Category: Low Calorie

Easy Peel Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Egg

Hard boiled eggs are arriving at the stores more fresh than ever before, and because of this, you may have noticed that when they are hard boiled (or hard cooked as some say) the membrane in the egg tends to stick to the egg white, making the eggs difficult to peel. While fresh eggs are great, this annoyance can make breakfast (or an egg salad lunch) a distressing event. I have been known to lose half an egg just trying to remove the shell. There are, however two simple techniques that will allow you to easily peel hard boiled eggs in a flash, leaving you with perfect looking eggs. The first method makes peeling hard boiled eggs so unbelievably easy that they have become my staple breakfast, and is an incredible time saver

Method 1:
Add a tablespoon or two of baking soda to the water when you boil the eggs. This will increase the pH of the water, making it more alkaline, which will allow the membrane to slip off the cooked albumen (egg white) easily. You can pull the shell right off, or, if you want to make it interesting, crush both ends of the egg, hold it in your hand and blow. The egg will shoot right out of the shell and across the room.

Method 2:
Hard boil the eggs, remove from the water when cooked, and wait until they are room temperature. Do not put them in the refrigerator, just leave them on the counter. Room temperature cooked eggs are much easier to peel than hot or cold ones.

Personally, I prefer the baking soda method because I can’t wait and I like showing people the magic trick of the egg shooting out of its shell, but how you do it is your choice. Now hard boiled eggs are an easy meal!

Fiddlehead season again!

fiddleheads

Fiddleheads with garlic

It’s fiddlehead season again and if anyone is lucky enough to have access to them (farmers markets or grocery stores that are cool enough to stock them) I would recommend hoarding them right now. The season for them is very short, and these great veggies are a perfect introduction to summer. I’ve previously written up my favorite recipe to prepare them, which you can find here:

http://www.gatehousegourmet.com/2010/05/26/fiddleheads-young-fern-shoots/

Time is running out, so grab them while you can, these treats don’t last long.

Baby Kale with Beets and Onions

Baby kale with beets and red onion and aged balsamic vinegarFlush with baby kale right now, this dish was probably my best improvised dish yet this year. Inspired by many a salad I have eaten I took something raw and turned it into something warm and hearty and so good you can make new friends just by sharing it. The key to this dish is that the beets and the onion are somewhat sweet, and while the aged balsamic vinegar is somewhat sweet as well, the acidity balances the dish so perfectly that I want this dish to be my final one on death row. I’m not there yet, but just in case, you know?

You really want to slice the beets thinly as they will be sauteing in the pan rather than being boiled. You also don’t want to over cook them as a little texture is very nice in this dish. The onions should soften and the kale should be cooked gently, for just a short period of time. You don’t want to turn them into a spinach like mush, they should retain some of their crunch, which the stem will provide.

6 cups of baby kale? yes, it cooks down, even after a minute or two. But it’s so darn nutritious that why not? 618% of the Vitamin A you need for a day! 411% of the Vitamin C you need for a day! Fiber galore! It can make you rich! Kale! Seriously, why the heck not? Plus, you can fill your tummy for 211 calories. Seriously, do I really need to convince you? Fat loss schools and Weight Watchers be damned, this doesn’t need to be a side dish. While it is great on its own, the aged balsamic vinegar gives it that ‘je ne sais quoi’ that makes me want to serve this at my next dinner party. It’s not inexpensive stuff, but one bottle will last you forever, seriously.

Kale is an extremely overlooked vegetable, and is best in early summer. Stuff your face while you can because kale is one of the most healthful foods you can eat, and it’s very filing as it is full of fiber. The good kind of fiber. Regular kale is a bit more tough, so baby kale is my personal choice, but you could certainly make this with regular kale as well. Just cook the kale a little longer. You won’t regret trying this dish. And you can thank me by sending huge bags of cash.

