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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

12 Best Foods Cookbook

Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods. Open a newspaper or magazine or turn on the news and you'll likely get yet another report about a new study that demonstrates the value of "superfoods" -- foods with high-powered, health-enhancing, disease-fighting micronutrients. But what these articles never tell you is how truly easy it is to enjoy eating these foods for the rest of your life.By Dana Jacobi
Published by Rodale
May 2005; $21.95US/$31.95CAN; 1-57954-965-9

Open a newspaper or magazine or turn on the news and you'll likely get yet another report about a new study that demonstrates the value of "superfoods" -- foods with high-powered, health-enhancing, disease-fighting micronutrients. But what these articles never tell you is how truly easy it is to enjoy eating these foods for the rest of your life. Now, with this collection of more than 200 tantalizing recipes from award-winning food writer and chef Dana Jacobi, you can discover the pure pleasure of eating the foods that are truly best for you.

Working with key ingredients selected for versatility as well as vitality, Jacobi exploits each food's abundant nutritional value in irresistible creations like thick and spicy Lean Mean Chocolate Chili and deceptively light Spinach Strudel. Dishes like Black Bean Bisque and Pan-Roasted Halibut with Carmelized Onions are perfect for entertaining but easy enough for weeknight meals, too. Chapters cover everything from fabulous breakfasts like French Toast with Hidden Blueberries, to satisfying snacks and innovative sides, to show-stopping desserts like Hot Chocolate Soufflé with Strawberry Salsa.

With a foreword by Mehmet Oz, M.D., and 40 lush color photographs, 12 Best Foods Cookbook reveals on every page that perhaps the ultimate benefit of eating what's good for you is how very good it can taste.

Author

Dana Jacobi: After apprenticing at three-star restaurants in France, Dana Jacobi opened a catering business and marketed her own line of gourmet sauces. She has since authored five cookbooks, contributed to several others, and written for Food & Wine, Cooking Light, the New York Times, and the Associated Press. Her work has won a Gourmand World Cookbook Award and been nominated for a James Beard Foundation Book Award. Presently Jacobi writes a weekly newspaper column, "Something Different," for the American Institute for Cancer Research. She also consults in product development and teaches cooking classes. Jacobi lives in New York City.

Reviews

"Dana Jacobi has a true gift for translating nutritional recommendations into pure, delicious food. She knows how to impart the essential information with inspiration and pleasure, without overwhelming us. Under her excellent tutelage, we are moved right along into action. I think this book will become one of the most dog-eared and spilled upon in many a kitchen."

--Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook

"Dana Jacobi proves that good nutrition and pleasure are not mutually exclusive. Her inventive, simple recipes satisfy our desires and keep our bodies healthy."

--Jack Bishop, author of A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen and Vegetables Every Day

"Dana is the most accomplished and sensible healthy cook I know. She has turned the 12 best foods into dishes so delicious I may well become a health nut." --Arthur Schwartz, radio talk-show host and author of Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food

Excerpt

The following is an excerpt from the book 12 Best Foods Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods

Spinach Salad with Nectarine, Blueberries and Lime Balsamic Vinaigrette

With nectarines available nearly all year long, you can enjoy this salad almost anytime. I actually like it best in the winter, when the tartness of imported nectarines seems to make it even more refreshing. Tossing fresh mint with the spinach adds an unexpected flavor.

4 cups baby spinach (4 ounces)

1/4 cup mint leaves

Juice of 1/2 lime

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon chopped shallot

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 nectarine, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh blueberries, or 1/4 cup dried

1. Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl. Stack the mint leaves and cut them crosswise into thin strips. Toss the mint with the spinach.

2. For the dressing, combine the lime juice, vinegar, shallot, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil. Season the dressing to taste with pepper.

3. Pour the dressing over the greens, tossing to coat lightly. Divide the dressed spinach among 4 salad plates. Fan one-quarter of the nectarine slices on 1 side of each plate. Sprinkle the blueberries over the spinach. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 72 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 1 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber


Food Fact

The vitamin C in lime juice can help your body absorb the iron in spinach.

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Roast Chicken Waldorf Salad

Fennel and toasted nuts give a new twist to this salad with creamy dressing. Instead of waiting for leftovers from a roast chicken, you can make it using a barbecued breast from the store.

Salad

2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

2 cups diced roast chicken breast (8 ounces)

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut in 3/4"cubes

2 wild fennel bulbs, or 1/4 medium fennel bulb, chopped

6 cups shredded red leaf, romaine, or Boston lettuce, or any combination

Dressing

2 tablespoons low-fat whipped dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in 1 layer on a baking sheet. Toast until they are fragrant and lightly colored, 10 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes and again after 6 minutes so they toast evenly. Set the nuts aside to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the chicken, apple, fennel, and nuts.

3. For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the whipped dressing, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and red pepper, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Pour the dressing over the chicken mixture, tossing until the salad is evenly coated.

4. To serve, divide the lettuce among 4 dinner plates and mound the chicken salad equally over the greens.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 279 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 22 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Wild fennel bulbs are long and slim. You can find them at an increasing number of supermarkets as well as farmers' markets, particularly during the summer and fall. They should be thinly sliced, as they are crunchier (some would say tougher) than the bulbous fennel we are used to. They also have a more pronounced anise flavor.

