Summer Cucumber Salad

Julienned Cucumbers, carrots in a yogurt sauce

Summertime Cucumber Salad

I’m reposting this as I think summer calls for cool, tangy salads, and this is one of my favorites.

My German grandmother was a terrific cook. One of her specialties in summer was a refreshing cold salad made of sliced cucumbers in a creamy dressing of red wine vinegar and sour cream, topped with fresh dill or chives. My updated version juliennes the cucumbers, adds carrots and a yogurt-based dressing instead of sour cream. It’s easy to make, very tasty and refreshing as an accompaniment to a summer meal such as grilled chicken or burgers. I like it by itself for a light lunch as well. It also keeps in the refrigerator for at least a few days and gets even more flavor.

It’s a funny thing- somehow marinating the cukes in this dressing makes them more digestible- as I find raw cucumbers sometimes upset my stomach. This salad never has. You can do the cucumber/salt drainage* technique in advance if you like but I confess I rarely have- as I am too impatient!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)

  • 2-3 cucumbers ( medium size- if very large one might be enough)
  • 1/2 medium carrot; julienned or chopped fine
  • 1/2-1 cup plain yogurt (I use whole milk Greek type), or a 1/2 and 1/2 mix sour cream (I like the “light” reduced fat sour cream–I can’t taste the difference) and yogurt mix
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (it sounds like a lot but the cukes need this amount)
  • 1/2 tsp. Xylitol (see my previous blog posts for more details about this natural no-sugar sweetener)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onion (optional)
  • salt free seasoning ( or 1 tsp salt if you like)
  • fresh herbs- chives, dill or thyme
  • Paprika or smoked Paprika

TO DO

  1. Make the sauce first so the flavors can meld. Mix the yogurt (and sour cream if you’re using it), red wine vinegar, xylitol and seasonings (not the herbs)– I use a wisk. Taste to make sure it has enough vinegar- should be tangy.
  2. Peel and slice thinly or julienne the cukes- I use a Mandolin with the julienne blade.
  3. Wash carrot, peel or brush well. Juienne or cut into small cubes and combine with the cucumber; add green onion (optional)
  4. Add dressing and mix well.
  5. Let sit in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  6. Garnish with fresh chopped herbs.
  7. Sprinkle with Paprika (or smoked Paprika) to add a bit of color

* To drain and remove excess moisture from peeled, sliced cucumbers in advance of making the salad; put them in a colander with a larger bowl underneath. Sprinkle 1 tsp. salt or more depending on amount of cukes, (sprinkle lightly) and let sit for approximately an hour. You can then blot with paper towels. It does help to keep them crisper and less watery in the salad.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Chicken Italiano

Chicken pieces ready to be baked for step 1

Chicken pieces ready to be baked for step 1

Chicken pieces with sauce

2nd step-Chicken pieces with sauce ready to be baked

Chicken pieces with sauce and cheese- ready to be served!

Chicken Italiano ready to be served!

Maybe it seems a little off season during summer months, but this hearty Italian dish is simple to make, including in advance, rich tasting and satisfying when you don’t want to barbecue burgers and want something easy and delicious to serve for a dinner party or as a treat your family.

When my kids were growing up, this was one of their favorites, plus it was one of the first dishes my son mastered; (he’s  now 28 and an excellent cook).

As I said, this can easily be made in advance as there are only a few steps. Just make it through step 1, refrigerate and do the final baking just before you’re ready to serve. Very easy, very delicious, low carb–hope it becomes a favorite for you too!

Chicken Italiano ( serves 3-6)

INGREDIENTS:

–6-8 Chicken pieces (we prefer breasts and thighs)

–1 32 oz. jar pasta sauce ( I’m a Mazzetta’s fan- any type of theirs is very good– or make your own)

–6-8 cheese slices; we use goat cheese slices from- yes, my go-to place; Trader Joe’s

–no salt spices, fresh oregano if you have it

–1-2 eggs, beaten

— bread crumbs- your choice ( I actually toast whole grain bread and crumble it, or use commercial whole wheat bread crumbs)

TO DO:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spread about 1 cup sauce on bottom of a 9×13 baking pan

Dip chicken pieces in egg ( both sides)

Either dredge chicken in bread crumbs in a plastic bag or in a flat pan

Add chicken to baking pan (I use Pyrex)

Step 1: bake chicken for about 20 minutes (here’s where you can let this cool and refrigerate and finish later- like the next day- obviously don’t wait too long!)

