Tips, Tricks, Recipes, and more…
we hope you enjoy Charlotte’s Corner!

Braised Bok Choy w/Sherry

BraisedBokChoy1 tablespoon olive oil
8 medium cloves garlic – thinly sliced
6 heads baby bok choy cut in half lengthwise (no more than 2” in diameter)
salt
¼ cup dry sherry
½ cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water to form a slurry

Put the oil and garlic in a small wok or a deep, heavy based, 10” straight-sided sauté pan with a lid. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic begins to sizzle steadily, about 1 minute.

Add the bok choy and using tongs, turn it in the oil and garlic (pan will be crowded). Season with salt.

When the tops begin to wilt (about 1 minute), add the sherry and turn again. Add the chicken broth, soy sauce, and sugar.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the bok choy tops are completely wilted and the stalks are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bok choy to a plate.

Add the cornstarch slurry to the cooking liquid. Whisk and simmer vigorously until the liquid has thickened.

Remove from the heat and return the bok choy to the pan. Turn to coat the bok choy. Remove bok choy to plate and cover with remaining sauce.

Enjoy!


KentCenter_SauteedMushroomsWithPorcinisSauteed Mushrooms With Porcinis

1 cup dried porcini mushrooms (~1 ounce)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
16 ounces of fresh sliced button mushrooms
salt
pepper

In a bowl, combine the porcini mushrooms and water and cover. Let stand for 15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms in a fine sieve over a bowl, reserving the liquid.

Put oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté until the garlic sizzles. Add porcinis and the reserved mushroom liquid and parsley. Cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the button mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Enjoy!


AlmondDipAlmond Dip

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, whole or chopped
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
2-3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno pepper
¼ – ½ cup water

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in a blender using just ¼ cup water.  Blend until smooth.  If you prefer a thinner consistency add more water, up to ½ total.

Use as a dip with fresh vegetables or spread on a piece of lettuce and sprinkle with shredded vegetables and roll up for a twist on a vegetable rollup.

You can even freeze in small amounts for use later!

 


Charlotte’s Green Smoothie

Brown Rice & Chickpea Salad from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comINGREDIENTS

½ cup frozen pineapple
1 frozen banana
½ cup mango
½ cup frozen watermelon
10 frozen grapes
½ cup strawberries
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup raspberries
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon flax seed
2 cups spinach
10 almonds
Coconut water to desired consistency.

DIRECTIONS

Put all ingredients in a VitaMix and blend until you get desired consistency.

Makes ~ Two 16oz servings

A note from Charlotte… One thing I have found is that you can freeze any fruit. Don’t let your fruit go to waste. If it looks like it might go bad before you finish eating it then throw it in the freezer (even melon). Using a combination of fresh and frozen fruit keeps you from having to add ice.

 



Brown Rice & Chickpea Salad from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com

Brown Rice and Chickpea Salad

SALAD:

Sauté:
1 small red onion finely diced
4 large garlic cloves minced
2 teaspoons olive oil

Mix together:

1-2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
1-2 cups cooked wheat berries
1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and chopped small
½ cup toasted pistachios, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper (cored, seeded and finely diced)
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
onion/garlic mixture from above

VINAIGRETTE:

½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar

Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and thick.

DIRECTIONS:

Toss the salad with vinaigrette, using a small amount to start and then adding for desired taste.

 

Recipe from Sandra Lawson at The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard

 


Fruit Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

Fruit Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comSALAD

1 Grapefruit (red), pith & peel removed, cut  into 1″ pieces
1 Mango, peeled and chopped
1 Orange, pith & peel removed, cut  into 1″ pieces
1/4 Pineapple, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon Agave

VINAIGRETTE

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Champagne Vinegar
1/2 Jalapeno, finely chopped (remove seeds and vein if don’t want much “heat”)
2 Fresh Mint Leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 Lime, juice and zest
1 teaspoon Agave
1 pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Cracked Peppercorns

1.) Toss the grapefruit with the mango, orange, pineapple, and agave  in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2.) Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over the fruit, toss to combine and serve.

 


Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas Recipe from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com

Great as a snack or as a crunchy addition to a salad.

INGREDIENTS:

1 can Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and dry
1 tablespoon olive oil
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.) Put all ingredients in a plastic bag and toss to mix, or stir together in a bowl.

3.) Roast at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

 



Vegetable Stir Fry

A Great Secret Ingredient for Omelets & more from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comIn yesterday’s post, we introduced you to one of Charlotte’s favorite secret ingredients… Goya Recaito (Cilantro Cooking Base). Here is a delicious dish that puts it to good use.

INGREDIENTS:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small purple onion, chopped fine
1 bell pepper, chopped fine
1 serrano pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons Goya Recaito (Cilantro Cooking Base)
3 small purple potatoes sliced thin
Ear of corn
1 bag vegetable gumbo (I use Publix brand)

Sauté olive oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add onion, bell pepper, serrano pepper and Recaito. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add potato and sauté another 2 minutes (may need to add a little more olive oil for this step). Add 1/2 cup water and cover pan so that potatoes cook through. Once cooked add corn kernels and bag of vegetable gumbo. Stir fry until hot.

