BBQ Sauce

Try enjoying this BBQ sauce at your next summer cookout!

You’ll Need
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 1/2 to 3 Tablespoons white vinegar (add higher amount for a more tangy sauce)
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  •  4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle hot sauce (or regular hot sauce) (more if you want to kick it up a notch)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

 

Directions

In a medium pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion and garlic until slightly softened. Add all other ingredients and stir together. Heat and reduce heat and cook until sauce is thickened.

Can keep in refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.


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Color Your Plate … Yellow/Orange!

Oil painting of orange and yellow colorsYAll through June we are showing the vibrant and beautiful colors of health that we should be adding to our plates whenever possible.This week we show you why yellow and orange are some of the most delicious health foods you could ever have!

Consuming foods rich with the carotenoids found in orange/yellow foods like pumpkin, corn, papaya, tangerines, oranges and peaches, may significantly lower one’s risk of developing lung cancer. A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reviewed dietary and lifestyle data collected from over 60,000 adults and found that those eating the most carotene-rich foods showed a 27% reduction in lung cancer risk.

When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming these foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.

Particular nutritional standouts that contain carotenes include their namesakes the carrots, as well as the rich delicious butternut squash. By the way, the very same super healthy antioxidants are found in the yellow summer squash as well and the list below.

Examples of Orange and Yellow Foods:

Apricots, butternut squash, summer squash, cantaloupe, carrots, mangos, peaches, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, oranges, nectarines, mandarins, tangerines.

Sweet Potato: The Most Delicious Multi-Vitamin You’ve Ever Eaten

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Open this simple root vegetable and find an absolute trove of vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin C, manganese, as well as being a good source of copper, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, potassium and iron. The beta-carotene and vitamin C are very powerful antioxidants that work in the body to eliminate the free radicals that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with the development of conditions like atherosclerosis, diabetic heart disease, and colon cancer.

Since these nutrients are also anti-inflammatory, they can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

PUMPKIN/Squash

Spicy pumpkin soup

We are just beginning to discover the wealth of nourishment supplied by the mildly sweet flavored and finely textured winter squash like pumpkin. In research studies, extracts from squash have also been found to help reduce symptoms of a condition occurring in men called benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH.

In this condition, the prostate gland becomes enlarged, which can cause difficulty with urinary and sexual function. Particularly in combination with other phytonutrient-containing foods, squash may be helpful in reducing BPH symptoms.

CORN

Ear of Corn on PlantHot fresh corn-on-the-cob is an almost essential part of any summertime outdoor cooking event. Fortunately, it is also a worthy part of any healthful menu. Sweetcorn is an excellent source of protein and vitamin B1, which works in the body to break down carbohydrates and convert them to that all-important body fuel, glucose, for energy. Lentils are rich in isoflavones – cancer-preventing phytochemicals that prevent the growth of oestrogen-dependent tumours. They are one of the best sources of genistein – the best-known of the isoflavones, which has been shown to kill off leukaemia cells in mice.

A good thing about corn is that frozen and canned corn has about the same nutritional value as fresh corn. So, for the many Americans who are not able to get fresh corn, they can still enjoy frozen or canned for nearly the same nutritional value as fresh corn. In addition to the carotenes, corn also provides a good source of vitamin C, thiamin, and the B vitamin that is especially valuable when you’re under stress, since it supports the function of the adrenal glands. A single cup of corn supplies 14.4% of the daily value for this B vitamin.

Jazzed up Green Beans

A very easy, yet tasty complement to many meals. 

You’ll Need
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 16 ounces frozen, cut, green beans thawed and drained
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 ounces Feta cheese
Directions
  • In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium heat and saute the garlic for 1 minute.
  • Add the beans, vinegar, mint, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring, for 6-7 minutes.
  • Spoon into a serving dish, sprinkle with walnuts and Feta cheese.

 

Garlic and Cilantro Sauce

Whenever you can, incorporate garlic and herbs into your cooking. Try this this dressing recipe, it incorporates both garlic and herbs which are super cancer preventers.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 garlic head peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 bunches cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Continue reading “Garlic and Cilantro Sauce”

Color Your Plate … Red!!

All month long we show the importance of adding healthy vibrant color to your plate. This week, go red for health!

