Thursday, May 21, 2015

Zucchini Noodles Al Dente

If you don't own a spiralizer yet, now is the time to get one... and here's your excuse: you need to make this zucchini noodles recipe from Judita's newest book, Raw and Simple Detox. Okay, so you don't actually need a spiralizer to make this recipe, but it certainly is a fun kitchen gadget to play with. And check out the results.

Zucchini Noodles Al Dente
Excerpted from Raw and Simple Detox by Judita Wignall

 
Zucchini noodles are a favorite in the raw food world. The taste is neutral, especially if you decide to peel them, and they take on the flavor of whatever sauce you dress them in. They shine best in Italian flavors. Below is my light and lovely noodle recipe that can all be tossed easily in one bowl. I also included a couple of my classic raw Italian sauces if you want something more familiar. They work great slightly warmed, too. And they're even better topped with a little Parmesan Cheese.

MAKES 2 SERVINGS
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES

To prepare the zucchini noodles, use a vegetable spiralizer (I really like the one from World Cuisine) or use a hand peeler to turn them into linguini-style ribbons.

2 zucchini, spiralized or peeled into ribbons
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
½ of a small bell pepper, diced
¼ cup (25 g) chopped Botija olives
¼ cup (35 g) raw pine nuts
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 28 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (3 g) chopped fresh basil
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Light squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.

--








Raw and Simple Detox 

Raw & Simple Detox is a guide to help you detoxify your body with simple, nourishing foods. Get your detox started with information on how to set up your kitchen, raw food techniques, and lifestyle advice. Then, use the 100 recipes included to improve your health, energy, immune system, memory, and digestion. Shopping lists, meal plans, and menus are included to help you easily plan meals and combine recipes for maximum effect. Whether you want to go on a day-long, multiple-day, or week-long cleanse, or add detoxifying meals to your regular diet, Raw & Simple Detox will help you reset your eating habits and live a healthier life!
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mediterranean Diet Mondays: Southern Italian Goat and Herb Stew/Pignata di Capra

Welcome to Mediterranean Diet Mondays on a Tuesday. I had oatmeal on the brain yesterday, so I'm sorry to anyone who has diligently been following this series.

But hang on folks because today's recipe from The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is an amazing one. No, you don't have to make it with goat. You can swap the protein for whatever you choose, but gold star if you go with goat.

Oh and... some big news coming soon -- #BeInTheKnow



Southern Italian Goat and Herb Stew/Pignata di Capra
Excerpted from The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Amy Riolo



This savory stew has been prepared in Basilicata, Calabria, Puglia, and Abruzzo since antiquity. A true testament of farm-to-table cuisine, it was generally made with male goats or mutton because their fibrous meat was too tough to be prepared other ways. This dish can be made in its original version containing only a handful of ingredients, or in a more decadent version that incorporates the freshest seasonal vegetables, aged cheese, sausage, herbs, and spices.

¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound (225 g) yellow onions, peeled and roughly chopped
½ pound (225 g) carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
1 rib celery, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2½ pounds (1 kg) goat (other meat such as beef, veal, or lamb) or cubed, from the thigh or shoulder, about 1½ inches (4 cm) each
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt or salt
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme, finely chopped
4 cups (950 ml) water or Beef Stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound (455 g) Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces
1 cup (226 g) crushed peeled tomatoes
¼ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper

Yield: 6 servings

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Add the onions, carrot, and celery, and turn to coat in oil. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute, or until it releases its aroma.

Add the goat meat (or other meat) and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until browned on all sides.

Season with salt and stir in rosemary and thyme. Add the stock and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes, tomatoes, and crushed red chile pepper. Stir, and cover. Cook for another hour, or until the meat is very tender. Taste and adjust seasonings, and remove the bay leaf before serving.

Mediterranean Tradition
In 2014, Chef Luigi Diotiauti and I presented a program and created a podcast called “The Goodness of Goat” for the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference in Chicago. We continue to promote goat through our joint efforts and consider it “the meat of the future.” Even so, it still can be a challenge to find. Call local ethnic butchers to special order, if possible. Goat meat can replace lamb or beef in many recipes. Try it grilled, roasted, or braised for a delicious and low-fat meat entrée.

