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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

My First Grill of 2012

Normally in the years past, grilling is a past time I enjoy year round…but I’ve been a slacker and am once again trying to redesign my life-style. Recently I participated in a quasi health study in which I confirmed that my cholesterol is much higher than it should be, but aside from that, I’m in tip top shape.

What does this mean to me and my change in life-style? Sadly enough, the butter, bacon, baked goods, and cheese need to be eliminated for a while and eaten in a moderated fashion after I’ve regained the levels of cholesterol that are recommended. The bright and beautiful silver lining to this ominous cloud is the fact that we are on the brink of Spring and in Denver, CO this means I can get on my bike to exercise, the garden is beginning to grow, and the cornucopia of delicious vegetables are coming in greater variety and abundance. What I need to replace those bad-habit-foods are high-nutrient veggies that provide for a better source of fiber. The following is the beginning of a year long journey with my body to make sure it is a better machine to take with me on the many explorations I hope to embark on in the years to come.

Luckily, I work for the best market in the world that offers such an amazing selection of veggies, I can hardly figure out what I’m going to eat while I’m there. I finally figured it out this time and I this is what I found; Belgian Endive, Eggplant, Kale, Tofu, and yes there is still some cheese in the meal (Rome wasn’t built in a day).

The idea for the eggplant was to create a version of Caprese Salad using the eggplant in place of tomato as good tomatoes are difficult to find this time of year. All is to be grilled though:

Everything on the grill was prepared with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and the tofu had cayenne dusted over it as well. I grilled the kale until the edges were lightly blackened, the endive halved and flat side down until grill marked, the eggplant until tender, and the tofu until dark golden and firm.

The finished product smelled so good I could hardly keep it out of my mouth long enough to plate it for the blog. While at the store I decided to try a local hot sauce that is to be drizzled over the tofu.

I have a basil plant growing in the house, balsamic vinegar and olive oil are also on hand to create the final dish.

With everything on this plate, it’s hard for me to choose a favorite, but the endive is the one that I devoured first and I could have had just a plate of that and been happy, but I would have hated to miss the rest of it. Healthy eating is certainly no punishment for me, and I’m looking forward to my journey to good cholesterol levels, by way of delicious veggies, bike riding, hiking, and adventure!

Cheers!

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Getting Started

As you may realize, roasting vegetables is something I love to do. Somehow it feels healthier and fresher than steaming, or sauteing; the only other way I prefer them is grilled, but some veggies are more difficult than others.

Ingredients:

About 20 Brussel Sprouts – trimmed and halved
6 Cloves of Garlic
1 TBS Butter
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Chablis
5 TBS Rice Vinegar
2 Lemons
6 Strips of Bacon
1 Fresh Sprig of Oregano
1 TBS Brown Sugar
10 Hazelnuts

Halved Brussel Sprouts on a Baking Sheet

With half the olive oil over medium low heat, press 3 garlic cloves into the oil and let simmer for about 3 minutes; not to cook but to infuse the oil with the garlic. With the sprouts in a bowl, pour the oil and garlic over top, toss to coat, and arrange on a baking sheet flat side down. With the oven preheated to 425 degrees, they will take only 20 minutes.
With the oven hot, toast your hazelnuts for about 3 minutes, then crush to add as a topping later.

Just Out of the Oven

Crisp the bacon in a pan. Pour the drippings into a sauce pan and bring to simmer on medium heat, add the butter, remaining oil, chablis, lemon juice, brown sugar, vinegar. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, season to taste. Put in a small food processor or blender, the rest of the garlic (pressed), fresh oregano (minced), pour dressing in and blend. Chill everything.

The parmesan crisps are super easy as well; with fresh parmesan, shred a cup worth. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Heap the parmesan in four separate piles, and gently push them out a bit. Bake for 3 minutes or until golden, this will vary depending on the size of the pile.

Construct:

Sprouts in a bowl
Piece of Bacon
Piece of Parm Crisp
Dressing
Hazelnuts for topping

Voila!!! Yum...

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RoastedRoot

So, though my peer group will probably get the reference right away, I think the title of my blog should be explained, as well, those who get this ever so witty reference, probably don’t get the full double entendre that lay in your midst like a poetic jungle cat waiting to pounce on your mental carcass. I digress…

So, the title…Okay, the easy part – Rusted Root is a world music band haling from the Pittsburgh area who recorded the overplayed tune, “Send Me On My Way”. Some of you may remember this song from the movie, “Ice Age” – unfortunately, its a type casting song which keeps people from going deeper with a truly talented and creative band.

The second part of the double entendre refers to, obviously, the transformation of the bands name “Rusted” to my sites name “Roasted”. There is a dish that I prepare which never fails to be a hit with whatever crowd I make it for. In a future post I will have pictures and a more in depth look at the dish. The dish consists of diced ROOT vegetables which I ROAST in the oven…hence…Roasted Root, see how clever that is? Sometimes I have good moments. If you come visit me though, I will be sure you get a taste of this down home masterpiece…..its so good, I think I’ll start prepping it right now…

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