Red is the color of love, and you are definitely going to love the amazingly sweet (think cherries, strawberries, apples) and savory (think beets) fruits and vegetables that are some of the healthiest foods on Earth. Once you get started with the red foods, you will discover many more ways to prepare them right at your own home.

 

What Gives red fruits/veggies their red color?

Lycopene is a pigment that gives vegetables and fruits, such as tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon, their red color. It also appears to have strong antioxidant capabilities, with several studies showing that the consumption of foods rich in lycopene is associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease.

 

Tomatoes

Laughing woman holding tomatoes over eyesTomatoes are a member of the deadly nightshade family, and because of this were considered toxic at one time. They were thought to cause many health problems like appendicitis, “brain fever”, and even cancer. But in reality, they seem to have just the opposite effect. A Harvard University study with almost 50,000 men found that eating 10 or more servings a week of tomato products was associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer by as much as 34 percent. And its benefits are not limited to the prostate.

  • Italian researchers have found that those who consume more that 7 servings of raw tomatoes lower the risk of developing rectal colon or stomach cancer by 60 percent.
  • Research has also indicated that the lycopene in tomatoes can help older people stay active longer.
  • New research is beginning to indicate that tomatoes may be used to help prevent lung cancer.

There are many reasons that tomatoes are so healthy for you, but let’s just start with the basics. Tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamin C, providing 40 percent of the daily value (DV). They also contain 15 percent DV of vitamin A, 8 percent DV of potassium, and 7 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron for women and 10 percent RDA for men. Though raw tomatoes are great for you, cooking them releases even more of the benefits. The heart healthy lycopene located in the cell wall of the tomato is fully released upon cooking. Even better, cooking the tomato in olive oil allows your body to absorb the lycopene more efficiently. Don’t worry about the availability of fresh tomatoes because they don’t lose any of their nutritional value when processed into canned tomatoes and tomato sauce.


Cherries

Happy young boy eats cherriesFor decades, cherries slid by on reputation only. The tangy little orbs of deliciousness have been credited with an array of health advantages, from soothing gout and arthritis to helping with a good night’s sleep. Without hard data though, nutrition science dismissed these claims as old wives’ tales. Well I guess sometimes old wives know what they’re talking about.

It was always anecdotal, but it’s been reported so frequently, by so many different people, that you have to think there may be something to it,” says Dr. Russell J. Reiter, professor of neuroendocrinology at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Reiter recently put some hard science behind the cherry folklore. He conducted a five-month study and found that tart cherries contain significant amounts of melatonin — a hormone produced in the brain’s pineal gland that has been credited with slowing the aging process, and fighting insomnia and jet lag. It’s also being studied as a potential treatment for cancer, depression and other diseases and disorders.

His findings marked the first time melatonin has been pegged as a naturally occurring substance in food, although trace amounts are evident in bananas, corn and other foods.

The most recent studies confirm that tart cherries reduce inflammation and its associated pain. Researchers also confirmed that tart red cherries offer benefits for patients with autoimmune, neurodegenerative and connective tissue diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes. Studies show that tart red cherries reduce pain and inflammation and also offer protection against cancer. These effects are caused by plant phytochemicals known as anthocyanins, which can also help reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer as well.

Beets

Fresh cut beetsDon’t forget about beets! One of the main healthy component of beets is something called betaine. Research shows that those consuming more betaine had much lower inflammation molecules (homocysteine, C-reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor). These markers of chronic inflammation have been linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Beets are amazing when roasted alone or with other root vegetables.

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Some things are so classic that they never go out of style. You cannot lose with this recipe because strawberries dipped in chocolate (a) taste awesome, (b) are beautiful to look at, and (c) make you appear to be a far more heroic cook than you actually need to be to make these!

You’ll Need

  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 10 strawberries

Directions
In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk for 5 minutes, or until it starts to steam. Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a small bowl.

Once the milk is steaming, pour it over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a minute or so, then stir until it’s completely smooth. Stir in the Chambord and voila! – You have your ganache. Let the ganache come to room temperature.

Next, wash the strawberries, leaving the stems intact, and pat completely dry with a paper towel. Place them in a bowl. Common sense tells you that you will eventually dip the strawberries in the ganache. However, you have to let the ganache cool a bit first or it will be too runny.

