Health Benefits of Beets
– Lowers blood pressure and supports a healthy heart (1)
– Beet juice can slow the progression of dementia by increasing brain oxygenation. (2)
– Anti-inflammation. The choline in beets is a versatile nutrient that can reduce chronic inflammation in addition to improving sleep and memory, as well as maintaining proper muscle movement and fat absorption. (3)
– Beet juice increases athletic performance due to improved muscle oxygenation. (4)
History of Escargot
Escargot translates into "edible snails" and is a delicacy in France, Portugal and the Catalan region of Spain. Archeological excavations have shown that snails have been eaten for thousands of years. The Romans in particular considered snails an "elite" food as noted in the writing of Pliny, a Roman, naturalist philosopher. In French cuisine, the snails are removed from their shells, cooked separately in garlic and butter and then placed back inside their shells and served.
Salicornia Health Benefits
Also known as "asparagus of the sea" this salty, bitter, yet savory little sea vegetable is packed with nutritious health benefits and can be eaten raw (with sandwiches or in a salad) or lightly sautéed and incorporated into eggs, risottos or with potato or pasta dishes.
Cooking Notes: Make sure not to overcook the salicornia as it will destroy the flavor. And be careful when adding salt as it is already naturally imbued with salt from the ocean.
- Edible plants found near the ocean have a better balance of amino acids than land-based plants.
- Salicornia is high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat and calories.
- Excellent source of B-complex vitamins vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- Good source of minerals, calcium, iodine and iron and is a good supplement for people who do not eat enough seafood and need more iodine in their diet.
Benefits of Roasting Vegetables
– Roasting certain vegetables increases the bioavailability of their nutrients. You get more carotenoids from sweet potatoes if you roast them as opposed to steaming or sautéing them. Boiling leaches out nutrients the most.
– Roasting uses less oil and keeps the calorie count low.
– It is very easy to roast vegetables and takes less stove time and clean up.
– Roasting draws out the natural sweetness of the vegetables in their purest form.
– Even while roasting maintains the "pure" form of the vegetable, you can still add spices and sauces to play with the flavors.
Health Benefits of Radishes
Liver purifying+kidney cleansing properties
Inhibits urinary tact infections
Reduces destruction of red blood cells by facilitating oxygen absorption in blood
Filled with anthocyanins, which have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Radishes also have detoxifying anti-carcinogenic properties
Relieves constipation (high in fiber)
Lowers blood pressure (good source of potassium)
Positive impact on blood sugar levels
Source of vitamin C, phosphorous, zinc, B-complex
What I love about this apéro hors d'oeuvre is that it is so easy to put together and the flavours blend so well together and it just blows peoples' minds. I made this for New Year's Eve party in our home in Normandie this year and everyone devoured these. Compliments given mid bite!
The secret is the fromage blanc mixed with herbs and a dash of vinegar to offset the sweetness of the beet. In America, fromage blanc (a sort of yoghurty-smooth cottage cheese) can be replaced with sour cream or greek yoghurt.
Boiled beets, sliced and cut into squares
Boiled quail egg, sliced
Fromage blanc (or greek yoghurt or sour cream)
Herbs, minced (I used chives, thyme, rosemary in mine)
White balsamic vinegar
Boil, mix and then pile them up!
Peeled clementines (1 per serving)
Balsamic vinegar (preferably reduced)
Toss the peeled clementines and pomegranates with balsamic vinegar and S+P and top with finely diced rosemary.
History of the Terrine
The terrine dates back to the Romans and was rumored to have been a favorite of Nero. It has evolved over the centuries and has become engrained in French culinary tradition in the form of oven baked meat and fish pâtés.
The French fashion their terrines with finely chopped meat marinated overnight in a wine and herb mixture and then oven baked in an earthenware dish au-bain-marie. The dish is pressed with a heavy object while in the refrigerator for several days in order to release trapped air pockets and to further infuse the flavors.
Cauliflower Health Benefits
Contains cancer-fighting compound, sulforaphane, which is a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells. (1)
Boosts heart health. Sulforaphane helps improve circulation and kidney function. (2)
Rich in vitamins and minerals; mainly vitamin C, K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. (4)
Supports brain health. Choline in cauliflower is a B Vitamin known for its role in brain development. (5)
Detoxification support. (6)
Digestive benefits due to high concentration of dietary fiber. (7)
Fig Health Benefits
Good source of magnesium, manganese, calcium, copper, and potassium, K and B6.
