By: Leanne Ely
It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a tip, a trick and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?
Today’s focus is on: POACHING
Poaching is method of cooking that is perfect for bringing out the best in delicate foods such as eggs and fish. Some people expand that to include chicken and shellfish and even fruits, but I stop with the eggs and fish, personally. I adore poached salmon and am sharing a favorite recipe with you today.
And here’s a TRICK:
To keep your poached foods submerged, press a sheet of parchment paper right onto the surface of the poaching liquid. Works great! Just make SURE you use parchment, NOT wax paper, ugh! Guess how I know this??
And a TIP:
To poach flawlessly, you will want to make sure your liquid temperature is somewhere between 160 degrees and 170 degrees. To eyeball that temp, without having to resort to thermometers, look at the water (or wine or broth). The liquid should look like it is JUST about to break into a simmer, but not quite. Almost like it is ready to show some movement, but it hasn’t quite yet. I know you know what I mean. That’s poaching temperature.
And your RECIPE from the original Saving Dinner book:
Poached Salmon with a Creamy Horseradish Sauce
6 cups water
2 lemons, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
6 (6-oz.) salmon steaks or fillets
1/2 cup low fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup low fat sour cream
3 teaspoons prepared horseradish (not creamed)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 green onions, chopped
Combine first 4 ingredients in large skillet; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salmon, cover, lower the heat some more and simmer another 10 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and let stand for 8 minutes. Remove salmon to serving plate; set aside.
Creamy Horseradish Sauce: In a bowl, combine last five ingredients (mayo through green onions). Serve with salmon.
By: Leanne Ely
Who doesn’t want to save a bit of time in the kitchen or a bit of money on the grocery bill?
The following ten kitchen tricks will make your life a little bit easier. And they’re so simple, you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of them yourself!
Save the tears. Cut onions without crying by lighting a candle beside you as you’re chopping. You might also find that holding a toothpick between your front teeth helps to stop those onion tears.
Split up the bunch. You can get twice as much life out of your bananas by separating the bananas from the bunch when you get them home!
Prevent cheese hardening. If you want to prevent your block cheese from getting hard around the edges, rub some butter on the cut edge and wrap the block in paper towel before wrapping in plastic or storing in a reusable container.
Extend lettuce life. Store a piece of paper towel in your lettuce container. It will absorb the moisture that causes lettuce to wilt.
Slice a potato in no time. Use that apple slicer in your drawer for making short work of turning a potato into wedges!
Peel with a spoon. Ginger is very nubbly and difficult to peel. Use a spoon to gently remove the peeling from fresh ginger.
Sample your meat. When you’re making a sauce, you can taste for seasoning as you go, but not so much with meatloaf or meatballs. If you’re trying a new recipe with your ground meat, fry a little bit on top of the stove so you can see if it suits your taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary!
Keep your rinds. Don’t throw away your parmesan rinds. Save them in a bag in the freezer and add them to soups and stews for a great cheesy flavor. Simply add the rind 20-30 minutes before your dish is finished.
Enlist the help of your shells. When you get a bit of egg shell in with your egg yolks and whites, instead of chasing it around the bowl with a spoon, use another piece of egg shell to help scoop it out. The bit of run-away shell will be attracted to the shell you’re scooping with.
Pre-freeze your meat. Make it easy on yourself when you’re slicing chicken, pork or beef for your stir-fry. Simply freeze the meat for a half hour or so before you cut it. Your knife go through the meat more easily when it’s slightly frozen.
For a bonus tip, if your bananas have gone overripe on you, peel them, pop them in a freezer bag and freeze them. Use your frozen bananas to thicken and sweeten up your smoothies!
By: Leanne Ely
We know that we should be adding fish to our diets for optimal health, but which fish should you be reaching for?
It’s hard to go wrong as long as it’s wild fish caught in a sustainable, responsible manner, but one of the healthiest fishes you can buy is mackerel, a fatty deep water fish with a very firm flesh and a strong flavor.
Mackerel is easy to cook, it tastes great and it’s very good for you.
Let’s look at some of the health benefits of this delicious fish:
Omega-3. Mackerel is famous for being a very oily fish. It’s very high in those omega-3 fatty acids that we all should be eating more of.
Heart health. Mackerel can actually improve the condition of the heart. It lowers blood pressure and can prevent stroke.
Low in calories. A 3-ounce serving of this firm fish contains roughly 230 calories (providing it’s been cooked without added butter or sauces), which makes a fillet lower in calories than other meats.
High in protein. There are 21 grams of protein in that 3-ounce serving of mackerel and like other fishes, it contains no carbs, making it a wonderful item to add to your dinner plate.
Minerals. Mackerel contains calcium, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. It’s a good source of folate, choline, Niacin, Vitamins A, D, K, B12 and C.
Mackerel lowers cancer-causing agents in the body, improves our immune systems and is great for brain health. Mackerel can help ease symptoms of arthritis, arthrosis and even migraine pain. Holy mackerel!
Now, one thing to be aware of when purchasing mackerel is that it is a deep water fish and depending on where it came from it may contain mercury. Pregnant women should not eat mackerel or any food that may contain mercury because it may harm the developing baby’s nervous system.
To cook mackerel, simply pan fry it at medium heat until it flakes with a fork! Or you can try this recipe from our new 10-Day PaleoBlitz!
Fish and Veggie Bake
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 to 17 minutes
2 firm-fleshed white fish, fresh or frozen
1/8 cup honey
1/8 cup yellow mustard
Lemon juice, to taste
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 cup shaved Brussels sprouts
3 cups cooked and diced sweet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon grass fed butter
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk the honey, mustard and lemon juice.
In a medium mixing bowl, coat the fish with the honey mixture.
