Category Archives: RECIPES

The collections are attributed to those who have posted them on their websites. I have merely attempted to post my favourites.

12 DIABETES-FIGHTING FOODS

Apples

A study published in April in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that higher consumption of anthocyanin-rich fruits like apples, pears, and blueberries is linked with a 23 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Eat at least five servings a week to reap maximum benefits.

Cheese and Yogurt

People who consumed the most fermented dairy products—things like yogurt, cheese, and fermented milk such as kefir—had a 12 percent reduced risk of diabetes compared to people who ate the least fermented dairy, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers believe the healthy bacteria found in fermented foods may be partly to thank.

Cinnamon

Eating cinnamon can lower fasting blood glucose, according to a 2011 review by scientists at UC-Davis. That’s on top of its other benefits: the spice has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and improve insulin sensitivity. Stir a spoonful into your morning coffee, sprinkle some on toast, or add it to your oatmeal.

Coffee

Your morning cup o’ joe does more than just perk you up: A new report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry finds that the beverage contains compounds that inhibit a hormone that plays a role in diabetes. Past studies have found that those who sip four or more cups of coffee daily have a 50 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dark Chocolate

According to a review in the British Medical Journal, those who regularly treated themselves to chocolate had a 31 percent reduced risk of diabetes—not to mention a 37 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 29 percent reduction in stroke risk—compared with infrequent chocolate eaters. The studies looked at all kinds of chocolate, but for health-boosting effects, the dark stuff’s your best bet. Past research has found dark chocolate can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce both blood pressure and insulin resistance. To get a health boost without the calorie bomb, look for a higher percentage of cacao—the darker the chocolate, the less sugar it contains.

Spinach and Kale

You already know that green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses, but did you know they may slash your diabetes risk? According to a 2010 review in the British Medical Journal found that an increase of only 1.15 servings daily can decrease your risk for diabetes by 14 percent. Swap spinach for lettuce in salads and sandwiches, roast up some kale chips, or add a serving to a smoothie to cram in an extra daily dose of greens.

Nuts

People who reported eating at least a quarter-ounce of nuts per day had a 5 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes, found a 2011 study from Louisiana State University. Opt for an ounce a day—about a handful.

Red Wine

You already knew red wine was a surefire health booster, but it may be a powerful diabetes fighter as well. A Polish review of current research finds that resveratrol, the seemingly superpowered compound found in grape skins, can help improve the function of the blood sugar–regulating hormone insulin and reduce blood glucose levels. Most of the resveratrol data are from animal studies, so further research is needed to find out how the compound functions in humans. But researchers agree that moderate consumption of red wine—that’s no more than two glasses daily for men—is good for you. Cheers to that!

Strawberries

British scientists recently found that an extract from the strawberry helps your body activate a protein that decreases blood lipids and LDL cholesterol—both of which can factor into the development of type 2 diabetes. And a preliminary study published in the British Journal of Nutrition earlier this year finds strawberries can help lower blood glucose levels in mice.

Tumeric

Good news for curry lovers: Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, may help delay or prevent the progression of diabetes, finds a new study in the journal Diabetes Care. Researchers looked at 240 people with high blood sugar, but not high enough to warrant a diagnosis of diabetes. Half the group received a 1,500-milligram (mg) pill of curcumin extract daily, while the rest received a placebo. After 9 months, 16.4 percent of the placebo group developed diabetes. And the curcumin group? Not one. More research is needed to determine the long-term effects of curcumin, but these early results are promising. In the meantime, add a hit of turmeric to your sautéed vegetables

Water

No, it’s not a food, but it’s vital to your health. French scientists looked at over 3,000 participants over a period of 9 years and found that those who drank the most water—more than 33 ounces each day—were 21 percent less likely to have high blood sugar than less-frequent sippers. Researchers believe increased levels of vasopressin, the hormone that regulates water levels in your body, may lead to an increase in blood sugar. How? When you don’t drink enough water, your vasopressin levels go up, and past research has found higher vasopressin levels mean higher blood sugar.

Wheat Bran

A 2011 review article in Diabetes Care supports past evidence that high intake of magnesium can lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, particularly if you’re overweight. The mineral is found in a variety of vegetables and whole grains, but wheat bran is one of the best sources—only ¼ cup will give you 22 percent of your daily magnesium requirements.

Credit; WebMd

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15 Immune Boosting Foods

Acai Berry
Hawked as a “super food” along with produce like blueberries, the little acai berry’s dark color signals that it is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. While the acai is not scientifically linked to specific disease- or illness-fighting ability, antioxidants may help your body fight aging and disease. Acai berries can be found most often in juice or smoothie form, or dried and mixed with granola.

