Recipe: Spicy Tofu Bites

We’ve got a tasty vegan recipe for your weekend munching needs — and with only three ingredients it’s easy and doesn’t break the bank!

Spicy Tofu Bites

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Cut Firm Tofu into even squares

3. Toss Tofu with your favorite spicy buffalo wing sauce.

4. Sprinkle whole wheat bread crumbs and toss.

5. Lay evenly on foil lined and nonstick sprayed cookie sheet.

6. Bake for 45 minutes.

Bronze – The Miracle Metal

Coppersinksonline.com

As a nod to the 37 (so far) bronze medal winners during the 2012 Olympics, we wanted to tout the wonderful qualities of bronze!

You’ve heard about the healing qualities of Copper right? Well, bronze is an mixture of metals including copper. For centuries copper rings, bracelets and necklaces have been worn for their medical properties to alleviate arthritis, and improve skin tone and clear up infections in the throat or eyes.

In ancient Egypt copper was used to purify the water, today hospitals (as in the door knobs) use copper  to prevent the spread of disease and homeowners are getting into the fun with copper in their bathrooms and kitchens.

We liked how this Hardware store in Kentucky summed up the benefits.

A recent study at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, has shown that when hospitals switched to copper sink fixtures, toilet seats and push plates, the copper had 95% fewer germs on their surfaces. This study led to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency registering copper and its alloys as the first solid materials as antimicrobial.

(www.copperinfo.co.uk/antimicrobial/clinical-trial.shtml)

In early 2008, the EPA registered five groups of copper and copper alloys as antimicrobial, stating that when cleaned regularly, copper alloy surfaces kill more than 99.9% of several bacteria known to be harmful to humans within two hours. The organisms tested included:

  • Staphylococcus aureus — also known as golden staph, this is the most common cause of staph infections.
  • Escherichia coli O157:H7 — a strain of the bacterium Escherichia coli and a cause of food-borne illnesses.
  • Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) — a “superbug” bacterium responsible for difficult-to-treat infections in humans.

(www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/copper-alloy-products.htm)

Strawberry and Lime Soda- EZ Party hit!

barbararies.com

As we were looking into sources of iodine – an essential mineral key to thyroid function – strawberries (after sea vegetables and a couple of others) were high on the list. Hence with a nod to health, we present this delicious strawberry and lime soda, from chef Justin Everett of Cavallo Point. Of course a handful, of organic-fresh-from-the-garden berries would be healthier -but not nearly as much fun!

Ingredients:

1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
10 fresh strawberries
5 limes, juiced and zested
1K liter of soda water
Ice

Directions:

In a medium-size pot, combine the water and sugar and heat until it boils. This becomes a simple syrup. Remove the syrup from the pot and cool in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, dice the strawberries into a large pitcher. Next zest the limes over the strawberries then squeeze all of the juice from the limes and add it to the pitcher. To finish, add the soda water and ice to the lime-and-strawberry mixture, then add syrup until you reach the desired sweetness. Stir well, and serve.

Iodine: The EZ Way!

Somehow iodine iodine iodine has become the topic du jour around the lunch table at work. No big mystery as one of our friends is having a thyroid issue, which then created a sudden interest eating foods rich in iodine – the trace mineral essential in thyroid function. (And of course it’s touted as the first line of defense against the nuclear radiation fall out from last year’s tsunami in Japan.) Since, we don’t want to accidentally OD by taking tablets, like some people do. We set out to find the best dietary sources.

Duh! turns out iodized salt is a pretty easy thing to do… thanks Joseph A. Case for your detail-rich article.

And as it turns out seafood is naturally rich in iodine, including; cod, sea bass, haddock and perch. Kelp (one serving of kelp offers 4 times more than a daily minimum requirement) is the most common iodine-rich green source, while dairy products and plants grown in iodine-rich soil can provide a bit of this nutrient  … we digress.

