Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Greek Salad

Greek salad with canned salmon

This recipe makes three large servings. Adjust it to make more or fewer servings. Fish is a prominent component of the Mediterranean diet so I like to have fish as my protein with this Greek Salad. Cold-water fatty fish, with their high omega-3 fatty acid content, may be the most healthful.

Spinach and kale have more vital nutrients than Romaine lettuce, so feel free to increase the spinach/kale and reduce the Romaine amounts. But I wouldn’t go more than 50:50 the first time you make this.

Ingredients:

2-3 oz fresh spinach or kale, chopped

10 oz romaine lettuce, chopped

2 large tomatoes (12 oz), chopped

1 can pitted black olives, drained (6 oz after draining) or pitted kalamata olives

1/2 red onion (2 oz prepped), diced or sliced

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 large (11 oz) cucumber, peeled (or not) and chopped

For the dressing:

6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp dried oregano

juice of 1/2 lemon (1 Tbsp)

1.5 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra lemon juice on fish or salad, to taste

Choose your protein:

  • 21-24  oz canned cooked salmon or fresh cooked salmon (baked, roasted, or pan-fried but not breaded)
  • or 15 oz canned albacore tuna (packed in water, drained)
  •          or 20 0z other fish of your choice (not breaded)
  • or 12 oz cooked steak
  • or 21-24 oz boiled shrimp
  • or 18 oz chicken breast (boneless, roasted or baked or pan-fried but not breaded)

Instructions:

Rinse lettuce? In a very large bowel, place the lettuce, spinach or kale, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, olives, and cheese.

Then make your dressing. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and sugar. Poor the dressing over the salad then toss thoroughly.

The serving size is one third of all this. You should have about 12 cups of salad, so a serving is four cups. Divide your protein of choice into thirds and serve 1/3 in chunks on top of the salad or on the side. Salt and pepper to taste.

If you’re having fish as your protein, you can squirt some lemon juice on it for extra zing.

If you’re preparing this ahead of mealtime, chop and combine all the salad vegetables, then add the dressing and cheese just before serving.

Number of servings: 3 (4 cups of salad per serving)

Nutrient analysis per serving with 7-8 oz canned salmon (Fitday.com):

Calories: 840

Calories from fat: 61%

Calories from carbohydrate: 11%

Calories from protein: 28%

Fiber: 9 g

Protein grams: 56

Prominent features (over 50% of RDA): Vitamin D, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin, calcium, copper, iron, niacin phosphorus, riboflavin, selenium.

 

Recipe: Chef Salad

Not pictured: olive oil vinaigrette I dressed it with

Ingredients:

8 oz Romaine lettuce (4 cups chopped)

2 oz cooked ham (we like Boar’s Head Black Forest), strips or diced

2 oz cooked turkey (both our ham and turkey were deli-style, as for sandwiches), strips or diced

1 oz American cheese

1 oz mozzarella cheese

1/2 oz red onion, diced (optional)

4.5 oz tomato, diced, quartered, or chunked

8  (1 oz) black olives

1 hard-boiled egg, sliced or quartered

3 Tbsp salad dressing

I like a simple olive oil vinaigrette, either home-made or Newman’s Own. Nutrient analysis below assumes a traditional vinaigrette (3:1 ratio of olive oil to vinegar), which will typically have about 200 calories per two tablespoons, nearly all from the oil. Many commercial salad dressings have fewer calories due to water, which is sometimes listed as the first ingredient. For instance, Wishbone Balsamic Vinaigrette, which we like, has only 60 cals per two Tbsp; water is the first ingredient, vinegar next, then vegetable oil. The popular Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing has 140 cals per two Tbsp. Interestingly, Newman’s Own Olive Oil Vinaigrette does not require refrigeration after opening, unlike most other commercial dressings.

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Simple. Lay out your chopped lettuce on a large plate, then start topping with the other ingredients as artfully as you wish. Salad dressing is last.

Servings: 1

Nutrient Analysis (Fitday.com):

925 calories

Cals from fat: 67%

Cals from carbohydrate: 8%

Cals from protein: 25%

Protein grams: 55

Fiber: 7 g

Digestible carbs: 12 g

Alternatives: Instead of 8 oz Romaine lettuce, use only 4 oz Romaine plus 4 oz of either fresh spinach or kale. More micronutrients that way. Substitute your favorite cheeses ounce for ounce.

Steve Parker, M.D.

 

 

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts Chicken Salad

…with 4 oz sous vide chicken breast

Ingredients:

10 0z Brussels sprouts, raw, shredded

1/3 cup sweet onion, diced

1/4 cup (1.5 oz)  almond slivers or slices, toasted

2 and 1/4 Tbsp bacon bits (or 2 slices of bacon, fried, diced)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz cooked chicken breast (boneless, skinless), sliced

For the vinaigrette

4.5 Tbsp EVOO

1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1.5 tsp sugar

Instructions:

Toast the almonds in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and slightly browned. this only takes a few minutes.Remove from heat and set aside.

