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Sep 2, 2011 - Canned and Packaged Goods    Comments Off

Weekday Cooking – Seafood Paella Recipe

If you’ve never tried paella, it’s safe to say that you don’t know what you’re missing out on. One of the most popular “free-style” foods to make, it can be customized in almost any way imaginable and has been gaining popularity in the United States and other parts of the western world in recent months.

Before we dive into a seafood paella recipe that you’re sure to fall in love, it’s probably good that I tell you not to be intimidated by the list of ingredients. The list of ingredients is long, but the outcome of the dish is superb. It’s easy to cook once you’ve gotten everything prepared. With that said, let’s jump in and see what seafood paella is all about.

Seafood Paella Weekday Cooking   Seafood Paella Recipe

Olive Oil

Before we start chopping and dicing our food, it’s worthwhile knowing that many paella dishes are based around the taste of the olive oil
used to make them. You can experiment with different oils and flavors if you’d like. If you’re unsure of what type of olive oil is best to use, we recommend using oil from a company called Zoe. Their organic extra virgin olive oil is to die for and has one of the most distinct and rich flavors out of any olive oil I’ve ever tasted. And for the price it’s a great way to have top quality olive oil in your kitchen for use whenever you need it.

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon saffron
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
  • ½ pound chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
  • ¼ cup of diced onions
  • 1 cup parboiled rice
  • ½ cup of chopped red peppers
  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 12 mussels
  • 12 clams
  • ½ pound of smoked sausage
  • 6 blue crabs (clean them and halve them)
  • ½ cup finely sliced celery
  • 1 pound of shrimp
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

Process

Alright, now that you have all of your ingredients in order, it’s time to put them on the grill to get them ready for a delicious dinner. When doing this entire process, it’s a good idea to have a large pan on hand as all of the ingredients will take up a lot of space once they’re added to the pan.

1. First, you’re going to want to put your olive oil onto the pan and bring it to a light simmer.

2. Next, toss in your chicken breast slices and cook them all the way through until they have a nice golden color to them all the way around.

3. Once the chicken is finished cooking, toss in your onions, garlic, and peppers to the mixture and cook those as well. Saute everything for another two minutes.

4. After the sauté has completed, pour in the chicken stock, rice, and saffron. Bring the mixture to a boil and move onto the next step.

Weekday Cooking Weekday Cooking   Seafood Paella Recipe

5. The final part of the preparation process is to toss in the remaining ingredients, including the crab, shrimp, clams, mussels, sausage, salt, and pepper. With the mixture boiling in the chicken broth, reduce the heat down to medium low and let it simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

Beverage

A popular accompaniment to paella is a glass of malt or non-alcoholic ginger beer. The goal is to have one that’s dry enough to cleanse the pallet before the paella, as paella dishes are usually chock full of flavors that need appreciating by themselves.

If non-alcoholic beer or malt isn’t your thing, you can always pick up some pita bread or naan bread from your local grocer to serve alongside the rice dish. As said in the previous paragraph, the goal is to keep the eater’s attention on the dish itself rather than on the side items that accompany it too. We hope you enjoy your paella!

Aug 25, 2011 - Canned and Packaged Goods    Comments Off

How To Move To a Vegetable Diet

A growing trend not only in the United States, but also worldwide, is that more and more people are going to a primarily vegetable diet as opposed to a diet based around meat and starches. There are many reasons why vegetables are becoming more and more popular. If you’re thinking of starting to go vegetarian or starting a diet program that restricts you to vegetables for a few weeks, we’ve got some tips for you to use so that you’re not crying at the store when it comes time to grocery shop.

When to Buy Vegetables

A fact that many people often forget is that certain vegetables don’t grow year round. The tomatoes purchased from your local grocery store for instance do not grow year round naturally and are instead grown in factories and controlled conditions to keep up with the demand for tomatoes throughout the year. If you’re looking to start a healthy vegetable diet, it’s important to realize that certain fruits and vegetables aren’t available all year and that you’ll have to make some sacrifices on what you can eat all year for the best taste. While you won’t die from eating a tomato that’s been grown out of season, you certainly won’t be getting the optimal nutrition you need from it that you’d otherwise get if you were to eat it when it grows naturally.

Vegetable Diet How To Move To a Vegetable Diet

If you would like to learn what vegetables and fruits are in season and out of season at any given time, this handy link should help you out. – Click Here

Store Shopping

When buying fresh vegetables, there are probably a plethora of grocery store chains in your area that can cater to all of your vegetable needs. If you make your way to a chain store such as Walmart, not only will the vegetables you find inside the store be grown unnaturally, they’re likely to not be the freshest or best value for your money in town. Big retailers often pay premiums to have things like tomatoes available to them year round and to have the same vegetables on their shelves on a daily basis.

