MY FAVORITE SPRINGTIME DESSERT

DSCN3006Almost Spring and today I’m sharing my most favorite Spring dessert. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  I have already made two in one week!

You will need:

3 cups fresh strawberries

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

  1.  Wash, remove caps, and slice strawberries (in that order). Crush 1 cup strawberries and cook with 1 cup water on medium heat about 2 minutes.
  2.  Sieve, draining the juice from the pulp. Let a small amount of juice cool slightly (but still warm) and dissolve the cornstarch in this. You want to avoid having cornstarch lumps in the thickened filling.
  3. Mix this with the remaining juice. You can add a little red food coloring to this if you like to have a bright red color glaze, but I leave it out.
  4. Cook and stir until thickened and  bubbly.
  5. Pour this over 2 cups strawberries and put it all in a baked, cooled pie shell.
  6. Chill and top with whipped cream.

If you want to bypass the pieshell for some reason, put the berries and filling in a cute shebert glass and top with whipped cream.

desktop strawberry pie

 

TIP: When buying fresh strawberries it’s always disappointing to see them begin to spoil the next day. To keep them fresh longer, mix one cup of vinegar with 8 cups water and wash them. I swoosh them around in the water about 2 minutes. Often there will be debris around and under the stems, but do not take the stems off before you wash them. You want to preserve all the juice/flavor in each berry.

The vinegar should kill the bacteria that cause the berries to spoil. Rinse throughly, let them drain a few minutes in a colander, then put them on paper towels to dry. You can put them in a sealed container in the refrigerator to enjoy for a few more days.

The container that I have found to be a life-saver (or I should say, fruit/vegetable saver) is this Tupperware container. It has two small tabs that can be opened or closed, depending on the type of fruit or vegetable that you have inside. There is also a listing on the side of the container that tells you which foods require one tab open, two tabs open, or none open. In the case of ripe berries, leave both tabs closed to prevent any refrigerator air from getting to them. This container also works great for lettuce, celery, spinach, watermelon, you name it, whatever fruit or vegetable you need to keep fresh.

I have two of these and use them daily.

IMG_9479

 

 

Saturday Brunch

2018 chicken brunch plate

This could be considered a nice ketogenic brunch if I had chosen some type of berry (maybe raspberries or blackberries) instead of apples. Apples are rather high in carbs.

Today was a lazy Saturday morning, with a delayed breakfast until around noon.  I wanted something healthy, but simple and quick to make. I had extra chicken breast left from our “Chicken, Bacon and Cheese evening meal” so I decided to do something with that. The chicken breast was already pounded into about 1/4 inch and seasoned with salt and pepper, so a quick saute’ would be perfect.

Two things about  sautéing that chef Todd has drilled into us during our cooking classes:

  1.  The pan has to be hot (put a drop of water in it and if it sizzles it is hot enough).
  2. The fat (coconut oil, olive oil, etc.) you put in has to get hot. Heat to just before smoking. Olive oil goes from perfectly smooth to having striated lines.

Cook chicken in this type pan for 3-5 minutes or to about 75% done on one side, turn and cook the other side which may take 2 or 3 minutes more. Remove the chicken from pan and set aside.

2018 chicken sauted            2018 chicken sauteed 2

I had some baby arugula in the refrigerator that needed to be used, so I added a little olive oil to the pan, scraping the fond from the bottom (this is good flavoring). I cooked the arugula 2 or three minutes until it was wilted good, then added 6 eggs, salt and pepper and scrambled. I have really grown fond of freshly ground pepper. I used to think that pepper was pepper, but now I can really taste the difference between ground pepper and freshly ground pepper.

2018 ch and arugula     2018 chi,arugula,eggs        2018 chicken brunch plate

This was a very tasty meal—-SIMPLE and very healthy.

I hope you try it! If you do let me know how you liked it! If you think others would

like it, please click the share button!

Easy Honey Sweet Potatoes

sweet potatoes cooked

We had these with our supper (dinner for many of you) tonight.  They are so so easy and delicious.  We often eat them for dessert.

  1.   Wash and peel a couple of big sweet potatoes.  Cut in slices/chunks as shown.
  2.  Heat an iron skillet over medium heat, add a couple Tablespoonfuls of coconut oil or olive oil.
  3.  Add potaotes and drizzle honey on top.  I may use 1/4 cup honey.  Adjust this amount for the sweetness you like.
  4.  Pour about 1/2 cup water over the honey.
  5. Cover and cook about 15 minutes or until potaotes are soft as you like and liquid is absorbed.

