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Category: Healthy Life Style

SUNDAY “ISOLATION” SAUCE

COMFORT FOOD FOR A RAINY DAY by Toni Hoyos/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/The NYExtra.com

Here we are on this rainy Sunday practicing social distancing with no place to go. Thus let the cooking begin! I needed to utilize what was on hand so I foraged the kitchen to see what was in stock. The man was craving comfort food. Found 2 different jars of tomato sauce and one bag of pasta. Luckily there actually was meat in the house, bingo! Sunday Sauce! Something I hadn’t made in years, hopefully the touch was still there.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

I had 2 lbs of grass fed beef chop meat and a 6 pack of Premio sausage. Open and rinse off sausage, pat dry with paper towel and place on small sheet pan, set aside. For the meatballs I used a medium onion and 3 cloves of organic garlic which I pulsed a few times in the food processor. I added that to the chop meat in a large bowl along with 1 large egg, dried basil, dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste. In lieu of breadcrumbs I used 2 slices of whole wheat farmhouse bread soaked in almond milk which I shredded by hand into the chop meat mixture. Once again I was utilizing what was available to me in the house, normally I like to use fresh herbs when cooking and I improvised with the bread and almond milk, you can use any milk, bread or breadcrumbs. Mix by hand until everything looks incorporated (but do not overmix) and form into meatballs of your size choice, place on lightly greased sheet pan and spritz with oil (I used avocado oil). Place meatballs on bottom rack of preheated 400 degree oven and sausage on top rack. Cook sausage for about 12 minutes, turn over, cook about another 12-15 minutes. Flip meatballs with a metal spatula after 20 minutes and cook an additional 15-20 minutes until brown.

To start the sauce I pulsed a medium/small onion, 4 cloves of organic garlic and a small organic carrot which I sauteed in a large sauce pot using organic extra virgin olive oil over medium/low heat. Sautee approximately 5 minutes stirring when needed, adding more olive oil when needed. I’d say I used about a 1/3 a cup of oil if not a little more. Once sauteed I added the 20 oz jar and the 24 oz jar of tomato sauce to the pot then added in the meatballs and sausage. At this point it looked like there wasn’t enough sauce in the pot to cover the meat so I went searching in the cabinets to see what I could find. Found 2 8 oz cans of Best Yet no salt tomato sauce,added them to the pot along with a cup of water. Sprinkle in some dried basil (about 1 teaspoon) and let simmer for at least 2 hours stirring gently every 15-20 minutes.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

I have to tell you the aroma of that sauce cooking was delectable, heavenly! A scent to soothe the soul. I just wanted to grab a chunk of bread and dip it in the sauce!

Once the sauce is ready make your pasta according to directions, drain, place into a large pasta bowl or return to cooking pot, toss with cooked sauce, plate and serve. I served it with salad and olives. If I say so myself it was delicious, guess I didn’t lose my touch Hope you enjoy it as much as we did, Bon appetit!

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COOKING WITH LEFTOVERS

MAKING THE MOST OUT OF WHAT YOU HAVE by Toni Hoyos/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Now’s the time to try and utilize what we have and not be wasteful. People are not working, money is tight, stores are not fully stocked and who the heck wants to keep making trips to the supermarket. So I looked into my fridge to see what was hiding in there. Found some leftover asparagus, half of a large cooked sweet potato and a couple tablespoons of roasted red pepper. Hence the idea of an omelette was born!

I diced up a small red onion, sauteed it in a pan for a few minutes with some ghee. Then diced and added in the leftovers, asparagus, sweet potato and roasted red peppers. Let cook for 2 minutes then sprinkle with Trader Joe’s taco seasoning, stir and add 4 organic/pasture raised eggs. Cook over med/low flame for a few minutes then flip over with a spatula. Cook for 1 additional minute. Plate it. I found some green and Kalamata olives in the fridge along with some scallions. So I diced them up and scattered on top of omelette. It was pot luck and really yummy. I was quite pleased with the outcome!