--

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

More than a mix of rich history, gorgeous beaches, and warm blue waters, the countries along the Mediterranean Sea and their people have a history of living longer and healthier lives and you can too! By simply following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, even drinking wine with meals, you can prevent diseases and prolong your life.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is the only book needed to unleash the power of one of the world's healthiest diets. It integrates the latest research and clinical findings with 100 delicious, authentic, easy recipes and Mediterranean lifestyle tips while dispelling any myths and misinformation.

Using the Mediterranean Pyramid as a guide, cuisine expert Amy Riolo gets to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and explains what is eaten, when to eat it, and why. Each recipe in The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook contains a cultural tip from the Mediterranean region. Fun historical facts, legend, and lore, as well as nutritional information accompany each recipe.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook features recipes from all countries in the region to include perennial favorites, little known treasures, and recent discoveries.

Get ready to enjoy a healthy lifestyle that includes enticing, satisfying, recipes- great for family dinners and entertaining, for any and all occasions, to be appreciated by any palate.

"Amy Riolo is a true guardian of the techniques and inherent goodness of the Mediterranean life style! Her food, her philosophy is an absolute pleasure to read and consume." - Chef Jason Roberts www.chefjasonroberts.com

Monday, May 18, 2015

Banana Raspberry Oatmeal Casserole

Grab your slow cooker. Let's make a breakfast that everyone will love.

Whether you're gluten-free, dairy-free, or just love food (don't we all?) this recipe is designed with you in mind. Did you know that you can make an oatmeal casserole with your slow cooker? Well, you can... and it's mind-blowingly good. This recipe is a sneak peek from Hope's upcoming cookbook, The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker. It publishes in October, but you can preorder a copy today.

Banana Raspberry Oatmeal Casserole
Excerpted from The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker by Hope Comerford


This delicious, lightly sweetened oatmeal casserole, glittered with pieces of banana and raspberries, is a healthy way to start your day, and it requires just a few simple ingredients.

2 bananas, sliced
2 cups (160 g) old-fashioned oats
1/3 cup (60 g) turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups (475 ml) almond milk
2 tablespoons (25 g) coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint (455 g) raspberries

Spray your crock with nonstick cooking spray, and then spread the bananas evenly around the bottom of the crock.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the mixture over the bananas.

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, oil, and vanilla. Spread the raspberries evenly over the top of oat mixture, and then pour the milk mixture over the top.

Cover the crock and cook on LOW for 3½ to 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.

RECOMMENDED SLOW COOKER SIZE: 5 to 6 quart (5 to 6 L)
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings

TIPS & SUGGESTIONS
To make an adult version of this, swap out some of the milk for rum or RumChata.

Add whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top when serving for an extra special presentation.

--

The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker

Stick to your gluten-free diet while still enjoying hearty, home-cooked meals with The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker.

Busy families know how challenging it is to create delicious dinners night after night that everyone in your family will and can enjoy. If you live in a gluten-free household, you may think it's downright impossible. But with the help of a slow cooker and these easy recipes, things are about to change for the better.

The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker makes mealtime quick and easy. With a little prep the night before or morning of, you can come home to tasty meals that have spent hours cooking while you were out taking care of the rest of your life!

Busy mom and gluten-free recipe developer Hope Comerford provides you with more than 100 recipes, from Slow Cooker Frittata with Tomatoes, Avocado and Cilantro to Korean Inspired BBQ Shredded Pork, you'll find meal ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. All with minimal prep but tons of flavor!

Stick to your gluten-free diet while still enjoying hearty, home-cooked meals with The Gluten-Free Slow Cooker.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spicy Fermented Summer Salsa

I don't know about you, but I simply cannot wait to get into my kitchen and start making some salsa this weekend. I even bought an entire case of jars in varying sizes! So ready. Watch out chips. I'm coming for you.

I never thought about fermented salsa before reading this recipe from The CSA Cookbook (get this book. It's so fantastic). Now I can't imagine making salsa any other way. Fermented foods are awesome for you and when they taste this good, there's no reason to say no.

Happy fermenting and canning, folks. Let me know how your salsa turns out.

