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Easy, Healthy and Diabetes-Friendly Recipe for your next meal!

May 10th, 2019
by Good Life Kitchen

This Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna is a healthy and tasty alternative to normal lasagna. You don’t need pasta or a heavy sauce for this delicious lasagna! 

Close-up of low-carb zucchini lasagna on a white plate

How to make Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna

This Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna requires a bit of prep time in order for the flavors to really flourish, but it’s definitely worth it. If the sauce is allowed to simmer on the stove for the full 25 minutes, it will bring a lot of yumminess to the beef and zucchini.

Let me walk you through the process step-by-step:

Step 1 – Prepare the zucchinis

  • Use a julienne peeler to cut the zucchini into ½-inch (1 cm) slices. Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Blot the zucchini slices with a paper towel and grill or broil them in the oven for 3 minutes at high heat.
  • After broiling, place the zucchini on paper towels (you want to get as much of the liquid out as possible).

Step 2 – Prepare the rest of the veggies

  • Cut off the ends of the tomatoes and make an X insertion on top. Place in boiling water for a few minutes. Pour cold water over, and peel off the skin (or use canned tomatoes).
  • Roughly chop onions, garlic, chili, peeled tomatoes, and mushrooms.
  • Add a little cooking spray to a deep skillet and fry the garlic, onion, and chili for 1 min.
  • Add the tomatoes and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté the vegetables for an additional 4 minutes. Then take them off the heat and set aside.

Step 3 – Cook the beef

  • Cook the beef with the paprika in the same skillet you used for the veggie until fully browned.
  • Add the vegetables back into the skillet together with the chicken bouillon and remaining spices and let it simmer for 25 minutes over low heat.

Step 4 – Assemble the Lasagna

  • Line a small baking tray with parchment paper and use 1/3 of the zucchini to make a layer in the bottom. Put 1/3 of the meat sauce on top. Add another layer of zucchini and continue like this until you’re out of sauce and zucchini

First layer of zucchini and beef in the baking tray

Alternating layers of zucchini and beet in the baking tray

Step 5 – Add mozzarella cheese
  • Spread shredded mozzarella on top and bake for 35 minutes

Fully assembled low-carb zucchini lasagna ready to put in oven

  • Take the lasagna out of the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Close-up of the finished low-carb zucchini lasagna

That’s it!

A new recipe for your Meatless Monday!

April 7th, 2019
by Good Life Kitchen

Meatless Monday is quickly becoming a global movement. We’re celebrating the healthy initiative with our Meatless Main Dishes classes each month! On the menu this week is our Quinoa Salad recipe with Petite Vegetables. Rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants and all nine essential amino acids, quinoa is one of the healthiest and most nutritious foods on the planet. Don’t forget to add these ingredients to your shopping list to try this recipe! 

QUINOA SALAD WITH PETITE VEGETABLES

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

For the champagne vinaigrette

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water or Vegetable stock

1 pinch salt

Vegetable mix

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 small sweet onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

1/2 cup diced carrots

1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced

1 cup diced butternut squash 

1 small white sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 cup chick peas (canned, drained & rinsed)

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup vegetable stock    

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T. chopped parsley leaves 

2 cups arugula 

1 avocado, diced 

Procedure:

  1. Stir the quinoa in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to take on a toasty aroma, about 5 minutes. Pour in the water, and add pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, stir periodically and simmer until the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, mushrooms, squash, sweet potatoes, chick peas and cayenne pepper; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Then add the vegetable stock and cook until sweet potato are tender; (heat should be on low temp. cook for about 20 minutes) stirring occasionally. Add additional vegetable stock to the mix if needed to keep the vegetables from burning. Allow vegetable mix to cool to room temperature and add in parsley.
  4. Place the vegetable mixture in a bowl with the quinoa, add arugula, and avocado. Dress with champagne vinaigrette. 

Have a snow day like when you were a kid…

March 3rd, 2019
by Good Life Kitchen

Remember that excitement sitting in front of the TV patiently waiting for your town to pop up with that ever magical “Closed” after it. Every once in a while, Mother Nature will come through with a snow day for us big kids too. That’s when I’ll turn to the recipe books to find something to warm me up after shoveling out. Almost always you will find the ingredients in this recipe in my pantry because a good red sauce is my comfort food. Check out this Adult SpaghettiOs for your next snow day:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • ¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck (20% fat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 large sprigs basil
  • 12 ounces anelletti, ditalini, or other short tubular pasta

RECIPE PREPARATION

Purée tomatoes in a food processor until mostly smooth; there should still be some dime-sized pieces remaining. Set aside.

Whisk panko, cheese, oregano, garlic powder, ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, and 1½ tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in egg and cream. Add beef and mix with your hands until just combined, being careful not to overwork (if packed too firmly, meatballs will be dense). Form into 1″-diameter balls (you should have about 24); transfer to a plate.