In a large mixing bowl, add the remaining 9 ingredients (onion through butter) and mix together thoroughly.
In a large casserole dish, add fish and top with the vegetable mix. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve warm.
By: Leanne Ely
There is something extremely satisfying about making a big pot of chili for your family on a cool day. I find it as enjoyable to make chili for dinner as I do sitting down and eating that chili. There’s just something about putting all those simple ingredients of vegetables and spices together, in a combination you know your family will enjoy, and sitting down and eating it together.
Chili is extremely easy to make and whether you’re vegan, celiac, paleo or an old-fashioned omnivore, you can make a pot of chili to suit your tastes and dietary needs. The only exception would be someone unable to eat nightshade foods because you really can’t do traditional chili without tomatoes.
I have added many chili recipes to my cookbooks so I am not going to list out all those separate recipes here, but with chili, once you get the hang of it you can really just experiment and play and make it your own.
Chili – the basics
There are some ingredients that are pretty standard in a pot of chili. To name a few:
Ground meat (pork or beef)
Make it your own
If you’re vegetarian, simply omit the meat and add more veggies. Celery, carrots and even sweet potatoes are nice in a vegetarian chili.
If you’re paleo, omit the beans.
If you enjoy beans as part of your diet, toss in a variety. Chickpeas, black beans and kidney beans are a nice combo for a hearty chili.
Some like it hot
Depending on how much you like heat, it’s easy to make a chili to please you! Add minced jalapeño, extra chili powder, cayenne and even hot sauce. For a different flavor profile, try adding coriander, cumin and saffron!
I love adding avocado to my chili when I serve it. Other options would be cheese, a lime wedge, sour cream or plain yogurt to help cool it off.
By: Leanne Ely
It’s time once again for Tricks, Tips and a Recipe. Today you’ll learn a trick, a tip and you’ll get a great recipe to try it out with. Neat, huh?
Today’s focus is on: BANANAS
You’d have a difficult time finding a home in North America without a bunch of bananas sitting on the counter.
Bananas are harvested all year long from trees, where they grow on the banana plant in clusters of 50–150 other bananas.
Delicious, nutritious, and so darn versatile, all wrapped up in their own biodegradable wrapper, there’s a lot to love about this sweet and creamy fruit.
Did you know that bananas are so loaded with potassium that they can help you balance out a sodium overdose? If you’ve gorged on Chinese food or something very salty, eat a banana and you’ll find yourself all fixed up in no time. That’s because each cell in your body has a little sodium/potassium pump inside, and there’s enough potassium in a banana to make things right.
Besides potassium, bananas are high in manganese, fiber, biotin, copper and vitamins B6 and C.
I eat bananas every day, right out of hand or tossed into a smoothie. Don’t go so bananas over bananas that you go overboard, though! They are still high in sugar and should be enjoyed in moderation. One a day is fine.
Now, it’s time for your Trick:
When your bananas are getting too ripe for your liking, peel them and toss them in a freezer bag. Then, when you need a banana for your smoothie or a batch of banana bread, you have them at the ready!
If you’re hungry for a banana and the ones on your counter are still green, wrap them in a paper bag with an apple and they’ll ripen up quicker.
And your Recipe from our current 10 Day Blitz!
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 to 3/4 cup water (or more coconut milk)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 small banana, peeled
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 scoop Saving Dinner Perfect Paleo Protein
2 teaspoons Saving Dinner Fibermender 2.0 (optional)
1 tablespoon Just Juiced Greens (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS: In a blender, add unsweetened coconut milk, water, strawberries, banana,
pineapple chunks, Saving Dinner Perfect Paleo Protein, Fibermender 2.0 (optional) and Just Juiced Greens (optional); blend until smooth and enjoy! For a thinner smoothie, add more unsweetened coconut milk.
By: Leanne Ely
I can’t tell you how passionately I feel about families sitting down and eating meals together. Nothing is quite as satisfying and fulfilling as preparing a nutritious meal for your loved ones and sitting around the table together to enjoy it as a family unit.
I don’t care if it’s fruit and yogurt for breakfast or roast chicken for supper, as long as you make an effort to sit down and eat as many meals as you can together. It’s a perfect way for everyone to connect with one another, and it provides a feeling of comfort and security for your children.
When my kids were little, eating at the table was not optional. I planned the meals, they would help me prepare dinner and then we would sit down together and eat. I believe that we’re as close as we are partly because I made family dinner time a priority in our lives. They knew they could talk about what was going on in their lives anytime, but dinner time was just the natural time to connect. I wouldn’t trade those minutes together for anything.
So how do you get everyone around the table together if you haven’t made a big deal of it before?
Lay down the law. You’re the boss, so make the rule. No meals in front of the TV. Period.
Involve everyone. Giving everyone mealtime chores will give you a hand, and it will make your kids feel more involved in the process, making it more likely that they’ll be keen to sit down and eat with you. Start at the grocery store by letting the kids decide which vegetables to buy. Explain the difference between organic foods and conventionally grown foods. Really start to provide your kids with an education about where their food comes from. Then, at home, depending on the ages of your children, you can have them do all kinds of things from washing and/or peeling vegetables to stirring sauces and setting the table. Trust me, they’ll be much more anxious to help prep than they will be to clean up, so perhaps you could start there!
Make it fun. It will be easier to get the kids to the table with you if you serve food they like. That’s a no-brainer. Give everyone a couple of options for dinner and hold a family vote over what gets served-majority rules! If it’s pizza night, let everyone make their own individual pie. Fajita night? Put all the toppings on the table and let everyone have at it. Veggies and roast meat? Instead of putting the food on their plates in the kitchen, bring everything to the table and let them serve themselves. Sounds crazy, but kids are more likely to eat food they put on their plates themselves.