Monthly Archives: August 2011
It’s potluck time again at the office. In my department we celebrate each others birthdays by bringing food and making it into a great lunch for the team. This time I’ll be making a roasted vegetable orzo salad. I use Ina Garten’s recipe and don’t alter it at all – it’s just perfect the way it is. Chock full of great healthy ingredients and packed with flavor, this is always a huge hit whenever I make it. While it is an extra step to roast or grill the vegetables for this salad it is truly what give the rich flavors and the luxurious taste and feel to this dish. The use of a really good olive oil, fresh lemon, basil and feta add the zing. Best served at room temperature right after making, this also is great the next day cold.
For the Roasted vegetables :
- 1 small eggplant 3/4-inch diced
- 1 red pepper, 1-inch diced
- 1 yellow pepper, 1-inch diced
- 1 red onion, 1-inch diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Roast at 425 for 40 minutes, tossing once.
Prep orzo by boiling for 7 – 9 minutes. Drain and place in large bowl.
- ½ lb or 2 cups orzo – rice-shaped pasta
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Just before serving add:
- 3/4 pound feta, 1/2-inch diced (not crumbled)
- 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne or 2 drops Basil Oil
- 4 green onions – minced
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (I don’t always add)
Dice all veg, season with salt and pepper then toss with olive oil before roasting.
Swiss chard is one of my favorite leafy greens and whenever I can get my hands on the rainbow variety I grab it. I’m not sure if it has a different taste than the regular red kind but it sure does look pretty on the plate.
Swiss chard is most often served as a side dish at my house. Usually steamed and then dressed with a small amount of butter a sprinkle of really good salt and sometimes a splash of vinegar on top. So good! If you haven’t tried a bit of acid with your chard I suggest you give it a try. Use any white vinegar, I usually use a rice wine vinegar for a light touch. I like the contrast of flavors and brightness that it gives.
Local cherries are in season and the deep red, almost black cherries from BC’s Okanangan are in the markets now ready to be enjoyed. I keep going back to buy more, they disappear so fast. I usually just enjoy them when they are in season but I’m tempted to stock up now while they are at their peak
You can then add these amazing super fruits as a topping to yogurt or ice cream, add to a smoothie, make a fruit crumble, use them in your baking or use them as an ingredient in a savory dish….I’m thinking venison chops with a cherry port reduction sauce would be amazing!!
Stock up the freezer: After you have removed the stones you can freeze fresh cherries for future use. Removing the pits is really easy. Simply use a sharp paring knife and slice around the cherry, twist and remove the stone. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and place cherries cut side up in a single layer. Once frozen, place in a freezer bag or container to enjoy later.
Eat cherries to reduce inflammation and help gout:
Cherries are one of the super foods when it comes to reducing inflammation in the body. Cherries are said to reduce levels of uric acid which when high can contribute to gout. Research also points to cherries reducing levels of nitric oxide in the body which is known to be high in those with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis arthritis.
I was visiting with family last week while on vacation and my Mom made the most delicious, refreshing summer salad of watermelon, cucumbers, mint, tarragon and lime. She served it with sliced cold chicken and a half a cob of the sweetest summer corn. My sister remarked that she couldn’t think of anything better to serve guests for lunch. I couldn’t wait to get home and make it for my family. It is so simple, and the combination of the lime along with the mint and the tarragon give an outstanding flavor profile that pairs beautifully with the watermelon and cucumber. Give this one a try – it’s amazing.
As far as this recipe being a fit for the Arthritis Kitchen, watermelon is the star here. High in antioxidants and an excellent source of both vitamin C and vitamin A. This thirst quenching treat is said to reduce the inflammation that contributes to conditions such as asthma, diabetes and arthritis.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Mint, Tarragon and Lime
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1/4 large watermelon
- 1/4 cup lime juice (3-4 limes)
- 2/3 cup torn mint leaves
- 2 tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
Slice cucumbers in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard seeds. Chop cucumber and watermelon into small chunks and place in a large bowl. Stir in lime juice, herbs and salt.
Salad will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 hours.
*This recipe originally comes courtesy of Chatelaine magazine.
Quiche is a recipe that can be tweaked and changed depending on what flavors you want or what you happen to have on hand. Once you have the basic method, its a cinch to whip up in no time especially if you use a pre-made crust. This was made with caramelized onions, back bacon and cheddar.
Arthritis Kitchen Tip: Did you know that the anti inflammation properties of the onion are concentrated most in the outer layers closest to the skin. In order to benefit most from these health boosting flavonoids peel off as few layers of possible when prepping your onions.
Onion and Cheddar Quiche
1 nine inch deep dish pie crust
Line bottom with parchment paper, add to ½ full with dried peas or beans to weight down
Bake at 400 for 6 – 8 min or until lightly golden
Cool before adding fillings
2 cups milk (or combination of milk and cream)
Salt & pepper to taste
Additions (use whatever you want)
1 small onion diced
3 pieces back bacon or ham (optional)
½ cup cheese, grated
1 Tbs chopped chives
Sauté onions until golden, add bacon if using and cook through
Set aside to cool
Spoon mixture into cooled pie shell.
Sprinkle cheese on top
Slowly pour egg mixture on top
Bake at 400 for 35 min or until puffs in the center.
Allow to cool at least 5 min before slicing.
Can be served warm or at room temp.