A REVIST TO A HEART-HEALTY LAND #OATMEAL AND BERRIES

It was in a heart beat that I whipped up this healthy breakfast. I love oatmeal because of its whole grain properties that help to stave off the hungry pangs for an extended time. Moreover, I often try to select the coarser type (old-fashioned) over the quick and easy version as it gives a beautiful ‘bite’ to each spoon-full.

In a stockpot, 2% milk was added along with oatmeal, splash of vanilla, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. In addition, I tossed in a few raisins which gave my warm cereal an extra layer of sweetness and fiber. This was simmered on low heat for approximately eight minutes; stirring at interval to prevent sticking. When the right consistency was had, oatmeal was sweetened with a little sprinkle of brown sugar and a generous amount of cinnamon, my oatmeal was ‘kicking’.

I couldn’t complete same without the beautiful and fiber filled berries. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are still fixtures in the marketplace. So, I took the liberty to top my heart-healthy oatmeal with nature’s bounties. After consumption, my heart and palate were in a very happy mood.

IT WAS A HEART-HEATHLY MORN FOR YOURS TRULY ##OATMEAL/FLAXSEED/STRAWBERRIES

The humidity on the outskirts reminds me that summer is at my back door. So, in anticipation of the lazy days of summer, I’ve prepared something heart-healthy for breakfast.Studies have shown that a diet that involves whole grains like oatmeal and flax seeds helps in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, it aids in weight management. So, with that said, in a stock pot I added a few tablespoons of old-fashioned oatmeal along with a few raisins to some whole milk. A sprinkle of cinnamon was also added.

After oatmeal simmered on low to medium heat, I sweetened with a teaspoon of brown sugar. I topped my oatmeal with a generous sprinkle of powered flax seeds/cinnamon and garnished with fresh ripe bananas and slices of strawberries. The great thing about my warm cereal is that I didn’t have to add much sugar as the fresh fruits and raisins provided the extra sugar content.

Guys, I know that I’ll be satiated for sometime. I’m happy.

##STUFFED CABBAGE…..A DISH YOU CAN ‘STUFF’ AND STORE

I confess; I’m not a great lover of cabbage. However, recently, I nabbed one at my neighborhood grocer (produce section) with the plan of making yours truly a dish of stuffed cabbage. I’ve cooked it once or twice in the past and enjoyed.Thus, I decided to revisit the cruciferous dish. I also added a huge input of dear old lycopene in the form of one of my faves, tomatoes. And, I loaded up a great amount of veggies. Like most dishes, everyone place their special spin. So here is my variation to stuffed cabbage. The other ingredients are:

Some of the ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage
Some of the ingredients for Stuffed Cabbage

Of course, other ingredients included:

  • Minced turkey (1/2lb)
  • Italian sausage (1/4lb)
  • Cooked brown rice (1 cup)
  • Raisins (1/2 cup)
  • Medley of veggies
  • Olive oil (drizzle) (canola or any oil of choice)
  • Onion (L) 1/2
  • Fresh tomatoes (4)
  • Canned tomatoes (2-14ozs)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic (2 cloves)
  • Dried basil and oregano (1/4 tsp)
  • Sugar (1/4 cup)
  • Red wine vinegar or any house vinegar (1/4)

    Cored cabbage in pot with simmering sweet/sour tomato sauce
    Cored cabbage in pot with simmering sweet/sour tomato sauce

Preparation:

1. Remove core from cabbage.

2. In a sturdy stock pot, whole cabbage is boiled in salted water for 3 minutes. Then cool under cold tap water.

3. When cabbage is cool enough to handle, use paring knife or any knife to cut/remove tough center.  (I used twelve leaves)

4. In sauce pot, drizzle oil and soften diced onion and garlic. Add finely chopped tomatoes and canned tomatoes and season along with salt and pepper to taste. Add other dried seasoning along with sugar and vinegar.

5. Allow sweet and sour tomato sauce to simmer until it’s thickened to desired consistency. Set aside.

6. In hot skillet, drizzle oil and brown turkey/sausage. Make sure to season with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, dried basil oregano along with a dash of balsamic vinegar. Set aside.

7. Finely chop veggies (carrot, onion, bell pepper, etc.) and do a quick stir-fry (five minutes) of them. Remove from stove and add cooked rice, turkey/sausage, raisins and combine.

8. Use a measuring cup (1/4) or spoon to fill prepared cabbage leaves.

9. Place a layer of sweet/sour tomato sauce at bottom of baking dish.

Cabbage leaves awaiting filling to be placed in baking dish
Cabbage leaves awaiting filling to be placed in baking dish
Filled cabbage leaves ready to be folded and placed in oven
Filled cabbage leaves ready to be folded and placed in oven

10. Fold cabbage leaves and place in waiting baking dish. Spoon on sweet/sour tomato sauce on top. Cover with foil.

Stuffed cabbage leaves awaiting hot oven
Stuffed cabbage leaves awaiting hot oven

11. Bake in heated 350 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.

12. Remove foil at the last five minutes. Serve hot. Add extra sauce if needed.

A plating of stuffed cabbage
A plating of stuffed cabbage
Stuffed cabbage in tupperware for storage in freezer
Stuffed cabbage in tupperware for storage in freezer

Guys, as always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful palates. Enjoy!