Posts Tagged ‘healthy food’

I’m Digging Two Moms In The Raw

May 28, 2010

Here’s my latest discovery – Two Moms In The Raw. Nope, it’s not a video you can get fired for looking at on your work computer. It’s the name of an amazing brand of gluten-free, organic, 100% raw crackers and granola bars made from millet, buckwheat, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds. And they’re delish.

What started out as a quest for wellness resulted in a product line dedicated to creating these convenient, nutritious, raw products for the whole family.  Thanks to Two Moms In The Raw, you and your kids can enjoy dairy-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, organic and raw treats that are not only super good for you, they are addicting!

Try their granola bars in goji berry, raisin, cranberry or blueberry or have their sea crackers made with flaxseed and kombu in garden herb, pesto or tomato basil. You won’t regret it.

But the real story here is how I discovered just how delicious these products are. I tried them right in the aisle at Whole Foods.

As I contemplated purchasing these products, I must admit I hesitated slightly because they are a little pricey.  So I did what I normally do and ask around if anyone has ever tried them before I spend my hard earned cash on them.  No one had so the Whole Foods guys told me I could just open the bag and try them.  Imagine that!  Of course I shared them and everyone loved them.

Next up, I try the same tactic at the Hermés store.

Swedes, Bergman and Berries

May 25, 2010

Whenever I eat wild strawberries I can’t help recalling the classic Bergman film, Wild Strawberries….or as the Swedish refer to it as Smultronstallet

Strawberries are in season and, for those of you keeping track, they are by far my favorite fruit. Did you know there are over 600 varieties? When available, I go for the small wild ones, which are unbelievable!

A few quick tips:

Strawberries are delicious as is, but you can add them to most anything.  Try them in smoothies, pancakes, salads, oatmeal, dipped in chocolate, frozen into pops, you name it.  The possibilities are endless.

Strawberries are a great source of vitamins A and C. They also contain fiber, potassium, folate and antioxidants and flavonoids.

Don’t wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them because they spoil quickly.

Be sure to purchase your strawberries organic since they are a regular on the “dirty dozen list.”   (You can download a wallet size version of the list here.  http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php. )

Here is a super easy recipe for Stawberry and Rhubarb Popsicles:

Ingredients
8-10 medium strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 cup rhubarb,chopped
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons water

Method
Simmer the berries with rhubarb and water until very soft about 8-10 minutes.Puree in a blender or processor.Cool a little.Pour in the molds.Freeze for 6-8 hours.
To get the Popsicle out,dip or run under warm water,and slowly pull them out.

And finally, for my fellow strawberry fanatics, check out the next strawberry festival here:

http://www.troyohiostrawberryfestival.com/cwt/external/wcpages/strawberry-festival/index.aspx

Lunch Encounters of the Third Kind

May 18, 2010

The Child Nutrition Act still has not been passed. Ugh. If the Senate doesn’t act soon there will not be a Child Nutrition Bill this year at all.  That means next year there will still be junk in schools, new funding for expanding farm to school programs will be scrapped and it will be virtually impossible for schools to serve free meals to all students in low income schools.

The Community Food Security Coalition has an action alert that spells out what you can do to move this bill along. Check out http://bit.ly/aRgqEl

Your voice matters.  Help turn school food reform dreams into a reality and take action.  As Michelle Obama said, “We are calling upon mayors and governors; and parents and educators; business owners and health care providers.  Anyone who has a stake in giving out children the healthy, happy future we know they deserve.  All we need is the motivation, the opportunity and the willpower to do what needs to be done.” And then she gave Sasha and Malia the mommy look and they quickly gulped down their green peas and strawberries. I’m just saying she walks the walk.

It’s Meatless Monday! And John Cleese Highly Recommends Rhubarb.

May 17, 2010

I’m headed off to the farmer’s market to pick up some Rhubarb. Why? Oh, nothing. Not only is Rhubarb high in fiber, low in calories and cholesterol free, it is a good source of Vitamin A and potassium.  Betcha didn’t know one cup of cooked rhubarb has as much calcium as a glass of milk.

When choosing rhubarb, look for stalks that are bright and colorful with no wilting leaves.  If you are not using the rhubarb right away, cut off the leaves as soon as you get home,  put the stalks in bags and store in the fridge. And remember: Do not eat the leaves. They are poisonous!

Here’s a Meatless Monday Recipe for Rhubarb Tart. Look, if it’s good enough for John Cleese…

p.s. I’m not going to lie. This recipe takes time.  If you’re a person of leisure, by all means make your own crust, but if you’re a busy bee, I suggest buying your pie crust at wholly wholesome (http://whollywholesome.com/products/pie-shells.php).  I like to have a few organic whole wheat crusts in my freezer for special occasions. Like when I make a pie.

