Beef Chili Colorado

Beef Chili Colorado
Cook five or six hours until tender.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tomatoes Help To Prevent Heart Attacks

I originally published this essay on my love of tomatoes back on June 6, 2010, and sometime after, I removed it from my blog because it was being copied and used in advertisements without anyone asking me if it was o.k. to use my work.  I should be flattered that this has happened, and if it happens again, I will just leave it online because the information within this essay is very useful.
originally published in my blog on Sunday, June 6, 2010
Tomatoes Go Well In Many Recipes; Tomatoes Help To Prevent Heart Attacks...
I confess to a passion for tomatoes.
I love tomatoes in homemade marinara sauce to which I can add ground beef or hunks of cooked chicken, and serve over pasta. I love my homemade tomato marinara sauce served over my favorite pre-made cheese ravoili.
I love putting thick slices of fresh tomato on take home pizza from Costco that I crisp up in my oven on a 'crisper' pan. The pizza gets crusty on the bottom, and the tomato on top remains wet and blends into the cheese on the topside of the pizza slice.
I love slices of tomatoe on slices of toast with Smart Balance, half calorie mayonaise on the toast. And I love tomato sauce added to many dishes I make including my Beef Stew, Italian Beef Pot Roast and my Beef Chili Colorado or Pork Chili.
Recently I learned that the jelly stuff in a tomato, that substance that holds the tomato seeds, has been discovered to be a natural anti-clotting substance that prevents our blood from becoming sticky and clotting thus it helps to prevent heart attacks. Many older people take a baby aspirin every day to do the same thing but the aspirin can, for some people, causes mild stomach upsets, or excessive bruising on the surface of the skin.
This discovery of the anti-clotting properties of the jelly substance in tomatoes was made by a Professor Asim Dutta-Roy at the Rowett Institute, located in Aberdeen, Scotland. Professor Dutta-Roy was investigating the benefits of a Mediterrian diet and stumbled upon this discovery.  It appears to me that what this man discovered about the tomato, which is a staple in all Mediterrian diets, is the main reason a Mediterrian diet prevents heart attack.  You can Google Professor Dutta-Roy at the Rowett Institute, and you will be able to read about him and his work, online.
In the United Kingdom, the gooey jelly in tomatos has been patented, and is called Fruitflow, which makes sense since the tomato is a fruit, a citrus fruit, and what this stuff does is keep blood flowing along, preventing blood platelets from sticking to arterial walls thus PREVENTING heart attacks.
Fuitflow is one product that has been proven to do what it is supposed to do so the claim will be made on the products packaging that it does improve blood flow.
Because the jelly in tomatoes is colorless and tasteless, it will be added to fruit juices, and milk products.
Applications of this product are limitless!
What makes the Fruitflow product different from the jelly in FRESH tomatoes is that Fruitflow is a CONCENTRATED form of the jelly so it is more potent than just eating a couple of tomatoes, but is more akin to eating both fresh tomatoes and tomato products every single day of your life. 
Because I love tomatoes, I eat tomatoes almost every single day of my life, so my bet is that I have had the benefit of a clean arterial system just because I have eaten so many tomatoes and tomato products over the years.  I often wash and cut up a fresh tomato, and eat it on the side when I prepare a meal that does not have tomatoes or tomato sauce as part of the recipe.  A salad I like,  is cut up tomato and cut up English cucumber on a plate with extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the tomato and cucumber.  I prefer extra virgin olive oil over other types of olive oil because the extra virgin is the 'first press', and does NOT contain any added chemical.  Other olive oils may or may not contain a chemical to help release the remaining oil from the olives.
Today in the British Isles, Fruitflow is added to a brand of 100 per cent pure fruit juices called Sirco, and is sold in grocery and health food shops. I expect that we will see this product here in the states some time in the future.
Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra"
Copyright       2010 - 2015 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why I Love Brocolli...

To start, broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. The cruciferous family is composed of broccoli, cauliflower, bock choy, brussel sprouts, and cabbage.

Onions and garlic both contain some sulphur that contributes to the stronger flavor of both of these vegetables, and is why both are favorite dish flavorings in both French and Italian recipes.

Cruciferous vegetables contain more sulphur than many other vegetables, and sulphur ingested through the gut from the food we eat helps to stop inflammation within our bodies.

If you have a physical condition where you experience aches and or pain in your body then eating cruciferous vegetables helps to stop the inflammation that causes this condition.

Back in 1992 I learned from a recovered uterine cancer patient that one of the foods she ate every day was broccoli. It was her oncologist who told her that broccoli would help keep her cancer from returning. It was this piece of information that prompted me to research cruciferous vegetables to learn why her doctor thought that broccoli would help her to stay healthy.

From my research I learned that broccoli as well as all of the other cruciferous vegetables, contains a ‘natural’ occurring chemical called sulforaphane, and it is within sulforaphane where you find the sulphur that reduces inflammation within the body. But sulforaphane does a lot more than reduce aches and pains caused by inflammation within the body. Sulforaphane has special properties that help inhibit cancer cells from reproducing, and this special property was why my friend’s doctor encouraged her to eat broccoli every day.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center recommends a diet high in all of the cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, bock choy, brussel sprouts and cauliflower, plus they also recommend non-cruciferous collard greens and mustard greens, green kale, red radishes, old fashioned turnips, and rutabagas and last but not the least, watercress, to ‘reduce’ the risk of developing prostate Cancer in men. In women the same vegetables are recommended by the same cancer research center to ‘prevent’ breast cancer. Here the recommendation is to PREVENT rather than to treat. I want to make that distinction so you understand that once a person has cancer, they have to allow a professional physician to treat them in order to acquire a cure. Eating right in the first place to prevent cancer is what we all should do. Once a person has been cured from cancer it is a good idea for them to eat right to help prevent a recurrence of the cancer.

At the prestigious Linus Pauling Institute scientists doing research on the sulforaphane that is found in naturally growing broccoli, proposed in an article they published back in October 2009, that Broccoli, because it contains more sulforaphane than the other cruciferous vegetables, may be useful as a chemopreventive agent for high-risk prostate cancer patients. This is because sulforaphane acts as a ‘histone deacetylase inhibitor’ on the cancer cells, which means that when a patient who has prostate cancer eats broccoli the sulforaphane in the broccoli slows down the cancer cells reproduction within their bodies.
The sulforaphane is in addition to the other chemical, radiation and surgical treatments the doctors are giving their patients to get rid of the prostate cancer..

Sulforaphane in lower doses in fresh broccoli has been found to be not as effective at destroying cancer cells in animal testing trials as the concentrated chemical compounds of sulforaphane that research doctors have been using. But the sulforaphane in fresh cruciferous vegetables, most notably broccoli, has been very helpful in stopping cancer cells from reproducing thus sulforaphane helps to destroy cancer cells by stopping reproduction. This has been shown in both prostrate and colorectal cancer according to the prestigious Linus Pauling Institute.

As long as you don’t over cook broccoli it won’t get that bad smell that turns off many people to the vegetable. It is the sulphur in broccoli, the ‘good stuff’, that makes the bad smell. This happens only if the broccoli is over cooked.

The best method I have found to cook broccoli is to simply microwave it on high in a microwave proof bowl. For a full container of fresh washed and chopped florets and stems I add a couple of tablespoons of water, and microwave in a microwave safe bowl for five minutes. I often add some chopped up red, green or yellow bell peppers to the broccoli florets and stems. Once cooked you can eat the broccoli as is or add it to another dish you are cooking, or you can just top it off with some grated cheddar cheese for added flavor. This is my favorite side dish with just about any meat, fish or egg entrée.

