Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Stuffed Zucchini

Posted by terrepruitt on May 18, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo, do you know that we have gone in with a friend to by a cow?  We get a small portion of a grass-fed cow.  If you have read any of my post regarding food you have probably heard that we do this.  You might also know that our favorite type of meat is the ground beef.  My hubby and I love hamburgers.  We usually have two “regular-sized” burgers and then some.  By “regular-sized” I mean big enough to fit a bun but not really thick.  I am still working on trying to get the burger to actually fit the bun.  It doesn’t have to be perfect but I would like it just a little closer to the edges of the bun. Anyway . . . I end up with a little meat leftover.  I could just make two burgers out of it, but I really don’t want to have 1/2 pound burgers.  We ALMOST have them that big, but not quite.  Without using the entire package to make two burgers I have a little left over.  The challenge is always, what to do with that little bit left over.  I often throw it over pasta.  Yum!  Always a quick, easy dinner.  The other day, though, I looked in my fridge and saw two zucchinis I need to use up.  And you know, if you have read some of my other recipes, how much I love stuff pumpkin.  So I decided to stuff the zucchini.

I didn’t get all fancy with the ingredients.  I just basically used the meat, the zucchinis, onions, and cheese.

_______________________________________

Stuffed Zucchini

coconut oil
2 zucchini
1/2 of a large onion (I prefer white)
1/4 lb of ground beef
garlic salt
salt
pepper
3/4 cups shredded cheese (your favorite)

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Wash the zucchini.  Slice them in half length-wise.  Use a spoon and drag it down the inside of the zucchini.  Only remove a little bit.  Just enough to make a little shallow “gully” down the middle of the zucchini.  Spread a little bit of coconut oil on both sides of each half.  Then place all four halves face down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Let them bake for 10 minutes.  Then take them out of the oven and salt all eight sides.  Then put them back in the oven for 10 minutes.

While they are baking, heat up a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan.  Chop up two thirds of the onion then heat them in the pan.  Once they are starting to get translucent add the meat.  Let the meat begin to cook then start adding the garlic salt and pepper if you would like.  Since the meat is going to be baked in the oven you might want to be certain not to cook it TOO much.

If you have to grate your cheese do that while everything is cooking.  Also finely chop/mince the rest of the onion.

Check on the zucchini, I like the “inside” to start browning.  Then once it is the color I like it, I flip them over and bake them some more.  I would say I roast/bake the zucchini 20 to 30 minutes before I stuff them.  So keep an eye on them so they are cooked to your liking.

Then once your zucchini are roasted to the way you like and the meat is cooked and drained, if need be.  You can “stuff” the zucchini.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI always add more garlic salt.  And a little pepper for my hubby.  Then “sprinkle” the minced onion . . . some on each half of zucchini.  I don’t necessarily measure here because I like less onion than my hubby.  So just put the amount on that you want.  Then put the meat on top.  Distributing it as you see fit.  Then top with cheese.  You might want to press down on top of each half to ensure (for the most part) that everything stays on while you are baking.

Then put the pan with the stuffed zucchini back in the oven until the cheese is browned.

Then you can serve it.

We usually eat it as an entrée, but you can serve it however you would like.

______________________________

Dang, as usually when I type up the recipes I end up wanting to have it for dinner.  Also, as usually I hadn’t planned to post about this, but then I thought, why not?

Do you like zucchini?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Quick Collard Greens And Carrots

Posted by terrepruitt on March 26, 2015

I just looked up collard greens on my blog.  I know I have blogged about them before.  Turns out I blogged about them for the first time in March four years ago.  I had been in the store and just decided to buy some.  I decided to try them.  So back in 2011, I cooked them and I liked them ok.  I said in my post that since they seemed ok I could try making them in other ways.  Well, no, not so much.  I have tried them other ways and I just don’t like them.  My husband loves them.  I cook them planning on eating them, then I suffer though eating a small portion.  Yes, I can eat them because they are good for me, but I don’t think they give me such outstanding nutrition that I should have to “suffer” through them, especially when they are something that my husband enjoys so much.  The past time before tonight that I made them I decide to just make them for him and I would make myself a salad.  So I still eat my veggies, but basically the ones I eat all the time.  Tonight I decided, again, I would make them for him and make myself a salad.  Then it occurred to me, if I am making them just for him to eat, I might as well throw in some carrots.  I don’t like cooked carrots, but he does.  So, I cooked a bunch of collard greens and he said he liked them.  I didn’t cook them for hours with a ham hock.  But what I did was fast and easy and edible . . . to one that likes collard greens!
______________________________
Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYoCollard Greens and Carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 of a large onion, chopped
a bunch of collard greens, chopped
salt
1/4 of a cup of carrots – THICK match stick cuts
a tablespoon of Better Than Bouillon
1/4 cup hot water
1 heaping teaspoon of chopped garlic

