Brussels Sprouts

Sky Castle Gastro Lounge Review

Looking for a casual restaurant, with an upbeat vibe, and upscale, but affordable food? Look no further than Lakeview’s newest Foodie Haven… Sky Castle Gastro Lounge!  Chef Haller Magee has upgraded Lakeview’s culinary offerings in an innovative way that is guaranteed to be a neighborhood favorite!

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What Did I Sample?

For Snacks our table devoured the Roasted Cauliflower and Radish Toast!  Both are highly recommended!  The snacks added enough flavor to wet my appetite while leaving room for my entrée!

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gastro

As for main dishes, it was all about the red meat!  The Sky Castle Burger could be up for awards in the near future!  And that’s saying a lot since Birmingham is home to some pretty fine burgers!  The homemade bread and butter pickles paired nicely with the tomato jam, caramelized onions, and smoked cheddar cheese! It’s a triple threat guaranteed to give you flavor explosion!

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I can also personally vouch for the Red Wine Braised Short Ribs that were served with a butternut squash puree and charred brussels sprouts! The short ribs were packed with flavor and seasoned with perfection! Well done Sky Castle!!!

What a great environment to watch your favorite sports team, catch up with good friends, and celebrate good food!  Great memories will be had at Sky Castle Gastro Lounge! This establishment adds new personality to the Birmingham food scene!

8 Nutrients to Boost Your Spirits - Nutrient #5

FOLATE

• Folate is also known as B9 or Folic Acid • Folate helps the body create new cells and regulate serotonin (Serotonin plays a variety of functions including determining mood) • Folate deficiency can cause fatigue and reduce serotonin levels • Folate has the potential to boost the efficiency of antidepressants • RDA: 400mcg per day for adults Books and apple

ACTIONS TO TAKE:

• Add Fresh Spinach to Your Morning Omelet. ½ cup Spinach provides 131mcg of Folate. • Top Your Turkey Sandwich with Avocado or Dip Fresh Vegetables in Guacamole for a Snack. ½ cup Avocado Provides 59mcg of Folate • Need a Side Dish Idea?! How about a Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad or Roasted Asparagus to Provide About 80mcg of Folate! • Fill Up on Folate and Protein by Warming Up Black-Eyed Peas. ½ cup Packs 105mcg of Folate!!

Assorted basil herbs

8 Nutrients to Lift Your Spirits

Are you battling with the winter blues?! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 9% of adult Americans have feelings of depression or hopelessness. In fact, major depression is the leading cause of disability for Americans between the ages of 15-44 years old.

What if I told you that you could help fight feelings of depression at your dinner table?!

What if your mood could be lifted simply by what you choose to pack for lunch?!

A healthy cognitive system is essential in regulating mood and maintaining normal brain function and this starts with NUTRITION!

Over the next several days, I'm going to share with you 8 Nutrients that can help Lift Your Spirits!!!

TODAY'S SPIRIT BOOSTING NUTRIENT

CALCIUM

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  • The most abundant mineral in the body and helps maintain strong bones
  • Calcium is a critical chemical involved in the release of neurotransmitters, which acts as messengers between cells.  Deficient amounts of calcium can be linked to various problems, including depression
  • Calcium deficiency affect women more than men
  • Since estrogen plays a large role in calcium production, calcium consumption may improve PMS related depression
  • The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 1,000mg per day for adults

Shopper

ACTIONS TO TAKE

  • Don't Skip Breakfast!  Enjoy low-fat milk or yogurt as part of a morning meal.  1 cup of milk has 305mg of calcium and 6oz low-fat yogurt has 310mg per serving
  • Pack Greens for Lunch!  Kale has 179mg per 1 cup serving or serve a warm brussels sprouts salad for dinner! 
  • Add beans to soups, chili, and pasta dishes. 1/2 cup beans has up to 30mg of calcium per serving
  • Snack on Hummus with baby carrots, raw broccoli florets, or whole wheat pita crackers.  Add hummus to sandwiches for a healthy fat source!  Hummus has approximately 60mg of calcium per serving.
  • Drink fortified Orange juice or Soymilk which can provide about 300mg of calcium per 1 cup serving. 
  • Don't Skip on Sardines!  4 sardines can provide almost 250mg of calcium!! 
  • Get familiar with Ricotta!!! Ricotta cheese provides almost 350mg per 1/2 cup serving!!! Ricotta is great in lasagna, a perfect addition to an omelet, or use as a healthy spread to replace cream cheese. 