Just a note here; if you get gas from eating broccoli, cabbage or any of the other cruciferous vegetables you should try taking Beano before meals. Beano is an over the counter digestant that replaces the complex carbohydrate, digestive enzyme that many of us lose the ability to manufacturer in our guts, as we age. Taking Beano, replaces this ‘lost’ enzyme, and stops gas before it has a chance to start.

Copyright © 2010/2011 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Friday, December 17, 2010

When We Eat Dinner We Eat Off Plates...We Drink Coffee From Cups...Lead In Dishes...

When we eat dinner we eat off dishes, and we drink coffee or tea from there Lead in those dishes and cups?

I am a cook first, so somewhere along my life path I have come in contact with what I consider important information on dinnerware that I believe everyone who cooks or eats has a right to know. Dishes and containers used for cooking and eating have improved throughout the years in regards to safety issues yet there are still some dangers involved concerning lead in crock pots and dinner dishes plus those cute coffee cups many of us drink out of in the workplace.

Have you ever wondered what all the flap is about whenever you read that there is ‘danger’ in consuming food that is served on dinnerware where the surface contains lead based paint? Did you know that it is still possible to purchase dishes, crock pots among other cooking pots and coffee cups that contain enough lead in the finish glaze to cause health problems?

Lead is a common toxic substance that can be found in the paint finish on some dinnerware that is manufactured in countries where dishes and cups are not ‘fired’ in furnaces hot enough to burn off the lead that is often found in the paint's glaze finish that is applied to dinnerware. They are often attractive to look at, and priced in the lower range of pricing. They are also dangerous to your health if you purchase them and use them to serve your everyday drinks and meals.

The problem comes in for the consumer when food consumed off this dinnerware contains some form of acid such as foods that contain tomato, vinegar or citrus in the recipe. Coffee and tea also contain enough acid to leech out lead that is contained within the glaze on cups that were not ‘fired’ in furnaces hot enough to remove all of the lead from the surface finish.

When a young child ingests food-containing lead, this toxin, once it is circulating within the child’s blood deposits lead within the child’s brain, and causes irreversible brain damage by stunting the growth of the child’s brain. Some experts in child development believe that children prone to violence are brain damaged from ingesting lead from dishes or from ingesting toxic paint that contains led. Latex paint used on the interior of homes can contain lead, if the paint was manufactured before 1977.

When an adult consumes food that contains lead the result is lead poisoning. Toxic lead cannot stunt the growth of the fully developed brain. What lead poisoning does to the adult is damage the adult’s blood system’s ability to produce red blood cells. Red blood cells are the cells that hold and distribute oxygen within the blood to all of the bodies’ organs, including the brain.
A diminished red blood cell count means fewer red blood cells are available to carry oxygen, and less oxygen leads to damage of the adult’s internal organs. Outwardly the skin can show this damage as premature aging.

Fewer red blood cells containing oxygen reaching the adults brain also diminishes the adult’s ability to think and reason out the problems of everyday life.
So you can see that lead that leeches out into food from dinnerware, cookware or a lead laden coffee cup can be a serious problem.

There are ways to determine if your dishes or coffee cups contain lead within the painted finish. Lead testing kits are available from most hardware stores to test surfaces for lead that can leech out from the finished surface into your food or drink. These kits generally cost fewer than ten dollars.

When selecting dinnerware, crock pots or decorative coffee cups be aware of how to determine if the cups, pots and plates are safe to eat or drink from. The blue and white CIB sticker you may see on a box containing the set of plates you are considering purchasing or on the cup you are looking at, signifies that the plates and or cup were manufactures in a facility that produces dinnerware and cups that are completely LEAD FREE.

Another way to safeguard both yourself and your family from the danger of dinnerware, crock pots or coffee cups that contain leechable lead from the finish glazes is to purchase dinnerware and cups manufactured only from companies that produce lead free products.

I know of two such companies; Pfaltzgraff is one of these companies and The Homer Laughlin Company that produces Fiesta Ware dinnerware is the other company. It is easy to find dinnerware from both of these companies from stores such as Kohls, Macy’s and other fine stores and specialty shops.
Lead free dinnerware manufactured by both of these companies today, is completely guaranteed. !

Just a word of caution, ALL Fiesta Ware manufactured in the United States before 1986 was NOT LEAD FREE. The factory closed down and reopened in 1986 producing only lead free dinnerware after reopening.

So while dinnerware produced by Homer Laughlin before 1986 including Fiesta Ware is beautiful and desirable for collections it is not a good idea to eat off older Fiesta Ware manufactured before 1986.

Thanks for reading my article on the dangers of lead in dishes and cups.
Carol Garnier Dutra

Copyright © 2010/2011 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Best Potato Salad With Homemade Dressing...

Best Potato Salad With Homemade Dressing Goes Well With A Steak Or Burgers
This potato salad features red potatoes that are pre-cooked, and then refrigerated over night so the finished salad is not mushy. I prefer red potatoes for the flavor, and the texture once they are cooked with the skins on. The dressing for this salad is made with the same recipe I use for Coleslaw.

Ingredients and Method

Six to eight medium large red potatoes, pick out the ‘eyes’ in the potatoes with a knife or with the end of a potato peeler, and discard, cook the potatoes in water with the skins on. Add a dash of salt to the water to lower the temperature where the water will boil. This is an old trick to speed up cooking time.
A steak knife inserted in potatoes goes through easily when potatoes are cooked. If you wish to, you can par-boil the potatoes and finish the cooking in the microwave.

I don’t recommend completely cooking potatoes for this salad in the microwave because it can make the finished product too dry.
Remember to add a couple of tablespoons of water to the bowl whenever you microwave potatoes or any other vegetable.

Place cooked potatoes in a bowl with their skins on, and refrigerate over night. The skins on the potatoes will protect by preventing the starch in the potatoes from turning brown in the cold refrigerator.

The Salad Dressing:

Smart Balance ½ calorie mayonnaise, a ½ cup
Your favorite low calorie sour cream, a ½ cup
Four to six packets of ‘natural’ or four to six tablespoons of brown sugar
Two to four tablespoons of red wine vinegar
One or two tablespoons of your favorite prepared mustard
A dash of salt and pepper to taste remember that the mayo already is seasoned with salt
Mix together whipping the ingredients until the finished product is blended.
You can add more or less sugar and vinegar to your taste.

The Vegetables Added To The Potato Salad:

Two stalks deep green celery, washed and chopped
A half of a medium sized red onion, or a white ‘sweet’ onion, chopped
Deep green ‘long’ onions, sometimes called ‘scallions’ on the East Coast, washed, trim the roots from the bulbs and chop the green onions into pieces, use as many as you wish to use in the potato salad, and use some as a garnish on top of the finished salad
You can add some chopped parsley and or cilantro to this vegetable mix if you like the flavor of either of these two garnish vegetables.

You can add chopped, hard cooked eggs to this potato salad. You will need six large or six jumbo-sized eggs, hardboiled. Cover the eggs with water, in a saucepan, bring the eggs to a boil, and then turn off the heat. The eggs will continue to cook. It takes at least fifteen minutes for this procedure.
Add a dash of salt to the water to lower the boiling temperature.
Add a tablespoon of cider vinegar to the water to stop egg white ‘leak’ from any of the eggs that may crack during cooking. The vinegar seals eggshell cracks, and prevents egg leak. You can cook the eggs the night before.

For added flavor, the day you make the salad you can fry up several strips of bacon and chop up adding to the salad dressing.
If the bacon is salty then don’t add any other salt to the dressing, so the dressing won’t become too salty.