Dip the strawberries in the chocolate to coat and set them on waxed paper. You can eat them at once – they taste best when the ganache is still warm and the strawberries (just pulled out of the refrigerator) are chilly. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the coated strawberries and then serve them to end any romantic meal. 

 

Chinese Chicken Salad

A great way to prevent cancer is to know what you are eating. The more you cook in the home the better. Mirin is a Japanese cooking wine. It is a great base for many dressings, sauces and Asian inspired dishes. Give this chicken salad a try.

You’ll Need:

  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) or sweet sherry
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
  • 1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups mixed greens torn into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

First:

  • Place ginger and garlic in a 1-quart re-sealable plastic bag.
  • Measure the mirin, soy sauce and sesame oil into the bag.
  • Massage the bag lightly to mix the ingredients.

Then:

  • Using a meat pounder or a small heavy saucepan, flatten the chicken filet to an even thickness.
  • Put the chicken inside of the bag and seal it, forcing out the air.
  • Turn the bag several times to coat the filet and marinate at least a 1/2 hour or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

Ten Minutes Before Eating:

  • Scatter the salad greens on a dinner plate.
  • Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a skillet or ridged grill pan.
  • Cook the pepper strips, turning occasionally, until softened and slightly charred; set aside.

For the Chicken:

  • Brown the chicken filet on both sides, reduce heat to medium and cook until the center is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the filet to a clean cutting board and let rest for several minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup water to the pan and cook a minute or two longer, stirring.

Finally:

  • Slice the chicken on an angle into strips and place in the center of the greens.
  • Drizzle the pan juices on the meat and scatter the pepper strips on top.

Color Your Plate … Green!

All month, we emphasize the importance of a colorful diet of fruits and veggies, focusing on one color at a time! This week, add the color green to your plate.

Green is the very color of healthy foods. When nutritionists recommend healthy foods, the first thing they tell you is to eat your green veggies. And there are so many to choose from, like the delicious bitter greens kale, arugula, and collards, crunchy broccoli just waiting for a little butter and lemon to liven them up, rich delicious avocados, and even tart refreshing limes. This week, make an effort to sample new greens that you may have never had before.

Leafy Green VegetablesGreen foods to add to your plate this week

Green apples, Green grapes, Honeydew, Kiwifruit, Limes, Green pears, Artichokes, Arugula, Asparagus, Broccoflower, Broccoli, Broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, Green beans, Green cabbage, Celery, Chayote, Cucumbers, Endive, Leafy greens, Leeks, Lettuce, Green onion, Okra, Peas, Green pepper, Snow Peas, Sugar snap peas, Spinach, Watercress, Zucchini, Avocado, kale, kiwi.

What makes your greens green?

Chlorophyll makes your greens green, and functions to transform sunlight into energy!. Despite this, it’s not clear if chlorophyll itself is even good for you at all. The nutrition science jury is still out on that question. There are some suggestions that it may possibly act as an antibiotic or that it might help prevent the DNA damage that can lead to cancer formation, but this is far from confirmed just yet. That said, we can all agree that the healthiest part of your green veggies isn’t the chlorophyll at all!

Broccoli as a perfect example.

Baby smiling at broccoliBroccoli: The Crown Jewel of Nutrition

Broccoli is a member of a family of vegetables that also includes cabbage and cauliflower. Yes, these greens are vitamin-rich and high in fiber, but that’s not their most amazing health property. They contain phytochemicals called indoles, which are what make this family of veggies the best cancer prevention foods available.

In fact, research shows that this compound helps reduce cancer risk on the front end (prevention) and the back end (treatment). In other words, it helps deactivate a potent metabolite (4-hydroxyestrone) that promotes tumor growth, especially in estrogen-sensitive breast cells. At the same time it increases the level a form of estrogen that can be cancer-protective.

Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to suppress not only breast tumor cell growth, but also cancer cell metastasis (the movement of cancerous cells to other parts of the body). It boosts the body’s own detoxification enzymes, which can help your body clear potentially carcinogenic chemicals more quickly.

But Wait, There’s More

In addition to its cancer-fighting punches, a medium stalk of broccoli gives you 220% of your daily vitamin C, 194% of your vitamin K, 15% of your vitamin A. All these vitamins are antioxidants that help prevent the damage that can be caused by free radicals.

The bottom line for you is that if you add greens to your plate, you will “Green Light” your health in the process!