Friday, January 24, 2014

Keep your eye on the Berry. Lingonberry that is #GardenCuizine
Lingonberries in the News

Today a report in MNT news highlights the possible obesity prevention benefits by eating Lingonberries. Have you ever heard of them? I didn't. Lingonberries are popular throughout Scandinavia.

Edible Lingonberries - also called cowberries, foxberry, alpine cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) - grow on low (6 to 12-inch) evergreen shrubs throughout the Northern Hemisphere. The plants prefer moist, acidic soil.

People in Sweden eat Lingonberries like we eat blueberries. Tart Lingonberries are often used in sweet jams, scones, pies and berry condiments. Of course, if you want to eat them to possibly prevent weight gain, it is best to enjoy them in protein smoothies or lower sugar culinary creations.

Animal studies have shown Lingonberries to have anti-inflammatory properties. In a recent study published yesterday at Lund University, in Sweden, the berries completely prevented weight gain in mice fed a high fat diet. Their study showed the berries to be high in polyphenols. 

Like most berries, Lingonberries contain vitamin C and antioxidants. With such positive press about Lingonberry health benefits perhaps we'll see more research and maybe even find them in US produce markets in the future. Keep your eyes open for Lingonberries!

Related Links
MNT Lingonberries 
Lingonberries Halt Effect of High-fat Diet
The Mighty Lingonberry
Blog post Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved. Photo taken by Bergsten in Sweden, courtesy of Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Breakfast or Brunch Eggs in Avocado #GardenCuizine

Breakfast or Brunch
Eggs in Avocado

Protein-rich eggs and creamy, nutritious avocado go perfect together for breakfast or brunch. The dish can be made in a skillet or baked in the oven. I first discovered it thanks to one of my weight loss management patients who tried and liked a recipe she saw on The Chew.

Some cooks prefer to bake the egg in avocado with the skin on or some prefer to remove the avocado skin first and cook the egg and avocado in a skillet. We found that the egg whites did not cook through in the skillet since they were suspended by the avocado. So we removed the avocado skin and did a combination cooking method that browned the avocado in an oven-proof skillet first then finished and cooked the egg in avocado in a preheated oven. This ensured the egg to be food safe with the raw egg whites completely cooked.

Yields: 4 servings
Preheat oven to

2 avocados
4 eggs

olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh herbs - optional
Putting it all together
  • Carefully slice around the avocado, cutting each avocado in half. Using a large spoon scoop out the avocado away from the skin - try not to break it. Remove the pits.
  • In a large oven-safe skillet, add a little olive oil and heat over medium high heat.
  • Add the avocado halves sliced side down. Simmer until golden and gently flip using a spatula.
  • Crack an egg into each half, sprinkle with paprika, season with salt and pepper, and finish in a preheated 350°F oven. Garnish with fresh herbs from your garden!
Optional accompaniments: pan seared Canadian bacon and toasted bagels, whole grain bread or raisin bread. 

GardenCuizine Avocado Nutrition: ½ whole avocado 100g: calories 161; total fat 14g; total carbohydrate 8g; dietary fiber 7g (28% DV); protein 2g; Vitamin C 10 mg (17% DV); Vitamin E 2.1mg (7% DV); Vitamin B6 .25 mg (13% DV); Folate 82 mcg (21% DV); Potassium 488 mg (14% DV)

Excellent source: dietary Fiber, Folate
Good Source: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium
Rich source of heart healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats

Avocados contain other nutrients including 25 milligrams beta-sitosterol (plant sterol) per 1-oz. serving. Plant sterols have been scientifically shown to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Buon Appetito!

Related Links
Michael Symon's Eggs and Avocado with Tomato and Basil
California Avocado Nutrition 
Avocados, Cholesterol, and Plant Sterols 
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved.
Note in the photo I only used 1 1/2 avocados not a full 2 as the recipe calls for since we were just serving 3 people this morning.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hoppin' John w/ greens. Good Luck recipe for all Year #GardenCuizine #vegetarian

Vegetarian Hoppin' John makes a nutritious New Year's side dish that you can enjoy throughout the year. Hoppin' John is traditionally made with ground meat or a meaty ham bone or ham hocks. My version adds greens making it an ideal side dish versus a main course. 
  • For a vegetarian main course with complete protein, serve Hoppin' John with greens over organic quinoa grain, brown rice, or other whole grain.
What if I overcook the beans?
If you overcook the beans, just puree them and make a hummus-type bean dip or make them into bean burgers or croquettes. Never toss out overcooked beans. Beans can add dietary fiber and nutrients to many recipes.

Hoppin' John (Frijol de Carita) with Greens  
GardenCuizine freestyle recipe (...meaning use your own measurements of ingredients. Beans, soups or stews never have to be "exact". However, ingredient measurements are noted below for those who prefer to follow a recipe)

2 cups dry Black-eye or heirloom Yellow-eye peas (Cowpeas) - reserve cooking liquid (We use dried beans and cook without pre-soaking. You can also use frozen or canned cowpeas.
1 strip Kombu seaweed* (optional; I use about a 6 inch by 1 inch piece)

2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 cup yellow Onion - chopped
1 cup Celery - chopped
1 cup Carrots - chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp grated ginger
1/8 tsp dried thyme
pinch dried, minced hot pepper 
1 bunch fresh or 1 package frozen chopped spinach, turnip, collard or mustard greens

1/2 teaspoon salt 
ground black pepper
hot sauce - optional
fresh or dried parsley or other favorite herbs - optional
Putting it all together
  • Rinse dried beans; place in stockpot. Cover with water - about 6 cups and add a small strip of wakame seaweed if desired. Bring to boil, simmer and slowly cook beans until tender but still a little firm. Drain and save any cooking liquid - set aside.
  • Reusing the same stockpot, add olive oil over medium heat and saute chopped onions, celery and carrots. Stir in cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, thyme, and hot peppers. Add greens. Cover with a little bean cooking liquid or water and simmer until greens are heated through.
  • Stir in cowpeas and simmer until the flavors all blend
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper and optional hot sauce
  • Stir in or garnish with chopped fresh parsley if you have it
  • Serve as a side dish or over cooked brown rice or quinoa. Some chefs like Latin-Cuban-Puertorican cook Nydia Pichardo like to serve Frijol de Carita with coconut rice garnished with crisp plantain chips.
Good Luck and best wishes for a 
Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!
Photo and recipe copyright (C)2014 Wind. All rights reserved. Rev 1/6/17.