Step 2: Pour rest of sauce over chicken; add a cheese slice on each piece; sprinkle bread crumbs on top.

Bake for another 30 minutes, til brown and bubbly.

Serve with whole grain pasta, green salad with tangy vinaigrette, and a good bottle of red wine if you like.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Marinated Swordfish

Two Barbecued Marinated Swordfish

Marinated Swordfish Steaks

Two Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Swordfish Steaks in marinade

Fish is great for lots of reasons and Swordfish is one of my favorites; low calories/low cholesterol, healthy for you, plus overall deliciousness.

We try to eat fish at least once a week, sometimes more often. If available, I look for fresh, line -caught varieties, or line-caught frozen fish; just as nutritious. See * below for more information about healthy fish choices.

(Trader Joe’s is a good source of many frozen fish varieties, and Costco often has fresh.) Our local farmer’s market as well as other local markets offer fresh line-caught fish depending on the season– yes, a California coastal option, not everywhere.

Barbecuing fish in warm weather is a great option and actually very easy. While the grill is hot and there’s room, we like to add sliced fresh vegetables such zucchini, onions, eggplant, red pepper ( I’m not a fan of green peppers- but if you are add them too). You can also broil the fish for equally great results. We’ve done it both ways and both are delicious!

Starting with a tangy marinade gives great flavor. The one I’m giving you has lots of citrus, garlic and a touch of heat. We love it- hope you do too!

* https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendations/groups/swordfish/overview

Marinated Swordfish 

INGREDIENTS

  • MARINADE:
  • Juice of 1lemon, plus 1-2 tsps. grated rind (yellow only as the white is bitter)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white wine (something dry like Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Dijon-type mustard
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • 1tsp. Ground red chili pepper ( we get a mild/medium mix at a Mexican grocery store- use whatever type you have)
  • Salt-free seasoning, pepper; or use salt if you can
  • Fresh chopped herbs- thyme is my favorite
  • Paprika to dust on top before serving
  • FISH:
  • 1 Swordfish steak per person, preferably wild, line-caught

TO DO:

1. Prepare Barbecue coals (spread coals on sides. When hot; put fish in middle and vegetables on sides)

2. In a Pyrex glass or Corningware pan (I used Pyrex 9×13 size) lay steaks on a single layer on a thin layer of olive oil ( approx. 1Tbsp.).

3. Mix/wisk together marinade ingredients; olive oil, mustard, white wine, lemon/rind and herbs/seasonings.

4. Pour marinade over fish.

5. Let fish marinate approx. 1/2-1 hr.

6. Barbecue 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of fish; (we like our fish moist and just a tad underdone- cook yours how you like it).

7. Sprinkle fresh herbs and dust with paprika.

Serve with grilled vegetables, your choice of whole grain rice or other grains, and, as we usually have, a crisp green salad with a tart, lemony vinaigrette–see previous Salad posts for the vinaigrette recipe: https://wordpress.com/post/type2delicious.com/1075

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

Summer Salad with Fresh New Peas and Strawberries

Gardens behind the Boonville Hotel, Boonville CA

Lovely Boonville Hotel gardens

Summer Salad with fresh new Peas and strawberries

Summer Salad with fresh new peas and strawberries

 

We recently visited Boonville, CA, a small bend in the road (rte 128), on the way to Mendocino. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Boonville Hotel, actually a top level hotel and restaurant that serves fresh farm-to-table selections; many items, such as the peas, right from their beautiful on-property gardens.

I was especially knocked out by this salad combination so I tried to recreate it on my own to share with you. I added avocado (which is a “good fat” along with the olive oil), plus sliced almonds. Served with a tangy, lemony olive oil dressing, this salad is refreshing and delicious.