In a large pan, heat the oil.  Then put in the chopped onion.  Heat the onion until it is translucent, or, if you are like me until it starts to caramelize a bit . . . . you decide on the flavor you are after.  After the onion is the way you want it, add the chopped collard greens to the pan.  Let them cook for a minute on medium, then sprinkle with a little (just a little) salt.  While the collard greens are cooking add the Better Than Bouillon to the 1/4 cup hot water and mix it up.  Add the carrots to the pan.  After about 10 minutes on medium heat, add the liquid bouillon to the pan, if it is not dissolved push the greens to one side of the pan and add the liquid directly to the pan so the heat help melt the bouillon.  Then mix it all together.  Add the garlic.  Then cook until the collard greens are to your liking.  I don’t cook them until they lose all their bright green color.  But if you like them that way – do that.

_______________________

I probably will add more carrots next time, but I basically used what we had.  I had almost forgot we had the collard greens because they came in our produce box.  So I hadn’t planned ahead on how to cook them.  But, as I have said many times before, I am fortunate my husband likes a lot of things so sometimes when I throw stuff together he is ok with it.  It seems like he really likes collard greens so he might just eat them any way I cook ’em.  Not me.

I still have not tried the recipe that Chef Dwight gave us in my comments.  One of these days, Dwight!  Do go to my first post My Experiment with Collard Greens and read the comments for a Southern Recipe for collard greens.

I will just keep cooking them for my hubby!

 

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Eggcellent Dinner

Posted by terrepruitt on September 11, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesWhat to make for dinner is often a tough question to answer.  My husband does not understand why it is so difficult.  He doesn’t understand that when he eats ground turkey and a vegetable two nights (at least) every week for months it is because I just do not have the time or mental capability to THINK of something to make for dinner.  Ground turkey and whatever vegetable we have is soooooo easy.  But this past year I was told I made it too much.  So . . . now that I have more time and can think about something other than planning a “memorial”,  I am trying to come up with something else for dinner.  On Thursdays I like to have something pretty much prepared before I go to teach the evening Gentle Yoga class.  My hubby has been experimenting with making deviled eggs so we ended up with a lot of eggs.  So I thought why not make a Frittata?  Is it still a frittata if you don’t bake it in the pan you do the initial cooking in?  I don’t have a cast iron skillet.  Or pan that can go in the oven.  Or — perhaps more accurately, one I want to put in the oven.  But I just put my “frittatas” in a casserole dish.

According to Wiki:
“Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables or pasta. The word frittata is derived from Italian and roughly translates to “egg-cake”.

History

The Italian word frittata derives from fritta and roughly translates to egg-cake. This was originally a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, anywhere on the spectrum from fried egg, through conventional omelette, to an Italian version of the Spanish tortilla de patatas, made with fried potato. Outside Italy, frittata was seen as equivalent to “omelette” until at least the mid-1950s.”

Well, I had a small piece of chicken to use and a lot of eggs.  So I bought some mushrooms and a leek.

Here is our dinner tonight.

_________________________________________

Leek and Mushroom Frittata

1 leek, chopped up into little pieces
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
6 eggs
1/3 C milk (I use 1%)
1/2 C cooked chicken (optional)
1 C Cheddar cheese (I used mild)
salt
pepper
butter
(I used a 7.5 in X 11 in casserole dish)

Put about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan.  Heat the oil.  Then add the leeks.  Salt them a little while cooking.  When they look as if they are getting cooked add the mushrooms to the pan.  Add a little more salt.  Add the rosemary.  Add the garlic.  Cook the leeks and mushrooms until they are almost done.

