Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon

Sugar Snap Peas with TarragonFresh tarragon has an intense flavor over dried tarragon. When the herb is dried the oils dissipate.

You can store tarragon from 3 to 5 months in the freezer, doing so retains the most flavor of fresh tarragon during sprig of tarragonstorage. There is no need to defrost the herb before using it. Dried tarragon should be kept in a sealed container in a cool, dark place and used within 1 year.

Heat greatly intensifies the flavor of tarragon.

Though is may not look like it, tarragon is a species of perennial herb in the sunflower family.

There are variations of the herb and they include “French tarragon“, which is best used for culinary purposes, “Russian tarragon”, typically better than wild tarragon but not as good as the French tarragon, and “wild tarragon”.

Flavor

If you are wondering what the flavor of tarragon is, we would describe it as slightly peppery and it has a taste that’s somewhat similar to fennel, anise or licorice.

Health Benefits

Tarragon has great health benefits. It contains trace amounts of minerals including iron, potassium, and small amounts of calcium. It also contains vitamin-A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes. This is herb is one of the recommendations to reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

Our featured recipe also includes:

Cilantro: contains trace minerals and vitamin-A

Shallots: Part of the allium family, which includes onions, garlic and scallions. Shallots also help to ward off cancer. They also contain 34 micrograms of folate, which is good for brain and nerve function.

Sugar Snap Peas:  They are a good source of vitamin-C, a nutrient that protects DNA structures from damage and improves the immune system. The sugar snaps also contain folate, which helps to improve heart health. Low levels of folate can raise levels of homocysteine, which increases the risk of heart disease.

Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. If you are taking the B-vitamin as a supplement, it is recommended to take the natural form, folate. As noted folic acid is a synthetic oxidized form, and is not found in fresh natural foods as is folate. Because it is synthetic, is not bio-available to the body, as is folate.

Now for our featured recipe – Sugar Snap Peas with Tarragon – and here is what you will need.

1 pound sugar snap peas

1 shallot, diced

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 to 1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

1/2 teaspoon cilantro, chopped

Himalayan salt and pepper to taste (optional)

cooking sugar snap peasIn a large sauce pot, bring water to a rapid boil, and add snap peas and cook until they turn bright green, about 3 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

chopped fresh herbs and shallotsMean time, prepare the tarragon, cilantro, and shallots.

In a large ceramic coated skillet over medium heat, add butter and melt. Next add shallots and cook until soft, about  3 minutes. Next whisk in a splash of fresh water, about 1 to 2 tablespoons, then add snap peas and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Next add chopped tarragon, cilantro, and mix in with snap peas and shallots.

Sugar Snap Peas with TarragonSpoon cooked sugar snap pea mixture into a serving bowl, and serve with your favorite main dish.

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The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real Food

The Broccoli – Essence of Real FoodWhen you were a youngster you probably didn’t see what was so great about broccoli. What you didn’t know then, but probably know now is that broccoli is the essence of real food, as it has been dubbed one of many, a super food.

The broccoli from top to bottom is overflowing with macro-nutrients, including vitamins and minerals that are needed for overall health and well-being. This vegetable has been around for millenniums, and has forever been used and viewed as the ideal go-to food.

It’s healthy, can be eaten in a number of different ways, comes with a variety of benefits, is easy to cook, and offers the body a boost of vitamins and minerals in every serving.

Continue reading to get an overall understanding of this vegetable, the essence of real food.

Understanding the Broccoli from Top to Bottom

Broccoli is an edible plant that closely resembles the cauliflower, and is associated to the cabbage family. It’s a vegetable that originated in Italy, and was first mentioned of about 2,000 years ago.

Due to the broccoli’s rich green color, and its counterpart the purple broccoli, both are high in antioxidants and macro-nutrients for excellent health.

Anatomy of the BroccoliAfter harvesting the broccoli plant and removing the root system, it contains three main parts:

  • Flowery Head
  • Leaves
  • Stalk

The root system of the broccoli plant needs nutrient rich soil in order to grow and support the plant and produce its vital vitamins and minerals.

Broccoli plants need to be watered often in order to keep the plant hydrated and well fed as it approaches maturity.

The leaves and stalk are lesser known parts of the broccoli plant because gardeners and farmers often discard these pieces at harvest. However, they are actually edible and highly nutritious.