Chop up the cold, cooked potatoes, and add to a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients and have room to toss the salad; add the chopped hard cooked eggs, and chopped up vegetables. Toss all with the homemade salad dressing with bacon. This potato salad keeps in the refrigerator for at least five days if you should have any left over.
This salad is a delicious side dish with a steak, burgers, your favorite hot dogs, or fried chicken.

Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Spanish Rice With Black Olives...

A Hispanic woman whom I met at Anne Darling School in San Jose, California, when my son was attending Kindergarten there, told this basic Spanish rice recipe to me.  In time, I customized it with the addition of black olives.

I have been making this rice recipe for many years now. There are only 4 basic food ingredients in the original recipe so it is quick to put together, and it does cook up fast. Because there are two vegetables in the original recipe, onion and tomato, and rice is a grain, this rice dish is a complete protein dish by itself.    The amino acids in grains like rice, combined with the amino acids in vegetables,   form complete, whole proteins.  

The original recipe uses chopped fresh tomato, and I have to agree that using 2 or 3 cut up fresh tomatoes does taste good but I often find myself preferring to use a 15 oz can of unsalted, organic tomato bits for more tomato taste in the final product.

I have added something extra to this classic Mexican/Spanish rice dish. It is a can of medium sized, black olives,  each olive cut into two pieces. I add the cut olives to the rice at the same time as I add the tomato. Adding black olive halves brings the number of ingredients in this simple recipe to five (5).  In 2013 I have added a touch of green to this recipe in the form of a few sprigs of chopped, fresh celantro.  Chopped celantro has a unique flavor of its' own, and this flavor compliments the flavor of the other ingredients in this recipe.   Also, I am adding more chopped fresh garlic to my recipes now.  In 2013 I have added 2 to 3 teaspoons of chopped, fresh garlic to this classic rice recipe.

Use 1-cup of your favorite dry rice; I prefer Basmati or Thai Jasmine but you can use any rice .  As of 2013 I am  cooking all of my rice recipes with brown rice because brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice.

A half of a fresh, medium sized Yellow onion chopped up into small pieces.

Tomatoes, fresh if you prefer fresh, or you can use a 15-ounce can of plain, unsalted,  tomato bits.  I prefer an organic canned product.

1 15 oz can of medium black olives, drained and sliced into halves

3 TB virgin olive oil to sauté the chopped onion, and to lightly cook the rice before adding either the fresh, cut-up tomatoes or the tomato bits, the sliced black olive halves, and the water.  When white  rice is lightly  sautéed,  it turns a solid white color that is less opaque than the color was before cooking.

One 2-cup bottle of water.   You can use 2-cups of tap water if this is your preferance.  The ratio of rice to water in this recipe is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water.  When using brown rice add about a quarter-cup  additional water because brown rice needs to cook a few minutes longer than white rice in order for the rice to be tender.

Add no salt to this recipe because black olives do contain salt, and the other ingredients in this recipe have their own flavors.  I feel that it is a good idea to allow each person to salt food to their own taste rather than risking over-salting the dish.  


Sauté the chopped, fresh onion in the 3 TB V.O. oil.
Add a cup of your favorite rice and sauté the rice with the onion until the rice turns white.   Add the tomato, either fresh or canned, and the black olive halves, and stir.
Add the water.
Bring the heat up to a medium temperature so the water is at a slow boil, and then reduce the heat down to a low temperature and cover the pot with a lid. On my stove I reduce the heat down to 3 to finish cooking, which while this is a low temp, cooking will continue.  The rice and vegetables will all cook together blending the flavors until all the water is absorbed.  This takes around 20 minutes.

This rice dish is pretty to look at because of the colors in it, white or a white with light brown, red, black, and dark green, and  it is a nice side dish to serve to both family and company because it tastes as good as it looks; plus it goes well as a side dish with both meat and vegetable  entrees.

Copyright © 2010 - 2013 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Monday, October 4, 2010

Mediterranean Chicken






Serves 4 hungry adults; I like to serve hunks of Italian Bread on the side with this dish.

Mediterranean Chicken is a dish very low in fat while it is nutrient dense because you have six vegetables combined with the noodles (grain) as well as chicken meat, which is complete whole protein.

I use noodles made from wheat; there are stores where you can purchase noodles made from rice, which do not contain gluten.

The amino acids in the vegetables in this recipe combine with the amino acids in the grain, either wheat or rice to form complete protein.

Mediterranean Chicken starts off as a Marinara Sauce with fresh sliced mushrooms, 8 or 9 pieces of fresh, chopped garlic, a whole sliced and chopped green pepper, a half of a medium to large sweet or yellow onion sliced and chopped into bits, and two chopped up medium zucchinis.

The chicken in this recipe consists of four boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and two skinless, boneless chicken thighs that I cut off the bone into pieces. You can use only skinless, boneless chicken breast meat just add another breast to the recipe.

The chicken is added raw to the sauce in this recipe; cooking the sauce until the chicken is completely cooked through, and the vegetables are cooked into the sauce.

Three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Six or seven fresh tomatoes chopped into bits
Six or sever large white mushrooms washed, sliced or a dozen medium mushrooms washed, sliced
One whole green bell pepper sliced and cut into bite sized pieces
One half of a medium sweet or yellow onion cut into bits
Garlic: 8 or 9 pieces fresh chopped or use as much as you want to use
Zucchinis, two, sliced length wise and cut into pieces
One 15 or 16 ounce can of plain canned tomato sauce
One 15 or 15 ounce can of ‘no salt’ plain canned tomato bits or 4 to 6 large, fresh tomatoes cut into pieces.
One (1) can of black olives, drained.
A dozen green olives, the ones stuffed with pimento, drained and cut in half.

Chicken: four or five, boneless, skinless chicken breasts; chicken thigh meat can also be added to this recipe for the flavor that chicken thighs impart to a dish.

Fettuccini noodles, one half pound, cooked in a large pot of boiling water to which you add a ‘dash’ of salt, cook until noodles are ‘a dente’ meaning the noodles are still firm but can be easily broken with a fork. Once the noodles are in the sauce the moisture of the sauce will soak into the noodles. This is why you want to do noodles ‘a dente’ so they will not become mushy after they are in the sauce. You should be able to bite into the noodle easily when it is cooked ‘a dente’.

In a large skillet or a pan like the ‘wok, large chicken fryer’ you see me using in my recipe blog, you add the three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Bring to a medium heat and add the chopped onion, bite-sized pieces of green bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, chopped zucchini. Cook for several minutes and add the chopped, fresh garlic. Cook for several minutes more. Add the raw chicken that you have cut up into hunks or you can leave the chicken breast whole; it’s up to you what you want to do. Cook until the chicken appears to turn color. If using breast meat the color will be white. Thigh meat will retain a light brown color. Add tomatoes to this mix. Cook several more minutes stirring and watch this mix so it does not dry out and burn on the bottom of the pan. Add canned tomato sauce and stir…keep cooking so the chicken will be cooked thoroughly.
If at any time it appears that the sauce is boiling then turn down the heat so the sauce simmers. If the sauce boils it will splash all over your stove top, and make a mess! It takes over an hour to an hour and a half to cook this sauce on a low medium heat, and chicken so the meat is cooked thoroughly, and the vegetables cook down into the sauce.

Add the cooked, drained Fettuccini noodles. Gently stir the noodles into the sauce. Drain a can of black olives. Cut each olive into two or three slices, and add as a garnish to the finished Mediterranean Chicken dish. Cut up the green olives and also add them to this dish as a garnish.
This dish will serve 4 hungry adults.
I like to serve Italian Bread slices with this dish.

