Monday, December 27, 2010

More Magnesium!

I politely declined when the grocery clerk asked me if I wanted a basket, and doing so limited what I could carry and allowed me to exit the store with a week's worth of fresh local produce for less than $10. Of course, this also caused my peppercorns to slip from my arms, and now my grinder remains on low... but I digress. My intent was to get spinach, and in the end, I was able to create a well rounded meal, high in magnesium, uber delicious, using what I had on hand at home... add spinach.

Why spinach you ask? Well, after learning that a close friend of mine had a migraine, I read up on the symptoms, causes, preventions and treatments. I was intrigued to learn that a deficiency in magnesium, can be related to the onset and/or prevention of these nasty buggers. I've also been craving spinach recently, and I've learned to listen to and then deconstruct my body's cravings. In this case, it is quite possible that my body was letting me know that I was running low on a whole list of things; iron, vita c, folate, vita a, manganese, b2, calcium, b6, potassium, as well as magnesium. Thus, I was inspired to capture this nutrition in the evening meal.

What I had on hand:

1 bunch of spinach, washed and de-stemmed
2 large cloves of garlic, cleaned and sliced
1/2 large onion, chunked
3 medium potatoes, chunked
2 TB olive oil
1 egg
4 oz piece of Black Pepper and Garlic Smoked Alaskan King Salmon
pat of butter
sprinkle of thyme, black pepper and crushed red pepper (optional)

What I did:

Toss the potatoes, garlic, onion and olive oil in roasting pan (ceramic, glass or iron) and roast on 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until soft and fragrant... stirring occasionally. Add spinach, and seasonings, cover and return to oven for 5 minutes, remove and stir, so the heat of the potatoes finishes steaming the greens. Fry egg in butter, while heating up fish in the same pan, next to one another. Spoon veggies into bowl and top with protein. *For a well rounded vegan dish, simply cube marinated tempeh, and add with the potatoes, onions and garlic.

For more information on the health benefits of spinach, click on this link:

For more information on the health benefits of magnesium and what it can do for your body, click on this link:

For a list of foods high in Magnesium, click on this link:                                                   

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seasonal Spanky Bowl

One of my MAD (Making Appetites Drool) favorite links, is this one by Epicurious.
It takes the guess work out of figuring out what's in season. The coolest thing about knowing what's in season is that you can build a meal from a limited ingredient list,  and you will know that it all tastes good together, and because it is in season, it'll be in abundance, which means it'll be on sale. This is what's called a win-win-win situation.

When you buy seasonal produce, you use a little here and a little there and after a few days, you might have random leftovers that you aren't sure what to do with, but they need to be used up so they don't spoil, sooooo... Enter: The Spanky Bowl. Now, when I hear Spanky Bowl, I immediately think about a plethora of steamed or sauteed veggies over potatoes. Don't you? These tators can be any color or variety, mashed or boiled, or roasted or baked. You may even add sauce, cheese, or cheez.

Here what I had on hand:

3 TB of olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
1 Japanese eggplant, chopped and salted with the skin on
1/8 of a large cabbage, chopped
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
1/4 of a bunch of parsley, chopped
1/8 of a head of broccoli, chopped
1 green kale leaf, foilage pulled off stem, torn in bits

1 1/2 cup of previously made mashed potatoes
(which were really just boiled yellow potatoes, mashed, with a little Earth Balance and salt)

2 cloves of garlic, pressed
2 tsp of vegan Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

What I did:

Spread potatoes on toaster oven pan, and reheat at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Then toss the first 8 ingredients in a big GIANT wok like pan
(I use mine like EVERYDAY of my life!),
and break it up, move it around, and it flip over... steaming, cooking, sauteeing...
with a spatula, until everything is bright green and just tender.
Press garlic onto veggie mixture... stir and sautee for a few minutes more.
(I enjoy my garlic less cooked, but if you prefer, you may add it sooner, or even right at the beginning. You may also add the garlic to the potatoes and have them heat up together)
Season to veggies to taste.
Then spread veggies over potatoes, in a bowl.

If you so desire, you may add feta or goat cheese at the end, but otherwise, this dish is 100% vegan.

Preparing "Seasonal Spanky Bowls" often gives me an overabundance of veggies,
ready to be utilized. Toss them in a container for the fridge
and scramble them with eggs, make a frittata or some veggie pancakes.
Stir fry them with leftover quinoa or rice and you've got lunch, too!

For additional information on the health benefits of cabbage, click on these links:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Broccoli for Breakfast

It seems as though I've been surrounded lately by an influx of peeps talking about their recent broccoli experiences. Most of these culinary discussions started with "Mmmmm..." and ended with "That was the best broccoli I've ever had!!!!" In each case, quality was highlighted and while going with organic is best if it is available, conventionally grown broccoli will do fine, if need be. Choosing bright green crowns with a tinge of purple is best, as darker florets are more nutritionally dense. Buying crowns only are usually more expensive, so I opt for those with the stalks not only to save money, but because when peeled, those stalks are highly edible and nutritious as well and are good for cubing into omelets, soups or stir frys.

So for breakfast, here's what I had:

1 egg
1 red potato
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
1 cup of broccoli

Here is what I did:

I added the butter to a heated pan.
Then I thinly sliced the potato into the pan,
flipping things around occasionally and adding some salt and pepper.
Put the pan's lid on too, to keep some of that steam in there.
Mince the garlic and toss it in there, flip things around again.
Chop or thinly slice the broccoli and once the potatoes are almost done,
add the broccoli on top of the potatoes. Put the lid on again and steam for a few minutes.
when the broccoli is bright green and potatoes brown, remove food from pan and into a bowl.
Crack egg and add to already greased hot pan. Add some salt and pepper, cover with lid and cook egg to preference. I like it over easy, with the insides just a little bit runny.
When the egg is done, flop it onto your veggies and VIOLA!
Breakfast. YUM.

For additional information about the nutritional benefits of broccoli, click on any of these links: