Beansandyoga

Practical, healthful eating and living.

Summer bounty July 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — beansandyoga @ 3:30 pm

Cantaloupe 7_09An easy way to take advantage of fresh produce at the farmer’s market is to bring it home and pop it into the freezer.

The biggest cantaloupes I’d ever seen were on sale two for one today.  I brought them home, cut them into slices, and discarded the rind and seeds.  Into a Ziploc bag they went, and now they’re ready when I am.

They thaw just fine.  Either freeze the slices in small bags that you can transfer to the fridge one at a time, or just pop a slice into the microwave for 10-20 seconds to defrost it when you like.

It’s good sliced into yogurt (I prefer plain yogurt drizzled with honey), or you can blend it with berries into a smoothie.  Either way, ‘may as well take advantage of low prices when you see ’em!

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Spice it up! Thai Green Chicken Curry July 17, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,Recipes,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 8:42 pm
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Thai Green Chicken CurryIt’s unseasonably cold.  Normally in the 80s this time of year, the high was 61, and I’ve been bundled up in fleece, jeans; all the clothes I thought I’d put away until October!  Adding insult to injury, I had nothing but salads and fresh fruit on hand – while the chill cried out for baked goods and soup!

Perusing my options, a small, frozen container caught my eye.  Thai Green Chicken Curry sauce that I’d popped into the freezer ages ago.  I sent my former self a message of gratitude.

Into the microwave it went, then over green beans (also from the freezer) and noodles.  The spicy, hot (but not TOO hot) peppers warmed me back into motion.  I can’t wait to make it again.  You can be certain I’ll make extra to tuck away for another surprising day.

THAI GREEN CHICKEN CURRY

Inspired by Rachel Ann Hill’s “The High Energy Cookbook”

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 green chiles, seeded and thinly sliced. (Jalapeno if you like it hot, or green peppers if you prefer mild.)

2-3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, to taste. (This can be hot, too.)

1 stalk lemongrass, crushed

20 oz. chicken breasts or thigh filets, fate removed and thinly sliced

2 cups hot chicken stock

2/3 cup low-fat coconut milk

8 oz. green beans, diagonally sliced (French sliced)

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saute’ pan or wok.  Saute the onions and chiles over medium heat for about five minutes.  Add the curry paste and cook, stirring frequenetly, for 2 minutes.  Add the lemongrass and chicken and cook, stirring freequently, for a further 5 minutes.

Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

Cook the green beans in boiling water for a minute or so, or in a microwave.  Drain and add to the curry.  Remove the lemongrass.  Add most of the cilantro.  Serve the curry on a bed of rice, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro.

Variation: This curry would work well with shrimp, scallops or tofu instead of chicken.  Or, do as I did and freeze the extra sauce to serve over rice or noodles later.

 

Grandma’s Cucumber Salad July 12, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Recipes,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 11:33 am
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Cucumbers 7_09My grandma used to make this almost every day.  We never tired of it.  I think her secret was in using ultra-fresh ingredients.  She had a marvelous vegetable garden, and once you’ve had produce that’s been picked only moments before it’s been served, you are forever changed.  I credit this with giving me a sense of what is and isn’t good produce.  It trained my body to know.

Splurge and make this with organic cucumbers.  It’s completely worth it.  Organic dairy makes a huge difference, too.

GRANDMA’S CUCUMBER SALAD

1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon dillweed

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large cucumber sliced.  Up to you whether it’s peeled or not.

1 small onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings, or about 2 tablespoons of green onion, sliced thin.

Gently mix all the ingredients but the cucumber and onion.  Pour over the cucumber and onion.  Refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.  Stores in fridge for about a day.

 

Picnic Friendly Fare – Lemon Chicken Salad July 6, 2009

Barefoot Contessa Lemon Chicken Salad 7_09This was a hit at my 4th of July picnic.  As there are many more opportunities for picnics to come, I’d thought I’d share it.  This is from The Barefoot Contessa cookbook by Ina Garten.

Note: Give yourself an extra day so that the chicken breasts can marinate overnight before grilling.

There are two parts to this recipe: the grilled chicken, then the assembling of the salad.

GRILLED LEMON CHICKEN

3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (4 lemons) (Yes! Fresh makes a difference!)

3/4 cup good olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, halved and skin removed.

Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Pour over the chicken breasts in a nonreactive bowl.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.

Grill for about ten minutes on each side.  Allow to chill in refrigerator.  Slice into 3/8-inch-thick slices when ready to assemble salad.

SALAD

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 large lemon) (Yes!  Use fresh!)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 cup raw sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed

1/2 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 yellow bell pepper, julienned

1 lemon, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Toss all the ingredients into a bowl, including the chilled, sliced grilled chicken.  Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.