The reason I recommend that you use canned tomato bits that do NOT contain salt is to cut down on the sodium content of this dish. The tomato sauce, and the olives both contain salt, and salt contains sodium. Too much of a ‘salty’ taste ruins any dish, and using the tomatoes without salt or using fresh tomatoes cut up helps to cut down on the salt in this recipe.

The mushrooms in this dish contain Potassium.
Four medium, white mushrooms have as much Potassium as a medium sized banana yet the banana contains one hundred calories and the mushrooms contain only a few calories. So mushrooms are nutrient dense, and have very few calories.

Potassium in your diet is important because Potassium facilitates the transport of nutrients in your body to your muscles, and then transports out the waste products from your muscles. If you do not have enough Potassium in your diet or if you have an imbalance where you have too much Sodium in your diet you may suffer from muscle cramps.
Potassium also supports the health of your heart…remember that your heart is a muscle!

Get all of your Potassium from the food you eat, and washed, fresh, mushrooms added to dishes you cook are an excellent source of Potassium.

Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Here Are Some Egg Recipes...Eggs Are The Perfect Food...

Omelettes are satisfying meals in the morning, afternoon or for the evening meal, they are generally inexpensive to make at home, and they are easy for even a novice cook to assemble.

Basic Dinner Omelette

For each person coming to dinner, you need three (3) large or jumbo eggs. Use all of the yolks or just some of the yolks this is your choice.

Break your eggs for one serving into a bowl or a two (2) cup measuring cup.

Add a tablespoon of water, and beat your eggs with a whisk or with a fork. Water works better than milk with eggs because eggs are composed of water. Of course you have the choice of not adding any water to the egg mixture if your eggs are very fresh. As eggs sit in the carton the water content evaporates through the porous shells. Adding a little water back adds a fluffy texture back to the finished cooked product.

Melt a pat of your favorite butter in your fry pan. I use a ten (10) inch fry pan for my 3 egg omelettes. You may want to use a smaller pan if you use only two eggs.

Heat the pan to melt the butter on a medium heat be careful because butter will brown if the heat is too high, and you don’t want the butter to brown before you add your beaten eggs.

Add the beaten egg mixture to the pan and move the mixture around by tipping the pan so the egg run all around the pan. Here is where I do things a bit different from some other people when I make an omelette.
I put the omelette filling into the pan on top of the egg mixture before it is completely congealed.

I cover my omelette pan with a lid and remove the lid when the eggs are congealed.

When you want to remove the omelette from the pan just tip the pan towards your plate, and gently help the omelette to fold and slid onto your plate. Or you can just turn the finished product over with a good fry spatula.

My favorite omelette topping is chopped, fresh red tomato with shredded cheddar cheese.

I also like to use my favorite taco sauce on top of my filled omelette, and my husband likes to use tomato ketchup or his favorite BBQ sauce on top of his omelette. You can top your omelette with whatever you want.

Here are some of my favorite omelette fillings.


Finely chopped RAW bell pepper, red, green, yellow or even orange.

Chopped, raw green onions sometimes called ‘’scallions’ on the East Coast.

Cooked, sauted white mushroom slices or whatever mushrooms you like to eat.

I recommend that you both wash and cook mushrooms, because mushrooms are grown in a loam composed of animal manure mixed with vegetable matter. This is why I will never purchase already sliced mushrooms. I prefer the whole ones so I can wash them myself, and I know that they are clean before I add them to my food.

My favorite frozen potatoes to use in an omelette are sold under the name ‘Alexa’. Alexa frozen potato products are prepared with extra virgin olive oil, sunflower and or canola oil and or safflower oil.
There is NO cotton oil in Alexa products, which sets this brand apart from most other brands in the regular grocery store. Read my blog on cotton seed and cotton seed oil, and you will understand WHY I am so against cotton oil in our food chain.

I precook the frozen ‘Alexa’ potatoes in a 350 degrees oven as I am assembling the rest of the omelette ingredients.

Alexa frozen onion rings, precooked in a 350 degree oven, and broken into pieces before adding to the omelette are also delicious as a filling with the potatoes and vegetables. Alexa onion rings contain canola and or sunflower and or soybean oil, plus the onion rings are coated with Panko Breading, which is a delicious breading!

Cut up hunks of cooked ham are especially nice in an omelette.
Cut up pieces of fresh, raw avocado also go well in an omelette..

My favorite omelette filling is my Homemade Corn Beef Hash.
My Corned Beef Hash recipe will follow on this web page.

When you use Corned Beef Hash from the recipe I have provided in this Blog as a filling in an omelette the hash already contains vegetables including potatoes and tender corned beef all cooked to perfection!

Bottom line is cooked potatoes, cooked or raw red and green vegetables, and cooked meats of many varieties all go well as filling in an omelette.

MOM's Perfect Scrambled Eggs W/ MOM's Homemade Corned Beef Hash


You will need:
Two (2) or Three (3) large or jumbo fresh eggs for each person coming to breakfast, lunch or dinner.
One (1) tablespoon of water for each three (3) eggs
A fry pan any size
A pat of fresh dairy butter

To the perfect scrambled eggs you can become 'creative', and add small chunks of cooked ham and a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. Scrambled eggs cook very fast, so fast that cheese mixed into the egg mixture doesn't have time to congeal on the bottom of the pan, and burn. The heat should always be medium to medium low for cooking scrambled eggs. High heat will ruin this dish.


Crack the eggs, add the tablespoon of water to them, and beat with a fork to get ‘air’ into the mixture. Beating air into the eggs will help to make the finished product ‘fluffy’.
Drop this mixture into the fry pan where you have already melted the butter over a low, medium heat. Be careful to not brown the butter because this will discolor your finished scrambled eggs.
With a fork or other utensil, preferable something that will not scrape your pan, move the egg mixture around the pan. The heat will congeal the egg mixture, and because you used water instead of milk in this recipe, your eggs will be lovely to look at on your plate.

Enjoy, because these eggs are ‘pure energy food’, and ‘perfect’ because you are making them in MOM in Hollister style!

A word of CAUTION about RAW eggs and RAW egg WHITES.

egg white contains a substance we call Avidin.
Avidin is a glycoprotein that binds to the Biotin in the egg yolk, and prevents the needed B vitamin Biotin in the egg yolk from being absorbed by the body. You need Biotin in your diet for neuromuscular function.
Most of the Avidin in RAW egg white is destroyed when eggs are cooked.
Bottom line is it is always much better to consume cooked eggs.

The other ‘nasty’ about eating RAW egg is the bacteria salmonella that can be transferred to an egg where the shell has been cracked or sometimes feed that is fed to chickens can be contaminated with salmonella.
When chicken feed is contaminated the one way to be sure you will NOT be infected with this deadly bacteria is to COOK your EGGS THOROUGHLY.

Cooking destroys salmonella as well as other destructive bacteria.
Remember that bacteria is 'living'; it is composed of living creatures, composed of a form of living protein. Cooking your food thoroughly will always destroy bacteria in your food.

Egg Facts

Eggs are the ‘king’ of protein upon which all other complete protein is compared to and measured by. Egg white contains eight (8) amino acids that constitute the most perfect complete protein. Three of these amino acids in egg white are, Arginine, Glycine and Methionine, and these three amino acids constitute a compound in egg white that is called Creatine. Bodybuilders are aware of Creatine because during workouts Creatine creates more energy within muscles for workout endurance, and Creatine draws water into developing muscles thus increasing muscle size.

Eggs contain the yellow egg yolk, which constitutes the fat in the egg plus the yolk contains a substance called Lecithin. Lecithin contains the B vitamins, Choline and Biotin.

