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A Traditional English Tea!

A traditional afternoon English tea party: finger sandwiches, carrot-cake banana bread and Lemon Chiffon Cake are the perfect bites to accompany a piping hot cup of tea this time of the year!

A traditional afternoon English tea party: finger sandwiches, carrot-cake banana bread and Lemon Chiffon Cake are the perfect bites to accompany a piping hot cup of tea this time of the year!

A hot cup of tea is a soul-warming beverage that calls us to slow down and recharge with friends on these chilly afternoons. That was the theme of this month’s Delicious Simplicity cooking show.

My friend Sarah stopped by for a traditional afternoon English tea party. We tweaked the menu to be a bit more waist friendly. A traditional afternoon tea party includes: finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and sweets which can be high on saturated fat (unhealthy fats). Our menu included finger sandwiches of cucumber-radish with a touch of real butter as a spread and smoked salmon with whipped cream cheese. The scones were replaced with a whipped cream cheese and ginger topped carrot-cake banana bread. The sweet ending to this little tea party was a mile high lemon chiffon cake with blueberry sauce made with vegetable oil. The unhealthy fats in our menu was minimal.

Sarah showed us how to make and serve a proper cup of English tea from boiling the water to filling the cups including the customary order of adding milk and sugar. It was a delightful experience to share a few hours with a friend and enjoying a traditional English tea party ritual. Perfect setting for slowing down and recharging with friends anytime of the year!

Demo of show coming soon on website!

Good health, great living,

Anna

Fruit: Outside The Box

Sweet and Spiced Fruit Aspic

Aspic is a savory  dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. When used in non-savory dishes it's called gelatin salad. I like to take ordinary ingredients and use them in unexpected ways. Here I take the gelatin and mix it with spices then add fruit and crushed cookies for a surprising take on a fruit salad mold. Cutting it into interesting shapes makes for an appealing presentation. Proving once again - healthy eating is fun and tasty! Enjoy!  Ingredients  2 envelopes plain gelatin  1 inch ginger  1 cinnamon stick  3 tablespoons maple syrup  2 cups water, separated  1 pear, peeled and cube ½ inch.  1 orange, sections only cut out  1 banana, small, sliced  ¾ cup raspberries  4 Italian amaretti cookies  In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 1 cup of water.  In a small sauce-pan combine 1 cup of water, pear, cinnamon stick, ginger and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for five minutes.  Drain the spiced liquid and add to gelatin bowl to help dissolve gelatin.  Place pear cubes in a bowl of desired shape and add orange sections, banana and raspberries. Pour dissolved gelatin in bowl and sprinkle with crushed amaretti cookies.   P.S. Save the Date:     April 25, 2018 for a Delicious Simplicity Cooking Class: Food and More    RCTV Studios, 557 Main Street, Reading MA.

Aspic is a savory  dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. When used in non-savory dishes it's called gelatin salad. I like to take ordinary ingredients and use them in unexpected ways. Here I take the gelatin and mix it with spices then add fruit and crushed cookies for a surprising take on a fruit salad mold. Cutting it into interesting shapes makes for an appealing presentation. Proving once again - healthy eating is fun and tasty! Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 envelopes plain gelatin

1 inch ginger

1 cinnamon stick

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 cups water, separated

1 pear, peeled and cube ½ inch.

1 orange, sections only cut out

1 banana, small, sliced

¾ cup raspberries

4 Italian amaretti cookies

In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 1 cup of water.

In a small sauce-pan combine 1 cup of water, pear, cinnamon stick, ginger and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for five minutes.  Drain the spiced liquid and add to gelatin bowl to help dissolve gelatin.

Place pear cubes in a bowl of desired shape and add orange sections, banana and raspberries. Pour dissolved gelatin in bowl and sprinkle with crushed amaretti cookies.

P.S. Save the Date: 

April 25, 2018 for a Delicious Simplicity Cooking Class: Food and More

RCTV Studios, 557 Main Street, Reading MA.

Best Tofu Recipe!

Tofu, Curry and Leeks - a perfect combination to fire up couscous!

Tofu, Curry and Leeks - a perfect combination to fire up couscous!

Couscous with Curry and Tofu

Serves: 4     Prep time: 10 minutes                    Cooking time: 25 minute

It never ceases to amaze me how certain ingredients are just magical together. This recipe is one of them. The curry infuses the couscous and tofu with so much flavor. This is a go to recipe. 

1 lb firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 scant teaspoons curry, separated

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium potato, diced into ½ inch pieces

1 leek, white part only, sliced ¼ inch thick

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 cups vegetable broth, separated

1-cup whole-wheat couscous

Salt and black pepper to taste

1.    Sprinkle tofu with 1-teaspoon curry, salt and pepper to taste. In skillet heat oil on medium high heat until hot. Add tofu cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stir to brown all sides. Remove tofu from skillet.

2.    In same skillet add potatoes and leek, salt and pepper to taste; sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. If they are sticking add a few tablespoons of vegetable broth.  Add bell pepper, cook for 2 additional minutes. Add 2 cups of broth and remaining curry; bring to a slow boil and cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

3.    Return meat to skillet and continue cooking for 5 additional minutes or until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Remove meat and vegetables with slotted spoon and keep warm.

4.    Add remaining broth to pan juices and bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat. Stir couscous into pan juices. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve with the meat and potatoes. 

           Tip:  for washing leeks -  cut them lengthwise and rinse under running

           water as the pieces separate and  allow water to run through it.

