Friday, April 25, 2014

Lemon Garlic Shrimp

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Shrimp are quickly and easily cooked and taste delicious  The lemon and garlic in this dish conjure the flavours of the Mediterranean and are very simple to work with and easy to balance.  This is an ideal dish when you want to cook healthy, tasty fare in under 10 minutes
Add fresh chopped parsley to this recipe as a variation. Serve as a standalone appetizer or accompany with rice, pasta or a salad for excellent results.
There's no special technique to removing the shells from shrimp, grab the legs of the shrimp and pull away from the meat, finishing by pulling the entire shell away from the tail carefully to preserve the meat there.  The shells of shrimp have most of their flavour so you might want to hang on to them (reserve them in a bag you can refrigerate) so as to make a great seafood stock for other recipes.
The term "deveining" refers to removing the digestive tract of the shrimp.  This tract runs along its back.  Place the shrimp, one-by-one, on their side on a cutting board, use a chef's knife and cut an 1/8 of an inch down the middle of the shrimp's back, from tail to head.  Then push down with the knife to anchor the "vein" and pull the shrimp away.  The vein will be left on the cutting board.   
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds large shrimp
  • 4 to 6 cloves of garlic
  • 2 to 3 tbsps. lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.


  • Peel and devein the shrimp.
  • Mince the garlic.
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the shrimp and garlic and sauté, turn the shrimp frequently until they change colour from translucent to pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the lemon juice, and salt.
  • Give the shrimp a thorough stir.
  • Remove the shrimp from the heat, serve right away.

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

This recipe uses avocado as a mayonnaise substitute.  The heart-friendly fats in avocado make this substitution a healthier variation and the rich texture of the avocado goes a long way towards making up for the absence of the traditional condiment.
Serve this recipe by itself or use it as a dip for chips.  However you decide to serve it this recipe is absolutely delicious, easy adaptable and is in no way inferior to it's traditional mayonnaise counterpart.
The chicken meat may be shredded by holding the meat with a fork and tearing it away with another, you may also use a meat mallet to pound the breasts flat before cooking.

  • 2 or 3 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 avocados
  • 1/4 green onion
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Cook the chicken breast for 20-30 minutes then remove from oven
  • Let the chicken breasts cool then shred them
  • Chop the green onion and add it to the shredded chicken, add the other ingredients as well including the juice from the lime
  • Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Avocado Chicken Salad Boats

Here at Health is Wealth Plus, I like to extol the versatility, flavour and health benefits of the avocado by highlighting it in recipes. This remarkable fruit has a rich but subtle taste due to its high fat content, and that fat content makes the avocado a sublime pairing to other foods, especially other fatty foods.
If you're concerned about the high fat content in avocados, you might be reassured to hear that 75% of it is monounsaturated and the avocado is very high in dietary fibre.  On a weight basis, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas.  They have high amounts of folic acid and vitamin K.  There is some evidence they lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
So let's celebrate the glorious avocado with a fun new recipe, avocado chicken salad boats!

  • 1 ripe  avocado
  • 2 small cooked chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup green onions
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Cut avocado in half along its length and remove its pit
  • Scoop out the flesh of the avocado taking care not to harm the shell
  • Reserve the shells
  • Take half of the scooped avocado and cut it into small cubes, set those cubes aside.
  • Mash the remainder of the avocado in a bowl with a fork, mix in the cumin, garlic salt and cayenne pepper
  • Cut the chicken into cubes, chop the green onions and cilantro finely
  • Add the avocado cubes, chicken cubes, green onions and cilantro to the mash. 
  • Add the lime juice and mix all the ingredients gently.
  • Fill the reserved avocado bowls with chicken salad.
  • Serve cold.
As a variation, consider this recipe on a sandwich of toasted bread.  Just try it!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Grilled Parmesan Zucchini

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.


  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs, dry and unseasoned
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Dried basil
  • Ground black pepper

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat until hot. Oil the grilling surface and grill zucchini slices, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat until hot. Oil the grilling surface and grill zucchini slices, turning once, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Slice the zucchini into thick rounds, about 1/4-inch.
  • Toss the slices of zucchini with the olive oil into a bowl.
  • Grill the zucchini for a few minutes on low heat.
  • Rub butter or oil onto a baking sheet to prepare it.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil.
  • In another bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and a few grindings of pepper.
  • Dip the zucchini rounds into the Parmesan mixture, make sure they are evenly coated on both sides.
  • Place the zucchini rounds in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Broil the zucchini until it is browned and crisp, approximately 4 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove them with a spatula and serve immediately

Cucumber Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

I make this delicious salad with English cucumbers.  The English cucumber is less bitter than the regular slicing cucumber as it has smaller seeds; seeds are what lend the bitter taste to all varieties of this vegetable.  English cucumbers are usually sold wrapped in plastic as opposed to wax so it does not need peeling.  Finally, English cucumbers are more digestible than slicing cucumbers,
You may add fresh dill as a variation to this salad.  I'll occasionally add diced red onion as well, about a 1/4 cup.       
  • 2 medium English cucumbers
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup low fat natural Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dry or fresh dill (optional)
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
  • Dice the cucumbers.
  • Dice the tomatoes.
  • Dice the stalks of celery.
  • Mix the cucumber, tomato and celery together.
  • Add the yogurt to the salad then season with salt, and pepper, stir well.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more before serving.
Bon appétit!

