Jennifer Iserloh, also known as SkinnyChef, is a trained chef, certified health coach and healthy cooking celebrity. She is a bestselling author, including 50 Shades of Kale, The Healing Slow Cooker. She graduated with honors from the Institute of Culinary Education, worked as a celebrity chef and became a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
This was originally a three-post series that had been combined into a single informative post. I got to know Jennifer via Twitter and asked her to share her anti-inflammatory recipes, including broccoli which is a super vegetable that my daughter still loves.
Broccoli with Garlic Sauce
- 1 large bunch fresh broccoli, (about 1 1/3 pound)
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fat-free, low-sodium beef or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon canola or corn oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped almonds
- Trim broccoli and cut into florets. Peel stalk with a vegetable peeler and slice thinly. Set aside.In a medium bowl, stir garlic, broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar or sugar substitute, and sesame oil.
- Heat a large skillet over heat high and add the canola or corn oil. When the oil is hot, carefully add the broccoli. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously until the broccoli begins to brown slightly. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook 3 to 4 additional minutes until the broccoli begins to soften.
- Lower the heat to medium low. Pour sauce over broccoli, cook 2 to 3 minutes longer until the broccoli is tender-crisp and the sauce thickens. Sprinkle with scallions and almonds if using. Serve immediately.
MariceMom: Thanks Jennifer for sharing the above yummy and healthy broccoli recipe. Now, I usually chop off lots of stalk and only cook the floret; I noticed that you peel the stalk and slice it thinly.
Is there a different cooking time for the stalk vs the floret?
Jennifer: They cook up well together as long as the stalk is thinly sliced, that cuts back substantially on cooking time.
When broccoli starts to brown, does this mean that part of its nutrition is lost?
Jennifer: No vitamins are lost after about 20 minutes of high heat cooking. Also I never boil my veggies. If you boil vegetables in high amount of water, vitamins like vitamin C – which is water soluble will leach out into the water.
If you boil vegetables in high amount of water, vitamins like vitamin C – which is water soluble will leach out into the water.
MarcieMom: How do you gauge which is broccoli is fresh? Is there a best way to keep it? I noticed that broccoli kept in plastic bag tend to turn watery for the parts touching the plastic bag.
Jennifer: Florets should be tightly closed and dark green, with no yellow spots. Also look at the end of the stalks, if they are hollow or look dry that is a sign that they’ve been in transit too long.
Sunny Side Up with Kale
- 3 cups Kale, chopped
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 egg
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons chipotle mayo or barbecue sauce
Rinse the kale under cold running water, drain in a colander. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Pull it off the heat to coat it with cooking spray. Carefully add the kale. Cook 2 to 3 minute, pressing down the kale with a spatula. Move the kale to the side and add another spray of cooking spray in the center of the skillet.
Crack the egg in the center of the skillet and sprinkle it with the salt. Reduce the heat to medium. Continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes, until the white part of the egg is cooked through. Top with mayo and serve immediately.
Can kale be eaten raw?
Jennifer: Yes kale is delicious raw but the baby varieties are best for this preparation.
MarcieMom: How do you usually wash Kale? It is quite soft and sometimes I find that I over-wash it after running it under the tap and soaking it! (I’m one of the really paranoid moms who keep washing everything, even when it’s labelled pre-washed!)
Jennifer: Kale is hearty and it doesn’t absorb water when it’s washed. You can clean it in a 1-4 water to vinegar ratio water bath if you like, dry it well with a towel before making my kale chips so it crisps properly.
MarcieMom: How best to spread the oil if one has no cooking spray?
Jennifer: Be sure the pan is hot first, then the oil will coat the pan more efficiently.
Mushroom Stuffed with Sausage and Goat Cheese
- 4 ounces spicy turkey sausage (about 2 links), crumbled
- 24 white button or Cremini mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, one sprig left whole, plus 2 teaspoon minced
- 2 tablespoons white wine (optional)
- 1/4 cup low-fat, skim milk
- 1 6-ounce package of fresh goat cheese
- 1/4 cup reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, stirring occasionally, breaking it up with a spoon as it browns. I like my sausage well-done, so I cook for about 20-25 minutes until the meat is a rich golden brown.
- While the sausage is cooking, prepare the mushrooms. With a damp paper towel or dishcloth, wipe off any dirt clinging to the mushroom caps and stems. Remove stems, mince them and set aside. Place mushroom caps, stem side up in a 9-inch baking dish with one of the sprigs of rosemary. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of wine or water and bake 8-10 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
- Once the sausage is to your liking, turn off the heat and drain (if it is too oily). Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and scrap any brown bits sticking to the bottom of your pan. Place the sausage and its juices into a large bowl. Stir in the goat cheese, Parmesan, minced rosemary and season with salt and pepper. If the mixture seems heavy, add the remaining milk.
- Fill each mushroom with 1 teaspoon of sausage mixture. Bake the mushrooms for an additional 10-12 minutes until the filling is hot. Serve immediately. Warning: These guys move fast so if you might want to prepare a back-up plan or make double!
MarcieMom: In this recipe, I noticed you suggested wiping the mushroom. I always run it under the tap, does that affect the texture of the dish?
Jennifer: Yes mushrooms are like a sponge and they soak up a lot of water. This keeps them from browning properly when you cook them.
MarcieMom: Is it possible to overcook mushroom? What to watch out for to ensure that it doesn’t become too soft or get too dried out?
Jennifer: If you over cook mushrooms they can taste a bit spongy but usually they do well in all cooking preparations since they are high in water content to start with.
MarcieMom: Which mushroom cook best with soup, and which one best in oven, and which for stir-frying?
Jennifer: All mushrooms do well in soup and in the oven, for stuffed mushroom Cremini, portobellos, and white button are best. I prefer shiitake for stir frying since they have this delectable meaty texture and taste amazing after they are properly browned.
Thanks Jennifer, I love shiitake as a superfood that is linked to strengthening immune system against flu (boy, my family sure needs it!).