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Health Nut Betty
New Look for Health Nut Betty
 
Harvest time in the GardenSome exciting changes are happening!   I am  turning my attention and talents to revamping my website and blog to include articles that have rested far too long in file!  For example, the other day I was making an interesting dish that was so visual, I took pictures as I went along and described a simple process to put on my blog.   It doesn't seem enough for me to enjoy a trip to a museum, or have fun in the garden, or love to cook without sharing it, so from now on, I'll be filling up pages telling you all about it.....whatever it is!

No Mayo  
NO MAYO is an article I wrote when I discovered, thanks to Dr. Mercola, the hazards of soybean oil and how ubiquitous it is!  Like high fructose corn syrup, it seems to be in everything!  It is one thing to steer clear of processed foods, but quite another when you studiously read your labels and find these ingredients to be so prevalent.  Like flouride in toothpaste, they just "have to put it in there"!  We used mayonnaise quite liberally, especially in my "famous" potato salad.  Now, I have a different recipe for "carby" potato salad, less frequently made at that.  But we need sandwich spread, and a dip now and then, so I devised at least two recipes you might like to try.  



Nov 18, 2013 - Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

This is a gourmet sauce I ran across at my Raley’s demo recently.  It is in their Something Extra magazine Holiday 2013 issue, Pg. 52 "All About Pumpkin"…..the sauce can be used on any pasta.  I plan to pair it with Tilapia loin or chicken.

Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
Serves 2-3               

Ingredients:

4 T unsalted Butter         
2 cloves garlic or more if you like, minced
2/3 cup cannned Pumpkin         
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup vegetable broth             
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
snipped fresh sage, about 4 tsp
1 pkg Fresh pasta of choice (Chicken/Mushroom  recommended)


Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add minced garlic, cook 1 minute.  Stir in pumpkin, cream, broth, vinegar,
salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in sage.  Serve over ravioli, tortellini, papardelli noodles, or try it on fish or chicken.


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Oct 29, 2013 - NO Mayo

WHY NO Mayo?

Soybean oil, according to Dr. Mercola (see article at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/article/2013/01/27/soybean-oil.aspx) is not a healthy oil.

Most soy grown in the US is genetically engineered and potentially harmful trans fats are created by the partial hydrogenation of the oil.  In my constant label vigilance, I am finding it impossible to find any supermarket mayo or horseradish without soybean oil.

Further, I am now finding it, along with high fructous corn syrup, in multitudinous products which I put back on the shelf.  I’m left with the alternative of the expensive health food variety or making it myself, or finding yet another alternative.

Since I already have tried my hand at making horseradish sauce for my husband who loves it, I came up with two sandwich spread alternatives you might like, too.  I’ve put my famous potato salad on the very back burner since it has long ago outweighed it’s welcome for most carb denied folks like us.

SPOTTED HORSE

Buy a medium (one pound) horseradish root from your

supermarket and cut the peel off.  Cut into pieces your food processor likes to shred and go for it.  Keep

shredding, and then mincing it down into a fine, fine grind.  Add 2-5 T white wine vinegar, and 2 T

kosher salt.  The mixture should make a coarse paste.  Transfer to a jar and refrigerate for up to a month.

If it is too strong for you to use as is, add sour cream to tone it down.

To make a sandwich spread, use 1/2 c of the prepared horseradish above and 1/4 c EACH basil/garlic

pesto and Dijon mustard.   If you don’t like the pesto idea, substitute roasted minced red bell pepper.



ROASTED EGGPLANT AND BELL PEPPER DIP/SPREAD

Roasted Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Dip/Spread

 1 long, peeled and cubed Chinese eggplant (about 1 lb.)

4 cloves garlic

1 jarred Roasted Red Bell Pepper

1 Tablespoon EACH Dijon Mustard, softened Tofutti cream cheese*, fresh lemon juice

1 Tablespoon minced parsley or about 2” of puree from tubes sold in produce section of supermarket**
salt/pepper

olive oil

Roast eggplant and garlic, drizzled with olive oil, in sprayed, foil-lined toaster oven pan approx. 10 mins @ 375o.  Season with salt and pepper.   Place in mini-food processor or blender with bell pepper, mustard, cream cheese and lemon juice.  Process until smooth.  Stir in parsley. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.   Serve with pita chips or crackers, or use as sandwich spread.  Makes about 1 ½ cups.  Refrigerate and store up to five days.

*Regular cream cheese can be substituted for Tofutti (a dairy free cream cheese).

**I like to keep these purees on hand in the fridge, especially when you don’t want the texture of a fresh parsley leaf to interfere with a smooth-textured recipe like this.


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Oct 23, 2013 - Don't Throw Away That Bread!

We love artisan bread, but somehow it seems to go stale before we can get to it! Or, I buy too much sandwich bread, same scenario. 

