Category Archives: Eats

Posts about food, of course! I mostly cook from vegetarian recipes, with some meatier ones featuring ground turkey, grilled chicken, and salmon.

The Magical Dr. Oz

If you Google the term Oz, you’ll soon find all sorts of references to The Land of Oz. The term is so entrenched in popular film culture that you’ll immediately think of the rolling hills and the yellow brick road. In a sense, Oz is a magical, otherworldy place. I think the same can be said of Dr. Oz – his image and his real-world, common sense approach to health is otherworldy!

Dr. Oz – an Intro

  • Mehmet Oz was born in the US to Turkish immigrants
  • He and his wife have been married for 25 years, have four children, and live in NJ
  • He went to Harvard, got his MD and an MBA; now he serves as Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia and is the director of the Cardiovascular Institute at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Not to sound like an elitist – but he’s got some street cred, that’s for sure.
  • He started out as an expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show, and has since gained national fame and has a very successful daytime show of his own

The Dr. Oz Show

  • My mom and I recently got into this show, and I’ve been watching more and more from her DVR.
  • Many of his themes revolve around medical issues (heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc) and what sorts of common-sense dietary and lifestyle changes can lower risk and improve overall health
  • One that I particularly enjoyed was his discussion of food addiction
  • I really love his charisma! He’s so well-spoken and knowledgeable, but he doesn’t present that information in a dry, boring way – not at all! He’s boisterous, funny, and very hands-on. He implements very creative displays and diagrams to explain everything from clogged arteries to obstructed bowels. Neato!
  • All of his tips use memory tricks and psychology effectively – he’s got “5 ways to do this” and “4 reasons why that” and “11 weeks to a better you” – who wouldn’t want to hear all five, and who wouldn’t think they were easier to retain?
  • Check out his site, and find tons of healthy ideas and articles! For instance, here’s an article about a technique he recommends for tracking food intake; here’s one on how cutting 100 calories a day can help you lose a pound a month without yo-yo dieting. And here’s one on 5 Foods for Better Health. He’s truly a wealth of good ideas and practical approaches to health, and I for one am bookmarking him on my computer and my mom’s DVR!

Feel free to share any articles and TV segments of his that you found interesting! And I’d love recommendations on other shows that inspire you!

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Turkey Beer Burgers

In general, I find most alcohol unappealing to my taste buds. This is especially true of beer – I’ll have a bud light lime on occasion, or take a sip of whatever Dave’s trying, but the aftertaste is usually enough to stop me from going for more. However, I’m finding one particularly good use for beer — cooking! A while ago, my friend Annie treated me to beer bread, which was literally a recipe calling for a bottle of beer mixed in with dough and whatnot. The flavor was unlike any bread I’ve tried before!

So, when I was watching Rachael Ray a couple mornings ago and saw she was making smoked beer burgers (with beef and Gouda), I was inspired to try my own recipe with beer and turkey! As Dave will confirm, they came out really well! It’s a really easy summer recipe that you can make on the grill, if you want! Here are the details, feel free to mix it up and let me know how yours came out (and what ingredients you used)!

Turkey Beer Burgers

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 bottle beer of choice (I used Miller High Life)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground parsley
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt, pepper, cumin & etc to taste

In a bowl, mix turkey, some mozzarella cheese, parsley, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Then, add in the beer. If the turkey gets too moist, add some bread crumbs to blend together. Grill, add more cheese and toppings, and enjoy with some sides! (Recipe makes 4 medium-sized patties).

My Passover Seder

As a child, Passover was always my favorite holiday. Where my friends loved to dip the apple in the honey for Rosh Hashanah and wave noisemakers for Purim, I most anticipated my family’s version of the Passover meal – known as the Seder, or the “order.” I guess I just loved the symbolism of the entire processional; I loved drinking the four cups of grape juice and pretending I was getting drunk off of wine, I loved the Matzos, the meaning behind each item on the Seder plate, and the story of the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt which was intertwined throughout the meal. As the youngest grandchild at the time, I was given the honor of reading from the Hagaddah and asking why that night was different from all other nights. I really look back at those gatherings of ours as some of the happiest times of my life.

So, this year, I decided to try it out with my boyfriend and introduce him to the world of symbolic eats. Despite having a ridiculous allergy attack this past weekend and working through the Easter craze on both Saturday and Sunday, I was determined to create a Passover feast. It turned out to be quite an arduous task to accomplish under time constraints- but a delicious one!