REMEMBER FOOD IS PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE!  WHAT YOU EAT TODAY IMPACTS HOW YOU FEEL! TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY WITH EACH MEAL YOU EAT! 

salat herz

 

Bring on the Brussels Sprouts!

As members of the cabbage family, it is easy to see by their cabbage-like appearance.  Typical Brussels sprouts range from 1 – 1 ½ inches in diameter.  Brussels sprouts are readily available year-round, but the peak season is from September to mid-February.

A firm sprout, with small bright-green head is indicative of a sweet taste.  When choosing sprouts, look at the size for taste, but also for cooking purposes.  It is important to choose sprouts of similar size so they will cook evenly.

To store the sprouts properly, remove any loose leaves and place the unwashed Brussels sprouts in a Ziploc bag and store in the refrigerator.  You can expect most sprouts to store for approximately 3-4 days before the flavor begins to turn unpleasant.

To cook sprouts properly, wash each Brussels sprout, pat dry, and trim the stems.  Brussels sprouts should not be cooked for more than about 10 minutes.  Their green color should remain intense.  A drab color is indicative of overcooked sprouts.

Why Eat Brussels Sprouts?

  • Brussels sprouts are full of phytonutrients, which may help protect against cancer.
  • Brussels sprouts may have a detoxing effect on our bodies due to their content of glucosinolates and sulfur.  Enzymes in our cells required for detox, can be activated by compounds made from glucosinolates.
  • Our natural detox system also requires sulfur to run efficiently, which Brussels sprouts have been shown to provide in abundance!
  • Brussels sprouts are powerful dietary source of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), C, and E. Vitamins A and C help fight against heart disease, cancer, and cataracts.
  • Anti-inflammatory response can result from the Vitamin K content in Brussels sprouts.  Vitamin K (also known as potassium), helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  Other important vitamins:
  • Folate- necessary for normal tissue growth and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and birth defects
  • Iron - necessary for maintaining red blood cell count

I tried a new recipe with hesitancy.  My favorite Brussels sprouts are at Ocean’s (www.oceanbirmingham.com) located in the Five Points area of Birmingham, AL.  The recipe I used was titled: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, which I found in the March 2011 edition of Cooking Light. Thank you to one of my awesome clients that brought me the magazine to session (you know who you are!!)

I started the recipe with cooking 4 pieces of Applegate Bacon (nitrite and nitrate free) in a deep dish skillet.

Once the bacon was cooked, I placed onion slices and dried thyme in the same skillet with the bacon drippings.  I allowed the onions to sauté long enough to turn soft and slightly transparent.

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Blog Pictures 007

Next, I chopped the Brussels sprouts in half and added to the onion mixture in the skillet, along with 3 cups of low-sodium chicken broth.

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The mixture did not take long to bring to a boil, but once boiling, I placed the lid on the skillet and allowed to cook for approximately 7 minutes.  The recipe was ready to serve!  I plated the Brussels sprouts and sprinkled the fresh cooked bacon to add flavor.

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Although the Brussels sprouts were not exactly like Ocean’s, they most certainly were close!!!  A super easy recipe helped add flavor and variety to my dinner plate.  I get tired of eating the same ol’ same ol’ green vegetables, so I’m pleased to share this simplistic recipe to help you add variety to your dinner plate as well!!  Hope you enjoy as much as my household did!!! I served the Brussels sprouts with boneless, center-cut pork chop topped with black cherry sauce (you can find recipe in an earlier blog!), baked sweet potato, and a slice of rosemary sourdough bread! The total amount of time spent on cooking was approximately 30 minutes!   

Bon Appetite!

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Blog Pictures 014

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Other Time: 20 minutes Yield:  4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

3 slices center-cut bacon, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 1/2 cups presliced onion 1/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 7 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with a slotted spoon; drain.

2. Add thyme and onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and Brussels sprouts; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Sprinkle with bacon.

(You can find the recipe in the March 2011 Edition of Cooking Light or on the web at www.cookinglight.com)