Culinary Ginger tip of the day

Don’t add oil to your pasta water, it prevents any sauce you add from sticking to the pasta because it’s coated in oil. Salt the water, but don’t oil it.

An almond a day keeps the doctor away

alt Almond butter

Peanut butter has long been the most popular nut spread for sandwiches, but recently almond butter has emerged as a healthier, and I think, more tasty alternative. Now this is not to discount the coveted peanut butter.  I mean getting your kids to switch over would prove to be a challenge that I think most parents wouldn’t undertake. However, if your child or anyone for that matter has a peanut allergy, well then this is where almond butter fits right in.   Where they do share similar health benefits, almond butter is the front runner in this race.

Here are some of the health benefits of almonds:

  • Good source of protein
  • Can reduce risk of heart attack by about 50% when consumed 5 times a week
  • They lower ‘bad’ cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Rich in antioxidants

I prefer to make my own almond butter, I have for a long time and it is easily done in 3 steps, roast and blend in the food processor and enjoy, that’s it!

Ingredients
16oz of raw almonds

Directions

Roast
350 degrees F/180 degrees C or gas mark 4 for 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool
Process – 
In the food processor blend the almonds until they come together in a  
buttery consistency, it will take a few minutes and it will clump first.
Enjoy –   
Store in your favorite jar or container and since oil spoils, I keep mine in the fridge.

alt Almond butter

I do this myself a couple of times a week so I always have almond butter on hand, as a whole wheat bagel and almond butter is my usual breakfast. Peach jam on the bagel with the nut butter is a wonderful sweet nutty taste sensation by the way.

Now, almond butter is not only tasty on your morning toast, it can be used in so many different ways:

  • Cut up an apple and use the almond butter as a dip for a delicious snack
  • Make almond sauce instead of peanut sauce for satay dipping or add to noodles
  • Add it to a fruit smoothie for added protein
  • Use in place of peanut butter for cookies
  • Mix in with your oatmeal for a nutty bite

Roasted heirloom tomato caprese

Roasting heirloom tomatoes with balsamic vinegar and dried basil, can take a caprese salad to a whole new level.  Fresh basil and fresh mozarella on top of the warm tomato then drizzled with the balsamic reduction = heaven!


alt Roasted heirloom caprese



Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 5 large heirloom tomatoes
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried basil
  • 6oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Directions

  1. Spread the tomatoes evenly on a sheet pan. Drizzle balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and dried basil. 
  2. Roast the tomatoes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Then cool.
  3. To assemble the salad. Place 3 slices of tomato on a plate. Top each with 1 slice of mozzarella and each with a basil leaf. Drizzle the reduced balsamic vinegar from the sheet pan, olive oil, salt and pepper.