Jul 052012
 
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side

With this being my second tofu post in a row I got to thinking about all the negative press that soy gets – so I googled “is soy safe” and there is a LOT of info out there.

I looked for reputable sources and found a great article at the Mayo Clinic where many of the claims are rated according to the amount of scientific evidence available.

The claims that have the most scientific evidence are that soy tofu is high in protein and is an acceptable source and secondly that it can reduce blood levels of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein as well as triglycerides.
A while back I had also come across an article in Eating Well by Amy Patural that stated soy can cut down on hot flashes in menopausal women and can decrease the chances for prostate cancer in men by 30%.  The concerns about breast health, according to Mark Messina, Ph.D., adjunct associate professor at Loma Linda University and executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute, are also unfounded.  In fact, kids that eat one serving of edamame or tofu per day decreased their chances for breast cancer by 50% later in life – however there was no benefit for adults.

Another Eating Well article states; Researchers still don’t know whether isoflavones—the compounds in soy that act as weak estrogens in the body—spur the growth of tumors by acting like estrogen or prevent breast cancer by competing with the breast’s natural estrogen. Scientists who looked at the effect individual isoflavones from soy had on breast-cancer cells in test tubes have found both results.”

The bottom line is that one to two servings per day – such as half cup of edamame or one cup of soy milk, is good for you; however, do keep in mind that genetically modified soy is in almost all fast food (the burgers and buns) and in most processed foods. Check the labels for soy ingredients. You might be eating more than you think and it’s best to eat everything in moderation – especially if you are eating anything genetically modified.

The supporters of GMOs state that there is no evidence that GMO foods can hurt us; however, they don’t take into account the increase in food allergies over the years that have increased in direct correlation with the development of GMO crops.
My suggestion is to always choose organic in the case of ingesting soy to ensure you aren’t eating any genetically modified organisms.
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side
Cajun Fu Fingers with Roasted Summer Squash and Tomatoes and
Creamy Spiced Mustard on the Side
Vegan
Ingredients
1 Block organic extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into sticks
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup unsweet non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp Cajun Seasoning blend
3/4 cup crushed flake cereal or breadcrumb
Roasted Veggies
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 summer squash
1/2 onion
Cajun Seasoning blend
Spiced Mustard
2 Tbsp reduced fat Vegenaise
2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard such as Grey Poupon
Cajun Seasoning blend, to taste
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Mix vinegar and non-dairy milk (I used unsweet almond) in a small bowl. Dip tofu sticks in, season with Cajun seasoning and roll in cereal or breadcrumb.  Place on baking sheet prepared with cooking spray.
2. Place veggie mixture on separate tray prepared with cooking spray.  Spray tops of veggies with cooking spray; sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning.  Place both tofu tray and veggie tray into oven for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
3. Meanwhile mix spiced mustard blend in a small bowl. 
4. Serve 1/4 tofu, 1/4 veggie and 1 tbsp spiced mustard per plate.

Nutrition Facts
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 188.0
Total Fat 10.3 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 372.4 mg
Potassium 313.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Sugars 3.4 g
Protein 13.4 g

Vitamin A 2.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 9.4 %
Vitamin C 10.0 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 6.5 %
Calcium 14.9 %
Copper 11.7 %
Folate 13.3 %
Iron 27.2 %
Magnesium 25.6 %
Manganese 58.8 %
Niacin 4.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 4.6 %
Phosphorus 23.1 %
Riboflavin 5.3 %
Selenium 18.4 %
Thiamin 21.5 %
Zinc 14.2 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Jun 032012
 
Happy Sunday Quick Post.
_____________________________
Think that eating healthy takes too much time?  This recipe is perfect for anyone in a rush AND anyone that wants a really light meal.  In fact, I took this photo on my phone at work since I hadn’t planned on blogging this.  After the previous day of big meals at both lunch and dinner I wanted something super light. 
 Adding broth and added veggies adds lots of volume for minimal calories, helping to both fill you up and loose weight.
Try this if you have frozen zucchini, squash and beans, a can of soup and some broth.
Super Fast Zucchini and Squash Soup

Zucchini and Squash Soup

Serves 2
Vegan
Ingredients
1 can vegetable barley soup, such as Amy’s
Directions
1. Divide the soup between two bowls; add 1/2 cup broth and 1/2 cup frozen zucchini and squash to each bowl.  Heat to desired temp.
Nutrition Facts

2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 79.0
Total Fat 1.1 g
Saturated Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 581.1 mg
Potassium 148.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14.9 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Sugars 6.2 g
Protein 2.7 g

Vitamin A 52.3 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.2 %
Vitamin C 36.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 0.3 %
Calcium 4.8 %
Copper 1.4 %
Folate 4.1 %
Iron 7.1 %
Magnesium 2.4 %
Manganese 4.9 %
Niacin 1.4 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.9 %
Phosphorus 2.1 %
Riboflavin 4.7 %
Selenium 0.2 %
Thiamin 1.8 %
Zinc 1.1 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

May 242012
 

Got tons of veggies from your garden or the farm?  Freeze them for soups, baking and stews later!