While the vegetables are cooking beat the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the milk.  If you feel you need more salt and pepper you can put it in the egg mixture.

Once the veggies are cooked add them to the eggs in the large bowl.  Butter the casserole dish.  Then pour the veggie-egg mixture into the casserole dish.  Then add the chicken, use a fork to spread the chicken around in the vegetable-egg mixture.  Then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.  With the fork sink the cheese into the vegetable-egg-chicken mixture.

Bake on 350° F for about 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes check it to see if it is done to your liking.  Usually you want eggs to be cooked thoroughly.  But everyone likes their eggs done differently so cook it to the way YOU like it.

_________________________________________

 

Of course this can be breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, a snack . . . . whatever you want.  I am sure you can adapt it to one pan cooking like a “real” frittata, but . . . it works in a casserole dish too.

Do you like frittatas?  Do you ever eat them for dinner?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Salsa Chicken

Posted by terrepruitt on May 22, 2014

So my niece is learning to enjoy cooking — at least I think she is learning to enjoy cooking.  She keeps telling me about one of her favorite recipes right now.  Salsa Chicken.  I am not sure where she got the recipe, probably Pinterest since she is young and it is all the rage with people right now.  I know I have seen the recipe in the past, but I have never really liked tomatoes enough to try it.  You might be familiar with me and tomatoes.  I have grown a little more tolerate of them.  Also recently I purchased a salsa from the deli section and it was very good.  It was a garlic salsa.  So I was thinking that it would be great in my niece’s recipe.  But, of course, when I went to the store they didn’t have it.  I bought a different one, it was a “medium” salsa and it proved to be too hot for me.  But I just took a little of it off my chicken and it was fine.  Super yummy in fact.  I see why my niece likes this recipe.  It is super flavorful.  It is easy and really yummy.  So here is how I made the Salsa Chicken.
___________________________________________

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaSALSA CHICKEN:

~4 boneless, skinless thin chicken breast filets
~one package of taco seasoning
~two cloves of garlic, minced
~16 ounces of salsa
~1 cup cheddar cheese
~Cilantro (optional)
~Sour cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.
Place chicken breast in a 9×13 (or similar) baking dish. Season both sides of chicken with taco seasoning.  Sprinkle garlic on chicken.  Cover with salsa.  Bake for 20 minutes, until chicken is almost fully cooked. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until melted and chicken is fully cooked. To serve, top with cilantro and sour cream if desired.

Serve over rice.

___________________________________________

The store I was at only had thin breast filets.  That is why I used them instead of regular chicken breast halves.  So with the THIN filet I cut the baking time from the original “25-35 minutes” to just 20.  Nothing ruins a great chicken recipe like over-cooked chicken.  So, keep in mind that if you are using thicker breasts the time will probably be a little longer than 20 minutes.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaAlso the recipe my niece gave me called for 4 tablespoons of taco seasoning.  I measured out the package and I thought it was only 2.5 to three.  But whatever it was . . . it fully covered the chicken.  So this can be another one of those things that you can adjust to your liking.

I didn’t measure the salsa.  I just put enough on to cover all of the meat.  I had a 20 ounce container and I used most of it.  So I am guessing it was about 16 ounces.  Again, adjust for your tastes.

And since I had imagined using the garlic salsa, I put garlic on the chicken.  Not a necessary ingredient.

I did use the cilantro, but I don’t eat sour cream.  I bet if I did it would have helped cool down the “too hot” salsa.  My hubby loves sour cream and he used it.

My niece said she served the chicken with “FarmHouse Mexican rice and corn”.  I don’t even know what that is.  I just used plain white rice.  I spooned the liquid from the pan onto the rice.  So the rice was salsa-y.

It was very good.  My hubby loved it so now I have another recipe to add to my menu regulars.  It is so easy.

I wanna thank my niece for motivating me to try this.  My husband also wants to thank her because — again, super yummy.  And since it is so easy it will be a regular dish here at our house.

So . . . what’s for dinner?