Keep it simple by snacking on it! While those Trader Joe’s seaweed snacks are pretty good – if you can find Seasnax dried seaweed (Whole Foods, some health food stores, online) … these seem to score a bit higher w/ the online health brigade because they use olive oil -not canola oil in the process. And according to their website, on average, 15 micrograms of iodine can be found in a full sheet of nori.

Just not into food from the sea? Here is a chart from The World’s Healthiest Foods on what they consider to be great sources of iodine.

Did we miss your favorite iodine-rich snack or meal? Please share in our comments.

Weekend Skinny Mojito Recipe

Just in time for the summer season our favorite ex-housewife Bethenny Frankel unveiled a skinny mojito recipe that’s just as good as the original but replaces the sugar with honey. Plus—as a drink choice mojitos do double-duty—they are packed with vitamins. A single lime gives you 32 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs and half a cup of mint provides about a third of your Vitamin C needs and 2 grams of fiber.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. gently warmed honey
  • 2 oz. clear rum
  • 4 oz. club soda
  • mint and lime for garnish

Preparation

  1. With a long spoon or a pestle (from your guac-making mortar and pestle collection) muddle 1/2 fresh lime cut into six wedges in a martini shaker.
  2. Add 1 cup ice and 1 1/2 tbsp. lime juice.
  3. Combine 1/2 tsp. gently warmed honey, 2 oz. clear rum and 4 oz. club soda. Add this combination to muddled mixture.
  4. Stir all the ingredients together with your long spoon until they get cold. Strain the beverage into a glass filled with ice.

Small Changes for a Big Healthy Impact

You don’t have to spend hours at the CrossFit gym or sweat every morning in your Bikram class to make a dramatic healthy lifestyle shift.  We’ve got three healthy eating tips you can include in your routine to make a big impact — this weekend!

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Yes, this isn’t revolutionary news — we all know it’s important to eat breakfast but why? If you diet first thing in the morning chances are you will overeat later in the day, says fitness guru and fitness author Jim Karas. Also, your ability to burn calories is kickstarted with that first meal.

Eat Right

We’ve all been there — you’ve eaten a huge sushi dinner and just an hour later you’re starving. Instead of reaching for dessert reach for a low-calorie, high-water-content snack like sliced veggies or a whole wheat wrap with hummus, peppers and turkey.

Keep it Clean

Avoid mystery foods like the all you can eat buffet or a chain restaurant’s pasta dinner — unless you’re making the food at home. It’s impossible to know just how much oil or even lard (shocking, yes — we have a summer restaurant job to thank for that info) is used in the recipes. If you are eating out choose plain proteins like a 6 ounce petite filet (about 11.2 grams of fat) or salad with no cheese, packed with veggies and dressing on the side.

But it is the weekend, so if all else fails — indulge in a low-calorie cocktail like this 169 calorie skinny cantaloupe margarita.

Be the BBQ Star: Make Your Own Chips!

Heading to a barbecue this weekend? Why not dazzle the others with a batch of your homemade potato chips. According to chef Justin Everett of Murray Circle at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, it’s easy! Here’s his recipe.

Fresh Kennebec Chips

Ingredients:
3 quarts of peanut or vegetable oil
5 each kennebec or yukon gold potatoes salt

Directions:
1 place oil in a large pot and turn on medium heat. heat to 350°f. 2 clean the skin of the potatoes with warm water and a brush. slice the potatoes width- wise very thin with a sharp knife or a mandolin into warm water. 3 once all the potatoes are sliced, they can be removed from the water and placed on a sheet tray lined with paper towels. set up another sheet tray lined with paper towels; this is for the potato chips to land after they come out of the oil. 4 once everything is set and the oil is at 350°f, test out one chip by placing it in the oil. The oil should bubble gently and the chip should float to the top. 5 Gently fry the chips 8 or 9 at a time until golden brown. 6 remove the chips from the oil and place on the clean paper towels; salt to taste.

Let us know if you make ’em… now we just need the ultimate dip recipe 😉

Rainy Spring Recipe: Chocolate Matcha Coconut Tea

Image by sdshaffer via flickr.

