Food Adjuncts: Chocolate and Cocoa

My Grandma and See’s candy,  now, there’s a duo. Every time we went to the mall, we would stop at See’s, get our sample and a few additional pieces – Boudreaux, mostly. My grandmother’s passion for that powerful Aztec elixir of wonder and ecstasy surpassed Dr. Bridges’ admonitions.

What could Dr. Bridges be talking about?

Theobromine, C7H8N4O2 is found in many other foods including tea, and kola nut. Moreover, has similar attribute as caffeine. Theobromine is derived from the Greek theo (God) and brosi (food) meaning “food of the god’s”,  -ine to denotes alkaloid. Maybe the Aztecs were on to something…?

The American journal of Clinical Nutrition and Hershey’s Nutrition and Wellness cite that the therapeutic use of theobromine as diuretic, a vasodilator, and stimulant of the central nervous system by increasing the heartbeat.

As for antioxidants,…the amount of bioavailable flavanol antioxidants in 2 tablespoons of natural cocoa is more than 3 ½ cups of green tea, ¾ cup of blueberries, and 1 1/3 glasses of red wine.  All that in 2 tiny squares of dark chocolate!!! Sweet!!! See’s Candy the “Happy and Healthy Habit” (Well…in moderation)

Advertisements

CSA Sunday, Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

Sorry that this is posted later than I had planned…

Yesterday was CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Sunday, and I picked up my box from my local farmer’s market. I have always wanted to try a CSA and was glad an opportunity to subscribe to one. Earlier in the week, I got an email that what this week’s box would contain: lettuce, carrots, string beans, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, Swiss chard, slicing tomatoes, sweet onions, basil, strawberries, and watermelon.
Swiss Chard?…What? I quickly Google recipes for Swiss chard and finally settle on Swiss chard and Herb Tart, I’ll post the recipe below.
While I was that the farmer’s market I stopped at a few other stands to pick up some zucchini, grapefruit, and some eggs. On the way to the car I stop to pick up my box and added an additional basket of strawberries to the box per my son’s request. This being my first time subscribing to a CSA I don’t know that rules of the game. (Yes, that’s some foreshadowing).

I get the box home and prepare to store the produce. I get the Swiss chard and start to prep it for the tart and realize while I’m washing it that half the bunch is bug eaten. I understand that it come from a certified organic farm. I start to question if I have enough for my recipe and improvise by throwing is a sweet onion in to the mix. In the spirit of Julia Child, I muster up my “What-the-Hell” attitude and go to town on making the tart. I throw in some Herbs de Provence for good measure and “Voila!” Pop the tart in the oven for 45 minutes to bake. In the meantime…
My brain starts to question my choice of CSA. Well at least I can email them about my complaint. This is just the first box (Yes, it is a rocky start… but hey, I’ve only subscribed for 6 boxes) the rest could be better. I do just that. I emailed them and so far, the customer service is fair.

This recipe is a variation on Epicuriuous’ Swiss chard and herb tart.

Swiss Chard and Herb Tart

Serves 8

Ingredients

• 1 pound Swiss chard, stems and ribs removed
• 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (You can use grapeseed, also)
• 1 garlic clove, minced (I added a sweet onion)

• 1 15-ounce container whole-milk ricotta cheese (I used skim milk)
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 large eggs

• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
• 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh oregano (I substituted ground oregano)
• 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon of Herb de Provence

• 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed

Preparation

Cook chard in large pot of boiling salted water until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain. Squeeze out liquid. Chop chard.
Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; saut
e 1 minute. Add chard; sauté until excess liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Transfer chard mixture to large bowl. Cool slightly. Mix in ricotta and next 7 ingredients.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Roll out 1 pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 14-inch square. Transfer pastry to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim edges, leaving 1-inch overhang. Fill pastry with chard mixture. Lightly brush pastry overhang with pastry brush dipped into water. Roll out second pastry sheet to 13-inch square. Using tart pan as guide, trim pastry square to 10-inch round. Drape over filling. Seal edges and fold in.
I didn’t have a tart pan, so I used a Pyrex pie plate instead.
Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Remove pan sides from tart. Transfer to platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

Read More http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Swiss-Chard-and-Herb-Tart-103433#i

xzz22odcw1LN

I plugged the ingredients for the recipe into MyFitnessPal to get the nutritional info.

Calories: 375 per serving, Total fat (g) 22.3

This turned out pretty good given all the improvisations. I like the flavor that thyme adds to it.

In regarding the CSA, if you have any suggestions on tip on what to look for I would love to hear from you.

I broke the gravel ball…

After three bouts of hurling a 30 lb gravel ball over my 6 ft tall trainer’s head…up and down the gym, I killed the gravel ball. Its sandy contents spilled out onto the gym floor. Oops! 😀

Weekly Weigh-in Wednesday

I meet with my personal trainer today for my weekly medieval torture/butt kicking and he is expecting results…so here are the numbers:

Starting Weight:    245 lbs. (July 27, 2012)

Current Weight:    240 lbs. (August 1, 2012)

Loss of 5 lbs.!!!!

Mini-goal: 237lbs for next week. I will update my measurements at the end of the month, although I can tell clothes are beginning to feel loose. This news I’m sure my trainer will suggest “flipping tractor tires” across the gym or maybe even more squats while bear hugging a 40lbs sandbag nick named “Major General Parks”!!! (It’s even dressed in a camouflage duffel, too) Oh, how I dislike “Parks”, by the time I’m done doing the second set of squats I’m ready to chuck it. Either way, I’m bound to be crawling to my car.

Adventures in Dining: the 360 calorie challenge

Most mornings I’m chasing my kids to the car and often forget to grab what food I pack for a meal, thus I find myself foraging for food at some eatery. Today, it was Daphne’s- California Greek.  Why they changed the name to California Greek, I haven’t a clue. All the same, it’s food and it doesn’t come deep fried, fried, or have the potential of carrying E. coli. I walking and peruse the menu quickly consult MyFitnessPal: 638 calories. Ok so that means minus 100 for afternoon snack, carry the two…ok…approximately 360ish calories. (In my last few outings, I’ve discovered that on average my caloric intake per meal is about 360 on a sedentary day.) I scan the menu board again, squint to read the calories per item and start to piece together a meal of Lemon Chicken Soup, Fire-Roasted Vegetables (carrots and green beans mostly) and H2O with Lemon. Perfect and it’s only 280 calories. The best part yet was that my bill only came to $3.64 with tax!!!