Simple advice for a better life.

Dill Cream SauceEuropeans love serving various home-made sauces with their meats and potatoes.

Even though pasta and rice often accompanies meat dishes,  potatoes are most popular.

One of those sauces widely used in Eastern Europe, is a Fresh Dill Cream Sauce, which pairs great with Varenyky, Meatless Holubtsy, Palushky, Kendle, Vegetarian Burgers, etc.

This sauce is mostly prepared during the summer months, while fresh Dill is readily available, but frozen dill is just as suitable (fresh dill freezes very well, and can last until a new crop is available in late spring).

This recipe yields 1 – 1.5 cups of sauce.

Fresh Dill Sauce – Eastern European Recipe

Fresh Dill Sauce – Eastern European Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Canola oil, or butter
  • 1 Tbsp. Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. All-purpose flour (I use unbleached)
  • 3/4 cup Chicken Broth, or Vegetable Broth
  • 1/8 tsp. Paprika (optional)
  • Pinch of Turmeric or Yellow Mustard powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Dill weed, chopped (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp. Sour Cream (regular or light)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add onions, and saute 2 minutes. Stirring frequently.
  2. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Mix in flour, stir well to incorporate, and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add in broth, mixing continuously, to create creamy mixture.
  5. If sauce is too thick, add little bit more broth, or water.
  6. Add dill, and seasonings.
  7. Turn off heat.
  8. Temper sour cream with little bit of the warm sauce, then add the mixture to the dill sauce.
  9. Serve hot, over your favorite dish.
  10. Keep it refrigerated for later use, at which time you might have to thin it out a bit, by adding more broth or water.

Notes

Dill Cream Sauce pairs well with meatless cabbage rolls (Holubtsi), Potato Varenyky, Halushky (Gnocchi), Veggie Burgers, Spinach Turkey Meatballs, Mashed potatoes, etc.

http://suburbangrandma.com/culture/fresh-dill-sauce-eastern-european-recipe/

 

Orange Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry 2I successfully completed Phase II of the Fat Smash Diet, and am hoping that some of you have joined me on this mission.

Wishing you success on your journey to healthful lifestyle…:-)

Since many of the Weight Watchers recipes are suitable for Phase III of the Fat Smash Diet, I am sharing some of the ones I  tested and loved.

Today’s post for the Orange Chicken with Broccoli is also a very lean dish, delicious and simple to prepare.

I enjoyed this dish with brown rice and veggies, since potatoes and white rice are excluded from the Fat Smash Diet.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Orange Chicken with Broccoli – Weight Watchers Recipe

Orange Chicken with Broccoli – Weight Watchers Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut against grain, into 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 tsp. Canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. Ginger. fresh, peeled and minced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut to small sections (halved or quartered)
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbs. Soy sauce, low-sodium
  • 1 tsp. Corn starch
  • 1 Tbs.Water
  • 1 Orange, peeled and sectioned (I used 1/2 orange for juice, and 1/2 for sections)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a nonstick medium saucepan.
  2. Add the chicken strips, and saute 2 minutes on each side.
  3. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook 1 minute longer.
  4. Transfer chicken in to a plate, cover, and set aside.
  5. Add water and broccoli to the sauce pan, cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Stirring at least once.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the orange juice, broth and soy sauce.
  7. Return chicken to the saucepan, stir in orange juice mixture.
  8. Dissolve the corn starch with 1Tbs. of water, and add to saucepan.
  9. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until thickened, folding gently to coat the veggies and meat.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Add orange slices, and serve.
http://suburbangrandma.com/culture/orange-chicken-with-broccoli-weight-watchers-recipe/

Breakfast-Mini-Quiche-servingVeggie BurgerThe-Fat-Smash-Diet-book

If you have been following my blog, you already know that I am very impressed with The Fat Smash Diet, and love following all the phases at least once every year, with very rewarding results.

Some people think it is too harsh (no coffee or alcohol for 9 days…wow…), but it is perfect for my taste and my lifestyle.

The holidays are over (I have been really bad); the cookies and chocolates are gone…or almost gone: the three-way mirror and the scale are not my best friends at the moment, so the Fat Smash Diet comes back to life.

My most effective motivating factor for The Fat Smash diet this year is  a very special wedding I will attend this  May…then two more after that…so it’s perfect time to clean up my act, and start eating healthy again.

At the beginning of this week I began Phase I, and hoping that some of you will join me on this journey of healthy eating and fitness.

In preparation for this journey, I shopped for the staple foods used in Phase I:

  • Fresh fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Brown rice
  • Chickpeas
  • Veggie burgers
  • Low fat milk
  • Low fat cheese
  • Saltines
  • Nuts
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Hummus
  • Lots of water

Have you noticed there is:

  • No pasta
  • No bread
  • No white rice
  • No potatoes
  • No meat or fish
  • No coffee
  • No sugar
  • No chocolate

These NO foods are excluded during the Detox Period – Phase I of the Fat Smash Diet, which lasts only 9 days.

Many of these NO foods get introduced slowly back into the daily menu, as we progress further into the other phases.

You may click on the links below for a closer overview of The different phases and foods of the The Fat Smash Diet.

Phase I – Detox (only 9 days)

Phase II –  Foundation (3 weeks)

Phase III – Construction (4 weeks)

Phase IV – The Temple  (for Life)

I love The Fat Smash Diet, because it is NOT a real diet, but rather a healthy lifestyle.

