Tuesday, May 8, 2012
1 lb whole wheat pasta
1 pint mushrooms
A large handful of fresh spinach
3 cloves of garlic
1 Vegetable bullion cube
12 green olives
Cook the pasta per the package directions. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process the heck it of it. Once the mixture is the consistency of pesto add the mixture to a pan heated to medium heat. Heat through, add to the cooked pasta and toss until the pasta is well coated.
Monday, February 20, 2012
I have heard people say that a plant-based diet is too expensive, inaccessible, or too cumbersome. I disagree. This hummus costs less than $7 to make and it will feed two people for quite a while or give 4 people a full meal. All ingredients for this hummus were found in my local, small-town grocery store. Also, if you have a blender or food processor, any hummus is easy and quick to make.
Marcus' Green Cilantro Hummus
2 cans chickpeas (1 can drained the other with liquid)
2 green onions
Handful of fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 lemon juiced
1 T ground cumin
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until the consistency you want is achieved. If the hummus is dry, add more lemon juice or a little water. Serve with whole grain toasted pita bread; use as a sandwich spread, as a condiment for brown rice, or as a dip for raw vegetables. This hummus is full of flavor!
Sunday, February 12, 2012
The catalysts for this movement include a handful of doctors and our local hospital, who are following one of the hospital's missions to prevent disease in our area. They have been spurred on by the research of Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., who has found that eating a plant-based diet can reverse heart disease.
My personal involvement in this is for a number of reasons. The first, and most important to me, is that I am getting older and need to take better care of myself for my family. I have been moving in the plant-based diet direction for about a year now. My wife introduced me to the writings of Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Campbell, author of The China Study. Also, the documentary "Forks Over Knives" (available on Netflix instant play) pushed me along this path to plant-based nutrition.
Don't get me wrong. I love (loved) to eat meat, eggs, milk, cheese and seafood. I like all of it, but I knew that I was eating too much of it. Weight gain, rising cholesterol, acid reflux, my dad's prostate cancer and heart problems pushed me to re-evaluate what I was putting into my body. With the growing library of nutritional information in my head along with other external factors I decided to make a change. As a matter of fact, it was irrational, in my mind, to continue on the path that I was taking.
Needless to say, living in an area with lots of cattle, steakhouses, and burger joints, the Esselstyn program may be slow to catch on. Hopefully with the healthy and delicious recipes I will share here, all of us southern Oklahoma carnivores can at least try this plant-based eating and lifestyle change that will lower our cholesterol levels, reverse heart disease, and lower cancer risks. (Please know that all recipes previously posted in this blog were written before I made this change.)
Black Bean Burgers (Vegetarian and Vegan Burgers)
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 can of diced tomatoes with chiles drained (Rotel)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic peeled
2 green onions with tops chopped
1 cup of carrots chopped
1 cup brown rice (cooked)
1 cup quick oats
Salt, soy sauce or Bragg's Aminos to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the green onions, cilantro, carrots, and garlic cloves in a blender or food processor and process until pieces are finely minced to the size of lentils or smaller. Once a fine mince is achieved, add the rinsed beans and tomatoes with chiles until a paste (which is really more like a hummus) is formed.
Pour the paste into a bowl and add one cup of brown rice and 1 cup of quick oats and stir. (I like the brown rice because in makes the veggie burgers a little more moist.) Taste your mixture and add seasoning as needed. Form the mixture into patties and place on a lined baking sheet. This mixture should yield about 8 patties.
Place into the oven and cook for 12 minutes and then finish under the boiler of 2-3 minutes. All you want to do is brown the patties a little.
Assemble your burgers on whole wheat hamburger buns. Use a turner to pick up the patties from the baking pan and place a patty on the bun. I substitute mashed avocados for mayo as my spread, and loaded the sandwich with dill pickles, mustard, greens, tomatoes and onions. This "hamburger" is very satisfying and super-healthy. With recipes like these, some meat-eaters might be convinced to give this diet a chance!
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
To roast garlic: Do not peel the head of garlic; instead, leave the entire head together, but cut off the top. Drizzle with olive oil and put in a garlic baker or custard cup covered with foil. Bake at 225 degrees for an hour or until soft. Let cool and squeeze the pulp out of each clove.
