Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘Parmesan cheese’

Artichoke Chicken and Chickpea Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2018

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI have been out of town the last two weekends.  So our fridge is looking pretty bare.  I didn’t know what to cook for dinner tonight.  I didn’t want to go out to get something from the store.  I was thinking I could use chicken and add it to rice or pasta.  I was thinking I had a jar of sauce, but when I looked in the pantry I didn’t see one.  But I did see a jar of artichoke hearts.  I was thinking I would add them to the chicken.  Then I thought I would also use a can of chickpeas.  I love the richness that chickpeas adds.  So sometimes out of necessity you come up with an easy recipe of things you have on hand.

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Artichoke Chicken and Chickpea Pasta

1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 can of chicken
1 1/2 cups chopped artichoke hearts
3/4 teaspoon Nutritional yeast
Salt
Pepper
Garlic salt
Cheese*
Butter
Pasta

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitDrain the chickpeas.  Rinse off the chickpeas.  Put the chickpeas in a large pan.  Turn the heat up somewhat high and let the chickpeas start to dry off.  When they start cooking sprinkle them with salt. Keep the chickpeas moving so that they start to get evenly toasted.  Add a teaspoon of butter.  Keep cooking the chickpeas.  Add a little more salt.  Let them cook more.  Then add some butter.  The chickpeas should be browning a little bit.  Cook the chickpeas to your desired doneness . . . I like them browned and starting to get a crunch.

Drain the chicken, then add it to the pan.  Sprinkle the chicken with garlic salt. Stir up the mixture and cook the chicken a bit.  Canned chicken is already cooked so it doesn’t need that long in the pan, or that high of a heat.  At this point I turned the heat down.

Add the chopped artichoke hearts.  Cook everything until it is hot.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhile the chicken is cooking boil the water for the pasta.  Cook the pasta.  I used linguine because that is what I like.

Once the pasta is cooked to your liking, drain it, then put it on a plate with some butter.  Sprinkle 3/4 of a teaspoon of Nutritional yeast on the pasta.  Then put the chicken mixture on top of the pasta.  Add pepper if you would like and more garlic salt if you feel it needs it.  Grate a small amount of cheese on top.

*I would have liked to have used Parmesan, but all I had was a Cheddar Monterey Jack blend.

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I think this was pretty good.  It is very rich with the beans and the artichokes.  It is super easy.  It was nice because the artichokes gave it a flavor that we don’t always have.  So it was a bit different for us.  I really liked it.

I was going to add some Kalamata olives, but I decided not to.  What do you think?  What kind of pasta would you use?  Now what do I do with the rest of the jar of artichoke hearts?

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Cauliflower Cake

Posted by terrepruitt on March 25, 2016

So yummy.  My friend posted on Facebook that she had to explain to her child that the Cauliflower Cake she made for dinner was a savory CAKE, not like a birthday cake.  She said it was a recipe from Ottolenghi.  Of course I Googled it and I was intrigued.  Then I noticed that a head of cauliflower was to be delivered in our produce box so I thought, ok. 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, SJCityFit The challenge according to the posted recipe was finding the nigella seeds, but I think Amazon meets each and every challenge with a “pppprrrruuuuuf”.  I ordered both the white sesame seeds and nigella seeds online and had them before my scheduled produce delivery.  The recipe noted you can use black sesame, black cumin, or onion seeds instead of the nigella/black caraway seeds.

I altered this recipe because I used the head of cauliflower I had and did not specifically shop for a small one as the recipe called for.  I also could not bring myself to use the 5 (FIVE) tablespoons of olive oil that the recipe called for.  I put two in the pan and almost stopped there, but decided to go with three . . . which I think was PLENTY!

I don’t like biting into rosemary stems so I had my husband grind them.  He used a mortar and pestle and he does an excellent job making them fine and powdery!  I also used SHAVED cheese instead of shredded Parmesan, and it was actually a Parmesan/Romano blend.  I like how there is more cheese in a bite that way . . . but I am sure either is fine.  The recipe called for unsalted butter, which I bought once for a recipe a long time ago and will not be doing that again.  So I used regular butter.

Since I use my blog as my recipe book I put my ideas for next time I make this in the recipe below in asterisked italics.  That way I don’t have to continue to scroll down to check what I want to do different and I won’t forget because it will be right there.)