Spicy Fermented Summer Salsa
Excerpted from The CSA Cookbook by Linda Ly


Why fermented salsa? Why not normal salsa like you’ve always made? I’ve used this same recipe for nonfermented salsa and it’s fine—great, actually—but fermentation pushes it over the line to fantastic.

The same bacteria and yeasts that give sauerkraut and kimchi their distinctive flavor also give this salsa a bright and tangy note. And, those same bacteria and yeasts are what make this salsa so good for your gut. It’s an easy way to get fermented foods in your diet if you’re not keen on kraut; the salsa is lively on the taste buds without being too sour or too salty.

MAKES 4 CUPS

1½ pounds tomatoes, cut into small dice
½ red onion, cut into small dice
½ to 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (some jalapeños are hotter than others, so do a taste test before putting the whole thing in there)
½ serrano pepper, minced
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup chopped cilantro
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil for topping

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the oil). Pour the salsa into a quart jar and run a knife around the sides of the jar to release any trapped air bubbles. Add a ½-inch layer of oil on top. The oil serves two purposes: It prevents the vegetables from rising above the liquid and growing mold on the surface, and it adds a richness to the salsa once you mix it in.

Loosely seal the jar with a lid and let it stand at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for a few days. The warmer your room temperature is, the faster your salsa will ferment. You’ll begin to see bubbles in the jar as the lactic acid bacteria flourish. Taste the salsa after 3 to 4 days; if it hasn’t developed a bold, tangy flavor yet, leave it out for up to 1 week. The longer you let it ferment, the more intense the flavor will become and the longer the salsa will keep (since the bacteria is a natural preservative). Refrigerate once the salsa reaches peak flavor. The oil may congeal in the cold temperature, but it is still safe to eat. Bring the salsa to room temperature and stir in the oil before serving.

Easy Does It

Fermented salsa undergoes the same process of lacto-fermentation as sauerkraut (the lacto refers to
lactic acid, not lactose). By letting your salsa sit out for a few days, you’ll encourage all kinds of beneficial bacteria in the mix, creating a powerful probiotic that you can’t get enough of (in my house, a jar never lasts more than a couple of days!). Many fermentation recipes call for the addition of whey or starter culture to infuse the food with good bacteria, but this simple recipe requires only the existing bacteria (which is already present on the skins of all your vegetables) to get started. It may take a day or two longer to ferment, but the ease makes it worth the wait.

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The CSA Cookbook

Make the most of your CSA membership - or your garden harvest - with simple yet bold, inventive yet nourishing meals from acclaimed blogger Linda Ly.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs have connected farms to consumers and made people more in tune with where their food comes from, but still leave many stumped beyond the conventional uses for their produce. How many times has a CSA share arrived with things you've never seen before or not known what to do with?

The CSA Cookbook will help you cook your way through a CSA box (or farmers' market or backyard bounty) with 105 seasonal recipes that utilize every edible part of the plant, from leaves and flowers to stems and seeds. Think of it as a nose-to-tail approach - for vegetables!

With innovative ideas for preparing the lesser-known but no-less-delicious parts of plants, tips for using the odds and ends of vegetables, and easy preservation techniques, Linda Ly helps you get from farm to table without a fuss. Chapters include tomatoes and peppers, leafy greens, peas and beans, bulbs and stems, roots and tubers, melons and gourds, and flowers and herbs. You'll find globally-inspired, vegetable-focused recipes that turn a single plant into several meals - take squash, for instance. This year-round vegetable brings a variety of tastes and textures to the table:Squash Blossom and Roasted Poblano Tacos, Sicilian Squash Shoot Soup,Autumn Acorn Squash Stuffed with Kale, Cranberries, and Walnuts, andToasted Pumpkin Seeds. If you grow your own food at home, you might be surprised to learn you can eat the leaves from your pepper plants, or pickle the seed pods from your radishes.

The CSA Cookbook aims to inspire curiosity in the garden and creativity in the kitchen. You'll look at vegetables in a whole new way and think twice before you discard your kitchen "scraps"!