If there is a local grocer in your town that’s locally owned and operated, chances are you can get much better deals on produce there than in big-box retailers. The reason for this is because vegetables are grown on-site or nearby, thus completely eliminating the cost of shipping and handling. That reduction in cost is reflected in the price of the produce available at these retailers.

vegetable market How To Move To a Vegetable Diet

One thing to be wary of is the cost of other items at local stores. In order to still gain a profit, things like cereals and bread should still be purchased either online or at a mainstream retailer instead of at the local grocer. Smaller grocery stores sell their products at MSRP so that they can make up for the low cost of their produce and still afford to hire staff and turn a profit. Traditional stores like Walmart are able to sell below MSRP because they sell in such volume that the discount actually benefits them.

Canned Vegetables

If in your vegetable diet you find it tough to prepare all of the vegetables you’re purchasing, hope is not lost. Canned vegetables can be a lifesaver for on the go moms that can’t afford to stop and make a meal every night. Vegetables that come canned are often already cooked and prepared, meaning all you have to do is heat them up either in a pot on the stove or in a microwave.

One of the best brands of canned vegetables you can buy is called Libby’s. Their products are readily available on Amazon, and for just a few dollars for a dozen or so cans, you can stock up on your canned vegetable supply easily and affordably.

Libby’s Canned Corn:

One such example of a Libby’s product is their canned corn. All of the corn is grown and packaged in the USA and comes unsalted. Companies have become accustomed to adding things like salt and sugar to their canned vegetables to make them tastier and more appealing to customers. Libby’s avoids adding salt to their corn to keep it as natural as possible. Best of all, all you need to do is heat the contents of the can on a stove top for a minute or two on a medium heat and you’re ready to eat. For anyone looking at going vegetarian, this is a great way to get veggies into your diet without worrying about preparing and cooking a huge meal every night.

Vegetable Diet1 How To Move To a Vegetable Diet

Vegetable Cook Book

As mentioned in another article I wrote, part of the problem a lot of folks run into when they start eating a vegetable diet is that they don’t have enough ideas to fill their plate for an entire week. If you’re completely stumped on what you should cook, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I’ve been using it in my own kitchen for almost 5 months now and everything I’ve made from it has been nothing short of delicious. If you’re just getting into cooking vegetarian, this is the book to get.

Aug 21, 2011 - Canned and Packaged Goods    Comments Off

Top Four Healthy Drinks To Boost Your Day

It’s often hard to get everything you need in terms of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis, which is why healthy drinks exist to fill in the void that your potentially lacking diet misses. Getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need each day is important to being able to live a healthy lifestyle without worrying about things like sickness.

Healthy Drinks Top Four Healthy Drinks To Boost Your Day

Not So Healthy Eh?

Fruits and Vegetable Drinks

While drinks come in many different forms, by far the most popular types are those that include fruits and vegetables. Companies like V8 offer fruit and vegetable smoothie options that blend fruits and vegetables together into a healthy concoction that provides a few servings of your daily recommended vegetable intake in a glass or two.

V8 Vegetable Juice With Low Sodium:

The first great benefit of these particular vegetable drinks is that they’re low in sodium. With 70% lower sodium than regular juice, this version of V8’s juices are perfect for those looking to lower their sodium intake in their diet. Each can has 2 full servings of vegetables, making it easy to ensure you get all of your daily veggie recommendation with a can of juice in addition to your regular meals. Another added benefit of this juice is that it’s high in potassium. Studies show that diets high in potassium may help reduce the risk of things like heart disease and stroke.

Tea

Tea has been consumed by cultures for generations for its benefits. Tea is often high in things like antioxidants and can help promote weight loss by burning excess calories away.

Green Tea:

green tea service Top Four Healthy Drinks To Boost Your Day

One of the best benefits of drinking something like green tea is that it contains zero calories, meaning you can enjoy it without worrying about how much sugar or calories you’re taking into your body. Green tea has been found in studies to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. While it’s not recommended that you drink multiple cups of tea daily, having a glass of tea in the morning to get your day started is a great way to start drinking healthy and eliminate the nasty sugars and artificial sweeteners that are often added to other breakfast beverages.

Kirkland Green Tea:

The minimal processing done to the tea found in this pack of Kirkland green tea ensures not only freshness of the leaves, but also ensures that the antioxidants in the leaves aren’t lost during the preparation process. The nylon tea bags that the tea is held in is perfect for letting hot water through and getting the most flavor out of every cup.

Drink More Water

One of the healthiest drinks you can have during a day is water. While it’s often difficult to get the recommended 8 glasses of water a day into your diet, drinking more water
instead of things like sodas and artificially made drinks can help you not only sleep better, but can also reduce your risk of things like diabetes. If you struggle to drink enough water every day, it may serve you well to buy a few bottles of water and leave them in your fridge at home so they’re chilled and ready to drink after you make it inside after a hot afternoon.

Another good way to ensure that you start getting more water in your diet is by buying a reusable water bottle. Reusable water bottles are better for the environment than traditional plastic water bottles and by carrying it around with you all day, you can always have water on hand when you get thirsty. By having water by your side all the
time, you can encourage yourself to drink water instead of something like a soda or sugary drink.