This makes a fabulous side dish with fish or mixed together with beans and rice.

Enjoy!


A Great Secret Ingredient for Omelets & more from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com
One of Charlotte’s Favorite Ingredients

Goya’s Recaito Cilantro Cooking Base is a great secret ingredient for many things. Charlotte uses a teaspoon of it when she sautés vegetables for an omelet and she also uses it in the recipe we’ll be posting tomorrow… stay tuned!

 

 


Yummy Bean & Rice Fiber Salad from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com

Yummy Bean and Rice Fiber Salad

This recipe was created by one of our clients…

INGREDIENTS:

Royal Blend rice, flax and lentils (see this product here)
1 Can of White Northern Beans
1 Can of Cannellini Beans
1 Yellow, Red and Orange Pepper – finely diced
1 Pablano Pepper, finely diced
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
½ Tablespoon Hot Sauce
¾ Teaspoon Onion Powder
¾ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
½ Cup Fresh Parsley
½ Cup Fresh Dill
¾ cup Golden Raisins
1 ½ Tablespoons Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cook one recipe of Royal Blend rice
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Toss and Serve

Note: Any cajun seasoning or rice mix will work.

 


Rice Pilaf with Spiced Caramelized Onions, Orange, Cherry & Pistachio

Rice Pilaf with Spiced Caramelized Onions, Orange, Cherry, and Pistachio from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comINGREDIENTS:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 large purple onion, ½ sliced and ½ diced
3 ears of corn kernels
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, juiced
¾ cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
1 ½ cups brown rice
¾ cup pistachios, toasted and chopped

DIRECTIONS:

1.) In a heavy-based 3 quart saucepan with a tight lid, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium low and add the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon salt and stir well to coat each grain. Toast for a full 5 minutes, stirring regularly to keep the grains separated and to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low if there are any signs of scorching. Add 2 ½ cups vegetable broth, stir once, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until rice is done, approximately 1 hour (if more liquid is needed, add water). Once rice is tender, remove from the heat and let the pilaf sit, still covered, for 5 minutes.

2.) Pour the orange juice over the cranberries in a small bowl to hydrate them, if necessary adding enough water to cover completely.

3.) In a 12-inch heavy-based skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion, reduce the heat to medium low, and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Add corn and finish cooking, until soft and lightly caramelized, 10-15 more minutes. Add the allspice, cinnamon, and cloves and stir well. Reduce the heat to low and cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the onion to absorb the flavors of the spices and caramelize a bit more. Season with ½ teaspoon of the salt and a few grind of black pepper. Set aside.

4.) Once the pilaf has rested, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Strain the cranberries and discard the orange juice. Using the fork, gently fold in the cranberries, caramelized onions and corn, and pistachios. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Enjoy! This makes a great meal when served with a salad.

Modified Recipe from Fine Cooking February/March 2007


Sweet Potato Side Dish

Sweet Potato Side Dish from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com3 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons agave nectar
1.5 tablespoons rosemary
Salt and pepper

1) Preheat oven 400 degrees.

2) Place cubed sweet potatoes in mixing bowl.  Whisk together olive oil, agave, salt, and pepper.  Pour over sweet potatoes and toss until sweet potatoes covered. Toss in rosemary.

3) Use baking sheet (and we use aluminum foil).  Spray with cooking spray and spread out sweet potatoes.  Cook for 45 minutes or until potatoes are soft, stirring potatoes every 15 minutes.


Sweet Potato Wedges from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comSweet Potato Wedges

Packed with beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and other nutrients, sweet potatoes are a great addition to your diet!

INGREDIENTS

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthwise in 1” wedges
1 large onion, preferably red, sliced
8 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste)
Juice of 2 limes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

1.) Heat over to 400 degrees. Put sweet potatoes and onion on large baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, toss to coat, and spread in single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; roast, turning occasionally, until potatoes are crisp outside and just tender inside and onions are soft and brown, 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven; keep on pan until ready to dress.

2.) Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 6 Tablespoons olive oil with chili power, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3.) Toss warm vegetables with dressing and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature (or cover and refrigerate up to a day).

Recipe from Readers Digest Oct 2010

 


Spiced Almonds

Spiced Almonds from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comSpiced Almonds from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com

1 cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon Cinnamon or Cumin
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring water and salt to a boil on stove. Add almonds for 30 seconds. Drain. Remove skins. Toss in cumin or cinnamon or spice of choice. Eat as a snack or chop and add to a salad.


Provencal Wheat Berry Salad
with Shrimp & Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette

Provencal Wheat Berry Salad with Shrimp & Mustard-Caper Vinaigrette from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup wheat berries, preferably winter or hard wheat
  • Salt
  • 8 oz baby asparagus,
  • 1 14oz can artichoke hearts, drained, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups small cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved
  • ½ cup sliced, well toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ lb medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and if desired half lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

MUSTARD-CAPER VINAIGRETTE:

  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon minced capers (rinsed if salt-packed)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

• In a small bowl or glass jar with a tight lid, whisk or shake all of the vinaigrette ingredients. Set aside.

