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Bon Appétit: Lemony Salsa Verde

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Servings: Makes about 1 cup

  ½ lemon (with peel), seeded, chopped
  1 small shallot, finely chopped
  1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1 cup olive oil
  ¾ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  Fresh lemon juice (optional)


Directions:

Combine lemon, shallot, and garlic in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper.

Let sit 5 minutes. Stir in oil, parsley, cilantro, and chives.

Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.

Men: Take Charge of Your Health this June

The Gilmer Free Press

Happy National Men’s Health Month! Maintaining your health is a year-round process, but Men’s Health Month in June, including Father’s Day, is a great time to kick-start a new year with your best possible health. 

What can you do to make sure you’re on the right track? Here are some key tips:

  • Eat right: Take control of what’s on your plate with a balanced diet that provides the right amount of calories and the nutrients you need.
  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Exercise: Keep moving and get at least 30 minutes of mild-to-moderate exercise every day.
  • Sleep: Plan for seven to eight hours of high-quality sleep each night.
  • Checkups: Know your key stats for cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose and body fat percentage.
  • Engage: Get involved in social and volunteer activities in your community to stay connected.

Men don’t always like to talk about their health, but finding someone who can back you up is one of the best ways to make sure you stick to your commitment to being healthier. Other guys – friends, family, mentors – understand where you’re coming from, and together you can work to meet your goals. Check out the Brother2Brother initiative for tips on how to start the conversation today. 

In addition to friends and family, make sure a trusted health care provider is on your team for checkups and any concerns you have. Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing a health care provider: 

  • Review the list of providers under your insurance plan. You’ll find general practitioners as well as those who provide more specialized care. Pick the one that you think would best meet your needs. 
  • If you don’t have health insurance now, check out healthcare.gov to see if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for the Health Insurance Marketplace or coverage through Medicaid. Community health centers can also provide care if you cannot get insurance at this time.
  • You may not find the right fit with a provider on the first visit. Make sure you feel comfortable with the health care team and office. If it’s not right for you, you can look for a better fit.

Once you’ve chosen a provider, it’s important to define your own role as an active partner in your care. 

To be more engaged in your care, make a list of things that are bothering you and questions to ask before your appointment. Bring a friend or family member to make sure you address everything, or just to offer support. And when you sit down with your doctor, ask plenty of questions.

For more information on staying healthy and getting the care you need, check out the Coverage to Care initiative.

You can also find more information about men’s health issues by visiting Men’s Health Network  and the Men’s Health Resource Center

Have a happy and healthy Father’s Day.

~~  Gregory Pecchia, DO, FACOFP, Advisor, Men’s Health Network and Brandon Leonard, MA, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Men’s Health Network ~~

Bon Appétit: ROASTED RHUBARB AND ASPARAGUS PASTA SALAD

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Makes 4 servings.

Kosher or sea salt
8 ounces dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
4 ounces baby spinach leaves (may substitute stemmed regular spinach leaves)
2 medium rhubarb stalks (about 8 ounces total)
8 ounces asparagus
2 large cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
1 small handful basil leaves
1 small handful sorrel leaves (may substitute your favorite fresh herb)


Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch or two of kosher or sea salt, then the pasta. Cook to al dente according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, coarsely chop the spinach, placing it at the bottom of a colander set in the sink.

Combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl as you work: Trim off and discard the rhubarb ends, then cut the stalks into ½-inch pieces. Trim any tough ends from the asparagus, then cut the spears into 1-inch pieces. Mince the garlic.

Add the 2 tablespoons of oil, the ½ teaspoon of sea salt and the ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes to the bowl; toss to coat and distribute evenly. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet; roast for 6 to 8 minutes or just until fork-tender. (You don’t want the rhubarb to break apart.)

Drain the pasta into the colander, pouring the cooking water over the spinach. Give the colander a good shake, then transfer the wilted spinach and pasta to a serving dish.

Add the roasted rhubarb mixture to the serving dish. Stack and roll the herb leaves tightly, then cut them into ribbons (for a total of about 4 tablespoons); add to the serving dish. Gently toss the whole mixture; taste and add oil, sea salt and/or crushed red pepper flakes as needed.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Bon Appétit: GRILLED GREEK CHICKEN PITAS

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Servings: 6

1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6), trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons sugar
1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
6 small pita bread pockets, to serve
Feta cheese, to serve
Chopped tomato, to serve


Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine the cumin, garlic, 2 tablespoons of the red wine vinegar, the yogurt, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and the oregano. Whisk until smooth. Set half the mixture aside in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the pitas.

Leave the remaining yogurt mixture in the medium bowl and add the chicken. Turn to coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

In another bowl, stir together the remaining 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar with the sugar. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the cucumber, cover and refrigerate until time to assemble the pitas.

When the chicken has marinated, heat the grill to medium-high. Using an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs, coat the grill grates with oil.

Place the chicken on the grill, discarding excess marinade. Grill the chicken for 6 minutes per side, or until the chicken reaches 170 F. Transfer to a serving platter. Drain the cucumber slices. Fill each pita pocket with a few pieces of chicken, a few of the marinated cucumbers, a drizzle of the reserved yogurt sauce, a sprinkle of feta cheese and chopped tomatoes. Serve immediately.

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