PMCI Stainless Steel Bottle:

There’s nothing too amazing about this particular bottle, but the stainless steel crafting of the bottle allows for easy cleaning and ensures that the bottle is BPA free and isn’t harmful to reuse. The sport cap on the bottle lets you hook it onto your keyring so that you can carry it around with you as you run or walk around.

Other Drinks

If you find that you’re unable to get all of the nutrition you need from some of the drinks listed above and still find that you’re low on energy and getting sick frequently, it may be time to try something else. While there are many “energy boosters” on the market, many of them are sold by companies only looking to make a profit and not keep your health in their best interest. Many energy boosting drinks are packed with caffeine and don’t do anything more than increase your heart rate so that you can make it through the afternoon.

Actual energy boosting drinks are packed with vitamins and can help you power through not only the rest of the day, but also boost your health for days and weeks at a time by building up vitamins in the body over the long term.

FRS Healthy Energy:

FRS Healthy Energy Top Four Healthy Drinks To Boost Your DayDifferent from other energy drinks by packing plenty of the necessary B vitamins into the drinks as well as minerals found naturally in berries. And while we bashed caffeine earlier for being the only ingredient in some energy drinks, the caffeine found in the FRS energy drink (about 1/3 a cup of coffee’s worth) is used to help the body metabolize the vitamins and minerals faster so that you’re feeling energized and alert without crashing and burning from caffeine like you do from a cup of coffee.

Aug 17, 2011 - Canned and Packaged Goods    Comments Off

Grilled Vegetables: Saving Money by Buying Canned

Vegetables are an important part of everyone’s diets and unfortunately, not everyone gets all of the veggies they need on a daily basis. One of the main reasons why people avoid buying vegetables is because of how expensive they can be in the store. Things like organic produce and imported produce can cost a lot more than meat or snacks that are on sale, leaving vegetables out of some people’s diets entirely.

If you find that you’re one of those people that isn’t eating enough vegetables in the day, buying grilled vegetables in a can can not only help you start getting more nutrition into your diet, it can also help you save money on your grocery bill. Let’s take a look at what you can purchase to save some cash.

grilled vegetables Grilled Vegetables: Saving Money by Buying Canned

Sodium!

It isn’t as big of an issue these days as it was a few years ago, but if you’re eating canned or packaged vegetables in your diet, it’s a good idea to ensure that what you’re eating is low in sodium. Since things like salt and sugar are added to virtually everything these days to enhance flavor and make the food last longer, it’s easy to go overboard with the amount of sodium you take in on a daily basis without even realizing it. If possible, keep track of your sodium intake or purchase cans of vegetables that are low in sodium content so that you don’t put yourself at higher risk for things like heart disease and diabetes.

Campbell’s Soups

If you haven’t heard of Campbell’s soup by now, there’s probably no point in even explaining who they are: only the biggest soup company to ever exist. From humble beginnings, Campbell’s now sells soups under a brand called “Campbell’s Chunky” that features hearty meats and grilled vegetables all in a can.

Chicken and Vegetables with Pasta: The chicken meat used to make this particular type of soup is lean, meaning it’s low in cholesterol and fat. All Campbell’s soups are trans fat free as well, making them a healthy choice for any meal of the day. Buying bulk online can save you not only a trip to the grocery store, but also quite a bit of money compared to what you’d pay for the same number of cans at a retail outlet. Although the worry about sodium mentioned earlier should be taken into account, the somewhat high sodium content of this chicken and vegetable can of Campbell’s soup isn’t too bad if this is the only high sodium meal you have in a day.

Why Grilled Vegetables?

Apart from vegetarians, many folks find vegetables to be flavorless and a little plain to eat with every meal. Grilling veggies can add flavor to them and can also cook off any dangerous bacteria or fungus that could have been growing as a result of poor farming or poor packaging at the supermarket. If you’re new to grilled vegetables and would like to try your hand at making some of your own from scratch instead of purchasing them in a can, you can check out this fantastic cookbook. We highly recommend this book because of not only the ideas inside, but also the inspiration it provides to new chefs looking to add more vegetables to their diets.

Grilled Vegetables Grilled Vegetables: Saving Money by Buying Canned

The New Vegetarian Grill: This 352 page book has 250 different recipes for you to try to add some flavor to your vegetables so that they’re easier for you to eat. With rave reviews from many different food critics, it really should be the only vegetable cookbook you turn to for ideas on how to make your vegetables tastier and more appetizing for when they make it to the table. Each recipe is very in depth, and if you’re willing to cut a few corners on nights that you don’t have a lot of time to cook vegetables for hours at a time for perfect flavor, you can still achieve the same effect with a lot less work.

Vegetables Every Day

The Center for Disease Control in the United States recommends that everyone consume at least 5 fruits and vegetables each day to maintain a healthy diet. If after considering some of the grilled vegetable soups we mentioned above you still can’t find the time to get all of the veggies you need each day, you may want to consider drinking healthy drinks or vegetable supplements that will still give you the nutrition you need each day. Drinks like V8 vegetable and fruit juice can give you a full serving of vegetables in every glass, and because they’re sweetened and flavored in addition to the fruits and veggies inside, they’re actually tasty to have every day!