Rinse beans in strainer and place in a food processor. Process a few pulses. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Adjust seasonings if needed. A nice presentation is to serve the hummus in a flat bowl, sprinkled with paprika and drizzled with olive oil. Some assorted olives are a nice addition to the plate.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
“Enchiladas de Doris” Cheese Enchiladas
(These are the enchiladas John grew up eating)
12 corn tortillas
1 cup canola oil + ½ cup
1 cup flour
1Tbsp Chili Powder = 1 tsp. Gebhardt’s Chili Powder
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp or less, curry powder (if you can easily taste the curry powder in the sauce, you put too much)
1 Tbsp salt
10-12 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1/2 Lb. medium cheddar cheese, grated
¼ Lb. Queso Fresca, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Heat 1 cup canola oil in a 3-4 quart sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add flour & stir to make a blond roux. Cook for a couple of minutes to remove “raw” flour taste. Do not brown. Add minced onion and garlic, stir; add chili powder, curry, cumin, and, stir to blend; cook for 1-2 minutes. Do not burn spices.
Add chicken broth, stirring with a whisk to eliminate lumps. Add one half of salt. Stir & cook on low simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for seasoning & add more salt if needed. Cover, remove from heat. Let cool.
Ladle some sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, lasagna pan, casserole, etc. Dish must be large enough to hold 12 enchiladas without crowding.
In an 8 or 9 inch skillet, heat 1/2 cup canola oil. The oil should be hot enough to sear tortillas. Test temp by dipping an edge of tortilla in oil. It should bubble & sizzle.
Dip a tortilla in the oil on both sides just for a couple of seconds. You are trying to “seal” & soften the tortilla. You can use a wood spatula for this. I use my fingers, very carefully dipping the tortilla, ALMOST, all the way in the oil.
SAFETY NOTE: There is a very fine balance between temperature of the oil, just hot enough, but not too hot, and the length of time you dip, and the distance from the hot oil to your fingers. This technique was handed down to me from my mother. For safety reasons, I don’t recommend you try it, but it is interesting to watch.
Let the tortilla drain over the hot oil. You can blot on clean towel or paper towel if you like. I don’t blot. Immediately dip the tortilla into the sauce mixture on both sides. Here again, I use my fingers, but a wood spatula will work fine.
Place the tortilla on a work surface. Place a small amount of cheese and a few pieces of onion on the tortilla. Roll neatly and tightly and place in baking dish. Leave a little room between each enchilada.
Continue until all enchiladas are in baking dish. Cover with sauce. Sprinkle onion & cheddar cheese on top, sprinkle crumbled queso fresco on top. Cover with foil & bake for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the foil & bake for 5-10 minutes more until sauce mixture bubbles, then remove from oven, cover with foil & allow to “rest” for 5-10 minutes.
Serve with your favorite sides of rice & beans, plenty of cold beverages. We always top our enchiladas with “Chile Macho”. This is a fresh salsa recipe handed down in my family. My father puts it on EVERYTHING. He is 98 and we all believe he has lived to this age by eating tons of this. Recipe is below.
(The only condiment John's dad carries with him at all times!)
12 Ripe Jalapenos
12 cloves garlic
Dash of salt
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
A scant few drops of vinegar
When you select your jalapenos at the market, look for ones with a smooth skin, a nice dark green color, and “little light colored lines” running perpendicular the length of the pepper. The lines are an indication of ripeness.
Remove stems from jalapenos and coarsely chop. Smash garlic with blade of knife and remove peel. Place jalapenos and garlic in food processor. Pulse, over & over to chop mixture completely and evenly. DO NOT CONTINUOUSLY PROCESS AS YOU WILL END UP WITH MUSH! Before food processors, my mother used to put ingredients in a sausage grinder and it came out great.
Add lemon juice, salt, & vinegar. Mix well and allow to set up for at least a couple of hours. If it looks too dry add a little bit of water. Keeps in the fridge for a week.
