Friday, August 27, 2010

Dr. G's Brussels Sprouts You'll Eat

If you haven't tried Dr. G.'s Brussel Sprouts You'll Eat - you should.  I find them so delicious, it's hard for me to decide if I like them better this way or roasted.  Max definitely prefers Brussels roasted, so I only really eat them this way when I'm cooking for myself.  Tonight Max is off drafting his Fantasy Football team at Hooter's  (as if the draft itself isn't testosterone-charged enough, they had to throw in scantily clad women, silicon and fried food), so it's the perfect opportunity to have these yummy sauteed Brussels sprouts.  Here's the recipe from page 257 of DGDE:

1 pound Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts or walnuts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil (optional)
Trim the tough stems of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored leaves.  Using a food processor fitted with the slicing blade, place the sprouts in the tube and slice thin.  (Alternatively, slice as thin as possible by hand or use a mandoline.)
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet or wok over medium-high heat.  Add the nuts and cook for 5 minutes, until fragrant.  Remove and researve.  Add 2 remaining tablespoons oil and the sprouts to the skillet; saute, stirring for 7 or 8 minutes, until browned.
Return the nuts to the pan and mix with the Brussels sprouts.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour the sesame oil over just before serving.  Serve alone or use as a base for meat or poultry dishes.   

The first time I had Brussels this way was at Food Network star Michael Chiarello's restaurant Bottega, in Napa Valley. Tonight, I tweaked Dr. G's recipe a bit, reminiscing about my yummy dinner and the lovely Napa Valley wine country.  I used about a 1/4 cup of pecans instead of the full 1/2 cup of walnuts or hazelnuts.  I gave them a rough chop before browning them in the pan.  I cooked the pecans for about 2 minutes, left them in the pan and then threw in the Brussels.  Before serving I drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and a bit of fresh, grated, Parmesan cheese.

P.S. In the writing of this blog post I realized for the first time that it's Brussels (like the Belgian city) sprouts - I always just said Brussel (not pluralized) sprouts.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No One Has To Know Store-Bought Rotisserie Chicken

We're all busy. Especially during the summer.  Give yourself a break and let the store do some work.  No one has to know.  I bought a Mary's Organic Rotisserie Chicken from Whole Foods and kept it in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it.  I decided to serve it with grilled artichokes - a summer classic.  I cut the chicken into pieces and let it warm on the top rack of the grill, while the artichokes cooked.
For the artichokes: Cut artichokes in half and scoop out the choke with a spoon.  This is sort of difficult.  If you don't get it all out, you can clean them up after the next step.  Boil the artichokes until tender, approximately 7 - 10 minutes and then grill, cut-side down, until browned.  Drizzle with good olive oil or serve with a little bit of melted butter* for dipping.
* Use only grass-fed butter such as Kerrygold Irish butter (sold at Trader Joe's and other grocers). See Note on page 255 of DGDE.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Turkey Roll-Ups

My quest for alternatives to salads for lunch continues with this invention: Turkey Roll-Ups.  Check out Sick-of-Salads-for-Lunch Part 1 and Part 2.  I started with thinly sliced turkey from the deli counter at Whole Foods, mixed lettuce and avocado.  To make the Roll-Ups, lay out a piece of turkey (or 2 if they're really thin), spread a small spoonful of avocado at one end of the turkey and sprinkle with a little salt.  Grab a small handful of lettuce and place it on top of the avocado.  While tucking the lettuce in, roll up the turkey.  Place it on a plate "seam" side down to hold it in place.  Serve the Roll-Ups with raw carrots, green beans or other raw veggies.  Choose a number of Roll-Ups that makes sense for your Phase of the DGDE diet.  Generally, in the initial phase of the diet, the protein should roughly equal the size of your palm and thereafter should be only 1/2 or 1/3 the size of your palm.  See Page 99 and 132.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grilled Zucchini & Salmon with Yogurt Dill Sauce

While the weather is a little schizaphrenic, I know it's summer and I'm continuing to embrace the grill.  I've been using ideas from the New York Times article "101 Fast Recipes for Grilling" that my friend Jules sent to me earlier this summer.  The article suggests basting zucchini with a sauce of yogurt and dill, which I thought sounded delicious and like a perfect accompaniment to salmon.
1 cup plain (unsweetened) yogurt
1 handful fresh dill, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Voila!
Cut ends off of zucchini, then stand on end and slice carefully down the center.  Standing it on end allows you to follow the curve of the zucchini (in case you get any crooked ones) so you can get two even (or close to even) halves.  Baste zucchini with some of the yogurt sauce and place on grill cut-side down.  Cook low and slow for about 20 minutes until tender.  