Quick Simple Healthy Meal

Welcome Back! On my quest to simplify healthy meals my first discovery is Amy’s Lentil soup, canned yet clean ingredients. All you need is the Amy’s soup, some fresh baby spinach [or veggie of choice] salt and pepper to taste and/or a little hot sauce. Shake Your Mama’s Bootie Mr. Peppers Hot Sauce Co is a great find, no preservatives, sugar or bad oils, use it on everything! [caution a little goes a long way]

Neil Miller/The New York Extra
Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Simply add soup to a pot, throw in 2 cups fresh baby spinach and heat until spinach is wilted. Season to taste. If you do dairy sprinkle with some grated cheese. As an accompaniment I used Mary’s Gone Crackers superseed everything , gluten free, crispy and tasty! Smear a little grass fed butter on them for a real treat. To finish off the meal add fruit of your choice. I used ready cut fresh pineapple and organic blueberries, delish!

This meal was really super quick, 10 minutes from pot to table. On those crazy busy days when time is of the essence ,with a little forethought and smart shopping options one can eat healthy, considering the alternatives. So don’t stop at those fast food chains or restaurants, lets shop around for healthier possibilities together. Be back soon!

Neil Miller /The New York Extra

TIP OF THE DAY: Trader Joe’s Green Goddess Salad dressing made with avocados is a real crowd pleaser. I use it for a dip with crudite. Plan on seeing this on future posts, I’m still thinking of its many possibilities.

2020 The Quest to Simplify Healthy Meals

Welcome 2020! May this year bring many blessings for us all! Im looking forward to new and exciting adventures and positive changes. One change I will be implementing is to SIMPLIFY. Time constraints have interfered with shopping, prepping and cook time. I usually spend several hours on my days off preparing healthy meals for the week. Well that’s not always going to be possible.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Though I always recommend first and whenever possible to eat clean, organic home prepared meals and snacks, I do realize with our busy schedules that’s not always feasible. Therefore my quest to simplify was born and it is a work in progress, Please take this journey with me. In order to simplify and as much as this pains me to say that means utilizing healthy prepared/packaged foods. It does not mean highly processed foods , preservatives, added sugars or unhealthy fats. Ha Ha,,, I know not easy.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Open the door and surround yourself with a rainbow of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s easy to grab an apple, banana or any fruit, they transport easily. Humus with Mini cukes, rainbow carrots and bell peppers are good to go. Pack some olives or raw nuts of your choice in snack size baggies. Keep a jar of seed or nut butter on hand with some precut celery sticks, a quick and easy snack.

I go forward now in search of elusive healthy packaged foods. What will I find on my journey?? Stay tuned for upcoming dinner recipes. Be back soon! Wishing you peace.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

TIP OF THE DAY: Stringless Snap Peas from Whole Foods and Galil Organic Roasted Chestnuts. Totally portable and easy peasy!!

Amazing Chocolate Seed Treat

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO STORE BOUGHT SWEETS

My friend turned me on to this delicious chocolate treat, now I’d like to share it with you. It’s quick, easy and very yummy! Great to give out as holiday gifts or a hostess gift any time of the year. Just use appropriate holiday/occasion wrapping of your choice! This recipe is courtesy of Dr. Eric Berg DC, you can find it on You Tube. Check it out to watch his video if you like visual aspects.

This recipe calls for 5 cups of raw seeds. Seeds are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, they also do not irritate the gallbladder. If you wish you may use any combination of seeds and nuts for this recipe. I would recommend using a food processor to break down large nuts like walnuts and almonds. A quick pulse or 2 just to have smaller pieces.