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Cook meatballs, turning occasionally until lightly browned on all sides but not fully cooked through about 5 minutes. Transfer to another plate.

Cook onion and garlic in the same skillet, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and begins to soften, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and cook until brick red, about 1 minute. Add paprika and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sugar, basil, and reserved tomato purée. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce is slightly reduced and flavors have melded about 20 minutes. Add meatballs and any accumulated juices; continue to cook until meatballs are cooked through, 5–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and return to pasta pot. Pour sauce and meatballs over pasta and stir to combine. Transfer to a platter and top with cheese.

Change your diet & watch your life change!

February 9th, 2014
by Bernard Kinsella

What a concept, eh? Keep yourself encouraged if you’re looking to reduce your waistline by making one menu for each day of the week. Reaching a goal for yourself, as most of us realize today involves compromise. It requires discipline, change in habits, better use of time and a number of other topics we could list but then would realize; WOW, that’s a lot of work ahead of me! Review this strategy and check out some options to assist you.

  1. Planning: Establish a goal and get the facts on how to reach that goal? Read, consult a professional and ask advice from others you have noticed a physical change in.
  2. Action: Take some recipes you really like and try to build off them. Make adjustments to ingredients or portion size to reduce calorie consumption and create additional recipes with ingredients you have on hand.” Prep time” is the biggest challenge I hear when conducting sessions. So when you’re chopping away think about tomorrow’s delight!
  3.  Get Cooking: Taking the idea “this is the menu for tonight” makes it easier to reach your goal. I found if you create too many choices you fill up your refrigerator with unnecessary ingredients and potential waste.
  4.  Savor Every Bite: Ask yourself?  How does it taste, what would I do different next time, consider adding to making it more appealing or taking out of the recipe, did I make too much or was it just enough, no leftovers is a bonus I found helps out.

Simple steps to making you feel better and look better…just with one meal. So if you’re cooking for yourself this can become a good habit to follow, if you have other people who depend on your culinary talents, share the love and cook together, so they have no excuses later on!

Thanks + ciao…..Chef Bernard

Grilled Vegetables with Romesco Sauce                       serves 6

Ingredients:                        
8 plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and halved
4 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and quartered
2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and quartered
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
1 pound large mushrooms, stemmed
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 slice white bread, torn into pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

Procedure:

1. Place vegetables in a large bowl and toss with 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 teaspoon of the pepper.

2. Heat a gas grill to medium-high or prepare a charcoal grill with medium-hot coals. Grill vegetables 5 to 6 minutes per side. Set aside.

3. For sauce; place almonds, bread, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Process until nuts are ground. Add 4 of the grilled tomatoes, the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and the vinegar. Process until mixture reaches the consistency of a paste. Cover and chill.

4. Serve vegetables with Romesco sauce.

Nutritional Information per serving: 457 calories, 14g protein, 46g carbohydrate, 26g fat (4g saturated), 8g fiber

Our website www.goodlifekitchen.com offers a variety of recipes,  ‘how to’ videos and a selection of fresh catered food for events & weekly meals. A mixture of creative hands on cooking classes are always a great way to stimulate your palate and work on those kitchen skills. Every week is a new experience at the “GLK”, see you soon!

ciao Bernard

Beef…its whats for dinner…

September 21st, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

Beef is not just for dinner its great any time!

Recently I’ve had several calls on “how to cook” a piece of tenderloin of beef. “I need a quick recipe and what can I do with the left over’s”?!  Although there are several quick recipes to sputter out, the most important one is to cook beef tenderloin properly. Then you can also stuff it, tie it, add a sauce, and roll it in a concoction you created for a crust to top it & roast it in and baste it while it cooks. Tenderloin of beef is as good as a perfectly cooked rib roast for this time of year. It’s also a family tradition in some households to create a menu that is built around a great piece of meat!

If you’re not good with the professional’s guide of touching the meat to see if its “done” to your likening, use a thermometer for accuracy, it’s that simple. Starting at room temperature is helpful when roasting a piece of  meat and please note: when you remove it from the oven after cooking your selection, its best to remove it to another pan, loosely wrap it in foil and understand the internal  temperature of the meat will rise about 5-10 degrees F as the meat rest. It’s best to wait & carve it after about 12-15 minutes (depending on the size and selection) once you remove it from the oven, otherwise the natural juices (flavor) will run off when you slice it. So the recipe I gave out was for Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin:

        Ingredients:

  • A – 2 ½ # piece of meat (cleaned and trim by the local butcher) with serve 8 people with the right side dishes.
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • ¼ cup tri-color peppercorns cracked/smashed
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 cup thin sliced sweet onion
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup cabernet – red wine

