GA Grown: Vidalia Onions


Vidalia Onions Shipped on April 15th!

Georgia Vidalia® onion growers plan to harvest more than 12,000 acres of  Vidalia® onions in 2013!Vidalia® onions are unique to Georgia and may only be grown in parts of a 20-county area in the southeastern part of the state.  The onions are prized for their sweetness and lack of heat and are used raw or cooked.

Shrimp Hushpuppies with Vidalia Onion Dip

Recipe courtesy The Neelys

Ingredients:
Onion Dip:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 Vidalia onions, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Dash hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Shrimp Hushpuppies, for serving, recipe followsDirections:
Add the olive oil and butter to a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until caramelized, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove from the heat and allow the onions to cool.Blend the sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce, garlic powder, and chives together in a medium bowl. Add the onions and stir well to blend. Taste for seasonings. Refrigerate until ready to serve.*Cook’s Note: This dip is best made the night before, so the flavors have time to blend together.*

Shrimp Hushpuppies:Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 small onion, grated
1/4 cup chives, chopped
1/2 pound cooked Georgia shrimp, cleaned and tails removed, chopped
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
Peanut oil, for fryingPreheat oil in a deep-fryer or Dutch oven to 350 degrees F.
Directions:
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Drop heaping tablespoon-sized amounts of the mixture into the hot oil. Fry in batches for 2 to 3 minutes each. Remove from the oil to paper towels to drain and season immediately with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and serve with the onion dip.

GA Grown: Horse Creek Winery


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Horse Creek Winery

Georgia Grown Grapes Key to Horse Creek Winery’s Success

Situated in the lush green landscape of South Georgia are 45 acres of some of the highest quality, sweetest muscadine grapes in America.  This woody vine, native to the Southeast United states and known for the musky fruit it bears, is the heart and soul of Horse Creek Winery & Perry Vineyards in Nashville, Georgia.

The winery began in 1992 as a fresh-fruit vineyard.  Owner Ed Perry specializes in muscadines and soon was shipping the sweet, savory grapes all over the Southeast, from New York to Miami and even out west to Texas.  From there, Perry discovered that a few wineries in the South were buying muscadine grapes from growers in South Georgia and the Carolinas to make wine.

With the realization that his grapes were the main ingredient in desired wines at other well-known wineries in the South, Ed Perry began thinking about making wines from his own vineyard, and it didn’t take him long to get started.

All Horse Creek Winery products are grown in Georgia and sold throughout the United States.  Each winery bottle, capsule, cork and label is produced in the U.S.  Horse Creek Winery prides itself on creating American jobs by only purchasing American made products.

When asked what Georgia Grown meant to his business, Perry responded, “If every household spent an additional ten dollars a week in their local home town stores on Georgia Grown products, it would put well over $2 billion dollars back into our Georgia economy each year. That would help jump start our local economy. Our goal is to contribute to Georgia Grown by encouraging others to buy and sell Georgia Grown products. Georgia Grown products are good for me, good for you, and good for Georgia.”

Horse Creek Winery has a genuine concern for Georgia, and works every day to promote our state and the agriculture industry. Perry says that “support of Georgia’s agriculture industry is support for each and every person in Georgia.”

For more information on Horse Creek Winery, visit www.georgiagrown.com .

Celebrate Earth Day!

  Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd, and what better way to give back to Mother Earth than to make some Eco-Friendly Home Improvements?
This week’s Your Resident Gourmet found the perfect article by Eric Brennan sharing some great tips on going green and reducing your carbon footprint. Give them a try and show Mother Earth some love!

Happy Earth Day! 

Chef Jennifer  

 

 

     

 

   Celebrate Earth Day!


Going green with your home improvement projects has never been easier.
Use one (or all) of these 15 Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Ideas and you’ll be sure to get a product that’s not only easy on the eyes but also easy on the environment.

 

 

 

1. Bamboo Plywood- This sustainable material reaches maturity in just four years and uses low VOC adhesives to seal the laminates.

