Archive | May 2013

Breakfast Bowl

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Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? There are often arguments about whether that common claim is true. However, there is a bit of physiology that supports it. When you wake up in the morning, the body needs fuel because glycogen stores are low. Eating the right kind of breakfast will not only give you a mental advantage, but it will give a little insurance against fatigue, extreme hunger and overeating on the wrong foods by lunch time.

While I don’t see any reason that breakfast has to be eaten at a certain time every day on a strict schedule, in my opinion, I don’t see skipping breakfast altogether to be a wise decision. I think starting the day right on a routine, with a little discipline, by making a healthy decision can set the pace for how you live most days of your life. I like to look at it like even if I make some unwise food choices later in the day, at least I made a good decision this morning. Most studies show that people who skip breakfast tend to be less healthy and more overweight. It makes sense. Most people I know that aren’t disciplined enough to eat breakfast also aren’t disciplined enough to avoid fast food for lunch.

This recipe for my morning “breakfast bowl” is really quick and easy, and it is loaded with nutrients that everyone should consume first thing in the morning. It is high in fiber and protein and low on the glycemic index, providing the mental and physical boost that we all need early in the morning. The flavor is good enough that if you are like me, you’ll wake up craving it in the mornings, and I can assure you that it will fill you up enough that by the time lunch comes around, it won’t seem all that urgent. Last, while it is called a “breakfast bowl” for a reason, don’t hesitate to go this route for lunch or before a strenuous afternoon workout. It makes for great fuel at any time of the day.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup water

1/4 small apple, diced

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon raisins

2 ounces plain almond milk

1/2 medium banana, sliced

Directions:

  1. Put the first three ingredients in a bowl and microwave for two minutes. (Or, on a stovetop: Bring them to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.)
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together well. Add a splash more water or almond milk for a thinner consistency.

Nutrition Facts:

Calories:  385 / Fat: 7g / Saturated Fat: 1g / Carbohydrates: 49g / Fiber: 16g / Protein: 20g

Flatbread with Butternut Squash, Candied Bacon, and Roasted Shallot

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Ingredients:

Flatbread:

• 2 cups warm water

• 2 tablespoons yeast

• 4 tablespoons sugar

• 5 cups flour

• 1/4 cup oil

Toppings:

• 1 cup butternut squash, diced small

• 5 pieces bacon

• 2 shallots

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 tablespoon brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon thyme

• salt and pepper to taste

• 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Note: The toppings can and should be prepared ahead of time.

Preparation:
1. For the flatbread, mix the sugar, water, yeast and 2 cups of the flour in a bowl to make a sponge. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Then mix the sponge and the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with the hook for another 10 minutes to make a soft dough. Roll the dough out flat on a floured surface, place on a oiled sheet pan and bake in a 450 degree oven until cooked all the way through and starting to brown. Once cool enough to work with, cut the bread into 2 inch squares.
2. For bacon, simply place on a tray and rub brown sugar into each slice. Bake in a 350 degree oven until crispy. Remove, cool and chop.
3. Cover shallots with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in either a small baking dish or foil. Roast at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until completely soft. Allow to cool enough to handle and thinly slice.
4. Toss the butternut squash in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper. Lay on a lightly sprayed/greased sheet pan and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned.
5. Brush the squares of flatbread with any remaining olive oil, and top with the butternut, bacon, shallot and Parmesan. Flash back in the oven to warm before serving.

 

Green Egg Omelet

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This month’s recipe is a different take on the classic omelet. Instead of sautéing the greens, you simply just blend them with the eggs to get a green consistency throughout. The texture of the omelet is slightly different, but in a good way, and the nutrients in the vegetables hold up better when cooked this way, as they are not destroyed by the direct heat of the pan. Prepare this at any time of the day to get a  healthy serving of greens along with a large amount of protein. The recipe can easily serve 2.

 

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

2 eggs with yolks

½ cup chopped kale, stems removed

½ cup spinach

1 T olive oil

½ onion diced

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 T feta or goat cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine egg whites, whole eggs, kale and spinach and blend until greens until smooth.
  2. In an omelet pan, heat oil at medium-high heat and sauté onion for 2 minutes. Add garlic and continue sautéing for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the egg and leafy green vegetable mixture.  Cook the eggs as you would with scrambled eggs until it begins to set. Flip omelet to cook through on the other side. Add cheese if desired and serve.