Almonds
A handful of almonds may shore up your immune system from the effects of stress. A recommended 1/4 cup serving carries nearly 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin E, which helps boost the immune system. And they have riboflavin and niacin, B vitamins that may help you bounce back from the effects of stress.

Broccoli
Easy to find at the grocery store and incorporate into meals, broccoli is an immune-boosting basic. One study reported a chemical in broccoli helped stimulate the immune systems of mice. Plus, it’s full of nutrients that protect your body from damage. It has vitamins A, vitamin C, and glutathione. Add some low-fat cheese to round out a side dish with immune-enhancing B vitamins and vitamin D.

Garlic
Garlic offers several antioxidants that battle immune system invaders. Among garlic’s targets are H. pylori, the bacteria associated with some ulcers and stomach cancer. Cooking tip: Peel, chop and let sit 15 to 20 minutes before cooking to activate immune-boosting enzymes.

Grapefruit
Grapefruits have a good amount of vitamin C. But science has yet to prove that you can easily get enough vitamin C through foods alone, without supplementation, to help treat cold and flu. However, grapefruit is packed with flavonoids — natural chemical compounds that have been found to increase immune system activation. Dislike grapefruits? Try oranges or tangerines.

Spinach
Known as a “super food,” spinach is nutrient-rich. It has folate, which helps your body produce new cells and repair DNA. And it boasts fiber, antioxidants, such as vitamin C, and more. Eat spinach raw or lightly cooked to get the most benefit.

Sweet Potato
Like carrots, sweet potatoes have the antioxidant beta-carotene, which mops up damaging free radicals. Sweet potatoes also boast vitamin A, which is linked to slowing the aging process and may reduce the risk of some cancers.

Tea
Green or black? Both are loaded with disease-fighting polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants seek out cell-damaging free radicals and destroy them. Caffeinated and decaf work equally well.

Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is the part of a wheat seed that feeds a baby wheat plant, so it is full of nutrients. It has zinc, antioxidants, and B vitamins among other vital vitamins and minerals. Wheat germ also offers a good mix of fiber, protein, and some good fat. Substitute wheat germ for part of the regular flour called for in baked goods and other recipes.

Low-Fat Yogurt
A daily cup may reduce your chances of getting a cold. Look for labels listing “live and active cultures.” Some researchers believe they may stimulate your immune system to fight disease. Also look for vitamin D. Recent studies have found a link between low vitamin D levels and an increased risk of cold and flu.

Elderberry
An old folk remedy, extract from these dark berries appears to block flu viruses in test tube studies. But scientists caution that further study is needed. The fruit itself is rich in antioxidants and may also have the ability to fight inflammation.

Watermelon
Hydrating and refreshing, ripe watermelon also has plenty of a powerful antioxidant, glutathione. Known to help strengthen the immune system so it can fight infection, glutathione is found in the red pulpy flesh near the rind.

Button Mushrooms
Don’t dismiss the lowly mushroom as nutrient poor: It has the mineral selenium and antioxidants. Low levels of selenium have been linked to increased risk of developing more severe flu. And the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, found in these mushrooms, play a role in a healthy immune system. Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects.

This is a source of immune-strengthening glutamine. And cabbage is easy and inexpensive to find during the winter months when it's in season. Try adding cabbages of any variety (white, red, Chinese) to soups and stews to sneak in extra antioxidants and boost your meal's nutritional value.

Cabbage
This is a source of immune-strengthening glutamine. And cabbage is easy and inexpensive to find during the winter months when it’s in season. Try adding cabbages of any variety (white, red, Chinese) to soups and stews to sneak in extra antioxidants and boost your meal’s nutritional value.

Oyster

Oysters
Aphrodisiac? Immune boosters? Maybe both, thanks to the mineral zinc that’s found in oysters. Low zinc levels have been associated with male infertility. And zinc appears to have some antiviral effect, although researchers can’t explain why. However, they do know it is important to several immune system tasks including healing wounds.

CREDIT: WEBMd

Recipe Index

Recipe Index.

Shaved Fennel Salad with Strawberries & Purple Kale

Shaved Fennel Salad with Strawberries & Purple Kale.

Canning 101: Pickled Green Beans

Canning 101: Pickled Green Beans.

Canning 101: Pickled Green Beans

Canning 101: Pickled Green Beans.