Brussels sprouts: Slice off a small portion of the base or stalk and discard that along with any nasty leaves. I then like to rinse or briefly soak the sprouts in cold water to remove dust and unwanted particles. Then shred the sprouts with a knife, food processor, or mandolin. I used a knife. After this most of the work is done.

In a large bowl, dump the sprouts onion, almonds, bacon bits, and cranberries.

Combine the EVOO, vinegar, and sugar in bowl and whisk thoroughly, or put then in a jar and shake well. Pour over the sprouts and mix well.  Salt  and pepper to taste (may not need any). This is four cups of salad.

Servings size: 2 cups salad plus 4 oz chicken breast

Number of servings: 2

Rough nutrient analysis of one serving (Fitday.com):

775 calories

Carb calories 17%

Fat calories 60%

Protein calories 23%

Protein grams: 43

9 g fiber

Digestible carbs 25 g

Alternatives:

Substitute 4 oz of steak for the chicken. Mix 1.5 oz of parmesan cheese into the salad. Substitute dried cherries or raisins for the cranberries ounce for ounce. Substitute toasted crumbled walnuts for the almonds. Experiment with other vinegars.

 

 

 

 

Remembering Oleo

Front cover of the cookbook. The “artist” was not given credit.

I ran across a 1973 cookbook put together by my senior year high school classmates, probably as a fundraiser. My mother had saved it for decades but unloaded it on me when she downsized her lifestyle a few years ago.

Food was different back then!

More often than not, recipes calling for vegetables specified frozen veggies like brocolli and cauliflower. Rice was popular, as it still is.

In the Salads category, four of the six recipes included gelatin or Jello. Those four also included whipped cream or whipped milnot. Many of you can’t imagine what I’m talking about. You had to be there. These “salads” were molded gelatin things, usually with added canned fruit. Nothing like what we call salad today in the U.S.

A modern gourmet salad

Casseroles were popular. Remember Green Bean Casserole? “Casserole” was also used to describe the type of pan required.

Karo syrup and Velveeta cheese got a few mentions.

Many of the pie and cakes required oleo or shortening, often with butter in the same recipe. I saw only two reference to liquid vegetable oil (Wesson). I bet Crisco was the leading shortening back then.

Cookies and sweets typically needed butter, margarine, oleo, or shortening. (If you clicked the earlier oleo link, you learned that oleo and margarine are usually the same thing.) We weren’t afraid of butter back then. Butter was probably more expensive than the other fats.

One sweet treat that definitely takes me back to my childhood, and I’ver rarely seen it since then, is…

Chocolate No-Bake Cookies (aka Boiled Cookies)

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup butter (one stick) (or margarine back in the day)
  4. 1/4 cup (or 4 Tbsp?) cocoa
  5. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  6. 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  7. 1 tsp vanilla
  8. 2.5 or 3 cups of quick cook oatmeal (aka minute oats)
  9. Optional: 1/2 cup grated coconut or nuts

Mix the sugar, cocoa and salt in a one and half saucepan. Add butter and milk then bring to a boil. Boil for 60-90 seconds, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon (or similar). Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients; if you use the grated coconut or nuts, reduce the oatmeal from three to 2.3 cups. Mix for about a minute. Drop by the spoonful onto wax paper covering a baking sheet. Chill until firm. Yield is 36 cookies. (Thank you Debbie Drake, class of “73! I slightly modified her Rx based on another I’ve had on my desk for seven years.)

Artillery Punch

The funniest thing about this trip down the memory hole was the recipe I submitted for Artillery Punch. Remember, we were 17 or 18 years old, but there must have been faculty supervising the cookbook committee. A few teachers contributed their own recipes. Mine was the only one of 50 or 60 recipes that included any alcohol. The legal drinking age back then was 18. A recipe like Artillery Punch would never fly in today’s PC world! I don’t remember, but I probably got the recipe from my parents. Did I submit it just for laughs or shock value? Who knows? One of the other kids submitted a recipe for Barbecued Bear, which I think was a joke (fess up, Kip Martin). The Dove Casserole recipe was fer reel.

What the kids these days call Jungle Juice

One classmate provided a recipe for Jew Chicken. Whaaaa….?

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: It was fun to run across old buddies’ names, like Charles Enos, Howard Sheets, and Jeff Johnson.

Recipe: Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Onion

Final product without Parmesan sprinkles. That's sous vide chicken in the foreground.

Final product without Parmesan sprinkles. That’s sous vide chicken in the foreground.

At my request, my wife bought me a mess o’ Brussels sprouts, and I’ve been experimenting with recipes.

Sprouts sliced in half

Sprouts sliced in half

Ingredients this time are the sprouts, dried rosemary (i.e., not fresh although it grows where I live), salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and diced onion.

FYI, rosemary is used as an ornamental landscaping plant in southern Arizona.

