I have talked about the Italian Centre before and it bears repeating -- it's a great place to shop for excellent products. Above are a few items that were purchased on a recent shopping trip. The Baronia pasta was outstanding and I would highly recommend it. They grind their flour fresh at their own mill and use only fresh spring water. There is a serious taste difference between Baronia and your ordinary run of the mill pasta. Start checking the ingredients on some of the pasta brands and you'll be surprised at what they've added and you'll realize why some don't stack up. The Italian Centre Shop also has a very good selection of gluten free pasta including my favorite brand Tinkyada. I made a delicious lasagna last week and it met with rave reviews. Nobody knew it was made with gluten free lasagna noodles and they were surprised how tasty it was because they had previously had bad experiences with other GF brands. I will be posting that recipe sometime soon as it was an especially tasty combo of yams, tofu and spinach.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I really like thse little sandwich bags by Natural Value. I don't know a lot about Kosher rules but these are Kosher certified so if that concerns you these are definitely worth buying. Not only that, according to my sister, they wash up several times and the zipper action works better than Ziploc. Now that's something to rave about! I find that Ziploc baggies smell "plasticky" so that's why I was very happy to find that these do not. I made up a batch of my "prairie girl gluten-free flour mixture" today and portioned it into my favorite little baggies. They're not meant for the freezer so I'll be putting the filled sandwich bags into a big Ziploc container (which I do like and use and re-use over and over again).
Friday, February 18, 2011
This is a 5 step program to pretty potatoes - almost higher maintenance than a bleached blonde! But the lure of having these in the freezer for instant potato gratification at a moment's notice helped push me through until phase 5!
Step#1 - Scrub potatoes well. Prick with a fork. Rub with a wee bit of olive oil or margarine. Do the same with one large yam. Put on a cookie rack on top of a cookie sheet and bake in oven at 400 degrees for one hour.
Step#2 - Cool slightly. Cut in equal halves.
Step#3 - Hollow out carefully - leaving the thinnest edge possible without destroying your potato shell. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
Step #4 - Mash your potatoes and yam together - use a little warmed unsweetened soy milk and earth balance margarine. And add a little more salt and pepper. Divide mixture evenly between all your potato shells and smooth the top with a knife. These can of course be done without the yam - I just used it because I liked how it gave it a rich cheesy look! You can stop at this step of course if you don't enjoy piping! But it sure does look pretty! I could not
resist doing it.
Step#5 - Using a piping bag - add another top layer of piped stars or whatever works for you. I really need to get a special potato piper thingy! But I just made do with what I had. These are now ready to put on a sheet and partially freeze for about 1-2 hours. Take out and then package correctly for longer term freezer storage. Max: 4-6 months in freezer for best taste.
When ready to eat - defrost and reheat at about 325 degrees for about 25 minutes. Garnish as desired. I'm thinking some caramelized onions and tofu sour cream would be delish!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
- Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body's detoxification system, and researchers have recently identified one of the key reasons for this detox benefit. Glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin are 3 glucosinolate phytonutrients found in a special combination in broccoli. This dynamic trio is able to support all steps in body's detox process, including activation, neutralization, and elimination of unwanted contaminants. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) are the detox-regulating molecules made from broccoli's glucosinolates, and they help control the detox process at a genetic level.
- Broccoli may help us solve our vitamin D deficiency epidemic. When large supplemental doses of vitamin D are needed to offset deficiency, ample supplies of vitamin K and vitamin A help keep our vitamin D metabolism in balance. Broccoli has an unusually strong combination of both vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) and vitamin K. For people faced with the need to rebuild vitamin D stores through vitamin D supplements, broccoli may be an ideal food to include in the diet.
The reason for my broccoli extravangza today is due to the fact that I picked up a super size bag of it from Costco recently. It contains 16 cups of raw broccoli. There was no way I was going to use 16 cups before the best before date so I had to deal with it. It's prewashed but never mind -- I couldn't resist putting it into a bucket full of cold water to which I added salt and rinsed it a few more times for good measure. I then steamed it, chilled it, froze it on a cookie sheet and then divided it into 2 cup portions. I chopped the stems into itty bitty tiny pieces and did the same with them . They will make a great addition to my future soup pot. All this for $4.99 - a real bargain considering the excellent vitamins one cup contains as well as 4.6 gms of protein and 4.6 gms of fibre. Check out my recipes for chunky broccoli soup and udon noodles with broccoli.