Wednesday, July 22, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday: Endive Salad fit for a BBQ!

Looking for a great salad to take to your next backyard bbq? Try this, made with Endive—branch out and try a different type of lettuce this week!! Endive is one of the very low calorie leafy vegetables. It has Vitamin A, B complex and minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium! 

*3 medium endive heads-thinly sliced crosswise
*2 medium Gala, Fuji, or Honeycrisp apples-peeled, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
*½ cup roasted and salted pistachio nuts-shelled and chopped(I buy them already shelled in the bulk section of my local store and then throw them in my food processor to chop)
*Ground black pepper
*Sea Salt
*¼ cup Honey Mustard dressing (here’s a much healthier alternative to the store bought variety!)
                        3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
                        2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
                        2 tbsp honey(local is the best!)
                        2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
                        ¼ tsp salt
                        Freshly ground black pepper 
            Just whisk all that together in a bowl until combined. Use the dressing right away or put in a tightly sealed jar for up to 3 days-shake well before serving.

So, after you’ve gotten all of your healthy ingredients and made your delicious preservative free, sugar free honey mustard dressing….you can make this delicious summer time salad!
Combine the endive and apple slices in a bowl. Add dressing, enough to suit your taste, and gently toss together. Season with salt and pepper, top with the pistachio nuts before serving. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Blog Series! Dr. Brandon Larkin Shares His Marathon Training Experiences!

As a sports medicine specialist, I care for athletes of all shapes and sizes and activity levels.  Some patients don't consider themselves "athletes," but in reality, if you're active, you're an athlete.  Some of my favorite folks to talk with are distance runners.  They have interesting personalities a lot of the time, and they never shy away from talking about their running with you.  (Just ask one about his last long run, and you're likely to get a blow by blow account of every hill, turn, and bathroom stop along the way!)  As much as I joke about the "runner mental pathology," I'm a runner too.  And I'm as guilty of boring my friends and family with the mundane details of my running life as the next guy!

So, as Fall Marathon training season begins, I'll be sharing the successes and heartbreaks (hopefully not too many of the latter) of my preparation for my third marathon.  I promise not to share too many stories about the restrooms (or lack thereof) along the way.  Though there are some pretty funny/frightening ones about that.  Feel free to comment with your interesting stories, as well.  We're all one big happy community, and if an aspiring athlete gets inspired to get going on their way to better fitness, it'll be well worth it!

Dr. Larkin, far right. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday: Refreshing Summer Salad Mint Vinaigrette!

I love using fresh herbs from my garden! If you planted fresh mint, then this time of year it is growing like crazy! Mint plants contain an antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid, which has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving seasonal allergy symptoms. Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant. Mint is also thought to improve the flow of bile through the stomach, which helps to speed and ease digestion.
There are a lot of recipes that call for fresh mint—here’s one of my favorites!

¼ cup chopped fresh mint
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
½ tsp kosher salt

Combine the mint and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. 
Let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain into a large bowl, pressing on the leaves to extract all the liquid. (you’ll have approx. 3  tbsp of liquid after straining)
Add the oil, vinegar, honey and salt and whisk until well combined. 

This is wonderful on a summer salad. Get about 12 cups of the bitter greens, like arugula and watercress. Chop that up and put in a bowl, along with ½ cup of slivered fresh mint. Mix in your homemade mint vinaigrette. Add some ripe, sliced peaches or nectarines and some slivered almonds and enjoy!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

#WCW What's Cookin' Wednesday: Healthy Happy Birthday Treat!

Summer is in full swing! One of my favorite summer foods are peaches! In season from June-August! Did you know that China is actually the world’s largest peach producer!? Yup—of course here at home, California and Georgia are our biggest producers. 

Peaches are a stone fruit, like plums and nectarines, and they have this stuff called phenolic compounds. Studies have shown that those actually have anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. They may also help to reduce bad cholesterol LDL which is associated with cardiovascular disease. HEY!! Hand me a peach! 

Since my husband’s birthday is this week, I plan to make him a delicious Peach Cobbler…the healthier version of course! First you must know how to peel a peach…here’s the secret(that I perfected when I used to make my own baby food!)

Make sure your peaches are ripe. If they are even a little bit under ripe, they won’t peel easily. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Don’t fill it too high, since you’ll be putting your peaches in there. While the water is boiling, cut a little “x” into the skin in the bottom of the peach. Fill a large bowl with ice water. When the water boils, add the peaches and boil for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the ice water. When the peaches are cool enough to handle simply slide the skin off, starting at the “x”….super easy! This way you retain all of the delicious “meat” of the fruit for your pie!

So here’s a totally “Delia approved” version of Peach Cobbler-Real Ingredients/Nutrient rich/Gluten Free/Non Inflammatory/Healthy fats/ No processed white sugar!


Ingredients Filling:
8 Peaches, peeled & pitted
¼ cup Granulated Coconut Sugar(you can find at most grocery stores nowadays, but especially a health food store)
¼ tsp Ground Cinnamon
⅛ tsp Ground Nutmeg 
2 tsp Arrowroot powder(this is a much healthier option instead of cornstarch!)

Starch Topping:
1 cup Almond Flour 
 ¼ cup Granulated Coconut Sugar
½ cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut(get in the bulk section of your health food store-avoid any with preservatives and additives-   the ingredients should simply say, “coconut”)
½ cup Cashews, chopped 
 ½ tsp Sea Salt
½ tsp Cinnamon
4 Tbsp Ghee(clarified butter) or Grass-Fed Butter, or Coconut oil, softened (not melted) 

Preheat oven to 425F. 
Slice the peach quarters into 2-3 thin slices, then cut those in half to make chunks. Combine all filling ingredients together in a large bowl and gently stir to combine. Pour the peaches into a 13x9 baking dish OR you could use a deep-dish pie plate. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 375F. 
While the peaches are cooking, combine all of the topping ingredients except the ghee/coconut oil. 
Mix together with a fork until evenly combined. 
Add the ghee/coconut oil into the topping mixture and mix in with the fork, pressing the mixture down and around to evenly incorporate the ghee/coconut oil. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs but won't stick together. 
Sprinkle the topping on top of the peaches and bake in the 375F oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the peaches are soft and bubbly and the topping is browned (don't let it burn). 
Try not to eat it straight out of the oven! 
You must let it cool first.