Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Weekend Recipe

The holiday weekend is right around the corner and I can already smell the BBQ's heating up. I'm sure we all have a number of BBQ parties to attend, and maybe even one or two we are expected to bring a dish to share. Here is a quick and easy side dish that will bring a taste of freshness to any gathering.

Sweet and Tangy Slaw

1 small head green cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded or thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 apple, julienned (I'm really into the Pink Lady apple right now, but for a more tart taste experiment with Granny Smiths)
2 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 orange, juiced, reserve peel
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 Tablespoon yellow miso
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
salt to taste (start with a little..miso is a little salty)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, garnish (I like to use black sesame seeds for color contrast)

Add green and red cabbage, carrots, green onions, apple and cilantro to large mixing bowl and toss.
In a medium bowl whisk together orange juice, zest, miso, water, rice vinegar and salt together until well blended.
Whisk in olive oil, with a slow drizzle
Pour dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle in sesame seeds on top.Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Seafood Watch

West Coast Seafood Guide 2008
Lately people have been asking me which seafood is environmentally friendly and safe to eat. The following is a list comprised by the Monterrey Bay Aquarium to help shoppers make educated choices while shopping for their food. For readers in parts of the country other than the west coast, please visit the website listed above for regional seafood lists. Please help support fisheries and fish farms that practice sustainable fishing and buy from the green or yellow lists.

Best Choices
: These choices are abundant, well-managed and caught or farmed in environmentally friendly ways.

Abalone, Barramundi (US farmed), Catfish (US farmed), Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed), Cod: Pacific (Alaska longline)++, Crab: Dungeness, Halibut:Pacific++, Lobster: Spiny (US), Pollock(Alaska wild)++, Rockfish: Black (CA, OR), Sablefish/Black Cod (Alaska++, BC), Salmon (Alaska wild), Sardines, Scallops: Bay (farmed), Shrimp: Pink (OR), Spot Prawn (BC), Striped Bass (farmed), Sturgeon, Caviar (farmed) , Tilapia (US farmed), Trout: Rainbow (farmed), Tuna: Albacore (US++, BC troll/pole), Tuna: Skipjack (troll/pole), White Seabass

Good Alternatives:
These choices are an option, but there are concerns with how they’re caught or farmed or with the health of their habitat due to other human impacts.

Basa, Swai (farmed), Clams, Oysters** (wild), Cod: Pacific (trawled), Crab: King (Alaska), Snow, Imitation, Dogfish (BC)**, Flounders, Soles (Pacific), Lingcod**, Lobster: American/Maine, Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (US), Rockfish (Alaska, BC hook and line), Sablefish/Black Cod (CA, OR , WA), Salmon (CA, OR, WA wild), Sanddabs: Pacific, Scallops: Sea (Canada and Northeast), Shrimp (US farmed or wild), Spot Prawns (US), Squid, Sturgeon (OR< WA wild), Swordfish (US longline)**, Tuna: Bigeye, Yellowfin (troll/pole), Tuna: canned light, canned white/Albacore**

AVOID: These choices are currently caught or farmed in ways that harm other marine life or the environment.
Chilean Seabass/Toothfish**, Cod: Atlantic, Crab :King (imported), Dogfish (US)**, Grenadier/Pacific Roughy, Lobster: Spiny (Carribbean imported), Mahi mahi/Dolphinfish (imported), Monkfish, Orange Roughy**, Rockfish (trawled), Salmon (farmed, including Atlantic)**, Scallops: Sea (Mid-Atlantic), Sharks**, Shrimp (imported farmed or wild), Sturgeon**, Caviar (impoted wild), Swordfish (imported)**, Tuna: Bluefin**, Tuna: Albacore, Bigeye, Yellowfin (longline)**

** Limit consumption due to concerns about mercury or other contaminants
++ Some or all of this fishery is certified as sustainable to the Marine Stewardship Council standard

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


One of my favorite things, is to share new and unfamiliar ingredients and cooking ideas. About a year and a half ago I became familiar with a great new superfood, called quinoa. It quickly became one of my favorite things to eat. I love to add it to salads or eat on its own. I recently had the opportunity to teach an in-home cooking class for 9 women. I thought that by highlighting quinoa in one of the recipes, I could turn on even more people to this fantastic and yummy food. These delightfully adventurous ladies really seemed to enjoy this new food (to some of them) and all the nutrition highlights I shared with them that evening. I thought I would share with you.
An ancient “grain” from South America was once called “the gold of the Incas”. Considered a grain, quinoa is actually more closely related to beet, chard and spinach plants. Recent research shows that quinoa is one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Quinoa seeds come in a variety colors including orange, pink, red, purple and black, although the most common color is yellow. After it is cooked it takes on the consistency of a grain (similar to couscous) and makes a great grain replacement. It is light and fluffy with a mild nutty flavor.

Quinoa is abundant in nutritional value. Quinoa is wheat and gluten free, making it a great substitute for those with wheat allergies/sensitivities. Quinoa is considered a complete protein, meaning that it contains all 9 of the essential amino acids that are required by the body for the building blocks of muscles. It is a very good source of magnesium and manganese, copper, B2, vitamin E and dietary fiber. Magnesium helps relax muscles, blood vessels and effects blood pressure (helps with migraines too!). Manganese and copper are important antioxidants that help eliminate cancer and disease causing substances. The high fiber content aids in colon health and helps regulate blood sugar. Other health benefits achieved from eating quinoa include prevention and treatment of artherosclerosis, breast cancer, diabetes, insulin resistance, gallstones, heart disease, and childhood asthma.
The best part is that quinoa is easy to prepare! It is prepared in the same manner of rice and only takes about 15 minutes. Make sure to rinse quinoa completely and set aside to drain. Measure out twice the amount of stock or water as you have quinoa and heat to a boil in a separate pan or kettle. While your liquid is heating to a boil, dry roast your quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until you start to smell a nutty aroma. Add the heated liquid to the quinoa, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook over low heat for 15 –20 minutes. When all liquid is absorbed, fluff with a fork and serve.
Add quinoa to salads, soup, enjoy with sautéed veggies or as a replacement for your favorite breakfast grain.


Friday, May 2, 2008

Here is a quick and easy recipe for tomatillo salsa. A great accompaniment to any of your favorite Mexican dishes!
Easy Tomatillo Salsa
*Try to find organic veggies
1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 white onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup cilantro, chopped
½ lime juiced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic, and jalapenos for 12-15 minutes.
Transfer roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the pan to a food processor or blender.
Add cumin, salt, cilantro and lime juice.Pulse several times until mixture is well combined but still chunky. Spice up any meat or veggie entree or serve with baked chips.