• In a large saucepan combine the wheat berries, ¾ teaspoon of salt and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the wheat berries are tender but pleasantly chewy. Begin checking after 50 minutes, though they may take up to 90 minutes. Drain the wheat well and spread on a baking sheet to cool. Bring to room temperature before using.

• Toss asparagus in 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat. Place on baking sheet and roast in oven until tender. Approximately 10 minutes.

• In a large bow, combine the wheat berries, asparagus, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, almonds, herbs, several grinds of pepper and 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. Toss thoroughly. Season to taste with more salt, pepper and vinaigrette. You can overdress the salad a bit at first as the grains will keep absorbing it.

• Season the shrimp with salt, or rub of choice. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a 12 inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook undisturbed until lightly browned on the bottoms, 1-2 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the shrimp are fully cooked.

• Shrimp can be tossed with salad or served on the side.

This is a great dish even left over and shouldn’t need but a portion of the dressing or it is too oily.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

 


 Top Tips to Boost Flavor and Nutrition

(Adapted from the book Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson)

Top Tips to Boost Flavor & Nutrition from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comTOMATOES

  • Grow tomatoes at home or get them locally to ensure they’ll be picked when ripe.
  • Choose smaller and more darkly colored varieties.

OTHER VEGGIES & FRUITS

  • Eat these “heavy breathers” first: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cherries, corn, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, parsley, raspberries, scallions, snap beans, spinach and strawberries.
  • Grow or look for blue potatoes, purple cauliflower and broccoli, and red, yellow and purple carrots.
  • Always cook asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage less than five minutes, if at all.

ALLIUMS

  • Scallions and leeks are better for your health than full-sized bulb onions, because the green parts are more nutritious than the white parts.
  • Choose pungent, robust varieties of yellow and red onions for all cooking.
  • Before you expose it to heat, let garlic rest for 10 minutes after chopping, slicing or pressing it.

FRUITS

  • Store watermelon on the kitchen counter rather than in the refrigerator.
  • Blackberries, blueberries, nectarines, peaches, raspberries and strawberries should be grown at home or purchased locally.
  • Choose grapes and cherries that have bright green, flexible stems; older fruits have brown stems.

GREENS

  • Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces a day or so before you eat it to double the amount of antioxidants.
  • Right after harvest, dunk greens such as lettuce and kale in ice water and store immediately in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
  • Leaf lettuce is the most nutritious leaf type. Red leaf lettuce is the best.

Granola from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comGRANOLA

Stir together dry ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups toasted wheat germ
  • 7 cups rolled oats (for a crunchy variation, 4 cups rolled oats and 3 cups steel cut oats)
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Stir together wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon molasses

Dried fruit – 2 cups total. For example, I use apricots, dates, figs, blueberries, cherries, raisins, strawberries.

Keeping fruit to the side, pour wet ingredients slowly over the dry ingredients and mix to coat thoroughly.

Spread on a baking sheet approximately 1″ thick and bake for 30 minutes at 250 degrees.

Take pan out of the oven and stir the granola. Bake an additional 30 minutes. Then repeat this step one more time.

Take out of the oven and mix in dried fruit. Stir well.

Refrigerate after cooling.

Great for an afternoon snack or for breakfast served with milk, yogurt, or fresh fruit!


Did you know that the Lycopene in tomatoes is only absorbed if you eat your tomatoes cooked? UNLESS… you eat it with Avocado!

For a complete meal, try:
Dr. Kent's Open Faced Sandwich from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com
Dr. Kent’s Open Faced Sandwich

1.)  1 slice Publix Seeded Whole Wheat Bread – toasted
(can substitute Ezekiel Bread)
2.)  Spread on garlic hummus (or your favorite hummus)
3.)  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of feta cheese
4.)  Add a slice of tomato
5.)  Spritz with olive oil
6.)  Sprinkle with garlic black pepper
7.)  Add a sliced avocado
8.)  Top with basil
9.)  Enjoy!

Or try this alternative:
Dr. Kent's Open Faced Sandwich from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.com
Aimee’s Sandwich

1.)  1 slice Publix Seeded Whole Wheat Bread – toasted
(can substitute Ezekiel Bread)
2.)  Spread on garlic hummus (or your favorite hummus)
3.)  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of feta cheese
4.)  Add a sliced avocado
5.)  Sprinkle with garlic and black pepper
6.)  Top with basil
7.)  Enjoy!


Try glass snap and lock containers for fruit. Tips from The Kent Center for LIFE | http://tkclife.comEnjoy fruit but don’t like the prep time every day?

Try glass snap and lock containers. You can find them at your local grocery store. I like the single serving size. It makes it nice to take to work.

Cut your fruit on your day off and put in the container. They will be ready for you to grab and go! Most fruit lasts at least a week stored this way. Great for berries, citrus, and tropical fruits.