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

 

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Rooster’s Beak With Cucumbers And Fennel

Posted by terrepruitt on May 25, 2013

So I am not always a big fan of salsa.  I am not always feeling the love for tomatoes and I am NEVER feeling the love for the hot spicy of most salsa.  Most of the time I will just “wet” my chip in the salsa.  Since tomatoes aren’t something I really like I don’t usually like Pico De Gallo.  Recently I saw a pico de gallo recipe with cucumbers in it.  Yes, I know there are a lot of different types of salsa and chunky “salsas”.  You can make what people call salsa out of anything now a days, just like you can make “aioli” out of anything even though aioli is “traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and egg yolks” and salsa and pico de gallo are traditionally made with tomatoes.  This was a tomato pico de gallo but it has cucumbers in it.  I thought that would be cool.  I saved the recipe with a plan to make it later.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaThen one day, the day I was detoured by that little produce store on my way home from Nia Class in San Jose, where I bought my broccoli, I bought some tomatoes too.  I was thinking I would make that pico de gallo.  I knew I had cucumber and cilantro.  Well, as sometimes happens, I didn’t get around to making it right away.  I ended up using the cucumber I had for salads.

Of course, by the time I got some cucumber and decided to make the pico de gallo my cilantro was a bag of mush.  That stuff goes fast and it was the bottom shelf so I hadn’t seen how bad off it was.  So I ended up not having cilantro.  But I had fennel.  I thought I could try a “pico de gallo” with fennel tops.  Not a traditional pico de gallo anyway because it has cucumbers in it.

Since it was not going to have any cilantro and fennel is not very strong I put in a lot of onions!  A LOT.  For me . . . too many.  I think it made it too hot.  But my husband liked it.  The original recipe can be found here.

I made it like this:

________________________________________________

Pico de Gallo/Salsa Fresca

2 Roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

4 T finely chopped cucumber

2 T fresh fennel tops

2 garlic cloves

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Squeeze of 1/2 fresh lemon

I pressed the garlic in a garlic press, then combined all the ingredients.  I let it chill for a few hours.

________________________________________________

My husband liked it.  But he is really easy to cook for because he likes pretty much everything.  But he said it was good.  I think the onions carried it.  I am not sure the fennel was strong enough to add that much of a flavor.  But I know it was very different than pico de gallo with cilantro.

The next day there was some left over and I added avocados to it.  I didn’t even taste it because I don’t like guacamole, but my hubby enjoyed it.

I might actually try this again with the actual fennel BULB!  I really like fennel!  And I LOVE the idea of cucumbers in pico de gallo!

***(Added June 19, 2013) According to Wiki:  “In Mexican cuisine, pico de gallo (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpiko ðe ˈɣaʎo], literally rooster’s beak), also called salsa fresca”***

What do you put in you pico de gallo?  Do you make chunky salsa?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Tahini Makes The Hummus

Posted by terrepruitt on June 14, 2012

dance exercise, Nia, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia San JoseI recently tried my hand at making hummus.  I have made it a few times and I keep adjusting the recipe.  The first time it seemed a bit too bitter and sour so I decided the next time I would put in less tahini and lemon.  So I put in less tahini, lemon, and salt and I put in a lot of raw garlic.  Woooeeeee!  That made it kind of spicy and really strong.  Our refrigerator smelled of such strong garlic.  I was thinking that if I cooked the garlic before putting it in the hummus it would make it more mellow.  I was making it in a kitchen other than my own and I forgot my garlic press so I really felt I needed to cook the garlic before putting it in.  This third batch was the best so far.  In addition to the sauteed garlic I was able to use a food processor.  The food processor really made a big difference.  The time before when I used my blender there were many whole beans left.  The blender does not get the beans as well as the food processor.  But I do believe the key ingredient is the tahini.  Despite the fact that it really bitter it has the flavor that makes hummus taste like hummus to me.

dance exercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia teacher, San Jose NiaTahini is ground sesame seeds.  The jar states this tahini is made of roasted then ground sesame seeds.  I am not usually a fan of sesame seeds.  If given a choice I would not eat them, but I do believe they are an important ingredient in hummus.  As I said, I think tahini is the ingredient that gives the hummus that familiar-to-me flavor.dance exercise, Nia, Nia class, Nia Teacher, Nia San Jose

I also think the tahini is the main reason why hummus is a bit high in fat.  The beans themselves have fat, garbanzo beans have 2 grams of fat per half of a cup.  The tahini has 19 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons.  That is a lot of fat.  There is a lot of protein in both the beans and the tahini.  The beans have 7 grams per 1/2 cup and the tahini has 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoons.  Hummus is a great source of protein.