INGREDIENTS

FILLING

2 cups diced fresh rhubarb

3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced, divided

1/4 cup sugar,

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon cold water

3 tablespoons red currant jelly

CRUST

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

3 tablespoons 1% milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

PREPARATION

To prepare filling: Combine rhubarb, 1 cup strawberries, sugar and lemon zest in a large nonreactive saucepan. Let stand for 20 minutes (35 minutes if rhubarb is frozen). Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb is tender but still holds its shape, 5 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth. Stir into the simmering fruit. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is clear and very thick, about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until chilled.

To prepare crust & assemble tart: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray.

Spread oats in a small baking dish and bake, stirring occasionally, until toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Place the oats in a food processor and process until finely ground.

Combine milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk the ground oats, flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Drizzle oil onto the dry ingredients and stir with a fork or your fingers until crumbly. Use a fork to stir in the milk mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough just comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead 7 to 8 times. Roll the dough out to an 11-inch circle, dusting with flour if necessary. Transfer to the prepared pan, pressing to fit. Trim the edges.

Line the tart shell with a piece of foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the tart shell until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove weights and foil or paper and bake until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes more. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Shortly before serving, spread the strawberry-rhubarb filling evenly into the tart shell. Arrange the remaining 2 cups strawberries decoratively over the filling.

Heat jelly in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. With a pastry brush, glaze the strawberries with the jelly.

Wait. My husband just ate WHAT?

May 14, 2010

Many of my clients harbor nightmares from their childhood of being forced to eat their Brussels sprouts and hating every minute of it.  Even as adults, it’s hard to convince them that Brussels sprouts actually taste good, even delicious. But they are.

If you make them right.

Here is one of the easiest and most scrumptious ways to cook Brussels sprouts that will not only turn those naysayers around but have them begging for more.  FYI,  Brussels sprouts are are full of  many essential vitamins, folate and fiber as well as an excellent source of Vitamin C. And now they supply 100% of your daily recommend dose of Na-Na-Na-Na-Told-You-So.


3 or 3 1/2 cups of Brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 425.

Line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut each sprout in half lengthwise.

Place sprouts in a plastic bag with oil and toss to coat.

Place sprouts in a plastic bag with oil and toss to coat.

Place sprouts on baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Bake until outside leaves begin to brown and crisp and inside is tender.

Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti

May 7, 2010

Hannibal Lechter aside, did you know that fava beans were eaten in ancient Rome and Greece and even Gladiators ate them with barley to give them strength for battle? These tender, creamy members of the pea family are also known as broad beans, pigeon beans, horse beans and Windsor beans and make their appearance in early spring.

Great steamed and served with olive oil, salt and lemon, they are also delish in purees, soup, added to pasta or just sprinkled with sea salt. Favas are high in fiber and iron, have no cholesterol, low in sodium and fat and high in protein. It’s also been said that these little guys are libido boosters. So, there’s that.

Be sure to shell your favas before eating and don’t eat them raw, some people of Mediterranean descent have an allergic reactions to raw or unpeeled favas called favism. Shelling favas are labor intensive so make your husband do it, I mean, allow plenty of time.

Here’s an easy recipe for fava bean dip

Fava Bean Dip with Goat Cheese and Garlic Recipe (from Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

2-3 pounds fresh fava (broad) beans, shelled (about 2 cups)

1 Tbsp salt

1/2 cup chopped green garlic (can substitute 4 cloves chopped garlic)

Olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup or more water

5 ounces goat cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD

1 Remove the outer shell from the fava beans. The easiest way to do this is to work over a large bowl, bend the fava bean pod near one of the beans, squeeze the bean with your fingers, to have it shoot out into the bowl when the bean snaps. Keep squeezing, pinching and snapping, until you’ve de-beaned all the pods.

2 Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Add the shelled beans, simmer for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove beans from the hot water and place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and to shock the beans into maintaining their bright green color. When the beans have sunk to the bottom of the bowl of ice water, fish them out and remove and discard the outer peel.

3 In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium. Add the chopped green garlic (or chopped regular garlic cloves) and cook until softened, but not browned, about 3 or 4 minutes.

4 Place shelled and peeled beans in a food processor with softened green garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water. Pulse until smooth. Stream in a tablespoon or two more of olive oil while puréeing.

5 Scrape mixture out of food processor into a bowl. Mix in the goat cheese until well combined. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve with sliced cucumbers or jicama.

