If life gives you Lemons, Make Meyer Lemon Confit

I love trying new things.  My new love outside of poaching white fish in butter, is this making confits.  What does confit mean: Confit (/kɒnfi/, French pronunciation: [kɔ̃fi]) comes from the French word confire which means literally “to preserve,” a confit being any type of food that is cooked slowly over a long period of time as a method of preservation. Usually you hear this word in fine dining  restaurants, duck confit or goose confit, meaning the bird has been cooked in it’s own fat. Yes! Actually. I prefer making confits with citrus. A lemon confit is the same idea, but I am using olive oil to slowing cook the meyer lemon rinds in. It makes an excellent condiment to any dish. You can use it on toasted breads, drizzle on salads, vegetables and as I did today on a piece of broiled pacific cod. This is a very simple and easy recipe, that I adapted from Naomi Pomeroy Taste and Technique Recipes to Elevate Your Home Cooking. 

Meyer Lemon Confit
Meyer Lemon Confit

Ingredients:

Lemon Confit

Rinds of 3 lemons

1/4 teaspoons dried fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes

2 teaspoons organic cane sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

2 cups extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Directions:

Cut away most of the spongy white pit of the rinds, leaving only the yellow peel. Cut the trimmed rind pieces into strips 1/8 inch wide and 1 inch long.

Place the strips in a 2 quart saucepan and add the fennels seeds, red chili pepper flakes, sugar, salt, olive oil and garlic cloves. Place over very low heat and slowly simmer. You want it simmer to point you see tiny little bubbles. You will need to stir this often, to make sure the sugar and salt dissolves. You do not want the mixture to fry the lemon rinds, so keep a close eye on it. I had to take mine off the heat at least 3 times and put it back on the low heat, so it would not fry. Naomi suggest using a diffuser, but I did have one of those. If you keep it on a low heat and just keep a good eye, it will be fine.  It takes about 20 minutes for the rinds to simmer and cook until they are soft. Take a fork and remove one out from the oil to check the consistency. Once they are soft, remove from heat and set aside, covered, at room temperature to allow the flavors to come together overnight. Store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 months.

I poured my meyer lemon confit over this beautiful piece of pacific cod.

Broiled Pacific Cod with Meyer Lemon Confit, Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
Broiled Pacific Cod with Meyer Lemon Confit, Sautéed Kale with Garlic and Blistered Cherry Tomatoes

 

Pear and Beet Salad 5 under 30

I am so excited about cooking and sharing on Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, how you can stay Fit and Fabulous for 2017, using 5 main ingredients under 30 minutes.

This salad was inspired by that simple challenge. We can do it and we can do it deliciously, with hardly no effort at all, using some of my easy recipes. It just takes some preparing and a bit of creativity. I love this salad, because it has over 26 grams of protein, that is vegetarian and about 15 grams of carbs. I love those numbers.

I hope you tune in to Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta Thursday Feburary 9th at 9:00 am, but until then, enjoy this salad. Oh yeah! Do not forget to always Set the Table with Love.

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Pear and Beet Salad Fit and Fabulous

Pear and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

4 small roasted or marinated beets, (I used Love Beets, already peeled and marinated or roasted for you and they are organic and delicious.)

1 bosc pear

2 cups of your favorite greens, chopped, ( I used romaine lettuce.)

2 tbsp of your favorite cheese, ( I used parmesan, vegetarian.)

1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Add the lettuce to a salad bowl. Place the beets around in different places around lettuce, add the pears on top of the lettuce, sprinkle the cheese and the pumpkin seeds. You may have pumpkin seeds left over, eat them as a snack later.

Add a pinch of sea salt, cracked black pepper. Drizzle a little balsamic glaze and olive oil. Salad done.

You can also use nuts, instead of seeds. You can also add other veggies, like sautéed zucchini and yellow squash.

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Pear and Beet Salad Fit and Fabulous

 

 

 

Harissa Roasted Chickpea salad with acorn squash, mint and pumpkin seeds

This recipe is so delicious and full of exotic flavors, well at least I think so. LOL.

This salad will fill you up and give you tons of plant based vegan protein. You do not have to be a vegan to enjoy this salad. It’s important to incorporate more plant based foods in our diets, because it will help you look and feel better and it will give you tons of energy. I maybe help drop a few unwanted pounds. Who doesn’t want more energy and a few pounds out the way?  Me, me, me!!

I got something for you, in this simple to make salad. I hope you enjoy the flavors and how you feel later. Harissa maybe a new ingredient you are trying, so let me break it down for you.