There is hardly any sodium in the tahini which I think is a good thing because it allows for control of the sodium content in the hummus.  The first batch I made seemed very salty to me so I was able to adjust it with each successive batch.

The marketing on the jar of tahini states that it is a good source of iron and calcium, but it is only 4% of the recommended daily value.  Combined with the beans I think hummus is a good source of iron, but I don’t feel it is high in calcium.

I like to eat hummus as a dip.  I dip veggies in it.  I also like to eat it with pita bread or even corn chips.  I also like to use it as a mayonnaise replacement.  I put it on sandwiches instead of using mayo.  It helps to add a bit of protein and fiber to a sandwich.  Also having the hummus with the tahini in it really adds an additional layer of flavor to a sandwich.  I really think that the tahini is the key to a flavorful hummus.

Are you familiar with tahini?  Do you make your hummus with or without tahini? 

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Baked, Split, and Broiled Eggplant

Posted by terrepruitt on May 5, 2012

The past two Thursdays have been pretty cold here and since I don’t teach Nia on Thursdays evenings I have been cooking soup.  One Thursday I had it planned so I actually did go to the store after my Nia class on Wednesday to buy the ingredients I needed, but yesterday it was cold so I just decided to use what I had, which was not much.  While I think that a bowl or two of soup can easily be a meal, I like to serve something else with it.  When I looked in my fridge I saw the eggplant I had bought.  Yay!  Perfect.  I saw a recipe on icancookstuff that sounded interesting.  While I do not eat spicy hot food I thought I could use the garlic and the cummin.  But it turns out I don’t have any cummin.  So I decided to use ginger and turmeric.  I have them in powdered form so I got the bottles out of the cupboard and set them on the counter.  Then I put the eggplant in the oven to bake it.Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,

The recipe said to bake it at 200 degrees for 45 minutes.**  I didn’t think I had 45 minute so I put the temperature up to 300 and left it on for 30 minutes.  I didn’t feel that the eggplant was cooked enough so I turned the convection oven on and set the timer for 30 more minutes. I turned it four times because it was getting flat on the pan side.

In the meantime I was cooking my soup.  I only had one bunch of baby bok choy, a bunch of kale, and some broccoli.  I swore I wasn’t going to put broccoli in a soup again, but . . . I didn’t think the rest would make it.  So while I was trying to fake making soup I wasn’t really paying attention to the eggplant.  My soup finished before the eggplant.

By the time I finally thought the eggplant was cooked enough to split I split it.  I was thinking that I would make one half for me and one half for my husband.  I salted it, I put a bit of garlic on it, I put a little bit of parmesan cheese on it.  Then I looked over and I saw the onions I had chopped to put on it.  And the kale.  So I decided to put the onions and kale on one half and hubby and I would just get a half of each half making a whole half.

I put it back in the oven and let it bake for a bit more.  Half way through the end of baking portion I saw the ginger and turmeric on the counter.  Snap!  I forgot to put it on.  So I sprinkled a little turmeric on both halves.  I put the broiler on for about 10 minutes.

Here is the result.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,

From the time I thought to cook the eggplant to the time I put it in the oven to finish baking I had thought of three different ways to flavor it.  I had originally thought to use garlic, turmeric, and ginger, then I thought of garlic, onions, and kale, then I thought of garlic, and cheese.  That really is not a big deal the big deal is that I forgot one each time I thought of the new one.  Geez!  What I ended up with was ok.  I think it needed a little bit more flavor.  I will work on that.  I don’t even think I tasted the turmeric.

I like cooking eggplant this way because it is much less time-consuming than turn the slices all the time.  But I think I like the roasted slices better.  But I will continue to experiment with this.  I might try slicing it into three pieces next time.  Although a baked eggplant is not easy to slice.

**It just dawned on me that the 200 degrees was probably Celsius and not Fahrenheit.  So it would actually be about 400 degrees F.  Ha!

I can’t wait to try this again!