You will need 5 cups of seeds [or combination seeds/nuts] , 1 9 oz bag Lilly’s dark chocolate chips, 3 tablespoons coconut oil [to thin out and make chocolate spreadable] and approximately 1 tsp pure Vanilla extract, a large bowl for the seeds and a prepared large baking pan lined with parchment paper.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Melt chocolate on stovetop using a pot with some water in it and a smaller pot that will sit into the larger one , pour the chocolate into the smaller pot and stir on medium heat until all chocolate is melted.Once melted pour chocolate over seeds in bowl, add 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir together. Pour seed/chocolate mixture onto prepared parchment lined pan. Spread out using a spoon or spatula to a very thin layer then freeze for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove from freezer and break into small pieces. Taste and enjoy! Careful though, I find these treats addicting, YUM!

Neil Miller ?The New York Extra

TIP OF THE DAY: These chocolate treats make for great gifts with a homemade touch. I’m making up Christmas bags for everyone to enjoy! Store in the refrigerator or freezer. I like to eat them straight from the freezer.

Quick and Easy Clean Eating

SAUTEED SHRIMP AND SPINACH

I understand how with our busy schedules and time restraints it’s so tempting and easy to stop for fast food. Please don’t do it! In the long run your body will thank you. With a little forethought and prepping you can make simple, healthy, quick meals at home. I can hear you tisking that’s the last thing you want to do after a long hard day. I do hear you … but it is possible. Just be sure to stock up on some healthy options to have ready in a pinch. I always have a bag of frozen Trader Joes wild Argentinian Red shrimp on hand for just that purpose. You can take some out in the morning to defrost in the fridge or for last minute leave in the bag and immerse in cool/tepid water to defrost.

I always try to take some time to prep and prepare food for the week. It’s easy to make some soup and freeze half for another time. Dice/chop up raw carrots, beets, celery,radishes, etc to top your salad. Roast a tray of veggies to have ready. Use your imagination roast broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, bell peppers, parsnips, sweet potato or any vegetable you enjoy. Rienzi brand Lentils in a can have no preservatives or added salt, a better choice than fast food. These are just some examples to make having healthier meals more manageable.

Neil Miller /The New York Extra

For this meal you will need fresh organic spinach 10 oz, organic garlic, 1/2 a medium lemon, 1 tsp olive oil, grass fed butter, organic orange peel, herbs de provence, lemon pepper and of course trader Joes wild Argentinian Red shrimp. 7-8 pieces for a portion.

Take a handful of rinsed drained spinach cook in pan on medium flame, turning and adding more as it begins to wilt. Cook about 4 minutes. Add 1 tsp olive oil and 1 clove of minced garlic, sautee 2 minutes then set aside. take rinsed defrosted shrimp, pat dry with a paper towel place in preheated pan with a pat of butter. Cook 3 minutes, turn over and cook additional 2 minutes. Then reduce heat squeeze 1/2 a lemon over shrimp into pan, add pat butter, orange peel, lemon pepper, herbs de provence, cook 1 minute. Serve a top spinach with a little salad and beets. Ready to eat in just under 15 minutes!

TIP OF THE DAY : I am loving my new Red Copper cookware frying pan!! It cooks evenly, browns, makes a fabulous omelette, little or no oil needed and cleans with just a wipe! Give it a try, follow directions to bake before first use [season] pan. Red Copper is my new go too!

FYI : Though shrimp is high in cholesterol it is low in saturated fats, has antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids which has been shown to promote heart health. There is new information out there please investigate.

QUEST FOR HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES

Sweet Potato casserole and Homemade Applesauce

Neil Miller /The New York Extra

Thanksgiving is such a festive time with friends, family and of course food! I like to lighten up traditional recipes and omit as much added sugar as possible keeping it simple and tasty. Lets start with the sweet potato casserole. You will need; 4 med/large organic sweet potatoes, organic unsweetened butter, ceylon cinnamon, 1/2 cup toasted pecans, organic coconut oil [or more butter] Swerve brown sugar replacement and a clementine or orange. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

Peel potatoes then slice on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick. Place a few thin pats of butter on bottom of a casserole dish. Add a layer of sweet potatoes to dish, sprinkle with cinnamon, top with a few more pats of butter then continue to layer in this manner until done. If desired squeeze the juice of 1 clementine or 1/2 an orange over top of casserole then sprinkle with cinnamon and add more butter. Bake covered approximately 40/45 minutes until soft not mushy, testing doneness at 30 minutes.

