Tag Archives: salt

avocado egg salad

1 Feb

photo-4Looking to cure the lunch or breakfast blues?

Try making this versatile avocado egg salad! Who needs mayonnaise when you have avocado?!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 slice of red onion
  • Dusting of paprika
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, drop your eggs and let cook for 5-9 minutes (depending on the size of your eggs). Meanwhile, cut avocado in half and peel it. Dice the red onion. Once eggs are cooke, remove water from the pot then run cool water over the eggs to cool them down. Smash them to break their shells, and peel. With a fork mash the avocado and eggs together. Add onion and mix. Dust with paprika and a pinch of sea salt. For an additional burst of flavor add cilantro, or salad greens!

cold season citrus salad

16 Jan

DSC_0031This recipe is dedicated to all of you who are experiencing some form of cold symptoms. The vitamin C content in this salad should help get you on the road to feeling better!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 cara cara orange
  • 3 blood orange
  • 2 navel orange
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh rosemary sprig

Directions:

Add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to a pan over medium/high heat. Once hot, add fresh rosemary leaves, let fry until crispy (1-2 minutes). Set aside. Peel citrus, cut off the skin and pith with a sharp knife, then cut into slices. Add citrus to a big salad bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss gently. Top with sea salt and fried rosemary.

Photo courtesy of eren (sea + prairie)

dynamic eggs

14 Jan

photo-2Eggs are a versatile protein. Whether they are poached, scrambled, fried or served sunny-side up, over-easy, hard or soft-boiled or transformed into an omelette, eggs will never let you down.

They contain a plethora of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B, D, E along with calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, selenium, folic acid, omega 3’s, and choline.

Not only are these gems packed with nutrition, and are a dynamic addition to your diet, they make a great base for adding in lots of worthy veggies that are currently sitting in your fridge, ripe for some attention.

Here’s a recipe that we welcome you to adjust based on the contents of your fridge:

Scrambled eggs with swiss chard and red onion – variations are endless!

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 medium swiss chard leaves
  • 1/3 of a medium red onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • sprinkle of sea salt + crack of pepper

Directions:

Rinse swiss chard. Remove stems from swiss chard leaves. Chop up stems into 1 inch pieces, and separate from leaves. Roll up swiss chard and cut into thin slices. Dice red onion into uniform pieces. Crack eggs into bowl and whisk until mixed thoroughly.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add onions, let sauté until soft. Then add swiss chard stems, mixing until they have become softer. Add leaves, and mix until they have wilted, but aren’t too soft. Pour eggs over, and scramble until eggs are still soft, but not dry.

Plate then add some salt + pepper, then dig in!

Depending on what you like, you can add hot sauce, cheese, avocado. Eat alongside toasted bread, or on it’s own. Delight in the flavors and textures, and get ready for a beautiful day ahead!

What does your ideal scramble look like?

resolve to be you

2 Jan

5151718988_6c0a114729It’s easy to get wrapped up in the resolution fever that buzzes around this time of the year.

While writing down your year’s goals and aspirations is a productive exercise, we sometimes lose track of the fact that we are wonderful just the way we are. Of course there are things that we can do better, and striving to change unproductive habits in the new year is useful, just try not to forget that your foundation and your life just the way it is right now is great in itself.

To honor self love, and acceptance we would like to share a simple and sweet new year’s recipe. All it takes is some squash, olive oil, salt and pure maple syrup. Nothing more, nothing less. Just perfect the way it is, like you!

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of salt

Directions:  

  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Rinse your squash. Cut in half (work those arms!)
  • Coat the inside and outside of squash with olive oil, then follow with a coating of maple syrup
  • Finish with 1 pinch of salt
  • Add halves to baking sheet, place squash upside down
  • Let cook for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of your squash
  • Poke your squash with a knife to test doneness. Squash skin should be soft, and knife should poke through effortlessly
  • Top with a maple syrup drizzle

Here’s to a simple, delicious and nutritious year to come!

Photo courtesy of Bongo Vongo

Transforming hospital food: a conversation with Chef Frank Caputo

17 Dec

IMG_1848During a breakout session at the Blogher 2012 conference this past August, we found ourselves in a room of health professionals discussing the current state of hospital food. As hands were raised, and points brought up, we heard from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) that they were breaking ground on an organic farm near their hospital in the middle of the dessert!

Naturally, we approached them and exchanged information. We wanted to learn more, so we organized an interview with their Chef, Frank Caputo to discuss the birth of their inspiring farm, and the impacts it will have on their community.

Butter Beans: What is the mission of CTCA?

Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is the home of integrative and compassionate cancer care. We never stop searching for and providing powerful and innovative therapies to heal the whole person, improve quality of life and restore hope.