Yummy, looks delicious and so colourful and healthy

Spinach & Mushroom Pesto Sauce With Penne

Post image for Spinch & Mushroom Pesto Sauce With Penne

COURTESY: TICKLED RED on FEBRUARY 13, 2012

Can I you tell you guys something? Pesto sauce is one of my absolute favorite sauces to make. There are so many different flavor combinations that you can create in a matter of minutes with just a handful of ingredients. Mild, spicy, tangy or lemon infused; depending on which flavor combination you choose to play around with pesto can also be very good for you.

Do you guys know exactly how much nutritional goodness is packed into spinach?

The benefits listed for spinach are nearly a mile long. Vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6, protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, copper, selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.Whew, that is quite a bit of good for you crammed into one little green leaf. Add mushrooms, which are full of potassium and almonds for protein what we end up with is a one two punch pesto that even Popeye would blow his pipe over. This is how easy it is to be healthy and enjoy something scrumptious…

Saute finely chopped mushrooms with Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice until the mushrooms begin to brown.

Puree the mushrooms with garlic, almonds, Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil. Add spinach and blend until the spinach is chopped fine.

Volia! That’s it. Pesto, pesto! It won’t win any beauty pageants but I’m okay with that.

Toss some whole grain penne pasta with this nummy nutritious pesto and life is good.

Shari-Tickled Red

 

Parmesan Garlic Bread

Here are the ingredients you will need.
Start by pressing the three cloves of garlic into a medium bowl.
Mince up a shallot so it measures one tablespoon.
Add the shallot to the garlic in the medium bowl.
Next, mince up the fresh parsley and measure out a tablespoon.
Add that to the bowl along with the salt and pepper. Remember to go a little easy on the salt because Parmesan tends to be a little salty as well.
Now add the *gasp* two sticks of butter and the two tablespoons {give or take} of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Mix until combined.
And set aside, just for now.
Grab your loaf of Italian bread.
Using a bread knife, slice lengthwise in half and place on a sheet pan.
Spread heavily and evenly all over one half with half of the butter mixture, and the rest on the other half of the bread. I prefer to use aluminum sheet pans just to get the bottoms of the bread crispy. Place under the broiler until golden and toasty!
Remove and slice immediately.
Parmesan Garlic Bread:
{Serves 4-6}
Ingredients:
1 loaf of Italian Bread
2 stick of Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
3 cloves of Garlic {two if large}, pressed
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon Shallots, minced
1 tablespoons Parsley, minced
Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
preparation:
Combine the garlic, shallots, parsley, salt, black pepper, softened butter and Parmesan. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Slice the Italian loaf lengthwise and heavily smear half of the butter mixture on each of the halves. Place under broiler {on low} and toast until golden and crispy, rotating the pan if necessary, about 5-8 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn!

Cinnamon Toast the Right Way

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  Did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to make cinnamon toast?

Before I show you THE right way to make cinnamon toast, I’m going to review a few different approaches so that we can do a compare/contrast at the end of this post. We’re going to crack the lid off of this if it’s the last thing we do!
APPROACH #1

 

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Butter a slice of bread.

 

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Combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl…

 

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Stir it to combine.

 

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Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top of the butter, then pop it in the oven: 10 minutes at 350, then finish it off under the broiler (I’ll give you my reasons for this method later.)

 
APPROACH #2:

 

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Butter a slice of bread, then pop it in a 350 degree oven for ten minutes. Then turn on the broiler and let it go for a minute or two until it’s golden.

 

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Then as soon as you remove it from the oven…

 

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Sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar mixture.

 

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So as you’ve probably figured out, the difference between Approach #1 and Approach #2is this: putting the cinnamon sugar on before you put the toast in the oven results in a topping that’s slightly caramelized and crisp. But when you sprinkle on the cinnamon/sugar on after the fact, it remains loose on the surface (see above photo), partly soaking into the buttery bread. Both are pretty good, but I most definitely would prefer Approach #1.

 

But let me show you Approach #3—otherwise known as THE ABSOLUTELY WRONG WAY to make cinnamon toast.

Please never make cinnamon toast like this.

Please. I’m asking nicely here.

 

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Okay, this isn’t it. This doesn’t even belong in this post. Sorry.

 
APPROACH #3: The WRONG Way

 

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This is it. If you wanted to make the worst cinnamon toast on earth, you would put a piece of bread in the toaster and remove it when it’s…toasted.

 

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Then you would—gulp—spread softened butter on the warm toast.

 

This is so wrong.

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Then you’d sprinkle on the cinnamon/sugar.

 

Terrible! No dimension at all! The butter hasn’t had a chance to soak into the bread. No caramelizing. Nothin’.

Awful! Just plain awful.

Now. Would you like to see the RIGHT way to make cinnamon toast?

