Duck Salad with Mango

We have the good fortune to have a local, humanely raised duck and rabbit vendor at our local farmer’s market. Summer is here and salads are so yummy this time of the year. after you cook the duck breast and chill it, this is a very fast and simple recipe to prepare. The cherry infused (or regular) balsamic vinegar is all you need for dressing and the angel hair slaw and Marcona almonds provide a wonderful crispness.Gluten-free, low fat, diabetic friendly and full of nutrients, this salad is sure to please.

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Duck Salad with Mango

Yield: 2 servings

Prepare duck breast ahead of time by roasting or pan searing with your favorite dry rub. Slice into thin strips

4 cups angel hair slaw
1 carrot shredded
½ a mango julienne
1 green onion julienne
½ cup Marcona almonds
Drizzle cherry infused or regular balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine slaw, carrot, onion and mango and portion onto two plates. Arrange sliced duck breast as pictured and add almonds. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste.

©2016 Aron Bradley


Pineapple Cantaloupe Salsa Fresca

Summer is here and this colorful and tasty salsa is perfect for entertaining or family activities. The sweet melon and acidity of the pineapple and lime juice complement each other beautifully. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, fat free and Paleo.

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Pineapple Cantaloupe Salsa Fresca

Yield: 6 servings
1 organic pineapple finely diced
1 medium Tuscan or regular organic cantaloupe finely diced
1 red onion finely diced
1 red bell pepper finely diced
2 serrano chilies finely diced
½ bunch of cilantro finely diced
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
Optional: 1 tablespoon sugar

Cut melon and pineapple and dice into ¼ inch pieces or smaller. Do the same for the onion, cilantro, serrano chilies and red bell pepper. Add salt, lime juice and sugar (optional). Mix thoroughly, chill and serve

©2016 Aron Bradley

Colorful Quinoa Salad

The grain Quinoa (pron. Keen-Wa) originated in South America and is actually the seeds of a plant in the spinach family. It is unique as a grain because it has complete protein unlike other grains that need a legume to provide a complete amino acid balance. Quinoa has a wonderful slightly nutty flavor and unique texture and when cooked it creates tiny spirals and looks like a grain from another planet.
This recipe is low in fat, high in protein and is diabetic friendly and gluten-free.
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Colorful Quinoa Salad

Yield: 6 servings
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
1 can (15oz) black beans rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped scallions
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 small red pepper diced
1 small red onion diced
1 small Serrano pepper seeded and diced

4 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons E.V.O.O.
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix dressing and add to salad mix. Give it at least
10 minutes to incorporate flavors before serving. Serve chilled.
© 2011 Aron David Bradley

No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

This recipe is so easy to prepare yet so rich and elegant you’ll be telling all your friends about it. We all love rich and decadent desserts but who can afford the calories and fat? This recipe will make you a believer that you can have your cheesecake and eat it too! This recipe has lower fat and sugar and fewer calories compared to regular cheesecake.

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No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: 4 servings

2 – 8 oz containers of Philadelphia™ fat free cream cheese
8 oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 – 1 oz package of Jell-O™ fat –free, sugar-free cheesecake instant pudding mix
½ cup Guittard™ extra dark chocolate chips
2 teaspoons Grand Marnier™ liqueur
1 tablespoon fat-free half and half

In a double boiler add chocolate chips, as they begin to melt add liqueur and half and half and beat till smooth with a small balloon whip.

Place yogurt, cream cheese and pudding mix in a mixing bowl and mix till smooth with an immersion hand blender or electric mixer. Mix in chocolate ganache, spoon or pipe cheesecake into a champagne glass with a star tipped pastry bag. Chill 30 minutes, serve.

© 2010 Aron David Bradley

Dancing in the Kitchen with Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef

As you may have noticed if you read my blog 99% of my recipes are gluten-free. My wife Val gets back spasms when she eats gluten so we try to avoid it around here. Val first told me about the Gluten-Free Girl site when her chiropractor first diagnosed her problem with gluten. We have been fans ever since. We just tried their recipe: Seared Shrimp with Garlic Almond Sauce and OMG was it yummy. We snapped a picture before devouring it. The shrimp were divine and the almond sauce so rich and unctuous it was plate licking good. If you want the recipe and 99 other great recipes from their new cookbook “Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes” the link is in my blogroll just below  ‘Documentation’.  We are very jazzed about their new book and I’m sure you will be too! Just follow the link.