 

Nutrition Facts:

Calories: 372

Fat: 24g

Saturated Fat: 6g

Carbohydrates: 23g

Fiber: 4g

Protein: 32g

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon topped with Crab and Bernaise

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This recipe is meant to serve a group of at least 15. It is great for dinner parties, but it can be easily cut down to serve as few as you wish.

Filet:

  1. 1 whole beef tenderloin, trimmed of fat and connective tissue and portioned into 8oz filets.
  2. Wrap each filet tightly in 1 piece of bacon.
  3. Season each with a pinch of salt, pepper, dried thyme, and granulated garlic.
  4. Sear each one on the grill or flat top on both sides until a nice crust has formed.

Crab Mixture:
3 pounds of crab
3 eggs
2 heaping tablespoons of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
1-2 good pinches of salt
1 good pinch of pepper
1 good pinch of granulated garlic
1 cap-full of Worcestershire
1⁄4 cup of panko bread crumbs                                                                                                                                          1⁄2 red pepper finely diced if you have it around and you want to add some color (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and add more bread crumbs if the mixture looks too wet.

Bernaise:

Bernaise is just hollandaise sauce with a shallot, tarragon and white wine reduction. The reduction can be done ahead of time. Take 2 large shallots that are chopped, put in a sauce pan with 2 tablespoons of tarragon and a half cup of white wine. Then reduce until the liquid is almost all gone, about 10 minutes.

Hollandaise:
Put 12 egg yolks in in the food processor with one good pinch of salt and pepper, a good dash of Tabasco, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, half a cap of Worcestershire, and a tablespoon off white wine. Heat a pound of butter in a large glass measuring cup in the microwave for 3 minutes until it begins to boil. Immediately start the food processor or blender and add the butter through the top quickly, but in a steady stream. The hot butter cooks the egg yolks. Add the shallot/tarragon reduction and mix the processor/blender for about 30 seconds. Pour into a bowl and keep it at room temperature. Do not let it heat up and give it a good whisk before serving.

Preparation and Presentation:

  1. Put seared filets in a 400 degree oven and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven, top with a good handful (about 2 ounces) of the crab mixture. If there is leftover crab mix, either freeze it in a ziplock back or use it for crab cakes within about 3-5 days.
  2. Place back in the oven for another 7-8 minutes. Generally, about 130 degrees is considered medium rare, but as soon as you see blood beginning to run from the meat, then you know it is getting towards medium and needs to come out of the oven immediately. The crab should be lightly browned on top. Let the meat rest for a couple of minutes and then top with a spoonful of the bernaise sauce before serving.

Pork with Braised Cabbage and Apples

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Ingredients:

• 1 pork loin, trimmed of fat and portioned into 8oz chops • 3 pieces of bacon, finely chopped
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 medium head white or Napa cabbage, core removed, and julienned

• 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1/2 cup of white wine

• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

• 2-3 tablespoons sugar

• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
• salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

1. Season the pork chops liberally with salt and pepper. Sear in a pan or on the flattop in the oil on both sides until golden brown. Finish in a 400 degree oven until an internal temperature of 155 is reached.
2. Meanwhile, start cooking chopped bacon at low heat, so to slowly render the fat. After a few minutes, add the onion, garlic, and cabbage to the pan and sauté with the tablespoon of butter. As it begins to soften, add the apples and continue cooking for a couple of minutes at medium to high heat.

3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add the vinegar, sugar, and thyme. Reduce heat and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed and serve with the pork chops.

Roasted Vegetable Primavera

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Here is an easy pasta dish that can be prepared in no time. The whole wheat pasta and the summer vegetables make this a very healthy alternative to the traditional cream-based primavera.  Feel free to vary from the recipe, by adding or omitting your choice of vegetables, and by using whatever type of pasta that you may have lying around in the cupboard. This can be a strictly vegan meal, or it can be mixed with a protein such as chicken or shrimp. It serves up to 8.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1 red or yellow onion sliced
  • 2 yellow squash sliced
  • 2 zucchini sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 box of whole wheat penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes diced
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation:

After slicing the first four vegetables, toss in a bowl with olive oil, minced garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread across a baking sheet, and roast in a 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown on top. Meanwhile, cook whole wheat pasta according to box directions. After draining cooked pasta, return it to the pot and mix in the roasted vegetables, along with the Roma tomatoes, parsley, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper as needed.  Garnish with additional parsley and parmesan if desired.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Calories: 266 / Fat: 6g / Carbohydrates: 51g / Fiber: 9g / Protein: 9g