Tag Archives: healthy eating

Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon

Pork Stuffed Bitter Melon
Serves 2
A mainstay of local markets in the Far East, Central and South America, Bitter Melon derives its bitter reputation from the abundance of Quinine it contains. Its flavor goes particularly well with spicy and hot dishes and is as often stuffed as used in stir fry dishes. Larger and more mature melons are less bitter. This recipe is a classic example of its use.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb. *Ground, Lean Pork
  2. 1/4 cup *Water Chestnuts, chopped
  3. 1 tsp. *Ginger, fresh, minced
  4. 2 Tbsp. *Green Onions, minced
  5. 1 tsp. *Garlic, fresh, minced
  6. 1 Tbsp. *Dry Sherry
  7. 1/2 tsp. *Salt
  8. 1/2 tsp. *Sugar
  9. 1 Tbsp. *Soy Sauce
  10. 1 large *Egg, beaten
  11. 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  12. 2 Bitter Melon
  13. 1/2 cup Basting Sauce (see below)
Instructions
  1. Trim the ends off the bitter melons and slice into 1 inch slices. Using a small paring knife carefully cut out the pulp and seeds in the center of each slice, leaving only ¼ inch of the melon wall.
  2. Rub the inside of each slice with coating of cornstarch.
  3. Combine all of the stuffing ingredients* in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Stuff the cavity of each slice with a generous spoonful of stuffing, enough to completely fill the cavity.
  5. As the slices are stuffed, arrange them on a plate and set the plate in a steamer with water coming within an inch of the plate.
  6. Cover and steam for 20 minutes.
  7. After steaming, baste each stuffed sliced piece of Bitter Melon with a heated mixture of 2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce, 1 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce, ½ tsp. Sesame Oil, 2 Tbsp. Teriyaki Sauce, 1 tsp. Chili Garlic Paste and 2 Tbsp. Hot Water.
  8. Serve with Rice.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pole Bean Salad with Mushrooms

Pole Bean Salad with Mushrooms
Serves 4
Pole Beans are not a specific variety of bean but rather a distinction of growth characteristic in which the bean plant itself grows vertically on trellises or poles rather than in a bush like form. Many different bean varieties can actually be grown as either “Pole Beans” or Bush Beans including many types of snap beans, lima beans and runner type “string beans”. Beans contain fiber and a lot of protein, including the essential amino acid lysine. (Most grains lack lysine; combine them with beans, however, and they form a complete protein.) Pole Beans also provide folacin (folic acid) and some minerals. All together, beans are a healthful vegetable, and they taste delicious.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Green Pole Beans, cut 2"
  2. 2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced 1/4"
  3. 1/2 Red Onion, cut in thin slivers
  4. 2 cups White Mushrooms, sliced 1/4"
  5. 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  6. 2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
  7. 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  8. 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  9. 1 Tbsp. Tarragon, fresh, chopped
  10. To Taste Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Blanch beans in boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
  2. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking and preserve color. Drain, chill and place in a bowl with tomatoes, onion and mushrooms.
  3. In a small bowl, place mustard, garlic and tarragon. With a whip, whisk in olive oil and vinegar in a slow drizzle to create an emulsion.
  4. Season dressing with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour dressing over salad, toss and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Sparty Chicken Dog