**Freezing will change the texture so it’s best to eat them fresh if you want a firm veggie.

Step 1
Preheat a big pot with a steamer basket.

Step 2
Wash and dry your produce well.

Step 3
Chop it into bite size pieces.

Step 4
Steam the produce for three minutes and then pour it into an ice water bath to stop the cooking then DRY well.

Step 5
Freeze the produce on trays lined with parchment paper.  This will make it so they don’t freeze into a giant block if you only need to cook with a small amount.

Step 6
Remove veggie from freezer and place into FREEZER SAFE zip top bags labeled with the date and what type of veggie it is.

Try to use your veggies within a month so they don’t get freezer burn.  A little extra time won’t kill them though so don’t stress.

May 022012
 
Welcome back to Wine Down Wednesday where I review a vegan dish paired with two different wines.

To pair wines with a meatless dish we must look at the spices and main flavors of the recipe – In this case, the Vinadloo spices – a mixture of coriander, garlic, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, mustard, black pepper and cloves.

 

Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay
I chose this dish because pattypan squash and fresh, sweet corn are just coming into season in North Florida.  I was amazed at how the chowder actually tasted like a cream based chowder – and growing up in New England, I know my chowder.  This dish would be great with a wide variety of spices – keep it simple with some salt and pepper, try herbs such as thyme and rosemary, or, if you like Indian flavors, you’ll love this Vindaloo version.

 

Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder
The Wines chosen to pair are:
Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay.

Broadbent Malbec, (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Malbec grapes for this wine are grown in the desert-like conditions of Argentina and are irrigated with mountain spring water that flows through a series of canals that date back to the Pre-Columbian Incan Empire. Broadbent’s description is, ” This Malbec is fresh with delicious fruit character, spicy plum notes and a silky and seductive finish.”

Tierra De Antes Chardonnay, 2010 (Mendoza, Argentina)
The Tierra De Antes vineyards are planted in Barrancas, Maipú & Mendoza in Argentina. There is a portion of the Chardonnay that spends 8 months in oak. The emphasis of this wine is the fresh, tropical fruit character that Chardonnay can achieve in a moderate to warm climate as found in and around the Mendoza region in Argentina. An article in the Washington Post lists this wine as an excellent palate cleanser or “party white”
The rating info:
Categories

Category #1 – How well my dish turned out.
Category #2 – How well I like the wine.
Category #3 – Pairing notes – How well this wine pairs with the dish.

Rating Scale

Bleck -This wine is pretty bad.
Ho Hum- I could drink it if I was at a football game and there was nothing else in the cooler.
Nice -Good table wine. I would keep this in the wine cooler if it was a good value.
Yum – This is good, I would pay a fair bit more and have it for a special occasion.
Damn that’s Good – Self explanatory.
** We will use the same terminology for how the dish turned out and how well it paired.

Category #1 – The Dish

Rating of YUM – This soup is super fresh and creamy – though there is no sugar in this dish, the coconut milk and corn give it a mild sweetness and the Vindaloo is a bit spicy from Cayenne.  This is perfect for spring or the start of summer.

Category #2 – The Wines

Broadbent Malbec – Rating of YUM

Juicy! Buttery! Raisin and stone-fruit flavors.  Delicious with the perfect body and sweetness – the down the middle of the road - not too heavy and not too sweet – I would definitely buy this one again.

Tierra De Antes Chardonnay – Rating of Ho Hum

This wine was to mild and light it didn’t appeal to me.  The body was too thin for me and, though I tasted tropical flavors, it didn’t win me over.  In the context of the aforementioned article that listed this wine as a great ”palate cleanser” or “party wine” this would work well.