Lecithin is an ‘emulsifier’ meaning that Lecithin breaks fat up, and disperses this fat. This is why Lecithin, either from egg yolk or from soybean, is an ingredient in recipes for making chocolate bars and chocolate chips. Most of the time, candy manufacturers use Lecithin derived from soybean, in their recipes.

The Lecithin that is present in egg yolks works in a similar way as soybean Lecithin works. Egg Lecithin disperses the fat in recipes. An example is when you beat a cake batter, the Lecithin from egg yolk(s) in the batter disperses the fat in the recipe, and Lecithin then keeps the fat broken up and distributed throughout the cake batter.

Choline, one of the B vitamin that is found in all forms of Lecithin has been known for some time now to be important in the human body for the transmission of nerve messages between cells. This includes the cells within our brains. Choline is a key component of Acetylcholine, which is a chemical Neurotransmitter. A Neurotransmitter is simply a messenger that sends messages between our nerves and our muscles.
Basically, Choline’s job is to carry fat within our water based blood system.
Because of what it does, Choline is presently being investigated as an important vitamin for treatment to improve Neuromuscular Function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Remember Choline is in egg yolk and it is in soybean.

Egg yolk also contain Biotin, which is another of the essential B vitamins we all need to maintain good health. Biotin synthesizes some Essential Fatty Acids (E.F.A.’s) and Biotin converts Amino Acids to Glucose within the body. Amino acids are the building blocks that constitute Protein. All Protein must be converted into Glucose (simple sugar) within the body so we can use the Glucose as fuel.

Everything we humans consume must be converted in our bodies into a form of 'simple' sugar so we can use the 'simple' sugar as fuel.
The other form of sugar we humans consume is called 'complex' sugar. Biotin from egg yolks and other foods is necessary to convert our food we eat into simple sugar.

Carotenoids are always found in ‘colorful’ fruits and vegetables like carrots and blueberries. The deeper the yellow color of the egg yolk the higher the content of Carotenoids in that particular yolk.
Within egg yolk the Carotenoids present are Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
These two Carotenoids accumulate in the back of our eyes, and researchers believe that they protect us against age-related macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is destruction of the macula in the eye, that causes blindness in older people.

So when you mix up your eggs for your omelette or scrambled eggs recipe, I hope you remember how important the egg yolk is for your health, and include one or two egg yolks in your egg recipe.

Carol Garnier Dutra

Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Low Calorie Simple and Quick Chicken Chili

This chili can be made with either ground chicken or ground turkey. You can use ground beef if you prefer. I have made it in the past with 2 whole boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces instead of using the ground Chicken.

Whichever meat you choose for your chili be sure to pick one that does not contain added salt or sodium because two of the other ingredients for this chili already contain added salt.

You hear a lot today about how we all take in too much salt/Sodium from our diets. Some people think that salt is Sodium. Actually, salt contains Sodium along with other ingredients.

Sodium and Potassium are minerals (electrolytes), and when we take in too much Sodium, which is in salt, we cause a temporary imbalance in our bodies chemistry between Potassium and Sodium.
An imbalance between these two electrolytes can cause problems in our bodies chemistry. These problems are often evident in our muscles. Remember that our hearts are also muscles so an imbalance, even a temporary imbalance between Sodium and Potassium can affect our heart functions. Too much Sodium can cause those nasty muscle cramps in our legs that so many of us get from time to time. That's why I make an effort to cut down on the amount of salt in all of my recipes.

There are only 5 ingredients for my Low Calorie Chicken Chili recipe so it is a very quick dish to make, and it is filling, containing fiber from the beans, and this recipe is low in calories because it is made with skinless, ground chicken, or ground turkey both of which are naturally low in calories.

This chili can be served wrapped up in flour tortillas, which are made from wheat, and wheat is a grain. Grain mixed with vegetables forms complete whole protein. Meat is already a complete whole protein.


You will need:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
or1 package (app. 1 pound) Foster Farms ground chicken or ground turkey or any other brand that is your favorite ground chicken or ground turkey

3 TB extra virgin olive oil

1 large red pepper cut up into bite sized pieces

Ten or twelve large Mezzetta yellow banana chilies cut up (these chilies are bottled and contain salt/sodium)

2 15 oz cans Bush Best Chili Beans, Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce, These are the beans in the orange and blue can.


Sauté the red pepper pieces first in the olive oil.
Then add the meat to the pan, and saute till the meat is thoroughly cooked through.

Add the cut up pieces of ten or twelve Mezzetta yellow banana chilies to the pan.

Add 2 cans of Bush Best Chili Beans, Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce, and stir throughly heating the finished chili until it is hot. Be careful to not overcook.
I prefer this particular brand of chili beans because the beans are throughly cooked without being mushly, and the taste works well in this recipe. You can use any chili beans in this recipe that appeal to your taste.

This simple dish is complete, and ready to eat!

P.S. If you are cooking for only one person, you can reduce this recipe so you use only a half package of ground chicken and only 1 can of Bush Best Chili Beans, Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce to make a half recipe.

The other half of the package of ground chicken can be used to make chicken burgers or chicken tacos. Or you can wrap the half package up in plastic, and put in the freezer for your next pan of chili.

Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Fried Chicken Thighs w/Rice

The main spices in this recipe are sage and thyme, whcih are in Bell’s Poultry Seasoning. A small quantity of garlic either fresh or dehydrated can be added to this recipe according to your taste.

The chicken thigh is the part of the chicken where you will find flavor in the form of fat deposits just under the skin plus the thigh meat itself contains the most flavorable fat in a chicken. This is the same as in most poultry, including turkeys. This is the reason why I really like the taste of the thighs in this recipe. Most of the time I avoid meat fat in my cooking but chicken thighs are an exception because of the flavor.


You will need:
6 to 8 large chicken thighs, with skin
Skinless chicken thighs
3 TB virgin olive oil to sauté chicken
2 medium peeled carrots cut into rounds
½ medium yellow onion chopped into small pieces
2 stalks celery washed and chopped
White mushrooms washed and sliced into thick slices
Rice, 1 cup dry, use your favorite type of rice, I prefer Basmati or Jasmine
1 or 2 pieces of fresh garlic chopped
1 tsp dry, dehydrated garlic
2 teaspoons Bell’s poultry seasoning; I will post a picture of the box so it will be easy for you to recognize this spice at the grocery store.
1 two-cup bottle of bottled water

Sauté chicken thighs, on medium heat, in the virgin olive oil until chicken is medium golden brown yet it may not be completely cooked…yet…but will cook through when added back to pan with vegetables and rice

Remove chicken from pan to a holding plate.

Add the chopped vegetables and sauté all on medium heat for a couple of minutes.

Add the cup of dry rice, and stir the vegetables and rice around so the rice gets on the bottom of the pan where the rice should turn ‘white’ from being heated. This procedure provides for a better taste in the final dish.

Add the 2 teaspoons of Bells Poultry Seasoning if you haven’t already done this, and add the garlic, salt and pepper to your taste.

Add some water as you sauté the vegetables and rice if the vegetables/rice appear to be in danger of burning. You want the vegetables to soften up a bit but they will not be completely cooked. They will finish cooking after you add the water.

Add the 2-cup bottle of bottled water and add the chicken thighs back to the dish so the browned chicken will flavor the dish as it continues cooking, and the chicken will continue to cook. Bring this mix of chicken, vegetables, and rice to a low bubble on a medium low heat. COVER the pan to keep the heat in the dish so the heat will cook the chicken completely, and the rice will cook and absorb all of the water.
The finished dish will not have any water left in the pan.
For health reasons chicken MUST ALWAYS be cooked, completely through.

