Friday, December 20, 2013

Broiled King Crab Legs!

Broiled King Crab Legs! Make sure legs are defrosted. I slit open the legs (make a big enough slit to expose the majority of the meat in the large part of the legs) and put small slithers of butter inside, squeeze of fresh lemon juice and sometimes a little garlic depending on my mood before broiling for 5-8 minutes (Depending on the size). Just keep on eye on them and as the butter melts and the legs start to brown a bit...they are done. They turn out amazing. Don't be afraid to make these at home. The only thing you can do is overcook them so just make sure you don't leave them under the broiler too long....and broiling them is so much better than steaming or boiling them! Around the holidays they are often on sale and so much cheaper than ordering at a restaurant.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Comfort Soup

I grew up in a Kurdish household so my mother cooked mostly Kurdish foods. Now as a kid, sometimes I got tired of eating Kurdish food all the time but now as an adult...those kinds of foods are my comfort foods. They remind me of walking in the door after a long day at school and seeing my mom in the kitchen. All the burners going at once. Rice. Beans. Soup. Chicken in the oven. She could cook 5-6 dishes at once without a sweat. She is the one who taught me about organization in the kitchen and how to make sure all your dishes were ready at the same time. She also taught me how to throw in another dish for the next day. If you're going to be in the kitchen for might as well throw in another dish so you can relax a bit the next day by serving leftovers. She often made a barley soup that we all loved and could heat up for days. She would always tell us how good it was for us...High fiber...High protein...but as kids...we just thought it tasted good...especially in those cold Ohio winters.

I make a soup that reminds me of several of her dishes, incorporating rice, lentils and barley with chicken legs because these are items she used a lot. If you have a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean market near you, you can buy a premixed package of rice, lentils and barley.  If you can't find this, you can just use equal amounts of each item to make the 2 cups necessary for the soup. I make this soup and freeze leftovers for quick hearty meals on a chilly day.

Avesta's Comfort Soup
For soup:
2 cups rice, lentil and barley mix (Rinsed)
8 cups water
2 tsp tumeric
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1-2 tbsp sea salt (start with 1 and add to taste)
For chicken:
2-4 chicken legs
Sprinkle each leg with salt, pepper and paprika
1/2 white onion diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups water

In a large stockpot, add water and rice, lentils and barley and seasonings. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally. After boiling for a minute or two, turn heat to low, cover pot and cook chicken legs.

Heat coconut oil and add chicken legs to the pan. Allow the legs to nicely sear before turning. Once both sides are seared, add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion and garlic just until soft and slightly golden brown. Add the two cups of water and bring to a boil. You are creating a quick stock so allow to boil for just about 5 minutes then add chicken and stock to you soup pot. Stir and cover. Cook on low from 45 minutes to an hour. Keep stirring occasionally and once your rice, lentils and barley are soft, your soup is ready. Taste before serving to see if you need to add more salt. If you like it spicier add more cayenne.

I love serving this soup with fresh diced tomatoes and green onion on top. It is also great with a plop of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top. This soup is low fat and very high in fiber and protein. You can skip the barley if you are on a totally gluten free diet, though barley is not high in gluten, it does contain some gluten.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Gluten-Free Turkey n Brie wrap

I have a few friends who swear by a gluten - free diet so I decided to start experimenting with gluten - free wraps.

Gluten - Free Turkey and Brie wrap:
1 Gluten - Free Wrap (I used La Tortilla Factory Sonoma brand which have 180 calories per wrap and taste really good and roll easily)
4 oz organic deli roasted turkey breast
1 oz Brie
Kale Microgreens
Broccoli Sprouts
Spring Mix
1/4 Avocado (sliced)
Sliced Tomato
Organic Mayo (optional)

I spread the brie on the wrap then warm it up in an oven at 350 degrees for just a few minutes. Do not keep in the oven very long or the wrap will get hard.  You just want to warm it up, 2-3 minutes. Once your wrap is warmed up, start layering your ingredients on the wrap and roll tightly and slice in half. Adding the microgreens, broccoli sprouts and spring mix adds tons of nutrients, crunch and flavor. I added up the calories for this wrap and it came out to 565 calories. If you skip the mayo you will save about 100 calories, same with the avocado and brie...skipping any of these ingredients will save you about 100 calories each. I don't think 565 calories is a lot for a good, healthy lunch...especially one that packs so many nutrients and can be eaten on the run or packed for lunch. I have also eaten half for lunch then the other half for dinner and added a side salad or veggies on the side to cut the calorie intake. I will skip the mayo next time as with the Brie melted on the wrap and adding the avocado, I didn't need the mayo as the wrap was definitely not dry.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Supermarket Superstar

I have gotten so much response from my appearance on Lifetime TVs Supermarket Superstar last night and has been so nice to hear all the supportive and encouraging words. I am so excited to continue this journey and get my sauce company launched witjin the next few months. We have perfected the recipes as we have several great flavors and variations of our mac n cheese sauce and tested them over and over with several of our own focus groups and advice from several great chefs. I was sent this article from a friend and I have to be honest...I totally agree with this writer!

Avesta's Mac n Cheese Sauce

I am still working on getting my sauce mass produced. I have worked with a professional service to finalize the recipe and have several stores interested in carrying my sauce. Now, I am looking for investors and/or partners to help take this to the next level. I was featured on Supermarket Superstar on Lifetime TV and feel I have a great product that will do well on store shelves. I am very excited for the exposure and great feedback I have received since the show has aired!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Avocado Tuna Salad

So one thing I absolutely love in the summer is tuna salad and we all know traditional tuna salad recipes contain mayo and though if eaten in moderation it isn't a problem but I sometimes want to eat tuna salad several times a week so here is my solution...use a very ripe avocado instead of mayo! Not only is it healthier bc yes avocados do contain fat but it is a healthy fat and they also contain valuable nutrients. So here is a simple recipe to try to substitute a simple ingredient and still enjoy a classic favorite.

Avocado Tuna Salad
1 very ripe avocado (if your avocado is still hard, try putting in a brown paper bag to speed up the riping process)
2 cans tuna in water (drained)
2 boiled eggs (for lower calorie and fat just use the egg white or just one yolk) chopped
1/4 cup diced celery
1 tbsp finely diced red onion (optional)
Salt n pepper to taste

This recipe serves 2-4 depending on your preferred serving size. Multiply for more servings. This is great for summer gatherings.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. If the salad is too dry, you can add a tbsp of plain yogurt or sour cream or light mayo. Serve on top of salad greens or on your choice of bread. This is also very good with leftover chicken or even canned chicken if you prefer chicken over tuna. I have also made it with leftover salmon and even canned salmon.
Click here to learn more about the health benefits of avocados click here:

Monday, April 8, 2013

Check it out: Healthy way to eat chili

Check it out: Healthy way to eat chili

Healthy way to eat chili

Ok so I know it's been awhile since I have posted but I am really gonna try to do this blog again...I miss blogging and I miss my followers!

Tonight I really wanted chili but I am trying to eat healthy this week so I came up with this recipe which was not only a healthy version of was delicious!

Spicy Chicken Chili

1lb ground chicken
1/2 sweet onion (diced)
1 can organic tri blend beans 15 oz (drained and rinsed)
1 can organic diced tomatoes 15 oz
1-2 fresh chilies (diced, seeded if you don't like too spicy)
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp organic coconut oil (start using much healthier)
Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a medium stock pot or sauce pan, Saute the onion in the coconut oil on med high heat until the onions become translucent and slightly golden brown. Add the ground turkey and make sure to season with sea salt and black pepper, tumeric and chili powder. Saute until the meat is cooked throughly. Add the minced garlic and chilies. Saute for another minute. Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 3-4 minutes. If you want the chili to be soupy. can add a can or two of organic tomato sauce here. Bring to a slight boil and then add beans and lower the heat to simmer for another 5 minutes if you didn't add tomato sauce and if you did add tomato sauce,  simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste before serving to see if you need to add more salt. I didn't add tomato sauce as I wanted it to be chunky and served it over arugula and baby greens. It was an amazing chili salad! This is also good with a little plain greek yogurt or sour cream on top.

The tumeric gives this dish a beautiful color and tumeric is a super spice...a natural healer. I put it in everything!
Let me know if you enjoy this as much as I do!