Seared Shrimp w/ Garlic Almond Sauce

Chile Peppers 101

Pico de Gallo (Rooster’s beak in Spanish) gets its name from the shape of the chopped veggies in this salsa fresca. Here is my recipe utilizing Serrano chiles and a brief run down on how chile heat is measured and why they are good for you.

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In 1912 a chemists by the name of Wilbur Scoville, working for the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company, developed a method to measure the heat level of chile peppers. The test is named after him, the “Scoville Organoleptic Test”. It is a subjective dilution-taste procedure. In the original test, Wilbur blended pure ground Chiles with sugar-water and a panel of “testers” then sipped the solution, in increasingly diluted concentrations, until they reached the point that the liquid no longer burned their mouths. A number was then assigned to each chile pepper based on how much it needed to be diluted before they could no longer taste (feel) the heat.

The pungency (or heat factor) of chile peppers is measured in multiples of 100 units. The sweet bell peppers at zero Scoville units to the mighty Naga Jolokia (Ghost Pepper) at over 1,000,000 Scoville units! One part of chile “heat” per 1,000,000 drops of water is rated at only 1.5 Scoville Units. The substance that makes a chile so hot is called Capsaicin (cap-say-ah-sin). Pure Capsaicin rates between 15,000,000 and 16,000,000 Scoville Units! Today a more scientific and accurate method called liquid chromatography is used to determine capsaicin levels. In honor of Dr. Wilbur the unit of measure is still named Scoville.
Scoville Chile Heat Chart
Chile peppers, and particularly the capsaicin they contain, are good for what ails you. Here’s just a short list of some of the health benefits attributed to them:

Weight Loss. Feel the burn and lose the pounds is one theory posited by researchers at the Oxford Polytechnic Institute in England. In an experiment with 12 individuals, each participant ate identical 766-calorie meals. Chile powder and mustard were added to meals on alternate days. Participants burned an average of 45 extra calories on the days that their meals included chile powder. (Added calorie expenditure varied from four to 76 calories.) The theory is that eating hot peppers increases “thermogenesis,” the body’s caloric burn rate.

Keep your heart healthy. Chiles reduce platelet aggregation, which clogs blood vessels which in turn can cause heart disease.

Improve circulation. Because chiles are vasodilators and open up blood vessels, ingesting cayenne pepper improves blood circulation. People with circulation problems or who have suffered frost bite often take capsaicin powder before participating in cold weather sports.

Cancer killer. Capsaicin in chiles may fight cancer by preventing carcinogens from binding to DNA. The theory is that binding to the DNA short-circuits the triggers for lung and other cancers. This does not mean that chiles cure cancer, but eating them may help to reduce your risk of getting certain kinds of cancer.

Bacteria Killer, Part I. Get hurt on a picnic and don’t have any Bactine on you? Head for the hot sauce, instead. Chiles and their capsaicin act as an antiseptic when applied directly to a wound. (No, it does not work against snake bites.)

Bacteria Killer, Part II. Chiles can prevent food borne bacterial disease such as salmonella. Chiles killed more than 75 percent of 30 germs in a study published in the March 1998 issue of the Quarterly Review of Biology.

Pain Management. Capsaicin is believed to affect the pain signals in the skin, blocking pain without blocking other sensations. Find an ointment or cream containing capsaicin and smear it over the body part that’s hurting. Initially the capsaicin may produce a burning sensation, but that should cancel out the pain that you’re feeling.

Cure for the Common Cluster Headache. Just as it short-circuits pain elsewhere, chiles and their capsaicin can provide relief for some kind of headaches, especially cluster headaches.

Digestive Aid and Constipation Cure. Chiles stimulate gastric secretions. Eating chiles increases the circulation in the stomach and intestines so that food is processed and absorbed more efficiently.

Cold Relief. Hot pepper acts as an expectorant. It can break up congestion and reduce mucous in the lungs and nasal passages.

As you can see there are lots of reasons to use chiles in your recipes but my favorite is they taste awesome!

Pico De Gallo

Yield: 4-6 servings

2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes
2 medium Serrano chiles (more or less depending on your desired level of heat)
1 large red onion
1 medium cucumber
½ bunch of cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar, sucralose or stevia
2 teaspoons salt

Dice tomatoes, cucumbers and onion ¼ inch diameter, slice chiles very thin and chop so they will be evenly disbursed. Add to bowl with your tomatoes cucumbers and onions. Rinse and coarsely chop cilantro and add to the bowl. Add lime juice, salt and sweetener and mix thoroughly.
c. 2010 Aron David Bradley