Makes about 2 cups.

Radish Chips anyone?

May 6, 2010

Radishes really don’t get the respect they deserve.

Usually just seen as a fun, colorful garnish, these little earthy-spicy guys are not only versatile but a great source of vitamin c and rich in minerals like sulphur, iron, and iodine. Braise them, drop them in salads with fennel and grapefruit, you can even bake them. Pick some up at your local farmer’s market and try this easy, delicious, nutritious, low-calorie recipe for Baked Radish Chips:

Ingredients:

10 radishes

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp garlic salt

½ tsp paprika

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice radishes
  2. Steam in microwave for 5 minutes
  3. Put in bowl with spices; stir
  4. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, flip the chips and bake for another 10 minute, lo

Okay, now it’s really time to get serious

May 5, 2010

It’s officially beach weather and some of us haven’t quite gotten down to our bikini weight yet. Look, we all put on a few ell bees during the winter. It happens. But, this happens to be one of those years that we are apparently just going to skip spring and jump straight into boiling hot summer. (Remember when we used to ease into the hot stuff with a few weeks of brisk mornings and mild afternoons? The nineties were awesome.)

Anyhoo, it’s time to make the decision to shed those extra pounds or go shopping for beach appropriate mumus.  I say we lose the weight. And I’ve got a great way to jump start the process.

A great way to stop those sugar and junk-food cravings partially responsible for your extra junk around your trunk is to incorporate more greens into your diet.  Greens are rejeuvanating, cleansing, excavating, energizing and nutritious.  The problem is sometimes they are hard to eat, especially if you are on the go.  So, here’s an easy way to start your day with Dr. Oz’s green drink which is high in fiber, low in calories and rich in vitamins.

See you at the beach.

Ingredients

2 cups spinach

2 cups cucumber

1 head of celery

½ inch or teaspoon ginger root

1 bunch parsley

2 apples

juice of 1 lime

juice of ½ lemon

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  This makes approximately 28-30 ounces, or 3-4 servings.

It’s Meatless Monday! (although some of us wish it was Mother-In-Law-less Monday)

May 3, 2010

When it comes to raising kids everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately most people are not shy in sharing.  When new mothers are at their most vulnerable (and sleep deprived) “advice” from family and even strangers can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  My advice is relax.

The other day my vegan client, who wants to raise her kids vegan, called me in tears.  Her mother-in-law was attacking her choice and told her that her kid not only needed iron, but that not giving her child meat was child abuse.  First off, yes iron is important.  Secondly, consider moving in the middle of the night without a forwarding address.

Actually, the most common nutritional deficiency among babies is lack of iron, which causes anemia.  Babies are born with a store of iron that lasts around 6 months and after this they need to get iron through food.  For babies the best sources of iron is breast milk, iron-fortified formula, iron fortified baby cereals or prune puree.  For bigger kids and adults there are many vegan ways to get it.

Some iron rich foods for vegans are swiss chard, lima beans, tempeh, enriched bagel or cereal, tofu, quinoa, spinach, lentils, blackstrap molasses, soybeans and dried apricots.

Also be sure to eat foods rich in Vitamin C to better absorb iron.  And did you know that food cooked in a cast-iron skillet (especially acidic foods like tomato sauce) has an increased iron content?  Sometimes even 20 times more!  Also, giving milk separately from meals also promotes iron absorption.

Here’s a super easy and convenient way for kids and adults to get iron on the go.  As in when you’re walking away from a know-it-all, blowhard mother-in-law.

½ cup of walnuts

½ cup peanuts

½ cup of dried apricots

½ cup of raisins

¼ cup of chopped dates

Just mix and go.

Finally, a global movement that involves waffles.

April 28, 2010

I just discovered a new movement whose mission is to promote  friendlier healthier, and more sustainable living. Through waffles.

The Global Vegan Waffle Party was born in 2008. They’re a great resource for vegan waffle recipes (yep, they exist and they’re good – just look at my husband asleep at the breakfast table, drooling like an eight month old). There are a whole bunch of local waffle party events around the country and you’re more than welcome to host your own, or you can join in the Third Annual Global Vegan Waffle Party on May 29th.

You can get a boatload of recipes here, http://bit.ly/cNOKnG, and to get you started, here’s their recipe for Naked Vegan Waffles (*ahem* the waffles are naked, not the Vegan)

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups soymilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix the soymilk, canola oil, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Pour the soymilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until blended. Cook on a waffle iron for 3 to 5 minutes, generously spraying both grills with oil before each waffle. Makes 4 (7-inch) round Belgian waffles.