We’re close to the summer solstice (June 20, 2012) but in typical spring fashion it’s raining here in California! What better way to get cozy than with our “enhanced” version of the traditional hot chocolate? Read on for the easy recipe — and we couldn’t resist a little trivia: The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Mayans around 2000 years ago!

Ingredients:

4 Cups Water

1 Tsp. Ground Matcha Tea

2 spoonfuls of Palm Sugar

2/3 cup Light Coconut Milk

3 spoonfuls of grated Dark Chocolate (from a bar)

1. Heat first four ingredients over stop-top (do NOT bring to a boil) and constantly stir.

2. Melt grated chocolate in microwave (only heat every 10 seconds and take out to stir, until perfectly smooth).

3. Add melted chocolate to stove top mixture.

4. Make sure the mix is cool enough to drink and pour into mug.

5. For Adults Wanting to Imbibe – add a bit of the optional ingredient: Tuaca Liquer

WORD! Awhile or A While? Simple Explanation.

Pierre Metivier

For those of you who blog or need to create content in some form for work … we hope you can relate to our enthusiasm when we get something correct! Last week, after documenting a trip to Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken New Jersey, Mimi wrote a blog on the experience—complete with details and links to photos. Immediately she got a not-so-gentle email from one of her readers stating “Awhile is one word… not two!

Well, the reader was correct that awhile is one word –  just not in this situation, because a while (two words) is also correct. Here is the blurb..

I’m not saying the goods from Carlo’s Bake Shop aren’t delicious – I didn’t try anything, so I can’t judge. I just haven’t been in a bakery for a while that didn’t at least try to have some type of health messaging to the customers—as in “our products contain no-trans fat,” or “we only use fresh, local and organic ingredients” etc.

We went to Daily Writing Tips for a clear explanation.

A while is a noun meaning “a length of time”

    • “I slept for a while.”
      – (compare with “I slept for a bit” and “I slept for three hours”)

“I was away from my desk for a while.”
– (compare with “I was away from my desk for two minutes”)

Awhile is an adverb, meaning “for a time,” or literally, “for a while”.

  • “I slept awhile before dinner.”
    (compare with “I slept deeply before dinner” and “I slept badly before dinner”.)

As you can see, the words can be used almost interchangeably in some cases – but a while needs to be accompanied by a preposition, such as “for” (“I slept for a while”) or “ago” (“I left work a while ago”). Awhile always means “for a while”.

Thomas Keller’s Lobster Roll Recipe

Unfortunately the French Laundry isn’t quite in our every-day restaurant budget, which is why we love Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home and French Laundry Cookbook. We have to admit—most of the recipes in this two-tome collection are a bit over-the-top (even with the step-by-step instructions they can be overwhelming). But the traditional lobster roll (with no cooking actually needed) was ideal for a first attempt. The recipe was easy, turned out fantastic and took less than 20 minutes to put together—but beware—precooked lobster is pricy so look for special promotions (like we did) before scheduling this meal into your routine.

What you’ll need:

1.5 pounds of cooked lobster meat (call around for the best price and availability)

3 tablespoons of mayo (we used reduced-fat and 2.5 tablespoons would have been better)

2 tablespoons of minced red onion

2 tablespoons of chopped celery (you could double this to add extra crunch)

2 teaspoons of finely chopped tarragon

2 teaspoons of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (make sure you get the right type of parsley, there is a difference!)

2 teaspoons of finely chopped chives

little salt, little pepper

1/2 lime squeeze

6 hot dog buns (the really soft, oversized kind)

Some butter lettuce leaves

To prepare:

Make sure the lobster is in quarter-sized chunks. Place in a large bowl and add in all the ingredients. Place in fridge while you are preparing the buns.

For the buns, cut in half and slice the outsides to they are flat. Butter and place on pan to grill the buns. Open up, place butter leaf lettuce pieces and then top with lobster meat.

We added sweet potato fries (frozen from Whole Foods), which were a pretty addition to the plate, and a great source of vitamin A.

Makes six rolls at a cost of about $10 per roll—it’s not the cheapest meal, so save for a special occasion like a spring dinner party.