(Note to non-Texans: OK, this can be very hot. There are those folks who add a tomatillo or two or even a tomato or two. Removing the seeds and stems from the peppers takes away the heat. I don’t recommend it but there are those that do that.)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Cup long grain white rice
2 Cups chicken broth
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup onion, minced
1 tsp Gebhardt’s chili powder
½ tsp cumin
Dash curry powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp Mexican oregano
Add oil to a saute pan or covered casserole pan, add rice & cook, stirring until lightly toasted, add onion and garlic, cook, stirring another 1-2 minutes. Do not burn garlic. Add salt and spices, stir to blend & cook for 1 minute. Add broth, stir. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer. Taste broth to test seasoning. Add salt if needed. Cook for 20 minutes. Let rest 10-20 minutes. Serve.
Roasted Salsa Rojo
1 onion, peeled & cut in half
4 large jalapenos
4-6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
8-20 hot dried red chiles like chile Japon
1-1/2 cups water, hot, not boiling
Dash of vinegar
Juice of I lemon
½ tsp. Mexican Oregano, crumbled
1 tsp. salt
1-2 cans (15 Oz.) of tomatoes (roasted if you can find them)
Place jalapenos, onion, garlic, and red chilies in fry pan. Toast a few minutes then remove red chilies to hot water in a small saucepan to reconstitute. Continue toasting until all vegetables are charred a bit. You may need to remove garlic first to prevent from burning. Peel garlic. Chop all other vegetables rough chop. Place in food processor.
(When red chilies are reconstituted, about 20 minutes, drain and add to food processor. Reserve water as you may wish to thin salsa with it.)
Add salt and Oregano. Pulse until mixture is processed evenly. Do not puree.
Add tomatoes, pulse to process evenly.
Add lemon & vinegar, pulse to blend.
Taste & add salt if needed.
4 Haas avocados, halved peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, pressed with a garlic press
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
1/3 cup onion, diced
1/3 cup diced tomato
2 green onions, thinly chopped
Cilantro leaves for garnish
Place avocados in a mixing bowl. Using a small knife, chop the avocados into roughly ½ inch chunks. Add garlic, lemon juice, and ¼ tsp salt.
Using a kitchen fork, blend the ingredients, mashing a bit, in the process. You do not want a puree or paste; you want this to be chunky.
Garnish if you like. You can mix any of the optional ingredients, if desired, when mashing.
Monday, July 26, 2010
5 boneless and skinless chicken breasts
2 stalks of celery
1/4 medium onion
1/2 cup pecans
1 T Garlic Powder
Salt and pepper
1-2 Cup Mayonnaise
Poach chicken in simmering chicken broth until done (about 15 minutes) Once chicken is done place in a food processor and mince it. Use the pulse button to get the chicken to the desired texture. Remove to a large bowl.
Mince pecans, celery and onion in the same manner and pour into the bowl. Add the mayonnaise, salt and pepper and stir. If salad is too dry add a little of the cooking broth or more mayonnaise. Taste and add seasoning to your liking. Refrigerate immediately.
Monday, July 19, 2010
1 lb sharp white cheddar cheese grated
1/2 lb. jack cheese grated
2 roasted red bell peppers
1 t. freshly ground pepper
3 T. chopped green onion or minced white onion
1/2 to 1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise or homemade mayonnaise
3 dashes of hot sauce
1 t. garlic oil or granulated garlic
1 t. paprika
Preheat broiler on high and insert the peppers to roast. Keep an eye on them and roast them on all sides. Remove and wrap loosely in a towel or place in a zip-lock bag. Once cooled, remove the outer thin skin of the peppers.
I use a gas burner to roast the peppers. If you go this route, place the peppers directly over the flame on the burner grate. Allow them to blacken on all sides and remove them. Wrap loosely in a towel or place in a zip-lock bag and allow to cool. Remove charred skin, core and seed and place in a food processor. Use the pulse function of your food processor and process until you get the desired texture you want.
Whisk mayonnaise, peppers and cream cheese together to loosen the cream cheese. Grate cheeses in a food processor using the grating blades. Place cheeses, onions, hot sauce, paprika and garlic powder into the bowl with your pimento, cream cheese and mayo and fold until combined.
Serve immediately as an appetizer with toast points or toasted pita bread. Of course, you can make a sandwich with it, too! If you refrigerate it the mixture will stiffen. Bring back to room temperature and it will relax.