Are you sure you’re emotionally ready?

Very well, then.
APPROACH 4: The RIGHT Way

 

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Start with softened butter. I used two sticks. You can halve it if you’re a sensible person.

 

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Smush it with a fork…

 

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Then pour in a whole buncha sugar. About a half cup for every stick of butter (at least.)

 

But it’s okay, folks! Sugar is good for you!

Okay, so sugar isn’t good for you. But really, it is. But actually, it isn’t. But it is in my dreams. But it isn’t in my reality.

So I choose not to live in reality.

Amen.

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Then comes the cinnamon! About 2 to 3 teaspoons, depending on your tastes.

 

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Then comes the magic ingredient: Vanilla! It doesn’t have to be Mexican vanilla—this was a gift from someone at one of my book tour stops (thank you!); any old vanilla extract will do.

 

But if you don’t use Mexican vanilla extract, you’ll regret it the rest of your life.

Oh, c’mon. I’m just joshin’ you.

But you really will regret it.

Just kidding!

(Man, am I in a mood today. Sorry.)

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Add a good 2 to 3 teaspoons. Vanilla in cinnamon-sugar applications is so, so, so, so divine.

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Smush it all together until it’s one creamy bowlful of sin.

 

That’s when you know it’s right.

Not that sin is right. It isn’t. Sin is wrong. Sin is very, very wrong.

But this is just a little bitty sin, and it’s not hurting anyone but you.

Unless you serve the cinnamon toast to others.

But listen. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Sound good?

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This is the bread I’m using. Amen.

 

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Spread a good tablespoon of the mixture on each piece of bread.

 

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I like to take it all the way to the edges. This’ll prevent exposed bread from burning under the broiler later.

 

Cinnamon toast is a serious business, people.

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Make as many pieces as you want

 

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Now, here’s what you do: put the coated bread on a cookie sheet and place it into a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes. Here’s why: we want to melt the mixture and bake the bread just a tad. If we were to simply stick the pan under the broiler, the mixture would melt and bubble very quickly but the bread might get a tad soggy since it would be so quick. So we’ll get it started in the heated oven.

 

After ten minutes, crank on the broiler and finish off the toast for a few minutes. Watch it carefully, though! Burned cinnamon toast will ruin your life!

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Mmmm. You don’t know it yet, but this is really something special.

 

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Just look at that. The top is crispy and crunchy…

 

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But the bottom is slightly soft.

 

Yum.

To bump things up a couple of notches, you can use other breads—thick French bread slices are yummy, as are more grainy homemade breads. Just keep in mind that if the bread slice is thicker, you’ll want to spread on a little more butter/cinnamon mixture.

THE FINAL ANALYSIS

 

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We’ve now taken four different approaches for cinnamon toast. Clockwise from upper left: Approach 2, Approach 4, Approach 3, Approach 1. (I would have been them in order, but I rarely do things the logical way.)

 

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Approach #1 would actually be my SECOND choice for cinnamon toast. It has the same crispy/crunchy top as Approach #4. The only difference is that by mixing all the topping ingredients into a spread (as we did for Approach #4), we can add vanilla, which really adds a depth of flavor. (You can also add a little bit of grated nutmeg!) But Approach #1 is yummy.

 

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I actually like how the cinnamon sugar caramelizes apart from the butter. It’s kind of a nice little bonus feature.

 

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VERDICT: Delicious.

 

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Approach #2: For this one, we broiled the butter-smeared bread…then sprinkled on the cinnamon sugar after the fact.

 

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VERDICT: Okay, this isn’t bad. Broiling the toast with the butter lets the butter soak into the bread and just deepens the overall flavor. It’s definitely missing the crispy caramelization…

 

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And then there’s this one. Approach #Gross.

 

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Toasted the bread in the toaster. Then buttered it. Then sprinkled on the cinnamon sugar.

 

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Yuck! Terrible! Dry! Boring

 

And that’s the last opinion you’ll ever hear from me.

Recipe: Cinnamon Toast – The RIGHT Way

Prep Time: 10 Minutes  |  Cook Time: 15 Minutes  |  Difficulty: Easy  |  Servings: 8

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Ingredients

  • 16 slices Bread (whole Wheat Is Great!)
  • 2 sticks Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Sugar (more To Taste)
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract (more To Taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg (optional)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Smush softened butter with a fork. Dump in sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, if using. Stir to completely combine.

Spread on slices of bread, completely covering the surface all the way to the edges.

Place toast on a cookie sheet. Place cookies sheet into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil until golden brown and bubbling. Watch so it won’t burn!

Remove from oven and cut slices into halves diagonally.