$ IN THE QUEST TO LOSE FAT, GAIN MUSCLE AND INCREASE STAMINA Chef Sharon Experiments With Known Methods To Draw Her Own Conclusions – includes reduced-fat and fat-free recipes with lots of motivational insights.
Tired of the same old mashed yams? Or the cubed and roasted style? Me too. Steve doesn’t like the texture. So what do I do with yams on sale? Try something new. Yam steaks! Pour the SMOKY CRANBERRY ORANGE GRAVY over, top with some pine nuts and a wonderful main dish event emerges to take over the table! I’m in. And Steve? Well, he ate the whole portion. Except for the pine nuts this dish is fat-free
Not your typical green beans almondine. Better. Easy to make. I could make a main dish out of these beans and feel like I had a complete meal. Yet they go well with other main dishes, especially holiday ones. If you’re serving a crowd, this is a perfect side dish vegetable, requiring little effort!
You don’t have to go through the entire canning process to make pickled beets. Prep, cook, place in a jar and refrigerate to use as wanted. Here we add sweet onion strips and sweet red pepper. Then as we use the beets, we add other ingredients to the pickling jar, such as matchstick carrots and/or kidney beans (washed and drained). It makes a tasty salad by itself or as a side dish!
Yes siree. Quite by accident I happened upon them at Heinen’s grocery store in Rocky River. Steve’s Hooked on Heinen’s ever since they opened their big extravaganza grocery downtown. Well, this is in the opposite direction, so often on one of our days off we’ll take a bus ride out to Rocky River and check out the grocery scene.
Steve just needed a few items for his diet, but mostly just wanted to walk the store, enjoying the ambiance looking for new items – especially new vegan items, but equally important is the produce section, where they carry a lot more variety than local or traditional stores.
While he browsed, so did I. WHAT?! DANDELION GREENS! 4$ for 2 bunches?? HUGE bunches? Is this sign right I asked Steve? He wasn’t paying attention. I checked and double checked. Sure enough. They were on sale. So fresh looking. Like they were just picked.
I wanted to try some dandelion greens, since my mother loved them and once a year when visiting her New Hampshire family, they’d pick dandelions fresh and cook them up for all to enjoy. She looked forward to that every year.
I bought a bunch at the local market – small bunches they were – at 4.00$ each, and I still had to prep them for bad leaves. Well, cooking them was impossible. I just could not get them tender. I researched cooking methods prior to starting and they all basically said the same thing. Saute in oil a few minutes. Well, these dandelions were having nothing to do with a few minutes. And everybody online raved like my mother did.
Look, these were labeled organic, but when comparing my dandelions in hand to photos on the internet, mine were a really dark green and very firm, almost waxy.
At first, I tried to fry just a few leaves in oil as a test. They almost immediately became gelatinous, and nearly disappeared in the pan, but were impossible to chew.
Finally, I made a thin mustard sauce and cooked them in that, thinking they needed some liquid to soften them up. Again. No.
I then transferred them to a saucepan and watered the sauce even more, covered and cooked them that way – at least 20 minutes. Again. No.
I threw them out. They were unchewable greens. I don’t doubt that they were dandelion greens, just not what I expected. These photos I took made them look good enough to eat, but the tender chew was not there. The simple recipe I developed for the mustard sauce I will use with some other greens, because that was excellent.
This is where I separate myself from a certain pack of online posters. If I don’t like the recipe, I don’t care how good the photos turn out, I’m not going to use it. In future, I’ll look for light green leaves and stay away from the dark green – at least as far as dandelions go.
But I’m not planning on trying them again any time soon.
Save your pickle juice! Then make this delectable runny yolky textured dressing for salads and vegetables of all types! Cold or hot. There’s only 3.5 grams of fat in the entire amount! For home or restaurant. Everybody has leftover pickle juice. This is how you use it. YES.
You don’t need all the fat that we normally like to drench our vegetables in, when served a fat-free dipping sauce with these fresh steamed cauliflower buds. I’m happy it’s Friday, ’cause I know I’ll be doing my body/mind good!
Once every week or two after going grocery shopping, I prep the fresh vegetables I’m going to be eating like snacks. This week it was brussel sprouts, broccoli (including the trimmed and sliced stems into rounds), spinach, green beans, asparagus and corn.
I just eat them plain. Nothing on them. Same thing with the corn – no margarine, oil nor salt and pepper. I’m just tasting the essence of the veggies. And I like it.
If I gain weight this week, it’s not because I ate these veggies plain.
Usually if I eat out, I’m not going to diet. However, sometimes I’ll want to go out for a couple drinks during one of those times when I’m doing low-fat. Since I always eat when I drink alcohol, then I’ll go to a restaurant/lounge where I know I can get great tasting veggies and simply order them vegan style. This usually means sautéed with oil and fresh garlic, a little lemon or wine and maybe a drizzle of balsamic glaze. And it usually means green.
Fresh steamed brussel sprouts charred in a little extra virgin olive oil. Tossed with garlic, smoked paprika, fresh grind sea salt and black pepper. Served with Ball Park Mustard mixed with a little veggie mayo! Serve as hors d’oeuvre or side dish vegetable. Low fat!
Even when cooking with oils, fresh herbs rarely flavor a sauce as much as we think they should. Dried herbs are always needed in addition to the fresh. We usually add the fresh right at the end of cooking time for best result, but even then, the flavor effect is minimal – from the fresh herbs.
Now that we’re not using oils, I’m looking for new ways to flavor sauces – especially tomato sauces. Instead of doing the ‘add at end of cooking time’ thing, I decided to marinate the tomatoes that I would be using in the sauce with the fresh herbs and let them sit in the refrigerator for a day or two or three.
I added .75 oz. each of fresh oregano and fresh basil, washed well, to a quart jar with 2, 28 oz. cans of San Marzano Tomatoes.
When first tasted after marinating, I didn’t taste anything that resembled an herb. When I heated the tomatoes and herbs in a saucepan, that’s when the flavors emerged and stayed prominent throughout the cooking of the sauce.
In the past, when making a soup and before adding the oils I would notice that the flavors after adding the oils became markedly muted. So, I’m wondering if the same would have happened with the tomato sauce had I added oil (which I didn’t). It just seemed that the herbs were especially prominent.
I’m beginning to think that the amount of flavor additives needed in an oiled sauce are greater than a non oiled sauce – or soup. The oil keeps the herbs and/or veggies from exhibiting their natural scents and flavors to their full potential.
If you like fresh herbs, try marinating them with the tomatoes before adding both to your sauce. See if you like it. I know I did. I didn’t need dried herbs with the sauce I made from these marinated tomatoes and fresh herbs. That’s a first – for me.