J’s Cooking Tips

Stay away from table salt. Kosher salt’s distinct crystals deliver more even taste, in both cooking and seasoning.

Use chili pepper or paprika as a garnish by sprinkling at the edges of your serving and entrée plates to instantly dress up a meal.

Try using unsweetened condensed cow’s or goat’s milk in place of heavy cream in your recipes to reduce fat and cholesterol yet maintain a rich, creamy flavor.  A vegan substitute to try is puréed cauliflower.

For spreads and toppings for crackers and breads, use a good butter such as Plugra.  Cut down on fat by using substitutes with the cooking and baking. We recommend Smart Balance Omega with Extra Virgin Olive Oil Buttery Spread. Yes, it’s a mouthful but worth it as it is not only lower in fat and cholesterol-free, but packed full of vitamins!

Reviving an Old American Staple – Bison

Bison, also often known as “American Buffalo,” is a wonderful meat that is protein rich and more healthful than poultry (see chart below).  Once endangered, there are now over 400,000 bison in America and its meat become increasingly available to the local consumer.  More and more specialty grocers and local butchers carry it or can special-order for customers, and there are many ranches that also have online stores.

Though bison can generally be substituted for beef in most recipes, due to its low fat content, bison doesn’t marble and will cook faster much faster.  Reducing your heat will solve the problem.  

For more information and to find suppliers in your area, visit The National Bison Association.

 

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To Your Health – Cinnamon

The Ten Health Benefits of Cinnamon

  1. Studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can lower LDL cholesterol.
  2. Several studies suggest that cinnamon may have a regulatory effect on blood sugar, making it especially beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
  3. In some studies, cinnamon has shown an amazing ability to stop medication-resistant yeast infections.
  4. In a study published by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Maryland, cinnamon reduced the proliferation of leukemia and lymphoma cancer cells.
  5. It has an anti-clotting effect on the blood.
  6. In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month.
  7. When added to food, it inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
  8. One study found that smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.
  9. Researchers at Kansas State University found that cinnamon fights the E. coli bacteria in unpasteurized juices.
  10. It is a great source of manganese, fiber, iron, and calcium.

Courtesy of healthdiaries.com

How to Roast Peppers

There is nothing like roasting your own red bell peppers.  The taste is better, there are no artificial ingredients, it’s economical, and best of all, EASY!  

Step One: Rub oil on peppers and put them under the broiler until blackened, turn to get all sides.

Step Two: Put the pepper into paper bag, seal and let rest for 15 minutes.

Step Three: Once cool, take the pepper out and pull the green stem out.  The core and seeds should easily fall out and the skin will easily peel off.

And it will smell so good!

J’s Awesome Salsa

Here is a basic, nutritious and easy salsa recipe that can be used as the base for other entrées.  Use what you have in the house and add to taste.  For a really fresh taste,add finely chopped fresh cilantro.

When we use canned veggies, we try to buy organic and generally give the vegetables a light rinse to remove the excess salt.

  • 1 can petit diced tomatoes, rinsed (or fresh diced tomatos)
  • 2-3 chopped green onions, white and green parts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 or whole jalapeño (depending on how hot you like it) or pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 freshly squeezed lime juice (or to taste)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt to taste

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for one hour for best flavor.  Serve with organic tortilla chips.  We like to mix yellow corn and blue corn chips for color.  Enjoy!