Don’t wait for it to mold, and then throw it away.  Make Croutons! 

Cut loaf or slices of stale bread into cubes of desired size. In a storage bag, place about a quarter cup of olive oil, onion/garlic powder, and dry herbs of choice.

Place the cut bread cubes into a storage bag and massage so the bread is thoroughly coated with oil and herbs. 

Place on a parchment-lined pan and bake at 350o about 20 mins….checking to be sure they don’t scorch. 

Test for desired doneness.  Store in large refrigerator jar.


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Oct 23, 2013 - Salmon Rolls

My husband likes fish just a bit, so disguising it AND making it delicious is a challenge.  

Here is my take for a quick dinner idea.  You’ll need 6-7 par-boiled lasagna sheets (no-cook variety), a few skinned, cooked salmon fillets, marinated or not, a small chopped onion or shallot, fresh or dry herbs, and a handful of chopped bell peppers.  

The sauce is up to you, but I used a jar of creamy alfredo thinned with a dash of marsala.

Once the salmon fillets are cool, add sauteed onion and peppers and crush into bits.  I added one egg, snipped tarragon, shredded cheese on hand, and leftover risotto to bind it.  

You then place a small handful on the pliable lasagna sheet and roll up.  Place seam side down in a casserole dish. Cover with the alfredo sauce - thinned with a splash of marsala wine if desired.  

Sprinkle with Parmesan and a few more sprigs of fresh herbs.   Bake about 35 mins. in a 350o oven.


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Oct 18, 2013 - Cook an Omelet with Parchment

I've always used parchment paper or silicone sheets for cookies, but omelets?  I wanted to freeze a number of breakfast dishes for my husband’s grab and go lifestyle.  Omelets always seem to be a ready-make endeavor and there is little morning time for this.

Simply put:  Make the ingredients for the omelet in advance and store in a fridge container.  

I used a 1 lb wrap of preservative free New York Style sausage, 1 lg. diced onion, 1 diced bell pepper, a handful of diced mushrooms and a can of green diced chilies.  

When you have the eggs, cheese - and time - to put them together….make a batch of omelets and put in plastic or glass freezer containers.  Start with a large pan on med-hot heat, and crumble the sausage til almost done.  Then add onion, bell pepper, green chilies, mushrooms and lightly salt and pepper.  

Get eggs whisked with some snipped herbs of choice (basil, thyme, parsley) and spoon prepared sausage mixture into parchment lined pan.

Add whisked egg mixture and allow to set, spreading the mixture slightly so it will cook through.  Heat should be med. to med. low now.  When eggs are beginning to set, add shredded cheese and when melted and mixture looks cooked-through, take the two top corners marked with an X and flip the mixture to form an omelet.

Use a spatula to serve onto a plate or other cooling tray  if you want to store.


This is what might happen if you try to cook raw sausage on the parchment prior to making the omelet.  The fat will become too hot and burn thru the paper.


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Jun 20, 2012 - What is Gluten Free?

I keep emphasizing that I cook gluten-free products and came to realize that maybe I should talk a little bit about what being gluten-free is really about, and why people need, or choose this kind of diet.

Before we delve into what gluten-FREE is, it might be best if I define was gluten is. From my research, Gluten is essentially a protein found in many grains and most specifically wheat and its by-products. In addition, it provides a lot of elasticity to many wheat products, allows breads to stay together and for leavening.


So what does it mean to be free of these proteins?

Well here is a list of foods one cannot eat on this regime.

WHEAT! or anything that says “wheat”…What do you know?! This includes wheat starch, wheat protein, cake flour, durum, farina, semolina, matzo, spelt, kamut, couscous and rye. However, buckwheat is safe.

BREADED foods… Fish N Chips, Chicken Tenders, huge no-nos.

Barley and Malt: Yup, no more malt shakes, malt balls, malt BEERS or just BEER in general!

MARINADES, believe it or not there are a lot of marinades that contain gluten. First things first, soy sauce has gluten, be aware of wheat ingredients when you peruse through the ingredients list.

Now that I have made it seem like you're going to be eating steamed vegetables and boiled meats with salt and pepper for the rest of eternity, let me tell you what you CAN eat. And that delicious chocolate cake you see here is one of those things!!! The list is much longer, and more delicious!

Gluten-free grains: Rice, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, soy, buckwheat, corn and its products, millet.

Dairy: Milk, Cheese (un’processed’), plain yogurt, butter, eggs

Oils: margarine, vegetable oils (That includes Canola Oil), nut oils.

Meat

Vegetables, legumes, and flours made from them: garbanzo flour for example.

Fruits!

Distilled Vinegars and Alcohol: remember no beer! Distilled alcohols are gluten free, even your whiskeys and scotches because the distilling process removes the gluten.

