Dressed Up – Asian Salad Dressing

This is a light, easy and flavorful salad dressing – perfect for Spring.

Photo Credit: The Creative Bite

Toss with greens of your choice and chopped cabbage, Add carrot slivers, crunchy chow mein noodles, mandarin orange slices and diced chicken (optional).

Ingredients (amount shown is for two people):

  1.    3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar.
  2.    3 tablespoons soy sauce, pref. low-sodium.
  3.    1 tablespoon ginger, freshly grated.
  4.    12 teaspoon fresh minced garlic.
  5.    2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil.
  6.    13 cup extra virgin olive or grape seed oil.
  7.    1 tablespoon sesame seeds, lightly toasted.
  8.    1 tablespoon scallion, chopped (green onions).

Assemble:

  1. Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl or food processor.
  2. If using a bowl: SLOWLY drizzle in the sesame and olive, peanut or grapeseed oil, whisking constantly so that the dressing will emulsify.
  3. If using a food processor, leave it running while you drizzle in the oil.
  4. When dressing is well combined, add sesame seeds and scallions.
  5. Serve immediately or refrigerate and use within a week.

Place ingredients in a jar and shake well. Some like to add a little sugar for added sweetness. I prefer not to although you can also add a bit of honey if you like.

ENJOY!

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A sweet recipe for both Easter and Passover

Happy Holidays!

I want to make sure you don’t Passover this recipe.  It’s a good one. Everybunny says so.  Sure; it’s got calories but we’re celebrating…always a good excuse to have a heavenly chocolate dessert.  Also, why cut corners with low-fat ingredients?  Just make it, eat it and enjoy it.  Just don’t do it again until next year. XO

Chocolate Pots de Crème

*Mexican chocolate, which is flavored with ingredients like cinnamon, almonds and vanilla, lends a distinct flavor to this recipe – which is a rich custard like delicious dessert from Food & Wine’s Stephanie Prida.  *Look for it at Mexican markets and specialty-food stores.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 6 ounces Mexican chocolate, preferably Ibarra, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, plus shavings for garnish
  • Unsweetened whipped cream, for serving

How to Make It

Step 1

In a medium saucepan, combine the whole milk with the heavy cream and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.

Step 2

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks until combined. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot milk, then transfer the mixture to the saucepan. Cook the custard over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Immediately add the finely chopped Mexican and bittersweet chocolate and remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted, then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large glass measuring cup or bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture into 6 small bowls and refrigerate until the pots de crème are chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight. Serve the pots de crème with unsweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Make Ahead

The pots de crème can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
After that you can re-start your diet…..

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive

is the name of a little local speakeasy I’ve walked by a million times but only during the day.  In the daytime from the outside you can’t tell exactly what it is unless you already know, and of course it was never open.

There is only one giveaway – a neon sign that says wine & beer.  I thought it was a discreet little hole in the wall after hours store that sells wine and beer.  In some sense that’s correct, but it’s a very cool hole in the wall.

Last night after dinner I decided to walk my dogs by there and for once and for all let go the mystery. And I’m glad I did.  Inside it’s very dark but the lighting is jazzy and there are little heart shaped keychains that light up so you can read the menu which by the way is surprisingly well curated.  Every second Friday Freddy from Broadstreet Oyster (in Los Angeles) has a pop-up with fresh shucked oysters & lobster rolls that rival the best one I had once in Kennebunkport, Maine.   Other Fridays they have live jazz.  It’s a comfy local hangout where you can easily talk to strangers.  And I can sit outside with my two.

The rest is taken from visitpalmsprings.com

Okay. Anyone who names a bar “Dead or Alive;” – and doesn’t put up any signage, so you don’t know where it is until you meet someone who’s been there – has to have a good reason, right?