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Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, rose or caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil for preservation.

This Harissa I used in this recipe is a powder form that I got form my local William Sonoma.

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Roasted Harissa Chickpea Salad with acorn squash, mint, pumpkin seeds and micro greens

For Chickpeas

1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
Blot chickpeas with a paper towel to dry them. In a bowl, toss chickpeas with olive oil, and season to taste with salt, harissa seasoning or cayenne pepper. Spread on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until browned and crunchy. Set aside to cool.

For the Lentils

1 cup dry lentils

3 cups of  vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Cook on a stovetop, using 3 cups of  vegetable broth to 1 cup of dry lentils. Be sure to use a large enough saucepan as the lentils will double or triple in size. Bring to a boil, cover tightly, reduce heat and simmer until they are tender. For whole lentils, cook time is typically 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Vegetables

1 small acorn squash, chopped in to 1 inch slices

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1 small red bell pepper, cut in slices, save a couple of slices to chop up to top the salad

1/4 cup  poblano peppers, chopped

1 cup red cabbages, sliced thinly

1/4 cup red onions, diced

6-8  mint leaves, small to medium

1 cup micro greens, or baby arugula

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions:

After the legumes are cooked and cooled, turn the stove on medium high heat, place a large saucepan on the stove. Add your oil allow to heat up, then add the acorn squash, red bell peppers and poblano peppers to the  pan. Season with salt and black pepper.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or  until the squash is golden brown, but not mushy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

To assemble:

In a salad bowl add the roasted chickpeas and lentils, gently toast together. Add the cooked vegetables and the raw cabbages, mint, red onions and the chopped raw red bell pepper. Top with micro greens and pumpkins. Squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle olive oil over top the salad with a pinch of sea salt and gently toss, incorporating all the ingredients.

Enjoy. This makes a large salad for 4-6 or a great meal for lunch and dinner for 2.

 

 

 

 

 

Pan Seared and Poached Halibut with sweet peas in a lemon caper broth topped with Sweet Potato Chips

Halibut. One of my favorite fish to make. I use to be so intimidated about making fish, until I was on Food Network’s All Star Academy and my mentor, Alex Guarnaschelli had me make Arctic Char for one of the elimination challenges, her  mentoring gave me the confidence to never be scared of fish again. The thing that blew me away the most, was during judging. Adam Richman, Man Finds Food, told me my Arctic Char could be served in a restaurant and he would order it, Yes!!

The key to any ingredient is understanding the ingredient itself. If you have never used a particular ingredient, I would suggest to research it. Ask a chef or someone you know that  is an excellent cook that has used it before, successfully. Cooking is an adventure, so dive in with an open heart.

Now, back to the recipe. I had a few of my fans wanting this recipe, so I hope you guys enjoy it, but make sure, before you get started to Set the Table with Love. Enjoy.

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Pan Seared and Poached Halibut with sweet peas, sweet potato chips in a lemon caper broth

Pan Seared and Poached Halibut:

Ingredients:

4, 5 oz. halibut filets

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon no salt herb garlic seasonings

2 tablespoons of organic butter

1 shallot, finely minced

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup of dry wine

3/4 cup of chicken stock

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp capers

5 springs of thyme

1 tablespoon of cold, unsalted butter

1 cup green peas,  frozen peas thawed out
Instructions:

Place a large lidded skillet over high heat. Once hot, season the filets with the salt, garlic seasoning, then add the unsalted butter and then place the halibut filets in the pan. Sear on one side, without moving, for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes carefully flip the filets and then move the heat to low. Add the lemon juice, chicken stock, dry wine, shallot, bay leaf, thyme and capers. Place the lid on the pan and cook  on low heat.  Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until halibut is just opaque.The fish will keep cooking so do not over cook it. When desired doneness is reached, pull the skillet off of the heat and remove the halibut from the pan and place the fish on a warm plate and lightly cover with foil. Use braising liquids from the pan to make your broth. Add the cold butter into the liquid and whisk until combined. Keep the broth on low heat add the green peas into the broth and allow to warm through.  Keep the broth warm, on a very low heat.

Sweet Potato Chips

1 medium sweet potato, sliced with a mandolin

sea salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position oven rack in the center of the oven.
    Rinse and dry your sweet potatoes thoroughly and slice them with a mandolin, or use a knife and slice them as thinly as possible.
  2. Toss slices in a touch of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt.  Lay a piece of parchment paper onto a non stick baking sheet.
  3. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, then turn the potato slices over, and bake for another 6-7 minutes , watch for the edges, they will start to get darker, pull them before they burn. Remove once crisp and golden brown. Some may feel a little tender in the middle but take them out and let them rest for 10 minutes, so they can crisp up. To assemble this dish, I put the chips on top of the halibut as a garnish with a lemon wedge.

