Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time For A New Giveaway *CLOSED*

It's time for another giveaway courtesy of CSN stores. I'm sure you have heard of them by now. It seems like they sell everything from stylish kitchen accessories to modern decor.

This time, the giveaway is a $45 gift certificate good at any of their online stores. To qualify for a chance to win, leave a comment on the pervious post, become a fan of Healthy and Gourmet on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

Good luck! Contest ends Monday January 31st at 5 pm.

(Open to residents of the US and Canada only.)


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cheddar-Broccoli Biscuits

You know those people who will eat anything labelled "diet" even if it tastes like saw dust? I'm not one of those people. A priority for me is the uncomplicated concept that food just tastes good, even if it's fat free or low fat or sugar free. That's why when I thought of making biscuits last week, I knew I wasn't going to bother omitting butter. Butter is essential to biscuits. That savory, flaky, addictive quality of biscuits is due to butter. Omitting it would produce a product that's well ... far from what it should be. There really is no way around it.

On the other hand, enhancing a biscuit's nutritional content is possible. Simply by adding finely minced vegetables. Two stalks of broccoli in my refrigerator were begging to be used for the longest time, hence the name of this recipe. Embarrassingly, I can be similar to stubborn children sometimes in the sense that I have a low affinity for broccoli; it is preferable when disguised in savory dishes, and what better way to cover it up that in buttery biscuits.

Cheddar-Broccoli Biscuits
Makes about 2 dozens

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp low fat milk
2 cups shredded 50 % light cheddar
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix the butter into the flour so until the butter becomes the pea-sized. (You can also do this in a food processor, using the pulse mode.)
2. Empty the flour mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add all of the milk. Stir with a rubber spatula to bring the mixture, together to form a ball. Add the broccoli, grated cheddar, and pepper flakes (if using) and using the spatula or your fingers, incorporate well into the dough.
3. On a floured surface, flatten the dough to about 3/4 inch thick. Using a round 2 1/2 " cookie cutter, cut out the biscuits and place on baking sheet, spacing evenly apart.
4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving, although these taste so much better when still warm.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chicken Meatloaf

Who says eating hearty can't be healthy? Try chicken meatloaf instead of beef, and cut fat calories almost by half. For this recipe, I used Gold'n Plump 90 % lean ground chicken, and mixed in a good heaping of shredded carrots, peppers, and onions.

I also tried a new technique here. Typically, meatloaf is molded onto a baking sheet then baked. But sometimes, mine can fall apart. To get around this, I first baked the meatloaf in a rectangular pan which sets the shape nicely. Once it has cooked, the loaf is then removed from the pan unto a baking dish, and pasted with a sweet ketchup glaze.

Chicken Meatloaf
Serves 4 to 5

1 lb ground chicken (90 % lean)
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp sundried tomato paste
Glaze (see recipe below)

1. Cook the onions and bell pepper in two tablespoons of oil over medium heat until they have softened. Add the garlic and grated carrots, and cook for an additional five minutes. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool slightly before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
2. Combine ground chicken, egg, bread crumbs, tomato paste, salt and pepper, and the cooked vegetables. Using a wooden spoon or your fingers, mix well to thoroughly combine.
3. Transfer to a well greased 8" rectangular baking pan and bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and invert the pan unto a greased baking sheet to remove the meatloaf. Turn the meatloaf right side up and brush the glaze on the top and sides. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Serve.

1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp honey
1 tsp worcetshire sauce

Combine all ingredients.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It is new years day, the most optimistic time of the year. In spite of the fact that most resolutions never last past the end of January, we have resolved to lose weight, quit smoking, save more, exercise more, and the list goes on.

Yesterday, I read an article by Shape magazine's outgoing editor Valerie Latona who spoke about not fulfilling her bucket list (in reference to why she is stepping down as editor.) And it made me think about my own bucket list or, rather, my lack of one. In the same way that keeping a food journal can keep us accountable, the concept of putting on paper the things you want to achieve in the upcoming years, offers to assist in accomplishing those goals. I also like to think of it as means of exploring my own physical and metal capabilities, and the world , and a way of getting closer to family and friends.

So this year, in place of resolutions, I will begin working on my bucket list. Making the list are learning new skills such as surfing and sailing, traveling to a spanish-speaking country and speaking only spanish, and training for and completing the Napali trail in Kauai. This is a working list so I expect to add to it. And I also expect that there will be good food amidst all of this. In the mean time, I wish you the best in 2011 and look forward to sharing more recipes with you! Below are a few quick appetizers to start off the year; just click on the name below for the recipe.