Directions:

  1. Rub the beef with the olive oil then roll or pat the peppercorns into the beef. Season with the salt.
  2. Roast in preheated 425 degree F oven until the internal temperature reaches 135 degree F. About 35 minutes, (if you sear it on the stove in a pan first, it reduces your cooking time & seals in the flavor).
  3. Remove from the oven, then from the pan you roasted it in and loosely wrap it in foil.
  4. Heat your roasting pan on the stove on medium heat and add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook both until golden brown. Be careful not to over season, you should have some remnants of the peppercorns in the pan.
  5. Add the rosemary and cook for 1 min then add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen the flavorings in your pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Slice the Tenderloin against the grain in medallions and serve your red wine onion sauce on the side.

Last week we had the bruschetta appetizer as a featured recipe. If you thinly slice the meat and place it on your Crostini then top with the diced tomato mix, you have another great recipe to add to your repertoire…ciao, Bernard

Tired of Grilling? Get creative!

September 3rd, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

Having taught multiple cooking classes these past weeks a few attendees have said there tired of the same old thing on the grill. Nonsense, I say! There are several ways to get flavor to your food and use what’s on hand.

1st: Look in your spice cabinet and identify those ingredients that you rarely use. Mix 3 or 4 of the dried spices that work together with a bit of oil to make a “wet rub”, an example:  1 T. curry powder, ½ t ginger, 1 t dried thyme or cilantro leaves and ½ t dried cumin mixed with ¼ cup of warmed olive oil makes a nice paste to spread over chicken, ribs or beef tips. Use a pastry brush to coat a fair amount over your food then grill on medium heat until desired temperature is reached.

2nd: More than likely the condiment or door section in your refrigerator holds a few of the same ingredients. Try small amounts at first and combine to taste, if you like the flavor profile mix a larger quantity and use to compliment your grilled fish, vegetables or chicken. You will need a bowl, whisk and possibly a food processor (for larger quantities). Than an investor, once you have discovered the best tasting sauce that money can buy!

As we have said many a time, cooking doesn’t have to be all consuming. Yes, you may need a little time & patience, but that’s it! Were all creative in our own way, take what you like and build on that.

Here are 2 recipes concocted from being creative and utilizing ingredients on hand:

 ASIAN SLAW

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. garlic, minced

1 tsp. oyster sauce

1 Tbsp. finely julienned ginger

1 bag Fresh Express Cole slaw mix

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  1. Mix the first 6 ingredients in a plastic container or bowl until blended.
  2. Then toss with the fresh express Cole slaw mix and refrigerate.
  3. Toss periodically every 15 minutes.

Before serving, taste for seasoning, garnish with sesame seeds or some fresh garden chopped herbs.

Tamarind Glazed Chicken 

Ingredients for the Tamarind Glaze:                                                                  serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic, finely diced

6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

2 whole Chile pepper

2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate/paste

3 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For the Chicken:

4 bone in chicken breasts

4 chicken thighs

Vegetable oil

1 bunch thyme, picked

2 cloves garlic minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Procedure:

  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 15 minutes. Place mixture in a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the saucepan and cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. For the Grill, preheat grill: Brush chicken with vegetable oil and toss with garlic, thyme and salt / pepper to taste. Grill chicken for 8 to 9 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the grill and brush with the sauce.
  3. For Roasting, preheat the oven to 375o: brush with the sauce on the chicken then toss with the thyme leaves, garlic and season lightly with salt and pepper. Coat a roasting dish with oil or vegetable spray. Place in chicken and roast for 23 to 25 minutes.

 

As seen on WHDH’s “The Dish”, a delicious Berry Trifle

July 7th, 2013
by Connor MacDonald

On June 20, our very own Chef Bernard Kinsella joined WHDH’s Amanda Grace on “The Dish” to demonstrate how simple, healthy and delicious a berry trifle is.

Wild Berry Trifle

Ingredients Serves 10

— 1 pint blueberries
— 1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into thick slices
— 2 pint raspberries
— 1 lemon, juiced
— 1/4 cup sugar
— 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Lemon Yogurt:

— 1 quart plain yogurt
— 1 tablespoon sugar
— 1 (11-ounce) jar lemon curd
— 1 (store bought) angel food cake, sliced 1/2-inch thick in cubes

Directions:

1. Place the berries into a large bowl and sprinkle with half of the lemon juice. Lightly toss.

2. Combine the berries, sugar, cornstarch and remaining lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook just until the berries begin to break down and give up their juices, about 3 minutes. Take the berries off the heat and let cool; the mixture should thicken up as is cools.

3. In a clean bowl, mix the yogurt with the sugar and blend to combine. Add the lemon curd stir to combine.

4. To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the lemon yogurt into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of angel food cake, breaking the slices into pieces that fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of lemon cream. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To read more and see the original article, please visit WHDH

 

Markets are blooming!

