Lunch Ideas

Gluten-Free Mackerel Cakes

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Here is another recipe my Dad taught me. We were fairly poor at the time in that Berkeley flat.  Mackerel in the late 60′s was 29 cents a can. The original recipe was not gluten-free. It was breaded with crushed saltine crackers (also cheap). I have fond memories of Jay Jay (my dad’s partner) making us a batch of these for lunch with a simple salad. This recipe is gluten-free and diabetic friendly,  and is quite nutritious and tasty.

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Aron and Dad ( second birthday)
Aron and Dad ( second birthday)

Asian Spring Salad with Shrimp

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Val made this fabulous salad for me the other day and I just had to include it in my blog. The  crunch of the almonds, the tang of the pomegranate seeds, the sweet meat of the shrimp, the crisp springtime taste of the asparagus and the sesame, soy and ginger umami of the dressing work so beautifully together it is a feast for the senses  and it is super healthy as well and very filling. This recipe is low-fat, heart healthy and diabetic friendly.

Asian Spring Salad with Shrimp Recipe

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Asian Spring Salad with Shrimp

Yield: 2 generous servings

4 cups finely shredded cabbage
8 cooked asparagus spears sliced into 2 inch pieces
8 oz. cooked shrimp
10 fresh pea pods
2 green onions sliced into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons honey roasted sliced almonds
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Suggested garnish: Lemon slices
Suggested dressing: Newman’s Own™ Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing

Divide and arrange the above ingredients onto 2 plates as shown

© 2013 Valerie Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

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I played with this idea for a while. How do you make a soup with cheese that can be served cold or hot. I can tell you that using a roux to thicken it is a mistake because cold it sets up like a thick pudding. I also wanted to make it gluten-free free so the roux is out. Cornstarch and water also doesn’t work because your saliva breaks down the cornstarch. So I decided to go as minimal as possible and preserve the fresh clean tastes of the mild raw milk cheddar from Full Circle Creamery and my Hometown Harvest  broccoli. The answer was simple. Literally, this recipe has just 4 ingredients but is awesome. This recipe is lacto-vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Yield: 2 servings

7 oz. broccoli
2 cups (16 fl. oz.) water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
4 oz. white cheddar (raw milk preferred)

Heat water in a saucepan. Add bouillon cube and dissolve. Add broccoli and shredded cheddar. Cook till broccoli is tender then transfer to a blender to puree. This soup is great hot or chilled.
Serve

© 2012 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Chicken & Baby Kale Salad w/ Artichoke Heart Dressing

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This is a very tasty lunch or dinner salad with baby kale and romaine lettuce and a myriad of  tastes and textures from the whole sugar snap peas, sliced almonds, crunchy carrots, savory succulent chicken a bit of heat from the Fresno chilies and one of my favorite and easiest to prepare creations: Creamy Artichoke Heart Salad Dressing. This dressing works well with any salad but is especially nice with this combination. This dish is high in fiber, heart-healthy and diabetic friendly and very nutritious.

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Chicken & Baby Kale Salad
w/ Artichoke Heart Dressing

Yield: 4 generous servings

2 baked free range chicken breasts cut in half and sliced
2 hearts of romaine chopped
5 oz. whole sugar snap peas
4 oz. julienne carrots
2 oz. mixed baby kale
4 tablespoons sliced raw almonds
2 Fresno chilies de-seed and julienne
 
ARTICHOKE HEART DRESSING:
1- 13.75 oz. can of artichoke hearts in water
1 cup of olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon stevia
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon dill weed
½ teaspoon salt

Mix romaine, baby kale and carrots in a salad bowl and portion onto 4 dinner plates. Top each with sugar snap peas, sliced almonds, chicken and Fresno chilies. Add all dressing ingredients into a blender and puree. Top salads with dressing and serve.

© 2012 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Tortilla Soup (sopa de tortilla)

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My wife Valerie and I just returned from a fabulous vacation in Zihautanejo Mexico (yes the magical destination at the end of the Shawshank Redemption movie). One afternoon we had lunch at “Fonda La Tertulia” and enjoyed a simple yet tasty house tortilla soup with the special of the day. The tortillas were fried which gave the soup a wonderful texture. I have replicated the recipe here for you to enjoy. Gluten-free and meatless this recipe is also diabetic friendly.

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Tortilla Soup (sopa de tortilla)

Yield: 2 servings

4 cups gluten-free MSG-free vegetable stock
5 thin corn tortillas
3 – oz. Casero (queso fresco) cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder (hot, medium or mild your preference)
1 tablespoon canola or grape seed oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sugar, stevia or sucralose

Cut tortillas into thin strips (chiffonade) and fry in the oil till crisp but not brown. Transfer them to a paper towel. Heat vegetable stock and add chili powder, cumin and sweetener. Crumble the Casara cheese. Ladle soup into two bowls and add half the fried tortilla strips and half of the crumbled cheese onto each portion. Serve.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Aron at Fonda La Tertulia in Zihautanejo Mexico

Shrimp Louis

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The west coast of the United States is believed to be the origin of the crab Louis because of the abundance of the delectable Dungeness crab. The seafood Louis added Oregon bay shrimp and the shrimp alone version came about to make it more affordable.
Where and when was Crab Louis first served? Even the best food historians can’t nail this one down for certain. Most agree the Louis began appearing on menus of finer West Coast establishments between the turn of the 20th century and World War I. Credit for its creation is deadlocked between the Olympic Club in Seattle and San Francisco’s Solari’s restaurant or St. Francis Hotel.
Even though the origin may be hard to place, the popularity of this American derivation of the niçoise salad is still a favorite. The variety of ingredients differs from restaurant to restaurant and it may contain black olives, red or green peppers, sweet pickles, cucumbers, artichoke hearts etc. but the seafood is always the star heaped lavishly on top of the greens.My variation features romaine mix and coleslaw mix to beef up the nutrients lacking in the traditional iceberg lettuce.This recipe is gluten-free, low in fat, heart healthy and very satisfying.
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Shrimp Louis