"One of my favorite sayings is, 'Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.' What appeals to me about this phrase is the idea that everything is useful. And that's why I like The CSA Cookbook so much. Many of Linda's dishes utilize the oft-discarded parts of vegetables such as tomato leaves, radish greens, and carrot tops. More than just being efficient, these recipes encourage us to explore the flavors and uses of every edible part of a plant. This book will completely change the way you look at vegetables." - P. Allen Smith, author of P. Allen Smith's Seasonal Recipes from the Garden

"The CSA Cookbook shows you how to use everything your vegetables offer, whether they come from your CSA or your garden. After all, why throw away what's edible when it can offer so much in the kitchen?" - Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

No Bake Black-Bottom Cheesecake Bars

The weather is certainly getting warmer, which means that I am way less likely to turn on my oven to bake up something delicious. That doesn't mean I can't show up to the party without something homemade, though. Don't forget the wonder of "no bake" desserts, including these heavenly black-bottom cheesecake bars from Melanie Underwood's upcoming book, Making Artisan Cheesecake

Black-Bottom Cheesecake Bars
Excerpted from Making Artisan Cheesecake by Melanie Underwood (publishing August 2015)



This recipe is based on black bottom pie, which is a chocolate crust, layers of chocolate and vanilla puddings, and whipped cream. Here, we use cream cheese as well as milk for the custard. The crust needs to be doubled here so it is thick enough to support the custard. Although these take a little more time to make, they are well worth it!

CRUST
2 batches Cookie Crust made with Oreos (recipe follows)

CHEESECAKE
3 cups (705 ml) milk, divided
1 tablespoon (8 g) granulated gelatin
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (175 g) sugar, divided
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons (24 g) cornstarch
6 ounces (170 g) cream cheese
1 tablespoon (15 ml) vanilla extract
6 ounces (170 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups (470 ml) heavy cream, cold

GARNISH
1 cup (100 g) chocolate shavings

To make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4). Follow the instructions below for the Cookie Crust, using Oreos. Place in a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Let cool completely before adding the cheesecake batter.

To make the cheesecake: In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the milk and the gelatin; set aside.

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk together the remaining 2 3/4 cups (645 ml) milk and 1/2 cup (100 g) of the sugar. Place over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, in a medium-size heatproof bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar, the eggs, and the cornstarch until completely combined. Slowly whisk half of the milk mixture into the eggs. Place the egg mixture back in the saucepan with the milk. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the cream cheese and vanilla until completely combined.

Remove 1 cup (240 ml) of the mixture and place in a small heatproof bowl; immediately add the chocolate and whisk until completely combined and the chocolate is melted; set aside.
Add the milk and gelatin mixture to the bowl of vanilla and whisk until combined; set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the whip attachment, combine the heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar and beat on speed 4 to 6 until stiff peaks form. Divide the whipped cream in half and add half to the cooled vanilla mixture. Gently fold in the whipped cream until completely combined.

Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the crust and use a small offset spatula to spread so that the mixture reaches the edges of the pan and is smooth and level on top. Pour on the vanilla mixture, and again spread it to the edges and until smooth and level. Top with the remaining whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (this will help the cheesecake set completely). Remove from the refrigerator and slice into squares to serve

Yield: One 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) cheesecake

Variation: Black Bottom Mint Cheesecake Bars
Substitute mint extract for the vanilla.

BOTTOM-ONLY COOKIE CRUST

1 3/4 cups (205 g) finely ground cookie crumbs (about 10 graham crackers or 32 vanilla wafers, chocolate wafers, or gingersnaps)
2 tablespoons (26 g) sugar
8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, melted

Ground crusts are the easiest to get into a springform pan. Place the mixture into the pan and, using your palm or the bottom of a glass, press it firmly and evenly into the bottom. If you want crust on the sides of your cheesecake, prepare the larger recipe above, press about half the mixture into the bottom of the pan, then use the sides of a glass to press the rest of the mixture onto the sides.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4).

In a medium bowl, combine the ground cookies or nuts and sugar (in this case, Oreos). Add the butter and stir with a rubber spatula to combine, making sure all the butter is absorbed and the crumbs or nuts are evenly coated.

Place the mixture in a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan. Using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, press the mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan. For a bottom-and-sides crust, use the sides of a glass to press about half of the mixture into the sides of the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until slightly firm. (The nut crust will be toasted to a golden brown and have a nutty aroma.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 minutes.

