Posts Tagged ‘cranberries’

Turning a New Leaf

January 21, 2015

This year, kale has been touted as a superfood that is nutritionally superior to all others. It’s popularity has reached a fever pitch, to the point that it’s trendiness is starting to wear on us.

kale

kale

For those of your kale obsessed foodies, we have some big news.

The Center for Disease Control just released a ranking of 47 fruits and vegetables based on their nutritional value. The CDC took into consideration the amount of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamins.

I’m sorry to tell you that kale ranked 15th on the list. I know you’re devastated. But, alas, there are even healthier greens to explore. It’s ok. You might find one you like better, and you can start a new trend of your own.

watercress

watercress

Watercress took the #1 spot, with Chinese cabbage, chard, and beet greens coming in next. Spinach ranked #5 followed by chicory, leaf lettuce and parsley. Romaine lettuce is 9th and the #10 spot goes to collard greens. With leafy greens taking the top 16 spots, it seems you can’t go wrong if you go green.
Of the foods tested, 41 of the 47 were classified as “powerhouses”, which are strongly associated with reducing chronic disease.

chard

chard

Those that did not make the list are garlic, onion, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries and tangerines. While still healthy choices, they failed to meet the team’s criteria for classification as a powerhouse fruit or vegetable.

See the complete report here.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Thanksgiving Menu

November 25, 2013

We are on the home stretch of Thanksgiving planning, and after a whirlwind month of working, I finally got around to taking my own advice and made my Thanksgiving game plan. Using mostly tried and true recipes, which are contemporary twists on traditional fare, here is my menu:Many of these recipes have been posted before, so just click on the link to take you there!

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Thanksgiving Dinner 2013:

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche

Cheddar Corn Muffins with Jalapeno Butter

Arugula, Radicchio and Fennel Salad with Toasted Pecans and Cranberry Vinaigrette

Garlic and Herb Roasted Turkey with Mushroom Gravy

Bread and Vegetable Stuffing, Cooked 2 Ways

Hot Cranberry and Apple Compote ( we call it Cranberry Jones!)

Roasted Sweet Potato and Banana Puree with Pecan Crumble

Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic

Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

Chocolate Marscapone Cheesecake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Pie

For a tutorial on making the perfect pie crust, click here.

Stay tuned this week, as we countdown the days until Thanksgiving, with cooking tips and recipes for the big day.

Photo: Glasshouse Images ( that’s actually our turkey made last Thanksgiving!)

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Natural Easter Egg Dyes

March 28, 2013

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This Sunday is Easter, a sacred Christian holiday that has somehow become synonymous with bunnies, chocolate, and colored eggs. Like Christmas, the commercialized aspects of the day have turned it into Everyman’s celebration of spring.  The drugstores, grocery stores and toy stores are filled with bunnies; some stuffed, some chocolate, and some made out of a nasty colored, chemical laden marshmallow mixture. The colored eggs, when not formed from plastic and designed to hold some of the above, are made at home.

There are many ways to dye Easter eggs. Some hard-boil them; some poke a hole and blow the contents out, leaving a hollow egg to embellish. They can be painted, drawn on, covered in fabric, yarn or colorful tapes. There are decals and decorating kits, produced just for this purpose.

I prefer to create eggs that can be eaten. And I sure don’t want to eat something that has been dipped in possibly toxic dyes and vinegar.

Why not consider making naturals dyes, derived from real foods?
Here are a few ideas for creating edible dyes in beautiful hues to enhance your Easter basket:

Chick standing by broken egg, studio shot

Blue:

Boil 2 cups of chopped red cabbage in a quart of water. Add ¼ cup white vinegar. Strain before using.

Alternatively, cook blueberries in water and vinegar for a purple-blue cast.

Lavender:

Mix 1 cup of Concord grape juice with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Pinks and reds:
Simmer 2 chopped beets with ¼ cup vinegar and 3 cups water. Strain before using.

Cranberries can also be used instead, to create another red hue.

Yellow:

Mix 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of white vinegar. Bring to a boil and add 2 teaspoons of turmeric. Allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes before using.

Green:

Mix the yellow dye and the blue dye together to create a new color.

Orange:

Mix 2 tablespoons of paprika with 3 cups of water and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and allowing it to steep before using.

Alternatively, mix the red and yellow dyes together to obtain the perfect color.

Allow the dyes to cool before using. The longer the dyes are allowed to steep, the deeper the hue will be. The dye should look darker than the desired shade before using. The longer the eggs are soaked, the deeper the color. Experiment with other colorful foods to create beautiful, edible eggs.

Happy Spring!

photos: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition:

November 21, 2009

Looking for a light way to start off your Thanksgiving dinner? Here is a great salad that is tasty, festive and healthy! It’s the perfect foil for the all the heavy food to come!

Fennel, Radicchio and Arugula Salad with Dried Cranberries:

(serves about 10 people)

Toast about ½ cup of pecans until golden and set aside.

Mix 1 thinly sliced fennel bulb, 1 head of radicchio and a bunch of arugula in a salad bowl.

For the dressing, combine 1/8 cup each of red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar with ½ cup olive oil.

Add in a finely diced garlic clove, ¾ teaspoons salt, and ¼ cup of chopped, dried cranberries and whisk until well mixed, and slightly emulsified.

Add the pecans and a handful of dried cranberries to the salad greens, and toss with the dressing.

Enjoy!!

Indigo Jones salad making tips:
When cooking for a crowd, we wash and spin the salad greens and put them in a clean, white pillowcase in the refrigerator until ready to use. The cotton absorbs any excess moisture and its shape shifting ability makes it easy to store.

How much is enough?  A healthy handful of greens per person should the right amount for a pre-dinner salad.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week

November 5, 2009

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Hot Cranberry and Apple Compote/ aka: Cranberry Jones

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to start planning the menu for the big event! This is one of our favorites, discovered at my first holiday meal with my husband’s family. Trust me, this will become a family tradition at your house too. We call it Cranberry Jones, but our guests just call it delicious!!

Spray a large ovenproof dish with cooking spray.

3 cups apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

3 cups cranberries

¾ cup sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup oatmeal

¾ cup pecan pieces

¾ cup raisins

1 stick melted butter

Toss ingredients into the pan. Drizzle with melted butter.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, stirring ½ way through.

Enjoy!

This can be made in advance, baked part way, and reheated.

Photo: Glasshouse Images


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