Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Mar

Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow: Installment III

What can we say? We love good food, and we appreciate that you do too. The post has been popular, and we appreciate your comments and requests.

As we mentioned last week, we’ve been working on incorporating more seasonal fare into the menu as reader Sonagi requested. Shopping seasonally is, of course, not only good for the environment but good for the nation’s farmers and your wallet. Spring is finally beginning to peep through (even for your folks in the Upper Midwest—poor souls), and the stores are gradually picking up early spring produce and herbs. We thought it was the perfect time for incorporate some of spring’s best. Interested in learning more about seasonal fare? Check out the CUESA website.

BREAKFAST (sans eggs – for Ryan and others who don’t/can’t eat eggs)
Ham with Sautéed Apples

ham apple 2

Although apples have officially finished their season, they’re still fairly inexpensive in most stores. Call us suckers, but we couldn’t resist the ham-apple combo. Enjoy now or file it away for fall when the pickings are truly the best.

Heat a nitrate-free ham steak or thick slice of leftover ham in skillet with bit of butter or oil. In separate pan, sauté 1 cup apple slices and 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced onion with 1-1 ½ Tbsp. butter, sprig of fresh thyme and dash of cinnamon. Add splash of cream and serve with ham.

LUNCH

Spinach and other greens are among spring’s finest offerings. Early farmer’s markets begin next month. We’d highly suggest treating yourself if you’ve never tried truly fresh spinach.

Tuna, Avocado and Spinach Salad

kale 1

Add tuna and red onion and avocado slices to your favorite (or seasonal) greens. Include a handful of pine nuts or walnuts and a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

DINNER
One thing lingering cold weather is good for: the excuse to enjoy comfort food. This “Sunday dinner style” meal is good for sharing with family or friends or for incredible leftovers as you start off the week.

Roast Chicken

chicken veggies

Rinse and pat dry whole 4 lb. chicken. “Stuff” with roughly chopped vegetables like carrots, celery and onion as well as herbs like fresh thyme, garlic, bay leaf, parsley and a sprig of rosemary. The vegetables and herbs will flavor the meat as it cooks.

Mix 1 tsp. each of fresh thyme, minced garlic, and parsley with a few dashes of salt and pepper and 4 Tbsp. softened butter. Gently disconnect the skin over the breast from the meat (leaving the skin intact and on the bird) and rub the butter mixture between the skin and meat. Pull the skin back in place and rub the remaining herb butter on the entire outside of the chicken.

Cook for just over an hour in 375 degree oven or until meat thermometer registers 170-175 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh.

Roasted Cauliflower with Mushroom Sauce

cauliflower 1

Toss cauliflower florets in mixture of oil (of choice) with minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Spread florets on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes or until edges browned.

mushrooms

In large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil of choice and 1 Tbsp. butter on medium-low heat. Add 1 ½ cups of diced mushroom mixture (choose your favorite mushrooms) along with 1 Tbsp. finely minced white onion or shallot. Sauté mushrooms until dark and tender, and add a splash of your choice of red/white wine as well as a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If desired, add ¼ cup of half and half to make creamy sauce. Pour over roasted cauliflower and serve.

Sautéed Asparagus

asparagus 1

(You know spring is here when you see the stores bring out asparagus and daffodils.)

Bend and snap off the bottoms of 1 lb. asparagus. Peel the remaining lower half of each spear. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of your choice such as chive or parsley. Roast on baking sheet at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes for thinner spears, 9-10 for thicker spears.

DESSERT (Optional, of course)
Pear and Cheese Plate

pear

Asian pears are just finishing their season. Serve with your choice of blue cheese like gorgonzola.

wEnDaLicious, princess of llyr, mellemel, Herman Saksono, joe reach, In Praise of Sardines, Shasta MacNasty, Allerina and Glen MacLarty, dotpolka Flickr Photos (CC)

Further Reading:

Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow Installment I, II

Would Grok Chow the Cheese Plate?

fitsugar – Learn to Love: Asparagus

The Consumerist: 6 Ways to Save Money When Dining Out

Interactive Health: Salmon with Herbs and Lemon

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You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Yum – you’re making me hungry!

    Sue wrote on March 12th, 2008
  2. Thanks Mark!

    Unfortunately, I forgot to mention I am a vegetarian. However, I must secretly admit that since reading your blog, I am thinking about switching back – just not there yet though.

    I will say though, that I have taken to the ‘sisson salad’ recommendation, and eat a fairly monstrous salad everyday!

    Ryan Denner wrote on March 12th, 2008
  3. One of my favs this time of year is fiddlehead ferns!! I know I am weird!

    sarena wrote on March 12th, 2008
  4. Are “nitrate-free” meat products typically available? I love ham and bacon but I wonder about the curing process and the additives. Is there a particular brand that I can look for? Thanks!

    Dave
    DaveGetsFit

    Dave C. wrote on March 12th, 2008
  5. What’s the deal with ham? I thought it was best to avoid cured meats due to the nitrates and high salt content?

    JDS wrote on March 13th, 2008
  6. You can get nitrate-free ham. That’s what the recipe suggests.

    Jen wrote on March 13th, 2008
  7. Dave,

    I’m in the Midwest now but moved from New England. I have been able to get the products both places. The larger the town you’re in (or the more “granola”/health types you have in your area) the more likely it is you can find them. (Sorry to generalize about people, but they’re the market for this stuff, and I’m one of them!

    Jen wrote on March 13th, 2008
  8. Thank, Jen. I’ll just go searching. We have a supermarket chain that has started carrying greass-fed beef with regularity (same chain that has Greek yogurt in one of its stores). Sounds like a good place to start looking.

    Dave

    DaveC wrote on March 13th, 2008
  9. Sarena, fiddlehead ferns are fantastic! I love them sauteed with butter and a bit of garlic. I think I’ll have to go looking for some for tomorrow. :) Thanks for reminding me.

    Cynthia wrote on March 15th, 2008

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