Baby kale

Baby kale

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Baby kale and beets cooking

cooking

Baby Kale with Beets and Onions
Author: 
Recipe type: side, entree
Serves: 2
 
A lightly cooked kale salad, a new take on what has been a boring bistro salad.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • ½ cup beets, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (w/ must)
Instructions
  1. Slice the beets into tin little discs.
  2. Do the same for the onions.
  3. Saute the beets for a few minutes to soften.
  4. Add the sliced onions and soften as well, just a few minutes.
  5. Add the baby kale and let wilt, but not cook to a mush.
  6. Plate, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar.
Notes
This could easily be topped with pine nuts (pinoli) or goat cheese to great effect. Don't hesitate to experiment. Nutritional Analysis -No cholesterol -High in calcium -High in dietary fiber -High in iron -Very high in manganese -High in potassium -Very high in vitamin A -High in vitamin B6 -Very high in vitamin C
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 313g Calories: 211g Fat: 8.3g Saturated fat: 1.1g Unsaturated fat: 7.2g Carbohydrates: 31.5g Sugar: 7.2g Fiber: 5.8g Protein: 8.0g Cholesterol: 0g

 

Chicken and spinach with white wine and lemon

 

Chicken and spinach
It’s farm share season, and in early summer, that means spinach! I often eat spinach raw in a salad, but it is a great addition to cooked dishes as long as you don’t overcook it into mush. So looking for something simple, I decided on a chicken recipe with spinach in a light white wine and lemon sauce.

I’m chicken recipe oriented for a number of reasons. It’s healthy. It’s relatively inexpensive. It takes on flavors easily, being somewhat neutral, so it is a natural for when you want other ingredients to shine. While in the case of this dish the lemon and white wine come to the front of the stage, by barely wilting the spinach, it will retain its flavor and the chicken will provide the texture and the protein (you could possibly use tofu in this dish, but I would miss the depth of flavor that the chicken offers as it cooks). I have made this with and without chicken broth and haven’t really noticed much difference, other than the sauce can be a bit this if you use the broth. The chicken should offer enough flavor to make the broth unnecessary.

This is very much a standard in my family as it is quickly prepared and cooked, and quite healthy too. I much prefer it to the many boring chicken dishes I am forced to make sometimes. Grilled chicken is nice, but a little wine and lemon juice go a long way to take a boring chicken breast to new levels. Chicken recipes are a dime a dozen, and this is not an uncommon one, but this is the simplest version of this recipe I make, and it is worth the minimal effort to make it.

thinly-sliced-chicken

Chicken, thinly sliced

Cooking garlic

Cooking garlic

Chopped spinach

Chopped spinach

Chicken and spinach with white wine and lemon
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This chicken dish is packed with flavor and a great way to use up a lot of spinach, the mix of textures is fantastic.
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 bunches Spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Slice the chicken into thin strips for fast cooking and a very tender consistency.
  2. Rinse the spinach and chop roughly.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan and add add garlic.
  4. After a minute (before garlic browns) add the chicken and cook until just done.
  5. Add wine and lemon juice (and broth if you chose to, I often don't).
  6. Toss in the spinach, and cook for just enough time for the leaves to wilt, but not overcook.
  7. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Notes
If you find that the sauce is too thin, pour in a little corn starch dissolved in cold water and continue cooking for 30 seconds. You will find that the sauce thickens up nicely (this is the trick to all those thick sauces in Chinese restaurants, they often have corn starch dissolved in chicken broth ready for use, so you vegetarians our there may want to ask if they use broth or water for their corn starch thickener).
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 282g | Calories: 221 | Fat: 9.3g | Saturated fat: 2.0g | Unsaturated fat: 7.3g | Carbohydrates: 7.8g | Sugar: 1.1g | Fiber: 3.8g | Protein: 25.6g | Cholesterol: 62mg

 

Microwave Popcorn Recipe

microwave popcorn recipeThis may not come as a surprise to anyone, but did you know that you can make popcorn in a microwave? Yes, shocking, I know. But what I dislike about buying bags of prepared popcorn ready to go into the microwave is that they are mostly filled with unpronounceable substances that I would not put in my body given a choice. They are also a ridiculous amount of money for what you get. This afternoon, I went out and bought a bag of regular popcorn for almost nothing. I placed a handful of kernels into a brown paper bag, folded up the top and placed it in my microwave oven for about 2 1/2 minutes. 2 and 1/2 minutes later, I was enjoying a bowl of cheap as dirt popcorn seasoned with my favorite smoked salt. I’m not as surprised at how easy this is as much as I’m blown away by the idea that I hadn’t thought to try this long ago. I’m sure many of you reading this may already know how easy this is, but this was my mini epiphany. Now I can make popcorn flavored with just about anything I like and I don’t have to take out the pot and oil, or pay more than movie popcorn prices for a simple bag of microwaved popcorn. This is, by far, the simplest popcorn recipe I have ever come across and works incredibly well.