Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

One day for lunch at work I created this simple dish for our staff and everyone went nuts for it so we decided to sell it in the retail specialty store where we offer fresh entrees to go.  It has been one of our best sellers along with Chicken Spaghetti.  

But since I've omitted wheat from my diet, I don't make it with linguini anymore, and I actually like more this way.

Now I make a salad or a vegetable dish like my Tuscan Green Beans to serve with it.  I've also changed up a few ingredients to make it a healthier option.

Fresh garlic, onion and frozen artichokes are sauteed in coconut oil, after I cook the seasoned chicken breasts on each side in a cast iron skillet.  A drizzle of fresh lemon juice and fresh basil make it complete. 

It's a very simple dish with a lot of flavor.

Lemon Artichoke Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts, Butterflied
2 tsp Summer Salt (Click here for recipe)
3 Cloves Garlic, Sliced
1/4 Cup Sliced Red Onions
8oz Frozen Artichoke Heart Quarters
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Dry White Wine
1 Fresh Lemon, Juiced and Zested
2 Tbsp Capers
Fresh Basil

Season each chicken breast with summer salt on both sides.
In a cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add the coconut oil. 

Add the chicken breasts and cook on each side approximately 3-4 minutes.  Remove from pan and place on a plate.

In the same cast iron skillet, add sliced garlic and onion and saute until onion is translucent.  Add the artichoke hearts and capers, saute an additional 2-3 minutes.  

Add the chicken breasts back in, add in the wine and simmer covered for 5 minutes on a lower heat.

To serve, squeeze fresh lemon juice and garnish with fresh basil and lemon zest.  Finish off with fresh cracked black pepper.

Easy, Elegant and Extraordinary!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Gluten Free Grilled Pizza Project

Look at that beautiful grilled pizza.  Doesn't it look great?  My son loves grilled pizzas and it was always something we enjoyed doing on the weekend or when we had company because you can't get a pizza like that with take out.  They are super easy to make and when you use fresh dough, fresh mozzarella, sauce and basil you can't go wrong. 


This past weekend my son was begging me to make him some grilled pizza so I went my specialty store and bought the ingredients.  After being wheat free/gluten free for over 14 weeks, I have lost my interest in breads, pasta and pizza.  But they had some gluten free pizza crusts at the specialty Italian store I frequent and thought I would give it a try.  

It looks good on that grill but what a disappointment.  The crust was crispy from the grill but I had no interest in eating it after one bite.  Not that the crust was bad but because I have reprogrammed my body by eating healthier foods, that I didn't want the pizza, didn't care, didn't eat more than one piece.  

That would have not been the case prior my healthy changes.  So I just had to post this message to all of my peeps out there that are wondering...

"How do you do it without eating bread or pasta?" 

That's the beauty of eating better and how your body will crave the right foods and not the wrong foods.  It's taken me a long time to get this right.  Slowly but surely, its coming off - and I know it will take some time but I feel so much better and when I don't want to eat more than one piece of pizza, I know I must be doing something right.

Most people try to replace their breads, pasta, cereals and pizzas with gluten free products that are made with poor substitutes.  It's not worth it.  

Gluten free pasta...Yuk  I would rather have an eggplant lasagna than substitute pasta with quinoa, rice or corn pasta.  It's Gross!  I don't care how much sauce you put on it, it sucks.  Really

Ever thought about cutting wheat from your diet?  Try it for 2 weeks and replace it with greens, fruits and more vegetables.  Eat organic meats and eggs.  Don't try to eat Gluten Free processed foods, they are not worth the trade out and it won't bring any value to your meals. 

So...the moral of the story is...I didn't need the pizza

Eat Fresh - Not Gluten Free Processed Substitutes


Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Golden Goddess...Turmeric Spice of Life

Praise the power of the energetic and spiritual qualities of Turmeric.  As I always say…Energy runs through all living things with specific purpose and the healing properties of turmeric are worth taking note.

Most are familiar with this spice used in South Asia and Middle Eastern cooking.  But this herbaceous plant’s inner powers make it the most powerful healing botanical in herbal pharmacopeia.

The Arya Culture; a group of people that worshipped the solar system and the sun as a God, believe that turmeric was a sacred spice and its golden color like the sun had special protective properties.  An ancient talisman, turmeric rhizome bead is worn to ward off evil and grant the wearer healing and protection.  Believed that turmeric contains the energy of the Divine Mother, it will help grant prosperity, cleanse the chakras energy centers in the body and purify the channels of the body.

Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurveda medicine; a 5,000 year old natural healing system of India Ayurveda especially recommends turmeric for cancers of the female reproductive system, specifically breast and uterine cancer.   

Ayurveda uses turmeric to purify and move the blood; it helps to remove stagnant blood while stimulating the formation of new blood tissue.  Turmeric regulates and decreases the intensity and pain of menstrual periods, and of uterine tumors.  It is well recognized as the best anti-oxidant, hypoglycemic, colorant and antiseptic and wound healer.

Curcumin is the chemical ingredient in turmeric root that gives it it’s bright orange color the essential oil called Turmerones can slow the progress of Alzheimer disease; assist with preventing the spread of prostate, breast and colon cancer; it promotes healing in wounds, will alleviate inflammation and arthritis plus detox the liver.  