NeilMiller /The New York Extra
Neil Miller/The New York Extra

While casserole cooks dry pan roast pecans on medium/low heat a few minutes, stir and careful don’t burn. When ready let cool a couple minutes then add to a food processor with 2 teaspoons Swerve brown sugar, 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil or if you prefer use 1 teaspoon of butter. Pulse until they look like small chopped pieces. Add chopped pecans to top of sweet potato casserole bake an additional 5 minutes uncovered.

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

APPLESAUCE; 6-8 large Gala apples and cinnamon. Core apples, place in a microwave safe pan [apples will throw off liquid] and microwave for approximately 10-12 minutes or until soft but not mushy unless you like it that way. I prefer it to be a little chunky. Once done cut in half and let cool to the touch. Run thumb over flesh feeling for any core remnants and remove. Scoop out flesh using a tablespoon. Cut up any large pieces or mash with a fork if you like it smoother. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. These do not need anything else. Gala apples are naturally sweet and delicious! Enjoy!

Neil Miller/The New York Extra

INGREDIENTS USED: casserole-organic sweet potatoes,Trader Joe’s organic unsalted butter,Frontier organic Ceylon cinnamon, raw Pecans, Wellsley Farms organic virgin coconut oil. APPLESAUCE; Organic Gala apples, Frontier Ceylon cinnamon.

TIP OF THE DAY: Rather than using artificial or processed sugar Dates are a great way to get natural sweetness into your food. Chop or put in food processor, you can modify and add to recipes.

Quest for Healthy Alternatives

Homemade Salad Dressing and Greens by Foodlady7…

FoodLady’s 7 Chopped Green Salad with fresh veggies Neil Miler /The New York Extra

One of the healthiest options we can do for ourselves is to replace one meal a day with a green salad heaped with assorted raw vegetables . Pick your greens whether that be arugula, romaine, spinach, spring mix or what ever suits your fancy. Choose a variety of colored vegetables to top with such as diced/sliced radishes, beets, carrots, red cabbage, cucumbers, red onions, celery, mushrooms etc. Use your imagination to make endless combinations! You can add some fresh fruit if desired like clementine segments or mango, berries being the healthiest option. Avocado or a sprinkle of chopped walnuts are healthy fat options.

Now don’t ruin all that goodness with a bottled dressing laden with sugar, preservatives and unhealthy fats! Throw those bottles in the trash where they belong! It is so easy to make your own. I use apple cider vinegar and organic extra virgin olive oil, start with equal parts and adjust to taste. If that’s too vinegary for you just add more oil. Add in any seasonings and/or dried organic herbs of your choice, such as dill, oregano, ginger, Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, garlic powder and onion powder are some examples. A dash of Fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice is good for a change of pace every now or then or even a drop of raw honey on a special occasion.

This is a simple way to incorporate clean eating into your life. Just play around with different options to create your own taste sensations. You’ll feel better and your body will thank you! Enjoy!

TIP OF THE DAY: To save time I usually chop up a bunch of veggies , I always deseed cucumbers, then store in a plastic container. They keep fresh for several days. Just spoon on top of your salad greens and viola ready to go!!

Salad dressing brands used in this recipe Neil Miller /The New York Extra 2019

Brands used in this recipe are as follows; Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar,Trader Joes’s California Extra Virgin Olive Oil,Great Value Organic Orange peel,Herbs de Provence,and ground mustard,Olde Thompson Pepper Supreme and Mediterranean sea salt