I started out with authentic Matzo Ball Soup, which I adapted (and cut down in serving size) from this recipe. As per the recipe, I combined matzo crackers with matzo meal with eggs, added seasonings, and then dropped into boiling chicken broth soup and simmered for about thirty minutes. Then I added some salt and green onion, and voila!

Next, I fashioned my Seder Plate (which to my amazement, I found on clearance at Target several months ago). The plate, as I mentioned, is full of symbolic pieces. Starting in the center, we’ve got the Maror – which are the bitter herbs. I chose some horseradish, which was surprisingly addictive with the matzo. Next was Beitzah, the hard-boiled egg, and the Zeroa, the shankbone, both representing the festival offerings that the Jews gave. Under the shankbone is the Charoset, which is a mixture of walnuts, apples, cinnamon, and wine, which represents the mortar that Jewish slaves used to build in Egypt. Lastly, we’ve got the Karpas and the Hazeret, the parsley and lettuce, both signifying the tears and bitterness of slavery. Phew, what a creative use of food, huh? I even showed Dave how to lean while drinking the grape juice – which is meant to signal the freedom of the Jews, and is one of the few “lavish” symbols of the evening.

Alrighty, well let’s get to the main course, a recipe that I tried for the first time: Crock Pot Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic! Yes, 40!! Here’s how it went down, courtesy of Crepes of Wrath:

  • 4-5 chicken breasts (or a whole chicken, whichever you wish)
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 40 cloves of garlic (peeled, whole)
  • Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3/4 cup white wine

So, I started by salt and peppering each side of the chicken, adding the rosemary, and putting each piece in the oil-sprayed slow cooker.

Next, I poured the olive oil in a skillet and sauteed the cloves of garlic for about 8 minutes, constantly stirring them so they didn’t stick. After that, I added in the wine and cooked for about another 3-5 minutes.

Then, I added the mixture to the crock pot, and cooked for about 4 hours on low, and 2 on high. It turned out SO moist, and so juicy! The garlic and rosemary added a ton of flavor, and the whole thing took me less than 15 minutes to prep! I paired the chicken with some baked red-skinned ‘taters, and enjoyed =)  You’ve got to try it and let me know how it works for you! I can’t wait to try some more crock pot recipes!

A Fave and a Newbie

Let me tell you about one of my favorite concoctions: Turkey Chili. I adapted a bunch of different recipes from allrecipes.com, and came up with an easy dish that I make about once a week and the boyfriend and I absolutely love!  Here’s the recipe, let me know if ya try it! I’m not a pro at writing out my recipes, especially since I ad-lib most of this one by this point, so bear with me.

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil – just enough to saute onion & garlic
  • 1/2 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (to taste)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of: chili powder, Italian seasoning, cumin, red pepper, salt (all to taste)
  • 1 10 oz diced tomatoes with green chili
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1 red-skinned potato, cubed
  • 1 can each of: kidney beans, black beans, cannelloni beans.
  • 1/2 package of soyrizo (optional)

Okay, so first in a big pot, saute the onions with the garlic until golden brown. Next, add in the ground turkey and cook until that’s thoroughly cooked.

Add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, and cubed potato. Cook  for five minutes, or until potato softens.  Add in seasonings.

Rinse the  beans, and  then add them in (either together, or one at a time works). Cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

Lastly, add in the half package of Soyrizo for an added kick, cook for five more minutes, and enjoy!

***

And now, for my newbie recipe, which I’ve  done once and loved: Quinoa Pilaf!

From what I’ve heard and read, Quinoa is a very healthy seed that’s low in carbohydrates and high in protein. It’s also very versatile – everything from breakfast to dinner! So, I perused my fave, allrecipes.com, and adapted one of the recipes. Here’s how it went:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 of a red pepper, cubed
  • 1 can broth
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, chopped

Okay, so start by soaking the quinoa in water and setting it aside. Saute  the onion in the vegetable oil. Next, add in the red pepper (and whatever other vegetables you want), and saute for five minutes, or until soft.

Drain the quinoa, and add it in with the can of broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for fifteen minutes – or until the quinoa is tender. Add in the cilantro, and serve!

You can pair this dish with some chicken, vegetables, beef, or whatever you want. I chose some potatoes and asparagus!

Enjoy, and happy eating!

~Lena