Asparagus with Garlic and Smoked Bacon

Asparagus with Garlic and Smoked BaconAsparagus is packed with antioxidants, and ranks among the top vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals.

Vector of Nutrition facts asparagus

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Asparagus has between 5 and 12 percent of your daily need of vitamin-C, B-6, zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Those nutrients are a great combination, as vitamin-C needs zinc for absorption, and magnesium hitches a ride with vitamin B-6 for absorption as well.

Asparagus has been studied and noted to combat age-related ocular diseases, arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.

It is also an effective diuretic for water retention related illness, like PMS, arthritis, and rheumatism.

How To Cook Asparagus

We have noted some of the many health benefits of this spire like vegetable, so you can understand the importance of cooking it right, so as to enjoy them.

These quick-cooking, water less methods will preserve the fabulous nutritional content and antioxidant power of asparagus, either roast, grill, or stir-fry.

Our featured recipe  – Asparagus with Garlic and Smoked Bacon – is prepared as a stir-fry. We also suggest this recipe as a prepared side dish to accompany your turkey dinner left overs from last week (Thursday, November. 26, 215).

trimmed AsparagusHere is what you will need.

1 pound asparagus thin stalks, trim ends, cut 1-inch lengths

1/2 pound pasture fed bacon, flavor is your choice – we used a smoked bacon from Whole Foods Market

5 garlic gloves, chopped

cooking smoked bacon and garlicCut bacon into 1-inch slices, place into a large pan over medium heat. When bacon is 1/2 cooked add garlic and stir until you smell the garlic, about 1 minute.

Asparagus with Garlic and Smoked Bacon in a Ceramic Coated Frying PanNext add the prepared asparagus and continue to stir until bacon is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Asparagus with Garlic and Smoked Bacon with Turkey Dinner Left OversPlate and serve with your favorite main dish.

Enjoy our other recipes here at – Splendid Recipes and More – using asparagus…

Roasted Trout with Baby Potatoes and Asparagus

Balsamic-Honey Glazed Chicken and Asparagus

Asparagus and Bacon Cream Pasta

Bacon Eggs and Asparagus Benedict

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

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Spiralizing: Turn Vegetables into Healthy – Creative – Satisfying Meals

Spiralizing: Turn Vegetables Into Health - Creative - Satisfying Meals

A Cozy Kitchen - spiralizing Zucchini into noodles

Image Credit: A Cozy Kitchen – A Manual Spiralizer – Turning Zucchini Into Pasta Noodles

The spiralizer is a culinary gadget that has quickly become a must have in kitchens all around the world. Put simply, the spiralizer is a tool that allows a kitchen cook to turn vegetables into noodles. Lisa Richards author of The Candida Diet (www.thecandidadiet.com) says, “Quitting Refined Carbs? The Spiralizer Is Your New Best Friend.”

With the spiral slicer you can conjure up endless julienne strips of carrot, radish, cucumber, and all kinds of other firm vegetables. The unqiue spirals are perfect to create vegetable stir-fries or pasta.

julienne spiral peelerThe mechanism can be purchased as a manual counter top, hand held or even a julienne peeler.

The counter top spirlizer has sharp blades, that allows you to feed any kind of vegetable through the system, and the hand held has thin blades built into the plastic funnel like gadget, and the julienne peeler is much like a vegetable or fruit peeler.

How A Spirlizer Works

Vegetable SpiralizerThe mechanism is simple. The hand held is made in the shape much like a funnel. Place the vegetable at one end of the funnel, and firmly push the vegetable into the funnel while twisting the vegetable. The built-in blades will spiral the vegetable into noodles.

The counter top spiral is much the same. Using nothing more than gentle pressure, turn the handle and gently slide the vegetable through the spiralizing blades.

The julienne peeler is simple. Just hold the vegetable in one hand while placing the peeler at the top of the vegetable and slide it down over the surface of the produce.

What ever spiraler you chose, you will always be left with perfectly formed vegetable noodles ready for instant use. It really is that simple – there’s no chopping or preparation involved. Choose your vegetable and away you go!

Forking Yellow Summer Squash Pasta and SauceMexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat SauceHere are two recipes that we used a julienne spiral peeler to turn squash into vegetable noodles.

Click here for the recipe to: Mexican Squash Pasta with Chorizo Meat Sauce

Click here for the recipe to: Yellow Summer Squash Pasta and Sauce

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Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables

Chicken Teriyaki  is a very popular Japanese food in the US.  Teriyaki in Japanese means “grilled with shine.”  Sugar in teriyaki sauce gives a shine to the food, making it not only delicious, but also looks more appetizing.

It is very simple to make teriyaki sauce, as it is a mixture of only three ingredients, soy sauce, sugar, and sake. You can also use mirin for a sweeter teriyaki.  One of the advantages of making the sauce yourself is you can adjust the flavor the way you prefer.  Also making your own, avoids the unnecessary chemicals in store bought teriyaki sauce.

 common-japanese-cooking-ingredientsAccording to Japanese Cooking 101, this is a list of common ingredients used in Japanese cuisine:

Aburaage
Aonori
Dashi
Dried Bonito Flakes (Katsuobushi)
Dried Shiitake Mushroom
Mirin
Miso Paste
Nagaimo (Dioscorea opposita, Chinese yam)
Panko (Bread Crumbs)
Pickled Red Ginger (Benishouga)
Rice
Rice Vinegar
Roasted Seaweed (Sushi Nori)
Sake
Soy Sauce
Tonkatsu Sauce

It is not common in traditional Japanese cuisine to use garlic, though it is in Korean cooking.