Stay Mentally Focused!

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Don't let sugary and fat laden breakfasts weigh you down - stay light and strong with a nutritious plant based breakfast and be ready for anything mother nature sends your way!!

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Keep Your Brain Focused!

A delicious nutritious breakfast sets the mindset for the day. So when snowy Sunday mornings conjure up images of pancakes topped with sugary syrups, stay on track with a nutritious breakfast.  One of my favorites is  an English muffin with creamy peanut butter and a variety of fruit. A homemade hot chocolate is the perfect beverage to complete my energizing breakfast. What's yours?   

Anti-Inflammation Diet

These are some of the delicious Mediterranean dishes I enjoyed in my trip to Greece this summer. Delicious and part of a low inflammation eating pattern - what's not to love!!

 

A low inflammation diet is consistent with a healthy eating pattern and weight control. This type of diet is also recommended for reducing heart disease and diabetes risk, and follows the same principles as the Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. 

Colorful Veggie Platter

Need a light appetizer or veggie platter and bored with the usual carrot celery sticks? This colorful veggie platter will fit your needs. These quickly blanched zucchini in the shape of sticks and ribbons along with corn, broccoli and asparagus spears can be served with a favorite dressing. This tray not only looks good it is good for you. The vitamins and minerals in the vegetables are a bonus. Stay healthy!!

Warm Cannellini Salad With Prosciutto

Warm Cannellini Salad With Prosciutto. Healthy protein source and a great brown bag lunch alternative!

Warm Cannellini Salad With Prosciutto. Healthy protein source and a great brown bag lunch alternative!

Warm Cannellini Salad with prosciutto

Serves : 6       prep time: 15 minutes                     cook time: 25 minutes

I have made this recipe for parties and cooking demonstrations and it’s always a success. The prosciutto really takes the beans to new height.  Great salad for a brown bag lunch.  

4 to 6 slices prosciutto (3 to 4 oz.)

3 tablespoons Olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon snipped sage

4 cups fresh arugula, bite size or mixed greens

1 -19 oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained 

1/8-teaspoon salt

1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange prosciutto in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes (until you become familiar with the process, keep checking on the prosciutto after 15 minutes) or when it appears crispy (do not move prosciutto during baking). Remove from oven. Crumble with hands when cool. Set aside.

2.    In a small saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook oil until it begins to brown. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice, sage, and salt, set aside.

3.    Arrange arugula on serving platter and top with beans then prosciutto. Drizzle with warm dressing. Serve immediately.

Tip: make prosciutto crispy on the stovetop by placing it in a skillet in a single layer and cook on medium heat until crispy. Remove from skillet and let cool. Crumble with hands.

When Choosing Protein

Getting your protein from the right foods goes a long way towards well being.

Lean meats and plant protein are your best choices. You get nutrients you need without the fat you don't need. 

Here are tips, from www.ChooseMyPlate to help you make wise choices from the Protein Foods Group.

Go lean with protein:

  • The leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (eye of round, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin, and chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
  • The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, and ham.
  • Choose lean ground beef. To be considered "lean," the product has to be at least 92% lean/8% fat.
  • Buy skinless chicken parts, or take off the skin before cooking.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices.
  • Choose lean turkey, roast beef, ham, or low-fat luncheon meats for sandwiches instead of luncheon/deli meats with more fat, such as regular bologna or salami.
     

Vary your protein choices:

  • Choose seafood at least twice a week as the main protein food. Look for seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring. Some ideas are:
    • Salmon steak or filet
    • Salmon loaf
    • Grilled or baked trout
  • Choose beans, peas, or soy products as a main dish or part of a meal often. Some choices are:
    • Chili with kidney or pinto beans
    • Stir-fried tofu
    • Split pea, lentil, minestrone, or white bean soups
    • Baked beans
    • Black bean enchiladas
    • Garbanzo or kidney beans on a chef’s salad
    • Rice and beans
    • Veggie burgers
    • Hummus (chickpeas spread) on pita bread
  • Choose unsalted nuts as a snack, on salads, or in main dishes. Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to these items:
    • Use pine nuts in pesto sauce for pasta.
    • Add slivered almonds to steamed vegetables.
    • Add toasted peanuts or cashews to a vegetable stir fry instead of meat.
    • Sprinkle a few nuts on top of low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Add walnuts or pecans to a green salad instead of cheese or meat.

A Delicious Simplicity Taping

What a great meal we made for the October show of Delicious Simplicity filmed at the RCTV Studios in Reading MA. A mixed tomato salad, Turkey with sage and prosciutto and a French praline semifreddo. Semifreddo is and Italian ice cream like dessert with a texture of a mousse.

What a great meal we made for the October show of Delicious Simplicity filmed at the RCTV Studios in Reading MA. A mixed tomato salad, Turkey with sage and prosciutto and a French praline semifreddo. Semifreddo is and Italian ice cream like dessert with a texture of a mousse.

Join the Delicious Simplicity Lifestyle Plan and get these recipes and more!!!

This is John the camera man doing last minute taping. The other tech are in the control room doing their magic to make everything look great! What a great team!

This is John the camera man doing last minute taping. The other tech are in the control room doing their magic to make everything look great! What a great team!

Nancy and Ted are terrific at their job. I am so lucky to have them on my team.

Nancy and Ted are terrific at their job. I am so lucky to have them on my team.