2. Synthetic Grass- Stays cut and green for years with no water, mowing or fertilizers. It’s also 100 percent recyclable.

3. Soy-Based Stains- Without the need for toxic acids, soy-based stains work great for both interior and exterior applications.
4. Carpet Remnant Tiles- These 80-100 percent recycled carpet fibers are easy to install and look good with any interior design project.

5. Composite Decking- Made from recycled plastic resins and left over wood materials, Composite woods are strong, light, durable and impervious to insects and decay.

6. Paper-Based Countertops- Using recycled paper materials and tree pulp from managed forests, paper countertops are a durable and stain resistant alternative to laminate countertops.

7. Tire Mulch- When trees and shrubs need mulching, opt for a 100 percent recycled tire mulch. It helps keep moisture in the ground and keeps tires out of the landfill.

8. Forest Stewardship Council- Forest Stewardship Council ensures that all of the lumber marked with their stamp of approval is guaranteed that it was harvested from a sustainably managed forest.

9. Linoleum- This classic floor covering is made from linseed oil and wood flour. It’s 100 percent recyclable, lasts for years and comes in a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from.

 

10. Recycled Glass Countertops- Made using recycled crushed glass, fly ash and concrete, glass countertops have the look, strength and scratch resistance that granite countertops have.

11. Sorghum Wood- Sorghum grass is pressed together under immense heat to create this durable and ecologically friendly plywood product.

12. Cork Flooring- The ultimate managed wood, cork trees are stripped of a 1/3 of its bark and allowed to regenerate new bark that will be harvested again, never killing the tree during the process.

13. Wool Carpet- Using sheep’s wool and other natural resins and fibers, wool carpet is 100 percent recyclable, lasts for years and comes in a wide variety of colors.

14. No VOC Paints- Volatile organic compounds in paint can release toxic gases into your home for years. Apply a no VOC paint to prevent off-gassing that can ruin indoor air quality.

15. Solar Tubes- Get natural light to your home anywhere you need it using a solar tube. These solar tubes reflect sunlight around vents, wires and plumbing pipes making them the ultimate pollution free lighting source.

Bringing Sandwich Back!

Bringing Sandwich Back!
Like most working parents I’m always on the lookout for a fast, nutritious, but delicious meal-and a well made sandwich always fits the bill. Yes, a sandwich! I start with a great bread, a spicy spread, and then pile on fillings, vegetables, and fruit. Yum! This week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter is giving you some great tips on how to Build A Better Sandwich and a tasty recipe for Your Resident Gourmet’s Chimichurri Sauce!

Happy Building! 

Chef Jennifer  

 

 

     

photo by Ben Carter 

 
Build A Better Sandwich


Aim for a sandwich that is around 400 to 500 calories, fiber-rich and loaded with fruit, vegetables, lean protein, and a low-fat spread. Serve hot or cold for a well-balanced meal!  

Bread:

Go for whole wheat or multi-grain breads. There are so many bread options available these days that you can mix things up with a whole-grain tortilla, pita, ciabatta roll, or even slices of focaccia bread. Choose a variety that is high in fiber — at least 2 grams per slice — which will help you stay satisfied longer. Avoid highly refined carbs like white bread, soft rolls, and croissants! They offer little in the way of complex carbohydrates since their fiber is removed during the milling process. Also beware of wheat breads disguised as whole grain — check the label carefully to make sure you’re getting the real thing. Avoid a soggy sandwich by lightly toasting the bread and adding a thin smear of your favorite spread-this helps create a moisture barrier.

Veggies and Fruit:

The more, the merrier. Vegetables like lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, onions, pickles, cucumbers, and spinach are good sources of fiber and water, which quench hunger and add a satisfying crunch. Pack juicy veggies like tomato slices in a separate container and add to your sandwich right before you’re ready to eat it. Don’t forget your fruit! 1/2 cup sliced apples or pears adds crunch, flavor, and fiber for fewer than 50 calories. There’s no such thing as a “bad” fruit or vegetables, but watch out for pitfalls. Go easy on avocados, which contain healthy fats yet are high in calories. Top your sandwich with a few thin slices or a tablespoon of guacamole. Be sure to rinse and drain canned vegetables like mushrooms or olives to get rid of excess oil.