It’s all for the love of wine, says Dead or Alive owner Christine Soto. As a Level 1 Sommelier, she’s on a mission to educate everyone about wine – and her choice of her wine bar name, and the lack of signage, is all part of her plan. “A name is not important. My bar is all about the experience; to give people the opportunity to make a discovery. I like to make it a surprise,” she told me, as she filled my glass with her “from the tank” house Chardonnay inside her cozy establishment.

Cheers!

FYI: I really liked the Tank House Chard from France.  And I like surprises….which only goes to mean I’ll be back!  Maybe even tonight for the lobster rolls.

Happy Weekend!

http://www.deadoralivebar.com/

 

Dips: Healthy Hummus

Hummus is an essential party pleasing dip.  You can buy it, however it’s pretty easy to make, plus it’s extremely healthy.  Hummus is rich in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. The best thing is that it tastes soooo good.

Hummus Dip with oven baked Pita Chips & cut up veggies.  Cut up pieces of bought pita bread and bake in the oven at 350F for a few minutes to crisp up into chips.

Ingredients:

16 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas, rinsed)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. cumin

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp. Tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

TIP: add a few tablespoons of water to mix (if too thick) and you prefer to avoid adding more oil.

Process:
This recipe really could not be any easier.  The key to smooth hummus is letting the food processor do all of the work. Throw the garbanzo beans, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, tahini, and rest into the food processor. Turn the food processor on for about 30 seconds and then slowly pour in the olive oil.  Add a few tbsp. of water if it looks like the hummus is too thick. The food processor really helps in creating that creamy texture we all love.

For toppings I love toasting some pine nuts in a pan.  Simmer some herbs in olive oil and pour over top.  Parsley is great too.

Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Homemade hummus usually lasts for about 7-10 days in the refrigerator.  But I can assure you it won’t last that long.

 

 

Food: Fabulous Flatbread

If you love pizza and really….who doesn’t?

d. king

This flatbread tastes similar to a thin crust pizza (my personal favorite), but with less calories, and it’s perfect for when friends drop by unexpectedly (or not) and you want to serve up something relatively easy to make in a hurry and extremely tasty.

Try to have some staples on hand always.  It will make your life much easier.

I start with a low-carb tomato-basil or Italian herb wrap or actual flatbread (available at pretty much any worthwhile grocery store).

Set the oven to 350F and put the flatbread on a tray for about five minutes on its own to crisp it up.

Then take it out and add the following (above photo shows what I had on hand at the time which thankfully ended up to be more than enough and extremely flavorful to boot).

tomato sauce and/or paste (I like the tube – it’s less messy)

Sliced tomato

Thinly sliced sweet onion

Artichoke Hearts

Kalamata Olives

Sundried Tomatoes

Grated cheese (mozzarella or parmesan)

A bit of Burrata…even better!

Drizzle with olive oil & a bit of balsamic and spices to taste.

Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  Take it out.  Cut into squares.  Serve.

Tip: Of course you can vary the toppings to suit your taste!  Spinach + Feta? If you’re a meat lover add pepperoni, etc.  You can have fun with this.  There are so many variations.

Soooo good!

 

 

 

Debbie’s Delicious Chopped Salad

This is no side salad

Photo: tastespotting

This salad is a meal of its own – both fulfilling and filling. It’s loaded with goodness to give you energy.  Here you have an extremely tasty mix of sweet, salty and savory, with a healthy dose of good fats, fibre, protein and greens.

What you need:

Along with greens of your choice (I use a combo of baby spinach, arugula + spring mix) toss the following:

Chopped cooked *chicken breast, avocado, apple (skin on), green onion, pitted medjool dates (2-3 per serving), cherry tomatoes, chickpeas (drained and rinsed), cucumber, hard boiled egg & kalamata olivesOptional: I like to crumble gorgonzola (or feta) cheese over top.  You can also add chopped crispy bacon bits.

Of course all of this is optional depending on what you enjoy.

  • I usually bake a few *chicken breasts in a little olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice + pepper.  It’s easy and perfect for adding to salads, wraps or pasta dishes.

