Sunday, August 15, 2010

Grilled Veggies

Grilled veggies make a great side dish for grilled meat. Take advantage of the summer time to consume these healthy nutritious foods.

Both eggplant and zucchinis are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and very good source of dietary fiber, which makes them a great addition to your diet.
Eggplant contains over eighty different nutrients, so you can't go wrong with an eggplant diet. In addition, it contains numerous vitamins and minerals. Eggplant also contains phytonutrients, antioxidants which can help prevent damage from free radicals and protection from certain types of cancer. One of the photonutrients that helps to make up eggplant nutrition is nasunin, a powerful antioxidant found in the skin of the eggplant. Nasunin helps to protect the lipids which are found in the membranes of brain cells.
There is a wide verity of zucchinis available, but they are not all equally nutritious. The darker the zucchini, the more nutritious it is. Zucchinis are rich in folate, potassium, vitamin A and C. Most of the nutritions are in the skin, so don't peel it, just wash them well.

  • eggplants
  • zucchinis
  • oregano, thyme, rosemary
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Slice up the eggplants and zucchinis. Salt the veggies first, then sprinkle some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper and herbs.

Grill on both sides until soft. This should take a couple of minutes per side.

Grilled veggies are good as a side dish with meat, or you can make appetizer sandwiches with them. You can also use grilled veggies as an eatable decoration on the serving plate.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fire Roasted Salsa

Salsa- the great party snack food. Why not make your own? It's easy. Fire roasted salsa has a great flavor, and it makes a nice appetizer while you are waiting for your meat to grill.

Again, I got the veggies at the local Mexican produce store, Country Farm Produce on Wolfe and Old San Francisco in Sunnyvale. I go there because they are a good variety of peppers, tomatoes and other veggies. And it's cheap- you can get a couple of bags full of veggies all for less than $10, while at a supermarket it will cost you 2-3 times as much.


10 roma tomatoes
1 medium size red onion
2-3 garlic cloves
2 jalapeños
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oregano leaves
1/2 bunch cilantro
juice of 2 limes

Cut the tomatoes and jalapeños lengthwise. Peel the onion and cut in half.

Place the tomatoes, onions and jalapeños on the grill.

When the start blistering and the skin starts to peel off of the tomatoes, they are done.

Blend them together with the rest of the ingredients. It will not all fit in the blender, so you may have to blend it in several stages and mix all together in a bowl.

Serve with fresh corn chips.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stuffed with Cheese Rolled with Bacon

Rule of thumb- you want the dish you are cooking to turn out really well, just add bacon. It's a sure thing! I always keep some bacon in my freezer, you never know when you might need it.

Peppers and cheese go really well together. Peppers, cheese and bacon combination is even better.

I went to my favorite Mexican produce store and got a mix of peppers- jalapeños, poblanos, banana peppers, bell peppers etc. You can use any peppers you'd like.

feta cheese
cream cheese

Wash the peppers.

Then core them.

Stuff with your favorite cheese. I chose feta and cream cheese.

Wrap them in bacon. One bacon strip per pepper should be sufficient. Maybe two for the bigger ones.

Grill them until bacon is fully cooked and peppers start blistering. Grill them on both sides. Turn them over carefully, making sure they don't unwrap.

Serve as an appetizer or a side dish next to grilled meat.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Quinoa Salad

It's summer, eat fresh!

Here is a light healthy meal or at least a side dish you've been waiting for. Quinoa is a grainy looking seed of a plant that is related to spinach or chard, but it is not actually a grain. Quinoa is highly nutritious. It is rich in protein content- it contains all 9 essential amino acids, including lysine, which is required by the body to grow and repair tissues. Quinoa also has high Manganese content, which acts as antioxidant in the body and it is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. The presence of potassium and magnesium in quinoa prevents clogging of arteries and hence, relieves stress on the heart. Quinoa is a great source of calcium, fiber, carbohydrates and copper.

If you suffer from migraine headaches, it is a good idea to add Quinoa to your diet. Magnesium helps relax blood vessels and muscils in general. It contains Riboflavin (aka vatamin B2) which is necessary to produce energy in brain and muscle cells. Riboflavin is shown to decrease the frequency of migraine attacks.

1 1/2 cups quinoa
4 cups baby spinach
3 persian cucumbers
1/2 lbs chary tomatoes
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking quinoa according to the directions the package. This should take about 15 minutes. While quinoa is cooking, chop up the tomatoes, cucumbers and mint, squeeze an orange, and prepare salad dressing.

Wash the spinach and dry it.

Mix all the veggies in a large salad bowl.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add chilled quinoa, feta cheese and spinach leaves and mix all together.

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