Fillings:

Roasted turkey breast, deli chicken, lean roast beef and ham are all great high-protein options for a satisfying sandwich. Choose 3-ounce servings of a low-calorie and low-fat protein like turkey (2 slices), tuna (1/2 can), chicken, or salmon. Don’t forget that boiled eggs offer a high protein-low calorie alternative as well. Bologna, liverwurst, and pastrami are typically higher in calories, fat, and saturated fat. Just one slice of bologna can have up to 90 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat-so use in moderation. . Cheese lovers should opt for an ounce or less of a good quality cheese. A small portion of grated sharp cheddar, goat cheese, provolone, or Muenster adds a lot of flavor for a smaller calorie count and provides up to 30% of your daily calcium requirement.

Spreads:

Perk up your sandwich with a spread that has 50 calories or fewer, such as honey, agave, or spicy brown mustard. If you’re a fan of mayonnaise, try a low-fat version or use a smaller amount of the full fat kind. Hummus, roasted vegetable spread, and Chimichurri all make great alternatives to your everyday mustard and mayonnaise. Smear a bit between your meat and cheese for a big boost of flavor. Sweet and savory spreads can add a tasty surprise to your sandwich. Try mixing a teaspoon of mustard with a tablespoon of your favorite fruit jelly or jam together for your sandwich spread. You can also mix spicy salsa and strawberry preserves together for some added heat! Whatever you decide to spread your sandwich bread with, remember to use it in moderation to keep the calories down.

 Your Resident Gourmet’s  

Chimichurri Sauce

 

Chimichurri is traditional Argentinean sauce, both versatile and delicious. 

yields 2 cups

 

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh flat leaf parsley

¼ cup fresh oregano leaves

6 garlic cloves

½ small white onion

1 cup good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

Preparation:

 Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.

Add the parsley and oregano and pulse briefly.

Add the olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, and red pepper flakes, pulsing until just incorporated.

You want your Chimichurri Sauce to have the texture of smoothly chopped parsley.

Adjust flavor with sea salt and black pepper.

Serve room temperature and refrigerate after use.

 Enjoy!

Is Your Gluten-Free Diet Making You Fat?!

Is Your Gluten-Free Diet Making You Fat?!
Everywhere I go, someone is talking about their Gluten-Free diet. Although many people suffer from Celiac disease and must eat gluten-free, many more are following the newest food trend. After listening to several of these conversations I got the feeling that many people on a gluten-free diet don’t really know how their diet is affecting their overall health .
This week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter thought you should know that your Gluten-Free may not be the healthiest choice!

Here’s to your health!

Chef Jennifer  

 

       

 

Giving up bread can make you fat: Gluten IS good for you

With claims that it boosts energy, reduces water retention and helps you lose weight more easily than any other regimen; you can see the appeal of a gluten-free diet.  

But experts are warning that cutting out gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley – for no medical reason may cause weight gain, fatigue, headaches and a lack of nutrients.

 

Gluten is present in a wide range of foods, from bread and pasta to sauces and even beer and for the millions with celiac disease, giving it up is a medical necessity.

 Celiac disease is a serious auto-immune condition in which the immune system reacts to gluten, triggering it to attack the lining of the small intestine.

 


Symptoms Include

Diarrhea, constipation and bloating as well as mouth ulcers, bad skin, joint pain and depression. It can lead to infertility, miscarriages, osteoporosis and bowel cancer.

Celiac disease is diagnosed by taking a biopsy of the intestine or via blood tests. Sufferers must be strict in avoiding gluten.

But this is different from so-called ‘gluten intolerance’, which is linked to IBS, headaches and mood swings. The problem, say experts, is that people are self-diagnosing it.