Dressing: Add to chopped mix right in the same bowl – a squeeze of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, low sodium soy sauce (yes I did mean to say that) & drizzle a bit of balsamic.  Note: you won’t miss s+p to taste if you choose to add gorgonzola and/or bacon bits.  Sprinkling sesame seeds over top….

Voilà…lunch or dinner is served.

OR; wrap it up.  If you’re especially hungry this also works well in a wrap.  There are so many kinds to choose from now (Italian Herb, Sundried Tomato & Basil, etc.) and the calories are written right on the package.  We love options.

Enjoy!

Best in Bone Broth

I’ve had this recipe on hold since I’ve been making my own bone broth from scratch.  I add the rich broth to many recipes and also use it to mix over meat for the dogs. I think this one taken from GooP (Gwyneth Paltrow’s Lifestyle website) is worth sharing because it claims to be The Best Bone Broth on the Planet.  Now who’s going to argue with that?  

How to Make the Best Bone Broth on the Planet

Marco Canora started serving bone broth from the takeaway window at his NYC restaurant Hearth in 2014. In fact, it was so wildly popular that he built Brodo, a whole restaurant devoted to the stuff, in 2016. But that’s not where it all started for him. “I had a relationship with broth long before it was called ‘bone broth’—and long before I knew anything about its health benefits,” says the chef and entrepreneur, who also runs Zadie’s Oyster Room in the East Village. “Our signature broth at Brodo is pretty much the same broth I learned to make as a child, watching my mom in the kitchen.”

Opening Brodo, however, had a great deal to do with Canora’s own personal health journey. “After twenty years of carb-loading, smoking, drinking, and working eighty hours a week in high-stress NYC kitchen environments, I was in a deep hole of inflammation and anxiety,” he says. The results: gout, high cholesterol, weight gain, insulin resistance, and lack of energy, along with a mental and emotional toll. “I had become short-fused and lost my ability to motivate and manage a staff,” says Canora.

Bone broth was key to his path back to health. “Its nutritional benefits and healing abilities for the gut and immunity played a large role,” he says. “While there are no magic bullets, as I learned about its properties, I made an effort to drink it more often. And the better it made me feel, the more strongly I felt about sharing the amazing goodness that is bone broth with my customers.”

How to Make Bone Broth by Marco Canora

  1. Get some bones: Visit a local butcher or farmers’ market or order them online, and always save the leftover bones and whole carcasses from anything you cook.
  2. Fill a large pot (I recommend eighteen quarts, minimum) four fifths of the way with bones and cover with cold water. The water should cover the bones by two to three inches.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer for an hour or two, periodically skimming off impurities and fat.
  4. Add organic chopped vegetables, like onions, celery, carrots, and tomatoes (canned, fresh, or paste), along with aromatics, like parsley and peppercorns.
  5. Continue to simmer for twelve to eighteen hours, checking periodically to make sure that the bones are fully submerged.
  6. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer.
  7. Season with salt to taste and let cool.
  8. Transfer cooled broth to storage containers and refrigerate overnight.
  9. Skim off any solidified fat from the top and store the broth for up to five days in the fridge or six months in the freezer.

Common Mistakes

  1. Not skimming your broth frequently enough. Skimming removes impurities and fat for a clear, clean broth.
  2. Skimping on cook time (we simmer our bones for eighteen to twenty-four hours).
  3. Using beef-marrow bones for making broth. For some reason, lots of people believe this is the right bone to use, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. The marrow bone, aka femur bone, is a smooth bone with very little meat. The meat is where the umami-rich flavor comes from, so you WANT meaty bones for your broth! The marrow bone also lacks connective tissue, which is where all the collagen goodness comes from. And though marrow is nutrient-dense, it is also pure fat, so it liquefies during cooking and either emulsifies into the broth (giving it an unappealing cloudy/milky look) or, worse, floats to the top, where it’s skimmed off with other impurities. (If you want to consume marrow, I recommend you add it to the finished broth with a battery-operated frother.)