One important thing is that the peas need to be very young and tender. (I made a mistake the first time I made it and the peas, especially the pods, were tough- no good!) If you can’t use fresh, young English peas, use snap or sugar peas instead.

So good, so easy, so pretty and with very fresh peas and sweet strawberries– one of the best salad combos I’ve ever tasted!

Summer Salad –serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Head of Red Butter, or Red Leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces; (and/or arugula; if adding to lettuce use 1cup)
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh peas (plus pods, chopped into 1/2″ pieces, any strings removed and quartered)
  • 1 small or 1/2 large ripe avocado, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. Sliced toasted almonds (Trader Joe’s is my friend)
  • Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice ( adjust to taste)
  • Dash of white (or red) balsamic or white wine vinegar- again, adjust to your taste
  • fresh Thyme leaves (about a Tbsp.)
  • Salt-free seasoning and pepper to taste
  • shake or mix with wisk

TO DO:

1. Wash and spin dry lettuces

2. Put lettuce(s) in salad bowl; chill in fridge until ready to serve

3. When ready to serve, add dressing to lettuce and mix (a tip–mix dressing with lettuce before adding other ingredients, so they don’t sink to the bottom)

4. Add other ingredients on top

5. Add seasonings and salt if you like.

6. Serve; (especially good with fish)

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

The Trick to Making Crispy-Edged Fried Eggs

Crispy fried egg with whole grain bread

Foolproof crispy fried eggs

The Trick to Making Crispy-Edged Fried Eggs

Something that seems easy, but isn’t. I love fried eggs on toast (with ketchup (<* , but they don’t always come out the way I like them. Here’s a simple tip from a site I like; Pure Wow:

At brunch, nothing tastes quite as delicious as a runny fried egg with crispy edges (delicately placed atop a crusty piece of bread, of course). But replicating that effect at home is hard. Here, a trick that will help you get golden brown edges—and a soft, yolky inside—every time.

What you do: First things first—let the frying pan get scalding hot. (Usually, this requires letting it sit on the stove for a minute or two.) Next, coat the pan with a thin layer of olive oil. (Two tablespoons should be plenty, depending on the size of the pan.) Crack an egg and let the whites sizzle for two minutes.

Here’s the tough part: No matter what, resist the temptation to touch the eggs as they cook. Just let them sizzle in the olive oil and watch the timer. You’ll know they’re cooked when the white part looks opaque.

OK, kill the heat. Using a spatula, carefully slide the egg off the pan. The result? Crispy perfection.

 

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

 

 

Saute onions mushrooms spinach

Saute onions, mushrooms and then spinach.

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Eggs and fresh vegetables in a breakfast scramble including tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and spring onions

Spring Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Breakfast, especially on a lovely spring Sunday morning after a busy week, is one of our favorite meals.  For this dish, I sautéed  Spring onions, spinach, Cremini mushrooms, and tomatoes and added eggs and fresh thyme from my garden for a delicious scramble.

It’s spring and the weather is lovely.  Spring onions are a special treat now in season for a short while. They look like regular scallions with a slightly larger bulb, but they are very different; sweeter and more tender. I use them as often as I can find them at the local farmer’s market or even at the supermarket. (We have a local one that features fresh, local produce.)

(I also added sautéed chopped chicken livers–I love them although I know everyone doesn’t share my enthusiasm.) The secret to making them is not to overcook–they should be pink inside.

Low carb and so delicious and satisfying!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4 fresh spring onions, washed and chopped, including white bulbs and green stems
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped, removing stems (I use washed and bagged baby spinach, but if using fresh from garden or farmer’s market be sure to wash thoroughly and use a salad spinner before adding.)
  • 1/2-1 cup Cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • Fresh chicken livers; I used about 4 livers for the two of us. (optional of course!)
  • Tomatoes–cut into quarters
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp butter (I use unsalted, both as it’s my taste preference and for the salt-free aspect)
  • Thyme, herbs de Provence and/or salt-free seasoning/pepper to taste

TO DO:

1. Beat eggs ( I add a tsp. of milk or 1/2 and 1/2- that small amount Rick can tolerate); add seasonings to the eggs, and set aside.