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Avocado, Tomato and Red Onion Salad with Cumin-Lemon Vinaigrette

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Serve this salad as soon as it's prepared for maximum flavour, it does, however, make for great next-day leftovers.

  • 1 medium-sized avocado, diced into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red or green onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Cumin-Lemon Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.


  • Cut the avocado in half lengthwise and then remove the pit.
  • With the skin still on, cut the avocado into bite-sized pieces.
  • Reserve the avocado pieces to a bowl and add the lemon juice.  Using a spoon, toss the avocado pieces in the lemon juice until thoroughly coated.
  • Cut the small cherry tomatoes into halves.
  • Take the cherry tomato halves and the diced onions and add them to the avocados.
  • For the vinaigrette, take a small bowl and stir the ground cumin, salt, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice together.
  • Whisk in the olive oil at a drizzle until the dressing is emulsified.
  • Pour the vinaigrette over the avocado mixture, then stir gently to combine.
  • Seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Sweet Potato Hash with Baked Eggs

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grate your sweet potato.  I use a cheese grater but you may use a mandolin if you have one (some food processors are also able to grate vegetables)
  • Add the grated sweet potato to a cast iron frying pan on high heat.
  • Cook the sweet potato until it is brown and softens.
  • Crack your eggs into the hash
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how runny you want your eggs to be.
  • Sprinkle with desired seasoning and serve

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Kale Chips

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

These kale chips have the perfectly crisp bite of the chips you love but know you shouldn't eat.  Not to worry, kale is the superior snack, high in fibre, rich in iron and loaded with antioxidants, kale chips are the ultimate snack super food!

The best news is it couldn't be easier to make these addictive treats.  For a little spicy kick, you could add just a sprinkle of cayenne pepper along with the paprika.

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste 

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.


  • Preheat an oven to 350 degrees
  • Lay out a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Separate the kale leaves from the stems and tear the leaves into small bite-sized pieces.
  • Discard the stems and give the leaves a good rinse.  After rinsing, pat them dry with paper towel.
  • Toss the kale leaves with olive oil in a bowl, the curlier the kale the more tossing it might take to coat all the leaves thoroughly.  Take care not to bruise the leaves.
  • Lay the kale on the cookie sheet then sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake until the edges brown slightly, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Healthy Garlic Sautéed Spinach

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

Spinach is good for your body.  Sautéing with garlic and olive oil brings the taste of spinach up to a whole new level. Cooked spinach is usually associated with "ugh!" from kids and adults alike, unless loaded with cream and butter. Here is a fantastic way to cook fresh spinach that will tantalize your taste buds.

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

  • 1 1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (6 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Sea or kosher salt, optional
  • 2 tablespoon sesame seed
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper, optional

Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

  • Rinse the spinach well in cold water to make sure it's very clean. Spin it dry in a salad spinner, leaving just a little water clinging to the leaves.
  • In a cast iron frying pan heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it's browned. Add all the spinach, the salt, and pepper to the pot, toss it with the garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook it for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving plate and top with the sesame seeds , and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt. Serve hot! I usually serve this dish with brown rice or with crusty or toasted brown bread.  Enjoy!

    Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

    Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

    Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
    A sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil transform tomatoes into the perfect side dish. Or try sandwiching them between slices of your favorite whole-wheat country bread.

    Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.


    • 4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
    • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
    • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

      • Preheat oven to 450° F.
      • Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake in preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. Serve immediately.


      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

      Thursday, April 17, 2014

      Healthy Chickpea Salad

      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

      One of the healthiest foods you can ever incorporate into your cooking is also one of the most versatile.  Behold, the protein-rich chickpea.
      Chickpeas have existed for thousands of years through many cultures and there are traditional recipes using this excellent legume from all over the Earth.  Chickpeas are a mainstay in salads and stews, of their many uses they are shaped into balls for falafels and they are ground into a flour for Indian cuisine, in Burma they are stirred into batter and baked.  Chickpeas have proved to be one of the most malleable and nutritional foods in all of human history.
      Besides protein, chickpeas are an excellent source of iron, folate, phosphorus, and dietary fibre. The very little fat chickpeas contain is polyunsaturated and there is compelling evidence that due to this nutrient richness, a diet with chickpeas may lower blood cholesterol.
      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

      This is a wonderfully simple chickpea salad that has a tremendously fresh taste.  The basil and cilantro play very nicely with the hearty flavour of the chickpeas.  As with the garlic zucchini noodles with pasta I posted earlier, this is a recipe that allows you to show off your garden produce in the summertime.    


      • 2 cans of chickpeas, rinse off the chickpeas and drain them
      • 1 small green onion 
      • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, both small
      • 1/2 cucumber
      • 1 clove garlic, minced then ground into a paste with salt
      • 2 tablespoons basil and cilantro
      • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
      • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatos
      • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
      • Take the green onion, bell peppers, cucumber, tomatos basil and cilantro and chop them up finely 
      • Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Toss with the vinegar and oil then season to taste with salt and pepper
      • When tossed well, serve and enjoy!