Butter Beans: Why have you made healthy food one of your goals? Why are you emphasizing nutrition as an integral part of your mission?

We know that there is a correlation between good nutrition and better health. For me personally, I think the biggest demand is from our patients because they want better nutrition, they want better ingredients, the information is out there for them to see. They’re always asking us if their food is all natural or certified organic and that lends itself to how we cook. We cook from scratch and we know what’s in our food. My team and I work very closely with our Registered Dieticians in the Nutrition Department to make sure our patients have the best food available for their nutritional needs.

IMG_1724-1Butter Beans: Tell us more about the goals of your organic farm program.

One of our goals is to promote good health in general. We encourage our patients to adopt a more plant-based diet and limit their amount of red meat.

Another one of our goals is to educate our patients on nutrition, food, sources of food, and the quality of our food from the very beginning. We will introduce the philosophy of seasonal foods to our patients. They’ll be able to learn techniques on growing seasonal foods.

Our organic farm will allow us to re-localize our own food source. We are bringing the food that we use even closer to us; therefore, we’re cutting out the middle man – it’s literally coming out of the ground to the patients’ plates within minutes to hours.

Butter Beans: Have you used the farm as an educational tool in your hospital?

We plan on using the farm to educate patients on growing and planting their own produce. We plan on having harvesting seminar groups and cooking demonstrations by 2014 as well as a hands-on learning center. Additionally, the patient garden area of the organic farm will provide our patients with the therapeutic benefits of gardening.

IMG_1813Butter Beans: Have you seen a change in the way patients feel while staying in your hospital? Do you think the fresh food is making a difference?

Absolutely, all the patients are excited about the farm. They were excited about it even before anything was on paper because they’ve heard me talking about it. There’s been this growing excitement. Now that it’s coming to fruition, they’re even more excited to see it taking place.

Butter Beans: What are the reactions of patients when given your food?

They’re extremely thankful. It lends itself back to their knowledge of food and also their knowledge of what we do here specifically in the culinary department. They can’t believe this is hospital food. We are certainly not the norm. They’re not just surprised, they’re beyond surprised. They’re so happy that we take the amount of time that we do and make the investment to provide food that has a high nutritional value, looks good, tastes good and is healthy for them.

Butter Beans: What inspired you to become the executive chef for CTCA?

Initially, I have to give credit to my mentor Chef Jack Shoop who, at the time, was working as the Executive Chef at CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia. I was unemployed and looking for a job. He tried to convince me to work in the hospital for about three months and I kept turning him down.

After a while, Chef Shoop told me, “I know you, you are ready for this mentally, physically, emotionally, this is where you’re going to grow into who you really are.” I didn’t know much about nutrition or working in a hospital, but saw this as an opportunity to help others, learn and continue my education.

What you don’t know today, you want to learn for tomorrow. Real food – we’re all going in that direction. It’s just a matter of time before we all start getting back to the roots of our food, down to the simplest ingredients. And knowing what’s in our food. We are what we eat. If you eat junk, we know that’s not the best for our bodies. If we eat food that is good with high nutritional value, we know that can only help us – and not just if you have cancer. Healthy food helps us throughout our lives.

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Butter Beans: What was it like to cook your first meals with freshly picked local organic produce from the farm?

Our first harvest will be later this winter, but cooking with produce from McClendon’s Select farms is amazing. Chef Shoop used to say, “In order for the food to smile back, you have to smile at the food. If you’re not smiling at your food, how can the food smile? Knowing you have a product that came out of the ground yesterday – how could you not smile?” That was Chef Shoop’s philosophy.

Butter Beans: What are your thoughts on the Healthy Hospital Food Initiative in NYC? Have you been seeing changes in the quality and tastiness of hospital food in other states and other hospitals?

I think it’s great that the city is providing guidelines to its hospitals that will give patients access to healthier food while they’re undergoing treatment for any illness. Hopefully this will inspire others to follow suit.

Butter Beans: What were some of the unexpected hurdles in this project?

Well, one of the main questions was how were we going to irrigate a farm in the middle of Arizona! So, we constructed a one acre irrigation lagoon that holds 2.6 million gallons of water and used the abandoned Roosevelt irrigation canal system for our water source. And even before that question, though was finding a farmer – a farmer who had the skills, knowledge and capability to produce certified organic produce. Anyone can put a farm up, but how do you make it the best farm it can be and managed by someone who truly cares?

Butter Beans: What motivates you to do your best every day?

First and foremost, our patients and the people who serve our patients motivate me to do my best every day. I try to instill that same philosophy in my team. Do better today than what you did yesterday.

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A big thank you goes out to CTCA and Chef Frank Caputo for your vision and leadership in transforming hospital food in our country. May others be inspired by your story, and follow suit!

Photos courtesy of CTCA