Broccoli leaves can be long and thin or short and wide and grow along the stalk. They are often blue-green in color and thicken towards the head of the plant.

The crowning head is the part of the broccoli most familiar to people. Sometimes called the curd or the head, the top of the broccoli is most commonly eaten. This head is made of small, dense edible floral shoots. Usually, the head is harvested long before the shoots, or little florets open.

There are two cultivars of broccoli, purple and green, though the green shoots are most commonly cultivated by gardeners. The best environment for planting and harvesting broccoli,  is in full sun, with plenty of water, and nutrient rich soil.

Broccoli Rates High In Nutrition

broccoli head and leavesBroccoli is a great food to eat as it contains various nutrients that hold anti-cancer properties and support a strong, healthy immune system.

Broccoli is an essential source of energy, healthy complex carbohydrates, protein, and low in fat.

Nutrients: Broccoli contains vitamin-C and many of the B-vitamins, including thiamine, niacin, riboflavin and folate. It also has traces of calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous.

High Fiber: Need more fiber in your diet? Look no further as broccoli is high in fiber. The fiber in broccoli can help support heart health, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and helps support healthy weight management because it is filling and low in calories.

How to Prepare Broccoli

Meat and Broccoli Stir-FryBroccoli can be steamed, boiled, microwaved, stir-fried, or eaten raw.

However, over cooking or boiling broccoli has been proven to reduce levels of anti-carcinogenic compounds present in the food. It is therefore best to steam it until it reaches a bright green color, but no longer.

Adding Broccoli to Your Diet

broccoli at the farmers marketAdding broccoli to your regular daily diet can help increase your overall health.

Have broccoli as a side dish at dinner, add broccoli to a salad for lunch, chopped broccoli with eggs or in an omelet for breakfast, and even eaten raw as a healthy snack is a great way to include this essence of real food to your diet (recommended not to eat raw if you have a low thyroid problem).

All parts of the broccoli can be juiced, as it makes a great addition to any green juice. Juice it along with kale, spinach, green apples, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon.

You’re not a kid anymore, so enjoy the essence of real food. Enjoy eating broccoli.

Enjoy our recipe using broccoli: Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad (includes a video).

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Enjoying the Benefits of a Fermented Breakfast

Enjoying the Benefits of a Fermented Breakfast

We all want to jumpstart our day when we arise from sleep. The best way to do that is with a power packed breakfast. Many express though, that they don’t have much time.

Breakfast is important to start out your day with. Eating the right foods for breakfast can help you control a healthy weight, keep cholesterol down, helps left your mood, and can control cravings for junk food.

Check out the breakfast ideas below that are fast, easy and delicious. The recipes contain fermented ingredients, making them even healthier, as fermented or cultured food adds good bacteria (probiotics) to your diet.

The lack of good bacteria has now been linked to digestive problems, asthma, obesity, diabetes (type II), and many more chronic disease.

Good bacteria also needs food to eat and thrive. That is where prebiotics come in. The following breakfast ideas contain prebiotic foods, like bananas, blueberries, garlic, and onion.

Other prebiotic sources to consider eating are jicama, artichokes, asparagus, leeks, chicory root, Jerusalem artichokes, and leafy greens including dandelion greens.

Avocado and Mango SmoothieAvocado Mango and Kefir Smoothie

2/3 cup avocado flesh (1 medium avocado)

2/3 cup mango (1 medium mango)

2 cups plain kefir

Procedure:

Blend everything together until smooth and pour in two serving glasses. You can add one banana or a handful of blueberries for added sweetness and flavor.

Scrambled Tempeh

1 pound cubed tempeh

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt (or sea salt)

Freshly grated black pepper

Preheat a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is warm enough, add in the oil then sauté the cubed tempeh for about 7 minutes or until lightly browned. Make sure you keep stirring for even cooking.

Pour in remaining oil and add bell pepper and onion. Sauté for another 5 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. Add garlic and stir for another minute.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve the scrambled tempeh with wheat toast.

Fruity Muesli with Yogurt

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup muesli

1/2 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)

1/4 cup diced bananas

1/4 cup diced apples

A teaspoon of organic raw honey-cinnamon, organic maple syrup

Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy. Easy, right? What’s great about this recipe is you can make it the night before and put it in a mason jar so you can grab it and go in the morning if you are pressed with time.

