Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cranberry Salsa

If you are in good health, be thankful. To maintain your good health, this season please toss out the canned, cooked and sliced jellied cranberry presentation and make room for a real nutritional Diva! Ain't nothin' like the real thing baby. Cranberries rock with health enhancing virtues.. Why? The deep red orb has been discovered to keep urinary tract infections at bay, speed-bump the aging process, prevent Alzheimer's and peptic ulcers, put off tooth decay, and foil atherosclerosis. Most impressive, however, human breast cancer cells showed significantly lower incidence of tumor development when the experimental group's diet was supplemented with cranberries. Although these results are very preliminary, compounds in cranberries may prove to be a potent cancer fighter. (University of Western Ontario) Bear in mind, Thanksgiving is not an "all-you-can-eat- buffet." Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the family, friends and love we all share.

While the day is centered on a banquet, it's the togetherness that counts most. Healthy eating is about making intelligent choices. Holiday eating is no exception. By simply weighing your options when it comes to holiday foods, you will be able to keep your waistlines after weeks of festivity. A meal including turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, a roll with butter, pumpkin pie and wine can easily add up to nearly 3,000 gut busting calories!

Don't go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry. We often eat quicker and more when we are hungry - so eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid gorging at dinner time. Eat more under-cooked vegetables with the meal. Do not overcook them, please. Fill your plate half with yellow and dark green vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice. Ditch the skin and gravy. Eat slowly and stop when you are full. Burp!

1 (12 ounce) bag cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 bunch green onions, cut into 3 inch lengths
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 limes, juiced
3/4 cup Sucanat* or Stevia powder (Sweet Leaf Brand @ Kroger's and Health Food stores)
1 pinch salt

Wash the cranberries, green onions, pepper and lime to remove field contaminants.
Combine cranberries, cilantro, green onions, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Chop or pulse to medium consistency. Don't turn it into soup. Cover and refrigerate if not using immediately.
Serve at room temperature as you would regular salsa or spread it on that dried out fruit cake.
*Sucanat is evaporated cane juice found at all health food stores. It is unprocessed, raw sugar.
Chef Wendell

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gravy-The State beverage

Groovy Mushroom Gravy

This Holiday Season, let's lighten up a bit and try not to do ourselves in.
As a result of its animal-based components, our beloved gravy is an artery-clogging grease festival. This mouth-watering gravy recipe, however, has the ?good? fat and tastes on just about anything, especially smashed potatoes. Forget, however, about using a processed flour and fattening butter roux. Tradition can kill.
The versatile mushroom soy sauce is the same as Gravy Master; that brown liquid everyone has used for years to darken sauces. It has, however, a deeper flavor. If you wish to use turkey stock, then make the stock the day in advance; leave it all night in a cool area. In the morning, skim off the fat and you?ll remove about 75% of the heart attack-provoking gravy. Simply boil the bones, skin, One portion of everything at the typical Thanksgiving meal totals a whopping 2000 calories. Burp!
Could that be the beginning of the dreaded Holiday 15 pound gain? You bet your arteries it is!

6 cups of vegetable or turkey stock
4 tbs. olive oil
2 cups washed and thinly sliced mushrooms. Use the stems too.
1 finely chopped onion
1 carrot, grated
1 stalk of celery, minced
1 bay leaf
¼ cup mushroom soy sauce (found in all Asian groceries.)
1 cup dry, not sweet red wine
1-can tomato concentrate

In a non-corrosive stockpot add the oil and turn the fire to medium high. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and mushrooms. Sauté for three minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, tomato concentrate, mushroom soy, and red wine. Let the liquid boil for five minutes.
During that time prepare cornstarch slurry: equal parts water to cornstarch mixed well. Put the water and cornstarch in a lidded jar and shake to mix if you don?t want to get messy fingers.
Bring the mixture to a boil then slowly pour in the slurry at little at a time to stock to thicken.
Whisk constantly at first then use a wooden spoon to reach the corners of the pot.
Cool, cover, and refrigerate.

Special Note:
Ground up flax seeds make an excellent thickening agent for soups, sauces, breading, and coatings.
Use your coffee grinder to pulverize the omega three rich flax seeds.
Arrowroot makes a lousy gravy-thickening agent. Some people find the texture offensive.
Try cornstarch instead of flour.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkin Stir Fry


Other than a Jack-o-lantern, what's so good about pumpkins, anyway?

Lots, but don't let them spook you! Pumpkin usually appears once a year and for all the wrong reasons; sugar catchers. There are many reasons pumpkin should be eaten, just like squash, year around, or at least in season. Pumpkin flesh is exceptionally high in carotenoids that give pumpkins their orange colors. Carotenoids are really good at neutralizing naughty free radicals, malicious molecules that can attack cell membranes and leave the cells susceptible to damage. Pumpkins are also brimming with lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals in the lens of the eye. They may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.

Great news! What can lutein and zeaxanthin do for you?
Defend your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and protect the eyes from developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

What lifestyle factors can indicate a need for more foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin? -Smoking and regular alcohol consumption -Low intake of fruits and vegetables.

Besides the valuable carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which are all antioxidants, pumpkins, has a lot of nutritional oomph, like iron, zinc, and fiber. Iron builds red blood cells. Zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine in older men. And fiber, as you already know, is vital for bowel and heart health.

Serve this healthy dish with a side of brown rice or quinoa and a salad of dark leafy greens with olive oil and Rice Wine Vinegar as a dressing.

Chef Wendell: Asian Pumpkin Stir Fry

Edited by Hyacinth Williams, WISH TV


1 pound of fresh pumpkin, diced (a small Pie Pumpkin)
2 eggs
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4 stalks of green onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped coarse
1 tbs. Chopped cilantro
½ onions, sliced
1 Stevia package (1 tbs.)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbs. soy sauce
2 tbs. oyster sauce
1 tbs. fish sauce
¼ tsp. Pepper
3 tbs. peanut or safflower oil
  • Directions:

Peel and cut the pumpkin into 1 inch pieces.(canned pumpkin will turn to mush)
Over medium-high heat, add the garlic and oil to a non-corrosive saute pan to release the flavors.
Add the egg and stir-fry till half cooked.
Add the pumpkin, spring onion, pepper, celery, onions, water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, Stevia, soy sauce and pepper. Everything but the cilantro.
Stir fry for 1 minute.
Plate and garnish with cilantro leaves.

Peace and Understanding,
Chef Wendell