Native to India, this herb’s goldenrod root is also known as Indian Saffron.  In the ginger family and its botanical name is Curcuma Longa.  Curcuma comes from the Arabic name Kurkum meaning saffron.  But saffron comes from a crocus, which is not even a member of the ginger family so I’m guessing it’s because of the brilliant yellow that comes from the root which is the same color as saffron.

Scientists are beginning to realize the importance of turmeric in treating modern disease. So expect to see more on this incredible ancient spice to be incorporated into modern life.   

In India the pre-wedding ceremony of the bride is smeared with turmeric paste to enhance their skin and give a golden glow and ward off the evil eye.  At the wedding it is applied to the forehead (third eye chakra) by the bride and the groom.  
But to me, one of the most fascinating qualities of turmeric is its healing properties for the treatment of all kinds of wounds, burns, sun-damaged skin, skin conditions with inflammatory issues such as eczema and psoriasis.  

Having a long suffering of psoriasis myself, I’m seeking all natural ways to improve my skin and cure this terrible debilitating skin problem…PSORIASIS.  

I’m turning away from the harsh, expensive and sometimes dangerous psoriasis treatments and I’m turning to natural treatments as a long term solution for this troublesome condition.   

I mean, I can only throw this spice in so many foods and I need to harness the power of it in larger doses.  So…I’m heading off to Whole Foods Market to purchase some Turmeric Capsules for my daily dose of turmeric.

Interested in what I'm saying...Then here is some recommended reading for you to learn more about this Spice of Life...


I pray that a capsule a day will light the way.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Coconut Sugar Glazed Salmon & Garam Masala Brown Basmati

Sweet, Spicy...Bursting with Flavor!  I love Salmon and try to eat it regularly.  One thing I love about it is it's so vertile like chicken, just add your favorite seasonings and it takes on whatever you want it to be.  Last night I wanted a lot of flavor and only protein and rice.  So I had to pack the punch.  My new favorite ingredient...Coconut Sugar.  

Coconut Sugar – Becoming known as one of the best natural sweetener that is non-toxic.  It is a whole food that is derived from the sap that drips from the coconut flower which is grown organically.  It is unrefined and not highly processed such as brown or other sugars.

Love it.  It's similar to brown sugar and so much better for you... 

Mix up some Garam Masala mix and keep in your pantry.  It will transform rice wonderfully.  I thought I had chicken broth in the cabinet and accidently picked up beef broth.  It made the rice nice and rich with the garam masala.  

Here is how I did it...

Garam Masala Mix 

4 tbsps Coriander Seeds
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Black Peppercorns
1 ½ tsps Black Cumin Seeds
1 ½ tsps Dry Ginger
¾ tsp Black Cardamom (3-4 pods)
¾ tsp Cloves
¾ tsp Cinnamon (2 X 1” pieces)
¾ tsp Crushed bay leaves

Heat a heavy skillet on a medium flame and gently roast all ingredients (leave cardamom in its pods till later) except the dry ginger, till they turn a few shades darker. Stir occasionally. Do not be tempted to speed up the process by turning up the heat as the spices will burn on the outside and remain raw on the inside. 

When the spices are roasted turn off the heat and allow them to cool. 

Once cooled, remove the cardamom seeds from their skins and mix them back with all the other roasted spices. 

Grind them all together, to a fine powder in a clean, dry coffee grinder. 

Store in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place.

 Coconut Glazed Salmon

1 Salmon Filet (1lb)
1 tsp Summer Salt Seasoning Mix
2 tbsp Coconut Aminos (Soy Replacement)
2 tbsp Coconut Sugar
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds

Rub salmon filet with summer salt seasoning mix.  
Sprinkle on coconut aminos and top with coconut sugar and then sesame seeds.
Grill or bake at 400 degree temperature for at least 20 minutes.  
The coconut will start to caramelize the top as it bakes.

Garam Masala Brown Basmati Rice

1 Cup Brown Basmati Rice, rinsed
1 3/4 Cup Beef Broth
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Divided
1 Tbsp Garam Masala Seasoning Mix
1/4 Cup Onion, Finely Diced
3 Tbsp Cilantro, Chopped
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (to taste)

In medium size pot over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp coconut oil and rinsed brown basmati rice.  Coat rice thoroughly and then add the garam masala seasoning mix.  Mix to coat with seasoning and let it bloom in oil.

Add beef broth and cover, lowering heat to a low simmer and cook covered for 40 minutes.

Fluff with fork and add the remaining 1 tbsp coconut oil, diced onions and fresh cilantro to mix into rice prior to serving.  Season with Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to taste.

Summer Salt
(I call this summer salt because it gets used all summer long when grilling.  It's excellent on just about anything!  Move over Morton's...)

1 Cup Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Fine Grain
3 tsp  Smoked Paprika
1 tsp  Black Mustard Seeds (optional - but I like it!)
2 tsp Oregano, Dried & Crushed
1 tsp  Thyme, Dried & Crushed
1 tsp   Yellow Curry Powder (not hot, just great flavor)
2 tsp  Onion Powder

Mix all ingredients together and store in a cool dark place in an airtight glass jar.

Hope you enjoy these today...

Make it a great day!