The rice, which is a grain and contains amino acids, will combine with the amino acids in the vegetables in this recipe to form complete whole protein. The chicken is a complete protein by itself.
This dish is delicious as well as nutritious!

Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Low Calorie French Style Chicken Stew

This stew is low in calories, and the chicken is tender thanks to the addition of white wine as a tenderizing agent.
The alcohol cooks off from the wine, yet the flavor remains with the added bonus that the chicken is far tenderer than when no wine is added.

2 or 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 TB virgin olive oil to sauté the chicken

Red potatoes as desired; scrubbed and cut into spoon sized pieces
orBrown skinned potatoes peeled, washed, and cut into bite sized pieces.

One large carrot cut into rounds.

Half a large yellow onion chopped up,
a bunch of green onions(scallions), chopped into small pieces
a large piece of a French leek, washed and chopped into pieces.

Soft shelled squashes, yellow crookneck, zucchini, summer, any squash that you like in a soup, washed and cut into rounds or half rounds or bite sized pieces.

Bock Choy either a couple of pieces of the adult sized vegetable or a couple of the whole Baby Bock Choy can be washed and chopped into bit sized pieces, and put into a Chicken Stew because the flavor of Bock Choy is bland, and bland ‘background’ flavors are what you want for a Chicken Stew.

Some fresh garlic, about 6 large pieces cut up
Or you can use some dehydrated garlic, but fresh tastes better.

A few large white mushrooms washed and cut into slices retaining the mushroom shape.

Diced fresh tomatoes or canned tomato bits can be added to this stew. The version pictured in this Blog contains tomato bits but this stew can be made without tomatoes.

Rice an eighth or a fourth cup of rice, depending on how much water you have in your pot. You’ll want the Stew to retain some broth, and too much rice will soak up all of the broth plus it doesn't take a lot of this grain to complement the veggies so the amino acids from both the rice and the vegetables form complete proteins

A small amount of tiny-sea shelled pasta can be added to this stew or any stew, in place of the rice because pasta is wheat based and wheat is a grain.
Rice pasta can also be used and this type of pasta can be found in specialty stores like Whole Foods. Be careful about how much you add to the stew because pasta soaks up the liquid, and you want to retain liquid because this is a stew.

Some white beans can be added to this stew, and can be purchased already cooked in the can. Rince off the canned white beans before you add them to the stew. If using dry beans be sure to rinse them so all of the dirt and or any small rocks that may be in the package of dry beans are removed.

White wine anywhere from a half to a full cup depending on your taste. Add the wine when you add the bottled water. Remember that all of the alcohol in the wine will cook off. The wine tenderizes the chicken and impoves the taste of the finished stew.
Add the bottled water, several bottles.

Cut up the chicken into chunks and sauté in the Virgin Olive oil until the chicken has a nice light brown color or sauté the chicken pieces whole, and then cut them up into pieces.
Remove chicken from pan and add the veggies to sauté and half cook them.
Add the chicken pieces back to the pan.
Add some of the bottled water to prevent over browning of the vegetables.
Add all of the bottled water 4 to 6 cups (2 to 3 bottles) after the vegetables are in a firm-tender state, and add the half-to a cup of white wine

Bring the stove heat up to start a simmer, and then reduce heat so the stew simmers slowly.

Place the pots cover on the pot to reduce the amount of evaporation of the broth, and continue cooking on a low simmer for at least a half hour. Add more water if you need it. When the stew is ready to eat the veggies should still be visible, as pieces of vegetables not dissolved into the broth, and the chicken will be tender from the addition of the white wine. Remember that the alcohol content of the wine will cook off, only the flavor will remain.

This stew needs to be checked every 15 minutes as it cooks, and stirred as it cooks. It needs to be watched so it doesn't stick and burn on the bottom of the pot.

Low Calorie French Style Chicken Stew is quick to make, and is high in whole protein. Each medium sized skinless, boneless chicken breast contains 200 calories of whole protein; the vegetables in the stew add very little calories. I do use 3 TB Virgin Olive oil and each TB of oil is 100 calories so you can reduce calories by using less oil. But then some oil in your diet is important for health; specifically for your nervous system's health.

The trick to making a good Chicken Stew is to add whatever vegetables you like, as long as the flavor of one vegetable doesn’t dominate the flavor of the completed stew. You want a nice blending of flavors in your stew. To thicken this stew, mix 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into some cold water, and stir this mixture until all of the cornstarch is dissolved into the water. Add this corn starch mixture to the hot stew stirring all the while so you don't get lumps.
Add salt and pepper, to your taste.

You may be wondering why I specify and use ‘Virgin Olive Oil’ in my recipes, and not just plain Olive Oil. The Virgin variety is the first press of the olive, and NO chemicals are used to extract the first press. The second press of the olives is called just ‘Olive Oil’ and the second press may or may not use chemical additives to extract the second press of oil. So I prefer the first press, the Virgin Olive Oil because I know for sure that no chemicals are used to extract the first press of olive oil.

Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra


Low Calorie Ground Turkey Burgers w/Gravy/Vegetables

Turkey burgers with vegetables in gravy over mashed russet potatoes are a staple dinner all year roung. Chicken or ground grass fed beef can be substituted for the ground turkey.


One package of your favorite ground turkey, ground chicken or ground, grass fed beef
Three tablespoons of virgin olive oil to sauté the ground meat burgers

One half of a yellow onion, chopped
A small carrot, chopped
One or two stalks of celery, chopped
A half dozen medium white mushrooms, washed, dried and sliced
A half red or orange bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
A half yellow or green bell pepper chopped into bite-sized pieces
You’ve got five vegetables in this recipe, and it is recommended that you eat five vegetables every day. With the potatoes it comes to six vegetables.

Two large russet potatoes, peeled, washed and cut into large hunks
Two or three bottles of water to cook the potatoes

Do not throw away the potato water it is used to make the gravy
Two or three teaspoons of cornstarch for making the gravy.


Peel, chop and cook the potatoes over medium heat until they are still a little firm. Remove the potatoes from the water to a microwave safe bowl, add a tablespoon or two of the water, and microwave on high for 3 minutes. The potatoes should be completely cooked. Mash potatoes with a potato masher, a couple tablespoons of low fat milk, and a large pat of butter for flavor.

Wash and chop all of the vegetables.

Sauté the burgers in the three tablespoons of virgin olive oil, over a medium heat, until they are a nice light brown on both sides. Remove burgers from pan and add the chopped vegetables.
Sauté the vegetables, over a medium heat, until some of the firmness is gone, add a little water during this process to insure that the vegetables do not burn. Add the burgers back to the pan, and be sure to add enough water throughout the cooking so the vegetables do not burn.

When the vegetables are still a little firm but are done and the burger meat is completely cooked you add some of the potato water and make a paste out of the cornstarch. You may need to use some cold fresh water to make the cornstarch paste if the potato water is still hot. You need to have a cold water in order to not cook the cornstarch paste while you are mixing it. Add the cornstarch paste to the water and vegetables in the pan, and stir until the gravy is thickened into a gravy.

Serve these burgers with the gravy and vegetables poured over the mashed potatoes.
This is an inexpensive, quick to make, very low fat dinner, and it serves up to four adults for dinner. To make more complete protein within this meal serve dinner rolls made from a grain such as wheat or rice so the amino acids from the vegetables will combine with the amino acids in the grain to make complete protein. The turkey is already a complete whole protein.

Copyright © Carol Garnier Dutra

Low Calorie Soft Shell Tacos

Soft shell tacos were originally a recipe where the soft corn taco shells were fried in oil (virgin olive oil of course), and then drained between layers of paper toweling.