Sparty Chicken Dog
A healthy version of a "Hot Dog", my Sparty Dogs can use either ground chicken or turkey. Choose a spinach lavosh or any Flatbread "wrap" for a sandwich you're sure to enjoy.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ lbs. Ground Chicken
  2. To Taste Salt & Pepper
  3. 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  4. 1 – 10 oz. Bag Baby Spinach Leaves
  5. ½ cup Sweet Onion, Chopped
  6. 1 Medium Poblano Pepper, Chopped Fine
  7. 1 Tbsp. Fresh Garlic, Minced
  8. 6 oz. Queso Cheese, Shredded
  9. 4 – 8” Spinach Lavosh
  10. 4 cups Baby Forest Greens (Spring Mix)
  11. As Desired Mayonnaise
Instructions
  1. Saute onion, poblano pepper and garlic on medium heat until softened. Cool.
  2. Lay out a sheet of plastic film about the size of a piece of paper.
  3. Divide ground chicken in 4 equal amounts.
  4. Place one portion of the ground chicken in the middle of the plastic film and flatten into a rectangle shape of uniform thickness, approximately 5” x 5”.
  5. Season surface with salt and pepper.
  6. Press all excess juices out of the chilled spinach mixture and divide into 4 equal portions.
  7. Sprinkle / spread 1 portion's worth of the spinach mixture on the chicken leaving a ½” border of NO filling all the way around the perimeter.
  8. Sprinkle approximately ¼ to 1/3 cup of the shredded queso cheese on top of the spinach mixture.
  9. Roll the chicken into a pinwheel roll shape by using the plastic film as a tool to lift the leading edge over the filling and then pulling back the plastic film away from the log as you continue to roll forward (or towards you if you find it more convenient).
  10. Finally, after the entire panel as been rolled into a log, roll the plastic film around it and twist the ends to make a firm, sausage shaped roll.
  11. Chill until ready to cook.
  12. To cook the “Sparty Dogs”, heat a grill or flat, non-stick skillet to medium high, spray with a non-stick vegetable spray and cook approximately 5 minutes on each side or until firm, opaque and cooked through.
  13. To serve, cut spinach lavosh to the size of the length of each dog. Spread surface with mayonnaise then top with a small handful of Forest Greens. Place the cooked Sparty Dog at one end of the lavosh and roll up to create a sandwich-like wrap.
  14. Guacamole or avocado slices may be added if desired.
Notes
  1. Makes 4 Dogs
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Classic Gremolata

Classic Gremolata
Pronounced [greh-moh-LAH-tah], gremolata is not actually a dish but rather a topping, generally made from three ingredients: fresh parsley, lemon peel and fresh garlic. Its claim to fame is that it’s the last and finishing touch to the braised veal shank dish known as Osso Buco. However, it is also used in many other dishes, and chefs are now liberating the classic version’s recipe to introduce many other unique ingredients while still keeping its name.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp. Italian (Flat Leaf) Parsley, Minced
  2. 1 Tbsp. Lemon Zest, Freshly Grated
  3. 2 Medium Fresh Garlic Cloves, Minced
Instructions
  1. Mince the parsley and garlic, grate the lemon zest, and toss all together in a small bowl with a fork.
Notes
  1. Makes about a 1/4 cup.
Other Versions
  1. While the classic version is, without a doubt, tried and true, chefs and gourmet cooks have broadened the appeal of gremolata by experimenting (with much success) with other herbs and seasonings, such as
  2. • Substituting completely chopped shallots for the garlic
  3. • Substituting basil, oregano, tarragon, marjoram, cilantro or even mint for the parsley
  4. • Substituting another citrus, such as lime, orange or grapefruit, for the lemon
  5. So, if you wanted to go crazy, you could make
  6. • Minted Orange Shallot Gremolata
  7. • Cilantro Lime Garlic Gremolata (or even substitute chives)
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pineapple & Cilantro Salad

Pineapple & Cilantro Salad
Serves 4
This member of the carrot family is also referred to as Chinese Parsley, Coriander and Dhania (in the Indian subcontinent, and increasingly in Britain) and is actually the leaves (and stems) of the Coriander plant. Cilantro (from the Spanish name for the plant) has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The Cilantro leaves look a bit like flat Italian parsley and in fact are related. The leaves, and especially the stems, have a very different taste from the seeds, similar to parsley but “juicier” and with citrus-like overtones. Some people instead perceive a spicy or “soapy” taste. This taste is believed to be a result of an enzyme that changes the way some people’s taste buds perceive the flavor of coriander leaves. Cilantro leaves and stems are best if chopped and added to a dish just before finishing to take full advantage of their unique flavor.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Fresh Pineapple, peeled, cored
  2. 1 Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  3. 1/2 Red Onion, sliced 1/4"
  4. 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  5. 1/4 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped
  6. 1 Tbsp. Jalapeno, with seeds, minced
  7. 1 Lime, juiced
  8. 2 Tbsp. Honey
  9. 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  10. 1 tsp. Black Sesame Seeds
  11. To Taste - Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop pineapple into small bite size pieces and place in a non-reactive bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients.
  3. Cover and chill.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers

Pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers
Serves 4
The Hungarian Yellow Wax Pepper, ‘Capsicum annuum’, is an Old World favorite that is the perfect pick for pickled peppers and pepper jelly. This pepper is also known as the Hot Banana Pepper which it is not but it is closely related. The Hungarian Yellow Wax pepper was developed in Hungary and has a waxy color that resembles bees’ wax. The Wax peppers are actually orange-red when ripe, but are usually pickled while still yellow. Hungarian Yellow Wax peppers have thin walls and the peppers are usually used fresh in salads, pickled, fried, canned or roasted. Hungarian wax peppers are medium hot, with heat scores that range between 5,000 and 15,000 Scoville heat units.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 lbs. Hungarian Wax Peppers
  2. 3 lbs. Red & Green Bell Peppers, mixed
  3. 5 cups Cider Vinegar (5% acidity)
  4. 1 cup Water
  5. 4 tsp. Canning or Pickling Salt (or Kosher)
  6. 3 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  7. 2 cloves Garlic, fresh
  8. 1 cup Sweet Onions
Instructions
  1. Wash peppers. If small peppers are left whole, slash two to four slits in each; quarter large peppers.
  2. Blanch in boiling water 1 minute, then shock in ice water and peel off skins. Flatten small peppers.
  3. Fill sterilized jars, leaving a ½ inch headspace.
  4. Combine and heat other ingredients to boiling and simmer 10 minutes.
  5. Remove garlic and onion.
  6. Add hot pickling solution over peppers, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  7. Adjust lids and process pints or half-pints for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath at an altitude of less than 1000 feet or for 15 minutes at an altitude of 1001 to 3000 feet.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Pear & Horseradish Sauce

Pear & Horseradish Sauce
Cultivated for over 3 thousand years and believed to be native of Central Europe, Horseradish is related to the mustard family, hence its biting flavor and aroma. The “horse” in horseradish refers to the size of the root (up to 6 feet) and its pungency. Thus the name was adopted so as to distinguish it from other radishes. Horseradish has found its way into the Cuisine of many cultures, particularly Jewish, and on the European Continent. Additionally, since real wassabi is very expensive, even in Japan, most Japanese restaurants around the world actually serve a horseradish mixture that’s been dyed green. In fact, the Japanese botanical name for horseradish is seiyōwasabi (セイヨウワサビ, seiyōwasabi?), or “Western wasabi”. Commercial cultivation in America began in the mid 1850’s, when immigrants started horseradish farms in the Midwest. By the late 1890’s, a thriving horseradish industry had developed in an area of fertile soil on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. Today, approximately 6 million gallons of prepared horseradish are produced annually in the U.S. – enough to generously season sandwiches to reach 12 times around the world.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 Pears, ripe
  2. 1/3 cup Horseradish, fresh, grated
  3. 2 Tbsp. Honey
  4. 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
  5. 1/3 cup Golden Raisins
  6. 1/4 cup Pecan Pieces, toasted
Instructions
  1. Grate horseradish and immediately mix with the vinegar.
  2. Peel, core and shred pears and add to grated horseradish with honey, golden raisins and toasted pecans.
  3. Serve as a sauce with roasted meats & it goes particularly well with pork.
Notes
  1. Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Parsley Root Soup