Buy salmon (preferably wild) with the skin-on.  Place the fish flesh side down on the grill for 30 seconds or so to give it a nice sear and then flip (so the skin-side is down) and allow to cook on the grill until desired doneness. Squeeze with fresh lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. 
PHASES: This dish works for all three phases.  After the initial stage of Phase 1 and in Phase 2, reduce the amount of salmon to 1/2 or 1/3 the size of your palm.  In Phase 2 serve the fish over sauteed or fresh greens.  In phase 3 you can substitute fish for a vegetarian protein and serve over fresh lettuces.  

SHORT CUT:  You can use a pre-made tzatziki sauce.  Check the ingredients to make sure it's a Gundry-friendly version.

TIP:  Use the sauce as a healthy alternative to ranch dressing for crudites

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Jonesin' for Indian Food

Max and I love Indian food.  In fact, on one of our first dates, he introduced me to our favorite Indian place in Hollywood.  We would always get the Shrimp Tikka Masala and the Sag Paneer. So, I was delighted (and a bit skeptical) when I saw Dr. Gundry's recipe for Sag Paneer on page 256 of DGDE:

1 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese or low-fat ricotta

In a skillet or wok, combine the curry powder and oil and cook over low heat for 3 minutes, until fragrant.
Add the spinach and salt. Raise the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheese and heat thoroughly.  Serve as a side dish or as a base for one of the sliced meat recipes.

I've made this recipe several times and have done a bit of experimentation.  I like the recipe best with a bit more curry (maybe close to a tablespoon), a bag or box of fresh baby spinach (instead of frozen) and with the ricotta rather than the cottage cheese.  I generally serve this as a side dish as suggested, but, on the particular afternoon that I took the above picture, I decided to make the dish a meal and served it with a warmed low-carb tortilla ~ a la naan.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pork Chops with Escarole & Balsamic Onions

A few months ago when I introduced my dear friend (and now blog follower) Jules to the diet, she told me about a delicious, and happenstance Gundry-friendly, recipe that she loves - Pork Chops with Escarole & Balsamic Onions.  She just sent me the recipe last week and I had to try it.  I must admit that I had heard of, but wasn't exactly sure, what was escarole.  I knew it was a leafy green of sorts, but if you were to quiz me with a multiple choice of pictures... I likely would have failed.  I now am fully aware of what this broad-leafed member of the endive family looks like and am also quite familiar with how difficult it can be to find.  I've seen it at my Whole Foods, but on the day that I planned to make the recipe, they were out.  I finally found the elusive bitter green at a well-stocked Ralph's.  So, if you find this post intriguing, I might suggest keeping this recipe in your back pocket (so to speak) and your eye out for escarole.  
Here's the recipe that she found in the magazine "Real Simple"

pork chops with escarole and balsamic onions
(hands on time: 15 minutes/total time: 25 minutes)

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 6-ounce boneless pork chops (1 inch thick)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch thick rings
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 head escarole, torn into large pieces

-heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. season the pork with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. cook until browned and cooked through 5-6 minutes per side. transfer to a plate.

-heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. add the vinegar and cook until the onion is soft, 2 to 3 minutes.

-add the escarole and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. cook, tossing, until wilted 2-4 minutes. serve with pork.

Jules added these notes in her email to me with the recipe:  i use 2 heads of escarole cause we like our bitter greens and never have enough with just one. you can also serve this with a meatier fish like salmon, or with roasted turkey or beef or even lamb. serve with a glass of Coppola's ROSSO and you've got yourself a perfect Gundry meal!!! 

I made the recipe for Max and I with the pork chops. The meal was easy to make and quite tasty.  For those of you that are fans of grilled lettuces, you will love this recipe!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Look What Max Made!

While on most days it would appear that Max might starve if left on his own (why else would I be preparing this grown man's breakfast, lunch and dinner), he is in fact more than capable of preparing a meal and even has a few delicious tricks up his sleeve - he spent many years as a bachelor and learned more than one way to woo a lady. So, when I was working all day Sunday (a few bombs dropped late in the work week) Max stepped in and kept us on track with some delicious, Gundry-friendly food. Pictured above are marinated chicken and mixed vegetable shish kebabs along with zucchini that he threw on the grill.  Not pictured is the delicious jalapeno burger wrapped in lettuce that he served for lunch.  So proud!  So lucky!