What do you think of this way of cooking eggplant?  What would you put on the eggplant?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Mushrooms – Not a Superfood, But Super Good

Posted by terrepruitt on February 28, 2012

My family has always eaten mushrooms.  I have not.  I remember a time when I didn’t like them.  I remember that I started liking them. Not too long after I started liking them, my grandfather, who was the one that cooked them how I liked them, starting his bizarre food behaviors.  The way he cooked the mushrooms by which I started liking them was sauteing them with browned butter and a ton of garlic.  Then he started adding all types of things, things that might not actually belong mixed together.  But my grandfather’s decline is not the subject of this post.  Neither is the fact that he was the one that introduced me to mushrooms.  The subject of this post is mushrooms.  There was a time and I mentioned it before in my Some Foods Can Boost Your Immune System post, when mushrooms were not thought to have much nutritional value.  In fact, I remember my mother and I talking about that.  We had thought that mushrooms were pretty much nationally void.  But now-a-days that is not the case.  Mushrooms are not a superfood, but they do have nutritional value.

Mushrooms are a fungus.  There are many kind, I know, but I am talking about the plain white variety.  The ones that really go with almost anything savory.  I mean the other kind are good, but some of them have a very strong flavor so they might drown out a delicate sauce or flavor.  But the white ones are pretty plain, so you can make them any flavor you’d like — pretty much.  At the same time receive their nutritional benefits.

Mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked.  When I eat them raw it is usually in a salad or in as part of a veggie tray with dip.  Oh, we also do use them as a dipper when eating cheese fondue.

ance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Per the USDA Nutrient Database the nutritional value for about 3.5 oz of mushrooms is:

about 27 Calories

Carbohydrates 4.1 g

Fat 0.1 g

Protein 2.5 g

Thiamine (vit. B1)  0.1 mg (9%)

Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.5 mg (42%)

Niacin (vit. B3) 3.8 mg (25%)

Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.5 mg (30%)

Vitamin C 0 mg (0%)

Calcium 18 mg (2%)

Phosphorus 120 mg (17%)

Potassium 448 mg (10%)

Sodium 6 mg (0%)

Zinc 1.1 mg (12%)

So with that information we can see there is a good amount vitamin B in mushrooms.  It seems that mushrooms can be forced to make vitamin D.  The process can be compared to how we convert sunshine on our skin to vitamin D.  Mushrooms have a chemical called ergosterol, which, when exposed to UV light is converted to vitamin D.

Wiki states:  “Testing conducted by the Pennsylvania State University showed an hour of UV light exposure made a serving of mushrooms contain twice the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s daily recommendation of vitamin D. Testing by the Monterey Mushrooms Company demonstrated 5 minutes of UV light exposure made a serving of mushrooms contain four times the FDA’s daily recommendation of vitamin D.”

Which is funny to me because I thought mushrooms preferred dark.

On Fresh Mushrooms their antioxidant contents is cited.  Antioxidants are good for the immune system.  They help protect the cells from damage from free radical, which are thought to be the cause of many diseases.  Mushrooms contain the antioxidant Ergothioneine and the mineral Selenium which works as an antioxidant.

I love mushrooms.  I am happy that they are more than just good tasting, they are good for me.  We eat a lot of mushrooms.  Do you?  How many times a week would you say you have mushrooms?  How do you prepare them?  Do you eat them raw or do you cook them?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Some Foods Can Boost Your Immune System

Posted by terrepruitt on February 14, 2012

Our local warehouse store puts out a magazine, it is called The Costco Connection. In the February 2012 issue there was an article about “Foods to protect your immune system”, by Carl Germano. The magazine said that Whey Protein, cultured yogurt, mushrooms, elderberry, garlic, and oats helps protect the immune system.

Whey protein is a by-product of cheese from cow’s milk. So it could cause allergic reactions to people with milk allergies. But the article said it is the only protein that contains powerful substances called immunoglobulins. Funny that they use that word instead of the more familiar “antibody”. Antibodies are the much needed part of our immune system that guard against infections by fighting off bacteria and viruses. Antibodies are also made by our immune system in response to foreign objects in the body.

I had always been told to eat only yogurt with “live cultures” (eww, that grosses me out just like yeast!). But back in the day they were not publicly called probiotics and it was not the latest marketing trend. Although, I am thinking that other people also have an aversion to the term “live cultures” and that is why marketing has used “probiotics”. Probiotics help keep the balance in your gut (intestines). And a healthy gut is an important part of the immune system.