Parsley Root Soup
Serves 4
Parsley the herb needs no introduction; but what might is the version that is grown not for its leaves but for its root, which is used in a culinary sense much like any other root, such as parsnips. Also called Hamburg Parsley and Turnip-Rooted Parsley, this parsley subspecies is grown for its beige, carrot-like root which tastes like a cross between a carrot and celery. It’s used in parts of Europe in soups, stews and simply as a vegetable. The ancestral wild parsley is thought to have arisen on the island of Sardinia. The Greeks and the Romans used parsley leaf much as we still do today. In mythology, parsley was believed to have sprung from a Greek hero, Archemorous, the forerunner of death; the Greeks crowned the winners at the Isthmian games with parsley, and warriors fed parsley leaves to their horses. Parsley, long in common use all around the Mediterranean, was brought to England and apparently first cultivated there in 1548.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Tbsp. Butter
  2. 1 Tbsp. Garlic, chopped
  3. 1/2 cup Sweet Onions, sliced
  4. 1 cup Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled & diced 1"
  5. 1 cup Celery Root, peeled & diced 1"
  6. 4 cups Chicken Stock
  7. 1/4 tsp. Dry Thyme
  8. 1 cup Heavy Cream
  9. 2 Tbsp. Fresh Italian Parsley Leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Sweat garlic and onion in butter in a medium sauce pan on medium low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add potato, celery root, chicken stock and thyme and simmer approximately 30 minutes or until celery root is tender.
  3. Remove soup from the heat, allow to cool, then puree in blender or food processor until smooth.
  4. Return pureed soup to the sauce pan.
  5. Add cream and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with a garnishment of fresh chopped parsley.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Okra Saute with Onions & Peppers

Okra Saute with Onions & Peppers
Serves 8
Okra comes from a large, tall-growing vegetable plant thought to be of African origin, and it was brought to the United States three centuries ago by African slaves. Famous for its use in our Southern Style Gumbo, the word “gumbo” itself is based on the Central Bantu word for okra, “kigombo”, via the Caribbean Spanish “guingambó” and is in the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton. Okra can be served raw, marinated in salads, breaded & deep fried or sautéed (as it goes particularly well with tomatoes, onions, corn, peppers, and eggplant). In addition, whole, fresh okra pods make excellent pickles. Okra’s mild flavor can be compared to eggplant, though its sticky flesh texture makes it somewhat unusual in the vegetable family.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup Corn Oil
  2. 2 Tbsp. Garlic Cloves, chopped
  3. 2 cups Sweet Onion, diced 1/2"
  4. 1/2 cup Green Onion, cut in 1/2" pieces
  5. 2 Bell Peppers (colorful), diced 1/2"
  6. 1 1/2 lbs. Fresh Okra, cut in 1/2" pieces
  7. 1 lb. Tomatoes, seeded & diced 1/2"
  8. 1 1/2 tsp. Dry Oregano, crushed
  9. 1/4 tsp. Dry Thyme
  10. To Taste - Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in sauté pan and sauté onions and garlic one minute on medium heat.
  2. Add peppers and okra and sauté two to three minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and herbs and sauté one minute longer.
  4. Remove from the heat, add salt and pepper and serve.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame Crunchies

Napa Cabbage Salad with Sesame Crunchies
Serves 4
Also known as Chinese Cabbage, Napa Cabbage has been cultivated for over six thousand years in China. It has an oblong head with tightly packed pale green to white, crinkled leaves and a mild, sweet flavor. Napa’s crispy, fibrous leaves and its unique cabbage, iceberg lettuce, and celery-like flavor give reason for it to be often called “celery cabbage”. It is a versatile cabbage, which can be eaten raw or cooked and is used in stir-fry and soups. It is also enjoyed pickled with salt and chilies to make Kim Chee. This delicious recipe is a perfect example of Napa’s salad capabilities.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 head Napa Cabbage
  2. 1 bunch Green Onions, chopped
  3. 1/3 cup Butter
  4. 1 pkg. (3 oz.) Ramen Noodles, broken
  5. 2 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds
  6. 1 cup Slivered Almonds
  7. 1/4 cup Cider Vinegar
  8. 3/4 cup Vegetable Oil
  9. 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  10. 2 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
Instructions
  1. Finely shred the head of cabbage; do not chop.
  2. Combine the green onions and cabbage in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the Crunchies
  1. Melt the butter in a pot.
  2. Mix the ramen noodles, sesame seeds and almonds into the pot with the melted butter.
  3. Spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake the crunchies in the pre-heated 350 degrees F oven (turning often to make sure they do not burn).
  4. When they are browned remove them from the oven.
Make the Dressing
  1. In a small saucepan, heat vinegar, oil, sugar, and soy sauce.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
  4. Combine dressing, crunchies and cabbage immediately before serving.
  5. Serve right away or the crunchies will get soggy.
Nino Salvaggio https://www.ninosalvaggio.com/