We had these potatoes with meatloaf (which was frozen earlier and baked a short while before starting the remainder of the meal), cornbread, beans (canned ones tonight), and roasted cabbage.  cabbage cooked plate I like the slight burned taste when I cook this cabbage under the broiler.

Roasted Cabbage—-

  1.  Cut 1/2 cabbage head in small pieces.  See photo.  Toss with a couple tablespoonfuls of sesmae oil.  You can also use olive oil, but I think the sesmae oil gives it a nice taste.
  2. Put cabbage in a single layer and put under the broiler.  Broil about 5 minutes.  Turn/toss the cabbage with a spatula and broil about 4 or 5 more minutes.
  3. Watch closely, however, I like a little charring around the edges.dabbage raw in bowl        .cabbage raw on sheet

 

Episode 6–A Personal Triumph Over Early Onset Alzheimer’s

I hope many of you got to see some of the 14 episodes that I mentioned in the last post “Awakening from Alzheimer’s” before they went off at 12:00 midnight last night.  All of the episodes were great, but Episode 6 explained why Alzheimer’s is often called type 3 diabetes. They were saying the brain runs on glucose, and in alzheimer’s patients there is an insulin deficiency/insulin resistance in the brain.  Glucose needs insulin to get into cells of the body.  In the brain insulin releases these glucose transporters that help glucose get in the brain.  If you can’t get glucose into brain cells, the cells die.

Excessive sugar in the diet is the problem.  In the eaarly 1800’s a person might have eaten 6 lbs. of sugar a year, but today with the average American diet, we eat over 130 lbs. a year.  If your brain is not processing glucose well, coconut oil and MCT oil will help your brain produce an alternative fuel, ketones.

I could go on and on with the science details that I learned from these webinars because I find them so interesting, but suffice it to say our diets, along with lifestyle changes, are  main criteria in overall health, and now they are finding out especially in neurological disorders. Sad to say, most medical doctors have very little training in nutrition.

 

Peanut Chicken

I am not good with titles, so for want of a better one, this dish is peanut chicken. This is another quick throw-together for a busy church night.

I am taking culinary classes online, and the chef has been encouraging us to cook wihtout recipes.  He is teaching methods of cooking and says that cooking is an art not a rigid set of directions. So here goes.

  1. Preheat a large saute pan on medium.  Salt chicken lightly and pepper it generously.  Put about 2 Tablespoons of sesame oil in the pan and saute chicken briefly until it looses its color and is tender.  One could use olive oil, but the sesame oil gives it a different flavor. Chicken breast is not very flavorful on its own.

2.  Remove chicken from pan and add 2 or 3 chopped garlic cloves.  Cook about 1                       minute or until fragrant.

3.  Add some brocolli florets and green peppers and saute a couple of minutes.                          Add some spinach and continue cooking until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.                Use whatever veggies you like. I just happened to have spinach that needed to be                used before it went bad.  Add chicken back  to the pan. Cover and set aside while                you prepare the peanuts.

4.    Put a spoonful of coconut oil in a small preheated skillet, add raw peanuts                            (cashews  would work here also) and cook a few minutes until peanuts                                  are slightly brown, stirring constantly.  Salt to taste.

5.  Serve chicken mixture with peanuts on top.  After I made this tonight, I had a                       suggestion that the peanuts be chopped slightly so that it would be easier to scoop             them up with a fork. We thought the peanuts gave the chicken a nicer flavor and I             loved the crunch!

peanut chicken

 

Pesto from Basil

I want to be specific that this pesto is made from basil, after discovering that one can make pesto from so many different things. I had a bumper crop of basil in my raised bed this year and decided to use most of it to make pesto. This is a recipe a good friend shared with me five years ago.
I also dried some basil by hanging the stems upside down in the attic (see picture).

PESTO
4 cups coarsely chopped sweet basil leaves
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter (optional)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
a dash of salt and pepper

Puree all ingredients in a food processor or blender.
Use immediately, freeze or put the pesto in a glass jar and put in the refrigerator. If you put in in the refrigerator, pour a thin layer of olive oil on top of the pesto in the jar and screw the lid on. This will keep for up to 10 days in the refrigerator.
This recipe makes about 1 1/2-2 cups.
basil and noodlesbasil plantsdried basil