Now you’ve got bone broth. Other than drinking it, what can you do with it?

Cook with it. Good broth is a forgotten staple, something that should appear on your shopping list next to salt, butter, olive oil, milk, and eggs. A good broth makes just about anything taste more delicious, and it adds nutrition to boot. As I write this, I’m braising beef shanks to serve with risotto:

Both dishes are even more delicious with bone broth.

Terrific Turmeric Latte

Nutritious and Delicious

This Image: goodnessmebox.com

My cousin Elizabeth visited me here in Palm Springs for the first time and made the most delicious turmeric lattes with a twist.  Her secret?  Adding medjool dates.  We had them every day.

Here’s the recipe which you can tweak to your liking.

Measure out your coconut milk in cup you’re using  (for two people use two cups – duh)

Sweeten to taste with medjool dates (pitted – two per person which you can add or subtract)

Blend until the dates are well blended

After it’s blended pour it into a pot on stove.  Heat gently.

Add spices to taste: turmeric, powdered ginger, cinnamon, bit of black pepper (which helps to  absorb turmeric into your system).  Mix it all together and heat until desired warmth.  Sip away & enjoy.

DATES are an excellent Natural Sweetener.  

They are high in several nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, all of which may provide health benefits ranging from improved digestion to a reduced risk of disease.

In addition, they contain several vitamins and minerals however, they are high in calories since they are a dried fruit.

Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health.  With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake.

Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control.

Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating.

For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food.

Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content.

We were lucky to get the freshest California medjool dates at the market which made them  very easy to pit and blend.

TURMERIC and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Helpful note: we are now sipping them through copper straws to avoid yellowing our teeth.

Dried or Fresh?

The general rule of thumb for converting dried herbs or spices to fresh in a recipe is 1-to-3, so 1 teaspoon of dried spice is equal to 3 teaspoons — 1 tablespoon — of fresh. Roughly 2 inches of fresh turmeric root will yield 1 tablespoon of the freshly grated spice.

You’re welcome!

 

Food: Poke Please

First things first, it sounds like “Poh-keh”—not poki, not poke.

Photo: d. king

However you word it, the native to Hawaii food phenomenon is sweeping the country.  It’s like a sashimi salad with all the toppings.

I recently sampled a new place in Palm Springs called Haus of Poke and loved it.  Everything is behind a counter and you just let the server know what you want.  They have lots of tempting choices.  They certainly have a new customer.

Many people don’t know what Poke is exactly… so here for your information:

Photo: d. king

Fun fact: poke can be easily made at home.
Indeed, making ahi poke doesn’t require a fancy recipe: Get your hands on 500 grams of sashimi-grade tuna and cut it into bite-sized cubes. In a bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, a tablespoon of oyster sauce, a drizzle of sesame oil, a teaspoon of minced garlic, a handful of chopped green onions, and whatever other condiments you feel like. Whisk it all together and marinate the tuna cubes in it for an hour in the fridge, and voila! Fresh, delicious poke that you can serve over rice with some slices of avocado for good measure.

Sounds good to me!

Have you tried it?

 

Green Goddess Dressing (aka creamy avocado dressing)

Don’t remember the last time I bought a salad dressing.  It’s all too easy to make your own from scratch and so much tastier.  This creamy, versatile and delightful dressing is packed with vitamins and goes with almost any salad.  It’s a  healthy alternative to dairy or mayonnaise-based dressings.

Image: Simply Scratch

What you need:

  1. 1 whole large ripe avocado.
  2. 1 clove garlic, peeled.
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh lime or lemon juice.
  4. 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  5. ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  6. ¼ cup low-fat greek yogurt (optional)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  9. water, as needed

Directions:

  1. Place all the ingredients In a food processor or blender.
  2. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about 1/3 cup water (give or take) until it reaches a desired consistency.
  3. Keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

ENJOY