Monday, January 25, 2010

And The Saints Went Marchin' In...

Whether you're a sports fan or not (& I tend to fall a wee bit more into the "not" category... unless, of course, we are talking about The Horns), you were probably on your feet during those last few minutes of the Saints vs Vikings game on Sunday.

Beyond the Dallas Cowboys of the Landry Era, I have not had a strong opinion in regards to NFL teams. But I find it hard NOT to be happy for the Saints & the good fortune that the State of Louisiana deserves. After all, they've had some extremely difficult who am I to want to rain on their parade & I hear they have quite the parade!

I must admit, Favre made 40-something look really good for those of us who are hovering in that age bracket...admittedly or not :) I would have to speculate that he has been proactive about the state of his body...probably internally as well as the obvious external factors...because much more than just luck went into taking the Vikings nearly all the way to the Superbowl (though now he is probably thankful for those Wrangler advertisements)!

So, in honor of the Saints win, & as a two thumbs up (in Favre's direction) to what taking care of yourself can look like...I give you a nutrient filled "Geaux To" Pasta Sauce that is well worth the effort it takes to get it to the table!!

Chunky Pasta Sauce
Serves 6-8

1 lb lean ground turkey
2 (14 oz) cans organic diced tomatoes
1 cup organic chicken broth
2 Tbsp organic tomato paste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 lb crimini or baby bella mushroom, stems removed & chopped
2 small (or 1 medium) zucchini, diced
1 (3.8 oz) can sliced black olives
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp fine sea salt
a pinch to 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (the Cajun twist)
Whole wheat (or quinoa) rotini pasta
Fresh grated parmesan cheese

In a large soup pan, brown ground turkey, seasoning with salt & pepper, & then remove from pan & set aside. In the same pan over medium heat, saute garlic, yellow onion, & green pepper in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms & zucchini & saute until mushrooms cook down & zucchini begins to soften. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, olives, & spices. Bring to a boil & then reduce to a simmer for 20 more minutes. Dish up a generous helping over prepared rotini noodles. Add a sprinkling of fresh grated parmesan cheese & enjoy!!

Some of you might be tempted to leave the mushrooms out of this recipe (you know who you are...wink, wink), but I would urge you to first try using just 1/2 the amount called for & chopping them really small in lieu of excluding them. They add a richness to the sauce as well as important health benefits. Just give it a whirl...I think you'll be pleased!

Serve with a simple salad of romaine lettuce, toasted pine nuts & a balsamic vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
1 cup prepared

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp agave nectar

Place all ingredients in a blender & mix until smooth. Prepare it ahead of time & the flavors will be even more infused. Will keep well in the refrigerator for 2 weeks...if it lasts that long :)

As an alternative, a favorite prepared dressing of mine is Tuscany Italian by Annies Naturals. You can find it at most supermarkets in the natural foods sections. It has a balsamic vinegar base & can be a bit strong, so I mix 1 Tbsp of dressing to the juice of 1/4 a lemon to balance it a bit.

Mushrooms: prepare just before use by wiping them clean with a damp cloth or paper towel instead of soaking; powerful antioxidant properties; phytonutrient beta-glucan has shown to be beneficial in anti-cancer research; excellent source of the vital mineral selenium; rich in roboflavin & several additional B vitamins; beneficial for heart health, asthma, arthritis, breast & colon health; & if you weren't already won aphrodisiac ;)

So, besides wanting to look really good in YOUR Wranglers...what is your personal "Superbowl" & what goals have you set for taking yourself "all the way"!?!

C'est Tout,


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