Assemble:

Add broth into a bowl, add halibut in the middle of the bowl and top with sweet potato chips and lemon slice( optional).

Protein Packed ~ Vegan Red Quinoa Kale Carrot Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Last night I was on a conference call talking about how you can transition over to a more plant based vegan protein diet. I am a kidney transplant survivor . I was born with damaged kidneys and I know how animal protein can be very harsh on the kidneys, not to mention on our environment and our over all well being.  First, let me put it out there my eating habits is about nutrition and well being. I eat for my health and my survival as a kidney transplant recipient. I eat out of respect for my husband risking is life and donating his kidney to me. If you have ever donated your kidney to anyone you know this is a big risk of your own well being and life, so Thank you very much for your BIG HEARTS!

My journey is to continue to incorporate healthy choices into my diet and to inspire others to do the same. I am not a label. I am a woman eating as consciously as possible. Now, with that being said, here is some information that may encourage you to eat a more plant based diet.

~ Too much protein is linked to high cholesterol, fluid imbalances in the body, osteoporosis, heart disease and cancers such as renal cancer. 

The truth is we eat too much protein. The average adult woman only needs about 46 grams of protein and the average adult man needs about 56 grams. But the great news is that you can get your intake of protein through a vegan or vegetarian diet, but just substituting your regular meals with more vegan based meals. Try it out one meal at at time. You will not regret it.

This salad I made today is loaded with vegan based protein and lots good stuff for your body. VEGAN BASED PROTEIN FOODS CAN BE DELICIOUS!

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

I going to break down the protein for you in this salad

Kale ~ 1 cup 2.9 g

Red Quinoa cooked ~ 8.1 g

Sprouted watermelon seeds by Go Raw Foods  1 oz, ~ 11 g

So a big bowl of this salad with 1 oz of Sprouted watermelon seeds = 22 g vegan protein

YOU ARE HALF WAY THERE Ladies! 🙂

Well here is the recipe:

RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
RAW AND VEGAN Kale and Red Quinoa Salad with Sprouted Watermelon Seeds

Ingredients :

4 cups of Kale chopped

1 cup cranberries

1 cup of cooked red quinoa ( follow the directions on the box)

1/2 cup of grated carrots

1/2 cup of lime juice

2 tbsp organic honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp garlic powder

pinch of cayenne pepper

1- 2 oz. sprouted watermelon seeds as a garnish

Directions:

Cook the quinoa according to the directions and add the grated carrots in at the end of the cooking process and set a side.

Add the kale and all the other remaining ingredients in a large bowl, EXCEPT THE WATERMELON SEEDS.  Massage the kale until it covered well with the olive oil. I like to massage mines until withers just a little. Add the quinoa, carrots and toss gently until everything is mixed together. Top the salad with 1- 2 oz of the watermelon seeds or as many as you like. Serve and Enjoy your VEGAN energy for the day.

Blueberry and Lemon Zest Pancakes ~ Gluten Free and Dairy Free

This one is just yummy .

Ingredients:

1 cup ground gluten free oatmeal flakes

1/4 cup oat groats

1 cup brown rice flour

1 tbsp chia seed

1 tsp gluten-free baking powder

¾ tsp salt

1 cup blueberries or frozen blueberries for the pancake mix (organic)

1 ¼ cups unsweetened almond milk

2 tbsps maple syrup

1/2 tsp lemon juice

3 tbsps softened coconut oil

¼ cup ground flax seeds

Instruction:

1. In a food processor add the oats and flour, blend until you have a flour consistency. Add frozen blueberries and blend until the blueberries are just little specks in the flour. Transfer the flour to a mixing bowl.

2. Add the baking powder and salt.

3. Put maple syrup, vanilla and lemon juice, almond milk, 2 tbsps of the coconut oil, and ground flax seed in a pot on medium low heat and stir until the coconut oil is heated and melted completely.

4. Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until blended. If the batter is too thick add a little almond milk to thin it out. It should have a nice smooth consistency. Not too thin or too thick.

5. Melt the third tbsp of coconut oil in a pan on medium heat.

6. Add the batter into the heated pan to make 3-4 inch sized pancakes. When the edges start to dry and bubbles start to appear on top, flip the pancakes and cook them on the other side until golden brown. Add them to a platter and top with the Wild Blueberry Maple Syrup and serve.