Grapefruit Shrimp

Fresh veggies and tangy grapefruit combine with delicate shrimp in a zesty slightly piquant sauce for this offering.
Low fat, diabetic friendly (omit pasta), gluten-free.
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Grapefruit Shrimp

Yield: 5-6 generous servings

In a large mixing bowl combine:
2 medium zucchini (sliced lengthwise then ¼ inch crosscut slices)
1 large red bell pepper (sliced lengthwise then ¼ inch crosscut slices)
6 large Crimini mushrooms (sliced lengthwise then ¼ inch crosscut slices)
½ medium red onion (sliced lengthwise then ¼ inch crosscut slices)
1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1-2 medium jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
optional: 1 tablespoon ground dried shrimp (Mexican)
5 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon sugar or sucralose
2 ½ lbs 31/40 per lb. raw peeled, deveined, shrimp
Set aside.
2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 cups ruby grapefruit juice
with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in it

Heat a non-stick wok or sauté pan high heat with the canola oil in it. Add the contents of the bowl. As shrimp begin to change color add the grapefruit/cornstarch mixture.
Sauté till shrimp are cooked and sauce is slightly thickened stirring frequently.
(Don’t overcook the shrimp).
Divide into portions and serve.

Serving suggestion: Serve over cooked gluten-free quinoa corn pasta

c. 2007 Aron David Bradley

Sustainably Delicious

Fresh jalapeno from the garden were the inspiration for this dish. This is uber easy to prepare and very zesty and flavorful. Lower in fat, gluten-free and a great diabetic entrée choice.
Tilapia is a North African native fish and is found in the Nile. To meet the protein demands of our ever-expanding populations, it is being farmed all over the world.
Your “Best Choice” is tilapia grown in the U.S. in environmentally friendly systems. “Avoid” farmed tilapia from China and Taiwan, where pollution and weak management are widespread problems. The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a pocket seafood watch list on their site for different regions across America providing environmentally sound seafood choices. Tilapia is on the good choice list with the above caveat regarding where it was produced.
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Chile Lime Tilapia

Yield: 3-4 servings

1 ½ lbs tilapia filets
2 cups cilantro
1 tablespoon jalapeno peppers (brunoise)
1 cup red onion (brunoise)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice (fresh)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar or sucralose
1 ½ teaspoons salt

Garnish: red pepper slices, lime slices

Arrange tilapia filets in a baking dish. Finely chop cilantro, onion, garlic and jalapeno
and place in a bowl. Add EVOO, lime juice, salt, sugar. Mix and spread on top of your filets. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until internal temp of fish is at least 145 degrees. Don’t over cook. Garnish and serve. Great with a salad, fresh fruit or rice pilaf as accompaniments.

c. 2010 Aron David Bradley

Summer Side

I’m not the only one who cooks in our household. My lovely wife Valerie is also a creative contributor to our daily fare. This salad has vibrant flavor with the fresh dill, green onions and basil from our garden. Loaded with protein yet lower in fat it gets its creaminess from Greek yogurt and fat-free sour cream. A tasty side with all the flavor of summer.
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Val’s Yummy Potato and Egg Salad

Yield: 10-12 servings

8 Yukon gold potatoes
6 eggs
¼ cup chopped green onions
2 tbsp chopped dill
3 tbsp chopped basil

7 tbsp olive oil mayonnaise
½ cup low fat Greek yogurt
½ cup fat free sour cream
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground dry mustard
½ tsp pepper
3 tsp Splenda
1 tsp vinegar

Chop potatoes into cubes – about ¾”. Boil until tender and drain, cool. Hard boil eggs and cool. Mix potatoes, chopped peeled eggs, onions, dill and basil.

In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients and then mix into potato mixture.

c. 2010 Valerie J. Bradley

A.L.T. Sandwich

The first tomatoes from our garden are coming in and inspired today’s sandwich.
Alt in today’s cultural lingo in short for Alternative and also the appropriate acronym for this alternative B.L.T.
Although bacon is tasty it is loaded with sat fat, nitrates and salt. Avocado is loaded with nutrition and healthy fat so it naturally makes a great substitute in this classic American sandwich.
I have added fresh basil to the mix for some added flavor.
If you are gluten-free substitute a gluten-free bread instead.
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Avocado Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich

Yield: 1 serving

2 slices of your favorite multigrain bread
1 teaspoon olive oil mayonnaise
1 sliced fresh tomato
1 Romaine leaf
4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil
½ a ripe avocado sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Toast bread and spread mayo. Add avocado and tomato slices. Season. Add basil and shredded romaine leaf,
Slice and serve.

c. 2010 Aron David Bradley