Monday, September 17, 2012

SHH - Oranges Part 1

I feel a little bit guilty doing the Halfway Healthy twist on oranges. I mean, they are pretty good right out of their skin. Anything I would do would just make them unhealthy. But, let's say you don't feel like peeling and eating a burst of sunshine every day, or you have a picky kid (or adult) that doesn't want to eat bare fruit. I have some sweet ideas to make the orange only halfway healthy, but full-on delicious!

First, a bit about oranges, from the SuperFoods book... its "sidekicks" are: Lemons, white and pink grapefruit, kumquats, tangerines (you may have seen my blog about Nigella's Clementine Cake), and limes. All yummy.

Why are oranges a SuperFood? Well, they do prevent scurvy. Oh, and Oranges contain the following:

Vitamin C

Did you know... Humans (and guinea pigs) can't manufacture Vitamin C in their bodies. It's water soluble and not retained in the body, so we need constant replenishment from dietary sources to maintain adequate cellular and blood levels.

The book says our levels of Vitamin C are on the decline, possibly in part to the ready-to-drink juices we now consume. They are easier and more convenient, but the frozen concentrate form of orange juice is considerably higher in Vitamin C than ready-to-drink orange juice. Also, the concentration of vitamin C in orange pulp is twice that found in the peel and ten times that found in the juice. Eat the pulp and buy high-pulp juice.

Did you know... A low intake of vitamin C can double the risk of hip fracture.

Okay, so I've already stated that oranges and pulpy orange juice is the best way to get your oranges in. But, here's a sugary recipe that reminds me of my childhood. Back in the days before the internet and FoodNetwork and before Todd Wilbur was cloning all kinds of restaurant recipes... back in the '70s when I was a kid... my mom happened upon an Orange Julius clone recipe. I don't know where she got it. You could only get recipes from friends, magazines and cookbooks in those days. Anyway, we went a whole summer making these almost every night. I may have only actually bought an Orange Julius drink at the mall a few times, but I've had this wonderful treat more times than I can count. If you want to make it even healthier, try soy milk or almond milk instead of the cow's milk. And you can probably cut the sugar pretty significantly and it would still be yummy.

Orange Julius
1/2 of 6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate (1/3 C)
1/2 C Milk
1/2 C Water
1/4 C Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
5-6 Ice Cubes

Put everything in a blender and whir till frothy. Enjoy!

One last little tip. There is another chapter in SuperFoods on the wonders of tea. Not herbal teas, but the black, green and white teas we drink all the time as iced teas. We make tea almost every day, and whenever I've just peeled a tangerine or orange, I throw the peel into the iced tea pitcher and brew the tea over it. It lends a subtle citrus flavor and you get some of the anti-oxidants that are plentiful in the peel. You can add even more if you zest it a little first.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hark's BBQ & Wing Run Cafe

If you'd told me I'd get excited about a chicken place before I found Wing Run, I'd have scoffed. Literally scoffed. I like chicken. I like it fried. I like it tossed in a flavorful sauce. But, it's still just chicken and most of the places that do the wing thing are pretty ho hum and all alike. Oh, but not Wing Run. They are doing something special, it's just hard to put your finger on what it is that's so special about them. They have the chicken je ne sais quois. Basically, they just do everything right, and don't mess with a good thing. The first time we found this place, we ate there twice in the same week. We never do that.

I'm going to start with the least expected and least obvious thing, but possibly what I love the most... the dressing. They offer bleu cheese or ranch with your order. I don't use these for the chicken... I use them to dunk my fries into... very liberally. I can't even tell which one I love most, so I make my husband order the opposite, so we can alternate. Both are made in house. You'll know this because they don't have that chemical taste from the dressing bottles. Both dressings are rich and creamy and thick enough to be clingy. They give you plenty. It's just decadent.

While we're on the subject of fries (I'm kind of always on the subject of fries)... these are one of the top three fries in Tulsa. They are real potatoes, fresh cut, served super hot and freshly fried and very heavily seasoned. They are packed with flavor.

Kamikaze sauce on boneless wings. Prepare to sweat! 
How did I go three paragraphs and not yet even addressed how they do chicken? They offer some good combo deals and different ways to order. You can get the wings with bones in or boneless. I go for the boneless. There are numerous sauce choices. Hubby gets Kamikaze. I usually get Sweet BBQ. There are plenty more I'm going to try someday... lemon pepper, garlic parmesan, teriyaki, and more. They are fried up fresh and come well-sauced and piping hot.

So for weeks after finding this, we only ordered chicken. There are actually two businesses being run out of this awesome little place, always tempted to try the BBQ offerings, but really addicted to the chicken. Finally, I made the Sophie's Choice of food and tore myself away from the chicken to get a BBQ sandwich. You can order dinners or sandwiches with one, two, or three meats. I went with a two meat sandwich... pulled pork and hot links. Wow! This was also delicious. Grrrr... now I'll always have to make a tough choice. They have a regular sweet BBQ sauce and a hot sauce (not too hot). They'll bring both to your table when they deliver the order. I alternated the sauces. Can you tell I'd rather have EVERYTHING than to make a choice? Yeah, I'll work on that.

Hark's BBQ & Wing Run does have a few tables and we always eat there, but because this style of food travels so well, there are always a lot of people picking up To Go orders. There seem to be regulars that knew about this place before we found it. We're working up to that status quickly. They already act like they might recognize us, but maybe they greet everyone that friendly. No matter how busy they get, they seem happy to be there. I'm hippie enough to find myself marveling at the positive energy the place always has. I can't believe I just said that out loud, but it's true.

Pulled Pork and Hot Link sandwich (the hot links are sliced into thin rounds and are hiding under all that sweet pork)

Wing Run Cafe & Hark's BBQ on Urbanspoon