Shayna and I had a fun opportunity to work with the Junior League this week. Along with Cardiologist Dr. Sara Mobasseri, we presented food and nutrition info to a group of 30 interested and lively young women. We want you to eat better for your heart, too! So here are the recipes from Wednesday’s lunch.
1 Cup Coarsely Chopped Yellow Onion
¼ Cup, plus 1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
½ Tsp Red Chili Flakes
1 TB Smoked Paprika
3 Garlic Cloves, Grated
4 Large Roasted Red Peppers
1/2 Cup Crackers, crumbled
1 ½ Cup Toasted Walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 TB Lemon juice
3 TB Pomegranate Molasses
Step One Over medium heat in a small saute pan, cook the onion in the 1 TB olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric until soft. Add the garlic and cook and stir for an additional minute or until fragrant.
Step Two Combine the onion mixture with the peppers, crackers, walnuts, lemon juice and molasses in the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Drizzle in the ¼ cup of olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Hand Made Pita Chips
6 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
½ Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Curry Powder (or Garam Masala)
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Step One Preheat oven to 400F. Cut each pita in half horizontally, then into 8 triangles.
Step Two In large bowl toss the remaining ingredients together with the pita chips – Make sure all chips are well coated. Bake in oven until crisp (approximately 10 minutes). Turn pita chips at the 4 – 5 minute mark. *Watch carefully as they tend to burn.
FAST FOOD FACTS
Try Garam Masala. The meaning in Hindi is “Hot” but don’t let the definition scare you away from this flavorful spice blend. It’s typically made with cinnamon, roasted cumin, cloves and black peppers. But, you don’t have to make it – just grab a bottle from the grocery and enjoy experimenting!
Spanish Smoked Paprika
Smoked Paprika often used in Spain, is made from pimentos – the same pepper found in martini olives, or much-loved Southern pimento cheese. It is available in sweet, semi-sweet or hot varieties. Try them all, they add irresistible flavor!
Roasted Salmon on a Bed of Whole Wheat Orzo
4 Cups Whole Wheat Orzo, cooked as pkg directs
½ Cup Finely Chopped Fennel
2 TB Minced Red Onions
½ Cup Capers
½ Cup Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 TB Dijon Mustard
3 TB Chopped Dill + More for Garnish
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 LB Salmon Fillet, Grilled or Broiled
Place the orzo in a large bowl. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, fresh dill and mustard to make a dressing. Remove 1/3 of the dressing and set it aside. Gently add the fennel, onions and capers to the dressing and then fold into the bowl of orzo, mixing just enough so all pieces are coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to cool and to allow the flavors to blend.
Gently flake the salmon into small pieces and fold into the bowl. Serve on a bed of greens, garnished with grape tomatoes and drizzled with additional dressing.
Basil-Balsamic Olive Oil Vinaigrette
1 Garlic Clove
2 TB Dry Red Wine
2 TB Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
½ Cup Basil Leaves, (Packed)
1 Tsp Pomegranate Molasses or Honey
¼ – ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor or blender and process well. Drizzle in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
1 TB Dark Sesame Oil
1 TB Agave
1 TB Rice Wine Vinegar
1 TB Lemon Juice
4 TB Light Soy Sauce
1 TB Grated Ginger
2 Garlic Cloves, Grated
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
¼ Cup Crumbled Toasted Nori
4 Cups Cooked Quinoa
¼ Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds, plus more for garnish
1 Large Red Bell Pepper, Minced
1 Large Carrot, Shredded
6 Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
2 Cups Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries or Strawberries
1 Cup Dried Berries
Step One In a small bowl or jar shake or whisk together the oil, agave, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings
Step Two In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, toss with the dressing and garnish with additional sesame seeds.
NORI Nori is a sustainable sea vegetable, always in season and really tasty. Roasting tenderizes the otherwise chewy, single-cell-thick sea vegetable. When roasted, nori can easily be crumbled or broken into small pieces. Roasting gives nori a toasty, delicious odor and flavor.
To roast nori, place the desired amount of dry nori in a skillet, preheated over medium-high heat. During roasting, turn the nori after about thirty seconds and toast on the other side.. Remove each piece of nori from the skillet immediately as it becomes crisp and breaks easily. Nori can burn in an instant!
Decadent Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies
(with a Secret)
1 (15.5 OZ) Can Black Beans, Rinsed and Drained
4 OZ Unsweetened Chocolate
2 TB Unsalted Butter
2 Eggs + 4 Egg Whites
1 ¼ Cups Sugar
Pinch of Sea Salt
¼ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 TB Instant Coffee Powder
½ Tsp Cayenne
½ Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
½ Cup Chopped Toasted Almonds
Step One Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9×12″ baking pan with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Melt the chocolate and butter together and set aside.
Step Two In a food processor, combine the drained beans and all the eggs and whites. Blend until smooth.
Step Three In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the bean puree, sugar, salt, flour, coffee and cayenne. Beat until combined. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips and the nuts.
Step Four Pour the brownies into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the brownies began to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into squares.
We’re all trying to stay away from a lot of sugar these days – so 1¼ Cups sounds like a lot for a single recipe. But these brownies are so dark and rich that should cut the pan into 36+ small squares. If you do the math – that’s very little sugar for lots of flavor.
Believe or not, beans are a great substitute for fat in cookies and brownies. (You’ll believe it when you taste them.) Try using pureed beans for some or all of the fat in a treat recipe; it yields a tender and delicious result.
Capsaicin, a substance in peppers has been widely studied for its pain-reducing effects, cardiovascular benefits, and ability to help prevent ulcers and fight inflammation.