Wednesday, April 25, 2018

ChezCindy: What's Up with Avocado Toast?

Avocado Toast with Cherry Tomatoes & Micro-Greens

Why is avocado toast such a "thing"?  The popularity of avocado toast has risen, fallen, and is now back again.  If you have not tried it yet, here's the scoop.  

Avocado toast hit the social media scene, in recent popularity, originating from a restauranteur in Australia.  It then made the jump to New York City, bounced over to LA, then spread through the rest of the country like a California wild fire.  But why has its popularity been sustained for so long?  Well, it is easy to make.  It's satiating due to the healthy fats.  And, most importantly, it's really good!

Here are a few more reasons to give avocado toast a try.  Avocados contain more potassium than bananas.  True, avocados are the fattiest plant on the planet.  But, most of the fat in avocado is oleic acid, the same component found in olive oil linked to heart healthy benefits.  Avocado toast makes a quick portable breakfast when you are on the go.  Or, a tasty mid-day snack to make it through to dinner.  Here's how to make it.  

  1. Start with a good whole-grain bread from the local bakery shop.  Toast slices until nicely browned.
  2. Peel, then mash an avocado until almost smooth.  Mix in fresh squeezed lime juice.  Season with sea salt.  
  3. Spread the avocado mash onto the toast.  Top with sliced cherry tomatoes, micro-greens and course sea salt.  Eat right away.  Smile.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

ChezCindy: Mustard Herb Roasted Turkey with Roasted Carrots

I could have titled this post "Roasted Carrots that Taste Better Than the Turkey".   Not to imply that the turkey was bad, but the carrots stole the meal.  Roasting vegetables generally brings out the best in all produce highlighting the natural sweetness.  In this case, I used the carrots as a roasting rack for the turkey breast resulting in incredibly flavored carrots.  The juices from the turkey, mustard and herbs basted the carrots, yet they were slightly caramelized from sitting on the bottom of the roasting pan.

Carrots are often an under used vegetable.  They are inexpensive yet are so versatile.  And, anytime we can eat orange vegetables, that is a bonus to our day.  Since winter seems to be hanging on way past its welcome, try this carrot soup recipe to brighten your day.  Carrot Soup

Roasting a turkey breast is a great way to enjoy all the flavor of Thanksgiving meal without all the time and prep work.  I used a 2-pound bone-in turkey breast and it was done in roughly an hour.  You could also prepare this same recipe with the carrots using several large bone-in chicken breasts or a whole chicken.  Just vary the cooking time until the poultry reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees for doneness.

Mustard Herb Roasted Turkey Breast with Roasted Carrots
1 bone-in turkey breast (half) 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs
   a combination of rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound carrots for the "roasting rack"

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel the carrots and cut then in half lengthwise.  Place the carrots in a roasting pan, flat side down to form a roasting rack for the turkey.  Place the turkey breast on top of the carrots.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, minced garlic, Dijon mustard, chopped fresh herbs, salt, sugar and pepper, mixing well.  Pour the mixture over the turkey breast.  Loosen the skin and rub some of the mustard herb mixture directly onto the meat.  Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan.

Roast the turkey in the hot oven for roughly 1 - 1 1/2 hours until the turkey is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with the roasted carrots and the turkey juices gathered at the bottom of the roasting pan.