WILD Blueberry Lemon Zest Maple Syrup

Ingredients

¼ cup real maple syrup

1 1/2 cups organic blueberries (frozen)

1/2 tsp of lemon zest (save some for garnish), just add a pinch or two for the syrup

Instruction:

In a small pan over medium-low heat, simmer the berries for about 2 minutes until some of the

juices evaporate.

Add ¼ cup real maple syrup and lemon zest for about 30 seconds. Allow to cool down for few minutes and add to our pancakes or to some creamy greek yogurt. Serves 6

“You are what you eat” First cooking class

I really enjoyed last night teaching my students how to eat healing foods that taste delicious and look amazing. It was a fun night with some amazing ladies. We learned so much about foods you can eat to prevent cancer and foods that help detox your liver. The menu for the evening:

Organic Goat cheese and Sage stuffed chicken, Stuffed Red Roasted Peppers with Moroccan Quinoa, RAW kale, apple and carrot salad, Goat cheese purses and for dessert Asian Ginger Spiced Poached Pears in butter phyllo dough cups drizzled with a balsamic caramel sauce. For our cocktail we had a RAWtini Lemonade Mango with cucumber and ginger shots. Yum O !

You are what you eat
You are what you eat cooking class

Hope you enjoy these recipes.

Poached Pears:

10 pears, peeled with
stems attached(Bosch Pears)

2 cups organic can sugar

1/2 cup of organic honey

3 cups red wine

3 cups water

1 thumb of ginger ( skin on)

2 star anise

2 tbsp of each spice powder ginger, powder cinnamon, powder cardmom, powder indian nutmeg

1 tsp of cumin

zest from 1/2 orange and 1/2 lemon (optional)

2 tsp. vanilla

In a saucepan on medium heat, mix sugar, red wine,honey, water, spices, the ginger piece and zests of orange and lemon. Let come to a boil and add pears to saucepan and turn the heat down and simmer on a med/low heat for about 35 minutes or until pears are heated through but not mushy. They should have a little firmness but you should be able to easily stick a knife in them.

While the pears are cooking prepare

Phyllo dough cups.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1 cup of melted butter

a pastry brush or newly bought paintbrush

12 sheets of phyllo dough each cup needs to be 4 sheets thick you should get about 4 medium circles out of each set of sheets. You need 10 circles.

Layer the phyllo sheets on top of each other brushing butter on the first phyllo dough and on the last sheet. Using the cookie cutter, cut out 10 med circles and press them into the large muffin tin, make sure to have the dough go up side the muffin tin. Bake until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Balsamic Reduction:

1 cup of Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 of Organic Cane Sugar

Add ingredients to a saucepan on med/hi heat and let cook for about 10 -15 minutes until you have less than half

of the liquid remaining and it has become thick. Cooking time may vary based on your stove.

Prepare the Garnish for the Pears

TIP: make your sauces for the pears about 20 – 25 minutes into cooking the pears so you do not have to rewarm your sauces.

Ginger and Cardmom Sugar ( sprinkle over the pears, optional)

2 tbsp of ginger

1 tbsp of cardmom

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper ( optional) but so worth trying it

3 tbsp of organic can sugar

Simply mix all the ingredients, makes a great little touch to the pears.

Caramel Sauce:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Mix the water and sugar in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cover and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and boil uncovered until the sugar turns a medium brown, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring
occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Make sure to keep an eye on it, it will burn quickly. When adding cream be careful to stand back to avoid splattering, and gradually add the cream and vanilla extract. Simmer until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth and thick, about 2 minutes.

Here is the magic! The balsamic reduction should have cooled and looks nice and thick. This is the time to add the balsamic reduction and the caramel together. Add the sauce to the cups and once the pears are done add the pears to the sauced cups and drizzle sauce over the pears and sprinkle the ginger,cayenne and cardmom sugar over top the pears.

Delicious!!

Now to the really healthy stuff!!

RAW Kale Apple and Carrot Salad with citrus dressing

2 bundles of kale chopping finely

4 finely chopped med carrots (diced)

3 organic apples

3 organic med oranges

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of organic olive oil

2 tbsp of organic honey

1/2 tbsp of cumin

1/2 tsp cardmom

1/2 tbsp of smoked paprika

Mix the spices and liquid ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl. Add finely chopped kale, apples and carrots. Toss the salad and add sea salt and pepper to taste. I like to also at the end drizzle little more olive oil.

Remember to Set the table with love!