recipe make-over: chorizo mac & cheese

I adapted this recipe of Rachael Ray’s.  It sounded delicious, rich and oh so different.  If you aren’t familiar with The Rach, she is not bashful with cream, cheese, butter, etc.  To a certain extent, I’m not either, but I did want to up the health-factor and lessen its damage a bit.  My tester thought that I should have added more cheese, but I think that the spiciness of the chorizo made up for it. Here is what I came up with:
 
Chorizo Mac & Cheese
 
  • 10 oz 100% whole wheat gobbetti (hollow corkscrew noodles)
  • 4 chorizo links, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. bag of petite peas
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used aged gouda & swiss)
  • salt, pepper and 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • chopped cilantro, optional

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.  Microwave peas until warm. Saute the sliced chorizo until browned and set aside.  Add the olive oil to the pan used for the chorizo and saute the garlic, shallot.  Add broth and season with salt, pepper and mustard powder, cook for about 2 minutes.  Add peas, red pepper and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Stir until melted.  Put pasta into a glass pan and stir in the pea mixture.  Sprinkle the chorizo and the remaining cheese on top.  Broil until cheese has melted.   Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.  Serves 4.

focus on: artichokes

picture by MatthewA
Artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables.  I love artichoke dip, steamed artichokes, marinated artichokes, artichokes in salads…… 
 
What makes them such a great veggie? 
  •  provides lots of antioxidants
  •  excellent source of fiber
  •  high in magnesium (which helps control blood pressure)
  •  filled with folate (prevents birth defects)
  •  good source of Vitamin C

Balsamic Artichoke Salad

  • 1 can of artichokes, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small green zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  •  

    Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the vegetables, mix and let marinate 4-6 hours before serving. 

ask the nutritionist: does sushi have health benefits?


Last night I celebrated my Birthday with good friends, a little wine and sushi! We always think of the Japanese culture as being a very healthy one,  and they consistently have longer life expectancies and lower rates of heart disease, cancer, etc. but why?  Is it the sushi itself?  Or all of the components of a Japanese meal?  I say enjoy a nice sushi meal often!   photo by Zeetz Jones


Miso Soup: fermented foods are a good source of probiotics – which are the beneficial bacteria in our intestinal track
Edamame: these soybeans are good sources of protein and fiber
Nori: full of Vitamins C & A; powerful antioxidants 
Fish: salmon and yellowtail are good sources of omega 3’s (We want the ratio of omega:6’s to omega:3’s to be as close to 1:1 as possible – Most Americans have a ratio of 25:1 and Most Japanese have a ratio of 4:1) the omega 3’s can help reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent breast and colon cancers, reduce inflammation and more!
Ginger: holds digestive properties- it can help soothe an upset stomach, prevent motion sickness, provide arthritis relief and reduce clotting in blood 

Green Tea: tea is full of polyphenols that act similarly to antioxidants – they help neutralize harmful free radicals which are linked to everything from wrinkles to cancer

ask the nutritionist: how do nutritionists really eat?

 ten ways i classify my eating:
 i use real half & half in my coffee
 the occasional steak or burger is always enjoyed
 i do everything in my power to not eat preservative-ridden foods
 i find rich foods very satisfying (which is why you don’t need that much)
 i avoid refined flours and sugars (but will enjoy desserts and water crackers)
 i ALWAYS eat breakfast
 i would NEVER use fat-free cheese
i bring my own lunch to work
 i love vegetables and probably eat about 10 “servings”/day
 i consider food to be medicine