Mushrooms are a healthy fungus. This article made me feel much better because all my life I had thought mushrooms didn’t have any nutritional value. This article said “once thought to be nutrient void”. I knew it! I knew they were thought to be “nothing”. They deserve their own separate post! According to Wiki the actions are not understood, some clinical trials are showing results that mushrooms might help fight diseases. I think that anything that fights diseases qualifies as something that helps the immune system, right?

The University of Maryland has information regarding the Elderberry, saying that it has been used to treat wounds for centuries and it is used to treat colds and respiratory issues. Those things alone can point to immune boosts, right? I mean, if it treats a wound it probably helps fight against infection – which is an immune function. If it helps fight colds and respiratory issues – that sounds like something helping the immune system.

ALL MY LIFE, I have been told about the benefits of garlic. My family is huge on eating garlic. My grandfather used to fry it. It is pretty good that way. Strong, but good. (Not deep fried, just fried in a pan.) Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Eating it can help fight bacteria. And Dr. Oz has stated that putting a clove in your ear can help fight off ear infections.

Oats are the cholesterol-lowering food. Oats also have a lot of fiber which we know helps the body maintain balance. According to the article “studies have shown that beta-glucans, powerful immune-regulating compounds . . . . have positive effects in animals and humans.”

So if you eat these things as part of your diet you are helping your immune system. If you don’t, you might want to include them in your diet. If you include them in your diet already, how do you do it? I am really curious about Elderberries in the diet.

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Variation of the Baby Bok Choy Soup

Posted by terrepruitt on January 28, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia teacher, Nia Student, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Cardio Dance, Nia workoutI spent a large portion of the day practicing Alive, it is the Nia routine I am starting to teach.  I debuted it Friday, but I need to practice and practice.  In Nia we say, “tight but loose”. So I need to know the music and choreography to perfection which allows me to dance with it and play to it is loose and flowing and fun to my Nia students.  So practice and play is the key.  I was so busy having fun with it I didn’t have a lot of time to come up with a blog post.  Because I also spent some time in the kitchen making a different version of my Baby Bok Choy and Spinach Soup recipe.  The people I made it for convinced me that it was good enough that I could use my adaptation of my Baby bok choy and spinach soup recipe as a post.  So here goes.

Parsnips, Broccoli, Baby bok choy, and Spinach Soup

–olive oil
–1 medium sized onion chopped (save some for garnish)
–2 parsnips (chopped)
–1 bunch of broccoli (chopped)
–4 bundles of baby bok choy  (bottom portion separate from leafy portion, chop both and leave separate, they are added to the soup at different times)
–2 or 3 tsp of minced garlic
–1.5 tsp granulated garlic
–1.5 tsp garlic salt
–48 oz of chicken broth
–a half of bottle or can of beer
–shake or two of teriyaki
–small piece (3/4 of an inch) of ginger, chopped
–3/4 of a 6-oz bag of spinach
–1.5 (ish) wooden spoonful of cream cheese spread whipped with chives

Sautee chopped onion in the olive oil.  When the onions look tender add in the chopped parsnip, add granulated garlic and garlic salt.  Cook parsnip until it seems a bit tender, then add the bottom portion of the bok choy and broccoli. Let it cook a minute, then add the minced garlic.  Sautee until tender.  Then pour in the broth.  Add about a half can or bottle of beer and the few splashes of teriyaki.  Stir it as you feel necessary throughout the entire process.  Bring to boil. Add the cream cheese if you are going to use it.  Add the ginger.  Add leafy portion of the bok choy and bag of spinach.  Let cook for a few minutes or until the veggies are wilted.  Once the veggies looked wilted use the blender to mix it all up.  (I use the immersion blender so I can keep it all in the same pot.  Please remember to be cautious of the steam.)

The parsnips give this a little difference flavor and the broccoli leaves little green specks in the soup no matter how much you blend it.  Actually when you look at it, it looks the same as all the other soup I make.  But it tastes different.

I was trying to make something easy to eat for someone with a sore throat.  This soup is kind of thick yet easy to swallow and it packs a punch with all the vegetables it contains.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and let me to continue to share my soup experiments and at the same time put spending time with friends and family at the forefront of life!

Enjoy!

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »