Category Archives: healthy eating

salmon skewers recipe

Grill: Salmon Skewers With Mango Salsa Recipe

Grilled Salmon Skewers With Mango Salsa

salmon skewers recipe

We love to make the most of grilling season! These delicious salmon skewers are an easy, healthy and super flavorful addition to any summer menu. Served with our sweet and zesty mango salsa, they can work as a great appetizer. Add some couscous and you’ve got a light and fresh summer lunch.

grilled salmon skewers recipe

We used plump mushrooms and tasty zucchinis for our skewers, but you can use any vegetables you have laying around,  or you favorite ones from the farmers’ market.

salmonskewers_grill

 

Whichever you pick, the trick to making perfect skewers lies in getting the different pieces as close to the same size as possible. You’ll want your salmon and vegetables cut into even cubes or pieces, so they’ll cook evenly. To create harmonious presentation – and ensure everyone gets their fair share! – start and end your skewers with salmon.

 

Grilled Salmon & Vegetable Skewers With Mango Salsa

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 12 Skewers

Serving Size: 2 Skewers

Grilled Salmon & Vegetable Skewers With Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3 skinless salmon filets (about 1 lb. each), cut into 1.5-inch cubes
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms
  • 2 zucchinis
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 5 tbsps. olive oil
  • Kosher salt (for the salmon)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, unseeded, cubed
  • 2 small red onions, chopped
  • 1 medium mango, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsps. champagne vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Start your grill and get the fire to medium. Make sure the coals are spread evenly, so you get even heat to all skewers. Brush the grill with oil.
  2. Cube zucchinis and mushrooms into similar size pieces. Get the veggies as close as possible to the salmon cubes in size, so everything will cook evenly.
  3. Starting with a piece of salmon, thread salmon, zucchini and mushrooms, until the skewers are filled (but not overflowing).
  4. Brush each skewer with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Grill, turning occasionally, about 3-5 minutes on each side (fish should turn an opaque pink all around and inside). Spray some lemon juice.
  6. To get your salsa ready, mix the tomatoes, onions, mango, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate until use.
  7. Serve two skewers per person, topped with the salsa, plus some salsa on the side.

Notes

Make sure to soak the bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning on the grill.

Herbed Crusted Roast

Herb Crusted Top Sirloin Roast With Ratatouille

Herbed Top Sirloin Father's Day Recipe

 

Want to whip up something delicious for Dad this Father’s Day? This crusty roast with colorful (and healthy!) veggie Ratatouille is guaranteed to make you Dad’s favorite. 

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 lbs. Top sirloin or Strip
    • 5 slices of regular white bread
    • ½ stick butter (room temperature)
    • ¼ tsp. Allspice
    • ¼ tsp. cumin
    • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • ½ tsp. dry basil
    • ¼ tsp. porcini powder
    • 2 tsp. fresh parsley
    • Sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
    • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • ½ lb. pearl onions
    • 3 zucchinis (seedless, cubed)
    • 2 eggplants (seedless, cubed)

DIRECTIONS

Trim the meat of any excess fat.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a food processor, combine the bread with butter, herbs and spices, salt and pepper.

Cover the meat with the bread mix and put in the fridge, uncovered, for about 15 minutes.

On a roasting pan, bake the meat for about 10 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. Continue baking for about 15 to 20 minutes (depending on how well-cooked you want the meat).

While meat is cooking, start the ratatouille.

Heat a medium saucepan with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and sauté the cherry tomatoes, whole, until they’re slightly charred. Remove and reserve. Don’t rinse the pan.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the same pan and sauté the onions until golden, adding 3 to 4 tbsp. of water while cooking, about 4 minutes. Remove and reserve.

To the same pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and stir-fry the zucchinis and eggplants until they just change color – about 2 minutes.

Add in the previously sautéed tomatoes and onions, and cook together – about 3 minutes.

Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

When the meat is done, remove from the oven and let rest in a warm place before cutting, so the juices get a chance to settle.

Slice the meat against the grain (cross-wise) into 1 to 1.5 inch slices, and serve with a side of the ratatouille.

 

 

Recipe: Marcela Sorondo for Gourmet Food World
Photo: Monica Sempertegui for Gourmet Food World

olive oil guide

The Ultimate Olive Oil Guide + An Incredible Chimichurri Recipe

olive oil guide

Need some guidance when reaching for the bottle of olive oil? We’ve got you covered! Below is a comprehensive olive oil guide: the facts, the myths, the process of extraction, a brief look into the varieties of olive oil available, and of course, how to store and use extra virgin olive oil.

A great quality extra virgin olive oil is something that every modern (and not-so-modern) kitchen should have handy. It’s perfect to add easy flavor to dishes, great for dipping, to create sauces (see our Chimichurri recipe below) and also amazing for baking (try Food52′s amazing Olive Oil Cake recipe and you’ll be forever converted). It’s also great for our health, rich in antioxidants and monounsaturated fatty acids – healthy fats.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is the top quality, top grade of olive oils. Extra virgin olive oil has cero defects, plus the highest levels of antioxidants AND the best flavor. To qualify as Extra Virgin, it must pass a series of strict quality tests set forward by the International Olive Council, including rigorous taste tests that look for a specific flavor profile, like enough olive fruitiness.

Pure Olive Oil / Light Olive Oil

Pure olive oil is oil with flavor or aesthetic “defects”, and has been further refined to remove those flaws. It is sometimes blended with EVOO for flavor. It’s not actually light as in calories or fat, but rather in looks and taste. You can use this for high-temp cooking, but you won’t be getting that characteristic olive taste.

The Extra Virgin Olive Oil Process & The Myth of the “First Cold Press”

First cold press just means that the olive oil comes from one press, which is the standard nowadays. The term is a throwback to the early days of olive oil production, where the second press of the olives produced a lower quality oil that was used for other purposes – like oil lamps. Today, all olive oil is first pressed, but the term endures as a marketing label. In short: Extra Virgin Olive Oil is, by definition, always both first and cold pressed.

To extract the top quality olive oils, the olives are crushed at a mill, then the oil extracted by mechanical means – a centrifugal machine. Refined oils are extracted by using chemical means or heat, which can greatly affect the flavor of the oils. Extra virgin olive oil is NEVER refined.

Tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil

To truly understand olive oil, you have to think of it like wine and consider three things: varietal, terroir and timing.

Olive Oil Varietals

olive oil guide: olive varietals

Photo: Steve Juvetson

There are many varietals (types) of olives, each with their different flavor profiles and characteristics, which will make for different kinds of olive oil. Some are bitterer, some are milder, and some even are sweet.There are hundreds of olive types from around the world, but only a few are used for olive oil productions. Below is handy olive oil guide to the most common ones:

Arbequina: originally from Catalonia, Spain, the flavor of this olive is delicate and very fruity. The olive oil it produces is great for pesto, baking, drizzled over meats. Arbequina olives are grown very successfully in California.

Frantoio: hailing from Tuscany, this olive makes for a strong, peppery olive oil with some bitterness.

Picual: a type of olive from Andalusia, Spain, the olive oil from Picual olives is strong, robustly peppery with floral aromas.

Taggiasca: mild, fruity, sweet with no bitterness. Taggiasca olive oil is buttery and versatile.

Hojiblanca: Another great Spanish olive cultivar, Hojiblanco is fruity, lightly spicy and just mildly bitter. Health bonus: It has lower saturated fats than most other oils.

Arbosana: A Spanish olive, Arbosana is also grown predominantly in California. Arbosana olive oil is robust, complex, and a bit nutty

Olive Oil & Terroir

Terroir is a French word speaks of the character of the land and the region, and how that translates into anything that grows in it: the soil conditions, the air, the weather…all these factors make the terroir, and therefore how the oil will taste. An extra virgin olive oil from California will be different than one from Italy, even if it is from the same olive, much like a Pinot from Chile will be different than one from France.

Timing The Harvest

How soon or how late the olives are harvested will also influence the flavor of the oil – an early harvest will produce a more herbaceous olive oil, while latter harvest will make for a mellower, more buttery olive oil.

STORING EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

We are so used to thinking about oil as a pantry item, because it needs no refrigerating, that we think: it must last forever, right? Wrong! Olives are after all fruit, and olive oil is really a kind of fruit juice, so to speak. So unlike vinegar, it won’t keep forever, and, unlike wine, it won’t get better with age. Here’s how to make the most of your green gold.

Shelf life of olive oil

Once it’s been bottled, olive oil has about a two-year shelf life. To maximize the flavor and benefits, try to use yours within 2 to 3 months of opening.

Storing olive oil

Store olive oil away from direct light and high temperature. A dark, cool cabinet is best. Olive oil is typically bottled in dark, opaque bottles to minimize the exposure to UV rays but try to keep it away from the stove or oven or the window.

 

Loved our olive oil guide and ready to shop? We have a great selection of premium olive oils! Shop > 

 

Chimichurri Grilling Sauce

Chimichurri Grilling Sauce

A great Argentinean sauce that combines the tart and herbaceous flavors of parsley and oregano with the silkiness of olive oil, plus a touch of spiciness, perfect to match with grilled meats. Adapted from Francis Mallmann.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup of brine (1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup coarse salt)

Instructions

  1. With a mortar and pestle crush ingredients together until it forms a coarse, chunky paste. Alternatively, place parsley, oregano and garlic in a food processor and pulse mode until ingredients are coarsely chopped. Whisk in the rest of the ingredients until incorporated.

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells.

Tartalicious Recipes! Sweet And Savory Mini Tart Shell Options

Entertaining a crowd is a breeze when you have a culinary trick or two up your sleeve. Or, in this case, a box full of them! One of our favorite items to have in the freezer are pre-made French pastry and tart shells. Not that we don’t appreciate a great handmade pastry dough, but it can be a bit messy and time-consuming to prepare it every single time, especially if you have guests coming and a flour explosion in the kitchen is not on the agenda.

Sweet (or Savory) Little Savers! Pre-made pastry tart shells.

Sweet (or Savory) Little Savers! Pre-made pastry tart shells. Photo: GourmetFoodWorld.com

Pretty in Pastry: The Beauty Of Pre-Made Tart Shells

We love the versatility of tarts shells, how they can be a great savory appetizer, a delicious lunch, or a sweet treat for dessert or with tea. Because we stock a really great variety of ready-made gourmet pastry and tart shells (we’ve done half the work for you, you’re welcome!), we thought we’d give you some delicious filling options to try out this weekend!

SHOP Pre-Made Pastry and Tart Shells >

So Cute You Could Eat Them Up…(and should!): Mini Raspberry & Chocolate Tarts

Our sweet selection comes from Naomi Robinson Bakersroyale.com. Guys, she made a NO BAKE dessert. We love her, just because of that! She started with pre-made tart shells, added chocolate, followed with a yummy layer of pureed raspberries, and topped it all off with decadent raspberry mousse. If you’re not drooling by now, take a look at the picture below. A touch of cassis liqueur make these utter perfection!

Mini Raspberry Tarts Recipe >

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells.

Sweet Somethings: Raspberry and Chocolate Mini Tarts in Pre-Made Shells. Photo by: Naomi at BakersRoyale.com.

Deliciously Good (and good for you!): Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts

For our savory tart, we sifted through a lot of heavy, cream-filled options, but we fell in love with this super healthy recipe from TalesofaKitchen.com. As great believers of a healthy approach to gourmet eating, we loved the mixture of gourmet ingredients in a good-for-you recipe. Chris made her own tart crust (which is vegan, by the way!), but we loved the idea that you could also just whip up the pesto and avocado filling and put it in pre-made savory tart shells.  You can serve these at any cocktail party, but feel good about yourself (and your diet) the next morning!

Pesto and Avocado Fresh Mini Tarts Recipe >

Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts: Pretty (good for you)!

Pesto and Avocado Mini Tarts: Pretty (good for you)! Photo by: Chris, TalesofaKitchen.com.

Make sure you check out our contributors’ blogs for more of their great recipes and cooking tips! A big thank you to Chris from www.TalesofaKitchen.com and Naomi of www.BakersRoyale.com for sharing their amazing recipes with us!

Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

A Fresh Summer Meal: Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart

Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese

Plump tomatoes, buttery crust and creamy goat cheese? Yes, please! Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese. Photo credit: Laura Bolton for Fork Knife Swoon, http://www.forkknifeswoon.com.

We’re all about fast, delicious summer dishes this month at Gourmet Food World, so to continue on that trend, this week we’re featuring a great recipe that combines fresh flavors with delicious ingredients, and that essential touch of sophistication that all our gourmet customers look for. This week: Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart, by Fork Knife Swoon.

Savory tarts, or quiches, as they’re also widely known, are probably one of the most versatile dishes you can turn out. First off, they’re light, but you can pack them heavy with veggies, so you get a nice, healthy serving of greens. A tart can work perfectly for brunch, lunch – we love it paired with a baby green salad – and can also serve as a nice appetizer for dinner. It’s even a great light summer dinner option when paired with a more consistent side dish, like quinoa or couscous.

Creamy and tangy goat cheese

Creamy & tangy goat cheese. Photo: GourmetFoodWorld.com

This Tomato, Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese tart recipe is a perfect example of a classic savory tart.  It masterfully combines the freshness of tomatoes with the sweetness of a perfectly caramelized onion,  but the truly outstanding ingredient here is the goat cheese – tangy, yet superbly creamy and indulgent, with its winning tanginess. All of these perfectly-cooked ingredients are contained in a flaky pastry shell, the perfect buttery vessel to contain all these flavors.  The result is pretty and colorful, making it a beautiful dish to serve to guests.

Pair this mouthwatering tart with a chilled glass of your favorite crisp white wine, and toast to Laura from Fork Knife Swoon, who was kind enough to share her fabulous recipe with us.  Visit her blog at http://www.forkknifeswoon.com, where you’ll find delicious recipes for the home cook, with a focus on seasonal produce and whole foods.

Tomato, Caramelized Onion & Goat Cheese Tart

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 4 tarts

Serving Size: 1 tart

Ingredients

  • 1/2 recipe paté brisée
  • 6-8 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly-ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat an oven to 425º F.
  2. On a lightly-floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8″ thick. Using a saucer as a guide, cut out four 6″ circles of dough. Place each one over a 5″ tart pan, and gently use your fingers or a dry pastry brush to smooth the dough into the pan. Using a knife, trim the dough so that it is flush with the edge of the pan. Place tarts on a sheet pan and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Peel the onion and slice it into thin rings. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Let cook, stirring occasionally until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic, turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid. Cook an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the onions become golden.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes cross-wise into thin rings, about 1/8″ thick.
  5. Remove the tart shells from the refrigerator. Crumble 1 oz of the goat cheese into the bottom of each tart in an even layer.
  6. Add 1/4 of the onions to each tart. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circular pattern, with one slice in the middle. Top with 1/4 of the Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake until the tarts begin to bubble and the crusts are golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Products from this post:

Goat Cheese >
Tart  Shells >
Olive oil >
Kosher salt >

Health emblem

Hypertension – Reducing Your Risk For High Blood Pressure

Intro: April 7th is international World Health Day and we’re talking high blood pressure.

World Health Day is celebrated internationally on April 7th, and each year, the organization picks a theme that “highlights a priority area of public health concern in the world”. For 2013, the issue of concern is high blood pressure. One in three adults around the world suffer from high blood pressure, so chances are high that you, or someone in your family, has it or is at risk of having it. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure can cause increase the risk of serious health conditions, like stroke, heart attacks and heart failure. If you have diabetes, then those risks are even higher.  Plus, for older women at risk of Osteoporosis, excessive sodium might cause the body to excrete calcium.