Today I gently sauté the soft corn taco shells in a shallow fry pan originally designed for making crepes, and I spray each taco shell with a spray on virgin olive oil spray, before sauting the shells, so very little oil is used in this recipe to heat the corn shells. According to the manufacturer of the oil spray there are no calories. I have to believe that a few calories are added, despite the claim of the manufacturer but certainly the amount of calories added from the oil spray are not the amount of calories that the original recipe added.

I recommend that you use the olive oil spray because other canned oil sprays use soy oil, and soy oil spray smells and tastes funny, sort of like fish frying.


One package (block) of ground grass fed beef, approximately 1 lb of meat. You can also use either ground chicken or ground turkey for this recipe. I usually use the turkey, which is very low in calories.
One 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce.
A dash of dehydrated garlic or one or two cloves of fresh garlic, crushed can be added but you don't need to use garlic in this recipe; it is only an option.

A package of corn tortillas, either yellow or white corn, I prefer the white because of the finer texture of the white corn tortilla but the yellow are also delicious.

You will also need:
The greenest leaf lettuce you can find for the calcium and iron content
A couple of medium fresh red tomatoes
A can of black olives, drained
Cheese, grated cheddar or slices of American Cheese or slices of Soy Cheese, which can be purchased in the vegetable section of your supermarket.

American Cheese contains 100 calories for each slice while Soy Cheese contains 30 calories for each slice, and the American Slices Soy Cheese tastes like the real cheese product. This is good to know if you are cutting calories.

Both types of cheese are complete protein.

Soy is the ONLY vegetable that contains COMPLETE protein much like meat, fish, eggs or dairy are COMPLETE protein.

On the table I always provide:
Fresh sliced avocado
Green onions, (called scallions on the East Coast) washed, trimmed, and chopped
You can include any other type of onion you like in tacos including ‘sweet onions’ and red onions
Washed, chopped pieces of red bell pepper
Chilis of any type including bottled yellow Mezzata Banana Chilis

Of course taco sauce choose your favorite brand...taco sauce contains very few calories because it is vegetable based.


Combine the meat and the can of tomato sauce mix together, and cook over medium heat until all of the liquid is cooked into the meat. This is the ‘secret’ to this taco…the meat is flavored from the tomato sauce and the garlic if you choose to use garlic.

Sauté the soft, corn taco shells in a shallow fry pan using the spray olive oil spray on both sides of the taco. Cook on both sides. Place the tacos on paper toweling even though there is not much oil to drain off of the shells. The paper towels will keep the warmed shells from sticking together.

Wash, and chop the tomatoes, green onions, other onions and avocados.
Drain the can of black olives and put into a small bowl.
Wash the lettuce really well to remove any unwanted residue of field spray, germs or dirt that can be on lettuce, and not be apparent to the eye. Dry the lettuce on paper toweling, and blot off the lettuce with paper toweling.


Once the meat absorbs all of the liquid, the taco corn shells are sautéed and stacked on paper toweling on a plate, and all of the vegetables are prepared, you are in for a low calorie treat of tacos.
Did you ever believe that tacos could be low calorie before?


Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra

Low Calorie Basic Marinara Sauce...Add Meat For Spaghetti Meat Sauce...yum!

6 ingredients make basic marinara sauce
Virgin olive oil
Chopped fresh onion and chopped fresh garlic
Fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
Tomato sauce amount determined by how much sauce you want
Dry oregano

I use my favorite pot to make this sauce, this pot is a cross between a wok, a deep fat fryer, and a stew pot. You will need a similiar sauce pot.

Add 3 TB virgin olive oil in pot you are using for this recipe.
Add a half medium yellow onion, chopped.
Add to pot fresh chopped garlic; 8 to 12 pieces.

Sauté the onion and garlic over medium to low heat until tender and a light yellow color.

Add chopped tomatoes to the pot; fresh or canned.
Add some dry oregano at this time as much or as little as you like in your sauce.
If oregano is not fine enough you can grind it down in your hand using the edge of your other hand as the tool to reduce the oregano to a fine dust, and at the same time you will release flavor from the herb that will impart into the sauce.. Dry oregano has that old time taste from the pizza parlor where they use the dry Herb in place of fresh. I guess I like that old time pizza parlor flavor.

Add either an 8-ounce can or a 15-ounce can of tomato sauce, depending on how much sauce you are making. Bring all of the ingredients in the pot to a medium gentle simmer, and then turn down the heat to low so the sauce simmers very low.

You should add a cover to your pot now so the sauce, which is getting thick in consistency, doesn't splash onto your stove
Simmer sauce for app. 20 minutes

You can sauté washed, fresh mushroom slices to the pot with your onion and garlic, and you can also add washed, chopped fresh bell peppers too, red, green and or yellow depending on what you prefer or use all three colors for a colorful sauce!

Your Marinara Sauce is now ready to pour onto your cooked pasta or precooked ravioli either the frozen or fresh variety of ravioli.

To turn this Marinara Sauce into a Speghetti Meat Sauce just add your favorite ground beef, ground chicken or ground turkey to the onion, garlic, and any other vegetables you are putting into the sauce after the vegetables have softened up a bit.
Cook the meat with the vegetables throughly before you add the tomatoes and the tomato sauce.

My favorite ground beef to use in recipes is a grass fed ground beef that I purchase here in Hollister. Grass fed beef has a better flavor than beef that is raised in fed lots, and it is actually a better choice for health reasons.

When making a meat sauce you may want to simmer it on low longer than you do for the meatless Marinara Sauce but it really isn't necessary to cook Spaghetti Meat Sauce a super long time. I remember in the 'old days' cooks would simmer marinara for hours.
Most people who haven't made sauce before, are surprised that you can cook homemade sauce up as fast as it does cook up.


Copyright © 2010 by Carol Garnier Dutra


Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Homemade Corned Beef Hash

Making Corned Beef Hash is simpler than you may have thought it is. The hardest part of preparing hash is cooking the meat because it must simmer on low, on top of the stove for at least three (3) hours, and you have to be near the kitchen to keep an eye on the meat as it cooks.

First you need to purchase a piece of raw corned beef at least three (3) pounds.

You will cook this meat for at least three (3) hours in a deep stew pot on top of the stove with enough water in the pot to keep the meat covered. The meat must ‘simmer’ throughout the cooking time.
'Simmer’ is a low boil where the water boils gently.
Add water as needed throughout the cooking time.

Be sure to open the packet of spices that comes with the raw meat, and add them to the water. Cut up a large yellow onion and add it to the water so it will flavor the meat.

After the Corned Beef is cooked store it in the refrigerator tightly wrapped, and it will keep at least two (2) weeks, maybe longer depending on how cold your refrigerator is. This corned beef can be used to make the hash, recipe below, and it can be sliced and eaten in sandwiches.
Always slice corned beef against the grain.


To make your Corned Beef Hash you just slice off several hunks of your Corned Beef, against the grain, and cut the meat up into chunks.


Chunks of cooked Corned Beef
One (1) whole red bell pepper
One (1) onion, sweet or yellow or
One (1) bunch of green onions
A large pat of butter or several tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
Cooked potatoes either red or white, fresh or Alexa frozen


Prepare a whole red bell pepper for cooking and cut it up into bite sized pieces. For the onion part of this recipe you can use a standard yellow or a sweet onion, medium size, chopped up. OR you can use a bunch of green onions, called scallions on the East Coast.
Wash, dry and cut up the green onions, and add to the pan along with the bell pepper or add the cut up sweet or yellow onion to the pan with the red bell pepper..