To promote release of flavor, I sautéed three garlic cloves and the rosemary in EVOO.

Releasing the flavors of garlic and rosemary over medium heat for perhaps 3 minutes

Releasing the flavors of garlic and rosemary over medium heat for perhaps 3 minutes

Then I sliced the sprouts in half along their long axis, to reduce cooking time. (Cut them so the leaves stay attached to the internal stalk.) You’d have to cut them in half before you eat ’em anyway.

I dumped all ingredients into a bowel and mixed thoroughly to ensure the sprouts were coated with oil.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven. I used about 3/4 cup of diced onion.

Everything except the bowl was transferred to a cooking sheet covered with aluminum foil (easy clean-up!), which I then popped into an oven pre-heated to 425°F. I cooked for 25 minutes. At around the 10 and 17-minute marks, I pulled the concoction out of the oven and stirred/flipped the ingredients to promote even cooking and browning. Your cooking time will vary from 17 to 25 minutes depending on your preferences. If you want some browning of the sprouts, you likely need to cook longer than 17 minutes. Unless your oven runs hotter than mine.

This is my favorite roasted Brussels sprouts recipe thus far. For an extra flavor zing, sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese just before eating. In the future, I may  top the ingredients with some other type of cheese a minute before the cooking is completed. Bacon bits are another tasty option.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Not "real" Parmesan from Italy. For example, this one contains cellulose "to prevent caking."

Not “real” Parmesan from the Parma region of Italy. For example, this one contains cellulose “to prevent caking.”

 

Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts. Copyright Steve Parker MD

Roasted Radishes and Brussels Sprouts

A year ago I ran across online praise for roasted radishes. I’m not a big fan of radishes, perhaps because they weren’t part of Parker cuisine when I was growing up, but finally gave them a try.

Beautiful, huh?

Beautiful, huh?

This won’t be as detailed as most of my recipes because I ran out of time.

Raw Brussels Sprouts

Raw Brussels Sprouts

My basic ingredients were raw radishes and Brussels sprouts, diced onions, a bit of parsley (probably not needed), extra virgin olive oil, dried rosemary (i.e., not fresh), coarse salt, and pepper.

With the radishes, I cut off the little rootlet and green top, then cut them in half unless they were tiny radishes. Brussel sprouts take longer to cook, so I cut them in half, too. I put all the veggies  into a bowl, added just enough olive oil to coat them, sprinkled in some salt and pepper, then mixed with a spoon. Then I spread all that on a cooking sheet and popped it into an oven pre-heated to 425°F. (I covered my cooking sheet with aluminum foil to ease cleanup.)

All ingredients mixed in a bowl

All ingredients mixed in a bowl

I cooked in the oven for 17 minutes (15-20), using a turner to flip the veggies once or twice while cooking.

Ready for roasting

Ready for roasting

They were a little bland, so I topped off with Weber Roasted Garlic and Herb Seasoning. I enjoyed them and will do it again. Next time I may try coating with melted butter rather than olive oil. I felt very virtuous for eating my vegetables.

Steve Parker, M.D. 

PS: I ate half of this in one sitting. I refrigerated the rest and ate it about six hours later. It was much more flavorful. If you’re one of those people who never eats leftovers…

…reconsider.

Recipe: Sous Vide Chicken with Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas

Sous vide chicken and sautéed sugar snap peas

Click the pic for our YouTube demonstration.

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 8-9 oz each (225-255 g each) (raw weight)

2.5 tbsp (37 ml) extra virgin olive oil

few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)

2 cloves garlic, diced

lemon-pepper seasoning

Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste

garlic salt to taste

Morton sea salt (coarse)

black pepper to taste

9 oz (255 g) fresh sugar snap peas

Instructions:

Choose one of two seasonings: 1) Montreal Steak or 2)  Rosemary lemon-pepper.

Brush one side of the breasts with about 1/2 tbsp olive oil. For Rosemary-style chicken, sprinkle the breasts with lemon-pepper seasoning, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

For Montreal-style, that seasoning is all you need; it already contains salt and pepper. Rosemary sprigs are optional.

Then cook the breasts in a sous vide device (see video) at 142°F for two hours.

When that’s done, my wife likes to sear the breasts in a frying pan (with a little olive oil) over medium-high heat, 1–2 minutes on each side. The chicken is fully cooked after two hours in the sous vide device, but the searing may enhance the flavor and appearance. It’s optional.

When the chicken is close to being done, sauté the garlic in two oz of olive oil over medium high heat for a minute or two, then add the sugar snap peas and a little garlic salt and pepper to taste, and cook for two to four minutes, stirring frequently.

Number of servings: 2

AMD boxes: 1 veggie, 2 fat, 1 protein

Nutritional analysis per serving:

Calories: 500

Calorie breakdown: 42% fat, 8% carbohydrate, 50% protein

Carb grams: 10

Fiber grams: 4

Digestible carb grams: 6

Prominent nutrients: protein, B6, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, selenium