Can lower blood pressure (due to potassium).
Filled with antioxidants which help to neutralize free radicals.
Good source of fiber.
Figs promotes heart health.
Helps lower cholesterol.
Figs are an excellent nutritional source for pregnant women.
Parsnips Nutrition (1)
Potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron
Vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin k
+ high fibre and some protein
- High levels of folate in parsnips reduces homocysteine levels in blood (2)
- Parsnips contain high levels of soluble dietary fibre, which is associated with reducing cholesterol levels, facilitating gastro functioning and lowering chances of diabetes. (5)
- Folate, as a B-vitamin is also related with lower birth defects. (6)
- Packed with anti-oxidants, parsnips boost the immune system and stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are crucial in fighting disease. *For chemo patients with unstable white blood cell levels, parsnips are a nourishing option. (7)
Appetizer assortment amuse bouche... amuse your mouth. A simple plate with a curation of small bites to launch a family style meal with an elegant starting point.
Zucchini Health Benefits
High source of antioxidants and vitamin C, and potassium
Helps improve digestion
Low in calories and carbs
Helps maintain eye health
Good source of B vitamins
Dozen or so radishes (sliced)
1 part feta cheese (microwave melted)
1 part cream cheese, softened
Handful, nice quantity of dried cranberries, finely chopped
Salt, pepper, dash of agave
Whip together melted feta and cream cheese. Add s+p and agave.
Sandwich mixture between radishes
How to Cook White Asparagus
- Cut off the bottoms, about 1-2 inches, or where the stem feels harder than the rest of the stalk
- Peel the outer hard skin. It might take a few layers of peeling to reveal the softer flesh
- Boil in salted water for 15-20 minutes until very tender
Traditionally, white asparagus is served with a rich hollandaise sauce, but my take offers a lighter substitute for this side dish. After boiling, as instructed above, I added the asparagus to the pan in which the main dish (meat in this case) was cooked in. You can also add it to a fresh pan of course, and sautéed the vegetable in the juices to inject it with added flavour and crisp the outside. Add a soft boiled egg (or quail eggs in this case) and drizzle with olive oil or balsamic vinegar.
1 small cauliflower
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt + Pepper
Handful of Mushrooms
Chop up cauliflower (not the thick stem) and puree in food processor and add olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Flatten dough onto a oven tray into a thin layer. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove.
Sautee onions and mushrooms.
Spread tomato sauce over cauliflower. Add toppings and cheese.
Bake in oven until toppings have set and parmesan browns slightly.
Small box of cherry tomatoes
1 package of feta cheese
Balsamic vinegar reduction
The pictures speak for themselves! Slice, stack and add a drop of balsamic reduction (Make reduction by boiling vinegar on low flame until water evaporates and vinegar reduces to syrup).
About 10 large yukon gold potatoes (15+ small ones)
1/2 cup cornstarch
Peel and shred potatoes on a cheese grater or in food processor
Strain potatoes of liquid
Finely chop onions and combine
Add eggs and cornstarch and S+P (add more cornstarch if too runny, add more eggs if the cakes fall apart
Form little cakes, flatten onto baking tray and drizzle with olive oil
Bake at 350ºF/`180ºC for about 30 minutes (can be rewarmed in oven later)
1-2 handfuls of mushrooms
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Handful of baby spinach
Chop all the vegetables (just halve the cherry tomatoes and leave spinach whole)
Add Mushrooms and sauté together. Then Add tomatoes. Turn flame down. Add pieces of goat cheese.
In the meantime, beat eggs with a dash of milk, salt and pepper.
Remove vegetable sauté from pan. Clean pan and add butter to grease and pour in egg mixture. Lower the flame and spread egg evenly.
Spread the vegetable mixture over half the omelette and carefully fold over the other side to close.
*Melt butter or oil in pan and sauté chopped onions. Once onions begin to become translucent, add a splash of water. The mix will sizzle. Once the water is absorbed and the onions begin to brown and stick to the pan, add more water. Continue water process until the onions become soft and translucent and caramelised.