Add chopped up chunks of your favorite type of potato. I prefer red potatoes. You can prepare your potatoes by parboiling them beforehand, and finish the cooking in the microwave.
The potatoes you use in this hash recipe have to be pre-cooked.
You can also use the ‘Alexa’ precooked frozen red or white potatoes. Just defrost and heat them in a 350 degree over before you add them to this recipe.

Sauté the raw, red bell pepper, onion, and potatoes together in the pan to which you have already added either the butter or the extra virgin olive oil. Add the Corned Beef chunks to the pan.
Your Corned Beef Hash is done when everything is blended and hot. Corned Beef Hash can be eaten by itself OR on the side with a plate of scrambled eggs. It can also be a filling in an egg omelette.

Every year in March I buy several extra hunks of corned beef on sale when our local supermarket has an abundance of this meat, and the price is low. March 17th is the traditional St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S., and our supermarkets stock up on corned beef for St. Patrick’s celebration dinners.

I store this meat in a deep freeze where it will keep indefinitely. Don’t expect to store frozen foods in your refrigerator freezer for long periods of time because refrigerator freezers are designed to keep your frozen foods fresh and tasting good for only three (3) months of storage.

Copyright © Carol Garnier Dutra

Beef Chili Colorado and Pork Chili

Assembled Beef Chili Colorado

Baked Chili Colorado

To make either Beef Chili Colorado or Pork Chili you will need a large glass or enamel oven-proof baking dish.


Five or six pounds of beef, in the form of beef roast or thick beefsteak, cut up into large, two inch cubes.
You do not need to buy expensive beef…buy the least expensive roast or large steaks your store has on sale that week. The acid from the lemon juice, and the tomato acid in the recipe will tenderize the meat during cooking.

You will need tomato sauce, your favorite brand without added seasoning, two 15oz cans

Tomato pieces, one 15 oz can(s) without salt, or fresh tomatoes cut up into pieces.
There’s a lot of sodium in canned sauces and tomatoes so it is a good idea to try to cut down on the amount of sodium in the recipe by using canned or fresh tomatoes that do not contain salt.

BBQ sauce, a bottle of your favorite brand with hickory flavoring

Several fresh washed Anaheim Chilies cut into pieces
A whole bottle of Mezzetta yellow banana chilies cut in half or leave whole. The only draw back to using the bottled chilies is that they do contain a lot of sodium, and you are already getting sodium in the tomato sauce and the BBQ sauce. I usually choose the unsalted tomato products and the Mezzetta chilies.

You will also add:

A whole fresh, yellow onion diced
A couple of stalks of celery, washed and chopped
A whole bulb of Fresh, chopped and or crushed garlic
Several tablespoons of virgin olive oil to sauté the diced onion, celery and garlic
The juice of two fresh lemons or limes to help tenderize the meat
Dried Bay Leaves, wash off any residue on the Bay Leaves before putting them into the sauce recipe because residue on dried leaves is usually dried bug don’t need bug droppings in your food.

Cook the sauce for only a couple minutes until it is hot… The sauce will cook completely, and the flavors will blend in while everything cooks in the oven.


Make the sauce on the stove, in a large saucepan.
Start by sautéing the diced onion, chopped celery and garlic in the virgin olive oil until the vegetables are tender.
Add to the vegetables, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, BBQ sauce, and Bay Leaves.

Cut the beef up into cubes approximately two-inch squares; remove with a knife any tough, stringy, connective membranes in the meat.
Arrange the beef cubes in the baking dish, and squeeze the fresh lemon or lime juice over the meat cubes.

Pour the hot sauce over the beef, be careful to not splash yourself while you do this, and cover the dish with aluminum foil leaving a hole in the center so steam can escape as the meat and sauce cook, blending their flavors together.

Carefully place the covered dish of meat and sauce into a preheated 375 degree oven.

Check on the dish in the oven, after an hour.
Check the meat for tenderness by piercing a center piece with a fork. If it is still tough then continue cooking with the foil cover on.
It takes at least three hours and often five to six hours before the meat is fork tender. The gravey the meat is cooking in is delicious on either mashed potatoes or rice. As the meat cooks be sure that the pan does not dry out. Add some water, if it is necessary, to keep the gravy, and avoid the meat from drying out.

Remove the foil covering from the baking dish, and allow the liquid in the dish to thicken from some loss of moisture.
What you want to end up with is a thick tomato/hickory/garlic/onion flavored sauce with tender beef cubes.

As you allow the sauce to dry just a bit you will have to turn the beef cubes several times as you see the exposed sides of the cubes become brown and dry..
Be careful to not burn yourself as the sauce is very hot.

After you remove the finished Beef Chili Colorado from the baking dish you will have to ‘soak’ the baking dish emerged in water to remove the dried on residual tomato sauce that will be in the baking dish.

Traditional Beef Chili Colorado is delicious served with flour tortillas, your favorite cooked rice dish, and your favorite homemade guacamole made with avocado, fresh lemon or lime juice, chopped cilantro, chopped fresh onion and fresh chopped tomato bits. Add light sour cream on the side. Homemade salsa and a tossed green salad rounds out this meal.
I made this combination for my husband’s Father’s Day luncheon last June 2009.

You can also serve this beef chili with traditional mashed potatoes and vegetables.

Pork Chili

If you make this Beef Chili Colorado dish with pork cubes instead of beef you will end up with a delicious Pork Chili. Again, you do not have to buy expensive cuts of meat because the acids from the citrus including the tomato sauce acid, will tenderize the meat as it cooks in the oven. The best pork to buy for this recipe is an inexpensive Pork Shoulder Roast or a Pork Butt will do nicely.

Pork Chili is started differently in that you need to ‘render’ the fat out of the pork cubes before you put the meat into the tomato/onion/garlic/hickory flavored sauce.

To render pork you put the pork cubes in a baking dish, and into a pre-heated 350 degree oven for a half hour. After most of the fat is rendered out of the pork cubes you remove the meat from the baking dish, and pour off the fat. You then add the meat back to the baking dish, and carefully add the hot sauce you made on top of the stove, to the baking dish. Cover with foil, and cook the pork in the same method as you cook the Beef Chili Colorado. Cooking time can range anywhere from three to five or six hours. This pork recipe ends up well cooked and tender, and is absolutely delicious.
Pork Chili makes a meal that is guaranteed to please at anytime of the year!
Both Chili Colorado and Pork Chili freeze well. I always make large batches of either of these recipes, and freeze meal sized portions for the future.


I made my Pork Chili for New Year's Day 2012. I am 3/4 Irish, and we like pork, and for the first day of the new year it is a tradition to have a form of pork or a ham for dinner. I cooked a ham for Christmas so I opted for the pork for New Year's. And what better way to serve pork at an Irish person's table, than in a favorite Mexican recipe!

The pork I used for my recipe was boneless pork in the form of long, large strips of meat with very little fat. This is the 'New Pork' that is in the market today. There was so little fat on this pork that to brown it I had to saute it in a heavy fry pan with some butter to brown and sear the meat before I placed it in the baking dish with the sauce, and placed it in the oven to cook. With the Pork Chili I served my home made mashed potatoes that I mashed with low-fat sour cream and a pat of butter. With the chili and potatoes we had green beans with sauted mushroom slices, and sliced, browned almonds. A chunky apple sauce and slices of fresh pineapple completed the dinner.
For desert we had a chocolate tort and coffee. It was an easy meal to prepare, and it was enjoyable.

I was lucky to be able to pick lemons from our backyard tree this year for my chili recipe. Usually at this time of year frost destroys the lemons that are still on our tree but this year our lemons were spared.

Carol Garnier Dutra

Copyright © 2010/2012 by Carol Garnier Dutra