So Simple It’s Crazy

Often times, I have clients tell me that they need new and exciting ways to cook vegetables. Roasting is one of the tastiest ways I like to make vegetables. Today, I wanted to talk about how easy it is to roast delicious veggies and potatoes!

When roasting vegetables, I set the oven to 400 degrees and then get to chopping. This blog is going to discuss potatoes, squash and zucchini. For the potatoes, I diced them up into small pieces. Placed them in an oven safe dish, topped with canola oil, ground pepper, thyme and garlic powder. About 30-40 minutes later (depending on how many potatoes you do) they are nice and soft. I recommend stirring them half way through the cooking process. If you like them to be a tad on the crispy side, leave them in a little longer till golden brown on the edges.

Roasting squash and zucchini is just as easy. These veggies were diced, placed in an oven safe dish and tossed with canola oil, ground pepper, garlic powder and oregano. I also cooked these at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. If you like them a bit more firm, try cooking them for 15-20 minutes.

Next time you are at a loss of how to cook veggies in a tasty way…hopefully you will think of my blog!

 

*The photo of the potatoes and veggies in the oven also feature my baking sweet potatoes. I did a little batch cooking today. Maybe, I will write a blog on how to bake the best sweet potatoes ever in the future…if that’s something yall are interested in.

For Nostalgic Sake

The recipe below is one of my family’s recipes. My grandmother loved to bake and she made the best ever banana bread. Is it healthy…not by any means…there is Crisco in the recipe.  In my opinion, it’s normal to occasionally have a special treat, and this is a special treat for me and my family. I love this recipe because it makes me think of my grandparents every time I make it and it tastes amazing! Both of my grandparents have passed and I miss them dearly. This blog is in memory and love of my wonderful Grandma and Grandpa Cooper. I hope you enjoy my Grandma Wilma Cooper’s banana bread recipe.

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Grandma’s Banana Bread
Servings: 30 (10 per loaf); Serving Size: 1 slice

Ingredients
3 cups white flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ cup Crisco
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons Mootopia
3 eggs
5 bananas, very ripe
1 cup pecans, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and Crisco and beat until mixture is blended.
  3. In small bowl, combine vinegar and Mootopia. Add to flour mixture.
  4. Add eggs to flour mixture and blend well.
  5. Add bananas to flour mixture and blend well.
  6. Add chopped pecans and blend well.
  7. Pour evenly into three greased loaf pans. Bake for 30 minutes and rotate bread to cook evenly. Cook for another 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Cut each loaf into 10 slices and serve hot.

Note: I often freeze bananas that are not “edible” to me and use them in the bread. If using frozen bananas, allow to thaw or microwave until slightly icy feeling. The texture of the batter seems to be thicker and cook better when the bananas are not completely thawed.

Note: I prefer to break the pecan halves into quarters rather than chop them into tiny pieces. It’s a texture thing.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 137, Total fat 7g, Saturated Fat 3g, Cholesterol 19mg, Sodium 50mg, Potassium 85mg, Total Carbohydrate 19g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 1g

 

Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Parsley

Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Parsley (Serves 4)

Ingredients
16 ounces Salmon, Wild Caught (leave skin on filet)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup fresh Parsley, chopped
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Place salmon, skin side down, onto foiled baking sheet.
  3. Top salmon with lime juice, parsley and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, using a food thermometer, bring the fish to 145 degrees for 15 seconds.

Note: I like to use a food thermometer to prevent overcooking fish.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 229, Total fat 8g, Saturated Fat 4g, Cholesterol 59mg, Sodium 100mg, Potassium 51mg, Total Carbohydrate 2g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Protein 36g

Delicious Jambalaya

Delicious Jambalaya (Serves 8)

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stocks, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 bell peppers ( I like to use green, yellow and red/orange), chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces chicken breast, skinless, cooked
1 pound venison sausage, sliced
3 cups chicken stock (I use unsalted)
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup white rice, uncooked (brown rice can be substituted, but will need to be cooked separately)
2 tablespoon cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme, dried
¼ teaspoon cayenne

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and cooked.
  2. Add precooked chicken, sausage, chicken stock, tomatoes, rice, Cajun seasoning, bay leaves, thyme and cayenne. Stir well. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir to ensure rice does not burn.
  3. Remove the bay leaves prior to serving as you should not eat these and serve.

Note:  I like to have a green salad with this meal.

Note: Using sausage will always increase the total fat and saturated fat content. If you choose to use a sausage, look at the label and try to select a sausage with the least amount of saturated fat if possible.

Variations: You can always just choose to use chicken or shrimp instead of sausage. Also, you can go meatless and ensure you select a vegetarian/vegan protein to accompany for a balanced meal.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 408, Total fat 14g, Saturated fat 11g, Cholesterol 123mg, Sodium  553mg, Potassium 372mg, Total Carbohydrate 29g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 42g

 

Fresh Broccoli, Cauliflower and Kale Soup (all from our garden!)

Fresh Broccoli, Cauliflower and Kale Soup (Serves 4)

 Ingredients
1 cup onion, chopped
2 teaspoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups broccoli, chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped
4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
2 cups cheese, grated 2%
1 pound ham, low-sodium ( I use Boarshead ham)
1/2 cup Mootopia, 2%
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Sauté onion in soup pot with 2 tsp olive oil, until lightly browned. Add garlic and thyme, cook for one minute.
  2. Add fresh broccoli, cauliflower, kale and chicken broth to pot. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Mash with potato masher until vegetables are broken up into a potato-like consistency. (Kale will not mash up as much as the broccoli and cauliflower.)
  3. Melt into mixture, grated cheese. Once cheese is melted, stir in ham and milk. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Top with fresh ground black pepper and serve.

Note: For an alternative protein, add in tofu crumbles.

Nutrition Facts: Calories 389, Total fat 12g, Saturated Fat 6g, Cholesterol 34mg, Sodium 163mg, Potassium 644mg, Total Carbohydrate 22g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Protein 37g