2. Sauté mushrooms in butter; after they’re browned (about 6-7 minutes), add chopped onions and saute until soft, about another 5-6 minutes.

3.  Remove mushrooms and onions to a bowl.

4. Add spinach to the pan; saute briefly, 1-2 minutes until wilted.

5. Sautee tomato pieces in the pan, pushing spinach to the side.

6. Add mushrooms and onions back into the pan.

7. Sautée chicken livers til pink inside (about 3-4 minutes/side) and then chop–add to Mushroom, onion, tomatoes and spinach.

8. Add beaten eggs over the mixture in the pan.

9. Gently cook the mixture, using a spatula around the sides to fold in the mixture as it’s cooking.

10. Cook until barely firm, and serve.

Enjoy!

www.type2delicious.com

X-Rated Restaurant Meals

Huge sandwich with cheese, short rib meat in a white wheat bun

Dave and Buster’s sandwich served with tater tots will bust your diet with 1900+ calories–3700 grams of sodium and more than a whole days allotment of carbs!

 

Surprised by this photo?

Today I’m showing you what not to eat! This photo is the short rib and cheesy mac sandwich from Dave and Buster’s restaurant–and is completely the opposite of the type of food recommended for type 2 diabetes–and what my blog stands for–healthy, fresh food including complex carbs.

We subscribe to the Berkeley Wellness letter–and I want to share some information they shared from the “Xtreme Eating Awards” presented by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) to highlight the unhealthiest chain restaurants in the US.

Nine menu items made the 2016 list, coming from such chains as Applebees, The Cheesecake Factory, (that one was no big surprise to me–have you ever been to one and seen the size of their portions–especially the desserts?!), Sonic, Uno Pizzeria, Maggiano’s Little Italy, and Buffalo Wild Wings. Here are some of the “winners,” in order from calories, from hugest to merely huge. But first, put it in perspective: Food labels are based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet (though each individual’s diet and calorie requirements may be different). For that calorie level, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than 20 grams of saturated fat, and 48 grams of carbs/sugars a day, and no more than 2300 mg. of sodium for the general population–again, each person’s requirements may vary, such as if on a low sodium diet.

Here’s some of the top offenders–in order of offenses; (the carb counts aren’t on this list, but none are served on or with whole grains, that’s for sure! Besides the copious amounts of sugar in some of these):

Whole Hog Burger at Uno Pizzeria & Grill: made literally with the “whole hog”–including bacon, sausage, proscuitto, on a large, white wheat bun: 2850 calories, 86 grams of saturated fat, and 3390 mg. of sodium!

Fried Chicken and Waffles Benedict at The Cheesecake Factory: 2580 calories. 86 grams of saturated fat, 3390 mg. of sodium and 60 teaspoons of sugar saturated in the batter and in the syrup!! Oh My! Even worse than their cheesecake…

Dessert Nachos at Buffalo Wild Wings: a flour tortilla (fried in beef tallow!), ice cream topped with caramel/chocolate sauce and cheesecake bits: 2100 calories, 64 grams saturated fat, 5 grams of trans fat, and 120 grams of sugar.

And the featured item: Short Rib and Cheesy Mac Stack Sandwich at Dave & Buster’s: served with tater tots: 1910 calories, 42 grams saturated fat, 3390 grams of sodium. The bun is a thick, totally white wheat bread, not to mention the tater tots. What a combo!

That gives you an idea of why the US has an obesity, and, yes, type 2 diabetes, epidemic. But you, my readers, know a better way!

Not that one can’t eat and indulge occasionally at fast food or chain restaurants, but pay attention to the ingredients, the cooking processes and the portion sizes. Of course, sharing with friends is a good habit!

Thanks for indulging me in this off-of-my usual blog post. Please let me know your thoughts and comments.