Yield: 2 generous servings

12 oz. bay shrimp meat
6 oz. fat free Thousand Island dressing
6 oz. coleslaw salad mix
3 oz. Romaine mix lettuce
4 dill pickle spears
2 hard cooked eggs (shelled)
4 stalks of steamed asparagus
1 large tomato quartered
1 lemon quartered
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Make a bed of half your romaine salad mix and 3 oz. of the coleslaw mix. Add shrimp, salt and pepper, egg, pickle spears, asparagus2 tomato wedges and two lemon wedges as pictured. Serve dressing on the side. Repeat for the second salad.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Florentine Pinwheels

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This is a quick appetizer or snack and if you add fresh fruit or a small salad could be a nice lunch. I have used a spinach tortilla wrap but you can use any flavor. Try mixing fresh basil leaves with the spinach or replace the prosciutto with bay shrimp or hard cooked eggs. You can use diced fresh tomatoes instead of roasted red peppers, thin sliced grilled zucchini or eggplant. The variations are endless.

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Florentine Pinwheels

Yield: 4 servings

4 large flavored tortilla wraps
8 oz. fat-free cream cheese
6 oz. prosciutto
5 oz. sweet red peppers (water packed)
1 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
Optional: Mix fresh basil leaves with the spinach

With a rubber spatula spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the tortilla being sure to coat it all the way to the edge. Add prosciutto, spinach leaves (one layer), and peppers leaving about 1 inch with only cream cheese around the edge of the wrap. Roll it and slice it into 1 ½ inch slices. Plate and serve.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Original Joe’s Special (my healthy variation)

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Original Joe’s Fine Italian Food is a San Francisco institution that began in 1937. Their ‘Joe’s Special’ recipe has been repeated in so many variation’s especially in the West it has become an institution itself like the also imitated Cobb Salad. The original recipe used ground chuck, mushrooms, onions, garlic, previously frozen chopped spinach, olive oil and fresh eggs. It was also served on garlic, olive oiled toasted chunks of sourdough bread. Yes, admittedly yum but not so healthy. My variation is way lower in fat, gluten-free and still very tasty.

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Original Joe’s Special (my healthy variation)

Yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb. ground turkey breast (99% fat-free)
5 oz. fresh organic baby spinach
6 large Crimini mushrooms sliced
1 medium yellow onion chopped
1 cup Egg Beaters™ or equivalent
4 cloves of garlic minced
4 tablespoons shredded Asiago cheese
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms till they begin to caramelize. Add ground turkey, salt and pepper and break it into crumbles. When turkey changes to white add fresh spinach, as spinach is wilting add Egg Beaters™. Cook another minute and serve. Shred about one tablespoon of Asiago on each serving.

© 2011 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com


Cream of Mushroom Medley Soup

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This soup is easy to prepare and has such a wonderful complexity of flavors that you’ll never go back to canned  mushroom soup again. I highly recommend the optional white truffle oil since it adds so much to this humble soup you’ll feel like royalty when you eat it. This soup is lower in fat and has complete protein. If you use tapioca flour instead of wheat it will also be gluten-free.

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Cream of Mushroom Medley Soup

Yield: 3 – 2 cup servings

40 fluid oz. (5 cups) 1 % organic milk
14 oz. (12 each) Crimini mushrooms
6 oz. (3 clusters) Oyster mushrooms
5 oz. (1 large) Portobello mushroom
4 oz. (14 each) fresh Shitake mushrooms
1 fluid oz. (2 tablespoons) canola oil
4 fluid oz. (1/2 cup) Madeira or Sherry wine
2.5 oz. (1/2 cup) unbleached wheat flour
.5 oz. (4 each) cloves garlic minced
.5 oz (1 tablespoon) Kosher salt
Optional: 6 drops white truffle oil

Remove gills from Portobello mushroom with a spoon. Chop or slice all mushrooms after cleaning and mince garlic. Sauté mushrooms, salt and garlic in a heavy 6 quart saucepan with the canola oil stirring constantly for 7 minutes. Add flour and sauté 1 more minute. Deglaze pan with Madeira or Sherry reduce to medium high heat and add milk and continue stirring to keep the bottom from scorching. When it come up to a boil remove from heat, portion and serve. For added flavor add 2 drops each serving of white truffle oil.

©2010 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com

Spinach, Artichoke & Asiago Frittata

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Frittatas can be quickly prepared like an open face omelet or baked like a quiche or souffle. This recipe is for the baked variety which can also be served cold and makes a delectable, savory  meal that can be served any time of the day. I like to add fresh fruit as an accompaniment. This recipe is lower in fat and heart healthy, gluten-free and also a good diabetic meal option.

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Spinach, Artichoke & Asiago Frittata

Yield: 6 servings

1 qt Egg Beaters™ or equivalent
1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup quartered artichoke heart water packed (drained)
1 cup shredded medium Asiago cheese
1 cup medium diced sweet red pepper
¾ cup of pulverized Rice Chex™ cereal
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of E.V.O.O.
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Use a blender or immersion hand mixer to pulverize the Rice Chex™ cereal. Coat a casserole dish or baking pan with the olive oil. Mix eggs, seasonings and cereal, pour into baking dish. Add remaining ingredients reserving 2 tablespoons of the cheese to sprinkle on top before baking. Bake in a preheated 350° F. oven for 55 minutes or when a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center.
Serving suggestion: Serve hot or chilled with fresh fruit.

© 2010 Aron David Bradley
http://www.boomercuisine.com