending a ton of money or eating far more calories than I should I opted for a fresh delight.  Here's to a simple dinner--cheers! Now I am off to enjoy a movie and an early bed time.
So tonight, it's tabbouleh, purple grapes, tomatoes with a simple dill gremolata (lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and lemon juice), dolmas, and ciabatta bread.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Anyone Like Tacos? Try this...

Being raised in South Central Texas naturally means I have a love of Mexican food (aka Tex-Mex). We kick up the heat and use a lot of beef.  This recipe is one of my absolute favorites, especially because it uses a ton of limes and I have a lime tree. Plus, as with the majority of my recipes it takes very little time to prepare! Let me know what you think.

Tacos al Carbon
2 sirloin steaks, fat removed and cut into small cubes (~1/2")
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
6 garlic cloves, chopped

Pico de Gallo (see previous post for recipe)
corn tortillas
guacamole (mine is simple--avocado, salt, lime juice)
lettuce for salad


  • Cut your meat and prepare marinade.  Toss meat with marinade and allow to season for at least 20 minutes.
  • Prepare guacamole and pico de gallo

  • Heat a cast iron skillet (or other skillet) until it is HOT, do not add oil to the pan.
  • Drain your meat and pat in dry
  • Add meat and cook.  As liquid forms, pat the liquid up with a towel to keep from braising your meat.
  • Cook meat for ~10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, toss your lettuce with pico de gallo and add a little extra salt and olive oil to make a quick vinaigrette
  • Heat up your corn tortillas

  • Serve & enjoy!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Beef, Beer & Barley Stew

Just saying the words, "Beef, Beer, & Barley" makes me think of a Kevin Fowler song (Beer, Bait, & Ammo).  It's probably what made me break out the Shiner Bock to enjoy with it! This recipe is perfect for the wet, rainy weather we are having in San Diego tonight. You can do this on the stove top or in a Crock Pot.  I hope you get the chance to enjoy the flavors, too! PS--Don't skip the horseradish at the end, because it really finishes the flavors of the stew and make it dance (to above said song) in your mouth! ;)
Yield: 8 servings

  • 3  tablespoons  olive oil
  • 3  pound  beef stew meat
  • 2  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 1  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 onion,  coarsely chopped onion
  • 3  bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 3  tablespoons  tomato paste
  • 2  cups  (1 1/2-inch-thick) slices carrot
  • 2  cups  chopped peeled turnips (about 1 pound)
  • 1  cup  uncooked pearl barley
  • 5-7  garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 2  (8-ounce) packages mushrooms, quartered
  • 1  cup  water
  • 4  cups  low-salt beef broth
  • 3  tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  (12-ounce) bottle dark beer (such as Shiner Bock)
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • prepared horseradish
Toss stew meat with flour, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add beef to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan. Do this in batches instead of crowding the pan and cooling the oil.  
Place the cooked meat into a crock pot. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes then add garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add broth and scrape up brown bits.  Pour over meat in crock pot.
turnips (peeled and chopped, whole on the right)

Shiner Bock Beer--HECK YES!
Pearl Barley
Stir in tomato paste.  Add carrot, turnips, barley, and mushrooms to the crock pot. Add water, Worcestershire, and beer. Toss in bay leaves and thyme. Cook for 6-8 hours in a crock pot. 
Season with salt & pepper to taste. Ladle about 2 cups stew into each of 8 bowls. Top each serving with parsley and 1 horseradish. Crack open a beer and ENJOY!!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Spice Up Your Life with Antioxidants!

Did you know that one teaspoon of cinnamon has more antioxidants than half a cup of blueberries? I sure didn’t! Who knew that such a small amount of spice could pack that many antioxidants in addition to other health benefits? Adding these seasonings to the foods you eat every day cannot only spice them up, but also protect your cells from free radicals that may cause cancer!

Try these simple tips to boost your antioxidants with these seven seasonings:

·      Add one teaspoon of ground cinnamon to your oatmeal.
·      Spice up your morning coffee by sprinkling half a
teaspoon of ground cinnamon over ground coffee before

·      Add ground ginger to your hot tea, iced tea, or lemonade.
·      For something new, try lightly sprinkling ground ginger
on peaches, pears, pineapple, or cantaloupe.

·      Add ¼ teaspoon oregano leaves to your grilled cheese for some added flavor.
·      Make your frozen pizza more exciting by sprinkling oregano leaves on the pizza right out of the oven.
Red Pepper:
·      Add a kick of flavor to your hummus by stirring in ¼
teaspoon ground or crushed red pepper.
·      Sprinkle some red pepper over grilled meat, fish, or poultry.

·      Spice up those ready-to-bake rolls by brushing them with
olive oil and then sprinkling crushed rosemary leaves and
sea salt right before baking.
·      Add some to crushed rosemary leaves to mashed potatoes.

·      For something different in the morning beat 1/8 teaspoon thyme leaves into 2 eggs before scrambling.
·      Add ¼ teaspoon thyme leaves to soups.

Yellow Curry:
·      Lightly dust your hot popcorn with curry powder.
·      Add some pizzazz to your snack mix with a sprinkle of curry powder.

Getting plenty of antioxidants can be easier than you think!
Source: McCormick & Company, Inc.
             Spices For Health: 7 Super Spices

Add spices to your next meal!
Edible Nutrition's Intern, Sarah Franz