Spices: As long as there are none of the listed No-Nos in special spice blends. Otherwise stick to individual spices and make your own gluten-free blends!

Why gluten-FREE?
Approximately 1% of the American Population suffers from Celiac disease, a condition that deteriorates the lining of the stomach. People who suffer from Celiac disease instigate and irritate the villi in the intestine when they consume gluten. For unknown reasons, gluten attacks these villi and over time can cause serious damage to the lining of the intestine and stomach. Symptoms range from stomach aches, and discomfort and diarrhea to depression, fatigue, and may even progress to seizures.

If you need help with any breads, cakes, muffins, etc. I do special orders of home baked gluten-free goods.

Good luck and eat well!


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May 17, 2012 - Gluten Free & Dairy Free Polenta and Veggie Casserole

Being gluten-free and dairy-free does not have to mean that you eat bland food. Often a gluten-free and/or dairy-free diet can be frustrating in a world FULL of wheat products, creams and cheeses but there are so many options now a days and cooking at home can be some of the best ways to ensure you are getting all the nutrients you need while not having to compensate with flavor! Here we have an enchilada-esque dish that is teeming with flavor, full of protein, and veggies!

Ingredients:
1 tube polenta, cut into 1/4 to 1/2in slices
16 oz can black beans
16 oz can kidney  beans
10 oz can whole kernel corn
1 onion chopped
1 can Ortega Chiles or 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 small egglplant. peeled and cut into 1-2in cubes
12 oz sliced mushrooms (We used crimini)
12 oz Healthnut Homemade Salsa
1 cup Daiya Shredded Cheddar cheese (I tried a blend of their mozzarella and cheddar blend that was also great on this)
1/3 cup black olives sliced
Homemade Spice Blend (1 tbsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
Salt and Pepper to taste

First things, first, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Next, Lightly oil a 9×13 in baking dish.

Now for the good stuff.
Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, stir in the onions  and cook until clear.
Stir in the mushrooms, eggplant and peppers. Cook until soft.



Mix in Homemade Spice Blend.

Combine corn, and both beans together in a bowl.

Grab that baking dish your prepared and start lining it with the sliced polenta.

Spread the beans and corns evenly over the polenta slices.

Spread veggie mixture over the beans.

Top with Salsa, Cheese and Olives!

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until thoroughly heated and so the cheese melts.

Cool for about 10 min and FEAST!


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Apr 15, 2012 - Alternatives to Pasta, Gravy and More

What’s for dinner? I have leftover chicken strips, bell peppers, onion, garlic and away we go. Brown chicken, onion, bell peppers and garlic in pan; add a little wine if you want or balsamic vinegar. While that is aromatizing your house, steam your pasta alternatives of choice: cauliflower, garbanzo/pinto/ or string beans, artichoke hearts, rice, quinoa, lentils, polenta or add green chili peppers. You can think of more!

Put the alternative (we're using Cauliflower) in casserole dish or deep dish pie pan, add dairy/soy/free cheese or cheese of choice, add the chicken mixture. Pour in a cream soup of choice, here it is boxed, natural creamy potato lentil (far less chemical-added, sodium/fat and calories than any canned soup!).

You can find natural and organic creamed soups now at any market or it’s easy to make your own and freeze them.

Add more cheese on top if you want, refrigerate until you want to serve, and bake at 350o til bubbly, about 25 mins. I made this before I went to work (15 mins.) and found dinner almost ready when I got home because I mix all the salad greens and veggies in a big bowl waiting in the fridge.


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Apr 01, 2012 - Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

An easy dinner side dish as-is or make it an entree with added protein of choice:


Sun Dried Tomato Pesto can be purchased or homemade: If you can’t find sun dried tomatoes without oil and without sulfites, use fire roasted tomatoes.

Blenderize or food process tomatoes with olive oil and minced garlic and onion.  Add fresh or pureed basil (it comes in a tube at your grocer’s produce dept.)  Add Italian Herbs, salt and pepper.

Cook Rotele pasta according to directions, with added salt to the boiling water, drain and splash with olive oil.  Add your tomato pesto, grated cheese, and enough cream or half and half to keep it moist til serving.


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Mar 28, 2012 - Neotame Not So Sweet!

Dr. Mercola and Neotame

 

If you think Neotame is the latest artificial sweetener answer to a no sugar diet or weight loss, read the truth behind it in Dr. Mercola’s link above…..and be amazed at where they put it and why.


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Home

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Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
NO Mayo
Salmon Rolls
Home-Made Croutons
New Way to Cook Omelet
What is Gluten Free?
GF & DF Casserole
Pasta Alternatives
Tomato Pesto Pasta
A Slimmer Dessert Idea
Neotame Not So Sweet


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