Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the category “Heart Healthy”

Lentil Soup with Chicken Sausage

Every now and then, I come across someone who has never had (or heard of!) lentils and my reaction is always the same–something bordering on shock, I’m sure.  Of course, when you grow up in the supposed lentil capitol of the world, it can be no surprise that these tiny legumes were a regular staple in my family growing up.

Nutritionally speaking, lentils are ridiculously good for you.  Just one serving (1/2 cup cooked), provides complex carbohydrates, 8 g of fiber, 9 g of protein, and a host of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, iron, a range of B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus…and all for a mere 115 calories!  If you are trying to lose weight or boost your health, lentils simply must be on your grocery list.

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Kotopoulo Riganato tis Skaras (Broiled Chicken Oregano)

Here is another great recipe from The Complete Book of Greek CookingAs you’ll recall, I’ve been cooking up and posting adaptations of these recipes and thus far, they have been great.  I definitely recommend it if you are looking for some seriously good, home-style Greek cooking.

If you’re like me (and many of my clients), you are always on the lookout for new ways to cram some flavor into chicken breasts.  Not only does this recipe deliver big garlic and oregano flavor, but it is also super easy.  Bonus?  You can add this one to your arsenal of heart healthy recipes.  A quick word regarding cooking method here:  While you can certainly broil the chicken, I’m always quick to fire up the grill.

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Basil-Crusted Salmon

This is, hands-down, my favorite salmon preparation.  I first had this while doing an apprenticeship at Restaurant Zoe in downtown Seattle.  French-trained and passionate for Pacific Northwest fare, Scott Staples–owner and Executive Chef–creates a menu like none other.  If you ever find yourself hungry in the Emerald City, I highly recommend both the atmosphere and the food.

But back to the recipe!  Like I said, I love this prep.  The sauteed salmon alone offers a deliciously crisp exterior to contrast the moist interior, but the fresh basil crust sends it over the top.  Added bonus?  This is super quick and easy to make, especially if your salmon is already skinned and filleted for you.  Another tip:  To create perfect chiffonade of fresh basil, stack your leaves and then roll them up tightly.  Use your knife to make thin slices from one of the rolled up ends; when the basil unfurls, you’ll have perfect little ribbons of basil for your salmon.

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Fats: The Good, The Bad, and The UGLY

Fats and Oils

We began with figuring out calories, carbohydrates, and protein.  I even spent some time chatting about alcohol.  Now fat is finally on the docket.

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Souvlakia me Kota se Peta

Souvlakia me Kota se Peta

Though summer may not have officially started, Memorial Day weekend at the lake is definitely a great time to kick-off the grilling season!  As promised, here are actually 3 different combined recipes from The Complete Book of Greek Cooking.  I’ve only tweaked them slightly and have included my changes below.  These pitas are perfect for lunch or dinner and the tzatziki dressing makes them amazing.  When you take a look at the recipes below, don’t be put-off by the steps and ingredients.  Both the chicken and tzatziki are super easy to make and can be prepped several hours in advance, saving you that last-minute frantic rush before serving.

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In the mail: The Complete Book of Greek Cooking

Opa!

Yes.  So I am really excited about this cookbook.  Though I don’t even have a smidge of Mediterranean blood in my veins, I do love the food.  Immensely.  Plus–added bonus–Mediterranean cuisine is well-known for its health benefits.  As a dietitian and home-cook, I am always on the prowl for recipes that are delicious and packed with good nutrition.  I actually find it hard believe that out of my 100+ cookbooks, this is my first a la Grecque.  While I am in no way deluded in thinking that every recipe will beat cancer (I’m sure many are loaded with fatty deliciousness), I do anticipate a healthy dose of fresh ingredients loaded with flavor.

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Citrus Grilled Chicken

Apple Blossom Festival is upon us, and with it, the Food Fair!  Ah yes, even a dietitian such as myself can get a little giddy at the thought of funnel cakes, tortatoes, and food vendors as far as the eye can see…though the outrageous prices do keep one in check, thankfully.  I have to admit, I always get a good laugh whenever I cross paths with past or present clients.  Despite the fact that I, myself, might be toting an enormous plate of questionable food, my clients will often duck behind a tent or attempt to hide their food from my gaze when I pass.  And, even when I haven’t seen a familiar face, I inevitably receive guilty emails of confession after the fact.

In any case, we are headed to the Food Fair tomorrow and my husband has accordingly requested something light for dinner…a little pre-penance.  This recipe for Citrus Grilled Chicken is one of my stand-by’s for such an occasion (and many others, for that matter!).  Quick and easy both to prepare and grill, I throw it together whenever I need something in a pinch with great flavor.

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