Salami and Cheese Frittatas

Salami and Cheese Frittatas

Image Credit: Two Peas and Their Pod

1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil

6 eggs

100 grams of chopped salami

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 cup cream cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 6-cup muffin pan with oil.

Mix together salami, cheese and green peas in a bowl. Divide the mixture between 6 holes in muffin pan.

Whisk the eggs and cream together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg and cream mixture over salami mixture.

Bake for 25 minutes. Cool slightly before removing the frittatas from the muffin pan.

The recipes above are all good for you, not to mention delicious. These are a great way to add fermented foods into your diet. Enjoy!

 

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Herb Chicken Cranberry Almond Salad

 

Herb Chicken Cranberry and Almond Salad

Is our featured recipe truly a salad? According to Wikipedia there is a ” Green Salad” that consists of leafy vegetables. Such as lettuce greens, spinach, arugula, or any other leafy green. They are normally garnished with nuts or croutons.

There is the “Vegetable Salad” that includes common vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, onions, radishes, tomatoes, and celery.

Then there is the “Bound Salad” at which a great example is the Potato Salad. A “bound” is arranged or tossed in the bowl with other ingredients mixed with a thick sauce, usually a mayonnaise base.

The way to test and see if your “bound salad” is truly a “bound” is scooping it with a ice-cream scoop, then placing it onto a plate. When removing the scoop, the salad should hold its shape.

Bound Salads also are used to make sandwiches, by spreading them between two pieces of bread.

Other examples of such salads besides the Potato Salad are Tuna Salad, Egg Salad, Pasta Salad, and yes a Chicken Salad.

The original question is answered by the last five words of the prior paragraph. That is yes the featured recipe is truly a salad.

This is what you will need:

ingrdients for Herb Chicken Cranberry and Almond Salad

1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, boneless and skinless,

1 cup mayonnaise, homemade, link here for recipe

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup almonds, slivered

3 tablespoons lemon juice (for salad) + 1/2 cup lemon juice (for packaged garlic/herb mix marinade)

1/4 cup sugar

1 package Weber Garlic and Herb (all natural ingredients)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add chicken to a zip lock bag. Mix Weber ingredients with 1/2 cup lemon juice according to instructions (no oil or water needed). Pour over chicken and mix till meat is coated. Zip the bag and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. Remove from bag and place on a grill over a cookie sheet and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees internal temperature. When chicken is done set aside awhile to cool. Once cool to the touch, cut chicken into 1/2 to 1 inch bite sizes. Set aside.

wet and dry ingredients being mixed together for Herb Chicken and Cranberry Almond Salad

In a large mixing bowl, mix lemon juice and sugar together. Next add cranberries, almonds and mayonnaise, mix till well incorporated.

adding cooked chicken to other ingredients for Herb Chicken and Cranberry Almond Salad

Add diced chicken to bowl and mix in.

close-up Herb Chicken Cranberry and Almond Salad

Turn salad into a serving bowl, plate and serve.

 

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Taming the Flavor of Bitter Greens

Taming the Flavor of Bitter Greens There are literally hundreds of different types of greens that are categorized as bitter greens. They all have flavors that are mild to strong, some are intensely peppery, almost spicy, while a few are slightly sweet.

If you have found yourself staying clear of bitter greens because of the flavors, maybe you should give them another chance, because of the new understanding of their health benefits. Many of these bitter greens have disease-fighting phytochemicals like polyphenols, flavonoids, glucosinolates and betalains.

These phytonutrients can help lower your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Here are some tips for taming the bitter flavor of bitter greens so you can enjoy their healthy benefits.

1. Select young, small leaves, since they tend to be the most tender and milder in flavor.

2. Add a small amount of bitter greens to a dish that has multi-ingredients, like soups, stir-fry’s, casseroles, or salads.

3. The flavor is also tamed by the addition of fat, such as olive oil, avocado oil or butter. Also adding salt from tamri or bacon or sweet flavors from dried or fresh fruit , and including balsamic vinegar.

4. Add a small amount of bitter greens to your smoothies, like bananas, pineapple, berries, as they are good for masking the flavor of bitter greens.

5. Tear the bolder, peppier flavored greens into small pieces and mix them with milder to sweeter leafy greens to liven up salads without being too overpowering.

You may need to acquire a taste for these bitter greens, but with the right preparation you can enjoy them. Even in small amounts, these greens can give big benefits for your body and your palate.

Here are some splendid recipes you could start with to acquire the taste for these healthy foods – bitter greens.