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Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Gravy

These overstuffed chops will have friends and family talking for weeks. The idea came from watching a cooking show on television. That recipe, however, was seriously loaded with butter and cream, while I use just enough to make velvety potatoes and moist chops. I also replaced a long list of Cajun spices with Thai chili paste, making this a down-home dish with melting-pot flavors.

3 medium Beauregard, Garnet, or Jewel yams (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon Thai red chili paste

3 tablespoons half-and-half

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1/2 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs

4 (1 1/2"-thick) boneless center cut pork chops (5-6 ounces each)

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Roast the sweet potatoes. Peel and mash them. There should be 3 cups. Reduce the oven to 350°F.

2. For the gravy, in a bowl combine 2 1/3 cups of the sweet potatoes with the butter, chili paste, and half-and-half. Season it to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the creamy potatoes to cover the bottom of an 8" square baking dish. Set aside.

3. For the stuffing, in a second bowl, combine the remaining sweet potato with the onion, apple, and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Make a 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" pocket in each chop. Pack the stuffing generously into the pockets. Combine the paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and onion powder in a small bowl. Rub 1 side of each chop with this mixture and set them seasoned side down on top of the sweet potatoes in the baking dish. Rub the remaining seasoning on top of each chop. Cover the pan with foil.

5. Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake the chops 10 minutes longer, until they are nicely browned on top. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 474 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 32 g protein, 60 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber

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Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Plump cherry tomatoes, sautéed just until their skin cracks, are the stars of this Greek-accented dish. The large cherry ones, also called cocktail tomatoes, that come in a net bag are best. Their flavor is worth the premium you pay. If you buy shelled shrimp, this dish is ready to cook in 5 minutes.

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound medium shrimp, shelled

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (12-ounce) bag cherry tomatoes on the vine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried

1/4 cup dry white wine, or fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and stir with a wooden spoon until they just lose their raw color, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, tomatoes, oregano, and wine or broth. Cook, using a spoon to roll the tomatoes around, until most of the liquid has boiled off, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and cheese, and cook 1 minute longer, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 154 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber

Food Fact

Shrimp contain a moderate amount of omega-3 fatty acids.

------------------

Broccoli Smashed Potatoes

Even youngsters will love this dish, an unexpected way to enjoy a whole cup of broccoli.

1 pound Yukon Gold or other yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled

4 cups medium broccoli florets

1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced

1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1. Place the potatoes in a deep saucepan and cover with cold water to a depth of 2". Cook uncovered over high heat until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, about 20 minutes.

2. While the potatoes cook, steam the broccoli and leek until the broccoli is very soft, about 15 minutes. Drain in a colander.

3. Drain the potatoes and place them in a deep bowl. Using a sturdy fork, mash the potatoes into roughly 1" chunks. Add the broccoli and leek, mashing until only small lumps of the broccoli remain. Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, mashing until the texture is pleasing to you. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, taking care it does not burn. Stir in the mace.

5. To serve, spoon the smashed potatoes into a serving bowl. With the back of the spoon, smooth the top, leaving several shallow indentations. Drizzle the butter, letting it pool in the hollows. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 169 calories, 5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber


Food Fact

Yellow-fleshed potatoes get their color from carotenoids.

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Blueberry Peach Crostata

I am skeptical about frozen food, but frozen peaches taste better than most of the fresh ones available. (Unfortunately, this is true even during the summer.) To see for yourself, make this golden-crusted Italian tart. Leftovers, if there are any, are great for breakfast.

Crust

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Filling

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

16 ounces frozen sliced peaches

1/4 cup peach or apricot preserves, or fruit spread

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/4 cup blueberry jam

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. For the crust, place the flour, lemon zest, and salt in a mixing bowl, making a well in the center. Place the egg, butter, and granulated sugar in the well. Using a fork, lightly mix the egg, then gradually work the flour into the egg and butter until the mixture is crumbly. Rub the dough between your fingers for 2 minutes to blend the ingredients well. Press the dough into a ball and flatten it into a 5" x 1" disk on a sheet of waxed paper. Invert a bowl over the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.

3. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper into an 11" disk. Removing 1 sheet of paper, fit the dough into a 9" loose-bottomed tart pan, fixing any tears with your fingers and bringing it three-quarters of the way up the sides. Line the crust with foil and weight it with dry beans.

4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 5 minutes longer, until it is just golden. Cool completely on a wire rack. Fill immediately or cover with foil and set the crust aside for up to 8 hours.

5. For the filling, combine the juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 30 seconds. Add the peaches, cover, and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and cook until the fruit is translucent but still firm, 5 minutes longer. Reduce the heat. Pushing the fruit to 1 side, mix the preserves with the liquid, cooking until it melts, 1 minute. Add the blueberries and mix to glaze the fruit. Set aside to cool slightly, 10 minutes.

6. Coat the bottom of the crust with the blueberry jam. Spoon the warm fruit into the crust. Serve warm or at room temperature, within 2 hours.

Makes 6 servings

Per serving: 402 calories, 13 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 69 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Use only blueberry jam. Fruit spread does not seal the crust.

Food Fact

Peaches are a good source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, in addition to carotenoids.

Reprinted from: 12 Best Foods Cookbook: Over 200 Delicious Recipes Featuring the 12 Healthiest Foods by Dana Jacobi. Copyright © 2005 Dana Jacobi. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc., Emmaus, PA 18098. Available wherever books are sold or directly from the publisher by calling (800) 848-4735 or visit their website at www.rodalestore.com
By Buzzle Staff and Agencies

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