--

Making Artisan Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a classic, hugely popular dessert consisting of a mixture of soft cheese, egg, and sugar on a crust. There are many, many variations, from fruit-flavored cakes to cheesecake pops to versions with ricotta, quark, or goat cheese. And there are a variety of techniques for making a cheesecake successfully, including baking in a water bath and not baking at all, that can intimidate home cooks. Try your hand at mouthwatering recipes like:

- Maple Macadamia Cheesecake
- Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Honey & Lavender
- Coffee-Toffee Cheesecake
- Hot Chocolate Cheesecake
- Mascarpone & Raspberry Cheesecake
- Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Even savory flavors like Roasted Tomato with Parmesan Cheesecake

Making Artisan Cheesecake presents the classic and well-loved cheesecake in a new, adventurous, and modern way, and answers any questions about it that home cooks and bakers- foodies who love delicious classic desserts- might ask. In addition to sharing many variations, author Melanie Underwood teaches all the techniques behind building a range of different styles, and encourages readers to develop their own unique recipes. She also covers options for crusts, cheeses, and batters; baking techniques; how to keep the top from cracking; and the differences among various styles, including New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Italian, Brazilian, and Japanese.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Bacon and Hash brown with Poached Egg and ‘Cheese on Toast’ Sauce

As many of you know, I am a giant fan of breakfast and brunch. From crepes to pancakes to omelets, I can't get enough of it. So when I came across this recipe in the new cookbook, Fitness Gourmet, I was enamored. Here's a delicious breakfast idea that you can edit and play with to make as healthy as you choose. Get your cast iron ready, you're going to want to make this one all the time.

Bacon and Hash brown with Poached Egg and ‘Cheese on Toast’ Sauce
Excerpted from The Fitness Gourmet by Christian Coates


Who says you can't eat a great-tasting cooked breakfast that's good for you too? Here's the proof -- and once you've made this amazing 'cheese on toast' sauce, you'll be waiting to eat it every day.

Health note: Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and lycopene; research shows that both are important for bone health. If you're doing lots of high-impact activity, be sure to snack on tomatoes and benefit your bones at the same time.

Seek out orange-and tangerine-colored tomatoes as they contain a type of lycopene that's more easily absorbed than that in their red cousins.

SERVES 2

50g (1 3/4 oz) medium Cheddar
1 slice wholewheat bread, toasted
300g (10 1/2 oz) potato (we use Maris Piper), peeled
2 tsp plain (all-purpose) flour
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vegetable oil
4 slices of back (Canadian) bacon
120g (4 1/2 oz) cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 large eggs
150ml (2/3 cup) lowfat milk
40g (1 1/2 oz) spinach leaves

Note: Replace the hash brown with a grilled (broiled) flat mushroom and two spears of grilled (broiled) asparagus per portion.

Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 2½, and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Grate the cheddar onto one of the prepared baking trays and place in a preheated oven until golden brown all over (about 8 - 10 minutes). At the same time, place the slide of bread onto another baking tray, place in the oven until lightly browned all over. Remove and set aside. Then, turn up the oven temperature to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the potato (you're going to use this pan and water for the poached eggs, too, so it should be as deep as possible). Cook for 10 minutes and then lift out of the water.

Using a tea/dish towel to hold the potato, grate it into a bowl and then add the flour and salt and mix in well. Halve the mixture and press each half into a large pastry cutter to form a round patty. Transfer the patties to a hot non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat with the oil. Cook until golden brown on both sides, transfer to a prepared tray and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Trim the bacon of excess fat and cook on a baking tray until your liking. Cook the tomatoes at the same time for 8-10 minutes.

Add the vinegar to the pan of water and bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and crack the eggs into the waster. Cook for 3 minutes and then remove using a large slotted spoon.

Meanwhile, in a small pan bring the milk to the boil and then remove from the heat. Remove the cheese from the baking tray and put into a blender with half the toast, blitz and slowly pour in the milk; you might need to add more pieces of toast to achieve a sauce consistency. Add salt to taste.

Finally, wilt the spinach in a non-stick frying pan (skillet) over a medium heat and serve straightaway. We like to plate the spinach and tomatoes together then stack the hash brown, bacon and egg on top and pour over the sauce,

--

Soulmate Food Fitness Gourmet

Fitness Gourmet's straight-talking approach combined with nutritional know-how is proven with elite athletes and sportspeople, as well as celebrities. And now their system of creating tailored menus is available to everyone.