My body feels so much lighter and energetic after only few days of following the Phase I regimen.

Healthy Lifestyle also means keeping your body in motion, hence the need to dedicate at least 30 minutes per day to some type of physical activity, which for me is outdoor walking, stretching , and exercising on the elliptical machine.

The Fat Smash Diet book has a variety of recipes, some of which I tested and posted previously (see links below).

 

Delicious Smoothie

Fruity Smoothie

Breakfast-Mini-Quiche-serving

Mini Breakfast Quiche

Carrot-Soup-The-Fat-Smash-Diet

Carrot Soup

Green-Bean-VinaigretteGreen Beans Vinaigrette

Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I hope you enjoyed this post, and will consider joining me now, or at your convenience, on the journey of healthy lifestyle.

I am looking forward to hear your comments, please.

Thank  you.

 

White mushroomsUkrainians looooove mushrooms.  They incorporate mushrooms into numerous every day recipes, but especially for their Christmas Eve  12 course meatless meal.

Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve menu will include mushrooms in Mushroom soup, varenyky filling (pierogi), Holubtsi filling (Cabbage Rolls), Vooshka filling (dumplings which accompany Ukrainian Christmas Borscht), mushroom gravy (referred to as, Machka, in some households), mushrooms with cabbage, and of course marinated mushrooms.

Today I will share my favorite recipe for Marinated Mushrooms, which will be part of our Christmas Eve dinner menu.

This recipe yields 1 mason jar of marinated mushrooms.

Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of white mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 8 Whole Cloves
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 20 Allspice peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 8 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1 Onion, sliced to rings
  • 4 Tbs. Canola or Olive oil
  • 1/2 Green Pepper, sliced to strips
  • 1-2 mason jars

Directions:

  1. In a 3 quart pot, add the vinegar, water,Cloves, Garlic, Allspice, Bay leaves, and salt.
  2. Bring to boil.
  3. Trim off the bottoms of mushroom stems, and discard.
  4. Wash mushrooms under running water to rinse off any soil particles (no need to peel mushroom caps).
  5. Cut each mushroom into quarters or halves.
  6. Add mushrooms into boiling marinate, lower heat, and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat, remove garlic and discard.
  8. Cool to room temperature.
  9. Remove  1 cup of the marinate and add to a small saucepan.
  10. Bring to boil.
  11. Add the sliced onions and cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from heat and set aside to cool off.
  13. Once all cooled, fill a mason jar with alternating layers of mushrooms and onions, and place few pieces of green pepper slices for color and additional flavor.
  14. Top off with oil, to seal it off, and help the marinating process.
  15. Close the lid on the mason jar, and refrigerate the mushrooms for few days, to achieve the full flavor of the marinate to penetrate the mushrooms and onions.

   MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

KHRYSTOS NARODYVSIA!  SLAVITE YOHO!

WESOLYCH SWIAT BOZEGO NARODZENIA!

 

 

Birthday Party AppetizersWhether you are cooking at home, dining out, or ordering take out, there are almost always some leftovers to deal with after the fact.

There is nothing wrong with having leftovers.   After all, you spent time and money on this food, so you deserve to enjoy it to the last morsel.

Some prepared dishes are not suitable for later use as a leftover…they lose their taste and texture, so it is best to just part with them right there and then.

Numerous others, on the other hand, are still great for at least one or two meals, or even to be frozen for that rainy day when you have no time or desire to cook.

Some people do not like leftovers, and never keep them.  However, if you are like me, you don’t mind them, and feel that you get your money’s worth if you use them.

Most Europeans don’t believe in leftovers….maybe because they hardly ever have any.

They serve their meals already preportioned per plate, and make just enough to feed the crowd they accounted for.  The portions are large enough to satisfy the consumer, so there is no need, or room, for seconds.  Therefore, there are no leftovers.  Any remaining food on each plate, which hardly ever happens, is discarded.  It is almost impolite to ask for a “Doggie Bag”.

Here in the USA we have no problem asking the waiter/waitress to pack up our leftovers to take home with us.

It is very important to keep track of your leftover food in your fridge, which is one of my pet peeves.  I almost feel like I am a fridge police, whether it is at home or at work.

There is nothing worse than seeing “old” food sitting in the fridge way past its safe consumable time.

My personal time line for using up leftovers in up to 3 days…4 being the absolute max.

Now I will share my best way of using up leftovers, and keeping your fridge fresh, and ready for restocking.

Since most of us work full-time, and don’t have much time for cooking during the week, we prepare extra food on weekend, to hold us over for couple of days.  Then by mid-week, it’s time for some take out.  By Thursday we have leftovers to use, or lose.

I consider Thursday  a “Leftover Smorgasbord Dinner Day”.  We pull out all the leftovers from the past few days, and add something new if needed, and call it a day.

Everyone is to create their own plate of food from the smorgasbord spread available.  We also use disposable dishes and utensils that day, to save time on clean up effort.  Whatever food is remaining after this dinner, gets discarded for good.

This is the BEST way to free your fridge of leftover food, and to prevent any food from hiding in there for too long.

Since we have no dishes to wash on this day, we devote our time to cleaning up the fridge, and getting it ready for fresh food from Friday or Saturday shopping.

It works very well every time, and it also is fun, economical, and stress free.

I suggest you try it too, and share your comments.

Have fun!

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