High blood pressure is most commonly associated with a high-salt, high sodium diet. The recommended intake of sodium is below 2,300 mg per day and if you think of it terms of quantity, consider this: just one teaspoon of table salt has 2,325 milligrams (mg) of sodium and a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup a whopping 890mg.  Odds are, you’re getting more sodium than is healthy.  As a matter of fact, most Americans get DOUBLE the recommended amount.

So, should you never look at a saltshaker or can of soup again? That’s not realistic, nor necessary, since you shouldn’t cut out sodium entirely from your diet. Sodium is essential to your body, helping it maintain the right balance of fluids. The key is to make sure you keep the quantity you consume low, and that means making a few chances in your diet.

Cut Back on Processed Foods
The main culprit for the rise of high blood pressure in the US is the massive consumption of processed and packaged foods. These foods are PACKED in salt, to preserve them and to enhance the flavor. Avoid especially anything that comes in a can or frozen (like packaged pizzas or frozen portioned meals). Of course, your busy modern lifestyle might not allow you to make homemade dishes for every meal, so if you eat a prepared frozen meal, like Lean Cuisine, make sure you choose one that has under 600mg of sodium, and watch your salt intake the rest of the day.

Binge on Veggies
Fruits, too.  Most non-processed foods like fresh vegetables and fresh fruits have negligible amounts of sodium. They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and are just overall the best types of foods you can eat.  There are certain vegetables that even help lower your high blood pressure, thanks to some key vitamins and minerals, especially potassium and magnesium. What veggies to buy in bulk? Anything rich in potassium and magnesium, both great allies for lowering blood pressure. For example: spinach, beans (black, white, navy, pinto, lima and kidney), potatoes, and bananas (high in potassium).

Be A Dairy Queen (or King)
Fruits and vegetables are not the only foods that help lower blood pressure. Skim milk and other low-fat milk-derived products like yogurt and cottage cheese can reduce the risk of hypertension. These foods contain Vitamin D and calcium, two powerhouses that work together reduce blood pressure, sometimes by as much as 10%.  Replace or supplement your usual breakfast with a bowl of cottage cheese with some mixed berries (also delicious for a dessert!).

One Square a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Another great, unexpected and delicious heart-helping, high-blood-pressure-busting food? Dark chocolate! Just one little square of dark chocolate can help to lower your blood pressure in just 18 weeks, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The trick is to choose chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa powder, and to keep it to one piece a day, since chocolate is high in calories.

Love the Labels
The best and easiest way to control your salt and sodium intake is to read labels. Nutrition labels must state you how much sodium is in one serving of any given food. Note: keep an eye too on how many servings you’re consuming.  The renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota recommends that you keep to under 200mg per serving. A slice of whole wheat bread, for example, has about 132mg of sodium, so that’s a good breakfast choice.  Want to know the sodium content of most foods? Check out the super useful USDA National Nutrient Database sodium reference chart, here.

Masters in Marketing
Beware of gimmicky marketing claims that some food companies like to use, with words like “reduced” or “light” in sodium. Yes, a food might be reduced in sodium, but how much sodium did it have to begin with? 25% less sodium out of 1000mg is still 750mg of sodium, a pretty high amount. Go instead for “Sodium Free” (less than 5mg), Very Low Sodium (less than 35mg) and Low Sodium (less than 140mg).

trader_joes_ingredients

Photo credits: The Allergista

Move That Body
It’s not just what you eat; lowering your high blood pressure also means living a healthy lifestyle, which goes beyond diet. Exercise is an integral part of maintaining a healthy body weight, so make sure you get the recommended 30 minutes daily.

No Smoking Allowed
If you’re looking for another reason to quit, consider this: every cigarette you smoke temporarily increases your blood pressure while you’re smoking it and for several minutes afterwards. So if you have high blood pressure or at risk, quit. If you’re not at risk, quit anyway!

Leading a healthy, active lifestyle and following a low sodium diet is the best, proven way to reduce not only your high blood pressure, but also your risk of many diseases.  So on April 7th, go your neighborhood pharmacy, have your blood pressure checked, and see what chances you need to make to your life to be as healthy as you can possibly be.  Happy Health Day 2013!