This is what I did, which is an adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe I found on thekitchn.com

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Savory Cauliflower Cake

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 cauliflower head, cut into pieces (not small pieces, about an inch big)

1 medium red onion

3 tablespoons olive oilDance 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, SJCityFit

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves (which I had my hubby grind up for me)

7 large eggs

1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped **use more**

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 teaspoon (heaping) ground turmeric **1/2 to 1 teaspoon**

1 1/2 cups shaved Parmesan or Parmesan/Romano

Melted butter, for brushing the sides of the pan

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt  **to 2 teaspoon**

black pepper (to taste)

9 1/2 springform pan (or a 9-inch cake pan or even an 8-inch square pan)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  (The original recipe called for 400° F, I mistakenly did it at 450° which requires less time . . . .so I think I will stick to 450° F and bake it for less time.)

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and cook until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a fork.  (But don’t break them up.) Drain and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients (whatever you didn’t get done while the cauliflower was cooking).

Peel the onion, then cut 3 slices, almost 1/4-inch/5-mm thick, off one end.  Set the onion rings aside.

Heat up the 3 tablespoons of oil in a small pan.

Coarsely chop the remaining onion and cook it in the oil with the rosemary, stirring as necessary.  Cook it until the onion is soft.  When done remove from heat and set aside.

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, SJCityFitWhile the onion is cooking you can line the bottom and sides of the springform pan or your chosen baking dish with parchment paper.  Then use the melted butter to butter the paper in the pan, the sides and the bottom.  In the 9 1/2 inch springform the mixture does not go all the way up to the top so you only need to butter about halfway up.  Mix the white sesame seeds and the nigella seeds together.  Then sprinkle the seed mixture on the sides of the pan.  **USE ALL THE SEEDS!  Perhaps even putting them on the bottom of the pan.**

While your onions are cooling, break the 7 eggs into a large bowl and whisk well.  Add the basil and whisk.  Add the cooked onion and rosemary mixture to the eggs.  Whisking and stirring.  Then stir in the flour, baking powder, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.  Stir until all ingredients are mixed well.  Then mix in the Parmesan.  Then add the cooked cauliflower.  Don’t stir too much that you break up all the flowerets into little pieces, but mix it enough so that it is all mixed together.

Pour the egg and cauliflower mixture into the pan.  Spreading it evenly, then put the onion rings on top.  **Sprinkle some seeds on top**  Place in the center of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Bake it until golden brown.  Check complete doneness by inserting a knife into the center.  It is done when the knife comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and serve to your liking, hot, warm, or cold.

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I ate on this for a few days.  I can’t wait to make it again with my extra **tweaks.  I really like it.  I thought it was super yummy.  You can use it as the main dish or a side and serve it with a salad and something meaty.  It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It is yummy!

Well, what do you think?

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Bruschetta Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on August 5, 2014

You may have read my post regarding how much I loved Dinner of Herbs eggplant bruschetta recipe. I said I could put the eggplant mixture on anything. Well, I actually bought the ingredients to make the bruschetta, I even remembered the bread! But when I arrived at home I looked in my refrigerator and realized I had some zucchini I needed to use. Plus I had some mushrooms I needed to use. So I decided this would be a great time to put the eggplant and tomato mixture with a little extra over pasta. So I am just adding zucchini and mushrooms to the way I made the bruschetta.  Here is what I made:

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Five-Vegetable PastaDance 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 classes

Ingredients:

–1 medium or large eggplant, cubed (very small)
–4 medium sized tomatoes, cubed
–1 lb of mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped
–2 zucchinis, grated
–3/4 of a large onion, chopped (tiny)
olive oil
two tablespoons of butter
garlic powder
onion powder
salt
pepper
sweet basil
balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese, as desired
1 package/box/container of pasta (I prefer linguine)

Heat the oven to 450°F.

Put the eggplant on a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil. Mix it up, then spread the eggplant evenly, in one layer (the eggplant I used was too large to be one layer), over the baking sheet. After baking for about 10 minutes, move the eggplant around on the pan.  After another 10 minutes, gently stir/toss the eggplant and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for about an additional 25 minutes. Stirring or tossing if necessary to ensure even roasting. In between roasting the eggplant, spread 3/4 of the tomato out over a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder. (Tomatoes are too delicate to be mixed as done with the eggplant.) Bake until the edge pieces are browning.  Stirring gently, if you want.  I ended up cooking the tomatoes for about 30 minutes.