June 16th, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

I hit my first Farmers market this past weekend and had a great experience. Although you may not find everything you’re looking for… just yet! … It’s great to get out and be in the fresh air, see what’s available and NEW.

As always it’s a wonderful time to spend with Love ones. I went with my daughter and it’s a great time to just be …. As you stroll around don’t forget to ask questions and see what may be growing or coming in the near future. Check out the New England listing of markets at www.farmfresh.org or www.farmland.org  to review what’s cropping up and information helpful to consumers. Also, if you’re traveling for the summer and would like to see what other parts of the USA have available there are some cool markets close by as well.

The best thing about these markets is that they help you add to your recipe repertoire. Don’t forget to thoroughly rinse items well or let them soak for a bit, before you prep or cook them.

Let us know how your experience was and what you made!

Thanks and ciao Bernard

Next week check out our information on summer’s food safety tips!

Multiple ingredients…how to use them?

May 12th, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

A few weeks back we put a recipe up for a pearl barley salad which if you tried, is very tasty. So like you I wanted to make something without having to run out to the store a few days later. I reviewed what I had on hand and using some of the ingredients from the barley recipe came up with this pearl barley risotto. It has a southwestern flavor to it and if you grill some portabella mushroom, salmon or chicken to top off this dish the end results are quite pleasing! I was able to use the last of my dried pearl barley, black beans raw just had to be soaked and if you used the can and it’s been open, just make sure there still fresh (no sour odor). I always keep multiple fresh vegetables on hand cut in a variety of shapes, which means: once I have my cutting board out and I’m making dinner for that night I think about what I may want to have for the next day, therefore, I prep ahead to make my meal time easier!

So my solution (as we have discussed multiple times before) if you plan to eat well, healthier and feel good just consider: prep ahead to save time, use what’s in stock and keep it colorful. Try this recipe and let us know what your solution is for multiple ingredients?

Barley Risotto with Vegetables & Black Beans                                       serves 6

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil + 2 tablespoon

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

Salt & Pepper to taste

2 cup Pearl Barley

1 cup white wine

6 cups vegetable stock

3 T. butter

6 ounces yellow bell pepper, diced

6 ounces red bell pepper, diced

6 ounces green bell pepper, diced

2 tomato, diced

1 cup cooked black beans

1 ½ t cumin

1 ½ t coriander powder

½ cup grated manchego cheese (or as needed)

½ cup green onion cut thin

Fresh Cilantro Leaves

Procedure

  1. Using a heavy sauce pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots until tender, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper
  2. Add the barley and cook stirring for another minute. Add the white wine and 1 cup vegetable stock and stir. Allow the barley to cook and soak up the stock, then repeat stirring frequently until the stock is used up, (15 minutes) Stir in the butter; the texture should be rich and creamy.
  3. Once barley is cooked add the black beans,
  4. Heat a sauté pan on med high temp; add the remaining vegetables’ in the 2 T of olive oil & sauté until tender. Season with the cumin and coriander then add to the barley and gently combine to mix well.

To serve, place on large platter or as individual servings and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and fresh grated manchego cheese

Our website www.goodlifekitchen.com offers a variety of recipes, ‘how to’ videos and a selection of fresh catered food for events & weekly meals. A mixture of creative hands on cooking classes are always a great way to stimulate your palate and work on those kitchen skills. Every week is a new experience at the “GLK”, see you soon!

ciao Bernard

Start cooking better for you!

March 17th, 2013
by Bernard Kinsella

Do you have a signature dish?

This past week I hosted several cooking sessions with a variety of groups. The menus varied and the most common question by members in each session was:

“What is your favorite recipe or food to prepare”?

I must admit for the few years now that I have been cooking and the exciting journey it has provided me…I can’t say, I have a specific answer! There are so many great holiday foods to consider, seasonal favorites that get me going (fresh figs and cherries when they are available) & the summer farmers markets offer an abundant supply of treats to play with…the list goes on and on. A chef’s particular special, which is not necessarily a signature dish, just a seasonal ingredient, which they know how to properly cook is always a favorite to try.

Presently, I focus more on the “health and wellness” side of cooking, but I still prefer to taste most anything.  Although our website www.goodlifekitchen.com offers a variety of recipes and ‘how to’ videos you can see the cast of other host, who offer fine recipes.

Similarly, culinary publications provide us with an interesting outlook to everyday recipes and can inspire us to use our creativity to build on and try something new…any favorite publications you have? I enjoy “Cuisine at Home” its easy and simple to follow. The details and pictures make you want to make what’s on every page…so what’s your favorite dish to make or who inspires you in the kitchen, let us know?

ciao Bernard