      Bon appétit!

      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.
      Photo Credit: Health is Wealth Photos.

      Tuesday, April 15, 2014

      The Traditional Cheese Course

      Photo Credit: Delaney Turner/Flickr/CC BY

      Looking for a change-of-pace with your dinner parties?  The French cheese course is ideal for adding new textures and depth to a culinary experience.  For the adventurous in spirit, it’s a chance to sample a few more of the near-endless varieties of fine cheeses that one can obtain.  It’s also a chance to pair that perfect port or dessert wine with the offerings you’ve chosen.

      The cheese course is typically consumed after the main course and before or after a dessert.  Consider serving your first cheese course on a simple platter or board with just three or four well-selected cheeses.  Cheeses should be chosen for variety and contrast with one another as well as being interesting experiences in-and-of themselves.

      To help you choose your first cheese, consider these categories:


      Photo Credit: Judit Klein/Flickr/CC BY-ND

      Soft cheeses.

      Cheese such as Brie, one of the world’s most popular cheeses, and Camembert, a cheese often considered the essential French cheese, are sturdy go-to choices as soft cheeses.  A soft cheese can be considered an excellent building block for a first cheese platter.

      Semi-soft cheeses.

      Semi-soft cheese have a texture which is only slightly firmer than soft cheeses.  These cheeses have a relatively high moisture content with a typically longer shelf life than soft cheeses.  Cremont, a mixed-milk cheese, and Raclette with its salty, nutty taste and silky texture are good examples.
      Photo Credit: Sarah Nichols/Flickr/CC BY-SA

      Hard cheeses.

      Consider a sharply smoked cheddar or Mimolette, traditionally produced around the city of Lille, France for this category.  Hard cheeses can play very nicely against the texture of soft cheeses.

      Photo Credit: Tenaya Darlington/Flickr/CC BY-ND

      Les Bleus.

      Sometimes considered too adventurous for many palates, it’s worth considering that blue cheeses range in pungency and saltiness.  For your first cheese platter, a great strategy is to go with a creamier, less salty blue such as Saint Agur.  That said, a pungent blue can pair wonderfully with other fare on your cheese platter, such as apple slices, hazelnuts, walnuts or figs.


      Cheese made from goat’s milk, the higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids leads to a tarter flavour than cow’s milk cheeses.  Some great varieties of chèvres can be found locally these days.  A classic French chèvres is Sainte-Maire.

      Young Cheeses.

      Fromage frais and fromage blanc are two types of fresh or young cheeses.  Basically, these are non-aged cheeses made with whole or skim milk and cream.  Such young cheeses have the consistency of a cream cheese but with fewer calories and less cholesterol.  These are mild cheeses.

      Photo Credit: Dinner Series/Flickr/CC BY

      When you’ve decided upon the cheeses you’ll be offering the fun really begins, creating accompaniments for the cheeses and presenting them in an inviting manner.  Separate knives should be supplied for the cheeses as flavours of neighbouring fromage are easily absorbed.

      Keep in mind that cheese should be served as near to its original form as possible to preserve its integrity.  The most flavourful part of a slice of wheeled cheese is its nose or the center of the wheel, so keep this in mind when slicing portions of such cheeses.  Cylindrical cheese should be cut into rounds or discs and pyramid-shaped cheeses should be cut into one slice and then cut again into halves.

      Bread is traditionally served with a cheese platter to help cleanse the palate and here you have an opportunity to compliment textures and flavours once again.  Bread can be chewy and sweet and rustically rough, for example.  Figs, honey, fruit, hazelnuts and walnuts make great accompaniments and look delightful on the cheese board.  Adding a fruit compote is an excellent idea and will delight your guests.  Let your creativity really be your guide when assembling your first cheese platter and use tradition as your lifeline whenever unsure.

      Photo Credit: Quinn Dombroski/Flickr/CC BY-SA
      Keeping the rinds on cheeses is a matter of preference.  If you feel a rind is too hard to digest then feel free to remove it, washed rinds are indeed inedible.  If you’re unsure, keep the rind on.

      Labelling the cheeses on the platter in an attractive format is always appreciated by guests.  If possible, provide the region the cheese is from as well.  A well-presented cheese platter can spark informative discussions of what your guests are tasting and genuinely add to the experience.  

      Seek out your local gourmet shops, bakeries, supermarket deli sections, fromageries or charcuteries and plunge right in.  A well-planned cheese course may be the evening’s standout attraction.

      For those wishing to shop online, offers a J.A. Henckel's 5-Piece Cheese Set currently at a special price.  You can even order a cheese sampler from them such as iGourmet's Favorite's 4-Cheese Sampler which is an assortment of four cheeses: Mountain Gorgonzola, Extra Aged Gouda, Gruyere and Vermont Cheddar.  They have an 8-Cheese Sampler as well. also offers a wide selection of fruit compotes such as Wildly Delicious Compotes for Cheese - Apple Fig & Walnut