Our featured recipe is a Teriyaki Chicken with Vegetables, though not an authentic recipe, but an American rendition.

homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

4 tablespoons tamari sauce  (works the same as soy sauce)

4 tablespoons mirin (can use sake for a less sweeter teriyaki sauce)

2 tablespoons coconut sugar (not used in Japanese cooking, can use white sugar if you wish)

2 teaspoons arrowroot (can also use cornstarch or potato starch)

2 tablespoons water

Mix together in a small sauce pan over medium heat, the first three ingredients. In a small cup mix together the water and arrowroot. Bring the pot to a slow boil and add the arrowroot-water mixture to the boiling pot. Stir in and continue to stir until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tamari is specifically a Japanese form of soy sauce, traditionally made as a by-product of miso paste. Tamari is a gluten-free product, were as soy sauce is not.

Now let’s prepare the meat and vegetables to mix with our homemade teriyaki sauce.

vegetables cut Julienne style4  tablespoons coconut oil (or sesame oil), divided

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

3 green onions, chopped

2 carrots, cut julienne style

2 celery ribs, cut julienne style

8 asparagus spires, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces

4 chicken breasts, skinless and bones, cut into 1 inch chunks

2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds

A traditional Japanese chicken teriyaki uses chicken thighs, and asparagus is not a vegetable normally used in Japanese cooking.

sauteing ginger and green onionsSaute the prepared ginger and green onions in the heated coconut oil (2 tablespoons) over medium heat in a large frying pan, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Next add the carrots, celery, and asparagus, and continue to stir-fry until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

cooking chicken thigh chunks in teriyaki sauceHeat a large frying pan over medium heat with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, and add chopped meat and cook until meat is oblique. Next add the teriyaki sauce and mix in.

mixing in sesame seedsNext mix in the sesame seeds, and add the vegetables and mix in as well.

Teriyaki Chicken with VegetablesPlate and serve over white rice.

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Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken

Pad-Thai-Noodles-with-ChickenAll Asian food is cooked with the intention of increasing the health benefits, such as its healing powers and medicinal value, as well as longevity.

Here’s an article we publish this year last March 2014, Amazing Ways Food is Used in Thai Cooking .

Of course every country that is part of the Asian world has their own way of cooking the food, but with the same outcome, its health benefits.

Today we present Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken. Of all the Asian foods, Thai is our favorite.

Here is what you will need:

ingredients-for-Pad-Thai-Noodles-with-Chicken8 oz. rice noodles, fresh or dried

2 tbsp. peanut oil

scallions, coarsely chopped

2 garlic gloves, minced fine

2 fresh red chilies, seeded and sliced

8 oz. chicken breast, trimmed and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup fresh bean sprouts

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

1/3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

Soak the noodles in a large pot of boiling water, covered for 10 minutes or cooked according to package instructions. When the noodles are done and tender, rinse noodles under cold running water. Set aside.place-rice-noodles-into-boiling-water-for-10-minutes.jpgAdd peanut oil to a wok (large frying pan, if you have no wok )over high heat. Once the peanut oil is heated add scallions, garlic and red chilies. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.heat-peanut-oil-and-add-vegetables-and-stir-fry-1-2-minutesNext add the chicken, lime juice, fish sauce and eggs. Stir-fry over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs have set and pink is no longer in chicken or heated through.add-chicken-lime-juice-fish-sauce-and-eggs...stir-fry-2-3-minutesNext add the bean sprouts, most of the cilantro and the noodles and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until heated through and beans and cilantro are mixed in thoroughly.adding-bean-sprouts-and-cilantroTransfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with peanuts and remaining cilantro and serve right away with lime wedges if you wish.Pad-Thai-Noodles-with-Chicken

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Alternative Cooking Methods to Frying

Alternative Cooking Methods to Frying

Every February is Heart Health Month as set out by the American Heart Association.  Here is a list from their web-site of alternatives to frying for better heart health and better cooking in the kitchen.

Stir-fryingUse a wok to cook vegetables, poultry or seafood in vegetable stock, wine or a small amount of oil.  Avoid high-sodium (salt) seasonings like teriyaki and soy sauce.

Roasting: Use a rack in the pan so the meat or poultry doesn’t sit in its own fat drippings.  Instead of basting with pan drippings, use fat-free liquids like wine, tomato juice or lemon juice.  When making gravy from the drippings, chill first then use a gravy strainer or skim ladle to remove the fat.

Grilling and BroilingUse a rack so the fat drips away from the food.

heart health with alternative cooking methods to fryingBaking: Bake foods in covered cookware with a little extra liquid.

Poaching: Cook chicken or fish by immersing it in simmering liquid.

Sauéting: Use a pan made with nonstick metal or a coated, nonstick surface, so you will need to use little or no oil when cooking.  Use a nonstick vegetable spray to brown or sauté foods; or, as an alternative, use a small amount of broth or wine, or a tiny bit of vegetable oil rubbed onto the pan with a paper towel.

Steaming: Steam vegetables in a basket over simmering water.  They’ll retain more flavors and won’t need any salt.

For more health and nutrition ideas visit our sister web-site Savor the Food and Your Health and learn more about how food correlates to a healthy you.

List source: Heart.Org

Header Image credit: kone123 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

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