Posts Tagged by whole foods
|January 27, 2017||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Diabetic Friendly, Healthy, Main Dishes, Vegetarian-Vegan|
There will be looks of envy from the meat-eating crowd when you serve this colorful and delicious entree of roasted bell peppers stuffed with quinoa, mushrooms, carrots, spinach, and cashews. For a beautiful presentation, choose a combination of green, red, orange and yellow bell peppers.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 7 bell peppers, 1 cored, seeded and chopped; tops removed and reserved from remaining 6 then cored and seeded
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 pound baby spinach
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches, if needed). Let spinach wilt then stir in cinnamon, cumin and cooked quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper and cashews and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until just warm.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 9×13-inch baking pan; set aside.
Divide quinoa mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan. Cover snugly with foil and bake, checking halfway through, until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout – about 1 hour.
Transfer to plates and serve.
|April 14, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Appetizers, Breakfast, Cakes, Drinks, Healthy, Pastries, Pies and Cobblers|
It’s strawberry time! A new season of bright, fragrant, ruby-red strawberries always holds my attention. I’m tempted to load up on as many as I can carry and head home with little else, except maybe some heavy cream, and hunker down for some serious enjoyment.
We love picking our own berries at a farm not to far from our house. (If you’re in the Atlanta area, I totally recommend Southern Belle Farm.) We eat all we can fresh and make amazing stuff with the rest.
But strawberry season is a long one, lasting well through June in my region. I’ve found that branching out to incorporate berries in everyday meals and treats really pays off. Creative, unexpected uses for them is one of the highlights of spring eating!
Strawberry Tips & Tricks
- The freshest berries are glossy and firm and sport sprightly, leafy caps. Avoid berries that have white or green patches near the top, a sign that they were picked before peak ripeness.
- Refrigerate strawberries for up to 2 days. Remove any that are soft, mushy or moldy so that they don’t compromise the others. Rinse berries just before using and pat them very gently dry.
- Hull strawberries by using a paring knife to cut a small cone-shaped divot out around the green stem end. Watch this video to see how easy it is.
- Strawberries freeze well, so consider buying extras when the price is right. Remove the hulls and arrange the berries in a single layer on a tray. Slip the tray into the freezer until the berries are very firm, 1 to 3 hours. Transfer them to freezer bags; they’ll keep for 6 to 8 months. We make smoothies year-round and reach for our frozen berries frequently!
- Need to boost the flavor of tired or bland strawberries? Place sliced berries in a bowl, toss with a small amount of sugar and lemon juice, and let sit at room temperature 20 minutes.
You can brighten up just about any drink by dropping a couple of hulled halved strawberries into it: seltzer, iced tea, Prosecco. But you can also make the berries the star for sensational spring beverages. Whole Foods has some great ideas! Irresistible wine-based Ricotta-Strawberry Pancakes is both refreshing and sophisticated. The Strawberry Limoncello Lemonade above is a wonderful nonalcoholic drink that looks fabulous in tall, frosty glasses. And yogurt-based Strawberry Lassi is a terrifically sweet, tangy drink that makes for a satisfying snack.
Put a big bowl of sliced berries on the breakfast table and they’ll quickly find their way on top of everything from cereal to yogurt to peanut butter toast. They’re also a favorite in smoothies; try this healthy vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Smoothie. For a leisurely morning you can’t beat Ricotta Strawberry Pancakes−they’re made with whole wheat flour as an added bonus. And for quick baking, I adore these Strawberry Cream Scones; you can serve them alone, with clotted cream, or make your own Balsamic Strawberry Jam.
I always welcome strawberries in my salads. My husband, not so much! I think tossing a few berries into a green salad is always a winner, so do it a couple nights a week during strawberry season. You can also go for an all-out flavor bonanza with terrific recipes like Watermelon and Strawberry Salad with Chile Vinaigrette or Spring Salad with Strawberries and Creamy Orange-Avocado Dressing. And finally, one of the tastiest, healthiest dressing to make is Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette: It’s fat-free, vegan and made without refined sweeteners.
How about a sweet salad? Strawberry Pretzel Salad has been a family favorite for a long time!
Whip some heavy cream with a little vanilla extract and powdered sugar to serve with strawberries and you have all you need for a fabulous dessert. But going a step further will really pay off. Traditional Shortcake is the berry comfort treat most of us grew up with, and it’s still tops for serving on almost any occasion. A new classic for me is Chocolate Strawberry Ice Cream Cake, a cake that can do birthdays, showers, Mother’s or Father’s Day, and much more. It’s especially amazing with this Chocolate Strawberry Sauce drizzled over the top!
For a sophisticated dessert you can go directly to Red Wine Strawberries and Cream, a wonderfully spiced dessert that combines star anise, orange and fromage blanc. And finally, if you see some particularly big, luscious, perfectly ripe berries around you’ll know it’s time gather some friends or family together to make Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries.
Be sure to share your favorite recipes in the Comments below – I’ll be bringing home lots of berries next weekend.
|February 1, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Main Dishes|
Who doesn’t love grilled chicken? Or stuffed chicken? Or lemon chicken? Chicken is a bit of a conundrum. Everyone wants a great chicken dinner, but it rarely tops anyone’s list of exciting ingredients. A great chicken dish should knock your socks off and leave you hoping for leftovers. I know that chicken thighs are always juicy and flavorful, but my family prefers white meat. What are the secrets to serving up fabulous chicken breasts?
The Secret to Amazing Chicken Breasts
White meat’s leanness is one of its strengths nutritionally but also one of the challenges of cooking it. Lean cuts are prone to drying out, leaving them chewy and flavorless. Luckily there are many simple remedies:
- By browning the breasts quickly on the stovetop for deep caramelized flavor, then slipping them into a hot oven to finish cooking, they’ll be delicious and juicy with little risk of overcooking or undercooking. And while the chicken finishes in the oven, you can focus on the fantastic garnishes — sautéed spinach, sweet and savory pan-seared pears and (my favorite!) tangy blue cheese. All this is in a dish that’s on the table in about 30 minutes. Masterful!
- Pound the breasts before cooking until they’re uniform in thickness. They’ll cook more quickly and evenly and be less likely to dry out. This is a great approach for grilling or breading and pan-searing.
- Make thin cutlets from very thick or large chicken breasts: Place a breast half flat on a cutting board and slice through it horizontally with a sharp knife while applying gentle downward pressure on the breast with the palm of your other hand.
- Use moist heat to keep the meat juicy. Think about steaming, poaching and quick braises or stewing. Grilling? Use a spray bottle of water to add steam while cooking.
- Finally, check your chicken throughout the cooking process. You can pierce the thickest part of the breast and check that the juices that run out are clear, not pink, or rely on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part — breast meat should register 160 degrees F.
These are some more of my favorite easy chicken recipes from Whole Foods:
Source: BlogsRelease and Whole Foods