Somewhere in between cooking the mushrooms and zucchini as instructed below, you might want to cook your pasta. I prefer my pasta hot. You can plan and cook accordingly.

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 classesWhile the other vegetables are baking, heat some olive oil and 1/2 the chopped onion in a pan. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper as desired (I use garlic salt) and cook to your liking (I like them a little caramelized). Remove from pan and set the mushrooms aside. Add two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted add the grated zucchini. Cook the zucchini about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Once all the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction put half of the cooked and drained pasta in a large bowl, then add half of all of the cooked vegetables.  Add the basil, vinegar, any additional salt and/or pepper you desire.  Then add the rest of the pasta and cooked vegetables along with half of the raw tomato and onion.  Toss it all.  Taste it to see if you want more basil, vinegar, salt and/or pepper.  Put the rest of the raw tomato and onion on top. Serve the pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

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This is the first recipe I wrote FIRST, then followed.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe as I was cooking, and noted them before posting.  I think layering the pasta, then veggies makes for easier mixing.  Of course, you can mix it anyway you’d like.  I loved this.  I loved the flavor as I did when I made the eggplant bruschetta.  What I would do next time is use 3 tomatoes instead of four.  The flavor of the tomatoes overpowered everything.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers, as I believe left over pasta is often better than the freshly made dish.  The flavors have time to meld.

This is an easy dish, there is nothing complicated about any part of the process, but with all of the chopping it is a bit labor intensive.  The separate roasting of the eggplant and tomatoes makes it a long process.  I didn’t want to roast them at the same time.  But if you chop while things are cooking . . . . .

I will probably make it again.

What about you?  Does it sound good?  Which of the vegetables is your favorite? 

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It’s Not the Turkey Making You Tired

Posted by terrepruitt on November 26, 2011

A while ago I heard something that explained the myth around turkey and tryptophan.  But I couldn’t remember what it was so I was thinking about it and I realized that it probably isn’t really the amount of tryptophan in the turkey that causes people to get sleepy it is more likely the combination of foods that are being consumed during a holiday meal AND the amount.  I was thinking that all the carbohydrates would be a reason that people feel sleepy after eating a turkey dinner.  So, of course I looked it up and the wonderful Wiki had a lot of great info.

First of all, the amount of tryptophan is less in turkey than in cod, soybeans, Parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese.  It is slightly higher in turkey than chicken, beef, and pork chops.  A direct quote from Wiki:  “It is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, corn, spirulina, and peanuts.”  Basically protein based foods. Tryptohphan in turkey has been blamed for many people falling asleep after a Holiday meal.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid so that means we must eat it because our bodies cannot produce it.  If you are experiencing depression, anxiety, irritability, impatience, impulsiveness, inability to concentrate, weight gain or unexplained weight loss, overeating and/or carbohydrate cravings, poor dream recall, or insomnia, according to WHFoods, you could need to add more tryptophan to your diet.  Adding more foods that contain high amounts of tryptophan could possibly help you with these things.  It helps form serotonin which can help you feel better and help you sleep.

The ByteSize Science did a little video explaining that tryptophan does not make you sleepy.  This video says there is LESS in turkey than in chicken.  It explains that tryptophan on its own could cause you to be sleepy, but the amount in turkey has to compete with all the other food and so it is not enough to actually cause you to be tired.  This video also says that most people eat more calories in one Thanksgiving meal than they normally it in a regular day.  This huge amount of food makes the body have to work extra hard to digest the food.  The blood goes from the brain to the stomach which causes the tiredness and grogginess.

Not sure how the turkey-tryptophan myth started, but science has proved it to be exactly that – a myth.  So instead of blaming turkey, and the amino acid that our body needs to make necessary compounds, for our post Holiday food coma we should actually acknowledge it is probably the amount of food and the combination of food that is responsible.  Armed with this information we could eat our turkey without fearing it will cause us to get sleepy and maybe eat less food and less carbs and avoid the food coma that usually ensues a Holiday meal.   What do you think?

This is a portion of a chart on Wiki:

Food Protein [g/100 g of food] Tryptophan
[g/100 g of food]
Tryptophan/Protein [%]
cod, atlantic, dried

62.82

0.70

1.11

soybeans, raw

36.49

0.59

1.62

cheese, Parmesan

37.90

0.56

1.47

cheese, cheddar

24.90

0.32

1.29

pork, chop

19.27

0.25

1.27

turkey

21.89

0.24

1.11

chicken

20.85

0.24

1.14

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