Roasted Garlic and White Bean Dip with Rosemary…

Ingredients:

1 head garlic

1 teaspoon, plus 5 tablespoons olive oil

2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, like cannellini, Great Northern or navy beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 1 full sprig

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 pinch of cayenne, plus more for garnish (optional)

1 tablespoon hot water

1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

 

Directions: 

  1. Roast the garlic. Keep the oven to 400 degrees. Peel off most of the garlic’s outermost skin but leave the whole head intact. Trim about ¼” off the top of the garlic to expose the clove. Place the garlic on a large piece of aluminum foil, then drizzle one teaspoon olive oil over the exposed cloves and close the foil into a pouch. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until you can pierce the center of the head with a knife. Let cool slightly.
  2. Squeeze the rousted garlic cloves into the bowl of a food processor. Add the white beans, 4 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary leaves, black pepper, cayenne, hot water and salt. Puree until smooth, then taste for salt, pepper, rosemary and lemon juice. Adjust as necessary. Transfer to a serving dish.
  3. Heat remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a small heavy skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the remaining rosemary sprig, it should sizzle. Cook until brown and crisp, add 1 minute per side. Transfer to the top of the dip as a garnish. Pour or spoon the remaining olive oil, now infuse with rosemary, over the top of the dip. Sprinkle with cayenne.

 

Time: One Hour

Yield: 8-10 servings (2 ½) cups

Green Spaces Vs. Unhealthy Eating…

According to a new study performed at The University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom, just having a view of greenery from your window can have an impact on your ability to suppress unhealthy cravings. Earlier studies have proven that walking in nature can significantly reduce cortisol levels which in turn can greatly reduce stress levels. Now it seems that even just taking in greenery at a visual level can have a significantly positive effect. In this study which involved 149 participants, ages 21 to 65, those who had views of green spaces were 29% less likely to have intense and frequent unhealthy food urges. The study also took into account the lushness of visual green spaces near their homes, their access to community gardens and how often they actually used green spaces. All participants seemed to have reaped the same benefits regardless of the amount of exercise they also were involved in. This study is an indication of how treating illnesses, whether it be cancer, obesity or diabetes can possibly be managed more efficiently with access to green spaces.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Curried Chickpeas…

 

Ingredients:

4-medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

1-teaspoon olive oil

1-(15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½-teaspoon salt

½-teaspoon black pepper

½-teaspoon curry powder

2-cups baby kale leaves

¼-cup cilantro, chopped

 

Yogurt Sauce

½-cup plain Greek yogurt

1-teaspoon olive oil

1-teaspoon lemon juice

¼-teaspoon garlic powder

¼-teaspoon turmeric or curry powder

¼-teaspoon salt

 

Directions:

Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, then place them on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high 10-12 minutes, or until tender. In a large pan or skillet, heat oil at medium heat. Add chickpeas, salt, pepper and curry powder. Cook 5-6 minutes or until heated through. Add kale to skillet and cook 2-3 minutes or until wilted. In a small bowl, combine yogurt sauce ingredients. Cut open each sweet potato; top with chickpea mixture and yogurt sauce. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 4. Calories: 239, Total fat: 3g, Saturated fat: 1.2g, Cholesterol: 1.3mg, Sodium: 478mg, Carbs: 45g, Dietary fiber: 10.2g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 9g

Healthy Eating Tips from around the World…

Since we are all homebound, our eating habits may be a little spontaneous. Stress can induce unusual urges. Here are some tips from around the world. Okinawa: Try to go for being 80% full. In Japanese it is known as “hara hachi bu” and it is an awareness of being in touch with oneself. India: Add more plant protein. “Dal” which means lentils is one of the staples in India. Chickpeas, dries peas, and beans are all part of the same family known as pulses. They are high in protein, potassium, folate and fiber as well as being low in fat. Italy: Slow down your pace while eating. Meals in Italy are a reason to relax. It takes about 20 minutes for satiety to reach the brain. Greece: Eat more healthy fats. The people of Greece focus their diet on fish, olive oil, avocados and nuts. Rather then avoiding fat, embrace healthier fats which increase the feeling of satiety and help us to better absorb nutrients. Mexico: Have your larger meal at lunch. Mexicans and South Americans look at dinner as more of a snack. Larger meals in the evening can sometimes put on weight but more important can cause acid reflux. Vietnam: Begin your day with soup? The people of this region start their day with a vegetable-based broth soup with a little meat. It is a good way to include vegetables into a meal which in the American breakfast is usually laden with sugar. Brazil: Stick to whole foods. The emphasis is not on the amount you eat but rather on what you eat. They have a diet rich in whole foods and very little processed foods. France: Always enjoy a glass of wine and never deprive yourself of your favorite dessert. That is to a minimum. A good friend of mine, Randy, said this pandemic might make you a great cook but hopefully not an alcoholic.