 

Broadbent Malbec and Tierra De Antes Chardonnay

Category #3 – The Pairing

Broadbent Malbec – Rating of Damn That’s Good

Though I’m not as much of a fan of red wines any more, the Malbec definitely won out – the buttery texture was really nice with the creamy soup.  It balanced the dish out beautifully.
Tierra De Antes Chardonnay – Rating of Nice
The wine with the dish was a bit better.  It enriched the sweet corn flavor in the chowder and was nice and cool with the warm spicy soup.
Where to buy
All the wines will be for sale locally at the Grotto in San Marco. You can contact Mitch Woodlief, grottomitch@aol.com with questions and pricing (please call prior to heading over to ensure they are in stock) and anyone outside the Greater Jacksonville area can contact E-MAIL: info@broadbent.com PHONE: US +1 415-931-1725.

 

Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder

Sweet Corn and Pattypan Squash Chowder

Serves 6
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe
Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 Tbsp Vindaloo seasoning (or curry powder)
2 cups yellow squash, I used summer squash and pattypan squash (I used KYV Farm)
1 about 3 to 4 fresh ears, kernels removed, or one 10-oz bag frozen sweet corn
1 14-oz can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
with Green Chiles, drained (I used Muir Glen Organic)
3 cups salt free vegetable broth, ( Iused Vivian’s Vivacious Vegetable Broth)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 14-oz can light coconut milk

Optional Toppings
Fresh Cilantro or Culantro

Directions



1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a stockpot over medium high heat.  Add onion and sautee about 7 minutes or until soft.  Add Vindaloo seasoning, squash and corn; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper (if needed), bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, about 10 to 15 minutes or until squash is soft; stir in nutritional yeast and cook an additional minute. Remove from heat and stir in coconut milk.

Nutrition Facts
6 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 134.9
Total Fat 3.9 g
Saturated Fat 1.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 103.7 mg
Potassium 479.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate 20.7 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 8.1 g

Vitamin A 7.1 %
Vitamin B-12 88.7 %
Vitamin B-6 329.4 %
Vitamin C 30.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.7 %
Calcium 2.5 %
Copper 6.7 %
Folate 48.3 %
Iron 7.5 %
Magnesium 9.2 %
Manganese 11.6 %
Niacin 191.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 8.8 %
Phosphorus 17.5 %
Riboflavin 382.5 %
Selenium 22.1 %
Thiamin 431.6 %
Zinc 17.2 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Nov 212010
 
Just last week I got summer squash and zucchini.  I had to laugh because according to most recipes, posts, articles etc. this stuff is not in season.  Here in Florida this is what is ripe right now!
 
I decided to just give in and enjoy it.
 
 
 
To make it a meal I threw some crab in and it came out great.
 
Now my round two recipe (below) was a complete fail.  I simply put some of the leftover in a high fiber wrap and I was not a huge fan.
 
Hey, we can’t win ‘em all right?
 
my-not-very-tasty round two idea.
 
Aaaanyway, I highly suggest the casserole.  Chris and I both went back in for a second taste.
 
The very tasty round one version.
Seafood Squash Casserole
Serves 6

Ingredients

2 lb summer squash and zucchini, sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup reduced fat plain non fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
Pepper and garlic powder, to taste
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 tbsp chives, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 cup (80z) lump crab meat

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Put all the zucchini in a microwaveable bowl, add a tbsp or two of water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave until tender (about 5 minutes or so)

2. Melt 2 tbsp butter, yogurt, cheese, salt and paprika over low heat in a small saucepan; whisking until smooth. A tbsp at a time, whisk the cheese sauce into the eggs so that they become tempered and don’t cook upon contact.

3. Layer half the squash mixture, pepper and garlic powder and half the crab in a 9×13 casserole dish; repeat with remaining. Cover with cheese sauce.


3. Mix the topping ingredients (the chives, 2 tbsp melted butter, bread crumbs, and parmesan). Spread evenly over the squash. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Apr 192010
 

My new thing on Sunday (starting as of last week) is to make a different big salad for lunches instead of soup as the weather is warming up a bit.  This was my first try and it is perfect for a snack or a light meal with the addition of a protein. 

Best Veggie Pasta Salad
(Altered from Weight Watcher’s Pot Luck Pasta Salad)
About 12 servings
Generous one cup serving
3 WW pts per serving
Printable Recipe

Salad

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pasta (about 4 ounces)
2 small zucchini, diced
2 small yellow squash, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 green bell pepper. seeded and diced
1/4 purple onion, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup of fresh or frozen (thawed) green peas
1 cup broccoli


Dressing


1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 packets Truvia (or sweetener of choice)
1 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano

Directions

1. In a large bowl mix the salad ingredients.

2. In a small bowl whisk the dressing.

3. Pour the dressing over the salad mixture and toss to coat. 

***To make this into a meal add some grilled tempeh or grilled chicken