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad

Smoked Turkey, Black Bean, Bell Pepper and Corn Salad with the bitter green Arugula

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad...close up

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad using the bitter green Spinach

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Leafy Green Salads as a Main Course

Different types of lettue greens

Summer is just around the corner and the leafy greens that were planted as seed in the early Spring are sprouting from the ground about now. Have you considered what you are going to do with all those fresh leafy greens that will soon hit the market?

leafy greens sproutingOr maybe you have a home vegetable garden, with leafy greens now sprouting?

Will here at Splendid Recipes and More we have some options. Making up a leafy green salad and adding chicken breast to it, and of course a dressing or vinaigrette.

Chicken breast is the lean meat of the poultry bird. A great choice for weight control. The method of cooking the chicken is either to Broil, grill or bake it. These methods offer good nutrition and flavor.

What is your knowledge of all those wonderful greens you see in your garden or in the produce department of your favorite market?

There’s: Kale, Spinach, Arugula, Red and Green leaf lettuce, Cabbage, Endive, Radicchio, even Cilantro, Mint, Fennel, and Basil.

They are all a nutrition powerhouses and excellent source’s of vitamins A C, and K, and some like kale are a good source of calcium, as well as folate and potassium.

The benefits of eating these greens are weight loss and control, as they are a high fiber food. Cuts your risk of high blood pressure plus heart disease. Eating any of these greens will reduce blood clotting, reduces calcium in arterial plaques, reduces inflammation, and you will get improved memory and eye sight as well.

Of course you can add some color to the salad, like red, orange or yellow bell peppers. Don’t forget the cherry tomatoes, red onions or even some wild carrots (they have varying colors as well).

Now that we are all salivating for a Salad as a Main Course, here are some recipes (follow the link for the written recipe with instructions)…

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

 

Kale Sweet Potato and Chicken Salad

 
Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad...close up

 

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad

 

 

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

 

Baja Citrus Chicken Bowl

 

 

 

Follow this link too more recipes, Salads as a Main Course.

 

 

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Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad

 

This is one of my recipes I call a “Salad as a Main Course” because of the use of chicken mixed in with the leafy greens.

This is also a meal that can be done in about 30 minutes.

If you have never had a mango before it can be mind boggling as how to go about removing the flesh from the big seed in the middle.

removing the flesh from the seed of a Mango
Here is a 2 1/2 minute video from “mango.org” to demonstrate how to go about cutting up a Mango.

If you can’t find any good fresh mangoes you can buy them chopped and packaged in your frozen section of the market. Did you know Mangoes can prevent cancer, lowers bad cholesterol, clears the skin of any problems, eye health, even alkalizes the body.

Mangos can be used in a verity of recipes. Here is one such recipe of how we use the mango. Here is what you will need:

ingredients-for-Mango-Chicken-Salad

3 tbsp. avocado oil

4 tbsp. curry powder

4 boneless chicken breasts cut in cubes

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

½ red onion cut into julienne strips

14 fl. oz. coconut milk

2 ripe mangos cut in cubes

1 lb. baby spinach

3 oz. chopped cashews

red bell pepper cut into julienne strips

8 cherry tomatoes cut in half

Here’s a little information of coconuts:  For 1000’s of years the Asians have used the oil, water, meat and milk of a coconut to heal coughs, flu, ear aches, tooth aches, skin infections, constipation and much more. Curry is also great for lower inflammation in the body.

Chicken Curry Preparation

In a skillet, heat oil slightly and stir olive oil with curry powder for 4 minutes. Add chicken cubes and cook during 10 minutes at medium heat. Add garlic and mix well.

mixing-heated-olive-oil-with-curry

Next, add coconut milk mix in. Place lid over skillet and cook for 8 minutes more.

adding-coconut-milk-to-Mango-Chicken

Salad Preparation

 

Mix together the prepared fruit and vegetables: mango cubes, spinach, onion, cashews, red bell pepper and halved cherry tomatoes in a bowl; season with lemon juice and olive oil.

fresh-produce-ingredients-for-Mango-Wow look at those wonderful colors. Did you know the yellow mango is great for joint health, the red pepper is for heart health, and the green spinach is a great help for detoxing the body.

 

When are done mixing the salad ingredients, plate and spoon on some curried chicken and enjoy.

Chicken Curry with Mango and Spinach Salad...close up

 

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