Browsing Try This

Zesty Turmeric Vinaigrette

February7

Do you know what this is?

Make this tasty Turmeric Vinaigrette to help decrease inflammation in your body!
No, it’s not grub worms. This is fresh raw turmeric—nature’s own ibuprofen.

Ever slathered yellow mustard on a sandwich? Then you’ve had turmeric. Like curries? Yep, turmeric gives it the bright yellow color. Even the iconic Kraft Mac and Cheese now uses turmeric to enhance the intense cheesy color.

Make this tasty Turmeric Vinaigrette to help decrease inflammation in your body! Turmeric is bright orange on the inside, with a knobby light brown skin. The flavor of the tuber is a little bitter, but with a subtle bite, like ginger, with hints of black pepper. Some people think it tastes a little like an orange.

Turmeric contains curcumin, which helps decrease the amount of harmful inflammatory chemicals in the body. If you’re dealing with any inflammatory conditions, like arthritis, fibromyalgia or other auto-immune issues, you need to add turmeric to your diet.

Turmeric also reduces bloating, helps reduce the pain of a sunburn and, some believe, it helps slow the aging process (WHAT??? Research needs to be done into that RIGHT NOW).

But here’s the thing: In order for your body to absorb the curcumin, the turmeric has to be combined with black pepper. Which is why black pepper is one of the ingredients in this easy Turmeric Vinaigrette.

I don’t peel my turmeric when I make the vinaigrette. I wash the turmeric, throw everything into the blender, pulse for 5 seconds and then let it rip until the mixture is smooth. Turmeric Vinaigrette is great on heavy greens like kale, and is wonderful when tossed on roasted Brussel Sprouts or other vegetables. I’ve even stirred it into tuna and chicken salads for a taste sensation!


 

Chilled Red Gazpacho

July19

When summer comes, two things are certain: it’s hotter than a firecracker lit from both ends and there’s a big ‘ol pitcher of Chilled Red Gazpacho in my fridge.

Chilled Red Gazpacho - This is a perfect way to use up fresh tomatoes when they’re in season.

Gazpacho is a chilled vegetable soup from Spain. The word gazpacho originates from the Latin word caspa, which means “little pieces,” or something like that.  Chilled soup might sound a little strange if you’ve never enjoyed one.

But there are five good reasons why cold soups, like Chilled Red Gazpacho, are becoming so popular

  1. They’re easy to make. Most can be done in a blender or food processor.
  1. All the vegetables (or fruit!) that you’ll need are usually in season, so you can enjoy them anytime of the year.
  1. They’re the ultimate “grab-and-go” snack or meal. Fill a covered tumbler or mug with this deliciousness and sip away!
  1. They’re made with vegetables (and fruit!) so you know you’re doing something good for yourself.
  1. They’re the perfect make-ahead meal. Double the recipe and you’ll have something for dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow and a little bit left over as an appetizer for guests.

There are many types of Gazpacho, but the most familiar is this recipe for Chilled Red Gazpacho, made with fresh tomatoes. This is a perfect way to use up fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. And, if fresh tomatoes aren’t available, use canned San Marazano tomatoes. ONLY San Marazano tomatoes.

I like to serve the Chilled Red Gazpacho with finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers and toasted bread croutons.

 

Chilled Red Gazpacho - Gazpacho is a chilled vegetable soup from Spain. The word gazpacho originates from the Latin word caspa, which means “little pieces.”

 

Use fresh tomatoes when making this Chilled Red Gazpacho

Buy Shrimp by Count Not Size

December21

Always buy shrimp by count not size. "Count” means the number of shrimp you’ll get per pound. The smaller the number, the bigger the shrimp.

Jewel asks: When I was buying shrimp, I saw the word “count.” What does this mean?

“Count” in shrimp lingo means the number of shrimp you’ll get per pound. This is where size really does matter because the smaller the number, the bigger the shrimp. This is why you should always buy shrimp by count not size.

Sometimes you’ll find a “U” in front of the number 10 or 15. This means there are under 10 or 15 shrimp per pound. Buying shrimp by the count is a good idea because what one store sells as “large” could be sold as “jumbo”  in another store.

Count is usually reserved for raw shrimp, head-on or head-off, de-veined or not, and peeled or unpeeled.

But lately I’ve noticed that some places are selling cooked shrimp with a “count.” Don’t forget that shrimp shrinks once it is cooked, so buy bigger if you can afford it!

Use this handy chart for a loose reference so you’ll always know how to buy shrimp by count not size:

Size of the Shrimp Count or Shrimp per Pound
Small 36-45
Medium 31-35
Large 21-30
Extra Large 16-20
Jumbo 11-15

And once you get those shrimp home, you’re going to need to peel and devein them. Here’s how I do it:

How To Peel and Devein Shrimp

Warm Kalette Salad

November6

Presenting! The Fabulous Kalettes!

A delicious different side-dish: a Warm Kalette Salad! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie.

 

No, it’s not a girl group from the ’60s. This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified vegetable that’s full of fiber, vitamin C, K and B6.

And, oh, are they delicious, with a slightly sweet and surprising nutty flavor.

Kalettes are also gorgeous. They have crunchy, deep purple stems with soft bright green leaves. I discovered them in a farmers’ market this summer, but since then I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Melissa’s Produce also carries them, but they call them Kale Sprouts (cute!).

Presenting the fabulous Kalettes! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie full of vitamins and fiber.

Kalettes are great raw in a salad (chop them up a little first), but I also like them grilled, steamed, sautéed or roasted. If you do cook them, watch them carefully so you don’t burn their tiny, delicate leaves.

Besides trimming the ends, and rinsing them in cool water (of course), Kalettes don’t take much prep. This Warm Kalette Salad is fast and simple to make and, with the fresh feta cheese and pomegranate, makes a gorgeous side dish!

They may not be a girl group… but Kalettes ROCK! (Sorry…)

 

A delicious different side-dish: a Warm Kalette Salad! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie.


« Older Entries

Hi…
I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mama@mamashighstrung.com.