The book has two parts: the first section provides in-depth nutritional information; the second part offers a wealth of vibrant, mouthwatering recipes.

Each recipe can be done in one of three ways: for losing weight (Burn), for vitality (Balance) and for building lean muscle/training (Build). The main part of the recipe is the same for all versions, with different serving suggestions given depending on your ultimate goal.

The healthy and easy-to-make recipes have been designed so that every tasty mouthful delivers a nutrient-dense punch.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mediterranean Diet Mondays: Jerusalem–Style Chicken

May is Mediterranean Diet Month and we've been sharing some of our favorite Mediterranean recipes from Amy Riolo's new book, The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. Today's recipe hails from Israel. Golden raisins and pine nuts add the perfect texture and flavor to this roasted chicken recipe that is sure to delight your taste buds. Pair it with a nice Syrah wine.

Jerusalem–Style Chicken with Rice, Golden Raisins, and Pine Nuts/Dajaj Mashy
Excerpted from The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Amy Riolo


This succulent chicken dish hails from Israel and is accompanied by fragrant basmati rice, which although never grown locally, has been a staple in the Palestinian community for centuries.

For the Chicken:
1 whole roasting chicken (3½ pounds, or 1.6 kg), rinsed, giblets removed, and dried
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 orange, zested and halved
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

For the Rice:
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup (185 g) basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes and drained
1¾ cups (425 ml) boiling water
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon pure cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
5 cardamom pods
½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt or salt
¼ cup (35 g) pine nuts
½ cup (70 g) golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and drained

Yield: 4 servings

To make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the chicken in a roasting pan greased with olive oil, turning the chicken to coat in oil. Put the garlic cloves and half of the orange in the cavity of the chicken and squeeze the juice from the remaining half over the top and around the base of the pan.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for about 1 hour and 30 minutes (removing foil after 1 hour and basting every 20 minutes or so), or until juices run clear from the thigh of the chicken when pierced, or chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). (If blood comes out of the thigh from the piercing, the chicken is not yet cooked.)

To make the rice: After the chicken has been roasting for an hour, begin preparing the rice. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add the rice, boiling water, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom pods, and salt. Stir to combine and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and place a paper towel between the pot and the cover to absorb steam as rice cooks.

Cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid and paper towel and fluff rice with a fork. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, and add the pine nuts and raisins. Toast until they start to turn golden and the nuts begin to release their aroma, 3 to 5 minutes. Scatter over rice.

When the chicken is finished roasting, remove from the oven and cover with aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, carve, drizzle with pan juices, and serve hot with rice. Sprinkle orange zest over the top.

Mediterranean Tradition
Orange zest is a popular addition to many Middle Eastern rice pilafs. Just one teaspoon of orange peel per week is has been shown to reduce skin cancer risk by 30 percent.

--

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook

More than a mix of rich history, gorgeous beaches, and warm blue waters, the countries along the Mediterranean Sea and their people have a history of living longer and healthier lives and you can too! By simply following a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables, even drinking wine with meals, you can prevent diseases and prolong your life.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook is the only book needed to unleash the power of one of the world's healthiest diets. It integrates the latest research and clinical findings with 100 delicious, authentic, easy recipes and Mediterranean lifestyle tips while dispelling any myths and misinformation.

Using the Mediterranean Pyramid as a guide, cuisine expert Amy Riolo gets to the core of the Mediterranean lifestyle, and explains what is eaten, when to eat it, and why. Each recipe in The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook contains a cultural tip from the Mediterranean region. Fun historical facts, legend, and lore, as well as nutritional information accompany each recipe.

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook features recipes from all countries in the region to include perennial favorites, little known treasures, and recent discoveries.

Get ready to enjoy a healthy lifestyle that includes enticing, satisfying, recipes- great for family dinners and entertaining, for any and all occasions, to be appreciated by any palate.

"Amy Riolo is a true guardian of the techniques and inherent goodness of the Mediterranean life style! Her food, her philosophy is an absolute pleasure to read and consume." - Chef Jason Roberts www.chefjasonroberts.com