Gluten intolerance was one of the ‘make-believe allergies’ highlighted by Portsmouth University researchers in January 2010, in a study that showed a fifth of adults wrongly believe they have a problem with certain foods.

 

‘Gluten intolerance certainly exists,’ says Tanya Thomas, a dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic association.

‘But we know that the amount of people who truly have celiac-like symptoms is a lot less than the number of people who are cutting it out of their diets. A real intolerance to gluten can be diagnosed easily with the tests for celiac disease and means someone would need to avoid every crumb of gluten in their diet to avoid feeling ill.’

 

 

 

There is a huge problem with under diagnosis of the disease with only ten to 15 per cent of those affected realize the cause of their symptoms.  

 

However, there is no evidence that gluten intolerance is on the increase, says Dr. Emma Williams of the British Nutrition Foundation.

And yet the market for gluten-free foods has grown by 29 per cent in the past five years. According to market research company Mintel, gluten-free is one of the fastest growing food categories.

Dr. WilIiams believes people are cutting out gluten because of the internet, self-testing kits available from pharmacies and celebrity fads. For some cutting out gluten is a reason to cut calories, excused by faux-medical reasoning.

Many people have jumped on the bandwagon because they’ve misinterpreted the benefits experienced by those following a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, says dietitian Tanya Thomas.

Those with genuine problems may find bloating diminishes and digestion improves when they cut out gluten.

Any initial weight loss will occur because people are cutting out a significant part of their regular diet, in this case, starchy foods.

But in the long-term, switching to a gluten-free diet, which involves replacing gluten products with those using flours made from rice, cornmeal and buckwheat, can lead to weight gain. It is not unusual to put on 15-20 pounds.

‘People assume that by cutting out gluten they are going to lose weight. It’s a myth,’ says Thomas.

Furthermore, many gluten-free products contain extra sugar and fat to make them more palatable and can be packed with more salt.

Not only will you not lose weight, you will miss out on key nutrients.

 

What Foods Contain Gluten?

 

~Anything made from wheat, rye and barley contains gluten. as well as obvious foods such as bread and cakes, this includes certain stock cubes and even beer.

~Naturally gluten-free foods include fresh meat, cheese, eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables. n a ‘

~A ‘gluten-free’ label is only allowed on foods that have less than 20 parts per million gluten and are suitable for most (but not all) celiacs as there is always a residual gluten content

~Oats contain a protein similar to gluten called avenin and most people with celiac disease can’t tolerate more than 50g a day. Beware, since most oats on the market are contaminated with wheat, rye and barley and so are unsuitable for celiacs.

~Starches, such as maize, potato and buckwheat, are often used to make ‘naturally gluten-free’ foods. However, they do not rise on baking, don’t make great bread and are also low in fiber.

   

 

Dr Williams says: ‘Wheat forms a staple part of the diet. Since wheat flour – found in a vast array of foods, from mustard to bread – is fortified, it is a vital source of calcium, iron, B vitamins and fiber.’

Eliminating a food group can lead to plummeting energy levels and hypoglycemic headaches caused by a lack of carbohydrate.

‘So many people are needlessly avoiding gluten and spending a small fortune on doing so,’ says Thomas.

‘Not only is it a waste of time and money when there’s no real problem, it can mean your attempts to lose weight and get healthier backfire.

 

 

References:

Giving up bread can make you fat: Gluten IS good for you By Peta Bee May 2010

http://www.unitconversion.org

http://www.mayoclinic.com

Asparagus Is Here!

Asparagus is finally in season!!

Did you know . . .
~Asparagus is high in glutathione, an important anti carcinogen
~It also contains rutin, which protects small blood vessels from rupturing and may protect against radiation
~Asparagus is a good source of vitamins A, C and E, B-complex vitamins, potassium and zinc.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Asparagus
~yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat grill for high heat.
Lightly coat the asparagus spears with olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or to desired tenderness.

recipe from www.allrecipes.com